I love The Valley of Vision, a collection of old Puritan prayers and devotions. Though its language is archaic (these things are written by Puritans, after all), the book has been a significant part of my devotional time for over a year now. I’ve found gospel-shaped hope and peace, time and time again, in these pages. Here’s an excerpt from this morning’s reading, titled Divine Mercies:
All things in heaven, earth, around, within, without, condemn me-
the sun which sees my misdeeds,
the darkness which is light to thee,
the cruel accuser who justly charges me,
the good angels who have been provoked to leave me,
thy countenance which scans my secret sins,
thy righteous law, the holy Word,
my sin-soiled conscience, my private and public life,
my neighbors, myself-
all write dark things against me.
I deny them not, frame no excuse, but confess, “Father, I have sinned”;
Yet still I live, and fly repenting to thy outstretched arms;
thou wilt not cast me off, for Jesus brings me near,
thou wilt not condemn me, for he died in my stead,
thou wilt not mark my mountains of sin, for he leveled all,
and his beauty covers my deformities.
O my God, I bid farewell to sin by clinging to his cross,
hiding in his wounds, and sheltering in his side.