Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 144, 1893

Ings, Brother and Sister

Auckland, New Zealand

February 2, 1893

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Ings:

I received your letters as soon as they could reach me. We left Melbourne for Sydney just before the mail was due from America. W. C. White was detained one week in Melbourne, but he was obliged to leave before the mail, for the boat from San Francisco was delayed. We left Sydney without the mail, and did not receive it until last Thursday, 17 [19th]. This gave us but little time to answer letters. We labored in Auckland quite constantly, Elder Starr and myself, speaking evenings. This was from necessity; we could not get people out in the daytime. I spoke Sabbath forenoon, Elder Starr filling in wherever he could. Elder Starr spoke in the chapel the same evening of our arrival, Wednesday. I spoke Thursday, bearing a very decided testimony of reproof. No meeting Friday. Sabbath, meeting nearly all day. I spoke in the forenoon, and meetings were held for Sabbath school and social meeting. Some seemed to feel their backsliding. Every soul needed a deep and thorough work done for their souls. 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 1

We are sad to say that the sacred and eternal are regarded by many on the same level as common things; and after the whole experience has been in this line, it is hard to remove the impressions and substitute the Bible impressions. There has been here, as in many other places, a great dearth of the Spirit of God through the disputing for the supremacy. The interest of the people to come out to hear does not now exist. They came to the meetings, and quarreling over who should have the supremacy has driven souls away, who I fear will never be reached. The Lord helped me to set this before them in its dangerous character. Six times I spoke to the church, and twice in the opera hall. This is more work than I ought to do, and I have felt the effects of this, but Oh, how it does hurt my soul when I know that the end is near, and our work is to prepare the way of the Lord by repenting of our sins and humbling ourselves before God. 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 2

Nothing is so offensive to God as self-exaltation and insincerity and hypocrisy; but when this spirit comes in of self-esteem and lifting up of self, it is because the human agent has lost sight of Jesus, and His light, His meekness, His lowliness of mind, that they esteem self, and desire to be first. When will this terrible, dangerous thing end? Satan’s specious devices are constantly arranged to lead human minds to look at themselves, trust in themselves, glorify themselves, think themselves capable of doing great things. Then it is Satan can do his own work on human hearts; his own attributes come in, as in the case of Dr. Burke, and “Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks ye have kindled. This shall ye have at my hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” [Isaiah 50:11.] 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 3

Are not the lessons in the gospel that Jesus gave to His disciples sufficient for every soul who claims to believe in Jesus Christ? And yet, this course of action, seeking to be first, is repeated and repeated over and over again. When will we learn the evidence of true greatness and nobility—Christlike meekness, when evidenced, is the mark of nobility of soul. 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 4

Well, we have worked hard in Auckland, and all this tearing labor was to convince the leaders in the church how they were unfit to be entrusted with the endowment of the grace of Christ. The Lord might open the windows of heaven and let showers of grace be poured out upon them, and they could not distinguish the sacred from the common, and, as in Christ’s day, would cry out as they did after the working of the miracle of feeding five thousand with five loaves and two small fishes, overlook divine power, and call, “Show us a sign that we may believe.” [See John 6:30.] 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 5

I have no doubt that the people at Auckland feel ashamed as they confess for their children quarrelsome actions that have belittled them in place of exalting them, and have made the precious truth to serve with their iniquity so that the truth is not exalted but brought down upon a level with common things. Now, if the truth had been not only professed, but believed and practiced, there would have been many souls brought to a knowledge of the truth. It is a terrible, terrible crime brought upon the soul to know the truth and not bring it into the life and sanctify the character. I fear that many, very many, will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and be pronounced wanting, when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened, and every man judged according to the deeds done. Oh, what fearful responsibilities rest upon every one of us who have the light, the knowledge of truth, and yet practice something entirely opposite of truth. Oh, that every professed disciple would be a true, sincere doer of the words of Christ. What an influence would go forth from every soul, what power would be seen in the influence they exert! 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 6

The Lord is coming, and we want the leprosy of sin to be cured. The grace of Christ is the balm of Gilead for the cure of sin, the atoning sacrifice. If we will consent to accept the prescription for sin, to repent, to believe, to receive the righteousness of Christ, how changed will be all our thoughts! Old things have passed away; all things have become new. A new heart will I give you, and then a new song will be placed on our lips. 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 7

We must study the life of Christ; read His self-denial and His self-sacrifice, and then we must give heed to His words: “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. So shall he be my disciple.” [Matthew 16:24.] Every day we are making history; every day we are deciding on our own destiny for eternity. Solemn thought! Weaving our future eternal welfare in the events of today! Our works today are registered, and we must today watch unto prayer. Today we will make sincere work. The peace of God is of highest value, and Jesus has left us His promise: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [John 14:27.] 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 8

Oh, can we not discern the care of Jesus, His compassion, His tenderness, His grace that is without a parallel? Turn the eyes away from earth and earthly things, and let us contemplate the heavenly. Oh, that we would turn our thoughts and conversation away from self to Jesus, and by contemplating His character become attracted and changed into the same image from glory to glory. Oh, what matchless loveliness, what purity, what glory! Our thoughts need to be elevated, ennobled, sanctified. Why, we have all the provision made for us by our heavenly Father; and that we might be elevated and made pure and sinless, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Believing is not the pretense of faith, it is full trusting faith, the merits and sufficiency of our precious Saviour to save our individual selves; and that faith is in earnest. It works by love and purifies the soul. A tame, lifeless assent that Christ is the Redeemer [is not sufficient], but is [He] my Saviour? Does my faith lay hold upon Christ? Does my faith climb up by Christ? 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 9

Well, the boat is in motion. I must stop. I hoped to write more, but cannot do it. I must lie down. Goodby. May the Lord bless the Health Retreat. 8LtMs, Lt 144, 1893, par. 10