Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
My Beloved Brother in the Lord,
I am a partaker of your joy in those rich love-feasts in our Lord's banqueting-house with which you have been favored. O happy soul, how does Jesus love you! And yet I must tell you He has but begun to love you. The love of Christ to you will pass on in brighter displays from glory to glory, glancing upon you through time as it passes by in its own everlasting round, in the state, in the majesty of a God, of the Lord Jehovah. O, my brother, I would be undone if the love of Christ were not just as it is, an infinite, strong, free, all-surpassing, unchangeable, and eternal love; if it were not the love of the Lord to an adulteress-bride, who by heart-idolatry looks to other gods, and loves sacred raisin cakes. But O, amazing wonder, our Lord's love-language is, "The Lord said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes!" Hosea 3:1
The love of Christ being the love of the Lord, that has all the immense fullness, glories, and perfections of the Godhead in it, will always have a "yet" for us—a yet of continuance of infinite favor, a yet of increasing display—notwithstanding all our unworthiness and provocations. And O, surpassing wonder! Our Lord will say of us, as washed in His blood, clothed with His righteousness, anointed with His Spirit, and adorned with His graces, "How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are like doves!" What, say of an adulteress-bride, who looks to other gods, even after redeemed by and acquainted with the love of the Lord-Redeemer, "You have dove's eyes!" Oh, none could say this but He who is the Lord, the God of love! It is His language whose love has in it heights and depths, breadths and lengths, which are infinite, passing knowledge.
And of His bride, black as she is in herself, by the workings of sin in her corrupt nature, this Bridegroom will say,"How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful my love!" My love! Oh, there it is! She is the object of Emanuel's love—of His heart-love, of His dying, living love, of His time-love, of His eternal love—His soul is fixed upon her; He loves her from Himself, He loves her in His own beauties cast upon her; He loves her as Himself—as His own flesh—as nearly, as inseparably related to Him. He will love her into love, into a full and glorious conformity to His own bright image. He had the pattern of all her glory given Him of old by His Father, when she was presented to Him in the mirror of decree. She ravished His heart then; He took her in the everlasting covenant, to love her ever; yes, though He must die for her, to bring her up to her decreed life of glory. He has wrought her up unto all her perfect beauty, her designed brightness in Himself. He is now working her up by His Spirit in herself to that pattern-glory. Her future brightness is present in His eye; and in all respects, from an infinity of grace and love, of flowing delights, this Bridegroom says to His bride, "How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are like doves!" which shows how fitly the eyes of Christ are set to look with delight upon His own dove.
O! His eyes are as the eyes of doves (pure, piercing, mild, loving), by the rivers of water (by the flows of infinite grace), washed with milk (bathed in those milky streams), and fitly set to look upon His spouse, His love, His dove, under all her miseries and mournings, with boundless compassion, ardent desires, infinite delights, and almighty influence, to look her into communion unto her full salvation by and eternal glory with Him. Happy, thrice happy then, is that soul who can say of Christ, that fairer than the sons of men, that altogether lovely Bridegroom, who can love a black bride in and into His own beauty and brightness—this is my beloved, and this is my friend!
Such a sweet visit my Lord lately made me, such a glance, such a taste, such a shine of His love He favored me with that broke, melted, and overcame my heart; that made me long to serve Him here, yes, to be with Him, to behold, to enjoy, to adore Him in the glory of His love, which, with an heart-ravishing majesty, a soul-overcoming glory, so brightly beamed upon me in this land of distance. And before that time, my Lord has frequently of late applied many of His precious promises to my heart, which foretell great things that He will yet do, in His infinite grace, for His most unworthy worm. Praise Him for His amazing kindness to me, and pray that His love may change me into its own image.