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p193 Dearest C McAdam, . . . . We began yesterday to break bread at Springfield, Illinois, six; there may be one or two more from the country. Many more see the ruin, and that the state of things is unscriptural, but hope still to cling together, and think they are outside the camp. . . . In Chicago there was, in a certain circle, considerable inquiry after the truth, and many wished me to stay or return. I may do this. But one had to insist on the first principles of grace. No one will have it as a rule in the American churches. Old school Presbyterians, or some of them, have the most of it. It is otherwise resisted or unknown. The active man at Chicago, lately in England, is deep in the mud of this. In our readings, three I think know something of grace, though not clear on other things; a few found it, but it is preached nowhere, but the contrary. But not a few souls got interested in truth. At present, if they go to church they hear what upsets and bewilders them. Loose action suits itself to all this. . . . But work in the U.S. is pilgrimage for me, and so best. Simple following the Lord is unknown; activity, organisation, mending the world, mixing with it, is all that is known, hence also the word has little authority. Still, as I have said, there is inquiry, and godly people feel the state of things. Were I younger, I might look to more constant work. The loose brethren who may come, fall in with all this, and leave it where it is. New gatherings are formed, but chiefly 'by those from Europe, though here all is American. I do not think of staying here, and do not know my own movements. . . . Nature would like rest and England now, entered on my seventy-third year, but I must not return from Pamphylia for that.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
Springfield, Illinois, November 21st, 1872.