The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860
u from Zion." Psalm 134:3
Entering into rest by believing
"Mighty to save."
To Miss M., December 27, 1852.
My beloved friend,
It is said of Anna that after she had seen the Lord's Christ, she spoke of Him to all them who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem. You, in experience, are looking for redemption, personal and powerful. What can I do better than speak to you of Him with whom there is mercy and plenteous redemption; who is made of God unto poor bankrupt sinners "wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption;" who is the Redeemer of such, and will thoroughly plead their cause; who is exalted "a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins." And since, without shedding of blood there could be no remission, He Himself became a fountain from whence poured forth the crimson tide—the cleansing flood:
"When justice called for sinners' blood,
The Savior gave His own."
And since, too, the way of salvation is not by works but by faith, He gives that also, for He is the Author and Finisher of it, and thus He gives rest to those who labor—to those who are heavy laden with their sins, and weary with toiling in vain. When He sees their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left, He puts forth His power and enables them to believe. Believing, they enter into rest, and entering into rest, they cease from their own works, bad and good, and Christ alone is their all. Does not this suit you? All a free gift. "You, Lord, have wrought all our works in us," and "this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent," which work He has wrought in whoever it is found. All such will freely acknowledge it, being saved by grace through faith, and this not of themselves, for it is the gift of God, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
I can tell you that this precious repentance-giving, pardon-giving, faith-giving, rest-giving Savior just suited me, when I said most feelingly, "I want not only a Savior full of grace, and truth, and love to those who believe in Him—but also a Savior full of power to those who long to believe and cannot." Such a Savior have I found, and this because He first found me. His name is Jesus, and He is so called because He saves His people from their sins. He has received gifts for men, yes, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among us. Faith is one of His precious gifts: He puts it into the heart, and sweetly manifests Himself as the object of it; so that the helpless soul which is fearing it may perish for lack of faith finds itself made a believer, and wonderingly cries, "My Lord and my God!" Its mountain of guilt is thus removed out of the way, being cast into the red sea of a Savior's blood. It is no longer of doubtful mind—but, by the faith of the Son of God, can say--He loved me, and gave Himself for me. These are some of the wondrous works of Him who is "mighty to save;" and I trust, my dear friend, that, with unworthy me, you will be made a witness of what He can do in hard cases, whenever the heart is brought down with labor—when they fall down and there is none to help.
You say you have no power to believe. If you had, you would not be a fit subject for this glorious One of whom I am telling you, for it is to the faint He gives power, and it is to those who have no might He increases strength. He once saw a poor creature who had an infirmity, and had long lain in sight of a cure but could not get at it; "but when he knew he had been a long time in that case," He did not upbraid him for lack of effort—but brought him the blessing he could not fetch, and that in an unexpected and hopeless moment, as we learn from his own plaintive account of his state, John 5:7. Now you have not been thirty and eight years groaning with your malady, and learning your lack of power; therefore, I pray you, do not despair: you know not how near the moment is when He shall put strength into you and say, "Arise and walk"—I mean in a spiritual sense. "Then shall the lame take the prey," and "leap as a deer! Yes, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing."
Remember, the time you have waited and the misery you have suffered is all as nothing in comparison with the greatness of the blessing you are waiting for. One moment's enjoyment of salvation will make amends for all. Oh, then, "though the vision tarries, wait for it;" "they shall not be ashamed who wait for Him." He will regard the cry of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
I will answer your question about Hart's Hymns. I have an old edition I much prize, containing his experience. How striking it is, and how he was favored with fellowship in the Savior's sufferings. "Erskine's Sonnets" I much enjoy, and have also an old edition of them. You know my dear parents loved savory meat, and I reap the benefit; though I am now brought to read little beside the "standard book," as my loved father used to call it. While I was in bondage I was much harassed with temptation while reading it, and could often get more from authors; but when Christ was revealed in my soul, the Bible became a new book and my blessed companion, of course not always enjoyed alike. I quite think as you do about "Nothing to Pay." I, too, have read it with a melted heart. Adieu, with kind love.
Your ever affectionate,
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