Prove Me Now .... A Spiritual Personal Journal #21 - William C. Burns - hidden nugget of Gold!
I have long delayed writing to you, with the view of being able to send a short address to the dear people of Balnaguard; but finding my time constantly occupied with the Lord’s work here, I am compelled at length just to send you a few lines to show that I have not forgot you, and to put you in remembrance of the Lord’s dealings with you at the time that he was graciously pleased, in so remarkable a way, to send me to Balnaguard.
I was rejoiced to hear from Mr. Allan (The minister of Little Dunkeld, the parish in which Balnaguard is situated.) that there seems to be a real awakening among the people at your little village; and I have also learned from other individuals some farther particulars regarding the progress of the Lord’s work among you. I am, however, very anxious to hear more exact accounts, whether good or bad, that I may be stirred up to give Jehovah praise for all that he is doing, and to wrestle with him that he may stay the hand of the wicked one, and carry on his own glorious and saving work, in opposition to all the power of sin, the world, and the devil.
I would warn such as have been concerned, even deeply, and constantly, against imagining that conviction is the same as conversion. The sinner is never safe, whatever experience he may have had, until he takes refuge in the atoning blood of Jesus from the guilt of his sins, and flees to the promise of the Holy Ghost for deliverance from its reigning, and indwelling power. Sin and Satan are not easily subdued, as every one who enters on the Christian life is well aware. A Christian’s faith finds no bed to rest upon but the infinite merits of Jesus, and the almighty power of the Holy Ghost. If the work is not deep, and divine, sinner-emptying, and Christ-exalting, it will not be lasting; and if it should last, it will be a lasting delusion, which, like the religion of the foolish virgins, will deceive the sou, and cheat it of the inheritance of eternal life. Oh! I would exhort all that are concerned among you to dig deep, and to lay the foundation of their hope for eternity on the immoveable rock of Immanuel’s righteousness and grace. Every other foundation will give way when the billows of death begin to roll, and the storms of divine wrath burst forth on an ungodly world; but that blessed soul which has been brought by the Holy Spirit to see Christ all its salvation and all its desires, will then be found safely resting on the Rock of Ages, and will rejoice amid the ruin of worlds, and the dismay, and horror, and destruction of millions of the unconverted. Let all, then, seek with the whole heart that the Lord would savingly apprehend them by his almighty Spirit, and give them such views of the glory and love of Jesus as will make the world appear an empty shadow, sin hideous and loathsome, and all creature enjoyments as nothing; yea as dross and dung in comparison with Immanuel. He is the chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely!
I was rejoiced to hear that several prayer meetings have been formed among the people. In holding these I would encourage them to persevere, always remembering that the Lord hath said, not only “where two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them,” but also when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father who is in secret. Public religion, without closet fellowship with God, is hypocrisy, which may deceive the world, and deceive the soul itself, but cannot deceive a heart-searching God. Oh! let the dear people be much in secret prayer and meditation on the Lord’s word, if they would be with Jesus and be like him. Write me soon, and I will write again.