Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

65/473

Lt 57, 1876

Bangs, Lizzie [?]

NP

1876

Previously unpublished.

[Dear Sister:]

[The first part is missing.] ... can give him. Dear sister, Jesus is your helper. Jesus requires that we surrender ourselves unreservedly to Him. Will you tell me just how you do feel? I want to know whether you are indeed wholly the Lord’s. You are precious in His sight, and while you lie there a patient sufferer, how precious to know that Jesus is yours and that His grace will sustain you in your affliction. Something more is required of us all than an intellectual consent that Jesus is the Son of God. 3LtMs, Lt 57, 1876, par. 1

I had a long conversation with Mary upon some of these points. She believed intellectually that Christ came into the world to save sinners. The Pharisees felt no need of a Saviour. Said Christ, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] It is those who feel their need of a Saviour, those who will by faith give the full consent of their hearts to receive Christ because they have personal need of Him. If we do not do this we cannot believe in Jesus in a saving sense. 3LtMs, Lt 57, 1876, par. 2

All our rebellion against God’s plans arises from the fact that salvation is a free gift. Only believe in the merits of the blood of Christ and cling to Jesus as your Saviour. If your mind is convinced in regard to the doctrine, accept that which you do see, receive every ray of light which Heaven has given you. You have nought to do with whether others accept or not. You must believe for yourself and not make others your criterion. You cannot purchase salvation. When you accept Christ it will be under the sense of your inability to save yourself by your own righteousness. Said I, Dear sister, I am acquainted somewhat with your righteousness and your standard of goodness and both are pitiful indeed. They are no better than any poor sinner’s. When you can from the heart sing “Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee. ...
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling”
then you have learned the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
3LtMs, Lt 57, 1876, par. 3

I told her sin was not man’s misfortune but his guilt. Man was not a sinner because of circumstances, or his education or his temperament, but from deliberate choice. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:19, 20. We must meet God in the judgment. What excuse can you there offer why you have not given Him your heart, your best and holiest affections? You put a plaster on your conscience by greedily presenting before those who converse with you, professors who have fallen into sin and disgraced themselves and the church. 3LtMs, Lt 57, 1876, par. 4

I said, Mary, I tell you frankly that it is with great satisfaction you present these marked cases before me as though they were an excuse for your neglect to act upon that which you admit is truth and light. Will you dare to offer any such excuse to your Maker, the Judge of all the world? You are reasoning on Satan’s side of the question. He was an apostate. He fell from his holy state of purity, he became an accuser of those who believed in and accepted Christ. 3LtMs, Lt 57, 1876, par. 5

There is a jubilee among the evil angels when such arguments are used for not believing in Jesus Christ. There are shouts of joy among impenitent sinners on the earth. They will gather like vultures around a case like the one mentioned and feast upon the fact of his yielding to the temptations of the devil. From the lowest haunts of human pollution up to the most fashionable intelligent sinners the story will be repeated, with a thousand exaggerations, to greedy listeners who find no difficulty in believing every word on the most flimsy evidence. It is to them glad tidings of great joy. Now these credulous ones find great difficulty in believing that Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. This message is backed by the Word of the God of truth. What does such a case of apostasy prove? That religion, that belief in Christ, that genuine faith is a dangerous thing to possess? [Remainder missing.] 3LtMs, Lt 57, 1876, par. 6