Turin – November 1871
To Mr P
If I revealed all the things that I know, I would have a lot to say; and do you know that the best means of keeping a secret is not to let it be seen that you have one? To act thus, the world deceives and speaks in a misleading way – not the Christian, because if he is content only to say what God wants him to say, he has only to be silent and if he is accustomed to acting thus, the thing becomes entirely simple …
Dear C has been taken. She left this world a very short time ago. Her husband was absent; he found her dead on his return. She died in peace; she had said, ‘I know that I am going to die, but I am peaceful: I do not say more’. There is the end of small proportions, but for some one of great proportions to this poor world.
God was revealed to her soul, then God has taken her; now she is in heaven. How histories are told in few words which on a small stage have indeed filled hearts with anxiety! If one passes through this world with God, one confides in Him, while suffering for the present things more than others suffer them. One passes through without disturbance because God is there; one is not even disturbed by anything; a soul more in heaven led by the faithful Shepherd, there is the true fact. Some souls are afflicted, this is natural in this world, as when a stone falls into the water: a little noise, some circles that spread out, then disappear. The water goes on as usual, flowing with the noise of its own. No sign of the stone remains, but there is a soul gathered to the Lord and who will no more go out of His presence! What an immense joy, what profound blessing! May the Name of the Lord be blessed. One has told me that her brother is much afflicted, that is understandable; her poor husband also surely needs our sympathies.
I will tell you, dear brother, that we are going to have, with God’s help, a study into the Word in Nîmes, for ten or twelve young brothers who have consecrated themselves more or less absolutely to the work, principally in the Ardèche, but also elsewhere.
I am in the north of Italy. I know enough of the language to explain the word of God, but I do not pretend to preach. In some weeks, I leave, God willing, for France. God has rather revived the brethren in Switzerland, and I believe that He does so in France too.
It is possible that I will come to America next summer. God knows.
I can no longer do journeys on foot, otherwise I work as usual, and I am better away from London than in this great city, but in his seventy-second year, one cannot think of doing what I did when younger.
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.