Chicago – 1873
To Mr P
I was not deceived about the localities in the West. There is everything to do; every false opinion imaginable to remove by the Word, but at least there is the desire to study it.
We have two meetings a day for lectures; the gentlemen who are active in the city come there; it seems to me that there is more attention and more sobriety than at the beginning, and I believe that there are indeed truths which penetrate into their spirits. Grace is little, or hardly known, and, when it is preached, in general it is a manner which is false. The difficulty lies in this that the first fundamental truths are false: what would be in general a point of departure still requires scriptural proofs; all is to be remedied. The truth in the beginning only confuses, because it is mixed with false ideas already received; a passage is cited to show something; it is used it to fantasise; and it has first to be made clear. All the same, progress has been made under this condition; one is more subject to the Word, and one feels that there is a power in the truth which is different from opinions.
At Springfield, thirty or forty people propose to meet and to allow themselves to be led by the Lord. I hope to go there soon. Other difficulties will be found there, but the Lord suffices for everything.
Here, we have had to abandon the Ephesians and take up the epistle to the Romans; there was not yet enough establishment on the foundation of the truth.
The brethren go on well, save one or two among them, come here to make their way. The world has taken possession of their hearts; there still, the Lord’s grace suffices, but they must have their experiences.
Salute the brethren affectionately.
Your affectionate brother
_hat heartbreak, what a humiliation, what a disgrace it is to the Lord! I am surprised at His goodness, I may say, in not judging, because if God does not keep us, we are all capable of doing this too; but it gives us to think much of the danger in which the Lord’s workmen are, and particularly when, by having superior light, they are put forward. My consolation is that the Lord manifests His government here: it is a sorrowful way to learn but the thing that one learns is very precious.
Pinkerton has found much encouragement; he is now in Syria; he has imported with him a press to print tracts in Arabic; a local person is able to work with him. I have blessed God indeed. In Haifa also, he has found opened doors, this will also tend to enlarge the brethren’s horizon, although it is in a certain sense still within the kingdom.
Everywhere here where Christ is fully announced one finds a numerous and attentive audience, souls everywhere are famished. The Nationalists have been compelled to begin a kind of mission in the churches, which has equally attracted a lot of the world. The floods of evil rise, but evidently God works; the Lord is waited for more. There must be much to encourage in the work here, for one can only suffer here; but He who does all will do His work …
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.