"He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me I
shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10.
"The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for
gold; but the Lord tries the hearts." Proverbs 17:3.
"Whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem."
Mal. 3:3, 4. Psalm 103:9. 1 Cor. 10:13.
To Mrs. H., November 24, 1847.
Beloved in the Lord, companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and
patience of Jesus Christ,
Often have I thought of writing to you, and now I seem emboldened to indulge
myself a little by allowing my willing spirit to blend with yours in
sympathy of joy, and sorrow, and in sweet converse of Jesus.
In Him, then, my beloved Amelia, accept my first greeting
upon paper, and my sincere desire that He may still lead you on in the
divine life as evidently as heretofore He has; though it must still be to
the rooting up and putting down of all that is of the flesh, for He has
determined that no flesh shall glory in His presence. We easily assent to
this in wordsóbut the Lord will have more than theoretical knowledge in His
school, He will bring all who sit at His feet to the practical experience of
the words they utter and the lessons they learn. This I have lately been
discovering more than ever before; having, in times of glowing
manifestation, said, in sincerity of heart, many warm things which the Lord
has, by afflictive dispensations, put to the test, and I have found that it
is one thing to say, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water,"
and then to step out firmly in faith; and it is another to walk on firmly
and confidingly when the wind is roaring, and the waves are raging. It is
one thing to feel Jesus so precious that we in faith give up our all to Him
and His service; it is another for Him to claim what we have so given, as
His own right; and, according to our resignment, to take away the different
parts of our earthly all, and so to prove whether Himself is indeed ALL to
us--or whether we only say so.
I have found Leviticus 27:28 ("However, anything
specially set apart by the Lord--whether a person, an animal, or an
inherited fieldómust never be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted in this way
has been set apart for the Lord as holy.")--very sweet and strengthening
since the Lord has been putting in His claim; for I saw that I had devoted
what I have and am to the Lord in love, and that now He has called upon me
to pay my vows. My happiness would be in going forward in His strength in
faith; and my weakness and distraction would be in conferring with flesh and
blood, seeking to hold back what I had vowed. The Lord keep you, beloved,
single-eyed and simple-hearted, willing to give up the "Isaac" whom you love
(Gen. 22:2) (whatever that may be) at His bidding, then you shall neither
suffer lack nor loss. My mouth is still further open to you, and my heart is
enlarged because your spirit is so singularly in unison with my own in
waiting only upon God. It is the safe and the right way, though very
contrary to the flesh, which is always in a hurry for deliverance, seeking
its own things by any means; but the new man seeks the things which are
Jesus Christ's, and wants deliverance in Him and according to His will, and
would rather honor Him by waiting--than have the flesh eased by a lighter
cross or a smoother path.
Again, beloved friend, my very soul rejoices that the
dear Revealer of secrets is making known to you the "blessedness of the man
to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Mark, "will not impute." These words
have sounded through my soul by the Spirit's power with more melody than
earth's softest, sweetest sounds could ever produce. They raise us high
above the creature in its doings or misdoings, and give us to see our
deliverance from condemnation, solely, in and through Him, the precious Lamb
of God, our Surety. He was condemned for our vile, black sin, which He has
put forever away by the sacrifice of Himself, so that when the iniquity is
sought for upon us--it shall not be found! "Who shall lay anything to the
charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It
is Christ who died, yes, rather, who is risen again."
With love in our precious Well-Beloved, I am, dear
Amelia, your affectionate,