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The Complaint!

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The Complaint!

(James Smith, 1864)

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me!” Psalm 42:6 

And why are you cast down? 

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings. 
 Every holy duty I perform is so imperfect. 
 Every good purpose I form is so soon frustrated. 
 Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.
 My heart is so fearfully depraved.
 My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
 My affections are so unholy.
 My prayers are so brief and heartless.
 My praises are so feeble and fitful.
 I do so little good.
 I live to so little purpose.
 My evidences are so dim. 
 My prospects are so overcast. 
 I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death
 I cannot grasp the glories of Heaven
 I am dissatisfied with the world–and yet glued to it! 
 I hate sin–and yet fall into it! 
 I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency! 
 Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?” 

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named–then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to the mercy of Jesus–then, in spite of them, you will not long be cast down. 

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in self-pity. 

But we must look away from self–for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and downcast! We must run the race–not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures–but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we wouldbe–before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His sin-atoning blood for us! 
He loved us, as sinners. 
He died for us, as sinners. 
He called us, as sinners. 
He saves us, as sinners. 
He will have great glory by saving such great sinners. We cannot do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love. Salvation is by free grace–from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections–but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safely in Heaven at last! 

Regardless of any amount of spiritual progress, your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me–a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the Heavens, 
His grace is as free as the air, 
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love. 

He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
 
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and  my God!” Psalm 42:5

Admire The God Of Free Grace

Admire The God Of Free Grace

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“Look to the rock from whence you were hewn, and to the pit from whence you were dug!” Isaiah 51:1

It is profitable for the children of God often to . . .reflect on what they formerly were, meditate on their once wretched and helpless condition, look to the rock whence they were hewn, and to the pit whence they were dug.

Look back, then, Christians, to the time when you were . . .

the enemies of God,
the despisers of His Son,
the willing slaves of the father of lies,
and children of disobedience!

Look back to the time when . . .

your hearts were as hard as the nether millstone;
your understandings were darkened;
you were alienated from the life of God;
your wills were stubborn, perverse and rebellious;
your affections were madly bent on the pleasures of sin;
every imagination of the thoughts of your heart were only evil, and continually evil!

Look back with shame and self-abhorrence to the time when you . . .

lived without God in the world,
drank in iniquity like water,
served various lusts and vanities,
fulfilled the sinful desires of the flesh and mind,
cast God’s holy law behind your backs,
stifled the remonstrances of conscience,
quenched the influences of the Spirit,
neglected the Holy Scriptures, and
mocked God with pretended worship, while your hearts were far from Him.

A rebel against God,
a resister of the Spirit,
a slave of Satan,
a child of wrath,
an heir of Hell

such, O Christian, was once your character!
Nothing was then before you, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation!

Admire the God of free grace–who save you from such a dreadful plight!

The Life-Boat Of Free Grace!

The life-boat of free grace!

(James Smith, “The Complaint!” 1864)

“I am cast down!”

And why are you cast down?

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings! Every duty I perform is so imperfect. Every purpose I form is so soon frustrated. Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.

My heart is so fearfully depraved.
My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
My temper is so unholy.
My prayers are so brief and heartless.
My praises are so feeble and fitful.
I do so little good.
I live to so little purpose.
My evidences are so dim.
My prospects are so overcast.
I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death.
I cannot realize the glories of Heaven.
I am dissatisfied with the world — and yet glued to it!
I hate sin — and yet fall into it!
I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency!
Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?”

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named — then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to Jesus to save you from them — then, in spite of them — you will not long be cast down.

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in gloomy thoughts.

But we must look away from self — for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and gloomy! We must run the race, not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures — but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we would be — before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His blood for us!

He loved us, as sinners.
He died for us, as sinners.
He called us, as sinners.

He saves us, as sinners. He will have all the glory of saving us, and He will get great glory by doing so, because we are such great sinners; and do not, cannot, do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love! Salvation is by free grace — from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections — but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safe in Heaven at last!

As imperfect as you now are, and as imperfect you will be — your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me — a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the heavens,
His grace is as free as the air,
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love.

Hope in God, for you shall yet praise Him. He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!


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