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25/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To A Friend In Christ – December 20th, 1861

My dear Friend,

An unknown friend in Australia has sent me a little money to distribute among the poor and needy of the Lord’s family; and as you have come upon my mind, I send you herewith a P.O. order for £2 as a part of the spoil.

The difficulty with me is how to distribute the money in the best possible way; for I know so many of the Lord’s people to whom a little help would be acceptable, that the difficulty is to make the selection. But you, my dear friend, certainly seem to have some claim upon me, both from the length and peculiar nature of your distressing affliction, and because I feel that you are indeed through grace a member of the mystical body of the Lord the Lamb. It is but a small part of the afflictions of a saint of God which money can alleviate; and yet the lack of it much adds to the weight of their other trials.

Yours has been a life of dependence upon the Lord, both as a God in providence and as a God in grace; and no doubt often seeing His kind hand in the former, has much strengthened your faith in the latter. To have had all your temporal needs supplied for so many years, has no doubt often raised up a sweet feeling of gratitude in your bosom. It has given you a gracious conviction that the Lord thinks upon you, and cares for you; and where this faith is given, it often blends itself, at it were, with that faith which deals with the love and goodness of God as manifested in the face of Jesus Christ.

Yours has been indeed a path of tribulation; but through it you have already entered into that kingdom of God which is present as well as future, which is a kingdom of present grace, as well as of future glory. Every day of affliction, and every night of pain and restlessness, shorten the number of your appointed days. You have nothing to live for but to glorify God by submission to His will in doing and suffering.

Our dear friends at Oakham are much as usual. As regards myself, I am at present favoured with sufficient health and strength to fulfill my ministerial labours. With every desire that the blessing of God may rest upon you, I am, my dear friend,

Yours affectionately in the bonds of the Gospel,
J. C. P.

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