Daniel Otsing – O Lord, with our Ears and Hearts Open

Little flock hymn No 131.

The Lord is coming very soon

new-jerusalem-2sI’ve just seen a video put up by Gregory Miller –  I Don’t Believe That You Don’t Believe In The Pre-Trib Rapture – 

Most Christians are really not waiting for the Lord’s coming – but are not planning for the tribulation either.  Through God’s mercy we will be saved out of that – See the letter to the Church at Smyrna (modern day Izmir)

But His coming is the Hope of the Church – so every Christian should be waiting for it.  Jesus says “I come quickly”  (Revelation 22:20)

I love this hymn, written by a Godly Russian, Daniel Otsing.


Daniel Otsing

1. O Lord, with our ears and hearts open,
Awaiting Thy shout would we be,
The summons that calls us to heaven,
Forever to be, Lord, with Thee.
Thy word and Thy Spirit, blest Lover,
The earnest, are giv’n to Thy bride;
Thou’rt near to faith’s vision, O Saviour,
But soon she will be at Thy side.

2. O come then, Lord Jesus, we’re watching!
And take now Thy spouse home to Thee!
Thine absence awakens deep yearning,
The bride her loved Bridegroom to see.
Thou art, O Lord Jesus, still waiting
With love deep, eternal, we know;
Our hearts in response, with love’s burning,
Await Thee with lamps all aglow.

3. The Spirit and bride are united
And now with one voice would say “Come”!
Throughout the long night she has waited
To see Thee, her faithful Bridegroom.
Gross darkness the earth doth now cover,
And night like a pall shrouds the land;
Thy flock is still here, Shepherd Lover,
The sheep Thou hast kept by Thy hand.

4. Midst darkness faith clearly sees beaming
The light of Thy coming afar;
We watch for the dawn of the morning,
And hail Thee, the bright Morning Star.
The word of Thy patience we’re keeping,
Thy radiancy draws us apart –
A beacon us heav’nward attracting –
To meet Thee, the Hope of our heart!

Another verse, not in the Little Flock Hymn Book

How sweet is Thy word, “I come quickly”.
“Amen!” answer Spirit and bride;
Responsive to love, faithful, holy,
That never has once turned aside.
Thy promise is sure; blest Protector,
“Not one shall be lost”, is Thy word;
Of the “men given” Thee by Thy Father,
We praise Thee; we bless Thee O Lord.

Tunes: 449 Willenhall   447 Petrograd   448 Russian Air
B419 Morning Star   R235 Mansewood

Daniel Otsing and his Wife

Daniel Otsing (1850-1937) lived in St Petersburg/Leningrad, Russia, and was in a small brethren meeting there. He was exiled to Kazakhstan where he died in appalling conditions..  The meeting suffered a lot of persecution after the Bolshevik Revolution and many faithful souls were transported to Siberia where they continued to witness to the Love of God.  His niece Alice Mutton was taken to be with the Lord in January 2015.  Some ‘Russian Nuggets’ are being issued by Saville Street Distribution, Walton, Essex.  Contact e.mutton1462@btinternet.com .

June 2020 – Edwin Mutton has written a book ‘We Despaired even of Life’ , a collecton of correspondence with and accounts of visits to brethren in Russia from the Bolshevik Revolution in 1916 to the Stalin purges of the late 1930’s, with further sstories up to the home-going of Daniel Otsing’s daughter-in-law Jenny Otsing in 1975?.  Daniel Otsing was a key figure.  Edwin’s mother, Alice was the daughter of Paul and xx Cooper (originally Kubler).  Xx was sister to  yy, Daniel Otsing’s wife.    The book is available from Saville Street Distribution (above) or from Bibles Etc, Wheaton IL, wsc@bibles-etc.com

JND’s Advice for when Things get Difficult amongst Brethren

Considerations for brethren when difficulties arise.

I am grateful to our brother Ben for drawing this letter of JN Darby to my attention.  It was current in 1881; maybe it is current in 2014!

    • The first fruit from this bad root is, that brethren are occupied with themselves to the exclusion of other Christians who are equally members of the body of Christ: they think of themselves more than of the Lord. They do all they can to keep the gathering together, losing sight more or less of the great truths which have acted upon hearts individually


    • We must have patience, and help each other: a lack of patience has caused some to act too quickly, and though they acted with the best possible intentions, of separating themselves from evil, the result has been unsatisfactory. We are quick at seizing the reins when we see danger ahead; but the Lord knows better than we do what has to be done: in due season He will deliver all who look to Him. But this must be real not trying to escape the test, or to delay the time of action when the evil is clearly manifest. Another valuable lesson the Lord would teach us is, I think, to occupy ourselves more before Him with the state of individual consciences. It is easy to neglect pastoral work. One is inclined to act by means of outward pressure, instead of waiting for the inward action of the Spirit, who would lead the assembly by the healthy and spontaneous action of all who form part of it. This ought always to be the aim, but alas! very often it is not possible on account of a corrupt influence which has been already too active, and for too long a time, so that morally, many have become incapable of a spiritual judgment; thus division is inevitable when the test comes to the door. But in any case we ought to wait until God sends the test. A man cannot be hung because he intends to kill me. We must wait until the act is accomplished before taking action, doing all we can, at the same time, to raise the spiritual standard by a healthy ministry of the word, as the Lord in His grace may give us. Then when the test does arrive, some, at least, will be able to act according to God.


  • The present struggle is between intelligence and the Spirit. It is a subtle thing which exercises the heart to its depths — must I be guided by my intelligence according to the things that I know, or must I walk in dependence on the Lord. Some pretend to be an expression of the assembly of God when their acts prove that they have no sense of the Lord’s presence in their midst. To admit their pretension, would evidently be to deny the presence and action of the Spirit of God, for such walk by human intelligence, and override conscience

JND Letters (Vol 3 p 201 – 26/11/1881) – Originally in French – Downloadable here

ADOSS Newsletter – November 2013

Σωσθένης Ὁἀδελφὸς – Sosthenes the Brother

sosthenes@adayofsmallthings.com – 

My answer to Lord Carey – Christianity might die out this week



Dear Dr Carey,

May you be proved totally right!  Christianity might die out this week – We’re waing for the Lord to come.

The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. – 1 Thess 4:16


Adoss Newsletter November 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord

 A Personal Note from Brother Sosthenes

This is a quick note.  I must offer thanks to God for His blessings so far with ‘A Day of Small Things’.  The response has been just right – enough to be able to establish a personal link with many whom I would never have known otherwise,, without being swamped.

My Answer to Dr Carey

Do you like my ‘letter’ above?  It hit me this morning  – I was going to do another ‘Hope of the Church’ article, but I am sure the Lord said ‘”Do this instead!” .  May it serve to remind people of the Lord’s soon coming and reawaken that hope in all of our hearts.

Please feel free to spread this round if you wish.  Here is the link on the ‘A Day of Small Things’ site.   If you want to do it via Twitter the link is – BroSosthenes, or for Facebook, click here.

The Hope of the Church

 I have finished the series on ‘The Faith once Delivered’ and have started on the ‘Present Hope of the Church’ – Many are confused as to prophecy thinking that we must work at building the Kingdom of God here!  Thank God that this is rubbish – Our King is on His Father’s throne, reigning in grace. His coming is imminent. Otherwise we would have to go through the tribulation.

A bit of a Selah

I have to go into hospital on Saturday for a total shoulder replacement (your prayers please!).  This means that I will be out of commission for a few weeks.  I should be able to answer e-mails with one hand.  But the site will have to wait. 

Greetings in our Lord and Saviour

Your brother Sosthenes






The darkest hour, Lord Jesus

1 The darkest hour, Lord Jesus, that rolled o’er Thy blest head
Called forth the sweetest fragrance that e’er on earth was shed
That cup so full so bitter – the wormwood and the gall –
Directly from Thy Father Thou didst accept it all.
2 What perfect meek submission!- Thy will, not Mine be done –
Obedience full, unquestioned: perfection of aSon!
Thus prostrate there before Him, Thy sweat as drops of blood –
And so to be the Victim, the spotless Lamb ofGod!
3 Yet Thou, O holy Suff’rer, couldst “Abba, Father!” cry,
Through all Thy woe abiding in sonship’s perfect tie.
O glorious heav’nly Leader, perfect through suff’ring Thou;
Captain of our salvation! With rev’rent hearts we bow.
4 Thou hast Thyself, Lord Jesus, our hearts’ affection gained.
How can we give Thee comfort for what Thou hast sustained?
Entire and full devotion alone can worthy be,
Till, love to love responsive, Thy glorious face we see.

Mrs GR Cowell – Little Flock Hymn Book 1951, 1973

What will it be when all Thy saints shall be without one shade of variation

A tweet today pointed me to the sad account of the suicide of Anna Napthine in 1981.  This prompted me to write a letter to a close friend whom I had not seen since 1970.  Here is an edited version of it:

Dear xxx

A couple of hours ago I came across a reference on the web to the suicide of Anna Napthine, wife of Peter Napthine.  That was very sad and I trust that God’s mercy abounded to Peter and his family and all who were close to our sister.

This led me to think of you both as, with God  absolutely nothing happens by chance – and whatever it may be – We do know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to purpose. (Rom 8:28).

I remember those happy, but difficult, years when we were boys together.  It was the formative time for all of us.  After 43 years we stil think of you and the family.

We have a lot to thank God for:  heath, material circumstances and the love of the brethren.  But more than that we have the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Heb 9:15).  It’s yours; it’s mine – to be enjoyed now; and what enjoyment we have! Lord gave us a touch of Himself as the Good Shepherd, at the supper last Lord’s Day.  How wonderful it is to appreciate the Lord in the midst, is it not dear brother?

Since retiring, I have been with God’s help, working on a little project to help younger or not-so-young believers who might be seeking the truth to appreciate what the teaching of John Nelson Darby.  How extensive the Holy Spirit used his work.  Have a look at http://www.adayofsmallthings.com.

The Lord is coming soon – before the end of 2013 maybe.  One is reminded of those verses that are so real: 

“What will it be when all the strife is over,
And all Thy saints, now scattered far and wide,
Shall be without one shade of variation,
All like Thee, Lord, united by Thy side!”
          Miss A. Ross

May you and your family be richly blessed in 2014

With love in our Lord, your brother  X

ADOSS Newsletter – October 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord

A Personal Note from Brother Sosthenes

Not the ruler of the synagogue but a brother - depiction from an icon in a Russian Orthodox Church

I started ‘A Day of Small Things’ (ADOSS) about a month ago with a view to providing my younger (and not so young) brethren in Christ with an easy-to-read summary of certain classic works (particularly to start with John Nelson Darby) which have become accepted by lovers of the Lord Jesus and His Church here, and are waiting expectantly for His soon return.   I hear comments that you need a doctorate in theology, as well as the language capabilities of the 19th century educated elite to understand JND.  I have neither.

What is needed (and I am a poor model of that) is a deep love for our Lord, for His own, a desire for the truth, and broken heart over the state of the church publicly.  Through God’s goodness I have been exposed to much good and helpful teaching in companies where there has been a general love of the Lord, the truth and where differences of opinion have been worked out in a spirit of grace and brotherly love. 

That has been mostly, not always.  When I was eight (1953) there were serious problems in the meeting.  Without disrespect to my parents, now with Christ, they were fighting worldliness and disrespect of assembly procedure.  Through outside interference they (and a few others) forced a division and broke bread separately.  What they were fighting might have been might have a bad state:  it was not evil.  What they created was confusion – which had lasting consequences – several families were scattered – and almost all in that locality were carried away by a legal sectarian system not of God 17 years later.  Clearly I regard my parents and the others’ action, however well intentioned, as wrong. Meet state with ministry of Christ.

Satan is ever trying to get saints to fall into the same trap.  May all of us use diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. (Eph 4:3).

Simplified Darby

J N Darby
John Nelson Darby

I feel a sense of blessing from doing the first seven Simplified Darby exercises, and have received positive feedback.  I trust that in response I have been able to provide encouragement in return.  That is how the self building up of the body in love (Eph 4:16) works.  I am deeply conscious of my shortcomings in undertaking this task, and welcome comments and suggestions.  One dear brother in the Chicago area for whom I have great personal affection and whose judgment I greatly value went as far as more-or-less rewriting one article!  But that’s how we learn.

The seven papers that were published in “The Faith once delivered to the Saints” (Kingston Bible Trust) were first.  I keep re-reading and re-touching them (as well as correcting them).  Meanwhile I have started work on JND’s  eleven lectures in Geneva on the present hope of the church (L’Espoir actuel de ‘l’Eglise) .  Which reminds I have started on one article in French! – Am I mad? 

After that – we will have to count on God’s direction.

Personal Relationships

I have no doubt that everybody who has e-mailed me or who have posted comments on the Adoss website is a lover of our Lord Jesus sharing the same hope as myself.  We are brethren, even if sadly (in some cases) not enjoying full Christian fellowship due to the breakdown in the public church (for which all have to own our part).  On the public website anonymity is of course acceptable – but when we come to one-to-one I am open as to my identity and I feel a sense of disappointment if that confidence is not returned.  Greet the friends by name. (3 John:14)

Spreading the Word

The last that I want to do is to promote myself, or any personal position (hence the pseudonym), so I have deliberately refrained from doing any promotional activity despite having many Christian friends who I have no doubt co-operate.  God Himself will give the increase.  However if you like to circulate anything amongst those you know please feel free to so.  If you want to do this using Facebook or Twitter use



May you prove God’s wonderful blessings – the Lord’s coming to rapture His own very soon!  – As Alec Craig said in an address a few years back “He’s on His way!”  Rev 22:20

Greetings in our Lord and Saviour

Your brother Sosthenes

ADOSS Newsletter – December 2013

Newletter A Day of Small Things – Jesus has done everything – Acknowledging Bill Chellberg and Paul Wilkinson


2014 already!

2013 is all but over and 2014 is upon us, if the Lord does not come beforehand.  But we are waiting and these two hymns, one by JND bring out our expectation far better than I can.

And shall we see Thy face,
And hear Thy heav’nly voice,
Well known to us in present grace?
Well may our hearts rejoice!
JN Darby (1800-82)

Tis not far off – the hour, when Christ will claim His own;
We soon shall hear that voice of power; The Lord Himself shall come!
The days are passing by, the years flow on apace;
Lord Jesus, Thy return draws nigh, we long to see Thy face.
–      Miss Hannah Kilham Burlingham (1842-1901)

Have You any Room for Jesus?

We did a little ‘Christmas message’ in the neighbourhood of our meeting room and in writing it I thought  “I don’t know when Jesus was born.  It certainly wasn’t 25th December.  But what I do know is that there was no room for HIM – plenty of room for everything else: Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, Christmas cheer and an old man dressed in red – anything, anybody but Jesus.  Have you got any room for Him?”  To date, no evident response, but we can leave that with God.

Have you any room for Jesus,
He who bore your load of sin?
As He knocks and asks admission,
Sinner, will you let Him in?
– DW Whittle

There are Wolves about!

What a day we are in! – Satan is doing his best to divide God’s people everywhere.  “The hireling … whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.” (John 10:12) How important it is to be steeped in the truth, not just the letter, of the Nature and Unity of the Church of Christ.  Not surprisingly, this summary gets the most hits!

Our Standing before God

What pains me is that so few believers have really understood that Jesus has done EVERYTHING.  They (should I say, we – or even I?) know it as fact – but then try to live by rules – or even the accepted norm of the Christian company they meet with.  May we be “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”  (Heb 12:2).

Spreading the Message

A Day of Small Things” is getting an increasing number of hits, and we can thank God for that.  But that number is still quite small (82 on one day but 25 an average).  God knows that, and of course the site is only about four months old.  I am dependent on others to spread the word.  Here are a few suggestions:

Facebook and Twitter are part of Satan’s world, I know, but God has enabled the Lord’s servants to use the latest technology spread the gospel.


There are two brothers whose support I would like to acknowledge.  Firstly our dear brother Bill in Wheaton Il – who now calls himself Aquila (and his wife Doris must be Priscilla!) – and has christened my wife Dorcas!  – See picture! – His site Bibles etc.

Aquila and Priscilla with Paul
Aquila and Priscilla with Paul

Then specifically, I would like to mention Paul Wilkinson in Manchester.  His prayerful support, whilst laid aside due to a cycling accident has been of comfort to me (I have had a shoulder operation too).  His book “For Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby” – is very interesting and helpful.

Christmas Greetings

We don’t ‘keep Christmas’, but to forbid any celebration is, in my opinion, legality.  It is a time for the family.  It is also an ideal time to tell relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends of the One who when here was “God manifest in flesh”. – died for us, was buried for us, rose again for us and is now alive for us!

May you be blessed!

And shall we see Thy Face

270: AND shall we see Thy face

by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
sung to Silchester
by Henri Abraham Cesar Malan (1787-1864)

1 AND shall we see Thy face,
And hear Thy heavenly voice,
Well known to us in present grace?
Well may our hearts rejoice.

2 With Thee in garments white,
Lord Jesus, we shall walk;
And spotless in that heavenly light,
Of all Thy sufferings talk.

3 Close to Thy trusted side,
In fellowship divine;
No cloud, no distance, e’er shall hide
Glories that then shall shine.

4 Fruit of Thy boundless love,
That gave Thyself for us;
For ever we shall with Thee prove
That Thou still lov’st us thus.

5 And we love Thee, blest Lord,
E’en now, though feeble here,
Thy sorrow and Thy cross record
What makes us know Thee near.

6 We wait to see Thee, Lord,
Yet now within our hearts
Thou dwell’st in love that doth afford
The joy that love imparts.

7 Yet still we wait for Thee,
To see Thee as Thou art;
Be with Thee, like Thee, Lord, and free
To love with all our heart.

G H S Price – O the wonder of the moment – God outshining in His Son!

ghspriceO the wonder of the moment!
God outshining from above
To secure a scene of glory,
All responsive to His love.
Thought eternal are unfolded;
Now, in Christ, their wealth is shown
That for men a place in sonship
Might through Him, the Son, be known.

But the objects of that favour
Were in chains of bondage bound;
Guilty sinners must be ransomed,
And the lost must needs be found.
Love was thus in mercy seeking
Satan’s captives from the fall,
And the wonder of the story –
Jesus died to save them all!

Thus that work in all it’s glory
Every thought of God maintains,
While His grace o’er all has triumphed,
And through righteousness now reigns.
Here the Spirit too bears witness
To the truth that all is done.
O the wonder of the moment –
God outshining in His Son!


G. H. Stuart. Price  Harrow 1911-63

Hymn 133. “Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1962) – English.” iBooks.