The State of England; Puseyism

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Dear Miss——-,—No doubt some habits formed in this country remain, but the native soil has few charms for me; a paternal house, spoiled and dishonored in the hands of our enemies, has but little attraction for the affections of the heart, and this is England at this moment. Every one is confounded. They do not know what will become of them, nor what will happen. Happy those who possess a kingdom that cannot be shaken; it is our sure portion. Blessed be God for it. I have felt God more with me than ever in this visit, and the position of testimony in which I am with my brethren more real and true. But the love and confidence of the brethren humbles me extremely, though I bless God for it, as a great happiness. I am, I think, at the end of my journey towards the north, having given up my visit to Scotland, to be able to retrace my steps towards the south. I shall cross England again to-morrow to visit Hull, where the work is beginning (a minister of the national church having quite lately given up his place); and then, if it please God, by Hereford to London. There I shall stay for a little, and make some little trips, which the railways render very rapid and easy now; and if God will, I shall leave afterward for France, but I do not think of being in Switzerland for some time to come; however, I think, long enough before they disperse for the country. This is, at least, my mind, if God accord it me.
We had a blessed meeting at Liverpool; I think that the brethren enjoyed themselves more there than at preceding ones; perhaps less of fresh knowledge, but more solid and more serious, and new souls that found there precious links with the brethren, several localities being newly opened. Brotherly love was without restraint, and very real and blessed, so that we had indeed something to bless God for. The brethren returned like the Israelites from the dedication (2 Chron. 7:1010And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the Lord had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. (2 Chronicles 7:10)), though it were but an earnest, and even in a poor and miserable assembly. The field also is an open one, and the testimony absolutely sought for. Besides, I ought to tell you this, that whilst hurrying to return to the Continent, I am deeply [convinced] that it is a moment that the testimony is urgently demanded in England, and I think that I must return to work here, that at least a testimony may be borne by the grace of God, before Puseyism possess the country, and whilst religious liberty remains to us, which I do not think will last too long. The dissenters can do nothing; they hold meetings to know what to do, and what they possess is slipping from their hands before their eyes; they feel it, throw themselves right and left, and avow that all is lost, when they dare to say so. Externally the country is becoming nationalized, and nationalism is becoming Puseyism, and Puseyism no longer hides itself in its Romanist tendencies. It is no longer a question of searching the prophecies in quietness to know what should come to pass, but of acting, of working while it is day; it is a sombre picture no doubt.
The country is prosperous in its temporal affairs; they are building fine Gothic churches everywhere; they are making immense collections for the education of poor manufacturers; but the truth, some moral principle, some energy of faith that can meet the evil, is lacking everywhere. Such is England! I believe it will be my duty to work there a little, without, however, giving up Switzerland or other countries. There is need also of caring for the sheep; perhaps one may be able to do little, but this little ought to be done. What happiness to await the precious Savior, and to know that His glory that one has so desired, so wished for, is drawing near; what happiness that the dark clouds that are about to burst upon the world will but discover this Sun of righteousness too long hidden (though that has been His grace), this Sun with which we are but one, united to Him according to the counsels of His love! Truly this makes us lift up our heads; besides, we shall be kept as in the hollow of His hand, of the hand of Him to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth. May my dear Lausanne sisters know how to await thus our precious Savior, and you yourselves, my dear sisters, among others. -Perhaps it is their lot to await Him in peace and quietness, in happy works of charity in the shade (I greatly envy them in this respect) -mine to be compelled to face the winds and the waves of this stormy world, although it be with the Lord, so that all goes well; our life and our portion are in Him. You see what a piece of paper I have taken, without noticing it. I cannot re-write my letter. May peace, mercy and grace be abundantly with you all.... God be with you.
Your affectionate brother And servant in Christ.
November, 1843.