Brother Sunderlin, in closing a letter, recently received, said: "This twig sends love to all the branches of the vine." We take this opportunity of sending it to such branches as are readers of the WATCH TOWER. It expresses a very beautiful sentiment, and shows the modesty of the "twig." This, as has previously been shown in the WATCH TOWER, is the right understanding of the word "branch," as used by our Lord. It is common to hear people speak of belonging to the Methodist branch of the church, or the Baptist, or other branches, thus recognizing the fact that THE CHURCH is not a branch, but a vine, composed of all truly united to Christ. A careful reading will convince anyone that Jesus recognizes no denomination as a branch. Jesus deals with us as individuals; each Christian who consecrates himself to Christ is a branch of the vine. "I am the vine, ye are the branches."
If all could know and appreciate this, it would make them less particular about having their names enrolled on earth, and more particular about having their "names written in heaven;" less careful about the "voice" and "authorities" of an earthly institution, and more careful about the authority and voice of the Master and Head, Christ.—"The head of every man (believer) is Christ, and the head of Christ is God." [1 Cor. 11:3.]
Well, we thought that most of the branches would appreciate Bro. S.'s sentiment, for Love is the essence of the branch as well as of the vine, and in answering him, we suggested that he write some for our paper, which would be one means by which he might add to the spiritual health, comfort and fruitfulness of some of the "branches." He has concluded to do so, and we have added his name to the list of contributors on first page. This number contains two articles from his pen.