If you have time to keep a journal, you may find some advantage from reviewing it on such occasions. It will aid your memory, and help you to give your past life a more thorough examination. You will thereby be the better able to judge whether you are making progress. However, this is a dangerous experiment, as it is difficult to divest ourselves of the idea that we are writing for the perusal of others; and this furnishes many temptations. But, however unfit this examination may find you, do not let Satan tempt you to stay away from the Lord’s table. It is your duty to commemorate his dying love. It is your duty also to do it with a suitable preparation of heart. Both these duties you will neglect by staying away. In doing so, you cannot expect God’s blessing. But set immediately about the work of repentance. Come to the cross of Christ, and renew your application to his pardoning blood. Give yourself away to God anew, and renew your covenant with him. In doing this, he will bless your soul; and the Lord’s table will be a season of refreshing. But if this repentance and preparation be heartfelt and sincere, its fruits will be seen in your subsequent life.
I have now completed my intended series of letters. I have endeavored to present the Christian character, and the duties required of the followers of Christ, in the light of God’s word. I know, however, that I have done it with much imperfection. But, do not rest with the mere mechanical performance of the duties here recommended. Do not engage in any of them with the hope of meriting God’s favor. Use them only as the means of promoting your spiritual progress; depending on the Holy Spirit, through the blood and merits of Christ, to sanctify your heart. For it is very possible for you to observe all these things, and yet deceive yourself. Remember that true religion is a deep work of grace in the heart, changing the bent and inclination of the soul, and giving a new direction to all its faculties. O may you so live that Jesus shall say to you, as to the church at Thyatira, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works and THE LAST TO BE MORE THAN THE FIRST.” Take also his exhortation to the church at Smyrna: “BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE.”