--An old minister, whom you have had some knowledge of, wrote to his friend a salutation that I offer to you-- 'Grace, mercy, and peace shall be with you.' He did not say, 'May grace, mercy, and peace be with you,' but he said, 'Grace shall be with you (see margin), mercy and peace.' He was sure of it; for he knew that the trees whose roots are in the waters cannot but be kept fresh and green. Have you been finding much of late in the 'Law of the Lord' ? You know that the Word is called 'the Oracles of God,' and this is just the description of the utterances of God from the Holy of Holies.
Read your Bibles, then, with the same reverence as filled the soul of the High Priest when he went into the very presence of the Holy One of Israel. You were studying the interviews of Paul with his Master, and you made out six, taking in the angel's visit to him as representing Christ. I made out a seventh visit--at the time of his trial and approach of his end, from 2 Tim. 4:17: 'The Lord stood by me and strengthened me.' Now, as the angel (Acts 27: 23) really stood by Paul in his cabin, so was not this a real standing-by in personal presence? The Lord Jesus came into his prison-cell, and just as the other angel in Gethsemane 'strengthened' the Master, probably by a message from the Father, so did Christ do to His servant there.
Are you learning some peculiar lessons at Bournemouth? Tell me some of them, for 'to communicate to him that teacheth' is a duty of every hearer (Gal. 6:6).
It often seems strange never to see your faces--nor hear your voices--never to be calling at your well-known house!
Sometimes pray for us, and that will be equivalent to a kind call from you, for speaking to the Lord about friends is as kind an act as speaking directly to friends.
--Believe me, ever yours truly in Him who loved the sisters at Bethany,