Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan
January 1st.—The first day of my first year alone. May my heart and life be very full of Christ; and may the Lord be pleased very plainly to show me the way in which I should go; I humbly trust I have had Divine renewings in the life of faith this week. How sweet in every state to live on Jesus by simple faith, for the present moment, and leave the rest with Him; looking to Him instead of looking to my dear one gone, the loneliness has been lost. I do think that by Him this "solitary place" is beginning to blossom as the rose; Lord, increase my faith. I give this year and my heart to You. Oh, fill them with Yourself!
January 10th, Night.—I have committed all my way to Jesus; and I believe His very love and faithfulness ensure me that it will not be in vain. I trust I shall here have to record His mercies, and that He will so plainly show me His way, that I may say, "The thing proceeds from the Lord; I cannot speak bad or good." My earnest desire is the glory of my most precious Jesus, "who loved me, and gave Himself for me." To minister to His dear saints in soul and body, as He shall give me ability--is my delight. I say, with Abigail, "Let Your handmaid be a servant, to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord." I also have desires for a quiet, secluded life, as hitherto—little with the world, much with Jesus; and I long to do all things spiritual and secular for Christ's sake, not my own, not to the creature. The glories of my Well-Beloved have beamed upon me this evening, so that I longed to be away, fully beholding, and fully enjoying. When will these dusky shadows of mortality have fled away, and the presence, love, and glories of my kinsman Redeemer burst upon me in eternal day?
"Oh, happy souls, who dwell in light,
And walk with Jesus, clothed in white."
And happy we, who walk by faith in the same perfection, and see through the lattices--beams of the same glory. Bless Him, O my soul, who has so much blessed you—your God, your glory. A day to be remembered. May that which has begun in prayer, end in praise. "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."
January 12th, Tuesday.—I trust I have found solid profit from the exercises of Saturday and Sunday. To the Lord be all the glory! Earnest desire and longings renewed in my soul to "live Christ," and for Him only. This morning I visited the sacred spot where rest in peace the ashes of my dearest mother. My desire was, at that grave, to give myself afresh to the Lord, and seek His guidance. I thought, she is not here, "she is risen." Would I see and commune with my mother, I must look up, and not down. My heart longed to be with Jesus, in the land of perfect love and joy. He it is who attracts my warmest aspirations. But, if He will be honored in me here, will I not gladly stay a little longer? My Lord, You know all I mean and feel. "Your will be done." These hands and feet, this heart and tongue, and my whole self, afresh I consecrate to You. Will You deign to accept and use the humble offering of that which is Your own? Oh, be with me through life, be especially with me in death, and then take me to be with You forever. I am melted by my many outward comforts; "all this, and Christ too!" why me so favored? May my heart and hand be open to the poor and needy.
My dear, dear mother, I wish you joy, and I hail you blessed. I would not have you here to sigh and suffer. You freed and happy spirit, range over those bright plains of light, gaze on those glories too brilliant for the eyes of mortals, rise higher and higher still in those pure regions, where reigns eternal love; and sing your anthems, glad and rapturous, in praise of Him who died for you and me, and soon I shall join you; until then would I follow on to know the Lord, and, though feebly, praise Him, too, in lip and life.
January 20th.—A good deal weighed down yesterday, and many fears about the future, during which I had this word: "those who sow to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption"—it was profitable. I saw I was too much seeking fleshly ease; also, a word from my dear sister was very rousing to me; she spoke of those who "live alone, like the snail in its shell; who neither trouble others, nor will be troubled themselves." I felt this was almost what I was wishing for. But it must not be. Live for myself? Oh, no, precious Jesus, choose my way—but lead me plainly on, and may I live for You, and only You. Today this word is sweet, "Take my yoke upon you; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
February 7th.—Tomorrow it will be four long months since my dear mother was loosed from mortality; how short to you, my loved one! Your anthems, your raptures, are but begun; you cannot yet have had half your fill of the beauties of that dear countenance, once "marred more than any man's," now glorious beyond human conception. Gaze on, happy spirit, and praise higher, higher, higher still--HIM whom we both adore! With me Time seems to have got his wheels clogged; they have moved heavily since you have left me; never did the months seem so long. Oh, when shall I, too, have my fill of love, and my longing soul be satisfied in the very presence and fruition of His glories who, even here in Meshech, is to me so ravishingly dear and delightsome? Stay; the moment is fixed by infinite wisdom. I shall not overpass that bound; until then, whether the space be long or short, may it be filled right full of Christ, and I live for Him only and always. Amen.
This first week in this month has been peculiarly favored. How shall I praise? Lord, teach me! You deserve nobler songs than I can raise. But let my soul, my lips, my life--let all praise my glorious Lord. Let me have no will, no wish—but Your glory. But be pleased to let me plainly know Your mind. I abide in You, Jesus, for the answer.
February 15th.—Oh, to live Christ only, Christ always, to be ever lost in Him! This is all my happy spirit wants. Sweetest, loveliest Jesus! it cannot be made to appear by pen and ink what glories I have found in You. You have brought me hitherto wonderfully. Ebenezer. "The lame take the prey." I still am weak in the flesh, and "halting upon my thigh." I cannot walk another step but in Your strength. Oh, lead me on; sight forward I have none. Grant me more of the promptings of the sweet Spirit. Be, O my Beloved, my understanding therein, and my willingness and ability to obey: for You are all to me.
March 14th.—I am perplexed about going to London. Dear Lord, make a plain path for my feet, and let me know it, I beseech You.
Evening.—Just now encouraged by Elijah; he seemed to be waiting upon the Lord in prayer, while his servant watched; and, though he sent six times for nothing, on the seventh the answer came. So, although I have been many times looking up for direction about London, and have seen nothing, I desire still to wait and watch, trusting that the Lord will speak.
April 4th—London—Sunday.—Arrived in town on Thursday. I had a safe and pleasant journey; all fear of railroad traveling taken away; and I was much blessed and favored of the Lord. Oh, that this day I may be lost in Christ, and Christ found in me.
April 28th, Wednesday.—Returned home on Monday, favored with journeying mercies.
June 6th.—I feel I am like a wife who has long lived in free and affectionate fellowship with her beloved. But all is now shut up: there is no speaking on one side, and but little on the other. Oh, it is cutting work; and I have this morning said to my dear Lord, "I cannot bear it; I cannot bear it." I know all the fault is mine; may I also know what it is.
June 13th.—I trust I have had some sweet renewings in the life of simple faith; and that chiefly from reading former memoranda, as an instrument. The power is from above.
June 26th, Sacrament-day.—I desire fresh resignings of my whole self and concerns to the Lord's will. The flesh trembles, unbelief struggles, and carnal reason says--I never can enjoy happiness on earth. Well, if I cannot in the flesh, in social endearments, my happiness in Christ is unbroken. Here may I triumph, when all else is dreary. I have had special mercies this month, and proved it good to give one's self to the Lord in the dark, for His whole will.
[Reader, remember, it is "in the dark" that faith works, and waits, and watches. Here, "in the dark," faith lives, and moves, and has its being.]
July 6th, my Birthday.—Some sweet soul-meltings in the morning, in the love of Jesus, and fresh resignings of my whole self to the Lord during the day, that He may be more specially glorified in me.
July 25th.—Happy in Jesus! Much blessed in reading a sermon on 1 Cor. 12:9, 10; it is, indeed, marrow and fatness, just the experience I love: willing to be nothing, that Christ may be all in all. How blessed is my condition! Though so vile a sinner in myself; yet chosen and beloved in Christ from all eternity; every blessing for time, all glory for eternity, secured to me in Him! Himself my blissful portion! Himself my endless treasure! Himself my ocean of love, my God and my glory! "My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." Oh, to spend and be spent in service for His glory.
Evening.—At the sacrament this evening I was inwardly prompted to give myself peculiarly to the Lord for the coming month. I had heart-tremblings, lest it should be a prelude to some heavy trial. But, whatever may be coming, I am quite sure, that looking unto Jesus, I shall be more than conqueror in all things in Him: because, being one with the conquering Head, I must rise into His victories, and by my very defeats I shall be more abased, and He more exalted. Oh, my sweetest, loveliest Jesus! honor Yourself in me this once again; appear manifestly for me. Oh, let it be seen in me, that it is not in vain to trust alone in You! You know, some friends reproach me that I do not make more effort to find someone to lodge in my house. Plainly, dear Lord, show me what to do; and then show me that I have done all according to Your word. You know, dear Lord, that I eat not the bread of idleness; my hands are daily diligent in labor. I bless You for my sanctified employment. Oh, bless the labor of my hands, and in my other matters graciously come forth unto me as the Hearer and Answerer of prayer, that herein I may have to record Your wonders. Amen.
July 27th.—As I have for some time been intensely anxious to know the Lord's will and way about my concerns, and have sometimes felt almost overwhelmed by the delay and suspense, my prayer today has been to be humbled into entire submissiveness to the Lord's will; that, however long He may delay the answer, I may not repine. But seek to glorify Him in my present circumstances, and thankfully enjoy my many mercies. It has been a day of deep exercise—but I was blessed this morning from these words, "Regard not your stuff, for the good of all the land of Egypt is before you." Seal home this word, O Lord, and quiet my conflicting bosom. It seems at times as if I must sink under what presses upon me. But anon, my Beloved says, "My grace is sufficient for you."
August 1st.—Outward circumstances not altered—but the burden of them greatly gone. I see faith must go on trusting the Lord. "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and He will help you." Psalm 37:5. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6. He Himself has brought me to the first part of these words, and will He fail to fulfill the second? Oh, never, never! He will as surely guide me, as He has enabled me to acknowledge Him, and commit all to Him. Our precious Christ is "the Amen, the faithful and true Witness." He is the Amen to every prayer of faith, and, when thus sealed with the King's signet, no man or devil can reverse it; and He is the faithful Witness to see all faith's expectations accomplished, as He says, "All things whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." How strengthening! what a solid rock it feels to my weary feet. My deep concern has been to know the Lord's will about outward matters. Precious Savior, grant me an answer of peace. Faith looks right on, and wavers not, whoever may oppose.
August 22nd.—Many fears today, lest I am in any way sinking into a life of sense. Earnest pleadings to be renewed in a life of simple faith. I trust You to glorify Yourself in my present circumstances, and not to let a solitary feeling cast me down; also, as the sin of my fallen nature has been active, to my grief, I desire to renew my trust in the sin-atoning sacrifice of a precious Christ. Being Sunday night, I am feeling dreary and lonely. But no, it must not be, it is thus that my foe gains ground. "I will trust and not be afraid" even now. Lord, help, increase faith, and let me not be beaten off this time—but gain an inch or two upon Satan, unbelief, and carnal reason--my close pursuers! I must trust, I will, I do trust to trust more. I have sown in tears today. But how strengthening to the soul is trusting; how very weakening is fear, misgiving, and doubt; they not only betoken weakness—but they increase it.
August 27th.—Shall Rahab hang out her scarlet line, and, trusting the word of men, whom she never saw before--feel assured of safety, and thus, by faith, perish not? And shall I, with the scarlet blood of Christ upon my conscience, and with my Father's assurance that all such shall be eternally safe, shall I doubt it? Lord forbid! And shall I hang out the appointed token for His direction, which He has promised to regard, even in all my ways acknowledging Him? or shall I fear that He will break His word, and leave me to take my own way, or a wrong one? Ah! never; the Lord forbid!
August 31st.—Today I have been, most unexpectedly, requested to become a visitor at the Refuge; I felt most sensibly my own unfitness, and thought I never could engage in the work. But then I knew, if the Lord called me to it, that He would be my ability--for He loves to use things of nothing. It is singular, that for a long time, I have yearned towards this institution, and much wished to see it, and have even planned how to do so. But now a message comes beforehand. I think really it is from the Lord, on whom I have long been waiting, to show me how to honor and serve Him. Opened upon Acts 10, at tea-time, and was much melted; it seems something like Cornelius and Peter being prepared for, and sent to, each other. That verse, too, melted me, "Go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent" you. If the dear Lord should send me to some one, as He went to the woman of Samaria! It is strange! He sends for one who is holding back; I know another ready, and willing, and more prepared. But, as yet, she is not called. Show me Your will, and let this be the rule of my decision.
September 5th.—Surely few are so favored as unworthy I. The "bottles of heaven," as Toplady calls them, were this morning poured into my willing, wandering soul most blessedly; and, in contemplations of my blessed Lord, for very love, taking my nature to be one with Himself forever, I could only weep and sing, love and wonder.
September 6th, Night.—I have this evening had a short walk, and taken a trifling token of love to a friend; and thus did I ponder, as alone I walked: Suppose two people had in their gardens choice flowers; one loves to see them flourish, and cannot touch or allow them to be touched by any one; the other loves to pick the very choicest, and gather them, to present to the heart's cherished friend; which has the highest enjoyment? I immediately decided the latter. These were but common thoughts—but immediately it followed: My sweet mother was my heart's loveliest flower; my precious Jesus is my very best, choicest Friend. Would I withhold that flower from Him? Would I rather see it still half bloom in this withering climate, than present it to my dearest Friend, to open out fully in the sunshine-region of His immediate glory? Most adorable Immanuel, You know I would withhold nothing from you. I would find all only in You.
[Reader, should you have been the subject of bereavement, may the Lord apply this sweet thought of the blessed Ruth's to your troubled heart. Think of gifts to, as well as from, Jesus; and how condescending He, to receive such gifts from the hand of faith. "The Lord gave, and the Lord has TAKEN AWAY; blessed be the name of the Lord."]
September 23rd, Thursday.—No small tempest has lain upon me for several days, and I have been at times at my wit's end, crying to the Lord to know the right way—but no moving of the cloud. It were comparatively easy to wait—but for the pressing need of money, and none coming. This week is wearing away, and during the next I expect the tax-gatherer; my heart starts, at times, with the thought how near it is; I have read of such straits—but never so closely felt them. Three ways in which I thought supplies might come have been a blank; faith is at times almost failing, unbelief strives hard, and my dear Lord only knows what I suffer. If He will but show me how to be employed, so as to meet my outgoings, I shall be thankful. Much of this day spent in weeping and crying to the Lord, over my needle; this evening I am a little revived. I see I am looking too much at probabilities, as if the Lord were straitened for a means to help me. Lord, I now humbly believe You are able to do this, although it seems a hard case, and the sum I need is large. I am encouraged by 2 Kings 7, and also find that in Paul's tempest the ship was wrecked, and themselves cast out the tackling. So may I cast away all human props, and launch out in "venturesome believing." But, oh! the throes of trembling fear, that intermingle!
["Venturesome believing"—the quintessence of faith.]
September 24th, Friday.—What further awaits me is unknown; it is a new scene, indeed—but Christ is all in all. It is said of Daniel, "no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God;" and I do now believe it will be thus with me; faith revives, though trials abound, and I may yet have to drink deeper of the bitter cup.
September 27th, Monday.—I rose this morning with a very heavy heart, and seemed to have this word given me: "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." I was graciously relieved and blessed at family worship, and, although my flesh has since had a wound, my spirit was helped to yield to the will of Almighty Love. No movement in providence yet—but I believe I shall not wait in vain.
September 30th.—Much tried in the flesh, much blessed in the spirit. I am afresh in love with the Prince of life and glory. I desire to lie down at His dear feet, and feelingly to say, "Father, glorify Your name."
October5th.—Still in the same outward perplexities. I seem every day to come to the very sinking-point, and that is the turning-point. But, when overwhelmed, the dear Lord revives and comforts me, by His Word or otherwise, so that I go on again; and, indeed, have most precious visits from my glorious Well-Beloved in this time of trial. His love most sweetly solaces my lonely heart, so that I do praise and adore Him.
October 8th.—This day I complete my first year of widowhood, and solemnly commemorate the release of my dear mother from mortality. How tender are the Lord's mercies to unworthy me. This afternoon, when going to my loved one's resting-place, just as I drew near the spot, these words came with power: "The maid is not dead—but sleeps." My soul was melted and comforted. It was so sweet to be thus reassured, and it was a check to the swellings of grief. The past has been a year of amazing mercies, though one of sharp trial and deep sorrow in the flesh. I am at this time in peculiar straits—but the Lord is with me; and I trust to walk at large with Him, although in the furnace. It is singular, I have today had to go to the Refuge for the first time; I trust the Lord was with me.
October 12th.—What a feast have I had this evening from these words, "God manifest in the flesh;" or, rather, it is the substance of the mystery which is my joy, and not the words merely. "The Word was made flesh." In my flesh I see God; and here is the spring of my bliss and glory for time and eternity. I feel my heaven begun, and my glad soul would go forth, like Miriam, with the timbrels, in the dance, to the honor and praise of my saving, conquering Lord, who scorned not the lowly door of Mary's womb, that He might afterwards take my flesh, all-glorious, through the heavenly gates and everlasting doors which were lifted up to receive the King of Glory. I wonder, I worship, and think time tardy which keeps me from beholding Him. Hallelujah! Hosanna to the Son of David! Surely some new trouble is at hand, my soul is so blessed and favored with the sweet love of Jesus, in its incomings and overflowings. The Lord be praised! Amen and amen.
[Reader, in Zion's pathway new distresses in the flesh and fresh discoveries by and in the Spirit, are commonly most closely connected.]
October 17th, Sunday.—I have been a good deal instructed lately in reading about Abraham; seeing how, at the Lord's bidding, he went out and went on, not knowing where he went; and how, though the Lord blessed him greatly, and made him great promises, yet He gave him no inheritance—no, not so much as to set his (fleshly) foot upon. From all which the Lord seems to teach me, that our life in the wilderness must be continually by faith, and not by sight. It seems so very sweet, "not knowing where he went;" and most truly it is so with me in outward things. I felt it this morning in a new sense, because yesterday and today I have been spitting up blood continually. I name it to no one but my best Beloved, because I do not like to make much ado about myself. But I feel that it may lead to something serious, and, instead of the Lord opening a new path in the wilderness, He may be opening a door out of it.
I have for years felt the dread solemnity of the eternal world, and of entering the unseen state of spirits. Many times the glories of Immanuel and His precious love in my soul have overpowered every other sensation; and, encircled with the beams of His brightness, I have longed intensely to be away in the fullness of His glory, and in the full enjoyment of Himself. This is not looking at death—but at Jesus, "who has abolished death." At other times, when in less enjoyment, I have been subject, not to a fear of my safety—but to a sort of shyness and shrinking from an unknown state of being: something like the thought of appearing at a splendid court without having been initiated into its etiquette, although provided with a court-dress. I have also been subject to an idea that trembling and fearfulness will seize me when mortality is giving way, and eternity close at hand.
This morning, however, when I found the symptom before named increasing, and seriously felt it might indicate that soon I should put off mortality, I was surprised at the calm confidence my soul felt. It was very precious, and showed me that Jesus will be all-sufficient when the time of "undressing" comes. And as I sat in the house of God, I kept saying, "Do, Lord, give me a token of what You intend, whether for life or death." Then something seemed to say, "that would be sight;" you must just walk on, believing, like Abraham. Thus walking, it shall be well. Oh! for grace to go on looking only to Jesus, and living only to His glory. He is my heaven here below.
October 21st.—This evening Deut. 8:2, 3 was very sweet--"Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Deuteronomy 8:2-3
I am sure there has been a needs-be for all the rough paths I have been traveling. I might have been much puffed up if all had gone smoothly. By these things I learn, under Divine teaching, much that is within; and I also find my heart is much softened thereby, to sympathize with others in their trials. What has God wrought for me? I believe a complete deliverance out of the "day of trouble," and from the source of fear and conflict, which have continued so long. I have once or twice had relief, and thought the storm was over—but it has again beaten upon me. Now I do think it is a real deliverance. I give the Lord glory, while shame and self-abasement are mine. I see from it that in my fallen nature there is no improvement. I believe, in this mysterious matter, Satan and the flesh have worked with deceivableness of unrighteousness. How do I marvel when I look back; what deep anguish I have gone through; and now I think that some things which I supposed were from above, were not so. I wish to watch closely, to learn profitably, to be humbled exceedingly, and think I must walk softly before the Lord all my days. I wonder if any child of God was the subject of such an exercise. If I knew of such an one, how gladly would I sympathize, and warn them of that soft, and seemingly spiritual voice, which I now believe must have been of the flesh. The Lord pardon me, if wrong, and discover it to me. I bless Him, that He has kept me in fervent cries to Him during the long siege, and thus flesh has not prevailed against me. Surely, now, the walls of this Jericho have fallen. O blessed Jesus, in the tenderness of Your compassion, pity my infirmity, and, through it all, lead me on to victory.
October 27th.—I have been to the House of Refuge today. My heart is in that work, and yearns over the souls of those poor girls. Oh! that the Lord may be pleased to bless His Word through such a worm.
October 31st, Sacrament-day.—I have not been favored with enjoyment at the Lord's table. I hang solely on a precious Christ, having neither frame or feeling as an accompaniment. But I come, in all need and nothingness, for free-love bestowments, and free-grace communications. I have had much mercy during the month; the sweet love and power of Jesus in my soul has abounded while commemorating the departure of my much-loved mother, this month last year. The Lord has also sent me some relief from financial straits, and has, moreover, delivered me from the source of long, distressing conflict, known only to Himself. For these favors, praise Him, O my soul! Much mystery in the last-named dispensation: "But the woman, knowing what was done in her, fearing and trembling, came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth." This seems just my feeling, that, however great my guilt in this matter, His precious blood is more than a match for it all; and thus He is able to save to the uttermost of my case, and willing, too. Oh! yes; He "will see me again," for I am persuaded that nothing shall be able to separate me from His love. I earnestly desire more light in this matter.
November 3rd, Evening.—I have been to hear Mr. C—. His text was Psalm 5:11, "But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May You shelter them, and may those who love Your name boast about You." I trust I have been much edified, and wish to remember that he said "We should trust the Lord with all He has given us, that is, in prayer give all back to Him, as it were, and trust only in Himself." Then, in quoting Job 22:24, he said: "It may be read, without straining the Scriptures, 'He shall be to you instead of silver.'" Both these were sweet to me. When speaking of trusting the Lord, he quoted Isa. 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You!" following which, came in my mind that word in Phil. 4:6, 7. "Well," thought I, "there must be something wrong in me, for my mind is not kept in that peace, it is full of anguish. So now I pray the Lord to show me where I err. I am much more calm—but am threatened to be invaded again. The Lord subdue unbelief and the flesh, and glorify Himself."
November 18th, Thursday.—Christ, the Beloved of my soul, is my perfection, and His blood is my purity, my deliverance, and my preservation from guilt of conscience. This has been like solid rock to my soul these two days. But how are the waves and billows going over my flesh; how is my heart pierced to the quick. Can I ever have an Ebenezer on this dark ground? My Father, I this night ask, in the name of Jesus, that in this "day of trouble," Your will may be done, however severe to my flesh; Your name glorified; and my enemies, now clamorous, defeated; and I now erect a thankful Ebenezer on this very place, so dark and drear.
November 19th.—A providential mercy; most timely, most wonderful. Is the Lord going to turn my long captivity? I should, indeed, be "like unto them that dream." This passage has been often upon my mind, during the time of trial. But I could not see how it should be fulfilled. Certainly, the supply now so unexpectedly received, is a great present relief, and encourages me to believe that the Lord is not angry with me for waiting to know His will and way. The Lord sanctify the gift, and doubly bless the giver; and keep me "looking unto Jesus."
December 6th, Monday.—Much tried by external things. As I mused thereon, something seemed to say, "Leave all these things, and look at the riches and treasures you have in Me." "What, leave that which is a pricking thorn?" "Yes, leave all with Me." I felt, after, as if I dare not touch them.
December 18th, Sabbath.—Somewhat closely engaged today in seeking the Lord, that I may know His will concerning me; and also, especially, that I may be more taken up with Christ. For, by reason of these peculiar pressures, temporal things seem to have gained too much the ascendancy. Jesus must be all in all.
December 23rd.—Christ is most precious. He is my Ishi; I, His Hephzibah! What love! what wonders, for a worm so vile! But He has borne my vileness away, and is Himself my loveliness! "Praise the Lord, O my soul!" "You will call Me Ishi--(my husband). Hosea 2:16. "You will be called Hephzibah--(My delight is in her) . . . for the Lord will take delight in you." Isaiah 62:4.
December 31st.—The year 1847 is closing. It has been one of peculiar straits and trials, such as I never passed through before. This evening I have been a little reviewing the path, and find superlative mercies, as well as piercing crosses. My expenses exceed my incomings; though I deny myself in all I can, perhaps too much, yet I cannot make things meet; and cannot feel or see how to move. The Lord has done much; may the coming year be one of enlargement in temporal things, by His taking me to a less expensive home, or giving more means to support this.
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