Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
My Dear Sister in our precious Lord,
What was there in us that God should set His heart upon us? Were we better than those that perish under His wrath? No, in no way! For myself, I must say that I am the most vile and ungrateful of all, and not worthy to be put among the children. And yet, how goodly has been my portion—how pleasant my heritage—because grace reigns, and Jehovah's love is free! Help me, my dear sister, to praise the Lord for His free grace, which has been so exceeding abundant towards me, and also to mourn before Him for all my poor returns to my kind Father, my dear Lord Jesus, and the blessed Comforter.
No man, no angel, no finite being could bear with my provocations, but they would have cast me from off all favor as an object of their just hatred. But oh, behold, though I am a lump of sin, a mass of uncleanness, a hell of iniquity—though my neck is an iron sinew and my brow brass—though I am bent to backsliding from God and have done evil things, yet Jehovah has not, will not cast me off, no, not for all that I have done! Yes, so far is He from casting me out of His favor as an object of His wrath, which I have justly deserved, that He still rest in His love towards me, rejoicing over me with singing; and all this, through a crucified Jesus, consistent with His strict justice and flaming holiness. Oh, infinite love!—bottomless, boundless, endless love!
Oh, love passing knowledge, the knowledge of men and angels in both worlds, through all time and unto all eternity! It has the heights, depths, lengths and breadths of the Godhead in it; and into this vast sea of glory shall all the vessels of mercy be cast when unclothed of mortal, sinful flesh, and there we shall take our fill of new delights unto ages without end, but shall never be able to comprehend incomprehensible love!
The gift of the Holy Spirit as a Comforter, to shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, is a pledge of that eternal love-communion we shall have with Him when sin, sorrow and time shall flee away. And all those sweet emanations of divine love which are poured out through Christ upon our souls here, unto joy unspeakable and full of glory, are so many sweet foretastes of that fullness of joy—those rivers of pleasure—we shall have in His presence at His right hand for evermore!