State of Soul: Seasonal Words From an Old Letter

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
When souls feed upon the Word of God with evident relish it is a good sign, whereas if they are occupied with questions which gender strifes, it is just the opposite; and when fanciful interpretations are sought after, we may be sure the mind is at work, rather than the heart subject to the Word and feeding on what is divine. It is a great mercy when we find in the saints a healthy spiritual appetite. We may then look for growth, and well directed energy. Now I think I found a real relish for the simple ministry of Christ from the Word; energy also in getting together over the Word for mutual benefit, as well as in reaching out to others.
On my way home from______I stopped at_____, where five brothers have got free from association with false doctrine. Three others were exercised, but I have not heard if they have made any progress. In the first of these cases, deliverance came with loss of both health and property. Our brother had been ill for a year, and was scarcely expected to recover, but the Lord had mercy on him, and he is much better than he was, though still feeble, and suffering. I trust the Lord may be pleased to use him for the deliverance of others also.
God only can work real deliverance; no mere work of man will suffice. Had not the Lord laid His hand on our brother, I dare say he would still be just where he was. Our brother himself says his sickness was necessary. The Lord had a controversy with him, and He took this way to break him down. I speak of this because we might suppose it is merely a question of understanding the bad doctrine. I am sure it is not that. I have long been convinced that the going wrong in these questions is connected with a state of the soul which is not pleasing to the Lord. And as long as this state is not reached and corrected, no good could come of souls being put right in a mere ecclesiastical way. This does not prove that we who are right ecclesiastically are necessarily in a good state of soul. We may be far from that, and still have been preserved as to our position. But I believe it to be a fact that those who have gone wrong in these great questions, had first got wrong as to their spiritual state. And it shows the importance of seeing to our own state, or rather seeing to it that Christ and His glory govern our hearts. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" is a solemn word of warning for us all.
May the blessed Lord keep us very near to Himself. If we abide in His presence we are safe. How blessed to be able to look on to a scene of rest and peace where no storm and no sorrow shall ever enter. If humble, dependent, and obedient, we shall be kept, and shall find the Father and the Son making Their abode with us even here, and giving us to realize the sweetness of the divine affections, of which we are the objects.