How Suspicious we Should be of Ourselves
Since that this body of sin is thus active, it should make us suspicious of ourselves. [We should] be very jealous over ourselves in all the actions that we do: seeing that there is one within us that has a hand in them that is our mortal enemy (Prov. 26.25), who albeit he may speak us fair and make his voice gracious.
Yet, as Solomon saith in another case, there are seven abominations in his heart. [It is as] if a man has a servant in his house that he neither can turn out nor may trust. Will he not then be suspicious of him and often call him to account? Yet behold such is our own hearts, deceitful above all things, and who can know it; it has such turnings and windings that unless we watch it narrowly, it will deceive us (Jer. 17.9).
Ask we our hearts this question, whether they went then at such a sermon, when the word was powerfully opened, it will answer as Gehezi did, Thy servant went no where (2 Kings 5:25). Ask it again, whether it does believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for life and eternal salvation: It will answer, yea; He has believed ever since he can remember and never doubted in all his life. Ask him again, whether he be in such a condition as he may go to the Lord’s Table, he will answer again, go in peace. Thus like another treacherous Judas, he will for his own ends betray his own Master.
Now I appeal unto your own heart, whether this be so or no, whether you have not offered such strange fire unto God and thought that such blind and lame services would serve your turn. Have you not cause here to be suspicious of your secret enemy that lurks in your bosoms, that is ready to deceive itself and you?
When that King of Syria saw that his plots were still discovered, that his war did not prosper against the Kings of Israel, Will you not tell me (says he) which of us is for the King of Israel? So it should be with you, that when your designs and good purposes are interrupted, you should enter into your chamber and commune with your own hearts and call up all your thoughts together and say to them, will none of you show me, which of you are for Satan? I find many good motions that are stifled in the birth and a law of the members that does rebel against the law of the mind, and then complain of this enemy unto him that is able to help you and say, O, wretched man that I, good Lord deliver me from this body of death!