Constant religious engagements

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan" 1805-1860)

"They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but
 my own vineyard have I not kept."
Canticles 1:6

We may be active in our Lord's cause--but not
spiritual in our own souls. We may be earnest
for the salvation of others--but not be living in
the joys of salvation ourselves. We may be
instrumentally distributing the bread and water
of life--but not be enjoying daily refreshment
in our own experience. I do sorrowfully think
that this is too much the case in the present day.

The reason why I thus judge, is from finding people
so lively in conversing upon what they are doing for
the Lord--yet so slow to speak of what He is doing for
them. They seem delighted to tell of the great things
which are going on all around--but immediately shrink
back if any 'heart subject' is brought home to them.

In fact, if one speaks of personal enjoyment of the love
of Jesus, there is no response from some--but they put
it down to the score of egotism. While others refer to
years past, when they did feel Him to be precious--but
they confess that they know little of it now. They are
so occupied in what they call 'working for Him,' that they
hear little from Him, say little to Him, enjoy little of Him,
and may truly say, "While I was busy here and there,
He had left."

It is most lamentable for any living soul to be in
constant religious engagements
for the good of
others--while following Jesus "afar off." Very many
such I fear there are; as well as hundreds who only
know Him in the judgment--and yet are continually
reading, teaching, and conversing on His blessed
name. This is a day of great profession--but yet real
vital godliness is at a low ebb, and close walking with
God in sweet communion is too little sought after.

Solemn, indeed, are these facts!

We may well say, with David, "Search me, O God,
and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead
me along the path of everlasting life." Ps. 139:23-24