Letter 4

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
January 16, 1841.-,
It is a small thing to say, my dear sister, that I have my little visits to you in sweet remembrance, when we used to speak together of that blessed One who had united us. Sad it is that the heart should ever be dull and cold-but oh, its stupidity, its lifelessness, its distance from the atmosphere of the Canticles, is known and felt every day; the shallowness and narrowness of the flowings of the Spirit through us are well understood in the secret of the soul within us. I am not sure that we have not been a little hasty after knowledge, and the soul in its search has not been given space to pour itself out over the word with sufficient desire. Better to break the heart over one truth than get many truths in the mind. But you, beloved sister, may not be so sensitive of this as I am. Your retirement has its privations, but it has its many holy advantages also. But, indeed, we know also the high blessedness of speaking of the precious word of God, and were it not for the contendings of wretched carnal affection, the joy of such occupation would be unmixed. But oh, the vanity, the strife, the disorder, that the flesh casts up! May the Lord be with you, my dear sister, and so plead with the pains of nature as to give you more ease. The bigger the cloud swelled over Job-though he judged it big with rain, and wind, and lightning-it was only the fuller of blessing for him at last, for the flocks that were scattered by it were replaced with larger, and the children who were slain by it were succeeded by fairer ones. And instead of being habituated to look at God as at the source of human sorrows, should we not the rather remember the griefs of Jesus over them, and in these griefs and tears see the divine mind, while contemplating such a scene of travail in pain as this whole creation is?
I have considered some of the scriptures, dear sister. The Lord keep us that our growth in knowledge may be healthful. In many souls I believe knowledge is doing mischief rather than good.