I am aware that this is a hard doctrine to the natural heart. It strikes heavily upon that feeling of self-confidence, which is one of the evil fruits of our fallen condition. But, as it respects myself, if I may be allowed in humility of spirit to refer to my own feelings, it is a doctrine which is inexpressibly dear to me. I have been taught for many years, and by painful experience, that I can place no confidence in my own thoughts, feelings, or purposes. In none of these respects can I be my own keeper. On the contrary, I have seen, with the greatest clearness, that to be left to myself, either in these respects or in anything else, is always to be left in sin. And so great has been my anguish of spirit, in view of my entire inability to guide myself aright, that I could only pray that I might be struck out of existence and be annihilated, or that God would return and keep that which I could not keep myself.
IF THOU, O GOD, WILT MAKE MY SPIRIT FREE.
If thou, O God, wilt make my spirit free,
Then will that darkened soul be free indeed;
I cannot break my bonds, apart from thee;
Without thy help I bow, and serve, and bleed.
Arise, O Lord, and in thy matchless strength,
Asunder rend the links my heart that bind,
And liberate, and raise, and save at length
My long enthralled and subjugated mind.
And then, with strength and beauty in her wings,
My quickened soul shall take an upward flight,
And in thy blissful presence, King of kings,
Rejoice in liberty, and life, and light,
In renovated power and conscious truth,
In faith and cheerful hope, in love and endless youth.
— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 3.