The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

The bosom of Jesus

To Miss M., March 10, 1857.
My beloved friend,
I hope you are finding comfort in being with your dear sister, though there is no nest below without a thorn; this you well know, and therefore will not expect it. But there is a bosom without a thorn, even where John leaned, and where, by faith, unworthy I often lean, and find sweet rest and refreshing. And in that dear bosom and in that dear heart "yet there is room," room even for you, O weary one! There you shall find no rebuke, no spurning, no upbraiding. The invitation to the laboring and the weary is, "Come unto me," "and I will give you rest." Nor did those precious lips ever utter one unmeaning word. He means it all, and His ear and heart are open to all the sorrowful agitations of those poor and needy ones whom He invites to His rest. How many a long sad tale has He privileged me to breathe out to Him; oh! such as none else would have had patience to listen to, or cared to remedy.

Others would have called it imaginary trouble; but He bore with it all, and either delivered out of it, or delivered in it—either made a way of escape, or gave strength to endure, through finding in Him enough to fill and satisfy under it all. Then at other times He has discovered the illusion of the enemy, kindly shown me that I really was fretting under imaginary evil, and, without upbraiding, has set me on high from him that was puffing at me. (Psalm 12:5) When under deep and sore trials, His heart, and arm, and counsel have been for my all-sufficient support. Oh! what a friend is Christ to me! And not less to you, my beloved. Oh! come then and magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Do not let us be murmuring in these tents of flesh, (Psalm 106:25) but by faith going forth to Jesus. Our Father has not appointed us any portion in self—but He has given Christ, the true Manna, to be our portion for time and eternity; and the more we are brought to feed upon Him by faith, the less we shall need or desire anything besides. Oh! may the blessed Spirit bring us to this dear privilege, that so we may grow up into Him our living Head in all things.

Mr. W— preached two Sabbaths. The last was one of great power and blessedness to my soul. I do love to hear of those eternal verities upon which he so constantly dwells, even love in its fountain and source, far back before the worlds were made—the love of the Father, the love of the Son, and the love of the Spirit fixed upon the Church, well knowing all that would come to her in the Adam fall—but determining to bring her safe up to glory through and notwithstanding all. Oh! it is good old wine of the kingdom, which strengthens my faith far more than endlessly dwelling on the changes in self and feeling. Those changes we must have while below, for the decree has gone forth that while earth lasts, day and night, summer and winter, shall not cease; but the way to be strengthened under them is to consider Him who changes not—but rests in His love, and ever beholds His people all fair in His own loveliness. May you be brought to rest in Him, my dear friend, for it is blessed indeed so to do.

I much enjoyed converse with the dear Margate friends. Jesus was our theme, and we were of one heart in desiring that He should be all and in all, and we have had an abiding blessing from it. . . . I hear Mr. D— is coming to England. I hope he may visit you, and that you may have as sweet a blessing as you did last time. The Lord sends His disciples where He Himself will come, and it is most sweet to converse of Him and with Him, and how the heart does burn while He opens in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. That is it, beloved friend, which is food to the soul, even the living Bread who came down from heaven; and as we feed on Him we forget our poverty in the first Adam, because we have found such superlative riches in the second. Oh! yes indeed, He is full of fullness just suited to our needs, and He says, "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it." The more we receive, the more we are yet enlarged to receive; and the more we know and enjoy of Him the more we see yet to be known and enjoyed. What our Father has bestowed upon us in giving Christ is indeed astonishing, and will be unfolding to all eternity. May we be learning more and more of His unsearchable riches now; thus shall we be less affrighted at our own poverty, which we must also learn—but only to bring us to know more of the depths of His matchless love, and that we may rejoice and glory in Him alone. Ever praise Him, O my soul, who has remembered and visited you in your low estate, for His mercy endures forever!

Oh, my dear friend, this lovely Savior makes me so happy in Himself and with Himself that I sometimes think I must be going home, though perhaps it is rather a preparative for some trial; but all, however, shall be well; through the fire and through the water He will bring us safely to the wealthy place. I have had a precious baptism of love the last three weeks—a sweet foretaste of the fullness of joy, and of those pleasures which are at His right hand for evermore. I am most unworthy; but worthy, ever worthy, is the precious Lamb; and our Father has blessed us in Him; therefore our own unworthiness is no barrier to the flowing of these heavenly streams; it has nothing to do with it. These streams rise in God, flow in Christ, and bear down before them all that is of the creature; yes in the ocean of His love and blood both self and sins get lost. For "of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."

Do you know anything of the Orphan House at Bristol? I am deeply interested in it; it is so encouraging to faith. I am going to send you a report, hoping you may find it profitable, as I and many have done.

Your affectionate friend,