O my soul, is this all satisfying treasure yours?

(Henry Law, "Christ is All" 1864)

The true Christian is called . . .
  to many relinquishments;
  to much self denial;
  to constant trampling on earth's gilded baits.

But every relinquishment is wealth; and every
loss is gain. For he who leaves all for Christ,
receives more than all in Christ.

This is a plain inscription over the portal
of the heavenward path: "Strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way."

He, then, who would enter, must be stripped
of all those flowing robes, in which men flaunt
and swell in nature's broad road.

Self righteousness must be torn off to its
every shred. This is the very flaying of the
soul. Dependence on imagined merit adheres
as the very skin.

But it all must yield.

Self, in its most cherished form, must be
despised and hated, as an abominable thing.

All our darling excellences,
all our fond conceits,
all our superiorities
must be rejected as a filthy rag.

It is hard work to cast all this away, and to go
naked to be clothed by Jesus.  But, if ever we
would be saved, it must be done.

So, also, every hope, which finds a savior in the
externals of rites and services, and means of
grace, must be ground to powder and given to
the winds.

Christ must be embraced, unaided and alone,
or not at all.

I need scarcely add, that every sweet sin,
which has long been caressed in the recesses
of the heart, must be dragged to the light and
slain. This is ofttimes as the plucking out the
right eye.

But there must be no sparing.
Christ is light. Sin is darkness.
How can they be one?

Sin loved, indulged, retained, binds fast
the soul to the wheels of the chariot in
which Christ cannot sit.

Again, the love of the world, in . . .
  its foolish vanities,
  its empty shows,
  its godless maxims,
  its defiling pleasures,
  its lying principles,
  its soul beclouding books, and
  all its idol worship of talent, wit,
and falsely called glory; must be
nailed to the cross!

Its conformity must be shunned, as poison!

Its touch must be shunned, as a viper's sting!

The heart must have no throne, but for Christ.

This walk is a departure from nature's country,
from sin's kindred, and from the devil's home.
It is a march towards a land, which Christ will
give. It requires many efforts, and many struggles,
and many conflicts, thus to take up the Christian's
staff, and to put on the Christian's sandal, and to
spurn all things dear to nature and to self.

But what is rejected?
Nothing but husks and shadows!
Nothing but vexation, and disappointment, and misery!
Nothing but . . .
  an oppressive load,
  a mocking shadow,
  a gnawing anxiety,
  a weary chase after emptiness,
  a groaning under present burden,
  a dread of future reckoning!

What is gained?
The substance of all good, the perfection of all
excellence, in Christ. He welcomes to the secret
chambers of His love. He opens His heart. He turns . . .
  all dross to gold,
  all clouds to sunshine,
  all sighs to songs, and
  earth to the very gate of heaven!

O my soul, is this all satisfying treasure yours?




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