Dependence; Gethsemane and the Cross; True Humility; Self Knowledge; Exercises to Fit for Service; Sufferings of Christ; Darby's Brother; Wrath of God on Christ

1 Kings 18‑19  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Beloved brother,—For a long time I have intended writing to you, but have been constantly occupied (thank God), happily, in His work, but in such a manner as to leave me hardly a moment free. This immense city absorbs one's time in a way of which those who have not lived here can form no idea.
I have received your translations of the Epistles to the Romans and Hebrews, which now constrains me to write to you to acknowledge receipt of the same, and testify to you my Christian affection, and all the interest I feel in your labor, dear brother. I had hoped to come as far as to you, but God has fixed me here for the present. Nevertheless, I still hope to see you and comfort myself at this delay with the hope of being able to acquaint myself a little more with German, for the study of which I endeavor to find a few moments.
In every case it is where God would have us to be, that we find His precious blessing. Without Him we can do nothing. When He works in His grace, how happy one is to be the instrument of His power and goodness! The exercises of our hearts even, in the difficulties of the work, lead us to Him, and everything that does this is in blessing for us. Besides, one acquires that kind of knowledge of self, which strips us of self. Alas! why are we not dead to ourselves in the practical sense, in order that we may be nothing but pure instruments of His wisdom and grace! Still it is good for us to feel our nothingness and entire dependence upon Him. There is always much to learn in this respect. But if we keep near Him—and it is there alone we feel what we are—He is faithful not to permit us to be tempted beyond our strength, so that we always can walk in safety in dependence upon Him. One is conscious of it. When we are weak, then we are strong. No doubt, later we shall see, how much of self, alas! there has been mixed up with our labor. At the same time we shall see that God has not permitted this weakness to lead us to a fall, nor to do harm in His church, provided we have not pretended to do more than He has given us to do. But it is of all importance that our inner life should be kept up to the height of our outward activity; else we are near some spiritual fault. Elijah was able to cause the four hundred prophets of Baal to be killed, and Jehovah to be recognized by the whole people. A few days after he flees through fright at the threats of Jezebel, and tells Jehovah that all was in vain notwithstanding his zeal; though God had still 7000 who had not bowed their knees before Baal. This happened to a man who went up to heaven without dying. What a lesson for such as we! May God in His infinite goodness keep us near Him.
My brother has kept me somewhat all courant as to your labor, and my soul is much interested in it. May God keep you very near to Himself, dear brother. This is the best prayer I can offer to our faithful God for you. Everything depends upon that—humility and everything else. One is never really humble but there, and at the same time one has the precious sense and consciousness that He is with us, and what strength this does give us! At the same time it keeps us from going astray, our natural character is kept in check, our will is kept down, and we enjoy the light without trusting in self. May God Himself keep us there. It is sweet to feel, dear brother, that without seeing each other, love binds us closely together because of our common life in Christ, and for His own sake by the Spirit. May God bless and keep you, dear brother.
Greet affectionately all our dear brethren, though I do not know them. It matters not. We are one in Jesus. But my brother has mentioned to me some of their names. May God help them and lead them by His Spirit in all their ways. Peace be unto you. If I have to make any remarks as to your translations, I will write to you when I have examined them.
Your very affectionate.
I shall be very glad to hear from you. I still have some hope of seeing you in the summer. But all depends upon the will of our God. May the Lord Himself come! This would fulfill our highest desires.
London, [1851].