Inside Out

I must clean up the inside of the cup and the platter, before I begin to cleanse the outside. I think there is great danger that beginners in the work of salvation, and I in particular, might trust too much to what they do and what they profess, paying no attention to the essential work of inward purification or at least leaving it only partially accomplished, while they forget that God never did, nor ever can, accept offerings He has not required, offerings made in our own will and way and time, proceeding from unsanctified and hardened hearts. John Barclay says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice: and it is not our simply doing what is good that pleases God, but the good that He wills us to do,”
And the prayer of my heart is, “Oh my Father! that You will keep me in the hollow of your holy hand, teaching me just what you want me to do; and giving me enough strength to do what you want me to. You know that it is hard for me to learn to wait until your time for deliverance comes; therefore, don’t withdraw from me until patience has had its perfect work and you see that all murmuring and rebellion are gone forever.
Oh, if I could not trust in you, my Father, my soul would faint under the burden that presses on it. You are able to change every disposition of my heart, and to conform me wholly to your blessed will. Oh! then, I humbly beseech You, lay your hands on me and save me, for truly there is no help, nor hope but in you!
—Journal, 1849
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

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