July 3rd, 1917
Received by:James Padgett
I am here, Paul.
Let me write a few lines, as I desire to say a word about the condition of the man to whom you were talking a short time ago on matters connected with your work and the messages that you are receiving. I mean the Methodist preacher.
As you may judge from his conversation, his mind is open to the reception of the truth, and his beliefs in the dogmas of the Bible teachings are not such as to cause him to be unduly biased, so that if the truth be presented to him with any degree of reasonable force he will give consideration to the same. Of course, he is an orthodox in the way of believing in the plan of salvation provided by God, as recognized and enunciated by the creeds of the churches, and to him Jesus is God, and his sacrifice and vicarious atonement are truths vital to the salvation of mankind; and that the man who does not believe in these necessary prerequisites cannot possibly become reconciled to God or be at-one with Him. To him, Jesus is God, and the only saviour of men, and without Him (Jesus in this sense) it is not possible for man to escape the great condemnation.
Now, while all this is true as regards the preacher's belief, yet he does not believe positively that the man who dies in his sins, as the churchmen term it, will be condemned to a separation from God for all eternity. His belief on this question is not fixed, and his love for mankind creates in him a hope that this may not be so, and that some means will be provided by which such an awful condemnation will not be imposed on men.
He has in his soul much of the Divine Love, without having the consciousness that this is a separate and distinct Love from the natural love that has been to some extent purified. In fact, he has no conception of any Love of God other than the love that was given to men at the time of the creation of the first parents, and which every human being born since that time has received, although it has become defiled by sin and error and the willfulness of man. He believes that man, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, is cleansed of this defilement of the love with which he was endowed, and by the atonement of Jesus is brought into a state of reconciliation with the Father, and no other or different love is necessary for the redemption of the fallen human. That Jesus, by his sacrifice, is all that is required; and when a mortal, by his belief and acceptance of that sacrifice, receives Jesus into his life and nature, he becomes a redeemed child of God.
Of course, he cannot fully understand just the method by which this change is brought about. He believes that there is something mysterious connected with the manner in which the resultant condition of goodness and purification and the change of the vile man into an angel, which flows from the sacrifice and acceptance and belief, yet the man is so changed, and the manner thereof is known to God, and it is not necessary for man to understand. This is a path which does not demand knowledge, a mystery of God which need not be inquired into; only "believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved." I say that this belief is his and is sufficient for him, and in it he rests securely.
Well, he is comparatively happy in his belief, and is willing to retain it, for, as he sometimes thinks, if he renounces it, where and unto what shall he go? He can see nothing to take its place, and he is wise not to give it up. For in Jesus is salvation, when Jesus is correctly understood; and as the preacher turns his thoughts to Jesus and sends forth his soul's longings to the Master and what he represents, his soul at times catches a true conception of the very Jesus, although this conception does not agree with and is not the same thing as his intellectual comprehension of the Jesus of the Bible as interpreted by the creeds.
I am glad that you had the conversation with him, and I believe that as he listens to the unfoldment of the truths, as contained in the messages, his mind will take on a new and true conception of the truth, and his soul open up to a greater inflowing of the Love that will make him at-one with the Father, and transform that soul into the very substance of the Father's Divinity in Love.
I would advise you to present these truths to him, for he is an important factor in the work of man's salvation, when it is considered that one soul is of more worth than the whole world. He has the opportunity to show the way to salvation to many souls by the preaching of the truth, and any personal sacrifice which may come to him as a result of learning and believing the truths is not to be considered. While his material happiness on earth is to be considered and not thrown away whenever it is possible to retain it in connection with the teachings of the truth, yet his soul's happiness and that of many other souls are of more importance than the mere material happiness that arises from ignorance of the truth, or the living in that ignorance. So I say, let him know the truth no matter what the consequences may be, for in the end happiness will come to him, even on earth, as well as in the great eternity.
I will not write more now. So, with my love, I will say good-night, and God bless you and the preacher, for I am interested in him, and in the future may possibly sustain a closer relation to him than is now possible by reason of his false beliefs and the want of the necessary rapport with him.
Your brother in Christ,