The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860
To the Dove in the cleft of the Rock
"A man there is, a real man,
With wounds still gaping wide,
From which rich streams of blood once ran,
In hands, and feet, and side."
To E. M., December 31, 1855.
My Dearly Beloved,
In His fragrant name I must greet you at this time in remembrance of His mercy, whereby He visited you with His salvation, and took off your garments of heaviness, and covered you with the robes of righteousness and praise; when the "banner of love" was over you, the arms of love were embracing you, the object of love was filling your heart, and you only wanted the wings of love to flee away and rest forever in the dear delights of His unveiled presence, who was then revealed as your "Ishi"—your heavenly husband. (Hosea 2:18)
Oh, it was mercy to you, and to me also. We cannot forget it, and would sing His worthy praise, who from all eternity had thoughts of peace to you. (Psalm 103.) Ah! dearest friend, you felt as I did when I found him—as in Luke 8:38. But He sent us back to learn the excellent life of faith, and do as verse 39. Oh! forever fresh anointings with fresh oil to do it more and more feeling.
I do think this is a safe and sure way to be separated from the world and those who have a form of godliness only. Such strains of love and felt salvation are too warm for them. But having felt the cure, we must speak well of our Divine Healer. I wish you a fresh baptism into Him (Rom. 6:3-6) by the power of the Spirit, that it may be your very element to tell "to sinners round, what a dear Savior you have found;" or to be silent for His sake where you cannot speak to His honor, saying of all worldly and flesh-feeding converse, "But because of my fear of God, I did not act that way"—the fear of love.
And for all these things your Lord says, "My grace is sufficient for you." In all our journey through this fallen flesh-and-blood condition, our Divine Judah is with us! He has stood surety to our Father to bring us safely back, and set us before Him with joy; and on Him it devolves to guide, provide, and speak for us, when guilt is evidently charged home, as in Gen. 44:12-18. Judah was the advocate. (1 John 2:1.) We do not hear that the accused Benjamin spoke a word. In like manner He, our Judah, will also speak through us when we long to honor Him—but feel unable to say a word in His name. He is our strength for everything, and we need not fear to use Him or trouble Him too much. We are too shy this way, through conferring with flesh and blood.
I have been enjoying Jesus through Ezekiel 22:30-31--"I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn't have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them in the fire of my anger. I will heap on them the full penalty for all their sins, says the Sovereign Lord." A man was sought for to stand in the gap; but none being found, the indignation and wrath came upon the guilty party. It must fall somewhere—God's judgment must be executed. But mark the contrast. For us a Man is found! He comes forth from the invisibility of Jehovah, and in the likeness of man undertakes our cause, which he had espoused with our persons in eternity, when the council of peace was between them both. He saw there was no man, therefore He said, "Here am I, send Me!" And in the fullness of time He came and stood in the gap, and filled up the breach in the law; and on His holy head fell our storm of wrath and punishment! Thus He became our covert and hiding-place!
And because the Holy Jesus was taken and executed, the guilty Barabbas is set free; for there must needs be one released at that feast of the Passover, because it commemorated the release of Israel from Egypt, which typified the release of the spiritual Israel, by the blood of the true paschal Lamb. How has my soul melted in viewing Him thus—as my door of hope and way of escape. All our deliverances come by the blood of the everlasting covenant; and every new view of it brings forth a new song to His praise!
May you have the renewings of the Holy Spirit in recounting the benefits of the past year, and may a precious Jesus be the Alpha and Omega of the one just approaching.
You are going to have walks through the Tabernacle. (This refers to some proposed lectures on the Typical Character of the Tabernacle.) May the blessed Spirit take off the coverings, that, from the door to the mercy-seat, every whit of it may set forth His glory!
Sweetly remembering what a summer Sun you had last winter, and wishing you frequent renewals of His healing beams, I rest in Him with much tender love.
Your own affectionate, unworthy,
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