Beloved Brother Beebe: - After so long a time I take the opportunity to address you a few lines. I am still upon the shores of time, an unchanging Old School Baptist, because I believe them spiritually right in the doctrine of God our Savior, and the only professing people on the face of the earth that implicitly take the word of God as the rule of faith and practice. Since first I commenced taking the “Signs of the Times,” most of the brethren in the ministry then have received their discharge, and have gone home to reap in the harvest-field of perfect love the trophies of victorious grace, and have left me and a few of my old beloved brethren to battle on in this present evil world with the man of sin, the fighting of flesh, and opposition of science, falsely so called. Never was anti-christ more potent, never more aroused earth and hell, to develop their characteristics than now. The fullness of his development will soon be attained, and then shall the end come, when the Lord shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming and the glory of his appearing. It is ours to wait with patience, and trust alone in God. I greet our beloved brethren of the South, who have suffered and are suffering so dire-fully. I too have suffered, God knows how much. My poor heart is made glad and joyful to hear from them through the “Signs,” and learn that they stand fast in the Lord. This is not our home; here we have no abiding city. Earth is not our inheritance, nor human governments our prop. Whoso leans upon it leans upon a broken staff that will pass away like the chaff from the summer threshing floor. But hope, saving hope, never faileth. The storm with its last fitful gust shall have passed away, and it abides still.
The communication on Revelation 11 which I sent you for publication has never appeared in the “Signs.” Well, it was your privilege to print, or not, as you thought best: but what objection you could have to sending it back, I cannot tell. I also sent you another piece for publication, viz.: I was appointed by the Western Association of Iowa, last year, to write a corresponding letter to the California Association, which I did. It was accepted, and I was requested to sent it to brother Beebe for publication, which I did, but it has not appeared. The communication on Revelations has been so long ago that I am not particularly anxious now whether you send it to me or not.
I am sorry to have got so far in arrears for your paper, but, brother Beebe, I could not help it. I was broken up by thieves, robbers and murderers in Missouri, and have been disappointed since in collecting money due me two years ago. I feel thankful to you, brother Beebe, for your patience in waiting. I hope to do better for the future. The “Signs” I love to peruse. For thirty years they have been a family visitor, and I would feel worse to lose them than Micah did when they stole his gods. I enclose four dollars, which you will please credit on the label on my paper.
Yours in gospel bonds,
Elmore G. Terry.
Reply: - If brother Terry could spend a few weeks with us in our sanctum, count the number of letters constantly pouring in, many of them while we are absent, note the hasty manner in which we are compelled to examine and dispose of them, he would not be surprised that some possessing merit are overlooked and forgotten by us. Sometimes our correspondents request us to return their manuscripts, if we fail to publish them, or if we disapprove of them. Those who wish us to return their manuscript should so instruct us when they send them, as the accumulation of papers in our office would make it a very difficult task to overhaul barrels of old letters to find such as they wish us to return. It would be much easier for them to reserve a duplicate when they send the original.
We wish it to be distinctly understood that we cannot and do not hold ourselves obligated to return such letters as are sent us. Nor is it possible for us to write a review of such as we do not publish, pointing out what may seem to us objectionable in them. Many letters are from necessity laid aside, to which we have no particular objection. From the whole mass of communications placed in our hands, we deem it our duty and privilege to select such as in our judgment will give the greatest amount of edification and satisfaction to our readers. When we have plenty of space to spare, we have published the circulars and corresponding letters of associations, who do not publish them in their Minutes; and almost invariably insert in our columns the circulars and corresponding letters of such associations as have their Minutes printed at our office, before distributing the type; and these occupy about as much space in the “Signs” as we can spare for that purpose.
We recognize brother Terry as one of our oldest patrons, and an able writer, and would feel grieved to give him occasion to think we would neglect him from any lack on our part to appreciate him as a brother, a minister, a patron, or an able and talented writer; for we do esteem him in love for his work’s sake, and deeply sympathize with him and others in the serious losses they have sustained by the devastating war which has so terribly distracted and distressed our country.
July 1, 1868.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 7
Pages 225 – 227