Orwell, Bradford Co., Pa.
Oct. 7, 1835.
BRO. BEEBE: I wish, through the medium of the Signs, to inform the brethren that met at Lexington, at the contemplated Old School meeting, that I thought much of attending and made preparatory arrangements to attend it, and expected to, God willing that I should, until after the close of the Allegany Association; which I attended. The next day, however, a circumstance took place with me, which, in the sequel, unexpectedly prevented my attendance. It, however, was doubtless all for the best; though I confess I was sorry to be disappointed. But whether I am glad or sorry, the Lord has a right to do as he pleases, and I am glad of it. If I am not much deceived, I do at times rejoice, believing that He is every way qualified to do whatsoever pleaseth him in the heavens, in the earth, in the sea and in all deep places. I do rejoice that the government of all worlds, beings, things and circumstances, even the most minute, does rest on the shoulder of him who was the child born – the son given – and that his skill is such, that them who trust in him need not fear any thing that earth or hell, wicked men or devils, or their own lusts or all of them combined can do to them; for it is declared in truth, that all things work together for good to them that love God – who are the called according to his purpose. But I am such a poor, empty, worthless, barren, ugly thing, that I sometimes feel light, and active and do just as my foolish fancy leads me. And when I realize how foolish I act, how feeble I am and how little I know, how strong my fears and how great my darkness, and how powerful my unbelief, I am both sick and ashamed of myself before God. If I am one of those that preach the truth in the letter of it, I freely confess that I am on the sick list in this day of famine, as I really conceive it to be, not of bread nor of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord.
Although I would not speak light of the few ministering brethren that I have in this region, for I esteem them better than myself, yet I feel a perfect satisfaction in saying, that I believe each one of them are at times troubled with such barrenness of mind and want of appetite, as renders it impossible for them to say to their brethren, as Paul did to the church at Rome: “I am sure that when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” Are they not then on the sick list? I am ready to believe that if they were enquired of, they would frankly acknowledge that they were generally much more dry, cold and barren in their minds than they could wish. It appears to me, whether others agree with me or not, that there is some want of divine energy in most of the preaching that I hear. One thing that conduces to make it appear so, I suppose is, in occasionally hearing a sermon that appears so much richer, warmer and sweeter than others which I believe to be equally true in the letter. It if is not so with my brethren they differ with me. I believe, however, that God has a purpose in it, and that he rules the whole for his own glory, the good of his chosen, and the confusion of his foes.
With the foregoing you may do as you think best, only, if you please, let the brethren know that I was unexpectedly prevented from meeting with them.
Your’s and their’s, with much esteem.
Signs of the Times
Volume 3, No. 24.
November 25, 1835