Lt 8, 1910

1910

Lt 8, 1910

Brethren

St. Helena, California

January 13, 1910

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 79; 6Bio 270-271, 290. +Note

Dear Brethren:

This morning I have awakened at half-past twelve, and I feel a sweet peace and courage in the Lord. It seems to me that a great burden has rolled from me, and I am peaceful and happy in the Lord. I am free from every ache or pain. I am so thankful that Jesus is willing to help us. Should we not as a people be glad to be helped and strengthened, and to be brought into unity? Lt8-1910.1

This is my prayer, Remove from our ministers, our physicians, and the teachers in our schools everything that will gender the spirit of strife. We are none of us to have the spirit of exaltation. Lt8-1910.2

I am very much pained when I see Christ’s example so little followed by those who have pledged themselves for the carrying forward of His work. Many that have accepted the truth need to be reconverted. Lt8-1910.3

Many precious and important lessons are found in the words of Christ, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew, chapters four to seven. Lt8-1910.4

“Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, He departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the boarders of Zebulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zebulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Lt8-1910.5

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” [Matthew 4:12-19.] Lt8-1910.6

“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set His disciples came unto Him: and He opened His mouth and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Lt8-1910.7

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” [Matthew 5:1-12.] Lt8-1910.8

The Bible has been given us to study, that we may learn how to express the truths of the Word of God, which must be presented under all circumstances, as men who have been called and who have learned the truth from the great Teacher who left the royal courts to assume humanity, that He might become the divine Teacher to fallen men and women. Lt8-1910.9

Our interested work in behalf of humanity is to follow the example of Jesus and to follow the specifications that He laid down, and the manner of life upon which He placed His blessing. A conscientious conformity to Christ’s way of working will bring men under His precious benediction. Study and study again the blessings promised to the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the poor in spirit. Read, and understand that each of us has a special part to act, and that we are to give evidence that we are children of God. Lt8-1910.10

After giving the specifications of character that the children of God are to develop, Christ declares: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” [Verse 13.] Lt8-1910.11

They who will practice the virtues of Christ’s character are to give light to others. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Verses 14-16.] Lt8-1910.12

Then follows the positive assurance that no transgressor having light upon the Word of God, and breaking that law, continuing in sin and transgression, will have a place among the blessed. “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets,” He declares. “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Verses 17-20.] Lt8-1910.13

I am charged also to call the attention of our ministers and church members to the instruction given in the seventh chapter of Matthew. There are many who need to study this chapter most critically again and again. Let them study for their own enlightenment, and not to prove the supposed faults they discern in other church members. The defects pointed out in those whose thoughts are absorbed with the faults of others are very serious; and unless there are decided conversions, many who think that they are lights will prove to be stumbling blocks. Lt8-1910.14

Some have been carrying responsibilities that they were not chosen of God to bear. Their defective words and works have created much confusion; for they were acting as did Judas. Lt8-1910.15

When I returned from Australia, I saw that men had assumed a strange authority over the church of God. Some seemed to consider that if any official responsibility was placed upon them, they were to treat others as some unwise school teachers treat their pupils in school. Human teachers having position, supposed to be helpers to the churches, magnified their official authority as rulers; and this spoiled them as teachers and shepherds of the flock. They acted too much as worldly officials act. Those who dared to differ with them were not encouraged in their work. Lt8-1910.16

It was a great surprise to me that the testimonies I bore, reproving this work of “lording it over God’s heritage” had so little effect upon those exercising undue authority. They seemed to think they were carrying out wisely their official responsibilities. This evil in our work must not be permitted to bear sway again. Lt8-1910.17

The past experiences should be sufficient for every soul to know that position does not give the qualifications necessary to enable a man to rule his brethren. Ruling is not in the Lord’s order. We need to pray, and to watch unto prayer; we need to experience the deep movings of the Spirit of God and to walk intelligently before the Lord. Lt8-1910.18

It will take much close, hard watching on the part of Conference officers, to uproot the spirit of self-exaltation. This must be done before the true character of their work is understood, and it is clearly seen that human wisdom cannot take the place of wisdom from above. Much more must be done to uproot fully the fibers of this erratic human power exercised as authority, as though it were the voice of God. I cannot feel yet that those who consented to this order of things are safe; for it has brought in many fallacies, and the flock of God is still in danger. It will take time to effect a complete reformation. As we seek the Lord by prayer, and take up the work as it presents itself to us, we shall eventually see an entirely different order of things. Lt8-1910.19

Following the experience that we have had of the undue exercise of authority with its evil results, there should now be a strong, efficient counterworking effort. There is to be an increased force of working agencies in every part of the field. Let the laborers go out two and two, that they may work together in the many parts of our cities that have been left unwarned for a long time. Lt8-1910.20

Regarding Elder Haskell’s future work, I dare not take the responsibility of giving advice. With proper helpers, Elder Haskell and his wife by the sustaining grace of God may continue to do an important work in the position they have occupied. There is to be an increased force of working agencies in every part of the field. If Elder Haskell feels that he is willing again to carry responsibility, I would advise that a wise-hearted ministers be chosen to share his responsibilities. The experience and the knowledge gained in their past service has given to Brother and Sister Haskell an understanding of the work that will be a help to their fellow laborers and to the conference. Lt8-1910.21