The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, November 01, 1899, Image 18

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    act must work in him a complete change of heart ? Furthermore
did King David know the real state of his heart when he sent the
brave Uriah to his death in the thickest of the fight ? Note how
skillfully the prophet leads the erring king to look into the depths
of his heart. He tells him the pathetic story of the poor man's
little ewe lamb ; and when the king's indignation is kindled
against the wicked rich man, the prophet declares, " Thou art the
man 1" And David is led to pray, " Create in me a clean heart,
0 God ; and renew a right spirit within me."
After St. Peter's firm declaration of courage and devotion, how
the true state of his heart must have been revealed to him when
he knows that he is weak enough to deny his Lord. And this
sudden revelation .of his inner life was also followed by bitter
and sincere repentance. Again, did St. Paul know what he was
doing, did he realize the hidden activities of his heart, the moral
quality of his actions, when he journeyed to Damascus to perse
cute his countrymen ?
It is certain that these men did not at first fully appreciate the
moral significance of their actions ; they did not realize the ethical
quality of their conduct. But after God had revealed their sins
and opened their hearts, they could turn away from their wicked
ness. Then each began to know his own heart, and could keep
it with all diligence.
The preacher then made a practical application of this thought
to our own lives. He looked at the subject from the student's
point of view. He pointed out how the Bible in this text teaches
us to look into the inmost depths of our being. The mysterious
activities of the mind were described, 'and it was seen that many
of the forces at work in the heart of man are even below the plane
of consciousness. The activities of our moral and spiritual life
are welling up continually from that region of our inner life call
ed the soul. The heart is a hidden region ; its activities are often
below the plane of our conscious thought. How then can we
obey the admonition of the text,—" Keep thy heart with all
diligence "
The truth is, that it is possible to cultivate or deform the in
most heart of man, just as it is possible to stimulate or derange
the bodily organ called the , heart. Our inner life is moulded and
influenced by our habits of thought and conduct. The thoughts
which we habitually cherish are like visitors. They will come