The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

Christ our near Kinsman

"A Brother born for adversity."

To E. M., January 1859.

Under this character has my faith embraced our glorious Emmanuel this morning, and found Him very precious. Oh! I wonder not that the ancient Church so longed for His incarnation, and breathed out her desires ardently, saying, "If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother's breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me." She had not the happy privilege of finding Himóbut had to go to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense to behold Him through the shadowy sacrifices. But we can say, "Our next of kinóour Brother now," "That He might sanctify us with His own blood, suffered outside the gate." Let us therefore "go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach." "For we have no continuing city hereóbut look for one to come." Oh! may we daily embrace Him "outside the camp," cleave to Him in all His humiliation, and walk with Him in the lowly path of suffering as the "Man of sorrows," who, in all our tribulations, has a heart to sympathize and a hand to help us!

I know as one wave of trouble rolls over another, our precious Elder Brother looks through the cloud to comfort us. This morning I was struck with Exodus 14:24, the Lord looking through the pillar of fire and of the cloud to trouble the Egyptians. It sweetly came to my mind, that as God manifested in the flesh, He looks through the cloud of His humanity, upon His people, with the tenderest love; while the same look troubles their enemies, for He overcame them by the blood of His cross. Oh! that was looking through the cloud and fire indeed, when by enduring the cross, and drinking the fiery cup of wrath, He so troubled the hosts of hell, "Spoiling principalities and powers," and triumphing over them in His cross. That look was darkness and destruction to themóbut it gives "light by night" to His traveling pilgrims. Let us forever bless this precious Brother, born for adversity.

Wishing you His blessed presence and guidance now, and at every future step.

I remain, with warm love, your ever-affectionate, unworthy,