My unstable soul!
(John Fawcett, "Christ Precious")
"O Lord, pardon my iniquity — for it is great!" Psalm 25:11
If men have no inward grief on account of their ingratitude to a dying Savior — it indicates a lack of love to Him, and that they have not a just sense of the evil and malignity of their sin.
To think of the love of Jesus to my poor soul — manifested in His sorrows, His sufferings, His agonies, and the shedding of His precious blood — pierces my heart, and makes me loathe myself in my own sight! While I look to Him upon the cross whom I have pierced by my sins — surely I ought to mourn, and be in bitterness, as one who mourns for the death of his first-born. Shall not I shed tears of grief for those sins, for which my Redeemer shed His precious blood!
Blessed Jesus! how cold, how feeble, how languid is my love to You — the altogether lovely One! Alas! how readily are my fluctuating passions captivated by worldly things! O, let me not live so estranged from You! Warm my cold and frozen heart — and kindle in my bosom, a flame of holy fervor towards You.
At some seasons, the believer's mind is so oppressed with a sense of his own vileness — that he is ready to sink into despondency. In his retired moments, he pours out his complaints in such language as this:
"The clogs of guilt, and the clouds of darkness hang heavy on my soul. What language can express the depth of my distress on account of my sin! A sense of the vilest ingratitude to the best of Beings — stings my heart, and deprives me of comfort. What returns have I made for the abundant divine favors which I have received? I cannot bear the sight of my own vileness! I abhor myself, and repent as in dust and ashes. My life has been marked with repeated instances of ingratitude to Him, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, whom I desire to love and to obey with my whole heart. My unstable soul has been perpetually departing from God, inclining to folly, and verging towards that which is evil. This, this is wretchedness indeed! For this I condemn myself almost without ceasing. My spirits droop, my heart desponds, my soul is disquieted within me. O Lord, be merciful to me, pardon my iniquity — for it is great!"
"Lord, I abhor myself on account of the defilement which cleaves unto me. Behold I am vile! I will lay my hand upon my mouth, and put my face in the dust! I have experienced a thousand proofs of Your goodness — the remembrance of which, fills me with shame, because of my ingratitude. The height of my folly lies in having so often sinned against Your infinite goodness and love! I have abused Your kindness, and affronted Your mercy. O Lord, I beseech You, pardon my iniquity — for it is great!"
Such exercises of mind as these, strongly indicate the sincerity of our love for the divine Savior.