1. Banished from the presence of my Beloved, my Bridegroom, how could I be happy! I could not find access to Him, and I certainly could not find rest out of Him. I knew not what to do. I was like the dove out of the ark, which, finding no rest for the sole of its foot, was constrained to return again, but, finding the window shot, could only fly about without being able to enter.
2. I henceforth take Jesus Christ to be mine. I promise to receive Him as a husband to me. And I give myself to Him, unworthy though I am, to be His spouse. I ask of Him, in this marriage of spirit with spirit, that I may be of the same mind with Him–meek, pure, nothing in myself, and united in God’s will. And pledged as I am to be His, I accept, as a part of my marriage portion, the temptations and sorrows, the crosses and the contempt, which fell to Him.
3. The misfortune is that people wish to direct God, instead of resigning themselves to be directed by Him. They wish to take the lead and to follow in a way of their own selection, instead of submissively and passively following where God sees fit to conduct them. And hence it is that many souls, who are called to the enjoyment of God Himself and not merely to the gifts of God, spend all their lives in pursuing and in feeding on little consolation–resting in them as in their place of delights, and making their spiritual life to consist in them.
4. Oh how excellent are the crosses of Providence! All other crosses are of no value.
5. I did not wish to speak of my troubles to others, or to make them known in any way. God had taught me to go to Him alone. There is nothing which makes nature die so deeply and so quickly as to find and to seek no earthly support, no earthly consolation.
6. I was then, indeed, only like a dead person raised up, who is in the beginning of his restoration, and raised up to a life of hope rather than of actual possession; but on this day I was restored, as it were, to perfect life and set wholly at liberty. I was no longer depressed, no longer borne down under the burden of sorrow. I had thought God lost, and lost forever; but I found Him again.
7. In You, O my God, I found it all and more than all! The peace which I now possessed was all holy, heavenly, inexpressible. What I had possessed some years before, in the period of my spiritual enjoyment, was consolation, peace–the gift of God rather than the Giver; but now, I was brought into such harmony with the will of God, that I might now be said to possess not merely consolation, but the God of consolation; not merely peace, but the God of peace. This true peace of mind was worth all that I had undergone, although it was then only in its dawning.
8. My soul was not only brought into harmony with itself and with God, but with God’s providences. In the exercise of faith and love, I endured and performed whatever came in God’s providence–in submission, in thankfulness, and silence. I was now in God and God in me; and where God is, there is as much simplicity as power.
9. Preach in a plain, simple manner, and let me add, that the matter is still more important than the manner. Be careful what you preach, as well as how you preach. Preach nothing but the gospel–the gospel of the kingdom of God. And it is exceedingly desirable that you should preach it as a kingdom near at hand, as something not great way off, but to be received and realized now. Aim at the heart.