A Letter by John M’Kenzie
I received your letter with the lines, and shall forward them for communication to the proper quarter. They contain good truth, but all rhyme, you are aware, is not poetry. Verses, to be of much use and interest in a periodical, should contain a considerable degree of the quality of poetry, be much to the point and full of matter; and unless this be the case, more or less, lines are never read with much interest.
I believe I know, from heart experience, some of the trials and exercises of which you speak. The kingdom of God does not stand in word, form or mere profession, but in divine life internally felt, and in supernatural power; and as God is a Spirit, holy and good, His power in the heart is an invisible mystery that can neither be seen with our naked eye nor handled with our fleshly fingers, but is as distinctly felt in the heart, at times, as the living babe in the womb; and as that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, divine sensations in the heart are often a great mystery, and a perfect puzzle to the flesh and the natural mind.
But the same blessed Spirit who breathes and moves in the saints is graciously pleased, at times, to shine upon the work of His own hands in their hearts, and then we understand what and where we are. Faith is strengthened, hope brightened, the heart enlarged, the conscience eased, and the weary spirit sweetly rests in Jesus and richly glories in His Person, power, grace, love, life, labours, sufferings and resurrection; and feels a sweet knitting of heart to the dear Redeemer and benign Friend of sinners.
May we know more of this blessed Jesus in our poor, vile hearts, by vital and precious faith, under the unction and power of the blessed Spirit.
I was not very well after my return from Norwich, but, through mercy, I am now much better. I feel I cannot stand much preaching. Most have their bodily infirmities as well as their peculiar temptations, and mine appears to be a weak stomach bodily, and a heart of leprosy and the plague spiritually; but my blessed Physician can manage both. I wish I could, with a full and free heart, submit them entirely to His matchless skill, power and benignity. He has ever been kind to me; but, alas! I am prone to forget Him, and to depart from Him. Still my heart and my desire are towards Him.
Yours, for truth’s sake,
August 19th, 1844