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Yet so it was, that all in an instant, from surely the most violent storm, an immediate calm ensued! Such a sudden unexpected deliverance I never before experienced : and though not any of my troubles were really abated, yet they all appeared at once to be as nothing! I could then call them over one by one, and defy them to discompose me ! Oh how did I then enjoy God in the creature, and the creature in GOD!
How ought I to be thankful, if I am interested in the covenant-love of an unchangeable God! I am daily led to see more and more the uncertainty and frailty of all human and creature-comforts. A little bitter spoils and mars a vast deal of sweet. Though it be ever so small and trivial a circumstance, if it rests with weight on my mind, it overwhelms my feelings; and then I am brought to have recourse to a prayer-hearing God; and I
cannot express how rejoiced I am, when I am enabled, without any reserve, to go and pour out my every complaint, small and great, before him. If my trouble is not removed, I feel such a relief, and so thankful too, that I have such never-failing resources, as cannot be imagined but by those in siinilar circumstances: and at these times, if ever, I think I can rejoice in tribulation; for then I often find my dearest LORD nearest to my soul. It is then I taste the sweetness of religion; and at all periods surely I have such reason to be satisfied with his dealings, that I ought never to complain. Oh that I never may ! but the LORD grant that I may learn obedience by those things which I have already suffered and been brought through, and never more open my mouth against him !
I find I have daily to abhor myself in dust and ashes on account of inbred sin and corruption, and that I feel so little likeness to, and love of my dear LORD. Oh whither will my over attachment to the creature carry me? LORD make me more holy! I want to be heavenly minded, to fill up my station and situation in life aright; and yet
withal not to look at “ the things which are seen " and are temporal, but those that are not “ seen, and are eternal.” To be, as having or possessing, yet as not possessing ; indeed, in all things, to “use this world as not “abusing it,” remembering continually that “ the fashion thereof passeth away.” I want to be less conformed to it, and transformed by the renewing of my mind. Indeed I know I shall never be as I want to be, till I come to heaven, till I awake up with his like ness, and then I shall be fully satisfied.
Through the LORD's sparing mercy, I am now brought to another Christmas-day. How many precious souls have been cut off since the last, and sent to that place where hope never entereth! And surely, had I been dealt with according to my deserts, I had long since been there also. Oh that I could be humbled now in the very dust before the LORD, for all the many, very many accumulated sins committed in the past year! May I be enabled to reflect on the occasion of this day's being set apart ; even to commemorate the birth of our dear and blessed LORD; to consider that though he was, in very deed, the almighty God, yet, for our sakes he became an infant, in all respects as helpless as any of the sinful race of Adam. Oh wondrous condescension! How great, how matchless, the love of our incarnate God! Oh that I could meditate on this
glorious subject with delight, with rapture, and yet with the greatest possible humiliation !
January 8, 1794.
A kind and preserving God has permitted me to enter upon a new year-Oh that a continuation of life may fit me for death! My soul, what hast thou been brought through within the last two years! When I think upon the many waves that the Lord has caused to pass over my head, the intricacies and trials that have, on every side, at times, attended me, and out of which I have been delivered, I am a wonder to myself. I seem as if I could not undergo now, what I then did. I have reason to praise the LORD indeed, with all my breath, for the many, many times in which he has mercifully appeared on my behalf, when none other could have helped. May I this year, be more than ever devoted to his service---spiritually