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28/01/2013 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Beecher – April 26th, 1847

My dear friend, Beecher

I was glad to read your experimental letter, as I have many trials and temptations, both as regards myself and the ministry; and a word of encouragement is now and then desirable.

No one can know the mighty power of sin and the horrible love that there is to it in our carnal mind unless he has been beset by some temptation, and that at times night and day.

In this school have I learned to my shame and sorrow what I am as a fallen sinner. No more, our very slips and backslidings are mercifully overruled to show us what we are, to hide pride from our eyes, to make us loathe and abhor ourselves in our own sight, and to make us put our mouth into the dust and say, “I am vile.” We have no stone to throw at the vilest and worst, and can feel for and sympathize with the tried and tempted of God’s family. The Church said of old, “You have showed Your people hard things; You have made us to drink of the wine of astonishment” (Psalm 60:3-4). And to know and feel painfully and experimentally what we are is, indeed, a draught of the wine of astonishment.

I am truly glad that what I was enabled to speak at Zoar when you heard me there, was blessed to your soul and made a word in season. It seems that I must travel through temptation in order to preach it; and thus some of the Lord’s family derive profit and comfort from my services. May the Lord hold us up under our various trials, temptations, and besetments, for we have abundant proof that we cannot stand without Him. May His precious fear be manifestedly in our hearts as a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death. Grace, grace alone can suit and save such. Nature’s strength, wisdom, loveliness, and righteousness, have received their death-blow, and we dare not glory in self any more.

I am glad my little productions have been blessed to your soul.

I am, yours affectionately,
J. C. P.

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