Looking down into a filthy pit!

(J. C. Philpot, "Prevailing Pleas" 1865)

"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately
 wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jer. 17:9

Sometimes we are so astonished . . .
  at what we are,
  at what we have been, or
  at what we are capable of.

We stand sometimes and look at our heart, and see
what a seething, boiling, and bubbling is there!
And we look at it with indignant astonishment, as
we would look into a pool of filthy black mud, all
swarming and alive with every hideous creature!

So when a man takes a view of his own heart . . .
  its dreadful hypocrisy,
  its vile rebellion,
  its alarming deceitfulness,
  its desperate wickedness,
  of what his heart is capable of plotting,
  of what evil it can conceive and imagine,
it is as if he stood looking down into a filthy pit and
saw with astonishment, mingled with self-abhorrence,
what his heart is, as the fountain of all iniquity.

A man must have some knowledge of his own heart
to understand such language as this.

You that are so exceedingly 'pious' and so 'extra good',
and from whose heart the veil has never been taken away
to show you what you are, will perhaps think that I am
drawing a caricature of human nature, and painting it as
the haunt of thieves and prostitutes.

Could you but have the veil taken off your heart,
you would see that you were capable of doing all
that wickedness that others have done, or can do!

By this sight of ourselves, we learn what a wonderful
God we have to deal with!
Surely none so highly prize
the grace of God as those who are most led into a
knowledge of the fall, and the havoc and ruin, and the
guilt and misery which it has brought into our own hearts.