by Henry Law
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
If there is a holy, strong, and tender bond — it is that which unites a Pastor to his Flock. It is the nearest feeling, which earth knows, to the immeasurable love of Jesus towards His Church. The faithful Minister lives, when the people, for whom he watches, live — through supporting mercy, in the full faith of the Gospel. It is, as it were, his death — when they lie dead in unbelief and vanity.
Beloved, when I draw this picture, I am painfully conscious that it casts me far into the shadow of shame. But I desire to quicken myself by openly avowing, that your best interests should be mine, and that, in the service of your spiritual welfare, I count all labors light, all prayers but few.
With earnest longings, then, to nurture your souls in true religion, I am bold to ask brief converse with you in these humble pages. It pleases our Heavenly Father, to whom be Glory, now and ever — that I should be with you, as in scantiness of every ministerial ability; so, too, in much bodily weakness. I may not do what I would desire. I would do all I can. Hence, I seek this access to your homes, that I may whisper to you, in the hours of your retirement, what I would gladly proclaim before the assembled congregation.
My constraining motive is that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him. I know, and am deeply persuaded, that all peace, all joy, all salvation are in Him. I see, as a very sunbeam, the grand truth — that you are blessed, and are blessings, just in proportion, as you abide in Him, and He in you.
Woe, therefore, is unto me, if I leave any effort untried, to set Him before you. Let me rather use every voice of lip and pen, to beseech you to hear Him — to look to Him, to receive Him, to trust in Him, to love Him, to follow Him, to serve Him, to live in Him, and by Him, and for Him. I would thus strive, wrestling with the Holy Spirit, to work so mercifully and mightily in your hearts — that Christ may there be enthroned — an adored and rightful Lord.
I have no fear, lest there should be excess in your faith, and reverence, and love, and obedience of the Heavenly Savior. I think no folly so pitiable as the sneer, that men may follow Jesus too closely in holy bearing and Godlike walk. I rather pant for means to exhibit Him to you, as clearly as the saints in light behold. Him — that so you may be wholly His, as they are.
I am deeply rooted in the assurance that His presence is helpful to you in everything — and hurtful in nothing. Whatever your station or employment, if you fulfill its duties with a loving eye intent on Jesus, with a submissive ear listening to His inward guidance — then your life will be as Heaven's summer-day.
Without hesitation, then, or reserve — I point directly to the Savior. In doing so, I have God for my witness, and His Word for my pledge — that I guide to the only path of real prosperity, and solid delights. I burn with desire, that you should be the holiest of the holy, the most joyous of the joyful, the most blessed among the blessed, the most glorious among the glorified. Surer evidence I cannot give, than the entreaty of this feeble messenger — that you would receive Christ as your All.
If anything can enlarge my concerns — which should be large as infinity — it is our favored position among the parishes of England. The sweet healthfulness of our climate, and other rare advantages — attract an ever-flowing stream towards our shore, as their choice resort. Many, indeed, come, so evidently taught of God, that they move, as shining lights among us. But there are others — not a few — whose semblance tells us that they are mere votaries of the god of this world.
Beloved, would it not be gain beyond gain, if this thoughtless crowd should here learn that the Gospel is no empty sound — but the very power of God unto Salvation? Let them read this, not only in the public ministrations, but in the heavenward walk of the flock. Let them see in your holy happiness, that Christ is a living and life-giving God, converting the vacant and self-vexing mind — into a well stored pleasure-ground. Make Him your All! And He through you, and you by Him, will win — He only knows how many — to His transcendent joys. Who can conceive of the privilege — if immortal multitudes, through your grace, should love and honor Jesus as the well-spring of their souls' health!
I now commend you to the God of all grace, praying Him to smile hallowed blessings on this my lowly converse with you. May He knit each heart to each, and all hearts unto Himself, through Christ our All!
Allow me to subscribe myself,
In sincere devotedness,
Your ministering servant for Jesus' sake,
Henry Law, December, 1854.
Table of Contents
The Heavenly Bridegroom
The Seed of the Woman
The Serpent's Head Bruised
The Guilty Clothed
The More Excellent Sacrifice
The Sweet Savor
The Rainbow in the Clouds
The Exceeding Great Reward
Numbered with the Transgressors
The Storehouses Opened