Their little hearts are so full of sin!

(J. C. Ryle, "The Duties of Parents")

It is painful to see how much corruption and evil
there is in a young child's heart--and how soon it
begins to bear fruit!

Violent tempers,
a terrible aptness to learn what is bad,
a painful slowness to learn what is good,
a readiness to pretend anything in order to gain
their own ends--all these things, or some of them,
you must be prepared to see, even in your own
children! In little ways, they will creep out at a
very early age!
It is almost startling to observe
how naturally they seem to spring up.

Children require no schooling to learn to sin.

You must not think it a strange and unusual thing,
that their little hearts are so full of sin. It is the
only portion which our father Adam left us; it is that
fallen nature with which we come into the world; it
is that inheritance which belongs to us all.

Never listen to those who tell you your children are good.
Think rather that their hearts are always inflammable as
tinder. At their very best, they only need a spark to set
their corruptions on fire! Parents are seldom too cautious.
Remember the natural depravity of your children, and
take care.