An Old Letter

In looking over some old books in a house in which I am staying, I found a letter which had evidently been laid between the pages of one of them for many years, for it was written from one friend to another during the time of revival that followed the Crimean war. The following is an extract from it:

"I feel very anxious about my soul just now, and have need of all your prayers for me that I might be saved. B — — has been very anxious for a long time, but I am happy to tell you that she has found rest; she found it three weeks ago, and is so happy now that she cannot hold her tongue about the sweetness of her Saviour. I trust that we shall all find Him soon. A — — and I are both trusting in the Lord, but we have not found peace yet. Since B — — was saved three of her neighbours have found peace. What a blessing it must be! We have been long in the darkness thinking we were all right, but my conscience tells me that I am not, but I will never rest until I get hold of Him.

"Grace N — — has found her Saviour too, about six weeks ago. If you could only see her letters! Such happiness she has got! The P — — 's are just in the same mind; and what a difference in W — — , he is so anxious about his soul. They hold a prayer-meeting twice a week there . . . Mr. P — — is there; he is so kind, and so anxious for the conversion of souls; it was through his words that I was awakened."

Many have been the longings and prayers, perhaps too half-hearted and desultory, for a widespread and genuine work of God such as this simple letter records. Could there be a more suitable time than this to ask more definitely and in greater faith that our eyes may see it now? Days of anguish have often been days of blessing to the children of God and to others who do not know Him. "He makes the wrath of men to praise Him," and He can turn this breaking loose of the worst passions of men, with its attendant devastation and broken hearts, to His glory in the salvation of souls; and this, as we well know, is of infinitely more value than the march of prosperity which has so suddenly been called to a halt.

All blessing from God is the fruit of His unmerited grace. Yet He has connected it, in His wisdom, with the exercises and prayers of His saints. Let us then not be slow in seeking His face; in divesting ourselves of the spirit of the age, and readjusting our souls to His thoughts and will that we may be vessels meet for His use, and have some part in carrying forth this blessing to hearts that are burdened and broken. Then we may see His gracious working pass from heart to heart and many lips opened to own Him. Not for the sake of men merely, though for their sake truly, for we know that God is not indifferent to their sorrows, for His compassion for them has been well-proved by the life of Jesus here; but firstly and mostly that His own purposes may be furthered, the number of His assembly made up and its rapture to heaven take place, that the Lord's return to earth as the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in His wings, may be hastened, for not till then shall the nations learn war no more.