Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 4a, 1880

Brigs, Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

February 8, 1880

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 30-31; TDG 47.

Dear Sister Brigs:

I designed to write you ere this, but among the multitude of cares you have been neglected. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 1

Some things were shown me in my last vision in regard to yourself. You have not realized fully that God has the first claim upon your affection and your service. Nothing should be allowed the first place in your heart. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 2

You are so fearful of incurring your husband’s displeasure that you sin against God rather than to cross his will. You come far short of being a brave soldier for Jesus who gave His life for you. What greater love can be expressed for man than this? Jesus suffered for us. What are we willing to suffer for Him to save our souls from ruin? Your identity is submerged in your husband. His strong, imperious will, his overbearing and tyranny you stand in great dread of. You are aware he can make you very miserable and you dare not come into collision with him. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 3

Great caution should be used by you that no strife shall be unnecessarily stirred up. And yet, when the question is raised between you in regard to the keeping of the Sabbath of the Lord, the turning point comes. Will you obey God or man? Whose authority and displeasure do you most fear? You are very much adverse to discord and strife. You shrink from blame like the sensitive plant to the touch. You have allowed yourself to be placed in positions making it impossible to keep the Sabbath. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 4

Your husband is of that combative temperament. He does not hesitate to place you in the most disagreeable positions for this is the outgrowth of his unregenerate heart. He is a supremely selfish man. Satan works through him to do and carry out his will and pleasure and force you to break the fourth commandment. In Jesus alone will you find strength to live out your faith and honor your Redeemer. You are not doing this now, but are in servile bondage to the will of man. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 5

Shall God’s word be disregarded and poor finite, rebellious man’s word be obeyed? God will not hold you guiltless while you consent to transgress the Sabbath [which] He has sanctified and required you to observe. It will cause you considerable inconvenience to be loyal and true to God in Jesus’ name, risking the consequences. But the question again arises, will you obey God or man? Look at the inconvenience and malice Christ endured for us that we might be saved. And shall we be cowards of the cross of Christ and refuse to follow where the Prince of Glory leads the way? Shall we confer with ourselves and choose the easiest path which is to deny Christ and the truth by our course of action because rebel man would have it so? 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 6

You have been bought with an infinite price and you are not your own. Soul, body, and spirit belong to Jesus Christ and you should in all humility, yet with firmness and decision, say I am the Lord’s. I will serve Him with my whole heart, mind, might, and strength. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 7

Do not be discouraged with the opposition you encounter. It might at the present time be more pleasant to float with the current, for the descent from righteousness and holiness to darkness and transgression is easy, while the one who seeks to win the eternal shores will have to struggle against wind and tide. A faith and religion that is not aggressive in spirit or heroic in action, but is corrupted by worldly currents is the only religion admired and respected and esteemed worthy by the world. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 8

Said John, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” 1 John 3:13. Said Christ, “It hated Me before it hated you. If we were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 9

The scorn and derision, which is called forth from that class who despise the truth of God, is a compliment to Christian integrity. If you were of the world, you could enjoy its smiles, its flattery, and its applause. If Jesus Christ is in you, the hope of glory, your spirituality will rebuke the pride and extravagance of the world. Your faithful admonitions and your earnest prayers will not harmonize with their ambition and you will be made the object of their derision and meanness. You have a Master to serve who has redeemed you. The opposition which you will meet will not be small, but you must cling to the Rock higher than you, and let the tempest beat and the waves roll high. Never be beaten off from your hold. Your refuge will never fail you while you simply cling by living faith to your strong Rock. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 10

The opposition which you meet may prove an advantage to you in many respects. It will develop a class of Christian virtues which seldom spring up in the path of prosperity and sunshine. Faith, patience, forbearance, heavenly mindedness, increasing trust in providence are the fruits which blossom and mature amid clouds of darkness, storm, and tempest. The forest tree which stands alone and exposed to the fierce winds and storm and tempest will not be uprooted by the gale, but will strike its roots deep and spread out its branches in every direction, becoming more beautiful and strong as the consequence of its withstanding storm and tempest. This may be your case. You may be deprived of sympathy and human support, and you may feel that your only hope is to reach up your hands in supplication to God and hang your helpless soul upon your Redeemer. Help which heaven sends will be just what you need. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 11

O, my sister, why so fearing, why so timid, why not cling to the mighty One? If you fear God, you need not fear anything beside. If you please Him, you will secure everything your soul requires. As long as you are true to yourself and to your God, no power of earth or hell will be able to move you from your hope of the Gospel or destroy your peace in Jesus. You may have threats and your course be prescribed. You cannot be permanently injured. Who shall harm you if ye be followers of that which is good? It may seem that Satan and hell are bent on your destruction, but consider greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Let your faith grasp the promises of God and you will come off triumphant for this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. You are too much like a clinging vine. Your tendrils [need to] entwine about God. In order to be thus, they must be shaken and cut off from earthly support. Make God your strength. He is the Rock of Ages, cleft for you and you may hide yourself in Him. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 12

We know too little of persecution. In every age, the truth-loving, and God-fearing [who are] seeking for an imperishable crown, have had to suffer reproach and opposition for the truth’s sake. You have been working every way to shun this, and you have been growing weaker and weaker in spiritual sinew and muscle in consequence. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 13

Our Saviour told His disciples that they would have opposition and tribulation in the world and that those who would embitter their lives and kill them would even think they were doing God service. The disciples did suffer every indignity, outrage, and cruelty which the ingenuity of men or devils could invent to cause anguish and pain and torture to the unoffending disciples. Satan has his agents today through whom he works to torture the mind, to harass, perplex, and distress. But Jesus suffered for us and this must cheer us to suffer for Him, cheerfully, gladly. God help you, my dear sister, to be faithful. 3LtMs, Lt 4a, 1880, par. 14