I shall sin no more!
(The following is an excerpt from the diary of James Smith, written in 1860 when Smith was 58)
I am weary of myself, ashamed of myself, and often turn with disgust from myself! And yet I find a great deal of self-love, self-esteem, and self-pity working within me! I sometimes get into such a state of confusion, into such misery and wretchedness, that I cry out, "Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death!" Romans 7:24
I feel that I am too carnal — too much like the generality of professors. I do not follow the Lord fully. I am not wholly set apart for God. But I am ashamed of complaining, I have done so — so often, and it has ended there. I need more life, more savor, more love in my religion; and to be more energetic and self-denying in my ministry. I need — alas, what do I not need? I am only a mere skeleton of a Christian. I can keep up the outward form pretty well, but the power — the power is what I need! I want to be like Jesus. O for a Christ-like spirit, temper, and course of conduct!
I am obliged to renounce self entirely — all that I do, all that I feel, and all that I say — and build on Jesus Christ, and on Him alone. This is very mortifying to poor, proud human nature — but so it must be. The creature must be nothing — that the Savior may be all in all!
How swift-footed is time! Soon, very soon — it will land me on the shores of eternity! Well, to die will be gain. I shall then be with Christ — with Christ forever! Then all my trials will be ended, all my sorrows will cease — and I shall sin no more! If I could but live without sin — I would not care how long I lived. Nothing grieves me like sin — and yet I sin daily. I grieve the loving heart of Jesus, and wound the tender bosom on which I lean. What a pleasant thing perfect holiness will be!