Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Lt 75, 1890

Appley, Sister

Lynn, Massachusetts

December 9, 1890

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Appley:

There is at this time in Norwich a very critical state of things and the utmost caution needs to be used that not one soul shall have any occasion to be needlessly wounded. Great caution should be exercised in the words spoken and the spirit cherished. Few words, and well chosen, will be the best at all times, especially now. We are not obliged to tell everything we think. We may meditate and pray much with perfect safety, but keep the door of the lips with all diligence that we shall not speak unadvisedly. If there is unity preserved in the church, there must be much less talking and far more watching unto prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 1

You will probably better understand the words which my pen traces in the future. Some newly come to the faith have many temptations, and those older in the faith can be living missionaries for God in seeking to help these souls who have so limited an experience in the truth. Satan will exert his power to deceive, to make little items very large, and will misconstrue and misinterpret words that are spoken without thought. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 2

One sister said you told her that her sister, an unbeliever, [had] said some things, [which] she repeated, [that were] very harsh, of Seventh-day Adventists; she asked her sister and she said she did not say the words reported by you and others that she did say, and she was in grievous trial, because she said you denied saying the words to her which she claims you did say. Now, if you can adjust this matter, it is your duty to do so, that no soul shall have a cause of stumbling. Will you please to consider this matter and see, before another Sabbath if unity cannot be brought about. Let not the enemy of God and man have any occasion of questioning our integrity or losing confidence in us as genuine Christians. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 3

Now, I think many of these difficulties arise from misunderstanding and not hearing and interpreting correctly the words spoken. The exhortation of the apostle is safe always. “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” James 1:19. Oh, how much harm is done by unthinking remarks which might better be left unsaid than said. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 4

The apostle Paul says, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, He also will deny us. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” 2 Timothy 2:10-14. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 5

Dear sister, we need a great deal of patience and long-suffering toward those who have newly come to the faith. Let every word that falls from the lips be in wisdom. You can do much good. Let the heart be filled with the meekness and gentleness of Christ toward all, and you can be the means of doing much good—while praise and flattery is a snare to the soul. It is well to think and speak kindly of all as we wish all to speak kindly of us. We may build a wall around our own souls by being always gentle and peacemakers. There are all kinds of temperaments brought into the church and the Lord would have us, individually, so walk in all wisdom that we may help and bless others because the love of Jesus is in the heart. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 6

I have a great longing of soul for the church in Norwich to be a living, growing church. If they are thus, they must exclude all thinking evil and speaking evil of one another. There must be the cultivation not of love for self, but of the precious plants of love in the hearts for one another, each striving to excel in practicing the virtues, dwelling in all its fullness in Christ Jesus. Let this be the language of every soul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 7

The tongue needs to be educated and disciplined and trained to talk of the glories of heaven, the matchless love of Jesus Christ. Angels of heaven are working constantly to answer the prayer of Christ to His Father that His disciples may be one, as He is one with the Father. And when a new church is formed, angels of God are sent from heaven to lovingly bend over them and send rays of light to the hearts of all who have surrendered their will to God’s will, their ways to God’s ways; and when they see harmony and love binding heart to heart in the faith and love of Jesus Christ, they exclaim “‘Herein is love,’ the Father hath sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world.” [1 John 4:10.] 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 8

The church united in the truth is indeed a bright and shining light in the world. Our Saviour, having all power in heaven and earth, commands and combines the sympathies and individual effort, instrumentalities of the church in heaven with the church on earth, assigning to the angels their agency in ministering to those who shall be heirs of salvation and Himself present in their assemblies in the power of His Holy Spirit. No Christian is to be idle; every agency is to be employed in heaven to combine with human agencies in the church to carry the light which Christ shall send to all parts of the world. Every individual member of the church is to be indeed a working member, instrumental in saving souls for whom Christ has died. The genuine Christlike workers are [to] feel a deep interest for each convert as he shall come into the ranks, and they should find something for them to do for the Master, all united as living lights to enlighten the world. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 9

All are to hear the voice of the Master saying, “Go ye into My vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] Yes, work for each, work for all. Let each church member feel himself responsible for the health and spiritual strength and growth of the church. It is religion pure and unadulterated religion we all need. The prayer should go forth from burdened hearts for the Spirit and grace of Christ to be imparted to them. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 10

The prayer of Christ was for His immediate disciples and He adds, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:20-23. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 11

We must as Christ’s representatives be moved upon by hallowed influences that we may present by holy examples of Christian devotedness, the truth to others as it is in Jesus. We must be emptied of self. We must have Christ formed within the hope [of] glory. We must be pure and holy and complete in Christ Jesus. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 12

May the Lord bless you in Norwich abundantly is my prayer. 6LtMs, Lt 75, 1890, par. 13