A Word on the Fellowship of Saints to any who are puzzled about the English Bethesda Question.
There is a Man, a glorified Man, sitting now on the throne of God in heaven -- the Man that is Jehovah's Fellow. To Him, God, the Holy Spirit, has borne testimony in the Scriptures; to Him He calls the sinner's attention; to Him He guides the eye of faith of each believer, and there He will fix it. For He, the only begotten Son of the Father, is the sole One on whom and on whose life and works as Saviour, God, even the Father, can rest in complacency.
That life, those works, were unto eternal salvation and redemption for sinful mail. In Him, and through His life and death, and resurrection and ascension, the sinner can now, through faith, find rest with God in His glory, and receive the free gift of the Holy Spirit, and grace to be full thereof and walk therein.
Permit, I entreat you, one whose name is not worth naming (save as found in Him) to beseech you to think of Him -- for His sake who has claims over you, and for God's sake who is a jealous God, and who insists on the claims which He has recognised in the Son of His love, being recognised by you -- own Him alone as worthy. He is the only Man worthy of God's thinking about, and worthy of any man's thinking about. But He is worthy -- for His name of Jesus means "Jehovah a-saving."
Do not, I beseech you, go on setting one fallen man's name against another fallen man's name, sinners' names against sinners' names, as you have done in your intercourse about questions in which the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit alone should be cared for, and the honour due to God. You have done so, till you have well nigh forgotten the Sinless Man, the Ore who, because He knew no sin, could be made a sin-offering, and who was made and did make Himself such, that so, through faith, we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Unconsciously, it may have been, at first, you have been setting one merely human name against another merely human name, until the name of 'Jesus,' and the revelation in it, has been forgotten amid talk about men and their doings and claims, which are of as little worth and meaning as would be any letter from the Alphabet (as an M, or a D, or a W), in comparison with that blessed person (Jesus) and His works.
The Spirit is thus grieved and quenched; and blindness, and the fervour of party spirit gets sway, and a heavy fog of mystification easily rises and broods over your actings; humbling is it to think of.
It is a poor sinner in himself, and not a prophet, who writes to you; but, in the light of the Sinless Man (Peerless and without equal, He!); 'tis one who fears lest - under that cloud of mystification which rests upon you -- there be another Spirit (not man's), far more subtle than Ahithophel's of old, -- far less scrupulous than he, -- or at his, rear, dangers as to the honour of Christ. For if His name be used by any as a cover for darkness and evil, and the name of "the Church" be used as the name of a place where those on earth, who are indifferent to Christ's honour and to holiness, in faith, doctrine, morality, or walk, may congregate, His name is put to shame and the Holy Spirit dishonoured.
Would that I were mistaken as to your danger. If not, may God give you deliverance, and victory over every lie and delusion of the Wicked One.
Yours, in brokenness of spirit, W. Nelson, N.Z., Sept. 24, 1874.