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LETTER IX. We are not to choose the manner in which our blessings shall be bestowed.

You know what God requires of you; will you refuse? You perceive that your resistance to the drawings of his grace, arises solely from self-love: will you suffer the refinements of pride, and the most ingenious inventions of self, to reject the mercies of God? You who have so many scruples in relation to the passing thought, which is involuntary and therefore innocent, who confess so many things that should rather be dismissed at once, have you no scruples about your long-continued resistance to the Holy Spirit, because He has not seen fit to confer the benefits you desire, by a channel which was flattering to your self-love?

What matter if you received the gifts of grace as beggars receive bread? The gifts themselves would be neither less pure nor less precious. Your heart would only be the more worthy of God, if, by its humility and annihilation, it attracted the succor that He was disposed to send. Is this the way you put off self? Is this the view that pure faith takes of the instrument of God? Is it thus that you die to the life of self within? To what purpose are your readings about pure love, and your frequent devotions? How can you read what condemns the very depths of your soul? You are influenced not only be self-interest, but by the persuasions of pride, when you reject the gifts of God, because they do not come in a shape to suit your taste. How can you pray? What is the language of God in the depths of your soul? He asks nothing but death, and you desire nothing but life. How can you put up to Him a prayer for his grace, with a restriction that He shall only send it by a channel demanding no sacrifice on your part but ministering to the gratification of your carnal pride?

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