“Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” —Psalms 19:12
Of all sinners the man who makes a profession of religion, and yet lives in iniquity, is the most miserable. A downright wicked man, who takes a glass in his hand, and says, “I am a drunkard, I am not ashamed of it,” he shall be unutterably miserable in worlds to come, but brief though it be, he has his hour of pleasure. A man who curses and swears, and says, “That is my habit, I am a profane man,” and makes a profession of it, he has, at least, some peace in his soul; but the man who walks with God’s minister, who is united with God’s Church, who comes out before God’s people, and unites with them, and then lives in sin, what a miserable existence he must have of it! Why, he has a worse existence than the mouse that is in the parlour, running out now and then to pick up the crumbs, and then back again to his hole. Such men must run out now and then to sin; and oh! how fearful they are to be discovered! One day, perhaps, their character turns up; with wonderful cunning they manage to conceal and gloss it over, but the next day something else comes, and they live in constant tear, telling lie after lie, to make the last lie appear truthful, adding deception to deception, in order that they may not be discovered.
—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, February 8, 1857 at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 3 Sermon No. 116, “Secret Sins”