WHAT I DESIRE
by Archibald Alexander
Spiritual knowledge is that view of divine truth which arises from the illumination of the Holy Spirit. With this divine illumination comes:
A lively exercise of faith, not merely in the way of assenting to the truth, but confiding in the promises.
A holy susceptibility of heart, so that every thought of Christ may be a warm emotion of love and delight.
Godly fear—a profound veneration, yes, adoration of the divine majesty.
Deep humility, not only a feeling of littleness and weakness and ignorance, but of unworthiness and ill desert, together with contrition of spirit, a godly sorrow that works repentance.
A devotional spirit, a constant breathing after God, the living God.
Fervent spontaneous prayers in the midst of business and company.
Good-will to all men, and brotherly love.
Tender compassion for the afflicted.
Inward peace—peace with God, peace of conscience, tranquility of mind, a peaceable temper.
Courage in opposing spiritual foes, and in aggressive assaults on the kingdom of darkness.
A spirit of wise enterprise in doing good; promptitude in seizing on opportunities of being useful.
Constancy and perseverance in well-doing—bringing forth much fruit, and continuing to bear fruit even in old age.
Assurance of pardon and acceptance, with a good hope, entering into that within the veil.
Patience under suffering, and the salutary benefits of sanctified affliction.
A grateful temper, ever disposed to give thanks, and to praise the Father of lights, from whom comes down every good and perfect gift.
Contentment with an obscure and humble condition in the world, without envy of the rich and great.
Let these things be in me and abound, and I ask no more.
Let the worldlings have the world, and make the most of it! I will never envy their prosperity, for it is but for a moment, and then, like a passing scene in a drama, disappears forever! Their feet stand on slippery places, and in due time their steps will slide! And then, all their music, their mirth, and their wine will cease forever! And when they sink, they will rise no more. They plunge into a horrible abyss, where no ray of hope ever enters! Oh, their end, their dreadful end!
Give me my place and portion with the humble poor. Lift upon me, O God, the light of your reconciled face, and scatter the dismal gloom with which guilt and unbelief envelops the soul. Speak your peace to my troubled conscience, and darkness shall be light, the weeping of the night converted into the joy of the morning.
Lights and shadows alternate during our earthly pilgrimage. But often the nights are long and wintry; we long for the genial, reviving warmth of spring. Our spirits seek to be regaled by the sweet odors of the fragrant flowers, and with the joyful singing of birds. Oh for a serene, unclouded sky.
But see that dark, deep valley. See how many descend into the sides of the pit, but none ever return. Most are driven away—they are suddenly cast down. They were not aware of their nearness to the brink—they were not prepared for this sudden, awful change. O the blindness of man! How deep his sleep of carnal security! Will nothing awaken him?
My desire is to meditate on my latter end until I become wise unto salvation; to stand ready with my lamp trimmed, and thus to wait for the coming of my Lord. Soon I shall need earthly blessings, and even means of grace--no more. O what scenes will soon burst on my astonished vision! Lord Jesus, come quickly!