Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
My very Dear Sister in our precious Lord,
I rejoice to hear of your soul's prosperity under those afflictions which have attended your body. I have again been visited with illness, and am weak. The hand—the heart of our own God—our God of love—is in everything to us. In all, let us love, bless, and adore His name, for honorable and glorious are all His works, and most worthy is He of praise from us in all. Under the sweet, enlarging influence of God's free love, we love Him and as much when He frowns as when He smiles.
A believing, loving, adoring spirit, under divine chastisement, is an excellent spirit—a God-glorifying frame of soul. Our afflictions, light as they are, as being laid upon us and we supported under them by the Lord's all-gracious and almighty hand, are made blessings to us. They may well be borne by us, not only as they are designed for, and shall end in, our soul's present and eternal advantage, but also, and chiefly, in that our God is and will be glorified thereby His displaying the glory of His infinite love, grace, mercy, wisdom, power, faithfulness, and fatherly goodness towards us in them—and by our ascribing all honor in filial duty unto Him.
Our God is infinitely concerned for our good in every affliction. So let us be earnestly, yes only, concerned about His glory as to our duty therein, casting all our care upon Him who cares for us.
We shall bless God, when we come to heaven, for every kind and degree of affliction that we passed through on earth—for every trial, and for every circumstance attending it, wherein we are enabled to glorify God.
After this heavenly temper, and an increase therein, let us labor while pilgrims on this earth. A submissive, patient, cheerful, thankful frame of spirit, under the afflicting hand of God, is that honor, that reverence which we owe to Him as a Father—and ineffably sweet, and exceedingly profitable is this unto us as His children. In a little, little while, sin and sorrow shall be no more. A fullness, an eternity of joy and glory in the immediate presence of God and the Lamb awaits us.
Our afflictions are given to us as a fruit of the Father's grace, of the Son's purchase and intercession, and as a season of the Spirit's preparing us below for that glory which is prepared for us above. Oh, my dear sister, all things are ours, whether life, or death, or things present, or things to come. Time with all its changes, its comforts and crosses, and eternity with all its great and unchangeable glories, are ours! Christ is ours, and all things in and with Him, and we are His, and shall shortly be with Him where He is, to behold His glory! We shall be like Him, perfectly so—for we shall see Him as He is! We shall not be long absent from, but shall shortly be forever with the Lord—to see, to love, to praise Him perfectly and eternally. Oh, blessed day! It hastens upon us. A day without clouds, without decline, without end! A magnificent, bright day, that will spread its glories over all, when the Lord will be our everlasting light, and our God our glory!
Then farewell forever! Farewell trials! Farewell sin! Farewell sorrow! Farewell death! Farewell darkness! Farewell pain! Farewell weakness! Mortality shall be swallowed in life! And in the meantime, my dear sister, let us go on in faith and hope of that eternal life which God, who cannot lie, has promised; and loving and adoring the Lord in all things, let us follow the Lamb, even wherever He goes, until we reach immortal glory with Him. And now, my dear child, unto the tender care of your everlasting Father I commit you. May His presence be with you, and His blessing be upon you continually.