Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

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Lt 12b, 1893

Christie, Louis

NP

1893

Variant of Lt 12a, 1893. +Note

Louis Christie

I have no light, no permission to answer all your questions. I have given you the light which I was commissioned to give you. You say, it is not truth. I have no more to say. If you will not receive that which God has given you, you would treat any thing I may say in the same light. It is not more evidence that you need but a humble heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked: who can know it?” [Jeremiah 17:9.] I feel sincerely in earnest that you shall make thorough work for eternity. But when the Spirit of God reveals to you yourself, you will not complain of being dealt severely with, like the man who laid his one talent in the earth. You may say, “I want to work in the cause, I love the truth.” Your course of action will testify how much you love the truth and the cause. “Ye are a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.” [1 Corinthians 4:9.] 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 1

One who anticipates acting a part in the great work, the most solemn and important ever given to mortal man, if God has chosen him for this work and says, “Go forward; act your part as My human agent; prepare a people to stand in the great crisis just upon us,” will that man think it is no special matter what course he shall pursue, what mark he leaves behind him? Will he regard with indifference his hours as they pass, his months, his years, the record he makes in words and actions? Will he bring forth from the treasure house of the soul truth, stern truth <rather than> falsehood? Will he be light and trifling in his conversation? Will he not have all his deeds correspond with the work he has laid upon him? Will there be a black blot on his name that hurts him and is known of God? Will he not be constantly reaching a high standard in perfecting Christian character, then steadily advancing in the path of purity, strict honesty, unswerving fidelity, that he may not only by precept but example show, like Joseph, integrity and truthfulness of character that will not be corrupted? 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 2

Bible religion is not child’s play. There are dark spots in your experience, something with which you have to do. Your case I have taken up decidedly, according to the will of God, to represent the lax ideas <you and> many in the colonies have entertained of what constitutes <a Christian.> With these ideas unchanged, they will perish with the wicked. The truth has never been brought into their lifework and practice. Godliness is kept apart from their character. While they have a theory of the truth, they are like the foolish virgins, who went out to meet the bridegroom without oil in their vessels with their lamps, and at the very time when their lamps should give forth strong, bright rays of light, their lamps are going out. Temptations are pressing in on every side. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 3

The lax, loose way in which many canvassers have performed their work, young and old, shows that they have much to learn. There has been much haphazard work presented before me I might go into detail, but what would that amount to with them? It is a part of the education. They have trained themselves both by precept and example <to be shiftless. They are not diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,> and they bring this deficiency into their experience in the work <of God.> They see no harm in many things in their practice which are directly opposed to the principles of Christianity, but those very <objectionable> things are not seen as offensive, because it is their practice; but the Lord has presented before me that He accepts not their <corrupted> service. It is as natural as their breath to be dishonest, to be self-indulgent, to go into debt, to borrow and not be particular to pay, to be indolent, to shun a weight of <physical and> moral responsibility. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 4

The International Tract and Missionary Society is deeply involved because you <and others> have felt that they were treated very badly if they were required to pay promptly for the books received from that office. <This is the only safe and correct way to manage in business.> It has not been a kind or just action in the past management to deal in the so-called merciful way with the men doing business with the office. One man feels terribly hurt if he is asked to settle his accounts, and becomes all stirred up, and writes an unchristian answer, <as if he was personally abused,> as much as to say [that] those who are bearing responsibilities in that office have no business to require prompt, honest dealing in their case. So another and another have worked in the same way until the Society is wading in debt, and these careless “I do not care workers” have had their own way, and reveal their own peculiar phase of character, doing as they pleased. God is dishonored, His cause and work embarrassed, the Society involved in debt because the workers want indulgence and forbearance, and continue to practice their colonial habits irrespective of consequences. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 5

Every branch of the work and cause of God is suffering and wounded and bleeding from the wretched habits and practices of those who claim to believe the truth. All these things must change, if every man who has been engaged in the work has to be discharged. But we hope some will so bear correction and reproof, and will see their moral deficiencies and reform. If their moral sensibilities which have been long perverted, are not reformed through sanctification of the truth, there is no hope for them in this life or the life to come. If they do not reform, they must take hold of some other work. For God’s cause must not suffer, [not] be constantly robbed by their crooked ways and their <loose> course of management. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 6

When these men who have been connected with some branch of the work of God shall have things brought to their remembrance by the Holy Spirit of God, and they shall be quickened to discern that they [have] been an injury to the work rather than a help to advance it, and when they shall see that they have through their indolence and lax un-Christlike course of action been a weight to the cause and work of God, they will repent. <They will make restitution.> They will not feel that they are badly used because faithful stewards will not allow them to play falsely with God’s holy work. They will see that they are the ones who have injured the cause and work of God, abused their privileges, dishonored the truth by dishonest practices, and that God is ashamed to call them brethren. They will see that sin means more and covers more in their course of action than they have thought, that things which they have called sharp and cunning is dishonesty and corruption of integrity. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 7

God abhors the course of all such workers. It is loathsome in His sight. When some of these have been cautioned and reproved, they will charge the one who has been their true friend with having a hard unkind spirit. They have either been impudent and disrespectful to the one upon whom was laid the burden of reproof, or they have put on the disguise of injured, abused innocence, a martyr-like appearance, which is a specious of hypocrisy to deceive those who are easily blinded, who are most always ready to sympathize with the wrongdoers. And [no respect is given to] the servant of God who dared not be untrue to his position of trust, but accepted <it as a> solemn charge, as a part of his work, “I charge thee, therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” [2 Timothy 4:1, 2], which means to bring closely to bear upon individual cases, the warnings and reproofs and lessons in the work of God, whether the wrongdoer will hear or forbear. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 8

If this work of faithful dealing had been done by all ministers who have preached the Word in all churches, and the cause of God had been judiciously guarded from stigma and reproach, [still] there would have been men who would have repeated the example of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, who would have complained and had the people with them, even after God Himself had stretched out His hand and swallowed up the wrongdoers and they fled from the tents of the wicked. Under the judgment of God, the depth and sincerity of their disaffection was seen, when the next morning they came saying, to Moses and Aaron, “Ye have killed the people of the Lord.” [Numbers 16:41.] Thousands more were slain for charging upon Moses and Aaron the manifestations of His judgments because of sin and exaltation, and presumptuous wickedness. Shall not the history of the children of Israel have any weight with us? Shall those who claim to believe the truth judge from their human feelings, as did Israel? 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 9

When the servants of God shall bear the disagreeable work of correcting the erring, let those whom God has not placed in responsible positions, even if they cannot see all the matters as represented hold their peace, and stand not between the offender and God. Let the arrows of the Almighty fall just where He who reads the hearts of all men, means they shall fall, and pierce the very soul of those who have so little sense of what is sin, and this ignorance of the progressive character of the Christian life. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 10

The work today should have been years in advance of what it is, but unless the people will keep out of the way and let God work upon the youth, and those of mature age, to bring them up to a higher, holier understanding of what constitutes a Christian life and Christian character, the Lord can do nothing to advance the work, for He will not serve with the sins of those who claim to believe the truth, for they misrepresent the character of Jesus Christ, misleading in their influence, leading away from the holy Pattern into false paths and sinful practices. And when the guides in families at home shall practice deceit and falsehood in the education and training of their own children, what can be said of such influences? 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 11

This work of reproof and rebuke may come, and will come, closer home to individuals than they dream of. God has His work in hand, and declarations will be made that will test the faith and loyalty of the people of God. There are those who have had great light who are far from God—in heart apostates. If the standard is not raised, if those brought to the point of decision to take their stand for Christ pursue the same course that some have pursued, revealing that they are not converted, and they neglect to search the Scriptures, neglect to pray, neglect to humble their hearts, neglect self-denial, refuse to lift the cross, disobey the injunctions of the holy Scriptures, there will be evidenced for them an experience of grief and shame. Let them take heed. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 12

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] The harvest is sure. No frost shall blight this harvest. No mildew blast it. No palmer worm devour it. The harvest is sure. But we may rejoice; it is not too late for wrongs to be righted. Jesus is a risen, living Saviour, our Advocate in the courts of heaven. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” [1 John 2:1.] And as soon as a sinner sees his sins in the light of God’s Word, and repents and seeks pardon with all contrition of soul confessing his sins, then the Lord hears, then He answers. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 13

“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compasseth yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand.” [Isaiah 50:10, 11.] “For thus saith the High and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 14

When true conversion takes place in the heart there is a true transformation of character. They become Christlike. Pride no longer lives in the heart, sin seems abominable. They hate the thing which depraves, which crucified the Lord of life and glory, and as they become more and more enlarged in [the] knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the clearer their views of Jesus, the more clearly they discern their own weakness and [the] deep depravity of their nature. The strength of sin, and the old habits which cling to them for indulgence in the hour of temptation. They have a daily sense of their entire inability to do anything without the help of Jesus Christ, therefore they say, “I cast my helpless soul on thee;” 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 15

“In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to thy cross I cling.”
8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 16

As they behold the Lamb of God, they see the provisions more clearly that God has made for taking away the sins of the world, and the sufficiency and adaptation of the spirit of grace for every necessity in every conflict small or severe. The mysterious provision made is, “And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:1, 2.] Now mark the sure evidence that we do know God. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him.” [Verses 3-5.] 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 17

That is the unmistakable evidence that we are sons and daughters of God. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself so to walk, even as he walked.” [Verse 6.] “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.” [Matthew 11:29.] “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow in his steps.” [1 Peter 2:21.] “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5.] 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 18

Have the young men and young women who claim to be converted the experience which is plainly defined in the Word of God? Growth in grace is evidenced by increased efficiency to work intelligently in the <service> of God. He will not refuse to practice self-denial for Christ’s sake. All the children of God, are earnest interested workers, for there are no slothful servants, no drones in the household of God. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 19

Every member of the family has his particular work assigned him. He gave to every man his work. Every son and daughter of God has some work assigned him in the vineyard of the Lord to cultivate divine energy combined with the moral. He has his responsibility, and through exercise of his powers should learn how to work for the Master in efficiency. He must, if he learns in the school of Christ, be able to pray and to bear a living testimony for the Master. “Ye are witnesses for God.” 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 20

Everyone is learning by practice how to pray, how to talk of their experience in meeting, how to do better and more perfect work by putting into use his powers. He is a constant and diligent student, yet he lacks wisdom, strength, and experience. But he knows this, and placing his will and all his interests under the Great Teacher, he knows that he cannot be indolent. He must do his best, for this is the only way he will advance to attain the ability that he must have to be a laborer with God, and he must have wisdom from God. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 21

He must improve that wisdom by putting it into use to benefit and bless others. Receiving from God and diffusing to his fellowmen, thus he is growing stronger and stronger up into Christ his living head. He grows in power of mind to comprehend spiritual things as the reward of making the best use to help others and glorify God. Every day of diligent working helps him to devise ways and methods to help others. Abiding in the vine, he bears much fruit. He is becoming rooted and grounded and established in the truth. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 22

I see in your case, and not only in your case but in the experience of other colonials, that they must have altogether higher, more pure and elevated ideas of what constitutes a religious devotion to God. Many have obtained impressions of religion and the truth, and have received ideas of the gospel through others, and they assent, as they suppose, to its requirements. But they have distorted ideas. They have misunderstanding and misconceived opinions through the example of those who claim to be Christians. Their ideas are in accordance with the words, the spirit, and actions of those who claim to believe the truth. The truth is exalted or demerited by those who profess Christ, but do not correctly represent Christ in spirit, in words, in [a] spirit of Christlikeness. All the time they are misrepresenting Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 23

What then, is their influence? They are false lights. They neither burn or shine. Their sentiments and practices are so mixed up with the fashions and practices of the world, they vary scarcely at all from the unconverted. The same self-love, the same love of foolish pleasures, the same hungering and thirsting for amusement, is manifested. Of them the Word declares, “Heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” [2 Timothy 3:4.] They are professedly serving God, but after the fashion of the world. They are presenting to the world a distorted image of what constitutes a Christian. They are molding the minds of those with whom they associate to reach a low standard in religious life. 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 24

The sentiments of the irreligious <class> become degraded by the examples of those who represent the world’s side of their religion and yet profess to be Christians. Some have so long educated and trained their characters to reach a false standard that they <always> misrepresent the character of Christ. While professing to be Christians they have enfeebled and prostituted all their powers to obedience to self. They are weak in moral power and are no longer worthy of any connection with God, for they are not, religiously, the least benefit to the world. They have become to too gross in thoughts, in conversation and practice, to purify their life, and too weak and unstable to be anything that God can use. The world is made no better for their having lived in it, and soon the word from heaven will be, “Cut down the tree, for the fruit born upon it is bitter and unusable.” 8LtMs, Lt 12b, 1893, par. 25