DEAR BROTHER KER:
I am sending a letter written by brother Keene to sister Orinda Butler, my sister Lillian and myself. I think it worthy a place in the SIGNS.
Your sister in hope,
ELLA M. FORD
Melrose Highlands, Mass., March 13, 1916
Did I know your name I could address you personally. It is a pleasing thought that I am so kindly remembered at Mt. Hope. Your present was very acceptable, and both my wife and myself feel grateful to you, and also to the Lord, for your manifest kindness of heart. Today while thinking over the matter, I have been in the multitude of my thoughts pondering over Genesis 43:11: “Carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts and almonds.” Joseph, “the man,” is a type of Jesus Christ, and in Joseph’s brethren there is a precious view of poor sinners called by grace going unto the Savior and presenting before him their balm, honey, spices, myrrh and almonds. Our dear Redeemer, like Joseph, is the one by whom poor, perishing, hunger-stricken sinners are nourished and sustained. He himself is the bread of life, and he nourishes and cherishes the church (Eph. 5:29). What surpassing wonders the Son of God has wrought. He died for our sins and rose again for our justification. In him we have redemption and forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace, and in him we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
“Carry down the man a present.” Of old time the typical people of God came with their presents before the Lord, bringing their first-fruits unto the place where God had recorded his name (Dent. 26). The queen of Sheba came to King Solomon with presents (1 Kings 18; Psalms 72), all of which is significant of believers in Jesus coming unto Jesus with their spiritual offerings (1 Peter 2:5), and in Hebrews 13:15-16, the apostle says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good, and to communicate, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” You remember that the wise men fell down and worshipped Jesus, and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto him gifts of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matt. 2:11). Every subject of God’s grace has in his heart spiritual treasures more precious than gold; the Holy Ghost has put them there.
“Carry down the man a present.” What shall we carry? “A little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts and almonds.” I will not enlarge upon these things, they are indicative of those spiritual exercises and acts in which we worship our God, whether it be to praise, to love and adore the Lord, or to sigh and mourn over our sinfulness. At our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, laid up for our beloved Redeemer (S. Solomon 7:13). “Carry down the man a present,” and let us remember that our dear Savior has said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).
May the gracious Lord bless you and all the dear friends whom I met (and whom I affectionately remember) at Mt. Hope. I shall be very glad to receive a few lines from you and to know of your welfare.
I am, I hope, your brother in Jesus,
FREDERICK W. KEENE,
Kelly Corners, NY
SIGNS OF THE TIMES,
pages 426 thru 427