Letters 3

Table of Contents

1. 1 John
2. 2 Thessalonians 2; Greek; Walking in Peace
3. Abbott's Hill and Principles
4. Abbott's Hill and Principles
5. Abbott's Hill and Principles
6. Abbott's Hill and Principles
7. Abbott's Hill and Principles
8. Abbott's Hill and Principles
9. Abbott's Hill and Principles, and Other Points on Baptism
10. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Epistle to Philadelphia; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Park Street
11. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Assembly Judgment Owned
12. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Bochim and Gilgal; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Testimony for These Days; the World and the Christian
13. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Christ in Glory and Humiliation
14. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Christ in Glory and Humiliation
15. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Division; Party Against Evil Not Countenanced; Avoiding Party Action; Patience
16. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Holiness; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Appreciation of the Word; Reformers
17. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Introduction to the Bible
18. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Judging
19. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Majority a Human Arrangment; Unanimity in Discipline
20. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Occupation With Evil
21. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Occupation With Evil
22. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Patience; Evil Speaking
23. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Testimony for These Days; Total Ruin
24. Abbott's Hill and Principles; the Loss of a Mother
25. Abbott's Hill and Principles; the Work in the East
26. Abbott's Hill and Principles; Worship of Christ; New Lumpism
27. Abstaining From Breaking Bread; Love and Brotherly Love; Love Does Not Admit Sin
28. Principle of Total Abstinence; Division; Temperance Societies
29. Adam and Christ - Second Man and Last; Greek Genitive
30. Advocacy and Priesthood
31. Advocacy and Priesthood; Blood of Sprinkling; Sins After Conversion; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation; Priesthood of Christ; Water as a Figure
32. Advocacy and Priesthood; Feet Washing; Administrative Forgiveness; Government of God; Intercession of Christ; the Lord's Ways With Job; the Lord's Ways With Peter; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type
33. The Good of Being Alone With God; M. Taylor
34. The Good of Being Alone With God; the Last Days; the French Bible
35. Doctrine of Annihilation; Dealing With False Doctrine
36. Doctrine of Annihilation; Heretics; Manna; J.F.D. Maurice; Interpretation of Parables; Error Best Met by Positive Truth
37. Anointing the Sick; Faith Healing; Perfectionism; Prayer of Faith; Darby Not an Elder
38. Anointing the Sick; Faith Healing; Prayer of Faith
39. Antichrist
40. Antichrist; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Life Laid Down and Taken Again; Separation From System
41. Assembly Action and Conscience
42. Assembly Action and Conscience; Appreciation of the Word; Dissent in Cases of Discipline; Unanimity in Discipline
43. Assembly Action and Conscience; Continuing Member of Oddfellows; Dissent in Cases of Discipline; Unanimity in Discipline
44. Assembly Action and Conscience; Rebuke Before All; Unanimity; Dissent in Cases of Discipline
45. The Assembly in a City
46. The Assembly in a City; Unity of and Common Action in London; Assembly Action
47. Assembly Judgment Owned; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Testimony for These Days; Unworldliness
48. Assembly Judgment Owned; Unity of the Body of Christ; Children Sitting With Parents; Principles of Gathering; Reconciliation and Propitiation; Reception to the Lord's Table
49. Objection to the Title of "Assembly of God;" Objection to a List of Meetings; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Perfectionism; Principles of Gathering; the Ryde Trouble; Danger of Sectarianism; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body; Unity of the Spirit; Distinguishing a Pure Heart; Reception and a Pure Heart
50. Resources in Low State of the Assembly; Christ Known for Down Here and on High; Testimony for These Days
51. Assurance of Salvation; Dependence; the Early Fathers; "Ifs" in Scripture; Predestination and Election
52. The Word Atonement; Christ in the Offerings; Propitiation and Substitution; Sin and Sins
53. The Atonement; the Creation; Eternal Punishment; Intermediate State of the Departed; Propitiation and Substitution; Sin and Sins; False Doctrine of Sleep of the Soul; Rapture Preached; Intermediate State
54. Babylon, Thyatira, Etc.; the Ryde Trouble
55. Baptism of the Holy Spirit; What It Is to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit
56. Other Points on Baptism
57. The Formula of Baptism
58. The Subjects of Baptism
59. The Subjects of Baptism
60. The Subjects of Baptism
61. The Subjects of Baptism; Other Points on Baptism; Regeneration and the New Birth
62. Other Points on Baptism; Request for the Holy Spirit; the House and Body; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; Sacramental System; Fellowship With the Disobedient
63. Bearing Trials; Letters to Young Converts
64. Being in Christ; Justification of Life
65. Being Set Free
66. Work in Belgium and Germany; Translation Work
67. Work in Belgium; Work on the Continent; Persecution; Danger of Publishing Work
68. Benjamin Jowett; the Kingdom of God and of Heaven; Philip's Four Daughters; Quakers; Woman's Place in the Work
69. Bereavement
70. Bereavement
71. Bereavement; Righteousness of God
72. Bereavement; the World's Character
73. Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Infidelity
74. Bethesda and Principles
75. Bethesda and Principles
76. Bethesda and Principles
77. Bethesda and Principles; Christ Before Church Questions; the Support of Laborers; Christian's Obligation to Servants
78. Bethesda and Principles; the Christian's Position as to Life and Spirit; Death to Sin; the Place of Experience; What It Is to Be in the Flesh; Old Testament Saints; J.G. Bellett
79. Bethesda and Principles; the Difference Between Interpretation and False Doctrine; Loss of Paul's Doctrine
80. Withdrawal of Circular as to Bethesda
81. Withdrawal of Circular as to Bethesda; Changed State of Plymouth
82. Withdrawal of Circular as to Bethesda; Hour in John 5
83. Introduction to the Bible; "Ifs" in Scripture; Time a Parenthesis in Eternity
84. The Meaning of Blessing in 1 Corinthians 11; the Act of Breaking Bread; the Doctrine of Concomitancy; Consubstantiation; Pretension to Priesthood; Romanism; Sufferings of Christ; the Lord's Supper; Transubstantiation
85. Blood and Water; Righteousness
86. The Place of the Actual Blood-Shedding
87. The Place of the Actual Blood-Shedding; the Ryde Trouble
88. Bochim and Gilgal; Common Humiliation; the Ryde Trouble; Testimony for These Days
89. Unity of the Body of Christ; Principles of Brethren; Work on the Continent; Gift and Its Exercise; Early Blessing in Plymouth; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Professor Tholuck
90. Unity of the Body of Christ; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body; the Lord's Table and Denominations; Unity of the Spirit; Filling of the Spirit
91. Breaking Bread Temporarily Suspended
92. The Act of Breaking Bread; Sisters in Isolation Breaking Bread; the Lord's Supper; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body
93. The Bride; John and Paul Compared; J.B. Stoney
94. Calvinism; Justification by Faith; Connection Between New Birth and Faith
95. Canaan in Type; Ephesians; "Ifs" in Scripture; Redemption; Red Sea in Type; Wilderness and Canaan; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose
96. Carnal Familiarity in Speaking of the Lord; Double Meaning of "Friend;" Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ
97. Change of Scene; Training of Children; Christ Being All; the Place of Experience; Legality; Music; Physical Exercise
98. A Child as a Nazarite
99. Children a Charge; Nursing Babies
100. Christ Being All; Christian Life; Priesthood of Christ
101. Christ Being All; Perfectionism; the Ryde Trouble
102. Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Hymns to the Father; Christ Is All; Joseph; the Path of Faith; Song of Solomon
103. Christ in the Offerings
104. Christ in the Offerings
105. The Christian as a Witness of the Worth of Christ's Work; Experience in View of the End
106. Christian Life; Exercises to Fit for Service; Appreciation of the Word; Darby Kept Aloof From Revivalists
107. Christianity Working by What It Brings; Revivals
108. Christianity Working by What It Brings; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Life and Eternal Life; Tract Depot
109. The Christian's Position as to Life and the Spirit; Deliverance; in Christ; Jordan in Type; Justification of Life; Divine Life Always Essentially the Same; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type; Red Sea in Type; Water as a Figure; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose
110. The Church Not the Subject of Promise or Prophecy; Union With Christ
111. Articles of the Church of England; No Foundation for Episcopacy; Hooker
112. S. O'M. Cluff's Doctrine; Death to Sin; the Place of Experience; Bible Treasury June 1878; Erroneous Doctrine in a Clearer Light
113. Communion With God
114. Confessing of Faults to One Another; Deliverance; Experience in View of the End; the Place of Experience; Self Knowledge
115. Conscience; Perfectionism; Temptation
116. Converted Children and the Lord's Table; Christ Being All; the Difference Between Interpretation and False Doctrine; Self; Loss of Paul's Doctrine
117. The Need of Courage; Denominations in the Camp
118. The Creation
119. Nothing Being Like the Cross; Christ in the Offerings; Propitiation and Substitution
120. Dative and Accusative of Time
121. The Day of Atonement; Bible Herald; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type
122. The Day of Atonement; Patience
123. Dead With Christ; Deliverance
124. Dead With Christ; Eternal Life; John's Epistles; Real Communication of Life
125. Dead With Christ; the Effect of the Thought of Death; New Birth
126. The Effect of the Thought of Death
127. Death to Sin; Propitiation and Substitution
128. The Effect of the Thought of Death; Experience in View of the End; the Future of the Christian
129. The Effect of the Thought of Death; Experience in View of the End; the Work in Germany
130. The Deity and Worship of Christ
131. The Deity of Christ; Addresses to the Seven Churches; F.W. Newman
132. Deliverance; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians
133. Deliverance; Sealing of the Holy Spirit
134. Deliverance; the Place of Experience
135. Dependence; Gethsemane and the Cross; True Humility; Self Knowledge; Exercises to Fit for Service; Sufferings of Christ; Darby's Brother; Wrath of God on Christ
136. Deuteronomy
137. Deuteronomy; Faithfulness
138. Developed and Concentrated Affections; the Wilderness
139. Devotedness; Hymn Books
140. Devotedness; Testimony for These Days
141. Discipline Not Confined to the Table; Eating With One Under Discipline
142. Our Partaking of the Divine Nature; New Birth
143. Doing Feats
144. Doing Feats
145. The Druids; Man and the World
146. Early Blessing in Plymouth
147. The Efficacy of God's Love
148. Ephesians
149. Eternal Punishment; Gehenna
150. Eternity; Perfection
151. Evangelizing
152. The Everlasting Covenant; Common Humiliation; the 1848 Revolution in France
153. Evil Among Brethren; Parties
154. Exercises and Ground of Peace
155. Experience in View of the End
156. Experience in View of the End
157. Experience in View of the End; Future of the Christian
158. Faith and Sight; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; the Reformation
159. Faith Healing
160. False Doctrine of Sleep of the Soul
161. Dealing With False Doctrine; Eternal Punishment; Heresy; Degrees of Punishment
162. The Offering of Firstfruits; Christ in the Offerings
163. Force of Terms Employed as to Righteousness
164. Work in France and Switzerland
165. The French Bible; Revised Version of the New Testament; Testimony for These Days; Importance of Visiting
166. French Old Testament; Blessing
167. Freshness of the Truth; Appreciation of the Word
168. The Effect of a Full Gospel; Gospel Preaching; What Preaching Should Be
169. The Future of the Christian; Pastoral Care
170. The Gathering of Saints Sought
171. Gaussen; Christ Giving Up the Kingdom; F.W. Newman; E. Denny's Cycle of the Seventy Weeks
172. Gethsemane and the Cross
173. Gift and Its Exercise; Call to Direct Service
174. Distinction Between Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4
175. Giving Thanks in All; God Working for Good
176. God's Ways in Discipline; Redemption
177. Good and Evil Brought to Issue in the Cross; the Greek Translated "By" With Genitive; Sin and Sins
178. The Gospel of the Kingdom
179. Government of God
180. Government of God; Common Humiliation
181. Government of God; John's Gospel
182. Government of God; Sacramental System; Reception to the Lord's Table; Fellowship With Those in Sects
183. The Great Tribulation; Christ Before Church Questions
184. Greek Translated "Come Short"
185. The Force of Greek Translated "Eternal;" Dealing With False Doctrine; Separation From System; Eternal Punishment a Fundamental Truth
186. Greek Words Translated to "Except" and "Save" Compared
187. Greek Words Translated to "Except" and "Save" Compared
188. Guarding Against Independent Assembly Action; Evil Among Brethren; Outward Fall Not the Beginning of Evil; the Effect of a Full Gospel; Unity of and Common Action in London; the Lord's Ways With Peter; Restoration to Be Sought; Revivals
189. Haydn and Music
190. The Force of Hebrew Names for God
191. The Force of Hebrew Names for God
192. The Force of Hebrew Names for God; Appreciation of the Word
193. The Force of Hebrew Names for God; the Sealing of the Spirit
194. Hebrew Words for "People"
195. Hebrews
196. Hebrews
197. Hebrews; 1 John
198. Heresy; New Birth; Connection Between New Birth and Faith
199. Holiness; the Resurrection
200. The Holy Spirit Dwelling in the House and in the Individual
201. The Holy Spirit Dwelling in the House and in the Individual; Independent Action of the Holy Spirit
202. Human Accuracy in Divine Things
203. Human Accuracy in Divine Things; How to Read the Bible; the Bride; Diligence in Business; Occupation With Evil; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation; Literalism; Proverbs; Repentance; Self Knowledge; Combining an Occupation With Service; Fruit of Sifting; Divine Truth; Imperfect Expressions as to Truth; Parable of the Virgins; the Word as Cream on the Surface; Study of the Word; Details of Controversy; Darby Commending Reading Not According to His Own Thoughts; Darby's Attitude Towards Differences
204. Hymn Books
205. Hymns to the Father; Subjection of Will
206. "Ifs" in Scripture; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose
207. Denial of Immortality of the Soul
208. Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Publication of Writings; F.W. Grant's "Life and Immortality" of 1867
209. Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Real Communication of Life; New Birth; Connection Between New Birth and Faith
210. Natural Tendency of Increase in Numbers; Lot; Pastoral Care; Testimony for These Days
211. Intellectualism; Work
212. Intercommunion Between Laborers
213. Interest in the Word; Fresh Growth; the Loss of a Mother
214. Irving and System; Moravians; Puseyism; Archdeacon Wilberforce
215. Jehovah and Jerusalem
216. J.G. Deck; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Translation Work
217. John and Paul Compared
218. John and Paul Compared
219. John and Paul Compared; Paul and Peter's Ministry
220. John's Gospel
221. Sources of Joy; the Ryde Trouble; Testimony for These Days
222. Judgment of Matthew 25
223. The Judgment Seat of Christ
224. The Judgment Seat of Christ
225. The Kingdom as Presented in the Gospels; the Dispensations of Law and the Kingdom; Matthew and Luke Contrasted
226. The Kingdom of God and of Heaven; Red Sea in Type
227. Laborers Meeting for the Study of the Word; Appreciation of the Word
228. Laborers Meeting for the Study of the Word; Reading Meetings
229. Need of More Laborers; Reception to the Lord's Table
230. The Last Days; Gathering of Saints Sought; Irving and System; Union Among Saints
231. The Last Trump
232. Letter
233. Life and Eternal Life; Real Communication of Life
234. Living by Christ
235. The Loaf at the Lord's Supper
236. The Lord's Day; the Sabbath; Socrates
237. The Lord's Prayer; Satan
238. The Lord's Ways With Job
239. Love for Souls
240. The Love of God
241. Man and the World
242. The Poem "Man of Sorrows"; Sufferings of Christ
243. Marriage of a Young Couple; Nearness to the Lord
244. Mercy and Grace Compared
245. Moravians; Separation From the Lord's Table
246. Music; Puseyism; the World and the Christian
247. Natural Relationships
248. The Danger of Discussion on the Nature of Christ
249. The Danger of Discussion on the Nature of Christ; C.H.M.
250. The Danger of Discussion on the Nature of Christ; Separation of Plymouth; Appreciation of the Word; H. Craik; Wealth
251. The New Covenant
252. The New Creation
253. The New Creation; Ephesians; the Place of Experience; Jordan in Type; John Newton's ABC Christian; Red Sea in Type; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose
254. The New Creation; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians; the Ryde Trouble
255. New Testament Translation Third Edition
256. B.W. Newton; Changed State of Plymouth; Testimony for These Days
257. Not Walking in Disobedience
258. Objection to List of Meetings
259. The Old and the New Man; Sin and Sins; Des Cartes' Dictum on "I"; Food for the Flock
260. Old Testament Saints
261. Optimism
262. Optimism; Work in Italy
263. Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians; Translation Work; the World and the Christian
264. The Papal System; Candlestick; Revelation 2 and 3
265. Partakers of Christ
266. Party Against Evil Not Countenanced
267. Pastoral Care
268. The Path of Faith
269. Perfectionism
270. The Periodicals; Translation Work
271. Setting Up to Be Philadelphia
272. Setting Up to Be Philadelphia
273. The Power of Life in Christ
274. Prayer
275. Prayers Answered
276. The Priesthood of Christ
277. Principles of Gathering; Gog; the King of the North
278. Principles of Gathering; the Reformation
279. Prophecy
280. Prophets in 1 Corinthians 14 Not a Distinct Body
281. Dr. Waldenstrom on Propitiation
282. Dr. Waldenstrom on Propitiation
283. Protestantism; Reconciliation and Propitiation; the Reformation; Righteousness of God
284. Psalm 21:2-4
285. Pseudo-Charity; Ruin of the Church; Experience in View of the End; Heresy; Luther; J.F.D. Maurice; the Reformation; Reformers; Use of Tact
286. Real Communication of Life
287. Real Communication of Life; B.W. Newton; Sufferings of Christ; Hall
288. Real Communication of Life; the Degree of Knowledge of the Remnant
289. Rebekah as the Church in Type; Synopsis of the Books of the Bible
290. Reconciliation and Propitiation; Dr. Waldenstrom on Propitiation
291. Distinction Between Redeeming and Buying; Redemption
292. Redemption; Justification; Assured Conscience; Separation
293. Response to a Tract "Life Before Faith"
294. The Resurrection
295. The Resurrection
296. The Resurrection; the Last Trump
297. The Value of Retirement
298. The Revised Version of the New Testament
299. Right and Wrong Spirits of Judgment
300. Righteousness Before External Unity
301. The Righteousness of God
302. The Righteousness of God
303. Romans 8:13; Love Covering Sins
304. Ruin of the Church; Scattering Stronger Than Division
305. Sanctification; the Sent One
306. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit; What It Is to Be in the Flesh; New Birth; Deliverance
307. Self Knowledge
308. Self; Setting Up to Be a Testimony
309. Sentence of Death in 2 Corinthians 1:9
310. Separation of Plymouth; One Table and One Bread at the Lord's Table
311. Addresses to the Seven Churches
312. Addresses to the Seven Churches
313. Addresses to the Seven Churches; Epistle to Philadelphia
314. Addresses to the Seven Churches; Life and Eternal Life; Translation Work
315. Addresses to the Seven Churches; No Foundation for Episcopacy
316. Sin and Sins
317. Sin and Sins; Sins After Conversion
318. Sin in Case of Restoration Not Exposed
319. Spirituality; Reading Meetings
320. Sprinkling of Blood
321. Sufferings of Christ; the Cup; W.H. Dolman; Hall
322. The Use of Symbols
323. Testimony
324. Testimony for These Days
325. The Remnant in the Last Days
326. Translation Work
327. Two Miracles of Cana of Galilee
328. Unanimity
329. Work in the United States
330. Work in the United States; Darby Having No Dominion Over Faith
331. Unity of the Spirit
332. Vanity
333. Walking With the Lord
334. Want of Spiritual Power; Need of Laborers
335. Need of Watchfulness
336. What Death Is to the Believer
337. What Death Is to the Believer; Funerals
338. What Death Is to the Believer; Satan; the Great Tribulation
339. Woman's Place in the Work
340. Woman's Place in the Work; Women Teaching Women
341. Woman's Place in the Work; Women Teaching Women
342. Appreciation of the Word
343. The Word as Cream on the Surface
344. Authority of the Word
345. Study of the Word
346. Work for the Lord
347. Workmen That Are Needed
348. Workmen That Are Needed
349. The World and the Christian
350. Worship
351. Worship
352. The Worship of Christ; Greek Translated "Ask" or "Beg;" Hymn Books; Prayer in the Name of Jesus; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians; Worship of the Father
353. The Worship of Christ; M. Taylor
354. The Worship of Christ; Red Sea in Type; Worship of the Father; M. Taylor
355. The Worship of Christ; Worship of the Father

1 John

1 John 1:7 I believe to be an abstract statement, as I might say, Quinine cures intermittent fever: it is its quality and effect. Abstract, absolute statements characterize John: "he cannot sin;" "the wicked one toucheth him not." As to verse 9, it is the same, only it is subjective—the state and act of the person. If a person confesses his sins he is forgiven: his soul must be in that state to be forgiven. Only when it is at the outset, it is justification once for all, afterward governmental: in the first case, non-imputation; in the second, the dealings of God with His people or children. And the difference is important, connected with the revelation made in Christianity.
I thank God for the blessing He has bestowed upon your work. May He keep us near Himself, and that Christ may be all, so that our life may be the production of Christ, and nothing else. His coming will indeed be joy. Our full happiness is laid up in treasure there. We wait for it till He comes. Till then it is the word of His patience and serving Him.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Dublin, 1880.

2 Thessalonians 2; Greek; Walking in Peace

Beloved brother—,
I have examined a little the passage in 2 Thess. 2. I do not think one could translate ἐκ μέσου γένηται 'rises out of the midst.' Τίνομαι means to be or to become; thus ἐκ τίνος, a man who exists from another order than himself; but a man who comes out of the midst is, as to the sense, taken away from the midst. The only fault in this translation is that it expresses the thought that there is someone who takes away, which is not said. There is a passage quoted in our dictionaries—perhaps it is in Pape—of Plutarch's, which has these words. The lexicographer quotes it as proof of the ordinary sense attributed to these words. He is no longer present.
The English translation gives "he who letteth will let." There is no need however of the addition. "Only there is now he that withholdeth until he be taken out of the way:" this is, I doubt not, the true translation, μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἔως, etc.
God be praised that the brethren are walking in peace. I am at a good meeting of prayer and humiliation, which I believe will produce much good. God certainly helps us at this moment. He makes us go back over the effects of former negligence, but He brings us out of it. Conversions also are not wanting, and souls are added at least in London, and in other places. I believe the sense of His goodness spreads in hearts and encourages the brethren.... The Lord reveals Himself more and more—this is what is clear, and places His children on a simple ground -only they must break with the world to walk there. But souls are exercised.
Exeter, March 20th, 1852.

Abbott's Hill and Principles

I cannot doubt that the Lord is working. Had I not had this confidence, I should have left the brethren nearly a year ago, but I felt it would be unfaithful: not as doubting that they had the truth, but as unfaithful to it. I felt it would be hireling work, but God is working and bringing light into the souls of many, and with a little patience He will bring about His will, I mean His blessing. But there is no doubt it was a deliberate plan for breaking up the brethren here. That, at present, is broken down, but in general, consciences are beginning to find that they had got away from the Lord—of course, not every one—and the assemblies trusted a few, and failed in humble reference to God. They had got into a bad state, and this had been brought home to them, but for their good.... But I have no doubt, painful as it all is, that God is turning it to blessing: the humbling will be useful, and seeing God is working. I trust there may be patience till He has fully brought about a blessing.
Occupy yourselves with Christ that you may be refreshed and strengthened. It is a great thing to pass through sorrows with Him; they are then turned to a well, and grace comes down too. Pray for the saints—all of them—carry the sorrows to Christ, and in your own spirit bring Christ to the sorrows. The brethren had got puffed up, and were sinking from fidelity towards God, and He has visited them in mercy. In waiting on Him, He will exalt the faithful in due time, and rejoice in the Lord always.
London, July 26th, 1879.

Abbott's Hill and Principles

—I do not think all is gone through, but I believe God is able to bring it through. Let London keep its place in lowliness, those that are faithful not individually taking part in any evil, and waiting on God's action: "He that believeth shall not make haste." The mass of brethren have need of quiet. I am glad there is a meeting for humiliation; if genuine, as I trust, it will bring blessing. Its tone will distinctly show where brethren are. Where activity is distinctly wanting is in bringing up Christ to souls, and devotedness to Him, un-worldliness, a life where we do one thing, a home, dress, manners, which say that Christ is all. There is danger of being too much occupied with evil. It does not refresh,
does not help the soul on. "Abstain from every form of evil," but be occupied ourselves and occupy others with Christ. The evil itself becomes not less evil, but less in comparison with the power of good where the soul dwells. I have almost feared being too much occupied with evil in this letter, for what I really have at heart is to occupy souls with Christ and good. There, too, power is found as well as a sanctuary of peace for our souls. To be simply occupied with evil is always a weakening thing; God is not there, though we may be forced to turn and do it for Him in care for others. It is just going beyond this I have feared in my letter. One only, blessed be His name, can touch the leper and not be defiled. Of all else, even where right to be done, "the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until the evening." God is a jealous and a holy God—blessed be His name, a God of infinite grace!
I have had a happy and I trust profitable tournie through Haute Loire, Ardeche, etc., and seen the brethren, save in two places, and many who came even thence. We had readings in the different centers, and lectures in the evening: here three days, and there are many around, and large attendance everywhere. Blessings and conversions are given of God, but there is a tendency to sink into things that are seen, as nature does: but I was very happy with them—four of five meetings forced into open air from numbers. Tired I have been, and threatened with my eye, but it is better. After St. Hippolyte and Montpellier, please God, Tuesday at Pau.
September, 1879.

Abbott's Hill and Principles

I have little time to reply to your letter, which I was very glad to get. I feel ripening on towards Home, and more weaned from the outward activities of the work; but I trust my heart not less interested in it. I have just come from the Rhone and Cevennes district. In more than one place there are conversions, and a great number of Christians in the Haute Loire and Ardeche, and, though the world everywhere exercises too much influence, yet walking in peace, and as far as I know blamelessly. Externally it has been a very trying year; the vineyards rooted up far and wide, and the silkworms a failure. But there is One who is a stay through all.
As regards England, it has been as you know a time of trial. The general state of brethren was really what God was judging. Partizans seek to keep up uneasiness.... In Kent there was haste in those who sought to do right. This gave a handle, but has been the means of bringing out the party-feeling at work. God saw, I believe, that sifting and purifying was needed there. But for God, the want of principle would have been crushing, but with Him is always peace. And we have to ask, "Whither goest thou?" and trust Him. Even if the Messiah and Son of God (Psa. 2) was rejected, it was only to bring out the Son of man in the glory of the Father. God is never baffled. It has been a time of blessing for myself; and many consciences, I would say of all the godly, have been deeply awakened. There was a want of faith in some, but this was not surprising: there is in us at all [times]. We read, "My flesh and my heart faileth me: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." It has made what is eternal more and more everything to me. It was cheering to see how upright souls soon saw all clear. And how precise God's government is! We have only to lean on Him and all is right.
I rejoice in your work as in my own, though I sometimes envy evangelists a little; but we have to fill the little niche God has put us in faithfully, and we cannot do more.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
Pau, 1879.

Abbott's Hill and Principles

I am not unaware that a considerable party seek to keep up excitement. I do not think with quiet staid souls they do much except expose themselves: quiet service to Christ is what tells in the long run; it is all I think of doing. But God has acted. I do not expect to be clear of the incubus all at once. Had we more faith, we might see yet greater deliverance. I accept with thankfulness what God has done. A great deal of the talk that meets my ear has no effect upon me at all, at the utmost, tries me at the moment. What you are now feeling, when broken up as a system, weighed on my spirit, in all its collective force, beforehand. I do not see that haste has ever done any good in all this matter. I wait still on God: on what else should I? But I go on with my positive work with the best faith I have, and it is but poor; but feel the Spirit more than ever with me.
I am thankful you take courage to go on helping others. What I look for is to bring in Christ in power; the obstruction of unbelief will then, when people are not restored, wither. It is this, with patience, my soul thirsts after. I would I had more of both, still He is with me. Kent has shown a deplorable state of things; still, haste brought the actual state of things about, under God's overruling hand. This prolongs our need of patience; but He will guide in this as in all else. It is God's actings, as far as I can, I look to; not, save for their own sakes, the state of individuals.
I do not doubt the state of those whose evil condition I spoke of, weighs down the comfort of those who seek to walk with God, but the question was then, Is the testimony given of God to be given up? It is more locally felt where opposed, but before it was doing its work unrestrained. It is now evil one meets with, too constantly, in gatherings; not a question if the testimony should exist. Our word is, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I thought only to write a line, for I am very busy.
[1879.]

Abbott's Hill and Principles

I never felt so thoroughly humbled as in writing the leaflet I sent. I have felt more than ever through all this business, what a solemn thing it is to have to do with God—never practically knew His faithful love so much, and the deep responsibility of acting for Him, and a most solemn thing it is. And then when I set about to write to all, as a kind of resuming word from Him at the issue of it all, I felt and feel now, in looking back at it, this responsibility as, I believe, I never did. And then all I have said and done has been so canvassed, that I had to see and not say a word that He did not mean me to say, and which I might not know how to justify afterward, at least before God. But if you feel you can do that, it gives great firmness and comfort of spirit with Him, not going beyond His will, and serving Him in it. Of course it is always what we have to do, but it is greatly put to the test sometimes. I have happily not a feeling of unkindness. Character comes out in these siftings, and there are things which morally offend you; but God is above all the evil. It is the essence of Christianity. He can be where, as to our own path, we cannot; but further, this ought to rule in us—" Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us." And we must remember that His saints are precious to Him. This allows no evil in ourselves, nor acquiescence in it; but it should govern our ways towards others....
Patience with any human effort to maintain evil will prove its nothingness more than a restless feeling: it gives weight and gravity to the testimony, and it enlists God with us. It is the "God of peace" sanctifies: it is not acquiescing in evil; I would have—I have no tendency in that direction; but following God, not going before Him. Though often tried, I do trust Him fully.
I have looked through the old 'Poor of the Flock,' and corrected a great many hymns, perfectly astounded that so much short of all the light we had ever passed; but there was often piety, and I have put them in the form of truth where there was. I have already gone through the new one. I am now going to look through other hymn-books which I have, to see if there are any which could be added, and there are two or three of my own from which some verses perhaps may be taken, some of which you have not seen.
May the Lord keep you all in peace and patience! Rousing to devotedness I trust will follow: that God alone can do; but our hearts can be directed towards it, and that, I trust, they may be. There has been a good deal of awakening of conscience.... I look much to rousing the saints to joyful devotedness, but, 1 repeat, that is God's gracious work. But after all, our business is to keep our hearts up in heaven, for our own joy and for the life of our souls, and to be able to serve Him on earth. God is above all this evil, and can keep our hearts above it. Not that there may not be exercises and fears; still He is there to sustain, and will in His own time—the best—bring us out of them. Meanwhile we have to stand fast, trusting in the Lord.
Pau, October 25th.

Abbott's Hill and Principles

As to the act of exclusion by A. Hill: I look upon it as I always did as an act of wickedness, a false pretense to be the discipline of God's house when it was a violent party act: it was not even truthful. If it was discipline which had God's glory, the holiness of God's house and righteousness as regards evil for its motive, as that discipline should, how can they talk of withdrawing it in grace when other people objected: does grace mean giving these up? Other saints not engaged in these questions in any direct way were unanimously struck with the spirit of their conduct from their own documents. I knew some of those concerned in it, which made it worse.... But I go on none of these things, but that their act was a very wicked act: I believe it impossible to be with God and not see it. And they have haughtily refused to meet upon the ground of common failure and confession. Mr. says it is the Lord's matter. The act was his, not the Lord's: that it is the Lord's to judge it I admit; but people can know by His word whether it is right or wrong before He manifests Himself.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
1880.

Abbott's Hill and Principles, and Other Points on Baptism

As to the difficulty in England, you were all wrong in supposing that brethren were not aware that baptism had to say to it. They were aware, but it was all on one side. Two years ago, one of them had said brethren must split on this point.... For my own part, it was a complete demoralization of brethren that moved me; and this has fully come out, and those in whom this want of principle really prevailed, form now a party, and seem likely to break off in one or two places where they prevailed. But in general consciences have been awakened, and the change for the better is strongly felt.... There was a strong movement to leave brethren a year or more ago, on account of the demoralization I have spoken of; which, having been deeply exercised about it, I resisted, and we have been spared that, and the Lord has wrought wonderfully. One after another has got clear, and the body of gatherings in London are united in their decision: in fact, there is more union than ever. The deep impression of how the Lord has wrought is effectual as the things He has done, His hand has been so manifest. And now, dear brother, if you were to become a Pardo-baptist, I should not be a bit more attached to you, and if you love Christ better, as I trust you may daily, I should. I never was satisfied with the manner of my baptism, though I felt it could not be repeated: I had been received into the ostensible body with bowl fide intention of doing so, and could not be let in again. I think the principle more right than Baptist ones.
Since I wrote to you I have been at, what is called, death's door—told that if I attempted to go upstairs I might die on them. The action of my heart failed, and often at night it felt as if it would cease entirely. The first feeling of the break up of the vessel was a solemn one. It was not doubt of the Lord's love, or of the perfectness of His work, but the fact of the breaking up of the status of my existence; but it has left, through grace, the profoundest consciousness of association with Him, and of His love, and of the Father's too, and as if I had left the world behind me: and this sense of His love is very sweet and of association with Himself. I am much better, though a really good night's rest is unknown to me, but study work I can do as ever through mercy; but am, for my thoughts so to speak, a dead man, for the other world: we all ought to be so, and I had long so held the truth, but it is another thing to be there. All I have taught has come back to me as divine truth from God, and that is a great comfort. I have nothing to regret but my own poor walk, though I had no object but Christ. But of Jacob and Israel it shall be said, "according to this time"—the end of the wilderness—" What hath God wrought." My mind is as fresh as ever: so there is your poor old friend, John Darby, looking for Christ in you and nothing else, and knowing He is there.
Kind love to all, and tell the Nelson brethren I have but one thought, their happiness in Christ.
Affectionately yours in Him.
The Lord will guide with His eye, if we look to Him—at any rate as poor horses or mules, in His faithful love, if we do not.
Croydon, July 10th.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Epistle to Philadelphia; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Park Street

I was happily away, at [the time of] the Manchester meeting.—-, who had a mania for publishing, did so with this, very wrongly. I looked at it hastily, but found it all full of themselves-Philadelphia and Laodicea. It was we, it was the first alarming sign of mischief: Laodicea began in John's time.
I do not doubt there is a consecutive history in the passage- which I divide into two parts, chapters 2 and it ends in Thyatira or popery. In chapter 3 we have Protestantism alongside. Philadelphia is a church without pretension which keeps Christ's word and does not deny His name; which further keeps the word of His patience; which still expects Christ, though it may seem He will never come; He is waiting, and in the patience in which He waits-for the long-suffering of God is salvation, He is not slack concerning His promise- taking His word to guide and still waiting; and such will be kept. But it is not the party which outwardly characterizes the church which is addressed-all, in a general sense-but (I believe) those who have ears to hear.
It is not apostasy which characterizes Laodicea, nor heresy, nor Babylon, but much worse, I think; professed light from human sources, from the human mind-and has not God's eyesalve (nor gold tried in the fire, Christ as divine righteousness), the sense of the value of all things. It is just the reality of that which is divine, known by divine teaching.
I do not think the seven churches go down a regular declivity. Smyrna is God's stopping declining by persecution. Philadelphia is not decline on Sardis. The tendency is there, but it is not absolute, or universal. A great deal that is neither here nor there has been said as to Philadelphia and Laodicea; but those of Philadelphia are not the description of the progress of evil. Not keeping Christ's word, but denying His name, was their danger; and in this they had overcome: the other was dropping the expectation of the Lord, the word of His patience; in this, too, they had overcome: and they had two promises—kept from the hour of temptation—they would be off before it (not διά; ἐκ) and the ecclesiastical powers which had despised them should be humbled to recognize that Christ had loved them. In verse 12 they are singularly identified with Christ. But the faithful in Philadelphia are called to overcome as much as in Laodicea. Faithfulness in the circumstances of each particular assembly is what each are respectively called to.
The Park Street declaration was the act of that assembly -of Park Street—being the reception of a letter of commendation, which in no case went beyond the assembly receiving it—indeed, in most cases would be useless, as people came up for a Lord's Day and went away: only that as it really involved serious questions it was sent down to Cheapside, as courtesy to brethren. Secondly, I never meddled with the Original Park Street declaration, and all would not go to the meeting. What I objected to was sending out the notice. What I did as to those outside not being associated—it had been proposed to them and they would not go—was to urge that Cheapside had owned them as Kennington when they were going wrong, and could not now reject them when they were going right. I took pains, too, in communication with-and those outside, showing them that those who remained in as to their action had now joined with them. Finally they accepted the common action.
Perhaps I should tell you it has been a question with me of dying all night, and even now I cannot answer your letter very easily. But to be blackened—I am used to it.
London, January 25th, 1882.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Assembly Judgment Owned

I bless God more than I can tell you for His gracious working. His way is "in the sanctuary" if His way is "in the sea," and if we are with Him there, the sea bows to His power; but to none else that I know of. After my first deep distress, I trusted His love, though sometimes depressed; and He has worked constantly and wonderfully. I have been surprised all has subsided so soon, but when He works all is soon still....
What I now look for is God's grace, that brethren may lay it to heart, humbled before the Lord, breaking off from worldliness, and having their conversation in heaven. I am a poor thing, but I can see that we are not what we were, I fear, in any way; and I do trust brethren will not lose the blessing of this awakening shake they have had, nor of the wondrous grace God has shown us. It would then be sad indeed. But I trust the Lord may arouse them, and am most thankful for what He has done.
I have written to dear, in consequence of your letter.
There are, I believe, complications there, but I put the matter before him in itself. But it is more difficult sometimes to get out of a position than into it. But the Lord has shown so much grace that we ought to count on Him—only to have patience. As to the other point, the regular thing would be just to follow London without saying anything: I hardly suppose there is any need of doing anything special. What I hear to-day seems to say that London is getting quietly into its usual course. If so, there is no need. If there were doubt about restless minds at, it might be a question of wisdom whether to raise the question there, unless to re-assure others. If London needed the support of testimony from without, there would be a motive; but this seems hardly to be the case. If is suspected, but really firm, it may clear itself. In itself it would be an unusual and irregular thing to write and say we accept your judgment; for, unless some special case of remonstrance were there, in a case more or less common to both, it would be of course. The sending everywhere the first notice from Park Street raised these difficulties. No one, I think, judges that to have been wise, but that will gradually quiet itself. If there be any bona fide uncertainty as to being clear, it would have to clear itself. If it be as you seem to say, it is clear: I see no great use in raising questions in your midst. If there are others to re-assure, grace may do it.
We have had a useful little conference for two days here, and other meetings.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Bochim and Gilgal; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Testimony for These Days; the World and the Christian

I never felt the same distrust of myself as I do now in writing this, and I desire to speak to my own conscience as to you. I should not write at all, but as taking the lowest place, always the best, and now especially the only true and right one. He who is lowest and lowliest will be most blessed.
Let me say a word as to Bochim. Looked at merely as used for humiliation or sorrow where saints have failed, and voluntarily by grace place' themselves to own it before God, I heartily enter into it, but taken as it is really in scripture, there was nothing of the kind lit Bochim. The Lord declared in judgment that He would no longer drive out their enemies, and they wept when they heard the judgment. There was no sorrow for sin and failure, but for judgment, and they worshipped where they wept. Gilgal, that is circumcision, the removal of the reproach of Egypt, and the Lord's presence by His angel in it, was lost forever. There was no voluntary confession and humiliation at all. It is all a mistake. They had not faithfully put out the evil that was amongst them, and the Lord, though interfering from time to time in compassion, left them judicially in this state. I refer to this because the word became a kind of watchword with many. But God has wrought a great deliverance for us, much greater than most of those spared are aware of: some have felt it. And what I desire now is, that our consciences may turn and see where we had so failed as to bring this sorrow upon us. I am not going to turn back and charge any one or refer to any recent circumstances, but to weigh, where conscience is awake, how we brought ourselves into the strait place we were in. I hesitated a moment whether I should say anything, before the details which remain were set in order by God, as I am assured His grace will do; but they do not affect my object.
Is it not true for every thoughtful conscience that the spirit of the world had invaded us? We do not go to parties; if we meet, we meet to read the scriptures and edify one another. Discipline for any gross evil would be, I suppose, exercised with some measure of faithfulness where the evil was apparent: I make no exaggerated statement of evil: many, I doubt not, were walking christianly, I dare say better than myself. But as to the course of this world, had we not greatly fallen into its ways? not, as I have said, in open worldliness—but was not there that, current, and let pass, which grieved the Spirit of God, and hence weakened all spiritual energy, and spiritual discernment for discipline and for the Lord's mind in all our course—the loss of discerning things that are excellent "to be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ," "filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding... fruitful in every good work"? Have we been as purified to Himself for a peculiar people; not our own, bought with a price; as epistles of Christ known and read of all men; living by Him, and close to Him, and for Him; as is said, "Christ is all, and in all," so that whatsoever we should do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus? Were our sole and constant motives Christ, or the common motives of the world? Were buying and selling, our houses, our clothing, ordered on principles which Christ, if there, would approve? Did we walk even as once we walked? Was there devoted service among the poor and needy, visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world? We read, " Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Were we yielding our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God as an intelligent service, proving what was that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, as Christ offered Himself for us a dying sacrifice? Ah! what place had He, has He in our hearts? Do we live to Him who died in love for us? If the testimony of God as to the truth was with brethren, was it the truth as it is in Jesus, the having put off the old man and put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness?
I had long dreaded: the Manchester meeting alarmed me. I was not there; but the discussion was whether we were Philadelphia, or who was Laodicea—and not at Manchester only. Brethren had got to think of themselves as a body of people, and to say the least, less of Christ and His body. Now God calls us, and that in love, to remember from whence we are fallen and repent and do the first works. He looks for consistency and devotedness. He always does, and I bless His name He does, but He does so call us now by special circumstances. Satan, long practically undermining as to devotedness and un-worldliness, had made a deadly effort to set brethren aside in their testimony to the truth. God in His sovereign mercy has broken his effort. It has been His doing only. Now comes the positive side. Is that which gave him entrance, and a handle, removed, and the Lord truly honored? If our consciences do not take notice of His ways, the next thing, though His patience is great and long, would be His judgment. Satan's efforts and power He can easily break, humbling us in the meantime; but His judgment who shall withstand? I ask myself, I ask you, how far can we say, "To me to live is Christ"? That is the grave question for us all now. I do not seek to discourage, quite the contrary. The Lord, in sovereign mercy, has not left us, though we have greatly failed. He has shown Himself most graciously with us, when we might have expected the contrary. How soon could the apostle say, "All seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ"! He has shown Himself full of mercy and grace: what I seek is that our hearts may turn to Him according to that grace.
I add, as the passage has been circulated, that Heb. 12:27 has no possible application. There God Himself yet once more shakes and removes what can be shaken, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. What man, when God shakes all things, can establish what cannot be shaken? One part of the passage does belong to us, to those to whom the warning of God's shaking all things yet once was addressed, namely, "We therefore receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire." Such is His government here, but with that we have boldness to enter into the holiest. May our thoughts be formed there: may we yet remember that He governs!
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Christ in Glory and Humiliation

You will have received much later news than I can send you how beloved Mr. Wigram is gone home, and since then tile trouble they have had in London. But God makes this, as all else, work together for good to those who love Him. With the details I have had little or nothing to do, being absent in France; with the root and ground of it everything.... The result is in God's hands, so that I go no further. I have long felt the state of things; and that the Lord will sift the brethren, or is doing so, cannot be doubted. What struck me was, not the evil, I see as much in the apostles' days, but powerlessness to meet the evil. I was most thankful to get the news of brethren in Australia, New Zealand, etc. God, I think, is working here in spite of all. There are conversions, and He is binding saints together where there was division and evil.... On the whole in England there is much to thank God for. We are not out of the place of patient waiting on the Lord, but the mass of evil which seemed insurmountable is wasting to its own real dimensions, and people's consciences, I trust, are awakening to God's presence, and realities; and when we are in God's presence all goes right. I have the Lord greatly with me in it all, though deeply tried. When people were tried with circumstances, I was comparatively at peace, had gone through it with the Lord.
I think I see that Christ is presented in glory as one who leads us on in energy, conforming us to what He is according to the glory; and that when the question is of nourishing the inward life, and the affections and character, it is the humbled Christ on whom we have to feed. This is partly the case in Phil. 2 and iii.: the former the inward state and character, Christ coming down; the latter, a glorified Christ, the Object after which we run. But it is taught in many passages. I have been struck also latterly, in connection with a controversy on certain teaching whose soundness was in question, that while Romans gives us death to sin, the old man or flesh, and Colossians death and resurrection, just touching Ephesian ground, this last has nothing to do with dying to the old man. The object of grace is owned as dead in sins, and then a wholly new creation in Christ; so that we have the contrast of the two things, what by the Holy Ghost we are put into, and what we were in the flesh. Colossians is life, not the Holy Ghost; estate, not place. But I must close. We have nearly done the bulk of our work.
Pau. 1879.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Christ in Glory and Humiliation

I was very glad to get your account. I need not say how thankful I am for the blessing God has bestowed on the work.... I do trust the Lord may continue His blessing on the depot and on the saints. As to me, I am growing old, past eighty, and my activities somewhat more burdensome; but till to-day, and some days of traveling, I have had two meetings daily these six weeks or more, and when in London it is yet harder work. In general there is a very open ear for the word, and we cannot complain of want of blessing. There is nothing very new, but the thirst for the word is striking, nor are conversions wanting. The shake brethren got in London has aroused consciences; they needed it, but the Lord has been very gracious, and though there are local traces of it, God has not allowed His testimony to fail. But there is not the same deadness to the world as at first, but more than a while back: I do trust there may be yet growth in this respect...
What I still dread is worldliness; it weakens the spring of all. For what is there but Christ? He reveals the Father; He is eternal joy, and present life too. We do not enough feel that what is not seen is revealed to us. See 1 Cor. 2 How could we look upon it if it were not, or how set our affections on things above? Perhaps as one draws nearer we see clearer, or are more occupied with it, but it seems to me all. People go on around me with their occupations, and I suppose must, and I know ought in one sense; but it seems to me another world which ends in nothing. At any rate, the fashion of it passes away—Christ, and His word, and they who do God's will, never. All that is eternal; only we have to seek His guidance to serve Him, with His wisdom and according to His will.
Kindest love to the brethren. It would, were it possible, be a joy to me to see them, but it is hardly likely now.
Aberdeen, September, 1880.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Division; Party Against Evil Not Countenanced; Avoiding Party Action; Patience

As regards division, I am as decided as possible.... I wrote that I would no more go with a party against evil than with the evil itself, and quoted Isa. 8:12, 13. I knew before I left for France, but found it much more forward than I was aware of when I returned. I do not believe it is either faith or godliness. I am pretty well aware of the springs which have moved in it. It would be still a question whether God was going to set aside the brethren: if He does, certainly I should not go with any party in it. I have long felt that this party that assumes to be the godly one is the one to be feared. They are tried with evil, I admit, but this is not faith.... Suffice it to say, with no party action will I have anything to do save to reject it. But the conclusion come to at Cheapside favored no such action.
Dublin, July lat.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Holiness; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Appreciation of the Word; Reformers

It is high time I should be answering your letter, but if you knew how I have been occupied, and how many I have to write which are obligatory, you would not be surprised at it.
The Lord is as faithful and as mighty to save now as ever, indeed I have found Him more so, that is, had experience of it. It makes me tremble in looking back at what was at work in London, but in waiting on the Lord there is a strength that nothing can resist, and a hand that can move everything, and a wisdom that can guide it, and—shall we not say?—alone that does—I must. But all was the Lord's doing, not that there were none upright and faithful, for there were those with whom my heart went; but some were apt to be in a hurry, and others disheartened. Even those who sought to act aright saw only the details and surface. I saw the evil, and was greatly exercised as to leaving those called brethren altogether, but felt it was the testimony of God, and could not, and then had to take the thing up in earnest, but only to cast it on the Lord. That day only will declare what had to be gone through. Details have still to be dealt with, but the brethren are at peace, and there is good in London, and souls added. Thank God my soul realized the faithful love of the Lord, and my heavenly portion, as it never did, so that this was only a place of work. But I do not expect my spirit, in the human sense, ever to return to its former state. One has now to seek to get the spirit of brethren out of it all, and encourage mutual confidence. For myself, always alone, I am more totally alone than ever before; but I feel the Lord's faithfulness as I never did. What matter, then, where one is as to circumstances?
Kindest love to the brethren in Chicago, if you are there. I am in my eightieth year, and I shall hardly see them all again now, but my heart is as fresh in its affection to them all as ever. There is that which never ends. I have been interested lately in the thought, how the heavenly divine holiness of glory is the only one—the same now. One has only to draw the veil, and it is there in perfectness, here under a veil. See 1 Thess. 3:12, 13; as many others. This sets us practically, wonderfully in heaven though, in a poor earthen vessel. The Lord keep you, dear brother, near Himself, in all lowliness of spirit, but cheerful confidence!
Pau, December.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Introduction to the Bible

The character of what has been thrown off in the skirmish is most marked: what we have to look for is God working. The one thing I desire is that a bright clear testimony to Christ, and devotedness to Him should come out of it all. As to details, I have little to say. My experience-is that the work of God is never done without opposition; only God holds the reins, and if He gives peace, who can give trouble? Yet He can say, "Satan shall cast some of you into prison," and even speak of being faithful unto death, as if He could not help it, and had only the other world at His disposal. It is where we are with Him that the blessing is. Here He is with us, the enemy externally reigning (till He takes to Himself His great power), and gives us the privilege of suffering with Him. Here I have felt weak, have suffered the loss of all things I counted gain; but I had a dread of hostile power, though I have had to go through it a little. Any way, I am what He has made me, at least in any good; and there nothing, and He everything. Thank God it is sot only then we have to realize this in every-day life—Christ all, and that nothing else show itself. If it were only so! Still we can delight in Him, and joy in His love, and that will never end. Then our joy will not be pent-up; now it is, like steam, to carry on the work of His grace, but oh! what a burst there will be of it when in port, and it does not spend itself, but grows, for the Object is infinite.
I am occupied with a preface or introduction to the French Bible, and have nearly finished it. It has interested me; I was afraid at first of introducing it, but the Lord is good -I ought not to say He is an austere man—so I have done it (in French). The Lord be with you; it is a privilege to serve in these last days—more difficult, perhaps, but a brighter testimony than ever. Devotedness and lowliness, that is what I seek. It is very hard to be nothing, though we know it; the very energy of service takes you out of it, unconsciously: but near Christ, and in love, we forget self; and that is just the measure of godliness and spirituality.
December, 1881.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Judging

A word on the Park Street circular: I did not like it being sent round the country, but I dare say it may do good.... I was not at the meeting, nor did I go to any of them, the rather as I was in France. The paper, however, was a notification of the conclusion they had arrived at, nor were they the first.... The various gatherings had to act, because the remains at Kennington (a large number had gone out) positively refused to act, so that each gathering that felt the evil had to clear itself. This was an abnormal state of things, but was merely provisional, and could not be helped. The effect of this action was that what remained at K. put—out; but a very large number of brethren there had gone out already, and this had to be regulated. The assembly in London being silent is not exactly the point. All are agreed that—is out, but formal exclusion has been declared—as to themselves, has been pronounced—by a great many to clear themselves, and in the country a vast mass of gatherings are clear, and clearer than London. What course the Lord will make it take, I know not at present. We wait to learn what K. has done. But there is a work going on in the conscience of those who hitherto have supported -. But such a demoralizing of conscience and insensibility to right and wrong I never saw. It was high time to do something. And the Lord has worked, and is working, and He alone can do it.
Some would often go too fast, and others too slow. If brethren had not been demoralized, there would have been deep sorrow of heart for poor, but five minutes would have settled the case, when a few facts were known, and did with upright minds.
I am off to France, but shall return as soon as I can.
London, August 26th.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Majority a Human Arrangment; Unanimity in Discipline

Thank you for your account. I cannot but think God is bringing things to light. I trust and pray that God may guide the brethren at -. Waiting upon Him, He surely will. Christ never ceases to care for the church. He may see good to try us, but He is a match for any mischief-maker. But I write properly for two points: First, that I do trust our dear brother will do nothing whatever, but cast it all on the Lord; He will take care of it: I know that. The other is, that unanimity is nonsense, a denial of the power and operation of the Spirit, and clean contrary to the word of God. First, it is nonsense; because till the case is decided the person charged is one of the assembly, and you are not going to make him agree as led by the Spirit in judging his own case. If you do not allow him, you have put him out before his case is decided. It is real nonsense. Waiting for quiet godly men who doubt is all right: unanimity is so many men agreeing. The world must go on and so judges by a majority, but for the saints nothing can be done unless all agree—this is man, not the Spirit of God. Supposing it was a flagrant case of stealing or adultery? Are you to wait till he agrees to put himself out? Again, supposing the person or persons are obstinate, self-willed, evil walkers? The assembly must, in either case,' go on with wickedness, with what God judges in its midst, till the guilty think proper to judge themselves, or break up altogether. It is denying the operation of God's Spirit in the assembly's clearing itself: better not to have any discipline at all.
It will be said that we have not the power—say of Paul. Be it so. But put out "from among yourselves" is a duty, obedience to the plain word of God, not power in the sense of an apostle. Evil is to be got rid of "that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened." The requiring unanimity is contrary to the plain word of God on the point. Paul says "Having in readiness to avenge all disobedience when your obedience is accomplished." This puts the case that after the labor of the apostle to produce obedience had produced its full effect, some might remain not subject to the word; then he would come with the rod and avenge disobedience. The case is stated of non-unanimity, and dealing with those who stood out. I quite understand that people may seek to say the power is not here. But that is not the question, but that unanimity is not supposed even when the power was there; and I am persuaded that though power is not manifested as it was, Christ is just as true to His church, and has just as much power now as then, and will show it. But unanimity is a mere human device: there is no such thought in scripture. It is merely a set of men must agree: the power of the Holy Ghost is denied. The judgment is not valid because men agree, but because God is there: and Christ being there is not supposed by the apostle necessarily to produce unanimity; he puts the contrary case. It is because it falsifies the whole ground of the church's standing and authority that I attach importance to it.
March, 1881.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Occupation With Evil

Take care, too, that irritation does not come in; the wrath of man never works the righteousness of God. The saints ought to be able to win back to peace many souls, and the way of peace is that which will do it. But let their vexation subside; you will have given up no principle: one's own soul suffers by being constantly occupied with evil. It is not the place of communion.—saying he gave up brethrenism has put the thing in its true light; and if left to reflect on it, many will find where they had got to; if carried on as if seeking to carry one's point, they will not. You should not mind such as -. There is a kind of violence which grace is entirely above. It ought to be above all. God's ways are His own and wonderful.... I have constantly found that bringing things to God, if real, is the way of having them done. Our hearts are very treacherous, and we are in danger of rejoicing in iniquity, if the evil of another proves our point. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and pray for poor much. He is one dear, as redeemed in the blood, the precious blood of Christ. Many would think this inconsistent with my letter, but. it is not. It was occasioned by a public act which Carew the whole testimony of God into confusion. Be assured that God knows how to manage His own affairs: He has shown it. Give people time to weigh and think.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
1879.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Occupation With Evil

My path is to be quiet, feeding souls with Christ as far as God enables me. It restores the tone of the soul for every emergency. My impression is, my letter expressed the desire to be with brethren in the perilous times of the last day, not any break up of brethren. The pretensions of brethren I had seen growing, and it alarmed me a good deal. But God has been putting that down, and that is a very good sign: " whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." I counsel patience on all sides. Consciences are awakening and getting humbled as to the state brethren are in, and that was what was wanting.
I could not leave brethren, I felt it would not be faith, and I feel I was right. I have never a moment doubted that it was the testimony of God. But there was a regular plan to break it up in London, and, with this, the most precious truths, connected with deceit and evil, and this sectarian pretension of what brethren were. This was my difficulty. When a positive act took place, I could deal with it for myself; up to that, it was going on without anything positively culpable to lay hold of. Now we have only to wait patiently the Lord's working. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass."
1879.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Patience; Evil Speaking

Very dear brother -,
Our passage down here is a time of wars and conflicts, and it could not be otherwise. Now, if the enemy finds us uncovered, if the flesh is active, he can ever harass us. More than this, we must have the whole armor of God to be able to meet him. It is not a question of strength but of wiles, and God allows us to make the discovery of our state by this means, as in the case of Ai, and of the Gibeonites. But in the work there will always be conflict—victory, no doubt, if we are faithful. To stand, that is our business, in the evil days.
I am sure, dear brother, that as to these evil speeches there is only one thing to be done—to be silent, and bear them, and cast all on God, praying even for those who speak thus. I have been struck with the place that patience has in the christian life, in the New Testament: "Strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory"—what great work is to follow?—"unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness:" "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and complete in all the will of God." Because then the will of man himself, his own spirit, has no place in our walk. Often, even in seeking to do good, we do not sufficiently expect God to act, who alone is able to do good. I hope the brethren who have been evil spoken of will have perfect patience, and God will judge their cause. Let them place themselves at the same time before God, humbled on account of all this evil, praying God to bring in the remedy Himself. He will compel you, it may be, to exercise patience; He will exercise it Himself; and in His time (and it is the best) He will appear for the blessing and to the joy of those who have waited for Him Salute the brethren.
1879

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Testimony for These Days; Total Ruin

I have thought it well to send you my answer to Mr.-, who wrote to me to announce his separation from brethren. Though I sorrow for him, I do not know that it is an evil that the system of which it is the expression is come to a head. The evil has long been apparent to me.
You now openly judge the whole body of brethren as unfit to be associated with, on account of their state, while reserving to yourself the right to select certain assemblies and individuals whom you will own. You and this party are characterized by that holiness and truth which are proper to the precious testimony which God confided to brethren, at least by the love of it and fidelity to it; the rest are in a mass regarded as unworthy.
Now I have not seen that those who pretend to this, are more holy or characterized more by what is proper to this testimony, nor more devoted, nor have the good of the church of God at heart. Their state does not approve itself to my spiritual judgment, while owning many of those I refer to as dear brethren. I know among the thousands of whom you know nothing, brethren walking in obscurity, more devoted, more given up to Christ, than those who are disposed thus pretentiously to quit them. You admit the precious testimony of God was confided to brethren, so that it is solely on the ground of their unfaithfulness and your greater faithfulness that you leave them. Now I admit that brethren have declined from the un-worldliness which was proper to this testimony, and have borne as God enabled me a testimony to this effect, and the troubles in London have largely awakened conscience, and I may add, I never met in visiting, so great an appetite for the word. But all this was fully before me, before- 's case arose. I weighed before God, with deeper anxiety than I can speak of here, the question of leaving brethren, and what I should do. I felt clearly it was not faith—" the hireling fleeth"—and I remained where I was, though in some things more isolated. I have not remarked that those who have taken the ground you do have advanced in holiness and spirituality, rather the contrary, and I am satisfied it is the path of pretension, not of faith. The question was fully before me, and decided before any of the particular questions arose, though partially occasioned by what brought some of them in result. I therefore, having had the matter fully before me, reject as evil the ground you have taken. Were the movement of those you join yourself to, to break up brethren—and I have thought of all that—your party, were I to be with any (which I do not think I should) would, I think, be the very last I should be with: indeed, I should not think of it at all, it is too pretentious for me. I have felt that brethren had got into a low state, and have felt the path was to serve them in it. You have judged that they are in a hopeless, irremediable state, and judged of God to be unworthy of His testimony. God will judge whom He accepts in this. If God has not so judged them, you are clearly wrong. I shall not regret, if He does reject them, having sought to serve them, and Him, in their low estate.
I enter into no details as to -. It is not the question. Your statement is, 'I am not free to be in their association, as feeling my great responsibility to the Lord and to the brethren.' I believe that under the influence of an evil system you have not been able to resist the effect of the pressure of A. H., and what was associated with it. You cannot be surprised if I act as to you on your own statement, and at the same time reject in every way the system under whose influence you are. ' I reserve to myself, as it concerns many besides you, the right to communicate this letter in any way I think proper. I leave the judgment of the question, and of the right path, entirely in the Lord's hands.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Perth,
September 22nd.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; the Loss of a Mother

As regards the brethren, it is not only that I have enjoyed my visits, but grave, sober men, like -, I found quite cheery as to the way they saw God working among brethren. I do not doubt a bit that there is still much to do, and only One who can do it. I am not surprised at those you speak of laboring to support evil; perhaps I expect such things too much....
Now if God is pleased to set aside brethren, I bow to it; but I do not believe it, though we may have deserved it. God has interfered, and checked the tide of evil. I quite recognize there are remains, but I trust Him as to these, as to the body of the evil.... Wait awhile and you will see the issue of God's dealings.... The brethren had let things get into a state in which corporate action was very difficult, but God has acted, and will act.... Brethren had morally declined, and the question was, Had God given them up? Well, I felt faith would not say Yes, and I stayed where I was; but the whole state had to be raised for permanent blessing, and that was an individual, moral thing. Many were ignorant of what was at work....
I have no doubt many are sealed who could not explain it, and would fear, from bad teaching to say too boldly they were sons; but an unsealed Christian is unknown to scripture. It is not conversion, but the Holy Ghost coming to dwell in us so that our bodies are temples. In general, it is said, "having believed [Eph. 1 "the gospel of your salvation"] ye were sealed." If we come to details, I believe it will be as believing in the work and its efficacy as well as the Person Df Christ.
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart."
Dublin, 1880.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; the Work in the East

You must not be surprised if you have a short letter after a long silence. My earthly tabernacle is brought very low, and I cannot do much, but I would not in the love of Christ leave you without writing. I understand that the Egyptian brethren want an earlier forming into the christian position. But the question arises who shall do this, but those who could build up when there? If I found in Egypt a widespread and real faith in their new position in Christ, I should be content. This, however, has been the great defect in Germany; having to do with a large converted number wholly under law, deliverance from that became their great test, and they made little progress afterward. Still a more advanced state of Christians was generally secured, while much time may be spent, so to speak, in ripening up a few under our hand, where the resulting testimony is after all equivalent. If, indeed, the moral spiritual state answered always to the known position I should hardly hesitate, but this is hardly so; and hence doubt may come in at least where always to be—in one [place] or the other. But I should be disposed to visit both, and minister according to the need of each. The Egyptian ones coming under other's care is for many reasons an additional difficulty, but the Lord is sufficient for it, and if He opens none can shut. Where I found it to be a case of one or the other I might stick to Syrian work.
Many laborers in America were over here for a conference, and went over the country besides. They seem to have enjoyed it greatly themselves, as our brethren did their presence, and I believe there was blessing by the word.
I believe I must close. I hardly yet know if it be the Lord's mind to leave me or to take me. A little more strength and, humanly speaking, I should be here for a while; there are elements which tend to weaken me. But I am in His hands and peaceful—of happiness I do not speak: what is best I know well. There are a few things I should be glad to see to an end; but the Lord does not want me for them. The Lord is turning our sifting to manifest blessing, and we have only to bless His name. But I have done.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
London, January 31st, 1882.

Abbott's Hill and Principles; Worship of Christ; New Lumpism

-I had heard there was trouble in NewYork, but was greatly grieved when I read the cause in your letter, if I have rightly understood what you say, that some, among them, cannot worship the Lord. There is nothing new in it: a case happened in England, but the person was refused communion. it is a deep grief to me; I have written to him, which I thought the best way. Anything that touches the glory of the Lord, and our heart-estimate of Him, is of the last moment, and must be near the heart of him who loves Him. The case I referred to soon showed other thoughts derogatory to the Lord.
As to myself, I am much better; I had a very severe cold from coming into the fogs of London, and it turned into a fit of the gout, from which I begin to be free; but have only put my shoes on these last few days, and that on going out, but I left London for a journey to see the brethren and work. I have had very free, nice meetings, well-attended at several places, and felt the Lord with me. All this trouble in London, which in principle threatened all the brethren, has done me and all of them a great deal of good—roused their consciences and made them feel the need of looking more to Christ and being more wholly for Him It was not a mere question of discipline, but a regular effort to break up brethren, which I had long felt was going on, but which came fully out, with very corrupting elements. God has graciously broken that up....
It is generally a time of blessing But here it will be still toil and labor, in the midst of opposition, till He comes who shall take us up to be with Him in God's rest. If we can only glorify Him meanwhile, all is well. What else have we to do? At the close of life, we see that only is life; but faith sees it all along by His being all: hold fast this, dear, and the secret and guidance of the Lord will be with you. It will be soon all over, and His approbation will then be everything. The time of my lying by was a time of rest I was greatly craving, and could hardly have found if I had been able to go out. I must close. We are in His hands, and thank God we are.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
It may be merely an idea taken up by dear—-, which,with a little gentleness and scriptural proof he may drop; he seizes points rapidly, and I trust he may be delivered from this, for it affects morally all our estimate of Christ. It affects, in the thoughts and the feelings as to Him, the divine nature; only I hope, by dealing gently with him, he may come straight.
April 16th.

Abstaining From Breaking Bread; Love and Brotherly Love; Love Does Not Admit Sin

The common notion is that brotherly love is charity, and indeed its most perfect form: this is a mistake, as this passage (2 Peter 1:7) shows. That brotherly love is a most sweet and precious fruit of grace, is most true—precious in the heart that is filled with it, and precious in its mutual development; but it is not charity. We are told to add to brotherly love charity. The reason is simple: if brotherly love, brethren are the object, and though when genuine and pure it surely tows from grace, it easily in us clothes itself with the character which its object gives it, and tends to limit itself to the objects with which it is occupied, and be governed by its feeling towards them. It is apt to end in its objects, and thus avoid all that might be painful to them, or mar the mutual feeling and pleasantness of intercourse, and thus make them the measure of the conduct of the Christian. In a word, where brotherly love ends in itself, as the main object, brethren become the motive and governing principle of our conduct; and our conduct as uncertain as the state of our brethren with whom we may be in contact. Hence the apostle says, "Above all these put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness"; and another apostle, "And to brotherly kindness charity." Now charity is love; but will not this seek to exercise brotherly kindness? Undoubtedly it will, but it brings in God. "God is love." "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." Hence it brings in a standard of what true love is, which mere brotherly kindness in itself never can. It is the bond of perfectness, for God, and God in active love is its measure. Brotherly kindness by itself has the brother for the object: charity is governed by, exists in virtue of the conscious presence of God; hence whatever is not consistent with His presence, with Himself, with His glory, cannot be borne by the heart who is filled with it. It is in the spirit of love that it thinks and works, but in the Spirit of God, by whose presence it is inwardly known and active. Love was active in Christ when He said, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers"; in Paul when he said, "I would that they were even cut off which trouble you."
Charity, because it is God's presence, and that we feel His presence, and look to Him in it, is intolerant of evil. In mere brotherly kindness, the brother being the object before my mind (and, if God's presence be not felt, we do not realize it, nature coming in so easily and here in its most unsuspected and kindly shapes), I put man before God, smother up evil, keep kindness going, at any rate so far exclude and shut out God. Charity is His active presence though it will be in love to man; but it gives to God all His rights. He it is that is love, but He is never inconsistent with Himself. His love to us was shown in what was the most solemn proof of His intolerance of evil, the cross. There is no true love apart from righteousness. If God is indifferent to evil, is not righteous, then there is no love in grace to the sinner. If He abhors evil, cannot suffer it in His presence, then His dealings with us as sinners show the most perfect love. If I have ten children, and they go wrong, and I say, ' Well, I am to show love to them,' and I take no account of their evil ways; or if some of them go wrong and I treat them as if there was no difference to my mind in their well doing or evil doing; this is not love, but carelessness as to evil. This is the kind of love looked for by unconverted man, namely, God's being as careless as to evil as they are; but this is not divine charity which abhors the evil, but rises over it, dealing with it either in putting it away or in needed chastenings. Now if God were indifferent to evil there is no holy being to be the object of my love—nothing sanctifying. God does not own as love what admits of sin.
London, February, 1859.

Principle of Total Abstinence; Division; Temperance Societies

I do not judge temperance societies to be good or scriptural, because they impose another law, and give other motives and other obligations, than scripture or the doctrines of Christ give, and though in particular instances where followed with an unfeigned desire for good, God may have in sovereign mercy overruled them for good (as I dare say may have been the case), yet their general moral effect has been harmful, as all unscriptural things must be. But this is not the ground I go on here, though it is a monstrous thing to substitute an unscriptural invention of man for the institution of God, in a matter which, as to institutions, forms the central expression of the christian system. Further, I think all vows or undertakings of this kind to be positive sin.: and am I really to give up the scriptural remembrance of Christ to support a system whose basis I believe to be really (though unwittingly) a sin?
But what is the character of the act? It is not respecting the scruples of others, and leaving them free to act on them, even if seeking to enlighten them, but it is claiming to impose a law instituted by man on the whole church of God, a law which they cannot pretend to see in scripture. This is not respecting individual conscience, not could I tolerate that the institution of Christ should be subordinated or made to vary for the fancies of men. It is not a question of a certain number at, who may perhaps have no very clear idea of the importance of the question. You are changing the institution of Christ for the whole church of God, if indeed in principle you count yourselves one body with it, and imposing unscriptural inventions on the whole body of Christ. Supposing other Christians to come to-who have clear enough judgment to condemn morally the whole notion and principle of temperance societies, and who felt scandalized at the institutions of Christ being subjected to the inventions and vows of men, what are they to do? I avow to you I would not break bread where I saw Christ's order (in a most touching part of His service too) made the sport of man's inventions. It is the very idea of the dishonor done to the Lord's institution which offends me: the acquiescence of twenty or thirty saints in -, dear as they may be to me, could not affect that.
To me, therefore, I avow to you, it is intolerable: I mean the pretension to subject the whole church of God (for, let it be well weighed, that is what it amounts to) to a notion which is not or cannot be pretended to be a rule of scripture, and which I judge to be sinful in its very nature, and to subject the institution of Christ to it. I judge Christians ought not to break bread where it is knowingly done.
April 21st, 1848.

Adam and Christ - Second Man and Last; Greek Genitive

I do not, in reference to the questions asked, attach any importance to the presence or absence of κυριος. Griesbach retains it; the more recent editors give it up, with several Uncials and other authorities. As to the question itself, I judge the ἐξ οὐρανοῦ to be more characteristic than relative to any ‘descent' from heaven, but that character to be drawn from the place He came from: origin is universally used as characteristic. Race and kind are the same word, γένος. Thus the genitive (or really generic) case, and ἐκ, which expresses origin, are in very many (perhaps all) languages used as characteristic, and in force are adjectives. In Hebrew it is well known, as in Greek, in French, English, and other modern languages; so that it may be considered as belonging to the structure of the human mind. This may be drawn from place or origin, or the material of which anything is composed. It so far differs from an adjective that it is constitutive of character, not the character itself simply.
Here we have ἐκ γῆς χοἴκός ("of the earth, earthy"). The former is the constitutive cause, the latter the actual character. But the cause was from origin; so with ἐξ οὐρανοῦ. It is characteristic, but because of the place of origin. He has not ceased to be it now; but what is expressed is not what He is now, because gone to heaven, but His character because of His origin. It attaches to His Person. He is so now, because He cannot be otherwise: because His origin was such, He was so on earth. The full display of this is when He takes the place of the ἐπουράνιος (ver. 48); that gives the fulfilled consequent place, and, from the subject, is more than characteristic, though it be that. I judge, then, that ἐξ οὐρανοῦ is character from origin, or the place the Lord belonged to, as ἐκ γῆς. Not that He came from, but that He was from, and of, and ever is. The result is, that the first isχοἵκός, the second ἐπουράνιος. This is on high, the natural, normal, and purposed place of one ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, who is become a man. But still it is character and nature, though the ἐπὶ suggests a place, I think. Hence, there is for it an abstract consequence of conformity, not a statement of what will happen: "as is theχοἵκός, so they also that are χοἵκοί; and as the ἐπουράνιος, so they also that are ἐπουράνιοι,." Then the form, not merely character and nature and time, is brought in. It is in the second case future. "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Thus origin, participation in nature and character, abstractedly given, and then actual conformity in glory, are successively, each in its place, introduced. It will be seen that, without much affecting the question, what I have said tends to justify the omission of κύριος. If it be retained, I apprehend it should be read -;`the second man, the Lord, from heaven." Not that I desire to separate "the Lord" from "from heaven," but to preserve the characteristic force of the latter.
As regards any difference in meaning in "second" and "last," think the Spirit of God means a different thing. "The second" contrasts Him with the first. It is not a modifying or sanctifying or setting right the first, but setting up a second (we cannot have both to continue together) One of and from heaven. "The last" declares that this is final and conclusive. There is no other afterward. If He be ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, that is easily conceived. In these days, both these truths are of first-rate importance -the non-restoration of man, the first man who is set aside and under condemnation, and a new Man, a second Man, is brought in; and then He who is made known is the last Adam, the One, and only One, in whom blessing is to be found. Men will own Christ, even infidels now, to set up the first Adam; they will with hardihood declare Him to be the excellent in His day, but that there is progress through increasing light. Scripture, which foresees all things, declares that He is a "second," in contrast with the first; and that He is the "last," so that there is and can be no progress beyond Him • the perfection in which God delights, and the center and end of all His ways, to which those who are to be blessed with Him must be conformed.

Advocacy and Priesthood

The main difference between Hebrews and 1 John 2:1, is that Hebrews refers to our drawing near to God, and includes the whole analogy of the priestly service, even including the sacrifice. Christ stands between us and God to this effect, and for the whole means of obtaining mercy and grace to help. The Advocate is with the Father and supposes a believer and a son, and is for the maintenance in practice of this relationship, that is, our life in it, and in point of fact refers only to the case of one who has sinned being in that relationship, one who has the privilege of fellowship. It refers to fellowship with the Father, not approach to God. I do not say the advocacy is confined to this case of sins. It is stated as a general fact, but it is only applied to this case.
' In what sense can we be said to act in our priestly character towards each other? We cannot say we are priests to each other; but may we not be for each other before God? In the type of the heifer, the clean person was to sprinkle the unclean: is this, spiritually, a priestly act?
Practically, we are not always in priestly condition of soul. May not, then, a spiritual believer draw near to God on behalf of one who practically cannot, without allowing the thought of any one coming between the soul and God?')
We are and ought to be priests for each other before God, intercede for each other, wash one another's feet, bear the failures of our brethren on our heart in intercession.
The sprinkling is not in itself, however, properly a priestly act: if my conscience is pure before God, I may apply the word according to the holy power of Christ's sacrifice to the heart and conscience of another.
The last question is answered already. We could not be priests at all, if we could not do this. But no man can doubt, if he loves another, he can intercede for him—in Christ's name and in virtue of His sacrifice, but still plead and intercede for him.

Advocacy and Priesthood; Blood of Sprinkling; Sins After Conversion; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation; Priesthood of Christ; Water as a Figure

There are many points to be made clear in your letter: first, as to Heb. 12, it has nothing to say to continual cleansing; "the blood of sprinkling" is a general expression drawn from Judaism, blood being so used for cleansing. But it is used in contrast to Abel's blood which cried for vengeance, Christ's for mercy, and indeed speaks of prospective millennial blessing, and the gathering together in one of all in heaven and earth. That the blood of Christ remains in perpetual value before God, I do not doubt a moment; but, spiritually speaking, it has been sprinkled, and that is presenting it to God, not sprinkling it on anything of ours.
But the great point which wants clearing up is confounding imputation and communion and its interruption. 1 John speaks of fellowship or communion, not of imputation. The priesthood in Hebrews is not for sins, save in the one great act of reconciliation-it is for mercy and grace "to help in time of need" (chap. iv.)-for the simple reason that "by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" through it; and "forever" signifies without break or intermission: as He is sitting constantly (Heb. 10:12) at the right hand of God, we are constantly perfect. (Ver. 14.) Hence "the worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins."
As to sins after conversion, the whole thing is a mistake, leaving out Christ's work, and thinking of the state of our conscience and the Spirit's work in us. The sins we have committed can alone be on our conscience, but as to the effectual work that puts them away, all our sins were future when Christ bore them. Did He bear our sins up to the day of our conversion and not after? If so they never can be forgiven at all, and we must be lost; He cannot die any more; "for then must he often have suffered." Read. Heb. 9; 10, which treat these questions elaborately.
Washing with water is quite another thing; it is the application of the word by the Holy Ghost. Once thus born, that work cannot be repeated, but the least word or evil act interrupts communion, and the soul must be restored to communion. So Christ is Advocate to this effect; but there (1 John) fellowship is treated of; and the ground of this advocacy, instead of imputation, is, that the righteous One (our righteousness) is always there, and the blood of propitiation always valid. We are in Christ, and there is no condemnation for those who are in Him; and in another aspect He always appears in the presence of God for us. The sprinkling of the leper does not affect the question: there was no repetition of fault for renewed cleansing; it was, when cured, the ground of all restoration to communion. Sins are worse after believing, for it is sinning against known love; and the measure of responsibility is greater; we are "to walk as he walked," and manifest the life of Jesus in all things. Nor is anything passed over. Advocacy may restore, and we judge ourselves-else we are judged, chastened that we may not be condemned. I think it is a mistake to apply "the blood of Jesus cleanseth us" to past or present faults. It is an abstract statement, as I may say, Medicine cures the ague. "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light," is the same; it is the Christian's place as such. "Hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience," etc. (Heb. 10:22), refers, I have no doubt, to the priest's consecration which was done once for all. The value of Christ's blood was the ground for everything, we cannot account of it too highly; but it was the golden plate with "holiness to the Lord" which met the iniquities of their holy things.
I believe I have answered from scripture all that you inquire of, or given what meets them all, at least. If anything remains not cleared up, I shall be glad to write again. It is well for the saints to be clear on these things, and in these days especially.
December, 1873.

Advocacy and Priesthood; Feet Washing; Administrative Forgiveness; Government of God; Intercession of Christ; the Lord's Ways With Job; the Lord's Ways With Peter; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type

I do not think that 1 John supposes that a Christian does not live without sinning. It shows that a holy provision is made for him, in case he does. It declares that he cannot say he has no sin, but sinning is put in the past. James, however, declares de facto we all offend in many things.
1 John 1:9, speaks neither of the time of our conversion, nor of our failures after it. Like John's usual statements, it is abstract confession, which, and which alone, is true integrity of heart, and actual forgiveness goes with it. We are personally forgiven all trespasses, and stand abidingly in the power of that forgiveness, so that nothing is imputed to us personally (that is so as to put our persons out of grace). There is the present grace wherein we stand. But as regards the government of God it is another matter. Then I read, "If he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." Hence we are to pray for those who have sinned not unto death, to confess our faults one to another, and to pray one for another. Hence in its place the church, and Paul in his, could forgive sins, as we read in Corinthians. There was a binding in heaven of what was bound on earth, and a loosing in heaven of what was loosed on earth. So, when at Paul's first answer all men forsook him, he prayed that this might not be laid to their charge. The Lord's warnings to His disciples that, if they did not forgive, they would not be forgiven, equally apply. It is not a question of justification with the believer, but of present relationship in divine favor, which some seem to forget altogether. It is not merely that we have the fruit of forgiveness in restored communion, though that be true; but in the positive present aspect of God. As a Governor over those in relationship with Him, He is displeased with certain things, may cause me to die through His displeasure, if I do not judge myself—has done so, as we learn in scripture, both historically and doctrinally.
The passage in John 13 (as does indeed the red heifer) shows distinctly the way of cleansing when a man has defiled himself in his walk. He is cleansed by the washing of regeneration once for all, but needs to wash his feet and must have them washed. And this it is which carries up, farther than mere discipline, the forgiveness of the church. We are to wash one another's feet, but we need this washing in its place to have a part with Christ. God takes care we shall be clean; but we must be clean to be with Him, not by renewed blood-sprinkling in respect of imputation, but by washing the feet with water, that we may have the truth in the inward parts with Him, and have no defilement of walk on us.
I do not know what the question as to Christ's prayer means.
It was intercession. The character of intercession may be different now that He is on high, and refer to a different standing in which we are, but praying for him (Peter) was intercession. The Lord's intercession for us produces, as its result, the fruits of grace, of which confession is the fruit in every honest heart.
Christ's intercession is to make good our present state in conformity with the place justifying forgiveness has placed us in. It is founded on "Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation." These being perfect, our faults (instead of bringing imputation, or being allowed to harden the heart and produce falseness in the conscience) call out His advocacy and the soul is restored. Forgiveness in the absolute sense is righteousness, as regards clearance from all imputation of sins of the old man; but in Christ, we being in heavenly places according to God's righteousness, everything inconsistent with our relationship to God as brought there is a just cause of God's actual displeasure. God is not mocked; but Christ intercedes for us, and, by that which rests on righteousness and propitiation, the fault becomes the occasion of instruction and a deepened work and state in us. Now, for every true saint, this present condition of our souls with God is the capital thing, founded on the fact that he is reconciled to God, and accepted perfectly in His presence in righteousness. It is being thus in His presence which is the ground of all present relationship with God. God's character is not changed because we are brought perfectly near Him; but that character acts on our conscience, and forms it. "We walk in the light as he is in the light"; and if we do not walk according to the light, we find it out, because we are in the light; and to this effect Christ's advocacy comes in. We know God's displeasure against sin. I do not talk of imputation. I say it is displeasure against sin; and if we have sinned, apprehend that in the light. It is not merely loss of communion, but knowledge of God's displeasure with the thing. If we do not walk with God, we have not the testimony that we please God, but displease Him. "The righteous Lord loveth righteousness." Christ's intercession does not lead to forgiveness (as to imputation, it is founded on the removal of that), but regards God's nature and character and our present actual relationship with that. By reason of righteousness and propitiation sin calls out (not satisfaction in us with non-imputation, that is hardness and sin, but) the advocacy of Christ. Sin is taken notice of, estimated as an evil in God's sight, in my soul, but in grace -not in God's favor, however, as simple non-imputation, but in Christ's advocacy active about it, so that my feet are washed. Filth is there: neither I nor God are content—not I, when His word searches my heart. He is displeased when He sees it, and as to my present relationship He does see it. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost—to God—and God knew it, and was displeased with it; those who profaned the Lord's supper the same. The discipline exercised was only the expression of it, but it was exercised because of the displeasure. Judging ourselves, we should escape this. Godly sorrow works repentance. Are we to repent and not to be forgiven, nor rejoice in having it? For this, we must confess. It is absolutely stated, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us." If my feet are defiled, they are not cleansed till they are washed. Christ's intercession is the proper means of this. If anyone sin, we have an advocate.
The meaning of John 16:25-27 is this. Up to that, they had never gone directly to the Father, nor in Christ's name. But as Martha said, " Whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee." Now He puts them in direct relationship with the Father: not as if He was to go instead of them and He only could, as Martha said; in His name they were to go themselves direct to the Father. That was when in gracious desires or wants they had to look for something It has nothing to do with when they had sinned and got away from God in their hearts. Christ's interceding for them is unasked. We do not ask Christ to intercede. He is an advocate through His own grace when we have sinned, not when we ask. I return to the Father in confession, because He has asked when I went astray; as Peter wept because He had prayed for him—not that He prayed for him because he wept, or looked up to Him. What Christ says is, they should not be asking Him about anything, but go 'directly to the Father: that is the contrast—not with intercession, when we have sinned or need grace and do not know it.
It is not said, as supposed, Christ is able to save us from our sin, because He ever liveth. But He carries through all the snares, difficulties, dangers of the way, and Satan's power—restoring our souls if we have failed; grace to help in time of need, as well as restoration—because He ever liveth to make intercession for us, is on high immutably to carry on our cause. For we go through the conflict of good and evil, and have to overcome, though nothing is imputed and we are sure to be kept to the end; but we need to be kept. He will deliver us from every evil work and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom, but we must be delivered.
The book of Job gives us a full account of the case in its operation in man, without reference to any dispensation whatever. He was a godly man, none like him. God saw defect in him. Satan appears, on God's speaking of him, as his accuser. God withdraws not His eyes from the righteous. He deals not first here with outward sin but inward working of ignorance of self, and then its breaking out through God's ways into actual sin; so that it got out, when brought into God's presence as a detected thing, into Job's conscience. The effect of the revelation of God's presence is, first, submission, and then confession. "I have uttered that I understood not... I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." And God restores him to full blessing. Elihu interprets these ways. These ways are interpreted—" one among a thousand to show unto man his uprightness." Job was not upright in the full, true sense of it; there was not truth in his inward parts (though till he cursed his day there was no outward sin) till he abhorred himself and said so; that is, made confession. Then his flesh became fresher than a child's again. What we have to add is this: Christ's advocacy, founded on known righteousness and accomplished propitiation, carries on the administration of this for us in heaven, where we have to be in spirit with God: "such a high priest became us." Next, below, the church in its ministrations and acts ought to be an interpreter, and deal with the conscience, and administratively wash the feet here below: an individual may be by grace, the church (2 Corinthians), elders (James), individuals (1 John). At any rate, in faithful grace, the Holy Ghost by the word so deals with us. The result is always confession, certainly to God, it may be to man. There is no uprightness without this. If I have sin, know it, and come to God to commune with Him, as if I had none, I am in that a hypocrite—hiding iniquity in my heart. We see here where the accuser comes in: he is "the accuser of the brethren."
The advocate is one who manages our affairs, and carries on our cause. It has been said "patron," in a Roman sense; because he supplied the need of his clients—was bound to plead their cause and case for them.
[1864]

The Good of Being Alone With God; M. Taylor

You are, I dare say, a good deal isolated now where you are, being incapable of as much activity as you were wont to employ. I am yet more shut up (from want of breath) from going about. But the blessed Lord is never shut up; nor His heart either. He could say, "Ye shall leave me alone, and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me." It is this sustains and holds up in this time of faith; and it is meant to be a time of faith, but a time when "our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ": the Father fully revealed in Him, and we knowing the Father in Him. What could we look for more? save that the Spirit is the power that brings it all to us; and that we have. I find two things in the New Testament as to our joys and sorrows: first, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice"; and, nothing separates us from His love. Still, we are poor, feeble, exercised creatures as to what passes here and, however faithful, may be cast down, though doubtless ought not to distrust. Then I find, "God, who comforteth those that are cast down." Ah, I say, it is worth while being cast down for such comfort as that! And this is not faith that rises above the circumstances, but grew that meets us in the circumstances: and think what it is to have God occupying Himself with us in our sorrows, when we remember who He is.
I have no doubt you find yourself more alone; at our age it is natural. How few remain of those I once was associated with, but in general I have a happy feeling that they are with the Lord. I was always a solitary soul, thinking more for, than with people: but it is good to be more alone—most good, if it be more alone with Christ. What a place that is!
We get Christ's love to His disciples compared to His Father's love to Him (and ours ought to follow)—is in one sense above, as the Father was in divine glory, not in trial or sorrows. I have often said there is loving up, and loving down. In loving up, the higher and more perfect the object, the more excellent the affection: in loving down, the more wretched and worthless the object, the more truly divine and without motive the affection. Both were perfect in Christ. He gave Himself "for us," but "to God." (Eph. 5) But I must close my desultory letter. May the Lord be abundantly with you, both alone and in work. Kindest remembrances to all yours.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
London, May 1st.

The Good of Being Alone With God; the Last Days; the French Bible

I find it requires the grace of God keeping us near Christ to have the heart free to rejoice in God working.... I am writing an introduction in French to the Bible. I shrank from such a task; it seemed to me so solemn to be giving a kind of resume and estimate of all God's mind as revealed. Still He is love, and helps in grace, and I have greatly enjoyed the work, and He has helped me. Scripture unfolds itself when you look to God and study it. I go and feed there when weary with man-work, still it is the work of faith—heaviness, if need be, "the trial of your faith," and it is all good. I have been interested last night in looking at Gen. 3: how to approach God when driven out (but clothed by God before they were put out), and that is, a burnt-offering—sin, expiation, and all the value of Christ—not sins committed, but man's state. In chapter iv. it is, "If thou doest not well" (and this confirms me in so thking it), "a sin-offering lies at the door;" that is, there is a remedy, do not distrust and get angry: this is provision for actual evil.
Do not reckon yourself lonely: it is a good thing to be alone with God; I have been always alone, but I bless God for it. Not that communion of saints is not happy and a blessing: Paul thanked God and took courage, but it is alone with Him that we get stuff, and there only; where else should we? And in these last days the true lasting work must be from Himself. There is no true work, I well know, but of Him; but the scripture makes a difference of the last days, where the keen discernment and, therewith, the earnest love and grace alone can be found, to carry us through the tangled web of men's minds -and always calm because with Him. "They looked unto him and were lightened:" we should wait on His working....
You will find plenty to swim over, sometimes rough, without going to Epirus; but we are, and sweet is the thought, in the same boat with the Lord. All things become real as we grow old, through grace; yet He is always the same, sufficient for the young, and sufficient also for the old, and so full of tenderness and grace. May we be kept humble, so as to know Him, and all the resources that are in Him, and they are in Him for present difficulties, and even loneliness—for He has felt it: "Ye shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me." So you can say, 'I and Christ that is with me.' "That take and give," He says to Peter, "for me and thee"—to think of putting us so together!
Affectionately yours in the Lord.

Doctrine of Annihilation; Dealing With False Doctrine

These cases of discipline are always difficult, and test the state of the assembly. I do not pretend to have much gift for them, and it depends on the spiritual discernment of those who deal with it. I have no doubt an annihilationist should be put away: it always really denies the atonement, responsibility, the immortality of the soul, and every just sense of sin. The main question is, Does he hold it now? I would say that dear -, whose devotedness I know, is apt to deal rapidly and harshly in discipline, yet I cannot think it an evil that the assembly has given thereby a plain testimony, that it will not accept those who hold such doctrine: but this testimony it has given, and I am very thankful for it. The question, whether he held it then, does not affect this one way or another. The only thing that affects my mind is the subtle infecting poison of these doctrines; and hence the getting assured that not only the open holding of the doctrine, but the infection of the doctrine, does not remain, for it chimes in with the flesh and human nature. But if he be perfectly clear now, the assembly did clear themselves, for which as to it I am very thankful; and I see no reason why he should not be received. It is a good sign that he justifies the assembly, but I may say, that we have no right to keep out God's children if they are sound in doctrine and godly in practice. The point is, Is he really clear, and does he judge the doctrine as evil, and really the denial [of what is] fundamental for souls; for, I repeat, if we have only animal-living souls, responsibility and atonement are gone. If God gave a dog eternal life he would not have to answer for what he had done, nor [need] a Savior either; and I never met one who had not lost atonement: even if Christians their minds had lost it, and I have had to say to plenty of them. Besides, if death is ceasing to exist, as they hold, Christ ceased to exist, and the foundations of faith are gone; and this was admitted to me by two of the most respectable of them at Boston. Does he, then, clearly judge the evil? Only seek [that there should not be] any breach of unity, for questions of discipline always tend to that. But our trust is, as you say, the Lord is above it all....
Kindest love to all the brethren. I am eighty if I live a few months, and I can hardly hope to see them—a sorrow to my spirit, but it is a going home to them as to me, and not an unwelcome one, though as long as He has work for me here, I am content to stay, and would rather have His will, whatever it be. I shall be always glad to hear from you and of all the brethren.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Dublin, June.

Doctrine of Annihilation; Heretics; Manna; J.F.D. Maurice; Interpretation of Parables; Error Best Met by Positive Truth

Thank you for your kind note, and the many kind services you have rendered me in times past. I bless the Lord that now that you require more rest and less labor your soul can enjoy so peacefully the Lord's gracious and faithful love. It is a comfort, after the toil and labor of the way, to feel that after all one's own proper portion is preserved and kept in Him, so that even before we go hence we can, when He give us a little leisure, rejoice in His infinite and precious love. The perfectness of Christ, when the soul rests on Him, fills and satisfies when we can occupy ourselves with it, as it has sustained and helped us through the toil and danger of the road. He has been manna for the journey through the wilderness, and we are entitled to feed on Him as the corn of the heavenly land, when in spirit we pass beyond Jordan. This supposes that our souls have perfect rest in Him as the true sacrifice, and our effectual and accomplished redemption.
Surely indeed we may say that goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our life. In the various scenes and many conflicts I have been in, and the experience of my own weakness, I can bear testimony with my whole heart to His most gracious, faithful, and unfailing love, and bless Him for His great patience, too, with me. It seemed, no doubt, here a somewhat changed house when you were not here; but all changes but that to which God would attach our hearts forever, and He ever more weans our hearts from all that does change, to make us perfectly happy in Him.
You will be glad and thankful to hear that I have been greatly comforted and rejoiced in meeting the brethren here. The Lord makes all things work together for good to them that love Him. Mr.—had left, so that the brethren were left very much to themselves as to public ministry, but it has cast them much on the Lord, and I found them, I think, in a very gracious state. In their prayer meetings there seems a reality and humbleness so that you might be sure God was going to bless. The Lord keep us all there. It is not as if many answers from Him were not still needed; but they seem very truly before Him.... Peace and grace be with you, and the joy, comfort, and strength of the Lord's presence, and believe me, dear Mrs. Your affectionate brother and servant in Christ.

Anointing the Sick; Faith Healing; Perfectionism; Prayer of Faith; Darby Not an Elder

I have no confidence in the movement for faith-healing, save as it may rouse people to look more to God. I never saw it save in individual instances connected with real sound doctrine. The two cases I referred to were one in the Western States where it turned, though it seemed to begin well, to an out and out work of the devil, the other where it was based on full Lutheran views—of being born again in baptism; besides (which were not on my mind) it was connected with perfectionism, and I might add Irvingism, but these were not on my mind.
—-and myself are not elders, and the case in point came in thus—the ordinary local discipline of the church. (James 5) This does not hinder my believing that God does answer the prayer of faith. I have arranged that-and myself will be free at half-past four Monday next, to look to Him for you.
Yours truly.
December, 1881.

Anointing the Sick; Faith Healing; Prayer of Faith

I have known two cases of anointing by request, one at Plymouth... the other in Switzerland: both these were blessed to the body; we owned we were not official but cast ourselves on the Lord. I trust by giving it out you may not have a crowd of curious young brethren. Peter thrust them all out. It is "the prayer of faith" which heals. It is not said, that I know, where the anointing should be: but anointing them is the person rather than the place (as if it was a cure), and this has its importance as to its nature.
The Lord be with you in your service.
[Date uncertain.]

Antichrist

Beloved brother—-,
Now for your reasoning on 2 Thess. 2:7. I see we have the same thought as to the truth, so that I am not very anxious on the subject of the Greek. I suppose that you think that from the midst of the mystery the wicked one will arise, who will embody iniquity, so to speak, in his person—the Antichrist who will be destroyed. I believe it; only if I have rightly understood you think that the beast will exist no longer. But it seems to me that whether it be Daniel or the Apocalypse, they require that the beast shall be there until the judgment that will destroy it. The question remains, whether Antichrist is the beast embodied in its last head, as France in Napoleon (the 1st emperor); or if he is the false prophet who accompanies him.
Now as to the translation; the usage of the language is the way to understand it. Now ἐκ μέσου is an expression which hardly leaves room for discussion with regard to a particular interpretation. A thing is ἐν μέσω when it is placed before every one, as a prize for which they strive; for example, in a word, when a thing is there before (the object, or able to be the object of) the thoughts and pre-occupation of those who are there. Thus the adulterous woman, when all her accusers were gone away, was ἐν μέσω, still there. On the other hand, ὲκ μέσου γένεσθαι, or εἰναι, is an ordinary well-known phrase for being no longer there. It is not a question of being in the midst or from the midst of something; but in such a way as to be the object of the feelings and thoughts of the spectators. Take Pape if you have it: he will certainly give you proofs of it. I furnish you three from Wetstein, as you may not have access to it. νῦν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου ἡμῖν ἐσεσθέ. (Herod. 8:22.) μικρὸν ἡτεθνήκα ἡ παντὰ ἐκ μέσον, I have Anton. 8:12. ἔγνω ξῆν καθ ἑαυτὸν ἐκ μέσου γενόμενος. (Plut. Timol., p. 238, 3.)
I believe that the aim of the apostle is not to designate him who hinders, but that there will be something that hinders, and that consequently the wicked one will not be revealed until that shall be gone—μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως, etc. The wicked one would have been revealed before his time by the movement of the principles and will of man, if there had not been something which arrested, bridled. The exterior form may vary, I believe it has varied. God now restrains it until the moment known to Him arrives. Then it is ἐκ μέσου, and the wicked one is manifested. Be assured, beloved brother, of the sincere affection of your brother in Jesus.

Antichrist; Addresses to the Seven Churches; Life Laid Down and Taken Again; Separation From System

The objection as to Thyatira is all a delusion, as to the principle of the addresses. The churches are addressed as churches and in the character of churches; that is, as standing on the principles on which Christ had placed the church, though noting to the church thus responsible the evils that were coming in. The address is not to Balaam or Jezebel, but to the church, and therein to such as had ears to hear—to the church in character, and in fact to those who had the consciousness of the responsibility in which a Christian stood in that character: the character then, not necessarily the extent of the evil or state, whatever it might be, is noticed. If that state was general deadness, that of course is noticed; if seduction of false doctrine, that is, not to what extent it has acted; the principle of the church being the birth-place of children to Jezebel, and of her adulteries—not the number of her children, but that true saints accepted this condition of things—all this leading to the Lord's coming. In the first church it had left its first love; it is not said how far: that remains true up to Laodicea, but does not characterize the evil which those who have ears to hear have to judge (at the beginning it did), it was the evil with Jezebel allowed: it would have been out of place to say so, though of course it was true. The churches give the distinction of the character of evil, and those in whom good is found, as specially manifested and directed in respect of the state described. No doubt it literally applied to Thyatira at the time, and was to be so received; while for him that has ears to hear it has a voice in all times—what voice? something not applying to a church state at all. For the direct proofs we must go over the general arguments and details, such as the promise to Philadelphia. (Rev. 3:10.)
Lacking of love, tried faith, persecution, succeeded it—not how many were persecuted. Satan's seat. Then there was infidelity as regards evil in the professing church, and faith was called to look on to the Lord's coming and be faithful: given those who had not mixed themselves up with Jezebel, the rest would be chastened if not cut off. I do not think Protestants are the synagogue of Satan: they are much more Sardis—those who insist on traditional successional religion, religion of ordinances, the modern Judaizers—these are the synagogue of Satan as to the spirit of the thing; and that they thoroughly are, though saints, and Barnabases may be ensnared by them.
As to Rev. 17:12—the question is a wider one than the texts cited can decide, not that they are not to the purpose: ᾡραν in John 4:52 is the object of "inquired," as in the form `inquired the hour at which'—as well as at what hour. So Rev. 3:3, οὐ μὴ γνῷς ποίαν ὥραν. Whereas λαμβάνουσι has its object βασιλείαν and in Acts 10:3 ὠσεὶ marks it as a point. But all this is somewhat beside the mark. I apprehend it is as used to be said, κατά left out; and the idea of period, a point, depends on the context in the nature of the word: κατὰ τὸ μεσονύκτιον [Acts 16:25]—a point evidently: κατὰ δὲ ἑορτὴν, during, at the time of [Matt. 27:15]: ὤραν ἐννάτην points to the epoch evidently [Acts 10:3], which ὤσεὶ confirms. But with μίαν [see Rev. 17:12]—not πρώτην—it is a period. Indeed ἑορτήν is not exactly time, but the time having that character. In general it is a known rule, the time at or in which a thing happens, genitive during which, accusative. As to this I see no great difficulty: it would be merely technical. In Rev. 17:12 I do not see the smallest doubt. I have nothing to uphold here, for the kings receiving the kingdom at the same time with the beast is equally true: the other mode only determines the equal duration also. Acts 10:30, we have at the (ἐννάτην ὥραν—there also it is evident) ninth hour: with μίαν, it is not so, it could have no such sense. See Matt. 20:12; Mark 14:37. Matt. 26:40. Whereas κατὰ μίαν σαββάτων, 1 Cor. 16:2, has necessarily the sense of the first, because it is after the sabbath. There is no μίαν ὥραν by itself but for during one hour. The view of the temple is a mistake. The temple or house is always God's house and always the same house. "The latter glory of this house" is Haggai's 9) word, not "the glory of the latter house;" and whoever sets up in it or has built it, it has never ceased to be God's house. So 1 Kings 9:3, "I have hallowed this house which thou hast built to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." It will be built as God's house, much more truly than Herod did it. So Christ calls it "my Father's house;" not in reference to who built it (nor did God in fact dwell there—in that sense He was the temple), but because it was by God's original declaration, at all times, God's house. Further, I do not believe in the vast power of Antichrist, though I do in the vast mischief, spiritually speaking. I believe he is the second beast. (Rev. 13)
As to life, it is all captious (though true souls may be troubled by such) from using life in two senses. When I lay down my life I live still with the very same soul I had before. Now I may use life for the state of living, and as living in that state. I live in flesh and blood, and that could not go to heaven: I lose my life, but that only in the state in which I had it—I am just as much alive as ever, "for all live unto him:" "He is not a God of dead but of living." But if it was said that I had the life I had before, it would be wretched and false; because before, or laying down, refers to the state I had it in. Yet I have the life I had before if I speak of my soul, and of the life of Christ I have received. I use this to show it is merely a false quibble by using life in two senses. I never die if I take what my life is—I do, if I take its status and condition; I die and take, or am given at least, my life again. I say this, not that there is no difference in Christ, but to show the point of the fallacy. But Christ clearly never ceased to exist if we take Him in His human soul, to say nothing of His divine nature. But when He laid down His life and took it again, it is not taking again the existence of His soul or His divinity, but the fact of reuniting His soul and body as a living Man. What was essential to Him as His life, He could not take again. It was a living status of soul and body united; as in dying He had given up a living status: but the living status He took up was not the same living status He laid down. This last is distinguished as "the days of his flesh." He has now as risen a different condition in manhood than that He had, neither can He die any more.
But I have no wish to enter on these questions with objectors: [difficulties] produced in minds I may meet, but reasonings on them I am not disposed to meet, because I do not believe in the sincerity of the motives of those who do so. And there is no good in reasoning with such, unless to confound them personally where forced to do it. Half and much more of the cavilers I meet are best met by silence. It is the proof that you do not account that they really desire the truth. It is well to let some things die out, and not give importance to them by combating them. One may have to meet such in individual cases, and then may count on God's help, but positive truth fully taught best meets error. Heretics are generally unsound on something beneath, and deeper than their motives.
I am at this moment doubting about arousing Maurice by a tract on annihilation, and resuscitating one who is evidently to me dying out. Yet he has exposed himself by the greatest effrontery of blundering and done mischief. My conviction is—God has raised up a standard against it (annihilation), though mischief has been done, and it has got into the churches (so called).... I should hardly think a person who took οὐ μὴ...εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα for 'not forever' worthy of replying to; it is evident perverseness. The Greek evidently would be...οὐκ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, etc., at any rate, not μή
[1861.]

Assembly Action and Conscience

As a principle I object to brethren settling things for an assembly, because they have ministerial gift, and was thus rather indisposed, as to this, towards the action of -, and I am far too little acquainted with the facts to form any judgment, even for myself, in the case. They assured me that it was a case of manifest evil and unrighteousness towards this sister (I forget the words used), and that some were beginning to see it, and had (I know nothing as to number) returned to the Table they had left, so that the case was getting really quite clear. I have a considerable jealousy of individual, practically clerical, influence, though such may of course help an assembly; the conscience of an assembly ought to be exercised and purged: merely judicially putting away is no use without this; there is no purging of themselves without this. It is always well to hear both sides: many questions may arise.... These two brethren represent it as a very bad and flagrant case of party and unrighteousness. I am habitually slow to form any judgment. But they seemed to think the case was settling itself. This is not the only case in England, and there are cases where God alone can bring all to a righteous standing, and in such we can only leave it to Him, and act where a positive claim on us arises, and then we can count on Him: for abstract judgment we cannot in the same way. But the question would at once arise, Are things in the same state as they were? I am ignorant of the present, and, indeed, of the past facts of the case, and thus cannot judge with any real godly judgment.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Pau, December 13th, 1879.
[From the French.]
I am at work from seven in the morning till eleven at night. Then I generally have many things which press heavily, within the range of my responsibility. But I commit them to Him who is mighty above all which this poor world can require, and to whom a burden is no burden at all. He guides everything, just as I, sitting in a carriage, might guide it; and orders everything according to the counsel of His will. It is well to journey thus, and the Lord is faithful in making everything contribute to the blessing of those who love Him.
I have been much enjoying the thought that the whole life, holiness, condition of soul down here, is but the making good of what we possess up there. It is always Christ, and " before the Father." (See 1 Thess. 3:12, 13.) This indeed sets us there in Him (and He in us); save that we have the treasure in an earthen vessel, and we increase "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." There are not two kinds of holiness. Christian holiness is the same which we shall have before our God and Father, when we shall come again with Christ. But although the thing is realized with God, it must be bound up with brotherly fellowship, because love, too, is in the nature of God. Separation from evil is realized by dwelling in Him. and this is shown in love to one another.
Pau, December 18th.

Assembly Action and Conscience; Appreciation of the Word; Dissent in Cases of Discipline; Unanimity in Discipline

I hold most distinctly that the assembly must judge: "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person." There are three concerned in the judgment: Christ's glory, the purity of the assembly, and the guilty individual. The second makes it necessary they should act, or they are involved in the evil. "Ye have," says the apostle, "approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. This connects itself directly with Christ's glory. But nothing is done as to the assembly, if it has not acted. I have always objected to brethren going down to settle things for an assembly. A wise and godly brother may counsel from scripture and seek to arouse the conscience; but nothing is really done if the conscience of the assembly does not act. The word of scripture is, "Having in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." The power of God's Spirit was to bring all that was under its influence to obedience to the ways of God. Then came vengeance on disobedience. You may not have an apostolic rod, but you have God's sure government for Christ's glory. Thus, supposing evident sin, as at Corinth, and one supported him in it and refused the clear common consent of all, so that it was a rejection of the assembly's authority when the case and the word were clear, they might hold him guilty with the offender.
But if there were godly brethren who doubted about the facts, or the judgment of scripture on the facts—provided the rightness of discipline in itself be recognized, so that it is not the principle of retaining known evil, or the denial of the competency of the assembly to judge evil—then I should say they should wait and look to the Lord to make them of one mind. Speaking of a `dead-lock' is supposing only men are there, whereas Christ is. If the assembly be in a state incompetent to judge, it is for the assembly to humble itself, that through grace it may be able to know God's mind. There is One above it all able to bring about His thoughts, and he who has faith will find the sureness of His hand if He be really waited on. But nothing requires more waiting on Him than discipline, personal feelings are so apt to come in.
October 30th.

Assembly Action and Conscience; Continuing Member of Oddfellows; Dissent in Cases of Discipline; Unanimity in Discipline

If the assembly decided that this person could not be received, as refusing to give up the ‘Oddfellows,' the absence of some brethren would not be a reason for rescinding the decision; because that depends on the Lord's being there when gathered in His name, not on such and such an individual being there—assuming that they have been regularly gathered in the Lord's name. I do not know much about ‘Oddfellows,' but from what I do know I am surprised a Christian can be a member. It is a thoroughly worldly society. They could not be there in the name of the Lord. You say—'nothing against his walk;' but this was part of his walk. I could understand giving him time to think over it, if he were in before taking up the case. His refusal to give it up till he saw fit, when it was brought before him, was a proof of his state of soul, and brings in another point: that the conscience of the individual is to judge of right and wrong, not the assembly. Now there are things that we must have latitude to individual conscience; but to lay it down as a rule, that an assembly is to submit in its walk to the judgment of my conscience is a bad state of soul.
The meeting of the assembly as such is not confined to the breaking of bread: whenever they agree to meet, due notice being given of it, they are met as the assembly. If it were done so as purposely to exclude some, that would be another thing. If godly, serious, brethren have difficulty in putting out, it is better to wait till the Lord makes the case clearer. But this did not apply here, because it was the positive act of receiving which was in question: but his admission might be provisionally suspended in the same case till the matter was cleared up. But if it were merely factious opposition to the common mind of the assembly—one who identified himself with evident positive evil—he must cease or become subject to discipline himself. Such is the rule of the apostle in Corinthians.
But such rules are only carried out by grace and the power of the Spirit of God. I can speak only of general principles, for very small circumstances change a case completely, and of course I have only heard one side.
I as a rule, too, object to brethren not in the gathering meddling with its discipline, because the conscience of the gathering is in question; though of course they may be helpful if given grace by God to judge maturely of things. But we are called to peace, and even a mistake in judgment ought not to disturb it. I attach great importance to the judgment of the assembly, but it must be the assembly as such, not individuals however true and wise, because of the promise.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
If the Lord be waited on He will give unity of mind. I trust the refusal may awaken the conscience of this Christian.
Zurich, August 1st, 1878.

Assembly Action and Conscience; Rebuke Before All; Unanimity; Dissent in Cases of Discipline

Your letter has lain some days on my table, but I am constantly hard at work, from seven in the morning to eleven at night, and hard head work. The epistle you refer to, you must remember, was written to one who wielded derivatively the authority of the apostle, as his trusted and intimate companion. Still the directions given, when applying to general responsibility, apply now as ever. But you cannot have authority without really possessing it, nor did I ever see the case of discipline which could be decided otherwise than in actually deciding it. Where it is a wicked person dearly, the case is pretty clear; but even then the question comes in, Is he really such? and the state and competency comes in. This was really the case with you, and in this condition of weakness, your yielding, God turned into blessing. If one such as Timothy rebuked, according to the apostle's order, he would carry the conscience of all the sound part of the assembly with him. But rebuke before all is different from rebuking one who is not there, nor has it the effect in the same degree of making others fear. But if the assembly, or those who watch over it and carry the mind of the assembly with them, are agreed that it is not wickedness calling for excision, but cannot be passed over, I see nothing to hinder a person's being rebuked publicly. It was done at in a case where a man was overtaken in a fault which none would have known had he not voluntarily told of himself, and there was no question of his godliness or state of mind; but the world had more or less known it. And that is now forty years ago, I suppose, and I believe it has been done in several instances. But it requires the existence of moral authority to do it, and must now flow with the conscience of the assembly. If it is a case of putting away, and the assembly cannot decide—and it is an act of the assembly, "put out from among yourselves"—they must wait on the Lord to have spiritual unity of judgment; I do not say numerical unanimity. And even for an apostle it was so delicate a thing, that he regretted having written an inspired epistle, and one which had produced the desired effect really, and was deeply troubled and exercised. It is as to this he speaks of being not ignorant of Satan's devices.... In all these cases I look to the conscience of the assembly being exercised, that the weight of the assembly go with the act if anything short of excision; if it amount to that it is the assembly's act, the assembly purges itself. A rebuke never had that character, it was preventive to others, and a rod to the offender....
Pau, January, 1880.

The Assembly in a City

It is fair to tell you that reflection has made me much more averse to printed papers than I was. I have not heard anything new from others which acted on me; the grounds of my increased objection have arisen in my own mind. I do not enter into details, for my difficulty has arisen from details in the first instance, and then from the whole tone and bearing of the thing. The mere fact of printing, or writing, is still nothing in itself to me. I still insist on all being put off the list who are not within London itself—I have long done so. Not doing so was all very well to help little assemblies, newly formed, where no principle was concerned in it in any one's mind; but it subverts, as it stands now, the whole principle of local unity, which is the scriptural one as to localities—holding the unity of all saints, as gathered into one, with that local unity. Helping, as a matter of grace, an assembly that was weak, was all very well, and all that thoroughly maintains general unity. Now the question as to the principle has been raised.... Grace will settle it peacefully. But my objection to the printed papers is quite other than it was when I wrote the reply to your letter.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
[1875.]

The Assembly in a City; Unity of and Common Action in London; Assembly Action

I have long had the conviction, and expressed it, that half the gatherings on the paper should be off. Some since then are. This has been the real evil; the thing was cumbersome, and, what was worse, factitious and fictitious.... I should not think of hindering any brother from these places coming on Saturday evening if he wished. In many cases it might be desirable, as so near London people move more about. At the beginning of these meetings, when they were young and weak, desiring the help of older brethren in London, and there were only one or two gatherings, it was all well; but they are grown up, and letters of commendation, as from any other gathering, should be given.
As to the printing I am indifferent. I should prefer writing, because more connected with personal intercourse in giving them in, and less routine; because, too, if sent to printer, then they are without any consultation at all, and if the visitors do not come, which is then very likely, they must be given out without more, or struck out without communication with those who send them. But all these are merely instrumental means of getting things done, and if it all works well I am content.... The printing is to gain time; if all non-London meetings were off, half the time would be saved, and more real work done; and the casting of the responsibility on the different gatherings in each place I believe to be most important. In London we are all in one place, however large. I never could have said, If the papers are -given up—I might have said that if they were made independent churches—I could not go with them. The papers were a real means of hindering this, and with all defects they had worked well...
The meeting had lost its true character, it has ceased to be real. If brethren who cared for saints in each gathering in London, met to carry out that care in unity, as servants to the different gatherings, it would be a most useful meeting, while admission and exclusion I hold to be the act of the whole assembly and not rightly done otherwise. Practically, as I said in the letter you sent me, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, it is the local gathering which has come to the conclusion, but unity is maintained by intercommunion in it; and in such a place as London it is a great safeguard, and in special cases all are actually concerned in it together—a person may have been teaching false doctrine in many gatherings or troubling them in other ways.... A little patience, and weighing the matter before God, and all would be straight.
It is not by much discussion, but readiness to serve, and wisdom as to practical plans, that such things are carried out. But it is not so much plans as work in love that is required. My old letter (I do not know who printed it) I still believe perfectly just.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Assembly Judgment Owned; Setting Up to Be Philadelphia; Testimony for These Days; Unworldliness

Dear—-... What I am anxious about, now that the Lord has delivered us from this very serious assault of the enemy, and in wonderful grace preserved His testimony amongst us, is a greater though less ostensible work; that the brethren should be devoted, faithful, unworldly (and that in all their ways) and spiritual, Christ being all. It has been a much more serious question and struggle than many brethren suppose, and God in sovereign goodness has preserved us, and, however feeble and unfaithful we may have been, His testimony amongst us. If the brethren do not lay it to heart, both the humiliation and the goodness, as largely shown to encourage, God will take away the testimony from us, and who shall deliver us then? This is what occupies me now. I look to Him to do it, He only can, for who can make spiritual but He who works by His Spirit? Let brethren know they are nothing, and know no motive for anything but Christ, and all will be well. There is a testimony for the last days, and God will maintain it, but the brethren have been, through grace, the vessels of it. They rose in thoughts of themselves as they declined in consistency with the testimony. When God is at work, it is love for the truth, grief at the condition of the church of God, and separation of heart and ways to the truth, while waiting for Christ -not thinking of ourselves as vessels of it. It is said of Jehovah Himself, that He was grieved at the misery of Israel. God allowed an assault of the enemy to chew us where we were -nothing more humbling. In mercy He has delivered us: are we going to learn the lesson He teaches, and to go on with thankful hearts in the path of single-eyed devotedness, to meet the Lord? That is the question now. I have long said, brethren began by practical separation from the world. Though certain great truths for the last days were there, still what the world saw was that they were not of it. Is there going to be this testimony now? It was so in houses, ways, conduct—many faults, I doubt not, but there was that stamped upon and characteristic of them. It was not a discussion whether they were Philadelphia or not. But I stop: you will understand what I mean.... But God is good, and has been most good to us, and I trust to Him to arouse the sleeping brethren. Many I know have had their consciences awakened: may their hearts follow with faith in God's goodness. We read, "My soul followeth hard after thee; thy right hand upholdeth me."...
Here I have not much to tell you of. We have had some good meetings; but it is not in the part I have been, yet in it there is much fresh work. But there has been attention and interest, and they are getting on well in general. They had a little shake themselves, but it has done them good, for they too were getting sleepy. London has had its sound everywhere, with those who are aware of what is going on at all elsewhere. In about a fortnight or so, I shall be getting (D.V.) to Pau. This is a poor country to get about when you cannot take long walks on foot as I used; but the Lord provides.
Vernoux, September 13th.

Assembly Judgment Owned; Unity of the Body of Christ; Children Sitting With Parents; Principles of Gathering; Reconciliation and Propitiation; Reception to the Lord's Table

My judgment is (but Ι should seek peace, and there is no rule save that "all things be done decently and in order"), that young children should be with their parents at the meetings, and that growing girls should be so too. When the boys grow up to a certain age, they are better sitting back. If girls are at school, or under a governess, they can sit with the other scholars; as it is only a question of comely protection and shelter, which grown boys do not need. But formal rule there is none: decency and order is one.
As regards the second question: the principle of meeting is the unity of the body, so that a person known as a Christian is free to come: only the person who introduces him should have the confidence of the assembly as to his competency to judge of the person he introduces. In London and elsewhere the name of the person introducing is given out; or if many know him, that is mentioned and they are responsible. Looseness is so prevalent now among the denominations that more care is needed; but I hold that every known Christian has the same title as myself; and membership of an assembly I totally reject. But I do not accept running out at a person's fancy: they may have been sinning or walking disorderly; and a person breaking bread is thereby subject to the discipline of God's house, if called for, just as if he had been constantly there. Nor do I accept any condition from them, as that they are free to go anywhere: the assembly is to follow God's word, and can bind itself by no condition. Nor do I impose any; because as the assembly is bound by the word and can accept none, so is the person subject to the discipline of the assembly according to the word.
I have never changed my views at all. The practice is more difficult because of the growing looseness in doctrines and practice of all around. But if an assembly refused a person known to be a Christian and blameless, because he was not of the assembly, I should not go. I own no membership but of Christ. An assembly composed as such of its members is at once a sect. But the person who brings another is responsible to the assembly, and should mention it; for it is the assembly which is finally responsible, though it may trust the person who introduces another in the particular case. If it were a young Christian, or one of little maturity and weak in the faith, I should like to know what sure ground there was before allowing him to break bread, on the same principle as in all other cases.
Yours truly in the Lord.
[Date unknown.] -

Objection to the Title of "Assembly of God;" Objection to a List of Meetings; Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ; Perfectionism; Principles of Gathering; the Ryde Trouble; Danger of Sectarianism; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body; Unity of the Spirit; Distinguishing a Pure Heart; Reception and a Pure Heart

I do not think you see the bearing of—'s act. It was not that he broke bread with you or any other isolated Christian. That, and I said so and was reproached with it, might pass. One might desire confidence and fellowship in such actings, but if done in the unity of the Spirit there was no wrong in it. But at Ryde there was a meeting, owned right or wrong by the other gatherings in the island and elsewhere, and he went down, while saying in London that it was only to follow what he considered a movement of God, declaring to others that he went also to give a testimony against the gathering that was there—in fact, setting up something apart from it. This entirely altered the character of the act. As to the unity of the body, I feel no difficulty as to scripture or the position of brethren. As to the danger of slipping into sectarianism, that is, making ourselves a body apart, I recognize it fully; but it has through mercy received a rude shock. The printed list of meetings tended to it, for evil slips in unintentionally, and for this reason I never would have anything to say to it, though very convenient, and done with this view. M.'s book, which I never heard of till three days ago, strange to say, had from what I hear of it (I have never seen it) the same tendency; but human nature is always disposed to say 'we' if it cannot say `I': "He followeth not with us": while in separation from the camp, I am as decided as possible. But I never in my life asked anyone to come among brethren.
But the principle of scripture is as plain as possible. There was one body on earth, of which all are members. They do not heal in heaven, nor preach, nor use any of the gifts spoken of in 1 Cor. 12 "If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it:" that is not in heaven. The body will be perfected in heaven (Eph. 1:23), but is practically always considered as on earth, and formed there: "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." And this was clearly down here. (Acts The Lord's supper is the external sign of this unity: "one body for we are all partakers of that one loaf." It was this, more than fifty years ago, brought me out of the establishment: nor have I any Other principle now. This obliged me to own every one baptized with the Holy Ghost as a member of the body. Only in the last days we are called on to distinguish those who "call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart," which at the first was not called for: "the Lord added daily." This makes the brethren (so-called) not the church of God, but those who alone meet on the principle of its unity. The line between narrowness and fidelity is a very narrow one. But the Spirit of Christ can guide and keep us on it. The unity of the body cannot be touched, for the Holy Ghost unites to Christ: all those who have been baptized by the Holy Ghost (that is, received Him) are members of the body. It is "the unity of the Spirit" we have to keep; that is, to walk in that power of the Spirit which keeps us in unity on the earth, and that needs endeavoring. I dread a gathering in any place being called the church of God. They are the only assembly that meets on scriptural principles: did I not think so I should not go there, but it tends to narrow and sectarianize them.
All this seems to me very simple, but it is not so easy to keep the spirits of all here to it, both in fidelity and love, for we are poor creatures. I know those who tend too much to looseness, others too much to narrowness. The Spirit of God alone can lead us in both, and that requires us to walk near Christ. But as to principles I have no difficulty; but without holiness and Christ being all, being emptied of self, we shall not practically succeed. God is light and love, but He alone can unite both and thus give a true and right unity.
November, 1879.

Resources in Low State of the Assembly; Christ Known for Down Here and on High; Testimony for These Days

Very dear brother, -
I thank you for your letter. All this interests me much. writes to me also of the issue of this division movement of which you speak. It appears, blessed be God for it! that it is coming to an end. Often a little patience to let God act is the remedy, while judging all manifested evil, specially when the evil is more in the general state; then it is necessary to seek, by nourishing the souls of those who are Christ's, to raise their spiritual tone. For the rest we must always look beyond this poor world down here.
We ought to be a testimony for God down here, and we must surely remember this. "Ye are my witnesses," said Jehovah to Israel, and with still greater reason are Christians such, who are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. I seek this, I pray God for it, and also that He may maintain His testimony in its purity. I believe He will, but for that we must live near Him in spirit, as He lived by His Father, one with Him, in such a way that all He said and did was but the expression of what the Father was. It is what we ought to be for Christ, but for that the heart must be with Him above. The first thing is communion with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, for there the direct power of the life is. But it is a mistake to suppose that the heavenly things are not revealed to us: "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." "We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God." Now, whilst giving us strength down here, and detaching us from the things that are seen, this accustoms us to live in the things that are our eternal portion.
We often make use of the Savior in His grace, so suited to our need, and that flows so freely towards us—who thinks of us, of all our difficulties, of all our weaknesses—and we are quite right, for He makes us pass in peace and safety through a world of sorrow and danger; but it is another thing to have the heart lifted up above the world, whilst passing through it, and attached to Him in heaven in such a way that that which fills the heart now is also the object of our hope. It is what I seek, and pray to God for, for other Christians as for myself. But we must have Christ for the journey through the wilderness; we need to know how to count on His faithfulness in all circumstances, and to wait. on Him.
May God keep all the brethren very near to Him, this is our eternal position, and it keeps the conscience awake. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
1880.

Assurance of Salvation; Dependence; the Early Fathers; "Ifs" in Scripture; Predestination and Election

I write to send you back Mr.—'s letter, but I do not think of answering it. I think, in general, positive truth is of more avail than controversy. He is upon ordinary evangelical Arminian or semi-Arminian ground, and that is a wide field to enter on in a letter. I do not think that I ever said, as he quotes, 'elders nowhere,' I may have said 'elders, as such, nowhere.' I suspect the seventeenth Article tries him, and it is really a very wise statement as I remember it. Their point of departure is not scripture, and hence they have difficulty in having anything. What I mean by 'doing this' was, that if a friend or a parent was to give me something, and say, Keep it in remembrance of me, to make it a command or a precept would destroy its whole nature. The emphasis is on "remembrance of me."
As to Article XVII., he confounds the counsels of God before the foundation of the world, and our knowledge of our election when we are called and justified, and cry Abba, Father. Whatever the means of assurance, I am necessarily assured that if I believe and am sealed so as to cry Abba Father, I know I shall be kept to the end; one, according to scripture and the seventeenth Article, involves the other. They that are called, says the article—obey the calling=are justified, etc., and at length by God's mercy, attain everlasting felicity. So that the question, according to the article is, Can I know I am called and justified? for if so I shall attain everlasting felicity. Now scripture says—first John as Christ's forerunner came to give the knowledge of salvation, then the blessed Lord says, "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you"—and the apostle, "We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." So John writes, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake." I need not quote more. The epistles are addressed to saints, to the "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit," and we are said to be saved, not merely as a principle (but in the perfect) σεσωσμένοι, actually saved, for He has saved us, and called us with a holy calling—fruits the proof in others, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, in ourselves. "Knowing, dearly beloved, your election of God." So 1 Thess. 5:9.
Now I would deprecate levity in so solemn a thing as the consciousness of our relationship to the Father. I had rather see a man deeply exercised in Rom. 7 than taking up the doctrine of assurance with levity. And further, I see in the scripture the Christian looked at as not only in Christ, where there is no "if," but as running the race to attain actually the glory, as actual men in this world; and here I find "if," and working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and the responsibility of the saint comes in, but with a sure promise of being kept. And this is the difference in the character of the assurance; one is in an actually accomplished redemption, with the knowledge (John 14) that we are in Christ: the other, glory, is not an accomplished thing, as is evident; it is certain through the promise of God. See Rom. 8, "Whom he justified, them he also glorified": the whole chain is there from beginning to end, and depends on His faithfulness in keeping us. And this distinction is morally very important, because it maintains constant dependence, but dependence on a faithfulness that cannot fail, which is most important for practical spiritual life. As regards my path, I am kept, and if so need it, but do not doubt God's faithfulness in doing it. I cannot speak of danger as to redemption, it is accomplished, but for my wilderness journey there is; but there is a keeping which exercises my dependence and faith. (See 1 Peter 1:4, 5.) See, too, 1 Cor. 1:8, 9—where he then goes on to blame them for everything—and the far happier testimony in John 10. I must close. This is more important than ecclesiastical questions or the Fathers. It is "that which is from the beginning."
In Ephesians you will find plenty of exhortations but no "ifs": you do, when we are spoken of as yet on the journey. No doubt we see this, as all things, clearer if we are near to God, because what He is, is realized, and Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. We make our calling and election sure, not surer, of course, in God's mind, but in ours.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
As regards 2 Peter 1:3, Tischendorf reads "by his own glory and virtue," ἰδία not διά, but it does not alter much. But in these are given the promises, the word communicates them to us as ours, and thus our moral delight is in them—escaping the corruption of the world—the heart is elsewhere. Peter never goes beyond the moral effect—not the vital source: "suffered in the flesh," not "dead": born of the word, not of the Spirit. "Whereby" (2 Peter 1:4) is δἰ ὧν and "by these" (διὰ τούτων) the promises; the revelation of the glory and virtue (ver. 3) to the soul is what produces the effect.
The difference of 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4 is that one is the operation of the Spirit down here, distributing to every man as He will—simple power, so that it might be stopped, as tongues, if no one understood or no interpreter or even more, at the most, than three prophets. Eph. 4 it is Christ who takes care of His church, and this cannot cease or fail. Apostles and prophets are the foundation which cannot be laid now, it would be a new church: but these apart, Christ cannot fail to give what is needful for His church, and will to the end. Hence there are no miraculous gifts, so-called, spoken of. I am much better, but have again a cold.
1880.

The Word Atonement; Christ in the Offerings; Propitiation and Substitution; Sin and Sins

Propitiation is properly for sins, as Heb. 2, and 1 John 2; and Rom. 3:25, 26 is to the same effect: only, Christ having taken the condemnation for sin, persons who do not search out words exactly may speak of the effect as for sin. Sin, as calling for it, was not properly known in the Old Testament. Lev. 1 does not, as far as I see, apply to this, except in a very general way. It was as a περὶ ἁμαρτίας that God "condemned sin in the flesh" in Christ for us, so that there was no condemnation for us. In Lev. 1, though blood was shed and atonement made, all is sweet savor. Man's state is no doubt assumed, that is, sin; but the condemnation side is not what is in view, but acceptance. In the πεμὶ ἁμαρτίας sin is properly in view: in propitiation sins are in view. Substitution is a human word, though a right one; but properly it is sins; that is, the scapegoat in contrast with the Lord's lot. Sin, as such, is never forgiven: God condemned sin in the flesh, but Christ took this place, was given περὶ ἁμαρτίας, and knowing no sin, the condemnation of sin in the flesh took place, and that in death, and we are dead with Him for faith: it has ceased to exist- the condemnation of it gone. Death in Christ involves both. Guilt is from sins. We are dead to sin with Christ, but He has died for our sins. This last is what is properly atonement, and meets judgment. Death to sin is a question of state, not of guilt, though of exclusion from God. A question of defilement, not guilt, refers (and rightly) to what was done in the sanctuary, which was defiled (not guilty), which in full apprehension of the work has its importance. The scape-goat had to do with personal guilt; the blood on the mercy-seat with approach to God, but the sanctuary was cleansed.
The word "atonement" is very vague, and never used in the English New Testament but once, where it ought not to be. In the Old, כפר"to make atonement" refers to the removal of positive guilt out of God's sight. And, as I have said, sin properly does not come into question in the Old Testament, though birth in it is recognized in one place only. (Psa. 51:5.) Even where the sweet savor of Christ's acceptance is figured, man's sinful condition is recognized, and the work that is infinitely acceptable is in view of this. But this, though it assumes it, does not deal with sin in itself. Lost and guilt are different: one my state; the other, my responsibility and guilty failure. I believe I have said all I can at this moment.
I doubt whether you have got all the bearing of scripture as to sin. "Now once in the consummation of the ages hath he appeared εἰς ἀθὲτησιν ἁμαρτίας by the sacrifice of himself." It is not a question of guilt and imputation that is here. Judgment is according to works, but Christ was περὶ ἁμαρτίς when God condemned sin in the flesh; further, as to sin of the world, we have αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν. (John 1:29).
We have had an innocent garden, then a sinful world, then a world wherein dwelleth righteousness. Of course there can be no sin in mere creation, but the status is one of sin, "the bondage of corruption": defilement can be, if not guilt; hence the tabernacle and all the vessels were sprinkled with blood. True, because of Israel's sins, but defilement attached to them: "the heavens are not clean in his sight," and He who went into the lower parts of the earth, is gone "above all heavens, that he might fill all things."
Sin in the flesh is not guilt; but it would defile, and not allow us to be with God, were -it not condemned in the cross through His death who was made sin for us. The full effect will only be in the new heavens and new earth. Sin is not put away in the lost, I fully admit; but I could not say there was no suffering for sin in the abstract. It is never said sin is put away: I know the work is done, and am at rest. But the fact will not be accomplished as an effect till the new heavens and the new earth. If taking away be not a sacrificial expression, περὶ ἁμαρτίας is, and the sacrifice of Himself is. I could not say there is no sin of the world except as regards guilt and responsibility: it does not recognize defilement by sin. Further, כפר is applied to the holy place (Lev. 16:16-20); so it is to the burnt-offering (Lev. 1), where there was no actual sin committed. The main effect of the burnt-offering is to show the perfect sweet savor of the sacrifice of Christ to God, but it was made in respect of sin, but not on account of actual sins committed. Man must come by blood because he is a sinner, and though we get Christ Himself here (not "of his own voluntary will," for that is a mistake, though it was so, but "for his acceptance"-Lev. 1:3), yet, as it is for us, the element of sin must be brought in.
As to speaking of atonement, which, although acknowledged, he did not bring adequately into prominence, the reason for it is very simple, as you may see in reading Lev. 1:4, where it is especially said to be so in the usual (we may say, technical) word.
Matt. 22:14 seems clearly profession, or outward calling; the chosen, those owned in the wedding. As to Matt. 20 you must connect it with 19. There devotedness and self—sacrifice are made the ground of reward. Only the principles of law and grace are so different, that those great in one would be very little in the other. But lest there should be self and self-righteousness wrought by what preceded, the sovereign grace of chapter 20 is introduced, and the converse stated -many last first, and first last. Here it is grace as to service, only so much work for so much pay is utterly blown upon. The rest trusted the master for what they might get, and free grace acts consequently, God alone can judge what He should do in rewarding. Thus last are first, and first last. Many are called to serve, some chosen vessels, but all in grace.
In a general way we have God's book as a registry. But then you have specifically in the New Testament, "book of life." In one case it is said, "whose names are not written in the book of life of the slain Lamb, from the foundation of the world." These God had written, and it was sure. But they are supposed true, unless shown to be otherwise—as one on the list of voters, unless proved to have no right.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
1879.

The Atonement; the Creation; Eternal Punishment; Intermediate State of the Departed; Propitiation and Substitution; Sin and Sins; False Doctrine of Sleep of the Soul; Rapture Preached; Intermediate State

I could see, without your telling me so, that you have been made up in the teaching of those who deny the immortality of the soul, and make those whom scripture calls "the offspring of God," a cleverer kind of brute. What you have quoted from my Geneva lectures I hold, as then, or still more, to be of all-importance. The coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the body was lost in the soul's going to heaven, and that through the Platonists, and it was a sign of the ruin of the church. It made no such impression as you suppose on my hearers, for the immortality of the soul was not in question, was accepted as a recognized truth by them as by myself. I may say the contrary had never been heard of there. The first person who used the passage left out what guarded it, and I feared that I had exposed myself to the charge carelessly, no one doubting it when the lectures were given; but he had to confess he had it in his copy. I added in the next edition some more, I think the quotations, but cannot now be quite sure; but that death was ceasing to exist, none of us dreamed of.
Hence, too, there is nothing about eternal punishment; the point was that in the public teaching of the church, going to heaven had taken the place of the Lord's coming and the resurrection. When I began to preach these, fifty years ago, I was held to be I know not what—enthusiast or heretic -and I am thankful to have been the means of spreading it far and wide. The whole purport and character of the church was and largely still is clouded by this departure from the truth. In America men of standing in the professing church deny the resurrection altogether as to men, not perhaps as to Christ—though the apostle binds them together.
You give an interpretation of Luke 20 instead of receiving what is said. The Lord first speaks of the saints only, those who "shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from among the dead," "children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Then He says, even Moses showed this at the bush: God is not "a God of the dead but of the living": and then lays the foundation of an absolute fact of which He had not spoken before at all: "For all live unto him." They have died as regards men, but as to God, wicked or saints, all live: it is not confined to saints, but it is so with everyone. Before He had been speaking of the resurrection of the saints, and exclusively of that resurrection; now He declares that for God all live. He denies that death is the cessation of existence, and in an absolute and positive way. Nor is it exact to say it is of the question of resurrection God is speaking, in calling the things that are not as though they were. (Rom. 4:17.) He is speaking of quickening Abraham's dead state so that he should be the father of many nations.
There is not a word of the sense you put into [the parable of] Dives and Lazarus in the passage. They were both Jews: it is the substitution of the unseen world for this. Abraham's bosom is a wholly Jewish thought. Hades was well known to them, and is found in the Old Testament in the term Sheol. But it is expressly and explicitly making the unseen world seen in a parabolic description; they both alike died. There is no thought of the cross opening the door to the Gentiles, or breaking down the middle wall of partition. The Lord says they are to hear Moses and the prophets, or one rising from the dead would have no effect. It is a mere effort to get rid of the plain testimony, that the soul subsists after death in the case both of wicked and of just. All live for God. The soul is unaffected by death as to existence, save that it is separated from the body. What was the gulf fixed between Jews and Gentiles by the change of dispensation? What had "thou in thy lifetime" to do with dispensations? It did do this as to Jews and Christianity, that there was an end of riches being a sign of God's favor, but it was not because of a change of dispensation, but that the truth of things came out in another scene, not in this. The purpose is as plain as possible to those who have not been perverted by this false doctrine. Luke 15 shows the grace that seeks and receives the sinner; then (chap. xvi.) the use grace makes of this world's goods; and then the veil is drawn to contrast the effect in that, with the portion of selfishness in this world—" thy good things." The rich man had a fine funeral, but there it ended for this world. It is expressly declared that death does not reach to the soul. " Fear not them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do; but... him who after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell." Mortal is always confined to the body.
As regards the saints an intermediate state is taught as plainly as words can teach it: "To depart and to be with Christ which is far better": "Absent from the body and to be present with the Lord"; "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise": the express object of which is to teach the blessedness of the intermediate state in contrast with Christ's coming in (not 'into') His kingdom. So Stephen, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." The passages I have quoted before hew it as to all; and Peter tells us that the Lord knows how “to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished." Your reference to 1 Cor. 15 is of no avail here, because it speaks of believers only in what you quote; they are "raised in glory." Nor will any bringing of it to 2 Cor. 5 help you as to the plain statement there as to the saints, which is as plain as plain can be. He was thinking of dying, as chapter 1 shows; he was not wishing it, as weary of the trials, but looking for an eternal weight of glory, and through them; but having spoken of this as God's purpose, he speaks of what is man's portion through sin—death and judgment—and yet, having eternal life and the Spirit, is "always confident," even in view of death. Knowing that if absent from the body, which most assuredly is not resurrection, but the contrary, he would be present with his Lord that to depart and to be with Christ is far better.
He does not quite dislike the idea of death in the first paragraph, but merely says his desire was to be clothed upon, not unclothed, and contrasts it with groaning in this tabernacle, yet not so that he wanted to be rid of it, but to be clothed upon; and in verse 9 formally puts the two cases. I do not agree with you as to identity by the Spirit; I am not the Holy Ghost, nor is the Holy Ghost me. As dwelling in me they are distinguished; He bears witness with my spirit. (Rom. 8:16.) After all your turning about this passage, it remains that when you quit home you are with the Lord, and you are not the Holy Ghost. It just shows where error and our own thoughts drive us. It is not even true that Christ's neighbor on the cross had the Spirit. You confound the life begotten by the Spirit, and the Spirit itself, which dwelling in us, makes our bodies a temple.
As to the question of eternal punishment, the question is always really of the sense we have of the deserts of our own sin, and is inseparable from that of the immortality of the soul; as if I have one and am at enmity with God, I must be forever miserable as shut out into outer darkness. But you have confounded, as is very common, law and gospel. The Gentiles have no law: "As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law." So that all your system is wrong from beginning to end according to scripture. Further, it is never said Christ was substituted for all—it is "that he died for all." You confound the blood on the mercy-seat and the scape-goat: the Lord's lot, and the bearing of the sins of the people represented by the high priest. You will find no Scripture which speaks of bearing the sins of all, but carefully the contrary. The passage you quote from Exodus gives the principles of the government of Israel in contrast with atonement, which Moses talked of, and could not make, each person being to be blotted out for his own sin; and besides that, though forgiving their sin governmentally, declares that when He visited He would visit their sin upon them. All this is a misapprehension of scripture. In quoting "the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," you have confounded sin and sins: one a state in which we are by Adam's sin, and the other our own guilt, and which are carefully distinguished at the end of Heb. 9 The effect of this work will not be complete till the new heavens and the new earth. They are equally distinguished in Romans as to the believer and as to the remedy: one, Christ dying for our sins; the other, our having died with Christ: our guilt the consequence of our own sins—our state the consequence of Adam's. You are all wrong as to making law the measure. It was the measure of human righteousness in a child of Adam. But what we have now is God's righteousness, and that without law. Nor is the blessing of Christianity, though partially and darkly intimated (for of church blessings there is absolutely no hint, nor meant to be, but the contrary -see Eph. 3; Col. 1), to be found in the Old Testament. Life and incorruptibility are brought to light by the gospel. Nor is the law the measure of human sin, though it is of human righteousness; it' is the rejection of Christ, who came when the law had been broken, which is so. "Having yet one Son, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son"—" but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."
An immortal soul, hating God in grace, must be miserable. You say you consider that it is inconsistent with God's character to hide these terrible consequences of sin. You had better have looked at what is written. (Genesis He did then and there a great deal more than He had said. He told him of nothing but human sorrow and misery, and then death as a man on the earth: so in judging, he was to return to dust, and the woman to suffer in child-bearing. But He did a great deal more, giving, in the judgment on Satan, what faith could rest on in hope.
He drove out the man, and shut up the way of the tree of life- exclusion from God and what He had established, and no immortality here below. So that in saying that, you are charging God foolishly, and forgetting that when "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses"—come in grace—they rejected Him. Man under the gospel (in a general sense the world, for "there is no difference") is in a far worse state, though he may be redeemed out of it, than when driven out of Paradise, and a final one if not born again and justified. I, as to the flesh, am at enmity with God. Further, if death be all the wages of sin (it is the wages assuredly, but it is falsely quoted as if it were ALL the wages of sin, and so you put it) then I pay the penalty for myself even as a Christian, and Christ need not have died for me, only given me a new life. Further, it is utterly false; for the whole consequences of our sins, save mere animal death (the penal arrest of man here) are after the judgment and the result of it. Be that this whole view essential to your system is totally unscriptural and false. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
I do say the system subverts the atonement. The theory is that we are animals, and they quote what is said in Genesis to show that ruach (breath), and nephesh (soul), and ruach-chayim (breath of life), etc., were in animals. I admit it fully, man dies as an animal dies on the earth. God, they tell us, gives eternal life in Christ, but till then we have no immortal soul, but are simply a cleverer, more intellectual animal of superior intelligence. Now suppose God gives eternal life to an elephant or a dog, would a dog be responsible for what he had done before when he was a dog; would he have to repent? If not, neither have I. And what is the atonement for? A mere animal, for that is their theory, is not a responsible being—is not in this, in relationship with God—has never been tested as such—is not at enmity with God as man is in the flesh, so that he cannot please God: there is no law for him of which you say so much. The system falsifies man's whole relationship with God, on which all rests as to him from creation on. It is as degrading as it is false.
You will say, What scripture have you for saying animals are such? There are plenty, and the man who denies the difference debases himself to them; but suffice it to quote 2 Peter 2:12. But even Gen. 1 is enough: God had formed the whole creation, and having made it complete as such, God saw that it was good; so closes the history of the creation of animals, of whom God had said, "Let the earth bring forth," and it brought forth. Then God solemnly consults about setting a head over it, the image of Him that was to come; then forms his body first, and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life—making him in His own image and likeness. Thus He placed him in living relationship with Himself. He was His offspring in his created state, responsible, and his responsibility formally tested. Is this mere animal life? If it be as degrading as it is false, it is as false as it is degrading. No one denies man is an animal, a living soul; if you take his blood you take his life as you would a pig's. The question lies beyond that. We are not to fear them that kill the body but have no more that they can do. Animals do not want atonement, and I do: if I were only an animal, I do not. It makes animals responsible to God, and not mere "natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed," as scripture does; or man not so, if he is only an animal: and with responsibility, repentance and atonement disappear. I have confined myself to your statements, I add, scripture speaks of everlasting punishment. They use eternal life to prove we have nothing eternal till we have Christ, and then when eternal is applied to punishment, say it does not mean it. The simple answer to show its normal meaning in the New Testament is, "the things which are seen are temporal, the things that are not seen are eternal." But the real question is, What does my sin deserve? The answer to this is the test of where a man is, and settles by divine teaching what scripture declares as to life and punishment.
Yours truly in the Lord.
[1879.]

Babylon, Thyatira, Etc.; the Ryde Trouble

Truths are sometimes simpler, when we take them simpler and do not make a system. Thyatira clearly goes on to the end, and the kingdom and the Morning Star -the church and heavenly Christ—are substituted for her. She is the great successional church on the earth, and Popery as such—the ecclesiastical system that has had space to repent, and has not. Here, however, she is reviewed in her religious character. Babylon is more the civil corporate power which she exercises over the beast; but she is Rome, influences the masses, committing adultery with the kings, etc.: the horns—the power of the ten kings—and the beast hate and destroy her. But she is the persecutor of the saints, and is judged, not by the Lamb, but by God, and providentially as I suppose.
Laodicea is quite different in this respect: she is in a bad state, nauseous to Christ. It is her religious state, descending religiously from Protestantism—Sardis; and Christ hag done with her: she is nauseous and cast out of Christ's mouth, disappears as a religious system, before the dealings with Babylon. What the individuals become is not stated, they may be infidels or anything else; but the corporate testimony is rejected by Christ or any in it. The civil political influence of Babylon remains to be destroyed: the blood of all saints was found in her, as in Jerusalem when she was destroyed. Thyatira is judged religiously, namely, for her religious state: she rather becomes Babylon, as judged in Revelation.
This you may meditate on, but I cannot, in haste, form any defined system of interpretation where it is not defined in scripture.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Your correspondent is much more modest. Titus and Timothy were occasional messengers of Paul, going and clothed with his authority for several objects, and no sign of local episcopacy; and John was at Ephesus after and such a delegate could not supersede and govern him, and Rev. 2:13, 24, etc., prove they represented the body or those faithful among them—not an individual, nor [do they] suppose such.
April 15th, 1880.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit; What It Is to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Ghost was on the day of Pentecost. The Comforter came; He cannot come twice in this order of things, because He was to dwell forever. But He is given, says Peter, to all them that believe. Again: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Cornelius was a special cafe, God demonstrating that He would receive the Gentiles, when even the apostles would not as such. He was not previously baptized, which was the regular order. (Acts 2:38.) Samaria is nothing to the point, but to show how He was given by the laying on of the apostles' hands: so with Paul proving He had the same title. (Acts 19) The pouring out of the Spirit is what happened on the day of Pentecost (so Peter tells us), but individuals receive it on believing in Christ's work for the remission of sins. That giving of the Holy Ghost to the individual is the unction and the sealing, and becomes the earnest. Being filled with the Spirit is another matter. It is the Spirit which is in me, so taking possession of all my mind and faculties that naught else is there, and the things He reveals occupy the mind, and there is power from God in the soul as to them.
As to a person subsequent to Pentecost being baptized with the Holy Ghost, I should say he was introduced into an already baptized body, but by receiving the Holy Ghost by which he is united to the Head—Christ. I am not anxious as to the word baptism, but it is not generally employed as to the individual reception. Acts 11:16, 17 and 1 Cor. 12 are the nearest to applying it to an individual or individuals; but it is not actually used. But the receiving of the Holy Ghost is equivalent; they having what was originally treated as baptism of the Holy Ghost, and are looked at, as they are, as partakers of this same thing. The sum of the gathered disciples were baptized on the day of Pentecost. An individual receives the same Holy Ghost, and is a member of the same body, and is one, and is looked at as one of the baptized body. Acts 1:5 tells us when; but Acts 2:38 tells them, that on repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, they will receive this same Holy Ghost; so did Cornelius (see his case before). Thus they were incorporated, and were the same as those to whom the Holy Ghost was first given; and that continued when all the first were gone, for the Comforter was to abide forever. As to 1 Cor. 10:3, 4, there is a certain general analogy, but that was baptism with water, the sacramental assembly—not the body. It is only in verses 16, 17 we come to the inner circle of the body.
Abundance of scriptures show that it was not merely for testimony the Holy Ghost was given. It is the Spirit of adoption: the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. I know that God dwells in me by it, and I in Him; that I am in Christ and Christ in me; the body is dead, and the Spirit is life. A thousand precious things concerning my state with God and the Father depend on the Holy Ghost dwelling in me, and my consciousness of these things abounding as life through Him. He is the Comforter come down withal, on which all our condition depends. He is sent by the Father in Christ's name, and by Christ from the Father—one giving conscious relationship as sons, the other knowledge of Christ's glorifying and its consequences; and a great deal more than all this, for He is the power of all good here. No doubt, therefore, He is the power of testimony, and so the Lord plainly declares. (Acts 1) The word itself is the sword of the Spirit. All true power and wisdom so flows into us. All truth is revealed, communicated as revealed, and received by the Holy Ghost.
As to 1 Cor. 12:12, 13, it is the aorist (ἐβαπτίσθημεν) and therefore says nothing of continuity: it is continuous, if we speak of individuals receiving the Holy Ghost. But people look for a re-giving of the Holy Ghost, as if He did not abide forever; and the thought of re-giving denies that, and also the responsibility of the church consequent upon it, which is a great evil. Asking that an individual who is not free—is not sealed—may receive it, is quite another thing.
Asking in general for the Holy Ghost, for the church, says He is not here, which is wrong; yet I doubt not, where sincerely desired, though expressed ignorantly, God has answered the desire, and blessed. But that leaves the ignorance; and the conscience is left unmoved as to the responsibility in respect of a present ever-abiding Spirit. It is not accurate language I look for, but faith working in the conscience.
[1878.]

Other Points on Baptism

I do not like the tone of -'s letters. I always regret any question being raised on the subject, because baptism forms no part of that mission from Christ on which the church now stands, though never abrogated. I entirely differ from him as to his views of baptism. The answer of a good conscience (1 Peter 3:21) is a mere mistranslation; but I have no quarrel on this score, no more than I have with views which Baptists conscientiously hold. Were it only the health of his daughter, that might, I dare say, be easily arranged, either by modifying the way of doing it, or, if fully purposing to do it when possible, bearing with the lack for the moment. But what I do not accept is, his imposing his views of it on the assembly, and forcing them to give it up entirely, on the ground of his views as to it. This I could not accept. But on his own showing they ought not to be received; because, if it be what he says, they are not prepared to give the answer of a good conscience towards God. The work of the Holy Spirit in the heart to that effect is not done. But what I object to especially is, that he should impose his views of the matter as the ground of reception. The pseudo-baptist, even supposing him mistaken, comes on the ground that he has been bond fide baptized: there is no setting aside Christ's ordinance, even supposing him wrong as to his manner of doing it. I think the Baptist quite wrong, but he does it bond fide, and I heartily respect his conscience as to the manner of doing it. I am perfectly satisfied from scripture that 's view is wrong; but I leave it there: but he wants the assembly to drop it altogether on his view, and impose his view on the assembly as their ground of action. This I cannot accept. I should convince the assembly, and they had better wait till they see their way clear about it, and not be in any hurry, not as rejecting them, but leaving them time till they see clear. My own disposition would be not to press it, not to have any correspondence about it, but leave it as it is till they see clear about it. At present their ground is, that they are not ready to give the answer of a good conscience to God, but that the assembly must receive them without it. I do not so interpret the text, but does.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
June, 1871.

The Formula of Baptism

Baptism has nothing to do with the church properly speaking; that is, viewed as the body of Christ. It is by one Spirit we are baptized into one body. Baptism does not, in figure, carry faith further than resurrection. For the body we must have the ascension of the Head, and the consequent sending down of the Holy Ghost to form it: of that the Lord's supper is the sacramental sign. Baptism is therefore individual, and is as a figure the bringing out of the individual from the flesh and his old life in Adam by death into a new individual position in life (but on the earth) in resurrection. Two great truths seem to me to accompany this: the revelation of the Persons of the Godhead, for the Father sent the Son, and the Son and the Father too have sent down the Spirit who reveals them. The revelation is a revelation of God. If thus born of God, even this truth enters into all my relationship. God is my Father; in Christ risen I have the form and power of sonship; and it is in the Holy Ghost the spirit of adoption is. It is, however, mainly the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost which is in question. The other great truth brought out in Christianity is, that Jesus Christ (that glorious Man) is Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ. This, while closely connected with the glory of His Person in the name Jesus, is the anointed man, the Christ.
This revelation of the Godhead and of the Lordship of Christ forms the basis and substance of Christianity itself as a profession, along with the subjective truth that flesh—fully proved already—can have nothing to say to it. I must enter by death into this new sphere, into relationship with God, and, as risen, become the servant of Christ, as Lord. Hence, in Eph. 4, we have one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism. The first is the full heavenly and essential thing in connection with Christ; the second, the profession upon earth in connection with the Lordship of Christ. Hence, also Paul, who saw Christ only in heavenly glory, and to whom the ministry and revelation of the church was committed, was not sent to baptize; and in Matthew, where the commission referred to was given, we have not the ascension at all. Here Jerusalem is gone, and Christ is associated with the remnant in Galilee already around Him, and they were to disciple the nations. This does not connect itself directly with the millennium, but with the ministration of the gospel of the kingdom, which precedes it, and does go out into all nations before the end comes—the end of the age. The millennium is brought in by the coming back of the Lord in glory from heaven. This precedes it. Hence in Matthew He says, "and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age;" that is, the age which precedes the coming of Messiah in glory to set up the kingdom publicly. Hence, I do not see why this mission should not go on when the church is gone up. It does not directly contemplate the church, but so neither does baptism ever: it does profess Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and the Lordship of Christ, when He is not yet revealed from heaven.
Baptism, therefore, is the public testimony of reception by death and resurrection. That is, now Christ is rejected, we have the public witness that flesh has no place with God; that life is in the Son and given of God—that it is on the ground consequently of the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (the Father who has given this life in sending Jesus, in whom it is, and the Spirit's witness of it because He is truth)—all this is on earth, as the Apostle John's witness always is; and that, walking in this world, we own and are subject to Jesus as the Lord.
The formula I only so far attach importance to as being the expression of the truth. If one were bond fide baptized in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, according to the present Lordship of Christ, I should consider them baptized, though the words were not used. Though, in saying that, I think the maintenance and holding fast a form of sound words has its place and importance: and I need not say we have none better than those of scripture, of the Lord Himself and His apostles I only mean, if they were not used, but the person bona fide baptized in the acknowledgment of the thing, it would be real baptism. For my own part, I always use both And I believe every one rightly baptized is baptized to the Lord Jesus, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He is given up to Christ, once dead, but now risen, and Lord, through death and resurrection—to Him as Lord, but according to the revelation contained in those words, "Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." We do it when He is not manifested as such before the world. We do it through the knowledge of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that is God so revealed. They are not baptized to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We join the risen Christ as Lord by baptism: we are baptized to Him; but it is in the confession of this wonderful and complete revelation of God in grace, and in truth, too, through Him, but by the Holy Ghost, who is truth. Of course this involves the acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ; and thus we are baptized in His name. It is the thing we are to look to, not the mere formula.
1861.

The Subjects of Baptism

Beloved brother -,
I have not been able since my last letter to continue the examination of your translations with the care required to do it properly, but I have only put it off just for the present. I was obliged to answer an attack directed against the views of the brethren in a pamphlet printed at Geneva, and to occupy myself with other writing, which was pressing and had accumulated because of the local work and the general work for this country....
As to the Baptist sect, I see, beloved brother, that God has guided you in your views and actions. This question has caused agitation (by means of someone who has labored at it) in a department in France where the work of brethren has been blessed. But by being firm, and leaving to every one full liberty of conscience, it has passed away, and God has granted full peace to the brethren, and the storm has passed by without doing harm. I do not wonder at people being in doubt in the state of confusion in which the church is, so that I have no difficulty in respecting the consciences of brethren who believe that they ought to be baptized. If their conscience tells them that they have not been baptized, they do well to get baptized, if they do it peaceably. I say peaceably, because it is no longer the confession of Christianity, but an act which seeks to repair a fault of negligence. But if one makes it a sect, it is a very great evil: baptism becomes the center of union instead of Christ.
Baptism in order to receive the Holy Ghost is a miserable falsehood, for they receive Him no more than others do, but, on the contrary, are deceived by the enemy. I have seen this in South Germany and England and elsewhere. It is nothing but a miserable fallacy; facts are there to prove it. If people say they have received Him by this means the proofs are there to show what it is worth. Now the Holy Spirit has never been received by the baptism of water. Samaria and Cornelius prove this. Finally the 120 had received Him without having been baptized. I do not deny that in general people were baptized before receiving Him, and that this was the rule because baptism was the public confession of Christianity. I am perfectly certain that the reasonings of the Baptists are false in principle and denaturalize Christianity. But if a brother felt [thus] in his conscience, I would leave him the most perfect liberty in this respect. Let him be fully persuaded in his heart. By so acting, avoiding a sectarian spirit, leaving the conscience entirely free, and seeking unity in Christ, and asking of God the peace whereto we are called, you will be kept, I hope, and will get without loss over a trying moment. I will write to you more at length, beloved brother, what I think on the baptism of infants, but I care much more for the peace of the church than for any opinion about that. I have never tried to persuade anybody. I believe that everyone must act according to his own conscience.
I believe that the children of believers are relatively holy, and that this passage (1 Cor. 7:14) has precisely that bearing, but I respect the ordinance, and those who think they have not been partakers of it do well to be baptized. I deny entirely that this is a matter of obedience, and those who treat it so, upset, without being aware of it, Christianity in its very first principles.
God be with you, dear brother, and with all our beloved brethren, and help you to get over this, to you, trying moment, and keep you from a bad sectarian spirit and from false and proud pretensions, which I consider to be something very different from respect for scruples of conscience. The doctrine of the remission of sins and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by baptism comes, I doubt not, from the enemy.
As to the conscience, I would leave it perfectly free on that point.
When they say that one cannot preach the gospel, that is nothing but nonsense, because God has blessed the gospel preached by all kinds of persons who hold the foundations of Christ without troubling themselves about the pretensions of, and others of the same kind.
I write in haste.
Your most affectionate brother.
London, April 28th, 1852.

The Subjects of Baptism

I have no doubt at all, that a person, who never has been baptized, ought to be, before they break bread. If a person be inside without one's being aware of it, or even were dying, or only waiting the possibility of doing it, one might bear and wait, but it is clear that in scripture they came in externally by baptism. I have baptized a great many Quakers' and Baptists' children who never had been, and when I found un-baptized persons breaking bread, spoken with them, though then waiting till they saw clear. But it is not order. I look at it as the orderly entrance among Christians -the company God has upon earth. I think from scripture the children of those within have the privilege to be brought in; "Of such is the kingdom of heaven:" and they are holy, not unclean as the children of a Jew who married a Gentile. The being a member of the body is through the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But precepts are given to children, and they are to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Having been once thus admitted, they cannot be admitted over again. But I never seek to persuade any one of children's baptism. The only commission to baptize was to the twelve to baptize Gentiles (not Jews), and it went from resurrection not ascension; they were (to) disciple nations and baptize them. This they afterward left to Paul, who tells us he was not sent to baptize; though clearly it was not abrogated.
I do not add any argument against baptist views. Its being obedience is given up by all who have really looked into scripture. The Lord's supper is the sign of the unity of the body, and that is the bond we own; but it is quite clear from scripture, that when people become Christians they were admitted by baptism amongst the rest: but it has nothing to do with the unity of the body, but admission by a form which expresses Christ's death as their way in. When thus admitted, they are in once for all, and cannot be admitted again. Hence, even Baptists, if they found a person, baptized by them, unconverted, who afterward believed, they would not baptize them again; and they are right in my judgment. If a person breaking bread was found never to have been baptized at all, I should merely rectify, an irregularity as quietly as possible. It is as men speak, the cart before the horse. We have a case here of a young person just brought to the Lord, and it is quite understood she was to be baptized first.
April, 1871.

The Subjects of Baptism

I am somewhat surprised that—should be so far back on these subjects. But I can only touch on what is important in it. Thank God it has never injured fellowship amongst us a moment. Those of baptist views were-a few of them, really only one I think-excited for a moment, not (as thinks) by some retaining tradition, but by a very great many who had had baptist views giving them up, and when there were families, having their children baptized. I had last week two letters from such to get their children baptized. This those seeing otherwise, cannot understand. The great and mischievous mistake which baptists make is not seeing that there is a place of blessing set up by God, besides the fact of individual conversion. "What advantage then hath the Jew?... much every way: chiefly that unto them were committed the oracles of God." They were not converted, the apostle is proving them all under sin, and as to the Jews just by reason of this. Then they say that was of Jews. No doubt: but thi,i the apostle transfers to the christian body. The Israelites he says, warning Christians (1 Cor. 10), "were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and drank the same spiritual drink, but with many of them God was not well pleased."... That is, there is a sacramental introduction into the place of blessing which does not secure a person. The apostle goes on to warn them of the like thing happening to them. I am not using this to prove that infants are to be baptized, but that there is (the ignorance of which is the spring of all baptists' thoughts, namely) something set up by God on earth where He has set His promises, His blessings—now His Spirit. "Ye are God's building," says he. But if a man build in wood, hay, stubble, his work will be burned: that is, what was set up according to God on earth may be spoiled when entrusted to the responsibility of man, but it did not cease to be God's building. Again, Rom. 11 is the direct assertion that the Gentiles were graft into the tree of promise, where the root and fatness of the olive tree were, and were to take heed lest they also should be cut off, if they did not continue in God's goodness. That could not be if it were real conversion; here they are brought in where the blessing was, and yet are cut off for unfaithfulness. Judgment begins at the house of God.
The tares are the devil's sowing by false doctrines: that does not apply to a child. The Lord received children entirely differently; "of such is the kingdom of heaven," "their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Again—calls them heathen, the word of God calls the children of a christian parent holy; that is the opposite to heathen. If a Jew married a heathen the Jew who was holy profaned himself, and the children had no title to be received as holy. Grace reigns now, and if one party be converted this one sanctifies the unbeliever, and the children are holy, and have a right to the privileges of the place of God set up in blessing, as in the Jewish case he had not. The child is not sanctified, but holy in contrast with unclean; that is, in scriptural phraseology, has right to come in.
God does not recognize individuals unconverted as such, save as to responsibility and judgment, as to which He does fully recognize them. But is quite wrong when she says that God recognizes no third class. He does recognize as the church (Christ does) what He spues out of His mouth in judgment. He does recognize as His servant him whom He cuts asunder and appoints a portion with the unbelievers. "Blessed is that servant... But and if that servant say in his heart,.. " and he is judged as such, and by much more terrible judgment because he has been in that place. All this I refer to, to show that a state of things, and a relationship with God, is positively contemplated and taught in scripture, and on which judgment depends, which is not founded on personal conversion: not merely responsibility because of what they knew, but which is called church but spued out of Christ's mouth, or servant yet has a portion with hypocrites and unbelievers, yet the Lord is "the Lord of that servant." We get plain directions in 2 Timothy what to do in this case: turn away, purge ourselves, etc., when the corruption and evil have taken the term there designated. But it does not cease to be God's building because wood, hay, and stubble are built in; the Holy Ghost is there which makes it God's building. Scripture, therefore, does speak of a third class; that is, of persons in relationship with God and responsible according to that relationship and cut off, rejected, judged, but whom the Lord judges as "Lord of that servant," and individually even cut off from the olive tree into which it had been grafted.
Besides, children of God and children of the devil are not called so till manifested. Take a person unconverted, afterward brought to the Lord: I do not call him chaff, he is not burned with unquenchable fire; dead and lost he is, but not chaff: that is manifested in judgment, may be before. This seems to me precipitate. Further—would have them presented to God and sanctified, that is flesh (chaff) presented to God and sanctified. Nothing can be more totally unscriptural. When a parent comes to me, to the church or assembly in principle, to do this, as they naturally would as—feels; I say I cannot receive what is born of the flesh but by death, the death of Christ, and I baptize them to His death:—presents them, sanctifies them without it. As to putting on Christ,—does not believe what she says. Does she mean that a believer when baptized really and actually puts on Christ, as to life and being in Him? In contrast with becoming or being a Jew or Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond, free, he puts on none of these things. A circumcised Gentile puts on Judaism in his profession and place, a baptized person puts on Christ. If not, every baptized person would be saved, and those not would be lost. But—does not believe that by baptism they put on Christ thus. It applies professedly and explicitly to every baptized person absolutely, without any condition or limitation, and so I take it.
These views then to me are in every respect unscriptural, nor did I ever find a Baptist who could stand on scripture. They are conscientious, and if they think they are not baptized at all, of course they ought to be so; I have no quarrel with them. Paul was not sent to baptize—the Twelve were to baptize the Gentiles—but baptism was accepted by Paul as already instituted. But he had no mission for it; whereas a special revelation was given to him of the Lord's supper, though both were alike instituted by the Lord. The commission of the Twelve was never that we know fulfilled.. It was to disciple the nations and baptize them. The commission was on and from earth, not from heaven. Luke's was from heaven, beginning with Jerusalem. Mark makes it necessary to salvation, because it was professedly becoming a Christian; and I have so used it with a Jew who said he believed but would not be baptized, it would kill his mother. I cite it to show the force of the passage. The cases of Philip and Cornelius prove conclusively that it was not obedience, but admission into christian privileges and position. I am now in the midst of a great baptized profession in which 2 Timothy tell me how to act. I may add, it is not a testimony to privileges already conferred, but the act of admission to them. I am baptized to His death, not because I have died. I wash away my sins, not because my sins are washed away. I put on Christ, and am not baptized because I have put Him on. That is, it is the formal entrance into the privileges, not a witness that I have received them. I see no trace in scripture of its being a testimony to others, though every faithful confession of Christ turns to a testimony. Most of the ground—takes is given up by those who maintain baptist views among brethren as untenable before scripture. I have never sought to convince or influence any one, and have no intention to do so. If they are content to follow their conscience I have nothing to say. But I am sure if scripture be right their views are wrong. If there be any light which I have not got which would lead me to it, that is another thing; but I am sure they have false views of the whole matter according to scripture. The root I conceive to be, making it all individual and obedience (which is absurd, for a man cannot baptize himself), and not seeing that there is a place of blessing, and ground established by God on earth, which is not individual conversion, but is responsibility—branches grafted in but broken off.
Yours very truly.

The Subjects of Baptism; Other Points on Baptism; Regeneration and the New Birth

I am not a Baptist as you know, but the whole thought of baptism in the Prayer Book is equally wrong and absurd. It was not this brought me out but the presence of the Holy Ghost, and the unity of the body. But baptism is to death; no hint in scripture of giving life. The only connection with resurrection is Colossians but it is to Christ's death. Regeneration is only twice used—Matt. 19 and Titus in both it is a change of position; in Matthew, the millennium; in Titus, distinguished especially from the renewing of the Holy Ghost of which we are born by the word—the incorruptible seed of God.
It is overlooked that we are baptized to something—as to Moses, to John's baptism for the remission of sins—that is, associated with some system introduced for our blessing. Now forgiveness of sins is one grand feature of Christianity—"repentance and remission of sins." And the person by this door of entry, as an initial rite, is introduced into the divine sphere where these things are. God has been pleased to set up a system where these things are, and so when Saul became a Christian by the revelation of the Son in him, he entered by baptism into the enjoyment of this privilege. So it is said to save us in Peter, but guarding against attributing it to the mere rite. But the connection of life with it is never found in the word. But the English service is too ridiculous. It gives as a present thing by it, forgiveness of sins to an infant who has never committed any, and then has no real forgiveness by redemption at all, pretends only to governmental by absolution. They wash the infant's sins away who has not any, and when it has, has nothing for them—pretends to give life withal by it of which not a trace is to be found in scripture, but is directly attributed to other things.
Saul was baptized like others as the formal professed entrance into God's confession on earth, the institution where these things were. The twelve were sent to baptize the Gentiles who heretofore were strangers to it, a commission never carried out (Gal. 2), but not to circumcise them, and this from Galilee, not from heaven—Paul, with the things to be had, not to establish that wherein they were to be had, and from a heavenly Christ. The Baptists have lost the scriptural truth of a place instituted of God where His blessing is, as the Jews formerly and Christendom now—neither judged as heathen; and the Prayer Book, following Popery, puts the possession, as if the being in the place of it was that. Even unconverted, we are not heathen—perhaps were, but not heathen [now], and judgment (when incurred) on a different ground.
November, 1881.

Other Points on Baptism; Request for the Holy Spirit; the House and Body; Intercommunion and Moral Identification; Sacramental System; Fellowship With the Disobedient

Baptism is not communication of life. Resurrection may (though all critics do not) be attributed to it, according to Col. 2:12-it depends on the construction of ἐν ᾧ—and it is in a certain aspect more than life, because it is being transported from alienation from God, into the place of blessing which He has constituted on earth; it is figuratively washing away sins. Resurrection is not the communication of life. They are formally distinguished in Eph. 2: and when Christ is mentioned alone in Eph. 1, resurrection is spoken of, not quickening. Communicating life to Christ is a dangerous expression. Resurrection involves the reunion of soul and body, not the communication of life. If resurrection be connected with baptism, it is coming up out of the water. The baptism proper is death or burial, but it is at any rate connected with faith in the operation of God, which does not refer to death in the act of baptizing. "Resurrection of life," in John 5, is not communicating life, but refers to those to whom life had been given, and explicitly to their coming up out of their graves. Resurrection may be the quickening of the mortal body, but never the communication of life to the soul; and in its full power it involves a vast deal more. The saint is raised in glory, because of the Spirit dwelling in him; the sinner to judgment.
I deny entirely what is called "sacramental grace." That we are blessed in communion with Christ, in partaking in the faith of the Lord's supper, I gladly recognize. He is present with two or three, gathered together in His name, in that special and blessed remembrance of His death, according to His grace, in which He, in sovereign goodness, cares that we should remember Him the soul enjoys fellowship with Him, and in the most excellent way. But it is not grace in the elements. I do not believe there is any grace in the bread or the wine. It is a mere mischievous superstition. There is in scripture no consecration of elements, though they are appropriated with thanksgiving; since they are to represent Christ's body and blood, and hence to be reverently used in doing so, "discerning the Lord's body." But what we break is bread, and nothing else. The history even of the progress to Romanist views is easily traced, though of no importance. We must have "what was from the beginning," or else not abide in the Son and in the Father.
I suppose the chapters alluded to are John 3 and 6. Now the latter chapter proves conclusively that it does not refer to the Lord's supper, for it affirms that every one is surely and finally saved who so eats of Christ. Christ Himself is the bread of life, and he that eats of it lives forever. (Ver. 51.) The 'sacrament' is nothing here; but more particularly, "he that eats my flesh and drinks my blood hath, everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day,"-that is, he has present and final salvation. We have, too, ἕφαγον, as well as τρώγω—original faith as well as present exercise of it. In chapter 3 we have only entering into the kingdom, nothing even attributed to water, whatever it means; and then life distinctly attributed to the Spirit, only as communicating a nature, "is spirit"-is water, would be simple nonsense. I have no doubt that it is the word as in Eph. 5 and John 15, and the necessary sense of chapter 6 confirms it; but in any case it has nothing to do with the communication of life, and verse 6 shows it; and a reference to Ezek. 36, to which it so very plainly alludes, leaves no doubt, I think, of its force-hence verse 10, and the expression, "earthly things," in verse 12. I may refer to another chapter, perhaps, as none is mentioned: communion of the blood and body of Christ (1 Cor. 10), but as it is the same word as "partakers" and "fellowship" in what follows, as in verse 18 (not 17), there is no kind of difficulty or uncertainty. It is moral identification with what is set forth there (see verse 20).
As to union with an exalted Christ, what Acts 2:33-36 has to say to it, it would be hard to tell. It shows that the writer has nothing serious to object, and no more. I have no doubt that the exalted Christ authorized Peter, and gave to Peter, by the Holy Ghost, to say, "Repent and be baptized." Why that makes baptism union would be very hard to tell, and so much the more that it is distinguished from the receiving of the Holy Ghost, which is a consequence of it: repent and God would give. This is hardly serious.
I say that a man must be born again before he receives the Holy Ghost. "Ye are all the children [sons] of God by faith in Christ Jesus... and because ye are sons God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts:" "in whom, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." "He that stablishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God." I might multiply passages. (It is so according to the writer's theory, for they, he says, are born by baptism; and Peter says it was consequent thereupon-they would receive the Holy Ghost.) And the point is important. By one I get a life and a nature; by the other my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and I am sealed for the day of redemption. One is a nature derived from God; the other, God dwelling in me. Indeed, as to the practical state of the church, I know of no truth more important-the christian state hangs upon it. It is through the presence of the Comforter I know I am in Christ. (John 14) By it we were baptized into one body on the day of Pentecost; by it we are sealed for the day of redemption. Confounding finally the mission of the twelve in Matt. 28 with receiving Peter's as well as Paul's teaching, is a mere blunder of mind. For the believer, Peter's and Paul's writings are the word of God, and received as such. The commission of the Twelve was from a risen, not an ascended, Christ, and only to Gentiles-Luke's from an ascending, and embraced the Jews. The point which makes it of any importance to us is, that we learn, in Gal. 2, that the three great apostles gave up the mission to the Gentiles, and agreed that Paul should undertake that; and none mentions the church but Paul. What he calls "the mystery" was committed to him, and he was a minister of the church as well as of the gospel, declaring he was not sent to baptize—which would be incredible if such received life by it.
As to Matt. 16, all the false system of the Papists and Ritualists flows to this point, from their confounding Christ's building and man's. "I will build," says Christ, against that the gates of hell cannot prevail. That building is not finished yet. In 1 Peter 2, the living stones come, but we hear of no human builder. In Eph. 2, all is fitly framed together, and "groweth unto an holy temple;" but no builder is named. In 1 Cor. 3, we have a wise master-builder, Paul, and wood and hay and stubble-the contemplated fruit of man's responsibility-and warning against it (not Christ's being the builder) and corrupters: reward of labor lost, and the person saved, the person purged, in these cases. Now, these men attribute the title and privileges of Christ's progressive building to the wood and hay and stubble of foolish and bad workers among men; yea, many to the corrupters and corruption themselves. In all this they are not taught of God at all. He tells us where there is the form of piety, denying the power, to turn away. To say that the wood and hay and stubble built in by bad workmen, or positive corruption, is the body of Christ, is a very monstrous thing; nor is the house the same thing as the body. There is no recognition of a finished salvation, and that I am in Christ, and forever, and united to Him by the Holy Ghost. The failure of the outward professing church is a positive declaration of scripture, and that perilous times would come in the last days. And we are referred to scripture as the only sure guide in those days. (2 Tim. 3)
I believe I have touched on most points you have mentioned. I can in a letter only touch on them, but I think I have met them all.

Bearing Trials; Letters to Young Converts

Thank you for your kind note; I am now, through mercy, in my 81st year and pretty well; but the great thing is, as you know, to be born again. They say,-, that you are, and love Christ; now a proof of it will be that you bear with patience and submission your deafness, it is a real trial for you and I feel for you, but God makes everything work together for good to those who love Him. I trust you may get better, but He is always right and perfect in His ways. I trust-gets as sure at six years old of God's love as I am, through mercy, at 80. I can look back along life and see how gracious and perfect He has been all through, and that my years cannot measure all the mercy and faithfulness He has shown to me.
Kindest love to you both.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
November 19th.

Being in Christ; Justification of Life

As to "justification of life" (Rom. 5:18) it is that justification we have as being alive in Christ; that is, it goes beyond mere forgiveness of sins as in the old man which are put away. It is the clearance of all imputation which we have as alive in Christ. But the passage gives us something more specific, it refers to verses 16 and 17. Verse 16 is "of many offenses unto justification," which of itself goes further than clearing the conscience of sins. Verse 17 further adds that they who have received "abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life." This, while based on the clearing, brings us into the new place in life and reigning in it. Hence we have "justification of life": "by one offense towards all men to condemnation... by one complete righteousness [δικαίωμα] towards all men to justification" (ver. 18); but then "in life," a new life in Christ—not merely, that is, the old sins cleared away negatively, but in the new place by a work of Christ which God had fully owned. He had finished the work which His Father had given Him to do, and was in virtue of it in a new place as Man in life. Life (in us) and justification went together.
I do not know if I have made myself plain. It does not go quite so far as the "in Christ," but it does identify our justification and a new life in Him.
[1881.]

Being Set Free

I must be short with you. I received some fifteen or twenty letters and seven or eight paper proofs to correct, besides others since.... I was troubled in the same way when a clergyman, but never had the smallest shadow of it since. I judge it as Satan: but going from cabin to cabin to speak of Christ, and with souls, these thoughts sprang up, and if I sought to quote a text to myself it seemed a shadow and not real. I ought never to have been there, but do not think that this was the cause, but simply that I was not set free according to Rom. 8 As I have said, I have never had it at all since. I went through a day's mental process as to the word, at the time I was set free. This may have strengthened me as to it by grace. But God's word has ever since been God's word, from God.
Halifax, April, 1877.

Work in Belgium and Germany; Translation Work

I know the love of the brethren will be glad to hear of me, and that they will rejoice to hear something of the work.... The Lord has been most gracious to me; even the weather has favored my work. I was at Haarlem and Amsterdam, besides breaking bread at Ostend with a Dutch family. The Lord so ordered it that a brother I well knew who was the means of their conversion, was on a visit to them, and I thus came to know them. The wife and her sister true and decided, the husband, a personal friend of the king, much less so, though very decidedly converted. Thence I went through Rotterdam to Haarlem, where I was able to hold a good deal of intercourse with those who speak French. I knew a brother there also, with his wife, having stood alone for the Lord's sake. I felt the Lord with me. We broke bread there again on Sunday; there also I made acquaintance with another Dutch family, converted and safe as to their path through the means of brethren at J. I held a meeting in the room of a brother with whom some meet, rather in a disputing way, but amongst whom several are getting clear, and again in a fuller room where many came. I made also a good many visits and felt the Lord very much with me. The brethren I first mentioned accompanied me and stayed some days to make more. The door seems decidedly open in Holland, chiefly among the upper classes on account of the language.... I can already use the Bible pretty readily in Dutch, but that is not speaking. I then left for Germany. The first ten days the laboring brethren met together to study Scripture. We read John's Gospel, 1 John, Galatians, Matthew and a part of Luke, with very much of the Lord's presence, and I trust profit to all. Matthew and Luke were only a synopsis, but I never had Matthew so clear. On the Monday after I set off to the hills to visit one of the working districts, the first time. They were not in a happy state. They do not break bread there yet. The clergy are rationalists, but there is little life and union in those who meet to seek better edification; however, we had a meeting and I said some things in German. Then to a very dear brother's, chief smith in a manufactory, where I held a meeting and slept. Before the meeting I dictated an article on Rom. 4-8, for the brethren's publication—also a compendium. Thence, three hours' walk to a village in the hills where we finished the paper and translated some of Romans, and had a meeting in the evening. The next day to a very wild village in the hills three hours further across the waste, mostly new, where we had a meeting and conversed on Scripture. The next day six hours' walk further up the hills to a brother engaged in the work, who has been greatly blessed there. I stayed there Friday evening, Saturday and the Lord's day, and it was pretty much a meeting, save Saturday evening, all the time. We read most of Ephesians through. They came from five hours round and more, so that we were many on Sunday and had a very happy day—not merely the joy that accompanies such a meeting with a little excitement, but I really believe the Lord's presence and blessing; we broke bread in the afternoon. Many could not get there. In the evening, I spoke on the Lord's coming. I cannot expatiate in German, but I can set forth the truth, and they understand me very well now. At 12 at night I got with a lantern through the wood and took the coach back. You may suppose it was not Hornsey Place or Tollington Park. In these villages no question of meat in four out of six places, but rye bread and vegetables and a slice of bacon. One night I slept on chairs, another on straw.
I made through mercy six hours' walk the next day, and held the meeting without being tired; but the beloved people give me their best with all their heart. In the last two places they were very hearty in the Lord. We had a sort of meeting on the way from the last named place but one. The evening before they thought it wiser not, so we held it where I mentioned on account of the police, and we visited them on the way. I thought to have gone further, but we deferred in the hope of getting through a version of the New Testament which is grievously wanted here—a serious undertaking—but I have been long exercised in it in English and French, so that it is easier for me of course. I have a native German for the actual form of the phrases, and I have a Dutch (which is the best I know), English (which rivals it), and pure German translations to refer to, with my two critical Greek Testaments. We have done Romans and now there is a moment's hindrance, but I trust the Lord to remove it, and I feel assured that I shall get through this work also. My journey up the hills was very happy and, thank God, on Scriptural subjects I can make myself very well understood in German. I have been of course at the meetings, but I only knew the principal brothers much, for usually they are occupied much at their manufactures, and at the study with the workmen; and having only an imperfect knowledge of the language, it is helpful to myself, I find, to get out into the villages and be with the saints, where from their position it is as a stream in a thirsty land. The blessing is very real and continues; trials and proofs of the flesh accompany it. You will suppose I would draw no false pictures. In many towns I have spoken of there is trial from coldness and failure; nevertheless there have been a good many conversions, and the working of God's Spirit is large and undoubted, and most of those I saw are rejoicing in the conscious acceptance of it. Many of these poor peasants are as advanced in substantial knowledge as the brethren in London are, and in many the life of the Spirit is very sensible. The Lord bless you, beloved brother, and all the beloved brethren in London. My heart desires their blessing and their growing up into Christ in everything. Peace be with you all.
Affectionately yours.
Elberfeld, September, 1854.

Work in Belgium; Work on the Continent; Persecution; Danger of Publishing Work

I am delighted that the beloved brethren in—interest themselves in the work of the Lord and beg you to salute them affectionately for me. I rejoice that they should pray for the Lord's work, for me, and for all saints that they may be fully blessed and glorify the Lord; but I am a bad hand at giving an account of the work, and I have an instinctive dread of publishing the work. Man gets in so easily and God's glory is hidden proportionately. However, I will do what I can, for with their interest in heart, my heart goes along thankfully and heartily.
I have been myself mixed up with the work on the Continent only since the end of 1837, and since then the Lord has certainly granted a large and rich blessing, at least in proportion to our poor faith and efforts, and has raised up many dear laborers in His vineyard, though their number be, as the Lord has warned us, still so small. But His ways are perfect. It began in Switzerland. I preached and taught what I knew. And the full and holy liberty of the gospel, the assurance of salvation in contrast with the law, the standing and privileges of the church, and the coming of the Lord Jesus to receive her to Himself, together with the dwelling of the Holy Ghost in the church and in each member here below, were spread abroad and received by many. Gradually assemblies were formed by the truth; subsequently some young men who desired to work for the Lord wished to read the scriptures with me. I feared a little giving up my own work but would not refuse them, and for a year at one time and a good part of one at a subsequent period, I had ten or twelve, not always the same, with me, and we studied the word together. Most of them are now engaged in the work. They gradually got into work as the Lord called them. Others, already long laborers in the field, got clearer light and worked with it so that many conversions took place, and gatherings were formed by the working of God's Spirit. This took place chiefly in three cantons, Geneva, Vaud and Neuchatel, the whole extent of the three not being very great. Still many hundreds were gathered and through grace persevere. Perhaps small and great there are fifty gatherings in all, of which the largest may be about 200, another 170 or 180, one or two of 100, and so on to very small ones. The most of the work took place in the course of a few years, but then in some districts there was a decline of energy, in some places very sensibly; and there were no circulating active laborers, though the gatherings persevered.
The Lord had much blessed the word in the mountain valleys; there had been about 70 or 80 converted in three or four months. Latterly, thank God, the Lord has revived His work, and for three or four years back there has been pretty constant progress and conversions in Neuchatel and latterly a very considerable blessing to the canton of Vaud, partly on new ground, partly on the old. In general the accounts are happy. The Lord sent them back one or more active servants of His grace and laborers in His field. Some of them, young men, went to France, some of them having come indeed thence, and one or two others who had received the truth clearly and given up everything to serve the Lord. A brother whom God raised up in France and who devoted himself to the work, but preached the law, had through his devotedness opened the way in a very wide country though he was not clear. God had used him independently of the work in Switzerland. He fell sick and one of our brethren went to help, three of them who had broken bread with me being of that country. In some four years 300 or 400 received the truth there. God raised up some laborers also, one of whom has worked in Switzerland. Also one of our Swiss brethren went further on into the mountains; there are I suppose, in all there, some 700 at least or more who were converted. The blessing was remarkable these four or five springs in succession. They had leisure then. There was no preaching without a conversion.
Last year there was a good deal of blessing in a part of the field. The work under God's hand went further south, where another French brother also who had received the truth went down to work. In general all was dark and opposed with the exception of three towns and one village. I joined in the work at this time. There many meetings have been formed, some of them numerous. Last year in one station which had seemed motionless, first some sixty in a short space and then, after a smart persecution and fines and imprisonments, some forty more were converted, and in the east the Lord worked simultaneously, and some 300 came together in three or four villages. One of these has been dreadfully decimated by the cholera last year, but the brethren continue and even with more seriousness since. Quite at the other side of France (Casta Tarbes and Orthez) a Christian but lately deceased, who had labored there before, returned and worked there. It is directly at the foot of the Pyrenees close to Spain. There also there were conversions and some 200 meet in five meetings; lately the Lord has been working sensibly afresh there, more truth; thence also in Lot et Garonne; the Lord has gathered a good many, and also on the Tey. Lately He has been at work also along the Rhone in the Departments (counties) of Upper and Lower Rhone. This is a work only beginning, where a French brother once a clergyman has been and is active. The first work I spoke of in France was west of the Rhone. It then extended east of the Rhone, and there a good many meetings were gathered and many conversions, in one part almost entirely Roman Catholics. There the brethren have been fined and imprisoned, but it did not hinder the work. In Marseilles and near to the foot of the Alps in the Isere, the Lord also has blessed the word and gathered souls; so in the Department Wrenlt and Auvergne, the Lozere, though the gatherings are not so numerous in these, but in some lately the Lord has been working sensibly.
Lately, these two last years, the Lord has been working in Germany. Some years back the truth was brought into the neighborhood and tracts of brethren setting it forth were pretty widely distributed. There were conversions and the truth spread and some gatherings were formed. But some two years ago in the town I am in, where there were many Christians connected with the Establishment, a new work went forth. They had learned that they were not under the law but under grace. There was a society employed readers and preachers. The clerical part of the society sought to hinder the liberty of their service and their preaching. Those whom God had called and who had learned what God's liberty is, could not give up their service, and they came out and labored trusting to the Lord. These have been largely blessed over a pretty wide extent of country from the borders of Holland to Hesse and Nassau, perhaps some sixty or eighty miles; as has the first work I spoke of near the Rhine. I cannot say how many there are, but a good many hundreds of which the greater number far have been converted within these two years. The conversions, thank God, continue. In Hesse they are a good deal persecuted in every way. Lately the secretary of the local tribunal was converted. He was ordered out of the country in eight days; but the Lord blesses the work much. They have been persecuted around the country, but at present are quiet. The king personally favors the saints and religious liberty. He has received most, if not all the tracts and sent to thank me for them. He sent to see a brother who was in Berlin, but he was gone; perhaps the Lord so ordered it for good. There are here some seven or eight, more or less entirely devoted to the work, and others who labor in their neighborhood.
It has extended into the province of Guelderland in the kingdom of Holland; the numbers are not great there, but they are getting on very happily. My own work in Holland was not much, but I was very happy there and felt the doors were open. I knew a brother who was traveling with his wife for her health—was brought to see clearly and remained faithful and I went to visit him. Another was blessed through means of a French brother in Italy, and others came to see clearly through a brother in Geneva, in Switzerland. So does God prepare things when He is pleased to work. When I landed at Ostend, I could spend my Sunday with the 2nd family and we broke bread together. The brother, set clear in France, opened Haarlem to me and Amsterdam, so that I had intercourse with many and meetings there, and he was holding meetings at Leyden which are well attended. The third is in Amsterdam and I hear he as well as another also got clear (long a Christian) through the tracts and my visits; they are going on very steadily and well. They have broken bread together. I know not whether they do it regularly, as it was all new to them; but desires were awakened in many and they wish me to visit them again. I do not speak Dutch, so that I can only speak with those who know French or perhaps German; but that does not hinder the Lord. For those who receive in French communicate it to others in Dutch. But I was very happy in my short work there, and felt that the Lord had opened many and happy doors there.
At Frankfurt also they meet; and at Hamburg in Lippe and nearer Frankfurt, Khenbach Biidingen, there are outposts and centers of work for brethren. But the Lord has strengthened and blessed the gatherings in these places, and through them and the visits of brethren the work has reached other villages also.
Such, beloved brethren, is in few words a brief general account of the work. I rejoice to give it to the brethren; but I must beg that nothing like publicity be given to it. It is for brethren, for their hearts and prayers, that they may bless God and pray for the brethren that they may glorify God, that He may bless the work and guide those gathered in holiness and devotedness and love. But it is to be between them and God, and not to talk of to men. Were this done I should expect some chastening and humbling. I have so often seen works hindered and spoiled when brethren, perhaps with the best intentions, have made a noise about them, that I dread much anything of the sort. God is pretty jealous of it. He is working on—man frail is full of weaknesses and shortcomings.
I am sure I have felt (in my small though widely-scattered path) all sorts of feebleness of faith; but God has worked wonderfully and His blessed truth has been widely spread by it even outside those gathered. I ask (not a mystery) but that it may be between God and the souls of the brethren. Greet them heartily. I long to see them and hope to do so if God will.
Ever, beloved brother, most affectionately in Christ.
Elberfeld, 1855.

Benjamin Jowett; the Kingdom of God and of Heaven; Philip's Four Daughters; Quakers; Woman's Place in the Work

I am not surprised at Jowett's exercising influence over those who breathe Oxford atmosphere; but for such the least sparkling of truth is an amazing coruscation, and he has heart and pleasure in truth he finds: but I was struck in reading his book, how little bits of truth which thousands of poor saints possess, as a matter of course, were the mountains of the moon for him, wonders of discovery. But he has a mind which would interest the young. But the ignorance of the clergy is astounding. And now for your questions. There can be no doubt women prayed and prophesied. by inspiration, as Philip's four daughters; but the assembly was to be the expression of the order of God, and there they were to keep the woman's place. 1 Cor. 11:17 begins directions for the assembly, what goes before not. Only we have general instructions in Timothy, that they are not to teach but be in silence. The men are to pray everywhere, women to be modest in demeanor. I should hardly use Isa. 8:20 against the Quakers, save to take the scriptures as the test of all they say. I hardly think שחד could bear the sense of "light" in the Quaker sense. But Rom. 8:9, latter part, is clear on the point. I wrote a tract "On Light and Conscience" once, having a good deal to say to Quakers.
There is a difficulty you have not weighed as to in Luke 17:21: that the Lord is speaking to Pharisees who had not the kingdom of God in the spiritual sense. Kingdom of heaven is used only in Matthew as a dispensational word; that is, the kingdom of God when the King was in heaven. So kingdom of their Father. Kingdom of God is the generic term, and can be used therefore morally, "is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." The kingdom of heaven is developed into the kingdom of our Father, and the kingdom of the Son of man.
As to Luke 21:19, although κτάομαι is in general 'get' as contrasted with κέκτημαι, yet it is used for keeping in possession, possessing so as not to lose. (Acts 4:34 Thess. 4:4; Matt. 8:9; Luke 18:12.) Its direct reference is to the being spared, kept of God, saved in the dangers of the mission which they had among the Jews. There may be analogy, but possessing is not the working out. Salvation in Philippians is always viewed as at the end of the course.
1 Cor. 7:14 and Heb. 10:29 are only the same in the most general way. The Jew who married a Gentile was (not profane) but profaned, the child was profane, and had no title to be accounted a Jew or have part in their privileges; they were to be sent off. Under grace, the converse was the case. An unbelieving partner was (not holy, but) sanctified, and the child holy, not unclean, that is, had title to the privilege. In Hebrews the people are looked at as such, as objects of divine favor. Christ died for the nation as such. Whoever, therefore, owned Him as Messiah, did not reject Him in unbelief, was looked on as set apart by blood. Once Loammi, not my people, but now Ammi, according to Hos. 2:23, only it was by blood. Hence so much warning in Hebrews against falling away.
Luke 8:46 and 6:19: it is the power to heal which resided in Christ, and became efficacious when the touch of faith was there.
As to Melchisedec, scripture makes him purposely a mysterious personage, not as you say the Son of God, but made like Him; no priestly genealogy, nor beginning at 25 years, 30 years, and ending at 50 years of age, and the like. It is not image (Heb. 1:3) of the Father, but of God: the Father as such, is not the subject of Heb. 1 do not think that chapter ix. gives co-existence. It chews that the tabernacle, etc., pre-figured as to sphere and general relationship of place and principle the heavenly places; but was not an exact representation. There were many dying priests, here one. There many sacrifices, here one once for all: a veil saying men could not go in, now for us at any rate, boldness to go in, and the like. After the person of Christ, the main subject of Hebrews is access to God as such, not relationship.
I write in haste, but glad to help you in any way. I shall be very glad, if the Lord allow, to meet any young men at Oxford. I hope, ere long, to be free here, as my new edition of New Translation is nearly finished.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
1870.

Bereavement

I did not doubt a moment, when I saw the black edge, that your darling—was gone. Be assured of my unfeigned sympathy. It is a world for death, but death is gain in Christ. The Lord has left you other objects to occupy your affections, but I have always seen and felt that the first taken, and her the first-born too, tells more on us than any. Up to now life, so to speak, had been working, and the fruit of life growing up in these dear objects of affection. But now death comes and says Yes, but I am here in the world; and it is more or less written on all that are left. But it is a mercy that God has left all your recollections of dear little—pleasant, and that you step from these into heaven to Christ with her. I do not think that there is more feeling in the sorrow than in sympathy with it—a different kind there is, of course: but the Lord's sense of death at the tomb of Lazarus was deeper far, I believe, than Martha and Mary's, tempered with divine sustainment of life, but feeling what death was more than they did—not exactly the loss of Lazarus, that was their sorrow, but all that death meant for the human heart, and as God saw it in love. So your little one is gone, but is gone to Christ, and He is the resurrection and the life. Wonderful that He, such in this world, Master of death, steps then into death Himself for us! But oh, how perfect in all things He was! I recommend you and Mrs.—to Him. He makes up every loss, and in Him we lose nothing. He had a better right, and a blessed right, to—than even you had, so He has taken her to Himself. We cannot say a word, save that that is what it is; and He has taken her before the fresh buds of divine goodness were soiled or sullied in her. May the gracious Lord turn it all to blessing to you. Since my affections were linked up with these little ones, but there is better than what passes away.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
1881.

Bereavement

Thank you much for your note. The prospect of the death of your dear mother gave me a peculiar feeling of rest and peace in the Lord. I felt it well, as it were, that one who had gone through many storms and trials, and known and served Him through them, should be at rest with Him; and that rest and His love seemed exceeding sweet to me. It is not that I do not feel what an object and link and center of affection has been lost to you all, and your dear mother was so eminently calculated to be so; but the world is made for that, and whatever new ties and new affections come in, they never after all, though occupying while the mind is busy, destroy in the secret of the soul the consciousness that some are lost for man, as water spilled upon the ground that cannot be gathered up again here. There is one tie that never breaks, and that your dear mother has now sweeter and more intimate enjoyment of than heretofore and, freed from all hindrance, what her heart desired. It is all well, and far better. I had thought of running down, but on pondering it before the Lord, I have relinquished it. My place is rather in service, fulfilling as a hireling my day until I am called away too. Could I have been useful to your dear mother living; or if she had not been surrounded with love and honor from her own and the saints now she is gone, I would have gone twice as far; but that I know she will be in far better hands than mine, and that the dear saints at Hereford will surround her grave with all that could soothe those who are in sorrow around it. Give my kindest love, I beg you, to all your family.... Peace be with you all, and much of His blessed presence in committing the body of your dear and valued mother to the care of Him who will produce it in glory and beauty in that day. I had thought she might yet have been a blessing among the dear saints at -, but the Lord had a shorter and therefore happier path to rest for her, and it is all well, for we are not at the end yet...
Ever, beloved brother,
Affectionately yours in unfeigned sympathy, and I pray you to say so to all, for indeed there were few I valued as I did her who is gone.
[Exeter, June 20th, 1848.]

Bereavement; Righteousness of God

I have been informed that your dear husband is gone to his rest. Though it be long time since I saw him I have not forgotten the pleasure I had in knowing him as a true servant of the Lord. We could not be surprised at his being taken away having been so long feeble, but this does not hinder its being a sorrow and a blank to you. The comfort we have is, that this is not our resting-place, and the blessed Lord never fails in sympathy and kindness for the inevitable sorrows of the way. If He takes away what was long an object, and for our hearts at least a prop, He always comes in to cheer and comfort the spirit. Him alone we can never lose, who is really nearer to us than any human tie, and beside us on to rest and glory. If our hearts now wish themselves with Him we abide in Him, and He in us, and there is no rest like that, nor stay, and then it is a sanctifying stay, and leads us onward towards Him. How real a comfort too, to feel those we love to be surely gone to Him. The Lord expected the disciples to rejoice in His going, for He was going to His rest: well, He is entered as our forerunner, having secured our entry there.
Be assured of my sincere sympathy with you, and with your daughter, who I trust is, for her, pretty well, for I have heard she is again a good deal an invalid.
Sincerely yours in Christ.
London, October.

Bereavement; the World's Character

Had I not known that several brethren would have been with you as a testimony of respect for your beloved departed one and sympathy with you, I should have at any rate turned my steps back to -, as they are just able to get about; and somewhat overdone by getting up to London for fresh materials for study work, and through mercy beginning very slowly to get a little strength, I feel I should do wrong in attempting the journey and retracing my steps. I have indeed a fortifying reason. I feel that by this accident in my knee the Lord has set me aside for a while from outward work, so that I felt it the Lord's will to remain quiet; not, be assured, dear brother, from any want of sympathy with you in the—to man—terrible blow that is come upon you, when I think how truly she was attached to you, and, I knew, you to her, and of your four little ones.
I feel what a world of sorrow it is, and how real a share you have in that sorrow; but a world where, if sin and sorrow have entered in, grace has come in after them; and now love has risen above all the sin and sorrow, and, having entered into the worst of all it could bring on us, has given us a place out of it all: into the place from which it flowed the spirit of your dear wife has entered, and is with Him who entered into all that sorrow here that He might deliver us from it all; and, if you remain in the scenes of it down here, that very love has revealed itself by coming down into them that we might have it here. Jesus was a man of sorrows, and indeed none like His. And His love is perfect sympathy as well as deliverance. Look to this, dear brother, and you will find it in your sorrow, and raising you out of it, not by destroying the feeling, but by coming into it, taking all human will out of it which causes regret and bitterness, and bringing His will into it, and Himself in love with us in it. His grace is sure, in its path does not fail; nothing escapes or happens without it. This is a great comfort—first our will, subtle as it is and meddling with the best affections, is broken and there is submission; then comes the sense of positive love. Any sense of failure even on our part, if such there be, is lost in the sense of the perfect love and ordering of God. He takes the place of the reasoning of our minds and all is peace. This is a wonderful thing, for after all even as to our ways we cannot answer Him nor account for one of a thousand. He does use all to set our hearts right, and gives softened peace like a river.
But I will not trespass on you, dear brother, with many words at this moment. Only look to Jesus, and believe in and count on the love of God towards yourself—towards her there is no difficulty, she is where all is clear—for your dear little ones and believe that He is sufficient, and wait upon Him who knows our sorrows and difficulties and trials. Be assured of my unfeigned sympathy, for indeed I feel that your loss has been very great, but I am sure my God is able to supply all your need according to His riches in glory. Peace be with you: be much with Jesus, and the God of peace shall keep your heart.
Your affectionate brother in Jesus.
July 4th, 1859.

Bereavement; What Death Is to the Believer; Infidelity

My answer has been a little delayed by moving, and then the press of parting for the Continent, where I now am on my way to Italy and then Switzerland. I was much affected by your account of dear -, and his deal.
It shows what a world we live in, but what a gracious God we have. Death is written upon our fairest hopes and our fondest joy; but where sin and death have come in, grace and the Son of God have come in after them to more than make up what was done. If we look at what is eternal and real, then at dear and -, both with Christ, and soon to be manifested in glory through sovereign grace: bright hopes cut down, fine expectations and affections blighted here, but the death to them only the seed of what never ends, in joy and rest with God and Him who loved us, and at all cost to Himself obtained it for us. Most thankful was I to hear of -'s confessing Christ before he went. I was not surprised. Sorrowful as his path had been, it was much through that amiability of character which does not know how to resist, and his affections for home remained constant. None of these things are grace; and the former-for such as we are and the world around us -is a channel of evil; but neither are positive will in evil. But all is in that word that he owned Christ according to his need of a Savior, and it is very gracious of God to have given you all this comfort. What a difference for the heart if all had ended in darkness, or even far away where none might have been to speak to him! It really is a very great mercy, and I am most thankful to God for it, that your——'s course should have ended in owning the blessed Lord, resting for forgiveness on Him Ah, it is good to have Him, with the love in which He gave Himself for us, without which none of us could subsist, for after all there is no difference. I rejoice that your father and mother have received this consolation; God has been very gracious to them, for death cannot be staid save by sovereign power immediately exercised, but love is sovereign and free in that grace which saves. Death is the wages of sin, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Blessed be the God of all grace! and we wait here or there to be like Jesus and see Him as He is. The more one goes on and gets out of the vain show in which men walk and into reality, the more Christ is everything. As it is said, death and destruction have heard the fame thereof (of wisdom) with their ears: they have not got it, but they tell a tale that ends falsehood if it be not yet truth, and that is something. Infidelity may do to amuse and deceive the mind while the spring of life flows, but when it begins to ebb, and more when it dries up, what can it do or say? You may be an amiable, clever animal with it, not by it, but a divine affection never crosses its path.
Remember me kindly to—-and all at the house, and tell them how seriously I take in all their troubles and sorrows. Still God has been most gracious to them, and even in human things makes everything work together for good to those who love Him. The Lord be with you, dear——
Affectionately in the Lord
Paris, February, 1874

Bethesda and Principles

Dearest—,-,
I do not hold that the church is to be ignorant of the times because her period is not determined by them; "There are many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time." Surely if Pharisees ought to have discerned [Matt. 16:3], we ought. She ought by the word morally to discern all things, but she is doctrinally by the word set outside these times and signs. The Revelation is given to the church that she may understand her place; that does not necessarily place her in it. She is not of time, though in it; not of the world, though in it. As to the second remark as to the author of the Apocalypse being the same as of the Gospel, etc., it is merely ignorance, which would lead me to judge the author incapable of any sound judgment at all about the matter. The relation of the Father to His children never appears in the Revelation. It is the throne, and the language and style and spirit so unique as to prove totally the contrary to what you refer to.- would have been wiser if he had heard both sides, but in his position he is not likely to be free from the deceit of the enemy.... I do not meddle with other people's judgment as to Bethesda, because I have my own, and as I believe this is a deceit of the enemy; unless delivered from it I do not expect a sound judgment. The word abiding in us, and the unction of the Holy One can alone deliver us from the world, and Antichrist in his various forms.
The world and its spirit are not discerned else, so that I expect delusion.
I have not seen the last edition of Horœ Apocalypticœ. I read the third, I think, a year or two ago. As to four parts of the earth, there seems no ground for it at all. The Vulgate follows the corrected order of the words adopted by all the editors. As to the "measure of wheat," others have had the same thought before him; still one man's daily food for his whole wages is at least a scarcity, for as the commentaries say he may have a wife and children, and at any rate must have a house and clothes; however it would prove scarcity, and exact measurement rather than famine: moreover, I pronounce nothing upon it.
As to Heb. 12:22-24, καί divides the terms. You are come to Mount Zion; to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; to an innumerable company of angels, the general assembly; to the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven; to God the Judge of all; the spirits of just men made perfect; Jesus, Mediator of the new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel. It ascends from the lowest point of millennial glory uniting heaven and earth, the earthly seat of royal grace in contrast with Sinai the nation's responsibility (Zion was after Ichabod), and then gives the heavenly Jerusalem in contrast with earthly Zion as in general the city of heavenly glory. He then opens out the whole πανήγυρις, the great multitude of angels just there meeting his eye; then as a special company he singles out the elect heavenly church: this gives the full display of grace in its heavenly character. Then he rises up to God, but in the character of righteousness which, whatever the life-giving grace needed, was His character in connection with the Jews or Israel, "God, the judge of all;" hence he next sees "the spirits of just men [an Old Testament designation, as Zacharias and Elizabeth in Luke] made perfect," (perhaps from the use of that word for the winning combatants not yet crowned) that is, the saints of the Old Testament; then, to the means of establishing the new covenant with Israel, "Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant," and the blood which cried for grace for the earth, for sinners and for Israel. The whole order of things in connection with millennial blessing is introduced, giving withal the present condition of souls, and the efficacy of what was accomplished to bring it in, leaving it, as continually in the Hebrews, open to heavenly or earthly accomplishment, though addressing those concerned in the heavenly.
I have no great light and no great difficulty as to the glorious place. I believe there will be a visible glory which will have in a certain sense a place for man to see it; it is the glorious state of the saints, not the saints simply. But then we must not leave out what is the very object and value of a symbol, moral characterization. In Hebrews it is a place, but that place is the church's glory hereafter, which, for instance, Abraham may enjoy, though not it. In Hebrews it is always an objective thing, for the epistle never rises to it as a condition....
Affectionately yours in Christ.
August 28th, 1851.
I think the seven angels are the mystical representatives of the churches in connection with the authority to be exercised on Christ's part in them, in whosever hands that may be found.

Bethesda and Principles

It is a great mistake to think that I am less decided as to neutrals; it is quite the contrary. Neutrals, when Christ has been dishonored, are in the worst position of all, and I think Christ has been dishonored, I mean at Bethesda. I do not understand how any one caring for Him can think otherwise, and I believe the Lord is distinctly putting His seal on those who are faithful, and that the moral standing of those who are not is lowering every day. That is not saying that there are not a great many faults among those who have stood firm, but failure on a sound standard is a very different thing, bad as it is, from lowering the standard.—wrote to me inviting me to Barnstaple, to come and have intercourse, more than half a year ago: I wrote word when the dishonor done to Christ was judged, till then not. I leave myself, of course, entirely open to meet any one when the Lord leads to it; but it will not, the Lord helping, be on the ground of being not decided as to neutrals. My principle is the same as ever; my experience has made me more so....
As to the withdrawal of my letter,—said it stood in the way of some as a stumbling-block; on this ground I withdrew it, and said so when I did at Bristol, as I wished no particular act of mine to be such. But that changed nothing of my principles, nor did I think anything wrong in it; the only thing which might have been left out was the statement of what I meant to do, which I made as a matter of openness with brethren. I have no doubt the Lord is working, but I believe it is in connection with firmness on these points.... I do not see the poor put about half as much as the rich.... I have not the thought of an unkind feeling towards any.
August 17th, 1856.

Bethesda and Principles

I have no wish to keep up the Bethesda question, not that I judge the evil as less than I thought it, but that from the length of time many there are mere dissenters, and know nothing of the doctrine; so that they are really in conscience innocent, though gone in there as they would into any dissenting place. If this brother had never had anything to do with B. as such, I should have asked him nothing about it, as happens every day. But your account is that his separation was on account of looseness in discipline. What I think I should do would be not to discuss B. but show him, say J. E. Batten's confession, where he states what they taught, and ask him simply if he held any of these, as they were the things that had made the difficulty. I should not ask anything about B. If he does not hold them I should not make any difficulty. I should gladly have patience with a godly brother who had seriously a difficulty. If it were merely willful I do not feel that an assembly is bound to satisfy his willfulness. This principle is recognized in 1 Corinthians distinctly. Otherwise one perverse person might keep evil in the assembly perpetually.
He would allege his conscience being governed by the word of God, and not yours.
November, 1878.

Bethesda and Principles; Christ Before Church Questions; the Support of Laborers; Christian's Obligation to Servants

My dear brothers I received your note in due time, but waited to read your paper before replying; and I was going about to meetings from morning till night, sometimes because brethren from the neighborhood were brought together, sometimes (in Ireland) because there was a remarkable movement there. I have been overwhelmed with work; still, I have read it. I have but one observation to make. You give the churches a more formal position than they have in my mind. I do not speak of error, for I see plainly that you recognize the church as the body of Christ, but only of an impression left on my mind. I do not recognize that there may be members of a church; I do not know that you said so: it is only an impression. Perhaps what comes nearest to it is the expression 'the several members with their respective churches.' This does not say so, it is true; but it would perhaps imply it to those who are accustomed to this thought. Do not think, dear brother, that I say this because I wish to find fault with the pamphlet; I thought it very good, and I am pointing out the one thing that presents itself to my mind as possibly raising a question. I hope it will be a summary very useful to your countrymen. I intended to have written to you when I had read half your paper over again, and had a little more quiet here in Edinburgh....
Union is always good in itself, but faithfulness to Christ comes before even union. I am very glad that you saw those two dear brothers. I would beg you to carefully seek information on the subject of the meeting, before committing yourself in this respect: not—God forbid—to make difficulties, but to ascertain whether the holiness of the Lord's table is really maintained. I can rejoice in work if, in the main, souls are delivered, even if I cannot go along with it. With regard to Bethesda, certainly I should be very clear that they were fully delivered, before mixing myself up with them. I should never have thought of introducing these questions into Italy; but they have been introduced. It is this which has hindered my going there or mixing myself up with it. I said to myself that it was a cruel thing to occupy brethren who had just come out of Popery with these difficulties, and impossible to walk with the Newtonian; and I committed the matter, with much prayer, to God, and have been waiting on Him, for the work has deeply interested me. Now, dear brother, Bethesda and the fruits of the spirit which reigns there shows itself more every day—the worldliness and the destruction of all integrity and all conscience in those who are implicated in it. It has been found to be so in Switzerland, France, Germany, everywhere; where one could not say that it was party spirit. So, if the meeting at M. is in fellowship with it, certainly I do not go there. Probably most of them knew nothing of the matter, so that they would not be personally defiled; but when once they have taken their side (those who know it) they will be assailed. And it would be important that these two, and that other who is not ignorant of it, should be very decided. Do not be in a hurry. The Lord's table—secured from this known corruption—sufficient discipline—this is what would be absolutely necessary for me. I would yield to much weakness and infirmity in the condition in which they are, if only the foundation were good; I mean always that the principle of meeting was the unity of the body of Christ.
You must understand, dear brother, that if you mix yourself up with it, and do not continue in it, and others leave the assembly, you withdraw under the weight of an imputation of causing division. For my own part, I doubt that if the truth, as you possess it, should penetrate there, all would bear it. You must weigh all this, and not be in a hurry, while you receive these dear brothers cordially, and make things as clear to them as you can. Be brotherly towards them all; at least if they do not individually maintain what is wrong: in that case, faithfulness, and even brotherly love, oblige you to show that you cannot go on with evil. Do not relax fidelity to Christ and the truth for the sake of avoiding narrowness. Our normal condition is having but little strength, and not denying His name and His word. The Lord had but a hundred and twenty to gather (around Himself) after three and a half years' work; "the servant is not above his master."...
If they give up the salary, which causes endless trouble, they must trust in God, and not in the brethren. Still, I fully own the duty of the brethren to help those who devote themselves to the Lord. The path is a path of faith; for the wealthy in the established systems are annoyed when one gets free, and when their wealth no longer influences the course of the church as it once did. But this is just what is needful in order that the Spirit of God may resume His place, and His rights in her. God grant this; and may He give these brethren, and all who are laboring, faith to allow the Spirit of God to act freely. How good God is to go on working, in spite of the infirmity, the failure, the sins which are in the midst of His own people! Be cordial then, dear brother, not hasty. Take care that they are fully cleansed from the defilement of B.; and that in principle—even where there may be feebleness—the holiness of the Lord's table is preserved. I desire nothing more than what you set forth as true in your paper. Keep to that, with as large a heart as possible. I shall be very glad to have news of you, and of your work. There are many important details, but it is impossible for me to enter on them now. Remember me to the brethren with you, though I do not know them Many have lately broken with the Bethesda system; some of them were laborers in Ireland, who did not know how the case stood. I believe God is working in this matter. I dare not say that they are all able to keep the meetings, which are being formed in pretty large numbers in Ireland now, pure.
We have lost, as far as this life goes, our beloved brother Trotter, and another well known evangelist can no longer labor; but He has raised up fresh ones, and the meetings are increasing very much.
Peace be with you; and may our good God, always faithful and full of grace, guide and sustain you. Never be discouraged or anxious about anything, but make your requests known to God, and His peace shall keep your heart. Remember that Christ is ever faithful, and cannot fail His own.
Remember me affectionately to those two evangelist brothers;
I earnestly desire anyway that God may bless their labors.
Yours affectionately in Christ. Edinburgh, December 13th, 1865.

Bethesda and Principles; the Christian's Position as to Life and Spirit; Death to Sin; the Place of Experience; What It Is to Be in the Flesh; Old Testament Saints; J.G. Bellett

As regards the first query, the intelligence of the passage supposes a clear apprehension of the Christian's individual position before God, and is the expression of that position in, if I may so speak, its dissected characters. It does not speak simply of full and perfect forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ and of a righteousness of God manifested therein (that is found in the end of chap. iii.); but unfolds the elements of the position of the believer before God as reckoning himself dead to sin, baptized to Christ's death and alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, as having discovered not that we had sinned, and come short of the glory of God (that again is found in chap. but that in him, that is in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing. He has learned not what he has done merely, but what he is. Hence the simple fullness of grace is more largely stated in chapter 5, which closes that first part at verse 11- God's love to the sinner, so that we joy in Him, knowing His love. It is God towards the sinner and so known. Chapter 8 is the believer -before God, his privileges fuller, but grace and divine love in itself not so absolutely stated. One is God Himself to the sinner, the other the believer's standing with God. In chapters 3-5, Christ has died for our sins when we were sinners: now is added, we have been baptized to His death and are to reckon ourselves dead; the bearing of which, moreover on the law and our experience under it is reasoned out by the Spirit in chapter 7.
Having prefaced this, which will make the answers more intelligible, or at least lay the ground for them if apprehended, I reply, Old Testament saints could not be described as not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. The Spirit is the seal of our new position in Christ, promised in the prophets and by the Lord, and received by Him for us after His ascension (Acts 2:33), and given as the Spirit of adoption, and uniting us to Him ascended. The distinction of flesh and Spirit is founded on the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, and the possession of the Spirit promised by Christ, and the present fruit of His redemption work. In His time on earth John could say, "The Holy Ghost was not yet, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." And lust was in the Old Testament saints, but now the flesh working lusts against the Spirit, and freedom by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death is known only to those who have the Spirit, given consequent on an accomplished redemption. It is clear they could not be in the Spirit if the Spirit was not given, and scripture is as clear on this as words can make it. The gift of the Spirit was such and so dependent on Christ's going away, that it was expedient for them He should do so.
I have said above 'if apprehended,' because it cannot be but by experience. Forgiveness I can understand in a certain way, if I have it not, for men are forgiven their faults by parents, etc., and the burden of debt being removed is also intelligible. But being dead and reckoning myself dead when I feel myself alive is not so easy even to understand, till divine grace, teaching me to submit to God's righteousness, has set me free in the consciousness of a new position in which, alive in Christ, I treat the flesh as dead. It is called "the Spirit of Christ," because it is that which forms us in living likeness to Him: it is Christ in us in the power of life. This was perfectly displayed in His life in itself: in us it is realized in the measure in which we walk in the Spirit, as we live in the Spirit.
Some further remarks will clear this point. The inquirer may remark, that it is called "the Spirit of God," "the Spirit of Christ," and "the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus." I need not say that it is the same Spirit. But in the first, it is in contrast with the flesh. (See Gal. 5:17.) In the second, it is that form of life in which its own qualities are displayed as in Christ Himself. In the third, it is the pledge of final deliverance and glorifying of the body itself into the likeness of Christ glorified-here spoken of however not farther than the quickening of the body by reason of it; but it goes on to the quickening of the mortal body itself.
As regards οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῦ (ver. 9), all here is spoken of the Christian as such, subjectively perfect as to his christian state: he who has not Christ's Spirit is not His. It is not a question of what he may be afterward, or whether he is a sheep, or, so to speak, αὐτὧ; but even if God be working in him to lead him to Christ, he is not yet His in fact until he has His Spirit. Redemption and assurance of faith have been so set aside in evangelical teaching (though not at the Reformation-assurance was insisted on then as alone justifying faith) that many persons who have the Spirit of Christ, which is that of liberty and adoption, are afraid to be free and to say they are children, and yet they have the Spirit of adoption. Such are surely His; but none can be said to be His (αὐτοί) till they have His Spirit. All men are Christ's in a certain sense; all His sheep are His own in another: but none can be said to be His when they have not His Spirit.
The σὰρξ is not dead; σὰρξ would not do at all here (ver. 10); when the σῶμα is alive, active in will, it is σὰρξ, and there is sin. Hence if "Christ be in you"-not simply, if I am born of God (which a man is in Rom. 7), but, if Christ be in me I reckon myself dead; I am, in the true christian estimate, dead (compare Col. 3)—"the body is dead" because its only produce, if alive, is sin. It is for the Christian a mere lifeless instrument of the new man, of the Spirit that dwells in me. It is to be remarked here, that in this part of the chapter the Spirit is looked at as the source of life, though as dwelling in us: it is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Afterward, it is looked at personally as acting in us; hence it is said, the "Spirit is life." I own and recognize only the Spirit that dwells in me as the source and spring of life in me, because righteousness is what I seek, and its fruit in contrast with flesh, a contrast fully made previously. Πνεῦμα is surely the Spirit of God, but dwelling in us, and the source of and characterizing life. The Old Testament saints could not be said to be of Christ thus, as is apparent from what has been said. The saint really under law, in the Rom. 7 state, could not either be said to be αὐτοῦ. But we must remember, that many are practically under law by false teachers keeping them there, who are not really, but in secret look to God as their Father.
[1867.]

Bethesda and Principles; the Difference Between Interpretation and False Doctrine; Loss of Paul's Doctrine

As far as I have seen everywhere, this connection with Bethesda is united with the returning influence of the world and, through the appearance of devotedness at B., united to real worldliness, that is, a fair show in the flesh, universally falseness, want of openness and straightforwardness. It is a question of deliverance of souls from the deception of a system I left long ago, somewhat painted over. I have not a trace of doubt as to its character. It may be a matter of humiliation that there was not more power, to stay and keep it out, but its character is clear to me as the sun at noonday. I have no more thought of walking with it than of abandoning all the principles on which grace has made me act these thirty years. But separation is a very serious thing, or rather the attempt to form a second table, as men speak; because if the Lord removes the candlestick, He does not always light up another. It is not His way; He is judging and removing it, and power is needed for lighting it up. Conscientiousness, though equally honored of God, is not this. Great quietness and isolatedness is the path called for in such cases. I met today, in a French tract which had no reference to these matters, a principle I have always accepted, that I would never separate where I could recognize the body as on the principle of the church of God after I had left it; and the principle is an evident and plain one. I might avoid going to the place if I could do nothing better. When one has to separate, then quietness and retiredness is the path till God comes in afresh.... Things always find their level, individual level, in a sifting.
I had heard of poor dear- 's death. I was not surprised he died in peace; his head was all wrong, but his heart all right, so as to make me often ashamed of myself, and that is better.
As to -, circumstances, I forget what, led me to look at it when he was at one time here. I judged the expressions very unhappy, and in themselves unjustifiable, and he was very unhappy when he saw them (before I spoke to him), so that he had lost his rest for a night or two. To accuse him of any doctrinal heresy is mere malice; unjustifiable expressions, or even ideas, are totally different from explained and justified doctrine. He is not a person who discerns and is guarded in his, expressions, but who follows his ideas; but of his soundness I have no doubt—indeed found him much matured and grown, and more reason to be attached to him than ever. The simplest thing for him to say is that the expressions are not justifiable, while no false doctrine is maintained now, or ever meant to be. We had the case before with Bellett. The plainer he condemns them the more is it evident that he is in no error himself; and the Lord will honor him because he seeks thus only His glory; that is the secret of all happy walk and happiness. If he is with you, give him my kindest love.
In general there is blessing here and progress. It is a. blessed thing to trust the Lord in everything, in light, and in darkness as appears. He always governs, and always according to the principles we love because they are the expression of Himself.
Affectionately yours.
Lausanne, May 29th, 1855.

Withdrawal of Circular as to Bethesda

I stated at large in the meeting at Bristol that I did not see anything wrong in the circular. I asked one who was there if he had known any principle of great evil working anywhere, would he have done wrong to warn brethren of it? The last phrase in the circular was the effect simply of the feeling that I ought to be open as to my own path and feeling with brethren, that if they did not wish this of course I need not repeat it. But I withdrew the letter as being alleged to be a stumbling-block in others' way, just on the grounds you have done. It had another effect in my case: as I had left (as I may say) every one when I left Ebrington Street, my circular, the meetings being clear of Newtonism, became a recognition on my part of the old meetings in a measure, and implied connection with them. The withdrawal of it placed me again personally out of all connection (formally) with any; but I said I trusted I should be only the closer knit to those who really walked with God in the best faithfulness they could. Bethesda would stand on its own merits without 'What have you written, and what have you said?' So that I feel my position clearer and more solid as to it.
Affectionately yours, dear brother.
July 26th, 1852.

Withdrawal of Circular as to Bethesda; Changed State of Plymouth

Thank you very much for your kind note.... In general it is a time of unequivocal blessing for the testimony of brethren, and the witness they have to give spreads beyond my hope, so that I often wonder. The brethren know I always felt they must get into the low place before they could rise. It is the truth of the church's place. Plymouth got out of it, and the candlestick was taken away; God does not light it up as soon as He has put it out; but I am perfectly satisfied that if the brethren are content to wait on Him and abide His time, they will see His hand, and all the rest is nothing. We must be content to take the place that faith has, but I am persuaded God will own this to be His, and that is what a heart filled with Christ wants. The Lord may sift till all that are not a witness, or for a witness, are gone—so He did with Christ's followers -but then He will make them one, and a plain one. The brethren are happy here; many new ones want perhaps building up. Give my kindest love to the brethren.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
London, February 19th, 1858.

Withdrawal of Circular as to Bethesda; Hour in John 5

I trust you will have found blessing at the meeting; I have no doubt the Lord's hand was most abundantly in it. Of course it can be only so far as our hearts really humble themselves, each one for his own evil, before God, that we shall find real and permanent blessing. At the meeting at Bristol, I declared that I had withdrawn my original circular as to Bethesda. This took a stumbling-block out of the way of others, and left the ground entirely on its own merits, putting me entirely out of the question. I was questioned on it and cross-questioned: I only resumed all my liberty, that is, position of duty to Christ for my future path; so that Bethesda stands on its own merits, and the discussion on it and its relationship with brethren I am totally free from, as that is the only act I ever had to say to. This I felt its effect, I withdrew it as taking away a difficulty from others, only taking care I should be bound to nothing as to my course by it. It was asked; I have acceded. I did not see any great sense (feeling, I did) in asking the withdrawal of it; but if it met that feeling I was content, provided I was free to do what was right unconditionally in whatever I have to do; that is, that it was understood I preserved this liberty intact.
Now as to the millennium, Mr. Browne's reasonings are null, because at the beginning, the Fathers did expect the Lord as a present thing; during the 1260 years they thought very little about it, and at the end it did not hinder the present expectation.
As regards the word "hour" (John 5:25, 28), I know of no one who has spoken of an unbroken resurrection hour. Ὥρα has nothing to do with the continuity of other facts which may occur in it, but of the unity of the epoch, so as to make one time or season of it. Thus it is used for a year because it is one epoch; yet spring, summer, and winter, seed-time and harvest, very opposite and not continuous facts, are found within it. The hour is not the hour of resurrection, but resurrection takes place in it. This indeed is evident upon the face of the passage. If the hour derive its character from the resurrection, the whole argument is certainly unfounded; for there are two resurrections distinct in character, and no continuity derived from them. If it does not derive its character from the resurrection, then the fact of having two resurrections in it, a thousand years apart, does not destroy its continuity. Two periods were in the first "hour" (ver. 25) characterized. by Christ's presence and Christ's absence: the ὥρα derives its unity, not its continuity, from something else. There was an epoch when souls should rise at the voice of the Son, another (ver. 28) when bodies should. What gave unity to that epoch is another question; of the answer to it I have little doubt—the presence of the Lord in glory, and the kingdom in that power in which He rose from the dead. They were not to marvel if He quickened souls, for, at another epoch, He would be in such manifestation of power that He would raise the dead.
I know nothing of a voice in 1 Cor. 15:51. There is a trump (but the wicked have clearly no part in the statements here); there is the archangel's voice in 1 Thess. 4:16: so that I do not exactly know what is meant about a voice, twice citing these passages. But a common resurrection is totally unscriptural, and the argument goes much further than the millennium. All scripture shows a distinct act of resurrection, if there be only a minute between; them that are Christ's are not confounded with the others, whatever the interval. There is nothing whatever said of a trumpet sound with the wicked; they are carefully excluded in the two passages where the trumpet is spoken of.
The argument as to 2 Peter 3 has, with equal confidence, been used for burning the earth at the beginning of the millennium. But I do not admit the day of the Lord to be a day, but a period; in that period, were it a million years, the heavens will pass away. In the passage itself twice the apostle declares to us its importance with God. I do not see anything very new or very wise in this settlement of the matter—very reasonable to put it out as his way of thinking; but the mass of testimony, of direct instruction which it controverts, makes the nice casuistry it is founded upon of no comparative weight. But it is all very well it should be discussed.
Affectionately yours.

Introduction to the Bible; "Ifs" in Scripture; Time a Parenthesis in Eternity

I too have been laid aside, and in a great measure am, nor can I walk properly without an arm and a stick, nor do I preach. Through mercy my mind has been left clear, and I am here at my post, beset with those in person and by letter who are getting clear in our present, I might almost say our late, trials. God has been sifting us and it is nearly over: as I have said, we cannot halloa as those that are out of the wood, but we can see the light through the trees, and in that light there is light. Already it has been a real blessing to brethren; and, what is a mercy, work has gone on all the time-gathering a little stopped in London, but not even there hindering conversions-and a fresh spring and knitting together which there was not before. God is full of goodness. I heard from -, and he mentioned more energy in evangelizing which, with looking to God, is the real remedy....
They do not mind working on another man's foundation: an apostle could not help it, still if there be faithful devotedness and the place be really filled, God is above this danger too; if it be not filled it may be humbling, but we could not desire that God should not call these poor souls, because we were not the instruments. Still I have always felt it in France, where we had begun the work, an humbling thing if inroad was made on it, and that has happened where there has been a decay of spiritual energy. There is a government of God in these things. Paul had to say to such, and there is a time and a guidance when such happens: "he followeth not with us" will not do, if he preaches Christ.
Mais parce que vous êtes malade, I come to visit you, and what shall I bring? Christ. But you have Him and that gives communion, and communion in what is eternal which makes it very blessed; and if we are feeble, the Object is not. It has struck me as very blessed that God should reveal to us all His thoughts and mind in which He glorifies Himself. I have been writing a kind of preface or introduction to the Bible, just translated into French, and it presented itself to me in this way; that all time was a kind of parenthesis in eternity, in which all that was eternally in the mind and character of God, wrought out on the earth in time, should be brought out in its glorious results and display—His glory and its accomplishment in the Son in the future eternity. And all this is given us in scripture; the basis connected with man's responsibility in the Old, and the divine operation of grace in the New. The more one studies it, the more one finds God, and alas man too, in the Bible....
And now, dear brother, take courage. The Lord watches over us, makes everything work together for those who love Him -may exercise, chasten us because He loves us; but His love is shed abroad in our hearts by His Spirit which He has given us. The proof is, Christ dying for us when sinners, pure sovereign grace doing what was needed: the power of enjoyment is, the Holy Ghost in us. I think you will find the "ifs" in scripture attach themselves to the journey here. There is an absolute finished redemption in which there is no if, but a "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord"—a finished work and, with a short prefatory work of pure grace and divine power, it is "ye have seen. how I bare you upon eagles' wings and brought you unto myself." Then they must get through the wilderness to get to Canaan. It is the experimental learning of what we are, and if life is not there it is just a profession, like a Christendom; but if we have life, thus we get experience, "to humble thee and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart." Here we need, not a finished work save as the basis of all, but an ever living Father and Savior: we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, but there we have such—it is God that works in us. He gives us eternal life; we are personally known in precious grace; kept by the power of God. It is dependence, but on what cannot fail; an exercise of faith, perhaps, but counting on faithfulness just as sure, but by a living action, not a finished work. (See 1 Cor. 1:8.) And then at the end He adds, that there may be no confusion as "at this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, what hath God wrought!" (Num. 23:23.) That is a good story: go and hear Moses at the bottom of the mountain—"stiffnecked" and "rebellious," but above, with the answer He hath not seen it: red heifer for failures, priesthood to help us along (to the) close, and then comes God's judicial estimate of what He has wrought. It is a blessed history, but sweet to trust Him by the way, and we need it.
I have been brought down low again by a cold, not able to lie down, but all is love, unclouded.
The Lord be with you.
February, 1882.

The Meaning of Blessing in 1 Corinthians 11; the Act of Breaking Bread; the Doctrine of Concomitancy; Consubstantiation; Pretension to Priesthood; Romanism; Sufferings of Christ; the Lord's Supper; Transubstantiation

I regard all pretense in any to priesthood, save that which can be attributed, and which in scripture is attributed to all saints, as the principle of the apostasy in its present form of development, and the denial of Christianity. Judaism had priests, because the people could not themselves go directly to God where He revealed Himself; Christianity has none between God's people and Himself in their worship, because Christians are brought to God and have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. To set a priest to go for them as one nearer to God, is to deny the effect of Christianity. Besides, priesthood has essentially to do with intercession, or sacrifice and offerings: and in the Lord's supper there is no sacrifice, nor is it intercession. The whole idea of priesthood on earth is to be rejected, therefore, as utterly contradictory both to Christianity and the act of breaking the bread.
But, on the other hand, it is a mistake to think we partake by breaking the bread, or that we break it. The whole force of the thing consists (as to this point) in our partaking of already broken bread. It is His body broken for us that we take and eat. We are not the breakers of His body, properly speaking. So that, I apprehend, the true partaking of the Lord's supper is after the bread is broken. The breaking of the bread now is, of course, a necessary accident to such participation, but is no part of the communion at all. And every one acquainted with scripture on the point, knows that "blessing" means simply giving thanks, and not consecrating the bread. See 1 Cor. 11:24 and compare Matt. 26:26, 27; Mark 14:22; and Luke 22:19. So in Luke 9:16, the miracle of the loaves and not the Eucharist, He blessed them and brake; in John 6:11, 23; Mark 8:6, 7 (also Mark 6:41), the terms are united; in Matt. 14:19 He blessed, and in chapter 15:36 gave thanks. In 1 Cor. 14:16 we find incontestable proof of what indeed the previous passages can leave no doubt on to a reasonable mind. "Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" Blessing is blessing God, a giving of thanks. So the apostle says, in chapter 11, "the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks," and in 1 Cor. 10 "the cup of blessing which we bless." Matthew and Mark, speaking of the bread, say He blessed; and speaking of the cup, say He gave thanks. In Luke it is simply, He gave thanks. Thus, the blessing which precedes the breaking of the bread is a giving of thanks; and in this, of course, all join, as in every thanksgiving, though one may utter it. Every saint is essentially competent, though in a large congregation godly order of mind may leave it to such as may have justly earned the respect of the body; yet, as the feeling of priesthood is readily slipped into, I should think it desirable that it were not always one.
The breaking of the bread is in itself no religious act; it represents the putting of Christ to death, and, as an outward act, was consummated by wicked men. But the Lord did break it in the last supper, showing it was a dead Christ they had to feed on; and hence he who gives thanks breaks the bread. The communion comes after and is on a broken body. The breaking is the killing of Christ, and though absolutely necessary as a figure, because His death was absolutely necessary and is the very point shown forth, yet the act of doing it is no religious part of the thing which one has a privilege in doing. And as to pouring out the wine, it is done no doubt often, but is no part of the Lord's supper at all. The wine is, in the institution, supposed to be already in the cup, still pointing to the great fact, that the communion refers to an already dead Savior. The blood is out of the body—" my blood which is shed for you." The act of pouring out would not represent death, because the body is not thus represented, and hence it is not referred to at all. The already shed blood is given thanks for or blessed, already poured out: "the cup which we bless," etc. There is the breaking of the bread as significative of the breaking of His body; but this is preparatory to communion.
It is this consideration which shows the terrible import of the Roman Catholic doctrine as to the Eucharist, and how Satan has taken them in their own wisdom and, so to speak, mocked them. The laity are deprived of the cup and are consoled by what is called the doctrine of concomitancy; namely, that the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus are in the bread (indeed in both species). But if the blood be in the body, and not shed and separate, there is no redemption. It is shed blood, not blood in the body, which is the power of redemption; without shedding of blood there is none. This confirms the view, taken above, that it is a body already broken, and blood already shed, of which we partake. Thus, though the bread must be broken as it was by Christ, by him who gives thanks, this is but preparatory and forms, strictly, no part of the communion; and, as representing the putting Christ to death, it is no part of the holy service itself, though needed to chew that it is of a dead Christ we partake: it is of no living, existing Christ, but of a dead Christ, and there is none such. Remark further, how this sets aside transubstantiation and consubstantiation; for no such Christ exists as that celebrated in the Eucharist. As in the Passover a slain lamb, so a dead Christ is represented there, and shed blood; but there is no dead Christ now, He is alive again for evermore. As risen with Him, we remember the sorrows and sufferings which gave us a place there. That atoning death is accomplished and passed, and sin is put away for us, and we are alive with Him for evermore.
I would just add, that the expression in 1 Cor. 10:16 has no reference to one or to many, but to what Christians do in contrast with Jews and Gentiles. The apostle is treating the question of idolatry. Jews were partakers of the altar, Gentiles drank the cup of devils. What we (Christians) partake of is communion with the sacrifice of Christ. We are identified with the sacrifice, we cannot be with the cup of devils too.
[1859.]

Blood and Water; Righteousness

Your result in the tract paper, that is, fourth paragraph, is all right; but the third seems to me to confound a little the water and the blood: we have both in Christ. Living cleanness is practical, but does not cleanse from guilt, though the two cannot be separated because Christ is both and cannot be the one without being the other. But one is not the other; and if an exercised and troubled conscience had to find the living cleanness quite white, in order to know forgiveness, that is, non-imputation, the soul of such an one might be perplexed and cast down, as is often the case. It is mixing internal and living righteousness with non-imputation. Being quickened with Christ, I have part in the righteousness in which He is before God, but the working and effect of that life is not the measure of that righteousness before God, nor for peace of conscience. Conscience will be exercised where the Spirit is, as to the living righteousness; but it rests on Christ as its unchanging righteousness before God. We are righteous by faith objectively before God, not subjectively by experience; though there will be experience according to the working and judgment of the Holy Ghost in him who is righteous by faith. The Holy Ghost witnesses to one and works the other in us, or refuses inconsistencies contrary to it. But it carries on this moral discipline within in those that are at peace through the other; otherwise judgment of practice always puts us and must put us under law.
“Now ask any one that is anxious to please God, and whose sins are a real trouble to them, whether this is not so. Is it not, therefore, a poor remedy that never brings a surer cure?
“But if the walls of your cabin had a pure and living cleanness in them, would they not be freed continually from this growing dirt, and be purified continually?
“So it is with the heart that receives Christ into it by faith, and loves to have Him there, that looks to Him as the true and living righteousness given to us freely of God. Such a one shall find a living cleanness springing up in their heart, purifying them continually, and they rejoice in Him who bore all their sins.”)
Whenever we believe on Christ, or on Him that raised Him up, righteousness is imputed to us. It is not a question of progress, it is always simply true of the believer as such. It is God's judgment on his behalf of the value of Christ's work and His position as risen before Him; but grace reigning by righteousness is the principle on which the whole matter rests. It is the principle of Christianity.
Righteousness does not reign: it will in the day of judgment. Grace reigns yet. God cannot but maintain and require righteousness, but Christ has accomplished it in a divine way and it is settled forever in heaven, and this not for any temporal blessing or particular promise but for eternal life. Grace reigns. Sin has reigned through man unto death: had righteousness thus reigned, it was everlasting ruin. Now God who is love has had His work; and grace reigns and righteousness has now been established, divine righteousness through Christ. "Him that raised up Jesus" is not merely a confidence in power to be employed as Abraham, but in power already employed in deliverance, already accomplished in the very place and matter of our bondage, and in a God of love who has come down in such sort in power to our estate to take us out of it in Christ. God acts in love and power and the work of deliverance by it is accomplished. But death for offenses and resurrection for justification is not a stage past; it is a work done outside us of eternal efficacy, [by] the grace that reigns through it. For now righteousness being accomplished and established for us, love is no longer straitened, as it was till God's claim of death was satisfied, and Christ baptized with that baptism. And grace reigns through righteousness; and all blessings even to the fullness of glory, flow from and are dependent on this; but Rom. 4 gives us the same basis. Only here we have the source and principle which was at work and has triumphed so as to have all its own way in this time and forever in them who are brought in by it. God and His work has taken the place of man and his, as the ground of our relationship with God. Hence, of course, all blessings flow.

The Place of the Actual Blood-Shedding

I am on my way by Montreal to New York, where they look for me. I found your B. T. and pamphlet here. I have nothing to reply. I suppose the paper was one in my MS. books, and so not guarded against expected adversaries; but I have had the question before me often. The opposition is only ill-will, and were I to seek to cavil, I might reply that Christ shed no blood in dying at all. It was not by taking blood from Him as a victim that He died. The water and blood that were shed were when He was dead—and it is vital to hold that He gave up His life and that it was not taken from Him by shedding His blood. I quite admit He had really to die. But the reality of His drinking the cup of wrath, which unquestionably from scripture was accomplished before He gave up His spirit, is of the last importance. I do not believe there is in the objection any love of the truth, any real, serious concern about Christ, any deep sense of need met by the blessed Lord's sacrifice, anything but ill-will, and I have no answer to give, and am quite unmoved at such an one's accounting it heresy.
It is not true that it is only attributed to blood-shedding and death. It is attributed to suffering including death. And in the act of dying Christ did not suffer, but peacefully commended His spirit to His Father. Death was dreadful to Him surely, but it was not in the act of dying, it was so.
I have run my eye hastily over J. M. C.'s. There is nothing new in it, unless a denial that scripture suffices to direct us in certain cases, which I wholly deny. I do not say any gathered part of all believers is the body. They only may be meeting on the principle of its unity. It is a stupid paper. It says, "But we can only stand unmoved by holding the Head with doctrine and practice undefiled." I believe their practice is very wicked indeed—heinous contempt of Christ; and so I do not go with them, and that is all about it. I do not reject people because they do not agree about the one body. It is all, as all these documents are, an effort to sanction evil, calling it therefore an infinitesimal degree of alleged complicity. The true ground of gathering is a de facto protest against evil, when a man purges himself from it in the midst of church corruption. And that is what they hate. But to carry it on faithfully, and not to be perpetually debating it, is our business. I have never seen one tract on that side whose effect was not to excuse or allow evil—in most I have seen, and I do not it is true read them—vexation of having faithfulness firm, their own conscience being bad and galled by it.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
Ottawa, November 8th, 1867.

The Place of the Actual Blood-Shedding; the Ryde Trouble

I agree much with what you say at the end, that one must find it in the whole as a revealed fact. Thus we need His blood-shedding, His death, His forsaking [on the part] of God; all together make up His work. But when He shed His blood, He did not suffer; He was already dead. And this was important. Had the soldiers killed Him He would not have laid down His own life, it would have been taken from Him. Had He not shed His blood, the great sign that His life was given would have been wanting. Now, I get what expiated. and what purified in His death; but He laid down life Himself Then being forsaken of God-none of us can fathom what it was to One who had dwelt in the bosom of the Father, to find His soul as a man forsaken of Him, and that as made sin. In the measure in which He knew holiness and love, and that was absolute, He felt what it was to be [made] sin before God and forsaken. And though the physical death came after, then He, morally speaking, drank the cup. It was necessary He should freely give up His own spirit, all being finished, in peace. John's word is not "He gave up the ghost," but "gave up his spirit"—a divine act when all was done—and in peace and confidence as a man, as in Luke, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." The use of the word Father is important here. He does not say "My God" in His life—not even in Gethsemane, for He was in full communion with His Father. In the forsaking it is "My God," though in perfect submission, and saying "My." After His resurrection He uses both, in His message by Mary Magdalene; for now God was for us in righteousness and we children. But "Father into thy hands" is perfect peace in the enjoyment of son-ship. But He must actually die, or nothing would have been done; but the sting and curse were gone out of it; and He laid down His life in communion with, and in obedience to, the Father. It is when really already dead, that His blood which had all the value of that death was shed (with the water) to cleanse from sin. It must have the value of death in it, yet death not be by it. Sin gives death its sting, and that must be borne—yet death have none, but be the free giving up of His own spirit. All this was accomplished.
We learn it in parts, but it all made one great sacrifice, from meeting with God as made sin, His personal dignity in giving up His own life, and in the shedding forth the blood and water when all was finished—the shedding forth that in which its value is applied to us. But it is of all moment to view it adoringly, and not in dissecting it, as it were; only fully recognizing as far as we can the import of drinking the cup, where all the ingredients that sin had put into death are found. It is in the spirit of adoration—and withal, knowing what sin is—we must dwell on it, but the glory of His person giving Himself for God the Father's glory and then for our sins, and made sin for us, and devoted love to Him—that we must look at it.
November 12th, 1881.

Bochim and Gilgal; Common Humiliation; the Ryde Trouble; Testimony for These Days

As you speak of humiliation, I desire to reply a word. I think humiliation quite the thing called for, for the general state of brethren-their worldliness, their decay in positive testimony, their low spiritual state generally. I thought I had spoken to you of Bochim when I wrote before, but I did not, though I did to another, at the same time. I accepted the general idea of Bochim, but not the special character. Bochim was instead of Gilgal, the place of circumcision, where the angel of the Lord (unknown to them) was. That was a judicial giving up of Gilgal. I do not as yet accept that for brethren: God might give us up, and we must bow; but as yet I trust that He does not.
The difficulty as to common humiliation was, that what some judged as sin, others advocated and defended, or at least judged very light of. How could there be honest common humiliation? What defended the evil was exactly what the humiliation had to be for. The mere state of brethren was caring for brethrenism, not for God's glory. I do not say there was nothing of this last feeling, but, in general, it was shame for the state, not going to the root. However, God has judged the overt act, and, I suppose I may say, has cleared brethren from the principle that was at work so far... but godly souls are fully convinced that the demoralization I spoke of has been manifested, The question of the existence of brethren as a testimony depends upon their recovery from this. If they do not, they will be at Bochim; but there, Gilgal and blessing were over. I trust the Lord will maintain His testimony. I think the question a most solemn one.
—-takes the ground of Heb. 12:27, that brethren are to be removed as things that can be shaken, he and a few more being taken up afresh as a fresh testimony before the Lord comes. Now this being done as I affirm it to have been done, is an immensely vital point. If it has that character, it is not of God. It is no personal question. It is a question if, as he affirms, brethren are to be set aside or to remain a testimony for God. He has acted, as privately led of God, to set them aside. Half the brethren, I dare say much more, do not know what is involved. But God has wrought to judge the overt act. It now remains to see if brethren answer to His mercy, in drawing closer to Him....
I do not expect the mass of brethren to see the issues involved, but I look to God to work by His Spirit to preserve for Christ's glory a testimony to Himself, in awakening the consciences of brethren, and drawing them in heart and ways out of the world, so that He may use them as vessels of His testimony.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
October 1st.

Unity of the Body of Christ; Principles of Brethren; Work on the Continent; Gift and Its Exercise; Early Blessing in Plymouth; Principles Exercised at the Beginning; Professor Tholuck

Since I saw you, I have been continually on the move, so that it has been difficult for me to prepare the account which you desired to receive. It seems to me that the best way will be for me simply to mention the various circumstances as they transpired, in as far as I was personally concerned, at the time when this work of God first commenced. You will easily understand that numbers of others have labored in that field, and many with much more devotedness than I, and with a far more marked result as regards the blessing of souls. But my concern now is with the work of God, and not our labors; so that you may gather from the account what will suit your purpose.
I was a lawyer; but feeling that, if the Son of God gave Himself for me I owed myself entirely to Him, and that the so-called christian world was characterized by deep ingratitude towards Him, I longed for complete devotedness to the work of the Lord; my chief thought was to get round amongst the poor Catholics of Ireland. I was induced to be ordained. I did not feel drawn to take up a regular post, but, being young in the faith and not yet knowing deliverance, I was governed by the feeling of duty towards Christ, rather than by the consciousness that He had done all and that I was redeemed and saved; consequently it was easy to follow the advice of those who were more advanced than myself in the christian world.
As soon as I was ordained, I went amongst the poor Irish mountaineers, in a wild and uncultivated district, where I remained two years and three months, working as best I could. I felt, however, that the style of work was not in agreement with what I read in the Bible concerning the church and Christianity; nor did it correspond with the effects of the action of the Spirit of God. These considerations pressed upon me from a scriptural and practical point of view; while seeking assiduously to fulfill the duties of the ministry confided to me, working day and night amongst the people, who were almost as wild as the mountains they inhabited. An accident happened which laid me aside for a time; my horse was frightened and had thrown me against a door-post. During my solitude, conflicting thoughts increased; but much exercise of soul had the effect of causing the scriptures to gain complete ascendancy over me. I had always owned them to be the word of God.
When I came to understand that I was united to Christ in heaven, and that, consequently, my place before God was represented by His own, I was forced to the conclusion that it was no longer a question with God of this wretched "I-" which had wearied me during six or seven years, in presence of the requirements of the law. It then became clear to me that the church of God, as He considers it, was composed only of those who were so united to Christ, whereas Christendom, as seen externally, was really the world, and could not be considered as "the church," save as regards the responsibility attaching to the position which it professed to occupy—a very important thing in its place. At the same time, I saw that the Christian, having his place in Christ in heaven, has nothing to wait for save the coming of the Savior, in order to be set, in fact, in the glory which is already his portion "in Christ."
The careful reading of the Acts afforded me a practical picture of the early church, which made me feel deeply the contrast with its actual present state, though still as ever, beloved by God. At that time I had to use crutches when moving about, so that I had no longer any opportunity for making known my convictions in public; moreover, as the state of my health did not allow me to attend worship, I was compelled to remain away. It seemed to me that the good hand of God had thus come to my help, hiding my spiritual weakness under physical incapacity. In the meanwhile, there grew up in my heart the conviction that what Christianity had accomplished in the world in no way answered to the needs of a soul burdened with the sense of what God's holy governmental dealing was intended to effect. In my retreat, the 32nd chapter of Isaiah taught me clearly, on God's behalf, that there was still an economy to come, of His ordering; a state of things in no way established as yet. The consciousness of my union with Christ had given me the present heavenly portion of the glory, whereas this chapter clearly sets forth the corresponding earthly part. I was not able to put these things in their respective places or arrange them in order, as I can now; but the truths themselves were then revealed of God, through the action of His Spirit, by reading His word.
What was to be done? I saw in that word the coming of Christ to take the church to Himself in glory. I saw there the cross, the divine basis of salvation, which should impress its own character on the Christian and on the church in view of the Lord's coming; and also that meanwhile the Holy Spirit was given to be the source of the unity of the church, as well as the spring of its activity, and indeed of all christian energy.
As regards the gospel, I had no difficulty as to its received dogmas. Three persons in one God, the divinity of Jesus, His work of atonement on the cross, His resurrection, His session at the right hand of God, were truths which, understood as orthodox doctrines, had long been a living reality to my soul. They were the known and felt conditions, the actualities, of my relationship with God. Not only were they truths, but I knew God personally in that way; I had no other God but Him who had thus revealed Himself, and Him I had. He was the God of my life and of my worship, the God of my peace, the only true God.
The practical difference in my preaching, when once I began to preach again, was as follows: When a parson, I had preached that sin had created a great gulf between us and God, and that Christ alone was able to bridge it over; now, I preached that He had already finished His work. The necessity of regeneration, which was always a part of my teaching, became connected more with Christ, the last Adam, and I understood better that it was a real life, entirely new, communicated by the power of the Holy Spirit; but, as I have said, more in connection with the person of Christ and the power of His resurrection, combining the power of a life victorious over death, with a new position for man before God. This is what I understand by "deliverance." The blood of Jesus has removed every spot from the believer; every trace of sin, according to God's own purity. In virtue of His blood-shedding, the only possible propitiation, we may now invite all men to come to God, a God of love, who, for this object, has given His own Son. The presence of the Holy Ghost, sent from heaven to abide in the believer as the "unction," the "seal," and the "earnest of our inheritance," as well as being in the church, the power which unites it in one body and distributes gifts to the members according to His will; these truths developed largely and assumed great importance in my eyes. With this last truth was connected the question of ministry. From whence came this ministry? According to the Bible, it clearly came from God by the free and powerful action of the Holy Ghost.
At the time I was occupied with these things, the person with whom I was in christian relation locally, as a minister, was an excellent Christian, worthy of all respect, and one for whom I have always had a great affection. I do not know if he is still living, but since the time I speak of, he was appointed to be archdeacon. It was, however, the principles, and not the persons, which acted on my conscience; for I had already given up, out of love to the Savior, all that the world could offer. I said to myself: "If the Apostle Paul were to come here now, he would not, according to the established system, be even allowed to preach, not being legally ordained; but if a worker of Satan, who, by his doctrine, denied the Savior, came here, he could freely preach, and my christian friend would be obliged to consider him as a fellow-laborer; whereas he would be unable to recognize the most powerful instrument of the Spirit of God, however much blessed in his work of leading multitudes of souls to the Lord, if he had not been ordained according to the system." All this, said I to myself, is false. This is not mere abuse, such as may be found everywhere; it is the principle of the system that is at fault. Ministry is of the Spirit. There are some„ amongst the clergy, who are ministers by the Spirit, but the system is founded on an opposite principle; consequently it seemed impossible to remain in it any longer.
I saw in scripture that there were certain gifts which formed true ministry, in contrast to a clergy established upon another principle. Salvation, the church, and ministry, all were bound together; and all were connected with Christ, the Head of the church in heaven, with Christ who had accomplished a perfect salvation, as well as with the presence of the Spirit on earth, uniting the members to the Head, and to each other, so as to form "one body," and He acting in them according to His will.
In effect, the cross of Christ and His return should characterize the church and each one of the members. What was to be done? Where was this unity, this "body"? Where was the power of the Spirit recognized? Where was the Lord really waited for? Nationalism was associated with the world; in its bosom some believers were merged in the very world from which Jesus had separated them; they were, besides, separated from one another, whilst Jesus had united them. The Lord's supper, symbol of the unity of the body, had become a symbol of the union of this latter with the world, that is to say, exactly the contrary of what Christ had established. Dissent had, no doubt, had the effect of making the true children of God more manifest, but here they were united on principles quite different from the unity of the body of Christ. If I joined myself to these, I separated myself from others everywhere. The disunion of the body of Christ was everywhere apparent rather than its unity. What was I to do? Such was the question which presented itself to me, without any other idea than that of satisfying my conscience, according to the light of the word of God. A word in Matt. 18 furnished the solution of my trouble: "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." This was just what I wanted: the presence of Jesus was assured at such worship; it is there He has recorded His name, as He had done of old in the temple at Jerusalem for those who were called to resort there.
Four persons who were pretty much in the same state of soul as myself, came together to my lodging; we spoke together about these things, and I proposed to them to break bread the following Sunday, which we did. Others then joined us. I left Dublin soon after, but the work immediately began at Limerick, a town in Ireland, and then in other places.
Two years later (1830), I went to Cambridge and Oxford. In this latter place, some persons who are still engaged in the work, shared my convictions, and felt that the relation of the church to Christ ought to be that of a faithful spouse.
By invitation I went to Plymouth to preach. My habit was to preach wherever people wished, whether in buildings or in private houses. More than once, even with ministers of the national church, we have broken bread on Monday evening after meetings for christian edification, where each was free to read, to speak, to pray, or to give out a hymn. Some months afterward we began to do so on Sunday, morning, making use of the same liberty, only adding the Lord's supper, which we had, and still have, the practice of taking every Sunday. Occasionally it has been partaken of more often. About that time also some began to do the same in London.
The unity of the church, as the body of Christ, the coming of the Lord, the presence of the Holy Ghost here below, in the individual and in the church; an assiduous proclamation of the truth, as well as the preaching of the gospel on the ground of pure grace and that of an accomplished work, giving in consequence the assurance of salvation when received into the heart by the Spirit; practical separation from the world; devotedness to Christ, as to Him who has redeemed the church; a walk having Him only as the motive and rule; and other subjects in connection with these—all this has been treated of in separate publications as well as by means of periodicals; and these truths have been largely spread abroad.
A good many ministers of the national church left nationalism in order to walk according to these principles, and England became gradually covered with meetings, more or less numerous.
Plymouth being the place where most of the publications originated, the name "Plymouth brethren" became the usual appellation given to such meetings.
In 1837 I visited Switzerland, and these truths began to be known there. I returned there more than once. The second time, I remained a considerable time at Lausanne, where God worked in conversions, and gathered a number of the children of God out of the world. There were already, in Switzerland, Dissenters who had suffered faithfully for the Lord during twenty years previously. But their activity had declined considerably, and it even seemed that the movement was about to disappear. The work of the brethren has, to a certain extent, by the goodness of God, filled the country, conversions having been numerous. In German Switzerland, the work spread to a much less degree. On two occasions of my spending a protracted time in Lausanne, some young brothers who desired to devote themselves to gospel work spent nearly a year with me in order to read the Bible. We also partook of the Lord's supper together every day.
At the same time, quite independently of what wits going on in Switzerland, a brother who was laboring in France had awakened an interest in a considerable district where the people were, in general, plunged in infidelity and darkness. Some also of the young brothers of whom I have spoken, and two or three others whose acquaintance I made, but who never stayed with me, went to work in France. Other laborers, belonging to societies, believing that they would be happier working under the Lord's immediate direction, and not as subject to committees, gave up their salaries, considering such arrangements to be unknown, both in fact and in principle, to the scriptures, since their very existence attributed to the possession of money the right to direct the work of the Lord: these began to work in simple dependence upon the Lord, trusting to His faithful care. God raised up others also, though it still remains true that "the harvest is great and the laborers are few." God has blessed these laborers by conversions, numerous, thank God, especially in the south of France. From the beginning I have visited these countries and shared with joy the troubles and fatigues of these brothers; but it is they who have actually labored at the work. In some places, I had the first troubles; in others I have only visited, taken part and helped, when the work was, thank God, already begun. He gave us to be of one heart and one soul, mutually to be helpers of one another, seeking the good of all, whilst recognizing our individual weakness.
Almost about the same time, in the eastern part of France, a like work had begun, independently of this one. It has also been visited, so that at the present time the work extends from Bale to the Pyrenees, with a fairly large gap in the districts of which Toulouse forms the center. The country is more or less covered with meetings, and the work, by God's grace, is still going on.
I ought to say that I have never meddled in any way with the calling nor with the work of the brethren who studied the Bible with me. As regards some, I have the conviction that they had not been canal to it, and they have, in fact, gone back into the ordinary routine of life. As to others, I only helped them in the study of the Bible, in communicating to them the light which God had given me, but leaving entirely to themselves the responsibility of their calling for the work of evangelization or teaching.
We had the custom of gathering together occasionally for some time, when God opened the way for it, to study scriptural subjects together, or books of the Bible, and to communicate to one another what God had given to each. During several years, in Ireland and England, this took place annually in large conferences which lasted for a week. On the Continent, and latterly in England, they have been less attended; and consequently, with fewer numbers, it has been possible to spend a fortnight or three weeks studying some books of the Bible.
My elder brother, who is a Christian, spent two years at Dusseldorf. He is engaged in the work of the Lord, wherever he may happen to be at the moment. He has been blessed to several souls in the neighborhood of Dusseldorf. These, in their turn, have spread the light of the gospel and the truth, and a certain number of persons have been gathered in the Rhenish provinces. Tracts and various publications of the brethren have been translated and largely distributed; and light as to the soul's deliverance, the true character of the church, the presence of the Holy Ghost here below, and the Lord's return, has been disseminated.
Two years later, helped, I believe, by the knowledge of these truths, but entirely independent of this work, a movement of the Spirit of God began at Elberfeld. There was in that town a " Brotherhood" which employed twelve laborers, if I am not mistaken, whom the clergy sought to forbid from preaching or teaching. Enlightened as to the ministry of the Spirit, and moved by love for souls, they would not submit to this interdict. Seven of these laborers, I believe, and a few members of the "Brotherhood" detached themselves from it, and certain of them, with others whom God raised up, continued their gospel work, which spread from Holland to Hesse. Conversions have been very numerous, and many hundreds assemble at the present time to break bread. More recently the work has begun to get established in Holland, as also in the south of Germany. By means of other instruments, two meetings in Wurtemberg already existed.
Gospel preaching in Switzerland and England has led to the formation of some meetings amongst emigrants to the United States and Canada; the evangelization of negroes led to others in Jamaica and Demerara, as also amongst the natives of Brazil, through a brother who went there and has since died. I am not aware of any other who knows the language sufficiently to continue this work, which has been blessed. The English colonies of Australia have also meetings; but this sketch will be sufficient for you.
Brethren do not recognize any other body but the body of Christ, that is to say, the whole church of the firstborn. Also they recognize every Christian who walks in truth and holiness, as a proved member of Christ. Their hope of final salvation is founded on the Savior's expiatory work, for whose return they look, according to His word. They believe the saints to be united to Him already, as the body of which He is the Head, and they await the accomplishment of His promise, expecting His coming to take them to Himself in the Father's house, so that where He is, there they may be also. Meanwhile, they have to bear His cross and to suffer with Him, separated from the world which has rejected Him. His person is the object of their faith, His life the example which they have to follow in their conduct. His word, namely, the scriptures inspired of God, that is to say the Bible, is the authority which forms their faith; it is also its foundation, and they recognize it as that which should govern their conduct. The Holy Ghost alone can make it effectual both for life and practice.
185 -.

Unity of the Body of Christ; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body; the Lord's Table and Denominations; Unity of the Spirit; Filling of the Spirit

There are two quite distinct truths or objects of thought brought before us in the Lord's supper: the death of the blessed Lord, and His remembrance now He is gone: and the unity of the body as partaking of one loaf. We have to avoid at the same time any breaking away from scriptural truth on the, one side, and harshness and narrowness of feeling on the other. If love to all the saints is not present in my spirit, I break the unity of the Spirit, while keeping it up in form rightly according to scripture in outward practice. On the other hand, I cannot deny in practice what scripture teaches, and especially in that which is given as a sign of the scriptural truth. The words, Table of the Lord, are used to signify that identification with Him in confession which was found in the priests partaking of the altar, and the heathens eating of what had been offered to idols. I do not therefore object to use "the Lord's table" as an expression significant of this. Hence it necessarily embraces in principle all that are His, if not excluded by just discipline.
Now, as the various denominations either let in anybody, or meet professedly as such denomination, though they may allow, being such, a stranger to partake of it, the unity of the body and Christ's presence in the assembly is lost to faith, and they are still the church. But pious persons going to the communion at one of these places can enjoy, according to their piety, the remembrance of Christ, and of His dying love. I believe they lose by it, and certainly do, the present sense of the unity of Christ's body as a present thing on earth, for their faith does not embrace it; and in a measure the sense of Christ's presence -that is, as there in the assembly, though they may realize it by the Holy Ghost for their own souls. I do not attach importance to words; but I could not own, with the light I have as to the unity of the body, that these denominational ordinances are the Lord's table; but I am quite ready to believe that souls may go there with a deeper sense than myself of the Lord's love personally. I do exceedingly enjoy the sense of His love there; but more than that, I own, as associated in heart with Him, the unity of the body, of those He gave Himself to gather together into one, and own it scripturally according to His will in practice in that in which He has given expression to it; and denominationalism by being such does the contrary. But if I walk with my feet in the narrow path, from which I dare not stray, and find blessing in it, I desire to have my heart large enough to embrace all God's children walking before Him; and I lose in spirit the very blessing I am speaking of if I do not. "Your love," says the apostle, "to all the saints," "to comprehend with all saints." We cannot properly realize the love of Christ in communion without taking in in its place all He loves as His. "Fellowship one with another" is one of the three elements of the christian state, its import far larger than we are apt to think; and if hindered in its manifestation by others, it ought only to be stronger within in our hearts in grace, and thinking of them with the Lord Himself. "Everyone that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him." But then, if it is love for His sake, this will be in obedience. Hereby we know that we love the children of God, if we love God, and keep his commandments. I cannot go out of the path He has marked out, to be with those I yet love. It would not be true love to them, not the love of God, to be disobedient, and set them at ease in what was wrong, treating it as no matter.
[1877.]

Breaking Bread Temporarily Suspended

The idea that ceasing to break bread a Sunday, or even two, dissolves the assembly, seems to me without any ground whatever. An assembly may not break bread out of the fear of God, by reason of trouble and confusion at the time through a perverse individual (and I have known such a case), without a thought of dissolving itself, but because it was a faithful assembly and feared God. Why, a persecuting police or violent man might come in and hinder them breaking bread! If it must be by the will of the assembly, it must be a will to dissolve itself. I trust the Lord will put an end to the confusion at and I believe He will. What is needed in such cases generally is restoring souls, not the outward state of things. There is an interference often of brethren from a distance which is not of God, and dulls the conscience of the assembly. I do not deny they may be useful if coming to serve and awake the conscience of the assembly itself. Its own folly may dissolve an assembly as a fact.
[Date uncertain.]

The Act of Breaking Bread; Sisters in Isolation Breaking Bread; the Lord's Supper; the Lord's Supper as a Sign of Unity of the Body

I entirely dissent from the view you refer to as to the bread at the Lord's supper. There is nothing new in it: Bellett took it up at one time and had to give it up as untenable. The name of the ordinance is sufficient to show its wrongness. Some refer the breaking to each individual's taking a part; but if this were so, then each individual ought to break the unity of the body for himself, which is absurd. It puts the unity in the place of the memorial of Christ, as the principal thing. Christ, when He had given thanks, brake the bread: the disciples never partook of any but a broken loaf. So Christ was made known to them in the "breaking of bread"-not the full Lord's supper, I admit, but bearing the stamp of the same truth. That breaking is of the essence of this institution of Christ: it is "the bread which we break;" "they continued in... the breaking of bread."
There is no such thing in scripture as partaking of an unbroken loaf. The unity is referred to our partaking of one loaf. not to its being unbroken-which it certainly was not when Christ gave it to His disciples to eat. There is no variation in the account given in the gospels, nor in 1 Cor. 11, nor in the Acts at Troas. The not doing it departs from the original institution, and what gave it its essential name. We show forth the Lord's death in it, though as all partaking of one loaf (not breaking it, which would be absurd) we are all one body: "the bread which we break," "the cup which we bless" (a word identical with giving thanks)-both of them the actions of the Lord previous to the disciples partaking, and this the apostle did at Troas. It is an entire departure from the original institution, and from the essential character and meaning of the ordinance, which shows forth the Lord's death till He come; though the unity of the body is betokened in us, in partaking of one loaf. But the body is the body of Christ in the ordinance, as is expressly said. (1 Cor. 10:16.) But you, dear brother, must guard against any restlessness or uneasy feeling as to and seek to walk in unity. I dread notions, but peace we must pursue.
[1877.]

The Bride; John and Paul Compared; J.B. Stoney

The paper on the "Bride" in the " Voice" is evidently put in to re-assure those who thought the corporate relationships of Christians in danger of being set aside; so that with its purport I can have no quarrel, as assuredly I have not with its author. But my objection to what I have read is wider and deeper, and I allude to it now only for common profit in reading scripture, making no suppositions which many have made. My objection to what I have read is this: generalizations as to divine teaching in scripture, drawn from slight expressions without any adequate examination of the word, and consequently, when sifted, found sometimes very imperfect and misleading, sometimes wholly false. To this I confine myself here.
We are told that Peter does not name the assembly, nor John the body; Paul does not name the bride. If the name were all, a concordance would suffice to judge of it. But it is not all. The article continues, ' These omissions are characteristic of the writings of each;' so that whatever collateral help we may find in them, this characterizes, and so far gives the scope of the Holy Ghost in these inspired writings. Let us examine the facts. Peter does not name the assembly. But Jude does not, nor James, nor John. The last two speak of a local assembly, with which we have nothing to do here. Not even in the Apocalypse does John speak of the assembly as such; on the contrary, carefully avoids it, so that its absence is certainly not characteristic of Peter. That a special dispensation of the mystery was committed to Paul, he states himself, and that has been the subject of teaching about fifty years. But so little is the omission of the assembly characteristic of Peter, that he alone, of all besides Paul, does speak of it in a special, but very interesting aspect. (See 1 Peter 2:4, 5.) The saints are built up a spiritual house.
But the grand point is that we get the bride in John. The bride aspect, the affections of the heart for Christ, is to be found there only; Paul does not name it, and this is 'characteristic of each.' I read through John's gospel—not a trace or a hint of it, not a thought of anything corporate place, my answer is, The passage, where what of John, turn to them: total and confounding silence! The truth is, that John is exclusively and carefully individual in all his teaching. This is what, in this respect, unequivocally characterizes him But I forget `Mary Magdalene, as it were, telling the brethren in the corporate place of blessing'; but this is another example of this misleading carelessness. There is nothing of bridal relationship, nothing corporate. If in this obscure phrase with no tail to it, it be said it is we who are in the corporate place, my answer is, The passage, where what was told is given, leads away from everything else to our wondrous relationship along with the blessed Savior to His Father and God. Relationship with the glorified Man brings in the body and bride. (See Eph. 1 and 4) This [John 20:17] refers to individuals and the place of sons. The whole ground is wholly wrong. In John's teaching what is said to characterize it, is not found at all.
I shall be referred, of course, to the Apocalypse. There I find myself on altogether other and lower ground, however glorious. It is the Lord God Almighty and a throne. If the churches be referred to, Christ is a judge, not a Bridegroom. There is neither body nor bride. In the properly prophetic part we have the divine judgment of the world, we are going to reign over the earth. But it will be said, the bride, the Lamb's wife, is shown to us. It is; but in what way? Affections for a bridegroom? Not a trace of them. It is a great city. The throne of God and the Lamb are in it. It is a matter of glory and government. The bride has this place, but the place of the bride with Christ as such is not hinted at. There is one word which speaks of it when the contents of the book are closed, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come." Here the relationship is alluded to, but assumed, and if I am to know what or who the bride is, I must look outside John, unless I make it a great city and government, for he, in all his teaching, never says one word about it. And where shall I find it? In poor, cold Paul! There, using the image of the wife, I find the ways of the Lord in love in gaining, preparing, and presenting to Himself the heavenly spouse according to the love He bears it. And if I would learn the other side, what we ought to be in this character, I turn to 2 Cor. 11, "I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin unto Christ."
I do not know what is meant by 'naming,' but when I examine scripture, I find every one of the statements of the article baseless, wholly baseless, as to the alleged characterizing facts. Paul is the only one who really teaches anything of that, the omission of which, we are told, characterizes him. And in John's teaching, not one word is found of that which we are taught to look for in him. Paul is sober on such topics, and would have others not be led away from the simplicity that is in Christ. I entirely disagree, as to the fact, with what is said of the Reformers, but my object is not controversy nor teaching. I would only add, that, pretending to be Philadelphia is quite another thing from being Philadelphia, and tends directly to Laodiceanism of heart. May the saints be kept in the simplicity that is in Christ. Assuredly I can have no wish to weaken true devotedness to Christ, Christ being all, which only is life; but I have not found this the effect of this teaching, but rather filling people with the thoughts of themselves and the wonderful new things they had got—not a self-judging knowledge of Christ Himself. Nor do I a moment question that John has a peculiar place and character in the teaching of the Holy Ghost, specially in the revelation of the Father, and, through Him, immediate relationship with Him. But then only notice, that in the summing up and guarding of the system found in the article I comment on, what is true is old, and what is new is wrong.

Calvinism; Justification by Faith; Connection Between New Birth and Faith

It is not sound doctrine so to say. Abstractedly everything is eternally present with God, and there is no time with Him; but, then, I cannot say 'when' or 'before' in this point of view, because there is no when or before when there is no time. And in the scriptural view, such language is wholly unwarranted; because in due time Christ died for the ungodly, "when we were yet without strength": and "having been justified by faith," etc. We are not justified without believing, but by faith, through faith in His blood—not without it or before it—nor hence without being at the same time born of God. "When we were dead in sins," we were quickened together with Him, etc. " By grace are ye saved through faith." We were by nature children of wrath, but God, who is rich in mercy, when we were dead in sins, quickened us. It is a new nature which we as persons never had before it was communicated to us, when we had only the old. To say we were eternally believers, is nonsense. In the same sense, we were eternally unbelievers, too, and eternally glorified, for all these things were before God's mind together, without time. It is not true that Rom. 4:25 means because we were justified; 'because we were justified' is not in the passage: δικαίωσις cannot mean it, but 'for justifying us'; it would have been, διὰ τὸ δικαιωθῆναι ἡμᾶς. Hence, when the part. passive is used, faith is added; wherefore, δικαιωθέντες, "having been justified by faith."
Eph. 4:18 proves the contrary to what it is alleged. They were "alienated from the life of God" when they were in darkness; and then he talks of learning Christ—that is, when unbelievers, they had to learn Him: if they had, indeed, learned Him according to the truth in Him; namely, the putting off according to the former conversation the old man, and being renewed in the spirit of their mind. Now, here is a work clearly wrought in them; if they had really learned Christ, they knew what it was to put off the old man; they had it before, and put on the new, which they had not before. To say that a man is born of God when he is in sins, is false; that he is created again in Christ Jesus when he is a mere sinner, is nonsense. Scripture does not speak so. Justification is referred to faith, which I have not, assuredly, before I believe. High Calvinists have this manner of speaking. If they merely mean, that all was in God's thoughts and purposes, it is all right. But scripture never speaks as they do, but puts a man as a creature, who belongs to time, into time, and deals morally with him. If it be said, that the life which we get existed eternally, for it was Christ who is our life, it is all well. But it is not ours till we have Christ, and before that we are children of wrath; at least, so says the scripture. The work may be all viewed mentally in Him, when the power wrought; but if it be referred to the saints, so that it is only their knowledge of it which is now given, it is untrue and mischievous, because God purifies the heart by faith, as well as justifies us. Scripture says, "what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power," etc.; not to the elect. It had been only wrought in believers. I do not know whether it is held that faith is eternal.
No doubt, πώρωσις, being the active form of nouns, like δικαίωσις, may seem to raise a question; but if adequately considered, the difficulty disappears. For πώρωσις has the simple sense of a callous place, as one might say, 'it is a hardening of the skin,' though the form 'hardening' be active, because it was a gradual act, while it is now a state. So νέκρωσις is applied to Sarah's womb; and again, we are to carry about the νέκρωσις of the Lord Jesus. But this is, I apprehend, in no way the case with justifying, or δικαίωσις Διά always means "on account of:" the question is, does it here signify previous to, or after, the resurrection of Christ? People often cite the verse, as if it meant that Christ was raised on account of our having been already justified before He rose. This, I am convinced, would require some such phrase as διὰ τὸ δικαιωθῆναι ἡμᾶς, which essentially differs from that which Paul employs. In the present case, there would be no process like that of πώρωσις, or νέκρσις (which words express a state as result), but a state existing by the simple act of another, a relationship in virtue of an act done. This, the active form, does not, I believe, express; an effect to be produced it can express. The great doctrinal mischief of the alleged rendering, 'because of,' is, that it excludes faith from justifying, which is Calvinism, or ultra-Calvinism, but wholly unscriptural.

Canaan in Type; Ephesians; "Ifs" in Scripture; Redemption; Red Sea in Type; Wilderness and Canaan; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose

They confound the whole of the truth in Ephesians. It is the act of God who took Christ, and set Him at His right hand, and us by the same power, setting us in Him, making us sit together in heavenly places in Him. Canaan under Joshua is warfare, and in this sense experience-warfare carried on by us in grace, as led by Christ in Spirit: and confounding these two things is one of the great mischiefs. But the use of the rest of the images is also false. The Red Sea is, I doubt not, an image of Christ's death and resurrection for us: but it is so as bringing us completely to God, not experience at all, but redemption, dying, and rising again: the wilderness and Canaan are experience. Thus "Thou hast led forth the people whom thou hast redeemed. Thou hast guided them by thy strength to thy holy habitation." They were not in Canaan as an inheritance, but " Ye have seen... how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself." It is God's work bringing them to Himself, complete-not experimental, as of journeying or conflict experiences. It is all wrong confounding these. Even to Sinai, where originally they were to worship, all is simple grace. There they enter on the process of experimental knowledge of themselves.
The wilderness is no necessary thing nor part of God's purpose, nor mentioned when coming out of Egypt. (Ex. 3; 6, and 15.) The thief on the cross never went through any wilderness, nor any Joshua (Canaan): redemption put him straight into Paradise. The "Ifs" of scripture are all connected with the journey and conflict, and met by the sure promise of God, because we and (so to speak) God, for faith, are both tested there. I admit fully there is a deliverance by dying with Christ to sin, in Romans, and to the world, in Colossians. But the wilderness, and Canaan as in Joshua, are not sitting in heavenly places, but man tested in his journey in this world, and conflict in heavenly places with spiritual wickedness. Now, for this last we have to be dead with Christ. Hence, Joshua is "every place that the sole of your feet shall tread upon;" it is active taking possession as the Lord's host, not sitting in heavenly places: in Ephesians we wrestle against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, but having done all to stand. It is confounding the responsible man with the redeemed man. Redemption is always absolute and perfect: the responsible man, whether past Jordan or not, tested. I may war as in the flesh and be captive to sin, and set free and in the Spirit obtain the victory or stand fast. As to culpability and redemption, Egypt is the flesh even when started on the road. The wilderness is a usual but not necessary part of God's ways- what the world becomes to those who are redeemed, or stand on that ground, and individually tested if they get to the end, viewed not as in heavenly places, but through redemption on a journey there; for scripture does so consider us: so in Philippians, so in Hebrews, though otherwise very different. Joshua-Canaan-is another thing; being God's host, we are realizing what belongs to those who are risen with Christ.
I may look at redemption as complete in Christ, and then in Christ I am brought to God: I may look at it as the beginning of exercise for myself, tribulation working experience, and find a Joshua and Caleb place through God's faithfulness; or I may be fighting God's battles as the Lord's host; but neither are sitting in heavenly places. I may have eaten the grapes of Eshcol in the wilderness, and fail before Ai in Canaan: but redemption is perfect, and sitting in heavenly places in Christ—one the absolute power, the other the blessed effect, of God's work. I have no going to Gilgal, constantly there, to renew the moral condition before God which even victory endangers.
Be assured these people never know themselves. There is an anecdote of John Newton: when a person wrote to him he was in his C of Cardiphonia (a work I quite forget), he replied that he had forgotten one trait of C, that he never knew himself to be there.... We must not confound righteousness with experience, though complete judgment of self ministers to the knowledge of divine righteousness.
I have had a good journey through the Cevennes, and a good deal to encourage, though the world creeps in.
Montpellier, October 4th.

Carnal Familiarity in Speaking of the Lord; Double Meaning of "Friend;" Principle of Meeting as Members of the Body of Christ

The word "friend" has a double meaning: my friend is a man to whom I can open my heart, and also a man who is kind and friendly towards me; but the term always implies a certain intimacy. The Jews called the Lord "a friend of sinners," and truly He was so. He called His disciples His friends, because He had communicated to them all that the Father had given Him. Any familiarity with the Lord, such as one finds among the Moravians, impresses me painfully, and I consider it carnal, even when it is linked with piety. "He is not ashamed to call us brethren." In this last sense, it is quite improper to apply this word to Jesus, and to call Him ow Brother. In the instances which you quote, I think the style is too familiar. But if we say, ' What a wondrous Friend of sinners Jesus was, when He gave Himself upon the cross!' or, `What a Friend to His own is that Jesus who ever lives to intercede for us!'—the thought assumes quite another character. But we must avoid a freedom which is not becoming.
The meeting for breaking of bread is in principle the meeting together of all Christians in the unity of the body of Christ. Every Christian, then, has a right to share in it. But at the same time, in the present state of Christianity, we are called to maintain, scrupulously, faithfully, and with zeal, the holiness of the Lord's table. (2 Tim. 2:22.) Now the assembly is in no way a voluntary meeting of Christians who have chosen the assembly, for in that case it would be a sect. It is, so far as such a thing is possible now, the meeting of all the members of the body of Christ. We must have sufficient evidence that those who desire to take part in it are true Christians, and that their walk is moral, christian. Now, if they habitually meet with those who deny the truths of Christianity, they are defiled; and it is so also if they meet where immorality is allowed.
Difference in ecclesiastical views is not a sufficient reason for shutting out a soul. But if one wanted to be one day among the brethren, the next among the sects, I should not allow it, and would not receive such a person; for, instead of using the liberty which belongs to him to enjoy the spiritual communion of the children of God, he puts forward the pretension to change the order of the house of God, and to perpetuate the separation of Christians.
London, February.

Change of Scene; Training of Children; Christ Being All; the Place of Experience; Legality; Music; Physical Exercise

Miss——seems to me to have mistaken the ground on which these matters rest. As to Christians she puts it on legal ground. If I am one, and have even a needless scruple, I must act on it, but that is not the true governing principle; but that another object has possessed it, and the other things die down, lose their hold as objects. It does not hinder enjoying what God has created; it may and will hinder my seeking it as an object now all is fallen. Christ had seen the beauty of lilies of the field, but who would think of His seeking to cultivate beautiful lilies? In such things the principle is to do all in His name. So an overwrought mind may rest in a changed scene, as He took His disciples into the wilderness to rest awhile. But Christ is to be all.
With unconverted children it is another thing, they have for themselves no such object: then health has to be considered in cheerful exercise, occupation of mind without overstraining, and so on. But where there is wise interest of parents in them, they can, while providing for this, lead children to find their enjoyment with themselves, in kindly care of the poor, and a thousand healthful enjoyments and occupations; and this I have seen done, and children grow up attached to home and family. And this scripture contemplates. For schools I can only speak of general principles. As a rule music is a very dangerous occupation: it cultivates sentiment without conscience: as a general character musicians are not a moral body. It may have to be taught or learned where worldly parent require it.
Yours truly in the Lord.

A Child as a Nazarite

I send my reply to -. A child can be a Nazarite; but this is the work of God. We have two instances of Nazarites from their birth: one who went on blamelessly, and another who failed sadly-John the Baptist and Samson. John the Baptist was also filled with the Spirit, and walked obediently and faithfully, and died (we may say) a martyr for his integrity. There was none born of women that was greater. Samson served God, and did great things too; but also sought and did his own will, so that his life ended in his being taken prisoner; and though God in a measure restored his strength to him, yet his last great deed brought death upon himself also. So that you see it is not all to be in the place of a Nazarite: there must be self-denial and patient perseverance in the ways of God.
London, April 22nd, 1878.

Children a Charge; Nursing Babies

I am always glad to get your letters with news of the work. Thank God it seems a moment of blessing in general, not that there is not conflict, that the enemy does not seek to embarrass our service by his maneuvers; still the Lord works, and everything is made to work together for good. All I seek and desire is, that brethren should give a thoroughly faithful testimony, so that the Lord can be with them and put forth His grace with them.... But oh, how much more there is to do! but the Lord will assuredly do His own work....
I hope you have learned to nurse your baby: we heard bad accounts of you in this respect. It is a charge the Lord has given you for higher purposes than this world; and thorough confidence in the parents, begotten by tender care and laying oneself out a little for them—is what creates it under God's goodness, though of course your little one is too young to be much in your care now; but affection begins early. This world passes and ends, but what we do, and are in it, never does—save the poor vessel.
May the Lord bless your babe and you in it.
January, 1874.

Christ Being All; Christian Life; Priesthood of Christ

I am always glad to hear from you, though I am a bad correspondent, and, I suppose, a bad one from pre-occupation with much work that lies before me.
Spiritual life wants cultivating; it is this we must look to, that there may be a true testimony. The brethren in England are somewhat aroused, but we have still much to seek that the Spirit of God and the life of Christ may pervade the mass. For this not only the privileges of the church must be held out, but Christ Himself. The other is all right, needed to clear us as to the mixed deadness of the name of Christian, and brighten our hopes; I should ever insist on it, it is what brought me out; but it is not what sustains life and forms the affections. "He that eateth me shall live by me." This alone gives singleness of eye, and fixes the mind as to its object. It is never said of the church, but of Christ, He is all. "Christ is all, and in all"—"all" as object, "in all" as power of life to enjoy Him, and know the Father.
I have had, through mercy, a good time in Ireland, and in Dublin a great desire after the word. The brethren have been greatly interested in reading it; indeed, we have found it commonly thus. Kent remains unsettled, but I have heard nothing of it since—began to break bread. It is not what in itself tries me, but a party right in their desire for good, but pretending to set up something new and holy, and, I think, despising God's patience with what I admit has greatly failed; but I feel one must take this, as all else, as under His hand; but I do not see them to be guided of God. I do not believe it is faith. I have to learn, in them, for myself, that patience may have its perfect work. After all, God continues blessing in spite of it all. I dread the world; and a nourishing with Christ, and cementing power of the Spirit is needed, so that both the object and the power should bind all together, and the truth spread by a divine testimony. To His working we must look.
It is a great comfort to think He is always right, and always does right. He loves the church, and in the midst of all our failures carries on His work of loving grace towards it, to "present it to himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing." And, individually, such a High Priest became us as was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, made higher than the heavens," yet we have not One "who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, sin apart." We belong to there, yea, go in boldly; but are here sanctified in spirit for that place which He has prepared for us by His entry there, and exercised and helped here by a sympathy and mercy which, while it is met by dependence in us, is a living and gracious sustainment, and gives blessed confidence. On Him we can count; He loves the church now as ever, and though our hearts are weak, how often have I seen His hand come in where all seemed hopeless. As men have said, `Man's extremity is God's opportunity,' and so it is, and even in our souls—where to know deliverance is, that we must have learned we cannot deliver ourselves. Peace be with you.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Dublin, July, 1880.

Christ Being All; Perfectionism; the Ryde Trouble

I know of no Christianity where Christ is not all—increasedly so, and naturally, in these my closing years. But there is a flighty notion of perfection which is merely self, and I think of a bad kind, through the religious pretension it. has. There is no perfection but glory with the blessed One, and no other to be aimed at, and this always keeps us lowly, for what are we compared with that? Ah! when we study Christ's life too down. here, and what His heart and motives were, how shallow we are, how He must be everything, and how deep and far beyond our view the sufferings of His soul down here!
I would add that the meeting at-began in a very loose way, and had to be purged of this, and, social; circumstances added to the difficulty. But God pursues His own ends through circumstances, when we are often governed by them, or at any rate influenced and hindered. And how He bears with us! We have seen the Lord's hand with us wonderfully here latterly. I certainly did look to the Lord, and He showed Himself indeed in the most un-thought of way, so that we have been astounded at His goodness. Here we are happy enough, but the County of Kent matters came up as we expected they must, being so near London, and [brethren] coming up, so that their reception involved the London gatherings. But though we know not how all will end, God has so dealt with the worst cases that His acting being manifest, encourages the heart. Brethren never went through such a crisis as they have in all this matter; but the Lord, while exercising and humbling them, has heard their cry, and I believe preserved their testimony: the testimony, I never doubted He would, but it did not follow—in their hands. But I felt in praying I could trust Him for that, and I believe He has. But I must close.
London, May 10th.

Christ in Glory and Humiliation; Hymns to the Father; Christ Is All; Joseph; the Path of Faith; Song of Solomon

It is a long while since I wrote to you, and I have been some good while purposing to do so. It is not that I have a great deal to say, but I do not like dropping my intercourse with you. My soul draws nearer home: I want but a few months of eighty, and, though fresh in mind, through mercy, that home breaks more and more into my spirit. I feel more and more how ignorant our hearts are of it; yet, strange to say, I am sometimes afraid of being too familiar with it—not sufficiently adoring affections. And surely that is true: yet one thing I know with joy, that Christ is all.
I had been going through the hymns we have, for a new edition, and the question of hymns to the Father presented itself, and the study of our relationship with the Father was much blessed to me, developing it to my heart. How gracious He is!
I have been laid up with the gout, fruit of over-fatigue in France; but the Lord's hand was in it, for I craved being quiet on my return to London, and it precluded my going out. But, though yet barely able to put on a soft shoe, I worked my way from London here, holding meetings in many places, and found everywhere thirst for the Word. Here also we have had most interesting meetings, reading John, and a great number coming. We read John's gospel, and Christ came personally before us, not our privileges, but Christ Himself.
There are three things I find in the often trying and toilsome life of faith: first, trusting God that nothing can hinder His accomplishing His purpose. All that his brethren did to frustrate the accomplishment of Joseph's dreams, just led to that accomplishment. They sent him to Egypt. The hard and wicked accusation against him in Potiphar's house put him in prison, where he met the butler and baker who brought him where the dream was fulfilled. Next, for us, simple obedience, taking God's mind for wisdom, and doing His will. He has a path for His saints in this world; in it they find Him and His strength, though perhaps the life of faith be dark: then, if we know the purpose of God, light is in the soul. But the path He will guide us in. It may seem dark, but, if His, it is the way of arriving at His rest. But a single eye seeking nothing but Christ is the secret of certainty of walk, and firmness as having the secret of the Lord with you. But what a calling! we have to walk worthy of God who has called us to His own kingdom, and yet what a joy to be thus associated with Himself! And we know His purpose is to glorify Christ, and so we seek that, in walking worthy of Him and serving Him in love.
Did you ever notice Luke 12, the two things looked for in nal First, watching; its reward, making us sit down to table in heaven, and ministering the blessing to us; and then serving in what He sets us to do, and the reward of that, ruling. But the first is wonderful, that He remains forever our servant in love. How blessed to have Him, and be His! There is progress in the Song of Songs. First, He is ours; next, we are His; and then I am my Beloved's, and His desire is towards me. That is wonderful to say! The riches of scripture, both for knowledge and for affections, is beyond our thoughts—no wonder, as it comes from God; but it is all ours. But the perfectness of our place is wonderful; and I do not mean now as to glory, true as that is, but morally. He is given to be the Object of our affections who is sufficient for the Father's; and to have Him in His path down here even is the food of the soul. Energy comes from seeing Him up there (Philippians likeness to Him from feeding on Him down here. (Phil. 2)
We are drawing on to the end, and I look to the Lord to keep His own to meet Him in that day. The Lord be with you, dear brother, in your soul and in your work.
Dublin, June 10th.

Christ in the Offerings

The sacrifices spoken of in the first chapters of Leviticus present to us, the intrinsic value and character of the sacrifice and self-offering of Christ, as estimated in communion. In chapter 4-6:7, the case is put, "if a soul sin;" that is, it is to meet the positive need of a soul, its positive sin, of whatever character; and he is, or they are, if it be all the people, forgiven. Atonement or forgiveness is not spoken of in the sacrifice for the high priest. The statement may be carried on, as all intercourse is interrupted for the people, to verse 20; if not, it is an exceptional case. In Lev. 16 it seems to me more the establishment of relationship with 'God; or, more accurately, the ground of relationship. We do not hear of forgiveness. Sin is put away; the character of God is made good and glorified, and the sins all borne away—uncleanness removed, so that things are clean. The priest goes in within the veil, so as to give God the ground of a relationship with the people by blood when sin was there, and the tabernacle was sprinkled so as to be suited for God's dwelling, and then all the sins carried away into a land not inhabited. Thus God could be with the people. Personal, individual forgiveness was made good by the sin and trespass offerings. This double character was partly connected with the imperfect character of the sacrifices which required repetition, and the veil not being rent. But we acquire thus the knowledge of the double aspect of the work; relationship, 'sinless, righteous relationship—and forgiveness.
This subject is treated in Heb. 9; 10, where the day of atonement having been stated, as in chapter 9, as once for all—leading God's people to look for Christ, for whom He will come apart from all sin, because He has put it away for them—chapter 10 applies it, and shows that the yearly sacrifices (Lev. 16) served as continual remembrance of sins, that they were not put away: that Christ has offered Himself, setting aside through the body prepared for Him, all the sacrifices of Leviticus of every kind, in the work that He did as accomplishing the imperfect figure of Lev. 16, because, by that work which He wrought to reconcile us to God, He bore and put away all sin for those that believe on Him, so that there is no more sacrifice for sin. The general statement of chapter 9:12-14, takes up the day of atonement and the red heifer, and shows the purging of the conscience by Christ. This is opened out in application in chapter 10.

Christ in the Offerings

This is an important ordinance. First, there is tender compassion for the poor in the things of God. Next, as to the sacrifice itself, weighty principles are contained in it. No sin could be forgiven without a sacrifice or offering for sin. This particularly characterizes this part of the instructions as to sacrifice. If one failed to discover what he knew, when adjured, to hide sin; or touched, without even knowing it, what was unclean; when he was aware of it, he was guilty. No poverty could bring compassion into play without an offering. Let one be ever so dull in the apprehension of sin, or, consequently, of atonement, still guilt was there if evil was touched. On the other hand, if truth of purpose was there in owningit, and owning it in such sort that the need of atonement before God was felt, which alone consequently is recognized as owning sin, the poverty of apprehension does not hinder the perfect forgiveness. That rests on the value of the sacrifice; only Christ must be seen as a sacrifice for sin as one rejected, a sin-bearer for us. The fact of its being fine flour without blood hardly affects the principle of blood-shedding. It comes where bloodshedding is universally required for sin, and is only an exception in view of poverty to chew that, in no case, without a sinoffering, is there forgiveness, and carries as an exceptional case the character of blood along with it as the principle. It is not that one kind of sin requires blood and another not; but incapacity by poverty puts this in place of a bloody offering, and it is so accounted. Only if a real sense of needed atonement be there, the want of apprehension of the full import of sin and death, that is of Christ's death and blood-shedding, will not prevent the getting the benefit of that death and blood-shedding.
The female sacrifice was accounted of less value. In Lev. 5 it begins with a female. It was not in the first instance a bad conscience in doing it.
[1862.]

The Christian as a Witness of the Worth of Christ's Work; Experience in View of the End

Dearest brother -,
I was very glad to receive your letter and news of Switzerland, for which I thank you. England is pretty much in the same state—more than one place where conversions are somewhat numerous, but nothing very striking. But the condition of brethren has evidently improved; there is more conscience, more life. All the laboring brethren who have gone about the country have returned happy, and with their souls refreshed; and God is acting in a striking way in the midst of the difficulties of London. Brethren can see it at a glance. Everything is not settled, but evil has manifested its powerlessness. We have had only to allow God to act, and who can do so but Himself? As to myself, it is the resolution I have taken from the beginning, and I bless His name for it. We do not sufficiently consider that it is He who works the good, and He alone who can do it, and He arranges everything.
I have been very ill, dear brother: I mean my strength has sunk under the effect of too much work, and of my age, then of a serious fall while traveling. I did not know whether it was not God's will to take me out of this poor world.... I had peace, I had not any doubt, but at first I felt the ruin of the vessel, when I was alone at night with the Lord. The thought of being with the Lord soon became uppermost, and I was happy in going to Him, if it was His will. What was in question was the activity of my affection for the Lord, and not at all the assurance of faith. That it would be better to be up there with Him, I did not doubt; His love is to my heart a treasure more precious than ever, of infinite value: it is the effect of this experience. I am better now, humanly speaking: the time of my departure has not yet come. I work as usual in my study; I have been present at the Sunday morning meeting, and have taken part in it; then I have been at two meetings for reading the word.
I asked myself whether God's will was still to use me for the brethren: on one side that, on the other to be with Himself. I do not cling to life, but I should desire to finish my course; and brethren have not yet got out of all the difficulties of their position. But God is there; I do not by any means doubt that He will fully accomplish the work of His goodness, and the courage of brethren is revived by His grace. Those who seek good are more united than ever. I am working quietly—happy, profoundly happy in His love, with little strength, but sustained: bearing brethren on my heart, and reckoning on the Lord for them. It becomes me to remember that I have passed my eightieth year. Whether here or there, Christ is everything.
May God be with you in your labors. Greet the brethren cordially for me. May God give them grace to seek His presence constantly.
Your affectionate brother.
Croydon, June 28th, 1881.

Christian Life; Exercises to Fit for Service; Appreciation of the Word; Darby Kept Aloof From Revivalists

I owe you well a letter, but you know I have been ill, and all this kind of work fell in arrear; but I am a great deal better, and seek to pull the arrear up. Beloved brother, what we have to cleave to is Christ: in Him we know the Father, and He is that eternal life which came down from heaven; in Him, too, as glorified on high, once crucified, we are introduced into the holiest. He has sanctified Himself that we may be sanctified through the truth. It is little noted that what human nature could not see or conceive is revealed to us by the Holy Ghost given to us, "that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." This is the world the new man lives in, to which he belongs, and all the rest passes-when "his breath goeth forth... all his thoughts perish."
We have to go through a world full of experiences, and christian life in it thus, with which as ministering we have to do. Our great affair is so in our own souls to have Christ formed in us, and so to know Him experimentally in the little world of our own souls, that all that is of self being judged, then only Christ may come out, whether as testimony of life in the big outer world, or in that which we apply to others in ministry; and to wait on Him so that we may be guided in doing it. I often find the question arise in my mind in service, whether I was enough in the spirit of unitedness-that is, with Christ- the sense of His presence-so as to have had the right thing come into my mind: for "a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" At least we must seek this, and be continually looking to Him so that there may be nothing hasty in our words. I have no doubt that if we kept close to Christ, His Spirit would guide us in our intercourse with others. We are not always conscious of divine guidance, even when it is there; but the word comes from Christ to the souls we have to say to, even if rejected-as we see with the Jews. But our part is to keep close to Christ, so that it should be "not I, but Christ liveth in me," and thus He acts in our thoughts and ways without our, at the moment, thinking of Him directly; but we always have the consciousness of speaking for Him, and of His presence. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt," "which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers."
What a life, an honored life, a Christian's is if it be a Christian's! But all perishes but the word (I mean of what we have as in this world); but that does not-it abides forever. For our life first-"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" -it is of and from heaven, divine like Christ; but suited, as He was, to a world and hearts which were the opposite of what is divine; and He and it are alone so, and we-if we eat Him and live by Him and so follow Him. What an immense privilege that we are set to bring out divine things on earth, and soon shall enjoy them where there will be naught else!
May Christ keep us close to Himself: we may be assured He cares for His church and cannot fail it. May we judge ourselvek and trust Him, and nothing can separate us from His love That is a comfort!
As regards this country: those who went out at Kent will, I suppose, immediately break bread, and for good and all. Some urged them to do it. In general about the country, conscience has been much awakened, and there is much more freshness and desire for the word, and that even in London, too. But the absence of all principle and conscience in those who have formed a party (though the rest leave it to God) cannot, if there are to be gatherings, go on long. But it opens people's eyes. It is a question, Can godly discipline be exercised? And God seems raising the question in different places. I should add that was round as far as Aberdeen, and came back quite cheered with the state of brethren. For if Satan is at work, and such audacity I never saw (a little bit once at -), the Spirit of God is evidently and happily working too; but the revival work, and the tone which accompanied it, has introduced a mass of persons from whom God alone can deliver us. I keep entirely aloof from them. I am a great deal better, only have no breath. Nothing separates us from the love of Christ, and all things work together for good to those that love God.
London, March 19th, 1881.

Christianity Working by What It Brings; Revivals

I have often pressed that, while God must open the way, the power of Christianity is not in what it finds, but in what it brings; but it is true that Christians are constantly exposed to follow the influences which surround them. But we must be with God, and so from Him, without ceasing to be with Him in all our dealings with others, representing Him, and acting for Him, in all the service He has given to us; and if we are content to be nothing, and seek Him, this is happily accomplished without effort, for He will be with us. He is faithful and gracious, and the result will be sure in His own time: in general, in these days, we have to await this, to have it solid. Still, we see cases, where the Spirit of God works manifestly; and though revival work is often shallow and superficial, I do not judge it as severely as some do, for I find when the blessed Lord speaks of Himself as sowing, only one out of the four lasts to bring forth fruit. You will be glad to hear that the desire for the word seems everywhere manifest.... They are dark times, but wherever Christ is fully preached, there are attentive and, through grace, receptive souls. We have only to work on.
Dublin, May.

Christianity Working by What It Brings; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Life and Eternal Life; Tract Depot

I have a tract on Sealing which I thought I might have had to-day; but it is not come. I do not write in any magazine now. I am not at all happy about the brothers' book-selling concerns; the spirit of the world has got thoroughly hold of it. Sealing on the new birth is a mistake in principle; it leaves out the sprinkling with blood for forgiveness. I know of no ground for delay save knowing this. (See Acts 2:38; 10:43, 44.)
As to eternal life: in the full sense of it it is Christ Himself, and that revealed as Man in glory, 1 John 5:20. But its essence is divine life in the Person of Christ, 1 John 5:11, 12. In Him was life, and that life He has in manhood, John 5:24. But this has a double character; the Son quickens as Son (verse 21), and then we are, when dead in sins, quickened together with Christ: in one as Son of God, a divine Person; in the other, a dead man whom God raises. Now life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel. For eternal life was manifested in the Person of the Son, and when He was risen and glorified, shown out in its new full character in Man. If we be risen with Christ, " when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory." Now till He came this never was displayed, nor according to God's full purpose in man, till He was glorified: but I have no doubt the Old Testament saints were quickened and they will be perfected. Still it was as much in Christ. humbled, as in Christ glorified. 1 John 1 was before the world, and that is its essence, only now brought to light in connection with the incorruptibility of the body in resurrection (or changed) a spiritual body. Paul never speaks of it as ours now that I remember: John does, for he always speaks of things in their essence. But it comes in the knowledge of the Father sending the Son, and Jesus Christ as so sent of Him; and the Father, Son, and life come in the Son, and the Father revealed in Him, runs all through John's teaching, connecting us with Him in life. (1 John 4:9; 5:11, 12.) We live, but Christ is our life. But the revelation of the Father in the Son, and that as giving eternal life in Him, is the essence of John's doctrine, along with propitiation and forgiveness in his epistle—not in his gospel. But it is not necessary that it should be in the heavenly glory to be eternal life; but redemption through Christ is. In Matt. 25 they go into life everlasting. The places in the Old Testament where it is spoken of are Psa. 133 and Dan. 12
Its essence is Christ as life, but in its full thought as to us, is being like Him in glory. But there is quickening by Him as Son, and being quickened and raised with Him—in both cases life, in the latter known in heavenly glory as the result. God has reserved some better thing for us, but the Old Testament saints will be perfected with us. No one who has not life can have to say to God really. The Pharisees had got hold of the expression, as they had of resurrection. But the Lord goes down to the ground they were upon, if they will enter into life—God's commandments. But in the Lord's unfolding the subject in John 6, you find having eternal life as a present thing, as constantly in John, but directly connected four times over with His raising us in the last day. Its full development is in the sphere it came from, and in the power of Him who has it in connection with man, and so immortality (incorruptibility)—the body brought in. Nor, though they have it down here, is this shut out in the final result in Matt. 25, Dan. 12, and Psa. 133
You cannot separate eternal life and new birth; but though the essence of divine life is there, yet eternal life in Christ as man and finally in glory does go further—man being quickened as accomplished in Christ glorified. It is the gospel which has brought it to light.... The moral subjective effect was produced by being quickened, obedience, dependence, reference of heart to God, delight in His will. Hence the saint now can delight in the Psalms, though there is no knowledge of the Father.
I am, through mercy, much better; but, saving a reading in my room, have held no meetings, but been twice to the breaking of bread.
February 24th.

The Christian's Position as to Life and the Spirit; Deliverance; in Christ; Jordan in Type; Justification of Life; Divine Life Always Essentially the Same; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type; Red Sea in Type; Water as a Figure; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose

The subject you write on has occupied me lately. The Romans is simply forgiveness and grace taken by themselves, as noted, down to chapter 5:11. The full state of the Christian also is clear. These, though distinct, you cannot separate-John 20:22 and Pentecost-as Rom. 8 shows. Thus far all is simple. "Justification of life," I have lately seen, refers to chapter 5:16, 17: still it is a real thing, meeting death coming in, and all sinning, and many offenses. Still it seems to me liberty or deliverance has a double aspect-before God, and from the law of sin. It is all in redemption, it is true; but, though brought to God-delivered as well as forgiven- there was no circumcision in the wilderness. The Red Sea brought out, the Jordan brought in; yet they coalesce. The wilderness formed no part of the object or purpose of God, but only of His ways. He does not say a word of it when visiting Israel in Egypt, nor is there in the song in Ex. 15 Deliverance is complete as to redemption at the Red Sea: they are brought to God. Through the death and resurrection of Christ we are forgiven and delivered: forgiveness sets us free before God. But Romans always looks at the Christian as a man on the earth, alive in Christ and justified, but here. There is no life but the life of Christ, in one sense never was; only now that He is risen He gives it according to the power and in the relationship into which He is entered. But life is not what is preached but Christ-repentance and remission of sins: the state of our relationship with God in ourselves or in Christ. "Ye must be born again"-however true is not gospel. The display of life in us will be according to what faith holds as to these relationships. The ordinary scriptural order was, when convicted, remission of sins, and thereon receiving the Holy Ghost. This gives not a new life, but a life in the relationships into which such an one was entered; and this gave not only liberty before God in the knowledge of forgiveness, but freedom from the law of sin and death. I then know not merely that Christ died and delivered me, put me in a new place relating to what was past `(then does not go any further), but as in this new place that it is identified with power of life and death to sin, as Rom. 8:2, 3.
We have no rudiments of the world spoken of in Romans. It is guilt, sin in the flesh, law, justification, life in Christ, being in Him, but so as to have no condemnation and freedom from the law of sin, as the flesh condemned on the cross. I learn then that I am risen with Christ, and talk of rudiments of the world, having put off the old man, and so on. It is all true that I am in Christ and Christ is in me (Rom. 8:1, 10); but a person is not in the christian state till he has the Spirit of Christ. (Ver. 9.) To chapter 5:11 it is simply God for us in respect of guilt and all its consequences in relationship with Him-from chapter 5:12, experimentally learned, our state.
You have the Spirit in chapter 5; the love of God shed abroad in the heart. A person may go through chapter 7 before being in the beginning of chapter 5; it may be after, though it will be modified.
But however full the gospel you preach, if effectual it brings the soul to the consciousness of its then actual state with God. But it will never get into peace till it ceases from the search whether it has life, and looks to Christ as a Savior. It is a matter of teaching that Christ is our life, nor is there any other; and now it is life as risen, but its movements must be according to our conscious relationship with God. The disciples had life in John 20:22. In Rom. 8 the Spirit is first named as source and power of life, and then as a personal Spirit in us: that is, both as John 20:22, and Pentecost. But this only is the proper christian condition as chapter 8:9 shows. I would not say with the fullest gospel a man might not get into Rom. 7, possibly by mixing it with ideas he had already. But the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, and thereon sealing, is the gospel order-whatever we learn afterward-and life in that relationship; and that is life in resurrection in itself. But faith in the Person of Christ gives life, and thereon a person is not sealed nor has peace, but there is confidence-not law-forgiveness known, but imperfectly: so the poor woman in Luke 7
The truth of risen life in Christ and the coming of the Holy Ghost are distinct; but now that both are fulfilled the divine order is the knowledge of the remission of sins and receiving the Holy Ghost, and thus the two are inseparable. Then I know, or may know, that I am in Christ; whereas the forgiveness known before by the gospel is of past sins-what my conscience needed. The life we receive is in Christ risen, but I am not consciously-much more than knowledge-in John 20:22, now that the Holy Ghost is come, till I receive the Holy Ghost. Rom. 8 puts them inseparably together. I have to see that a man in faith's relationship is in Rom. 7, or whether it is merely lack of knowledge; for in Rom. 7 he has not in fact received the Holy Ghost, is not married to Christ. A man may have to learn himself afterward, but if he has the Spirit he is married to Christ, though he may have to learn things experimentally.
As regards Titus 3 the renewing here is an absolutely new thing ἀνακαίνωσις. Renewing when connected with justification always comes first. Justification is true only of a renewed person: we are sanctified to the blood of sprinkling. Brought into this new place administratively by baptism, and effectually by being created anew, we have this justification in hope of eternal life. The Holy Ghost does renew continually ἀνανεοῦσθαι (Eph. 4:23.) Col. 1:12 is always the state of the Christian, and the apostle looks at the Christian as in the christian state (should even his mind be warped as in Galatians). Receiving the Spirit is an actual change of status not of title; but not merely knowing something.
I write with my head or nerves only just above water, but better and fully taken care of. It may be well to remember that, in a certain sense, the Red Sea closes the history. It is the salvation of Jehovah: the wicked come under death and judgment: the people of God are saved and brought to His holy habitation, as the thief went straight to Paradise.
Philadelphia, April, 1875.

The Church Not the Subject of Promise or Prophecy; Union With Christ

I reply at once to your letter. I did receive your letter, which lay a good while on my table from constant occupation both of writing and ordinary service at Geneva, where I spent two months. I enter into and enjoy the first part of your present letter and profit by the connection of the passages with the seventh; as to the latter part, it is remarkable that the question you put had occupied me independently of these questions in a particular manner for a good while back; and I had added a long note to a tract on Rom. 11 on other points which discussions here had given rise to, and I feel that I brought out the point very precisely. And it is precisely on this point, much more clear than heretofore in my mind, that I feel that Plymouth has lost, or for the most part never has attained, the idea which seems to me essential to the church—that is, which essentially distinguishes it in its privileges. I knew that the system which prevails there placed the church on the same ground as Israel in the millennium, and it was one of the things which convinced me that the notion of the church was entirely wanting. Israel will have many things which we have, but had not all that which distinguishes the church—-those who have προηλπίκασι"pre-trusted in Christ," (Eph. 1:12.) Israel believes when they see, but "blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."
But my answer to your question, Has the church any spiritual things which it has not received through Israel? is—ALL that is properly essential to it as the church. The church can be looked at as coming in under the promises and grafted in on the spiritual things of Israel, but it is only the lowest form in which those who compose the church can be considered (nor is it then ever called the church that I am aware of) and only in respect of its administration down here; and in this point of view it will terminate and be cut off to make place for something else. But is that all the idea we are to' have of the church, and are those who believe in Christ, when He is not seen, in no different position from those who believe in Him when He is seen? Is union with Christ when He is hid in God the same thing as belonging to Him when He is seen in the exercise of judgment in the earth? Though His life [be theirs] the knowledge of Christ is quite other, as well as the position of the faithful. Will they suffer with Christ; are they conformed to His death having the fellowship of His sufferings; are there no sympathies, no knowledge of Christ which is connected with this which cannot exist when He is reigning? Even the very term Son has a different force here; when God sets forth His Son as King in Zion, He calls on the kings of the earth to kiss Him, and gives as basis of the [decree] which places Him there that He is His Son; "this day have I begotten thee." Is this the way we know the Son? I admit the truth of what is stated at Plymouth. The evil is this, that all the higher part of truth is left out, and everything which expresses it reduced to this level. Does "To us a son is born, to us a king is given" satisfy the desires of your heart in your knowledge of Christ?
And now let me take up certain expressions which bring this out. You speak of union with Christ risen: well, it is clear that it is with Christ risen, and not with Christ alive after the flesh or in the grave, that I am united. But I do not believe the scripture ever speaks of union with Christ risen simply as our portion; at least it is not what is habitually set forward as the acme of the glory. We are set down in heavenly places in Him—will the Jews be that in the millennium? Our life is hid with Him in God—will He be hid in God in that day? The fact is that the highest privileges of the church are no matter, not merely of Israel's spiritual privileges, but of promises at all; because union with the Son of God one with the Father is no part of promise, but the basis of a mystery hidden from ages and generations, which gives a body to Christ independent of all question of Israel and Gentile, which knows the Son of God as its source above all distinction of Israel and Gentile. In the administration of the promises, I find Jew first and then Greek—in the church, neither Jew nor Greek; in the administration of the promises, I find Gentiles grafted in who were a wild olive, and natural branches never grafted in at all: but all this relates to the administration of promises here below, so that I find the seed of Abraham in the church, the Gentiles fellow-heirs and partakers of His promise in Christ. But I know not where union with the Son of God is promised, where to be loved by the Father as the Son is loved is promised, the result of which is to give us a place with Him in the kingdom—the immense privilege of suffering with Him now, to see Him as He is, to be like Him.
If it be answered that this will be the result, after the millennium, for Israel during the millennium, I answer: first, there is no such revelation in the word; and secondly, it cannot be, because the Son will have given up the kingdom and be subject that God may be all in all; and further, the distinction of Jews and Gentiles is kept up in the millennium, so that there can be no body of Christ, nor the Spirit, or consciousness in their relationships of the body of Christ which depends on union with Him hidden in heaven in virtue of a life which in its power, thus revealed in heaven, knows neither Jew nor Gentile. I do not recognize that resurrection shuts out distinction between Jew and Gentile (though there be in it the power of a life which does, when its full result is revealed), for "the sure mercies of David" are founded on it—but the church union with Christ hid in God does. If you examine the epistle of St. Peter writing to the Jews he never names the church; indeed St. Paul alone does. St. Peter sees Jesus to the cloud, and sees Him when He is [manifested] out of the cloud against. Paul only in heaven and the church united to Him there to Him who said, " Why persecutest thou me?" St. Paul justifies in its administration by the prophets, a system whose principle and root was above all that they had said. Union with a Savior hid in God formed no part of the revelation committed to them, nor of the promises made to Abraham, though those who have this union are heirs of the promises, because one with Him who is so. But union with a Savior hid in God, the Son one with the Father Himself, so that we are one body with Him, of His flesh and of His bones, is of the essence of the church; and I cannot see that this forms a part of Israel's privileges in the millennium, for then there could not be Jews, and Gentiles their servants and dependents. They will enjoy the fruits of His resurrection, but they cannot be said to be risen with Him; they will enjoy the results of His having gone and received the kingdom from the Father, but they will not be sitting in heavenly places in Him, for He is not there.
In a word, all that is distinctive to the church is lost in this system, for that which is distinctive to it is not the subject of promise; though the church is heir by her union with Christ of the promises which are in Him as the true seed of Abraham; for "to Abraham and his seed were the promises made." But is that all? Where is the promise which conveys to me, "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you?" And even in administration, when all things are united in one head in Christ for the administration of the fullness of times it cannot be added for them "in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things, after the counsel of his own will." These words are the Spirit's contrast of the church—"that we should be to the praise of his glory," etc. Many, many are the consequences which flow from this: to be ignorant of it may be loss, but to set it aside—I will not say oppose it—is more than loss. I can only give you the outline of the principle. It is a matter of faith and divine teaching which God gives according to His sovereign goodness; but if this be a part of the glory of Christ, the privilege of the church, and the glory of God in the church throughout all ages, it is a serious thing that Christ should, in the minds of saints, be shorn of it, and their condition, and consequently their affections, reduced to those of Israel in the latter day, and deprived of Christ as He is given to the church. That is where I see the evil, and I trust, carry it to God.
I rejoice in all the joy and blessing of the saints, and I trust that a true apprehension of the relationship between Christ and the church will be manifested in holy and patient love, that others may profit by it if so it be. May the abounding of the Lord's peace and grace be with all the brethren. "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated... without partiality and without hypocrisy; and the fruits of righteousness are sown in peace to them that make peace."
Ever very affectionately yours, beloved brother.
Lausanne, November 14th, 1844.

Articles of the Church of England; No Foundation for Episcopacy; Hooker

I suspect your good vicar has never read Clemens Romanus, but only his (Mr. Marshall's) epitome: probably it was before he was born that I did. But you ought yourself to have had the answer ready. Clement speaks, § 42, of bishops and deacons: but if there were several that is not episcopacy. There are only two classes-so in Timothy and Titus, called also bishops and deacons. Titus was to appoint elders, several, in each city; and Paul goes on, "for a bishop must be blameless": bishops and deacons in 1 Tim. 3 So Paul in Acts 14 chose elders for them-forgot the bishop!-and in chapter 20 calls for the elders, and then says to them "bishops"-again forgot the poor bishop or awfully despised him! We have thus the certainty that those whom Clement speaks of, § 42, were several in one place. He always speaks in the plural. They appointed persons, § 44. He does not think those should be thrown out of their ministry, and says, 'Blessed are those elders who, having finished their course before these times, have obtained a fruitful and perfect dissolution.' Clement, like Paul, ignores the existence of a bishop, writes (if there was one) to his church, without hinting at the existence of such a personage. 'Further we see that ye have put out some who lived,' etc. The letter is a letter from 'the church of God which is at Rome to the church of God which is at Corinth.' There is no trace, I repeat, of a bishop at Rome or at Corinth. The passage he refers to is the proof that he objected to their deposing their elders, but has no thought of any bishop, as the word is now used. Speaking of some-' You have put out some'-though it was in the one church of Corinth; and calls them elders, for which archbishop Wake has translated `priests' -Chevalier, honestly, `elders,' with 'presbyters' in margin.
You can easily see why I suspect your clergyman (I have not his name exactly) has read Marshall, which I have not, and not Clement, which I often have, and discussed with others, too. Perhaps he has not read Tertullian or Jerome either. Tertullian says John the apostle instituted them in Asia Minor, a plain proof Paul had not. Jerome says the church got into this plan as the elders were each trying to draw the faithful to themselves, and then they set up one as primus inter pares. In Alexandria, though there was a patriarch, Jerome tells us there was no episcopal ordination till Hesychius and the council of Nice. As to Justin, I do not remember his saying anything about bishops. He speaks largely of a president at their Lord's day meeting, and his praying as well as he could, also of his holding meetings at his lodgings, at Rome, when he went there. But I cannot now look them up; but I have read them more or less, and I am not aware of any such passage, or finding it quoted on the subject. Clement being short, and I having often read it, I could lay my hand on it. As to Clemens Alexandrinus, he may be quite at ease: in his day there were bishops plenty, but the reference is unfortunate, for, if I am to believe Jerome, there was then no episcopal ordination. As to Ignatius, all the rhetoric on the subject [notwithstanding], I have no doubt it is spurious. In the genuine Syriac copies a bishop is mentioned in this way once. Now I do not doubt, according to Jerome's account, they soon came in, possibly, partly through John, too. In Clement's time it is clear there were none such that he recognizes-` not a trace '-but what totally excludes the idea.
As to Article XVII., I quite admit that God's predestination is secret to us, but the seventeenth Article is not: it is very plain, and I think very good. I may add, in Clement, § 57, where he exhorts the leaders of the sedition to submit to their elders. I have read some of Hooker, too; but [he was] one whose mind rested in human order, and not on scripture, but a reverend, godly man; but while a standard work with the clergy it is really intrinsically not worth reading. They say he died meditating on the hierarchical order of the angels. As to the Fathers, I have read some, consulted almost all, and some a good deal. But when, many years ago, I set about to read them, I found them as a body such trash that I gave it up as a study: for history they are of course useful, and I have examined them largely. Did Mr.- ever read Hermas? If that is not enough to destroy all confidence in the early church, I do not know what would. Did he ever read Cyprian or Chrysostom on the state of the church in their days? Talking of looking to the primitive church for some doctrine or morality is the most wicked humbug that ever was: either people have not read what is patristic, or they must love and excuse wickedness. Hermas was read in the churches, and is quoted by Tremens as scripture, and Origen speaks of it as inspired. Pretty work you give one to do.
March 23rd.

S. O'M. Cluff's Doctrine; Death to Sin; the Place of Experience; Bible Treasury June 1878; Erroneous Doctrine in a Clearer Light

The two things in the Bible Treasury [June, 1878] are true, but not connected. But the clear difference was not brought out till the examination of Cluff's doctrine brought it out. If we wait on God, erroneous doctrines become inlets to clearer truth. Dying to sin, and rising with Christ is experimental; but we enter on this ground by faith, or it is a vain human effort to get at it. In Col. 3 God says we are dead; Rom. 6, faith holds we are dead; then 2 Cor. 4:10 carries it out in practice. Ephesians is the sovereign work of God setting us in Christ. We say we are dead apart from practice; but it is for all that experimental, but on the discovery of Rom. 7, and then, by redemption and the presence of the Holy Ghost, the consciousness of our new place. You cannot connect Eph. 2 and Rom. 6 In Col. 2:12 is Rom. 6, and resurrection added, and in verse 13, Ephesians—only not going on to heaven, as Colossians does not. It is as believers we have died with Christ: still God and faith reckon me there when He died, " crucified with him," because the sin in my flesh was condemned then: in God's mind I was there. I only possess it when I have the Spirit, see Rom. 8:9, 10; but then I go back to the work there according to verse 3: but there is no union there. Now there is real union.

Communion With God

May I beg you to be my mouth-piece to the other sisters, and receive the same yourselves, to assure them of my sincere thankfulness for their kind interest. I account it a precious thing that the saints take interest in one another. The life of Christ chews itself thus. I was very low indeed, but am much better, but humanly speaking shall never have my breath for work as I had; but it is all in the Lord's hands; at past 80 it is not very surprising. My mind through mercy is as clear as ever, and study work I go on with as usual. God may use us, but the good that is done down here is wholly done by Himself; who else would do it? And Christ has loved His church and given Himself for it, and sanctifies it for and will present it to Himself, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Man's ways cross and traverse each other, but He goes on in the secret of His own love always straightforward and makes everything work together for good to them that love Him. I should be very glad to see the brethren: whether God will allow me, I know not—perhaps in warmer weather. It is in His hands. He may use us, but has no need of us, and soon we shall be where the patient continuance in well doing will not be called for. I am very thankful to all for so kindly thinking of me. Yours sincerely in the Lord.
London, March 28th, 1881.

Confessing of Faults to One Another; Deliverance; Experience in View of the End; the Place of Experience; Self Knowledge

The Lord is graciously doing what was and is always needed, making you know yourself. We may often accept the gospel not insincerely, and yet not have the least learned what we are, that is what sin is in the flesh. As regards confession (James 5:16)-the form this distress takes with you-I agree with -, it is not a command imposed, but a means afforded for walking fully in the light, a relief if I cannot get rid of something that presses on my conscience; nay, even if I have done from time to time what keeps my spirit fretful, and out of communion, it is given as a means of relief, in order to my spirit's being conscious of being in the truth, to find someone worthy of such confidence, and opening the matter to them. It is a relief to open the heart, only not to be done with levity, but in the true sense of the evil, and gives occasion to the other to pray for us. This is connected with the government of God, and has nothing to do with deliverance. Its true character is lost if we look on it as an imposed obligation; but we make what is called a clean breast of it, and all sense of guile and false appearance is taken away. Sometimes the desire to confess is a mere effort to get the mind at ease without a thorough dealing with God which goes to the root.
Rom. 5:1 is simply forgiveness, faith that Christ has been delivered for our offenses. If that be so, God must despise Christ's work before He imputes sin to me: and not only is that impossible, but God has given proof to the contrary in raising Him from the dead, and setting Him as man in glory: and He has not got my sins there. -The work God has wrought in Christ has blotted out my sins: the Lord imputes no sin. Then comes another source of distress, even if I am clear that believing in Jesus I am justified from all things. I find my old man, my flesh, produces the evil fruit still; and this perplexes the mind if it has learned forgiveness, and brings doubts and deep distress where it has not. It is always in its nature legal-that is, refers God's estimate of us, to what we are: namely, His thoughts towards us are dependent on our state before Him; whereas our state depends on His thoughts. See the prodigal when he found his father. (Compare Num. 23:23.)
Now our peace as to our sins is simply that they are forgiven and put away: Christ has borne them. If I believe in Him, God has declared this; I am "justified from all things." But for the discovery of our sinful state and getting deliverance, there is an experimental process in us. The doctrine is that we died with Christ: that is Rom. 6 But the resting on the truth found there as a doctrine, is connected with the experience found in chapter 7, the result then being in chapter 8. Now this experience is the painful learning that we have no strength to make good what we would in what is right. There is a point in this experience which often helps, but is not deliverance; that is, hating the evil which yet works in me, it is not I, for I hate the evil, and I am not what I hate. But after this I find what I hate too strong for me, and I am brought to the consciousness of my being without strength, the point to which God was leading me by it all: " When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
Your anxiety about confession and distress of soul will all disappear, when you have the deliverance which follows this full breaking down. We are conscious then of being in Christ, as Rom. 8:1; and then Christ is in us as the power of life (vers. 2, 3): Christ is substituted for self before God for us as righteousness. What am I before God? Christ. And He having died and risen again and received by faith, lives in us: and the flesh is treated as not me but sin that dwells in us, and we have by the Holy Ghost the sense of being children. In a word, Christ is substituted for self before God, and yet as livingly in us—"as he is so are we in this world." This is God's teaching; it belongs to everyone who believes in Christ, but we do not get it experimentally, till the self for which Christ is substituted is thoroughly judged and broken down -no good in it, and no means of getting into a better state however much we desire it. And this is the process you are going through, with a pretty strong will to be broken by it. I add, it is of moment in this conflict to avoid all evil—not that this will give us peace; that comes from being dead with Christ; but if we are not watchful it gives a handle to the enemy.
Christ came to save the lost, and we must get to see we are lost as to our state in order to get deliverance: yet in the grace that came to save us when such, God knows when self is really judged, and then gives peace. In yourself in the flesh you are lost, but we get out of this standing through being dead with Christ. The sin in our flesh was judged on the cross.
We hear nothing more of the prodigal son, once he found his father: all is what his father was to him.

Conscience; Perfectionism; Temptation

Conscience-besides the sense of responsibility, obligation to God, which was before the fall, and belongs necessarily to all morally intelligent creatures-is the knowledge of good and evil entered into at the fall, the sense of things being right and wrong; not a law imposed by authority, and the measure of the right and wrong, but the sense in ourselves that a thing is right, or a thing is wrong. "The man is become as one of us to know good and evil." Heart is a very general expression for all the inner man: "if our heart condemns us"—then it is conscience; my heart showeth me, then it is spiritual perception; we are to love God with all our heart, then it is the ordinary modern sense; but in scripture, heart is all in which moral exercise is in us. "Once purged" is the conscience, RS sin being imputed; (see Heb. 9) "perfect as pertaining to the conscience;" and being done on the cross once for all, when known by faith it cannot change, for it is that one work known which changes not. Our feelings may be dull, and we may look to them, but the blood of Christ has always its same value in the sight of God. He cannot, as undervaluing it, see iniquity in us. Hebrew x. develops this fully. There can be no altering or repetition of the blood. Imputed guilt does not exist for the believer: but he may fail, and by this his communion with God is interrupted; the operation of the Spirit is to humble him, and lead him to confession—most profitable, but not communion. The word applied by the Spirit works in the soul to judge sin according to Christ's death, and then its putting away according to it, and so the enjoyment of the love which did it; and then communion is restored. Num. 19 and John 13 and 1 John 2 develop this. Compare Eph. 5:26 of the church. The feeling and joy of assurance may be dimmed, but faith rests assured of the acceptance by God of the blood of Christ.
As to temptation, I believe a person may so walk by the power of the Spirit, realizing Christ, that no conscious evil thought may be there; but a state in which there is no temptation is a delusion. Nor is temptation all: there is the second class of flesh's working where there is no temptation, "now ye also put off all these." Then there is failure in that sense of Christ's presence which hinders idle words, impatience of spirit. What is called the higher christian life is only the getting out of Rom. 7 into vi. and viii.—a very real thing; and that which the great body of teachers would have you content without, and this is all wrong, it is not the christian state.
Sincerely yours in Christ.

Converted Children and the Lord's Table; Christ Being All; the Difference Between Interpretation and False Doctrine; Self; Loss of Paul's Doctrine

Most thankful am I that your dear child has confessed Christ. At her age it is an anxious thing, as the world has not yet tried their faith; but I do not see that we have any title to keep them out when we have no doubt that they are Christ's. I should put these things before her, tell her where my anxiety was as to her taking on her publicly the profession of His name—only guarding against producing any distrust of His love and perfect grace—before I brought her case before others with a view to her breaking bread; and make it a serious thing with her; but of course, if she be Christ's, she has her title there, and there is the place where the care and nurture of Christ ought at least to be found. This of course will also fall much on you and Mrs. -. May the Lord keep her in lowliness and close to Himself, that the flesh and the world it belongs to may not strengthen itself by growing years, but the contrary.
We had, I believe, a useful and happy meeting at Oxford, but, besides proofs to correct, it has left me with thirty-four letters to answer, several long unread, so I add nothing.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
August, 1881.

The Need of Courage; Denominations in the Camp

"What I think serious in the state of all these bodies is, not one is really outside the camp. God has opened out much truth from His word, that is widely spread outside all gatherings; but there they do not move, and spoil it; but the loose brethren have generally lost it. For my own part, I feel what I have to do is to minister Christ to the want of the soul with which I have to do. As to a public testimony, though we may be humbled, the Lord is wise. If it were merely a question of New Zealand, Canada was worse till R. Evans went there. He was decided, and only one brother would let him into his house; now such a thing as a loose meeting is hardly known, and blessing has spread very widely. Christ suffices for the present state of the church, as for all. But one man in Israel's history went up to heaven without dying, and the state of Israel was such that he could not find a faithful man, though God knew such. There is no epistle where the apostle so much insists on courage as in 2 Timothy, when all was gone to the bad. My own deep conviction is that the church failed immediately the apostle was gone, just as Adam, and Noah, and Israel in Sinai, and the priesthood. The church as an historical body never knew what it was to be perfected forever, and did not continue to own the Holy Ghost. God has taken us back to the Scriptures, to the word of God, and faith rests there owning the Holy Ghost as present till the blessed Lord takes us away. The standing of the Christian and of the church was lost at once with those to whom it was revealed, save as consigned to the written word. There I turn, owning the need and power of the Holy Ghost, while perfect acceptance in Christ is the starting-point for all our service as for all our hopes.... But I must close, casting myself on the Lord for all our service. The more we know of Him, the more we know He is everything. All else passes but He abides forever, the Son of the Father's delight, and we associated with Him-wondrous thought! but God's purpose, and now due to Him who has suffered that He may see the fruit of the travail of His soul and be satisfied—satisfied in having us with and like Him. What infinite blessedness, and all to the glory of God forever and ever. Must not our hearts be filled with it, and His love is our present joy!
Your affectionate brother.

The Creation

- I am not going to occupy you with—-or—-or- -. It is to another they will answer, and I trust they will depend on His grace. I wish to inquire into the truth of your statement, `he is content to teach from the word of God, and we are equally content to hear it from that alone.' You shall have the teaching you have learned to delight in and what scripture says side by side, and you or anyone can then judge if this teaching is from the word of God, in the hope that some of you (may it be all!) may be delivered from what, to my mind, is a Satanic delusion, because on fundamental points it is in direct contradiction with that word.
Acts 10:43: "Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 26:17, 18. Rom. 3:19, 25: "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." "There is no difference.. whom God hath set forth a propitiation [mercy-seat] through faith in his blood." 1 John 2:2: "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for (the sins of) the whole world." Rom. 4:7-10: "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven... How was it then reckoned?... Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision." Acts 13:38,39: "Be it known... and by him all that believe are justified from all things." Col. 2:13: "And you, being dead in your sins... having forgiven you all trespasses." Now here we have Gentiles dead in sins and uncircumcision, forgiven all trespasses. Colossians is essentially to Gentiles. (See chap. 1:27, and as the whole passage here shows.) But they are forgiven. But if, in spite of evidence, it is insisted they are Jews, then the Jews were dead as well as Gentiles. At any rate the teaching is false that the dead do not need forgiveness, for here the dead are forgiven. And this leads me to Eph. 2:1, 5: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and 'sins; wherein in time past YE walked," etc. These are dead Gentiles, "Among whom also we all had... even as others"—these are Jews. " But God... hath quickened us together with Christ." Here are both together, but both dead and both quickened together, and sitting together in heavenly places in Christ.
This anti-christian statement that sinners of the Gentiles have no need of forgiveness is connected with, partly founded on, a false interpretation of 1 John 1:9, as if it applied only to believers, that they are cleansed from particular sins; but though this may be supported by souls not yet set free, it is not in the passage. It is not, if we fail the blood of Christ cleanses us, but "if we walk in the light, as God is in the light... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"—from ALL sin, not from any particular fault. It is the christian state, or standing in the light as God is, and cleansed so as to be fit to be there. After that John speaks of particular sins: " These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father." (1 John 2:1.) There is no re-shedding of blood, no re-sprinkling of blood in scripture. "The worshippers once purged have no more conscience of sins": "By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." It is not that we do not offend, but there is no imputing of the sin as guilt: " Blessed is the man to whom the Lord doth not impute sin." And in Rom. 4, where this is found, it is expressly declared it is not for the circumcision only. It is for all those who believe, "though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also." Your teaching has forgotten that there were those who were not Christians, who were not under law either, and accounted righteous by faith and forgiven their sins. See Rom. 4, where this point is fully discussed to set aside what you hold. "There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." A ransom is that by which redemption comes, is wrought; to have the good of it Christ must be believed in: but as the righteousness is of God, it is as good for the Gentile as for the Jew, and is needed by the Gentile as the Jew. "There is no difference."
I will now take up the question which your teacher connects with redemption, and where he is very confused. He declares he has only the earnest of the Spirit—he does not say of what, only goes on to the redemption of the body. That we are waiting for that is all true (Eph. 1): but in the previous part of the chapter, what is spoken of redemption is spoken of a something we have, "to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." According to the teaching you have now, this is Jewish, though there is not a word about law or Jews. You are not accepted in the Beloved, you have not redemption and forgiveness, and in your madness pretend you did not need it. The passage speaks of those who are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world: I suppose there were no Jews or Gentiles when "predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." All this belongs, according to this passage, to those who have redemption through His blood.
You are taught that redemption is `only to the state in which Adam was, that is, Eden: as he was earthy, such are they who are earthy, and can, by redemption, only be brought to the state in which Adam was before he fell!' Why so? Why is the sacrifice of God's Son, made sin for us, to produce no other effect than creation? I read: "He hath made him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him"; or, as we have just read, "We have the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace"; "He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." (Eph. 1) Besides, redemption is identified with the forgiveness of sins. What has that to do with innocent Adam? If it be the intervention and work of God, it has the effect purposed of God, and according to the worth of that work; and that is, that we should be "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." (Rom. 8:17) "So that in the ages to come he might chew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:7.) The whole train of thought in your doctrine denies the whole scheme and revelation of Christianity, which seta us redeemed and forgiven in the second Man, the last Adam in all that belongs to Him as the glorified Man, as the Son of man. You get the same truth in Gal. 4:7, where it applies expressly to Gentiles. (See ver. 8.) "Christ was made under the law to redeem them that were under the law," but He was also made of a woman, the Mediator between God and man.
We are told 'he could not say all have sinned till he proved the Jew guilty; and now having quoted their own scriptures and prophets, he proves them guilty, now he writes "all." ' All right; but then the Gentile is guilty, has sinned, but being dead, `does not require forgiveness.' We have all sinned, are all guilty, but do not require forgiveness.' It is a shame to have to reason about such stuff! And then he impudently says exactly the contrary of what the passage says, 'He brings in the free justification from the law.' Scripture (Rom. 3:21, 22) says, "But now without law [apart altogether from it] the righteousness of God is manifested"; and to whom?—those under the law to justify them from it? Not the least; but "the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, etc., etc., that he might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth." Hence in chapter 4:11 he expressly tells us it comes on the uncircumcision, not to justify from the law, for they were not under it, but without law, having nothing to do with law (χωρὶς νόμου) Now you are taught that when Jews are proved to have sinned and be guilty, all are—Gentiles as well as Jews; and also that 'the word no difference applies between Jews and Gentiles, not between Jews and God.' All right: but then Gentiles have sinned, and Gentiles are guilty. All the world is guilty: all, Gentiles as well as Jews, have sinned. "Being justified freely by his [God's] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Now this justification and this redemption is directly and unquestionably applied, and formally said of all those who had sinned, all Gentiles and Jews, for there is no difference. All this is largely confirmed and developed in Gal. 4 I do not dwell on Eph. 3, where Jews and Gentiles are carefully identified in the same privileges, according to the eternal purposes of God, the middle wall of partition being broken down—Jews and Gentiles, they are all chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world—it would be to expound the whole epistle. To say those spoken of in the beginning of chapter i. are privileges only of Jews, is to talk nonsense in defiance of what is said. It is all the saints and faithful at Ephesus, who were chiefly Gentiles (see Acts 24:9, 10); and Gentiles are carefully introduced, as his own mission is developed in chapter 3 where he calls himself prisoner for them—Gentiles.
I turn to another point: 'God is not Creator of the unconverted!' It is denied `that we, before we were saved, were created by God I' I have been asked for a text. I quote Acts 17:25, 28: "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." He is addressing the heathen and says, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." ' Adam [before he fell] was God's creature.' Gen. 6:7: God says, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth." But according to this teaching, He had not created at all what He was going to destroy. Mal. 2:10: " Hath not one God created us?" Even the poor women have a chance of thinking themselves God's creatures. "For neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man." So in Eph. 3:9: "God who created all things." Eccl. 12:1: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." Will it be said He is the Creator as well as the Redeemer of the Jews, not of the Gentiles? Then He is God of the Jews, and not of the Gentiles, not "of the spirits of all flesh" (Num. 16:22; 27:16); and Jews and Gentiles are distinct races of beings, have not a common Creator. John 8 refers to Jews. Further, if it be because we come in by ordinary generation, then nothing is created of God; for not a tree, not a bit of grass, but comes from another, as is written, whose seed is in itself. 'God created nothing but the earth, and what was first upon it.' Then "the things which are seen" (Heb. 11:3) has no sense. John 8:44 is referred to: there is not a word about creating. They had the spirit of Satan, murder and lying—he was the father of it. It was their moral character. So in 1 John 3:8: 'Creature, or God's only work in creating.' This is because the word "made" is used, and that they are begotten of Adam. The poor women were never (not even Eve innocent was) created of God; nothing therefore at all that exists, is created of God! Gen. 1: heaven and earth were created. God created great whales, and all that moves in the sea. (Ver. 21.) The difference of "created" and "made" is imaginary. God said, "Let us make man."... "So God created man " (Vers. 26, 27.) And He rested "from all the work which he had made," and in it "he rested from all his work which God created and made" (Chap. 2:2, 3—lit. "created to make"), and "these are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." (Ver. 4.) In Heb. 11: "By faith we understand," etc. Now that is exactly creation. Col. 1:16: "For by him [the Son] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones," etc. But the coming in of sin, we are told, has made the difference—not as to his being God's creature: "he that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." And "in this are manifest the children of God and the children of the devil. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God." We are the children of Abraham, if we are in Christ; but of creation not a word, whereas sons of Belial is a common expression. They are morally his offspring by murder and falsehood; as the Lord called Peter, Satan, when hindering His obedience unto death, through the influence of the world's Prince. As Christ says in this chapter, "Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world." (John 8:23.) To be in the spirit of this world was to be from beneath. I might add as to present creatures Psa. 104, which celebrates creation as it is, and when we read verse 30, after speaking of creatures dying and returning to their dust, "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." The guilt of the heathen was that they "served the creature more than the Creator." To Elihu who gives us the thought and mind of God in contrast with Job and his friends (Job 33:4, 6) "the spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Yet he is speaking of natural life: "I also am formed out of the clay." Again, chapter 34:14, 15: If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to his dust."
As far as I can gather what is taught (for the statement is obscure), the possession of eternal life is denied. That we have the earnest of the Spirit till the full development of it in glory is true. But at present I am told I only have the earnest of the Spirit. But it is said that life is mine by faith. The earnest of eternal life is not scriptural thought. Leaving the statement there, I give the positive statement of scripture. First, it is because we are sons that the Spirit of God's Son is given to us: so that we must have life, be sons, to be sealed and cry, Abba, Father. More is needed, but this is clear; you must be a son, which is by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26), or it is false to say, Abba, Father. This is by the Spirit given to us. (Gal. 4:6.) But I will cite direct statements. John 3:36: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." John 5:24: "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." 1 John 5:11, 12: "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
Now this is the result of this short statement of the teaching you accept. You deny God is our Creator. You deny redemption, except of the body at the end. You deny that we have need of forgiveness of sins when converted to God; and unless an obscure sentence be cleared up, you deny we have eternal life—we have only the earnest of the Spirit. Now I do not touch on ecclesiastical questions, though you seem to me in this also to have cast the truth overboard; but you cannot expect to be owned to be Christians, denying all these fundamental truths. It is impossible. You may ask why I call you brethren? I do so, because I trust you may be delivered from these sad delusions of the enemy, in which the fundamental truths of Christianity, as to its application to us, are denied. I might have reasoned a great deal on the statements on which I comment, but I have preferred citing scripture as the adequate reply. May the Lord deliver you from the delusion of the enemy.
Affectionately yours in Christ.
October 1st, 1881.

Nothing Being Like the Cross; Christ in the Offerings; Propitiation and Substitution

I was glad to see your-hand and name, and answer you at once. I object altogether to the question. What benefit does the world get from [propitiation]? It puts everything on a false and low ground, as if the end and only object of God's ways—leaving out the claims of His glory and nature in that which angels desire to look into. I agree in general with what you say; but "the Lord's lot" was not for the sins of the people, as guilt, though God's holy and righteous nature was met in respect of their sin. The blood was, sprinkled first, on and before the mercy-seat—God's throne in the most holy place where God dwelt—and the altar of incense. The atonement was for the "holy place... that remaineth among them." " That is for the people," (ver. 15) is in contrast with Aaron and his house. But what was cleansed and hallowed was the holy place, and the altar, no doubt, because of the tabernacle being among them. As meeting God's nature and character, it was the basis of all. (Compare Heb. 9:23-26 and 27, 28.) The taking away the sin of the world was to have "a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness"—is the fruit of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Thank _ God! our sins are taken away, too, but that is a different thing from putting away sin.
It is deplorable to make putting away our sins, true and blessed as it is, the end of all. God has been glorified in Him (John 13) in such sort, that Man is in the glory of God. In the scapegoat, God's people were represented in their head—the high priest—and those only who, as such, were identified with him. In the other there was no such representation—a most important principle. Though the people's uncleanness were the occasion of it, it was the Lord's lot, His dwelling-place which was in question, and transgressions not in question, save as the means of its defilement; and the blood was under God's eye as the ground of all God's dealings till, and making the security of, the new heavens and the new earth. (See John 13:31, 32.) Through the cross, God Himself has been fully glorified, and in virtue of it Christ Himself has entered into the glory of God as Man, though He had it before the world was. (So Phil. 2) Man's sin was absolute, Satan's power over all the world, man's perfection absolute in Christ when absolutely tested, God's righteous judgment against sin displayed as nowhere else, and perfect love to the sinner, His majesty made good. "It became hi n." (Hebrews No doubt our sins were borne too, thank God! that we might have part in the results; but blessed as this is for us, it was really a secondary thing to the basis of the glory of God in the universe, and the bringing all into order, according to what He is fully displayed. So John 17:4, 5. But in John's gospel there is not a word of the forgiveness of our sins, save as administered by the apostles.
Finally, the people were not represented in the blood on the mercy-seat and holy place; their sins gave occasion to its being done, but the cleansing was of God's dwelling-place, that that should be fit for Him, and what He was, perfectly glorified by Christ's death—to be forever before Him as eternal redemption. The two goats made but one Christ in different aspects. But propitiation alters the whole ground of God's dealings with man. It is the display of God's mercy maintaining God's righteousness, but opening the door to the sinner—the ground on which I preach the gospel, and can say to every sinner, The blood is on the mercy-seat; return to God, and it will be His joy to receive you: it is not necessary for Him to judge you if you so come, for His righteousness is fully glorified, and His love free. This may bring out the evil will in man, but it is then "ye will not come to me that ye might have life." There is death in substitution—He "bore our sins in his own body on the tree"—" died for our sins according to the scriptures": as I have said, the two goats are one Christ.
The word "lost" is not a different word. Christ came to seek sinners, not repentant sinners God leads to repentance. We have the repentant sinner in the third parable—the seeking in the two first. (Luke 15) The "lost" in them has, of course, a physical sense as a figure, but there was no thought of their disposition to return. It is a miserable denial of the gospel; "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The figure of their being carried clean away, not to be found, may be given, but that forgiveness and redemption are by blood-shedding is stated everywhere—no remission of sins without it. " We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." Luke 19:10 is also "lost"—the same word....
Dublin, 1880

Dative and Accusative of Time

When the dative is used for time, it is always viewed as one whole point or object; when the accusative, it is a space during which. Thus, taking the common reading, Judges characterized the period of 450 years, as we hear of them during forty years in the desert. (Ver. 18.) So ἱκανῶ χρόνω in Acts 8:11, and Rom. 16:25. Thus τρίτη ἠμέρα and τρίτην ἡμεραν would not have the same force, though in result the sense would be the same. In the first phrase I should think of that one day so characterized. With Τρίτη ἡμέρα. I think of two days elapsed before. In a word the accusative is duration, as the dative is epoch, though in sense running often into one another. Thus according to the common reading of the dative, in Acts 13:20, the statement would not be during 450 years, but up to, as far as (i.e., counting from the end of the desert). Thus Joshua, Elders, and Cushanrishathaim would have to be deducted—say some forty-five years. And the chronology is in no way changed. But then the reading of the more ancient authorities gives a very different sense.

The Day of Atonement; Bible Herald; Application of the Red Heifer as a Type

I do not at all accept the exposition of the Bible Herald. You might as well say the great day of atonement was for those already cleansed. Besides, the anointing the leper was not recalling the sealing of the Holy Ghost to mind, but doing the thing when he was cleansed: he had never been anointed before, and the blood put upon him was the ground of its being done. It is an old interpretation, I judge, and a false one. Besides it confounds everything, imputation and uncleanness with loss of communion. The red heifer is the rite that refers to restoration, nor is it a question of discipline—which is for restoration, not for cleansing by blood.
Dublin, June.

The Day of Atonement; Patience

Though I went through sore trial some time back about affairs in London, I am now a good while in perfect peace. It is good to be exercised, and I was thrown wholly on the Lord. God, I believe, is working, and has owned the testimony. I do not think we are at the end, but if He has begun to work, He will, if we wait on Him, carry it through; but it will be in His own time and in His own way, and patience must have its perfect work. But it seems to me there is quite a different spirit at work. I hear very little from England. My place of refuge and of news is with the Lord, and it is a blessed place.
I am inquiring at present what is the meaning of the cleansing on the great day of atonement being wholly what was within, what was heavenly, but have not yet seized it.... We are awaiting a letter from-to know if the hay will allow us to come to the mountain. All is so late that I suppose it will be later than usual. I have yet to see how far my old frame will carry me in mountain work. I am as fresh, through mercy, as ever for home and local work, but drawing close to eighty, of course, takes physical strength more or less away.
Pau, June.

Dead With Christ; Deliverance

Beloved brother...,
You must ever keep before yourself and the brethren this truth of the unity of the church -of the presence of the Holy Ghost, and of the coming of the Lord. I say the brethren, because, I suppose, they are grounded not only in the forgiveness of their sins, but also in the precious fact that we are dead and risen with our precious Savior. This is deliverance; we are not in the flesh. Not only has the blood sheltered us, but we have been brought out of Egypt by the power of God and the deliverance which He has wrought. We are in Christ. The blood of Jesus has procured pardon for us; we are in Him. The first truth disposes of what we have done, of all the works of the flesh; the second, that we are dead with Christ, places us in an entirely new position, accepted in the Beloved. The first disposes forever of what we have done; the second, of what we were in the flesh, and that we are no longer. To enjoy it, self must be judged—I know that in me there is no good thing. You will find that Rom. 3:20 to v. 11 treats of the former question; v. 12 to the end of 8, of the latter. The first part speaks of sins, the second of sin. Remember me affectionately to the brethren, though I do not know them; to -, too. Let her be of good courage; if it is her turn to bear the cross for love of the Lord, she will not be sorry for having borne it in faith and bravely.
London, January 12th, 1866.

Dead With Christ; Eternal Life; John's Epistles; Real Communication of Life

I do not think that any take eternal life for a new soul; and I am afraid your attempt to define will only makes the matter more obscure. Existence is not life: the table exists, but is not alive. "In him we live" is not we have life. But the thing I fear is the unsettling the fact of what life in Christ is. Thus "the Father hath life in Himself." Is that a mere condition of being? Again, "that eternal life which was with the Father and has been manifested to us." Your system loses, it seems to me, too much "He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." The life by which the Lord lived in this world was not in the first Adam at all, even when innocent. "Because I live," says Christ, "ye shall live also." He is a life-giving Spirit. Remark, if the tree was not eternal life, it was the tree of life, not of existence, and living forever, not existing forever, which is spoken of. So that your attempt to distinguish by definition breaks down the first step. So again, "all live unto him" (Luke 20) breaks down your definition, for the aim of that is to say that though the condition of existence was changed, life was still there. So when you say it is not in us as yet, you touch a vital point: we have life; Christ is our life. "This life is in His Son," and "he that hath the Son hath life." Do you mean that none of us have the Son? then the wrath of God abides on us. The ascribing to a person what is true only of a nature, runs through all John's epistle. "He cannot sin;" "the evil one toucheth him not." It is not a community of being, because He is also God; but we are all ὲξ ἑνὸς, and because He lives we shall: He gives us eternal life, and we shall never perish. Our condition of being will change, our life not. Scripture adds the presence of the Holy Ghost for the christian condition of being. But "he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit:" what is that so far but community of being? The life of Jesus is to be manifested in our mortal flesh, and this is said if we which live are delivered to death that it may be so. You make it only born of water, but "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Your effort at defining breaks down, and I fear its taking away the reality of a new life in Christ; quite admitting it is distinct from immortality. I have it in Him as much when mortal as when immortal: that is a change in the condition of being; the life, Luke 20 teaches us, is not touched in that change.

Dead With Christ; the Effect of the Thought of Death; New Birth

I did not answer your letter, being laid so low myself as to stop my activities. I am better, and seek gradually to clear off old arrears. Indeed, I did not know for some time after your letter whether I was not going to be taken away from this world. I found it a solemn thing, for it was quite present with me, but a very useful, and, in result, blessed experience. It made me much more feel to belong to the other world, and the Father's love and the Son's love and work stand out with a clearness and real depth it never did before: no new truth, but a different realization of what that truth brought. It has linked me wonderfully more with the sources of grace, but we are poor creatures after all.
As to Rom. 6 of which you speak: it is not out of experience, as redemption—a work done for us, accomplished, and where accomplishment and value is owned of God—Christ has died for our sins and, as to imputation, we have no more conscience of sins. This (Rom. 6) is connected with our state, and yet in one sense it closes experience, that is, the efforts of the soul to get at rest by victory. Chapter 7 is the experience that we cannot succeed; even where to will is present, we have no strength. When fully, experimentally, convinced of this, we find through grace, that as to the flesh we died in Christ's death; that what the law could not do, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin has condemned sin in the flesh—not forgiven, that cannot be; but that the sin I find working in me and distressing my soul, and which I condemn and hate, but is still there, God has condemned in the cross, so that that condemnation is accomplished for me; but that it was wrought in death, so that if I was there, or am now for faith in what Christ took, it is in death—Christ's death, the condemnation over, the death come—I died with Him; so that the condemnation is passed, but I have died for faith. In Col. 2; 3 it is God's estimate of this my state, "Ye are dead:" in Rom. 6 it is faith's through grace; I reckon myself dead, because Christ who is my life died. In 2 Cor. 4:10, you have the apostle carrying it out in practice.
Now, Christ's work outside us, for us, is done entirely outside us and accepted of God; we believe in it and God's acceptance of it. But in being dead with Christ, though it put an end to the experience of my own useless struggles, it is something I reckon as to myself; and while it is judicial (according to Colossians and hence is the way and only way of liberty, as I know God so accounts it about myself, yet I have by faith to reckon it according to what Christ has done once for all. I do reckon myself to have died with Him, and God so accounts me as having Him who did die as my life. Still, it goes on in my heart, and so far is experimental. I believe that the sin was condemned of God on the cross, and that God does so reckon it (Colossians but Rom. 6 takes it up on the faith aide, and I reckon myself—that is not judicial, though based on faith in what is, namely, Col. 3, Rom. 8 Sand I have to carry it out according to 2 Cor. 4
It is then experimental, as that which is the exercise of faith in us, and taking what has taken place in Christ as true of us; not a work done about us and available as accepted of God: it is so far judicial, that it is in seeing the work accomplished, and judicially in Christ, we obtain liberty with God in spite of flesh, and power in the law of the Spirit of life. Conflict remains, because the flesh and temptation are there, vigilance and diligence called for just because we are delivered, to maintain holiness and communion The thought of imputation is gone or acceptance connected with it; till then, even if justification be known, it is a question of acceptance if not of righteousness. That question, as well as that of our sins, was settled on the cross, and we are free, free with God, but free to be holy, and that is real deliverance; we pass from the effort of a captive against his chains, to conflict, with the strength of Christ, against the enemy. Jordan and Colossians have come in, for Romans only insists on death with Christ, not on resurrection; life there is in Christ but not resurrection with Him. Ephesians is another thing, but that would be too large a subject now.
Your affectionate brother in Christ. Croydon, July 28th, 1881.

The Effect of the Thought of Death

I have had it on my mind to write to you ever since I heard you were sick. But I have been a great deal more sick myself-more over-worked and broken-down than ill, but so that for some time, though I felt all was in the Lord's hands, I hardly thought I should recover my strength, but leave this passing scene. And this hindered my doing anything but what came necessarily to hand to do. I felt it a solemn thing: it was not doubt as to God's or Christ's love, or the efficacy of the blessed Lord's work in justifying, but the breaking up of the life and its state in which I had lived hitherto, and its being gone. But it was a useful experience. It broke the link with present life a good deal, and made Christ's and the Father's love everything, and much more real to me, and this is a great blessing. I am a great deal better, still feel the effect of it; but, thank God, the effect in the realization of Christ's love in my spirit is not gone. I did not doubt it before, but I have a keener sense of belonging to another world, though for a little moment remaining in this-that is, Christ and the Father's house is all. Now it has not come as near you: still your conscious decrease of strength, if it has not been such as to give a conscious snapping of the thread of life, still tells of its passing away. I trust with care you may be better and refreshed in spirit. Still I believe it is good to look the truth of it in the face. I found sovereign grace more precious than ever. That I knew had met all my sins; of that there was no question: but the personal love of the Father and Christ was what the sense of was so greatly increased thank God! It was a comfort to me that all I had taught and labored in was of God and from God. It was not on this a question of the workman at all, but of the truth: I had long known, and gladly, that I was nothing.
Remember that all things work together for good to those that love God, called according to His purpose, and dwell on the perfect divine love of the Father in giving the Son, and His unknowable (in its extent) love in accomplishing all for us. And then He loves you now. I have not a doubt, though much better, that all this was from God's hand; and so surely it is with you according to that love, only personally applied, which gave Christ for us—could not be greater. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father, and He assures us we are of value to Him. He makes no mistakes, and there is nothing that escapes His eye and hand. "He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous"—what a mercy! It is not death in itself which is present to you, that is another thing, but the course of life is broken with you for the moment, and even if you recovered strength, as I trust you may, and rejoice in God's present goodness, still the experience will have been there, and give a tone to life, and that is a great gain. "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him."
And now, dear -, be of good cheer: look to Him who is your life—a life that never fades—as He has "made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." God has to take care of you for a little while, instead of your taking care of the house, and He does it tenderly, graciously, with His poor weak children. Think of Christ and the Father's love, and all will be well, and well forever. That is what I have learned....
Your affectionate brother and servant in Christ.
Croydon, July 12th.

Death to Sin; Propitiation and Substitution

As regards Rom. 6:2, the wished-for translation is the result of a misconception of the whole passage. It makes it a motive drawn from a previous evil result and no more; whereas it is perfectly certain that the passage contemplates our dying in becoming Christians, not by our sins. Those who have been baptized unto Christ have been baptized unto Hit death. We have been made one plant with Him in the likeness of His death; and this is in order that we might walk in newness of life. Hence it is perfectly certain that the doctrine of the chapter is dying out of our old man, and living in newness of life—not our dying by our sin so as to be afraid of living in it now. And such is the whole tenor of the chapter; "our old man has been crucified with him;" and the use too of the dative at the close. How the writer can take νόμῳ in Gal. 2:19, as "by the law," is hard to conceive; because it is preceded by διὰ νόμου, meaning "by the law," which makes it simply impossible. 2 Corinthians 13:4, is ἐκ δυνάμεως. I suppose he only quotes this for the sense.
Living in sin, and being dead in it, is not the same thing. One is the continuity of the old man in sin, the other is his state in respect of God; but both are true: "alienated from the life of God." A reference to Colossians shows, in the analogous passage, νεκροὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς παραπτώμασι καὶ τῆ ἀκροβυστία. Now ἐν can be used as an instrument or power too. But I think no intelligent Christian could doubt what it means here; and I do not see how it is possible with ἀκροβυστία to take it in any other sense than "in." Besides, νεκρούς would not be the word. It signifies properly "a corpse." It is not dying as a punishment for them, but a state in which they were. Then God creates again. They are viewed not as dying by or for their sins. It is not ἀπεθάνετε, but being νεκρούς He has quickened. The first work in the corpse is quickening with Christ, God's act. In Romans and Colossians, being alive in sin, ye have died (ἀπεθάνετε) in Christ. In Ephesians, being νεκροί, we have been quickened with Him: it is a new creation. It does not seem to me there can be the smallest doubt of what is the right translation.
As to 1 Cor. 15:3, again, I know of no objection, if used in a general way of saying, Christ died for any man's sins. In the passage, however, Paul is addressing believers as such, but still speaks vaguely, so that "he that hath ears to hear" may apply it. "He is a propitiation for the whole world." But this is never said of bearing sins. That is carefully avoided in scripture. It will not be found other than dying for our sins. But 'bearing sins' in all parts of scripture is thus specifically confined. So we read, "We pray in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled... for he hath made him to be sin for us." Scripture is accurate here—a propitiation set out before all, and sure remission of all, if we come; but bearing sins never extended to those who are lost, or His doing it might be in vain for believers. "Our," to saints or sinners, is the scriptural way of putting it.

The Effect of the Thought of Death; Experience in View of the End; the Future of the Christian

Thank you for your very kind note. I need hardly say how very thankful I was to know you were clear. I find the great thing is to get enough above circumstances to be occupied with Christ in His full grace; you cannot if your own conscience is not clear, but if it is, our business is to be occupied with grace and Christ. I said to, who was afraid to take any step, not knowing what it might come to in the future—that there was no future for the Christian but glory, that he had to do God's will at the moment and all the rest was in God's hands, and must be left to Him. It is a great truth and He has settled it all already....
My illness and the seeming close approach of death has been more than blessed to me. I feel in quite a new way that I belong to the other world. The truths all abide, but my spirit is over the river. I am a great deal better, and for study work up to it as usual, perhaps not quite for so long a time; but all, even religious services seem to belong to this world, to be temporary, but the Father's love and Christ everything. I believed it before, and in a certain sense acted upon it, but I am in that company now. I always was, but now seem consciously dependent on God, to live or to die. What is eternal is our portion, and Christ fills it....
I did not doubt for more than a year before- 's affair, nearer two, I believe, for it pressed on my spirit before I left America, that it was a systematic demoralization that was going on. W. had given up all as hopeless; I could not while the Lord was there, otherwise I should have left brethren then, as to which I was deeply exercised, but I felt it was not faith. From that I have never swerved, only I felt sure positive present duty was there as to God, and He has not failed. As it was going, I prayed that He would maintain His testimony to Christ and His truth as He had brought it before us, and I believe that souls are in a far more healthy state than two years ago. We must only leave all to God, and there are things calculated to give deep sorrow. I must close, dear brother, and with many thanks for your kind note, and an affection I heartily reciprocate—trusting you may fully find the Lord has guided you to -.
Ever affectionately yours in Christ.
November, 1881.

The Effect of the Thought of Death; Experience in View of the End; the Work in Germany

Beloved brother,—I thank you from my heart for your affectionate letter. You must not think that, when I said those speaking French were my field of labor, I loved the French more than the German brethren. I do love the French brethren much, as God has much blessed my work there, and I have experienced all manner of love and kindness from them. I lived amongst them, and I bear them witness that nothing could exceed their friendliness; besides they are simple and generous. A peasant in France is nothing worth, and that is always profitable for all Christians. The blessing too has been great: at Pau, for instance, when I began to work there, it was said there were thirty Protestants and three Christians; now there are almost one hundred that break bread: besides a National church and an Independent congregation. In the south of France everything was pure unbelief, openly; now in most villages there is an assembly, often a numerous one. Yes, my heart says with joy, rich and poor they have all evinced continued love and kindness. One could hardly love brethren more than I the French; but in my spirit and natural temperament I have much more affinity with the Germans than with the French—more readily at home (French has not the word). What I wanted to say was, that I felt God, out of England, gave me the French speaking countries,as a field of labor, perhaps America also, and in fact this did not fail. In His constant goodness He added part of Germany. I feel, indeed, how poor my labor has everywhere been, and that God alone is the worker of any good result. Who could be that? What source of good is there if not God? and there everything is good. I always thought that; and have learned it too, and praise God that I am nothing and God everything.
Death has been realized in my experience, dear brother—no new principle, nothing new as regards truth, no doubt of His love, or that Christ is perfect righteousness before Him. But I found the breaking of every sort of link with life as it is here below a real thing. Now this experience has been very useful to me. I have a much deeper sense of the grace of God and of the value of Christ—no new truth, I believe—and my soul rests upon the truths that I have long learned. All has been made good to my soul. But the consciousness of love is quite another thing I feel that I belong to the other world. For long years it was my object, because I looked for the glory of Christ, and nothing else but the salvation of souls. But it is sweet to belong to the Father's house and to feel that, and to realize in closer consciousness a deeper sense of the endless love and pure grace of the Father, and what Christ and His love is. I know that He is my righteousness, and I have not to think of myself, except of my footsteps here; and it is good to think of God as the Father, and of Christ His Son.
I am much better, and can work as usual in my study. My bodily strength is much reduced. But I have long felt that this has become my present lot for quiet home work. My mind is fresh as ever, and I have taken part in some meetings, but my outward activity is for the most part over. Partly, too much work has reduced me, and I fell to the ground which did me bodily injury. Then, I am eighty, soon eighty-one years old. My hearty greetings to the brethren. Assure them that I was never more at home than among them. The wish and prayer of my heart is that Christ may be ever more and more everything to them. Soon He will become everything, and all else will come to naught.
Hearty greetings to your family and all the brethren at Elberfeld.
Your attached brother in Christ.
London, 1881.

The Deity and Worship of Christ

I have received your tract, and am glad to have done so, as it affords me an opportunity to give a little more fully the scriptural evidence of the Deity of the Lord. How much it pained me to read it, I cannot tell you; but I apply myself at once to the point. The rash expressions of individuals are nothing to the purpose: the question is, what does scripture say? No Christian denies he should pray to the Father, but it is equally certain the Lord is prayed to—nay, calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus is, so to speak, a definition of a Christian in 1 Cor. 1:2. Stephen called on the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit, and Paul that the thorn might be taken from him. A child prays to his Father, but the administration of the house is in the Lord's hands.
It is a strange assertion that the scriptures do not say that Jesus is God: and I pray you to note that the question connects itself directly with that of -.What was He before He was a man? "The Word was with God, and the Word was God." "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." You will not deny that that was Jesus: did God, for such the Word was, cease to be God? He was "in the form of God," laid aside His glory, "and took upon him the form of a servant;" but He is called God: Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. (Matt. 1:23.) The scriptures do therefore call Him God. Again, Jesus means Jah, or Jehovah the Savior; His name states that He is Jehovah: is not Jehovah God? Jesus received it, because He was to "save his people from their sins"—whose people? Hence, in John 12, the evangelist cites a passage from Isa. 6, where the highest glory of Jehovah is displayed, and says (ver. 41) the prophet saw Christ's glory and spake of Him Hence the Lord says to the Jews, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
Your question as to the Son of David is nothing to the purpose; no one says God is the Son of David: all Christians own that Christ was born into the world as a man: what they say is that the Son of David was also God. Take the end of 1 John 2 and beginning of chapter 2:28, "he shall appear;" that is, Christ: in verse 29, saints are "born of him;" but they are "sons of God" in chapter 3:1; but the world "knew him not": that is, the same Person is Christ on earth. In verse 2 we are "the sons of God," but, "when he shall appear;" now it is Christ. No one can read this passage and not see that Christ and God were one Object or Person before the apostle's mind; and so at the end of the epistle, "We are in him that is true, that is, in his Son Jesus Christ: this [He] is the true God and eternal life." And even the Old Testament knows this. In Dan. 7 the Son of man comes to the Ancient of days (ver. 13), but further on in the course of the chapter, the Ancient of days comes. (Ver. 22.) So in Rev. 1:17: "The first and the last" is "he that liveth and was dead." In chapter 1:8, Alpha and Omega is the Almighty; in chapter 22:12, 13, it is Christ who comes. In 1 Tim. 6:14, 16, "the blessed and only Potentate" is "King of kings and Lord of lords," but in Rev. 19:16 this is Christ. In John 17 He looks to be glorified with the Father, but He had had it before the world was. What He says is that He does and can do nothing as originated by Himself, ἀφ' ἑαυτοῦ (John 5:19.) The same is said of the Holy Ghost (chap. 16:13), 'He shall not speak of himself"—ἀφ ἑαυτοῦ—"from himself" as a source. No Christian denies He took the form of a servant, and always so lived on the earth: but who "took upon him the form of a servant"? Not an angel; he is a servant, and cannot leave his first estate. Christ "made himself of no reputation" when He was in the form of God: was it a false form? The Lord forgive the question: I put it for your sake, dear sir. He could say, "before Abraham was I AM." The fullness of the Deity, you admit, dwelt in Him. The Son of David was much more than the Son of David: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself." Whose thoughts and words were Christ's? were they not a man's, yet whose? He could say "the Son of man who is in heaven." What was He before He came down? Was the Word which became flesh (σὰρξ ἐγένετο) before [He became so] God or not?
Proving He was Man, proves nothing; we all believe it as fundamental truth: but was He only a man? Clearly not: He was "the Word:" He "came down from heaven." What was He then before He became a man? He claims to be One with the Father (John 10:30)—can a creature? If He was not a creature He was God; or we have one not created at all, of independent existence in Himself, yet not God, which is confusion and impossible. "By him were all things created:" who did that? He is the Firstborn of the creation, because He created it: all things, moreover, consist by Him. (Col. 1:16.) He was "in the beginning," and then by him were all things made that are made. (John 1:1, 3.) He, then, was not made: are there two Gods? He laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of His hands; they perish, but He remains. (Heb. 1:8, 10, 11.) All the angels of God are to worship Him. (Ver. 6.) "Blessed are all they that put their trust in him" (Psa. 2:12), but "cursed be the man that trusteth in man." (Jer. 17:5.) He and the Father are one: can any creature say that?
I find, then, that He is called God before He came into the world (John 1), after He came into the world—" God with us." He created all things, and "by him all things consist," is to be worshipped as the first and the last, Alpha and Omega—which is the express title of the Almighty, King of kings and Lord of lords, the Ancient of days: and, lest we should think Him some inferior God, we are told that all the fullness of the Godhead (θεότητος) dwelt in Him bodily. (Col. 2:9.) The moral teaching of scripture confirms it. "Christ is all" to the Christian, so that if He be not God, God is nothing. The object of the supreme devotion of the heart, I am to live to Him (2 Cor. 5:15); is this to a creature? This is the real question: Is He the creature or the Creator? No Christian denies that He is true, very Man, and that He has taken a place inferior to the Father; but for this He made Himself of no reputation when in the form of God, and took upon Him the form of a servant: no creature could do that; he is one by nature.
He was, as you say, the foreordained Second Adam, but that Second Adam was the Lord from heaven. (1 Cor. 15:47.) He came not to do His own will surely; as Man, obedience and dependence was His place, but He came into a prepared body, having offered Himself to do it. You may say, He is Son of God. What do you mean by that? "Kiss the Son lest he be angry." God spoke ἐν υἱῷ. (Heb. 1:1.) The exaltation of Jesus, of which you speak, was after He had been "made a little lower than the angels [whom He had created] for the suffering of death," being " made like to his brethren in all things." He "maketh his angels spirits... but unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, Ο God"—He does not make Him anything. Would the blood of a mere man cleanse from all sin?
How you can say the scriptures do not say He is God, I do not understand: they do over and over again, directly and indirectly, in equivalent terms. I have not quoted "God manifest in the flesh," "Christ who is over all, God blessed forever," as critics may reason about them. The last, however (Rom. 9:5) is as plain a testimony as can well be conceived, and the language such as makes it impossible to apply it to anyone but Christ. Is it not singular that you should have passed over all the passages I have referred to, and only quoted what shows that Christ was truly a man, which nobody denies—without which, indeed, His Godhead is of no avail to us? I cannot in the compass of a note pretend to discuss fully such a subject. But all scripture confirms the truth, that Jesus is Jehovah. John the Baptist was "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord"—that is, Jehovah (Isa. 40): so Luke 7:27, from Mal. 3:1: so Luke 1:76: so when He says to the leper, "I will, be thou clean." In Isa. 66:15 Jehovah comes with fire and the sword, but we know it is Christ who comes. What is the meaning of Mic. 5:2? Who is Jehovah's fellow? (Zech. 13:7.) The cleansing of the leper was Jehovah's work: the feeding of the five thousand, a reference to the Psalms speaking of Jehovah; and though done as Son of man (Luke 9:10-17 and following) accomplished Psa. 132:15, spoken of Jehovah. He not only works miracles, which God can enable any one, if He pleases, to do, but He confers the power of working them by His own power on others, which man cannot do. (Luke 9) All these I refer to as confirmations of the direct statements of scripture that He is God, and they are consistent with no other doctrine. And they might be multiplied by reference to every page of the gospel. He quickens whom He will (John 5:21); can that be said of a mere man, a creature? The Old Testament declares that Jehovah was to come, and His way be prepared, but this was Christ. Heb. 12:25, 26, chew positively that Christ is the Jehovah of mount Sinai.
I do not write in a controversial spirit, and beg you to weigh the passages, because it is the greatest of all comforts to know that God did thus come down and become a man—reveal Himself to us so near us. I know God in knowing Christ, find Him grace and love, and cannot in any other way know Himself. May the gracious Lord give you to see it!
[Date unknown.]

The Deity of Christ; Addresses to the Seven Churches; F.W. Newman

My dear -, -,
Not having any proper answer further on your mere summary of Mr. Brook's, I put your letter to be answered as soon as I could, having already replied to the particular arguments you had asked me about. I am occupied with Newman, so that answering error and grasping systems of it, I had pretty near enough of for the moment, but I have made some progress in it. I have not the least doubt that Dr. Lees denies any real sacrificial atonement. The patristic Platonic form of denying the divinity of Christ is ancient now, and accompanied. with the denial of atonement and everlasting punishment. Thus in Bristol, a man teaches that in Christ God was manifest in the flesh, not He was God, etc. They hold that the Logos or wisdom, not word of God, dwelt abundantly in Christ, so that what God was, was manifested in Him, that He was Lord and is now glorified. They hold forgiveness by love, not by expiation. There are various shades, from a subtle Platonism, such as Justin Martyr's, almost allied to orthodoxy, down to Newman's, who went on to the denial that Jesus was the Christ and of all revelation. He passed through this phase, if phase it can be called, where really all is denied. The Logos is not held to be a person: God's wisdom in God was manifested in Jesus. Hence he speaks of God's being the spirit and source of all wisdom and love. One is manifested in Christ, that is, the λόγος (reason or wisdom) was, and the love or mercy announced in the mission of the Messiah, and therefore in the forgiveness of sins. This excludes evidently expiation, and denies that Jesus was God in any personal sense.
As to begotten, not made, it is ambiguous: he may believe Christ to be Son as born into this world, or he may hold the Platonic notion, modified by Christian doctrines as Justin Martyr (if my memory does not deceive me, though elsewhere orthodox), that is, that the λόγος was eternal in God as His wisdom or mind, but was begotten and produced into a distinct existence before and for the creation. His creed does not say which, and I cannot determine; but the real existence λόγος of the, as a very Person, ὑπόστασις, who could be with God from all eternity, I am confident he does not hold. He believes in one God the Father and one Lord Jesus, using this to exclude Jesus from being Himself God (though man also), and making Him only the wisdom of God manifested in this man, begotten perhaps in a remarkable manner by the Holy Ghost. As to the Holy Ghost, I cannot tell what he holds. I suppose some vague idea of an emanation. Newman calls it, though an avowed infidel, God in the heart.
It is a speculative Platonic system, using Christianity to enlarge its system and incorporate its ideas; but there is no faith at all in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, none really whatever, nor in expiation. This kind of thing is emerging now a good deal....
Affectionately yours, much pressed for time.
December 13th, 1851

Deliverance; Other Epistles Compared With Romans and Ephesians

First, Eph. 2 is not experimental, but that absolute work of grace which has taken us, when dead in sins, and put us into Christ in heavenly places; as it took Christ dead as man for our sins, and put Him into glory. Rom. 6; 7 are experimental, though we find liberty in Christ. As to it, we have died with Him: that is Romans. We have risen with Him is also added in Colossians: died to sin in Romans—from the principles of this world in Colossians. But this, while known in Christ, or it would be hopeless labor, is experimental. But what gives deliverance is seeing it in Christ, though of course when free I feel the comfort of it: but deliverance is the difference of being in the flesh and out of it. A soul earnest after holiness labors after it and does not succeed. The new man craves it, seeks it, toils for it, and has it not. The cords that bind it down are too strong for it, but it is learning a most profitable lesson, that it has no strength. But this is while comparing its own state with what it would be before God, with what it knows God would have pleasure in. It is not a question of guilt, properly speaking, but of practical acceptance. It judges of what God's feelings towards it are, by what it is, and just because it "would" holiness cannot find rest. It is learning it has no more strength than righteousness; when it has really learned this, and this is experience, and necessary experience—" without strength"—it recognizes, as taught of God, that it has died as to the flesh with Christ, and that it is not on that ground at all, that it is not on that standing at all. It learns to say " when we were in the flesh," and this by the Holy Ghost, though through the appropriation by faith of Christ's death—not for sins (that refers to guilt) but to sin. The soul reckons itself dead with Christ to its old position, and now alive in Him, married to Him who is risen from the dead. It is not that conflict does not go on, "the flesh lusts against the Spirit"; but it is not under the law of sin and death—the cords are cut it could not break. In the experience of Rom. 7 you have not the Spirit, but the law. Conflict there is; but conflict with one who ties me down is different from conflict with one whom I have power to tie down.
I am not in the flesh if Christ, if the Spirit of God, dwell in me. I know (John 14) that I am in Christ and Christ in me—not progress but a new position—when we have, in the old, experimentally learned we have no strength, whatever our desires. It may be sudden consciousness of the effect. It is by faith; but never till we have experimentally learned that we cannot succeed. A man may have learned the doctrine, but he must know himself as having no strength to have deliverance from himself. " We know the law is spiritual": all the rest is "I," till we arrive at "O wretched man that I am!" What is deliverance from bondage if I am not in it You may be very naughty, but you cannot be in Egypt if you are across the Red Sea. Not that the Red Sea is our death with Christ, but it is His dying and rising again so as to make in Himself the new position for man before God. The Passover was for their sins—non-imputation.
April, 1881.

Deliverance; Sealing of the Holy Spirit

I know well how few know deliverance; but it is a great thing to know that I, a poor worm, should be before God and the Father in the same acceptance and favor that Christ is, loved even as He is loved. But it is the greatness of infinite love. Then it is not generally preached with intelligence; next, it is experimental; and, above all, we must be in earnest to have it. Who is willing to be dead to what nature and flesh would desire? Yet that is the only way of deliverance. People will tell you it is our standing in Christ. I admit it as Col. 3, and as faith owns in Rom. 6 and Gal. 2; but who is willing to be in the standing2 It is standing, or else we are in the hopeless effort of Rom. 7, or an honest monks' labor, which I have tried; and even if we have experimentally learned, as it must be learned, who is carrying out 2 Cor. 4, so as to have the conscience living in it an ungrieved spirit? But if experimentally taught, it is of the greatest use to souls; and the joy of being blameless in Christ before God is exceeding great, and one that is eternal and divine in its source and nature—a wonderful thing; "for he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." The world is a terrible snare, and a subtle one, and greatly hinders this deliverance. A soul enjoying deliverance has its object elsewhere. (See Rom. 8) Then we must remember, "the soul of the diligent shall be made fat." I press, when souls are in earnest, "My grace is sufficient for thee, and my strength is made perfect in weakness." For we learn we are without strength for deliverance, and walk in the sense of it if we can be used in service; but His grace is sufficient. Knowing we are nothing is the place of blessing, for then God is everything; and the place of strength, for then Christ can put forth His strength. In this 2 Cor. 12 is a most instructive chapter. Strength for service may be found, in what is within alone between us and God, [and] may be found, in the third heavens; but strength in it is found in Christ, when we are kept in the abiding consciousness that we can do nothing. We all know it. If we have not a permanent thorn in the flesh, we must at any rate return to the camp at Gilga].
Dublin, May 28th.

Deliverance; the Place of Experience

It is experimentally we learn what we are, and very humbling it is, but it casts us on the Lord so that we find He is our righteousness, not anything we are or our state, and then we get strength too; for " where sin abounded grace did much more abound." You have a strong will, not accustomed to govern yourself, and hence the struggle is more painful; but the Lord is faithful to bring you through it. You must feel that deliverance is not for you till you get it: our will mixes itself up much more than we think with the flesh, but it is much better to suffer under it, than take it easy as you speak of. When you feel it pressing on your will, look away to Christ at once, and the new man being then in operation the heart gets elsewhere. It is not direct conflict with it, for this being under law, the motions of sin are by it. Then Satan uses it to bring sin on the conscience and discourage us. Resist him, and I do not say you will overcome, but "he will flee from you," for Christ has overcome him for us. Then get healthful active occupations: there is plenty to do in this world, if we have the heart for it. Above all, believe ever—"My grace is sufficient for thee." When the heart gets on Christ, all is easy; it is away from what is a snare to us. Once we let the devil inside, so that the mind is occupied with what the flesh tempts us with, it is far harder to get it out, than to keep it out. When you speak of gleams of light sometimes, it is what always happens when God is carrying through the process of self-knowledge. He gives us occasional deliverance so to speak, so that we know there is such a thing; like a man rising head above water and getting breath, or he would be drowned, yet goes under again when he has got enough, to show there is such a thing as being out. Understand that God does this, because while He must make you know yourself because it is yourself, He is above, and can and will deliver. But you will find Christ faithful, and what He shows you thus that you may not despair, He will accomplish fully. Cry to Him—we ought always to do it, not to faint. Read your Bible as something addressed to yourself, praying Him to give it the efficacy of the Spirit to your soul: no indulgence of will, but ready service, in what the house or any other duty may call for, and you will find—not that the flesh is not there, but—that you are not in it.
The power that does it is the death of Christ, not for our sins, but to sin. (See Rom. 8) God has condemned sin in the flesh on the cross, so that there is no condemnation for us. The sin we find working in us is worthy of condemnation, but has been condemned when He was (a sacrifice) for sin; and this we learn by faith, though God makes us learn what it is experimentally, which is just Rom. 7 Chapter 6 is the doctrine, chapter 8 the result, when we have gone through chapter 7. The conflict remains, but the Spirit is there: it is no longer the conflict of natures under law. (Gal. 5:17, 18.)
Look to Christ always faithful and loving, and "sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace": that is. God is for you, not requiring, but giving and forgiving.
Sincerely yours in the Lord.
London, May 11th, 1881.

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

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

Deuteronomy

As regards Deuteronomy [14:22-29; 26:12; cf. Num. 18] you will find in Tobit i. 7 what gives historically the fact of the second tithes, and of the third year, which facilitates understanding the text. But the spirit of the difference is important. Worship, in the previous books, was the degree of nearness to God in His sanctuary: here it is thankful enjoyment of blessings received according to promise, only enjoyed before Jehovah, so as not to be detached from Him, and enjoyed in the spirit of grace. (See chap. 26) In chapter 16 you have no eighth day in the feast of tabernacles. It is thus not priestly drawing near to God, but enjoyment of the fruit of His promises, in grace with Him. This characterizes the whole book. With us there is not this difference, because the most holy place is our Canaan, and in Spirit we are there, and it is what is there as the fruits of promise that we enjoy.
I was very near forgetting to tell you how I was getting through the wood! But that was by your being a pessimist, saying there is no hope, as if God had forgotten us, and did not see it.
March, 1880.

Deuteronomy; Faithfulness

I have been getting on much more definitely with Deuteronomy: though as yet I have found some paths in the wood, I am not out of it. But the scripture is already a good deal developed, and that is positive enjoyment. When I have anything definite, you shall have it. Chapter 4 [leads] up to outside Jordan; Jehovah, jealousy and restoration in mercy. Chapters 5-11 they are passed over—the covenant of ten words, government and what they were, the legal responsible ground of their possession of the land, Jehovah jealous: restoration not till chapter 30. After chapter 12. it is the plea to preserve them from idolatry. These are some of the paths into the wood, but the divine footsteps can be traced, where they had not so reached yet....
The Lord is faithful, and full of tender compassion; of whom should we be afraid, except of ourselves? There we have reason. Trust in the Lord, and be doing good. Our time is a time to sow, but, if faithful, the sheaves will come in due time. It is by faith and patience we shall inherit: God means it to be so. My heart is with you in your work, but, what is better, the Lord Himself will be.
Ever, beloved brother,
Your fellow-laborer and servant in Christ.

Developed and Concentrated Affections; the Wilderness

I was very thankful my introduction on the chapters of John furnished, through the grace of the Spirit, food for holy affections during your delay at Syra. I had put it all there, that whatever dry criticisms they might be forced to read, they might have some positive food.
It is a great thing to have developed affections. Some are much more demonstrative than others, but it is not merely this, but the development of the affections themselves within, by what is in the Object of them. Still, it comes to my mind that it is a great thing to have concentrated affections—Christ forming them, so that in having Him in our hearts we may know what is in His; and what a blessing that is! Concentrated, means practically, personal; so that I get at His heart, and know what is there, and that there is that personal affection there. As regards this, there is in the sense that we belong to Him—but/then there is development—the sense of what the exercise of that affection towards us is: interest in our circumstances; thoughtfulness for us; bearing our sin and drinking that dreadful cup; even making us part of His own happiness in glory: summed up in knowing Him in what His affections are. But then how infinite in this case this development is! And after all He loves us personally; but He loves us perfectly in this, that whatever He enjoys He brings us into the enjoyment of. Then it is divine; which stamps its character on all the details. That chapter (17) is greatly the expression of it, as putting us in the same place as He is in Himself. But we must know Him to know what His love is; and it will suffice forever. But this joy, dear brother, in His love, which is to us known to be unchangeable, is by the Holy Ghost, and we are dependent on grace for it, so that it will be connected with all our life here.
I have been interrupted again and again since I began, so you will only have desultory thoughts; happily the foundation of it is in John 17, and always there for the Holy Ghost to use. It is a known love, yet passes knowledge.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
London, February, 1882.

Devotedness; Hymn Books

Dear brother -,
Your letter has long lain under my eyes waiting to be answered, but all September I was occupied in visiting the assemblies in Haute Loire, etc., so that I was not able to write much. Here it is difficult to do all that I have on hand.... It is very sweet to have confidence in Him. You need, dear brother, to have the same confidence with respect to Italy. God has wrought there; the work is a work of patience, but when I think of the state of things at Milan the first time I went there, the difference is great. The work is a difficult one: people educated by priests always remain for long years under this influence; I have known it in Ireland, but God's grace is sufficient; it suffices for everything. And then God has raised up laborers. You have cause to bless God for what He has done already; progress that was too rapid would not be so solid.... Be sure the work in Italy is of interest to brethren; but we must look to God that He may work. I feel increasingly, what we all know, that the work for God is the work of God.
I am greatly enjoying the word: its fullness and perfection are more than ever wonderful to me; but all that we learn in the word is bound up in Christ, and we receive it from Him, from this fullness.
Pau, October.

Devotedness; Testimony for These Days

Thanks for letting me know about yourself and the work.... I quite enter into the need of those gathered to be watched over and nurtured. But it is now as ever, the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. I believe it is more devotedness than competency to help which is wanting, though devotedness is a large part of the competency.
It is this we want, dear brother: we are not our own but His, bought with a price. It is carried out cheerfully and joyfully when we think of Him, not of ourselves. For love does not grow weary of serving, though service may be often in trial as regards the scene—indeed, save with rare encouragement, always in the general run of it, is. "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." But what a thing to say! what Christ could say, save that Paul of course puts in "in Christ Jesus," and of course does not speak of atoning sufferings (how could he?), but otherwise was filling up that which was behind of the sufferings of Christ for His body's sake which is the church. May we know how to follow hard after Him and we shall find His right hand upholding us! •
I rejoice at the Lord's opening the way before you both at -, and this other place. I believe He will, though we have to follow Him where He opens the door, but when He opens the door no man can shut it. But He has a testimony, and if we have but little strength He will maintain it. I have not a doubt of this testimony for the last days. We cannot think too poorly of ourselves as bearing it—still count on Him to make good His testimony: and what a testimony it is! I was writing a page or two this evening on what I have more than once spoken of, the end of Matt. 17 The tribute was the tribute to the temple. The question to Peter was really, Is your Master a faithful Jew? The Lord shows His divine knowledge, adding, but we are children, we have not to pay, but less we offend—and then shows divine power over the creature making the fish bring Him a piece of money (a didrachma was due for one, and it had a stater, two didrachmas, ready in its mouth), and says, That take and give for Me and for thee. Do you like to hear Him say, that blessed One, "for me and for thee"—bringing Peter with Him as one of the sons? What sovereign and blessed grace! God in knowledge, God in power over creation, but Son as man down here associating us by redemption and grace with Himself. What would we have more, or more lovingly and tenderly told? and it is always so. It is so with us; "me" must and ought to go first; it would be nothing without it, but "thee" is with the "me" in heart and in the place He has obtained for and given to us. I ask what could we more? and it is ours, and however weak we are, for Peter was holding Him for a Jew. It is doctrinally taught in John 20 But I must close.
You may have heard that I have been ill, had a bad fall which brought old age to a crisis, for I am just entering on my 82nd year. It brought death near me, a most profitable experience, though always true, but it made me feel I belonged to the other world, not to this: nothing new in doctrine, or foundation, but a realizing of it all. Then I had a very slight paralytic stroke, which did not touch my mind or limbs through mercy, but left my cheek numb. I am better, but not able to be as active in work; but I get to meetings, and in my study work as usual. Kind love to all the saints, and again thanking you for your letter.
Affectionately yours in the blessed One that loves us.
Ventnor, November 14th.

Discipline Not Confined to the Table; Eating With One Under Discipline

I hold it of all importance to maintain intact the discipline of God's house, as to not eating with those under discipline. I got a dreadful scolding from one for acting on it. Nor do I in the least blame -. It is very well that the son should feel that the father did not feel lightly his son's getting put out. I should not eat with him, and if he ate at the same table, I should not enter into conversation with him, and if did, I should not like to be at the table. If the lad's spirit be at all subdued, and there was fear of alienating him by harshness, I might have him eat at the table, telling him that I could not have free intercourse with him. But as he was necessarily in the house I should not refuse letting him eat at the same table. But I could not keep company with him till he was humbled. This would not hinder anxious love as regards him, and the assurance of it; but familiarity and company at table, as if nothing had happened, I should not accept. I give my son his dinner if needed, I show him my heart yearns over him, but I could not be familiar and at ease with him. I should not eat with him, if even I ate at the same time. Something would depend on the age of the son, and how far he was under the father's authority. If young and under it, I must let him eat, and treat him as I would treat him as one under rebuke. If grown up and independent, I should be less disposed to do so.
[Date uncertain.]

Our Partaking of the Divine Nature; New Birth

Our partaking of the divine nature is a real thing. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." All are born of God. Christ is become our life: He is "that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us"; and hence it can be said, " Which thing is true in him and in you." But that "light was the light of men." Christ was "the image of the invisible God." This life was a true, moral, subsisting thing, which could be communicated. There is a divine power in it which contains and unfolds all things that pertain to life and godliness. It is faith which lays hold, by the power of the Spirit of God, on that which is life, that is, Christ. We are "the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Christ is the Word—the expression and revelation of all that is in God; and we, in knowing Him, are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us. The word, as a testimony, is the seed of life when brought into the heart by the power of the Holy Ghost; because it is the revelation of Christ, and the bringing in, by that power, of Christ livingly there. It is Christ, by the word, by faith, in the power of the Holy Ghost, the operation being the operation of God. But it is by the revelation of Christ. Hence, we are said to be begotten by the incorruptible seed of the word (1 Peter 1:23); and James 1:18, "Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." And so it is expressed here. Grace and peace are to be multiplied, "through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us by glory and virtue, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be made partakers of the divine nature." It is not a law to flesh, calling them to walk rightly where man already was; but a call by glory and virtue to get on to this new place of peace in which Christ is, and that by the revelation of Him glorified, and the assurance of our portion in it. But thus, by divine power, it is livingly communicated to the soul. But this is the glory of the divine nature in a man, into which we are to be formed: but we are livingly formed by its revelation in the power of the Holy Ghost now. It is the real communication of the divine nature. Only Peter looks at it, even in its affections, desires, qualities, as under the impress of the revelation of Christ, rather than as the simple fact of life. But all scripture tells the same truth. For every nature has its own character, knowledge by which it lives and is formed, its tastes, and spirit, and objects, which make it what it is, though its existence is the first and wonderful truth.
[1860.]

Doing Feats

It has struck me, God continuing to bless through all the trouble. Exercise of faith it has been, and in a measure still is, but it is, after all, a happy thing to be cast on God; rest is elsewhere. Do not do feats as to bodily effort; the Lord's servant has to endure hardness sometimes, and it is a good thing; but there is no good in doing it on purpose. Enduring is right; I would there were more of it; but a single eye takes out of seeking even this. What a blessing to have the heart purified, and all light by this, till we come to where there is no darkness at all—the blessed place where God is, where Christ is glorified. There all the saints will be forever adequately to His glory, the fruit of the travail of His soul, for He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Think of His being satisfied! His love is perfect now. We need polishing, but there are elements in us, because Christ is there, which will come out in perfect beauty, when the rough stuff, which makes its surface now, is wholly off forever. Here it has to be worn off, detected by various exercises, that conscience may be exercised with it, and thus the internal, moral fruit wrought; but then it shall be perfect in itself.
I have finished John, and for myself, at least, I have learned a good deal in it; I hope profited. With Him it was only the coming out of the perfect thing; there was no inconsistent crust, not even individuality, to rub off. He was just what He should be to manifest God, and man in perfection to God, every moment. I feel the sense of divine love deeper and deeper, and of patience with such as me.
September, 1881.

Doing Feats

I was glad to hear of you. It is quite intelligible your remaining to help- -, the rather that he is not strong and would require some strength at this season, though the sea may temper it. I know what walking work is, but was perhaps stronger than either of you then, but non sum qualis exam; between my eighty-one years and paralytic stroke, however slight, my physical strength is sensibly impaired. Our real strength does not change and we ought always to know it better, and still more that we have none but that. Keep it in mind, dear; we are all, though knowing it well, apt to forget it. But this stay implies that you have definitely taken your place as given up to the work. May the gracious Lord guide you in it! How does your wife bear the roughing? Real sorrows women often bear better than men, but, of course rough outward life, with little comfort, they will feel as weaker vessels. I have well known what roughing it is and long walks, but not only was happier in the work but, I think, never better. Still in the long run it wears; but to serve Christ is blessing wherever it may be—the best of blessings here below. When I look back (and I look more forward) I see much to judge, but serving Him and He was my object, casts a sweet light on it all, though tempered with the sense of my own poverty in it. But that turns the eye on Him, and that is all blessing. Be content to be tired and work hard, but do not do feats, which some of us are inclined to do—true laborers too. Do what Christ gives you to do with patience. You see I talk a little as an emeritus. I hardly shall do much more hard work since my attack of paralysis, slight as it is, but nothing separates from the love of Christ. Kind love to all the saints My kind remembrance too, if she will kindly receive it, to Mrs. -. I wish her a winter with Christ.
Ventnor, October 31st.

The Druids; Man and the World

Dearest -, -,
There is no doubt, I believe, of the emigration of a large part at least of the north and west emigrating from the east. The Cushites, Goths, Scyths, are all the same name and people. The Druidical religion is undoubtedly Persian, and the Druids have been traced across the north of Germany to England. The north of India was one great settlement of this race. They were called there Indo-Scyths, and settled in High Thibet and the Himalayas. You are aware of Epiphanius's division of the progressive corruption of barbaric (quære Patriarchal) religion into Scythism and Ionism, as some say original Buddhism and Brahminism in India, an Parseeism (Sabaism) and Hellenistic, Egyptian, Babylonian idolatry in the west. How old are the divisions of man, how little his history! Still Druidism partook too much of the elements of original Grecian or Babylonian idolatry to make this quite clear....
I apprehend as to seething a kid in its mother's milk, that one of the characters of idolatry, of Satan's power, is to destroy the order, affections and comeliness which God has established in nature. Christianity raises above it, but respects it all. He degrades in every way by what is unnatural. The way this was done in idolatry is remarkable, and diligently and horribly. This was an example as to tender and kindly affections. If you are at all acquainted with the horrors of idolatry—a profitless learning, I am sure, morally—or even remarking what scripture refers to briefly, but perfectly, you cannot but see how true this is. All this the law forbade.
As to 2 Peter 3:10, 12, I apprehend it means but the materials of which the crust of the globe is composed. It will be melted down by fire (as it was once inundated by waters) to form a new earth, atmospheric heaven, etc.
I had seen the Annotator, but did not feel much attracted by the company and olla podrida character it had, though writing in it crossed me. Quiet service I like better if I can.
In haste, ever affectionately yours.

Early Blessing in Plymouth

Plymouth, I assure you, has altered the face of Christianity to me, from finding brethren, and they acting together. There are, as you know, individuals here, but scattered as missionaries over the country.
Dublin, April.13th, 1832.

The Efficacy of God's Love

I feel satisfied that if there be a Godly recognition of God's hand upon us, and lowly confidence in the purpose of the Father for the Glory of His own Son, there will be a great deal of blessing, and spreading forth into the doors which He opens
March 19th, 1882.

Ephesians

The epistle to the Ephesians contemplates the church all through in its perfectness and privileges, and does not touch the question of its decay as entrusted to man's responsibility, which is in 1 Corinthians. God has provided for the accomplishment of the object here spoken of in spite of failure, but it is here looked at without reference to it. The adding of the knowledge of the Son of God was necessary, because it is up to His stature thus known that we are to grow. The arriving at common unity of faith is the general basis, solidity as freed from the vacillations of wind of doctrine; but besides that, we are to grow up to Him who is the Head in all things (as in Col. 1:28), "that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." The perfect man means simply the state—a full-grown man; but the measure of the stature of a full-grown man in Christ, is Christ Himself, all the fullness that is in Him wrought into the soul, so that it should be formed by it, and like to and filled with Christ in all its thoughts; its subjective state measured and formed by the objective fullness of Christ, so that there should be no discrepancy and no separation from Him; the saint grown up to Him in everything How wondrous such a thought is, I need not say; but this is what is before us. A perfect man as to the expression is simply a full-grown man. So Heb. 5:14 and 6:1. Ἄνθρωπος is the race including man and woman, and would not be appropriate here. Speaking merely of men, I say πάντα ἄνθρωπον, as Col. 1. Ἀνὴρ is the word of dignity in the race, and so he is looking at it there. You would not think of a woman, in saying one was growing up to full manhood.
[1867]

Eternal Punishment; Gehenna

As regards Isa. 66, there cannot be a doubt that the Lord's words refer to Hinnom, where they burnt the filth of Jerusalem; Isa. 66 refers to the same; Gehenna is the valley of Hinnom. I take the passage as simply as possible, that the apostate Jews judged at the coining of the Lord will be then a memorial of their folly and the Lord's judgment, to those who come up; their carcasses also I take simply as such (it is used, it seems, of man or beast), left there an instructive spectacle of divine judgment terrible to behold. But this is just what shows that it has nothing to do with souls, nor resurrection for judgment.
But the use of Gehenna in the New Testament, beyond all controversy, goes beyond this In Mark 9:42-48, it is evident it is no question of the judgment of Jerusalem at the last day. But Luke 12 puts it out of all question, where the Lord says,"Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell;" and, Matt. 10:28, "Able to destroy both soul and body in hell." These passages show that though the Lord uses the figure of the valley of the son of Hinnom, He uses it figuratively in reference to what is not of this earth; and hence "worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" must be used in a like way.
The quotation of Isa. 66 is absolutely futile, and proves nothing at all about the matter, save as a figure; and the figure is, that the judgment should not disappear, as in ordinary cases. I know they would use the word "destroy," but that is not the question here, but the value of Isa. 66 I have discussed it elsewhere; it is false to suppose it means to cause to cease to exist. I do not remember the three passages in which αἰωνίων is used for the past, but I think there is πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων used in reference to all the dispensed ways of God. The promise of eternal life was in eternity, before the question of dispensational dealings, for in Christ was life, and we receive of His fullness; but the word χρόνος here gives the clearest force (it is 2 Tim. 1:9) to αἰώνιος as αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου. There is no doubt that αἰών is used in this way, the end of this αἰών, etc.; that is not the question: is it not used in an eternal sense? Now several passages prove it is; as eternal God, eternal Spirit, eternal covenant, eternal life, along with which is eternal punishment. As to Rom. 2:6-10, there is no doubt that eternal life is presented as the portion of those who are characterized by the conduct there described, leaving aside, that is, Jew and Gentile, and fixing the portion given of God on realities, realities of moral state, be they found in Jew or Gentile. I do not see any difficulty here; he shows plainly enough how this can be found in a man, that is, solely through Christ, but it is found in those that are really His.
As to Rom. 5, it is not exact to say that all sinned in Adam; though, as a general expression, I should apprehend a person. All fell in him who descend naturally from him, and are under sin, κατεστάθησαν ἁμαρτωλοὶ, which it is important to maintain; but in dealing with conscience we have always ἐφ ᾡ "for that all have sinned." Death does not merely follow as a corruption of nature—that is a terrible mistake; death came on Adam and all his descendants at once by sin, as a judgment of God—a very different thing. Moreover, Satan has the power of death; that is not mere corruption of nature, as the Lord fully felt, who had no corruption of nature. "Sinned" is ambiguous, because it conveys the idea of personal responsibility in will; all were involved in sin, in Adam's sin. If you have further difficulty in this, let me know, for it is important to be clear...
I have no doubt the Lord is sifting, most rightfully, and I am disposed to think God in grace has stepped in and turned the tide, and that blessing may flow—I speak of England. But the sifting was needed; corruption and laziness, Laodiceanism, was creeping in, and fearfully; it was quite polite to be a brother. Peace be with you. Kindest love to the brethren around you. The Lord be with them and all His beloved ones.
Your affectionate brother in the Lord.
Sims, December 12th, 1849

Eternity; Perfection

What a happy thought that you and I are tending to see the blessed Lord and be with Him forever! What a blessed thought! It is often a happiness to me to think that we shall have not only Christ—which is the great thing—but that then not one of the saints will be anything which is not perfectly pleasing to Christ. It is what we have earnestly to seek now, and He is our strength and wisdom to carry it out; only let our eye be single and Christ everything. Though we may be, humanly speaking, nearer home than some others, we have need of Him, and His precious and thoughtful grace every moment on to the end.
I am better, and I trust getting better, but I get no sleep, and have not got much strength to write. Kindest love to the brethren. The Lord graciously keep them very near Himself from evil, and in the power of the, good that is in Himself.
Peace be with you.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
.February 16th, 1882.

Evangelizing

Only just a line to say that your letter reached me in going out of this world—and in recollection of many devoted kindnesses—to recall all the truth that we have taught in Christ, and to urge you on in the full liberty of resurrection to bring that same Christ constantly before souls. His abiding faithful love will guide your steps as to Mexico.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Bournemouth, March 10th, 1882.

The Everlasting Covenant; Common Humiliation; the 1848 Revolution in France

I have very happy news in general from the south of France, but nothing since the Revolution save that they were quiet. I should feel cordially disposed to join in any humiliation with brethren, and feel it very desirable. I think Wigram dreaded a little the appearance of a distinct formal body. If this meant not owning all saints as one, I should indeed object to it as ruinous and sectarian; but that brethren so called, as such, should publicly (as far as that is used in a christian sense) take the place of humiliation, I should feel most desirable; I wait only the Lord's time for its accomplishment. I quite take this ground myself before God, and before all those who walk wrong, other Christians and all. I trust God is working, in His grace, very fruitfully in the hearts of His saints: may He keep us humble, and near Him, so that we may not yet more need humiliation.
I apprehend as to the passages, that Heb. 6,, they were called to learn, that is, go on from what had been learned in a puerile way of truth and Christ, and go on to what the Holy Ghost had brought out of the powers of the world to come. If they had left this latter, it was no good to go back to lay the old foundation again: if they had it, they ought to go on to something else, so that it was no good his speaking of the old part. All short of the Holy Ghost's revelation of a glorious Christ would connect itself with the beginning of Christ, I apprehend. Paul was bringing Hebrews out, just before the destruction of Jerusalem, of what linked them with what was ready to vanish away—outside the camp—into that which he had founded as the church in connection with Christ glorified: only this, for this reason, somewhat transitional, the church is not itself developed, only the power of the new thing.
Covenant is an obligation to another which does not enter into the idea of being my own body, or my own child; but then those who form this body, or are these children, are subjects of what in substance was a covenant, though I do not know that it is called so, for the word covenant is rather what God has condescended to assure man's heart by; but when Christ says, "Lo, I come to do thy will," He undertakes something, and the Father having given Him power over all flesh to give eternal life to those whom He has given to Him, He accomplishes all, so as to present them according to the thoughts of the Father's love perfect to Him. All this ordering of wondrous divine counsels, Christ having undertaken all needed, and obtained by redemption, and given, as the Father has sent, the Holy Ghost to accomplish the rest in us, being, so to speak, undertaken by parties, if one may reverently so speak, has been called a covenant; and I apprehend the apostle speaks so alludingly when he says, "through the blood of the everlasting covenant." But in general, save as an allusion, covenant is an inferior idea to this taking up their own place in this glorious counsel of God by the Persons in the Trinity. I doubt that scripture would speak of their covenanting among themselves, as if they had had to bind or assure one another. It is called for us an everlasting covenant, but this, though it embraces all this really, is rather the idea of God assuring man by its being an immutable, unchanging thing, secured to man by Christ's blood: not the Persons binding themselves among themselves. However, this is a matter of words, and those who use the expression; though they lower the notions of divine things. It is well to be true to these, because one is here to God's glory, and no stumbling-block is put in the way of others; but those who use these ways of speaking are so in purpose of heart, and substantively; so that one may be at ease with them.
I should not answer very dogmatically as to Gen. 4:7. Those who take the sense of sin-offering argue on that on account of which you argue against it, the word being applied to the lying down of an animal, the victim is there before you at your door. "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?—and unto thee shall be his (Abel's) desire, and thou shalt rule over him." Then there is the parenthesis, "If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." Now I do not doubt that this speaks of the culpability of Cain; the only question is, if it does not present this culpability, as God has presented it to us, that is in Christ as the sin-offering. Other translations take the whole thing in another sense; I apprehend that the primary sense is, sin is there before you; you meet it in going forth; it lies at your door. He could not escape finding it attached to him: Duly God has laid it before us in the sin-offering in Christ. I do not doubt the English is right, and in general the other translations wrong. I believe these were all the passages you asked me about, so I close, dear Affectionately yours.
[January 14th, 1852.]

Evil Among Brethren; Parties

God gently clears the way, I believe. From the beginning I have felt that God was sifting the meetings in Kent, and when that is done adequately in God's eyes there will be peace. But the evil that was at the root of all this, besides a party spirit that had long existed, was that there were brethren, and dear brethren, who, from what I believe was want of faith, judged it was all over with brethren, and London broken up, and that they must as standing on higher ground start afresh as a new body. Now I admit that the brethren had got into a low worldly sleepy state, but I do not think it was faith to think the Lord could not rouse them up, nor that it was grace to set up themselves to be the cream of all.... I cannot say, sorrowful and humbling as it may be, that I regret that the sifting has come. It was from the hand of God because in grace He saw it was needed.... While I acknowledge in the party who take the ground of purity many dear and true saints, some to whom I am even personally attached, and their uprightness as the governing principle of their lives, I do not believe faith or grace to have been the source of the pretention I have referred to. The enemy profited by the evil, which I admit, to produce the pretension and schism of heart, varying I acknowledge in degree and form. The course of Abbot's Hill I still judge to have been thoroughly wicked, and I have not seen that the conscience has been reached.... I believe God is working, but He does not heal slightly the hurt of the daughter of His people, as Jeremiah says. I do not believe that hurry in acting is the way of God. I look for conscience being reached and so the root of the evil; then there will be lowliness and the path be plain.

Exercises and Ground of Peace

I know no one who does not think that all who believe in Christ are washed in His blood: but washed in His blood is not the same as redemption, though they may be identified as necessarily going together. Peace is not simply a matter of experience, though peace is experienced. "Having made peace by the blood of his cross": that is not experience. And when I began to preach peace by Jesus Christ, fifty or sixty years ago, it was very rare indeed for any believer to have it. I object entirely to its being called mere experience: there is faith in the efficacy of Christ's work as well as in His Person, though all who believe in His Person have part in His work. The "therefore" of Rom. 5 is lost in the note you send me, and the connection with chapter 4: the writer is not aware of it, but he denies justification by faith as stated in Rom. 4; 5 No doubt if I believe in Christ, God sees me clear, but that is not justification. Peace is the consequence of justification by faith. I insist that all that believe in Christ are justified (washed in Christ's blood). But your correspondent leaves out justification by faith in consequence of Christ's being risen, and confounds peace and justification, or rather drops the latter, leaving all as what is in God's mind, or the experience of peace. It is for souls very dangerous teaching, leaving out all exercise of soul, and the reality of faith connected with the sense of sins. Conscience and responsibility are left out of the question and hence so much hollowness of profession. The best gospel preached when I began was, You must be born again, and now examine whether you are in the faith; and three quarters of evangelists are there yet, and object to assurance, though there is an immense change; but very few have the faith of Heb. 10 Your correspondent shuts out faith as to this. I do not believe he means any harm, but I fear there is too little experience, and too much learned.

Experience in View of the End

I have leen very low—so low that I did not know whether I should get up again. I had no sense of death, for God—and, if we have not judged ourselves, Satan—is especially engaged at such a moment. But, quite uncertain whether I should get up again, I found myself within sight of my end, and I was surprised at the little difference which it made to me: Christ, the precious Savior, with me for the journey; then, I through grace, with Him forever—there was no change as to this.... Christ is all, beloved: everything else will pass out of sight; but He, blessed be His name, never. He who is not ashamed to call us brethren is, nevertheless, seated upon the Father's throne. It is a wonderful redemption, and He who accomplished it is infinitely precious.
Let us keep close to the Lord, for He would have us there, and let us recognize our own nothingness. The true christian condition is this, that there should not be a thought nor a feeling in the heart of which He is not the source. This is the realization of the word: "To live is Christ." But what grace, what watchfulness, is needed, for us to come near itl London, September 2nd.

Experience in View of the End

Thank you very much for your sympathizing note. There is a difference between work and being laid aside; though I see many things for which grievously to blame myself, yet my work was always Christ, and now my leisure, if such I can call it, is Christ. What comes before me is how far I so realize Christ before me, that the joy of being with Him, awaiting the glory, satisfies my present affections: it is not doubt of the efficacy of His precious blood, of being in Him, of the sovereign unbounded love of the Father who in a thought beyond all oar thought gave us to Him to be with Him forever—still with this I am content.
I do work, however, somewhat, though I cannot stick to it very long, but many letters on what is passing, inquiries, etc.; still they daily diminish It is quite possible that if the Lord will I may pick up a little bodily strength, not for any renewed active life, but for some more sedentary service. Yet I feel I passed the barrier some months or a year ago.
Again thanking you sincerely for your note, believe me,
Affectionately your brother in the Lord.
It is not that I for a moment doubt the sufficiency of Christ for my happiness while waiting for glory, but how far I sufficiently realize it now. He has long been all I desire.
February 13th, 1882.

Experience in View of the End; Future of the Christian

Beloved brother,
I am much better through the goodness of God. There is a change in me at the end of this nearness of death, not in doctrine, not in my views. In all that nothing is changed, all is confirmed: it is a sweet thought that all that I have taught has been of God. But I have much more deeply the consciousness of belonging to another world. I had it indeed already by faith, but I have the feeling of being of it. I do not know when He will take me, and up to this moment I am doing, as always, what my strength allows. To watch and pray is necessary as in the past, but what the beloved Savior has said is beyond it, " They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world"; and from whence was He? In this respect there is a sensible change—and I wait.
1881.

Faith and Sight; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; the Reformation

It is a good while now since I exchanged a line with you; and, in fact, I have been laid up, so that I could do, for some time, little or nothing-entirely down, so that I did not know whether I should be raised up at all again. It is now near three months that I have been unable to pass the night stretched in my bed-at first, not at all: now I sit up in bed about a third of the night, but I sleep rather better then, than lying down—all this of the poor body, but it makes its being left, if not glorified, nearer to us. God may give higher apprehensions of the joys before us, and if all be not habitually and honestly purged before God there may be exercises of conscience, even if we know the remedy. I hardly came so near to going away as that; but I was surprised, in at least looking it in the face, how little difference there wa3: Christ with me for the way, and Christ at the end for full and perfect joy. It is a difference to go. It is what is eternal, but we live as in Christ in what is eternal; but faith is not sight. But the word is ever precious, which brings what is of God, and God Himself to us, in the power of His own Spirit, and so as from Himself, and this gives it a peculiar and blessed character: soon it will be better still; not from Himself, but Himself. But it is suited to us here, just like Christ Himself -what is of God and heavenly, but suited to us here—with a divine flexibility which suits itself to all circumstances and to everything that is in our hearts, but to take us up whence it comes from.
I have written a tract on the "Sealing of the Spirit." I felt its being muddied, as it was, a good deal, and this was the case everywhere; it was a sign of the state of souls. But dear was never, I think, clear; I have often told him so, never really out of Rom. 7 But how many are there! Yes, very many take for granted they are out of it, while full, perfect, simple redemption is not really known. Ask, not in Palestine, but in Boston and New York, what it is to have "no more conscience of sins," and they cannot tell; and then God for us is not known. This side in the public teaching was wanting at the Reformation. They saw Christ's work meeting our need before God, but "God so loved" was hardly a part of their gospel. On assurance they largely insisted; indeed, justifying faith was, to them, the personal appropriation of Christ's work in an assuring way: it was not sufficiently the object of faith though it was there, but the state of the soul. But when it pleases God to do so, He works with very imperfect truth, provided it be Christ; it is one of the present difficulties. At the first, full truth flowed from the center and drew souls up to it; now it works where all is confusion, to bring in divine order and faith through the word—I mean order as to the truth. But I close.
In general, throughout the country, there is a real appetite for the word—a happy sign—and brethren are blessed. In some parts of London, though there is nothing outward, the effect of local troubles remains. But the Lord loves His church, and does not cease His care for it. Nothing will fail of His purposed grace. Peace be with you, dear brother, and constant guidance, keeping near enough to hear His voice through grace.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
January 29th.

Faith Healing

I answered your questions by mistake to another person who had written to me about the same thing. The two cases were, one in the Western States where a German (for all this is German, whose religion is characteristically for this world) began by healing his neighbors, he says—and I had no reason to doubt it—by looking to God in faith; perhaps got puffed up, and worked by Satan's power so as to lay a man, who himself told me about it, like a log on the floor, without the use of his limbs; and then it turned to a system of corruption, so that he had to flee the country for his life, and said afterward that at the end it was Satan's power. The other was a more reputable case: a Lutheran clergyman who used to heal persons, but connected it with all the false Lutheran doctrines of baptismal regeneration, etc. I knew personally the case of some really good people at Boston, where it was connected with perfectionism and higher life, falsifying and discrediting by error what is greatly wanted in the church—to be able to say, "To me to live is Christ." Dorothy Trudel never had peace, nor a plain gospel, till her death bed.
But no mistakes of men take away the plain force of God's word and that He does answer the prayer of faith. James 5 supposes the church in order, and that those, who in a certain sense represented it, could be sent for—where God's order was going on and His government regularly administered in the church. That is not the case now, but if those who are practically such, and have personally faith (that looks through the ruin to the source of good according to the order) and believe, God will still hear the prayer of faith: I do not doubt it. In general it is only looking for so much physical relief, generally turning aside from what is heavenly. There may be faith in the person also; sending for the elders supposes something of this. But while I fully believe there may be such answers to prayer, the books about them seem to me full of error, and, while there may be some faith as to what is physical, not calculated to edify. But the very prayers of the Establishment for rain, etc., suppose the principle.
December, 1881.

False Doctrine of Sleep of the Soul

As regards the sleep of the soul, it is a miserable doctrine that comes simply from Satan acting on man's reason. It is generally connected with annihilation, but not always in this country; but it is a heartless doctrine. The Lord tells the thief he shall not wait till the kingdom, but that he should that day be with Him in paradise. Was he to be fast asleep, knowing nothing of Him, or anything else? It is monstrous! We are "absent from the body, and present with the Lord;" but if that means being fast asleep, we might as well be at the other end of the universe! "To depart and be with Christ is far better;" that is, being fast asleep and unconscious is better than serving Christ and ministering to His glory! The apostle did not know which to choose, to live, which was Christ, or—be fast asleep! It was gain, that is to be unconscious, compared with serving Christ faithfully here!
But not only do these passages show the moral absurdity of this notion to every spiritually-intelligent Christian, but there is no such thought in scripture as the soul's sleeping. It is a beautiful expression, signifying that death was only falling asleep to awake again; but it is the man always that falls asleep, never the soul. Thus in the case of Lazarus. Then 'said He "plainly, Lazarus is dead [or has died]." That is, falling asleep means, plainly expressed, dying. So when Stephen was killed, he fell asleep—Stephen did, not his soul: so "some are fallen asleep;" it is in contrast with, "some remain unto this present." "All live to him." Were the souls of the rich man and Lazarus fallen asleep? They tell me it is a Jewish figure. I agree with them: but it is not a figure of the soul being asleep. The falling asleep is always attributed to the man, never to the soul, and always means the Christian's dying; and is a beautiful expression for his not being, as we say, 'dead and gone.'
Another thing to remark is, that it is never said of the wicked that they will not be raised, or that their souls are asleep, for they will be raised; but it shows the true and lovely force of the expression as to the saints; they have fallen asleep to the day they lived in, but that is all.
But there is no such statement in scripture as the soul sleeping; nor is there such a thought any more than such a statement. It is the living saint who falls asleep, and, according to scripture, it means dying.

Dealing With False Doctrine; Eternal Punishment; Heresy; Degrees of Punishment

I have no intention of commenting on the proceedings in the case of poor Mr. Morris, as I never had any part in it, and believe that the enemy and not the Spirit of God was working in the whole matter; but as someone has sent me "A Letter addressed," etc. (I do not know who), I felt desirous to make a remark to you, beloved brethren, whose names are appended to it, as to all who concur, though there be but one to whom I am known after the flesh, and present to you a very important principle which seems to me involved in the statement you have made—or, at least, leaves it in a dangerous uncertainty: that union in "faith in the blood of Christ, the Son of the living God," is to become a kind of allowance of error in those who may claim fellowship on that ground. This principle, I judge, it is of all importance to repudiate. Whatever means may be used, I am bound to see that no man fail of the grace of God, and that there be no root of bitterness, whether it be manifested in doctrine that alienates from God, or in any carnal workings. I should fail in charity towards humble, simple souls did I not. Heresy is a work of the flesh, as other grosser things, and surely has to be checked: words may eat, as doth a canker. Errors are often found to affect fundamental truth which many a simple saint may not perceive to do so.
There is another thing I apprehend sorrowful in your paper: you appear at least to excuse the doctrine, and you lay as a basis of this, that the only sense in which it would be said to affect the doctrine of the cross is asserting that there is another way of obtaining pardon of sin besides the death of the Lord Jesus. Do you think, then, that Satan will always declare his object? This is surely most dangerous ground to take. Supposing it was said that the Divinity of Christ was not necessary seeing suffering was not eternal—an argument, I apprehend, difficult to answer—or for whatever other reason; would that not affect the doctrine of the cross? An inefficient atonement is as bad as another. I use the word suffering instead of punishment, because it seems to me that the word punishment is used a little equivocally; and that to call eternal punishment where the punished person no longer exists is something very like evasion.
What pains me is that you seek to justify the doctrine or excuse it, and not merely to blame the conduct of certain parties as to Mr. Morris. Degrees in punishment do not do away to my mind with what we mean by infinite punishment, no more than degrees of glory with infinite bliss. You give out a deliberate opinion and commit the whole of the meeting to it, not that M. was ill-treated, but that his doctrine does not affect directly, or undermine, the value of the cross or of the Person, work, or blood-shedding of our blessed Lord and Savior. He who communicates with you must do so on the footing of accepting this theological statement—at least, that he is bound also to accept all such, and hold full communion anywhere and everywhere with Mr. M., and any others who receive and publicly propagate this doctrine. This is a very serious position you have taken. It effectually identifies you with M. and his doctrine. For if it does not directly nor indirectly affect that, and you pronounce him guiltless in holding it, you oblige communion with those holding it and teaching it. It is not, you say, connected with faith in Him: an astonishing statement, as I know of no truth that is not. If any person is convinced that your theology is wrong, and that the wonted doctrine of Christians is to be maintained, and resistance distinctly to be made to the view in question, or that seeking followers for it is heresy, you exclude them completely from your communion: because that serious error and truth are to be on the same terms in communion is a principle insupportable in the church of God. You affirm it is not important, hence nothing ought to be done. You will find it hard to convince the great body of Christians of it. And indifference to error makes truth no truth at all.
I say nothing of the excommunication, as you well know I could have nothing to say to it; and I see in your tract the expression of that of which I have been long conscious—the result of what all know I have considered a work of Satan elsewhere. But I look to the goodness of God, dear brethren, to set it all right: His power is above all the workings of the enemy. I have never been at—in my life, and it is very possible never may, but as your letter was sent to me, I should have failed in faithfulness and in love, too, if I had not communicated with those who have signed it, and with all the brethren adhering to it. It is not a blame of the excommunication, but a theological judgment on the doctrine as a ground of the reception of persons teaching it. You have committed the meeting to the doctrine being harmless and blameless. I only want to press this fact, beloved brethren, on your consciences before God, and that you may consider the position in which it places yourselves and others. Though I address my letter necessarily to one, I shall feel thankful if it were communicated to all. I have nothing to add but unfeigned affection in Christ to v. 11.
Taunton, May, 1848.

The Offering of Firstfruits; Christ in the Offerings

The firstfruits were to be offered but not burnt, because leaven was in them; and they could not be in themselves a sweet savor: hence a sin-offering was offered with them. (Lev. 23:17-19.) They represent the church, being (as may be seen in Lev. 23) the offering of the day of Pentecost: not the church in the unity of the body, but as formed among Jews on earth on that day. The first of the firstfruits, the corn out of full ears, is Christ risen, offered on the morrow of the sabbath after the Passover; it represents Christ Himself, and hence (Lev. 23:12, 13) there was no sin-offering. If we look at it in Lev. 2:14, it is still Christ. Oil and frankincense are put on it. It is an offering made by fire without leaven. It is Christ looked at as man, tried by divine trial of judgment, but perfect to be offered to God. The expressions are somewhat remarkable-geres carmel, "corn mature out of full ears;" it may be, "produce of the fruitful field," the latter being the known sense of carmel; the meaning of geres was certain. But the general meaning of the offering is pretty plain: Christ in His manhood, sinless and full proved, presented to God with oil and frankincense of acceptable odor, the firstfruits—fruits of man to God.
[1868.]

Force of Terms Employed as to Righteousness

As to Rom. 5:17, it is not the same as Rom. 8:4. There it is the fact that, in walking in the Spirit, the sum of the requirement of the law (and so only) would be fulfilled, the δικαίωμα. Much more, perhaps; but as the flesh was not subject to it, that δικαίωμα, could not be accomplished when in the flesh. But, living in the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ living in us, the body dead, the sum of the law's requirements, so walking, was fulfilled. Against the fruits of righteousness there was no law. The Christian has a higher rule-to be an imitator of God, as manifested in man in Christ (Eph. 5:1, 2); but as people were looking for legal righteousness, what is in verses 2, 3, was the way of getting it.
Chapter 5:17 is δικαιοσύνη, the abstract thing righteousness given to us, and though taken abstractedly, that thing in its nature and quality; yet as being free gift (δωρεά), and that of God, according to grace, goes much farther than the requirement or δικαίωμα. of the law, which, if fulfilled, was no more than man's righteousness.
Verse 16 is δικαίωμα.. But it is not τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ νόμου: that was measured by the requirement of the law. Here it is of many offenses to a sum of recognized righteousness: it is a χάρισμα—a gracious gift of a sum of adequate righteousness, judicially estimated and satisfactory. Keeping the law makes that out as a requirement from man: it would be his righteousness as rightly measured by it. But here it is χάρισμα; κρίμα came upon men to κατάκριμα: it is now a χάρισμα dealing with many offenses, and so giving us, according to God, an adequate judicial righteousness, but now, according to God's free gift, not man's responsibility; the δικαίωμα of the law and God's δικαίωμα are different. We have hardly words in English to make these differences, but δικαίωμα is the sum of requirement, δικαιοσύνη the thing righteousness; so 1 Cor. 1:30. Hence, in Rom. 4:23, it is δικαιοσύνη; δικαιοσύνη is ἐλογίσθη.
These words in -οσύνη are the quality. Then the persons of the perfect passive, as a rule, give the thing done, the doing, and the doer:κρίμα, κρίσις, κρίτης΄δικαίωμα, δικαίωσις. We have not δικαίωτης; it is not an office like κριτής but δικαιῶν. (Rom. 3:26; 4:5.)

Work in France and Switzerland

I have hitherto been engaged in visiting France and Switzerland, though it has been rapidly gone through; I am far from having completed even hurried visits. But the Lord has been most graciously with me; almost everywhere I have not had room for those who came desirous to hear, or at any rate the place was exceedingly crowded both in France and Switzerland. Part of my work has been in settled civilized places, part in most wild and out-of-the-way places, and mountains, far from all common comforts, but in both happy and helped in the work, and especially in the wild places in evangelizing. We had the Police after us once; they took the names of those who had taken part, but except two appearing before the Mayor it had no further troublesome consequences. A soul was brought to the Lord in the meeting. There are in France upwards of 100 gatherings and 25 laborers, besides those who act in the meetings locally, as in the meetings. I do not count parts of evangelization, nor do I count the Swiss gatherings, or workmen visiting all these or most of them once.
A country nearly as big I suppose as England without Wales, you can easily conceive takes some time, but the door is opened, so that I have sometimes hesitated whether I ought not to give up more time to it, though I have had the feeling that having long been abroad in these countries, I owed more time to England. There is besides these countries, Germany, where there are many brethren, and now some 15 meetings in Holland. In Switzerland there are between 60 and 70 gatherings. All this has grown up under my own eye. A great part of the laborers having studied the scriptures, or doing so as they can, with me, so that you may suppose it interests me duly. Yet I think I put it as distinctly as possible in the Lord's hands, and the work without a thought of myself; but this makes it the nearer to myself and the more interesting. It does not detach me from England. I feel that they and the work and gatherings in the latter land are in the Lord, and for the Lord.
The work of evangelizing spreads in France. The weakness in some of the elder gatherings still works. Yet oh, how I should rejoice to see more living energy in those gatherings and in all. Yet patience and faith is what we have to exercise, looking ever to the Lord who can help when all seems very low. It is sweet to count upon Him; in all circumstances, and in all states we can.
I have had a slight attack in my eye, and feel I am beginning to get old for going through hardships, but I never felt so free in the gospel, or its preciousness so much, or Christ so precious. His faithfulness too is unfailing. If I were able to serve Him—as I am sure He is precious in service—it would be famous. Outwardly in quantity I could hardly do more; what I want is a deeper well of Christ in my own soul to draw from for the blessing of others. That is the point, dear brethren. I do not doubt I have Him. I know His love, but I want more un-distractedness in the purpose which moment by moment occupies me, but I know that He is all, and in Him my spirit has rest. Thank for his kind remembrance of me. Give my kindest love to all the brethren. Peace and the Lord's grace be with you.
Affectionately yours in Christ.
November 10th, 1860

The French Bible; Revised Version of the New Testament; Testimony for These Days; Importance of Visiting

It is time I should write to you. It was not for want of often thinking of you that I have not, but what little strength I have has been spent on the French Old Testament and the English New, both laborious work. But I felt you were a good deal isolated, and was longing to write a line.... All around God is carrying on His clearing work. What I am anxious for is that brethren should see it is His hand which has indeed wonderfully interposed; but that calls for lowliness and thankfulness. The sense of His goodness always humbles. Exulting is never right; but what ground for it when we have allowed to come in and grow up amongst us what God. in His mercy has to put out? Still we have great cause for thankfulness, and one thing I have noticed too, that God has never stopped His work by and amongst brethren. It is nothing very great, but it has constantly gone on, and is now too showing itself.... What I have specially had in my mind to pray for as to this is, that He would maintain His testimony, the testimony He raised up among brethren. Nothing is better than visiting work, without assuredly depreciating the gospel. What I feel is to be done, and as far as able always have done, is to seek to present Christ according to the state of the soul one has to say to. I never bother myself about brethren, if God gathers them it will be well; but my business is one—what does that soul want? It may be deeper conviction of sin: it may be, that Christ has made peace; but whatever it is, that is what I have to bring, and look to Him to seal the word and make it good; and then feed on Him for oneself, for He is there in grace for us, and unsearchable riches in Him.
I am better; in His goodness God has preserved my mind, untouched. For study work I am as fresh as ever, and happy and thankful in His love, which is infinite. Eighty-one is not the age to expect very great restoration, but there is One above eighty....
Love to all the brethren. May they, with purpose of heart, cleave to the Lord.
Your affectionate brother in Christ. Ventnor, October 21st, 1881.

French Old Testament; Blessing

I was very glad to hear from you, and thank you for giving me the information, too, as to the brethren. My heart clings to them all as ever, though far away; and now far on in my seventy-ninth year, I cannot, humanly speaking, look to traveling to see them as I once did: though my mind is, through mercy, free as ever, my body naturally is not—nearer home in one sense, nearer Christ I hope in every sense. I rejoice in the blessing, both at Sugar Creek and St. Louis, not only for their sakes as I do, but in the Lord showing Himself in grace. Both places have gone through a sifting, as is common after a first start, and now spring up again under His gracious hand. May it continue and be kept in humility, the sure and only way of enjoying blessing. He always blesses, but we only enjoy it then. On His faithful love we can always reckon—oh how surely! The Lord is working everywhere, but will have what is holy and true amongst His own. Everything seems to show we are closing in to the end; at any rate, our part is to be ever waiting for Him, who has loved us and will make us like Himself. It is God's own rest we are called to enter into: what likeness to His thoughts and delights we must have to do so, and how blessed that is but this is our portion.
Assure dear—of my unfeigned sympathy. He had been working for the Lord a good deal at one time, nor am I surprised that this blow should have brought back his heart into that channel, but, with all his little children, he is much to be sympathized with...
May God in grace give us all increased devotedness. Soon only what has been Christ in our path will remain. I have been these six months here occupied with the translation of the Old Testament into French, now nearly accomplished. Give my kindest love to all the brethren. May He keep us all close to Himself, where safety, joy, and holiness are found—Christ all and in all. I shall always be glad to hear of the brethren and of you, too, dear brother. Again my unfeigned sympathy with in this world of death....
Pau.

Freshness of the Truth; Appreciation of the Word

In general it is a mistake about fresh truth.—-did apply to the church some things I should not, as Song of Songs, though to individual souls there may be application, just as individual souls are under the law. It was, on the contrary, the discovery of church truth and place which threw back crowds of passages to the Jews. You have only to look at the headings of a Bible of the Authorized Version to see it. There is nothing so fresh as the truth which comes from God, and is always fresh. Opinionum commenta delet dies: I do not trust notions. There is a large linking of truth in scripture; and if people get out of this for notions, these only mislead and hinder, and give importance to our. ideas and so to ourselves: whereas in receiving the truth one is subject to God, and nothing oneself. I write these few lines because an important principle is involved in it.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
January 21st.

The Effect of a Full Gospel; Gospel Preaching; What Preaching Should Be

I do not know if you were at the meeting, and at any rate I can answer your questions undistracted here. Both sides of the gospel ought to be preached, and personal conviction of sin too, or repentance only founded on grace "my name." As regards saint and sinner, a great many saints want a clear gospel, and at any rate rejoice in it, if they possess it. If sinners come, there ought to be a gospel for them. But a full plain gospel is good for both.
There is what I have called a teaching gospel, say, like Heb. 9 and half 10, 2 Cor. 3, and other places. The facts are generally known, and much gospel preaching must be on the worth and bearing of facts, and that on heart and conscience, but the more the facts are insisted on, the more power I believe there will be. Christ, and what He has done.
Dwelling exclusively on meeting the sinner's need, though true, and revealing God's love, always sweet to the soul, lays a narrow basis for after-growth.
As regards the arrangement. If there is a desire in the assembly to have the gospel, and there is an open door, both being most heartily to be desired of the Lord—and there is no evangelistic gift in the assembly—I know nothing to hinder, without a dream, their saying "Come over and help us." The individuals being employed to seek one to come, is merely that the whole assembly cannot do it, and get one they trust to do it for them, and it is to be supposed that he does it in fellowship with the assembly; but except the moving spring of love to souls, the assembly merely furnishes the external opportunity, as I might open my house for the same purpose. He who comes to preach does it in the free exercise of his gift in his own responsibility to the Lord; for such ministry is directly from the Lord, and to be exercised in responsibility to Him.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

The Future of the Christian; Pastoral Care

I was very glad to get your letter and hear of the saints too. People newly come out always need pretty constant pastoral care, and especially in colonies where the tendency is to loosen all the habits. It is a comfort to know, that through all the Lord will keep His own; I do not mean that laborers and all saints should not be exercised as to it, but that when they see failure they have this to fall back upon. But we desire to see them as a watered garden. What a joy it is when we see them so! It is the power of the Spirit of God which makes them united and happy together, but then He must work in the individual heart, that it may be so, that they may be as "willows by the water-courses." And there is grace enough in Christ to do it. The text has often been a comfort to me, "My grace is sufficient for thee"; but then we must learn, and experimentally—so Paul himself was obliged to do—the other part practically; and this is a very great thing to learn practically—I mean that we are nothing: we all know that it is true—but to walk in the sense of it. It makes the difference between one saint and another; only we must refer to Christ in grace, or we might get discouraged. But a man who is discouraged is not really there: he does not find strength; but where is he looking for it? When we are really nothing we look to Christ, and we know that He can do everything and, while contending in prayer for a blessing, we know that He does, and orders everything. I was saying to a young clergyman recently out, and fearing as to the future of brethren—the Christian has no future but glory. All he has to do is to do God's will at the moment, and the rest is all in God's hands; only we know that glory awaits us. But this does suppose a just sense of our own nothingness, and blessed confidence in God, so that knowing His love we can leave all to Him, knowing that He does all at any rate, and that He will make all issue in blessing.
I have not much to tell you of these countries. Dr. Wolston thought of asking the American laborers to England, and they came gladly to meet in a home conference those of us who had labored there, and they enjoyed it amazingly, and we all got unusual blessing. They went round too to various gatherings as the Lord led, and I hear their ministry was very fresh and they enjoyed it much. I quite trust it may be a means of real blessing.
As to the difficulties among brethren, it is a moment in which there is a very great and organized effort to make a party against righteousness. It is of course sorrowful, but in effect I do not know that it is more than the needing sifting of God's hand. My weak state makes it a little trying to me, but I trust the Lord and work on. There is much to be thankful for, but it is a sifting process at present, and we have to await the result of God's dealing. The preservation of His testimony is what I look and pray for. Nor do I doubt of it, but I have left all in His hands, only answering letters written to me.
The Lord be abundantly with you, dear brother. He is all to us, and soon will be so without a cloud, and that will be a blessed time. I have happy accounts of God's work both in France and Switzerland—in the former where they had, a good while, gone a good deal to sleep. May we be found watching and waiting for Him!
As to the revised version I think very badly of it indeed. Individual passages are more accurately translated, but they have not had the mind of God at all, and that on fundamental points. I have written a paper on it, to be printed, not published. I have had a slight paralytic stroke—very slight indeed, but it disables me a little in my activities.
October, 1881.

The Gathering of Saints Sought

I was very glad to get your news, and that thus far the Lord has helped. My conviction is that, though ive might like increase of numbers, yet, from the state of Italy, very godly care—not suspicion—should be exercised in receiving into communion. Some may stay back thus who ought to be in, but testimony to Christ is maintained in its integrity. Deliverance from popery is a great blessing, and at first it took that character, and I doubt not there are many scattered converted souls, but gathering is another thing: "He that gathereth not with me scattereth." Very ignorant souls may be rightly gathered, if there is godliness and integrity and lowliness; but we are called to walk with those who call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart.
Here the Lord has added another to the list of places where thirst after the word has been marked: we have had, at their desire, reading-meetings three evenings a week, very well attended, and liberty amongst the saints. We have read John's gospel with unabated interest; and I think the blessing has specially been from its being the blessed Lord Himself that has been before us: not even, however confessedly precious, the church privileges of Ephesians, and the like. Most precious they are, and to His glory, still they are as to us, and not Himself, and there is nothing so precious as that—Himself. Life, righteousness, power, are all in Him; but that is for us. But in Himself objectively, it is purely Himself. You know I was studying and writing for myself on John at Pau, and it enlarged my apprehensions very much, but even so it was comparatively teaching, and led me on, perhaps, to what we have enjoyed here; for much of what we enjoyed was old truth.
May He keep you—us—near Him!
Dublin, 1880.

Gaussen; Christ Giving Up the Kingdom; F.W. Newman; E. Denny's Cycle of the Seventy Weeks

My dear brother,-I doubt the John the Baptist half week; the cycle system is interesting, at least that part which relates to the time of judgment not counting, but it seems to me the reasoning is entirely in a circle. This does not make me reject it, because if the moral proofs are adequate they are the strongest for a child of God; on that I am not prepared to pronounce. But it is externally proved by what it has to prove. I am printing, or ought to be, on Daniel (I left it in France) a critique on Gaussen—short, but destroying in toto all his alleged foundation. I do not feel a very great inclination to nourish myself with all the errors propagated on the subject of prophecy, nor to occupy general readers with them. To say that 1 Cor. 15:28 explained in the ordinary way makes the first coming an exaltation of Christ and the second a humiliation, is nonsense. God humbled Himself in becoming man, but man was exalted to reign. The passages quoted as to παραδιδῷ("delivers up") prove nothing at all; they all relate to teaching. Who in English would reason that because I delivered a lecture, it was evident that when I deliver a prisoner I keep him still! If a kingdom be delivered up by man to God, that God may be all in all, it is that the human holding of it should cease—its mediatorial character παραδίδωμι signifies giving up to another. I admit the emphasis on the word God, because man has held the kingdom, but it is precisely what shows the force of the passage. He must reign till - and then He will give up the kingdom. Nothing can be more simple. It is not Christ who makes all things new, but God. Christ reigns, subdues all things, work that God the Father has entrusted to Him, all in this creation. Then comes all things new of the new creation, where justice does not reign but dwell.
Citing 2 Sam. 7:13 is confounding His reign as Son of David with the universal glory spoken of in the New Testament, which is a totally different thing. Dan. 2:44 is the worldly kingdom also; 7:14 also—peoples, nations, tongues, languages. Luke 1:33 is the kingdom over Jacob, the throne of David. 2 Tim. 4:1 proves nothing at all save that His appearing is the time of His kingdom. 2 Peter 3 proves the instability of created things against those who based their hopes on their stability, and laughed at the coming of the Lord. None of these passages, nor any in the Old Testament, touch the universal headship of Christ spoken of in the New Testament, the eighth Psalm alone giving in its general language the connecting link. In another sense, Christ does reign forever and ever, and so do the saints; but it is not the human kingdom in contrast with God's being all in all. " We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty," is the language of Rev. 11—the worldly kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, that is, it is the power of God as contrasted with man, begun in His taking in hand judgment and rule in the world; and that power could never cease. The kingdom thus viewed is God's in contrast with man's evil, and that is forever. In 1 Cor. 15, which is as clear as possible, it is Christ as man having held it for purposes of subjection, who gives up this special kingdom which puts down other authority, to God that the power may be God's exclusively. As partaking of the divine glory we reign forever and ever (Rev. 22), but it is not in war or in judgment given to man.
I will examine the subject of eternal priesthood according to Aaron, which though not finding entrance into my mind, I have not, perhaps, thoroughly examined.
My mind had gone on to fresh inquiry on the sufferings of Christ in applying the sufferings of Gethsemane more exclusively to the effort of Satan as the power of darkness, though using the cup Jesus had to drink, in the view of oppressing Him; and that this was closed before He left it, and thus Satan's power of death properly closed. On the cross it was the wrath of God, and out of that also Jesus emerged before giving up His Spirit to His Father. This, connected with what death is, and what life was, had occupied and interested me a good deal. All that relates to Him is blessed.
Affectionately yours.
[1851.]

Gethsemane and the Cross

The West Indies are a question of service, and he that saveth his life shall lose it. I like neither winter seas, scorpions, nor heat; but the gracious Lord will take care of me, if it is His service and His will that I should go. It will cheer and encourage them, and I do hope interest others as it has in Canada and the States. But I feel that in the present state of the church of God and the world, if spared, there is a serious work to be done in England in the breaking in of the latter-day evils, and that my present service with what strength. I have left, is mainly there, and I trust, ere some six months be up, the Lord helping, to be there. There is blessing here just now so that I linger....
Our life here is but a passage, West Indies or anything; but there is a government of God, a dealing in grace, but in respect of our state, as in Deut. 8 I feel my visit there is a trial as to my mere nature; but I feel that is nothing, and if God be with me, all will be well....
I trust all will be peace as to -. I fear narrowness, but long experience has made me feel continually more the importance of respecting the actions of those habitually engaged in service in any place.
Peace be with you, kindest love to all the beloved brethren.
P.S.—I have been much struck lately with the fact that in Luke we have more of suffering in Gethsemane and none on the cross.
September, 1867.

Gift and Its Exercise; Call to Direct Service

Not one of the passages which Mr.—quotes applies to the question. That those who have occupations, as—and others, should evangelize all they can, is all very well, but that is not being given up to the work of evangelizing where God has called us to it.—speaks of deacons or evangelists. But deacons are not evangelists. Serving tables was set up that the apostles might not be hindered in evangelizing; and when Stephen and Philip became evangelists, they gave up their place as deacons, at any rate Philip, for he left Jerusalem.
Next, that when a person is an aged widow, or an elderly matron, she should teach young wives to be stayers at home is all well, but what it has to say to an evangelist having an occupation-I am at a loss to see.
Providing for one's own-though, of course, a man is bound to cherish and care for his wife-speaks of a wholly different and indeed, opposite case; that the church should not be charged with widows who had children, but that they, or young members of their family, should provide for them. I have gone through them all, and none apply at all, unless 2 Cor. 12:13, 14; nor does that. Paul had no wife, and no home, and no fortune, and tells us he had no certain dwelling-place. He would not take from the Corinthians because they were fond of money, but talks of it as a wrong, and that it was an extraordinary thing (but he took from others for the gospel's sake); and in 1 Cor. 9 he discusses the whole matter on the ground that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Peter led about a sister, a wife, and Paul insists that he and Barnabas had the same right, so did the brethren of the Lord, and the apostles. (1 Cor. 9:5.) So that the direction of the word is quite plain: and heaps of brethren have done so on the Continent. If they have families, no doubt they must have a house; but the Lord has taken care of them, and their families have been educated, and get on just_ as other people's have. In one case there were eleven children. Of course, such cases require faith in a woman to undertake when in it. I have often seen them have more courage than men. My experience is wholly against him, called to be an evangelist, taking up a means of providing by other occupation. It is putting this world and human care before God's calling; and their spiritual work is spoiled in its very root. It is a wholly different thing, and the opposite as to faith, where those who have occupations break out of their bounds to evangelize. If a man be called of God to give himself up to evangelizing, that is another matter, but departing from the path of faith is a serious thing.
"Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."

Distinction Between Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4

As to the book of meetings I take no notice of it as I always objected to it altogether: very convenient, no doubt, but it is a counting up of a company, and as your letter shows is looked at as conferring a kind of authority and representative character given by—whom? Those who are going to a place can easily find out those they seek with a little trouble.... I knew of a place where there were three, and the order of the names being changed caused the greatest displeasure to the one who was no longer first!
But I am sure God is working, and will bring about the result which He can take pleasure in. Indeed, from the first, having given a plain testimony I have only cast the matter on God; and I am thoroughly confident He has acted and will act. I said when in England, when asked if I thought He would give deliverance—Yes, when He judges the brethren adequately humbled. As regards Kent, which He saw needed sifting, and where all went on without my having anything to say to it, I have also left it to God, save answering the letters written to me.... But I feel, dear brother, that God must bring blessing about in His own way. The evil was deeper than mere present circumstances, or I might have ventured to write. The only thing I dreaded was some taking the ground of making a fresh start, that all was now individual. In one sense it must always be individual. But beginning anew for a fresh testimony apart from what God had raised up was just what-wanted and attempted to do, and a denial of the one there was. I was long and deeply tried before it broke out whether I should leave brethren, feeling the state of things long before it broke out, but I felt it would not be faith and was held through the storm. But God has evidently wrought and is working in rousing brethren, and putting an end to what I long dreaded in many details. He has wrought in Switzerland, in France, in the States, in Canada, and I hear in Ireland, New Zealand, to say nothing of Sweden and Norway—Italy too—and has been giving fresh blessing since all this in London. I have no doubt through mercy Kent will partake of it.... My confidence is in God only, and there we can be assured, if looking to Him in the way of His will. The attacks of those who are unfaithful I have not even read. I believe in God's acting. All I seek is not to go beyond His leading.... His government never fails "though he bear long with them," and I trust it will be in peace and blessing for all.

Giving Thanks in All; God Working for Good

My resources are somewhat diminished... but it is all right: everything is right for faith, save, of course, sin itself. "In everything give thanks"; and if all comes from God it must be right. Even where we have made mistakes, what comes from Him is for good. I am not surprised at the working of evil. That evil I felt all along: my trust is God's working. If He sees fit to preserve the testimony in the hands it is in, He will and He can. In such a state of things every one finds his level. There have been tendencies to haste, through upright separations. If God brings one about, all that are godly and solid will be there. There are a mass of God-fearing men who will be led right.... The least self-confidence will go wrong. I am tried, but not uneasy. God, I still believe, is working for good. I have no doubt that both unbroken and ill-disposed persons labor to do—or in a way to do—mischief; but there is One behind mightier than all that. Nor can I say I am afraid as to God's testimony. Whether 'the brethren' will have it depends on His good pleasure. I trust so with all my heart: but His testimony is more than those who bear it.... What saints—what we—have to do, is to rest quiet and let them go on, and help souls on with something better—feed them with Christ. I think this multiplying printed papers very undesirable....
I am writing on John, in French, when I have a minute, and again (having left off) on Romans, in German; have been looking over and correcting the hymns, and have two papers coming out; but it is only at short moments I can do anything, but get as fast into heaven as I can. But I have never found the Lord and scripture what they are to me now.
Pau, 1879.

God's Ways in Discipline; Redemption

I was very glad to hear from you and of the saints, I do not find absenc., enfeebles my interest in them. I should greatly like to see them all again, but having now entered my eighty-first year I can hardly look to long journeys and active labors as once undertaken, but ever to Him who, with no journeys to take, ever watches over and visits them in an unceasing and tender care-a heart that never grows weary, and strength that never decays. I am fresh through grace, and Christ gives me renewed strength still to work on. I have had these last few days three meetings a day, and scarcely less than two for a long time, having been round visiting the saints up to the North of England and Scotland. Thank God, I found the brethren generally happy and much appetite for the word; and others laboring about give the same testimony, and in several places there is a good deal of conversion. You will have heard there has been trouble in London which has been really largely blessed.... Not that all are clear, but the general state of the work encourages those who are engaged in it, and any evil is sinking down in its littleness. Our conference meetings too have been much blessed. But I do not doubt and have not doubted there had been decline in spirituality and devotedness; and God in His rich mercy gave them a good shake, but it has roused and blessed them. There is far more conscience and reference of heart to God than there was. For myself it deeply tried me, though I had little personally to say to it, which my being in France helped me in, but I never enjoyed the Lord's love, and learned what His word reveals to us, and its power, as I have in these times; and I have felt how good it is to trust Him who never fails.
God makes a difference between mistakes in judgment, and positive wrongness of state. There is a government of God: where there is integrity of heart, He may chastise us because of it for blessing: there is always in such case want of waiting upon Him. But while He may exercise our patience by the other, it will sink out of the place of testimony. Chastening is good for us-we seldom wait sufficiently on God. He goes on straight in His way to the end of purposed blessing, while the petty ways of man cross each other in a thousand directions, and where only men come to nothing: where the Lord is at bottom the motive, He leads us into His straight way in the end—so faithful, so patient in goodness. The Lord give us to have Himself always before us—the eye on Him, the heart looking for Him, who shall receive us to Himself, and have nothing imperfect.
Redemption is perfect, absolute: when first known, in itself a source of boundless joy and triumph, and at the end of our course, when more or less we may accuse ourselves of failure (Deut. 9), gives as to acceptance God's judgment, " What hath God wrought," said of Jacob and Israel. (Num. 23) All that is a work finished and done, and Christ sitting down because it is. But it brings us generally into the wilderness (not as imperfect, for the thief could go straight to Paradise), and that is not a finished work, but what we go through and which tests us, but in which where life is, God helps us by His power: we learn what we are, but we learn what the Lord is -it is constant dependence or failure, but constant faithfulness to sustain us. But here we go through exercises which humble and prove us (Deut. 8), but learn much to do us good in our latter end. We have the priesthood to help, the red heifer and running water to cleanse for communion, and at the end return to what I have quoted—Num. 23; but we must learn it along the way. The redemption is never unsettled. Put Deut. 9 and Num. 23 together, and much is learned, but it must be experimentally learned with God on the way.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
1880.

Good and Evil Brought to Issue in the Cross; the Greek Translated "By" With Genitive; Sin and Sins

I write at once as to Heb. 9. Διά is used for a state or condition, which affects the principle on which we act or receive anything, on which anything takes place. Thus, Rom. 4:11, δἰ ἀκροβυστίας; Rom. 2:27, διὰ γράμματος και περιτομῆς. So it is in Heb. 9:11. As to παραγένομενος though it be having come, it is not the act of coming ἔρχομαι, but being present in or for something by coming; coming into a certain condition, so that He is there, or come, in view of what is to be done when arrived. The verb in the sentence is εἰσῆλθει ἐφάπαξ, verse 12. He had taken the position of High Priest of coming good things; and this office was to be fulfilled, not in the present earthly tabernacle, but in a greater and more perfect one. The tabernacle is not, therefore, I think, the incarnation, for His priesthood (save the fact of atonement) was not on earth; it is exercised in connection with heavenly things, though there securing earthly ones for Israel: παραγένομενος is entering into the condition of priesthood, not incarnation or glory, and that is connected with the heavenly tabernacle. The fact of His going in is in 24 as in 12; this referring to eternal redemption, which He had found; that, to the fact of His abiding presence before God there for us; but in both εἰσέρχομαι, the act of going in- not παραγίνομαι what He had come to be or do, the condition entered into or in view. I do not consider διὰ αἴματος, or τοῦ ἰδίου αἴματος as instrumental, but to be used in the sense already referred to.
The "end of the ages," or "consummation of the ages," are all the dealings of God with man to test his general condition. In this general sense the state of innocence comes in; but the proper connection is what is after the fall, yet not looking at man as lost, but testing his state and whether he was recoverable, or was lost and had to be saved. Without law; under, law; God manifested in the flesh, were the great features of this. Hence in John 12 the Lord says, "Now is the judgment of this world." Though there was testimony, there were no religious institutions before the flood, unless the fact of sacrifices. There were after: government; promises to Abraham, showing it was grace to one separated from an idolatrous world and head of a new race; the law; the prophets; and at last the Son as come, not as offered. Then God laid the foundation of His own purposes in righteousness.
The difference is that in John 1:29 it is the sin of the world; in Heb. 9 it is to put away sin more generally. Neither will have full accomplishment till the new heavens and the new earth. In this last passage we have to distinguish between it and bearing the sins of many. The last concerns us, and purging our conscience. I do not think it has been adequately seen how all good and evil has been brought to an issue in the cross-in that place of sin before God, that is, in Christ made sin (though in the last words it is for us, 2 Cor. 5:21). We have the absolute wickedness of man and enmity against God in goodness; the complete power of Satan, "your hour and the power of darkness;" the prince of this world leading all men, the disciples having fled; man in his absolute perfection, in whom that prince had nothing, but there was perfect love to the Father and perfect obedience; man in absolute perfection, and that as made sin before God, where it was needed for God's glory, for it was where He was made sin that the obedience was made perfect, obedient unto death; God absolute in righteousness against sin, and perfect in love to the sinner. This, therefore, is the finished and so immutable ground of eternal perfectness. We cannot say as to the result sin is actually put away, save for us (2 Cor. 5) who by the Holy Ghost know it; but the work is perfectly done on the ground of which there will be a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
We must not confound "sin" and "sins." He has borne the sins of many (they never can be remembered against us); loved and washed from them in His own blood-our conscience, once purged, is made clean forever. But sin is that alienation of all things, and first of all of our hearts, from God, which requires reconciliation of things in heaven and earth, which is not yet, and of ourselves which is; see Col. 1:20, 21, and many confirmatory passages. Christ then has been manifested for the total abolition of sin out of heaven and earth, defilement and alienation gone, besides our guilt being atoned for and our sins remitted; but both are by His sacrifice, in which God withal has been perfectly glorified in all that He is. The result is not yet wholly accomplished, nor will be fully till the new heavens and the new earth. The καταχθόνια of Phil. 2:10 are another thing; they bow but are not reconciled. I say this to avoid mistakes. The burnt-offering alone took the ground of sin, the sin-offering of sins. Romans also, 1:17-5:11, treats of sins; 5:12 end of 8 of sin only, here only as to man on the earth:,φέρειν is as to sins, ὁ αἴρων goes on to sin.; sins are borne, sin put away. Of course our sins are wholly taken away, but that is "our." He is never said to have borne the sins of all or of the world, or taken them away, but our sins, or those of many; but He is the ὁ αἴρων of sin out of the universe, the taker-away of it, the result being not yet accomplished: εἰς ἁθέτησιν (Heb. 9:26) is the result proposed, ἡθέτησε is not said. The work is done, the full result not yet brought about; but it is all in virtue of that, though power comes in to make it good, just as it does in the microcosm of ourselves, even as to the body in due time.
As to the question of "covenant" or " testament": " covenant" is always right, save in Heb. 9:16, 17. Even here it has been contested; but it seems more simple to take it as "testament," an observation or allusion by the bye, διαθήκη being in Greek covenant or testament or disposition. The voice of τοῦ δἱαθεμένου has been the great bone of contention where it has been discussed; translated, if covenant, "the appointed" [sacrifice.] But this has seemed to me forced. Some have even made Gal. 3:15, 16 "testament," but this, I judge, is entirely wrong.
Ottawa, America, Oct. 27th, 1876.

The Gospel of the Kingdom

I allow myself to send a brief reply to your inquiry. Agreeing entirely with your view of the subject in general, there is, it seems to me, one mistake which embarrasses you in this interpretation. It is this: that these Gentiles are brought to the Lord under the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in a larger measure than the day of Pentecost. That comes after the full restoration and blessing of Israel. There is an action of the Holy Ghost more in the character of John Baptist, an Elias work in Israel; and, as regards the Gentiles, it is a regular part of the service of the remnant of the Jews called thereto of the Lord. This testimony is found as to Israel in Matt. 10 which to the end of verse 15 gives the three missions; from verse 16, or more generally, that which went on after the Lord's rejection, and to the end when the Son of man should come. This ground as to the Gentiles in chapter 24:14 closes the general instruction, verse 15 beginning the time of special tribulation.
It is not "our gospel" with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, but "this gospel of the kingdom" that was preached when John Baptist was there, and by the Lord Himself. Let it be remembered now that we have no date for the rapture of the church—that the dates begin with a week of Dan. 9, and half a week of great tribulation when the sacrifice is made to cease. But this does not affect the general testimony of Matt. 24 which may begin before the week, and be carried on among the Gentiles during the great tribulation at Jerusalem. Only the Church must be caught up, it seems, before the accomplishment of a renewed testimony of the kingdom apart from what has gathered the Church. The final previous testimony to the nations is found in Rev. 14:6. This takes away all date from the testimony to the nations, save the relative one that the Church is gone. But when we remember that all is done with accelerated rapidity in that day, a nation born in a day, a short work to be made on the earth, that before Zion travailed she brought forth, that for the elect's sake God has shortened the days, we may look for a more rapid accomplishment of this work of testimony among the Gentiles also. There is another mission in Isa. 66, but this is when the Lord has appeared in glory and judged all flesh, and it results in bringing up scattered Israel The dispensational value of the gospel of Matthew has not (I think) been adequately estimated by students of the word.
[1873.]

Government of God

I want to get this printed as a leaflet letter.
It is with unfeigned trembling I have put it out, not as doubting its truth, and as to its contents, opportunely, but doing it in the way of addressing all.
Do not give in to the alarm and uneasiness some would create: many things God alone can settle, and there is an effort to give importance to discontent. God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him. He is above all evil, and Christ has gone through everything, and has all power in heaven and on earth.... The Lord governs, and will bring all about in His own way. The brethren everywhere, speaking generally, are in ten thousand times a better state than they were before the hubbub. There is more conscience, more fear of God.... Seek the good, leave the evil to God, only keeping a good conscience. He says, "Be still and know that I am God." "I waited," says Christ in Spirit, "patiently for the Lord." And then there will be a new song in our mouths, and blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust.
Love to the saints.
Pau, October 13th.

Government of God; Common Humiliation

I do not believe all I hear, or rather it does not produce upon me the effect it does on some; because the good, of which as the fruit of His own grace God can and does take notice, is much quieter than the evil. Had I not been fully convinced conscience had become swamped or weakened by the influences at work I should not have given the testimony I did. But this conviction made me feel that God alone could maintain and restore the testimony confided to us. Hence having given my testimony I took no part in details.... The result is in God's hands, not mine, and I desire to leave it there. When people wait on God, His actings and government will always bring them up into the place of His approval.
I have said, both in my first letter as to-and in the little leaflet I ventured to send to brethren, what I felt as to the state of brethren. But I do not think that setting up to be on higher ground, and leaving the state of things, is the path of faith, but a humble looking to God and crying to Him. There has been an effort to have a kind of common humiliation, which would swamp the judgment of evil, but I was not to be caught by that in my judgment—for I was not in the way of it locally....
I do not look to the state of personal feeling, much as I may desire it, but bona fide corporate action. This distinction I have always made, because corporate action (namely in the church) we have God's promise for, not for the state of each individual soul, save in the general principles of grace.... I am aware there is an effort to get up a party against faithfulness, but for that I trust God. And faithfulness does not want a party, nor can a party help it.... I desire healing; but I desire no healing which lowers the standard of christian walk, or hinders bringing God and His word to bear on conscience—first one's own, and then on that of others. Hence I have felt one must leave God to work out the result in Kent, as with all brethren. The difficulties of those who desire to walk faithfully, and with whose intentions I sympathize, are more trying than positive evil.

Government of God; John's Gospel

I trust you will have been guided in your path. has been used to such questions, but only the Lord can guide us in His path; if we have His secret and work with Him, having His approval all is well. May He so guide you! In England we have much for which greatly to bless the Lord.... There remain some whose activity is of the enemy, I doubt not, and not of God. I feel it a solemn thing that they should be there, or, if there, should not be wholly in the shade. But I have felt all along that, save a positive testimony when called for, my part was to leave it entirely to God, for it was not a case of ordinary discipline, but an effort of the enemy to set aside brethren's testimony altogether. He has come in, and I trust Him for all the rest. Details have to be redressed.... All is not straight, but, as I said, He who has done much will, I trust, finish the work of His goodness. That is what we have to seek, for San Francisco and London and heaven.
I have been writing in French on John, began for myself, but gone on for publishing, but have found rich blessing in it; what the Lord was really doing and His position in the midst of the Jews comes out so very clearly; His position, indeed, in the midst of the world as the light of God and the life of those who followed Him. He is all to us now, will be forever. It is a great joy to me, that we shall be eternal witnesses of the efficacy of His work for the whole host of heaven, and even for the Father—the fruit "of the travail of his soul"=and not one (oh, how glad will it be!) who will not be exactly what His heart would desire, and so presented to God—a bright and blessed time. But I must close.... May the Lord guide you in all, and those who seek His face; do not be in a hurry, He must do the work, and sometimes does the work slower than we fancy doing it; but He does it well.
Hereford, April.

Government of God; Sacramental System; Reception to the Lord's Table; Fellowship With Those in Sects

I was very glad to hear of you and from you, and that the Lord is helping you on. If we look to Him He ever does: He never leaves us. But there is a government of His, in which the enjoyment of blessing depends on our walk with Him, and nothing can take the place of that. But I must turn, with but little time, to your questions.
It was the almost universal opinion of early Christians that Gen. 6:2 applied to fallen, or rather to the fall of the angels (in this case -different from Satan); and Jude 6, 7 seems to confirm it-compare 2 Peter 2:4 more generally. But if it be so, God has shut them up in chains of darkness, and hidden the whole scene and its fruits from our sight in overwhelming waters of the deluge; and it is a mercy that He has.
Baptizing for the dead (1 Cor. 15:29) is, I believe, the nature and meaning of baptism. Alive in flesh, we as a figure take our part in Christ's death; only it is put in a general way, and the force of it-what is the good of taking a place in death if there be no resurrection? If you take verses 20-28 as a parenthesis, the verses connect directly: verse 29 answers to 18, and 30-32 to 19. This renders the intelligence of it easier.
As to Daniel, Christ was cut off and took nothing (see margin -the real sense-did not take the kingdom then), after sixty and two weeks, that is sixty-nine. Now we learn from the gospels His ministry was as nearly as possible three years and a half, so that for intelligent faith there is only half a week left, and, in ract, only that of the great tribulation. For unbelief—the beast and the apostate Jews—there is a week; and they enter into covenant for this time, but he breaks it when half through, takes away the sacrifice, and the great tribulation begins—that which is spoken of in Matt. 24 after verse 15, and in Mark 13—and this only in the Revelation.
I have been laid up ever since my last return here, but am a great deal better; not an illness, but exhaustion from overwork, and the effects of a bad fall at Dundee Station; but the Lord's hand ordering all.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
February 7th.

The Great Tribulation; Christ Before Church Questions

That the saints are caught away before vengeance bursts upon professors is quite certain, because it is when Christ appears that He executes vengeance. (2 Thess. 1:8-10 and a multitude of passages.) Now when Christ appears, we appear with Him. (Col. 3:4.) Matt. 13:41, 43 only proves that, when the wicked are judged, the righteous shine forth; but they had been previously gathered into the garner, in order to do so. In verse 49 the judgment severs the wicked from among the just. This is not the rapture. Judgment leaves the just where they were; one is taken and the other left, as in Matt. 24 In this last case the sphere is narrower, but the principle is the same. It is well to remark that the explanation does not refer to the same event as the parable explained, but gives further particulars. This is a general rule of interpretation. The public visible judgment of God explains what has to be understood when it is not visible. Privilege is a matter of faith.
Or will the saints be suffered, except those fallen asleep, to go through all the tribulation, and then delivered and blessed, after the tares have been taken in hand, at the revelation of Christ? If so, how are Rev. 19:14 and Col. 3:4 to be explained?
Or will some of the saints be taken before the others, one class being abundantly, the other scarcely, saved; one receiving a reward, the other saved so as by fire; one consisting of those who will open to Him immediately, and the other of those whom that day will more or less take by surprise? See, too, Rev. 3:10. If so, how are 1 Cor. 15:51, Matt. 24:22, and generally those passages which declare that Christ will come with all His saints—how are such to be explained?')
As regards suffering and death for His name, it is a privilege compared with those left on earth; but it is only in this case for righteousness and the prophetic knowledge of the name of Jesus, for "the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus." They did not confess and know Him as Son of God, as the members of the church did. When forced by growing wickedness, through grace they would not deny divine hopes, and they will have their reward. They would have done better to have owned Him in peace, when not so forced; but God is wise and perfect in all things.
The tares are declared to be taken in hand before the wheat is gathered into the garner; but, as we have seen, when the tares are burnt, the wheat is already in the garner and then shines forth. As regards the unparalleled tribulation in Matt. 24, and the passages from which that is taken, it is exclusively Jewish. There is no passage to prove there is such a tribulation but those which prove it is Jewish. As to the more general tribulation mentioned in Rev. 3, it is only mentioned to declare that the saints shall be kept from that hour. Then, again, a countless multitude come out of the great tribulation in Rev. 7 Rev. 19:14 and Col. 3:4, of course, agree with and confirm all other scriptures on the subject. These only go, however, to prove distinctly that the saints are with Christ before He appears; but not how long they have been so.
`Some of the saints' is vague. It speaks as if they were one common category. The day will not take any by surprise that go to heaven. They will be gone before the day which comes at Christ's appearing. But there is a difference. The saints who have fallen asleep, and those belonging to the church alive, will be caught up to meet Christ in the air when He descends then from His Father's throne. But neither 1 Peter 4:17, 18 nor 1 Cor. 3, applies to this. One applies to laborers even in the apostle's days; the other to the contrast between the righteous and the ungodly. Those who are not manifested as members of Christ when He receives the church to Himself will either remain on earth as God's people during the millennium, or if killed, as we have seen, have part in the kingdom on high. 1 Cor. 15:51 applies, as is there seen, to the manifested members of the church of God. Matt. 24:22 has nothing to do with the matter. It is the sparing the Jewish saints or remnant, saving flesh, in the time of their peculiar trouble. When Christ appears, all the saints, conformed to His risen image, will appear with Him in glory. He will "be glorified in his saints and admired in all them that believe, in that day." He will also come attended with all His holy angels. It is evident that He can come with only those who are with Him. The people spared on earth, when He comes and judges, do not come with Him.
[1861.]

Greek Translated "Come Short"

The remark is right as to the ambiguity of the English, because 'come' is also the participle 'have come,' and the natural connection is, "sinned and come short." But it seems to me that ὑστεροῦνται does not refer to exhibiting. With a genitive, and particularly in later writers, it has the sense ‘destitute of,' ‘wanting,’ ‘failing to have.’ Now that sin has come in, we must meet the glory of God or be excluded by it. In a state of innocency man enjoyed favor, and the question of consistency with the divine glory had not been raised. Now, we say, "All have sinned, and do come short of [fail in meeting, or standing in the presence of] the glory of God." Christ, as Son of man, has glorified God on the cross, and human nature has a place in the glory; οὐκ ὑστεροῦται, and so we in Him. This point of meeting the glory I believe to be an important one, and to run through the gospels. John 13 specially treats it with immense depth, though briefly. I add that ἥμαρτον, the aorist, is the historic fact, which is the ground of the present state expressed in ὑστεροῦνται. We have sinned, and are outside of, away from, morally wanting in what meets and gives us a place in, the glory of God.

The Force of Greek Translated "Eternal;" Dealing With False Doctrine; Separation From System; Eternal Punishment a Fundamental Truth

It seems to me that you are only acting unkindly with- -, going on with him as if nothing had happened. "A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject." You encourage him in this error and enable him better to mislead others. I wrote to him, but as I showed him plainly from scripture it was unsound, I got no answer. What Bellett says may be obscure, but is what all believe, that eternity returns after the course of dispensations.
The heavens which had disappeared since Gen. 3, has no real sense. But all this has nothing to do with the error in question. It is when the Son delivers up the kingdom that without are the fearful, unbelieving, etc. Scripture says that "The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." All this use of Greek and Hebrew by persons who do not really know them, with those who do not know them at all, is a very bad sign. It is just what—is partly deceived by, and it is not honest. When God says, "It is done," and the judgment of the great white throne is over, and God's tabernacle is with men, then the evil doers are without, cast into the lake of fire "which is the second death." "I am" is as much applied (indeed only so) to the present time, as in the eternal state; and God is as eternal now as He will be then. It is never used of that state itself, though always true. All this is gossamer and cobweb, and the various applications of eternal are taken up without the smallest reference to the passages in their sense. Who is spoken of in Isa. 9? But this word has been fully discussed.
It is not true that revelation is only of the ages. Prov. 8, and every statement of God's counsels and plans must be before the ages, for they are the source of this: so 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; where it is expressly before them, and yet the life is αἰώνιος. Is that for the ages? "In the beginning was the Word" is not in the ages. Nor do I admit that God is a relative term, nor Spirit. "I am" is not the only term that implies abstract being. It has been seriously called in question whether it does at all when first used, whereas another word does in Hebrew. The LXX have so taken it, namely, as being:' but thus αἰών is the same word and so defined by Aristotle and by Philo. But the whole thing is fancy, unwarranted by scripture. And it seems to me a real want of charity to encourage him in the propagation of error, which must shut him out from the fellowship of those who respect the word of God, strengthening his hands in misleading others. I feel this part deeply.
See what folly all this talk about αἰών and αἰώνιος, when the word is applied to the life of God Himself; His characteristic name in Rev. 4:9, 10. And this is exactly the one of whom—puts eternity at beginning and end of chapter 4:8, and further puts the "who is" (what he calls 'the being') only in the dispensational part, whereas "was" and "is to come" applies to time. Hence as in chapter 1:4, and frequently, ὁ ὦν -" who is"-is put first. The whole thing is an unfounded mess. Next he tells us that we look at the things that are agial (αἰώνιος): this is too bad. The scripture says exactly the contrary, "for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal"-agial if he likes-αἰώνιος. It is deplorable to see any one setting about to teach things with no trace of divine guidance. Many have known and loved—years before you ever saw him; but the truth is he has been off the track for years, and this is only the result. He knows I never had any unkindly feeling, but the contrary; but it will not do to sacrifice those, with whose faith he is tampering, to any personal kindness. I send back the paper, I could only notice what was palpable.
Affectionately yours in the Lord. New York, February 14th, 1877.

Greek Words Translated to "Except" and "Save" Compared

I do not think them the same. For εἰ μὴ supposes already that there is that one of the kind to which the negative generally applies; it is an exception. But ἀλλὰ retains its adversative force as to the whole, but something modifies it in result. Thus in Matt. 11:27, there is one who knows- no one else except;-in chapter 12:4 it was lawful to none else except. In Matt. 17:8 they saw no one, οὐδένα εἰσον εἰ μὴ τὸν. In Mark 9:8, "and suddenly looking round," οὐκέτι οὐδένα εἰδον, ἀλλὰ τὸν Ί. Here the scene had disappeared, but they saw Jesus alone with themselves. So in Matt. 20:23, Mark 10:40, οὐκ ἔστιν ἔμὸν δοῦναι, that is all denied—only modified by ἀλλὰ οις. He does not give places at all as His will, or His patronage, but to those for whom, etc. In Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19, if not Matthew, we have οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς, εἰ μἠ εις ὁ θεος. Naturally, good ones were before His mind: He excludes all but God.

Greek Words Translated to "Except" and "Save" Compared

I do not think the smallest doubt can rest on the sense of Gal. 2:16. We have only to read the rest of the verse to make the meaning of the apostle perfectly clear, and more than clear if possible, earnestly contradicting such a sense: ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐργων νόμου. That makes his meaning incontrovertible. But he adds as anxious to insist on the point, διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σάρξ. How this can be an explanation that we shall be justified by works of law by the faith of Christ, I am at a loss to understand. But it is a mistake as to the force of εἰ μή or εἰ δὲ μή. Not that it is not used as "unless" or "except." But its connection with the main idea of the previous phrase, and opposition to the manner there stated, is common: it is really stronger than ἀλλά having the force of only, or but only. Compare Rom. 14:14, where the δἰ αὑτοῦ; must be left out, and the "unclean," or main idea taken by itself. Only in that case a thing is unclean, and the point is the opposition to the way or manner. It is exactly so here. There κοινός & is the common idea, justifying here-δἰ αὐτοῦ the special case hypothetically put and denied. Introduce δἰ αὑτοῦ; into the second member of the sentence and you make nonsense of the whole. And so you do here if we read what follows. So Matt. 12:4. It was not lawful for him to eat nor those with him, but only for the priests. So Luke 4:26, 27, but (or but only) to Sarepta, which was not in Israel: so as to Naaman. There is always the contradiction of, or opposition to, something in εἰ μή The question is to what? In the first case it is of priests to common Jews; in Luke it is to "in Israel;" in Romans "by nature" or to him who so esteems it; in Galatians law and Christ; and there is always a common idea too, as in Matthew, lawfulness to eat; in Luke, widows or lepers; in Romans uncleanness; in Galatians, justifying. Hence the common idea is not uncommonly left out, and only εἰ δὲ μή put in, and the contradicting matter only stated. Meyer, Ellicott, De Wette, Hammond, Fritzsche on Rom. 14:14, all take it as "but," or "but only" in Gal. 2:16. The difference of ἀλλά seems to me to be that there is not necessarily a common point or subject as well as contrast, but simply contrast (not this, but that); with εἰ μή there is always a common point about which the contrast takes place. But it is a great mistake to think that it makes the whole antecedent clause the common point, which is what the question would do, so that the clause following it is a condition simply of the whole. You may see the grammatical statements in Klotz's Devarius, Hoogeveen, or Viger, Bose Ellipses, and Winer 654 (sec. 66), the rest under el and the Commentaries in loco. In both, passages from the classics will be found. The point of the difference of ἀλλά and εἰ μή, has not been noticed that I am aware of; but I think it will be found just. There does not seem to me to be the smallest doubt as to the sense of the passage; at any rate, that it means what the question supposes by the grammatical force of the words is a mistake. Passages such as Rom. 14:14 demonstrate it, and others, too, as Mark 13:32; Rev. 9:4. In 1 Cor. 7:17 it stands elliptically by itself for "only." Rom. 3:27 fully confirms what I have said of the difference of ἀλλά,. When the supposed common point is set as to be, and a condition or way of it is negatived, what follows εἰ μή is exclusive and contradictory of the condition or way. Thus οὐδέ τις ἄλλος αἴτιος ἀθανάτων εἰ μή νεφεληγερέτα Ζεύς. A cause is supposed, ἄλλος negatived, εἰ μή exclusive and contradictory of ἄλλος; when there is no negative and the case supposed, the εἰ μή negatives the supposition and says why. Μιλτιάδην δὲ τὸν ἐν Μαραθῶνι εἰς τὸ βάραθρον ἐμβαλεῖν ἐψηφίσαντο, καὶ εἰ μὴ διά τὸν πρύτανιν ἑιέπεσεν ἄν: "if it had not been for the Prytanis, he would have fallen into it." There are cases where μή is left out, and εἰ δέ put with a possible substitution. It answers in the cases of exclusion to אפס; in Hebrew. See Wolff's Curæ in loco. When the whole sentence is negative, the εἰ μή becomes a positive affirmation of what follows, as 1 Cor. 10:13, Mark 8:14, and others. Schiitz's Hoogeveen gives a pretty full explanation under the words εἰ μή. In result, the negation of works, or faith in Christ to the contradiction or exclusion, of works of law, is clearly the sense of the passage.

Guarding Against Independent Assembly Action; Evil Among Brethren; Outward Fall Not the Beginning of Evil; the Effect of a Full Gospel; Unity of and Common Action in London; the Lord's Ways With Peter; Restoration to Be Sought; Revivals

I thank you much for your account of Ireland. I had heard of dear -'s departure. I had heard, too, that the world had enticed away her husband, and, I trust, this may have awakened his conscience and heart. I feel such cases as -'s overwhelming. I ask myself why such things occur, for there have been one or two-if anything in myself, or in the ways and teaching of brethren even, to give occasion to what we all abhor. It is well we should judge this. I have no doubt as to the utter dishonesty of ordinary evangelical teaching, nor do I hesitate a moment on the need or glory or truth of simple full grace and salvation. It cannot be separated from Christ's glory, nor Christ from it. It is a part of eternal truth. I know the stupid objection of unconvinced and self-righteous sinners was alleged against Paul's doctrine, and that Peter had to say, "As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness." All this is foreseen of God. But, I ask myself, Is there any check in practice or doctrine overlooked, any onesidedness in the way of putting it? That in the late revival, not among brethren as much as elsewhere, but generally, there was un3criptural language, I judge, as to repentance and sanctification. The reaction against error over-stepped the bounds of scripture; but I think there must be more than this-something in our ways, in mine it may be, that God judges. I have seen that God has never allowed any allowed evil in brethren to be hidden, and I can thank Him for it; while elsewhere it is hushed up. Still it is very sorrowful that the Lord should be grieved, and those we love dishonor themselves and Him He can restore, that is the comfort; I trust he will poor -. I am sure He is righteous in all His ways, and such falls are not the beginning of departure from Him, not sudden, but the result- I would trust, the end-of departure from Him. Still I would trust that in a certain sense he was taken in a fault, and our part is to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering ourselves. Judgment on evil is all right, but the restoration of the sinner is the object of divine love; he will never, nor any one, be restored till the origin of the evil be judged. Christ does not reproach Peter with denying Him, but He does say, "Lovest thou me more than these? "-he will have to judge all that led him away from God. If we go down into Egypt, we have no altar till we get back to the one we had at the first, when God brought us to worship Him where our tent and our altar were in the land of promise.
The question you speak of in London has been pretty strongly before brethren. H. sought to make them independent churches, saying London was as populous as Galatia.—intrigued with all his energies to excite jealousy against the Saturday meeting; and a man, whose name I forget, who also was seeking to play this all off at the Priory, wrote and printed and insisted on their being churches. The difficulty in practice is real, in principle none; in practice because of the size of the town, and fidgetiness of individuals as to their local responsibility being meddled with. But hitherto a little grace and patience have met these difficulties, and God's grace can, and, I trust, will. It was this W. meant when he said, what was laid hold of for their purposes, that the one church of God in London, judged, in referring to cutting it up into churches—taken hold of to mean we only were the church, and all else outside. But the point was then pretty fully up and met. I took my part in it, and should again, if it came up; only I feel the fruits of righteousness are sown in peace, and I have had toil enough in this world to seek the ministration of the fullness of Christ for myself and for the saints. It is as clear as daylight in scripture that the church of God was one in each city or place. The size of London makes difficulty; the sending the names round was that all might help each; and such cases have arisen. In ordinary ones one has to trust the brethren of each locality; and even the few of them who inquire fully alone are acquainted with the facts, and we have to remember it is not really admission to membership with us, that is a sect, but ascertaining that they are members of Christ, walking godlily in the truth. There was no trying at first. We have to try, because we are in 2 Timothy. The Lord lead the beloved brethren on in peace and godliness....
1867.

Haydn and Music

I am very thankful your conscience has been exercised about the music. I can sympathize with you, for as far as ear goes, music had the greatest power over me, though never taught to play. But the ground of those who wrote you to keep it up is all wrong and not true. It is not for Christ they wish you to keep the harmonium, and that decides the case. I am not a Jew, nor am I in the New Jerusalem where all will be to God's glory, though not in the highest way, for the Father does not come in there. I could suppose a person earning his bread by music, though I think it a very dangerous way, as Peter did by fishing, which is no excuse for a person spending his time fishing to amuse himself.
All these pleas of gifts of God are bringing in nature when it is fallen into the worship or service of the new man and the Lord, and spoiling it. I have known hunting justified by the hounds having scent. No instrument can equal in effect (Haydn said so) the human voice. Besides, as I said, it is not true. It is merely helping the pleasure of fallen nature, not a thing evil in itself, but connecting sensual pleasure with spiritual life. It is not the thing to begin with with a ruined soul, but we have to live by God's word. Harps and organs down here began in Cain's city, when he had gone out from the presence of the Lord. In point of fact, artistic musicians as a general rule are not a moral class; the imagination is at work, not the conscience, nor the heart. Judaism did take up nature to see if they could have a religion of it, only to prove it could not be, but end in the rejection of Jehovah and His anointed. We are dead, and risen with Christ, and belong to another world. Hence I cannot seek my own enjoyment in what belongs to the old, though I may recognize God's work in it, but not seek it as a world I belong to now. It is not a legal prohibition, but the heart elsewhere. If I could put a poor sick father to sleep with music, I would play the most beautiful I could find; but it only spoils any worship as bringing in the pleasure of sense into what ought to be the power of the Spirit of God. They cannot go really together, save as water may take away the taste of wine.
It is a wholly false principle that natural gifts are a reason for using them. I may have amazing strength or speed in running; I knock a man down with one, and win a prize cup with another. Music may be a more refined thing, but the principle is the same. This point I believe to be now of all importance. Christians have lost their moral influence by bringing in nature and the world as harmless. All things are lawful to me. But as I said, you cannot mix flesh and Spirit. We need all our energies under grace to walk in the latter, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our bodies. Let Christ be all, and the eye is single and the whole body full of light. The converse is if our eye be evil, because it shuts out Christ; our affections are not set on things above where Christ sits at God's right hand. That is the point for us, happy affections there, and steadfastly, not being distracted.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
1881.

The Force of Hebrew Names for God

There is, I think, no difficulty in Ex. 6:3. If we compare Ex. 3:14, 15, we find there, "Jehovah, the God of your fathers." It was the personal name of God as having to do with men, and particularly with Israel—man in the flesh set in relationship with God. It is His abiding name as to this world, either who was, and is, and is to come, if we take Him historically, or more perfectly as in Revelation who is (ὁ ὤν), and was, and is to come, the ὁ ὤν, the existing one (atta hu), and past in time, and to come. But in Ex. 6:3 it is different. It speaks of the character in which He revealed Himself in order to their walking before Him. And note, when the revelation of Shaddai, as the name to be owned in walk took place, it is said Jehovah appeared unto Abram; and the word was, "I (Jehovah) am El Shaddai; walk before me." Hence, in Ex. 6:3, "I am Jehovah; and I appeared unto Abraham (ב) as El Shaddai: (in) my name Jehovah was I not (made) known to them." This refers to the appearing to put them according to the nature of that revelation in relationship with Himself: so to Jacob (Gen. 35:11), as soon as God revealed Himself to him. To Isaac, who stands connected with Rebekah, the risen head of the church, He is not revealed by any name.
The historical name is always Jehovah or Elohim. The One who appears is always Jehovah; but He appears to Abraham as El Shaddai, and so reveals Himself as the ground of, and that which gives its character to, his walk before Him. But it is always Jehovah who appears, as in chapter 12:7. In chapter 15:7 it is no appearing. The word of Jehovah came to Abraham and said, "I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur." And in Psa. 91, the title of Shaddai is used as the expression of almighty protection; the Messiah says as knowing the true secret of who the Most High is: "I will say of Jehovah," etc. And so He is kept by the power of Shaddai. Thus, I judge, that though Jehovah, as the expression of the constant being of God, was taken as the specific covenant name of Israel's God—the God of man in the flesh who had to say to God—yet it was, as the name of constant being, the abiding historical name of God. Almighty and Father are special names of character and relationship taken with those to whom God is so revealed. The name of the one true God, the name of the being, is His abiding name, in relationship with the earth—the name. The Israelite had "blasphemed the name." Most High is another relative name taken. Hence it is only in the millennium fully. But it is still Jehovah who is the Most High. Hence you would not have 'the angel of Shaddai' or of the Father, or Elion, because he represents His power as such, not a name of relationship; but he took His name, as the name of relationship with Israel.
It was not that the name of Jehovah was not known as the proper name of the true God, but that His making Himself known to them, as the One before whom they were to walk, was in another specific name. He did not take His name, His own name so to speak, as the name by which He was to be in relationship with them. It is a very important circumstance as to Israel that God's own name, what I may call His personal name, at least in connection with man on earth, "the name" became the name of relationship with that people. Hence in celebrating that name, even in the wide extent of the unopened glory, in the past which belongs to earth, we have (Psa. 8), " O Jehovah our Adon, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" He had set in that His glory now above the heavens. Elohim is the One who stands in the position of the divine being. Jehovah is the personal name of Him who truly is so. He became the Elohim of the Jews as a nation who had been called out of the world to and by Him when idolatry had come in. (Josh. 24) Jehovah, He is Elohim. And now we say, Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent; but withal of the Son, He is the true God and eternal life. When it is said "then Jehovah shall be my Elohim" (Gen. 28:21), we must refer to verse 13, whence Jacob drew that which he then said, and so verse 16. But in Ex. 6:2, we have equally, "I am Jehovah." But in Gen. 35, when Elohim reveals Himself to Jacob as the present God with whom he had to do, it is again (ver. 11) El Shaddai. Jehovah is found in chapters 31:3; 32:9. In a word, Jehovah was not unknown to their own thoughts or in intercourse; but it was not the name He took in relationship to the patriarchs in their character as such: it was with Israel after the bush.

The Force of Hebrew Names for God

As to the divine names, Elohim, אלהים is the common name for God, Him with whom we have to do; hence for all who are viewed in this place by man, or represent Him who is rightly so viewed, as judges in Israel (Ex. 21), or angels. (Psa. 8) Of course there is but one true God, but gods many amongst men: but hence, in Elijah's history, "Jehovah is the Elohim, Jehovah, he is the Elohim." It is the word in universal use for God as such. But constantly, when Elohim is distinctly used for the one true God, the article is added Ha Elohim. Eloah is the singular of Elohim.
El (אל) is the strong or mighty one, who stands, so to speak, by His own power. Hence we have El-Elohe-Israel, El (God, the mighty one) אל, the God of Israel. El and Eloah are constantly used in Job. (אל chap. 5:8; 8:13, 20; 9:2; 12:6; 13:3, 7, 8; 15:4, 13, 25; 16:11, etc. אלוה 3:4, 23; 4:9; 5:17; 6:4, 8, 9; 9:13; 10:2; 11:5, 6, 7; 12:6; 15:8, etc.) It is said to be Aramean. So we have in Daniel El Elion (most high God).
I can say nothing satisfactory to my own mind as to Jah. That it is used as an ancient poetic name for Jehovah is clear, as in Hallelujah. So in Ex. 15 "my strength and my song is Jah." If you look into most dictionaries, you will find it stated to be a shortening of Jehovah. But then I find them used together, as Isa. 26:4, "In Jah Jehovah is everlasting strength." So Isa. 12:2, "My strength and my song is Jah Jehovah." It is found in Psa. 68 where a ב precedes, translated "by His name Jah" in English, but which may be doubted, though a name of holy song and praise at any rate.
Jehovah is God's name of dealing and relationship with men, specially with Israel, derived (I suppose) from חיח, to exist; and practically translated "who is and was and is to come," not, "who was, and is," which is true, but "is" (exists, that is, in Himself eternally) "and was and will be" in past and future true. Hence He is one who having spoken makes good. "Thou art the same and thy years shall not fail." Hence we have in Gen. 1, "Elohim," the Creator; in Gen. 2, "Jehovah Elohim," because the relationship of God with men is spoken of; for there it is not His place simply over creatures as such connected with God, but all His various relationships: how Adam was placed, warned, and dealt with, his wife's place with him, creatures' subjection, etc. These words, Elohim and Jehovah, are never confounded in scripture. The senseless scissors' distinction of rationalists shows only their want of looking intelligently into the written word of God. God is God as such; Jehovah, One who enters into relationship with His people and with men.
There is another name אלשךי by which God revealed Himself, that is to Abraham and the patriarchs, El Shaddai. See Ex. 6:3, where Elohim takes specially the name of Jehovah as the God of Israel. These two names are beautifully brought out in 2 Cor. 6:18 to take the name of Father with us. "I will be a Father and ye shall be my sons and daughters," says Jehovah Shaddai, the God who was the one to Israel, the other to Abraham. In Gen. 2:3 it was of all importance to connect Jehovah, Israel's national God, with the only one creator God. So in Ex. 9:30 the God of the Hebrews, whose name was Jehovah, is declared to be Elohim; Pharaoh would not yet fear Him. Otherwise Jehovah is a name, Elohim a being: only Jehovah is Elohim, but the former a personal name. אלעולם El Olam is the everlasting God. See Gen. 21:33.
Elion (אלעליון) is the Most High God. This is a fourth name God takes in connection with men; His millennial name above all idolatrous gods and demons and all power, and then said to be "possessor of heaven and earth." Hence, when Nebuchadnezzar is humbled, after being a beast till seven times had passed over him, he owns the God of the Jews to be the Most High God. So in Dan. 7; but not when connected with saints: there it is plural (Elionin) and refers, I believe, to the high or heavenly places. (Vers. 18, 22, 25, 27.)
אהיה Ehejeh in Ex. 3 is merely the abstract tense in Hebrew, and "I am that I am" I believe to be right enough. [Some take it as "I will be that I will be."]
Adonai (אדני) is simply "Lord" (in the plural of majesty as is said), but hence, I believe, is used for Christ, exalted as man, but Jehovah withal, as Psa. 110:5. It is also Adonai in Psa. 2:4; Isa. 6:1, 8; Dan. 9:17.
There is another word which, though it may be used as an attributive, can hardly be excluded from being a name of God. חוא Hu, Atta Hu, "thou art the same," the unchangeable One (see Deut. 32:39); "I am He, the same and besides me no god." I am He, חוא: Psa. 44:4; Isa. 41:4; 43:10, 13; Jer. 5:12. It is in the sense of the immutable existing One, which is true of God only, as Psa. 102:27 cited in Heb. 1, ὁ αὐτός.
Though the Psalms afford in the most interesting way the difference of the use of God and LORD, I just refer to Gen. 7:16. God commanded him, it was Elohim's order; and Jehovah, the personal God that cared for him, not merely the divine being, shut him in. The scissors must be very small and fine that cut this into two documents, while the Lords mind shines out with the deepest beauty and interest to those that have eyes to see. So in chapter 8:21 we have "Jehovah smelled a sweet savor," because it was a personal relationship and dealing with men. All the rest of this part is Elohim, God as God dealing with a subject world in the flood, and sparing, as such, Noah and his family. In chapter 9:26 Jehovah comes in again in evident relationship. As to all these, readers have only to take an "Englishman's Hebrew Concordance" and seek the passages where these various names occur, generic, personal, official, or compound. It will not be lost labor, nor anything which is an inlet to the divine mind—God's revelation of Himself.

The Force of Hebrew Names for God; Appreciation of the Word

As you are so far off I tell you I more of these news of different parts; but what we want always is news from heaven, to be at home there, Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith. I find the word richer and richer daily. This has brought us news and blessed news from heaven, and in the Person of Him who is the fullness of them, and is gone back there after accomplished redemption, and, think of it! as our forerunner. And we must not think these things are not revealed—what eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor is entered into the heart of man to conceive; "but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." "We have received, not the spirit which is of the world, but that which is of God, that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God." All the other names of God—Almighty, Jehovah, Most High, Adonai—have to do with this world, and God shines but through the cloud. But the Father is seen in the Son: this is not dispensational; it is the sun breaking through them: and God known in His ways of perfect grace, Himself known. Christ, the only-begotten Son, has declared Him—what a blessing!—and brought us into His own place with the Father, soon in the glory itself. In that name of "holy Father" we are kept; and this is what we have to seek, to walk according to this place as dear children, as sons. May we remember that we are set in Christ before God; that is perfect; but, if so, He is in us, and we are set before the world to represent Him. (See John 14 and Rom. 8) And to do it, "out of his fullness have we all received." We must learn experimentally our own nothingness to be there, but it is a blessed (but a very responsible) place; and we must be full of Christ to do it at all—converse with Him for His own sake, for our delight in Him gives us, if we keep in mind our dependence, His presence and wisdom and strength for all through which we have to pass; and men and the world and the saints should meet Christ in us as they did in Christ. I have no need to say how infinitely and constantly perfect He was, and whatever we are it is still Him and of Him; but then so far weakness is not a hindrance, because God does not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, and then His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength made perfect in weakness. The secret is to keep the sense of that weakness, and look entirely to Him. Man lives by every word; it, and He in it, ought to be the source of every movement, as well as the rule of it, in us; and that is a great secret. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." But I must close. The Lord keep you near Him, and guide your heart within and your ways without. My loving remembrances to all the brethren.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
London, March 22nd, 1881.

The Force of Hebrew Names for God; the Sealing of the Spirit

I am preparing my head for a volley of stones, for I have a tract printing on the Sealing with the Spirit, which was needed, and I hope will be useful; the part I thought the least of probably the most so.... I have certainly been nearer the heavenly rest than ever, and to the chamber the other aide the cloison (I do not say galandage, for the body is for the Lord).
I fear there is not enough adoration in my frame, yet Christ knows what He is to me.
How unspeakable the grace that gives us a place with the Son of God! such a word, "As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly"; then as to standing and acceptance, "As he is, so are we in this world"; and as to nature, origin, life, "He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one." We ought to be empty of all but what comes from Him, and its source in us. Is far as it is so, it makes us very serious to be so in derivative communion with God, and then in thinking of the world around us—full of joy too, and according to the nature of God. Such was Christ's life, and He is our life; but poor creatures we are, even when devoted, but He is our strength, a strength made perfect in weakness....
At this moment I am occupied with Adonai, who and what He is—clearly, directly, Christ sometimes, as Psa. 2 and 110, but there is more than that December, 1880.

Hebrew Words for "People"

The words used for people, peoples, nations in the Hebrew are these. עם "people" in the singular in general signifies Israel, עמים in the plural "peoples." This is very often indeed wrongly translated "people" in the Authorized Version, I suppose because "peoples" is not correct English; but the sense is quite different. I believe the עמים are the peoples in connection with Israel, brought into relationship with Israel. נוים on the contrary, are the nations in contrast with God's people. It is used of Israel, where it is disowned, in Psa. 43,חסיד- לא נוי an impious nation. There is another word, and quite general, לאכוים, "tribes," "races," and so "nations." This is the word translated people in Psalm 2, and often elsewhere. The word אמות is found in Gen. 25:16 (of Arab tribes), and in Num. 25:15, in the same sense. We have עמים in Psa. 18:47. In Psa. 3:6, it is עם Israel. In Psa. 7:8 it is עמות; that is, while a general word, not the nations looked at in contrast with Israel, "Gentiles," as we are accustomed to say. In Psa. 9 God is viewed as clearing the land of His enemies. He is known by the judgment He executes. The wicked (which may be of His people in the land) are turned into Sheol, are slain and go down into the pit, and the Gentiles also who give no heed to God but go their own way, despising Him. In Psa. 67:2, it is "all the nations" everywhere, contrasted with Israel who speaks. Verse 7 is the effect. In verse 3 they are looked at as brought into relationship, עמים. In verse 4 it is לאמים, all the various tribes of the earth. Then He judges them, not in destruction as נוים, but as peoples (עמים) under Him: then לאמים The various tribes or races He shall lead or govern. In verse 5 it is עמים all the various peoples, but viewed in relationship with Jehovah. We have in Luke 2. "before the face of all peoples." Were the λαοί expressed in Hebrew, it would be עמים a general word (not I think here לאמים) but viewed as brought into relationship with God. Then the nations, ἔθνη, (נוים) were viewed as wholly invisible, unseen and ignored. The light of Christ was to reveal them, bring them out into visible existence, so that they became עמים so to speak. Then "people Israel" is plain enough.
[1871.]

Hebrews

As to αἰῶνας, Heb. 1:2, I am not disposed to reject Alford's view; that is, so far as it accepts a course or plan of God in the idea-world. But no person can have entered into the spirit of the Epistle to the Hebrews and seen its connection (that is, the way it meets the Rabbinical and Philonic views, giving God's thoughts on the subjects they were speculating on), and not see that αἰῶνας is not merely "ages" or "epochs." It is רכצולמיכor more specificallyעולם בורא, the Creator of the worlds. You may see Bleek, Delitzsch, De Wette, Liinemann, Schleusner, Schirlitz, Wahl—not that I accept all they say, but for the use of the word. Schoetgen (Hor. Hebrews) says it is so common that it is useless to quote examples. Further, Heb. 11:3 seems to me to leave no possible doubt, because it continues, "so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear"—distinctly intimating that he speaks of visible creation. I do not see how it is possible to overlook this, or after it to call the interpretation in question. Πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων shows, I think, the connection of the two. The critics refer to Eccl. 3:11, as proving the same use of עולם. Heb. 11:3, and the evident and constant use of the words in Jewish literature of the time, and the character of the epistle, leave no doubt of the meaning on my mind.
The notion of the word of the Son, in connection with His being placed heir, I should demur to. That it was the Son who spoke when it is said, "He spake, and it was made," I have no objection to whatever; but the heir constituting the ages I cannot accept here, because the statement is, "God spoke" -ἐν Ỳιῷ. Foρ ὁ θεδς λαλήσας...ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν ὑιᾡ, and so δἰ οῦ κ. τ. αἰῶνας ἐποίησεν is one phrase with one subject; and He who spoke is He who established the Heir of all things. So that I do not see how there is any possibility for the interpretation sought to be given; otherwise there is much I agree with.

Hebrews

In Hebrews God is approached in His nature as God: we go into the holiest. It is not the relationship of the Father with His child, nor is it union with Christ and the church, the entirely new thing; but "first began to be spoken by the Lord;" had "by the prophets;" and in "the last of these days." It connects Christianity with the old thing, only substituting the heavenly reality for the forms or patterns of things in the heavens. We are pilgrims on earth, and Christ in heaven for us. Hence, though it is for partakers of the heavenly calling as we are (not union in the church), it reaches out like Joseph's boughs over the wall to the persecuted remnant in the last day, who, though not having a heavenly calling, will have a heavenly portion; though Christ has to do with it when we go to God, in that we have a High Priest over the house of God. We go to the "throne of grace," our great High Priest being there (never to the Priest), though as Lord we do. But while we go in Christ's name, and so only can, there is no priest with the Father. Deut. 26 does not go beyond the Jewish order developed in Hebrews, and is very beautiful in that aspect. The defect of a tract on worship I saw in old times was that it was only Hebrews' worship, not the worship of the Father.
The priest in Deut. 26 was the necessary administrator of such things in Israel, and we are all priests; but it was the offerer said all directly. Anything offered to God must have been by the priest then. Still we have a High Priest over God's house, who is at the right hand of God, in the presence of God for us; but this is not as coming to the Father.

Hebrews; 1 John

First, I do not think you have put in adequate prominence, at starting, Heb. 10, distinguishing the Spirit's work which gives us the sense of our sins at conversion (and can only of past ones) and Christ's work when all were future, and the efficacy of which was not only up to the day of our conversion. Next, I believe 1 John 1:5-10 to be abstract—the message received from Christ come. Chapter 2:1, as you say, is clearly believers; but confession of sins is at the beginning and all along. Walking in light, fellowship, and cleansing, are the three elements of the christian state. Chapter 2:1, as you say, begins with the saints: it was for them he wrote what went before, but what he wrote was abstract truth, the message. But I think chapter 1:9 is present application: uprightness in confession brings forgiveness in relationship—not merely justification.

Heresy; New Birth; Connection Between New Birth and Faith

I trust that it is error, and not heresy. For the latter there must be the evil will of the flesh; and I trust that this is not the case with our brother. Another thing it is right to add, that it is always right to hear what a person has to say before condemning him. But taking your account of the matter and question, it is quite clear that there must be faith in the word in order to be born again. That we are begotten, and born, by the word is plainly stated in scripture; and the word is received by faith. A word not believed has no effect at all. A person may see men as trees walking, that is true; still the word has been believed. I believe that the source of the teaching is taking up a doctrine in the mind; and, lowliness failing—it is not experimentally realized, but the mind trusted—things are put out which are not really of faith.
I do not think the passage in Matt. 13, as to the good soil, applies at all. In every case, save the first, the seed sprang up and grew: the object of the parable is quite another. I should not, on the other hand, use for it (though I do not doubt I have often done it, from not examining it closely), Galatians "We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus," because it ought to be "sons," not "children." And this, which is christian standing, is contrasted in Gal. 4 with those who were quickened, and heirs of all, but not in the position of sons; that is, believers under the law. The origin of the error I believe to be a hasty and immature taking up of the difference between being quickened and set free. That people must believe the word to be quickened I have no doubt of; but a person may believe in Christ, and not know the value of the work of Christ so as to have peace and forgiveness. Thus the prodigal referred to was brought to know he was perishing, confessed his sins, and set out to his father, and that was the work of grace in him, but said, "Make me a hired servant." That was not knowing his father; nor had he the best robe on him so as to be fit to go as son into the house. When his father was on his neck he does not say, 'Make me a servant'; and, indeed, we hear no more of him, but of what his father was to him and did for him.
I have no doubt that He who begins the good work will perfect it unto the day of Jesus Christ; but the work of the Spirit and word, by which we are converted, born again, through faith, is distinct from that knowledge of the work of Christ in the conscience which gives peace, and there may be an interval passed between them; but my heart being repentant and turned to God, is a distinct thing from having the Father on my neck, and the best robe upon me. In Acts 2 they believed, through grace, Peter's word and said, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter then presents to them the forgiveness of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost. Here there was no delay, but there were two distinct things; and, from want of a plain gospel, souls often stay some time in Rom. 7, converted (by the word), but without peace, much more, without deliverance—nay, are taught to stay there.
My impression (for, I repeat, it is always fair to hear what a person has to say) is, that what has been taught is the fruit of being aware of this difference, and the mind, having had too much confidence in itself, teaching what was not experimentally learned, and hence immaturely and with mistakes, which might be mischievous—perhaps, dear brother, with a little dogmatic impatience on your part, there being behind truth which you had not learned. But in this case it would be error, not heresy; only the teacher would have to be more a learner, and not to go beyond what he had learned with God. I have spoken openly, having confidence in his and your love as brethren, though personally I have not the pleasure of knowing you.
Earnestly desiring you may all find true peace and union through grace.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Perth,
September 24th.

Holiness; the Resurrection

I have no doubt at all of the resurrection of the Old Testament saints. The answer of the Lord (Matt. 22; Luke 20), as well as other passages make it as clear as possibly, as well as those you quote. But it is one of the characteristics of New Testament teaching, that it is teaching people, dealing with people, not with abstract doctrine or theology. Hence the teaching of the resurrection is the resurrection of those concerned in the teaching. Thus the apostle has in his mind those he was writing to: 1 Cor. 15:18, 22, 23, refer to Christians: verse 21 is more abstract—resurrection of dead came by man. 1 Thess. 4:14 clearly applies to Christians, verse 16 also. Rev. 14:13 can refer to the saints which compose the church, but may to those slain afterward also. Resurrection is always individual. There shall be a "resurrection of the just." That takes in all, but in the body of the passages the apostle is thinking of those he was writing to; and life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel. Dan. 7 gives us the slain saints under the beast as heavenly saints. 1 Thess. 3:13 embraces all, I cannot doubt. But I have no doubt the apostle had specially in his mind those he was writing to. Such, as far as I see, is the mind of God in these passages. But Christ repeatedly speaks of saints in general.
Bordeaux, December 27th.

The Holy Spirit Dwelling in the House and in the Individual

It is not only the presence of the Spirit in the house, but His acting in the service of the saints, which I look for. As to the other point, though I believe that often there is no harm meant, and that by presidency is merely meant that His leading should be followed, where it is substituted—a rare case, but which I have known—for the presence of Christ, it is an evil. He is in the midst, spiritually no doubt, but still Himself. I cannot have the same affections towards the Holy Ghost as towards Christ. He was not humbled, did not die for me, and so on. The ministrations are under the Lord, too, as such, but the active power is the Spirit. I do not think, 'leads after Him' is right, because the Father and Christ are objects. In ministry the Spirit is active, but He brings the word from on high: "whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak."
The Spirit does act in us (Luke 12:12), and I do look to the Spirit acting in me—I do not say, pray that He may act; I pray to the Father, or to the Lord, but I wait for the Spirit to act. Christ is Head, but it is the Spirit acting in us which gives what He would have said.
1881.

The Holy Spirit Dwelling in the House and in the Individual; Independent Action of the Holy Spirit

I have not the least doubt that the interpretation of John 14:17, though very common, is a mere blunder. "Dwelleth" is the same word as "abide" in verse 16. Christ the Comforter would not "abide" with them as He then was, nor was He "with" them. The other Comforter would abide "with" them, and "be in" them. "Will abide" in Greek would be the same word as "abide," save an accent, and there were none originally: μένει abides; μενεῖ will abide.
Next, Acts 13:2 was not the assembly. The prophets were fasting and praying together and the Holy Ghost spoke with authority by one of them, "Separate me." The state of the individuals sent had nothing to do with it. God in His government may employ a fitting vessel, but no state of fitness can separate by divine authority a person for a specific apostolic work. And this is the point: the free action, and divine authority of the Holy Ghost; that is, of God. I have no doubt, as a general rule for edification, usefulness in service depends on the state of the servant, but to use this as a plea for denying the direct action of the Spirit is ruinous. It is not a chandelier of light, though each should be filled with the Spirit, but the personal free action of the Spirit. Scripture recognizes the diligent use of the word, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them," etc.: but to use this to deny the sovereign freedom of the Spirit is also ruinous and destroys our dependence on and guidance by Him. In Acts 8 we have first "the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip." Now, I do not doubt that the Lord chose a fit person in Philip, but the angel's speaking to him was not the state of Philip's soul. Then we find the Spirit telling him to go to the chariot. Then the Spirit "caught away,"—a word in Greek or English leaving no pretext for the interpretation given to it—" and the eunuch saw him no more." In Paul's journey the Spirit of Jesus did not allow him to go into Mysia, and they were forbidden to preach in Asia or Bithynia.
It is alleged that this independent action of the Spirit belongs only to the Old Testament, as Saul, Balaam, etc. This is a mistake: Caiaphas prophesied. It will be said that this was in Judaism. But Paul teaches it doctrinally (1 Cor. 13), "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am... nothing." The very fact of tongues is an independent action of the Spirit, for they did not understand what they said, and if there was not an interpreter were to remain silent. Tell me that this is lost—I understand you, but then do not deny that the Holy Ghost so acted. But there is a difference to be made between 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4 In the former the Holy Ghost down here acts with divine authority and power, but it is simply giving power (in gifts) to whom He will; but "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets," not more than "two or at the most three" were to speak. The word of God, the authority of Christ in the church, ordered the exercise of the power. If a man spoke with tongues, and—it was so completely the Holy Ghost—he did not understand what he said (a case supposed), he was to be silent, unless he or another could interpret. The apostle preferred to speak with his understanding, and edify the assembly, to which end all was to be directed. In the latter case (Eph. 4), it is Christ ascended on high, who, having received the Holy Ghost from the Father, gives for the spiritual need of the church (and here there are no gifts which are miraculous, in the ordinary sense, but) "apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers," and the promise that these will continue to the end, and then (ver. 16) what every joint supplies in the measure of every part.
But the Holy Ghost has been given, and come down, and all goodness and wisdom in exercise is from Him. He formed the body, He also makes us members. Even Christ "by the Spirit of God cast out devils." We are to be "led by the Spirit," and surely in the most solemn part of our lives here, our spiritual activity in the church of God, this is not to be given up, and we do without it. This is not giving up, or acting without, our understanding. The apostle preferred action with understanding, but that did not exclude the direct action of the Spirit. Men speak of impulse, so that the notion of the Spirit's action is lost, and it is of man. But if it is not of the Spirit, it is merely of man. The apostle would have the Spirit and the understanding. (1 Cor. 14:15.) The saying we could not then judge is a strange blunder of human reasoning, for it was when there was direct revelation they were called on so to judge. Faith, direct looking to God and His power, is identical with the action of the Spirit in its source and results; and what is called faith in Heb. 11 is constantly referred to the Spirit in the Old Testament. All direct action of God as to the creature, and finally in divine things, from creation on, is by the Spirit in scripture: no good thought in us but from the Spirit, no wisdom. It is the Spirit that lusts against the flesh. Waiting humbly on the Lord, that He may lead us to act, or not to act, and lead us in acting, and that habitually and in all things, is not acting from impulse, but the contrary, and the leading will not fail. If we are to judge, what are we to judge—whether what is said or done is of the Spirit, or not? If it is not of the Spirit, it is of the flesh: only the paramount authority and order of the word, which is certainly by the Spirit is maintained.
Further, the Holy Ghost being individually in our bodies, "` as temples, is not all. He forms the body, or rather formed it on the day of Pentecost—not by spiritual progress, but by coming personally down, and baptizing into one body. Nor is that all. The Holy Ghost is not in an assembly as God's house or dwelling, but in the assembly. In 1 Cor. 3 they are collectively God's temple, Christendom (see 1 Cor. 1:2), only realized especially at Corinth. (Some will say it [ver. 12] is doctrine: it is so, but realized in men; as "the seed is the word of God," Luke 8:11; "the good seed are the children of the kingdom," Matt. 13:38.) So, in Eph. 2, "Ye are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." That is not individual; and if the Holy Ghost dwells in the habitation, is He to do nothing there, or direct everything? The assembly is as much the house, or temple of God, as it is the body; only all the members of this last are personally dwelt in by the Spirit and members of Christ. As to two Spirits, it has no ground at all. It would be much more applicable to dwelling in individuals, but this is carefully guarded against (1 Cor. 12), in contrast with demoniacal inspiration. Whatever is not of the Spirit is of the flesh.

Human Accuracy in Divine Things

Keep close to the Lord, dear brother, and get your strength from Him. I have been struck the last day or two with how, at the end of John 1, He makes Himself the center of gathering outside the world; this is to be God, otherwise He would turn us away from God; afterward He shows the way, as Man, through the world in which we are—"Follow me;" then, as Son of man, heaven opens upon Him. He is the object of the delight of God. The angels, powers in the world of creation, become the servants of man; we have part in it, as heirs with Him. Many other things in this chapter struck me, but I stop.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Human Accuracy in Divine Things; How to Read the Bible; the Bride; Diligence in Business; Occupation With Evil; Forgiveness of Non-Imputation; Literalism; Proverbs; Repentance; Self Knowledge; Combining an Occupation With Service; Fruit of Sifting; Divine Truth; Imperfect Expressions as to Truth; Parable of the Virgins; the Word as Cream on the Surface; Study of the Word; Details of Controversy; Darby Commending Reading Not According to His Own Thoughts; Darby's Attitude Towards Differences

Dearest brother,
I apply myself to the critical questions in order. I see no proof whatsoever that either Elijah or Moses is one of the two witnesses; I see that the two witnesses are in the same moral position as these two saints, but no proof that they are identical. Besides, if John the Baptist was not Elijah, he never can be literally. That the same person should be "angel of his presence," and afterward be man, is indeed possible; but one who is not a certain individual can never become so literally. "In the spirit and power of Elias," well and good, but we are speaking of personal identity.
I believe that the 144,000 of Rev. 7 are the twelve tribes as a whole; the mystical number of the elect of Israel in its totality; the 144,000 of chapter 14., the special remnant which will have suffered intelligently in the times of trouble at Jerusalem, and which, having been in the same position as Jesus on the earth (according to the thought of grace) will be with Him in the earthly royalty, although they will not be in heaven. They understand and learn the song, being more associated with heaven than any other. They form a part necessarily of the whole; this is the reason I said not absolutely.
Again, as to Heb. 10:12, you are mistaken in supposing that there is transposition, for there is none; on the contrary,
I say, that to connect εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς with προσενέγκας neither order nor sense, and that a person who in some measure seized the habits of expression could not connect them. Μίαν...προσενέγκας θυσίαν εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς is not, I take it upon myself to say, without pretending to be very learned, which I by no means am, a Greek expression, nor is it even intelligible; whilst εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς ἐκάθισεν as the effect of this sacrifice is perfectly natural, and follows, and connects itself with the train of reasoning; and that no other way of taking the words is admissible. Besides, εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς is not the same thing as εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα; it is used in contrast to the business of the Jewish priest, who got up, and remained standing, being a priest, and in order to renew the sacrifice, whilst Christ is seated continuously. This force of the word becomes so much the more manifest because the use of the word with sacrifices has quite a different sense in this chapter even, and to attach to it the sense that you suppose in connection with the sacrifices would overturn the whole reasoning of the apostle. In the sense that I attach to it, all is simple (and it is its true sense). Look at verse 1. You have there sacrifices offered continuously εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς. Give to the word in this passage the sense that you desire to give it in verse 12, and the apostle cuts the ground from under his feet before beginning his reasoning. The priests offered them continually-nothing more simple. Εφάπαξ is the word to express what you desire to attribute to εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς. I take εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς (ver. 14) in the same sense; there is no interruption in their perfection which demands a fresh sacrifice. (Apply this to the question of forgiveness.) This implies perpetuity, because if the sacrifice is not renewed, its efficacy is perpetual; but the conclusion that the apostle draws from it is οὐκ ἔτι προσφορὰ περὶ ἁμαρτίας.There are many of these things about which I have deliberate convictions, and of which I am more or less ready to give an account, but on which I do not insist when I do not see that the profit of souls is involved in it; and about which in any case I do not like to enter into a contest, because this very seldom tends to profit. Here, for example, I do not admit that the original bears any other translation than that of the English version....
As to myself, you should never consider it a reproach to have thought differently from me. In general, I like better reading what is not according to my own thought, because one always gains (if there is piety, and the foundations are solid) something by reading it. Divine truth is of such vast extent, and is so many-sided, taking up the nature of God, His dispensations, His ways with men, their responsibility, the positive revelations of His counsels, the moral and eternal relations which flow from what He is, and from what other beings are; that on all points the truth may be looked at in many ways, and one fills up the gap left by the others. I see this even in the apostles. John speaks of the nature of God; Paul of His counsels; Peter of His ways. All have the same truths; only as one goes on everything becomes increasingly absorbed in Christ; and if even there were mistakes in what the man writes, one eliminates them through grace, and one takes what is given of God, which is not according to one's own way of looking at things. So that it does not trouble me to find in your work ideas different from my own. Besides, if the foundations are well maintained, I like that there should be great breadth amongst brethren, and not a party formed upon certain views, provided also that devotedness and separation from the world, and the truths that lead us to this, be also maintained in all their energy, because the blessing of souls is in question in this.
I think, indeed, dear brother, that, as you say, you have studied too much, and read the Bible too little. I always find that I have to be on my guard on this point. It is the teaching of God and not the labor of man that makes us enter into the thoughts and the purpose of God in the Bible. We search it without doubt, but the cream is not found through much labor of the mind of man. I do not think that any one will believe that I do not wish that it should be much read, but I do wish that it should be read with God. It seems to me that there is too much labor in your way of reading it; but in this, as in all else, man learns himself, and purifies himself. I doubt whether the literal application which you sometimes make is warrantable, and whether the ways and the scope and the purposes of God bend and limit themselves to human accuracy, to what man divines as to accuracy. I am perfectly sure that all is divinely accurate, but the subject being vast, and seen only in part, to reduce it to human accuracy is, at times, simply to falsify everything I see two ends of an immense rainbow, I suppose that they never meet. Were I able to see the whole, I should only deem that my parallel line has only destroyed the bow; that not only are the beauty and the unity lost, but that which was in the nature even of the refraction which is necessary to the existence of the phenomenon. The word of God is the communication of divine things to the understanding (rendered capable by the Spirit) of man; but we know in part, and the whole not being communicated as God knows it, as indeed it could not be, and ought not to be, we often lose it by attempting to put it into a frame.
After this long, but as to its principle, important preface, I come to the wise and foolish virgins. I think that the virgins who accompany the queen (Psa. 45) are probably the cities of Judah; but the use of the same figure to signify the same thing (a thing common enough among students of prophecy) often betrays the one who uses them thus into serious mistakes; and there is still less ground for this when the nature and the moral order of the writing is entirely different. That the virgins in Matt. 25 should be the cities of Judah, is a thought that never crossed my mind till I saw it in your letter, and it seems to me that the passage would not allow of it for an instant. I have never had any other thought than that which interprets them as Christians, from the rejection of Christ till the rapture of the church. Bellett, for a moment, wished to make it the Jewish remnant. I did not deny the analogies, but he gave it up himself. I am fully and perfectly assured that it is disciples during the Lord's absence, not the church as a body, but those who take the place of professors in the responsibility that attaches to it. Up to the end of verse 30 in chapter 24, we see what concerns the Jews and Israel as a body complete and entire: all His elect are gathered from this whole people. He resumes (chap. 25 31) to show the judgment of the Gentiles; between the two the Lord gives the instructions needed for His own during His absence. This is why the bride is not named. I admit that chapter ¨24:32 to 44 looks at the judgments in relation to the earth, and does not speak of the rapture of the church; but from verse 45 the Lord considers the conduct of His people as to their responsibility during the whole time of His absence. In the parable of the talents it is so unquestionably; in this (24:45-51) that of servants. The thing is clear in principle. Now, when responsibility is in question for any one, it is always a. question of the manifestation of Jesus. This is what takes place here. The conduct taken account of is during His absence. When Jesus appears the effect of this conduct; will appear; thus the τότε is but the time of the application of the manifestation of Jesus to the conduct which preceded it. Now the conduct here is the conduct of professors, I do not at all doubt. All the elements of the parable confirm for me the application that I make of it. I do not see in the case of the Jewish remnant, or of the cities of Judah, anything resembling the going forth of the virgins to meet the Bridegroom, the sleep during the delay of His coming, the awakening afterward which causes them to rejoin the Bridegroom before He reaches the bride- such as takes place in the case of the virgins. Nothing is more simple than the application of it to professors. Going out to meet Jesus is the calling of the faithful; alas! they have fallen asleep. The cry of the Bridegroom awakes them, because they accompany Him when He comes to Jerusalem. In the parable they have nothing to do with the bride. The heavenly bride is never the relation of the members of the church in their responsibility; the bride enjoys without fail her privileges in heaven. The Bridegroom does not enter, as you make Him do, into His earthly kingdom before the marriage at Jerusalem: it is there that He is king. There is no question of the Son of man in the parable; the passage where the expression is found (ver. 13) is rejected by all the editors.
As to your remaining explanations, I consider them without foundation, because when Christ will be at Jerusalem, Antichrist will be destroyed. It seems to me that you seek for details too much, instead of seizing the bearing of the passages. You say, dear brother, "that it is certain that the word of the Lord tells me that when the Lord shall descend with the church, then the kingdom shall be likened unto the virgins." Allow me to tell you that the word of the Lord does not say so at all. You think, I do not doubt, that you can prove that this is what the passage means, but the word of the Lord does not say it. I admit that the Church is not presented here as the heavenly bride, but the virgins are not presented as friends of the earthly bride, or in any relation with her whatsoever, but exclusively of the Bridegroom, which is the place of the church alone, that is, of its members, for we are not speaking here of angels.
As to the result of your researches, I do not see any harm in your having given it forth, but it is possible that you would have done better if you had kept your work for some time in order to weigh it in the presence of fresh light; but God makes all things work together to the greatest blessing of those who love Him. It is my habit scarcely to put one foot before the other in the study of the word, and to give forth nothing until I am able, in measure, to say (while still liable to make mistakes, of course), This is the mind of God. This makes me go on very slowly, but I seldom have to retrace my steps-a few details that I have adopted from others, without observing it, affecting sometimes, but rarely, the thoughts that I have received. And now I am about to make a confession to you which may perhaps annoy you; I have not read your work on the Revelation, except a part on the seven churches. I had more than one reason; amongst others, I do not like reading in fragments anything on which I have to form a judgment; I take the whole. I am waiting until the whole has come out, and I shall gain this by it, that the controversy will be over, and that I can with greater calmness make my own of what is good, and pass over the rest in silence. This is what I do when I have time to read works, which is seldom the case. We need to know how to use the word by the Spirit; without this the letter killeth; it is only a labor of which the mind of man is capable, nothing but a concordance is needed for it.... I own that I think that you rest in the letter in such a way as often to lose the purpose of God.... I do not doubt that I shall find useful things, and others that I can profit by in many ways, although I do not accept the conclusion to which they lead you. I often find brethren who have received ideas from the Spirit of God, and I profit by these; the conclusion which they draw from them, what they like as the system which they have formed from them, I totally reject; this is by no means an unusual case. A good many brothers seek edification, and are not able to suck the honey and leave the flower, however beautiful it may be, without further occupying themselves with it; sounding, comparing, judging between rival systems is not their part. This is the reason I have thought that perhaps it would have been better to devote Le Temoignage to what would not have required this kind of labor-but no matter. In short, when all has appeared, I hope to read it and examine.... A want of agreement about details is not for me a reason for controversy; it must be something essential.
As to repentance, God proposed it as a matter of government and of His ways with man, as a means of obtaining pardon; and if Israel had repented in this sense they would have been pardoned. In the end they will have received double for all their sins. In fact, God forgave His people individually, always in view of the work of Christ. (Rom. 3:25, 26.) We must never forget this; otherwise the foundations are shaken, and the meaning of all the sacrifices from Adam on. If man had received Christ, this would have proved that he was good, and there would have been no need of the sacrifices; but it was far from being so, as the rejection of Christ has proved.
As to the other point, it is impossible that our sins should be imputed to us; "once purged" we "have no more conscience of sins." God, as judge, sees the blood which has taken them away, and His unchangeable righteousness has now been manifested. It is here that we find the force of εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς.
Besides, when once sprinkled with the blood of Christ this sprinkling is not repeated, its efficacy lasts forever; but with the Father I seek forgiveness as from a Father whom I have offended. I am humbled before Jesus because I have dishonored Him, but I have no thought that anything can be imputed to me which demands the sprinkling of blood. The ashes of the red heifer, and the washing of the feet are the figures to apply here; the sprinkling of blood has been made, and it is not repeated. In the sense of imputation and sprinkling, forgiveness is not now sought; in the sense of having offended one's Father, it is. The confession of one's faults with humiliation is all right, if grace is fully maintained before the heart.
I beg you earnestly, dear brother, to be diligent about your temporal business. You know well that I am very far from wishing to see you leave your work, but what our hand finds to do we are to do it with our might. Limit your expenses at once, if they exceed your income, and arrange your business as a good steward of the Lord. Disorder in one's business is dishonoring to the gospel, as being careful to increase our wealth like the world dries up (one can do no more) the soul. The word has told us that it is the way and the root of every sort of evil. But the principles are simple; to live simply in order to be able to give of what one has, and to be faithful in one's own things, making use of them as having been entrusted to us to have in order to use them according to the Lord. The Book of Proverbs teaches us clearly in detail about these things.
There is a practical difference between oneself and one's sins. The renewed soul is much more pained at the discovery of the root which shoots up after the knowledge of the love of Jesus, than at the remembrance of past sins, the forgiveness of which it much more easily understands. Besides, you put the judgment of self before the judgment of sins, whereas sins committed generally act first on the conscience; after that comes the experience of what the flesh is, and this is so true that often in the early days of conversion one thinks that there is no more sin in one. That of which I have spoken as coming afterward is not exactly the knowledge of sin in oneself when judging it, but the fact of being in the presence of God—what we are in the presence of the light. To judge the flesh, myself, is a different thing from being in the presence of God in judgment, being such. What you quote from your letter to-is perfectly right. When he says that the knowledge of self is the business of the whole life, I think this a very sad idea. God makes us known to ourselves simply as a means; the object of life is to know Christ. Fathers in Christ have known Him who is from the beginning; and one does not even know oneself except by knowing Him. To be occupied only with evil (and there is nothing but evil in oneself) is a sad life, and it is not the thought of God. His desire is that for our happiness we should be occupied with Him. It is a thought as false as it is sad, and it means nothing but ignorance of the grace of our God. The truth is just the opposite of this, that I ought to be occupied only with Christ, and that this is the grace of God to me. Sometimes, when I have neglected to do this (so much the worse) to bring me back again He is forced to occupy me with myself; but I cannot say that the knowledge of myself is the first element of faith—the knowledge in general that we are sinners, and even that there is no good in us—be it so, but we know ourselves badly, very badly, and God causes us to pass through a spiritual eighth of Deuteronomy in order to understand our dependence on Him and His grace, a very difficult lesson for the heart of man to learn.
I must stop; I am called elsewhere. Greet warmly our dear brethren, and after all my severe criticisms receive, dearest brother, the assurance of my sincere affection.
Your brother in Jesus.
Pau, March 25th, 1850.

Hymn Books

I must be brief. I believe Christ bound the strong man in the wilderness after the Holy Ghost coming upon Him, and the Father owning Him as His Son. The relationship and position of accepted man being established there, He goes as such, led of the Spirit, to be tempted of the devil, who sought, if He were a Son, to get Him to put Himself out of the place of a servant and failed. The strong man was bound and He proceeded to spoil his goods, delivering all from his power; but that as his temptations were as to this world and the effects of sin, sin itself remained. He departed from Him for a season (Luke), and then the consequence of taking up the sinner, which was a second thing, came upon Him.
1 Cor. 15:22 I believe is all in Christ. But the other sense is true, there will be a resurrection of the unjust, and it only speaks of the body here. But the resurrection of the wicked is not developed: see the verses which follow and verse 43.
I do not think 1 Thess. 1:10 refers to the tribulation, but to the carrying out of judgment by Christ, and first specially at His appearing.
The hymn book is out, and the brethren at Croydon thought it much improved, but I have found a good many printing errors—partly mine. The Croydon meeting was greatly enjoyed by brethren, much communion, and the Americans very happy. I trust they profited too.
October 21st, 1881.

Hymns to the Father; Subjection of Will

I was very glad to hear of these different souls whom God is leading on. It is always so pleasant to see God working in blessing, and souls opening under the rays of His grace; for what He does, though it may be in a short moment, is eternal.... It is not a good sign when people do not like a yoke being put upon them if the yoke be God's word. "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart." We like our own will. There may be a bondage which is not of Christ, if it is that of man on the new man, but subjection of will is the secret of all peaceful walk in this world. It is Christ's work which gives peace to the conscience; but it is a subdued will, having none of our own, which in great and in little things makes us peaceful in heart in going through a world of exercise and trial. All in us, morally speaking, is sin, and having done with that, we live in what the Father is for us, and on what Christ is a wondrous exchange. Self is always alienation from God; that is, in its working.
As to Mr.—'s teaching on Matt. 13:38-43; I do not know what it is:—'s interpretation of verses 44, 45, I do, and never received—his interpretation made it not the kingdom of heaven at all—nor did I as to the bride: Eph. 5 and Rev. 22:17 seem to me to contradict it expressly. But mistaken interpretations are not false doctrine.
Luke 11:5, etc., is a general statement, that if we ask we shall get. In Luke 18 there is more reference to importunity, but not to its being exactly God's way, but that when the answer, for God's own wise reasons, does not come at once (for the answer may imply many things which God cannot well do), then we should persevere. It is not sufficient to know what is the true ground; there must be adequate motive. Christ must be all to us or we shall soon be discouraged, and this true of everything. When Christ is not everything, and the Father's love the air we breathe for life, we are not going right.
I sorrow over the way Mr. 's case has been taken up. I have no doubt he spoke unguardedly and was wrong in certain views; but I doubt brethren understood what was in question. I admit his statements had done mischief to some, but the way it was taken up added to it. There might have been a gain of spiritual apprehension; I fear now there may have been loss, but the Lord will overrule it. "That all men should honor the Son as they honor the Father" with whom He is one, scripture is plain enough about, and that it lies at the basis of all truth is a first principle of Christianity. But I trust the Lord will give peace.
I am at a local conference out of London, the first experiment, I have made of my strength. It is now some months since I preached, but have been four times to breaking of bread.
Yours sincerely in the Lord.
August, 1881.

"Ifs" in Scripture; Wilderness No Part of God's Purpose

There is no doubt that ἀδόκιμοσ (1 Cor. 9:27) has its simple force of "reprobate" or "good-for-nothing." I never could find out the difficulty people have found in it. There is no difficulty in being a preacher and oneself rejected; and that is all he says.
I only add that when the wilderness comes in, as he goes on to introduce it here in chapter 10, it must be crossed, and the ifs come in. I have not a shadow of doubt that God will keep His own to the end: 1 Cor. 1, John 10, and other passages are far too clear, thank God, to leave a doubt. But we have to be kept. The wilderness forms no part of the counsels of God, but of His ways. No transit is found in Ex. 3; 6, or 15. His purposes will be infallibly accomplished; but more—Christ could take the thief to Paradise from off his cross, perfected by His one sacrifice, and we can say, "Giving thanks to the Father who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." We are in Christ and Christ in us. There is no "if" there, and no condemnation.
But as a general rule God makes us pass through the wilderness. There (Deut. 8) He humbles us and proves us to know what is in our heart, only learning what is in His, that He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous. He does not suffer our foot to swell, nor our clothes to wax old. What we learn then is not salvation: that is the Passover, the Red Sea, and Jordan. But we learn dependence as our part; we learn to know ourselves and be humble, and we learn the sure watchful faithfulness of God—"kept by the power of God through faith;" but we have to be kept, and, if His, surely will be. But why kept if we had not need of it? No one can pluck us out of Christ's hand; but why say this if there was not real danger, and keeping of us in it? The wolf "catcheth" (same word as "pluck") the sheep and scattereth them, but cannot catch them out of Christ's hand: and here our responsibility comes in, our dependence on Him, our leaving ourselves to His infallible care; and one is as precious as the other is necessary. Hence, wherever the journey is spoken of, "ifs" are found—when righteousness and our place in Christ, never. In chapter 10 he goes on to put this to the Corinthians. Many were delivered out of Egypt and fell in the wilderness; but he does not say many were true believers, and fell in the wilderness. When I can talk of beginning and end, I find "if" Where one is in Christ, that is not the case; nor if righteousness and justification are spoken of. "By one offering he hath perfected forever."
Let me add to this note a remark: wherever falling is spoken of in Hebrews, it is always fatal and hopeless, drawing back to perdition. It is never a fall, but "falling away." Christ's priesthood in heaven is not for sins; but that we may not sin.

Denial of Immortality of the Soul

I cannot but regret that this thought has laid hold of your mind. It goes far more deeply into the center of Christianity than mere human notions of measured punishment. The immortality of the soul lies at the root, and with it, responsibility, repentance, and atonement; all of which are wholly gone in this human scheme. The character and evil of sin, and divine judgment, are equally involved; and wherever it acquires power over the mind, the whole state of the soul is changed and loses reality and integrity before God. It is not merely a question of comparatively obscure passages in the Revelation, but of our nature, and the whole nature of our relations with God. If the soul be immortal its state in judgment continues; if not, we are only a superior kind of animal, more intelligent perhaps, but morally the same, and our responsibility, as such, gone. If temporary punishment is adequate, Christ had to bear no more. I say this not to prove anything, though for one who possesses the truth in his conscience it proves a great deal; but to show you what is involved. If a man was to prove to me that a doctrine involved unholiness, I should know without more it was false; as was said to me yesterday I am free to sin-that must be false interpretation.
But I will first show you how false your presentation of things is, as to " all live unto him." There is no implication. The doctrine to which it is an answer denies the immortality of the soul and holds consequently that as the soul is not immortal, death is ceasing to exist, as in the case of the beasts that perish. Now the passage quoted is a direct formal proof that death is no such thing, but that when dead, they are alive to God as before. It formally and explicitly denies their doctrine. But you say, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment," implies everlasting punishment. It implies nothing about it, it states it; just as it states that the others go away into "everlasting life." Neither imply anything, they state the fact. If it had been said "everlasting fire," it might have been alleged truly or falsely, that though the fire was eternal, they were not. But they go into "everlasting punishment," which is not so, if they do not exist. There is no punishment if no one is there. Again, you say "the smoke of their torment" modifies. How does it modify it, if it is their torment, not the smoke of the fire? It is the smoke of what they are undergoing. If death is not ceasing to exist (and scripture is carefully certain as to this, killing the body is not killing the soul); if the duration of punishment is the same as of life, as of God, as of redemption, the case is clear statement, not implying. The truth of the ground taken by those who hold these doctrines is that we have existence as animals; all their arguments turn on this. If this be so, responsibility is gone. A dog and an elephant are not responsible, have not to repent, Christ has not to bear their sins. Give them eternal life! no gospel is needed for them. Christ has nothing to bear for them. They need no atonement. They do not hate God as man in the flesh does. If, as in your theory, men endure temporary punishment (a cruel system unworthy of God), then Christ had only that to bear for me. Sin has only that measure of evil. All the glory of His work, and my sense of sin, sinks down in proportion. Nor did I ever find one person who held these views, who had not at least mentally lost the atonement, nor can it be otherwise. For one who has only an animal soul cannot be responsible; be he saved or not, no atonement was needed. Christianity is gone in this system. If I have an immortal or undying soul and hate God, when judicially cast out (being such) my torment is infinite, as far as a creature can use the word. This I understand-feel in a measure- only not with finality of course present-but if it is only inflicted punishment for a term, without any object, but purely gratuitous, it seems an easy scheme to man, but it is God taking pleasure in useless punishment when they are going to end their existence after all. What "eternal" means is clear from scripture: "The things that are seen are temporal, the things that are unseen are eternal." It means what is the opposite to "for a time."
Isa. 66, as all these Old Testament passages, refers to the government of earth and what happens there. But it shows this much, that the fire and the worm do not destroy, the carcasses subsist without being consumed. Hence the Lord does not cite it, but uses it as the expression of enduring torment. He does not speak of carcasses, nor an "abhorring to flesh." It is not true to say it abstains from statements of duration of pain. Eternal punishment (κόλασις, torment) is expressly the contrary. So is "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord." Your explanation of a continual stroke seems to me as unfounded as possible. The stroke was not removed; he was always under it; it was not instantaneous but continual. It is not only the beast and the false prophet and those who worship the beast's image who are cast into the lake of fire, but whosoever was not found "written in the book of life:" and it is a simply gratuitous assumption that there is a third death after it-not in the gospel, not given as a hope or as perspective deliverance, but invented to satisfy the thoughts of man, as possible as you say, but which denies the statements of scripture as to many, being spoken of when needed (they are "in danger [ἐνοχος] of eternal damnation"), which makes the threatenings of scripture a bugaboo to frighten people with what is not true. But when it says "their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched," it is all groundless fear. It is not their worm very soon at all; for though the worm is not dead, they have ceased to exist; so that the terror for them is unfounded. And remark, that at the judgment of the great white throne, the intermediate state is closed, death and hades. The dead have been raised, and these (the wicked) cast into the lake of fire, where we have seen others tormented forever and ever, and of which it is said in general, "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Responsibility, repentance, atonement disappear; and instead of the offspring of God, sons of Adam (" son of God") into whose nostrils God breathed the breath of life, turned to hate God and so, persevering in it, excluded from His presence, cast into outer darkness-privation of God now judicially, for whom by His inbreathed spirit of life he was made, you give me with no need of atonement for me, a set of animals punished for a time, with no possible purpose or possible fruit; and on the ground that you say ' may it not be possible? ' I say, impossible, if God's word be not a bugbear, and Christianity not true—if my responsibility, repentance, and atonement be true.
I reply to your letter; I do not argue out the question, because you have what has been written, to which you may add F. W. Grant's book "Life and Immortality;" but still more the word of God, but the word of God for conscience. I have always found it to be a question of the sense of sin, and so the need of atonement; what my sin has deserved from God. Your own letter proves this, for temporary punishment is adequate to it. I thank you for writing to me about it, and reply at once. My being in America of course delays my answer. I earnestly pray God your soul and conscience may get clear, may get that sense of sin which makes it impossible to accept these reasonings. It is a common thing now, but issues (though saints are deceived by it too) in infidelity.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.

Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Publication of Writings; F.W. Grant's "Life and Immortality" of 1867

I have got frightened on seeing the title page of what you are publishing of my old papers: I thought nothing—as all but two had been published, and they gave some historical insight into the first starting-point of brethren—of their being published again; nor do I. It is the title page only that frightens me. It has a kind of pretentious look, making a kind of author of me who attaches himself to his works and his works to himself, which is not really the case. I feel as little as it is possible to feel I believe of authorship, save in the first place that what God does not give is useless in the church, or worse; and, not having naturally that kind of pride, sometimes I do not like what I have written, sometimes I do.
Do you know, I am somewhat afraid that this publication has brought out Hall and Dorman, worked on them, I mean, to take the place they have. They will have felt that it was committing them to a kind of system of leadership, not by anything I am doing now, for, as you know, I have not been, so to say, in England; but as a program of doctrine which was put forth. I have never had the most distant idea of any unsoundness of doctrine in what they took up, nor have not; nor have any peculiar views at all on Christ's personal or relative position. So that while, of course, willing to correct or improve expressions, I believe there is edification, not error, in the papers. I should be sorry that deeper apprehensions as to Christ's sufferings should stumble any, for that is all there is. I know not that charity could have done more to remove it; or that it would have been right to deprive the saints of blessing (which has been some five years before them) as if it was error; but I leave all that to God.
It is the title page of the book I speak of as having a somewhat pretentious air on my part, though I had nothing to say to it. I do not know if it could be remedied now, and another title given—" a collection of tracts and papers, some out of print or never published, by J. N. D.," or some such thing. I have not the least objection to their' seeing the light, though the form frightened me. I never liked putting "the author" in any tract of mine, feeling there was no good in anything God was not the author of.
There is a little progress here, but all is in its infancy. The denial of the immortality of the soul is so common among Christians of fair profession, all but universal where Christ's coming is known and the state of the church seen, that one has to be greatly on one's guard. I have had to contend earnestly about it here. Thank God, the brethren who had been decided about it have, through raising the question by others, seen clearer than ever. They have seen that it really upsets atonement....
I mourn over D., but my judgment is as clear as daylight: brethren, if I can; Christ at all cost.
Ever affectionately yours.
Some were much helped and some brought out at the Guelph meeting.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 8th, [1867].

Denial of Immortality of the Soul; Real Communication of Life; New Birth; Connection Between New Birth and Faith

Metaphysics will never save souls. The real point is do we receive something new? I am not aware that scripture speaks of life in Christ. We have "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ." But it is said, "Christ is our life." I suppose that is something, new for a sinner, or even for Adam innocent. The point in John 3:6 is not born of the Spirit, but what is "born of the Spirit is spirit." "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." I believe fully in the immortality of the soul, but that has nothing to do with eternal life. That "was with the Father and was manifested unto us." It is Christ the Son. And as to us, it is something in us which springs up as a well of water.
Your speaking of 'being' is unconsciously a sophism, because 'a being' in English means something having life. Life constitutes in ordinary English an existing thing, a being of which the manifestation is spontaneity. But this does not touch this question, but whether, the soul being supposed which gives personality, I do not receive something positive in receiving Christ that I had not before: "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son;" "he that hath the Son hath life:" Christ is life. It is never said we have life in ourselves, even when Christians, but in Christ. Of course, born of the Spirit is in contrast with born of the flesh, but born of the flesh is beginning to be, or to have life. Life is not a condition of being; it constitutes it: a material substance without life is not called a being. 'A being' supposes personal spontaneity; only life in scripture goes further than mere power of personal spontaneity: but life is not what affects the state of a being where personal spontaneity already is, but is the source of it: and this for the Christian is Christ, and not what we have from Adam. In virtue of that I reckon myself dead to sin, "the body is dead," I am not in the flesh. In your system it is merely a modification of the state of a living being.' Now that is being born of water, hence the other is added, born of -the Spirit. It is not said 'is water,' but it is said "is spirit." Is life in God a mere condition of His being? 'Being' means what has life. Hence to say life is a condition of what has life has by itself no sense. "In himself" may characterize it in God, "in the Son" may characterize it in us—not in ourselves. To this is added the presence of the Holy Ghost: "the Spirit is life because of righteousness." He is as the perennial spring to the stream, so livingly united, that "because I live ye shall live also:" we are "created in Christ Jesus." It does not change our personality, even when death affects the body, or present constituted organization, and we live in our souls for God, though the organized vessel may be turned to dust, but, if Christ be our life, with Him.
As to your reasoning, you contradict yourself in saying life is 'being' in a given condition, and yet that you cannot have being without a thing's having life already: death is a change in our condition of being, not in our circumstances of life. Having the Son as life so that we live by Him is not merely a circumstance of our life. Scripture never speaks so, but says Christ is our life—so thoroughly so that because He lives we shall live. What is scripturally defective in your mind is the real reception of the Son as life, the source of a new spontaneity in the soul. And this is a very grave matter.

Natural Tendency of Increase in Numbers; Lot; Pastoral Care; Testimony for These Days

As to affairs in England, it would be difficult to give you a detailed history; but the principle is simple enough, and it is with this we must be occupied, so as to discern what is of God and what is of Satan, and be guided in our walk to the glory of God.
You know that the natural tendency, as numbers increase in the assemblies, is that the heart wearies a little of the truth, which at the outset had authority over us to cause us to walk in the truth in separation from human systems; and at the same time the mind gets more and more occupied with persons who compose the assembly, till at last the truth gives way to the persons in our hearts, the conscience to the intelligence, Christ to the man, and brethren become, in another way, a system of the worst description: this is Satan's aim, and it is in this way that he assails the brethren.
The first fruit from this bad root is, that brethren are occupied with themselves to the exclusion of other Christians who are equally members of the body of Christ: they think of themselves more than of the Lord. They do all they can to keep the gathering together, losing sight more or less of the great truths which have acted upon hearts individually, and which truths formed the gathering, not as a great work visible and recognized on the earth, but as a testimony from God and for the glory of Christ in the midst of Christianity. It is of the last importance that we should continually remember that brethren are a testimony and nothing else; that is to say, that it is the truth that has kept us for the glory of Christ, and not we ourselves. This is easily forgotten. I have particularly noticed proofs of this in Switzerland for the last six years at least. A late fruit from this root is, that christian conscience has become valueless from neglect of its promptings, and ceases to act. From this it results that brethren are feeble, and become guilty, even in matters of simple righteousness, in such a way that even the world would condemn them. The assemblies of God are little thought of as such, and the presence of the Lord Jesus in the assembly is forgotten and ignored. This is what has happened in England, but the Lord loves us too much to allow such a state of things without reminding us.
But the test is general; it touches closely each one: that is why so many assemblies, and brethren individually in each assembly, are affected by it. In some cases the assembly is of one mind; in others there are two parties, more or less equal, one holding on to the truth at any cost, the other thinking more of only what is on the surface; and there may be other reasons acting upon many, leading them to follow a course which seems to them more easy. It has always been thus. Lot walked a long time with Abraham without his faith being put to the test: when the time for the test came he must walk alone, and then is seen for the first time the measure of truth that he really possessed in his soul. This is what is happening at the present time, and no one can determine the precise moment when such and such a soul will be put to the test; and we should be wrong in forcing or hastening the test in any way whatever, and even when it is there, to suppose that everyone will be tested in the same manner. All this is in God's hand: nevertheless when such a sifting does come, happy are they who profit by it, receiving the test as from God with searching of heart; or better, seeking to get into the presence of God that He may search it, so that all that interferes with the glory of Christ shall be judged and put away.
We must have patience, and help each other: a lack of patience has caused some to act too quickly, and though they acted with the best possible intentions, of separating themselves from evil, the result has been unsatisfactory. We are quick at seizing the reins when we see danger ahead; but the Lord knows better than we do what has to be done: in due season He will deliver all who look to Him. But this must be real, not trying to escape the test, or to delay the time of action when the evil is clearly manifest. Another valuable lesson the Lord would teach us is, I think, to occupy ourselves more before Him with the state of individual consciences. It is easy to neglect pastoral work. One is inclined to act by means of outward pressure, instead of waiting for the inward action of the Spirit, who would lead the assembly by the healthy and spontaneous action of all who form part of it. This ought always to be the aim, but alas! very often it is not possible on account of a corrupt influence which has been already too active, and for too long a time, so that morally, many have become incapable of a spiritual judgment; thus division is inevitable when the test comes to the door. But in any case we ought to wait until God sends the test. A man cannot be hung because he intends to kill me. We must wait until the act is accomplished before taking action, doing all we can, at the same time, to raise the spiritual standard by a healthy ministry of the word, as the Lord in His grace may give us. Then when the test does arrive, some, at least, will be able to act according to God.
The present struggle is between intelligence and the Spirit. It is a subtle thing which exercises the heart to its depths—must I be guided by my intelligence according to the things that I know, or must I walk in dependence on the Lord? Some pretend to be an expression of the assembly of God when their acts prove that they have no sense of the Lord's presence in their midst. To admit their pretension, would evidently be to deny the presence and action of the Spirit of God, for such walk by human intelligence, and override conscience. This is what happened at Ramsgate, and a division was the result. All was inquired into in London, and three meetings with a week's interval were held on the subject, and every facility was given to arrive at a correct knowledge of facts, in order to come to a conclusion according to God, and this not by any pre-concerted measures, plans, or arrangements, but simply through God's intervention in rather a remarkable way. Many... wished to set aside the decision arrived at on that occasion, and to walk in their own way: hence the reason of the present trouble. The principles involved I have endeavored to chew to a certain extent. It is scarcely necessary for me to inform you, that the above inquiry was forced upon the assembly in London through a letter of commendation from an assembly in Kent where the difficulty arose; it was necessary to come to a decision, because all means during several months had been used to induce the opposing ones to humble themselves, but without fruit.
November 26th, 1881.

Intellectualism; Work

I was thankful indeed to hear that the doors open to you, for real work (if we are in our place), I do not doubt it. It may not be as seemingly multitudinous as when those connected with the world are at work, but as much and more is done, and not in a way to nourish the flesh, and the testimony to the Lord much greater. If we seek His face He will always lead us right...
I dread intellectualism, too. But following the word in evil days is not intellectualism. Still watching that love and active love be in full play is important. But it is well to take a warning from any. I do not believe comparatively there is inactivity amongst brethren as to their labor of love, though I doubt not it might be more perfect in detail.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
Boston, March 21st, 1873.

Intercommunion Between Laborers

Dear brother -,
I was very happy to receive your letter and those of our brethren. The account B- -gives us of your position at -and in its neighborhood has greatly interested the brethren at our conference. They were just discussing the question of how it could be managed to have more frequent intercommunion between the laboring brethren, and also to knit more closely the links of brotherhood among the laborers, whilst leaving each one to full individual liberty and to the guidance of the Spirit of God in his work. At the beginning this was less difficult. The field was smaller, and they saw one another oftener, the whole of the work was more easily surveyed, and all was done more in fellowship. Now that the field has greatly widened and increased on more sides than one, sometimes a laborer and a flock find themselves rather isolated, seeing nobody else for a year or two. The brethren who travel in the work are, up to a certain point, a medium of fellowship; yet there is room for improvement in this respect. Your letters came just in time to make us feel how much these communications interested hearts in the labors and services of a brother. In the main this was what took place everywhere more or less, and it was felt one self-same work of the Holy Spirit which unites us in the ways of the love of our God. I hope to see you at the end of the summer....
Your very affectionate.
1853.

Interest in the Word; Fresh Growth; the Loss of a Mother

Everywhere I find the saints springing up in fresh growth, and happier, and conscience much more alive, and thirst for the word, and the soberest minds feeling the difference. Persevering firmness in holding a true moral ground, and bearing the humiliation of the saints on the heart and not setting up to do something especially excellent oneself, is the path of faith. If God casts the brethren off, it will be time enough to start afresh with something from Him. I prefer trusting His goodness, acknowledging how greatly we have failed. We shall see in result where God will bring us. What I feel is that the whole tone of the spiritual state of brethren has to be raised; and it is rising, though, I doubt not, much remains to be done, But it is by occupying them with Christ and His glory and sufferings, with all that is before us, and the truth as it is in Jesus, that this is to be done. The more I think of it, the more I see that the plain maintenance of moral integrity, and then trusting God, is of all moment now. The former had been so shaken and forgotten, that, unless gross cases of morality, godly judgment of evil was impossible. Many have still to learn that want of moral integrity is not to be borne, but the sense that the Christian must so feel has been widely awakened, and this is a great point. But I say no more—but this is what is on my heart, was from the beginning. Worldliness will, I trust, have its wings clipped too. Many details pass before my mind, serials and the like; but I go no further.
I trust and pray that God may graciously spare Mrs.-. A mother, be she ever so sick, is always an immense loss: the bond of the house or family is broken. An eye and a heart are there which, even if they cannot do much, those that make the family refer to, and run in solicitude through all. A man cannot be this in the same way, however kind a father. Still God does all things well, and can turn, however deeply felt, an evil into real and better blessing. Still no one can be a mother but a mother, but God can be everything to us and towards us in all our cares.
Here there is very fresh interest in the word. I am growing old and my gout is a hindrance, still I work away, and all, all is well. If He works, how should it be otherwise? My kind remembrance to Mrs. -. I trust and pray she may have the Lord very near her in her weak state: weak or strong, it is what we need, and, weak or strong, sufficient for us.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Dublin, May 20th.

Irving and System; Moravians; Puseyism; Archdeacon Wilberforce

Dearest -,-,
As regards Mr. Aitkin's letter, I think it the most arrant stuff I ever came across, but falling in with the current of the principles by which Satan is generally working now-very proper and likely to deceive rich or poor, putting conscience to sleep, and settling in the apostate form of self-righteousness; namely, the "voluntary humility" connection with ordinances. I have no doubt from some parts of it there is a direct power of Satan in it, the points of conformity to Irvingism and Popery leave no doubt at all on my mind. I stated long ago my fears to -. This paper leaves me no doubt upon it. It does not follow that no Christians may not get into it, to their almost [certain] ruin but for Christ; as there did into Irvingism, and I dare say, and indeed know, there are into Puseyism. But it is entirely to be treated as Satan's work, whatever Christians may get into or work in it, as there are in popery itself. But it is to be treated as directly Satan, and it will have no force. I have been looking over Archdeacon Wilberforce's book, and noticing the main point of it. The letter falls in with a mass of previously prepared habits of error in the mass of minds, and some fresh truth which gives a gloss of new knowledge calculated to take among the ignorant, to whom it is wondrous, so as to have an attractive and subtle character in this respect; but I denounce it as directly and positively Satan in se. I keep the letter to have a copy, but, as I do not know to whom it is addressed, shall not use it beyond myself without knowing to whom, and with their permission. I keep it for my own reference, which, as shown to me, I feel free to do, not to misstate or misconceive anything in it.
As to the day and star (2 Peter 1:19); there are two ideas, but not two subjects. In the night as to the government of this world, prophecy, which tells of God's judgments, gives light as to it, and helps the soul till it has a better, the dawning of a day on the soul in spiritual understanding as soon coming, for He is ready to judge being exalted; which, being accomplishment, does not need prophecy, and which presents the Person of a Christ already come and known, with whom we have to do before the coming in of the day which will close prophecy in accomplishment. Both are the intermediate state consequent on the position taken by Christ between prophecy and the day; but Christ is the personal object in the Morning star.
I am weak and little able for work, but I have begun meetings again, but not much to visit....
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
P.S.—I remember before I left the Establishment meeting a tract saying there were no priests under the New Testament, and Robert Daly and another putting in 'sacrificing' priests. Though great evangelicals, they are tied up by their system.
July 25th, 1854.

Jehovah and Jerusalem

The difficulty suggested as to the date can have no place whatever. Other questions may arise as to the force of words. In Rev. 12 Satan is cast down, clearly before the last great tribulation, greatly enraged, because he knows he has but a short time, and persecutes the woman for the "time, times, and half a time." In the passage in the gospels, where the mark of time seems precise (Matt. 24, Mark 13), the shaking of the powers of the heavens is after the tribulation. That is, the casting down of Satan in Rev. 12 is before, and introductory of, the last tribulation; in Matt. 24 and Mark 13 the shaking of the powers of the heavens is after the tribulation. Thus, as events, they have nothing to do with one another. In Luke 21 the expression is vague, and gives a general ground for what happens. The inquiry then is simply, without any reference to the fall of Satan from heaven, what these terms mean.
It seems to me that in Luke there is a mixed metaphor; in Matthew and Mark it is more in the style of Old Testament prophecy. I have little doubt that the scene will be as mixed as the metaphor-terrible signs actually given (compare Luke 21:11); and, besides that, an actual disruption of all existing powers, and terror on every heart, with the tumultuous swellings of peoples. Compare Psa. 93, where I do not believe it is mere literal waters. Further, I find in Dan. 8:10 the host and the stars clearly refer to rulers (Jewish priestly rulers) on the earth. Now I do not doubt the shakings and subversion of the future (before the great and terrible day of the Lord) will be much greater and more terrible than what is in Dan. 8; but this gives an inlet into what those expressions mean. I would not confine this tremendous breaking up of existing powers and rule to Jewish ones there, though it is in Dan. 8, because Gentiles and Jews are all mixed up together, the sacrifice taken away, and idolatry come in. But there will be more than a revolution—a subversion and upsetting of all manifested and organic powers. There is an analogous upsetting of all powers in Rev. 6, supposed by the inhabitants of the earth to be the great day of the Lamb's wrath, which it is not, but only a precursor of it. I refer to it to show that such subversions of all constituted powers are so spoken of, without any raising of the question whether Satan is cast down from heaven or not. This is before the trumpets and the vials; the end of the last tribulation comes after it—somewhere at the end of the second woe-trumpet, and then God's judgment by Christ Himself. The beast and the final tribulation are a special subject, besides the general government under which these shakings come; and they are so given in the Apocalypse. The general government of God applies to the nations at large; the beast is in connection with the rejection of Christ and enmity to Him. They go on concurrently, but the latter is a special matter.

J.G. Deck; Sealing of the Holy Spirit; Translation Work

Dear brother,—Being very busy, 1 have not been anxious to answer your letter, inasmuch as the urgent matter was done already; but I was always thinking of writing you a few lines.... Just now my days pass one after another without any difference, always occupied in the revision of our French translation, only the word of God is always new, and His love always more precious. I continually find something new in the word which nourishes the soul and reveals to it the love of God, and His ways.
It is by the Word that we live in this passing world, and it clearly reveals to us the things that are not passing, the heavenly things. " We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." It is a great truth, a great fact, that the Spirit has been given to us; not only that we are born of the Spirit, but that believing in the efficacy of the blood of Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit: by Him we cry, "Abba, Father"; by Him "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts"; by Him we know that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us The work of Christ is the foundation, but the presence of the Holy Ghost is the power of enjoyment. He gives the consciousness that we are children, and heirs, and He is the earnest of our inheritance until the possession of that which Christ has won for us; He causes us to wait for Christ. Once redemption as a personal matter is known, there are the two great truths presented by the word; we have been converted "to wait for his Son from heaven" (1 Thess. 1); and where the Spirit is there is liberty; when He is not grieved, there is communion with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ. May our Father keep us in His holy name from thus grieving Him; and may we enjoy His blessed countenance!
I am delighted, dear brother, to see that God is evidently working in Italy; He is indeed working everywhere in these last days, but in Italy the work went on slowly... but it seems as if the Spirit was working more at present. I do not want to go faster than what would be solid work; but it is happy when He encourages us, and chews us fruit. We must follow God, and not run before Him; and how great was the Lord's patience!
Pau, November 20th.

John and Paul Compared

I was very glad to hear from you, as I always am, and of the beloved brethren too. It is a comfort to think that God, in sovereign grace, will have His beloved redeemed perfected and in peace with Him. Our part here is faithfulness in walk, under His care and by His will on the way. You will desire to know something of England.... All is not yet clear, but when God works we look for full result. And through it all I never was so happy within, and scripture and what is unseen more real and blessed than ever. I trust Australia will go on quietly and earnestly seeking the Lord and the good of souls for His glory. It is what I seek in England, to drop all this, and seek to minister Christ. It is what souls want, both for quietness, and forming them in His image. It is those who are not with Him who are restless.
I have heard that brethren out in your world have been exercised about dear—'s teaching, that souls are not Christ's till they are sealed. Now I agree with him, the authority for it being Rom. 8:9. The prodigal son shows what the force of it is; as converted and in the right road, he at best hoped to be treated as a mercenary, had not on the best robe which fitted him to go into the house, nor knew in any way his place as son. But we have to be guarded as to dealing with souls as to this, because they may cry, "Abba, Father" really, yet be kept down by the teaching they are under; and we must not quite confound the "perfect"—that is, those who know their new place in Christ—and one who being forgiven, and being sealed can cry, "Abba, Father," but does not yet know what he is brought into: he may be, like the Corinthians, carnal though a Christian. But I am very glad the question is before brethren. The fact of the Spirit being given besides a man being born again by the Spirit, has been so lost sight of, that a Christian's place has been lost sight of with it. And God blesses this truth of the Spirit's presence now; He would have it before the saints. But the knowledge of the liberty wherewith. Christ has made us free, is different from that into which He has brought us so as to say, "As he is so are we in this world." The latter is more John's doctrine than Paul's (Paul's more the liberty), though you may get the groundwork of it in Paul.
The Lord guide you, dear brother, about your marriage, if still in abeyance: it is ever good to wait on Him, and not be in a hurry, or let our own will work. "I waited patiently for the Lord" is a word of Christ's Himself, and He cares for us and directs in everything.
[1879.]

John and Paul Compared

After years of communion in weakness, I have only bodily strength to write a few lines, more of affection than of aught else. I bear witness to the love, not only in the Lord ever faithful, but in my beloved brethren in all patience towards me—how much more, then, from God: unfeignedly do I bear witness to it. Yet I can say Christ has been my only object—thank God, my righteousness too. I am not aware of anything to recall—little now to add. Hold fast to Him. Count on abundant grace in Him, to reproduce Him in the power of the Father's love; and be watching and waiting for Christ. I have no more to add but my unfeigned and thankful affection in Him.
I do add, let not John's ministry be forgotten in insisting on Paul's. One gives the dispensation in which the display is: the other, that which is displayed.

John and Paul Compared; Paul and Peter's Ministry

Paul says, "Among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God." The commission in Matthew was only to Gentiles. The remnant were associated with Christ risen, not glorified. I do not doubt Jews were baptized, but there was no direction to do it. Not being baptized was a refusal to own Christ when they believed (I have met the case with a Jew), and "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Paul starts from a glorified Christ when the last enmity of man's heart had been brought out, and a messenger, so to speak, sent off to heaven, that they would not have this Man to reign over them. Paul only goes to the root of things (save John): Peter, "he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin:" Paul, he that is "dead to sin." Peter though with accomplished redemption and the new birth, goes on with the Jewish system—never the church as the body of Christ. Peter is the fact and effect on men here. Peter looks for the inheritance above as a hope: Paul recognizes it as such (Col. 1), but looks at us also as a new creation, sitting in heavenly places in Christ, and the inheritance is all things, Christ being heir, and we joint-heirs with Him. Besides personal justification, he deals with the ways and dispensations of God, His counsels, and ways experimentally. John is always individual and brings us into the revelation of the nature of God, and our being in God and God in us according to that nature. It is nature, not counsels....
Though I believe the children of Christians have certain rights and privileges, as a general principle with outside souls it is to try to get them converted and then make professors as you say. There is in scripture a reference to households which I do not understand. The truth is, when I have to do with souls I do not think of theories nor of brethren, but of what that soul wants, and so speak to it. But there is one thing we have to remember; at the beginning power was at the center, and acted from it, and gathered. Now a great corrupt body being in existence, power (assuming conversion) is shown in separation; gathering may follow: not that they leave their profession, but practically power acts from outsider and draws from the existing center.
God is working.... He exercises and sifts. He has been most gracious with brethren, and will maintain His testimony. I counted on Him to do it.
December, 1881.

John's Gospel

I have sent several sheets of John, and they have begun to bring it out at Vevey. This has greatly interested myself. The way in which this gospel wholly sets aside man—law as efficient for him, promises—and presents Christ, God manifested in flesh, light, connected with what is divine, eternal, and heavenly, is very striking. I believe we have to take up man on his responsibility, and press it upon him in grace, for he has a conscience, the true Anknupfungspunkt of God with man, putting man in his place, and, as to this, God too. But if we want to know the truth of the matter, it is that man, cultivated of God so that He could do no more for His vineyard, meets the manifestation of Himself with inveterate enmity, and all is new, and sovereign grace and salvation, and then the Holy Ghost that we may know it. While it is the character of all the gospel, chapters 8 and 9 bring this out distinctly. The word leading to the revelation of "I AM," then brings out the stones to stone Him. What a scene! The incarnate Son is but clay on blind eyes, making innate blindness externally a hiding of light. The pool of Siloam, "the Sent One," gives sight, and the light is seen, and God known. The word is the instrument, for, rejected as it was by the Jews because He told them the truth, and their consciences, I think, evidently uneasy, their wills would none of what pressed on those consciences, and these would know when He was gone into new and other scenes; while the impression on the blind man was "he is a prophet"—so with the Samaritan woman. The word has divine power on us, and so divine authority: then all can be received with divine faith. Then, chapter 10, He has His sheep: chapter 11, He is going to His Father, His hour was come. But we must begin by conscience.
We have everything to bless God for.... I feel it is springtime with brethren, though with gracious sunshine we have March winds betimes; still, as I trusted, God is working, and I wait for Him. My path now here may not please men; but if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Jesus Christ. I have long, if poorly, served Him; but I believe I trust Him as I never did before. I feel I am a different person, not in myself as if there was good there, but trusting Him; and it is good, dear brother.... The discipline of what has passed (and I never suffered so) has been most useful to me: He does all things well. The world passeth away and the fashion of it, but he that does the will of God abides forever. The Lord be abundantly with you and all the dear brethren.
Reading, April.

Sources of Joy; the Ryde Trouble; Testimony for These Days

I have waited to reply to your letter till our London troubles could at least be seen through. You will have sorrow at any rate, but God has been most gracious to us. It was a question of the existence of brethren. Satan made a violent effort to destroy their testimony. I had long felt it was in the air, and it pressed on me to return to England, though till I was back there was nothing precise in my mind. Dear Wigram, three years ago, said (not to me) that it was all over: he did to me in his last illness. But I felt the Lord was above it, and above everything; and so He has been. I suspect it helped to keep him out of England, and I believe hastened his end, though he had long been ailing. But Satan's effort has been confounded. There are details to be brought into order outside London, where, as it seems to me, they acted too hastily, though right at heart. But in London there is common action, and peace, and, save the places I have alluded to, clear conviction all over the country.... I was in France nearly all the time—at first suffered intensely, but was enabled to commit it to the Lord, and pray. And though I put my finger on the public act, now judged, I took no other part, unless a soothing one to individuals, and on my return to England went to no meetings about it (but continued to pray the Lord) till the very last. But the Lord's hand was there, and I trust many consciences awakened all over the country; and this is what I have rejoiced in, for brethren had declined, the world crept in, and it was the fullest truth, with generally practice little better than their neighbors. I had, before it broke out, anxiously thought about leaving the public body of brethren, but felt it would not be faith.
What I am anxious about now is that there should be a real testimony; I mean, unworldly, spiritual, devoted, such as ought to be with such truth as is given us, and such wondrous grace. The Lord has spared the testimony. What do we not owe Him, unworthy as we were? But I look to and trust the Lord for it. Who else can do it? I do look to His blessed goodness and love for, to me, a greater, though not so visible work as the bringing us out of the strait we were in. This is the thing that presses on my heart now, that a true living testimony may be given. Bethesda was nothing to what we have gone through, because B. was outside. But except the two places I have alluded to, which may require patience, I do not know one soul that has been lost to the path we are in, God's path I believe. I think of writing a little paper on what I hope for. But at present I am living under the sense of the wonderful goodness of God. I am thankful more than I can tell.
What as to my own state, beloved brother, I believe has kept me, for it is God's absolute grace always, is that I have from my starting had no thought of myself but of being wholly vile. I know it more than ever: as I drew nearer to God I saw more of what vileness was. And I have, though I well know it is all grace, been consciously nearer to God now a good long while—I trust more consciously and settledly so; yet it is all grace. One cannot be near to Him without knowing it is so, and wishing it to be so. He has kept me, even outwardly, wonderfully. I cannot go long journeys on foot as I used, but otherwise, though in two months I begin my eightieth year, holding my two meetings a day often, and in the open air. His goodness never fails. Yet I have had sorrows plenty, but that is all right: so on there will be the opposite. What a joy, besides Christ, to see all the saints exactly what His heart would have them; what an immense joy—all to His glory, the eternal witness to the efficacy of His work! I have learned more than ever in these last affairs to count on the Lord.... I have been having some good meetings here among the mountains of the Ardéche, chiefly among the Christians.
Ever affectionately yours.
September.

Judgment of Matthew 25

Your letter was not answered, because, first, I was so low, I could do next to nothing; and then it got astray, when I could take care of nothing; and it hung ever on my mind as a thing to do, and I was very glad to get yours to-day.
I may comfort you concerning England, for as a general rule the gatherings are in a far better state than they were before the trouble, and there is more conscience. I do not doubt much is vet to be desired, but there is more spring, too, in work, and everywhere a great desire for the word. The difficulties found faith very low; and a mass had come in as they would to any other sect with little or no principle, and what occurred found them in this state of weakness. Then there was a revival baptist work, which, while it sought to be accredited by brethrenism, had none of the principles which had formed them....
A collateral difficulty arose, that a large number of godly brethren were so disgusted with the duplicity and want of uprightness that they were disposed to leave, and so get clear of it. This was perhaps the most trying part of it, having to oppose men you loved and valued; but, dear brother, the Lord is sufficient for everything. The last difficulty is gone, and the upright ones more cordially united than ever.... But the mass of brethren are sound, and going on, not occupied with all this, and because they are quiet they pass unnoticed. Occasionally there is a local effort which troubles them, but it is left to God; and if a few who stand in the gap are firm, then all go on peacefully and happily....
In general, God has sifted, and sifted for blessing, and has sustained brethren; and I trust Him fully for the testimony. I have no doubt Satan made a dead set at brethren, and God allowed it because they wanted it; but He has shown Himself in goodness, and He always does well, wisely, and right....
And now for your texts. Those who yield feigned obedience [Psa. 18:44, etc.] are those who, without any heart for Messiah, are afraid to do anything else, and nationally. The sheep in Matthew are the individual results of the preaching of the kingdom, and judged only for the manner they have received the messengers. There is a war judgment (Rev. 19:11), and a sessional judgment. In Psa. 18 they bow under power to the throne. Matt. 25 is individual moral judgment when He has the throne. (Compare Psa. 18:34-45; Matt. 25:31.) Only there is a double action. He comes from heaven to destroy the beast, and takes the kingdom, and then out of Zion establishes His kingdom on earth, the Assyrian [being destroyed]. This is connected with all His ways as to Israel, His being in the midst of the people or not; Israel owned or not owned. I apprehend the 1000 years will give ample time for the existence of the army at the end. Partial dominion would not do; " every eye shall see him"; He will "plead with all flesh." (See Isa. 66) "And there shall be one Lord, and his name one"; "the God of the whole earth shall he be called."
Remember, dear -, what I have often said in New Zealand and as to England, that Christianity works by what it brings, not by what it finds. I have to leave the active field now to younger men than myself; but there is One who never grows old, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, and who cannot fail His own, or in making all things work together for good for them...
Ever affectionately yours.
London, February 24th.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

It is important to bear in mind that, whatever may be the display and power of grace, the principles of righteousness are in no way set aside, but, on the contrary, maintained thereby. The day will declare that God renders to each according to his works. Life eternal He will give to those who, by patient continuance of good work, seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility. He will give this, I say; because here eternal life is viewed on the side of glory, not as a present thing, as St. John does; and hence it appears as the issue of a holy, fruitbearing course. On the other hand, to such as are contentious and disobedient to the truth, but who obey unrighteousness, there shall be indignation and wrath, tribulation and distress, on every soul of man that worketh evil etc. (Compare John 5:29; Gal. 6:8.) Mark the two-fold truth. "Each of us shall give account of himself to God." Yet shall the believer not come into judgment (John 5:24)—not into condemnation merely, but judgment. Doubtless, in the unbeliever's case to give account of himself will be, in effect, both judgment and condemnation. But neither is true of the believer. Nevertheless, it is certain that the believer will be manifested (not judged) before the judgment-seat of Christ. All must be manifested there, in fact, whether saint or sinner; that each may receive the things done in (or by) the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or evil. Even for the believer, all his ways are far from being the fruit of righteousness by Jesus Christ. As for the laborer, there might be work done with sorry materials, and this will have its consequences in glory, though the person is supposed to be saved.
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom. 14:12.)
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or BAD." (2 Cor. 5:9, 10.)
"But he that doeth WRONG shall receive for the WRONG which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons." (Col. 3:25.)
Note the last passages in reference to "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," and Heb. 10:17.')
It is just the same principle in the last passage, as indeed in a crowd of others. 1 John 1:9 does not modify, much less contradict, this. It is involved in repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Nor does Heb. 10:17 clash either, as some might think. No sin is remembered as a question of pardon; nothing is forgotten as a question of divine vindication and retribution. We shall know as we are known, and God be magnified in all His ways.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

It is not as if God forgot the things, but He does not remember them—hold them in His mind—against them in any way. If I say I forget as well as forgive, it only speaks of the completeness, not, if the thing is called up, that my memory has ceased to know it as a fact. If I give an account of myself to God, I must do it completely or I should lose something of the goodness of Him who has called and saved me. Paul lost nothing in saying, "Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee."

The Kingdom as Presented in the Gospels; the Dispensations of Law and the Kingdom; Matthew and Luke Contrasted

It is important to pay attention to the place where these passages are found in the gospels. In Matthew, chapter 11 marks the transition from the presentation of Christ to the nation, the Gentiles being excluded. What is found in chapter 10 speaks of this presentation until the return of the Son of man, and the new order of things which took place in consequence of the rejection of Christ. Verses 20-30 of chapter 11 present this change in the most striking manner. The Savior upbraids the cities where He had labored, for their deplorable unbelief, and submits to the will of God in this dispensation. This submission opens for His heart the enigma of that grace which appears in all its simplicity, and in all its power. It is a question of knowing the Father, and the Son alone can reveal Him; but He invites "all that labor and are heavy laden" to come to Him, and He will give them rest. His Person, and not Israel, is the center of grace and of the work of grace. He alone reveals the Father. The judgment of Israel is developed in chapter 12, and the mysteries of the kingdom are brought out in chapter 13. On the occasion of this transition we see the testimony of John and that of Jesus equally rejected.
This transition is, if possible, still more clearly marked in Luke at the end of chapter 13. The rupture between Jehovah and Jerusalem is complete: the house which belonged to the children of Jerusalem, once the "house of God," is abandoned, and they will not see the Lord until Psa. 118 is accomplished in their repentance. Then in chapter 14., the change in the ways of God is clearly shown, and the sphere of the activity of His grace is no longer the now rejected Israel, but the whole world, after having gathered in the poor of the flock of His people. (Vers. 16-24.) Then the ways of God in sovereign grace towards man—towards sinners—are brought out in that treasury of grace and love, which is found in chapter 15; and in chapter 16, the Lord shows the use that man ought to make of that which he possesses according to nature, being now that which had been particularly proved in Israel—a steward who was dismissed. He should make use of it in grace, in view of the future; instead of enjoying it as a thing possessed in this world. He should think of eternal habitations. It is here that the passage relative to the kingdom and to John the Baptist is found. His mission was the pivot of the change. In this point of view the mission of Christ on the earth—His ministry—was but the complement of that of John the Baptist. Compare Matt. 4:17; 3:2. Only the latter sung the doleful dirge of judgment, and the former the joyful song of hope and of grace, just as our chapter explains it to us.
In the passages which occupy us, Matthew speaks as thinking of Israel; Luke, as thinking of all men.
Two great systems of God with respect to the earth are found included in His counsels, and revealed in the word. One depended on the faithfulness of man to the responsibility which weighed upon him, the other on the active power of God. These are the dispensations of the law and of the kingdom. But there was a moment of transition, when the kingdom was preached, and preached in the midst of Israel by John the Baptist and by Christ, without its having been established in power. The people were put to a moral test as to their use of the right of entering in. For the rest, the Prophets and the Psalms had indeed announced beforehand the character of those who were to have a part in the blessings of the kingdom. See Psa. 15; 24; 37, and many others; Isa. 48:22; 51; 57:21; 66:2, and a multitude of other passages. The sermon on the mount has put a seal to this testimony by giving it actuality. Now the preaching of the kingdom had for its effect to separate the remnant (namely, those who had ears to hear) from the evil and hypocrisy which reigned in the midst of the people, to prepare them for the entrance of the kingdom, if it had been established in power; and in fact, Christ being rejected, that they might become the nucleus of the assembly which, according to the counsels of God, was about to be revealed. Then the kingdom took the character of sowing and other similar forms, and not that of the kingdom of a king in power, and it continued to be preached as about to come; although the salvation and the glory of the church were to occupy, from the coming down of the Holy Spirit, the principal place in the doctrine of which the Spirit is the source.
It was therefore at the moment when the relationships of Israel with God by means of the Messiah had become impossible, and when the relationships founded on the law, and maintained by the testimony of the prophets, were drawing to an end, through the publication of the kingdom ready to be established and, in a certain sense, present in the person of the King—it was at that moment that the Lord pronounced these words. Now the first thing that they state is, that "the law and the prophets were until John." Israel was placed by God on that footing until John's ministry. They had but to observe the law, and to rejoice in the hope given by the prophets, and all was well. This was no longer the case after John. The kingdom was not established; if it had been, the power of God would have settled everything. Order and peace would have reigned; the remnant would have been blessed in the kingdom where the King would have reigned in righteousness. But it was not so; it was preached, and preached by prophets—and by those who were more than prophets—and by prophets who were reviled and rejected, and for whom the wilderness and death were an abode or a reward. The hypocritical nation, a generation of vipers, would have nothing of it. It was only the energy of faith, going through sufferings, which could seize on it. Satan and the heads of the nation would do all they could to prevent people from entering, and even soil their hands with the blood of the righteous. Those who preached the kingdom suffered, and those who entered it were to have their portion with them. The kingdom was not being established in power; the King did not reign; He was preached. It was only by violence that one forced one's way into it. It was the violent ones, those who were not stopped by obstacles and opposition, but who opened to themselves a way through all, these alone it was who were securing a place for themselves.
There is only this difference between Matthew and Luke, that Matthew speaks exclusively of the character of those who seize on the kingdom, and the position of the latter, and does not therefore go beyond the application of these thoughts to the Jewish people. Luke had formally spoken of the highways and hedges, and had by his expressions opened the door to the Gentiles without formally pointing to them as the " whomsoever," so often quoted by Paul. "Every one," he says, "forces his way into it." Since it was a matter of preaching and of faith, the Gentile who would listen to the preaching and have that faith would enter in, like any other. Nevertheless, he only opens the door by a principle, according to the doctrine of that gospel from chapter 4. The parable which follows these verses in Luke goes farther. It decidedly opens heaven, and completely overturns the Jewish system, which made earthly blessings to be a proof of God's favor.

The Kingdom of God and of Heaven; Red Sea in Type

The Presbyterians profess to hold new birth by baptism in a worse way than English Episcopalians, though they have no formulary to bring it under the eye. It was held by all the Reformers. But where sacramental grace is held, the root of Popery and ecclesiastical hostility to the truth is always found.
As regards the kingdom of heaven; the kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of God, only dispensationally spoken of, and is the kingdom of God when the King is in heaven. But "kingdom of God" is a more general term; we have "it is not meat and drink," etc. "Kingdom of heaven" is only used in Matthew in contrast with Messiah on earth. John never speaks of dispensations, but of the reality of things, God being revealed: and so "kingdom of God" is used here, John 3
The Red Sea I believe to be Christ's death and resurrection, and thus redemption by which we are brought to God, as is there said. You have not the saint raised in Romans; he is looked at as we are, a man living on the earth, but having Christ as his life, forgiven and justified, and reckoning himself dead, and giving himself up to God as one that is alive in Christ from the dead. The Red Sea redeems, not from enemies, but out of flesh, and so sin and Satan's power. Pharaoh was not an enemy, but an oppressor. Jordan is death experimentally, death with Christ; then after being risen, fighting begins.
London, November 19th.

Laborers Meeting for the Study of the Word; Appreciation of the Word

My dear brother,—We were engaged in a conference when your letter arrived, which has delayed my answering though I had begun a letter. We have always had from time to time such readings here as they have also even more regularly in Germany, and growth of knowledge, and general unity of doctrine is through grace promoted and fellowship in labor and service. They have such regularly in Somersetshire among the laboring brethren, and if carried on under the Lord's eye and grace I am sure they would be useful in Suffolk.
I am very well, but somewhat tired between conference, lectures, and work of all kinds. I am not so young as I was, and work almost, or quite as hard from early dawn towards midnight in my 60th year as in years past, but I feel it a little more. But I have singularly enjoyed the word in all its parts latterly, and particularly in John and now in Matt. 1 think new divine light continually breaks in, and I am most happy in going peacefully onward to a sure, most blessed and divine rest, across the toil and exercises of the desert....
The Lord keep us in the way of His steps and in the abundant witness of His grace. It is a time in which the Spirit of God is evidently working in a wonderful manner, for which we have to be abundantly thankful, but I think I see signs of its being in judgment on the professing church. The Lord avert it, and prove me wrong, but I fear it is so....
Be ever content with quiet service and seek much communion and constancy with Christ in His work, and the Lord bless you in all things. He is goodness itself.
Ever your affectionate brother in Christ.
Nimes, April 3rd, 1860.

Laborers Meeting for the Study of the Word; Reading Meetings

It would have been a joy to me to have assisted at your meeting at Torquay; I am most glad the brethren meet together, and thus place themselves before God. God alone knows what He can do in breaking down barriers, and uniting in testimony those separated. But I fear, humanly speaking, the world has too strong a hold on those with whom I cannot walk, to hope, humanly speaking, much. It is not as a reproach to them I say this, for there ought to have been spirituality to prevent it, and grace to overcome it; so that before God I take every share of blame and humiliation; but I fear, sadly fear, it is the part which, in a measure, accepts the worldliness, which is broken off, save some dear souls, who are just the grief of heart to me and others, who may have innocently entered. I should always more earnestly urge taking up each individual case; but I apprehend the path of those who walk by faith is to pursue in peace their course, seeking all that God can give them of souls for Him in earnestness of zeal in these latter days.
The only remark I have to make as to the meeting is that I judge the study of scripture would be a most useful part of it; to take a book or chapters, as God may direct you, and study it detailedly and diligently onward; this kind of meeting, or employment of time in great part at the meeting, I am persuaded would be of the greatest use, and place the hearts of brethren most usefully before the word. We have at this moment a meeting of this land at Lausanne....
I shall hardly, I expect, be in England so soon as October 5-12; but my heart will be with the blessing of brethren.
Ever affectionately yours.
Lausanne, September 13th, 1853.

Need of More Laborers; Reception to the Lord's Table

I hardly know how to answer you, save to say to you to look to the Lord, and to do so myself; but that is a great comfort. Laborers in the harvest we have a crying want for here, and the Lord recognizes it as a kind of known want, and tells us what to do. For who can send them but He, or raise up such as can go? I know none. In these countries there is far and wide an open ear, and very few to tell the glad tidings of salvation and a Savior's love, yet there ought to be a sense of it which would urge us to bring it forth to others. After all, you are better off than many a place; yet I recognize the need, and earnestly pray the Lord to supply it. He cares for His church better than we know how. Yet I do not at all deny our responsibility in being exercised before Him for called-for blessing. It would have been a great joy for me to see you all at Boston, and indeed elsewhere, again; but I am forced to remember that I am within a few months of eighty, and have had the gout to boot, and though, thank God, fresh and happy in spirit, and laboring as usual, long journeys become a greater burden, but one is nearer home—not, I hope, weary of what is here, certainly not of His service, but feeling it the deepest grace and mercy to be allowed to serve when I know what I am, though all around brings the presence of evil home to me, but—the thought of seeing Him, being in my Father's house and where holiness is a