Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
IF any man compares his own soul with the picture drawn in the New Testament of what a Christian ought to be; if any man fixes his eye on the pattern of self-sacrifice, of purity, of truth, of tenderness, and measures his own distance from that standard, he might be ready to despair. But fear not, because you are far from being like the pattern set before you; fear not because your faults are painful to think of: continue the battle and fear not. If, indeed, you are content with yourself, and are making no endeavor to rise above the poor level at which you now stand, then there is reason to fear. But if you are fighting with all your might, fear not, however often you may have fallen, however deeply, however ungratefully, however inexcusably. This one thing we can give, and this is what He asks, hearts that shall never cease from this day forward, till we reach the grave, to strive to be more like Him; to come nearer to Him; to root out from within us the sin that keeps us from Him. To such a battle, brethren, I call you in His name.