Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3

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Lt 71, 1878

Andrews, J. N.

Denison, Texas

December 5, 1878

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 348; HP 272, 371; 5MR 437.

Dear Afflicted Brother Andrews:

We deeply sympathize with you in your great sorrow, but we sorrow not as those who have no hope. The news which reached us last night was sad indeed to us all, but not unexpected to me. I did not expect Mary would get well, but I knew that God would sustain you under your great loss. You came to America to bury your dear child whom you longed to have remain with you. But God knew what was best for her and for you. We have drunk at the same cup of sorrow, but it was mingled with joy and rest and peace in Jesus. He doeth all things well. Our heavenly Father doth not willingly afflict and grieve the children of men. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 1

All the words of consolation I may give you will not amount to much. You know the Source of your strength and your consolation. You are not a stranger to Jesus and His love. You are among many to whom life is a long conflict of pain and weariness and disappointment. Hope deferred has made the heart sad, but this world is the scene of our trials, our griefs, our sorrows. We are here to bear the test of God. The fire of the furnace is to kindle till our dross is consumed and we come forth as gold purified in the furnace of affliction. You may, my dear Brother, ponder upon the mysterious providence of God that has taken from you the light of your eyes. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 2

You feel that had it not been for this great loss you would be a comparatively happy man. But it may be that the very loss of your child here will be to you, and not to you only, but to many in Switzerland for the saving of souls. Light will come out of this darkness which to you at times seems incomprehensible. “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” [Job 1:21.] Let this be the language of your heart. The cloud of mercy is hovering over you and will break over your head even in the darkest hour. God’s benefits to us are as numerous as the drops of rain falling from the clouds upon the parched earth, to water and refresh it. The mercy of God is over you. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 3

Mary, dear precious child, is at rest. She was the companion of your sorrows and disappointed hopes. She will no more have grief or want or distress. Through faith’s discerning eye, you may anticipate, amid your sorrows and grief and perplexities, your Mary with her mother and other members of your family answering the call of the Life-giver and coming forth from their prisonhouse triumphing over death and the grave. Your faith may see the loved and the lost ones reunited among the redeemed of earth. You with them ere long, if faithful, will be walking in the streets of the New Jerusalem, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, wearing the jeweled crown. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 4

The Lord loves you, my dear Brother. He loves you. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed.” [Isaiah 54:10.] “All things work together for good to them that love God.” [Romans 8:28.] Could your eyes be opened, you would see your heavenly Father bending over you in love; and could you hear His voice it would be in tones of compassion to you who are prostrate with suffering and affliction. Stand fast in His strength; there is rest for you, the weary. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 5

We must spend the remainder of our strength in laboring for God. There may be but few who will consent to walk with Jesus in His humiliation here upon the earth. It doth not yet appear what we shall be. The world indeed knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. But it is but a short time hence when it will not be difficult to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. The especial care of God for His loved jewels, as He makes them up and hides them in the secret of His pavilion, will be seen by those who have despised and hated them, counting them weak and pointing to them as fools. But the righteous will receive the palm branch of victory, while the wicked shall be ashamed and confounded. Those who were the subject of their [derision] will be seen to be connected with the family in heaven. They are crowned conquerors and more than conquerors. Those who have despised the faithful ones will see them walking in their spotless robes with the beams of the Sun of righteousness reflected upon them, not as they once were, a scattered and feeble company. The isolated ones and the larger numbers are gathered in one company which no man can number. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 6

All classes, all nations and kindreds and people and tongues will stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, with their spotless robes and jeweled crowns. Said the angel, “These are they that have come up through great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white, while the lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, the self-indulgent and disobedient, have lost both worlds. They neither have the things of this life nor the immortal life.” 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 7

That triumphant throng, with songs of victory and with crowns and harps, have trodden in the fiery furnace of earthly affliction when it was heated and intensely hot. From destitution, from hunger and torture they come, from deep self-denial and bitter disappointments. Look upon them now as conquerors, no longer poor, no longer in sorrow, in affliction and hated of all men for Christ’s sake. Behold their heavenly garments, white and shining, richer than any kingly robe. Look by faith upon their jeweled crowns; never did such a diadem deck the brow of any earthly monarch. Listen to their voices as they sing loud hosannas and as they wave the palm branches of victory. Rich music fills heaven as their voices sing forth these words, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and rose again forevermore. Salvation unto our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And the angelic host, angels and archangels, covering cherub and glorious seraph, echo back the refrain of that joyous, triumphant song, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 8

O in that day it will be discovered that the righteous were the wise ones, while the sinful and disobedient were fools in their pride and vanity, in neglecting the things of eternal interest. Shame and everlasting contempt is their portion. Those who have been co-laborers for Christ will then be near the throne of God, girt with purity and the garments of eternal righteousness. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 9

Well, dear Brother, look up by faith now and forever. A better day is coming, precious to the faithful ones. Jesus loves you, even you. I was shown you with head bowed down and mourning as you followed Mary to her last home in this world. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 10

Then I saw the Lord look lovingly upon you. I saw the Life-giver come and your wife and children come forth from their graves clothed with immortal splendor. Look at the things which are unseen. Thy dead shall live again where there shall be death no more. May God bless and encourage your heart, is my prayer. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 11

Your sympathizing sister. 3LtMs, Lt 71, 1878, par. 12