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ed but to my confusion. That single appeal of the apostle, which I found I could not make, convinced me all was wrong.
(GOD is my witness, (says he,) whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son*.' Alas !' I cried out, I am no spiritual worshipper. I have the form indeed, but not the power of godliness. Mine is the shell, the carcass, the shadow only of piety.'
- Under this renewed conviction and distress of mind, I sat down pensive and melancholy. I considered now, that all hopes of salvation were over, and was in a state little short of despair. I knew not at this time, that these were the blessed effects of divine teaching; and that God, the Holy Spirit, was thus, one by one, removing all the props of self-confidence, and emptying the soul, in order to prepare it for receiving out of the fulness of the Saviour. Oh! it is a gracious process of mercy.
We must become poor, in order to be made rich; and the apostle's paradoxes must be literally verified; to be dying, that we may live ; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; having nothing, and yet possessing all thingst.' Oh! ye mourning saints! be not astonished
Be they ever so heavy, or * Rom. i. 9. + 2 Cor. vi. 9, 10.
at your afflictions.
of ever so long continuance, there is a needs be for every one of them. Your God is faithful in sending the affliction ; and
God will be equally faithful in carrying you through it. Settle this in your mind as an everlasting maxim; every one of them shall terminate to your benefit. The Lord appoints it for the exercise of your faith. And if your faith gives glory to God, God will confirm and honour your faith. This is among the all things which must work together for good to them that love God.
In the frame of mind just described, I was seated pensive and melancholy, when a traveller approached me. You seem dejected, Sir,' (he cried, as he advanced towards me.) • Yes, Sir, I am indeed, (I replied ;) I have discovered sin to be a heavy burden.'
Sir, I ought to congratulate you, the man answered,) on this discovery. The knowledge of our misery is the first step towards a cure. There is a striking analogy between the diseases of the mind and those of the body. The man in supposed health will reprobate the applica
tion of medicine. It will be grateful only to the sick. And our Lord says, that the whole need not a physician.'. It is one of the sweetest and most affectionate recommendations of his character, that he came not to heal the healthy, but to cure the diseased. If you know your malady, depend upon it you are not far from obtaining relief. It hath been long my complaint, that in me dwelleth no good thing.' And though I have been some years in the school of self-knowledge, I have made but small profi. ciency in the science. A science indeed so general, which comprises the whole of man, is not easily acquired. The deepest investigations do not reach to the bottom. For we are told by an authority not to be questioned, that the heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked ;' and that none can know it, but he who trieth the heart and searcheth the reins*.' For it is not this or that particular instance of sin only, but our whole nature which is virtually all sin ; and not a member or faculty of the body, but what is tainted by it. Ask the most devout saint the earth ever produced, Can you restrain the mind from wandering in seasons of worship? Even if you close your eyes from all the objects around, will not rude and impertinent thoughts rush into the mind, like unbidden and unwelcome visitors? Do you always find freedom for the affections to mount on the wings of faith and prayer, when you draw nigh the mercy seat? Alas ! there is not a single sense but what is in confederacy to promote sin in the soul! Our eyes are continual purveyors of evil, and our ears inlets to bring home subjects of defilement. What a train of filthy and impure ideas will sometimes pass over the chastest breast, which no education can restrain, but which a man would blush to unbosom to his nearest friend!
* Jerem. xvü. 9, 10.
"And what makes this awful view of man's total depravity still more awful is, that there is no exemption from it, but it is universal. Corrupt nature is the same in all. This hand of mine is as capable of perpetrating any one. act of sin, and the heart, which gives birth to the action of devising it, as that of the vilest wretch that ever lived. For the only distinction of character between man and man, is in what God's grace effects, not what man's merit deserves. You seem to be surprised; but such is the facti'-Look here, (he cried, taking a handful of seeds out of his pocket,) here are a number of seeds, all taken from one and the same stock: if I were to put all of them into the earth in the same soil, the same situations, under the same aspect of sun, and rain, and dew, they would as certainly produce the same in equal fruitfulness. But if I put a part only into the earth, and reserve the remainder in my pocket, is it not equally as certain, that the part reserved will remain inert and unproductive; and that which is cast into the ground be alone fruitful?
The human heart, like those seeds, being from one and the same stock; and in its genus, species, and kind, in all instances the same, must invariably in all cases be alike, if all other circumstances concur.
So that if this be not induced, it arises
from a diversity of character, but from other causes. It is grace which prevents the sun, and rain, and dew, (if I may be allowed the figure,) of temptation and opportunity, from exerting their influence; and then, like the seeds in the pocket, in the absence of those causes, they remain barren and unfruitful.'
• But, Sir, (I replied,) if such be the universal state of mankind, what a deplorable situation is our nature in !
And how then can any be saved ?
6 It is this very state of our nature, (the traveller answered, which made way for salva