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26/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Godwin, November 30th, 1861

My dear Friend, Mr. Godwin,

I just drop you a line before I start for Oakham, as you will perhaps want to make your arrangements (D.V.) for the coming year. If the Lord gives me health and strength I am likely to be out from home a good deal next year.

I received a letter the other day from the deacon of a church at ____, giving a dreadful account of the conduct of a minister there. He wrote to me to ask my advice whether he should withdraw from his ministry, and my advice was that he had better do so under the circumstances, and had better meet together with a few friends by themselves for reading the word and prayer, than stand a deacon and lead the singing under such error and such evil as had come to light. I have received letters from other places expressing how the poor children of God are robbed and spoiled under these letter ministers, and bidding me still to go on to lift up my voice and pen against them. My own conviction is that very few of them have had the fear of God planted in their hearts, or know anything of Jesus Christ by any personal discovery of His person and work to their consciences. They are, for the most part, bitter enemies of experimental truth, and hate those who contend for it with a great hatred.

The letter, which I will send you some day, mentions the wrath of these men against the Gospel Standard and the editor. But I hope I can say that none of these things move me. I see where the men are, that they have a name to live when they are dead, a form of godliness while they deny the power thereof; and many of them I firmly believe are held fast in some sin, either covetousness or drunkenness, or something worse, not to speak of their enmity and malice against the saints and servants of God. It is a mercy of mercies to be separate, not only in person but in heart and conscience, from such men, and to cleave in love and affection to the real saints of God, and to all who know divine realities by divine teaching and divine testimony. I only wish that I could live more in the sweet enjoyment of the truth of God, and make it more manifest by my lips and by my life that I am in vital and unctuous possession of that truth which indeed makes free.

But I have to lament a body of sin and death which is ever striving for the mastery, and the painful recollection of many departings from the Lord makes the chariot wheels run heavily. But still I struggle on as I best can, looking up to the Lord for continual supplies of grace and strength, and having no hope nor help but in His mercy and love as made known to the soul by the power of God.

We have just lost Mrs. C., one of my hearers ever since I have been at Stamford. I did not know much of her, but Mrs. B___, was very intimate with her, and has no doubt of her safety.

Yours affectionately,
J. C. P.

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