Cheer up, my friend!
(The following is excerpted from a letter written on November 16, 1838, and was published in the 'Gospel Standard Magazine')
O the pleasure, wonder, and delight when the dear Comforter brings to my remembrance the way He has led me these forty years in this dreary wilderness—the helps He has afforded me; His never-failing mercy in supplying me; His omnipotent power in keeping me; His unwearied patience in bearing with my devilish, crooked ways; His never-failing faithfulness, notwithstanding all my unbelief. It is of His mercies and His unfailing compassion—that I am not consumed. I am confident that it is because He changes not, that such a worm as I am—is not consumed. For I am sure there never was such a stubborn, refractory, stupid, rebellious, proud, presumptuous, blind fool as I am!
My dear friend, it is here where my poor soul wishes to be living and dying—enrapt up in the bosom of everlasting love! O what sweetness to have drops out of this fathomless sea, this boundless river! And, if the drops are so sweet, so soul ravishing, so sin subduing, so devil conquering, so world vanquishing, and so God glorifying; what must it be to be brought to the fountain-head! What must it be, to be delivered forever from a cursed body of sin and death, out of the reach of all the fiery darts of the devil! What must it be, to have no nights, no clouds, no storms, no afflictions, no frowns forever and ever! There it will be an eternity of God's smiles, an eternity of immortal pleasure—and not one moment of pain nor grief forever and ever!
O sweet home, heavenly rest—"where the wicked cease from troubling," and the poor, tempted, tossed, tried, weary soul shall be forever at rest—undisturbed forever! O that the dear Comforter may bless us with foretastes of this heavenly kingdom, where we shall sing together, notwithstanding all our present sinkings, murmurings, frettings, wanderings, groanings, and sighings! All that either the world, flesh, or devils have done, can do, or ever shall do—shall never be able to pluck us out of the hands of everlasting love!
Cheer up, my friend, though it is through much tribulation—it is unto the kingdom of God! Though it is through fire and water—it is into a wealthy place! Though it is through a terrible wilderness, through pits, traps, and snares—it is into a land flowing with milk and honey! Though it is through so many fainting fits, so sickly and faint at times—it is into a land where there never is any sickness, for the inhabitants there never are sick.
Blessed be our dear Lord—He picked us up out of the ruin of the fall—unasked, unsought for, unthought of—and deadened us to all the pleasures and joys that we once lived and delighted in. He has burned up our rags of righteousness and made us sick of them in our very hearts—and brought us to long, pant, and thirst for His holy righteousness. He has given us many blessed drops and tokens of His love—that He is ours, and that we are His!
O blessed Lord, do help us, do keep us, do lead us, and do guide us by Your counsel—and afterwards receive us to glory!
Psa 55:16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
Psa 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Husband of Melissa and father of Ann.
Grandfather to Owen and Claire
Member and precentor of Psalms at Grace Reformed Presbyterian, Dublin Va.