I have passed through many sad and sore afflictions, and in those afflictions I have been left at times, without any cheering light, comforting hope, or soul elevating consolation. I have cried — but could obtain no answer. I have sought the Lord — but could not find him. I have given way to doubt and despondency — until I have sunk deep in sadness and in gloom. I have been tempted to think that my case was hopeless, and my experience contrary to that of the Lord’s family. I have fretted, complained, and repined; and have been ready to give up all for lost!
But there was one blessed “Nevertheless,” that like a star in the midst of midnight darkness, gave me a little light, and cheered me with a little hope. In Psalm 106 I read of the conduct, or rather misconduct of Israel of old, how they provoked the Lord, and brought down his sore judgments upon them. But in verses 44, 45, it is written “Nevertheless he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented!” What a blessed “Nevertheless,” is this! After so much sin, so many provocations, and such severe chastisement, “Nevertheless!” After all, notwithstanding all, in spite of all, “Nevertheless he took note of their distress when he heard their cry!” As if it touched his paternal heart, stirred up the depths of his compassion, and aroused his tenderest pity! O infinitely gracious God! Again I bless your adorable name, for your long-suffering and tender mercy — toward such poor, weak, wicked, wayward worms of the earth!–James Smith