Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 71, 1893

Lyndon, Sydney

Napier, New Zealand

September 21, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in HP 171, 172; 3BC 1147; TMK 57, 309; ML 103.

Dear Brother:

I am feeling anxious concerning you, but not because any unfavorable reports have come to me. I desire that you should be altogether the man that the Lord would have you to be, that the power of the grace of Christ may be revealed in your character. It is in your power to be to your father a living illustration of what the truth can do. If you wear the robe of righteousness that Christ purchased for you over eighteen hundred years ago by dying on Calvary’s cross, you will be a light in your home, and the fact will be manifested that the truth is uplifting and ennobling your life and character. The robe of Christ’s righteousness is now offered to you; will you accept of it, and put it on? 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 1

It is generally the case that in school associations there are developed two classes of persons—those who seek to do the right, and those who solicit others to enter into evil. You are in danger of being easily influenced and of following inclination. I hear that Louie Christie has gone to Australia, and that you have had some acquaintance with this youth. You should have learned by this acquaintance that his company can be of no advantage to you in any way. The case of this young man has been opened to me, and I know that he cannot be trusted, for a lie never languishes on his lips, and as far as his conscience is concerned, it is as easy for him to tell a falsehood as the truth. He has educated and trained himself in the line of deception, and is an expert in the business; therefore copy him in nothing. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 2

Louie Christie can be very pleasant in his manners and speech, but for all that he is a fraud. He will make pleasant speeches to your face, and behind your back will weave a tissue of falsehood in order to present his side of a question in the light he deems most favorable to himself. And he even feels free to make comments on the messages that God sends, and to criticize, denounce, and reject as he may choose. He makes his statements in regard to them as one who knows whereof he affirms. But he has no respect for the messengers or ministers whom God sends, and no reverence for God. He bears false witness against them, and acts as though he were placed upon the judgment seat to question and measure character, and to weigh moral worth. He makes such false statements that I have not dared to place any written matter in his hands, for he would read into a testimony that which was not there and would garble and misrepresent that which was written, and thus mislead others. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 3

When it suits his purpose he is smooth in his conversation, and when otherwise, he will talk of wild plans, telling what he intends to do. He has no idea of taxing himself with anything that will require labor, and would rather go into debt or appropriate money that was not his own—in short, commit robbery—than gain a livelihood by honest, hard work. You may see this young man, but I beg of you to keep no company with him. He is one that I could not recommend the school to accept as a student, for his words and actions would wield an influence after the order of Satan and not in accordance with the will of God. Therefore I would again caution you to have nothing to do with this young man, who is smooth of speech but deceptive and misleading in influence. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 4

With you there is much at stake. You are motherless. The one who loved and feared God is resting in her death-slumber in the grave. You have motherless brothers and sisters, and if you pursue a course that is after the order Christ would have you, you will be a great blessing to others. It is necessary that you cherish moral independence, that you feel that your only safety is having your life hid with Christ in God. Lay solid timbers into your character-building, and do not cling to sin in any form. Secret sins will strive for the mastery. The Psalmist says, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” [Psalm 19:12.] 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 5

We need to study the character of the motives that prompt to action in the light of the law of God, in order that we may be made aware of our deficiencies. But while the human agent may see his sins, he is not to become discouraged, although he finds himself condemned by the law of God. He is to see and realize the sinfulness of sin, to repent, and to have faith in Christ as his personal Saviour. It is never safe for us to feel that we are possessed of virtues, and that we may congratulate ourselves on our excellencies of character and our present state of piety. David often triumphed in God, and yet he dwelt much upon his own unworthiness and sinfulness. His conscience was not asleep or dead. “My sin,” he cries, “is ever before me.” [Psalm 51:3.] He did not flatter himself that sin was a matter with which he had nothing to do, and that should not concern him. As he saw the depths of deceit in his heart, he was deeply disgusted with himself and prayed that God would keep him back by His power from presumptuous sins, and cleanse him from secret faults. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 6

It is not safe for us to close our eyes and harden our consciences that we shall not see or realize our sins. We need to cherish the instruction we have had in regard to the hateful character of sin in order that we may repent of and confess our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,”—now mark the following words—“and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9.] Are you willing to be cleansed? Is it your purpose to press forward (but not in your own human strength) toward the mark of the prize of your high calling in Christ Jesus? Keep the fear of the Lord ever before you. Your only hope is in making Jesus your counsellor. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 7

You need to have far higher ideas as to what constitutes Christian life and responsibilities. In associating with the careless and reckless, it is an easy matter to come to view things as they do, and to lose all sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Guard yourself on this one point in particular: Do not be influenced and led astray by those you have reason to know by their words and actions are not in connection with God. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 8

If you are pressing onward and upward, seeking to attain new heights in education and in spiritual things, you will have discernment to understand that which is required of you. You will have the Holy Spirit to help all your infirmities. The education you have had in the past has not been the most favorable toward your developing a character after the order of Christ’s character. It is natural for you to love amusement, to live a life of gaiety, free from all responsibility, and it is hard for you because of this tendency, to put yourself under discipline to God. But if you will place your neck beneath the yoke of Jesus, as He has invited you to do, you will find that all your thoughts are brought into captivity to Christ, and you will exclaim, “His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.” [Matthew 11:30.] 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 9

A measure of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. Through the ministry of the angels the Holy Spirit is enabled to work upon the mind and heart of the human agent, and draw him to Christ who has paid the ransom money for his soul, that the sinner may be rescued from the slavery of sin and Satan. But the Spirit of God does not interfere with the freedom of the human agent. The Holy Spirit is given to be a helper, so that the human agent may co-operate with the Divine, and it is given to Him to draw the soul but never to force obedience. Christ is ready to impart all heavenly influences. He knows every temptation that comes to man, and the capabilities of every human agent. He weighs his strength. He sees the present and the future, and presents before the mind the obligations that should be met, and urges that common, earthly things shall not be permitted to be so absorbing that eternal things shall be lost out of the reckoning. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 10

The Lord has fullness of grace to bestow on every one that will receive of the heavenly gift. The Holy Spirit will bring the God-entrusted capabilities into Christ’s service, and will mold and fashion the human agent according to the divine pattern according as the human agent shall earnestly desire the transformation. Christ our Mediator is the One who gives the Holy Spirit. The atonement made on Calvary is brought in contact with the soul of man to transform his character and change his nature until it can be said in heaven, “Ye are laborers together with God, wearing Christ’s yoke, bearing His burden.” Man thus becomes, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the agent by which souls are brought into the kingdom of heaven. Through sanctification of the Spirit he is a light to direct souls in the path of right and draw souls to Jesus Christ. His hitherto paralyzed moral agency is quickened with the spiritual life and re-invigorated. Through the imputed righteousness of Christ the Christian is placed on vantage ground and becomes a channel through which the Holy Spirit can work, and the work done through the human agent does not disappoint our Redeemer, for in such instruments He does not plead in vain with the souls of men. They are not human agents who having eyes see not, having ears hear not, and having hearts will not understand. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 11

My brother, divine light has been shining upon your pathway, and your way has been prepared before you of God. Convictions have been implanted in your heart that are in accordance with the utterances of God’s Holy Word. Do not make a low standard your aim; aim high. Never be found at any time working on the side of the great adversary of souls, who is seeking to counteract the workings of the Spirit of God. Walk not hesitatingly but firmly in the strength and grace of Jesus Christ. Unto Him is committed all power in heaven and earth. Take refuge in Jesus Christ, and enter into a firm covenant with Him by faith to love and serve Him. Choose Him as your Advocate, for the door of mercy is wide open for you. The promise is that if we ask anything according to His will, our request is granted if we ask in faith. Jesus says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” [John 16:23.] The soul who neglects to comply with the conditions of salvation will be left without excuse, for the treasures of grace are absolutely unlimited. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 12

Our claim to Christ’s righteousness is without a flaw if we meet the conditions. God has bestowed on us all heaven in one gift, and whatever that gift includes is ours as we accept of Christ as our personal Saviour. Plead the name of Jesus, not your own righteousness, and please your Saviour by living a blameless life. Speak of Jesus, educate the tongue to talk of His mercy, to tell of His power, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. You are the property of Christ both by creation and redemption, and the glory of God is involved in our individual success. Christ is our Advocate, and He has undertaken to plead our case in the courts of heaven. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 13

You are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Be brave in God. Put on the whole armor of God, and let your unbelieving father see that your life is not spoiled because you stand loyal and true to all the commandments of God as a Seventh-day Adventist. You can be, and God requires you to be, a decided witness for Him. You may be more than conqueror through the grace of Jesus Christ. Use your influence for Christ, and do not work at all on Satan’s side of the question. Probationary time is precious. Make the most of the golden moments, putting to use the talents God has given, that you may accumulate something for the Master and be a blessing to all around you. Let the heavenly angels look down with joy upon you because you are loyal and true to Jesus Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 14

You have, as an individual, a soul to save or to lose. And although Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land they could save but their own souls through their righteousness. If you consider this, it will help you to realize that you must be in earnest to apply your mind and all your powers day by day to secure profitable results. The worshipers of the world make mammon their god, and everything else is subordinate to this worship. Should not the Christian keep in subordination the love of pleasure, the love of everything that is contrary to the interests of Jesus Christ? Precious time has not been given to be wasted on that which is less than nothing, and vanity. In thus doing we are cheating ourselves out of present peace in this life and eternal happiness in the life to come. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 15

I thank the Lord that you can have the advantages of the school. You can give the greatest satisfaction to those who have an interest in you by seeking diligently now as you have opportunity to lay upon the foundation stone gold, silver, and precious gems. How can you do this? By speaking right words, by doing right deeds, by influencing others to appreciate the good instruction they are receiving, and by being not simply a hearer but a doer of the Word. The young men in the school can be a power for good in encouraging their teachers. They can second all their efforts to help the pupils, to uplift and refine, and ennoble the human mind by presenting before it for contemplation the character of Jesus. Let there be well organized efforts to give strength and power to the religious interests. See how much you can do through the grace of Jesus Christ to be a laborer together with God. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 16

Satan is seeking to imbue every soul that is not connected with Jesus Christ with his own spirit, and every soul who refuses to connect with Jesus Christ will be brought into connection with the enemy of Christ. There are threads of influence leading out from these souls to bind and draw other souls by human influence until they shall be placed under the control of Satan, and their feet be led into false paths. There is special danger in your own case, lest you be led to listen to the voice of those who would lead you astray. But this danger is common to all. You will be tempted to choose your own way and to have your own will, while disregarding the will of God. The lessons you are receiving in the school on the Bible are intended to plant the truth in the heart that it may control the life and enable the student to form a character for eternal life. Every heart is moved or drawn of Jesus Christ. As you become students of Scripture, the Spirit of God takes the things of God and impresses them upon the soul. The golden threads that extend from the souls of those who make God their strength will fasten through the threads of influence to other souls and draw them to Christ. This is the work to be done by those who place on the foundation stone precious material, for they co-operate with Jesus Christ and work in His lines. 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 17

My brother, let nothing draw you away from the work of character building, but do your work for time and eternity. You may cooperate with God in saving the souls of your mother’s children. Live a life of consistency, and fashion your character after the divine Pattern. If you live carelessly and do not watch unto prayer, you will surely fall a prey to the enemy and will yield to enticements to sin; thus you will lay upon the foundation stone, wood, hay, stubble, which will be consumed in the last great day. You may be deceived by father and friends, but your heavenly Father will be your enduring Friend. If you preserve a living connection with God, you may be an instrument in the hands of God for the saving not only of the members of your own family, but many other precious souls. To be a laborer together with God means a great deal. It means to have the life of Christ repeated in the life of the human agent in activity, in faithfulness, in diligence in serving the Lord. Snares and perils will beset the soul, but if the spirit and life of Christ is in the soul it will be made manifest in words and character. “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 8LtMs, Lt 71, 1893, par. 18