« AnteriorContinuar »
THUS variable and unsettled, I liv'd for several Years together; sometimes under great Conviction; and at other times without any at all : At one time I would break loose from all my Companions, and set my self to Prayer; importunately desiring that God would teach me my Duty, and what I must do to become a Child of his. At another time I would think I had done enough; that I might rest satisfied all was well with me, and that I was Converted already : Upon which I have been tempted to throw ofi my Concern about the work of my Salvation, and to conclude that I was safe, and really in a state of Reconciliation with God.
BUT I was soon sensible, that this was owing to the Devil's Suggestions ; and all I had yet gone through was only the Beginnings of what was necessary to true Conversion ; and but a drawing on of the Pangs of the new Birth.
FOR after all this (as it pleased God to order it in Mercy to my Soul) one Day when all our Family was gone out, and I left in the House by my self ; I sat
down to the Reading of some good Book (the Title of which has now lipt iv Memory) when all on a sudden, as if I had heard the voice of God speaking to me, I had a most awful and dreadtul Reprefèocation of my unregenerate State : of my Vileness and Sinfulness: and of the Judgments I stood exposed to: apprehending, that the Justice of an offended God was ready to seize me. I durft not look up. wards, for there. I thought I saw an impartial Judge, and an incensed Majesty : whose Purity and Holiness; whore Greatness and Terrors almost funk me into De spair. If I looked downwards I saw the Gates of Hell open to receive me ; and I thought my self just ready to fall into it every moment : I saw my self upon the Brink of Eternity; and that an Eternity of Wo and Misery.
THEN I could not forbear admiring the Patience and Long-suffering of God, which had spared me to long , who had deserved Death a thousand times over. How did I presently loath and abhor my felf for all my past Sins and Follies? Deeply lentible of my Original Pollution and Defilement ; and that Evil I was born into the World with. I was almost Heart-broke with the Thoughts of my Rebellion against God, and of my offending the best of Beings. How did it pierce my Heart to think of my abusing his Kindneis, and despising his Love; in not hearkning to his repeated Invitations and Calls of Mercy, I then thought myself one of the vileft Creatures on Earth, and could compare my self to nothing more fitly than the Devils, and Damnd Spirits in Hell. And now in the midst of such dismal Apprehensions as there, I saw no. thing in the whole world that could help, or comfort me.
O HOW I catch'd at the name of Jea fus; in whom I saw an All-sufficient fulness to supply my wants: an Ability to answer all my Desires; and a Power to wall, and take away all my Sins! In his Blood; and his Righteousness I believed, and hoped there was room for Acceptance with that God, who hates all the Workers of Iniquity : Therefore Heartily and Sincerely I apply'd my self to the Throne of Grace, without delay, in such earnest Breathings as these,
"O LORD! I am a very vile, mi. « serable Wretch; a poor undone, de6c filed, poiluted Sinful Creature. I am " but Dust and Ashes ; who derived my
Existence from Thee at first: Thou “ gavest me that Life and Being I enjoy ; 6 and from thee I drew my first Breath. “ By thy great Power and Goodness I “ have been preserved, and continued in “ Being ever since I was formed, and sent 6c into the World. Lord! how ill have 56 I answer'd, or rather how have I acted « contrary to, che great End and Design 56 of my Creation? Instead of Honouring “ thee, I have been doing all I could to “ Injure, and Dishonour chy Sacred Ma“ jefty, to excite thy Wrath, and incur " thy severe Displeasure. I have drunk. “ in Iniquity like Water; and with such “ Eagerness and Insatiableness, have been “ Indulging to my vain corrupt Inclina. 6 tions ; That, I confess, I am not wor. “thy, nor fit to live in thy Sight.
"THOU mightest justly have sunk « me long ago into that Lake of Fire and “ Brimstone which never can be quench'd.
" It is of thy Wonderful Mercy, that I “ am not consumed, and cast into Hell, “ there to spend an Eternity in Endless 6 and Unsufferable Tortures ; such as the " the Devils, and Damned Spirits are “ continually roaring under. O Lord, I “ acknowledge I have Sinned against “ Heaven, and in thy sight, and am not “ worthy to be called thy Son; no nor “ to take upon me the Name of a Servant : “ Against thee, thee only have I Sinned, " and committed such abominable “ Wickedness. But Lord ! What shall " I do, whither shall I go, if not to " the Throne of thy Grace? None else “ can help, or relieve me but thy self ; “ thou only hast the Words of Eternal “ Life. I therefore humbly proftrate “ my self before thee, resolved, if I do “ perish, to perish in this posture; and “ if I Die, it shall be at thy Feet. Í am, « O God, I again confess, a polluted, " loathsome Creature : Odious and de“ testable in thy sight, most hateful and " abominable in the Eyes of thy Purity " and Holiness: but is there noi a Foun6. tain of Mercy opened in Jesus Christ 6 to cleanse, and purify such Sinners, as I ļo am, from all Filth and Uncleanness?