(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")
"I have sinned against the Lord." 2 Sam. 12:13
This is the common complaint of all true Christians.
They want an entire conformity to the mind of God.
They pant after universal holiness.
They labor to get their affections supremely
fixed upon Christ and heaven. They long for
the complete victory over indwelling sin, and
the perishing vanities of the world.
Yet, they find, to their inexpressible grief, that
when they would do good, evil is present with
them; not indeed as a thing indulged, but as
mixing itself with all their aims and desires,
so that they are constrained to cry out, "O
what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue
me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24
They feel a force drawing them down to
earth, when they would soar above.
This experience greatly humbles the Christian
pilgrim, while traveling through the wilderness.
He sees that he has no righteousness of his
own; that of himself he can do nothing; and
that it is of the Lord alone, that he has either
righteousness or strength.
This conviction of inward pollution, unseen by the
eye of man, drives him to the blood of sprinkling.
It makes Christ unspeakably precious.
Feeling his inability to think one good thought,
or exercise one holy affection, without the grace
and power of Jesus, he sits daily at his feet...
to hear his word,
to receive out of his fullness,
to imbibe his spirit, and
to copy his example.
Such is the experience and practice, not of one,
but of all the faithful servants of Jehovah.
Oh! that I may be found among these chosen
vessels of the Lord. I have to mourn over deadness,
lukewarmness, and earthly mindedness; though,
through grace, I abhor these evils!
I am grieved that my heart is so cold, when God is so kind!