Thanks for your letter; I am also fond of “Tell me the
old, old story.” I heard it sung for the first time one
evening in Paris, in a little church where I often went. Number
12 is also very beautiful. I am sorry indeed that I did not
hear Moody and Sankey when they were in London.
There is such a longing for religion among the people in the
large cities. Many a worker in a factory or shop has had a
strange, beautiful and pious youth. But city life sometimes
removes “the early dew of morning.” Even so,
the longing for “the old, old story”
remains. What is at the bottom of the heart stays at the bottom
of the heart. In one of his [sic] books Elliot [George Eliot] describes the
life of factory workers, etc., who have formed a little
community and hold religious services in a chapel in Lantern
Yard, and he says of it, “It is the kingdom of God on
earth, no more and no less.”
It is touching to see the thousands of people listening to
Your plan of giving Father and Mother “The
Farewell” by Sadée is good, so that is settled.
Willemien will be there on May 21.
This afternoon Mr. Reid sent me a catalogue of the
exhibition in London. A firm handshake and congratulations on
the birthdays of Lies and Cor and also on May 21. Kind regards
to Roos, in haste,
Your loving brother, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 12 May 1876 in Ramsgate. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 066.
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