Almighty God, for every gentle promise of thine, our hearts would bless thee. We need thy tenderest word, for the wounds in our life are vital, and there is no recovery for the soul of man but by the healing which thou dost supply. We are wounds and bruises and putrefying sores, and there is no health in us; we have destroyed ourselves, but in thee is our help. This we say to ourselves when we are most sober-minded, and see most clearly into our real condition in the sight of heaven. Sometimes we delude ourselves, and by many a pretense do we seek to mislead divine judgment; we wash our hands with soap and nitre, and we think that therefore our heart must be clean. We robe ourselves in white linen as if we clothed the spirit with the snow of absolute holiness, but now and again we see into our own corruption and it frightens us with a great terror, for in us there is no health—we are charnel houses, we are dead souls, we are corrupt and pestilent in thy sight, and we annoy heaven by our very breathing.
To whom shall we come but unto the living one for life, and to the eternal for the extension of our duration? We hasten to the cross, we flee with feet of lightning to thy side, thou wounded One, Emmanuel, the God-Man. Thou didst never cast out the contrite seeker, thou didst never say “No” to the broken heart; when streaming eyes have been turned to thee thou hast poured upon them the light of thy smile, and made even the tears of sorrow beautiful. We all come to thee with great piercing cries of want, sharp and ringing utterances of agony, principally saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner;” and we wait with one grand expectation for thine infinite answer of pardon and peace through the blood of the Lamb. Amen.
– People’s Bible, The – The People’s Bible – Matthew 1-7: Volume 18.