South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand

January 17th, 1891


Cape Town

To Saints meetings at The Oddfellows Hall, Hout Street

Dear Brethren,

With deep sorrow of heart before the Lord, I have to inform you of my withdrawal from fellowship with you. The reason for this step is that by receiving a letter of commendation from Plaistow you have identified yourselves with a meeting at Greenwich where they are supporting a brother who teaches doctrines which many assemblies in England and in various parts of the world have judged to be deeply dishonouring to the person of the Son of God and subversive of the faith of God's Elect and who moreover judge that Mr Raven, in addition to being a false teacher, has deceived his brethren in connection with his teaching, and formed around himself as a heretical teacher, a distinct party. A leading ministering brother among you having declared in the presence of other brethren his entire acceptance of these evil doctrines, and having challenged me as to my present judgement of them, I did not hesitate to declare to him, as I now do to you my refusal and abhorrence of them. I own to have had deep exercise of soul and have been slow to act fearing lest I might be found refusing and opposing what was of God. But after much waiting upon Him and reading and meditating upon His word so explicit in its precious and simple utterances as to eternal life and its manifestations – also reading and weighing the recent writings of many esteemed brethren on both sides of the question, I am fully convinced that the judgement of the Greenwich meeting by the gathered saints at Bexhill is of God – I therefore bow to it, with all the anguish of heart it entails in being separated from so many of my brethren dearly loved and esteemed in the bowels of Jesus Christ, but I would boldly declare that it would have been better for me never to have heard the glad Tidings of the grace of God and at what an infinite cost to Himself and His dear Son He has saved me and withal to remain indifferent to Him when such corrupt doctrines which have borne and must continue to bear so long as the root remains unjudged their own corrupt fruit in blasphemy and insult to the Son of God our Saviour Jesus Christ , hardly equalled in the whole circle of Christendom. I enclose the letter of commendation you so kindly gave me, as I am sure you could not, now that you have received Mr Raven's teaching, commend one who refuses it as the spirit of error and therefore to be rejected by every heart loyal to Christ and abiding in the Truth; nor could he on the other hand now receive one from you. Division is indeed a sorrowful thing – a very hard one too where there is love, but God surely marks, as His word exhorts us to do, those who cause them. Whatever failure there may have been on the part of those who were face to face with the evil, at Ealing especially, I believe that upon Mr. Raven and his party the responsibility of this division will certainly rest. The Lord in His unfailing mercy deliver you from the snare into which many of you I doubt not have been unwittingly led, is the since prayer of

Your sorrowing but affectionate
Brother in Christ

Edward Petter

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