To Theo van Gogh. Paris, Monday, 7 February 1876.
My dear Theo,
My hearty congratulations to you on the occasion of Pa’s birthday. It’s a beautiful text, the one for 8 February: Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it. What that it will be for our Father and for us we do not know, but in a sense we can leave that to Him whose name is ‘Our Father’ and ‘I am that I am’.
Today I received a letter in reply to one of mine; they asked whether I could teach French, German and drawing, and also requested a portrait. I’ll answer today; if I hear more I’ll write to you directly.
Thanks for the little book by Andersen, I’m glad to have it. It’s for reading aloud to a Dutchman, one of the employees I’ve been seeing a lot of lately.
Yesterday I went to an English church here, it was a nice experience to attend such an English service again, which has much that is simple and beautiful. The sermon was on ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lay down in green pastures, He leadeth me gently by still waters. He restoreth my soul and leadeth me in the paths of righteousness. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Surely Goodness and Mercy shall surround me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord for ever.’
Thanks again for the little book by Andersen, and in thought a handshake, and regards to everyone at the Rooses’. I heard from home that Mr Tersteeg had been in Etten. In haste. Ever,
Your loving brother.