The Voice of the Beloved

Dear Sister in the glorious Head of the Church,

Yours came to hand; and though I felt sorry at the distress you have of late experienced, I was glad to find that the Lord supported your mind in the midst of all. Afflictions of various kinds are one part of the lot of the heirs of promise while in this vale of tears, yet covenant love is inscribed upon them all. It is true we cannot always see nor feel this to be the case, and therefore often fret and rebel, and think we are dealt very hardly with; but when the glorious light of life shines upon our path, and the unerring Teacher sweetly teaches us the will and design of our adorable Lord in these trying dispensations, we then in holy wonder and solemn joy say, "He hath done all things well;" nor do we wish for one trial less, for the sweet presence of Jesus sweetens all. There are solemn and blessed moments, when faith can say, "It is the voice of my Beloved. Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills;" when, in glorious power, he speaks to our soul, and says, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." "Rise up, my dear loving and lovely spouse, from all thy corroding care, from all thy guilt, and filth, and legal fear; bear upon the arm of my love, and view thyself as washed in my blood and clothed in my righteousness, as one in and with me, bone of my bone, body of my body, flesh of my flesh, and life of my life. Come away from all thy earnest cares, and from every thing that distresses thy soul, and come up into the blessed enjoyment of what I am unto thee, and what I have done for thee, and what thou art and ever shalt be in me; have nothing to do with thyself, but lose thyself in me, for thou art not thy own, but my purchase, my bride, yea, my portion and my fulness.' My dear sister, when our ever-to-be-adored Lord brings us, for a few moments, into this sweet experience, we are obliged to exclaim, "Whom have I in heaven but thee?" It is, in very deed, spring with our souls; the turtle is heard in our land; and this causes all the birds in the soul to sing. We then know what it is to have joy and peace in believing. There is that sweet interest between Christ and us, that we charge all, within and without, not to stir our Beloved till he please. Here we feel a little of the power and glory of vital godliness, and we are quite willing to let the body of professors have all the glory of all their fleshly exploits; and the feeling of our soul is, "My Beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies;" and here we feed too, and here we wish to stay, and wonder, and gaze, and love, and feed till we die. But O what a painful pull-back it is when the dear Lord withdraws his presence, and we, as it were, drop into the world again! Well; Jesus is the same, and he will come again, and by and by he will fetch us home, where we shall be for ever with him, and for ever like him. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

I am glad to hear that the Lord has appeared so kindly for some branches of your family, and I hope you will both see and feel that all is well in every respect.
That the Lord may be with and bless you, is the prayer of, yours in the Lord,

W. G.
Manchester, April 3, 1833.