When God, in his rich grace, takes a poor sinner manifestively in hand, the first thing he does is to give life and light; and when this divine life and light are communicated, the dead soul is quickened, and the dark soul is enlightened. We begin to see sin in the light of God’s countenance; even our secret sins are laid open to the conscience, and we both feel and see that it is an evil and bitter thing to sin against God. The pure life and light of God, placed in the conscience against our vile deadness and darkness, horrifies the soul; and though we may not be able to account for our feelings and sight, we do find that we have such as we never had before, and such as we cannot get rid of. We now become, in soul and feeling, real sinners before a heart-searching God, and really tremble at his word; and in our souls we both feel and see that all our sins have been against a holy, just, and good God. We both feel and see that God is pure and we are impure, that God is just and we are unjust, and that there is an awful disparity between God and us; and we cry, “What poor, vile sinner like me can stand before such a holy God, whose law I have broken in so many ways, and whose majesty I have so often insulted?”
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist.