Brethren Archive
26th November 1866

Letter 30

by G.V. Wigram

5 pages.

Incomplete - Needs help !!



Beloved Brother & sister in the Lord:

{…} Mr Haffner asked Beaumont to Paignton, where was Mr Hall, ere he wrote his book against us. – Poor Hall! gone, just like A. Stewart; – not satisfied with what God had given them of power to preach the gospel, they excelled in, they must envy, Doctorship {?} & set up for it {?}, in which neither of them excelled. Then came denying {?} what they had & forbidding it – so much so, that at Paignton, where the gospel is wanted P.F.H. would not preach it, or allow it. Now he is withdrawn & Beaumont says Brixham, Paignton & Torquay, all three of them, urge him to come and preach the gospel. His gospel is simple & clear – as He himself says: “I know mercy & little besides mercy.” Well it is a great thing to use what we have got – “She has done what she could: was a great praise, from the Lords lips, of the poor woman.

You speak of Mr S____’s letter & the expression – Christ having, as it were, looked into the chamber of Horrors. I do not know what he wrote, & I am not sure I have your very words, for your letter is not before me. But I would say that I do not think J.N.D would admit the expression (perhaps of my coining) which I have just used. People misunderstand him, so, at least, I judge, after quietly testing his papers to the best of my power when I did it – and as he himself says too – That there are in his writings, as Peter said of Pauls, “some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned & unstable wrest, as they also do the other scriptures to their own destruction” 2 P iii. 16 I do not {?}. But while he judges that people (Bn) do not apprehend his views, – they judge, many of them, that they know all & more than all that he knows too understand his thoughts &, in their attempts to explain him, make him say a great many things which He abhors & pronounces most unsound. I think he is able to explain himself when he judges that the Lord says the time is come for his doing so – &, for me I quite approve his not vindicating himself from false accusations or entering into a paper war about the sufferings of Christ. Modesty seems to become the most of us & willingness to wait & leave to the Lord the clearing up of what is not clear.

I was much struck, at the meeting at Exeter, at a word of Mr Snell’s – he is just come out from Bethesda. Several had been attacking Mr Darby – I had urged that it was not right for english men, much less for the church of God, to condemn a man behind his back unheard {?}. S. said that he had two remarks to make as to the books of Mr Dorman & Mr Hall – the first was the unfeigned sorrow they had produced in Him, that two aged servants of the Lord should now be falling into the very slough out of which Himself was emerging; – the second was the peculiar mercy to himself as to the time these books appeared. Having discovered that Bethesda was not the church of God, he had withdrawn from that form of it which Himself had set up – every one of his friends remonstrated. How could he go & join a people accused of false doctrine? His answer was I am seeking to get into the position of the church of the living God. That is the only position for a living soul – & I am not to be deterred either by the fear of slander on the one hand, nor by the fear of having to meet false doctrine on the other. If I get into my right place & find that there is no false doctrine today, I am sure I shall be tried by false doctrine sooner or later. But if I am true to God God will be true to me & enable me to judge evil. He had shown how well he understood J.N.D’s writings, by his begging those that had nought {?} passages to object to, – to read such or such a passage in the contexts {?}, which would show how they had mistaken the meaning altogether.


I think the Lord is showing His presence & power among us now, in rather a marked way, in teaching what is the church as a practical truth. As a result all of us are in our measures learning Pauls lesson in 2 Cor XII. My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness. An infirmity or weakness in one, a bad habit in another, a failure covered over in a third on the one side – on the other side, God discovering these things & bringing them into the light of his own near presence. Reality is a result of such an action on His part. And another surely is purging out our dross & to make us judge ourselves, if not in the presence of His assembly, or of himself – then before man {?}. I would not have you understand that there has been any open failures – but an action, as I judge of God, so that secret hidden evils cannot be kept in & concealed. Poor Mr. Dorman has failed ecclesiastically entirely – vindicates now a paid ministry, the bethesda state of covering up of evil &c but I do not allude to him, but to those whom I call “ours” as to their position & standing down here. Any thing to have more {?} of God & more of Christ & of the Spirit seems to me good & to mark blessing, tho’ the way be painful to flesh & is probably in itself, as in Jobs experience & in Davids, a fruit of the flesh. But for God to show that He is for us and against that in us which is unlike Christ is a mercy as I judge. {…}

Timothy Stunt said ...
In line 14 of the transcript "Mr S______'s" could be "Storey's", "Stacey's" or "Strong's" or just possibly "Stoney's" but to choose one of these would require knowledge that is not mine! Timothy
Thursday, Jul 9, 2020 : 22:52

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