Abbott's Hill and Principles; Testimony for These Days; Total Ruin

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
I have thought it well to send you my answer1 to Mr.-, who wrote to me2 to announce his separation from brethren. Though I sorrow for him, I do not know that it is an evil that the system of which it is the expression is come to a head. The evil has long been apparent to me.
You now openly judge the whole body of brethren as unfit to be associated with, on account of their state, while reserving to yourself the right to select certain assemblies and individuals whom you will own. You and this party are characterized by that holiness and truth which are proper to the precious testimony which God confided to brethren, at least by the love of it and fidelity to it; the rest are in a mass regarded as unworthy.
Now I have not seen that those who pretend to this, are more holy or characterized more by what is proper to this testimony, nor more devoted, nor have the good of the church of God at heart. Their state does not approve itself to my spiritual judgment, while owning many of those I refer to as dear brethren. I know among the thousands of whom you know nothing, brethren walking in obscurity, more devoted, more given up to Christ, than those who are disposed thus pretentiously to quit them. You admit the precious testimony of God was confided to brethren, so that it is solely on the ground of their unfaithfulness and your greater faithfulness that you leave them. Now I admit that brethren have declined from the un-worldliness which was proper to this testimony, and have borne as God enabled me a testimony to this effect, and the troubles in London have largely awakened conscience, and I may add, I never met in visiting, so great an appetite for the word. But all this was fully before me, before- 's case arose. I weighed before God, with deeper anxiety than I can speak of here, the question of leaving brethren, and what I should do. I felt clearly it was not faith—" the hireling fleeth"—and I remained where I was, though in some things more isolated. I have not remarked that those who have taken the ground you do have advanced in holiness and spirituality, rather the contrary, and I am satisfied it is the path of pretension, not of faith. The question was fully before me, and decided before any of the particular questions arose, though partially occasioned by what brought some of them in result. I therefore, having had the matter fully before me, reject as evil the ground you have taken. Were the movement of those you join yourself to, to break up brethren—and I have thought of all that—your party, were I to be with any (which I do not think I should) would, I think, be the very last I should be with: indeed, I should not think of it at all, it is too pretentious for me. I have felt that brethren had got into a low state, and have felt the path was to serve them in it. You have judged that they are in a hopeless, irremediable state, and judged of God to be unworthy of His testimony. God will judge whom He accepts in this. If God has not so judged them, you are clearly wrong. I shall not regret, if He does reject them, having sought to serve them, and Him, in their low estate.
I enter into no details as to -. It is not the question. Your statement is, 'I am not free to be in their association, as feeling my great responsibility to the Lord and to the brethren.' I believe that under the influence of an evil system you have not been able to resist the effect of the pressure of A. H., and what was associated with it. You cannot be surprised if I act as to you on your own statement, and at the same time reject in every way the system under whose influence you are. ' I reserve to myself, as it concerns many besides you, the right to communicate this letter in any way I think proper. I leave the judgment of the question, and of the right path, entirely in the Lord's hands.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
September 22nd.
1. My dear You know nothing of my relationship with Abbot's Hill, nor what I have said or written to them, but that is not the question now, but the position you have definitively taken....
2. [' An excited letter written at 4 a.m., but withdrawn the next day, moat thankful that he had only written to me.' No one went with him.']