“Have I have one here who is at his wit’s end? Once he said, “I will do this, and then I shall be saved; I will forego that lust, I will renounce that crime, I will moderate my conduct, I will behave myself more Christian-like, and then I shall be saved.” Hast thou tried these high resolves, and have they failed thee? Perhaps thou hast sought after ceremonies and said, “I will shelter myself in the church, keep her ritual, and zealously obey her rubrics;” yet that has failed thee. Thou hast tried scheme after scheme, only to discover each and all alike abortive. And now thou dost anxiously inquire, “What must I do to be saved?” Do you say, “I have done all that reason could dictate; I have followed every maxim I could learn, as I ran hither and thither for counsel; I have strained every power mortal can exercise; I have taxed my poor brain till its fitful fancies bewilder me–and, alas! all in van: what must I do? what shall I do? Let me tell thee. Thou art to-day like a traveler who has lost his way in a wood. Thou thoughtest that there was a path, and sorely hast thou rent thy clothes and torn thy flesh. How sure thou didst make of some way of escape; but lo! every avenue was blocked up, and thou couldst not get out. Thou hast climbed the highest tree in the forest, to see where the end of the dark wood should be, but the further thou didst look the more intricate did it appear. At length, thy hopes extinguished, thy plands defeated, thy strength exhausted, thy tongue parched, and thine eyes smarting, all that thou canst do is, like the poor traveler in the desert, when the water is spent and his power gone, to lay thee down in fell despair and die. Art thou such an one? Hast thou tried everything and has everything failed thee? Art thou now locked up in Despair’s castle? If so, I commend to thee this sure promise: Christ came to seek the lost; and, oh! couldst thou believe it, what a joyous day this would be! Thou wouldst go out of his house dancing for joy of heart, saying, “I went there a poor lost one, but the Shepherd of Israel has found me, for Christ came to seek that which was lost.””
"Depths of mercy! can there be Mercy yet reserved for me?"
- C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), “A TIME OF FINDING FOR LOST SHEEP,” in Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2016), 115-116.