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p344 [R T Grant] BELOVED BROTHER, - Thus far I am arrived westward, but my movements are governed by what the Lord may give from day to day. … I came out again, though old, feeling doors were open in America, and so in grace it has been. The strain of work at Boston and New York broke me down; I had to stop short for a while: I was warned I was not as at forty-five. Philadelphia set me a good deal up again. But the Lord has been with me in grace and His own sovereign mercy.

The difference of John is that it is family unity, not corporate. I do not mean by this that there is no gathering. It is of John He gave Himself "to gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad," but it is not the body. There Christ is Head, and we are members of Him; He is the Man raised by God on high. Here (John 17), though never leaving the recipient place He has taken, He is Son, and says "us": it is joint ("in us"), but in communion: "one in us" is a wonderful word. It is the Son, a Man indeed but not a man, once dead whom God has raised and exalted. His Person is always prominent in John. He is not dying, but going out of this world to the Father. It is "glorify thy Son," and if glorified (for He now, being Man, receives it from the Father) it is the glory He had with the Father before the world was, with His own self. Verses 22, 23 are clearly in glory, but the two other unities are distinct; first, of the apostles only, and so, as going forth in entire unity by the Spirit - absolutely in that power one. Then, of those brought in, and there it is "in us," communion, the power of the Spirit carrying them up as all one in this communion with the Father and the Son; but the difference of the position of Christ is the clue to the distinction of this unity and the body. The unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4) is the connecting link. The body is in connection with the risen Man; this, with the Father and the Son: in both, the unity of the Spirit is its realisation. "Ye in me, and I in you," I have habitually used as shewing our perfectness before God, and our responsibility before men. John 17 was literally fulfilled in Acts 2 & 4. There, like all other things, it comes under the responsibility of man - always true in principle, however lost in practice. The former part of chapter 14 gives what was theirs on earth, the latter, what was by the Spirit, besides the few last verses. …

The Lord be with you, dear brother, in your soul and in your work. … As to circumstances, "heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." My experience is that gatherings after the first start go through a sifting, and then take their start afresh from the ground of faith. As to those who remain behind with you,
  "Be to their faults a little blind,
    Be to their virtues ever kind."
Act in grace towards them. The christian place is "overcome evil with good."

Affectionately yours in the Lord.

Chicago [1875].