<< previous (2:66) next (2:68) >>

p115 [R T Grant] BELOVED BROTHER, - Rejoiced I was to get your letter - always glad to hear from you, and now doubly, that your letter can tell how the Lord has blessed you. May He still abundantly bless your work, I heartily pray. I do not think if we peacefully pursue our way that opposition is much to be dreaded: of course it is a hindrance to unestablished souls, but if we quietly continue our path without retorting, it by no means follows that the door is closed. That depends on the Lord. In one place the apostle remained long because it was open, and there were many adversaries. What I feel anxious about is the godliness of the brethren, and a sober, lowly spirit with desire of Christ. For this we must pray; and there is One that hears and can bless and loves His church. We are not to be weary in well-doing; in due time we shall reap "if we faint not." We lay up our rest and reward, if we may speak of such, to another time, and He keeps it. The principle of Matthew 20 is "whatever is right I will give you," so he went and worked and trusted: trusting Christ is a great matter. I should have very little to shew for my work: I feel it sometimes; think I have not courage enough to face the world, and read, "Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples." But I pretend to nothing, and if I have only His approval, oh how content I should be, yet feel how little I have to deserve it in any sense. But I am sure it is all right, and He will be glorified, and in that I am wholly content.

- is working under the reaction of an excited though a true work. We must learn to help in such cases. He has to learn in it, as well as care for others: officers have particularly. The signs of an apostle were wrought in much patience, but he is a beloved, dear man. I have a question how far one can look for out and out Christianity in all - no doubt of what is right, but I fear a kind of despondency as to getting them all out and out with the Lord. A crowd are there never wholly devoted; the first impulse is not there. I am sure one ought not to be disheartened, but go on, and seek all one can, and look for unworldliness. I do not speak of anything pressing here, for in general, with small sorrows in which God's good hand comes in for good, the brethren are getting on happily; there is cordiality and a good deal of willing service, and they are apart from the world - a great deal to be thankful for. Still there is an energy of initiation of good which is seldom found in a large number. . . . I learn there are now some 150 brethren in the navy, in general very fresh and full of life, and they watch over one another in all out stations. The exercise as to their position would come in later. . . .

I do not know when I have enjoyed scripture as I have in lecturing on St. Matthew. The Lord has been graciously with me on Colossians and Philippians, and perhaps there was as much for others, but this was Christ Himself for my soul, shewing He must be rejected and His Messiahship replaced by death and resurrection, and the kingdom in mystery, and the church, and glory; but then there is Himself running all through it - Himself, Jehovah in grace, when there; abiding in grace when rejected; His place on earth, the pattern of ours through redemption; and the disciples, children of the great King, with Him, but Jehovah, and in a Man, and in grace, always the same; presented to be received, or rejected, He abides the same, and this is very sweet. It gives a resting-place for the soul, a known Person - may we not say a loved One, though we know "Herein is love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us", "we love him, because he first loved us"; but that word "first" lets the other come in at least. But the joy is in looking at Himself, and seeing what He is, "the chief among ten thousand, . . . altogether lovely." Oh! it is blessed and joy to rest on what He is; to be at home with Him, and adoringly so, but confidence, and confidence in the interest He takes always in His people. His heart can say, "Whose own the sheep are not"; and what confidence it gives for service, too! May the Lord keep us faithful! but I speak particularly of having the secret of His love, a ground of confidence in our intercourse with Him, and so go on a little while through the world.

We have had the small-pox raging in London. A few of the saints and their children have had it: one child died, but otherwise the Lord has graciously restored all that were ill as yet, which I count to be a very great mercy. But dear Miss - has departed with scarlet fever, but it is a comfort in this sorrow that there seems little doubt that it was taken through service to poorer saints in a family where it was. It is a great blow to dear W., yet relieves him from a natural anxiety in leaving her alone behind. He will have abundant sympathy from all. It was very brief indeed, and she soon unconscious. It did not come out at once. I think most felt she had grown in grace these later times. As W. said, the Lord does all things well.

Peace be with you, dear brother, and patience, and endurance in service. You say nothing of your health: I trust it is better. Our brethren in France have suffered less than we might have feared, and down near Montbéliard abound in thanksgiving for the way they have been kept and blessed by the Lord. I hear the Prussians treated them with more respect than did others finding what they were. The work is spreading in Germany, and in Switzerland there is some rousing up and blessing. May the Lord keep the dear saints in Canada near Himself, peaceful, sober, and full of love both towards one another and towards all, that they may meet His face with joy.

Ever, beloved -, affectionately yours.

London, March, 1871.

[52067E]