Encouragement to a burdened soul
To E. M., November 14, 1851.
My Very Dear,
Grace, mercy, and peace be with you,
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, by the anointing and teaching
of the Holy Comforter. "For," said our Lord, "He shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you."
"He will guide you into all truth." "He will bring me glory by revealing to
you whatever he receives from me." The Holy Spirit is the living guide to
Jesus. It is He who says, with power, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes
away the sin of the world." It is He who convinces of sin, who wounds, and
probes the wound, and lays open the evil of our nature, causing us to know
that we are corrupt within and without. But He not only thus discovers the
malady, He also applies the remedy. He abases the sinner; and exalts the
Savior. He gives the deep sense of sin--that the great salvation may be more
appreciated and enjoyed. We are as bad as we can be, and it is needful to
know it; but the knowledge of our depravity will not save us. It is, "Look
unto ME, and be saved, all the ends of the earth." Some seem to glory in
their deep discoveries of depravity; but nay, rather "let him that glories,
glory in the Lord."
The end of a thing is better than the beginning: the
beginning of the Lord's teaching is to know ourselves; the end to know Him,
whom to know is life eternal, and happy is it for those who tarry not in all
the plain, but amidst all the sense of sin and the loathing of self, are
kept pressing on, crying, "That I may know Him;" "that I may find Him;"
"that I may be found in Him;" "I press towards the mark;" "I long for the
We read, Luke 6:19, "The whole crowd was trying to touch
Him, because power was coming out from Him and healing them all." Their
miseries pressed them on to seek His mercies; and so the poor woman with the
issue of blood; it seemed incurable; it made her unclean. How dare she
approach the Holy Jesus? How dare she presume to touch His unspotted
garment? Ah, but she believed that He had power, and that that power
was to be received by faith; and thus she obtained the cure. "Somebody did
touch Me, I know that power has gone out from Me." She had believed with the
heart, and thus He drew her on to confess with the mouth, and then He openly
gave her the full reward of her faith—"Daughter, be of good comfort: your
faith had made you whole; go in peace." (Luke 8:43-48.)
Ah, many are now thronging and pressing Jesus by noisy
profession, but only a few are getting the healing virtue, and those are
unclean diseased ones who think themselves most unlikely of all. But of Him
they hear; and "faith comes by hearing." To Him they are brought, for "all
that the Father gives me shall come to me." And they do not come in vain,
for "he who comes to me I will never cast out." "All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth." Yes, power to forgive sins also. Yes, my precious
Savior, with hand and heart do I subscribe thus--You have power to save
those whom none else could or would; for You have clothed such a vile sinner
as I am with the garments of salvation. You have covered me with the robe of
righteousness. Therefore my soul does greatly rejoice in the Lord, and is
joyful in my God. Oh, those words, "My God!" when lawfully and
feelingly uttered, have in them a world of blessedness!
Well, you see how it is with me. I am still delighting in
the love of the altogether lovely Jesus; but not half enough. What do you
think of Christ? Surely my heart's desire is, that He may be
enthroned in your affections, for "He is worthy," and the more unworthy you
feel, the better He will suit you! In your flesh "dwells no good thing."
While you dwell in that tent you will find evil, only evil. Like the father
of the faithful, you will have to go forth into the land (Deut. 8:7-9.)
which the Lord will show you; but He must order all your journeying, as He
says, "I will guide you with my eye, I will instruct you and teach you in
the way which you shall go."
It seems, however, that at present you are under the
ministry of condemnation, because you are resting in your own righteousness,
which you will never establish, as it is contrary to the law of faith. (Rom.
10:3.) The contrast is, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who
are in Christ Jesus, who walk not alter the flesh, but after the Spirit."
This is the ministry of righteousness which follows the other and exceeds in
glory; for the work of righteousness is peace, "and the effect of
righteousness quietness and assurance forever." Here is that which
establishes us. "You have set my feet upon a rock, and established my
goings." "Believe in the Lord your God, so shall you be established." (2
Chron. 20:20.) "In righteousness shall you be established." (Isa. 54:14.)
"He that establishes us in Christ and has anointed us is God, (2 Cor. 1:21,)
who also seals us with that Holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our
inheritance." (Eph. 1:13, 14.)
All the operations of that Spirit in the soul are either
to make known or make way for Christ; the latter seems at present His work
in your heart. He is discovering your evil, and shaking your movable things.
(Heb. 12:27.) Like John, He goes before the Lord to prepare His way. Be of
good cheer, this Divine Messenger betokens that the Lord is at hand. He
would not have showed you all these things if He meant to destroy you. "I
commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you
up, and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified"
"through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
The Lord bless you, and grant you the instructions of
wisdom for the training of your dear child, and all else you are called to.
And now, farewell! May you be brought home at the appointed season in
safety, and with dew resting upon your branch. As your husband is a lover of
husbandry, he perhaps will not be offended with the Christian love and
greeting of a gleaner, who can feelingly say, "The Lord bless you," (Ruth
2:4,) and make you a blessing. (Mic. 5:7.) This is the true wish of my heart
for you both.
Your very affectionately,