Editorial Note: Between 1925–1928, A. W. Pink pastored Belvoir Street Particular Baptist Church and Summer Hill Church in Australia. Summer Hill Church was planted on September 27, 1927 after Belvoir Street split due to a controversy over the free offer of the gospel. On March 25, 1928 Pink resigned as the pastor of Summer Hill at their Sunday evening service after concluding the he had done a disservice in helping plant the church. The following letter is from Vera Pink to the congregation at Summer Hill during the time of the Pinks’ resignation.
My dear Brethren and Sisters in Christ,
Being a woman, I am not permitted to speak before your meeting, but I feel I must write a few lines. I pray it may be for the glory of our Lord.
It is with mingled feelings that I write these lines, for I see and have been made to realize that I have been partly responsible for casting the whole church into such sorrow. I deeply regret being so unfaithful to the Lord and have sought His forgiveness and now seek yours for having dealt thus with Him and you.
Had I been faithful I would have reminded my dear husband of the Lord’s previous call to us in 1920 when we saw clearly our duty and the only path for us. But instead I tried to believe, and sought to make him believe that things were very different here, the people different, and our circumstances different and that we would be pleasing the Lord here to act as we did. And, too, both of us having learned to love you dearly we—and myself in Eve’s character—disregarded the clear call and disobeyed the Lord who bought us. O how vile and full of sin I am. Can there be forgiveness for one who has sinned against such light? One word from Him is enough “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
Yet I do thank God even in my sorrow that He has shown me where I have sinned and has given me the opportunity of confessing to Him and you what I have done and I trust he and you have forgiven me.
I saw on Sunday night while Doctor was preaching what I had done and I knew that I must go back to 1920 and come out again without any word one way or another from my husband. The word of Sunday morning came to me that evening while he was speaking “get thee out”, but I wanted something more—I was not satisfied. I asked for something else and those words in Rev 3:20 came with great force: “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” He is on the outside knocking and if those on the inside desire to be with Him they will go voluntarily to where He is and wait no command but love for Him will constrain them. But still I lingered being perplexed over the ordinances, which I believe we are commanded to keep. Then that word in Heb 13:14 stood out. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach”. It was this word that was given so clearly to us to leave Belvoir St. Church. Still I wanted to be clear on the ordinances before I took a step for I did not want to disobey Him any further. I begged the Lord to show me that I would not be disobeying in regard to keeping of the ordinances. In reading the evening portion in Daily Light for that day I was more forcibly impressed than with the other words, and yet one verse should have been enough for me, but I like Gideon would not believe. “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away.” I read it over and over again; each time it spoke to me more powerfully, and I knew it was a word for me. I can do nothing else. I must obey here and trust The Lord to give me light on the other after I have obeyed Him and done what He bids me. I know that He requires us to follow the light He has given before he will give us any further. Mine must be a path of faith apart from any church or organization.
I love you all in Christ. And though our paths may be different, yet we are nearer each other than the members of any earthly family. Though our associations be severed, yet there is that tie—that scarlet cord—which blinds us that no separation can break. For we are one in Him.
I resign membership from the Church, but remain, ever your sister, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that people, zealous of good works”.
Yours by wondrous grace alone
Vera Ethel Pink