Prose Meditation by

Anne Cator Steele

For selections from Anne Cator Steele's diary, click here; for selections from her hymns, click here; for selections from her poetry, click here; for selections from her letters, click here.

Draw me we will run after Thee

Consider O my Soul thy own Imperfection & frailty & what continual need there is of divine drawings I was conceiv’d & born in sin & my Childhood & youth was vanity poluted in my origenal but more so by actual transgressions. I was in a state of darkness & alienation from God who (as I hope) brought me out of that darkness into his marvelous light by his Spirit & grace working effectually upon my heart, O amazing loving kindness thus to draw unworthy me for none can come to Christ except the father draw him then what indispensable obligations am I under of love praise & obedience to my infinitely Gracious father & compassionate dear redeemer who when my condition was like the polluted Infant none eye pittying me, He said unto me Live & tis added & thou becamest mine & I waished thee & so on thus my Salvation is all of grace & my Life ought to be a Life of Gratitude & sincere obedience but alas tis quite the reverse for from this corrupt fountain of my nature numberless impure pleasures flow every Imagination of the tho’ts of my heart being evel continually and tis alone of the mercy of God that I say by the light of his holy Spirit who (if I am his) dweleth in me & shall be with me & tho this gives me great encouragement & hope, yet a sense of my many & great transgressions against God brings me with shame & sorrow to confess my sins with tears & confussion that I should thus offend God of my being & mercys, yet how often I find a sence of pardon melt my Soul into Humility, Love & Praise & then with fervency can I pour out my breathings to God & say open my very heart before him, desiring to be, or do any thing God will have me how glad would I be to have every mortified sin rooted out every temptation subdu’d & with what earnestness can I desire the graces of the Spirit may be & continue in living exercise such as faith, & love, & zeal, & purity of heart & life, & what longings do I find for perseverance & assurance of the love of God, & my everlasting salvation, & then I can say tis good to be here, but very soon I am forc’d to say thou hidest thy face & I am troubled, then Indiferancy takest me & doubts & fears prevail & my dutys appear to be nothing but vain oblations, this strengthens belief that great & heinous sin, yet God by his Spirit is pleas’d to convince of this sin, & how often has my Soul been drawn therby to view the Infinite patience of God who have condiscended to say where O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt & have continued his gracious love & tender mercys to me who have continued in Rebelion & repeated Infidilitys towards him. Suprizing grace, Bless the Lord O my Soul, & all that is within me, bless his holy name, bless the Lord O my Soul & forget not all his benefits, who forgiveth all thine Iniquitys who healeth all thy diseases who redeemeth thy Life from destruction who crowneth thee with Lovingkindness & tender mercy.

April 7 1749

Text: Title taken from Song of Solomon 1:4; verse location noted by Steele in the left hand margin, a practice she employs throughout her diary, in which this meditation was inserted.