CHAPTER I. HE PRAISES GOD, THE AUTHOR OF SAFETY, AND JESUS CHRIST, THE REDEEMER, ACKNOWLEDGING HIS OWN WICKEDNESS.

1. "O LORD, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving." Let my heart and my tongue praise Thee, and let all my bones say, "Lord, who is like unto Thee?" Let them so say, and answer Thou me, and "say unto my soul, I am Thy salvation." Who am I, and what is my nature? How evil have not my deeds been; or if not my deeds, my words; or if not my words, my will? But Thou, O Lord, art good and merciful, and Thy right hand had respect unto the profoundness of my death, and removed from the bottom of my heart that abyss of corruption. And this was the result, that I willed not to do what I willed, and willed to do what thou willedst. But where, during all those years, and out of what deep and secret retreat was my free will summoned forth in a moment, whereby I gave my neck to Thy "easy yoke," and my shoulders to Thy "light burden," O Christ Jesus, "my strength. and my Redeemer"? How sweet did it suddenly become to me to be without the delights of trifles! And what at one time I feared to lose, it was now a joy to me to put away. For Thou didst cast them away from me, Thou true and highest sweetness. Thou didst cast them away, and instead of thorn didst enter in Thyself, sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood; brighter than all light, but more veiled than all mysteries; more exalted than all honour, but not to the exalted in their own conceits. Now was my soul free from the gnawing cares of seeking and getting, and of wallowing and exciting the itch of lust. And I babbled unto Thee my brightness, my riches, and my health, the Lord my God.