Searching for evidences for the purpose of ascertaining whether we are in Christ widely differs from searching for them to warrant a boldness of access to Christ: for this we require no evidence; but need only the passport of faith, and the plea of our own wretchedness

(Henry Martyn) was assaulted by a temptation more dangerous than uncommon — a temptation to look to himself for some qualification with which to approach the Savior — for something to warrant his confidence in him, and hope of acceptance from him. — Searching for evidences for the purpose of ascertaining whether we are in Christ widely differs from searching for them to warrant a boldness of access to Christ: for this we require no evidence; but need only the passport of faith, and the plea of our own wretchedness: and as it is the design of our great adversary (such is his subtlety) to lead us to deny the evidences of faith altogether — so it is his purpose to betray us into a legal and mistaken use of them. We find Mr. Martyn at this time expressing himself thus: — “I could derive no comfort from reflecting on my past life. Indeed exactly in proportion as I looked for evidences of grace, I lost that brokenness of spirit I wished to retain, and could not lie with simplicity at the foot of the cross. I really thought that I was departing this life. I began to pray as on the verge of eternity: and the Lord was pleased to break my hard heart. I lay in tears interceding for the unfortunate natives of this country; thinking with myself that the most despicable Soodar of India was of as much value in the sight of God as the King of Great Britain.

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, John Sargent, Banner, 1985, p.151

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