A Letter on Giving up Oneself Entirely to the Ministry of the Word

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
VERY DEAR BROTHER,—G., who told me that you are now settled in—, begged me to write
you a few lines, which I do very willingly: indeed, it was on my asking him for news of you that he spoke to me of you, and told me that you had some thought of applying yourself more directly to the work of the Lord. Nothing is more desirable, dear brother; there is the greatest need of laborers, and when our blessed Savior raises them up, it is a sign that He would do a work Himself in this world of darkness. The gathering together of His own, and the sanctification and joy of those who are manifested, are always the thoughts predominant in my soul. There is every appearance that the Lord is hastening the time; for the rest, our duty is certain. It is for you, dear brother, before God to determine whether the Lord calls you certainly to this work of faith. The more devotedness there is the more trials there will be, but a hundred times more will there be of happiness and of joy, and when the Lord returns, the crown of glory that fadeth not away. From the circumstances in which you are placed, it is difficult for me to speak, and probably those in which you will be placed would occupy your thoughts. This is a matter of faith. G. committed himself to the Lord, and the Lord has sustained him, and he has always been maintained without difficulty, and has even provided for the wants of those who had trusted men. In any case, such a step is always an act of faith, and one ought never to induce any one to follow it.
If, for example, it will be always my delight to help the brethren whether in England or abroad, as our brethren do according to their power; but if I undertook to do such or such a thing, all that I have might fail me, through the providence of God, or a more pressing need might present itself, and I, already bound, should fail, either as to the will of God or my engagements; and further, I have a very strong objection-I am, in fact, entirely opposed—to sending anyone into the Lord's field with a salary of so much per annum. I can only say that it will be my joy, by the grace of God, to relieve the needs of my brethren according to my power, but to engage anyone to work is, it seems to me, to take the place of faith at least, if there were not some special direction. I wish to make you understand all the interest I should take in helping you if God call you to the work, on one side, and on the other, to prevent you from counting on me or any man whatever....
That the Lord may raise up many workmen, and send them out into His harvest-this is the earnest desire of my heart. May God grant me to devote myself to it with all my strength, and may He strengthen the faith of all His servants, so that they may not distrust His goodness.
For myself, I can bear witness that He has never failed me, feeble and faithless as I have found my self to be, but always sustained beyond my expectation by His goodness.
You will find it the same, dear brother, if you feel yourself called to work for the Lord. My faith has been feeble, and the Lord has been good to me; if your faith is stronger, you will gather a more abundant harvest. May God bless you and keep you, and direct your thoughts and your steps. May He ever increase your faith, and make you feel His abundant love. May the Lord reveal Himself more and more to your soul.
Yours affectionately in Jesus,