Philadelphia, Pa., August 16, 1907.
Elder J. P. Allison – My Dear Brother In The Blessings Of The Gospel: – While reading your excellent letter a few days ago in the Signs of August 15th, written to brother Newkirk, I became possessed of an irresistible desire to write to you. While we have not looked upon each other face to face, yet my love has gone out to you while reading letters in the Signs over your signature. We cannot tell how divine love cometh, or whither it goeth, but we recognize it by Us effect upon our inner secret feelings, and if it is true spiritual love which prompts and impresses us to communicate one with another, then our object in writing can be no other than the love of God and the lifting of Jesus on high. My prayer is that this may be true in my case. I have longed to see you, for I have felt it would be profitable to talk to you, or rather to listen to you talk. There is a sweetness in gospel tidings which none can appreciate save those who know the joyful sound. To know the language of Canaan is to know the Lord, and to know the Lord is to be in possession of life eternal. How wonderful is our hope, dear brother, and how strong and secure is the Foundation of it. The experience of God’s grace embraces all of the doctrine of God our Savior; so that when we try to separate doctrine and experience we interfere with the fundamental truth of the gospel of Christ. In your letter to brother Newkirk you have presented the doctrine of Christ as you have been enabled to behold it through the eye of your heart’s experience, and I feel confident that such is the way that the Spirit takes of the things of Jesus and shows them unto us. The Lord is not an uncertain teacher, but we are uncertain creatures; we are often too ready to jump at conclusions emanating from the natural mind. When we declare the truth of the gospel, as we have experimental knowledge of it, we are not far from the kingdom, and those who hear will say, Amen. I am glad you wrote as you did on the subject of the soul. I fully agree with every word you have said on the subject, and I believe you wrote carefully and prayerfully. I could not make use of the term, “the soul of man,” for as you have quoted, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Surely this is the same creature of whom the apostle said, “For the creature was made subject to vanity,” &c. It is the creature that sins (not some part of him); it is the creature that repents, and the creature that is saved. The creature which is of the posterity of the generation of Jesus Christ is the same creature which is of the posterity of the generation of the first Adam. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” It is the subject of both births, the one from the earth (the flesh), and the other from above (the Spirit), which is required to make up the saint of the living God. It is this same creature (possessing as he does the two great principles of life and death, viz., the mystery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity,) who hopes in the mercy of God, who looketh beyond the boundaries of time “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Then surely the creature which hopes is the same which realizes and enters into the full fruition of his hopes.
But, my precious brother, I did not intend to say anything on this deep and important subject, I meant only to inform you of my pleasure in what you so ably wrote. I do not wish you to consider this letter as adding anything in the way of light and understanding to your letter, but please accept it as a small token of my esteem and fellowship for you in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That many more years may be added to your hitherto useful life, is the prayer of your unworthy brother,
B. F. COULTER.
Signs Of The Times
Volume 76., No. 14.
JULY 15, 1908.