Friday, June 5, 2009

A Serious Warning

A portion of a letter by Ruth Bryan to an unconverted friend. Three letters in her book of letters (see below) appear to this young man who had been unwell. She was frank about the consequences of remaining in an unconverted state but told him she felt constrained to write him and tell him that Jesus is “the friend of sinners” (from the first letter). She asked to be excused for writing to him about this in the third letter, but told him, “My heart is in it. I long for your salvation.” The letter was written August 1, 1856.

I was truly surprised that you should take the trouble to answer my note, and since you have thus encouraged me, I must again venture a few lines upon the same all-important subject, namely, the salvation of your never-dying soul. It is all-important; and now is the time to consider it; for though you are young, your life is not insured; and you have already had a serious warning in that affliction, which might have opened the gate into an eternal world. Oh! had it been so--where would you now have been? and what would have been your eternal portion? Would you have been "present with the Lord," beholding the beauties of Jesus, and singing in the ever-new song the praises of the Lamb which was slain? Or would you have been banished from His presence, cast into outer darkness, to receive the wages of sin--that eternal death which never, never dies?

These questions may be unpleasing; but it certainly is worth while to ask them, and to answer them, because one of these two fixed states must before long be yours as well as mine. There is no medium state; with every soul of man it must be joy inconceivable--or woe unutterable. And whichever of these be our portion, it will be forever, and ever, and ever. There will be no fear of the happiness ending. There will be no hope of the suffering terminating or even abating; for in that darksome prison, never, never will be heard those precious words, "It is finished!" Sin will never be made an end of, and therefore the consequences of sin can never cease; but while eternal ages roll--it will be "wrath to come!" "Wrath to come!"…

May you by the Spirit be wounded under a sense of sin, then will you, with like earnestness, seek to be led to Jesus, the Savior; for you must die, and, oh, what will you do if you die without finding salvation?

The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ: Letters of Ruth Bryan, with a Preface by the Rev. A. Moody Stuart, Reformation Heritage Books, 2005, pp. 138-45.

No comments: