Newton County, GA., May 24, 1858.
BROTHER BEEBE: - The SIGNS OF THE TIMES still continue to bear unmistakable evidences of the darkness and corruption which prevails in a religious point of view. One of those periodical religious excitements which occasionally is manifest in our land, now can be seen throughout the length and breadth of our country. It is mostly confined to cities and villages, though there are a few instances of it in country places. It first broke out in some of the Northern cities, where the religious atmosphere is very pestiferous. It has advanced to the South where considerable proportions of the same unhealthiness and disordered elements exist. It seems to be inseparably connected with the condition of man in his fallen state. It does not lead its victims to a heartfelt acknowledgement of the Eternal truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures, but to a simple avowal of certain feeling and changes produced by the circumstances which surround them, and which are fleshly in their nature and character. It is quite contagious and at times prevails like an epidemic. Strong minded men, as we would say, are overcome by it, and persons of weak nerves and great natural excitability are the greatest sufferers. Thousands of persons are inveigled into a profession of religion through a supposed ability and righteousness of the creature. A sort of zeal attends their movements, marked with a vain-glorying, creaturely boasting spirit.
As much as the writer of this article desires to see the work of the Lord in the experimental salvation of his fellow creatures, he cannot, he dare not repose any confidence in any power, means, or efforts of men. Salvation from sin, death, and hell, is exclusively of God from first to last. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the ALMIGHTY. When he works, none can let or hinder. The effect of the grace of God upon sinners is an humble spirit, and a contrite heart, and leads in the way of truth and righteousness. There is a love to God, to holiness, to the personal character of Christ, and a self-loathing, and a self-abhorring spirit in those who are born again.
May the Lord give his people a spirit of discernment in this deluded age, to know and follow after the truth, and not be deceived by the alluring wiles of anti-christ, or carried away by the cunning craftiness of men whereby they lie in wait to deceive.