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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37517
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Watchman Nee's last letter


[i]Watchman's last letter, dated 22nd April (1972) and signed with his childhood name, Shu-tsu[/i]

"It is from a perusal of his last letter that something more emerges. He accepts his situation and speaks of the sunshine which can enter from without and do something to modify it a little. And then of course he concludes on a welcome note of joy, and those who knew him will feel this is wholly in character. There is no self-pity, for his concern is for the letter's recepient, that the inward joy he is experiencing may be her experience also. Let us remind ourselves that he cannot name the name of God. The letter will be censored and may well be destroyed.
So he does something else. In expressing his wish for her that her 'heart within be filled with joy,' he uses four characters: [i]hsi-loh[/i], 'joy,' and [i]man-tsu[/i], 'full.' Can we perhaps detect here a twinkle in his eyes? For they are the four characters used in translating the words of Jesus to his disciples: 'Ask, and you shall recieve, that your [i]joy[/i] may be [i]full[/i]!'
This, then, is his coded message to us all: 'Ask!' Since God is always therein the Unseen, there is no situation on this earth in which you and I are powerless to do anything. Whether shackled by foes or hampered by circumstances, whether totally paralyzed or walled up in solitary darkness, we can pray, we can appeal to him, we can [i]ask[/i]. We shall surely recieve. God will act again. If we will but go on asking, our sorrow will be turned to surpassing joy. 'And your joy no one will take from you.'"
-Against the tide (Watchmand Nee Biography)

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/8/5 23:53Profile

Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: Watchman Nee's last letter

This was [i]one of[/i] the last letters written by Watchman Nee from the prison. In more recent publications (unfortunately, as far as I know, only in Chinese), a couple more letters were published. They were even shorter than this one.

All these letters showed the very human side of a spiritual person. He repeatedly expressed his desperate desire to see his relatives again, especially his wife.

As for the letter published by Kinnear, I must point out that the spiritualized interpretation of the letter was Kinnear's (and some other people's), not necessarily Nee's own intention.

Over-spiritualizing by reading [i]into[/i] these letters perhaps reflects a common misconception of what a "spiritual man" really is. My personal opinion is that the more spiritual a person is, the more human he is.

I think the literal meaning of the letter already says a lot about Watchman Nee. In the last two lines, he wrote:

"I can maintain [or keep] my joy, please do not worry. I hope that you [his sister-in-law?] will also take good care of yourself and that your heart will be full of joy." (translation my own)


 2003/10/10 10:17Profile

Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Full Translation of the Letter

This letter was considered the "last" handwritten letter by Watchman Nee from prison until the last few years, where six other letters were published by Nee's nephew in the revised edition of his book, [i]My Uncle Watchman Nee[/i] (in Chinese).

A rough translation of the letter:

[i](Name of Nee's eldest sister-in-law),

I have received your letter dated April 7, from which I know you have not received any of my thank you letters expressing my gratitude for all the provisions received from you. I have received all items that you have mentioned in your letters. Thank you very much!

You know about my health condition, it is a chronic illness, an illness of the physical organ (trans. note: Nee has a heart condition since childhood). When the symptoms of the illness comes, it is unbearable; when it is inactive, the illness is nevertheless still with me. It is a matter of whether the symptom manifests, not a matter of ever getting healed. Summer has now come, and one can get a tan under the sun, but it will not make a difference to my illness. But I have kept my joy, please do not worry about me. I hope you will also take care of yourself, and be filled with joy in your heart.

April 22[/i]


 2004/6/16 8:43Profile

Joined: 2004/5/29
Posts: 26

 Re: Full Translation of the Letter

In 1986 when I was staying in Shanghai, I was given a copy of a letter found under Watchman's pillow the day he died. The letter was short and simple. In fact it was so simple that it made me wonder at his writing of it. I questioned the Lord much about it. Two years later the Lord granted me understanding of what it said. The letter is translated thus:

"I believe in the Christ who died for Sin, raised the third day. Into Him I have believed and for Him I have died."

This letter gave many problems to my understanding and I wondered what it really was that Watchman was saying. Note that he did not say that he believed in the Christ that died for sins, rather for sin. And he did not say that he died for the Christ that died for sins but he did die for Him that died for Sin. To say that he died for Christ that died for sins would be blaspheme. He died alone on calvary for sins. Then he arose and entered into the men of Sin. He that knew no sin then became sin so that we might now become the righteousness of God in Him. To die for this one is righteous and is to lay your life down for the brothers. Watchman put his death into that category. I see that his revelation was greatly advanced. These few Words show this. Even today, very few brothers have come to this place in their experience.


 2004/6/16 12:13Profile

Joined: 2005/1/11
Posts: 234
United Kingdom

 Galatians 2:20

Dear Malachiah,

"I believe in the Christ who died for Sin, raised the third day. Into Him I have believed and for Him I have died."

If you read Galatians 2:20 you might find even greater light was given him regarding this matter during this life.

'I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.'

In Christ,

Eric John Sawyer

 2006/6/22 13:35Profile

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