[Goupil & Cie.]
Paris, 27 September 1875
“The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation; the
kingdom of God is within you.” “The son of Man is
not come to be served, but to serve,” and we who want to
become His followers, Christians, we are not greater than our
Lord [see Like 22:26-27; John 13:16]. Blessed are the poor in
spirit, blessed are the pure in heart.
Narrow is the path which leadeth unto life, and those that
find it are few. Struggle to enter by the narrow gate, for many
will seek to enter, and will not be able [see Matt. 7:14].
My brother, let us be prudent; let us ask of Him Who is on
high, Who also prayeth for us, that He take us not away from
the world, but that he preserve us from evil. Yea, let us be
sober, and watch, let us trust in God, and not lean upon our
intellect. Let us ask of Him that He force us to come in; that
He enable us to fulfill a Christian's life; that He teach us to
deny ourselves, to take our cross every day and follow after
Him; to be gentle, long-suffering and lowly of heart.
A part that shall not be taken away, a spring of living
water, springing into Life eternal [see Luke 10:42; John 4:13],
these are the good gifts that the Hearer of prayers, the Giver
of all perfect gifts, will give unto those that pray for them
And over and above this the assurance that there is “a
Father's house in which are many mansions,” and that,
when He that hath gone and prepared a place for us, He will
receive us all unto Himself. And for our comfort in life, on
the road to that “Father's house,” the Comforter,
the Spirit of Truth, who shall lead us in truth [see John
Yet a Christian's life has its dark side too, it is
principally man's work.
For those that walk with God, God's friends, God's pious
ones, those who worship him in the Spirit and in Truth, are
tried and purified, and often have received from God a thorn in
the flesh; blessed shall we be, if we can repeat after our
father, Paul: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I
understood as a child, but now that I have become a man, I have
put away childish things, and am I become, and God hath made me
sorrowful yet always rejoicing.”
Write soon and give my regards to all acquaintances, and
Your loving brother, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 22 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 27 September 1875 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number .
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