Two infamous strumpets
(Thomas Brooks, "The Privy Key of Heaven" 1665)
"You have set our iniquities before You, our secret
sins in the light of Your presence." Psalms 90:8
"Can anyone hide in secret
places so that I cannot
see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth?" Jer. 23:24
"The eyes of the
Lord are everywhere, keeping
watch on the wicked and the good." Proverbs 15:3
As we are never out of the reach of God's hand,
so we are never from under the view of God's eye.
God is privy to our most secret sins. His eye is as much
upon secret sins, as it is upon open sins. God has an eye
upon our inmost evils. He sees all that is done in the dark.
There is no cloud, nor curtain, nor moment of darkness,
which can stand between the eyes of God and the ways
of men. "For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and
He examines all his paths." Prov. 5:21. In this scripture
Solomon mainly speaks of the ways of the adulterer, which
usually are plotted with the most cunning secrecy; yet God
sees all those ways. Look! as no boldness can exempt the
adulterer from the justice of God, so no secrecy can hide
him from the eye of God. Though men labor to hide their
ways from others, and from themselves--yet it is but labor
in vain to endeavor to hide them from God. Men who labor
to hide God from themselves, can never hide themselves from
God. Paphnutius turned Thais and Ephron, two infamous
strumpets, from their harlotry, with only this argument--
"That God sees all things in the dark, when the doors
are closed, the windows shut, and the curtains drawn."
Those sins which lie closest and are most secretly lurking in
the heart, are as obvious and odious to God as those who
are most fairly written upon a man's forehead. God is all
eye; so that He sees all--even the most secret turnings
and windings of our hearts.
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight:
but all things are naked and opened (that is, anatomized)
to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." Hebrews 4:13
What is the curtain, or the darkest night, or the double lock,
or the secret chamber--to Him who clearly observes all things
in a perfect nakedness. God has an eye upon the most inward
intentions of the heart, and the most subtle motions of the soul.
Certainly there is not a creature, not a thought, not a thing,
but lies open to the all-seeing eye of God. The Lord knows
all our secret sinnings as exactly as our visible sinnings.
"If you cannot hide yourself from the sun, which is God's minister
of light; how impossible will it be to hide yourself from Him, whose
eyes are ten thousand times brighter than the sun!" (Ambrose)
"My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from Me,
nor is their sin concealed from My eyes." Jeremiah 16:17
This is the killing aggravation of all sin--that it is done before
the face of God; that it is committed in the royal presence of
the King of kings! The very consideration of God's omnipresence
should bravely arm us against sin! Shall not the strict, the pure,
the jealous eye of an all-seeing God--keep you from sinning in
the secret chamber, when all curtains are drawn, doors bolted,
and everyone in the house sleeping--but you and your Delilah?
Oh! what dreadful atheism is bound up in that man's heart,
who is more afraid of the eye of his father, his pastor, his
child--than he is of the eye and presence of the eternal God!
Those who wallow in secret sins, act as if there were . . .
no God to behold them,
nor conscience to accuse them,
nor judgment-day to arraign them,
nor justice to condemn them,
nor hell to torment them!
Though they may escape the eyes of men--yet
they shall never escape the judgment of God!