Philadelphia, Pa., April 19, 1902.
Dear Brother Beebe: – I feel like having a quiet little talk with you. Your face often comes up before my mental vision, and it is always welcome. The “unity of the spirit “which embraces all the Lord’s people is more far-reaching than any of us can conceive of. We think of it often as simply a oneness of mind, and of faith, and of doctrine, &c., without reference to the invisible communication (through the Spirit) between each and all the members of the body of Christ. All natural communications must be visible to at least one of our five senses. Even wireless telegraphy must have visible induction and a visible receiver. How much more powerful is the working of the invisible Spirit of Christ, which electrifies and exercises the perfectly united body of Christ, which is the church of the living God. In various ways the Lord has communicated with the children of men from the beginning of time, by which inspiration they have in turn communicated with the whole body of Christ to the upbuilding of the church. All the blood in your body issues from the one great fountain, (the heart) and permeates every fibre of the body. There is not one drop of blood in your body that did not issue from that one great source. As it courses through all the multitudinous avenues to each member of the body, it supplies from its substance the various needs of the several parts of the body; at the same time it takes up all waste material and carries it away, both of which is for the sustaining and purifying of the whole body. So the Spirit takes of the things of Jesus and shows them unto us. And each bears witness with one another’s spirit to the things which have been revealed. I cannot tell you just how the communion of the spirit is wrought out in its invisibility, but I do know this: that when the whole church of Christ is revealed to you by faith through vision, that the whole church of Christ is at that moment in your heart, and every member of its body is in secret communion with you; you see perfection and harmony and unity of faith, with the pure river of the water of God’s love flowing through all its boundaries, missing not one, even of the most fearful or isolated ones within its borders. At the same time this revealed church sets forth to you in unmistakable view and language, that it is “the fullness of him that filleth all in all. Abraham is dead, so far as this natural life is concerned, but have you not had sweet communion with him in the spirit? Have you not walked with him, and talked with him? And by that heavenly companionship have you not been built up in your most holy faith! I know of your life’s devotion in the service of your Master, and though not in the body, but in the spirit, I walk and talk with you, and because you Live, my life is ofttimes brightened, my hope strengthened and my burden made lighter, because there is (as I fondly hope) that answers to your faith, and that can testify to your walk of faith. Were you to ask me, What is this secret influence that communicates its power and enlighten men? from faith to faith throughout every hill and valley of Zion! I would say, It is the Love of God shed abroad in every heart which is subject to the grace of God. There are no confines to the power of the love of God; it has no boundaries to be reached by measurement; its flowing out from the throne of God never for one moment ceases; it reaches every tendril of our body; by its sweet influence we sing the songs of our beloved Zion; by it our feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; under its vitalizing rays we go forth beholding the nuptial day of our glorious Lord, the day of the espousals of our precious Husband. When we are low down in the valley of Achor, the love of God in our heart makes the valley a door of hope to our burdened soul; we walk through darkness and have no light, for, “The day of the Lord is darkness and not light.” Yet the Lord is there, and in his own time he will make the darkness brighter than the noonday sun. He revealeth the secrets of his glorious kingdom to all of his children. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” His kingdom is not a visible kingdom. Neither is spiritual communication visible to the world’s intelligence. Neither is it necessary for us to be face to face in order to have sweet intercourse one with another. Were it so our lot here would be a sad one indeed. For are we not scattered throughout all the world, in every nation, tongue, kindred and people? Yet what a joy it is, and how our pleasure is enhanced when we do meet together, weighing one another’s experiences, and comparing them with our own, by which we are encouraged and mutually benefited. When the Spirit reveals the things of Jesus unto us we do not want to hide the rich treasure in our breast, but we want to tell (even from the housetops) what wonderful things the Lord has done for us. We extol the name of Jesus because his Spirit flows through our veins, and into his name do we run and are saved. Our identity is lost in him, and there is no way by which we can supplicate a throne of grace except in and through his precious name. As I am writing methinks I can see all the members of the body of Christ as precious jewels of his casket, each name written in the Lamb’s book of life, for he knows them all by name, and each name is as precious as every other name; all are loved alike. The various gifts are given, not because of greater love, but because of the particular service to be rendered. He qualifies whom he please. So that the prophet, or preacher, or beloved pastor, has nothing whereof to boast, any more than the timid little one who slips quietly into the assemblies of the saints, and hides himself in a secluded corner, hardly daring to raise his eyes. That one’s heart is just as big, and his spiritual mind just as open to receive the word of life, and to partake of the broken body (the bread of life) of our gracious Redeemer, as any one in the company. The gates leading into the green pastures of God’s love are as wide open to one as another. There are no big ones or little ones in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; all are of one size, and each gift is according to the measure of the gift of Christ. I want to tell you, brother Beebe, how I look upon the various gifts in the church, for instance: the Lord has bestowed upon you a very valuable gift, of which many hundreds are partakers; to all who are benefited by your gift, to them the gift belongs, you simply exercise it in the service of your Master. Well, I reckon I have used up sufficient of your patience. Come to our association, we will do our best to make you comfortable.
With love to all the dear ones at Middletown, affectionately your brother,
B. F. COULTER.
Signs Of The Times
Volume 70, No. 11
June 1, 1902