The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

The Sin-bearer and the sinner

To Miss M., February 9, 1855.

My beloved friend,

I hope you are a little more looking unto Jesus—a little more leaning upon Him amid your many weaknesses. He can bear all your weight, for He has borne all your sins, which are the worst part of your burden. Oh, that by the Spirit you may get a faith's view of a crucified Redeemer!

"With your name upon His bosom,
 In the garden bleeding, stooping,
 To the ground with horror pressed."

"Heaviness in the heart makes it stoop," and that precious Sin-bearer had heaviness indeed when he said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." The sins of His people, the curse of the law, the hidings of His father's face, all pressed His righteous soul as a cart is pressed under sheaves. His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, and bore them away from us forever; and when we get the seal of it by the blessed Spirit in our conscience then we can say, "There is therefore now no condemnation to me!" "Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died." Here, in Christ's obedience unto death, is satisfaction for law, justice, and conscience. Here is that which has satisfied Jehovah himself. Here then rest your weary soul, my beloved, and you shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end. "They looked unto him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed." Never was a sin-convinced, sin-wearied sinner cast off or cast out. This refuge is open for all such, and why, my friend, why not for you?

Who says you may not come? Only your own fears, and unbelief, and Satan; but these are evil counselors, and, like Ahithophel, they shall be frustrated. Our God will bring their counsel to naught. He will make the many devices of these crafty ones of none effect, for He has counseled to save you. He has devised means whereby you, His banished one, shall not be always expelled from His presence. "By the blood of the covenant" shall you be brought near, and by the Spirit's power. There is a cleft in the rock for you, and as in purpose you have been there from all eternity, so in your own experience shall you also be there in the appointed season. O that I might rejoice with you and know that the Lord had taken off your sackcloth, and clothed you with gladness, giving you "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

Dearly beloved, you need not turn into yourself and say, "How unlikely." You are not in worse condition than the spendthrift prodigal. He was starving, helpless, and destitute when the gracious word was given—"Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let's celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! So they began to celebrate! (Luke 15:22-24) His own wilfulness and wickedness brought the misery upon himself, and yet that hindered not the flow of mercy and love, which comes all free to poor bankrupt prodigals. "O Israel, you have destroyed yourself—but in me is your help." Our Father has "laid help upon one that is mighty," even upon Him who was red in His apparel, who traveled in the greatness of His strength for the salvation of His people, and who speaks of Himself as "mighty to save." May the blessed Spirit testify of your interest in these things, and so be to you the Comforter.

With affectionate love, I remain your unworthy friend,