“For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”—2 Corinthians 8:12

Sweet thought this to comfort the soul under small attainments,” If there be first a willing mind.” Surely, Lord, thou hast given me this; for thou hast made me willing in the day of thy power. I feel as such, my soul going forth in desires after thee, as my chief and only good; though, alas! how continually do I fall short of the enjoyment of thee. I can truly say, “whom is there in heaven, or upon earth, that I desire in comparison of thee?” When thou art present, I am at once in heaven; it makes a very heaven in my soul: thou art the God of my exceeding joy. When thou art absent my soul pines after thee? And truly, “I count all things but dung and dross to win thee;” for whatever gifts thou hast graciously bestowed upon me, in the kindness of friends, in the affections and charities of life, yet all these are secondary considerations with my soul. They are more or less lovely, as I see thy gracious hand in them; but all are nothing to my Lord. Is not this, dearest Jesus, a willing mind? Is it not made so in the day of thy power? But in the midst of this, though I feel this rooted desire in me after thee, yet how often is my heart wandering from thee. Though there is at the bottom of my heart a constant longing for thy presence, and the sweet visits of thy love; yet through the mass of unbelief, and the remains of in-dwelling corruption in my nature, which are keeping down the soul; how doth the day pass, and how often doth the enemy tempt me to question my interest in thee. Dearest Jesus! undertake for me. I do cry out, “When wilt thou come to me,” though I am thus kept back from coming to thee? When wilt thou manifest thyself to my soul, and come over all these mountains of sin and unbelief, and fill me with a joy unspeakable and full of glory? And doth Jesus indeed accept from the willing mind, he hath himself given, according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not? – Doth my Redeemer behold, amidst the rubbish, the spark of grace he himself hath kindled? Will he despise the day of small things? No, he will not. It was said of thee, that” thou shouldest not break the bruised reed, neither quench the smoaking flax.” Mine, indeed, is no more. But yet Jesus will bear up the one, and kindle the other, until he send forth judgment unto victory. Peace, then, my soul! weak as thou art in thyself, yet art thou strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.


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