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have a promise, and a promise which will stand fast for ever, for our Master never departs from his word, that peace and order shall be restored through all his dominions, and that things shall be with us, as they were in the beginning, before the enemy and his agents had found admittance in this place. And it is to this happier state of things to which all our conjoint labours are tending, my young friend,” he continued," and have been tending for some months past. The present,” he added, raising his tone, " is the period of brotherly love ; our house, which was once the seat of jarring interests and furious factions may now be called Philadelphia ;* and although my friend there sits silent, yet I must be pardoned if I assert, that it is through the measures I have been led to adopt, and by endeavouring to be all things to all ment with the view of benefiting some, that this happier order of things is so far advanced. It is not for me to speak, and yet, though your worthy uncle there shakes his head, as not approving niy measures, I am myself astonished at the things which I have been able to bring to pass by pursuing a moderate course, and insinuating, rather than violently enforcing, the truths contained in the letters of our Lord. In the first instance, I have rendered these letters acceptable to many who formerly entertained the most violent prejudices against them. I have been enabled to establish a seminary, upon a very liberal plan, for the instruction of the little ones of the family, and have brought many together in harmony, who were before at variance; and only to speak of Madame le Monde, and the young ladies her daughters, all who have been any time in the house know how bitter these ladies used to be against the party which professed particular respect for our Master. Whereas now, through my persuasions, Madame is to the full as obliging to those whom she used to call enemies as to her friends : and then what kindness does she exercise towards the sick, be they of what party they may; and how liberally does she speak of those who are against her; and truly it is pleasant to see her daughters occupying themselves about the poor, and assisting me in my schools, taking the little ones in their arms, and providing them with garments. While our *" Philadelphia, the sixth state of the visible church.”
“ To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." I Cor. ix. 22.
old fellow-servant, the librarian, who, as you may well know, Mr. Secretary, was one of our bitterest enemies, has been so won over by the kindness I have used towards him, that it depends only on you to make him your fellow-labourer in the important work you have in hand, viz.—the distribution of our Master's letters."
My uncle changed his position on being thus addressed, but spoke not a word. Yet I observed that his lip trembled, as if he were inwardly agitated.
“ Thus,” continued the doctor, “we are advancing towards that state which is spoken of in our Master's letters, wherein his will shall be so fülly attended to, and the minds of the people so thoroughly instructed, that we shall be in a state of happiness and prosperity, such as it would now be difficult even to conceive, unless through the light given in the Master's letters."
“And all this,” said my uncle, speaking at last, "to be effected by you and your fellow-servants, a great proportion of whom are decided and declared enemies of the Master.”
“ Yes," returned the other, “ through the instrumentality of our Lord's faithful servants will this great and blessed revolution be effected; together with, or rather in consequence of, the teaching of the interpreter, whose influence will then become more decided.”
“The influence of the interpreter cannot be more decided than it now is with the faithful servants of our Master,” replied my uncle ; "he is present now with them in all their secret counsels; he directs them in all their public measures; he instructs them that the day of the Lord is not yet arrived ;* and that the Mas
*“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of
ter has not yet thought fit to take upon himself the command ;* that his rule is now a secret one; and that those who now govern openly must pass away, before that glorious state shall arrive, in which those who are now driven into a corner shall be brought into the light, and sit in the high places of this house. But I find nowhere in these letters a promise given of the conversion of the powers of this world to the service of the Master, nor of any authority to be given to the servants to rule in the absence of him from whom alone they can derive any right. On the contrary, we are made to understand that the enemy will manage every thing relative to public affairs till the end of the present order of things; and in such wise, that when the Lord comes, he will not find faith in the household ;I and moreover we are made to understand that the enemy is permitted to manage these matters, in order that the patience and fidelity of the true servants of the best of Masters may be exercised; hence we are afraid that these same faithful servants, although secretly supported and consoled by the interpreter, will never be able to make a head to fight and to conquer until the Master himself is present to avenge his own cause."
"Beshrew your interpretations," replied the doctor, growing very warm ; “ from whom have you received them, and from what passages do you derive these conceits, which are to my mind calculated to unnerve every arm, and to make every man faint in the midst of his labours ? If things must remain as they are,-if the enemy's agents must rule till the Master comes,-if his substance must be wasted in riot,-if his name must be held in contempt in his own halls,-if the owls, and the bats, and the canker, and the moth, are always to occupy our towers, till our Lord appears, bearing with him the
God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ?" 2 Peter iii. 5-12.
*“ Hereafter I will not talk much with you : for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." John xiv. 30.
" But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the king. dom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Dan. vii. 26, 27.
“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?” Luke xviii. 8.
besom which is to brush them all down ; what then, I say, is the need of our working ? Wherefore are we to strive and to labour, and to endeavour to restore order, if our Master when he comes will count all our labours naught, and will take all into his own hands, tu order and to arrange every thing anew? I say your doctrine, take it from whence you will, is discouraging in the extreme, and would unnerve every member, and nullify every desire for exertion.'
“We work and perform the duties which our master left us to do," replied my uncle, calmly,“ not because we ever hope to be the means of setting that right, which an enemy, infinitely more powerful than ourselves, and one who still rules, and will rule till our Master in his own presence has asserted his own rights, is constantly setting wrong ; but because, in the first place it behooves us to do our Master's bidding, and in the second place, inasmuch as we hope and trust to be made the instruments of inspiring a spirit of fidelity and love in the hearts of many individuals, who, at his second coming, may go to meet him with joy and rejoicing.* And whereas you would know of me what are the passages of my Lord's communications, whereon I build my assurance of his coming to take the rule into his own hands, I am ready to give you as many as you please; for I take it for granted that you do not doubt the authenticity of our Lord's letters.”
“ Am not la servant of the Master,” replied the doctor, “ how then should I doubt his word ?"
“I trust that you are,” returned my uncle," and thereforc I take it for granted that you believe every word of these letters, and that you will not deny the passage which I am about to bring forward. When last our Lord left this place, and disappeared from the eyes of his servants, he sent messengers to them to console them with this promise, that as he had left them, in like manner he would return to them.t He did not say, or
*“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah XXXV. 10.
+ “And while they looked steadfastly towards heaven, as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts i. 10, 11.
cause to be said, that he would send to them, or be with them in the person of another, or by substitutes, but that he would return as he went, in his own proper person.”
“I grant it, I grant it,” replied the doctor; “I know that he will come back in his own proper person, and that he will take unto himself at that time, all those among us his servants who shall be found faithful and attached, in order that where he is, we may be also. * I do not dispute this point, for herein is my hope and consolation, under all the troubles of my present situation; but I do not understand how you derive from the expression above cited, any corroboration of the opinion which you so pertinaciously hold forth ;-to wit, that the Master has promised to come, and live with us, and take unto himself, in his own proper person, the management of his own affairs in this place :-an opinion which I hold to be at once ill-founded and extremely detrimental, in weakening the hands of those who are faithful to him in the present time : for if, as you say, there is nothing which we can do to set things to rights, what needs our striving any further? what avail all our labours, and our efforts, and all our early risings and late takings of rest, or our endeavours to lead those in authority into a proper way of thinking and of acting ?”
“ Our present inquiry,” replied my uncle,“ is not what the influence of my opinions may be, in depriving us of our high notions of our own good deeds; or how they may act upon the minds of the servants, to divert them from their duties, or to strengthen them in the performance of them; though by the way the question is a new one, for who ever before thought needful to ask how the expectation of the speedy return of a father, or of a master, would act upon a son or a servant ? Nevertheless, as I was saying, the present question is not how my opinions may act upon the minds of our fellow-servants, if they were generally allowed; but, whether there are any intimations in the letters respecting this return; and not only respecting the simple return of the Master in person, as in person he went, but as respects his assumption of authority in this house, and his residence
* "In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Joha ziv. 2