William Gadsby's Letters (Complete)

A Feeling Religion, Not A Mere Brain Religion

My dear Brother in the great Head of Zion,—I hope you and your spouse are well, and that the dear Lord is leading you more and more into the deep things of God. Remember, if a man is to be taught much of the depths of God’s eternal love, he must wade in the depths of his own enmity. If he is to be well instructed in the depths of the glorious atonement of Christ, he must feel and sicken at the awful and damnable depravity of his own nature. And so on in every respect; for we can only feelingly and experimentally know the glory of Christ, but as God the Holy Ghost reveals him to our hearts, and reveals him there as just suited to our individual case and circumstances, and to the glorious honour of our Three-One God. Truth in the judgment, easily obtained, unconnected with hot fires and deep waters, and unapplied to the heart by the Holy Ghost, is what I call a brain religion, and often produces a religious brain fever; and so makes a man wild, but brings no solidity of soul, nor any glory to God.

God’s open, manifestive choice of his people is in the furnace. It is the good pleasure of our God to bring his highly-favoured family through the fire, and in it he teaches them to call upon his name; and there it is he manifestly calls them his people, blesses them with the spirit of adoption, and enables them to say, “The Lord is my God.” (Zech 13:9) Therefore, may you glorify God in the fire, and be thankful that he will not let you rest in an untried religion; for “the Lord trieth the righteous;” but the end shall be well. Thanks be to God, he will see to it that nothing shall prevent him from accomplishing his own purposes in and towards his children.— Manchester, June, 1834.