Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

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Lt 125, 1886

Brethren and Sisters

[NP]

Summer of 1886

Published in entirety in RH 11/02/1886

Dear Brethren and Sisters to whom are committed the sacred testing truths for this time:

Are you faithful to your God-given trust? Every one is wielding an influence over the destiny of other souls. “Ye are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14. A faithful discharge of duty on your part will have a telling influence upon the impenitent. But if you neglect the work which God has given to you, some souls will be lost. Consider this matter, I pray you, in the light of God’s Word, and may your souls feel the burden of your entrusted responsibility. Oh, that there might be a turning to the Lord by every member of the church, that the earnest, fervent piety of each might be a message of warning to the sinner! 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 1

“Be zealous therefore, and repent,” (Revelation 3:19) is the Word of God to His professed people. “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:5. Many of our people are backsliding from God. We need to arouse. Let every soul that has named the name of Christ depart from iniquity. We want a pure Christianity. Great dangers are lurking for us on every side. When they need most the presence of God, many have the least of His presence. Many are in danger of becoming like the Jewish nation, who knew not the Scriptures nor the power of God. Like the teachers of Israel, you may explain Bible truth to others, and yet not practice it in your daily life. If the Jews had possessed an experimental knowledge of the Scriptures, they would not have been ignorant of the power of God. Like them we have great light and privileges, but many do not respond to these; and here is their peril. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 2

When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, His tears were for all who are abusing their present privileges. He wept that so many who profess His name fail to become what God designed them to be; that they continue in sin and weakness, which He is able and willing to save them from if they will but come to Him. The Saviour says, “What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Isaiah 5:4. He has dealt with His people as a loving father with a wayward and rebellious child. But He sees grace resisted, privileges abused, opportunities slighted. Where He had a right to expect earnest, vital piety, He sees insincerity, hollow formalism, pharisaic pride. Neglect of light is chargeable upon those whom God has entrusted with great and solemn truths. Ingratitude for God’s mercies, abuse of blood-bought privileges, stand registered against many in the books of heaven, and are treasuring up for them wrath against the day of wrath. Vengeance will surely be visited upon those who have had so great light, yet who are so cold and unimpressible that no light shines from them to the world. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 3

God has loaded us with His benefits. Immortal blessings have been poured upon us in great measure. Messengers have been sent with warnings, reproofs, and entreaties. God’s servants have wept and prayed over the lukewarm state of the church. Some arouse, but only to fall back in unconsciousness of their sin and peril. Passion, worldliness, malice, envy, pride, strife for supremacy make our churches weak and powerless. Some of Christ’s ambassadors are carrying a heavy burden upon their souls, because their message is treated by so many as an idle tale. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 4

The eye of Jesus, looking down the ages, was fixed upon our time when He said, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!” Luke 19:42. It is still thy day, O church of God, whom He has made the depositary of His law. This day of trust and probation is drawing to a close. The sun is fast westering. Can it be that it will set and thou wilt not know “the things which belong unto thy peace”? Luke 19:42. Must the irrevocable sentence be passed, “but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Luke 19:42. I tell you, there is need to be alarmed. It is time to seek God earnestly, saying with Jacob, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26. It will be of no avail to make a spasmodic effort, only to fall back into spiritual lethargy and lukewarmness. The past, with the slighted mercies, the admonitions unheeded, the earthly passions uncorrected, the privileges and opportunities unimproved, the soul temple filled with desecrated shrines—all is recorded in the book of heaven. But the most solemn moments are still before you. Because of past neglect, the efforts you make must be the more earnest now. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 5

The Saviour is speaking to His people, “Be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19. It is not ministers whom you have slighted; it is not the warnings of men that you have rejected; it is not My delegated prophets that you have refused to hear; but your Redeemer, your only hope. If ye are destroyed, it [is] yourselves alone that are responsible. Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, ... how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings,” Luke 13:34. But ye could not? No; “and ye would not!” Luke 13:34. I desired to save you, but ye would not be doers of My Word. The arm strong to save, is also strong to punish. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 6

Jesus is now looking from heaven above with yearning pity upon thee, even thee, in this thy day, O thoughtless, careless soul. But unless there is in our churches a general arousing, unless there is an individual work of confessing and putting away sin, unless each shall give earnest heed to the things which belong to their peace, the words of Christ may be at any moment applicable to them: “Now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] I entrusted thee with the solemn, sacred message of truth to make known to others, but thou hast been unfaithful to thy holy trust. Souls have not been enlightened, warned, and urged to repentance. Their blood will I require at thine hand. Will the churches humble themselves before the Lord in this day of atonement? Will they put away the sins which defile their garments of character, and separate them from God? 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 7

The present is our day of visitation. Look not to a future, more convenient season when the cross to be lifted will be less heavy, when the inclinations of the carnal heart will be subdued with less effort. “Today” saith the Spirit of God, “if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart.” Psalm 95:7, 8. Today go about the work, else you may be one day too late. The impressions which you have today may not be as strong tomorrow. Satan’s snare may close about you. The candlestick may be removed out of its place, and you be left in darkness. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 8

“See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh,” (Hebrews 12:25) says the true Witness. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Revelation 3:20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes less and less. If the voice of Jesus is not listened to at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices. The world’s cares and business engross the attention. Conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible and lapses in a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time and of the great eternity beyond. The heavenly Guest is standing at your door, while you are piling up obstructions to bar His entrance. Jesus is knocking through the prosperity He gives you. He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity, that they may flow out from you to others. Will you permit selfishness to triumph, will you squander God’s talents and lose the soul through idolatrous love of the blessings He has given? 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 9

There are some whose hold on life is weakening. Disease is upon them. Soon the time will come for the separation from all earthly things. Will these venture to trifle with God? Will they rob Him by withholding from His cause? Are there any who will prefer perishable, earthly treasure to the heavenly, the immortal substance? 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 10

Christ is making His last appeal to hearts. How importunate His entreaty. How reluctant is He to give you up, to be separated from His love and from His presence forever. Still are heard the steps of Him who is waiting without your door. His voice is still pleading for an entrance. But there is a point beyond which the forbearance of God will not reach. Shall the sign be registered on that doomed doorway, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone”? Hosea 4:17. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 11

Shall the word be spoken concerning you—he is joined to his idol of sensuality, let him alone; he is joined to his idol of earthly treasure, let him alone; he is joined to his idolatry of self, let him alone? The Sun of righteousness may set this very day for those who have had great light and privileges, but have not improved them. You have no time to loiter, no time to consult your convenience. It is now, even now, that you are to be zealous and repent. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 12

Oh, it is peace you need; heaven’s forgiveness, peace, and love in the soul. Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot secure it, wisdom cannot attain to it, but Jesus offers it as a gift. It is yours if you will reach out the hand of faith and grasp it. Many are weary of their half-hearted service. Their souls cry out after the living God. We are so weak, so helpless, and yet so desirous of a better state of things, that we turn away from a religion that has in it no divine manifestation. We cannot be satisfied with a form of godliness. We must have the deep movings of the Spirit of God in the soul. 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 13

Let the minister of God in his labors lean upon the arm of infinite power. Let him bare his soul in the closet, alone before God. Let him with loathing put away soul defilement. Let the weary, discouraged soul cry, as did Jacob, for the Comforter. Never trust in what you can do. Your wisdom is foolishness. Ever [keep in heart the knowledge that we are laborers for God. The Lord is leading his church in these last days as he led ancient Israel. While he gives them warnings, reproofs, and encouragement through his delegated servant, Christ, the angel of the covenant, who in the pillar of cloud and of fire went before the Hebrew host, is the leader of his people today. Provoke him not with your murmurings, by your selfish withholding from his cause, by cherishing iniquity; for in the face of great light he will not pardon your continual transgressions. The warning to the Sardis church is applicable at this time: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” And to us also the promise is extended. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”] [The last page is missing from the manuscript. The missing text has been copied from the published version in RH 11/02/1886.] 4LtMs, Lt 125, 1886, par. 14