Testimonies to Southern Africa


Letter D

Auckland, New Zealand

March 17, 1893

Dear Brother,

In this world we might become hopelessly perplexed, as the devil wants us to be, if we keep looking upon those things that are perplexing; for by dwelling upon them, and talking of them we become discouraged. In criticizing others because they fail to manifest love, we shall kill the precious plant of love in our own hearts. Have we individually appreciated and felt the warmth of love which Christ represented in His life? Then it is our duty to manifest this love to the world. Let us fear to dwell upon, to behold and talk of the great mistakes that others are making by not manifesting love to their brethren and sisters. Spend as little time over this question as possible; but be sure to give due attention to the precious truths which come to us from lips that have been touched with a live coal from off the altar. Praise God that light has been sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Talk of the instruction that you have received that was to your soul as a feast of fat things. See to it that you bring into your character-building the solid timbers of truth. Let the exalted truths you have heard be manifested in the faithful performance of God's precepts. TSA 45.1

You may create an unreal world in your own mind and picture an ideal church where the temptations of Satan no longer prompt to evil; but perfection exists only in your imagination. The world is a fallen world, and the church is a place represented by a field in which grow tares and wheat. They are to grow together until the harvest. It is not our place to uproot the tares, according to human wisdom, lest under the suggestions of Satan the wheat may be rooted up under the supposition that it is tares. The wisdom that is from above will come to him who is meek and lowly in heart, and that wisdom will not lead him to destroy, but to build up the people of God TSA 45.2

Oh, encourage your soul to look to Jesus. Tell every one how dangerous it is to neglect his own soul's eternal healthfulness by looking upon the diseased souls of others, by talking upon the uncomeliness of character found in those who profess the name of Christ. The soul does not become more and more like Christ by beholding evil, but like the evil which it beholds. The same love of self, the same indulgence of self, the same hastiness of spirit, the same petulance of temper, the same sensitiveness and pride of opinion, the same unwillingness to receive counsel, the same unsanctified, independent judgment, will be manifest in those who criticize as in those who are criticized. They will act as if they had not Christ as their pattern and example. Oh, how much we need to guard against Satan's devices.... TSA 46.1

My dear brother, you have learned what humanity is, when it is not closely connected with God, even among professed Christians. But of what significance is this to you? It is that you may learn to say, “I am weak as the weakest of these poor souls who are erring.” You may say that you know that it requires grace and strength from Christ to submissively receive reproof, admonition, and counsel from the word of the Lord through His servants. True humility is taught to the Christian by the Holy Spirit, and under discipline, if self-confidence is not dead in us, it will press itself to the front, and show its unsightly developments.... TSA 46.2

He who will not accept advice and counsel from God's human agents is in danger of not receiving the counsel of heaven, and will be fatally mistaken unless his spirit is changed. He will look upon others with suspicion, thinking they are in the wrong, and in this attitude there will be no chance to set him right; for he will reason that there is no necessity for it. Christians should be teachable, they should have self-control, they should ponder upon that which is presented to them, and fear that their own course may not be perfect, when they see so many defects in their brethren that leads them to accuse and condemn.... TSA 46.3

The wisdom that leads to alienation, difference, strife, and contention, “descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”... TSA 47.1

Oh, why are the human agents so ready to yield to temptation? So irresolute in purpose, so weak to practise the word of God? Why are they so feeble in action? Why is the glory of Jesus so dimly seen? Why is His preciousness so little realized, His love so imperfectly experienced? Let this be your prayer, “Lord, show me thy glory.”—Letter 63, 1893. TSA 47.2