Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 12, 1892

Haskell, S. N.

Hanover Road, Victoria Park, Adelaide, Australia

November 5, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in AH 472-473; 7BC 912-913; WM 76, 105, 166.

Dear Brother,

My mind is much exercised in getting off the mail; there is so much to think of that I do not get everything out and on the wing that I desire. I hardly know what I have sent you, but I will drop a few words day by day, as I am impressed by the Spirit of the Lord, for I awake in the night season and you will come to my mind, and I am conversing with [you] upon some important subject. Last night I was saying to you, One thing we must do and that is to trust implicitly in the Lord at this time. This is our only safety. And if we have done this, then should the winds blow, and the vessel rock, Jesus is on board and He will speak the word that will bring calm and steadiness, and we will outride every gale and come safe into harbor. We have work to do for the Master, which we must do relying not on human wisdom, but upon the wisdom of God. How little real faith and trust we have in God after He has shown His tender pitying love towards us. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 1

We need to drink of that never failing fountain. It is needless for us to continually keep our mistakes and errors before us; but we need to constantly look to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. Are you not surprised to see how difficult it is for human minds to grasp the great treasures of truth on this point—the forgiveness of sins? The value of the mediation of Jesus Christ in our behalf seems so hard for the mind to grasp—to lay our souls open to Jesus, tell Him all in confession, and then believe the promise of God: My son, My daughter, thy sins be forgiven thee. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 2

God is approached through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the only way through which He forgives sins. God cannot forgive sins at the expense of His justice, His holiness, and His truth. But He does forgive sins and that fully. There are no sins He will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sinner’s only hope, and if he rests here in sincere faith, he is sure of pardon and that full and free. There is only one channel, and that is accessable to all; and through that channel a rich and abundant forgiveness awaits the penitent, contrite soul, and the darkest sins are forgiven. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 3

These lessons were taught to the chosen people of God thousands of years ago [and] repeated in various symbols and figures, that the work of truth might be riveted in every heart that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. The great lesson embodied in the sacrifice of every bleeding victim, impressed in every ceremony, inculcated by God Himself, was that through the blood of Christ alone is forgiveness of sins; yet how many carry the galling yoke, and how few feel the force of this truth and act upon it, personally, and derive the blessings they might receive through a perfect faith in the blood of the Lamb of God, realizing that through Him only is forgiveness of sins, believing that when repented of He forgives them whether great or small. O! What a blessed Saviour! Justice demanded the sufferings of man; but Christ rendered the sufferings of a God. He needed no atonement of suffering for Himself; all His sufferings were for us; all His merits and holiness were open to fallen man, presented as [a] gift; will he have it? His proportionate debt of sufferings was in accordance to His measureless holiness and untainted purity. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 4

Now, the Father’s work is to take man where he is, to accept the [merits] of the Substitute, the righteousness of the Surety and Mediator, and for His mercy to forgive the transgressor. How weak and earthly we are when we make such hard work of it to believe in Him who is righteousness and truth. We are weak, trembling, finite creatures; but in (Hebrews 2:10) we read, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Then trials and afflictions are not evidences of God’s displeasure. The wheat is to be sifted, the chaff blown away, all impurities of sin must be purged from every soul. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 5

The Christian life is not one of ease and restfulness, but is represented as a life of earnest work. The church must work. How? To please and praise and glorify self? Oh, no! Each sentinel must be at his post, each soldier in his rank; he is not to place himself as though he paid the purchase money for himself; he is the property of Jesus Christ, body, soul, and spirit; every part of him is to be treated as God’s property. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 6

“Here am I; send me.” [Isaiah 6:8.] “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” [1 Samuel 3:9.] How many lay all this responsibility upon the ministers, as though the ministers alone were meant by the working force. This is not the case. Every man and woman who has joined the army of the Lord is included in the working force, and not one is excluded. Then when the work shall close, every man shall receive the reward according to his deeds. Every one in Christ’s army must fight the battles of the Lord. Trials will come, faith will be tested. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 7

God has warned us against presumption. Hold fast; yield my post of duty? No, never. If resolutions which I know to be wrong are carried over my head, shall I be presumptuous? And shall I say as did Elijah, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” [1 Kings 19:4.] No. “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] You are not using yourself, you are only an instrument in the hands of God. If one pushes aside the instrument, he thrusts aside the hand that is working that instrument. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 8

It requires fortitude to trust in God. Our Captain was made perfect through sufferings. Shall finite man expect perfection of character without trial of every sort that Satan can invent? “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” [Hebrews 2:11, 12.] Precious words to every son and daughter of God! How I prize these words, they are precious to me, more precious than fine gold. I meditate upon them. They guide me when I am overwhelmed with perplexities and lead [me] to fasten my hope upon the world’s Redeemer, and in Him will I be confident. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 9

Through faith, although I may be disappointed in the words and attitude of my brethren, there is no reason why I should withhold praises from God; for He has never disappointed me. There has nothing failed me of all the good things He hath promised me. Then is it proper for me to hide in the shadow? Is it appropriate for me to put my light under a bushel, or under a bed? No! Let it shine. Let every ray of it shine. Look to the Sun of Righteousness, and catch His bright beams. Shall I sing when under my bushel, or under my bed? No! “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.” [Verse 12.] 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 10

And as you sing, there comes a strengthening of confidence; and you will say, I will put my trust in Him. “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” [Verses 16-18.] 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 11

Now, there is no excuse for us to feel that we are forsaken of God. We must endure the temptation, because Christ is helping us. We must consider Him who hath endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest we become weary and faint in our minds. “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:14.] “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” In perfect patience we must possess our souls. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” [Hebrews 4:15, 16.] This inspired Word is the voice of God to you and to me. Will we hear? 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 12

We are living in strangely solemn times when the people of God should be wide awake; but many are asleep or dead spiritually. There is great need of much work being done and every individual member of the church to look to his Captain for orders. Should the benevolence of the people of God dry up now? No, for it would be at the peril of their souls. All who have the truth of God at heart will act in accordance with the principles of truth. They will consecrate their property to the Lord. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 13

The love of Christ for fallen man was such that He gave His own precious life. For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame. The prospect of the salvation of many souls was joy to the Son of God. Wherein do we feel the deep interest? This work of intense interest in the cause of God does not rest upon ministers only. Every one who has joined himself to the Lord has, if truly converted, a work devolving upon him from which he cannot be excused. We should share the benevolence, self-sacrifice, self-denial of our Pattern, Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 14

Those who have given themselves to the Lord will contribute a portion of their property to advance the very work for which Christ gave His life. Christian liberality is far below the standard of God’s requirement. No one will have the sanction of God in hoarding up his property. There should be many who should make bequests of their property; especially should the aged in life bestow a portion of their possessions and appropriate it to the different branches of the cause that need help. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 15

Many seem to think it inappropriate to advise those who have money to make their will when there is no prospect of their dying. The doing of their work, in appropriating the means God has entrusted to their care, is a faithful discharge of their stewardship. They will not be approved of God unless they do their part as faithful stewards, that the means shall be returned to the rightful Owner of all they possess. Is it then a strange thing to call the attention of those who have means to their duty on this subject? It is in accordance with the light given me that it should be done. The numbers should be increasing of those who are ready to add their gifts upon the altar, not only of their means but themselves and their children. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 16

There is need of more missionaries to bear the truth to the places near and far away. The heart must be enlisted. Benevolence is strengthened by exercise. Workers are needed who will engage in most earnest, determined effort at home in their own family circle, feeling a burden for every unconverted member of their family, and who will not rest until every one is brought to the cross of Christ. This labor, commenced at home, will be a precious experience gained which will fit them to go outside of the home to the neighborhood, and to the church. All the time the angels of God are ministering not only to the worker, but to the ones for whom they are working, so as they receive the precious divine enlightenment of the truth, they cannot rest until they impart that light to others. Much work of this kind must be done by the members of the church. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 17

Let every individual member of the church ask himself, What part can I act to win souls to Jesus Christ? I will, says one class, guard myself that my wants shall be so bound about that no needless adornment shall steal away the pence and shillings to gratify pride or display. I will consecrate myself to God, and my desire for selfish gratification shall be killed before it buds and blossoms and bears fruit. This is a good resolution. It will please the Saviour who has purchased you. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 18

It is impossible to estimate how far-reaching the influence one sincere believer in Jesus Christ can exert. For they will be called upon to explain themselves; and they should do this without boasting, modestly, but with decision and firmness, as one who has counted the cost and set themselves to the work of thorough consecration to Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 19

One may say, I have no opportunity to obtain money, but I will set apart myself. I will educate and train myself that no opportunity shall be allowed to pass unimproved. I have always kept myself busy, but after all I have not felt a satisfaction in the way my time has been occupied. I see now, as never before, that very much of my time has been employed in doing nothing but those things that pleased myself. Now I desire to please God, and I will give a portion of my time in doing real service for the Master. I will visit the sick, I will train myself to have an interest and sympathy for the suffering ones, and I will add, if possible, some favors to make them more comfortable. Through this means I can reach their hearts and speak a word as the servant of Jesus Christ. Thus I can cultivate the art of ministering and may win souls to Jesus. Can you not see that Jesus will say, “Well done” to this line of ministry? [Matthew 25:21.] 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 20

Eternity alone will reveal how far-reaching such a line of labor can be. There are other lines of work. Some are capable of reading the Scriptures and communicating to others that which we believe. These may be channels of light and a precious comfort to some poor discouraged souls who seem to be unable to grasp hope and exercise faith. Others should search and study how they can be doing errands for the Lord. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 21

If those whose employment takes the most of their time, excepting Sundays or holidays, instead of spending this time in their own pleasure use it in blessing others, they will be of service in the cause of God. Your example will help others to do something that will tell to the glory of God. Heed the words of the inspired apostle, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] Thus a living principle will be brought into your daily active life, of being good and doing good. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 22

God calls for workers, not idlers; and church members are to be alive to their individual obligations under the divine administration of Him who can give the increase to all their willing, heartfelt service. Waiting, watching, working is the only right and safe position for us to occupy. Those who do something will have an interest in the missionary meetings. They will have something to say and they will consider it a privilege to say it. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 23

A missionary spirit is quickened by doing missionary work, and a spirit of earnest prayer is awakened. Doing work for others has an influence to drive them to the throne of grace, for they feel their dependence upon the gracious agency of the Holy Spirit for all success in their efforts and lines of work. If there were more earnest prayers offered to God, they would realize rich answers to their prayers. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 24

But unless there are those who will devise means of turning to account the time, strength, and brains of the church members, there will be a great work left undone that ought to be done. Haphazard work will not answer. We want men in the church who have ability to develop in the line of organizing and giving practical work to young men and women in the line of relieving the wants of humanity, and working for the salvation of the souls of men, women, youth, and children. It will not be possible for all to give their whole time to the work, because of the labor they must do to earn their daily living. Yet these have their holidays and times that they can devote to Christian work, and do good in this way if they cannot give much of their means. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 25

After a day of pleasure seeking is ended, where is the satisfaction to the pleasure seeker? As Christian workers, whom have they helped to a better, higher, and purer life? What would they see if they should look over the record the angel wrote? A day lost! To their own souls a day lost, a day lost in the service of Christ, because no good was accomplished. They may have other days but never that day which was idled away in cheap, foolish talk, of girls with boys, and boys with girls. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 26

Never will those same opportunities offer themselves again. They had better been doing the hardest kind of labor on that holiday. They did not make the right use of their holiday, and it passed into eternity to confront them in the judgment as a day misspent. Notwithstanding there is so much to do to help and bless others, selfishness clothed them as with a garment, and they made a fire and walked in the sparks of their own kindling. They have no experience of growth in grace, nor in the religious life. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 27

Do those who claim to be Christians (to be Christlike) expect to go to heaven without practicing any self-denial on their part? Do they expect to sit down with Christ on His throne when they would not submit to lift the cross of Christ? Who in our churches bears a cross and follows Jesus? Who is lifting our burdens? If these trifling young men and women continue to pursue the course they have done, their future destiny is settled. They will never enter into the kingdom of heaven. Their going to meeting is like the door upon its hinges, they go and come from the meeting, taking no part or interest in it, or in its work. This indifference on their part is an offense to God. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 28

The whole heavenly universe is interested and ready to minister to every soul that will receive their ministry. Will the youthful, professed followers of Jesus bear in mind that in the society and association they choose, they are determining their own characters before all heaven? 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 29

Those who claim to be Christians are judged by the company they keep and the words they use. If they have love for Jesus, if they are transformed in character, they will speak honest and true, Christlike words. They will make manifest their moral worth, their religious standing, by their conversation, courtesy, their kindness of heart that will in no case make light of distress. The very tones of their voice are cultured by the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them. Sincere Christians will not be soon angry and malicious. There will be no high-toned speeches full of bitterness and rasping, if you are in the habit of praying to Jesus. Out of the same fountain, proceeding from an earnest religious experience, will be no bitter water flow. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 30

A transposition of character must take place with our youth. Lessons [must be] learned in Christ’s school—of His meekness and lowliness of heart, pure words, [and] sound speech that cannot be condemned. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 31

I am pained to see how little idea those who profess to be followers of Christ have of what it means to be Christians. It is the knowledge of Christ, as our crucified and risen Lord, that leads both old and young to adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. We must be more diligent in giving the youthful members of the church something to do. We have failed to educate and train the abilities of the church members to become workers. Every one must be urged to realize his responsibility. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 32

There are souls waiting and praying for the light, and will those who have the light, refuse to diffuse it? We should be grateful for the light God has given us. The amount of gratitude will be evidenced by our present, ardent devotion and thankfulness. There will be a connection between the proportion of light received and light given. Christian activity will testify much more distinctly than words how much we value the truth, the precious gift of the grace of Jesus Christ. When the Lord is weary of giving, then we may be weary of imparting. 7LtMs, Lt 12, 1892, par. 33