Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
There may be obstacles and hindrances in the building and beauty of the spiritual temple, in the edification and glory of the gospel church. But the work is of God, and it shall prosper in the hands of our Zerubbabel. His hands, which have laid the foundation—even His hands shall finish it—and He shall bring forth the top-stone thereof with shouting, crying, "Grace, grace unto it." Nor shall any impediments ever stand in the way of the Savior's rising interest, but what shall serve as a foil to illustrate the brightness of that omnipotent power, infinite grace, truth, and faithfulness, which soon, very soon, will redound to His and the Church's glory, in spite of all opposition from the powers of darkness.
Not the least breathing of your enlarged heart, not a desire of your capacious soul, nor the least attempt you ever made for the advancement of the Redeemer's interest, but is recorded by Him in the book of His remembrance, and shall be rewarded of Him at His appearance. And, lo, this Lord and King of Glory will Himself will be your exceeding great reward! And can you fathom the measure of your glory in your immeasurable Lord? No! heaven's bliss, is immense.
But think, O think with pleasure, on those sweet foretastes of God with which your happy soul has been favored in times past! What peace and rest, what refreshing joy, has been given to your spirit when Jesus drew near! Was not your bliss in those happy moments ineffable—your joy full of glory unspeakable—and your reward abundantly great and full? And yet think, O think with rising joy, that the whole of your heart-ravishing bliss, of your soul-satisfying reward hitherto, if compared with that which is to come in the immediate presence, and full eternal enjoyment of God and of the Lamb, is no more than a drop in an immense ocean! Joy enters into you now; but then, you shall enter into joy, even the joy of your Lord. God puts a glory upon you now; but then, your God will be your glory! Rejoice, therefore, as an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ!
And until you come to your eternal inheritance, give your Father leave to choose your time-portion of trials, which are to prepare you for your eternal lot of glory. And think it not strange, if so dear a favorite of heaven should meet with a variety and perpetuity of griefs on the earth, nor yet if your greatest trials should be reserved for the last. Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil? Shall we walk joyfully in the light, and not patiently in darkness? Especially since we have so sweet a companion in tribulation as our Lord Jesus, who loves us immensely, and will speak to us comfortably. God our Father has given Christ to be our Leader—to be the Captain of our Salvation—and, as such, he is continually with us, and goes before us. Through all the wilderness-way, even to the last step of it, he will never leave nor forsake us. He will tread down the briars and thorns before us, to make the way passable for us, and easy for our tender feet.
And no grief will He ever allow to touch us but what He sees to be absolutely necessary for us, and what He Himself, by an infinite sympathy, will bear together with us. The most tender pity of the nearest and dearest relative is not worth a thought, if compared with the infinite affection of Christ, our Immanuel, our Husband, Brother, Friend, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells. In our Jehovah-Jesus there is a fullness of tender mercy, whence He can be, and is, inwardly touched with the feeling of our misery. And in Him also there is a fullness of power to relieve and deliver, which from an infinity of love, grace, and faithfulness, He does and will exert to save us to the uttermost. Our Captain-Leader, the Lord our Lover, goes before us as a mighty conqueror, to vanquish all our enemies, to make our distress subserve our bliss, to swallow up death in victory, and to raise us up with Him to reign in life and immortal glory.
Let us, then, in faith, and without having fear, commit ourselves entirely to our Lord's all-wise and all-gracious conduct, and cheerfully come up from the wilderness leaning upon our Beloved. For lo, we shall be fully persuaded "that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Hallelujah! And again let us say, "Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns!"
That His rich, reigning grace may be with your spirit, and upon you in your work, until you rest from your labors and are received up to glory, in my hearty desire.
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