van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 57 letters relate to feelings - ambition...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(3 October 1876)
... 1 Drop me a line as soon as you can. A week from last Sunday, I made a long trip to London, and there I heard about a kind of job which perhaps might do for me sometime. In seaport towns like Liverpool and Hull, certain preachers are often in need of helpers who know how to speak several languages, to work among the sailors, foreigners, and visit the sick; some salary is attached to such a position. I left here early at four o'clock in the morning. It was beautiful in the park here, with the avenues of dark elm trees, the wet road through it, and a grey rainy sky above it all; in the distance there was a thunderstorm. At daybreak I was in Hyde Park; the leaves were already falling from the trees and the Virginia creeper was beautifully red against the houses, and there was a fog. At seven o'clock I was in Kensington, and rested a little in a church where I used to go so many Sunday mornings. In London I visited some friends and also Messrs. Goupil & Co.'s...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(31 October 1876)
... passed like little black figures. When I was standing in the pulpit, I felt like somebody who, emerging from a dark cave underground, comes back to the friendly daylight. It is a delightful thought that in the future wherever I go, I shall preach the Gospel; to do that sell, one must have the Gospel in one's heart. May the Lord give it to me. You know enough of life, Theo, to understand that a poor preacher stands rather alone in the world, but the Lord can increasingly rouse in us the consciousness and belief in “... yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” Ik weet aan wien ik mij vertrouwe Al wisselen ook dag en nacht, Ik ken de rots waarop ik bouwe, Hij feilt niet, die mijn heil verwacht. [I know to Whom I commit myself; Though day and night may alternate, I know the rock on which I build; He Who awaits my salvation will not fail me.]
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(7 March 1877)
... of good courage, fear not.” Oh might I be shown the way to devote my life more completely to the service of God and the Gospel. I keep praying for it and I think I shall be heard, I say it in all humility. Humanly speaking, one would say it cannot happen, but when I think seriously about it and penetrate under the surface of what is impossible to man, then my soul is in communion with God, for it is possible to Him, who speaks and it is done; who commands and it stands fast. Oh! Theo, Theo boy, if I might only succeed in this,
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Uncle Cor
(8 March 1877)
... until twelve or one o'clock at night. I like being in Holland again, although the work across the Channel, notwithstanding all the trouble and profound disappointment, was dear to me. It is still - because of the disappointment and relative failure this time, I am deeply attached to it. It is nice that Anna was able to find a situation so promptly too; I hope she will do well. If you agree to Theo and me coming next Sunday, kindly drop one of us a postcard; with kindest regards to you and Aunt, believe me in the meantime Your affectionate nephew, Vincent I should have written you about this sooner, but Pa did not ask me to go next Sunday until yesterday. ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(22 March 1877)
... am to have them, they fill me with hope. Writing to you about my plans helps me to clarify and settle my thoughts. To begin with, I think of the text, “It is my portion to keep Thy word.” I have such a craving to make the treasures of the Bible's word my own, to become thoroughly and lovingly familiar with all those old stories, and above all with everything we know about Christ. In our family, which is a Christian family in the full sense of the term, there has always been, as far as one can tell, someone from generation to generation who was a preacher of the Gospel. Why should there not be a member of our family even now who feels called to that ministry, and who has some reason to suppose that he may, and must, declare himself and look for means of attaining that end? It is my prayer and fervent desire that the spirit of my Father and Grandfather may rest upon me, that it may be granted me to become a Christian and a Christian labourer, that my life may come to...

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