Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present.
Are you not often a mystery to yourself? Warm one moment – cold the next! Abasing yourself one hour – exalting yourself the following! Loving the world, full of it, steeped up to your head in it today – crying, groaning, and sighing for a sweet manifestation of the love of God tomorrow! Brought down to nothingness, covered with shame and confusion, on your knees before you leave your room – filled with pride and self-importance before you have got down stairs! Despising the world, and willing to give it all up for one taste of the love of Jesus when in solitude – trying to grasp it with both hands when in business!
What a mystery are you! Touched by love – and stung with hatred! Possessing a little wisdom- – and a great deal of folly! Earthlyminded – and yet having the affections in heaven! Pressing forward – and lagging behind! Full of sloth – and yet taking the kingdom with violence! And thus the Spirit, by a process which we may feel but cannot adequately describe – leads us into the mystery of the two natures perpetually struggling and striving against each other in the same bosom – so that one man cannot more differ from another, than the same man differs from himself.
But the mystery of the kingdom of heaven is this – that our carnal mind undergoes no alteration, but maintains a perpetual war with grace. And thus, the deeper we sink in self-abasement under a sense of our vileness, the higher we rise in a knowledge of Christ,and the blacker we are in our own view – the more lovely does Jesus appear.
J. C. Philpot (1802 -1869)