The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860
These inward foes
To E. M., March 7, 1853.
Dearly-beloved and longed-for in Christ Jesus,
"Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ." "Blessed are all who wait for Him." "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." "Do do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty."
You mentioned being cast down by Psalm 41:11, "By this I know that you favor me, because my enemy does not triumph over me," because your inward enemies seem to triumph over you. Did you not forget that word, "Gad, a troop shall overcome him, but he shall overcome at the last," and I believe, indeed, that most of the Lord's soldiers experience this before they can say, "By you I have run through a troop;" and "By my God I have leaped over a wall."
Our own strength must be exhausted--that out of weakness we may be made strong. And our own efforts in 'creature will and power' be proved of no avail--that we may feel and know that the battle is the Lord's, and cry to Him for help, while giving Him all the glory. I was much struck the other day in observing, that though Joshua bid the captains set their feet on the necks of the five kings, he himself slew them. So it is with our spiritual Joshua; He alone could finish transgression and make an end of sin. He has done it; and in the set time does, in the experience of each of His children, take away the dominion of their corruptions, though they are prolonged for a season like those beasts mentioned in Dan. 7:12.
If you, beloved, have not yet had that sensible overcoming given which you desire, be not cast down, but cry unto the Lord, and you shall before long find it, as in 1 Chron. 5:20, 22. Many have realized this who have felt like the Psalmist, in Psalm 6, with regard to these inward foes. The Lord pardon what I have wrongly expressed. "If you will, you can make me clean;" and He said, "I will, be clean." Perhaps your heart will join me once more in saying, "Lord, increase our faith."
I sincerely wish you every blessing and covenant-favor.
My love be with you all in Christ Jesus,
Yours, Ruth—less than the least.
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