Letter to Silas Smith, 26 September 1833

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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Egypt, why was it necessary that the Lord should begin to speak to them? 
The promise or word to Abraham, was, that his seed should serve  in bondage, and be afflicted, four hundred years, and after that  they should come out with great substance. Why did they not rely  upon this promise, and when they had remained in Egypt, in  bondage, four hundred years, come out, without waiting for further  revelations, but act entirely upon the promise given to Abraham  that they should come out?
Paul said to his Hebrew brethren, that God might more  abundantly show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His  counsel, He confirmed it by an oath. He also exhorts them, who,  through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Notwithstanding, we (said Paul) have fled for refuge to  lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an  anchor to the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into  that within the vail, yet he was careful to press upon them the necessi ty of continuing on until they, as well as those who then inherited  the promises, might have the assurance of their salvation confirmed  to them, by an oath from the mouth of Him who could not lie; for  that seemed to be the example anciently, and Paul holds it  out to his Hebrew brethren as an object attainable in his day. 
And why not? I admit that by reading the Scriptures of truth  the Saints, in the days of Paul, could learn, beyond the power of  contradiction, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had the promise  of eternal life confirmed to them by an oath of the Lord, but that  promise or oath was <no> assurance to them of their salvation; but they  could by walking in the footsteps and continuing in the faith of their  fathers, obtain, for themselves an oath for confirmation that they  were meet to be partakers of the inheritance, with the Saints  in light.
If the Saints in the days of the Apostles were priviledged  to take the Ancients for examples, and lay hold of the same  promises, and attain to the same exalted privilege of knowing  that their names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life  and that they were sealed there as a perpetual memorial  before the face of the Most High, will not the same faith fulness, the same purity of heart and the same Faith, bring  the same assurance of eternal life, and that in the same  manner, to the children of men now in this age of the world?  I have no doubt but that the holy Prophets and Apostles and [p. 4]
Egypt, why was it necessary that the Lord should begin to speak to them?
The promise or word to Abraham, was, that his seed should serve in bondage, and be afflicted, four hundred years, and after that they should come out with great substance. Why did they not rely upon this promise, and when they had remained in Egypt, in bondage, four hundred years, come out, without waiting for further revelations, but act entirely upon the promise given to Abraham that they should come out?
Paul said to his Hebrew brethren, that God might more abundantly show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, He confirmed it by an oath. He also exhorts them, who, through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Notwithstanding, we (said Paul) have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the vail, yet he was careful to press upon them the necessity of continuing on until they, as well as those who then inherited the promises, might have the assurance of their salvation confirmed to them, by an oath from the mouth of Him who could not lie; for that seemed to be the example anciently, and Paul holds it out to his Hebrew brethren as an object attainable in his day.
And why not? I admit that by reading the Scriptures of truth the Saints, in the days of Paul, could learn, beyond the power of contradiction, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had the promise of eternal life confirmed to them by an oath of the Lord, but that promise or oath was no assurance to them of their salvation; but they could by walking in the footsteps and continuing in the faith of their fathers, obtain, for themselves an oath for confirmation that they were meet to be partakers of the inheritance, with the Saints in light.
If the Saints in the days of the Apostles were priviledged to take the Ancients for examples, and lay hold of the same promises, and attain to the same exalted privilege of knowing that their names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that they were sealed there as a perpetual memorial before the face of the Most High, will not the same faithfulness, the same purity of heart and the same Faith, bring the same assurance of eternal life, and that in the same manner, to the children of men now in this age of the world? I have no doubt but that the holy Prophets and Apostles and [p. 4]
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