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05/04/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To A Brother In Christ – May 30th, 1869

My dear Friend, Joseph Parry

I have reason to believe, from all I have heard, that the obituary of the Wilds has been generally well received. What people want is something real, something genuine, something that they can depend upon — and you will find that, for the most part, it is not great things which comfort and encourage the people of God, but that peculiar line of trials and exercises every now and then lightened up and delivered from by the Lord’s appearing, such as is marked out in the obituary. There is also some biography connected with the spiritual part which always gives an interest to obituaries, and when connected with the experience throws a light upon it.

I am not surprised that you look back sometimes to those former days going on for 34 years ago, when certainly there was a marked power attending the word at Allington. Besides those whom we remember with so much affection, some of whom you have named in your letter, there were doubtless others powerfully wrought upon, of whom we knew little or nothing; for the work was not confined to a few years, but was spread over many at my annual visits, when we used to have such gatherings from all parts. I have had, and still have, many exercises both about my personal standing and my ministry; but I cannot doubt that the Lord has wrought by me, and indeed on several occasions in a very marked way. I have often thought of the words of the great Apostle, 1 Cor. 9:27, latter clause; and indeed, but for sovereign and superabounding grace, should find it so. I often tell the Lord what a theme of thankful praise, what a debt of eternal gratitude, I shall owe Him for saving my soul. People say, but I can more than say, I am sure that no greater sinner will enter heaven.

Mr. Hazlerigg was here on Wednesday evening, and preached from Phil. 3:10, 11. I am glad to say that I heard him very sweetly. He preached not only a very able, but a very experimental and faithful, sermon; indeed, a superior sermon, and with a good deal of real vital experience, and such things as I could set to my seal were not only sound Gospel truth, but the real feelings of a living exercised soul. It happened to be what is called the Derby day, and the cab which I ordered did not come until 7:20, so that I only got in after he had begun prayer, in which I thought him very nice. He called in the afternoon, when he spoke of the late Mrs. _____, and was well persuaded of her safety. He visited her in her illness, and said that on one occasion when he left her, she had spoken with so much brokenness, contrition, and with such sweetness upon the dealings of God with her soul, that, to use his expression, “he had never left a sick room more exhilarated or persuaded of the reality of the work.” We both felt that what once looked well in her had been sadly buried by prosperity, &c., but, as he remarked, the Lord would not let her enjoy this world—for she had little else but bodily suffering, and I believe at the last very great. I understand that on one occasion she was so blessed that, not being able to sing herself from weakness, she had her maids into her room and made them sing for her. What a sovereign God is, and how, as poor Mrs. Wild said to Mary, the work of the Lord upon the soul can never be extinguished, however weak it may seem for a time to appear.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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