To R. H. Bodman
DEAR SISTER IN OUR PRECIOUS LORD JESUS:
I received your card in acknowledgment of my note to you. I shall not, as I promised, send you all the particulars as to how the Lord led me among the Old School Baptists, as I intend to write to the SIGNS OP THE TIMES relative to that. I am still in the wilderness, and I bless God, Jesus is still precious to me. “To you that believe he is precious”, and to none others. Is Jesus precious to thee? Then it is because thou art precious to him. He is despised and rejected of men, but the fairest among ten thousand and altogether lovely to the believer. This has been the testimony of his saints in all ages. He is “the desire of all nations” of the redeemed. How rich the mercy that we are among the number of those nations. Well do I remember when running according to the course of this world, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, I could see no beauty in Emanuel that I should desire him. But how changed are matters now! Jesus is “the desire.” How effectual is the work of Jehovah, the Spirit, to bring the blood-bought flock to know and feel concerning Christ Jesus, that all desirable things are treasured up and can only be found in our dear Savior; therefore Jesus is “the desire.” O how desirable is Jesus to a poor, vile sinner, lost and ruined, naked and famished. This poor sinner, taught of God, filled with sorrow, overwhelmed in condemnation, though we could pour into his lap all the desirable things of the world, health and wealth, honor and glory, he would in his anguish cry, Give me Jesus, the desire. “Christ is the treasure I desire.” And all things that thou canst desire are not to be compared to him. “There is none that I desire beside thee.” No doubt, dear sister, you say that is how I feel, or desire to feel. In our dear Redeemer it pleased the Father all fullness should dwell. Here have we an inexhaustible store, a living fountain, and unsearchable riches. I do feel that our beloved Emanuel is increasingly precious to me. I need him more than ever. I continue so poor that I am continually necessitated to draw upon his unsearchable riches. I am sometimes so barren, but when the Holy Spirit brings to my remembrance the days of old, the months past, the days when God preserved me, when his candle shined about me, and by his light I walked through darkness, then how desirable is Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness. All is mourning without the Sun, and I cry, “With my soul have. I desired thee in the night!” So foolish, and ignorant, and blind, and so sinful am I, that I cannot do without our beloved Jesus. I desire none beside him. How surprising is the grace, that we poor, vile sinners should be made to feel our need of him, and then by the Holy Spirit’s ministrations to find in Jesus, our covenant head, all our salvation and all our desire, for Christ is all. Do we desire him? Is Emanuel our desire? Then “the desire shall come.” And when this is accomplished, how sweet to the soul! He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him. Our God satisfieth the desire of every living thing. No matter in what estate we may be, “The desire of all nations shall come,” to make darkness light, crooked things straight, and the rough places plain. To them that look for him shall he appear without sin unto salvation, to receive us unto himself, that where he is, there we may be also. Have we, dear sister, this sweet hope? Then it is through grace.
I hope soon to hear from you. May the blessing of our sweet Emanuel be upon you and all the elect of God.
I am yours in the fellowship of the gospel,
FREDERICK W. KEENE
Newbury, Ontario, Canada,
March 2, 1881