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07/01/2013 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Beecher – September 18th, 1849

My dear Mr. Beecher

From various causes I have not been able to attend earlier to your kind and friendly letter.

I think sometimes that Satan, seeing the Lord has blessed my ministry, is doing all he can to overthrow it. The doctrine and the experience cannot be overthrown; and therefore attempts are being made to overthrow the author.

And what more ready way than to say that he borrows what he preaches?

But surely they ought to point out whence it is borrowed. I have not read nor, indeed, seen poor old Osbourn’s book, but I am told it is a shameful production, and full of scurrility and abuse. But how little he can know of me, or of my experience. When he was at my house he seemed to have no inclination to talk upon experimental things, nor did he ask me one word about my experience. Nor do I believe he has read any of my writings. The poor old man was annoyed and disappointed because I would not praise up his writings, which I could not do when I found him so different a character from what I anticipated. And when the remarks in the Standard appeared, it incensed him all the more. I believe, therefore, in my own mind, his letter to me was written altogether out of spite and revenge. It is not likely, therefore, that God will own and bless a book written from such motives and in such a spirit.

I cannot now sit down and write you an experience spread over more than twenty-two years. My experience is incorporated in my sermons. And if you cannot see nor feel that to be genuine and my own, it is not all I could write that could do it. I have felt guilt and bondage; have had sweet and blessed views of Christ; have seen His glory by the eye of faith; have felt Him precious to my soul; and, did time and space permit, could tell you where, when, and how. But you will find my experience in my sermons, for I feel what I preach, and preach what I feel; and this makes them blessed to God’s children, and stirs up the malice of Satan. If I were to be satisfied with a dry doctrinal religion, I would be let alone. But because I contend for the power, some seem almost as if they would pull me to pieces. And if I know nothing of experience, why do I contend for it? Why did I not stay in the Church of England, where I might, but for conscience’ sake, have been this day, without let or molestation?

But I hope the Lord will bring me safely through all this strife of tongues. I mean to keep quiet (D.V.), and let them say what they will. All their attacks only give me fresh errands to the throne of grace.

Yours very sincerely,
J. C. P.

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