Written by Deacon C.M. Turman
The Virginia Corresponding Meeting, in session with the Mt. Zion Church, Loudoun County, Virginia, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, October 14th, 15th and 16th, 1936, to the churches composing the same and to the associations, meetings, and churches with which we correspond, sends greetings in the Lord.
DEARLY BELOVED BRETHREN: - We do not feel competent to write this Letter, yet at the same time we feel to comply with the wishes of our brethren who saw fit to appoint us to this duty. Praying the good Lord to be our helper we will make the attempt. We feel that none knows our vileness and smallness as do we ourselves. There are such a few things we know, if any, as we ought; and so many things which we desire to know, that it is with fear and trembling we attempt this Letter. However, we hope there is a something about us that is more than sinful flesh at times, which causes us to meditate on the goodness and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At this time, the thought occurs to us that it may be that we have a faint knowledge of the living Word of God. This brings to our remembrance the language of St. John, the first chapter, which reads: “In the beginning was the Word, an the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And in the fourteenth verse it says: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” So we are constrained to believe that the reason we are concerned about these things is because of a faint understanding of the presence of the living Word who dwells among us, which is Jesus Christ the Hope of Glory. There is a cause for such belief, and we are constrained to believe that all who believe that he is an all-wise and gracious God, and that they are in his hands, to some extent at least, are possessors of this living Word, Jesus Christ, the Hope of Glory. Surely it must be that the knowledge of this Word in us is that which causes us to loathe ourselves and to see him as One high and lifted up and altogether lovely, although at times it scarcely seems possible that these vile bodies of ours could be possessed of the presence of the living Word of God who dwells among us, as the inspired writer says. If we are not mistaken in this matter, such is the warfare of all God's elect that they live in doubt and fear each day. From our earliest knowledge of Old School Baptists, we have heard them say that they hoped they had a hope in Jesus. Often have we heard our ablest ministers say that they had been trying to preach the gospel for many years and yet were not sure that they had ever really accomplished it in all those years. They were constrained to believe they were required to testify of him as the Savior of sinners, and as Paul said, of whom they were chief. We would not have confidence in any who asked for a home among us who were oversure of their hope of glory. If not mistaken, the little ones who are his jewels have traveled a different road than that which produces a false fleshly assurance so many boast of. Those who are the Lord's fear often that they may be mistaken, hence are not sure in themselves, but live by faith and by hope and by love, which are the gifts of God, the fruits of his Spirit. In such dwells the living Word, who is their hope of glory. In the book of Malachi, it is written that the Lord's jewels are tried as by fire, all dross and chaff are consumed and they are made as pure as Christ is pure. Such is the final culmination of all who are possessors of his living Word, they shall be gathered unto him in glory.
At this session of our Meeting, we have appreciated the coming among us of your ministers and messengers bringing us your correspondence and your message of love and fellowship. Our next session is appointed to be held, the Lord willing, with the New Valley Church in 1937, at the usual time in October. We hope to welcome all of you again then.
H.H. Lefferts, Moderator
G.C. Spindle, Clerk
Signs of the Times
Volume 104, No. 12