Matthew 12:34
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. It is in our Lord's mind here to account for the bad speech of the Pharisees. It was the natural expression of bad minds, minds full of prejudice and malice. How could they, "being evil, speak good things"? But a great principle is involved in our Lord's appeal.

I. WORDS MAY BE MERE WORDS. Our Lord calls them "idle words." Much that we say we have not really thought. We often speak first and think last. And such idle words, though they do not express our real selves, often make sad mischief. Words glibly pass our tongues, and we forget them the moment after they are uttered, but they are as scorpion-stings to those who hear; they light up fires like the fires of hell. Therefore Christ warns so severely against words that have no thought and no heart behind them, and yet do their fatal work, saying, "For every idle word that man shall speak, he shall give account in the day of judgment." The first law of good speech is - think before you speak.

II. WORDS MAY UTTER A BAD HEART. The skill of life is keeping bad thoughts from gaining utterance. At the most, they only injure one person if they are kept from utterance. There is no knowing how many they may injure if they get expressed. These Pharisees had bad enough thoughts concerning Christ. If they had kept them to themselves, they would only have ruined themselves. Speaking their thought out, they started evil in other minds; words were agencies for communicating thought to thought; so the mischief ran, other souls were blocked against Christ, and his redeeming work was hindered in men.

III. WORDS MAY UTTER A GOOD HEART. Think pure things, and you need not restrain utterance; you will find pure words. Think kind things, trustful things, God-honouring things, and then, out of the abundance of the heart, the lips may freely speak. What you say will not be "idle things" with nothing behind them; nor will they be evil things with malice behind them. Let God make the soul-fountains of thought and heart fresh and sweet by his Holy Spirit's regenerating and sanctifying, and there need be no fear - our speech will be good speech, "seasoned with salt." - R.T.

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart,
I. Describe the GOOD TREASURE of the heart.

1. A good heart contains good affections.

2. Good desires.

3. Good intentions.

4. Good volitions.

5. Good passions.

II. Describe the EVIL TREASURES of the evil heart. The opposite to the good treasure.


1. Every man forms his opinion of himself by the exercises of his heart.

2. It is a dictate of common sense that nothing can properly dominate men either morally good or evil, but that in which they are really active.

3. Scripture confirms this consideration — "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he."

(1)This gives us a great idea of the heart.

(2)Religion chiefly consists in good affections.

(3)The propriety of God's requiring sinners to change their hearts.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

I. THE GOOD MAN. Not the natural man; the regenerate man.

1. He has the life of God in his soul.

2. The spirit of God in his heart.

3. The peace of God in his conscience.

4. The power of God in his life.

II. THE GOOD TREASURE. Good because —

1. Given by a good God.

2. With a good design. The good things of which He speaks are

(1)the Person of Christ;

(2)the work of Christ;

(3)the fulness of Christ;

(4)the operation of His Spirit. All these subjects are good, pleasing, and profitable.

III. THE EVIL MAN. He is without the life, spirit, love, peace, and power of God. He is evil because he possesses an evil heart, mixes with an evil world, is under the influence of an evil devil.


1. Its evil nature.

2. Its evil tendency.

3. Its evil effects. Evil thoughts, words, and actions.

(S. Barnard.)

You have seen the great reservoirs provided by our water companies, in which the water that is to supply hundreds of streets and thousands of houses is kept. Now, the heart is just the reservoir of man; and our life is allowed to flow in its proper season. That life may flow through different pipes — the mouth, the hand, the eye; but still all the issues of hand, of eye, of lip, derive their source from the great fountain and central reservoir, the heart; and hence there is no difficulty in showing the great necessity that exists for keeping this reservoir — the heart — in a proper state and condition; since otherwise that which flows through the pipes must be tainted and corrupt.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The heart of many a poor, neglected Christian is as if we opened some rude sea-chest, brought by a foreign ship from distant lauds, which though it have so rude an outside, is full of pearls, and gems, and diamonds.

The devil knows that if there be any good treasure, it is in our hearts; and he would gladly have the key of these cabinets, that he might rob us of our jewels. A heart which is sanctified is better than a tongue that is silvered. He that gives only the skin of worship to God, receives only the shell of comfort from God. It is not the bare touching of the strings that makes an harmonious tune. A spiritual man may pray carnally, but a carnal man cannot pray spiritually. If God's mercies do not eat out the heart of our sins, our sins will soon eat out the heart of our duties. A work that is heartless is a work that is fruitless. God cares not for the crazy cabinet, but for the precious jewel.

(Archbishop Seeker.)

I. Of the high importance of fixing good principles in the heart, if ever we would hope for a good course of life and action.

II. That the course of life and action will discover what is the prevailing principle of the heart, and will make it known to the world.

III. That the train of thought in which we delight will betray itself in speech, as well as in our general course of action; so that it will be known by the tendency of our conversation in this respect, whether we are good or evil.

IV. That it is of high importance that we set a watch upon our tongues, because we must give account, in the day of judgment, of everything we say, as well as everything we do.

(J. Burroughs.)

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