Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 53, 1886

Babcock, Brother and Sister

Lausanne, Switzerland

November 24, 1886

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Babcock:

For some reason your case is urged upon my mind this morning as if you are in great peril and are being overcome by the temptations of the enemy. In a dream I saw you, my brother, gradually sliding back into your old habits of intemperance. In my dream I conversed with you and prayed with you. You did not repulse me, but repeatedly declared that you believed the truth as firmly as you ever did, but that you could not control your appetite. 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 1

Now, my brother, I dreamed of telling you some very plain things which I shall write to you at this time. All your life long you have allowed yourself to be controlled by appetite and by hasty temper, and now you are weak in moral power to resist inclination. You should not at any time trust to your own strength and place yourself in the company of the ungodly nor of those who smoke and drink. You are in many respects a very weak man, and you need all the help that you can obtain from earnest prayer and the society of those who love and fear God. 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 2

You have not done those things to help yourself which you might have done. You have not been willing to put yourself under the restrictions that were necessary in order to gain strength. Jesus has died to bring salvation within your reach, but there is a work that you must do if you are saved. Instead of having your way and following your own will and evil habits, you should be willing to walk in God’s way; you should wear Christ’s yoke; you should die to self; and do those things which you know will please God. You have a perverse, crooked nature, but Jesus will given you His Holy Spirit to aid you in the work if you ask for it with a humble heart and a sense of your own weakness. Instead of feeling your weakness, you pride yourself in your old ways, as though it were a virtue in you to possess these oddities. Your droll words and actions and manifestations of your hasty temper are not becoming to a follower of Jesus; and if you will try more earnestly to copy the Pattern, you will see how displeasing these things are to Him and how you dishonor His name by indulging in them. 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 3

What you need, my brother, is rest in Jesus. At present you know but little of this peace. But Jesus invites you to enter His school. He says, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your soul.” [Matthew 11:29.] You need to weave into your character more of the meekness and lowliness of Christ. We are in the antitypical day of atonement, and you need now to consider, as you have never done before, how your case will stand in the judgment. No longer seek to carry out your own way, but yoke up with Christ. Angels are looking upon you with pity and with yearning tenderness. They see your conflicts with a strong appetite, and they are ready to help you if you will only humble your heart before God and seek divine aid. Your soul is precious, but it must be refined and purified. It must be cleansed from all defilement by the blood of Jesus. I am sorry to say that you are not a Christian. Your character in no way represents the character of Christ; but notwithstanding your weakness, there is help for you in God, if you will place yourself where you can receive this help. Unless you are converted and cease to rely upon your own strength, you will certainly lose eternal life. If you continue the course that you have been pursuing in the past, your nerves will be completely shattered. You will become a physical wreck and will descend lower and lower in self-debasement. Will you not now before it is eternally too late sign the pledge which I send with this? Perilous times are before us. What position will you occupy in the stormy future? Will you be a humble child of God, a follower of the Lamb, or will you stand under the black banner of the powers of darkness? 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 4

You will find temptations on every side, voices everywhere will call you to do evil. You need not of necessity fall. Had you years ago become a thorough temperance man, you might today stand forth in your God-given, manly powers a victor. Had you brought yourself to task, had you repressed the appetite for eating and drinking those things which are injurious, you would have had power to withstand temptation to indulge in stronger stimulants. When your appetite has clamored for indulgence, you have too often indulged it. You have allowed yourself to use strong coffee, which has an injurious effect upon the nerve powers, and slowly poisons the springs of life. Now, in order to seek and obtain the prize of eternal life, you feel the need of a power that you cannot command, a soul energy that you do not possess. When you cast yourself at the foot of the cross, realizing the perversity of your own heart and the weakness of your own strength, and ask the Lord to help you, believing that He will do it, you will be a new man in Christ Jesus. Your fretful, impetuous temper will seek for the mastery, but you will not allow it to control your reason. You will think of God, of heaven, of Jesus who gave His precious life for you, and you will not speak and act in that stormy, uncontrollable manner that you have done. You will look to Jesus in supplication and say, “Save, Lord, or I perish,” and you will not look in vain. Remember that if you are lost at last it will not be because of any fatality in your case, but because you would not use your powers in controlling your unchristlike temper and perverted appetite. Your peril at the present time lies in your suffering passion to exercise lordship over reason and conscience. Passion and appetite have been strengthened in you by indulgence, while reason and conscience have been enfeebled. Your heart seems a volcano of conflicting feelings. The tempter plans to lead you to break down the barriers of principle and self-restraint and to transgress against your conscience and against God, and you walk unconcernedly into snares. Here lies your danger of becoming a moral wreck. What can I say to stimulate your hope, to excite your courage to take hold upon the strength of Jesus, and to empty the soul temple of its defilement? 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 5

You are in great danger, my brother, of losing your soul. Make the decision now without delay that you will be a better, holier man than you ever have yet been. Keep yourself away from temptation. You do not realize your soul’s peril. In the name of the Lord you must yourself put up the barriers to appetite. You must not indulge in drinking coffee, or tea, or wines, or stimulating drinks of any kind. In the strength of Jesus you must be a strictly temperate man. God will then unite with your human efforts His divine power, and in Christ’s name you may conquer and be a blessing to yourself, to your family, and a blessing to the cause of God. Arouse then with heroic spirit and gird yourself for the moral conflict. Make a decided change on the point of appetite. You must do this if you would be a child of God. Satan is seeking through the medium of appetite to destroy your soul. Shall he triumph? Shall he gain the victory, and Christ be compelled to blot your name out of the book of life? Satan has subdued thousands and tens of thousands, but thousands have also subdued him and gained the victory through the Captain of their salvation. You, too, may conquer in that name. 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 6

My brother, you must stop and reflect. I know that you dislike to think. To meditate makes you feel that you will lose your senses. But think you must, and then do not act rashly. Do not fail to avail yourself of your only chance of salvation. Your soul is precious. Shall Christ have died for you in vain? Shall we not meet you around the great white throne? Shall we not hear your voice in anthems of praise to your Redeemer in the heavenly courts? I know the conflict will be hard. It will be a daily crucifixion of self for you to overcome your appetite and passions, nevertheless it is your only hope of eternal life. For some reason the Lord has rolled the burden of your case upon me, and in the name of Jesus of Nazareth I call to you across the broad waters of the Atlantic and the Rocky Mountains of America, “Escape for your life.” [Genesis 19:17.] 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 7

While mercy lingers, cast yourself at the foot of the cross, and make thorough work this time. Give to God your whole heart, and He will accept it. He will wash it, refine it, ennoble it, and fit you for the refined and holy society of the heavenly angels. To you the present opportunity is more precious than gold or silver. Jesus has bought you with the price of His own blood. Will you give to Him your sin-polluted soul, that He may cleanse it from every spot and stain? In doing this you only give Him that which is His own. Heretofore you have failed in making a full surrender to God. You have reserved the privilege of getting impatient and of indulging the appetite whenever you pleased. But this is a kind of service that Jesus will not accept. Will you bring Christ into your life? Will you learn lessons of humility from His life and character? Will you talk of Jesus and His love, instead of praising your own poor self? Jesus is your only hope, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” [1 Corinthians 3:11.] He is the foundation of every noble character, of every thing that is truly good, virtuous, and holy. Saving faith in Jesus is your only hope. Without this you will never make a success in overcoming. I love your soul. I have not slept since three o’clock, and while others were sleeping I arose, and after earnest prayer to my heavenly Father for wisdom, have written you these lines. May they be blessed to your good is my sincere prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 8

With much love. 4LtMs, Lt 53, 1886, par. 9