What a contrast, mixture, paradox I am!

(A letter of Charles Spurgeon, at the age of 17)

My dear father,
I am very comfortable here, and I may say, happy. Were it not for my vile heart—I might rejoice. I am the least of God's people—and I am sure I am the worst. But yet I am one—I believe in Jesus and trust in Him. Conviction of sin, I take it, is the evidence of true spiritual life. I can fall into His arms, though I cannot rest on my own merits, for I have none. Jesus, and Jesus alone—is my sure defense.

I must bless the Lord for making me His son—it is of His own sovereign mercy. Not one good thing has failed. I have felt corruptions rise, and the old man is strong—but His grace always comes in just at the critical time—and saves me from myself! The Lord alone keeps me! I have no hope of persevering—but by His power. I know that His almighty arm is all-sufficient.

I want to feel "less than nothing," but this is a very great attainment.

Sometimes, I pour my heart out sweetly and freely; at another time, I can hardly bring up a petition. What a contrast, mixture, paradox I am! My greatest concern is to grow in grace, and to go onward in the heavenly race! I hope you and dear mother are well. Love to all.
Your affectionate son,
Charles