The Cause and Cure of Earthquakes!

Jonathan Edwards, 1750

"O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord what destruction he has brought upon the earth!" Psalm 46:8

Of all the judgments which the righteous God inflicts on sinners here on earth the most dreadful and destructive is an earthquake. This he has lately brought on our part of the earth, and thereby alarmed our fears, and bid us to "prepare to meet our God!" The shocks which have been felt in divers places, since that which made this city tremble may convince us that the danger is not over, and ought to keep us still in awe; seeing "his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." (Isaiah 10:4.)

That I may fall in with the design of Providence at this awful crisis, I shall take occasion from the words of my text,

I. To show that earthquakes are the works of the Lord, and He alone brings this destruction upon the earth.

II. Call you to behold the works of the Lord, in two or three terrible instances.

III. Give you some directions suitable to the occasion.

I. I am to show you that earthquakes are the works of the Lord, and He alone brings this destruction upon the earth.
Now, that God is himself the Author of earthquakes and sin is the moral cause of earthquakes, (whatever the natural cause may be,) cannot be denied by any who believe the Scriptures; for these are they which testify of Him that it is God "who moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble!" Job 9:5-6

"May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works he who looks at the earth and it trembles; who touches the mountains and they smoke!" Psalm 104:31-32

"Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth!" Psalm 97:3-5

"The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him!" Nahum 1:5-6

Earthquakes are set forth by the inspired writers as God's proper judicial act or the punishment of sin. Sin is the cause, and earthquakes are the effect of his anger.

So the Psalmist: "The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry!" Psalm 18:7

So the Prophet Isaiah: "I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger!" Isaiah 13:11, 13

And again, "Behold, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants! The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls never to rise again!" Isaiah 24:1, 18-20

"Suddenly, in an instant, the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire!" Isaiah 29:6

Nothing can be more express than these scripture testimonies, which determine both the cause and author of this terrible calamity. But reason, as well as faith, does sufficiently assure us that earthquakes must be the punishment of sin and the effect of that curse which was brought upon the earth by the original transgression.

Steadfastness must be no longer looked for in the world, since innocence is banished thence. But we cannot conceive that the universe would have been disturbed by these furious accidents during the state of original righteousness. Why should God's anger have armed the elements against his faithful subjects? Why should he have overthrown all his works, to destroy innocent men? Why should he have overwhelmed the inhabitants of the earth with the ruins thereof, if they had not been sinful? Why should he have buried those in the heart of the earth, who were not to die? Let us then conclude, both from Scripture and reason, that earthquakes are God's strange works of judgment the proper effect and punishment of sin. I proceed,

II. To set before you these works of the Lord in two or three terrible instances.

In the year 1692 in Sicily, there happened one of the most dreadful earthquakes in all history. It shook the whole island and not only that, but Naples and Malta shared in the shock. It was impossible for anyone to keep on their legs on the dancing earth. Nay, those who lay on the ground were tossed from side to side, as on a rolling billow. High walls leaped from their foundations!

The mischief it did is amazing: Fifty-four cities and towns, besides an incredible number of villages, were almost entirely destroyed. Catania, one of the most famous, ancient, and flourishing cities in the kingdom, the residence of several monarchs, and an university, had the greatest share in the judgment. Anthony Serrvoita, being on his way thither, a few miles from the city observed a black cloud like night hovering over it; and there arose from the mouth of Etna great spires of flame, which spread all around. The sea, all on a sudden, began to roar, and rise in billows; the birds flew about astonished; the cattle ran crying in the fields; and there was a blow as if all the artillery in the world had been discharged at once!

His and his companions' horses stopped short, trembling; so that they were forced to alight. They were no sooner off; but they were lifted from the ground above two palm trees; when, casting his eyes towards Catania, he was astonished to see nothing but a thick cloud of dust in the air. This was the scene of their calamity for of the magnificent Catania, there is not the least footstep to be seen. Of eighteen thousand nine hundred and fourteen inhabitants, eighteen thousand perished therein. In the several cities and towns sixty thousand were destroyed out of two hundred and fifty-four thousand nine hundred!

In the same year, 1692, on June 7, was the earthquake in Jamaica. It threw down most of the houses, churches, mills, and bridges throughout the island; tore the rocks and mountains, reducing some of them to plains; destroyed whole plantations, and threw them into the sea; and, in two minutes time it shook down and destroyed nine-tenths of the town of Port Royal; the houses sank outright thirty or forty fathom deep!

The earth, opening, swallowed up people; and they rose in other streets; some in the midst of the harbor, (being driven up again by the sea which rose in those breaches,) and so wonderfully escaped.

Of all wells, from one fathom to six or seven, the water flew out of the top with a vehement motion. While the houses on one side of the street were swallowed up, on the other they were thrown into heaps. The sand in the street rose like waves of the sea, lifting up everybody that stood on it, and immediately dropping down into pits; and at the same instant, a flood of water, breaking in, rolled them over and over, while catching hold of beams and rafters to save themselves.

Ships and sloops in the harbor were overset and lost. A vessel, by the motion if the sea and sinking of the wharf, was driven over the tops of many houses, and sank there.

The earthquake was attended with a hollow rumbling sound, like that of thunder. In less than a minute, three quarters of the houses, and the ground they stood on, with the inhabitants, were quite sunk under water, and the little part left behind was no better than a heap of rubbish!

The shock was so violent that it threw people down on their knees or their faces, as they were running about for shelter; the ground heaved and swelled like a rolling sea; and several houses, still standing were shuffled and moved some yards out of their places; a whole street is said to be twice as broad now as before.

In many places the earth would crack, and open and shut quick and fast, of which openings, two or three hundred might be seen at a time; in some whereof the people were swallowed up; others the closing earth caught by the middle, and squeezed to death; and in that manner they were left buried with only their heads above ground; some heads the dogs ate!

The Minister of the place, in his account, says, that such was the desperate wickedness of the people, that he was afraid to continue among them; that on the day of the earthquake some sailors and others fell to breaking open and rifling warehouses, and houses deserted, while the earth trembled under them, and the houses fell upon them in the act; that he met many swearing and blaspheming; and that the common harlots, who remained still upon the place, were as drunken and impudent as ever.

While he was running towards the Fort, a wide open place, to save himself, he saw the earth open and swallow up a multitude of people; and the sea mounting in upon them over the fortifications, it likewise destroyed their large burying-place, and washed away the carcasses out of their graves, dashing their tombs to pieces. The whole harbor was covered with dead bodies, floating up and down without burial!

As soon as the violent shock was over, he desired all people to join with him in prayer. Among them were several Jews, who kneeled and answered as they did, and were heard even to call upon Jesus Christ. After he had spent an hour and an half with them in prayer, and exhortations to repentance, he was desired to retire to some ship in the harbor, and, passing over the tops of some houses which lay level with the water, got first into a canoe, and then into a long-boat, which put him on board a ship.

The larger openings swallowed up houses; and out of some would issue whole rivers of water, spouted up a great height into the air, and threatening a deluge to that part which the earthquake spared. The whole was attended with offensive smells, and the noise of falling mountains. In a minute, the sky time turned dull and red, like a glowing oven. Scarcely a planting-house or sugar-mill was left standing in all Jamaica. A great part of them was swallowed up, houses, trees, people, and all at one gape; in the place of which afterwards appeared great pools of water, which, when dried up, left nothing but sand, without any mark that ever tree or plant had been thereon!

About twelve miles from the sea, the earth gaped, and spouted out, with a prodigious force, vast quantities of water into the air. But the greatest violence was among the mountains and rocks. Most of the rivers were stopped for twenty-four hours, by the falling of the mountains; until, swelling up, they made themselves new channels, tearing up trees, and all they met with, in their passage.

A great mountain split, and fell into the level ground, and covered several settlements, and destroyed the people there. Another mountain, having made several leaps or moves, overwhelmed a great part of a plantation lying a mile off. Another large high mountain was quite swallowed up, and where it stood is now a great lake some leagues over.

After the great quake, those who escaped got on board ships in the harbor, where many continued above two months; the quakes all that time being so violent, and coming so thick, sometimes two or three in an hour, accompanied with frightful noises, like a ruffling wind, or a hollow rumbling thunder, with brimstone blasts, that they dared not come ashore. The consequence of the earthquake was, a general sickness from the noxious vapors, which swept away over three thousand persons.

On the 28th of October, 1746, half an hour past ten at night, Lima, the capital city of Peru, was destroyed by an earthquake, which extended an hundred leagues northward and as many more to the south, all along the sea-coast. The destruction did not so much as give time for fright; for, at one and the same instant, the noise, the shock, and the ruin were perceived. In the space of four minutes, during which the greatest force of the earthquake lasted, some found themselves buried under the ruins of the falling houses; and others crushed to death in the streets by the tumbling of the walls, which fell upon them as they ran here and there.

Nevertheless, the greater part of the inhabitants (who were computed near sixty thousand) were providentially preserved, either in the hollow places which the ruins left, or on the top of the very ruins themselves, without knowing how they got up there. For no person, at such a season, had time for deliberation; and supposing he had, there was no place of retreat. For the parts which seemed most firm sometimes proved the weakest; on the contrary the weakest, at intervals, made the greatest resistance; and the consternation was such, that no one thought himself secure, until he had made his escape out of the city.

The earth struck against the buildings with such violence, that every shock beat down the greatest part of them; and these, tearing along with them vast weights in their fall, (especially the churches and high houses,) completed the destruction of everything they encountered with, even of what the earthquake had spared. The shocks, although instantaneous, were yet successive; and at intervals men were transported from one place to another, which was the means of safety to some, while the utter impossibility of moving preserved others.

There were seventy-four churches, besides chapels, and fourteen monasteries, with as many more hospitals and infirmaries, which were in all instant reduced to a ruinous heap, and their immense riches buried in the earth! But though scarce twenty houses were left standing, yet it does not appear that the number of the dead amounted to much more than one thousand persons; seventy of whom were patients in an hospital, who were buried by the roof falling upon them as they lay in their beds, no person being able to give them any assistance.

Callao, a sea-port town, two leagues distant from Lima, was swallowed up by the sea in the same earthquake. It vanished out of sight in a moment; so that not the least sight of it now appears.

Some few towers, indeed, and the strength of its walls, for a time, endured the whole force of the earthquake. But scarcely had its poor inhabitants begun to recover their first fright which the dreadful ruin had occasioned when, suddenly, the sea began to swell, and, rising to a prodigious height, rushed furiously forward, and overflowed, with so vast a deluge of water, its ancient bounds, that, foundering most of the ships which were at anchor in the port, and lifting the rest above the height of the walls and towers it drove them on and left them on dry ground far beyond the town.

At the same time, it tore up from the foundations everything therein of houses and buildings, excepting the two gates, and here and there some small fragments of the walls themselves, which, as registers of the calamity, are still to be seen among the ruins and the waters a dreadful monument of what they were!

In this raging flood were drowned all the inhabitants of the place, about five thousand persons. Such as could lay hold on any pieces of timber, floated about for a considerable time; but those fragments were continually striking against each other, and so beat off those who had clung to them.

About two hundred, mostly fishermen and sailors, saved themselves. They declared that the waves in their retreat surrounded the whole town, without leaving any means for preservation; and that, in the intervals, when the violence of the inundation was a little abated, they heard the most mournful cries and shrieks of those who perished. Those, likewise, who were on board the ships, which, by the elevation of the sea, were carried quite over the town, had the opportunity of escaping. Of twenty-three ships in the port at the time of the earthquake, four were stranded, and all the rest foundered. The few persons who saved themselves upon planks were several times driven about as far as the island of St. Lawrence, more than two leagues from the fort. At last some of them were cast upon the sea-shore, others upon the island, and so were preserved.

In these instances, we may behold and see the works of the Lord, and how "terrible he is in his doings toward the children of men." (Psalm 66:5.) Indeed, nothing can be so affecting as this judgment of earthquakes when it comes unexpectedly as a thief in the night; "when Hell enlarges herself, and open her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he who rejoices, descent into it;" (Isaiah 5:14) when there is no time to flee, nor method to escape, nor possibility to resist when no sanctuary or refuge remains; no shelter is to be found in the highest towers or lowest caverns when the earth opens suddenly, and becomes the grave of whole families, streets, and cities; and effects this in less time than you are able to tell the story of it; either sending out a flood of waters to drown, or vomiting out flames of fire to consume them, or closing again upon them, that they die by suffocation or famine, if not by the ruins of their own dwelling; when parents and children, husbands and wives, masters and servants, magistrates, ministers, and people, without distinction, in the midst of health, and peace, and business are buried in a common ruin, and pass all together into the eternal world! And there is only the difference of a few hours or minutes between a famous city and none at all!

Now, if war is a terrible evil then how much more an earthquake, which, in the midst of peace, brings a worse evil than the extremity of war! If a raging pestilence is dreadful, which sweeps away thousands in a day, and ten thousands in a night; if a consuming fire is an amazing judgment then how much more astonishing is this, whereby houses, and inhabitants, towns, and cities, and countries, are all destroyed at one stroke in a few minutes! Death is the only presage of such a judgment, without giving leisure to prepare for another world, or opportunity to look for any shelter in this world.

For a man to feel the earth, which hangs upon nothing, (but as some vast ball in the midst of a thin yielding air,) totter under him must fill him with secret fright and confusion!

History informs us of the fearful effects of earthquakes in all ages; where you may see rocks torn in pieces; mountains not cast down only, but removed; hills raised, not out of valleys only, but out of seas; fires breaking out of waters; stones and cinders belched up; rivers changed; seas dislodged; earth opening; towns swallowed up; and many such-like hideous events!

Of all divine calamities, there is none more horrid, more destructive, than this. For where can we think to escape danger, if the most solid thing in all the world shakes? If that which sustains all other things sinks under our feet what sanctuary shall we find from an evil that encompasses us about? And where can we withdraw, if the gulfs which open themselves shut up our passages on every side?

With what horror are men struck when they hear the earth groan; when her trembling follows her complaints; when houses are loosened from their foundations; when the roofs fall upon their heads, and the pavement sinks under their feet! What hope, when fear cannot he fenced by flight! In other evils there is some way to escape but an earthquake encloses what it overthrows, and wages war with whole provinces; and sometimes leaves nothing behind it to inform posterity of its outrages. More insolent than fire which spares rocks; more cruel than the conqueror who leaves walls; more greedy than the sea which vomits up shipwrecks; it swallows and devours whatever it overturns! The sea itself is subject to its empire, and the most dangerous storms are those occasioned by earthquakes.

III. I come, in the third and last place, to give you some DIRECTIVES suitable to the occasion. And this is the more needful, because you know not how soon the late earthquake, with which God has visited us, may return or whether He may not enlarge as well as repeat its commission. Once, yes, twice, has the Lord warned us that he is arisen to terribly shake the earth. Therefore,

1. Fear God, even that God who can in a moment cast both body and soul into Hell! "Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty." (Isaiah 1:10.) Ought we not all to cry out, "Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God Almighty! Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? for your judgments are made manifest!" (Rev. 15:3, 4.)

God speaks to your hearts, as in subterranean thunder, "The Lord's voice cries unto the city Hear the rod, and Him who has appointed it." (Micah 6:9.) He commands you to take notice of his power and justice. "Come and see!" (Rev. 6:5, ) while a fresh seal is opening; yes, "come and see the works of God his is terrible in his doings towards the children of men." (Psalm 66:5.)

When he makes the mountains tremble, and the earth shake, shall not our hearts be moved? "Do you not fear me? says the Lord; and will you not tremble at my presence?" (Jeremiah 5:22.) Will you not fear me who can open the windows of Heaven above, or break up the fountains of the deep below, and pour forth whole floods of vengeance when I please? Will you not fear me who can "rain upon the wicked snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest" (Psalm 11:6.) Will you not fear me who can kindle those streams and exhalations in the heart and caverns of the earth, and make them force their way to the destruction of towns, cities, and countries? Will you not fear me who can thus suddenly turn a fruitful land into a barren wilderness an amazing spectacle of desolation and ruin?

"Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city and the Lord has not done it." "The lion has roared who will not fear? With God is terrible majesty men do therefore fear him." Some do fear God and all ought to! O that his fear might this moment fall upon all you who hear these words; constraining every one of you to cry out, "My flesh trembles for fear of you and I am afraid of your judgments!" (Psalm 109:10.) O that all might see that His hand is lifted up, as in act to strike! His hand is stretched out still; and shakes his rod over a guilty land, a people fitted for destruction! For is not this the nation to be visited? And "shall not I wait for these things? says the Lord; and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?" (Jeremiah 5:9.) What but national repentance can prevent national destruction?

"O consider this, you that forget God, lest he pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you!" (Psalm 50:22.) That iniquity may not be your ruin repent!

2. This is the Second advice I would offer you; or, rather, the First enforced upon you farther, and explained. Fear God, and depart from evil! Repent, and bring forth fruits fit for repentance; break off our sins this moment. "Wash, and be clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes! Cease to do evil; learn to do well," says the Lord.

"Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3.) "Therefore now, says the Lord," who is not willing any should perish, "Yet even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments! Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster." (Joel 2:1214.)

"Who knows?" A question which should make you tremble. God is weighing you in the balance, and, as it were, considering whether to save or to destroy! "Say unto the children of Israel, You are a stiff-necked people: I will come up into the midst of you in a moment, and consume you; therefore now put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do unto you." (Exodus 33:5.)

God waits to see what effect his warnings will have upon you. He pauses on the point of executing judgment, and cries, "How shall I give you up?" (Hos. 11:8) Or, "Why should you be stricken any more?" (Isaiah 1:5.) He has no pleasure in the death of him that dies. He would not bring to pass his strange act of judgment unless your obstinate impenitence compels him.

"Why will you die, O house of Israel?" (Ezekiel 18:31.) God warns you of the approaching judgment, that you may take warning, and escape it by timely repentance. He lifts up his hand, and shakes it over you, that you may see it, and prevent the stroke. He tells you, "Now is the axe laid unto the root of the trees!" (Matthew 3:10.) Therefore repent; bring forth good fruit and you shall not be hewn down, and cast into the fire. O do not despise the riches of his mercy, but let it lead you to repentance! "Account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation." (2 Peter 3:15.) Harden not your hearts, but turn to Him who smites you; or, rather, threatens to smite, that you may turn and be spared!

How slow is the Lord to anger! How unwilling he is to punish! By what leisurely steps does he come to take vengeance! How many lighter afflictions before the final blow!

Should he beckon the man on the red horse to return, and say, "Sword, go through this land;" can we complain that he gave us no warning? Did not the sword first bereave abroad; and did we not then see it within our borders? Yet the merciful God said, "Hitherto shall you come, and no further;" he stopped the invaders in the midst of our land, and turned them back again, and destroyed them.

Should he send the man on the pale horse, whose name is Death, and the pestilence destroy thousands and ten thousands of us can we deny that first he warned us by the raging mortality among our cattle?

So, if we provoke him to lay waste our earth, and turn it upside down, and overthrow us, as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah shall we not have procured this unto ourselves? Had we no reason to expect any such calamity; no previous notice; no trembling of the earth before the earthquake; no shock before it opened its mouth? Did he set no examples of so terrible a judgment before our eyes? Had we never heard of the destruction of Jamaica, or Catania, or that of Lima, which happened but yesterday? If we perish at last then we perish without excuse; for what could have been done more to save us?

Yes, you have now another call to repentance, another offer of mercy, whoever you are that hear these words. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I warn you once more, as a watchman over the house of Israel to flee from the wrath to come! I put you in remembrance (if you have so soon forgotten it) of the late awful judgment, whereby God shook you over the mouth of Hell! Your body he probably awoke by it but did he awake your soul? The Lord was in the earthquake, and put a solemn question to your conscience: "Are you ready to die?" "Is your peace made with God?"

Was the earth just now to open its mouth, and swallow you up what would become of you? Where would you be? With Christ in Heaven or lifting up your eyes in torment? Had you perished by the late earthquake, would you not have died in your sins, or rather gone down quickly into Hell? Who prevented your damnation? It was the Son of God! O fall down, and worship him! Give Him the glory of your deliverance; and devote the residue of your days to his service!

3. This is the Third advice I would give you: Repent and believe the gospel. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall yet be saved. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish. Repentance alone will profit you nothing; neither do you repent, unless you confess with broken hearts the most damnable of all your sins, your unbelief; your having rejected, or not accepted, Jesus Christ as your only Savior. Neither can you repent, unless he himself gives the power; unless his Spirit convinces you of sin, because you believe not in Him.

Until you repent of your unbelief, all your good desires and promises are vain, and will pass away as a morning cloud. The vows which you make in a time of trouble, you will forget and break as soon as the trouble is over and the danger past.

But shall you escape in your wickedness suppose the earthquake should not return? God will never lack ways and means to punish impenitent sinners. He has a thousand other judgments in reserve; and if the earth should not open its mouth yet you shall surely at last be swallowed up in the bottomless pit of Hell!

Would you yet escape eternal damnation? Then receive the sentence of death in yourself, you miserable self-destroyed sinner! Know your lack of living, saving, divine faith! Groan under your burden of unbelief, and refuse to be comforted until you hear Him of his own mouth say, "Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven!"

I cannot take it for granted, that all men have faith; or speak to the sinners of this land as to believers in Jesus Christ. For where are the fruits of faith? Faith works by love; faith overcomes the world; faith purifies the heart; faith, in the smallest measure, removes mountains. If you can believe, all things are possible to you. If you are justified by faith, you have peace with God, and rejoice in hope of his glorious appearing.

He who believes, has the witness in himself. He has the pledge of Heaven in his heart. He has love stronger than death. Death to a believer has lost its sting; "therefore will he not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." (Psalm 46:2.) For he knows in whom he has believed; and that "neither life nor death shall be able to separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus his Lord."

Do you so believe? Prove your own self by the infallible word of God. If you have not the fruits, effects, or inseparable properties of faith then you have not faith. Come, then, to the Author and Finisher of faith, confessing your sins, and the root of all your unbelief, until he forgives your sins, and cleanses you from all unrighteousness. Come to the Friend of sinners, weary and heavy laden and he will give you pardon! Cast your poor desperate soul on his dying love! Enter into the rock, the ark, the city of refuge! Ask, and you shall receive faith and forgiveness together. He waited to be gracious. He has spared you for this very thing; that your eyes might see his salvation. Whatever judgments come in these latter days, yet whoever shall call on the name of the Lord Jesus hall be delivered.

Call upon Him now, O sinner! and continue instant in prayer, until he answers you in peace and power! Wrestle for the blessing! Your life, your soul, is at stake! Cry mightily unto Him "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me "God be merciful unto me a sinner!" Lord, help me! Help my unbelief! Save me or I perish! Wash my sinful heart thoroughly in the fountain of your blood; guide me by your Spirit; sanctify me throughout, and receive me up into glory!