“We by his Spirit prove,
And know the things of God,
The things which freely of his love
He hath on us bestowed.”
AFTER having thus resolved on devoting the entire service of her heart and life to God, the following questions occasioned much serious solicitude:—How shall I know when I have consecrated all to God? And how ascertain whether God accepts the sacrifice—and how know the manner of his acceptance? Here again the blessed Bible, which she had now taken as her counselor, said to her heart, “We have recieved not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things freely given to us of God.”
It was thus she became assured that it was her privilege to know when she had consecrated all to God, and also to know that the sacrifice was accepted, and the resolve was solemnly made that the subject should not cease to be absorbing until this knowledge was obtained.
Feeling it a matter of no small importance to stand thus solemnly pledged to God, conscious that sacred responsibilities were included in these engagements, a realization of the fact, that neither body, soul, nor spirit, time, talent, nor influence, were, even for one moment, at her own disposal, began to assume the tangibility of living truth to her mind, in a manner not before apprehended.
From a sense of responsibility thus imposed, she began to be more abundant in labors, “instant in season and out of season.”
While thus engaged in active service, another difficulty presented itself. How much of self in these performances? said the accuser. For a moment, almost bewildered at being thus withstood, her heart began to sink. She felt most keenly that she had no certain standard to rise up against this accusation.
It was here again that the blessed word sweetly communed with her heart, presenting the marks of the way, by a reference to the admonition of Paul: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
These blessed communings continued thus:
If the primitive Christians had the assurance that their labors were in the Lord; and thus enjoyed the heart-inspiring confidence that their labors were not in vain, because performed in the might of the Spirit, then it is also your privilege to know that your labor is in the Lord. It was at this point in her experience that she first perceived the necessity, and also the attainableness of the witness of purity of intention—which, in her petition to God as most expressive of her peculiar need, she denominated, “The witness that the spring of every motive is pure.”
It was by the word of the Lord she became fully convinced that she needed this heart-encouraging confidence in order to insure success in her labors of love. The next step taken was to resolve, as in the presence of the Lord, not to cease importuning the throne of grace until the witness was given “that the spring of every motive was pure.”
On coming to this decision, the blessed Word, most encouragingly, yea, and also assuringly said to her heart, “Stand still, and see the salvation of God.”