Christian Life; Exercises to Fit for Service; Appreciation of the Word; Darby Kept Aloof From Revivalists

Matthew 4:4; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Galatians 2:20
I owe you well a letter, but you know I have been ill, and all this kind of work fell in arrear; but I am a great deal better, and seek to pull the arrear up. Beloved brother, what we have to cleave to is Christ: in Him we know the Father, and He is that eternal life which came down from heaven; in Him, too, as glorified on high, once crucified, we are introduced into the holiest. He has sanctified Himself that we may be sanctified through the truth. It is little noted that what human nature could not see or conceive is revealed to us by the Holy Ghost given to us, "that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." This is the world the new man lives in, to which he belongs, and all the rest passes-when "his breath goeth forth... all his thoughts perish."
We have to go through a world full of experiences, and christian life in it thus, with which as ministering we have to do. Our great affair is so in our own souls to have Christ formed in us, and so to know Him experimentally in the little world of our own souls, that all that is of self being judged, then only Christ may come out, whether as testimony of life in the big outer world, or in that which we apply to others in ministry; and to wait on Him so that we may be guided in doing it. I often find the question arise in my mind in service, whether I was enough in the spirit of unitedness-that is, with Christ- the sense of His presence-so as to have had the right thing come into my mind: for "a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" At least we must seek this, and be continually looking to Him so that there may be nothing hasty in our words. I have no doubt that if we kept close to Christ, His Spirit would guide us in our intercourse with others. We are not always conscious of divine guidance, even when it is there; but the word comes from Christ to the souls we have to say to, even if rejected-as we see with the Jews. But our part is to keep close to Christ, so that it should be "not I, but Christ liveth in me," and thus He acts in our thoughts and ways without our, at the moment, thinking of Him directly; but we always have the consciousness of speaking for Him, and of His presence. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt," "which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers."
What a life, an honored life, a Christian's is if it be a Christian's! But all perishes but the word (I mean of what we have as in this world); but that does not-it abides forever. For our life first-"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" -it is of and from heaven, divine like Christ; but suited, as He was, to a world and hearts which were the opposite of what is divine; and He and it are alone so, and we-if we eat Him and live by Him and so follow Him. What an immense privilege that we are set to bring out divine things on earth, and soon shall enjoy them where there will be naught else!
May Christ keep us close to Himself: we may be assured He cares for His church and cannot fail it. May we judge ourselvek and trust Him, and nothing can separate us from His love That is a comfort!
As regards this country: those who went out at Kent will, I suppose, immediately break bread, and for good and all. Some urged them to do it. In general about the country, conscience has been much awakened, and there is much more freshness and desire for the word, and that even in London, too. But the absence of all principle and conscience in those who have formed a party (though the rest leave it to God) cannot, if there are to be gatherings, go on long. But it opens people's eyes. It is a question, Can godly discipline be exercised? And God seems raising the question in different places. I should add that was round as far as Aberdeen, and came back quite cheered with the state of brethren. For if Satan is at work, and such audacity I never saw (a little bit once at -), the Spirit of God is evidently and happily working too; but the revival work, and the tone which accompanied it, has introduced a mass of persons from whom God alone can deliver us. I keep entirely aloof from them. I am a great deal better, only have no breath. Nothing separates us from the love of Christ, and all things work together for good to those that love God.
London, March 19th, 1881.