Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)
Lt 16j, 1892
Jones, A. T.
Preston, Melbourne, Australia
September 2, 1892
This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1036-1039.
Dear Brother A. T. Jones,
I send with this a letter written to Elder U. Smith, for I have felt pained to see differences appear in the Review and Herald, publishing to the world the want of unity among Seventh-day Adventists. It is essential that we present a united front. The light given me for many years from the Lord has been, Let not conflicting sentiments be published in our church paper. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 1
We claim to be Christians under the control, not of our own feelings, but of the Spirit of God, devoted to the service of Christ, who has chosen us to be under the dictation of His Holy Spirit. He has offered to His Father a most wonderful prayer, that His disciples may be, as He was, one with the Father. Now, it is the duty of every one who believes in Christ as their personal Saviour to answer that prayer. Angels and archangels are looking upon God’s chosen ones with the most earnest interest to see what influence the truth is having upon mind and character, to see how much they appreciate the One who was crucified for them that they might have eternal life. If the plainest injunctions and His commandments are lightly regarded, and the prayer of Christ just prior to His offering the great sacrifice has been strangely neglected, what does it mean? We are truly a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 2
Time is given to unimportant matters, but the very things of eternal consequence scarcely arrest the attention and seem to make but faint impress on the mind. Actions speak for themselves. The thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John need careful study and earnest practice if we honor God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. We cannot afford to be living in neglect of the very duties, specified by our Substitute and Surety, that bear the divine credentials to the world that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 3
Now the very highest missionary work to be done by the chosen of God is that they are earnest doers of the words of Christ. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:16, 17. “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 4
This is the test; the proof of our love is that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [Verses 24, 21.] Here is a promise on condition. Shall we not rationally conclude that why the church has so little of the realizing sense of the presence of God is their indifference to do the things He has specified, and they are giving to the world a misrepresentation of the character of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 5
Elder Jones, walk carefully before God. “Ye are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.” [1 Corinthians 4:9.] Be careful not to present in the paper views which you know will clash with Elder Smith, for he feels that he is in authority to control the articles which appear in the Review; but if he makes an attempt to close the door that light shall not come to the people, then, sad as it may be, the Lord will remove him. But the Lord loves Brother Smith, and be careful that no occasion shall be given, by publishing articles that he has not seen. If, after he sees the articles and publishes them, without seeing and speaking with the author of the article, then he has no right to put in the paper an opposite view, for he hurts the cause of God. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 6
This is no time for dissension; press together; seek to be a unit. There should be a breaking down of icy reserve and a mutual confidence and freedom exercised. Each must guard his words. Avoid all impressions which savor of extremes, for those who are watching for a chance will seize hold of any words strongly expressed to justify them in their feelings of calling you an extremist. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 7
The crisis is just before us. The fierce conflict of mind with mind, of principle with principle, of truth with error, which is fast approaching, and which has already begun, calls for constant vigilance. This world is the great field where the last battle is to be fought. Now every man who is on the Lord’s side will come up to the battle of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and the walls of antichrist shall fall before the Captain of the Lord’s host. Then let not the chosen of God be found in opposition to the messengers and messages He sends; but let the ability and tact of every soul, by all Scriptural and holy means, be employed to give greater efficiency and strength in the aggressive warfare—not against brethren, not against the Lord’s anointed—but against the satanic agencies that they must meet. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 8
The Lord will speak through His messengers. They are only the human instrumentalities, possessing no grace or loveliness of their own, and are powerful and efficacious only as God, the eternal Spirit, shall work upon human hearts. The treasure of the everlasting gospel is in earthen vessels. Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, and this is the extent of their ability: God, only, giveth the increase. There must be no dishonoring of God, no grieving of His Holy Spirit, by casting dishonor or reflection upon God, who selects His messengers to bear a message to the world, by refusing the message of God’s words from the lips of any of His servants, by whom He may send it. Many souls rob themselves of great blessings, and Christ of glory which should redound to Him, because they do not take heed to this; there is confusion, and defection, and weakness. 7LtMs, Lt 16j, 1892, par. 9