We publish the following as an evidence of the fact that the Lord is pleased occasionally to grant physical healing, probably as an indication of the approach of the "times of restitution." (Acts 3:19-21.) The sister does not mention the tenor of her prayer; but anticipating queries we would refer inquirers to the articles on prayer and faith healing in our issues of July 1 to Sept. 1, and suggest further that if in her place the strongest prayer we could offer consistent with our consecration of all to the Lord, would be,—to tell the Lord (1) of our unbounded confidence in his ability to heal, if he saw best so to do; (2) of our desire to have his will done whether it be for our life or death, our sickness or health; (3) of our earnest desire to serve him, and our determination to use whatever strength and health and ability he saw best to grant in his service—as called out of darkness into his marvelous light. (4) There we would rest the case—
DEAR FRIENDS:—I have been in the valley of the shadow of death, and my restoration to life and health [R2090 : page 16] is thought by many to be little if anything short of a miracle. Having been crippled for over thirty years by spinal and sciatic rheumatism, I had no hope of ever recovering and was resigned to the Lord's will. In January, '94, I fell on the ice, resulting in concussion of the spine and fracture of the hip joint, breaking two principal bones. For three months I was unable to move a finger. Friends sent me three of the best surgeons they could find, and all three agreed that it was useless even to prescribe for me, that recovery was impossible. Finally, when all looked for me to die at any instant, a poor old colored friend, a Christian woman, said to me, "You never tried Doctor Jesus. He can cure you. Now pray with me, and rejoice; for we will be heard." So we prayed, and soon I noticed an improvement. To-day I am not only better in health, but I can walk better than in thirty years, and all traces of my old infirmity are gone.
While I lay helpless, I thought how I would try to lead others to the light. I had often thought to devote my time and labor to the Lord and his kingdom work, and am longing to do so now, if it be his will. I thought of your tracts, and especially of "Do You Know." I have delayed too long now, God forgive me this sin. I can offer something on "Good Hopes," as the Lord has sent me a pension. The time is at hand, the Kingdom is at the door. O may I be found worthy to work for it, and to enter into its glory, is the prayer of
The following letter is from a "Quakeress" or "Friend" who had long followed the Lord according to the light possessed, but failed to recognize him as having "bought us" by the sacrifice of himself. Thank God, she has found the only "door," the only "way" to God, and has entered as a true sheep into the fold of the true Shepherd. Alas! how many excellent moral people, blinded by the Adversary, fail to find the only gate to the true "narrow way." Thank God! the hour is near when all the blinded ones, who are now feeling after God, shall have the eyes of their understandings opened and shall find the "way." (Compare Acts 17:25-27; Isa. 29:18; 42:16.) But what shall we say to comfort or encourage those whose eyes have seen the love of God and of Christ, manifested in the "ransom for all," and whom the love of Christ has not constrained to love in return nor to be his disciples? Ah! theirs is a much more serious case; and we know of nothing in God's Word for their encouragement, except it be the suggestion of beating with "many stripes," which may be understood to signify some hope of a blessing through tribulation, if then properly exercised by it.
There is a good suggestion in the letter for some, respecting the propriety and necessity of definitely accepting the Lord by faith, and of making a positive covenant with him upon the only terms,—full, free, unreserved, joyful self-surrender, as preceding the evidences of full acceptance.
DEAR FRIEND:—Just a word to thank you for your letter and prayer, which has not been altogether without answer, and for the WATCH TOWER which came [R2091 : page 16] two or three days ago.
I think my error has been that I have taken the right of sonship too much as a matter of course, instead of realizing that the disobedient child is not in the true sense a child of God. From the condition of disobedience Jesus has purchased me at the heaviest possible cost, and I have been enjoying the redemption or the purchased blessings without rendering to him due gratitude in return. I have not taken him into account as I ought.
By degrees it came to me that a definite act of faith was required of me. I must cast myself unreservedly, without doubt or fear, upon Jesus Christ as a Savior, and trust him for righteousness. I winced at the thought of such a complete surrender; but, when Jesus bent to ask me to give him my heart "once for all" and "now," I found there was no escape, I was already a captive; and that the sweetest possibility in all the world would be to be his "prisoner," "bond-servant," subject, slave, only to follow and serve him henceforth; relying upon him alone, in God, for the ability to do so.
And so, "once for all," with Bunyan's Pilgrim, I have dropped my burden at the foot of the cross. Now I go to my comparatively neglected Bible, having given myself once for all to a neglected Savior. And if to be baptized into Jesus Christ is to be baptized into his sufferings and death,* I will choose these in preference to any present health or exemption from trial, unless it be made very clear to me that I am to do otherwise. I believe that the redemption gives us health sufficient to do all that the Father expects of us, and I will not ask for more. Very gratefully, __________
[That is a good point to keep in memory: preservation of health and faculties is as truly to be esteemed providential as restoration when impaired; although not generally so esteemed. And afflictions (physical or financial) are sometimes blessings: One of old wrote, "Before I was afflicted I went astray." Another wrote, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
All of the saints, "sons," receive some chastisements: some in one way, some in another; some in ways that all can see, some in ways that none but themselves know: some learn the lessons slowly, and some more rapidly: but all have need of divine direction and correction. Unless disciplined and pruned they will not bear the fruits of the spirit in such profusion as the Master seeks; and unless fruitbearers they are cumberers of the Vine and will be "cut off."