We are both in the furnace!

("The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ,
The letters of Ruth Bryan" April 21, 1856)

"He will be like a Refiner and purifier of silver; He will
 purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and
 silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in
 righteousness." Malachi 3:3

Well, dear friend, we are both in the furnace! Much,
very much vile dross has in my case risen up--but my
blessed and patient Refiner sits watching the process.
Nor does all this dross, hateful as it is, make Him forsake
the work of His hands. He will have me know a little of
what is in my heart--that I may know more of what is
in His heart--even love, most invincible, unalterable,
unquenchable love! Love which endures to the end, amidst
all my wickedness, and wandering, and ingratitude. It is
indeed astonishing! Into the blessed depths of this love I
desire to be daily sinking, in all the fresh discoveries of
my utter worthlessness and vileness--that thus I may
praise Him more who has redeemed me from it all!

The Lord does not show us how bad we are to cause
despair--but to show forth the riches of His grace in
saving us, and to call forth new songs of praise to Him
who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own

Oh, my dear friend, Jesus is worthy to be praised in the
depths as well as in the heights. He is near, and dear,
and precious in the hour of affliction. In the path of
tribulation, He gives some of His choicest fruits and
wines--to revive those who are faint and weary in
the wilderness.

Oh! may you be helped, yes enabled, "to trust in the Lord
at all times"--not only when you feel His love and have the
shine of His countenance--but also in the dark and wintry
day when clouds veil your sky, and sorrow invades your
soul. "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."