In 1860, at the age of 58, James Smith recorded the following words in his diary . . .
I am weary of myself, ashamed of myself, and often turn with disgust from myself! And yet I find a great deal of self-love, self-esteem, and self-pity working within me! I sometimes get into such a state of confusion, into such misery and wretchedness, that I cry out, “Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death!” Romans 7:24
I feel that I am too carnal–too much like the generality of professors. I do not follow the Lord fully. I am not wholly set apart for God. But I am ashamed of complaining, I have done so–so often, and it has ended there. I need more life, more savor, more love in my religion; and to be more energetic and self-denying in my ministry. I need–alas, what do I not need? I am only a mere skeleton of a Christian. I can keep up the outward form pretty well, but the power–the power is what I need! I want to be like Jesus. Oh for a Christ-like spirit, temper, and course of conduct! I am obliged to renounce self entirely–all that I do, all that I feel, and all that I say–and build on Jesus Christ, and on Him alone.
This is very mortifying to poor, proud human nature–but so it must be. The creature must be nothing–that the Savior may be all in all! How swift-footed is time! Soon, very soon–it will land me on the shores of eternity! Well, to die will be gain. I shall then be with Christ–with Christ forever! Then all my trials will be ended, all my sorrows will cease–and I shall sin no more! If I could but live without sin–I would not care how long I lived. Nothing grieves me like sin–and yet I sin daily. I grieve the loving heart of Jesus, and wound the tender bosom on which I lean. What a pleasant thing perfect holiness will be!
My dear friends, again I am reminded of who I truly am…a sinner saved only by the grace of God. As I stated in my last blog…think what it will be like to love the Lord with a sinless heart. What a day of rejoicing that will be. These poor frail, carnal bodies will be utterly changed…BRAND NEW!
“Lord, I want more than the outward form of godliness. I want the power that can only come from Jesus. Help me today to wholly live for you, in thought and deed. Help me to want your glory, not my own. Help me to quickly recognize my sin and confess it to you. Thank you for loving me. I love you Father. I love you Jesus. I love you Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen.”