Christ in Glory and Humiliation; the Last Days; the World and the Christian; Letters to a Young Convert

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
I have delayed answering your letter, partly because I have been excessively occupied, more even than usual, and partly because I was minded to visit my fresh sphere of labor before doing so. I rejoiced in getting your letter. I had heard of the blessing in different places through the gospel, but rejoiced to find that it had roused you up also. Most thankful indeed was I to hear of- 's conversion too. I trust it is a permanent work; with her character and habit of mind, she must well know whether it is real. I have always hoped for her, though in many things so opposed.
But dear -, the energy of the first impulsion always calms down, and the real value of Christ to the soul appears. It is not that the first impulses are insincere, but there is the impulse given by the first powerful impression, and that dies down. Then two things appear, which after all are really one, how far the soul has been fully reached and its state and affections filled with Christ, and how far diligence of heart in cleaving to Him has been produced. The apostle says not only "I have suffered the loss of all things," but "I COUNT them but dung." The excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus gave permanency to his estimate of what was in the world around him, and [what it] gave to him as a natural man. That third chapter of Philippians gives us the principle of walk which stamps its energy and character on the christian course, a positive active energy with an object in view. Chapter 2 gives us the graciousness of the christian life; chapter 3 its principle of energy: the former Christ descending, the latter Christ in glory, whom the soul runs after as its sole object. This it is gives energy. "The double-minded man is unstable in all his ways"; even in natural things the man who has one object is energetic and full of force. It is this continuance in the judgment of the worthlessness of all things that marks the place Christ has in our hearts, gives true joy and liberty, and makes us a bright witness for Christ in the world. Only remember that he that seeks finds, that we need force every moment, and that the manna of today will not do for tomorrow. The world solicits always; we need the constant grace of Christ, the whole armor of God, having done all to stand. It is a blessed place, blessed now, but requires singleness of eye—not merely avoiding actual evil, but the heart positively set upon an object pursued with lowly, cheerful, but constant energy. The last days are hastening on, and we have to be as men that wait for their Lord, when He shall return from the wedding, that when He cometh and knocketh they may open to Him immediately. Fix your mind calmly but steadily on His coming.
I have been half round England, and had a local meeting like Guelph, besides working very hard in London—then visited fourteen places in Switzerland, and had a Swiss 'Guelph' meeting, and now the same in France, having visited some twelve meetings there. So that I have not been idle, and now leave for Germany to work a little there, and help in having a more correct Old Testament. I have more on my hands in this respect than I know how to do, but I labor on. If possible I shall go to Italy, but not just yet: there the door seems opening.... May the Lord's blessing rest on you all.
Ever affectionately yours.
Le Vigan,
September 25th, 1869.