Abbott's Hill and Principles

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 5
I have little time to reply to your letter, which I was very glad to get. I feel ripening on towards Home, and more weaned from the outward activities of the work; but I trust my heart not less interested in it. I have just come from the Rhone and Cevennes district. In more than one place there are conversions, and a great number of Christians in the Haute Loire and Ardeche, and, though the world everywhere exercises too much influence, yet walking in peace, and as far as I know blamelessly. Externally it has been a very trying year; the vineyards rooted up far and wide, and the silkworms a failure. But there is One who is a stay through all.
As regards England, it has been as you know a time of trial. The general state of brethren was really what God was judging. Partizans seek to keep up uneasiness.... In Kent there was haste in those who sought to do right. This gave a handle, but has been the means of bringing out the party-feeling at work. God saw, I believe, that sifting and purifying was needed there. But for God, the want of principle would have been crushing, but with Him is always peace. And we have to ask, "Whither goest thou?" and trust Him. Even if the Messiah and Son of God (Psa. 2) was rejected, it was only to bring out the Son of man in the glory of the Father. God is never baffled. It has been a time of blessing for myself; and many consciences, I would say of all the godly, have been deeply awakened. There was a want of faith in some, but this was not surprising: there is in us at all [times]. We read, "My flesh and my heart faileth me: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." It has made what is eternal more and more everything to me. It was cheering to see how upright souls soon saw all clear. And how precise God's government is! We have only to lean on Him and all is right.
I rejoice in your work as in my own, though I sometimes envy evangelists a little; but we have to fill the little niche God has put us in faithfully, and we cannot do more.
Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
Pau, 1879.