Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Lt 57, 1887

Durland, Brother; John, Brother

Grimsby, England

July 23, 1887

This letter is published in entirety in 21MR 301-303. +Note

Dear Brethren Durland and John:

I have not been able to sleep since one o’clock. I feel a great longing that souls shall come to a knowledge of the truth, and a great burden that those who labor for their salvation shall be laborers together with God. Much is comprehended in this kind of labor. It is the laborer’s part to keep constantly waiting for orders. But there is not all that praying in faith that would be profitable for us and the work in which we are engaged. We strike below the standard. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 1

There is a real work to be wrought in us. Constantly we must submit our will to God’s will, our way to God’s way. Our peculiar ideas will strive constantly for the supremacy, but we must make God all and in all. We are not free from the failings of humanity, but we must constantly strive to be free from these failings, not to be perfect in our own eyes, but perfect in very good work. We must not dwell on the dark side; our souls must not rest in self, but in the One who is all and in all. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 2

By beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are actually to be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. We expect too little, and we receive according to our faith. We are not to cling to our own ways, our own plans, our own ideas; we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Besetting sins are to be conquered, and evil habits overcome. Wrong dispositions and feelings are to be rooted out, and holy tempers and emotions begotten in us by the Spirit of God. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 3

This the Word of God explicitly teaches, but the Lord cannot work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure unless we crucify self, with the affections and lusts, at every step. If we try to work in our own way, we shall grievously fail. We need more of Christ and less of self. We need the work of the Spirit of God upon our hearts constantly transforming our characters, our ways, our manners. We have too little faith, too feeble a trust in God, too little conformity to the divine will. We have a great work to do, and if we are laborers together with God, the ministering angels will co-operate with us in the work. We can only reach the people through God. Then let us lay hold of His mighty power by living faith, praying and believing, trusting and working. Then God will do that which only God can do. God and his workers are to be closely united. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 4

There is danger of doubting whether the plans of others are what they should be, and of advancing our special ideas and plans, when we have not sufficient experience to show that our ideas are <perfect and will prove> a success. Do not encourage in your hearts the disposition to question another’s plans, another’s ideas. <Until you have evidence that they are wrong, do not> criticize your fellow laborers. Let God take care of your brethren. He requires us to surrender our own souls to Him. Brethren, do not keep yourselves in your own hands. Do not, either of you, think that of yourselves you are a whole, because you are not. You are only threads in the great web of humanity, and your work is to do your part in binding humanity together. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 5

I have much love for your souls, and much interest in your work, which is not your work, but God’s. Let each one of us look to God and trust in God for himself. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15.] Do your duty day by day in love, in faith, in confidence, not by preaching only, but by ministering, by diligent, earnest, godly labor. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 6

Faith, living faith, we must have, a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. We must learn to take everything to the Lord with simplicity and earnest faith. The greatest burden we have to bear in this life is self. Unless we learn in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly, we shall miss precious opportunities and privileges for becoming acquainted with Jesus. Self is the most difficult thing we have to manage. In laying off burdens, let us not forget to lay self at the feet of Christ. Hand yourself <over> to Jesus, to be molded and fashioned by Him, that you may be made vessels unto honor. Your temptations, your ideas, your feelings must all be laid at the foot of the cross. Then the soul is ready to listen to words of divine instruction. Jesus will give you to drink of the water which flows from the river of God. Under the softening and subduing influence of His Spirit your coldness and listlessness will disappear. Christ will be in you a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. This will make you a blessing to others; for you will be able to lead them to Jesus. Your testimony will not be dry, but practical. You will be enabled to do a work that is as enduring as eternity. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 7

My brethren, we must reach the people through God. We must not plan and devise how to bring ourselves into notice, but how to work, be it in ever so humble a way, to present the matchless love and grace of Christ to the people. Let the sanctifying power of truth be expressed in your life and revealed in your character. Let Christ mold you, as clay is molded in the hands of the potter. Lay every burden at the feet of Jesus. Your health, your soul, your children, all are the Lord’s; and you must relate yourself to them in such a way that you may present a well-ordered family to the Lord, children who are a pattern of good works. This is the special work of parents who have any connection with the sacred work of God. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 8

My dear brethren, I write you these words as I was speaking them to you last night in my dreams. I am praying for the success of your effort in Marlborough. May the Lord give you an earnest spirit of prayer. I have feared that you would fail to come close enough to God to enable Him to do the work He is ready to do for you <and through you.> He cannot do this work unless you are hid with Christ in God, because self is prepared to take the glory God should have. Empty the soul temple of all selfishness. Cling with living faith to Jesus. Exert all your tact, all your skill, all your capabilities in resisting the enemy and in coming close to the souls who need help. Diligent, persevering effort should be made in their behalf. They must be urged to have a care for their <own> souls. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 9

There is fulness for you in Christ. Come to the water of life and drink. Do not keep away and complain of thirst. The water of life is free to all. Spend much time on your knees in prayer. Believe that God hears your prayers, and you will see of His salvation. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 10

Yours with deep interest in the work. 5LtMs, Lt 57, 1887, par. 11