Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 31, 1889

Brethren in Fresno

Rome, New York

June 13, 1889

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren in Fresno:

I have been with you in my dreams, and I have been saying some very plain things in the fear of God. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 1

I was warning you and cautioning you to be of one mind, speaking the same things, seeking to answer the prayer of Christ just prior to His crucifixion that His disciples might be one as He was with the Father. Is it possible that this union may exist among the people of God? It is possible, and positively essential, else Christ would not [have] made it the burden of His prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 2

When our will becomes as the will of God, this precious unity will exist. Said John, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” [John 3:30.] When this shall be among the people of God, when men who claim to be children of God will humble themselves, then Christ will indeed increase as first and last and best in everything. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 3

But on one point especially I was speaking to you with clearness and power. It was in next to the last chapter in Malachi. Please read verses 8-11. I said to the church, You are not right with God. You made your pledges before God of what you would do in gifts and offerings, but you have not considered that this was a solemn pledge given to your Creator, witnessed by the universe of heaven, and registered in the heavenly records above. Nothing can be an excuse for you to violate your pledges to your Lord. You would not, could not, do this if your hearts were in the sacred work. Nothing could be of sufficient consideration to cause you to go back on your pledges. It is not man that you are dealing with, but the Lord God of heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 4

He says, “Them that honor me I will honor.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, and life and immortality are brought to light in the gospel. In Christ, through faith in Him, we are made partakers of the benefits and blessings of the Old and New Testaments. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 5

The law and the gospel are one, both cemented in one, and the great blessings and favors given us of God call for a response from every creature God has made. The unbeliever who makes no returns to Him, who has robbed Him all his lifelong, will be judged according as his works have been. They are full of self-love and ingratitude. Blessing and privileges are promised to all those who love God and keep His commandments. But those who do not walk in accordance with the light and privileges bestowed, after a time the long forbearance of God ceases toward them, and then it will be found by them to be a terrible thing to have exhausted the divine <patience> and provoked the wrath of God, and His mercies are turned into a curse. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 6

When I was laboring with you in Fresno, the Lord laid before me the great work to be done there and in that vicinity that there should be a house built for the Lord. In our labors to bring this about, pledges were made in the presence of God and the whole universe of heaven, and these pledges were registered in the records above. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 7

What efforts have you made to meet your pledges? We hope no one will rob God and be false to his promises, for these pledges were not made to men, but to God. Do not be found false to your God. Please read Job 22. “For then shall thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God, thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing” (even as you decreed to build a house for God): “and it shall be established unto thee; and the light shall shine upon thy ways. When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, there is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.” [Verses 26-29.] See Psalm 50:14, 15. “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 8

(Deuteronomy 23:21), “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God thou shalt not slack to pay it; for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee, and it would be sin in thee. But if thou forbear to vow it will become sin in thee.” Verse 23. “That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.” (Numbers 30:2), “If a man vow a vow unto the Lord or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 9

I might write at length upon this subject, but in searching the living oracles of God, you will see it is a solemn thing to vow; that the words of promise that have been spoken from our lips or traced by our pen are to be sacredly kept. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 10

We live upon the mediation of Christ; He has given His life for us, and He ever liveth to make intercession for us that we shall have happiness and peace forever and ever in the future life. Every time we are seated around the family board to eat food for the strengthening of our bodies we are to remember the Giver whose bounties are continually bestowed upon us. He is ever interceding for us that we may be partakers of His grace. He loveth us and hath given Himself for us. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 11

We may rejoice in hope, and our faith grasp the rich promises by virtue of the atonement. Then when His Spirit moves our hearts to present to Him by vows that which is His own, shall we become unfaithful, careless and negligent in regard to our duty? “Of thine own,” says David, “we freely give thee.” [1 Chronicles 29:14.] The Lord through infinite sacrifice of His own precious life paid the purchase money for our redemption, and shall we after solemnly pledging to God of the gifts He has freely bestowed upon us, let selfishness come in and refuse to do the things we have promised? It is true you may suffer inconvenience in your homes for a time, but if your gifts and offerings are made cheerfully, heartily as unto the Lord, the Lord will not forget your labor of love in His name. The whole-souled workers need not be discouraged at reverses, for the Lord is not forgetful of your earnest, zealous efforts to show your respect for the Master in preparing a place for Him to abide with you while you worship Him “in the beauty of holiness.” [1 Chronicles 16:29.] 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 12

How can we expect to be co-workers with God and not know the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus Christ? How can we enjoy the gracious privileges bestowed upon us and yet we refuse to know the fellowship of Christ’s self-denial and sacrifice? How can we ever complain when we know Jesus came from glory to our world to be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”? [Isaiah 53:3.] How can we wish or choose an easier time and desire to retain the things the Lord has entrusted to us for the very purpose of being used to His glory. What shall we say in the judgment because of our continual selfishness and unbelief? 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 13

Our salvation cost a great price. The Author of our salvation tasted death for every man. He labored continually upon the earth, denied Himself, and His whole life was marked with meekness and humiliation and toil and privation. He made the world. He owned all its riches and all its glory. He could have passed His days on earth in peace and in plenty and appropriated to Himself all the riches and all the glory of the world, but He did not do this. He did not study His own pleasure or His own convenience. His life upon the earth was to do good, and can we, the special objects of so great condescension and expressed love, claim the things graciously lent us to prove us and to test our allegiance to Him and lead us to acknowledge His great and unsurpassed love in our behalf by sending to God His own in gifts and offerings? 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 14

We know not the dangers and perils which beset us on every side, and yet we are daily kept by the watchcare of the holy angels from the cruel designs of evil angels. Could our eyes be opened, what wonders would we discover, what disasters Satan would bring upon us, were we not guarded every day. Then how grateful we should be that we are partakers of the heavenly benefits and lifted up and ennobled by the blessings of the great atonement. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 15

We cannot conceive of the things God has in store for those who love Him and are obedient to all of His commandments. The “chastisement of our peace was upon him,” and He hath borne the iniquity of us all. [Verses 5, 6.] Our sins mingled with the bitter cup which He took from our lips and drank it Himself, while He proffers us the cup of His blessing. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 16

Then the question is asked in Malachi, “Will a man rob God? yet ye have robbed me even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing such as there will not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:8-10.] Will we make the trial? God grant that we may do the work which the Lord has left for us to do. He is proving us to see what characters we will develop, whether eternal riches are prized above earthly things, whether self and the world are surrendered or crucified to Christ. Will we commune with Him and be in harmony with Christ here in this life? If we will not do this here, our eternal destiny is settled. We would be unfit subjects for the kingdom of heaven. Christ must be all in all to us in this life if He is our all in all in the future life. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 17

Seek to have perfect unity, for nothing else will please our Saviour. The Lord has called us out of the world to be a peculiar, holy people unto Himself. “Yea I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” [Jeremiah 31:3.] Are you indeed drawing nigh to God? If so, be assured that He is drawing nigh unto you. No other people profess to be under the government of God’s law and commandments. But notwithstanding all the great privileges granted and the expressed love and the tender mercies of our Saviour, men who claim to be children of God have not walked in His ways. The warning voice of their prophets and holy men, the enlightened piety and holy calling, did not prevent them from falling away from their elevated position and losing their hold upon the promises. Their iniquities separated between them and their God and their sins hid His face from them that He would not hear. They were exalted very high in point of privileges, but they did not render corresponding obedience and earnestly labor to keep themselves in the love of God, and these things which would have been for their interest and for their advantage became their curse. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 18

Now, my brother, make it a business to search your Bible with heart and soul. Be often upon your knees before God confessing your sins and pleading the promises of God in living faith. Do not become hateful and hating one another, but love one another. Press together, grow up into Christ, your living head. Let every man pay his vows to God, and do not be dishonest with your Maker, for He will repay you if you do. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 19

Let there be earnest heart searching. The Lord is soon to come. Are you putting to use every power that God has given you to get ready and prepare others for the great day of God’s preparation? The perils of the last days are upon us. Wake up, brethren, to the situation. Center your affections upon God and herein are given unto us many “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4. You have solemn work to do to build up one another in the most holy faith, that you may grow into a beautiful temple unto God. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 20

I leave these lines with you, and may the Lord bless them to you all is the prayer of your sister in the faith. 6LtMs, Lt 31, 1889, par. 21