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p118 [From the French.] * * * We must distinguish between responsibility and dependence, while fully owning the former, which it is, I think, most important to maintain in its integrity. But if we take this principle alone we are necessarily discouraged. The thought of dependence on God includes the power of Him on whom we depend. . . . Come what may, God is faithful in His love: His grace never fails. Oh that we may have more faith to know how to bring His love into everything, for the blessing of His church, and of His children!
Brethren here needed to be stirred up, but I hope that God is blessing them. It is wonderful how near one can be to the spring, and yet, like poor Hagar, not see it. The bottle does not hold out in the desert. . . . It seems to me, according to my feeble apprehension, that the responsibility of the Christian keeps him constantly on the qui vive, like a sentinel at an advanced post, and that there is for such a soul an exercise which sometimes makes him afraid of failing in it, which must of necessity deprive it of joy and courage. However, we need to be given understanding in all things (2 Tim. 2:7), so as not to lean too much to one side as to responsibility; and so that, while wishing to be led by grace, we should not return to the law. On the other hand, conscious dependence leaves to God all the glory of His work in the soul of the faithful one, as it is said, and the results of this dependence honour the One who gives the desire and the power to walk in it.
July 1st, 1847.