Brethren Archive

American Darby Letterbook - Page: 149


nearer to our hearts, & led us to plead most earnestly with our Father on high to bestow adequate grace that you may endure unto the end, & do, & suffer all His will. What you say of the Lord’s using already the trial to His praise enables us to rejoice. And that others remark: “He will have a people clean outside of all fleshliness, worldliness, & devildom; & if we are not the people, the sooner we go to pieces the better, & the sooner He begins with a people really for Himself & for heaven, the better.” This reminds me of a remark of brother J.N.D’s, a while before the Lord brought us to make Christ(?) the center of our gathering – “not to come out to a people, but to the Lord alone, happy to find others there fallied around Him; & if all forsake Him as the center & truth too, it does not change my individual responsibility! This is a great help to us. If the flesh is restless & Satan would tempt us to go back to a position of less trial, the simple question, “How readest thou?” This opened a way for onr egress from a false system when hesitating as to a start. And this, I can say, keeps us from retracing our steps – the certainty according to the word that what we left is not of God: & sure too that this is the place of blessing, and then place of trial too. One wants great grace to maintain it. God has given us the truth, & is confirming us in the position in which He has set us in relation to Himself & the world. But, Oh, how he deceives himself who imagines that blessed truth & high position is security for the soul against false temptation, & a substitute for self-judgment, vigilance, & prayer. We cannot possibly hold on in the way grace has set us without more carefulness, more exactness of walking, daily dying, more intercourse with God, more close earnest study of His Word than ever we were wont. And as dear as we are to each other from similarity of faith, experience, & hope, still we are liable to jostle against each other, & find that some of our trials spring from this source. Ours is a place of patience, were all others gone out of the world. This I feel as I write. A dear sister from a distant state just writes me: “It grieves me much to see such coldness, such readiness to find fault: truly could we not look to our Lord, who knoweth all things, service to saints would often become very trying & disappointing. My husband & I have been very troubled lately, after doing as far as we were able to keep the saints here, the brother from Canada finds everything wrong – he occupies too much time in the meetings – I am not silent & subject as women should be; there is hindrance to blessing in the meetings; things need to be judged; talking one among another & not a word to either of us; until I pressed to know if anything in us had offended, when I told, ‘Yes, but I was out of place in asking, my husband should have done it?’ So you see, dear brother, there is one thing we have in common with you – trials, & that among ourselves. The impatient word when one is himself is in trial, the lack of the Master’s forbearance, & gentleness, which may open a wound hard to heal – how hard for us poor mortals to keep off the judgment seat for others. But I am giving too much space to these first thoughts, as my pen strikes the paper. I sympathize in the natural desire of the dear ones who would like to be able to look in upon the

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