2 JANUARY (PREACHED NEW YEAR’S MORNING 1773 [& 1783])
A wretch like me
‘And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?’ 1 Chronicles 17:16
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Timothy 1:12–17
Who am I? The frame of mind: humility and admiration. Who am I …? This question should be always upon our minds. Who am I? What was I when the Lord began to manifest his purposes of love? This was often inculcated upon Israel: Thou shalt remember; Look unto the pit from which we were taken. Lord, what is man!
At that time we were miserable, shut up under the law and unbelief. What must have been the event had the Lord left us there? After a few years spent in vanity, we must have sunk to rise no more. We were rebellious, blinded by the god of this world. We had not so much a desire of deliverance. Instead of desiring the Lord’s help, we breathed a spirit of defiance against him. His mercy came to us not only undeserved but undesired. Yea, few of us but resisted his calls, and when he knocked at the door of our hearts endeavoured to shut him out till he overcame us by the power of his grace. See our proper characteristics: Titus 3:3. It was the Lord against whom we sinned and who showed us mercy. He needed not. What just cause of admiration, that he should appoint such salvation, in such a way, in favour of such helpless, worthless creatures.
This calls for love, gratitude and obedience, as in Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
FOR MEDITATION: Few living can have more cause than myself to say, What am I—that thou hast brought me hitherto? Brought me from Africa, from the house of bondage, saved me from sinking in the ocean and from a thousand deaths—raised me from a state of contempt and misery beyond the common lot of mortals—to admit me among thy children, thy servants, to know and to preach thy gospel—and this in a situation of honour and eminence. I am surrounded with mercies and comforts. Thy goodness has followed and encompassed me through another year. May my heart praise thee. May my life praise thee. Diary, 1 January 1780
SERMON: 1 CHRONICLES 17:16–17 [2/4]