Strangle and suffocate it!

(J. C. Philpot, "Steps of Thankful Praise" 1865)

"O Israel, you have destroyed yourself!
 But in Me is your help." Hosea 13:9

Is not this a true charge? Does not your conscience
agree with it, as a well founded accusation? Have you
not willingly with your eyes open, run into some sin,
which, but for God's mercy and upholding hand,
would have proved your certain destruction? Have you
not stood upon the very brink of some deep pit, down
into which one more step would have plunged you?

As you realize the evils of your heart, you see what
a marvel it is, that grace is kept alive in your bosom!
You see yourself surrounded on every side with that
which would inevitably destroy it--but for the mighty
power of God!

You look back and wonder how the life of God in your
soul has been preserved so many years. Sometimes you
have been sunk into such carnality. You have felt such
emptiness of all good, and such proneness to all evil,
that you wonder how you have not been swallowed up,
overcome, and carried away into the pit of destruction!

David said, "I am as a wonder to many." But you can
say, "I am a wonder to myself!" The world, the devil,
and your own evil heart, have been for years all aiming
to destroy the precious life of God in your soul--all
stretching out their hands to strangle and suffocate it!

And yet, in His mysterious wisdom, unspeakable grace,
and tender compassion, He has kept the holy principle
alive in your soul.

O, the mystery of redeeming love!

O, the blessedness of preserving grace! We
have been preserved, upheld, and kept by the
power of God through faith unto salvation!

"O Lord, You have kept me alive, that I should
 not go down to the pit!" Psalm 30:3

"He has preserved our lives and kept our
 feet from slipping!" Psalm 66:9

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117