Extracts From Letters of J.N.D.

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BELOVED BROTHER, I have long purposed to write to you, but if you knew how I have been occupied, you would not be surprised at my having delayed in doing it, and now I can only say a word; but I was anxious to write to you, if it were only to keep up the communication of christian love, in which you have a large place in my heart, which flows out to those around you; indeed, my heart is greatly knit to the States and God's people there. It is somewhat a charge on my spirit to be called to the continent of Europe just now, but we are servants, and like soldiers, to go where we are bid. The door is opening, happily, in Italy for work I can take part in, though I am a bad hand at the language; and I owe to the love of brethren in Germany a short visit, which I shall soon (D.V.) pay them.
My heart is greatly in America; my comfort is, One can bless according to His heart, and from whom no place can be far. What a comfort that is: His blessing makes rich, and adds no sorrow thereto. I was anxious, too, about dear _____. He got led away sadly- I fear in every way- but my heart was not turned away from him, but to him. I heard he made a full confession, for there was actual evil, besides all the high pretensions of _____'s, which he joined in. I know not if he confessed as to both, but is his soul restored?- that is what I am anxious to know.
I find a great difference, both as to the application of the word, and as to prayer for ourselves and others; between being in the sanctuary, or without. I can apply the word honestly to my ways and comfort, as being here, and pray for my wants, and the wants of others, as here, and it is all quite right; but I may be within. The word comes down from above, reveals God, and in grace it does give me light down here in fact, but it can also take me up there, and form my heart, and desires, and spirit, and joys too, with what is there, and so my prayers. If in there, what a place, and kind of place, saints have in my heart; they are clothed with Christ's love, with His character, as what they ought to be, as for His glory, and theirs too indeed; and my prayers flow from seeing them in that, that they may be brought into it. The spirit, and character, and love of the place I am in will be in my prayers.
Oh, it is a great privilege, a great blessing! I do not write as if I could do it much, for it is the very thing I have to judge myself in- how little real power of intercession I find in myself, but I see the difference. It is anything but carelessness as to walk, called charity, but charity about the walk. Though I admit the difference of dispensations, yet I see the identification of the people with God's glory alone was the spring of Moses' prayer; and the same thing made him call the faithful to cut off his neighbor and brother down here. Ours is the same in grace and dependence; be it so, but there is a principle which shows it is not taking evil lightly. ____, surely I prayed about in earnest: I was in the West Indies, and could not get there. One thing I can say- if I have worked in a place, it is always on my heart. I am old, my brother, but if I am spared my strength yet longer, I should like to see you all at _____ again. The Lord be with you, that is what is good.
The work is proceeding; as to numbers and gatherings they increase much. Our anxiety is more, a true and consistent testimony. Attacks continue more than ever, but that does not do much harm; they are left unanswered, save by God. In Germany, too, the work has largely increased. You know of Canada better, probably, than I do. Thank God, the brethren are in general walking well- many young men, and a great and serious desire to hear; but with such a multitude as we have now, it needs great looking to God to keep the world out. The more things go on, the more I feel the need of the testimony of brethren- the one body- God in grace towards all, but a peculiar people also belonging to Christ, and to a heavenly country; but the more I feel it must be an unworldly testimony, if it is anything at all- a holy people to the Lord, a people who have Christ dwelling in their hearts by faith. But I must close. Kindest remembrances to your circle, dear brother, and to all the saints cordial remembrance in Christ. May the Lord keep and bless them.
Yours affectionately in Him, 1869. J. N. D.