Lt 132, 1910

1910

Lt 132, 1910

Cottrell, H. W.

St. Helena, California

December 1, 1910

Previously unpublished.

Elder H. W. Cottrell

My dear Brother:

I have not had any special conversation with you recently, but for a long time I have had a most earnest desire that you might see and understand clearly all things relating to your religious experience. The Lord has given me a message for you. If you believe a certain thing to be true, it is almost impossible for you to change your opinion, even though you may be wrong in your belief. You are inclined to regard your own judgment as infallible; but you have certainly been mistaken in some of the decisions and opinions on which you have taken a very strong stand. Lt132-1910.1

If you take the position that when you have once made a decision, you are never to alter this decision, you are on the same ground as Lucifer was when he rebelled against God. He held his ideas of commercialism as an exalted, unchangeable theory. Neither you nor any other man should think that human opinions should be immortalized. In taking the stand that you will never change your views, you place yourself on dangerous ground. While you hold the position that your views are unchangeable, you cannot be helped; for you place yourself where you are not willing to receive counsel and admonition from your brethren. Lt132-1910.2

During the Pacific Union Conference held at Mountain View last January, we met with stern opposition to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. I was given a message for you and for all who were so confident of the value of their judgment that they felt that they must never give up the sentiments they had once entertained, or retreat from a position that they had once taken. I was bidden to tell you that for you to take the position that your ideas are never to be given up is to pattern after Lucifer. The ideas that he wove into his experience in regard to entering into commercialism he refused to give up or exchange. He refused to harmonize with Christ and was determined to carry out his plans. Lt132-1910.3

When God would not concede to Satan’s claim to a place above His only begotten Son, Satan rebelled. There was war in heaven, and he was cast out. He pressed his claim to be placed above Christ, but the warfare resulted in his losing his position in the heavenly courts. Lt132-1910.4

Satan came to this world and determined to carry out here the idea that men could be equal with God. He led men to doubt the Word of God and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world. Lt132-1910.5

Christ volunteered to come to our world and give to men the true light. God gave His only begotten Son to the world to reveal the Father as supreme in heaven and in earth. Christ came in the form of humanity, to meet and overcome the enemy and his devices. Lt132-1910.6

All that Christ undertook to do in coming to this world He accomplished. From the manger to the cross, He lived a sinless life, never once swerving from His allegiance to His Father. Thus he proved Satan’s assertion that the law of God could not be kept, to be a falsehood. Lt132-1910.7

But those to whom the Saviour came would not receive Him. He was taken by wicked hands and humiliated, mocked, and condemned. Satan was at the head of those who reviled and crucified Him. On the cross of Calvary, the Redeemer of mankind suffered a cruel death of shame, and by His death He proved the falsity of Satan’s charges against God and vindicated God in the sight of the angels in heaven as One willing to make in man’s behalf the greatest sacrifice that could be made. Angels witnessed the cruel deeds of men as they put Christ to open shame, demanding His death and calling for the release of Barabbas, a robber and murderer. To the maddened throng Pilate declared that he found no fault in Christ, yet he delivered Him into their hands, and they crucified Him. Lt132-1910.8

Satan led the cruel mob in its abuse of the Saviour. It was his purpose to provoke Him to retaliation if possible, or to drive Him to perform a miracle to release Himself, and thus break up the plan of salvation. One stain upon His human life, one failure of His humanity to endure the terrible test, and the Lamb of God would have been an imperfect offering and the redemption of man a failure. But He who by a command could bring the heavenly hosts to His aid, He who could have driven that mob in terror from His sight by the flashing forth of His divine majesty submitted with perfect calmness to the coarsest insults and outrage. Lt132-1910.9

“And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him.” [Luke 23:33.] Lt132-1910.10

The enemies of Jesus vented their rage upon Him as He hung upon the cross. Priests, rulers, and scribes joined with the mob in mocking the dying Saviour. At the baptism and at the transfiguration, the voice of God had been heard proclaiming Christ as His Son. Again, just before Christ’s betrayal, the Father had spoken, witnessing to His divinity. But now the voice from heaven was silent. No testimony in Christ’s favor was heard. Alone He suffered abuse and mockery from wicked men. Lt132-1910.11

“If Thou be the Son of God,” they said, “come down from the cross.” [Matthew 27:40.] “Let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the chosen of God.” [Luke 23:35.] In the wilderness of temptation, Satan had declared, “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” “If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down” from the pinnacle of the temple. [Matthew 4:3, 6.] And Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross. The archfiend and his hosts were co-operating with the priests and rulers. The teachers of the people had stimulated the ignorant mob to pronounce judgment against One upon whom many of them had never looked until urged to bear testimony against Him. Priests, rulers, Pharisees, and the hardened rabble were confederated together in a satanic frenzy. Religious rulers united with Satan and his angels. They were doing his bidding. Lt132-1910.12

Jesus, suffering and dying, heard every word as the priests declared, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” [Mark 15:31, 32.] Christ could have come down from the cross, but it is because He would not save Himself that the sinner has hope of pardon and favor with God. Lt132-1910.13

Christ rose from the dead and appeared unto His disciples “as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Lt132-1910.14

“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:14-20.] Lt132-1910.15

Brother Cottrell, I wish I could present the subject to you in such a way that it will be the convincing evidence that I wish it to be. You have received and entertained ideas that have been distinctly presented to me as wrong. You feel that you must hold and vindicate the opinions that you have formed. But if you continue to build your faith on this line of reasoning, you will find yourself in a most dangerous position. Some of the ideas to which you hold so firmly are not true. Sentiments that you have held as vital, soul-saving sentiments, are not saving. I entreat you to give careful consideration to this subject. Lt132-1910.16

I am instructed to present these things to you that you may have a right understanding. Do not think that you are to hold your ideas as unchangeable. This is false reasoning and places you where we cannot give you the encouragement you desire. I want you to see things in a correct light. Do not regard your own opinions as infallible. Lt132-1910.17

I am entrusted with this message for you: Connect with your brethren, even at the cost of yielding to their judgment in some matters. Break away from the sentiments which you have cherished, and unite with your brethren. Your soul is precious, and therefore I write to you. The time has come when you must give up some of the ideas that you have held tenaciously; for they will not stand the test of truth. I have nothing to specify, but am to tell you that the heavenly beings are saying, “Unify, unify, come into line.” Lt132-1910.18

If you have envy, suspicion, or jealousy in your heart, you have a work to do. Confess your sins, come into harmony with your brethren. Speak well of them. Throw out no unfavorable hints, no suggestions that will awaken distrust in the minds of others. Guard their reputation as sacredly as you would have them guard yours; love them as you would be loved of Jesus. Work for their interests instead of seeking to tear them down, that you may build up self on their ruin. Satan is an accuser of the brethren, and he loves to have you help him. But disappoint him. Do not let him triumph over you. Lt132-1910.19

A great work is to be done, and not a discordant note is to be heard in our ranks. There is to be unity among those giving the message for this time. Hundreds and thousands of unbelieving families are to be visited. Thus the work in Portland, Maine, was carried forward during the 1844 movement. Meetings were held in the daytime and in the evening. The surrounding towns and villages were warned. On every side doors were thrown open, and many who heard became interested. This was a solemn time, and a time of earnest effort. Many hearts responded to the call of God. Lt132-1910.20

We must be careful how we treat the messages of truth. In the future men and women will be convicted and converted. A much greater solemnity is to be brought into our meetings. The Lord is calling His people to service. He is calling upon them to unify; and as you are forced to great decisions, I ask you, Elder Cottrell, to unite with us in carrying the work strongly forward. Now is your opportunity—not to frame opinions that hold you back to question—but to harmonize and move forward with God’s cause. Lt132-1910.21

I cannot write on this subject without feeling moved. For several nights I have had but little sleep. I felt that I must write this letter to you, Elder Cottrell. I hope that it will be understood. In the past you have stood nobly by Elder Haskell. My message for you now is, Come into line, and bear the message of truth for this time. Lt132-1910.22

Your sister in Christ. Lt132-1910