Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
Ever Dear and Honored Parents,
I long to have my love to God a pure, fervent, solid, lasting flame, that in spirit, soul, and body, I might be one continual living sacrifice to His glory. But, oh! my little grace is so pressed and annoyed with the body of sin, with the body of this death, that I groan, being burdened. I rejoice in hope of perfect holiness, of immortal glory. This was very sweet to me of late—that God has predestined me to be conformed to the image of His Son, that the work is His, that He has begun and will perfect it. This glory my faith sees afar off, my love hastens to meet it, and my hope patiently waits for it. And, in the meantime, what do I long for? What do I wait for? Surely it is this—An increasing knowledge of Christ, conformity to Him, and service for Him. Oh, pray that I may love my dear Lord greatly in every little thing I aim to do for Him, and especially now I have so little time and strength left me to serve Him in. An eternity of glory, in the enjoyment of His glorious Self, awaits me! But, oh! that I have loved and served Him so little in the days of the years of my life which He has given me—this grieves me. Yet I know my Lord pardons all my unkindness.
Oh, may His love continually delight your souls, and His honor lie near your hearts! You have a God whose love does not decay, whose mercy never fails, whose faithfulness is like the great mountains, yes, firmer than the lasting hills, "for the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but God's kindness towards you shall not depart, nor the covenant of His peace be removed, says the Lord, that has mercy on you."
Oh, rest your dear souls, your weary heads, in the sweet bosom, in the kind arms, of the Lord your own God. There you will find ease in pain, peace in trouble, security in danger, fullness in need, and life in death. Through life with all its trials, and death with all its sorrows, will the Lord your life, your joy, your all, be with you!