London – 14th September 1881
To Mr P
Very dear Brother,
I do not need to tell you that I am very pleased by the news which you give me of Orthez, a place where I have laboured in the past, but which has been rather neglected for some time. It was the country of almost the first labours and triumphs of dear B, and the start of the awakening in France was there.
As to myself, dear brother, God has had led me close to the gates of death, near enough to have a little experience of what it was, but not as judgment. It was the dissolution of my being which made itself felt; but the experience has been useful to me; no new truth was needed by me, but salvation and grace. Christ Himself and His love, the love of the Father, all this became much more felt, much more real, a great gain to me. Probably, I will no longer have the physical strength to labour as I have in the past, but although to work would be a pleasure to me, I accept the will of God with joy. Besides, for some time, I have felt that I should lead a life more confined to London, then I could be useful in the exercises through which the brethren have passed lately, so beneficial but solemn exercises, which are not finished, but which draw to their end. I work in my office as usual, and I even attended some meetings. An attack of paralysis, though very light, stopped me a bit, but I suffer from it only in the right cheek. Although my members may have lost nothing of their force, I have experienced difficulty in maintaining my balance; at present it gets better, but I have to pay attention to my steps. God continues His work; in several places there are conversions, and the state of the brethren improves in every way.
It is God’s presence, dear brother, which gives us power and joy now and which will always give us them. What joy to see Christ who has so loved us, the same One who has been on this earth, the Friend so accessible to His own, to see Him truly and for ever. Labour belongs to this world, joy to the other, though we taste it as streams of water, before having reached the source.
I thank you, dear brother, for all your good affection. I would have loved to see the brethren in Pau, to whom I am very attached, as to those around, but I do not believe that this will be possible: we will meet elsewhere.
May God lead the elderly ones around you, and sustain the young converts in the good way, and keep them near to Him. All the rest will perish and pass.
Your affectionate brother in Christ
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.