Lanham, W. Va., May 14, 1913.
DEAR SISTER PULTZ: – As I have not been able to write for a long time, I will try, if it is the Lord’s will, to answer your good letter dated March 23d. I wrote a few lines the same day I received it, thinking to send it by return mail, but my health continued to grow worse for a time afterward, so much so that I had no mind to write letters, or send out those I had written. This morning, as I was looking through my Bible, I came across the letter I had been writing you. A feeling of solemnity took hold of my poor heart, and I asked God to give me strength to write you a few lines, to let you know that I received your letter, and was truly glad to hear from you at that time, for it seemed to be the appointed time, as I was in deep waters, sorely depressed in mind and body. The Spirit which I am sure directed your pen, took hold of me, and led me into the green pastures of God’s love, and caused me to remember now my Creator in the days of my youth. When born in this spiritual kingdom we desire the sincere milk of the word. It is then we love that good old hymn, “Amazing grace,” and will always love it, for it was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed. I earnestly hope to be reconciled to God’s will in all things, as, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” There are times when I do feel the spirit of reconciliation, and am brought to his banqueting-house, and his banner over me is love. Then I rejoice for a season, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Here I remember my Creator in the days of my youth, the man Christ Jesus, the Lord of hosts, the Captain of my salvation, who delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. O how glad we would all be if the Spirit of the Lord would abide with us, for we feel that we are pilgrims and strangers, seeking a city whose maker and builder is God. I am fully satisfied that there is a purpose in the dark clouds that so often intervene between us and our God, for he is the God of purpose. By the pen of one of his prophets he said, “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” We never have rain, except when there are dark clouds, that intervene between us and the sun ; yet the sun continues to shine behind the clouds just the same, but out of our sight. The rain falls upon the living substance for the purpose of giving life more abundantly, but when it falls upon a dead substance it hastens decay. “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.” – Deut. xxxii. 2.
I will close for this time, asking you to pardon me for delaying so long in answering your good letter. Ill health has kept me from writing to many of my kindred in Christ, but I am always glad to hear from the dear saints, and hope they will feel like writing me from all parts where the dear old reliable SIGNS is circulated. I am suffering from a large tumor in my side, and only have any ease in a sitting or standing position. If you wish you may send this poor letter to the SIGNS.
I remain your brother in affliction,
J. W. McCLANAHAN.
Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 1
January 1, 1914