Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 109, 1893

Hare, Joseph


March 12, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 310.

Dear Brother Joseph Hare:

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] As God is perfect in His sphere, He enjoins that His disciples should be perfect in their sphere. “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:1, 2. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now (after conversion to the truth) are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” (Vs. 8-10) 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 1

These words, “Be ye perfect,” were not addressed to the publicans and sinners but to those who knew Him, who loved and trusted Him, those whom He always arranged to have close around, nighest unto Him, those who listened as pupils in a school to a teacher that they loved and that they knew loved them. The Pharisees and scribes, with few exceptions, approached Him as critics, as spies, as those who would perplex Him by their criticism and artful questioning. Eagerly they hung upon His words to see if they could not find something they could make capital of to misconstrue and pervert, that they could have excuse to condemn Him. The disciples came to Jesus as His disciples, eager and anxious to learn, looking into His face with love expressed in words, deportment, and actions, expressing their satisfaction, and wondering at the gracious words which fell upon their listening ears from His lips. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 2

These disciples were not perfect in character. They sometimes made mistakes. Jesus had to meet prejudice and selfishness and various wrong traits of character in them. He had to repeat His lessons to them again and again, illustrating them by symbols—things with which the disciples were familiar. They were called from their various occupations and had a great many things to unlearn and many things to learn which were new to them. They were desirous and anxious to learn from the Great Teacher come from God. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 3

What is religion? It is a living principle to be brought into our hearts and to work outwardly in our lives and to be exemplified in our characters after the likeness of the character of Jesus Christ. The religion of Jesus Christ is the religion of the Bible. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 4

There are very many who profess religion who do not know what religion means to them personally. They flatter themselves that it is doing their best and then trusting in Jesus to fill out the rest that is required. Very marked outrageous actions they must not do, and they purpose they will not do. They will not commit murder, or steal, or tell direct lies. There is a larger class of these religionists than many of us suppose, but they have not the genuine article. Such a class do not hear with their ears and understand with their heart to obey the words of Christ, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things (referring to His precious lessons of instruction) shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 5

Please read the following verses: Matthew 7:13-29; 11:28-30; 12:47-50. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 6

Then said Jesus unto His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. “He that loveth father and mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37, 38) The Lord Jesus warns and cautions, and bids every one to count the cost and not live a life of deception and delude his own soul. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 7

There is a class who need to search the Scriptures most diligently to understand individually what they must do to be saved. None need be left in ignorance, thinking the crucified Redeemer has provided for them, that He has done it all in suffering—the guiltless for the guilty, that Christ has died for their sins, and they are saved—and they need not be so very particular. Do they bear the characteristics of Christlikeness? Are they Christians in the home life? Are they tender of heart to the wife and children? Are they cherishing true courtesy in the home life? Are they cultivating the precious plant of love? Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” [John 13:34.] 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 8

A saint in the home will be a saint everywhere and will receive the heavenly reward. Angels of God are ever watching the development of character and weighing moral worth in the golden scales of the heavenly sanctuary. Just what a man or woman is in spirit, in character, in his home life, he will be in the church. Has he the character of Christ? 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 9

Does the father allow envy and evil surmisings and jealousies to come into the soul temple and make him hateful in character, ungentlemanly, unchristian in his home? Does he allow his temper to overcome him? Will he act in the spirit suggested by the evil angels by his side, who have accompanied him to his home? As he opens the door of his heart to the evil guests, they blind his eyes to righteousness, blind his senses to reason, and circumstances occur which set his spirit ablaze. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 10

Through him Satan produces a course of action which develops his attributes. He is fierce, exacting; his power of accusing is masterly; he is arbitrary, domineering, ordering wife and children as though he himself had created them and as though they belong, soul and body, to himself, and he can wound and bruise them, soul and body, as Satan shall take possession of his spirit. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 11

Whose are these human agents? The wife is the property of Jesus Christ, bought with a price. He has taken the marriage vow to love, to cherish her as his own flesh, and as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for the salvation of all who will believe in Him as their personal Saviour. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 12

Now my brother, I hold up the picture before you, as it has been presented to me, of your home life when you open the door of your heart to the evil angels and close it firmly against Jesus and His grace and His love. You have acted a prominent part in creating the atmosphere in your home, through cherishing jealousy and evil surmisings of your wife, supposing evils in character had been transmitted to her by inheritance, but you have cruelly misjudged her. She has chosen you as her husband because she loved you and her allegiance is as true today as when she gave her heart to you. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 13

Satan has woven a strange tissue of falsehoods from your imaginings that has no foundation in truth. You have interpreted circumstances, and had not jealousy been cherished in your heart as a guest, you would never have colored little things—the things which are liable to occur in any family—and through Satan’s suggestions swelled little matters into mountains. You have colored little occurrences to suit the circumstances and frame of mind you were in. You have been unchristian in your feelings and your actions, and have made yourself very miserable and very wretched as you have taken falsehood for truth to suit your prejudice and convenience. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 14

And you misinterpreted the perfectly innocent words and actions of your wife. You have censured, you have condemned, you have pronounced her guilty, and if anything could produce the very things of which you have criminated her, your course of action would have weaned her affections from you, for you have not pursued a course to keep love alive in her heart. But she has not killed the love for you out of her soul. The very things of which her father was guilty have made her more cautious and have made her despise anything which savors of impurity and unchastity. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 15

I tell you that which I know. You may ask, Oh, is my wife entirely innocent? Has she no sins in her life? She is not guilty of the sins of a grave character of which you accuse her, and she has a depth of affection that needs to have encouragement from her husband—affection for her husband and the children whom she has carried for nine months and nourished by her own body and then nursed and cared for. She cannot but manifest the mother’s love which is instinct in her and inseparable from her own life. They are a part of her being. She can no more cease to love deeply and care for them with a mother’s strong affections than she can cease to exist. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 16

When you pursue a course to kill with your spirit and your words that fall as desolating hail falls upon the precious plants, you find she has a spirit. You drive her to desperation. Satan comes in and she forgets that God is her shield and she turns upon you, retaliates upon you, and expresses her jealousy of you. God is a witness to every word and every deed. She gives you in kind what you give her. But you have only reflected back on you that which your words and actions have reflected upon her. If she loses her reason or her soul through your perverse course of action, the blood of her soul will be required at your hand. Why, you are even jealous of her own sisters and your own children. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 17

Jealousy is very inconsistent. There is no foundation for the immense fabric you have knit to rest upon. I must tell you the truth, for it is life or death with you. All your profession of belief in the truth cannot save your soul. The question is, Are you a Christian? Are you Christlike? Do you manifest the Christlikeness in your home life? 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 18

You have a masterly spirit. You feel that it is your right to dictate to your wife as you would to a child—to order her to do this or to do that. What do you mean by this course of action? Where did you receive your education as to how to treat a wife? This is not at all essential. She is not your servant. But you give her love and tenderness, and she will reflect back the same on you. She is the property of Jesus Christ, and He will demand at your hand your wife and children whom He has ransomed with His own blood. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 19

You know not what your wife would have been in spirit, in love, in growth of Christian character, if you had treated her as the Word of God directs you to do. You would not have seen the exhibitions of temper which dethrone reason if you had pursued the course you should have done. But you have pursued a course to irritate. Your accusing powers have been growing and strengthening with every exercise you have exhibited of this spirit, and I speak now decidedly because the whole matter has been opened before me and I dare not repress the truth. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 20

Your relatives on your side have been a large circle. They do not see these matters as the Lord sees them, and they judge your wife from a human standpoint. They give to you their sympathy because of relationship, and, I am sorry to write, they strengthen you in your false ideas. I am so sorry that your brothers give you their sympathy when you do not deserve it, except as one who is walking in blindness and darkness, and has lost his way from following the true path—even the example of Jesus Christ. Your wife has erred. She has strong feeling when exasperated and she can say stinging things and has said them, but you yourself are the real cause by your course of action. Just die to self; open the door of the heart to Jesus. Let the peace of God rule in your heart, and be ye thankful. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 21

I do not propose to go into particulars, but I ask you what account will you render to God for the example you have repeatedly given your children in the treatment of their mother? Do you think this course of action will inspire them with respect for you, their father? Do you think it will increase their reverence for you, their father? They may do your requirements through fear, while their hearts rebel against your injustice. Your own course of action creates an atmosphere in the home which is deleterious to your children. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 22

How much have you encouraged in your children the manifestation of tender affection and love for the mother that has given them birth? The mother should have love and affection for her children that it is impossible for her to repress. She has seen your manner of dealing with the children—which she knows is not right—when they displeased you and did wrong. The influence in severity is detrimental to them in every way in which it can be viewed. You need to be thoroughly converted. Your head, your mind, has been enlisted in the theory of the truth, but your heart is not converted. It is a temple defiled with jealousy, with cruel thoughts and purposes. Turn out the demon and let Jesus in. You have not been in heart assimilated to the mind and will of God and animated in your aims to make all your endeavors according to the pattern plainly revealed in the Word of God, reproducing in your life and character the life and character of Jesus Christ. Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 23

When you fall upon the Rock Christ Jesus then you will be broken and the Lord will put upon you the divine superscription. You will then see that there can be no lording it over any portion of God’s heritage. You will have no disposition to do this. You will not have vain assumption of authority, but you will have the mind of Christ and the power of a good example; and your personal influence in righteousness must first begin in your home life. You will have faithful oversight over your part of the heritage of the Lord as a faithful, tender shepherd. Harshness in correcting your children will not cure the evils. You have, as parents, given them the disposition in firmness and independence that you as parents possess. When your heart is broken before God, and you are a converted man, you will see these things as God sees them. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 24

It is my duty to lay the facts before you, then the responsibility becomes yours. There is ever a witness from heaven present to behold every action, and could your eyes be opened you would see him tracing in a book the history of every day’s occurrence. If you knew you would meet that record again before the assembled universe would you not tremble for your future, eternal interest? I raise before you the danger signal. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 25

You need never expect that all temptations are forever to cease, for the church militant is not the church triumphant. The conflict will continue as long as life lasts, and you will be tested. You are being proved, to see if you will be a fit subject to become a member of the royal family and a child of the heavenly king in the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for us. The conflict with the powers of darkness will test the highest development of your powers for good. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 26

I dare not withhold the truth from you. You must have the religion of the Bible, which will not exalt one virtue at the expense of another. Christlikeness blends all—every quality—in harmonious proportions, so as to present a symmetrical whole. The members of the church are not to antagonize, for Christ prayed that His disciples may be one as He was one with the Father. Members, many or few, who are brought together in church capacity constitute the members of Christ’s body. Each one of these has his distinctive place to act a part, as hand, head, ear, eye, or limbs of the body. When one member suffers then all members suffer with it. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 27

When the imprint of the divine character is upon you you will will see that envy, evil surmisings, and passionate, insane actions shall not come into your home life, and that when talking or dealing in any way with wife or children you are dealing with Christ in the persons of those for whom He has given His own life—His purchased possession. He will call you, both father and mother, to an account for any action of the tongue, any action of the spirit in thinking evil, and any action of the hands in practicing evil and causing unnecessary pain upon the spirit or bodies of Christ’s purchased possession. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 28

They have individually to meet the principalities of the powers of darkness, Satan and his confederacy of evil, that he may afflict, that he may tempt and annoy and destroy. He is the accuser of the brethren. Do not as parents learn his lessons in the art of torturing and accusing one another. Leave that work for Satan to do; and do not become instruments in his cruel hands to weaken, to distress, and afflict each other. Satan is the destroyer; Christ is the Restorer. Those who are working on Christ’s side of the question will be seeking to heal, not to tear in pieces. Each disciple of Christ must have his experience in trial and conflicts and buffetings of Satan. Then God forbid that any one of His professed disciples shall become skillful instruments in the hands of Satan to annoy and manufacture trials, to make wounds and leave scars upon the spirits and souls of the Lord’s children who are striving to do right and yet are compassed with human infirmities and with satanic agencies at work to overcome them in the battle. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 29

Let my brother remember his wife is a child of God. She loves Jesus. She loves the truth. The first love is to be quickened and kindled into love which, cherished, leads to forbearance and gentleness and generous nobility of soul. Through faith in the truth, which is brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, you are both to be sanctified. You are born of God. Now live the new life unto Jesus Christ, walking in the light as Christ is in the light, thinking and doing the will of God. Christ, who is your life, will be distributed through the home life, through every phase of the business life, throughout the church. It is thus we become the light of the world. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 30

Blessed are the meek. Every true disciple of Christ seeks with meekness the engrafted Word. They are learners in the school of Christ. They are teachable. Their ideas, their prejudices, their preferences and stout masterly self-will, which would crush souls, is softened, subdued, and teachable. Christ is longing to communicate with a spirit that is longing and eager to learn. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 31

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. The Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to be gracious unto you, to your wife, and to your family; but you can no longer pursue the course you have done in deception. I bring to you the light. All the Lord requires is for you to be a laborer, not in your own might and the strength of your own will, but a laborer together with God. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 32

There are two grand forces at work in the salvation of the human soul. It requires the cooperation of man with the divine agencies—divine influences, and a strong, living, working faith. It is in this way only that the human agent can become a laborer together with God. The Lord does not sanction in any one of us a blind, stupid credulity. He does not dishonor the human understanding, but, far from this, He calls for the human will to be brought into connection with the divine will. He calls for the ingenuity of the human mind, the tact, the skill, to be strenuously exercised in searching out the truth as it is in Jesus. You must know for yourself the prescribed conditions under which you are to become children of the heavenly King, and called as such to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13. Ye are laborers together with God. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 33

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” [Hebrews 12:2], the experience of the beholder is this: “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:22. After giving the human family such a pledge of His parental love, will He leave us in difficulties unassisted? Will He require sacrifices that we cannot offer Him? Oh no. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 34

Listen to the words of Paul, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, the length, the depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” Ephesians 3:14-21. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 35

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. ... There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:1-7. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 36

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:12-16. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 37

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye might know how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:5, 6. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 38

My dear Brother Joseph Hare, I have waited for some time before sending you this communication, but I cannot wait longer. Scenes have been presented to me, and conversations between you and your wife, which grieve the Holy Spirit of God. You must change your course of action for you are both doing wrong in cherishing a wrong spirit and in your speech. My guide led me into your presence. The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I was bearing a very close personal testimony to you, Brother Hare. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 39

I said, Brother Joseph Hare, do you know the Lord has a witness present upon every occasion like this? Your spirit and your words are oppressive. Your temptations are strong, and you harbor them and act under them toward your wife as though you expected a long and continuous course of injustice and cruelty toward your wife would wear her into submission to your mind and to acknowledge that your charges against her are correct. While she is not insensible to the degradation that you have at times put upon her, she will never, never, while reason holds its throne, testify to a lie and acknowledge herself guilty of unfaithfulness to yourself. With your qualities of mind you should know that a human being with independent mind will never increase in amiability under abuse simply it is of long endurance. One will never naturally become passive and gentle or cultured by repeated overbearing charges that she knows are not true. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 40

Your spirit and words cut deep, and all this is unwise in you for it reacts upon yourself. She cannot possibly act as freely and naturally as a wife should toward her husband, for you palsy the powers of mind and soul through your jealousy. Satan’s temptations take you and you are entangled in his net, and your jealousies will drive her to desperation unless you are a truly converted man. You wound her spirit. You are pursuing a course to take all happiness out of her life, and it were better had she never looked upon your face. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 41

Your wife is the Lord’s child and He will not long bear with your treatment of His heritage. He has purchased her with the price of His own blood. God speaks to you through His humble servant. Your present and future happiness depend very largely upon the course you pursue in your home life. You are spoiling your own happiness by thoughts unworthy to come into your imagination. You express these thoughts, and Satan stands close by your side, exulting over you and imbuing you with his own spirit of intensity until you have not self-control. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 42

There is help for you only in God. All the advantages you have in meetings, when the Spirit of the Lord strives with you, is gone when you allow your mind to dwell upon your supposed wrongs caused by your wife. And who, I inquire, is the origin generally of these unhappy scenes? What advice would you give to one similarly situated? 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 43

The Lord has given you a mind and reason. If reason kept control over impulse, you would not be domineering, arbitrary, and unreasonable. You would have a well-balanced mind under the subduing influence of the Holy Spirit. You will need to meet with a radical change in your thoughts and in your heart in order to be a happy man. When this change shall take place you will carry with you a correct influence, a mind more evenly balanced, habituated to observe, to compare spiritual things with spiritual, and to reason sensibly. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 44

The power of concentration is large with you. In some lines it is a blessing, in other lines a curse. You need a thorough change of thought. If you heed the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a thorough change of action will follow. You will keep Joseph Hare under control, and your eyes will be anointed with heavenly eyesalve to discern all things clearly. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 45

You have allowed Satan to put his magnifying glasses before your eyes and you see things in connection with your wife in a false light. Her words and actions are misinterpreted and misconstrued. You have presented to your kinsfolk your own ideas, gathering sympathy to yourself, and your words have caused them to view things in the light in which you view them; therefore the root of bitterness springing up in your heart is misleading others and they are being defiled. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 46

God bids you call a halt. Take yourself in hand. Overhaul yourself. You are bringing dark shadows to brood over your home. Be indignant at yourself, and ashamed, and Jesus will lift and dispel the shadows by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The Lord will do that molding and fashioning if you will resign yourself to the hands of the Potter. You are committing sin against God in not breaking the spell that Satan has worked with all his subtlety to weave about you. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 47

I entreat of you, for your own sake and for Christ’s sake, for the sake of your dear children who are the heritage of God, to change your course of action. Think righteously and work righteousness in your own home. 8LtMs, Lt 109, 1893, par. 48