Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan


2nd, Sacrament-day.—I feel that this is my motto for the year, "The diligent soul shall be made fat." It is very reproving to my slothful soul—but reproofs of wisdom are in the way of life, and I would not shun them. The Lord inspire me with true diligence to know more of Jesus, and make the above word a stimulus to me.

"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
 Which beneath the cross I spend."

March 6th, Sacrament-day.—The waters of tribulation have risen high; my bodily suffering and weakness have also been great. It did, indeed, seem as if they would break my frail bark to pieces. But, my Lord, You were very pitiful. "You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities." "You sit as King upon the floods. When the waves arise too high, You still them."

April 17th.—My disease has been more painful lately—but, perhaps, I have been a careless daughter, and have not sufficiently heard my Lord's voice; therefore He has sent this fresh messenger. Blessed Lord, sanctify it to my soul's profit and Your glory. Would You gain my ear more closely? Oh, take ear, and eye, and heart, and fill them with Yourself. How much discipline I need. You only know what trials I pass through, for I cannot burden dear friends, who all seem burdened enough.

April 22nd, Good Friday.—But only good as You, dear Lord, do make it so.

Half-past Two.—The hours of agony were nearly over: the sun was veiled, and all Nature bedimmed. How could creation look bright when creation's Lord was put to shame? Ah, no! that was an hour too sad and solemn for creation to wear a smile. My precious Lord, I would this day be renewed in the power of Your death, and, by crucifixion with You, would, forever, have all of earth put into the shade. Then shall I live for You, seeking Your glory above all things, through union and dear communion. Then shall I cease to desire ease—but shall welcome all that will honor You. Do, Lord, renew me in daily dying, that I may daily live and walk in newness of life. Speak to me while I now commemorate Your agony and death.

May 1st, Sacrament-day.—I now go to Your house and table. Oh, support my poor body. Let it not hinder soul-exercise. Oh, give me a place at the banquet of love, and let Your bleeding glories afresh ravish my soul, and kill me to all but You. Be known to us in the breaking of bread.

May 22nd.—John 6:37, "Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out." Oh! what sweetness flowed into my soul from those blessed words. Ah! indeed it will be all the way, "unto whom coming," "unto whom coming," and no casting out, no "NEVER!" I come, my Savior, for more power to come, to come always and ever, whether it be night or day in my feelings. It was very sweet to weep at the feet of Jesus in His earthly courts; they were tears of love and joy. Bless the Lord, O my soul!—

"Here I'd sit, forever viewing
 Mercy's streams in streams of blood,
 Precious drops my soul bedewing,
 Make and plead my peace with God."

June 12th.—The past week have had much bodily suffering—but I have been helped hitherto. All is well. There is no curse in my cup of trial. The bitters are love—as well as the sweets. It is not in vain to wait for Him, even while Satan and unbelief are crying, "You are idle." Oh, that You would, by a revelation of Christ, cause many fleshly leaves to fall off, and make way for spiritual fruit.

July 1st.—I have had considerable bodily suffering this week, and have been much shut up in mind. Oh, grant the teaching of the Spirit with every troublesome dispensation, and every change of feeling, that 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. Yes, let this pain of body be like the rod of Aaron—even bringing forth fruit to Your praise. Amen. I ask it in the name of my all-precious Jesus.

In reading that Solomon was crowned king twice (1 Chron. 29:22), my heart cries to the Lord, that Jesus, the heavenly Solomon, may be crowned afresh in my soul as Lord of all, and, under His blessed reign, I shall enjoy the peace of God, which passes all understanding; for, though David was a man of war, Solomon was peaceable. In both I see a type of our glorious Christ, and of our experience under His rule. Be exalted afresh, my Beloved, in Your own right, and reign and rule in me forever. Thanks and praise for this visitation in a time of trial.

August 11th, Thursday.—Dear Mr. T— put off mortality.

August 14th.—"The memory of the just is blessed." How embalmed, how fragrant the memory of the members of Christ, with whom we have had communion of soul. His love made them pleasant to us in life, and that same love continues its fragrance and its bond, so that in death we are not divided. Our spirits are one in Jesus, although one body, or both, may be slumbering in the grave. Very sweet communion I have had with him below in years gone by. He had his infirmities—but he has left them behind, and now shines without a spot in the glory of the Sun of Righteousness. Oh, that the Lord would raise up more of His servants to the blessed standing of completeness in Christ, that, heedless of human opinion, they might "speak comfortably to Jerusalem," and "cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she has received of the Lord's hands double for all her sins."

This soul-warming truth is most strengthening to faith, and starving to flesh. Here may I live, here may I die, resting on the Person and work—the sufferings and death—of a glorious Christ. There is no sinking there, except deeper and deeper into the "abyss of love," where our sins, when sought for, can never be found. I feel the blessedness while I write. So completely justified by God in the satisfaction given by Christ, that it is labor in vain for any to try to condemn. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh—but after the Spirit," which is to walk in Christ, and in His good works; and, if evil fruits can flow from that, then may we pick "grapes from thornbushes, and figs from thistles."

August 25th.—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 conscience also!

August 28th.—Still weak in body—but much blessed in soul. Surely I dwell in the land of Beulah, and wait but the messenger to bid me cross the river to reach the land where are pleasures for evermore. 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.

September 4th, Sacrament-day.—Psalm 98:1, "Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. He has won a mighty victory by his power and holiness." A month of special favor has passed away, and I hail the return of our holy feast-day. It does seem as if home were not far distant. But I have often thought so before, and been disappointed. However, the appointed time must come. The dear Lord is very good to me in this land of Beulah, and He, my glorious Ishi, stands between me and care, and between me and fear, excepting the fear of being burdensome to those I love, which fear my Beloved will sweep away. Oh! He is so gracious, so tender, so supporting. I often marvel with great amazement!

September 25th.—The Lord is very gracious to unworthy me. I am often very ill and exhausted—but the precious Rock is most solid, and I am enabled to feel firm footing—all to the praise and the glory of His grace who has made me accepted in the Beloved.

October 17th, Sabbath.—It was very wet this morning, so I could not go up to the house of the Lord—but I had a blessed time at home in the true Temple. The glory of the Lord so filled the house that there was no room for the priests to minister. The great High Priest is here, and His doctrine drops as the rain, His speech distills as the dew. Your mouth is most sweet, and the opening of Your lips are right things. His "advice is wholesome and good. There is nothing crooked or twisted in it." Precious Lord, hold my soul in sweet listening to the gracious words which proceed out of Your mouth, and keep me from the discordant and confusing sounds of the flesh.

Exodus 39 was most rich this morning. I saw great beauty in the priestly garments, as being full of a glorious Christ. The stones on the heart and on the shoulders of the priest, typically setting forth the Lord's people as borne by the love and power of our heavenly Aaron. But can I be a precious stone to You? Oh, yes; it is Your own beauty in me. And as the stones were enclosed in gold, so Your bride is enclosed in You. Oh, what sweetness there is in that word, "I in them, and You in me, that they all may be made perfect in one." The whole chapter is full of Christ and His Church. 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. You are marrow and fatness to my soul today.

Thirteen years, yesterday, since my dear mother was laid in the tomb. I have since walked through many dark and trying providences, and I am only ashamed of my distrust. 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;" but You have set the day of prosperity and the day of adversity, the one over against the other, while here below. So let it be. 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.

October 20th.—I have been much blessed in these words, "Return unto your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you." The blessed Spirit has brought me honey out of them, showing them to me as the words of Christ the Bridegroom. He viewed the Father as dealing bountifully with Him in giving Him the Church for His Bride; and His amazing love to her, made Him feel it to be a bountiful dealing also, when the Father laid on Him all her iniquities, and all her stripes and punishment, and then received from Him an obedience on her behalf. Thus He worked, obeyed, and suffered in love, and for the joy which was set before Him. Therefore He counted the Father to have dealt bountifully in delivering Him up to the stroke, that He might be to her a way of escape. So, after laboring for His Bride, He returned to His rest; and the rest of a laboring man is sweet. What is His rest? His Church; of whom He says, "this is my rest forever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it;" and He will rest in His love to her, saying, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yes, I have a goodly heritage."

He, the Head, does moreover delight in the Father's gift to His Hephzibah to be His own portion, and also in giving Him the fiery cup of bitters for her sake, and He says, "I will sing unto the Lord, for He has dealt bountifully with me." "In the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto You," even in the inner temple of the new heart of His Bride. There He rests, and there sings praise unto the Lord, and hence it is her language, too, in union with Himself: "Return unto your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you." He has dealt bountifully, in not sparing His own Son—but delivering Him up for us all, in bruising Him and putting Him to grief for her sake, and in giving her the cup of blessing because He has drained the cup of curse; and, most of all, in giving her such a Bridegroom to be her rest, and joy, and crown, forever and ever. Return then unto Him, your rest, continually, for "His rest is glorious." There all is done, and we lie down in these green pastures, singing praises to the Lord. Though poor as poverty in self, yet

"Rich to all the intents of bliss,
 Jesus is mine, and I am His."

It is most blessed to see how mutual are the delights between Christ and His Church, and how many portions of Holy Writ, which we apply entirely to one or the other, belong to both in union oneness. We have little conception of our nothingness separate from Jesus: there is no body without the Head, and the Head is never without the body, in God's account. May the blessed Spirit unlock to us these secrets with Christ the key.

November 3rd.—What avails it me to dwell at Jerusalem unless I see the King's face? This has been my language today. I long to see You, my precious Jesus, and yet, while I see You not—but am feeling my poverty and helplessness, I must cleave to You. You are unchanged, though now it seems winter in my feelings. You are my spring, my life, and my liveliness. Be honored by all my changes, and it shall be well. Still do I long for a fresh and fuller revelation of Your beauty and Your love. Much bodily suffering.

November 7th, Sacrament-day.—Blessed Jesus, be present at Your table today, and let not our eyes or hearts be blinded—but be known to us in the breaking of bread. Oh, come, for You are the only feast, all is fast besides.

"I faint, unless I feed on Thee,
 And drink Your blood as shed for me."

Lord, increase my faith. By faith I apprehend and pursue after You when You seem to fly from me; and by faith I believe Your love when I do not feel it, when You seem to frown, and answer me never a word; and by faith refuse all other rest and comfort when I find them not in You. Now, my glorious Beloved, that You will cause this faith to abound more and more, I humbly ask on this our solemn feast-day, and that, for Your glory, I may be contentedly nothing.

November 13th.—I am still weak and suffering—but blessedly upheld. I have for some time been thinking of having a very loose dress to slip on easily when in great pain and weakness. Yesterday afternoon a dear friend proposed to get me just such a thing; she did not know my thoughts—but our Beloved did, and oh, how it melted my heart to see Him thus stoop and give me a double benefit, a token from Himself and from this loved one too. It is sweet to watch His tender but stately movements.

December 4th, Sacrament-day.—Like Jeremiah, "I am shut up, and cannot go up to the house of the Lord;" but He can come to me, and be known in sweet communion—as He was at Emmaus to the disciples, in the breaking of bread. For You I wait, O precious Beloved! You are my feast anywhere. Oh, come, and expound to me in all the Scriptures the things concerning Your dear Person and work. You are the eternal wisdom, and Your lessons are with clearness and demonstration of the Spirit. "Your lips drop as the honeycomb," and "the law of Your mouth is dearer to me than thousands of gold and silver."