Strickersville, Pa., June 18, 1849.
BROTHER BEEBE: – I was much gratified with your remarks on the call to the ministry. There can be no doubt, I think, that many of God’s children have impressions on the subject, who are not called to the work, as is evident from the fact, that they never engage in it. I have thought with you, that those impressions which finally subside, are more commonly found in young converts, and arise, I have thought from their ardent desire for teh salvation of others. They are frequently like young Melancthon, of whom it is said, that in his young days he thought he could make all see things as he did; but soon found that the devil and human nature were too strong for young Melanchton. Indeed this is frequently the case with young christians when first brought out of the kingdom of Satan, and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son; they feel a wish that every body was in their happy condition. And, if this opinion be correct, their impressions arise from their inexperience. But that part of your remarks relating to exhortation, struck me more particularly. I have no doubt that we are far behind the apostolic age in this particular. It is evident from scripture that the gift of exhortation existed in the primitive church. Thus Paul, in speaking of the different gifts, Rom. xii. 6-8, mentions that of exhortation as a standing gift, as well as the others. And why it should not be encouraged now as it was as well as others I know not. I have known men who were recognized as preachers who possessed a very good gift of exhortation, but on taking a text were entirely lost; and, as remarked by a man once, in relation to a sermon he had heard, that if the text had had the small-pox, the sermon would not have caught it. There are others who have excellent gifts for preaching; but have none for exhortation. From these facts it is evident to my mind, that the gifts are different, and if kept in their proper places, would be much better than to confound them. But enough of this now.
I wish some of your correspondents who know more about the Revelations than I do, or ever shall,* would tell us the meaning of the present state of things at the seat of the beast. The deposition of the Pope, and his being now in a state of exile, must mean something, and I would like to know exactly what it does mean; and then I could tell something about the time of night. It is evident however that it has produced great alarm among his subjects. The Bishop of Paris thinks it not aimed at the head of the smallest dominion in Europe; but at the head of Catholicism itself; and the Bishops in this country have issued orders for prayers to be said for their pappa, that is, for prayers to be universally made for the Pope, both publicly and in private. And I find by a late account that the old fellow has himself called on his children every where to pray for him, and promises them the apostolic benediction for so doing.
What an awful condition must that church be in whose head is in so much peril! How striking the contrast between the church and the church of the living God; the Head of the latter needs not her prayer for his protection. “He rideth upon the heavens in her help,” and not only controls the storm and tempest, but with infinite power and wisdom governs all the nations of the earth; and he will “overturn, overturn, till he whose right it is to reign shall reign.” And, my dear brethren, if we are connected with this Head, as I confidently hope we are, we have nothing to fear either for our Head, or our selves. Both are alike safe, and shall reign together when anti-christ in all her ramifications shall be lost in the vortex of her retribution.
That the God of Jacob may guide and protect you through your pilgrimage is the prayer of
Yours, as ever,
* Where shall we find such brethren, and by what marks shall we know them?
Signs of the Times.
Volume 17, No. 3.
February 1, 1849.