You thought right that I should pity you, when I knew the cause of the lameness of your hands. For who that loves can forbear the greatest pity to a worthy friend who was used most cruelly? Cruel treatment was this from the creature—but a love-stroke of God your Father! You have hereby seen the wonders of His infinite goodness which He has wrought for you in that support under and deliverance from those many and great distresses which at present are to your wonder, joy and praise, and shall be to the advance of your felicity in eternal glory and to God's honor, unto endless ages!
I think my afflictions are nothing if compared with those which you have passed through. Afflicted in body, from head to foot severely—terrified in soul so exceedingly—brought to the very brink of death and the grave in the former, and, as it were, into the belly of hell in the latter; and yet, everlasting arms underneath you in all this, the consolations of God given to your heart, and great deliverance to your body from its sore distress as an answer to social prayer—how great, how wondrous was the grace! And when a little raised up yourself, to be so soon plunged into distress by the awful affliction of your dear sister, and ever since to be exercised with such various scenes of distresses through which you have been called to pass, and yet maintained in life—in the life of nature and in the life of grace, and favored with the use of your natural and spiritual senses, how bright towards you have been the displays of the Lord's excellent loving-kindness! You may well say, "in deaths often; troubled on every side."
But when you shall have come up at last out of all great tribulations—having washed your robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, and are presented faultless before the throne of God—how sweet, how ineffably sweet, will be your eternal glory-rest! Then you will reflect with the highest pleasure upon all your past sorrows, and in unknown transports of joy and praise forever adore that wise grace which conducted you safely and advantageously through all the terrors and dangers of the wilderness. Most surely, your joy and glory, and God's joy and glory in yours, is to be exceeding great, or you would not have met with such great miseries and griefs in the present state.
I am glad that you long, dear Madam, to devote yourself and your all unto God, and to be of special service to His praise, who has shown towards you such wonders of grace. And let the Lord's past appearances for you, in your great and sore troubles, encourage you to trust in Him for delivering grace, even to the last of your distresses. For He who said unto you, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God"—is still the same. And so He will be through all your earthly-necessities, and to an endless eternity. It is His covenant with you to "work marvels."
And think, O woman of sorrows, think, and think again—Christ, the tree of life, is cast into all your deaths, and will not He well sweeten these bitter waters. Oh, what is Christ, your Christ? "In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily!" He is God in your nature, a Father, a Brother, a Husband, a Friend, that ever lives, and ever loves! For love, in all relations, His is immense and endless; for life, He is the Lord of it—an immensity, an eternity of life dwells in Him for you, to perpetuate and perfect your life of grace, and to ripen it into the life of glory! Yes, to maintain your unknown felicity to a boundless eternity. And having Him, who is love, who is life, your love and life with you in all your deaths—will not He make every bitter sweet, and swallow up all your deaths in the infinity of His love and life? Yes, verily, He will for you, both in soul and body, swallow up death in victory, instate and maintain you in a glorious immortality to a blessed eternity. And so wondrously will He work for you, that He will bring life, and an increase of it, out of every death that passes over you.
Is it not better, infinitely better to have Christ with you as your own Lord Jesus, amid ten thousand deaths, for this small moment of time, who will swallow them all up in perfect victory and eternal glory in the world to come—than to be surrounded with all the outward felicity of the present state, with all the splendors of a worldling's honors and pleasures—those ‘glow-worm glories’ which will suddenly be no more—and sent away from Christ at last, with a "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire?" May you be enabled to rejoice then in your portion, your soul-sustaining, your soul-satisfying, your life-giving portion, and walk worthy of your portion, by a constant dependence on Him, and a joyful expectance from Him, until you are fully blessed with the complete possession of Him who fills all in all, and will fill you brimful of light and life, of joy and glory, endless and unknown!
Oh, dear Madam, you are straitened in me, a little babe, a little child, who cannot speak; but you are not straitened for immense and eternal bliss in your Jesus. The tongues of angels and archangels, in all their innumerable armies, can never, never tell a thousandth part of His infinite fullness, beauties, and glories! What then can an earth-worm, the least, think or speak of that infinitely glorious Lord? When all is said that can be uttered by the greatest of men, it may be fitly said of their most comprehensive speeches concerning Him, "There was the hiding of His glory!" Yes, when the Lord Himself is set forth in the bright display of His power, it is said, "And there was the hiding of His glory!" What, in the display of it? Yes, with regard to the infinity of it in His own immense and unsearchable essence!
But it is enough, Madam, to make you inconceivably blessed, that in Him, this infinite Him, you have an entire and eternal interest. God grant you the joy of this ineffable felicity. I mourn that I can say no more of this vast and endless storehouse of blessings. Confusion covers me that I have thus veiled Him, when I would gladly have given you a glimpse of His glory. God grant you "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" to your unspeakable joy!
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