Assembly Action and Conscience

Galatians 4:20; Philippians 1:12; Colossians 1:11
As regards——, I do not pretend to judge of the matter with the knowledge I have of the facts. There are many things to think of in such cases; people may be wrong, yet not wisely dealt with. Do you be calm and leave it to the Lord. He knows how to justify us where judgment is unrighteous, and show us our wrong where we have' failed; and, with Him, the rest is of very little matter. I rather object to brothers being called in to settle things. I quite recognize that we are all one, and that brethren in an assembly can seek, and have a. right to, the assistance of any brother who is a man of counsel in communion with the Lord. But it must be getting the conscience of the assembly right, not settling it for them; for if the other be not done, nothing is really settled. So Paul acted. And we must have patience to separate the precious from the vile. The great thing is to get the consciences of all fully before God. There are those who did not go with those who condemned you, but you must not lean on this, but condemn yourself wherever God, does not approve your way of acting. Never mind, if others have made mistakes. It is one of the chief sorrows of one's christian life. But God is above all, and always right, and will bring out things as they ought to be, without us, and so best. It puts us in our place of nothingness-our true place. The church of God has failed; but God only the more glorified, and the Lord, in it; and so in us. Even in details, Paul could say, "I stand in doubt of you," and then, "I have confidence in you through the Lord." We ought to be all perfect, but we are not, and if we are, the church is not, so God cannot unfold and display all His goodness and glory in it. I know nothing more sad than the end of Acts; yet Paul could say, "This shall turn to my salvation," and "the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." And I have always found reason to humble myself in these cases. Sorrow is a good thing, and makes God a more abundant source of joy. Of the present details, I am, of course, in considerable measure ignorant; but God makes everything work together for good to them who love Him.
If war comes on, I may be in England sooner than I thought. I have been a good while anxious to get there, though desirous of finishing here first and feeling it right; and though much longer in Canada than I thought, my visit, I believe, has not been without benefit. The Lord has been graciously with me from San Francisco to this place. May His savor be with His unworthy servant, whether it be an open door unfilled at Troas, or fightings and fears in Macedonia. I think I may say I never knew any-thing but sorrow as my portion, though with ceaseless mercies, but rejoice in it all, though I see, and rejoice in seeing, weakness and infirmity in myself all through, and what I now judge as fault. Take heart and be patient-" strengthened with all might according to his glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."
Your affectionate brother In Christ our Lord.
We have much to be thankful for in -, though many a withered or cankered leaf of former work has fallen off.
Quebec,
November 20th.