Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3

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Lt 26, 1879

[Morrison?], Charlie and Emma

Carthage, New York

September 12, 1879

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 264.

An Example of Personal Labor by Correspondence

Dear Charlie and Emma [Morrison?]:

Since parting with you I have not had you off my mind but a few moments. I have felt anxious for you both. While you remain in an attitude of neglect and resistance of the Spirit of God, and do not answer the purposes of God in your existence, neither of you would wish to close your lives. Satan’s delusive power makes the sins of carelessness and indifference in regard to eternal things appear harmless. Many mean to be Christians sometime, but do not want to make the start just yet, and be at the care and labor of changing their present condition and commencing a life of reform. Careless inattention to the claims of God is criminal. Not only are you losing much yourselves in giving to the enemy the very best part of your lives, but you are bringing your children up in the neglect of eternal things. They have your example all on the wrong side. Your neglect is robbing them of the very knowledge which God makes it your duty to give them that they may learn to love, reverence, and obey the requirements of God. These are grave considerations. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 1

Your little ones are quick and observing in the presence of older persons. You are molding their minds to think as you think, to act as you act, not to bow the knee to the Sovereign of the universe because you do not do so. It is bad enough and fearful enough to contemplate the loss of your own souls unless you surrender to God, to contemplate that you are not entering in at the door of salvation yourselves; but it is more terrible to think that you bar the way to the entrance of your children. You will neglect to teach them that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Forget for once all about your dignity and social position, and start out before your children as learners in the school of Christ. Tell them frankly, Charlie, that you have made a mistake in neglecting to acknowledge yourself as a child of God. Tell them that you want that as a family you should now commence to live for God; and then read and pray with your children. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 2

If you can say no more than these words, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” [Luke 18:13], if you will thus identify yourselves with sincerity as on the side of Christ, although it may be humiliating to yourselves, the light and love of God will come into your hearts. Rays of light will shine from the throne of God, and there will be music in your souls. And in being learners yourselves, you will be teachers of your children and will be leading them along. You will find the little children will be apt learners, for they have clear minds and can recognize the truth and purity of the Scriptures. Their quaint thoughts will burst forth now and then like buds in the springtime, fresh and original. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 3

God loves the innocent children. If Jesus and heavenly things are connected with and woven into their feelings and fancies, they will receive upon the tablets of the heart the lessons of heaven and eternity. No man can receive the kingdom of heaven except it be with the spirit of a little child. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 4

Do not, I entreat of you, be hindered by Satan’s suggestions. He will tell you you have no feeling. Why should you expect feeling when you have not, on your part, taken the steps required to fulfil the conditions? Jesus is saying, “Give Me thine heart.” [Proverbs 23:26.] Have you done this? Jesus has purchased you by an infinite price. You are not your own. Your powers are not your own. You belong to God. You are His property, “therefore glorify God in your body and spirit which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] You help and strengthen each other in your impenitence. Now both move together. Cease to be careless, cease to be indifferent. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 5

Said Jesus, “Ye either gather with Me or ye scatter abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Your careless inattention gives example for others to do as you do. Be kind, be cheerful—not light, vain, trifling, giddy and without serious reflection. You will be called to render an account for the good you might have done and did not do because you did not avail yourselves of the privilege of connecting with God and having His wisdom and His grace to qualify you to live an earnest Christian life, that your influence would lead others to Jesus. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 6

You are responsible for the obligations resting upon you to have the whole weight of your influence be of that character to be a blessing to others. You belong to God. Your Redeemer has just claims upon you to your supreme affections and the persevering, faithful service of your lifetime. God has a right to use you in your physical, mental, and moral powers, to the extent of your ability, for His own honor and for His own glory. You should not question what labor or crosses may be imposed upon you. You are His, bought with a price, and you receive from His hands all the bounties and blessings you enjoy. Having been objects of God’s especial love, evidenced by the sacrifice Jesus has made for you in redeeming you by human agony and blood, He says to you, the subjects of His grace, “Go, labor today in My vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 7

No selfish consideration is to be urged. No worldly love of pleasure, no earthly ambition, no plea or purpose should prevent willing and cheerful compliance with the will of God. You should yield unquestioned obedience. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 8

You can have rest and peace only as you find it in Jesus. The world, its maxims, and its customs are the parents of unnumbered sufferings. Many suffer with ungratified wishes. They bind burdens on themselves—their ungratified desires. With the condemnation of conscience—not having harmony with God, and with an apprehension of His displeasure and wrath—their existence is a matter of continual anxiety. There is a dearth of heavenly consolation in suffering. They are fearful of punishment. There is a fearful foreboding of the future. And yet they are impenitent, unrepenting, unholy to the last. Is this to be your state? God forbid. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 9

You draw away, Emma, from God, when He seeks to draw you to Himself. See the wicked, one after another, right among your very acquaintances, dying as they have lived—without repentance, without hope, without God. The dark future is not illuminated with one ray of light. Although many may have prospered in the world in securing riches and have more than heart can wish, yet this apparent prosperity does not avert the retributive justice of God. Though pride compasseth them as a chain, yet their feet have stumbled upon the dark mountains of unbelief. Their feet were indeed set in slippery places, and they perish while the wrath of God is kindled against them. “How are they brought into desolation in a moment?” The mandate goes forth, “He shall remain filthy forever.” 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 10

A ransom has been given for souls, a sacrifice that was infinite—a Monarch dying for rebellious subjects, that they may escape from sin, corruption, and misery. They may all receive pardon, purity, and heaven through the great condescension of the Son of God. But if this priceless Sacrifice is looked upon indifferently and with lightness, with jest, with sneers, what will be the punishment of this class? It was offered them, the gift of eternal life, but they turned from it with mocking indifference. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 11

Dear friends, the purchase of the blood of Christ, make no delay. Come to Him, Emma, while you have your reason. Come while Mercy’s sweet voice invites you. Come while the Spirit and the Bride saith Come, and he that heareth saith Come, and whosoever will, let him come and partake of the waters of salvation freely. In coming, in the very act, you are saying to others, Come. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1879, par. 12