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been enabled to come by faith, and hour, such a transgressor was to glorify by an unreseryed sur- saved ! nor will he murmur against render of herself into His hands, the good man of the house who believing that He was able and gives unto the last as unto the willing to save to the very utter- first, and who has a right to do most. And now, what shall we what He will with His own. But say to this very remarkable display lest any should captiously inquire, of the free grace of God, to the “ may not the interests of morality chief of sinners ? Surely it teaches suffer by the relation of this fact?” us that salvation is not of works, I beg leave to say, that such interbut by grace; a truth exceedingly ests could never be more clearly humbling to our proud natures, established, than by a consideration which would rather purchase than of the wretched state of degradagratuitously receive life eternal; tion and misery to which sin had but every one who experimentally reduced this profligate woman, knows the evil of his fallen nature, and from which she was delivered will bless God, that salvation is by by the abounding and sanctifying grace, and unite with the angels grace of Christ, made known in in rejoicing, that at the eleventh the gospel.
SPIRITUAL BREATHINGS AND MEDITATIONS
OF MRS, CLISSOULD (1710),
1.-Her sense of sin.-I find sin the thought that I shall one day be to be the heaviest burden in the holy and without blame before God world. All affictions seem light in love. I covet earnestly, but to those which I find sin to be the they are the best gifts, such as immediate cause of. If my con- faith, love, and repentance ; grace science do not accuse me for to please God; grace that I may bringing the affliction upon myself get ripe for heaven; grace to keep by such or such a sin, it then sits a conscience void of offence towards easy; for I find myself more God and man; grace to be all of a troubled for the cause of my afflic- piece, always serious, not by fits tion, than the affliction itself. and starts, not only in my retire
II.-Her desire of deliverance ments, not only in the house of from sin.—There is no sin which God, but in my conversation; and
earnestly desire to have pardoned, that, not only with my tongue but but with as much earnestness I my heart.
my heart. I long for a habitual
I long for a o desire to have purged and utterly and awful sense of God's all-seeing abolished ; and could there be such eye to govern my hands, eyes, a thing as salvation in sin, it would tongue, and feet; my heart, all the be to me an uneasy, bitter, and members of my body and motions abhorred thing. I should rather of my soul, as one that is sensible be a stock or a stone, the most that God sees, and what a God he senseless of beings, than have leave is. I long to be delivered from to live in sin ; for I count it one the vanity of my mind, to have my of the most afflicting things in the thoughts working after God, filled World, to be left to sin, and to have with serious meditations. Oh how former sins punished by being per. shall I do to die, how shall I do to mitted to go on in sin.
live to the glory of that God whose 11.-Her thirst after holiness. - I am ? There is nothing I breathe after so IV.-Her sense of the virtue of uch as holiness; nor does any Christ's blood.-1 do really think ning so much delight my soul, as myself one of the worst of sinners
in the world. And yet as bad as I of it. Its usefulness may be taken know myself to be, and God knows away, or I may be deprived of it, me to be, I am sure there is virtue or be rendered incapable of en. enough in the blood of Christ to joying it. take all the stains out of my soul. VIII.-Her sense of her own
V.- Her justifying of God.—The unworthiness.-I am sensible I am consideration of my own vileness unworthy of the least mercy I makes me justify God in his most enjoy, that I am not worthy of the afflictive dispensations towards me; bread I eat, or the clothes I wear; and under the most pressing weights that all the understanding, knowI cannot choose but bless him ledge, inclination to good, desires with admiration that they are no after grace and glory that are in heavier.
me, are not from myself, but are VI.---Her thankfulness for afflic- all the gift of God. I am sensible tions.-I do really bless God for I cannot believe, nor repent, nor my afflictions as heartily as for love of myself; if I am enabled to other mercies, for I reckon them do it one time, I have no power to among the number. The cordials do it again, nor dare I say it is an I have to comfort me when afflicted, easy thing to do either; for if I are sweeter than the affliction itself do once, I find I need the same is bitter. I find the being brought power to assist the second time, into rough and tempestuous ways, and the third, and so ou as at the is a great means to raise my soul first. There is no room for boastin the high praises of God, when ing under the law of faith. Thereset at liberty, and that with more fore I declare I renounce all selfsense and affection than if I had righteousness. I do not expect not been so afflicted and so de- salvation for any thing I do. If I livered.
am accepted at last, it must be VII.—Her thoughts of the world through the righteousness of ano
For my part, as little or as much ther: and therefore, I throw myself as I have seen of the world, I at the foot of Him that died, that can look on it with no satisfac- he might bring us to God. I have tion or pleasure. To me it filth with my most shining duties : seems to be in a continual hurry, Oh wash the stains out with thy a noisy place, filled with high and blood! I am lame, blind, ragged, blustering winds, storms and tem- naked, helpless, defiled; oh, for pests, pricking briars and thorns. the fountain open! Young people that are just setting L X.-Her most amiable view.forth in it, usually form vast expec- The loveliest sight in my eyes of tations from it. But I see nothing this whole world, is a person in the here but what bids me long for a lively exercise of grace; to see more serene and calm region, one expressing faith in God, love There is nothing I have loved, but to him, hatred of sin, desires after I have found a sting in it; there is holiness, and breathing after the nothing I do love, but it draws sinless state of perfection. All the forth many a tear ; there is nothing grandeur and pleasures of this life I desire, but I expect with it some are to me but empty baubles comcross or other, to tell me it is but pared herewith. a creature, a fair flower, but fading; X.-Her complaint of herself.there is nothing I enjoy which is Oh, how are the times altered with delightful and pleasant that I dare me! and how do I now carry it fix too fast upon; for in a moment to what I once did! When God something may intervene that may was pleased first to work on me, cut it off, or separate me from it, how tender and careful! But now, so as not to enjoy the sweetness how hardened and careless! Oh,
how sweet was a sabbath! How still cherish a holy thirst to awake delightful were the thoughts of in Christ's likeness, to behold him God and Christ! Oh, how dearly face to face ; for then as no more did I love retirement from the sin, so no more sorrow, but not world, and converse with God! till then! The greater prospect How precious was Jesus, how thou hast of living comfortably delightful was prayer; but oh, how here, the more hearty may thy fast do declensions come on ! praises be. Blessed be God for Prayer has been as a task, and I every thing I have in hand or in have been glad when it was over. hope. Praise the Lord, O my To miss it I did not dare, remem- soul. bering that apostacy first began XII.-Her expostulation and here; but how have I presumed wishes.-Lord, what is the matter? to trifle in it! How do I see that I Why hidest thou thy face? My can do nothing of myself, by find- former time of life, wherein so ing how hardly I have been dragged many outward afflictions attended to converse with that God, in whose me, was, methinks, more pleasant company I once took so much than this. Thy smiles, O Lord, delight? Affliction is indeed much I am sure are sweet, though all abated, and the creature is more the world frown. O what a conthan it has been. The world has dition am I now in! I forget the got a great room in my affections. God of all my mercies, and after Lord let me stop and sink no the many sensible favours I have lower ! I that have wrestled so received, I act as though I had not earnestly for saving grace for known bim. “O that I might others, have need now to come have my request, and that God with the same earnestness for my- would grant me the thing that I self. Are the principles of grace long for!” And this is, that I inlaid or no? If they be, Lord might feel his Spirit working as stir them up in act, and let not the powerfully, and with as great a world thus run away with my force as formerly I have felt it. heart!
O that I could feel the word making XI.-Her prospects moderated.- my soul to glow, as it has done in Great are the prospects of comfort the coldest night! O that I could I behold. Every thing seems to feel it come (as every sermun almost bave a smiling aspect; and had not used to do) as though it were a God prepared my way by affliction, particular message sent from God I should have formed vast expec. to me! O how full have I been tations from the world: I should of zeal to promote the glory of have said, now my mountain stands God, insomuch that I have wished strong, things are as I would have my flesh was brass, and my sinews them. How sweet a place is this iron, that I might never be weary. earth! Why may not I fix here I have grudged the time that has for ever? But I have seen, and been taken up in sleeping, eating, blessed be God I have! that my visiting, &c. Blessed be God i mountain, though never so strong, see the emptiness of this world, is but as ice that melts away; and and therefore give up myself, soul that the more delight I take in the and body, to the disposal of infinite world, the likelier it is to prove wisdom. I beg ever to have bitterness in the end ; that the my heart kept from fixing upon higher my hopes, the deeper my any thing here. Health, wealth, falls. In all things vexation and Friends, near and dear relations sorrow at one time or other, more are passing. or less. Therefore, O my soul,
I concluded my last observations glecting this duty, we neglect a upon self-examination * with the privilege, a high privilege, inasmuch remark that the subject should be as we are made the judges of our more fully considered at a future own souls, and the determiners period, as far as regarded the of our own sentence. For while comfort to be derived from the we behold a weight of guilt far knowledge of the human heart, its more than' is sufficient to condemn evil tendencies, corruptions, pas our souls to eternal perdition, and sions, &c.
while we cry out with hearts It has been frequently observed, “broken and contrite,” “Unclean, that a view of Christ's death, as unclean ;” and while we acknowwell as his sufferings, both in the ledge the justice of the sentence garden of Gethsemane, and on the which should condemn us (if judgcross, afford sufficient evidence ing us according to our own of the evil of sin dwelling within merits); yet we see that in this very us, without having recourse to the conviction of sin and sorrow of melancholy duty of self-examina- heart the Lord has been pleased to tion. This we may fully assent to reveal bimself—to cry“ Come unto the evidence is quite sufficient to me all ye that labour and are heavy convince the understanding; and laden and I will give you rest;" a deep heart-felt view of these “I, dwell in the high and holy sufferings can have no other ten- place, with him also that is of a dency than that of producing sen- contrite and humble spirit, to revive sations of the highest wonder and the spirit of the humble, and to love towards God, and of the truest revive the heart of the contrite humiliation as far as regards our ones ;"-" I am the resurrection selves. But, Sir, all this may be and the life, whosoever believeth in attained without the principle of me, though he were dead, yet shall application to our own hearts;- he live, and whosoever liveth and we may acknowledge in a general believeth in me shall never die.”* way the depravity of man, and of If then, the soul can upon close ourselves in connexion with man- examination find nothing truly good kind in general, without deriving in itself, but, perceiving its own the least comfort from the view helplessness, casts its whole burden of Christ's death, as to our own of sin upon “ Him that is mighty," individual case.—The soul wants an confessing each transgression, and evidence not only that Christ died for each seeking pardon and forfor sinners, but for itself as a sin- giveness, how will it derive peace ner; we see daily around us men from the assurance that “there is who are awake to the stings of now no condemnation to them which conscience, but whose lives testify are in Christ Jesus !” In transgresnot that they are partakers of the sions against our heavenly parent, benefits of his death and resurrec- how unsatisfactory to both parties tion, and how are we to attain to a must be a partial and superficial belief distinct from theirs, if we confession of sins; how frail, or at take but a superficial view of our least how far from that peace which dispositions, characters, and lives? passeth all understanding must be We must remember, that in ne- the happiness of that soul who can
* See Christian Guardian, May, p. 177.
* Matt. xii, 28. Isa. Ivii, 15. John xi. 25.
either through carelessness, or un- more fully will he arrive at the willingness to meet the reproaches true knowledge of him as his God; of conscience, retain and conceal the more clearly will he be enabled many transgressions, uncertain at to discover the beauty of his attrileast whether tbey be forgiven or butes as exerting themselves on his not; and how displeasing to God behalf; the more confidence will must be the cold and heartless he have in his promises ; the more acknowledgment of errors, without hope in his love, and the stronger the evidence of a truly contrite and assurances of faith in knowledge broken heart. The loudest praise and in all judgment. That peace is ever found to proceed from the which can alone fill the heart of heart most deeply humbled : but him who has a true experimental how can a heart that fears to knowledge of the love of God search itself, be truly humbled before through Jesus Christ, is now poured Him who says, “Prove your own out upon him in all its power and selves whether ye be in the faith.” its fulness, and he rejoices in the That soul which has been awakened hope that He who hath begun the to a full insight of the corruption good work will continue it unto of human nature, will ever find the end. He aspires and “pants” a joy and a pleasure in coming after the Lord as after the friend to the throne of grace with all its of his heart; when clouds conceal sins to lay them at the Redeemer's Him from his view, he mourns feet; and the more full and per- as “ one that mourneth for his fect the pardon has been which mother :” he seeks Him in the it received, the more willing it is secret of His sanctuary; he seeks to make that Redeemer the con- Him in His word; he seeks Him in fiding friend of the heart: the his own heart, and rests not day more anxious will the ransomed nor pight until he hath found in his sinner be to find in his Advocate soul a " dwelling place for the Lord, that support, that interceding and a temple for the God of Jacob.” assistance which he has promised. He searches well the recesses of his and of which the soul has already heart, and brings it laden and experienced a foretaste ; to Him burdened with trouble, sorrow, will he fly under every circumstance, care, or sin, to the altar of his and in every time of need; he God and Saviour. Should “he seeks to have the sins of daily rest in his love,” it is the imperfection washed away in the object and longing desire of his fountain opened for all un clean- heart to bring from thence stores ness; while this habitual intercourse of gratitude and praise! He exbetween the sinner and his God amines his heart to find how sin creates and establishes an union has been conquered ; how old things and fellowship which proves that have been removed, and all things his " soul is bound up with become new; how pride, selfhis God in the bundle of life.” righteousness, hardness of heart, The more frequently he is com- anger, malice, &c. have all been pelled to have recourse to the weakened or dispersed, and he blood of Jesus : the more anxious greatly rejoices in the peace which Will he become to avoid grieving passeth all understanding, for he the Holy Spirit of Him who leads remembers the words which his niin thither, and who seeks to find Father spake to him, “From me a place in his heart where he may is thy fruit found.” These are rule ; “ The Lord of every motion comforts which the superficial exthere." The more he thus makes aminer of his heart must be a unself acquainted with God, the stranger to. He is willing and