London – January 1874
To Mr P
I know the need of a practical ministry in the South of France, especially in le Gard. In l’Isère, la Drôme, dear X has been encouraged in particular in Valdrôme. He is an excellent brother, and I rejoice much in his labours, for he replaces me a bit in these regions now that I have become old. Now he has gone to Italy for he also speaks Italian. It is precisely because I knew the needs of the South of France that I have mentioned your stay in France, and be sure of it the workmen would not lack if there was more devotion. I am sure that there is indeed un-developed gift.
In the Ardèche, less is lacking but several here are put aside! This is all a subject for prayer and humiliation. Devotion brings consideration for others, the feeling of responsibility, and by this exercises of heart by which one grows. There are those who are not growing because their devotion is lacking; I could name those who for want of some little labour lose the glory and the sweetness of working for the Lord… As for visiting the South of France, during my trip, I fear undertaking too much at the same time. I must be in Italy around Easter for a small conference, and visit Switzerland on the way; then I leave for London to go to Ireland. It is possible that, on my return of Italy, I can go in France, which I will do with great pleasure.
I am relieved indeed that you will be a while in Nîmes. The loss of dear G left them very weak, but God is full of goodness.
Here the brethren go on well; there is devotedness; the world is ever to be combated, but in general there is solidity, and hearts are united. There are now more than thirty meetings in London and, I reckon, more than 3000 brethren. Who can be sufficient for looking after this, if it is not One only? Thank God, they can count on him, and this is a big comfort.
We have good news of Switzerland, and quite good of Holland. The truth makes progress in America.
Pinkerton has gone to Egypt and Syria. I was struck by his solidity and how much he has matured in the consciousness of his position. They break bread in Syria and in Alexandria; God had prepared the way. There is only a small foothold in each locality. Already there have been some persecutions; a native brother of Syria had translated tracts and the missionaries returned them. The return of P also awakened the opposition of the Presbyterians, but doors are opened to him.
Yours affectionately in Jesus
Letter originally written in French, translated by Sosthenes, 2013
Click here for original – If you have any comments on the translation, feel free to let me know.