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Free Books » Chapman, Robert Cleaver » Letters of Robert Cleaver Chapman

Letters Letters of Robert Cleaver Chapman by Chapman, Robert Cleaver

Index

Selected Letters

of Robert C. Chapman.

Three Letters of Consolation to a Sufferer.*

                                                                                                     Newton Tracey, Nov., 1835.

* The first three letters-the only ones known of such an early date- were written to Miss E. G. who was laid aside by illness. Mr. Chapman was at this time serving the Lord in Ebenezer Chapel, Barnstaple, and she was the first fruit of his ministry.

MY DEAR SISTER,-Grace, mercy and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. "I am he that teacheth thee to profit, that leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go"; and whatever the cost of learning, I know your faith cries out, Lord, my soul is pleased with Thee and with Thy discipline. This has been your mind; and has not Jesus shown you that He knoweth the way you take? He hath said, "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; thou art mine"; and in saying that He has said everything; if He had not said so, He would have said nothing.

There is no fellowship with God but through the blood of His dear Son; it is by it He speaks with us and calls us children; by it we cry, Abba, Father, and pour out our heart into His bosom. Plainly can we talk with Him, as we cannot speak in human ear, for the heart of man is not as the heart of God.

Much has been your tribulation and your pain; but I know you have got heart's ease at a throne of grace and in God's bosom of everlasting love. How sweet that meeting and how blessed when they that are Christ's shall together behold His glory! In that world there shall be no veil upon our hearts, nor walls, nor lattice between us and Him. And how great must be that glory laid up for us which shall enable us to behold His glory, and yet not be confounded. The Lord Himself shall be our ever­lasting light, and the days of our mourning shall be ended. We shall be nothing and God all in all.

Think upon it, beloved in the Lord. It is to this glory that in your suffering God has respect, even your God and Father, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. Your pains are needful now for trial of the faith and much grace given you.

Farewell. Your affectionate friend and servant  in the Gospel,

                                                                                                                    ROBT. C. CHAPMAN.

                                                                                                                Vicarage Lane [Barnstaple].*

MY DEAR SISTER,-Grace and peace be unto you. God has given you suffering in the body, but your pain and weakness are blessed, for Christ is yours and you are His. How great the blessing-redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of the grace of God. Let us but keep this in view, this perfect eternal redemption, and all is well. Then has patience her perfect work, and we submit to the hand of God, not because we cannot resist, but because God is Love and is our Heavenly Father.  

* Where no date is given it is to be understood that the letter is undated, though the year is sometimes inserted in brackets.

What think you of Christ then, my dear Sister?  I know your answer. He is altogether lovely. He is now sitting for us at the right hand of God, and the stability of His throne is our strong foundation. He is glorified with God the Father with that glory which He had with the Father before the world was. He was from everlasting ordained to be that which He now is actually, our Kinsman, our great High Priest, who is gone before us to prepare a place for us; and-He has said it-"If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also." Do we not believe His word? Most surely we believe it, and therefore we look for our blessed hope of His glorious appearing.

He can now succour us by His power, grace and compassion. He knoweth how to do this. There is none like Him to feel with us, and it is our cordial to think upon this. Christ not only binds up our wounds, but makes our wounds His own. Then shall we not say, Show Thyself our Kinsman, our Priest, and do with us, Lord, as Thou wilt?

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

                                                                                                                                                         Barnstaple.

 My DEAR SISTER,-Among the exceeding great and precious promises given us in Christ, this is one, "I will dwell in them and walk in them, and they shall be my people and I will be their God." Thus we become the temple of God and His tabernacle, so that wherever we sojourn God is with us, and His own dear Son dwells within us: and does He not sanctify His dwelling? We know He does. He hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Give Him thanks daily for such grace and mercy.

Let us remember that when He found us, we lay polluted in our own blood; but He who said to us, Live, when we were in our blood, has washed us and made us perfect through the comeliness He has put upon us.

I know not your peculiar case, dear Sister, but He to whom I ever commend you so knows it as you cannot yourself understand it. He can be touched with the feeling of your infirmities. May you carry all your burdens to Him and commune with Him of all that is in your heart; this you do, and find it life and peace, and may you abound yet more and more in this holy freedom with your Lord. He is a near Kinsman, and loves to be dealt with in all simplicity of confidence.

I remain your affectionate servant in the Gospel,

Making the most of the present life. [1862.]

TO E. AND C. H., YOUNG BELIEVERS AT LAUSANNE.

My DEAR CHILDREN,-I am thankful to hear of your being so happy where you now are. Although you have begun to be pilgrims in country and circumstances in these your early years, you were pilgrims in spirit as soon as you received Christ, and I thank God you professed yourselves such both in private and public while you were yet under the roof of your father and mother. I rejoice to find you are proving in your absence from them that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and that His Word is a light to your path, a lamp to your feet. God is your Father and your portion in Christ, with whom you are risen, having been crucified and buried with Him, and quickened by His Spirit together with Him.

You have death and all your adversaries under your feet; and it is your part to keep your eye on Christ by His Spirit, who will ever show you Christ and enable you to live to Him, and to "use the world as not abusing it." It is not going out of the world that will keep us from its evil, but rising and sitting above it with Christ. It is thus we know how to be in the world so as to please God, who would have us be here a little while for His glory and also for our own profit and honour. Remember this, dear children, and you will make the most of life for God; you will ever be saying with thankful hearts that He gives you "richly all things to enjoy," and since "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine," you will be profitable to those around you wherever you are, and whatever your outward state and circumstances.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Troyon, I love them in the Lord, and help them in their work in which they have so long and so well been serving Christ. Will you greet them with my brotherly love in Christ. I write this in your father's sitting-room, which he has kindly let me have for my early morning's retreat. God is with him, and will bless him and his. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and friend in Christ,

 

Ministering to Spanish Exiles.

                                                                                        Bilbao [Spain], 20th Oct., 1863·

TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD ASSEMBLING IN BEAR STREET,

BARNSTAPLE.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Since we left you we have been remembering you in our prayers, and I have been greatly comforted concerning you, for I am steadfastly trusting God to bless you and us according to the riches of His grace. It is a joy to us to remember the love shown us by you and by so many children of God, both in Devonshire and elsewhere in England. Now it will cheer your hearts to hear from me that we have been proving the faithfulness of God in France and Spain, so that in writing from Bilbao I can report the common persuasion of us here, that we have been guided step by step to this place.

In France we found precious service (at Bordeaux) in ministering to the Spanish brethren there, who are exiles for Christ's sake; they are true brethren and sisters in Christ. The sum we were intrusted with has been judiciously dispensed by a sister in Christ at Bordeaux, in providing garments for the winter, which the exiles were beginning to feel. They had scarce garments to cover them when they first arrived at Bordeaux, where much kindness has been shown them by French brethren and sisters. The Spanish brethren are earning their own bread now. At Bayonne we saw our young brother Matamoros, who, feeble in body, is full of zeal for Christ, and especially for the spreading of the Gospel in Spain. A brother with whom he is staying showed us much kindness.

I found help from God in France for bearing witness to the name and cross of Christ. It is easy to re-visit Bayonne from hence, and we purpose to write to the brethren there from time to time, according to their request. The work is opening upon us here by little and little; and "who has despised the day of small things?" If we be conformed to Christ in His birth and death, shall we not rejoice and be glad? His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The darkness of this land is that of Egypt. The Church of Rome has lost her dominion as to the conscience of the greater part of the people, although still upheld by the law of the land; but those who despise the Church of Rome have nothing better before their eyes. "My sheep hear my voice" and "them also I must bring," are faithful sayings; and on such sayings my soul is stayed.

I am thankful that our sisters have borne so well the travelling by night.

I cannot say that the darkness and wretchedness of Spain are greater than I expected; yet I should be disheartened and overwhelmed but for seeing Him who is invisible. He hath the keys of hell and of death, and, if upheld by His free Spirit, we shall teach transgressors the way of life, and sinners shall be converted to God. The power that raised up Christ from the dead is pledged to us to work in us and by us. You need it in England, and it suffices here in Spain. The Lord cometh quickly; and, when He shall come and we shall see Him face to face, oh, how thankful shall we be to have served Him, and suffered a little for Him during this present time.

The God of love and peace be with you all. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

Honouring God by the spirit of faith.

TO A WIDOWED SISTER IN THE LORD.

                                                                                                                        Gracia [Spain], 7th March, 1864.

How great is your affliction, my dear Sister P., and how sudden your bereavement. You are now a widow and your children fatherless; but you would be telling me, were I near you and visiting you, how great the grace given to your departed husband in his sickness, and how manifest his triumph over death, so that he did not die, but slept in Jesus.  I am sure you would also speak to me of the comfort granted to you in your sorrow. As to the future of your path and the providing for you and yours, take heed you honour God, your heavenly Father, and forget not that He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. He will surely do you good and show Himself toward you the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.

The enemy, Satan, would fill your soul with unbelieving, anxious thoughts, turning away your eye from your Shepherd, Christ, to brood over mournful things and circumstances that are all in God's eye and in God's hand. Be you, therefore, looking to Jesus, and let Him look to winds and waves; then, instead of the rebuke, "0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" you will have the commendation, "0 woman, great is thy faith," and the peace of God which passeth all understanding will keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Your deep wound will leave a scar-how can it be otherwise ?-but you will have an experience of God and of the consolations of His Spirit such as you now need; and as your sorrow is great, so will your consolations abound. The time is short, dear bereaved Sister, and God will wipe away all tears from off the faces of His children.

We joined yesterday in commending you to God in prayer; we had often prayed together for recovery, if that might be. God will answer prayer in His own way; truly we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit maketh intercession for us according to the will of God.

Again I say, Fear not, only believe. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Faithfulness to Christ, combined with tenderness towards His members.

A reply to the question whether, as some alleged, an unscriptural

doctrine was allowed in the meeting at Bear Street, Barnstable.

TO MR. W. H. BENNET.

                                                                                                        Barnstable, 10th March, 1869.

DEAR BROTHER BENNET,-Journeying and much occupation have hitherto prevented our writing in answer to your enquiries. *

* Elsewhere Mr. Chapman writes: "Journeyings prevent writing, not intercession."

It is only with the appointed staves that the Ark of God must be carried, lest the Lord our God make a further breach upon us, adding to the judgments wherewith we have been already visited by Him as our Father in His love and wisdom. He will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto Him. Oh, that we, yea, all saints, might be moved each one to prove himself before God. This through grace we are doing, and we can say that our spirit of love and intercession is perpetually growing in regard to our brethren who refuse intercourse with us. Whatever the party (alas, that we must use such a term!) to which they belong, they are of Christ's flesh and bone. As accountable with our fellow­-servants to our common Lord, we must in all points keep the truth in faithful love by the Spirit who dwelleth in us.

To teach that Christ suffered wrath from God at any time save as making atonement for sin, is to subvert the truth. "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

Our answer to your enquiry is, first, that if anyone seek our fellowship here after having listened to such teaching, whether he come from the one party or the other (we hold both parties alike dear to us as our fellow-members in Christ our Head), such an one must be judged according to the Word of God and the rule of Christ. Cases differing must flat be confounded. If anyone bring the evil doctrine in its earlier or its later form, his welfare and his healing would be sought by brethren here in the bowels of Christ; but to fellowship he would not be received. While thus we write, there is a cry in our hearts, "Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe."

Then as to the particular case you mentioned, we have exercised godly jealousy and find that the evil doctrine is not held by the brother you name.

"He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood dwelleth in me and I in him." May we and all saints cease to grieve the Spirit of God, and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all.

On this day fortnight, if God will, the saints in Bear Street will have special meetings of prayer for a spirit of self-knowledge and self-judgment. Help us by your prayers. God will arise for judgment. Oh, that the spirit of self-judgment be full and complete according to the Word and by the power of the Spirit of God, and oh, that it may run through the body of Christ! Shall we not then have the joy of seeing the self-judged flowing together from all quarters, not needing, but forestalling the pressure of God's hand in outward public judgments which are on the way?

Affectionately yours in the Lord Jesus, who ever liveth to make intercession for us,

                                                                                                                     R. C. CHAPMAN

                                                                                                             WM. HAKE.

TO MR. AND MRS. HOSKING, MOGADOR, MOROCCO.

Barnstable, 10th May, 1869.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER,-We cannot longer refrain; we must write you a few words to cheer you in your blessed service, and to say how we have been remembering you at the mercy-seat, although we have not often put pen to paper for your sake.

You are in the midst of the darkness of Jew and Gentile, and the eye of God our Father is on you and on your adversaries seen and unseen. The Lord Jesus says, " Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world"; and this fellowship of the Father and of the Son with you may and will sustain you and give you light and joy, whatever the gloom and death around you.

Shall these dry bones live? Yes, dear brother and sister; we know the whole house of Israel shall by-and-by be saved and call the Lord Jesus, Jehovah their Righteousness; therefore we are to trust Him to do great things for us and by us even in this present time.

Your place of labour calls for the whole mind of Christ in you, and gives you occasion to trust Him for the power of the Spirit of God to fashion your spirit and all your ways aright. Be of good cheer then, for in due time you shall reap if you faint not.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

On the death of a Beloved Daughter.

TO FRIENDS AT LAUSANNE.

7th Sept., 1869.

GOD has been to you the God of all comfort, my dear bereaved Brother and Sister, both by His grace in your precious child and in yourselves, so that you are witnesses for Him that He is the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort. "Thou remainest" your hearts are saying; and you forget not that, if two of your jewels are now with Christ, God has left you the rest, and these, all of them, He will use for His blessed service. He marks your bowing the head and worshipping, and will surely give you yet further tokens of His pleasure in you by making the children He has left you a joy to Himself and to you. The Spirit of truth shall teach them, and guide their feet into the paths of the Lord Jesus, in which they shall both see His footprints and tread in them.

Your affectionate brother and friend,

 

On the Scriptural way of acting towards holders of erroneous doctrine.

The duty of distinguishing between those who are disturbed in mind by it, and those who actively spread it.

TO MR. GEORGE MULLER.

                                                                                                                                   Hackney, 8th April, 1871.

BELOVED BROTHER,-It is with a tender heart towards erring brethren, and a spirit of self-judgment at the mercy-seat, that we write concerning the weighty matters of false doctrine on which we lately conversed with you. "Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe" are words that befit us in dealing with those who err by corrupting the truth of God. Knowing that in Christ we have redemption through His blood, and that by the cross of the Son of God we escape the second death and its everlasting punish­ment, and that everlasting life is ours by His death, we cannot but look with grief and holy indignation at the now wide-spreading doctrine which limits the duration of the punishment of the wicked. Towards the erring ones we have the bowels of Christ: with the error we would deal with iron hand.

We have in 1 Cor. xv. the record of God's way of dealing with them that denied the resurrection of the body and thereby indirectly subverted the truth of God. In the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. v. 4, Paul thus writes: "We that are in this tabernacle do groan being burdened, not that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon," without any further mention of the error rebuked in chap. xv. of 1st Epistle. Again, in chap. xii. vv. 20, 21 there is no mention of the heresy concerning the resurrection, among the particular sins in respect of which there had not been due repentance. So we conclude that those in error were reclaimed by the instruction given in the 1st Epistle.

In like manner let us use all gentleness, and patience, and long-suffering in showing by the sacred Scriptures how great the folly and guilt of the pride of wisdom which would bind the hands of God's justice and limit the duration of the punishment of the wicked. Our intercessions must follow our admonitions. We are to plead with God for the erring ones and commit them to the merciful and faithful High Priest, who is able to save them to the uttermost out of the deceiver's hands.

Yet if all ways of gentleness and of that wisdom which cometh from above be set at nought, then in faithfulness to the Lord and kindness to the erring ones we must, as touching fellowship, "avoid them" and "reject them," for they do the part of the heretic.

Yet, inasmuch as not a few are, we doubt not, regenerate, we must still plead with God, and also watch for opportunities of entreating them, that they may be recovered from the enemy's snare.

Furthermore, we would carefully distinguish between those in whom the error is rooted and those in whom it is not rooted. In the former case there will be more or less spreading of the error by public teaching or private reasoning, working the evils of schism and division. In the latter case the spiritual sickness does not demand the severity of discipline required in the former, and is therefore to be dealt with by endeavouring to raise the affections towards Christ and by instructing the conscience concerning the value of the blood at Christ Jesus the Son of God, the holiness of God, and the guilt of sin in the sight of God.

We are also to endeavour ourselves to rise spiritually in order to raise others, that all hearts we have to do with, together with our own, may be in safeguard against every corruption of truth. Finally, dear Brother, we would, with you, ever remember that the Lord Jesus Christ said-weeping over Jerusalem-"How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." And that He also said: "I thank Thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." May this mind be also ours.

Affectionately yours,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

Barnstaple, 19th Aug., 1872.

TO BROTHER FAITHFULL AND SISTERS BELOVED IN CHRIST.

In Psalm ex, it is written, "Sit thou at My right hand"; also, "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." He brings forth our bread and wine, and prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies, as He will do by-and-by for Israel, in the sight of all nations. We by faith call things that are not as though they were, and in these "times of the Gentiles" are complete in Christ. How blessed is the service of Christ in the Spirit! If the adversary within us be subdued, who can be against us? God is with us and for us. With the yoke of Christ upon the neck we are meek and lowly in heart, and find rest to our souls. The pride of others cannot vex us; and in dealing with the proud in spirit, ourselves being lowly, we handle matters wisely.

Affectionately yours in Him,

R. C. CHAPMAN,

WM. HAKE.

On the illness of a much loved Son.

TO W. T. H.

[1872]

BELOVED BROTHER,-His way is in the sanctuary, and His way is in the sea, and His footsteps are not known. Death and burial, with resurrection the issue and fruit of His dealings-whether with Christ our Head, or with us the members of Christ-this is the way of our God and Father; and as in time past He has led you by this path, so now is He leading you therein; but His Spirit is with you to comfort and strengthen you.

You ask, what is it that God would say to you by this affliction? He says, Trust and be not afraid. He says that He is very pitiful and of tender mercy; that He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; that we are complete in Christ; and by-and-by we shall have our fulness of joy. I know not, beloved brother, any evil thing that He would be rebuking in you; nor does your conscience charge you with any such cause of God's displeasure. He is not displeased, but pleased with you. He is but giving you your heart's desire to know Him better and better in His dear SON.

Yours affectionately,

Fellowship with Gospel labourers on their way to Spain.

Clifton, 18th Dec., 1872.

TO THE BRETHREN AND SISTERS IN CHRIST ASSEMBLING IN BEAR STREET.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, and the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always, by all means.

We were happily brought on our way to Bristol on Saturday, God giving us favour with many who listened to our testimony for Christ. Much love in Christ has been shown us here; and those that are going to Spain are encouraged in the Lord by the fellowship of the Spirit they find among saints. Last evening Brother Lawrence spoke at Bethesda of the work of the Lord in Spain.

I commend to your prayers two of my sisters, invalids both of them, growing in grace and thank­fulness to God; both also recovering strength, although the hope of the eldest is not the continuance of bodily vigour, but the resurrection. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

TO MR. AND MRS. HENRY PAYNE.

Exeter, 8th Oct., 1874.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER,-I am brought here by the Lord's goodness to commune with our dear brother Darling, about to return to Norway. He visited Barnstaple while I was at Leominster attending meetings called by our Brother Yapp,* who is caring for the welfare of the Church of God. The meetings were used of God. The excellency of His Word was before the eyes of the assembled servants of Christ, and also the sure promise to the obedient of the teaching of the Spirit of truth.

*The commencing of Conferences at Leominster in 1874 was Mr. Yapp's last service; he fell asleep in November of that year. For many years Mr. Chapman rejoiced to attend these small Conferences, which were quite according to his mind.

We are the Lord's, let Him do what He will with His is own; only so long as we remain here below, let us occupy till He come-occupied with Himself who died for us and rose again and will soon come and receive us to Himself.

Our dear brother Strong is in London, very feeble in body, and giving tokens of soon finishing his course. He has well run his race, and his crown is laid up for him. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,

 

A good conscience exercised by the Word of God.

Barnstaple, 12th Feb., 1875.

Very glad was I, dear Brother Collins, to receive your letter; my heart is ever going out in inter­cessions for saints in America; reckon on my helping you in prayer. I am thankful because of your exercising yourself, as is manifest from your letter, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man. We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; then will our works be tried, and the Word of Christ shall judge us. By that Word must we try ourselves day by day, and obtain a testimony of the Spirit of God that we walk worthy of God unto all well-pleasing.

Remember, dear Brother, "Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation that cometh upon all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth." This word was endeared to me in the days of my youth, and being then through grace steadfastly minded to walk with God in all things, and to follow the Lamb whithersoever He might lead me, I find myself at the present time pursuing the path of full obedience to God-apart from everything that His Word disallows.

I write in fear and trembling and with the boldness of a good conscience, which continually tells me that to be pleasing God I must ever be forgetting things behind and reaching on to things before. You know that the flesh is discovered as it is resisted and overcome. I daily cry out, "0 wretched man that I am," and also thank God through Jesus Christ, whose blood cleanseth from all sin. I have the precious testimony that I am pleasing God; my fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, and by that very fellowship I grow into the 7th of Romans, not out of it. The sin that "dwelleth in me" is not sin breaking out of me, nor harboured within me, but hated, judged and held fast in the fetters of faith-the wild beast, but in chains. Toward all the Church of God, all the members of Christ, my heart is more and more enlarged, and I daily seek to nourish affections that accord with the bowels of Christ and His tender care of all His members.

In the first Psalm, it is not only Christ, "the Blessed Man," the Nazarite to God, that is in the mind of the Spirit, but with Him we see all whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren; for we ought to walk even as He walked. Pursue you this path, dear Brother; let the Scriptures as a whole be your delight, and all your questions of conscience will, by little and little, be determined for you by the Lord.

Bear with me, dear Brother, if, instead of answering your questions "one, two, three," I say that I have already answered you in the best way. Walk with God, and He will guide you. As to a gospel which is another gospel, and not another (of such you speak), what concord has Christ with Belial?

Watch against wasting time that might be spent upon the Scriptures. Five minutes misspent is great treasure lost. Read the Word of God in the order observed by the Spirit of God in each book, praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Help me by your prayers. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

Greet the dear ones from Coldridge and the neigh­bourhood with my love in the Lord and, "Thou art my portion, 0 Lord; I have said that I would keep Thy words."

TO MADAME DE MEURON, LAUSANNE.

Barnstaple, 1st Sept., 1876.

DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST,-Having received the tidings of the trial of your faith in the illness of my beloved brother, your husband, I have been entreating the God of all grace to strengthen you in Christ according to all the need that this trial causes you.*

* Monsieur de Meuron, who departed to be with Christ before this letter-which was written in French-reached its destination, was for many years a loving shepherd and teacher of children of God at Lausanne, and a helper of the Mission in China founded by the Lord's dear servant Mr. Hudson Taylor. Madame de Meuron writes: The remembrance of dear Mr. Chapman's visit to Lausanne, now long past, is still very precious to me.

Psalm xxxix. 9, I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because Thou didst it.

Psalm xl. 8, I delight to do Thy will, 0 my God; yea, Thy law is within my heart. He who speaks in this latter Psalm is now sitting at the right hand of God, and teaches us by His Holy Spirit that there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, that all things work together for good to them that love God, and He assures us that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I ever remember the hospitality and love in Christ which I experienced in your house.

In much sympathy, your brother in Him,

 

Fellowship in the Gospel.-God's Armour always needed.

Clifton, 1876.

TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD, CHOSEN AND BELOVED IN CHRIST, ASSEMBLING IN BEAR STREET, BARNSTAPLE.

BELOVED BRETHREN AND SISTERS IN THE LORD,-­Since leaving you last week I have been proving the faithfulness and goodness of our God and Father, step by step, and this in answer to your prayers on my behalf. My dear kinsman, our brother William Chapman, and myself came on hither on Tuesday last; he from Langport and I from Yeovil. We have found much sympathy among saints here with our brethren and sisters that are going abroad-­some to Spain and some to India.

Yesterday I was at Bath with them, and there also we were cheered by the love and fellowship of the company assembling in Princes Street.

My dear relative is gone to Bedford, on his way back to Stamford. He has been rested in the house of my sisters, and is in good health of body as well as soul. I commend him with myself to your prayers, also my eldest sister, who is hoping to depart ere long, and to be with Christ. She is full of peace and thankfulness; no suffering of body, that is, in the way of pain.

On Monday I am to accompany to London the brethren that are going abroad. You are ever in my prayers. The enemy goeth about as a roaring lion. He is also the serpent, and can be like a dove, but he is ever himself-the deceiver and destroyer. "No lie is of the truth," and by the Spirit of God we discern the lie from the truth as it is in Jesus. "Hold thou me up and I shall be safe." We cannot put off our armour until we put off the body; but all that fight the good fight are conquerors, and win much spoil and honour.

Our beloved brother Muller is now in Switzerland, in the town of Zurich. Pray for him. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Falling asleep of Mr. Chapman's eldest sister.

TO THE SAME.

Clifton, 29th Sept., 1876.

BELOVED BRETHREN AND SISTERS IN THE LORD,-­You will be glad to receive further tidings from me, as I rejoice to hear of your welfare.

On Tuesday last, I bade farewell in London to those leaving England for Spain; they have all been cheered and strengthened in Christ by the fellowship of saints in that great city. After having fulfilled my office of loving attendance on those going to Spain, I returned to this place, my dear eldest sister having entered into her rest with Christ from weariness and weakness of body last Lord's day. I trusted God in His loving-kindness so to order for me, and yesterday I was enabled to speak of Christ at her burial; she is not dead but sleepeth, and her brightness of peace and joy in Christ still speaks for Him and of His work in her. He that raised up Christ from the dead will also quicken her mortal body by His Spirit that dwelt, and dwells, in her. As in my bereavement in July last, so now, every comfort has been granted to me and mine by the God of all grace, who is the Father of mercies, and whose name is Love.

I stay here, if God will, over Lord's day, till at least Tuesday, if not longer. I send you all, "We see Jesus, who was made a little while lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." We see Him now by faith; we shall soon see Him face to face. Let us therefore walk in love as the pleasant children of the God of love. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

I shall be glad if this be read to such as are shut up by sickness.

 

Growth in the Spirit of Intercession.

St. Leonards.

YOUR labours of love are not in vain in the Lord, dear Brother Pick, and are a comfort and help to me in my journeying and visiting the children of God; everywhere they welcome us, and we can say that God has been with us; many have been the intercessions for us at Barnstaple and elsewhere, and God delights to hear us caring for each other at the mercy-seat. A growth in the spirit of inter­cession would cause the saints to flow together. Job often turned away from his three friends to God, while they were rashly and wrongfully judging the afflicted one, but it was to pray for himself. When, self-judged, self-abhorred, he prayed for his friends, straightway the Lord turned his captivity, and they and he were "all one" again.

A line from you will be cheering. The God of all grace bless you and yours. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

The Mind and Example of Christ.

Barnstaple, 15th March, 1877.

IT was joy to me, dear Brother Collins, to receive your letter of January 28th. I rejoice because of your having become more than ever a lover of the Scriptures; also I rejoice because of your finding your rest where alone it can be found, and where it cannot be disturbed. We are indeed, as you say, in the midst of difficulties; but these were ordained of God for proving us (man's guilt meanwhile being without excuse), and it is with God's eye that we are to look upon them all, and with the mind of Christ to deal with them.

Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, our Advocate with the Father, whose blood cleanseth us from all sin. God our Father delights in this fellowship, and to make Him glad we should make this fellowship our business. The Son of God in His service here could say, "I do always those things that please Him;" and for thirty years it was in little things-little to the eye of man-that He pleased the Father. Even after He had said (John xix. 30) "It is finished," we hear Him say (John xxi.) "Come and dine," taking bread and giving it to the disciples, and fish likewise.

How precious, dear Brother, the promise, "He shall glorify Me"; again, "He shall guide you into all truth," and, "He will show you things to come" ; yet let us be mindful that the Lord Jesus Himself grew in wisdom and stature, and that after He became a Teacher, while having nothing to unlearn, He still was a learner and had His deepest lessons at the last.

Walking in the fear of God and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, we shall walk wisely, both towards all saints and towards the world. I and my dear fellow-labourer, Brother Hake, giving ourselves together to prayer, have especially remembered you according to your letter. Pray also for us.* Greet brethren who are around you with love in Christ.

"It was Mr. Chapman's wont to remind those who said "Pray for me," that the Apostle Paul, who used these words, had previously prayed for those to whom he made this request.

Farewell. Yours affectionately in Christ,

 

TO MESSRS. WIGSTONE AND BLAMIRE, CORUNNA.

Barnstaple, 18th May, 1877.

BELOVED BRETHREN,-Your steps "are ordered by the Lord," and you, waiting on Him and for Him, are proving, we are assured, that "the way of the Lord is strength to the upright." "If God be for us who can be against us?" God make you, beloved brethren, a sweet savour of Christ to Himself in all your ways. The adversary is watching against you; be therefore strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, "with all lowliness and meekness endeavouring (diligently) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."  The day of the Lord is hasting on, the day that will try every man's work of what sort it is. Farewell.

Affectionately in Christ our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN,

      WM. HAKE.

On Family Responsibilities.

Barnstaple, I3th June, 1878.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER,- You know that, whether as husband and wife, or father and mother, you have need, each day and hour, of wisdom from above, especially in little things. Your children will be keen observers of your ways towards each other, towards themselves, towards the brethren and all others.

"The Lord is at hand," that is, close by us. Even as (Psalm xvi.) the Lord Jesus ever set God before Him-"Because He is at My right hand I shall not be moved" -do you so likewise. The peace of God will keep heart and mind, ruling there, and enable you to go through your great matters and small with God, and the God of peace will be with you.

God desires to see Himself in us; He desires also to see in our dwellings Christ and the Church. You, beloved brother, the husband and the father, how fair your opportunities! you also, beloved sister, wife and mother, how many your occasions to please God and magnify His name!

Those that lay to heart family duties will know themselves and the power of the devil, and watch and pray that they enter not into temptation. They will prove the grace of the Lord Jesus sufficient for them, and confess that they need it all.

Affectionately yours in Christ,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN,

WM. HAKE.

Barnstaple, 8th June, 1880.

WE are thankful to hear, beloved Brother Blamire, of God having opened the door for you at Pontevedra. "If God be for us, who can be against us ?"

The times are difficult everywhere. If you have need of our sympathy and prayer, so also have we of yours.

It was when Job was praying for his friends that the Lord turned his captivity. He had dealt thoroughly with God in confession, and in this spirit returned to sacrifice and worship. He had before cried to God for himself; but then he prayed for his friends.

We returned last Friday after a month's absence, visiting brethren from place to place. The Scriptures of truth, that are more and more precious to our own hearts, we have been commending everywhere to young and old, caring for the lambs in particular.

Affectionately yours in our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN,

WM. HAKE.

 

On difficult times and Church difficulties.

TO MR. W. J. COLLINS.

Barnstable, 18th March, 1881.

My DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST,-Your letter found me remembering you at the throne of grace. If the times be difficult, they are a fulfilling of the Scriptures; they are ordered of God, whose counsel shall stand and who will do all His pleasure. He designs to prove our hearts, and to shew us what manner of spirit we are of toward Him, amidst disobedience of His children, devices of false brethren, and blasphemies of open enemies.

The Lord Jesus, in Isa. xlix. spending His strength for nought, and labouring for nought and in vain, sees His judgment to be with the Lord and His wages with His God. God will keep our souls in peace, if the eye be single, and that very peace enables us to deal prudently with all difficulties. Pleasing God is our business-that of judging evil­doers and corrupters of truth is shut up by the Scriptures within narrow bounds. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every charge be established"; and if we have a godly fear of evil being covered by falsehood, an appeal to the great High Priest, the Judge of His own, will be answered when patience shall have had her perfect work.

You covet the Spirit's fellowship with Christ's members; that heavenly craving is of God, and bespeaks the mind of Christ in you; God will give you the desires of your heart. I would add that if anyone have been judged in another assembly unworthy of fellowship, the accountability of that judgment rests with that assembly: but an absent person no assembly can righteously judge. Brother, pray for me. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

Having the thoughts of God and the mind of Christ towards fellow-believers.

TO THE LATE DR. CRONIN.

Barnstaple, 18th April, 1881.

BELOVED BROTHER CRONIN,-Hearing through those at B--- who love you, that you are in the Lord's furnace, I cannot but bear burdens with you in the bowels of Christ.

The thoughts of God towards each and all of His Church, how precious are they! ever embracing the Head and the members. We hear the Lord dealing with those thoughts (Psalms xl. and cxxxix), and teaching us by His Spirit to do the like; so we rise above all that may seem to us to blame in others, be they our brethren in Christ or of the world. We dwell in love and dwell in God who is Love, and He dwells in us. The faults of others we mourn, because of the Spirit, the Comforter, being grieved, and forgetting ourselves we do not play the fool, to lose by vexations of thwarted self-will, but greatly gain by godly sorrow and intercession for wrong doers.

The Lord Jesus, made perfect through sufferings, is well pleased with His mind in us, and will not fail to commend us by-and-by at His judgment seat. It is our wisdom to be daily standing there, seeking and accepting His judgment of us, that we may know we are pleasing Him well in all things, whatever the still growing discoveries He gives us to make of the evils of the flesh within us. Soon we shall see the Lord as He is; we shall bear the image of the Heavenly Adam, even as we have borne the image of the earthy.

May the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort, be with you according to all the claims that your heart must make upon Him in your sorrows and afflictions. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in our Lord Jesus,

You will not think it needful to do more than accept my words of sympathy; your strength may not be equal to writing.

 

Close of the year.-Christ's intercession.

New Buildings, 31st Dec., 1881.

YOUR joy is ours, beloved Brother and Sister St. Dalmas. The God of love and peace be with you in all your service to Christ. We thank you for tidings. You will also rejoice with us who have come to this last day of the year, throughout which God has carried us in His gentleness, and love, and wisdom. Our hearts are making melody to the Lord, giving thanks always to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet "who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults" (Ps, xix.).

How precious is the intercession of our great High Priest! How needful, how indispensable! For were not His atoning blood speaking to God, and did not the eye and heart of God rest upon Christ, the Son of God, our great High Priest, the iniquity even of our holy things must shut us out of His presence. "If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, 0 Lord, who shall stand?" (Ps. cxxx.). Does not the lowly one of Psalm cxxxi., whose heart is not haughty, nor eyes lofty, speak in Psalm cxix. v. 97 and the seven following? Let us help each other at the throne of grace to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

Patience works experience.

TO A BROTHER IN THE LORD.

Barnstaple, 21st July, 1882.

I REJOICE with you, beloved --, in the goodness of God our heavenly Father toward you and yours. You have trusted (Ps. xxviii.) and are helped. You have patiently waited, and patience has been yielding good fruit in you.

God takes time to fulfil His promises, but while we are waiting on Him and for Him, how rich the present blessing of His Spirit's testimony that we are His well-pleasing children, because subject to Christ our Head without reserves.

Accept loving thanks for your gift. It is a sweet savour of Christ unto God who said, "Thou didst well that it was in thine heart," before He gave you the wherewithal in your hand to do what was in your heart. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

Blessedness of the trial of faith.

Barnstable, 10th Nov., 1882.

DEAR BROTHER MACDONALD,-We are called to walk by faith and not by sight. Unbelief is, alas, natural to us, corruptly natural. How great the honour that God puts on faith, and blessed are our path and circumstances that give occasion from day to day for waiting only upon God. The trial of your faith, which is much more precious than of gold which perisheth, shall be found unto (your) praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. "The time is short." "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh," when every man shall receive a reward according to his own labour. Looking on to that day we are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and shall not fail of present earnest of future recompense.

Last evening (Thursday) at our usual district meeting we considered Ephesians iv.-the blessedness of fellowship in the Spirit with the Father and with the Lord Jesus Christ, of loving all Christ's members with love like God the Father's love in Christ, the wisdom of regarding them always as God's eye sees them, of rejoicing with the honoured and mourning with the afflicted, of bringing the spirit of Daniel ix. into all our thoughts of Christ's members and communications with them. Whatever the diffi­culties of the times, and our sorrow because of divisions in the church and a corrupt gospel in the world, it is ever open unto us to please God. If this great success of pleasing God be not ours, in ourselves lies the hindrance. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

Sustained in weariness.

Barnstable, 18th April, 1883.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER FENN,- You and we have ofttimes called to mind Is. xlix., "My work is with the Lord," together with "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work." If the Lord, weary and sitting at the well of Sychar, could say to His disciples, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of," we, by His Spirit, speaking to Him at the right hand of God enthroned, can say we know what manner of meat that is. If tempted to weariness, He succours, so that we mount up with wings as eagles, we run and are not weary.

We greet our sister Gieser with our love in Christ and Ps. xxxiv. 6; and sister Ann West with Ps. xxxvii. 4. The Lord bless each and all of your dear children.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

 

Comfort in bereavement.

Barnstaple, 5th Oct., 1883.

TO MY SISTERS IN CHRIST, ELEANOR AND MARY CALEY.

BELOVED YOUNG FRIENDS,-You and yours are on my heart at the throne of grace, your dear widowed mother, and each one of her children, according to the path and need of each. She and you have manifold claims by your bereavement on the love and faithfulness of God, your Heavenly Father. He knows that in taking back His own He has made your hearts to bleed, and the more you trust Him to bind up your wounds, the more comfort will you receive, and each will be the better able to cheer the others. He is worthy to be trusted (this you well know), and is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.

Continue in prayer, waiting on God, and for God; that continuance is a present and abundant answer to prayer. The longer the waiting for His hands of power and wisdom to work in others and in circum­stances, the richer the blessing. Take heed to nourish faith with early morning manna. I send you, "He shall guide you into all truth," and "He shall glorify me." Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

Encouragement in God.

Barnstaple, 2nd Nov., 1883

BELOVED SISTER,-"Men ought always to pray and not to faint"; and" Let patience have her perfect work." Again," I will work, and who shall let it?" We, with you, would remember this, and not be downcast while reading the unpromising note of --. For the present it would seem that she is in the hands of those that, under cover of the name of Christ, would hold her bound with themselves in the fetters of unbelief and a corrupted gospel.

Hezekiah of old called the serpent that Moses made in the wilderness, a piece of brass, and brake it in pieces. These deceivers make an idol of the bread and the wine. They know not the guilt of sin, nor the holiness of God, nor the cross of Christ. What are we, that we should be taught by the Spirit of God, and be so poor and needy that we embrace the Rock for the want of a shelter!

Our brother and sister Saunders gladden us much by their tidings of those they have seen in Spain. It was in their hearts to visit you, but they were unable.

God is dealing kindly with us; we increase our joy in Him and in His service. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

 

God's thoughts towards His people.

TO A BROTHER IN THE LORD.

Barnstaple, 24th Oct., 1884.

THE just man walketh in his integrity, and his children are blessed after him. So, beloved --, did your departed father walk, and God is fulfilling this word in children and children's children.

If a cup of trials of faith be given you (I say given) it is that God may reveal Himself to you in His Beloved Son yet more perfectly, and make you a yet greater blessing both in private and in public.  "After he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise."

Your precious boy, whom it would seem God will ere long take to Himself, will, I doubt not, unfold his inner man to your joy from day to day as he advances toward the end of his course.

He says, "I know the thoughts I think toward you" to those who are not resting in Him nor waiting for Him. But you and we by the Spirit of Christ can say each one, " How precious are Thy thoughts unto me: how great is the sum of them." The God of love and peace bless you and yours. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord Jesus,

 

Sonship the title to the Kingdom.

TO A FRIEND.

Barnstable, Nov., 1884.

BELOVED --,If the love of God in Christ to all the children of God were better apprehended, their obligations would be also. What then?

N at one of a thousand would seem entitled to share in the rule of the heavenly kingdom, did the title hang upon walking in the Spirit. "The glory Thou gavest me, I have given them." All that are born of the Spirit are KINGS and priests unto God the Father, with Christ the great High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. Him they must worship and with Him they must reign.

In John xvii. Christ, as Advocate with the Father, does not distinguish between one measure of obedience and another among the children of God; He only makes mention of the unspeakable difference between the world of unbelieving sons of Adam and those that are born from above. Yet the equity of God is seen in that each member of Christ will have his due place and office in the kingdom, that is, the place for which his obedience will have prepared and fitted him. The judgment of Christ will be according to the ways and works of each member of His body. Each and all will approve His judg­ments, and each will rejoice in the glory of all the rest; the holy angels will approve, and the prophets will approve. Ps. xviii. is one of retribution. How gladly would I go through the many Scriptures, were I with you, that teach us how God will observe the case of everyone. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Again I say, were the conscience of the Church of God instructed to see its obligations in Christ, the risen Lord, the title to share the glory and dominion of the Lord in His kingdom, whether in the next coming time (Rev. xx.) or in the perfect state of Rom. viii. and 2 Peter, last chapter, that title would be seen to hang upon SONSHIP-oneness with Christ, not on the measure of obedience.

Your affectionate brother and friend,

 

The sympathy of the Lord. -The good of adversity.

TO MR. H. PAYNE, BARCELONA.

Barnstaple, 18th Feb., 1886.

WE rejoice with you, Beloved in Christ, in the goodness of God toward your dear wife, your precious help­meet in your blessed service of Christ in Spain. Also in His wise and gracious working in your behalf, by turning aside the evil course of earthly rule in that land of God's judgments, which, to eyes opened by the Spirit of God, are manifest, but which blinded eyes cannot see, because they will not.

It is God's great grace to you, beloved Brother, that you know the meat of which the Lord Jesus, sitting at the well of Sychar, said to His disciples, "Ye know not." The Spirit is now given, because of the cross and intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we know it to be meat and drink if we be occupied and engaged with doing the will of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Who can be discouraged if so walking? And if tempted to the spirit of discouragement, how readily the soul finds rest in the Lord and His sympathy! Truly, in that the Lord Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour the tempted.

The God of love guide and bless your dear children. He will bless them, for you hold them as not your own, but His, and are training them for Him. He knows, who created them, what are the capabilities and accountability of each, and this you learn of Him. Be full of trust and hope in God concerning them. He is able to do exceeding abundantly for us above all we ask or think.

God is doing good to His saints in Great Britain and Ireland, by what men call adversity, and to the unregenerate also; but they know it not. He is checking their course of self-will and self-indulgence, and love of pleasure. But, alas! the herd will only, for a season, pause in running violently down the steep. We pray and do not faint; and while pitying the world, which, as clay by winter frost and summer heat, grows hard, we, the children of God, see the hand and government of God in all His overturnings. He is preparing the way for the second coming of His Son, His King of kings and Lord of lords.

Will you, with my love in Christ, say to the assemblies, that were I among them, I would endeavour to strengthen their hands in God by dwelling on Is. xlix.? Kindly do it in my stead. I am with you all in spirit and by prayer.

God is giving me great comfort, and in manifold ways. My soul is abounding in hope. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and fellow-servant,

 

On the return of distant labourers to renew intercourse.

Barnstaple, 17th May, 1886.

WE shall rejoice to see you, beloved Brother Smith; you have done well in coming again among those who have known and loved you in this land. The renewal of fellowship face to face is good in the sight of God our Heavenly Father, and profitable and needful to the members of Christ. Therefore, if bodily weakness do not compel the labourer, he should, we judge, be led by grace and by the Spirit of Christ to seek renewal of such intercourse.

The present time is one of God's special discipline of His sons and daughters. How gracious, how wise, how tender that discipline! Happy they who exercise themselves to bear the yoke, and to be fully of one mind with God in all their matters. When it was thus with Job, the double blessing was his. We that have the cross of Christ to teach us, and the Spirit and Word of the risen Lord, should we not be daily beginning where Job ended?

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

Showing the mind of Christ in tribulation.

Cheltenham, 15th July, 1886.

AGAIN and again, my dear Brother Hoyle, have I in heart given you my due thanks for your loving invitation. You will find excuses for my delay in writing. I see myself unable to go northwards, on account of claims in the South of Devon and hereabouts; but my spirit is one with yours, and I am mindful of you and your service of Christ at the throne of grace.

Truly God is with you in great favour by manifold trial, in which you do not err with Joseph. The two full years that must pass before the chief butler had to say, "I do remember my faults this day," were needful and indispensable to Joseph's doing well in time of honour, as he had carried himself in patience and lowliness and forgiveness during sufferings and humiliation by such grievous wrongs. If he was so like our Lord Jesus Christ, let us in whom dwells the Spirit of sonship be joyful in tribulation, by whatever hand God may send it, and be ever showing forth the mind of Christ. With loving remembrances to your sisters, whose kindness I do not forget. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

Christ's sympathy learned in trials.

TO A BROTHER IN THE LORD.

Barnstable, 14th Feb., 1887.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-I rejoice in the grace given you to be seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, so that you are wisely providing and doing the best for your dear children, both as to this world and that which is so soon to come.

The pressures of the times on many faithful children of God are well known to me, and I am with them in the furnace; above all, the Lord, made perfect through sufferings, has all-sufficing sympathy for His tried ones, and power to succour and deliver. But without their trials, how could they learn His sympathy, which is so precious that any little experience of it is great treasure to the soul? When the trial is ended, the gain abides, the treasure of better knowledge of God, of growth of acquaintance with Christ and the Word of truth.

Be of good courage, beloved --. The God of all grace accounts you a prosperous man, and will assure you to your joy that, by the teaching of His Spirit, you are guiding your affairs with discretion. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ,

 

Rejoicing with Christ.

Barnstable, 5th July, 1887.

You make us glad, beloved Brother, by the witness you bear to the Lord's goodness towards you. He gives you to sing the songs of Zion, and the more there is in you of "the stranger and the pilgrim," the better will be your skill in heavenly song-the song of new creation, which only they can learn who are willing to be taught by the Spirit of Christ. We send you Psalms xx. and xxi. We now rejoice with our rejoicing Lord (Ps, xxi.) and, according to Ps. xx., desire that all His counsel be fulfilled, all His petitions granted. Let His intercession be a sieve for all our prayers and worship, and let God's answers, according to His intercession, be acceptable to our lowly hearts.

Accept joint thanks for your loving gift, but, beloved, we were already greatly enriched by your sojourn with us, which, you know, according to compact is to be reckoned as broken off for a season, to be completed, if God permit, when you shall have answered claims at Burwash; till then all of us find you "missing."  With love to your loved parents. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

OUR confidence pleasant to God.

O MR. AND MRS. H. PAYNE.

Barnstaple, 8th July, 1887.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER,-How gracious and how sweet the commandment, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and suppli­cation, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." If to pour out the heart to Him be heart's ease to us, how pleasant to His ear the voice of His children's confiding love!

My dear fellow-labourer and myself are your helpers at the throne of grace, where we know you remember us. Our hearts are singing the new song unto the Lord continually. We are carried on still in our joint service, and are not hindered by bodily infirmity-the one in his ninety-third year, the other in his eighty-fifth year. Oh, how accountable we are to the Lord! Pray for us.

This great heat is God's voice of warning. Oh, that men would hear it! We fear that you have been suffering in Barcelona much more than we here by the drought.

Affectionately in the Lord,

 

The Walk of Faith.

October, 1887.

BELOVED SISTER,-I send you "Hope thou in God." If He try faith, it is for that chief blessing, the increase of faith. We shall soon see Him as He is­-Him who is for a little while hid from every eye but that of faith. Shall we not so trust, so walk in the Spirit now, that we be not ashamed at His coming? -ashamed because of having walked at all in un­belief, which makes Him a liar who cannot lie, who is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, as is manifest by the death of the cross. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

Letter of introduction for a young friend.

Birmingham, 7th April, 1888.

BELOVED BROTHER HOYLE,-The bearer is dear to me in the Lord; his father and mother are seeking for him first the kingdom of God. I know you will rejoice to show him "the kindness of God," and make him, your younger brother, to feel your fatherly love in Christ Jesus. I am sure that the eye of our God is upon this dear and worthy youth for good.

The God of all grace bless you still and increase you, according to your heart's desire and prayer, in every good word and work.

The Lord bless all with you at Denton Hall. Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

The privilege of being intercessors.

Barnstaple, 13th July , 1888.

BELOVED BROTHER CHILD,-We rejoice with you in the comfort you have in ministering to your aged parents.

Those that on your journey rejected your testimony you follow with your prayers. The preaching of Peter at Pentecost by the Spirit of Christ reached many that by wicked hands had crucified the Lord of glory.

The present time will be one with you of rest and labour; resting in Christ and in God the Father, you will be mindful of others in your intercessions ­of the Church of God so high, so low; so one, so divided; so grieving the Spirit, so little mourning; of the world in so great hurry, and that in a down­ward course, like the herd that so violently ran down the steep place to plunge into the sea and perish. How great is the goodness of our God in His long­suffering to the world, and how great His kindness toward us and the honour put upon us to use us as witnesses to the unseen Saviour, amidst unbelieving men!

We send your dear father and mother, "For ever, o Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven," also "Whither the forerunner is for us entered."

Affectionately yours in our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

 

Light and Darkness.

Barnstable, 17th July, 1888.

BELOVED BROTHER,-God is guiding you with His counsel, I am assured. I send you "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," while "the way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble." The very Word of truth becomes to them a stumbling-block, because they receive not the truth to love and obey it, but to cavilling and scornful rejection. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

God begins with small Things.

BELOVED BROTHER,-Is it not the way of the Lord in His grace to begin with small things and in a hidden way?-the Babe in Bethlehem, His thirty years' growing up. God will do great things for us, and will work by all that walk before Him. He is their shield and their exceeding great reward, the God of glory, the God of grace, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The day of Christ is at hand when every endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace shall have His commendation. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

 

Christ's sufficiency for all things.

TO MR. B. SMITH.

Barnstaple, 28th Sept., 1888.

BELOVED BROTHER,-We thank you for yours of the 18th, which gives us manifold comfort. You speak affectionately of praying for us; we, you know, remember you at the throne of grace. Shall we not there open the mouth wide, asking, as did Elisha, for ourselves and others the double measure of the Spirit? The master had been fully furnished for the ministry that he fulfilled; now Elisha has his own path, his own service appointed of God; he also would have the power of God to rest upon him to the full. Surely God did fill Elisha's open mouth. We have Christ at the right hand of God, and can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

We bless God for the grace given you to walk in liberty, and foresee true growth of this liberty for the edifying of the members of Christ and commend­ing Christ to the heart and conscience of the unre­generate. You have the promise, "Thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee."

The matter of guidance of your steps to Marin or to Madrid we shall lay to heart. God will guide. You wait on Him. Be of good courage, He shall strengthen your heart; wait, we say, on the Lord. Last evening at our District meeting we had before us Psalm lxxiii. The Psalmist's conscience, more natural than spiritual, justified him in his brutish reasonings against God; his spiritual conscience, made such in the sanctuary, judged all things aright. It is good for us to draw near to God.

Dear Brother Senington! We long to see him, and for his work's sake entreat him to come to us. Farewell to you both, beloved.

Affectionately in our Lord,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN

WM. HAKE.

 

A difficulty in an Assembly.

TO A BROTHER IN CHRIST.

I8th Dec., 1888.

THE matter you write of is one of the gravest that can be in the Church of God. Beware of any thought of unbelief; Christ is made wisdom to us; a patient waiting on God for unity of judgment will bring present comfort amidst all the sorrow, and give to those who have to converse with the erring one tenderness and gentleness with decision and wisdom. We shall help in prayer, and hope to hear further from you.

As to yourself, dear --, be sure the promise is yours, "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good."

 

TO A BROTHER IN CHRIST.

Barnstaple, 30th May, 1889.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-That precious promise, "He shall guide his affairs with discretion," belongs to all the children of God, but all do not possess themselves of the wealth that is in it; you, by rich grace, make it your own to your joy and to making glad your Heavenly Father. Accept the joint thanks of myself and my dear fellow-labourer for your loving bountifulness towards us in our service, in which we more and more delight ourselves, the Lord enabling us to help those who visit us by the counsels of faith and long experience of God and of the creature. Brother Hake greets you with his love in Christ and sends you the latter part of the first chapter of Ephesians-hope, riches, power, fulness.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

EXTRACT OF A LETTER TO MONSIEUR DUFOUR-GUISAN, OF LAUSANNE. *

13th June, 1889.

"M. Dufour, now with the Lord, translated "Choice Sayings " into French under the title of "Pensees sur quelques sujets d'experience chretienne."

IF you could visit us here, I and my dear fellow-­labourer would rejoice to see you. He is now in his ninety-fifth year, but still enabled to continue in the service of Christ, in visiting from house to house, in reading the Scriptures (for which we have in his house a weekly meeting) and also by the pen. Truly his inner man is renewed day by day. Oh, that new creation within us knows nothing of decay, of old age or of weakness, if only the believer take heed to eating the flesh that is meat indeed, and drinking the blood that is drink indeed.

 

Communion with God.

TO MR. R. HOYLE.

 

Ilfracombe.

BELOVED IN THE LORD,- You and all your trials of faith and patience have been on my heart for some years, and now I rejoice, not only nor chiefly in deliverances wrought for you, but in the precious experience of God left behind and treasured up within. Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, and nothing can mar that fellowship but our disobedience, for "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." If I grieve Him, He can always turn to the Father, but I, whither can I go to repair my loss? My only refuge is the mercy-seat with due confession; there is forgiveness full and ready, and without upbraiding.

Blessed hope! we shall be like our Lord Jesus, for we shall see Him as He (already) is. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

Barnstaple, 10th Jan.,1890.

 BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Surely the blessing that maketh rich is resting on you and yours, so that, while with the sorely bereaved in Africa my heart must mourn, I am constrained to drink with you your cup of gladness and joy. We have before us our pattern, "Jesus wept," when 'twas said, "Lord, come and see." Yet how soon did He say with uplifted eyes, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me"; and then, "Lazarus come forth," to the joy of all the mourning ones around.

Soon, full soon, beloved Brother, will God our Father wipe away all tears from off the faces of His children, while the harvest of those tears will be endless rejoicing.

Meanwhile we live by living not to ourselves, but to Him that loved us and gave Himself for us.

You kindly remember my eighty-eighth birthday.  I am, indeed, now in my eighty-ninth year of natural life, and nearly the seventieth of my spiritual. My heart is full of song, and no less of fear and trembling. Help me by prayer; also help likewise the dear fellow-labourer with whom I have walked in fellow­ship from December, 1831, that fellowship closer and closer year by year.

We are asking God to save us from any false step at the last; such a step was it with Gideon in his making the ephod.

Accept our joint thanks for your loving help to us in our joint happy service.

The Lord make our dear brother and sister Dyer's visit to you, as He will do, a mutual blessing. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.

I know not when I may be in London, but I lay up in my heart your affectionate invitation. Fare­well.

Your fellow-pilgrim and fellow-servant,

 

Will you say to your dear aged mother that I shall remember her in my prayers. I send her "We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength."

 

Present joy of departed believers.

TO MR. H. CLAPTON.

Barnstable, 31st Oct., 1890.

IT is well with the dear departed one, beloved Brother. She is with the Lord, and in fellowship with Him is looking onward to fulness of joy and of glory-when God shall be justified by friend and foe, by men and angels, and be magnified by all His works.

How gladly will my dear departed kinsman have welcomed her; she was indeed his minister during his sojourn at Stamford.

It is well with you and me that we are continued here. Is it not well? By grace we redeem the time.

How kindly you speak of my not having come to you, after your loving invitation and expectation; pardon my not writing. I put myself into the hands of the Lord, who is made wisdom unto us, and of whom we say, "His head is as the most fine gold." He guided me and ruled my steps.

Accept thanks for writing. The God of love and grace bless you and yours. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother in Christ our Life and Hope,

 

God our Guide and the Father of mercies.

TO MR. R. HOYLE.

Barnstaple, 29th Dec., 1890.

BELOVED IN THE LORD.-I have been trusting God in your behalf to guide your steps and give you to see many mercies in the change of abode which His wisdom made needful. "Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." God is showing Himself toward me, by manifold ways of His own wisdom and love, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. Though so sorely bereaved, I am strengthened and guided to carry on the service in which I once had my loved yoke-fellow to bear burdens with me. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand." Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus our Hope,

 

The difficult times.

TO THE SAME.

Lingfield, Surrey, 5th April, 1891.

BELOVED IN THE LORD,-Your letter forwarded finds me on the business of visiting families to strengthen young disciples of Christ and cheer their godly parents. Greatly have I rejoiced in the entrance God has been giving me into the hearts wherein Christ in early days has found His dwelling­ place. Truly the times are difficult; but "who art thou, 0 great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain," if only the Word of God by His Spirit be treasured up within, so that the young disciple can say, "Thou art my portion, 0 Lord, I have said that I would keep Thy words."

If evil men be waxing worse and worse, God will raise up witnesses for Christ, and so leave the world without excuse in its corrupting the truth, or denying it, or falsely professing it. The times are the best times for us and for our faith. A rich harvest of faithfulness awaits us, beloved Brother, and a precious earnest is ours in hand.

I shall be with you in your journeying. God is with dear Cecil. It may be you will meet our Brother and Sister Churchill, now visiting him. Greet him and his with my love in Christ. I am ever with them in spirit, and their true fellow-helper Sidney Turrall. The God of all grace bless their precious children and Sister Davies, helping in the training them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Hope,

 

On abiding in one's calling.

TO MR. J. G. H.

Newport, 28th Aug., 1891

My DEAR YOUNG BROTHER IN THE LORD,-You do well to abide with God in the calling wherein His grace found you, until He shall Himself guide you into other service. Meanwhile, you have the business of all your ransomed life already in hand, that of pleasing God after the perfect pattern of the Lord Himself.

Did not proud, blind men say of Him, when, after thirty years of subjection to Joseph and Mary, He came forth into the public service of God, "Is not this the carpenter?" But He had not wasted a moment of those thirty years. 'Tis all written above, the story of that marvellous time, and we shall have the joy of reading all the record by-and-by.

To do everything for God, our smallest things, in fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, is our wisdom. In this path walking we shall find the promise true to us, "Them that honour Me, I will honour."

Care not to study Greek. When Moses made the tabernacle, he put in it only what had been brought out of Egypt. The believer that is without scholar­ship, but walks with God, will have wisdom from God to use the books of scholars for discerning between divers meanings of the same word. The breath of God shines ever in its own beauty and glory, whatever the language wherein it is written. As in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, so are the Scriptures complete. No error can abide the test of all Scripture; while every error may have colour from some Scripture. Read each book through in the order which the Spirit of God has observed in penning it, and daily-both in the books given before Pentecost and in those given after-always remembering that it is by the Spirit we understand the truth, and profit by it for growth in grace; and, if we grieve Him not, He will in His infinite love delight to fulfil in us the word of promise, "He shall glorify Me." Meditate pen in hand. Pray for me. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Life and Hope,

 

Holding fast the form of sound words.

TO A BROTHER ABROAD.

Barnstable, 25th Nov., 1891.

I AM with you in spirit in all your service of Christ at C. and the neighbourhood. We are everywhere abroad, always in the foreign land for the little, little while, although the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; but the day of new creation is hasting on; then shall we be no more strangers and pilgrims; one by one saints are taken to be with Christ, and are resting with Christ, as is your dear father, yet we that remain are blessed with opportunities for doing the will of God our Father, and of suffering it, which are to faith and patience a mine of wealth.

When you, dear H., were with us we spoke together of holding fast the form of sound words in all things, and using speech concerning the truth of God that cannot be condemned. "Through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." Christ through the Eternal Spirit offered up Himself to God. Every glance of faith sees Christ and God the Father in Christ, but it is by the Spirit, who takes of the things of Christ and shews them to the eye of faith. Thus honour we duly and distinctly God the Father, Christ the Son, and Him who is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

TO MR. D. C. JOSEPH, LABOURING AMONG JEWS.

Barnstaple, 3rd Dec., 1891.

DEAR MR. J OSEPH,-Mr. Chapman sends you a line by my pen.

If those who persecute Israel provoke God, those who seek Israel's welfare, specially those who seek their eternal welfare in the rejected Son of God, must give God delight, and be honoured with great honour of God. If, as to Israel, they seem to spend their strength in vain (Isa, xlix.) and labour for nought and in vain, their judgment is with Jehovah and their great wages laid up with God. I need your help; I am your helper in prayer. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ,

M. H.

 

Pressing toward the mark.

TO MR. A. R. FENN.

Hereford.

ACCEPT thanks, beloved in Christ, for your cheering lines of love. You do well to be resting awhile. May the God of all grace soon raise you up to wonted service, your dear wife with you. Meantime, "They shall not be ashamed that wait for me."

The mark of God's approval was manifest at Leominster. Integrity before Him, humbleness of mind, tenderness of conscience, faithful dealing with the Scriptures, nothing added, nothing diminished therefrom, were seen throughout the conference; so that we hope for still better things. This one thing, says the father of us Gentiles, I have attained, forgetting the things behind (not looking back to the starting-post-'tis only just behind me), I am ever pressing on to the far-off goal (the full mind of Christ in humiliation and in glory). So Paul knew well that he was perfectly pleasing God.

The God of all grace bless you and yours. Greet your dear sons with my love in Christ. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

True Prosperity.

TO MR. DAVID BEATH.

Barnstaple, Oct., 1892.

I AM now pressed in spirit, beloved Brother, to pen you a word or two of the sympathy of faith. You are prospering. God has been preparing your heart and is causing His ear to hear. He is hiding you and yours under the shadow of His wings, disappoint­ing the devices of Satan and giving you to prosper in self-knowledge and in the knowledge of Christ, whom by the Word and Spirit of truth you have already known. I am ever bearing you and yours on my heart at the throne of grace.

Our God and Father, the only wise God, sees the end of our trials from the beginning, both the ever­lasting issue and the time in this life for turning the tide of our afflictions. Only let us be of one mind with Him. Let us justify and bless Him in all His discipline wherein we are to exercise our souls. We "have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy."

What of your dear young son-in-law in his great bereavement? When you shall find time to write, a letter, though of but a few lines, will be prized. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus our Hope,

 

The trial of faith.

Barnstaple, 9th Feb., 1893.

ACCEPT my deserved, heartfelt thanks, beloved Brother Beath, for letter written on board the Arcadia. I rejoice to see how God our Heavenly Father, who is proving you in answer to your own prayers, is also sustaining you, and does not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear. He not only in time present makes for you a way of escape-not only stays His east wind for you-but is giving you to sow seed of rich future blessing for yourself and those so dear to you in the flesh, not to speak of others, weary ones, to whom you will be able to speak a word in season.

That gold of God, our faith, must go into His furnace; so let it be, for our God and Father is the only Wise. His own beloved Son He did not spare, and we by the Spirit are assured that He loves us as He loves His Son, that First-born among many brethren, whose perfect likeness we soon shall bear.

I am remembering other dear brethren around you who are like you in trial. Greet them with my love in Christ. Our brother and sister Warren will have heard before this reaches you of the peaceful departure to be with Christ of beloved Sister Soltau. May the blessing that maketh rich abide on those, all those, whom she has left here. The time is short.

Pray for me. "I know whom I have believed"; He will keep what I have committed to Him. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Hope,

 

TO MR. A. GRANT.

On the departure to the Lord of his daughter Mary.

South Molton, 28th April, 1893.

BELOVED BEREAVED ONE,-How precious to God and to us the intercession of our great High Priest.

Your dear child is taken from the evil to come; and, while sorrowing, you cannot but give thanks ­your dear wife with you. Judgments are coming for evils abounding and growing. Your precious Mary is safe within the veil with the Lord.

Lucy, dear Lucy, walking with God, is proving in Germany, as are we in this land, how needful, how precious the intercession of that Son of God, that First-born among many brethren, who is able to save us to the uttermost.

I thank you for writing, so helping me in praying for you and yours. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord Jesus,

 

Waiting for the due time.

TO MR. H. CLAPTON.

South Molton, 13th May, 1893.

BELOVED BROTHER,- Your letter gives me no little comfort. The waiting quietly on God, which has ended in your full assurance of this being the "due time" for dear M's. going to that land of Egyptian darkness, will be a blessing to her in time to come, and a great comfort to your own spirit.

I shall be with you and her on your way to Southampton. She well knows that with her birth from above began her calling to be a sent-one to earth; so that I persuade myself she will be a true witness for Christ in Spain as soon as she sets foot in the land. I commend to her the 1st Psalm, the 19th, and the 119th.

The God of all grace give you all, each according to the heart's need, an abundant recompense for your surrender! Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

Quietness.- God is for us.

TO A YOUNG FRIEND SEEKING ADVANCEMENT IN HIS PROFESSION.

Barnstable, 20th June, 1893.

BE careful for nothing, beloved in the Lord; let the peace of God keep your heart and mind. If occasion require of you to speak of your fitness for the post and duties you have so long fulfilled, I would say, speak in all humble, discreet boldness before God of your qualifications, but do not seek any occasion for so speaking. I shall be committing to God the whole matter in your behalf, and while I shall be glad if you be retained, I shall not be troubled if it be not so. God is for you and will do better for you. His blessing will rest on you and yours. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

On schisms in the Church.

TO MR. R. F. I.

Barnstaple, 20th June, 1893.

BELOVED BROTHER,-Surely at this time and in the present state of the Children of God the great business everywhere is self-judgment for schism and division, after the pattern of Daniel in his 9th chapter. The Church of Christ at Corinth was never rent asunder as are the saints of God now; they always assembled in one place; but, while called to the fellowship of the Spirit with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, they walked not in it, and had need to be taught of their father in the Gospel that they had been baptized by the Spirit into one body, whereof Christ is Head.

The Philippians were in the Spirit's fellowship with God, and with each other, and with the apostle who had brought them the glad tidings of the Gospel. That "good work," he was persuaded, God would sustain and perfect until the day of Christ, to their joy and honour, and his also in that day. To this end he sets forth the example of the Lord, who, being on equality with God the Father, took on Him the servant's form and humbled Himself, being born of a woman, unto death, even the death of the cross. Were the common heart of the children of God well occupied, as was that of Paul, with the great business of imitating Christ in His self-abase­ment, the Holy Spirit would not be grieved and would be leading us all into all truth.

Any outward division in any place without the lowliness of 2nd Philippians and like Scriptures, would only aggravate the evil that is marring the testimony to the oneness of the Church of God and giving countenance to Satan's imitation of it in the Church of Rome. The course I commend to your heart has been my own.

Hence, when sixty years since I came to this place, I waited for unity of heart and judgment among the company who called themselves Baptists, and when by the power of the Scriptures the greater part of them were minded to throw down their wall, we waited on in patience for fulness of unity of judgment. For this I was blamed by men of much grace, who at that time were endeavouring in the South of Devon to bring about a joint testimony of saints to the full truth of God.

What we now enjoy here of mutual love and the Spirit's unity would never have been our portion had any other course been taken. We are doing our endeavour, our diligence, to perfect what God has in pitying love wrought among us. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

On the unity of the Spirit.

TO THE SAME.

Barnstable, 2nd. July, 1893.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-I would add to my last letter that, to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, I have long found I must keep ever before me that perfect pattern of obedience, of lowliness, of wisdom, of firmness, courage, and gentleness: "Being in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be on equality with God"; but of this state, in which He was not a servant, He emptied Himself ­the death of the cross being the lowest deep of His self-humiliation. Now He is, and ever will be, the Servant of God the Father by the Spirit; yet to Him must every knee bow of friend and foe.

Satan and his confederate angels left their own habitation. Servants by creation, and of necessity happy in obedience to their Maker, they sinned by pride and fell into endless misery and shame. Man was made upright and therefore happy, but now sin and death are reigning over all the sons of men, save as Christ is revealed in them. We who are quickened and sealed by the Holy Spirit, made nigh to God, as the holy angels are not, are called to tread in the path of lowliness, with Christ before our eyes, our pattern, no less than our righteousness and life and strength.

In this path we are happy and humble, pleasing God, living to purpose, and profitable to all around.

Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

TO MR. J. C. HOYLE WHEN AT SANTA EUGENIA.

Barnstaple, 23rd June, 1893.

HEARING of your state of suffering, beloved in the Lord, I must tell you how I have been led to remember you and all your labours of love and trials of patience at the throne of grace. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

You are highly favoured of the Lord, who was made perfect for priesthood by suffering, and who had need of us and our trials of faith to show us what the depth and tenderness of His sympathy, and what His power and wisdom to save us to the uttermost.

Accept my few words of love and faith, which do not call for your putting pen to paper, save when God shall have granted hoped-for recovery and time for writing. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

TO MR. W. HARLAND.

Barnstable, 26th July, 1893.

BELOVED IN THE LORD,-I well remember my pleasant visit under your roof, since which you have enriched the Lord with one of your jewels. But you are saying, "He took what was His own."

The meeting-day is at hand, for "the night is far spent." You have my loving thanks for your kind invitation, which I lay up in my heart; but if I move from this place at this time, it is southward I must go, to pay debts of love owing there to more than one assembly.

In my ninety-first year I am loaded daily with the blessing of the God of all grace, and I need a steady hand for my full cup. Rejoice with trembling. Pray for me. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Life and Hope,

 

TO A BROTHER IN THE LORD.

Exeter,

BELOVED IN CHRIST,- Your letter of love and bountifulness reached me here, after a profitable time at Yeovil; the Word of God was honoured there, and the unity of the Spirit kept in the bond of peace; likewise here yesterday. Is it not a matter of joy and thankfulness to see not a few of the members of Christ fighting the good fight, their hand cleaving to their sword? More and more, beloved Brother, does my soul delight in God, for in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and soon shall we bear the image of the heavenly as we have borne the image of the earthly.

You make mention of dear suffering Sister Shipton. I shall by grace be caring for her at the mercy-seat. Many have profited by her sufferings; yet we may ask the lightening of her burden. By-and-by she will know as she is known, and her harvest of joy will be rich and abundant out of her present great and constant pain-I fear constant, or, if abated at times, but slightly lessened. Oh, dear Brother, how great is my accountability for a state of body which in my ninety-first year enables me to make journeys of service to Christ in the Gospel. Pray for me, pray for me, as I do for you and yours in England and Spain. We lately had with us, to our joy, our brother Major Mackinley and his wife and daughter, who are about to return to Vigo. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus our Life and Hope,

 

The one great business.

Barnstaple, 3rd Nov., 1893.

My DEAR BROTHER FAULKNOR,-I am your helper at the throne of grace. Your letter of last August has been laid to heart. Your beginnings of restora­tion of bodily health I am glad of, and I see, by your good words on Job, after having just finished reading the book, that you are content to be in the furnace with God until He shall say, " Go forth."

The earth, we know, is the Lord's, and we are everywhere strangers in it-sent down into it by the Lord Jesus, even as He was sent by the Father.

If, indeed, you be at length enabled to return to Africa, well; but wherever you be found on earth your great business must be one and the same­-to have and show the whole mind of Christ, the peace of God that passeth all understanding keeping your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

I labour in prayer for saints in Canada. Help me by like labour, so grateful to many, especially to him that so labours.

Nearing my ninety-second year, I am at my best of peace and joy in God, by the Spirit of Christ and the Word of truth. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Life and Hope,

 

The fulness of Christ and of the Scriptures.

TO MR. F., WHEN IN CANADA.

Barnstable, 6th Nov., 1893.

My DEAR YOUNG BROTHER,-It is joy to me to know that you are holding on your way in uprightness of heart before God. If the times be difficult, both in the Church of God and in the world, whose god is the prince of darkness, the fulness of Christ suffices faith. The Word of God is settled for ever in heaven, and the Spirit of God is the willing, perfect Teacher of all the truth for all the obedient without reserves.

I am resting and joying in God, looking on to the judgment of Christ, who thinks far more highly of His faithful ones and their service than do they themselves.

Oh, the fulness of the Scriptures! They have been my delight for at least seventy years; but now the gold is fast growing in the mine while I dig it out.

I am still able to help younger brethren in public testimony; but intercession is more than ever my chief employ. Pray for me. I remember the saints in Canada at the throne of grace. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

 

TO MR. J.C. HOYLE, ON HIS GOING TO VIGO.

Barnstaple, 14th Nov., 1893.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Your moving to Vigo reminds me of what I thence wrote more than forty years ago to a beloved Sister of Barnstaple now with Christ, "We shall establish our evangelists here."* Surely God is able to do for us exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think. Yet Santa Eugenia has had its witnesses to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. It may be you will be sent thither again, and that not to be rejected. God is love and long-suffering. After the casting of the Son of God out of Jerusalem, did not the Lord Jesus, risen from the dead, say, "Beginning at Jerusalem"?

* When Mr. Chapman and a beloved brother, his companion, were at Vigo in 1838, they made much united supplication, on the summit of a hill called EI Castillo, near the town, for the opening of Spain to the Gospel.

But walking with God is our chief testimony wherever we are, whatever we do: this you well know. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ suffices you in benighted Spain, as in this land of the Scriptures and of the corruption and denial of the truth; yea, among a growing many the very being of God is denied.

His children are the salt of the earth; let us take heed to keep our saltness by the Word of truth according to the 1st Psalm. The marvels of the Scriptures I find unfolding themselves more and more to my joyful, wondering inner man. Pray for me and give thanks in my behalf. I pray God to bless all your dear children, making them not only His, but His servants and friends. "Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it." I send love in Christ to each of your fellow-workers. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Life and Hope.

 

The path of blessedness.

TO A GENTLEMAN FOR WHOM HE WAS ASKED TO PRAY.

Barnstaple, 21st Nov., 1893.

My DEAR SIR,-Hearing of you from my kind friend, Mr. --, and being myself advanced in years (past ninety), I have been constrained to seek God in prayer for you, and thus also to put pen to paper. Having known the Lord Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life now for seventy years, I am ready at any moment to depart and be with Him, and also willing to stay here below in His service. Great is my blessedness, and it is my delight to share with old and young the treasures I possess.

Oh, my dear Sir, the poverty of man well suits the riches of the grace of God in His Son Jesus Christ, who says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"; but that poverty is complete, as is the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. He said on the cross, "It is finished"; to that work nothing can be added; yea, if vain man bring to the Lord Jesus any fancied goodness of his own, he rejects Christ and is rejected of Christ; the holiness of God is the measure of the guilt of sin, hence says the Psalmist (Ps. li.), "Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned," and owns himself shapen in iniquity. In Ps. xxxii. the God of all grace is kept waiting for the true and full confession of guiltiness; but no sooner is it made than God pours into the troubled conscience His peace.

All human religion keeps the soul in uncertainty concerning the forgiveness of sins; the Gospel of Christ, and that only, gives peace and joy in believing. My happiness, which began seventy years since, is now a river, deep, wide, and clear; hence I thus write to you, to whom I am a stranger, but I trust you will see that my boldness comes of disinterested heavenly love. Farewell.

Yours to serve in the Gospel of Christ,

Simple as is the truth of Christ, it is only by the Spirit of God that any man, learned or unlearned, religious or profane, can discern the truth of God from Satan's lies.

Enquiry concerning the Lord's work in France.

TO MR. C. E. FAITHFULL.

13th Dec., 1893.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Intercession being more than ever my chief employ, I write to ask you, when you find time, to write me concerning the work in your hands and what you may know of the Lord's work in France. Of our dear Sister R. I have not now heard for some time, and because of her being especially brought by the Lord before me, I am stirred thus to put pen to paper. With the work in Spain I am well acquainted; less I know of that in Italy, and still less of the Lord's servants and their service in that land which was once the tool of Rome for cruel persecution of Christ's members, in which you for some time have been publishing the gospel of Christ.* The God of all grace bless your dear children, making them faithful servants of Christ and His intimate friends; may they take and keep the path of prosperity traced out in the 1st Psalm. I am delighting myself in God, ready to depart, willing to tarry and serve here. Farewell.

* Mr. Faithfull was for some years at Marseilles and Nice.

Affectionately yours in Christ our Life and Hope,

Parental responsibility.

TO A FRIEND.

Barnstaple, 6th March, 1894·

MAKING your matters mine, beloved, I am thankful to be persuaded that in your late purchase you have not erred. You put yourself in the seller's place; this mind pleases God, and I believe God will ever see it in you, and honour it.

I open the mouth wide in your behalf at the mercy­-seat. It is a precious, needful word, "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." To live wisely, to serve Christ according to the Word, is to live indeed. This is your aim, I know, in all things as husband, father, master, as member of Christ, and in your honourable calling in this life. Therefore you love your precious wife as Christ loved the Church. In unsparing, wise, loving discipline surely your dear wife is one with you, so that the full manifold blessing of God may rest upon all your children.

Reckon, beloved ones, both of you, on my helping you by my constant prayers in this great business of training your offspring, a greater business, far, far greater than that of ruling a kingdom. Your loving bountifulness toward me the God of love takes account of; accept my thanks. Your beloved aunt M. is bringing forth fruit to God more and more abundantly. At Wimbledon she was gaining strength; her visit there was crowned with blessings. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus our Hope,

 

The need of manifold trials.

TO MR. R. HOYLE.

Barnstable, 20th July, 1894.

My DEAR BROTHER HOYLE,-The eyes of our God and Father are on you and your work and labour of love: you well know this, and that having given you faith in goodly measure, He must try it, so that according to your heart's desire, it may thrive and grow. In praying for you, as I delight to do, I bear in mind your trials of every sort; they must be manifold both in you and me to work in us effectually, to search us out and to give us fully to prove what is the sympathy of our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, made perfect through suffer­ings; yes, made perfect on the cross when He could say, "It is finished." Where He ended, we begin life, and are witnesses by the Spirit dwelling in us to His mercifulness and faithfulness.

Pray for me, my dear brother, for I am daily laden with the grapes of Eshcol, so that with fear and trembling I tread my homeward way, yet withal making melody in my heart to the Lord, mourning likewise over the Church of God in schism and content to be so divided, and over the world hasting on to destruction. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

Walking by faith.

TO MR. DOUGLAS RUSSELL.

Barnstable, 25th July, 1894.

BELOVED BROTHER IN THE LORD,- Your loving­-kindness and that of dear children of God at Weston makes me glad. It will be to me joy of heart once more to see beloved ones there and worship with them. If some of them be not with us now, but with the Lord, "the night is far spent, the day is at hand;" and growing faith shortens the waiting time. The day is before us of everlasting light, and precious this short time of walking by faith, not by sight. The ground of our faith cannot be surer than now, when God our Father, who has given us the Spirit of Christ, oft calls us to walk in the darkness of circumstances and in the noonday light of our risen Lord. The God of all grace bless you and yours. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and fellow-soldier,

 

TO PARENTS BEREAVED OF A BELOVED CHILD.

Weston-super-Mare, 25th Aug., 1894.

WHILE I am writing, beloved bereaved ones, you are committing to the Lord the remains of your precious, loved child. I have been seeking God, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, in your behalf. He loves to be trusted, and will surely honour you, bowing at His throne though with sighs and tears. He will give you more than He has taken away. You are seeking of Him wisdom to train up for Him those He has left you. Great will be your wages. I am your helper. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

On the departure of M. H. to the Lord.

8th Oct., 1894.

FOR myself I would say to loving friends, it has always been my desire to see her gone home first, and not to leave her behind me. God in granting me this desire has greatly comforted me. From her early days she has been as a daughter to me. The tender and manifold sympathy of children of God is heart-melting. I am at perfect rest in God about all His dealings.

Redeeming the time by pleasing God.

TO MR. J. G. PORTER.

Barnstable, 24th Dec. 1894.

WE are fellow-pilgrims, my dear Brother in Christ, and God our Father is leading us by His right way to our city of habitation. Of that city and home God is the light and the glory, for all His secret name is there laid open by the once slain Lamb. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand." To be redeeming the time, to profit by the occasions for pleasing God, for showing forth the mind of Christ, that day by day come before us, this we know is our business in this world.

The children of this world make their great matters small, yea nothing, shutting out God and taking His place. We make our smallest doings worthy of God, by making Him our beginning and end, by walking in the Spirit, and leaning on the Beloved. Truly, dear brother, it is in Christ that we have both righteousness and strength; and He is ever saying to each of His members, My grace is sufficient for thee, My strength is made fully manifest in thy perfect weakness. Soon, soon, my dear brother, shall the pleasures for evermore be ours to the full, as they are already ours in blessed foretaste.

I rejoice with you and your beloved wife in your freedom this year from sickness and its watchings, and shall be asking for you the continuance of this great mercy; while you will say,  "Not my will, but Thine be done." These are by far my brightest days. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

The Rent Veil.

EIGHT LETTERS TO HIS SISTER, MISS CHAPMAN.

Barnstable, 3rd March, 1895, 10 a.m.

I MUST sing you a song lately given me. The Scriptures were Ps. xxi., Ps. xxii. 22, Ps. xl. 3.

Our God, soon as Thy Son had died,

Soon as the Lamb was slain,

His body lifeless on the cross-

The veil was rent in twain.

 

Our Father, now Thy countenance

Shines on Thy great High Priest,

Thine only Son, Thy well-beloved,

Thine ever lasting rest.

 

Him crowned with glory, filled with joy,

Thy First-born from the dead,

Our faith beholds; we drink His cup,

The members with the Head.

 

Our God and Father, at Thy throne,

We, by Thy Spirit sealed,

A royal priesthood, sing Thy name

In Jesus' cross revealed.

 

Your heart, beloved Arabella, will sing with mine.

 

8th May, 1896.

BELOVED A.,-I write to ask tidings of yourself and those dear to us who are with you at Weston-super­-Mare.

It is well with me-well indeed-for as I draw near the goal of my race, the Lord Jesus Christ is more and more endeared to my heart by the Holy Spirit of God. They that have the Spirit have to do with the certainties of God; the unregenerate world with the uncertainties of man's wisdom, man's religion. The eyes of the dead man cannot see, his ears cannot hear, his heart cannot love God; so they that are in the flesh cannot please God, but, alas, can flatter and please themselves, not knowing, not suspecting whose dupes and tools they are. Satan is the god of this world, but "Hath not the Potter power over the clay?" And what are you and I that we should be vessels of mercy prepared for the coming glory and fulness of joy? Farewell.

Affectionately yours,

 

Barnstaple, 22nd Feb., 1897.

BELOVED A.,--Give me a word of tidings. How have you gone through the now well-nigh ended winter? It has been well with you, I am assured, in things spiritual. My accountability is ever growing, so conscience judges; for, together with constant freedom from all ailments of body, my rest in God and in Christ is such as makes things heavenly and eternal ever present, filling me with joy in God. To be absent from the body and at home with the Lord would be great increase of blessedness-great indeed-but the will of God be done. And I am trusting Him to strengthen me daily by His Spirit in the inner man, so that continu­ally Christ may be magnified in me. Farewell.

Affectionately yours both in the flesh and in Christ Jesus,

 

18th Oct., 1897.

LET me send you, beloved A., in return for your loving words-"If at any day's sunset I be found in God my Heavenly Father's sight somewhat more meek and lowly than at sunrise, verily I have not spent that day in vain, but walking in the Spirit have been occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ." I am ever with you in spirit; let us pray for our beloved ones, and not faint, opening the mouth wide at the mercy-seat in their behalf. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and fellow-traveller,

 

Barnstaple.

 BELOVED A.,-Our Heavenly Father, who has taught us to trust in Christ Jesus, and has loved us as He loves His Son, gives occasions manifold to our faith. This we well know; we are proving it true continually. Our sadness (oh, how sad the news of the judgments of God among the nations!) is all to be told out at the mercy-seat, where God delights by His Word and Spirit to pour into our hearts all needful consolation.

Your letter is not without comfort as to one dear to us; the departed mother's prayers are registered; let us be hopeful at the throne of grace. Farewell.

Affectionately yours,

At a small outlay I have gained great wealth. I was shut up a few days in my chamber by the in­discretion of laying aside a winter garment, but while shut up-shut up with God-I saw, with keener eye of faith than heretofore, Christ my great High Priest at the right hand of God (and to Him the Spirit of God conducts the poor and needy), myself also a king and priest, one with the Lord Jesus. My joy and peace in believing have thus richly increased during this brief season of seclusion with God. Intercession is my chief business now; it is more than ever our blessed employ.

I am now for a fortnight at South Molton, to give resting time from much hard work to our dear, godly servants.

 

God all in all. 1 Cor. xv. 24-28.

IT was joy to me to see you yesterday evening. Truly, you and I, by the grace of God our Heavenly Father, have fellowship in the Spirit. The mind of Christ ruled our meeting.

As to the words in I Cor. xv.-" He will deliver up"-the word up greatly misleads many readers. As in Matt. xi. the Father delivers all rule to the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus rules, not as Creator only, but as the God of all grace and the Father of mercies, by His beloved Son; so in the new creation, perfectly brought in, for ever established, Christ the last Adam will give UP nothing, but being Lord of all will, like His type, Joseph, hold and exercise His universal power over all the creatures of God in subjection to God the Father.

Satan, by creation perfect in obedience to his Maker and therefore happy, would not abide in his first estate; so also the man Adam, made in his Maker's image, was and could not but be happy in obedience to God; he, like Satan, sinned away his blessedness by seeking independence of God.

The Son of God, the co-equal with God, took on Him the servant's form, and having become obedient to death, even the death of the cross, He is now at the right hand of God enthroned and resting, anointed with the Spirit, who is given Him without measure; resting, I say, in the Father's bosom. Oh, how great, how unspeakable, the blessedness of that rest! Yet He is not satisfied, nor can be, until all His members are with Him glorified, bearing His image, as they have borne that of the earthy one, Adam, and He with them ruling over the new creation. Then will the creature's weakness be made manifest, and God will verily be all in all-all enemies, Satan and his confederate evil angels, with the sons of Adam that have been his dupes and tools, together in everlasting chains under the righteous judgment of everlasting fire.

Oh! what are we-will be the solemn voice from all the redeemed-that we should be vessels of mercy prepared of God for glory? What is last in time is in the mind of God chief in glory, and should be the ruling hope of the children of God. By grace it is mine, and not only sheds light on the Scriptures, both those fulfilled and those to be fulfilled, but this ruling hope enables me, in these times of the Gentiles, to tread my homeward pilgrim path in joy and comfort of the Spirit, seeking the welfare all the children of God, and caring (especially at throne of grace) for the world of the ungodly, they religious or profane. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother, both in the flesh and in the Lord,

 

Barnstaple.

BELOVED A.,-Trusting our Heavenly Father's care of you, I ask a line of tidings. My friendship, ever growing, of more than sixty-six years, with dear departed brother George Muller, will by-and-by be perfected. How precious! We shall bear the image of the Heavenly (Adam) as we have borne the image of the first Adam. I mourned for myself until the earthly house was in the grave; then I rejoiced with him and his proving how far, far better it is to be at home with the Lord than to remain below. All our beloved ones are on my heart at the mercy-seat. Farewell.

 Affectionately yours, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 

EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS TO MISS CHAPMAN.

To walk in the Spirit is our business, our wisdom, amid a world of unbelief and wisdom from beneath.

The Holy Spirit is more and more unfolding to me the Scriptures, and thereby the unsearchable riches of Christ.

We are hasting on to our better-to our best. They that are with Christ are looking onward, we know, but not as we in the midst of enemies.

20th Nov. 1895.

Very pleasant are my remembrances of my last visit to Bristol. Since then we are some few weeks nearer our fulness of joy, when the word of promise to our Lord Jesus Christ shall be fulfilled, "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied."

 

TO MRS. MOYSEY, IN BEREAVEMENT.

Ilfracombe, 21St March, 1895.

BELOVED WIDOWED SISTER,- You and your dear departed husband have been for many years made mention of by me at the throne of grace. I assure myself in this time of bereavement that the God of love and peace is with you, the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort; and that you are saying, "He hath done all things well." My last visit under your roof left sweet remembrance with me of the mind of Christ in my beloved brother. I was with you in spirit on the day of interment.

I am here for a few days, quite restored by God's blessing after a slight cold. Pray for me, beloved sister; my accountability grows with my continuance in the body. "Thou art the Potter, we the clay." I am ready at any moment to depart and be with Christ, and also willing at the Lord's pleasure to tarry here in His service.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

TO A BROTHER AND SISTER IN AFFLICTION.

Barnstable, 15th Nov., 1895.

 MY BELOVED JOINT-SUFFERING ONES, - Yes, my dear H. and his precious wife, you are together in the furnace, in which your mutual love is more than ever drawn forth, and you have Another with you in the furnace, who is caring for each of you with all His heart of sympathy, that sympathy which began in Bethlehem and was made perfect on the cross. He is with you by His Word and Spirit, that other Comforter, the One abiding for ever. The night is far spent and the day is at hand; then shall God our Father give us an account of all His matters, and we shall praise Him with fulness of understanding and perfect skill in heavenly song. Now we walk by faith and not by sight. I am remembering you at the throne of grace. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

TO MR. C. E. FAITHFULL, MADRID.

19th Nov., 1895.

I REJOICE with you, beloved Brother in Christ, with your dear wife also, in the preservation so signal of which you write. Truly our times are in the hand of God our Father. We are His, we are the clay, He is the Potter; and great our wisdom and blessedness to have no will but His, that so minded we be no other than vessels of honour meet for the Lord's use and never set aside, even though like the Apostle of the Gentiles when not a few years a prisoner. Let us be holding up the hands of our dear disabled brother Fenn, that he may be joyful in God, who has used him so long amid Spain's Egyptian darkness. Now in feebleness of advancing years, he will, like myself, be finding his place of service more than ever to be at the mercy-seat, "the throne of grace," where at the right hand of God sits our King of righteousness and King of peace.

The stirring of Rome in Spain betokens the shaking of the dry bones; let us be of good courage in our God, whose cause is ours.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

Barnstable, 15th Jan., 1896.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER CLAPTON,-Your loving remembrance of me, on entering my 94th year, does my heart good. The last year has been my best, because of a keener eye than ever to see Jesus crowned with honour and glory, and quicker ear to hear Him calling them "brethren" who among the sons of Adam do verily call on His name. This you and I have been taught to do by the Spirit, who has sealed us to the day of redemption, of new creation. Oh that blessed hope when God will be satisfied, and we His children shall be so likewise, and with Christ our Head!

Pray for me, my dear fellow-pilgrims and fellow-­servants, that I may fulfil my stewardship and be counted by the Lord at His judgment-seat the altogether faithful servant, altogether pleasing to the Master. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

The native glory of the Scriptures

Barnstable, 28th Feb., 1896.

ACCEPT my thanks, dear Brother Daniel, for your loving invitation to Manchester. It is very pleasant to me to see that children of God in Manchester give me a place in their hearts; but it is by the throne of grace I must be with you in your assemblies at Easter time: not that advanced years would prevent my coming, but it has pleased God to give me a ministry in this place and house-that of receiving servants of Christ from this and other lands, and great is my joy in helping to recruit them both in the inner and outer man; this prevents my coming.

Were I with you in your meetings, I should surely be stirred to remind the assembly of the native glory of the Scriptures: the glory of God is in them, and Christ, the Sun of righteousness, shines through­out in the noonday glory of Pentecost. If, therefore, saints of old, named in Hebrews xi., were true witnesses to Christ, they all looking onward to our time, what manner of persons should we be who have the Comforter dwelling in us, witnessing to Christ, the Priest at the right hand of God, the Advocate with the Father? I should be asking questions, such as, Do you, Brethren, take heed to all Scripture, reading each book in the order in which the Spirit of God has penned it, adding nothing, taking nothing away? Do you hold the form of sound words? Do you begin the day with hearkening to God's voice in the Scriptures, so making pleasant to the ear of your heavenly Father your voice of prayer and thanksgiving and praise? Pray for me. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

"At Home with the Lord."

TO MR. AND MRS. J. C. HOYLE.

Barnstable, 20th Nov., 1896.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER,-The dear one you have now parted with was bought with a great price, and is now with Him, resting in perfect peace with Him who bought her, waiting for the day without clouds, to which day we also are looking onward.

You will have heard of the blessedness of our departed faithful one, Brother Henry Dyer; the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father shone forth on his days of feebleness and at his burial yesterday at Exeter. The Spirit and the bride say, Come. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

On Church fellowship.

TO A BROTHER IN CHRIST AT HEIDELBERG, TRANSVAAL.

Barnstable, 25th Nov., 1896.

YOUR letter and questions of conscience, my dear Brother in Christ, I deal with at the throne of grace. There, at the right hand of God, sits our great High Priest, made perfect through sufferings, and delighting to make your matters His own. Whatever the disorders, either in the Church of God or in the world, I have been accustomed to begin and end with God's part in all, seeking an assurance from Him by His Word and Spirit that my ways are well pleasing to Him.

Thus my soul, dwelling in love, dwelling in God, has been ever embracing all the members of Christ with heavenly affection; and, while demanding nothing from them, I have had due return of love, or, if not that, have at least saved them from words and ways that grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

In regard to church fellowship, my rule has been, "Thou shalt not add thereto or diminish therefrom." The whole mind of God is in His Word. If obedience without reserves be found in any company of God's children, they will be humble and happy among themselves, and have the Lord's approval at His coming. Were the Scriptures, as a whole, and the Spirit, only honoured, schism would give place to unity. Pray for me. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

Barnstaple, 29th Jan., 1897.

BELOVED SISTER FENN,-My heart is with you, and I am your helper at the mercy-seat, as I was wont to be when, your dear husband with you, the dark capital of Spain had your joint testimony to the true Christ of God.

You will rejoice that our two godly young brethren that went out from us with Brother Payne to Barcelona are now beginning to understand what they hear, and meanwhile are, I am well assured, commending the truth to all around by walking in the Spirit.

The God of all grace bless all your four precious sons. Oh, that mercy-seat! that throne of grace! that Melchizedek! Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Him,  

 

TO MISS SOLTAU WHEN ABOUT TO VISIT CHINA.

Barnstaple, 17th Nov., 1897.

BELOVED IN THE LORD,-I cannot but rejoice with you in your resolve to see fellow-labourers in China. They all, with dear Brother Hudson Taylor, have been ever in my heart at the throne of grace. Go, and the Lord be with thee. The weighty matters you will be leaving behind you, as you well know, are the Lord's, who, at the right hand of God, is ever caring for His members, in smallest matters no less than in greatest. Winds and waves are in His hand.

Oh, that walking with God were with all His servants their chief employ, that so their works of faith might be ever to Him a sweet savour of Christ, and become yet more effectual than now for winning souls! Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

Afflictions proving blessings.

TO MR. G. CHESTERMAN, CORUNNA.

Barnstable, 12th Jan., 1898.

BELOVED IN THE LORD,-Well pleased and thankful am I to be so remembered by you and your dear wife, and your loving helper, Sister C. You are ever on my heart at the mercy-seat, and I bless God that in that land of Rome's darkness God, the God of all grace, is making His light to shine forth by you.

The fellowship in the Spirit between Christ's members that you are able to enjoy, is to the praise of the grace of our God and Father, and is His answer to the intercession of our Advocate and great High Priest. Surely Satan plots against it, but while he can afflict the lowly, his buffetings can only afflict, and by afflicting preserve from his own sin and folly, even pride.

Affectionately yours in Him,

 

"Ebenezer."

TO A BROTHER IN THE LORD.

Barnstaple, 23rd Feb., 1898.

BELOVED IN CHRIST JESUS,-You and I can say with thanks and joy, "Ebenezer: hitherto hath the Lord helped us." And what we now say in faith, when the book of life shall be open we shall all with full understanding repeat, the whole family of God our Father doing the like. That day is at hand, the night is far spent. It is not so with the poor, deluded world, by Satan's lies more and more deceived. 'Tis by grace we are made to differ.

Your beloved wife has all she needs in the fulness of Christ, who delights to answer all her claims on His sympathy-a boundless store.

It is well with me-exceedingly well; my heart is full of thanks, and praise, and godly fear.

How kind and loving your gift toward help in the ministry to Christ's servants in this house. The God of love recompense you. The blessing that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it rest on all yours.

It is on my heart to care for the erring one at the throne of grace; men ought always to pray and not to faint. The Spirit of truth can cure his blinking eyes. Farewell.

Affectionately in Christ Jesus,

 

Ignorance or neglect of Baptism.

TO MISS L.

Barnstable, 30th March, 1898.

BELOVED SISTER L--,-If God take to be with Christ those we have loved, let us be looking onward. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.

Your dear Amelia and my dear friend, our brother George Muller, God has taken to be with Christ, also that true brother of whom your letter to Brother Marks speaks so happily.

I now write you a word regarding the matter of dealing with the solemn, glorious ordinance of baptism. The baptism of the Lord in Jordan, the river of judgment, set forth in simplest fashion His own death, and burial, and resurrection, and that of all His members.

When by the Word and Spirit of God a child of Adam is quickened from death to life, that child of God is a member of the body whereof Christ is the Head, and all the obligations of the new covenant bind the members to each other.

If the newly-born be ignorant or neglectful touching the precious figure, water baptism, such ignorance or neglect must be rightly dealt with. But how? Not by cutting off (the proper term for refusing fellowship with such at the Lord's table, or with any assembly of believers), but by Christ like, gentle, gracious, wise instruction; or by reproof, as the case may need. To deal otherwise is grieving the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, and doing no little harm both to the excluding and the excluded, especially to the former.

I am ever with those who love Christ in that land of Rome's darkness where you are now serving Christ. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

Testimony of Scripture respecting the blood of Christ.

Barnstable, 26th April, 1898.

My DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST,-Your question is one of great moment. When the Holy Spirit speaks of the blood of Christ, let us bear well in mind that "the blood of Christ" means, "Awake, 0 sword, against the Man that is My Fellow; smite the Shepherd"; that is, let the justice of God exact from our Surety full payment of our debt. "It is finished" -that last sentence, as in John recorded, of the Lord on the cross-gives all the meaning of "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin."

When the Lord Jesus had died (the two others could not die before Him-no death was ever suffered to happen in His presence), when, I say, the Lord had finished the work of redemption, then it was by the soldier's spear the blood and water came out of the wound, telling first of redemption finished, then of its cleansing virtue.

In John's first Epistle the order is water and blood; that is, we read first of the cleansing virtue of the perfect atonement.

Christ the Son of God offered up Himself; and whereas by Him, and by the word of His power, the worlds were created, He could only in one way, the death of the cross-whereon He was our Surety, paying our debt-only, I say, by the cross could He bring us up from our depths of guiltiness and raise us above all the angels of God. They are not the children of God, they are not the members of Christ, but are advanced and honoured in serving us whom Christ is not ashamed to call brethren. Christ, now our great High Priest, our Melchizedek, King of righteousness, so King of peace, presents us to God a royal priesthood, yea, members of the body of which He-the once slain Lamb, the Son of God-is Himself the Head.

To speak of the blood of Christ literally brought into heaven is to utterly pervert the truth and turn away heart and conscience from that atoning sacrifice which is the perfume of the holiest-that third heaven where now our Lord is ever living to make intercession for us.

Blessed be God, our God and Father, who can delight in our worship, hiding from His holy eye all our imperfections by our great High Priest, while giving us to feel them ourselves!

With love in Christ to you both.  Affectionately yours in the Lord,

 

On the falling asleep of Mr.. W. E. Gammon.

TO MR. F. STUNT.

Barnstable, 6th June, 1898.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Truly the departure to be with the Lord of our young brother is a voice from God, and, according to your wish, I write some words that may edify in the meetings of next week in Bishopsgate Street.

That dear youth came to me when he had begun to think solemnly of serving Christ in Africa. I counselled him to wait on God until by the Spirit of Christ he had attained to such an assurance of God's guidance as could never afterwards be by himself questioned.

The cry of China for help was set before him, and brought him for a brief season trial of spirit; but soon the trial issued in full confirmation of his purpose to preach Christ in Africa. Surely his labours have not been in vain, and at the judgment-­seat of Christ this will be seen.

Let me add that during my long-continued service of Christ I have ever sought and obtained certainty concerning His guidance, such as the step needed that I took. The Lord Jesus will do the like for all that esteem the words of His mouth more than their body's meat and drink.

Oh, how good it is to be listening to our God and Father, who delights to speak with us by His Word, and then to hearken to us, speaking, asking, and praying according to that Word. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

 

Counsel for the guidance of believing children.

TO MR. W. PHILIPS,

who had written to Mr. Chapman asking permission to call his youngest child after him.

Barnstaple, 28th June, 1898.

My DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST,-My chief business being intercession, your letter brings grist to my mill. I rejoice with you and your dear wife in the goodness of God toward you, above all in the assurance you give me of your three children, so young, having received Christ. May they become true and faithful servants of the Lord Jesus; to this end we know the Scriptures must have the due place in their hearts. Let prayer and reading the Word become the beginning of their every day; the habit so settled as to become a golden chain that no craft or power of Satan can ever loose or break. By treading this path from my youth upwards, I am now, in my ninety-sixth year, spending my days in pleasures. The God of all grace bless you and yours likewise, and with you the beloved ones at Courtallam. I am ever at the mercy-seat for Brother and Sister Caldwell, for them and theirs.

Oh, let us not grieve that Holy Spirit by whom, dwelling in us, we are sealed unto the day of redemption. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

The Lord bless the dear babe.

 

Sympathy with a Christian mother.

TO MRS. J. C. HOYLE.

Barnstaple, 15th Aug., 1898.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,- Your letter stirs me afresh to prayer for you and yours. Our God is the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort, as you well know; and if in any matter, howsoever small, no less than in our greatest sorrows or joys, we make HIM the [One] chiefly concerned, He shows Himself well pleased, and His answers to prayer make glad our hearts.

Your praying that your children may be made faithful servants of Christ gives honour to God, who will honour you. It would indeed make me joyful if you could come here with your children. Speaking to the young of Christ is one of my chief delights. Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

"Only in the Lord."

15th Sept., 1898.

My DEAR BROTHER B.-To answer enquiries in your assembly concerning the guilt and folly of intermarriage between the children of God and the children of this world, I will not begin with, "Come out and be separate." We read in Genesis of sons of God (those born of the Spirit and having life in the promised Saviour) taking wives from among the children of this world, thus bringing in the corruption that was so terribly visited by the flood in the days of Noah.

The children of Israel were solemnly forbidden all intermarrying with Gentiles; for their disobedience to that command must be their ruin. So it proved. Now-that is, since Pentecost-the children of God are called to a fellowship in the Spirit with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Christ is not ashamed to call us brethren; we are one with Him, of His flesh, and of His bones. The holy angels account it their joy and honour to be our ministering spirits.

Hence, what fellowship hath Christ with Belial, light with darkness? "Come out and be separate, touch not the unclean thing." To neglect that high and holy fellowship to which we are called, and by which we give joy to God our Heavenly Father, is to grieve the Holy Spirit, and to darken heart, and understanding, and conscience; and so to make light of that most grievous transgression, intermarriage with the unregenerate, with even the most righteous and amiable among them.

We shall soon stand before the judgment-seat of Christ-we, the true children of God, to all of whom belong the joy and triumph of the 8th of Romans. Shall we not then see to it that we do not bring with us to the judgment-seat any wood, hay, stubble to be burnt up? Farewell.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

All God's ways in harmony with His great Gift.

Barnstaple, I4th Dec., 1898.

How kind of you, my dear Brother P., to think of me and my service in this house, a service in which I more and more do delight. Those who come to my house of rest are from many lands, and to encour­age them in Christ and His ways gives me ever increasing joy.

My heart is one with yours in all the experience your letter records of trial of patience and deliverance. Oh, dear Brother, by-and-by, in a little while, we shall see the books opened, by unerring pen written; and by the Spirit we shall with joy and triumph testify that all our Heavenly Father's ways are one with His giving and not sparing His only-begotten Son. His blessing rest on you and your dear wife, and all your children, to each of whom let me send, "Thou art my portion, 0 Lord [Jehovah]; I have said that I would keep Thy words." Farewell.

Affectionately yours in the Lord Jesus,

 

On the falling asleep of Mr. Henry Heath.

TO MR. AND MRS. H. CLAPTON.

Barnstaple, 16th Jan, 1899.

My BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER IN CHRIST,­-It is well with our dear departed Brother Heath-­it is well-it is well. He is with the Lord whom he so loved and so faithfully served, and is looking onward to the gathering together of the redeemed. We know not now what we shall be then, but this we do know, we shall be like HIM, for we shall see Him as He-the Lord Jesus-now is.

If to tarry here awhile be allotted me, my heart says Amen, and is yearning over the many young disciples of Christ everywhere in this favoured land to be seen. It is a chief delight to me to be exhorting them to value the Scriptures and the treasure unsearchable in them.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

TO LABOURERS IN THE GOSPEL IN SPAIN.

Barnstaple, 23rd Jan., 1899.

To my dear and loving brethren at Barcelona, Corunna, Vigo, Cartagena, Madrid, Linares, and elsewhere in Spain, who so lovingly have remembered me on my ninety-seventh birthday.

Your letters of love in Christ give me joy. My heart is daily with you at the mercy-seat, and sure am I that God our Father in Christ Jesus is making you a blessing. You are taught of the Spirit of truth, and God will increase you more and more. Whatever the judgments of God on Spain, it is of His great mercy that you are sent of HIM into that land His messengers of truth and life.

It is every way well with me-body, soul, and spirit; rather spirit, soul, and body; but that at my age I should be wholly free of any infirmity of the outer man carries with it great accountability. You will pray for me, as I am ever caring for you at the throne of grace. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and fellow-labourer,

 

TO MR. WESTON, BARNES, S. W. *

Barnstaple, 1st Feb., 1899.

* Mrs. Weston writes: "I well remember my father's friend­ship for Mr. Chapman, who visited at our home when I was a child; I still have a copy of his hymn book with my name written by him in 1839, when I was four years old."

DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST,-Accept my thanks for your kind letter. That servant of Christ who so faithfully served the Lord at Cannington was my true and faithful friend. Well do I remember my visits there and my preaching Christ in his school­-room. It is well with him; the night is far spent and the day is at hand of the gathering together of the members of Christ, each one of whom must bear the image of that Heavenly Adam, even as we have borne the image of the earthy.

If you could give me (your wife with you) a visit, I should rejoice. Farewell.

Your affectionate Brother in Christ Jesus,

 

To please Him our all in all.

28th March, 1899.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER MARRIOTT,-It has been joy to my heart to be caring for you and yours at the throne of grace, both before you became one and since. Indeed, now in my advanced years it is chiefly there that I am occupied. I am ever on the watch both for myself and many, many others, that He who spared not His own Son, but gave HIM up for us all, may be so trusted as to please HIM well; oh, is not this our all in all both for ourselves and for all we are caring for?

I assure myself that you ask for your dear children God's best. Farewell.

Ever affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

TO MR. R. B. CHAPMAN, C.S.I.

Barnstaple, 29th March, 1899.

ACCEPT my loving thanks, my dear Kinsman, both in the flesh and in the Lord, for your pleasant gift of California fruit, so good and wholesome; it came in good season: my visitors from Spain, with some well-trained children and myself, are indebted to you for this wholesome fruit.

I am looking forward to seeing you here again this coming summer, if God will. It is well with me, the peace of God keeping heart and mind, and in this my ninety-seventh year I continue without any infirmity of the outer man that commonly attends old age. Great is my accountability, but 'tis written-and I believe it-" My grace is sufficient for thee." Our heavenly Father delights to see us in faith unfeigned opening the mouth wide that He may fill it.

The God of all grace bless your own kin and those of others near and dear to you, children with parents. Our great High Priest ever liveth to make inter­cession for us, able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him. Farewell.

Affectionately yours both in the flesh and in Christ,

 

On the future of Israel.

19th March, 1900.

My DEAR BROTHER IDENDEN,-Your letter has been no little comfort to me. Whatever is lacking in the Church of God, His grace and love cannot fail to make much of what is of the Spirit in the servants of Christ.

The future of Israel I am ever dwelling on at the throne of grace. Yes, they shall prove the words of Zechariah to be true-when the Jew shall have set up the man of sin-as God's righteous judgment for rejecting Christ and bribing the soldiers to utter the falsehood invented by the  priests. Alas, gold is now the god of the Jew!

Moreover, I am ever looking on to new heavens and new earth, and so the peace of God, that passeth all understanding, keeps my heart and mind through Christ Jesus, of whom the Spirit of truth is ever delighting to testify. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

TO A YOUNG STUDENT WHO FAILED IN AN EXAMINATION.

Barnstaple, 6th Aug., 1900.

DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,-I keep your letter before me; it demands my prayerful sympathy. I am also your helper at the throne of grace. The ill­-success you speak of (you dealing with God, the only wise God, about it) will be a blessing to you the rest of your days. Oh, the wisdom of dealing with God, who is the Father of mercies in Christ Jesus, in matters heavenly and earthly, our greatest and smallest. He speaks to His children by the Scriptures; and they, attentive to His voice, are well pleasing to Him while pouring out their hearts at the throne of grace.

Affectionately yours in the Lord Jesus,

 

"He careth for you."

Barnstable, 26th Oct., 1900.

DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST,- You have the promise "Them that honour Me I will honour." You refused to frequent an assembly where God was not honoured, but Christ rejected, though under colour of His name. Be assured that you, waiting on God, will see His care for you. I shall be mindful of you I at the throne of grace. Pray for me, who am in profitable trials of faith.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

Fellowship with God.

TO MISS M. M. DAVIS.

Barnstaple, 6th Dec., 1901.

My DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST,- Your loving letter finds me both resting and always well occupied. Oh, the blessedness of fellowship with God, our Father, and Christ Jesus, our Advocate with the Father, our Paraclete, ever caring for each and everyone of the children of God. Were the Spirit not grieved, all our bitters would be turned sweet.

It is well with my dear helpers, Brother and Sister Pearce. Our godly servants also do help.

Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus,

 

TO CAPTAIN W. D. CHAPMAN.

Barnstaple, 17th Jan., 1902.

My DEAR RELATIVE,-Your letter of love for my birthday found me highly accountable to God our Heavenly Father, because of freedom from all bodily infirmity and the peace of God reigning within.

We both of us are highly accountable as living witnesses to the unseen Lord Jesus Christ,

 Affectionately yours in Christ Jesus.

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN.

 

Extracts.

The time is short, and precious is every hour of it, full of the sowing that must yield an ever­lasting harvest.

Pray for me and so enrich yourself. I doubt not that you do help me at the throne of Grace: I prize such help more than thousands of gold and silver.

 

Fac-simile of one of Mr. Chapman's latest letters, written in May, 1902.

 

Page 106, 107 of the book

 

 

The foregoing letter, to a widowed sister in the Lord (personally unknown to him), was written by Mr. Chapman a few weeks before he fell asleep in his 100th year.

 

His pilgrim track be mine

With His obedient ear-

Let Jesu's cross my soul refine

Thy holy name to fear!

 

 

Journal of a Visit to Ireland in 1848.

WRITTEN TO CHRISTIANS ASSEMBLING IN BEAR STREET, BARNSTAPLE.

Bristol, 1st February, 1848.

OUR brother Shepherd* and myself arrived here yesterday in peace. The Lord was with us on the way, opening our mouth to speak of Jesus and inclining men to listen. A brother in Christ, named Larking, was our companion from Barnstaple; he knows my own brother John and intended to have visited me, but was prevented by indisposition; he will, I think, see you shortly, perhaps before the end of the week; whenever he shall come to you, I have said you will receive him as becometh saints.

* Mr. Shepherd served God in the gospel at Tawstock, North Devon, and afterwards in Henrietta Street, London.

I leave to-day at half-past two, if God will, for Cork, with the prayers of children of God here as well as yours to strengthen me. It was a precious meeting for prayer last evening; Brother Muller asked everything for Brother Shepherd and myself that we could ourselves have mentioned; he is well in body, though not so strong in body as in faith. Peace, peace be with you all. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN.

 

TO THE BELOVED HOUSEHOLD.

I SEND you the words, "I will put thee in a cleft of the rock." I hope the invalids are better. Brother Jarratt and Brother Wigmore were here yesterday. Brother Jarratt prayed for me very affectionately in the meeting of last evening. Brother Shepherd has just left us. I am going to see a few of the sick in body before embarking. Pray, dear brother Heath, with your helpers, for what is needed to fit up the New Orphan House. God has begun to send. The Lord is your strength. I think of you with joy. Farewell.

 

MR. CHAPMAN'S EXPERIENCES IN IRELAND.

Cork, 4th Feb., 1848.

I THANK God for the opening of the mouth given me on board the packet. The weather was like summer, and thus passengers and seamen were more easy of access, since none of the former were disabled by sea­sickness from listening to me, and none of the latter by the work of the ship. Surely the prayers of saints have been answered for me. The vessel arrived here so much sooner than was expected that I reached Brother Potter's before he could go down to the quay to welcome me, as he had intended. I found a brother among the seamen, and another person who was a hearer of mine in former time.

On Wednesday afternoon I visited a sister, Mrs. Connor, who was near her end. She fell asleep in Jesus yesterday (Thursday) morning at 5 o'clock. One daughter, a believer; her husband unregenerate.

The burial to-morrow morning will give us an oppor­tunity of preaching the Gospel to some, by God's help. Yesterday forenoon I visited the sick, and expounded the Scriptures in the room of one of the sufferers to a little company of believers of every name. Alas, that we should have needed by our divisions any but our proper titles.

In the evening a profitable meeting for reading the Word. Sister Code and Sister Andrews, who formerly sojourned with us at Barnstaple, hold us in affectionate remembrance. All shew me much love.

I am this morning in retirement, seeking God for guidance as to preaching out of doors on Lord's­-day, and the time of leaving this, with the direction in which I must go. My soul is in perfect peace and happy in the love of God; that peace and joy are the secret of right preaching of the gospel, as it is written, "Uphold me with Thy free Spirit; then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee."

The poor of this town remind me somewhat of the paupers of Spain, but I contrast the welcome of saints that cheers me here with the lack of it there.* I hope God will yet cause His Word to have free course in both countries. I commend to the prayers of the assembly the Roman Catholic maid-servant of my kind host and hostess, Brother and Sister Potter. I have spoken to her of Jesus and perceive how darkness covers her mind and conscience.

  • Mr. Chapman is here referring to his journeyings in Spain in 1834 and 1838. In after years he writes from that country, of many souls brought to God and of the love of Spanish Christians. In his second visit he was accompanied by two brethren from Barnstaple. On leaving London they were all brought on their way as far as Gravesend by friends from John Street Chapel. Speaking to a little company after his return, in 1864, from the third visit to Spain, and mentioning his early sojournings in that land, he observed that for thirty years the state of Spain, Portugal and Italy, had been laid on his heart.

 

Preaching in Cork.

Cork, 7th Feb., 1848.

ON Saturday morning Sister Connor was interred. I spoke briefly at the grave; two or three Roman Catholics were present. I then visited some of the Lord's people and attended a meeting for prayer.

Sunday forenoon I met with dear brethren and sisters in Christ for breaking bread, and found much comfort of love among them. In the afternoon I preached for some minutes to attentive hearers out of doors at the North Bridge, one of the vilest parts of the city. After a little while a crowd of boys, set on by the men, raised a yell and sought to drown my voice: one man said, "Speak without the Bible," meaning well, for if Roman Catholics hear the Scriptures read by a Protestant, they must confess to the priest this their sin. I could not, however, put away the Bible, out of which I was reading the 19th of John. I prayed aloud before I left the ground, and to hear prayer from a Protestant is in their eyes a sin; my praying for them made them very angry. Then the crowd of boys followed me and other brethren that were with me, yelling through the streets a good distance; their violence, however, was restrained to cries and mocking; my own spirit was full of peace in God and pity and prayer for them.

The word was not in vain, I am sure. One of the hearers said he would willingly listen, for he had lately begun to think about his soul. I am persuaded that God will yet make room for an out-of-door testimony in Ireland, but much prayer is needed. Help the brethren here and myself among them, beloved in Christ, in regard of this blessed ministry. I preached in the evening at the Room in Queen Street, and many attended. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Visiting at Cork and Queenstown.-Contrast between Irish and Spanish priests.-Mallow.

Mallow, 11th Feb., 1848.

ON Monday I visited some children of God at Cork, in particular the afflicted, one of whom, a brother of tender conscience, is disabled or nearly so from carrying on his business by consumption, and his business, once flourishing, is now come to little or nothing. I commend him to your prayers. Yet sorrow and suffering are the lot of all the believers whom I have seen here, each having his own cup of trial, and each his special need of the sympathy of Christ.

In the evening we met for fellowship and reading the Scriptures; we considered Philippians ii.

I5th.-Several met at breakfast at a sister's house, where we read together John xvii.; after which Brother Code and Brother Potter (my kind host) with myself and some sisters went down to Cove* to see saints there, in particular, to visit a sister who by a fall has for some months lost the power of standing. In the evening on our return to Cork we met at the house of one confined by sickness, and read the 15th of Luke. All the reading meetings at Cork have comforted and strengthened me much.

* Now called Queenstown.

I have had some sweet converse also with Brother Code on matters of difference of judgment between us; we rejoiced in our unity, as far as we discerned it, and judged it a cause of self-humiliation that we could not fully agree, but not a reason for strife and separation. God would soon make His children one, did they always set their faces, like the cherubim, towards the mercy-seat.

On Wednesday Brother Potter and myself went out to Donoughmore to visit Brother Cotter, the Rector, and our sister his wife; they received us cordially, and pressed us to tarry the night there. I spoke to the orphans whose parents were removed by last year's famine and sickness." Surely God will bless those little ones, who are every way cared for, and I can assure the saints in England who have helped in the work with their substance that they do well and wisely in so helping. The orphans are well instructed in things spiritual, and also in such things of this world as are convenient.

The Roman Catholics here, both priests and people, are very far above those of Spain; there, both deride their own religion and scoff at all religion; here, a false religion (which is yet not pure error but the truth corrupted and perverted) is ignorantly held in reverence. I found in Spain indifference and scorn; here is a vexed and troubled conscience, seeking rest and not knowing how to obtain it. I reckon myself favoured of God to speak to such consciences. After our return to Cork, Brother Potter and myself and a brother, a Scripture Reader, visited some Roman Catholic families in a part of the town where there is much poverty.

* Caused by the failure of the potato crop.

Yesterday (Thursday) I left Cork, accompanied part of the way by Brother Potter. My walk hither was a precious thing to my soul. All the poor people understand English; indeed I heard the peasants speaking to one another in English, though Irish is the common language of the poor. I ask your prayers for help in learning Irish. I spoke to a man and his wife all whose children, five boys, were swept away last year by famine and fever. Such bereavements, as you are aware, have been common here; the burden of distress is much lightened (blessed be God for it) but still it is heavy. Some of the poor commit theft for a lodging and maintenance in jail.

I arrived here after a pleasant journey about 4 o' clock. Brother and Sister Plowman took me in without any letter of commendation; they gathered a company of believers to meet me in the evening. Our sister is just recovering from sickness; you will think of her in your prayers and of her seven young children, as well as of the large family of Brother and Sister Cotter. I must tell you that the brother with whom I went about visiting in Cork on Tuesday evening was, about eight years ago, in the Isle of Arran as a Reader of the Scriptures to the Roman Catholics. The people were at the first glad and full of admiration; this aroused the priest, who forbade on pain of excommunication anyone of them selling any necessaries to our brother; he subsisted for a while on wild berries and what little he had by him of rice or something of the kind, until one of the people moved to compassion sold him what he wanted without the priest's knowledge. I think of preaching out of doors here on Lord's-day afternoon.* The great requisite for preaching to these poor benighted ones, is the joy and peace in believing of the preacher's own soul.

* Mr. Chapman carried out this intention. Some weeks after­wards, a young man was taken seriously ill and conveyed to the Mallow Workhouse. When he was told of his danger and asked if he wished to see a priest, he replied that he had heard a stranger preach Christ in the Market-place on a Sunday, and that Saviour was all-sufficient for him. In this faith he died.

I received the letters of Brother Heath and Sister Paget on Lord's-day, and was much comforted. I salute you all in Christ Jesus, who is our Hope and dwells in us the hope of glory. His peace be with your spirit. I remember you all in my prayers with joy. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Ministry in Mallow.

Mallow, 14th Feb., 1848.

ON Friday, after I had visited in the afternoon, we held a meeting at Brother Plowman's for reading the Scriptures; and, after a day of rest on Saturday, I preached in the afternoon of Sunday out of doors.

The poor people, just come out from hearing mass, flocked around me and, if some mocked, most were attentive, and Brother Plowman told me that certain of them who kept others quiet were "men of bad character"; likewise several heard from their windows. In the evening I preached in the Room, and some of the afternoon hearers attended, besides many others.

I praise God for bringing me to Mallow and for the help of yesterday. I believe God has set before me an open door and that none can shut it; thus you see your prayers for me answered hitherto. Oh, beloved brethren and sisters, how great is your favour and power with God! use that favour and power for the benighted Papists of Ireland; you are kings and priests unto God and His sons and daughters by adoption of grace. Grieve not the Spirit that sealed you to the day of redemp­tion, and nothing will God deny you.

The meeting for the Lord's Supper yesterday was sweet to my soul, and the fellowship of saints supplies in some sort the lack of a fellow-labourer in preaching. I am continually comparing my present lot with my solitary journeyings in Spain, and praising God for the lamp He has lighted up here; yet I pray that many may be raised up to preach out of doors. I hope to-day to preach in the barracks, by permission of the commanding officer, who is seeking Christ.

Through a sister whose son has charge of the Bridewell I spoke yesterday to the prisoners, both male and female. The servants in families that I have visited are Roman Catholics, and I have had much help in speaking to them.

Brother Dilworth, known to Brother Heath and much esteemed at Bristol, has been labouring here for some time; he is now in the North, but I trust to meet him. Very precious is the promise, "I will guide thee with Mine eye," for, if such guidance be sought, the soul can then say, "Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

P.S.-We have had prayer for beloved brother Darby. The Lord grant us his restoration to health. His name is very dear to children of God in Ireland.

 

Kanturk, Newmarket, and Millstreet.

Millstreet, 18th Feb., 1848.

ON Tuesday about II o'clock in the forenoon I left Mallow, after much experience there of the kindness of God and of His saints. I spoke with several on the way to Kanturk. A youth about twenty seemed much interested and went with me about a mile, during which I read and explained to him the 15th of Luke: he said he was keeping a small farm for his mother and was not in want; so that he did not follow me for relief, as many do. He confessed that he was often troubled about his guilt, but that he did not know the way of forgiveness.

At Kanturk I was received by Sister Harding and her mother very kindly and hospitably. In the evening I visited with Sister H. two families in much distress; in the one the Word of God is chasing away darkness from the understanding; I cannot say more. The next morning we visited the Children's Workhouse, and I dropped a word of truth in the ear of some of them. In Kanturk and its neighbourhood there is much more lack of bread and of employment than in and around Mallow. There are 1800 in the poorhouses of Kanturk, besides many thousands receiving out-door relief. The Lord Himself must help. It is a great mercy that a penny procures a pound of Indian meal, and that turf is plentiful. Thus I have great comfort in distributing alms and have not seen a cottage without a fire. I have heard from eye-witnesses such tales of the misery and death that reigned during the famine as I hope not to forget; yet only grace can make God's judgments profitable; this may be seen, alas, by the spiritual condition of the poor Irish in these parts. The land looks desolate, but the inhabitants who have made it so, how barren, how dreary and gloomy the state of their souls!

On Wednesday Sister Harding took me to New­market in her car, an uncovered conveyance and well fitted for our speaking to the needy that we relieved by the way, who were returning from Kanturk after their fruitless applications at the poorhouse.

At Newmarket I preached in the evening at the court-house (the magistrates' meeting-room) and several Roman Catholics attended. I stayed for the night at Brother O'Keefe's, whom with his large family I commend to your prayers. It was very precious to me to speak to them. Yesterday I came hither, and had especial comfort in some young persons whom I spoke to on the way; but oh, how ignorant is this whole people (and that with the light round about them) of the way of salvation.

I passed the evening with Sister Cudmore and her family; she is a widow. Neither in Kanturk, nor Newmarket, nor Millstreet is there any assembly of the Lord's people as such. The Gospel is, however, preached in the Established Church at Kanturk; I visited and prayed with the young clergyman there. I ask the prayers of beloved saints at Barn­staple and its neighbourhood for the lonely ones above mentioned. I breakfasted this morning at Sister Cudmore's (whose kindness exceeds the size of her house) and have since been much strengthened in prayer, while shut up in my chamber at the inn. This evening I preach, if God will, at the court-house.

Friday Evening.-Some few from a distance met in the afternoon at Sister Cudmore's for reading the Scriptures; the evening was very wet and stormy, only two unconverted hearers and one converted; but my soul was sure of God's blessing. I have had since my return to the inn a full opportunity of speaking to a Roman Catholic, formerly a servant of Sister Cudmore, to whom she bears a precious testimony. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Lord,

 

Sad results of the Famine.

Castleisland, 21st: Feb., 1848.

BELOVED Brother Heath will take heed to the time, when he reads my journal, that greater matters may not give place to it-I mean the worship of God and the ministration of the Word. If portions be read on a Friday evening, or if need be on a Monday evening, the rest may be read in private at leisure.

Saturday.-After breakfasting with Sister Cudmore at Millstreet (whom with her seven dear fatherless children I commend to your prayers), I journeyed hither; the day was very favourable, whereas the day before had been rainy and stormy. A poor man going into the country for turf offered to carry my knapsack for a couple of miles, and with him I had much conversation. He said that through poverty he sometimes stole, and made confession to the priests to ease his conscience. He also told me that about six years ago there was a large sale of beads made by the monks of Ramoor, near Millstreet, and that these beads, being blessed by a priest, were reckoned very precious. What was their exact virtue I had learned at Mallow, namely, to keep souls out of purgatory for fourteen years and some months and days more besides. I think that now such traffic would scarce succeed generally, though my poor companion saw no fraud in it.

Another man, one of the Irish Constabulary, whom I fell in with, said that he feared his sins were too many to be pardoned. I reasoned with him and he hearkened willingly. The country, after my leaving the main road, was wild and barren, but I met and spoke with several. Remember that a penny procures a pound of Indian meal. I was well furnished with halfpence, and the poor hungry people were very thankful for my alms. At this place I found no child of God, but I have not been alone, and have been the rather making intercession for saints and the world, because I have not had brethren with me.

The weather yesterday morning was very rainy, but cleared up in the afternoon, and I preached in the market which is held in these parts on the Lord's-day after mass (at least in many of the towns). The Lord stood with me and strengthened me, and though some mocked, yet many heard patiently and atten­tively, and no violence was offered, only a piece of turf was thrown, which missed me. After leaving the crowd, I saw a rainbow gilding the end of the town; had I turned another way I should not have seen it; it spoke with the voice of God to my heart. In the evening two Roman Catholics came to con­verse with me, and one of them I think is seeking rest for his soul; though a man of education, he knows not so much of Scripture as one of our little Sunday­-school children. Had I time I would write to the teachers, exhorting them to thankfulness and dili­gence, yet I know they are both thankful and diligent.

I am at a plain but cleanly inn, not unsuited to a pilgrim; it has been a house of God to my soul; its inmates hear me willingly. I go this morning, if God will, to Tralee. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Tralee, Listowel, and Limerick.

Limerick, 28th Feb., 1848.

ON Monday last on my way from Castle island to Tralee, I met numbers of poor destitutes; some of them were from Dingle, south of Tralee, and could not speak or understand English; of such I have hitherto met very few. One of those I spoke with was not in want of things temporal, but was more than ordinarily instructed in the knowledge of sin; he could not receive my words concerning the per­fection of the atonement and the assurance of the conscience by the Holy Ghost of forgiveness of sin, but heard me gladly. Pray for him.

At Tralee I tarried Monday evening and Tuesday morning at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Denny; surely my visit was of God, who gave me favour with all the household, a Roman Catholic among the rest.* On Tuesday on the way to Listowel I spoke with many; one was a small farmer who accompanied me about eight miles; he had been intended for a priest, but for misconduct had been cast off by his father. He told me he had been much troubled by his conscience, and apprehended quickly what I set forth of the grace of God; he said my words were joy to him and that he had never heard such things before.

* In a recent letter, Mrs. Edye, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Denny, says, "I well remember dear Mr. Chapman's coming to Tralee to see my father and mother. He asked me if he should mark some verses in my Bible. I was very pleased and got the book at once, and he marked the I3th, 14th and Isth verses of the I5th chapter of St. John. I was quite a child: he also marked Psalm xxvii, 4 and 11 ." The passages have dwelt in her heart, and the Bible is still in her possession.

At Listowel I found two godly men, men of lovely spirit, who are Scripture Readers; one of them, Brother Raymond, keeps a school. I addressed the children. Brother Raymond set me on my way to Tarbert, and gave me many proofs of the working of God by him. One instance was this, he was once speaking of Christ and the atonement in a house to some few whom he found there. A young man intended for a priest heard and received the word, suffered persecution, and has to this day walked worthily.

I reached Tarbert in time for a meeting (appointed without notice of my coming) of Roman Catholics to read the Scriptures; they were exceedingly ignorant, but simple-minded and quick to apprehend the truth. At the inn I spoke with the master, a Protestant, and to two of the servants, Roman Catholics; the master would not charge me as much as usual; this I should not have known but for a farewell conversation with him. I had much comfort in addressing the children of a school at Tarbert. The teacher is a brother, and by help from England many of the children are fed by him with gruel and Indian meal daily. The priest is angry, but cannot prevail to remove the children.

On Friday I came hither by the steam-boat. While waiting for the steamer I addressed a company that was standing by and conversed with some Roman Catholics, one of them a person of much understanding, and modest and candid withal. The Lord teach him. Here (at Limerick) I am again gladdened by the fellowship of saints. We had profitable meetings on Friday and Saturday evenings for reading the Word. Yesterday morning in the assembly for breaking bread we had a savour of Christ in our souls. Oh, how precious is such fellow­ship; the Head, Christ, craves the fellowship of His members, and we crave their fellowship as well as that of the Lord Jesus; only let us keep the Head and the members each in proper place. Yet I remember with thankfulness that when alone at Castleisland, the grace of Christ was sufficient for me and I asked nothing more; His strength was made perfect in my weakness. In the afternoon of yesterday three brethren stood by me on the quay. The day was tempestuous and few were stirring out, but we had a small company of hearers, with whom we spoke in the way of answering objections and questions a good while.

I rejoiced to have ascertained from a godly man at Tralee that the work among Roman Catholics at Dingle, of which many of you have heard, is something better than a thing of form. Many have been renewed by the Spirit of God, and suffer perse­cution; some have died triumphant in Christ. The faithful man, Brother Gayer, by whom God especially wrought there, was lately taken to be with Christ.

I am thankful for your letters received at Tralee and those received here; they are very sweet and cheering to my soul. Pray concerning Tubber­curry. I think of going there, and hope in a little while to acquire as much Irish as to understand and read the Scriptures to the poor, in Irish. This will be a valuable gift. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Nenagh and Borrisokane.

Borrisokane, Tipperary, 7th March, 1848.

AT Limerick, children of God constrained me to stay till Wednesday; indeed everywhere they shew me much loving-kindness, and make me prove continually how strong the threefold cord that binds us all to God and to each other. On Monday and Tuesday evenings we held profitable meetings for reading the Scriptures at brethren's houses. On Tuesday afternoon I addressed a congregation of children and parents at the meeting-room. Many came, though in bad weather. On Wednesday evening I preached the Gospel at the Room, which was well filled. The brethren need much help from God at this time to deal aright with a certain brother whose walk has been a grief to them. I commend the case to the prayers of saints at Barnstaple and elsewhere in England. Brother Watson, labouring in the Gospel at Limerick, with his wife and family, I also commend to your prayers; he and I had sweet fellowship in meeting for prayer. How great the promise and how sure: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? "

On Thursday I walked to Nenagh in Tipperary, speaking of Jesus by the way; the distance is about twenty-four or twenty-five English miles. His rod and staff comfort me and I fear no evil. There is no better means of access to the hearts of Roman Catholics than this of talking with them on the high­way; they are not then restrained by fear of priests or of each other. I tarried at Nenagh with Brother Joseph Davis, whose presence at our meetings in Barnstaple in June, 1846, will be remembered by many, and his expounding to us the 5Ist Psalm; he has been tried and prospered by the Lord.

On Friday evening a good number came to the Room where I preached the Gospel. On Saturday morning after meeting for prayer with Brother Davis, I came hither, about nine English miles from Nenagh. This country is more than any other in Ireland a fruitful land and more than any stained with blood, yet here on the Lord's-day afternoon the outdoor company that listened to Brother Hall, Brother Heywood and myself preaching the Gospel, were as orderly as any outdoor congregation in Eng­land. The Room in the evening was quite full to hear the gospel from me; the believers here are walking in much love. I am under the roof of Brother Towers, whom I met in London at the blessed meeting there in April, 1845.*  He and his are very kind to me; his eldest son is a child of God, and his two other sons are surely under God's special train­ing for His kingdom.

* Shortly after this, Captain Towers left Ireland and took up his abode at Woolpit, Suffolk. His eldest son, Thomas, went out as a missionary to Demerara, where after a short time of earnest service he departed to be with Christ.

Yesterday at one o'clock (in Ireland the hours of meeting differ wholly from those in England) I preached the Gospel at Brother Waller's, about five miles from hence. His children are taught in the house by Brother Heywood, of Plymouth, as are those of Brother Towers by Brother Isaac, of Teign­mouth. These dear brethren have a weighty office; pray for them. It is a great evil in Ireland, at least in the southern half of it and more, that the children of believers are exposed to the evil communications of Roman Catholic servants, and those servants almost all have their consciences misguided and hardened in many points by their priests. For instance, the sin of lying is not seen to be a sin by one of a thousand, except the liar intend to do some injury to his neighbours.

To-day at one o'clock there will be a meeting for prayer. Peace be with you all.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Sufferings of the rich as well as the poor.-Tuam, "the lion's den."

Westport, 13th March, 1848.

LAST Tuesday forenoon children of God at Borriso­kane and its neighbourhood met for prayer. Brother Hall was commended to God for a journey to Ennis, and I for mine to the North. Brother Hall labours in the Gospel, and before my coming had been speaking of the out-door testimony as called for by the state of the Roman Catholics. In the evening we were all assembled by Brother Towers at his house for reading the Scriptures. His hospitality and kindness are precious to me, and I am sure also to the Lord. I would commend him to your prayers, and with him many others in like case who suffer by the pressure of the times.

Let none think that the distress of Ireland is only the poor man's lot; more of hunger and bodily want may be the poor man's portion, but he either owes no debts or is not expected to pay; he can go into the poor-house and be no gazing-stock; but the rich man, impoverished (and all the rich are so in Ireland), must meet demands, old and new, upon his purse from wife and children and other relatives, from servants and other dependents, from tax-­gatherers and overseers of the poor, and a multitude of beggars, and thus with straitened means he becomes in mind and heart burdened and careworn (except singular grace prevent) as the poor man cannot be. Let, therefore, saints in England, in their prayers for Ireland, not forget the rich when they pray for the poor. Many of the latter, alas, are dying, not of hunger, strictly speaking, but because of hardship and scanty supplies of food and disease gendered by the famine. It is feared that next Friday (St. Patrick's day) there will be tumults among the people, yet God can still the waves with a word of His power, and we by faith can do it, or walk upon the waters. I intend to propose a meeting of brethren at Dublin for humilia­tion.

On Wednesday, after breakfast at the house of three sisters (who are such both in the flesh and in the Lord), Brother Towers took me in his gig to Ballinasloe to visit Brother Adamson and his family. Brother Towers was thrown out of the gig before we were out of Borrisokane by the horse stumbling, but was not in the least injured, and I was at the time visiting a poor child of God, at whose house I was to be taken up by Brother Towers; for this our preservation we praise the Lord.

At Portumna we met a large number of Roman Catholics just come out from mass. It was Ash-­Wednesday. The elder women had the mark of the ashes put by the priest on their forehead. The other worshippers had either wiped off the ashes or covered the mark. The ashes were meant, doubtless, for a type of Christ's humiliation, and the mark on the forehead for fellowship with Him in His sufferings. Among the multitude of idolaters in the place, hardly one child of God, I may safely say, could be found. How different is Ireland from England in regard of the number of the Lord's people in each island! The Lord make His children in England thankful for their special mercies, and His children in Ireland faithful witnesses for Himself and His truth amidst the darkness around them!

I am humbled to think that I passed the crowd at Portumna without addressing them, and without asking of God whether I should speak or hold my peace. My strength, that is, my spiritual strength, needed recruiting after the meeting at our sister's house at Borrisokane, but I might have found especial help from God by looking to Him. I did not enquire of Him, but pressed forward, hoping to meet others further on. I met none, and I name this that beloved ones who think of me before God may the rather put no confidence in me, however much they trust in the Lord concerning me, and that they may ask the full and soul-assuring guidance of the Holy Ghost for me in all things and at all times. I am persuaded that the key of faith will open for anyone that holds it a door for preaching Christ everywhere in Ireland.

We were kindly welcomed by Brother Adamson and his wife and family. He has three daughters who love the Lord Jesus, and they, with their father and mother, break bread together at home; their two sons are unconverted, but were very kind to me. Some Christians are to be found in the town of Ballinasloe, and two of them joined us in the evening at Brother Adamson's. There are two­ Scripture Readers in the town, both of them godly men and of honest report; one of them speaks Irish, which is of great use in the villages of Connaught. I preached on Thursday in the market­place; the people were very attentive-anything like interruption they almost all joined to put down. In the evening I preached in the house of Brother Jackson, one of the Scripture Readers. On Thursday Brother Towers set me as far as Castle­blakeney, where we parted after prayer, thankful for each other's fellowship, yet sad at the parting; the hearts that know Christ's love cling to each other. Oh, when will Jesus appear and gather us to Himself and to each other for ever? "Behold, I come quickly," is the promise. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus," come quickly.

I reached Tuam about 10 o'clock at night. Tuam is the lion's den, for there dwells a Roman Catholic Archbishop of great note for opposition to the truth of Christ. He affirmed in a letter to the Roman Catholics that all which they received of help in their distresses by the famine from Protestants must be regarded as a sign of Protestants inclining in heart towards the Church of Rome, and as an answer to the prayers put up by Catholics to the Virgin Mary. When, some weeks ago, I gave a small sum to a farmer's wife to distribute among the poor in her neighbourhood, she said, "May the Almighty God and the Almighty Virgin Mary bless you." These blasphemous words are not always on the lips of Roman Catholics, but almost always the blasphemy and idolatry of them are in the heart. Still, Ireland is better than Spain. Superstition is better than profane irreligion. Conscience speaks here and afflicts men with dread of death, and generally they hear me with reverence when preach­ing Christ.

At Tuam I spoke at the house where I lodged the night to a poor drunken post-boy; he was not so much intoxicated as to forbid my reasoning with him; his conscience every now and then fell under my words, yet again he would declare himself sure of heaven through his mother, "the blessed Virgin Mary"; two others were by, and they heard me attentively. Few travel by night, especially near Nenagh, and there the landlords, if they go out one way, return by another, fearing to be shot by their tenantry or hired murderers. The Lord keeps me both from violence without and unbelief within, but oh for increase of faith-that one thing needful!

From Tuam I walked on Saturday to Westport, singularly helped by the Lord, the distance being fully forty English miles, with strong wind in my face the whole way, and rain, snow, and hail every now and then. I asked the Lord to turn the wind, but His answer for that day was that His grace sufficed me, so I was happy in Him and preached His Word to a few on the way. A peasant going to Westport overtook me and I spoke to him of Jesus; he was going to see a brother in the flesh, but was overcome by fatigue and stopped short. My hope of seeing brethren in the Lord, none of whom I had ever seen before, spurred me on, and in a few minutes after I arrived at Brother Thompson's I forgot fatigue.

We had a precious meeting yesterday morning for breaking bread. In the afternoon there was fine weather, and I preached in the Square with little interruption; the greater number heard me gladly. One struck me on the ear and temples with a football, but another (a Roman Catholic) besought me to use her handkerchief to wipe off the mark. In the evening I preached to many at the meeting-room of the brethren. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

The Lord comfort the sick and afflicted. I long to hear further tidings from you.

 

At Castlebar and Tipperary.

Sligo, 21st; March, 1848.

ON Monday afternoon of last week at Westport I addressed a goodly company of children together with their parents and others. The Lord's people were very glad of the meeting, and I had joy in it, yet I thought of Brother H. and longed for him. The Lord direct his steps to Ireland, where he is greatly needed and would be dearly welcomed.

In the evening we met at Brother Mackintosh's* for reading the Word; he and his sister teach a small number of day-scholars after a godly sort. Brother M. ministers the Gospel and cares for believers in visiting from house to house. He is a servant of Christ and holds on his way in faith and love; his dear sister, his spiritual mother, is a true fellow­-helper. On Tuesday we met for prayer at 1 o'clock, which strengthened us all in the Lord. In the evening I preached the gospel at the market-house in a large room where children of God break bread. Many came to hear the Word, some Roman Catholics among them. Afterwards my kind host, Brother Thompson, assembled several at his house at tea. There is surely a work of God at Westport to be wrought shortly. Saints there, I believe, care for the salvation of souls.

* Well known as "C. H. M."

On Wednesday I left for Castlebar, but could not easily break away from Brother Thompson and his family; they would have detained me if they could. He is one whose good report is not confined to Westport, in which he is a light and a witness for Christ. His wife and sisters are like him. I com­mend them and his young children to your prayers. On the way to Castlebar I spoke, according to my custom, to some that I met with. I preached in the afternoon outside the court-house of Castlebar, while the justice of the land was passing sentence upon many within the building. My hearers were generally attentive and quiet, and would not hearken to one who called me a demon from hell, and sought to dissuade them from hearing me.

I spent the evening at the house of Brother and Sister Larmony, who have little opportunity of fellowship with saints. The town is a considerable one, yet few in it love Jesus; the dear children of Brother Larmony heard me gladly. I was pressed to stay by our brother and sister, but could not, and on Thursday walked over to Tubbercurry, where I arrived about 9 o'clock in the evening.

At Tubbercurry dwells a man of God named Bourns, a shoemaker, who lodged me, and, with his dear wife, a believer, entertained me with great hospitality; he is a light in the place and neighbourhood; one of his sons is, I think, converted, and all bespeak the power of the godly example of their father and mother.

On Friday Brother Bourns and I went to Sister R.'s, about twelve English miles from Tubbercurry, and on the way I preached at a fair; the business of the fair was little, and I was listened to by many with sober attention, while some scoffed, but none offered me violence. On Saturday I rested, and sweet was my rest. The letters from Barnstaple which I found at Tubbercurry occasioned me much thanksgiving, and much intercession for dear sufferers and the tried in circumstances. God increase their faith and give them to see Jesus, our true Joseph, at the right hand of God, to see Him and to sit with Him in the Spirit, to rest and rejoice with Him.

On Saturday evening Brother Stoney* came over from Boyle, twenty miles from Tubbercurry. I once met him many years since in England, and we rejoiced to see each other again. Brother Bourns lodged him as well as myself, for Brother B. has a large heart, and his wife also is full of tender care for members of Christ. On the Lord's-day we met in a cottage among the mountains, about six English miles from Tubbercurry, for breaking bread. A little band were we, but our hearts were touched by the love of Christ. Brother Stoney much pressed me to go with him to Boyle, but I could not, so he returned home after the morning assembly; he labours in a desolate district, desolate every way.

* Mr. J. Butler Stoney.

In the evening I preached to a goodly company at Tubbercurry in Brother Bourns' house instead of preaching out of doors. On our return to Tubber­curry from our meeting in the mountains I gave myself to prayer. Yesterday I walked over to this place, speaking to some few on the way. One said to me, "The light comes from Jesus and Mary and Joseph." Another, "We must earn the grace of Christ by penance, i.e., putting the body to pain, for if He suffered we must also suffer"; and thus truth perverted and corrupted becomes the worst lie. Oh, the darkness of the land! Pray for more labourers, for men full of faith.

About three weeks since a devout Roman Catholic lady, dwelling near the house in which I am now writing, said to her husband on a Saturday, "Where will you take the children to-morrow?" He was a Protestant, and had had much contention with his wife about the religion which their children should be taught. He answered, "To Church." She replied she would rather see them drowned. The husband left her to go about his occupation, not taking heed to her words, but in the evening found she had taken her three young children down to the sea-side (I saw the spot from a distance) and drowned her children first and then herself. The poor husband has left the place. Oh, let us pray for him.

On Monday evening I preached in the schoolroom, near the house of Mr. Paterson, the brother of Mrs. Larmony, of Castlebar. Several Roman Catholics attended. Mr. Paterson and his family have shown me much kindness. This morning I have spoken to the children of the school. I cannot as yet fix the time of my return, but desire, in common with many others, a solemn meeting of brethren for prayer to be held about the third week of next month. "Behold, I come quickly." Blessed hope! Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Lord,

 

The North different from the South and West.

Londonderry, 31St March, 1848.

ON Tuesday morning, the 21st, I expounded, though briefly, in the family of Mr. Paterson. (These family meetings I have found sweet in Ireland as well as in England, and I regard the young members wherever I go with joyful hope of a godly seed from among them.) I also spoke to the children of the school; from seventy to eighty were in attendance. They seemed to understand the Gospel, but in almost all the National schools in the south, the east, and the west of Ireland the Scriptures are forbidden to be read. This is the art of the priests, into whose hands the schools have fallen. How great the guilt of men who neither enter by the door of knowledge themselves, nor suffer those to go in that would.

The priests have fewer disciples here, i.e., in the north, but use their power when they have it, as they do elsewhere, to forbid the reading of the Scriptures by old or young.

After addressing the children at Sligo, I journeyed happily to Manorhamilton. On the road a young man, who had been too late for the car (the Irish van) by sitting awhile to drink, confessed the Lord's goodness in sending him a message by me. He was a Roman Catholic, and, I suppose, some farmer's son. In the evening I found at my little resting-­place an officer of the Irish Constabulary, who said, after my speaking to him, that I must be a happy man. Surely to be happy in the love of Christ is that which best shows our hope to be of God.

Wednesday, 22nd, I pursued my journey to Enniskillen, and preached on the way at a fair at Blacklion without any interruption. Afterwards conversed for about four miles of the way to Ennis­killen with a dear young man, a Protestant, a farmer's son; he was unconverted, but was very glad to listen to me. In the evening at Enniskillen I was welcomed by Sister Trimble and her children into her house as my home, and next morning by her husband also, with much kindness; he had been occupied the evening before. The children were all able to understand me when speaking of Jesus.

In the forenoon I preached in the market to a large and orderly congregation. Brother Hewson, a faithful man, a Wesleyan, also spoke to them, and it was in part owing to his preaching in the market regularly that I was heard so attentively. And here I must needs make mention of Gideon Ouseley, a faithful and laborious servant of Christ, now gone to be with the Lord; he departed about six years since. This dear servant of God for about thirty years, I believe, preached throughout Ireland out of doors to the Roman Catholics several times a week in English and Irish; he was often assailed by the people, but he was faithful to the end, and very many Roman Catholics were saved through his ministry. God raise up many more such witnesses.

In the evening of Thursday we held a meeting for reading the Scriptures at Mr. Trimble's; the Christians present were chiefly Wesleyans. I expounded the 6th of Hebrews, and shewed the security of the salvation of God's people and the holy virtues of the doctrine. Some heard me with thankfulness, all with patience; two of them, a soldier and his wife, had been at Gibraltar, and we were glad to exchange thoughts concerning Spain.

On Friday I walked to Athernay, and on the way thither conversed with a young farmer who had heard me the day before in the market at Enniskillen. His conscience was open to truth. On Saturday, March 25th, which is a Roman Catholic holy day, I found at Castlederg the people in the streets after mass, and preached, with knapsack on, without any molestation, then hastened on to Strabane, where I arrived in time for the train to Londonderry. I reached Derry by four o'clock and, after dining with Brother and Sister Jackman, visited some aged and afflicted ones, Christ's members.

The poor of the place are chiefly Roman Catholic, the rest chiefly Presbyterian; among the latter many are regenerate persons. On the Lord's-day, after breaking bread with a little band of believers at their room, I preached out of doors on the quay; the interruption was only for a few minutes from some boys, and that arose from a hearer's dealing not according to Christ with a boy who in jest offered me a penny. Indeed, I must say that my chief difficulties in out-of-door preaching have been occasioned by friends who did not understand, or did not remember, that it was my glory to suffer for Christ's sake, and who therefore have dealt with my revilers not with the mind and contrary to the precept of Christ. I pray God that my brethren may consider this.

In the evening I preached at the room where we broke bread; here is a spiritually-minded labourer in the gospel, Brother David Perry, a farmer, of Lismacarrol, four or five English miles from Londonderry. His helper is his brother Thomas, of a humble spirit and profitable in the ministry; they labour together all around, and the Lord is with them. Many children of God here highly esteem them, but the unregenerate do not follow after them.

Last Monday and Tuesday I was laid low in body by the wisdom and love of God, but by His blessing on rest, abstinence, and a little, a very little medicine (taken at the request of Sister Pollock, under whose roof I am tarrying) I recovered strength by Wednesday, and yesterday (Thursday) preached in the country. I thank God for laying me low, and for not doing so until I had reached Derry and spent there the Lord's-day, but especially because of endearing Himself to me, and the intercession of His dear Son in my sickness. He ever liveth to make intercession for us, and the Holy Ghost helpeth our infirmities, while we know not what we should pray for as we ought. I had also in my sickness many letters from friends in England and Ireland to comfort me; and dear Sister Pollock and her Roman Catholic servants have cared for me, so that I have lacked nothing. I owe much to her and to them under God; the heart of one of the servants is much drawn towards the children of God, but she fears the priests too much as yet to come to our meetings, or even to join in family prayer.

Yesterday Brother David and Brother Thomas Perry and myself went to Kildogue, about ten English miles from hence. My walk only refreshed me; the company were all eager to hear, and well understood me; some, indeed, are converted to God; it is one of the villages that Brother David Perry and his brother visit. I observe, throughout the three or four northern counties that I have seen, a quickness of the understanding to apprehend the truth and a reverence in the conscience for it, both in Roman Catholic and Protestant, which I never found in the west and south of Ireland. I mark this difference in old and young. After the meeting I tarried the night with Mr. Alexander and his sister, a believer, and this morning their Roman Catholic servants attended while I expounded and prayed in the family.

Saturday morning. I preached last evening at the Room; some poor and rich came in from the country. We were loth to part. This morning I breakfasted with Miss Pollock's boarders, all unconverted Protestants; they inclined their ear beyond my expectation; it was my second time of speaking to them. Surely God helped me through the prayers of His people.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

God's power needed among Protestants as much as among Romanists,

Newtown Limavady, 4th April, 1848.

ON the way hither from Londonderry on Saturday I had to do with the form of godliness which is generally held fast in the north of Ireland. The people of this place and neighbourhood are Scotch by descent, and the chief form of religion is Presby­terian, and no less faith is needed to sustain me in preaching the Gospel among them and conversing with them than in the midst of the darkness of Popery in the west and south. But little Irish is heard in Ulster except in certain mountainous parts, and I would here say that while the gift of speaking in Irish is a very precious one, yet the field is very large and daily growing larger for those who speak English only. In every town throughout Ireland English is spoken, in some towns English only, and in many districts of Ulster almost only English. As for myself I have had no time for learning Irish, and I judge it better for me to be praying for those who have the tongue and preach in it than to be myself learning it.

I was received with great kindness by Brother and Sister Lancey on Saturday afternoon, and have since been staying under their roof. I am much strengthened both in mind and body. A little band of seven break bread here; prejudice has been great against them, but is beginning to give way. On Sunday evening I preached in a large schoolroom to a crowded congregation, with many standing outside. Yesterday and to-day I preached out of doors-in the cattle market yesterday, in the grain market to-day. Many from the country heard me on the one day who did not hear me on the other. The Lord bless the seed sown.

On Sunday afternoon I did not preach out of doors, for there is such strict observance of the day that no one stirs abroad. I addressed some dear children, therefore, instead, and spoke to them again yesterday (Monday) afternoon. We had a little reading-meeting last evening of a private kind with two who dare not venture as yet to hear Brother Lancey's preaching. This evening I preach again at the schoolroom, if God permit. The Lord is with our Brother Lancey; he was formerly in the army; one of his children, a youth of seventeen, is con­verted, and I am sure that God will yet further bless his children and give him to win souls to Christ by his preaching. Three of the servants are converted, and full of kindness to me. I have not met with converted servants before in Ireland. The Roman Catholic man-servant also hears me at family prayer, and came on Sunday evening to the preaching. Our brother and sister pressed me to tarry longer, but I must leave to-morrow, if God permit, to go toward Dublin.

The hand of God has not been laid heavily upon the people of the north of Ireland; they seem another nation from the Irish of the west and south. They have the light of the Scriptures, and many temporal blessings with it. Yet, as I have said before, in labouring among them I am cast upon God for help as elsewhere. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." Farewell. Pray for me.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

 

Leaving the North and reaching Dublin.

Dublin, 11th April, 1848.

ON Tuesday evening at Newtown Limavady I preached the Gospel in the schoolroom to a good number. After the meeting, a kind brother, a Presbyterian, who labours with meek and gentle spirit in visiting the sick, came to Brother Lancey's and asked the privilege of helping me on my way with ten shillings. I told him I was full and needed nothing, but he said I should find many to whom I might give it, so I took his gift, and much comfort did this dear brother's love impart to me. I could tell of other deeds of like kindness from God's people in Ireland, but this I the rather mention because of the quarter whence it came.

On Wednesday morning our affectionate Brother Lancey carried me on his car to Dungiven, about ten English miles. There we took a melting farewell of each other. From Dungiven I walked to Randals­town, and on the road, which for many miles lay through the mountains, I spoke with a young man, a hawker of books, who had lost the use of an arm; he was well instructed in the letter of the Gospel, and thankfully heard me; also with a well-behaved boy whose father and mother are Baptists living at Maghera. It was a delight to me to converse with this dear boy, who was full of reverence for the truth, while freely confessing his own uncon­verted state. Among the children of the Roman Catholics little, alas, have I found but profane mocking at the truth. The disturbance at Cork during my preaching was the work of poor, unruly boys.

On Thursday morning I rode on a car to Antrim, and by speaking of Christ drew forth the grace in a brother, a minister of the Gospel and, I suppose, a Presbyterian; he bade me God speed. Having the purpose to reach Dublin by the Saturday, I was obliged to use conveyances, but, oh, how much rather do I choose to travel on foot for the work of the Lord and communion with Him. On the road from Antrim to Belfast the opportunities were abundant and very precious of speaking to those I met with; their reverence for the Word and thankfulness for hearing it cheered my heart. This spirit marks more or less all classes in the north of Ireland, even the Roman Catholics themselves.

At Belfast I took the train for Armagh, and in the carriage drew forth two hearty brethren, Wesleyans, who were glad to meet me. On Friday I walked from Armagh to Markethill, and thence went by the coach to Dundalk, which is a frontier town of the province of Leinster. In the coach my speaking of Christ moved a brother, who I think was a clergyman of the Establishment, to take my part against a Roman Catholic; the latter was offended by hearing me declare my assurance of my salvation. I verily think that, had I not this assurance, I could scarcely have opened my mouth at all in Ireland. The solemn declaration of it with grace and love awakens the sleeping conscience. I had a conversation at Dundalk with a young man, an apprentice to an attorney, and, I think, a Roman Catholic. He took my words in good part and seemed inclined to be religious, though ignorant of the way of God.

From Dundalk I walked to Dunleer in the evening alone, yet not alone, and next morning to Drogheda. A poor man whom I overtook a little way from Dunleer offered to carry my knapsack, and for the first time since I came to Ireland I parted with it to another. He was a Roman Catholic, and told me that he had twice been compelled by the priests to put away the New Testament, which he had taken pleasure in reading. He confessed that fear of man kept him in the Church of Rome. God grant that my words be not lost upon him. His mother and all her forefathers had been Protestants. At Drogheda I had a profitable hour and a half alone while waiting for the train. I reached Dublin by 5 o'clock in the afternoon. I did not open my mouth on the way in the train, but chose rather to meditate in the Word. I am now staying under the roof of Mrs. Lowe, a sister in Christ who shows much hospitality for Christ's sake to all saints.

There are between two and three hundred breaking bread at Brunswick Street, in this great city; they have much grace and are undergoing a peculiar trial of it. It was sweet to my soul to meet with them on the Lord's-day morning. In the afternoon Brother Robert Keane, a father and a servant to saints here, accompanied me to out-door preaching. After I had spoken for some minutes near one of the bridges of the canal, a policeman stopped me, telling me, but with much kindness, that the police had orders to prevent the gathering of any crowds. The rulers are prudent in this on account of the times, and we immediately yielded. The hearers were listening attentively, except one or two, and the Gospel was declared, though briefly, before I was stopped. In the evening I preached at the Room.

Yesterday morning I addressed the children of the schools at Brunswick Street, and yesterday evening preached in the schoolhouse to a goodly company; several of them, perhaps the greater part, being Roman Catholics. This morning I had a visit from the faithful Roman Catholic nurse, formerly with us at Barnstaple in the family of Sister Starke; her heart is full of love towards those at Barnstaple. I prayed with her, and she is coming to-morrow to a meeting at Sister Lowe's.

I purpose, if God will, to leave this on Friday morning for Glasgow, and, after spending the Lord's ­day there, to go to Liverpool to visit my brother and his family. From Liverpool I think to go to Bristol, thence to Barnstaple, which I may possibly reach by Friday week, but everywhere I find it no easy matter to break away from fellow-believers.

There will be an assembly for prayer on behalf of the rulers and the country on Thursday evening at Brunswick Street. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN.

 

Extracts.

Always while praying for you, I rejoice that you know how God our Father would have you to behave yourself in this foreign land, such is every spot of earth to the sons and daughters of the living God.

We are a royal priesthood, worshippers within the veil, where we learn to weigh things seen and temporal, because of duly prizing things eternal that are not seen.

 

 

Journal of a Visit to Spain and other Countries.

 

WRITTEN, WHERE NOT OTHERWISE INDICATED, TO CHRISTIANS ASSEMBLING IN BEAR STREET, BARNSTAPLE.

Bordeaux, 26th April, 1871.

THE merry-hearted do sigh in this land,* the look and voice of joy are no more; but we, the messengers of God and of Christ, have the fairer occasion for speaking the word of life. God has been guiding us and helping us, and we know it is the Spirit who quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. Many, alas, are only hardening their hearts under God's judgments, yet others have listened to us with reverence and thankfulness. We remember you all before God with joy, and know that you bear us and our service on your hearts. God will enrich you; let us trust Him for all good things. Farewell.

* Shortly after the Franco-German war, and whilst Paris was in the hands of the Communists.

Your affectionate brother and joyful servant in Christ,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN.

 

Speaking to French and German soldiers.

Orthez [Basses-Pyrenees], 1st May, 1871.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, each and all. The God of all grace will bless you, I know, for it is with joy in Him I make request for you all that Christ Jesus our Lord may be revealed to you yet more fully by the Spirit of truth, and that you may be greatly strengthened for every good word and work. Your prayers for us have been answered, though not by giving us entrance to the great city of France.* God deliver it out of its own hand and Satan's, and make the saints within its walls wise to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus!

* Held by the Communists till the 21st May, 1871.

On our way hither we have been listened to by old and young, by the ignorant and educated. The day before yesterday I spoke to a young man who was returning home, wounded, to his mother. His father and his brother having both been killed, he is now the only one of his mother; pray for her and him. We have met with troops of French soldiers who, having been made prisoners, were sent back from Germany, also companies of German soldiers; thus our opportunities have been abundant of testifying the Gospel of Christ, and we doubt not the Spirit of God who gave us the word will work by it.

We reached this town on Saturday; it was the place of a bloody battle fifty years and more since. How solemn the remembrance! Brother Greene's father was in it and his life was spared; he is now gone to be with Christ. Brother Greene and I yesterday morning heard a beloved French brother, Reclus, speak the truth clearly; he left us to care for the afternoon and evening meetings. The afternoon meeting was for the edification of saints, the evening meeting for the testimony of the Gospel; we both spoke the Word at each meeting.

Will you kindly send copies of this to Brother Dyer at Exeter, who, with Brother Hosking, will communicate with brethren in the south of Devon. I will write to brethren in Bristol and London. We are all made glad by the remembrance of the love shown in all the places we visited ere leaving England. Verily there is a fellowship of the Spirit, and that good work shall grow; let us only be careful that we grieve not the Comforter, who hath sealed us to the day of redemption. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in Christ,

 

A City devoted to the worship of the Virgin.

Zaragoza, 8th May, 1871.

"HAVING a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession, for we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin; let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

A few words more of tidings for the beloved brethren and sisters assembling in Bear Street, who will ask others that love Christ to join with them in prayer for us now in Spain. I write from Zaragoza, a large city, among the chief in Spain for the worship of the Virgin; here is a Protestant preacher who listens to us with much love and reverence; he is of Cadiz, and seems to love Christ, yet his under­standing of the Gospel is small; his congregation, a large one, is almost wholly of the poor.

We have been visiting old and young, speaking of Christ and reading the Scriptures with them. At San Sebastian, the first town in Spain in our way, we had the joy of meeting with my friend, our brother Brunet. It was near that town I preached to the English soldiers thirty-one years since. Oh, the faithfulness of God! We are safely kept by His power that raised up Christ from the dead. I have great confidence in God that He will bless you richly and give you peace by all means. How great the blessing that we have your prayers. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

 

Zaragoza, 9th May, 187I.

EXTRACT.-Notwithstanding the fruitfulness of the land, many in this city lack work, and they and their families lack bread. We have agreed with our landlady (we paying as agreed on) to give one of our meals, usually taken here in the evening, to the poor. She will make soup with meat in it for our distributing, in which a friend, a worthy man, who knows the cases of need, will be our helper.

 

Speaking the Word in Zaragoza.

Barcelona, 16th May, 187I.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-By the mercy-seat we are near each other, though so far apart; we have one and the same great High Priest, by whom we draw nigh to God and worship in spirit and in truth, and obtain grace to help in time of need. Your prayers for me have been answered step by step in my journey, by the inward comfort of the Spirit and by outward leadings of God. At Zaragoza Brother Greene and I had much joy in speaking the word in private and once in public. We had appointed a meeting of a few at our lodgings for the evening before we left, but many hearing of it wished to be present, and we changed the place to the public meeting-house; there was but an hour's notice, yet many came, and were we to go again hearers would crowd in. A brother from Cadiz, Jose Eximeno, preaches there, a man of much simplicity and humility; I commend him to your prayers; he delighted to converse with us, and I hope in God that he will grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. We went on Thursday to the town of Huesca, where we found an open door for speaking of Christ; to-day a Spanish brother is gone from Brother Lawrence's to supply persons whose names we noted down with the Word of God, and to sell to others; I doubt not many will buy.

On Friday we came to this place, and were met on our arrival by all our English brethren and some of the Spanish. On the Lord's-day morning we met in a school-room for breaking bread. A Spanish brother, who is blind, prayed, and showed me that the eyes of his heart had been opened by the Spirit of God. The place is near the dwelling where Brother and Sister Lawrence, Brother Gould and myself, seven years since, sojourned together. My heart is full of joy to see what God has wrought, and to see the good tokens of yet greater things.

Brother Greene and I have been addressing the children of the three schools for boys and girls-­one at Gracia, one at Barcelona, one at Barceloneta. We have been also conversing with two of those who desire to be baptized, and we have been well pleased to see in them a love for the Scriptures and the custom of reading them in order; those two are to be baptized to-morrow; others are awakened.

Last evening at Barceloneta, in a large room which seems to have been a warehouse, Brother Lawrence and I spoke to many children by question and answer. I rejoiced to see the children so well instructed; many grown-up persons were present, working people, and we were greeted by them with much affection. Pray for us; through Him we have access by one Spirit to the Father. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,

 

In Barcelona.-Favoured by the Magistrates.

TO MR. AND MRS. SOLTAU AND FAMILY.

Barcelona, 19th May, 1871.

BELOVED IN CHRIST, FATHER, MOTHER, AND CHIL­DREN,-My heart is with you who are called to serve in suffering, and with those who care for the sufferers.

"It is well," said the woman of faith, the Shunam­mite, who saw afar off the things which we see nigh at hand; she could not speak as we can of the death and resurrection of the Son of God; nor could we have understood these mysteries had we been left to the will of the flesh. It is the Spirit, the Comforter, who hath given us a spiritual under­standing, a heavenly wisdom.

I ask a line of tidings, and I know that such as write to Demerara will send me a few words; yet, if they do not, I shall say, they "lacked oppor­tunity." I go next week, if God will, to Madrid, and purpose to return hither ere long. I bless God for what I see accomplished here; it is God who hath wrought it, overturning the throne of the kingdom,* and working in the yet more excellent way by His Spirit in the hearts of old and young. Yesterday I baptized five sisters, of whom two couples were mothers and daughters in the flesh. The meeting was held in the house of our brother Lawrence, a large one, and let for a small rent, the situation being suitable for his work among the poor. The brethren had waited for my coming and for me to speak the Word and to baptize. My heart was in tears, tears of joy. You know my spirit and manner of speech; yet many wept. God was with us, and I am assured of the rich blessing of God on this land.

* Alluding to the deposition of Queen Isabella.

The judgment of the fever which made Barceloneta (the sea-faring suburb of Barcelona) desolate, gave occasion to Brother Lawrence and the other brethren to show forth the mind of Christ and His ways. Now the magistrates favour us; one now in high place of earthly honour was helped in his district by Brother L. It is a delight to me to visit the schools and talk to the children, who show by their answers that they have received instruction in the Scriptures as to the way of redemption from the wrath to come. I am looking for far greater things, yet several give tokens of spiritual life. I have been the guest of Brother and Sister Lawrence till last evening, when I came to stay with Brother and Sister Fenn. Next week I go for a few days to Brother and Sister Payne. Sister Leath had the joy of knowing that of those baptized one was her spiritual child. She herself was prevented attending by great suffering. It is thought she will not be long in the body, and she herself has often believed her departure to be at hand. All that have come out are steadfast in mind; whatever their trials, they are happy in their service and at one in the Lord whom they serve. The corruption of conscience is great, and this will bring its wiles into the Church unless the Word of God becomes the daily bread of the soul. I am therefore ever exhorting the saints to the diligence of the first Psalm.

I send Brother Edmonds, "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord." What of the suffering one at Bath? She was resting in the love of God when I saw her; she is called away from her diligent ministry to others, to be herself ministered unto; she knows that God is good, and doeth good. I send her Ps. xxv. 1-5, and to Brother and Sister Hill and others in the house the 20th verse of the same Psalm; to Brother Code, "Christ in you the hope of glory."

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

Encouragement to Faith and Prayer.

Madrid, 6th June, 1871.

TO THE ASSEMBLY OF BRETHREN AND SISTERS IN CHRIST THAT WILL BE HELD, IF GOD PERMIT, ON WEDNESDAY 14TH JUNE, IN BEAR STREET.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-I have been making request for you with joy, and have been expecting the blessing of God our Father on your meeting together. It was said of Stephen, that he was filled with the Spirit when the wicked gnashed on him with their teeth. He said himself, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." You will be compassed around with the powers of darkness, who will do their utmost to mar the beauty and hinder the edification of your meetings. God grant you to be strengthened by the Spirit in the inner man, and to set eye and heart on the Lord Jesus, who ever waits to serve us. Let us consider Him and His fulness, and consider our own necessities also-first His fulness, and then be glad of our occasions for trusting Him.

I have desired to write to many a company of believers round about Barnstaple, but time has failed me. I now thank them all for their brotherly love and remembrance of me at the mercy-seat. How precious the help granted me in my journey through the prayers of my fellow-saints in England.

I send to the assembly, "If ye keep my command­ments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love" ; also, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world"; also,  "The night is far spent, the day is at hand."

For saints in Spain I desire your prayers, that God may give them shepherds, men that have the heart and mind of the Lord Jesus. Everywhere throughout the land there is a welcome to those who preach Christ. In the towns which Brother Greene and I have visited we have been welcomed, and our words and the Scriptures sought after.

I am now in Madrid, the great city of Spain; here are souls quickened from death to life, and some that truly preach the Gospel; yet the labourers are few. God has taken away our faithful brother Gould, who was greatly loved and honoured here, also another brother, a Spaniard of like spirit with him. They find it more blessed to be with Christ than to abide here. Let us trust God to give much more than He has taken away.

Grace, mercy, and peace be with you all. Fare­well.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Gospel of Christ,

 

YOUR letter, my dear brother V., has greatly cheered me; your godly care of fellow-believers will have great reward. Pray for good and deep ploughing of Spain, and for plentiful sowing of good seed, without a grain of the bad. I am in good health of body; the hot season is not yet set in, and the weather, by a singular providence of God, is perhaps colder here in Madrid than in England. God "doeth according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth." He has maintained peace in this land and given an abundance of rain, which has been lacking for some years. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,

 

Liberty for God's Word in Spain.

Barcelona, 11th Aug., 1871.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,- Your loving remembrance of me and offering of love which came to hand through Brother Hutchings are precious to the Lord and to me. I am doing all diligence to return to you, yet am sure I ought to tarry in this land a while longer, and I judge somewhat longer than I expected when I left you. You and many with you have been constantly helping me by your prayers, and step by step I have seen the hand of God with me in my service and journeying in answer to those prayers.

We have now ended a work of assembling children, with their parents and friends, of the three schools of Gracia, Barcelona, and Barceloneta. We had meetings six days in two weeks in the midst of the greatest of the heat; the meetings, which were crowded, were in every way a testimony for Christ and an occasion for opening the Scriptures; the examining of the children in the Scriptures was allotted to me. I could not be absent, although I had taken a chill which enfeebled me for the time, but the very heat of the weather helped to deliver me from my ailment, and we had great comfort and joy in the testimony for Christ.

Oh, to think of the pure Word of God being now freely spoken in anyone corner of this dark land, which for 300 years has excluded the Scriptures and all the time been putting to death the children of God within its borders. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift! We are now going on with the edification of believers and the preaching of the Word. On Wednesday we met at Brother Payne's for reading the Scriptures; the children of God love this meeting, which is held every Wednesday, and is like that on Thursday evenings at New Buildings. We read Phil. iii., and I was made glad to see how welcome the Word was to the hearts of the brethren and sisters.

We-the English brethren-meet this evening to consider our obligations according to John xvii. Great is the blessedness and profit of any endeavour in the Spirit to keep His Word. The field is one, Beloved in Christ; the earth is the Lord's and there­fore ours. "Lord, what wouldst Thou have me to do?" is the proper word for each of us from day to day. Let His choice be ours, of place, and circum­stance, and work. I should say that Sister Levason has an evening meeting for girls and young women, chiefly from two factories, in a large room in this house; it is a lovely sight.

I purpose returning through France. The judgments on that land have been long delayed and now terribly executed, yet mercy rejoices against judgment. I remember your bereaved before God, the sick in soul and erring, with the sick and suffering in body, commending all to the God of all grace and to the Lord Jesus Christ that great Shepherd of the sheep, that was raised from the dead by the blood of the everlasting covenant. The time is short. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and servant in the Lord,

 

An unusual sight in Spain.

Barcelona, Sept., 1871.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,- You will have heard of me since I last wrote to you, by my letter to children of God at Bideford. I have now to ask your help by prayer in the work of visiting the parents of the children in our schools. Brother Payne and I have been thus visiting, and made glad by the welcome of grateful affection, and still more by the good tokens of stirrings of souls to seek the way of life; it is especially among the young we observe these good tokens, yet not among them only. This week we saw a sight that for many ages has been strange in Spain-the Testament of a girl (who was at the school when we were visiting her parents). Her mother shewed it us, not knowing how joyful a sight it would be to us. It was well used from beginning to end, and full of paper in which she had written out verses that had arrested her in the course of reading. This girl we had for a good while observed as bespeaking in all her ways her love to the truth. A Bible also, but six weeks ago given her as a reward, showed the marks of her diligent reading. I am ever looking back to the dark past in this land, and blessing God for present mercy, for, indeed, "the beginning at Jerusalem" has been repeated here, and we shall see yet greater things in Spain. Christ is gone to the Father, and He said in His grace, "Greater things than these shall ye do, because I go to the Father"; but, say we, "Thou, Lord, hast wrought all our works in us."

I have had confirmation of my thoughts of visiting Portugal, and when I leave this, which I shall do, I judge, this month, I purpose to go to Lisbon. At the meeting on Wednesday at Brother Payne's we considered Elijah at Horeb. "What doest thou here, Elijah?" is a profitable, heart-searching question for us all. If in anything we have not the mind of Christ, surely we are at Mount Horeb, and therefore know not how to behave ourselves; we forget Heb. x., "Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," and also forget, "Yet a little while and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." The grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother, and friend, and servant,

 

Circulating the Scriptures.

EXTRACT.- Yesterday Brother Lawrence, with his children, and two Spanish brethren were in Barcelona, purposing to distribute Gospels and other portions of Scripture among the crowd gathered at the King's entry into the town.* One or two policemen bade him move from his place without any reason, but thus he was compelled to go into the midst of the procession of carriages and soldiers, and to follow in it not far from the King; all in the [Bible] coach were occupied in giving out the Word of God; the soldiers even broke line to get the books. He maketh the wrath of man to praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He doth restrain. I continue well in body and equal to any labour. I commend to your prayers the dear Spanish brethren who preach the Gospel in other parts of Spain.

* Amadeus (Duke of Aosta) who abdicated in 1873.

 

TO MR. AND MRS. W. BOWDEN, OF INDIA.

5th Oct.,1871.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER BOWDEN,-I thank you for your letters, which tell me of your being again in your quiet resting-place in New Buildings, with Sister Gilbert and Emma to minister to you with willing hearts.

I have been doing my diligence to return to England, that I might have the comfort of being with you on your going on board ship; but calls and services have multiplied upon me, and I fear I shall not be able to bid you farewell in person. God be thanked for present fellowship and the hope of our fulness of joy.

I pray God to recompense the saints who have been showing you love and strengthening your hands in Christ.

Our loving, precious brother Schelling is with the Lord. I am sure his widow and children will be remembered in the prayers of saints in Bear Street.

We are continued awhile here on earth, and it is for God and for Christ; moreover, the past of our race helps to quicken us in our present service; faith turns all to good account. I send you and Sister G. Psalm lxxi., strength in weakness, youth in old age.

We have had an eight days' fair, which ended last Lord's-day---blessed opportunities of spreading the Scriptures and testifying the Gospel. Last Monday Brother Fenn, Brother Lawrence and myself visited Vilasar, a town on the mountains, where we lately began a school. At night we had about twenty-five young men, to whom, after teaching them earthly things, each of us taking a class, we all spoke the Gospel. They gladdened us by their attention and thankfulness. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

 

Leaving Barcelona for Madrid.

Barcelona, 15th Oct., 1871.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-I bless God for His grace and goodness toward you, and find comfort abundant in Him while remembering you at the throne of grace. "Y e are complete in Him" -furnished and supplied in the fulness of Christ for all obedience, all walking in the Spirit, all communion with the Father and with Christ.

It is the common obligation of saints to have a testimony from God that, like Enoch, they please Him who has given them light and knowledge so far exceeding Enoch's measure. We are to run our race with patience, looking unto Jesus, whose faith is the perfect pattern of faith to all that trust His perfect sacrifice. He in life and death looked onward to the joy set before Him. We, that have death behind us-rather, death under our feet-are called to set our affection on things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, and so to deal wisely with all our duties, all our matters here on earth.

I now ask your prayers for a blessing on my journey to Madrid with Brother Payne; it may be Brother Lawrence also. I have been detained here by the illness of both. Brother Payne is now recovered; Brother Lawrence in good measure; they have come out of the furnace with gain. I leave this on Friday morning, if God will, to arrive on Saturday morning. I have good tidings from Madrid of growth in grace among brethren and sisters in Christ.

We had last evening a meeting of parents and teachers at Brother Fenn's, I and Brother Payne preached the Word together at Gracia last Lord's-day evening, and I have a joyful assurance that the blessing of God attended the Word. "I believed, therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak."

I think of those in -- who are out of the way and have not repented. You will remember them in your prayers. We shall not ourselves become lepers, put out of the camp, if we pity and pray for them that are such.

16th October.-I have to-day had your loving gift forwarded from Madrid. "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,

 

Service in Madrid.

Madrid [1871].

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-We arrived here Saturday of the week before last; and God has seen it good to afflict us by laying low through sickness our dear Brother Payne. He is, however, recovering, as we trust, and in a few days I hope will be able to leave for Lisbon. We have been little hindered by the sickness in our service here, for little minister­ing to our dear brother has been needed. His quiet rest in Christ and keeping his bed have been his chief medicines. We are under the roof of our sister Gould, and she is caring for our dear brother with her wonted kindness. The brethren and sisters welcomed me again among them with warmth of love. They delight in the plain exposition of the Scriptures.

We have a Spanish brother who promises to be a faithful servant of Christ; and our young brother Green, to whom the Spanish language is almost his mother tongue, preaches the true Gospel of Christ as his occupation allows. It is a good testimony for the truth, that, earning his own bread, he preaches the Gospel without charge.

The children of Sister Gould's school are all of the poor of this world, and have the best training, with the riches of Christ set before them; while the rich and the noble are content for the most part to abide in darkness and death. Yet God can visit them, and also as of old make even the priests obedient to the faith.

November Ist.-We had a precious meeting last evening of Spanish brethren. Blessed be God, who hears and answers the supplications of His people. These dear brethren hunger for the bread of the Word. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother, friend, and servant,

 

Visit to Portugal.

Lisbon, 27th Nov., 1871.

BELOVED IN THE LORD,- You will rejoice with us in the goodness of "God our Father toward us in our journey from Madrid. We have never once been rejected in speaking of Christ and distributing the Scriptures; nor have we been questioned as usual, Are you Protestants or Roman Catholics? Rather have we been taken for devout men of the Church of Rome, at least by some, perhaps by the most of our hearers. At Ciudad Real we found two enquirers into the Scriptures, and one of the guards of the train a lover of the Word. We hope to see them again and converse with them more at leisure on our way back to Madrid next week. Yesterday, the Lord's-day, we met, at the house of our sister Mrs. Roughton, five Portuguese of different ages, and with her help and our Portuguese Bibles, had edification and instruction in meditating on the eighth and twelfth of Romans.

Next Lord's-day we meet again, if the Lord will, and expect many more Portuguese to be with us. I commend our Sister Roughton to your prayers. She has long had a school for the poor, which the priests have often stirred themselves to put down, but God has frustrated their end; now through infirmities of body she has shut it up, but would be thankful to see it reopened under the guidance of God and His pure Word. Her husband, with whom I conversed when here eight years ago, and who gladly listened to me, is now departed, Sister R. believes, to be with the Lord. In the evening we heard a brother in Christ preach the Gospel to the English and were thankful for the plain testimony; he received us with much affection, and has asked us to speak of the Lord's work in Spain on Wednesday evening at his meeting-place. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and friend and servant,

 

Rejoicing in the service of others.

Madrid, 9th Dec., 1871.

BELOVED BRETHREN AND SISTERS IN THE LORD JESUS,-This morning I arrived here after a prosperous journey of two nights and one day from Lisbon. Brother L. and I parted last night, he pursuing his way to Barcelona, and both of us thankful to God for our sojourn in Portugal, where we had a door opened to us among the English and the Portuguese. Our sister Roughton, who for above thirty years has been labouring alone in that land, was ever breaking forth in words of thanks­giving to God for sending us to her. She has been learning out of the Scriptures, which she has long loved, that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Our communications with her, she says, have greatly strengthened her in Christ.

Last Lord's-day I went to hear a Portuguese brother named Maltos, who preaches the Gospel without corrupting it, and after he had preached he constrained me to address the company in Spanish, which the Portuguese understand, the two languages being well-nigh but one. After I had spoken, a Portuguese, brought to Christ in Buenos Ayres, addressed the meeting; the work of the Spirit was manifest in him; he works at his calling and labours on the Lord's-day among children. We heard by him and others of Brother Kalley, labouring with God's blessing in the Brazils, in Rio Janeiro.

How good it is to have fellowship in the Spirit with all the servants of God and of Christ in all their labours of faith and love, to labour with them in prayer and to ask with persevering faith, that we and they "may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." We are complete in Christ, because "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and to-day and for ever"; and if we did not grieve the Spirit who hath sealed us unto the day of redemption, (redemption of the body and of the now groaning creation), we could not fail of being all that pleases God. Let us consider our latter end, the fulness of joy, and strive by the diligence of faith to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The loving welcome of saints, both Spaniards and English, has caused me to remember my visit to Madrid thirty years since. Then, not a brother could I find. God hath wrought great things and will do yet greater. I hear of our sister Wreford's departure to be with Christ, in peace; she is now free of the weakness and weariness of the body; and when again she shall put it on, it will be a glorious body, like unto the body of glory of the Lord Jesus. Oh, blessed hope which is both hers and ours! God will bless the orphans, and will be to them more than mother and more than father. Farewell.

Your affectionate brother and your servant in the Gospel,

 

Brief sojourn in Switzerland.

Lausanne, 22nd Jan., 1872.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-At the parting at Barcelona the brethren with their wives and children accom­panied me and Brother C. P. to the station; and while the hearts of all felt the leave-taking, we were all able to commend each other to God, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.

I look back with thankfulness on what God has wrought in our dear brethren in Spain whom you know, and I am assured of God's fulfilling in them the word, "Them that honour me I will honour." I thank God also for the grace in some Spanish brethren whom I bear on my heart at the mercy-seat. Oh that the Word of God by His Spirit may be duly magnified in the souls of saints, of all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Let us eat it, and prove it-every jot and tittle of it-the joy and rejoicing of the heart, that the flesh may be altogether held in chains, and that we may walk together in the fear of God and in the comfort of the Spirit.

At Lyons I and Brother P. spent two days happily; the love we showed the French brethren was re­turned; I had abundant opportunities for speaking of Christ to old and young, regenerate and unregene­rate. Here also in Lausanne, where I am the guest of our beloved brother Truman Hake, * I experience kindness on all sides and enjoy precious communion with the children of God.

* He was taken to be with Christ in 1875.

We met last Lord's-day at 9.30 a.m. for breaking bread. In the afternoon I preached the Gospel in the house of Brother Hake, which is situate out of the town, to a company from the country. In the evening I preached in the town. Last evening we had a meeting for reading the Scriptures in Brother H.'s house. We read John xvi., and it was a time of profit. Many say they desire my tarrying awhile among them; I can only answer, "God will guide me"; I had purposed staying two Lord's-days; you will help me by your prayers that I may be assured of having the Lord's mind. He will shew it to them that thirst to do His will. It is a great joy to me to see in what esteem and love our Brother H. is held, and how God is blessing him and his.

Your affectionate brother in the Lord,

 

Lausanne, 2nd Feb., 1872.

BELOVED IN CHRIST.- You and I are ever meeting each other in spirit, for we have access through the Lord Jesus by one Spirit unto the Father, and we are thus from day to day helpers of each other's faith.

The demands here on me are manifold, but I have determined to leave this on Wednesday the I4th of this month, if God permit, going to England by way of Germany. It will be a great joy to me and to you to meet again; though God has taken many away from your midst since I left you. We hear a voice in these departures; it is, "Watch and pray," and "I come quickly."

Brother T. Hake and saints here would fain keep me among them much longer than I am able to tarry; but Brother H. is content with my determination. He is a man of faith. Let us open the mouth wide, and ask that nothing be lacking to the Church of God, which is the owner of all the riches of Christ. It is unbelief that makes us poor. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus,

 

TO MR. AND MRS. PAYNE, BARCELONA.

Lausanne, 11th Feb., 1872.

BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER,-Is there anything too hard for the Lord? So said the Lord to rebuke unbelief in His handmaid Sarah; so said Jeremiah to the Lord, "There is nothing too hard for Thee"; and we say that God raised up Christ the First-born among many brethren.

God will bless you both, and make you a blessing more and more to each other, and to those to whom He will send you.

The more the self-denial needed in Spain, the richer the blessing; faith turns every thing to profit. "All things are yours."

Kiss my Harry for me, and say that Jesus is the good Shepherd that will save him and make him very obedient and very happy.

God bless dear little Samuel, and bring him through his teething time. Trust, dear Sister, and be not afraid.

I hope your servant is found a good one. The Lord Jesus be her light and her salvation.

It is hard for me to break loose, but I leave to­morrow, if God will. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,

 

With Believers in Germany.

Elberfeld, I7th Feb., I872.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-We arrived here on Thursday evening after a journey, prospered by the Lord, of two days and a night. We found out some lovers of the Lord by speaking to fellow-passengers. At Basle we stayed a few hours, and were refreshed in Spirit by a sister in Christ whose father (not long since departed to be with the Lord) was for some years a nursing father to dear brother Schelling. These two are now together with the Lord. I hear that another from your midst is taken, our aged sister Branch. Her sufferings and infirmities of age are ended; truly blessed are they that die in the Lord, and also blessed are we who remain. I must needs say so. I prize my remnant of days very highly, while I shall be glad to go to be with the Lord Jesus. But "the night is far spent, the day is at hand."

In this place and neighbourhood believers abound, blessed be God, and much is done for sending forth the gospel of Christ both in Germany and abroad. Schisms and divisions are lamented, yet the evil is spoken of as a thing of necessity and not as chastise­ment from God our Father because of our grieving the Spirit. God give all His children a deep and true conscience in this matter! Brother P. and I have been visiting and speaking to many. We took part last evening in a meeting for reading the Scriptures. This morning we heard a preacher of the Gospel; this evening we hope to speak to a number of travelling apprentices. The boarding-house we are in has a Christian man at the head and is very simple and good, at little cost. It has been established by Christians and has rooms for meetings.

The parting at Lausanne was heart-melting. After I had spoken at a meeting the evening before my departure, on the excellency of the Scriptures and the due meditation on them, a brother rose and presented me with a Bible in the name of the Assembly. Afterwards in the street in the dark he put into my hands the amount of a private col­lection to help us on our journey. This grace and love reminded me of all the love and grace shown me by yourselves. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life, and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. I duly received your kind offering forwarded to Lausanne by Brother Pick, and thank you. The Lord is my surety for repayment. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

 

Bremen, 23rd Feb., 1872.

BELOVED IN CHRIST,-God brings forth every morn­ing new treasures of His grace. I am much comforted and helped by the Lord here. I and Brother P. will embark, if God will, on Monday for Hull, hoping to arrive there on Wednesday, and go on to Stamford the same day to see our brother, my dear relative, and stay with him over the Lord's-day.

I must stay a few days at Bristol, and will write to you; but it is my present thought that I must stay there a Lord's-day, and leave the Tuesday after; so that we can hold a meeting of thanks­giving and prayer on the Wednesday. We had a meeting here for reading the Scriptures last evening, and a brother then present has to-day asked me to speak the Word at a meeting this evening, at which he is wont to preach. Farewell.

Yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus, 

Brother James Pick, I send you and yours, my dear brother and fellow-worker, whom God will recompense, "Whither the Forerunner is for us entered." For each of the sick in Newport, " Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given me be with me where I am."

Translated from the Spanish original.

Bremen, Germany, 24th Feb., 1872.

To MY BRETHREN IN MADRID, WELL-BELOVED IN CHRIST JESUS, OUR LORD AND OUR HEAD.-The Lord Jesus lives-yes-and according to what He s said, we shall also live; for all the children of God, all those regenerated by the Holy Spirit are members of Christ, the First-born from among the dead. Christ once on the cross overcame death and all our enemies; but seated at the right hand of God He still conquers, strengthening us by His Word and by His Holy Spirit; and our weakness, by; faith sustained upon the arms and bosom of the Lord, is sufficient against the armies of the prince of darkness.

Soon will Christ come in His glory, and the resur­rection of life will for ever end all the trials of our faith, all temptations and fears; then will be the harvest we have waited for. The fulness of Christ is our inheritance, and it becomes us ever to look to our Lord, seated at the right hand of God, and without Him to do nothing.

"These things I write," says the Apostle John, "that ye sin not; and if any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." He says also: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

In my prayers I remember you, Brethren in Christ, and I am sure that in like manner you remember me.

In all the journey from Spain hither God has been to me faithful, good, full of grace and love, my God and Father in Christ.

Pray for us, Brethren beloved. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Your brother, friend and servant,

ROBT. C. CHAPMAN.