Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 93, 1893

Harris, Brother and Sister [J.]

Bank’s Terrace, Wellington

June 1893

Previously unpublished.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Harris
Lincoln Street
Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand

Dear Brother and Sister:

I have prayed much for both of you since you left us, but when praying I cannot make it appear that you and Willie are together. I seem to have conviction you are not journeying together to Melbourne. I sincerely hope you have not been listening to the suggestions of the enemy and decided to remain in Auckland. In that case you will not have the opportunities and privileges that I have felt it was my duty to make in your behalf, because I am convinced that it is the very thing the Lord would have you to do. I know that the time is short. I know that we have but a little time to work, and we want all our powers brought into the service of God. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 1

How soon the way may be hedged up by the powers of darkness, moving from beneath upon the living human agents who serve under his black banner, we are not able to say. This we do know, that the powers of darkness are working fast and strong to bring about the last crisis. Christ is addressing yourself and wife, “Follow Me.” The soul of Sister Harris is as precious as your soul. I greatly desire that she shall have opportunities to obtain a better knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 2

I have a deep yearning of soul for both of you. Jesus Christ paid the purchase money of His own precious life, giving Himself to a shameful death of crucifixion upon the cross that He might save your souls. And there is nothing that I would not do to be able to cooperate with Jesus Christ that your souls might be saved. I greatly desire that you, my brother, should become a worker in the cause of God; but it is positively essential that you have a more thorough education to do your work acceptably in the sight of God. You need to learn your trade from the great Teacher, that you may labor in wisdom to draw souls away from the pit to Jesus Christ their Redeemer. You may learn, my brother, to be a successful, humble, and faithful Christian representing Christ in your character. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 3

I know your wife has had many discouragements in her experience, and if she had only loved and trusted in her Saviour she would have received comfort and know that He loved her, and that knowledge would have given her strength to do the duties devolving upon her, because she trusted in her Redeemer. He knows her every weakness, her every trial; He is acquainted with her fears and doubts. She considers it a hopeless task to live a Christian life, and the enemy of God and man is taking advantage of her unbelief to draw her away from Christ to the world. But peace and rest is not to be found there. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 4

All the presentations of Satan in worldly inducements are as false today as when he tempted Eve in Eden. Jesus wants to save you both. Will you turn away from His invitations and neglect this great salvation? Jesus is acquainted with the strength of Satan’s temptations. He clothed His divinity with humanity, became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was tempted in all points like as we are, that He might know how to succor those who should be tempted. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 5

When the love of Jesus is lost from the soul, the love of the world rushes in to supply the vacuum. Omnipotent power alone can dislodge it from the human affections. The apostle inquires, “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” [Galatians 3:1.] Having lost that organ of spiritual vision which should keep another world in view, counterbalancing the affections, would have preserved the mind and heart to love and glorify God. The present world and its alluring, deceptive presentations would not be allowed to tyrannize over the mind and soul with the advantage of a power which is ever visible, ever at hand, soliciting the mind to find happiness in this life. Our Saviour seeks to correct this evil. He comes to save the one lost sheep, the one world fallen. He enters the busy world where nothing is heard but worldly speculations, and lifts His voice like the trump of God, and seeks to break the spell of infatuation, and exclaims, “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Or “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] A short period of time, at most, and death will force the human being away from his chosen idols. The world and all in it must be left. But what will compensate for the loss of the soul? 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 6

The work of the world’s Redeemer is to bring the nobler world within range of the spiritual vision, and He bids you seek a home in that city whose Builder and Maker is God. The Lord of life and glory would have every one seek most earnestly for that future life, which measures with the life of God. He takes us to the threshold of heaven, and bids us look that we may see it flushed with living glories. He tells them, I died that you might make this your home, and enjoy its glories through the ceaseless ages of eternity. And has He designed that the infinite grandeur of the future life should incapacitate us for the essential duties of this life? No, but by beholding the glories of heaven, we should be better qualified to perform the duties of the present life. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 7

He would seek to impregnate every moment of this life with the endless results, a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Weeding this life of its vanities, He would have every human being cultivate every power of their being to enjoy all that is useful and precious in this life, being good and doing good, laying up a heavenly treasure for themselves in the future life. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 8

I entreat of you, my brother, my sister, not to view the Saviour and eternal realities in a vague sort of a way. You are called of your Redeemer to work for time and for eternity. I know that perils are in your pathway. You have reached a period in your history when very much depends on the choice you will make. The Lord is opening the way where you may greatly improve your relation to Him. Opportunities are placed within your reach which leave upon you both an accountability you cannot evade. The Lord is opening before you a way that you may be connected with His chosen people who love and serve Him. The Spirit of God would open the spiritual eye to discern the treasures of life in His Word, and a flood of light may be seen poured upon every page rich with history, and illuminated with [the] glory of a suffering, dying Jesus, that you may through faith come under the rainbow of promise that encircles the throne of God. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 9

The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to belittle one iota of the claims of the law of God, but to reinstate the holiness of the divine Word which the human instruments had degraded to serve the purposes of Satan. He came to uphold the rectitude of the divine government, and through the giving of His own life makes it possible, through His imputed righteousness, for man, fallen by transgression, to keep His commandments and live, and His law as the apple of the eye. And He, through His death, brings in everlasting righteousness and life that all may claim who will believe in Him as their personal Saviour. Had not Christ become our Substitute and Surety there would have been no hope for any one of us—no atonement for sin, no fountain open for sin and uncleanness, no pardon, no acceptance, no peace, but only fear and woe and lamentation. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 10

But Brother and Sister Harris, we have an intense desire that you shall be saved, and if you are finally overcomers it will not be by your having your own will and your own way. You are tempted, Sister Harris, “that no one careth for my soul;” but do not let the enemy deceive you with his temptations of this character, for it is not truth. There are those who do love you and care for your soul, and do have an intense interest that you shall have the comfort, peace, hope, and joy that your Redeemer has purchased for you, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Then having done so much for you, will He leave you neglected and uncared for? He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. The most infinite God loves you with that depth of love that Calvary alone can express. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 11

He gave Jesus to come to our world as a man, His divinity clothed with humanity; and He for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. It was decided in the council of heaven that His human nature should endure all the temptations wherewith man would be beset. He was the exalted and loved Commander in the heavenly courts; but with the full consent, in counsel with His Father, entered into an agreement, in unity with His Father, to secure the salvation of all in the world who would believe in Him. By the most solemn, irrevocable bonds He engages to take the penalty of the transgressor upon His divine soul and die, the Innocent and Just for the guilty and the unjust. He entered freely into a bond to cancel the mighty debt incurred by transgression of the law of God, and by this transaction He delivers those bound in slavery to Satan, by their faith in Him. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 12

This infinite sacrifice in behalf of man invested the throne of God with unsurpassed glory in that He made His only begotten Son the Substitute and Surety for fallen man, that every repentant, believing soul in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour should stand before God acquitted, justified, as though he had never sinned. Oh, what love, what matchless love evidenced for humanity! The world’s Redeemer humbled Himself to humanity to be tried in a much greater degree than it is possible for man to be tempted, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted. What part of the price did He withhold? He gave Himself for us because He loved us; constrained by this love the Son of God, the Prince of heaven, gave His soul, His body, His life, and in this sacrifice He gave all that He possessed in heaven and on earth. This was to save us when we were enemies to God. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 13

It was a whole, a perfect sacrifice. Nothing was wanting on the part of the Father or on the part of the Son. And then what is required of the sons and daughters of Adam? To believe in Jesus as One able to save unto the utmost all who come unto Him. His merits, His righteousness, are imputed to the undeserving, and His purity and holiness are the sacrifices offered to God in behalf of the sinner, and as a sweet smelling savor, come up fragrant and acceptable before God. Oh, what love, what matchless love! 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 14

He was the Majesty of heaven, the Lord of life and glory, yet He humbled Himself as a man, lived a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. Let us, as we behold this great plan of redemption, bow our souls in humility before Him, and as we contemplate this amazing love, let gratitude flow from our hearts continually. Shall we yield without delay our cold, hard hearts, to be melted by His goodness, His sympathy and love? Whatever streams of creature love may become cold and dried up, shall this cause the heart to love Jesus less? Is your soul cast down within you? 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 15

Does Satan try and tempt you? Give your mind and heart to Jesus. Satan will tempt to draw you from Christ’s side in attractive paths. Will you change leaders? Is it safe for you to withdraw yourself from under the banner of Jesus Christ? Will you place yourself under the black-stained banner of Satan who murdered the Son of God? Have your feet become weary in walking the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in? Jesus’ love never fails. He says, “Follow me.” “They that follow me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 16

You need now to put forth every energy that you shall not fail of the grace of God, but make your calling and election sure. Then your life is hid with Christ in God. You are prepared to die, or qualified to live to glorify God. Jesus loves you, and will you withdraw from such love? Will you not rather be willing for Jesus to lead you, for He will lead you upward in safe paths. Let the surrender of yourself to Jesus be full and entire, as His surrender of His precious life for you. Then will you be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of God which passeth knowledge, and be filled with all the fullness of God. Anyone who will be saved in the kingdom of God can obtain the victory only through the merits of Jesus Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 17

The apostle Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” [Galatians 6:14.] Here is brought to view a double crucifixion. It is a crucifixion to the believer to be compelled to separate the affections from those who love and enjoy the pleasures of the world, and it is a crucifixion to these pleasure-lovers to have their relatives separate from them in their worldly associations. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,” saith God, and “touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 18

Will you comply with these conditions? Shall you choose Christ and heaven as your portion in this life? Is the promise not rich and glorious that you shall become members of the royal family and children of the heavenly King? Will you make any and every sacrifice that you may join the heavenly family above? “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” [Joshua 24:15.] “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Will you refuse Him and choose the world? The world crucified Jesus. They are choosing today between Christ and Barabbas. Many have made their choice and others are deciding their destiny. Which will you have, Jesus or Barabbas? 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 19

We need not be horrified at any crime of cruelty and monstrous wickedness that is perpetrated by a world who would not receive and confess Christ, but reject and crucify Him. We read in the secular papers the police reports, the grand juries’ decisions. History is being made in our cities and towns in regard to iniquity of every stripe and type. Should we be surprised, when the world would not receive Jesus but crucified Him, at the development of every stripe and type of iniquity? He was the Life and Light of the world, yet the world knew Him not. But we know Him; He is our precious Saviour. He is our risen Saviour. He proclaimed over the rent tomb of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] The world would not have Jesus. “But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.] 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 20

The world that could reject the divine, personification of the Infinite God, are repeating the same history as transpired when Jesus was in the world, refusing Jesus but choosing Barabbas. Shall we be on the world’s side of the question? There can be no confidence put in human nature only as it is refined and sanctified through faith in Jesus Christ. The world is not to be trusted. The love of the world brings to us no peace. The Lord would have both of you place yourselves, not in the great thoroughfare of the world, not in harmony with its customs, its practices, but the voice of exhortation comes to us individually, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 21

Place yourselves in the most favorable position possible for the development and cultivation of Christian character. Place yourself in connection with the light shining from heaven. I beg of you both to choose Christ as your Saviour. And choose for your companionship the society of those whom the Lord is teaching, leading, and guiding. Let not Satan have his way and his will that he may through his temptations sift you as wheat. I beseech of you to have respect to the recompense of the reward. We have a Saviour who has ascended to heaven to be our Advocate, and to prepare mansions for us. He says that He will come again. He will take us to Himself, that where He is we may be also. The Lord has bought you with the price of His own blood. “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and spirit which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 22

We know that it cannot be the duty of Brother Harris to leave his wife and his children, for it would not be the least use for him to do this. We could not advise him to go to Melbourne alone, and could not accept him on these conditions. We want you to stand by his side and be benefited with the influences and light which will shine upon both of you. I can assure you that you will meet with those whose acquaintance you will prize. They will be a comfort, a hope, and a blessing to you. They will love your soul for Christ’s sake. You will be where your husband can come to you and be with you, and help in caring for and training your dear little children, that they may have precious opportunities to receive blessings in instruction that they would not otherwise have. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 23

We want both of you to go to Melbourne, and it shall be made as pleasant for you as possible. And as soon as you can safely go, do not delay. Eternal life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort, and you both want to shine as lights in the world. You must have, my sister, an experience in religious things, if you [will] have happiness in this life or in the future life. You can have this now in the hours of probation. You have been in spiritual sickness, but the Lord would have you in spiritual health. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 24

I again address both of you: You need much more of the grace of Jesus Christ than you have had. Brother Harris has many things to learn to be a successful laborer together with God. You, Sister Harris, can be a great hindrance to him, and you can be a great blessing, but it will not be in consulting your own way and will. God loves you both. The little children need the wise discipline of the father combined with the mother’s instruction, that their characters shall be molded not after the world’s standard, but the standard God has given in His Holy Word. You will need to learn of Jesus, and watch unto prayer. There will be thus supplied high themes of conversation by the fireside, of Christ and His love, of the salvation of the soul, of eternal interest. Human love should draw its closest bonds from divine love. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 25

Family religion must be maintained for your own good, and for the good of your little ones. It is the duty of both of you to combine faith and works to educate and train your little ones to love Jesus. Said the Searcher of hearts about Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” [Genesis 18:19.] Abraham would cultivate home religion, and cause the fear of the Lord to circulate through his tent. Brother Harris, you have not in firmness and decision occupied your position in your family that you should. There must be, as you value your soul, no betrayal of sacred trust and truth on your part, no yielding to any guide but One. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 26

Brother and Sister Harris, you are the Lord’s property. You have brought children into this world without any will or choice of their own. Now it is your special duty and study to seek to place these children under the most favorable circumstances to form characters for the future immortal life that they shall be shielded as much as is in your power from influences which will bring them from the side of Christ into the ranks of Satan. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 27

These little ones are God’s property. Wake up, father. Wake up, mother, to the present and eternal interest of your children. Do not regard this matter of little account. Jesus died for them. Parents and children are God’s purchased possession. By the combined influences of authority and affection rule your house. Allow no influence to interpose and take either wife or children from your side. The will of God must be paramount in your home. Unitedly you can say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:15.] When the love and fear of God reign there will be restfulness, peace, and joy; but to follow and be controlled by any other principle will leave hearts unblessed. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 28

Every family should call on the name of the Lord. Spread out His Word before Him and ask, “What has God said?” For that is the rule from which the way and will of the children, nor engrossment of worldly things on the part of the parents, can warrant any departure. Oh, inquire, How does God, our Owner, whose property we are, instruct us to act? What is His mind at any perplexing point? Once learn the will of God, and go forward in His holy name. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 29

In much love. 8LtMs, Lt 93, 1893, par. 30