The Heart of Man,
Temple of God
Habitation of Satan
(Translated from the French in 1732, reprinted in 1842))
A Lament for those who choose to avoid the
WAY of Self-Denial
Oh how many of mankind are hastening on to perdition! How many who are called Christians, and would be considered such, are the servants of sin, of lusts and shameful desires, devote themselves to avarice or luxury, to pride or envy, and who live rejoicing in another's woe, or are addicted to unchastity and indolence, or anger, or intemperance and intoxication; perhaps they also still confess their sins, but not to become better, but merely from habit. They return again to sin and continue in their ungodly practices, confess again, sin again, and thus proceed until their end, never thinking to change their minds, with all their heart to lament their sins, without sincerely turning to Christ the Redeemer, without seeking his grace and mercy.
With all their confessions, their communion, going to church, hearing the preaching and other devotions, they still continue the persons they were before servants of sin, children of the world, slaves of the devil; and the more they join in with outward forms, the more do they pride themselves on it, as if they were under no necessity to change their hearts, and be converted. Unexpectedly death approaches, and bears them away, and since they have sowed to the flesh, they reap from the flesh destruction; for what a man soweth, he shall also reap.
Particularly awful is the death of those who having once found grace, have not preserved it, who have once acknowledged Christ, but not remained with him, but have fallen from him again and cast themselves into the arms of the world and of sin: For, as St. Paul saith, "If we willfully commit sin after we have come to the knowledge of the truth, we have no other offering for sin, but a terrible waiting for the judgment and the wrath of fire to consume the ungodly: for it is extremely difficult for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God and powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame."
Oh you sinners that devote yourselves to your passions, if ye did but know what ye love! Ye love death and destruction! What now flatters you, will one day torment you. Consider the evil of your ways, and hate wickedness renounce all lust and sin, it is your destruction.