Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 14a, 1891

Harper, Laura

Battle Creek, Michigan

March 8, 1891

This letter is published in entirety in TSB 63-67.

Dear Sister Laura Harper,

I thought I would write you a few lines because I have interest in your soul, and I am sure your feet have been dangerously long in the path that leads to perdition. You have not been gaining any strength to overcome every defect of character, but you have been pursuing a course that is unchristian. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 1

Now I know that had you followed the advice which I gave you in the name of the Lord, you would, today, be far in advance of what you now are spiritually. But all my advice was cast aside as naught, and I felt that it was no use to seek to do you good because my soul would be wounded and your soul unhelped, unless I should coincide with your ideas in regard to your marriage with Walter Harper. This I shall never do, because I know you are pursuing a course which is not right and which the Lord will not approve. If your course were right you would not have suffered as you have. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 2

Your course since you left Walter Harper has been such as has not raised you in the estimation of any one who has the love of God abiding in the heart. You have ever loved to be in the society, and have encouraged the attention, of young men. This you have done to your own injury. Advice and counsel in this matter has not done you any good, but created in you feelings of resentment. But will you consider how the heavenly angels look upon the course you have persistently pursued in having your own way and your own will, strong, defiant, determined? You have kept to your own ideas irrespective of right or righteousness. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 3

Does it pay, Laura? Can you afford to spend the few moments of probation in the kind of life you have chosen? Certainly had you consented to live with Walter you would not have been any more unhappy than you have been. You have set up your will, but is it God’s will? But I wish you to see yourself as God sees you. You once loved God, but you have lost your first love. You do not love God; you do not love holy things. Your influence is not to others a savor of life unto life, but of death unto death. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 4

In the place of growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ you are separating farther and farther from the Lord. If you were pursuing a right course, you would not reveal this spiritual declension. The Bible is not precious to you as it once was. You read it a little out of a sense of duty, but not because you wish to hear the voice of God in His Word. You pray sometimes, but it is only a form. You do not take all your troubles to God and plead with an humble heart to know His ways and His will. We cannot sanction your course; we have not felt that your example was safe for anyone to follow. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 5

In the place of widening the mark that separates you from the world, you have been narrowing the mark until it is obliterated. Should the Lord say today, Cut down the tree, why cumbereth it the ground, you would have no part in the first resurrection. Your conversation is not refined and choice; no one would suppose you to be a Christian by your loose, reckless talk and the company you have chosen of late years. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 6

You are losing, and so is your sister, every day, making it harder and more difficult for you to retrace your steps. Can you afford to do this? Have you become entirely reckless, and careless in regard to your soul? I have a message from God to you that you need not despair, but return unto the Lord; seek the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is nigh. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 7

Lose sight of everything but one thing, that is: How is it with my soul? Should sickness and sudden death come to me now, what is my hope of entering the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love Him? Shall Jesus have died for me in vain? Will you choose your way, your will, and refuse to keep the way of the Lord? Your heart has been growing harder and harder, but, Laura, fall on the Rock and be broken; surrender yourself to God; return back to Jesus. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 8

The same sunshine that once shone into your heart and melted it, the same sunbeams of the Sun of Righteousness that illuminated your mind with its pure rays, is seeking your heart and mind today. The same Jesus who spoke pardon to your soul is speaking to you today. His blood has lost none of its efficacy; it can cleanse you from all sin. The same Spirit that once drew you to Jesus with the cords of His love, is waiting to lead you back to Him again. Do not think of anything except it is Jesus. Break your heart, confess your sins, forsake them and turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart. When you show a determination to be right before God, to forsake your way for God’s way then will He restore unto you His salvation. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 9

Some things look impossible to you now that will certainly change in appearance when your heart is changed by the grace of God. Your heart has become sad at times as you know you are in an unsaved state and that you are grieving the Saviour by your wrong doings. When you come to yourself you are amazed at the distance you have placed between yourself and your Saviour. You have again and again resolved to reform, but you have as often failed because you made these resolutions in your own strength. Your moral power has become weak. Your will power is strong enough, but it is not strong on the Lord’s side. You are not able to fix your mind upon the Word of God. You have talked enough, but it has only sunk you lower. Your heart does not feel when you try to pray. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 10

Now, make a desperate effort, take your mind off from yourself, off from your securing a divorce, off from Walter, off from everything mortal, and commence with your own soul. Cry out in earnest, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Save, Lord, or I perish. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” [Psalm 61:2; Matthew 8:25; 14:30; Psalm 51:10, 7.] 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 11

We are surrounded with iniquity in its various forms. You need a helper. The Lord knows all our works, even our thoughts are before Him as an open book. I now make my appeal to you. It is to change right about. Step from under Satan’s hellish banner, and step under the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ. Will you do this? Will you change your spirit for the spirit of Christ? 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 12

When your mind delights to dwell upon heaven and heavenly things, there will be no desire with you to enjoy the society of young men. There will be kindled in the soul the most intense desire to be like Jesus. By beholding we become changed into the same image. Carnal thoughts, carnal feelings, will be no longer entertained. You will no longer [be] frivolous, cheap in talk, and unholy in life. Then you will reach through the grace of Christ the highest standard of purity and elevation of character. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 13

I now commit you to God and to His grace. But work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 14

In love. 7LtMs, Lt 14a, 1891, par. 15