I wish you grace, mercy and peace from the everlasting God, and the comforting blessing of the Lord to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. I was much pleased with the number of the GOSPEL MESSENGER that you sent me. It contains the same precious doctrine which is the meat and drink, the consolation and delight of all the quickened and manifest elect of God.
In the everlasting covenant ordered in all things, and sure, the God of Israel says: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way” (Jer. 32:38-39). There is the precious but humbling experience of our vileness, of our utter destitution of righteousness, the wonderful revelation of the mercy and tender love of the Lord. The quickened family of God have a heart to know him; there the Lord has put his fear; there, is found hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and holy delight in the law of the Lord; and when Jesus, the dear Redeem, is made known to us by the Holy Ghost, O how we love him! He is our soul’s desire; yes, the love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us. To you that believe he is precious; born not of blood, not of the will of the flesh, not of the will of man, but of God, begotten of God – we love him that begot us; and with the “one heart” we love “the whole family” of “our Father”, and thus we know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren.
The “one way” in which the redeemed of the Lord walk is the path in which the Redeemer himself hath walked; every step therein is to follow the Lamb; he trod the path of tribulation, poverty and woe; he knows what sore temptations mean, for he has felt the same. O, what a pathway of conflict was the “one way” of Jesus, our glorious bead; he set his face like a flint; for Zion’s sake he would not hold his peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake he would not rest, until the righteousness thereof should go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame, drank the bitter, bitter cup of sorrows which our Father gave him to drink. Jesus, the Lord mighty in battle, in his obedience, sufferings, agony and blood triumphed over all his foes, and in his glorious resurrection from the dead and ascension on high he brought forth in salvation “the whole family”, who from everlasting had a dwelling place in the heart of the dear Redeemer (Jer. 31:3; Psalm90; Ex. 28:29).
Do we meet with sore temptations? Jesus suffered being tempted. Have we heaviness of heart that maketh us stoop? Are we weighed down with guilt, oppressed with sorrows because of sin? Jesus was oppressed; he was afflicted; he was sore amazed and very heavy, and sweat great drops of blood, falling to the ground. Do we have much warfare to endure? Do we find sin confronting and opposing us every step we tread? Have we become weary and faint in our minds? Dear, trembling child of God, consider what Jesus endured; the Lord has said, “My grace is sufficient for thee. ” “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy day so shall thy strength be. ” The cords of eternal love draw thee onward; Jehovah’s strength is made perfect in thy weakness; he giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Is Jesus precious to thee, poor sinner? Then it is because thou art most precious to him. He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee; he abideth faithful; “The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. ” In his might thou shalt do valiantly “striving against sin, ” for neither “death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate them from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him “that loved us” (Rom. 8). Precious hope, the anchor of my poor tossed-about soul. The “one way” is the “right way” (Psalm107) wherein are found the footsteps of all the blood-purchased flock of God. And in the precious communications published in the MESSENGER those footsteps are described. There are times when the way seems dark; there is weariness, and sorrows to undergo, and times when sweet comfort, and hope and gladness abound by the power of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, in the salvation of Jesus. Though hundreds of miles lie between the earthly abodes of the dear children of God, yet how near in spirit are they in the gospel of the Son of God. Here we know one another, walk together, and are truly companions “one heart and one way”. I am I hope your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom, and patience of Jesus Christ. AMEN.
FREDERICK W. KEENE
NEWBURY, ONTARIO, CANADA,
March 12, 1884
THE GOSPEL MESSENGER, 1884,
Pages 234 thru 236.