Of timeless themes...
memory, I was always the omnivorous reader, the kid with the
flashlight under the sheets at night…’ - Art Katz, 1974
Among his library of thousands of books, essays, pamphlets, etc., are the works of many writers—well-known and obscure—on a variety of timeless themes. They include a choice few with his marginal notes and highlighted phrases and passages made during his years of travels and in quiet moments of study, contemplation…and wonder.
June 26, 1984
Thank you for your kind letter of June 20. It seems clear that our blessed Lord is stripping down so many of His servants to prepare them for the very difficult times ahead.
T. Austin-Sparks said, "God permits a crisis in the lives of His servants, so severe, that information will no longer suffice - and only a revelation will do." After revelation comes the hardest part; it is when God puts us to the supreme test, which usually includes an hour of darkness and despair like none other ever experienced. Still, I have never known anyone with true depth who did not come to that place except through suffering and pain.
I have heard of our Lord's hiding "of your person and ministry in your remote area. All I can say to you is what Ravenhill said to me - "Hide thyself - show thyself."
I am sending a book by J.B. Stoney. If you like Stoney, I will send you free of charge his entire 13 volumes.
Your servant in Christ,
Acquaintance With Christ (1892)*
"I am the good shepherd; and I know those that are mine, and am known of those that are mine..."
- John 10.14
'...What kind of knowledge is it? I answer, It is the same kind of knowledge (I do not say the same measure, but the same character of knowledge) that there is between the Father and the Son.'
'...He (the man born blind who was healed at the pool of Siloam) had received his sight, and everyone knew of it, and as a consequence of his faithfulness in owning the work of Christ, he was cast out; every circle of society refused him - his neighbours, the social circle; the Pharisees, the religious circle; his parents, the domestic circle, disowned him; and the nation eventually put him out; he is outside of the fold. He was once in the solitude of darkness, and we all have known that solitude; but now he is outside everything of man; and would to God that everyone in this room knew of that solitude...' (p.327)
'...(B)ecause it is always the case, the greater the height, the greater the fall. If an enlightened Christian falls, he has a more grievous fall than an ignorant one. ...(N)othing has contributed more to the present distraction of saints than the lack of personal intercourse with the Lord. There has been a great and an increased zeal to acquire knowledge of the Scriptures, but personal acquaintance with the Lord has not been correspondingly sought after. You will find, I trust, that as you become acquainted with the word, you are better acquainted with the Lord, because you desire to know Himself. Paul writes to the Philippians, thirty years after his conversion (as far as I count); "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." After thirty years, his chief desire and study is to know Christ. It is an important saying, that 'Man's words explain his mind, but you must know God's mind in order to understand his words.' (p.328-329)
'...(Y)ou will find that you do not really make acquaintance with the Lord, until you are apart from all which He has removed; that is, in reality you have not learned the completeness of his service.' (p.332)
From MINISTRY, Volume 1, by J.B. Stoney (Kingston Bible Trust, Sussex, England)