Letters on Subjects of Interest

Beloved Brother,
I thank you for your letters, which always interest me. God is so faithful to His own, that, if there is any disposition to rise, God humbles, as we see in the meeting at—. He would not have us out of the place of security and blessing. Discipline is more difficult than people think, because they are not humbled enough to think of a brother's sin. They do not feel enough what one is oneself, nor love consequently for others.
I have been deeply interested and touched by the reciprocity of concern between the Father and the Son in their love for us. (John 17) They communicate mutually, or at least by the mouth of the Son who addresses the Father, and I learn in what way they share this love. The Father has given us to the Son; the Son has manifested to us the name of the Father; He has kept the disciples in the Father's name. Now the Father is to keep them, and to bless them because they are His own, but also because the Son is glorified in them. The Son has also given us all the words the Father had given Him for His own joy. What a thought that the Father and the Son think of us thus!
Generally in John it is the love of the Father and of the Son which characterizes grace. God is light, but light shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not. But if no one has ever seen God, the only-begotten Son who is in the Father's bosom has declared Him. So in chapter 8 it is His word, and “I am;” in chapters 9, 10, it is grace, and “I and the Father are one.” They would believe they were doing God service [in persecuting His own]; and this, because they knew not the Father nor the Son.
New York, April 23rd, 1867.
The Lord is come from the Father to reveal Him to us as He has known Him. We come from Christ to reveal Him, as we know Him; that is true ministry-a happy and blessed thing, but serious in its character. “Peace be unto you,” said the Lord; “as my Father hath sent me, so have I sent you.” What a mission, although we are not apostles!
September, 1871.
Dear Brother,
That which constitutes the difficulty of the first chapter of John's first Epistle, and even of all the epistle, is, that the doctrine is there presented in an abstract manner. But in sum I believe that the mind of the Spirit is this: God is no longer hidden. We have fellowship with Him in the full revelation of His grace-with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Under the law God did not come out; man did not go into His presence. Now the Father is revealed in the Son and has given us a life in which we enjoy His fellowship. But then it is with God Himself-no more veil-and God is light He is perfectly pure and reveals everything. Now since there is no more veil and God has revealed Himself, we must walk in the light, as He Himself is in the light. But in this position one is perfectly cleansed by the blood of Jesus; next, we enjoy fellowship one with another.
It is this full revelation of God which is of the essence of Christianity: fullness of grace, introducing us into fellowship, and the Father known in the Son; but it is with God, if the thing is true, and God is light. The fellowship is with God, according to His nature, and without veil. But if we come to Him, it is as washed in the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, and we are before Him, without veil, white as snow. Now the Christian walks in the consciousness of this, having a nature which is connected with it: we are light in the light in the Lord. But this must be in the light, as God is in the light; all is judged according to the revelation of God, who judges all things. One is in the light, as God is in the light. These things are written that we sin not; if any man sin, the remedy is in the first verses of chapter ii. But the verses of which you speak teach us that we are in the light, as God is in the light. Now if we speak of fellowship when we are not in it, we lie, for He is the light.