Asaad's Letter To His Brother Phares
"To my beloved brother Phares; the Lord Most High preserve him. Your
departure caused me great grief. First, because you were impatient
when trial and persecution came upon you. It is a thing we are regularly
to expect, that if we hope in God in this world, we shall give universal
offence. But we have another city, for which we hope. Do not lose your
courage, for you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Remember, we cannot share in the glory of Christ, if we share not also
in his sufferings. Therefore, rejoice whenever you are tried; rejoice,
and never be sad; for our faith is sure.
"Secondly, I was grieved because you gave me no information where you
were going, and what you intended to do. Now, it is not becoming, that
we should do any thing rashly, that is, till we have prayed to God for
direction. Come home, then, and let us set apart a season of fasting and
prayer to God, and do what is most agreeable to him. Perhaps it is best
to let our works preach in silence, in these evil days.
"You must know, that if you fail to come home, you will give us great
pain, and this, you know, would be inconsistent with love. Jesus says,
'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love
one to another.' You well know how much joy and consolation it would
give us to see you; do not then deny us this pleasure, but come at all
events. If you do not come, it may be an injury both to yourself and me.
I wish to see you, if it be only to say to you two words, and then act
your pleasure; for not every word can be said with paper and pen.
"Your brother and companion in tribulation,
Galeb took me aside, and begged me to urge his brother to go home. I
said I had already advised him to do so, but that I could not force him
to go--that if he found he could not enjoy liberty of conscience, and
the privilege of reading the word of God, in Hadet, he was welcome to
stay with me as long as he pleased. "You are a man," said Galeb, "that
speaks the truth and acts uprightly, but Asaad and Phares are not like
you; they talk very improper things." Among these things, he mentioned a
report to which Asaad had given circulation, respecting the patriarch,
to which I was obliged to reply, that instead of taking it for granted
to be a false report, he ought to believe it to be true, and that such
a report was not abroad respecting the patriarch alone, but respecting a
majority of patriarchs and bishops of the whole land.
After some further conversation on the wickedness of treating brothers,
as they had done Phares and Asaad, we went to Phares, and endeavoured to
persuade him to go home with his brother. But it was all in vain. "If I
leave this house," said he, "instead of going to Hadet, I will go in the
opposite direction." The brother returned without him.
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