August 28

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

You feel yourself to be the very chief of sinners. You seem to stand out from the great mass, a lone and solitary being; more vile, polluted, guilty, and lost than all. Your sentiments in reference to yourself, to the world, to sin, to God, and to Christ, have undergone a rapid, total, and surprising change. Yourself you see to be guilty and condemned; the world you feel to be a worthless portion, a cheat, and a lie; sin you see to be the blackest and most hateful of all other things; God you regard in a light of holiness, justice, and truth you never did before; and Christ, as possessing an interest entirely new and overpowering. Your views in relation to the law of God are reversed. You now see it to be immaculately holy, strictly just, infinitely wise. Your best attempts to obey its precepts you now see are not only utterly powerless, but in themselves are so polluted by sin that you cannot look at them without the deepest self-loathing. The justice of God shines with a glory unseen and unknown before. You feel that in now bringing the condemnatory sentence of the law into your conscience He is strictly holy, and were He now to send you to eternal woe He would be strictly just.

But ah! what seems to form the greatest burden? What is that which is more bitter to you than wormwood or gall? Oh, it is the thought that ever you should have lifted your arm of rebellion against so good, so holy, so just a God as He is. That ever you should have cherished one treasonous thought, or harbored one unkind feeling. That your whole life, thus far, should have been spent in bitter hostility to Him, His law, His Son, His people; and that yet in the midst of it, yes, all day long, He has stretched out His hand to you, and you did not regard it!

Oh, the guilt that rests upon your conscience! Oh, the burden that presses your soul! Oh, the sorrow that wrings your heart! Oh, the pang that wounds your spirit! Is there a posture of lowliness more lowly than all others? You would assume it. Is there a place in the dust more humiliating than all others? You would lie in it. And now you are looking wistfully around you for a refuge, a resting-place, a balm, a quietness for the tossing of the soul.

Beloved, is this your real state? Are these your true feelings? Blessed are you of the Lord! “Blessed, do you say?” Yes! Those tears are blessed! Those humbling, lowly views are blessed! That broken heart, that contrite spirit, that awakened, convinced, and wounded conscience, even with all its guilt, is blessed! Why? because the Spirit, who convinces men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, has entered your soul, and wrought this change in you. He has opened your eyes, to see yourself lost and wretched. He has broken the spell which the world had woven round you. He has dissolved the enchantment, discovered the delusion, and made you to feel the powers of the world to come. Then you are blessed.

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