WEANED FROM OUR OWN WILLS
“While we have such a depraved nature, and live in such a polluted world; while the roots of pride, vanity, self-dependence, self-seeking, are so strong within us, we need a variety of sharp dispensations to keep us from forgetting ourselves, and from cleaving to the dust” John Newton (ref#322, p187).
“Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness” (Isa 10:22 ESV).
“It is indeed natural to us to wish and to plan, and it is merciful in the Lord to disappoint our plans and to cross our wishes. For we cannot be safe, much less happy, but in proportion as we are weaned from our own wills, and made simply desirous of being directed by his guidance. This truth (when we are enlightened by his word) is sufficiently familiar to the judgment; but we seldom learn to reduce it into practice, without being trained awhile in the school of disappointment. The schemes we form look so plausible and convenient, that when they are broken we are ready to say, What a pity! We try again, and with no better success: we are grieved, and perhaps angry, and plan out another, and so on: at length, in a course of time, experience and observation begin to convince us, that we are not more able than we are worthy to choose aright for ourselves” John Newton (ref#322, p187-188).
“[I]n the list of your griefs there is a saving clause. Somehow He will deliver you, and somewhere He will provide for you. If men do not feed you, ravens will’ if the earth does not yield wheat, heaven will drop manna. He can make your source of distress the channel of delight” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 21st PM).
The Doubting Soul’s Soliloquy
O could I lift this heart of mine
Above these creature things,
I’d fly, and leave this world below,
As though on eagle’s wings.
[But ah! I feel no love at all,
Can neither praise nor pray;
O would the Lord but shine again,
And turn this night to day!]
But whither can I go to lodge
My sorrow and complaint?
Unless the Lord is pleased to shine,
I mope, I grieve, I faint.
I find my striving all in vain,
Unless my Lord is near;
My heart is hard; I’m such a wretch—
Can neither love nor fear.
I ask my soul this question then,
For here I would begin:
O do I feel a want of Christ
To save me from my sin?
The souls redeemed by precious blood
Are taught this lesson well;
‘Tis not of him that wills or runs,
But Christ who saves from hell.
D. Herbert (ref#224, song#676).