Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 78, 1893

Waggoner, E. J.

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

January 22, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in UL 36; 9MR 209.

Dear Brother,

Our conference in Australia is ended, the second we have attended in this country. We hope and believe that the results of the conference are not ended. The Spirit of the Lord was in the meeting from the beginning to the close. The pressure of writing has employed our time largely, when we were not engaged in active labor in the conference. Yesterday was mail day; about 200 (over 400 with manifolds) pages of matter in calligraph copy was sent to America, a large portion of it to be used in the conference. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 1

Last night was [a] peaceful, restful night. The Lord was very near, and my heart was filled with gratitude and praise to His holy name. “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” [Psalm 116:12, 13.] 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 2

The past three months I have been steadily improving in health, and have been in active labor, speaking to congregations, visiting and praying with the sick and tempted, and writing those things that the Lord has presented to my mind. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 3

The Lord has wrought in this conference for His own name’s glory. A good work has been done for two brethren who have been in a most perilous condition for more than one year. One had an idea that he was in advance of all others in his ideas of perfection of character, perfection of language, speech, and manners. This led him to indulge in criticisms even of the Lord’s servants, their language, their tones of voice; their gestures; it has nearly proved the ruin of his soul. That which he regards as refined sensibility has led to manifestations of harshness, fault-finding, and has placed him beside the enemy as working with him to criticize and accuse the children of God. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 4

He has been in a deception and has cultivated the tendency given him as a birthright. His deception has been very subtle in regard to views of himself. His soul has been lifted up unto vanity, and he has lost the love of Christ out of his heart. The supposed possession of such a high degree of refinement does not give one the least semblance of an excuse for treating those he thinks less fortunate than himself with discourtesy, with a storm of censure, becoming exasperated over their imperfections. He manifests that he is destitute of the very traits of character that he thinks that he possesses. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 5

A man who has the true idea of what constitutes perfection of character will reveal the same fruit which he desires to see in others. He will by precept and example give evidence that he is endowed with a kindly, genial disposition, imbued with refinement and tenderness. He will have the finest touch in seeking to cure the wounds and bruises of the soul. He will be a co-worker with Christ and His Holy Spirit to renew and strengthen, to beautify and bring into conformity to the perfect model. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 6

The apostle Paul has presented before us the nature of the work that was manifested in him through the grace of Christ. See Colossians 1:25-29. He who really possess the grace that is of heavenly origin, which alone is of value, will show himself a man of discretion, a Christian gentleman, kind and sympathetic. No man who has the true ideal of a perfect character in the sight of God will fail to manifest the sympathy and tenderness of Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 7

“Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation; and thy gentleness hath made me great.” [2 Samuel 22:36.] The influence of grace is to soften the heart, to refine and purify the feelings, giving a heaven-born delicacy and sense of propriety. A Christian cannot be self-exalted, for this is not Christlike. The world’s Redeemer, the sinner’s substitute and surety, says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ... Learn of Me.” What lessons in particular, Lord? “For I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:28, 29.] 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 8

But let us continually bear in mind that the meek and lowly Jesus has the spirit and the ambition of a conqueror. The vast dominions over which earthly potentates hold sway form no adequate theater for the exercise of His grace, the expression of His love, and the manifestation of His glory. He who loves the Lord Jesus Christ in truth and sincerity will love those for whom Christ died to save, and will eagerly embrace every opportunity to minister to Christ in the person of His disciples. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 9

We must look at our lives as sons and daughters of God, as laborers with Jesus Christ, living for a noble purpose. We are representatives of Jesus Christ in character, and are to serve Him with our undivided affections. Not only will we reveal the fact that we love God, but will in accordance with His holy character, live a pure, perfect life. We must live perfection, because in looking at Jesus we see in Him the embodiment of perfection; and the great Center upon whom our hope of eternal life and happiness is centered will lead us to unity and harmony, ever bearing in mind we are living Christ’s life. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 10

The life we now live must be by faith in Jesus Christ. If we are Christ’s followers our lives will not be pieced out by little, cheap spasmodic actions according to circumstances and surroundings—jerking actions, revealing feelings to be our master, indulging in little frettings, envious faultfindings, jealousies, and selfish vanity. These put us all out of harmony with the harmonious life of Jesus Christ, and we cannot be overcomers if we retain these defects. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 11

Our life must be actuated by a noble purpose, there must be the winning of little victories, daily seeking by watchfulness and sincere prayer to attain that complete victory over self for which we strive. When exposed to varied scenes in life, and words are spoken that are calculated to cut and bruise the soul, speak to yourself: “I am a child of God, an heir with Jesus Christ, a co-laborer with God. I must not therefore have a cheap mind, easily to take offense, always thinking of myself, for this will naturally produce an inharmonious character. It is unworthy of my noble calling. The heavenly Father has given me my work to do; let me be worthy of the trust.” 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 12

Let us not find fault and reflect upon others; but everything we discern in them unworthy of their high calling as the chosen and faithful of God [should cause us to] see that we ourselves lead lives worthy of our profession. Say, in the strength of Jesus Christ, “I will lead my life to a higher level.” 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 13

We cannot be selfish and self-absorbed and be complete in Jesus Christ. The little annoyances must not make us irritable. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” [Revelation 20:11.] If we will bear in mind these future events, we shall not become so weak in character. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 14

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [Verses 12-15.] We shall feel that we are in the presence of God, and awed and amazed, we will be still and know that “I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 15

O, shall we ever be able to know the full value of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and rely on Him, and trust in Him, and then look forward to the pure and noble, devotional life we may live in Christ and through Christ? O, what may not the imagination, stimulated and sanctified through the virtue of Christ, take in of the glories of the future eternal world! Every one [will] who will live as viewing Him who is invisible, as did Moses. We must live by faith and not walk by sight. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] We must, through searching the Scriptures, understand what Christ is to us and what we are to Christ. We must by beholding become changed. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 16

Listen to His instruction in the lessons given to His disciples, and bring these lessons into our practical life. The recollection of His character is not merely to be to us a welcome subject; but in order to be benefited thereby we must feel that it is positively essential that we have the mind of Christ. If every teacher of the Word would earnestly and continuously consider the excellence of the character of Jesus Christ, and would bring His lessons and power of instruction into their teaching, they would never deplore their inefficiency. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 17

If the ministers of Christ would come to the people under the full influence of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, and grow into His stature, what power would attend their labors; impressions of Christ would be stamped on minds and characters; impressions would be made from association, that work deeper and deeper into the mind, making for themselves an abiding place, changing the soul after the likeness of Christ, thus voicing Christ’s words, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] See 2 Corinthians 3:18. 2 Corinthians 4:3-7. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 18

There should be no contention for the supremacy, neither should those who have seen the force and power of the truth cause the majesty and pure influences of truth to be misapplied by their unsanctified life; neither should they mingle and braid in the truth thin ideas of phrenology or any vain philosophy, glorying in things they do not understand, assuming a knowledge of human nature which is false. Impressions are left upon minds that men knew and could read their character when there is great deception practiced. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 19

An ardent temperament that might under the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit work intelligently in the lines Christ worked, but stepping into a false path and concentrating his mind upon one subject, shuts himself up to the task, making that subject truth and of wonderful importance, and vitalizing with all the energies of his being that subject. This favorite idea develops a defective system, placing it on the throne as religion and principle, when close examination of the all-wise God calls it a deformity which gives the individual a self-importance, while the features of the mind are being drawn away from eternal interests. Self is the prominent object, and all the beautiful energies of the soul worship at the shrine of his imagination. The assurances he gives to others as truth are misleading and dangerous to the soul. 8LtMs, Lt 78, 1893, par. 20