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p124 [J Dunlop] DEAREST BROTHER, - Thank you for your letter. I do not at present see that it is God's will I should be with you at your meeting at Ottawa, though I should greatly rejoice to see the beloved brethren again. My heart is in their blessing, and I pray God with all my heart to lead them on in what He gives, and keep them, and make them very humble, that they may be near Him. I feel deeply how only One can keep His church, even humanly speaking, for we all know (it is always true) it outreaches one's hand. But what a comfort to be able to apply to Him for its blessing, whose ear is ever open, who can, in grace, reach all, and whose interest in perfect love is far deeper than any interest of ours, only that He graciously allows us to have a part in it. May we know how to use the privilege!

I have felt my translation work a good deal as absorbing me from direct interest in the positive work, not as to my heart, but as to occupation of heart with Him. But it is nearly done, for which I am very thankful. Nature, of course, shrinks from suffering: still when it comes, if we are with God, strength and joy are there. I have found in the little difficulties I have had, much more trial in expecting trial than when it was there. When there I was calm and quiet, and no way uneasy - whereas I was when expecting it. Out of it, if it threatens, you are thinking of it. In it, you are looking out of it to the Lord. Of course, there must be the power of the Holy Ghost. It is true I have a sadly fearful mind. But Paul (Philippians) was there in presence of the danger. He was in presence of his trial for his life, but he was surely wonderfully sustained. Still it was not a question of avoiding but going through, and then comparatively it is easy.

The difference of nature and the power of the Spirit you see in comparing Philippians 3 and Mark 10 - in this, in the young man, you have legal righteousness - all given up as worthless in Philippians 3: money clung to in Mark 10 - all gain to self, dross and dung in Philippians 3: the disciples amazed and following trembling in Mark - a privilege to have the fellowship of His sufferings in Philippians 3. But in Philippians you have the full power of the Spirit all through. Sin is never mentioned in the epistle, nor flesh as affecting the experience of the apostle. It is the experience of one living in the Spirit, in its power, and is exceedingly beautiful in this light, in every respect - does not know which to choose, death or life - one gain, the other labour for Christ; and so, self having gone, he decides his own trial, for it was good for them he should stay - Christ had all power, so he was going to stay: the same mind as Christ in going down to the death of the cross, and so, perfect and delicate consideration for others admirably coming out in unconscious fruit: energy in following Christ - before him as his object in glory - to win Christ, and then with the resurrection from among the dead: a humbled Christ formed the character; glorified one gives the energy of "this one thing I do:" then superiority through experimental acquaintance, with Christ's sufficiency, to all circumstances. It is the Epistle of proper Christian experience. I do not think he was asking for trial, though we may desire generally to have fellowship in Christ's sufferings: that one can earnestly do. "To you it is given not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his name's sake." But one does not desire suffering in itself. Only when there, they are a subject of all joy. Faith is given for them. He was in prison and just awaiting his trial. But he could say, in his ordinary life of service, "without were fightings, within were fears; nevertheless, God who comforts those who are cast down," etc.

As to suffering for Christ, I am sure if the Lord lead one into trial for His name, He will give us strength to glorify Him. We can do nothing. But if living with Him in the secret of our souls, we shall not find it hard to die for Him. See how bright Stephen was, how quiet, kneeling down to pray for them. He was full of the Holy Ghost. We have to pray that we may be so filled, that what comes forth may be Christ, and Christ fittingly for what is before us. I find this a great test in practice of how far I am practically identified in spirit with Him. From Him came forth not merely what was right, but just the right thing in what He had to do or say. …

I look for a more conscience-consecration to Christ. Oh! how earnestly I desire this. Those who first came out were all devoted - came because they were, most of them giving up their place, perhaps everything in the world. Some have done so all along, and recently. But then many have come in converted, or because they saw it right, and remain pretty much where they were, and this affects the whole testimony. However, the world is utterly opposed as yet, which is a mercy, and I think that the Spirit of God is working. … I trust our meeting at Cheltenham was blessed. The Person of the Lord was much before us, and I trust His coming is getting practical power. I think the Lord's presence was felt. I was glad it closed, for I feared that happiness turning into excitement, which had not been the case, and there was much liberty. …

The Lord make us, dear brother, to find Christ everything, that whatever comes with Him we may joy in, so be with Him that we have the consciousness of common interests, though He be Master, but who have His secret with us, His counsels, His objects - stewards who have His interests at heart more than their own, and then go to see Him and be with Him. How sweet will that word sound, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" - poor and worthless creatures that we are! Well, we must go with Him now, take up our cross and follow Him: "If any man serve me, let him follow me." There is a great deal in that word. May He keep us near Himself. It is Himself that makes all clear and simple to the soul. … The Lord be with you.

Your affectionate brother in Christ.