Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 10, 1893

Corkham, D. A.

Bank’s Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand

May 30, 1893

Formerly Undated Ms 102. Portions of this letter are published in HP 126; OHC 58. +Note

Mr. D. A. Corkham
Hantsport, Hants Co., Nova Scotia

Dear Brother,

I wrote you twelve pages last month, and now I shall send you a few pages in this mail. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 1

As soon as one begins to contemplate his feelings, he is on dangerous ground. If he feels happy and joyous, then he is very confident and has very pleasing emotions. The change will come. There are circumstances which occur which bring depression, and sad feelings; then the mind will naturally begin to doubt whether the Lord is with them or not. Now, the feelings must not be made the test of the spiritual state, be they good or be they discouraging. The Word of God is to be our evidence of our true standing before Him. Many are bewildered on this point. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 2

Looking unto Jesus, dwelling upon His virtues, mercies, and purities will <create> in the soul an utter abhorrence of that which is sinful, and an intense longing and thirsting for righteousness. The more closely we discern Jesus, the more will we see our own defects of character. Then confess these things to Jesus and with true contrition of soul co-operate with the divine power, the Holy Spirit, to put these things away. If you confess your sins, believe they are pardoned, because the promise is positive. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9.] <Why then, dishonor God by doubting His pardoning love, having confessed your sins?> 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 3

Now believe that the Word of God will not fail, but that He is faithful that hath promised. It is just as much your duty to believe that God will fulfil His Word, and forgive your sins, as it is your duty to confess your sins. Your faith must be exercised in God as one that will <do just as He said He would do,> pardon all your transgressions. How can we know that the Lord is indeed our sin-pardoning Saviour, and prove the deep blessedness in Him, the great grace and love He has assured us that He has for the contrite in heart <unless we believe His word implicitly?> O, how very many go mourning, sinning, and repenting, but always under a cloud of condemnation. They do not believe the Word of the Lord. They do not believe that He will do just as He said He would do. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 4

We long for the whole world to trust and rest in the pardoning love of God, and we do not believe and rest in that love for our individual selves. How can we possibly lead souls to an assurance, and simple childlike faith in our heavenly Father, when we are measuring and judging that love by the atmosphere of our feelings? We cannot, unless we trust His Word implicitly, be lifted up in thought and in firm reliance that we are sons and daughters of God, for Satan accuses us of our sins and disputes this part with us. We must trust, [we must] educate, and train our souls to believe the Word of God implicitly. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 5

Let gratitude and thankfulness flow from our hearts to God. You hurt the heart of Christ by doubting, when He has given us such evidence of His love in giving His own life to save us that we should not perish but have everlasting life. He has told us just what to do. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Do you believe Jesus will do exactly as He has promised? 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 6

After you comply with this condition and come with your whole heart to the Lord, casting every idol from the soul temple, and surrender yourself to Jesus, fully purposed to carry no longer the load of your own case but roll the whole upon Jesus, then do not gather up all your burdens again, and evidence [that] you dare not trust yourself and your burdens with Jesus. You doubt, murmur, and manufacture burdens and yokes which are grievous to bear, and do not surrender yourselves a living sacrifice to Him who wants you to be saved so much that He gave His life for you. Has He not invited us to come to Him? Has He not said He will give you rest? Has He not said in sorrowful words to those who do not comply with His invitations, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] If we would behold Him full of grace and truth, look steadfastly to Jesus in living faith. He will make all His goodness to pass before us while He hides us in the cleft of the Rock, and we will endure seeing Him who is invisible, and become transformed by beholding. A careless indulgence in sin, and regarding sin lightly is because we do not see Jesus, and know Jesus by an experimental knowledge; in this condition duty is estimated very lightly. Faithful integrity in the performance of duty go hand in hand with the right estimate of the character of God. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 7

Harshness, roughness in words and manners, evil speaking, and passionate words cannot exist in the soul of one who is looking unto Jesus for there is not in the atmosphere which is surrounding Jesus that which will give the least excuse to anything of this character. The spiritual life is not drawing its nutrition from within, but is sustained by our relationship to Christ as the branch is related to the vine. We are dependent upon Christ every moment; in Christ is our supply. All our outside forms, prayers, fastings, and alms-giving cannot take the place of the inward work of the Spirit of God on the human heart. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 8

The subject of perfect faith, the surrender of self to God, the simple trust and abiding in His love in accordance with His pledged Word must be made plain and simple to the minds of those who are dull of comprehension. Faith is not feeling. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 9

There is a religion which is nothing less than a deception. Selfishness is strengthened but not uprooted, it takes a position of secluded enjoyment. It is perfectly satisfied to contemplate the religion of Jesus Christ, but know nothing of its saving power. The religion of Christ always takes us in His footsteps; we see work, earnest work to be done for the Master. Christ said He came to preach the gospel to the poor; but it takes us to the poor, also to the rich in Caesar’s household. Sheaves are gathered from every place, high or low, rich or poor. What is holiness? It does not consist in profession, but in doing “the will of our Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21.] The saying, “Lord, Lord,” will not secure an entrance for us into the kingdom of God. Let not any cheat their souls with this delusion because they are familiar with the doctrine of Christ and can talk of repentance and faith and exclaim, “I am saved. I am saved.” “He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.” [1 John 2:4.] 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 10

Obedience to all of God’s commandments must be manifested in this life before it shall be evidenced that we will become safe members of the royal family in the future life. God requires no less standard under the gospel than He required of Adam and Eve in Eden, which was perfect obedience to His law. Repentance and faith must be brought into the practical life, then the effect of our obedience to God in keeping all His requirements will be seen in our life and character which is to be a true light to shine amid the moral darkness of this disloyal age. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 11

The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something beside an imaginary religion. Stately worship and devotional forms will not constitute us the Light of the world. Truth that is kept in the outward court to be admired as a beautiful flower or picture is considered, with many, the sum total of religion. But hearing the truth, and imagining some wonderful thing they will do if they only have a chance, imagining possibilities and probabilities which loom up before the mind, <is not pure and undefiled religion.> 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 12

<Many> say, We believe all that is preached. But have they brought the truth presented into the soul temple? Holiness is not rapture, it is an entire surrendering of the will to God. It is living by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. It is doing the will of our heavenly Father. It is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light. It is walking by faith and not by sight. It is trusting Him with all confidence and resting in His love. We shall be eternally saved when we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then we may rejoice that we are saved, eternally saved. Until then we may heed the admonition of the apostle to “fear, lest a promise being left us any of us should seem to come short of it.” [Hebrews 4:1.] 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 13

Knowing about Canaan, singing of Canaan, and rejoicing at the prospect of entering Canaan did not bring the children of Israel into the promised land amid the vineyards and olive groves. They could only make it theirs in truth by occupation, by complying with the conditions, exercising living faith in God, and appropriating the promises to themselves by possession. As we draw near to Christ, and He draws near unto us, and He is apprehended by the believing soul, we can say with all confidence, “I know in whom I have believed.” “That he is able to keep that which I have committed to his trust against that day.” [2 Timothy 1:12.] 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 14

When will the minds of fallen men, ransomed by the blood of Christ, understand how to receive the righteousness of Christ as a free gift, bestowed without money and without price because men had nothing that he naturally possessed in money or in virtue of character that belonged to his individual self? He could not even claim to be owner of himself. “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price,” even the precious blood of the Son of God. [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] The present and eternal security of man is in his surety, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. And no man shall be able to pluck the believing, trusting soul out of His hands. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 15

The righteousness of Christ must be <accepted> by us all; <it> is not to be bought: but to be received as a free gift by us all undeserving. It is the love of Christ which melts and subdues the soul. There is not a thread of legality <of which men can boast> in the salvation of their souls that is of any value. We are saved by grace, and the heart is offered as a willing offering. Keeping the heart in the love of God keeps the world out of the heart, and there is a building ourselves up in our most holy faith. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith. There is a steady growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are continually progressing until we come to the full stature of men and women in spiritual growth in Christ Jesus. 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 16

Faith works by love, and purifies the soul, expelling that love <of sin> which leads to disloyalty and transgression of the law of God. The love of God in the heart which has accepted the truth of heavenly origin always leads to willing obedience to the commandments of God. The transformation of character wrought by the Holy Spirit brings the mind and will of the human agent into perfect harmony with the divine, and <in> perfect harmony with the moral standard of righteousness. Hear that which Christ says of His commandment-keeping people in the last chapter of the New Testament. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] 8LtMs, Lt 10, 1893, par. 17