December 31, 1855

(James Smith, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862)

The following is an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:

December 31, 1855.
The last day of the year 1855 — a year characterized by . . .
  many severe trials,
  many sore temptations,
  and innumerable mercies.

In some things, it closes differently to what I expected — but how differently it may have closed!

I might have been in Hell!
O terrible thought!

I might have been on a sick bed, tormented with excruciating pain, or reduced to a state of infantile weakness.

I might have been in great and sore troubles, tossed with tempests, and not comforted.

I might have been without a pastorate — and without a loving people.

Or I might have been guilty of some heinous sin, lost my character, and been a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth!

Blessed, forever blessed be the Lord — that such is not my case!
My health is good,
my hope in Christ is steady,
my congregation good, and
I trust the Lord will yet work a great work by me.

And now, Lord, I desire to confess before you the sins of this past year:

I have sinned with my tongue — and with my temper.

I have sinned in my heart — and in my life.

I have omitted duties.

I have committed sins.

My motives have often been impure.

My aims have not been sufficiently high and holy.

I have been impatient, fretful, irritable, rash, jealous, envious, discontented, and ungrateful.

O may the blood of Jesus wash out every stain!

I renounce all hope — but what centers in Jesus!

I have no refuge, no hiding-place, no strong tower, no place of safety — but Jesus.

Christ in His person,
Christ in His finished work,
Christ in His glorious intercession —
is all my hope, all my confidence, all my joy!
I am His servant — and wish to serve Him alone.
I am His subject — and wish to be ruled by Him alone.
I am His purchased property — and wish to be consecrated entirely, eternally, and altogether to Him!