The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

Sweet lessons in the valley of humiliation

To Mrs. H., June 1858.
My very dear friend,
I hope you are still kept steadily following onward in the way of faith. Oh, how sweet to live in momentary dependence upon Him, and independent of all beside; then are we satisfied with His fullness, however low creature streamlets may run. Do I not long to be more fully and always in this way of faith? Yes, verily; though, alas! I am too often turned aside by carnal reason--my old and powerful foe.

Oh, my dear Amelia, I think none of the Lord's children are so slow to learn and so easily beguiled in some things, from the simplicity which is in Christ. I cannot boast of any attainments. I am laid low in the dust, and very, very poor; yet I have a rich Beloved, who scorns not my lowliness, and only keeps me short in hand that I may not be able to do without Him, and that I may glory in nothing but Himself, in whom I can never glory too much. It is good to be in the "valley of humiliation," the air is congenial to the new man, and very beneficial, though not pleasing to this proud heart. Moreover, there we have much of the company of Prince Immanuel, who chose that spot for His earthly residence; for "He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross." Oh, it was a mighty stoop of love. I marvel and adore, desiring to follow the Lamb wherever He leads.

I heard a little of His wondrous ways towards you from dear Mrs. Bó. It is wonderful how He sends His benefits in such a way as to cut off all glorying in the flesh. You shall not be delighting in His benefitsóbut absorbed in Himself. Against this, the enemy fights hard, presenting various things to divert from that safe and secret place into which he has no access. While delighting in gifts he can touch usóbut, when enrapt up in the Giver, he is defeated, Psalm 91. Fare you well.

Affectionate love, from yours ever warmly,