Letter 9

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
February 11, 1343.
My Very Dear Sister,
Your most kind and welcome letter has remained some weeks unanswered. But since I got it, we have all moved over to Clifton, 5, Richmond Terrace. Several circumstances have led to this, and we are here, please God, for a month, but I have no present prospect of going farther into England. It was not a sister but a cousin we lost some weeks ago. She was united with the Brethren, and died in sweet assured peace. I have indeed, dear sister, been happy in the knowledge of our dear and honored brother. His simple zeal and confidence in Jesus; humbles me much, and the services he has been doing in the blessed Master's cause. But the recollection that “the small and great stand before God," comes to relieve the heart pressed by the sense of our comparative barrenness. I trust all the dear brethren in Exeter are happy together and individually walking in communion with the Lord. My love to them.
I remember my happy little visits to you, beloved sister, and am thankful that the Lord has put it into our hearts thus at times to say a word to each other on paper.
I was sitting with dear.... yesterday. Her sister's decline is very gradual. This post has brought me a long letter from dear.... at Demerara. But I have not yet read it, beyond the just seeing that he appears, in the Lord's mercy, to be in health.
It was striking me much last evening, how the discovery of the Book of the Law in the days of Josiah has a distinct voice in it, in the way in which his heart was moved by it. He had been serving the Lord according to his light previously, but when he had the book read to him, he began to serve Him in a new spirit and with increased intelligence. (Something in this like Cornelius. See Acts 10.) He rent his own garment then. He took the place of a sinner, in a spirit that he had not done before, and then he also makes the word, and not his own religious thoughts, the rule of his doings. So will it be with the faithful Israel in the latter day, I believe. Josiah's heart became much exercised, when he heard the book of God, and so will theirs when they return to that from the vanities and traditions which have now so long occupied and deceived the nation. There may be previously, as in him, a following of the light as far as they know it, but when they recover the word; when the oracles of God become their care and meditation, their souls will get onward as his does. Psalm 119 will be their experience and utterance just at that time.
But the judgment against the nation is not to be changed by all this. Josiah, as the faithful, one, will be spared, but the decreed judgment goes on. So in the latter day. The nation will be judged; the convicted, believing, obedient remnant will be spared.
Farewell, my dear sister. Ready and thankful shall I be to get another little word from you, whenever disposed to write. The Lord be with your spirit; and with united love from all,
Believe me, ever your affectionate brother,
J. G. B.