The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860
Faith's view of Christ
"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it!" (Ephesians 3:19)
To E. M., August, 1857.
Much Beloved in Jesus,
I was delighted with your short line, and its sweet enclosure. Dear Miss C., I do rejoice with her, how the Lord does think upon the poor and needy, and visit them in their most needy times. She can say, "He has done all things well." May this be only as the pledge of greater things, leading her to press after yet fuller revelations of Jesus. I would never have any sit down satisfiedóbut still press on after what is beyond; for there are heights and depths in the love of Christ of which the most favored have no conception; and there are beauties and glories in His person which none have yet beheld! Oh! I would have none rest short of the revelation of His person. His benefits indeed are all precious; His atoning blood and sacrifice, His justifying righteousness, and the effects flowing therefrom, pardon, justification, peace in the conscience, etc., etc.; these are essential to salvation, and we seek them firstóbut it is a further and sweeter privilege to know and enjoy Himself. Salvation is sweetóbut the Savior crowns all; and when He is revealed in us, we bless the Lord and do not forget His benefits.
Having once been brought to enjoy Him, may we be more and more jealous of felt distance or absence. Absent He never isóbut He is at times silent, and we do not feel His presence. Oh to make immediate and diligent search, and not go even a day's journey merely supposing He is in the company, for then will follow a sorrowing seeking for Him, as in Luke 2:44-48, of which I have thought much today in this experimental sense. It is poor, heartless work when we can be quieted by "supposing" He is near; and how vainly we may seek Him among kinsfolk and acquaintance! Very often we find Him not thereóbut in Jerusalem, the place of sacrifice. "You shall seek me and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart."
I must now tell you how much I have been enjoying Lev. 14:18. The oil, as a type of the blessed Spirit, to be poured upon the head; and only think of whomóof the poor leper just healed. Who could enjoy it so much as he who had been so afflicted; shut out from the house of God; separated from His people; being so polluted that he must dwell alone, outside the camp, and if any were coming near him, he must warn them by the sorrowful cry, "Unclean, unclean!" Now he is to have the oil poured upon his head. Oh! would not such a one most joyfully sing, "He anoints my head with oil, my cup runs over!" Yes, indeed he would! I know it, and you know it too, for you have felt the same. "Sing, O you heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, you lower parts of the earth." He has said to the leper, "I will--be clean!" And as the true Priest, He has poured on that healed, pardoned one--the true anointing. And now no longer shut up and shut out, he comes up to the house of the Lord, to see the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. Precious, all precious Jesus! I feel the truth of what I write, and like the poor stranger of old, would fall at Your dear feet, giving You thanks. (Luke 17:15, 16) My soul does "give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures for ever." "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy." (Psalm 107:2, 3)
My heart is full, and cannot half express what I would in praise of my Beloved. The chief sinner, and the chief and only Savior--have met and embraced again and again. And she sweetly finds that by Him she is justified from all her own evil things, from which she could never be justified by the law of Moses. In believing, she apprehends and enjoys the justification, for by faith we have experimental access into this grace in which we always stand before God. In short, this chief sinner finds such fullness and freeness in the salvation--such love and loveliness in the Savior--that she can hardly leave off extolling and praising Him in whom she is justified, and in whom she may glory. Oh, come and "magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." May He fill us with His love, and use us for His glory. May He so reveal Himself to us and through us, that it may be like oil from vessel to vessel; for thus "sweet to my heart is communion with saints" through communion with the King of saints.
I must cease, though I seem to have said nothing of the endless, blissful theme, the love and loveliness of our dear Redeemer, the Redeemer of worms. May He favor you with His precious presence, and may many new Ebenezers be set up!
A warm adieu, with best love, from your tenderly attached but unworthy,
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