Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 2, 1865

Chase, Maria


June 12, 1865

This letter is published in entirety in DG 120-122.

Dear Niece Maria [Chase]:

I have a desire to write you a few lines. I have not lost my interest for you although I have become very much discouraged in regard to your case. As the prospect of your becoming a Christian has seemed to lessen, I have felt a painful anxiety in regard to your future course and prospects. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 1

I do not know as I fully understand your present state of mind and I may not be as prepared to help you as though I did. I should know better how to address you if I knew that you sincerely desired to become a humble Christian. I have thought that perhaps you desired this but that on account of your late failure to carry out your purposes to become a Christian you have become discouraged and thought that the confidence of others in you was so much shaken that they could not have faith in efforts you might make in the future. But, Maria, if the Christian life has charms in it for you, and you see the sinfulness of sin and your lost condition out of Christ, I advise you to commence again in earnest. In meekness seek the Lord. You may be very distrustful of yourself, for you have reason to be; but God is true, and I advise you for your soul’s sake to try again and earnestly seek to become a follower of Christ. This work no other can do for you. It is a solemn work between God and your own soul, which must bear the test of the Almighty. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 2

Let me entreat of you to seek for those things which make for your peace. You have all your life been anxiously, worriedly seeking for earthly pleasure and worldly enjoyments to satisfy the longing mind, but a thorn has been found in every earthly, worldly pleasure. With you it has been disappointment upon disappointment, and life has been a failure. You have not filled the purpose on earth which God designed you should. Your mind has been allowed to dwell upon frivolity, fashion, and show. Appearance has been the altar whereon you have sacrificed soberness of thought—high and elevated considerations and eternal interests which are as much higher and more valuable than earthly considerations as the heavens are higher than the earth. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 3

Satan has strewed the broad and downward road with tempting flowers, but those who are allured to death in this road learn by experience that these pleasing flowers wither as soon as grasped. They yield no rich perfume, but a disagreeable, sickening odor. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 4

Maria, do you intend to devote the little time that is allowed you to God, and secure your happiness here and salvation hereafter? I beg of you to take hold of the work in earnest. No longer worship your personal appearance, which cannot bring you into favor with God in the least. God prizes moral worth. Says Peter, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3, 4. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 5

Seek for this meek and quiet spirit. Get rid of this spirit which controls to a great extent. Overcome this desire for change, and seek meekness, seek righteousness. I believe that God will yet be gracious unto you, if you turn to Him with your whole heart, and make it your first and primary business to learn of Christ. Learn how to serve Him. Study the Bible, beseeching God to enlighten your mind to understand its sacred teachings, which you have so long neglected and despised. Turn your attention to the words of life. “Search the scriptures.” [John 5:39.] 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 6

Although all your lifelong your heart has been in rebellion against God and you have trampled upon His offered mercy, choosing the pleasing things of the world and the service of Satan rather than the service of Christ, yet Jesus in unbounded mercy still invites you to choose Him as your Saviour and become a child of God, an heir of glory. You can choose life and salvation if you will, or you can choose to worship self and devote your precious hours of probation to making your person attractive to please the eye of the worldling and the sensualist, to receive flattery from lying lips, and at last reap that harvest which you have been sowing—corruption. The poor mortal body which has been your idol, your god, will be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb. Oh, Maria, how heartsick has it made me to see your mind almost wholly taken up with your own person, your dress, your appearance. Your mind seemed to be on a constant stretch to improve your appearance. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 7

The Word of God exhorts us to study to show ourselves approved unto God. How much has this important lesson been studied? The approval and the praise of those who are lovers of pleasure and the enemies of God have been coveted of you while you have had no elevated desires and determination of purpose to seek above everything else to show yourself approved unto God—Him who grants you life and every good thing which you have enjoyed. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 8

I leave these hastily written lines with you, praying that they may do you good. Again I beseech you to make a business of seeking the Lord. Pray much. Weep and pray. Humble yourself before God, relying alone upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, One who maketh intercessions for just such sin-polluted souls as yours. If others do not help you as you think they ought to, do not be discouraged. With you it is a case of life or death. Angels of God are watching with interest to see whether you will be overcome by Satan, or yourself be an overcomer and through the efficacy of the blood of Christ bruise Satan under your feet. Will you choose Christ as your portion forever? 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 9

Pray, Maria, earnestly, that God would reveal to you yourself, the sin and corruptions of your own heart. Let this desire be ever with you, for it is important for you to see yourself as a sinner in order for you to feel the necessity of pardon through the blood of Christ. Let your second prayer be, Lord, reveal to me Thyself, Thy mercy, and the value of Thy blood. Lay hold on everlasting life. You have proved the worthlessness of earthly things, and it has been perfectly astonishing to me that you yet seemed to manifest so little interest in becoming a Christian. But I can understand it now. Your personal appearance is your idol and God cannot dwell in your heart or thoughts where self rules supreme. Your good appearance Satan means to use to your own destruction and, if he succeeds, it will prove to be the greatest curse that ever came upon you. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 10

What is show and appearance merely? What is good looks alone without moral worth or true goodness of heart and nobleness of mind? It is a mere outside gloss which pleases a certain class of minds but which will perish in the day of God, leaving only sinful, corrupt deformity. Seek heaven, seek true humility, and God will then direct your path. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 11

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 2, 1865, par. 12