Sunday, January 8, 2012
Deep personal reflection as Wesley flees America
Sun 8 Jan 1738: In the fullness of my heart I wrote the following words:
By the most infallible of proofs, inward feeling, I am convinced:
1. Of unbelief, having no such faith in Christ as will prevent my heart from being troubled; which it could not be if I believed in God, and rightly believed also in him [i.e., Christ].
2. Of pride, throughout my life past, inasmuch as I thought I had what I find I have not.
3. Of gross irrecollection, inasmuch as in a storm I cry to God every moment, in a calm, not.
4. Of levity and luxuriancy of spirit, recurring whenever the pressure is taken off, and appearing by my speaking words not tending to edify; but most, by my manner of speaking of my enemies.
‘Lord save, or I perish!’ Save me,
1. By such a faith as implies peace in life and in death.
2. By such humility as may fill my heart from this hour for ever with a piercing, uninterrupted sense, Nihil est quod hactenus feci, having evidently built without foundation.
3. By such a recollection as may cry to thee every moment, especially when all is calm, Give me faith or I die; give me a lowly spirit; otherwise Mihi non sit suave vivere.
4. By steadiness, seriousness, sobriety of spirit, avoiding as fire every word that tendeth not to edifying, and never speaking of any who oppose me, or sin against God, without all my own sins set in array before my face.
This morning, after explaining those words of St. Paul, ‘I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God’, I exhorted my fellow-travellers with all my might to comply with the Apostle’s direction. But leaving them afterwards to themselves, the seriousness they showed at first soon vanished away.