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Quoted from The Thread of Gold,

written by Mrs. C. E. Wilbur.

My conviction of sin was deep and pungent, and, as often happens with persons whose outward lives have been irreproachable, the struggle was only the more severe. There is naturally, in the human heart a leaning to one's good works for salvation. It is so difficult to get down on a level with the poor publican, and cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner." There is a sort of feeling that one is not so bad after all, and that God is a hard master, to require such self_renunciation when we have walked before him with such circumspection of live and conversation. But as my agony deepened, and the Holy Spirit illuminated the dark recesses that my own heart was no exception to what the Word of God declares is the condition of every unregenerate one, "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked."

What a distance between a God of purity and my own wretched, sinful self! "Ye must be born again," rang in my ears day and night. How mysterious did this new birth appear to my unenlightened heart! How was this great work to be accomplished? My distress deepened, and like the poor Psalmist, I cried out, "I sink in deep mire where there is no standing; min iniquities are gone over my head; they are too heavy for me." The terrors of hell seemed to take hold upon me. And in my distress and anguish, I cried out like poor Peter, "Lord save me." My hold upon self_dependencies and earthly props gave way, and by faith I touched the hem of the Savior's garment, and immediately I was made whole. Oh, the joy of the new_born soul!

That mysterious work had been accomplished in my heart, I could not doubt. I felt the divine influence permeating it in every part.