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p267 [E Meylan] [From the French.] DEAREST BROTHER, - I was glad to have even a few lines from you, the more so because you tell me a little about the beloved brethren in Switzerland. I am beginning rather to want to see them, but I am waiting for the guidance of God. I had so long neglected England that I was somewhat their debtor; and our God, in His great goodness, has not left His blessing to be waited for. Our conferences have been singularly happy, and blessing is not wanting to the work in general. The number of brethren is increasing, and the meetings, on the whole, are in peace; where there is anything unpleasant it is rather that God is delivering them from a condition of feebleness in which evil was hiding itself, in which the water was stagnating to some degree. Here in London conversions are frequent, and many souls attracted. What I fear is that too external a work may be doing; still the consciences and hearts of brethren are well exercised, which is a very good sign, and there is a good spirit. I hope that God will cause those most recently converted to reach this exercise of soul, so that they may gain in depth, as they have rapidly gained the assurance of salvation. As to the rest, the work is a work of God, and His Spirit must accomplish it, a work of life in the soul which is settled in real - and thus, blessed be God for it - eternal relationships with God.

May God in His goodness keep the dear brethren in Switzerland; if they are not spiritual, and if God does not keep them in a very real way by His grace, it would be only too natural to fall into this snare of Bethesda, if God permits it to come near them. … When people love the world they go to Bethesda; when they are in a bad state of soul they are inclined to throw themselves into it: when the conscience is upright they leave it. Christ having been placed after their own interests (ecclesiastical) everything is false: they have been obliged to follow a false system in order to hide this, and this spirit is imprinted on everything and everywhere. It has been remarked everywhere. Many souls have been delivered lately. … But souls must be kept by the Lord; this is my confidence for the dear brethren in Switzerland, and for the meetings. Without the protection of God the simplest things become insurmountable, the most excellent, at least the most amiable motives become snares. I trust in Him: He has kept them until now, and I reckon on His goodness to keep them still until the end. …

As to your children, dear brother, may God guide you, and may He not allow you to subordinate Christ to anything whatever. If Christ calls you more or less to leave His work in order to take care of your children, He will bless you in caring for them. Our only rule of duty is Christ Himself. We have to do many things in all kinds of relationships. If you follow His will, He will take care of your children: outside His path all your care would come to nothing. I must stop, I have too much to do even; I can hardly hold out longer, but the Lord is sufficient for everything. Greet the brethren very affectionately.

Your very affectionate brother.

London, November 13th, 1858.