From J N Darby’s Correspondence on recent matters
Darby wrote that though he was not an evangelist, he sought to do the work of one, as well as he could. But the question arises – has evangelisation enfeebled the teaching the saints? Teaching and evangelisation are clearly distinct gifts, but one should not enfeeble the other. Paul taught and evangelised; he distinguished between being a minister of the gospel, and a minister of the church.
The evil is not earnest devotedness to evangelising, it is being absorbed by it. Instead of the full thought of Christianity, salvationism carries the general idea that God is love, and would have all men to be saved, which is true; but it ends in men’s’ being saved. There is no purpose of God in it, no glory to Christ in His church either. The less of Christ there is, more there is of man’s importance.
We should not weaken evangelisation; God blesses it, and a healthy assembly has hearts engaged in it. It characterised the early Brethren; maybe it still does. The love expressed in it binds saints together. We need to keep up the service, if Christ has called us to do it – it is of great importance. If we were near Christ, we should evangelise and teach well. May we be in communion with Christ, when we address the saints. We may not see much fruit, but God is above all – let us look to Him. May the Lord guide our hearts in the work and keep us in the enjoyment of Him.
The Lord is letting missionary activity such as that of Moody and Pearsall-Smith’s run over the world. It is wakening people up. God graciously allows this popular work to go on. But we should not covet popularity – it is worldly and lowers the standard of Christianity.
Brethren should keep up their testimony, preaching of the gospel of the grace of God with renewed energy. They are entering a new dangerous phase of their existence, bringing greater responsibility. They have something which other Christians have not got.
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