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Our much esteemed and beloved brother in Christ, Mr. A. H. Rule, was educated for the ministry under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church, and was sent as a missionary to preach the Word in Egypt. Soon after arriving in Egypt he felt led of the Lord to preach the imminent return of Christ, and the rapture of the saints. Inasmuch as these and related truths were not held by the United Presbyterian Church, Mr. Rule was asked by his superiors in that organization, either to cease the proclamation of these doctrines, or accept dismissal from the foreign field. He chose to give up the work in Egypt rather than compromise the truth of God, and so returned in the year 1873.
Mr. Rule, his wife and child took up their residence in Vinton, Iowa, where there was an assembly of saints gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus, outside all sectarian fellowship. Here they found a scriptural basis of gathering that satisfied all the pattern of the New Testament Church. They were received into fellowship at the Lord’s table, and abode in that fellowship the remainder of their earthly pilgrimage.
In Des Moines, Iowa, where Mr. and Mrs. Rule spent the greater part of their lives in the path of service for the Lord, they were privileged to be the first to establish the little testimony to the truth of Christ the Center in that city. This was in 1880.
I consider it a real privilege to contribute this foreword to the following collection of the papers and letters of Mr. Rule. While yet a young man I came under his spiritual guidance, and through his personal and written ministry, I was gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus. It was the reading of his pamphlet, entitled “A Few Thoughts on the Church,” that led me to cast in my lot with those who seek to walk in the path of separation.
Mr. Rule was no academic theorist in divine matters; rather was it for him ever to say with the Apostle, “For me to live is Christ.” Thus I feel I can heartily commend to my brethren in Christ the careful reading of these volumes, and I feel assured that all who do so will be richly repaid in their souls (See Heb. 13:77Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (Hebrews 13:7); J.N.D. Trans.)
C. H. BROWN, 1953.