Bethesda and Principles; Dissolution on All Sides; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; the Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Very dear brother,—It is indeed a great blessing to find ourselves tranquil in the midst of the agitation which reigns. Nearly fifty years ago I remarked that, when speaking of shaking the heavens and the earth (Heb. 12:2626Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (Hebrews 12:26)), Paul says, "he hath promised." I, a conservative by birth, by education and by mind; a Protestant in Ireland into the bargain; I had been moved to the very depths of my soul on seeing that everything was going to be shaken. The testimony of God made me see and feel that all should be shaken, but... that we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken Only we need that spirituality which detaches from the world, and attaches to the invisible things, in order to be free from the sorrow which the thought gives, that all the surroundings of our ordinary life, with all its associations of ideas, are to be overturned. If I live in heaven, if my surroundings are there, my citizenship, if I am waiting for the Lord, instead of everything for ma being shaken, all can only be perfected in glory; but in so far as we cling to what is earthly, the shaking, the uprooting of that which is second nature, is painful A tree lives from its roots. How upset I have seen some of your old Genevese, when the fortifications, that had been raised to repel the attacks of the Bishop and Duke of Savoy, were destroyed! If was no longer their old Geneva; the town was improved and enlarged, without doubt, yet it was not their Geneva. But the bulwarks, the wall of the heavenly city will not be removed. This is a great consolation; but, as I have already said, it supposes the heart to be there. For my part, I am perfectly quiet.
Now all institutions are being assaulted, if they are not already thrown down; and the great whore, without strength unless given to it by the beast, loudly proclaims her intention to ride upon the beast. Here, as well as elsewhere, these men proclaim it aloud. It is a plot, well organized at Rome, and systematically carried out. But if the floods rise, the Lord is above the flood, mightier than the noise of many waters. They rise, and plot their own ruin, even in this world, for judgment is coming But our kingdom is in nowise affected, it is beyond it all, and the Lord whom we serve is above all. Besides, what peace do we not find in communion with the Father and the Son!
We do not sufficiently see that the things which are not seen are revealed to us. That which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit," communicated by words which the Holy Ghost has taught; and, lastly, these things are discerned by the Spirit. These are the three steps in the knowledge of divine things. Then, also, he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father.
February 5th, 1874.