Letter 33

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
May 29, 1863.
How naturally, yea, necessarily, my dear sister, the sight of a letter from you took me back many years in the recollections of my heart, and the interval surely was marked by its lights and shadows. How consistently, as one company, brethren were walking together, when first you and I knew each other, and now how broken! And yet I believe we can say, we would not exchange our present experience with what it was in apparently brighter and calmer days. The harvest that is reddening for the' sickle is not as lovely to the eye as it was in its early freshness of green spring-time. And it is well, my dear sister, to be thinking of the day of in-gathering. With me, at my age of sixty-six, it can be but comparatively a little while; but, to faith, it is always a little while, and the less the better-save as service and the will of the Master would have it otherwise.
There is nothing like resting in His love. " He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God." There is no one moral thought so full of power, I believe, as that which the apostle utters, " the Son of God who has loved me." The soul looking upward, as in communion not with God in judgment but in grace, apprehending not an exactor but a Savior. You speak of my visiting Exeter, my dear sister. But I have no such prospect. My dear Mary is dependent on me every day, the frame increasingly feeble, and the mind bemoaning much failing; but the simplicity of her faith holds on; and no cloud rests on her well-known title to the love of God her Father. Our dear.... is a great comfort to us, and in more health of body, I think, than some years since. You know, perhaps, that we have lost all our dear sisters. The three died within two years of each other, at Cheltenham, where...,..., and.... still live, and live as walking with the Lord, and serving Him in their way and measure.
For more than four years I have not been absent from Dublin for a week, and though I know it is profiting to visit brethren in other places at times, and see how they do, and take their pledge, and learn where they have been seated at divine lessons which have escaped the notice of one's own soul, yet if His strong hand fix your habitation, that becomes your profitable as well as your right place.
We are kept here, thank the Lord, in much peace, and the revival times which were blessedly seen in our city and neighborhood some three years ago, have led to the enlarging of our company, and to the manifestation of much grace and godliness in many young persons. But in the state of churches, dear sister, we have great reason " to rejoice with trembling." Mischief breaks out suddenly at times, and in quarters which had not awakened one's apprehensions.