REV. EDWARD HOARE, M.A. discussing general principles relating to the human heart:
Our business to-night is to shew that this transformation is the work of the natural heart when brought into contact with the Gospel: and in doing this, there are a few general principles which it is important we should clearly understand in the outset.
The first of these is, that every living man has a certain conviction of God’s existence, combined with a sense of right and of wrong naturally implanted in his heart. This may be deadened and perverted, but it is implanted there at birth, and has remained amidst the wreck of our ruined nature. We do not require revelation to assure us of the sin of murder, nor could any doubt the duty of obedience to parents, even if there were no sanction for it in the written word. Bishop Butler says, “Let any plain, honest man, before he engages in any course of action, ask himself,—Is this I am going about right, or is it wrong? Is it good, or is it evil? I do not in the least doubt that the question would be answered agreeably to truth and virtue.”
A second universal fact is, that every living man has sinned against this natural law; that there never has been a single individual in the whole race, who has not, in countless instances, done that which he by the light of nature has known to be offensive to the mind of God.
A third fact is, that there is within every heart a certain faculty which is termed conscience, which sits like a judge, and passes sentence on every action we commit. Like a sensitive nerve, it feels the approach of sin, and, unless it be completely seared as with an hot iron, it is ever sounding within the heart the still small voice of just reproach. Thus every man in a state of nature is uneasy; he may endeavour to palliate sin, and discover excuses for its commission; but he cannot altogether shake off the sense of it. A consciousness of insecurity hangs around him. He is not ready to die; he has no joy in the prospect of the advent; and, though he may have some undefined hope of mercy, he knows nothing of the calm peace of the child of God.
A fourth remark is, that this uneasiness is increased just in proportion as such a character is brought into contact with the Gospel.
Source: POPERY THE ACCOMMODATION OF CHRISTIANITY TO THE NATURAL HEART at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/42280/42280-h/42280-h.htm, p. 4-5