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p307 [C McAdam] BELOVED BROTHER, - My life is such a routine here outwardly (I hope not inwardly), that as to work, I have not much to tell you of. People come to hear, and with interest. In Brooklyn souls are making progress in the truth, and learning what it is to be a Christian. There are some young men who follow them up in grace - here less. They come, and continue to come, and I trust there is a quiet work going on, but it is at present more preparatory in the dissemination of truth. There are, I trust, two new workmen whom the Lord is raising up. . . .
I have no doubt that evil is increasing, as we are warned of it, but I believe the getting into the truth of real Christianity - the light it brings - makes the darkness and evil more visible. Heartlessness for God is what is most striking, and the pretensions of reason and man in making a god of his imaginings. Growth in knowledge is needed. That is a return back to original truth as in the word, and the light it gives - both, in what is essential in our relationship with God. Blessed truth it is, and throws light on all that is around us! But while this is needed to walk in these times, yet assuming this, what I feel anxious about as to brethren is their being devoted, and not conformed to the world: simplicity and undistractedness of walk, and in their ways, non-conformity to the world, that the testimony may be distinct, and the effect of these truths. This, and walking in living communion with God, is what I pray for the brethren. "The word of his patience," and we as men that wait for their Lord, is what we are to have at heart. But the Philadelphian state connects itself distinctly with Christ: "my word," "my name," and such He will shew that He has loved, and this is worth all the rest.
We must not forget, in the sense of the evil around us, that the Lord remains the same. What was heart infidelity before, as return to truth develops itself, becomes open and positive infidelity, and Christianity must take its relative place of positive faith: faith wrought by the Holy Ghost in the word - direct faith in it, not by education nor by the church. Any profession, merely such, will be rather the corruption and moral apostasy of ritualism - a very real thing, but which makes the church the ground of believing, for faith it is not Direct faith in the ward, that is in God, is the test of real Christianity, The church becomes a judged thing, not the ground of believing. This is a very definite position, but which allows nothing but real faith - always true, but brought out to light by growing corruption and evil. But then it is of all moment that devotedness and a holy walk be maintained; because men judge more by this, and as a testimony, this ever was and must be so. "He that is holy" is with "He that is true" in Christ's character for the Philadelphian state.
One thing is needed for the workman: good courage because of the Lord, not terrified by adversaries. See Joshua 1; 2 Timothy - beginning the work, and when the evil had come in and the last days were in view. The Lord is above the evil, though He does not set it aside till judgment- and faith recognises that He is. Did He set it aside He must judge, and then the time of grace would be over. . . . The gracious Lord be with you. Love to the brethren.
Yours affectionately in Him.
New York, 1874.