January 20th, 1915
Received by:James Padgett.
I am here, your old partner.
Yes it is I, and I am glad to be able to write to you again. I told your wife that I desired to write and tell you of my progress in spiritual matters, and as you are kind enough to give me the opportunity, I will try to tell you how my eyes were opened to the things of the spirit, and my heart to the Love of God.
Well, as you know, when you first commenced to talk to me, I did not actually believe in a God or Jesus or his teachings, except as they related to the moral condition of men. When you first commenced to talk to me about these spiritual things, I thought that you were merely telling me the things that you had learned in your church or Sunday school, and that they were only intended for men and women of no capacity to think for themselves, and suited only to receive what the preachers might tell them. So, you see, I was not in a very receptive condition of mind to enable me to believe that what you told me had any foundation in fact or in truth. Jesus, to me, was just the same as any other man who had received large conceptions of the truth; but he was only a mere man, in the sense that what he attempted to teach he had learned by study and meditation, or through some worldly source that I did not know of. At any rate, (I believed that) that his teachings were not the result of inspiration, or derived from a source any different from what mankind received other information as to things of nature, or of spirit. Well, as you continued to tell me that I was mistaken, and that there is a Source from which all good flows, other than the mere mind or conscience of men, I began to think about the matter. And when I looked around me and saw that your mother and wife - who claimed that they had received this Love of God which you insisted was waiting for me to obtain - were so beautiful and happy, while I and my folks were not very beautiful and not at all happy, I began to inquire (as to) the cause. And when you told me that their, I mean your mother's and wife's, condition was due to this Love of God, I asked them to tell me about the nature of this Love, and the way in which they obtained It. And your mother, bless her soul, took great pains to instruct me in these things.
And, then when I learned that prayer was the only way to this Love, and saw you praying for me with all your heart and in great earnestness, I commenced to pray also; but I must confess that my prayers were not accompanied with much faith. But I continued to pray, and every night when you prayed for me and for the many others who were with you praying, I tried to exercise all the faith possible and prayed for more faith. This continued for some time, and one day your grandmother, who is a most wonderful spirit in goodness and beauty, came to me and said that she was your grandmother and was very much interested in me, on your account as well as on my own, and commenced to unfold (explain) to me the great efficacy of prayer. She assured me that if I would only try to believe, and pray to God to help me believe, He would answer my prayers; and I would soon find that with my earnest efforts, faith would come to me, and with faith would come this Love into my heart, and with this Love would come happiness and joy.
So I listened to her, and tried to believe that what she told me must be true and that she was interested in me and desired only my happiness. I continued to pray, as I said, and one day after I had received some considerable faith, I met Jesus, and he told me of the wonderful things that his Father had prepared for me, if I would only believe and ask Him to give them to me. Jesus was so very beautiful and loving that I could not resist the influence which came over me; and then my faith increased, and I prayed with all my heart and soul.
At last, light came to me, and with it, such an inflowing of Love as I never dreamed could exist, either on the earth or in the spirit world. But it came to me and I felt as if I was a new spirit, and such happiness came as I never experienced before. And then that dear mother of yours came and rejoiced with me, and also your beautiful wife who had tried so hard to induce me to seek for this Love.
Oh, Padgett, I tell you that in all the wide universe of God there is nothing to compare to this Love of the Father. Let me say, that in all my life, when only my intellect ruled me, there was nothing to compare with that which came to me with this inflowing of the Love.
I am now in the third (spirit) sphere with many beautiful and happy spirits. Your mother and wife are higher up, and are so beautiful and good that when I am in their company I feel that I will become a much happier man if I will try to follow them. Your father has progressed too, and so has Professor Salyards.
Well, my soul is one now that is filled with this Love. My mind is also elevated in its thoughts and not inclined to think of those things that are merely intellectual. For I tell you that while knowledge of all God's laws and nature's apparent mysteries is desirable, yet a knowledge of this Love of God is far and above compare - and not only more necessary but more desirable. I would not give the feelings that come to me from the possession of this Love for all the sensations of delight that might arise from the discovery of the most stupendous and important law of the workings of nature.
Let this Love come first, and then the other acquirements will only help to show the spirit that God is a God of Wisdom and Power as well as of Love. But as you have read, "Love is the fulfilling of the law" - nothing else is. And the man who has all the knowledge and wisdom without this Love is poor indeed.
Jesus is the most wonderful of all the spirits in both Love and the knowledge of the Father's attributes. He is the greatest, and knows that the Father's plans to save and redeem mankind are as he teaches. So you must listen to him and believe. I am going to try to learn more of his teachings, and when I do, you shall know what I learn.
Jesus appears to me the one altogether lovely - he has no competitor, and no one who sees him, if he has any of this Love in his soul, can fail to know that he is the true Jesus of the Bible, and the most perfect son of his Father. I only realized this only after this Love came to me; it seems that spirits who have not this Love do not realize who Jesus is, or how wonderful and glorious he is. This may seem strange to you, but it is a fact. Only when the spirit has an awakening of his soul's love for God does Jesus appear as their great brother and teacher of this Great Love of the Father.
You must not let the things of the material life lead you to think that you may have to wait until you come to the spirit world to get this Great Love, for I tell you that the man whose soul is open to the inflowing of this Love while on earth is a much more fortunate man than he who waits until his earthly life ends. If I had only become conscious of this Love when on earth, I would have been saved many hours of suffering and unhappiness after I became a spirit. My own experience is so true to what so many undergo, and will undergo, that if I could proclaim to every man on earth the necessity of becoming possessed of this Love while on earth, I would do so with all my might and strength.
I can tell you of my experiences in passing over, but I do not think it best to do so tonight, as it would take too long and require more strength than you have tonight. Sometime soon I will do so in detail. I am so glad that I have been redeemed by this Great Love, and the teachings of Jesus, and the help of your spirit relatives, and also, by the help of your prayers, that I cannot express the extent of my gladness. Nothing in all heaven or earth can compare with the feelings of joy that come to a soul when it realizes that it is at-one with the Father in Love and power. Yes, they (old friends of Padgett in spirit world) know, and are with you every night as you pray. They don't seem to quite understand though that you can help them in any way, but still they, in a manner, feel some peculiar sensation as you pray and the others pray with you. Do not stop praying for them.
I tell you that you are a wonderfully blessed man in having such a loving Christian mother and grandmother to pray with and watch over you all your life. If all men had Christian parents to teach and show them the Way to this Love of God, as they grow from childhood to manhood, many a time of suffering and unhappiness would be avoided, and many a spirit would come into this life with many less sins to atone for.
Your old partner and friend for all eternity,
A. G. Riddle.