Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 2, 1861



February 23, 1861

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 230, 288.

Dear Friend William:

While at Parkville your case was presented before me in vision. I saw that you were in a critical position, without God and without hope in the world. You are in a dangerous condition. The Spirit of God has convicted you but you have labored to throw it off. You have succeeded too well. You have grieved God’s Spirit, grieved the holy angels. You will soon make your decision. Satan is making special efforts to lead you to decide in favor of the pleasures of the world. He will represent to you the ways of religion as difficult, while those of worldly pleasures will be strewed with flowers. In false and flattering colors will the tempter array the world before you. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 1

Vanity is one of the strongest principles of our depraved natures, and Satan will constantly and successfully appeal to it. Individuals will not be wanting [lacking] to carry out Satan’s plans to flatter you. They will respect your person, your manners and abilities. Satan will suggest that with such advantages you could greatly enjoy the pleasures of the world, and that it would be a great pity for you to forsake your young companions and the inducement the world presents to be a Christian. But remember these pleasures have an end, and that which you sow you shall also reap. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 2

William, you were presented before me. I saw you in the company of those who have no love for God, but were wild and reckless. At times I lost sight of you; then again you were pointed out to me full of hilarity and glee, forgetful of the light God has shed upon your pathway, forgetting good instruction, forgetting God. There are times when you have a temporary oblivion from care and conviction and throw off restraint. But even these transitory joys are not unalloyed. You have hours of solicitude. Jealousy, hatred, and disappointment embitter your cup of pleasure and you at times loathe yourself. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 3

You try to take some pleasure in suffering your mind to run in the channel of infidelity, but you dare not follow in that road of darkness and death. You dare not let your mind rest there. It is a dangerous course to yield the mind to Satan and let him bend in the channel to suit his own purposes. William, you are treading dangerous ground. You will yet find that you will have to be judged by the sacred truths revealed, the great Statute Book. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 4

It is too true that the great mass who possess ability and talent do not choose to travel the Christian road. Is their talent and ability too precious to devote to the Giver, the Lord of heaven and earth? They spend all in the service of Satan. They wish honor and flattery of men while they now despise the honor which cometh from above. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 5

“The wages of sin is death.” [Romans 6:23.] Notwithstanding this, foolish man knows not what is for his best interest and rushes blindly on to receive his wages. Jesus takes the field, and through a life of unexampled sufferings and an ignominious death, has opened a way that rebel man may follow in His footsteps and win eternal life. The wages that Jesus offers for a life of obedience are life, an immortal inheritance, and a treasure undefiled, that fadeth not away. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 6

In these days many would be followers of Christ if He would come down from the cross and appear to them in such a manner as they desire. If He would come with riches and pleasure, many would receive Him gladly and would be in haste to crown Him Lord of all. If He would only lay aside His humiliation and sufferings and cry, “If any man will come after Me, let him please himself and enjoy the world and he shall be My disciple,” multitudes would believe on Him. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 7

But the blessed Jesus will come to us in no other character than the meek and lowly crucified One. We must partake of His self-denial and suffering here if we would take the crown hereafter. If Jesus had appeared in splendor and assumed the character and authority of the world’s great men, He would have received honor. But He came in the form of a servant to seek and save that which was lost, and He was despised and rejected of the great men of earth. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 8

William, you have looked at the imperfections of professed Christians and have excused yourself because of their failings. But there is an unerring Pattern given you, a perfect example, a faultless life. Search the life of Jesus and see if you can find any fault with Him. Is there a spot in His life? Can you find one selfish act? The lives of unconsecrated professors will be no excuse for you. We do not ask you to give to Jesus a divided heart. He will not accept such a sacrifice. He requires all you have—a soul to save or lose. How earnest should be your effort to turn the wrath of God from you. You are far from God, far from the truth. Do not move on blindly. Remember the reaping time is coming. You are sure of an abundant harvest. No frost shall blight it, no mildew blast it, no palmer worm devour it. There will be no failure in the crop. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 9

When Satan allures you with the pleasures of earth and you engage with the young in their pleasures, forgetting God and the truth, remember, you are sowing to the flesh and shall reap corruption. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 10

Life and death are before you. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” [Joshua 24:15.] 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 11

Will you now make an effort and break away from Satan’s enchantments and win everlasting life? 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 12

The time will come when every excuse which you may now attempt to offer will be swept away. You must render an account to God for all the light you have received and for all the gifts which God has bestowed upon you as an individual. You are not your own. Your time is not your own. You have been bought with a price. The precious blood of Christ was paid for your redemption, and if you spend your strength and influence in the service of Satan, how will you answer for it in the reckoning day? 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 13

You have not followed the light which the Lord has shed upon your pathway. You have no principle in regard to the observance of the Sabbath. You respect your friends, and for their sakes you keep up an appearance of keeping the Sabbath, but you do not observe it through love to God or respect for His requirements. You love approbation, and this is a snare to you. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 14

The truth as it is in Jesus will not degrade but elevate the receiver, purify his life, refine his taste, sanctify his judgment. The Word of God has not widened the narrow way, and if the multitude have found a path where they can wear a form of godliness and not bear the cross or suffer tribulation, they have found a way where our Saviour did not walk and they follow another example than that which Christ set before us. Is it not enough that Jesus left the felicity and glory of heaven, endured a life of poverty and deep affliction, and died a cruel, shameful death to provide for us the joys of holiness and heaven? And can it be that we, the worthless objects of so great a condescension and love, will seek after a better portion in this life than was given to our Redeemer? 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 15

If Jesus had not died and risen again we could never have known anything but the horrors of darkness and the miseries of despair. Our sins mingled the bitter cup which our Saviour drank. He endured the cross, despising the shame, that He might reconcile the world unto Himself, that whosoever would might come and take of the water of life freely. Can we look upon Him whom our sins have pierced and not be willing to drink with Him the cup of humiliation and sorrow? 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 16

I cannot let you rest. Your eternal interest depends upon your choice. Will you choose life or death? I wish to alarm you. You must arouse, for you are on the brink of destruction. You are making decisions for the judgment. Step carefully. Lay hold of the merits of the blood of Christ. O, do not perish for the sake of a few short days of worldly pleasure. Enlist under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. Leave the black banner of sin and darkness. Cherish every tender conviction of the Spirit. Have you no respect for the recompense of reward? Have the joys of heaven and eternal life no charms for you? I beg of you to flee to Jesus. O “let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:5. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 17

The Lord now speaks to you. Will you heed His voice? Will you make peace with Him? Harden not your heart; resist not the striving of God’s Spirit. Make sure work for eternity. Jesus now pleads for you before His Father. Let it not be in vain. Weigh the evidences of our faith. Do not wait until every trivial objection is made clear to your mind or till the last seeming difficulty disappears. If you wait for this you will wait until the sweet voice of mercy is no longer heard. O delay not! Make haste and get ready. Leave off your vanity and folly. Sow to the Spirit that you may reap life everlasting. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 18

It will require moral courage to take your stand on the side of truth. You may receive scornful looks and words. You may be counted foolish. But what of all this? Those who laugh and scorn the followers of Christ now will soon mourn and weep. They will cry when there is none to answer. Make your mark high for heaven. Let your influence tell for God. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 19

I commit this to you, dear sir, hoping you may be benefited by it. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1861, par. 20