January 10th.—A week ago dear Mr. H— called for a few
minutes, and, in speaking of Psalm 23:4, he said, "Because Christ had the
sting of death for His people, it is, therefore, only a shadow to
them, which is elsewhere called a sleep." Last evening I was telling this to
Miss W—, and we conversed upon the subject of death; and in the
night-watches I was thinking that if death came from union with the first
Adam, it must be as a penal punishment, because part of the curse. Then was
sweetly opened to me 1 Cor. 3:22, 23, in which everything is included; and,
besides, death is especially mentioned there as ours, because we are
Christ's; therefore it comes to be so in union to Him. In the first Adam we
were death's prey; in the second, death is the gate through which we must
pass to obtain the perfect likeness of our Lord. In the first Adam death was
a conqueror; in the second, "death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Tim. 1).
These meditations were most sweet to my soul, making me at midnight to sing
aloud songs of praises unto the Lord.
January 14th.—I heard Mr. S— this morning from Psalm
1:3, "They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each
season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they
prosper." This afternoon greatly blessed in meditating upon the first verse,
and seeing Christ and the Church therein. Mr. S— spoke of this—but not in
the fullness and glory the Spirit showed it to me. Christ is "the blessed
Man," as the federal Head of His Church; and the description of Him is quite
in accordance with 1 Peter 2:22, 23; Heb. 7:26. He is the Man, who, doing
these things of the law, does live in them (Rom. 10:5). His righteousness is
of works, and He is blessed in His deeds. His reward is of debt. He owes
nothing now. But the Father owes Him the acceptance and glorification of all
His seed. Law and justice have payment beforehand, and now owe Him the
indemnification and justification of all His people, in their individual
experience. He is the blessed Man, and His bride inherits the blessing in
Him. She is blessed as Eve was (Gen. 1:27, 28). Eve was not brought out of
her husband, when it said, "God blessed them." So it is with us. We are
blessed in Christ (Psalm 72:17; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 10), and thus dwell in those
mountains where God has commanded the blessing (Psalm 133.); yes, upon Mount
Gerizim, where all the blessings of full obedience are promised. See Song
4:7; Ezek. 16:14. To talk of the Church being blessed or beautiful, except
in the obedience and beauty of her Husband, is strange language to me.
Whatever good works or fruits are seen in her, they are His fruit and
flowering through her. They do not procure the blessing—but are the effects
of it. He is the tree of life by the waters, and we, receiving His fruit,
are made fruitful.
January 16th.—I have been much exercised by my
friends wishing me to have further advice for my malady. My soul was greatly
bowed down, fearing to dishonor my precious Lord, and yet sorry to grieve
kind friends. I desired that this day of quiet my soul might be closely
engaged with the Lord about it. All I want is the Lord's will and the Lord's
glory. This evening these Scriptures have been applied: Psalm 50:15; Psalm
32:8; Micah 2:7. I trust this is the blooming of the rod, and that it will
also blossom and bring forth fruit; for which purpose I lay it up still
before the Lord.
January 21st, Sabbath.—There is much snow on
the ground this morning, and my Lord melted my heart with Isaiah 1:18, and
this because of 2 Cor. 5:21. Before divine service that word came sweetly,
Song 7:13; which the Lord fulfilled to me, showing me from His word how, for
His own good pleasure, He had long led me in the way of faith, and
had been to me, instead of human advisers, medical, legal, and spiritual.
Often has He also turned about the cloud to guide and instruct me. I am
fully satisfied to be in His loving hands. May he cause my dear friends
to know that I do these things by His word. "Those who honor me, I will
Evening.—I venture upon You, Lord, as my way.
Answer—"The way of the Lord is strength to the upright." I venture upon You
as my wisdom. Answer—"The Lord gives wisdom; out of His mouth comes
January 22nd.—"The preparation of the heart of man,
and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." He seems to be giving me the
first part, and I trust the rest will follow, that I may give an answer to
my kind friends.
January 23rd.—I am almost too ill to write tonight.
But I must, for further profit, note down that from reading 2 Chron. 16 the
Lord has brought me (contrary to the judgment of the flesh) to the decision
not to go to Oakham for human medicine—but to commit myself wholly to Him,
in whose hands I feel safe and happy. Jer. 42:15, 16, and Hosea 5:13, have
January 24th.—With the heart we believe, and then
with the tongue we make confession. Praise to You, my Lord, for Your kind
answer to my poor cries in the hour of trial, when waiting to know Your
mind. "Was I ever a barren wilderness to You?" Answer—Never, never, my
dearest Lord! It is I who am the barren wilderness. But You make the
wilderness to bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing. "You are my
witnesses, says the Lord."
January 30th.—Isaiah 33:24, is just as I feel, "The
people of Israel will no longer say, 'We are sick and helpless,' for the
Lord will forgive their sins." Though afflicted in body, yet I am dwelling
in Christ by faith. In my precious Jesus I enjoy experimentally forgiveness
and healing. I could not have thought to have seen such good days. I have
often prayed to possess the west and the south together. The west—the
setting sun, the evening of life; the south—warm, bright, and cheering. And
if this disease is taking down my tabernacle, it surely is with me as with
Naphtali: "Satisfied with favor, full with the blessing of the Lord;" yet
all I enjoy is free and sovereign, "without money and without price."
February 1st.—O Lord, give me a thankful heart.
Answer—Do you want one to feed upon? Feed upon Me, and then a thankful heart
will not be lacking.
February 18th.—I felt this morning rather weary, and,
like Jacob, "would needs be gone," because my soul greatly longed for my
Father's house above. I had afterwards a refreshing time in the sanctuary.
Mr. D. F— preached from "Having nothing, and yet possessing all things."
During service the Lord sweetly renewed in my soul two formerly given
portions, in Isaiah 35:10, John 14:3; which came home to my case of
affliction, and I felt they were a pearl dropped for me, which I must put
among my treasures for this last stage of the journey. "Those who have been
ransomed by the Lord will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting
joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy
and gladness." "If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back
and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also."
February 20th.—Mr. T. S— kindly called upon me today.
In conversing upon death, he said he had been thinking that Naaman the
Syrian had to go into the waters of Jordan before he could get rid of his
leprosy; and so the believer goes through the Jordan of death to get rid of
the spiritual leprosy. This was very sweet to me. It is at death we drop the
image of our fallen head, by whom we received the dreadful disease.
February 22nd.—"We who have believed, do enter into
rest." Surely this is known by me this night, after enduring much
temptation. Oh, the excellent overcoming life of faith; how it strengthens
grace, and is the beginning of glory.
"Believing, we rejoice
To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,
And sing His bleeding love."
March 4th.—What must I do with these books of my
heart's journey through the wilderness? How I shrink from leaving them
behind for other eyes than my own to see. Oh, it seems impossible! And yet
this word has come, which has made me to pause, "Destroy it not, for a
blessing is in it." O Lord, I commit them to You. Your will be done. I
cannot be too much abased. Oh, set Your foot on me, if thereby you may be
more seen, and exalted, and enjoyed by any of Your redeemed.
March 9th.—For two days I have been asking that I
might come more into the light of eternity, which the Lord has graciously
answered; for this afternoon, while at the Divine footstool, I was favored
with a little revelation of absorption in bliss in the fullness of
Jesus. It was a little in comparison to the consummation. But yet, there was
that in it, which earth's language cannot express, opening sweetly to me the
thought that eternity is, with Jehovah, one "eternal now;" and how there is
no night there, no weariness—an everlasting glory, uninterrupted by the
revolvings of time. I realized a little of what it is to be unshackled, not
only from earth—but from time. But words fail to describe that fullness of
glory, activity of worship, and perfection of rest.
March 18th.—I have felt great blessedness this
morning, and as if every cloud of guilt and trouble were under my feet, in
union with Christ. He has also given me another comfortable whisper about
dying, "If you abide in me, you shall not feel it" (John 8:51). What a
passage! It never seemed so full before. Dear Lord, fulfill every good word
"on which You have caused me to hope." I am pleased to find that while I was
so much blessed on Friday, a dear brother was pleading for me, and enjoying
much blessed freedom with the Lord, and union with my spirit. This is
"communion of saints." Oh, for more walking in the Spirit! It is He who
reveals spiritual secrets, and opens love's stores, such as 1 Cor. 2:9,
as I am a happy witness. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has
imagined what God has prepared for those who love him!" Ebenezer!
March 21st.—Day of national fast and humiliation, on
account of the dreadful war. O Lord, hear Your people's cries, and spare our
beloved—but guilty land. I have long blushed before You, because of our
favoring Popery. O Lord, open the eyes of our King and rulers, that this sin
may be put away, and Your just judgments be removed from us.
March 22nd.—"Your will be done," has been the
peculiar feeling of my soul today, and for some time previous. The Spirit
has kept me bowing to meet every fresh wave as it comes; for, oh! this is a
stormy world. But the true feeling, "Your will be done," is like oil upon
every wave, so calming the soul that there is no contrary current.
The Spirit bends us, the wave passes over us, and we say, "It is well!"
April 2nd.—Precious Jesus, I am glad You bring out
good wine at last. I need a strong cordial. Oh! renew the miracle of Cana of
Galilee. I know six of Your vessels which are filled with the waters of
temptation or tribulation, and Your power is the same as ever. Let us all
feel it; and let this very water be turned into the wine of the kingdom. How
sweet and strong has this word been to me tonight, "He is able.""Ask the
Lord for rain in the spring, and he will give it. It is the Lord who makes
storm clouds that drop showers of rain so that every field becomes a lush
pasture." Zechariah 10:1. "I pray that you will begin to understand the
incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same
mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of
honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 1:19-20. Oh,
that mighty power! Lord, give me faith to take hold of it, in my present
April 3rd.—This is called "Passion-week." I feel it
precious to have the companionship of a once-suffering Savior, who was "a
Man of sorrows." He drank of every bitter cup, that He might feel with and
support us. The times and seasons are in the Father's power, not in the
hands of men. But I am glad, if through these times of commemoration, I can
get a view of my Lord in His humiliation or exaltation. Dear, precious Lord,
I afresh crave fellowship in Your sufferings.
April 6th, Good Friday.—I have been looking
much at the last hours of my precious Lord, this morning. This afternoon I
have been somewhat beholding the precious Sufferer on that middle cross.
Both the thieves railed on Him. But one of these theives, by the power
Spirit, was brought to confess his own sinfulness, and by the same Spirit to
call Jesus "Lord." Then how sweet was the answer of peace, "Today you shall
be with me in paradise." Thus did redeeming love break forth in a refreshing
stream from that suffering heart and those parched lips—to give drink to
that other sufferer, who was, indeed, "ready to perish."
After this, came the cry of agony, "My God, my God, why
have You forsaken me?" Oh! that was the climax of woe! And then those
mysterious words, "I thirst!" Mere bodily suffering was not all which was
couched in these words. But that righteous One was dwelling with the
devouring fire, and enduring what would have been to us "everlasting
burnings." The wrath of the Lawgiver was going forth upon the sin which was
found upon Him. He thirsted, as in hell—that He might "lead us to
fountains of living waters" in heaven!
And those tender looks and words to His mother and His
beloved John, do indeed manifest a heart without an atom of that selfishness
which we inherit by the fall.
Truly, I have almost seemed to stand beside His cross,
and gather up these precious fragments with wondering love, and mingled joy
How I wonder, whether, in the multitude of those gazers,
anyone in that hour beheld the "Fountain opened to the house of David, and
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." We know that, afterwards, some were washed
therein, as Peter testifies, in Acts 23, 36: "Whom you with wicked hands
have crucified and slain;" at which time they were pricked in their hearts,
and brought to look by faith "upon Him whom they had pierced; and by His
stripes they were healed."
Then came the end, when, after receiving the vinegar,
Jesus said, "It is finished!" Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
What amazing weight and fullness is in those three words, "It is finished!"
Finished for me, the vilest of the vile, whom You have privileged to stand,
with dear Mary Magdalene, at the foot of Your cross, and listen to Your dear
lips, which, even there, do drop as the honeycomb. If these sips in grace
are so sweet, what will those draughts in glory be? Ah! when I have received
the vinegar, I shall follow Him. Hasten on the happy day! Oh, bless all my
loved ones with like sweets from Your bitter cup.
April 8th.—My precious Lord, I long for entrance
today into the glories of Your resurrection by the power of the Spirit. Oh,
come and show Yourself to me, as You did to Mary Magdalene. I seem to have
gotten to Your feet for a moment, as my risen Lord, and You have sweetly
repeated in my heart, that "where I am, there shall you be also;" above sin,
the world, and death. But, dear Lord, I want a fuller revelation of
Yourself, as it is written in John 16:1. Come, and do the same to me. On
Friday You gave me a place with Mary Magdalene at Your cross, where, as
chief sinners, we loved and wept to Your praise. Oh! now give me her
privilege in the garden—to see You risen; and show me, as You did those
other disciples, Your hands and Your feet; and let me hear You say, "Behold
my hands and my feet, that it is I myself!"
May 6th.—I have been in the deep of soul-exercise and
anguish, five days in this week—but have since enjoyed a Bethel visit, when
meeting with two dear saints. It was a time long to be remembered. My soul's
sins seemed to be lost in Jesus, and for some moments I enjoyed heaven
beyond expression, in all the stillness of love. Oh! did dear saints speak
more of Him, they would have more heart-warming seasons. My heart gladly
sings, "Hosannah to the Son of David;" for though I go down to the deeps,
His love is under all; and when I get above earth, self, and creatures, His
love is above all, whether I apprehend it or not. Praise to my covenant God
forever. My outward things are rough—but it brings my Beloved nearer, and
that is more than all. Oh, that I could praise and honor Him more, and win
His loved ones and mine to walk closer with their God, by abiding in Him.
Oh, precious Christ, eclipse all earthly vanities, by revealing Yourself
May 13th.—I heard the sermon with a blessing this
morning, from Hab. 3:18. The minister remarked, that where it says, in verse
17, "Though the fig-tree shall not blossom," it intimates, not only dearth
at the present—but also a prospect of it for the future; for, if there is no
blossom, there will be no fruit; yet would the prophet "rejoice in the God
of his salvation." In this thought there is something solemn as well as
sweet. When present trials are heavy, flesh would take shelter in hope. But
when there is no blossom, and therefore no fruit, faith only can rejoice
here. Jesus is the object of faith, and He is "the same yesterday, and
today, and forever." "Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no
fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no
food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet
I will triumph in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and
enables me to walk on mountain heights!" Habakkuk 3:17-19
May 14th.—I have this day learned a lesson, never to
do anything when feeling very impetuous. Then should we wait, and waiting is
the work of faith, which is no easy matter at such a time. Dear Savior, seal
home this lesson to my heart.
May 27th, Sacrament-day.—The past month has
been a stormy one with me—but I have had great joy in the Lord. I think I
shall never have much ease in the flesh, because I am so very covetous of
the Lord's choice spiced wines—and they are chiefly found in trials and
July 6th.—Jubilee. My birthday. I had scarcely
thought to see another—but hoped I was almost at home. Disease has made
decided progress, and I have suffered much—but in the furnace of affliction
many sins have been burnt off, and I certainly now walk more at large with
my Lord. I am this day fifty years old, therefore it is the time of Jubilee;
and surely, during some past months, a blessed return has been proclaimed in
my soul. I had been suffering much for a year or two, from lack of that
close sweet contemplation enjoyed before. In this affliction it has been
restored—all glory to the Lord. Another peculiarity has been, that when very
ill I saw such folly, extreme folly, in my anxious care about outward
things, because the Lord knew He would soon take me home, and that little
would do. Oh! I felt ashamed of my perplexities and lack of trust.
"I find myself a learner yet,
Unskillful, weak, and apt to slide."
I am much abased in my own eyes, and truly dependent on
the Lord for faith and everything else. I have had a quick succession of
trying events this year—but much spiced wine of my Lord's love. Oh! what
cause I see to praise Him, for He has indeed done great things for
unworthiest me; and yet I am desiring more. With thanksgiving I further seek
enlargement into a glorious Christ, and abiding in Him by faith, that His
fruits may more abundantly flow out in my life and conversation to His
glory. Anew, my precious Lord, have I this day sought that all I have, and
am, should be consecrated to You, and You much honored in all that shall
befall me. Oh! guide me with Your eye, make Your way plain before my face.
If I live, may I live unto the Lord; if I die, may I die unto the Lord; may
Jesus be more revealed to me and through me; may His savor and
perfumes be breathed to living souls. Oh, bless all my dear friends
abundantly, and may we all be full of Him. Grant still more, a south land,
and springs of water also. Amen, and amen. Ten thousand thanks for all Your
matchless favors, in the sunshine and in the storm. I dare not look forward
with the eye of sense—but would go forth by faith, with Jesus only. Lord,
give the single eye. A poor, weak, lonely creature, leans all her weight on
You—and shall be blessed and shall bless You, for You have blessed, and none
shall reverse it.
July 8th.—Surely some of the silvery tones of the
Jubilee trumpet are sounding in my soul, in which I discern liberty, return,
rest. Oh! my precious Lord, thoroughly fulfill these in my experience while
I sojourn below. In Lev. 25:13, it is said, "In the year of this Jubilee you
shall return every man to his possession." I much enjoy this in connection
with Numbers 18:20, where the Lord says, "I am your part and your
inheritance among the children of Israel." This includes just the very thing
I want, which is, fully to leave all trials and perplexities, and dwell in
Christ as my possession and experience. Lev. 25:19: "And the land shall
yield her fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety."
I do not mean any outward improvement—but to dwell in Christ by faith,
feeding upon His fruits, and to receive all outward things for His sake,
seeking only His glory; and so to welcome them, whether pleasing or painful.
This is walking uprightly in union-privilege. To have this fully, I humbly
seek as my Jubilee, in connection with experience of Romans 6. Oh, my
precious near Kinsman, You have redeemed me: and, in right of Your
redemption, I seek these things. I, a poor, enthralled, sin-bound worm,
could have had no Jubilee but for Your redemption. You have bought me with
Your blood, I am Your land, and I must return unto You—love brings me. Oh,
possess me fully in every power and faculty—dwell in Your poor land, and be
its riches—dwell in Your poor garden, and be its fruitfulness, and then eat
Your pleasant fruits. Oh, come, for it is Jubilee; and Your land cries unto
You to come, that she may enjoy her Sabbath, and be refreshed by resting in
You. And then also You, Your own self, are my Land, for we are married; "my
Beloved is mine, and I am His." Oh, delight of delights! And You possessing
me, I shall possess You; and this makes my heavenly Jubilee my foretaste of
the fullness of joy.
July 24th.—The following portions, as heavenly manna
with dew, have come into my soul today: "You are complete in Him," which was
repeated in my heart when feeling the abominations there. And then Song 4:8,
Look "from the lion's den, and from the mountains of the leopards"
(our own corruptions), to Jesus to subdue! Then Psalm 110:3, these
words, "Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power," willing "in
the beauties of holiness." Here was the power at this time—Christ "the
beauties of holiness;" even amidst all we feel within, He is our
loveliness—and the Spirit does strengthen faith to be willing to glory in
Him alone. This is a mystery, and a mighty triumph of faith—but not too hard
for the Lord; and, moreover, faith is enabled to embrace Jesus as its
victory over the very evils which the soul may be feeling and loathing. The
"beauties of holiness." How that word has sparkled as a description of my
Lord. "Will you go with this Christ?" Ah! willing, most willing, indeed, am
I to leave all, and follow Him whithersoever He goes.
I had also much sweetness in Gen. 22, especially verse 8.
Our Father has provided Himself a Lamb. He has looked into Himself for it.
He spared not His own Son—His beloved Son: He delivered Him up to bear all
that sin deserved. Here is the sufficient sacrifice for all the abominations
which are my plague. Hence it is that my sins cannot damn me; the guilt of
them has been atoned for; and, therefore, it is not presumption to have rich
consolation in Christ, and to rejoice that I am complete in Him, even while
feeling that in my flesh dwells every evil thing, and groaning under it,
too. Adored and adorable Lord, seal Your lessons with power on my soul! Let
my meditations of You be increasingly sweet! Make me glad in You, the
Lord—the Lord my Righteousness.
July 25th.—I was much profited last evening in
hearing a sermon from Psalm 119:75, "I know, O Lord, that your laws are
righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me." It was very
simple—but many remarks were suitable for those in tribulation, and I have
since had great profit from the text itself. It has been most searching in
my soul. In my bodily affliction all seems right—but in those providential
trials which have so continually come upon me, am I in them thoroughly
reconciled to the Lord's will? Do I realize that it is all love? have I not
often been kicking against the goads? Have I not at times thought it hard?
Have I not listened to carnal reason instead of walking by faith? And thus
this text has, by the blessed Spirit, searched me as with a candle. Oh!
gracious Lord, bring me fully to the experience of it in all things.
This word has been sweet today, "I have refined you—but
not with silver, I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction." Ah!
indeed, I seem to see that I must not pray to come out of the furnace; I am
not half broken and humbled. Do, dear Lord, bring Your glory, and my soul
health, out of those things so bitter to the flesh. I render praise that I
heard that text and sermon.
July 29th, Sacrament-day.—This morning I heard
a sermon from Heb. 4:14, in which Isaiah 53:6 was quoted, and never did I
see so much in the last half of it—"The Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity
of us all." I seemed to realize the weight of sin and guilt so ponderous
that none but Jehovah could have laid it upon the Surety, and none but such
a Surety could have borne it! My soul was humbled and melted.
I did not enjoy the Communion as sometimes—but faith and
love were stretching after a dear crucified Savior in all His solemn
glories, where it is said, "His soul was made an offering for sin," by which
"one offering He has perfected forever, those who are sanctified," whereof
the Holy Spirit also is a witness to us. And also, "he who believes has the
witness in himself," the Spirit bearing witness to our spirits that we are
the children of God. That is a wonderful word, perfected by His one
offering—may the Spirit seal it with instruction in my heart, that I may
feed and grow thereby.
Oh, glorious King, come and sit at Your table: and, while
faith is feeding upon You, my spikenard will send forth the fragrance
thereof, which can be nothing else but the graces of the Spirit. Oh! do bid
the north and south wind blow upon my soul, that the spices may flow out,
and You may be regaled with Your own—for from You is all my fruit and spice
found. I offer You warm thanks for all Your mercies during the past month;
indeed You have not been a barren wilderness to me. Though in tribulation,
You have been with me, and Your paths drop spiritual fatness upon the
pastures of the wilderness. I praise You, and would praise You more, and
rejoice that Your "mercy endures forever," and that Your will runs as a
straight line through all the crooked things of this time-state. Oh! reveal
Yourself to me in more fullness; let the shadows of temporal things shorten,
and the substance of eternal things brighten and deepen in my soul; let me
live above while I walk below. I am not refined—but refining: sustain
me under the more fire that may be needful. Many clouds are around me—but
this word is on my mind, "The way of the righteous shall be made plain." I
can only be righteous in You, "the Lord MY RIGHTEOUSNESS."
I had a very sweet view of death while in God's house
this morning. I saw that this mortal flesh is like a veil upon my spirit,
and it was as if my Beloved said, "At death I shall only come to turn the
veil aside, because I want to see you face to face." Oh! this was precious,
for surely I do want to see Him face to face; and, if disease should remove
the veil of this flesh with a rough hand, my dear Lord will sustain me, and
one view of Him will swallow up all remembrance of self-suffering.
August 19th.—I was much blessed this morning under
the word preached from Col. 3:1, "Risen with Christ." Oh! what volumes of
blessedness are in it. I see it in that we are risen with Christ in three
ways—virtually, vitally, and experimentally. The sermon was very
strengthening. Oh! to live constantly in this privilege by the renewing of
the Holy Spirit. Much glory beams on my soul in seeing how we are risen with
Christ, which must be in His perfection and purity. This is the fact of the
case, and it is establishing to search into and meditate on facts, and not
be circumscribed merely within our feeling of them; though where faith
realizes the former, the latter will not be predominantly at low tide.
I have been feasting on, "Where here is no law—there is
no transgression." "We are dead to the law by the body of Christ;" hence He
can say, "There is no spot in you," no transgression. "He has borne our sins
in His own body on the tree." Law and justice took hold on Him, and
therefore they let us go—they cannot hold both; as the sin He died,
and as His members, we died with Him; and as we abide in Him do we enjoy the
freedom, for "he that abides in Him sins not." This is the true Gospel way
of having the power of sin broken. Oh! what glories do we inherit in union
to the Lamb. We lose our own impurities, and are ever beheld, in the Divine
eye—in His perfect holiness. Precious Beloved of my soul, bring me by the
Spirit to live in You, walk in You, and never wander more.
August 26th, Sacrament-day.—How very wondrous
did it appear to see the King of Glory crowned with the curse—showing, as
one has said, that He has conquered it for His people. Oh! for more
revelations of Christ crucified—this is the way to enjoy Christ glorified.
August 31st, Thursday.—Today I have enjoyed
Him as the smitten Rock. I see how all grace-fullness was stored up in Him
for His needy members. But He must be smitten, that they might
honorably receive of it. Moses smote the rock—the law smote Christ, because
His people had broken it; and thus streams of grace flow out to them, their
conscience being smitten by the same law with conviction of sin, which makes
them thirst for this suitable supply. The dear Savior says, "If any man
thirsts, let Him come unto me and drink." Precious Jesus! You have refreshed
me with this living water; keep me coming, keep me believing, for You have
said, "He who comes to me shall never hunger; he who believes on me shall
September 2nd, Sabbath.—I came home on Friday,
and the dew of Divine blessing has richly rested in my soul since.
Dearest Lord, You have been most kind to provide this little rivulet of love
in such a dry and thirsty land.
September 7th.—Very refreshing gales from the
everlasting hills have revived my soul this week, and cheered me on in the
pilgrim way, drawing out my heart afresh in faith upon Jesus. For the two
past nights, in the silent watches, my dear Lord has given instruction—the
first night upon union with Himself, and last night showing most plainly
that it is not feeling and knowing corruption is salvation—but
knowing the Deliverer and deliverance by Him.
September 16th.—I have had a sweet meditation on the
miracles of our Lord. I saw how in the first Adam every part and power were
broken by the fall—and this is shown by the blind eyes, deaf ears, lame
feet, withered hand, palsied limbs, maddened brain, leprous flesh, etc.,
which were brought to the second Adam; "and He healed them all," for He was
in all senses the Restorer of the breach, and was manifested in flesh for
this very purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. These diseases of the
different parts of the body which He healed, seem to show what I feel
spiritually—even so maimed and broken, that I cannot use this body for His
service as I would; and I feel sweetly encouraged to bring each diseased
part (every one is diseased) to Him, that, having quickened me from the
dead, He would so dwell in me that my members shall be instruments of
righteousness, and by His own healing power overcome the dry and barren
land; that while sin dwells within, it may in no part reign over me. I feel
that "without You I can do nothing!" I may, by the Spirit's enabling, come
to Him by faith, and find also, "I can do all things through Christ,
who strengthens me." I have heard it said, that our dear Lord living so many
years in seclusion, shows the hidden life of the believer. This is very
sweet to me, and I see that those works which are manifest must, if they are
worth anything, flow from that hidden life, and the power of God therein.
September 22nd.—A few mornings ago these words were
sweetly opened in my soul—"The just shall live by faith;" and the subject
has continually returned since, showing the Lord's way of working, in giving
a promise and faith to receive and enjoy it—at times so fully, that the soul
feels it to be almost like the possession of the blessing included in the
promise, according to that word, "faith is the substance of things hoped
for;" which substance is for the time so satisfactory, that no further trial
is expected. Frequently, however, the Lord permits contrary winds to blow
after this, which make the soul to stagger. In such seasons we can only
"live by faith;" and, if the blessed Spirit keep faith in exercise, there
will be a steady going on through these dark shades of death, saying, "I
will fear no evil, for You are with me."
Usually, every child of promise has to be offered up in
sacrifice at the word of the Lord, for these are deaths which the redeemed
family are continually called to pass through, because, being "children of
the resurrection," their blessings shall have a death put upon them, that
flesh may be kept down, and they enjoy all, within and without, in
resurrection power. Here the "just shall live by faith." The Lord is showing
me how these things apply to my own providential matters, as regards the
rejoicing confidence given me in the winter; and feeling the folly of
anxious care, as noticed July 6th, and also the unlooked-for trials which
have come since. I now see the latter are only to try the faith of the
former; and the fears and tremblings I have at times felt, prove how much
sense there was mixed therewith. Inasmuch as faith prevails, I do
experimentally live in the trial, and look for resurrection life out of
seeming death. "Lord, increase my faith." How plainly does each living soul
discern His coming and going, that is, in manifestation.
On Tuesday I was much favored with the liberty of the
Spirit. Yesterday more bound—but in the afternoon Judges 6:38, seemed
powerful; and this morning the word in Exod. 16 has been sweetly fulfilled
in my soul, about the dew, and the manna, etc. Oh! how full of instruction
and refreshment has that chapter been. "Bless the Lord, O my soul."
September 30th, Sacrament-day.—A blessed month
has passed away, "full with the blessing of the Lord." My heart would praise
You. Oh! tune it, touch it, that there may be spiritual melody unto You.
Much blessed in hearing this morning from John 17:24, "Father, I desire
those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they will see My
glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s
foundation." What a glorious view I had of my precious Lord having finished
perfectly the work of obedience unto sufferings and death, for
through them He must enter into His glory. It seemed as if He had said, "I
have finished Your work—now smite me. I have loved You, served You, never
transgressed at any time Your commandment—now bruise me, and call for the
sword of justice to awake against me." But why smite, if thus perfect in His
work? It was for the sins of His bride. He had worked for her, and He would
now suffer for her; for when He added, "Now, O Father, glorify me," etc., He
knew that He stood as Surety for His Church, and that neither He nor she
could be glorified until He had drained the fiery cup of indignation—and
again said, "It is finished!"
He was perfect in His Person, and perfect in His work:
thus He stood now before the Father, as a lamb without blemish, to be
offered for the transgressors, and as a fatted calf, ready to be slain for
the prodigals. My soul melted in this view of Him, and on Him by faith I
sweetly fed. At the Lord's table, too, this afternoon, I was again refreshed
with "living bread," which words were read, and seemed fuller than ever. A
precious Christ is living manna, rained down from heaven for those who are
written among the living in Jerusalem. His body was broken—but not His
bones, which represent His members; these He preserved by yielding up
Himself to the stroke—"If you seek me, let these go their way."
Precious Jesus! I would now thank You for every wound and
every sorrow You endured; for "Your bloody sweat," caused by agony of soul.
It was all in payment of my debt, all was atonement for my guilt. It was the
dignity of Your Person, which made every stroke and stripe of worth indeed.
My poor body is worn and weary—but I would gladly go on; for the Rock pours
me out rivers of oil, and my happy soul longs still to pour it out, as I
have been trying to do before, to one dear to You and me.
Oh, what will it be to see You face to face? If 'streams'
are so sweet, what must the 'Fountain' be? I long to be there; until
then, oh, do renew living faith in lively actings upon Your precious Person,
and work continually by the operation of Your blessed Spirit. Use me for
Your glory and for the profit of my loved ones. I am fit for nothing. But
You are the Worker, and the fitness, in all things.
October 8th.—Praise! It is nine years today since my
dearest mother was taken to the bosom of Jesus. I never felt so much longing
to gird up the loins of my mind and look up, and look on—but not look back.
This heart would swell, and this bosom would heave at times today. But then
did I struggle towards my Savior, desiring to leave the dead for the living,
sweetly feeling that in our living Redeemer we are still and forever one;
and that to look at her, my loved one, with fleshly regrets, is to dishonor
Him, and darken my own soul. To You I come, my glorious Beloved. Oh! take
and use me for Your glory, and make my remaining 'inch of life' below show
forth Your praise. I thank You for my revered parents, and for all blessings
by them: I thank You they are safely housed—
"Far from this world of noise and sin,
With God eternally shut in."
October 28th, Sacrament-day.—I have the last
three weeks had deep soul exercise, with many tears, about allowing my
letters to be published in the "Gospel Magazine;" but, when covered with
shame and grief before the Lord, He seemed to say, "For your shame you shall
have double," and Exod. 2:3, 4, has come with power. When Moses could no
longer be hidden, then his mother in faith laid him in an ark at the river's
brink; it looked like giving him up to the Lord at a venture, and so I must
do, hiding what He has done no longer. This word has come to me with power,
"Go, borrow vessels of your neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a
few;" also (though I do not know that it is Scripture), "like oil from
vessel to vessel." Oh! it is most blessed to be under Divine teaching. Dear
Lord, I wonder and adore. Oh! pardon the vilest of all Your children. If You
will take just the fag end of my days, and honor Yourself therein, it will
be another of Your wondrous stoops. Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
"be it unto me according to Your word" and Your will. I am ashamed of the
past, and my tears will often flow on reviewing it. I had a blessed season
at the Lord's table: I went to sacrifice freely unto the Lord in the above
matter. Oh! my precious Beloved, if this thing is of You, let the yoke of my
timidity be destroyed by the anointing. Lay Your cause, truth, and people
closer upon my heart, and, at whatever cost to my flesh, be honored through
me. Oh! can it be? It can! "Nothing is too hard for the Lord."
November 26th, Sacrament-day, Morning.—Ebenezer!
O my God, my soul has been cast down in me. But now You comfort me before
any outward deliverance comes, and are filling me with Your hidden treasures
of spiritual wine and oil, in Ezek. 44, where, O blessed Spirit, You do
richly preach Christ unto me. Oh, how blessedly does that 27th verse show
how we are to go to the Lord's table, even with Christ as our sin-offering;
and especially how we who feel our own unholiness may come near to a holy
God, and worship Him within the veil which has been rent in twain. The
outward rite of this is fully shown in Lev. 16, and the spiritual secret in
2 Cor. 5:21, where we find our sin-offering, which God first found for
us—which our High Priest has offered (Heb. 9:14, 7:27)—and which God has
accepted. We who are thus made priests unto God are to bring the same
offering by faith under the anointing of the eternal Spirit, and that, not
only when we first believe and know that this precious Jesus was made sin
for us individually—but also in all our after approaches to the mercy-seat.
Now those who would come near to God, must do so with a true heart and a
single eye to Christ (Heb. 10:22). There is no other way of approach. Then
verse 26 of Ezek. 44 points to Christ again: "They shall eat the
meat-offering and the sin-offering;" explained by "Take, eat, this is my
body;" also, John 6:53, is another exercise of faith-feeding on Christ. But
verse 28 is most blessed, alluding to the sin-offering: "It shall be unto
them for an inheritance;" not a thing enjoyed and done with—but that which
is to continue a blessing and benefit. Then follows, "I am their
inheritance." How striking! for surely here shines out that He is our
sin-offering, since both the sin-offering and Himself are our inheritance,
and we, as His priests, are to have no other; also, Numb. 18:20. He gave to
Abraham, in the promised land, none inheritance; no, not so much as to set
his foot on. He dwelt there a stranger and sojourner, and yet he lacked no
good thing—but had a goodly portion; for the Lord said unto him, "I am your
shield, and your exceeding great reward." So, in all things here below, we
too are but strangers and sojourners—but our Christ is our inheritance; and
we find in Him all that a holy God requires—even precious blood without
taint, and a sacrifice fat with perfect obedience to the law. "The fat and
the blood are the Lord's" (Lev. 3:16, 17, and verse 15, of this 44th
chapter)—but we partake with Him, for "He has made a feast of fat things
full of marrow, and wines on the lees well refined," which is spoken of in
Our God has, indeed, "prepared of His goodness for the
poor," and with Him we feed on His own chosen Lamb, in whom He is forever
delighting. The 5th verse strikes me very solemnly. I look not at any of the
literal meanings of the prophecy—but at those which are experimental. The
entering in is by Christ, and the going forth is by self. Mark it well, O my
soul, for indeed thus you have found it. When Christ is all, and your eye
single, there is blessed entering into holy nearness with God. When self is
set up, there is a going forth from that near approach. Verse 4 says, "the
glory of the Lord filled the house." Christ is that glory, "whose house are
we," and when our hearts are full of Him, and fixed on Him, then self falls,
and our spirit worships in Christ, who is "the beauties of holiness" (verse
17, 18). Those who entered the inner court were to wear nothing that "causes
sweat," as sweat was connected with the curse: "In the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread." But when Jesus took away the curse from His people, He
sweat for them great drops of blood, that they might enter into rest
by believing, and worship in quietness and peace, not in the warmth or
effort of fleshly feeling and excitement. They must have on the fine linen,
even "the righteousness of the saints," being clothed with His obedience,
who is the "Lord our Righteousness."
December 3rd.—I had a rich feast yesterday in Lam. 3,
where Christ did have the pre-eminence as the Prince of sufferers. On Friday
evening those words were most powerful, as the language of Jesus (Lam.
1:12), and I saw how much His own children pass Him by—how much I pass Him
by. O precious Lord, how can You bear with me so?
December 9th.—This morning Job 38:4 was opened to me.
God asks, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? declare,
if you have understanding." In Prov. 8, Jesus, under the name of Wisdom,
says, "I am understanding;" and it is in Him we find the answer. The Church
was in God from everlasting (Psalm 90:1). But she was left to fall from her
creature perfection in the first Adam into the mire of actual transgression;
yet has He devised means whereby His banished ones should not be expelled
from Him (1 Sam. 14:14). The Church is of God; there is her Divine origin.
But also in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:30); for "the Father gave her to His Son,
and Christ betrothed her for His own." Then comes Heb. 2:14. The elder
Brother taking flesh and blood is the devised means to brink back the
younger children—His banished, saying, "Return, you children of men" (but
children of God also). Now we could not return where we never had been
before. Here, therefore, is plainly shown that eternal truth (which I never
could receive until God Himself revealed it in my soul)—eternal union
as well as eternal choice. In the resurrection, this "purchased
possession" shall awake from the dust, incorruptible, and return "to Zion
with songs and everlasting joy." The first return is experimental, when
quickened, or rather new born; and these privileges are opened by the Spirit
as the new man grows. But the fuller, and more glorious return will be in
the resurrection. Truly, the Lord fed my soul with the fatness of His
spiritual house. I had been much awake in the night, and was earnestly
longing to apprehend Jesus by faith, as the death of my old man, and the
life of my new. "They shall not be ashamed which wait for me." Blessed are
all those who by the Spirit wait for Him. That I should be one—oh, what a
marvel! Grace, grace unto it.
December 23rd.—I have been much desiring the grace of
the coming season (Christmas), to commemorate the incarnation of our Lord.
He can make it as a lattice, through which He will show Himself to His
believing people, and often has He done so to my soul. Never did I need it
more than now. This very morning a trifle seized my fleshly mind, and
stirred up its vanity and folly, by which my thoughts were for a time
brought into captivity. How abominable and filthy is my natural heart,
drinking down any iniquity or foolishness like water. Truly, raven-like it
is, for it feeds upon corruption, which brings the Dove, or new nature, into
true mourning. Thus am I now. Behold, I am vile. Woe is me, that such a mere
feather weight of temptation, finding me off the watch, should carry me away
into lightness of spirit, with vanity of mind, etc. My precious Savior, I
fly to You by faith. Only You can give me rest and peace, by Your blood and
in Your love.
Evening.—Let me remember the sweet sacred power with
which the following thoughts have just melted my soul, while crying to the
Lord for instruction in the way of wisdom, and for faith to apprehend afresh
the atoning efficacy of the death of Jesus as regards my present feeling of
sin. First, I was much arrested with Exodus 30:1-3, etc. The altar of
incense, made of shittim wood and of gold, on which sweet spices were daily
burned. Here my precious Jesus beamed upon me, to the reviving of my soul;
and methinks I did by faith take hold of the horns of that altar while
waiting for a word from the Lord with much desire. After that came to my
mind, "The just [or justified] shall live by faith." "There is not a just
man upon earth that does good and sins not." "He that abides in Him sins
not." When the Spirit brings the sentence of justification into the
conscience, through the blood and righteousness of the Surety, thenceforward
the justified one lives in the blessedness and grace of justification before
God. But we have experimental access and continuance in it by
faith alone. There is not a justified person on earth who so constantly
lives by faith as always to realize experimentally that he is, before God,
as one that sins not, because of union to Him who was made sin for him, and
bore it all away. "He who abides in Him sins not." It is not that he sins
less, or sins unwillingly, or hates it while he does it. All this is
true—but more also. In a law sense, he sins not. He is one to whom God will
not impute sin, because his Surety has stood in his law place, and has had
it all imputed to Him. This is a sinning not which will stand the
strict scrutiny of a holy God, for it is the way of His own devising and
accomplishing. So to live by faith, looking only to Jesus and His blood and
righteousness, is blessed indeed!
Alas, however, deceitfulness comes in, and, by giving a
side-look at self, we go down again into the ditch of our sin; for if we
will, through legality, touch our own responsibility, we must fall and sink
under the weight of our guilt. If we, in our own personality, say we have no
sin, "we lie, and do not the truth;" for the mystery of iniquity is all
within, and we shall feel it. It is only in union-privilege we sin
not; the Husband standing, in law, responsible for the wife. It is not that
she contracts no debts—but all is in His name; so it is as if He contracted
them, and not His bride. Thus the law and the divine Lawgiver look at it.
But, woe is me, I fail in faith, and turn to sense, and bow down under my
sin. Yet rich have been those words to me: "If any man sins, we have an
Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: who is the atoning
sacrifice for our sins;" and afresh we do realize, that though sin works in
us, yet we are "complete in Him;" which humbles and melts more than anything
else, as my heart does this evening prove.
All my feeling of sin and shame this day has not softened
my heart so much as a sense of non-condemnation through non-imputation.
Words cannot express the rich healing grace that flows in. I wonder and
adore, and long to live by faith to honor my glorious Lord, who has
justified me from all things, and forever. The poor dove has got back to the
ark, and the raven may starve. Never does the old man get so little food
as when we are truly living and walking by the faith of the Son of God.
O precious near Kinsman and Redeemer, You have taken my responsibilities and
liabilities. Oh, give me faith to live in this blessed freedom—loathing sin,
renouncing self, exalting Christ, "made wise unto salvation." All praise to
a Triune Jehovah, from a chief sinner saved. Surely such a one should be a
chief singer upon the stringed instrument of the new heart. "Unto Him who
loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, be glory and dominion
forever and ever.
December 24th, Christmas-eve.—Praise!
Ebenezer! The well of Bethlehem opened.
"A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing."
Through a covenant Savior, yes, through His very heart
and veins so precious, which were pierced that there might be an outflow of
the living stream to the covenant family, and that we might know how deep
was His love, who thought not such a cost too much for His bride the Church.
And am I a covenant child? Am I one of that happy number? Can such a vile
worm be of the Royal family? Even so—all praise to my covenant God!
I am alone in the house. But while at tea, my royal Lord
came, to the joy of my heart, and over my lonely meal He caused me to sing
with heart and voice, "Crown Him Lord of all," while joyful tears flowed in
love and wonder at His great kindness to His "sparrow alone." Through free
grace, I experience Isaiah 45:24, 25. How I am thinking of the shepherds and
the angel's message: "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a
Savior—who is Christ" Jehovah. And now we can take up the song in nearer
interest, "Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given."
Oh! it is "an unspeakable gift," a precious gift. I feel it to be so, and
long ardently that all my loved ones might share my full cup of joy and
gladness. Precious, precious Jesus, visit them all, and then they will, they
must, sing unto You, and will not condemn me for being too happy in You. O
Father! do pour out Your Spirit more copiously upon Your redeemed, to raise
them more above flesh and sense, that they may sit in heavenly places. Oh!
that they sought it more, for You are a liberal Giver. Yet for all these
things will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, says the Lord.
That was a blissful day when, in the stable, the Lord of
glory came forth in the prepared body—an Infant of days, and yet the Father
of eternity. Profound mystery! in contemplation of which I am happily
lost—but find Him whom my soul loves, and in His praise would join that most
wonderful concert, when a multitude of the heavenly host sang His entrance
into the Church by the door; for He was the good Shepherd, and did
not climb up some other way. And now He is to me an open door, a gate of
praise, a way of life, my glorious all in all. "Glory to God in the
December 25th, Christmas-day.—I had not
thought to be yet in these lowlands. Last Christmas-day I seemed
getting near home—but my disease has been rebuked; its progress is now slow;
and I may still have long to wait in this leprous house. Dear Lord, let it
be all to Your glory, and it shall be well. My cup of joy has not been so
full today as last evening—but my fountain is still the same, and in Him I
do rejoice. I welcome Him into my nature as "the branch of the Lord,"
beautiful and glorious. Now do I long for more unfolding of the glories of
His Person. These words have been rich in my soul today: "You are complete
in Him." There is a wonderful mine of tried gold in them, which just suits
December 30th, Sacrament-day Morning.—What! Do
you think that He will not come to the feast? Do come, precious Jesus, and
meet me there, and renew my faith in lively actings upon Your Person and
works, love, and blood, and righteousness. These are the green pastures of
Your own providing. Oh! lead me afresh therein. May I journey today from
Bethlehem to Gethsemane and Calvary, and find You in them all—the Man who
has "stood in the gap" for me, in contrast with Ezek. 22:30, 31, and has
borne on Your own holy devoted Person those vials of wrath which were justly
my due. During the night-watches I had a solemn view of the exceeding
vileness of my past life. I am sure I am the worst of all.
"My faith would lay her hand,
On that dear head of Yours"
as my "sin-offering," and there confess it all. Blessed
Spirit, grant me solid soul-exercise this last Sabbath in another year.
There cannot be a thorough faith-view of Jesus, and entrance into His
finished work, if we fear to see the worst of ourselves which He is pleased
to show us. The whole we can never know. But oh! what an abasing sight it
is. I seem to myself a monster of iniquity.
December 31st, Monday Night.—An eventful year
is just closing; for it heights and for its depths I have cause to praise
the Lord. Oh, my heavenly Boaz, Your unworthy gleaner gives You praise for
all Your covenant handfuls of spiritual favor—but most for Yourself, my
boundless, endless treasure; my everlasting all. It was wonderful to let me
into Your field; more so to invite me to Your meal. But most wonderful of
all to take me for Your own, and give Yourself to me in everlasting bonds.
Oh! that I could praise You. Time cannot attain to suitable strains; and oh!
eternity will be too short to utter the half of what You are worthy to
receive. Renew faith in lively actings upon Yourself—then will You be more
known, more loved and honored. Ebenezer!