ANSWER TO BROTHER HSU CHUNG CHIEH
Brother Chung Chieh:
In regard to your first kind of spiritual condition, it is not good, nor is it bad. This kind of condition is completely transitory in nature. But I dare not say whether you will get through it. It depends on whether or not you are hungry and whether or not you are faithful. The condition you described is the condition of the first transitional step in passing through the separation of the soul from the spirit. Being inwardly calm and outwardly confused is not a bad condition, but being outwardly calm is an even better condition. Meditation and planning are completely vain when you rely on yourself. But when you rely on God, they are not completely useless. When you have learned to completely rely on God, you can both pray and meditate. You can pray and plan things at the same time. Since your mind is still in rebellion, you feel that using your mind is vain. When your mind has completely obeyed, your conscience will not condemn you for using it, and it will not consider using your mind as relying on yourself. In the book The Spiritual Man I said the soulish life should be rejected, but the organ of the soul can be used. However, in this transitional stage, you have this kind of condition. When you have passed through this gate, your mind will be obedient to God and not rebel against what God says. You can use it when you pray and not be controlled by it. Presently, you can ignore the other feelings.
You should pray thoroughly before God. You should pray with faith and learn to rely on Him, to only look to Him. By faith, you should acknowledge Him as the only One who can help you. You should learn to unload yourself before Him. Then the Holy Spirit will give you power. You only have to do your part; He will do His part. Brother, please remember, you cannot know or feel the strengthening of the Holy Spirit! You can only pray and trust. He will work without your being aware of it.
The question of whether the most intimate aspect of the self can completely be removed depends on what you mean by the question. If you mean that you will not feel that you have yourself again, it is impossible. As long as we are on this earth, we will feel the existence of the self. Furthermore, the more the Holy Spirit operates in us, the more we will be aware of the existence of the self. We are living souls. The soul gives us our self-consciousness and makes us feel that we are ourselves. Therefore, as long as we are men, we have self-consciousness.
BRIEF NEWS FROM VARIOUS LOCALITIES
According to a letter from a brother in Foochow, during the last week of April, Brother Chung Chun Keng was led by the Lord to go to Chiaochow where he faithfully announced the truth. Everyone received God’s grace. They wept. They hated themselves and confessed to one another. There was a great revival. Although it rained, the work of the Holy Spirit could not be hindered. The condition of the meetings was very good. The revivals, salvations, and contributions were beyond man’s thinking.
On May 20 the meetings began in Chu Chia Cheng Tze, Ch’ang-ch’un.
MATTERS TO PAY ATTENTION TO
(1) Whoever has any news of the work, the difficulties encountered, the results seen, things to pray for, or other news, please send them as often as possible.
(2) All news should in principle be detailed, true, clear, and edifying. It does not matter whether it is short, long, in common language, or in classical Chinese.
(3) If someone sends you a personal letter that mentions news of a local church, please send it to us so that the brothers in all the localities can know the condition of the Lord’s work.
(4) If there is an announcement about meetings or the work, we are willing to print it.
(5) The responsible brothers in each locality should take care not to give this publication to those who do not meet with us. It is best that we do not give this publication to any brothers who do not walk together with us.
(6) Please send all news to: Editor, Collection of Newsletters, P. O. Box 323, Shanghai.
June 8, 1934
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 8, by Watchman Nee)