Psalm 51, 10-19. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 0 Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering, and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thy altar.
Every believer is weak, and commits sin daily; and sometime she does worse, and grieves the Spirit of God. Watch, then, dear Christians, and be on your guard. Never dally with sin; for the end may be eternal death. When you nevertheless fall, then accept correction from the Spirit of God, feel your sin with sincere regret, and go at once to Jesus with an honest confession; for this is the course followed by the true children of God. The heart suffers, and writhes in pain, and cannot be still, before it has received the assurance from the Lord that the sin is forgiven. Then the joy of his salvation is restored, and with it the willing spirit which is necessary for the preservation of faith and the practice of holiness. When the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; when our heart has righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; when we are sure that, in Christ, the Father is well pleased in us; — then we love him in return, and serve him in a willing spirit. In this wise only can we offer sacrifice pleasing to God, and stand fast in his grace.
He that himself has tasted the joy of God’s salvation, and sits daily at his table, desires to bring others also to the Lord, and devotes his heart, his lips, and all that he has, to the Lord’s service. When Andrew had found Jesus he sought out his brother Simon, told him with joy of the discovery which he had made, and brought Simon also to the Lord. (John 1, 41-43). He that converts a sinner saves a soul from death, and hides a multitude of sins. (James 5, 20). Promise your God to confess him diligently, and to offer him holy fruit of your lips. But remember always that a heart which is humble, poor in spirit, broken and full of grief on account of your own sins and the sins of others, — that such a heart is the best sacrifice to God. Without this sacrifice he does not desire our words and deeds; but with it they are pleasing to him. With the prayers of the contrite heart for Zion and Jerusalem, with the loving prayers of the quickened spirit that the kingdom of God may come, our poor words and deeds are a sacred and pleasing frankincense ascending to the Lord in heaven. — Again we pray:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Keep me humble, and give me ardent love, that I may be a pleasing sacrifice to thee, and that I may consume my strength in thy service. Amen.
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down!
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.