Letters 2

Table of Contents

1. Colossians; Ephesians; Ephesians and Romans Compared; Legality
2. Obedience Before Power
3. Dealing With False Doctrine; the Evangelical Body's Loss of Paul's Doctrine; Government of God; Hebrews; John and Paul Compared; Paulicians; the New Place; Union With Christ; the Wilderness
4. The Support of Laborers; Christian's Obligation to Servants; Combining an Occupation With Service; Work in the West Indies
5. Service of Evangelizing; Need of More Laborers; Work in the West Indies
6. Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Reception to the Lord's Table; Patriotism
7. Ignorance Being No Bar to Fellowship; Danger of Sectarianism; Signification of "Table of Devils"
8. Dealing With False Doctrine; Separation of Plymouth; Work in the West Indies
9. Letters to a Young Convert; Sports
10. The Starting Point of Christianity; Sacramental System; the Lord's Supper; Transubstantiation
11. Death to Sin; Good in the Midst of Evil; Natural Relationships; the Lord's Supper
12. Other Points on Baptism; the Mind of Man in the Things of God; Philadelphian State to Be Sought; the Lord's Supper
13. Service of Evangelizing; Excitement in Religious Work; Reception to the Lord's Table; the Wilderness; Extravagancies in Evangelization
14. Government of God
15. The World and the Christian
16. Defects in the Foreign Work of Englishmen; Doing Feats; Gospel of the Kingdom and the Everlasting Gospel; Judgment of Matthew 25; Legality; Life and Eternal Life; Two Parts of the Christian Life; Patience; the Person of the Lord; Point of View in Philippians and Ephesians; Grace and Legality in Service; the World to Come
17. Canaanites in Type; the Holy Spirit and the Power of Enjoyment; Jordan in Type; Philistines Figuratively; the First Revelation of the Trinity
18. Converted Children and the Lord's Table; Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Intercession for the Saints; Judgment of Evil in Fellow Christians; Revivals; Saints Identified With God's Glory; the World and the Christian
19. Prayer; Saints Identified With God's Glory; Being in the Sanctuary; Testimony for These Days
20. Exercises and Ground of Peace; Parable of the Prodigal Son; Righteousness of God; Self Knowledge
21. Exercises and Ground of Peace
22. Communion With God; Nothing Being Like the Cross; the Last Days; Progress of the Power of Evil; Not Speaking Beyond One's Experience; Sources of Joy; Responsibility and Purpose
23. Work in Switzerland
24. Christ in Glory and Humiliation; the Last Days; the World and the Christian; Letters to a Young Convert
25. Government of God; Letters to a Young Convert
26. The Family Home; Sources of Joy; the Word "Stranger"; Subjection of Will; Study of the Word; the World and the Christian; Letters to a Young Convert
27. Translation Work
28. Baptism an Act of the Baptiser; the Subjects of Baptism; Campbellites; Commission to the Twelve; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; Paul and Peter's Ministry; Puseyism; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
29. Change of Scene; the Need of Courage; Being Dead With Christ; Service of Evangelizing; Isolation; Responsibility and Purpose
30. German Old Testament; Appreciation of the Word
31. The History and Character of the Church; System of Christendom Based on Peter
32. Paulicians; Translation Work
33. False Doctrine and False Interpretation Distinguished; Work in Germany; Translation Work; Loss of Paul's Doctrine
34. Hebrews; Epistle to Philadelphia; Translation Work
35. Strength in Weakness; Work in Europe
36. The Last Days; Occupation With Evil; Progress of the Power of Evil; Responsibility and Purpose; Translation Work; Appreciation of the Word; the World and the Christian
37. The History and Character of the Church; Occupation With Evil; Christian Life; Prayer; Translation Work; Unworldliness; the Wilderness; Appreciation of the Word
38. Work in Germany; Hebrews; Translation Work
39. Christianity Working by What It Brings; Experience in View of the End; Service of Evangelizing; Paul; Translation Work
40. Psalms; Rationalism; Translation Work; Synopsis of the Books of the Bible
41. The Atonement; Remnant in the Last Days; Jewish Remnant; Sufferings of Christ
42. The Force of the Term Destruction; the Dispensatore; Exercises and Ground of Peace; Publication; Repentance; Righteousness of God; Old Testament Saints; Sanctification; Union With Christ
43. Death Not Being the Cessation of Life; Eternal Punishment; Denial of Immortality of the Soul
44. The Atonement; Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Wrath Revealed From Heaven
45. Eternal Punishment; Denial of Immortality of the Soul
46. The Atonement; Government of God; Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Universalism; Wrath Revealed From Heaven
47. The Typical Import of Colors
48. The Lordship of Christ; Humanity of Christ; No Worship of the Spirit of God; Cooperation of the Persons of the Trinity
49. The Title of Lord Applied to the Holy Spirit; the Double Use of Kyrios; the Lordship of Christ; Cooperation of the Divine Persons; Eternal Sonship
50. How to Meet Attacks; Translation Work; Darby's Love for Preaching
51. Details of a Conference
52. Advocacy and Priesthood
53. Greek in Philippians 3:3
54. Gift as to the Assembly; Gift and Individual Responsibility; Exercise of Gift in Open Meetings
55. Gift as to the Assembly; Lordship of Christ
56. Antichrist; the Spirit of Apostasy; Ruin of the Church; the House and Body; Man and the World; Rationalism; Romanism; 1 and 2 Timothy
57. Adam and Christ; Force of Greek Translated "Eternal;" Bethesda and Principles; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Government of God
58. Addresses to the Seven Churches; Protestantism
59. Christ's Life Being the Perfect Rule of Life; Signification of Everlasting; the Place of Law; Oaths; Rule of Life; Old Testament Saints
60. Breaking Bread as a Christian; Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ
61. Patriotism and the Christian; the Christian Being a Soldier
62. The Lord's Ways With Peter; Soul's Restoration
63. The Danger of Discussion on the Nature of Christ; Life Laid Down and Taken Again; Humanity of Christ
64. Two Parts of the Christian Life; the Mind of Man in the Things of God; Wilderness and Canaan
65. Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Christian Life
66. The Good of Being Alone With God; Christ as Presented in Matthew; Opposition; the Person of the Lord; Appreciation of the Word; Military Service
67. French Brethren Preserved in the War of 1870; Prussian War
68. The Doctrine of Annihilation; the Force of the Term "Destruction;" Eternal Punishment
69. Bethesda and Principles; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline
70. The History and Character of the Church; True Ministry; Responsibility and Purpose; the Vessel and the Treasure
71. A. Shipton's Book
72. Obedience of Children
73. Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Love to the Church; Devotedness; Philippians; Stephen Before the Sanhedrim; Translation Work; Trial in Expectation
74. Nearness to the Lord
75. The Christian Being Heavenly; the Vessel and the Treasure
76. The Meaning of "Third Part" in Revelation 7
77. Clerisy
78. Divorce; Question on Desertion of Marriage; Translation Work
79. Assembly Judgment Owned; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Remonstrance
80. Meddling With Gatherings From Outside
81. Nothing Being Like the Cross
82. Judgment According to Works; Man Lost Already; Man and the World; Christ in the Offerings; Sin and Sins; Sufferings of Christ; Christ and the Offerings
83. The Spiritual Danger of Emigration; Self Knowledge; Work Affected by One's Own State
84. John's Epistles
85. Blood and Water; Epistle to Philadelphia; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type; Soul's Restoration; Judgment of an Assembly
86. John's Epistles
87. Advocacy and Priesthood; Administrative Forgiveness; Intercession of Christ; the Lord's Prayer (So-Called)
88. Prayer
89. Hebrews; Work in Italy; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians
90. Other Points on Baptism; Deliverance; Eternal Life; the Place of Experience; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; in Christ; Work in Italy; Life and Eternal Life; Real Communication of Life; New Birth; Wesleyan Doctrine
91. Administrative Forgiveness; Remission of Sins; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
92. Reproach of Christ
93. Bethesda and Principles; Scriptural Basis for Corporate Rejection
94. Marriage of a Laborer
95. Marriage of a Laborer; Natural Relationships
96. Work in France and Germany
97. Satan
98. Dead With Christ; Force of the Term Saints; Sanctification
99. Adam and Christ; Conscience; Deliverance; the Doctrine of Free Will; Christian Life; Man and the World; Obedience of Christ; Responsibility and Purpose
100. Responsibility Attaching to Will; Moral Responsibility
101. Dead With Christ; Two Greek Words Translated "Partakers;" Real Communication of Life; the Meaning of the Term Nature; Our Partaking of the Divine Nature; New Birth; Wesleyan Doctrine
102. Our Partaking of the Divine Nature
103. Adam and Christ; Body, Soul, and Spirit; the Work in France
104. Derivatives From Perfect Passive Greek
105. Two Greek Words Translated "Partakers;" Life and Eternal Life; Real Communication of Life; the Meaning of the Term Nature; Our Partaking of the Divine Nature; Pantheism
106. The Force of the Greek Translated "To" in John; Life and Eternal Life; Old Testament Saints; O.T. Saints Quickened by the Son
107. Evangelizing and Gathering; Ministries of the Gospel and the Church; Remnant in the Last Days
108. Need of More Laborers; Work in Canada; Unworldliness; the World and the Christian
109. Affliction's Lessons; Bereavement; God's Ways in Discipline; Subjection of Will
110. Affliction's Lessons; Bereavement; Communion With God; the First Death in a Family; Sufferings of Christ
111. The Atonement; Place of Governmental Wrath; Use of the Term Wrath; Humanity of Christ
112. Work in the United States
113. The Spiritual Danger of Emigration; Work in the United States
114. Divorce; Question on Desertion of Marriage; Questions
115. Old School Presbyterians
116. Dead With Christ; Deliverance; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Self Knowledge; Work in the United States
117. The Formula of Baptism; Other Points on Baptism; Death to Sin; Sealing of the Holy Spirit
118. Assembly Action and Conscience; Brothers' Meeting; Outward Fall Not the Beginning of Evil; Tendency of Work; Excommunication; Old School Presbyterians
119. Local Responsibility of the Assembly; Guarding Against Independent Action; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Restoration to Be Sought; Unjust Discipline; Indifference to Evil
120. Arminian Doctrine; Character of Divine Communications; Gift and Its Exercise; Faith and Sight; Combining an Occupation With Service; Work in the United States
121. Bereavement; the First Death in a Family
122. Good in the Midst of Evil; Self Knowledge
123. Nearness to the Lord; Spring of Service; Weariness in Service; the Path of His Will; Tendency of Work
124. What Preaching Should Be; Repentance; Our Place as Christ's Servants; Perfection
125. Dead With Christ; Death to Sin; the Place of Law; Reckoning in Romans 6; Heresy
126. The Assembly in a City; Unity of the Body of Christ; Exaggeration of Truth; Holiness; Presence of the Holy Spirit; the House and Body; Kneeling in Prayer; Members of the Body Not a Church; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Historical Beginning of the Brethren
127. Adam and Christ; Adventists; Christianity Working by What It Brings; How to Meet Evil; Work in the United States
128. Work in the United States
129. Ignorance Being No Bar to Fellowship; Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Reception to the Lord's Table
130. Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Pure Heart
131. Assembly Judgment Owned; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Bethesda and Principles; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Basis of Union
132. Bethesda and Principles; Ignorance No Bar to Fellowship; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; Life Laid Down and Taken Again; Separation From Evil; J.G. Bellett; Whether Defilement Is Endless
133. Bethesda and Principles; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Members of the Body Not a Church; Sufferings of Christ; Whether Defilement Is Endless
134. The Last Days; Discipline Not Confined to the Table; Philadelphian State to Be Sought; Loose Principles; Eating With One Under Discipline; Unable to Say Grace With Some Open Brethren
135. Unity of the Body of Christ; God's Ways in Discipline; Evangelizing and Gathering; Gathering of Saints Sought; the Effect of a Full Gospel; Our Place as Christ's Servants; Work Changed in Character
136. The Subjects of Baptism
137. The Coming of the Lord; House Still Till Judged; the Great Tribulation; Parable of the Virgins
138. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit; New Birth; the Lord's Ways With Peter
139. New Birth; Old Testament Saints
140. Devotedness; Power of Full Grace; Need of More Laborers; the Life of Jesus
141. Bethesda and Principles; the Church as an Organized Visible Society; B.W. Newton; Old Testament Saints; the Great Tribulation; Intercommunion and Moral Identification
142. The Work in the East
143. Prayer
144. Original Sin
145. Articles of the Church of England; Judgment According to Works; Pearsall Smith; Original Sin; Appreciation of the Word
146. Truth to Be Possessed Practically
147. Combining an Occupation With Service
148. The Need of Courage; Paul; Call to Direct Service
149. The Blindness of Episcopacy
150. Christ Known for Down Here and on High; the Christian's Normal State; Christianity Lowered; No Foundation for Episcopacy; Perfectionism; Exercises to Fit for Service
151. The Power of Full Grace
152. God's Ways in Discipline; Subjects of Baptism; Jehovah and Father; the Lord's Ways With Job; Trial of the Loss of Sight; Trial of Faith
153. Gethsemane and the Cross; the Path of Christ in the Gospels
154. Gethsemane and the Cross; the Path of Christ in the Gospels
155. Cooperation in Evangelizing
156. Bethesda and Principles; Dissolution on All Sides; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; the Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken
157. Counsel as to Boys; Converted Children and the Lord's Table
158. Counsel as to Boys; Work in Italy
159. Excitement in Religious Work; Moody's Work; Revivals; J.G. Bellett; Modern Evangelization
160. Moody's Work; Revivals; What the Testimony of the Lord Is
161. Work in France and Italy; Gathering of Saints Sought
162. Christianity Working by What It Brings; Large Heart in the Narrow Path; Our Present Path; Patience; Saints Identified With God's Glory
163. Moral and Official Authority Contrasted With Infallibility; Woman's Place in the Work
164. Woman's Place in the Work
165. Woman's Place in the Work; Doctors
166. Sisters in Isolation Breaking Bread; Woman's Place in the Work
167. Isolation; Woman's Place in the Work
168. Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Sources of Joy
169. Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Experience in View of the End
170. Dissolution on All Sides
171. Work in Italy
172. Counsel as to Boys
173. Advocacy and Priesthood; Intercession of Christ
174. Adventists; Advocacy and Priesthood; Feet Washing; Government of God; the Lord's Ways With Peter; Priesthood of Christ
175. The Subjects of Baptism; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation
176. The Subjects of Baptism; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
177. The Subjects of Baptism; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
178. The Subjects of Baptism; Communion With God; Obedience to an Unscriptural Ordinance; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances
179. The Subjects of Baptism; Obedience to an Unscriptural Ordinance; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
180. The Subjects of Baptism; House Still Till Judged; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
181. The Subjects of Baptism; House Still Till Judged
182. Conscience; Infidelity; Philosophy and Religion; False Principle of All Human Philosophy; Popery; Authority of the Word
183. Experience in View of the End
184. The Lordship of Christ
185. The House and Body; Lordship of Christ; "Putting Away" the Form of Words; Signification of "Table of Devils"; the Lord's Table and Denominations
186. Two Greek Words Translated "Partakers;" "Putting Away" the Form of Words; Withdrawing and Putting Out of Fellowship
187. Gog; "Putting Away" and Restoration; Restoration of One Put Away Elsewhere; the Revived Roman Empire
188. The Love of God; Spring of Service; Work in the United States; Study of the Word
189. Christianity Lowered; Service of Evangelizing; Ministries of the Gospel and the Church; Nearness to the Lord
190. Communion With God; Progress of the Power of Evil; Infidelity; Philadelphian State to Be Sought; Testimony for These Days; Work in the United States; Unworldliness; Direct Faith in the Word
191. The Need of Courage; Nearness to the Lord; Spring of Service; Testimony for These Days; Truth to Be Possessed Practically; Work in the United States; Work Changed in Character
192. Affections Supposing Relationship; Danger of Discussion on the Nature of Christ; the Place of Experience; the Person of the Lord; Humanity of Christ
193. Acceptance Not Connected With State; the Place of Law; Man Lost Already
194. Dead to Sin; Deliverance; the Place of Experience; Redemption
195. Guidance by and in Circumstances; Difficulties in the Path; Impressions From God; Obedience of Christ; Obstacles Often the Test of Faith; Temptation of Christ; How to Know God's Will; the Will of God
196. Dependence; Paul; God's Ruling and Overruling; the World and the Christian
197. Capacity to Enjoy; Kingdom Sphere of Reward; Exercises to Fit for Service
198. Service of Evangelizing and Gathering; Love for Souls; Pastoral Care
199. The Force of the Name of Christ; Dealing With False Doctrine; Names of Christ
200. Moody's Work; Pearsall Smith; Testimony for These Days; Modern Evangelization; Setting People to Work; Revivals
201. Excitement in Religious Work; Perfectionism; Testimony for These Days; Work in the United States
202. The Coming of the Lord; Devotedness; Philadelphian State to Be Sought; Testimony for These Days
203. The Coming of the Lord; the Path of Faith; Perfectionism
204. Perfectionism; Need of Watchfulness; Work and Its Fruits
205. Work in Japan; True Ministry
206. Ministries of the Gospel and the Church
207. Moody's Work; Modern Evangelization
208. Moody's Work; Pearsall Smith
209. The Assembly in a City; Christianity Lowered; the Effect of a Full Gospel; Moody's Work; Pearsall Smith; Perfectionism
210. The Assembly in a City; Unity of and Common Action in London
211. New Phase of Brethren; the Clergy; Devotedness; Union Sought by Indifference to the Truth; Work in the United States; Unworldliness
212. Work in the United States
213. Other Points on Baptism; Ruin of the Church; Fruit of Sifting
214. The Meaning of Hur
215. Unity of the Family in John
216. Hymn Books; Worship of the Father
217. The Assembly in a City
218. Toil and Rest
219. Breaking Bread as a Christian; Sectarian Tendency of "Full" Fellowship; Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Reception to the Lord's Table
220. Deliverance; Sealing of the Holy Spirit
221. Government of God; Journey to San Francisco and Voyage to New Zealand
222. Pearsall Smith; Testimony for These Days
223. Moody's Work; Visit to New Zealand; Truth of the Rapture Recovered
224. Drawing Out Others to Activity Instead of Christ; Our Redeemed Bodies; Darwin; Devotedness; Moody's Work; the Lord's Table and Denominations; Setting People to Work; Recovered Truth of Union
225. Christianity Lowered; the Coming of the Lord; Service of Evangelizing; Moody's Work; Visit to New Zealand; Translation Work; Setting People to Work
226. Unity of the Body of Christ; Ministries of the Gospel and the Church; Presence of the Holy Spirit; Life and Eternal Life; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; True Ministry; Basis of Union
227. Unity of the Body of Christ
228. Phases of the Work in the Acts; Sources of Joy; Paul; Knowledge Gained While Writing
229. Assembly Action and Conscience; Brothers' Meeting; Service of Evangelizing
230. Spring of Service
231. Bereavement; Good in the Midst of Evil
232. Bereavement; Death in a Family
233. Unity of the Body of Christ; the House and Body; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; House Truth Came Later Than Church; Separation From System
234. Moody's Work; Pearsall Smith; Patience; Evil Among Brethren; Setting People to Work
235. Evil Among Brethren
236. The Good of Being Alone With God; Isolation; Combining an Occupation With Service; Trusteeships
237. Patience
238. New Phase of Brethren; Pastoral Care; Self Knowledge
239. Bethesda and Principles; Conscience; J.G. Deck; the Mind of Man in the Things of God; Visit to New Zealand; Bad News
240. Moody's Work; Setting People to Work
241. Devotedness; Pastoral Care; Unworldliness; Weariness in Service
242. Large Heart in the Narrow Path; Moses and Joshua; Camp; Separation From System; When Darby Left the Camp; Death of a Wife; Open Brethren in the Camp
243. The Work in Canada
244. Bereavement; Death of a Husband
245. Assembly Action and Conscience
246. Assembly Action and Conscience
247. Dissolution on All Sides; the Wine Trade
248. The Tendency to Decline; Moody's Work; Pastoral Care; Revivals; Unworldliness
249. Love More Than Views; the Path of Faith; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Testimony for These Days; Separation From System; When Darby Left the Camp
250. Appreciation of the Word
251. Ruin of the Church; Infidelity; Appreciation of the Word; Danger of Over-Writing
252. Assembly Action and Conscience; the Service of Giving
253. Objections to a Missionary Register; John Newton's ABC Christians; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia
254. Infidelity; Southall's "Recent Origin of Man"
255. Assembly Action and Conscience; Dissolution on All Sides; Meddling With Gatherings From Outside; Opposition
256. Bethesda and Principles; the Evil of Compromise; Infidelity; Looseness and the World; Free Church of Scotland
257. Infidelity; Free Church of Scotland
258. Adventists; Infidelity
259. Holiness; Moody's Work
260. What Death Is to the Believer; Large Heart in the Narrow Path
261. The Act of Breaking Bread; Power of Full Grace; Nearness to the Lord
262. Criticism in Divine Things; Hebrews; Priesthood of Christ; Worship
263. Bethesda and Principles; Unity of the Body of Christ; Assembly Judgment Owned; Discipline Prima Facie
264. The Assembly in a City; Assembly Judgment Owned; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; New Phase of Brethren; Infidelity; Free Church of Scotland
265. Devotedness; Work and Its Fruits; Testimony
266. Infidelity; Testimony for These Days; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose
267. Appreciation of the Word
268. The Christian's Position as to Life and the Spirit; Holiness; Divine Life Always Essentially the Same; the Term "Resurrection Life;" Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians; State and Standing
269. Baptism of the Holy Spirit; Real Communication of Life; New Birth; State and Standing
270. Children Sitting With Parents; Reception of Children
271. Signification of "Table of Devils"
272. The Lord's Supper and Denominations
273. Dependence on the Lord; Patience
274. Christian Affections; Other Points on Baptism; Difficulties in the Path; the House and Kingdom; Patience
275. The Good of Being Alone With God; Isolation
276. Christ Being All; Infidelity
277. Discipline Not Merely for Restoration; Separation Because of Difference of Judgment; Sin in Case of Restoration Not Exposed; Dissent in Cases of Discipline; Sin Before Conversion
278. Brothers' Meeting
279. Assembly Action and Conscience; Brothers' Meeting; Woman's Place in the Work; Dissent in Cases of Discipline
280. The Coming of the Lord; the Last Trump
281. The Place of Experience; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; in Christ; Self Knowledge
282. The Starting Point of Christianity; Hebrews; Union With Christ
283. Defects in the Foreign Work of Englishmen; Infidelity
284. The Last Days
285. Bethesda and Principles; New Phase of Brethren; Ruin of the Church; How to Meet Evil; Moses and Joshua; Dread of Narrowness; Testimony for These Days; the World and the Christian; Open Brethren in the Camp; Exclusives; Open Brethren in the Camp
286. Dead With Christ; True Ministry
287. Drawing Out Others to Activity; "Ifs" in Scripture; Wilderness No Part of God's Purposes
288. Large Heart in the Narrow Path; Exercises and Ground of Peace; Remnant in the Last Days
289. Large Heart in the Narrow Path; the New Place; Remnant in the Last Days
290. Dead With Christ; Death to Sin; Infidelity; Monasticism
291. Principles of Brethren; Deliverance; to the Editor of the "Francais;" Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Authority of the Word
292. Israel Saved as a Nation
293. Assembly Action and Conscience; Majority Having No Place in Discipline; Pastor and Elder; Dissent in Cases of Discipline
294. Child Baptized by Sprinking
295. The Judgment Seat of Christ; Satan
296. Infidelity
297. Work in Germany
298. The Last Days
299. Christ Being All; Infidelity; Paul
300. Soul's Restoration; Self Confidence; Tendency of Work
301. Deliverance; Feelings and Work in the Soul; Parable of the Prodigal Son; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians
302. Bereavement; the Lord's Ways With Job
303. Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose
304. Deliverance
305. Bereavement
306. The Mind Only the Shell
307. Breaking Bread on Irregular Occasions
308. Death to Nature Not Scriptural; Death to Sin; Exaggeration of Truth; Natural Relationships
309. The Atonement; "Ifs" in Scripture; Use of the Term Wrath; Disliking a Word Because the Doctrine Is Disliked
310. The Atonement; Use of the Term Wrath; Use of the Word Trinity
311. The Atonement
312. Union With Christ
313. Good in the Midst of Evil
314. Ruin of the Church
315. The Subjects of Baptism; Image and Likeness; Work in Japan
316. The Spirit of Apostasy; Starting Point of Christianity; the Coming of the Lord; Infidelity
317. The Last Days
318. Service of Evangelizing; Love for Souls; Ezekiel's Temple; Ezra's Temple
319. Judgment of Edom; Russia
320. Diligence in Business; Christ Being All; Unworldliness; the Path of His Will
321. Rejoice in the Lord Always; Be Careful for Nothing
322. Christ Being All; Voice of the Faithful
323. The Subjects of Baptism; S. O'M. Cluff's Doctrine; the Mind of Man in the Things of God; J.B. Stoney
324. The New Creation; Hymns to the Father; John and Paul Compared; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians; Wilderness No Part of God's Purposes
325. The Ryde Trouble
326. Arminian Doctrine; Calvinism; the Doctrine of Free Will
327. Adam and Christ; New Birth; Connection Between New Birth and Faith; Responsibility and Purpose; Election; the Will of God
328. The Ryde Trouble
329. Unequal Yoke
330. S. O'M. Cluff's Doctrine; J.B. Stoney; Voice of the Faithful
331. Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; the New Creation; Righteousness of God; J.B. Stoney; Voice of the Faithful
332. Patience; Faithfulness
333. Roman Catholicism; Infidelity; Second Man and Last
334. The New Creation; Human Laws Not the Measure of Christian Judgment; Marriage With a Deceased Wife's Sister; Romanism
335. Human Law Not the Measure of Christian Judgment; Marriage With a Deceased Wife's Sister
336. Human Law Not the Measure of Christian Judgment; Marriage With a Deceased Wife's Sister
337. Human Law Not the Measure of Christian Judgment
338. Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Fruit of Sifting; Testimony for These Days
339. Affliction's Lessons
340. Good in the Midst of Evil; Faithfulness
341. The Coming of the Lord; Good in the Midst of Evil; Presence of the Holy Spirit; Manna; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; the Wilderness; Truth of the Rapture Recovered
342. Keeping in Charity
343. Arminian Doctrine; the Doctrine of Free Will; Moral Responsibility
344. The Heathen
345. Salvation and Preservation
346. S. O'M. Cluff's Doctrine; Deliverance; Righteousness of God; Appreciation of the Word

Colossians; Ephesians; Ephesians and Romans Compared; Legality

Legality does stick to us dreadfully, because it takes the form of conscientiousness, which is an excellent thing. But a full sense of infinite grace changes all. In Romans, Christians are always looked at as living men as you and I are on the earth, who have walked as men in their sins on the earth, living in them; but who having received Christ have received life, and are justified from all their sins, but have been introduced by baptism unto His death, and, in that He died unto sin once, and lives to God in that He liveth, reckon themselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ, not in Adam; hence are free in spirit to yield themselves to God as those that are alive from the dead—the nearest approach to being arisen, but it is as such, the whole state being reckoned such by a living man. Hence, taking the old man as crucified with Christ, the Christian is to walk in newness of life. So we shall live with Him. The whole is a moral change in a man viewed as alive here de facto, but having Christ his life, instead of the old man and living in sins. If we be dead with Christ, we shall live (6:8) is a moral conclusion. All this is the case, because man is looked at as the responsible man in this world, and finding sin in the flesh as the power of evil, is taught how to have done with its power, namely, by reckoning himself dead and alive in Christ—not in flesh. Chapter 8: 3, 4 gives the great basis, adding the Holy Ghost and its effects in what follows.
The Ephesians views man in his state towards God, and no possibility of movement being awakened. Christ Himself is looked at only as raised from the dead—when dead—by God's power. So we are quickened together with Christ—brought out of this state of death. Here Jew and Gentile have necessarily disappeared, children of wrath one as another, but are raised together and made to sit together; associated in a wholly new standing, not individually victorious in the old. In Romans the man reckons himself dead to sin; in Ephesians he was dead in sins, but is quickened with Christ who had died, and raised up and sitting—no Jew nor Gentile—in Christ. This takes me wholly out of the place I was in (not giving me a new life in it) as it took Christ out of the grave and set Him at the right hand of God, far above all principality and power, taking me out of death in sins and putting me into Him. It is not a living responsible man on earth counting himself dead that he may have power over sin—not let it reign—the old man being crucified; but a new creation, in which the dead in sins are taken out of their state and place by God's power and placed in Christ. There is no responsibility in Ephesians till after this. In Romans there is all through: in Romans nothing of counsels, save at the end of chapter 8—that is, of the Epistle doctrinally. God creates us in Christ according to His counsels before the world: He has met our responsibility both as to guilt and power. Both are all-important. One living in sins is dead toward God. I may take him up in grace, meeting his responsibility as a creature of God, or I may see him created in Christ, God's workmanship in his new estate, but then it is a wholly new thing, risen out of the state in which he was; and this involves the disappearance of the difference of Jew and Gentile. We get no—to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, in Ephesians. And yet it must be a new life in Christ by which I have the power looked for in Rom. 1 do not think of flesh in Ephesians. It is not an actual state, but one of faith. Now, reckoning myself dead is thinking of the old man, that it may not reign by reckoning it dead. In Ephesians the truth in Christ is the having put it off and put on the new. Hence Ephesians is strikingly contrast all through. He gives himself up as a living sacrifice to God in Romans. [In Ephesians] he walks in love, and gives himself as Christ gave Himself, being free and coming out from God, an imitator of God. And all this difference is extremely instructive and beautiful. In Colossians you have both, only no sitting in heavenly places, but our hope there, and the actual life far more fully displayed and developed...
I trust I may have made myself clear, if not, write again; and, dear brother, the Lord give us both understanding in all things, for that is the real point.
Affectionately yours.
[Date uncertain.]

Obedience Before Power

* * * You ask, Are the two last verses of 1 Cor. 5 practically applicable now to those gathered together separate from evil according to 2 Tim. 2:19-22? And, Is it correct to refuse obedience until power come in? To the first I reply that the word of the Lord abides forever. Its authority never ceases, and obedience is always due to it. Power has nothing to do with this. Grace is needed to induce the heart to obey, but obedience is always due. The direction as to tongues has not lost its authority. Were there tongues it would apply. There are not, and there is nothing to apply it to. But its authority remains. This clears up at once the question as to 1 Cor. 5 "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person" has its own simple authority that nothing can take away. It applies to an assembly, including all saints professing to own the Lord everywhere (see address of the Epistle); and wherever a wicked person is found in an assembly, the case it applies to is there, and it is a simple matter of obedience. There are acts of power, as "I have judged to deliver to Satan." He does not say, Do you do it. He does it in all the solemnity of the assembled saints, but there is no command, but a personal act of power, as Paul says elsewhere, "Whom I have delivered unto Satan."
The declaration or exercise of a personal act of power has nothing to do with the abiding authority of a command. The power may not subsist; the command does. That it requires the help and grace of the Lord to act upon it, is no more than is true of every command in scripture. To apply the ruin of the visible assembly to sanction disobedience is a principle wholly unallowable. I cannot appoint elders. It is not a question of obedience but authority, and I have not the authority. The assembly had it not when Paul was there, nor can they assume it now. They had not power as an assembly to deliver to Satan then, they have not now; but they were bound to obey the command then, they are so now. Wherever two or three are really gathered together in Christ's name Christ is, and there is the within and the without. It is a clearing of the conscience of the assembly: "Ye have proved yourselves clear in this matter." Otherwise, the assembly would be the positive sanction, and by Christ's presence, of the association of Christ and sin; and it would be far better there should be no assembly at all than that. 2 Tim. 2 gives us the general principle of every one who calls himself a Christian, separating from iniquity, purging himself from false teachers, and walking with those who call upon the name of the Lord out of a pure heart. It is individual duty when evil has come in.
As to the second question, it is practically answered already. In bestowing power God is sovereign. When the word has spoken I am bound to obey. To refuse obedience to it is to disobey, to assume on my own will authority not to act till God chooses to do that which rests on His will.
Affectionately yours, dear brother.
Georgetown, British Guiana,
December 8th, 1868.

Dealing With False Doctrine; the Evangelical Body's Loss of Paul's Doctrine; Government of God; Hebrews; John and Paul Compared; Paulicians; the New Place; Union With Christ; the Wilderness

We cannot have too clear a view or Paul's teaching union with an ascended Christ, putting us in a wholly new position. The more I go on, the more I see that the loss of this by the Church is the secret of their state; and it is mainly that which brethren have recovered, which God has brought out in these last days. But it is just that that makes it so important that the truth should not be discredited, by denying or in any way discrediting any other part of scripture. It is curious that this was just the ruin of the Paulicians. They had nothing else but Paul's epistles and the gospels, and their adversary took up this very point against them, a certain Peter, if I remember. But it is a mistake to think Paul only speaks of this new place; John does too. But that is not all: the other parts of scripture are the word of God, and if any have not attained to Paul's doctrine, we are to walk by the same rule. Besides, the other aspects of the truth are as important in their place as that. Where that truth is held alone, there is a hardness, a want of daily dependence which leaves the best christian affections dormant. Besides, the whole system is false. Those other parts of the New Testament were certainly available for Christians then, and if so, for Christians now. "Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling," is clearly christian ground; and wilderness life is a part of christian life, as Canaan and conflict are.
Further, the person who makes light of John's writings, makes light of the manifestation of God and of the Father, and makes his own acceptance before God the only thing of importance now. This is a very bad state of soul, and such are clearly on low ground. We have to maintain redemption against the Puseyite heresy of making incarnation the saving work. But if we hold redemption tenaciously fast, the Bread come down from heaven to give life must not be lost. And as to Peter, if I lose his writings I lose the government of God and the connection of this in christian times with Old Testament times. Now the glory of God is concerned in these things, and it is a poor boast of knowledge to leave that aside and think only of what exalts us. So of Jude, where it directly concerns the professing church. In no place is Christ's personal glory, as Christ, brought out more fully than in Hebrews. Is that nothing for the Christian, because the unity of the body is not brought out? Even Paul's epistles give different aspects of truth. The Epistle to the Romans does not hint at our resurrection with Christ, nor allude to Christ's ascension, save once in chapter 8, to lay the ground for intercession, which is really dropped out of their scheme. Ephesians never goes on Romans ground at all: Colossians takes up in substance both. Their vaunted clearness is not sound knowledge, but rejection of many important parts of truth, and uniformly produces self-sufficiency and hardness, not personal dependence on grace and on Christ.
Many have had difficulty in going with poor -, whose teaching could not go down in London, and they did not break bread with him: he is personally a lovable man, but I confess I should have myself, though I know not to what extent he has given ground for any active dealing with it. I know his views (as they were some few years ago) well, and reject them as alike false and mischievous. It may be the case of warning brethren not to go there, when the occasion calls for it, and presenting a clear determined front of utter condemnation and rejection when any come across it as you have, and as I heard of it in the north, and dealing with it as intolerable, and watching any sign of its spreading. People may be easily misled by it, because there are important truths, often dropped, which their system brings forward. And some may err without being heretical. But I should resist at any rate, and take up immediately any teaching of the error. It is gross and mischievous ignorance, not light, to say nothing of disposing cavalierly of the word of God. To whom was the Epistle to the Hebrews addressed—unbelieving, blaspheming Jews, or believing ones who had taken joyfully the spoiling of their goods? It is really wonderful how people can be so bamboozled; only, will is at work, and that must be kept in mind, and taken notice of.
No great news from this. The brethren have been encouraged, and needed it, and souls have been added, and I trust several others blessed. They have taken the visit cordially. At Barbadoes there is more inquiry than here. Still the testimony has reached souls.... The brethren are going on well, though they have had cases of discipline and needed rousing and setting on solid ground—the most about 350 in the colony. Here, Georgetown, the work is comparatively recent. W. is arrived, and I (D.V.) leave for Barbadoes by next mail. All well through mercy. The heat is not so very bad, only always grapes ripening fast, etc.
Affectionately yours.
February, 1869.

The Support of Laborers; Christian's Obligation to Servants; Combining an Occupation With Service; Work in the West Indies

I am anxious about a rumor I heard of your becoming a doctor, and I am sure you will forgive my anxiety for the Lord's sake and yours.... I look to the principle. Christ has ordained that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel, and it is the clear duty of the church of God to aid those who are given up to the work. If a man can give himself wholly up to the work, and as an extra support himself by a trade he has already-all well. I have known a brother, an evangelist much blessed, who so lived, when at a certain period of the year the people (from work) could not get on weekdays to meetings-and he being a good watchmaker, mended all the watches in the country-the rest of the year was helped by brethren. This is all well.... But when I set about to learn a profession or trade, it is not merely the time, but Christ, and Christ's work, is put in a second place, and faith is set aside as to that, and the church encouraged in want of devotedness. All this seems to me evil. If you were not working for the Lord, your setting to do something would be perfectly right; but you are at the work, and it is saying, I fear—not in your heart perhaps, but as testimony—"I have put my hand to the plow," etc. I have never known but one case where a brother actually wanted: it was not known to brethren: a devoted pioneer, who pushed into unbroken ground in France. He fed on nettle tops, which they use much as spinach, not to give up an open door. The same man has been three times in prison. That was a bright testimony. I doubt you are quite there yet, and have been pinched, but so was Paul, and the Lord has very soon come in to help them. It may seem easy for me who want for nothing to press this on others, but I honestly began by giving up everything, though in point of fact my faith was never tried in that way, as an uncle left me something before I was run out, or very soon after.
But I dread settling the principle, when a man is a laborer, that the church is not to take care that those who labor shall be honored by being temporally cared for: no salary. A man is a servant, but free under Christ in his ministry, and the privilege of the church, as those at Philippi, to be partakers in the grace by helping him who labors in it. It blocks up the path of simple, humble faith. A poor man has no difficulty: and it seems as if an educated person could take this blessed and honored place of service to Christ: working when we can, and are not occupied in the work—all well, as I said. But taking up a profession is really saying I have laid down that of working for the Lord, trusting to Him who knows that we have need of these things.
I have not seen the Lord leave those who have given themselves up to work, trusting Him: and I have seen distress of spirit and greatly hindered usefulness [in those] who, through their wives or own hearts, have turned to other things to help wife or family here. The most beloved and able witness was saved from great injury to his own spirit and usefulness, by its making him thoroughly miserable, and it did hinder him. There it was a wife's doing; but no matter what, the difficulties are what faith has to overcome. I am a very poor one for faith, but I am sure the Lord is sufficient, and that He will never fail us. He may try our faith, but He will meet it and rejoice our hearts.
Here, a small place, there has been really considerable blessing. No doubt many curious ones will drop off, but a goodly number of souls have come under the power of the Spirit and truth of God. We leave (D.V.) this week for Jamaica.... The gracious Lord guide and teach you.
Affectionately yours in Him.
March 9th, 1869.

Service of Evangelizing; Need of More Laborers; Work in the West Indies

Most glad I was to get your letter, and doubly so from its contents. The Lord has been indeed blessing you, nor have we been without some droppings of the shower. Barbadoes was very interesting; numbers came, earnest, attentive, and many declared they had never heard the real gospel before; and considerable numbers found peace. Some were added every Lord's day we were there, and a good many have now to decide between taking up their cross and following Christ, or accommodating themselves to the world, and religious error and false doctrine, which they know to be wrong. The Lord give them grace to be faithful.
However, we had to come on to Jamaica, where there is scarce one to labor, and not much spiritual life, but some nice brethren, as far as we have seen, glad to profit by what we are enabled to afford them. How far the door may open is in the Lord's hands; at Barbadoes there was no mistake as to this. It helped, too, dear -, who had been laboring under reproach, a lowly man, distrustful of himself, but whom the Lord has blessed there much; treated as a bringer of strange doctrine and folly, but many say now, "they charged him with wrong doctrine, but now we see it was we who were wrong," and the rumor of it spread through the place. The brethren are in much union and harmony. Here, there are a good many scattered small gatherings in rather inaccessible places—no roads or means of communication. I suppose I shall have, as people do, to buy a carriage and horses, and sell them again on leaving, riding when a road ceases, lodging where one can.
We want laborers. Oh! that the Lord would raise up singleeyed, devoted workmen, coming direct from Christ to those around, enduring hardness too betimes, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. He has raised up some, His name be praised, but we need many more. We have to pray the Lord of the harvest, and may He grant them. I suppose I shall have to go back to Europe from this; France and Germany claim a visit. I thought I had done with them: and I have some London work. But I am so used to the Atlantic and so well on it, if God preserves my strength, I may yet see the States, and so, the Lord willing, Canada. What effect has the new work in western Canada? But it is the Lord's work, and He only wakens and arouses.
W. has suffered a little, otherwise we are all well. No doubt it tends to destroy exertion, but people are needlessly frightened about the West Indies. This land is magnificent, full of misery, and like all the West Indies, degraded in morals, but temporally has seen its worst.
The full mind of God has opened itself to me more largely than ever in these latter times, but I am not satisfied with myself as to my love to souls. I bow to filling up the little niche I may have been allotted, but still envy (not with an ill feeling) more active evangelists, and sometimes ask myself whether cowardice and want of zeal does not hinder one. Fully occupied and laboring, the question is whether a simpler love to souls would not put me in another place. I am content with—thankful for—any the Lord will allow me to have, unworthy as I am of any. I ask if the exposition of scripture is the task allotted me. I see the Church's need as to it, and am content with anything, but I have ever loved evangelization. I have gone out on that work. The Church is at my heart perhaps more than souls: yet I trust I love them. But Christ's glory must connect itself with evangelizing for me. Some much prized, though I heartily rejoice in it, falls cold on my heart for this reason. But all is in His hands, only I would not avoid any responsibility. Well, enough of myself!
We are in a delicious spot by the harbor, a mile from town, quiet itself, with woods and noble mountains before us, behind one of which there is a gathering. At present we are occupied with Kingston. Next week (D.V.) we, or I with a brother, go a hundred miles west, partly by roads, partly without.
Give my kindest love to the brethren: may they be kept very near the Lord, and truly waiting for His Son from heaven. My heart is with them in their blessing. May they know how, through grace, to keep it. Kind remembrances to Mrs.-and your boys too: the Lord graciously keep them from the world, and by His own gracious power.
Affectionately yours.
Kingston, Jamaica.

Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Reception to the Lord's Table; Patriotism

I write for both, because I hardly know who is in -, indeed for all, as to my heart's desire; and you will not be astonished at my being interested in the assembly there. I have heard from Mr. -, and also through another, only one side of course of the circumstances, and consequently I say little of them; N., indeed, alluded to the question raised, but not to circumstances. I shall refer chiefly to principles, for you will feel that we are all, as of one body, interested in the position taken, and still more in the glory of Christ and our brethren's welfare.
The question is, as to reception of saints to partake of the table of the Lord with us, whether any can be admitted who are not formally and regularly amongst us. It is not whether we exclude persons unsound in faith or ungodly in practice; nor whether we, deliberately walking with those who are unsound and ungodly, are not in the same guilt-not clear in the matter. The first is unquestioned; the last, brethren have insisted on, and I among them, at very painful cost to ourselves. This is, to me, all clear and plain from scripture. There may be subtle pleas to get evil allowed, but we have always been firm, and God, I believe, has fully owned it. The question is not there; but suppose a person known to be godly and sound in faith, who has not left some ecclesiastical system-nay, thinks scripture favors an ordained ministry, but is glad when the occasion occurs-suppose we alone are in the place, or he is not in connection with any other body in the place, staying with a brother, or the like-is he to be excluded because he is of some system as to which his conscience is not enlightened- nay, which he may think more right? He is a godly member of the body, known such. Is he to be shut out? If so the degree of light is title to communion, and the unity of the body is denied by the assembly which refuses him. The principle of meeting as members of Christ walking in godliness is given up, agreement with us is made the rule, and the assembly becomes a sect with its members like any other. They meet on their principles, Baptist or other-you on yours, and if they do not belong to you formally as such, you do not let them in. The principle of brethren's meetings is gone, and another sect is made, say with more light, and that is all. It may give more trouble, require more care to treat every case on its merits on the principle of the unity of all Christ's members, than say "you do not belong to us, you cannot come"; but the whole principle of meeting is gone. The path is not of God.
I have heard, and I partly believe it, for I have heard some rash and violent people say it elsewhere, that the various sectarian celebrations of the supper are tables of devils. But this proves only the unbrokenness and ignorance of him who says it. The heathen altars are called tables of devils because, and expressly because, what they offered they offered (according to Deut. 32:17) to devils, and not to God. But to call christian assemblies by profession, ignorant it may be of ecclesiastical truth, and hence meeting wrongly, tables of devils is monstrous nonsense, and chews the bad state of him who so talks. No sober man, no honest man, can deny that scripture means something totally different.
I have heard-I do not know whether it be true-that it has been said that the brethren in England act on this ground. If this has been said, it is simply and totally false. There have been new gatherings formed during my absence in America which I have never visited; but the older ones, long walking as brethren, I have known from the beginning have always received known Christians, and everywhere, I have no doubt, the newer ones too, and so in every country. I have known individuals take up the thought, one at any rate at Toronto, but the assembly always received true Christians: three broke bread in this way the last Lord's day I was in London. There cannot be too much care as to holiness and truth: the Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of truth. But ignorance of ecclesiastical truth is not a ground of excommunication, where the conscience and the walk is undefiled. If a person came and made it a condition to be allowed to go to both, he would not come in simplicity in the unity of the body; I know it to be evil, and cannot allow it, and he has no right to impose any conditions on the church of God. It must exercise discipline as cases arise according to the Word. Nor, indeed, do I think a person regularly going from one to another systematically can be honest in going to either; he is setting up to be superior to both, and condescending to each. That is not, in that act, "a pure heart."
May the Lord guide you. Remember, you are acting as representing the whole church of God, and if you depart from a right path as to the principle of meeting, separating yourselves from it is to be a local sect on your own principles. In all that concerns faithfulness, God is my witness, I seek no looseness; but Satan is busy to lead us one side or the other, to destroy the largeness of the unity of the body, or to make it mere looseness in practice and doctrine; we must not fall into one in avoiding the other. Reception of all true saints is what gives its force to the exclusion of those walking loosely. If I exclude all who walk godlily as well, who do not follow with us, it loses its force, for those who are godly are shut out too.
There is no membership of brethren. Membership of an assembly is unknown to scripture. It is members of Christ's body. If people must be all of you, it is practically membership of your body. The Lord keep us from it; that is simply dissenting ground.
Ever, beloved brother,
Affectionately yours.
I should, if I came to -, require clear evidence what ground you are meeting upon.
April 19th, 1869.

Ignorance Being No Bar to Fellowship; Danger of Sectarianism; Signification of "Table of Devils"

I write for both, because I hardly know who is in -, indeed for all, as to my heart's desire; and you will not be astonished at my being interested in the assembly there. I have heard from Mr. -, and also through another, only one side of course of the circumstances, and consequently I say little of them; N., indeed, alluded to the question raised, but not to circumstances. I shall refer chiefly to principles, for you will feel that we are all, as of one body, interested in the position taken, and still more in the glory of Christ and our brethren's welfare.
The question is, as to reception of saints to partake of the table of the Lord with us, whether any can be admitted who are not formally and regularly amongst us. It is not whether we exclude persons unsound in faith or ungodly in practice; nor whether we, deliberately walking with those who are unsound and ungodly, are not in the same guilt-not clear in the matter. The first is unquestioned; the last, brethren have insisted on, and I among them, at very painful cost to ourselves. This is, to me, all clear and plain from scripture. There may be subtle pleas to get evil allowed, but we have always been firm, and God, I believe, has fully owned it. The question is not there; but suppose a person known to be godly and sound in faith, who has not left some ecclesiastical system-nay, thinks scripture favors an ordained ministry, but is glad when the occasion occurs-suppose we alone are in the place, or he is not in connection with any other body in the place, staying with a brother, or the like-is he to be excluded because he is of some system as to which his conscience is not enlightened- nay, which he may think more right? He is a godly member of the body, known such. Is he to be shut out? If so the degree of light is title to communion, and the unity of the body is denied by the assembly which refuses him. The principle of meeting as members of Christ walking in godliness is given up, agreement with us is made the rule, and the assembly becomes a sect with its members like any other. They meet on their principles, Baptist or other-you on yours, and if they do not belong to you formally as such, you do not let them in. The principle of brethren's meetings is gone, and another sect is made, say with more light, and that is all. It may give more trouble, require more care to treat every case on its merits on the principle of the unity of all Christ's members, than say "you do not belong to us, you cannot come"; but the whole principle of meeting is gone. The path is not of God.
I have heard, and I partly believe it, for I have heard some rash and violent people say it elsewhere, that the various sectarian celebrations of the supper are tables of devils. But this proves only the unbrokenness and ignorance of him who says it. The heathen altars are called tables of devils because, and expressly because, what they offered they offered (according to Deut. 32:17) to devils, and not to God. But to call christian assemblies by profession, ignorant it may be of ecclesiastical truth, and hence meeting wrongly, tables of devils is monstrous nonsense, and chews the bad state of him who so talks. No sober man, no honest man, can deny that scripture means something totally different.
I have heard-I do not know whether it be true-that it has been said that the brethren in England act on this ground. If this has been said, it is simply and totally false. There have been new gatherings formed during my absence in America which I have never visited; but the older ones, long walking as brethren, I have known from the beginning have always received known Christians, and everywhere, I have no doubt, the newer ones too, and so in every country. I have known individuals take up the thought, one at any rate at Toronto, but the assembly always received true Christians: three broke bread in this way the last Lord's day I was in London. There cannot be too much care as to holiness and truth: the Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of truth. But ignorance of ecclesiastical truth is not a ground of excommunication, where the conscience and the walk is undefiled. If a person came and made it a condition to be allowed to go to both, he would not come in simplicity in the unity of the body; I know it to be evil, and cannot allow it, and he has no right to impose any conditions on the church of God. It must exercise discipline as cases arise according to the Word. Nor, indeed, do I think a person regularly going from one to another systematically can be honest in going to either; he is setting up to be superior to both, and condescending to each. That is not, in that act, "a pure heart."
May the Lord guide you. Remember, you are acting as representing the whole church of God, and if you depart from a right path as to the principle of meeting, separating yourselves from it is to be a local sect on your own principles. In all that concerns faithfulness, God is my witness, I seek no looseness; but Satan is busy to lead us one side or the other, to destroy the largeness of the unity of the body, or to make it mere looseness in practice and doctrine; we must not fall into one in avoiding the other. Reception of all true saints is what gives its force to the exclusion of those walking loosely. If I exclude all who walk godlily as well, who do not follow with us, it loses its force, for those who are godly are shut out too.
There is no membership of brethren. Membership of an assembly is unknown to scripture. It is members of Christ's body. If people must be all of you, it is practically membership of your body. The Lord keep us from it; that is simply dissenting ground.
Ever, beloved brother,
Affectionately yours.
I should, if I came to -, require clear evidence what ground you are meeting upon.
April 19th, 1869.

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

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.

Letters to a Young Convert; Sports

I take up my pen to write a line to you in reply to your letter. As to your Brahmapootras, I feel it must have been a great chagrin to you, but as you had to reproach yourself-though this does not always soften our misfortunes-it has left you nothing to say. I feel with you in it. But even in these little things we have to see the Lord's hand, for nothing is little to Him which affects the souls of His children. How did you feel when you found it out in the morning-vexed, irritated, angry with those who did it or wishing vengeance against them? All this, you see, shows the state of your mind, and this is the real importance of the matter. I feared these Brahmapootras for you, not that there was anything wrong in keeping or taking care of them, but from the effect on your own spirit. The poor fowls were very innocent, and so is taking care of them. But I feared your heart had got engaged in them in a way that was doing you mischief, and now the Lord has taken them away. How good He is, to think even of the effect of fowl-keeping on your soul that lives forever!
With regard to Lacrosse, healthy exercise for boys of your age is quite to be desired, but here too, I feared, and you have learned a lesson by this too. How many we have to learn in a way humbling to ourselves! And I am so thankful to see the Lord teaching you, and even in your letter I think I see the effect of it, and bless the Lord. I was very glad to get it. I could not have advised you to stay away, but I am not sorry you did; it is always well conscience should work, and the doubt you were brought into as to salvation will quicken your conscience and make you more watchful, and not only so, but make you feel your dependence on grace every moment, and help you to discern why such or such a thing is to be avoided; for you are now growing a great boy, and have to be exercised for yourself before God; and walking with a conscience exercised before Him, you will find yourself happy and strengthened too. I am glad you are in correspondence with. At your age you need companions, and our hearts get knit with some, and it is a great point it should be with those who help and do not binder us.
At Barbadoes we had a good deal of blessing. Here, though the brethren are walking well enough as to walk, things are pretty dead around, they need more spirituality themselves. I have been a hundred miles through the island, which is a magnificent one, and beginning after much misery to revive a little. After all, the colored people and houses are not nearly as wretched as in Demerara, which is very prosperous.
In many parts here inns are not to be had, but I got on very well, only it is very expensive. Commonly, if people go a tour, they buy a carriage and horses, and sell them when it is over; conveyances there are none, I only found one. Kindest love to all. I remember all the kindness I received, dear -, with the same affection to you all as ever.... The Lord be with you and keep you.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
May 26th.
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The Starting Point of Christianity; Sacramental System; the Lord's Supper; Transubstantiation

* * * I believe that the bread remains simply and absolute bread, and the wine, wine-that, physically, there is no change whatever in the elements. To seek for material and physical things in such a precious institution of the Lord is, to my mind, a poor and miserable manner of regarding it. I have a charming portrait of my mother, which reminds me of her just as she was. If I am told of the canvas or the coloring. I should feel that those who spoke thus knew nothing about it. That would not be my mother. That which is precious in it to me is my mother herself; and they turn my attention from her to the means employed to recall her to me; and the reason is, that they have no idea of what my mother is to me. The portrait has no value except as far as it is a good representation of her who is not there. I say, It is my mother. I could not throw it aside as a mere piece of canvas; I discern my mother in it. I cherish this portrait; I carry it with me; but if I stop at the perfection of the painting as a work of art, the link with my heart is lost.
There is more than this in the Supper of our Lord, because the Lord is really present with us in it spiritually according to the intention of the institution; and this is very precious. But it has pleased Him to give us a physical means by which we may be reminded of Him, so that I am authorized to speak of a portrait by way of comparison. I have still further authority to repel the idea of any physical change in the bread and wine, in that the Lord has said, in John 6, which you have quoted, "The Spirit quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." The verses of this chapter, however, which speak of eating His flesh and drinking His blood, do not speak at all of the Lord's supper, but of Christ: I am, I do not say persuaded, but sure of this. The supper speaks of that of which the chapter speaks; but the chapter does not speak of the supper-the symbol-but of the thing symbolized. This is perfectly evident; one has only to read the chapter to see it. If the application that has been made of it to the supper be correct, then not one of those who have partaken of it would be lost, and he who had not partaken of it would be lost, whatever he might be; and those who participate of it would not only be blessed, but they would be eternally saved. (See vers. 53, 54.) Further, the Savior says that it is of Himself, come down from heaven, that He speaks (not of the supper)-of the same Person who will ascend up where He was before in heaven. (Vers. 35-41, 48, 51, 58-62.)
The Supper presents Christ in only one of these conditions, but in that which is, so to speak, central: it presents to us a dead Christ; but this foundation of all, this precious truth, which could be a motive even for the Father Himself to love Christ-this fact that it is a dead Christ which is presented to us, is the proof that we could not have a living Christ presented to us in the elements. This would be to deny the state of death, and to destroy the object and intention of the institution. This institution presents to us the death of Christ -a dead Christ-His body broken and His blood shed; but there exists no dead Christ. He desires that we should remember Him: "Do this in remembrance of me;" but I do not speak of the remembrance of Christ living in heaven. I live by Him; He is my life; I enjoy communion with Him; I dwell in Him; He dwells in me: there is no separation. If, through my folly, communion is interrupted, it is no question of remembering Him, but of being with Him anew-with a Savior who manifests Himself to us as He does not to the world.
And see where these poor Roman Catholics (and I love them much) have been brought by their material explanation of this precious institution. They wish it should be taken according to the letter (" the letter killeth"); so they take away, in the literal sense, the blood; they do not drink the cup: and this is very important, because the fact that the blood is out of the body is the sign of death-of the efficacious work of Christ; we are reconciled, justified by the blood. In order to compensate for this loss, they teach that the body, soul, blood, and divinity of Jesus Christ are in [each of] the two kinds. Now, if the blood is in the body, there is no redemption; without their knowing it, their sacrament is a sacrament of the non-accomplishment of redemption. This is the effect of materializing this institution. There is no greater proof of the manner in which Satan makes sport of men, when they leave the Spirit for the flesh, than this fact, which is the center of the Roman Catholic system. I affirm positively that their Eucharist is a sacrament, not of redemption, but of non-redemption. If you tell me that many among them think of the Savior, of the efficacy of His death, I rejoice to believe it; but for this they must quit the materialism of their system for the thoughts of faith. They think, then, of the blood shed, and they drink it; they think of a Savior dead, and a body broken, and they really eat His flesh. Satan has not in this case-blessed be God!-been able to hide from their faith that which is denied in the form to which they attach so much value.
It is the same thing in John 6 as in chapter 3, where we are said to be born of water. If that is applied to baptizm, then we are born of God by the water. It is the same system everywhere-a system which the enemy has introduced into the church to destroy the necessity and the power of a real work in the heart, and to reduce Christianity to the level of Judaism; that is to say, to a religion of forms, adding to these forms a pretension, which is not found even in Judaism, to confer on man that which Christianity alone gives him. Baptism [they say] procures for us that of which John 3 speaks, whereas it is said (John 15) we are cleansed by the word; "the washing of water by the word" (Eph. 5:26), which reveals the Word living, dead and raised again for us.
Now, do we by this diminish the importance or the sweetness of this institution? Quite the contrary; we hinder the materializing of it, and we insist that the spiritual realization, or that which it represents, be in the heart, instead of that which is called an opus operatum, which is purely material. We are united to a Christ glorified; this is the point of departure: there is no longer a dead Christ; death has no more dominion over Him. I enjoy communion with a glorified Christ; I am one with Him; I shall be like Him. I rejoice; my heart is full of love at the thought of seeing Him, at the hope of the glory of waking up in His likeness. Shall I, therefore, forget His death and His sufferings? God forbid! It is precisely this which binds us to Christ by the most tender affections. There where He had to suffer and to do everything, He was alone; my heart at least will be with Him He does not ask me to be one with Him there; I could not have been. There He was willing to be alone-blessed be His name!-and He has accomplished all. But the heart which would give itself for me there is the same which thinks of me now, and which loves me. In remembering His death, His love, His sufferings, what shall I say?-divine though human! I am united in heart with Him there, where He is, on high; it is not another person, another love. Whether in the supper, where we remember Him in such a peculiar and touching way, or whether at other moments, when I think of His death, when I eat Him as dying for me, I am in communion with Him living, and I realize the love of Him who lives-that same love, that same heart of the Savior; I dwell in Him, and He in me. It is not said exactly, "Do this in remembrance" of my death, but "of me." Still we remember Him on the earth, in His incarnation, in His life of humiliation, and finally and specially as dead on the cross. I remember Him!—not Him in the heavens, but Him who lives in heaven as once humbled and dead for me: there is also a certain action of the heart-we eat. In John 5 the Son of God quickens whom He will: here (chap. 6) we eat the bread come down from heaven; we eat His body, and we drink His blood.
It is most important to understand that it is a dead Christ, who in this state exists no longer, because we cannot have any relationship with a Christ living on the earth. If even as Jews we had had this relationship, we should have been obliged to say with Paul, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." Death has put an end to all the relations of Christ with the world, according to the flesh, and He lives now as Head of a new race-the second Man. Thus then, in John 6:53, the Lord lays down, as a necessary condition of life, the eating of His flesh, and the drinking of His blood-receiving Him in His death. Hence we remember Him before His resurrection; we are united to Him, as living, after His resurrection; as He has said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Thus our union is with a Christ glorified; we do not know Him otherwise: but the most powerful spring of affection for the heart is a Christ, man in the world, and a dead Christ. I am nourished by this; I eat it, and I live by this but if we wish to bring back, so to speak, a Christ such as He has been in this world, as present, we overthrow entirely the intention of this institution, and even Christianity itself. Every time that we eat this bread and drink this cup, we show the Lord's death till He come; but if we will introduce a living Christ to animate this dead one, so to speak, we destroy Him. Why then is it said, "They discern not the Lord's body?" What body? His dead body. A perfect love, His accomplished work, an obedience which was arrested by no difficulty, present themselves to our eyes! Is there anything else there but a dead body?... If so, I know not where I am, nor what the supper means. Do not animate it with the life that Christ had before death: His obedience was not yet finished, nor His work accomplished, nor His love perfectly demonstrated. Do not animate it with the life of a Christ now risen: you take Him from me as dead; death is no more there -death which is the basis of salvation, the proof of obedience, the glorification of God. Take not from me this death, this body broken, this blood forever shed, which tells me that all is accomplished, and-through the love of my Savior-that sin is put away forever. If you can lead me to grasp yet more firmly what is precious in this dead Savior, in the death of Him who is the eternal Son of God; if you can make me eat Him with more faith, more spiritually, with more divine intelligence, more heart-ah! I shall be very grateful to you; but let it be my dead Savior that is left to me! When one is in communion with Him living, there is nothing so precious as His Death; yes, precious even to God. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again." For my spiritual intelligence it is the end of, or rather the proof and the consciousness that I have done with, the first Adam; that the first creation no longer exists-blessed be God!-for faith: for the heart it is the tender and perfect love of the Savior. I am no more either Jew or Gentile, or a man living on the earth; I am a Christian. The death of Christ, Head of all, has put an end to the first creation. He has introduced us into a new creation as firstfruits united to Him.
I discern then the body of the Lord, but the body of the Lord broken-His blood shed-His death. It is not an ordinary repast, a simple remembrance, if you will, but an institution that Christ has given to His own; not that they may find in the elements anything else than the bread and the fruit of the vine, but that their faith may, in the sweetest way, by the power of the Holy Spirit, nourish itself by Jesus, by that which He has been for them when He died upon the cross-a work of which the efficacy remains eternally, even to the Father's eye, but of which the love is all for us. If I treat this memorial with lightness, I am guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, for it is that body and blood which are presented to me in it.
I doubt if there is any one in the world who enjoys the Lord's supper more than I do (though I doubt not that there is with many more piety); but that which makes me enjoy it is that it presents to me the body and blood of my Savior dead, and consequently a perfect love and a perfect work. But He cannot be in His dead body, which I discern there by faith. He is in me, that I may enjoy Him; if He is introduced living, that which I ought to discern no longer exists. All this is in connection with the fact of the entirely new position of the living Christ-a doctrine which Paul presents to us with such divine energy, and which the enemy has always sought to hide, even under the form of piety, and for the preservation of which Paul so contended. What anguish he suffered from the efforts of the enemy to draw souls back to Judaism, as if they were still living in the world! "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
May God give us to discern yet more the body of Jesus -to eat His flesh and to realize His death more! Yes: this death is precious. It meets us in our need just as we are, and it delivers us from it by introducing us there, where He is, in the power of a new life which by His death knows not the old.
I have written you at much length. I could willingly enlarge on this subject, for instead of thinking lightly of the supper of the Lord, it is of all institutions the most precious to me; only to be so it must be a dead Savior that is presented to me in it. I am living with Him now in heaven.
There is another aspect—the unity of the body—which I have not touched on, though it be a precious side of the truth of this institution of the Lord: but it is outside your question. I hope you may, at least, apprehend the ground of my thought, though I write in great haste.
[Date unknown.]

Death to Sin; Good in the Midst of Evil; Natural Relationships; the Lord's Supper

All exclusive points are out of place at the Lord's table. It is clear Christ's death is before us; but εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμωησιν, or εἰς τὴν ἀνάμνησίν μου does not affect the question as to whether it is a remembrance of Himself or only of His death. One way or the other, ἐμήν is "of me;" and whether it be ἐμήν or μου, the only difference is that putting ἐμήν, before makes it somewhat more emphatic and contrasted. It was not to be done in remembrance of deliverance from Egypt., as the passover was, but in remembrance of Him, "in my memory." But the simple answer to this link breaking out of the sentence is, that there is nothing about it in it. The Greek does not mean breaking every link with the creation, and says nothing about it: that is a simple fact. Should any one press it as a consequence, if led by the Spirit of God, all well—and show that Christ's death involved it; if it be so is another matter, but it is not in that sentence. I am not quite sure that I understand it, and though I am quite disposed to see a right intention in those who taught it, for it was breaking with the world, I doubt a little that they do any more. My impression is that their intention is right, and that they aim at an important truth; but I cannot go quite so fast as some.
When He comes again and takes this earth, and governs it and blesses it, it is as Himself risen: that is true; but you can hardly call this world then the new creation. ' The link of life in Him with this world was broken': but then I should be a little shy of speaking of His being linked with it at any time, though coming into it as a true man, born of a woman, for the suffering of death, and partaking (παραπλησίως) of flesh and blood. But He says, " They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." And again, "Ye are of this world, I am not of this world." "Ye are from beneath, I am from above." Yet, I repeat, I believe the object to be right; that is, that we are crucified to the world, and the world to us: at least, I am quite ready to suppose so. But I affirm positively it is not in εἰς τήν ἐμήν ἀνάμνησιν; though it be in death He is symbolized before us, it is Him we remember, and I doubt that the form in which it is put could be made good from scripture; and scripture is wiser than we are. But, as an effect, it does imply our having died to this world; for we show forth the Lord's death till He come.
But I cannot admit with this absoluteness, that every Christian is, according to scripture, dead to the old creation, because his body is of the old creation. We are waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body. I see it held up as desirable that a man should live absolutely in the power of the Spirit and know nothing else. Still "he that marrieth does well." Of what creation is that? And he that forbids to marry does very ill. I see two things: God's part in the old creation as yet fully recognized; marriage as "at the beginning"; children; amiable nature (the Lord loved the young man, when He looked on him); but, a power brought in wholly above and out of it. If one lives according to this—all well; it is to be desired; but to condemn the former is to condemn God. Sin has come in and spoiled it; and there is thus hindrance, care, sorrow in the flesh, that is true; but God ordered it in the beginning, and God owns what He ordered, till He brings in something new. Dead to sin, to the world, to the law—this I find in scripture; but not to the old creation. And this is the place of every Christian, and he is to hold himself so. But dead to the old creation, God does not say; for it is God's creation, and every creature of God is good. Live above it; in its present state, all well, and better, if it be given to us: but death to the first creation, and breaking every link with it, is not true, whilst we are in the body. Scripture does not say so, and scripture, I say again, is much wiser than we are. There is a new creation, and, as in Christ, we are of it -I think we may say, the firstfruits of it—" of his creatures," at any rate. Καινὴ κτίσις: it is a very singular expression. (2 Cor. 5:17.) It is not " he is," as in English, but merely affirms its existence and character for one in Christ: but then when it goes on to say He died, it is not to the old creation; but "he who knew no sin was made sin"; and elsewhere, "In that he died, he died unto sin once."
It is wise and safe not to go beyond scripture. Fresh truths and mighty powers fill our sails, and it is well; but they may, if we trust them and the consequences we draw, carry our minds on to rocks hidden underneath the surface. The word of God checks, or keeps us rather, in the right and safe course. The first intentions may be right; but when not so kept, when one's mind is trusted, it may run into open ungodliness—the common result of the human mind being trusted with mighty truths, or rather trusting itself with them; and in these days this has to be watched....
It is a very humbling thing to think how always at the first what God has set up was spoiled. We have only the power of good in the midst of evil, till the Lord comes, 'when power is not, rest is. But Philadelphia marks our state; and as we find truth spreading, decision in walk and waiting for Christ (not the doctrine merely of His coming) will be the test. Devotedness, heavenly-mindedness—these are what we must look for. The foolish virgins were awake with the wise, but not ready. I have no doubt the doctrines we hold are penetrating widely. It is another thing to have the heart in heaven and to depart from evil on earth.

Other Points on Baptism; the Mind of Man in the Things of God; Philadelphian State to Be Sought; the Lord's Supper

* * * Baptism and the Lord's supper (1 Cor. 10) are for the wilderness. One introduces into the wilderness, but it is Christ's death, not mine only. I thereon reckon myself dead as a consequence, planted in baptism in the likeness of His. But we have not in Romans resurrection with Him; and, even where we have, as I think we must say in Col. 2, no ascension, no Canaan.
As the one brings into, the other sustains in, the wilderness. So we show forth Christ's death till He come. I am on the earth, but in the consciousness of being a member of the one body, which implies union with Christ; but it is on earth I celebrate it, not in heaven; that is, not as being there myself. I look at the humiliation as over with Him, but remember Him in it. Our service in it is simply owning the preciousness of His death, till He come. Our state is in resurrection; but we are occupied and celebrate His having been once down here and show forth His death. The question is, Where are we when we celebrate it? In the wilderness.

Service of Evangelizing; Excitement in Religious Work; Reception to the Lord's Table; the Wilderness; Extravagancies in Evangelization

As regards all the excitement, it will pass away. I said to brethren, Do not oppose, it will find its level, and we may try and deepen the work where superficial. Two of the most ardent in it are thoroughly cured. Evangelizing is blessed work, and God bears with many errors and extravagancies in it, though they are to be regretted. One evil is that people so brought in, if real, require excitement and preaching always. But all finds its level. The excitement will die away, but God's work will remain. We have only to pursue an even way, and evangelize better if we can. I distrust myself a little as to it, I so dislike excitement. Still my judgment clearly disapproves. I must not forget that the action of the Spirit and drunkenness are twice compared in scripture. Yet I am sure the scriptural way of preaching was far different from all this.
I have spoken of admission to communion. Everywhere some are too large, some too narrow. In waiting on the Lord we shall be guided. 2 Tim. 2 greatly helps us, and recollecting that we do not "receive" properly, but own God's receiving, and maintain godliness—adequate testimony to this is what I want, judging all evil.
The doors are largely opened in these kingdoms. I only arrived in London yesterday, have twenty letters to read and answer. I still hope I may see Canada and America yet again. I am greatly attached to the first, and ought to be so from the kindness I received. I am in my sixty-ninth year, but better if anything than heretofore, and if still well and strong, next year may see me out again. But who can speak, save under God's will, of next year: if in heaven, how far better. I have through grace been getting more and more light on scripture, but my heart is more in work, than always teaching in such things as reading meetings: I am more nothing, and alone with God in the former.
May He graciously lead us in all things. The Lord be very near you, beloved brother.
Ever affectionately yours.
June 5th, 1869.

Government of God

* * * The Lord will take care of Toronto as of everything else, and He does not mistake in discipline. It felt the contrecoup of what there was of excitement in the work that went on, and tested its particular state by that means. We can pray and look to the Head for it, and then are sure to find grace and help. You must look, dear brother, more directly to Christ. See Paul in the Galatians, whom he could not even salute nor say good of—first he says, "I stand in doubt of you," then, "I have confidence in you through the Lord." The Lord has a present government which is often very humbling for us: but He has a long look out, and it is grace and faith looks out after it. "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord." We must take courage: you have not even to say with Paul, "I have no man like-minded." The world had a great deal too much influence, as it was at -.
But to return: just look at Israel in the plains of Moab. What murmurings and complainings, stiff-necked and rebellious since the day Moses knew them. On high " how goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!... as the trees of lign aloes which Jehovah hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters." " He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither... perverseness in Israel." This does not excuse us; our judgment of ourselves is in the plain; but it encourages us in being with God for the people. We get the vision of the Almighty. I have been struck often, how individual souls grow in adverse circumstances, and that is the first point with God, though we ought as a whole to have the order and beauty of God upon us....
I do not wish you to rest on your oars; God forbid. But see after all what was there a few years back, to say nothing of the States. What I dread for all of us is the world, loss of earliest undividedness, not exactly in spirit, but in way and habit and testimony. I know no word more settling to the soul than "Be careful for nothing." How often have I found it so, when I have said, How possibly for Church sorrows?" For nothing." And it is not, if you can find His will, ask; but present your requests to God, and His peace shall keep your hearts.

The World and the Christian

Beloved brother,
-I was glad of the news you give me from Italy. I greatly hope to be able to go there, but God only knows whether it may be, and when. I was much afraid that I might have to go back to America: I counted upon God, however, and He has put His good hand where the enemy had sought to bring in, and, for a time, had brought in ruin. I intend to go to France, but I have Germany also in view, where they are rather complaining of my prolonged absence. Just now I am busy about the new edition of my New Testament: they are waiting for me for this, and it will detain me for the present. Correcting for the press others can undertake, but the verifying of all my fresh notes, and of the little corrections which I have been obliged to make, requires my own attention. Very possibly next year, if God keeps me strong, I shall go again to Canada and the United States. There has been some blessing in the West Indies, and they were encouraged by our visit....
There have been very humbling cases of discipline in Switzerland; but that is better than to have sin covered up; still it is sad, and ought to humble those who are not humble. Nevertheless, God is always good and faithful, and very patient with us—when we think of His holiness, He must he indeed, since we are such a poor expression of the life of Jesus.
There are two principles of christian life; Philippians and Ephesians; according to the point of view from which the Christian is looked at. He passes through the wilderness, looks towards the glory, and follows it; desires rather to win Christ. He is seated in heavenly places: he must manifest the character of God as he knows Him—" Be ye imitators of God, as dear children." What a position! This requires that we should do as Paul did, that we should always bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus. Christ is the perfect expression of it, God manifest in flesh. The first gives motives which deliver us from the world and the flesh; the second, communion with the springs of those ways of God in which we are to walk—communion with God Himself. Truly, when we see what we are, in comparison with our privileges, we are very small. But, while judging ourselves when needful, we must look at Jesus, not at self.
Your affectionate brother.
July 7th, 1869.

Defects in the Foreign Work of Englishmen; Doing Feats; Gospel of the Kingdom and the Everlasting Gospel; Judgment of Matthew 25; Legality; Life and Eternal Life; Two Parts of the Christian Life; Patience; the Person of the Lord; Point of View in Philippians and Ephesians; Grace and Legality in Service; the World to Come

Defects in the Foreign Work of Englishmen; Doing Feats; Gospel of the Kingdom and the Everlasting Gospel; Judgment of Matthew 25; Legality; Life and Eternal Life; Two Parts of the Christian Life; Patience; the Person of the Lord; Point of View in Philippians and Ephesians; Grace and Legality in Service; the World to Come
I know well what you mean by what you wrote me of grace and legality in your letter, having passed through it, and so much the more painfully, as it was a dreadful cross to me to address myself to a stranger, and still more in public, so to speak. There was often legality; that is, conscience not grace drove me. But I found if I was near Christ in my soul, I found many opportunities and open doors, that I did not find when I was not. And this made my conscience work when I had difficulties. On the other hand, when conscious that I was with Christ and Christ with me, and at home in the service of His love, I felt more free to use opportunities (the true sense of redeeming the time in Eph. 5), freer and happier, at liberty so to use them, and not forced by conscience to do it when it was only bringing out evil-I do not quite say casting pearls before swine, but at any rate, approaching it, which we are directed not to do. But I am too great a coward to be satisfied with myself in the matter, and have, alas, often had to act from conscience, yet felt happier afterward; at least, confessing Christ, if not seeking souls in love.
There may be cases where it would be amiss, and it would rather be "but rather rebuke them." But there is a taking opportunities-but the hearty soul for Christ finds them. I do not say Satan drives, but conscience may, and we may then often do it in an ill way, because there is neither the wisdom nor the love. But I say all this, conscious that I am too great a coward in addressing myself to strangers in public to say a great deal. But I have found by the Lord's gracious mercy I get the ear of most who were willing to hear when a little time with them. When people see that you will speak of Christ, and use common kindness and courtesy, those who will not draw off, and those at all inclined give occasion to do it. We are according to our gift to preach the gospel to every creature, but there is a guidance; and if whole hearted in that, I may leave Mysia and Bithynia and Asia, and go to Macedonia, without my conscience upbraiding me, whereas, if I am not, my conscience may upbraid me for Mysia and Bithynia, though I ought not really to have gone there. "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."
In these last days it seems as if God allowed much pressure on spirits to go to all, but regularly there is the thought of the claim of God, not merely the claim of souls, and then one is guided of Him who has the claim. When that is there, it is, "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel"; but we do it guided of Him who has the claim over us. At any rate, our gracious God will accept a service poorly rendered by conscience, but we ought to serve Him well.
In public service another check is away. There was, and is in many places, the world against, and no civil rights, religious liberty, to plead. This is often a great snare, though not so great as cowardice through want of faith. Englishmen often do mischief through this; they force the world to leave the gospel free, and the work is hindered. The Lord uses this for testimony, and even to send the testimony elsewhere. Christianity has no rights but God's in the world, and that is in a rejected Savior, who indeed has all power, but has left the cross behind Him in the earth. With the consciousness of this, and love for souls, we can go on with faith, but for Him. And where He has no place we have none. We must submit as He did. And He opens, and no man shuts, and shuts, and no man opens. Where little strength is, yet boldness with great mistakes, God has owned, and I am far enough from it to honor it greatly. They hinder themselves sometimes, but they do a great deal more of God's work. Some of it does not sometimes last so well. I do not doubt our hearts can be puffed up in doing feats. I have seen this. We are called to serve more than to do, and in serving to follow. I look for patience (it was the first mark of apostolic service) and guidance, but I see such a thing as great boldness in Christ Jesus. Of course, when the flesh comes in, Satan can use it, if grace preserve not. But the difficulty I have found is conscience driving when there was not peaceful love enough, enough of Christ to do it wisely. But there is a light boasting of preaching adventures in the world sometimes, which is painful.
As to Matt. 25, I cannot doubt a moment that it is the separation of the wicked and righteous-in a word, goats and sheep. "Them" (ver. 32) is merely those who compose them: indeed in Greek it does not agree with nations. We have the same form in other cases. As to the knowledge of Christ, it was very imperfect. Still He was looked for, but connected with judgment. The gospel preached was the everlasting gospel -Rev. 14-answering to the judgment on the serpent in paradise: (Psa. 96 and Matt. 24)-"this gospel of the kingdom." It was now too late to have the other gospel, so to call it. They had not to do with Antichrist, at least, only in a distant way. He was in Palestine, and subservient to the beast out of the bottomless pit, and these were judged by Christ coming from heaven, the rest by Christ sitting on His throne when come.
Everlasting life is always life in Christ forever, but we get it in heaven. Two words are translated "world to come" in N.T. In Luke 18:30 it is the age to come, Messiah's time, which may be in heaven. "The world to come, whereof we speak" (Heb. 2), is the habitable world to come, which is of course down here. Life in Christ (He is eternal life-1 John 1, John 1) may be on earth, as Matt. 25, or in heaven, as "the end everlasting life," and elsewhere. It is only twice spoken of in 0.T., Psa. 133 and Dan. 12, both referring to the millennium, namely, on earth....
I find the person of the Lord more and more everything in the word. It is unspeakably blessed to see Him, and God revealed in Him, in this world. How wondrous to have God revealed in a man amongst us. The whole Trinity was first fully revealed when He took His place in the first right step of His poor returning people in grace, and became the model of our standing here—Son, owned of the Father, anointed and sealed of the Holy Ghost: all heaven open, only no object above for Him as for Stephen, but Himself the great object of heaven down here. Then in that place, He takes another part—conflict with the enemy. What a testimony to the word too, that one verse is sufficient for the Lord, as authority as the obedient man, for Satan, to leave him not a word.
Peace be with you, dear brother, and mercy and grace. Kindest love to all the saints.
Ever yours affectionately in the Lord.

Canaanites in Type; the Holy Spirit and the Power of Enjoyment; Jordan in Type; Philistines Figuratively; the First Revelation of the Trinity

* * * In 2 Cor. 4:1 διακονία is the apostle's ministry, but the ministry of, and characterized by, what he speaks of. This is a common ambiguity in English. Hope is what passes in my mind-faith, hope, etc.-but my hope is laid up in heaven. 'Thought a good thought' is thought objectively; 'a man of much thought,' is the habit of thinking in the man, and so of others. In chapter 3. the subject matter, law or gospel, is the ministration, διακονία, that is, the thing ministered, but it was ministered by Paul, and therefore his ministry. A candle was lit up in a lantern: it was itself the light-the candle's light—but his light because he carried it. God had shone in his heart to give forth the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. His ministry was this knowledge, still he ministered it, and so it was his ministry.
The bringing the stones from Gilgal was merely a provision of material—what was brought out of death: we are quickened together with Christ, but it was only the essential character of the stones provided; but the action with them was as much Joshua's as the other. (Josh. 4:20.) It was Christ's work in the power of the Spirit in both cases—namely, the memorial, was: only one, having been in death (only dry and an entrance into the new and heavenly thing for us), the other, turning back to know whence we were drawn. The second twelve are Ephesians; the first, Romans.
As to Philistines, I suppose it is from phalas to migrate. They came up from Caphtor in the direction of Egypt—called Philistines because they were strangers. The Canaanites represent Satan's power over which the people of God are victorious, as God's army fighting for God—taken as enemies, treated as such—Satan simply in power. The Philistines are the thorns of Satan's power where he has not been overcome—left and not treated as an enemy. They become an abiding source of distress and perplexity, having more power than Israel, though when God interferes they may be beaten as by Samuel, or put down when Christ comes as by David. They are the allowed evil of Satan's power, not the power of Satan banished or overcome by spiritual energy.
There are no specific scriptures that I know that state that the Holy Ghost will abide in us forever. But its action in spiritual power is essential to our power in life. The Spirit is life, and it surely is not to be taken away as power of enjoyment in heaven. The law of the Spirit of life has made me free. The passage that made me see it was Acts 1:2, where Christ gave commandments by the Holy Ghost after His resurrection; and we are to be fully conformed to Him. We do get it in the Ephesians: the truth as in Jesus is putting off the old man and putting on the new. Only it comes in more, by the bye, because we are looked at as in heaven, and circumcision is the application of that to our place on earth or tendency of flesh to it. In Ephesians we come out as manifesting God's character, the Holy Ghost dwelling in us. You have not the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in Colossians, but life. He is pressing their completeness there in Christ upon them, and so speaks of it; they had circumcision as viewed in Christ...
1 Tim. 3:15. The Son of the living God is what the church was built upon. It is the power which has brought it above dying man, and withal is abiding. It is a term of power and dignity above idols, above death in man. We trust in the living God. We are converted to serve the living and true God. Well, this is His assembly on earth. See Acts 14:15, or take a concordance and see living God.
As to John 1; 2, and 20, 21: the first is wholly earthly and with Israel, John's testimony and Christ's and the witnesses, and then His connection with Jews and temple on His return. John 20; 21—rather the contrary—gathers His disciples after His resurrection, and is in their midst, and blessed are they that have not seen but have believed—Thomas only representing the Jewish remnant, and fish already on shore when the Lord comes. It is not the Church formed—that never in John—but an intimation of resurrection work, not a simply earthly one. There are no days in John 20; 21, but three consecutive scenes pointing to a Christ known as having left them as walking here, though walking as yet with them in resurrection, not uniting by the Holy Ghost.
Dan. 7, "Most High." The words are different in Hebrew, that is, plural and singular; verse 18 plural—heavenly, high, places. Verse 22 plural. Verse 25, first time singular, second plural, that is, with saints it is so. Verse 27 plural: the only difficulty, because it is elyonin not elyon—that is, singular, His kingdom, not plural.
I was very glad to hear of the work in-. Though accompanied by what craved excitement and was likely to sink down to its own real proportions, I did not doubt there was a real work in the Revival, but no Church to receive them. I trust in a measure that is the case in Canada.- is gone out, whose gift and heart is to care for saints.
Affectionately yours in haste.
July 23rd, 1869.

Converted Children and the Lord's Table; Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Intercession for the Saints; Judgment of Evil in Fellow Christians; Revivals; Saints Identified With God's Glory; the World and the Christian

Converted Children and the Lord's Table; Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Intercession for the Saints; Judgment of Evil in Fellow Christians; Revivals; Saints Identified With God's Glory; the World and the Christian
I rejoice with all my heart in the grace shown to you and to her, in the case of your dear child. I feel, too, deeply, the anxiety attending the young being brought into a path in which they have to follow Christ, before they have tried and broken with this vain and empty world, which a young imagination, and a heart as yet unwearied by it, suppose may give some real joy. If Christ have taken a strong hold the path is simple, and the young may be saved many a pang. If Christ's, they will surely learn the world is nothing, and its friendship enmity with God but it is better, and happier, to learn it in the blessed company of Christ than in regrets on a dying bed, or a heart repentant at loss and unfaithfulness. I do not expect young Christians to have learned everything, but the Lord expects them to be faithful to the light they have got. "And to him that hath shall more be given."
As to going through the world as a trial and exercise of faith, we have all to do it. It is like the ordinary, sinfulness of our hearts, and ministering to it, a process through which we have all to go, to have our senses exercised to discern good and evil, and Christ become everything to us, and we more like Him. Oh, how surely we shall feel it that day, that all that was not a heart given to Him was loss and wretchedness. I trust your child sees that in Christ our acceptance is perfect and full, as our sins are wholly put away, but with that we are His; and in feeding on Him, looking forward to His glory to give energy on our road, and feeding on Him as the patient and crucified One to abide in Him, we find in a lowly, gracious, and for that very reason, firm life, the bright hope of transforming glory.
As to judging of those around (worldly Christians), their state is judged in the scripture. But if we get near to the Lord, if we are in communion with God within in the holy place, we see all saints with His eyes, as dear to Him, washed in Christ's blood, and His in the power of the Holy Ghost, and they are clothed by faith and desire with what belongs to Him, objects of Christ's delight and the fruit of the travail of His soul; then intercession for them is easy, and faithfulness to them becomes easy and gracious too. But we cannot judge aright if we are not there: our judgment of certain things may be right, and our rejection of them in our ways, but we judge them without, as forbidden things, and that so far is all right; but within, while this judgment is only deeply strengthened, other thoughts and feelings come in with it which can be had only there. The evil and loss for the saints of the wretched path of worldliness- the dishonor done to the Savior, the ruin of their testimony -is far more deeply felt, but because they are seen in Christ, not merely because they are wrong. We may fear for them, but the heart will carry them to God, to Christ, because they are His. Moses would not have the people cut off on the top of the mount; he called the faithful to cut them off when below, and both for the same reason. He connected the glory of God with the people-an extreme case no doubt, but which shows us that divinely given love for God's people on high is the spring of severity even, if needed, below. God's glory was the plea for and against the people....
Tell—how unfeignedly rejoiced I am that the gracious Lord has given her the immense privilege of belonging to Him. May He keep her close to Himself, and give her grace to keep herself in the love of God. My kindest love to all the saints. May the Lord consolidate them in the faith, and in one heart, and keep you all very near Himself till He come to receive us to Himself.
July, 1869.

Prayer; Saints Identified With God's Glory; Being in the Sanctuary; Testimony for These Days

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, they 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's prayer; and the same thing made him call the faithful to cut off his neighbor and brother down here. Ours is the one in grace and dependence; be it so, but there is a principle which shows it is not taking evil lightly. New York 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 Boston 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 rather 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 belong 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.
London, 1869.

Exercises and Ground of Peace; Parable of the Prodigal Son; Righteousness of God; Self Knowledge

I doubt your having ever been stripped of self, in such a way as to rest with holy humility on a righteousness other than your own, the righteousness of God, but which is yours by faith.
This stripping of self is a deep work wrought by God, and by the revelation of what He is. The personal conviction of sin, and the discovery of our misery in the struggle against it, are but the means of reaching it. When I have found that the result of my efforts to attain to holiness—efforts that could not be wanting in a quickened soul—is but the discovery that I do not attain to it, I am compelled (having come in my rags into the presence of God, who desires nothing in us, in His house, but perfect conformity to Christ) to submit that God should be on my neck, and I still in my rags, and that God should clothe me (because that is His good pleasure in His grace) with the "best robe," with Christ Himself, which did not belong to me either before my sin, or since—no more the robe of Adam innocent than of Adam a sinner, but which was and which is in the treasures of God for those who are called by grace. Then I am called to walk as a son of the house, that is to say, as Christ walked. If we fail, we reproach ourselves for it a thousand times more than when we were outside, hoping to enter the house; but the question of knowing whether I belong to the house is not raised; it is because I do, that sin has so horrible a character in my eyes, so unsuitable to what I am, a child of God thus clothed—so horrible, when I think of what Christ has suffered on account of that sin.
God speaks to you now by the circumstances through which He is making you pass. Be assured it is in love that He leads you thus, and because He loves you. Remember that Christ is your righteousness from God, but the righteousness of a soul convinced of two things, first that it has no righteousness, and then that it has need of righteousness, need of being at peace with God—a need produced by the consciousness of its sin, without the hint of a desire that God should be less holy than He is.
This is why I said it is a deep work: it makes the soul simple, but it does not find it so. I do not look that you should be able to give an account of it intellectually, but that the thing itself should be done, and that you should find yourself stripped of self by the discovery of sin, leaning upon the righteousness of God which He has made ours, in giving us Christ, our precious Savior. Peace be to you then in the name of [Him who shed] that precious blood which cleanses from all sin. Be watchful and look to God, opening all your heart to Him in thorough confidence. This is what puts truth into the soul, and He is worthy of it, through His perfect goodness to us.

Exercises and Ground of Peace

I need not tell you what real joy it has been to me to learn that you have received peace; so I will not send my answer to your letter. When God has stripped us of ourselves, He has (in His goodness) only to give us peace. It is what we see throughout in the word. Once the soul is in its true state before God, there is always "grace" for it, and nothing but grace.
But now that you are there, without doubting the love of God, there are some precautions to be taken, seeing the way in which you have been shaken. I am glad that you should tremble at the thought that you could lose your happiness. It is a serious thing, whatever be the goodness of God, to find peace with a God of holiness. Christ has made peace; but He would have us feel what it is to have need of it, in order that we may know it. Our hearth are so subtle and wicked, that following on peace comes negligence. We feared sin before, and now that we are freed from this heavy burden, we go forward not only more easily, but alas, often carelessly. Rejoice before God, and not without God, for the peace which He has given you; rejoice in trembling. It is the means of preserving peace, by grace. Moreover, pay great attention, never to say anything that goes beyond your experience; nothing is of more importance for our own souls.
Neither let the work lead you on to be occupied with other people, in such a way as to neglect yourself. It is before God that you have found peace; it is before God, also, that we keep peace, in the sense of the enjoyment of the true assurance of His favor. "Take heed," said the apostle, "unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Tim. 4:16.) If you do so, it will be a lesson for the brethren, and a lesson more real than much preaching. Yes, dear brother, above all, keep your soul before God. Do not think that the 'work depends on you; see how it has been done without you. This does not mean that it would not be a great blessing to work in the Lord's work, but when we do so, we do so saying that we are servants, and feeling that it is God who does the entire work. Work then; edify others; but do not work beyond your communion. Nothing would be more calculated to make you lose peace. Seek to walk "in the fear of the Lord"; it is the beginning of wisdom: it is that which accompanies "the comfort of the Holy Spirit" in the Acts.
On the other hand, do not be surprised or discouraged if you do not always feel all the joy that you experienced at the beginning. There are deeper things in joy than this first satisfaction, because they belong more directly to communion with God Himself; but inasmuch as it is in us, it is of human nature, that the first impression becomes enfeebled. Do not be contented with that. Seek that it may be replaced by a deeper communion, and a fuller revelation of God, but do not be discouraged. Rest on what Christ is, and not on what you feel about it; it is there that you have found peace, it is there that it is kept....

Communion With God; Nothing Being Like the Cross; the Last Days; Progress of the Power of Evil; Not Speaking Beyond One's Experience; Sources of Joy; Responsibility and Purpose

I was very glad to get your letter. The date of mine will explain that my being at Guelph in September is hardly likely, but my heart will be anxiously with you: but I do not know whether anxious is the right word, for one ought to trust the Lord, so faithful, so full of love, and patient goodness with us. But affections will in one sense be anxious, and how unfeigned my affection is for Canada I trust you know; and surely I never became more attached to any place, my heart more linked up with those in it.
It is a time of encouragement-even here it is. For a time there had been a relaxation of energy, not an uncommon thing in individual or Christian communities after the first impulse of grace. But there is considerable re-animation, and our conference ("Guelph" meeting) is largely attended by brethren interested in the truth: many a new generation of saints springing up, and the coming of the blessed Lord has a more actual and practical place. I thought I had done with France, Switzerland, Germany, etc., when I went to America, but I believe the Lord has led me here, and there is a renewal of strength and christian affection. I am to be at a like meeting in France, September 15th, and you may all remember us. Then I have Italy, where the Lord is gathering and raising up more laborers, and Germany. There is a wish to have something like a satisfactory Old Testament in German, and in French. I hardly know how it will be effectually carried out, but it is one object of my visit to Germany. You see my absence from Canada is not idleness. I was very glad to have been in the West Indies. It is, oh! how great a measure of thankfulness to be led of the Lord. The power of evil is in astonishing progress. The boldest denial of all truth alarming Christians; and the world even, anxious and uneasy, and now often considering and inquiring of brethren why they are so quiet and peaceful. Not that we have not many things to deplore, but in sum we are at peace, feeling the evil more in a divine way, but having a kingdom that cannot be moved, a peace which nothing can take away. The brethren have come with cordiality and readiness from all sides to the meeting, which has cheered and encouraged. There are two Englishmen who have thrown themselves in some measure into the work here. Some are going to America.
It is possible I may, now I am growing old, become set apart to sedentary work (though still preaching and teaching), but I do not quite give up seeing you all again. For I am very well, and though I begin to feel the difference of age as to physical exertion, I am for work, thank God, able to go through more than most. This would not as yet hinder me. My difficulty is the rapid progress of the last days, which requires the faithful testimony of those who feel where we are, more perhaps in Europe than elsewhere. Men of the world as well as Christians, feel all things shaking, an irresistible torrent rising, professing Christians at their wits' ends. The peaceful testimony from a position which God secures is of moment to souls, and however weak it may be individually as such, it tells on people's hearts. My comfort is, for Canada as for England, that the blessed Lord Himself cares for His people: a poor, feeble folk, but their home is in the rock. God is raising up many active witnesses, and the Lord is more waited for. He Himself fills the heart sufficiently to enable us to forget ourselves; still the present link with Him, I feel, is not sufficiently felt, so as to bring Him out as fresh and full as He is given to us. That is what we have to seek here, and for that it is death working in us-" always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." That we are dead, and in Him, is a simple and blessed truth, but always to bear it about that only He may appear-this is what we have to seek.
I write at intervals in the midst of our conference, so you must not be astonished at my letter bearing the impress of this interruption.... I have been thinking of one of the joys of heaven, after Christ-and it will be His joy, seeing of the fruit of the travail of His soul and being satisfied-seeing all the saints perfect according to the heart and mind of God Himself, and His who has sought and saved them. What satisfaction and joy that will be! Truly it is what one's heart desires now. Then it will be perfectly satisfied, and Christ glorified in it; and this, thank God, will surely be. I have been distinguishing latterly a good deal, the responsibility of man fully met by Christ for us on the cross, and the counsels of God before the foundations of the world (see Prov. 8; Titus 1:2 Tim. 1:9); the cross laying the foundation for their accomplishment-in the incarnation, the ground laid for fulfilling Prov. 8 What a thought-His delight being in the sons of men, and how fulfilled in the incarnation, and then the cross giving us a part in it; man in glory, and the Father's house sheaving us what it is! Along with perfectly glorifying God, it makes the cross a wonderful place, and grace a wonderful thing; and the old man put off, and the new man put on.
But I must close, as you see. Peace and much blessing, dear brother, be on you and yours: much love to them and to all the saints. May they, and all the Lord's dear workmen, be abundantly blessed.
Ever yours affectionately in Him.
August 25th, 1869.

Work in Switzerland

I am over-fatigued, though not as two days ago, but take a moment to write. This quiet even is a rest. We had a very good meeting at Geneva. In Switzerland a fresh generation is rising up, and fresh blessing. I had large meetings in the Casino, as the Locale would not contain the numbers, and much attention. We had an improvised meeting at Valence on the way, of a good deal of interest, for two days, and largely attended from the neighborhood. Those present have demanded to go over the same ground more fully here, so that it met wants. Nothing very new, but great lines of practical truth from Romans, Ephesians, Colossians 2 Corinthians, etc. Here we began with the end of Isaiah, and now study Romans. An excellent spirit has reigned throughout. I have lectured and preached at many places, between fourteen and fifteen in Switzerland, and Lyons, St. Etienne, Annonay, Montpellier in France, but I was overworked. As to poor -, some minds are apt to be occupied with evil from natural character. It is injurious, but a disposition, like another....
I am very glad that `James' is coming out. I have had the R. C. controversy at heart; I think not without the Lord. May He use and bless it. There is a desire to hear everywhere. What my desire is, is that the Lord would raise up laborers; He has a claim on us for this after so much grace. Who goes to Jamaica? But He alone can give. I hope a little He is raising up some new ones here, a hope He has encouraged, but it is as yet only a hope. We are growing old. From Valence I am from hand to mouth, but He sustains me, but my brain is overwrought.... Our meeting is, I trust, telling on souls as to the truth in a certain reviving power.
Affectionately yours.
All Vigan,
September 16th, 1869.

Christ in Glory and Humiliation; the Last Days; the World and the Christian; Letters to a Young Convert

I have delayed answering your letter, partly because I have been excessively occupied, more even than usual, and partly because I was minded to visit my fresh sphere of labor before doing so. I rejoiced in getting your letter. I had heard of the blessing in different places through the gospel, but rejoiced to find that it had roused you up also. Most thankful indeed was I to hear of- 's conversion too. I trust it is a permanent work; with her character and habit of mind, she must well know whether it is real. I have always hoped for her, though in many things so opposed.
But dear -, the energy of the first impulsion always calms down, and the real value of Christ to the soul appears. It is not that the first impulses are insincere, but there is the impulse given by the first powerful impression, and that dies down. Then two things appear, which after all are really one, how far the soul has been fully reached and its state and affections filled with Christ, and how far diligence of heart in cleaving to Him has been produced. The apostle says not only "I have suffered the loss of all things," but "I COUNT them but dung." The excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus gave permanency to his estimate of what was in the world around him, and [what it] gave to him as a natural man. That third chapter of Philippians gives us the principle of walk which stamps its energy and character on the christian course, a positive active energy with an object in view. Chapter 2 gives us the graciousness of the christian life; chapter 3 its principle of energy: the former Christ descending, the latter Christ in glory, whom the soul runs after as its sole object. This it is gives energy. "The double-minded man is unstable in all his ways"; even in natural things the man who has one object is energetic and full of force. It is this continuance in the judgment of the worthlessness of all things that marks the place Christ has in our hearts, gives true joy and liberty, and makes us a bright witness for Christ in the world. Only remember that he that seeks finds, that we need force every moment, and that the manna of today will not do for tomorrow. The world solicits always; we need the constant grace of Christ, the whole armor of God, having done all to stand. It is a blessed place, blessed now, but requires singleness of eye—not merely avoiding actual evil, but the heart positively set upon an object pursued with lowly, cheerful, but constant energy. The last days are hastening on, and we have to be as men that wait for their Lord, when He shall return from the wedding, that when He cometh and knocketh they may open to Him immediately. Fix your mind calmly but steadily on His coming.
I have been half round England, and had a local meeting like Guelph, besides working very hard in London—then visited fourteen places in Switzerland, and had a Swiss 'Guelph' meeting, and now the same in France, having visited some twelve meetings there. So that I have not been idle, and now leave for Germany to work a little there, and help in having a more correct Old Testament. I have more on my hands in this respect than I know how to do, but I labor on. If possible I shall go to Italy, but not just yet: there the door seems opening.... May the Lord's blessing rest on you all.
Ever affectionately yours.
Le Vigan,
September 25th, 1869.

Government of God; Letters to a Young Convert

* * * This is a world of passage, and you have been living like a plant in a greenhouse all your life, and know little of being shaken from vessel to vessel, as is said of Moab. I do not regret it is so, and in your petty troubles you ought to be very thankful. But your turn may come, in one sense must come, and in this there is the government of God. We may have-the most patient and godly-sore troubles for our good, like Job, but as a general rule and order, the quiet, gentle, submissive spirit, that walks in obedience and order (not in self-will in whatever shape its restlessness may show itself) has a quiet and peaceful life. "Honor thy father and thy mother" has a general application in its consequences even now.
It is quite true that sin has brought disorder into everything, and that we are not under the manifested government of God as Israel was, and, as I have said, sorrow may come for spiritual good. Still, not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father, and the government of God goes on. The epistles of Peter open out this-the first in our favor, the second as against the wicked; and this is true of you, dear -. If you walk quietly, submissively and obediently, with a will not seeking itself, no matter in what direction, not indulging itself or its thoughts, you will find happiness even here. Our own will and making ourselves the center is the spring of all our wretchedness; for outward circumstances may be trying, as we know—may give sorrow, but not wretchedness. Where this is it is the fruit of will, restless and discontented. Be it in little things or great, let patience, submission and self-government characterize you. You know, thank God, that there are better things than what will seeks here; and here there must be a diligence and earnestness to know their enjoyableness, and be free—and at your age, the world and evil begin to solicit us and distract the heart—communion too; and if there be not diligence (which indeed is always true) it gets a hold on the heart, and if not judged in the will, it shuts out the beauty and desirableness of Christ, so that there is no counter-power in our hearts, even though our conscience may condemn us. I am sure you know this to be true already. But in seeking earnestly the Lord and His grace, it is not only that we are not occupied with these things so as to get the mind engaged with them, but positive power comes in to deliver and free us and make us find in Christ delight which shuts out evil and the world. Seek this, and do not be lazy in divine things, for this can produce its fruit even in those who are sincere, as I do not doubt you are....

The Family Home; Sources of Joy; the Word "Stranger"; Subjection of Will; Study of the Word; the World and the Christian; Letters to a Young Convert

My very dear—,-I was very glad indeed to get a letter from you. I should have surely answered it sooner, but its arrival was a good deal delayed. I have only just got it. It was a matter of joy to me that you have got on happily at -'s. Tell him that I had the kindest letter from Mr. but that he has not long ago lost his wife, rather unexpectedly, humanly speaking, though she had been ill, and that though bowing to the Lord, he was dreadfully overwhelmed by it. We are in a world of sorrow, dear, though you are too young to have felt much of it. Only yesterday again I received an account of another tie broken, and one, a daughter, left alone desolate; but all this is good for us, it makes us feel our rest is not here, and young as you are you can learn this. Your very leaving home has begun the tale for you; it did once for me. I remember yet my desolation once on leaving it. 'Stranger' is a word sin has brought in. In Latin and in more learned languages it means an enemy; such is man. In heaven none can or will be a stranger there, nor any stranger to Him; and it is a blessed thought, for the love of God makes all one, and such ought the Church to be. But I do not at all blame your feeling as to home, however kind-may be, and you happy amongst them, for in this world, for our human feelings, home is that which is the center of all true feelings. I trust it will ever be so to you, only we have to learn that in this world all that breaks up, because sin and death have entered in, and we have gradually to learn to be pilgrims and strangers in it, and will find a home which will never break up. Blessed be God, that He gives us this rest, and has made His dwelling-place our home, as our Father, where we shall be with Christ our beloved One and our Savior forever.
I am very glad that you are thus searching and enjoying scripture. I can tell you, dear -, that though, as you know, I have been searching it for years, I ever find through grace, what fresh treasures are in it, and that learning some truth and grace is but the means of being able to learn others, and these are not only truths, but the unsearchable riches of Christ: we know His riches in grace, in learning them. "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they may be sanctified by the truth." What we learn in this is infinitely precious, because it is in Him, and the fruit of the Father's love. May the Lord keep your affections fresh in these things. Think little of yourself: the true effect of real joy in the things of God is to empty us of ourselves, and to make us think little of ourselves, because first our affections are drawn to another (Christ), and because we see all their divine excellences, not in ourselves, for we have to learn, but in another, and One who made Himself of no reputation, and humbled Himself for us, who "when he was rich for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich." What a terrible thing it would be if by this we began to fancy ourselves rich, though in Him we really are. I trust you may profit much by these studies of scripture, and, as I have said, your heart and affections find its joy in them. Be diligent in all you have to do; duty is an excellent thing conscience—and even in your play, hearty and free, though sober and yielding to others, and the Lord be with you and bless you abundantly.... I shall be very glad to hear from you. I can often fill up my moments when I turn from heavier work, with a word to you or others. With my prayers that you may be kept and blessed,
Ever affectionately yours.
Pau, 1869.

Translation Work

DEAREST BROTHER, -I have just received your letter here, where I was to have come straight from England when I took Switzerland and France first for our meetings, but I was obliged to return to this place, when I had done that. I am only resuming my former work. It is six years since I have been here, and I have felt in turning my face and directing my steps here, that God was with me. Just now I am busy correcting the Old Testament, which has been already compared, and which I am now comparing with the Hebrew. You must not, on that account, think that I have given up Italy; I am waiting the moment God wills, and am busy with Italian. I am now reading a bad tract on regeneration, published in Florence, but written with uprightness, Wesleyan in its tone, besides other little works, which accustom me to their way of speaking. It will be even better, I think, that you should be a little settled, and should look round you a bit before I come. I could not be sure of the time, for this is a long task which I have undertaken, but a very needful work, and one most useful to me, for I am perfecting myself in Hebrew, and in knowledge of the Bible in detail. Meanwhile, write to me when I may come, and I hope our good and faithful God will show me the time when I ought to come, if such is His will.
I am always in danger of attempting too much, and as they say, "He who grasps all loses all." I do what I do imperfectly—alas, not even that—but all the more I expect and hope for guidance from God, and do what I have to do today.
Your very affectionate brother.
November 4th, 1869.

Baptism an Act of the Baptiser; the Subjects of Baptism; Campbellites; Commission to the Twelve; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; Paul and Peter's Ministry; Puseyism; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

Baptism an Act of the Baptiser; the Subjects of Baptism; Campbellites; Commission to the Twelve; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; Paul and Peter's Ministry; Puseyism; the Lord's Supper As a Sign of Unity of the Body
I should never, and never have, as you know, pressed any to baptize their children, or introduced the subject. Indeed, while fully recognizing it as a christian ordinance, I am disposed to think that it is in scripture, for our present condition, purposely left in the background. While eternal life and union with Christ are fixed and sure in Him, the ordering of all on earth till Christ comes, and even then', is provisional; not that we have not duties in the state of things we are in; duties belong to that: but the ordering of things passes. We have a kingdom that cannot be moved, eternal life, membership of Christ; but this in actual full possession is to come, and what we have now, even of divine ordinances, is passing. But I repeat, our duties are now. I shall only therefore present to you what scripture affords me on the subject, for if ever I hesitated, and, like others, I was exercised about it, I have No doubt as to infant baptism of the children of a Christian. But I have a full feeling that Christ did not send me to baptize; I leave to others activities on either side. The twelve were sent to baptize, but as to ecclesiastical matters, we are under Paul.
This for such questions is an all-important remark, because the commission to the Gentiles (on which you and all Baptists rest) was given up by the leading apostles into his hands. But in general he, and he only, taught what the Church was, and it is on that ground we are. Further remark, the commission to the twelve was not from heaven, nor consequently immediately connecting with heaven, but from Galilee, and a commission to bring the nations into connection with an accepted remnant of Jews on earth-not to bring Jew and Gentile into the body in an ascended Christ, which was Paul's commission especially, preaching withal reconciliation from heaven to every creature under it. His original commission is remarkable in this respect. A heavenly Christ was revealed to him-"delivering [separating] thee from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send thee." He belonged neither to Jew nor Gentile in his service, but to heaven. Hence he in baptism knows nothing but baptizing to death to all man is, and at the utmost resurrection with Christ into a new state of things. With Peter it is: you have crucified Christ, God has raised and exalted Him. Hence they were to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Nor does he even go to our death with Christ, or our resurrection with Him. Nay, in Acts 3 he proposes to the Jews to repent, and Jesus would be sent back, and the people would be blessed by the times of refreshing of which the prophets had spoken.
You will say: This is a long story on what is simple; but it is o n the mission of the twelve you found your doctrine. That was only to disciple Gentile nations and baptize them. Of the carrying out of this we have no account in scripture: the nearest to it is in Mark, the last verse. But we have an enlarged account of Paul's taking their place; and it is remarkable that Roman Catholics and Puseyites all rest on the commission to the twelve, not on that to Paul. But where in Mark baptism is spoken of it is upon wholly another ground: "he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." It was the gospel to a lost world, to every creature, and if a man believed and was baptized, he was saved. It concerns a heathen or a Jew confessing Christ, who before did not, and what is called joining Christians, and as "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness" so "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Here it had a saving force founded on faith, but that is not the question now. No one can in this sense say a man is saved by baptism, but that is the only use of it in Mark. The Campbellites have this view of it as an ordinance, but with grievous errors, and false in itself, as man's act and not as becoming a Christian. Further remark, that the hundred and twenty first formed into the Church by the coming of the Holy Ghost, or, at any rate, the twelve, were never baptized. I know it is said they had John's baptism, and no doubt rightly, some certainly, and all with little doubt;. but that was the opposite of christian baptism. It was to receive Christ; christian baptism is to His death- to a rejected Christ as such at God's right hand; and one baptized with John's baptism had to be baptized again, as in Acts 19
The command was to baptize, not to be baptized, and this makes all the difference. It is not an act of obedience, in this the scripture is quite clear. Acts 8 (verse 37 is not genuine), he says, "what doth hinder me to be baptized?" it was a privilege to be obtained; but the words do not allow the idea of obedience, but exclude it. So Acts 10:47, "can any man forbid water? "-a privilege, no idea of obedience, but an admission into the christian estate consequent on the proof that God would have him: and indeed it would be cruel to make it a matter of obedience, as no man can fulfill it; another must do it for him. The admission to a privilege cannot be a matter of obedience, though obedience gives privileges as such. But the real point is, the passages prove that it was the act of the baptizer, not of the baptized. And this changes its whole nature. It is said, Where are children commanded to receive baptism? of course they are not, nor believers. Ordinances are never the subject of commands. They are ordained and rightly used, but never obedience in him who profits by them; it would deny the very nature of Christianity, and destroy the blessing for him who partakes of it.
Another important principle destroyed by the Baptist system is the existence of a divinely instituted place in which blessing is, independently of the question of personal conversion, and to which responsibility is attached according to the blessing: as the olive tree in Romans, whose branches are broken off and grafted in again or replaced by others who are broken off afterward, branches where the root and fatness of the olive tree is, yet they come to nothing; so Heb. 6; 10 So 1 Cor. 10, where the sacraments, so-called, are shown to be the ground of this in Christendom, and so the house in 1 Cor. 3, where wood, hay and stubble are built in with false doctrines, but it is God's building. And in 1 Peter 4:17 judgment was to begin at the house of God, alluding to Ezekiel. So we see it as a principle in Rom. 3: "What advantage then hath the Jew?... much every way." But he was condemned, not converted. So the wicked servant who ate and drank with the drunken: was "that servant" the same as the faithful one and Christ his Lord?
Another principle used by Baptists is that it is a formal testimony to what a person has already. This is quite unscriptural. We are baptized to death-not because we have died-rise therein, if I bring in resurrection: it saves us, says Peter-is not used as a witness of being saved. "Arise and be baptized (says Ananias) and wash away thy sins," not in confession that thy sins are washed away. Thus the whole system of Baptists I find to be unscriptural. It is not obedience: that the Baptist brethren now admit: it is not testimony to what we have. The apostles were not baptized, but the twelve were sent to baptize the Gentiles, being themselves received by Christ. Paul was not sent to do it at all, though he was formally sent, from and by a heavenly Christ, to the Gentiles by a new commission, the leaders of the twelve giving theirs up and going to the circumcision.
What is it then? A formal admission into the place of privilege. ' Water cannot be refused to Cornelius: nothing hindered the treasurer of Candace from being baptized. 1 Cor. 10 clearly shows that it is the admission into public outward association with God, as when Israel crossed the Red Sea, as the Lord's supper is a sign and expression of food and drink in the desert. It is not a sign even of life-not of being baptized into Christ's body, nor of being made children. In Paul's teaching it is death; in Peter or Ananias, saving, washing away sins, as a sign, a passing from the state of sinful man into the place where God's privileges were, specially the presence of the Holy Ghost, who is among the saints in God's house as Satan is in the world. Paul in Titus 3 recognizes the same truth.
The question then is, are children entitled to be received? are believers? Believers, clearly, if they have not yet been; if they have, they cannot be again. But supposing they have not, they are clearly received by baptism; and, in an ordinary way, at the beginning, those in received the Holy Ghost, as said in Acts 2, and may be seen in Acts 8 Can children, or are they to be left out where Satan rules? Scripture, I believe, gives a christian parent a title to bring them to Christ, but this can only be now scripturally by death as baptism figures it, for "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." If baptism be the reception of children where the Holy Ghost is, and where they can be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and taught to obey, which till they are Christians as to position they cannot be, the question is, Is a christian parent obliged to leave his child outside with the devil, or allowed to bring him in where the Holy Ghost and the care of God's house is? Scripture tells one that children of a christian parent are holy, have a right to be admitted, are not as children of a Jew who had married a Gentile unclean, that is, unfit to be admitted among God's people, but holy. I know it is said the husband was so too. It is not true where the sense is looked to, The Jewish husband was profaned not profane, could not be profaned if he had been: it is what is holy that is profaned, nothing else can be. Now it is grace, and the unbeliever is "sanctified," not holy; the child is holy." The Lord Himself has said, " Of such is the kingdom of heaven." It is said, Why not give them the Lord's supper? Because that is the sign of the unity of the body, and it is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that forms that. Baptists always reason instead of going to scripture. I have no difficulty with Baptists who think they have never been baptized; of course they ought to be. They have never been regularly admitted among Christians on earth; they may be of the body (as Cornelius) by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but they have never been formally admitted to the house on earth, the place where the Holy Ghost dwells.
This answers another question you put—the converted and unconverted being baptized together. If it is admission into the house they are all admitted together, cannot be on any different principle. If it be obedience, then indeed there is; but scripture is in the teeth of this: to separate them would be to deny the principle on which any are baptized at all.
I respect the conscience of a Baptist; I repeat, if he think he never has been baptized he ought to be, but it is as clear to me as the day that his principles are totally unscriptural.
Nothing can be clearer then, that in the New Testament it is never treated as obedience. If it were, we were saved by our own obedience, have our sins washed away by our own obedience; for this is what is said of baptism. I understand quite well that a heathen coming to baptizm does administratively receive the remission of his sins: every one is baptized to it. I understand too that one who has been as a heathen and converted coming to the faith—to such it is practically a first confession of Christ and that they are very happy—but obedience of a believer to an ordinance is all wrong from beginning to end; as to the Lord's supper as well as baptism. If a man think it is—/ do not blame him for doing it, but it is wholly unintelligent. If a friend was to say, keep this in remembrance of me, and I said, I will do what you bid me, my friend would have no thanks to give me. The gift was not valued. You see it is a wide subject, but the great principle is that the children of a christian parent are holy; and so far from children being unfit subjects, "of such is the kingdom of heaven"—not Christ's, note, on earth.
The truth Baptists have to learn is that there is a place, a system established by God, where the blessings are found -the olive-tree fatness—without the question of conversion being settled, in which heathen, Mohammedans, and now for a time Jews are not, but in which these last will hereafter again be, though not on our footing. I know it is said you are bringing us back to Judaism. I answer, in this respect the apostle does, in 1 Cor. 10 and Rom. 11: and baptism does not refer to the body with which they had nothing to do, nor to giving life (which, if they had, was not brought to light, and they had it only in the state of servants), but the dwellingplace of God, which they were then, which Christendom is now, and according to which, or as which, it will be judged—a very weighty consideration. All is so in confusion that this house is hard to own, but that does not alter the truth of scripture.
A word as to the place of parents; God has given them children; but "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." But the love of God is trusted, and the grace of Christ who receives such, and also the word believed that blessing is there where God has placed it. They cannot leave their children without, in Satan's world; they bring them to be received as holy, as regards God's ways and dealings. The Church cannot receive them but through death, but receives them in Christ's name as if receiving Him, as He says, and the name of Jesus is called upon them through this image of His death too; and while received into God's congregation where the Holy Ghost is, and where all should be a pattern to them, they are given back to the parents in grace with Jesus' name on them to bring them up for Him, not for the world, "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." I receive them then because they are holy relatively, because Christ received them, and "of such is the kingdom of heaven," and I can receive them in no other scriptural way—with the sign of Christ's death and of His love.
I have no objection to any one reading this letter, but... it is not the time to occupy the church with ordinances.
Ever sincerely yours in the Lord.
November 4th, 1869.

Change of Scene; the Need of Courage; Being Dead With Christ; Service of Evangelizing; Isolation; Responsibility and Purpose

I quite feel what you say of the work, and when it is not mere evangelizing it will ever be a certain isolation. I remember shocking an excellent sister some thirty years ago by saying, that as one went on one would always feel more alone, be more isolated. So it was with Paul, even as is easily seen: yea, so it was with the blessed Lord Himself, always alone, and more and more isolated as He went on. So He said at first, "Blessed are ye poor" (always true) -at last, "Ye shall leave me alone." But one has to watch it. Faith is never alone; and as fruit Paul had his Timothy: yea, even the Lord—John nearer to Him than others; though with Him the Father must be all. And when driven out from Judea by the jealousy of the people, it was just then to see the fields white for harvest. And what the word says when this isolation and perception of failure is strongest: "Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God." "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Not of ardent Peter, but of beloved John, it was said, "If I will that he tarry till I come," and we have to take the place God has put us in. I envy the evangelists sometimes, and feel they are better than I, but accept, perhaps as coming from my fault, the place I am in. But I feel, though evangelizing heartily all I can, I live for the Church, whatever place God gives me—none if He so wills. It is His, and that is right. I feel too I am growing old, but in itself that is a pleasure—our salvation nearer than when we believed. In a day or two I am in my seventieth year.
I think you ought to rest, but if you must, it is also good in every way to change the scene we are in if God allow it. We see the work more as a whole with God, and even the details, and for ourselves the spirit is relieved from the pressure of responsibility as to details. Paul got this by prison: of that perhaps we are not worthy. I may be in London ere very long, though not just yet, but I could run over hence if you were there, and I will in England be your Timothy. I have Italy to go to if the Lord will, and desired work in Pau, but this left to the Lord, or I should be oppressed with too much on my hands. Whose hands? What poor creatures we are, and what can we do! I was myself really ill with fatigue, my pulse stopping dead for almost half a minute and then fluttering ever so fast; but it was only being used up, and God provided a day's rest, and I set off, traveled all night, and began our Vigan meeting at nine, and got better by resting an hour daily when possible all through the meeting. The Lord has made me work at these conferences; Geneva, Valence, Vigan, a day at Vergeze, Zurich, Stuttgard. They needed some teaching and getting into practically deeper water.
We were, all through, mainly on being dead with Christ, surely a most weighty point, on which all Paul's Christianity rests practically. It has connected itself in my mind with closing responsibility, with the death (for faith) first of the evil nature, and opening into the development of privilege, when God's righteousness is revealed, but given us and in God's purpose before the world, for His delight was in the sons of men—wonderful thought! Then, His Son become man, but in connection with responsibility rejected—that, for the full glory of God, met in His death, and so the glory and privileges brought out. But there man is treated as dead "in" sins, not "to," as in Romans (in Colossians both, and man raised, not sitting in heavenly places), and it is a new creation and all God's work. The realization is in 2 Cor. 4, and indeed 5 as effect. All this marks wonderful perfection in the ways of God as to responsibility and purpose. Our responsibility, so brought to God, is in Eph. 4; 5, "imitators of God, as dear children": in connection with Romans, the commandment of chapter 12.
You will find no epistle where courage is looked for in the Lord's workmen so much as in 2 Timothy, exactly where all was in ruin. The Lord's strength never fails, and we have to work on in that with the patience and grace that He alone can give, and looking to Him who alone can give result to our labor for good. Remember, beloved brother, if your heart fails at all in seeing yourself hindered in work, that the gracious hand of God is in it, and He makes all things work together for good to those that love Him I rejoice to think you are in His gracious hands, and fully trust we shall see you better.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
I have been through South France a little, and German Switzerland, since then Wurtemberg, now Elberfeld, and have had six ' Guelph' meetings, small and great, very much on being dead with Christ, though other aspects too.
November, 1869.

German Old Testament; Appreciation of the Word

DEAREST BROTHER,—I am still here hard at work at the German Old Testament. At any rate, I shall be a great deal more familiar with Hebrew in going thus through the whole Bible, of which I had only read parts in Hebrew. But it is very hard work, but I feel the Lord with me, so that when I teach and preach I have been helped. My German is pretty well come back to me, so that I have taught and preached to some four or five hundred in the meeting—of course, with faults, but sufficient for the work, and their following all well. The scriptures are seen clearer and more precious, and the Lord Himself—oh, how much more so. I feel nearer home, and home nearer me. It is a mercy to find it more familiar -the heart more in it—but it is mercy that I know well. The work has considerably opened here. In Italy I trust it is beginning, but there much patience is needed; the education of the people gives a character which greatly requires it.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Elberfeld, 1869.

The History and Character of the Church; System of Christendom Based on Peter

You may put any letters you like to "James." I rather dislike dialogs as fictitious, but they serve to bring out truth in many cases better as a kind of parable, so to speak. Still I am hardly satisfied.... The importance of judging church history, or the state it reveals, is daily more apparent to me. I am not at the bottom of it, but the change from scripture to prelacy, succession of bishops, so-called, has something mysterious in it, along with the fabrication of Ignatius, and perhaps Apostolic Constitutions, which are, I believe, heretical in their present state—a prelacy which is the basis of all subsequent Christendom till the Reformation, and now of high church, and even all clerical systems. But one thing is clear, that all refer to Peter for the system, not one to Paul. The unity of the church as they view it is always based on him; Paul at best only comes in by the bye, swamped in Peter at Rome. And even as to detail, the rising up of scriptural conscience against image worship and evil was from Paul's writings, and the authors of it, called Paulicians. They had only his writings and the gospels—but this by the bye. This system presses stronger on me than even infidelity, dreadful as it is individually.
As to the gospels and translation, I must leave it over to God: they want to get a French Old Testament and new edition of New; and I have here the Old on hand—the historical part easy, the prophets often difficult, the Psalms done. I should be glad of a little quiet, but I have felt I must do the day's work, and leave the rest to God, for Italy is before me too. I am expected, but in no hurry. I have thought to run to England when finished here, or before if necessary....
As to the Psalms, I fear you have taken labor in vain. I translated them in America for study and practice in Hebrew, with only a Gibb's Gesenius, that dear J. Harris gave me some thirty years ago, which I use mostly for a traveling dictionary, very well done for its size, but an abridgment (now I believe out of print); but at your request I was doing all over again.
When I speak of church history, the word is quite enough for me, but the origin of an immense system calling itself the church, is of interest. It may be the Lord meant it to b3 concealed, that now we might judge by the word: in that I have no difficulty.
Affectionately yours.
November, 1869.

Paulicians; Translation Work

Dearest Brother,—We have had a very blessed conference here at Elberfeld. We read the Gospel of John, and afterward the Epistle to the Romans, but we spoke of many subjects while studying these books. We enjoyed much the presence of God, and I believe that the Spirit of God wrought powerfully in our midst, and that He taught the brethren much, and communicated these precious truths: we were very happy together. They came from various parts of Germany, and several came from Holland: we remained together the whole week. I ventured to preach in the German language to four or five hundred people. With the exception of this week, which has come to an end today, we were busy with the translation of the Old Testament.
We have finished Isaiah and half of Jeremiah. On the Lord's day and twice in the week we have meetings; otherwise, I was rather dissatisfied to have no intercourse with souls, and to do nothing directly in the Lord's work; because from nine in the morning till eleven at night I work at the translation, so that I am unable to visit the brethren. So much, that you may understand that I am not neglecting the Italian language.
[Italian so far.]
[From the French.
I am very diligent, am I not? I read simple things with sufficient facility; speaking is a different matter, but I accustom myself to the language as well as I can where I do not hear it.
I write in order to say to you, do not be discouraged, and do not despise the day of small beginnings. Italy will need patience, but God knows how to act there as elsewhere. As to what concerns -, act with patience: you will see, perhaps you have seen already, what his mind is with respect to these matters. Do not distrust him, if the groundwork is good: confidence produces confidence and openness.... Write to me whenever you like; I shall always be glad to have news. Open your heart if things are going on badly, or if they are difficult; share your joys if you have any. I am accustomed, you know, to expect difficulties, and disappointments sometimes—our own failure, alas! but where we can' always look to the Lord. Greet very heartily all the brethren. Remember the Lord is sufficient for everything. While firm in the truth, be patient with ignorance and mistakes, where the will is not active.
Yours ever affectionately.
Elberfeld, 1869.

False Doctrine and False Interpretation Distinguished; Work in Germany; Translation Work; Loss of Paul's Doctrine

As regards S., I should be anxious that a careful distinction were made between false interpretation and false doctrine. This is for me in these days important. I might refuse to go to his meeting when I had done all I could to bring it right, but if there were no false doctrine as to anything that was the faith, I might not have to excommunicate him, though wholly rejecting him as a doctor or a teacher. If what was taught touched the faith it is another thing. If he taught what I thought mischievous I might refuse to go there, if the assembly did not stop it, but that is not excommunication. I have not of course seen the publications, and cannot say how far they go. I know the system as a system, and do not accept it at all. I think I know its bearing, and the difference of Peter and Paul teaching, and how far it goes, and where the Epistle to the Hebrews stands—the heavenly calling as contrasted with church union to Christ. But that is in other parts of Paul's writings, in various degrees and very instructive distinctions, when the soul is arrived there; the hope only is in heaven in Colossians, and salvation is at the end in Philippians. We are not risen with Christ in the doctrinal part of Romans. But this instructs—does not deprive the church of anything.
I am plunged in the Hebrew work, very useful to myself, but doing it thoroughly is longer than I had hoped, and I am somewhat at a loss as to finishing it, and the English Testament. But the Lord will guide. They are very anxious I should go through with it, and as far as I can judge it is going on very well. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations finished, and seventeen chapters of Ezekiel, but how much more to do! The historical books are in general very easy, and the Psalms done.
I am anxious to get over to England soon, though not immediately, but the Lord will show the moment.

Hebrews; Epistle to Philadelphia; Translation Work

I forgot to add to my last letter that the Epistle to Philadelphia interested me more and more as to our position in these last days. Nothing can be more lovely than the picture in Luke 1; 2 I had not directly compared it with Philadelphia, but enter into the bearing of it. It is lovely to see such a picture of God's people in the midst of the awful state of the Jews. May we be indeed something like it.... I work freely with my German—was up the country yesterday with a large congregation—and pray with comfort, always the last thing I do.
Affectionately yours.
December, 1869.

Strength in Weakness; Work in Europe

Dearest Brother,-... I advise you not to ask for money from—,—; if God blesses the labors of brethren in Italy, perhaps they will be disposed to give some; but now I do not think that they enter sufficiently into the needs of Italy to have patience with the brethren who are laboring in that country, and to think rather of the work than of the workmen. If the latter love the Lord, and preach Him from the heart, having been called to labor by the Lord Himself, I am satisfied. The Lord has patience, and where He has patience we ought to have it too. I do not understand why, but among the Swiss, life does not develop much in outside labors-I mean that when they are not engaged in the work, they have not the work in other countries much at heart.... God has those who are laboring in France, and He has blessed them abundantly. I love these brethren much; I have myself worked much among them, as you know; but we must take all brethren as they are, the Thessalonians were not the Ephesians, nor were the Corinthians Philippians
And now, dearest -, do not think much about your health. I know that you are not strong; do not do what would harm you, but trust in God and in our good and faithful Lord and Savior. God always gives the strength we need for the work He gives us to do, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.... May God Himself keep you and the beloved brethren in Italy. Remember that God is love, and that He is always thinking of us: "He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous."
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
December 24th, 1869.

The Last Days; Occupation With Evil; Progress of the Power of Evil; Responsibility and Purpose; Translation Work; Appreciation of the Word; the World and the Christian

Very glad indeed was I to get news from New York, and thank you much. The work in America I have much at heart, and N. Y. had much exercised me, but I fully trusted the Lord, I think I may say, and He has brought evident good out of evil. I always feel my work a very poor imperfect one: I sow great principles, truths of God's blessed word which I know to be truths and infinitely blessed; but I am no wise master-builder. indeed, in these last days I believe it is not the time for it, but for establishing the saints in those truths, and that separation from the world, and a worldly church, which places them in right testimony where Christ would have them. What a blessing that is! If it is where He would have them it is the right place. And after that we must labor, and labor with Him.
I do not think any one can have a deeper sense of the evil than I have, but we must not be occupied too much with it. It is very possible that it has made progress at N. Y. since I was there, for it does so, and rapidly everywhere. The clergy are at their wits' end in Europe through the boldness of infidels among themselves, yet cling together that there may not be a division in the church, so-called. When the world is separating into Romanism and infidelity, Christians must have their place, and keep their eye steadily fixed on that: " simple concerning evil," says the apostle, "wise concerning that which is good." I do not want saints to be unconscious of what is going on all around them; they are warned, but not to be occupied with it. The passage I have quoted is of every day walk, but there is a principle in it. Two things we need to have-what Christ has in the world as perfect as possible, and to be looking to Him constantly for it. He can give: and He loves the church. Oh! that we might have more of the spirit of intercession, that He might be glorified. It is of every importance that those who do walk, should walk in unity and in power. God has been most gracious in N. Y., and I trust the work will yet go on. Only stick close to the Lord....
I not only have undertaken a corrected version from Hebrew of German Old Testament, but have finished the prophets within a day or two's work, I trust with satisfaction. I feel the Lord with me in it, but tied up by it, and sometimes say will not the Lord make it soon useless. But the church needs the word above all now. I find it wonderfully clear, and daily all clearer. This dead with Christ, well weighed, opens by practical truth, the truth as it is in Jesus far and wide—God's ways putting responsibility and purpose in their place—but goes deep into the conscience. I am very hard worked, the rather as I am anxious to finish and be at other labors.... One thing I do feel, the word of God is everything under grace: the church here below a judged thing, the word light from God.
May the Lord keep and bless you, and keep you very near Himself.
Affectionately yours.
January 3rd, 1870.

The History and Character of the Church; Occupation With Evil; Christian Life; Prayer; Translation Work; Unworldliness; the Wilderness; Appreciation of the Word

I have some little hope of getting to Guelph this year; I cannot tell. If fine weather, the voyage would be a rest to me: that is not a difficulty. But I am greatly shut up in work. I am at work at the correction of the whole Old Testament in German, from the Hebrew; not a correction from Luther, which is too bad. A German, and a Dutch brother, bold the Dutch and German translations of it, and I the Hebrew, with all other accessible helps to boot. We have, in another day, the prophets done, but still (though nearly all far easier) a great deal more to do; and then I have the English New Testament to complete a new edition of, in which I have examined for myself all the readings far more accurately. In the translation, save a few passages made clearer, there is no change.
The work goes on in England pretty widely, and with blessing. I cannot doubt that the Lord is preparing a people for His coming. All things are rapidly progressing and breaking up; but we have only to be perfectly peaceful and quiet, and earnestly seek from God that we and all the saints who seek His face, may be faithful and devoted. I feel this in the wide-spreading of the work, that we must take care that the testimony to un-worldliness be maintained as to actual separation from all around us-it is in a measure-but in the spirit and temper of brethren. Here the work has spread considerably, but there is some want of learning Christ, though they are going on well. But we must remember that in prayer God is ours, power is put in motion, and that if through grace we can bring them up before Him, it is sure to be for blessing... I feel about -, but the Lord is above it all; there are many dear souls, and by His grace they will be made to feel it is not good to dishonor Him. At New York Satan had put all in confusion, and it is better now than ever....
The Lord prepare His people for Himself. One thing we have to do-to live for Christ, for what is not seen. It will he seen, and then how glorious. But I do not like to look at this as only wilderness, and that as rest and praise. We have the love of God, and the fullness of Christ to enjoy, if we walk with Him; and how free from hindrance then, I need not say. But it ought to be well known, though beyond all our thought. I almost fear sometimes that scripture gets too clear for me sometimes, as a plan or system of God if the parts are not filled up with the fullness of Christ. But it is wonderfully clear, daily more so; yet so as that we know in part. In that way we are little and narrow. However, all is true; and we shall find the fullness of it as a whole, and much more when with God.
The history of the church is to me darker and darker in its character. I begin to have solemn thoughts as to what it all was; I mean, the power of Satan in it. God had His own loved people at all times, but history says little of them. But all this that is now corning up as good and primitive, though mere superstition in many, is in itself the power of evil. Our part is a quiet path in consistency; but it is no harm to be clear, as to what that is, with which we have to do. The word is ample, thank God, for our own walk; but it presses on me as a solemn thought what the working of the enemy was, in that which the Lord had set up so blessedly at first. Yet we are not to be occupied with evil, or be in any way terrified with the adversary, as if the Lord had not the upper hand. He has overcome, and is leading on to a full blessing, when the enemy will be bound. We must go on in the confidence that power belongs to Him, is in His hands. I do not mean that they are not perilous times; but in them, we have to look out of them, to Him who cannot fail us, who is full of blessing, and whose grace is sufficient for us, whose strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Canada is ever dear to me. I do not know how to account for my attachment to it, if it be not all the love I met with in it: that I ever feel. But I am now in my seventieth year; I have had some five ' Guelph' meetings since autumn began, and traveled—save some time in London, close work—constantly. Peace be with you, dear brother.... How very gracious God has been in N. Y.; He ever is assuredly. I will write (D.V.) to dear H., but my letters get on slowly—from 7 or 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and then have to search out all the hard passages in Hebrew. But every mercy and much faith be with you.
January 3rd, 1870.

Work in Germany; Hebrews; Translation Work

My days pass on so much alike one another, and so confined to the house, that a letter from me cannot have, as to work, much to interest you, but I will not leave your kind letter, which I was very glad to receive, unanswered. I have preached out round on Sundays (as my German is pretty well grown up again after a six years' disuse) and here on a week day, but I am not yet content. I think they need some deepening, as to being dead with Christ, and here, save in the Conference, which was very happy, I have had little opportunity of much unfolding or pressing it. They have forgiveness, are familiar with being in the wilderness, and the hope of heaven, and the Lord's coming-not enough I think with present association with Christ-but who is? But they are going on happily, and the work is very considerably spread. Being saved, and God's love in it, they rest upon-not so much being in Christ before God. Still they have these truths, but a good deal of contrast (which is quite true) not of present association. I speak of the general character of the work, for there is much to rejoice in, and I am thoroughly happy with them all. There is a good deal of kindness amongst Germans, and brotherly love, though in this manufacturing town they see little of one another -I, at this moment, almost nothing-save at the meetings.
I have gone through all the prophets into German; the Psalms were done, and we are in Job-doing all the hardest first in case I should not finish. I am somewhat anxious about staying away so long from England, but trust the Lord may guide. I work by myself from soon after 7 a.m. to 9-breakfasting alone; then 9 to 12.30 p.m. at translation with them; from 3 to 7.30 again, and then I work through reserved hard passages alone, and then often until midnight alone-letters and what I have to do; so I am not idle. As to going out, I go to the post at dinner time, or for ten minutes elsewhere.
I have gone through Hebrews by reason of poor S.'s tracts, and analyzed the epistle, making it all very clear to myself, at least, clearer than ever, and leaving no shade to my own mind in any part. It is being copied. I cannot conceive how any one that has closely examined it can doubt for a moment as to it. But it has put the scripture statements in a clearer shape and certainty in my own mind, for there is nothing really new in the doctrine. It is an examination and analysis of the epistle, chewing what it teaches and the ground it takes. I have kept this apart, save stating the ground and some allusions, and then answered statements of the tract in the end part. So that the first, with very little trouble, may be used apart for helping in reading the epistle. I have a paper too, on the Scriptures and the Church for Present Testimony.
I get on feeling I am old, and as to my body, worn out, but through mercy my mind is as fresh as ever, judging I trust all evil in me, past and present, more earnestly than ever, but finding unutterable goodness and mercy even there, and I hope living more with Christ and more in the Father's love. But I find intercession weak in me, though I know I love His people. For Himself He stands alone, and grace above us all. Still I should like to be more like Him, more with Him. Even my work absorbs me too much. The steam, so to speak, is spent in propelling the vessel along. Still He helps and sustains; and I find when it has not to be. propelled, and a moment's rest is there—oh! how sweet it is—the steam is there, and rises up in unbounded thankfulness to unbounded grace, by grace revealed, and goodness that never fails. And so I am somewhat consoled but not content.
But I must close.... I was at Duisburg for Christmas and Lord's day, and saw the brethren. A large room Christmas afternoon was filled to cramming. The Lord grant there may have been blessing. I have found at any rate great attention to the truth plainly put, and in several places there is considerable desire to hear, I have encouraging accounts from America. There are at least seven in the States now, who have given up everything and come out to work. New York getting on with Brooklyn, through grace and mercy, happily, better founded through His grace than ever. I always dread my work not being solid....
January, 10th 1870.

Christianity Working by What It Brings; Experience in View of the End; Service of Evangelizing; Paul; Translation Work

I thank you for your letter, and thank you for the account of the work. Canada is dear to me for the work's sake, and for the affection of so very many from whom I have received every sort of kindness, beloved ones in the Lord. When I have labored in a place I always feel it mine, not in possession, but in the service I have to render to the saints. I have a faint hope, but wait on the Lord as to it, of getting to the Guelph meeting. I should be glad to see them once more, but as I have told some of them, I am in my seventieth year, and though through mercy strong still, we know that threescore years and ten closes the title of man's active life, though our God can do what seems Him good. It depends a little on my getting through the work I am about here. I feel how great the privilege of evangelists is. I preach here or in the country around regularly, speaking, unless some special hindrance, two or three times a week, but every one has to do the work and fill up the little niche assigned him by God. My work is more in setting souls free, and now in these last days, when all is going so fast to evil, getting, as the Lord enables me, the word of God in its contents and in its purity among those who profess His name. They need being built up here; the work has greatly extended. And besides, I have undertaken nothing less than correcting the whole Old Testament, working it from the Hebrew with all the helps I can. It is a service underground, but I trust will be a help to the saints. They were really without an Old Testament—either an excessively incorrect one, or by infidel translators. We have done (I have helpers for pure German) the prophets, Job, the most difficult of all, and are in good progress with other parts; the historical are very easy comparatively. I had done the Psalms a few years ago for them. I believe God is graciously helping us. I am very happy in the work, but a little anxious as to the time it will take. Then I have three gospels ready of the English New Testament, that and the French being now out of print, and the French are waiting for the English corrections. But if I get another gospel quite ready, I might perhaps get for a couple of months to America and return; if fine weather, it would be a rest for me, and that I somewhat want.... I accept my present work while it is so important in these last days that brethren should have the word of God, and that they should have it as pure as possible—and we must expect in these days to have the poor as always when the church got into its own place in the world, at least for the great mass. And I feel I am serving the Lord in using the little knowledge I have of Greek and Hebrew, etc., in furnishing brethren who have them not, with the word of God as nearly as possible as it is. Otherwise, the times call for building them up in the truth solidly as once given, so that I am jealous as to how much time I spend on what is means, however precious, for we cannot esteem the word too precious. It is that which God has given us when the church went wrong.
I rest on the Lord's goodness towards His people, though I be a poor intercessor for them. I feel the difference of counting on the Lord's love (that I feel through grace I can do), and using it in the activity of faith, to obtain the blessings it has in store for His people: there I feel weak. God will give surely according to His own thoughts and purpose, but He allows us to have a part in carrying them out, first by prayer and then by service; and while I doubt not all is foreknown and surely ordained, and for those for whom it is prepared of the Father, yet herein comes our responsibility, the place of a single eye that does not confer with flesh and blood. One so wrought from the beginning, holding himself dead from that time, and always bearing about in his body the dying of the Lord Jesus. We, alas! have often to learn how to do it, or do so, at least, after much mixture of the living and the dead. Yet he had to be helped, and have a thorn in his flesh, and be delivered to death; but then it was from God and for Jesus' sake: the flesh was not different, but the man was. However, the Lord is all we need, and He is perfect.
I have not doubted a sifting time would come for the work in Canada, but the workmen must not be discouraged by it. I doubt not there may have been some excitement and craving after it, still with self-knowledge. I dread excitement, but I do not forget that when the Lord sowed, only one in four came to perfection. I do not mean this as a rule; we do not see it thus when the apostles preached: it is danger, and characteristic, but I use it to check a false judgment upon the work, where some disappointment may come. I am more anxious about what the world and the spirit of it forming a clergy may do, than about the reality of what has been done. I know-too, but I know the gracious Lord is above all our weakness. It is a great point to know how to serve in what we find, not expect all as we would. Christianity works with what it brings, not with what it finds; and we are poor creatures ourselves after all. Give my kindest love to the dear brethren, and I am, dear brother,
Affectionately yours in our blessed Lord.

Psalms; Rationalism; Translation Work; Synopsis of the Books of the Bible

Whence did this Synopsis come? Did I give it to be published originally? I forget it (not its contents) entirely. The more I read it the more I feel the truth precious for those who can bear it, but there is such a sentence as, "receive ye... but not to doubtful disputations." I' doubt not many are able to bear it, and printing goes to all. What is the thought of bringing it out now? and how? I have corrected it, and there are passages I should like better as they were, but if stumbling blocks for the weakest, would take them out of the way. I will send it (D.V.) when I have 'looked it through; the first pages seem clearer than I should have expected. I not only believe it true, but believe it to be useful and used. But the raising of questions I dread.
It enhances for me, with far deepened feeling, the sorrows of the blessed Lord, and gives an apprehension of them otherwise not had, and makes His Person more divine to the mind. But His sorrows must ever be a depth into which we look over on the edge with solemn awe; we could not be there and still be; but it exalts His grace to the soul to look into that depth, and makes one feel that none but a divine Person (and one perfect in every way) could have been there. But it requires an exercised, and I believe a very humble soul, to look in: but I understand that to an unexercised mind—I mean when human thoughts subsist, and the word is not simply received -it may perplex them as to how He could be there. And though I think the saints needed it very really, and it was so far of God and called for, I think of those others, and should fear as to the sacredness of His Person, raising discussions and provings. The needed work is mainly done; for myself it is all deep gain of soul. I discuss nothing, but seek to learn....
I am just now getting on slowly with my German Bible. We are, or have been, in the hardest part, and now my chief German assistant is unwell. If it was too long delayed, I should get to England and finish it afterward, but do not hastily move out of my present track. Unless Proverbs be difficult, we have now done all that is so. I shall be anxious to get on with 'James' when possible, and then the N. T. I have been reading a little at moments, the most careful rationalist view of the structure of Hebrew scriptures. I am struck with its poverty, though astonishing diligence of research; what has any weight I have been for years ready to recognize, and the rest, not only flimsy, but a total absence of all perception of divine intention and mind—almost more than I could have thought. I think my sojourn here is useful for building up and teaching, and the Lord has graciously given me liberty. They are clear on grace and forgiveness', but need something of the new position, but are going on well. I think I mentioned that the work has spread considerably.
Affectionately yours.
January, 1870.

The Atonement; Remnant in the Last Days; Jewish Remnant; Sufferings of Christ

I come now to the subject of the sufferings of Christ. There are persons who oppose my doctrine, by saying, “The Lord Jesus would thus voluntarily have endured non-atoning sufferings-sufferings which do not shelter from the wrath of God those for love of whom He endured them-useless sufferings, which in no measure satisfy the justice of God.” I reply: Certainly, Christ has willingly, endured non-atoning sufferings, sufferings which will not shelter those for whom He has endured them from the anger of God. In denying this truth you reject what is most comforting, and, next to salvation itself, that which is most precious in the gospel. Christ has "suffered, being tempted." Now that was not expiation, neither does it preserve us from the same kind of suffering; on the contrary, it is our precious consolation, when we are tempted. He has endured the "contradiction of sinners against himself." From that I gain courage not to grow weary in the conflict; but there is no expiation there, no delivering man from wrath. "If so be that 'we suffer with him," it is said. Are those atoning sufferings? The Lord said to two of His disciples, "Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized." (Mark 10:39.) Was that a question of expiation? Paul sought the fellowship of His sufferings, and filled up that which remained of the afflictions of Christ. Were these atoning sufferings? Some say to me, But these sufferings do not extend to death.' They are mistaken, for it is quite the opposite: "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus... for we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake." (2 Cor. 4:10, 11.) "The fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." (Phil. 3:10.) These are very clear passages. We have only to read chapters 2, 4 of the Epistle to the Hebrews to find the plain contradiction of the doctrine which some put forth in opposition to what I have taught. That doctrine denies almost all of Psa. 69, and a great part of Psa. 22, where explicit distinction is made between the sufferings on the part of man, and forsaking on the part of God. In Gethsemane, He was not yet drinking the cup, for He asks, if it were possible, not to drink it. Was He not suffering? How can any one say that the sufferings of Christ, which do not satisfy the justice of God, were useless? Is His sympathy of no avail? Is the fact useless that He takes part in all our difficulties, in all our sorrows, in all our temptation, to know how to apply His word to him who is overwhelmed with afflictions? " We have not an High Priest which cannot (μὴ δυνάμενον) be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Heb. 4:15; compare Heb. 2:17, 18.) But I have said enough for every Christian, who thanks the Savior for this special manifestation of His love. There are sufferings of Christ, sufferings of an infinite value for us, which are not atoning.
Some have raised a special difficulty with respect to His sufferings for the remnant of Israel. Never will I seek to turn the Christian away from the atoning sufferings of Christ, and from those which form the basis of His sympathy with us in our conflicts, to draw his attention to that which relates to the remnant of Israel. I desire that the Christian should occupy himself, above all, with the atonement, then with the consolations which are bestowed upon us by the knowledge of the sympathy of Him, who has suffered, being tempted. But when it is a question of explaining the Psalms, it is necessary to speak of the sympathies of Christ for the remnant, because that is the principal subject of the Psalms. It is easy to understand that many souls, as dear to God as a Christian more instructed in the scriptures, know nothing of that which the word teaches on this subject. We should not lead the weak to doubtful disputations. I do not think that what I have said would do this. Such souls would perhaps have said, I understand nothing at all about it,' and would have laid the book aside, for which I should not have blamed them. They might have been able to enjoy it afterward, but they would not have been troubled,. if their attention had not been drawn to this point. Without leading them into a discussion which would not be profitable to them, I shall seek to enlighten them as to what I mean.
Every Christian believes that which I teach, although all do not apply it to the remnant of Israel. The position of this remnant will, in the last days, be as follows: They will see before them the anger of God and will be in anguish, feeling how much they have deserved it; the power of Satan will be there in an entirely special manner; the mass of the people will be upraised against this remnant. Christ has passed through these troubles, although He did not deserve to do so, but He has felt how much His beloved people have merited these troubles. He has accomplished atonement for Israel in such a manner that, finally, the wrath of God will not burst forth against the remnant of this people; this remnant will enjoy blessing. But He has passed through the troubles above mentioned. The wrath of God was before His face, the power of Satan was there, it was the hour of the wicked and the power of darkness. It is said in the word, "In all their affliction he was afflicted" (Isa. 63:9), and I believe it is not there a question of expiation. In Gethsemane, He was not yet drinking the cup, but His "soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." All this appears to me very simple and very certain, according to the word.
Difficulties have also been raised with regard to the idea that this took place particularly after the last supper. But the distinction of that hour is made in the word. "His hour," it is often said, "was not yet come." Afterward the Savior Himself denotes this special time. He said to His apostles, "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it.... For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors." (Luke 22:35-37.) He would not drink any more with His disciples of the wine of the passover. Then, this was the hour of His anguish. Does any one believe that He did not suffer from the forsaking of His disciples, the treason of Judas, the denial of Peter?
To the thought that this kind of suffering continued till death, special objections have been made. But Psa. 69; 22, are witnesses of it. Without doubt, the cup of the wrath of God has, so to speak, comparatively effaced all the rest; but it is no less true that these Psalms, of which we have the literal accomplishment in the Gospels, depict sufferings of Christ on the part of men even unto death, and show that He has felt them. "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psa. 69:20, 21.) Read Psa. 22:14-20, and remark the contrast between these sufferings and the forsaking of God.
We have already seen that Paul sought the fellowship of the sufferings of the Savior in death. That Christ was then occupied with Israel, is brought out evidently by His words, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do": an intercession which gave force to the call to repentance addressed to Israel by Peter: "I wot that through ignorance ye did it." The fact that the remnant of Israel go to the edge of the tomb in their anguish is constantly repeated in the word. Further, the application of the sympathy of Christ to Israel is only a particular application of a general truth of which I have already spoken. It is also clearly set forth in the word, that Satan came to try Jesus in a special manner. In the Gospel of Luke, it is said, that Satan "departed from him for a season." The Lord declares emphatically, in alluding to His last sufferings unto death, "The prince of this world cometh." Dreadful words!
It was the hour of man, of the Jews, and the power of darkness.
I say no more; I do not enter into controversy. It seems to me that what I have said will be received by every true Christian.
I seek not to go deeply into the question here, but to present the truth which is found in the word in such a manner that the weakest Christian may see that what I have said is scriptural. I do not think that the church of God ought to be deprived of the value of these precious facts. The more we see that atonement was made in drinking the cup of wrath, the better we shall comprehend what sin really is, and what deliverance is. The more also will be brought out the reality of those sufferings of Christ which are not expiatory, and Christ Himself will become more precious.
I have endeavored to present my thoughts in such a manner as to wound nobody, and to avoid controversy. Whatever effects the opinions which are opposed to my teaching have produced in my own mind, I have taken care not to express them in the least. I seek, and that by request of others, to calm all anxiety which the suspicion of grave errors might have produced. "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace."... It seems to me that sincere souls might find edification in what I have written, and not objections only. I am not senseless enough to maintain that a pen, purely human and feeble, may not have expressed itself badly on such subjects; but I see nothing at all to retract from the statements themselves. I believe, on the contrary, that the Christian may learn in them better to lay hold on the whole extent of the sufferings of Christ, the reality of His humanity, and the infinite depth of His love.]

The Force of the Term Destruction; the Dispensatore; Exercises and Ground of Peace; Publication; Repentance; Righteousness of God; Old Testament Saints; Sanctification; Union With Christ

Dear Brother, I delayed writing to you until I had read a little of the "Dispensatore," and I had very little time. I am well satisfied on the whole, and I believe, dear brother, that God has guided you. The articles are simple, and at the same time sufficiently advanced in the truth. I hope you will always keep before the eyes and the hearts of the Italians foundation truths; grace, salvation, redemption, the perfection of the work of Christ; that redemption was completed in His death; and that, in His resurrection, we have not only a new hope, but a new position before God. This gives perfect peace before God, and this is the measure of our walk in the world. What Christ is before God is what we are, because we are in Him; but if we are in Him, He is in us, and His life ought to be manifested in all our ways. I find much to interest me in these numbers, but I speak only of the articles which suggested some observations. Although it is useful to insist on the necessity of having an assembly pure, and of keeping it pure (and I believe this is necessary everywhere, and especially in Italy), I hope you will not go further in speaking of the questions which have risen up amongst brethren. Do not think that I am less strong in my conviction of the necessity for firmness; I am far from being so, but your "Dispensatore" is intended for edification, and for the growth of souls; and I believe that firmness is better manifested in practice where God is with us, when principles have been presented and proved, than in a multitude of words, which give rise to controversy. I must also point out a few little points, and say a word on the source from which you take the articles (I speak only of the defects) so that your paper may be as perfect as possible.
In No. 1. the principles of the article are very good, but I do not think that a person can believe that he has peace before feeling it, because peace is a state of the soul; it is something experienced. I can believe that Christ has made peace, but not that I have it.
In No. 2. page 2. Here also the article is very interesting, and the principles are true, but I do not think that "united to God" is according to the word. We are united to Christ. I do not believe that faith unites us to Christ: the Holy Ghost does. Many people say that faith unites, but the word does not. "By one Spirit are we baptized into one body." "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." I could not say (end of the second), 'not by preaching the law.' I acknowledge that the gospel, or Christ, is a better way, but for many hearts, or rather for many consciences, the law is a means of reaching them, and convincing them of sin: certainly it cannot give life or peace.
I cannot find it just now, but I think you have spoken as if the Old Testament saints could have been united to Christ. They had received life from the Son of God; but union depends upon the coming of the Holy Ghost.
One observation more. You ought to examine attentively (I ask God to guide you in this) the articles on repentance, and on sanctification. I do not speak about these, but I think you translate much of what dear—has written; you do well, for his writings are most useful, and they attract the heart, and are much more easily understood than my own. But amongst our brethren, and in a whole school of Christians, on account of the war they have made against the error which requires so much repentance before believing, and coming to Jesus, and so much sanctification before knowing that we are in Christ, they have fallen a little into the other extreme; they will have no other repentance but faith itself, and no other sanctification but the fact of being in Christ, who is our sanctification. I do not say that your article on repentance is like this. But the one on sanctification does not seem to me quite clear. It is true that Christ has been given to us, made of God sanctification, and it is true that no human efforts can add to sanctification; but though on one side the life given by God is holy—Christ is our life—it is not the whole truth that we are accounted holy in Him. It is evident that the writer loves holiness, but the word speaks of following holiness (Heb. 12:14): it says, " The very God of peace sanctify you wholly." 'The sanctification that I have in Christ is as perfect as the wisdom and righteousness.' But the righteousness is always perfect as my righteousness; I possess it, and so I am the righteousness of God in Him. Could I say I am holiness, or I possess perfect holiness? God sees me in Christ perfectly righteous; He sees me, we can say, perfectly sanctified granted—but, as to righteousness, there is no other righteousness before God but Christ. If I could have any other righteousness, I would not wish to have it; but I do desire holiness; I follow after holiness: could I follow after righteousness? God chastens us, that we may be partakers of His holiness; this could not be said of His righteousness. There is, thus, a difference between sanctification and righteousness, although we have both in Christ. We are, as to our persons, sanctified in Christ, since we have the new life; but our state of soul may be bad or good, and we ought to follow holiness. If this be done before knowing the perfect righteousness of God, before being justified and knowing it, we are not really seeking sanctification, but justification, hoping that if we were more holy God would accept us. There is no true holiness until we have peace; after we get peace, holiness for its own sake is the desire of the soul. We must certainly first of all go to Christ, that is not the question, but what we are to do when we have gone to Him, and have found peace. That we have received an entirely new life, which ought to be developed, and the activities of the heart in prayer, in the use of the means given by God, are things often forgotten when sanctification is spoken of. In your article, the second part makes it evident that the writer desires the yoke of Christ, and brokenness of will, but the doctrine is not entirely clear. I say all this, dear brother, that your "Dispensatore" may be as useful as possible. The greater number of Christians will not observe these little mistakes in it; they will even be glad to find them, and will not consider them to be mistakes, the doctrine as to sanctification excepted....
Yours affectionately in Christ.
March 3rd, 1870.

Death Not Being the Cessation of Life; Eternal Punishment; Denial of Immortality of the Soul

* * * Immortality is incorruptibility, and applies to the body in life and immortality, nor is mortality applied to anything but the body. The evil is that people confound immortality and eternal life—two things totally distinct. I am just as mortal when I have it as before. They must for their theory make Satan mortal as man. I am not very fond of the expression "immortality of the soul," as it gives a handle to them. Man is become mortal or under liability to die, but scripture is as plain as possible and as express, that death does not touch the soul. It is the separation of soul and body, or, as the second death, punishment. These things have vogue for a time with unconverted and unstable souls, and some other heresy springs up; but it is when God calls us to it to be earnestly contended against.
Mr. Minton evidently knows nothing of sin and atonement. That I have invariably found to be the case. Look at the article on the deserts of sin. Now Christ and atonement, or what the cross proves, is wholly passed over and ignored. Their system is merely natural religion, and that false. I find them writhe under the testimony of scripture. So in the article on immortality. I deny righteousness and holiness in Adam unfallen. The statement that death is the cessation of life (save as it is used for life in a body, as we use it now) is formally contradicted in scripture: "Fear not them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." Life is used in various ways in scripture: "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." And I die, or Paul dies, just as much as a sinner, who, according to their own theory, do not cease to exist at all. Christ died. Did He cease to exist? All this is stuff—mere trash—without reference to scripture.
When he says that scripture says that he shall die, it says also that they shall rise again, and "cast body and soul into hell." I do not talk of continuation but of punishment. Destroying does not mean annihilation. A concordance will prove the folly of it. Change the word and see: "O Israel, thou halt annihilated thyself, but in me is thy help"—"He came to seek and save that which was annihilated!"

The Atonement; Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Wrath Revealed From Heaven

Dearest,-The great book on the subject is -'s, an American, which I have in a measure looked at when there, having to meet them; but found it best to trust the Lord and have scripture ready, through grace, and meet what I had to meet, and the Lord helped me. Some were delivered, and one, through mercy, kept safe. Birks is pretty much, as to the ground he takes, Origen's; that God had not revealed all the truth, but kept some back that useful terror might be there. But there is another question, What is the truth of what is revealed?
But I find gross ignorance of the gospel at the bottom of all this. Christians are put by Birks as having to answer for their works, and receive the things done in the body just if there was no complete salvation. Give an account of ourselves we shall; christian responsibility I fully acknowledge. But they leave out divine righteousness and a new position consequent on redemption. They leave us under our old Adam responsibility with a supplement of grace. They confound the wrath which judges temporally with the wrath of God revealed from heaven; our responsibility as men and our totally lost estate in nature. It is not only that we shall not come into judgment because Christ has borne our sins as to our own responsibility as men, but that we are passed from death unto life. This leaves the ordinary evangelical world, though they may be kept in simplicity by mercy, wholly incapable of, meeting these questions.
The question besides the atonement is, Is the soul immortal according to scripture? and the distinct holding fast that death is not ceasing to exist, on which scripture is quite plain. Another point is that while God is love, He is perfectly righteous in His horror of sin. Generally these persons mean by righteous that He is under obligation to us, which is a very different [thing] from a holy nature expressed in power and authority against sin. But the atonement always goes when this doctrine is let in, and it must do so. As to details, they see nothing of the earthly judgments of the Old Testament; this clear, nine-tenths of their proofs are gone. All is hodge-podge in their minds (and in such as Birks') as to the difference of judgments of man here on earth, and wrath, as referred to man's being hatred against God, revealed from heaven. When death, destruction, and the like in the Old Testament are taken in their true sense, most of what they say falls away as without any force whatever; but here the evangelicals lay themselves wholly open to their attacks. Solemn intimations may be found which the spiritual mind may apprehend, but the dealings of God were on the ground of present judgment. So on the other side, though there were hints, life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel.
I am drawing fast to a close with my own work here, and what we are now doing is very easy. I am only afraid of going too fast. I have no doubt I shall find defects, but the poor brethren will have an Old Testament they can use, which at present is not the case. English, Dutch and Italians are far better off, the last the best of all old translations-Zurich not bad.
I have happy accounts of the desire to hear the word in Madrid. B.'s Italian journal is (up to this) very good in its matter, and not so far back in knowledge; a few slight mistakes not likely to be felt by those using it. We correspond in Italian now, mine bad enough, I am well aware, but he likes it better than French.
Affectionately in the Lord.

Eternal Punishment; Denial of Immortality of the Soul

The denial of the immortality of the soul upsets the atonement entirely. If I have only an animal soul, where is responsibility? I put the case to them, Could God give eternal life to a dog? They said, Yes. Then I said, It is a new creation, but be it so. But could the dog feel responsible for what he had done as a dog, as sin? Would Christ have to die for his sins when he was such. If not, He has not to do it for mine when at best, if more intelligent, I had only an animal soul. I repent for the same reason of all my past life—out of the question if I have no such spiritual responsible soul. And even if my sins only deserved a temporary punishment as particular acts, Christ's sorrows and sufferings must be proportionally small. If it be a spiritual nature which is at enmity against God, as the apostle states, then I understand the extent of the evil, and a misery which no mere quantum of infliction could reach. The atonement must be measured by the extent and nature of the guilt, taking in Him against whom we have sinned If a person were merely puzzled by some clever person I might have patience in hope of restoration, but when a man is a heretic, that is, holds it so that it is the expression of sin in the flesh, he is to be rejected. I never met a person who held it deliberately who did not lose the atonement; as it indeed cannot be otherwise, for when there is not an immortal soul, a spiritual soul, how can you make an animal morally responsible?
As regards the Person of Christ, it is thus I have seen it work in America. They teach that death is ceasing to exist. If it be, either Christ has not died for us, or He ceased to exist. Thus His person was speedily lost; but all have not gone thus far. Some did distinctly state it to me. If it has practically taken the form of a heresy, we are told to reject them; and certainly what destroys the atonement is not the portion of a happy worshipper. They are not on Christian ground: the Lord's supper has not the same sense as it has for me....
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
April, 1870.

The Atonement; Government of God; Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Universalism; Wrath Revealed From Heaven

One great cause of error on this subject is, that the saints do not make the difference which scripture does between the government of God exercised over this earth and the necessary rejection of sin by God's nature-His wrath from heaven. The evangelical world does not make the difference, and hence is liable to be misled, and unable to answer, though God may preserve souls by the instinctive sense of what is in scripture. Israel may be carried to Babylon, but Daniel finds it his sure path to heaven. All above twenty years old fall, save two, in the desert, but Moses and Aaron, and very likely many others, find their place in heaven too.
These dealings of God must be in connection with God's character, and immediately flow from it; but they ate not the expression of it: they are His ways in and through men. Life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel. Just judgment was expressed in these ways, but not the judgment of the secrets of men's hearts, but of men on the earth, for their conduct on the earth. This is so true that, though there are passages which lead the spiritual mind to see the loss and ruin of man ("He drove out the man:" that God was lost to man: that man had left God, the way back to the tree of life being barred), yet the express positive judgment as pronounced does not go beyond this world, even when it reaches death. Man was made out of the dust, and returns to the dust: but that is man, the object of our senses here; nor was more openly revealed. But the breath of God was not dust nor made out of the dust. Hence death, and destruction, and the like, in the Old Testament, though they may imply that displeasure which is the sign of what is connected with eternal misery, yet mean habitually, in the Old Testament, death and destruction by judgment in this world: a solemn and dreadful thing as God's displeasure, but which is not in itself eternal misery. The state of the soul afterward may be learned from other truths, but what is expressed is present judgment without the smallest hint of what comes of the soul afterward. It is judgment here.
The New Testament recognizes this even to death, as judgment here too, but passes on to the revelation of what follows, because life and incorruptibility are brought to light, and that the absolute incompatibility of God's nature and sin (not merely His governmental approbation of righteousness) is plainly revealed. But these, those who deny the immortality of the soul confound; and for the most part evangelicals too. The latter hold the truth in effect, but they accept the application of terms and passages to what is eternal, which puts a weapon in the hands of those who teach error, against which it is logically hard to defend themselves, though their faith may be right. Universalists are in the same error, but it does not so immediately affect the question on the surface of the matter; but it does as really, because the nature of sin and wrath is in question.
Another source of error for the Universalist, allied to this, is the not perceiving that an entirely new life is given in Christ. The evil of the flesh of the old man is unaltered. They confound and forget, in looking only at the practical effect on our state, the real gift of life, and suppose that a process after death can form the soul for God. Where eternal life is, punishment can break the will, give seriousness, restrain under the sense of God's hand, and so work effects; but no punishment can ever give life, nor does grace alter the old man. I only speak of general principles, which lead to these errors here, because in universalism either Satan and the evil angels, to be more precise, can be saved without propitiation (and so can we then too), or their plea of God all in all is false, and mere human selfishness; and the evil spirits remain unsaved, for Christ did not take up the cause of angels.
But I return to general principles. The Old Testament passages which furnish the vast majority of alleged proofs of the destruction of the wicked, speak of judgment and destruction in this world only. All beyond, save glimmers which traversed the gloom for faith, was dark and invisible. That system was the government of God, not salvation for God's presence and eternal life, though these were saved and quickened. Destructionism holds that eternal life is given in Christ alone, but confounds eternal life and the immortality of the soul, two entirely distinct things. As regards spiritual divine life, we have no life in us at all; we are dead. It is not merely that it is not immortal life; we have none. It denies that we are alive-not that the soul is immortal but that we have life in us. They might as well, and more truly, use it to prove we are not alive at all-for that is what is said-than that the soul is not immortal. It does not apply to the question.
As regards destructionism, another false assumption, which formed the basis of thought in most minds affected by it, is that death is ceasing to exist. This is wholly groundless. Indeed it begs the whole question. It may or may not be, as far as man can say from what he sees; for beyond death he sees nothing. He may reason that the cessation of outward organization does not and cannot affect that of which he has the consciousness, and have the strongest ground for rejecting the supposition when `to be or not to be,' that is the question. He may speculate with Plato, or reason closely with Butler; but he knows nothing. As far as the intimations of the Old Testament go for faith, they furnish the thought which Pharisees had thus acquired of the subsistence of the soul after death. Thus Samuel is brought up: David says, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." Enoch and Elijah gave yet brighter hopes in the darkness, though darkness still was there. So that the Lord could rebuke the Sadducees as not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God in rejecting the resurrection; and the resurrection involved the necessary truth expressed in Luke 20:37, 38, that "all live unto him." Nor did scripture know in this respect any difference between saints and sinners: not only was He the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ("not the God of the dead, but of the living"), but the ground of this was not their piety, but that for God all lived, even when for man they died. Sadducees are no new race; but they "err, not knowing the scriptures." The Old and New Testaments alike forbid the thought that in man's case death is ceasing to exist: believers die, Christ died just as much and as really as sinners. If death as such means ceasing to exist, then the saints and Christ ceased to exist. Nor can what has ceased to exist ever be raised again.
But there is another vital point in this question. The atonement is lost, and the responsibility in us to which it applies. If I have no more soul than a beast, though a more intelligent animal nature in degree, responsibility is gone. You cannot make a dog or an elephant responsible for sins. When I am converted, I repent, I judge my past sins; I feel I have failed in my responsibility; I learn that through infinite grace Christ has died for my sins. It is not merely that He becomes life-new life to my soul. Thank God that is true; but He died and has made atonement for my guilt, my sins, when I had not yet that life. He died for our sins; and this that I might live. If eternal life were given to an animal, it could not repent of previous guilt; the Lord, with reverence be it spoken, could not make atonement for its previous sins: He has, blessed be His name, for mine.
Responsibility and atonement disappear with this doctrine, and in its value with universalism too; because, in the latter system, sin does not bring exclusion from God, but merely a measure of torment: the nature and character of sin is denied -by some, indeed, expressly. And in the destructionist system, even the punishment of sin, temporary punishment after death, has no ground. If I have only animal life, and can no more really sin than a dog or an elephant, what am I tortured for afterward, and so destroyed?
It is well to remark, that not only do the two systems of destructionism and universalism denounce each other as utterly unscriptural, but there are two parties among Destructionists. One holds death to be death, and the end of man as of a beast. They are consistent, at any rate; for if we cease to exist, we cease to exist. But then, if scripture be owned at all, we read "after this the judgment"; and so the other party bring them up again, though saying death is ceasing to exist, and then destroy them gradually in the fire: though, as I have said, what for, it is hard to tell if they have only animal life; or who is raised, is hard to tell if they have ceased to exist. But there is the judgment after death; that is, they have not ceased to exist at all. The soul is a distinct thing; it survives the body: " All live unto him."
I only seek here to review the bearing of the question, not to enter into detailed proofs.

The Typical Import of Colors

We have three colors: blue, or rather purple, תכלת(tekeleth). This was on the table, on the candlestick, and on the golden altar. תולעתשניscarlet; and ארנמז reddish purple—this last on the brazen altar: the scarlet on the loaves. I believe the first to be that which was heavenly, or the divine, in man. All relate to the person of Christ or the display of what He is. The table was divine righteousness in character, which is the base of human order and administration. This had the tekeleth; the candlestick the spiritual perfection. The altar was the same character, only within, in intercession. Hence all on the journey were so covered. What we know of them has this character, only within, in intercession. Hence all on the journey were so covered. What we know of them has this character in going through the wilderness.
The loaves were covered with scarlet, that is displayed royalty in perfect administration itself. So, over the ark; there was first the veil—Christ's human nature; then guarded on the earth in spotlessness untainted, by the badger skins; and the result was the heavenly or divine in man manifested here.
The reddish purple I suppose to answer to the altar of sacrifice, and to the more heavenly royalty; the exalted man the consequence of self-sacrifice to God. It is lordship glory or reign, but not so much displayed from and displaying heaven, as brought into the same, as answering to suffering. It was more as conferred—though the same one way—than displayed in peace; though it will be displayed. The transfiguration displayed it, not the lowly Savior. This is what has struck me, but we must distrust any imagination getting in. The things they are in, and their place and nature suggest them—I hope under guidance.
Affectionately yours.

The Lordship of Christ; Humanity of Christ; No Worship of the Spirit of God; Cooperation of the Persons of the Trinity

I am, under God's mercy, going again, which I did not think to do, as you know I am well on in my seventieth year. I do not think to stay; I suppose many will be at the Guelph meeting, and I shall see the principal gatherings, but I hope to be back by the end of August; staying, say two months the other side: a long journey for a short stay, but there was need, and I am the servant of the saints for Christ's sake.
I am greatly attached to Canada, but the breaking up of all things here claims attention, both as to popery and infidelity, and I am expected in Italy, the Lord willing and helping, this autumn. I have been over-worked; I do not mean as to my body, for I am very well, thank God; but not a minute save a few on Sunday, to sit down and say, Thou art good; and my work scarce at all direct activity, searching out souls; and though willing to do anything, this, in a certain sense, was starving work. But I have been helped in ministry, and there is a great desire to hear. But my heart longs to be more and more with God, and study and feed on Christ-what else have we?-and that, in unutterable grace, we have. But I am dragged out-in danger of not feeding enough; yet the word has unfolded itself to me a good deal these latter times, and I wonder at the graciousness of God in keeping His poor saints and leading them on, and gathering out, and keeping them steady; and on the whole the saints are in a healthful state; only I should like to have more intercourse with them.... I rejoice to hear of the blessing; meetings are springing up everywhere, so to speak. What a responsibility it brings before us! But I comfort myself with the thought that there is One who cares for His own sheep—and what a comfort it is!... Peace be with you.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.

The Title of Lord Applied to the Holy Spirit; the Double Use of Kyrios; the Lordship of Christ; Cooperation of the Divine Persons; Eternal Sonship

I have no objection to call the Holy Ghost Lord as a general title in glory and Godhead, just as Jehovah our God is called Lord-regularly so, in the New Testament. "The Lord said unto my Lord," Jehovah to Adonai, and thus I am quite free, and have no quarrel with those who do, because He who is God must in a certain sense be Lord; and I think that 2 Cor. 3:18 does connect Lord closely with the Spirit; but verse 6 gives it a peculiar force, when after a long parenthesis verse 17 takes it up again. The revelation of the Lord is in the present power of the Spirit of God; and that is the way in which we have even the new covenant. But he identifies this with the present power of the Spirit in saying, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
I do not think 2 Thess. 3:5 amounts to a very distinct testimony. It is the general expression for the ordering guiding power of grace over His people, and without any definite distinction. It is Christ that comes, if we define, with the term Lord to the mind. In the regular use of the word κύριος is used in two ways in the New Testament. The LXX have always translated Jehovah by κύριος and so it is used as a name without any article in the New Testament. I have given a list in my French New Testament in the preface. Then we have Christ set as man in the place of Lordship. "God has made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Every tongue shall confess "that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." "To us there is one God, the Father... and one Lord Jesus Christ." This truth is very distinctly taught. It is not a question of nature, but of a place He has taken. And in this character the church or Christians constantly address Him: "all that in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, theirs and ours." It is a name of relationship-"theirs." "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." "I besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from me."
The Holy Ghost is the accomplisher of all grace in us. In that sense He carries out the lordship work in us. It is not a question of the Holy Ghost's nature or being or personality. They that lie to the Holy Ghost, lie to God. He distributes to whom He will; and as thus acting He is practically Lord. Still though He exercises the authority in and over us, yet He refers our hearts to Christ. There are diversities of operations, but one Spirit. There are diversities of ministrations, but one Lord. So as to unity-one Spirit, one body, one hope of our calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Thus in the practical sense the Holy Spirit acts as Lord. We are led by Him. The Holy Ghost said "Separate me." But the title as appropriated is Christ's, or Jehovah, or the general divine authority and rule. The action by which Lordship is exercised in grace in us, is by the Spirit, as in 1 Cor. 12—distributing: but the title Lord in administration is in Christ. If Christ directs my heart, the Holy Ghost would do it in me.
In Acts 4 it is another matter: it is δεσπότης not κύριος. I mean in verse 24; as "the Lord that bought them," "the only Lord God"-despot literally-bought them, being the comparison of a master buying a slave. In verse 29, it is general, but if defined refers to Jehovah. "Child" (ver. 30), is servant, Christ as man (exalted) is looked at as not δοῦλος, bondsman, but the servant of God.
But though Christ be made Lord and Christ as man, yet through His oneness with the Father and His being the true God, it runs up into a divine title; just as in the case with Son. He is in the place of Son as man, or we could not le with Him. "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;" but it cannot be separated from divine and eternal Sonship. As man He becomes and enters into-is in so far as He is a man in-the relationship with the Father as divine and eternal Son. In all the works of God we find this co-operation of the Persons. The Son wrought; yet He could say, "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works:" and, "If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." I know not that I can add more to make it clear. Definitions here are not man's part: he receives, thanks and worships....
My kindest love to the brethren. I rejoice in their blessing and joy in Christ, as my own-in some sense more. The love of Christ directs the eye on them He loves. All is going on very fast here, but towards what? But the blessed Lord is as sure for this as for every other state of His saints, and the truth and the word of truth increasingly precious, Christ more all- at any rate, more separately and contrastedly.... Peace be with you.
Ever, dear brother, Affectionately yours.
P.S.-In reply to the fly leaf I had not sufficiently noticed, I add: It is not any question of Person or dignity as to the Holy Ghost that hinders His being the object addressed in prayer, but the place He holds in the divine economy. He does govern as we are led by Him, but our communion is with (objectively) the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It is eternal life to know the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Yet without the Spirit, and a divine Spirit, we could have no communion and no knowledge. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us: our bodies are His temples. But it is as in us He works, leading us objectively to the Father and the Son. But God dwells in us: by the Spirit we know the Son is in the Father, a divine Person thereby; we know we are in Him, and He in us. And in Rom. 8 we find Christ and the Spirit in this respect identified. The Holy Ghost is a divine Person and in the unity of the Godhead adored and worshipped. He is the immediate agent of all that God does -immediate to the effects. But His place in the divine ways is not in the same way objective—as divine and as personal, but not in God's ways so objective.
May 10th, 1870.

How to Meet Attacks; Translation Work; Darby's Love for Preaching

I have heard something of the work and rejoice in it; of the attacks I think little, if the brethren go on well. Toronto would give me ten times as much, but I was able to trust the Lord for it, and He comforted me: combat I know it will be to the end. Mere attacks I feel are never to be answered. If we have failed-acknowledge it; if not- leave it to the Lord. Occasionally, one may have to take up some great truth or error in controversy, but in general the way is to work on with the truth itself....
As regards my translating work, I look upon myself as a "hewer of wood and drawer of water"; only I say if the wood had not been hewn, there would have been no offering on the altar; and as it is the word of God, I am content to serve the saints: that word is so important in these days. However, in Germany I had three preachings or teachings weekly, and larger congregations than here, though the places are crammed, and there was a most attentive ear. Here I have it every day but Saturday. But I have the feeling of a kind of impossibility of getting through the day's work, though I know we have no more to do than what the Lord has for us to do, and time for that. But I sigh a little, to get out of the critical examination of the text, to the use of it. But the word, I think, has power here, at least a multitude of young men and laborers come and are very attentive—considerably more men than women. But most of the day I am poring over Greek editions and MSS.; and I love not only to preach, but to be in direct communication with souls as to their relations with God—saints, and sinners yet more. However, if I serve the saints I am content, and the word, and specially now-a-days, is of endless price.... Hoping to see you, dear brother, ere long,
Ever affectionately yours,
In the love of the Lord, in haste.
May, 1870.

Details of a Conference

I write a line to say we are all here well, every way favored in our voyage. But I have delayed my letter that I might give you some account of our conference. The evangelists had brought so many younger converts, that the beginning of the conference gave less communion than earlier ones, but met the need of the moment. Questions, though reading Ephesians, on how to preach the gospel, Christ dying for all, how to put bearing sins, and the import of the blood on the mercy-seat and the scape-goat, mixed with dying for our sins and our dying with Him, responsibility, and counsels, and such like, but all useful. After Sunday, when we broke bread, I suppose some four hundred, a very good time, many had to go away, and there was more study and following out the subject-we had got to the armor-and then a synopsis of Matthew, John, and Hebrews, for we stayed another week, and, indeed, a few of us are going to read 1 and 2 Timothy today. Many came from different parts of the States, and all our evangelists were there, some under tents. The happiest spirit reigned throughout. A few left for England before we had finished. On the whole, I think, through mercy, it has in some measure met the need of the case.
Some of the converts in the Ottawa valley are dispersed, but a very real work has been done. The evangelists had in some places shut the door against themselves somewhat, by preaching against the denominations and baptism, which alienated the minds of some, but I do not think the former made as much difference in result as might appear, because in the long run it was found out it did separate. But it made this difference, it gave a different tone to their testimony, and in -, where they did not, the people were disposed in their favor, because the clergy attacked them and they attacked nobody. Both subjects came up at the end of the meeting, though I had abstained from it, but said what I thought when others brought it up. But there was no jar on any one's spirit; it was quietly inquired into. The Lord has been gracious to us, and I am thankful I now for a brief moment purpose running round one or two places: all is open. On souls just coming out, the speaking or praying (so to speak) against denominations does harm. I fear one interesting laborer was driven away by-doing so at the beginning; but all is in the Lord's hands.
I still hope to return in August, though there is plenty to call for labor and interest here. Till the last two days it was very hot. We were in a large tent.
Affectionately yours.
July, 1870.

Advocacy and Priesthood

P. communicated to me the question in your letter. John 13 is advocacy: that is not access, which is the point in Hebrews, but cleansing, and restoration to communion, as in 1 John 2-the intercession of the blessed Lord when we are actually defiled, when, being washed (bathed), we have defiled our feet.
In Hebrews we are perfected forever by the offering, and have boldness to enter into the holiest. Here it is a "part with me," and the present enjoyment of that is interrupted. The priesthood is for mercy and grace to help in time of need. We are feeble, have infirmities in the Hebrews, having to say to God: the word judges, the priesthood helps with grace in our position with God. In 1 John 1 we have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 14-16 refers to other subjects: what Christ was on earth as to His Person so that His coming again should have its value, what the Spirit would be to them, what He was in relationship to them in contrast with Israel, what the Holy Ghost would be revealing the glory, and then His presence on earth. Chapter 17 is neither priestly nor advocacy, in the sense of Hebrews and 1 John 2 It is essentially putting the disciples in His own place with the Father, and doing and looking to the Father to do when He was gone, all that was necessary for their being, and being maintained, in this place. It is not priesthood with God for mercy and help for feeble man, perfect in conscience with God, but feeble as man here; not failure calling for advocacy and cleansing as 1 John 2 and John 13 It is the Son looking to the Father to keep in, and fit for, His place on earth, those whom He had put there (vers. 1-8) when He had gone on high glorified. Only the three last verses add a heavenly character to their joy: the rest is their place here, even in glory: this is the Father's house. But Jesus is Son here, not properly Priest or Advocate. Only the Son, while God, and one with the Father, never from chapter 1:14 gets out of His place as Man in John, but receives all as such. I can only give the suggestions of the great leading principles. You must study the passages with that help which alone can make us understand the word, and is never refused to those who, not in searching merely but in all things, seek His face. He gives to all men liberally and upbraids not.
Very truly yours in the Lord.
September 11th, 1870.

Greek in Philippians 3:3

* * * Phil. 3:3. I do not think the sense materially altered by θεῷ; [Text. Rec.] or θεοῦ; because if it is πνεύματι it is θεοῦ, and if λαπτέυοντες it is θεῷ whether the words be there or not. Only πνεύοντες is more my state. I confess in spite of great authorities-Alford says Text. Rec. may have preserved it. Of new authorities א has θεοῦ,-, but Porphyrian (a new good MS. published by Tischendorf) has θεῷ. So has D (Claromontanus) and has been corrected. Vulgate and Italic have both, Deo. So Augustine, save where he makes use of it for special objects. So Tertullian. Ambrose has Dei; but he, too, has a special object and appeals to Greek copies. But Aug. and Amb. have it wrong at any rate, spiritui Dei, namely, "serving God's spirit," their object being the doctrine of the Spirit. This is the diplomatic evidence-the internal I judge to be for θεῷ. I see that Delveth, a very clear head, takes it up just as I have done. If you can get hold of Sabatier, you will find the Latin part of the subject pretty fully there.
The middle βάπτισαι and ἀπόλουσαι (Acts 22:16) has nothing particular. It was Paul's act to Arise and be baptized; self is the "arise" in his doing it. The ἀπό governs self as in such cases: he could not actively baptize himself, yet it is an exhortation to him to get it done. Lassen sie taufen, "have yourself baptized." So in 1 Cor. 10:2 (where, however, אACD etc. have passive—not B and what I call P). It is the only accurate tense in either case, as Paul is called on to act in the case, but to receive reflexively. It is the receptive force (so Meyer and Alford) of the middle; as, 'I will hear,' namely, I receive a sound in myself. Actively he could not βάπτιζε σεαυτόν; passive was wholly out of place, because he was directed to be active. Acts 10:47, 48, it is passive because the orders are given about them. 1 Cor. 10 is more significant: the following word is active; they took the profession on themselves.
As to Heb. 11:10—I take the "city" to be very general in contrast with tents (ver. 9)—a stranger in the land. But the only city is the heavenly Jerusalem—itself a figure. It is not "a city," but "the city." In verse 16 it is a city, where the promise is more defined. They look for πατρίδα. But it is a permanent abode God has prepared for them. I do not see it said of them that they are the city, but they will enjoy it.
I am very thankful you were refreshed. I find my own quiet here a great blessing, for my work (besides study work) is with souls.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
September 19th, 1870.

Gift as to the Assembly; Gift and Individual Responsibility; Exercise of Gift in Open Meetings

Save giving the room they, the assembly, have nothing to do with testimony, though it be altogether happier to do it in fellowship. I say it only when the question is raised. Gifts are in the church, and one teaches at Ephesus or Corinth or wherever he may be by God's will. I feel it a totally different thing to speak when the saints are assembled as such, and when I stand alone speaking in my gift to people. I say this because the question has been raised here in England too. In one place, I believe, at this moment they are starving through this false notion. Whether an assembly asks any one to do it is a matter as to principle which depends on them. If they deny the individual exercise of the gift by an individual as such, they are denying the authority and title of the Holy Ghost who distributes as He wills, and Christ's too, whom such are servants of in this gift. All this is a mischievous delusion of Satan. It is a denial of the true liberty and title of the Holy Ghost. If the assembly prefer open meetings and have only one day in a hired room, I have not a word to say; I should fall in with the general desire. But if they reject the individual exercise of gift it is utterly false and pernicious. There could not be if this were true, Christ could not call, an apostle; nor the apostle, if He did, act out of the assembly. The gross absurdity of it in the case of an evangelist is evident, and the exercise of all gifts is alike under the authority of Christ, and ordered in the word.
As to an individual having the care of getting someone to do it, that is a matter of the desire and love to souls of the assembly, who may wish there should be evangelizing or teaching. If the room is theirs, and they do not like it, of course no one has a title to do it. If they wish it, it is a matter of service according to their wish. Outside this love and care for sinners or saints on the part of the assembly, a person's coming, or seeking a person, is an individual matter. The assembly has no business to meddle save as in all things of common interest among the saints of God.
At present I am tied, getting the New Testament printed. When that is done, if in these countries, I may well see you all, and shall be glad to do so.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
September 27, 1870.

Gift as to the Assembly; Lordship of Christ

It is far better that—should give up the position he is in. Let the brethren pay for their room... and use it as they like, beyond meeting in it. If they pay for the room they have a right to dispose of it: that has nothing to do with my ministry. Their getting someone to be active in getting a lecturer, is merely their confidence in the individual. If there was not liberty when the assembly meets as an assembly, that is another matter.—only proves by his tract that he knows nothing about what has passed at Plymouth. There was no such question there ever raised in any way. But as to the principles there I am decided. If Christ has thought proper to give me a gift, I am to trade with my talent as His servant, and the assembly has nothing to do with it: I am not their servant at all. If they wish me to teach them I will teach, but I do not go as into an assembly, but to teach those who are disposed to hear. I exercise my individual gift, the assembly has nothing to do with me. I refuse peremptorily to be its servant. If I do or say anything as an individual, calling for discipline, that is another matter; but in trading with my talent, I act neither in nor for an assembly, rejoiced to do it in fellowship with them. If—'s doctrine was right, an evangelist could never exercise his gift at all, for he cannot really in an assembly as such. A teacher is just as much a servant of Christ as the evangelist, and bound to wait on his teaching. I believe it an effort of the enemy to deny ministry as service to the Lord.
In an assembly I may teach, but I do not go as a teacher: I may not open my mouth, or merely pray, I am merely one of the assembly. When I go to teach, I go individually to exercise my gift, and not into an assembly at all; and if this be denied, the authority of Christ and the liberty of the Spirit [are denied] to substitute for them the authority of the assembly. Difficulty was made here at one of the meetings, and I am going this day to lecture, the assembly having rejected the idea; and the brother who had the difficulty was silenced by their asking him did he not go and hold meetings in the country—which he did. Why should you object, they said, here? The Lordship of Christ is denied by those who hold these ideas; they want to make the assembly or themselves lords. If I am Christ's servant, let me serve Him in the liberty of the Spirit. They want to make the servants of Christ the servants of the assembly, and deny individual service as responsible to Christ. I do not go into the assembly when I go to teach or to evangelize, nor am I aware that Lord of the assembly is a scriptural idea at all; if it be it can be shown me, I do not recollect it; but my liberty in the Spirit and my responsibility to Christ I will not surrender to any one, or any assembly. But you have complicated it with the room. It is far better—should give up the control of the room if the assembly pays for it. If the assembly as such wish for a teacher to lecture,—has no right to hinder them; who is he to control the whole assembly in it? But let the assembly do it, if the assembly pay for the room.
There is full liberty. Paul takes Timothy; Apollos will not go where Paul wishes, and Barnabas gets Paul to come; and if they were teaching and preaching, why should not those gifted now? And if Paul and Barnabas were guided of the Spirit, why may not, in their measure, teachers be guided now? Who sent Titus to Crete, or left Timothy in Ephesus? They will say it was apostolic authority. Be it so; but do not let them pretend it is contrary to the liberty of the Spirit in those who serve. Paul went into the synagogue as his manner was; it was an arrangement. He separated the disciples, and discoursed daily in the school of one Tyrannus. This was arranged, and a lecture. Did this destroy the liberty of the Spirit? I am perfectly clear that all this is an attempt of the enemy to destroy the liberty of the Spirit, and the authority of Christ over His servants, and introduce another authority into the church of God. But do not mix this question up with a right over the room. If the assembly in fact pay for it, the room is in fact given up to them, let them dispose of it, and—retire. If he lends the room to them on the old ground let him do so, and pay for it, or rent it to them, and they have nothing to say to it at any other time. But do not mix up the money title to a room with the title of Christ to dispose of His servants as He pleases.... Leave the room to the assembly who pay for it, and let the assembly have lectures or not as they wish in their room. I am free to act without consulting them in my service to Christ: they are not the masters of the Lord's servants.
November, 1870,

Antichrist; the Spirit of Apostasy; Ruin of the Church; the House and Body; Man and the World; Rationalism; Romanism; 1 and 2 Timothy

Dear Brother,-You ask for a few words upon the apostasy. I do not hold to the word apostasy. It expresses the open renunciation of Christianity rather than the abandonment of its principles by those who have made a profession of it. But the thing, as to the reality of it, is of all-importance for heart and conscience. So long as the word was applied only to the votaries of Romanism, one would have had no difficulty about using it; but when it is understood that if this falling away of Christendom has come, the effect of it has been universal, one is shocked by the use of the word.
The open apostasy, then, has not yet come; but the giving up of the authority and efficacy of the word, and of faith in the presence of the Holy Ghost, the substituting the authority of the clergy for the immediate rights of the Lord over the conscience, the denial of justification by faith, and the putting the efficacy of the sacraments in the place of the work of the Holy Spirit-in a word, the full development of "the mystery of iniquity"-shows us an abandonment of the first condition of the church, and of the principles upon which it was founded, which is a moral apostasy. As John says, "You have heard that antichrist shall come: even now there are many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." Thus the apostasy, in the sense of a public giving up of Christianity, has not come; but the spirit of the apostasy manifests itself, not only in the development of the mystery of iniquity, but in the giving up of Christianity and of the authority of the word, and of Christ Himself, which characterizes half the population of Western Europe-Rationalism, as it is called, and the spirit of rebellion which accompanies it. The thoughts of man have taken the place of the word of God; they will no longer have its authority: the will of man will no longer have the authority of Christ. If the antichrist is not there, antichrists have been there long since; if the apostasy is not there, the spirit of apostasy has long since taken hold upon the mind of men.
But I said it was a serious matter. If the assembly-for the word "church" is very misleading, since we ask ourselves what the church is-if the assembly of God has not kept its first estate, if it has said, "My Lord delayeth his coming," and has begun to beat the servants, and to eat and drink and be drunken -and it has done this for a long time, for centuries-it will be cut in sunder and will have its portion with the hypocrites. It is said that Christ built His assembly upon the rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. This I believe, thank God, with all my heart. But this has nothing to do with the question. That which Christ built, indeed, will not be overthrown by the enemy; surely not. It is a question of what man has built, in that case it is not so. "I," says Paul, "as a wise master-builder, have laid the foundation... but let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." There it is the responsibility of man, which in some sort-in a certain sense altogether-enters into the question of the building. It is indeed the building of God, the apostle says, but it is built under the responsibility of man: a present thing upon the earth. It is not a question here of the salvation of individuals, but of the condition of the system in which those individuals are. When the end of Judaism under the first covenant came, pious souls-believers-were transferred to the church. God made an end of the dispensation forever. At the close of the christian dispensation the faithful will be taken to heaven, and judgment will put an end to the system in which they were previously. Nothing is more simple. The old world perished; Noah and his family were saved. The judgment of a system does not touch God's faithfulness, if it does not prove it by making apparent that He keeps His own even when all around them sink under the weight of His judgment. But what can be more solemn than the judgment of that which God established on the earth, that which had been dear to Him If Jesus could weep over Jerusalem, how deeply ought His people to feel the thought of the coming judgment of that which had a value far more precious than even Jerusalem. It is thus that Jeremiah, the vessel of the lamentations of the Spirit of God under the old economy, in words of rare and touching beauty, chews his deep grief in view of the ruin of that which belonged to God: "The Lord has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he has destroyed his places of the assembly.... The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary." (Lam. 2:6, 7.) This is the spirit in which the faithful one ought to think of the ruin of that which names the name of Christ.
But you will say: Yes, certainly; when it was a question of Judaism, that is plain; but it could not happen to Christianity. In the first place, that is just what the unbelieving Jews in the days of Jeremiah said: "The law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet" -a false confidence this, which brought destruction upon the people and upon the holy city. But there is more than this; it is precisely against this very false confidence that Paul (Rom. 11) solemnly warns Christians from among the Gentiles, that is to say, as drawing a parallel between the Jews and Christendom. "Behold then the goodness and severity of God: upon them who have fallen, severity; upon thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." That is to say, the Christian system among the Gentiles is subject to the same judgment as the Jewish system. If the Gentiles, who stand only by faith, do not continue in the goodness of God, they will suffer a like fate with the Jews. Is Romanism the "continuing in the goodness of God"? Are "perilous times" the result of "continuing in the goodness of God;" or is the "form of godliness, denying the power of it" from which the Christian must "turn away" (2 Timothy If the apostle could say, " All seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ"-is that "continuing in the goodness of God"? If the apostle foresaw that after his departure, evil would immediately intrude itself, the strong hand of the apostle being no longer there to keep the door shut against the adversary; if Jude was compelled to say that those who were the subjects of judgment had already crept into the church; if John had said they had left the Christians, had gone out from them-a step beyond that of which Jude speaks-that there were many antichrists, and that by this they might know that it was the last times; if Peter announces to us that "the time was come that judgment should begin at the house of God"-does all this lead us to believe that the Gentiles have continued in the goodness of God, or that the Christian system established among the Gentiles would be terminated by judgment, the terrible judgment of God; that as to outward profession it is a question of drinking of the cup of His unmingled wrath, or of being spued out of His mouth as nauseous because of its lukewarmness? This is what is so solemn for our consciences. Shall we, as a system, come under God's judgment? The faithful will assuredly enjoy a far more excellent portion, a heavenly glory, but the christian system, as a system on the earth, will be cut off forever.
With regard to the passages quoted from Mons. Bost, what he says is entirely false. The scriptures speak of the assembly as the habitation of God down here. The whole question lies here. In a house, the question is not of union but of dwelling. With regard to the body of Christ, it could not have dead members. We may deceive men, but in very truth he who is united to the Head is one Spirit. The body is formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12) Then, Christ builds a house which will not be complete till the last stone shall have been placed in it; it grows to be a holy temple in the Lord. But we have seen that down here the building being committed to men, it may be that the house is badly built, and will draw down the judgment of God upon what has been done. That the church has been placed as the pillar and ground of the truth, and that she is still responsible to keep that place, is quite another thing from saying that she has kept it.
Now the first Epistle to Timothy depicts for us the order of the house of God, and how man should behave himself in the house of God. Has he then behaved thus?-this is the question. If he has done so, whence then the papacy? The second Epistle to Timothy directs the conduct of the faithful when confusion has come in. Already christian things were no longer in the condition in which they had been formerly. At the beginning, "the Lord added to the assembly daily such as should be saved." They were manifested, and were added in the sight of the world to a well-known body. Now when the apostle writes his second Epistle to Timothy, this was already changed. All he can say is, "the Lord knows them that are his:" they might indeed be hidden from man, as the seven thousand were from Elijah. But along with this, there is a rule for the faithful one, "Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." Then comes the thought of the great house. We must expect to find in a great house vessels to dishonor as well as vessels to honor, but again there is a rule for the faithful one. He must purify himself from the vessels to dishonor, and not only so, he must " follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." In this state of disorder I cannot know, as at the beginning, all those who belong to God; but as to my own walk, I am to associate with those who have a pure heart. Further, in chapter 3, the apostle teaches us that in the last days perilous times shall come, when, under the form of godliness, its power shall be denied. This is not avowed apostasy, for there is a form of godliness; but it is real moral apostasy- the power of it is denied. M. Bost says, I ought to remain in it and be content with it; the apostle bids me "from such turn away."-whom shall I obey?
When he tells me that "it is impossible to distinguish those who are truly faithful from those who make an outward profession," and the apostle says, Let him who names the name of the Lord withdraw from iniquity, and tells me that I must purify myself from the vessels to dishonor and follow after christian graces with those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart-how can I listen to one who tells me that it is not possible to distinguish? If he tells me that there may be many souls, known by the Lord, whom I do not recognize; I reply, undoubtedly: the Lord knows those that are His. But I have directions for my conduct in this state of things which contradict yours. I am to recognize and associate myself with those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart; consequently to distinguish them. I am to purify myself from the vessels to dishonor; consequently to distinguish them. I am to turn away from those who have the form of godliness, but deny the power of it; I must then clearly recognize those who are such.
Further, it is a frightful principle to say that we cannot distinguish between the children of God and the people of the world-besides it is not true-a frightful principle, for it is said, "By this shall all know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another": now, if I cannot discern them, I cannot love them, and the testimony which God would have is lost. In the next place, it is not true practically, for we enjoy brotherly fellowship, and every faithful Christian makes a difference between a child of God and one who is not. There are some that we do not discern and that God knows: this is not denied. But in this respect the passages which I have quoted from 2 Timothy guide us. What would become of family affection if a father were to say to his children, You cannot tell who are your brothers and who are not; you must associate with everybody, without any distinction whatever?
I do not look into dictionaries, as they tell us to do, but into the hearts and consciences of those who love the Lord, taking the word of God that I may see what was the state of the church at the beginning, and what it is now; and what that word says to inform us as to what the church would become in the last times. The word is as clear as can be as to the decline of the church, and the character of the last times, and as to the setting aside of the christian system. The word is clear enough as to the unity which should subsist as a testimony borne to the world, that it might believe. (John 17) If a letter were addressed by the apostle to the church of God which is at Turin, who would obtain the letter at the Post Office except those of the Roman system? The church, as it was at the beginning, no longer exists. Call it what you will, provided that the heart feels that you have at heart the glory of the Lord trodden under foot by men. If the present state of the church is not the great beast which is spoken of, the indifference of conscience which can say so, and cavil as to the use of the word, is the most obvious proof of that lukewarmness which in the end causes Christ to spue the church out of His mouth.
Besides, there is nothing in this failure of the assembly but what is in keeping with the history of man from the beginning. As soon as man was left to himself, he fell, and, unfaithful in his ways, has fallen from his first estate, to which he has never returned. God does not restore it, but He gives salvation by redemption and introduces man into an infinitely more glorious condition in the second Man Jesus Christ. When Noah was saved in the destruction of the whole world, the first thing that we read after his sacrifice is that he gets drunk. When the law was given, before Moses had come down from the mount, Israel had made the golden calf. The first day after the consecration of Aaron, his sons offered strange fire, and entrance into the holy of holies was forbidden to Aaron except on the day of atonement: he never wore his robes of glory and beauty there. David's chief son, Solomon, a type of the Lord, fell into idolatry, and the kingdom immediately fell. God's patience was gloriously displayed in all these cases, but the system which God had established was set aside as a system connected with Him-less obviously in the case of Noah, because a formal relationship did not exist in the same way. But the confusion of Babel put an end to the order of the world, and tyranny and wars came in. But with regard to man-Israel, the priesthood, the kingdom-whatever God's patience may have been, man fell at once, and the system was never restored on the old footing. It is not surprising if this is found again in the history of the church, in as far as it is placed under the responsibility of man. It has said, "My Lord delayeth his coming," and has begun to beat the menservants and the maidservants and to join itself to the world. It will be cut off.
The grand principle of Romanism, and of other systems which are more or less like it, and which makes them essentially false, is that they attribute to Christendom-the assembly organized by means of ordinances-the stability and the unfailing privileges which belong only to that which Christ has built, to that which is the work of the Holy Spirit. All kinds of false doctrines are the result of this error; one is born of God, a member of the body of Christ-then one perishes: one is pardoned-and lost. That is what the article in the Vedetta Cristiana comes to, what the passage quoted by M. Bost involves. He forgets one of the two principal characteristics of the church according to the word, precisely the one where the responsibility of man comes in; that is, of being the habitation of God on the earth. He shows us the title that Eph. 1 gives us, and overlooks that of Eph. 2; then he shows us the condition in which the church now is, not surely composed of true members of Christ, without accounting for it, and without giving any information about the matter that might enable us to know whether it is good or bad- whence it comes, where it will end, or how the word judges of this state of things. The expressions which he uses are equivalent to those of the unbelieving Jews in Jeremiah's time -" We are delivered to do all these abominations." No one can say that the state of the church of Christendom is at all, in any respect, such as we find it in the word. At the beginning there was no Romanism, no National Church, no Dissenters. There was the church of God, and nothing else; which, it will be said, became very quickly corrupted. Be it so. Has it taken place? But there was a church to corrupt, an assembly into which some men had slipped. Was this corruption a good thing, or does it not bring judgment? Has it not made frightful progress since? Has the church of God been re-established on earth? Ought I to mourn over it? Should I not search in the world to see what its end will be, and pay attention to this? We have quoted this word, let each one judge before God what it says. If we are in grievous times, has not the word given us principles by which we may trace the way in which we ought to walk? If any one has the conviction that we are in those sad times of which he reads in 2 Tim. 2; 3, and will be before God, who has given us those principles, in full confidence in Christ, the result as to his conviction will not be doubtful. May he know how to walk with God!
Let us remember that in every position in which the first Adam failed, man has been gloriously restored in the Second. But this is a subject, interesting as it is, upon which I cannot enter here.
Make any use you like of what I have written, dear brother. I have written hurriedly; from seven in the morning till twelve at night, always at work: meetings every day, then other work of all kinds in correcting new editions of the English and French New Testaments, often at the same time. The brethren are going on well. I did not know who had sent me Lamentations Vedetta till I received your letter. It comes a little late, but that does not much matter. The subject is always important. But ever set forth the gospel rather than controversy. I have been writing on Romans; you may find something there which has not yet come out.
Your affectionate brother.
November 22nd, 1870.

Adam and Christ; Force of Greek Translated "Eternal;" Bethesda and Principles; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Government of God

Your letter was received at the moment of my departure from Pau, and I have been in movement ever since, latterly afoot, which with reading meetings the morning, and preachings the evening, pretty much precludes writing.
Death entered by sin [Rom. 5:12]; sin is taken abstractedly, the thing, sin, even personified, which is the highest figurative form of abstraction. The ἐφ’ ῷis a common Græcism for a condition, meaning for the existence of something, but which is not the cause, and for the principle on which it exists, though not the cause. Our breathing, or having air, is such a condition. So we are called ἐν ἁγιασμῷ It is the condition of our existence, not precedent but condition, as that without which the calling would not be what it is. Sin by Adam introduced death, but the sin of each is the state of things in which death works, as we say in French, moyennant. Πάντες ἥμαρτον is not merely sin in the nature; there is culpability of which the conscience can take notice.
As regards χρόνων αἰωνίων (Tit. 1:2), it is not to be doubted that associated with other words αἰωνίς has the sense sometimes of what is not properly eternal; it is the whole period designated by the subject: but as a word it means eternal. I might reply to a child who asked did I lend or give him something forever, that it was forever, though the thing was perishable; this does not change the meaning of 'forever'; it is an unrecalled gift. I apprehend that πρδ χρόνων αἰωνίων refers to that eternal purpose which was in the secret of God's mind, or to which He was engaged, unknown to the creature, before any revealed age, including the eternity in which we are in relationship with Him, was brought out into existence by God to whom there is no time. This is not foreign to, that is, does not exclude, embraces, your 'eternity commencing with creation'; but gives another idea to the expression. The "in due times manifested his word by preaching" precludes, I apprehend, any application to a promise merely, before the execution in the age to come. Many promises -have been given in time, to encourage God's people in their course; but this was a counsel and promise before any of the ages in which His government is displayed on earth. It was a promise, and then a word manifested above and without the government of God, though that government might be applied to the details of its accomplishment, as has been the case. Hence, I judge, he speaks of its being specially committed to him; whereas the gospel as revealing Christ in connection with the promises made to the fathers was rather committed to Peter.
As regards taking up Morris's doctrine, I am not fond of taking up certain heresies needlessly. It is not that I doubt that it is untrue, and miserably untrue, but there are certain metaphysical heresies which disappear before the fullness of Christ much more than before controversy; and often discussing them raises questions where they were not. I doubt much that the course pursued with Morris (it was at Ebrington Street after I left) was in any way guided by the Spirit. He is quite outside; and it would have to be met better, I judge, in individual cases....
I judge that the brethren have to begin their Nazariteship over again. I apprehend W.'s attack on Bethesda was a misapprehension of the whole state of the brethren, and of God's dealings with them; but God has used it for His own purposes. The result of the Plymouth affair ought to have given to see that the brethren's place was a quiet guarding of their own consistency with their own position, and a healing, very patient, restoration in their own gatherings, which a gracious hand introducing Christ might have done. Attacking that which had human force was like shooting with a crazy, broken weapon. It was not conscience of the state in which the brethren were; God could not accept it, though He might use it as a chastisement of their pride, as He has done; but it was to begin with it anew; and I believe on much better, stronger, and holier ground. But the result of what was done could not be any other, and God's hand is plainly manifested in it; but this is what gives me confidence. It is His hand; His quickening power never fails where He acts. If the ark is taken, David and Solomon are raised up: if Jesus Himself is rejected, it is that He may be raised. We cannot lay our poor body in the dust in the weakness of death, but that we may be raised up glorious and new, and yet it is we are raised up. I believe the real testimony, as God gave it to me at the beginning, and of which I never felt rightly the value, the brethren had failed to maintain, and they were not in the capacity of testimony, whatever the immediate occasion of the judgment, and that the test of revival will be greatly the capacity of that testimony. Of this I have no doubt. It is not a question of new truth to me, but of the place this truth takes in the creed of the church.
We treated the seven churches (Rev. 2; 3) at Annonay with much interest, and, I believe, help from above. The Church of England has nothing to do with the matter, for it never had any pretension to be a church at all in any scriptural sense of the word; it is a great unformed mass arranged by men, with many children of God doubtless in it. It is important, specially in these days, to see things as they are. The seven churches do not treat the subject of discipline by them, because they speak of Christ's judgment pronounced on them without any question of a subject (unsuited at such a time) of the means-amply treated elsewhere-or the means to be employed for avoiding the being subject to such a judgment. It is not the subject; and with the purpose of the Holy Ghost which I judge to be unfolded there, as do the mass of Christians -that is, to apply it to the history of the church professing in all ages—it would have been quite beside the object; but even for present instruction to the church it was not the matter treated. It is Christ's judgment of the churches, not the means they were to employ, already well known, of dealing with evil when in their regular state as a church; if they were out of it, and incapable of remedy, the candlestick would be removed. The body of Christ is in no way the subject of the seven churches. It is not the subject of judgment and removal. No communication of grace is ever found in the seven churches; responsibility is what is treated, threatenings, promises, all that acts upon responsibility, but nothing of communicated grace. The Holy Ghost directs the church according to the mind of Christ: Christ judges that which bears His name.
I have written to -, but merely in a few words, judging the monstrous inconsistency and foolishness of his tract on the seven churches. I have only said that the whole matter rested on proving that Bethesda was such a church, which is assumed, and without which his argument was not worth a straw. Peace be with you; love to all the brethren.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.]
June 14th, 1850.

Addresses to the Seven Churches; Protestantism

* * * You ask why I believe that the seven churches give us the history of the whole church.' I will not say I believe; I believe what God has said; my faith is in the word of God itself; what it says I believe. But we can have our understandings enlightened by the Holy Spirit in order to understand what has been written in this word, and set it before our brethren as a matter of knowledge, not of faith. I think, then, as many other Christians do, and, as far as I am concerned, I have no doubt that this series of churches applies as history to the moral successive state of the whole church; the first four to the history of the church from its first decline to its present condition in popery; and the last three, from Sardis to Laodicea, are the history of Protestantism. If you examine the structure of Revelation, you find it is divided into three parts. Read chapter 1:19: "Write the things which thou halt seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter," literally, "after these." Now "the things after these" (or "hereafter") begin in chapter 4. "The things which thou hast seen" precede evidently "the things which are" since the prophet has seen them; so "the things which are" are in chapters 2 and 3. In chapter 4, the throne of judgment is placed in heaven, not the throne of grace to which we draw near with boldness; from this throne proceeded lightnings, etc., the signs of judgment. Now the judgments which proceed from this throne fall on the earth. The church is not seen still in the world, but in heaven, seated upon thrones around the throne of God. It comes with Christ and all the saints in chapter 19. These things are not the things which are, but those that come after these. "The things which are" refer therefore to the church looked on as placed under the responsibility of man, and judged by the Lord; and the Lord is seen, not as head of His body, not as a Priest to intercede for us, and to help our infirmities, but as a Judge: He is not serving, but He walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks to see what is the true condition of each, and to pronounce His sentence. However, the series is presented as a whole. It begins with the first decline of the church, and goes on to the Lord's coming, and to the judgment of the church; whether it is judged, and the kingdom and the morning star are substituted for it, or spued out of the Lord's mouth. That this series is looked on as a whole is confirmed by the force of the number seven in the word. It is a whole during the time of the apostle; and the things that take place when God intervenes to judge the world, begin in chapter 6. after the throne is set in chapter 4, and the Lamb has taken the book in chapter 5. It is not, however, a whole at the same time, because the state of each church is different. Still, if we examine the church of Philadelphia, we find that a time of tribulation is spoken of which shall come upon all the world, and the Lord adds, "Behold, I come quickly": this cannot apply to the church of Philadelphia alone. I have already drawn attention to the church of Thyatira, where those who are faithful are to maintain their fidelity until the Lord comes. If we believe-and, for myself, I do not doubt it-that chapters 6-19 relate the history of the judgments of God and of the Lamb after the throne of judgment has been set in chapters 4 and 5, then it is certain the seven churches, "the things which are," give the history of the church from the beginning till the end, until the Lord comes to take it away, and gather it round Himself, in order that the saints should come with the Lord to judge the world, and reign over it.
Now if we believe this, there are some points which may guide our intelligence, and confirm the justness of this way of thinking. The series begins with the decline of the church. It is necessary to observe, that these pictures of the church are not the history of the operations of God. God does not judge His own work, but when it has had its share in bringing about the result, then God judges this result; and that is what we find here. The Lord is not a servant in grace; He is not the Head of His body, and the source of grace and strength for His own as normally; but He wears a garment down to His feet, and He walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks to examine their condition. But man is not faithful, and the Lord finds that the church has left its first love. Through the faithfulness of God, persecutions follow; then corruption, and false and corrupt teaching. Then we find, not one teacher who teaches error and deceives the disciples, but that the woman Jezebel not only seduces, but is the mother of the corrupt; in the external church the children of corruption are born. Not only this, we find this solemn word, "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, but she repented not." Then comes His judgment: there is still time for those who commit adultery with her, but for her children, nothing save judgment. The faithful are exhorted to maintain their fidelity until the coming of the Lord. Then the kingdom and the morning star are substituted for the external church. Thus the history of the church in its responsibility is related from the first decline until its end, brought about by the coming of the Lord, who judges corrupt Jezebel, and her children, and establishes the kingdom and the heavenly glory in their stead.
But in this case, what are the last three churches? I do not doubt that they represent Protestantism. The church of Sardis is not guilty of the horrible corruption of Jezebel, but she 'has a name to live, and yet she is dead; she is to be treated like the world-solemn judgment. Compare 1 Thess. 5:4; Rev. 3:3. Philadelphia walks with little strength, but waits for the Lord's coming, and keeps the word of His patience; and she shall be kept from the day of temptation which shall come upon all the world. Then Laodicea is to be spued out of the mouth of the Lord. Thus we have the history of the external church upon the earth, and the sad result in the hands of men of the grace of God, but to be so much the more a witness of the patience and of the faithfulness of God towards His own.
I send only a few general principles. The understanding of the truth on this point depends on the explanation of all the ways of God towards the church and towards the world.
I send, dearest brother, a few lines on the seven churches -not a finished explanation; but points that may be meditated on if the truth is sought: you can use it as you wish....
Your affectionate brother.
December 22nd, 1870.

Christ's Life Being the Perfect Rule of Life; Signification of Everlasting; the Place of Law; Oaths; Rule of Life; Old Testament Saints

1. The word "everlasting" signifies that this order was not provisional and temporary, but established by God for all time, until there should no longer be a priest: עולם (Olam) is thus used. If there were no longer a priest upon earth, the order would no longer have its application.
2. In the Old Testament the veil of the tabernacle was not yet rent, and God was not yet fully revealed. For this reason the standard was not so severe, so high; thus divorce was permitted if the wife did not please her husband: other things, likewise, were allowed which are not allowed in Christianity. But there is another difference. The opposition of the flesh to the Spirit was not known before the death of Christ as it has been known since. A man could say, ' This is forbidden,' and yet know that his heart desired it, but he could not say, 'This comes from the flesh, and not from the Spirit; it is wrong, I cannot do it.' Thus in this very case the Lord says, when He forbids swearing, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh from the evil one," or "of evil." So it is swearing from the evil, the levity of the heart, not swearing before a magistrate who is ordained by the authority of God, which is forbidden. If I am in Christ, the life of Christ is the only and perfect rule of my life.
3. The whole truth of the gospel depends upon the distinction which is pointed out in these words. [John 1:17.] The law requires from man what man ought to be, in order to be righteous before God. The Lord Jesus Christ is and has done all that was needed to save a sinner The law was not given, it did not come by Him He owned all its authority; He fulfilled it morally in His life; as to its typical meaning, for example the sacrifices, the priestly office, and in many other points, it has been fulfilled in what He has done, or in what He is now doing, or even in what He will do in time to come. But the grace that saves and quickens, and the truth that gives light and makes all things seen as they are, came by Jesus Christ. The law can neither save nor quicken; it cannot take away sins; it can impute them and it brings a curse, but Christ has been made a curse for us, and grace flows freely according to the righteousness of God: we share in this righteousness; we are made the righteousness of God in Him. "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." We are "set free from the law, being dead to that in which we were held." The authority of the law is not weakened, but we have died in the death of Christ, and the law has dominion over a man as long as he is alive. But we are dead and the law cannot apply to a dead man: we have been crucified with Christ. The death of Christ confirms the law as nothing else does since it announces its curse, but we believers are set free from the law because we have died with Christ; we are dead to sin as to the law and alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace and truth have in no way come by the law, but by Jesus Christ the Son of God. The law was not annulled by His coming, but fulfilled we are not under law but under grace. We do not sin because we have died with Christ; we have died to sin, to the law, by the body of Christ, This is true liberty, being made free from sin that we may live unto God in the new life which we have received from Christ, strengthened by the power of the Holy Ghost, Christ being the only object of our life.
4. The absolutely perfect and living rule is the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him all written rules are united in one solitary living example; but the written rule which ought to govern our whole life is the New Testament. The Old Testament gives the most precious light, and illuminates the path of Christians by the light of divine faith working in hearts; still, before the rending of the veil, it could not be said, "The true light now shineth," save in the life of Jesus Christ: He was the light of the world. For this reason when the Holy Ghost gives as examples of walking in the path of faith, the faithful of the Old Testament, He adds, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith." The faithful have, each for himself, gone over a little bit of the path of faith: Jesus is the beginner and completer of this path. But whatever be the light that shines in the Old Testament, it is a precious light, and it can, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus, make us wise unto salvation. The precepts of the New Testament furnish a clear, perfect rule adapted to the Christian such as the Old could not do. Christ having suffered with a patience that was perfect, we have learned to walk in the same spirit; "If doing good and suffering, ye shall bear it, this is acceptable with God, for to this have ye been called." "Let the same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." He humbled Himself. We are called to walk worthy of the Lord so as to please Him in everything. We must know the Lord in order to walk thus—"worthy of God who hath called you to his kingdom and glory." This absolutely clear and perfect light is found in the New Testament alone; but the Old, if we have learned to distinguish between the dispensation under which the saints lived in those times, furnishes very fine examples of faith, of obedience, of subjection to the will of God, of constancy in His paths. Happy is he who keeps by His side to learn how one ought to walk, and who understands the riches that are in Christ, the beauty of His ways, to enjoy communion with Him, pleasing Him every day more and more.
I send my manuscripts without corrections, and without reading it over; I have not time. You can make use of it as you like, and as will be most useful and profitable.
Yours affectionately in Christ.
London, December, 1870.

Breaking Bread as a Christian; Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ

There is no difference between [breaking bread as] a Christian and fellowship, though some may not be always there; because the only fellowship or membership is of the body of Christ, and if a person breaks bread and is thus recognized as a member of the body of Christ, he is subject to all the discipline of the house. I may not enforce constant attendance with us only, because he may come with the desire to show unity of spirit, and yet think that his ways are more orderly conscientiously. If his heart be pure (2 Tim. 1 have no reason to exclude him; but if anything in his path require he should be excluded, he is liable to it like any one else. But I know no fellowship other than of membership of the body of Christ. Being met, the question is has he done anything which involves disciplinary exclusion.
Only I believe brethren alone walk in consistency with the fellowship of saints in the unity of the body; but I know no particular corporation as that body—not even brethren—nay, these least of all. This would deny themselves. Though they have this, that they meet on the principles of that unity, but for that reason, must own all its members, on the one hand, and maintain its discipline on the other.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.

Patriotism and the Christian; the Christian Being a Soldier

* * * It is clear to me that a Christian, free to do as he will, could never be a soldier, unless he were at the very bottom of the scale, and ignorant of the christian position. It is another thing when one is forced to it. In such a case the question is this: is the conscience so strongly implicated on the negative side of the question, that one could not be a soldier without violating that which is the rule for conscience—the word of God? In that case we bear the consequences; we must be faithful.
What pains me is the manner in which the idea of one's country has taken possession of the hearts of some brethren. I quite understand that the sentiment of patriotism may be strong in the heart of a man. I do not think that the heart is capable of affection towards the whole world. At bottom, human affection must have a center, which is I can say, `My country,' and it is not that of a stranger. I say, 'My children,' `My friend,' and it is not a purely selfish 'I.' One would sacrifice one's life—everything (not oneself, or one's honor) for one's country, one's friend. I cannot say, 'My world'; there is no appropriation. We appropriate something to ourselves that it may not be ourselves. But God delivers us from the 'I'; He makes of God, and of God in Christ, the center of all; and the Christian, if consistent, declares plainly that he seeks a country—a better, that is to say, a heavenly country. His affections, his ties, his citizenship, are above. He withdraws into the shade in this world, as outside the vortex which surges there, to engulph and carry everything away. The Lord is a sanctuary.
That a Christian should hesitate whether he ought to obey or not, I understand: I respect his conscience; but that he should allow himself to be carried away by what is called patriotism—that is what is not of heaven. "My kingdom," said Jesus, "is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight." It is the spirit of the world under an honorable and attractive form, but wars come from "lusts that war in your members."
As a man I would have fought obstinately for my country, and would never have given way, God knows; but as a Christian I believe and feel myself to be outside all; these things move me no more. The hand of God is in them; I recognize it; He has ordered all beforehand. I bow my head before that will. If England were to be invaded to-morrow, I should trust in Him. It would be a chastisement upon this people who have never seen war, but I would bend before His will.
Many Christians are laboring in the scene of the war; large sums of money have been sent to them. All this does not attract me. God be praised that so many poor creatures have been relieved; but I would rather see the brethren penetrating the lanes of the city, and seeking the poor where they are found every day. There is far more self-abnegation, more hidden service, in such work. We are not of this world, but we are the representatives of Christ in the midst of the world. May God graciously keep His own.

The Lord's Ways With Peter; Soul's Restoration

Βeloved Brother, -I do not believe that restoration means the recovery of peace, unless it be peace in the consciousness of the favor of God, which is enjoyed anew in the soul-the re-establishment of liberty of heart with God. One meets with cases where a Christian has fallen, yet in nowise doubts his salvation, or the efficacy of the blood of Christ; but the heart has got to a distance from God, has not the sense of what sin is, such as the presence of God always gives.
Now to be truly restored, the Christian must recognize the point of departure where his soul gave up communion with God, and sought its own will. It was thus with Peter. The Lord does not reproach him with his fault, but says to him, " Lovest thou me more than these?" That was the point where his soul had turned aside from the right way, where self had shown itself, confidence in himself. The Lord probes Peter's heart, and makes known to him the undercurrent of pride and false confidence which was found there. Until that moment Peter was not restored, although on the way to be so. When a brother in fellowship has fallen, and has sincerely acknowledged his fault as an evil, even when he may have been reinstated, he is always in danger of falling again if he has not judged the root of it. It is there that he got to a distance from God. Communion with God is not thoroughly re-established, self and its will are not thoroughly broken, as long as the Christian has not found the point where his heart began to lose its spiritual sensibility; for the presence of God makes us feel that. I am not speaking of a matter of memory, but of the state of the soul.... One meets with cases (where probably true deliverance had never been realized), like that of dear -, where despair takes possession of one in failure. Then it is a question of finding peace through the blood of Jesus, or at least of power to raise the shield of faith, of confidence in God.
A soul is restored when it enjoys the favor of God, not simply as certainty of salvation, but when the Spirit, instead of accusing, causes it to rejoice in the goodness of God. Restoration is not complete until there is enjoyment of communion with our brethren. I remember having seen horror at having sinned against grace, and at the dishonor done to the name of Christ, as the first effect of the renewed power of the word in the heart: then came the sense that grace has triumphed over all—blessed be God!
December 31st, 1870.

The Danger of Discussion on the Nature of Christ; Life Laid Down and Taken Again; Humanity of Christ

I return -'s letter. As to his statements, I know of no brother who holds that Christ had a life distinct from His communion with God, a life to which sin and death belonged: such a Christ would not be the true Christ at all. It is utterly false doctrine, and I know no one who holds it; and, unless abandoned, should think such a person ought to be excluded from communion. That sin attached to the life He had when on the cross, in the sense that He bore our sins, and was made sin for us, is a fundamental doctrine of scripture; but it was He who knew no sin who was made sin, taking it on Himself, or rather having it laid on Him by God, and, as so, bearing it, He laid down His life, or died; this also is fundamental. Further, that He took life again in a different condition afterward is stated in scripture-"Being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Lim." It was not different as to sinlessness, sinless He always was; but He was "made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death:" now, as Man, He is exalted above all principality and power, and cannot die. Before, He could, for He did, and took manhood to do it-for the suffering of death; took flesh and blood, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death-but He was always in relationship with His Father, and in perfect communion, save as drinking the cup on the cross, when He said, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? "-yet never more perfect than then. If brethren held what he states, I should not blame him for leaving them....
Christ making His own generation is dark enough: He was "made (γενόμενος) of a woman," but miraculously that there might be no sin; but "of the seed of David according to the flesh," and carefully traced up to Adam in Luke. But when he talks of a generation of light since Seth, and in consideration of their being flesh and blood, Christ took it, he is again away from scripture; for the saved were "sometimes darkness," and then "light in the Lord": there is no generation of light but by grace. Here, though obscurely stated, I am afraid there is something radically unsound. In Colossians "the beginning" is connected with resurrection. That Christ had eternally both life and quickening power I do not doubt, and so when here, and that it was a holy thing that was born of the virgin Mary. That Christ had no connection with the sin of human nature, but was as really a man come in flesh as we are, is fundamental as to the truth. That has allowed his mind to act on scripture, and got away from divine teaching, is quite plain, and is in danger of denying the real humanity of the Lord; and as to this generation of light and the like, his mind is dangerously at work, instead of being subject to God. But gracious communicating might restore him: he studies scripture, but trusts his own mind, and that will not do in the things of God.
It may have been anxiety for Christ's personal glory but there is enough, to say the least, unclear, as to the Lord's true humanity, to make one inquire fully what he does hold.
Affectionately yours.

Two Parts of the Christian Life; the Mind of Man in the Things of God; Wilderness and Canaan

He must learn to learn. The passage is very simple and quite right, that though both the wilderness and Canaan make part of the Christian's life, they are very distinct parts; and that so it was in Christ. His joys above were distinct; He lived above in spirit and yet walked in the wilderness below: then, though one acts on the other, and in Him all was perfect, yet were they distinct. The Son of man was in heaven, and the Son of man walked on earth; one reproduced itself in the other, but they were distinct things. It is an evil thing to lean to one's own understanding. We have to learn, and when sound in the faith to suppose others right till we find them wrong.
February 2nd, 1871.

Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Christian Life

Dr. W. brought us up word of dear T.'s departure. When I heard she was ill I felt for you. But I think when there is no special cause for distress, I have a happy feeling at those one loves going home. It is a natural kind of feeling of liberation with the Lord, and then an end of conflict and watching; and I suppose as one draws on oneself it seems more home and natural to be there, and you will feel this; but then you are left alone, being accustomed to be surrounded by the kindness of those near and dear to you. Well, you must have to take my path now of lonely service, till He comes to call us; and it is not an unhappy one to be more absolutely with only Him. I know what it is. I mean I know what it is to be alone, but I know, weak as I am, His unfailingness and sufficiency. It is only such and such a thing on the road, and He always the same. I was very fond of T., had known her, as you know, since she was born, and thought, and so did others, she had grown these latter times. I feel it is a great blow for you, but our hope and strength is elsewhere. Mortality is dropped, but otherwise there is no change. Christ remains the same, and service till He comes. Sympathy you will have abundantly, and all will feel it deeply, but even that, right and blessed as it is among His saints, is not our strength. The Lord will be graciously with you.
Affectionately yours.
March, 1871..

The Good of Being Alone With God; Christ as Presented in Matthew; Opposition; the Person of the Lord; Appreciation of the Word; Military Service

Rejoiced I was to get your letter- always glad to hear from you, and now doubly, that your letter can tell how the Lord has blessed you. May He still abundantly bless your work, I heartily pray. I do not think if we peacefully pursue our way that opposition is much to be dreaded: of course it is a hindrance to unestablished souls, but if we quietly continue our path without retorting, it by no means follows that the door is closed. That depends on the Lord. In one place the apostle remained long because it was open, and there were many adversaries. What I feel anxious about is the godliness of the brethren, and a sober, lowly spirit with desire of Christ. For this we must pray; and there is One that hears and can bless, and loves His church. We are not to be, weary in well-doing; in due time we shall reap "if we faint not." We lay up our rest and reward, if we may speak of such, to another time, and He keeps it. The principle of Matt. 20 is " whatever is right I will give you," so he went and worked and trusted: trusting Christ is a great matter. I should have very little to show for my work: I feel it sometimes; think I have not courage enough to face the world, and read, "Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples." But I pretend to nothing, and if I have only His approval, oh how content I should be, yet feel how little I have to deserve it in any sense. But I am sure it is all right, and He will be glorified, and in that I am wholly content.
—is working under the reaction of an excited though a true work. We must learn to help in such cases. He has to learn in it, as well as care for others: officers have particularly. The signs of an apostle were wrought in much patience, but he is a beloved, dear man. I have a question how far one can look for out and out Christianity in all-no doubt of what is right, but I fear a kind of despondency as to getting them all out and out with the Lord. A crowd are there never wholly devoted; the first impulse is not there. I am sure one ought not to be disheartened, but go on, and seek all one can, and look for unworldliness. I do not speak of anything pressing here, for in general, with small sorrows in which God's good hand comes in for good, the brethren are getting on happily; there is cordiality and a good deal of willing service, and they are apart from the world-a great deal to be thankful for. Still there is an energy of initiation of good which is seldom found in a large number.... I learn there are now some 150 brethren in the navy, in general very fresh and full of life, and they watch over one another in all out stations. The exercise as to their position would come in later....
I do not know when I have enjoyed scripture as I have in lecturing on St. Matthew. The Lord has been graciously with me on Colossians and Philippians, and perhaps there was as much for others, but this was Christ Himself for my soul, showing He must be rejected and His Messiah-ship replaced by death and resurrection, and the kingdom in mystery, and the church, and glory; but then there is Himself running all through it-Himself, Jehovah in grace, when there; abiding in grace when rejected; His place on earth, the pattern of ours through redemption; and the disciples, children of the great King, with Him, but Jehovah, and in a Man, and in grace, always the same; presented to be received, or rejected, He abides the same, and this is very sweet. It gives a resting-place for the soul, a known Person-may we not say a loved One, though we know "Herein is love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us"; "we love him, because he first loved us"; but that word "first" lets the other come in at least. But the joy is in looking at Himself, and seeing what He is, "the chief among ten thousand,... altogether lovely." Oh! it is blessed and joy to rest on what He is; to be at home with Him, and adoringly so, but confidence, and confidence in the interest He takes always in His people. His heart can say, "Whose own the sheep are not"; and what confidence it gives for service, too! May the Lord keep us faithful! but I speak particularly of having the secret of His love, a ground of confidence in our intercourse with Him, and so go on a little while through the world.
We have had the small-pox raging in London. A few of the saints and their children have had it: one child died, but otherwise the Lord has graciously restored all that were ill as yet, which I count to be a very great mercy. But dear Miss has departed with scarlet fever, but it is a comfort in this sorrow that there seems little doubt that it was taken through service to poorer saints in a family where it was. It is a great blow to dear W., yet relieves him from a natural anxiety in leaving her alone behind. He will have abundant sympathy from all. It was very brief indeed, and she soon unconscious. It did not come out at once. I think most felt she had grown in grace these later times. As W. said, the Lord does all thing well.
Peace be with you, dear brother, and patience, and endurance in service. You say nothing of your health: I trust it is better. Our brethren in France have suffered less than we might have feared, and down near Montbêliard abound in thanksgiving for the way they have been kept and blessed by the Lord. I hear the Prussians treated them with more respect than did others, finding what they were. The work is spreading in Germany, and in Switzerland there is some rousing up and blessing. May the Lord keep the dear saints in Canada near Himself, peaceful, sober, and full of love both towards one another and towards all, that they may meet His face with joy.
Ever, beloved -, affectionately yours.
March, 1871.

French Brethren Preserved in the War of 1870; Prussian War

Though they have suffered they are full of thankfulness for the way God has preserved them. Indeed, round Montbeliard, when the Prussians found the Bible among brethren on their tables, they said "Good people," etc., and protected them. The Prussians were quartered there, of course; and their cattle were taken as provisions. In Paris, too, though they suffered from bad food and cold, they were peaceful and their meetings happy. I am as yet tied to London by my New Translation, though I shall be at Cheltenham (D.V.) at Easter; but I fear shall have hardly finished and must return for a short time.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
March 14th, 1871.

The Doctrine of Annihilation; the Force of the Term "Destruction;" Eternal Punishment

Though the natural construction is "are" (Rev. 20:10), as you might insert "were," or "had been cast," inasmuch as there is no verb, it would not be wise to insist on "are" by itself. It is not "were." If it is not "are" which I think it is, it is "were cast," carrying on the sense of ἐβλήθη, but in either case βασανισθήσονται takes them all in.
You are quite right as to "destruction," but some of the annihilationists here do not admit the Lord's coming. If it be admitted, then 2 Thess. 1:9 shows clearly that their use of it is false. But you have only to substitute "annihilated" for the word translated "destroyed," and the absurdity is evident. He came "to seek and to save those who were annihilated!" "O Israel, thou hast annihilated thyself, but I am thy help!" and the like. Secondly I believe death and hades (Rev. 20:13) are personified, and that at there is no more death or state of separate spirits-that is, in their separate subsisting condition of power. The power of death which Satan has is finally put an end to. But I have very little doubt that the contents of death and hell are included in them, in contrast with those in the book of life. But do not entangle yourself in volunteering explanations of difficult passages, when plain answers to error are there. The "second death" is explained in the word itself. It is the lake of fire: and in that torment is said to subsist, (not chapter 20:14) 21:8. It is-not causes-the second death; they have their part in it. If you ask me what I think of the second death, I believe it is the judicial separation of man from God, in the lake of fire, as death was the separation of soul and body. I had to meet one of these men lately, but I find that they quail before the word if it is known. It involves the immortality of the soul, and there can be no guilt or atonement for a mere beast's soul.
The non-subsequent existence of death and hades is merely a consequence drawn from general truth. They merge in the lake of fire. In the language they are personified and nothing is said of their destruction or non-existence there. I add this because they may use it as a plea that it means ceasing to exist. It does not. We find those who are looked at as living beings tormented there. It is therefore not ceasing to exist. When I interpret the passage, their power is absorbed in the lake of fire, as the kingdom in eternal glory in which it ceases to exist; and from that and other sources I see that they cease to exist, but not by the lake of fire as they pretend the wicked do. They could not say death and hades were tormented. I have no doubt at all of the meaning. But it is no proof at all that anything ceases to exist by the lake of fire as a punishment. Such a sense would not be applied to death and hell: nor in any case does torment mean ceasing to exist, for it ceases when the person tormented ceases to exist; that is, the second death is not ceasing to exist, for that is the lake of fire.
I fully hope to be in -, but I am delayed by my translation being only yet printed to end of 1 Corinthians. The Lord be graciously with you all.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
March 18th, 1871.

Bethesda and Principles; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline

My feeling is to let it work itself out. Some who spoke to me were really true in heart. And any others I have known will not, as to discipline, recognize the unity of the body. I should hold fast to this.... If unity as to discipline be not owned, we are independent churches. When H. B. asked me what was to be done, I said, Bethesda judged or honestly separated from, that is, no one should go there and the meeting openly disowned unless they repented—guarantee for sound doctrine—and the unity of the body owned. But their anxiety is for outward adhesion, and such that the worldly camp can be more or less owned. I have no desire for that -all Christians individually surely owned who walk uprightly. A vast amount of the evangelization has been by and in connection with brethren, and some of the most efficient are very strong upon the point.
There are those who act in this movement who are, I think, deliberately unfaithful—I mean by that, who deliberately take an unfaithful path for convenience, some who spoke to me in [Dublin] preferred an evil course. I think in the leaders there is the pretension of a successful revival movement; they will find their level. This has no attraction for me, but there are those who are simple and perplexed by the wickedness of the Bethesdaites.
I feel my part is to remain perfectly quiet and let the Lord work. My conviction is that the movers have not a good conscience, and seek to cover their position under the plea of unity and charity. I am far from pretending brethren have not failed in many things: I do not doubt they have; and therefore it becomes them to go softly, but I have no wish to get into the camp.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
March 18th, 1871.

The History and Character of the Church; True Ministry; Responsibility and Purpose; the Vessel and the Treasure

Very little is known of the history of what is called the church-what is the church as to its responsibility -and of the conduct of the clergy and indeed of everybody. It is happy to have only the word to follow, and to know that it is the word of God. What an immense mercy to have His word, the revelation of His grace towards us, of Jesus the perfect One, of the counsels of God, and what God has ordained for our glory. It is in His kindness towards us that, in the ages to come, He will show forth the immense riches of His grace.
From the beginning, trusting the enemy rather than God, man was alienated from God, and the two questions: Where art thou? What halt thou done? showed where man was as the consequence of it. Responsibility put fully to the test up to the rejection of Christ; then, God glorified in righteousness, His love, and the counsels of His grace from before the foundation of the world have been manifested-that puts the gospel in a very special place, and then shows the connection of responsibility and sovereign grace with great distinctness. Moreover, there is no longer any veil over the glory of God. Thence, His wrath is revealed from heaven; but also, the glory of God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ, witness that all the sins of those who behold it exist no longer before God; then, all that God is morally is fully revealed and established. We know Him according to that glory, and our relationship with God, our standing before God, are founded upon it. We are transformed from glory to glory according to that image, for we can look upon it: it is the proof of our redemption, and the proof that our sins no longer subsist before God. We are also renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created us; we are created according to God in righteousness and true holiness; for, according to that glory, He hath shined in our hearts in order to show out this glory of Christ in the world. We are like a lantern: the light is within, but it is to shine without; but dull glass (the flesh if it interferes) will prevent the light from shining as it should. Thus, that which is given us becomes inward exercise: the treasure is in an earthen vessel, and it is necessary that this latter be only a vessel; that we should be dead, in order that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
It is not only a communication of what is in Christ, as knowledge; but if it is real, we drink of that which makes the river. It is a communication that exercises the soul, makes it grow, and judges the flesh in everything, in order that we may not mar the testimony which is thus committed to us. In Christ Himself, the life was the light of men, and the light that we receive must become life in us, the formation of Christ in us, and the flesh must be subjected to death. "Death worketh in us," says Paul, "but life in you."
This is the history of ministry, of true ministry. What we communicate is our own; it enlightens us, but it works in us morally; the glory of Christ is realized in us, and all that does not suit Him is judged: now flesh never suits Him. The death of Christ put an end to all that was Paul; thus the life of Christ acted from him in others, and nothing but that. That is saying a great deal. Thus, in this respect there may be progress. For as to my position before God, I reckon that I am dead; for in order to live, death works in me. There is the vessel, but it must be only a vessel, and the life of Christ acting in it and by it. If the vessel acts, it spoils all. In reality, we live; but we must always bear about death, in order that the glory of Christ, the image of God, may shine for others. But all the glory of God is revealed; there is no longer any veil over it on God's side; if it be veiled, the veil is on the heart of man through unbelief—truth of all-importance! Under the law, man could not go in; God did not come out. Now He has come out, but humbling Himself, to bring grace. Then, the work of redemption accomplished, He has gone in, and there is no veil over the glory.
March 25th, 1871.

A. Shipton's Book

I have got the two books about which you spoke to me. They contain a mixture of old religious notions and new light obtained second-hand. I have no doubt at all as to Mrs. S.'s uprightness, nor of her desire to serve the Lord, and very likely her book may be useful to some souls. But it does not seem to me that the tone of the book is quite according to the Lord. It savors rather of the school to which she belongs: she hardly rises above the condition of her soul, and the circumstances in which she is. A. S., not the Lord Jesus, is the principal figure of the picture. Experience holds the place which redemption and the Redeemer ought to hold. Jesus becomes the servant of the soul, in place of the soul being at peace, serving the Lord. And so it ever is; I have never seen a soul living in its experiences and occupied with itself, with whom the "I" had not a place, without the person's being aware of it, and even without his having a suspicion that it was so. The Lord Jesus, in His infinite grace, uses us, but it is a bad thing to be occupied with ourselves and not with Him. We do not become acquainted with ourselves by thinking about ourselves; for, while we think of Him, the "I" disappears; one is in the light, where one is not when occupied with oneself.
You will think me cold and hard, but this book is just a study, and one does not write a book when one is occupied with one's own history without self appearing far too much. I do not quite admit that all these things take place in a Christian, but when we are occupied with Jesus, the littleness of all that one is, and of all that one has done, remains in the shade and Jesus Himself stands out in relief.
I do not question the sincerity nor the christian truth of this book, but rather its christian reality. The harm which I see in it is the importance which it attaches to what one has done oneself—the making and publishing a book about oneself; though I do not deny that more than one detail may be useful to other Christians. Still, the system which induces them to work because others have worked, instead of confiding in the Lord, because He sends us, and His love and His Spirit constrain us, is, according to my experience, a bad system. One works with a degree of lightness.
Your attached brother in Christ.
May 2nd, 1871.

Obedience of Children

As long as a child is of the household, actually in relationship with its parents, the duty of obedience remains. If a man is married, he begins a new house, and is the head of it, leaves his father and mother. But as long as he or she is of the house, obedience is the duty, as the relationship remains. "In the Lord" is the limit and character of the obedience. If I had a Jewish or heathen parent who commanded me to deny Christ, I could not do it. It is not "in the Lord." If the parent be merely unjust in ways, and no duty be compromised, I believe the part of children to be patience and casting themselves on the Lord. I can suppose a child engaged in a positive duty, which the parents in such case would have no right to cause the child to break through. "In the Lord" has nothing to do with the character of the parents, but the conduct of the child; otherwise it would absolve from all obedience the child of heathen or Jewish parents. The obedience is "in the Lord."
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
June, 1871.

Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Love to the Church; Devotedness; Philippians; Stephen Before the Sanhedrim; Translation Work; Trial in Expectation

Thank you for your letter. I do not at present see that it is God's will I should be with you at your meeting at Ottawa, though I should greatly rejoice to see the beloved brethren again. My heart is in their blessing, and I pray God with all my heart to lead them on in what He gives, and keep them, and make them very humble, that they may be near Him. I feel deeply how only One can keep His church, even humanly speaking, for we all know (it is always true) it outreaches one's hand. But what a comfort to be able to apply to Him for its blessing, whose ear is ever open, who can, in grace, reach all, and whose interest in perfect love is far deeper than any interest of ours, only that He graciously allows us to have a part in it. May we know how to use the privilege!
I have felt my translation work a good deal as absorbing me from direct interest in the positive work, not as to my heart, but as to occupation of heart with Him But it is nearly done, for which I am very thankful. Nature, of course, shrinks from suffering: still when it comes, if we are with God, strength and joy are there. I have found in the little difficulties I have had, much more trial in expecting trial than when it was there. When there I was calm and quiet, and no way uneasy—whereas I was when expecting it. Out of it, if it threatens, you are thinking of it. In it, you are looking out of it to the Lord. Of course, there must be the power of the Holy Ghost. It is true I have a sadly fearful mind. But Paul (Philippians) was there in presence of the danger He was in presence of his trial for his life, but he was surely wonderfully sustained. Still it was not a question of avoiding but going through, and then comparatively it is easy.
The difference of nature and the power of the Spirit you see in comparing Phil. 3 and Mark 10.—in this, in the young man, you have legal righteousness—all given up as worthless in Phil. 3: money clung to in Mark 10—all gain to self, dross and dung in Phil. 3: the disciples amazed and following trembling in Mark—a privilege to have the fellowship of His sufferings in Phil. 3 But in Philippians you have the full power of the Spirit all through. Sin is never mentioned in the epistle, nor flesh as affecting the experience of the apostle. It is the experience of one living in the Spirit, in its power, and is exceedingly beautiful in this light, in every respect—does not know which to choose, death or life—one gain, the other labor for Christ; and so, self having gone, he decides his own trial, for it was good for them he should stay—Christ had all power, so he was going to stay: the same mind as Christ in going down to the death of the cross, and so, perfect and delicate consideration for others admirably coming out in unconscious fruit: energy in following Christ—before him as his object in glory—to win Christ, and then with the resurrection from among the dead: a humbled Christ formed the character; a glorified one gives the energy of "this one thing I do:" then superiority through experimental acquaintance, with Christ's sufficiency, to all circumstances. It is the Epistle of proper christian experience. I do not think he was asking for trial, though we may desire generally to have fellowship in Christ's sufferings: that one can earnestly do. "To you it is given not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his name's sake." But one does not desire suffering in itself. Only when there, they are a subject of all joy. Faith is given for them. He was in prison and just awaiting his trial. But he could say, in his ordinary life of service, "without were fightings, within were fears; nevertheless, God who comforteth those who are cast down," etc.
As to suffering for Christ, I am sure if the Lord lead one into trial for His name, He will give us strength to glorify Him. We can do nothing. But if living with Him in the secret of our souls, we shall not find it hard to die for Him. See how bright Stephen was, how quiet, kneeling down to pray for them. He was full of the Holy Ghost. We have to pray that we may be so filled, that what comes forth may be Christ, and Christ fittingly for what is before us. I find this a great test in practice of how far I am practically identified in spirit with Him. From Him came forth not merely what was right, but just the right thing in what He had to do or say....
I look for a more conscience-consecration to Christ. Oh! how earnestly I desire this. Those who first came out were all devoted—came because they were, most of them giving up their place, perhaps everything in the world. Some have done so all along, and recently. But then many have come in converted, or because they saw it right, and remain pretty much where they were, and this affects the whole testimony. However, the world is utterly opposed as yet, which is a mercy, and I think that the Spirit of God is working.... I trust our meeting at Cheltenham was blessed. The Person of the Lord was much before us, and I trust His coming is getting practical power. I think the Lord's presence was felt. I was glad it closed, for I feared that happiness turning into excitement, which had not been the case, and there was much liberty....
The Lord make us, dear brother, to find Christ everything, that whatever comes with Him we may joy in, so be with Him that we have the consciousness of common interests, though He be Master, but who have His secret with us, His counsels, His objects—stewards who have His interests at heart more than their own, and then go to see Him and be with Him. How sweet will that word sound, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"—poor and worthless creatures that we are! Well, we must go with Him now, take up our cross and follow Him: "If any man serve me, let him follow me." There is a great deal in that word. May He keep us near Himself. It is Himself that makes all clear and simple to the soul.... The Lord be with you.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Nearness to the Lord

I am most thankful that the Lord has come in to deal with the case you mentioned. It is very sweet to find His hand and grace over us thus when difficulties arise—that He is still near His people who wait upon Him, though what is impassable seems before them.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
June 22nd, 1871.

The Christian Being Heavenly; the Vessel and the Treasure

* * * A broken vessel, but dependent on the Lord's love, and in peace, you see that she has been a good deal smashed; but then broken vessels are often better than whole ones, to show the sufficiency and grace of Christ-indeed always, unless inwardly broken, which is the real thing. So you must be content to be a broken vessel, too.
I think Christians ought to be more heavenly; but two things are needed: first, that one should be broken, otherwise God has to act downwards, so to speak, in breaking. Indeed, this goes on in detail to the end. But there is a discovery of self, experimental discovery, which makes a total difference; otherwise, though, like Peter, we have been taught of God blessed truths, the flesh is not judged to the measure of them; what answers to them here is not received; and we may earn the name of Satan—not savoring the things which be of God, but which be of men. But, secondly, we must be bearing about the dying, and Christ thus be the one spring of judgment, thought, and action. Then our state and mind is heavenly, for His life is so—"Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." That is, the Christ who is my life, is the object of that life, too, in the sense of His love; and this is the true christian state, Christ living in us. But it supposes occupation with Christ, or the Spirit is grieved. It is the old man put off, the new man put on, created after God, and the Holy Ghost dwelling in us. The body is dead because of sin, the Spirit life. This is the state, but it is realized as I have said, or rather the word says. Then heaven becomes—is, the natural home of that life. Our conversation is in heaven. Now a Christian can live thus, and ought, and the flesh not intrude; only he must be much occupied with Christ, for Christ's own sake, otherwise, when there is no actual evil thought, his views, judgments, feelings, are natural ones, as to what he is passing through. They ought to be christian ones. Another thing is to be fully in the path of God's will. We cannot have power out of it, and so the enemy can.... Here grace may chew itself in the broken vessel, and there are very few of us that are not more or less in associations, the effect of the acting of our will, and so cast on grace. But then, that is not only sufficient, but much more abounds, and we find God is all, after all.
There are some remains—a ground swell—after the Rathmines storm; but I say, noisy rivers run all the same into the sea. It is not so much arranging, as bringing in Christ. Sweeping away snow is long work; if the sun is well up, it is gone. A night covers the earth a foot deep—what millions of men could not do, a day takes it all away if God's warmth comes in.
Affectionately in the Lord.
[June, 1871].

The Meaning of "Third Part" in Revelation 7

My impression is, for I do not dogmatize on such points, that "the third part" (Rev. 8:7) is the Roman earth considered in its body in the West. In chapter 9. I apprehend there is the action of the Euphratean horsemen, so-called, against the powers of the Roman earth. In chapter 8. the judgments fall on the Roman earth. Chapter 12:4 confirms the idea of this use of "third," because this is clearly, I suppose, the power of Satan in the Roman empire, and his tail draws down the third part of the stars and casts them to the earth; that is, a third part of the independent but smaller powers were reduced into subjection to Satan's power displayed in this form.
June, 1871.


Most glad was I to get your news of Canada, and more of them if you had had them to give. I first turn, on answering, to your scripture questions. As to the verse you quote (Rom. 5:16), the "many offenses" is clearly, I think, to heighten the picture. The general, argument seems to me to be this in direct connection with the two heads. The whole object is to bring in a new standing and nature in contrast with the old. The former part of the epistle, to chapter 5:11, deals with sins and guilt: this with nature and the place we are in; not "what hast thou done?" but “where art thou?" In order to this he goes up to the heads in which the standing is involved. He will have a new nature in the power of the Spirit of God, and the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, not a law applied to the old. In chapter 5, consequently, he shows that sin, its reign and power proved by death, was there when no law was, between Adam and Moses, where no transgression like Adam's was (Hos. 6:7), and then says, You are not going to make grace have a narrower sphere than sin, and then he enhances the argument by bringing the "-many offenses" (which are especially-not exclusively-under law) as a greater difficulty, so that grace had to be stronger and greater than the evil. Having laid the two headships of sin and its remedy as the real ground and truth of God's dealings, he adds with a "moreover" (chap. 5:20), where it is the law came in as an occasional thing (παρειςῆλθεν), "that the offense might abound, but where sin [not offense] abounded grace did much more abound [ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν]"But in all, when he comes in with the πολλῷ μᾶλλον which is a moral ὰ fortiori not the excess in the thing, but that is in the many offenses, and in the much more abounding.
As to Eph. 4:11, 12. I do not think the ministry, etc., is the object of the perfecting of the saints, but this last is the primary object, the rest the secondary. The perfecting the individual saints is divine and final, the ministry and edifying the body here in time, though the result be perpetuated in glory; and in all the Epistle the individual, as formed for God, is set first; so in chapter 1, like Christ before God, and sons with Him, is the first thing; relationship with Him as Head, being the body, comes in at the end of the chapter; even quickening together with Him is individual, though raising up together and making sit together in Him involves union; and in what follows the verse you quote, you have individuals first (vers. 13-15), and then the body in verse 16. Verses 13-15 being the perfecting the saints, verse 11 gives distinct ministries, verse 16 edification of the body by what every part supplies.
... Here the work progresses rapidly, I trust on the whole soundly. There is a thirst for the word, and a general and I think serious attention to it. The week I left London there were three new meetings just sprung up in Northumberland. There are twenty-seven in Hampshire alone, I am told; I suppose on to 3,000 in London; but this all presses on one's spirit as to their being cared for, specially the young gatherings -I trust casts one on the Lord, for it is a serious thing. In Scotland and Ireland also there is conversion and spread of the truth, and we are in general at peace, with much to be thankful for. What I dread is the world and want of devotedness, though still thoroughly looked down upon and disliked. Things are breaking up fast, all feel-ours a kingdom which cannot be moved, that is a comfort; may it lead us to serve God reverently. There are two or three clergymen come out, others moved; but it is hard for them in England to get rid of the cloth.
I have been helped in ministering, and scripture opens continually; but I find it hard, if moving about, and out of my den, to keep always close to the Lord, so that nothing but Christ should come out. I feel a Christian ought so to live to Christ as the motive and spring of all within, that nothing but Christ should come out-be there to come out-though the flesh be ever the same. But if we are in Him, He is in us and the flesh is for faith dead, and we have to carry about the dying daily: The Lord raises up more laborers. Would I were as simple as some of them. My age now hinders the kind of work in which, in one sense, I would be, and the multiplied occupation with so many in many places somewhat turns aside from direct work: that I feel, but His will is all.
Kindest love to all; the Lord Himself be with you.
Ever affectionately yours.
The work is spreading a good deal in Germany, too.
June, 1871.

Divorce; Question on Desertion of Marriage; Translation Work

* * * My meaning in saying the tie was broken was this, that God never allowed the Christian to break the tie; but when adultery was committed the one doing so had broken the tie, and the Lord allowed the other party to hold it to be broken and act on it by formal divorce did not require it, but allowed it. The legalization of it is submission to the powers that be, for common order, just as the divorce was in Jewish law. Things are so loose in many parts of the States as in Illinois, that Christians should be very particular. A person having left and being a long time away is not sufficient, as they may come back, and the tie had not been broken—only that, as to criminality, after some seven years, in England the courts would not hold a person guilty of bigamy.
On the other hand, according to 1 Cor. 7, I cannot doubt that the Christian, deliberately deserted by the unchristian partner, was in every way free, free that is to marry; but it assumes deliberate forsaking by the one who went away. The Christian was never to do it, and if obliged to leave, to remain unmarried or return. Rom. 7:3 has nothing, I think, to do with it; the case supposed is of being (not "married") to another man while the tie subsists; then she is guilty of adultery—not, if the husband be dead. Divorce is not in question, but acts of sin while the marriage subsists. This is evident. Mark 10 does not annul Matthew mix.: a man putting away his wife is looked at as his act or will. If he puts away, he has broken a tie God formed, by his own will; then marrying another is adultery. By act of sin the tie was broken already, and judicial divorce allowed.
If all had passed before conversion, I should take it as I found it; but when a person has merely gone off now, when a person is a Christian, I should be very slow to accept a marriage as in the Lord. Have they sought them out, or proof of the unfaithfulness? If so, let them obtain a divorce, and then they are free to marry. But if not, I could not accept their doing their own will, any more than the unfaithful one doing his. The marriage is not in the Lord, and it says even of widows -"only in the Lord." Matt. 5 is to me equally clear with chapter six., but I think the person should obtain a divorce, otherwise they remain legally married, and the new connection is concubinage. In any case forgiveness is allowed.
I was aware of the state of-, but it had got a good deal better: in one family I knew there was still a feeling of rancor. It was partly baptism working on partially healed griefs. One has to work on in grace seeing the evil to be overcome, even if the more we love the less we are loved. We work for Christ, and His love was perfect. I am afraid I take it sometimes too much for granted that we are so to work on, for Paul cultivated the affections of the saints much. Here, thank God, with such trials as are incident to working where the world and temptation and flesh are, there is blessing and progress. Though we are far short of what we might be, and I look for more, still we have much to be thankful for. Here in the west, where I was somewhat downhearted, I find things much better than I thought.
As to my translation, it is all printed these two or three months, but a new edition of the French was transferring the notes and emendations, and in doing it they collected errata, and we waited till they had gone through it to publish it, but I have the last sheet of French in hand, so that it will be soon out now. But I have no satisfaction in critical labors.- wanted to publish an edition of what my translation has adopted as the reading to be accepted, but I declined. I feel no sufficient competency, though I have done the best I could, and am satisfied they have no adequate history of the text. I shall be glad, if the Lord permit, to see you all; but, at past seventy, such of course is on every ground uncertain. Kindest love to all.
Ever affectionately yours.
[July, 1871.]

Assembly Judgment Owned; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Remonstrance

A judgment of an assembly, even if 1 thought it a mistake, I should in the first instance accept and act upon. My experience has been that the path of God is to respect the judgment of an assembly of God, while free to remonstrate and beg them to renew their judgment. My writing to you now is entirely individual and in your own interest. I do not judge the case one way or another. But when I first heard of your act of excommunication, I told -, being informed of the circumstances, that it would be impossible to recognize it as an act of the assembly. What I have heard since has amply confirmed this. What you say of females is all true as to teaching, but they form part of the assembly as much as brothers. The weight of an assembly's act is not from the individual voice or judgment of its members, but from the Lord's being in the midst of them when gathered together. What I would press upon you is that there has never been any act of the assembly at all. Grave and godly brethren may give counsel in and help the assembly to a right judgment, but the assembly must act as such if a person is excluded. This has never been the case. I do not judge of the advisableness or rightness of the act. With that I do not meddle. I only say as your brother, for your own sake, that I do not see how it is possible for any sober person to recognize your act as the act of the assembly at all.
May the gracious Lord give you peace in every way. Personally unacquainted with you, I can only have sincerely brotherly affection towards you all, and desire, for the Lord's glory and your comfort, that you may all be blessed and guided aright.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
August, 1871.

Meddling With Gatherings From Outside

It is quite right that brethren who care for the meeting, who have, as Paul says, "addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints," should consult together, and much to be desired, and when there is confidence their counsel may guide the assembly most profitably. As I said to a Swiss gathering, engineers must plan a road, but all the carters in the country know it is good when made; so men taught in the word may point out a path which the mass of brethren would not have discovered, but which they see to be scriptural when suggested. But when excommunication is in question, then the rule is, "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person." Now you are aware that a great number of the gathering protested against this excommunication after it was declared, which, with other facts to which I have already alluded, clearly showed that it was not the act of the assembly.
Though I dislike meddling in such cases, as the servant of my brethren I would gladly help you all, but I am just now going abroad to a general meeting of brethren. But I trust much more to the grace of God than settling things.
Do not be discouraged. God, I believe, is working to bring about everything if you have patience, and the most humble will be the best off. If you take my advice you will withdraw the excommunication, as it cannot be scripturally maintained. Do not be afraid of the consequences. If we do right, God will take care of them Your affectionate brother.
August, 1871.

Nothing Being Like the Cross

I will, the Lord helping, keep Leeds on my heart. Our comfort is that the blessed Lord has His people on His heart, and we can trust Him. I have been anxious to be about England a little, and only await opportunity. May He bless and keep you.
Our meeting here I trust has been useful. It has been a bonẚ fide study of scripture: 1 and 2 Corinthians, John, Genesis, and the sacrifices, etc., in Leviticus—no lectures, but (save meals) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. working—some unpracticed heads a little, but, I believe, blessed to several, I hope all, and certainly enjoyed by them. It was a sign of the times, we had eleven ex-officers active in the work.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
August 5th, 1871.

Judgment According to Works; Man Lost Already; Man and the World; Christ in the Offerings; Sin and Sins; Sufferings of Christ; Christ and the Offerings

There cannot be a more important subject in every aspect than that you refer to. The simpler we put Christ's dying for our sins, the better. All these great truths are facts, in which I admire the wisdom of God, as the simplest can thus understand them (through grace), and the strongest intellects must bow and take them as such. When we inquire-and people inquire about everything now-there are depths in it which none of us can fathom.
The full claim of God against sinners is that they should serve Him according to the relationship they stand in towards Him of creatures with a knowledge of good and evil: "The man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil." He was bound to own God and his neighbor in everything due to them, and that as far as covetous lusts in his heart. Of this, even when men were not under it, the law was the perfect measure. But then, in fact, things went a great deal further, because there were dealings of men and dealings of God, both of which brought out what man was and imposed new obligations. Man did not like to retain God in his knowledge, and does not-when he knew Him as God, as he did in Noah, set up devils to worship, and degraded himself below the nature of man. Now judgment is according to works, God taking account of the degree of light in pronouncing the judgment, see Luke 12 But judgment is according to works, and that is judicial exclusion from God's presence, whatever degree there may be in actual infliction of punishment.
But there is a great deal more behind. The mind of the flesh is enmity against God wholly and always, besides breaking through obligations, and leads to our doing this. Man was driven out of God's presence at the beginning, and besides future judgment for works, finds, when his eye is opened, that he is lost now; though this be concealed from those walking by sight, when the veil of sense and the show of this world is gone, he finds it is forever. Now, though the law proved this to the divinely-taught mind, its grand proof was in the rejection of Christ-"He shall convince the world of sin [not sense of sins, also true], because they believe not on me." Up to the flood, the first world, it was just (with testimony from God) man left to himself, and God was obliged to bring in the flood. Then after it, government came in Noah; promise, Abraham; law, Moses; prophets; Christ; that is, dealings of God with men-a complete system of probation which ended in the proof that he not only would not obey, but had no cloak for his sin, and had seen and hated God in grace-"have seen and hated both me and my father." Hence it is said, "Now once at the end of the world:" and the Lord-" Now is the judgment of this world." And Stephen, after reciting the call of promise in Abraham, declares, You have not kept the law, have rejected and persecuted the prophets, killed the just One, do always resist the Holy Ghost. There man's history ended. He was not only guilty, and subject to judgment, but his mind was proved to be enmity with God. This is not sins, but sin, man not judged, but lost already, while judgment, which is not yet come, is according to works.
Now Christ was just personally exactly the opposite of this; He loved the Father and was obedient. But this was Himself and always; but He had a work to do according to the overabounding love of God;
He died "for our sins according to the scriptures," and if a man believe in Him his sins are gone, forgiven and blotted out, the guilt and responsibility met. But when we look into the work of the cross, we see more than this. He glorified God there, and when made sin. This was a wonderful mystery, a perfect victim, spotless before God, perfect in obedience, perfect in absolute self-surrender, perfect in love to His Father, perfect in His love to us, able as a divine Person to sustain the weight of God's glory in the place of sin—that is, as made sin for us, not only "in the likeness of sinful flesh," but "for sin." "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him;" and Christ as Man is in glory at the right hand of God.
As the meat-offering He was fully tested by the fire of God's judgment in death, and was only a sweet savor: in the burnt-offering He was a sweet savor to God, but it was positive propitiation or atonement as glorifying God in righteousness, love, majesty, and everything He was, in the place of sin, as for sin: as the sin-offering He bore our sins, but that was not a sweet savor, though the fat was burnt on the altar. Christ was thus the Lord's lot as well as the people's lot. The bearing of our sins cleared the responsibility incurred, the guilt. This is true of His people; and the blood upon the mercy-seat has perfectly glorified God in all that He is, and laid the foundation for the accomplishing the counsels of God which were before the responsibility ever existed. God's love provided the Lamb, but God's righteousness required the propitiation, and by the cross alone the righteousness and love and majesty of God are secured, and what He is made known. The Son of man must be lifted up, and the Son of God is given.
As regards the epoch of completing the work, it is clear that as the wages of sin is death, He must die to complete that, but there was a far deeper truth in what that involved, and it was equally important that the drinking of the cup of God's forsaking should be over, because He was to give up His own spirit in peacefulness to God, as He did, laying it down of Himself when all was finished. The forsaking of God was of its own—and the deepest character of the sufferings of the blessed Lord. This He felt anticipatively in Gethsemane, when He was not outwardly suffering; but it cannot be separated from death, because death bore the character of divine judgment against sin, and not an accident, so to speak, of mortality. But it is not in itself judgment; that is, the judgment to come. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment"; but all possible suffering combined against Christ: betrayal, abandonment, and denial, the bulls of Bashan and dogs also came against Him, and the power of Satan in death, the power of darkness, and His beloved people (Jews) assisting. This led up on the appeal in it to God, Psa. 22—to the sense of being in it forsaken of God—He was heard from the horns of the unicorn; when all was finished He gave up His own spirit, commending it to His Father, crying with a loud voice, and actually died.
I could only rapidly trace in few words what presents itself to my mind in this, that there is nothing like in the history of heaven and earth—that in which Christ could present a motive to His Father to love Him. " Therefore doth my Father love me." All is looked at as a whole, for the blood and water came from a Christ already dead, and must have done so to be of avail for us. (Compare 1 John 5)
But, I repeat, the more simply in our work with souls we put the blessed Lord's dying for our sins, the better; but to have a solid and deep work we must know ourselves, and sin as well as sins, what we are in flesh, as well as what we have done (so Rom. from chapter 5:12), but this goes on to our being crucified with Him, which is another truth....
I have been visiting round the west of Ireland, and not had a moment. I found the brethren in a much better state than I thought. The Lord be praised for His goodness to you. Good He ever is....
Affectionately yours in Him.
August 29th, 1871.

The Spiritual Danger of Emigration; Self Knowledge; Work Affected by One's Own State

I have not much to say in replying to your letter, not from want of interest in your course, but that if you are clear as to going, it is but one thing, to have Christ always before you to work for Him and from Him. It is all important for us to get to the end of ourselves, not that we do not learn more daily; but there is a knowledge of self which makes us distrust self, and it is a detected and distrusted enemy, so that there is lowliness in our walk and it deepens its character a great deal. All our work feels the effect of our state, and a heart full of Christ and the seriousness of dealing with souls for eternity, which we feel when full of Him and speaking from Him, gives weight and unction to it. It is being emptied of self which enables us through grace, with watching and praying, to do this. But carrying about the dying of the Lord Jesus is the condition of this. The energy of Moses which killed the Egyptian did not stand before Pharaoh, though it showed the energy which God would use when He had broken the will in connection with it. The energy is just the suited vessel, but we have to learn in the breaking of it, that the excellency of the power is of God. That is, no doubt, gradually learned, but there is a breaking down of self which lays the basis of it. Christ all, is the great secret of power, but when received comes the death of self which leaves, the soul free to serve more individually.
A colony tends to let loose, but Christ is sufficient for every place and every circumstance. I do not doubt there is a field out there, and a growing one, but it requires keeping close to Him not to be led off into the self-will that characterizes the colonies in general, Australia, I believe, in particular. We shall follow you with our prayers, and be glad to hear of you and those among whom you labor. There is, I believe, plenty of work to do. The Lord be with you and keep you and guard you on your voyage too. I trust that God will give you to be large of heart, but firm in the narrow path in which it behooves the saints to walk in these last days.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.
September 19th, 1871.

John's Epistles

Dear Brother,—What constitutes the difficulty of the first chapter of the Epistle of John, and indeed of the whole Epistle, is that the doctrine there is presented in an abstract manner. But, on the whole, I believe that the thought of the Spirit is this: God is no longer hidden; we have communion with Him in the full revelation of His grace—" with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." Under the law, God did not come out; man did not go into His presence. Now, the Father is revealed in the Son, and has given us a life in which we enjoy communion with Him. But then it is with God Himself—no longer a veil -and God is Light; He is perfectly pure, and reveals everything. Now, since there is no longer any veil, and God is revealed, we must walk in the light as He is in the light. But in this position we are perfectly cleansed by the blood of Jesus; then we enjoy fellowship one with another.
It is this full revelation of God which is of the essence of Christianity; fullness of grace, introducing us into communion, and the Father known in the Son; but it is with God, if it is true, and God is light. The communion is with God, according to His nature, and without a veil. But, if we come to Him, it is as washed in the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, and we are before Him without a veil, white as snow. Now the Christian walks in the consciousness of this, having a nature suited to it; we are light in the Lord. But it must be in the light, as God Himself is in the light; everything is judged according to the revelation of God who judges all things. We are in the light as God is in the light.
These things are written that we sin not. If any man sin, the remedy is in the first verses of chapter 2 But the verses of which you speak teach us that we are in the light as God is in the light. Now, if we speak of fellowship when we are not there, we lie, for He is that light.
September, 1871.

Blood and Water; Epistle to Philadelphia; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type; Soul's Restoration; Judgment of an Assembly

* * * I do not at all doubt that the apostle, when he says (1 John 1), "We have fellowship one with another," speaks of the fellowship of saints among themselves. There are three elements of the christian life: the first is being in the light as God is in the light—no veil. We must find ourselves in the presence of God fully revealed. If we cannot stand there, we cannot have intercourse with Him. The second is, that being thus in His presence, it is not, with us, the selfishness of the individual, but the communion of saints by the Holy Ghost, in the enjoyment of the full revelation of God Himself. The third is, that we are white as snow, so that we can be with joy in this light, which only makes manifest that we are all that the eye and heart of God desire in this respect—what our hearts also desire, in His presence.
The idea is abstract and absolute; it is the value and efficacy of the blood. It is not only restoration. It is an efficacy, moreover, which is never lost. My soul once washed, I am always before God according to the efficacy of this blood. Restoration is rather by water, although in virtue of the blood. (See John 13 and the "red heifer," Num. 19) But here, it is the value of the blood in itself: and, mark well, if we are in the light as God is in the light, it is indeed a real state, but the apostle does not say, "according to the light." It is our position now that the cross has revealed God without a veil. As this passage is generally interpreted, it ought to read: "If we do not walk according to the light, the blood cleanses us"; but there is no such thought. It is at the beginning of chapter 2 that we find provision made, as is necessary, in case of failure. I do not doubt that the light searches us; but here God does not see evil. He sees the man cleansed by the blood of Jesus. With verse 8 begins the consideration of known sin. Without doubt the blood cleanses us from everything; but when we think of the existence of sin in us, while knowing that the blood cleanses us from all, we are led to another truth of the gospel, it is that we are dead with Christ. (Rom. 6; Col. 2; 3; Gal. 2) This is for walk, and it is directed against the movement of this sin in the flesh. If sin has acted, we are brought to confess, not sin in the flesh, but what it has produced. (1 John 1:9.) Then we are pardoned and cleansed. This is true at the beginning, but true also in the details of life....
The characters that Christ takes in connection with these last days, are these: "The holy, the true." Yes, that is the character He takes; that which He desires in His own, in their walk, when He is about to come. We have to watch over ourselves and over our brethren, that it may be so. I feel, for my part, that we have, in these days, to watch very specially as to this holiness, though it is always an essential thing for the children of God.
... Evil is in the world, but we are in the hands of God. Christ came in after the evil, and has gained a complete victory over him who was their leader in it; thanks be to Him for it. He holds in His hands the keys of death and of hades, but the time has not yet come for taking away the evil from off the earth. God uses it for our good, but the evil is there.

John's Epistles

* * * As to we "cannot sin," John always looks at the truth abstractedly; so he says, "he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." But both are as born of God; he cannot sin because he is born of God. But the flesh is not born of God, but is of the flesh; and if we let it act we sin.
You may remark that there are two assertions in chapter 1 "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar," for indeed God says all have sinned. Then "if we say that we have no sin"; this is more our state, not what we have done. If Christ be in us as the power of truth we are conscious that, though it may be inactive at the moment through grace, there is another element in us which is not of God—which is sin. If we say there is none, "we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." We may have it in our heads, but it is not in us. Further, you may remark in the beginning of chapter 2, the case is supposed of our sinning, and the way grace then works in our behalf is stated: "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father." The righteous One and the propitiation are still before God, so that there is no imputation, but sin is not allowed; the work of God, humbling us and bringing to lowly confession, is wrought in the soul—if need be, chastening employed—to restore communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. When we confess we are forgiven.
This is always the state of soul to which forgiveness applies (for here also John speaks abstractedly). When first brought to confess my sin, I receive forgiveness of sins viewed as guilt against God. I am forgiven my sins. But there is an administrative forgiveness—what the church can forgive. If one is excommunicated for some wickedness, it is not in this sense forgiven. (2 Cor. 2:7-10.) So God may forgive me in His government over me as a child, or chasten and punish me, though still loving me, yea, because He loves me. This is what is taught in Job. The friends made it a question of righteousness, which was false, but it was discipline, and when he bowed, God's hand was taken off him. Now when we have failed, our part is to humble ourselves and confess our fault, not with any thought that He imputes it to us as guilt in respect of eternal judgment. But God is always displeased with sin, and Christ's name dishonored, and the grace of Christ and work of the Spirit in our hearts is, to lead us to bow our hearts before God and confess it. If one asks for forgiveness, as of a father whom we grieve to have displeased, it is all well, provided it is not mixed with the thoughts of God judging our persons for imputed guilt, because in this sense Christ has borne it and we shall not: but the great point is thorough confession and humiliation, and He does forgive. Asking forgiveness in such case is not spoken of in scripture, and it is apt, when our place in Christ and His work is not clearly known by divine teaching in the soul, to be mixed in the mind with the imputation of guilt.
[Date uncertain.]

Advocacy and Priesthood; Administrative Forgiveness; Intercession of Christ; the Lord's Prayer (So-Called)

* * * The intercession of Christ as priest in Hebrews is not for the forgiveness of sins, nor for sin properly at all, but for mercy and help in time of need, to succor them that are tempted, because all the sanctified are viewed as perfected by one offering.
In 1 John 2, the advocacy is exercised when one has sinned, because there fellowship or communion is spoken of, and that is interrupted by sin. Forgiveness, in the sense of non-imputation, cannot be sought by one set free in Christ, because he does know that sins are not imputed to him; but he confesses his sins, and fatherly forgiveness is given him. Confession goes much deeper into the conscience than mere asking forgiveness. There is a forgiveness which applies to Christians, and to Christians only—what I may call administrative forgiveness, which has nothing to do with non-imputation or righteousness. See James 5:15. Compare 1 John 5:16 and 2 Cor. 2:10. In 1 John 2 the advocacy of Christ is founded on righteousness, and the efficacy of propitiation being already there in Christ. That pardon is plenary on coming to Christ is clear, and to refer to none else, in Heb. 9; 10, it is largely reasoned out by the Holy Ghost. If not, such sins never could be cleared, as Christ cannot now die over again; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Christ must often have suffered. To make a difference of time is to confound the time of the Spirit's operation in bringing our souls to faith in Christ and His work with the work itself. All our sins were future when Christ bore them. The way in which "once for all," "forever," and "no more" are used in Heb. 9 and 10 is most distinct and characteristic.
As to the Lord's Prayer, it must be remembered that it was given before the Lord's work was accomplished, and, of course, has the characteristics of the time in which it was given, because it was perfect. Nevertheless statements that accompany it show that where the spirit of forgiveness does not exist, forgiveness does not belong, though we are imperfect, and no one in his senses would ask for forgiveness from God in the measure in which our forgiveness is perfect, though in spirit and purpose it is, according to the new nature. Christendom and Christians have forgotten that our place and standing is that of Christians, consequent on the accomplishment of the Lord's work, and the gift of the Holy Ghost thereupon. The things belonging to the Father's kingdom may be possessed, or partly still desired; but when the Lord's prayer was given it was not come, and the desires which Christ would teach to His disciples [.would] be according to the position they were then in. Hence, also, the Lord's prayer is not in His name, for the work and plan on which that was founded was not yet accomplished.


Thanks again, dear brother, for your letter.... Faith that finds an answer to its prayer must have found God and be in communion with Him, but then this God is a God of love, and in order to realize His power so as to have the answer His power must be realized, and faith has found it; but this communion is not possible if love is absent. Consequently, when we come to ask with faith the fulfillment of our desire, we must forgive our brother whatever we may have against him: otherwise we are in the presence of God with respect to His government, subject to the effect of our sins....
Your affectionate brother.
[1871 ]

Hebrews; Work in Italy; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians

What you say of Hebrews is clear, but to compare the two cases, there are, I think, other elements to be taken into consideration. You have not in Hebrews at all the idea of righteousness and justifying. It is a people looked at, at any rate externally, as in relationship with God, and the question is between the temporary and ineffectual means of the law and the abiding efficacy of Christ's work as gone to heaven, for a people thus in relationship. This last was eternal as its efficacy as redemption, inheritance, perfecting the man and his conscience as far as entering into the holiest went, by an offering once for all; even the Spirit is called the eternal Spirit; the covenant, the everlasting covenant; hence, as you say, the work done once for all, He is thereafter a priest in heaven, appearing for us and interceding for us, as to the difficulties of the way. Now all this is surely available for the chief of sinners. But here the thought is " the worshipper," those that come unto God by Him. God is not a judge, man is not justified, the righteousness of God is not revealed.
It is otherwise in Romans. I have man individually, Jew or Gentile, a sinner proved such, and the law cannot justify. God sets forth a mercy-seat through the blood of Christ, a witness of grace, pardon, and the righteousness of God, and this is of perpetual efficacy. It shows righteousness in His passing by the sins of Old Testament saints, a thing He had done continually; but shows His righteousness in doing it, and now, that He is just, and the Justifier of him that is not, which seems a contradiction; but it is thus abiding because a witness of what He is, but while we are not, yet justifying us. Hence it is constant and of constant value. Hence it is not a question of priesthood, which is for the way, but that which being ever in the presence of God proves His justice while He justifies what is not just. It is God's character (I do not like the word) constantly good. I am not a worshipper but a convicted sinner there, yet held to be free from sin in judgment. Withal God sets it forth to sinners in grace, not for repeated cleansing, but to come and find a justification that cannot vary because God is always just, and the blood of Jesus always adequate....
The few brethren here are getting on well, and occasionally a soul is added. I get on much better than I hoped with my Italian. We have reading meetings in the evening, and I understand and make myself understood so as to develop scripture pretty well. But things are most sad all around- the gathered meetings half dissolved, persons employed as far as they are paid, and morality, even among Christians, at the lowest ebb, upright souls often alone through the state of the meetings. Still there are a number of souls brought to the Lord, and I feel entire confidence in His goodness, but a faithful laborer is needed, as far as men can say, willing to work unknown of men and for the Lord. I can help a little those gathered and bring it before the Lord; but little more. He can do all.
I had a very nice German conference at Zurich, through the Lord's goodness, of two days, and large meetings at Neuchatel, Geneva, Lyons; the Lord is graciously doing good in Switzerland; but some who could not walk the same side of the street with me a few years ago, have come and said, What you told us thirty years ago is all coming true. The shaking of the world has moved them.
We are in a lodging taken for two months, just out of the town, on the poor side of it, but a very pleasant lodging with a garden and country around. I have a sunny room, and all is well, though I am getting somewhat old to be a stranger everywhere. But I am thankful to have come here to hold up the hands of the brethren. Hence, it is easy to run to Milan, Novi, Laterio, etc. Biava has been the means of getting a nucleus of true brethren in these places, and it is a comfort in the midst of all around: in general, indifference and Roman Catholicism divide the country; of course, the work would be all uphill.... Nothing can be more sad; but I have full hope in God He will raise up a remnant.
Affectionately yours.
Pallamaglio, Turin,
November, 1871.

Other Points on Baptism; Deliverance; Eternal Life; the Place of Experience; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; in Christ; Work in Italy; Life and Eternal Life; Real Communication of Life; New Birth; Wesleyan Doctrine

Other Points on Baptism; Deliverance; Eternal Life; the Place of Experience; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; in Christ; Work in Italy; Life and Eternal Life; Real Communication of Life; New Birth; Wesleyan Doctrine
Very dear brother,
On beginning your letter, I soon thought that you had met these false teachers of whom you speak. It is true that we are only sealed by the Holy Spirit after having believed. But it is not then that we are born of God. If the presence of the Holy Spirit were life, every Christian would be an incarnation of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit that we have of God. Being born of God is another thing. We have not received, as to the state in which we find ourselves, the state purposed for us in the counsels of God, but we have all, subjectively, to be able to enjoy it. We have undoubtedly eternal life. When it is said, "this is the promise that he has promised us," it is no question of whether we have it or have it not, but what is the promise of God. But the testimony of God is that He has given us eternal life, and this life in His Son. He who has the Son has life, and he who has not the Son has not life. Christ is eternal life come down from the Father. Life eternal is indeed spoken of, as at the end (Rom. 6), because eternal life such as God means by it in His fixed purpose, is in the glory when we shall be like Christ, but we are already quickened. John 5:24; he has life, he is passed from death unto life, and the hour had come already. (Verse 25.) Also John 3:36. We are bound to reckon that we are alive unto God by Jesus Christ. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." When we were dead He quickened us with Christ. We are seated only in Christ, and it is according to the power that worketh in us. God does not quicken in heaven wicked people who arrive there dead in sin! And the soul is not in the grave with the body. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." And here it is by faith, and down here; he who eateth of this bread shall live eternally: if one does not eat it, one has not life in oneself "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." That is to say, resurrection is another thing; he has life, and made sure to him for eternity; he will be raised up at the last day. He that eateth of this bread shall live forever. Nothing appears to me clearer than the doctrine of the word on this subject under various forms; born of the Spirit, quickened by Christ, by faith in receiving Him as bread of life. It ought to make the believer perfectly assured on this point. "He who has the Son has life." Christ is my life. The gift of the Spirit is quite another thing, the seal of faith. After having believed I have been sealed. We are sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into the heart, crying, Abba, Father.
Another question is, if this faith is of me, or of God-which I by no means doubt-in me, but in that which grace has wrought in me, "He who stablished us with you in Christ, and who hath anointed us, is God." "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8.) I know well it is said that "that" does not agree grammatically with faith-be it so, but not with grace either; and to say that grace is not of ourselves is nonsense, for grace means of another, but one might say to oneself without doubt, but faith is on our part, as is said; this is why the apostle asserts, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. As to the rest, it is another question. One is a child, born of God, before being sealed. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." God has begotten us of His own will. We do not beget ourselves. He does not believe in a life communicated, who does not believe that it is grace that communicated it. Wesleyans do not believe in a real life communicated: a result is produced by the operation of the Spirit, and this result can disappear and reappear. " Whosoever is born of God," having received this life, inasmuch as born of God, " sinneth not"; also "the wicked one toucheth him not." In this life there is no sin, within it is the divine seed. There is no allurement for it in the things that Satan presents. As for deliverance and the seal of the Holy Spirit, it is not only having life that delivers me. It is indeed the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ that has set me free (further proof that I have life), but there is also redemption and the Holy Spirit.
This is the order of these things, as I see them in the word. The beloved Savior died for my sins; by grace I believe it and I possess the remission of sins. (I may have had life before, by faith in His Person without understanding the efficacy of His death.) Thereupon being washed in the blood of Jesus, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit; thus there are strength and liberty: as in the Old Testament the leper was washed with water, then he was sprinkled with blood, and then anointed with oil. So says Peter, Be baptized for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thus with Cornelius, as soon as Peter spoke of the remission of sins by Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended on those who heard. We also find it in Rom. 5 There is liberty. But for a solid state of soul there is another truth necessary, that we have died with Christ. It is no longer a question of sins but of the old man- not of what we have done, but of what we are as children of Adam. That begins with Rom. 5:12: by the disobedience of one, it is said, we are constituted sinners But having died with Christ, I am no longer in the flesh. Not only are the sins of the old man blotted out, but I am in a new position; I am in Christ instead of being in Adam. There, there is no condemnation. Then he shows the state, what that means, the law of the Spirit, etc., and then "what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of flesh of sin, and [as a sacrifice] for sin, condemned sin in the flesh"; but it is in death that this has taken place. Thus condemned it exists no longer for faith. I can say so, because Christ risen having become my life, I recognize no longer the flesh as living, since He has really died for me- He who only is my life, my I. I do not recognize the flesh; His death is valid for me to this result. (Rom. 6:10, 11.)
It is arrived at by the experimental knowledge that no good exists in me, then that sin in me is not I, but that it is too strong for me. Having learned it, redemption and the power of the Spirit deliver me, and I know that I am in Christ. The apostle, in order to give it all its force, recounts this experience as made under the law (and it is always legal): it may be made after having learned the remission of sins. I have life, then, very really as soon as I believe, as soon as I receive Christ, and I shall never perish-a sheep quickened by Christ, never to be plucked out of His hands. For again John 10 proves it. I am made free by redemption, and the power of the Spirit of God by whom I am sealed by virtue of this redemption, and I reckon myself for dead as to the flesh.
As for baptism, I confess that I have no taste for the discussions on this point. I have no doubt that each one ought to be baptized; but it is not the less true that it formed no part of the mission of Paul. The position of brethren according to my view is to be in the midst of a mass of baptized people (saving rare exceptions), and they have to unite true Christians in the unity of the body as much as possible. It is the admission to the house of God where are found His blessings, as in the wild olive tree; as in Israel gone out of Egypt, see 1 Cor. 10 It has been forgotten that there is a place where blessing is found, as well as personal grace. The servant (Matt. 24) was servant, and the Lord his Lord, and the servant was punished as such. I believe that according to the word children ought to be admitted where the blessings are. (1 Cor. 7:14.) But I believe that God intended to leave baptism in the shade. The twelve were sent to baptize the nations. Paul was not sent to baptize. The ordinance has not been abrogated; and if any one believes he has not been baptized, he ought to be. What I fear is that in being occupied with the manner, Christ should become less the only object of the heart and of the thoughts, to attach an importance to an external ordinance, which really displaces it in christian thoughts. This is why I have never sought to lead any one to one view more than to another. The activity of those who have baptist views and the manner in which they have pushed their way of seeing, has produced a reaction, and a very large number of baptists have become pseudo-baptists, which has annoyed the others, and this has caused this subject to be considered. What is to be desired is quiet, and then each will decide according to his conscience more or less enlightened by the word. I think I see the wisdom of God in leaving it in the shade. Paul, who said that he had not been sent to baptize, had a special revelation for the Supper, although that already existed: it is the expression of the unity of the body.
I am at present in Italy. I know the language sufficiently for intercourse with the brethren. I do not preach. There is only a handful of brothers, but they are doing well. The state of the work in general is deplorable. The churches that the various sects have formed are full even of immorality. In many places men of conscience leave them, and they fall to pieces little by little; but there is, all the same, a good number of converted souls dispersed through the country, and, for my part, I am full of hope; but it needs a devoted workman, and more than one. There is no lack of paid workmen, but they are too much at the service of those who pay them. Peace to you, beloved brother. May God be abundantly with you.
Yours very affectionately.
Italy, 1871.

Administrative Forgiveness; Remission of Sins; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

* * * The passage is clearly wrong, I suspect doubly. There are two classes (1 Cor. 1:2): the church of God, saints by calling, in contrast with Israel who had their place by birth as such. It is possible some may have deceived themselves, it is supposed possible in the epistle; but till proved they are taken to be true saints: then are added "all that in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, both theirs and ours." This is profession and individual, still, though only taken as profession, assumed to be sincere, unless there was ground to judge it false. The difference is that this is profession on man's part, taken as such: the others are treated as saints by God's calling, and of the assembly. Compare Eph. 4:4, 5, where we have an analogous classification. I remember this being before us.
As to the question for -, I reply, we must distinguish between the work, in virtue of which sin is not at all imputed to them that believe, even as to those as to whom there was no question of baptism as Abraham, and the actual administration of the blessing upon earth-both fully revealed and actually applied, the work on which it was grounded being accomplished. This revelation of remission is clearly pointed out. It is promised in the new covenant, recognized in the New Testament in the institution of the supper: "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins": John the Baptist was to bring the "knowledge of salvation unto his people, by the remission of their sins." The apostles were to remit sins and they would be remitted. And the commission in Luke, the one on which all preaching in the Acts is founded -Peter's or Paul's-is "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name"; and while in past times it had been forbearance, righteousness not being revealed, Christ being offered, righteousness in the remission of Old Testament sins was proved. God then not only announced this to souls individually (for, however many heard, it was individual) but set up a system on earth in which the new blessings were found, based on two ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper-one the entrance once for all, the other the continual memorial of the Lord's death till He come, and sign of the unity of the body. Of this last it is not our business to speak now. But baptism was the entrance into that system, within the precincts of which all christian blessings were found as externally administered on earth; the first of which was the remission of sins, on the reception of which came also the sealing by the Holy Ghost. But even if this were extraordinarily given, as to Cornelius, still he was admitted in an orderly way to the enjoyment of the common blessings of Christians here below.
But the first grand blessing needed was remission of sins; through this was knowledge of salvation and actual reception of it where it was received. Repentance and remission of sins were to be preached in Christ's name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Peter does this when they are pricked in their hearts, and says these are the things looked for; if you repent and enter into this divinely-administered door of blessing, you will receive the promise of the Spirit. He does not say, Be baptized and you will receive the remission of sins; but be baptized with the baptism to this-become a Christian where this blessing is found. They were baptized to it, as John Baptist, to Moses, to Christ, to Christ's death. It was the truth and fact they were brought to and owned, and then they would receive the Holy Ghost. It was the profession they came into. If true faith and repentance were there, they got the actual present administered remission: if it was not they did not, as Simon Magus. It may be a hardening but not blessing to him who is a hypocrite. For remission is not the fact of non-imputation by the death of Christ-that Old Testament believers had; but an actual status into which a person enters. I may have forgiven my son perfectly in my mind, but he has not forgiveness till it is pronounced upon him Here there is no outward sign. Where there is it may be abused to self-deception, as 1 Cor. 10 I use the simile to show the difference between non-imputation on God's part, and administered or declared forgiveness. See the case of Nathan and David. Hence also the connection of forgiveness with discipline, where non-imputation is not at all the question. Hence when Paul was converted it is said to him, "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins." He entered then into an actually administered forgiveness. " Wash away thy sins" is of course a figure: it is not putting away the filth of the flesh does it. But I enter by it into that which is proclaimed as the first blessing of Christianity into which I enter, becoming a professed Christian. If faith is there, my conscience is perfect according to the christian system, and the other blessings follow. If not, and there is profession, I am in the case of Simon Magus or 1 Cor. 10; but I have been baptized to that. In Acts 2 and 22, the call is addressed to persons publicly under the power of the revelation and word of Christ, who are then told what to do to obtain the blessings of Christianity actually here on earth—the path to perfect ones above. This must not be forgotten, for then they did, and for the first time, enter into the blessings attached to Christianity on earth. Hence Peter can say the like figure saves us, taking care, as the proposition is general, to show it was not simply the outward sign that did it. Hence when Peter addresses those pricked in heart by his word he puts the whole thing, on the inquiry what to do, according to the mission in Luke. They inquired for a good conscience and got it. They were baptized to this truth and administered fact—the remission of sins, and received then the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I am not aware that I can add more. It is always important to look at the context. If a person being not a professed Christian—a Jew, for example, or a heathen—was convinced that Jesus was the Christ, or Son of God, and would not be baptized (the case has happened to me), I could not say his sins were washed away or that he was saved. (See Mark 16:16.) But I see nothing of quickening spoken of in connection with baptism. The question raised is sins, not life—washing away or remission. It is not a question of non-imputation of sin, nor is it before men; but the administration of forgiveness here on earth, as the privilege conferred freely on the conscience in Christianity. Christianity administers forgiveness as a present actual thing. I enter into this position by baptism; though being sacramental it may be merely a form, as stated above.
Here we have not much to say, but I think three have been converted, and two feeble ones restored, and I. hope two manifested at Novi. I leave here (D.V.) Thursday for Milan, but only stay at most a fortnight, and then France, where I have an evangelist school for two months before me.
I see, I think, a progress as to baptism from John the Baptist to Paul, but I do not enter on it here.
Affectionately yours.
Italy, 1871.

Reproach of Christ

Mr.—told me that when you left the Establishment your father would not hear of your going amongst brethren, so-called, but acquiesced in your going to-. Now this in a measure acquits you of any knowledge of the principles of that meeting.... But this ought to show how instinctively the world makes the difference, and that the reproach of Christ was not there. Forgive me if I say that it would have been happy if this had struck you at the time. I am far from thinking the brethren perfect; I know more faults in them and myself than the world would cast on them, and just where the world would think them more reasonable. Still as a fact they are under the ban of the world: they have sufficiently preserved their separation from it to be rejected by it, not only at-but everywhere; and this is right. Those who fall in with the evangelical world have not. Church people of course do not like dissent, but there is more or less of the camp and the clergy, and it is tolerable; but following Christ wholly the world or the human heart will never stand. I thought after speaking with Mr. -, I would notice this one point, partly as owning in one aspect the excuse, but a tale to the conscience on the other.
January 1st, 1872.

Bethesda and Principles; Scriptural Basis for Corporate Rejection

* * * Allow me to say one word in reply to your note, not to combat your isolation, which I leave, as it is at present, though I do not think it a definitely right one. I speak of a principle: the rejection of masses. Suppose a mass receive deliberately blasphemers; can I walk with that mass, and consequently myself with blasphemers in principle? If not, I reject the mass. But the question goes further. Supposing a Christian coming from that mass, but walking deliberately with them on that principle: are they not exactly in the same position-guilty individually of that which makes the mass guilty? The piety of the individual only makes the matter worse, as he sanctions the evil by his piety. Having said this much to make the principle clear, I can only commend you unfeignedly to the guidance of God, who is full of grace.
Yours truly in the Lord
January 12th, 1872.

Marriage of a Laborer

Thank you very much for your letter and account of Ireland. I bless God with all my heart for the blessing He has given, and for the part you have had in it through [grace]. Be assured of my unfeigned sympathy in your proposed union. Always a serious thing, it is doubly so for you, occupied as you have been in the Lord's work: for it is, and specially in such cases, a help or a great hindrance, even where there is genuine affection, and the Lord is not individually the first object, because each will have the other for themselves. I trust it is not so with -. I pray you may be blessed. It is a serious thing beginning, when in the work, life afresh (so to speak); but it may be a helpmeet and a resource in solitary labor. I am passing out of the world even humanly, though at present gradually, for though fagged I am very well, but have only to say, my salvation is nearer than when I believed. You are, so to speak, entering into it, for it is a new life. To carry your wife to a home, be she ever so devoted, is another thing from going as a preacher. This is a serious thing, I do not mean not a right thing: it may be the very best thing possible for you: I only say a serious thing-makes me think of you and pray for you as I do, that God may make it minister in much blessing to you, and even to your work. If you go to Australia and New Zealand, it may be a great thing for you. The gracious Lord guide and bless you abundantly in your soul and in your work!... The doors are open here comparatively, and even with Roman Catholics; at Vevey there was decided blessing. This is the moat sick part of the work, though there are many gatherings, and some large ones, but little spiritual energy and detachment from the world. We have had some very nice young men here, and the spirit of all has been excellent, and some with very considerable gift. But what I look for is devotedness; with that, looking to the Lord, blessing will come. Our studies have been happy, I trust profitable. Their presence has cheered the neighboring gatherings and roused them.
Peace be with you.
Ever dear brother, affectionately yours.
February 18th, 1872.

Marriage of a Laborer; Natural Relationships

Be assured you shall have my prayers, as I am sure you will of many other saints. And as I said to -, not only then but now, it is a serious position in which you are placed, not only, as it ever is, the influence that a wife exercises on a Christian, in danger (as the apostle teaches us) of caring for the things of the world to please his wife, but the rather in the case of a workman of the Lord, and who has been blessed as such. You may be blessed to your husband if God graciously leave you together in this poor world, as strengthening and comforting and encouraging him, and praying for him in the weariness and trials which accompany the service. But do not seek to relax his energy. A wife sometimes likes to have her husband for herself, and when her husband is the Lord's laborer, it is a great evil. I have known a wife spoil a laborer, and a husband as to herself too, in this way. A husband is bound to care for his wife, consider her, and do anything but neglect her: it is surely most evil and sad when he does, But the wife of a laborer for the Lord must put his work and labor before herself; or rather it should be herself too, and this can only be when she lives with and for the Lord. The world claims it, and officers' wives must take their chance, so to speak, and cannot help themselves; but sometimes we grudge so much to the Lord. But a wise wife who seeks first the Lord herself, puts Him first for her husband, and does not love him the less: it is a bond; and her husband will honor and value her, and so will the Lord too.
Another danger is where a wife likes to see her husband made much of-very natural; but I have seen laborers wholly spoiled by this-creating ill-feeling in his mind, because he had not the importance she thinks he ought to have, and irritating him against others. Let her honor him-all right-and minister to his service all she can, but remember he is the Lord's servant, and keep peacefully in her own place, not meddling with his relationship to his labor, or a flock amongst whom he may be, only helping as she may very much in it, and leaving it there. Women often see things or motives clearer than men; but if they act by insinuations or small means in these things, it is ruinous. Let them be with the Lord for themselves if their own pride is wounded (for it is their own) in their husband.
Having said these two or three words, with the privilege of an old man before whom many things, and sometimes sorrowful ones, have passed, I have only to beg you to be assured that I have done so, as I now write, really in sincere sympathy and desire of a full blessing. May He be with you! Many and rich blessings flow from Him in these channels, if we look to Him in them. Trials? Yes. God sanctions fully all these natural relationships, but sin being in the world, sorrow will follow in their track; but the gracious Lord is come where sin and sorrow had come, no doubt to raise us to far higher blessings, but not to forget us in the path of trial in which we walk down here. He could be moved with compassion when He saw the sorrow, and He has learned His lesson well, and can look to and feel for us now.
But your privilege is to live with your husband as heirs together of the grace of life; and then all will be well even in a world of sorrow; and I can only trust you may find abundant communion with him and joy, and joy together in it. Make, and may he make, the Lord the first object, the real bond; and the rest will come. And remember, a laborer's wife (as indeed any) must be first with the Lord, and then not be curious about his labor, and all that passes; but his comfort and encouragement, his cheer in it, and sharer in his sorrows because she lives with the Lord.
Very truly, yours in Him.
You hardly expected such a line as this. However, I was led on, and beg you to consider it as a proof of interest in your happiness.
February 18th, 1872.

Work in France and Germany

Beloved brother,—I have such a pile of letters which I must answer, that your note has remained a long time without a reply. But I looked for a moment in which to write you a couple of lines. We now have here a class of young brethren who look forward—indeed partly already so—to devote themselves to the Lord's work, and we read the word together. There is a want of laborers in France as everywhere. The old ones gradually pass away and few replace them. But God—I believe it is He who awakes souls, and a good many desire to carry on the work. We are very happy together. Earnest and godly, they do not seek knowledge only, but the Lord and the power of His word—soul work. Two are already in the work, and young men have come without being invited. We are, I believe, more than fifteen. We have already read Romans and Mark, and are now occupied with Genesis. On Sundays they visit the surrounding gatherings. It was just here that the work in France was at its lowest. The wine trade had spoiled everything. The vicinity is all a vineyard, and a reduction of the tariff has increased this trade enormously. In Switzerland God is reviving the energy of the brethren. At St. Croix sixty have been converted, and in general the work goes on everywhere with more vigor. We hope the same for France. I do not go into the question whether all here are called of God. I leave that to their own consciences and to God above. I communicate as I am able the truth of the word to them, and I hope that the good hand. of God is with us.
With regard to the Lord's work in Germany, I deeply love the French brethren: from the first I have worked with them; our joy and our sorrow are in common. I know them all, most of them have grown up under mine eyes, and God has much blessed me here, and I have met with love and friendship in every shape. Naturally I love them well. But in my temperament and habits I am more at home with the Germans. As brethren in Christ they are entirely one. God has given me continuous and blessed work here. I was in a certain way, and earlier, here. He is a Sovereign, and sends His servants whither He will. I labor for you, dear brother, with just as much cordial love as for Switzerland and France, or England. Of late years America has claimed my time more than all. We have, thank God, received good news from there.
I hope that the Bible is useful, and will be blessed of God. I feel that the undertaking was somewhat bold in me, but for God and the brethren. It would give me pleasure to know that the translation as a whole was found correct by a competent man. But it is in God's hands.
My cordial greeting to all brethren, and be ever assured of the cordial love of Your attached brother in Christ.
February 1872.


Dear brother,—Now for the questions. Satan is a fallen creature, and he does not possess either omniscience or omnipotence—John 8:44, and probably, Ezek. 28:17, where many Christians believe that Satan is represented under the figure of the king of Tyrus, and I think too they are right. However this may be, John 8:44 is a distinct testimony. But Satan has a whole multitude of demons under his authority, so much so, that in the poor Gadarene there was a legion: he is the prince of the demons.
With respect to the knowledge of thoughts, he does not know them intuitively, as God does; but he knows as a spirit full of intelligence and subtlety, who discerns with the greatest clearness the motives of the heart, and who has gained experience by the practice of many thousand years: but I believe that he understands nothing of the power of love. He was able in his malice to raise up the Chaldeans, etc., through desire of plunder, against Job; but not in any way knowing the purpose p of God to bless him by this means, he did nothing but fulfill it. He did all that he could to get Christ put to death, but he only fulfilled the wonderful purpose of God for our salvation. However, when he has to do with the evil heart of man, the case is different. He can present objects to awaken lust. If we reckon ourselves to be dead, dead to sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, he is not able to tempt us, at least, the temptation remains without effect; but if the flesh is not held as dead, then he can present objects which the flesh likes, and suggest to a man the means of satisfying his lusts. Thus he. put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus for a little money. But man is responsible, because without lust Satan could do nothing: he has nothing to offer to the new man, or if he offers anything, it only produces horror in the soul; the soul suffers as Christ suffered at the sight of evil in this world, or else it overcomes as Christ overcame in the wilderness. But, when the soul is not set free, he can indeed insinuate wicked thoughts, and unbelieving thoughts, and words of blasphemy, in such a way that these words and thoughts seem to proceed from the man himself. Nevertheless, if the man is truly converted, we always find that he has a sense of horror at the things that arise in his mind, and we see that they are not really his own thoughts. If he is not converted he does not distinguish between the demon and himself, as we find in the gospels. But also when he is converted, it is a proof that he has opened the door to the devil by sin, hidden sin it may be, or by negligence.
Further, Satan is the prince of this world, and its god, and he governs the world by means of the passions and lusts of men; and he is able to raise up the whole world against Christians, as he did against Christ, and so try their faith. He can seek to mingle truth and error, and thus deceive Christians if they are not spiritual; and also as the demon at Philippi did, to get Christians mixed up with the world in order to destroy the testimony of God; he can change himself into an angel of light, but "the spiritual man discerneth all things." Satan has but little power over us, if we walk humbly, close to the Lord, following faithfully the word of God, having Christ as the only object of the heart. Satan knows well that he has been conquered; therefore it is said, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." His influence in the world is very great through the motives of the human heart, and he acts on men through each other; likewise, from the rapidity of his operations and actions, he appears to be everywhere; and then he employs a great multitude of servants who are all wicked; but in fact he is not present everywhere. Now God is really present, and if we are under the influence of the Spirit of God, and the conscience is in the presence of God, Satan has no power. "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." However things may be with us, if we are truly the children of God he will fulfill the counsels of God with respect to us; it may be by chastisement if need be. But God knows all things, He in the most absolute sense penetrates everywhere: He orders all things—Satan's efforts even—for our good; and if we are armed with the whole armor of God, the darts of the evil one do not reach the soul.
I do not know whether these few lines as to the devil are sufficient. The question is not a new one, but the manner of Satan's working is not told us, but it appears in the gospel history. I have not spoken about possession.
We have had good meetings at Nismes, and I have visited those in the Cevennes, except St. Andre, where the road was broken up by the effects of the rain. I have never had such large meetings, and such solemn ones.
I hope that the brethren of Gard have woke up a little. The Lord has wrought some conversions.
Your affectionate brother.
March. 1872

Dead With Christ; Force of the Term Saints; Sanctification

It is asked, First, If the holiness of Christ is imputed as righteousness?
Second. If the distinction between our holiness in Christ and practical holiness is scriptural?
Third. If, when Christians are called holy, it is a positional holiness, or a practical holiness?
The first question is somewhat indefinite, since it speaks of the holiness of Christ, and then of righteousness without saying of Christ; so it does not appear whether you mean righteousness simply, or the righteousness of Christ. The word says always simply that righteousness is imputed, or that faith is imputed for righteousness, not the righteousness of Christ. But I will answer the substance of the question, not its form. Christ's, holiness is not imputed. The only passage that can appear to resemble this doctrine is 1 Cor. 1:30, but imputation is not spoken of there. It is not possible to impute redemption. It is in Christ, and through Christ, that these are according to the will of God, how is not told us. "Of him are ye"; this is the new man, whence he comes. Then Christ is made of God unto us wisdom. We do not find these things elsewhere. We do not find the true character of our wisdom, of our righteousness, of our christian holiness, or of redemption elsewhere than in Christ, and in Christ alone. When I possess Christ, I possess in Him the wisdom of God. He Himself is the wisdom of God; I do not seek wisdom elsewhere, and the wisdom of God is not to be found elsewhere. He is my righteousness before God; I am accounted righteous according to the righteousness of God by faith in Christ. If I seek for the truth, the sum total, the divine character, of holiness, I find it only in Christ: this holiness is presented to me by God in Christ. In Christ only is redemption, final redemption to enter glory.
Here it is needful to distinguish between the words used for holiness and sanctification in the New Testament: ἁγιωσύνη is the thing itself, the habit-once, ἁγιότης, Heb. 12:10, the holiness of God Himself-ἁγιασμός the word used in 1 Cor. 1:30. The word in this form signifies the result worked out, the sum of what is produced in us by the Holy Ghost. Now Christ is the model, the measure, the perfection of it. Inasmuch as we possess Christ as life, we possess this holiness. The life which we possess is a perfectly holy life, and as we are in Christ God does not see sin in us. But Christ Himself, as has been said already, is the perfect expression of the character, of the perfection, of holiness in man; and although the life which is in us is a holy life, the outcome in our thoughts, in our acts, in our words, in our relation to everything is not produced in its perfection; but our desire is not to lower the standard of it, but to reach it. It is ours in Christ, not yet in practice, not yet subjectively. The new man desires that in everything his whole being should answer to the model he knows in Christ. In this life the result is not attained to, but the Christian has no other model, no other substance of sanctification for the soul but Christ Himself. Christ is for him, from God, the substance of that which he longs for; because Christ, who is his model, is his life already.
Thus the answer to the first question furnishes the reply to the second. It is true that God sees us in Christ, and He sees only the new man, when acceptance is in question: "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel." But scripture does not speak of our holiness in Christ. The life we have received is perfectly holy, and I do not live, but Christ lives in me. But here are two truths which must be made plain. First, if Christ is our life we are consecrated to God, set apart for Him, according to the right which He possesses through the work of redemption, and the grace that has won us for Him-wholly consecrated to Him personally. Thus we are personally sanctified, set apart for God, but as a matter of fact all our thoughts, our motives, have not Christ as their object; so that in fact we are not perfected in sanctification. In personal sanctification there is no progress, we belong wholly to Christ according to the value of His work and the claim which He has over us, and according to the holy life which is the true "I" of the heart. But, Christ being the perfect expression of this life in man, much is wanting in us in respect of this perfection, and through the operation of the Holy Ghost we become-we ought to become, at least-while looking at Christ glorified, increasingly like Christ, more holy, as regards practical holiness. We possess then the "ἁγιωσύνη" in the life of Christ in us; we do not possess the "αγιασμός," the practical result as it has been manifested in Christ; it is developed daily in communion with Christ.
The second principle which it is necessary to call attention to is this: that it is not the whole truth that we have received a new life in receiving Christ. The Christ whom we have received has been crucified, has died, and risen again; thus I reckon myself to be dead, and the old man as crucified, as not in existence, although it continues to exist. The doctrine is according to the authority and the truth of God in Col. 3:3. "Ye are dead." The reckoning of faith is in Rom. 6:11, "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin"; the realization is in 2 Cor. 4:10. (Compare Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6; 7:6; Gal. 2:19, where we read, "dead to the law," Gal. 6:14.) Thus we are dead to sin, to the law, to the world, crucified with Christ, reckoned to be dead according to the word of God, and reckoning ourselves dead. Our duty is to make good this truth, so that nothing except the life of Christ should be manifested in our bodies, in our mortal flesh, that our whole life may be the manifestation of the life of Christ in us, and of nothing else. The connection between this truth and holiness in our relationship with God, and practical holiness, is easily understood. This is the third question already before us.
The Christian is called holy because he is set apart for God absolutely, according to the rights won by Christ in His death, and made good when he is born again, and thus set apart in a real way; and more perfectly, and with more intelligence, when he is sealed by the Holy Ghost, as cleansed by the blood of Christ. Then he is sanctified in his relationship with God, and, in fact, as to the new man; also as we have seen, the old man is held to be dead. Thus when Christians are called holy, it is indeed the expression of a relationship with God, but this relationship is formed by the gift of life, and founded on the fact that Christ has purchased them by His death. But there is no other relationship, and when a man calls himself a Christian he calls himself holy, consecrated to God, set apart from the world for God. It has likewise been the will of God that a church should be formed on the earth, and all who are introduced into the church according to the ordinance of God are accounted holy. They deceive themselves terribly if they have not life, but according to their profession they are holy; such is their relationship as to their position. But when the word says "saints," it is of course supposed that they have been really born again, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, the possibility of a false profession excepted. The word " saint" is therefore the name of a relationship; that is, that a man is set apart for God; but this relationship, if it is a true one, is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and by the word according to the order appointed by God for the external manifestation in the world of this relationship. Now it is worthwhile to remark, that sanctification is attributed to each of the three Persons of the Trinity: to God and to the Father, Heb. 10:10; Jude 1; it is by the blood of Christ, and by the offering up of His body, Heb. 13:12; 10:10, 29; by the Holy Ghost, 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2. This is in various aspects, naturally: there are the counsels and the will of God the Father; through the offering of Christ in order to redeem them to be sanctified; by the power of the Holy Ghost to set them apart in fact: we may add, by the word, as the means employed by the Holy Ghost. It is important to draw the reader's attention to the use of the word "sanctification" in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Sanctification by the Holy Ghost is never spoken of there, but by the will of God, by the offering of Christ, and by His blood; because Christ died for the nation, and as many as received Jesus as the Christ were reckoned as being, as it were, a part of the nation that belonged to God according to the offering of Christ; not that it does not treat of the true value of the offering for those who believe, but the nation sanctified by the blood of the covenant is always in view, and not the operation of the Holy Ghost in the individual.
The saints then in the New Testament are accounted as having entered into a new relationship with God through the blood of Christ, set apart for God. This is the order according to God, but it is always supposed that this relationship is founded on reality, save to demonstrate its falseness; only that sanctifying by the blood of Christ is used in a more general, external way: nevertheless it is held to be real if the contrary is not demonstrated. Christians are called holy in Rom. 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:2, but in chapter 10 of the latter epistle it is supposed possible that admission to this relationship may have taken place without the possession of life.
As some confusion exists with respect to progress in sanctification, I add that in the setting us apart for God by the blood and the new birth-in the entrance into the relationship (that is, sanctification of the person) there is no progress; but in the development of the life through the knowledge of Christ, and in conformity to the model revealed in Christ, the word speaks distinctly of progress. "Follow after holiness," it is written in Heb. 12:14. We "are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18.) "Now the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." (1 Thess. 5:23.)
Now sanctification is used in these two ways in the New Testament, and when it speaks of sanctification and justification together, sanctification is placed first, and is used not for progressive sanctification but for the setting apart for God.
I have spoken entirely with a practical view, without considering the responsibility of those who are in the christian position without reflection. All who are baptized are responsible as to their position and ought to be really holy; they are externally set apart for God; but I am not treating here of the state of the church, but simply of the question, What is sanctification according to scripture. The children of a christian man or woman are called holy in contrast with the children of a Jew, who if the wife was from among the Gentiles was rejected as unclean and as unworthy of Jewish privileges. But these things are not the object of the present observations.
March 29th, 1872.

Adam and Christ; Conscience; Deliverance; the Doctrine of Free Will; Christian Life; Man and the World; Obedience of Christ; Responsibility and Purpose

I just got your note, and write a line in reply. We use words so inexactly that it is necessary to explain, not to have endless discussion.
Usually when we speak of free and can-that is, the absence of compulsion, and the presence of power are confounded. I say 'every one can come to the meeting,' meaning it is open to every one. I am told it is not true, for such an one has broken his leg and cannot. I take a plain case, to show what I mean. Thus where the Lord says, " No one can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him;" it is not that God prohibits or hinders, but that man is so wicked in will and corrupt, that unless a power outside himself act on him he cannot come-he is never morally so disposed. Man is perfectly free to come now as far as God is concerned, and invited to come, yea, besought; and the precious blood of Christ there on the mercy-seat, so that moral difficulty is removed by God's own grace as regards the holy One receiving a sinner. In this sense he is perfectly free to come. But then there is the other side, man's own will and state. There is no will to come, but the opposite. Life was there in Christ. "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." "All things are ready, come to the marriage," and "they all with one consent began to make excuse." Man does not wish to be with God. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." " Wherefore when I came was there no man, when I called was there none to answer." "The carnal mind is enmity against God." The crucifixion of the Lord is the proof that man would not have God, when come in mercy and relieving even every present misery-" For my love I had hatred:" " They hated me without a cause:" " Now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father." And the Lord gives the reason. Whatever the love, and it was infinite and perfect, God is Light as well as Love, "and men loved darkness rather than light." They reject a love that humbles their pride, as they detest a light which awakens their conscience; henceforth we find "as many as received him to them gave he right to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." It is simple nonsense to talk of freedom when applied to man's actual condition, if he is already inclined to evil; admitting him more than free to come, invited and besought by every motive, all made ready- but which proves that he will not, and that no motive induces him. I have yet one son, says God, but that is over. To say he is not inclined to evil, is to deny all scripture and all fact; to make him free to choose he must be as yet indifferent, indifferent to-having no preference for-good and evil, which is not true, for evil lusts and self-will are there, the two great elements of sin, and if it were true would be perfectly horrible. But there is more, when he does will good, evil is present with him; how to perform that which is good he finds not. There is a law in his members bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members. No doubt, thank God, there is deliverance, deliverance in another; but deliverance is not freedom, but what is granted and effected by another, because I have learned by experience under divine teaching that I am not free and cannot free myself. Hence in Rom. 6, where this question is treated in its roots, we are set free by being dead, the Adam nature crucified with Christ. Then he can say, but not before, "Yield ye yourselves:" a blessed and true principle when I reckon myself dead to sin and alive to God- not in Adam, but in Jesus Christ our Lord. This is resumed in chapter 8:2, 3. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death"; so that I was not free before I had Christ. And he adds, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
Freedom is the fruit of deliverance by Christ. First, in His death the old man, sin in the flesh, is dead for faith; we are crucified with Him, and I have life in the power of the Spirit in Christ, and then I am free. But the facts of man's state, and the scriptural history of his responsibility, put this matter on another ground altogether: and first that history which will bring out more clearly the facts of his state. The purpose of God was always in the second Adam, not in the first. The first promise; also was to the seed of the woman, not to Adam, who was not that. The seed of the woman was to destroy Satan's power, as Adam had succumbed to it. All promises are made to Christ, Israel as a chosen people, or to Abraham and to his seed-none to man as such. But God began with responsibility first in the first Adam, and not with purpose or promise. And this responsibility was fully dealt with in every way, I mean now after the fall, without law, under law, and after the prophets by Christ's coining in grace according to the word. "Having yet therefore one Son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last unto them." Thus man's responsibility was fully dealt with, and the Lord says, "Now is the judgment of this world." Stephen sums this up, saying (Acts 7), "You have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it; which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted and slain? who testified beforehand of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers; ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did so do ye." And one, full of the Holy Ghost, thereon goes up into heaven, and earth's tale is told. But it will be said, Yes, but the death of Christ has laid a new ground of responsibility. So it has, but by placing man on the ground that man is already lost, and that when we were yet without strength, Christ died for the ungodly. There is none to will, none to understand, none to answer. We cannot give divine life to ourselves, nor beget ourselves to God.
I am not questioning the door being freely open and the blood on the mercy-seat, but this is the final proof that man will not come, when he can as regards God, and God has proved that No motives suffice to induce him: he must be born again wholly afresh. The history of scripture is of God's using all means and motives, the result being, the rejection of His Son and judgment. The case of Adam was somewhat different, because lust and self-will were not yet there: man was not captive to a law of sin in his members; sin was not there, nor was deliverance required; he was with God in innocence. Clearly God put no restraint on him to leave Him and disobey: his obedience was tested; it was not a question of coming to God when already evil: the prohibition was a pure test of obedience, and the act innocent if it had not been forbidden. There was as yet no conscience in the sense of knowing the difference of good and evil for oneself; he had only to stay where he was and not disobey. There was nothing in him, nor, I need not say, in God, to hinder him; in this he was free: his fall proved that not the creature was bad, but if left to himself could not stand firm. But in this state, so far from choice, and freedom of choice being what he had to do to go right, the moment there was choice and will there was sin. Obedience simply was my place; if a question arose whether he should obey, sin was there. Choice is not obedience. The moment he felt free to choose, he had left the place of simple obedience. Think of a child who takes the ground of being free to choose whether he shall obey, even if he chooses right. I deny that morality depends on freedom of choice. Man was created in a given relationship with God; morality consisted in walking in that relationship. But that relationship was obedience. There he could have continued simple and happy, and not set himself free from God. This is what Christ did. He came to do God's will, took the form of a servant. Satan in the temptation in the wilderness sought to get Him to leave this to be free and do His will, only in eating when He was hungry. What harm was there in that? It was freedom and His own will: and His answer is, that man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. There was no movement in His heart or will but from or by the will of God; and that is perfection. Not a rule checking self-will, which we, alas, often need, but God's will the motive of our action-of the action of our will. That is what is called in scripture the obedience of Christ to which we are sanctified. Man has in one sense made himself free, but it is free from God, and thus is in moral apostasy and the slave of sin. From this Christ wholly delivers, and sanctifies us to obedience, having borne the penalty of the fruits of our free will. How came I to have to choose? If I have, I have no good yet, and what is to make me choose it?
They confound too, conscience as to good and evil, with will. Man acquired this by the fall, and it is thus exercised in a state of alienation from God in the unconverted; and will is a distinct thing. In the flesh it is enmity against God, lust and lawlessness, and, if the law comes, transgression. If even I have the Spirit of God, it lusts against it. It is expressed by the heathen in saying, I see better things and approve them, I follow the worse. There is conscience and lust governing will. If all this be so, man was perfectly at liberty as to what he might do as put to the test, but the exercise of will or choosing was just sin, obedience being his place with God. He was created in good, and had it not to choose; now he loves sin and his own will, and has to be delivered from it.
April 17th, 1872.

Responsibility Attaching to Will; Moral Responsibility

The principle that responsibility depends on the power of the responsible person is false, save so far as the alleged responsible person is in his nature such as to negative the claim. A stone cannot be responsible nor even is beast, for moral conduct, because they are not in the relationship to which responsibility can attach. But obligation flows from relationship, and where the relationship exists which constitutes it, the obligation subsists: the power to fulfill it has nothing to do with it. The obligation gives a claim to the person to whom the obliged is responsible. I had put the case: A man owes me a thousand pounds; you are a spendthrift, and have not a penny; you have not power to pay really-therefore I have no claim nor you responsibility. That will not do. Romans cut off their thumbs, and could not hold a spear, to avoid military service: were they held irresponsible?
Man takes another ground of reasoning against God I know, that God put him into this place, or he was born in it, and therefore he is not responsible. This raises another point, that moral responsibility attaches to will, not to power. We do what our own consciences condemn because we like it. My child refuses to come when I call him to go with me; I am going to punish him because he would not: he pleads that he was tied or could not open the door. But I punish him because he refused as to his will to yield to the obligation: I had a knife ready to cut what bound him, a key to open the door: he by his will refused the claim. In a word, responsibility flows from the claim on us arising from the relationship in which we stand. There is not a man in Glasgow that would hold that he had no claim on a man who owed him a thousand pounds because he had no ability to pay it. It has nothing to do with responsibility. We may lightly treat God so, alas! and say, "The woman that thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat;" but he pleads his sin as his excuse. God says, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree," etc., therefore.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.
[Date uncertain.]

Dead With Christ; Two Greek Words Translated "Partakers;" Real Communication of Life; the Meaning of the Term Nature; Our Partaking of the Divine Nature; New Birth; Wesleyan Doctrine

On my arrival here from abroad I found a note from -, communicating your questions. I have not myself any great difficulty on the subject. I know not whether I shall be as clear for you; but I will try, hoping in the Lord's help. As to bringing into Godhead, I leave it aside; I never heard of such a thing before. I do not even accept a common expression from Romanists downwards-union with God. I believe a nature is properly what makes any being what it is, as “angel”,"man," “cow,” or anything else. I do not think 2 Peter 1:4 the simplest and clearest passage to explain the point, because it is properly moral, or specially what characterizes the Christian as such. The reason I think so is, that it speaks of "great and precious promises," by which it is more to me what John 3 calls "born of water," and, "ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Still it is not separable from the other point-life-giving. But it speaks of promises, and escaping corruptions which are in the world.
This side of being born again even Romanists, and also Wesleyans, and most evangelicals admit and confine themselves to; that is, an action of the Holy Ghost by the word, by which man is morally purified. Nay, Wesleyans would say-lose it, regain it; and even those who do not go so far, still hold it as only a purifying of what is. The Wesleyans say, man had body, soul and spirit before the fall; and after the fall, body, soul and spirit corrupted, and then being born again, the corruption is removed; and hence a man may be quite perfect as man, if the corruption be wholly removed. Now I believe (not touching on perfection now) that this is, to say the least, a most defective view of the matter. I believe the Lord is a life-giving Spirit; and, operating by the Holy Ghost, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"-not the Spirit, who is God; but one is by His divine power quickened, just as that which is born of the flesh is flesh. I receive spiritually life from Christ, as I receive naturally life from Adam. In this sense Christ is my life. He is eternal life (1 John 1), and "he that hath the Son of God hath life." It is not I, as of the flesh, but Christ lives in me. Hence, viewed abstractedly, as thus born of God-for so John views things-it is said, "he cannot sin, because he is born of God." And this life we have in the power of Christ's resurrection; and it is acted in by the Holy Ghost given to us because of Christ's blood. So after His resurrection, as God breathed into Adam, Christ breathed into His disciples. Through this, it is said, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." A great accessory truth that comes in connected with this is, that Christ having died, I am counted of God (Colossians dead as to the flesh, and to count myself so (Rom. 6), and to realize it (2 Cor. 4), so that only the life of Christ should be manifested.
This is the point which my soul clings to on this subject, the real communication in receiving Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost, so as to have what I had not before-Christ become spiritually my life through the Holy Ghost acting in it in power; created again in Christ Jesus, though the flesh still be there. But I am not in it, but in Christ, and am bound and privileged to hold it dead. Of course, this does practically cleanse by and according to the word. I may not be able to explain it physiologically, but it is to me plain in scripture, and in it the saint will live eternally with God. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit"-partakes of the nature of that of which it is born. It is holy, loves, and, as in Christ as a man, obeys. In a word, it is the reproduction, as to its nature, of Christ's life. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; the Spirit is life because of righteousness." It is as new a thing as a graft in a wild tree.
As regards using Old Testament words as types, I quite agree that our imagination is to be held in check; nor can we ever insist on such as a doctrine. But there is a passage which may assist your mind on this point (1 Cor. 10:11), where the word " ensamples" is "types" or "figures," which gives the principle. Then we must only look to the Holy Ghost and divine guidance to use them soberly and aright.
The shade of different meaning in κοινωνός and μέτοχος is, I believe, just; but it is a question of adequate observation of its New Testament use in Greek, and any adequate proof would make me abandon it. At present, though only a shade of meaning, I believe it just. Luke 5 does not to my mind destroy this connection; κοινωνοί is really "partners" for me there, μέτοχοι, the fact of taking part: but I have no anxiety to insist on this; as I have said, adequate proof would make me give it up at once.
Φύσις is moral in 2 Peter, from the force of what is said in the passage. In divine things this is everything, as holiness, love, etc.; but the point I should insist on is, that there is more than mere moral effect, though there be that—that Christ is for us a life-giving Spirit; as born of the flesh involves a like nature.
I do not know whether I have met the question as you wish; I write rapidly, having left Paris this morning, and found a mass of things on my table; but I think, if you take the passages, the life-giving and Christ being our life will be very plain, and that is what to my mind is important, though we never know what it really means till we know it as deliverance in power, the flesh being held as dead according to Rom. 8:2, 3—having passed out of chapter 7 according to the doctrine of chapter 6 and the beginning of chapter 7 I shall be glad, if of any value to you, to make myself clearer if I can. "Nature" I see I take just as you do. Only God cannot communicate Godhead to us as supreme being, but the moral elements of what He is He can in giving life.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
April, 1872.

Our Partaking of the Divine Nature

I had heard something of your wanderings and work, and rejoiced with all my heart in souls brought to God and saved. It is a wonderful word to say, and God has shown you great grace in making you the instrument of it....
I have been myself knocked up, overstretched by excessive labor, and when I stopped, a kind of collapse, but very well, thank God, as to health. The Lord willing, I sail May 30th for Boston. This was my object, but naturally if nothing hinders I shall go to Canada. The accounts I have received are generally good, with nothing very special. The Liverpool meeting is 28th and 29th, so that that goes together very well.
I felt the Lord graciously with me on the continent. In some districts there is blessing and conversion. In others they were gone to sleep, but God I think has used the visit to rouse them somewhat, and more are at work. Switzerland has through mercy clearly got a start. There is much to thank God for there now, and in France too there has been arousing and blessing, but a lack of laborers. In the, Gard, where there are I suppose a thousand brethren or more, they had, except in one or two places, sadly gone to sleep, without (save a single case) any special case of sorrow. But they are, I trust, roused up, and blessing come in: I never had such large and attentive meetings of infidels, ministers, and all sorts besides brethren. The door too is open among the Roman Catholics, they receive tracts readily, and come in numbers to funerals, and take interest, feeling the gospel as good, and what they had not had. The instrument of so disposing them is partly dislike to the priests who want to bring in Henri V., and partly the blow fallen on France. But they distinguish at once a plain gospel from sermons and prefer it. Among Protestants the upper orders prefer orthodoxy, and even have built in some places chapels to learn it, the people rather infidelity. If in the common Synod Rationalism has a decided superiority as to results, the orthodox purpose going to the Free church, which with Methodists adapt themselves to the national body, save union with the state. But all is movement.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
May, 1872.

Adam and Christ; Body, Soul, and Spirit; the Work in France

Dear brother,
With respect to the passage Gen. 3:15, the seed of the serpent is, I believe, the wicked, but manifested as under his influence; "Ye are of your father the devil." I do not think that all who are born of man are called the seed of the serpent-a baby for instance, although the same nature is manifested if he lives long in this world. Christ is in a special way the seed of the woman, but all who are born of God are so. But all this history is fulfilled on earth; it is not a question of heaven, or of the judgment of the great white throne, The passages which you have quoted apply to the seed of the serpent. But if He had said, Thou shalt bruise the heads of thine enemies, this would indeed be a promise made to you. The importance of this distinction is that no promise is made to the first man; there is an object for faith where faith was found, but there exists no promise for the first Adam. The second Adam is heir of all the promises. In Christ we share in these promises. When the second Adam shall bruise the serpent's head, He will also judge the world of which the serpent is the prince. On the cross He did morally all that is needed in order to bruise his head, but there His own heel was wounded.
In Gal. 3:16 the apostle is speaking of Gen. 12 and 22, only it is of one special seed. The promise was made to Abraham alone, and confirmed to his seed in chapter 22. The promises of a very numerous seed are distinct; also Abraham is not joined to his seed in this promise. It should be read, "To Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed." In chapter 15 we find the promises to his seed according to the flesh, added to the promises of the one seed. The reasoning in Galatians is that Christ alone is the seed meant in chapter 22, when the nations of the world are spoken of; and, if we are in Christ, we are then the seed of Abraham.
As to body, soul and spirit: soul and spirit are often used for the same thing, the soul in contrast to the body, the one expression or the other. But when both words are used, then the spirit is the higher part, soul being used for that which is joined to the body, and causes this to live; spirit, for the part in which man is in relation with God, inasmuch as God had breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. If there was nothing but soul, he would be no better than the beasts; but inasmuch as God, when the body was already formed, breathed into his nostrils in order that he should become alive, he is in relation with God Himself, and is eternally miserable if he is separated from God. Soul is often used for life, and for the soul, properly so-called, in the same sentence, because in the Greek language there is only one word for the two, ψυχή. If a man shall lose his ψυχή for the love of Jesus, he shall gain it. (Matt. 16:25, 26). The first time it is only life; the second it is much more. Also, "He that will save his ψυχή shall lose it," where the thing is still clearer.
I do not think that (Rev. 12:16) "swallowed up" ought to be taken literally, but that the providence of God will cause that the efforts of the dragon to destroy the woman (the Jewish remnant) should fail, through the action of the nations of the earth; in a manner somewhat miraculous, but providential. Those sent by the dragon and employed by him to destroy the woman are lost, as it were, in the midst of the population of the earth, and they do nothing....
Your affectionate brother.
May 7th, 1872.

Derivatives From Perfect Passive Greek

I reject entirely its [" fellowship with one another"] being with God in 1 John 1:7—not merely think the other right: ἁλλήλων, is mere mutuality, and God would have as much communion with us as a companion, as we have with Him, which is to be utterly rejected as irreverent and wrong. Scripture never speaks so of God—God's having communion with us as between two equals; and ἁλλήλων is thorough mutuality. It is a kind of a fochair a ceile, which cannot be entertained for a moment.
As regards δικαίωσις (Rom. 4:25)—διά is translated "for," as giving the sense best in English. The point is not there, but in δικαίωσις Διά with an accusative is just "on account of"; but δικαίωσις is not the thing done but the doing of it; and it is this on which it turns. If it had been "on account of our having been justified," it would have been διὰ τὸ δικαιωθῆναι ἡμᾶς. And this is not the case till faith comes in; hence (chap. 5:1) δικαιωθέτες ἐκ πίστεως.The Greek rule is that words derived from the perfect passive are the thing done, doing it, and the doer—κρίμα the judgment, κρίσις the judging, κριτής. the judge—though all three are not always there. We have δικαίωμα, δικαίωσις; I am not aware of δικαίωτης.
As to Job 19:25, I believe in Job's mind it was a confident trust that God would then deliver him. But I cannot help thinking that the Spirit of God so ordered it as to imply a brighter and better hope, as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did, in the Lord's hands, beyond the mind of the Jews. You may see by the italics that the passage is very obscure. I find I have translated in German as the Italian Diodati does—"And I know my Redeemer lives, and he will stand at the end upon the earth, and if after my skin, this shall be destroyed (Italian, 'consumed:), yet I shall out of (or 'with') my flesh look upon God," etc. The difference is not very material, "worms" and "body" being both in italics. In Hebrew it is simply “they have destroyed." Verse 24 desires that his confidence in God was engraven on a rock, and the result would prove that it was right. The Redeemer is the common word for next of kin, on whom the right of redemption and avenging injuries devolved. God would be his goel (Hebrew). People have thought Job's faith could not have reached this: perhaps not, habitually. But here his soul rises up to God, and he puts life in God in contrast with the present consumption of skin and flesh, and that the power of deliverance (and will) from its perishing condition was there. He lives, he stands up above all that is dust, and while possibly looking to deliverance I doubt not the Spirit looks to a better resurrection.
As to "likeness," the reference is to baptism; but ὁμοιώματι is not merely likeness as comparison. Christ "was made in the likeness of men," according to this pattern. It is not the thing itself, but in the case of Christ's humanity, clearly not the denial of it. If I have taken my place with Christ, I have taken it with Him dead, and consequently if it be His death it involves according to the same pattern resurrection. He takes the reality of the thing, but takes it as expressed and patterned in baptism. In Romans we are not risen with Him in baptism.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.

Two Greek Words Translated "Partakers;" Life and Eternal Life; Real Communication of Life; the Meaning of the Term Nature; Our Partaking of the Divine Nature; Pantheism

Dr. -'s remarks on μετέχω and κοινωνός——where there is a shade of difference in two words -are merely showing he does not seize it, which is no very great matter. Either may be used in many cases, but they are not the same. 'Common,' and `partake,' represent them, I may say, perfectly. 'It is common to us both,' I partake of what you have,' are not the same, though often they may be used indifferently. But with excessive vagueness and obscurity he seems to deny the real communication of divine life. "Christ is my life": "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Even as to the first man he is all wrong. God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." It is the very ground of our relationship and responsibility, and everlasting misery if not saved. The body was formed of dust, and man became a living soul by God's breathing into his nostrils, not by a mere fiat of creation as in the case of the beasts. Was man 'a mule' by it? This is too bad.
(*" With reference to 2 Peter 1:4 (γένησθε θείας κοινωυηὶ φύσεως)’ partakers of the divine nature ':-
1. What is the force of κοινωνός—is it more than ' partaking' in the sense of μετέχω?
2. If so, how are we made κοινωνοίof the divine nature':
3. Is it that we 'partake of the divine nature in a different manner from God,' and so enjoy the benefit of all the excellency of the divine nature without becoming uncreated or unchangeable,' or sharing any of the attributes which God claims as essential to Himself?
4. Is there nothing between that position and the thought which has been advanced, that because the divine nature is sui generis, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, and therefore essentially different from the nature of all created beings, it must in some way be modified by a union with humanity, as the nature of a horse is modified in the mule, by union with that of the ass? '
7. Does 2 Peter 1:4 mean that we are made partakers of the divine nature its such? Or does nature ' here mean rather the moral characteristics which, when made His children, we share in common with God? ")
But any denial of divine life communicated in Christ is for christian people equally mischievous. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit," as "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." There is no combining of natures or lives, though they are in the same person, as soul and body are. A mule is a mixture of natures, whereas the intelligent Christian holds his flesh as always antagonist to the Spirit, "contrary the one to the other." One comes from sinful Adam, lawless naturally, law-breaker when under it, hater of God present in love, resister of the Spirit when He dwells in us, puffing up if possible if a man goes to the third heaven-which death only cures, or rather ends, first for faith, thee in fact. The Second Adam is a quickening Spirit, but the flesh is not quickened morally at all, but only in being changed or resurrection.
Of course, we partake of the divine nature in a different manner from God. And this is the import of the difference of κοινωνοί and μετοχοι. One is what we have together as a right, or fact, common to both; the other we get a part in-though we may become κοινωνοί by it-or, in virtue of being κοινωνοί, μετέχειν in anything, share in it. If I am a partaker with you it is common to us, both the position and μετέχω in the profits: if I having been a stranger come to have a share, μετέχιεν, I become κοινωνός. And this is sometimes important, as when the apostle declares that if people were μετοχοι they become κοινωνός -identified with the altar or an idol. (1 Cor. 10:18-21.)
The important point is to see that divine life is really communicated, that I receive what I had not before. I should not exactly quote 2 Peter for it, because he is speaking of promises by which we get it, and nature is, as you say, more character thus used than life; but it involves the other, and the two cannot be separated. We are "born of water and of the Spirit." We are cleansed by the word, but that is inseparably connected with being born of the Spirit. You could not say, 'That which is born of water is water.' There is a washing of water by the word. But "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."...
How any one could think of partaking of the divine nature in the same manner as God is beyond my ken. Nobody ever heard of such a thing. Pantheism is Atheism as to any true personal God-at any rate, the moment I have anything else but Himself alone, as in Brahminism....
No doubt God was not changed when the Word became flesh, but there was real union and He ἐκένωσε σεαυτόν; and Christ could speak of being abandoned of God, and could pray to God. God was manifest withal in the flesh. This is different from us of course, but to deny that divine life is communicated is a most fatal error. 2 Peter 1:4 is more morally; but as God breathed into man's nostrils, so "the Spirit is life because of righteousness," and "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free." Christ is my life: we are begotten of God, born of God. It is not a mere change produced, though there be such change, but the communication of life, and because He lives we shall live also. He is eternal life, and "God has given to us 'eternal life, and that life is in his Son": "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
Nature is used more as characteristic of a being: the nature of a horse, of a man, and so even of God, as we say. It is his nature, meaning inbred character, only it is inherent in the being as such, not acquired; hence the proverb, "use is second nature." No nature as such is changeable-hence the lines:
" Was never man in this wild chase, That changed his nature with his place, And left himself behind."
I only refer to these as showing the force of the words. God is in a far higher sense unchangeable. But I may practically have a new nature, because I can, through grace, receive a new life, and so have the nature of that life.
You could not say in 2 Peter 1:4 μέτοχοι. It would be becoming partakers in sense, whereas they have been placed in the position of κοινωνοί, and μέτοχοι would really give ground for what—charges us with, that we were to share the divine nature as such. We are κοινωνοί, have in common with God what morally belongs to His nature, as holiness, love, etc., we are light in the Lord.
It is as μέτοχοι that we are de facto κοινωνοί.
Κοινωνοί has the force that we have it in common, and so refers here to the moral character of it. It is a holy character, a loving one, righteous, and so on. If I said μέτοος, it would be that the divine nature as such being there I came to have a share in it (ἔχω μετά) But when I say common to me with God, it naturally refers to what it is. Through these promises we have it in common, but that is moral: if I said become μέτοχος I get a share of the divine nature itself.
As to John 17* I think it is what characterizes and belongs to true knowledge of these names Almighty, Jehovah, Father (sending the Son), Most High, are the names God takes in relationship with us. The first involves care and power; the second, faithfulness to promises, going on with what He had said—patriarchs and Jews—but neither eternal life: the Father sending the Son does. He is eternal life manifested to us, and received, is it. Hence the true knowledge of the Father as sending the Son is really the possession of eternal life. Hence He says, "Jesus Christ whom thou halt sent," because as so sent, He is "that eternal life which was with the Father," and the grace that brings it, is in His being sent. So at least I understand it.
(* " In John 17:3, is it right to say, on the ground of the use of ἵνα, ' this is eternal life in order that they might know thee,' etc.
Is ἵνα used in order to lay stress upon the purpose, instead of using ὄτι to point merely to the fact?
In John 3:19, i ὄτι is used. Why is it ἵνα in chapter 17: 3, if the form is similar?
Is Alford's note on the use of ἵνα in John 4:34 right? "[Ινα is not equal to ὅτι. The latter would imply what was true (but not here expressed), that the absolute doing, etc., was His food: as it now stands it implies that it was His food to carry onward to completion that work.]
May, 1872.

The Force of the Greek Translated "To" in John; Life and Eternal Life; Old Testament Saints; O.T. Saints Quickened by the Son

My dear brother,
-... I forgot perhaps to say in my former letter, that ἵνα in John must not be taken as ἵνα, in other books. I will not say it is never telic, as they call it—"in order that"—but it is constantly used for ὅτι, and has no force of purpose. There is thus no consequence in it, ἵνα in John not having the force of "in order that."
The αὐτὴ in your interpretation—" this [is life eternal]”- would refer to nothing at all. The knowledge of the Father and the Son is identical with, and the form of eternal life in our minds (spiritual apprehension in the soul). The Father sent the Son that we might live through Him. The Son of God was manifested in this, and when hearing Christ's word we believe on Him that sent Him, we have everlasting life. (John 5) 1 John 1 shows that Christ is eternal life; but as God begets us by the word, it is in believing on Him as thus sent and the Son, that we have eternal life, having received Him. We are "all children [sons] of God by faith in Christ Jesus." It is thus I do receive Christ who is eternal life, and having the Son I have the Father also.
The divine nature gives more the character of the divine life in us. I have no doubt the ancient saints were quickened by the Son; they were born of God, or could not have entered into the kingdom. But life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel. Eternal life is twice mentioned in the Old Testament- Psa. 133 and Dan. 12—but both refer to the millennium; and the heirs being under age differed nothing from servants, though lords of all. It never came out as revealed eternal life till He who was eternal life was there. But they were quickened that they might live to God.
Boston, June, 1872.
To the same.]
"Ινα is used thirty-six times in John, without any telic sense, though much oftener with its usual meaning. There is a difference. It is not used for a past or existing fact as ὅτι. There is something to be, in the thought. But a person must be very sagacious to make it telic, though they say it never entirely loses this force. Thus chapter 18:39, what is telic here? So chapter 2:25; 4:34, and others. Perhaps in some cases we may see the transition from one to another, as in chapter 5:7. But practically it is quite lost in many, as chapter 6:39, 40. A concordance will show you the texts—these suffice as examples. The telic use is quite common, and it is needless to quote examples—I mean in John.
I do not think the two words are used indiscriminately; ἵνα would not be used for 'he heard that he was'; for 'a custom that he should,' we have seen it is. The day or the state of things was a reason, a motive, that something should be. It is so that it should, not the fact that it was. You can examine the passages, but in the practical use of the word in these cases you cannot make it telic. Such changes in the degeneration of a language are common, and the Holy Ghost used the vessel as it was, though to His own purposes, and this is every way a great mercy.
Alford I have not here, but to all intents and purposes, John 4:34 has the force of ὅτι or nothing at all. I mean it is equivalent to τὸ ποιεῖν, but your comparison of chapter 3:19, and chapter 17:3, is a proof that you may metaphysically or historically trace the passage from one to the other, but that the use of ἵνα in John is often equivalent to ὅτι. There is a similar use of quod in low Latin—I am not sure I have the right word, but I remember the fact—it may be some word for quod. Purpose in chapter 18:39 seems to me somewhat forced: chapter 5:7, may be taken as partly telic. Chapter 2:25 may explain perhaps the passage from one to the other.
I have had good opportunities here, and the door open as it had not been. The truth has made progress in a good many; faith to act on it and take up the cross is another thing. We hope for it with some at any rate. They can hardly remain where they are, though the way people drag on, knowing all is wrong, from want of faith, is astonishing. However, the Lord will show His own work, and there may be first last and last first. But I feel the Lord has led me here, and I am in pretty full intercourse with those exercised, among whom are more than one official minister I wait on the Lord for the result. I found the door open in Boston, and east too.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
St. Louis.

Evangelizing and Gathering; Ministries of the Gospel and the Church; Remnant in the Last Days

You must not be discouraged as to work or Canada. There are two things: a gathering out of the remnant in these last days, and the fact of the conversion of sinners as in any day, and specially in the last. But it is difficult to make them go pari passu. This was my object when I came to Canada for six or eight weeks the last time, and the Lord blessed it in a measure. More confidence in one another was produced in some. But it is one of the difficulties of the present work, and always has been in a measure; but the evangelistic action was more apart latterly. Our part is to work in through.—says he is alone, and has sent for brethren's books, but to say I am out of the camp, and can trust God for fields of work, is another thing.
Affectionately yours.
St. Louis,
July 22nd, 1872.

Need of More Laborers; Work in Canada; Unworldliness; the World and the Christian

Your note promised a letter, and for that I waited, but it appears it is not to come, so I write without waiting any longer. I know not that I can hope now to visit the West Indies again as I gladly should. I had thought it not impossible from this on my way, but it is far, and I am old. I do not know but that England would be the best road even hence, but my interest in the work in the West Indies is undiminished, and I cannot but hope some may be stirred up to help. Oh for more devotedness and devoted ones to serve Him who has so loved us! This I earnestly desire. I was in France for two months to read with young workmen, as we old ones are moving off. The Lord is ever there, and watches over His own: still one yearns over every care being taken of them.... I am most anxious brethren should be simple, as numbers increase it is increasingly difficult. If the brethren get worldly they would be of no further use. God has brought in much truth by them, but if they were worldly it would be only saying this truth too, and the world could go together, whereas they are just the things that separate, ought to do it, from the world.
Here in Canada, after a revival accompanied by a certain degree of excitement, we are in the reaction, still the work is going on, only this gives a work of care in some places, but one counts on the Lord for this as for every toil. In the States there is some progress. They are going on happily enough in the east, some added, but no great progress in numbers; in the west a good many Presbyterians, several ministers among them, teach the Lord's coining, the presence of the Holy Ghost, that all sects are wrong, but as yet few move from their place. A few have—not of clergy yet, though one or two have been preached out. In one place them is a move, but I cannot but think when some move that the conscience of others will be stirred up. But many who now favor the truth I suppose would become opponents: to give up ease for the cross is not pleasant to the flesh.
May we ourselves, dear brother, remember that soon there is but one thing that will be a comfort to us, to have followed Christ wholly. Blessed privilege! the fashion of this world passeth away; but that is forever, and infinite blessing. Soon we shall see Him as He is, and in the glory of which He is worthy—joy infinite it will be to our spirits. May He be with you in all your labor. But besides that, He is our portion, and I believe the Christian should walk in the constant sense of divine favor, that favor that is better than life, so that the soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, though in the dry and thirsty land where no water is.
You escape in a measure what we have to deal with here and in England—all sorts of opinions, heretical and infidel, claiming to have part in the Christian name. It is everywhere among the Protestant bodies the fashion now, at least among the clergy, to seek union at all cost. Evangelicals, Puseyites, broad church or rationalists, meet and say we must hold together. Truth is fallen in the streets, and Christ little accounted of in this respect; still the Spirit of God is working, and the word of God is spread more widely and, where the Spirit of God acts, has authority; for Christ, the blessed Lord, cannot fail His church. He does and will nourish and cherish it as a man his own flesh, so that we have nothing to fear even if we are in perilous times, but if so, thank God, in the last. The work is spreading and enlarging in all quarters, and the need of mature laborers Flews itself everywhere. We must look to the Lord of the harvest; oh, I repeat, that there were devoted and earnest men! the harvest is plenty, and all that is in confusion and ruin. You are comparatively happy in a clear path, but in America, Australia, all manner of views, heresies, sects, notions, beset one's path, and how far to be refuted, what mischief they may do, is to be thought of. I know, I believe, the Lord is sufficient, but it calls for all watchfulness and a heart that looks ever to Him.
Ever, dear brother, affectionately yours.
September, 1872.

Affliction's Lessons; Bereavement; God's Ways in Discipline; Subjection of Will

I hear that your—is in a very precarious state, and I seize a moment to write to you, to express what I trust you are assured of, dear brother, my unfeigned sympathy with you, and I would add, dear Mrs. -, though I have not seen her. If the soul walks with God, it is not hard, but it is submissive; and there is no softer spirit, nor one which is more susceptible of every feeling than submission; but then it takes the will out of the affections without destroying them, and that is very precious. So was it with Christ. He felt everything; His tenderness was perfect, and yet how perfect His submissiveness. How God exercises the heart by these things! It is not simply that the heart is tried by the sorrow itself (in which we can reckon on the most tender sympathy of Christ), but when the heart is thus brought into the presence of a God who is thus dealing with us, all our ways, all the interior of our heart, all His ways with and His appeals to us often in such cases rise up within. If the will is unbroken, and no clearness as to grace be known, a perplexed and anxious judgment ensues; if not this, often a humble and lowly judgment of self; for the knowledge of grace makes us lowly when it is real.
It is astonishing how much often remains as a sediment at the bottom of the heart in a man, gracious in the main of his life, which the rod of God stirs up when He thrusts it in-often underlying all the contents of the heart, yet always to be carried off by the living stream of the waters of His grace-not merely faults, but a mass of unjudged materials of every-day life, a living under the influence of what is seen, or unjudged affections of every kind. All that is not up to the measure of our spiritual height is then judged in its true character, as connected with flesh before God.
But it is not always so, nor wholly so: but it is always if there is a need be. God may visit us to bring out the sweet odor of His grace; not indeed even so without need, as the soul itself will own, for in such case it will feel the need of realizing all the communion, which in its closer character was hindered by that for which God is dealing with us. But grace being fully known, and submission being there, the practical result is only in fact, and before others, a sweet odor of willing bowing before God, and even thankfulness, in the midst of sorrow: when this is real it is very sweet. He too is very present ini t, and it is thus we make real progress in such exercises. It is astonishing what progress a soul sometimes makes in a time of sorrow. It has been much more with God; for indeed that alone makes us make progress. There is much more confidence, quietness, absence of the moving of the will; much more walking with, and dependence on Him, more intimacy with Him, and independence of circumstances—a great deal less between us and Him—and then all the blessedness that is in Him comes to act upon the soul and reflect in it; and oh, how sweet that is! What a difference it does make in the Christian, who, perhaps, was blameless in his walk in general previously!
I trust the Lord may spare you your -, dear brother. A first trial of this kind is always very painful: the heart has not been in it before. God comes and claims His right on our tenderest affections. This is strange work, when they have just been drawn out; but it is well—it is good. I am sure you are in His hands; and that I am sure is all a way of love, and the best that the wisdom of His love can send. If the needed work can be done without the sorrow, He will not send the sorrow. We might even dread if it be needed. His love is far better than our will. Trust Him; He may well be trusted; He has given His Son for us, and proved His love. Present your requests to Him. I do fully for you. He would have us do it, and then lean fully on His love and wisdom. If He strikes, be assured He will give more than He takes away.
Peace be with you, dear brother.

Affliction's Lessons; Bereavement; Communion With God; the First Death in a Family; Sufferings of Christ

I thank you and dear M. much for having thought of sending me the account of the accident to your dear babe. It is indeed a sore trial to see one who is a part of ourselves thus taken off at one blow, and unexpectedly. Still, what a difference, to have the Lord's love to look to, and to believe one's babe—as I surely do—the object of it. It is a consolation which changes everything because everything is changed. The knowledge of the love of God, which is come into this place of death, has brightened with the most blessed rays all its darkness; and the darkness even only serves to show what a comfort it is to have such light. There is nothing in the heart but light—nothing can make darkness when we have it. It is a world of sorrow, and the longer we know it, and the nearer even we walk to the Lord, the better we shall know it to be such. I do not mean that none of our sorrows are chastenings: we know that they often are such to His most beloved ones, as we see in Job. By all, save Christ, there is all grace to be learned by them; and even He entered into the sorrows of others, as arising from their faults and foolishness; for His sympathies were perfect, and blessed be God, are. He suffered for righteousness, and He suffered for sin; but besides this, He entered, as taking by grace a place among the godly remnant in Israel, into all which that remnant would feel as seeing the state of Israel (of which they were actually part) under the chastening hand of God for sin. All this He felt as none else could feel. His sympathy is as perfect now, though no longer passing through the sorrows by which He gained the experience of it.
Besides, it is only in the part which has to be broken and corrected that we suffer: a touched affection, when Christ is with us in the grief, is of infinite sweetness, though the sweetness of sorrow. It is only when the will mixes itself up with the sorrow that there is any bitterness in it, or a pain in which Christ is not. But then this is all useful and what we need. The Lord takes your dear babe to heaven (certainly he has no loss); what is the rest of God's dealings in it with us—with one's heart? He who has made a mother's feelings knows what they are—knows what He has wounded, and knows why—has a purpose of love in it. There is a mass of things in the sincerest of us, of which we are not aware, which are not brought into subjection to God, which work and show themselves unsuspected. God breaks in upon us: how many things He shows—how many cords He cuts at one blow! A whole system of affections is touched: we feel that death has its place and part in them. I never saw a family the same thing after the first death that it was before. There was a breach in the circle. What belonged to the whole body of affections and life of this world was touched, was found to be—mortal: it was struck in its very nature. The course of life went on; the wave had closed over that which had been cast into it; but death, and the affections which belong to this world, had been found to meet. But all this is well; for death is come in. Besides, we live in these things; our will lives in them; and when the will is broken, so far as it is so, it is broken for everything. We learn more to lean on what never breaks—not to lose our affections, but to have them more in connection with Christ, less with this will of our own nature; for nature must now die as well as sin. But then Christ never makes a breach, except to come in and connect the soul and heart more with Himself; and it is worth all the sorrow that ever was, and more, to learn the least atom more of His love and of Himself; and there is nothing like that, like Him; and it lasts.
But besides, there is a useful work by it in our own hearts; and so more capacity to know, and enjoy, and learn communion with Him; more capacity to delight in and understand God; to know, and to know the value of, what He delights in—more moral capacity to delight in what is excellent. We little know what high and blessed things we are called to. Oh that the saints knew it better! To be with and have common joy and communion with God! Some have much of it down here. It is opened out to them. But all that is of nature and will can have no part in this; and often the saints, though not directly dishonoring the Lord, are living in nature. Then the Lord deals with them, "turns man from his purpose, and hides pride from man." Oh what a profitable thing it is to have that hidden from us! And how completely it is when God deals with us and brings us into His presence, whatever means He may employ, for He knows the springs of our hearts and how to touch them. But oh, what grace is this daily, constant care! "He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous." What a God to have to do with! and all in love! And when the storm is all passed, the brightness for which He is preparing us will shine out unclouded, and it will be HIMSELF-Him we have known in all this tender care. Yet in the brightness of His glory, the glory of God will lighten it, and the Lamb will be its light; we shall be with the Son, with Jesus, enjoying as and with Him the brightness and divine favor which shine out on Him. And oh! how blessed the love, Jesus' love, that has brought us there forever with Him, in virtue of it, and now in the full blessed enjoyment of it with Himself.
I do earnestly pray that this sorrow may be blessed to you and to all your dear children, that they may see how near death is, but the Lord still nearer. Assure dear M. how truly I sympathize with him. A father's sorrow, though of another character, is not less deep than a mother's. You must expect that, as time passes on, the present feeling of loss will diminish, and in a certain sense pass away too. Not that the affectionate remembrance of your poor little babe will be at all gone; but its character will be changed, and your living children and daily occupations will make it less absorbing. This is natural, and in one sense right. Living duties have their place, which cannot be rightly yielded to absorbing affections. What I would earnestly recommend to you is, to profit of the moments when the impression and present effect of it is strong; to place yourself before God, and reap all the fruit of His dispensations and tender grace. It is a time when He searches and manifests His love to the heart at the same time. May you grow much by this—surely to a mother's heart—painful occurrence.
Ever faithfully yours in Christ.
[Date unknown.]

The Atonement; Place of Governmental Wrath; Use of the Term Wrath; Humanity of Christ

As to the question you put: governmental wrath [on Christ] is all totally wrong. When I speak of governmental wrath, it is just in contrast with expiation; and any governmental wrath on the cross was on Israel, not on Christ at all, only He entered into it I believe. That is what they made so much fuss about. His sympathy will be with them at the end, but He suffered in going through it all in heart and spirit, that He might sympathize with them, as He suffered being tried to be able to sympathize with us. This is what H. denied expressly—the actual suffering—or I should have withdrawn the tract for his sake and D.'s, if no more.
But no governmental wrath was on Him; whereas when He was made sin it was on Him though for us—then the cup He had to drink that we might never drink it—He, and He alone (as to us), drank the cup. In the other, He felt the sorrow for His people of their losing all according to the flesh, suffered from Gentiles, suffered from apostate Jews, as they will, and was cut off as Messiah, taking nothing. But the governmental wrath was on them, not on Him, though He entered into it, and had the sorrow and suffering of it on His heart and in His circumstances. But the cross is another thing as expiation. There it was Himself drank the cup instead of others. It was the hatred of God's nature to sin, and His judicial action as to it on Him, to save us; though the scripture, I suppose to avoid the idea of personal displeasure, does not use the word "wrath" as to it. Yet it was the cup of God's wrath against sin. But the absence of the word would suffice to set aside the idea of governmental wrath, which I judge all wrong. I have no difficulty as to it myself. I do not believe one drop of consolation was in Christ's heart when He made propitiation for sin, or it would have rendered the suffering and sacrifice for sin imperfect: He drank the cup—solemn thought—of bitterness without alloy, or any relief, because He was made sin, and had to be that before God as God in holiness for us, and it was just the perfectness of this in obedience and love to His Father, its absoluteness for God's glory, that made God and the Father find perfect complacency in it and in Him. If there had been some relief, some assuagement of the suffering, it would not have been sin before God; but because there was none, and He perfect in glorifying God in it, therefore God's complacency was perfect in it, and the Father's in Him as doing it. Hence, too, He says, "My Father," but on the cross, "My God, my God," when accomplishing the work (still "my" because He was perfect), and "my Father" and "my God" after (and ours then) and that for us too, entering into the full effect in righteousness and love, ever personally His—but now through redemption for us too. The divinity did not screen the manhood from the taste of the terrible cup, but enabled Him to drink it He offered Himself through the eternal Spirit to God, as He cast out devils by the Spirit of God. And though God of course could not die—no more even could a human soul—yet there was no separation of the natures. Let nothing weaken our sense of the full propitiation for sin.
Of course, if I think of the Son as a divine Person, He could not die—no more, I repeat, could a human soul in fact. But if a man not having a soul was there, what is his death? Nonentity. If Christ was only as a man there, it was no more than another man there, only sinless—that is, it was nothing. The Son as a divine Person of course could not die, looked at apart; but He who was Son died and gave Himself, not as apart, but in all the infinite value of His Person and in His divine love to us. I do not say Mary was the mother of God, if I may compare them, but she was the mother of Him personally who was God, and if He was not, His birth was nothing. A person may object to saying the Son died, because he is looking at Him apart as a divine Person; but if it be denied that He being Son died, I have lost the value of His death, which is infinite, both in love and value.
Governmental wrath is all wrong. I admit perfect complacency, but complacency in His perfectly drinking the cup (forsaken of God as to the feeling of His soul) and in Him that did it; but solace by it, there is not a trace of in scripture; it would destroy its perfectness.

Work in the United States

Dearest brother,
I am working away here, so that I have nothing very new to tell you. There is inquiry, and a good deal of it among those interested in the things of God, consciences awakened as to the state of the church and learning truth, astonishment at what is found in scripture; for work, not truth, is the American line of things, and an activity which leaves the saints and the world all mixed up together. Still the truth is working in a good many souls. I have sometimes meetings three times a day. I do not at present look much to lecturing, though I have lectured.... There is, I think I have said, much inquiry, but endless opinions, and grace not bowed to, nor the word, though it is getting a hold of serious minds it never had. There are many things to encourage, many things to try, but all is a beginning, everything has to be shown—the most elementary truths of Christianity. Man is set up, and Christians so used to it, that all God's thoughts have to be brought in as new things. A hundred truths which would be quoted to prove other points among you, and recognized by all, have, when referred to, to be shown from scripture, and the main point left till they were so shown. Still truth is enjoyed by many, and many have largely gained in it. Kind love to the brethren. May much grace be on them all.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Chicago, November 7th, 1872.

The Spiritual Danger of Emigration; Work in the United States

I got your letter, and was glad to hear of the dear brethren at S. I heard since you had a happy meeting, for which I thank God. I trust also ours at Guelph was useful- a spirit of brotherly union reigned.
Truth has spread in the west, but what characterizes this continent is looseness as to practice and as to doctrine. I find no spiritually-minded person who is not unhappy and feeling there is no communion where he is. Scarce any are simple in the truth; and Socinians and persons who deny that men have an immortal soul are received and accepted like all the rest. The word of God has little or no authority. Organization and work they like—outward effects that they can show—but a life with God and the truth they hardly think of. Still the patient and gracious Lord works, and souls are brought to Him. In the country it is generally utter indifference and money-seeking; I have not seen one yet, French or English, who has not said to me, he came out without God, or had he known what he knows now, he would not have come. They come to get on in the world, and get trouble and sorrow, and their business (till God has exercised them) is to get on, not to enjoy Christ. I know those who were in communion in England who save money to buy a small piece of ground, and would not give two-pence-halfpenny a week to get to the Lord's day meeting for breaking of bread.
Still one works on, and there is a growing desire among Christians to know more of the truth. But everything has to be brought to the word—all indulge so wholly their own thoughts. I have daily meetings here, and even twice a day, besides visiting. In -, a Presbyterian minister, by preaching what he had learned of the Lord's coming and truths connected with it, has broken up his congregation, and some thirty or forty are going to meet, waiting on the Lord to be guided—many of them, however, ignorant of sound principles of gathering, but some very nice brethren. So one works on, only one has to look to the Lord continually, and not faint, for in this country the path is beset with difficulties. But we know we shall reap if we faint not. I do not expect to war, and not find combat and difficulties. We shall reap if we do not faint in the war. Meanwhile, dear brother, the blessed Lord remains unchangingly precious, and through mercy my heart enjoys His favor, and it is better than life. And I find it of moment in incessantly distracting questions on every scripture subject and unscriptural ideas, to seek to be with Him in love to those who raise them: one is enfeebled in the questions themselves if one's feet are not shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
The Lord keep us very near Himself, sober-minded and subject to the word. Give my kindest love to the brethren. May the Lord's presence keep you all in peace and happy fellowship together, and much individual intercourse with Him and self judgment. It is the secret of strength.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Chicago, November, 1872.

Divorce; Question on Desertion of Marriage; Questions

I write to reply to your question at the close of your letter, though most thankful to get your account of the work. The only difficulty with me is the question, whether the law of Canada does not require a formal divorce in these cases. If it does not, I should just leave the matter where it is. In the first place, what was done originally was before her conversion; but when the unbeliever leaves, the other party is free according to 1 Cor. 7, and if a divorce be not required, she is free according to the law of man (if it be, there is irregularity which perhaps may be rectified). As the man had left her, she practically entered the church of God as a lone woman, and I do not occupy myself with what was before, unless sin to be repented of. When I meet her now, I meet her as one whom the law considers free; and the previous desertion left her free when deliberately done, if I take christian ground. I may regret her doing it, and do as to the manner of it. But as unconverted, I recognize nothing before unless sin: say a heathen, he may as such have had and left twenty wives, I ignore it all when he is converted. Being abandoned, she did not stand as a married woman, when she married, unless a formal divorce was required. In England the courts hold a woman free after seven years, the husband not being heard of, but there is no law to say so. I know not how it is in Canada. I question it a little unless it be known to be so. But I do not think a deserted woman would be held to perpetual celibacy where the law recognized her as free. Many questions would arise as to her conduct. Did she tell her present husband before she was married? What oath or equivalent assertion was made to get married? I suppose there is some as in civil marriage, and publishing banns. Did she say there was no impediment when, if a formal divorce was required, there was? A person in London was kept out on this ground.; he had sworn or solemnly declared there was no obstacle as they went, and it was his wife's sister, not allowed in England. But if a formal divorce is not required by law, but the woman held free ipso facto after seven years, I should say she stood as a free woman, though I may regret her path, and inquire, as I have said, as to the circumstances. If taken on profession as a Christian, she was free according to 1 Corinthians; if looked at as merely of the world, she had no husband. It was all before conversion. And legally (if divorce not required) she was free when she married, only I should look to where her conscience was in doing it. The passage in Romans [7:2, 3] does not exactly apply. The word "married" is not in the Greek at all. The woman is supposed to be in full connection with and under the authority of the husband, and then "is to another man," that is faithless to the existing bond. Here the question is whether the existing bond was not dissolved, and an actual marriage a lawful one. I should fear if her conscience had been clear she would have spoken to brethren. But that is another question.
Things are in too moving and uncertain a state to say much of Chicago. I have plenty to hear. The brethren are getting on very happily, and several have been added. Kindest love to the brethren.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Old School Presbyterians

We began yesterday to break bread at Springfield, Illinois, six; there may be one or two more from the country. Many more see the ruin, and that the state of things is unscriptural, but hope still to cling together, and think they are outside the camp.... In Chicago there was, in a certain circle, considerable inquiry after the truth, and many wished me to stay or return. I may do this. But one had to insist on the first principles of grace. No one will have it as a rule in the American churches. Old school Presbyterians, or some of them, have the most of it. It is otherwise resisted or unknown. The active man at Chicago, lately in England, is deep in the mud of this. In our readings, three I think know something of grace, though not clear on other things; a few found it, but it is preached nowhere, but the contrary. But not a few souls got interested in truth. At present, if they go to church they hear what upsets and bewilders them. Loose action suits itself to all this.... But work in the U.S. is pilgrimage for me, and so best. Simple following the Lord is unknown; activity, organization, mending the world, mixing with it, is all that is known, hence also the word has little authority. Still, as I have said, there is inquiry, and godly people feel the state of things. Were I younger, I might look to more constant work. The loose brethren who may come, fall in with all this, and leave it where it is. New gatherings are formed, but chiefly by those from Europe, though here all is American. I do not think of staying here, and do not know my own movements.... Nature would like rest and England now, entered on my seventy-third year, but I must not return from Pamphylia for that.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Springfield, Illinois,
November 21st, 1872.

Dead With Christ; Deliverance; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Self Knowledge; Work in the United States

The only thing I have to notice in your letter save to agree is, where you say we are sealed 'on our believing in Christ, as the One who delivered us from the old man (the old Adam standing),... from sin within, and from the world; and this He does by having died for us when He put away our sins and our having died with Him,' etc. Now I judge from scripture that the sealing comes, or may come, consequent on our believing in Christ's death for the remission of sins, without including our having died with Him for deliverance. This too may be the case: it was mine. But sealing comes on forgiveness; for our being looked at then as clean, the Holy Ghost can come and dwell in us. Thus Peter, "Repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." So when he preached to Cornelius, who was listening with faith, the moment he comes to "shall receive remission of sins"—as he spake these words the Holy Ghost came upon them: so Rom. 5—before the discussion of our not being in flesh is commenced. If we go through Rom. 7 before Rom. 3, as was my own case, then pardon and deliverance go together; but in these revival-preaching days, many receive the remission of their sins before they have any self-knowledge, and have, though in a modified form (not substance), to go through Rom. 7 afterward. But this is always really law; namely, what is expected from us. But there is no deliverance without self-knowledge, and the work substantially of Rom. 7
Forgiveness needs no such process. Convinced of guilt, no doubt we must be; but this supposes no knowledge of self—that is state, not acts which constitute guilt. There is no forgiveness of a nature; but where it was condemned, death came in (the cross), and so I am delivered.
As regards Rom. 6:11, and 2 Cor. 4:10; one is faith as to the truth and position, the other realizing it in practice: Col. 3 gives God's judgment, "Ye are dead"; Rom. 6:11, man's faith as to having died with Christ as to the old man on the cross—I reckon myself dead; 2 Cor. 4:10 realizes it in practice: I always bear about in my body the dying, never let the flesh from under the power of Christ's death and cross, treating it de facto as a crucified thing that has no title to stir, though it be really there. Then God passes through circumstances which test how far it is realized; if we are faithful to verse 10, in the form of suffering for Christ, as was Paul's case; if not, to make practically good what is wanting. And this is the gracious history of many sorrows: "He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous." The Lord be with you. If all be not clear, you can write to me.
Ever affectionately yours, dear brother.
To the same, later.]

The Formula of Baptism; Other Points on Baptism; Death to Sin; Sealing of the Holy Spirit

I do not attach especial importance to the immediate moment of the sealing; merely if scripture ascertain it, it is always gain to know it, and I think it does this. I do not think the passages, already presented to me by others, offer any difficulty. Clearly it is because we are sons, that the Spirit is given us to cry Abba, Father, and we are sons by faith of Jesus Christ. But I do not think this passage says anything as to the moment at which, as its occasion, we receive it, but merely states the fact; nor does Eph. 1 There it is on believing in the most general way in the direct statement, and when we come to "the gospel of your salvation," it rather confirms it; for what was brought to them was not the subsequent glories in which they were edified, but the fact of salvation, as previously in the same chapter -"redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins"; as "the redemption of the purchased possession" comes afterward. The presenting of Christ's Person as the great object of faith is all important. It is just what is wanting in modern gospel preaching.
Flesh is used in the New Testament for our sinful nature' as it works habitually through its lusts. So "flesh," "sin in the flesh," and "sinful flesh," are substantially the same, though it may be in different aspects and application; "the mind of the flesh" is also used, its bent, and purpose or object. Sin has a much wider sense—"who taketh away the sin of the world," for instance, "to put away sin." But if we look at it in the sense of a nature and principle, it is the same as flesh. It is sin that dwelleth in me. "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing." Christ "was made sin": here evidently it is not sin in us. Sinfulness is the state of the flesh and fleshly mind.
Being dead to sin is the calling and standing of every Christian. We are baptized to Christ's death. In Col. 3 it is said, "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." In Rom. 6, faith, or the exhortation of the apostle, takes this up—reckon yourselves dead: but this is founded on knowing that our old man was crucified with Him It is in Christ we have died; 2 Cor. 4:10 is the proper realization of it. verse 11, God's dealings to test and make it good; only Paul could say, "for Jesus' sake."
As to baptizing, Christ did not send me to baptize, and we are under Paul's dispensation. All are in the dark as to baptism, and by, I believe, God's ordering; but baptizing according to Matthew is, I apprehend, in the name of the Lord Jesus. I always use the words, expressing however specially the name of the Lord Jesus in connection with it, that it may be understood to be in His name. They are unprofitable questions. The only direction you have to baptize is Matt. 28; but this was from resurrection, not from ascension, and only Gentiles. Still you have no other intimation now, no more than a command to do it. Still it must be, from the practice we have, really in Jesus' name, and if this be expressed, all will be right. The question was raised quite in the early ages of the church. The Lord give us all more hidden life.
I have not much to tell you of work. Three ministers have come out since I came over here, and two small gatherings, but very weak, have been formed, and there is some earnest inquiry. Were I younger I might lay myself out more for work here. This is American work: some new gatherings round Boston, but I believe of emigrants. The native population is extremely difficult to reach; conscience has little power—activity, organization, man. In most places grace is hardly known, and mostly opposed: a few old school Presbyterians hold it, otherwise I know none—the state of things deplorable. The teacher of the Sunday school teachers openly denies the resurrection: so one of the pastors here—everything as loose as it can be: only God is above it.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
St. Louis,
November 30th, 1872.

Assembly Action and Conscience; Brothers' Meeting; Outward Fall Not the Beginning of Evil; Tendency of Work; Excommunication; Old School Presbyterians

Very dear brother,
A fall that demands excommunication is not the commencement of evil in a Christian: the soul must have become weak in its communion, not have kept near to God. It does not depend on sincerity in these cases. Carried on by the current of work that is before him, he does not place himself sufficiently before God, does not judge himself, is not naked before God, and is occupied with the work rather than with Him; the heart is not fathomed, and he does not know himself, does not know if he is in communion with the Lord or not. If the heart were placed before Him, he would soon discover that he was not, and would seek His face. A person makes the discovery of evil, either in its root before God, or in its fruits before Satan, and if the first alternative be neglected, the second takes place sooner or later; and it is agony for the soul to have dishonored the Lord. I hope at least that others will fear and will be on their guard.
But there is one point which in a great measure makes me write. It seems from your letter that it is the meeting of laboring brothers which has pronounced the excommunication. Now I do not at all question the rightness of the act; but it is the assembly to which he belonged habitually, or the one where his failure had been committed which ought to have done it. That the laborers should have refused to labor in the work with him, is well, although the assembly had refused to put him out; but a meeting of laboring brothers is not the assembly, and the practical difference is this, that the conscience of the assembly is not purified. Paul compelled the assembly at Corinth to put out the incestuous man, in order that it should be truly a new lump, then afterward he said to them, "Ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter." If the assembly does not feel itself in a state to do it, that places the brothers on their own responsibility, and if they call in other experienced brothers to help, it is all right, for the body is one; but it is the assembly that cuts off in order to purify itself, and this is of all importance; it is the essential part of discipline, and it may be that the laborers were not the most suitable people for that.
I have seen this tendency a little in France, and it does not place the assemblies before God in the consciousness of their own responsibility, which is most important. I think the assembly at-has, at least tacitly, ratified the sentence pronounced, and that our poor brother has submitted himself to it. So much the better, it is not to weaken that that I write. What he has to do is to humble himself deeply before God, and also before the brethren, that his soul may be restored. It would be the worst sign if he sought to escape the judgment pronounced on account of its form: that would take away from me any hope in his case of a speedy restoration. I write as a general caution with respect to what appears to me important. What the brethren have to do now is to seek his restoration, but I mean by that a true restoration of his soul. I believe him sincere, and that his conscience has not lost its sensibility. But there is more than that in true repentance—to be before God as to the subject of what one has done, and the dishonor done to the name of our precious Lord. Seek to lead back his soul by this way. He will understand grace better afterward if he returns thus, and the quicker the better; the heart becomes accustomed to estrangement.
December, 1872.

Local Responsibility of the Assembly; Guarding Against Independent Action; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Restoration to Be Sought; Unjust Discipline; Indifference to Evil

Local Responsibility of the Assembly; Guarding Against Independent Action; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Restoration to Be Sought; Unjust Discipline; Indifference to Evil
I begin by taking for granted what is admitted to be a common basis of action; that is, that every assembly of Christians gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the unity of His body, from the time it acts as the body, does so on its own responsibility to the Lord: as, for instance, when it performs an act of discipline or when it carries out all other things of that nature, as it also does when it receives in the name of the Lord Jesus those who come among them to take part at His table. Each assembly, in such a case, acts on its own initiative, and in its sphere in deciding matters purely local, but which have a bearing which extends to the whole church.
The spiritual men, who addict themselves to this work and are occupied with its details, before the case is brought before the assembly so that the consciences of all may be exercised in the case, may doubtless thoroughly explore the details with much profit and godly care. But if it comes to deciding anything apart from the assembly of the saints, even in the most ordinary things, their action would cease to be the assembly's action and it ought to be disowned.
When such local matters are thus treated by an assembly, acting in its sphere as an assembly, all the other assemblies of the saints are bound, as being in the unity of the body, to recognize what has been done by taking for granted (unless the contrary is shown) that everything has been carried out uprightly and in the fear of God in the name of the Lord. Heaven will, I am sure, recognize and ratify that holy action, and the Lord has said that it shall be so. (Matt. 18:18.)
It has often been said and acknowledged that discipline which consists in putting away from among yourselves (1 Cor. 5:13) ought to be the last means to which we should have recourse; and only when all patience and all grace have been exhausted and when allowing the evil a longer continuance, would be nothing else but a dishonor to the name of the Lord, and would practically associate the evil with Him, and with the profession of His name. On the other hand the discipline of putting away is always done with the view of restoring the person who has been subjected to it, and never to get rid of him. So it is in God's ways with us. God has always in view the good of the soul, its restoration in fullness of joy and communion, and He never draws back His hand so long as this result remains unattained. Discipline, as God would have it, carried out in His fear, has the same thing in view, otherwise, it is not of God.
But whilst a local assembly exists actually in a personal responsibility of its own, and while its acts, if they are of God, bind the other assemblies, as in the unity of the one body, this fact does not do away with another which is of the highest importance, and which many seem to forget, namely, that the voices of brethren in other localities have liberty equally with those of the local brethren, to make themselves heard in their midst, when discussing the affairs of a meeting of the saints, although they are not locally members of that meeting. To deny this would, indeed, be a serious denial of the unity of the body of Christ.
And more than this, the conscience and moral condition of a local assembly may be such as to betray ignorance, or at least an imperfect comprehension of what is due to the glory of Christ and to Himself. All this renders the understanding so weak that there is no longer any spiritual power for discerning good and evil. Perhaps in an assembly, also, prejudices, haste, or indeed the bent of mind, and the influence of one or of many may lead the assembly's judgment astray, and cause it to punish unjustly and do a serious wrong to a brother.
When such is the case, it is a real blessing that spiritual and wise men from other meetings should step in and seek to awaken the conscience of the assembly, as also, if they come at the request of the gathering or of those to whom the matter is the chief difficulty at the time. In such a case their stepping in far from being looked upon as an intrusion ought to be received and acknowledged in the name of the Lord. To act in any other way would surely be to sanction independency and to deny the unity of the body of Christ.
Nevertheless, those who come in and act thus ought not to act without the rest of the assembly, but with the conscience of all.
When an assembly has rejected every remonstrance, and refuses to accept the help and the judgment of other brethren, when patience has been exhausted, an assembly which has been in communion with it is justified in annulling its wrong act. and in accepting the person who was put out if they were mistaken as to him. But when we are driven to this extremity, the difficulty has become a question of the refusal of fellowship, with the assembly which has acted wrongly, and which has thus of its own accord broken its fellowship with the rest of those who act in the unity of the body. Such measures can only be taken after much care and patience, in order that the conscience of all may go along with the action as being of God.
I call attention to these subjects because there might be a tendency to set up an independence of action in each local assembly by refusing to admit the intervention of those who being in fellowship might come from other places.
But all action, as I have acknowledged from the outset, primarily belongs to the local assembly.

Arminian Doctrine; Character of Divine Communications; Gift and Its Exercise; Faith and Sight; Combining an Occupation With Service; Work in the United States

I am most thankful you have got to work, and it seems to me you have to be very thankful to the Lord for His leading. For my own part, I bless God when He raises up laborers, and I believe if there were more devotedness gifts would be developed. Your working at your profession so as to supply current need seems a happy path too, making it secondary only to your work for the Lord, for the time is short. Do not let it hinder you in direct work. God will bring it to you as needed, or by His own will lead you from it to what is more important, winning and leading on souls in that which is eternal. I was very glad to get the news you sent me—always thankful to hear of the work....
My own work here has been a new one, and pretty much sowing, but with the comfort of seeing plainly the Lord's dealing. It has been among Americans proper, that is, born. Some have come in here and there, but the work in the States was essentially among settlers; my present, among real Americans, God opening the way distinctly. Some new gatherings are formed, weak, but still a testimony, and wholly of such, and I have had large readings, and some lectures in various places. It is a work of patience, and grace and a plain gospel almost unknown or denied, and every kind of notion and excessive looseness as to doctrine and practice, so that honest people look down on churches, and many godly ones stand aloof, and other than scorners will say such things as, They are played out, from the miserable means to raise money, which is the great affair. Members and wealth are what the churches covet. Still there are doors open to truth, and I have been able in various places and circumstances to bring the whole truth before ministers and people, and they interested in it. I find the great thing is holding fast by the word, alleging it as a reply to every working of man's mind and all the fictions of theology, as well as the gainsayings of heresy. And I have felt the Lord with me, going from one strange place to another, as the Lord opened the way.
This constant going to strangers is a trial to one of my age, but they are kind and hospitable enough as far as that goes. The weather has been trying, down to twenty-five degrees below zero, but that was nothing; now a thaw and fog. All round Kentucky they have pressed my staying or returning. I suppose some younger hand must undertake it. From the state of the churches, a turning the deliverance from Rom. 7 to Rom. 8 into a kind of Arminian perfection, making a will-o'-the wisp of the word, is a common snare of the enemy, and some true souls have been snared by it; one has to be ready for everything, but the word is, only we have to use it with wisdom. But if the Lord is with me all is peace and joy; and all the poverty of man's thoughts and theology has shown me what deep thankfulness we ought to feel for the truth of the word, and being led by it is everything. But God is working evidently, and had been even by that which was opposed to us.
It is a comfort to be able to look to Him as loving the church, and confide the whole work to His faithful hand. Still we have to be hastening the coming of the day of God, urging on the salvation of the elect, and their readiness for His coming. Faith should pierce through and see the things that are not seen: things get their true value in another world, and faith when vivid sees them there. I know we are meant to walk by faith, and those moments in which things unseen are seen, and the Spirit sheds divine light on things that are, are not always there; but if vividly communicated they invigorate faith, and the word, proved on full vision, and chewing all things in that light, becomes a sure guide. Thus we walk steadily by faith.
I close. I fear there may be repetition, as I have written this at two or three times, when traveling about, and am holding three meetings a day. The Lord be with you in your work, and yet better in your soul, and keep your eyes looking straight forward. You will not regret serving Him in the end, only let it be Him, and by His grace and will that you may persevere.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Lexington, Kentucky,
January 4th, 1873.

Bereavement; the First Death in a Family

——kindly let me know of the loss of your dear boy, and I write a line only to assure you and Mrs.- of my unfeigned sympathy.
The Lord has seen good to lay His hand, dear brother, heavily upon you, but it is all in love. He would bring you close to Himself, and make this world more of a passage, and a wilderness; and such it is, for a saint who has a place in the Father's house. "This is not your rest," says a prophet, "because it is polluted." What an honor! God has sanctified us to Himself, and cannot have us rest where He cannot; but the promise is left us of entering into His: but we need to be weaned from this world, to have our hearts there. He is working this with you. I have always felt that the first break in the family is more than all others. Our children are a kind of continued life to us, we live on in them. But when death first strikes a family, we find death has come in and has power where life was. It tells the tale that all here is smitten. But Christ has come in where death was, and given a life beyond it all. He calls us in gracious and tender love to live in that. He knows how to comfort—knows what death is far better than we do, because He is the resurrection and the life—has wept over it and suffered it; He will comfort you and Mrs.- with a comfort which, if it feels for death, death cannot touch. Assure also-and all how much I feel the stroke that has fallen upon you. I trust it may be for deep blessing to them. Peace be with you.
January, 1873.

Good in the Midst of Evil; Self Knowledge

I was very glad to get your letter, and though I have let a long time slip without answering it, it was not want of interest in its contents, nor failure in thinking of you, but I have a train of work which makes some letters, letters of leisure, where it is not necessity of answering, but just, on the contrary, interest in the work and in the laborer.
We go on through the toils of service, where as good in Christ it has to make its way, and make itself effectual by divine strength in the midst of evil and alienation from God, and, as to testimony, adapt itself to it. That was what was so beautiful in Christ. In heaven all is good. God is there, and only goodness and holiness, and nothing inconsistent with it. We cannot be simple, or want simplicity there, for God fills everything, and we and all are what He would have us. It is an infinite "I am" of good.
But Christ was something else. He was divine good, and infinite, but good adapting itself, showing itself infinite in being always itself, and yet adapting itself to all the wants, sorrows, miseries, sins, that were in this poor world. We get to God, get to the Father by it, because He has got to us. What a wonderful thought it is, to see Godhead emptying itself, thereby to prove itself love, as no angel could have known it—coming down as man even unto death, and to be made sin, that I might learn what God is in death, where sin had brought me; and absolute obedience in man, in what disobedience had brought us into; death, the way of life; the extreme of man in weakness—where (as to this world) it ended, the place where God is revealed and triumphant, and the power of Satan destroyed. But the Christian redeemed by this, and according to this, has to be this good, to express, walking in holiness, divine love in this world, by manifesting the life of Christ, and seeking the deliverance of souls.
What a calling! and what a privilege! But, oh, how we do shrink into self-judgment if we compare ourselves with Him! We have to do it sometimes. God (as you speak in your letter) passes us through it when needed. We know there is no good thing in us, but to know the working of evil, which we always need at the beginning, and sometimes by the way, is another thing—overwhelming sometimes, I do not mean as to doubting His love, but as occupying us with self-vileness, instead of with His blessed love and Himself. But it is really put away in Christ, and hence, when we have, in a certain sense (that is, as to the need of real uprightness of heart) adequately judged ourselves, all the flood of His grace flows in again, and we can think of Him, and not of ourselves. There are no shallows then, but they are there, and there is still the danger (until long and deeply exercised) of having to go through it again. And it is a terrible thing to think of turning the eye off Christ, and on to what is vile, for self is vile. It is this that marks the "fathers" in Christ. John has much additional to say to the "children" and "young men" when he repeats his warnings, but to the "fathers" he only says they "have known him that is from the beginning." That was their characteristic existence. 'How blessed it is! Oh, that we could walk so as to keep ourselves in the love of God! It is not knowing the Father; that was the children's place, the place of all, but Him that was "from the beginning"—Christ as manifested here.
I find the constant tendency even of work for the Lord, and an active mind, ever is to take us out of the presence of God, and nature is instantly up: I do not mean evil in the common sense, but what is not God, and the condition of my soul when God is there. There is a will and a right the heart claims (not willfully), instead of adoring recipiency and lowliness, with confidence and trust of heart. For God present puts us in our place, and Himself in His place in our hearts; and what confidence that gives, and how self is gone in joy! Our great affair is to keep in His presence; and the diligent soul shall be made fat. He that seeks, finds. May the Lord give you and myself to labor on undistractedly. It is not, through grace, in vain in the Lord. He does not give me as (I am thankful to say) you, present encouragement—I have no doubt my fault, and His wisdom -but I am content to be anything in His hand, and thankful to be anything. A servant is to serve where he is set, and I have been a good deal (and content to be it, though my heart might desire more direct work sometimes) a "hewer of wood" and "drawer of water" to the saints, but thankful to be allowed to be anything. The Lord be abundantly with you.
Affectionately yours in Christ, etc.

Nearness to the Lord; Spring of Service; Weariness in Service; the Path of His Will; Tendency of Work

If our hearts are not close to Christ, we are apt to get weary in the way. All is a vain show around us; but that which is inside abides, and is true, being the life of Christ. All else goes! When the heart gets hold of this fact, it becomes (as to things around) like one taken into a house to work for the day, who performs the duties well, but passes through, instead of living in the circumstances. To Israel the cloud came down, and they stayed; it lifted up, and on they went. It was all the same to them. Why? Because had they stayed when the cloud went on, they would not have had the Lord. One may be daily at the desk for fifty years, yet with Christ the desk is only the circumstance; it is doing God's will, making manifest the savor of Christ, which is the simple and great thing. Whether I go or you go, I stay or you stay, may that one word be realized in each of us—" steadfast, immovable!" In whatever sphere, as matter of providence, we may be found, let the divine life be manifested—Christ manifested. This abides. all else changes, but the life remains and abides forever, aye, forever.
Not a single thing in which we have served Christ shall be forgotten. Lazy alas! we all are in service, but all shall come out that is real, and what is real is Christ in us, and this only. The appearance now may be very little—not much even in a religious view, but what is real will abide. Our hearts clinging closely to Christ, we shall sustain one another in the body of Christ. The love of Christ shall hold the whole together, Christ being everything, and we content to be nothing, helping one another, praying one for the other. I ask not the prayers of the saints, I reckon on them. The Lord keep us going on in simplicity, fulfilling as the hireling our day, till Christ shall come; and then "shall every man have praise of God "—praise of God! Be that our object, and may God knit all our hearts together thoroughly and eternally.

What Preaching Should Be; Repentance; Our Place as Christ's Servants; Perfection

Assuredly repentance is needed, and there is no solid knowledge of the cross without it. The question for my mind is not exactly that, but how to preach it. We must have faith in the word to repent. What word? It was, with remission of sins, to be preached in Christ's name. Christian repentance implies grace, I mean recognizing grace in a measure. Repentance is for me practically—judgment of the past in the sense of grace. People may preach solely love and remission: this is not complete; there is what is defective in it. But where God works it produces repentance, but often calling for much ulterior deepening, sometimes through sorrow. But repentance may be preached legally as a preliminary, and then remission. But in this case grace is seldom fully known, because the base supposes man's action preparing himself for it. Reaction against this has partly produced the revival preaching, where repentance is thrown into the shade. When God works He makes both meet. Repentance has to be preached, because there is God's claim over man and man's judgment of himself, but preached in Christ's name, which carries grace with it. It is easy to put the just line on paper. In preaching, love to souls and living with God—and God's love to souls, which involves necessarily His holiness—will alone give preaching its true character. I am sure, and it is evident, that conscience must be reached, or nothing is done. But that is power, and God's power. Law itself may be used lawfully, when there is a reckless conscience, and with blessing; only grace and remission must go with it. But the cross convicts of sin, where really understood, more deeply than anything.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.
March 14th, 1873.

Dead With Christ; Death to Sin; the Place of Law; Reckoning in Romans 6; Heresy

I do not understand what people mean by being actually dead, seeing they are living at-. But patience clearly is our part. It is not like a heresy: it is only an absurdity. If they hold the flesh to be really gone, then indeed it is a mischievous error. I should not have to reckon were I really dead, and the context makes it clear. "Reckon" (Rom. 6:11) is the estimate I form according to faith of my condition and standing, the estimate of my faith, not a statement as to the state I am in; and this is equally true as to "alive." But the statement here is not that I have life, but that I so account of myself. But when he adds, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies to obey it in the lusts thereof," it is a plain testimony that it is not gone, or it would be a very poor conclusion -besides other passages, that "the flesh lusts against the Spirit," and that "if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves." The "always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus," is assuredly the holding the flesh practically dead. The circumstances which tested it, delivered to death, are in the following verse.
They should explain what they mean by being actually dead, for to me it has no meaning at all. If it is merely that the motions of sin are not in activity, that may be the case. But if they think that the flesh is changed, and that sin is not there, they deceive themselves, and it always leads to self-confidence and self-esteem—one of the most mischievous fruits of the flesh. The Christian purifies himself, but does not reckon himself pure. The reckoning applies to the estimate of the two natures: do I say I am alive, I mean alive to God as born of the Spirit, if he refers to flesh, he does not own it as life, but reckons it dead.
Besides it is seldom—never in words—said that the flesh is dead, but that I am. It is once said the body is dead because of sin, while actually it is not so, or our old man is crucified with Him, which actually it was not. If they say, "I am dead" is actually so, they are clearly talking nonsense. Exaggerated truth is always error, and leads to the denial of the real truth, and ceases necessarily to be experimental, for what is not true cannot be true in me.
I could not give my lecture again, for though the great truths are clear in my mind, what I actually said was what I was given at the moment.
Yours affectionately in Christ.
March 19th, 1873.

The Assembly in a City; Unity of the Body of Christ; Exaggeration of Truth; Holiness; Presence of the Holy Spirit; the House and Body; Kneeling in Prayer; Members of the Body Not a Church; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Historical Beginning of the Brethren

The Assembly in a City; Unity of the Body of Christ; Exaggeration of Truth; Holiness; Presence of the Holy Spirit; the House and Body; Kneeling in Prayer; Members of the Body Not a Church; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Historical Beginning of the Brethren
I quite agree with you as to kneeling, and do so unless standing up, so as to be heard when praying myself, and so do the brethren who are not used to American churches; indeed, all at prayer meetings. When close packed, it is sometimes more difficult, but my spirit goes wholly with you in it. I was myself the beginning of what the world calls Plymouth brethren, though we began in Dublin. The name Plymouth arose from the earliest publications which attracted attention issuing thence, and was so far harmless, as no human name was attached to them; one cannot help the world giving some. The great question is, what the word of God says... We do not meet on the ground of churches, but of the unity of the body of Christ, and membership of that one body. Membership of a church I do not find in scripture, nor a number of separate assemblies in one place (though as to mere locality they may be several, and meet in private houses, as at Jerusalem, but still be one assembly), and discipline in the church affects the standing of the person externally in the whole church of God. The great truth I find in scripture on this point is that the coming down of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost formed believers into one body, members of Christ, the Head in heaven. God's assembly in each place represented this unity, undivided from all the rest, in that place. (See 1 Corinthians—address of the Epistle.) The vital truth is the personal presence of the Holy Ghost, baptizing into one body united to the Head. There is another character of the church, the habitation of God through the Spirit. The corruption of the dark ages has made the realization of this more difficult, but has not altered the truth of the word. We have the promise which first led me to meet, that wherever two or three are gathered together in Christ's name, He is in their midst, only it must be in the unity of the body.
Let me recur to a point I touched on when speaking with you. I do not doubt the Spirit of God is graciously working and rousing saints to the consciousness that something more earnest, more true, more what Christianity was at first, is to be looked for. In this feeling more undivided holiness of heart and life is justly looked for. Where this desire is not accompanied by the divinely given knowledge of the hopeless character of the flesh, illusion and consequent weakness accompanies the effort after it, or thought of receiving it. There is another work, another truth besides forgiveness, the consciousness that we have died in or with Christ (not merely that He has died for our sins) and in this the neck of self is broken. I know I am in Christ, and Christ in me: Christ is my place with God, not Adam: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." This is received in grace, and to me, then, to live is Christ; and I reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is not simply being born of God, but, through the anointing of the Holy Ghost consequent on redemption, the consciousness of being in Christ and Christ in me—the state of Rom. 8 in contrast with the state in chapter 7, which is a renewed but undelivered man still under the law. Now I ought always to walk and have every thought in the Spirit, and only so, but that does not change the nature of the flesh. " Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh"; but that does not change the lusts of the flesh. It lusts against the Spirit, "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be"; its mind is enmity against God. I have ever the right to reckon myself dead; to have no thought but what comes from the Spirit. But as the flesh is lawless without law; breaks the law, is not subject to it, when law is there; rejects Christ when God is present in grace; so, even in him who has the Spirit, it lusts against it, and if a man has been in the third heaven, would, if not kept down, puff him up about it. I have no need to watch against it, if it be not always an evil thing. When this is lost, the truth of a new life from Christ is lost with it. It is not the old Adam reformed, which is our life, but the last Adam, Christ, is our life; and, He having died for us, we have a right to treat the flesh as dead—but that, because it is evil and unchanged in its nature, as what we have received in grace is pure and holy in itself, and I am to manifest only this, the life of Jesus in my mortal body: for this I must always bear about the cross. I will not go further, dear brother: I regretted missing you, but all is well. As I did, I write these few lines, and shall be glad to hear from you. Peace be with you, and the gracious and constant help of the blessed Lord.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Boston [date uncertain].

Adam and Christ; Adventists; Christianity Working by What It Brings; How to Meet Evil; Work in the United States

The Lord is working in the States, blessed be His name! That is evident. At -, though it was individual, yet continually fresh souls were coming in seeking the truth. But you have to wait on souls, so many deceived with emptiness and evil have run off into vain doctrines with which Satan lies in wait for them. One of the most interesting I had, began as a regular Thomasite, and is now thirsting after truth. Here I have chiefly to do with these unhappy Adventists. Though patience is needed, it is a place where the work is interesting, and our visit has encouraged dear -. I am content (of course I am) with the Lord's will—blessed that He deigns to think of me—in not going by San Francisco to New Zealand; I have not quite given up New Zealand, but have no plan. I have work, and some chamber work to do in England.
As to the West Indies, Barbadoes goes on with considerable blessing: Demerara, a number in communion, I suppose over three hundred in four places, but rather dead. I thought Jamaica afforded a wide field when I was there, and the doors were open, it seemed to me. There are some three hundred in communion in five or six gatherings. Are you going there because you will find no evil? Eh! That you may give up. You must not fancy that others do not see the evils, nor that they do not feel them. But people may sink under them, instead of rising over them, through Him who is power in good. I do not want the evil neglected. I fear as to the world, habits of acquiescing is it coming in; but, my dear brother, if we live near enough to Christ we live for the church, not from it. It is, as I have often said, not by what we find, but by what we bring, that we can serve in Christianity. It is as much a question of trusting in the Lord as legalism. Living in the good with Him, you carry it in with you into the service and circumstances of the church. One sees when good comes. Now the Lord is working in the States—now evidently, all feel it—awakening souls to seek something better, and to feel that there are those who soberly seek, and in some respects have found in the word and sought in their walk something real. I am as anxious as can be that the brethren should walk faithfully. I see, and have seen, what has caused me deep sorrow. Alas! I have seen it in myself, where it should be deepest of all, but seeking, I can say, to walk with Him. I trust the Lord. You must not want the support of the walking well of the church. It is the greatest comfort, but you must be for Christ whatever the church needs. And that you can be by walking in the place which He would have you in, and looking to Him for strength. I feel fully the comfort of quiet for communion, but we must think of others. If God calls you to local work, stick to it: remain more in a place. Do not let your natural spirits form your judgment as to what is around; you are not an augur, to learn what is going on by looking in the liver! Remember that Christ loves the church, nourishes and cherishes it as a man his own flesh. Adapt yourself in grace to people. Grace goes a great way where resistance to willful evil is not called for. Would you in such state of things as Corinth have said to the people, Christ will confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ? "God is faithful, by whom ye were called," etc. Yet they were in such a state that Paul would not go there; but why? To spare them. And if we are poor things compared with the devoted apostle, so much the more reason for serving in lowliness. You must watch lest self should put in its claim in such feelings: it always does, and does not say who it is, when we do not lean peacefully on Christ and trust in Him. It may come in in a worse way, but there is never much good in it. And there is this danger in its taking the form of judgment of evil, that it seems righteousness and jealousy for Christ. Only remember He governs God's house. I would not—God forbid—weaken the jealousy. Quite the contrary. But let it not produce mistrust—mistrust in Christ's grace. "Only be strong and of a good courage"—be so, said God (Josh. 1:9), "only be so," say the people, and then.... And see Isa. 51:12, 13.
Here I have felt it has been a good time. There is a little gathering, many loose from all, but pretty loose with it—one of the difficulties in the States.
Affectionately yours.

Work in the United States

The work of God is going on in the United States; the conviction is extending that we possess something that they do not possess. Preachers, elders, etc., have come to Boston for the daily Bible readings. They acknowledge also that we understand the scriptures better than they do; they often oppose, but often defend, so that in some aspects brethren are entering on a new phase of work. Our whole work remains always the same, to present Christ and the truth, accomplished salvation, and His coming; but this makes the responsibility of brethren still greater. God is opening doors; but His power alone can work upon hearts, to make them walk with Christ, and give up the way of this world. But the movement in every way is remarkable. The Lord is about to come.
New York,
April, 1873.

Ignorance Being No Bar to Fellowship; Principles of Gathering; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Reception to the Lord's Table

The question you put as to receiving is to me always a delicate one. The point is to conciliate sound discipline, and being wholly outside the camp, which is of increasing importance, and avoiding being a sect, which I should as anxiously do. Receiving all members of Christ's body is not a sect clearly, and that is the principle on which I unite, but they must walk orderly and be under discipline, and not pretend to impose conditions on the church of God. If therefore they came claiming as a condition liberty to go elsewhere, I could not allow it because I know it is wrong, and the church of God cannot allow what is wrong. If it was ignorance, and they came bond fide 'n the spirit of unity, to that which is the symbol of unity, I should not reject them, because they had not in fact broken [with it], but I could not accept what made us part of the camp, nor any sort of claim to go to both, to be inside and outside. This is equally pretentious and dishonest.... But I receive a person who comes in simplicity, with a good conscience, for the sake of spiritual communion, though they may not yet see clearly ecclesiastically; but the assembly is bound to exercise discipline as to them, and know their walk and purity of heart in coming whenever they do. They cannot come in and out just as they please, because the conscience of the assembly is engaged in the matter, and its duty to God, and to Him at whose Table they are. Looseness in this is more fatal than ever now. If a person practically says I will come to take a place in the body of Christ when I like, and go into sects and evil when I like for convenience or pleasure, that is not a pure heart. It is making their own will the rule of God's assembly, and subjecting the assembly to it, and that cannot be—is clearly wrong. May the Lord's grace and gracious keeping be with you all.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Pure Heart

Thanks for your note. I shall of course read the correspondence the brethren send me, and thank them for doing so; and, the Lord willing, will write when I have read it. It is evident I ought to say nothing fully till then. But allow me to remark, that your note does not quite estimate the state of the case. Suppose we excommunicate a person here, and you receive him at S., it is evident you have denied us here as a body gathered in Christ's name, and acting by His authority; for that is what discipline hangs upon. Further, the unity of the body is denied wholly. It is clear, if I have a part as faithful to Christ in excluding a person here, I cannot have one in another place in breaking bread with him there. Brethren united in the name of the Lord are not infallible, and remonstrance may be all right, but if a person is to be received in one place who is rejected in another, it is evident there is an end to unity and common action. I do not say that excommunication is the whole case; I only reply to the statement you make as to differing in judgment. If rejecting be anything, it is the church of God rejecting by the Lord's authority some evil person from the church-for his good perhaps. If another set of Christians receive him, it is clear that they do not own the other body as acting under the Lord's authority, nor their having acted as a church where the Holy Ghost is. In the truth of the case, if I am to speak of the case, you have rejected and cut off all the brethren in L. as an assembly. How could I hold with the rejection of a person here and his reception at S.? When deliberately done, it is evidently impossible. If I am out of communion with him here, and in communion with him there, the unity of the body is gone. And where is the authority of the Lord? not in both. Your act is distinctively a condemnation of the whole body in L. as not acting under the Lord's authority, and in a point which affects the communion of every person in it. The thing is plain enough-have you considered it?
Affectionately yours in Christ
No persons, for example, who had been put out, or who had deliberately separated themselves from -, would have been received here. They would have been separated from the unity of the body there, if we received you there as representing it, and would not be in that unity here.
December, 1863.

Assembly Judgment Owned; Remedy in Mistaken Assembly Action; Bethesda and Principles; Manifested Unity Maintained by Discipline; Basis of Union

My dear brother,
I have received your letter, but not the pamphlet, which I shall carefully read when I shall have the opportunity. In my former letter I could only speak of general principles, as I had not the correspondence. I can still only refer to' the contents of your letter, as I have not the pamphlet, which is not so easily forwarded as a letter. But your letter itself involves so many important principles that I answer in certain respects, though I have not the correspondence. I must avow to you that it does not furnish me much hope of any issue. I am sometimes surprised at the little apprehension brethren have of the bearing of their acts. You ask, Is it a bond of discipline that holds the body together? I answer, in practice undoubtedly. The unity of the body is in itself immutable. It is divinely maintained and forever. But the manifested unity of the body here below is maintained by discipline, and cannot be without, though in secret it be God's power which does so by its efficacious working. What has created Nationalism, that is, the dispersion of saints in a crowd of worldly professors, but the absence of discipline-of maintaining by it the sanctity of the Lord's table? But, to come more directly to the shape in which this question applies to you; suppose you let in deliberately the Mormons, how can other assemblies walk with you? Are you to impose the reception of wickedness on all the church of God? Suppose you deliberately admit fornicators, are we to continue in unity? You will say, You have no right to suppose such things. I have a perfect right to judge a principle by plain strong cases, but I have chosen one here which has been publicly insisted on by a meeting standing on the principle you have adopted. Suppose you receive blasphemers and heretics, are we to remain united with you?
It is anxiously insisted on, in a tract published by Yapp, that no assembly can be defiled by receiving evil, but only the individuals who accept it. But your letters, as does that tract, make independent churches, each acting for itself. If this be the case, the unity which constituted the whole being of the brethren is wholly given up; that for which I left the Establishment is wholly gone. All this I reject wholly and absolutely. The circumstances I do not pretend to know, for I was in America; but if I have rightly gathered them,... you have judged the conduct of brethren in L. without having heard what they have to say. I understood the breach arose between you and—by reason of your reception of -. With the main facts of his case I am acquainted, for I took part in what passed. And now allow me to put the case as it stands as to him; I put it merely as a principle. He (or anyone else) is rejected in L. The assembly in L. have weighed (and I with them) the case, and count him either as excommunicated or in schism. I put the two cases, for I only speak of the principle. I take part in this act, and hold him to be outside the church of God on earth, being outside (in either case) what represents it in L. I am bound by scripture to count him so. I come to -: there he breaks bread, and is-in what? Not in the church of God on earth, for he is out of it in L., and there are not two churches on earth, cannot be, so as to be in one and out of another. How can I refuse to eat with him in L., and break bread with him in -, have one conscience for L. and another for -; believe the Spirit judges one way at L., another way at -? It is confusion and disorder...
But your letter apprises me that you have already taken the ground of neutrality; but neutrality between Christ and evil is worse than anything. "He that is not for me is against me," says Christ. The evil at B. is the most unprincipled admission of blasphemers against Christ, the coldest contempt of Him I ever came across. All their efforts to excuse and hide it only make the matter worse. All who do not abhor the whole system and all connection with it are entangled and defiled. It is, I am satisfied, a mere net of Satan (though many Christians may be entangled in it). Every question of churches and of unity disappears before the question of B. It is a question of Christ. Faith governed my path as to it, but I have seen its fruits in America, the West Indies, France, Switzerland, and, in a measure, in India. I have seen it the spring and support everywhere of unprincipledness and evil, and all who were under its influence turned from uprightness and truth. I have found persons unknown to each other, and strangers to our conflicts in England, unite in testimony that they could get nothing honest from those who were connected with it, or who did not openly reject it all. Wherever the difficulty has been, persons going on badly, and in the flesh, were induced to fall in with it or follow in the line on which you have entered.
But before I go further on this point, allow me to recur to your letter. You say, Your arguments are without force if the acts of the L. brethren are not in accordance with the Lord's will; they could not in that case be by His authority; and this it is which has been the question with us. Who is the judge of whether these acts were so or not? This only means that you at consider yourselves competent to judge the brethren in L., though you were not there to know what passed, nor, allow me to think, have not in any way been fully informed of what took place. You must forgive me if I think this somewhat questionable. You will say, Are our consciences to be bound by the action of the brethren in L.? I answer, prima' facie, certainly, or there can be and is no common action. I admit remonstrances-and if it comes to an absolute necessity through deliberate wrong-breaking with a gathering, but slighting the judgment of another body in ordinary cases is denying its being competent to decide for Christ and with Christ, and asserting your own competency to judge it without being acquainted with what passed. You say, We have our own responsibilities to the Lord; others cannot measure them. What are you doing as to L.? You have set aside the judgment of L. as null and naught before the Lord. You do not say the individuals have not the Spirit, but you have rejected their corporate action. How can the two bodies get on together? You receive a person because he is in communion in L., that is, you own the body as a competent witness of Christ's mind, without saying it is infallible. You own the body, its acts; you wish to be in communion with it; you must then recognize its' other acts. I recognize the full liberty in you, as having also the Spirit as a part of Christ's body, led to act by it, in remonstrating or enlightening, but not to disown it on your own authority, and then to pretend to own it still, and speak of being in communion with it.
But what you say as to Bethesda, though only, as I have said, what I expected, chews your position far more clearly. You must not deceive yourselves, dear brother; where Christ is in question there is no middle ground. You have separated yourselves from the brethren in the course you have taken; you think yourselves wiser than they. I have seen these pretensions elsewhere: I know their result. It is in vain to say you do not. If you did not, you would not act differently from them. You cannot remain alone, though you have really taken the position of an independent church. But the question is largely before the saints now, Is union founded on truth or not? The scripture tells me it is. You have abandoned that ground with the pretension to keep it better than others. You are not the first. I do not trust you to do so. You have given up your testimony against evil, but pretend to keep it out. I do not trust your pretension to do so. Here I must speak plainly, because it is not brethren but Christ who is in question. I see the worst and most ruinous effects springing up daily from what I judged in principle sixteen years ago. In this path you will soon be the active supporters of indifference to Christ's glory, and covering and excusing the dishonor done to His name. I can easily suppose you will not believe me in this. I only answer, if you continue in it you shall see. I can only say I have seen enough to be content to be burned, with God's grace, rather than enter into it. I am quite aware too these will count what I say as to B. a spirit of party and so forth.
I let them say it; the Lord will judge all that, but I know for myself what I say, and why I say it...
I regret and mourn that you should think it a human rule to break with those who receive and countenance blasphemers, and seek to hush and cover it all up. To me what you call a human rule is the first obligation which rests on me as a Christian. Wisdom in discipline all may call in question; fidelity to Christ is at the root of all our conduct. Your letter produces the effect in me of your having become an independent church—so called. Of course I have no such principles, but what you say as to B. is the first step, and in fact, save God's gracious hand, the whole way to the coldest contempt of Christ I ever came across.... God will judge who has been faithful to Him,- or those it condemns. Where that road leads' I have no doubt. Satan is making a great effort at present to shake brethren as to these points, but this only makes me more firm.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.]
February 19th, 1864.

Bethesda and Principles; Ignorance No Bar to Fellowship; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; Life Laid Down and Taken Again; Separation From Evil; J.G. Bellett; Whether Defilement Is Endless

The ground taken by your dear son, is not I think a happy one. And what I mean is this. It is not exercise of conscience for himself, but reasoning for others; and finding in defect of argument, or supposed defect, the ground of putting them in the wrong, and even showing that on their own principles they ought to go further. This is argument, not conscience and thought for Christ's glory. Supposing it proves that they ought to go further, and that they are inconsistent, let them go further. It has nothing to do with its being right or not, but whether A. B. is consistent or not.
In many cases I judge they are inconsistent. Dear Bellett, who was thoroughly decided as to not admitting them, after sore trial of heart, was, from extreme kindliness of nature, and perhaps other mere human motives connected with his own personal character, in some cases inconsistent in this way, and felt on his death-bed it was wrong. I should make a difference between misleaders and misled For the Lord's table's sake, they must not have a false flag, false to Christ. But in my personal conduct, though I could not have communion with them in religious things, as members of the same body, true christian kindness would seek to make them feel their false position. Yet I should make a great difference between such and those who, untrue to Christ, sought to pervert. "Of some have compassion... and others save with fear": I see Satan's work, and would fain deliver. Satan's instruments are a horror to me, though even they may be delivered. If there is bond fide ignorance of facts—not willful, (for some refuse to know, to save the trouble of having their consciences exercised—and they are not true to Christ) but bond fide ignorance, their conscience is not bad. If they had been connected in ignorance with leavened meetings, I should inquire and see if they were so in principle. If so, they are also false to Christ, they accept Christ and Belial going together; if they say no (if that is so, I should not walk with them on any account) I should not refuse them, only warning them that we knew things were so, and could not have communion with gatherings which were thus loose, and if they went back after warning, the case would be altered. What I look for is an honest and pure heart in the matter. Ignorance, when they have never had to say to Bethesda and her followers, is sufficient to preclude all further question: but ignorance alleged, when they have been counted with such gatherings, is saying that they do not know on what principle they were gathered, which may be, but which is strange; and at any rate they imbibe the spirit and tone of looseness, which is exactly opposite to all the scriptural directions for the last days.
All that is said of "ad infinitum" is merely the repetition of what we have too often beard, and has no real sense the moment the Church is known to be one. The question is, Does the person come from a place which has identified itself with the refusal to judge evil? It little matters to me how many steps a person is from the first who had the typhus fever in the country; five or fifty is all alike, if a man has got it. Evil is judged as evil wherever it is, and the argument is simply a denial of the church, and the unity of the body. If a gathering accepts fellowship with these one or fifty who have refused to maintain the glory of Christ, it is contaminated as such.- would have left Bethesda; would he have gone to Bath or Dublin, in communion with B., and receiving persons from it, yea, because they were of it, and whose members went there? This was the real case we had. Where there was intercommunion, there was moral identity, cases of bona fide ignorance excepted. They have turned to independency to avoid the evident consequence themselves, as I stated to you; they have found the evil, and are now willing to exclude heresies; but I hear nothing of unity, so that there is no guarantee for security as to what others do, so that gatherings can be owned. If they are honest and faithful in this, the reason for excluding persons belonging to them might fail, but the gathering itself denies unity, and its responsibility as to connection with other gatherings, nor is there honest confession. They would not be bound by a discipline common to all; each person would have to be received by brethren individually; only belonging to a gathering thus faithful would not of itself be the ground of exclusion, their connection with others remaining to be inquired into. Only where they have been in communion with B. and those associated with it, one has alike a right and a duty to ask if they have given it up. If they refuse to say, they are not honest, and have not done so. They maintain this unholy liberty to do evil, and have not judged the evil in themselves. A person may be an active seducer from want of faithfulness as to Christ, or mislead; but the thing in question is Christ and principle. The making a difference between misleaders and mislead, has nothing to do with its not being a question of Christ and principle.
All this reasoning I find very sad. It tastes of B., and those who sustain it. In this country (Canada) we have acted on the principle of refusing those belonging to bodies who allowed heresies, having nothing to do with B., but denying the immortality of the soul; and the results have been blessing, and the state of things around us every way confirmed us in the need of faithfulness. I shall own no gathering once in connection with B. and its supporters, which had not given it up, nothing more simple; they are indeed formally inside the camp. I have already spoken of cases of ignorance, but if a person deliberately chose to continue in connection with loose principles, I could not own him; he has not a pure heart in his worship; it is a mercy to himself that he should learn it. It soon comes distinctly out, if there is faithfulness.
One of the most striking things in my late labor in the Western States has been, that everywhere by being faithful and holding to the Word, persons esteemed and active in union prayer meetings and the like, have professed themselves infidels, Sociniaus, deniers of the immortality of the soul, of the inspiration of the word of God, and the like. They were strange and trying scenes, but useful; but I felt I had the immense comfort of having only to bring forward scripture. It had not got so far in the loose gatherings everywhere, but it had got very far indeed; only many have been frightened, but those of the loose gatherings who came to this country are in full fellowship with this state of things, lead the meetings, etc. They have gone back into the camp just when the saints are called out of it. I know one of the nicest of them boasting that he had succeeded in contaminating a young saint, so that now he could not be received among us: the latter is now grown worldly and flourishing in the religious world. I seek to be separated to Christ from current evil, they will not. I never heard an argument on that side which was not for more or less tolerating evil. When forced they would leave it where it discredited them, but retain as much liberty as they could under the plea of charity: such a person's conscience is not purged, he cannot but defile others if allowed.
A passage that gave me a clue on my first starting, was in that wonderful chapter, Jer. 15 "If thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return to thee, but return not thou unto them." Take the epistles or chapters which refer to the last days, and see if in all, separation from evil be not what is pressed. Patience and grace are required, but no acceptance of evil. It is Christ, it is principle, it is faithfulness and obedience, which are in question: and we have acted on it in other cases than B. It is the great question: Is the church of God to confess and hold, to maintain the truth with Him that is holy, Him that is true? and then, whether there is one body formed upon the earth?
If a person comes from a gathering which has been connected with B., I am entitled and bound to ask him, Has it broken with it? If not, have you broken with it? If the person says no, I ask, How comes that? He may be ignorant, though it is very rare. I should say, We cannot walk with that gathering because it is unfaithful. If he says he prefers going with it as it is; he judges himself, he is unclean. If he says, I know nothing of the facts, I would tell him what was the principle of action, and sufficient of the facts to show the application of the principle. If he honestly says, If the facts are so, I would not walk with them a moment, I am in a very great measure relieved. If he say, If it be so, I will not walk with them any more, I should be content. If he say, I had rather wait and inquire, one has only so to leave it. If he refuse to hear the facts or be informed, he has a bad. conscience; he prefers walking loosely to taking a little trouble for Christ's glory; his heart is unsound, as a man who would refuse to be examined by a priest for leprosy; he condemns himself. All this requires patience and toil of heart, but the grace of Christ is sufficient for us, and grace and quiet firmness as to evil, will meet its sure reward. A work of Satan has been going on, alleging that evil doctrine was no matter: people have been mixed up with it; I must know if they are clean where they have been, or I am accepting the evil as no matter. I do not expect to carry on the work of the Lord without Satan trying to throw difficulties in the way, but I do count on the blessed Lord's faithfulness to be with us, and difficulties are a gain if that be the effect.
I accept the principle of grace fully, but grace which is not holiness is not God's grace, and holiness is, by truth. "Sanctify them by thy truth." Thus saith "he that is holy, he that is true." As regards 'attached to life,' I know not if you have seen my second edition. I attach no value to the expression if I could find a better. The doctrine contained in it is vital. All He had taken on Him was attached to His life in that sense, that in laying it down the sin He bore in it was gone forever; all He bore for us was gone in laying down that life. This is of all importance. C. objected to it. I said, Give me a better expression and I will readily accept it. He said, 'Attached to His Person.' I said, I do not believe you mean any harm, but that is an awful heresy, for His Person never changed, and He has it now. He admitted it would not do. I have found no better than that the sin which He took for us on Himself was gone with the life to which it attached. I do not myself believe it was really opposed on account of Christ, and when used to clear Newton, I being as bad, I said, Put us both out then. Do not at the expense of Christ use the heresy of one to defend another. And I added, Allow me to say if a servant is accused by another of stealing, and he says, I will prove you are as bad, I know he who retorts thus is a thief, and I will see about the other.
No tract has been more blessed. First, it recalled the heart to the sufferings of the blessed Lord; and secondly, N—'s statements had made people afraid of thinking that Christ suffered at all, to their great loss. And it restored the equilibrium, and quieted the spirits of saints. I would have withdrawn it for the sake of the two brethren who opposed, but that the truth of Christ's suffering was denied. As to the connection of those sufferings with the Jews, I was no way surprised they should not understand it.
I still hope to see you, and have been informing myself as to ways of getting to New Zealand. It is easier, I believe, hence than from England.
Ever affectionately yours.

Bethesda and Principles; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Members of the Body Not a Church; Sufferings of Christ; Whether Defilement Is Endless

I am glad for your own sake that your tract is withdrawn; you will perhaps, ere I write this, have received a letter from me. Its effect I had no fear of, for the simple reason that it wholly gave up all the principles brethren meet on, and would be judged by every intelligent brother.
The loose brethren have done so pretty generally. I could give you very easily an account of all those you speak of, but feel it is better to avoid speaking of individuals. The question is not whether they are logically in precisely the same position as the blasphemers, but whether their position justifies their not being received to communion. They are not according to scripture "a new lump," if they acquiesce in evil in their midst, not clear of the committed sin. So jealous is the apostle as to the truth, that a simple friendly adieu makes a man partaker of his evil deeds, how much more a willful, determined reception of them into communion-one of the pastors holding most of the blasphemous doctrines, and when the loose brethren pretended that Bethesda had changed, and acted in discipline, C. declared they had not, and that as far as he knew, they would do the same in like case, and that he did not know a single person at Bethesda who held Mr. N. for a heretic. This was Mr. Craik's published statement long after the matter had happened. It was the open support of blasphemy, and the breach took place by an effort on the part of neutrals to force us to go on with B., as they openly stated and I personally know.
There is no such thing as members of a local church or not local in scripture, but members of Christ, a totally different idea; he speaks of foot, hand, eye, etc., you have only to react the whole passage (1 Cor. 12), and not a shadow of doubt can remain. Members are members of Christ, whatever—may mean; but it cannot have the meaning you put upon it, as it does not apply to what they were members of. But now as regards the Seven churches, they are neither the unity of the body, nor directions how to act from the Head by the apostle, but judgment by Christ on their state (I get positive directions for my conduct in 2 Timothy), Christ's judicial estimate of the whole, and what He will do if they do not repent: and this has been used to show we are to acquiesce in things as they are -if so, with everything, and exercise no discipline at all, for none is spoken of. But it is Christ's judgment of the state of things. That is found very clearly stated elsewhere. Hence it is commonly taken, and I doubt not rightly for the history of the Church at large, to the end of Popery, and the end of Protestantism. Your use of it would go to allow all evil in an assembly, fornication, communion with idols and all else, and so it has been used.
As to "ad infinitum," it is a mere bugbear; whatever associates itself with evil, be it three or three thousand or three million, is on the same ground. If I associate myself with a principle of action, what matter how many assemblies are engaged in it, if they are so? Besides, it is a denial of the unity of the body. I know of so many assemblies, discipline in one is discipline in all, and the denial of this shows plainly enough where you have all got. This is the whole question. B. is partaker thus in the guilt in question, if another gathering is in communion with it, receive from it as it is, goes to it, they are one: if fifty do it, they are one. I cannot own them as assemblies of God as a guarantee for integrity in one coming from them. I can make a difference between misleaders and misled, and allow for ignorance, but that is not the question. I sigh over those ensnared by the unfaithfulness of others, but I find them soon corrupted in principle. I have seen none where integrity has not suffered by having to say to it. Mr. Bewley, urging reconciliation, writes a pamphlet blaming us, and told me that Mr. Craik was a decided heretic, and ought to have been put out; and when I said, Why then do you blame me for not going there when he was not put out? I do not blame you at all, he replied, and then goes on to do his best to condemn us. I sigh over ensnared ones, but I am sick of this falseness which characterizes all that are in it.- says popery is all wrong, and stays in it. Episcopal and Presbyterian ministers say the state of things is all wrong, and stay in it. This is a system destructive to conscience and the habit of excusing evil is ruinous to the soul. "Holy," " True " (Rev. 3:7), I find characterizes Christ in His relationship to the church He approves to the end. The whole question is, Is the church of God to maintain the truth in unity? My experience of the opposite system in the States in all shapes has made me firmer than ever in the path of what is called exclusiveness—exclusion of false doctrine and false practice, in contrast with protecting and excusing it.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.
I do not the least confine discipline to the Table; where persons deliberately take up the loose principle, I have nothing to say to them in divine things anywhere—could not say grace at table with them, and am of course blamed for exclusiveness.

The Last Days; Discipline Not Confined to the Table; Philadelphian State to Be Sought; Loose Principles; Eating With One Under Discipline; Unable to Say Grace With Some Open Brethren

If you knew my occupations, you would not be surprised that I do not write to you very often. Readings, lectures, besides visits daily, to say nothing of letters, tract-writing, printing; and other people asking me to look over articles for publication, etc. But I have not forgotten Springfield and the work in the States. Indeed, it is quite clear that since the last year the Lord has begun to work in a more especial way there. This may lead to more opposition and attacks; but that always comes, and if all are only simple, faithful and quiet, firm in walk, but gracious in ways with them, it will, though hindering those who have not faith, only work for blessing. The rapid coming on of the last days in Europe is evident; indeed, all are alarmed who think, if not settled in the kingdom which cannot be moved. When I was young, men were asleep; now a strong tide towards Popery, and in young England, as they say, infidelity active and un-shamed; outward prosperity plenty, and, thank God, peace around, but all, morally speaking, undermining; the governmental tendency in France towards Popery, so here, and in strong efforts in Spain; but a violent radical opposition inside, and all outside the Roman empire against strongly: Protestantism gone within: our work to gather the saints and preach the gospel to sinners—the established church helpless, the dissenters more infidel than anything else, but the path of the Christian simple and clear.
The brethren, thank God, are peaceful, and generally going on happily, and spreading, with nothing very salient. I only dread the world for them. They are, in a certain sense, quite apart from it, but it is constantly to be watched against. Still we have a great deal to be thankful for.... But I have heard also how your dear-is ill. The Lord has seen good, dear brother, to visit you sorely, but His love never fails, and whom He loves He chastens. We count on Him, not to have this world our rest—God forbid—but for sure unfailing love, and ever watching over us. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father. He withdraws not His eyes from the righteous. He must wean us if He will use us, and make us know ourselves too. Our part is to be very near Him, that a lowly heart is judged in everything by the light as He is in it, for there we are placed—walk in peace, and serve directly from Himself, come out from Him, to others. This is true service; indeed, if it be not thus, service is a danger to ourselves.
I hope, if my strength be spared, to see America again. I have work here for a while: but, if the Lord will, the States, which occupy my heart much, may occupy me in service yet too. But all is in His hands; my comfort in calls everywhere is that there is one who loves the church and nourishes and cherishes it as a man his own flesh. May He keep you and all the dear brethren very near Himself; with a single eye, the whole body is full of light. The Lord be with all the dear brethren.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Unity of the Body of Christ; God's Ways in Discipline; Evangelizing and Gathering; Gathering of Saints Sought; the Effect of a Full Gospel; Our Place as Christ's Servants; Work Changed in Character

I have had much on my mind, the question of those converted coming out confessedly in the unity of the body; and truth naturally comes in. The two services in these days are distinct though they meet in one point.
At the beginning, power was at the center, and gathered into a known and sole center or unity. If a person refused to come into it, he was still outside, and not owned as a Christian at all. Now, in Christendom, the unity of the body, and divine life and holiness being owned, the gathering into this is of persons already externally Christians—perhaps really—and who leave the present recognized, though false centers, and go "outside the camp." In the meanwhile, a mass of persons, who are called Christians, have not life at all—are not saved, and they are evangelized to save their souls, pretty much without any reference to gathering at all. The question is, putting these things together.
We began by (being already Christians) meeting, leaving the camp, and then set about evangelizing with activity, and with pretty widespread blessing, which has extended over a pretty large part of the Continent. Since then considerable activity has existed in seeking souls, as in Canada and elsewhere, a good deal independently of our position in these last days, and the character of the gospel had not much connection with it. Hence the work of gathering had to be superadded. Without saying there were none converted (at our first coming out and preaching) which did not come out, for I have known such; still, it generally took that character. We had reading meetings of all sorts of Christians, but one after another they came out, and others seeing it, were afraid to come, and they for some years dropped off. Since then they have been found in various places. But where there was no mention of church questions or principles, the kind of full gospel I refer to made people come out. They could not stand the services they heard elsewhere, and the gospel itself laid the basis. Besides, many got hold of these truths who did not come out. But this preaching of redemption and unity made &difficulty sometimes for those who felt deeply we were in the last days, at the kind of gospel which knew nothing beyond a soul getting safe, and with little depth of action on the conscience, so as to make them look out for the right path; and this was often the case. It was getting safe—an immense thing, I grant—the essential thing; and for my own part, I have never preached separation, or what are called brethren's principles, but sought to bring needed truth to the soul where it was: if any person hated sectarianism it was myself: but I have a deep feeling of a Christian's being not of the world, and that we are in "the last days." For this very reason God allows all manner of activity for conversion, and I thank Him for it.
What I look for, dear brother, for myself, is, that those who are separated and gathered show a life and detachment from the world, which is itself a testimony; otherwise the gospel with them, will sink into the common stream; others will gather the fruits perhaps. It is a choice of views, not separation to God. Next, that the gospel act freely on consciences, and being "bought with a price," and thereby being so utterly outside the camp oneself, that it may tell on those preached to. Then I believe our path is to bring to each soul the truth that soul needs, leaving the result to God. Amongst the gathered ones, and in intercourse as God furnishes occasion, the truth of the Church and its manifestation on earth will come out, and the presence of the Holy Ghost, unbelief in which is the great cause of the state of the professing church. Not to gain numbers, but to profit souls, according to Christ's own heart for them—this is the great point; and so God will gather, and gather the consciences and faith of souls, and these by grace firmly. If opposition is violent, Paul's path at Ephesus may help to guide.

The Subjects of Baptism

You will perhaps be surprised to hear me say I do not like answering you (I do not say writing). I believe all is in such confusion in the church, and I so thoroughly prefer dwelling on Christ to ordinances, that I have no comfort in speaking of them, and specially of this; as our real work as to this is to get Christians clear practically of a great corrupt baptized body-to which the Lord's supper helps; and the bringing them into it such as it is (though till judged it is owned of God-not practically) does not present itself in thinking [of it] with attraction. I believe they should be; but as a child ought to come home to his Father's house, yet if the house be in disorder morally, there is not satisfaction in thinking of it, even though right, and we should be glad as to him to see him return_ The word of God remains the same, as Christ calls the temple His Father's house, though man had made it a den of thieves. I am the rather disinclined to take the subject up, not to trouble any brother's conscience Indeed, the only counsel I ever gave was to be baptized because the person thought he ought, 's brother, of Cork, and he never was, the Baptist minister so put it in the place of Christ it drove him from it. I have answered when asked, but never sought to persuade any- only Quakers and unbaptized I have told that I thought they ought to be.
You have given the true reasons for not re-baptizing: if it is initiatory, and reception into the house or public professing assembly on earth, you cannot introduce him if he has been. If this has been bona fide done, done with this object, hence called christening, it is done; and a second service cannot be this, but only on the ground of being declaratory and obedience, which you yourself reject, as indeed baptizing brethren themselves do generally now, and which are clearly unscriptural. The only question then is, are the children of believers entitled to be so received? Now the rejecting them as infants was clearly not God's way of old, nor Christ's mind. It is the question, are they entitled to be received into the habitation of God by the Spirit, or are they to be left in the world of which Satan is prince? Now in Matthew the general character of infants in God's sight is clearly stated: their angels behold the face of His Father. It is not His will that one should perish, and that referred to His saving like a lost sheep. This clearly refers to infants as such, not those who have as Christians a character like them- it would be poverty itself as to them; He had the child in His arms. It is said this is not baptism. Clearly not. But it is not merely or at all Jewish, "of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Now the kingdom of heaven was not then set up; now it is, and such belong to it. They are of it, and ought to be admitted to its privileges. I know no administrative entrance to it on earth but baptism. It was the prescribed order down on earth. But when I come to 1 Cor. 7:14, I think I get the question specifically decided. It is directly the subject. If a Jew married a Gentile he was profaned (not profane, a profane thing cannot be profaned) and was to send away his wife and children (see Ezra and Nehemiah): was it so under grace? No, the converse; the unbeliever was sanctified (opposite to profaned, not holy) and the children were holy, to be received, not cut off. Hence the word is "unclean," the force of which as precluding approach to the house of Jehovah in Israel is well known. There is a place where God sets His blessings besides individual conversion, I mean down here. Thus Rom. 11 and the sacramental place on earth (1 Cor. 10) answers to this in Judaism; hence, as you recognize, special judgment on it, and it is called the house of God, though spoiled with false doctrine in man's hand, still judged as God's house and temple, though wood and hay and stubble be in it. Without this indeed there could not be apostasy. Hence the Lord, and the faith (not personal, but the "one Faith") and baptism are associated. In the baptism of a child there is plain testimony to the need of Christ's death for its admission. I trust you will not press- 's conscience the least. Should you even feel bound to do it, leave her quite at liberty not even to be present if she is not free, or a mere looker on if she wish to be it. Your own conscience God will direct. Take it quietly for yourself and for her. I trust and pray, nor do I doubt His goodness, that the gracious Lord will be with her in her hour of need, and may He give her to rest as a child in His arms, and trust His gracious care....
The brethren here are getting on very happily, freshly and unitedly. I am not uneasy about -: uphill work is good work.

The Coming of the Lord; House Still Till Judged; the Great Tribulation; Parable of the Virgins

I was very glad to hear you were getting on happily. As to the question you refer to, it is one which exercised the brethren early in their career, but I think they have all settled pretty positively in the conviction that all the saints will be with Christ at His coming. I cannot object to the statement, that the crown of righteousness is laid up for those who love His appearing, nor that in fact He will appear to those that look for Him. But the parable of the wise and foolish virgins gives me the comfortable assurance, that the Lord will wake up to expect Him those that have oil in their lamps, and even many will be aroused to activity who have not.
There is another thing that, at the time the question was mooted, acted on my judgment: all who are really members of His body must be with Him. You cannot divide the body. Again, if forming part of the bride they must be there, and it is clear that whoever has the Holy Ghost is of the body: "By one Spirit we have all been baptized into one body." Further, I read in 1 Cor. 15, "they that are Christ's at his coming," so those that sleep in Jesus in 1 Thess. 4; and when one thinks of the resurrection, it seems impossible to confine it, for scarce one would be raised. How few saints comparatively have died since the Lord's coming was scripturally preached. If it merely applied to those that are alive at the time, I have no great objection, because I believe God will wake them up. But I cannot believe that the foolish virgins who have no oil in their vessels, and to whom the Lord says, "I know you not," are true Christians. That worldly minded Christians may go through tribulation (not "the great tribulation") to separate them from the world and make them expect Christ is very possible and very probable, but that is only God's faithful care over His children, what is needed for their good and deliverance as such. The great tribulation is either Jewish as in Matt. 24, or over the whole world after the church is gone (Rev. 7); with neither of these has the church to do. The unity of the body seems to me to make the exclusion of saints now and heretofore who have not seen the Lord's coming, from a part in that blessing, untenable; but saying that only those waiting for Him when He comes is not; only that I find that He wakes up the saints in time before He comes, that they may be ready.
Here the doors are wide open, everything breaking up ecclesiastically, and men at their wits' ends as to popery and infidelity—an imbecility in the ecclesiastical governors that is inconceivable. The brethren, thank God, are in peace generally, and their testimony of more importance daily from the state of things. M. is seeking communion; America may have done him good, in making him feel what carelessness as to heresy is.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
[Date uncertain.]

The Sealing of the Holy Spirit; New Birth; the Lord's Ways With Peter

I have not my dictionary, so you must bear with my Italian this time. We are "children, of God by faith in Christ Jesus "; but here he speaks of Christians, so that it is impossible for us to separate the condition of the child of God and the possession of faith.
What you have already quoted is a clear proof that Peter was a believer. "Ye are clean." (John 15:3.) He adds likewise what renders the passage stronger in chapter 13, " Ye are clean, but not all," speaking of Judas, who betrayed Him. This is not all: the Lord prayed that Peter's faith should not fail, and so it was. He had faith then, and that as we learn in Matt. 16, through the revelation of the Father Himself. Election has nothing to do with it-it is true that it is before the foundation of the world-the being clean has much. It confounds the new birth and the sealing, "After that ye believed ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." (Eph. 1:13.) "The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:39.) But the passage in Galatians marks clearly the difference between new birth and sealing "Ye are," chapter 3:26 tells us, "all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Then (chap. 4: 6), "Because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." "Because ye are sons," not in order that ye may be; it could not be more clear.
But our brother does not yet know the meaning of sealing: God does not seal an unbeliever, a sinner, in his natural condition. This would be impossible. He will receive such an one in His grace; then He seals him. Further, the new life is not the Holy Ghost, or we should be an incarnation of the Holy Ghost; this would be nonsense simply. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit," but it is not the Spirit, who is God. But when the Holy Ghost dwells in us, our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor. 6) The difference is of all importance. The Holy Ghost acts in us, through the word, to produce the new birth, but it is one thing to build a house, and another to dwell in it. When he says that a Christian could not deny Jesus, he forgets that Peter's faith did not fail at this juncture because the Lord had prayed for him, and then He looked at him at the right moment. His will was not in it, but he had to learn the lesson of his own weakness. We are not born again without the Holy Ghost; but His work and His indwelling are two distinct things. People confound His operation and His coming. The Son of God created the world, but He did not come until His incarnation. The Holy Ghost has wrought from the beginning; He wrought in creation; but He did not come till the day of Pentecost. The Lord said, that if He went away He would send Him, but if He did not go away He would not come. Man must be in the glory, redemption having been accomplished, before the Holy Ghost could be given to believers, because the Holy Ghost is received by believers only. Now we are children of God by faith, and as we have seen; because we are sons the Spirit of the Son is given to us. (See also Acts 2:38; 5:32.)
Your affectionate brother.
July 2nd, 1873.

New Birth; Old Testament Saints

Dear brother -,
I have no place after Ryde. I did indeed think of going to New Zealand, but our brother Mr. Wigram is to go there on the 25th instant; it is therefore possible that I may not go, but I am not sure about it. If not, I shall probably go to the United States, but not before next summer; I hope meanwhile to visit the north of England, and perhaps Scotland. I may go to Italy possibly, but I cannot say just now.
As to the question: the Old Testament saints were born of God, but they could not call themselves children of God, because, redemption not being accomplished, the Spirit of adoption was not given; they could not take that position. The word is clear on this point. This is the force of John 1:12. Those who, through grace, being born of God, received Christ, received right (authority) to take the position of children. Also the Epistle to the Galatians explains the difference fully and clearly, "The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.... But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son... that we might receive the adoption [of sons]. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Gal. 4:1-7.) "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son "; then (Gal. 3:26) "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." The difference between saints under the old covenant and Christians is therefore clearly explained in the word.
You must not be frightened at the large number at Ryde: we were from 500 to 600 at Manchester; if we are 1,000 (of which I am not at all sure) at Ryde, the difference is not much. In both cases it is not really a conference, but lectures (discourses). I use the opportunity to see many brethren; the truth also is spread amongst many.
Your affectionate brother.
July, 1873.

Devotedness; Power of Full Grace; Need of More Laborers; the Life of Jesus

We must pray the Lord of the harvest that He may send forth laborers into His harvest. In this matter we have never had more than just our heads above water. It is more devotedness which is lacking. There are-I know it to be the case-brothers who would be more useful in the work, if only they were more devoted. They are absorbed by something else, and this not only distracts them from the work, but when they do set themselves to it, there is not that maturity, that furnished condition of soul, that knowledge of hearts, and of the way in which the word suits itself to their needs, which gives value to ministry. (See 1 Tim. 4:15.) It is not that one might not, if one were to keep quietly in one place, be busy about some occupation, manual or otherwise; Paul was so indeed;-but let the heart be in the work, not in a worldly object... _
Everywhere, spite of the general confusion, where a positive gospel, a gospel of full grace, is preached, there are listeners. We have a kingdom which cannot be shaken. Things not seen seem to me more real than they have ever been, as in like manner does the revelation of grace in the life of the Lord here below; the pains which He takes to assure us of His love, the way in which He puts us in the same relationship as Himself with His Father, while the Holy Spirit at the same time always presents Him to us as Son of God, in the dignity of His Person: divine knowledge, divine power over creation (Matt. 17:24-27), but at the same time "us," "me and thee."
In Matt. 3 we have the pattern of our place through redemption; but does Jesus look above, and is He changed into the likeness of what He beholds, from glory to glory? By no means. Heaven opens upon Him to behold Him; and then, "My Father and your Father, my God and your God." This is our bread come down from heaven, and now He has gone back to heaven to prepare a place for us, and we shall see Him as He is, He who has so loved us.
July 24th, 1873.

Bethesda and Principles; the Church as an Organized Visible Society; B.W. Newton; Old Testament Saints; the Great Tribulation; Intercommunion and Moral Identification

I hardly know whether it is worthwhile to answer what is merely teaching ignorance; besides, the book is not published. What shall I say to arguments which teach the perilous days of the last times (where I am to turn away from hypocritical profession) to be the great tribulation, which if God did not shorten, no flesh would be saved; which confounds the great tribulation of all nations (Rev. 7) with the tribulation marked by the setting up the abomination of desolation on which those in Judea are warned to flee to the mountains; which takes Luke 21:25, 26 for the church's tribulation where they see the Son of man coming, when it is positively revealed that when Christ appears we shall appear with Him; which admits the difference of the church here, but supposes that after death they will be brought into the same condition; which quotes passages referring to being sons to prove that they are the same body, with which it has nothing to do? The whole object is to set aside the church, and from the universal cause, ignorance of their own place in it-making union by faith, with which it has nothing to do; not seeing that there was no Head to be united to in the Old Testament; confounds the acting of the Holy Ghost with His coming; takes up the Hebrews to show what the church is, which never speaks of the church (save in chap. 12 prophetically, and there distinctively from Old Testament saints) but of saints on earth in trial, and Christ, a separate person, in heaven. Was ever a greater olla podrida than page 15, quoting Heb. 12:22 to prove the Old Testament saints are the church, when verse 23 makes them a distinct set? Page 27 proves he has no idea at all of the body, quoting passages which say we are sons and heirs, Abraham's seed, which is individual, as if it touched the question of one body.
In page 30 you have the formal denial of the whole doctrine of the church of God as taught by Paul, to set up independent churches, free to act in separate responsibility. This is the object of the book, to deny the church. It is the flat denial of 1 Cor. 12 and other passages. The whole book indeed is Mr. N.'s system, and it is perhaps well that the connection of loose brethren with it should come clearly out. The book has one only object and unbelieving source, as his had-the denial of the church of God, the very truth God is specifically bringing out, with the present expectation of the Lord; a truth which is identical with the presence of the Holy Ghost here, as distinguished from His operation—as the Son was here in Christ on earth distinct from His divine working at all times. Of course if I swamp the present distinctive truth of God, I put the New Testament saints on a footing with the Old, because my own faith does not go beyond it. But ignorance is a different thing from denial. Mr. N.'s and Mr. W.'s are the denial as to this of what God is specially bringing to light. Page 30 is the formal denial of God's truth. The church was an organized visible society on earth: to deny it is to deny the plain word of God: that sin has disorganized it, alas! I do not question. There are a mass of suppositions put out as truth, of which I take no notice. It is a tentative to bring up again the denial of God's truth, which I am sure the Lord will frustrate. Deniers of the truth may be glad of it, to their loss.
Sincerely yours in the Lord.
August 4th, 1873.

The Work in the East

I was moving about in the blessed Lord's work, so that I did not get yours for two or three days after you would have expected. Your going on in this work was a matter of much exercise of soul to me—if I can say much of any such—not merely as to your going, but also because generally hitherto (save among the poor negroes in the West Indies, which is hardly that) God has not favored an attempt by brethren outside the Babylon they have been a witness in. Two attempts were made, besides helping others, and both failed in result from, I believe, different causes—one from death from the country fever in Syria when the language was learned....
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
August 11th, 1873.


I do not think that the promises refer to prayers offered up one for another only, though this is a large part of the cases put forward in scripture: " pray one for another," " for me also," "laboring earnestly for you in prayers," and many others; but the prayer of faith is not confined to this. There are prayers for opening the door for the gospel and for all men. If it be not the prayer of positive faith, we are told in all things to present our requests to God, but then the answer is, or may be only, that God's peace-which passes all understanding shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. For the prayer of faith, or rather the promise to it, there are certain limits as to the certainty of answer, such as "in my name," "according to his will," "if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will," "if two of you shall agree "; besides what stops prayer, as a sin unto death. But then I see no limits put to the expectation of faith if God gives it. If it be my will asking amiss to consume it on my lusts, I cannot expect an answer. But the Lord contemplates the giving of faith and certainty of answer for drying up of the fig-tree or removing a mountain, and whatever I can ask believing, I receive it. This is a very important principle.
But first, as to the limits on which formal promise of answer rests besides special faith. The first passage I may refer to is "If we ask anything according to his will he heareth us... and we know that we have the petitions." This supposes the demand according to His will, and then we can reckon on His power accomplishing it. This is the general christian confidence, a great boon to be assured of the acting of Him who is Almighty in the way of His will. Next it is said, "If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will." Here I do not doubt there was special reference to the twelve; but in principle it applies to all Christians. Where the mind is formed by the words of Christ, when they abide in one who lives in dependence on and confidence in Him-one thus abiding in Him, having Him in spirit, and his mind guided by Christ's word, his will is (so to speak) Christ's-he asks what he will, and it will come.
Another case is where any two are agreed: here individual will is set aside. It is where Christians have a common desire and agree to present it to God. The deliberate formal agreement supposes a common christian mind, and it will be done. So, when I ask, coming for what I can attach Christ's name to, under His auspices, the Father will do it. Here, I doubt not too, the twelve are specially in view; still it is in principle every Christian. A man cannot in faith bring Christ's name attached to his lusts; and all these statements suppose the disciple and faith, as James expressly teaches us, and indeed the Lord Himself.
But there are other statements which cast us more generally on the goodness of God, His interest in us, and show that, where faith is in exercise, the answer will be there: "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive." This supposes faith and intimacy, so to speak, with God. The heart is supposed to be in His interests, and then, if there is faith as a grain of mustard seed, a mountain goes. I do not doubt this kind of faith was much more when any, as the apostles, felt themselves interested in God's cause, identified with Him and it on the earth; but there is no limit to it. Where such faith is, such answer will be; and God is as much occupied now with the details of blessing for us as for the great deeds of those days. It might be more palpable, more concentrated too then, but not more true. Not a sparrow falls now without Him more than then; and the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availing much is ever true: only we must, so to speak, put ourselves with God, for those to whom these things were said were identified with Him in His interests on the earth. This gave their prayers of course a peculiar place; but then if faith (that is, the operation of His Spirit and grace) brings me into His interest now even in details, the promise is there, and we can reckon on God and, His power exercised in love now as then. There is no limit: only it is the working of His Spirit in us, and hence faith that reckons on the answer.
Presenting our requests, subject to His will, is always right.
Of this we have an example even in Gethsemane; so Paul for his thorn in the flesh. And the answer will be more glorious and blessed than the request, even when it does not as asked answer it. See John 12 and Psa. 132. so Psa. 21, and even Paul's request about the thorn. Let us trust His love, and this will not come short, and if He has given us faith to expect a specific answer, bless God for it. Only our will must not come in; even if it was answered (this was the case of the quails), but as a rule not, as James teaches. But where there is earnest faith, God will surely hear, though He may give us safeguards against our own will in it.

Original Sin

I find in general that people do not know what they mean by original sin. Is it a taint, as evil in nature, or a relative state with God? For instance, it is said,
"By one man's disobedience many were made sinners." But it is never said Christ has entirely put away sin in any sense. He came once in the end of the world "to put away sin." But the result is not yet produced. Faith knows it is effectual and rejoices. But the Holy Ghost convicts the world of sin because they believe not in Jesus, so that there they are-sin increased upon them by the death of Christ. But I repeat, it is never said Christ has put away sin. He has done the work that does it, so that in the new heavens and new earth righteousness will dwell. So that my first answer must be the question, What do they mean by original sin? If it be the nature (as, for instance, in the thirty-nine Articles), that is not put away at all, but condemned in the cross. If it be the relationship and standing of the sinner, it is not changed till he believes. Only the cross is the adequate and glorious ground on which, God being glorified and the blood before His eyes, He can send to every sinner beseeching him to be reconciled; but that proves he is not, till he answers to the call.
If it be meant that sins are put away (which is not original sin in any sense), and we remain guilty of unbelief, it is wholly anti-scriptural. The Lord says, "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." And Paul, "Let no man deceive you, for because of these things the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience." And men are judged according to their works, for the deeds done in the body. Only remember, with the vague words "original sin" we must know what they mean. The text generally, I suppose, applied to it is Rom. 5:19. But this says nothing as to putting away. But it is never said Christ has put away sin at all.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
September 12th, 1873.

Articles of the Church of England; Judgment According to Works; Pearsall Smith; Original Sin; Appreciation of the Word

Here the brethren are very happy, and going on freshly and nicely, and their numbers increase, and now many come to hear. Things are in such a state, both in the episcopal body and in the various dissenting bodies, so much ritualism and infidelity that they feel they get nothing. This is the case in England, Scotland, and Ireland; it makes it more difficult for me to leave, but I have not relinquished the thought of being in the States again, if the Lord see well to continue my strength to me. Far on in one's seventy-fourth year, as I should be then, one cannot even humanly reckon on anything very certain as to this, but it is a very pleasant thought to feel one is drawing home. But my heart is still in the work, only the Lord may circumscribe it in extent; I trust not in vividness and earnestness, but the contrary. There is a kind Of work which I could do more than now, which all cannot, not the highest kind, but which the Lord may allow me. Very soon I expect to go to the north of Italy, where, though small, the work is going on well and growing. There is a young brother who has the gift of languages, who is efficiently, and more than, supplying my place in France and Italy for foot and mountain work—I am too old for it—for which I am most thankful How good the Lord is! Our accounts from Switzerland are very happy; they are fresh, and getting on; and indeed in general from France also, though in some places there is languor: still, through mercy, my last visit stirred them up, and there is a good deal to encourage. But, though there is much to thank God for, how short we are of answering to all the love He has shown us! I bless Him unfeignedly for His goodness, but would still be in the dust before Him, and for His whole church too. His word I find increasingly precious, and enlarging daily in the riches and perfectness of its teaching—that is as unfolded, for it is ever the same.
I saw R. P. S., who came to my rooms, was very gracious, said he was correcting and printing a new edition, as my tract had touched some part of his; but I did not see more than correcting by repairing breaches, and then propagating his views -not really learning more of Christ. He will stir up some I doubt not (for the Lord can use everything), but the result will be deadening.... The Lord keep us humble, for it is only grace keeps us, and manifested to God always.
We had a wild start here of another kind, but it was met by the word, and there was mercifully an end of it; I do not know that the originator, though he no longer brings it forward, has been really adequately exercised about it...
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
September 20th, 1873.

Truth to Be Possessed Practically

Dearest brother-,
Thanks for your letter; I rejoice much at the news from Como, and I hope that the dear brethren will continue to make progress, and always desire to learn the truth. In order to enjoy it really, the Holy Spirit must teach us. The difference is very soon seen between a truth received in the heart and in the conscience, and a truth known only in the understanding. The heart becomes tender, the will is broken, and Christ finds His true place in the heart; the heart is subject to the word; there is gentleness, and the spiritual affections increase. But as to yourself, patience is what is needed; we are servants of the Lord, and of all, for the love of Him.... I enclose another article on Mark 1 am at a conference in Edinburgh, and I have not much time. There are open doors, and I have had good meetings everywhere. At Carlisle the Lord has given great blessing, but it is the same everywhere. We have had evident blessing in our conference here in Edinburgh.
Your affectionate brother.
October, 1873.

Combining an Occupation With Service

Your letter was so long delayed by my running about the country and my letters after me (I have been up as far as Aberdeen, and in many places in the north of England) that it is very likely that your decision may have been come to before you receive this. I have been anxious about it. The Lord will take care of you.... The thing that I fear is not seeking FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness. It is not the time only that a similar occupation takes, but its having the prior claim, which is important. It alters the whole tone of the mind. Adding, if we are able, work (like Paul) is an excellent thing, but it only came in for the gospel. If you feel increased practical experience an object, it is all well, and though preaching when I could I should then give it its own place. But your heart should see what place you are putting yourself in; it may be very desirable you should have the advantage of the practice, if so, set about it heartily. But see whether you are going to be a practitioner preaching, or a preacher practicing: it may be done, for a time, though this is slippery ground. But I have more confidence in our gracious Lord guiding you than in any counsel I could give....
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
November 6th, 1873.

The Need of Courage; Paul; Call to Direct Service

Very dear brother -,
Your letter calls for a serious examination. I suppose as to the principle that we are clear on one point, namely, that we are bought with a price and that we are not our own—servants, blessed be God, in this poor ruined world, of the Lord by His great grace: and if besides the joy of being forever with Him, there is one, it is that of being able to serve Him down here, the little while that we have for so doing, for it is only here that we can suffer with Him.
Then the question arises as to what He calls us—for you, dear brother, if God has really called you to the ministry of the word, or if it is only that your practical faith wavers before the difficulties of the path. You must remember that God tests faith; He never fails us, but He makes us feel our entire dependence on Him. I see this in Paul: he had a thorn; he was often even hungry: he learned to glory in his infirmities that the power of Christ might rest upon him. But the result was that he was instructed to be in abundance and in want, to be full and to be hungry—" I can do all things through him that strengtheneth me." Without were conflicts, within were fears, and he gained the knowledge of God as the One who comforts those that are cast down. Then it was worth while being cast down. But he was able to say, not who "causeth us to triumph," but who "leadeth us in triumph"—having missed the open door at Troas, being in great conflict with regard to Corinth, but able to say, in order to be "a sweet savor of Christ," wherever he was.
The question of his call to the ministry was certain. If grace had not sustained him here, he could have returned like John and Mark: woe be to him, as he always said, if he preached not, and he did so without his will (ἄκων): being sent assuredly of God, he could not doubt having been sent. The words of the Lord near Damascus and the prophecy at Antioch were too positive. Now neither our mission, nor any part of the work of the Lord, has this distinctness. Our word is not confirmed by accompanying signs. This does not trouble me. It demands more of the heart's confidence, confidence in Christ, and that always does good. But it strengthens the heart greatly to be assured of it. Then if there are difficulties on the way, there are but difficulties to overcome. If I have not this assurance in starting, it is a question if I am in my place: in any case God can exercise us here for our good. Not only that, but when God has clearly called some one either by the ardor of his faith like Moses, or by any formal calling like Paul, He can put him aside. Moses during forty years kept the sheep of his father-in-law, and Paul had not any active mission, to reduce the fleshly activity which might mix itself in his work with the activity purely from God, and to make him learn his entire dependence. It was Barnabas who put Saul afresh to the work; then came the mission of Antioch. But the heart is in these cases always in the work, but retired with God, in such a manner that God has a larger place in the heart, and our labor is afterward more directly with reference to Him.
There then, dear brother, is the question for you: Are you truly called to labor for the Lord? that is to say, to go about in His work, for we all ought to labor for Him. When we are, faith may fail; yes, but we are miserable if we abandon it, as Jeremiah said when he did not wish to speak any more, " But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones." If it is only a fire that crackles in the thorns, it will soon be extinguished. But if you feel that the Lord has entrusted you with His word, has put it into your heart, not only for yourself, but for others (Gal. 1:15, 16), then fear nothing: faith tested is faith strengthened; it is to have learned your weakness, but to have learned the faithfulness of God, His tender care even in sending the difficulties, that we may be there with Him. And if you have the assurance that God has entrusted you with His word, do not be troubled if you are set aside for a time. One learns one's lack of courage, at least, I have learned it, but God takes account of what we are, gives us our thorn, that we may be humbled, and that we may feel that the strength and work are of Him. No doubt we have to judge our want of courage. For my part, it is my greatest test, the want of aggressive courage, and the way in which I shrink back before the coarseness of the world. But there is the look towards God who has pity for us.
Profit then by your present separation from the work to be much with Him. You will learn much inwardly in your capacity to go forward, much of Himself, then more distinctly if God has really sent you, which gives great inward power in following out the work. But do not doubt His faithfulness. It is forty-five years that I have served Him since I left nationalism. Oh, how ungrateful I should be if I did not testify to His faithfulness, and to His great and sweet and precious patience with His poor servant. It is a joy to me now to see others raised up to continue the work, and I hope better than I, for that can well be, though I by no means doubt of a special work in these last days. But the workman is another thing. I have labored, God knows; but I have been more of a hewer of wood and drawer of water for those who have more courage. But we are what God gives us and permits us to be. God is reviving His work in Europe, and evidently, which encourages us, and comforts us, and gives in many respects an open door in spite of the evil, and often even by means of the evil....
Yours very affectionately.

The Blindness of Episcopacy

I was most thankful to get your letter, and rejoiced over the department of-, -which, with the exception of one or two places, has always gone clopin-clopant. One sees daily how much need there is of pastoral service: here, in England, it is a sensible want, though, on the whole, there is rather an arousing amongst them, for which I earnestly thank God. I am the more thankful for your service in these places, because I am grown old for mountain work on foot, and for those parts it is needed. I always found it happy, though hard work bodily, and France is much upon my heart....
B. tells me the conference in Italy is to be on February 16th: I hope to be there. I had thought to spend some time in Switzerland on the way, but this will be difficult, as I go now to Ireland by Bristol. The Lord will guide in these things too. There certainly is a desire to hear in England when full and simple truth is preached, but the tares are wonderfully gathering into bundles The poor Establishment seems wonderfully blind and incapable. It may be wise as to this world, but tends fast to Popery, the external camp of sacramental church religionism, from which God is just now calling out souls, and that to spiritual linking with Christ. The Independents are sinking into infidelity. The testimony of brethren is more definitely a testimony as to the state of the church around. God had, I believe, prepared it for this: but what a responsibility for us, and how much we need to be unworldly, and personally faithful! I am just publishing a tract that the real point is, not that the church got corrupted, but that the original principle of what is now called the church was a departure from the scriptural and divine ground. I am also bringing out another smaller one, that episcopacy has no scriptural or historical foundation; this, because it is leading people into Popery, as it did then. I do not expect now that the current that God has allowed will be stopped, but that those who are the objects of God's mercy may be rescued. My chief work is, of course, preaching and lecturing, and there is an increasing desire to hear, and that outside brethren too. I got up as far as Aberdeen north....
The Lord keep us close to Himself. I have been cheered in heart somewhat-I suppose in looking to Him-as to the saints. I was pressed with the dread of worldliness coming in, and spoiling the testimony. "I stand in doubt of you," says Paul to the Galatians; and in the next chapter, "I have confidence in you through the Lord." This is a great comfort to me: everything from Him is a comfort....
Affectionately yours in the blessed Lord.
November, 1873.

Christ Known for Down Here and on High; the Christian's Normal State; Christianity Lowered; No Foundation for Episcopacy; Perfectionism; Exercises to Fit for Service

I have read the little tract, and it has made me clearer as to the ground these people are upon, and a curious experience I have had. Mr. V. was on the common ground of low Christianity, which leaves people open to this. "I have given up," he says, "the expectation of being overcome with waywardness and sin." No wonder Mr. R. P. S. had hold of him if this was his state. I treated this as a non-christian state fifty years ago. I may have been inconsistent with deliverance, but I do not see what more they have than what I got near fifty years ago, save that it is on false ground, on which it is impossible to make much progress; or at any rate their state, progress, and all is what I should utterly deprecate. It is not what frightens Mr. V. which frightens me, that is, the fact of communion not interrupted, or immediate consciousness of it, if it were. That is to me the normal christian state, only not talking of it-and it may be a means of awakening your mind to something it has not yet got. But I am more convinced than ever, since I read Mr. V.'s tract, of its positively lowering tendency-I mean of leading to a sorrowfully lower standard and style of Christianity than what scripture presents to us; what scripture calls "beholding with unveiled face the glory of the Lord." I hold the difference clearly in my spirit. It may bring down Christ to give a quiet, trusting spirit down here, but it never takes the man up to Christ up there, so as to exercise the soul in conformity to Him there. It is a Christianity of grace for the earth, to make man, as man, rest here; not to make him sit up there and have his conversation in heaven. It may be a peaceful, but it is a human Christianity. No one can read the tract of Mr. V.'s without seeing it is all about V., not about Christ. Look at page 13, and see how it is entirely a state down here and a Christ for down here, that he is occupied with. Now Christ is for us down here, and most gracious and precious it is, but it is not a Christ up on high, to whom our affections are drawn up, and our holiness judged by our fellowship with that. I suppose Mr. V. never had been set free, and of course as to that, it is deliverance to him; but in making this an object which occupies us, it keeps the soul down here- perhaps undisturbed by positive evil, but not rising up to Christ; and as the energy of the system declines, a constantly lowering standard; but at best, it is a Christ known for what we want down here. Promises are realized, not Christ; and promises for us down here.
I cannot but think Mr. V. never really knew God's love, and what always strikes me, is the fuss they make about what I take to be the normal state of a Christian, varying in degree of fullness, but always the truth of his condition—unbounded confidence in unbounded love, and love known in Christ, and enjoyed for its own sake. Look at the promises referred to by Mr. R. P. S. in page 4: to what do they refer? -realizing Christ and spiritual conformity to Him in glory? Not a word. They refer solely to life down here. When I turn to John 15, where alone what is scriptural comes in, I find a teaching totally foreign to Mr. S.'s. His is entering by an act of faith into this trust and confidence, believing a promise. What is in John? "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue [abide] ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." Then, "these things have I spoken unto you that my joy might abide in you and your joy might be full." If I take the context, I do not find a trace of what Mr. S. teaches, it is far and wide from it. Consequently I do not find in St. Paul exactly the kind of quietness and constant triumph that Mr. V. speaks of and expects. I read, "I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling ": "without were fightings, within were fears; nevertheless God, that comforteth them that are cast down" -he repented of writing an inspired letter. I admit victory is ours, and to be "in nothing terrified by your adversaries." I recognize peacefulness of heart in entire confidence, in the Christian's path down here; but I do not think a Christian can seek Christ up there, nor in connection with His interests and His service here without experiencing a deeper knowledge of self, and the subtleties of self and the flesh, and distress through the craft of Satan and the mischief he does, than Mr. S.'s system knows anything about. I read of thorns in the flesh—messengers of Satan to buffet. I read of "If need be ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." I read of great anguish of heart, this I admit was in service, but you cannot separate the state of soul from service. It is peace in life, not the sentence of death in ourselves: and I hardly think rivers of water flowing forth mean speaking of one's self or of one's own joy, though it may sometimes in the first overflowing of it be natural and right. But to turn grace into this channel I am sure lowers Christianity.
I have no disposition to give up what I have got, and get assuredly in Christ, for what I find here. Assuredly not. I think I know what they have got better than they do, but it is occupation with their state and not what is in Christ which is before them. I could say more than this, but I prefer resting it on simply scriptural grounds. I recognize the joy of finding true liberty in grace, as I did in my tract. Very likely Mr. V. has found it. It may be you have not; so that it has a charm for you, but I am satisfied it is a system which lowers the whole character and tone of faith, and tends to keep the soul from all that is most precious in the revelation of God. I know I am a poor workman, but I would not have the system on which they work for any consideration. It is too much a Christianity for oneself, and not oneself in and for Christ. The whole platform is a different one, but I must not go any further.
Yours truly in the Lord.
December 23rd, 1873.

The Power of Full Grace

I was very glad to get a few words from you, though I had gladly heard from your letters to others how you had been getting on, and through mercy encouraged. I am one who has nothing sanguine in his nature, and I suppose you will meet with conflict and opposition, but if the Lord work none can let. And we have rather the promise of an open door, and none can shut it. It is strikingly so generally at this moment at any rate. Unless the gracious Lord specially interfere, one may, I suppose, count that it will be a slow work; yet I know all, and all hearts too, are in His hand; nor would I limit His working, as none can His power—not so, dear brother, I call it to mind that if it be slow your heart may not be discouraged. In the midst of corruption and superstition, it takes much patience to wait on souls for their full deliverance; but grace and redemption clearly seen, does deliver, the rest passes away as a cloud. Though a habit of mind it is really Satan's power, and is gone where Christ's power is, and the Son and the truth have made free. When I began we were as nothing, but I find as much or more exercise of faith, now that the work has extended over a wide space, and many souls are to be thought of, as when we were a despised little band. Yet, I thank God, I do trust devotedness is growing; and under grace, growing infidelity and superstition bring many souls to hear where a full Christ is preached Complete salvation I find of all moment now. It strikes at the -root of all superstition, and builds up the soul on an everlasting foundation. Blessed comfort, fruit of infinite and perfect love! And soon we shall be like Him and see Him as He is. Unspeakable joy and wondrous grace! We wait for His Son from heaven. I feel specially thankful to the Lord for His gracious leading in this eastern matter, and pray that you may be every way guided and helped. You need it, I know well, but may count on it, waiting humbly on Him. I well understand that you can judge better than I can of the openings and leadings of the Lord. But since you spoke to me of the Copts, I trust Alexandria may not be given up in the attractions of Syria—I speak only from the interest awakened in my heart as to it.
The Lord be abundantly with you, dear brother. He is a sure infallible help to those that trust Him, and soon we shall see Him as He is.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
December 29th, 1873.

God's Ways in Discipline; Subjects of Baptism; Jehovah and Father; the Lord's Ways With Job; Trial of the Loss of Sight; Trial of Faith

I write a line, not having been able to see you in my very hasty visit, to sympathize with you in your present trial, quite feeling hew real a one it is to you. I enter not only into the way this would exercise and naturally prey upon the mind in all its thoughts—"the multitude of thoughts within me," as the Spirit of God deigns to speak. It is a serious trial to the father of a family, occupied as you are, to be deprived of sight. When the outward trial of being thus rendered comparatively helpless, brings all the heart into exercise, the subjection to God's will, the humbling ourselves under His mighty hand and contentment with whatever lot He may assign us—and besides the question of an humbled will, there often arise doubts practically of His love, an impugning of His wisdom and almost a preference to be out of His hands, what Elihu calls a choosing iniquity rather than affliction. I do not say that this has been produced in you at all. I speak of the trial and temptation when such a case arises, and I speak of it, dear brother, that you may be helped by the remembrance of our Father's love, and turn at once to Him, and the assurance of His love. Remember that God, even our God, has better thoughts for us than rest or a portion here. He is educating us for a blessed and eternal rest, free from evil and all that would cause it, and He is bent on the blessing of His children; and moreover He is bound by His holiness to purge us suitably (though most graciously) for the place He has called us to. How often He lets Satan do this painful work, and try and sift us as Job! But His hand and will are behind it all. He gives His saints up to Satan's hand to a certain point, but only so far as to bring the heart fully to a bearing before Himself, and enter into deep questions with it, breaking down its pride. But not only was the tempter absolutely limited in what he was to do to Job, but it was the Lord who first proposed his case to Satan. He had His own end in it, as we see: Job gets into blessing with a knowledge of himself and of God, incomparably beyond what he had before. In all these cases, therefore, though Satan may sift and try us by a thousand trials without and thoughts within, our business is to think on His hand and love who originates it all as to the ultimate purpose. By its being the enemy the soul is sifted in it, tempted to murmur. God could not do that: and what flesh is, is fully brought out to us, and there is a giving up of self, which enables us infinitely better to appreciate God.
Be assured then of His love. "Tribulation worketh patience: and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." But for this we should murmur and complain—think God in spirit, if not in judgment, hard and wrong. With the sense of His love we are more than conquerors: none of these things separate us from it. May we know that it flows from love, a love we have known by His not sparing Jesus, and by every step of His life in a world of evil. A Jehovah of Israel stood engaged to bless, and punish in government, most patient, no doubt, but still in government, which manifested outwardly the sense He had of such and such conduct. But the Father stands engaged in much deeper work. He keeps us in His own name as a holy Father, and thus deals with us according to that which, as such a Father, He would work in our souls. For such a blessing He is bringing His children in inward life to Himself. Alas, how much there is often to be done in us! Do not faint therefore, dear brother, if a rebuke is come thus. He speaks to you as a Father (and what a Father!) to a child ‒ chastening whom He loves. Trust His love; trust it for yourself, for your family, for everything ‒ be assured nothing escapes Him: and you will find in the end that it is not an ungracious act He has done. Let the thought of grace and of His perfect love come in between you and all your thoughts, and you will find His hand sweet though it smite you, and Christ your eternal portion sweet in a way you never knew before, The first feeling may be merely bowing to His hand and wilt the next, the sweet recognition of His band of love; and then, in a heart weaned from other things, a capacity to discover the excellency and enjoy the grace of Christ, which will make you bless the day the Lord sent it you. Be assured His love makes no mistakes with us. It is certain and infinite. We know it, poor wretched sinners as we are, by the gift of Jesus. And oh! what is our eternal portion in grace ‒ yea, glory with Him ‒ compared with wearying troubles here below? Better suffer in a world of sin. The manner of it must be such as makes us feel a good deal, or it would be no use.
May your soul be kept in peace. The Lord be with you, and work His whole work of inward blessing with this trial for eternal joy.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.
[Date unknown.]

Gethsemane and the Cross; the Path of Christ in the Gospels

I have long been thinking of writing to you, and anxious to do it; when I tell you that I disposed last week of above fifty letters, you will not be surprised that I have not accomplished it. But I had a good time in Dublin.... At Belfast we have had very good meetings—except Lord's day, readings morning and evening, and good attendance, and interest, and I have got a little acquainted with them. This is all I have as yet been able to do in Ireland, but only a fortnight there; there is encouragement in the work....
I find daily the gospels more and more precious, I mean what Christ is in them. There is a perfection in His path there is nothing like; indeed, we learn what perfection is by it. The scene of Gethsemane in Matthew, where He was to suffer all as a victim, has rested on my spirit with astonishing power. I gave the elements of it in, for that is all one can do.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
January, 1874.

Gethsemane and the Cross; the Path of Christ in the Gospels

At the present moment the Spirit of God is evidently working in His grace. It is sweet to think that it is He who keeps doors open, and that if He does so none can shut them. Evil is progressing rapidly, whether it be superstition or unbelief. There is shamelessness on the one hand, superficiality and want of any fixed principle on the other. "Truth," as Isaiah says, "has fallen in the street"; but at the same time there is a great activity of the Spirit of God underneath all external forms, and everything points to the Lord's coming. Old things, everything established, is crumbling, is powerless....
In fact, from Luke 9:51 to 18: 34, the Lord is on His way to Jerusalem. The story of blind Bartimæus forms in the three synoptic gospels the beginning of the last days at Jerusalem. Now this journey is interrupted by discourses, which all relate, however, to the introduction of the new system, and the setting aside of the old order of things. Luke introduces the new order, the things in which we find ourselves, rather than the kingdom to come.... For my part I often go back to the gospels in order to study the precious Savior Himself. They are full of the richest instruction. I have much enjoyed Matthew and Mark all this time. The Gethsemane of Matthew has just now interested me deeply: Jesus a victim without human resource; man completely fails Him. See how He turns from the deep anguish of His prayer to His disciples who were sleeping. His gentleness betrays no other emotion than love for them. What calmness! The soul which at the very moment was trembling with agony at the thought of the cup which He had to drink, shows only the gentleness which finds an excuse for His poor disciples, while reproaching Peter with a tenderness sweeter than praise. But I stop....
January 7th, 1874.

Cooperation in Evangelizing

I was very glad to hear of your getting on so happily in New Zealand. The circumstances there call for wise and holy walk in all concerned in the work. I suppose you are more occupied with evangelizing than with church matters, but it was just this that dragged down our dear brother-into co-operation with what now he sorrows over, and from which he has with so much faithfulness and self-judgment, in grace, got free. The danger is to connect the gospel with what dishonors Christ. I see they have now at-determined not to receive commendatory letters from Bethesda. This is well, and so far is honestly caring for the Lord's glory; but a principle has been evolved through this question, whether the church (an assembly) is bound to maintain the truth, is defiled itself if it allows defilement, and whether if persons continue in communion with those who deliberately receive such, they are not thereby themselves unfaithful. Are we not to keep ourselves pure? Thus a person comes to-from B. and he will not break with it. They do not take B.'s letter in his favor, but they receive him who is morally one of the givers of the letter, and partaker of the evil which makes them refuse the letter. Where is the consistency of this? I have no unkindly feeling against B. as such, but I am bound, surrounded by a form of godliness denying the power, to keep myself pure. Is a gathering in the unity of the Spirit faithful in its testimony to Christ and the holiness of Christ's claim upon it? I desire the largest, fullest charity to every member of Christ's body, but it is not charity to acquiesce in sin in their walk, but the contrary. I must keep my own walk pure and faithful to Christ. I should in your place not occupy myself directly with it; but do not, in any wise, mix the gospel and your ministry with what is not faithful to Christ. It is unfaithfulness in ourselves, and helps on unfaithfulness as to Christ in others. The way they are gone down in England in every respect is frightful, though I doubt not at B. itself there are many dear saints.
In Ireland, especially in Dublin, there is considerable blessing and increase. A number of small gatherings, sprung up in various places, need care and some quiet godly person, able to edify, to go amongst them. As to numbers, they increase everywhere as a general rule. The Lord be abundantly with you, and keep you very near Himself. Letters are so long going and coming that much may be changed before this reaches you, but not in the truth of the word. Keep close to Christ in your own path and all will be well, and in fellowship with those that call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart.
Affectionately yours in Him.

Bethesda and Principles; Dissolution on All Sides; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; the Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

Very dear brother,—It is indeed a great blessing to find ourselves tranquil in the midst of the agitation which reigns. Nearly fifty years ago I remarked that, when speaking of shaking the heavens and the earth (Heb. 12:26), Paul says, "he hath promised." I, a conservative by birth, by education and by mind; a Protestant in Ireland into the bargain; I had been moved to the very depths of my soul on seeing that everything was going to be shaken. The testimony of God made me see and feel that all should be shaken, but... that we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken Only we need that spirituality which detaches from the world, and attaches to the invisible things, in order to be free from the sorrow which the thought gives, that all the surroundings of our ordinary life, with all its associations of ideas, are to be overturned. If I live in heaven, if my surroundings are there, my citizenship, if I am waiting for the Lord, instead of everything for ma being shaken, all can only be perfected in glory; but in so far as we cling to what is earthly, the shaking, the uprooting of that which is second nature, is painful A tree lives from its roots. How upset I have seen some of your old Genevese, when the fortifications, that had been raised to repel the attacks of the Bishop and Duke of Savoy, were destroyed! If was no longer their old Geneva; the town was improved and enlarged, without doubt, yet it was not their Geneva. But the bulwarks, the wall of the heavenly city will not be removed. This is a great consolation; but, as I have already said, it supposes the heart to be there. For my part, I am perfectly quiet.
Now all institutions are being assaulted, if they are not already thrown down; and the great whore, without strength unless given to it by the beast, loudly proclaims her intention to ride upon the beast. Here, as well as elsewhere, these men proclaim it aloud. It is a plot, well organized at Rome, and systematically carried out. But if the floods rise, the Lord is above the flood, mightier than the noise of many waters. They rise, and plot their own ruin, even in this world, for judgment is coming But our kingdom is in nowise affected, it is beyond it all, and the Lord whom we serve is above all. Besides, what peace do we not find in communion with the Father and the Son!
We do not sufficiently see that the things which are not seen are revealed to us. That which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit," communicated by words which the Holy Ghost has taught; and, lastly, these things are discerned by the Spirit. These are the three steps in the knowledge of divine things. Then, also, he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father.
February 5th, 1874.

Counsel as to Boys; Converted Children and the Lord's Table

Dear brother -,
I may possibly see you yet again. It will be a great joy to me; I am going to the south of France to attend a conference, and, God willing, I must visit Milan and Switzerland. But those visits will be very short.
With regard to converted children, my conviction entirely agrees with that of some trusted brethren I have consulted. First, one should be quite clear as to the conversion of the child, because children are without hypocrisy; so sensitive are they, and subject to the influence of impressions, that they sincerely believe they feel all, and do indeed feel what is at work around them. But if they have been actually and apparently converted, we should by no means persuade them to break bread. Let that arise naturally in their hearth, and if they desire to do so, ascertain if they are capable—of course, as a child—of discerning and acknowledging in it the body of the Lord; not to drive them away, but that they may do it with spiritual insight and true faith and understanding. It is not to be expected of them that they should explain everything like theologians, but that they should understand it is with you a matter of faith from the heart, and realization of the broken body. If they are actually in the care of believing parents, there is not so much danger. If they have much intercourse with the world, it is well to be assured of their firmness. One must remember that they have not yet been tempted and tested by the allurements of the world; and there lies the danger, supposing that they are really in Christ. It often happens that what they have longed for while subject to influence exercised over them without feeling the check, becomes subsequently a hateful check and nothing else, and they abandon what later on perhaps they would have longed for. Hence the importance of that of which I have already spoken—that they should be in the company of christian parents, by whom they may, as time goes on, be guarded and brought up before the Lord, that they may be cared for in a christian way. Invariably so soon as they are in active life, the world and lusts come in, besides the hope of a future in the world, to tempt them. But if the work is deep, conscience secures their apprehension of the Lord's supper, especially if the parents are faithful and the children are accustomed to care of every kind. Or if there is proved faithfulness in the child, then nothing hinders their breaking bread. It is by no means a question of right, but of that which is altogether best for those that according to the will of God are under the government of others.
This is what has occurred to me in the attempt to reply to your letter. May God Himself lead and guide brethren in this respect, and in their dealings with the lambs of the Good Shepherd. And may they feel that it is a common care for all, and may they be of one heart about this matter. Greet all affectionately.
Your attached brother.
Paris, en route

Counsel as to Boys; Work in Italy

I am very glad that your dear boy is getting on so well, and still more that he is simple under it, and thank you for letting me know. I do trust the Lord may keep him, but you may (and they) be assured of my unfeigned interest in them. It is said the child is father to the man: this is true as to certain faculties, but in many reflective and working qualities it is not the case; they are hidden, and come out by being called on, so that a clever boy is not always a distinguished man. Acquiring may come early, but the reflective use of what is acquired comes later. It is said the little niggers get beyond the whites till fourteen, and then drop back behind them. I do not say your dear boy is a nigger even in faculties, but only you must not count even humanly that matured age will eclipse his competitors as a younger one does. If he work steadily, that is the point for him now and then, and I am sure that you cast yourself on the Lord for that, and for better things for them, for "one thing is needful."
Here I think there is much to encourage. It is quite the day of small things, and more a testimony to Christ and the walk that becomes His than any large winning of souls. Still there have been conversions, and decided progress among the Christians; two new meetings, and another where those laboring wait as unwilling to hurry till the materials are in a christian sense fit.
The general state of things is miserable enough. For instance, at Rome, the Baptists, who made such a noise about-, an interesting case, and who are in the front there, have forty inscribed on their list; it is well if they have ten at their meeting. But the worst is the little regard to morality. It is a people thoroughly demoralized, and money everything, and when evangelists are paid they are often what they ought not to be. The stricter discipline of brethren is here a resource for the heart and conscience.
As to my Italian, I was plunged into a conference the day of my arrival, but though I do not undertake to preach, I am pretty much at my ease in explaining a chapter, now that a few days have rubbed up little previous knowledge of it. There are several very nice brethren, and there is a great deal, as I have said, to encourage, though the work be very small in appearance. I am most thankful to hear-is at peace. I trust he may rest wholly in Christ.
Your affectionate brother in Him.
Milan, February 23rd, 1874.

Excitement in Religious Work; Moody's Work; Revivals; J.G. Bellett; Modern Evangelization

I have read R.'s account of what is going on in Edinburgh. I rejoice, am bound to rejoice, in every soul converted—must do so—and saved forever. Nor do I doubt Moody's earnestness, for I know the man well. I see too that God is using extraordinary means to awaken His sleeping saints, and the different systems are so steeped in darkness, that it is only by such means they can be roused up a little. But I am not carried away by it: as to the result of it as a whole, it will not last. If a soul is converted, it is converted, and that is a great thing, and will last, but no work it produces will last. I fully judge it will foster worldliness in saints; it will foster heresy and false doctrine. This may surprise you, but I am satisfied it is so. And beside this, the work will be superficial. I do not trust myself in my natural dislike to what is excited and dramatic in religion, but I cannot conceal from myself what I have just said. Already I notice in R.'s paper what I believe to be mischievous false doctrine, stated as if it were very good, without any comment.
My thought amounts to this: individuals may be converted; we must rejoice at it; the effect on the church of God. will be mischievous. I do not say that the disappearance of the work in the majority of souls moved should surprise us. One of four only lasted when the sower went forth to sow; but there was no false effect of a false way of doing things then. "These men are not drunken with wine as ye suppose." "Be not drunk with wine." I have always to check what my nature would like of quietness, but this does not affect my judgment of the whole scene and form of work. At Newcastle Christians (not "brethren"—they might be thought prejudiced) thought that perhaps one in twenty might stand, that is seventy-five out of fifteen hundred alleged conversions. But seventy-five souls are infinitely precious. But the effects are what I think of, and what I have also seen. I am told that Mr. M. is clearer as to grace through 's tract. It is a great mercy for him if it is so, and I thank God.
I write to you because your report of the wonderful awakening reached me, on reaching Dublin after a tour a little round. I trust many souls may be really converted and stand fast in the Lord.

Moody's Work; Revivals; What the Testimony of the Lord Is

The question as to what the testimony to be rendered is, is one of great importance—what to put out before souls; but the passage (2 Tim. 1:8) is as simple as possible. Not to be "ashamed of the testimony of the Lord" is the testimony itself—not what it was. He was not to be ashamed of bearing witness to Christ the Lord. Paul was in prison for it; Timothy was not to be ashamed because shame was put on him who had borne the witness, but to partake "of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God." Persons who live in the ease of Englishmen do not know what it is, but where Popery is rampant and liberty unknown, to be put in prison, or taken by the gendarme daunts and cows people. The world's reproach is on them. How many remained with the blessed Lord when He was taken, or with Paul even when he was? They were ashamed of the testimony of the Lord and of His prisoner—without considering what the various exigencies of the church were to give a character to this testimony. Indeed, in such cases this development has no place. The testimony reduces itself to its simplest elements—not being ashamed of Christ, set before the world in testimony....
There is good in Italy: at this moment, Satan seeks to trouble them partly by attracting publicity by the flight of a poor girl from her home by violent persecution, partly by efforts to raise the question of Bethesda among those who know of course little of the facts, when, wearied with the nothingness and even sometimes bad conduct of the paid agents, they turn to something better. But God will turn all this, through grace, into good. Only I see the devices of the enemy at the moment, but I do not distrust the Lord. There is progress, and the kind of work I feel needed, though more aggressive, may come in time....
As to the work at Edinburgh, I dare say there may have been conversions, and one must bless God for that. But Moody before he came to England denied openly all work of grace in conversion, and denounced it as diabolical in his own pulpit. I hear he has got on in this subject, that M.'s tract did him good, which is in a great measure a résumé of brethren's teaching; the author not concealing in his intercourse with others where he learned it. But some of Moody's false doctrine was taught in his public ministrations at Edinburgh, according to R. and M.'s account, which no doubt is correct, for we discussed it at Chicago, and he held it there, namely, that no man is condemned for his sins, but for not coming to the refuge—sins are all borne and put away for everybody.
I am quite satisfied that the Scotch revival will make Christians more worldly and godliness more superficial than ever where it works. It takes means and avows principles which make un-worldliness and spirituality impossible, and will make indifference to Christ's will, and to evil in the church, more powerful than ever. But then poor souls, stirred up by what was going on, and brought to hear that there was salvation, and that they needed it, may have been met by grace, and have found life and Christ, and that is joy. All the rest will, I believe, be positively evil. It has stirred up Christians, but to throw them on what is routine, not personally on Christ, and what will not really meet their need, and on working—which is all right if flowing from Him, but not as replacing Christ for peace and blessing. Next year I will tell you the rest, and shall always rejoice in every converted soul, and so will the Lord. I know the effect of the system in America and under Moody's own care. Here it is new, and may awaken.
There is blessing in Switzerland: of Italy I have spoken; the effort I have referred. to is the rousing of the enemy, but the Lord is the strongest.... The Lord has His own way of doing things. We must expect the enemy's working to oppose, and look to the Lord and His grace.
Yours ever affectionately.
March, 1874.

Work in France and Italy; Gathering of Saints Sought

I have reserved my answer, which I could not send at once, till I arrived here, as I thought you would be interested as to the Lord's work and the state of things. After leaving Ireland, which I should not have left, so full was the work on my hands, I went to the south of France, to spend a fortnight with the brethren laboring there, our ' Guelph' meeting. Besides the brethren of the locality and neighborhood, there were seventy-one, a few of them young brethren interested in, though not occupied as yet in, the work; the rest, laboring brethren from a large circuit round. We had, I trust, a very profitable fortnight, and the happiest spirit reigned amongst the brethren. We read Acts, Rom. 1 and 2 Timothy, Daniel, and the first chapter of John. In the evening, lectures, as there was a great desire to hear in the place; and we had crowded meetings, I trust with blessing and testimony to those around. At Nimes, a large town, where I thought perhaps from circumstances I might not even have gone, great numbers had to go away. One thing that has brought many to hear is the open infidelity of Protestant clergy, so that while endless questions are raised in the people's minds, serious persons are driven to have truth elsewhere.
But what a change since I was there some twenty-five years ago, just picking up here and there a soul, with a little company in a room to hear, and they uncertain. Where we had the meeting -a large village-there was no meeting, and one or two Christians at most, who have never come, save just to hear. Still I have felt there has not been the power there ought among brethren. Free churches, so called, have been formed, and though unequivocally formed of those who had not courage to break with the world, yet I feel there ought to be power with brethren to gather such, or at least, leave their consciences self-judged. It is poor work to form them on their own ground of semi-worldliness; and that is what the Free church does, but it is an evil, because it quiets their consciences. In these quarters they only subsist in imitating brethren; have the Lord's supper every Lord's day; different brethren break the bread, and there is liberty of ministry. Otherwise they could not subsist; too much light has spread, but all this is hollow work. But I think it is humbling for brethren to have it by them, for I cannot but feel that more spiritual power would have put them in their place. Their minister, for they have one, though he disdains his place as chosen pastor, said honestly before us all (he came several days to the meeting), that he had learned almost everything from brethren, but then such always spoil it: he taught the Lord's coming, but made a strange mess of it-none of them in the church's place; they never can: however, my intercourse with him was fraternal and happy so far. I spoke three times at Nimes on the Lord's coming, and there was the greatest and increasing attention. I was afterward at Marseilles and Cannes, the Lord helping and blessing. The brethren in general are getting on happily all round those parts, and in two places, where they had been in a low state, the Lord has put to His hand in blessing. Still in one corner there is need of rousing and an efficient workman. But religiously the whole state of the country is changed: there are fifty Christians for one when I first came, and therewith the National body publicly infidel; so that not merely Christians are at their wits' end, but the government have taken up the question on some petition to the Senate. The Roman Catholics say openly the Protestants are destroying themselves. The doctrine of the Lord's coming has spread everywhere astonishingly: all are aware of that; and the feeling that we are in the last days.
Here God is working evidently, but things are in more confusion than anywhere. An American Christian who, I know not how, supported several laborers, is, I hear, giving the Italians up as hopeless. He wanted to found churches, and they dread the clergy. Then you have the old Vaudois, English committees, the agents of Bethesda, the Wesleyans, all seeking to subvert Popery, and gain proselytes, meddling in the work; but with that not a few devoted men laboring with and for souls; and souls, thank God, won, for He is above all. The Italians who do their own work are after all chiefly followed. One of our brethren, an Italian, is settled here, and there is a little gathering. I came to see them, and have intercourse with some laborers interested in the truth, and who have received the Lord's coming, as indeed a good many of them have. We are to have another Swiss meeting of brethren at Geneva; one or two of them purpose coming there. I cannot speak Italian, so my work is a patient and quiet one, not public, I mean as to preaching; but I understand it, and they understand French, and so we get on -occasionally for a few an interpreter, in the brother with whom I am, and I trust the Lord is with me. It is only a visit. I have not forgotten America: the Lord willing, I shall be there this summer. I admire the Lord's goodness in helping me on even here, when I knew not the language....
Ever beloved brother, affectionately yours.
April 5th, 1874.

Christianity Working by What It Brings; Large Heart in the Narrow Path; Our Present Path; Patience; Saints Identified With God's Glory

Though I have delayed answering your letter, it was not through want of interest, but not only was I occupied rather beyond my force, but knowing by yours that you were gone to -, I knew you would not receive mine till your return. But my mind and heart have been occupied with your work, and I trust in a measure before God, for I saw that the difficulties of the work began to come on for you. This is always so. It is His will that we should be thus exercised. The first sign and constant sign in all the others of an apostle is patience. We are "strengthened with all might according to his glorious power unto all patience," and then the rest of the verse as to others who seem obstacles, and ourselves with God—" and longsuffering with joyfulness." This longsuffering is of all moment. But we must be near God to be able to be large-hearted and firmly decided at the same time. The secret is to identify God's glory, and His people; this would have led Moses to wish himself cut off for them with God, and cut them off when down with them. He puts His tabernacle far off from the camp, very far off; but while Joshua always remained there, he went into the camp for the people. We cannot be too far from the camp, which is going into utter ruin visibly. What it required simple faith in the word to see fifty years ago, now stares people in the face; but Paul could declare the wrath come upon the Jews to the uttermost, on account of their state, contrary to all men, and not pleasing God, yet have great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart for them. I say all this because I know that there is a kind of opposition very trying to the spirit, God has made me a lonely person; I never expect to find help in what is not out and out for Christ only, so that I am less disappointed, and go on my way looking for what God will give. Christianity works by what it brings, not by what it finds....
The more we go on, the more we shall find that most Christians will not follow. They do not give up Christ, but have not faith to go right on in the path He would. The christian world looks for great results. It is not the time. In the midst of the evil surrounding, the first point is to have what is true and solid, especially to begin thus. In a closing dispensation this is specially the case. This was the Savior's work. I do not know if I ever told you how Jer. 15 acted on me at the beginning. Sometimes he represents Jerusalem beloved of the Lord, as the church is: then its state is before him, and he feels all its evil, yet declares he stood in the gap for it; and in the latter part of verse 19 gets his special directions from the Lord how he is to be His mouth; they were moreover to return to him, not he to them. With this we have the gospel to sinners, but in the professing world this is our path. Do not expect others to go with you who have not under God counted the cost, or rather, been directly moved by Him, but expect Him to work by the truth and grace you bring. There will be first last and last first; but He will never fail us—the feet I always say in the strait path, the heart as large as you can. But, dear brother, if disappointed in some, the doors being open, as you say, you have only to thank God and take courage. How thankful I was to get your letter, and know that the doors were thus open, I need not say. I blessed God with all my heart. For indeed you have much to thank Him for. To you the state of the church around is more as a new thing pressing on you. I am afraid of taking it sometimes too quietly, too much for granted, yet God knows I laid it to heart when that Jer. 15 took all its effect upon me, and I have labored on these fifty years (save two or three) in the sense of it, and the gracious God has kept me hitherto. Never mind the plotting. The Lord knows it all, and if we do His will faithfully and graciously, it is His part to occupy Himself with that, and we can pray and commit it to Him. In Switzerland, where I am, the Lord has been and is blessing. Things are breaking up so fast in Europe, that it throws earnest persons on truths and a path they once despised. I have been in Italy, and there, though quietly, there is real progress, though the day of small things.... Europe greatly requires an old laborer, and particularly England, but I do not like giving up the States. Were I not seventy-four I might think of both. In Canada blessing continues. I write you all this as, far away, news of the work is always refreshing. In general, though we might be very different, it is a time of blessing...
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
April 12th. 1874.

Moral and Official Authority Contrasted With Infallibility; Woman's Place in the Work

Of course every Christian is a servant of God and of Christ. But service in every house is different, one may be a butler or a scullion boy. There is moral authority in a gift. Official authority is another thing. If I have the word in power, I shall have authority in the consciences of those to whom it is addressed. The word shows distinctly the relationship in which we stand to this moral authority: 1 Cor. 16:15, 16; 1 Thess. 5:12, 13; Heb. 13, where "they that have the rule" is the same word as "chief men" in Acts 15:22. 1 Cor. 11:5 applies to no meeting of sisters. It might be in their father's house, without any formal meeting at all, as Philip's four daughters. It refers to inspiration, not to teaching. A woman is not suffered to teach.
April 28th, 1874.

Woman's Place in the Work

Two things are forbidden to women, speaking in the assembly and teaching anywhere. This makes the matter to me very simple: silence in the assembly and never teaching.
If a reading meeting be in a private house, and practically a private meeting, sisters are free. I believe that comeliness will restrain them where brethren are, but as in a private house they have the liberty of speech. The moment brethren assemble as such in the Lord's name, then their place is silence; also asking a question, may be, as you say, covert teaching. A meeting in the meeting room of the assembly takes more or less necessarily the character of a meeting of the assembly, if it is open for all to come. There are, if there be liberty, many things connected with comeliness which must guide us. "Doth not even nature itself teach you," says the apostle, and everything is beautiful in its place: the women had a lovely one in the gospels, and even in the epistles. They are found clinging round Jesus when the disciples were not, but it is their own place -devoted attachment to Him, not any public teaching. God's order brings more progress than any superiority of intelligence. As to having faith to keep silent, I believe that trusting the Lord could make them to be silent when they fancied they must speak, but it is really a matter of decorum, not of faith. "I suffer not a woman to teach," &c. I believe I have answered all your inquiry as far as I am aware, and I trust the Lord may guide you in spirit and in heart.
Yours very truly in the Lord.

Woman's Place in the Work; Doctors

I am delighted sisters should work in their own sphere: I find Tryphena and Tryphosa and Persis, and so Priscilla. I know only of teaching, and speaking in the assembly, which is forbidden them. There has been a great deal of working outside woman's place lately, which has given occasion to speak of it. But helping an ignorant woman and free intercourse with them is all quite right, or children. I hope sisters may, all they can, labor diligently in work for the Lord. It may of course slip into teaching formally, and then a woman is out of her place. If she sets up a regular lecture, even if there were only women present, I should hold it to be teaching in the apostle's sense. She is then a doctor or doctress. A female M.D. is different to you giving homeopathy, and yet in one sense you are doctoring, but you have taken no doctor's place, and the difference is very intelligible. The quiet communication of the gospel, or even conversation with men, if in a natural, seemly communication, is all quite right.
[Date unknown.]

Sisters in Isolation Breaking Bread; Woman's Place in the Work

M. M. asked me from you how far sisters might break bread together in a place where there are no brethren. With regard to our position in Christ, it is clear that there is neither male nor female, but we are all one. But upon this earth, there is a certain order which becomes the house of God, as it is found in the word. So I do not believe there is anything wanting in the validity of the Lord's supper, if sisters take it together, but evidently it is an exceptional case. Thus if christian women were in a desert island, I do not see why they should not enjoy sometimes the Lord's supper. You are rather so, as far as isolation is concerned, but not concerning the world with which you are surrounded. Thus, I think you cannot do better than what you are doing, if I have understood M. rightly, that is, not to take it regularly. It would soon become a kind of testimony of an unnatural character; but taking it from time to time, when you feel the want of it for yourselves. It is still a more private act when not done as a regular thing like an assembly, but only for the want of your souls, and you would not go out of your place.
Be then of good courage, dear Mrs., as also the sisters that are with you. The Lord is with you, as with others outwardly more favored. I have often seen isolated souls, if they kept close to the Lord, making more progress than those who enjoyed greater spiritual advantages. The latter thought that all that they enjoyed was of their faith, when it was not, whilst what one possesses alone, at least one possesses with God; and in reading the word with some helps given to aid you, the grace of the Lord gives the best food and true teaching, for He is full of grace and always faithful. Count on Him and look to Him, and all will be well. Soon we shall see Him. Peace be with you from Him. Salute the sisters from me, although I do not know them.
Your devoted servant in Christ.

Isolation; Woman's Place in the Work

In Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, so that abstractedly the prayers of and communion amongst sisters is in itself as valid as amongst brethren, and if in their right place He would be in the midst of two or three sisters as of two or three brethren.
But there is an order in the house of God, as to which we have passages in scripture, showing there is a difference. Thus the woman's head was to be covered when under the power of the Spirit. Men were to pray everywhere: women adorned with modest apparel, etc. Women were to keep silence in the assembly. This last passage shows that an assembly composed of women is not contemplated in scripture. I do not think if three women were cast upon a desert island, or in similar circumstances, it would preclude them forever from taking the Lord's supper; but it is evidently an extreme and exceptional act to be resorted to only in an extreme case, and acknowledging the special character of it, and relinquishing when not compelled to do it, and done with the utmost privacy if done at all, because there is no other means possible of enjoying the privilege. As a matter of order, it would annul itself (if done, save as a resource, where it was otherwise impossible) with discipline exercised by sisters, or by some other persons outside. I do not think scripture would recognize it as an assembly, so that while I should not dispute the fact that the Lord's supper is partaken of, except in the impossibility of doing it in any other way it would not be according to the order of God's house. Where other means of doing it exist, it is clearly disorder, because such sisters would be doing it apart from the assembly.
[Date unknown.]

Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Sources of Joy

Yes, doubtless, the loss of your dear daughter will be a sorrowful blow and a great gap in your family: but in one way or another I have for a long time accustomed myself to death in Christ; and as far as Christians are concerned, to my mind it comes with smiles-in itself a terrible thing, I fully own, but now a gain. God will have us in the perfect light. For Christ, because of us, the way of life was through death. It is not necessarily so for us, because death is completely overcome; but Christ, who has overcome, is there with us, if we have to take that way to get out of evil and defilement, to enter into the light and the perfect joy of His presence. If there is something that has not been settled with God, there may be a painful moment; for the soul must respond to the joy which is prepared for us. But in itself death is only the unclothing of that which is mortal, and the passing of the soul into the light, into the presence of Jesus. One leaves that which is defiled and in disorder; what a joy that is! Later on, the body will be found again in power and in incorruptible and immortal glory: we have but to wait a little while.
Salute with much affection all your children. I feel truly for them the loss that they are about to sustain. Your dear daughter would have been the joy of any family where she might have been found; she is going to be the joy of that of Christ, for we are entitled to say this. It is a comfort for those who are still journeying here below. God prepares us for heaven by cutting little by little the ties that still attach us, as children of Adam, to earth. Christ takes the place of everything; and thus all goes on well, and for the better. May God deign to bless to the whole family this so real sorrow of heart, in which God ever good has mingled with the bitterness of the cup so much of that which is compassionately sparing and gracious.
I send this short letter for your daughter; I have been afraid it might be too long; but I feel sure that through the goodness of God she will enjoy this little word, reading it at leisure and when her strength allows of it. She will think of Christ and be refreshed. May God bless you, and make you feel His goodness even in this loss.
Dear M., I would have much liked to see you once down here before your departure: but He who directs all things with perfect love has ordered it otherwise. You go to heaven before me. Death is not an accident that happens without the will of God; it has no more dominion over us; the risen One holds the keys of it. How immensely blessed to know that He has won a complete and final victory over death and over all that was against us, so that there is entire deliverance! We are delivered, save as to the body, out of the scene where evil has its power, and transported where the brightness of God's countenance ever shines in love, where there is light and love only, where God fills the scene according to the favor that He bears to Christ as the One who has glorified Him in accomplishing redemption, according to the perfections which were shown forth through that work. There was a needs be for God to be manifested in these perfections in answer to the work of Christ; it was due that He should respond to the work of Christ in love, in glory, in the expression of the delight that He found in it. The name of His God and Father in love was unfolded in all its splendor; "Thou hest heard me from the horns of the unicorns." He was "raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father." He then declares that name to His brethren, and Christ praises Him in the midst of the congregation. This is where I wanted to bring you by these remarks that might otherwise appear somewhat abstract. All this favor shines upon you: what God has been for Christ as man, because Christ glorified God as regards sin that dishonored Him—what God has been in bringing Christ into His presence in glory—that He is for you, who are the fruit of the travail of His soul. Think of that, dear sister. Moreover, Christ has become infinitely dear to us because of what He has done for us. He gave Himself because He loved unboundedly. There is nothing in Christ that is not yours; He cannot give more than Himself, and what a gift that is!
I wrote to you, some time ago, that it is in thinking of Him- of Himself—that one has joy. You are not a joyful Christian. I understand it, I know it: there is discipline in that. Christ has not had the place that He ought to have had in your soul. You see, I hide nothing from you. But that is not all: you have not confidence enough in His grace. Own all that might be a cloud between your soul and His love. You do it I know; but the grace, the deep perfect love of Jesus, the love which is above all our faults, and gave itself for all our sins, the love which took occasion of our very weaknesses to show its own perfection—of it you do not think enough. That love divine but also personal of the Savior will fill your heart; Jesus will fill it; and you will then be not only in peace but joyful. I attach more importance to peace than to joy. I should wish to see you habitually in a joy more deep than demonstrative; but if Jesus is in the bottom of your heart, that Jesus who has blotted out all trace of evil in us, in whom we live before God, then your joy will be deep. May it be so. Oh! that your heart may be filled with Jesus Himself, and with His love, and with the sense of His grace. He has saved you, He has washed you, He has become your life, in order that you may enjoy God. What could you have more than Himself? You can see His goodness in the peace that He gives you and in the way in which He surrounds you with such care and affection.
For me, it is only a member of the family going a little before where the whole family will soon. dwell. Anywhere else one is only en passage. Soon all will be over for us. How blessed,when every trace of that which has kept us bound in some way or other to this world of misery and evil will have completely disappeared, and when we find ourselves in that light where all is perfect! Therefore trust yourself to His love. I repeat, that He has completely overcome all that is between us and the pure light, as He has perfectly blotted out in us all that did not suit that light. How good He is! What grace! And you are going to be with Him! How blessed! Rejoice therefore, dear sister; soon we shall all be there. Yet a little labor, and all will be over in the pure glory and in love. You go before us, and in heaven you will have to wait, while the others wait and fulfill their task upon earth. God be with you. May the presence of that faithful and all good Jesus sustain you and rejoice your heart. I trust that such a long letter will not have tired you. I could say many more things yet to you: soon you will know them better than I do; it is a great cause of joy and an immense grace. Peace be unto you. I ask God to bless you and that does good to one's heart.

Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Experience in View of the End

So your dear daughter is already in heaven! I thank you, dear sister, for having given me these particulars. Not only did I love her very sincerely, but I also see in her so true a picture of the work of the Spirit in connection with her whole life. When I say true, I mean that it was not feelings only, such as friends reproduce to enhance the piety of a deceased person, but just what shows a genuine work of God, such as He produces in a soul, with the real experience of that soul. That is worth much more than a few artificial flowers spread over a grave. I feel indeed that the death of your dear daughter will make a great gap in her family, for you and for all. But God disposes of all, and He does all things well. And she is going to be laid, at least her mortal remains, by her father. Well, they will be raised together. We shall not go much before one another in leaving this world; we shall all be together, blessed be God, when we are raised from the dust. With pleasure I think of that dear brother, that he will awake where there is no care and no pain. He will be near his Savior, then his daughter with him, and then all the rest, on whom the grave has closed and who have disappeared from this troubled scene.
It seems to me that there is a certain change in my way of feeling touching those who die younger perhaps than I am. There was a time when I used to say to myself, Why, it ought to be your turn, since these go. Now I have more the sense of being dead, and of seeing them file off before me to reach the Lord's presence—young or old, what matters it? And I remain here to serve, perhaps until the Lord comes, poor in service (I own), but giving my life to it, and to it alone. Immense privilege! if one only knew how to realize it, a privilege which makes us to be strangers everywhere, and that is, on the whole, a true gain even for the time being.

Dissolution on All Sides

Our part is simple; to hold close by the Lord, and to do His will; all else is loss, and disappears. With Him all is blessing, and forever, only now we have to go on by faith. It is a blessed thing, too, to be strangers where He was a stranger. Soon we shall be with Him in the house where no stranger comes—all are at home there.
I think our readings in Switzerland were blessed; several of those who were at the Nimes study were at them, and enjoyed and, I believe, profited by them greatly. We were more able to enter into the word than when at Nimes. Hearers came, too, considerably to the evening lectures. The need of something surely true and solid is felt. Everywhere it is felt that religious institutions are breaking up. In Geneva the state has abolished ordination, and names the pastors. In Neuchatel the rather larger half of the National body has left the State, all having been left by law to their own consciences. The doctrine taught, however, is as bad as elsewhere. This kind of thing is going on everywhere, and felt to be going on by those who are in these systems, but they have no faith to act, trusting God. I believe our two months' studies have been blessed. I feared when I got to Germany, my long disuse of the language would make my fitness for service more than doubtful, but when I got into the German atmosphere, it seemed to come back naturally, and many words I had forgotten came back to command. Of course I made mistakes, but not so as to in any way hinder my intercourse with the brethren, or my speaking in the assembly, for which I was thankful.
I am very thankful for the news of your last letters. It seems to me that God has especially manifested His power in Italy. Years ago I felt I could not go there to oppose what was in presence of the poor Roman Catholics, nor could I go with what was, and I laid it up with the Lord to abide His time, and if He had anything in which He could use me, He could keep it for me. I believe it is just going on right: founding in godliness, and though seemingly small in extent, it may spread hereafter, but the basis most important in such a country, is that evil be not allowed. The gracious Lord be with you.
June, 1874.

Work in Italy

Your letter reached me in Elberfeld. I have been in Italy, Switzerland; in both through mercy the work goes on well, small in Italy.... In Switzerland there is blessing. But I was there almost entirely occupied with two months' reading with laborers, as two years ago in France, which was blessed, as was this. Here there is a good deal of blessing, in some places remarkably so, but they are strong baptists, but simple-hearted. All things are so breaking up everywhere, so much infidelity, materialism, and church dissolution, that service here in Europe has a peculiar and urgent character.... But I await God's time for any service I can hope to do in it. He alone does the work-that I know, and He will watch over His own. Indeed He is working in a remarkable way.... I expect, the Lord willing, to be in America; my place even is taken, somewhat later than I thought, but I have work in England, so it is all right. The States are my object.
As to New Zealand, I wait to see the Lord's hand; were I young, I should think pretty surely of going there, but I shall be half way between seventy and eighty before I start for that country, and a year then is a long while, specially if I have anything to finish before I depart home to be no more seen, and the Lord be not come. But I find going home a sweet and happy thought, and the Lord is there. And what more can one ask save to occupy till He come, if that is to be the yet brighter way? Find out His will and do it, and all is bright. I find His word, I mean the account of Him, just now (though all is blessed and daily clearer, and Himself daily more precious) food till we get to Him. What a smash for poor-, I do not ]mow how to think of it, but we must expect nothing in this world, and all these things pass for others, and the stream flows on, and God's work goes on, and then we shall see what is—" the first-born among many brethren." Peace be with you...
A dear sister, a faithful laborer in Syria among the women, and who helped to open the door to -, has just died, but was faithful and blessed to the end.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Ssegen, Prussia,
June, 1874.

Counsel as to Boys

Only a word in reply to your letter as to your boys. It is of importance that boys growing up, though yours are somewhat young for this, should have companions: the heart grows with the body. Also it is important that they should have exercise. The important point is that their companions should be desirable ones: if they are strongly attached to such, mere companionship for games for exercise is not of much consequence—still always to be feared. If your boys have young friends enough to give zest to their walks and excursions, and any other things that are good for bodily and even mental development, it is enough, but young ones (not exactly children) must have opportunity to let their hearts out freely. It is of all importance; and salutary companionship of all moment. It is of the last importance for parents to get this through God's mercy into a right channel.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
June 25th, 1874.

Advocacy and Priesthood; Intercession of Christ

Intercession is a general term, used even of the Holy Ghost in us (Rom. 8); but priesthood (in Hebrews) is with God, for mercy and grace to help in time of need: advocacy with the Father, to restore communion when we have sinned You could not have it for sins in Hebrews, because the worshippers once purged have no more conscience of sins. This answers your three first questions save the end of the third; Why do we fall? Because it is part of the government of God to have us responsibly exercised, though not without grace sufficient for us and strength made perfect in weakness. But if we forget our weakness and dependence, we forget the grace too, and are in the way of a fall: see Peter's case, and the Lord did not ask he might not be sifted; he wanted it. The evil is not in the fall, really grievous as that is, but in the state it manifests. God may allow it that we may learn this.
Washing the feet is in connection with the advocacy—we have dirtied them. "Save," in Heb. 7:25, is securing across the difficulties and dangers on to the end, as "if the righteous scarcely [μόλις, with difficulty, across what brings ruin if [we are] not kept, as Noah, Lot] be saved."
"Able to succor," as in chapter 2:18, refers not to strength, though of course it must be there, but experimental knowledge of the opposition, difficulties, trials, which are on the road, so that He could understand, be touched with them. The priest does represent us, "appear in the presence of God for us," but that is before God, but He also obtains for us all needed grace and help, as regards the way down here. And learning our dependence, and to trust in God's faithfulness is a great thing; man would be independent, and has to learn his relationship to God, or rather know himself and God in it. This has its importance as well as being perfectly accepted.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
July, 1874.

Adventists; Advocacy and Priesthood; Feet Washing; Government of God; the Lord's Ways With Peter; Priesthood of Christ

I apprehend that both "the righteous" and "propitiation" (1 John 2:1, 2) intimate to us the double character of perfectness-actual state, and work-of Christ, as the basis on which advocacy is carried on to restore the soul. If any man sin, there is an unchangeable and accepted righteousness in Christ, and a perfect work which has been presented to God for our sins, and indeed in view of the whole world. So that neither the ground of our acceptance nor the putting away of our sins are in question for our access to God. It is a question of restoring, not of accepting the soul-both according to God's glory. Our place and cleanness for it are that in respect of which, and according to which, advocacy is carried on, and that positively and negatively.
"He" (chap. 1:9) must, I think, apply to God here, from verse 5 dealing with God in His nature. But you will find God and Christ wonderfully put together as one object in this epistle. See chapter 2:23-3:3, and other passages. It is abstract, as all these passages, and applies to saint and sinner. There is a difference between God's forgiveness in the sense of non-imputation according to Rom. 4, and governmental forgiveness-for us the Father's. Matt. 6:14, 15, as referring abstractedly to a state of soul might apply to both. But the difference is very real, because justifying forgiveness (unknown in the Old Testament) is complete once and forever, as Heb. 9; 10-"no more conscience of sins"; whereas fatherly forgiveness one may daily need. We are not exactly called to seek it, but to confess our sins and we get it. But confession applies to our starting-point also.
The Lord be with you in your work and in your soul. I trust the Lord has blessed the word round here, and cheered up the saints too by it.
Yours affectionately in the Lord.

The Subjects of Baptism; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation

Your affectionate brother in Christ.
July 1st, 1874.

The Subjects of Baptism; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

The first principle commonly stated is that of obedience. My answer to this is an absolute denial of obedience to ordinances in Christianity. It is a mischievous anti-christian principle, called "subject to ordinances," and deteriorates the whole character of a person's Christianity. As regards baptism in particular, it is perfectly certain that according to scripture it is not a matter of obedience. The proof is this; when the eunuch of Candace comes to water he asks, " What does hinder me to be baptized? " an expression, which if it were obedience, could have no place. Further, the obedience of a heathen or a Jew to a christian precept when not yet within, not yet admitted among Christians, is an absurdity contrary to the whole nature and principle of Christianity. Another case shows evidently that the notion of obedience is foreign to baptism. Peter says, "Can any man forbid water... which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Both these cases prove that it was a privilege desired or conferred, and not an act of obedience—admission amongst Christians, the act of the baptizer on behalf of the assembly, not of the -baptized. The truth is there is no command of Christ to be baptized—there was to baptize, and it could not be otherwise. Christ could not as to Christianity give a command to those without. If the man is within it is by baptism, so that there can be no command to be baptized. The importance of this is that it shows that the baptist system falsifies the whole nature of baptism. Hence the apostles were not baptized. They—the twelve, not Paul—were sent to baptize, to admit into God's house. They could not be admitted.
I am aware that Baptists plead John's baptism, but this is too gross a confession for me to dwell on it, because John's baptism had no reference to death and resurrection—nay, was the opposite to it, for it proposed to receive Christ, and, as far as it went, that He should not therefore die at all. Of course, in fact this was impossible, but then those who had received this baptism were as Christians baptized over again. (Cf. Acts 19)
The next principle asserted by those who insist on re-baptizing, is that baptism is the public confession that a man is already dead and risen again in Christ. This is entirely contrary also to scripture. Baptism is the doing the thing in sign, the declaration that it is not yet done, as far as man has to say it, or make confession, not that it is. "Arise," says Ananias, "and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord"; not to be baptized in testimony that thy sins are washed away. Again, "Buried with him in baptism." (Col. 2) "So many of us as were baptized unto Jesus Christ were baptized unto his death." And so in every case. "As many of you as have been baptized unto Christ have put on Christ." They were not baptized because they had already done it. None but those who are in principle Roman Catholics suppose that the work is done in it, but it is the sign of dying and rising again—not of being dead and risen. No sacrament is a sign or profession of what is done, but of the doing of it.
This leads me to another point—what baptism is to the being members of Christ's body. This is another unscriptural fallacy. Baptism has, even as a sign, nothing to do with the unity of the body. "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body"—not by water. The baptism of the Spirit is the seal of faith, as scripture repeatedly declares. "In whom after that ye believed ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." And if this was given, as in the case of Cornelius, they were baptized afterward to be received amongst Christians. Baptism as a sign does not go beyond death and resurrection, and hence is individual. The church does not die—has nothing to do with it: it is taken out of death in Christ, and united to a Head in heaven by the Holy Ghost; but for this Christ must be ascended there. He sends down the Holy Ghost and forms the church. (See the end of Eph. 1) Of this unity the Lord's supper is the sign, not Baptism. We are all one body, "for we are all partakers of that one loaf." But here again it is not a sign that we have eaten His flesh and drunk His blood. We do so in figure, as we are one body inasmuch as we partake.
But baptism presents the doctrine that I, a living sinner, die to sin, and arise again to be accepted in Christ's name, as alive unto God in the power of His resurrection, of that operation of God that raised Him from the dead, that this is the only way to be received before God. Hence by it we are received into the assembly on earth—the house builded on earth for a habitation of God—not into the body. In this we are looked at in scripture as seated in heavenly places in Him the Head. Hence Paul who was sent a minister of the church to complete the word of God was not sent to baptize. He accepted of course baptism as already established in the church of God, as (some Quakers excepted) I suppose every Christian does; but he had a special revelation as to the Lord's supper which is directly connected as a sign with the unity of the body. The twelve who, though the church existed, had not this mission, but had been sent forth by Christ in connection with the kingdom—though subsequently as we know empowered by the Holy Ghost after the ascension of Christ, and that the church was formed by His descent—were sent to baptize, but before the ascension though after the resurrection, and continued to receive of course into the outward public body on earth by baptism, with no examination however as to the reality of faith. But men were openly received out of heathenism or Judaism among Christians, so that it became a public profession. But this mission was not a mission for believers' baptism as it is called. They were sent to disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
I am aware that it is said, But is it not said in Mark, "He that believeth and is baptized"?—I know it is, and something more, "shall be saved." Now I do not in the least accuse Baptists of any want of honesty in suppressing this, which gives its whole sense and character to the phrase, but I do say that it does show that their views of baptism obscure entirely their perception of the force of scripture. Why do they not quote it all? Do they deny that I, or other believers who are not re-baptized according to their ideas, are saved? They dare not, nor do they desire to say so, but then why do they quote the passage? They cannot use it because of their views of baptism. To say that a man's obedience is to be added to his faith for salvation, is, save for a few extreme persons, too monstrous to be received. Whereas supposing, as it has happened to me, a Jew or a heathen is really convinced that Jesus is the Christ, and feels his own sins even, but says, 'My mother is a pious Jewess; it would kill her if I were to be baptized,' I say to him, I cannot recognize you as saved. It is not a poor obedience to an ordinance when already a Christian which is in question here, but a shrinking from being one.
It is in this sense of saving that baptism is referred to in Peter, which, though the expression be obscure, is clear enough as to the point we are upon—" the like figure whereunto baptism doth now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ"—not the form of washing, of course: it must be real. It is a matter of a good conscience by the resurrection of Christ, but baptism is the sign of this, of dying and rising again in Him, so as to be on this ground before God. Can obedience to an ordinance save us, even in figure? We are before God on the ground of death and resurrection when baptized, and received into the house to be brought up and educated in divine life. Hence Christendom, and this is to me a very serious point, is judged as Christendom, and is in point of fact, till God finally judges it, the place of the habitation of the Holy Ghost. It is said, "But if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming... the lord of that servant," etc. He stands on the same ground as to his responsibility as the one made ruler of all his goods—is spoken of as the same servant.. Baptism receives into the house. There was no other method of receiving into the house, and no one could be received but on the ground of Christ's death and resurrection.
We have seen the scriptures never speak of baptizing believers, nor any one, because they are dead and risen again in baptism. The question then is, as it is receiving grace, not man's acts or obedience, is it the mind of scripture that children should be received or not? No flesh can be presented to God, or be received, but on the ground of death and resurrection: on that scripture is clear. This is in baptism. Is it then God's mind that they should be received into the house where the Holy Ghost is, to be brought up by Him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; or left outside in the world, where the devil is prince and god? For there is this without and within, whatever confusion exists through man. Scripture is clear—" Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Men say this was being received by Christ on earth. The kingdom of heaven was only at hand, and was only set up when Christ left the earth. Further, the question arose, Is the Christian to put away his heathen wife and children as among the Jews, because that, profaning him, the children were profane? No: grace was at work, and the heathen was sanctified (not holy, no more than the Jew was profane; he was only profaned and the children profane), and the children of the heathen women among the Jews were not. They are to be received, and then as within to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, which while without they could not be. Hence they receive precepts: "Children, obey your parents, for this is well pleasing to the Lord."
Two things are added: What can the children do? and, What good does it do them? The children do nothing: grace acts towards them. No one is brought nigh by doing. Baptists may think so. Scripture speaks of grace. They are consecrated to Christ and brought to God, but as ordered with the sign of death and resurrection—the more significant because they have not yet actually sinned The good done to them is that they are brought within, into the house where the Holy Ghost dwells, to be brought up, etc. I admit there is no commandment to baptize infants, nor is there to baptize believers, and there is no commandment to be baptized at all. But the Baptist notion of baptism, and all that he grounds on it, is unscriptural And the scripture will have infants received. They that receive them receive Christ, and of such is the kingdom of heaven, and the child of a believing parent is holy. I do not doubt for a moment that children dying are received as saved into heaven. (See Matt. 18) It is monstrous to think they cannot be received by the church on earth. It is said, Why not give them the Lord's supper? Because that is the symbol of the unity of the body, and they are not of that till baptized by the Holy Ghost.
I can only give a sketch of the great principles which the word of God furnishes to my mind, and all on which the Baptist views are founded seem to me to be contradicted by it; and the truth of what the great house is shows the mischievous character of it, as well as the way in which individuals are directed to ordinances from Christ, and the confusion which diverts from true separation or godliness within to the reception out of Judaism or heathenism without. In this point of view it seems to me practically deplorable.

The Subjects of Baptism; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

The subject you refer to is one on which I so far unwillingly engage, that it is one which I feel is to be left entirely to individual consciences. If a person has never been baptized, clearly he ought to be; if he has, he cannot be again. The mere testimony—save as any honest sacrifice of self, in which sense it may be accompanied with felt blessing—is to me null, because, were I to be baptized to-morrow, no one would say I had become a Christian; they would merely say I was become a Baptist, or, at least, as it is expressed, that I saw baptism.. Ar the first, it was a further testimony that one put on Christ, and bowed to the grace of the gospel.
In the first place, I am quite clear that the whole system of Baptists is wrong in principle from beginning to end, and in their idea of the import of the act. They speak of obedience; now, obedience to ordinances is setting aside the whole spirit and character of the gospel and of Christianity itself. In all cases it is unscriptural. Baptism, moreover, is the act of him that baptizes, not of him that is baptized. He is received by it; he bows to it as the appointed way of his reception by the church; and this is what is suited to Christianity, which is grace that seeks and admits into the place of blessing—not the voluntary act of the person coming, though he is made willing: a voluntary act of obedience being the introduction of a sinner into grace, is contrary to the whole nature and spirit of Christianity, and christian thoughts in their fundamental character. Hence there is no command to be baptized, but to go and baptize; and this marked in a very signal manner, as the twelve apostles never were baptized with christian baptism (with John's only, which has nothing to do with the matter), because, being an act of admission, they were sent to admit. Had it been one of obedience to a command, surely they would have been the first to do it; and who was, then, to baptize them? This chews its real character most clearly.
The whole adult baptism view falls before my mind, as utterly unscriptural and ill founded—scripture, moreover, in practice, never speaking of a testimony, but of a benefit conferred: " What doth hinder me to be baptized?" (the following verse, I apprehend, is not authentic scripture, though I doubt not in such a case very right, but not the then way of dealing, however), and "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Hence the question as to children is entirely changed. It is a simple question of who is to be received. All the arguments from the mere incapacity of the infant, have no weight. It is a question of grace, and whether the infant is to be brought into the place where the Holy Ghost dwells, or left in the world where Satan governs.
But before I turn to this—the one point with me—I would notice another principle of Baptists which is wholly false—that baptism is the expression of the state in which the individual already is. This, I apprehend, is wholly unscriptural. It is an external reception, it is true; but in its meaning, it is the reception or entrance, not the expression of a previous one. The believer is dead and risen with Christ; the reality of this is, of course, by living faith; but as to the further act, "as many of you as have been baptized unto Christ have put on Christ"—not witnessed our having previously put Him on: we have been baptized (it is really unto, and so always) into His death—not because we were there before: we are "buried with him by baptism into death"—" wherein, also, we are risen with him." Baptism signifies, undoubtedly, death and resurrection, but it is then and there, as to the meaning of the form, we die and rise again. We enter into the church by dying and rising again. We enter into the outward visible body by that ordinance, which signifies our dying and rising again.
Now, as to the reception of children, Matt. 18 seems to me to have great force. The question is, Are children to be received by Christ? Is the kingdom of such? I am aware that He is giving them as the pattern of our spirit, but there was an actual infant there of whom He was speaking; and if it were a saintly person, who was as humble as a child, there would be no sense in saying, "it was not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish, for their angels," etc. That is, it is the infant. This being, I think, clear, the passage becomes remarkable—" Of such is the kingdom." They are spoken of as in the way of perishing, but that they are not to be rejected, because, as the shepherd saves a lost sheep, Christ is come to save that which was lost. (Matt. 18:11-14.) I refer to this, as defining the character of the persons admissible into the kingdom. As to the manner of admission, all are agreed. But there is something much more positive than this. If a Jew married a Gentile, the wife was to be sent away and the children were to be rejected as "unclean," and not admitted into the house of God by circumcision. This question arose when one parent was converted, and instead of the Jew being relatively profaned, though still a Jew, so that his child was unclean, the heathen or Jew was relatively sanctified, so that the child was holy—not intrinsically, of course, but relatively, so that he would be received among the people—" else were your children unclean, but now are they holy." People have talked of their being legitimate, but this has nothing to do with it: the Jewish principle brought out in Nehemiah is perfectly.clear. It is said, Why then not give them the Lord's supper? The Lord's supper is symbolic of the unity of the body, and it is by one Spirit we are baptized into one body; hence, I apprehend, it is he who is made really partaker of the Holy Ghost who can be properly partaker of the Lord's supper. Now, I admit that there is no command for infants to be baptized: it would suppose a moral effect. But there is none for adults—there is to the apostles, to go and baptize the nations they had brought into discipleship: and households are spoken of in scripture. We know it was the habit and thought of those sent. I am told that Christianity is the opposite of this in its nature. This is true as regards individual salvation. But I do not think introduction into "the house" the same thing as that. If one parent be converted, they are, it seems to me, entitled to that, and unjustly deprived of it, if it is refused to them. This thought was soon lost, and individual salvation connected with it and the new birth.
As regards Acts 2, I think the passage is of moment as confirming the habits of Jewish thinking; for the Gentiles were in as those "afar off," by sovereign grace, as fax as God called them. But it did inspire the hopes of the Jews, that their children would partake of the benefit, and such was their thought. It is true, they rejected, as a nation, this testimony of the Holy Ghost, but I do not think that the remnant who did receive it would have let go the privilege as regards admission to the house in which the Holy Ghost dwelt; the result would show itself independent of ordinances, where the operation of the Holy Ghost was manifest, and the liberty and understanding He gives to members of the body there; then they would enjoy the privileges belonging to members and to the unity of the body, according to the intelligence of faith, brought up, meanwhile, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and the precepts of the house addressed to them in their place. When the call of the Gentiles came in a new shape with Paul, and the unity of the body was made the basis of his ministry, nothing was professedly changed, and he preached still the kingdom, and said to the Jews still, "unto you first"; but while having people and households baptized, he speaks less of it and attaches less importance to it: the making it a matter of obedience never crosses his thoughts. Such I believe to be the true scriptural history of this subject.
But if any one thinks that he ought to be baptized, or that he has not been, surely he ought, or he will have his conscience ill at ease about it, and that is evil, no matter what the subject is, only he would do well to search the mind of God first. Obedience to an ordinance is, I am satisfied, wrong; and there is no command for it in scripture. It is not the act of the baptized nor a public testimony. All this I believe to be most unscriptural, and in its principles unchristian, though often most honestly done.

The Subjects of Baptism; Communion With God; Obedience to an Unscriptural Ordinance; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances

I regret the occupation of minds with baptism, and pressing it on others as is done. It is not Christ nor the church, but ordinances; and I judge it is a very great evil, always injuring the person who is so occupied. The person who spoke to you probably had been baptized as a child, and only meant that he had not been immersed as an adult. The ground they take, I am more than ever assured from scripture, is wholly false.
As to christening, it is the word which most truly expresses what baptism is—being made, as to outward position, a Christian. This, which your baptism as an infant did, no present immersion could possibly do. There would be no public introduction to Christendom of a man born of Adam—no becoming a Christian by profession. There would be what they call obedience, which is in the teeth of scripture, and the reputation of what they call "seeing baptism," or adopting Baptist views, which are every way false—and that is all. To a scriptural judgment you cannot be baptized now, because you have been; for I affirm, according to scripture, baptism is just christening—that is, the introduction into Christianity, and nothing else. Every other view of it is unscriptural and false. I fear much the falsifying the position and testimony of brethren by the way some press it. It is simply confounding the house and the public profession with the unity of the body of Christ. The public body exists, corrupted, no doubt, but exists, and to form it again by baptism is all false; it exists by baptism: and we are called to maintain the unity of the body, of which the Lord's supper is the sign (not baptism); to follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. A testimony by baptism I should consider a false testimony, and should take no part in. If a person never had been baptized, it is irregular, and should be remedied, and if a person falsely fancies he has not, I respect his conscience; but his making a point of it tends always to disunion, not unity; and if this testimony were practically founded on it, I should leave it as a false one. Still, I have never meddled, nor should, with those who think they have not been and ought to be baptized, nor make their ignorance a reason for troubling them, as they trouble others by what I am perfectly satisfied is only ignorance. I am as satisfied as that I am sitting here writing, that all their views of baptism are utterly false and unscriptural. I repeat, the only true sense of baptism is what is expressed in the word christening. The great point now is maintaining the unity of the body separate from evil; with this, baptism has nothing to do. It is either public Christendom or christening which we have, or the badge of a sect.
What we have to look for is not subjection to ordinances... but spiritual mindedness (not sinking, as you say, into the quiet possession of mighty truths without the power of them) and unity of those who love the Lord. Baptism, so-called, helps neither, but the contrary.... I only add, that your baptism, though in the midst of confusion; was bona fide, the same as your child's. I was exercised in the same way; but I felt I was introduced, and meant to be introduced in good faith, into the church as a public profession in the world, and this is what baptism is—I was christened. The state of individuals in their souls has nothing to do with it. It is not communion in the unity of the body, which is by the Holy Ghost. I admit the same confusion in mere expression of the service, not of the baptism, that there is among Baptists; but the name christening just shows the justness of the appreciation of the rite and the true purpose of those concerned in it. In this the Establishment is right; the Baptists, according to scripture, clearly wrong.
The Lord bless you and your home. Seek, dear brother, that not the freshness of a soul just out of prison, but the deep and living power of a soul in constancy of communion with God, may be found in you, and pray for me and fellow-saints that it may be so. The Lord is working remarkably here; not now, in adding outwardly, but what I think more of, giving His word power in souls.

The Subjects of Baptism; Obedience to an Unscriptural Ordinance; Christians Not Subject to Ordinances; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

The first thing I must do is to set the principle of baptism on its right grounds. It is not obedience: obedience to an ordinance is unchristian ground altogether. Baptists have gone so far as to allege the Lord's words, "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." It is inconceivable that Christians should speak so—fulfilling righteousness by ordinances! It is Galatian doctrine—a denial of the first principles of truth for a sinner. Further, if John's baptism had been submitted to, it is nothing as regards christian baptism. The twelve at Ephesus (Acts 19) were baptized as Christians after that. But more particularly, a command there was to baptize, not to be baptized; but this was not even to baptize believers, but to disciple the nations, baptizing them—a commission which supposes Jerusalem and the Jews received—a commission which St. Paul declares was not given to him, who was appointed minister of the church. Not only so, but when we read how it was administered, we find the directest evidence that it was not a matter of obedience but of according a privilege—entrance into the professed external assembly of God on the earth. "What does hinder me to be baptized?" says the officer of Candace, a question which precludes the thought of obedience, and speaks of an admission which he counted a privilege: so with Cornelius—"Can any forbid water that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? " Hence, the first Christians gathered by the Lord during His life on earth (the disciples) who were baptized with the Holy Ghost, were never baptized: they were sent to baptize, and did. Paul was baptized, because he was received like any other. Thus the testimony is complete from holy scripture as to its character.
Next comes the question, Into what were they received? Not into the unity of the body, for then the twelve would not have been in it, nor is there ever a hint in scripture of baptism being into the unity of the body. It is a symbol of death and resurrection (for which reason John Baptist’s baptism was nothing for Christianity as such), the admission into the assembly gathered on the earth to the name of Christ; people were baptized to (never into) something—as to Moses (not into Moses)—it is the same word: so to Christ (not into Christ), and to His death (not into, here, either); and thus were individuals held figuratively to be on the professed ground of resurrection; but this was not the unity of the body; that was a real and essential thing, and came by another kind of baptism. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body," not by water. The ordinance that symbolizes this is the Lord's supper, not baptism: for we are all one body, inasmuch as "we are all partakers of that one loaf." The baptism of the Spirit, not baptism by water, is that by which we are baptized into the unity of the body.
Further, it is alleged that these ordinances are signs of the state of him who partakes of them—not of an object of his faith. This is entirely contrary to scripture. We are baptized to Christ's death and raised in baptism—not baptized because we are dead and risen. It is objective: what is represented in baptism? I am figuratively buried into death and rise again, not as a witness that I am. The principle is false and mischievous. "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins," not because faith has washed away. It is the outward public sign of that whereto Christ's death and resurrection are available, a witness of that—not that the person has availed himself of them: that may or may not be true. To receive of the Lord's supper, I do not go because I have remembered Christ's death, or have fed upon Him, but to remember Him there.
No one can read the statements of scripture and not see these statements of the Baptists are wholly contradicted by those of scripture. It remains, then, to inquire, who may be outwardly received into the public assembly of God on earth by men; God alone Himself in Christ being He who unites to the body. Now, when I turn to scripture, I find, when children were brought to Jesus (Matt. 19:14), that His reply to His objecting disciples is, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Now, I am told that this was merely the gracious kindness of Jesus then, and does not refer to our receiving them now, or merely to personal gracious reception now. The answer is evident. The kingdom of heaven was not set up then, but only at hand. It is not, "I will build my church," but "the kingdom of heaven," the keys of which (not of the church) were committed to Peter—and see the consequence. In Matt. 18 (and all these chapters from xvi., the Lord is showing the principles of what was coming in after His departure) we read, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Mark that ground on which it is laid; was it only when He was on earth? Then note the parable. (Vers. 12, 13.) "Even so it is not the will of my Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." But we may not receive them. Though the Lord does not give the sign of this privilege by the death and resurrection of Christ (though He lays that privilege on the ground of His coming to save the lost), He tells me, "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." How can I receive a sinner—and the little child is a sinner—in Christ's name, but on the ground of death and resurrection? A Baptist tells me I am to receive him to God as a heathen—without the death and resurrection of Christ—because they have perverted the sense of baptism. I receive him on the ground, "The Son of man is come to save that which was lost." The kingdom of heaven being of such, am I not to receive him on it in Christ's name—or if in His name, not by death and resurrection into the kingdom of heaven? But more, I am positively assured they are holy when one parent is a Christian (not intrinsically, it is the outward reception on earth which is before us), and the passage applies directly to the point in question. If a Jew married a heathen he had profaned himself, the wife was profaned, and so the children and wife were to be put away; that was law. Grace came—one parent was counted a believer, the other not: were they to separate as the Jews ought to have done? No! The unbelieving was sanctified as the Jew was profaned—not holy more than the Jew was profane—and the children were holy just as the Jew's children were profane. What was the consequence for the Jew's child? He could not be received into the outward privileges of Judaism by circumcision—he was profane; the child of the Christian could—it was holy. It was thus a definite decision on the point; not upsetting the very nature of Christianity by giving a commandment contained in ordinances as Baptists would and do, but giving directions as to the principles on which we are to act.
I am told that an immense system of evil is built up by it. In the first place, if the sanctity of the Lord's sapper had been maintained, which is the unity of the body, and the place of discipline, this would not have been so; but, as far as the principle goes, the great house is contemplated in scripture, and does not cease till He judges it. It is His house in which the vessels to honor are. It is not the body, but it will be judged as His house, responsible as such. I receive, then, the children of a christian parent, all, if born bona fide and brought into the house where the Holy Spirit dwells, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I receive them because Christ received them, and said that the kingdom of heaven, to be set up after His death, was of such, because they are holy. The precept, "Obey your parents in the Lord," could not be given them without. If it receive them within, baptism is appointed by the Lord for it: it is not the Lord's body; but they cannot be received but on the ground of Christ's death and resurrection. The Father, I know, does receive as such.

The Subjects of Baptism; House Still Till Judged; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

In reference to the subject about which you inquired of me, I have first to ask a question. I know that there are in Strasbourg Baptists who belong to a system well known in Switzerland, which, however, is so bad—so morally bad—that I should not think of considering this secondary subject with you, concerning which, I am, with my whole heart, ready to leave every conscience free. Now, it is very possible that these Műlhausen Baptists belong to the same system as the Strasbourgers: with people who hold such doctrines I should never speak about baptism. A brother, however, just now tells me that the Mulhausen Baptists do not belong to the Strasbourgers.
I confess I would rather treat on any other subject than this of baptism. The great evil of their system is, that they occupy themselves with ordinances instead of with the Lord, and one is obliged to do the same when speaking of it. The subject has been discussed in all its bearings amongst the brethren assembled here, among whom there were brethren who had allowed themselves to be baptized, and who had left the Baptists; and no doubt the falsity of their system has been made very evident, even for those who, in my opinion, do not see clearly. I can only touch on the main points. The first is, that the Baptists' system places Christendom outside the responsibility of Christianity as not forming part thereof: they consider them only as Gentiles who have not been received through baptism, though those who form Christendom are, according to them, not a part of the christian system, of which the true Christians form a part. This is of great importance, because thereby the position of Christendom, and the house, involving responsibility, are destroyed. In a great house there are vessels to honor and dishonor: they are both in the same great house. To this it will be replied, Am I then not called upon to leave it? It is impossible, for one has been received into it by baptism, and through the christian belief. I am not called to leave it, but to separate from the vessels of dishonor. From this point of view, Baptists entirely falsify the position of the Christians in the latter days; moreover, their principle makes baptism the bond of the unity of the body, and through this they are Baptists—that makes them Baptists—but this very principle is quite false, and contrary to scripture. The act of baptism is not the reception into the body of Christ; one may have been baptized a thousand times, and yet not be of this body. It (baptism) is not even the symbol of it. That which makes us members of the body of Christ is the baptism of the Holy Ghost: we are, through one Spirit, all baptized into one body. Of the body, the Lord's supper is the symbol, and the participation of it the outward confession of unity: for as it is one bread, so we, being many, are one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread (loaf). Baptism is the sign of death and resurrection (or, rather, in the participation of it); he, therefore, who rests the oneness of the body on baptism, or intends through baptism to lead into the body of Christ, is quite wrong, and this is an important point.
Then, again, they take obedience as a basis, and subject us to an ordinance as duty of obedience. The principle of being required to obey an ordinance Christianity rejects, because it makes an act of the outer man a condition for entering into the enjoyment of the privileges of grace.... Baptism is a privilege granted, which admits into the number of the faithful and into the great house. According to the Baptists' principle, the apostles ought not to have partaken of the Lord's supper, for they had not been baptized; nor could they have been, for there was no one to baptize them. That would evidently be an absurdity, but according to the Baptists' system, such an inference would be necessary. Again, they pretend the sacraments to be signs and seals of things received—a principle which is false. I do not partake of the Lord's supper as a sign that I have eaten Christ, but I eat Him there—I drink there His blood in the sign. Moreover, the word is very precise—one is buried into death through baptism; so that their doctrine in reference to these precepts is quite false.
Lastly—and this is the worst—there is the way in which they occupy souls with a legal prescription of obedience, and engage their attention with an ordinance, instead of occupying them with Christ, which gives the soul a false direction as regards its whole state. It then (without knowing it) accepts a principle which breaks down Christianity in its foundation, like him who keeps days, but in a more serious case, because they make the oneness of the body to depend on it. St. Paul was not sent to baptize. I, for my part, feel convinced that the commission to the twelve was "to make disciples of all nations," not a body of elect converts. Now, since this has been done (be it right or wrong), and they have been baptized, they (the Baptists) will not acknowledge it, and commence to re-baptize, or, rather, encourage Christians to do so, because they despise what was done. The difficulty now lies in this, that the Baptists who are sunk into subjection to ordinances necessarily conceal from themselves the ways of God—often, no doubt, dear children of God, to whom I, with my whole heart, allow liberty of conscience, as to him who only wants to eat herbs; but really to make ignorance and conformity to law the condition of the oneness of the body is a little too strong!
In the condition in which the church is, I easily yield to it, and one can only hope to protect souls through the details and precise statements of the word of God, leaving the conscience perfectly free; but a religious union in the so-called body of Christ (of the Baptists) which would exclude the apostles is a little too absurd!

The Subjects of Baptism; House Still Till Judged

I must repeat what I said to you, that I have not the most distant wish to persuade any one on the subject of baptism. I believe it is a rite established at the beginning; but I was not sent to baptize, nor was Paul. (1 Cor. 1:17.)
It was not abrogated. The circumstances of my own baptism, though done bond fide, and in the main with right intentions, were not such as I should wish, but I do not think it can be repeated. And while Paul gets a special revelation as to the Lord's supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26), though already long instituted and in use (he being the minister of the church and the teacher of the unity of the body), he is not sent to baptize, which was the introduction into the outer circle of public position as a Christian. What is special to brethren, so called (for the foundation of salvation, even if made clearer, must in itself be the same everywhere, where it is true), is the-presence of the Holy Ghost forming the unity of the body clown here, and gathering saints into this unity out of the great baptized mass. If any such have never been baptized, I apprehend they ought to be, as Quakers, grown-up Baptists’' children, etc.
What I see in baptism is admission into the professing body or house. It has nothing to do with the body of Christ; hence, if one had received the Holy Ghost, as Cornelius, he had to be professedly introduced. (Acts 10:46-48.) God not only converts souls, giving eternal life, but has established a dwelling-place consequent on redemption, where His blessings are. So with Israel. He came and dwelt there. (Ego. xxix. 45, 46.) So "what advantage hath the Jew? Much every way." He had the law and the covenants and the promises, and even Christ, as concerning the flesh. Not that all were Israel which were of Israel, but these blessings were distinctively theirs (Rom. 9:1-6), not amongst the heathen. So now, the Holy Ghost and all other christian blessings are found within the christian calling—not amongst heathens, not amongst Jews, not amongst Mahometans. The gospel may be carried to them, but christian blessings are not among them as such; they are among Christians: the basis of the truth is there. The state of things may be awfully corrupted, and is so, but till God judges it (like Judaism) it remains the place where His blessings are found. Baptism is the formal admission into this—it is christening. The person is received outwardly into the habitation of God, as set up in this world. (Eph. 2:22; 1 Tim. 3:15.)
It is the act of the baptizer, not of the baptized. The latter cannot do it for himself, he is outside, and cannot receive himself in. So it is written, "He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." (Acts 10:48.) Hence there is no trace of the one hundred and twenty being baptized at all. Where was the place they were to be received into? or who was to do it? They were made the place, and in this case the body too, by the descent of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:1-4.) It is not obedience; first, like the hundred and twenty, man could not obey; he cannot baptize himself: but more, Peter says, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" and commanded them to be baptized. It was a privilege conferred. Who could refuse to receive them, seeing God had put this seal upon them? So with the Ethiopian—"here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized." You are aware probably that the verse following—that is, Acts 8:37—is not genuine, and has been foisted in, though long ago, by those who thought confession of faith needed. No such confession, or examination if it was with all the heart, was ever made in the apostolic times. The Lord did take care it should be pure at first—added such as should be saved (Acts 2:47), sealing them with the Holy Ghost. Nor is baptism the sign of what we have received. People are baptized to something, not because of their having it—to (not into) Christ's death, to Moses, to John's baptism, buried to death, to (it is the same word) the remission of sins. Hence it is always, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16), not because the sins have been: to Christ's death, not because they have died: "The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us... by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 3:21.) Hence, when one entered believingly, he got the blessing, as far as forgiveness went, administratively here below, and was thereupon sealed by the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2) It is not a testimony to others (though it may turn to such) as the case of the Ethiopian shows, nor is it ever spoken of as such.
When I come to the history, it is very peculiar, as if God had meant to make us feel we were in the last days in a corrupt Christendom, not founding it. The only commission to baptize is to go and discipline the Gentiles (the command from Galilee with the remnant, not from the ascended Christ), baptizing them, etc. There was no command to baptize the Jews nor known believers. I do not doubt they were baptized, and accept it as an apostolic fact. But this commission was never carried out. In Gal. 2, Paul having been expressly called and sent to the Gentiles (ver. 7), "to whom now I send thee" (Acts 26:17), the apostles at Jerusalem agree that he should take up this mission, and they go to the Jews, and so it was. They had stayed at Jerusalem when the assembly was scattered (Matt. 10:23), whether rightly I do not say, only God took care that unity should be preserved by Cornelius, and Acts 15
The subject of baptism is death, as Rom. 6 shows—that is, Christ's death and partially resurrection in Col. 2 perhaps, but other words are added there. The person enters into the christian circle (analogous to Israel) by it (see 1 Cor. 10), where the sacramental position is carefully distinguished from personal safety.
As regards children, my object is not to argue, but to show the nature of baptism. I believe that 1 Cor. 7:14 especially authorizes it, not to speak of Mark 10:14. (Compare Matt. 18 and Eph. 6:1.) The boundaries of the assembly of God and the world have been so broken down and both intermingled, that the fact of the Holy Ghost being in the assembly (not in the individual here), and Satan in the world, is eclipsed by the state of things; but it was not so at the beginning, and the word of God abides. The question as to children is not are they converted, but are they to be left in the devil's dominion, or brought where the Holy Ghost dwells, to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? But assuming it to be done bond fide, done according to the "one faith," I should leave every person to his own conscience. It is sometimes argued, Why not give them the Lord's supper too? The answer is simple, It is the sign of the unity of the body, and it is by one Spirit we are baptized into that. (1 Cor. 12:13.) The Lord's supper gives the sign of that unity, as spoken of in Eph. 4:4, as baptism of outward position in Eph. 4:5.
The root of the question as to baptism is, Is it the act of the baptized individually, or reception into the public assembly? On this point scripture leaves no doubt on my mind. And, is there (besides individual conversion) a place or system which God has set up on earth where He dwells, and where His blessings are placed? which He set up right at first, and has been utterly corrupted, but which has to be owned in its responsibility and character until God judges it—just as the Lord called the temple His Father's house, though it had been made a den of thieves. (Matt. 21:12, 13.)

Conscience; Infidelity; Philosophy and Religion; False Principle of All Human Philosophy; Popery; Authority of the Word

I feel it is a great undertaking. Strange to say, I feel less horror of infidelity than of Popery. My tendency is to despise their reasonings, which always seem to me shallow and despicable morally. Still, I admit it is all right to meet them, and seek to guard, or, if possible, deliver souls; but this is very difficult, and sovereign grace, revealing what the soul does not know before as truth, has its own power on the soul. The false principle of all human philosophy is, that the powers of the mind of man are the measure of that which he can know or acquire. This is based on the utterly false thought that he cannot be acted on; that there is no superior power capable of acting on him; that susceptibility of impressions, or receptivity, is measured by active power, which is wholly false. And if the superior power be good, that receptivity is a surer way of truth than mental power, because will does not, per se, mix itself with it. Now, this thought of philosophy is merely the pride of self-importance, which will take itself, that is, its own mind, as the measure of everything. It is a departure from the subject state which is the only right creature state—the subjecta veritas quasi materia of Cicero, which must be false as to everything above us, and absolutely of God. It makes me the superior measure of everything which is supreme, which is morally despicable folly. And this is man's mind always now as departed from God, because he is so departed; and philosophy, which may be entertaining as to what is subject to man, or even the investigation of faculties—though here man is capable of very little [and] as always, false; for if it leaves God out, its measure is false: if it bring Him in—it is religion—the principle is wholly changed; man receives, and does not give or measure. Hence the profound truth of the Lord's remark—for He was the truth—"Whosoever receiveth not the kingdom of God as a little child, cannot enter therein." This is so in the very nature of things.
But there is another point arising from your friend's letter, `approaching the word of God under certain influences, such as christian education.' Does he dream man does not undergo influences? He is always, and must be brought up, under some, and through his life they are acting—are there to act on him. Does he fancy his German associations have not acted on him? He told me these thoughts were working before. I do not doubt unbelief was. Where mind works it is always the case, for in itself it is always unbelief, because it is my mind away from God or against Him; but this is educated, nourished, pabulum supplied to it, by the questions and difficulties suggested. But a child always undergoes influences, is meant to do it; and if the influences are true and good, or, as far as they are, true and good, it is a great mercy. There are always, and even in manhood, influences—why, the very state of the atmosphere affects my mind—acting on us. They cannot give true, that is, divine faith, but they remove or anticipate obstacles, and put me, without a positive hindrance from false influences, or natural working of unbelief, in presence of revelation. My conscience and His work have to do with one another, as if God spoke there; and if He has spoken there that is a great mercy. It is not divine faith, but it puts me with right human thoughts—rather with conscience instead of thoughts—in presence of the object of faith; and conscience only (and the heart) is receptive of divine truth; not mind, because mind actively judges, and that in its nature puts God out of His place. Conscience may so far give me a right thought of God, for it holds out to me evil and good—good so far as the nature (not the rule) of the faculty goes, and that is like God. "The man is become as one of us, to know good and evil." But the moment man begins to reason therefrom he is in error, because be cannot measure God rightly, for He is supreme, and man subject. Conscience refers to Him as above it, as under obligation: mind does not, cannot. It has things subject, quasi materia, and is at once false, for God is above us, not subject, and if subject, not God. The word of God acts on conscience which is in man, and allows no reasoning—judges man, is not judged by him—must take that ground if it be God's word, or it would not be in its place—may reason in grace, and does, for God is love, and shows Himself so, but never gives up His claim—it would not be grace or truth; but there is no rest except in conscience, for there the true relationship is established. "Come, see a man that told me all that ever I did," gave intelligence to the woman, and that only. "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet." The word of the Convincer of conscience has, all of it, divine authority over the soul. It is not, You have now told the truth, but, You are a prophet. So it always is.
As to your friend—mine too, if he will allow me—he speaks of the particular passage acting. He does not know yet, because it has not acted, and his will has not bowed to God. Conscience, reached with adverse will, gnashes with its teeth—does not repel the particular word, but stones the object of it. Conscience reached and will bowed, bows to God and His word—may inquire as to the details, if all be genuinely so, but believes God has spoken in men and in His Son, and bows to the revelation given. It is a state of soul, not a subject settled—a state of soul flowing from the power of the word brought home to the conscience by the Spirit of God. He says, I am receiving the Bible because of what it says, not what it says because it says it. He is a little mistaken, because there is still the power of early influences—a very gracious provision of God, as I have said; but it is another thing. My answer is, he cannot tell what the effect will be of this reception by simple faith of the revelation of God; till he has so received it, he is reasoning without knowing what the effect will be; but his reasoning is wrong, as is evident, because if he receives the Bible because of what it says, that is, as a revelation of God, he must then receive what it says because it says it, unless he make God a liar. But this reasoning I well know will not give him faith. He says it is only the particular passage which he receives which acts on him. I assume he cannot tell till he has. In fact, it is never so, because the speaker or vessel is authenticated by it. I may fairly inquire whether such or such are really His words, but He had authority in the revelation He has given and in the Christ who is revealed. I may detect an interpolation in my father's will, but that does not destroy its authority by which I inherit his estate, once it is owned his will. And God's providence has watched around His word, with His saving grace behind it, though man's mischief has been there as in everything which was left to his responsibility, as everything religiously has.
To a spiritually intelligent mind, the word of God carries an authority beyond all cavils; and a poor, unintelligent man would pass over what is contrary to the mind generated by it, as evidently false, or as unable to understand it, so that he escapes what is false inserted by men in it. They shall be all taught of God; and when the conscience is reached, and the will subject, and therefore the mind silent, we have the peace which certainty gives (and uncertainty as to what is all-important is misery), and blessed growth in what God Himself has revealed for divine blessing and joy. I do not receive the Bible, that is, a revelation of God from the hands of men. I receive paper and ink. The revelation I receive from God directly—" They shall be all taught of God." The revelation is a divinely-wrought conviction, and, I repeat, in the conscience. I know I have done what is wrong: your friend knows it of himself; he knows he is responsible to God. Where is what meets it? The Holy Ghost always produces a want when He acts—answers the want in Christ revealed in the word, but produces one always. This brought Nicodemus by night, when his mind was exactly on the same ground as the others, who got nothing There was all the difference: thus it always is.
I hope the will of our friend is not wrong, though it may not have bowed; and hence he should be treated with all kindness and patience. He has been mischievously set wrong in his mind. It is possible the grace of Christianity, and his need of that grace may, as acting upon another part of his soul, clear away the mists which surround it. The population of England could hardly clear away two inches of snow—the sun arises and it is gone.
Yours sincerely in the Lord.

Experience in View of the End

When we have settled we are going Home, we have to wait here till He calls. He may keep us for service if He do not take us to rest. It is this dear Bellett would not hear of: I suppose his time was come. We are His, not our own, and it is a privilege to serve, if better to be gone. I find it a good thing to think of going, and feel my life depends on Him—not simply on age. The old Psalm version says, "Tarry thou the Lord's leisure, be strong, and he shall stablish thy heart." Some have to wait [as] in His hands; and as service is a privilege from Him, so the work is done by Him, but we ought to work from Himself. I have not felt any such call to work this time in London, though I have gone on—more entering into scripture latterly than ever, yet not a bit of it, directly at any rate, for use in speaking. I have been working up a little in case I go home and be no more seen. Much peace be with you.
Affectionately yours.
July 24th, 1874.

The Lordship of Christ

I was very glad to get your letter, and hear something of you, and most glad to hear you were getting on happily at. It is a comfort too that these converts stand fast. It is a great thing in these days, though I console myself sometimes with the thought that the Lord looks to one out of four bringing forth fruit.... The interest in the word and the desire to hear seems general, and more striking as in the midst of the infidelity and superstition which lifts up its head so boldly: but the Lord is above it all.
As to my movements: as at present, my departure would be on August 11th, at Liverpool. I may have a week before to visit on the way. I am not going to Canada, but to the States, though attached to the brethren in Canada from having early labored among them: they are in the ordinary stream now, launched and the crew on board, proportionately a fair supply of laborers, and blessing. In the States it is really only in my last two visits that anything really American began, and the doors are very open; so, despite my age, I go out there again, though I crave quiet here a little, and a clear testimony is needed.
On the Continent we have much to be thankful for; there is generally progress, in some places a good deal, while all around is breaking up; and in parts of France where they were somewhat asleep, they are rousing up a little. The breaking up is extraordinary. In Geneva the State has abolished the ordination of pastors....
Affectionately yours in the Lord.

The House and Body; Lordship of Christ; "Putting Away" the Form of Words; Signification of "Table of Devils"; the Lord's Table and Denominations

- I should not say, `is put away from the table,' but 'is no longer in communion with us'; he has left you, and you cannot put him away. But I should not in the least avoid saying that we meet around the Lord's table. I could not own sectarian tables as the Lord's table with the light I have; but saints who may honestly think us in disorder go to it as such, and I do not doubt enjoy individual communion with the Lord.
'Is the name of " Lord " that of authority only, or can it be used in reference to communion? And does the Lord's table imply communion, or does it mean the Table over which the Lord's authority is set?
Could it be said that other christian tables are the tables of devils, or has the passage an 1 Cor. 10 no reference to Christendom as it now is?
' Is it right to say that all professing Christians are of the church of God (not the body)?
‘Could a Christian holding that he stands for acceptance before God in Christ's imputed righteousness, be orthodox as to the nature of Christ's Person, or must he necessarily hold the consequences of such doctrine, so far as they relate to Christ being under divine wrath throughout His lifetime on earth?
When it says " communion of the body of Christ," is the body of the Lord spoken of, or is the corporate body of believers intended? ')
The "Lord's table" is used simply as a title of Christ in contrast with devils. In itself a title of authority, it has nothing whatever to do with communion: where communion is spoken of it is not used, or, that I am aware of, is Lord of an assembly a scriptural idea. He is either Lord absolutely, or of individual servants.
To call tables of Nationals, or sects, tables of devils is a simple absurdity, in defiance of plain language of scripture. I could not go to them; but what "devils" means is distinctly stated in scripture, and means nothing but the gods of the heathen, and is a reference to Deut. 32:17, "they offered to devils, and not to God": to refer this to Baptists or Independents is a gross abuse. The apostle speaks of communion with devils (in idol temples) and heathen sacrifices, and nothing else, and to apply this to wrong ecclesiastical principles, where the Lord is owned as the only object, is trifling with scripture and nonsense in itself.
Saying that all professing Christians are of the church of God may be questioned. The church of God is employed in two senses—or better, two things are spoken of the assembly—one, that it is the body of Christ; of this all professors were not, so soon as false brethren crept in; it is also the habitation of God through the Spirit, the house of the living God, and in this hay, wood and stubble may be built in, and professors are of or in the house. It is not true if we speak of the body, though they take the place; it is true if we speak of the house.
As to the fifth question, I do not doubt that a Christian holding he stands for acceptance in Christ's imputed righteousness may be quite sound as to the nature of Christ. I have known most true and beloved saints who were muddy on the point—though I think they lose a great deal. We must not impute even true consequences of a doctrine to the persons who hold it—it may be if they saw the consequences they would give it up; we may use them to chew the doctrine false, seeing it leads to such.
As to "communion of the body of Christ," in verse 16 it is the body of the Lord, as in the same verse the blood, but the other is closely connected with it. What the apostle is speaking of is that the priests in eating of the altar were identified with it—the heathen, of what was offered there, identified with the idol—had κοινωνία, not merely μέτοχος, nor partook, but were morally completely associated with it, hence with demons: so Christians with Christ. But then if all were associated with the body of Christ, they were with one another, and only one body themselves. It was included in it, but verse 16 refers expressly to the body of Christ; verse 17 shows the other, our unity in one body, to be included in it.
I have only to add, dear brother, have patience and grace; a servant of the Lord must not strive. I know by my own experience how difficult it is. Without the most distant thought of an unkind feeling, we are not always gentle to all men. We have just been over all this ground here, and have had it out pretty (perhaps I might say, very) clear, and in full and happy unity. May it be so with you too. Our meeting has gone on, I trust, with real comfort in the Lord's presence—most of the Irish laborers, and a few English, with the local brethren in the evening, but no sisters and no lectures; all which, I feel, is much more to the purpose. I have, of course, little time at such a moment, and a heavy correspondence too, but I believe I have answered all your questions. You should read the passage in 1 Cor. 10
Affectionately yours in the Lord.]
August, 1871.

Two Greek Words Translated "Partakers;" "Putting Away" the Form of Words; Withdrawing and Putting Out of Fellowship

As to your question, it was up in—at the Tuesday laborers' meeting, and there was a unanimous feeling in it as to the substance of the matter. Technically perhaps you cannot put a person out who has withdrawn, but this is a mere question of the form of words: he ought to be out by the judgment of the assembly as well as by his own act. In the case they had excommunicated him after his withdrawal. I might have said, Such a person having withdrawn under a charge of sin (where investigation was refused by him and the guilt was not proved) is out of communion till the matter be cleared up before God. If, as in this case, guardedness was not needed, as the guilt was proved, it needed but to say, Such an one having withdrawn when guilty of sin clearly proved, is out of communion, and can only be restored on fresh repentance.
It is absolutely necessary in such a case that the judgment of the assembly should be clearly pronounced, otherwise the assembly has not judged known sin to the Lord's dishonor. Nor is that all; the person might march in without the assembly's having any right to refuse him, as he marched out. The form of words is not to me material. What is essential to me is that he should be out by the judgment of the assembly as well as by his own act. Or the assembly is passing over sin known in its bosom. I have known many cases where a person being charged with sin has declined coming any more, but it is always dealt with. Even if they deliberately withdrew to join other churches, it has been noticed after visiting, etc., so that it was known to be deliberate. There was a time in-of a kind of revival-working when people did not come for a long while, and it was unnoticed, but it was felt (and it was only through neglect and not being noticed in the immense number)—but it was felt that this could not be. They had never formally withdrawn.
In this case it was worse, because he withdrew on purpose to hide it, though in vain. Only he had taken counsel of others, so that modifies his act—but why did he do so? I do not see the wrong of this in the first instance, save that in these cases they are bound to see after the person, know why, and if it is deliberate, and even then give it out. Otherwise he might sin and run riot, and come back, having never been put out—why should he not? Had this been done, it would only have remained to say that it was alas! discovered it was by occasion of positive sin, which confirmed the judgment that he was outside....
Auburn, Maine,
September 7th, 1874.

Gog; "Putting Away" and Restoration; Restoration of One Put Away Elsewhere; the Revived Roman Empire

Beloved brother -,
Your letter contains two questions to which I ought to have replied sooner. First, when a brother excommunicated by the assembly, and who lives elsewhere, seeks to be brought in again, it is for the assembly in the place where he seeks restoration to judge of his state at the time he seeks it. It is there naturally that that state will show itself. But it is suitable, as you say, that the assembly in which he seeks to be re-admitted, should put itself in communication with that from which he was put out. It may know of many things that ought to be settled, and that the other is ignorant of; then too community of interest and the unity of Spirit are maintained by this means.
As to the second question; the Roman empire may be in possession of the countries you speak of, at least, of the land of the king of the south—not, as far as I believe, of the land of the king of the north; but the body of the Roman empire is found in the west of Europe. Palestine will be the center of the conflict. There will be Gog on one side and the Beast on the other.
Salute the brethren affectionately.

The Love of God; Spring of Service; Work in the United States; Study of the Word

Very dear brother,
I was very glad to have tidings, and to see your name at the end of the page. I trust God is keeping you very near Himself, and that He maintains the