“It is guilt upon the conscience that softens and cowardizes our spirits: “The righteous are bold as a lion,” Prov. 28.1.
It was guilt in Cain’s conscience that made him cry, “Every one that meets me shall slay me,” Gen. 4.14.
A guilty conscience is more terrified with conceited dangers than a pure conscience is with real ones. A guilty sinner carries a witness against himself in his own bosom. It was guilty Herod cried out, “John Baptist is risen from the dead.” Such a conscience is the devil’s anvil, on which he fabricates all those swords, and spears, with which the guilty sinner pierces and wounds himself; guilt is to danger what fire is to gun-powder; a man need not fear to walk among many barrels of powder if he has no fire about him.”
John Flavel, Works, Vol. 5, p. 455