The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

The subjugation of self through the cross of Christ

To E. M., August 1, 1858.
Very dear,
The notes you sent me of the sermon about Jacob were very nice. The expression "unselfing" was striking. Do you not think that the revealing of Christ to the soul, is the quickest of all means to effect this? John says, "When I saw him I fell at his feet as dead"—typical of the bringing down of self. I do humbly believe that the more we know Him in union, love, and power--the more zealous we shall be against "self" in all its varied forms. Unbelief sets up self—what I do, what I do not do, what I ought to have done, and so on, until there is only a corner in the thoughts for the dear Substitute, who has done all, and done it well too. But the more we receive of Him and His—or, in other words, the more Christ alone is exalted, the high towers of self are laid in the dust. When unbelief and self are predominant it is sad work. May the Lord tread these abominations under His feet, even as straw is trodden down for the ash-heap. Oh! my beloved friend, we long for the days of the Son of man in our souls, for in His days the righteous flourish.

I have been enjoying those words—"I will love them freely: for My anger is turned away from them." (Hosea 14:4) It seems to me to be the language of the Father, who, having laid upon Jesus the iniquities of us all, then and there visited our transgressions with the rod, and our iniquities with stripes, until not one was left unatoned for! Then His anger was turned away from the Surety, and the Father could love the poor debtors freely--because He was well pleased for Jesus' sake. He had magnified the law, and made it honorable; and He, the Father, blessed them there. In Him, "the Lord our righteousness," we may glory and rejoice; and in Him find power to do so, for He is the power of God to everyone who believes. In believing we take hold of that power, and can say with David, "My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad."

Indeed, my dear friend, we only want to know more of our Law-fulfiller, and of the unsearchable riches which He has for our use. Then the love of Christ would constrain us to glory in Him, and praise Him. Oh! let us cry mightily for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Oh! to know Him more. Oh! that He always would eclipse everything else! I desire that all things, even the most lawful, should not stand between me and the blessed Sun of Righteousness. I have seen enough in Him to ravish my heart, and make the brightest things below look dim! But I want to see Him again, for I know that there are in Him infinite glories of which I have had yet no conception! "After these things Jesus showed himself again to his disciples." Amen, so let it be.

The Lord bless you and yours; and may Jesus shine warmly in your heart, and you be constrained to speak warmly in His praise.

With dear love, ever your affectionate but unworthy,

John 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:6.