(by Henry Law)
“Where sin abounded—grace did much more abound!” Romans 5:20
Deepen in us this day, contrition for our vileness, as miserable sinners in Your sight. How often without resistance, have we floated down the stream of evil! We cloak not our wretchedness. Our lips are ready to confess—but our hearts are slow to feel, and our feet are reluctant to amend our ways. We bring our hard hearts unto You. Break them by Your Spirit—and then bind them up by Your grace. Wound them to the core—and then pour in the Gospel-balm!
Such is the blindness of our fallen nature—that we cannot see sin’s deformity, except as You are pleased to unmask it. Such is our deadness—that we cannot hate it, except as You shall graciously implant abhorrence. Such is our infirmity, that we cannot flee it—except as Your strength enables. Conscious of our total inability—we come to You for light, for help, for strength, for blessing.
Our sins beyond number stare us in the face! They are piled as mountain upon mountain. Their height reaches to the heavens! But their full extent is open only to Your omniscient eye. The burden of our known transgressions weighs us to the dust. But the burden is light, compared to the mass which the scales of Your justice hold. We see but little, because our light is partial and our sight is dim. How must we appear, as seen by You, before whom the very heavens are not clean! You charge Your holy angels with folly. What must be Your estimate of our polluted souls!Humbled for what we see and feel; fearful for what is known only unto You—we meekly cry, “Pardon all our sins—for Jesus’ sake!”
We smite upon our breasts, as utterly unworthy of the least of Your gracious and unfathomable mercies. Hear now our cry, and work in us by the omnipotence of Your Holy Spirit, more profound and abiding repentance.
Give us more and more of that godly grief—
which ever fears and trembles, and yet ever trusts and loves
which is ever watchful and prayerful, and yet is ever confident and hopeful.
May the remembrance of the sad past—quicken us to walk in entire newness of life. Grant that through the tears of penitence, we may see more clearly—the brightness and the glories of the saving Cross!
Oh! blessed Jesus—we flee to You! We cling to You. Our countless iniquities condemn us—but You will wash them all away! Our tears of penitence cannot remove one blot! But Your blood has all cleansing merit. Our prayers can earn no pardon. But Your mercy says, “Your sins which are many—are all forgiven!” The more we loathe ourselves—the more we love You! Our vile demerits—commend Your glorious worth!