Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 18, 1859

Naramore, Doctor


April 14, 1859

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 9, 201; 2MR 248. See also RH 04/28/1859; Annotations.

Extract of letter. Portions of this letter are published in OHC. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 1

We often think those who serve God have many more trials than the unbeliever, and that the path marked out for them to travel in is rugged, and they must deny themselves of many pleasures in order to travel it. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 2

Last Sabbath I was led to compare the life of the sinner with the life of the righteous. The sinner does not desire or care to please God, therefore can have no pleasing sense of His approbation. But does the sinner enjoy his worldly pleasure and enjoyment unalloyed? O no. There are times when the sinner is fearfully troubled. He fears God but does not love Him. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 3

Are the wicked free from disappointment, perplexity, earthly losses, poverty, and distress? Many of them suffer a lingering sickness, yet have no strong and mighty One to lean upon, no strengthening grace from a higher power to support them in their weakness. They lean upon their own strength. They obtain no consolation by looking forward to the future, but a fearful uncertainty torments them; and thus they close their eyes in death, not finding any pleasure in looking forward to the resurrection morn, for they have no cheering hope that they shall have part in the first resurrection. This is the end of the life of pleasure of the sinner. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 4

The Christian is subject to sickness, disappointment, poverty, reproach and distress. Yet amid all this he loves God, he chooses to do His will, and prizes nothing so highly as His approbation. In the conflicting trials and changing scenes of this life, he knows that there is One who knows it all, One who will bend His ear low to the cry of the sorrowful and distressed, One who can sympathize with every sorrow and soothe the keen anguish of every heart. He has invited the sorrowing one to come to Him for consolation. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 5

Amid all his affliction, the Christian has strong consolation. And if God permits him to suffer a lingering, distressing sickness before he closes his eyes in death, he can with cheerfulness bear it all. While he communes with his Redeemer you often see his countenance radiant with joy, while he contemplates the future with heavenly satisfaction. A short rest in the grave, and then the Lifegiver will break the fetters of the tomb, release the captive, and bring him from his dusty bed immortal, never more to know pain, sorrow, or death. O what a hope is the Christian’s! Let this hope of the Christian be mine. Let it be yours. Hope, and we will ask no more. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 6

Many speak of the life of the Christian taking away from us pleasures and worldly enjoyments. I say it takes away nothing worth saving. Is there perplexity, poverty, and distress endured by the Christian? O yes, this is expected in this life. But is the sinner, of whom we speak as enjoying the pleasures of this world, free from these ills of life? Do we not often see them in deep perplexity and trouble? Do we not often notice the pale cheek, the racking cough, indicating consumption? Are they not subject to burning fevers and contagious disease? How often do we hear their complaints of meeting with heavy losses of worldly goods! But these troubles are overlooked. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 7

Christians sometimes think they have a hard time and that it is a condescension in them to lay hold of unpopular truth and profess to be Christ’s followers, that the road seems hard and that they have many sacrifices to make, when in reality they make no sacrifice at all. If in reality they are adopted into the family of God, what sacrifice have they made? Their following Christ may have broken some friendship with their world-loving relatives, but look at the exchange—their names written in the Lamb’s book of life, elevated, yes greatly exalted, to be partakers of salvation, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to an imperishable inheritance. Shall we call it a sacrifice on our part to yield error for truth, darkness for light, sin for righteousness, a perishable name and inheritance upon earth for honors that are lasting, and a treasure undefiled that fadeth not away? 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 8

Even in this life, the Christian has One upon whom to lean for support, who will help him bear all his trials. Yet the sinner has to bear his trials alone. He goes down into the grave suffering remorse under darkness, bound by Satan, for he is his lawful prey. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 9

It does seem to me that if there is any one who should be continually grateful, it is the follower of Christ. If there is any one who enjoys real happiness, even in this life, it is the faithful Christian. We will rejoice in Jesus Christ. We will live in the light of His countenance. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 10

May the Lord ever give us a lively sense of the great sacrifice that has been made for us, and then present before us the inheritance purchased for us by that dear sacrifice; and may our vision be clear to dwell upon and appreciate the reward and excellent glory prepared for the faithful. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 11

If we appreciate or have any sense of how dearly our salvation was purchased, anything which we may call sacrifice will sink away into insignificance. 1LtMs, Lt 18, 1859, par. 12