|Title : Devotional Retirement, recommended and enforced, with Meditations and Remarks|
|Author : Augustus Montague Toplady|
This small booklet runs to 138 pages, Walter Row's Preface reading:
THIS incentive to Devotional Retirement, was found amongst the manuscripts of the late Mr. TOPLADY, and is now submitted to public perusal.
Occasional retreat from the full and uncontrolled power of those vain and perishing objects which surround us, and which are perpetually engaging the attention of our minds, and soliciting the love and affection of our hearts : proper intervals for retirement and devotion will be embraced by the Christian as an inestimable privelige.
Indeed, none but the real Christian desires communion with the Father of spirits. Our first parent before the eyes of his understanding were blinded, and the purity of his affections was lost, saw that God was the supreme good of his creatures, and that to draw near to him was their supreme happiness. But from the moment of Adam's fall, man forsook God, the fountain of living waters; and, by nature seeks felicity from broken cisterns that can afford him none.
To deliver us from this dismal state of error and sinfulness, the Holy Spirit condescends to breathe upon the human heart, and to open the eyes of our understanding, that we may know him that is true, and again draw nigh unto that God from whom we have revolted.
Dreadful beyond conception are the ignorance and guilt of those unhappy persons who dare to burlesque and sneer at the operations of the Spirit of God: whose retrieving inspiration if we die without experiencings, the deathless worm, and the fire that is unquenched, must be our inevitable portion. All our comfort below, and alt our happiness above are suspended, on our being brought nigh unto God, through the death of his Son, and the agency of his Spirit.
We cannot draw draw nigh unto God but by faith : even by that faith, which has for its object the free love and promise of Father, Son, and Spirit. Vast mountains of guilt separate between God and men. Faith considers these mountains, as removed by the atonement of Christ: it looks over them, and looks beyond them, to the covenant grace of him who hath said, "I will be merciful to their unrighteouness, and and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." The propitiation which Jesus made for the transgressions of his people, and the obedience which he wrought for the justification of them that fly to him ; are the central point in which faith terminates. And all who are enabled thus to believe, may indeed be said to DRAW NEAR TO GOD.