A Letter To A Brother In Christ – July 7th, 1834
July 7th, 1834
My dear Brother,
Many thanks to you for your kind letter; and as I have very lately heard from friend Gadsby, I now write to say when you may expect him. It is his intention to be one night at Uppingham, I imagine from invitation; consequently, he purposes being at Leicester on Monday, August 18th, on Tuesday at Oakham. In answer to this letter, you will let me know whether the above arrangement is agreeable, as he requests that I will inform you, that you may let him know; but if you very soon tell me, I will inform him. He especially wishes me to be at Manchester the whole of September; therefore, if the Lord will, I will preach at Oakham the last Lord’s day in August, if you prefer my coming then in preference to my returning from Manchester, in October, by Oakham. You will be pleased with Gadsby’s company. He will be very encouraging, and he will make himself quite at home with you. You will convey him to Uppingham, and the Uppingham friends can take him to Stamford.
I hope you will not raise your expectations too high about Gadsby. You can receive no blessing through him without the Lord’s special grace. I hope to hear that the Lord sends him among you for the revival of His work in the souls of the Lord’s people.
Last Lord’s day week I spoke to a large multitude assembled together to see Husband baptize four members, and upon the whole it was a favorable day. I was enabled to speak plainly on the occasion.
We still talk about baptizing and forming a church here, but there are so few that I can fully receive in heart, and I feel myself so unfit for a pastor. I have at present no lack of hearers and I think, at times, that the Lord is surely with us, but I am a very poor, ignorant instrument as a minister. I feel more deeply the burden of the work, and am ready to halt. I have so little grace and power, and at times I question whether I have any. I feel myself so vile, so sinful, so full of unbelief, and at times I can thank God I am not in hell. But the Lord encourages me, at times, both in my own soul and in the ministry; and then I think that the Lord has really a work for me to do, and that my preaching will not prove altogether in vain.
I have various invitations to preach. Last Wednesday evening I preached in a wagon. The place would not hold the people, and on next Lord’s day I am to preach at Wallingford.
If I could be what I would be as a man and a preacher, I would be very different from what I am. I would be more on the mount, I would pray more, and love more, and bring forth more fruit; but when I would do good, evil is present with me. Sometimes I feel very thankful that I am not left to fall a prey to my lusts, and to the temptations of the devil. I am daily a debtor to sovereign grace. Many, I believe, are waiting for my halting. Through the grace of God, I trust their eyes will fail with waiting.
There is nothing worth living for in this vain world. Vanity is stamped upon all created good, and my desire is to die to the world, and to be alive unto God. Oh! that the Lord Jesus would manifest more of His love to us, that we might triumph in Christ, and that we might speak of His glory and talk of His power. We need continually quickening and helping. We need holding up in all our goings out and comings in.
You are in a conspicuous situation; you have come forward in the Lord’s cause. May the Lord manifest His power in you. May you be much more concerned about the Lord blessing your souls in The Factory than about its alterations.
All dealings with the world are of a deadening nature; therefore, whatever unnecessarily brings us into contact with the world should be avoided. We acknowledge the truth of it, and wish it when we are in our right minds. “No man can serve two masters.” That great truth is a continual cross to many. “O wretched man that I am!” says the great apostle; and so says every child of God who knows the plague of his own heart. We need stripes, scourges, rods, and afflictions, besides various other crosses to separate us from worldly things. Our souls so very much cleave to the dust.
I hope that the Lord is blessing the church in your house. Sometimes grace seems to work very slightly in your heart as you view each other, but it is according as God deals forth to each. A day of trial may come upon you to prove the work in you all, and to make it more manifest to each other. Grace uplifts the heart with its own gifts, yet when the Lord blesses, the soul rejoices and sings, and is ready to despise the weaklings in the mire and dirt. The soul is in its best state when most humbled. Lowliness of mind and contrition of spirit are the best evidences of the effects of grace wrought in the soul. The promises are nearly all for the humble, the lowly, the broken-hearted, the tempted, the tempest-tossed, the devil-harassed, the afflicted children of God; for the Lord will revive the humble and the contrite. He will give grace to the lowly, and feed the hungry with good things.
Real religion is in the heart. Every child of God has a judgment-seat set up in his heart, and he knows repentance is not the work of a day, but he is continually sinning and repenting, and knows that godly sorrow must come from God alone.
I shall be very glad to have a very long letter from you, giving me a full and particular account of the Lord’s dealings with the people of God among you. Please to give my Christian love to them, not forgetting those in your own house. I have been chiefly at home with my own people since I was with you.
I hope you are very liberal to the poor children of God. Open your hand wide to your poor brother. You will be no poorer for giving a sovereign or a five-pound note now and then. You only lend it to the Lord; and you are not your own; therefore glorify God in body and in spirit, which are His.
Yours very sincerely and affectionately,