Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 5a, 1891


Battle Creek, Michigan

February 13, 1891

Portions of this letter are published in RY 74-75.

Dear afflicted brother,

We assure you that we sympathize with you in your affliction and in your sufferings. But there is One who knows all, and He tells us He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. [Hebrews 4:15.] In all our afflictions He is afflicted. He bears all our griefs, He carries all our sorrows if we will only by faith lay them upon Him who has been tempted and tried in all points like as we. He identifies His interests with suffering humanity. Those who wound and grieve one of His children grieve Jesus Christ in the person of His Saints. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 1

For each who feels a desire to work for Jesus, there is enough to do. He is willing to spend and be spent for Jesus, and he finds in it no sullen drudgery. He feels that he is a laborer together with God, and he does his work through Jesus Christ cheerfully and joys in the Lord God of his salvation. God’s spirit braces the worker; the Lord Himself is by His side to nerve the spirit for all that is done. Jesus, the blessed Saviour, is acquainted with every chapter in your experience. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 2

He is a compassionate and loving Saviour, forgiving transgressions and sins; and as we behold and contemplate the evidences of His self-denying, self-sacrificing love, we may from the heart say, “Thy gentleness has made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] Great yes, highly favored, highly exalted; connected by faith with Jesus Christ, we are connected with every power in heaven. The whole heavenly agencies of God are interested in finite mortals. Why should they not be, are these not the King’s children, members of the royal family? 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 3

You were not seeking your pleasure, your selfish indulgence, when your exposure and disappointment brought you down to the very brink of the grave. Indolence in advocating that which we know to be truth in the great cause is not right, and when you are conscious [that] you have done your duty, although the results you look upon may be not flattering, the body racked with pain, yet you can know that God knoweth; and it is all registered in His books. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 4

The Lord Jesus is a party to all our transactions in any labor. We are either gathering with Christ or we are scattering abroad. The old soldier on the field of battle frequently, in his zeal, exposes himself to danger and to death. He cannot do otherwise and have the assurance that he is doing his whole duty. This is found to be applicable in the service of the heavenly King; wounds and bruises are received because Christ’s soldiers, will not forsake their post of duty and be satisfied with a shut-in religion [saying,] “I am saved,” and leave the world, and sinners in the world, to perish. [They are] not willing to be in seclusion and inactivity. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 5

Now my brother, truly the harvest is great, the experienced laborers are few. We do not want to spare you, my brother, from the ranks; we want you to remain with us; but we will say, God knoweth we are finite; we do not understand now as we shall by and by. O, how much we could see, if the curtain was rolled back, that we do not now discern. That which we know not now, we shall know hereafter. The soul must now walk by faith, trusting the unerring Guide. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 6

O, how glad I am that you have such a wise, safe Leader. His voice you now hear, saying to you, Fear not, Lo I am with you, I will help you. Connected with Jesus Christ by the golden chain of mercy and pardon, you are connected with the whole heavenly agencies. It is one of the precious comforts of our faith: we are assured by One that will never lie, “I will not leave you comfortless.” [John 14:18.] 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 7

I am glad you have not shunned to do that which you felt to be your duty. There have been those who, under the pretext of being devout above ordinary men, have made the desert their dwelling-place and dwelt in dens and caves of the earth from choice. They claimed to be cultivating personal piety, a closer walk with God. If we can find anything in the life of Christ that was of this order, we may finally be excused in doing this kind of work. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 8

But Christ, when He said to His disciples, “Follow Me,” was engaged in active, earnest, diligent work. He found ample work to do in all the walks of life. So will His followers, to the end of time, find ample scope for the exercise of every spiritual nerve and muscle in doing the Master’s business and in this way, through exercise, becoming spiritually strong, growing in knowledge and the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They have not forsaken the duties of this life and made themselves useless to society, as if indolence has to receive a reward, as if inactivity was a virtue—a fruit borne upon the Christian tree. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 9

My brother I do not feel to give you one word of censure, saying you were imprudent, overzealous. I would have done just as you did. Had you foreseen all, you might have saved yourself much suffering; but you did not see, and you acted out your zeal and devotion to the cause of truth, and some others may be responsible for not doing their duty. But I blame you not. I feel more closely bound to you in the tenderest sympathy, for I know not how soon the great desire to help souls to see the truth and understand its preciousness and value in the saving of the soul from death may place me where my life may be given to the earnest, intense interest for others. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 10

God’s brand is placed upon the idlers in the vineyard. O, how much we need Jesus at every step, for says Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Said Christ, “I will pray the Father for you and He will give you another comforter.” [John 14:16.] 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 11

Those who have imbibed the Spirit of Christ cannot be idle. The religion of Jesus Christ is a religion of ever doing and faithfully serving the Lord. About them there are snares and perils to be met; there is very much to discourage and deaden the soul’s holiest and highest interests. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 12

There is much in the business transactions of every life to engage every power and to exclude the very thoughts of God. But this is a fatal mistake, and thousands are ensnared, entombed in worldly activity, breathing the atmosphere of the world. While the exhortation of the apostle is, “Be not slothful in business,” united with this is, “Serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] That which Christ has blended, diligence and godliness, man has divorced. A man can be a Christian in his business, even in his worldly transactions he can represent Christ and be a spectacle to the world and to men. The will and ways and works of God are to come into everything. 7LtMs, Lt 5a, 1891, par. 13