<< previous (3:95) next (3:97) >>

p114 [From the French.] VERY DEAR BROTHER, - I thank you for your letter. All this interests me much. - writes to me also of the issue of this division movement of which you speak. It appears, blessed be God for it! that it is coming to an end. Often a little patience to let God act is the remedy, while judging all manifested evil specially when the evil is more in the general state; then it is necessary to seek, by nourishing the souls of those who are Christ's, to raise their spiritual tone. For the rest we must always look beyond this poor world down here.

We ought to be a testimony for God down here, and we must surely remember this. "Ye are my witnesses," said Jehovah to Israel, and with still greater reason are Christians such, who are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. I seek this, I pray God for it, and also that He may maintain His testimony in its purity. I believe He will, but for that we must live near Him in spirit, as He lived by His Father, one with Him, in such a way that all He said and did was but the expression of what the Father was. It is what we ought to be for Christ but for that the heart must be with Him above. The first thing is communion with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, for there the direct power of the life is. But it is a mistake to suppose that the heavenly things are not revealed to us: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit. We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God." Now, whilst giving us strength down here, and detaching us from the things that are seen, this accustoms us to live in the things that are our eternal portion.

We often make use of the Saviour in His grace, so suited to our need, and that flows so freely towards us - who thinks of us, of all our difficulties, of all our weaknesses - and we are quite right, for He makes us pass in peace and safety through a world of sorrow and danger; but it is another thing to have the heart lifted up above the world, whilst passing through it and attached to Him in heaven in such a way that that which fills the heart now is also the object of our hope. It is what I seek, and pray to God for, for other Christians as for myself. But we must have Christ for the journey through the wilderness; we need to know how to count on His faithfulness in all circumstances, and to wait on Him.

May God keep all the brethren very near to Him, this is our eternal position, and it keeps the conscience awake. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."