LANHAM, W. Va., Nov. 29, 1913.
DEAR SISTER: – I received your good letter a few days ago, and was truly glad to hear from you. I am always pleased to receive letters from those who have learned in the school of grace that salvation is of the Lord from start to finish. I feel that every stroke of your pen manifested that knowledge and wisdom which none can have but those who have been led by the hand of Omnipotence. This is the highway where the lion’s whelp has never trod, nor the vulture’s eye seen; none but the redeemed of the Lord have knowledge of this way of holiness, Christ the way, the truth and the life.
I was well pleased with my visit at your house, and was also pleased to meet the brother and hear him speak of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, although he did not express himself on all points of doctrine which have been discussed among the Baptists from time to time for many years. It seems that many good brethren have become fearful of predestination of all things that come to pass, whether good or bad; then from such a state of fearfulness they begin to set bounds, or limit the Holy One of Israel, by saying that only good things were predestinated by God, and that evil, things spring up in and of themselves, without any purpose of God in them. They fail to see the purpose of God carried out in the ease of Joseph’s brethren selling him on account of his dreams. Their act was a wicked act. They meant it for evil, and Joseph told them so, but that God meant it for good, to the saving of much people alive. Also in the crucifixion of Christ, wicked men acted wickedly and gratified their wicked desire, crucifying the Son of God. Surely this was done according to God’s foreknowledge and determinate counsel. They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, in saving his elect children from their sins. Jesus told them that he could pray to his Father and he would bid twelve legions of angels to defend him. But it was expedient that One should die, that all of his elect perish not. He must die for our offences and be raised again on the third day for our justification, hence there is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. It seems possible that God’s children may follow the leading or prompting of the flesh, and in so doing sow to the flesh, and in such a course reap corruption. In such sowing there are divisions and dissensions in the churches, for such preaching pleases the natural ear and carnal mind. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
I must close for this time. Please cast the mantle of charity over this letter.
I remain your unworthy brother,
J. W. McCLANAHAN.
Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 16
August 15, 1914