The eye gazes — the ear hearkens — the foot tarries — the heart desires — the hand takes — mankind falls!

(George Everard, "The Murderer!" 1882)

"The deceitfulness of sin!" Hebrews 3:13

The sin which ruins the soul, too often comes stealthily, secretly, and unobserved!

Behold the parents of the human family in Paradise — holiness, peace, and the love of God dwell within them.

Mark the stealthy character of sin's approach: Eve loiters near the forbidden tree. The Tempter suggests the pleasure and the advantage to be derived from tasting it. The eye gazes — the ear hearkens — the foot tarries — the heart desires — the hand takes — mankind falls! and the dark plague-spot of iniquity has fastened upon humanity, from which it has never since been free.

A godly king, a man very dear to God, is walking in the evening upon the roof of his palace. The eye wanders — sinful passions arise. Thence comes a dark cloud of evil — murder and adultery follow close one upon the other. Two full years pass, and that sin lies yet upon the conscience. The face of the Lord is turned away from His servant. The remainder of life is darkened by the family sorrows that arise as the bitter consequences of that single glance.

Oh! how secretly — with how much of the subtlety of the serpent does sin come near! How carefully does it conceal from us its true character! Gladly would deceitful lusts persuade us that the thing which God has forbidden is yet comparatively harmless! Gladly would the great enemy cover many a foul act of iniquity, with a fair name! Gladly would a deceitful heart hide from us the deadly outcome of the sin we love!

Would you be safe from the deceit and the craft of the adversary? Then watch and pray evermore. Be ever watchful over yourself. Watch diligently, every avenue of sin's approach. The eye, the ear, the tongue, the hand, the foot — and above all, the heart — require a constant guard. "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life!" Proverbs 4:23

Then abide near the mercy-seat. Put your soul continually into the hand of Christ, and you will be safe.