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p417 Dearest R Evans, - . . . All is still movement here, meetings sometimes twice a day. But I am going to the south of France for a meeting of labouring brethren. [Vergèze, March 17.] There has certainly been latterly a strong desire for the word of God. The loose principle is in conflict everywhere with upright submission to the Lord, still it seems to me that the Lord is working in consciences as to it.
All, I believe, of the evangelists here have entirely broken with B. and its representative here; but there is uncertainty in several what to do. In some, a kind of helplessness as to any discipline; but in all such, I think, non-recognition of the church of God and its action; and in some, more evident lawlessness or self-will (I speak as a principle), often arising from a desire to win A. or B., but never godly submission of mind. But there is progress in all, and one has to keep one's heart large, and look for their good: they began apart, and I seek their progress, that their work may be sound in itself, so that they may not be open to the evils of want of principle - union, as far as possible, and consistency is our own walk as a body - and look to the Lord to carry all this out. I speak of what I keep before my mind, while following the word in my own path, for with their sphere of work I have had nothing to do; but the progress of the active ones is very decided. Still, it is a narrow path, but a narrow path is a simple one if you are ready to serve others, and to do only what you have to do.
. . . The Lord's goodness is ever near and true.
Ever affectionately yours.
Dublin, February 23rd, 1866.