Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 22c, 1890

Place, Brother

Springdale, Arkansas

March 28, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Place,

For some reasons I have had a great burden for you, as well as for other physicians at the sanitarium. A decided change should take place in you all. You need to be converted men, and become one with Christ; your will must become God’s will, that you may keep the way of the Lord. The lawyer who came to Christ with the inquiry “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” asked an all-important question. You may, with anxious, intense interest, ask the same question. Jesus said unto the young man, “What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt not in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him; thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 19:17, 18.] 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 1

Brother Place, you were presented to me as a transgressor of God’s holy law. You have humiliated your soul and your body. You have indulged an unwarrantable liberty and commonness, and have been guilty of lustful practices. You have dishonored God, blunted your conscience, sanctioned evil in others, and have even tempted them to be transgressors with you. You have dishonored your profession as a Christian physician, a saviour of the souls and bodies of men and women. My brother, did you forget that there was One who was a witness to all your secret works, even the One who says, “I know thy works”? [Revelation 3:15.] The same witness that traced the characters on the palace wall of Belshazzar at his sacrilegious feast, when he mocked and blasphemed the God of heaven. This witness was present when you desecrated the law of Jehovah, and all your dishonorable deeds are registered in the books of heaven to confront you in the day of judgment, except you repent, and the Lord heal you of your transgression. 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 2

You have greatly weakened your moral powers through the indulgence of base passion. You have broken down the barriers which God erected to preserve purity of thought and chastity of action. You are guilty before God. “When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentest with him, and thou hast been partakers with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. ... These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God.” [Psalm 50:18-23.] 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 3

I beseech you, my brother, who have shown so much weakness, “seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:6-9.] “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” [Psalm 51:17.] “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” “For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.” [Isaiah 57:15, 17.] 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 4

Impiety has never assumed a more daring, venturesome attitude in our world than at the present time, and shall our course of action sanction sin? Your sensibilities have been blunted by offense against God; but the union you have had with the wicked in heart, though disguised and concealed by circumstances, and false reasonings, are all open to the eyes of Him with whom you have to do. “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” [Galatians 3:1.] What can you mean by this abandonment of God’s holy law that you transgress with impunity? You have tempted the devil to tempt you. You have walked upon his ground, and distrusted God; and unbelief of His Word, in various forms, have taken possession of your soul. As Christ’s ambassador, I ask you why have you taken yourself out of His hands? Why have you planned for yourself without earnestly seeking to walk in the way of the Lord? Do you feel that your mental powers belong to yourself? Did you originate them? No, but you have dishonored the Giver by perverting them. Do you consider yourself too accomplished, too good, to be subjected to the discipline and training of God? Do you hold yourself as one willing to be controlled of God? Have you calmly considered the matter, and have you decided that you will venture to walk independently, in your own perverse way, rather than have God’s will guide you? You are not a Christian; for a Christian follows Christ in a way where God and conscience must be consulted at every step. 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 5

You have been seeking a freer range, a wider sphere, a broader road. Will the path you have chosen take you beyond the dominion of God? Are you enjoying freedom and peace in your self-chosen way? Are you sure to win the liberty you crave? And what will this liberty bring you? Will you be assured freedom from disappointment and disaster? “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” [Galatians 6:7, 8.] All that you gain by walking in the sparks of your own kindling is to lie down in sorrow. Any kind of work that is revolt against God is a venture to work out a destiny which has no promise of guidance or grace or reward of the Lord. All are under the all-seeing eye of God, who says, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 6

In choosing our own way, we come in conflict with His revealed will. How dangerous is this rebellion against God. The Lord says, “For mine eyes are upon all their ways, they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes, and first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcasses of their abominable and detestable things.” [Jeremiah 16:17, 18.] “There is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” [Job 34:22.] The Lord Jehovah is the guide and counsellor of all who are determined as was Daniel, to do His will, and receive their commission from heaven. While the Lord searches out the evildoer, and rewards him according to the fruit of his doing, yet He will plentifully recompense him who worketh righteousness. Even in secular matters, the Lord will impart wisdom; Godliness is profitable for this life as well as for the life to come. 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 7

Brother Place, I implore you for Christ’s sake to be reconciled to God. You have broken down the barriers of chastity, you have corrupted your ways before the Lord. All your misdoings, which have violated your conscience and blunted your sensibilities, have been committed in the presence of the sinless angels. 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 8

No single action makes a man’s character; it is through the repetition of actions that the character is formed; for repeated action form habits, and habits become character. The tempter has triumphed in your case in leading you to the repetition of evil practices. Passion has controlled reason; truth and honesty and virtue have been sacrificed for the gratification of your base and selfish desires. But Jesus pities you; your only hope is in repentance, and confession to Him who will pardon abundantly. Be not slow to act. Now is your time to fall on the Rock and be broken; then Jesus can make you a vessel unto honor. O my Brother, could you not see and realize your accountability to God? You laid yourself open to the temptations of Satan; and in place of overcoming, you were overcome. This weakened your power of resistance, and you became the victim of Satan. Satan tried you again and again, and every temptation submitted to, made you less able to resist, until you were in Satan’s hands as his slave. Help had been provided for you through Christ Jesus, but you did not lay hold of divine strength. A way has been provided whereby we may individually form habits of purity, and become steadfast in our adherence to principle. 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 9

We may be able to say, as did Joseph, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” [Genesis 39:9.] But you were not like Joseph. You not only did not, yourself, resist, but you became a tempter to others. We may form habits of honesty, or through the specious devices of Satan, we may turn from the straight and narrow path into the crooked, deceptive ways that lead to perdition. O my brother, your life of temptation and failure has been opened before me. Your principles are not pure and uncorrupted. You need to be thoroughly converted. Selfishness and avariciousness are becoming your snare to the ruin of your soul. Shall Satan have his way? Shall Satan’s power control your life? Have you thought what has been your influence during these years of departure from the counsel of God? 6LtMs, Lt 22c, 1890, par. 10