What WAS I by NATURE?
The language of my heart and life was, “No God for me!”
My heart was filled and fired with enmity against Him, and at times I could have cursed Him to His face!
I hated His law,
despised His gospel, and
abhorred His people.
If I could, I would have crushed His cause!
How astonishing that such a wretch was allowed to live!
How astonishing that God had not crushed me by His power, and sentenced me to Hell!
But, O the patience and the sovereign grace of God!
He bore with me.
And He loaded me with His benefits.
He determined to win me with His love.
Nevertheless, I sinned yet the more, and provoked Him with my ungodly conduct.
Oh, how surprising that I am not in Hell!
But, the Lord is good, ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all who call upon Him. He put a cry into my heart, listened to that cry, and made me a new creature in Christ Jesus. Because He unveiled my enormous wickedness before the eyes of my mind, which filled me with confusion, despondency, and shame. Therefore He laid me in the dust and seemed to doom me to despair. He . . .
crushed my proud spirit,
destroyed my infernal enmity against Him,
and melted me into contrition with His love.
What AM I by GRACE?
For all that I now am, I once was not. Because everything which is in any sense was good in me, must be ascribed to the free grace of God. Yes, with the holy Apostle I must say, “By the grace of God, I am what I am!”
Because all that has been wrought within me,
has been conferred upon me,
and all the good that has been done by me,
must be traced to the free and invincible grace of God!
Who can tell what I would have been by this time–but for the grace of God?
Who can say where I would have been this morning–but for the grace of God? Most probably I would have been in Hell, where the worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched! O what a debtor to grace I am! If anyone should magnify sovereign grace, surely I should. For to God’s sovereign grace, I owe everything!
I am not now, what I once was. Why?
Because God had a purpose of grace toward me.
I am not now, what I soon shall be. Why?
Because grace is always crowned with glory!
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