The Blessedness of an Everlasting Covenant
My dear Friends in the Lord Jesus Christ,
I received yours, and the moment I read it I felt for you, and said, "How true it is that in the world we must have tribulation; but how indescribably blessed it is that in Christ we have peace!" Bless his precious name, peace with God, peace of conscience by faith in his blood and love. Here we have all things and abound, "for he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Yes, my dear friends, though the world seems to frown, remember, this is not your rest; and be assured, "all things are yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." The Lord enable you to remember, and sweetly and feelingly to sing David's song: "Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure; for this is all my salvation and all my desire, although he make it not to grow." "Be not so with God!" How ? Why, although neither my outward circumstances nor my inward feelings be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; nor as the tender grass, springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain; though everything appear to be the reverse of this, nevertheless, covenant mercies stand sure, for ever sure, and must and shall be enjoyed in due course, as ordered by infinite wisdom. O the matchless wonders of God's boundless grace! May my dear friends be filled with them in this their day of trouble. Blessed Spirit, fill them with thy sweet unction, and bathe them in the dear Redeemer's blood and love.
"Trials may press of every sort;
My prayer is, that the Lord will preserve you in his fear, and keep you from taking any wrong step, and that you may be enabled to keep the Lord in view in all that you do, think, or say; and sure I am that in the end you will find all work together for good. May the Lord the Spirit seal upon your hearts the sweet and solemn song of Habakkuk: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." (See also Micah vii. 8-10.) I do assure you that I feel for you, and I hope the Lord will both direct and support you. I have always found that real faith must be tried, and sometimes as by fire. Real faith has the most work to do in hot fires and deep waters, and she can very often see the clearest in dark nights, and stand the firmest and fight the most courageously in the greatest dangers. When sense and reason fail, faith has to believe in hope against hope, but in the end she is sure to shout victory. Real faith is sure to sicken in the sunshine of common sense and reason, for it is an atmosphere in which she cannot well thrive. My dear friends, read the 11th chapter of the Hebrews, and take a survey of the family to which you belong, and may God enable you to take courage, and bless you with the same faith in lively exercise, and then I am sure that tribulation will work patience.
I shall be very glad to hear from you soon, that I may know how you are in all respects. And that the Lord may bless you with his sweet presence, and enable you to rest and confide in him, is the prayer of, yours in the Lord,
Manchester, February 7, 1832.