<52203E>p327 Dear Walter (W T P Wolston?), - We must look Moody's work, and Pearsall Smith's, in the face. It is one of the phases of the kingdom of God, like the revival in Ireland and Scotland some years back: the brethren went on all the same - some took part in it - nor did the work in result hinder or affect their testimony. A popular testimony such as theirs never could be deep or extend its influence (save in its general effects) in Christians many years, and in this respect it does good. One rouses Christians from their slumber, and in respect of the poor dying world; and the other, as regards the state Christians are in, In this, I doubt not, God's hand is in it. But M.'s work, to say nothing of false doctrine in details, avowedly mixes up Christianity with the world and worldly influences, and uses them because it tells in favour of his work, and fosters worldliness and the evils of Christendom. And P.S.'s, while it recognises the deliverance of Christians from the bondage of Romans 7 to the liberty of Romans 8, which Christians greatly need (and in this respect will be useful), mixes it up with the lowest doctrines, man's power and ability. Both do this, though I hear M. has got on. And it does not even possess the true ground of abiding peace with God. There is much evil teaching mixed with both; and man's power for good being their basis, all is based on experience, not really on Christ's work - and, I think, poor experience where searched out, though beyond the state of Christendom, but tending to fix them at this low point. But if the brethren are devoted and unworldly, so that there is a practical testimony, their testimony remains where it was. They have to bring in-these fuller elements of truth, and truer ground of peace. And if they are possessed really in faith, the rousing of heart and conscience will open them to them. If they have nothing better, it is no matter their being dropped in God's hand. They have; but they must possess it really, and have heart to use it for the saints of God.
P. S.'s is largely modified, and brought more to its full bearing, its real character, since even my little tract; and its true ground and meaning made clear. Its trusting to human power I have barely touched. I have not attacked it - save in one point, Christ's personal holiness, where it is on very sad and dangerous ground - but brought out the truth, in which it is wholly defective. M., I am told, has made progress; but when I knew him he denied openly all grace in conversion, denounced it publicly when fully discussed and held, and preached at Edinburgh that none were condemned for their sins, only for not believing - a pretty common notion now, and which is a is salve to the conscience. The brethren have the truth of the word largely where these have not. Some have gone on to make Christ peccable. If they are faithful practically, they will, with their little strength, have an open door. All depends, I believe, on their being in the practical power of the Spirit of God. "To him that hath shall more be given." It is He that is holy, as well as true, that makes the promises for this time.
I am not uneasy or afraid, only if brethren are to have the testimony of God with them, they must have it, and be it, in themselves. The salt must have its savour, or what is it good for? What would be permanent in both these systems, when the impulse and energy of them is lost, would I think, tend to infidelity and evil doctrine. It is not the energy and impulse that is to be resisted, though excitement may accompany it, but this evil which is to be met by grace and energy in the truth itself. The mere excitement will soon be over, a matter to be talked of as past. But brethren have something that is permanent, and the word of God abides for ever. Only they must live it.
Yours affectionately in the Lord, J. N. Darby.
February 15th, 1875.