Letter 32

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2, Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin, May 4, 1852.
My Dear Sister,
It is, indeed, some time since a little word passed between us. The good Lord knows that it comes not from change or lack of the old and wonted love between us, but it may be, like some dream, from the multitude of business, and much of that business far less attractive to the heart than communion over some of the precious truth of God, but perhaps as needed and not less profitable.
I want to prove, "when he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?" Beautiful sentence!
I heard of a good man who had been long under trial, people mistaking and reproaching him, saying to one who told me of it, " It has not given me five minutes' uneasiness for the whole seven months." What a living, happy experience of the reality of that short scripture. How much the soul covets the like, dear sister.
In our conduct and journey as saints, it is, not enough, for the full repose of the heart, to have a good conscience. Without that, it is true, there could be no repose. But we need that light and grace and energy of the spiritual mind, that will keep us in the track of the mind of God, and in such activities as become the house and people of God, and our place in the midst of them. But, at the same time, I believe we can bring our lacking or our erring in these ways of the Spirit up to the throne of grace, in confession, with somewhat a less painful mourning heart than we should have to bring our blots of conscience.
I would that you could tell me better things of yourself, as to the body; but you scarcely expect much till all that be perfected in its " eternal house." I was lately reading a life of dear G. Whitfield. What a fervent spirit he carried with him, and what a love of souls filled his heart. I found it good and rebuking to be in company with him and with others who breathed the life of Christ in those days of dear Lady Huntingdon. 0 for more such fervency, loved sister, in my cold and narrow heart! He wept while he preached, like his Master; in his measure and way he seems to have given himself to the people, imparting his own soul to them, as the apostle speaks. The Lord spread among us more of this?
Give my love to dear Mrs. W ... .., when you see her, and to your dear physician. I have heard of his brother in the north, but knew not of his loss. Blessed be God for the mercy! In the riches of grace He has given me, in recollections of mine, some of the dearest joys of my heart. The Lord be with your spirit, and believe me,
Ever your affectionate
J. G. B.
My Mary desires her love, and remember me to your dear sister. I may find something on Matthew 13 among my MSS. and will send it, please God.
I was glad you told me of yourself, where and with whom you are now living. I visit two dear saints of God, laid up, like yourself, for years in pain of body. One of them a near connection of the dear man, Mr. Greene, who ministers to Matamoros. Trials, my sister, will re-appear as honors by and by, sufferings as crowns. (1 Peter 1:77That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7).) You may be fall sure I should find my way to the Quarries, were I at Exeter. My own sister from Tiverton we hope to see here in the course of the summer; but for six years I have not paid her a visit. A visit from dear M.... would be very pleasant to you, I am sure. The recollections of him are very grateful to me, is of dear Mr. and Mrs. W.... and theirs. But all is imperfection, till the presence of Christ in glory teaches it by and by. May we have a heart for His appearing, without the check of present lust and vanity!
I have not heard of dear L.... M.... for a long while. Your dear doctor at Torquay cannot visit you now, as he was wont to do so lovingly.
" We talk of the land of the blest,
That country so bright and so fair;
And oft are its glories contest,
But what must it be to be there."
Oh I for deeper, richer, larger desires and sympathies for it and with it, my sister.
Ever your affectionate brother,
J. G. B.