Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects
Mr. James Hervey,
I bless our dear Lord for the great things which He has done for you, and that He has enabled you to write your Meditations. They came out of His fullness, they shine with His beauties, and are truly excellent, as under His influence they sweetly and simply lead unto Him, the Most Excellent One—the wonder and joy of heaven and earth—through all time—and to all eternity. I congratulate your happiness, dear Sir, in that the Lord the Savior has given you a capacious soul to behold—and a learned tongue to express, His ineffable beauties and glories, which are cast upon, and shine through, every creature and thing in the upper and lower world. It was He who gave you the mental eye, that new-created your sin-darkened mind, and gave it a superior capacity, by faith, for converse with brighter glories than the first Adam was capable of, by the utmost stretch of his perfect reason. It was He who presented every beauty to your spiritual eye, that darted every ray of glory upon your illuminated mind, in your converse with seen and unseen things, in the visible and invisible worlds; it was the Lord your Savior, who loved every instruction and every delight into your mind, who gave the matter and form of every idea impressive and expressive of whatever your eyes beheld; yes, who loved Himself to you, and you unto, into, Him. In love to Him, then, we will join to give Him glory.
In Christ there is enough to instruct, delight and fill you unto endless ages. Here, in the knowledge of Christ and Him crucified, you may expatiate, stretch your utmost capacities, swim and dive and live forever; for while you know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, you shall be filled with all the fullness of God. It is most delightful to me to see Christ the Alpha and Omega of all your thoughts, that you begin and end with Him in everything. Alas, how empty, dear Sir, would all your fine language be if Christ was not in it! It is He who fills your volumes and makes then truly valuable. I rejoice that the Lord has given this, your labor of love, such a large circuit and acceptance; I trust its usefulness will be as extensive as its progress, and that many will be blessed with the knowledge of Christ, and their hearts fired with love to Him thereby, to His glory and their endless joy.
For myself, Sir, I can say, to the praise of our good God, and, I hope, unto your joy, that what you have written has been blessed to bring Christ to me, and me to Him, in further sweet communion, to endear every mercy to me, as the price of His blood, and to endear my heart to Him thereby, and engage me to give Him glory. It gladdens my heart, Sir, to see the love of Christ shed abroad in yours, and the gratitude of your soul awakened thereby, and upon the flow, as a hasty stream, by which you yourself are wafted into Him and His love's ocean. Favorite of heaven! Lover of the altogether lovely Jesus! Seek the Lord and His strength, that you may ever stand fast in His glorious gospel, and never be ashamed of any of its precious truths. Lay out your love to Him, who ineffably and infinitely loved you, in spreading the precious savor of His name as the Lord our righteousness and strength—our righteousness for justification, unto acceptance with God; our strength for sanctification, unto conformity to His image—and tell the world your joys, the triumphs of your faith, in your Savior's blood, when your interest therein is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which casts out bondage-fear and gives you filial freedom in the service of that glorious God unto whose praise and honor your happy soul is devoted. These things, Sir, which brightly shine in the volumes you most kindly were pleased to present me with, delight me much, and most heartily I pray the Lord to increase you and your usefulness more and more.