Jan 29, 2010

Duty-faith is a stranger to deep waters - a solemn letter from William Gadsby

You can read the original letter HERE. It begins on page 371.

"To the Committee of Conway Street Chapel. Dear Brethren and Fellow-travelers in the road really known and traveled by few, but heartily abhorred by hundreds of thousands,—I received yours, dated Dec. 28th, and read it with great pleasure, feeling thankful that the Lord had blessed the good word of his grace to your souls by the instrumentality of his various servants. I can truly say that I feel thankful to the great Head of the church that he has not left himself without witnesses in this dark day; for a dark day it is, both in things temporal and things spiritual. But the counsel of the Lord must stand, and he will do all his pleasure. But I can assure you I find it hard work to say, " The will of the Lord be done."

I feel thankful that you felt for me and my dear wife in her affliction, and have no doubt you will sympathize with us when I tell you that three weeks last Wednesday her affliction returned upon her with double force. She has been more tortured in her mind this time than she was before; yet the Lord has preserved her from using any profane words, which I think a great mercy. The complaint flies into her head, and where it will end the Lord only knows. She is this day much better, both in body and mind, than she has been for the last month; but we fear a relapse. Nor does the doctor give us any reason to believe she is quite restored, nor out of the reach of a relapse. However, she is in the Lord's hands; and, whether she is sick or well, deranged or in her right mind naturally, I am sure she is on the Rock, and it will be well with her at last. But I can assure you that it is the greatest trial of a family nature I ever had, in more respects than one.

I hope the dear Lord will incline your hearts to pray for us, and to beseech him of his infinite mercy to restore her to her wonted health in body and mind, and to lift upon each of us the light of his countenance, and that we may be blessed with much of his love, and with great faith. I can assure you I never appeared to have more work for faith since I knew the Lord; and, sad to relate, I never had much less faith to work with. Some ministers would tell me it was my duty to believe, and be satisfied with the will of God; but
duty-faith is a stranger to deep waters, and, therefore, will not suit my purpose at this time. I want a faith that can fully credit contradictions, and that can prove the darkest night to be perfectly light, and the greatest trials to be perfectly right, and to be evidences of unbounded love. Yea, I want a faith that can fully rely upon a promise without any rational prospect of the promise being fulfilled. I could say more, but you will perceive that duty-faith will not serve my turn at this time. I thirst, pant, and groan for the faith of which Christ is the Author and Finisher; I mean for more of it in sweet and lively exercise. The Lord be with and bless you all, and all that love him in truth.

Your loving and much-tried Brother in the Lord,

Jan. 21st, 1820. Wm. Gadsby."

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