Strong In The Lord

   "A Convict's Letter"  

“True to the traditions of every "Catholic" church that ever existed, the Greek Church uses the power of the State to punish dissenters from her formularies. The Stundists who meet together to read the Bible, the Baptist who refuses to have his children sprinkled by the priest, the Seventh-day Adventist who keeps the Sabbath of the Lord in preference to the Sunday of the Catholic Church,-all are under the ban, and liable to be called upon to suffer the loss of all things save the faith of Jesus, which brings the possession of all things.   

Thus Russia makes "convicts" of the men who are loyal to real principle and to God. Many a little Russian home is scattered by the persecuting priests and civil officers. A writer in Good Words gives the following letter, written by an exile in Tomsk to his little daughter in a village of Bessarabia, one of the provinces which the priests have been raiding in their search for men who fear God:-   

My darling little Varatchka, you must have waited so long for a letter from papa, and now you have it, and I can hear you kissing it. And you'll give it to mother to let her read it, and to Vanya and Vasya as well. Won't they just wonder at getting a letter from a convict in Siberia! But you, darling, you know that although papa is a convict he is no criminal. Thank God, I have a good conscience! You will pray for me will you not? You and mother together?   

This gives us a peep into a broken Russian home circle, the like of which may be found all over Southern Russia. There is a healthy life where men are willing to suffer for conscience' sake, and where mothers and children yield up those whom they love with resignation. The Christian fortitude of these and others is a rebuke to the sickly religious life that weighs duty in the scales of convenience and worldly prospects, and stifles the voice of conscience wherever the word of God points out the narrow path.”


July 12, 1894 EJW, PTUK 434