(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)
“Look to the rock from whence you were hewn, and to the pit from whence you were dug!” Isaiah 51:1
It is profitable for the children of God often to . . .
reflect on what they formerly were,
meditate on their once wretched and helpless condition,
look to the rock whence they were hewn, and to the pit whence they were dug.
Look back, then, Christians, to the time when you were . . .
the enemies of God,
the despisers of His Son,
the willing slaves of the father of lies,
and children of disobedience!
Look back to the time when . . .
your hearts were as hard as the nether millstone;
your understandings were darkened;
you were alienated from the life of God;
your wills were stubborn, perverse and rebellious;
your affections were madly bent on the pleasures of sin;
every imagination of the thoughts of your heart were only evil, and continually evil!
Look back with shame and self-abhorrence to the time when you . . .
lived without God in the world,
drank in iniquity like water,
served various lusts and vanities,
fulfilled the sinful desires of the flesh and mind,
cast God’s holy law behind your backs,
stifled the remonstrances of conscience,
quenched the influences of the Spirit,
neglected the Holy Scriptures, and
mocked God with pretended worship, while your hearts were far from Him.
A rebel against God,
a resister of the Spirit,
a slave of Satan,
a child of wrath,
an heir of Hell–
such, O Christian, was once your character!
Nothing was then before you, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation!
Admire the God of free grace–who save you from such a dreadful plight!