Harrisburg, Ia., March 22, 1840.
Dear Brother Beebe: – I yet live as a pilgrim in the West. The lives of those who seek a better country must of course be exposed to many storms and privations. These we often measured out in proportion to the character of the inhabitants of the region through which he travels: he may be annoyed by one common foe, or he may be exposed to a variety of interests, hailing under various colors, all combined for his annoyance. I live under this last mentioned circumstance. The most dangerous foes to the pilgrim are such as with a smile of friendly salutation, and with the word “Brother” on the lip, will profess warm esteem and deep interest for his prosperity, while on all occasions in which their own true feelings and inward hatred can be indulged under some deceptive cloak to conceal the deformity of their true design, they will stab him and his reputation, under the pretension of true feelings of friendship wounded by some rumor, or something else that none but these very hidden enemies ever heard of. These I say are the most dangerous for we have to meet with; we know not how to guard against them, nor where to look for them. They are so much like the wolf in sheep’s clothing that they are hard to be distinguished; and their outward badge of professed friendship will give weight and currency to all their ill designs, as coming from friends and not enemies.
While I have been harassed with most of this complexion, I have been often constrained to say, “O that all my enemies would come out and take the field and display a bold front, for the battle, then would I not fear.” The name “Regular Baptist” is now an unmeaning term; under this name we meet with almost every variety of speculation that human ingenuity can invent, and all these claim to be our “brethren.” Well brother, Paul had his trials among false brethren, and we may look for the same, for Truth is the same, and the principles of errors stand in the same opposition to it that ever it did.
The churches in this region which stand on the Apostles’ doctrine, continue in fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers, and the Lord is adding to them some of such as has been saved, while those societies or classes built by human agency, are making wide advances, protracted (begging) meetings are cried up, multitudes are making decisions, all manner of novel and enthusiastic maneuvering is introduced, and some excitement is produced, and is called “religion,” and while under such a species of intoxication, they are hurried into membership with shouts and exultations, before the emotion can wear off, and in this way hundreds a week are gathered to swell the ranks of these man-made associations of benevolent societies, that religiously oppose the Truth of Christianity. If the good Lord had never said any thing like “fear not little flock,” I should begin to look wild, but when I look at the promises of Him who cannot lie, and find that all this beguiling with philosophy and vain deceit, with fair speeches and feigned words to make merchandise of the people, &c., is plainly advertised with so much plainness that we may easily know them, and now when they have come and are fulfilling the Scriptures as plainly as ever the Jews that crucified the Savior did. We have no cause for any discouragement: for in these respects as well as all others, it will appear at last, that under the Divine arrangement, “the wrath of men shall praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He will restrain,” for all things (without exception) “work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose."
In the exercise of that religion which we have experienced we are often constrained to say, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” – whereunto He has called us with a holy calling, for He has saved us and then called us, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace which was given US IN HIM before the foundation of the world. Therefore, by grace are ye saved, through the gift of faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Love is the fulfillment of the whole law, Christ as the gift of God was an expression of God’s love to the church, by which the whole law was perfectly fulfilled or filling up full, the righteousness of God, or of the law in us, His love being the cause and ours the effect, we love Him because He first loved us; and as Christ is the gift, the pledge and the brightness of the Father’s glory and love, so Christ in you is the hope of glory and the abiding of love. Christ is the substance of faith; the pillar of confidence; the joy of hope; the fullness of every promise; the light, life, food and raiment of every saint – in a word He is the all-in-all to every member of the called family of His beloved race, that in all things He might have the preeminence.
I will wish the SIGNS to be continued to me as usual, and would send my dollar along, but we have no bills less than $5; and as I have obtained and forwarded this sum for others, I believe according to your old proposals I am rather entitled to one copy, if so, continue mine, I should not ask this if I could forward the money now, but I wish all who wish to read your valuable periodical to have it, and although I have often rejoiced to see precious Gospel Truth present such a dauntless and undisguised front against the motley troops of antichrist in the SIGNS, yet I would rather others should read and be comforted and edified than to have it myself and they be left out. I hope success and the blessings of our common Lord may crown your well directed labors in the good cause of the militant heavenly Kingdom.
With sentiments of respectful salutations, I am,
Wilson Thompson., 1840.