Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
The wife who fondly loves her absent husband longs for his return; a long protracted separation from him is a semi-death to her spirit. And so it is with souls who love the Savior much; they need to see His face; they cannot bear that He should be away, thus depriving them of communion with Him. A reproaching glance, an uplifted finger will be grievous to loving children who fear to offend their tender father and are only happy in his smile.
Beloved, it was so once this way with you. A text of Scripture, a threatening, a touch of the rod of affliction, and you went to your Father’s feet, crying, “Let me know why you contend against me.” Is that still the case? Or are you content to follow Jesus from a distance? Can you contemplate broken communion with Christ without being alarmed? Can you bear to have your Beloved walking contrary to you, because you walk contrary to Him? Have your sins separated between you and your God, and is your heart at rest?
Let me affectionately warn you, for it is a grievous thing when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Savior’s face. Let us work to feel what an evil thing this is—little love to our own dying Savior, little joy in His company, little time with the Beloved! Hold a true Lent in your souls, while you sorrow over your hardness of heart. Do not stop at sorrow! Remember where you first received salvation. Go at once to the cross. There, and there only, can you get your spirit quickened. No matter how hard, how insensible, how dead we may have become, let us go again in all the rags and poverty and defilement of our natural condition. Let us clasp that cross, let us look into those languid eyes, let us bathe in that fountain filled with blood—this will bring back to us our first love; this will restore the simplicity of our faith and the tenderness of our heart.