22 N. Fourth St., Camden, N.J., Sept. 3, 1901
Miss Bessie Durand – My Esteemed Sister In Christ: – Why should one so small as I, essay to write to you? It is only that you may know that you are held in remembrance by those you have left behind. A loftier aim than this I cannot claim. The love of God is so great that when poured into a human heart, it cannot hold it, but must needs overflow and extend itself towards all the members of the holy family wherever they are. It is not myself, but God, that has brought you to my mind, and you have been with me all day, and now my pen only portrays in black and white the evidence that such is the case.
Brother Durand spoke ably on Sunday morning from these words, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.” – Psalm xxxvii. 37. It was good. He presented Christ as the perfect man; “perfected “through suffering. His aim, mission or “end,” as being the establishment of peace between his people and God – the work of reconciliation. Is it not wonderful how the Bible portrays Christ, his life and work, in every word, in every line? The Old Testament Scriptures point to it as something yet to come; the New Testament looks back to it as being finished. “Christ, and him crucified,” is the soul foundation of every christian’s hope. Sister Hart once said to me that she thought every true christian is a worker. True, they are. Workers not for salvation, but because of it. They are constantly manifesting by outward acts the salvation which God has wrought in them, for it is he that worketh in us, “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Did you ever feel alone in your experience! Of course; we are all of one family, spiritually, but still our experiences do differ, and it seems that nobody goes through just what I do.
“Like one alone, I seem to be,
O, is there any one like me?”
The same plant may bear many leaves, yet no two are exactly alike, and although we are all branches of the same vine (Christ), yet no two are exactly alike. How easily it is to mistake the workings of the Spirit for what we think is merely carnal promptings, and vice versa. I know that I have sometimes told my feelings to a brother or sister and then asked them is that of God or of the flesh? and to my surprise they say, “God.” Well, I cannot always see it that way. Not that I doubt their sincerity, but I fear they have not understood my feeble utterances.
Not since coming within the borders of the visible church, have I been able to devote much of my time to anything but the Bible or SIGNS. The newspaper takes no more than five minutes daily. I do not always enjoy the Bible, or the SIGNS either. Indeed, the former is more often sealed than unsealed, it seems to me. Nevertheless, I cannot leave it alone even then. One time during this last spring, I became much disturbed in my mind over my comparative ignorance as to current events, and things in the world around me. I have always been a great reader, but the Bible had superseded everything else, and being thrown in contact with well read people daily, I thought it behooved me to brush up on literary topics of the day. Feeling thus, I one evening walked around to the Public Library here, in which I hold a reader’s card, with the intention of reviving my interest in current topics; determining to read my Bible less, and history and fiction more. One book after another I removed from the shelves, scanning their leaves only to find “vanity and vexation of spirit” written upon every page. Something said within me, “You must not; you must not.” Discouraged I retraced my steps homeward. Entering the house, I picked up a Bible lying on the table and opening it at random, read. Ah, here at last was something worth my time and thought. My eyes were glued to the page as I read chapter after chapter. The Bible never seemed sweeter to me than at this time. Closing it at last, I resolved that nothing but the Bible should engross my time, so when I am approached on subjects that are engrossing the public mind, I simply say, “I do not know,” and though they may think me a fool on account of my ignorance, yet I have the comforting assurance that we have become fools for Christ’s sake.
Now, my dear sister, I will not further take up your time. If you can find it in your heart to answer this, do so; but I know your time is much taken up, and will try not to feel disappointed if you do not write me. Trust we will again soon have the privilege of you being with us at Sonthampton.
With much love, I desire to be yours in the bonds of love,
HORACE H. LEFFERTS.
Signs Of The Times
Volume 70, No. 10.
May 15, 1902