Dealing With False Doctrine; Separation of Plymouth; Work in the West Indies

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
I was very glad to get your account of the brethren: I need not say my interest is only increased by absence. As to -, I am not aware I said anything that showed I could break bread there. I do make a difference between the meeting and him; if the meeting was sound, I might go and get it to deal with him. Why is it to be judged for his doctrine unless it has intelligently accepted it? I attach great importance to the body. I might avoid the place, if there was no way of dealing with it, as Paul did at Corinth-not going to the evil, but looking first to its correction. Have brethren informed themselves, and dealt with the conscience of the gathering? I do not know that I could go, but I should not judge the gathering till the gathering had been dealt with. Brethren may have done this, but has any one competent to meet him, "to convince gainsayers," dealt with the gathering itself? I gave six weeks to Plymouth, going to Guernsey before I left it, nor did till W. H. wrote to H. that I had tried to turn them into a dissenting meeting, and get the body itself to judge evil, and that they could not judge elders. Then I left, because avowedly as a body they refused to do it. We owe it to these poor saints to deliver all, or any possible, if we can. But it should not be merely rejection of -'s notions, the extent of which I am ignorant of (though I hear he has gone forward in error), but care for the poor saints there and the gathering he is corrupting....
The brethren in London cannot judge the gathering as such, but they can seek to deliver the poor of the flock, and deal individually with him as with any saint anywhere. We have dealt with loose assemblies when the case arose, and quite right-it was keeping clear ourselves-cannot be too decided. What brethren have to do now is to seek the deliverance of these souls if the Lord may help them to it, and with—to deal individually for his good, in discipline, if the question arises by his presence anywhere, so that it is called for. Individuals of course can deal with them according to what is given them. But should understand that discipline arises for an assembly when its purity is in question. Public teachers of error may always be dealt with individually as such; when I say always, I mean of course under God's guidance.
Barbadoes is really interesting. There was a great desire to hear, and many declared they had never heard the real gospel before; some were added every Lord's day. They are very united and happy together.... I trust there was blessing at Demerara, but it was not manifested as at Barbadoes. Moravians, Wesleyans, Establishment came in considerable numbers, and there were some strange cases. Some have been brought to the point where they own the truth, and it is a question of taking up the cross, losing a school, etc. There is some gift in the assembly when matured and developed. I believe dear will have a work of filling up, as we, at least I, could only give great outlines of truth, though seeking to bring it practically to the hearers. The attention is always great.
We are now at Jamaica, in a pleasant country house, outside the town at the sea (or harbor) side, with cocoa nuts, great cactus hedges, mocking birds, etc., and a magnificent country all around, mountain and wood, but a wretched population, but things looking up a little—more confidence. I must close for the present, as I have many letters for this boat.
The work in Canada is remarkable.
Ever, dear -, affectionately yours.
April, 1869.