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We give an extract from a letter just received from a brother who was active in opposing the Vow, and our answer, for the benefit of all our readers. We are glad to note the loving solicitude of our friends on our behalf, and surely deeply appreciate the fact that more prayers ascend for us daily than probably were ever received at the throne of heavenly grace for any other person who ever lived. The knowledge of this is a constant source of strength and encouragement for which we continually thank God, making mention of all of his dear Israel in our prayers. However, dear friends, do not become so absorbed in thought and prayer for us that you will neglect to follow the Master's advice to also Watch and Pray for yourselves.
Brother, are you being tested along those lines? If that is too blunt or embarrassing a question, I rescind it, but the matter weighs pretty heavily upon my heart, and if you are, I want to let others know and exhort them to special prayer along those lines.
Your favor of the 11th reaches me on my return. Thanks for its words of caution and kindness. I occupy a peculiar position, dear brother—opposed by the hosts of Babylon and surrounded by a small company of friends who, by reason of the Truth, have their senses exercised to such an extent as makes them the most critical people in the world. The world, the flesh, the devil and Babylon I make no particular effort to please. I am delighted to use every legitimate opportunity to serve and to please the "brethren." But I must not wonder at it if I fail to please all of them all the time. My resolution, therefore, is and has long been, to do my best to please the Lord and to leave it to him to keep all his true sheep from stumbling over my imperfections or through their own awkwardness and combativeness.
I note your three queries and am happy to tell you that none of them is embarrassing. My faith, my brotherly love and my loyalty to the Lord and his Word, I would not boast of, though I rejoice that, by the grace of God, I am what I am in this respect.
Having so little trouble along these lines myself, yet having them brought to my attention frequently by dear and well-meaning brethren, has led me to philosophise upon the subject. My conclusion is that these dear brethren are judging me by themselves and that, knowing their own trials and difficulties, they sympathetically suppose that I am similarly afflicted. Indeed some of them have plainly intimated that if they occupied my position they would surely be away off on all of these points, and hence marvel if I would not be.
I take no credit to myself, dear brother. I had the good fortune to be born with the organ of self-esteem very small and, whatever my character is, I am pleased to credit any good to the grace of him "who loved us and bought us with his precious blood."