"Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on
her beloved?" Song of Songs 8:5
"Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my
lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is
sweet to my taste." Song of Songs 2:3
"Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the
maidens." Song of Songs 2:2
To E. M., August, 1856.
My precious friend,
It has given me a new song to hear that you are really improving. I have
been suffering much of late. I know that "He does all things well," but we
may feel, since the immaculate Jesus wept at the grave of His friend.
I felt constrained to pray for your precious life, yet also felt it cruel to
hold you back from perfect bliss in the open vision of the Lamb. Most bitter
to this heart would have been the pang of parting with you. Yet I think I
could not have held you among thorns for my own sake; but those close
dear ties in the flesh, for their sakes I did cry, "spare." How earnestly I
long too that you may be a bright living witness for Jesus in the family and
Church. Oh! that this purging may be to bring forth more fruit, and this
chastening to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, "which are by
Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God."
I trust it is light in your tabernacle, and that the
glory of the Lord is filling the house; or, if not, that you are coming up
from the wilderness leaning upon your Beloved. He is the apple tree
among the trees of the forest; while His Bride is the lily among thorns.
With me it has been emptying from vessel to vessel, and finding plenty of
dregs—but not sensibly finding Him whom my soul loves. I am willing to
suffer anything, so that the wood, hay, and stubble may be consumed, and
Christ be all. I commend you to the Brother born for adversity. May He draw
you near to Himself, (Gen. 45:4, 5) and open His stores of love.
With much tender love, your ever affectionate,
Hebrews 2:14 to end.