"My soul follows hard after You, Your right hand upholds
To E. M., December 23, 1855.
Is your heart with my heart this morning? If so, you will join me in
following hard after Him who is our glory and joy, and who is the substance
of every type. In finding Him, we do indeed inherit substance, whatever be
the changes in our frames and feelings. My soul is longing after Him as my
Christmas portion and my Christmas cheer; for the Lamb's flesh is heavenly
food, and to be feeding upon Him by faith is a foretaste of heaven, where
the Lamb Himself shall feed us and lead us to living fountains of water, and
God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!
Now, therefore, in the wilderness let us be seeking HIM,
not seeking merely pleasant sensations of His manifested love and
presenceóbut Himself, for they who so seek shall not be ashamed.
Have you thought of Acts 10:11,12,16, and 11:5,10? All
those ceremonially unclean creatures were let down from heaven and drawn up
into heaven again, no doubt primarily referring to the Gentiles; but surely
that sheet also typified the covenant in which the whole redeemed family
were let down to earth, and all shall be drawn up again into heaven. It
seems to be the same with the younger children as with the Elder Brother; He
came from God and went to God.
Christmas-dayóI now must finish this in His name
which is above every name, and which is truly at this time as ointment
poured forth in my soul. I seem to be drinking living water from the well of
Bethlehem, and would pour it out again unto the Lord by sending it to some
of my loved ones for whom I intensely long--that they may have a Christmas
blessing, being filled with the Holy Spirit.
I am all alone in the house, and have had a royal feast
in the blessed company of the King, who drew near so lovingly that my soul
melted, my tears flowed, and with a glad heart, though unmusical voice, I
heartily sang--"Crown Him Lord of all!" I think much of that celestial
concert in which a multitude of the heavenly host sing His worthy praise.
I once scarcely thought to have been here another
Christmasóbut He who wills it is making it all up me, for surely this is the
land of Beulah. He has brought me into His banqueting-house, and His banner
over me is love. Love brought Him from the bosom of the Father. Love made
Him take our nature into His own, and thus come under the law as our
Husband, by circumcision acknowledging Himself a debtor to do it all, not
for Himself but for us. We are dead to the law by the doings of Christ--as
He fulfilled its every jot and tittle, and endured all its penalty. Since,
therefore, we are now married to Him, whatever the law has to say about us
must be said to Him. He has "redeemed us from the curse of the law, being
made a curse for us." It was for this He took the prepared body; it was for
the suffering of death He was made a little while lower than the angels. His
"goings forth" towards this were from everlasting--and since time began,
promise and prophecy, type and shadow, symbol and ceremony--have all been
full of Him.
There is a veil over all these holy things which
none but the Spirit can removeóbut when He does so, the soul in which Jesus
has been revealed, leaps for joy, as David did before the Ark.
In His birth, too, there was a covering of lowliness, so
that none but the Spirit-taught mind could discern the Savior-King or know
the Lord of glory. But oh! the amazing privilege of those to whom this
blessed Spirit has been as the star in the East--so that from the very ends
of the earth they are brought, saying, "We have come to worship Him." That
privilege is ours. We have felt the need of Him, have seen His suitability,
and are brought to partake of the saving benefit. What can we render? We can
only sink deeper in the debt of love by joyfully receiving more, as I, a
most unworthy worm, do this happy Christmas-day.
The mystery of iniquity is greatóbut the mystery of
godliness, God manifest in the flesh, is greater, and swallows the other up
in the ocean of redeeming blood, so that when the iniquity of Jacob is
sought for it shall not be found, and of Israel there shall be none. O
precious Babe of Bethlehem, how wondrous was Your errand to this land of
curse. Though so little and lowly, You traveled down to earth in the
greatness of Your strength mighty to save. Sweetly has my heart been feeling
of You, "This same shall comfort us." (Gen. 5:29.)
Fare-well! With much warm love, your ever affectionate,