O MERCIFUL GOD,
When I hear of disagreeable things amongst Christians,
it brings an additional weight and burden on my spirit;
I come to thee in my distress and make lamentable complaint;
Teach me how to take reproofs from friends,
even though I think I do not deserve them;
Use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin,
more jealous over myself,
more concerned to keep heart and life unblameable;
Cause them to help me reflect on my want of spirituality,
to abhor myself,
to look upon myself as unworthy,
and make beneficial to my soul.
May all thy people know how little, mean, and vile I am,
that they may see I am nothing,
less than nothing,
to be accounted nothing,
that so they may pray for me aright,
and have not the least dependence on me.
It is sweet to be nothing and have nothing,
and to be fed with crumbs from thy hands.
Blessed be the name for anything that life brings.
How do poor souls live who have not thee,
or when helpless have no God to go to,
who feel not the constraining force of thy love,
and the sweetness of communion?
O how admirably dost thou captivate the soul,
making all desires and affections centre on thee!
Give me such vivacity in religion,
that I may be able to take all reproofs from other men
as from thy hands,
and glorify thee for them
from a sense of thy beneficient love
and of my need to have my pride destroyed.
-Valley of Vision