CORRESPONDENCE

Crawfordsville, Ind., Feb. 11, 1901.

Beloved Brother Beebe: – My heart prompts me to thank you for your dear letter of the 8th, received this morning, bringing words of blessed comfort in my sorrow, and they have done me much good. Dear brother Chick also sent me helpful words of comfort yesterday. As I write you now, in tears of mingled sorrow and comfort, I think of the angels of God who were sent and ministered to his Son in his trial and great sorrow, and it melts my heart that the Father thus ministers to one so poor and unworthy as myself in this time of heavy sorrow and sore trial. O, my dear brother, I cannot now tell you how deeply I am tried. The Lord knoweth it all, and he knoweth how to succor me. The blessed words of the suffering Redeemer come to me, spoken to his troubled disciples in their sorrow: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” When the sisters of the sleeping Lazarus were in heart-breaking sorrow, and there was nothing in the law or the Jew’s religion that could comfort them, Jesus himself went tothem and by his word and power he relieved and comforted them, so that their mourning was turned into joy. “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life,” he says, and we find it true. To the sisters he said, “And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die.” Their brother lived and believed in him. Therefore, Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was not dead, then; for Christ was his life, and he slept in Jesus. O how comforting! This truth consoles me in this great sorrow for my own loss. The divine assurance abides with me that my daughter, who was so lovely in spirit, lives with her Savior within the veil, and that his precious word is true of her: “Weep not; for she is not dead, but sleepeth.” O, brother Beebe! in such an hour as this, how exceedingly precious is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and how empty and puerile is all else.

For the relief of my sorrowing and burdened heart, I have just finished a paper on Sin and Redemption and Salvation, which is submitted to you, and which gave me comfort as my wife read it to me. If you find comfort in it as the truth of God, you will please give it to the precious brotherhood in Christ, that they may be comforted with the same comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. It has strengthened and cheered me in my trials of faith, that many have written me of the solid comfort the SIGNS is to them, and my poor writings also – poor as compared with the riches of our Lord’s grace and truth. My own spirit has so often thanked and blessed the gracious Giver of every good and perfect gift for the perpetuation and abiding faithfulness of the precious SIGNS OF THE TIMES. The Lord richly bless you and yours, my dear brother Beebe, in all your tribulations and afflictions in the gospel of his grace, and all your dear readers also, with our meek and faithful brother Chick, whom I have known and loved from his youth.

Now in closing, I am impressed that the measure of my affliction is nearly filled up, and that “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” I would not have it otherwise; for to depart, and be with Christ, is far better. It is only by the grace of God and in sorrowful humility that I may further say, with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” The name of the Lord be praised, for his grace and glory. Please say to all the beloved in Christ for me, Be faithful unto death, and the Lord will give you the crown of life.

In fervent love and fellowship in Christ, your sorrowful brother,
D. BARTLEY.

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 6
MARCH 15, 1901.