Conversions Where Superficial; Dependence; Evangelizing and Gathering; Revivals; Work in Switzerland

JOH 6:51
Beloved Brother,—Thank you much for your kind sympathy. My eye, is I may say, well, only I have to be a little on my guard against what might affect it. I am at present at a conference where we have near a foot of snow and a hard frost.
We have found thus far very much blessing, and I see I think sensible progress and considerable increase of depth in the brethren at work in Switzerland. In Switzerland there are about ten, and twenty-six in France. But in Switzerland they are more absorbed by gatherings than at the first, when all was evangelization, or nearly so. As regards England, many felt in London anxiety and difficulty at the urgency and excitement as to conversion, while others saw the life of the brethren in it. I apprehend if there had been more spiritual power within, there would have been more enlargement as to a work of conversion, and a remedy for the evils which attended it through the flesh. I saw two dangers; conversions often real without sufficient conviction of sin, and an urgency for reception in order to shelter them to which the want of depth gave rise, and (as) to which a just dread of superficial work, but some mixture of routine and ancient habits as to the reception of persons to the Table. Evil has resulted from the excitement which was mixed with the work. Perhaps more positive energy of action in those who were not excited might have guarded against this; still there was evil to be guarded against. The only part I took was to seek to deepen the work by the word when occasion offered. There is another point which has a more serious character, without casting a shade on the interest which the labors of the evangelizing brethren inspire, and which rejoice my heart and spirit, or, I trust at least, undervaluing the blessing, greater in that respect than my own at present. There is this difference between their labors and the early ones of brethren where large success accompanied evangelization; at that time, those who labored with energy watched over the fruit of their work gathered by them. There was, too, I think, more of Christ, and of the value of the church to Christ in their work, as distinguished from the love of souls. It is now consequently more easily associated with mere evangelicism, which, pretending to convert the world, mixes with the world it pretends to convert. Besides bodies of saints being already formed, the judgment about souls, and the work that brings them, are in distinct hands. I do not doubt there are healthful counteracting principles in many. But I have thought I have seen this, besides excitement.
The supposition you speak of, that an awakening revived for the time, chews the soul to be in a young state, and to have judged itself but little; because nothing but the daily exercise of faith in Christ, a constant sense of dependence and active seeking from and intercourse with Christ, can keep the soul in a good state—humble, dependent, in the sense of God's presence, and the joy of His love, and in an atmosphere into which sin does not come. "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me and I in him," and "He that eateth me even he shall live by me." With, I should trust, as deep an interest in the work as any, I cannot say I felt any excitement. But I apprehend our work through grace is not to blame or hinder, but to seek to help in prayer, and, according to the gift given to us, to care for these souls, to deepen and complete the work, to work for Christ in it—to look for deeper conviction, but specially to connect Christ with the state of their souls. But here exactly is the difficulty of the case; because the fact that the conscience has not been deeply affected, leaves the heart more to its own feelings and occupied with them, and makes Christ less precious and important to it when the feelings wane. The soul has a sickly life thus. But then we depend on grace, on grace in Christ, and in ministering patiently Christ, the soul perhaps passing through a crisis of doubt or a fall, finds His value, and is settled in Him.
Though I have had no details, nor desire to have them, I am aware of the efforts and attacks directed against me. There is a kind of instinct which shows you them. I have no wish to be insensible to them, but I am through grace in blessed peace about them and everything. One can by faith carry everything to God, and all is peace. First, as to outward things, I have never had such good meetings, both in France and Switzerland, and the Lord so sensibly with His poor servant in speaking. And if it were God's will that men should cover me with infamy—if it be His will, I should be unspeakably happy in it, because it was His will. Perhaps many would not understand me, but when one is more with God, joy becomes boundless. It is not, of course, that I should seek it, I need not say, nor that the thing is not disagreeable; but, in the measure in which it is, one's joy is more entirely with God; and His will is always right, so that one has not to reason about it, but to leave it to Him. As to those who act in it, I have only as to myself to wait and seek to act rightly if they cross my path. Thus I leave it, in all peace.
Our place is to meet everything in service, in the patience and power of Christ. I speak of you and -. Many brethren feel the danger of the influx of persons to the Table, and I trust that with all largeness of heart they may carry all this to Christ. In London it occupies the thoughts of some. The Lord raise up true carers for souls.
Our week's conference has been very happy, and a true and cordial spirit among the brethren—confidence—and I have renewed acquaintance with many beloved brethren.
Peace be with you, dear brother. My letter has been written by morsels during the conference.
Your affectionate brother.