Extract from an Unpublished Letter.

J. N. Darby.

{Christian Friend 1884, page 107.}

There is need of building by the Word, but the earliest fruit of an awakened soul will be feeling, not knowledge, and this will become feeble and unhealthy if not fed by Christ and the Word. But this process went on at first, and has given the Epistles; but we see the weakness which may accompany it - they would have given their eyes, but did not hold fast justification by faith. All this needs the continual work of the ministry, not to make a fuss about the first feelings, the flowers which precede the fruit, but to labour therein to feed the soul.

As to conversions in singing, there is nothing at all unscriptural. If the truth is in the hymn spoken of with divine affections for souls, affections expressed respecting a truth already outwardly admitted, it is quite within the ways and operation of the Spirit of God to act on the soul in a quickening way by it, not without truth, but by truth so addressed to the soul.

I do not say that the work will be there as deep, or the foundation as solidly laid at the moment for after exercises, as if it was the direct application of the Word by the Holy Ghost to the conscience, but the heart receives Christ convincingly and lovingly so as to live. I have ever said that the smallest atom of Christ suffices for the Holy Ghost to quicken by, if it be really Him. No doubt a profound conviction of sin by the Word casts off a mass of imaginings of the flesh by a deeper inward work which such a conversion leaves undiscovered. But if God works, He will do His own work, and bring it to a good issue.