Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 65, 1884

Osborn, Brother

Crystal Springs, St. Helena, California

February 7 (?), 1884

Portions of this letter are published in HP 305; 12MR 42.

Dear Brother Osborn:

I have been reading a letter from Ligonier, from your niece to Brother Rogers, stating that you were living with them and had been sick. I sympathize with you in your affliction. I would have been pleased to have met you at our camp meeting in Indiana, but was disappointed. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 1

I have been anxious for your soul. I hoped that the influence of the meetings would have aroused your interest in matters which concern the future, immortal life. I have some knowledge of your situation. You have not much comfort and joy with the members of your own family. I am sorry for you and wish it were otherwise, but I do not want you to fail of obtaining a home in those mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 2

We have now an opportunity to show that we make Christ our all and in all. We have now precious golden moments in which we may make our calling and election sure. The infinite sacrifice has been made for every one of us, and if we do not avail ourselves of the blessings Christ has placed within our reach, we have only ourselves to blame. Every provision has been made for us, at an immense sacrifice, that we should not only see and acknowledge the love of God but taste and see that the Lord is good. We may have an experimental knowledge of this love. This is your privilege, my dear brother. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 3

I have felt an interest in your case because the Lord has been pleased to present it before me, showing me your trials, your dangers, your errors, and what you must do and what you must be in order to be saved. You have become distrustful and suspicious because you see selfishness exhibited in so many ways on every side. You have not, in your trials, drawn nearer to God, trusting in Him as a child would trust in his parents, but you have become distrustful of God. You will find Jesus your very best Friend. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 4

Jesus gave His life for you. Like a child who has full confidence in his parents and who is not troubled for fear of being taken advantage of and misused, you may rest in God with perfect confidence that He will be to you a friend and a helper. If you commit the keeping of your soul to God as unto a faithful Creator, you will not distrust Him. You will not let loose your hold upon God. You will not be filled with doubt and misgivings, but will hold fast the promises, assured that God will not withhold from you any good thing. We need not expect to be free from trials, but we may trust in God implicitly for grace to bear every trial, for strength to endure every temptation, so that the trial becomes the occasion of triumph. Having all things and seeing all things present and future, He can and will, if we trust Him, prepare us to meet every temptation as it comes. We have the privilege of taking hold of the hand of Jesus and asking Him in faith to guide us. We must not contend with God through His providence. We must be believing, looking to His goodness, His love, manifested toward us in our waywardness. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 5

You remember my appeal to you in former letters. I still urge that appeal, that you should lay up your treasure in heaven, not upon the earth. The Lord has placed in your hands means, and the question is, Will you let this means go into hands of those whom you know will not use one dollar of it for the glory of God, but for the indulgence of self? You have, my dear brother, been using your means, or allowing others to use it, where it will do no good in God’s cause. I do want you should use your means to extend the truth, to build up the kingdom of Christ, to lay up for yourself a treasure in heaven. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 6

It is not for you to expect every blessing of God and return nothing. Through Christ we possess all things; without Christ we should have had nothing but poverty, misery, and despair. Shall we respond to this love which Jesus has bestowed upon us? To be sons of God is to possess all things. What more can you want? If the Christian is not content with such an inheritance, nothing can give him contentment. We are indebted to the Lord for all we possess. Then let us return to the Giver all that He claims as His own. Let us not commit robbery toward God. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 7

On my last journey east I gave about three thousand dollars to the cause of God and could say with David, “Of thine own have we given thee.” 1 Chronicles 29:14. It is all the Lord’s; will we return unto the Lord a portion of that which He has entrusted to our keeping to advance the interest of His kingdom when He calls for it? Oh, that God would give me wisdom to speak unto you wise and forcible words! 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 8

Says the apostle, “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” 1 Timothy 6:9. How few are there who duly consider these words! When men have obtained means, how desirous they are to retain it! How afraid men are to speak the truth in regard to these things written in God’s Word. “Sell that ye have, and give alms.” Luke 12:33. Who is willing to tell men who are losing their soul in consequence of their love for the means in their hands, “Sell that ye have and give alms”? This is a strange doctrine in our day. But who has the courage to declare this unpopular truth? Who will declare it from the press as Christ presented it? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 9

Men just touch upon these things and glide away from them as soon as possible, as though they were on forbidden ground. How many repeat Christ’s sermon upon the “Mammon of unrighteousness” [Luke 16:1-13] with earnestness, as though they meant it? The reason is, the people do not like it. It offends their ears and stirs up their souls with a bitter resistance. I tell you plainly, they want all their means to use for selfish purposes. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 10

I have been shown that you are not using the Lord’s money as He requires of you. There is a great work to be done. Will you come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty? I have respect for your soul. I want you to have eternal riches. I want you should redeem the time and give back to the Lord His own. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 11

A great work is to be done to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord. Missionaries should be at work in every large city, where our publications should be kept for distribution. Missionaries should be in all quarters of the earth to enlighten those who are in darkness, to make ready a people for the soon coming of Jesus. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 12

There is a great work to be done to combat all the prejudice, not only of the ignorant but of the learned. There are schools to be supported, that we may educate the youth and teach them the Bible and to love and reverence God. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 13

I have been shown that large cities must be entered. The warning message of the soon coming Saviour must go forth to all the dark places of the earth. Missionaries are to be sent to Europe, Australia, and other foreign countries. A large work is to be done. The Saviour of the world is now saying to many, “Why sit ye here all the day idle? Go work today in my vineyard.” [Matthew 20:6; 21:28.] The Lord is inviting you to act a part in this closing-up work. Christ invites you to act as colaborer with Him. Will you do it? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 14

Who can estimate the value of souls? He who died for you inquires, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36, 37. He who so loved man that He came from the realms of bliss, from His royal throne, and humiliated Himself to clothe His divinity with humanity, has given us unmistakable tokens of His love and the value He places upon man. He who has made for us this infinite sacrifice summons us to estimate the value of the soul, to strike the balance between earthly gain and heavenly loss, between temporal success and everlasting failure. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 15

You love the earthly treasure, but Christ points you away from the earthly to the heavenly. He invites you to lay up your treasures above. Will you do this? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 16

Will you dispense your means while you live? Will you say, as you present your offering to God, “Of thine own, O Lord, we freely give thee”? [1 Chronicles 29:14.] 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 17

As Christ’s ambassador, I entreat of you to use the means God has lent you without further delay in advancing His cause in the earth. We are crippled on every side for want of means to do what should be done in the work and cause of God. Satan manages to keep the means in the hands of the enemy and away from the treasury of God. But if those who have means will not use it to put it out to the exchangers, the Lord will raise up others to take the place of these selfish ones and pass them by. I do not want that your love of means shall ruin you. You have the power to do. Will you, my brother, do now what you can? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 18

I do not feel that you can charge me with any selfish motive in this appeal which I make to you because I am doing continually just what I am urging you to do—seeking, selling, giving alms, laying up a treasure in heaven. I felt urged by the Spirit of God to write you the letters that I did some time ago. You did not act on them as you should have done, as God wanted you to do. And now I write to you again. In the name of Jesus I call upon you to act, to give back to the Lord a portion of the means He has lent to you. Will you do this? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 19

When every case shall receive finally as their works have been, will it then appear that you have acted well your part? Will it then be registered in the books above that your means were used in worldly enterprises to please yourself, for the sake of gain? You saw not, felt not, the necessities of the cause of God. You were absorbed in handling God’s money entrusted to you in pleasing yourself, and yet you received no satisfaction in so doing. It did not bring peace or rest to the soul. Selfishness led to continual investments to increase the earthly treasure, but it brought disappointment and care and anxiety and distress. It did not bring you love. It did not bring you peace or joy, but unrest. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 20

You feel discontent, fretfulness, and hardness of heart in the manner you are using and seeing used the money lent of God for wise and holy purposes. Will you entrust to heaven’s bank some of this means lent you of God to advance His work? You shall know how every dollar is expended. You shall have a voice as to where it shall go. Or, will you invest yourself, as you desire, in some of the branches of the cause? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 21

I tell you as God’s ambassador, all the means you may give will not buy for you salvation. You must give yourself. In surrendering yourself to the claims and influences of the Saviour, your life may be as a fruitful branch in a beautiful vine. The fruits of the Spirit may adorn it. Clusters of rich graces will appear, such as love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, and meekness, which will make it attractive. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 22

You have been, I was shown, shutting yourself within yourself, disgusted with the selfishness you see exhibited around you. Those who take an interest in you, for their own selfish schemes, have made you distrustful and suspicious. This will ruin you unless you come to Jesus, your best, your truest Friend. Not long will your probation last, and I do not want it shall close without a different record than now stands in the books of heaven. Who is handling your means? What does God receive from it—that which is His own—entrusted to you to be used to His glory? What usury of God’s lent money have you brought to the treasury? 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 23

You may say, Have I not a right to do what I will with my own? Here is your mistake. It is not your own. You have been committing robbery toward God for years. This means belongs to God. What good will your means do if you leave it all behind you, whether it be ten thousand pounds or ten thousand pence? If you leave much, the enemy will only have more in his ranks. I entreat of you to send your treasure before you into heaven by using the Lord’s goods to advance His cause in the earth. Make haste, I entreat of you, lest you close your career with terrible indebtedness to God because you have squandered His means in worldly schemes and robbed God. Settle your accounts with high heaven before you be called hence, and then use your influence with your brethren that they shall do as you have done. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 24

You have a great work to do, but the treasury of the Lord is robbed for selfish purposes, and we cannot do what we would do to save souls and spread the triumphs of the cross of Christ. Many are robbing God in tithes and offerings. May the Lord impress upon your mind the words I have written. I have arisen while others were sleeping to write this letter to you. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 25

In much love. 4LtMs, Lt 65, 1884, par. 26