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p190 [Mr Robbins] MY DEAR BROTHER, - I got your letter, and was glad to hear of the dear brethren at S. I heard since you had a happy meeting, for which I thank God. I trust also ours at Guelph was useful - a spirit of brotherly union reigned.

Truth has spread in the west, but what characterises this continent is looseness as to practice and as to doctrine. I find no spiritually-minded person who is not unhappy and feeling there is no communion where he is. Scarce any are simple in the truth; and Socinians and persons who deny that men have an immortal soul are received and accepted like all the rest. The word of God has little or no authority. Organisation and work they like - outward effects that they can shew - but a life with God and the truth they hardly think of. Still the patient and gracious Lord works, and souls are brought to Him. In the country it is generally utter indifference and money-seeking; I have not seen one yet, French or English, who has not said to me, he came out without God, or had he known what he knows now, he would not have come. They come to get on in the world, and get trouble and sorrow, and their business (till God has exercised them) is to get on, not to enjoy Christ. I know those who were in communion in England who save money to buy a small piece of ground, and would not give twopence-halfpenny a week to get to the Lord's day meeting for breaking of bread.

Still one works on, and there is a growing desire among Christians to know more of the truth. But everything has to be brought to the word - all indulge so wholly their own thoughts. I have daily meetings here, and even twice a day, besides visiting. In -, a Presbyterian minister, by preaching what he had learned of the Lord's coming and truths connected with it, has broken up his congregation, and some thirty or forty are going to meet, waiting on the Lord to be guided - many of them, however, ignorant of sound principles of gathering, but some very nice brethren. So one works on, only one has to look to the Lord continually, and not faint, for in this country the path is beset with difficulties. But we know we shall reap if we faint not. I do not expect to war, and not find combat and difficulties. We shall reap if we do not faint in the war. Meanwhile, dear brother, the blessed Lord remains unchangingly precious, and through mercy my heart enjoys His favour, and it is better than life. And I find it of moment, in incessantly distracting questions on every scripture subject and unscriptural ideas, to seek to be with Him in love to those who raise them: one is enfeebled in the questions themselves if one's feet are not shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

The Lord keep us very near Himself, sober-minded and subject to the word. Give my kindest love to the brethren. May the Lord's presence keep you all in peace and happy fellowship together, and much individual intercourse with Him and self-judgment. It is the secret of strength.

Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Chicago November, 1872.