Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
Blessed be God, He has done me much good by my last year's trial. The Lord has humbled me under His mighty hand, melted down my will into His, purified my desires, exercised my faith, hope, and patience, and brought me in some good measure to live upon Himself as my present and eternal all. I have been more concerned about my duty to 'glorify God in the fires', than merely to be delivered from the trial. And blessed be my tender Father, He set bounds to my trial in His own dear time, which is every way the best. He who enabled me to 'trust Him in the dark', and to stay myself upon my God, has again brought me forth to the light, and I have beheld His righteousness. Oh how blessed is that man who has the God of Jacob for his help!—for his help in trouble and deliverance out of it!
Most miserable is that soul who has no special saving interest in God. A time will come when all the creatures will fail him; when every spring of comfort will be dry, and nothing remain to him but an ocean of endless misery to surround him on every side; but, "say to the righteous, It shall be well with him." O how well is it with a righteous man in all changes, in the greatest evils which pass over him! The face of providence may change, friends may fail, and his own heart and flesh too; but God, the unchangeable God, who is the strength of his heart, and his portion forever, will never fail him, nor forsake him.
O this is my strong consolation—that Christ is mine, and I have enough. I may lose all created sweets; but, since I cannot lose my God in Him I have an ocean of delights, of ever-springing pleasures, which will be new and full unto ages without end!
The times look very dark. Our Lord has His fan in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor. A mercy of mercies will it be for those who shall be found inward court-worshipers when the outward court shall be trodden down, when the Lord will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men who are settled upon their lees. We have reason to fear the Lord's judgments, which hang over us for the sins of His people, and the sins of the nation. O that there was a spirit of prayer poured out upon praying men; then might we hope that the Lord would turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him. But, alas! we are asleep; and the day of the Lord may come upon us as a thief in the night. Happy are those who are kept watching; who foresee the danger of carnal security, and flee for refuge to the shadow of Jehovah's wings. For surely in the Lord, at the worst of times, his children shall have a place of refuge.
Great grace be with you.
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