When the world's unbelievers reject thee,
and are so forsaken by thee that though callest them no more,
it is to thine own thou dost turn,
for in such seasons of general apostasy
they in some measure backslide with the world.
O how free is thy grace
that reminds them of the danger that confronts them
and urges them to persevere in adherence to thyself!
I bless thee that those who turn aside
may return to thee immediately,
and be welcomed without anything to commend them,
notwithstanding all their former backslidings.
I confess that this is suited to my case, for of late
I have found great want,
and lack of apprehension of divine grace;
I have been greatly distressed of soul
because I did not suitably come to the fountain
that purges away all sin;
I have laboured too much for spiritual life,
peace of conscience, progressive holiness,
in my own strength.
I beg thee, show me the arm of all might;
Give me to believe
that thou canst do for me more than I ask or think, and
that, though I backslide, thy love will never let me go,
but will draw me back to thee with everlasting cords;
that thou dost provide grace in the wilderness,
and canst bring me out, leaning on the arm of my Beloved;
that thou canst cause me to walk with him
by the rivers of waters in a straight way,
wherein I shall not stumble.
Keep me solemn,
resting on free grace
for assistance, acceptance, and peace of conscience.
~Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, p. 86 (emphasis mine)