'Having been pardoned by your God and Savior, the next thing you have to do is to show your gratitude for this infinite favor by consecrating your self entirely to Him, body, soul, and spirit. This is the least you can do. He has bought you with a price, and you are no longer your own. "But", you may reply, "this is contrary to my nature. I love my own way. I desire ease and pleasure; I desire to go to heaven, but I want to be carried thither on a bed of flowers. Can I not give myself so to God as to feel a sweet sense of peace with Him, and be sure of final salvation, and yet, to a certain extent, indulge and gratify myself? If I give myself entirely away to Him and lose all ownership in myself, He may deny me many things I greatly desire. He may make my life hard and wearisome, depriving me of all that now makes it agreeable." But, I reply, this is no matter of parley and discussion; it is not optional with God's children whether they will pay Him a part of the price they owe Him and keep back the rest. He asks, and He has a right to ask, for all you have and all you are. And if you shrink from what is involved in such a surrender, you should fly to Him at once and never rest until He has conquered this secret disinclination to give Him as freely and as fully as He has given to you. It is true that such an act of consecration on your part may involve a great deal of future discipline and correction. But as soon as you become the Lord's by your own deliberate and conscious act, He will begin that process of sanctification which is to make you holy as He is holy, perfect as He is perfect. He becomes at once your Physician as well as your dearest and best Friend, but He will use no painful remedy that can be avoided. Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified and that the work of making you holy is His, not yours. At the same time you are not to sit with folded hands, waiting for this blessing. You are to avoid laying hindrances in His way, and you are to exercise faith in Him as just as able and just as willing to give you sanctification as He was to give you redemption. And now if you ask how you may know that you have truly consecrated yourself to Him, I reply, observe every indication of His will concerning you, no matter how trivial, and see whether you at once close in with that will. Lay down this principle as law--God does nothing arbitrary. If He takes away your health, for instance, it is because He has some reason for doing so; and this is true of everything you value; and if you have real faith in Him, you will not insist on knowing the reason. If you find, in the course of daily events, that your self-consecration was not perfect--that is that your soul revolts at His will--do not be discouraged, but fly to your Savior and stay in His presence till you obtain the spirit in which he cried in His hour of anguish, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42). Every time you do this it will be easier to do it; every such consent to suffer will bring you nearer and nearer to Him; and in this nearness to Him you will find such peace such blessed sweet peace as will make your life infinitely happy, no matter what may be its mere outside conditions. Just think, my dear Katy, of the honor and the joy of having your will one with the Divine will and so becoming changed into Christ's image from glory to glory!
...If the thought of such self-denial is repugnant to you, remember that it is enough for the disciple to be as his Lord. and let me assure you that as you penetrate the labyrinth of life in pursuit of Christian duty, you will often be surprised and charmed by meeting your Master Himself amid its windings and turnings and receive His soul-inspiring smile. Or, I should rather say, you will always meet him, wherever you go.'
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From the book Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss (pp.86-88, 89)
Also wonderfully beneficial is Mrs. Prentiss's biography, More Love To Thee: The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss, by George Lewis Prentiss