conscience, which is man's inner judge, condemns the sinner and declares to him God's wrath. Therefore his heart, fearing the day of reckoning, is filled with disquiet and fear and dread, because on that day God, the just and the holy, will requite every sin. If not, why does the sinner fear his Creator, and why is he uneasy when he remembers the last day? It is self-evident that, were man sinless, he would assuredly not dread God, but, on the contrary, loving Him perfectly, he would have neither fear nor anxiety about death and the day of judgement.

Although in some men's breasts there is not so much fear and disquiet after committing sin as has been mentioned, but, on the contrary, in the case of some this disquiet has been overcome to such a degree that they boldly assert that they feel no uneasiness about sin and have no fear of death and of the resurrection day, yet this assertion of theirs, if true, proves merely this that, on account of their numberless sins and acts of disobedience, their hearts have grown hard and shallow. Therefore it is that disquiet and fear are not felt by them, and, since they have long disregarded their conscience, it has, so to speak, become dead annihilated. Such people's conscience is like a member of the body which on account of disease has become paralysed, and therefore does not experience pain. This is not a healthy state of either body or spirit. Hence this condition of the


absence of pain and fear is the fruit and part of the punishment of their sins. And, just as such people's conscience sometimes wakens up either before death or in their death-agony, and then their disquiet and inward terror reach their acme, so doubtless after death they will awake from the sleep of indifference, and, as it were, intoxication with the pleasures of this mortal life, in the extremity of terror, and will then be exposed to the danger of falling into a condition of everlasting unrest and eternal misery. Regarding such a condition, see what the Lord Jesus Christ says in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus1 about the state in which the sinful worldling found himself immediately after death.

The second result which comes from sin is that, as sin springs from self-will and selfishness and unbelief and carnal lusts, so, on account of every sin which a man commits, his self-pleasing and unbelief and want of reliance upon God and his carnal lusts increase and grow stronger. And in this manner the desire of goodness in man becomes less, and his inclination towards evil increases. Thus he gets still further away from God, so that, in proportion as a man obeys his own lusts, those lusts day by day acquire strength; and finally they will become his masters to such a degree that his conscience and reason will be vanquished by his passions, and that man will become the captive

1 Luke xvi. 19-31.