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p254 [G. Gausby] BELOVED BROTHER, - … The work of God amongst the brethren is one which has occupied me much lately, not merely as a general testimony of God which He raised up, and which I am persuaded He loves, but His ways with it. He has in every way since 1845 sifted it, in appearance diminished its body and position before men. It has been tried in every way, apparent success given to those who slighted and opposed it, and apparently weakened by many causes within as far as it depended on men. But it has subsisted. It has gone through the fire - we may be sure from the goodness of God - a needed fire. I have no doubt principles contradictory to the purpose of God in it had come in through our weakness from the first: I was indeed soon assured of it. And, on the other hand, I am sure we failed in walking up to the advanced position in testimony in which God had placed us. Our gracious God took us in hand, dealt with us, and made us little.

There were two immense principles in question in this testimony. The church, its own proper standing; and the manifestation of the power of the Holy Ghost, in an actual unity in the present state of things. To this, great fundamental truth was needed as a basis. This was touched, and weakness was shewn, but it was reserved for Bethesda to be the deliberate supporter of this evil. Here, through the weak state of brethren for the time, the outward witness to unity was lost, God intending to sift, and division characterised what had willed and set out to be a witness for unity - at least, felt its need. But Christ's truth was held as foundation, and the standing of the church had its weight. Thus the Lord has set about sifting the instruments according to the position they are in. How right and just this: all is - nothing could be brought down more, as to all that could be counted on in man. It is this that gives me confidence. All that is purifying is of God. Man attempts it; God deals with those who do so. I cannot but see God at work, and in the measure in which living power has been or is at work, it prevails and is blessed, and God is working; but He will keep us humble.

The question or exercise has been raised in a corner of Switzerland. Hitherto God has helped us. Now He is actively at work in Canada for good, where the evil was, and men slept in it. This is a step yet forward in His ways. I have entire confidence in His goodness in this respect, and for myself only feel more established than ever in the truth of what He has given us. But if blessing in - took us out of humbleness and dependence, it would bring us conflict (needed conflict) elsewhere. It is a remarkable feature how all that held fast the truth have been humbled, the others, not that I know of - I mean in respect of this. Dear R. E. is a new feature in the case. The Lord give him wisdom and humbleness of heart, and simplicity of faith in God - this is all-important - and hence to be humble and dependent. That it is a question of faith is to me evident, and a putting the heart to the test what place Christ has in it. Where He is not sufficient for the heart there will not be endurance in the conflict, and where He has not His importance. That is the whole question. The church's place links on to it, and has its free place where Christ has His right one.

The Lord, I have no doubt, is working, but as I have said, He will keep us humble. As to -, I enter into your sorrow. Have you a prayer-meeting? The great remedy for such a state of things is spiritual life, not complaints: one great means is common prayer, and the individual prayer of faith.

Here I have felt the Lord graciously with me, and some new doors have been opened to me; also in Holland the Lord has been very gracious to me. But here I have been very much occupied translating the Psalms into German. The brethren much needed it. They needed something of deepening and exercise of heart; but I have been happy, both in prayer and in other meetings.

Salute the brethren affectionately for me. Love to all, and peace from God be with you.

Elberfeld, October, 1857.