Letters 7

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Lausanne, August 20th, 1858.
My Dear Brother In The Lord,-We have been here about five weeks, visiting among the saints in the Canton Vaud, in Switzerland.
One thought specially has pressed upon me, and that is the blessedness of the position which God has accorded us to see and to lay hold of, not only of having been saved for eternity, but of walking with God for time also. No praise is due to us on this behalf, but the privilege of it is great, and the shelter and blessedness of having to do with the living God is not unmistakeable here at least. All, so to speak, that is ecclesiastical to man's eye, and according to man's boast-the Church-all in ruin, and, as to principle, in dissolution. In one place (Geneva) the congregation which is spoken of as having had most discipline and holiness, is trying to maintain its position as of old three Sundays in the month, and on the fourth Sunday it drops into a collection of congregations, in which, separately or unitedly, there is no discipline. Here a congregation, which one Sunday in the month meets for the supper without discipline, has three Sundays a private meeting with discipline for believers. All is it dissolution.
The brethren are weak enough, to their shame, in practice, but as to principle, and that which they seek to maintain and profess to seek, there is consistency, because they avow that the living God is present always and everywhere, and so they cannot admit any secondary principle.
The Evangelical Alliance for the nations progresses, and truth is elicited at its conferences. The last was at Berlin. The king welcomed one thousand Christians from all the countries of Europe at Potsdam. In America, too, the movement of revival this last spring was much of the same kind as that of the Evangelical Alliance; viz., multitudinous. Now, on the other hand, conscience is individual. If I act as a Christian, I act in God's presence alone; I act there as an individual. If I act in a multitude, or under a multitudinous influence, I never fairly own God's supremacy or my own individual responsibility; and my action in time is different from what the inward thoughts, motives, means, and end are, which are known to my own soul in God's presence. " He that hath an ear to hear " is a safe principle; it is Christ's when all is in ruin among the churches.
Most affectionate love to all. Yours,
G. V. W.