Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 105, 1893

Hare, Joseph


March 17, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in AH 119-120, 214-215, 280, 439; 6BC 1086, 1101.

Dear Brother Joseph Hare,

The Lord has given you capabilities which are not being used to His name’s glory. He cannot give prosperity to any member of the human family who is not willing to accept Him by faith. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.] “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] What kind of a husbandry, what kind of a building, are you? 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 1

Speech is a most valuable talent, but how many words are spoken which only do harm to the souls of those who utter them and to the souls of others, especially those who are the fruit of their bodies. The wild beast of the forest may be tamed, “but the tongue can no man tame.” [James 3:8.] The influence of the cruel words that came from your lips yesterday was not refreshing, but destroying. Like hailstones these words have beaten down the Lord’s workmanship. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 2

Hard words beat upon the heart through the ear, awakening to life the worst passions of the soul, and tempting men and women to break God’s commandments. My brother, will you for Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, make an honest effort to overcome this sin? Will you humble your proud heart before God? Will you cast yourself on Jesus Christ? When you do this, your words will bring forth fruit unto eternal life, for words are as seeds which are planted. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 3

Your life, my life, is only pure, sweet, peaceful, and happy when we are under the control of the Holy Spirit, when we hold communion with God. As the root is to the tree, so the heart is to the Christian. Both are invisible; but that which is seen plainly reveals their work. By his fruit every man will show from whence he draws the supplies that sustain life. If Christ is not enthroned in the heart, another power is there, working no good to heart or character. The heart that is not under the influence of the Spirit of God is under the control of satanic agencies, who love to create dissension, alienation, and strife. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 4

I have a love for your soul, and I have a message for you. God has given me light to impart to you. You must have a genuine conversion before you can gain eternal life. You must place yourself as clay in the hands of the potter, and be fashioned after the similitude of Christ. The Lord is not pleased with your ways, with the words you speak, and the spirit you manifest in the home life. Your wife would be an entirely different woman if you should treat her as every Christian man should treat his wife. You both need to take heed. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 5

My brother, do not allow the vexations of your business to bring darkness into your home life. If, when little things occur that are not exactly as you think they should be, you fail to reveal patience, long forbearance, kindness, and love, you show that you have not chosen as a companion Him who so loved you that He gave His life for you, that you might be one with Him. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 6

In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the Word? “Resist the devil (by firm reliance upon God), and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” [James 4:7, 8.] “Let him take hold of my strength that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart, that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 7

When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse, this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, “Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evil-speaking out of my heart. Give me thy meekness, thy lowliness, thy long-suffering and thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tender-hearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home, and to represent the character of Christ to others.” 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 8

You can be a very happy man if in the strength of Christ you will take yourself in hand. Jesus will help you, He will send His angels to minister to you if you will co-operate with Him. But He can do nothing for you while you are determined to reveal your own likeness rather than the likeness of Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 9

Pure religion is an imitation of Christ. A religion that is built on self-confidence and selfishness is worthless. The true Christian is a follower of Christ. This following means walking in the light. The heart must be opened to receive the heavenly guest. As long as the heart is closed against His entrance, there can be in it no abiding peace. No sunshine can flood the chambers of the soul-temple, breaking through the mist and cloud. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 10

God makes no compromise with sin. A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 11

So it is with the religion of many. When the warp and woof of character will not stand the test of trial, the material of which it is composed is worthless. The efforts made to patch the old with a new piece does not better the condition of things, for the old, flimsy material breaks away from the new, leaving the rent much larger than before. Patching will not do. The only way is to discard the old garment altogether, and procure one entirely new. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 12

Christ’s plan is the only safe one. He declares, “Behold, I make all things new.” [Revelation 21:5.] “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” [2 Corinthians 5:17.] Christ gives man no encouragement to think that He will accept a patch-work character, made up mostly of self, with a little of Christ. This is the condition of the Laodicean church. At first there seems to be some of self and some of Christ. But soon it is all of self and none of Christ. The root of selfishness is revealed. It continues to grow, striking its roots deeper and deeper, till its branches are covered with objectionable fruit. Christ looks with pitying tenderness on all who have combination characters. Those with such a character have a connection with Christ so frail that it is utterly worthless. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 13

My brother, the Lord would have you obtain from Him a living, healthy, all-round experience. The faithful and true Witness sees the great want of your soul, and His voice is raised in warning, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot, I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” [Revelation 3:15-18.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 14

Your discernment needs to be cleansed and sanctified. You need to have an eye single to the glory of God. Then you will no longer see things in a perverted light. Every Christian has his own burden of responsibility, which he cannot evade. He must work and watch and pray. The one who is a child of God has a vital spiritual union with Christ. Religion is no guesswork with him; for he knows in whom he was believed. “Learn of me,” says the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. [Matthew 11:29.] Keep the eye fixed on Me. Take Me as your model. Let nothing interpose between your soul and Me. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 15

March 26

Again in the night season the Lord has presented your case before me, and I cannot withhold the truth from you. The Lord calls upon you to serve Him with an undivided heart. He desires to bless and sanctify and cleanse you, to make you white in the blood of the Lamb. The inward fountain of your life must be cleansed. Your will, your way, must be surrendered to God. You are His property by creation and redemption. Then offer to Him the supplication, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” [Psalm 51:10.] The response will come, “A new heart also will I give thee.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 16

I beg of you to make no delay, for you are not in a safe position. You are not a happy man, and therefore you cannot bring holy angels with you into your family. But frequently in your business life and in your home life evil angels are by your side. When you are discontented, when you spend your time relating your grievances, the evil angels come to you. Your relatives too often see things through your representation, and because of this, they judge unjustly. They do not realize what they are doing. They forget that there are two sides to the vexed question, and speak words which encourage and confirm you in a course which God disapproves. They unite with you in judging unjustly. They do not strive to expel the demon of jealousy by wise counsel, by the exercise of tenderness, compassion, and love. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 17

For many years your wife has had a hard and severe conflict. She has had trials which you have manufactured. You feel that she has caused you great trial, and your jealousy of her has been reflected back upon yourself; for she has become exasperated, and has lost self-control. She needed wise counsel, she needed tenderness, encouragement and love. To these she would have responded. Her heart has not been disloyal to you; but O, how many times have you by your words and action driven her to Satan’s battleground, where she has greatly humiliated herself by becoming desperate and losing command of herself. You have been represented to me as watching your wife and becoming desperate over the suspicions you entertained regarding her. These suspicions were unjust, untrue, and cruel. Nevertheless Satan triumphed. You carried yourself in a masterly manner, and your charges against your wife have more than once driven her for the time being into insanity. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 18

You have not treated your wife and children as a Christian husband and father should have done. You have even been jealous of your own children, because of their affection for their mother. And when she sees her children, whom she cared for in their helpless babyhood treated with unreasonable severity, she cannot endure it. God is not pleased with your course of action. He would have you speak patiently to your wife and children. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 19

How remorseful your wife feels after an outburst of temper, to which you have driven her by your jealousy and evil-surmising. God holds you responsible for these terrible outbursts. Will you see the cruelty of your course? Will you expel Satan from your heart? Will you help a wife who has a sore malady and needs your help? Or will you pursue a course which will call into being the worst traits of character in one whom you should endeavor to heal and to soothe? With whom, think you, lies the sin? Who is deserving of censure? Is it not the one who has made your wife’s life very wretched, who has provoked her to retaliation? 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 20

You need to pray earnestly and continuously, as you engage in the warfare, not against your wife, but against the enemy who is too often your counsellor. Control yourself. Give your wife the love and respect you promised her when you married her. You know that your words have made her insane for the time being. Change, for your own sake, for your wife’s sake, and for the sake of your children, and see if the result of this change will not reflect on yourself. When you see these things as God sees them, you will show genuine repentance. There will be in your case a transformation of character. Decided reforms will bring peace and hope and joy into your family. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 21

Your wife has been jealous of you, and you have given her more occasion to be jealous than she has you. But this demon should receive his death blow from you both, in the name of your Redeemer. God calls upon you and your wife to work upon a plan altogether different from that which you have followed in the past. You each have a soul to save or lose. My brother, my sister, open the door of the heart to receive Jesus. Invite Him into the soul temple. Help each other to overcome the obstacles which enter the married life of all. You will have a fierce conflict to overcome your adversary the devil, and if you expect God to help you in this battle, you must both unite in deciding to overcome, to seal your lips against speaking any words of wrong, even if you have to fall upon your knees, and cry aloud, “Lord, rebuke the adversary of my soul.” 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 22

Refuse to listen to words, spoken by relatives on either side of the house, which encourage a wrong course of action. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. Strive to enter in at the strait gate, at which many will seek to enter, and will not be able. If you enter, you must make a determined effort to overcome the mistakes which have made your home so wretched. Husband and wife must unite in this work. Both must practice the law of kindness and true Christian courtesy. Your children should be given daily lessons in kindness and respect. But if this is practiced by one and ignored by the other, the desired result will not be brought about. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 23

The Lord holds parents responsible for the mold of character they give their children. The father is to act as a tender shepherd in his home. My brother, you are not to lord it over your wife. She is God’s property. As a father, you are to be a pattern to your little flock. They are the Lord’s heritage, and your work is to see that these children are so educated and trained that they can stand as faithful subjects in the kingdom. Never are they to be tyrannized over. Self-importance, a desire to rule with authority, has been as natural to you as your breath. Remember that Christians never manifest this spirit. Remember that your children are not your own, and that you must one day render an account for every word you have spoken to them under the inspiration of Satan, the provocations to wrath you have given them, the evils you have worked in your home. If you would meet God in peace, feed His flock now with spiritual food, for every child has the possibility of attaining unto eternal life. Children and youth are God’s peculiar treasure. They are to be carefully instructed and trained to do Him service. They are the younger members of His family. They are to be distinguished from the world by their faith, their circumspect behavior. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 24

I am sure that as a family you can be happy in one another’s love if you will determine to close the door of your heart and your lips to Satan’s temptations. A Christian will not dwell upon the faults of others. He will not speak one word which will strengthen suspicion, or nurture the root of bitterness. My brother, teach your children by precept and example to love one another, to be kind, tender, and respectful to one another. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 25

God would have you both make thorough work for eternity. If you expect the heavenly intelligences to help you, you must both decide to co-operate with them. My brother, you know what this comprehends, for you have trained yourself to exercise firmness and determination in business matters. Bring this firmness and determination into the work of correcting your own defects. The Author of your salvation knows the weak points in your character, and if you are determined to resist the enemy, He will raise up a standard for you. See that you refuse not the God who sends you this warning. “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” [1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 26

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 27

Christians have a great work to do. They are to strive to convince their fellow men of their errors and mistakes, but if they would bring those who need their tender compassion into harmony with right sentiments, they must never exalt themselves above them. Our mission is not to accuse, not to manifest bitter enmity against the propagators even of error. With all meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, we are to present to them in the simplest way a crucified and risen Saviour. We are not to assault their prejudices or still their voices by denunciations. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 28

“We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] He provides us with all the facilities, all the spiritual weapons necessary for the pulling down of Satan’s strongholds. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Let the tones of your voice express the love of God. Lead, but never drive. Approach the most obstinate in a spirit of kindness and affection. Dip your words into the oil of grace, and let them flow forth from your lips in love. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 29

The one whose religion is sound and healthy has nothing to fear from being brought in contact with error. The Captain of our salvation leads His army of workers on to success and victory. If we are indeed laborers together with God we shall have fellow laborers who will see the consistency of our faith. We have not time to lose. Great reforms are to be made. These must be made in the love of Christ. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; wherefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” [Romans 13:10-14.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 30

“Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God: and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:19-22.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 31

“What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price;” “be not ye the servants of men;” “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 7:23.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 32

By the sacrifice of His own precious life Christ purchased all men, therefore we are not our own. In the beginning God placed a high value upon man by making him in His own image. Man bore the stamp of divinity. God gives men and women noble intellectual and moral powers. He has made them capable of placing the will in perfect harmony with His will, and He says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 33

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:5-13.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 34

These words show the value God has placed upon men. We cannot in our finite wisdom understand how God could be manifest in the flesh, humiliating Himself below the world of man, yet be higher than the angels, equal with God in majesty and glory. Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, yet in Him dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily. He purchased His church with His own blood. This is the price that has been paid for our ransom. The meek, holy Sufferer bore our individual sins and carried our sorrows. On the cross of Calvary mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 35

“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore are thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drink in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” [Isaiah 63:1-6.] 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 36

My brother, my heart is very tender toward you, but I must speak to you faithfully. You have walked contrary to the Word of God in your family, I know that there are those who have allowed jealousy, which is as cruel as the grave, to enter their hearts. Those persons have nourished their pride into such morbid activity, that to mention their faults is like touching an inflamed wound, which shrinks from the slightest touch. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 37

Why manufacture such heavy yokes for yourself and your wife and children? I implore you to act upon the words here given. Seek the Lord humbly with all your heart. As you do this, you will realize that the Lord is willing and ready to forgive. “These things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:1, 2.] Do not cast these words away. Do not rise against them and resist them. Do not keep on hand an unhappy line of reasoning to justify yourself. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 38

You may excuse yourself and lay the blame on circumstances and on the wrong course others have pursued, but remember that this will not help you. While you justify yourself, you will continue in a wrong course, helpless and hopeless, because you close the door against Jesus. What chance is there for improvement in him who realizes not the need for improvement? May the Lord help you to receive this testimony, which I send you in love to your soul. 8LtMs, Lt 105, 1893, par. 39