Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 28, 1892

Wessels, P. W. B.

North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

July 1892

Portions of this letter are published in TSA 36-39; TMK 283.

Mr. P. W. B. Wessels
Somerset House, Roeland Street
Cape Town, South Africa

Dear Brother,

I sent you an unfinished letter a few weeks since and will send you this letter to finish. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 1

In our experience we have often found that Providence was preparing the way for enlarging the work when the difficulties we were obliged to encounter in planting the standard of truth were neither small nor few. Satan seemed to contest every inch of the way of progress, and trials and obstacles had to be met and overcome and reproach endured before success crowned our efforts. How many times the workers were heard to say, “If I had only known how much this undertaking would have cost me, I would never have entered upon it.” But if our Saviour was the Leader of the undertaking, He saw the whole length of the dark and discouraging path that would have to be travelled in order to seek and to save that which is lost. Did Jesus hesitate in this work? 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 2

Was the life of the Prince of life and glory without trial? No. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Not a pang that rent His lowly heart, not an insult that was heaped upon His head, not a privation that He was called to endure, but was all open before Him before He laid aside His royal crown, His royal robe, and stepped down from the throne to clothe His divinity with humanity. The path from the manger to Calvary was all before His eyes and He knew what fearful anguish would come upon Him. He knew it all, and yet He said, “Lo I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:7, 8. Then since the Saviour had to pass through all this experience, shall we expect that Satan will let us alone, undisturbed, to do the grand work of planting the standard of truth in new fields? 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 3

Christ said to the caviling Jews, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] The very fact that Jesus spoke the truth, and that with certainty, is the reason why the Jews did not believe Him. He said, “Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” [Verse 45.] 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 4

It was the truth that offended these self-righteous men. The truth exposed the fallacy of error, and it was unwelcome. They would rather close their eyes to truth than humble themselves to say that they had been in error. They did not love the truth, because it condemned their teaching and practices. They did not love it even if it was truth. Their own ungodly course made them cavilers against a ministry of truth. They treated the truth as heresy and idle tales, and they deceived themselves and deceived others. Christ said to the Pharisees, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 5

We shall find exactly such blindness on every side; but we are never to become discouraged, or to fail in setting forth the truth. Never are we to become impatient, because Christ bore with us in all our perversity, and He will teach us how to labor to present the truth as it is in Jesus. Go forth in the power and spirit of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 6

With this power is combined the tenderest compassion for those who are in darkness. But for the love felt and expressed in every look, in the tones of His voice, He would not have attracted the large congregations that He did. The words spoken went to the hearts of all, except the hearts of those who persistently resisted His words. Christ came to help men just where they needed help most. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 7

Through all my sickness the last eight months, I have had during my sleepless hours, the most precious contemplations of the love of God to man, expressed in the wonderful sacrifice made to save him from ruin. I loved to repeat the name of Jesus, how full of sweetness, light, and love it is! Looking upon the cross, at the humiliations and sufferings endured in bearing our sins, that His righteousness might be imputed to us, softens the heart and fills the soul with His love. He seems so strong, so compassionate that we exclaim “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 8

When pain has seemed to be almost unbearable, I have looked to Jesus and prayed most earnestly, and He has been beside me, and the darkness has passed away, and all has seemed light. The very air seemed like precious fragrance. How glorious seemed the truth! How uplifting! I could rest in the love of Jesus. Pain was still my portion, but the promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” (2 Corinthians 12:9), was enough to give me comfort. The sharpest pains seemed to be converted into peace and rest. For hours in the night season, I have had sweet communion with God. My mind seemed to be illuminated. I had no disposition to murmur or complain. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 9

Jesus was the spring of my hope and my joy and courage. Heaven has seemed to be very near, and Christ the great physician, my restorer, the remedy of all sickness. In Him all fulness dwells. Jesus is music to my ears, and although drinking the cup of suffering, the water of life was presented to me to quench my thirst. Christ is our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption. Through these months of suffering I have had such precious views of the goodness of Jesus that I want them never to become dim. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 10

I believe now that my sickness in this strange country is a part of God’s plan. I have been able to sleep but very little, yet my memory is good, my head clear. My arms and hands I feared would become helpless; but although painful, I can use my right hand, and every mail I have sent to America between one and two hundred pages of letter paper written by my own hand. Last mail bore away from me one hundred and seventy-five pages. I can sit up only a short time in one position. I can write best as I am now, half sitting and half reclining, bolstered up with pillows. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 11

My heart is full of happiness, and of love, and gratitude to God. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 12

Let these words ring like musical bells in our ears and heart, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. How urgently my soul pleads for the heavenly endowment. Of myself I can do nothing. The power and the glory is all of God. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” John 5:19. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” John 14:10. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 13

I see the work of God is so sacred that I dare not touch it without the presence of Jesus by my side. All might, all power and all glory belong to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 14

We are certainly nearing the close of this earth’s history, and God hath commended His love toward us in giving us the truth that has filled our hearts with such joy that we may exercise love toward others. Look to the man of Calvary giving His life for the sins of the world. Why?—that in beholding such love for man, all who believe shall not perish. We shall manifest the same love for our fellow-men. Love for lost souls brought Christ to Calvary’s cross. Love for souls will lead us to self-denial [and] self-sacrifice in order to seek and to save that which was lost. Ye are laborers together with God. Self must die and our life be hid with Christ in God. Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 15

Love for souls cannot exist without first having supreme love to God. Then all our desires, all our will, is on the Lord’s side of the question. Pride and desire for display cannot live in the heart where there is love for perishing souls. We want to be diligent students to learn in the school of Christ. Those who do not deny self and lift the cross and follow Jesus cannot be His disciples. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 16

Jesus said of His disciples, “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:26.] That love wherewith the infinite God loved His Son is to be conveyed to fallen man who believes in Jesus Christ. He transfuses this love through those who believe. As our life-blood, so is the circulating vitality of that love diffused through every part of our nature, that it may dwell in us as it does in Him. Wonderful statement! That it is possible for God to love us as He loves Christ. He loves the believing soul because he is a part of Christ, a partaker of the divine nature. 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 17

Then how grievous to the Spirit of God is anything like alienation, discord, and strife. The heart that is filled with the love of Christ will be exercised in love toward all for whom Christ has died. There will be the same self-denial practiced by the wealthy man who believes in Jesus, as by men who have little of this world’s goods, because he acts from unselfish principles. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” [2 Corinthians 8:9.] 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 18

The Lord Jesus has given man an example in His own life. For the selfish heart of sin, He gives the new heart of love. He changes the heart, and produces an entire revolution in the soul. He brings light out of darkness, love out of enmity, and holiness out of impurity, that those who believe in Christ may represent Christ’s life and character to the world. Says the apostle, “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 7LtMs, Lt 28, 1892, par. 19