<< previous (3:124) next (3:126) >>

p146 [J R Field] MY DEAR BROTHER, - My letter to Mr. -, though private concerns us all. There is a principle at work which puts external unity before righteousness - uses unity to hinder righteousness. Now to me righteousness goes first. I find, that in Romans 2, let grace be what it may in sovereign goodness, it never sets aside righteousness. . . . The course of Abbot's Hill, I was convinced, was wicked, I was so convinced from the beginning; and it was not a mere mistaken act, but a course pursued, and I could not own them. The question goes far deeper than local claims: whether christian profession, and so-called unity, to which in its place I hold thoroughly as ever, as plain scriptural truth, is to go before righteousness - God's claim to fidelity to Him. . . . I do not think that any church theory, however true and blessed when walking in the Spirit, can go before practical righteousness.

Such is the substance of my letter as to principles, what I have gone on all along. . . .

Affectionately yours in the Lord.

April 20th, 1881.