Extracts from a Letter.
We make a few extracts from the letter of a friend. They are suggestive, and we hope that others may be profited by them as we have been. J. H. P.
1. "If a man wished to bestow a title of honor and entail an inheritance on a slave, would he not first make him free? How could a single soul be converted, if not first counted alive in God's sight? 'Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.' Our freedom, so that we may choose eternal life, is based on Christ's death."
2. "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom." "If Christ could in any sense be called a Bridegroom, without any bride, before the gospel [R70 : page 6] had even commenced, why can he not bear that title now, when he has come as Reaper? Why did the Jewish age belong in a special way to God? Although not 'called the Son until the incarnation' yet Christ as the 'word' created all things.' He is the Beginning as well as the End, the Author as well as the Finisher. Having created all things He sustains and possesses them. 'He came to His own and His own received Him not.' He came in the flesh to a fleshly typical bride. The marriage feast was prepared but those who were invited were unworthy." Matt. 22.
3. "I do not think any truth is vital, nor any error fatal which when believed and obeyed does not affect character. Those who understand the plans of God are called His friends, but the understanding does not make them so, it only proves their friendship. We permit others to become acquainted with our very life, not to make them our friends but because they are our friends. Christ says: 'Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.' It seems strange that any can believe that righteousness is other than right doing. ['Little children let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous.']"
4. "It is a relief to turn from the crooked and tangled reasonings of men, to the simple clear word of God. Its statements are full of heaven born power to those who receive them. I believe with all my heart that 'a little scripture is worth a good deal of reasoning,' and I am so glad man's reasoning can not alter God's word. I do not believe God ever put these latter day truths into one man's hands to dispense to the church. It would be too great an honor for the flesh to endure. Whoever makes such a claim, is in danger of becoming bigoted. But can we not afford to be calm, patient and charitable?
Heaven help you, my brother, not to falter or grow weary. The work God does through us now will stand when controversies shall be forgotten.
"Truth with diamond point shall be written on the hearts of a redeemed race."