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03/02/2011 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Hoadley – November 26th, 1861

Dear Friend, Mr. Hoadley.

I am glad that you still bear in affectionate remembrance, and I trust in some measure in soul profit, what I was enabled to deliver in your hearing at Gower Street Chapel. I always think that it is a sign of hearing to profit when there is an abiding of the word in the heart. Our blessed Lord says, “Abide in me and I in you;” and again, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you,” John 15. Now this shows that there is no real fruit unless there be an abiding in Christ, as His words abide in us. It is this abiding of the word in the heart which makes it take root downwards and bear fruit upward. It is indeed very blessed when, as the apostle speaks, “The word of Christ dwells in us richly in all wisdom,” Col. 3:16; for it is through His word applied with power to the heart that Christ makes Himself known and precious.

I wish I could give you any information or any counsel concerning which you have written to me. Mr. W— is quite a stranger to me both personally and by report, and therefore I am not able to say one word about him, good or bad. But this I know, that the true servants of God are very scarce, and that it is very easy for a man to profess a certain line of truth, just to serve a purpose of his own, when he is not acquainted with it experimentally, or indeed may be secretly opposed to the power of those very truths which he professes to hold. Nor do I know any servant of the Lord whom I could recommend. Perhaps, however, Mr. Brown, an old friend of mine, formerly of Godmanchester, but now residing at Brighton, might be enabled to come for a Lord’s-day or so, as he has no fixed place at present, and supplies sometimes at Pell Green and the Lower Dicker.

I do not see that you need condemn yourself for taking a part in the service of God when you have no preaching. Somebody must do so, who fears the Lord and who can in public call upon His name. As long as you do this with a single eye to the glory of God, and with a desire for your own soul’s profit and that of the people, there can be no just ground of accusation against you; and if you find reading the sermons profitable to your own soul, and the people feel the same, I would not advise you to give it up, but go on with it, as the Lord gives you grace and strength. I cannot now add more. The Lord guide and keep you.

Yours affectionately in the truth,
J. C. P.

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