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Showers on the Grass: Chapter 11 - Patronage

By J.G. Bellet

      The nearness to which the Lord invites the soul, the intimacy with which He seeks to invest the heart of the sinner who trusts in Him, it is most blessed to know. Christ does not deal with us in the style of a patron, or even of a benefactor. The world is full of that principle. "They that exercise authority are called benefactors." Man will show kindness and confer benefits in the character of a patron, occupying the distant place of both conscious and confessed superiority. But this is not Jesus. "Not as the world giveth," says He, "give I unto you." He brings His dependent one very near. He lets it be known, that it is the dealing of a kinsman with us and not that of a patron. But this is all the difference in the world. I am bold to say, heaven depends on this difference. The heaven we expect to enjoy, and which in spirit we taste now, depends on the Lord Jesus not acting with us on the principle of a patron. Heaven would be then only a well-ordered world of present approved human principles. And, oh! what a thing that would be! Is it the condescendings of a great one that we see in Jesus? "I am among you as one that serveth," says He. Is it the distant and courtly benevolences of a superior that we receive from Him? "Where I am, there ye shall be also," is not the language of such; nor, "the glory which thou gavest me I have given them." He is, it is true, and He would have us know it and own it, "Master and Lord;" but He sits at one table with us. As of old, He could command Moses and Joshua to take off their shoes in His presence, and be worshipped as Lord by Abraham, but He would eat of the patriarch's fare, and speak to Moses face to face as a man speaketh to his friend. And see it thus with Him in the days of His flesh. How was it then? Every case would answer this. It was never the style of a mere benefactor. It was never the distance or elevation of a patron; never. "He bore our sorrows and carried our sicknesses." Just look at Him at Jacob's well. A woman was there who had the most exalted thoughts of Him. "I know that Messias cometh which is called Christ; when he is come he will tell us all things." This was her high and just sense of Messias, not knowing that He to whom she was speaking could say immediately, "I that speak unto thee, am He." But where was He all the time? Sitting on one stone with her, talking with her as they met together at the well, and when, as to give her the fullest ease in His presence, He had asked her for a drink of water. Was this patronage after the fashion of man? Was this the condescension of a great one? Was this heaven or the world? Condescension of the world will confer what favour you please, but will have the distance of the benefactor and the befriended kept and honoured. But heaven or love will impart itself with its gifts. Jesus acts as kinsman to them He befriends. He leaves no distance, no sense of place, in the heart He heals, for He visits it. It is as a kinsman He acts, and not as a patron. He sits and talks with us. He allows us to invite Him to our house, as He went and dwelt with the Samaritans two days. He asks for a favour at our hands that we may take a favour from Him without reserve. He'll fain drink of our pitcher while opening His wells, and eat of our kid at our tent door, while revealing eternal counsels to us.

      LETTER 21.

      6, Clifton Place, Exeter,

      June 6,1846.


      I left Bath on Thursday, designing to come as far as Wellington, but letters there reached me which made it plain to me that I was to come on as far as this. But I know not that I shall be able to get as far as Torquay. I should be glad again to sit by the side of your sofa, and spend a little season with you, if you were able for it. But I suppose this must end in a wish, as I am to be again in Wellington, please the Lord, next Saturday. Assure your dear mother that to see her also would be a great gratification to me, and also dear Mr. and Mrs . . . . . I have heard that you have been increasingly ill again. The Lord will explain all to you, beloved, as of old, "when he was alone, he expounded all things to his disciples." You will yourself be His interpreter, and the thankful, happy advocate of His hand in all that it has been doing. Such was Job; when it came to the end, he found that all was right. The Lord had to make no confession of mistake, but stood vindicated even in Job's thoughts for the fire and the wind and the Chaldeans. The Lord bless you and comfort you. The storm is to be only on the outside of your cottage. I left my dear people well in Bath, in the Lord's mercy, and I have lately heard of dear Mrs. M . . . . being still in Dublin. Ever, beloved sister,

      Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

      J. G. B.

      LETTER 22.

      MY BELOVED SISTER,   August 10, 1846.

      I grieved to see by your last letter received through Mrs. K. . . that you had been so much in suffering. The Lord bless you and comfort you, as He has done in times past. You ought not to have sent me the seal, you know how easy it is for me to remember you without any memento. And glad should I be at times to visit the side of your sofa, and exchange some thoughts with you, my dear sister. Our united love to you and to dear mother, and give mine to my dear brother S. . . . and his family, Dr. T. . . . and the M. . . . .'s. A native brother from Demerara was with us for some days lately. It is always sweet to me to hear from you, but you know I never exact it from you as payment for my little communications. To cast many a wishful glance beyond the river may well be the exercise of our hearts, beloved, both from the greenness of the fields there, and the aridness of the desert here. The Lord be with thy dear spirit.

      Ever your affectionate brother,

      J. G. B.

Back to J.G. Bellet index.

See Also:
   Chapter 1 - The Law and the Gospel
   Chapter 2 - Romans 8:19-22
   Chapter 3 - 1 Samuel 1 - 7
   Chapter 4 - Genesis 49, and Deut. 33
   Chapter 5 - John 3
   Chapter 6 - Jacob at Peniel
   Chapter 7 - The Case Of Job
   Chapter 8 - Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Deuteronomy 11:10-12
   Chapter 9 - 1 Corinthians 11:3-16
   Chapter 10 - The Woman in the Crowd, Mark 5
   Chapter 11 - Patronage
   Chapter 12 - Divine Intimacy
   Chapter 13 - Election
   Chapter 14 - Redemption
   Chapter 15 - Genesis 1 - 47


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