Friday, 27 June 2014


Declension and Renewal

“Endeavour to enrich and enlarge your mind with more spiritual apprehensions of the personal glory, love, and fullness of Christ. All soul-declension arises from the admission of things into the mind contrary to the nature of indwelling grace. The world, - its pleasures, its vanities, its cares, its varied temptations, - these enter the mind, disguised in the shape often of lawful undertakings and duties, and draw off the mind from God, and the affections from Christ. These, too, weaken and deaden faith and love, and every grace of the indwelling Spirit: they are the “foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Sol. Song ii.15. The world is a most hurtful snare to the child of God. It is impossible that he can maintain a close and holy walk with God, live as a pilgrim and sojourner, wage a constant and successful warfare against his many spiritual foes, and at the same time open his heart to admit the greatest foe to grace—the love of the world. But when the mind is preoccupied with Christ, filled with contemplations of his glory and grace and love, no room is left for the entrance of external allurements: the world is shut out, and the creature is shut out, and the fascinations of sin are shut out; and the soul holds a constant and undisturbed fellowship with God, while it is enabled to maintain a more vigorous resistance to every external attack of the enemy. And O, how blessed is the soul’s communion, thus shut in with Jesus! “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.” “I would come in,” says the dear Lamb of God, “and dwell with you, and take up my abode with you, and sup with you, and you with me.” This is true fellowship! And O, sweet response of his own Spirit in the heart, when the believing soul exclaims, - “When Thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek!”  “Enter, Thou precious Jesus; I want none but Thee; I desire no company, and would hear no voice but Thine; I will have fellowship with none but Thee, - let me sup with Thee; yea, give me Thine own flesh to eat, and Thine own blood to drink.” Ah, dear Christian reader, it is because we have so little to do with Jesus—we admit him so seldom and so reluctantly to our hearts—we have so few dealings with him—travel so seldom to his blood and righteousness, and live so little upon his fullness, that we are compelled so often to exclaim, - “My leanness, my leanness!” But, if we be “risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God”; let us seek to know Christ more, to have more spiritual and enlarged comprehensions of his glory, to drink deeper into his love, to imbibe more of his Spirit, and conform more closely to his example.”

-Octavius Winslow  1808-78  Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul  Published by the Banner of Truth Trust   Carlisle, PA  2000.

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