The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

Sympathy in suffering

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?" Song of Songs 8:5

"Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste." Song of Songs 2:3

"Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens." Song of Songs 2:2

To E. M., August, 1856.
My precious friend,
It has given me a new song to hear that you are really improving. I have been suffering much of late. I know that "He does all things well," but we may feel, since the immaculate Jesus wept at the grave of His friend. I felt constrained to pray for your precious life, yet also felt it cruel to hold you back from perfect bliss in the open vision of the Lamb. Most bitter to this heart would have been the pang of parting with you. Yet I think I could not have held you among thorns for my own sake; but those close dear ties in the flesh, for their sakes I did cry, "spare." How earnestly I long too that you may be a bright living witness for Jesus in the family and Church. Oh! that this purging may be to bring forth more fruit, and this chastening to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, "which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God."

I trust it is light in your tabernacle, and that the glory of the Lord is filling the house; or, if not, that you are coming up from the wilderness leaning upon your Beloved. He is the apple tree among the trees of the forest; while His Bride is the lily among thorns. With me it has been emptying from vessel to vessel, and finding plenty of dregs—but not sensibly finding Him whom my soul loves. I am willing to suffer anything, so that the wood, hay, and stubble may be consumed, and Christ be all. I commend you to the Brother born for adversity. May He draw you near to Himself, (Gen. 45:4, 5) and open His stores of love.

With much tender love, your ever affectionate,

Hebrews 2:14 to end.