So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
~ Psalm 90:12
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
~ Proverbs 14:16
And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
~ Psalm 73:11
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
~ Numbers 23:19
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
~ Galatians 6:3
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
~ 2 Peter 3:16
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
~ Ephesians 4:22
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
~ James 1:8
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
~ Romans 8:4-6
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
~ Philippians 4:8
The Sayings of Stephen Charnock.
One would scarce imagine such an inward nest of wickedness as is in a natural man but god hath affirmed it, and if the sinner should deny it his own heart would give him the lie. Thoughts are then sinful when they have a bad principle want a due end, and converse with the object in a wrong manner.
The holiness of god is seen in forbidding sin, his wisdom, in permitting sin, his mercy in pardoning sin, and his justice in punishing sin.
Such evils as skip up from our natural corruption and sink down again as fish in a river. These are sins though we consent not to them, because though they are without our will. They are not against our nature, but spring from an inordinate frame of a different hue from what god implanted in us.
The idolatry of the mind is when we dress up a god according to our own humors, humanize him and ascribe to him what is grateful to us, though never so based and unworthy of his holiness.
Psalm 50:21, thou thought I was such a one as thyself. ‘Tis the frequent business of men’s minds to flutter about things without the bounds of God’s revelation.
Worldly concerns may quarter in our thoughts but they must not possess all the room and thrust Christ into a manger.
Some men’s fancies are like a carrier’s bag stuffed with a world of letters having no dependence one upon another. Some containing business and others nothing but froth.
As the more delight there is in any holy service the more precious it is in itself, and more grateful to God. So the more pleasure there is in any sinful motion the more malignity there is in it.
It is very dangerous when the mind doth brewed upon a sinful motion to hatch it up, and invent methods for performance.
God’s law is suitable to his sovereignty as men’s laws are to theirs. Must they not then be as extensive as God’s dominion and reach even to the privatist closets of the heart.
It is not for the honor of God’s holiness, righteousness, goodness to let the Spirit which bears more flourishing characters of His image than the body range wildly about without a legal curb.
Man was created both with a disposition and ability for holy contemplation of God. The first glances of his soul were pure. He came every way complete out of the mint of his infinitely wise and good Creator.
Sin is the key that opens the floodgates of divine vengeance, and broaches both the upper and nether systems to overflow the world.
Our good thoughts will be our accusers for not observing them, and our bad thoughts will be indictments against us for complying with them.
The tongue was only an instrument to express what man’s heart did think, and would have been wholly innocent had not his thoughts been first criminal.
There is an infinite variety of conceptions as the psalmist speaks of the sea, wherein are all things creeping innumerable both small and great and a constant generation of whole shoals of them that you may as well number the fish in the sea or the atoms in the sunbeams as recount them.
A hypocrite’s religious services are materially good, but poisoned by the imagination sulking in the heart that gave birth unto them.
Evil thoughts are the immediate spawn of original corruption and therefore partake more of the strength and nature of it, sucking the breast of that poisonous dam that bred them.
In carnal sins, Satan is a tempter in mental and actor. Therefore, in the one we are conformed to his will, in the other we are transformed unto his likeness. In outward, we evidence more obedience to his laws, in inward more affection to his person.
Where there is more enmity to God, there is more of similitude and love to the devil.
A near approach to the diabolical nature implying a greater distance from the divine. The understanding is more excellent than the will both because we know and judge before we will, or ought to will only so much as the understanding things fit to be willed.
God, being the Father of spirits, spiritual wickedness of nourishing evil thoughts is a cashiering of all child-like likeness to him.
What a massive vanity should we find in our minds if we could bring our thoughts in the space of one day, yea, but one hour to an account. How many foolish thoughts with our wisdom, ignorant with our knowledge, worldly with our heavenliness, hypocritical with our religion, and proud with our humiliation?
Were we really and all together Christians, would not that which is the chiefest purity of Christianity be our pleasure, and would we any more wrong God in our secret thoughts than in the open streets.
He that lets his mind wallow in a sink of fantastical follies, robs God of his dew, and his soul of its happiness.
We can more easily resist temptations without, if we conquer motions within. Thoughts are the mutineers of the soul, which set open the gates for Satan. He hath held a secret intelligence with them—so far as he knows them, ever since the fall.
Christ died to restore God to His right, and man to his happiness. Neither of which can perfectly be attained, till those be thrown out of the possession of the heart.
A sanctified reason would both discover and shame our natural follies. As all animal operations, so all the spiritual motions of our heads depend upon the life of our hearts.
As there is a law in our members to bring us into captivity to the law of sin, so there must be a law in our minds to bring our thoughts to the obedience of Christ.
Till the understanding be born of the Spirit, it will delight in, and think nothing but things suitable to its fleshly original. But when to spiritual it receives new impressions, new refinings and motions suitable to the Holy Ghost, of whom it is born.
Without skill in the Scriptures, we shall have as foolish conceits of divine things, as ignorant men without the rules of which they never saw.
The devil had not his engines so ready to assault Christ, as Christ from His knowledge and Scripture precepts to oppose him.
None have more pleasant thoughts of divine things than new converts, when they first clasp about Christ—partly from the novelty of their state, and partly because God puts a new stock into them for improvement.
If you cannot tell the time when you first closed with Christ, recollect those seasons wherein you have found your affections most fervent, your thoughts, most united your mind most elevated, and endeavor to gain that again.
It is difficult to divorce our hearts and thoughts from what appears lovely and glorious in our minds—whether it be God or the world.
He that is winged with a divine love to Christ, will have frequent glances and flights towards him.