Winding Up the Clock

“The conscience of a sinner is like a clock, dull, calm, and at
rest, when the weights are down ; but when wound up, it is full of
motion.”

Sometimes God winds up conscience in this life, and then it works vigorously
and strikes the time of day in the sinner’s ears. Shame attends his sin, and
he trembles in secret. A dreadful sound is in his ears, and like the troubled
sea he cannot rest. This is far better than a dead calm. Alas, in many cases
the clock runs down, conscience is again still, and the man returns to his false
peace. Of all states this is most dangerous.

In the world to come the ceaseless activity of conscience will be the torture of
hell. Rendered sensitive by the removal of hardening influences, the lost soul
will find memory accusing, and conscience condemning forever, and no advocate
at hand to suggest a defence. A man had better be shut up with a bear robbed of
her whelps, than live with an accusing conscience. No racks or fires can equal
the misery of being consciously guilty, and seeing no way of escape from sin.
May the Lord make our conscience to be an alarum to us here that it be not a
torment to us hereafter.

Charles Spurgeon, “Illustrations and Meditations”