Grace Gems for APRIL 2006

To a vile Magdalene

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

Never had anyone . . .
  so rich a Banker,
  so kind a Husband,
  so tender a Shepherd,
  so forbearing a Captain—
as I have in my glorious Christ!

The more I venture—the more He encourages.

The bolder I am—the kinder He grows.

The more I expect—the more He gives.

I cannot tire or wear Him out, for He is full, yes,
fullness of grace, mercy, love, and compassion!

The one-half of His glory has never been expressed
by mortal tongue; nor the thousandth part of His
ravishments and condescension conceived by those
who have not felt them. This, this is my—oh yes!
my Beloved—and this is my Friend! Oh, what
mercy to have another love-glimpse of Him.

I look at myself with wonder of amazement and
overwhelming delight—because a monument of
saving, sovereign mercy! Happy! unspeakably
happy! Amazing miracle of superabounding love!

Hasten the day when in His full-orbed glory I shall
lose my sorrows and my sins forever! I adore and
magnify Him for His mercy—amazing mercy—to a
vile Magdalene
. Hallelujah! Amen!

The believer's perfection

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

I am most exceedingly distressed by my sins, and
feel the need of Jesus' precious blood every hour!
I need a supply from the Fountain! "On that day
a fountain will be opened . . . a fountain to cleanse
them from all their sins and defilement."
Zech. 13:1

Feeling fully what I am in myself, and proving
afresh that "in my flesh dwells no good thing"—
in this sad state I fly to Jesus as my only refuge!

Oh that the depth of my sin and misery may be
overcome by His rich grace, that with Mary I may
weep at His dear feet, and love much, having
much forgiven.

While in the body we shall never be free from sin.
I had been looking for something from and in my
flesh which the Word of God does not warrant me
to expect. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh"
—and ever will be!

The believer's perfection is in Christ. Oh that
He may condescend to teach me, and lead me to
look straight out of self—to a glorious Christ!

"And you are complete in Him." Colossians 2:10

Sweet comfort

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

During the past night I have again been called to
suffer much bodily affliction and very severe pain—
but was favored with such sweet comfort from my
precious Savior that it seemed light; nay, I thought
I could willingly bear a life of such suffering—if I
might constantly enjoy His presence!

Oh, how delightful was the hope of an eternity of
glory, and how sweet the thought that when life's
journey was ended, the veil would be drawn aside,
and no cloud ever again intervene to hide from my
soul, even for one moment, the lovely countenance
of my adorable Jesus!

Ten thousand thanks to you, dearest Savior, for this
love-glimpse! I long for more tokens of Your love,
and thirst for more constant communion with You!

Such is my frailty, that I am ever prone to sin. Come,
precious Jesus! chase away these thick clouds, and
let me behold Your lovely countenance, and be so
captivated with Your charms, that I may never more
give my heart to earthly objects!

Oh, what a picture!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan
  —written at the age of seventeen)

I seem to have some feeling about Divine things;
but, alas! this afternoon am as stupid as usual.
Nothing, nothing will break this hard heart! Oh,
that I may be directed by the Spirit of truth to
the right way of happiness!

I fear that I am not affected as I ought, and have
only a faint desire to become a Christian—and that
merely to escape hell. Lord, have mercy upon me!
Lead aright! Break this hard, hard heart! You, Lord,
know what I would have—even the forgiveness
of my sins.

During service I was as cold as a stone! Oh, when
will this vile heart be melted and subdued by divine
grace? I have no faith, no humility, no sense of sin, no
confidence in the promises, no fear of the threatened
punishments; nor anything that I ought to have!

Oh, what a picture!

O Lord, break this heart into ten thousand pieces!
Oh! I would sooner suffer all horrors and terrors
imaginable, and be saved at last—than be in my
present dreadful and stupid state. Break—break,
oh, break my heart, and make me give it entirely
to You, O blessed Savior!

Tell your sorrows and secrets

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" 1805-1860)

"This is what the Lord says—Cursed are those who put
 their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away
 from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
 with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren
 wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives. But
 blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made
 the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees
 planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep
 into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat
 or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay
 green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit."
    Jeremiah 17:5-8

How I do like this passage! It is so descriptive of the
blessedness of trusting in the Lord alone; and the sterility
and disappointment of all creature confidence!

I know not your present difficulties, nor need I know them,
for I could not bring you out of them! But I do bless the Lord
that He has brought you into the very best posture of soul—
looking to Him alone. Tell your sorrows and secrets to
this your Friend, watch His eye, obey His bidding—and go
not to carnal and lower means for relief.

Adieu in our heavenly Bridegroom, and in His undying love,

Not puny, sinful worms!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" 1805-1860)

Deliverance seldom comes in the way we look for it;
for "Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who
gave Him His counsel? Who did He consult with? Who
gave Him understanding and taught Him the paths of
justice? Who taught Him knowledge and showed Him
the way of understanding?" Isaiah 40:13-14

Ah, has not the Lord frustrated our purposes over and over
again! I cannot tell you with what majesty this passage has
often come to my mind—"Who gave Him His counsel?" Not
puny, sinful worms!
He will counsel for them—but not with
them. "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."

Yet "fear not, worm Jacob, I will help you"—help you to stand
still and see My salvation; or help you to walk on in the dark
in a rough and unknown path—just as My wisdom sees fit.

Spiritual eyesight is not given to look at the outward path—
but to look at our Guide; not to look before us at the way we
are going to travel—but to look only at Him who will guide us
safely through all, who will Himself be our way. Oh, to be kept
abiding in Him, and constantly looking unto Him! It is most
safe and blessed—but very contrary to flesh and blood!

"I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide
 them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to
 light in front of them, and rough places into level ground.
 This is what I will do for them, and I will not forsake them."
     Isaiah 42:16

Spiritual health and strength

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" 1805-1860)

"My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink.
 The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood
 lives in Me, and I in him." John 6:55-56

It is a present act—"eats" and "drinks."

Is the very life and death, person and work of Jesus
—the daily feast of your soul? Are you eating His flesh,
and drinking His blood? Let us see to it, that we are
seeking spiritual health and strength in no other
way than by the continual, daily feeding on Christ!

There is an ever fresh, ever full, sweetness in
heaven's precious Lamb! Oh, this precious truth!
It is gospel wine to my poor soul!

We have such a Christ that we little think how far His
glories and His matchless love surpass what we have
ever yet conceived. We do not make half enough of
Him—heaven's brightest gem, and richest treasure!
Oh, that the precious Comforter may reveal Him more
and more—that we may count all other things but filth
and dross.

Our works are all broken and faulty

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan" 1805-1860)

As long as we look to 'our evidences' for comfort,
we shall be full of disquiet, for we discover . . .
  such weakness in our faith,
  such wavering in our hope,
  such coldness in our love,
  yes, such shortcoming in everything,
that we cannot find here any rest for the sole
of our foot, as regards spiritual confidence.

It must be all in Christ! "He is the rock, and
His work is perfect," while our works are all
broken and faulty
. Oh! may the blessed Spirit
set your feet upon this Rock, and establish your
goings there. May He enable you to make the
venture of faith, just as you are, with wants
and woes, sins and fears.

The bitten Israelites were not healed by looking
at their wounds—but at the brazen serpent, which
was a type of Christ. And so while you are poring
over your sins and yourself you will only sink lower!

May the blessed Spirit enable you to look forth
with the eye of faith to the Lamb slain, and to
come away from self and all besides—to Jesus!

Oh that I could so speak of the worthy Lamb as
to set your heart on fire with love to Him and
longing after Him! Adieu, dear friend. The Lord
bless you, and in His own time strengthen,
establish, and settle you.

With kind love in our adorable Emmanuel, I remain,
though most unworthy, yours affectionately,
Ruth Bryan

Faith's view of a crucified Redeemer

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan" 1805-1860)

My beloved friend,
We want to be something—but our Father has
determined to make and keep us nothing—so
that Christ may be experimentally our all.

I hope you are a little more looking unto Jesus—
a little more leaning upon Him amid your many
weaknesses. He can bear all your weight, for He
has borne all your sins, which are the worst part
of your burden. Oh, that by the Spirit you may
get a faith's view of a crucified Redeemer
the peerless Pearl, the matchless perfection of
beauty and love!

"Yes, He is altogether lovely!" Song of Songs 5:16

We are both in the furnace!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan" April 21, 1856)

"He will be like a Refiner and purifier of silver; He will
 purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and
 silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in
 righteousness." Malachi 3:3

Well, dear friend, we are both in the furnace! Much,
very much vile dross has in my case risen up—but my
blessed and patient Refiner sits watching the process.
Nor does all this dross, hateful as it is, make Him forsake
the work of His hands. He will have me know a little of
what is in my heart—that I may know more of what is
in His heart—even love, most invincible, unalterable,
unquenchable love! Love which endures to the end, amidst
all my wickedness, and wandering, and ingratitude. It is
indeed astonishing! Into the blessed depths of this love I
desire to be daily sinking, in all the fresh discoveries of
my utter worthlessness and vileness—that thus I may
praise Him more who has redeemed me from it all!

The Lord does not show us how bad we are to cause
despair—but to show forth the riches of His grace in
saving us, and to call forth new songs of praise to Him
who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own

Oh, my dear friend, Jesus is worthy to be praised in the
depths as well as in the heights. He is near, and dear,
and precious in the hour of affliction. In the path of
tribulation, He gives some of His choicest fruits and
wines—to revive those who are faint and weary in
the wilderness.

Oh! may you be helped, yes enabled, "to trust in the Lord
at all times"—not only when you feel His love and have the
shine of His countenance—but also in the dark and wintry
day when clouds veil your sky, and sorrow invades your
soul. "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."

The secret of peace and power

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus."
Hebrews 12:2

Do not be so often considering how much you love
Jesus—but how much He loves you. Your love is but
the effect; His is the cause. And the more you have
to do with the cause, the more fully will the effect
flow from it.

Just so with faith. If you would have it grow, it must
be by looking at Jesus—not by looking at your faith.

The more you "consider Him," and are continually
coming unto Him—the more lively and healthy will
be the graces of the Spirit in your soul. And you will
rejoice—not in your fruitfulness—but only in Him and
in what He has done and suffered.

If the Holy Spirit opens this to you, you will find the
secret of peace and power
. It is all in Christ!
He says, "Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one,
and come away!" Away from self, away from all
besides—to be absorbed in Him!

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus."
Hebrews 12:2

Have you ever been caught in this snare?

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
May 8, 1852)

"Give us today our daily bread."
Matthew 6:11

Whatever your heavenly Father calls you to, He will
support you under. But He will not give the manna
for tomorrow, or strengthen you for the next trial,
while you have it only in anticipation. "As your days,
so shall your strength be." And herein I read my own
foolishness; often wearing out present strength with
fears and forebodings of future trials; thus far
disregarding present mercies, and rebelling against
the Lord's will, because unlawfully anticipating it.

Being naturally of an anxious mind, I must say that
thus foolish and ignorant have I often been, and
surprised when brought to discover how much I was
dragging into the present hour, what did not belong
to it.
Have you ever been caught in this snare?

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
 bring its own worries.
Each day has enough trouble
 of its own."
Matthew 6:34

Constant religious engagements

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan" 1805-1860)

"They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but
 my own vineyard have I not kept."
Canticles 1:6

We may be active in our Lord's cause—but not
spiritual in our own souls. We may be earnest
for the salvation of others—but not be living in
the joys of salvation ourselves. We may be
instrumentally distributing the bread and water
of life—but not be enjoying daily refreshment
in our own experience. I do sorrowfully think
that this is too much the case in the present day.

The reason why I thus judge, is from finding people
so lively in conversing upon what they are doing for
the Lord—yet so slow to speak of what He is doing for
them. They seem delighted to tell of the great things
which are going on all around—but immediately shrink
back if any 'heart subject' is brought home to them.

In fact, if one speaks of personal enjoyment of the love
of Jesus, there is no response from some—but they put
it down to the score of egotism. While others refer to
years past, when they did feel Him to be precious—but
they confess that they know little of it now. They are
so occupied in what they call 'working for Him,' that they
hear little from Him, say little to Him, enjoy little of Him,
and may truly say, "While I was busy here and there,
He had left."

It is most lamentable for any living soul to be in
constant religious engagements
for the good of
others—while following Jesus "afar off." Very many
such I fear there are; as well as hundreds who only
know Him in the judgment—and yet are continually
reading, teaching, and conversing on His blessed
name. This is a day of great profession—but yet real
vital godliness is at a low ebb, and close walking with
God in sweet communion is too little sought after.

Solemn, indeed, are these facts!

We may well say, with David, "Search me, O God,
and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead
me along the path of everlasting life." Ps. 139:23-24

"Thus it was with me."

(Ruth Bryan's personal testimony. From "The Marvelous
Riches of Savoring Christ—The letters of Ruth Bryan

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!"
    Romans 5:20

Ah, indeed! I felt there never was such a wretch,
such a living mass of putrefying sores and corruption!
Others might be worse outside—but I felt the sin was
not less polluting, because it worked chiefly within.
And I thought if the Lord ever saved me, I would be
the greatest wonder in heaven, and that there
never could be such another trophy of redeeming love!
Nothing less than sovereign power and irresistible grace
would ever be sufficient for such a hell-deserving one
as myself!

Thus it was with me. It seemed too good to be
true—that I, who deserved the lowest hell, and had
felt so long as though I were hanging over it—should
be delivered forever from it! "Deliver her from going
down to the pit—I have found a Ransom!"

The blood of Jesus is the only way by which
a poor sinner can enter into heaven itself.
Coming with that precious blood, the vilest
shall not be shut out, for it "cleanses from
all sin."

Secret sin,
open sin,
old sin,
long-continued sin,
sins against light and knowledge,
sins against judgment and mercy,
known sin,
unknown sin,
every kind and manner of sin which a poor
trembling, Spirit-convinced sinner feels—
does this powerful blood take away!

My sins were as scarlet, my guilt of crimson dye;
but blood of a richer hue which flowed out from
the veins of my precious Savior has made me
white as snow! None need despair, since He
has saved such a worthless, hell-deserving one
as myself!

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!"

What a mercy, then, to be stripped of all

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" December, 1850)

I must confess that God generally deals very contrary
to my expectations. Yet "He does all things well." It is
"Sweet to lie passive in His hands,
 And know no will but His."

I have proved . . .
  my own strength to be complete weakness,
  my own wisdom to be consummate folly,
  my own righteousness to be filthy rags.

What a mercy, then, to be stripped of all,
and have . . .
  Christ for wisdom,
  Christ for righteousness,
  Christ for strength,
  Christ for purity,
  Christ for power,
  Christ for beauty,
  Christ for holiness,
  Christ for acceptance above,
  Christ for our daily walk,
  Christ for our daily work,
  Christ for rest,
  Christ for food,
  Christ for medicine!
Yes, to know nothing among men or before
God—but Jesus crucified and glorified!

To His loving heart and powerful arm I
again commend you for all your needs.

Yours affectionately,

The experience of this union

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" April 30, 1857)

"And you are complete in Him." Colossians 2:10

Truly, my dear friend, we should be learning more and
more how completely He has saved us in Himself, and
how constantly He delights in us with all His heart, so
that we have no need to seek for anything in ourselves
to make us more entirely accepted or more loved.

"He cannot love us more, nor will He love us less; for
in loving her (His Church, His Bride,) He loves Himself."

Viewing us in Himself, He ever says, "You are absolutely
beautiful, my darling, with no imperfection in you!" And
the response of faith and love is, "He is altogether lovely!"
(Song of Songs 4:7, 5:16)

The experience of this union releases the soul from
a host of cares and anxious thoughts.

It is your Husband who hangs bleeding there!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" October 31, 1849)

"I will make you My wife forever, showing you righteousness
 and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful
 to you and make you Mine, and you will finally know Me as
 Lord." Hosea 2:19-20

Well may it be asked, Who is this wondrous Beloved,
who would go to such depths for His spouse; and on whom
the weak one is leaning as she comes up out of the wilderness?

Ah! He is the same who, from all eternity, was the great
"I Am!" the mighty God, by whom all things were created,
who is before all things, and who holds all things together!

It is He who, in the fullness of time, scorned not the lowly
Virgin's womb, but became a babe.

It is the same glorious Person who was seen coming with
crimson-stained garments,
traveling in the greatness of
His strength, who tread the winepress of Almighty wrath

It is He whose countenance is as the sun shining in his
strength, yet whose "visage was marred more than any
man's, and His form more than the sons of men."

It is the same glorious Person who is a holy One of the holy
ones; and yet "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!"

It is the same glorious Person who is "holy, harmless,
undefiled, and separate from sinners;" and yet "numbered
with the transgressors."

Under the weight of sin and its punishment, Jesus agonized
in the sacred garden of Gethsemane, and sweat great drops
of blood falling down to the ground. Oh, those rich, rich
drops from His precious veins! They are of more value than
all the gold and gems His hands have made!

This is the matchless Bridegroom of whom we speak—who,
on Calvary, was stretched on the accursed tree, and there
finished the love-scene of His mystic sufferings!

Come, sit with me a moment beneath the shadow of His
cross! Look up, and remember it is your Husband who
hangs bleeding there!

It is the Bridegroom, in love for the Bride, enduring those
unknown pangs! See how His holy flesh is bruised with
scourging, and His precious hands and feet pierced with
rugged nails! How is His heavenly brow torn with piercing
thorns, and His dear side with the cruel spear; each gaping
wound proclaiming, "Man is guilty—God is love! But
God is justice too!"
Oh, see His precious blood trickling
down. It flowed forth for sinners like me—like you!

Look and wonder!

Look and be comforted!

Look and adore!

"Here look until love dissolves your heart,
 And bids each slavish fear depart!"

O glorious Lord, we worship You!

"Your beauties we can never trace
 Until we behold You face to face!"

We love to meditate on Your sufferings, but rejoice
that they are over. You have suffered, and you die
no more! You have gone to our Father and to Your
Father; and we are expecting you to "come again"
and receive us unto Yourself, to be with You, and
behold Your glory; when, in nobler and sweeter
strains we'll sing Your never-dying love, and tell
Your power to save; while with open face and
ravished heart—we forever gaze upon Your
matchless beauty!

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so
great you will never fully understand it!" Ephesians 3:19


She is ugly!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan
" October 31, 1849)

Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! that
this most glorious Immanuel, the Prince of Peace, whom
angels worship, and before whom the seraphim bow—
should from all eternity engage to come and seek His
Bride from this poor world, and claim her for His own!

Yet so it is!

But she is filthy and polluted! (Ezek. 16:6; Job 15:14-16;
Isa. 64:6) Then His own precious veins shall pour forth the
rich crimson flood to cleanse her, (Rev. 1:5) and His Spirit
shall open the fountain to wash her from her sin and
uncleanness. (Zech. 13:1)

But she is naked and bare! (Ezek. 16:22) Then He will
cast His skirt over her, (Ezek. 16:8) and will for her, weave
in the loom of the Law (Rom. 5:19) fine linen—clean and
white—a robe in which she shall be fit to appear at His court!
Moreover the Spirit shall bring near the righteousness of Jesus,
(Isa. 46:13) clothing her with "the garments of salvation," and
covering her with the "robe of righteousness," "as a bride
adorns herself with her jewels."

But she is diseased! (Isa. 1:5, 6) She is a leper! (Ps. 51:5)
Yet will He bring her health and cure, for He says, "I am the
Lord who heals you;" and He is actually made to be sin for
her, (2 Cor. 5:21) that she might be made "the righteousness
of God in Him."

But she has no personal charmsshe is ugly! Then He
will put His loveliness upon her, and through it her beauty
shall be perfect.

But she is poor! So He bestows Himself and His fullness
upon her—and thus endows her with unsearchable riches!

But she is unwilling, and has no heart to the match, for
she obeys a hostile prince! (Eph. 2:2,3) Her delights, too,
are in the world and the flesh. A new heart will He give her,
and a right spirit will He put within her. The Holy Spirit shall
make her willing in the day of His power. "I will cause you
to forget your images of Baal; even their names will no
longer be spoken." (Hosea 2:17) So that, prostrate at His
feet, she shall say, "Lord, our God, other lords than You
have ruled over us, but we remember Your name alone!"

And now that the Spirit has touched her heart, she feels she
is diseased, and discovers her filthiness and nakedness,
knows she is ugly and poor, and cannot think the Bridegroom's
heart is towards her, or that she can find favor in His eyes. And
therefore she cries out, "I am black!" "Behold, I am vile! My
loveliness has turned into corruption!" But He overwhelms her
by responding, "You are all beautiful, my love, there is no spot
in you!"

Then she exclaims, "Place me like a seal over your heart, like
a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death!" He replies,
"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!"

Now she ventures, with a captivated heart, to declare, "My
Beloved is mine, and I am His! He is the chief among ten
thousand! He is altogether lovely!"

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so
great you will never fully understand it!" Ephesians 3:19

For His poor Rachel

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
 The letters of Ruth Bryan" 1805-1860)

Did Jacob serve seven years for his Rachel—by day in
the heat, and by night in the frost—and did they seem
but as a day unto him—for the love he had for her?

Our spiritual Jacob has far exceeded him! He left
the throne of His glory for His poor Rachel, and
took her humble flesh in the form of a servant; and
for her sake served thirty-three years under the Law!
He bore the heat of temptation, weariness, and thirst;
as well as the cold of reproach and scorn, and the
malice of sinners against Himself. This He thought
not too much; for when He had finished the work on
her behalf, for her He cheerfully entered upon the
most bitter part of His sufferings, which made even
His mighty heart to shudder with agony, while His
dear lips prayed—"O my Father, if it is possible,
(with the rescue of my Bride) let this cup of suffering
be taken away from Me; nevertheless, not as I will,
but as You will."

Behold the depth of His unflinching love! The 'cup of
curse' must be drunk, or the captive Bride must perish!
And so He takes the bitter cup, and does not turn away
until every dreg is consumed! And the same sacred lips
which emptied it could say in triumph, "It is finished!"

For the joy that was set before Him (of possessing His
beloved bride) He endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has now sat down at the right hand of God, until the
blissful consummation before assembled worlds, when it
will be joyfully proclaimed, "The marriage of the Lamb
has come, and His wife has made herself ready!"

Then shall the spiritual Jacob and His Rachel meet and
embrace, and part no more forever! She awaking up after
His likeness, shall be satisfied! And He seeing her in glory,
(the very travail of His soul,) shall be satisfied likewise!

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so
 great you will never fully understand it!" Ephes. 3:19

Cancer, go to that child!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ—The
 letters of Ruth Bryan". Ruth wrote the following
 when dying of cancer.)

"I have much inward fever, making me restless
and uneasy at night, but I have been led to see
this fever as my Father's servant, obeying His
will. God says, 'Fever, go to that child, and work
in her frame, and disturb her rest;' and it comes,
but all is in covenant love. He has said also,
'Cancer, go to that child, and wound her flesh,
and sap her strength;' and it has come, and is
doing His work and His will—but all is love."

"The waters of affliction have risen higher this month,
but, safe in my living Ark, I am unhurt. It is sharp to
flesh and blood, but right to faith. I am not always
light and bright in my feelings; but oh! what blessed
security and solidity do I find in my precious Rock!
There I am, come what may! Angels might envy my
joy—joy in the flood and in the flame. Hallelujah!"
"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
 my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is
 my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my
 stronghold." Psalm 18:2

God's jewels

(Alexander Moody Stuart)

"They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the
 day when I make up my jewels." Malachi 3:17

Here and there, amid the turmoil of a world that
knows not God—humble believers may be found
—pilgrims and strangersdwelling in the world and
using it, but not of it; born of another parentage
from those around them; leading a life peculiar to
themselves, secret in its essence, but manifest in
its workings and its fruits. These are God's jewels,
which He is gathering, and preparing, and polishing
for Himself.

Some noble lessons

(James Meikle, "A Secret Survey into the
 State of the Soul" January 2, 1794)

I am taught some noble lessons:

1. To expect no solid or lasting happiness
 in anything but in God.

2. To see how much we may be mistaken
 in our opinion of men and things.

3. To expect nothing but disappointment and pain in
 the world—and so to be prepared for misfortunes.

4. To build upon no present state of things; for a storm
 of troubles may gather from any place, and at any time.

5. In all things to rejoice in being forever with
 God, who will eternally wipe all tears from our
 eyes, and sorrow from our hearts!

An amazing reverse of circumstances!

(James Meikle, "A Periodic Interview with
 the King of Terrors" January 6, 1795)

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple
 and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his
 gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with
 sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's
 table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores."
    Luke 16:19-21

Worldly people may make a figure in the things
of time. But when I look into eternity, I find an
amazing reverse of circumstances

The most afflicted saint in this world—
is happy above conception in eternity!

The most wealthy sinner in this world—is
miserable beyond description in eternity!

"The rich man also died and was buried. In hell,
 where he was in torment, he looked up and saw
 Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So
 he called to him—Father Abraham, have pity on
 me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger
 in water and cool my tongue, because I am in
 agony in this fire!" Luke 16:22-24

What then are a few moments of sorrow—compared
to an eternity of communion with God and the Lamb!

I daily fail

(James Meikle, "A Secret Survey into the
State of the Soul

My daily vain thoughts and errors who can
understand, for they are innumerable? Yet
my daily complaint is against them, "O who
shall deliver me from this body of death?"
and my continual struggle is to oppose them.

These things make me humble, and a daily
suppliant to free grace, and give a continued
demonstration of my own abominable vileness.

I daily fail, but I daily bewail myself, and
daily dip myself in the fountain opened for
sin and for uncleanness.

My pleasant infant

(James Meikle, "A Periodic Interview with
the King of Terrors" March 7, 1797)

Our youngest child for some weeks past has
been getting teeth, and was seized with a
fever. And though sometimes a little better
—yet the fever returned and cut her off.

Yesterday she was interred.

Here divine sovereignty is clearly manifested—
I am spared for many years, but my pleasant
is mingled with the dead!

In a little while—it will be eternity with us all!

Our best wisdom will be—to hold a loose grip on
every comfort which can perish, and to fasten
our grip on eternal things. The more we have
our hearts in heaven—the less will the troubles
of time distress us.

What would we think?

(James Meikle, "A Periodic Interview with
the King of Terrors" December 20, 1791)

What would we think
of those who had lost
their nearest and dearest relative, carried off
by ruffians—and yet felt no alarm?

What would we think of those who could feast
cheerfully at their sumptuous table—while their
friends were destitute of all the comforts of life?

What would we think of those who could
sleep pleasantly on their downy beds—while
their friends were denied the least slumber,
by the torturing hand of their cruel foes?

What would we think of those who could
quaff and carouse with sparkling wine—while
their friends could not procure a drop of water
for their scorched tongue?

Now, to apply.

Where are any ruffians—like the infernal fiends?

Where is a state so utterly destitute of all
comforts—as the state of damnation?

Where are any tortures—like the torments
of hell, and of damned devils?

And where, but in the burning lake, are sufferers
so completely miserable—who cannot even get a
drop of water to cool their tormented tongue?

And yet the death of those sinners, who lived
without God, and died without hope—makes
no impression on their surviving friends!

"The rich man also died and was buried. In hell,
 where he was in torment . . ." Luke 16:22-23

Why am I so averse to die?

(James Meikle, "A Periodic Interview
 with the King of Terrors")

Why am I so averse to die?

Why not leap for joy at an invitation to go to
my Father's kingdom, and my Father's throne?

The troubles which attend me, and the sins
which attack me—make me weary of this life.

And the joys that await me—make me
long for my heavenly home.

O! it is a sad proof that I know not . . .
  the emptiness of the creature,
  nor the sinfulness of sin,
  nor the nature of the heavenly bliss,
  nor the excellency of communion with God
—that I do not loathe this life more,
nor long for my heavenly home more.

The heir of an eternal world should not care
much about a world which passes away.

Such oceans of bliss, such rivers of joy and
spiritual delight, such wonders of glory and
overflowings of love—shall be revealed to,
and pour in on the soul—as shall quite blot
out the remembrance of all the trifling
distresses of our transitory life!

Some of you will be cast into the furnace!

(Archibald Alexander, "Growth in Grace" 1844)

For your more rapid growth in grace, some of
you will be cast into the furnace
of affliction.

Sickness, bereavement, bad conduct of children and
relatives, loss of property or of reputation—may come
upon you unexpectedly and press heavily on you.

In these trying circumstances exercise patience and
fortitude. Be more solicitous to have the affliction
sanctified, than removed. Glorify God while in the
fire of adversity
. That faith which is most tried is
commonly most pure and precious.

Learn from Christ how you ought to suffer.

Let perfect submission to the will of God be aimed at.

Never indulge a murmuring or discontented spirit.

Repose with confidence on the promises.

Commit all your cares to God.

Make known your requests to Him by fervent prayer.

Let go your too eager grasp of the world.

Become familiar with death and the grave.

Wait patiently until your eternal change comes;
but desire not to live a day longer than may be
for the glory of God.

Happy here, and happy to all eternity!

(Octavius Winslow, "The Christian's Joint Heirship")

It is in the heart of our God to give us the chief and the best.

Had there been a greater, and a better, and a sweeter,
and a more satisfying portion than Himself—then that
portion would have been ours. But since there is not, nor
can be, a greater than Himself—the love, the everlasting,
changeless love that He bears to us, constrains Him to
give Himself as our God, our Portion, our All.

And have we not experienced Him to be God all-sufficient?

Have we ever found a lack in Him?

Oh no! God is all-sufficient, and no arid wilderness,
and no dreary land have we experienced Him to be.

There is in Him . . .
  an all sufficiency of love to comfort us;
  an all sufficiency of strength to uphold us;
  an all sufficiency of power to protect us;
  an all sufficiency of good to satisfy us;
  an all sufficiency of wisdom to guide us;
  an all sufficiency of glory to reward us;
  and an all sufficiency of bliss to make us
happy here, and happy to all eternity!