Last Updated on :
Saturday, November 22, 2014


sp spacer



Letters To The Elect Of God
In A Time of Trouble





It is pleasant in every sense to speak in the free and unconstrained way a letter allows -- to speak, that is, of those things which are hidden below the current of ordinary life, but which more deeply affect us than those things in which we appear as other men. It is not always possible to unbare the inner man. Yet, the inner man is the real man, and asserts himself in the outer life, sooner or later, with all men, for evil or good.

If the inner man is the new man, he may appear to be dormant a long time, because of the checking effect of surroundings. The deportment of the world in which we live acts on him as the chill breath of winter on a delicate plant or creature that seeks warmth. In its presence, he is liable to go into his shell and remain there. It is pleasant for him to come out and breathe the balmy air that comes with apostolic saintship, whether actual or contemplated. In the present case it is a little of both. I write to you, knowing some of you, whose remembrance is a comfort, and grateful as the incense of the sanctuary. I write to the rest knowing them not in person, but thinking of them only as the elect of God: and, therefore, as men and women, earnestly striving to consecrate themselves in their several spheres of life, to God, through His Son, in the way He has appointed, in the ardent love of His name, and in the joyful hope of His promised goodness, counting all things upon earth as dross, that they may win Christ.

To such, my letter, though necessarily public in its mode of transmission, is a confidential letter of friendship in Christ.

To the carnally-minded, whose natures have never yielded to the transfusing glow of the Spirit (radiant from the page of complete inspiration): and who survey all phenomena with the dull eye of their unspiritual discernment, and estimate all things by the rule of their heavy-footed present-world affinities, my letter will appear an impertinence and a presumption. With the best of good wishes, I must leave them to their unhappy fermentations. Doubtless they have a mission. "The deceived and the deceiver are His." They serve a purpose in the divine working out of things.

The gibes of the unthinking: the ineffable scorn of the proud: the unmixed hate of the evil man are not without a place in the development of the saints of God. The prophets were subject to this kind of experience. Upon the devoted head of Jesus, the utmost force of Satanism was spent. The apostles (filling up the measure of his suffering), had to drink of the same cup, as he said. Therefore, as an element of divine discipline, they are to be patiently endured, without "railing accusation," which even "the angels, greater in power and might, bring not against them before the Lord." But while enduring them, it is lawful to get away from them, "letting them alone," as Jesus said; going apart, even "into the desert to rest a while."

My letter is to you who live in God: whose faith is a reality: whose affections are set on things above, and not on things on the earth: who are nothing in their own eyes: to whom the circumstances of their daily life are but the form of their probation; the mode of their development; the soil and manure in which they are being grown for divine use.

To you, mortal life is a pilgrimage in reality - not a cant sentiment: a journey in which you are consciously, overtly, and with many deliberate and practical adaptations of means to ends, passing on to a goal which is your objective. Your mortal affairs are but the vesture of your real, inner growing-up-to-God self. It is a luxury to commune with such - a luxury unspeakable.

The majority of men are not such. The majority of men are strangers to God and to wisdom -- lovers of pleasure only, as animals are, whose sensation supply the boundry line of their mental action. Intercourse with the majority of men is consequently a painful accommodation of magnanimity.