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Last Updated on : Saturday, October 11, 2014

 

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Chapter 9

Overcoming Tribulation


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It is into the green pastures and beside the still waters that the Shepherd Divine leads His flock. Often from the mountaintop of life 's experience we must be led into the lowly places, and there it is, among the humbler surroundings and the sweet fragrant stillness, that we learn the deeper and richer lessons of the valleys.

"In returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength," says the Spirit in the prophet, and we well know that it is the still waters, that reflect the beauty of all surrounding objects, as well as the light of heaven, and the glory of the Sun and Moon. So it is the quiet soul that exercises the most influence on others, and the greatest works are accomplished in our quiet moments. Let us then cultivate stillness of mind and prayerful meditation, for it is also testified "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." (Isa. 26:3).

"This is my comfort in my affliction,That thy promise gives me life"

Psalm 119:50.

 

Rejoice in the Lord Always

(Phil 4:4)

DIFFICULTIES will beset our path, for there are none without. It would be just as unlikely to find a person without a shadow in the sunshine as to find one individual in the world without trials and difficulties. But neither grief nor losses should be allowed to interfere with our duty to God and our neighbour. Even in the valley of the shadow of death we must not sorrow as those who have no hope. Let us, rejoicing in the mercy and trusting in the goodness of Him who doeth all things well, and changes not, build ourselves up for those important duties. Those solemn obligations, those larger responsibilities which open out to every enlightened believer's mind, through prayer and study of the one and only Book which is calculated to impart true comfort and courage to the heart, and which embraces all the heights and depth of human nature.

This Holy Book goes down to the very roots of our bitterest needs and our darkest sorrows. It speaks in accents that are divine about the only things that are of real importance at last to all, for the Bible belongs to those elemental things, like bread and wine, like the sky and the ocean, like the kisses of little children, and tears shed at the grave side, which can never grow stale or obsolete, or out of date, because they are the common heritage of mankind. If we are guided by the counsel of God, we shall stimulate all those noble feelings and aspirations befitting

those in Christ and put them to good account, and use

them for the noblest and most enduring end.

Sis. A. Hopkins

 

Be Prepared for Trial

EVEN in this life a trusting, loving service, while

health and strength and means are at our

disposal, lays up a good foundation against

the time to come. The consciousness of pursuing

a dutiful line of conduct gives the

answer of a good conscience, and tranquilizes the mind,

where otherwise fear and apprehension might take

possession and distract the thoughts. We have no assurance

that we shall escape trouble. Indeed, we may make

up our minds that we shall be tried, for in the trial of our

faith and patience are we to be perfected; but then as

dutiful and confiding children. how different is our position

when trials do come, than if we were of those who are

without God and without hope in the world; of those, who,

having a name to live, are dead; and who until aroused by

some unexpected calamity, do not realise the glorious

position to which the Truth has introduced them.

The daughter of the Almighty who has made His acquaintance

by giving heed to His testimonies, making their

study and meditation her delight, will be much better able

to meet calamity than her sisters. who allow domestic, or

any considerations to rob them of this true wealth. It

matters not, after all, how much we are called upon to bear,

if only we can be supported in it. Let us then in health and

when things go with tolerable smoothness keep close

acquaintance with God. Great sorrows He may permit to

overtake us, even as He spared not His own Son; but His

favour is sufficient to sustain us, and raise us up when

greatly bowed down. -- Jane Roberts

 

Life seems to be made up of peaks and shadows. Moments of high resolve or courageous action are often followed by fits of depression and weakness that bring one to the brink of despair. Only by setting the mind completely upon the purpose of God in Christ, or acknowledging at all times that we serve Him and not ourselves, will we be saved from the depression of our own passions.

 

My Grace is Sufficient for Thee

OUR present life in the Truth is a time of probation or proving. We have to work out our salvation with trembling and fear. God has provided the salvation for which we are looking, but He has imposed the condition that we must seek for it by a patient continuance in well-doing.

We have then to plod on with the tasks God has given us even ?f they may sometimes be irksome and even though we may become weary. The tired man can urge himself forward. The weariness that sometimes comes upon the saint is one of his trials and, if he plods on in spite of it, it will in time pass. As one of Solomon's proverbs says, "if thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." Our own strength may be very small, but we should know that it is one of our privileges to cry unto the Strong One for strength, and that our prayer will not go unanswered. There is also what may be described as the passive aspect of endurance. Sometimes trouble comes upon us which we cannot remove for ourselves and which God may not remove even in response to our prayers. All that we can then do is to bear our troubles with resignation and fortitude as part of God's discipline. We have one example of this sort of suffering in Paul's "thorn in the flesh." The account shows us that he did suffer severely, under his affliction, but his earnest three-fold request for its removal was not granted. He did, however, receive the consoling words, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Any saint under such affliction can dwell on the promise that God will never leave nor forsake those who put their trust in Him. -- C.H.G.

 

Although our lot is changing, yet we are not left

as a piece of driftwood, tossed by the waves and

borne by the currents anywhere. God orders our lives

for some beneficent end, of mercy and love. We must

remember our calling and live in it, making the most

of it. We must be content to fill a little place if it is our

proper place, and do all the good we can; but let us be

sure that it is our place, so that we do not hide our

light under a basket, thinking we were never intended

to shine. How many of God's children, endowed with

His richest gifts and blessings are content to bury

them in the dust of cowardice and unbelief, and waste

all their precious opportunities.

 

The Wonder of Forgiveness

ANY times in the old testament the wonder of God's forgiveness is set forth. "Thou hast cast all my sins behind my back", Hezekiah wrote after his recovery (Isa. 38:17). There is awe at the ways of God in the cry of Micah: "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritaqe? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:18-19). The Psalmist declares the graciousness of God in unforgettable words: "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children. so the Lord pitieth them that fear him" (Psa, 103:8-12). -- Robert Roberts

 

There is no good to be done by giving in to failure. Some fall and incline to lie where they fall. This is a mistake. Let them get up and try again. We do not stand where Adam stood. One offence brought

ruin to him; he had no High Priest; we have, and we

are invited to make confession of our failures and

trespasses and try again

 

Our Hearts Desire

IN your several spheres of probation, you are yearning for the glory to be revealed. You hunger and thirst for the prevalence of a noble enlightenment among men. You love Gad yourselves with all your hearts and souls. You long to see others rejoice in Him and exalt Him in a sincere and intelligent way. You have a compassionate regard for the condition of mankind, and desire, with even a tearful earnestness, to see them in a blessed condition. You sigh and faint for the delights of sanctified and intellectual friendship, in which the hearts of companions should open with a noble warmth, to the great and noble topics that the universe presents to the mind, instead of gravitating heavily to the petty accidents of animal life. Ah, and you are afflicted with your own incapacities that blur the sight and enfeeble the hands, and drag you into abysses of gloom as dark and dreadful as Jonah's habitation in the storm-tossed sea. Now, there is comfort concerning all this. It is true, and true comfort wears well, whereas false comfort tails you in the long run. The comfort is that these things are unattainable in the present condition of human life upon earth, but that they are attainable and will be realised in their very perfection in the Kingdom of God. The recognition of this is a help. We reconcile ourselves hopefully to our lot, enduring the hardness of the desert by knowing that it is desert, and in the confident anticipation of the land of promise at the end of the journey. One comfort more. It is not displeasing to the Father that we thus hunger and thirst to the point even of misery, after righteousness. On the contrary, Jesus said, "Blessed are ye that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for ye shall be filled."-- Robert Roberts

 

You must make up your mind that the world around you will never be what it ought to be until made such by God's own powerful hand of judgment. Therefore endure the desolation, but beware of the effects of contact with it. Do not conform except in trifles. Conquer your environment; let not your environment conquer you. What is this but "overcoming the world" upon which our acceptability with Christ at last depends.

 

"Whom Lord Loveth He Chaisteneth

GOD puts his children in the furnace to try them, as gold, that the dross may be consumed. No character is complete till it is tried. A man or woman is worth little as a companion, either for wisdom or sympathy, who has not seen trouble. Those believers, "living in pleasure are dead while they live." Having a name to live, they are dead; they are not awake to the great and dread realities of existence that are in Gad. If Gad love, He will draw them into the furnace in same way. This is the word of Christ to the seven ecclesias. "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten" (Rev. 3:19). Again, "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." If ye endure chastening, Gad dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he who m the Father chasteneth not? It cannot be that this principle should apply to the sons of Gad in the first century, and not apply now. Gad changeth not; and if we are His, we are as much the objects of his care as His children were in the beginning. Therefore when we suffer according to the will of Gad, let us commit ourselves unto Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator (1

Pet. 4:19).

 

Suffering is a heavy plough, driven by a hand of iron. The more ungrateful and rebellious the soil, the more it tears; the richer and softer the soil, the deeper it delves.

 

Walking with God

Trusting In God

God knows the path of life we are treading "We walk by faith and not by sight," for we cannot tell what a step may bring forth. We are like the Alpine traveler; through ravine and rock and forest we tread our way, now coming to a narrow ledge with the steep below us, and now to the flowery vale. Without God's upholding power unseen, we should stumble, and plunge ourselves into death. We must keep our eyes on the summit, and not look down; we must set our "affections on things above." Sometimes it is the treacherous mire of difficulty that obstructs our road; we do not know what to do for the best, but we set our feet firm on the stepping stones that break it, and get over the cares and toils that fret us, and would work our ruin. Sometimes the white mists of sorrow veil the glory of the future and blight over present hopes like the radiant landscape that disappears as the mists fall around them; but stili though hidden, God has not left us, and soon the sun shines out again with hopes of the brighter morrow, and floods our path with light - a glorious foretaste of that which shall crown our pathway in the Kingdom, when we shall, if found worthy, receive "the white pebble" (Rev. 2:17). To walk successfully along the rugged and oft stony path of life we must "walk circumspectly" avoiding evil and surmounting obstacles, and precisely as yonder tab by-cat is seen picking her way cautiously over the top of the broken glass on the stone wall. How carefully she moves along without the least slip - the soft padded paws receiving no hurt! She looks ahead and treads circumspectly. It is an homely object lesson enacted before our eyes, the import of which we must not miss. While "the wicked know not at what they stumble," the righteous are bold as a lion. They tread firmly and cautiously and thus succeed. -- Sis. A. Hopkins

 

Isolation

LET us not forget our brethren and sisters in isolation. Let us comfort and encourage them when we are able with a letter or printed matter announcing our lectures and ecclesial proceedings. This is a duty, which, if faithfully performed will certainly relate us to the blessing of Matt. 25:40. Those in isolation are much to be pitied. Their position is fraught with exceptional temptations. How great these are, only those can tell who have been cut off from the support and stimulus of the meetings. As to those in isolation, let them not neglect the Divine antidote to the dangers of their situation. The safeguard is reading earnest and incessant reading of the Scriptures, and the writings of those who have understood and loved them. Much effort will of ten be needed to create and maintain a habit in this direction, but a recognition of its necessity will give the incentive. If this counsel is heeded, there will be no going astray, even though in isolation - not letting slip the great things of Gad. If it is disregarded, then laxity is sure to set in, as the experience of many has shown. The reading of the Scriptures and the writings referred to will, in a sense, provide the lonely with company, excellent company. It will bring them within the all powerful influence of the great Unseen Gad, and it will also bring them within the homely and cheering influence of the brethren, although separated from them by thousands of miles or by death. Let those in isolation regard it not only as wise but imperative to provide for themselves the works of Dr. Thomas and Brother Roberts, and other faithful brethren. Whether ye be man or woman, you will never do anything in the world without courage, "Be strong and courageous." Logos Vol. 1.

 

The Lonely Cry

When sorrows deep our trembling hearts ensnare,

When friends have fled, abandoning us to care,

All human conflict gone and we're alone,

Oh Heavenly Father hear our spirit's groan.

What heart can feel our soul's lone misery?

No arms outstretched to comfort tenderly,

Pour out Thy grace when cries the anguished soul

May Gilead's balm heal us, and make us whole.

Storm rages stronger, dark the night ahead

Alone Thy Presence soothes our troubled head,

Grant to thy lambs the so/ace Thou can'st give

Cleanse painful hearts, and O dear Lord, forgive.

Thy Son thou gavest in Thy wondrous love,

Now may we rest, assured that from above

Compassion still in endless steam will flow,

When sad in heart, may we Thy mercy know.

Friends may forsake us, eyes grow dim with tears,

Why do we fear? Tt?ou casteth out all fears,

Man's tove may wave, but changeless Lord thou art,

O Saviour hear, and heal the broken heart.

-- Sis. B. Flint.

 

Sisters in Business

MOST unmarried sisters, are engaged to-day in

business life in an office, shop, factory, farm or

hospital. How should they comport themselves?

The world they have to face is the

product of the carnal mind, which says Paul,

"is not subject to the Law of God." Its evil ways are exhibited

in the behaviour, speech and attire of many women in

business, whose general attitude is comparable to that of

the "daughters of Zion." They were "haughty, and walked

with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes," and the

daughters of the Gentiles today are no better.

Into such unholy society, many sisters of Christ necessarily

venture forth to earn a living. In so doing they

shoulder a very great responsibility, for they go as sheep

among wolves, as light-bearers to a dark and degenerate

people, as sisters of Christ amidst the children of this

world. Many have been "brought up in the nurture and

admonition of the Lord" from early days. Can they now

stand the test? Others, in years of maturity, have renounced

the "hidden things of dishonesty" in favour of the

purity and peace of the gospel. Can they maintain their

integrity? All must remember that they are not their own

they have been purchased with price, even the precious

blood of Christ, and He demands their unswerving loyalty

and devotion.

"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" This is the

frame of mind to adopt as the guiding principle in pursuing

the daily vocation. It provides a strong antidote to the

encroachment of worldly pleasures, and a powerful incentive

to the cultivation of a Christ-like disposition. it induces

an earnest and thoughtful demeanour, a quiet and modest

deportment, and a holy and contrite spirit, such as was

displayed by the Lord Himself.

Such beautiful characteristics will find expression in

many practical ways. The sister of Christ will be sincere,

conscientious and sober-minded. She will avoid the flippancy

and instability of her feminine associates, among

whom she will be held in respect, though not in favour. She

will refrain from the "small talk" and foolish gossip of the

more empty-headed of her contemporaries, and still more,

from the back-biting and slandering in which they indulge.

These hurtful activities taint human society everywhere,

and provide ample reason why the sister of Christ would

keep separate from the world, in obedience to Apostolic

command. (2 Cor. 6:17). Her general deportment will be

such that her work-fellows will "take knowledge that she

has been with Jesus." She will not be haughty, nor disdainful,

nor self-assertive. By no means will she be fast, or

common no instead , she will be modest, to the point of reserve,

almost too much so for the liking of her more pushful

colleagues. Always courteous, she will never be rude or

arrogant; ever ready to help, but never a busy-body. Her

great aim will be to manifest the "new man, which after

God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph.

4:24).

An extremely grave temptation to which a sister in

business is frequently exposed, concerns the attitude towards

her by members of the opposite sex. A young and

pleasant sister will almost certainly find that before long

she is the object of the attentions of one or more of the

men folk with whom she must necessarily mingle during

the day. Friendly relations may be attempted which appear

harmless and innocent enough. These probably take the

form of an invitation to lunch, or a stroll after business.

Friendship-seekers such as these may even profess to take

an interest in religion, especially if a sister's devout mode

of life has been the subject of particular notice. The warning

note of Scripture is explicit on this point. "Enter not

into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil.

Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." (Prov.

4:14). Consistent efforts to maintain this divine standard of

purity of life will imbue the mind with wisdom and discernment.

In the keeping of these holy precepts lies each

sister's highest good.

If, as a result of a sister's sincere demeanour, a

genuine interest is shown in her religious beliefs by a male

member of the staff, she can always introduce the enquirer

to a brother of standing, who would be pleased to instruct

him in the "way of life more perfectly."

In whatever capacity a sister of Christ is daily engaged,

she will not allow the demands of business to absorb too

much of her time or talent. There is need for balanced

judgment in this connection. Called to "be a good steward

of the manifold grace of God." a wise sister will reserve

same part of the day for reading, meditation and prayer, for

this is vital to the development of spiritual health and

vigour. Opportunities of service can be "bought up." Good

stewardship comprises a Iife long accumulation of little

acts, humbly and willingly performed a letter of comfort

and cheer written during the lunch-hour a young or lonely

sister befriended on or from her way to work - the sick

visited, or a visiting sister given a welcome at the station.

Quite of ten, in her leisure time, the sister who types can do

much useful work. Exhortations, addresses, letters, extracts

from the writings of the brethren; these can be duplicated

and circulated among sisters in isolation. And how

strengthened are these lonely watchers as a result of such

industry and effort!

The wise planning of the weekly earnings must also be

considered, so that same part, however small, can be devoted

to the Truth's interests. The greater the sacrifice

entailed in thus providing a reserve, the more precious the

gift in the sight of Christ.

All these little duties and services, faithfully discharged,

provide limitless opportunities for combining daily

business affairs with the immeasurably higher Business of

the Father. They constitute in the aggregate the answer to

the question, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" "If ye

love me, keep my commandments." They are comprehensive

in their survey, and rigid in their application. They

cover every situation in which sisters in business may find

themselves, and provide a rule of action which will guide

them through trials and temptations, to lives of usefulness

and happiness. Strong in courage and in faith, they will

carry out their daily tasks with earnestness and zeal, "in

singleness of heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as

men pleasers, but as the servant of Christ, doing the will of

Gad from the heart - knowing that whatsoever good thing

any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord."

(Eph. 6:5-8). -- Virginia Vigilant

 

WIDOWS
THERE is a serious place for the widows in the Ecclesia also. The comforting in the time of loss and distress is the work of the other members of the Ecclesia. But when the widow has regained strength through those rninistrations of love, there comes a time when she, too, can take her place and continue the work. The older sisters. with a wealth of experience in all the facets of life behind them, can give a tremendous amount of valuable help to the ecclesia. She can give counsel to the young. She can love the little ones. She can keep busy in many small ways, quietly and unobtrusively, without becoming a "busybody." Showing her courage and faith before her neighbours will be, perhaps her first unconscious work. Then she can use her own personal talents to the best of her ability, with no other distractions to take her mind. She can take more time to study, and prepare her mind so that her counsel will be sound and just. The place in the ecclesia for the widow is one of dignity and respect, but above all, she will exhibit love and consideration for others, her experience has taught her as no other can. -- EG.

 

The Scriptures are full of the accounts of righteous women who performed quite spectacular tasks, as well as quiet, unassuming women, and all were in the plan and purpose of God. Without them there would have been a great deal lacking.

 

Young Sisters

To the young sister, who has been so fortunate as to receive the Truth in the morning of life, it will be of the very highest importance that she begin at once to equip herself for the good fight of faith. Upon no arm of flesh must she entirely lean. She has entered upon a course of trial, though, at the first it will not, probably, appear so to her. She has just received the Truth with much gladness. All appears joyous and bright, and her only desire is that the Lord would come and permit her to realize the glowing visions of which she reads, when the saints will take the Kingdom and reign with Christ upon earth. This time will come, and is longed for by every son and daughter of the Lord Almighty, but the young sister must remember that this honour is reserved for saints. Her saintship wilI have to be developed by her obedience in the Truth, and it will all depend upon her faithfulness to him who has called her to be a saint, whether in the day of judgment she will pass into the ranks of that honourable company or not.

She will not have gone far in the straight and narrow way before her difficulties begin. It is designed by God for every one adopted into His family that they shall be tried. His people are to be prepared people, like polished stones, like gold tried in the fire. As years advance, cares and responsibilities and troubles increase, and the young sister must not think that she will prove any exception to the rule. If she be a faithful sister, she will not. In whatever position in life she may be placed, she can labour for Christ, and she can suffer for his sake. His will and desire concerning her is that she should do so, and continue to do so till he calls her to the high destiny he has promised. His words are, "Whosoever taketh not up his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." The taking up of the cross would imply a voluntary act, not merely the enduring of something inevitable; but the deliberately doing of something that will bring endurance in some shape or form, and that for Christ's sake. Each particular condition of life will present opportunities for this cross-bearing. -- J.Roberts

 

Comfort in Tribulation

LET us look neither to the right hand nor the left,

but be diligent to make our calling and election

sure. If we are striving (agonising, as

translators tell us it ought to be) to realise a

joyful standing in that day, we have reason to

be of good cheer, though sorrowing because of the manifold

temptations which for a season surround us. The

world weeps and laments when its sorrows come, for it has

no hope; but the daughter of Sarah, while wetting the

pillow with her tears, sorrows not as these. The Truth is to

her a healing balm even now. The afflicting visitations of

this time of sojourn destroys her not; she accepts them as

the incidents of her pilgrimage.

Unknown to her contemporaries, who would think her

crazy if she told them what she looks for, she is one of a

band who shared the same fate before her; Godly women,

daughters of Sarah, all who have faithfully testified to the

Truth, by word and deed, in their day and generation.

Denied the company of the faithful now, she takes comfort

in knowing that there will shortly be an end to her travail, in

the day when those who have hungered and thirsted after

righteousness shall be filled; and when all the nobler faculties

of her nature. feeble and abortive now, will be made

perfect in change from flesh to Spirit.-- J. Roberts

 

Although it is through much tribulation that the righteous will enter the kingdom yet they can rest on the sure foundation of God's promise: "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

 

Encouragement from a Faithful Sister

Dear Brother,

The good confession you have made must

have rejoiced many of like precious faith; and

having passed through much of the same discipline

before I was begotten by the Word of

Truth. I desire most earnestly through the weak effort of my

pen, but in the strength of the Word of the Lord, to assist

you, that with a firmer grasp you may lay hold of the hope

set before you.

To know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom

the Father hath sent, is indeed life eternal; but like children

we must begin with the letter A, before we learn correctly to

articulate the word "shibboleth." One letter wrong in the

mystery of the "Name" will hinder our progress, and no

doubt prevent our entrance into life; therefore let Moses

and the prophets be our cloud by day, Jesus and the

apostles our pillar of fire by night. Let the two lips of God

speak aloud to us, for the one alone cannot make a perfect

sound, and as you progress by adding to your faith, "knowledge,"

you will always find the beautiful shadow of the law

and testimony will never fail to reflect the exact outline of

the glorious substance, which Paul says is the Christ. You

cannot conceive the rich mine you have found, but the

treasure lies buried, wrapped together in a clean place by

itself, and laid there by the Eternal Spirit's own hands, and

if you say, where is it laid? Truth will whisper, Come and

see; but only the Truth will reveal the hiding place, and

when you have found the pearl which is hid in the gospel of

the Kingdom, you will indeed sell all, that you may retain it.

Wisdom has counted its cost, but tells us its value cannot

be estimated. We may buy the Truth, says the Word, but

never sell it; Wisdom's holy ones hold it too dear to part

with it. To them it is most gloriously precious; continually

they are heard to sing aloud "Thy ways are ways of pleasantness,

and all thy paths are peace." For step by step,

Wisdom lifts her children, and although her footprints are

only here a little and there a little, still are they deepened by

the first tread of the Eternal Spirit's mysterious outline,

which nothing can efface. And as we follow on to know the

Lord, we indeed grasp a doctrine, which Jesus said, "is not

mine, but His that sent me." We must be taught of God

before we can come to Christ, for the knowledge of the

Father can alone draw us to Him. Therefore, let us "give

attendance to reading," that we may understand what God

at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past

unto the fathers by the prophets, and in the last day of the

Jewish dispensation He hath spoken by His Son. Let the

ear of our understanding catch every sound, that we may

be able to comprehend the manifold wisdom of God; the

leaven of the Word must be hid, and the warm atmosphere

of faith and hope must surround it, before the rising process

can leaven the whole lump.

My brother, you have left the land of darkness, and

have crossed the Red Sea of Baptism, and have learnt the

sweet song of Moses; but a great wilderness is before you,

it is called the wilderness of sin. But here the Lord our God

will prove you as He did Israel of old; here He will try you as

silver is tried, and refine you as gold is refined; You have to

pass through the enemy's land, for the promised rest is

beyond, and although you may pitch your tent a little season

to rest, your march will bring the enemy near, but while

our Forerunner tarries in the mountain of holiness, let us

not make an image of our own imagination and worship it,

but let us be satisfied with the pattern given. Let us not,

when thirsty, strike the rock of Truth with the rod of error,

but like little children in meekness, let us call forth its sweet

waters as the Lord our God has commanded. Let us never

forget to place our rod before the mercy seat at eventide,

and in the morning, we shall find it has budded and borne

fruit, for there the Lord our God has promised to talk with

us; let us not listen to the evil report of the land, but let us

be satisfied with the rich grapes of Yahweh's promises

borne as they have been on the shoulders of the Prophets,

Christ and the Apostles; and when our footsteps mark the

promised land, Truth with her faithful finger will point out

the lot of our inheritance.

I feel deeply interested in your welfare, because, as i

said before, i have passed through much that you have

been the subject of. In the year 1848, I sat under Baptist

Noel for a short season. I was living at that time in a

business house in Newgate Street, and although the distance

was long, thought nothing of it, because I was deeply

interested in his preaching. My marriage brought me to

America, and in this land, the Truth found me. I was like

yourself, a wanderer, seeking for something, but knew not

the n what it was. Intense grief would come over me, when I

opened the Word, because I could not understand it. left

off going to church, and made up my mind I would embrace

nothing, until I could find something like I read in the

Word: not an ism, but my thirsty soul sought for a resting

place, but found none until Truth put forth her hand and

pulled me into the Ark. Seven years ago, I plucked her

beautiful olive branch of peace; it is an evergreen which

time cannot wither or decay. I rejoice every day more and

more, and although I labour with my hands to support

three dear children and a sick husband daily, yet I grow in

knowledge, and find the Lord prospers all I do, so that I can

often administer to the wants of the saints, finding it indeed

far more blessed to give than to receive.

i wish, my brother, you could hear our beloved and

faithful Dr. Thomas. It is indeed a feast of fat things; and

when I visit his house, and hear the words of eternal life

drop from the faithful lips of his dear wife and daughter, I

tell you my cup runs over: it is indeed good to have it full,

but far better when it runs over. You will, I hope, soon hear

our brother's voice, for he talks of leaving us in the early

part of next year to visit England, and although I would

rejoice to have him remain, yet I wish that the household

should also be greatly strengthened.

I have two sisters in London, to whom I often write

respecting the Truth, but no answer for good is returned;

they think I am entirely lost. I have desired them to hear the

Dr. if he visits London. I often feel very unhappy about

them, but Truth has taught me to know no person after the

flesh. It has separated me, and I am content to suffer the

loss of anything but the Truth. I will hold that fast until

Christ comes, for I want the pleasing sound to fall on my

listening ear, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter

into the joy of thy Lord, for to him that hath it shall be given,

and he shall have more abundance."

Trusting you may contend earnestly for the faith once

for all delivered to the Saints, that you may grow in grace

and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

and that grace, mercy, and peace may continue and abide

with you for ever; and with all the faithful everywhere, is the

earnest prayer of

Your faithful Sister in the same blessed hope,

Author Unknown

 

When we are deeply and continuously engaged in an atmosphere of Divine thoughts, we have neither time nor inclination to plot mischief and play the fool. This is the vocation of vacant minds and idle hands, who know not what it is to enter within the veil.-- Bro. John Thomas

 

 


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