TWO ENCOURAGING LETTERS
5th March 1957
Chapel House, Forest Fold.
Dear Miss PÂ—,
I am venturing to write a line to you as I have little opportunity of a private conversation. I have for some time wondered if you might be feeling any desire to be received into the Church and to follow the Lord in the ordinances of His house. I have hoped for some time past that it might be brought to pass but felt that I could only pray and wait. However since Mr & Mrs Hoath expressed a desire to join us I have felt your case much more laid on my mind. Some may think that because we have a large membership I am for persuading friends in that matter, but it is a great exercise to me to receive anyone into the Church. At the same time I feel that it is the Lord’s appointed way for such as hope in His mercy and feel His gospel to be precious to their souls and hope that He has given them a measure, however small, of faith in Christ. From what I felt myself in early days and what I have seen in others there are often two things which seem to stand in the way. One is the question “Am I a right character” the other is “What can I say before the Church if I do come before them”. As to the first, that must be answered according to the Scripture. That teaches that the right characters are such as feel lost, helpless, and ruined in themselves, to be without strength goodness or righteousness. These, as the gospel is blest to them, feel to venture themselves on Jesus Christ believing that He is the true Son of God and that there is salvation only in His righteousness and blood and grace. The Scripture requires no more than this and if you can say amen to it you must be the right character. As to the other point, there are great differences in the experiences related some being more deep and clear and lengthy than others. But it is sufficient if friends can say they feel much as I have said and usually there is some remembrance of the time when a concern began and perhaps of some times of help under the preaching or it may be times of heart searching.
I am sure that you would feel it a very solemn step to take and so it is indeed. We might all hold back on that account, one as much as another, but we have ventured forward and speaking for myself, unworthy as I am, I have no wish to go back.
I must say Miss Page that I feel in your case it will have to be a venture however
long you may wait and “if you tarry till you’re better you will never come at all”. You are, I know, very hesitant in taking any step especially such a solemn one as this and that is why I have felt so much led to send a line hoping it may have the Lord’s blessing upon it. We may be so fearful of taking a wrong step that we are held back from taking a right one.
If the Lord will, we hope to have a Baptizing Service on the next first Sunday morning.
I do hope that I have done right in sending this letter, it has cost me much concern of mind but I feel so much towards you that I venture to send it. May The Lord give to us all a humble desire to do what is right in His sight and pardon all that is amiss.
Yours very sincerely,