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For My Sinful Coldness, Too

While cataloguing books for the church library, I found one with daily devotionals written by Frances Ridley Havergal, better known to me as a hymn writer. I’ve decided to work on little biographical sketch of Miss Havergal, which I’ll be posting soon. Meanwhile, here’s the devotional for today from the little book Opened Treasures.

Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

If when we looked back on some terrible suffering unto death of one who loved us dearly, I really do not know how any heart could bear it, if we distinctly knew that all that prolonged agony was borne instead of us, and borne for nothing in the world but love of us. But if to this were added the knowledge that we had behaved abominably to that dying one, done all sorts of things, now beyond recall, to grieve and vex him, not cared one bit about his love or made him any return of even natural affection, held aloof from him and sided with those who were against him; and then the terrible details of his slow agony were told, nay shown to us—well, imagine our remorse if you can, I cannot! The burden of grief and gratitude would be crushing, and if there were still any possible way in which we could show that poor, late gratitude, we should count nothing at any cost if we might but prove our tardy love. Only I think we should never know another hour’s rest. But it is part of the strange power of the remembrance of our Lord’s sufferings that it brings strength and solace and peace; for, as Bunyan says, “He hath given us rest by His sorrow.” The bitterness of death to Him is the very fountain of the sweetness of life to us. Do the words after all seem to fall without power or reality on your heart? Is it nothing, or very little more than nothing, to you? Not that you do not know it is all true, but your heart seems cold and your apprehension mechanical, and your faith paralyzed—does this describe you? Thank God that feelings do not alter facts! He suffered for this sinful coldness as well as for all other sins. He suffered, the Just for the unjust; and are we not emphatically unjust when we requite his tremendous love this way?

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