BROTHER JEWETT: - I am pleased to learn that so many are being led, I trust by the Holy Spirit, to a more scriptural view of the important doctrine of Justification, and of the order of gospel churches; as being designed by their Great Head to be independent of all other religious ORGANIZATIONS or bodies; and that yourself among others have been thus led. As thou hast received the gift, my brother, so minister the same; freely and boldly impart the light given thee in the Scriptures; relative both to doctrine and practice. What is told thee in darkness that speak thou in the light; and what thou hearest in the ear, that preach, or publish, upon the house-top; whether in illustration of truth, or exposure of error.
I am truly rejoiced to find you where you are, on a little spot, surrounded by vast and diversified fields of error; and that the Lord has led you on step by step, to this spot, giving you an opportunity to examine each place as you passed along, and unfolding to your view the mystery of iniquity, as under the assumed garb of religious benevolence, it stalks abroad in various forms of doctrine and practice.
As to the trials you have experienced, in being constrained to renounce as error, that which you once held so sacred, having been taught in the schools of men, to receive and practice it as a zeal becoming the gospel of Christ; I think I have in my own case known something of the feelings you have endured in being thus stripped of so many good things, and being made to account them as loss, as real nuisances, for the sake of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, as the Savior of sinners, and King of Zion, as revealed to your mind by the gospel under the teachings of the blessed Spirit. I still occasionally find myself a learner in that lesson, and am conscious that to be right in sentiment, in feeling and in practice, I need to be taught much more of this lesson in that inimitable and divine way, in which the Holy Spirit imparts instruction. But, my Brother, if Socrates could with propriety say in reference to the fleshly wounds made by his chains, that the pleasing sensation felt in those parts when the pain subsided, fully compensated for what he suffered in being thus galled, well may the christian account it all joy; both in that he should be made to experience the pain and mortification of renouncing and loathing those errors which he held sacred as truths; and especially as by this operation of the Holy Spirit, he is led to behold the beauty and glory of that truth revealed in the gospel, as contrasted with the deformity of that which he had learned as truth from men, and which he now knows to be deception.
Again, you know the more mellow the ground is made, the deeper the seed sown therein, takes root; so the harrowing up of your feelings in having all that worldly wisdom and polish, which you had derived from the schools, stripped of its gaudy beauty, as compared with the simplicity of the doctrine of the cross, has but prepared you to have a deeper and more lasting impression made upon your mind by those truths imparted, to receive them with greater delight, and to hold them in higher estimation.
But then, having been associated with the admirers of the wisdom of this world, the advocates of scientific religion, in now taking a stand with the unlearned disciples of the Nazarene, you and others in like circumstances, must expect a peculiar share of reproach. This will be considered necessary to be heaped upon you, in order to hide the cause of your having departed the ranks of missionism. It will however do you no hurt. Being conscious that you have been led by the Holy Spirit to the understanding you now have of gospel doctrine and order, the reproaches heaped upon you on account of your embracing that doctrine and order, will but endear them to you, and give you the greater boldness in defending them.
And you, my brother, the more you are brought to see and feel the marked distinction there is between divine revelation and human science, will you be disposed to adopt a motto corresponding to our republican charge, that where liberty is, there is my country, and say that where gospel truth and christian experience is clearly presented to view, there is the composition which you admire, and the learning which you prize.
Centerville, Fairfax Co., Va., 1839.