October 12, 1916
Received by James Padgett
I am here, Luke.
I will say only a few words tonight. I have heard the preacher's (Rev. J. S. Gordon) remarks and your conversation regarding the same. Well, the preacher, as you say, is broader-minded than most orthodox preachers and has some knowledge of spiritualism, yet intellectually he believes in the trinity and vicarious atonement and some other of the fundamental doctrines of the church. He has in his soul considerable Divine Love without knowing just what this Love means, except that from its possession he experiences a wonderful happiness and a consciousness that God is close to him in His Love. He has not formulated these feelings of his soul into mental beliefs, but his realization of the presence of the Love comes to him notwithstanding the intellectual drawbacks which, in a degree, retard the growth of his soul. But, as he says, he rests more upon the unconscious knowledge, if I may call it such, of his possession, and the actual living, working presence of this Love, than upon the beliefs in these dogmas of the church.
He has a comparatively open mind, but as he believes so implicitly in the Bible, he has not yet found any evidence in other writings or books or teachings sufficiently strong to cause him to renounce his beliefs in the Bible teachings. But should he find such evidence he would not hesitate to change his beliefs in these things for what might appear to him to be the truth. He is not one of the iron-bound believers in the church dogmas or ecclesiastical interpretations and constructions of the declarations of the Bible, so that under all circumstances, and in spite of truths that might otherwise come to him, he would say a thing is true just because it is in the Bible. He will grow in freedom and knowledge, and it may be well for you to get acquainted with him and gradually declare to him the truths as we have explained them to you.
It is not necessary for me to comment on a particular thing that he preached, for some things that he said are true and some things are not.
I am glad that you three (Dr. Leslie R. Stone, Eugene Morgan and James E. Padgett) are so interested in these matters as to cause you to listen to the thoughts that the preacher expresses and to comment upon and analyze them. It will do you good and develop in you a large understanding of what we have been writing you. The argument of contrast is sometimes a very powerful and discriminating one, and I would advise you to attend his discourses, whenever you feel that he intends to preach upon a subject that may affect or in any way relate to the truths in which you are interested.
Give my love to your friends and tell them to believe and pray and especially pray, for thereby will light and knowledge and faith come to them. I will say good night and leave you my blessing.
Your brother in Christ,