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p457 [G Alexander] BELOVED BROTHER, - Thank you for your letter. I have heard nothing. I thought the brethren had kept silence on purpose, as I received no letters; but it may be otherwise, as some forwarded to me in Illinois have never reached me. I am sure, as you say, all is appointed by the hand of a good and gracious God. I felt this attack because of those engaged in it. I suppose it was good to learn that we are not to rely on any human tie or affection. It was painful that whilst I was labouring and toiling, humanly speaking, at all cost to myself, those I should, naturally speaking, have relied on, are labouring to destroy my labour and ministry, without saying a word to me about it. The case soon became plain to me; but I am quite peaceful about it now. I never doubted it was the work of the enemy, and cast it entirely on the Lord, and prayed earnestly the brethren might be kept in peace, and He has thus far answered my prayer. I have never been the least anxious as to myself or my doctrine. I have kept quiet as the best path, save answering inquiries from those exercised about it; but I have known none but such as were stirred up by others. The Lord will judge the matter and the motives of all, and in His hand I leave it. Had I defended myself, it would have tended to make it a party matter, to make the brethren stand on a system of doctrine, not quietly (independently of individuals) on the unity of the body: and a great body of brethren were too little versed in and informed on the subject not to have suffered by a discussion; and the holiest subjects would have been desecrated in their minds. They needed to weigh quietly and learn what divine teaching on the subject was. I therefore answered inquiries and kept quietly at my ordinary work, having thoroughly re-examined the statements to see if false doctrine was really there. Probably I shall never read D.'s book. My statements have been out these four or five years (query, eight years?), so that controversy will add nothing probably to edification. I may correct expressions if I publish a new edition. I can heartily give God thanks for it all, and we have always something to learn and judge in making a return on ourselves before God.
I had a violent attack at St. Louis, which weakened me much, and a laborious journey after; got through safely and well.
Toronto, September 25th, 1866.