This will not do, Nancy; you Must not chalk out lines for the Lord to work and walk by.The prison in which we are shut up is our own evil heart of unbelief: this is our prison, and Satan's palace. Legal bondage works here, girl, while our own hardness, impenitency, and carnal enmity, together with the old vail, bind, bar, and close it; but unbelief is the outward bolt. This prison our Lord was anointed to open; and it is often done gradually. Reproof and rebuke are called knocking at the door; "It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, - open to inc." Confession and prayer are opening the door, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." "Our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged," says Paul. The heart discharges all her grievous contents by the mouth. The oil of myrrh, which is the joy of love, touched the handle of the lock, says the spouse, and my bowels were moved. I yearned over him in his dolorous sufferings. Reproof first enters, then light shines in, and discovers Satan's dark works and his dark abode. And the first promise that comforts, melts, meekens or softens, is called truth, because all the promises of God in Christ are yea and amen. Now truth and equity have both entered. Next to these the servants of God enter; being made manifest in the conscience, and held in esteem by the affections. "He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me." These things pave the way for the rest of the family to creep in; and as love receives the brethren, so enmity and death go out when love and life come in. This is passing from death to life; and love to the saints is the cause and the proof of it. These, Ann, are opening the chinks, the crevices and crannies; but, when the bridegroom comes forth as the sun out of his chamber, he will rend the vail from top to bottom.
Read this to Ann Jones, with my love to her and to your father and mother.
Q IN THE CORNER.