Paupers’ Fare – A Letter By John Warburton

Dear Friend,

Yours came safely to hand, and I was glad to find you still holding on your way, leaning on the Beloved, who has never failed to be our Helper, our Protector, our Supplier, and our Deliverer to the present day.

Yes, and my soul is very strong and very confident at times that He will keep and guide me even unto death, and afterwards receive me to glory.

O what a blessing to have communion with the dear Jesus, telling him of our helplessness and worthlessness, and entreating Him to be with us, stand by us, defend us, supply us, and never to leave us a moment to ourselves!

And how sweet to hear His gracious words whispered in our hearts:

“I will be with thee in six troubles and in the seventh will not leave thee;” “I will go before thee, and bring up the reward;” and, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.”

We can then, enter a little into what David said:

“The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver;”

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters; he restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake;”

“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance; and of my cup thou maintainest my lot;”

“The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”

We can say with the prophet Isaiah, “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us; for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name;”

“The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effects of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings and quiet resting-places, when it shall hail, coming down in the forest, and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.”

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree; and instead, of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be unto the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Your soul and mine, though we are so unworthy, have found His words precious hundreds of times. And we have not only found them, but have eaten them, and proved them to be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts. O the blessedness and sweetness of his lips when he whispers in our hearts,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Bless the Lord, we have proved again and again that the kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And we are living witnesses by felt experience in our hearts, that “the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law.” O that your soul and mine may have more of the fruits of the blessed Spirit in lively exercise in our hearts.

God Almighty grant it!

What is all the talk and contention about religion without this?

Nothing at all.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to bfc burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

What a mercy it is that we are poor paupers upon charity!

We have to come from week to week, from month to month, and from year to year, wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and knock at charity’s door, having no other place where we can obtain relief or a supply for our need. And bless the Lord’s dear name, all blessing is stored up in charity, free, “without money and without price.” This just suits such poor beggars as you and I, who know and feel ourselves totally destitute of anything that can help us.

And we are obliged to come again with the old tale, “Lord, have mercy upon me;”

“Let thy salvation lift me up on high;”

“Keep, me as the apple of thine eye;”

“Hide me under the shadow of thy wing, from the wicked that oppress me, from the deadly enemies, who compass me about;”

“Hear my cry. O God; attend unto my prayer; from the ends of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I; for thou hast been a shelter to me, and a strong tower from my enemy;”

“Thou hast been mine help, leave me not, O God of my salvation;”

“Be thou my strong habitation, whereuuto I may continually resort;”

“O Lord, show me one more token for good, that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed because thou, Lord,. hast holpen me and comforted me.”

And here my soul is obliged to wait, and to watch charity’s own time to communicate; and sometimes it is so long before charity appears to take any notice, or give any answer to my request, that I begin to sink with fear that I have quite wearied Him out, and shall never again be relieved. But having no where else to go for help, I am obliged to keep crying and knocking on, ’till by and by the door is opened, and a hearty welcome given me:

“Come in, thou blessed of the Lord!”

“Wisdom hath builded her house; she hath hewed out her seven pillars; she hath killed her beasts, she hath mingled her wine, she hath also furnished her table; she liath sent forth her maidens, she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither; as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled; forsake the foolish and live, and go in the way of understanding.”

O what a delicious feast, for poor, famishing beggars to feast upon electing love, imputed righteousness, and atoning blood!

We have proved, my friend, that “His flesh is meat indeed and his blood drink indeed.” We know it, for we have experienced the sweetness of it.

It has cheered our heavy hearts; it has made us forget our poverty, and swept away our misery. God says, “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy name; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”

And sweet drinking it is. We can then sing, and say—not because it is in the written word, but because it is in our hearts – “There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God.” – O the wondrous pleasure, gladness, and joy in beholding and admiring charity in God the Father—in his electing love, in the gift of his dear Son, in imputing all our accursed sins to him, and in preparing a home for us when all our begging is ended — a home of which neither hell nor Satan can deprive us,, for it is “reserved in heaven for us who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.”

And what unspeakable pleasure in beholding charity in God the Son — in taking our nature ‘into union with his divine, being born’ of a woman, and “made under the law, that he might redeem those that are under the law !”

What wondrous charity that he should condescend to suffer, bleed, and die for our sins, conquer our enemies, bear all our burdens, and make a way to eternal glory for all poor beggars!

And what heart-breaking and soul-melting charity in the Holy Ghost, to stop us from going to hell, strip us of the filthy rags of our own righteousness, and adorn us with the robe of wrought gold; emptying us of all trumpery, fleshly idols, and enriching us with his humbling, drawing, comforting, establishing, holy, anointing unction!

He brings down our high looks, that we may experience His mighty exalting power. He suffers the cursed enemies of our souls to come in like a flood, so that sometimes we can only just say, “Let not the pit shut her mouth upon me,” that He may exalt His glory in lifting up a standard against Him. And He brings our souls out of the miry clay, that we may sing a song of praise to Him to whom all praise belongs: “He brought me up out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings, and put a new song into my mouth, even praise unto our God.”

Bless the Lord, “Charity never faileth.”

But where am I running to?

Yours in love,

John Warburton
Trowbridge, Sept. 16, 1847.

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