"The growth of divine knowledge in the soul is often slow, the work of much time and of protracted discipline. Look at the eleven disciples. What slow, tardy scholars were they, even though they were taught immediately from the lips of Jesus! They drank their knowledge from the very Fountain; they received their light directly from the Sun itself. And yet, with all the superior advantages, the personal ministry, the instructions and miracles and example of our dear Lord, how slow of understanding were they to comprehend, and how slow of heart to believe, all that He so laboriously, clearly, and patiently taught them!
Yes, the advance of the soul in the divine life, with its knowledge of sin, of the hidden evil of the heart and its deep treachery and intricate windings, of Satans subtlety, the glory of the gospel, and the preciousness of Christ, and its own great interest in salvation, is not the work of a day, nor of a year, but of many days; yes, and many years of deep ploughing and long and often painful discipline and of windy storm and tempest.
But this life in the soul is not less real, nor less divine, because its growth is slow and gradual: it may be small and feeble in its degree, yet, in its nature, it is the life that never dies. The believer may mourn in secret over his little advance, his tardy progress, his weak faith, his small grace, his strong corruption, and his many infirmities, yet he can also say: Though I am the chief of sinners, and the least of all saints, and though I see within so much to abase me, and without so much to mourn over, yet this one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see. I see that which I never saw before: a hatefulness in sin, and a beauty in holiness; I see a vileness and emptiness in myself, and a preciousness and fullness in Jesus.
- Octavius Winslow
Paul Frederick West