Choice excerpts from the diary
and letters of RUTH BRYAN
I see not an inch of the road
I see not an inch of the road before me, and
have no stock of strength or ability for the journey.
But I must live moment by moment on the Lord God,
who will make my feet like hinds' feet, to tread upon
very high places—even the God who performs all
things for me.
Moreover, to use another figure, I must lie in the
arms of my Beloved as a helpless infant—without
wisdom or power to do anything for myself—but
believing that "the everlasting arms of love" will
prove a safe conveyance.
Oh! what a blessed Jesus we have—who can so soften
affliction and so sweeten Marah's bitter stream, making
us exceeding joyful even in tribulation.
Where there is spiritual life
Jesus is a tender Shepherd; He knows the lambs cannot
travel very fast, so He will sometimes gather them in His
arms, and carry them in His bosom. While, at other times,
He will allow even those little ones to feel the roughness
of the road and their own weakness—that they may be
emptied of self-confidence, and walk humbly, confiding
in the Lord alone.
All Divine leadings are in Divine sovereignty, and we
cannot mark out any specific line, either for ourselves
or others. But this we know—that all who are born of
God shall be led and taught by the Spirit, and all such
do feel sin hateful and holiness desirable.
Where there is spiritual life there shall be spiritual
growth, although the way and manner thereof is sovereign.
The life of faith
To know nothing but Jesus; to delight in no other;
to look nowhere else for holiness, happiness, and
fruitfulness—this is the life of faith, and "living
godly in Christ Jesus." His love is a bottomless,
shoreless ocean, in which we shall be absorbed
forever and ever!
That will be heaven
Oh, that my heart were a ten-stringed instrument,
and my life a living epistle—in which all might read
Him. But, alas! it is so blotted over with unbelief and
other sins, that it is hard to pick out His dear name in
most of the pages.
Oh! when I see Him face to face, and behold those
love-prints in His glorious body, what shall I feel?
That will be heaven—not one of harps and crowns,
or of anything else—but JESUS and the open vision
of His unveiled glories, the ineffable glories of Deity,
and perfect beauties of humanity ever beaming with
new effulgence in the person of our Bridegroom! Then
shall we reflect His glory, and show forth His praise.
The bitters are love
The past week have had much bodily suffering.
All is well. There is no curse in my cup of trial.
The bitters are love—as well as the sweets.
Oh, grant the teaching of the Spirit with every
troublesome dispensation, I may be instructed,
corrected, and comforted. And oh, my precious
Lord, sanctify my increasing affliction, that
it may be a blessing to myself and others.
I may yet have much suffering of body—but my
precious Lord will sustain me. Oh, may He be
magnified in this frail body, by life and death.
Blush, and weep, and love
I have walked through many dark and trying providences.
I would fly to Your dear cross, and to You, the dear crucified
One—my safe hiding-place from all my sins! There would I
blush, and weep, and love, and find there "is no condemnation."
Oh, what unbounded goodness and mercy have followed me
hitherto. "Your paths drop fatness." You are the Joy of prosperity,
and the Brother born for adversity. Much pain of body—but the
dear Tree of life sweetens Marah's bitter stream.
Victory over corruption
It is blessed to feed upon Jesus, not on my feelings.
My soul longs for fresh baptism into His death. Jesus
alone is my death to sin. He alone is my true victory
Oh! my precious Ishi
"You will call Me Ishi—(my husband). Hosea 2:16
"You will be called Hephzibah—(My delight is in her)
. . . for the Lord will take delight in you." Isaiah 62:4
Oh! my precious Ishi, I am Your Hephzibah—made
for You alone. Vile as I feel, You see it not—but view me
in Your own beauty—all lovely, and without spot or fault.
You are my joy and crown, my holiness and happiness,
my heaven and my all. I drink the spiced wine of Your
love, and taste the river of Your pleasures!
How pure, how rich, how efficacious!
I awoke this morning under a deep sense of my
sinfulness—but was favored afterwards with a
realization of the precious blood of the glorious
Lamb of God.
How pure, how rich, how efficacious!
Every drop is worth more than all the world has
in it—the blood of the everlasting covenant, which
blotted my sin out of God's book, and from my
That sun behind the mist
This morning I was out walking, when the sun suddenly
burst upon my view, and, by reason of a mist, I could gaze
upon it without being dazzled. It was beautiful, though not
shining in its usual refulgence. And I, musing, thought—
Why can I look so steadily upon the sun? Only because
its brightness is partly obscured by the mist.
So, upon Jehovah, its mighty Maker, I could not gaze.
His uncreated brightness would confound me. But He has
softened that brightness in Jesus. That sun behind the
mist reminds me of "God manifest in the flesh." There I
can look—and live!
The incarnate Word in the written Word
I long and pant for more revealing of the incarnate
Word in the written Word. O blessed Spirit, testify
of Him to my soul in the Scriptures. Abba Father, reveal
Your precious Son more fully in me; and You, my Beloved,
make Yourself known to me more than ever. How much I
thirst for You, You know. You are most kind—but more
unfoldings of Yourself I still desire.
To the sin-burdened or sorrowful soul
I have been favored to sit under the shadow of my
suffering Savior with great delight, and His fruit has
been sweet to my taste. Much blessed in Psalm 22.
I never before so fully realized how our precious
Lord felt the anguish of unanswered prayer. He
seems to have gone before us in every sorrowful
step, and most precious is He to the sin-burdened
or sorrowful soul, when revealed by the Spirit as
bearing all for them.
His loving hands
I am fully satisfied to be in His loving hands.
The weight of sin and guilt
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us
has turned to his own way; and the Lord has
laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
The weight of sin and guilt so ponderous that
none but Jehovah could have laid it upon the Surety,
and none but such a Surety could have borne it!
My soul is humbled and melted!
My glorious Lord, I humbly and confidingly embrace
You as my life, and peace, and pardon; my purity,
my joy, and my all. I ask to be led by the blessed
Spirit afresh into the love scenes of solemn
Gethsemane and Calvary.
I am much abased
I am much abased in my own sight, because of sin.
"O Lord, You know my foolishness, and my sins are
not hidden from You." I know that the precious blood
of my Surety has atoned for them all. But I loathe the
evil working of my nature. Dearest Lord, hear the cry
of my heart, which cannot be put in words, and with
precious blood purge my conscience.
You alone did teach me the life of faith. Oh, renew
that teaching amidst all discouragements!
As safe as I can be
In Jesus—I am as safe as I can be, and very
happy—a sinner saved by grace! Free grace and
free love is all my theme.
In the past week I have had deep conflict, many
storms—but sweet interminglings of mercy. I feel
weak and faint, as if the journey were too great for
me. But my dear Lord will sustain me. I am the
poorest worm—and must let fall my whole weight
upon You, my precious Savior. Lord, help me on,
and help me home!
"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have
called you by name; you are mine. When you go
through deep waters and great trouble, I will be
with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown! When you walk through the fire
of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames
will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!" Isaiah 43:1-3
The calf which was ground to powder
"He took the calf they had made and melted it in the fire.
And when the metal had cooled, he ground it into powder
and mixed it with water. Then he made the people drink it."
I remember the calf which was ground to powder by
Moses, for the children of Israel to drink. I have formerly
known this bitter experience, when the sin I had trifled
with became my daily and sorrowful portion, nor could I
rid myself of it. Oh, this is sore work. "Lord, help me!"
though I feel I am not worthy of the crumbs which fall
from Your table.
A sparrow alone
"I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the
house top." Psalm 102:7
This is a dreary land, and I a trembling traveler. But
the Lord is very gracious to His sparrow alone. I
need supporting, like the ivy which clings round the
oak. Lord, lead me—and do not leave me!
When the Lord makes it night
In the past week I have had much spiritual darkness;
and felt this evening that I was, as it were, in "the lion's
den," and in the "mountain of leopards," through the felt
evils of my fallen nature. When the Lord makes it
night, all the beasts of the forest creep forth. But, when
the blessed Sun of Righteousness rises again, they creep
into their dens, and hide themselves. How evil things
dislike the light.
The deep inscription of Almighty love
Glorious Redeemer, come to me in further and
fuller developments of Your personal glories;
and, in the warmth of Your love. Let me see
Your heart laid open by the sword of justice,
and read there the deep inscription of
Almighty love. Breathe, sacred Spirit, into
this heart—quickening there desires more
ardent after Jesus.
Melted away before this glorious Sun
"Looking unto Jesus" has been the prevailing position
of my soul during the last week, and I long for continual
renewings therein by the Holy Spirit. Surely, when looking
by faith away from all, to Jesus only—He does become, in
soul experience, "all in all." I cannot describe in words how
earthly cares and interest have melted away before this
glorious Sun of Righteousness, who is "all my salvation
and all my desire."
My joy, my treasure, and my absorbing all
What a peculiar year! How rich in mercy, high in joy, deep
in conflict, sweet in love—the love of my precious Beloved!
Your love has softened and sweetened all my trials; and
here I am—a monument of love's upholding power, feeling
sweetly assured that the Lord has heard my prayers, and
seen my tears. All shall be well—this deep and dark trial
shall end in songs of praise. "He knows the way that I take,"
and though, to the flesh, it is like a long dark road, with only
occasional rays of brightness; yet, "my soul, wait only upon
God"—it will not be in vain. He will either release from this
fettering clay, or He will carry triumphantly on. And all shall
redound to His praise who lived and died for me—my Lord,
my life, my all. Praise for the past, trust for the future, befits
Your favored worm, O Lord. I do afresh embrace You by
faith, as my joy, my treasure, and my absorbing all.
I fall heavily into Your arms, with all my weights. You will
sustain me in Your love, in life or death—as seems best to
What rich, rich drops flowed for vile, unworthy me!
Very specially has my Beloved been to me today—as the
suffering Lord of glory. Oh! what blood was that—what
rich, rich drops flowed for vile, unworthy me!
Oh! what condescension!
What unutterable love!
My soul wonders and adores!
"He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied."
And His spouse shall see somewhat of His soul-travail for her,
and be satisfied with His love and favor. That You, immaculate
Lamb, should be bruised and wounded for my sake—is
overwhelming indeed!I long to fall at Your dear feet, and confess myself a trophy of
redeeming love—a miracle of Your saving grace and cleansing
All else is confusing
Afresh I give myself to You, my blessed Jesus, to
look at You, and only You; all else is confusing.
You have been above my foes, above my fears,
and immeasurably above my deserts!
The sweetness of all!
It is marvelous that I should have such enjoyments:
this quiet retreat, this most beautiful country air and
scenery, everything I need, provided without cost to
me, and the kindest attentions from dear friends!
It is wonderful, for I never looked for anything like
prosperity on earth.
I do enjoy Your mercies, and Your beautiful
creation, now in the freshness of spring. But
You Yourself are the sweetness of all!
The deep, sweet mystery
I do indeed feel Him to be a rock—yes, the rock
of my heart, and my portion forever. Oh! for more
faith. Oh, for more of Jesus—in heart, lip, and life!
Blessed Comforter! lead me more into the deep,
sweet mystery of Christ, my Lord.
I fear I am too happy
All "my times are in Your hands." They cannot be
in a better place. Flesh and strength are still wasting.
But I am kept in peace, and surrounded with loving
kindness and tender mercies. Oh, that I could praise
my gracious God! Oh, that my heart were as a ten-
stringed instrument, and my tongue as a well-tuned
harp, to sound His praise! Tune and touch, most
gracious Comforter, that melody may be made
unto the Lord, who is so good to me.
I have had a week of amazing mercies. I am
overwhelmed at the Lord's goodness to me.
Sometimes I fear I am too happy; the sweet peace
I enjoy is very great. It has quite seemed to me this
week that Home is near—and that is pleasant. I love
my dear, kind friends very much. But to behold Him
who is dearer than all, and to be absorbed in untiring,
unceasing worship; yes, to live and breathe in the pure
element of holiness and love—will, indeed, be delightful.
O Lord, I pray for such an outcome out of this affliction
as shall be most glorifying to You; and, if it pleases You,
sanctify me for Your service below or above.
His beauties and His sweetness!
Oh, what a present heaven do I find in Jesus!
No tongue can count half His beauties and
His sweetness! Oh, to live ever by simple faith
upon Him—until called up to live in open vision
with Him. Flesh gets most complete starvation,
when Christ is all in all!
"Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Deuteronomy 8:2-3
I am sure there has been a needs-be for all the rough paths I have been traveling. I might have been much puffed up if all had gone smoothly. By these things I learn, under Divine teaching, much that is within. And I also find my heart is much softened thereby, to sympathize with others in their trials.
I have once or twice had relief, and thought the storm was over—but it has again beaten upon me. I see from it that in my fallen nature there is no improvement.
How do I marvel when I look back; what deep anguish I have gone through. I wish to watch closely, to learn profitably, to be humbled exceedingly, and think I must walk softly before the Lord all my days.
I bless Him, that He has kept me in fervent cries to Him during the long siege, and thus flesh has not prevailed against me. Surely, now, the walls of this Jericho have fallen. O blessed Jesus, in the tenderness of Your compassion—pity my infirmity, and, through it all, lead me on to victory.
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, through which the world has been
crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14
By His cross I find death to sin, law, world, and myself.
All my black guilt was here removed! Eternal praises to
my dear Deliverer!
Complete perfection, safety, and victory
May the Lord be pleased to make the doctrine of
complete perfection, safety, and victory IN
CHRIST—one of daily experience. In Christ I am
experimentally raised, even now, above sin, Satan,
the world, and myself, and triumphantly sit with
Him in heavenly places.
Feelings and sensations
I have just been led to see an evil, of which, I believe, I have been the guilty subject—that of resting in, and being taken up with, certain feelings and sensations experienced by me—rather than with Christ Himself, the Substance of the feast. And thus my feelings become more the object of my pursuit and desire, than His glory. Both in praying and reading the Holy Scriptures, I seem to have been thus beguiled from simplicity, having feeling and enjoyment more in view—than Him from whom they come. And so, when favored with a sensation of comfort, peace, and joy in my reading, I have the next time come to the Word searching for that same sweetness again—more than for Christ, the source and fullness of it. Many dear Christians might not see what I mean—but I see plainly, and beg to be delivered from this seeking the gifts more than the Giver. Oh, my Christ Jehovah, how have You been dishonored by worthless me; so blessed, so favored, and yet so prone to rest in Your bestowments rather than Yourself. Pardon, and restore to that simplicity which is alone in You. Oh, do it for Your love and honor's sake!
No fear of crooked walking while the eye is fixed
fully on Jesus! Oh, lead me, Holy Comforter, more
into Christ—and out of self!
Implicitly, unreservedly, and entirely
"Yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42
Implicitly, unreservedly, and entirely, I give
all I have and am to Your disposal. Only glorify
Yourself in me, and then glorify me with Yourself!
Oh! wonders of rich, sovereign grace!
Vile, helpless, guilty as ever in myself—but
finding a perfect salvation in a perfect Christ!
Oh! wonders of rich, sovereign grace!
Planned, accomplished, and applied!
Yesterday, and last night again—was exceedingly
harassed by Satan and the flesh. But found the
cross of Christ my place of refuge; and from a dear,
once crucified, but now glorified Savior—did receive
strength in the battle, sympathy in the suffering,
and assurance of victory through His blood.
Precious Jesus, You are as full as ever; the more I
enjoy You, the more I see yet to be enjoyed. The
larger draughts I drink of "salvation by grace"—the
more overflowing seems the fountain. And the more
I get into its depths, the more unfathomable seems
that delightful ocean!
Thanks, thanks to a covenant God for a salvation
planned, accomplished, and applied!
My Savior, Husband, Friend, Surety, All
April 3rd, 1839. Blessed beyond measure with comfort,
peace, and joy—all flowing through the bleeding heart
of Christ—my Savior, Husband, Friend, Surety, All.
The desire to be with Him in glory continues and increases!
Dearest Jesus, give patience. Pardon what is mine;
strengthen what is Yours. Accomplish Your own purpose
in this frail tabernacle—and then fetch me home!
Come with Death, precious Christ. I tremble at him
without Your presence. Oh, come, and let me breathe
out my soul on Your bosom, in Your embrace. Much
for me to ask—but not too much for You to give. Your
kindness makes me bold. For Your own love's sake,
grant my request, or give submission; and, if not seen,
support secretly. Eternity is coming, and then I shall
never tire. But shout, methinks, louder than all the
blood-washed throng, "He loved me and gave Himself
for me!" I wait, Lord, Your will.
Oh, wondrous Savior
March 17th, 1839. The tempter foiled, my Savior
faithful, and my poor soul relieved. Oh, wondrous
Savior, to do the work, bear the suffering—and
bestow upon me the reward! Give, oh, give me a
heart to praise, love, and adore You. Holy Comforter,
come again, come again, and speak peace through
blood. Oh bathe me in that living, healing, cleansing
stream. Breathe, oh breathe, on this dry, barren, cold
heart! Have I grieved You? oh, melt me into penitence,
and then seal home pardon.
Oh, what manifest outward mercies have I been
the subject of! How does my cup run over, and
how am I astonished at it, often exclaiming,
"Why me? Why—oh why am I so blessed?"
Oh, what miracles of mercy to such a wretch!
Dear Jesus, sanctify the temporal mercies You
have given; let me enjoy You in and with them
—or they are all nothing.
A debtor indeed to sovereign, unmerited mercy.
Who should louder sing than I?
December 12th, 1838. Much comforted today with
views of precious Jesus, as my dear, almighty Savior
—engaged to do all for and in me. Faint indeed are
these glimpses compared with what I desire—but
are they not pledges of more? I verily believe they
are; and that, though a vile, hell-deserving sinner,
I shall shout—Victory through the blood of the Lamb!
and join the ransomed throng in casting at His dear
feet our blood-bought crowns. Who should louder
sing than I?
October 30th, 1838. Found much sweetness this
morning from Isaiah 49:23, "those who put their
hope in Me will not be put to shame," and Psalm
31:22, "In my alarm I had said, 'I am cut off from
Your sight.' But You heard the sound of my pleading
when I cried to You for help." The Lord be praised
for these divine dewdrops!
My soul thirsts, longs intensely
My soul thirsts, longs intensely—to know more
of a glorious Christ, and live more upon Him; for He
is the bread of God. May the Holy Spirit breathe
again upon my barren heart.
Most Holy Comforter, most solemnly do I entreat
You, as the Teacher of Your people—to lead me
more deeply into heart acquaintance with divine
truth, and into communion with the Triune Jehovah,
making me lose all things outward, and count them
as rubbish and dross in comparison with this. Oh,
let me not continue on the surface—but bring me
to swim in, and take large draughts of, the water
The dark tale
December 31st, 1837. The last day of the year has
come again! How rapidly are the wheels of time
revolving and bearing me on to a boundless eternity!
Another year closing, and of what do its "gone-by"
periods testify? Why! of aggravated transgression
and ingratitude on my part—and most astonishing
mercy and longsuffering from my covenant God.
There has also been granted more laying hold of
Christ, and, when sensible of sin, more running to
Him for pardon and cleansing; and, as it were,
hanging upon Him in my desperate case, and, if
I perish, to do so at His feet. All this, with much
more, I take to be very, very great mercy.
But, oh! the dark tale of my own sin which has
also marked this year—it is too black to be told!
and a thousand other evils—make up a list which
ought to sink me into shame and self-abasement!
Almighty Spirit, condescend to melt me into real
contrition, that having received much, I may love
much; and having sinned much, I may have
I am sure the flesh is no friend of mine; and as I
have not resolution to cut off its right-hand, and
to pluck out its right-eye sins—it is most merciful
of the Lord to do it for me. And though I often cry
out from pain, my spirit says—Go on, Lord, deal
with me as You will—only support and bring me
to walk closely with You.
Lord, give me a broken heart
Lord, melt this stony heart, wash this filthy
heart, bring back this wandering heart—and
somehow, by Almighty power, make me more
watchful against those sins which most easily
Lord, give me a broken heart—and then
come and heal it.
Magnify the riches of Your grace
Leave me not to myself, for my wicked heart is
longing after fleshly indulgence! I want, dear
Immanuel, to be Yours alone—but cannot. Oh,
no; I cannot! a divided heart You will not accept.
I fall a dead weight on Your sovereign, undeserved
mercy, by which, if I am not caught, I must continue
falling until I reach the lowest, hottest place in Tophet,
which is my merited portion. But, blessed Jesus, take
me for Your own, and magnify the riches of Your
grace in my deliverance! "Lord, save, or I perish!"
The past week
December 20th, 1835. I have for the last two days
welcomed bodily affliction, because by it the awful
corruption of my nature seemed kept down. The
past week has been a week of sin, temptation,
and severe exercise—such as I could describe to
I fall at Your feet, O Immanuel—loathsome, corrupt,
and abominable, crying for free, unmerited mercy! I
come to You, O Almighty Spirit, begging for the sake
of, and through, what Jesus has done and suffered,
that You would be my Teacher, and, whatever it may
cost—lead me into the truth, and reveal Christ in my
soul, as the hope of glory. Before the Father, I fall
self-condemned, having nothing to say why sentence
should not be executed upon me—but that He so
loved the world that He gave His own dear son to
die for sinners (of whom I am the very chief), to
whom I look for a sacrifice to atone for my sins,
and a perfect righteousness to cover my guilty
soul, that so He may be well pleased with me
for His righteousness sake.
Embittering my enjoyments
Crucifixion of the flesh and deadness to the world
is what I pray for. But, when the Lord puts His
hand to this work by embittering my enjoyments,
putting quite out of my reach what I most anxiously
wish for, keeping my purse in His own care, giving
me enough only for my present needs, not desires,
then my heart rebels, and my case seems hard;
and I wonder why I am thus dealt with, thinking
it impossible the Lord can intend my good.
The need of Divine teaching
From the various opinions and sentiments of people
whom I believe to be Christians, added to my own
ignorance and darkness—my mind has fallen into a
most distressing state of confusion and perplexity.
Never did I more feel the need of Divine teaching.
I long for Jesus to say to me as He did to the disciples,
"To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom."
May the Eternal Spirit be my Instructor. He alone teaches
to profit, because He alone has access to the heart.
Be willing to be nothing
Trust Him evermore; walk in His strength. Be willing
to be nothing, that Christ may be all in all; and then
will you find settled peace. But, oh, this being nothing
—we take much discipline to bring us to it in reality;
much emptying from vessel to vessel, much afflicting,
much purging. How much have I had, and yet how
self rises; and how do I seek something to glory in,
or lean upon, beside Christ. Dear Jesus, bring me
more and more into the simplicity of the Gospel,
and let me lean more and more upon You.
I have hard fighting just now; the corruptions
of my nature are very headstrong. May I be kept
from laying down my weapons, to which I feel
sinfully inclined; yes, even to make a truce with
my deadliest foe, and that which formerly robbed
me of my peace. The Lord have mercy on me, for
I feel that, of myself, I can do nothing but sin.
Such a vile sinner!
September 5th, 1830. I have this week been favored
with a more abundant manifestation of the Lord's love
to my soul than I ever before experienced. My heart
has been sweetly led out in prayer; and I have had
such delightful witnessings of the Spirit, that I could
not doubt my interest in a Savior's love.
Amazing that such a vile sinner should be a
chosen vessel of mercy! I stand astonished, and
can hardly believe the delightful fact, and yet I have
had such clear intimations, that I dare not dispute it.
Oh, how sweet to have a foretaste of the joys above;
a smile from Jesus and whisper of His grace! How
insignificant then is the world with its pleasures
Ten thousand thanks to You, dear Lord, for Your amazing
goodness. Oh! may I be watchful and prayerful, and very
fearful of grieving Your Holy Spirit; do continue Your favor
—what I have tasted makes me long for more; and I hope
it is only the pledge of what is in store for me, for I do
desire to live near You, and have much of heaven on
earth. Grant this, dearest Jesus, for Your mercy's sake!
Brooks dry up, cisterns become broken
"I am your inheritance," says our loving Lord; and
as we live by faith, we find that we have a treasure
in the heavens which fails not.
Brooks dry up, cisterns become broken—but
the all-fullness treasured in Jesus is inexhaustible!
And in the greatest outward straits we may be living
in plenty and rejoicing in Him! "Even though the fig
trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on
the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the
fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks
die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty—yet
I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God
of my salvation!" Habakkuk 3:17-18
We can rejoice in Him whether He bestows or
withholds—spiritually or temporally.
Nothing to lose
He who has given all up to God—has nothing to lose.
He who has found all in God—has nothing outside of
Him to desire.
Shall I not drink it?
"The cup which my Father has given
me—shall I not drink it?" John 18:11
Yes, you shall drink it and praise the Lord.
He wisely appoints and times every bitter cup—and
all is given in love. Bitters are strengthening, sweets
are comforting; and through all He will sustain the
hidden life with the hidden manna, of which, if a
man eats, he shall live forever. It was said of the
Paschal Lamb, "with bitter herbs you shall eat it,"
which remains true to this day, as I experimentally
prove—but find it truly "Sweet to lie passive in His
hands—and know no will but His."
When I attempt to judge His dealings I get into
bewilderment and confusion. When I attempt to
choose my own ways I make endless mistakes,
and at length fall at His feet abased at my own
I am a poor weak creature
I seldom sail long on a smooth sea—but often do
I see the Lord's wonders in the deep, and bring
up many a pearl from thence. I am a poor weak
creature, and often fear when I enter into the
cloud, and cry in the storm, "Save me, O God, for
the waters have come in unto my soul!" Then He
does deliver the poor and the needy when they
cry. He has delivered, He does deliver, and we
trust that He will yet deliver. I am weak and tried
—but one of those feeble folk whose dwelling is
in the rock. (Prov. 30:26)
Living in and on a full Savior
I am myself, just an empty sinner, living in and on
a full Savior, "who loved me, and gave Himself for
me." I am crucified with Him. He lives in me; "the
life I live in the flesh is by the faith in the Son of
God." I find His service perfect freedom, and sweetly
prove that "the way of the Lord is strength to the
upright." "Unto you who believe, He is precious."
Ah, indeed no words can express how precious our
glorious Emmanuel is to my heart. "I am poor and
needy—but the Lord thinks upon me;" and He has
said in my soul, "You are not your own, you are
bought with a price." It felt very, very solemn; and
then a short time after that word followed, "You are
mine," which was very sweet and melting. Bought
and paid for! The price His own rich blood! Amazing!
Was ever love like this? Ah, never! He is the Prince
of lovers, the best of all beloveds; worthy, worthy is
our lovely Lord the Lamb! Of all on earth I surely
am most indebted to Him, and owe Him an eternity
of praise. "I will tell of the Lord's unfailing love. I
will praise the Lord for all he has done. I will rejoice
in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted
according to his mercy and love." Isaiah 63:7
High heads and trifling hearts
Many of His dealings I do not understand, and I
often feel myself a poor, weary pilgrim. But His
love and His bosom are the home of my heart;
and there it reposes in safety, while the tempest
howls around and the storm beats upon the outer
man. I have had many little contrarieties in the
path, and much exercise of soul.
I am more and more convinced the way upward
is one of tribulation, and the high heads and
trifling hearts of most professors look as if they
were not in it. But honestly we say,
"Above their highest mirth,
Our saddest hours we prize;
For though our cup seems mixed with gall,
There's something secret sweetens all."
But the worst and roughest of our heavenward path
is infinitely preferable to the best a worldling knows.
And though my flesh desires an easy path—my
spirit often feels the blessed benefit of the cross,
and blesses Him who lovingly endured it with the
curse for my unworthy sake.
In so far as Jesus is our all
If we are really living in the liberty of love and
privileges of union with Jesus, we shall hold and
use all creatures, and creature good, only in the
Beloved, and for His glory. In so far as Jesus
is our all, selfish ends and aims will be lost.
Just as the rod of Aaron swallowed up the rods of
the magicians of Pharaoh—so will all those powers
which were once instruments of unrighteousness
in self-love, be swallowed up in Christ, by whose
power in us they will be used as instruments of
righteousness unto God.
More than theoretical knowledge
It is my sincere desire that He may still lead you
on in the divine life as evidently as heretofore He
has; though it must still be to the rooting up and
putting down of all that is of the flesh. For He has
determined that no flesh shall glory in His presence.
We easily assent to this in words—but the Lord will
have more than theoretical knowledge in His
school. He will bring all who sit at His feet to the
practical experience of the words they utter and
the lessons they learn.
What scorching did that precious Lamb suffer!
Hearken, beloved, to these words: "Send Lazarus,
that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and
cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame!"
That thirst, that heat, that torment I must have
endured forever—had not Jesus Himself borne it,
when for me under its heat He said, "I thirst!" Oh,
what scorching did that precious Lamb suffer,
when water was denied Him and vinegar given.
This was unutterable love!
Muse and marvel, O my soul!
What a glorious company
What a glorious company will there be on the
Mount Zion above, of blood-washed sinners . . .
once so black—then so white;
once so far off—then so near;
once so full of fear and trembling—then so safe forever!
How shall we praise the worthy Lamb who brought
us there at the cost of His own heart's blood! Oh,
that we had more conception of the virtue and
efficacy of that blood which has cleansed and will
cleanse millions and millions of black sinners, and
make them fit company for God and the Lamb. How
it would encourage them to come to that fountain
opened for sin and for uncleanness, which is free
to every longing soul who is crying, "Wash me,
Savior, or I die!"
Would that I had more conceptions of the freeness
and fullness of the finished salvation, and that this
contracted heart were enlarged to apprehend more
of the love of the Savior to poor needy sinners.
What an amazing object our Father has given us to
behold by faith—even His crucified Son, who was the
brightness of His glory and the express image of His
person. Yet for poor sinners was His visage marred
more than any man's. His food and drink was to do
the will and work of His Father; yet "it pleased the
Lord to bruise Him!" And thus marred, and bruised,
and crucified, He says to bruised reeds, "Look unto
Me, and be saved!" Look unto Me—bleeding, agonizing,
made a curse for your sin! Look unto Me on the Cross,
to be forgiven your iniquity!
Oh that our eyes and hearts may be fixed here; then
shall we be constrained to sing and give thanks. "Unto
you, therefore, who believe, He is precious!" 1 Peter 2:7
All mercy and no merit
"I am the LORD your God, who teaches you
what is best for you, who directs you in the
way you should go." Isaiah 48:17
I am at school. I am a very dull, but happy scholar,
with such love upon love, and line upon line from
such a blessed Teacher! Oh, this is a sacred place!
I am receiving many private lessons bearing upon
my own experience, conflicts, and mistakes. I listen
for Him, I listen to Him, and marvel greatly, concluding
most certainly that there never was such an unworthy
creature, who was so favored. I think one result of
every new lesson is, "Behold, I am vile!" "I abhor
myself, and repent in dust and ashes!" I desire
afresh to forsake all—and follow Jesus only.
My earnest cry now is for guidance—to find any home
where the Lord will bless me, and where I may not be
corroded with worldly care. The most humble place,
with a quiet mind and the Lord's presence, seems
just what I want—to serve Him in lowliness on earth,
until the welcome hour when He shall say, "Enter into
the joy of your Lord!" Indeed it must be without a
"Well done, good and faithful servant." It is with
me—all mercy and no merit.
We seem to be in a great hospital
Through mercy we are much as usual—but sickness
abounds on all sides, and many saints have fallen
asleep. We seem to be in a great hospital—so
many loved ones are sick. But Jesus walks the wards
where His own loved ones lie, and whether He wills
that they die or live, He says unto the righteous—it
shall be well with you.
The wretched wilderness of my own heart
I know not what is the cause of your being at present
cast down—but your heavenly Father knows, and He
has promised that He will not allow you to be tempted
above what you are able to bear, and that, with every
temptation, He will make a way to escape.
It is to humble you and prove you, that He may do you
good in your latter end. When He has shown you a little
of what is in your heart, He will show you something of
what is in His heart—even "thoughts of peace, and not
of evil, to give you an expected end." He will then reveal
the everlasting love which has been fixed upon you from
all eternity, and is now drawing you to Himself. Yes, you
shall see such love flowing from your Father's heart in the
precious gift of His beloved Son, whom He delivered up to
the sword of justice and to the curse of the law for your
sake—that though you find nothing within but abomination,
and nothing without but sin and shortcoming; though you
feel yourself full of wounds and bruises and putrefying
sores—yet shall you experience that with His stripes you
are healed, in His blood you are cleansed, and in His
righteousness you are justified.
You may be now learning something of the depths of your
malady—but it will only enhance the blessing of the cure.
I have known what it is to travel through the wretched
wilderness of my own heart, and learn something of
its corruptions—feeling hard, cold, barren, prayerless—
and everything else that is hateful.
It was like that dreary land mentioned in Jer. 2:6, and it felt
as solitary as if none else could be there, "they wandered in
the wilderness in a solitary way." But One eye was watching,
though unseen! One arm was supporting, though unfelt! And
at length the Sun of righteousness arose upon my sorrowful
soul, and, "turned the shadow of death into the morning!"
Then I wanted to fly away from these lowlands of sorrow,
and be at rest in His bosom forever! But He said, "Go back
and tell your friends and neighbors what great things the
Lord has done for you, and has had compassion upon you."
Two great evils
We are so prone to commit these two great evils:
departing from the Fountain of living waters, and
hewing out to ourselves broken cisterns which can
hold no water.
And our wise and gracious Lord will let us, for a
season, reap the fruit of our doings, in order to
make our folly hateful to us. But He will not always
chide, nor cast off forever. He will return unto us
with mercies, and with healing in His wings. He is
the good Samaritan, and if we have spiritually fallen
among thieves, who have stripped us of our garments
of praise, and robbed us of the joys of His salvation,
and wounded us until we feel half dead—though He
may first let us prove that all "self-helps" and creature
helps are vain—yet at length He will be sure "to come
that way," and minister to our needy case, saying,
"I am the Lord who heals you."
The life of faith
The life of faith is continued venturing afresh upon
Jesus, finding no more in self to encourage us at
the last than at the first, remembering in the midst
of all discouragements how "David encouraged himself
in the Lord his God." And that is just what faith does.
By reason of the flood of corruptions within and
tribulation without—the poor soul can find no place
of rest—but, by faith, she flies to the Ark, and the
Lord pulls her in.
Resting in a lower source of enjoyment?
My dear friend,
Our foolish, clinging, sensitive hearts, are always
seeking comfort in created vanities. If we build our
comfort on these things, we will be a loser—not
learning the height, depth, length, and breadth
of the love, sweetness, and fullness which are in
Christ Jesus. A pang may be felt as one by one is
taken away; yet it is worth being stripped of all
that is our own, to hear the secret of divine love,
and to enjoy Jesus as our "all in all." I well know
what creatures we are for making self-hewn
cisterns—and how when one vanity is broken, we
seek for another, instead of turning to the Fountain.
I long to draw you to the full bliss of forsaking all
for Christ. Then shall you most abundantly find all
in Him, and praise Him for every stripping and
emptying which prevented your resting in a
lower source of enjoyment. Oh! it is most
precious to commune directly with Himself, and
receive lessons of wisdom from His own blessed
When under deep and sore trials
My beloved friend,
There is no nest below without a thorn; this
you well know, and therefore will not expect it.
But there is a bosom without a thorn—even where
John leaned, and where, by faith, unworthy I often
lean, and find sweet rest and refreshing. And in that
dear bosom and in that dear heart "yet there is room,"
room even for you, O weary one! There you shall find
no rebuke, no spurning, no upbraiding. The invitation
to the laboring and the weary is, "Come unto me, and
I will give you rest." Nor did those precious lips ever
utter one unmeaning word. He means it all, and His
ear and heart are open to all the sorrowful agitations
of those poor and needy ones whom He invites to His
rest. How many a long sad tale has He privileged me
to breathe out to Him; oh! such as none else would
have had patience to listen to, or cared to remedy.
He bore with it all, and either delivered out of it, or
delivered in it—either made a way of escape, or gave
strength to endure, through finding in Him enough
to fill and satisfy under it all.
When under deep and sore trials—His heart, and
arm, and counsel have been for my all-sufficient support.
Oh! what a friend is Christ to me! And not less to you,
my beloved. Oh! come then and magnify the Lord with
me, and let us exalt His name together. Do not let us
be murmuring in these tents of flesh, (Psalm 106:25)
but by faith going forth to Jesus. Our Father has not
appointed us any portion in self—but He has given Christ,
the true Manna, to be our portion for time and eternity!
And the more we are brought to feed upon Him by faith,
the less we shall need or desire anything besides. Oh!
may the blessed Spirit bring us to this dear privilege!
"The unsearchable riches of Christ!" Ephesians 3:8
What our Father has bestowed upon us in giving Christ
is indeed astonishing—and will be unfolding to all eternity!
May we be learning more and more of His unsearchable
riches now; thus shall we be less affrighted at our own
poverty, which we must also learn—but only to bring us
to know more of the depths of His matchless love, and
that we may rejoice and glory in Him alone. Ever praise
Him, O my soul, who has remembered and visited us in
our low estate, for His mercy endures forever! In the
ocean of His love and blood, both self and sins get lost!
One place of safe retreat
My beloved friend,
You speak as though you had been under heavy trials.
I can feel for you, having many crooks in my lot, and
a sadly too susceptible and anxious heart which feels
everything so much. But yet I can say with David, "I
know, O Lord, that your judgments are right, and that
in faithfulness you have afflicted me."
I do not find bodily affliction the most painful part of
tribulation; many other things distress me much more.
But the Lord knows best what to send. It is a great
mercy when He enables us quietly to take up the cross
as it occurs; for everything is doubly bitter when our
heart frets against the Lord; or even against our
fellow-worms. They could not afflict us without His
permission—and though that does not lessen their
wrong, it may stop our murmuring, and humble us
before Him, like David, who looked away from Shimei
and said, "Let him alone, and let him curse; for the
Lord has bidden him!"
Oh, my beloved friend, whatever be the nature of
your trials, whether they arise from self, Satan, or
any other creature; there is but one refuge, one place
of safe retreat—and that is Jesus! He is a hiding place
from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, and from
this cruel foe that has been striving hard to overcome you.
What is best of all
If the Lord severely tries our faith—it is only to
manifest Himself afresh as Jehovah-Jireh (Jehovah
will provide), or Jehovah-Rophi (Jehovah our healer),
or Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jehovah our righteousness), or
under some other blessed covenant name, which is
to be seen more brightly in the dark place.
Moreover, if He takes away our Isaacs—it is only to
make more room for Himself. And if He lessens our
earthly store—it is only that we may live more
immediately upon Himself.
Oh! is it not worth everything to be near Him, and
to hear Him say, "You are ever with me, and all
that I have is yours!" His heart of love, His life of
obedience, His death and sufferings, His triumphant
resurrection and ascension, His intercession, His glory
—all are ours! And, what is best of all—He Himself
is ours! For the glory of His person outmatches all that
He has done, and to know for myself that "my Beloved
is mine" is a taste of the fullness of bliss!
Well, my beloved friend, the dark steps we were noticing
above are just the way by which the Lord often leads His
children on to this blessedness. They do not generally
reach it all at once, though some receive the white stone
much sooner than others—but many have to travel the
barren land of deserts and of pits, to wander in a solitary
way, to have their hearts made desolate and their earthly
substance blighted, before Christ is revealed in them as
their all—as the hope and the foretaste of glory. Well, it
matters not how—if we do but come to know Him as ours
in power and preciousness!
Fly for refuge
Faith is the outgoing of heart and soul upon
the person and work of Jehovah Jesus—and
that under a deep sense of unworthiness,
guiltiness, and hell-deserving.
Oh, fly for refuge to the hope set before you
in the gospel; fly to the shadow of the Cross,
the shelter of the Rock! There is . . .
pardon for the guiltiest,
cleansing for the filthiest,
safety for the weakest, and
conquest for the most faint-hearted!
The Lord's "judgments are a great deep;" we
must not attempt to fathom them. "His ways
are past finding out;" we must not expect to
Quiet submission befits sinful worms.
Seek a resigned, submissive will; it is the Lord's
own gift, and a great lightening of the outward
cross. Murmuring thoughts ill become worms who
deserve the lowest hell. Everything on this side
hell is more than we deserve.
My lost sheep!
"Rejoice with me, because I have found My
lost sheep!" Luke 15:6
When their wilderness days are ended, they shall
come to Mount Zion above; and the Shepherd will
rejoice over the sheep which was lost. And the sheep
will tell, to the Shepherd's praise, how it wandered
as far as it could, how it destroyed itself, how it was
"ready to perish," how it was so lost and so helpless,
that when it desired to return it could not; and then
how the Shepherd found it, and through floods of
guilt, mountains of fears, and hosts of foes—had
brought it safely home to glory! Oh, then will not
they all again sing—Hallelujah! Worthy is the Lamb
who was slain!
A sin-sick soul and a sin-bearing Savior
There is a blessed, holy attraction in this altogether lovely Jesus which acts powerfully upon all quickened souls, drawing them out in desire, and drawing them on in pursuit, until the set time comes to favor them more manifestly. Then the meeting between a sin-sick soul and a sin-bearing Savior has in it such secrets of love and sweetness, that it seems as if a thousand years of the most painful waiting, would be richly repaid by one moment of such bliss.
But oh, it is not for a moment and then away; the Savior and the saved shall never really part. Though darkness obscures, and clouds seem to intervene—yet union remains, communion shall return, and a glorious eternity consummate the bliss. Of every sheep and every lamb, the Good Shepherd will take care, and fold them all safely above. Not one be missing. However faint, or feeble, or fearing, or unworthy any one may be, they are all bought and paid for, and the flock must be as complete as the price was satisfactory. The wolf may howl, the dog may bark, the way may be dreary, and the poor heart may often tremble—but the Good Shepherd will not be out of hearing, even if He seems to be out of sight. He will rescue even out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear.
Rough cords of affliction
I do hope and trust the Lord has a purpose of love
to you, and that He has put these rough cords of
affliction around you—to draw you to Himself. The
Lord bless you, and turn the water of affliction into
the wine of consolation.
With tenderest love and ardent longings,
your warmly affectionate,
Not only empty and unsatisfactory
The pleasures of the world are not only empty and
unsatisfactory—but they displease God and destroy
the soul. The Scriptures declare that all who persist
in them are His enemies—"The friendship of the world
is enmity with God; whoever therefore will be a friend
of the world is the enemy of God." They are called
"lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." What
a true description!
White as snow
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be
as white as snow; though they are as red as
crimson, they will be like wool." Isaiah 1:18
Jesus washes crimson sins as white as snow
in His own precious blood.
He puts the best robe on prodigals who have
been vainly trying to find satisfaction in the
husks of this world's pleasures. By His Spirit
He brings them to their right mind, cleanses
them in His blood, and clothes them in His
Heaven's rich grape!
"I have trodden the winepress alone." Isaiah 63:3
Thank you most affectionately for the grapes
kindly left for me. How does Jesus load me with
benefits—and gives me Himself too, which is best
of all. He is Heaven's rich grape! He has been
in the winepress of divine wrath for us, and hence
it is we drink "the pure blood of the grape." I wish
you much of it; for truly it cheers the heart of God
and man. What a wonder of love, and what a cordial
we find it—when weary and faint in the wilderness.
We drink, and forget our own poverty—in the
unsearchable riches of Christ!
The fruits of the valley
I sincerely wish you the exercising of the Holy Spirit
in the afflictions through which you are passing, that
you may have the full benefit thereof. It has been truly
said, that "sanctified afflictions are great promotions."
And those promotions come neither from the east nor
from the west, but from the Lord alone, by whose power,
"Trials make the promise sweet,
Trials give new life to prayer,
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low and keep me there."
Many a visit of love has the Lord paid, and many a
secret of love has the Lord revealed in the time of
affliction; and some of the sweetest communings in
the wilderness have been with the thorn in the flesh,
or the cross on the back. Does not your soul respond
to the truth of this? Is not Jesus a precious companion
in tribulation? Are not His sympathies most tender?
Has He not drawn near in the day when we cried unto
Him, and said unto us, "Fear not!" Oh yes, the fruits
of the valley are very choice—but yet we fear to go
down there; forgetting who has said, "I will go down
with you, and will also surely bring you up again!"
Are we not brought down into the valley of trouble
or humiliation—to cause us to rest only in Jesus?
"These things (these afflictive things) I have spoken
unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the
world you shall have tribulation—but be of good
cheer; I have overcome the world."
At times trials seem to overcome us, yet "in all these
things we are more than conquerors through Him who
loved us." "This is the place of rest, let the weary rest;
this is the place of repose." So you prove it, so I prove
it—the rock of His faithfulness is a blessed retreat,
when our heart is overwhelmed within us. The honey
of His love dropping from that rock does sweetly revive
our fainting souls, and make us joyful in tribulation,
so that we sing even in the trial, "He has done all
I have been enjoying those words
I have been enjoying those words—"I will love
them freely—for My anger is turned away from them."
It seems to me to be the language of the Father, who,
having laid upon Jesus the iniquities of us all, then
and there visited our transgressions with the rod,
and our iniquities with stripes—until not one was
left unatoned for! Then His anger was turned away
from the Surety, and the Father could love the poor
debtors freely—because He was well pleased for
We cannot put more honor upon Jesus
"The unsearchable riches of Christ!" Eph. 3:8
We cannot put more honor upon Jesus,
than by living upon His royal bounty.
"Indeed, we have all received grace after
grace from His fullness!" John 1:16
A secret place for the hidden ones
It is blessed, dearest friend, to spend time under
His shadow as the crucified One; there His fruits
are sweet to our taste. It is precious to be led on
by His Spirit to His joy as the glorified One, for
then our joy is full.
Those who "dwell in this secret place of the Most
High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
It is a secret place for the hidden ones, of which
He says, "There is a place by Me; and I will put you
in a cleft of the rock." This hallowed place is kept
secret for all His children—they lack not this blessed
hiding-place. No carnal eye never saw it; no carnal
heart ever enjoyed the rest. It is the secret chamber
for the secret life, where He who is our life says,
"There will I give you my love." (Song 7:12)
He gives all in Himself.
At Calvary we see how He the Living Rock was cleft,
that His dove might be spared; and how lovingly He
says, "O My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the
hiding places on the mountainside, show me your
face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is
sweet, and your face is lovely." (Song 2:14)
My treasured possession
"They will be Mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day
when I make up My treasured possession." Mal. 3:17
We tread a thorny desert, but—
"Judah's Lion guards the way,
And guides His pilgrims home!"
There we shall meet, from clog and fetter free, to behold
our Beloved without a cloud between. Having sipped of the
rivers of His pleasure below, we shall drink full draughts
above—and in His love and glory be absorbed forever and ever!
Ever most affectionately yours,
We often turn to toys and trifles
"The unsearchable riches of Christ" Ephesians 3:8
We know little of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
And yet how we often turn to toys and trifles of
time. He is such a precious and full Christ. There is
enough in Him to occupy and satisfy all our powers
in time and eternity!
The Lord bless you, and be not silent to you, and
keep you from idols. May your children be kept in
their proper place, held in the Lord, and consecrated
to the Lord. You will not wish to gain for them the
admiration of the world, because you would shudder
if they would hereafter be embraced by it, and
embosomed in it.
A mother in this vicinity lately lost a precious daughter
of sixteen. As she stood over the coffin, she said, "There
lies my beautiful girl. Oh, I have been proud of her!" And,
turning to a minister who stood beside, "Do you think, sir,
the Lord has taken her away on my account, because I
was proud of her? I have been too proud of her."
I do not know the minister's reply, but that which we are
to learn from the mother's deep anguish is very plain—
"Flee from idolatry!"
The Lord make all grace abound towards you.
Your ever affectionately, unworthy,
Would you know?
Would you know what sin is, what justice is, what
pardon is, what love is, what victory is? You must
learn all at Calvary and in Gethsemane! There see
your sin pierce Him; there see His Father bruise
Him, and put Him to grief for your iniquities, and
in your stead.
The living guide to Jesus
“When the Comforter comes, the One I will
send to you from the Father—the Spirit of
truth who proceeds from the Father—He
will testify about Me." John 15:26
The Holy Spirit is the living guide to Jesus.
It is He who says, with power, "Behold the Lamb
of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
It is He who convinces of sin, who wounds, and
probes the wound, and lays open the evil of our
nature, causing us to know that we are corrupt
within and without.
But He not only thus discovers the malady, He
also applies the remedy. He abases the sinner;
and exalts the Savior. He gives the deep sense
of sin—that the great salvation may be more
appreciated and enjoyed.
Afflictions and trials
Much beloved and often-remembered friend,
The tidings received from you this morning made
me sorry, and yet I must say, "It is well," for I do
believe it, knowing that "He does all things well."
May this trial be as a lattice, through which Jesus
will show Himself to your soul. Trial is one lattice,
which He often looks through, with much tenderness,
upon His redeemed ones.
To the worldling, bodily afflictions and providential
trials are destroyers of his best enjoyments. But to
the child of God they are often the very high road
to their best enjoyments. To the worldling, afflictions
are only bitter. But to the child of God, they are often
a mingled portion, for—
"Though their cup seems mixed with gall,
There's something secret sweetens all."
Blow on my garden
"Awake, north wind, and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may
spread abroad. Let my Lover come into His
garden and taste its choice fruits."
Song of Songs 4:16
Breathe, Holy Comforter, on our souls, that they
may be quickened. Breathe in providences, that
we may be edified by them. Breathe in the written
Word that we may be instructed. Breathe on the
Rose of Sharon, the Incarnate Word, that by the
fragrance thereof our souls may be revived and
refreshed. Breathe upon these hearts, that we
may commune sweetly in and of, the Beloved,
for His glory, and our soul-strengthening.
The Christ-receiving grace
"Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!"
1 Peter 2:7
Faith is the Christ-receiving grace. By faith
we apprehend Him, by faith we know more and
more of His preciousness; by faith we have the
felt benefit of His blood and righteousness,
(Romans 3:22, 25) and by faith we cast anchor
on this Rock, when to sense and feeling all is
dark and stormy.
Stripped even of their rags!
By mercy, not by merit—do all the blessings come. This
salvation is for the poor, and the poor only—and they
must be stripped even of their rags! It is not enough to
confess that their rags are filthy and worthless—they must
be parted with, and this necessity touches very closely the
heart of the 'old Adam'.
But all must go, that Christ may wear the crown—that
he who glories may glory in the Lord our righteousness!
How is it with you, my beloved? Are you stripped of your
own righteousness—emptied, and bankrupt?
Eternity will never unfold
Eternity will never unfold all the love, loveliness,
and glories of our wonderful Emmanuel!
Our wondrous Husband!
It is as the heavenly Lover and Bridegroom of His
people that we love to think of Jesus. Oh, what a
contrast to the very best earthly husband! They
love and choose because of something congenial
and pleasing in their wives, and in hope of a faithful
return of affection. But He, our wondrous Husband
—loved, chose, and determined to betroth and espouse
unto Himself, in the certain fore-view of debt, disgrace,
and sin! Ah! and of unchaste wanderings too, for He
says, "Well do I know how treacherous you are; you
were called a rebel from birth." Yet, through all He
loved His people—and from all He has redeemed them
with His own precious blood!
When His spouse "has played the harlot with many
lovers," His marvelous language is, "Return, for I am
married unto you!" thereby overcoming His faithless
one with the very love which she has slighted—a love,
indeed, beyond comparison! May its fires afresh be
kindled in your soul, that you may now count all
things but loss, yes even as rubbish—for the sake
of such a Beloved!
The most vile, worthless, and
unlikely of all creatures
I must come to you again in the sweet name of Jesus!
And if ever one poor sinner more than others had cause
to extol that precious name, it is she who now addresses
you—in whose soul it is "as ointment poured forth;" in
whose ear it is more melodious than music; and in whose
hand it is a staff either to pass over Jordan, or journey
forward in the pilgrim road.
Feeling that I am the most vile, worthless, and unlikely
of all creatures to have sat down so blissfully at the
banquet of Love—this poor heart must praise the Founder
of the feast, who is also the substance of it; and who, by
His own irresistible power, sweetly brought me in, and
then said, "Eat, O friend, drink, yes, drink abundantly,
Break, break this stony heart!
Oh, keep me humble, keep me from self-deception!
begin the good work, if it is not yet begun! Oh, may
I not be a castaway! Break, break this stony heart!
How long, Lord, how long? Make me feel. Oh, leave me
not to this insensibility! What argument can I use? Oh,
leave, leave me not! Allow me not to perish! Mercy,
mercy is all my plea—for Christ's sake, have mercy on
me! Oh, precious, precious Jesus, be my Savior,
Husband, Friend—my Jesus and my all. Jesus! Jesus!
Oh, that You were precious to my soul!
May its savor perfume our souls, lips, and lives
When once admitted to the loving heart and loving arms
of Jesus, you will find that which would superabundantly
compensate for more than a thousand years waiting: such
a complete and blessed salvation—such a precious and
glorious Savior—such fullness in His work, blood,
righteousness, love, and person—as to eternity will
never be fully developed!
May the sweet love of Jesus constrain us more and more to
speak well of His name. May its savor perfume our souls,
lips, and lives—that others may take knowledge of us, as
being much with Him, and much like Him! May you have full
experience of those words, "And in view of this, we always
pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His
calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness
and the work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will
be glorified by you, and you by Him, according to the grace of
our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 1:11, 12)
One priceless pearl
All outward jewelry I laid aside years ago,
when I found the Pearl of great price.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
in search of fine pearls. When he found one
priceless pearl, he went and sold everything
he had, and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46
Mysteries of providence
What mysteries of providence may eternity open!
What wisdom we shall perhaps discover in those
very circumstances which now most puzzle us!
The mighty helm of providential movements is not
left to chance; it is governed by infinite wisdom; it
is managed by One who will do injustice to no one;
and who says, 'Be still, and know that I am God!'
My endless, blissful theme
My endless, blissful theme is ever new—Jesus and
His salvation will never wear out. I would never have
any sit down satisfied—but still press on after fuller
revelations of Jesus. For there are heights and depths
in the love of Christ of which the most favored have no
conception, and there are beauties and glories in His
person which none have yet beheld. Oh! I would have
none rest short of the revelation of His person, though
His benefits are all precious.
Things of earth often repeated grow stale, but the
same view of a precious Jesus a thousand times over
is ever new!
When Jesus shows Himself again to us—is He not as a
lamb newly slain; and is not His sacrifice, as an odor
of a sweet smell, as fragrant as though but just offered
without spot unto God? Oh, yes, He is ever the same
without sameness—and will be to all eternity!
The glories, beauties, and excellences of His person
are infinite! And from these boundless sources our
finite minds will be feasted forever and ever!
(The following is the last entry in Ruth Bryan's diary.
On July 27th, 1860, at the age of 55, she sweetly
fell asleep in Jesus, to awake in His likeness.)
July 6th, 1860. Ebenezer! My birthday. And can it be that I
still linger in the shades of mortality to see another birthday?
Marvelous are Your ways, O Lord God of truth; and it is marvelous
also to consider what the human frame can bear, when You afflict
and sustain. But I have not a pain, or a wave too much. Flesh and
blood is worn and weary many times. But You renew the "inner
man," to "lie passive in Your hand, and to know no will but Yours."
Blessed be Your Divine Majesty, for ever and ever, for your wonders
of love to such a feeble worm! Fifty-five years have I journeyed in
this great and terrible wilderness, and none could have borne with
me but You! Neither could any have borne me up but You! I can
never fully record Your goodness and mercy. "Eternity will not
suffice to utter the half of Your praise." I wait until You shall fetch
me to be with You—and behold Your glory forever! Oh! my adorable
Lord, be manifestly with me in the last river. You have gone through
death for me, and taken its sting away. Now let me feel You to be
my eternal life. Ebenezer! Praise the Lord!