Crawfordsville, Ind., July 16, 1900.
Mrs. M. Stella Poe – My Dear Friend And Sister: – On my return here last Thursday, after a long absence in Ohio and eastern Indiana, my wife with me, yours of the 8th inst. awaited me, with other letters, and was read with comfort. I am thankful for such letters, and have heart-felt fellowship in the love of Christ for the writers of them. You have been taught of God the Father, and have come to Jesus, in whom you now believe, trust and rejoice. I, too, have come to him, and he is all my salvation and all my desire. So we have come near to one another, in thus coming to him, and in him we are very kindred, children of the one heavenly family, and are seeking the heavenly country, our Father’s home, into which our firstborn Brother from the dead has entered, and from whence we look for him to come again, according to his promise, to receive us and all his Father’s children up into his glory, to be with and like him forever. In this hope we now wait, and are often lonely and sorrowful, as was our Beloved. in the days of his flesh, while away from his Father’s home of glory in this wilderness world of sin and suffering, as the good Shepherd of the lost sheep, the Bridegroom of the enslaved bride, the Brother-Redeemer, and the sympathizing and faithful High Priest of all his sinful people, whom the Father gave him, and whom he came to seek and save from their sins and foes. He shall surely find them and bring them all homo. he is the salvation of all his people. In this perfect work of redemption from all their iniquities and salvation from the curse of the divine and holy law, Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, for in all their afflictions lie was afflicted, and he poured out his soul or life unto death. But God the Father raised him up from the dead by the glory of his power, and exalted him at his own right hand in heaven, the Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel his people, and remission of sins. It is for his sake therefore that we have repented, sorrowed and mourned, and have been forgiven and saved. And though now we see him not, yet in him believing, we rejoice with joy inexpressible, and look and hope and wait for his coming, nor shall we he disappointed in this hope. He himself said to us, “I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” Precious Savior! O, let me be near thee! I am weak, but thou art almighty; I am poor, but thou art infinitely rich; I am sinful and dying, but thou art righteousness and life. Let me freely take of thee. Having thee, I have salvation and holiness and heaven. O, my young friend, it is impossible to set forth the fullness of Christ, our precious All in all, our loving Father’s well beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. And are not we also well pleased in him? You have tasted that the Lord is gracious, and in him you are complete. O, I know you long to own him your Lord, and come after him in his steps, nor would you blush to speak his name, his precious name, for in his name you are saved. I must tell you that I am very poor and sorrowful in spirit, and have many afflictions and trials, but these only make Christ the more needful and precious to me, and so closer and closer would I cleave to him, as my life, my way, my all. With Paul, let me be determined to know nothing among the people, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified, for in him is life and righteousness and all salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other.” Because I have earnestly contended for this precious truth and faith, I have had to endure reproaches and misrepresentations, and personal attacks have been made upon me in perverted Baptist papers. But how little all this is compared with all that the dear Man of sorrows endured and suffered for me. It is a strange thing to me that any believer in Christ will contend for salvation and the blessings of God in time as his rewards for their own personal obedience, rather than rewards of grace, freely bestowed upon us for the sake of Christ and his righteous obedience as our only righteousness and all our salvation, and all this from the fountain of God’s rich mercy and much more abounding grace, where sin abounded unto death. Can such persons feel the sentiment of a poet, who said, “If I sing, or preach, or pray, sin is mixed with all I do”! One thing is most true, dear child of grace, our beloved Jesus is not a conditional Savior, and so the salvation that is in him is not conditional salvation, although we receive it in time, and it is our present salvation. I ask, therefore, Is there any salvation from any sin out of Christ? For Peter said, “Neither is there salvation in any other.” He uses the word salvation in its broad and unqualified sense, meaning salvation in all its amplification and fullness, as spanning all time and saving from all sin and its direful results, or all salvation; and all this is in Christ, but in no other. All this salvation in Christ, then, is salvation by the grace of God in Christ, by whom alone grace reigns, reigns through righteousness, and reigns unto eternal life. O, how much safer and better and more glorifying to Christ this is than any principle of conditional salvation which “depends upon ourselves,” and is bestowed upon us as a reward for our works. Again, dear friend, let me kindly ask your attention to this question: Can any spiritual blessing in Christ be conditional on our part, and come to us as a reward for our obedience, seeing that God blesses us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world! You will say, “No.” Then, can we receive a single spiritual blessing more than all spiritual blessings! Certainly not. Are not all the blessings of the gospel of Christ spiritual blessings! Most truly, because they are not earthly blessings. Well, then, what spiritual or gospel blessing is there left to be bestowed upon us as a conditional reward for our works! Can you tell! Can any one tell! John says of Christ, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” – John i. 16. Is it possible for any of us to receive any blessing of salvation from God more than Christ’s fullness! Then all his fullness of which all we have received is “grace for grace.” This settles it forever on the side of grace, and establishes the truth that all divine blessings from the God of grace and salvation are bestowed upon us in Christ and for his dear sake, and are the rewards of grace. I am thankful that you believe this truth, and look to Jesus only. So you can truly sing, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.”
The God of all grace and blessing bless you in Christ, and for his sake. Your sweet reward is in resting in the Beloved of your soul, whom you delight, in, and in whom is all your salvation and every divine blessing and comfort. Gladly will I come and see you baptized in the faith and love of this dear Lord and Master, if the Lord will. Let us leave it with him. Should the brethren desire me to attend the association at the Amnon church with them, I trust the Lord will open the way, as you request. My wife sends love.
In the afflictions of the gospel and the faith of Jesus, yours to serve,
Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 18.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1900.