Abbott's Hill and Principles, and Other Points on Baptism

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
As to the difficulty in England, you were all wrong in supposing that brethren were not aware that baptism had to say to it. They were aware, but it was all on one side. Two years ago, one of them had said brethren must split on this point.... For my own part, it was a complete demoralization of brethren that moved me; and this has fully come out, and those in whom this want of principle really prevailed, form now a party, and seem likely to break off in one or two places where they prevailed. But in general consciences have been awakened, and the change for the better is strongly felt.... There was a strong movement to leave brethren a year or more ago, on account of the demoralization I have spoken of; which, having been deeply exercised about it, I resisted, and we have been spared that, and the Lord has wrought wonderfully. One after another has got clear, and the body of gatherings in London are united in their decision: in fact, there is more union than ever. The deep impression of how the Lord has wrought is effectual as the things He has done, His hand has been so manifest. And now, dear brother, if you were to become a Pardo-baptist, I should not be a bit more attached to you, and if you love Christ better, as I trust you may daily, I should. I never was satisfied with the manner of my baptism, though I felt it could not be repeated: I had been received into the ostensible body with bowl fide intention of doing so, and could not be let in again. I think the principle more right than Baptist ones.
Since I wrote to you I have been at, what is called, death's door—told that if I attempted to go upstairs I might die on them. The action of my heart failed, and often at night it felt as if it would cease entirely. The first feeling of the break up of the vessel was a solemn one. It was not doubt of the Lord's love, or of the perfectness of His work, but the fact of the breaking up of the status of my existence; but it has left, through grace, the profoundest consciousness of association with Him, and of His love, and of the Father's too, and as if I had left the world behind me: and this sense of His love is very sweet and of association with Himself. I am much better, though a really good night's rest is unknown to me, but study work I can do as ever through mercy; but am, for my thoughts so to speak, a dead man, for the other world: we all ought to be so, and I had long so held the truth, but it is another thing to be there. All I have taught has come back to me as divine truth from God, and that is a great comfort. I have nothing to regret but my own poor walk, though I had no object but Christ. But of Jacob and Israel it shall be said, "according to this time"—the end of the wilderness—" What hath God wrought." My mind is as fresh as ever: so there is your poor old friend, John Darby, looking for Christ in you and nothing else, and knowing He is there.
Kind love to all, and tell the Nelson brethren I have but one thought, their happiness in Christ.
Affectionately yours in Him.
The Lord will guide with His eye, if we look to Him—at any rate as poor horses or mules, in His faithful love, if we do not.
Croydon, July 10th.