Thou message from the skies!
Bay for the rayless heart!
Thou fount of wisdom for the wise
A balm for all thou art.
Man of my counsel, thou
Blessings untold rejoice
The heart of those who meekly bow,
To listen to thy voice.
IT was on this wise that the word of the Lord, the “Book of books,” as a “mighty counselor,” urged her onward, and by unerring precept directed every step of the way. And as each progressive step by which she was ushered into the enjoyment of this blessed state of experience was as distinctly marked, by its holy teachings, as those already given, may it not be presumed, that some heretofore wavering one may be induced to rest more confidently in the assurance that “the word of the Lord is tried,” and is the same in its immutable nature as the Faithful and True, by stating, as nearly as will comport with the brevity required, the steps as successively taken by which this disciple of Jesus entered?
Over and again, previous to the time mentioned, had she endeavored to give herself away in covenant to God. But she had never, till this hour, deliberately resolved on counting the cost, with the solemn intention to “reckon her self dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord;” to account herself permanently the Lord’s, and in verity no more at her own disposal, but irrevocably the Lord’s property, for time and eternity. Now, in the name of the Lord Jehovah, after having deliberately
“counted the cost,” she resolved to enter into the bounds of an everlasting covenant, with the fixed purpose to count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus, that she might know him and the power of his resurrection, by being made conformable to his death, and raised to an entire newness of life.
Apart from any excitement of feeling, other than the sacred awe inspired by the solemnity of the act, she now, in experimental verity, did lay hold upon the terms of the covenant, by which God has condescended to bind himself to his people, being willing, yea, even desirous, to bring down the responsibility of a perpetual engagement upon herself, even in the sight of heaven. So intensely was she desirous that earth should usurp a claim no more, she asked that the solemn act might be recorded before the eternal throne, that the “host of the Lord that encamp round about them that fear him” might bear witness, and also the innumerable company of the redeemed, blood-washed spirits, should behold yet another added to their choir in spirit, and also in song; and though still a resident of earth, they should witness the ceaseless return of all her redeemed powers, through Christ, ascending as an acceptable sacrifice. The obligation to take the service of God as the absorbing business of life, and to regard heaven as her native home, and the accumulation of treasure in heaven the chief object of ambition, was at this solemn moment entered upon.
On doing this, a hallowed sense of consecration took possession of her soul; a divine conviction that the convenant was recognized in heaven, accompanied with the assurance that the seal, proclaiming her wholly the Lord’s, was set: while a consciousness, deep and abiding, that she had been but a co-worker with God in this matter, added still greater confirmation to her conceptions of the extent and permanency of those heaven-inspired exercises, by which a mighty work had been wrought in and for her soul, which she felt assured would tell on her eternal destiny, even after myriads of ages had been spent in the eternal world.
But she did not at the moment regard this state into which she had been brought as the “way of holiness,” neither had the word holiness been the most prominent topic during this solemn transaction. Conformity to the will of God in all things was the absorbing desire of her heart. Yet after having passed through these exercises she began to give expression to her full soul thus: “I am wholly thine!—Thou dost reign unrivaled in my heart! There is not a tie that binds me to earth; every tie has been severed, and now I am wholly, wholly thine!” While lingering on the last words, the Holy Spirit appealingly repeated the confident expressions to her heart, thus: What!
wholly the Lord’s? Is not this the holiness that God requires? What have you more to render? Does God require more than all? Hath he issued the command, “Be ye holy,” and not given the ability, with the command, for the performance of it? Is he a hard master, unreasonable in his requirements? She now saw, in a convincing light, her error in regarding holiness as an attainment beyond her reach, and stood reproved, though consciously shielded by the atonement from condemnation, and enjoying the blessedness of that soul “to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
And now the eyes of her understanding were more fully opened, and founded on eternal faithfulness did she find the words of the Saviour, “If any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine.”