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05/04/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To A Brother In Christ – April 19th, 1869

My dear Friend, Mr. Tips.

I dare say you have not forgotten your visit to Stamford, and what you saw and heard there, though we were not able to converse so much as we could have done, if we had understood one another’s language. But I hope we understood a better language, even the language of Canaan. I have no doubt you have had your share of trials and afflictions since we parted, and I hope that they have been blessed and sanctified to your soul’s spiritual good. It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God, and many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. This makes all the difference between the afflictions of the righteous and of the ungodly, that to the one the afflictions are a blessing, and to the other a curse; for they soften the heart of the one, and they harden the heart of the other. In the case of the righteous, they instrumentally bring forth prayer and supplication to the Lord, and wean the heart from the world; but in the ungodly they only produce sullenness, self-pity, and rebellion.

What a mercy it is to have a God to go to, and to know that we have a merciful, sympathizing High Priest at the right hand of the Father, who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, and is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. When we look at the majesty, holiness, justice, and purity of God, and seeing light in His light, see also our own sinfulness and depravity; when we think of the numerous, yes innumerable, sins and crimes which we have committed in thought, word, and deed; when we see also our helplessness and inability to save or deliver our souls from the wrath to come, the sight and feeling of all these things is enough to sink our souls into despair!

But when we see by the eye of faith what a Saviour God has provided for poor lost sinners in His dear Son, what a mighty Redeemer, ever-loving Advocate, and all-prevailing Mediator, then it raises up sweet hope and blessed encouragement, and the heart goes out after this divine Mediator in faith and love as feeling how suitable, how precious He is to those who believe. We thus learn that there is no salvation but by sovereign grace; that the Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost. We are very unwilling to see, much more to feel ourselves to be sinners—but it is only as sinners that we can be saved, for “this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

Yours in Christian affection,
J. C. P.

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