Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
My Dear Sister,
How good is the Lord to us! He tries us for a while, and then He comforts us. Light and darkness—joy and sorrow—bitter and sweet—are wisely mixed and graciously overruled for the glory of God in our salvation. Oh, the infinite wisdom of our Leader, the glory of His conduct, the happiness of those under His care, and the blissful end to which He brings them! Happy is their way, and happy is their end. Happy are they in the midst of griefs—because the God of joy, God their joy, their exceeding joy, is with them there. Happy are they when delivered from grieving things—because God their deliverer is their deliverance. Jesus our Redeemer, the Captain of our salvation, marches on before His redeemed, treads down the briars and thorns of the wilderness, and gives us a comfortable passage through them to the land of rest. What need we fear, since the Lord is with us—with us when we pass through the waters and walk through the fire—that the one does not consume us, nor the other overflow us?
Our happiness lies in having a saving interest in the all-sufficient God, in the enjoyment of Him as such, and in our entire dedication to His glory, in every changing providence. To have God in everything—to see God in everything—and to love, bless, and adore God in everything—will make everything sweet to us. And without this, nothing will be substantial, nothing joyous, nothing profitable, nothing savory to a new-born soul, as such.
Oh, what a heap of empty vanities and cruel vexations are all things which this world affords without God enjoyed, without God revered in everything! It may well be said, "to glorify God, and to enjoy Him, is the chief end of man," and ineffably happy is that man who eagerly pursues this great end as his chief good. That man is prepared for the enjoyment, for the employment of heaven. And the more he answers that character, the greater is his preparation for the heavenly state; yes, the more of heaven comes down into his soul while his abode is on this earth.
I wish you daily fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit the Comforter.