A Letter To A Brother In Christ – August 15th, 1832
August 15th, 1832
My dear Brother,
I shall be glad to hear how the Lord is pleased to manifest Himself among you at Oakham. Real religion is so contrary to a mere profession, that you must expect much reproach and scorn for contending for it. But there is much speculative religion in the present day. Many are well able to judge of the general and gross darkness which prevails, and contend for a form of sound words, but are very doubtful characters, and show they have never felt in their own souls, the power of the truths of which they speak. You and I have a very great deal to learn, and we need much purifying, when we consider these words, that those who are “after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit”; and “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
It is a great mercy that God’s children are at first, dandled on the knee, and put into the bosom a little; for if they had a view of their difficulties, they would faint. But it is a sweet promise—”As your days, so shall your strength be.” The children of Israel were not allowed to see at first the warlike sons of Anak, lest they should be alarmed. There is nothing very alarming in religion while little but outward things are known; but when the fountains of the great deep of human corruptions are broken up, God’s children then learn the root of sin, the “needs-be” for Christ’s death and sufferings; are stripped, in a measure, from self-righteousness, and are astonished to find what Pharisees they have been, when they have all the time been renouncing it. It is very painful to the flesh to become nothing. But the more the Lord’s Spirit operates upon our spirit, the more unintelligible will our language be to those who don’t know God.
Do you find many at Oakham, and in the neighborhood, who are anxious for a God-fearing minister to preach to them? If you begin to take the offensive part against Satan’s kingdom, you must expect many wounds and strokes. He is a powerful enemy, and in our own strength we should not stand against him long. The great offence in religion is separating from professors, and those who deny the power. If you have no mountains for Christ to make plain, and no crooked paths for Him to make straight, you will know but little of real and true prayer to Him.
I shall be glad to hear of Deborah growing in grace. She has many fetters in her household, and with her children; nevertheless, the Lord will support her and strengthen her, as he has done hitherto.