Abbildungen der Seite

saving or not, whether it be from the power of Satan unto God; but this I can say, such a one I was, but am not, I am put into a new frame, and thou knowest whether I am made a new creature or not; the stream of my affections runs in another channel, thou knowest whether it be the channel of grace and heaven-wards.

2. Thou knowest I have made a solemn covenant with thyself; thou knowest the time, place, manner, inducements, ends, and witness thereof. I studied the nature of this covenant, and felt the pulse of my soul, whether I was cordial in it or not, and thought I chose thee as my chief good and utmost end, and gave up myself entirely to thee, when there was no witness besides thee and my own conscience. Thou knowest whether I had any reserves or evasions, in this solemn transaction. I have given thee the keys of my heart, and am glad of such a guest and Lord.

3. Lord, thou knowest I do not regard iniquity in my heart, and cannot look pleasantly upon it. There is in me a secret dislike of every sin, not only as sculdamning, but as God-dishonouring. I hate every false way as contrary to the law of God; yea, methinks I find an antipathy to it as contrary to my new nature; for though suited to my carnal palate, yet grace raiseth my heart against it, for the intrinsic evil in it as well as the consequences of it; I hate it though delectable and profitable, yea, I abhor what is evil, even the garment spotted by the flesh.

4. Lord, thou knowest I do daily resolve and pray against sin, all sin of heart and life; thyself art privy to my earnest supplications that I may not be led into temptation, nor left under the power of it. Lord, do

, thou set a watch before my mouth ; let not my heart incline to any evil thing; God forbid I should do this wickedness and sin against him; I am purposed that

[merged small][ocr errors]

my mouth, hand, or foot shall not transgress. God hath heard my prayers, and known my vows against particular lusts to which I have been addicted, and I hope I can say as David: “I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity;" so that it prevails not over me.

5. Lord, thou knowest I am daily seeking not only to lop off the branches, but to stub up the roots of sin, to weaken and mortify the body of death, and to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. It is not enough to cease from the acts, but my soul would enfeeble the habits of sin. O that the old man were crucified with Christ, that the body of sin may be destroyed! The sure conquest is only obtained through Christ's death and resurrection, and I find it is nothing but the law of life in Christ Jesus that makes me free from the law of sin and death: he only came to destroy the works of the devil.

6. Lord, thou knowest I set myself against secret and spiritual sins; "cleanse thou me from secret faults.” I am afraid of pride, hard-heartedness, hyprocrisy, vanity, formality, and all spiritual as well as fleshly wickedness. Now I understand by thy holy law that the least motions of sin in my heart are evil and deserve death. Thou knowest whether I make not conscience of suppressing those sins which others make no reckoning of, even vain thoughts and risings of depravity.

7. Lord, thou knowest the conflicts and combats betwixt flesh and spirit; the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh : methinks I find within me as it were the company of two armies; my corruption is not on the throne but in the field; sin hath not dominion over me, for I am daily warring, and though I am oft foiled by it, yet fall on again. Sin is not a king but a tyrant in me; I go daily armed


into the field and must fight under the banner of my dear Lord, and shall be a conqueror.

8. Lord, thou knowest these sins break my heart as they break out within me; they lie as a heavy load on my conscience, and make me weary and heavy laden. How oft do I cry, “() wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death ?” Thou knowest the tears and groans my sin hath cost me. “Lord, all my desire is before thee, and my groaning is not hid from thee.” One sin hath cost me more than all my other troubles; Oh my broken bones!

9. Lord, thou knowest that I love not the company of wicked men, I bid them oft depart from me, not from ostentation, but for fear of infection; for. I would not be found with the wicked when my Lord calls: “I have not sat with vain persons; I have hated the congregation of evil doers.” I have often experienced either grief or guilt in a needless association with wick

a ed men, and I hope thou wilt not rank me with the wicked whom I love not.

10. Lord, thou knowest I love the society of thy saints and servants; I am a companion of all them that fear thee, I account them the excellent of the earth, in whom is all my delight. I am sure wicked men love not thy children, and those are passed from death unto life that love the brethren. I love them because they are like thee my heavenly Father, and bear thine image though they be poor in the world, and may differ from me in some things, yet my heart is towards them, and I take a pleasure in having communion with them in God's worship and Christian converse.

11. Lord, I love to be admonished of my faults, and love them better that are faithful to reprove me for my sins; I can truly say, I love my minister better for his plain dealing, and the word of God for its purity:

“ Lord make me to know my transgressions and my sins.” I love not palliating, but would have my wound searched to the bottom that it may be safely cured. “ If the righteous smite me it shall be a kindness;" yea, even Ishmael's railing shall do me good, by a solemn reflecting on my faults.

12. Lord, thou knowest whether my soul doth not love thee and thy Son Jesus Christ. Thou hast said that to them that believe he is precious. I have often been feeling the pulse of my soul, and dare appeal to thee with Peter, “Lord thou knowest that I love thee;" thyself shalt vouch for me and make the affidavit: thou shalt not have this attestation at my hand, but upon thine own knowledge. Thou art the chief among ten thousand; yea doubtless, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.

13. Lord, thou knowest what a poor sorry thing I account the world to be and all its glory; I esteem the pleasures, profits and honours of the world as a pageantry. I have made Moses's choice, to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than choose the pleasures of sin, the honours and offices of Pharaoh's court. I can look through the best of the world and turn my back upon it, as an empty, insignificant thing, though the men of the world are content with it for their portion.

14. Lord, thou knowest the way that I take, and the earnest desire and design of my soul to walk in thy ways, to have respect to all thy commandments, and to attend on all thine ordinances. I miss it in all but dare balk none; my aim is, to fulfil all God's will, to stand complete in all the will of God. There is no flesh-displeasing duty, no self-denying act but I attempt it. If God say, do it; I will not consult flesh and blood, but my language is, as thou hast said so must I do; my

[ocr errors]


foot standeth in an even place, and lies square to God's will, at all times, in all places and conditions.

15. Lord, thou knowest I do my best in every religious exercise: God forbid, I should offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing. I must love the Lord with all my soul, mind, and strength: and God forbid that I should do his work negligently, or offer to him a corrupt thing. O that I could be more fervent in spirit in serving the Lord. God deserves more, and my best is infinitely below him. O that I could

. o do more! but, alas! I am short in all.

16. Lord, thou knowest my design in all I do is for thy glory and the enjoyment of thee. I dare not look both at thee and myself; then I lose myself in my natural, civil, and spiritual acts; all the lines must and shall bend this

way, that “God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” My design is to live to the Lord, and to die to the Lord, that Christ may be magnified in my body, by life or death. O that I could enjoy communion with thee in every duty and ordinance! thou knowest this is


heaven. 17. Lord, thou knowest all my dependance is upon thy Majesty, both for assistance and acceptance: I must lean on my beloved, and by the grace of God I am what I am. I cannot think a good thought without fresh supplies of grace; but I am able to do all things through the strength of Christ, and can run in the way of God's commandments when he enlarges my heart. I lay all upon thy golden altar to be accepted in the Beloved.

18. Lord, thou knowest I am daily pressing towards perfection, for I have not yet attained what I would gladly reach: I would be mending what is amiss, and be soaring to a higher pitch of grace, perfecting holi

« ZurückWeiter »