An impure fountain does not send forth a pure stream; if we desire the stream to be pure, we must make the fountain pure. A holy and pure life naturally flows from a holy and pure heart. The wisdom of Solomon declares that “out of [the heart] are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) The state or condition of the heart determines the manner of the life. One wiser than Solomon said: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts,” (Mark 7:21-22) etc. This saying illustrates the fact that the interior of man, or the heart, controls the exterior life. He further illustrates this by a cup and platter, which, he says, make clean on the inside, and the outside will be clean also (Matthew 23:26). We shall take it for granted that every reader will agree with us when we say that Christian conduct necessitates Christian experience, and that where the former is wanting the latter is also wanting.
All men naturally are in sin, and consequently without Christian experience. Christianity is not a mere profession; it is a real inward, or heart, experience. In the plan of redemption we find certain things required of man in order that he may obtain this change in his moral condition. The principal thing required, and one which covers almost the whole, is—