Abbott's Hill and Principles

Ephesians 5:1  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
I never felt so thoroughly humbled as in writing the leaflet I sent. I have felt more than ever through all this business, what a solemn thing it is to have to do with God—never practically knew His faithful love so much, and the deep responsibility of acting for Him, and a most solemn thing it is. And then when I set about to write to all, as a kind of resuming word from Him at the issue of it all, I felt and feel now, in looking back at it, this responsibility as, I believe, I never did. And then all I have said and done has been so canvassed, that I had to see and not say a word that He did not mean me to say, and which I might not know how to justify afterward, at least before God. But if you feel you can do that, it gives great firmness and comfort of spirit with Him, not going beyond His will, and serving Him in it. Of course it is always what we have to do, but it is greatly put to the test sometimes. I have happily not a feeling of unkindness. Character comes out in these siftings, and there are things which morally offend you; but God is above all the evil. It is the essence of Christianity. He can be where, as to our own path, we cannot; but further, this ought to rule in us—" Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us." And we must remember that His saints are precious to Him. This allows no evil in ourselves, nor acquiescence in it; but it should govern our ways towards others....
Patience with any human effort to maintain evil will prove its nothingness more than a restless feeling: it gives weight and gravity to the testimony, and it enlists God with us. It is the "God of peace" sanctifies: it is not acquiescing in evil; I would have—I have no tendency in that direction; but following God, not going before Him. Though often tried, I do trust Him fully.
I have looked through the old 'Poor of the Flock,' and corrected a great many hymns, perfectly astounded that so much short of all the light we had ever passed; but there was often piety, and I have put them in the form of truth where there was. I have already gone through the new one. I am now going to look through other hymn-books which I have, to see if there are any which could be added, and there are two or three of my own from which some verses perhaps may be taken, some of which you have not seen.
May the Lord keep you all in peace and patience! Rousing to devotedness I trust will follow: that God alone can do; but our hearts can be directed towards it, and that, I trust, they may be. There has been a good deal of awakening of conscience.... I look much to rousing the saints to joyful devotedness, but, 1 repeat, that is God's gracious work. But after all, our business is to keep our hearts up in heaven, for our own joy and for the life of our souls, and to be able to serve Him on earth. God is above all this evil, and can keep our hearts above it. Not that there may not be exercises and fears; still He is there to sustain, and will in His own time—the best—bring us out of them. Meanwhile we have to stand fast, trusting in the Lord.
Pau, October 25th.