Snakes in the Bosom

Job 31:33; Proverbs 23:32
       If I covered my trangressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom.
       At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Some desire to be Christians, but they harbour some darling lust.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): No hypocrite is totally divorced from the love and liking of every known sin. There is still some secret lust, which as a sweet morsel he rolls under his tongue, and will not spit it out. Every hypocrite lives under the dominion and reign of one base lust or another—and will do what he can to save the life of his sin—though it be with the loss of his soul.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): What is there in sin, that any should love it?―Sin is a misshapen monster: lust makes a man brutish, malice makes him devilish. What is in sin to be loved? Shall we love deformity? Sin is an enemy. It is compared to a ‘serpent,’ Proverbs 23:32. It has four stings—shame, guilt, horror, and death. Will a man love that which seeks his death? Surely then it is better to love God than sin.

C. H. SPURGEON: Some have made a compromise; and one day they will serve God and another day they will serve their sins; like the Samaritans who feared the Lord and served other gods, 2 Kings 17:33.

THOMAS WATSON: A man may not be morally evil, yet not spiritually good. He may be free from gross enormity, yet full of secret enmity against God; like the snake, which though it be of a fine colour, yet hath its sting.

HENRY FOSTER (1760-1844): Godly sorrow reaches to all sins, but worldly sorrow will part with some sins to hold others.

WILLIAM ARNOT (1808-1875): When a man turns from wickedness because God hates it, he will turn alike from every sin. If we reform ourselves, we will select despised and shameful lusts of the flesh to be sacrificed, but retain and cherish certain favourite lusts of the mind.

THOMAS BROOKS: He never truly repented of any sin whose heart is not turned against every sin―one sin lived in and allowed, will as certainly damn a man as many sins; just as one disease, one ulcerous part, may as certainly kill a man as many…If the leper in the law had the spot of leprosy in any one part of his body, he was accounted a leper; although all the rest of his body was sound and whole, Leviticus 14. Just so, he who has the spot of the leprosy of sin allowed in any one part of his soul, he is a spiritual leper in the eye of God; he is unclean, though in other parts he may not be unclean. If a swine does but wallow in one miry or dirty hole—it is filthy; and certainly, that soul which does but wallow in any one sin—he is filthy in the eye of God.

C. H. SPURGEON: For God to accept our devotions, while we are delighting in sin, would be to make Himself the God of hypocrites, which is a fitter name for Satan than for the Holy One of Israel…No man can come to Christ and know his pardon without feeling that sin is a hateful thing, for it put Jesus to death.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Say not thou lovest Christ, so long as thou canst lay those sins in thy bosom, which plucked His heart out of His bosom.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): Must I put a snake in my bosom? No, no.

J. C. PHILPOT (1802-1869): But O, what a rebellious heart do we carry in our bosom! What perverseness, peevishness, and self-will dwell in us!

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): Even Christians, therefore, are not so perfect as to be free from infirmities. Only let us take care to understand this word aright: let us not give that soft title to known sins, as the manner of some is. So, one man tells us, “Every man has his infirmity, and mine is drunkenness;” another has the ‘infirmity’ of [sexual] uncleanness; another, that of taking God’s holy name in vain…It is plain that you who thus speak, if ye repent not, with your ‘infirmities,’ you will go quick into hell!

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): No child of God, no heir of heaven can love sin, or live in it.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Blind affections usually govern a man’s life: and all sinners have an evil counsellor in their bosom, some lust or other, and therefore need to be directed.

JOHN HUSS (1376-1415): Man is by nature more inclined to one sin than another.

R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Each one of us has in himself some especially besetting evil; a weight to be laid aside, Hebrews 12:1.

JOSIAH PRATT (1768-1844): What, then, is a bosom sin? It is that sin which is easily committed, and with difficulty detected; and which engrosses our thoughts. Now a willingness to discover this bosom sin, is a great evidence of sincerity.

C. H. SPURGEON: Some men are eaten up with lechery, others with covetousness, and third class with pride.

WILLIAM BUELL SPRAGUE (1795-1876): Look at the revengeful man…There may be no external demonstration of the revengeful spirit—though it may never be felt in any offensive act, nor heard even in a whisper, yet it will be nothing better in the soul than an imprisoned fury; or, if you please, a serpent holding the whole inner man continually in his deadly coils. Look, next, at the covetous man, who is forever grasping for great possessions; at the envious man, who cannot be happy while he sees others more favoured than himself; at the complaining man, who can never be satisfied with his own lot; at the sensualist, whose appetites are always in a feverish excitement, and whether gratified or ungratified, leave him with no rest to his spirit.

C. H. SPURGEON: If thy heart be renewed, if thou shalt hate the things that thou didst once love, and love the things that thou didst once hate…Repentance makes us see the evil of sin, not merely as a theory, but experimentally—as a burnt child dreads fire. We shall be as much afraid of it, as a man who has lately been stopped and robbed is afraid of the thief upon the highway; and we shall shun it—shun it in everything—not in great things only, but in little things, as men shun little vipers as well as great snakes.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): He that hath been stung, hates a snake.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): The man has now new dispositions and resolutions; and hence a new course of life. He is delivered from the love of sin―the love of all sin, however dear before. He is freed from the dominion of sin―so that it no longer reigns in his mortal body, that he should obey it in the lusts thereof, Romans 6:12…Search and try your ways. See whether you have given God your whole heart, and can sacrifice every bosom-lust.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Thomas Goodwin said that the greatest fight of his life was to conquer this “master lust.” His “master lust” was nothing physical or moral; it was the desire to obtain distinction and honour by eloquent preaching.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): There is the pride of life―the thirst after honour and applause.

ALEXANDER COMRIE (1706-1774): A faith that is not at war with all sins, however dear and profitable they may be, is not the faith of God’s children but a mere imagination.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): There can be no well-grounded peace or joy restored to our mind while the idols of our hearts remain unlamented. God insists upon these being given up; and that, not in a way of secret reluctance, but with holy abhorrence.


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