Why would I still take the government of myself out of your hand, and choose
according to my fond desires? Can my ignorance penetrate through the thick
darkness of futurity? Who would choose a blind mad-man to guide him through
some lonely ways and intricate meanders, with which neither the traveler nor
the guide are acquainted in the least: since he might lead him where he
desires, and stab him as he strays?
It is surely safer to walk by faith in God, than to be
led by my whims. I choose what is most agreeable to me; but God chooses what
is most advantageous for me--and proves, in his disposal of me, that his
love to me is greater than my love to myself. I love blindlyóbut he loves
with the wisdom of a God! I would have my prayers answered at my timeóbut
God answers them at his time, which is always the best time. I would have my
blessings in large sumsóbut he gives them in small parcels, because I could
not bear them all at once. So the prudent mother feeds her child, not
according to the irregular appetite of her infantóbut according to its real
necessity, to afford nourishment.
In this unhappy life, it is not the least of my
happiness, that I am not at my own direction, at my own disposal: for a ship
without pilot, and at the mercy of wind and waves, might as well find the
desired port--as I attain to rest and tranquility.
Through faith and patience it is, that I must inherit the
promises. Therefore God, to make me inherit them in the way that all the
saints have done before, tries my patience, and exercises my faith. And dare
I quarrel his conduct, or be displeased at such bright displays of his
peculiar care and loving kindness? Why, then, so many risings in my bosom,
so many doubtings in my soul? Hence I will conclude of every contingency in
my lot, however contrary to my enterprises and designs, however crushing to
flesh and blood--that it is the very best for me, both with respect to this
world and that which is to come!