“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Light from the eternal hills!
Thou lamp of life divine!
River of God, of many rills,
Reaching to all mankind.
Laden with precious freight,
Fresh from the courts above,
Alike to all, both small and great.
Thine embassy of love.
Gold were a thing of naught,
Rubies of priceless worth,
Compared with treasures thou hast brought
To fallen sons of earth.
O HOW precious beyond all computation was the blessed word of God now to her soul! She had valued it before; but now, as she retraced the way by which the Lord had brought her, she saw that each progressive step had been distinctly marked by a reference to its requirements.
Though often greatly advantaged by the recital of the experience of fellow-travelers to the heavenly city, so much so that she greatly loved the assembling of themselves together, yet she found, on looking back, that former perplexitites in experience had too frequently arisen from a proneness to follow the traditions of men, instead of the oracles of God.
She now found that “there is but one way,” and this way far better, and “shorter,” also by bringing every diversified state of experience, however specious or complex, to compare with the “law and the testimony.” And if not according to these, she became assured it was because the true light had not been followed. From this period, therefore, it became an immovable axiom with her, never to deem an experience satisfactory that could not be substantiated with an emphatic, “Thus saith the Lord.”
On getting into “the way of holiness,” she found much clearer light beaming upon her path. Never in former experience did she so sweetly apprehend the truth of the words, “Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thy everylasting light.” “And the days of thy mourning shall be ended.”
It was while walking in this light that the subtilty, maliciousness, and power of the arch deceiver became much more apparent, and would have become a matter of much more dread, were it not that by the same light she also discovered, with the prophet’s servant when his eyes were opened, that more were they that were for her, than all that were against her. And then the knowledge that she was, in experimental verity, resting upon Christ, the annointed of God, imparted such an increase of holy energy, realizing, as she did momentarily, that virtue came out of Jesus, her Saviour and Redeemer, for the full supply of all her wants, under every variety of circumstance, that she was indeed enabled to obey the command, “Rejoice evermore.” And then she became so divinely assured also that the “trial of her faith was precious,” that it was not hard to “glory in tribulation.”
Her perceptions of the absolute need of the atonement were never so vivid as while journeying onward in this way. She felt she could not take one progressive step, or for one moment present an acceptable sacrifice, but through the merits of her Saviour. Yet though so deeply realizing the truth of her Saviour’s words, “Without me ye can do nothing,” she felt also it would not be to the honor of his great name, should she not live in the enjoyment of that state of salvation in which she should be enabled to say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”
In reference to temptation, she learned from experience that “the disciple is not above his Master.” She ever found that trials, well circumstanced in fiendish subtilty, beset her way. But by the increase of light which beamed upon her path as she entered the highway of holiness, she could now, with much stronger confidence, exclaim,
“We are not ignorant of his devices.” The remembrance was sweetly encouraging to her soul that the Saviour was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin—
and to know she had the same weapons to contend with that the blessed Saviour used when on earth, the same potent sword of the Spirit, was the rejoicing of her heart.
Yet she did not find the “highway of holiness” a place for inglorious ease, but that it was indeed, as significantly implied in the Scriptural phrase, “A WAY,” requiring, to her mind, by the peculiar construction of the expression, interminable progression!
And yet she loved to call it the “rest of faith,” and joyously, as illustrative of her experience, said with the apostle, “For we which have believed do enter into rest.” Yet she could not conceive of a rest sweeter to the follower of Jesus than to do the will of God.
The standard for Christian imitation she deemed to be established by inspiration—
“Let that mind be in you that was in Christ;” and the most conclusive way of coming to the knowledge of duty, a reference to the Spirit and example of Christ. In conformity with these principles, it was not suprising that she should regard that state of soul which would constrain the disciple of Jesus to say, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up,” as in any degree incompatible with the assurance of having entered into this state of rest; but regarded the proportion in which this conformity to Christ was realized, the amount of evidence of having entered into the rest of faith—”the way of holiness.”
The standard of Christian excellence being thus fixed by the ratio of approximation to the image of Christ, wherever she saw the characteristics of his loveliness most clearly described, the more abundant was her love.
She well knew that in the present imperfect sate of existence, where we necessarily know but in part, and where perfection can only exist in the gospel sense, which ordains that “love be the fulfilling of the law,” there is need for the constant exercise of that “charity that suffereth long, and is kind;” and wherever she saw this spirit most sweetly exemplified by corresponding action, there was her heart most enduringly united; and though was most endearingly attached to the division of Christ’s body where from infancy she had been graciously cherished, yet the point of attraction was centred in the nearest resemblance to the image of the Saviour; and where the most uniform exhibition of the mind that was in Christ, inducing conformity to his will, was recognized, her heart with most endearing emotion exclaimed, “The same is my brother, my sister, my mother!”
It was thus, from what she deemed the requirement and spirit of the blessed Bible, that a foundation was laid for a characteristic in her experience which was a source of much satisfaction to herself and others; and she wondered not that one of blessed memory, while walking in this “highway,” should exclaim, Here
“Names, and sects and parties fall,
And Christ alone is all in all.”