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FOR THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

Strickers Ville, Pa. Nov. 10, 1834

DEAR BROTHER: I had expected to see you this fall, but my excuse will be found in Romans, i, 13. This leaves us all in common health with the exception of a bad cold under which I am laboring. I believe it is my lot to play on the complaining string as long as I tarry in this poor frail tabernacle, yet, if I am so happy as to find a place in that house not made with hands, all will be well at last. I have been very much interested in the last numbers of the Signs, they have been to me like the Sun shining through a dark cloud. I have often thought my name was quite appropriate – Thomas – poor doubting Thomas; I know that the most High ruleth not only in the kingdoms but in the hearts of men and that nothing can frustrate his fixed purposes; I am well convinced that all the arts of satan and schemes of men, will never fatally deceive one of his elect – no, not one hoof will be left behind. And yet strange as it may appear, I cannot help disponding at times, and like David, to say I shall fall one day by the and of Saul. I have been very much in the cellar, (as people say,) this fall, and had almost come to the conclusion, that the advocates of Truth were driven from the earth, with a few exceptions, and that it would very soon sink into total obscurity; but in looking over the late No’s of the Signs, I met with a very seasonable rebuke, and was filled both with shame and rejoicing – ashamed, to think of my unbelief, and rejoiced, to find that God has not left himself without a goodly number of witnesses. Those communications from the different bodies that have taken a stand in defence of Truth, were like apples of gold in pictures of silver; I think that Mr. Stevens (to use an old saying) in attacking brother Thompson, has run against a snag; and though Mr. S. might have found some flaws in his grammar, in general I think he has no room to find fault with his pointing. I cannot express the pleasure I felt in seeing such a bright star in the west. When I see such things I feel as if I was winged anew; but alas, unbelief soon crushes them, and I fall to earth again. I find that our new school writers, are very frequently imprecating the curse of Meroz on our heads, and had the Lord heard them, we should all have been in the bottom of Tophet long ere this; but how can they curse whom God has not cursed, or how can they defy whom God has not defyed? But unfortunately for them the passage does not read to suit them: to answer them it should read, curse Meroz &c., because they would not come to help the Lord against the mighty, but the curse is denounced against them for not coming to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Now you know that we do not pretend to help the Lord, and therefore the passage just suits us; but as they are summing up their strength to help the Lord, it does not suit them. I most wonder that in the plenitude of their wisdom they had not altered the translation, but should they undertake to alter the Bible to suit them, they would find it a very difficult task – indeed I would think it better upon the whole for them to make a new one entirely, and leave the old one to us, as it exactly suits in every particular. The above passage needs no alteration for us, because when the Lord shall come to deliver his spiritual Israel from her many and mighty foes by which she is now oppressed, I will warrant them that the old school Baptists will not fall under that curse, they will be ready to come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. You know that this was the case with natural Israel, they had been oppressed and the Lord came to deliver them; but the inhabitants of Meroz refused to come, and thus despised the help of the Lord, and perhaps from the pride of their hearts prompting them to think that they could help themselves, just like our modern religionists. But I must close.

Yours, as ever,
THOS. BARTON.

Signs of the Times
Volume 2, No. 26
December 24, 1834