Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
I. AN ADMONITION.
1. The act: "Keep." Our hearts are untrusty, unruly, and obvious to be surprised; for such things we are wont to keep.
II. THE OBJECT: "The heart." By "heart" understand inward thoughts, motions, and affections of the soul and spirit, whereof the heart is the chamber. We should keep our hearts in a state of —
2. Loyalty. A loyal heart cherishes no darling sin; scruples at small sins; hates sin at all times. A loyal heart is the same as a "perfect" heart.
III. THE MEANS OF KEEPING THE HEART "above all keeping." Nature hath placed the heart in the most fenced part of the body.
1. As those who keep a city have special care of the gates and posterns, so must we watch over the senses, the gates and windows of the soul, especially the eye and the ear.
2. Make exceeding much of all good motions put into our hearts by God's Spirit, and resist at its first rising every exorbitant thought which draws to sin.
3. Let him that would guard his heart take heed of familiar and friendly converse with lewd, profane, and ungracious company. This "keeping" must be done, because all spiritual life and living actions issue from the heart. This issuing of our works and actions from the heart is that which is called sincerity and truth, so much commended unto us in Scripture. That which is wanting in the measure of obedience and holiness is made up in the truth and sincerity thereof.
(Joseph Mede, B.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.