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p165 Miss Walter, I have had it on my mind to write to you ever since I heard you were sick. But I have been a great deal more sick myself - more over-worked and broken-down than ill, but so that for some time, though I felt all was in the Lord's hands, I hardly thought I should recover my strength, but leave this passing scene. And this hindered my doing anything but what came necessarily to hand to do. I felt it a solemn thing: it was not doubt as to God's or Christ's love, or the efficacy of the blessed Lord's work in justifying, but the breaking up of the life and its state in which I had lived hitherto, and its being gone. But it was a useful experience. It broke the link with present life a good deal, and made Christ's and the Father's love everything, and much more real to me, and this is a great blessing. I am a great deal better, still feel the effect of it; but, thank God, the effect in the realisation of Christ's love in my spirit is not gone. I did not doubt it before, but I have a keener sense of belonging to another world, though for a little moment remaining in this - that is, Christ and the Father's house is all. Now it has not come as near you: still your conscious decrease of strength, if it has not been such as to give a conscious snapping of the thread of life, still tells of its passing away. I trust with care you may be better and refreshed in spirit. Still I believe it is good to look the truth of it in the face. I found sovereign grace more precious than ever. That I knew had met all my sins; of that there was no question: but the personal love of the Father and Christ was what the sense of was so greatly increased: thank God! It was a comfort to me that all I had taught and laboured in was of God and from God. It was not on this a question of the workman at all but of the truth: I had long known, and gladly, that I was nothing.

Remember that all things work together for good to those that love God, called according to His purpose, and dwell on the perfect divine love of the Father in giving the Son, and His unknowable (in its extent) love in accomplishing all for us. And then He loves you now. I have not a doubt, though much better, that all this was from God's hand; and so surely it is with you according to that love, only personally applied, which gave Christ for us - could not be greater. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father, and He assures us we are of value to Him. He makes no mistakes, and there is nothing that escapes His eye and hand. "He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous" - what a mercy! It is not death in itself which is present to you, that is another thing, but the course of life is broken with you for the moment, and even if you recovered strength, as I trust you may, and rejoice in God's present goodness, still the experience will have been there, and give a tone to life, and that is a great gain. "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him."

And now, dear -, be of good cheer: look to Him who is your life - a life that never fades - as He has "made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." God has to take care of you for a little while, instead of your taking care of the house, and He does it tenderly, graciously, with His poor weak children. Think of Christ and the Father's love and all will be well, and well for ever. That is what I have learnt. …

Your affectionate brother and servant in Christ.

Croydon, July 12th.