Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan
February 10th.—Richly blessed in the 20th of John. Oh! how it shines and warms me, because so full of Him who is the Heaven of heavens to me. When the blessed Spirit opens the Word, and shows Christ in it, it is indeed "a feast of fat things," full of marrow. Oh! my precious Jesus, how fair and how full are You, and how pleasant for delights. Again have You proved the enemy a liar, by putting him to silence, and turning my prayer into praise. Blessed Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Blessed Three-One Jehovah, who are my God in covenant; I praise and love You, so gloriously revealed to me in the Person of my adorable Immanuel. Blessed be You, Lord God of Israel; yes, blessed You are, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.
February 16th.—My soul much dissolved at the footstool of mercy this morning, under "the love of the Spirit." Oh! it is such condescending, tender, noble love; for He shall not speak of Himself—but He shall take of mine, and show it unto you, said our precious Christ; and so He does. First, He comes as a Convincer, showing self to ourselves, to prepare the way of the Lord before Him; and when He has thus wounded and killed, He begins to speak of precious blood, and of Him who shed it in love to us; and thus He woos and wins the heart to Jesus, and not to Himself. Eternal praise and thanks to You, O heavenly Dove, who are so kind and comfortful to us, poor worms.
February 19th.—My soul was much melted this morning over Zech. 11:12, 13, where our dear Lord speaks of being valued at thirty pieces of silver, and says it was a goodly price. Ah! an unworthy one indeed for Him whose price is above rubies; "no mention shall be made of coral or of pearls;" "the gold and the crystal cannot equal" Him; yet for only thirty pieces of silver was He sold—His love calling it a goodly price, because the redemption of His Church beamed through it. If a female were to be redeemed, thirty pieces of silver was the price (Lev. 27:4). His bride did indeed need redeeming, and He scorned not to be, for her sake, valued at the price of a female and a slave. I worship and adore, and would joyfully sink into Love's unfathomable abyss, where sins and self are lost.
February 22nd, Sacrament-day.—Very memorable. Before going out this morning my heart was dissolved in the loves of Immanuel. Boaz gave Ruth parched corn. Our precious Christ, the true corn, was parched, indeed, in the fires of wrath and justice; and dipping our morsel in the vinegar seems like fellowship of His sufferings. I went to the Lord's house under the sweet bedewing, and did, indeed, banquet there with the King, sitting under the droppings of the sanctuary with great delight.
February 23rd.—Mr. W— preached this evening from Song 4:7, and in speaking of the fairness of the Church, he mentioned her as often feeling so vile and guilty, and said it was because she has the two natures. This painful feeling of sin is fellowship with "the sufferings of Christ." The thought came with living power to my heart, and did seem a blessed and Divine opening up of the subject. How are the sufferings of the dear Redeemer, under the sins of His people, expressed in the Psalms, and how do those Psalms express also the very heart-beating of His people. There is one heart in Christ and His Church.
February 24th, Morning.—I have had a most blessed night. Whenever I was awake the Spirit was enabling me to feed upon the kernel of that nut which was cracked for me in the house of God last night, namely, "the fellowship of His sufferings;" and Scriptures were unfolded to me, setting forth the oneness of Christ and His Church, until I was constrained to sing aloud upon my bed the high praises of my God and King. This morning, before I rose, I had a most melting view of the Father giving the Church to Christ in eternity past, and that in perfect beauty and glory, "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." How Jesus accepted her in love, and engaged to bring her back to the Father in the same beauty and glory, knowing that the Adam-fall would come between, and that she would be involved in it; and fully viewing all the degradation it would bring her into, and all the mighty cost it would be to Him to fetch her out, and raise her up. But He loved, and so loved—that all these waters could not quench it. He seemed to delight thus to show it forth, for in the sight of all this, His "delights were with the sons of men." Oh how safe we all are in His blessed hands. Our Bridegroom is risen and crowned, and before long shall His bride stand on His right hand, "all glorious within," her apparel being of wrought gold. Oh! how the threefold love of a Triune Jehovah beams in it all, and warms my soul with gladness.
March 6th.—When Amalek came out against Israel, Moses went up to the hill with the rod of God in his hand. I think that rod was a type of Christ. As it was held up—Israel prevailed; when it was let down—Amalek prevailed. My position tonight seems to be that of Moses on the mount, faith holding up Christ as the only victory against the Amalek which is come out against me. O Lord, let not flesh prevail, and let it not be permitted to mar the exceeding glory which continues to open to my soul in Yourself. I long to pour into other hearts the rich blessedness I enjoy. But so many are afraid of it, and think they are safer in looking at self than in looking at Jesus. But oh! indeed, when their heart "shall turn to the Lord, then the veil shall be taken away." Then will His perfect love cast out the fear of looking, or leaning upon, or making too much use of Him—which we can never do. All praise to the matchless, worthy Lamb!
March 9th.—Exceedingly blessed in my precious Lord yesterday and today. I have the last two weeks had a clearer revelation of the Person of Christ than I ever had before; and herein my heavenly Father has centered all my blessings, even in His Beloved and mine. "Sing, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!" that such a vile worm should be so sweetly blessed and absorbed in the ocean of love, without bottom or shore. But it is all according to the eternal plan and purpose for the Divine glory. Blessed by the great sacred Three in the two eternities, the little isthmus of time between them must partake of the blessing, too. I marvel exceedingly—but find the blessing flow in my soul by night and by day.
"Jesus is mine, and I am His."
I seem like the four poor perishing lepers, who found such great spoil (2 Kings 7.). I want to share it with others. Blessed Lord, pour out Your Spirit abundantly on all my precious friends in Jesus. Oh! bring them into that secret of loves and blessedness—the Person of Christ, and experimental union with Him. I feel at times too much blessed to live long.
March 14th.—The short period of the year already past has been an eventful one. I am astonished at the superabounding blessedness which has been poured into my soul. Truly I have had a foretaste of heaven, some draughts of the river of His pleasures who is my all in all, which make the great things of earth seem contemptible, and this lowly Bethel to be as the gate of heaven. Today I have had a most unexpected and timely flowing from the "nether springs." For this unlooked-for temporal favor, ten thousand thanks to my covenant God. Praise Ebenezer! Praise! Jehovah-Jireh!
March 20th.—The Lord was graciously pleased to grant me a most blessed glimpse of Gethsemane this morning. The Spirit did, indeed, open the wonders of that sacred scene, and my Lord Jesus did manifest Himself through the lattice. "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Here I saw that the ground was cursed for man's sake. But His redeeming blood fell to the ground, and took away the curse on behalf of His people; so, that though they must feel the briers and thorns (Judges 8:16), there is no curse in them. Yet Jesus will by them teach His children to profit, and, when they are smarting, His precious blood will heal every wound. In Gethsemane I saw the corn bruised to make food for bruised souls; the ripe grape was pressed into the family cup, that there might be "strong drink" for those who are "ready to perish," and wine for the heavy in heart. Oh! the agony of that bitter hour, when our precious Surety said, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me." My soul was melted in the contemplation. Blessed Savior, lead me on farther into these mighty depths of "love and blood," where self and sin are drowned.
March 26th.—Oh, the sweet wonders of a life of faith: deep conflicts and glorious deliverances, both causing us to praise Him.
March 27th, Friday Night.—We have had a Bethel season this evening. I am overcome by the goodness of the Lord—feeling in my soul that some dear absent ones were present in spirit. How sweet to my heart is communion with saints, and with the King of saints!
March 29th.—Adorable Immanuel, I give myself up to You afresh, that in endeared experimental union You may be all, and I joyfully nothing; just lost in You, which I find the best preparation for doing and suffering Your righteous will. "Abba, Father!" in Jesus I have sweet nearness and fellowship with You, for in Him You are always well pleased. Ever praised be the covenant God of Israel.
March 31st, Morning.—Yesterday afternoon I was severely tried in mind, unable to realize the presence of my Beloved. But He has "showed Himself again" to me, as it says in John 21:14. I saw how I, like Peter, in verse 3, had gone after something of the creature; and consequently had "toiled all night, and caught nothing." But now Jesus was come, leading me from poverty in the creature to—plenty in Himself; "cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find;" "the Lord is at my right hand."
April 10th, Good Friday.—I have been favored to sit under the shadow of my suffering Savior with great delight, and His fruit has been sweet to my taste. Much blessed in Psalm 22. I never before so fully realized how our precious Lord felt the anguish of unanswered prayer. He seems to have gone before us in every sorrowful step, and most precious is He to the sin-burdened or sorrowful soul, when revealed by the Spirit as bearing all for them. Love and blood. Ebenezer!
April 13th.—"The fire shall ever be burning on the altar; it shall never go out." Hence the unsatisfactory nature of the sacrifices under the law. However many, however costly, the fire was still waiting for more—showing that justice was yet demanding payment, and only taking these as shadows of good things to come. That ever-burning fire seems now to me like "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them (although the law required them to be made)." Then said I, "Look, I come to do Your will, O God." Behold the sins of my Church upon me; there let the consuming fire kindle. And there it did kindle, and expend itself as regards His Church. There justice was satisfied; and though the Father had no pleasure in those former sacrifices, it pleased Him to bruise His precious Son. In this He had pleasure, because every stripe brought satisfaction or payment; the sufferings were expiatory, the fire devoured until it had enough. Well might the fire on the Jewish altar then expire, and thence be kindled from heaven no more. May the flame of love and praise daily burn brighter in the hearts of the justified.
I have also been seeing a little of the wonder of our dear Lord during the "pains of hell," how it would be double and treble to Him, coming as He did from heaven—from the ineffable delights which He had in the bosom of the Father—to endure His frown, His forsaking, and His curse. This was love, indeed!
April 20th.—"In His hand are the deep places of the earth." Through some of these deep places have I been passing—but all in union to Him, and therefore safe, though this sensitive heart has smarted keenly. Mental suffering has abounded—but consolation by Christ has superabounded.
April 25th.—Much depressed. O Lord, command deliverances for Your worm Jacob, and fulfill that good word upon which You have caused me to hope, "Your enemies shall be found liars unto you, and you shall tread upon their high places" (Deut. 33:29.)
April 26th, Sacrament-day.—I was not favored to feed by faith on Jesus, as at times I have been privileged to do. Oh, my Beloved, do use me for Your glory, not as a piece of scaffolding, to be cast away when done with—but as the purchase of Your own blood, in which You will dwell and delight forever, while I ever rejoice with You. I bring You my present hard cases. Oh, work all according to Your will. Oh, my Father, I humbly beg for further revelations of Christ in me. Do lead me on in those dear secrets which are hidden from the wisdom of the flesh, and revealed unto babes and simple ones.
May 3rd, Sabbath.—For the last few days my soul has been most earnestly pressing after fuller revelation of a precious Jesus, and in holy sovereignty He has sent me help that way, in a letter from a friend. Oh, my blessed Lord, do bring me right out of self, to dwell in You as some of Your dear ones do. I must press after You for this. I do see there is such glory to You in it, and that thus self, sin, Satan, and the world are most truly overcome. Oh! bless the dear friend whom You have made a help to me. Amen.
Afternoon.—To the praise of my prayer-hearing Lord I must note, that, in answer to my poor—but wrestling cry, He has caused Christ to be preciously preached this morning, and distilled the Word in my soul. The text was Psalm 116:13, "I will take the cup of salvation and worship the Lord."
May 13th.—Isaac went out at eventide to meditate. And whom did Isaac meet when he went out into the field? His bride, Rebekah, whom he took to himself and loved. So, when we go out of self into Christ, "the field which the Lord has blessed," we find Him as our Bridegroom, and our meditation of Him is sweet, and we are glad in the Lord. So am I this evening, to the praise of my Beloved. This has been one of "the days of the Son of Man" to my soul.
May 31st, Sacrament-day.—A feast for the poor and needy. There is nothing to pay, and they have nothing to pay with; so the feast and the guests go well together—in truth, they were prepared for each other. I long and pant for more revealing of the incarnate Word in the written Word. O blessed Spirit, testify of Him to my soul in the Scriptures. Abba Father, reveal Your precious Son more fully in me; and You, my Beloved, make Yourself known to me more than ever. How much I thirst for You, You know. You are most kind—but more unfoldings of Yourself I still desire.
June 3rd.—I seem to have been following my Beloved in "a land not sown" the last two days—but am more and more convinced that it is good to follow on to know Him, however low feeling may be; and also that it is one part of the "work of faith" so to do. Oh, what substantial blessings and strengthening food we have in Him whose "flesh is food indeed," and His "blood is drink indeed."
June 7th.—Though in much circumstantial straitness, my heart is greatly wondering at my temporal mercies, which seem too great and good for unworthy me. I am most earnestly longing for more knowledge of Him, and more revelation of Him in the blessed Scriptures, and humbly believe I shall have it, for His glory who inspires these desires. Oh, make me diligent in seeking, as well as earnest in desiring; for "the soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing. But the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."
June 14th.—Psalm 103:1, "My soul, praise the Lord, and all that is within me, praise His holy name." I have been thinking of Esther, how she stood in the court for audience with the king. First, he accepted her person; she found favor in his sight. Then he granted her request. My glorious Lord, You have accepted me in love, in the royal apparel of Your own righteousness, and I wait Your answers to my petitions.
June 26th.—Much encouraged this morning in reading, that after Moses went up into the mount, he waited six days before the Lord spoke to him (Exod. 24:16). Therefore I must wait on, for that fuller revelation of Christ after which I pant. It will not be in vain, for He has said it, and He is faithful. It is said of Moses, that "on the seventh day the Lord spoke to him out of the midst of the cloud." Here is much encouragement to wait, even though a cloud hang over us, for there may be a voice of instruction out of that cloud by-and-by.
July 5th.—I have this morning heard a sermon from Isaiah 33:17, "Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and view a land that stretches afar." And, since my return, the text itself has been brought with much sweetness into my soul. Beautiful, indeed, is our King upon His holy kill, in His Person and work—beautiful is He in His authority and rule. Oh, His is a reign of love! Glorious King, my soul adores You, and it is in Your beauty You behold me, and Your desire is towards me. Tomorrow will be my birthday. Oh, show Yourself to me then in Your love and loveliness, and give me a birthday kiss—"let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth"—and a birthday blessing. You are the "blessing of the Lord, which makes rich," and adds no sorrow with the riches; while they who will be rich in this world's things, pierce themselves through with many sorrows.
July 6th, my Birthday.—I have felt rather pensive today—but must praise my precious Lord, if it be in pensive strains, who has opened a spring in a desert place, to supply the need of His poorest worm. "Whoever is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." Warm praises to Your most excellent Majesty, oh, our Jehovah-Jireh. You can always find a rock to smite for Your poor and needy ones. My precious Beloved, You have come in to me this evening, now I am all alone. Oh, abide with me all the night—
"And in the morning, when I wake,
Me, in Your arms, dear Jesus, take."
You concentrate my heart's love and desires on Your one dear glorious Person. Oh, satisfy me early with Your love, which is wonderful to me, surpassing all the love of women. Happy, happy me—when You are here. But when not sensibly enjoyed, still "You are my Elkanah and I Your Hannah." "You are fairer than the children of men. Grace is poured into Your lips," and You pour it out. Your "mouth is most sweet." Your lips drop as the honeycomb. Oh, what a heaven begun have I in the revelation of You. Pages and volumes could not tell it out. I do banquet with You, my King. "Your love is better than wine." Oh, I feared You would not come to manifest Yourself, and thereby to brighten my birthday. But You have come. I was born for You, and You for me. Oh, what joy now, and what glory afterwards, when in Your blissful presence I shall be absorbed in Your loves and beauties forever—with no more cloud or veil between. Oh, bring our loved ones to dwell in You by faith. Here they will learn how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, do always love them, and delight in them, in Christ. You are the blissful "secret of the Lord," in whom dwelling, we are overshadowed by the Almighty, Psalm 91. Oh, draw me, precious Lord, into Yourself. "The enlarging of the house is still upward." Teach me how to tell it to the King's house within, that they also may share the precious spoil my hungry soul finds in You. Oh, why should kings' sons and daughters go lean from day to day? (2 Sam. 4). True, these heavenly viands do spoil one for earth-born cares—but then much less of earth's good things suffice, when we thus live in and upon a glorious Christ. Oh, come, you Spirit-born and heaven-bound ones,
why do you so linger around earthly trifles? Why cling to the ash-heap? You are princes—this befits you not. There are such loves, and glories, and wonders in Jehovah-Jesus to be enjoyed even below, as yet we little think of. Oh, come, let us "Arise, and go to Jesus!"
Jesus, our divine Magnet, attract us to Your dear Self, no more to be "twain—but one flesh." One with You, as You are one with the Father, and one with Him in You.
"Earth has no dainties half so sweet
As my Redeemer brings."
And these streams are all to end in the ocean of glory! Perhaps I shall soon be there. I often think so, when these full tides of love roll into my soul. But I am still confined in this cottage of clay, through the crevices of which the beams of glory burst, and make my poor heart very glad in the Lord. "Choose the way—but do lead on." Happy, happy banquet with the King!
July 20th.—My soul has just been melted in reading that the tabernacle was to have one of its coverings made of goats' hair. Herein the love and humiliation of my precious Lord beamed upon my soul anew, for the goats typify the lost—the cursed ones (Matt. 25:33, 41). The judgment of the sheep took place in the fullness of time, when the great Shepherd was made sin for them (Isaiah 53:6), and sentence was passed upon their sin while judgment was executed upon Him. He was dealt with as a goat, and, in that awful hour, placed at the left hand, under His Father's frown, and under the hidings of His love. Oh, what anguish was that to His holy and loving heart! Well may the goats' hair be introduced, to remind us at what a mighty cost to Himself He became a covering and hiding-place for us. Precious Jesus! O lowly Lamb, I hail and adore You in the depths, when You were numbered with the transgressors, and dealt with as a goat, for my sake.
I also see that the goats' hair reminds us that we "were by nature children of wrath, even as others." But over the goats' hair was the covering of rams' skins, dyed red, showing the precious blood by which we were cleansed from our filthiness, as it is written, 1 Cor. 6:11. Thus "the mountain of our guilt, falling into the sea of His blood, comes to nothing, for when sought for it shall not be found, and the rock is moved out of its place" (Job 14:18); for He takes away the heart of stone, and gives a heart of flesh, which feels His love, and the flowings of His blood.
July 22nd, Monday Evening.—I have had much mental suffering the last two days. This evening a beam of heavenly light illumines my tried soul, by which I seem to see that there has been a mighty struggle between it and the prince of darkness, who has harassed me severely. Dear Lord, make me like the deaf adder to his suggestions—but very watchful for Your word. Keep me close to it, in word and deed.
July 27th, Communion-day.—I have had a feast of love at the Lord's table.
"As myrrh new bleeding from the tree,
Such is the dying Christ to me."
I have been sweetly absorbed in Himself and His precious love, and longed to fly away to behold His unveiled glories. But still He says, "Return to your own house, and tell how great things the Lord has done for you, and has had compassion on you." So
"Would I tell to sinners round,
What a dear Savior I have found;
Would point to His redeeming blood—and say,
Behold the way to God!"
Blessed Lord, subdue my will, and make me live in Yours. The past month has been sharp in conflict—but very rich in blessing, through the love of a Triune Jehovah and the blood of my precious Surety. Oh, that blood! it does dissolve the heart—it is wonderful! Our glorious Immanuel is always as a Lamb newly slain: the efficacy and sweet savor of His sacrifice is ever new, when brought home by the eternal Spirit. Eternal praises be to my gracious, glorious, covenant God. Precious Savior! do quite hide me, and do You be seen and heard through me.
August 13th.—A day of awful storms—thunder, lightning, and torrents of rain; just like Numbers 24:7: "He shall pour the water out of His buckets."
August 16th, Sabbath Morning.—This is Your rising day and my resting day. Oh, my precious Savior! You have ascended up on high in my nature, and for me "have led captivity captive." Blessed be my conquering, crowned Head, in whom I find Heaven begun below. Let my soul still abide in Him, through all the aboundings of joy and sorrow, both of which are alternately strong in my bosom. But, oh! the large happiness I find in my Beloved, words cannot fully express. I am much puzzled by some dear ministers and saints, who seem jealous of enjoyed blessedness in Christ. They are always saying we must not have two heavens; and, if we are so happy below, we shall have no desire to depart. In very truth, I find it just the opposite; for the more happiness I enjoy in Christ, the more ardently I long to be with Him. How is it that I am so much alone in these things? How is it there is so little joy in the Lord? The ocean of love is full and free to all the house of David; and a tried path is not the hindrance, for I am seldom long without some source of pain and perplexity. Oh! dearest Lord, be more revealed in Your bride, and remove whatever hinders that joy which is our strength.
The past week has been wonderful to me. You have gone with me to the poor, and You have spoken through such a stammering worm. You are my rest in weariness, my ease in pain, my strength in weakness. The week began in confusion and heaviness, and has ended in peace and praise. Bless Your ministering servants today who preach "Jesus only." You heavenly, precious Boaz! be pleased to be seen and heard in Your field, and bless all Your own reapers and gleaners with that "one rich blessing—Love." Praise! Ebenezer! Is anything too hard for the Lord? Is anything too small for the Lord? Is anything too great or heavy for the Lord? No!
September 2nd.—Filey.—Praise! Ebenezer! We were brought here yesterday in safety by our gracious Lord. Oh! make this a consecrated spot by Your presence. My spirit desires the glory of Your name, and profit to our souls and others by this journey. Micah 5:5.
September 11th.—This morning I was struck by these words, "Behold the Bridegroom comes—go out to meet Him." They came first to me literally—but afterwards I was melted by the thought that my heavenly Bridegroom might be coming to me in fresh revelation; and truly this evening He has marvelously done so, in a sermon by Mr. G—, from 2 Cor. 3:18, which seemed to turn me inside out. I longed to hide myself, and wanted a place wherein to weep; while my Bridegroom's beauty, and my own deformity, were revealed. The effect in my soul was humiliation before the Lord, crying to Him in brokenness of spirit. Psalm 139:23, 24. Behold I am vile. "You are all lovely, my Beloved." Oh! I do feel it, and long to put off this tabernacle, that I may never see evil more. I cannot describe the joy and sorrow, love and grief, which work in my soul this night—this memorable night. I hope to sleep under the shadow of the cross.
October 4th, Sabbath.—Lord, blot all sin out of my conscience, with that precious blood which blotted it out of Your book.
October 7th, High Pavement.—We arrived safely at home last night, through the tender mercy of our God (Praise! Ebenezer!), who did graciously talk to me by the way, melting my heart with His goodness. It was as if He had said to me, "Linger not in any creature; arise, and depart to your rest in Jesus; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus." My soul answered, "Blessed Lord, do continue Your instructions." Then followed, with Prov. 8:10, Jer. 10:23. "Hide your diminished head in my bosom, and seek not to see any object but me." Will You be at home to receive me? I have been in new scenes, and have proved myself wayward. Then Isaiah 48:8. "But how have I forsaken You?" "I will draw You again unto, and into, myself." So be it, dear Lord, and shut me in experimentally forever. The second time He said, "Choose my instructions rather than silver, for the Lord shall be Your gold, and He shall be to you instead of silver." "O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full with the blessing of the Lord—possess the west and the south." "It is finished!" Here are green pastures, even pardon, peace, and rest. Everything you do is defiled: everything I do is perfect.
Thus did my dear Savior instruct and comfort me. This is a day of general humiliation and fasting, on account of the dreadful war in India. May the Lord hear His people's prayers, and be favorable to our land. May the Lord draw me near to confess and to plead, for we are "a people laden with iniquity." Blessed Spirit, come and make intercession in us, while our ever-adorable Advocate makes intercession for us.
October 11th.—I desire to bless the Lord at all times, and that His praise should continually be in my heart and mouth. Blessed Lord, You have indeed been "wonderful in counsel," "mighty in working," and loving in blessing, since I have been a "sparrow alone." Although the enemy thrust sore at me, that I might fall, the Lord has helped me; and though my foolish heart died within me, in seeing others around blessed with a home for their affections, yet the Lord did lift me up again into His own dear bosom, and afresh I could feel, that in possessing Christ I lacked nothing. Oh, the wonders of His love, that can bear with such weakness and wanderings as mine! Eternal praises to You, my covenant God!
November 23rd.—This evening I have been favored with a peculiarly sacred season, in sitting alone before the Lord. My soul was drawn out towards my best Beloved, my Ishi, to choose Him, with the cross—rather than a smoother path with a distant Lord. I have had peculiar nearness of spirit to two Christian friends. Surely I found them in the embrace of Jesus, and felt comfort of soul in being knit together in His love, with the privilege of pleading for each of them. Oh, what will glory be, if these foretastes in the wilderness are so rich! I do believe it was a taste of that communion of spirit we shall enjoy above. I cannot express the love of Jesus to these loved ones, as it sweetly flows through my heart to them. This river of love makes glad the city of God above and below. Surely, dear ones, we have blessed you in the house of the Lord, even in "Christ Jesus," where you and I are blessed "with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places." How does all that is of earth recede before the overshadowings of His presence! Precious Lord, draw us each more and more into Your secret chamber, where worldling never came, where the flesh was never fed. You have a secret chamber below, which is the ante-room of glory.
November 25th.—The future is quite dark. I have been, and am, as on the top of Carmel, pleading and watching like Elijah and his servant. Oh! my precious Savior, how blessed is Your presence amidst the storms of this weary land; what will it be to behold Your unveiled glories, when faith shall be lost in sight? You give me blessed foretastes in the path of tribulation. You have bid me return from the near view of home above to my kindred in the wilderness, as, in Gen. 32:9, You bid Jacob return to Canaan. Indeed, I am unworthy of the least of Your mercies, and I feel it. But Your mercies are free. Have You not said You Would do me good? I do find You very gracious. I am not tried too much. Help me to trust, and not be afraid.
November 29th, Communion-day.—I felt cast down the greater part of yesterday—but had some reviving in the evening. Much blessed this morning. This afternoon I was favored with the felt communion at the Lord's table, although my heart was less melted than at other times. Yet did I truly feed by faith upon the flesh and blood of my blessed Jesus—embracing Him afresh for justification, sanctification, and all I need for time and for eternity. I did cry to the Lord that it might be with me as it is written, John 7:38, "The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him." So I saw at the King's table that it is through the pierced veins and flowing blood of Immanuel that the Father's love flows to us, His younger rebel children. He smote the elder brother to open a way in which He might honorably bless us. May I then be hidden and He seen.
Let me be employed by You as You will; yes, let my whole self be filled with You and used by You for Your glory. Amen. You know my present strait. "My soul, wait only upon God," for from Him comes my expectation. This word comes often to my mind when looking at my present position. "Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed." You, Lord, are precious in the trial, although I am sometimes "a day and a night in the deep." You are there unseen—but You will not leave me. Oh! help me still to watch and pray on Carmel's Mount. While looking out for this temporal token, my soul is earnestly pressing after fuller revelation of Christ, the Father's Beloved.
"Sweet to lie passive in His hands,
And know no will but His."
This is what the Lord has wrought in my soul this morning, and now I am caused to yield myself lovingly to my Beloved, saying to Him, Do with me as seems good in Your sight, only withhold not Yourself; do not be distant towards me; life is a misery without You. In other things Your will be done.
December 31st.—An eventful year now closes with praise, adoration, and thanksgiving for the past—and loving trust for the future. Though present things look dark, it shall be well. My beloved and my adorable Lord, I fall into Your arms for support, guidance, and blessing. Make Your way plain before me—and give me power to walk in it. Amen. Praise, Ebenezer.
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