Letter 5

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
May 8, 1841.
My Beloved Sister,
I have been just asking myself, how far I really see " form and comeliness " in the rejected and despised Jesus; and I am assured that while the soul is under the power of things seen, this cannot be; because the marred visage, the thorny crown, the carpenter's son; the penniless, homeless stranger, the One spit upon, the patient sufferer of wrongs and reproaches daily heaped upon Him, is no object of "form or comeliness" before the eye of mere man. If the soul, therefore, be under the power or pressure of things seen, what is Jesus to it? It is faith alone that can admire Him. It is the eye trained and practiced by the Holy Ghost that alone can see the beauty of the smitten form of the low-estated Galilean. 0, dear sister, this tells loudly against the constant currents of our hearts. May we be more and more lifted above the admiration of, or delight in, the things seen, the fair shows of the flesh. Such glances of our hearts, of which they are so guilty, weaken our power to perceive this only real " form and comeliness."
So, where is the ear for the Shepherd's voice? Surely only in that which the Spirit has, in like manner, opened. And if the flesh and the world be practicing it with its music and soft words, beloved sister, its readiness and skill to catch that unearthly voice will, in like manner, decline and be impaired. Another solemn thought for our souls, another humbling reflection on the too easy and constant ways of our senses, arises here.
This was in my mind just now, and so I have put it down. But I had it in my mind to write, to you, to get some one in.... to give me a line and tell me how the dear Miss.... are. Give my love to them, and to all besides, accepting it yourself, dear sister, with that of all united with: me here. I hope my dear brother.... got my last, which I wrote in answer to one he sent me, accompanying the pleasing letters from.... I have just returned from a happy meeting of about 100 at Parsonstown. For two days we were considering some holy and precious truth, and all were edified and comforted, I think I find the dear brethren in the country walking in much peace and union. But we have just lost a much-loved man, who kept a large country shop at Nenagh. His end was all peace. He told the apothecary, " he would not give one thought of Jesus for all that was in his shop." Thus joy and sorrow mingle together in our hearts, dear sister. His dear widow has been greatly supported. Pray for her. Tell the dear.... that we have also lost dear.... I do not know whether I mentioned her death to them.
We know nothing yet as to seeing England this summer. It was expected that there might be some meeting at...., but I am not so sure of that now. But may we, dear sister, have no desire to promote anything of our own, and watch against all tendencies that way. They are very subtle. The teaching of Nicodemus, and the Lord leading him back to the brazen serpent, evidently shows us that the new life is the life of a sinner saved by the grace of God and blood of Jesus. The word of the gospel is consequently the seed of that life. (1 Peter 1.) This shows the character of the new birth or life, as clearly as the Lord's words show the need of it. And this makes it exceedingly simple; and that which is thus produced is spirit. Because Jesus, the Second man, is, a quickening spirit, and this new life is life derived out of Him, or a poor dead sinner getting life from Jesus the Savior, who gave His flesh and His blood as atonement for sin for the life of the world.