The Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1805-1860
Fainting pilgrims encouraged by
a testimony concerning Jesus
To Miss C, August 2, 1849.
It does melt my heart, while I write, to feel that, receiving all in Him, we can say under all, "It is well." O precious Savior, what do we not possess in having You? All things are ours, for our use and benefit. Ministers, the world, life, death, things present, things to come--all are ours in You, for Your glory and our need. But You Yourself are our portion, our glory and joy. All praise to our Father, who has entailed such blessings upon us in time and eternity: neither earth nor hell can cut them off from us, or keep us out of them. We do at times get beclouded, so that all seems obscure, and we do not apprehend or enjoy our privileges; but when the fog is cleared away, we find our immovable blessedness secure as ever in our unchanging Head.
I wish you, then, beloved, abiding faith, enduring faith, and yielding faith, in whatever case you may be, though I should rejoice to hear of your health in body as well as soul. Faith is a grace ordained of God for taking possession of Christ and eternal life in Him; and you know from the Book of records, that "we who have believed enter into rest." (Heb. 4:3) Therefore, let us rejoice that by faith we may be in heaven, I had almost said before our timeóbut I mean before we put off this clay tabernacle. Christ is our heaven, and He is in our souls both the hope and the foretaste of glory. This I can honestly and experimentally affirm; and since I have been permitted to tread the very threshold of eternity, and in Beulah's lovely land clearly to see the glory, and eat of the celestial fruits, surely I ought, like Joshua and Caleb, the more strenuously to encourage fainting pilgrims with the solemn assurance, that what is before us is well worth waiting for, running for, fighting for, dying for. So let us cheer each other, and seek grace cheerfully to be about our Father's business.
I thank you for your sympathy in my late disappointment of having to come back, and again put on my sandals and take up my staff. . . . . There must be a ripeness for glory, as well as a ripeness in glory; therefore I would be patient, and no longer foolishly urge my Father to pluck unripe fruit. I find no better way of losing myself and my sorrows than by getting absorbed in Him who has borne them, and no surer way of sinking under them than by poring over them. To this latter work Satan is a great prompter, knowing that there he has plenty to work upon. How blessedly safe, when he points us to self, to point him to Jesus. He cannot stand thatóbut we can stand by it, as did those now safe landed who "overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."
I can never think we dishonor our blessed Surety by frequent reference to Him and His finished work. Rather do we thereby magnify the Lord and His work, which men behold. If His works of creation are to be extolled, how much more the work of redemption, which living men behold. Oh, for an enlarged heart to walk in Him who is the law's fulfilment, and thus by faith meet its demands with full weight and measure. Doubly, trebly precious does our Lord become as we thus walk in Him, in whom we find such fullness, that we need not once turn with regret to our own poverty. How blessed for self to be thus put out of the way. Do not you see that it is the law of faith which excludes boasting, except in the Lord? for in the Lord shall one say, have I righteousness and strength. That saying is in accordance with our Father's doing, for He has made Him to be unto us "Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." This truth received by faith is food to nourish the soul unto eternal life; and thus we become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Truly, if the second Adam fullness be not an overmatch for the first Adam emptiness, we may pine and mourn; but if it be so, which Scripture and experience prove, then let the inhabitants of the Rock sing, let them shout from the tops of the mountains, and let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Thus gospel wine is strong and reviving: it cheers my heart, and I long that many, should drink and be refreshed.
With love, yours warmly,
"Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8
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