Abigail and Jonathan Compared; Experience in View of the End; Faith That Works in the Dark

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We are, thank God, very happy here, though there is much to gain, yet I believe He is working really, and there is a happy spirit.... What a mercy when the blessed Lord acts in the church—rest of course we cannot expect here; the trial of faith is connected with praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ. But there is that kind of rest which is in going from strength to strength, a rest to refresh for journeying in the wilderness. And hence the importance of that kind of faith that works in the dark. It is not met, as the reverse is, by "he shall not see when good cometh; " but when this is rested in, it soon wanes; God will not give us what would take the eye off the end, because this alone fully gives the moral trial which exercises and purifies—yea, gives intelligent capacity for the end. The Christ, seen, leads into the capacity for enjoying and being with Him at the end. This I believe was absolute and perfect in Him; hence, "the author and finisher of faith." The point for us is to rest in the arm of the Lord, whatever may be, and not run to get help elsewhere, or before, as He meets in power moral perfectness, whether full as in Christ, or in degree or detail: this is the great burden of the Psalms. The judgment of God in this sense is but the bringing the display and sanction in power, of principles acted on, when apparent power—nor its open exercise—was not seen.
And this, I take it, is the bearing of prophecy. Some will have principles in it, some naked facts as testimony, but I apprehend that the facts, which we have to take quite simply however, are the display of God's power in judgment of, and public sanction of, certain principles as approved of Him I have the principles, I have them, but have them in practice by the way, and then judgment returns to righteousness; and so righteousness and peace meet. All this is connected with prophecy; but we have a higher thing, the affections which flow out of relationships with Christ—present, though not fully accomplished relationship. And these affections do form morally, and in the sweetest way, more than in mere righteousness. And to this, I take it, the coming of the Lord and the marriage of the Lamb is the answer, not judgment: still, the other is true, and hence I distinguish between the coming of the Lord and prophecy (though this last by the way), though one acts on the other, because He has associated us with His competency to judge the world and all, though the authority is with Him. But this shows what a very high place the church is in.
Ever very affectionately yours.
Plymouth, July, 1848