Beware of Secret Sins
Psalm 19:12
Who can understand his errors? cleanse you me from secret faults.

I. MOTIVES TO ENFORCE OUR CARE. There be many arguments which may justly stir us up to take heed of and to cleanse from secret sins.

1. The Lord knoweth our secret sinnings as exactly as our visible sinnings (Psalm 44:21).

2. The Lord will make manifest every secret thing (Mark 4:22). There is a two-fold breaking out of a secret sin or manifestation of it. One is natural: the soul cannot long be in secret actings, but some one part of the body or other will be a messenger thereof. Another is judicial; as when the judge arraigns, and tries, and screws out the close murder, and the dark thefts: so God will bring to light the most hidden works of darkness.

3. Thy secrets shall not only be manifested, but shall also be judged by God (Romans 2:16).

4. Secret sins are more dangerous to the person in some respects than open sins.For —

1. A man doth by his art of sinning deprive himself of the help of his sinfulness: like him who will carry his wound covered, or who bleeds inwardly; help comes not in because the danger is not descried nor known.

2. If a man's sin breaks out, there is a minister at hand, a friend near, and others to reprove, to warn, to direct.


1. The more foul the sin naturally is, the worse is the secret acting of it.

2. The more relations are broken by secret sinning, the worse they are, and more to be wared.

3. The more profession a man makes, the worse are his secret sinnings; forasmuch as he carrieth not only a badge, but also a judge on his shoulders.

4. The more light a man hath meeting him in the dark, and secret actings of sin, the more abominable is the sin.

5. The more frequent a man is in secret sinnings, the deeper is his guilt; when he can drive a trade of sin within doors: when it is not a slip, but a course.


1. If thou hast been guilty of secret sins, be humbled and repent.

2. Take heed of secret occasions and provocations.

3. Crush the temptations which come from the roots.

4. Get an hatred of sin, which will oppose sin in all kinds, and all times, and in all places.

5. Get the fear of God planted in thy heart. There are three sorts of sins which this fear will preserve a man against. First, pleasant sins, which take the sense with delight. Secondly, profitable sins, which take the heart with gain, but what shall it profit me to win the whole world and to lose my soul. Thirdly, secret sins of either sort.

6. Believe God's omniscience and omnipresence.

7. Get thy heart to be upright.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

WEB: Who can discern his errors? Forgive me from hidden errors.

A Man's Errors
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