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18/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Tanner – December 19th, 1862

My dear Friend, Mr. Tanner,

I have often thought of you during your long and heavy affliction, and have endeavored to put up my poor prayers on your behalf, that the Lord would be pleased to spare your valuable life for the sake of your dear wife and family, and the Church of God. And I do trust that the Lord will go on to strengthen your poor weak body until He restores you to a good measure of your former health. I can well sympathize with you, for I know full well what a deep and heavy trial bodily affliction is. But what a rich and unspeakable mercy it is when the affliction, though so painful and trying to the flesh, is sanctified to the soul’s profit. We need something powerful to pull us out of our carnal besetments. It is not a little thing which will bring down our proud heart; and heavy and repeated blows seem needful to knock us down and keep us down. But, oh, how kindly and graciously does the Lord make the bed in all time of sickness—not laying upon us more than He gives us strength to bear; and, as we have proved, surrounding our bed with the kindest and tenderest of nurses, and providing every earthly means of relieving the poor body. Mary was kind enough to tell me of a sweet view which you had of the adorable Lord at the right hand of the Father, ready as it were to receive your ransomed spirit had it been His holy will to have called you unto Himself. It is these views of Jesus by faith which raise up the tried and exercised soul to see Him as all its salvation and all its desire; and such gracious visitations of His presence, and such believing views of His person and glory, have a most blessed and sanctifying effect upon the soul and make most durable impressions.

Should the Lord, as I hope and trust, restore you again to the work of the ministry, it will give a power and a force to your testimony on behalf of the crucified, risen, and glorified Son of God. Oh, may we believe in Him more firmly, love Him more strongly, and cleave to Him more closely.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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