Grace Gems for MAY 2006

Dig into these golden mines!

(Robert Leighton)

Let this commend the Scriptures much to our diligence
and affection—that their great theme is our Redeemer,
and redemption wrought by Him. They contain the doctrine
of His excellencies, and are the lively picture of His matchless
beauty. Were we more in them, we would daily see more of
Him in them—and so of necessity love Him more. But we
must look within them—the letter is but the case—the
spiritual sense is what we should desire to see
We usually huddle them over, and see no further than
their outside, and therefore find so little sweetness in
them. We read them, but we don't search them as He
requires. Would we dig into these golden mines, we
would find treasures of comfort which cannot be spent,
but which would furnish us in the hardest times!

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands
 within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your
 heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and
 cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for
 silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you
 will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge
 of God." Proverbs 2:1-5

A man's views of sin

(William S. Plumer, "The Christian", 1878)

Sin digs every grave, and wrings out every sigh and wail
from earth and hell. Sin is the worst of all evils. Nothing
can compare with it. It is worse than the plague. Sin is
unspeakably hateful. God calls it horrible and abominable.
Godly men in every age lament it—lament it much in
others, most in themselves.

A man's views of sin give a complexion to all his
character. If he regards it as a trifle, he will laugh at
it, when he should weep over it. He will make a mock
of it. He will dally with it. He will take his fill of it. He
will have low thoughts of God, and low estimates of
salvation. He will despise Jesus Christ.

If, on the other hand, he considers sin as very dreadful and
very hateful—he will hate every false way. He will long for
holiness. He will hunger and thirst after righteousness.
He will loathe and abhor himself on account of sin. He will
have exalted thoughts of the being, perfections, word, and
government of God. To him Christ will be most precious,
the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.

Job's sense of sin was vastly increased by the great
discoveries he had of God's majesty and glory: "I have
heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye
sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust
and ashes!" Increased views of God's glory had the same
effect on Isaiah, and made him cry out, "Woe is me! for
I am undone!" (Job 42:5-6; Isaiah 6:5).

God's presence is infinite; His power is infinite; His nature
is infinite; His existence is infinite; and so to sin against Him
must be an infinite insult and wrong. Sin is an infinite evil.
Sin is that abominable thing which He hates. He hates sin
with infinite loathing.

A remedy for everything

(Harvey Newcomb, "The Young Man's Guide to the
Harmonious Development of Christian Character, 1847)

It is a mistake often made—to associate piety with a downcast
look, a sad countenance, and an aching heart. But there is
nothing in true piety inconsistent with habitual cheerfulness.

There is a difference between cheerfulness and levity.

Cheerfulness is serene and peaceful. Levity is light and trifling.
Cheerfulness promotes evenness of temper and equanimity of
enjoyment. Levity drowns sorrow and pain for a short time,
only to have it return again with redoubled power.

I do not deny that there are certain kinds of sinful pleasures
which piety spoils; but then it first removes the taste and
desire for them—so their loss is nothing to be lamented.

The Christian hope, and the promises and consolations of
God's Word, furnish the only true ground of cheerfulness.
Who should be cheerful and happy, if not one who is delivered
from the terrors of hell and the fear of death—who is raised to
the dignity of a child of God—who has the hope of eternal life—
the prospect of dwelling forever in the presence of God, and in
the enjoyment of perfect felicity? But no one would associate
these things with that frivolity, levity and mirth, which are the
delight of the pleasure-loving world.

The gospel of Jesus Christ has a remedy for everything in
life that is calculated to make us gloomy and sad. It offers the
pardon of sin to the penitent and believing; the aid of grace to
those who struggle against an evil disposition; and help against
temptation. It promises to relieve the believer from fear, and
affords consolation in affliction.

There is no reason why a true Christian should not be cheerful.
There are, indeed, many things, which he sees, within and without,
that must give him pain. But there is that in his Christian hope, and
in the considerations brought to his mind from the Word of God,
which is able to bear him high above them all.

A striking peculiarity!

(Alexander, "Thoughts on Religious Experience" 1844)

It is incongruous for Christians to be enjoying ease
and prosperity in this world, when their Lord was "a
man of sorrows and acquainted with grief". (Isa 53:3)

For the Christian to seek great things for himself here
in this world, does not befit the character of a disciple
of the meek and lowly Jesus.

It is a striking peculiarity in the religion of Christ,
that in the conditions of discipleship—"taking up the
cross" is the first thing (Matt 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke
9:23). He never enticed any to follow Him with the
promise of earthly prosperity, or exemption from
suffering. On the contrary, He assures them that in
the world they shall have tribulation. (John 16:33)

Whoever will not take Christ with His cross shall never
sit with Him on His throne. "No cross—no crown",
holds out an important truth in few words.

I have often been shocked with the thought

(Alexander, "Thoughts on Religious Experience")

I have often been shocked with the thought,
that while a man's eulogy is being pronounced upon
earth—his poor soul may be writhing and blaspheming
in the torments of hell!

"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

You would not suspect him to be a Christian

(Archibald Alexander, "The Backslider" 1844)

"You have forsaken your first love." Revelation 2:4

Backsliding occurs when the Christian is gradually led
off from close walking with God, loses the lively sense of
divine things, becomes too much attached to the world
and too much occupied with secular concerns; until at
length the keeping of the heart is neglected, prayer
and the seeking of the Lord in private are omitted or
slightly performed, zeal for the advancement of religion
is quenched, and many things once rejected by a
sensitive conscience are now indulged and defended.

All this may take place and continue long before the
person is aware of his danger, or acknowledges that
there has been any serious departure from God. The
'forms of religion' may still be kept up, and 'open sin'
avoided. But more commonly backsliders fall into some
evil habits—they are evidently too much conformed to
the world, and often go too far in participating in the
pleasures and amusements of the world.

Too often there is an indulgence in known sin into which
they are gradually led, and on account of which they
experience frequent compunction, and make solemn
resolutions to avoid it in future. But when the hour of
temptation comes, they are overcome again and again,
and thus they live a miserable life, enslaved by some sin,
over which, though they sometimes struggle hard, they
cannot get the victory.

There is no more inconsistent thing than a backsliding
Christian. Look at one side of his character and he seems
to have sincere, penitential feelings, and his heart to be
right in its purposes and aims; but look at the other side,
and he seems to be "carnal, sold under sin". O wretched
man! how he writhes often in anguish, and groans for
deliverance—but he is like Samson shorn of his locks—
his strength is departed, and he is not able to rise and
go forth at liberty as in former times.

The sleeping backslider is one who, being surrounded
with earthly comforts and engaged in secular pursuits,
and mingling much with the decent and respectable
people of the world, by degrees loses the deep impression
of divine and eternal things. His spiritual senses become
obtuse, and he has no longer the views and feelings of
one awake to the reality of spiritual things. His case nearly
resembles that of a man gradually sinking into sleep. Still
he sees dimly and hears indistinctly—but he is fast losing
the impression of the objects of the spiritual world, and is
sinking under the impression of the things of time and sense.

There may be no remarkable change in the external conduct
of such a person, except that he has no longer any relish for
pious conversation, and rather is disposed to waive it. The
difference between such a one and the rest of the world
becomes less and less distinguishable. From anything you
see or hear—you would not suspect him to be a
, until you see him taking his seat at church!

The living guide to Jesus

(Ruth Bryan)

"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.

A little, poor, helpless child

(Jonathan Edwards)

In all your path, walk with Christ as a little,
poor, helpless child
—taking hold of His hand,
keeping your eye on the marks of the wounds
in His hands and side, whence came the blood
that cleanses you from sin, and hiding your
nakedness under the skirt of the white shining
robes of His righteousness.

The secret of peace and power

(Letters of Ruth Bryan)

The work of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to be
experimentally nothing, and to make Jesus our
"all in all," thereby teaching us to live by faith
upon Him.

Oh, may you, by the Spirit's power, so lift up your
eyes from all but Jesus, that you will be conformed
to His image (2 Cor. 3:18). But do not expect to
receive any better account of yourself—rather a
worse one; for, as you get nearer the light, you
will see more of your own sinfulness
. I do hope,
however, to hear you speak well of Him, and that,
as you feelingly cry out, "Behold, I am vile!" He will
melt your heart by responding, "You are absolutely
beautiful, my darling, with no imperfection in you!"

Oh, this wondrous Savior! He opens the secret of
our wanderings and transgressions—only to declare
how entirely He has put them all away by the
sacrifice of Himself! Oh, what mercy that He did
not say, "Let them alone, they have loved idols,
after idols let them go!" What mercy that by His
light, He has manifested our darkness. You shall
see greater things than these.

More of your own vile heart—and more of His loving heart.

More of your sin—and more of His great salvation.

More of your deformity—and more of His beauty.

Do not be considering so much how you love Jesus,
as how 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
(1 John 4:19, and John 15:9).

So with faith; if you would have it grow, it must be
by looking at Him, not at your faith.

In short, 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; while yet you rejoice, not
in your fruitfulness—but only in Jesus 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
He says, "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come
away." Away from self, away from all besides—to be
absorbed in Him. We must learn . . .
 our weakness—as well as His strength;
 our emptiness—as well as His fullness;
 our ignorance—as well as His wisdom.

May your eye and heart to be fixed on Him. Then will your
course be steady, and you will not be greatly moved by the
many changes you will ever find within. Oh, press on after
a life of faith in Jesus, for it is next in blessedness to a life
of glory with Jesus. Beg of the blessed Spirit to draw your
faith out continually upon His precious Person and work. Oh!
may He cause you to come out of self continually, and find
your all in Jesus! The more you are brought so to live upon
Jesus, the more stability of soul you will experience. To Him
I commend you—may He be revealed more fully in your soul.

Why cling to the ash-heap?

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

Oh, why should kings' sons and daughters go lean
from day to day? True, these heavenly viands do
spoil one for earth-born cares—but then much less
of earth's good things suffice, when we thus live in
and upon a glorious Christ.

Oh, come, Spirit-born and heaven-bound ones—
why do you so linger around earthly trifles? Why
cling to the ash-heap?
You are princes—this
befits you not! There are such loves, and glories,
and wonders in Jehovah-Jesus to be enjoyed even
below, as yet we little think of! Oh, come, let us
arise, and go to Jesus!

"Earth has no dainties half so sweet
    As my Redeemer brings."

Jesus, our divine Magnet, attract us to Your dear Self!

The key which fits every lock

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you
 into all the truth." John 16:13

What a wonderful book is God's Bible—as opened
to the heart by the Spirit! Christ is the key which
fits every lock
, both in the book and in the heart.

"When the Counselor 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

Blessed Jesus! You are the living key by which every
secret in the Word is opened, as the blessed Spirit
uses and reveals You in them.

Adorable Immanuel, Moses wrote of You, the Psalms
and prophets speak of You. Open my dull understanding
to discern You through the types and through the shadows.
Show Yourself through these lattices, and open my heart to
receive You experimentally in all. Eternity will be too short
to utter half Your praise. Oh, cause me to lisp it more
constantly and feelingly in the low notes of the wilderness!

All I need

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

Oh, my precious Savior! You are all I need
for time and for eternity. You are . . .
  my rest in weariness,
  my ease in pain,
  my strength in weakness.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Is anything too small for the Lord?

Is anything too great or heavy for the Lord?


My beloved and my adorable Lord, I fall into
Your arms for support, guidance, and blessing.

Indeed, I am unworthy of the least of Your
mercies, and I feel it. But Your mercies are
free! Oh, the wonders of Your love, that can
bear with such weakness and wanderings as
mine! I worship and adore You, and would
joyfully sink into Love's unfathomable abyss,
where sins and self are lost!

Oh! my precious Savior, how blessed is Your
presence amidst the storms of this weary land!
How does all that is of earth recede before the
overshadowings of Your presence! Precious Lord,
draw me more and more into Your secret chamber,
where worldling never came, where the flesh was
never fed.

The precious Sufferer on that middle cross

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

I have been looking much at the last hours of my
precious Lord, this morning. I have been somewhat
beholding the precious Sufferer on that middle

Both the thieves railed on Him. But one of these thieves,
by the power Spirit, was brought to confess his own
sinfulness, and by the same Spirit to call Jesus "Lord."
Then how sweet was the answer of peace, "Today you
shall be with Me in paradise." Thus did redeeming love
break forth in a refreshing stream from that suffering
heart and those parched lips—to give drink to that other
sufferer, who was, indeed, "ready to perish."

After this, came the cry of agony, "My God, my
God, why have You forsaken Me?" Oh! that was
the climax of woe!

And then those mysterious words, "I thirst!" Mere bodily
suffering was not all which was couched in these words.
But that righteous One was dwelling with the devouring
fire, and enduring what would have been "everlasting
burnings" to us.  The wrath of the Lawgiver was going
forth upon the sin which was found upon Him. He thirsted,
as in hell—that He might "lead us to fountains of living
waters" in heaven!

And those tender looks and words to His mother and His
beloved John, do indeed manifest a heart without an atom
of that selfishness which we inherit by the fall.

Then came the end, when, after receiving the vinegar, Jesus
said, "It is finished!" Then bowing His head, He gave up His
spirit. What amazing weight and fullness is in those three
words, "It is finished!" Finished for me, the vilest of the vile,
whom You have privileged to stand, with dear Mary Magdalene,
at the foot of Your cross, and listen to Your dear lips, which,
even there, drop as the honeycomb. If these 'sips in grace'
are so sweet—what will those 'draughts in glory' be?

Truly, I have almost seemed to stand with Mary Magdalene
beside Your cross, and gathered up these precious fragments
with wondering love, and mingled joy and grief.

Oh, precious Christ, eclipse all earthly vanities, by revealing
Yourself more fully!

If You gave me a mountain of gold

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"Behold, I am vile!" Job 40:4

"I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Job 42:6

I fall blushingly at Your dear feet, and loathe myself
for my many abominations and shortcomings. Glorious
Lord, pardon and restore vile, vile me! I fall into Your
arms of 'injured love', to accept whatever punishment
You shall appoint. I deserve the worst You can inflict.
But, oh! for love's sake, let me see Your loving frown,
and feel Your loving stripe—but not find You gone.

Your absence is hell to the heart which has seen Your
glorious charms, and felt Your matchless love. Oh, do
not, do not leave me! And do not let me leave You!
I fly to Your blood, and cleave to the crucified One.

O Lord, if You gave me a mountain of gold—I would
turn from it, or climb over it—to get at Your precious self!

I loathe myself beyond expression

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

I feel a vile, unworthy, unholy being. I loathe
myself beyond expression.
But the blood
and righteousness of Jehovah-Jesus is my
confidence, and here I have a place of refuge.

"What a wretched man I am!" Romans 7:24

"Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6

"My salvation and glory depend on God; my
strong rock, my refuge, is in God." Psalm 62:7

Immortal scars?

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,
 standing in the center of the throne."
Revelation 5:6

Alas! those wondrous wounds! Have they left immortal
Will You, through all eternity, wear those marks
of Your matchless love

And will You, in those blissful realms, dissolve our souls
in holy rapture and adoring love, by saying, "Look at My
hands and My feet—it is I Myself!" Surely, if anything could
add beauty to that glorious form, it would be, in the eyes of
love, those deep engravings—"I have engraved you upon
the palms of My hands."

I am again almost overcome with love—my Beloved is so
precious! And surely You, O Beloved, are engraved on the
table of my longing heart. Oh, grant another glimpse of
Your surpassing charms! I would sink into Your arms, and
recline on the bosom of Your love!

Blissful exchange!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

My exercise this evening is renouncing self entirely:
 good self,
 bad self,
 self pleased,
 self displeased,
 self in its complainings, beseechings, enticings, desirings,
 self entirely.

Oh that it may be once and forever!

I embrace my all-lovely, soul-satisfying Christ—
instead of my self! Blissful exchange! Perfect
purity and beauty—for ugliness and vileness!

O Holy Spirit, enable me ever to renounce self,
forsake creatures—and embrace Jesus!

What mortals so pursue

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

My Jesus is my rest and refreshing, in all my
weariness. As I lean on Him—I triumph. When
I confer with flesh, and look to creatures—I get
shame and loss.
I have now earnest desires for new commitment to
a precious Christ, as my all in all; that the shadowy
things of time
may less cumber me, however contrary
to flesh; and to live Christ be my one concern.

Now I yield up all to You, and myself to follow afresh
hard after You, and afresh to "count all things but loss"
for Your sake. Oh, my beloved, my all-lovely Savior,
You are gain, and gain enough. My precious Jesus, Your
fellowship is what I seek; and for it give up as rubbish,
what mortals so pursue
  fleshly indulgence.

I desire a quiet, secluded life—little with the world,
much with Jesus. Come, with Your conquering charms,
and all-absorb this longing soul of mine!

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with
 the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
 I have discarded everything else, counting it all as
 garbage, so that I may have Christ." Philippians 3:8

In my cage

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and
 change them into glorious bodies like His own."
     Philippians 3:21

There has been, indeed—but a step between me
and death. But here am I, still fettered in clay,
and my soul still encaged in the wires of mortality.
But through them beams the glory of the better
country, and the loveliness of my Beloved. And
though yet in my cage, I can sing His matchless
love and worthy praise, for the dear Comforter
has tuned my heart. How to recount the Lord's
mercies I know not, they have been so beautifully
unfolded in this affliction.

Daily bread

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"As your days, so shall your strength be."
Dt. 33:25

I seem to see with fresh light, that it is vain to
expect to come to a certain state, when we shall
live by grace, constantly and spontaneously. The
desirable position is, to live in felt dependence
and emptiness—seeking constant renewings of
the Holy Spirit—to live by simple faith on Jesus.

Therefore, if I receive ever such large and fresh
inflowings of grace today, I must not think that
it is a stock for tomorrow; or think then to act by
this day's power, or walk by this day's light.

"Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto You
 daily." Psalm 86:3

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who
 daily bears our burdens." Psalm 68:19

Away with every idol!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
 I, the Lord, will punish the people of Israel who
 set up idols in their hearts."
Ezekiel 14:4

Away with every idol! May Christ be all in all!

"For to me, to live is Christ!" Philippians 1:21

My Ishi!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"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

Christ is most precious. He is my Ishi! I, His Hephzibah!
What love! What wonders, for a worm so vile! But He has
borne my vileness away—and is Himself my loveliness!

Christ, the Beloved of my soul, is my perfection, and His
blood is my purity. However great my guilt, His precious
blood is more than a match for it all. This has been like
solid rock to my soul. "Praise the Lord, O my soul!"

This hateful, hated idol!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

Oh! kill and crucify this SELF in me—this hateful,
hated idol!
Come in, O precious Christ, and make
it fall before You!

Yes; vile, guilty, abominable as I am—my own Jesus
bathes me in His blood, robes me in His righteousness,
puts upon me His beauty, and then says, "You are
absolutely beautiful, my darling, with no imperfection
in you." (Song of Songs 4:7) Oh, the wonders of His
love! My heart is ravished and overcome!

The unanswerable question

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"Why me?" This is the unanswerable question
the wonder of wonders! I, a weak, low, vile, wandering
worm—filled with Your love, ravished with Your beauty!
It is all of grace! To God be all the glory!

Oh, my precious Lord, I am overwhelmed in, and
by, Your love! You have freed me from my sin and
its punishment—by taking them upon Yourself! And
You have prepared me for Yourself—by putting Your
perfect loveliness upon me!

You have overcome me, You ravish my heart!

I thirst with intense and increased ardency, for
unfoldings of the personal glories of my precious
Christ, who is, indeed, "more precious than rubies."

Precious Lord, You are my rest, my happiness, and
You are all-sufficient. Hold me to You, nor let me
wander more.

Content his soul with earth's poor dust

(Charles Spurgeon, December 31, 1871)

There is a joy of divine origin—"The joy of the Lord."
Springing from the Lord as its source, it will necessarily
be of a very elevated character. Since man fell in the
garden, he has too often sought for his enjoyments
where the serpent finds his. It is written, "You will
crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the
days of your life.
" This was the serpent's doom; and
man, with infatuated ambition, has tried to find his
delight in his sensual appetites, and to content his
soul with earth's poor dust

But the joys of time cannot satisfy an undying nature,
and when a soul is once quickened by the eternal Spirit,
it can no more fill itself with worldly mirth, or even with
the common enjoyments of life—than can a man snuff
up wind and feed thereon. But, beloved, we are not left
to search for joy; it is brought to our doors by the love
of God our Father—joy refined and satisfying, befitting
immortal spirits!

God has not left us to wander among those unsatisfactory
things which mock the chase which they invite. He has
given us appetites which carnal things cannot
, and He has provided suitable satisfaction for
those appetites. He has stored up at His right hand
pleasures for evermore, which even now He reveals
by His Spirit to those chosen ones whom He has
taught to long for them.

Malady and remedy

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
 The letters of Ruth Bryan" May 1845)

Dear friend,
I know not your present malady; but
I know that Christ is the remedy for it!

There is more in Christ for empty souls, than
pen or tongue of men or angels can count!
May you have free access, and eat and drink,
and forget your poverty—being taken up with
His riches, fullness, and glory! The Lord comfort
you, and establish your heart with grace. Adieu.

Yours affectionately, in our Beloved One,

Playing with its tinsel toys

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

How the world has lessened and deadened to me
lately. It seems a very nothing, and vanity indeed. To
see Christians gathering its golden dust, and playing
with its tinsel toys
, is monstrous. Oh, come away,
you foolish ones, and leave the ash-heap, and rise into
Christ—your priceless inheritance and your eternal riches!

"Don't collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth
 and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But
 collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither
 moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don't break in
 and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will
 be also. No one can be a slave of two masters, since either
 he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one
 and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and
 of money." Matthew 6:19-21, 24

Streams & Fountain

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

November 21st, 1830. While thinking this afternoon of
some friends who have been running eagerly from one
place to another after a celebrated, and, I suppose, most
interesting preacher; this idea forcibly struck me—why
manifest such undue concern after streams, when we
have the Fountain always accessible? I can, in my
humble cottage, approach the footstool of the Father
of mercies, and enjoy the manifestation of His love!

A silly fly!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

I have just seen a silly fly, sporting heedlessly
close to a spider's web, and most likely it would
soon have sported into it—and have become fast
entangled in the snare. But a friendly hand swept
away the spider's network, and thus removed the
danger; while the heedless, helpless fly, was equally
unconscious of both the danger and the preservation.

Ah! then, I thought, perhaps it is thus often with me!
In an unseen snare I had been almost heedlessly
caught. But the seeing eye, loving heart, and powerful
arm of Jesus are mine! He beholds the intended mischief,
defeats the wily worker, sweeps away the entangling
thread—and thus preserves me from disaster!

All praise be Yours, dear Lord, for known and unknown
mercies and deliverances!
Oh, may I never knowingly
sport on the edge of sin—or trifle with temptation.

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my
 life . . . with Your right hand You save me!"
Psalm 138:7

Evidently given up

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

I have again this week written to my friend, and
pressed eternal things upon her notice. May the
Lord bless the message. My soul yearns over her,
and often do I mourn over her condition—for she
is evidently given up to fashion, and worldly
pursuits, and pleasure.

A life of simple faith

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer
 live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the
 body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
 me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Oh, the sweet wonders of a life of simple
in Christ! From what little I know, I
am sure it is the most . . .
life in the world!

Unbelief is the source of my misery.

"Lord, increase my faith." Holy Comforter,
teach me how to live Christ at all times,
in all conditions.

Lord Jesus, I am Yours. I submit to Your will,
and unreservedly lay before You myself, with
all I have and am—to be at Your disposal, and
used for Your glory. I am no longer my own—
but Yours; and You, O precious Jesus, are
mine forever!