The Way According To The Scriptures
It rejoices me much to learn that the faithful Lord has turned your thoughts and your steps in the direction of brethren, or rather, as I believe, of the path appointed by God. I own fully that it is a question of obedience to the word of God, not of walking with me, or anybody else, but positively to do the will of God.
At first, when I left the Episcopal church, there was no one with whom I could walk; I was led on and guided simply by the word of God. Afterwards four of us met together; I thought only of satisfying my conscience according to the word of God. The work extended, and that everywhere, and I am deeply convinced that it is a testimony which God Himself has raised up for these last days.
I have been walking in this way for fifty years; I have seen weakness in myself, and mistakes, I do not doubt, in the way of walking; but I have never doubted for a moment that it is the work of God. But it is needful that each one should be convinced of this for himself by the word of God. It is a path of faith, and faith only can sustain the soul in this path; but I know that the peace, the approval of God are there; and those who walk in it by faith are made happy by them.
I hope that my love for the brethren with whom I cannot walk will be always increasing. We cannot realise the blessings which belong to us if we do not comprehend all the saints in our christian affections. (Eph. 3: 18.) Not to walk with them in a path that is not according to the word is not saying that one does not love them, but just the contrary. I want no more than this, that you should search the word of God in His presence, and He will certainly guide you. Glad as I should be to find you in the path which I believe to be that of God, I shall not cease to love you, even though you should condemn me: it is a delight to me to know that God has blessed you in your labours amongst these dear souls in Italy.
It was the unity of the assembly of God, of those who are united to Christ by the Holy Ghost, which forced me to leave the Anglican church, and prevented me from joining any other; and I have found in the word of God all the directions needed for walking according to the will of God, amid the ruin and confusion which surrounds us. I own then every true Christian as a member of the body of Christ, but I cannot walk with them when they do not walk according to the will of God, according to the word.
May our God bless your soul, and your labours, and may He lead you in the path of Christ and of faith, the "good and acceptable and perfect will of God"! He is blessing the work in this place; many are sounding the word, and the expectation of the Lord is continually on the increase.
Your affectionate brother,
New York, March 5th, 1877