GROWING IN GRACE
January 1st, 1924.
Dear Mr. . . .
Many thanks for your kind sympathizing letter which I was truly glad to receive; the tone and spirit of it did me good, especially your reference to the services at Richmond. If we do not get what we want in the services of God’s house, it is good if our pure minds are stirred up to desire and long for more of those things which we are not strangers to, but feel to know so little of, (and often fear that that little is not known aright).
All those whom the Lord favours with a taste of the hidden manna will also receive the white stone of pardon; the full remission of sins through the atoning sacrifice and blood of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the special blessing reserved by Himself to give to every poor guilty creature who needs, desires and longs to receive it from His hand, and to have the word from His own mouth.
I have not yet obtained that which my soul has for a long time desired: a clear and distinct word from Himself, making His
will known and my way plain with regard to leaving Southill and where I should go.
I have recently had invitations to no less than six pastorates. These, you may readily conceive, would mean a tremendous exercise of faith and prayer, watching and waiting; but the Lord speaks in many ways. His voice is upon many waters, and I have had to hear it in this affliction, which has swept away all hope of my ever taking another pastorate, for it would not be right for me to do so. In this path I have experienced the truths set forth in Hymn 295*; the way to heaven is very humiliating and flesh-crucifying. Well it will be, if it is God-glorifying in our case.
In body I am getting on remarkably well, feeling better and more comfortable than all through the past year, and it would be nice if I could feel it would last. I may continue thus for two or even three more years, or there may be an early return of my trouble; all this is in the kind hands of God, and I wish to be submissive to His will.
Last Sunday I took two services without the help of friends, and hope now to continue; also leave home to fulfil my engagements in London the last Sabbath in this month and in February. Have been much favoured at times, the Lord has been so good and dealt tenderly with me. Every stroke has been steeped in a Father’s love, while my sins have deserved His wrath.
My Christian love and best wishes for New Year to yourself and friends.
*”I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace.” (Newton).