A Help to Self-Dedication

“I the Lord, will make an everlasting covenant with you” (Isaiah 5:3).

“One shall say, I am the Lord’s, and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord” (Isaiah 44:5).

Lord God of Hosts, You entered into covenant with Abraham, as he waited beside the sacrifices which he had prepared (Genesis 15:18), and You are now graciously waiting beside Jesus, the sacrifice which You have prepared, in order that sinners may come and enter into covenant with You (2 Corinthians 5:19). Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in Your sight, and I am no more worthy to be called Your child; but You, in Your rich mercy, are willing to receive me, and I, through Your grace, am willing to be Yours. I lay all my sin (Isaiah 53:6) — the sin of my nature (Psalm 51:5), the sin of my heart (Jeremiah 17:19), the sin of my life (Job 33:27), the sin of my lips (Isaiah 6:5), my secret sins (Psalm 139:3) — I lay all my sins, and iniquities, and unrighteousness, and transgressions, upon Jesus, the Lamb of God; and, cleansed by His blood, and made acceptable in his righteousness (Ephesians 1:6, 7), I desire now to give myself to You (2 Corinthians 8:5) in an everlasting covenant, never to be broken (Jeremiah 32:40).

I am not my own, I am Yours (1 Corinthians 6:19). My heart is not my own, it is Yours; I will endeavor to keep it for You, and to make it Bethel, a temple for the Holy Ghost (2 Corinthians 6:16). My thoughts are not my own, they are Yours; I will cultivate godly and heavenly meditations (Psalm 1:2 and 63:6). My words are not my own, they are Yours; I will avoid all idle, unprofitable, boastful, flattering, uncharitable discourse (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 3:8-9); and I will seek to have my conversation always savoring of Christ and heaven (Deuteronomy 6:7; Mathew 12:34-37; Colossians 3:16). My eyes are not my own, they are Yours; I will withhold them from looking upon sin and vanity (Habakkuk 1:13). My wealth is not my own, it is Yours; I am only Your steward; I will therefore lay it out prudently and faithfully for You, avoiding all unnecessary expense upon myself (Deuteronomy 24:19-21; Job 29:12-13; Proverbs 3:9, 10; Matthew 25:5, 36; Luke 21:2, 8, 4). My time is not my own, it is Yours; I will employ it for You, doing all I do as unto the Lord, striving each day to grow in grace and in knowledge, and to make myself useful to my fellow-men; I will redeem my time from too long or needless visits, idle imaginations, fruitless discourse, unnecessary sleep, and more than needful care about my worldly affairs (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). I desire to commit all I have to You; my friends, my family, my health, my business, my esteem in the world. I am willing to receive what You give, to lack what You withhold, to relinquish that You take, to suffer what You inflict, to be what You require!, and to do what You command.

Lord God of Hosts. I desire to deliberately, cheerfully, and with full purpose of heart, thus to surrender myself wholly and forever to You; I feel that this is my duty, my interest, my privilege, my glory; — I believe that You will receive what I thus give (2 Corinthians 6:17); I believe that You will keep what I have thus committed to You (2 Timothy 1:12); — I will trust in You for temporal provision (Psalm 23:1); I will trust in You for support under daily cares and labors (Isaiah 26:3); I will trust in You for pardon of daily sins (Ezekiel 36:25); I will trust in You for growth and fruitfulness (Hosea 12:5); I will trust to You for strength in the hour of death (Isaiah 43:2). If I sin, may I grieve without despair; if I walk uprightly, may I rejoice without pride.

Lord Jesus, I take You for my Prophet, my Priest, my King, my Life, my Light, my Rest, my Joy, my Glory, my All in All.

Spirit of Adoption, that proceeds from the Father and the Son, I desire to receive You into my soul, that You may abide with me. Convince me of sin, convince me of judgment, guide me into all truth; take of the things of Christ and show them to me; be as the dew and the rain of heaven to my soul, causing the Word of Life to take root and grow, and bear the fruits of peace, joy, love, gentleness; enable me to mortify the flesh with its affections and lusts — when the enemy comes in like a flood, lift up a standard against him; be in me as a well of living water — be in me as the earnest of the inheritance, as the first-fruits of heaven — sealing me unto the day of redemption. Holy and blessed Spirit, help me to distinguish between Your voice and the voice of the evil one — between Your suggestions and the impulses of the flesh — between Your leadings the stubbornness of my own heart. I will labor not to resist, nor grieve, nor dishonor, nor quench You; but, with a humble, broken, mortified, self-denying spirit, will endeavor to fall in with You in all things, and to think, and speak, and act in You.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 452-454.
(Language updated by Erik Martin)

I Shine in the Light of God

I shine in the light of God;
His likeness stamps my brow;
Through the valley of death my feet have trod,
And I reign in glory now!
No breaking heart is here,
No keen and thrilling pain,
No wasted cheek, where the frequent tear
Hath roll’d and left its stain.

I have reach’d the joys of heaven:
I am one of the sainted band;
For my head a crown of gold is given,
And a harp is in my hand.
I have leam’d the song they sing,
Whom Jesus has set free;
And the glorious walls of heaven still ring
With my new-born melody.

No sin, no grief, no pain;
Safe in my happy home;
My fears all fled, my doubts all slain,
My hour of triumph’s come!
Oh! friends of mortal years,
The trusted and the true!
Ye are watching still in the valley of tears,
But I wait to welcome you.

Do I forget? oh, no!
For memory’s golden chain
Shall bind my heart to the hearts below,
Till they meet to touch again.
Each link is strong and bright:
And love’s electric flame
Flows freely down, like a river of light,
To the world from whence I came.

Do you mourn when another star
Shines out from the glittering sky?
Do you weep when the raging voice of war
And the storms of conflict die?
Then why should your tears run down,
And your hearts be sorely riven,
For another gem in the Saviour’s crown,
And another soul in heaven?

-John Milne? Recorded in The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 295-296.

Beloved of Jesus, Whence Thy Fear

Belov’d of Jesus, whence thy fear,
Thy frequent sigh, thy dropping tear?
Should not this thought thy spirit cheer,
He cares for thee?

Thy way, I know, is strange and new,
Thy dear ones gone, thy helpers few;
But still this word remaineth true —
He cares for thee!

Thy work is great, thy strength is small,
And thoughts of failure on thee fall;
But in thy weakness on Him call,
He cares for thee!

Whate’er thy tim’rous heart may say,
Whate’er thy feelings, night or day,
Should all seem joining to betray —
He cares for thee!

He goes with thee, thy steps to guide,
Thy wounds to heal, thy sins to hide;
Then call on Him, whate’er betide,
He cares for thee!

His love how great no tongue can tell;
He died to save thy soul from hell;
No wife nor mother loves so well; —
He cares for thee!

Belov’d of Jesus, trust Him still,
Thy lot to choose, thy cup to fill;
Let no dark thoughts thy spirit chill —
He cares for thee!

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 260-261.


A Friend I Have Who Never

A friend I have who never
Forsakes me in my need;
Whose love, continuing ever,
Is proved by word and deed.
He sought me when, in folly,
I wandered far abroad;
To Him I owe it wholly
That now I walk with God.

I often vex and grieve Him
By sinful unbelief;
And oft forget, and leave Him
To seek elsewhere relief.
But when my troubles gather,
And sorrows overpower;
He leaves me not, but rather
Seems kinder than before.

Though now thick clouds enfold me,
Not knowing what awaits,
I’m sure He will uphold me,
In all my trying straits.
I know He will my losses
Convert to heavenly gains,
And He will use my crosses,
To break my earthly chains.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 257-258.


Too Long I Have Been Blinded

Too long I have been blinded
By unbelief and sin,
Too long been earthly minded ; —
The world has dwelt within.
But now the light has broken
Upon my foolish soul ;
My God in love has spoken,
His words have made me whole.

I see the strange enchantment
That led me thus astray,
The hope of full contentment
Still lured me on the way.
I’ve toiled in ceaseless action
For things which never give
True peace and satisfaction
To those who for them live.

I wish no more to follow
Those images untrue ;
No more may mirage hollow,
Present itself to view.
Lord, keep me near the fountain,
Where living waters flow ;
And guide me up Thy mountain,
Away from things below.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 257.

Open My Blinded Eyes, and Make Me Clearly See

Open my blinded eyes, and make me clearly see
The loveliness that hidden lies, O Lamb of God, in Thee.
Let Thy mild beauties win the mastery of my soul,
And turn my carnal heart from sin, and all its thoughts control.
The fathers from afar beheld Thy day of old,
They saw Thee, bright and morning Star, Thy distant rays unfold.
And as they marked Thy rise, and felt Thy healing beams,
Their hearts, o’erwhelmed with glad surprise, forgot all meaner themes.
All things seemed full of Thee, God’s fair and lowly flower!
They saw Thee growing in the tree, and dropping in the shower.
And oft they wondered how, and asked the question when,
The Lord on high His heavens would bow, and dwell with sinful men?
Why, then, am I so slow, more favored far than they,
My great Incarnate Lord to know, and follow in His way?
Awake, my soul, from sleep, betake thyself to prayer,
And search and learn the mysteries deep that save from endless care.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 246.

My God, The Kingdom’s Thine

My God, the kingdom’s Thine; all things should Thee obey;
But this rebellious will of mine resists Thy gracious sway.
The sun fails not to shine, the moon holds on her way;
But this rebellious heart of mine resists Thy gracious sway.
The seasons know Thy sign, and come without delay;
But this rebellious heart of mine resists Thy gracious sway.
The winds and waves combine to do what Thou wilt say;
But this rebellious heart of mine resists Thy gracious sway.
Thy word comes line on line, Thy mercies day by day;
But this rebellious heart of mine resists Thy gracious sway.
In weariness I pine, for succor oft I pray;
Yet this rebellious will of mine resists Thy gracious sway.
Work in me what is Thine, and teach me to obey;
Then this renewed will of mine will love Thy gracious sway.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 245.

Give Me, O Lord, Thy Changeless Peace

Give me, O Lord, Thy changeless peace,
And calm, I pray, this troubled mind;
That I from bitterness may cease,
And ‘mid unkindness, still be kind.

Thy sun his ceaseless course pursues,
And shines alike on good and ill;
May I, like him, to stop refuse,
When thankless souls my spirit chill.

Give me the strong, untiring love,
Which hopes, endures, and never fails;
But, daily strengthened from above,
At length o’er all who hate prevails.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 245.

Revive, O Lord, This Sluggish Soul

Revive, O Lord, this sluggish soul,
And give me back salvation’s joy;
Let grace my sinful lusts control,
And send me forth in Thy employ.
My hands hang down, my feet are slow,
My lips are dumb, my heart is cold;
Let Thy free Spirit on me blow,
Let fresh forgiveness make me bold.

See, Lord, these fields are ripening fast,
And sin and death their sickles ply:
Oh send me forth the net to cast;
Oh stir up men from wrath to fly!
I know that poor and weak I am,
A very babe, with stammering tongue;
Be Thou my helper, gracious Lamb,
And in Thy strength let me be strong.

-John Milne, The Life of John Milne by Horatius Bonar, Banner of Truth Trust, 244.