Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 42, 1890

Burke, Brother and Sister

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 1, 1890

Poritons of this letter are published in OHC 124, 303; 2MCP 687.

Dear Brother and Sister Burke,

You are on my mind this morning, and I will write you a few words. I awoke at three o’clock and am now tracing these lines by gaslight. I am interested in you both, knowing that you are in a position where you will have large responsibilities, and will be <therefore> assaulted by the enemy. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 1

I wish you to know that the Lord is my restorer. I am now gaining strength, and in a few days shall be again in active labor. I shall go first to New York State, then to South Lancaster, then to Pennsylvania, laboring one week in each place; and then I shall go to Virginia and New York City, and Florida and Washington. The order of the last two places is not yet decided. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 2

Last Sabbath I spoke in Ceresco. We had an excellent meeting. The Sunday before, I spoke to the sanitarium patients in the large new parlor. I was very free, and the audience listened with interest. It was the most intelligent audience I ever had at the sanitarium. All this labor has not made me sick. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 3

We are having beautiful weather, and I am out as much as possible. Next Sabbath I go with my own team to Otsego, a distance of about thirty miles. I am sure the Lord is restoring me to health. While I do all I can to place myself under right conditions for health, I am constantly seeking the Lord, pleading that He will heal me of my infirmities, and give me physical strength to do the work He has for me to do. I know that time is short and the laborers are few, and I want to do with fidelity the part assigned me by God. My will must be given to God every day. I must have a growing faith. I find it a constant warfare to fight the good fight of faith. Unseen foes are constantly on my track, to weaken and discourage me. There must be a constant decision of my will to believe that God means just what He says; and if I continue to put my trust in Jesus, the source of all power, He has assured me that He will keep that which I have committed to His trust, against that day. I want to know that I am triumphant in God every day, that every emotion, every thought, is brought into captivity to the mind and will of God. I want the assurance that He has taken possession of that will which I have placed in His hands. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 4

My brother and sister, it is our privilege, as children of God, to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. At times the masterly power of temptation seems to tax our willpower to the uttermost, and to exercise faith seems utterly contrary to all the evidences of sense or emotion; but our will must be kept on God’s side. We must believe that in Jesus Christ is everlasting strength and efficiency. We must have that faith which works by love, and purifies the soul. Hour by hour we must hold our position triumphantly in God, strong in His strength. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 5

I am so happy in the knowledge that Jesus will take possession of our surrendered will. This is indeed falling upon the Rock and being broken. With a masterly hand, with tact and wisdom, with pity and love, He molds the human clay as the potter shapes the earthly clay into a vessel of honor. He works in us that which is well-pleasing in His sight, and we become transformed into the likeness of Christ. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 6

I often think of you both, and of your united responsibilities, and I pray that the One mighty in counsel may be with you at all times and in all places, that He may day by day give you His wisdom and an abiding sense of His presence. All things are possible to them that believe. Since God is working in you, you can safely set your face as a flint to do His will, and you may trust the Lord perfectly. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 7

If any man needs a close and constant connection with God, it is the Christian physician. He needs at all times the assurance that One is with him upon whom he can depend in every emergency, One who is infinite in wisdom. You must make a daily, personal consecration of all to God. You must daily renew your covenant to be His wholly and forever. Place no dependence upon changeable feelings, but plant your feet upon the sure platform of the promises of God: Thou hast said it; I believe the promises. This is an intelligent faith. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 8

Your feelings will be troubled as you see some pursuing a course contrary to the principles of Christ; trials and tests of faith will come to you; but I entreat you to look only to Jesus, and allow none of these things to harden your heart, or to cause darkness or unbelief. Let nothing cause your faith to fail. Live as in the sight of God. Talk with Jesus as you would speak with a friend. He is ready to help you in the sorest trial; He is with you in the gravest perplexity. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 9

You will receive praise of men, and unless you are guarded, it will be a snare to you. You will receive tempting inducements from men of the world, as Christ had from Satan—“All this will I give thee, if thou wilt worship me” [Luke 4:6, 7]; but do not be misled by these allurements. Fix your eyes upon the heavenly attractions, upon the mansions which Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. Pride will wrestle for pre-eminence, but through the grace of Christ you may come off more than conqueror. Now is your time of probation. Now is the time—by simply walking in all humility of mind and abiding in Christ—to write your name in immortal characters in the books of heaven. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] Unbelief always makes God, the true and faithful God, a liar. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 10

I have been shown that Satan is working earnestly to beat you off from the Rock of Ages; but look to Jesus minute by minute, and rest and peace will reward your diligence and your simple, earnest faith. I am very anxious that you shall make a success, not altogether in the line the world calls success, but in the line which is written in the books of heaven as success. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You, Bro. Burke, may be a strong man in God, an instrument in His hands to do a work which shall live throughout eternal ages. The praises of men are of no value, but the favor of God is of infinite worth. I want you to be wholly and entirely the Lord’s, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 11

A feeling of assurance is not to be despised; we should praise God for it; but when your feelings are depressed, do not think that God has changed. Praise Him just as much, because you trust in His Word and not in feelings. You have covenanted to walk by faith, not to be controlled by feelings. Feelings vary with circumstances. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 12

The Lord has <opened to me that there is> a wonderful revival just ahead for His people. May He fill you both with His fullness, and may you have the mind of Christ. Walk before God by faith, and rest fully upon His promises. Jesus says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 13

Now is our time to work. Now is the time for us to form character after the divine model. You have rare opportunities to represent Christ to the world. You may win souls to the Redeemer. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] If we know Christ, we shall reveal Him to others. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so also have I sent them into the world.” [Verse 18.] He came into the world to represent the Father; and the work He has given us is to represent His character. We cannot be excused from doing this work. 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 14

It is now about six o’clock, our prayer hour in the morning. I assure you I have a deep desire that you may be victorious, and hear the heavenly benediction, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] 6LtMs, Lt 42, 1890, par. 15