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covery. I might be proud and self-righteous, and amuse myself with fine notions about
virtues. But Thou dost not leave me in such darkness, and to such self-delusion. Thou informest my mind, and affectest my heart. My thoughts and feelings are a proof that Thou dost not leave me to myself. O that I were truly thankful for such lovingkindness!
" I am a sinful creature: and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God that taketh
the sin of the world. But what do I know of this Saviour, and how do I feel respecting Him? Though I have heard of Him, yet it has only been with the hearing of the ear.
I have not seen His glory, considered His sacrifice, or chosen Him to my Saviour; my Teacher, Lord, and Example. I have lived without Him, and far from Him, in a spiritual and practical view.
“I see and confess my folly. O gracious God, be merciful to me, and grant me the true knowledge of Christ; true faith in Him, the real love of Him. Enable me so to receive Him that I may be of the number of those who are spiritually Thy Children, members of Christ, and inheritors of glory.
** But what is faith in Christ? It is not merely to regard as true what is said of Him in the Scriptures : for of that I never doubted. Such faith has left me to live according to my own will : it has not caused me to renounce the world: it has not made me pious and happy.--The true and living faith, O my God, is Thy gift—the work of Thy Spirit in the heart. • With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.' Thou only canst make me look to Christ for salvation, and to receive Him truly and spiritually. Repentance and faith are from Thee: and if Thou art pleased to confer upon me these blessings, I shall renounce the world and myself, and I shall seek pardon, righteousness, and acceptance with Thee through Christ only. Then I shall see and feel that salvation is in Christ only.
“ Thus I speak: but do I enter into my own declarations ? Not fully: but Thou, of Thy great goodness, O merciful Father, wilt give me the blessing of a true faith. Of this I have hitherto been destitute : I have not lived by the faith of the Son of God: for I have spent my days without a right sense of my sinfulness and weakness, and without a just apprehension of the nature of the gospel.
“ What shall I now say? I am here, O Lord, an afflicted creature in Thy fatherly hand. Am I miserable ? No: I bless Thee for the sadness, darkness, and distress that I feel. I have consolation : for I know that Thy grace abounds; and I trust that Thou art dealing with me as with a child whom Thou art conducting to Thyself. Thou art justice and holiness; but Thou art also mercy and love. O grant me true repentance and unfeigned faith, that I may henceforth live to Thee, if Thou art pleased to restore me to health ; and that I may live with Thee, if this sickness be unto death."
“ Hear me, Almighty and most merciful God and Saviour; extend thy accustomed goodness to me, who am grieved with sickness. Sanctify, I beseech Thee, this Thy fatherly correction to me; that the sense of my weakness may
add strength to my faith, and seriousness to my repentance: That, if it be Thy good pleasure to restore me to my former health, I may lead the residue of my life in Thy fear, and to Thy glory: or else, give me grace so to take Thy visitation, that, after this painful life ended, I may dwell with Thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen.
O Heavenly Father, after these thoughts and meditations I kneel at the footstool of the throne of grace, and beseech Thee to look upon me and bless me.
I magnify Thy great and gracious Name ; for Thou dost not deal with me according to my deservings, but according to Thy mercy and goodness. Thou carest for my soul: and the thoughts and feelings which I have at present, are from Thee. O continue to be gracious to Thy unworthy and feeble creature; and confer upon me those inestimable gifts which are essential to my welfare. O make me truly humble, contrite, and penitent before Thee : make me a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ : and give me that knowledge of Him, that faith in Him, that union to Him, which are the salvation of the soul. Deny me not, O Lord, the request of my heart: grant that by the operation of Thy Holy Spirit I may be in Christ, and He in me. Pardon me through His precious blood : sanctify me by the power of Thy grace: teach me by Thy word and the Spirit of truth : and lead me onward from grace to grace. Let my present affliction be made profitable to my immortal soul : let it be one of the means by which Thou makest me a partaker of the divine nature. If I be restored to health, may I live unto the Lord : and whenever I am called out of the world, may I die unto the Lord. Support me, O Lord, under this Thy fatherly chastisement: and let these days and nights of pain and weakness be so sanctified to my spiritual good, that I may always bless Thee for this visitation, Enable me to think with seriousness, and to pray with earnestness: and do Thou in mercy hear and answer my petitions. Thus, O gracious Father, be pleased to be with me, to bless me, and to do me good, above all that I can ask or think, according to the fulness of Thy love and grace in Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with Thyself, and with the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
“ No man is bless'd by accident or guess ;
“ The great mistake of life is self-pleasing, or looking for a state of rest and satisfaction here-even in the way of religion, instead of taking up the
cross, labour in duty, and submission to the will of Heaven, with a renunciation of all worldly schemes of happiness, and patient waiting for death to put us in possession of it. The only happiness of this world is preparing in it for another, and being content without it till death.”
Adam's Private Thoughts.
If a person
The influence of religion on any individual is, in several respects, intimately connected with his natural temperament, or constitution. be cool, phlegmatic, deliberate, slow, or reserved, religion will not destroy these peculiarities : and he will be far less exposed to those improprieties into which a lively individual is liable to plunge. He will pause, reason, calculate, and proceed slowly and safely. His errors perhaps will be those of defect. If, on the contrary, a person be