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06/02/2011 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Jacob – February 6th, 1861

Dear Mr. Jacob.

I was sorry to learn from your letter that the Lord has been pleased to visit you and your family with such heavy strokes. [Mr. Jacob lost a son and two daughters by scarlet fever.] There are few things more heart-rending to a parent than to have his children torn from him by death; but we see that this was the appointed lot of some of God’s most eminent saints. Look for instance at poor Jacob, whose grey hairs he felt would be brought down in sorrow to the grave by the loss of his beloved Joseph; for though he was not really dead, yet he was such as much in his father’s feelings, as if he had actually seen his dead body torn to pieces. And look also at David. How deeply he felt the loss of Absalom, so that he would in his feelings gladly have died for him. There is only one way whereby one who fears God can be reconciled to such painful dispensations, and that is by submission to the sovereignty of Him who cannot err. This will not indeed heal the wound, but it will prevent it from rankling, and from what is worse than any affliction, that is, rebelling in our feelings against so kind and gracious a God as has watched over us with such care and tenderness for so many years.

It is a great mercy that the Lord has so constituted us that time has a great effect in softening the grief that is felt under family bereavements; and thus by degrees the heavy weight of the affliction passes off the mind. I hope that it has pleased the Lord, not only to give you submission, and your wife also, under these afflicting strokes, but also to make them in some good measure a blessing to your soul. From whatever quarter affliction comes it has a voice; and if we have but ears to hear, we shall find God speaking in it. This is the grand difference between those who fear God and those who fear Him not, that the former see God in everything, and the latter see God in nothing. Thus affliction brings no benefit whatever to the one, but often yields the greatest blessing to the other; and even if the child of grace does feel at times much rebellion under the stroke, yet usually sooner or later, when the soul has been humbled thereby, the Lord appears and sanctifies the affliction.

I am glad to learn that you are so comfortable under Mr. Gunner’s ministry, and hope that you may find more and more reason to bless God that you have been brought under it. There is nothing so precious to a believing heart as the truth, when applied to the soul by the power of God. The Lord ever will bless His own truth; but how can we expect Him to bless error, or that He will make a lie to be profitable?

I believe that the end will show that there will be no reason to regret the controversy which has been so warmly carried on about the Sonship of Christ, especially in the metropolis. The effect will be to draw a clearer and sharper line of distinction between the men who hold the truth, and those who have drunk in the error. You probably have heard or seen some of the pamphlets which have been launched against me on the subject. I have just looked at them, but no more, as I soon saw enough of their spirit to throw them aside. When men manifest such carnality and such bitterness, we need no other proof that they are not taught of God. They cannot see it themselves, nor can their admirers see it in them, but those who know the truth by divine teaching and by divine testimony see at a glance where such men are, and know that they are not under that holy anointing which teaches all things, and is truth and no lie. But as I have sent forth my little book on the subject, I shall not take the trouble to answer the various pamphlets that erroneous men may write against me.

My love to, and sympathy with, yourself and your wife under your afflictions and trials.

Yours affectionately in the Lord,
J. C. P.

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