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wilt give me Thy Holy Spirit, and sanctify to me weakness and illness and pain; and whatever is best for me in soul or body, that Thou wilt give me for Thy dear Son's sake. Even so, Father. Amen.

CHAPTER XXXV.

THOUGHTS OF THE PAST.

"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies."-Psalm cxix. 59.

WHILE I lie here alone, I have many thoughts. Many of my thoughts are about the past, and especially about my own past ways. My thoughts about my past life are different from what they used to be; many things I see in quite a new light. When I look back I see many things to be wrong, which I did not see to be wrong at the time; things that I did without much thought, or because other people did them. If it did strike me that they were not exactly right, still I did not think them very wrong, and in general, my conscience gave me little trouble. But it is not so now. It is as if a new light shone on the past. I am very sorry for some things

-for some habits of life, for some ways of speaking, for much in my general conduct, and for some particular actions. I think of these things, and they weigh on my mind. I see sin in them now, and they make me very sad.

Lord, are these thoughts from Thee? Some to whom I have mentioned them call them morbid. But I do not think they are morbid, I think they are true. Is it not that Thou hast opened my eyes, and shown me the truth? Is not this conviction of sin? Is it not the work of Thy Spirit?

I am told to consider my ways, to call my ways to remembrance, to examine myself. I cannot be wrong therefore in thus dwelling on the past; and surely it is not surprising that when I do, I find evil there; and if I find evil, it must be of God that I am sorry for it, and mourn for it, and desire forgiveness. Oh no, this is not morbid; this is real and wholesome and true. And, painful as such thoughts are, I would far rather have them than think of these things as I used to think in my carelessness and hardness.

But if I myself now see sin in my past life, what must God see! The words of St. John come to my mind, "If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things" (1 John iii. 20). My heart does now condemn me; yet even now I do not see sin as God sees it, and I do not know myself as He knows me. Every secret motive that influenced me, all the pride and vanity I felt, my folly, my selfishness, my ill-nature, my covetousness, and all the various faults and sins I now call to mind with shame and sorrow, God saw and knew when I did not notice them, or thought nothing of them; and now, when I have some sense of them, God sees and knows them, and the evil of them, far, far more deeply than I do. I am not my own judge; He is my Judge, and I am verily guilty before Him.

"If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, if Thou shouldest be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who shall stand; O Lord, who may abide it? But there is forgiveness with Thee; there is mercy with Thee; that Thou mayest be feared" (Psalm

cxxx. 3, 4). O Lord my God, it is to Thy mercy alone that I look; it is Thy forgiveness that I seek. There is forgiveness with Thee, in Christ Jesus, my Saviour. He died for sinners, and I am a sinner; He shed His precious blood to wash away their guilt and make their peace, and my guilt lies heavy upon me, and I desire pardon and peace, and I humbly look to Thee through Him. "There is forgiveness with Thee;" oh, grant me Thy forgiveness for Christ's sake; forgive me for all the past; forgive me fully; forgive me now.

Then, O my God, will I fear Thee. Not with a slavish dread, but with a humble and loving reverence, and a dutiful regard to Thy holy will. By Thy grace-for without Thee I can do nothing-by Thy grace, I will walk in Thy ways, as one on whom Thou hast had mercy, whom Thou hast forgiven. I will never again think lightly of sin. I will strive to set Thee always before me. live always as in Thy sight. I will watch and pray; I will keep close to Thee in my daily walk; I will love Thee; I will seek my happiness in serving Thee; I will

I will try to

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