“Here, in thine own appointed way,
I wait to learn thy will;
Silent I stand before thy face,
And hear thee say, ‘Be still!
Be still! and know that I am God:’
‘Tis all I wish to know,
To feel the virtue of thy blood,
And spread its praise below.”
THUS admonished, she began to anticipate, with longings unutterable, the fulfillment of the WORD upon which she had been enabled to rest her hope.
These exercises, though so deep as to assure the heart, most powerfully and permanently, that “the word of the Lord is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing assunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” were not of that distressing character which, according to her preconceived opinions, were necessary, preparatory to entering into a state of holiness.
So far from having those overwhelming perceptions of guilt, on which she afterward saw she had been too much disposed to place reliance, as somewhat meritorious, she was constantly and consciously growing in grace daily—yea, even hourly her heavenward progress seemed marked as by the finger of God.
No gloomy fears that she was not a child of God dimmed her spiritual horizon, presenting fearful anticipations of impending wrath. There had been a period in her experience, some time previous to that under present consideration, from which she had not one lingering doubt of her acceptance with God, as a member of the household of faith. But, conscious that she had not the witness of entire consecration to God, neither the assurance that the great deep of her heart, the fountain from whence action emanates, was pure, which at this time stood before the vision of her mind as two distinct objects, (yet which, as she afterward perceived, most clearly merged in one,) and impelled onward also by such an intense desire to be fruitful in every good work, the emotions of her spirit could not perhaps be more clearly expressed than in the nervous language of the poet—
“My heart strings groan with deep complaint
My flesh lies panting, Lord, for thee;
And every limb, and every joint
Stretches for perfect purity.”
And yet, to continue poetic language, it was a “sweet distress,” for the word of the Lord continually said to her heart, “The Spirit helpeth our infirmities;” and conscious that she had submitted herself to the dictations of the Spirit a sacred conviction took possession of her mind that she was being led to all truth.
“Stand still, and see the salvation of God,” was now the listening attitude in which her soul eagerly waited before the Lord, and it was but a few hours after the above encouraging admonition had been spoken to her heart that she set apart a season to wait before the Lord, especially for the bestowment of the object, or rather the two distinct objects previously stated.
On first kneeling, she thought of resolving that she would continue to wait before the Lord until the desire of her heart was granted. But the adversary, who had stood ready to withstand every progressive step, suggested, “Be careful, God may disappoint your expectations; and suppose you should be left to wrestle all night; ay, and all the morrow too?”
She had ever felt it a matter of momentous import to say, either with the language of the heart or lip, “I have lifted my hand to God;” and for a moment she hesitated whether she should really determine to continue in a waiting attitude until the desire of her heart was fulfilled; but afterward concluded to rest the matter thus: One duty can never, in the order of God, interfere with another; and, unless necessarily called away by surrounding circumstances, I will, in the strength of grace, wait till my heart is assured, though it may be all night, and all the morrow too.
And here most emphatically could she say, she was led by a “way she knew not;” so simple, so clearly described, and urged by the word of the Lord, and yet so often overlooked, for want of that child-like simplicity which, without reasoning, takes God at his word. It was just while engaged in the act of preparing the way, as she deemd, to some great and undefinable exercise, that the Lord, through the medium of faith in his written word, led her astonished soul directly into the “way of holiness,” where, with unutterable delight, she found the comprehensive desires of her soul blended and satisfied in the fulfillment of the command, “Be ye holy.”
It was thus, waiting child of Jesus, that this traveler in the King’s highway was directed onward, through the teachings of the word of God and induced so confidently to affirm, in reply to the brother, “There is a shorter way.”