A Letter on Gospel Preaching

(As far as known, this letter has not been hitherto published.)

Dear Mr. -, I do not know if you were at the meeting, and at any rate I can answer your questions undistracted here. Both sides of the gospel ought to be preached, and personal conviction of sin too, or repentance only founded on grace "in My Name." As regards saint and sinner, a great many saints want a clear gospel, and at any rate rejoice in it, if they possess it. If sinners come, there ought to be a gospel for them. But a full plain gospel is good for both.

There is what I have called a teaching gospel, say, like Hebrews 9 and half 10, 2 Cor. 3, and other places. The facts are generally known, and much gospel preaching must be on the worth and bearing of facts, and that on heart and conscience, but the more the facts are insisted on, the more power I believe there will be. Christ, and what He has done. Dwelling exclusively on meeting the sinner's need, though true, and revealing God's love, always sweet to the soul, lays a narrow basis for after-growth.

As regards the arrangement. If there is a desire in the assembly to have the gospel, and there is an open door, both being most heartily to be desired of the Lord - and there is no evangelistic gift in the assembly - I know nothing to hinder, without a dream, their saying "Come over and help us." The individuals being employed to seek one to come, is merely that the whole assembly cannot do it, and get one they trust to do it for them, and it is to be supposed that he does it in fellowship with the assembly; but except the moving spring of love to souls, the assembly merely furnishes the external opportunity, as I might open my house for the same purpose. He who comes to preach does it in the free exercise of his gift in his own responsibility to the Lord; for such ministry is directly from the Lord, and to be exercised in responsibility to Him.

Your affectionate brother in Christ, J.N.D.