Letter 19

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 7
December 23, 1845.
My Very Dear Sister,
I am more thankful than you are that I went down to see you, so entirely does my soul before the Lord approve the little journey, though to add anything to you or to any soul how unfeignedly do I feel and own my poverty. However, there is refreshment in "the mutual faith," and I have found it at times in looking, as from a distance, at one in whom you know the truth dwells and shall dwell forever.
I send a copy of the thought on Mark 5:33, to you, and also another little meditation I have had since I saw you, something connected with it. I will not now say more on Romans 14 and 15. It may be so at another time if the heart incline to the subject. Not only to your dear mother, but to dear Mrs..... and family, Dr..., and the dear.... give my love in the Lord Jesus. All would unite in love to you, and my Mary's thanks for your living recollection of her. She had been very poorly, but is up again.
He is dealing with you as one of the stones in His great and various quarry, beloved. The workmanship there is very various. The hammer may be heard, or the saw, or the chisel, but the Workman has His purpose in His eye, while His vessel is in the wheel. The Lord give you abundant thought and refreshing, and the stillness of believing.
Ever your affectionate brother,
J. G. B.
Remember me to Mr. and Mrs. T.... in Christian love, and to dear sister.
The Woman in the Crowd—Mark 5
We may receive a benefit from a person and be thoroughly assured of our hearty welcome to it, and yet find ourselves ill at ease in his presence. Nothing is more common than this. Gratitude is awakened in the heart very deeply and very affectionately, and yet reserve and uneasiness as deeply and painfully felt. It calls for something beyond our mere assurance of His good-will toward us and of our full welcome to His service; to make us at ease in the presence of a benefactor. And this something, I believe, is the discovery that we have an interest in Himself as well as in His ability to serve us. This delineates, as I judge, the experience of the poor woman with the issue of blood.
She knew the Lord's ability to relieve her sorrow, and her hearty welcome to avail herself of it. She therefore comes and takes the virtue out of Him without reserve. But she comes behind Him. This expresses her state of mind. She knows her welcome to His service but nothing more. She does not as yet know her title to be in His presence. But the Lord trains her heart for this as he communicated healing to her body. He lets her know that she is interested in Himself, as well as in His power to oblige her. He calls her "daughter." He owns kindred or relationship with her. This was the communication which alone was equal to remove her fear and trembling. Her rich and mighty portion is her Kinsman. This is what her heart needed to know; without this, in the spirit of her mind, she would be still "behind Him." And the higher the personal dignity or the moral worth of the one who serves us, the more will this reserve be felt, without this knowledge of kindred. This gives ease, and dismisses the fear and the trembling. "GO in peace" may then be said, as well as "be whole of thy plague." The word "daughter" entitled her to know that His presence was her home. She need not be reserved. Christ does not deal with her as a mere patron or benefactor (Luke 22:25). She has an interest in Himself as well as in His power to bless her. And this is the gospel. The gospel tells us of our title to the "benefit," and of our interest in the "Benefactor," that He is our Kinsman as well as our Deliverer, so that we enjoy the blessing with full ease of heart, as before our God.