Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. – James 5:8

*   *   *

Silence, even when it is heavily upon the gathering, somehow embarrasses or frightens some people. You’ll see. Some will even return as soon as they can to their written sermon or the program plan, rather than sit long in God’s calm presence. Or, when individually praying as a congregation, some in tongues or babbling (there’s a difference), but altogether raising up a great buzzing, what do they do but play the organ as background music? (“Let’s give God a hand!” – a round of applause. Too much honky-tonk for me!)

And to think, one Friend worries about my “ecumenical” explorations these days!

Nonetheless, while I recognize and encourage these others as brothers and sisters in Christ, and worship with them and study Scripture with them and pray with them, I can also acutely aware when that the fullness is lacking.

Patient hearts, then, welcome the coming.

*   *   *

Thus in general have I briefly described the Christian Principle; but that I may make it further intelligible unto you, I feel it upon me to write more particularly, that so when you shall read it by a familiar Denomination, you may the sooner be prevailed upon to yield to its Operation. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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