The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860

The fresh venture upon Christ of a doubting soul

To Miss C.
My dearest Anne,
My heart yearns over you, and much do I long that you may be comforted. Jesus can and will relieve your aching heart. What is it, my beloved friend, which distresses you? Is it the absence of Jesus? Ah! that is a sorrowful condition; but He loves you just as much as when you leaned on His bosom, and He will come again and embrace you, making you ashamed of the jealousies you now feel; for surely it is not knowing a friend to trust him only so far as we can see him. Oh, then, may the Spirit enable you even in the dark to trust in the Lord and stay upon our God.

Is it sin which breaks your heart? The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin (I am a living witness of it); from heart and life sin, indulged and repeatedósins of ingratitude and carelessness, sins against light and knowledge, and a thousand others. Do not, therefore, be cast down. Since I have found mercy--none need despair. Venture with all your guilt upon Christ; you know He has borne the curse due to it, and He will restore peace to your conscience.

But, perhaps, you have been looking over your evidences, and by reason of the mist which now envelops you they appear so dim that you question whether they are genuine. I have found it sometimes well to give Satan a little ground here: throw evidences away, and suppose what he says is true, that we have been deceived. And then fly to Christ just as we are, without one plea, hanging simply upon His blood and righteousness as a helpless sinner, determined, that if we perish, it shall be in venturing upon Him. Thus shall we prove whether it is true that He can and will save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. You cannot think what relief I have had in this way.

But, whatever be your case, the remedy is in Christ. May it soon be feelingly applied. I feel ashamed to give you these lispings, for you were in the way of believing long before I wasóbut we both remember the child who said to its mother, when she wept for her husband, "Is Jesus Christ dead?" Whereby her inordinate grief was reproved. So may my simple strains, by the Spirit's power, touch the discordant note in your soul, and if not, you must pardon and accept the attempt in proof of the love and sympathy of your unworthy but attached,