Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 42, 1886

Ramsey, Brother

Basel, Switzerland

April 7, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in 5T 651-654; UL 111; 3SM 228.

Dear Brother Ramsey:

I have just sent an article to the Healdsburg College and I will send a copy to you, for it embraces not only Healdsburg, but South Lancaster and Battle Creek. I specified Healdsburg because it refers to them as I was laboring with them. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 1

I am glad you are today in South Lancaster; and, my brother, if you make God your trust, you will be the right man in the right place, but let not self come in, though this will be natural. Keep self out of sight. Walk humbly with God. Let us work for the Master with disinterested energy. Think of the life of Moses. What endurance and patience characterized his life. Paul in his epistle to the (Hebrews 11:27) says, “For he endured seeing Him who is invisible.” This character of Moses does not simply mean passive resistance of evil, but perseverance in a firm, consistent course. He kept the Lord ever before him, and the Lord was at his right hand to help him. Moses had a deep sense of the personality of God. He saw God. He was not only looking down through the ages to a Christ that would be revealed, but he saw Christ in a special manner accompanying the children of Israel in all their travels. God was real to him and present in his thoughts. When called upon to face danger, to bear insult, and to be misunderstood for Christ’s sake, he was persevering to endure without retaliation. Moses believed in God as one whom he needed and one who would help him because he needed His help. God was to him a present help in time of need. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 2

We have far too much dead, nominal faith, but the real trusting, persevering faith we do not have. God was to Moses a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Moses had respect unto the recompense of the reward. Here is another point in faith we wish to study; and if brought into the life and experience, it will enable every one who fears and loves God to endure trials. God will reward the man of faith and obedience. Moses was full of confidence in God because he had appropriating faith. He needed the help of God, and he prayed for it, and believed for it, and wove it into his life experience that God cared for him. He believed that God ruled his life in particular. He knew that God had assigned to him a special work, and he would make that work thoroughly successful so far as possible. But he knew that he could not do this without the help of God; for he had a perverse people to deal with. The presence of God, he knew, was strong enough to carry him through the most trying positions that a man could be placed in. He could see and acknowledge God in every detail of his life, that he was under the eye of an all-seeing God who weighs motives, who tries the hearts. He looked to God and believed in Him for strength to carry him through uncorrupted every form of temptation. Moses did not merely think of God, but saw Him. He saw Jesus as His Saviour; he believed the Saviour’s merits would be imputed to him. This faith was to Moses a reality, no guesswork. This is the kind of faith we need, faith that will endure the test. God was the constant vision before Moses; he never lost sight of His face. Oh, how often we yield to temptation, because we do not keep our eye upon Jesus; our faith is not continuous because through self-indulgence we sin, and then we cannot endure as seeing Him that is invisible. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 3

My brother, make Christ your daily, hourly companion, and you will not complain that you have not faith. Contemplate Christ. View His character. Talk of Christ. The less you exalt self, the more you will see in Jesus to exalt. God has a work for you to do. Let not self mar the work, but endure as seeing Him who is invisible. Keep the Lord ever before you. Brother and Sister Ramsey, reach up higher and still higher for clearer views of the character of Christ. When Moses prayed, Lord show me Thy glory, the Lord did not rebuke him, but He answered his prayer. We keep apart from God, and this is why we do not see the revealings of His power. My brother, my sister, may the Lord impart wisdom to you both, that you may know how to deal with minds. May the Lord teach you how great things He can do if you will only believe. Carry Jesus with you, as your companion, into the school room. Keep Him before you as you open your lips, that the law of kindness may proceed from your lips. Do not allow any one to mold you in this matter, but allow that the children have an individuality as well as yourself. Ever try to lead them, but never drive them. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 4

I see some things here in Switzerland that I think are worthy of imitation. The teachers of the schools always go out with their pupils while they are at play and teach them how to amuse themselves and repress any disorder or any wrong. This is an invariable law and includes children from five to fifteen years of age. As a reward for good behavior and studious habits, the teachers take their scholars out and have a long walk with them, dismissing the school earlier than usual. I like this; I think there is less opportunity for the children to yield to temptation. The teachers seem to enter into the sports of the children and to regulate them. I cannot in any way sanction the idea that children must feel that they are under a constant distrust, and must be watched, and cannot act as children. But let the teachers join in the amusements of the children, be one with them, and show they want them to be happy, and it will give the children confidence. They can be controlled by love, but not by a stern, strict, unbending rule, to follow them in their meals and in their amusements. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 5

Let me say here that those who have never had children of their own are not the best qualified to wisely manage the varied minds of children and youth. They would make one law from which there can be no appeal. Teachers must remember that they were once children. When they do not place the crib too high, the children can reach it and be instructed and benefited, both by precept and example. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 6

May the Spirit of Jesus come in to mold every heart, to fashion every character, to elevate and ennoble every soul. Christ said to His disciples, “Unless ye humble yourselves, and become as this little child, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:3.] There is need of coming down from these cast iron stilts to the humbleness of the child. Oh, that some of the spirit of severity may change to a spirit of cheerfulness, love, happiness, and sunshine rather than shadow. If I were writing this to some who had a different mold of character than have some in South Lancaster, I would write differently. May the Lord bless you and your family is the prayer of your Sister. 4LtMs, Lt 42, 1886, par. 7