Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 39, 1894

Jones, A. T.

Per Ardua, Williams St., New South Wales, Australia

June 7, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in 6MR 199-207. +Note

Dear Brother,

I received your letter, and thank you for writing me. I have been passing through a most severe ordeal of mental suffering, as I have been impressed with the thought of the advantage that some will take, and thus imperil their souls, because they will take a false position in reference to the operation of the Holy Spirit upon the human agent, on account of the fact that there is some evidence that you have not made exactly straight paths for your feet. This has been my great fear for you. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 1

I have trembled for you, because the people were looking to you and hanging upon your words, and were not doing as they should have done—they were not catching the precious rays of light that shone from the Word of God. They were not cooperating with God, and did not feel the truth burning in their own hearts, that they might impart the same to others. Some have done this, but many have lost the freshness, the power and glory of the truth, because they did not let its light shine forth to those who were in darkness of error. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 2

We are to labor interestedly for the whole human family. Much more time has been devoted to instructing those who already know the truth, than is consistent to devote to them, for in this way the ignorant, and those who are in error and who know not of the light heaven has sent and the provision heaven has made for the salvation of their souls, are robbed of the message of the gospel. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 3

Christ said, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] We should do very much more to carry the light into “regions beyond,” that sinners may be converted to the truth. [2 Corinthians 10:16.] Many of those who profess to believe the truth have heard a great deal from the Scriptures, have had golden opportunities and valuable privileges. Because of the abundance of privileges that have been given them they have not valued them as they should, or appropriated the truth to their souls as they should. Had the people had less instruction, and had unbelievers had a great deal more, it would have been more after the order of God. The living testimony should have been borne, and persons should have been set to work for those who are unbelievers. Christian growth is promoted by active work for others. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 4

I was bidden to look and behold what continuous efforts had been put forth, and how precious time and money had been consumed, in educating ministers in Bible truth and instructing them how to work, and yet how small a number had responded to the light that had been given; how few had been led to tremble at the Word, and to arouse from their dormant, sluggish, spiritual state to take in the fact that there is a world to be warned and that there are souls who are perishing out of Christ. The sanction of heaven cannot be given to misuse of light and truth or to spiritual inactivity. Of those who have not improved their privileges it is written in the books of heaven, “Thou wicked and slothful servant ... thou oughtest therefore to have put My money to the exchangers, and then at My coming I should have received Mine own with usury.” Matthew 25:26, 27. Those who have been privileged to have the truth brought before them should, irrespective of circumstances, receive the truth into good and honest hearts and go to work as faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 5

They should have imparted to their fellow men the rich gift that heaven had bestowed upon them. Those who are nigh and those who are afar off need the same light and knowledge that you have received, that they all as workers together with God may be sharers of the triumphs of the truth. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 6

There must be no compromise in which principle is sacrificed for policy. Every sincere hearer and believer of the truth is required of God to make manifest the principles of truth before the world and before the angels. The believer must manifest an intense solicitude in order that the principles of his faith may be set forth clean and pure before all men. They are to reveal the fact that the truth has wrought for the purification of their characters, and the elevation of their mind. He who has heard the truth, who has realized that the light of heaven has shone upon his soul, and who has not walked in the light, has hid his talent in the earth. There must needs be stirring testimonies given that will lead men to take hold of the truth, in order that the transforming power of the truth may be seen upon their life and character. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 7

If the truth is received in the heart, and valued as a heavenly gift, it will be a working element that will work from the heart, and its workings will be apparent in the outward life. The ministers who have had the privilege of attending ministerial institutes one upon another and have not used the grand principles of truth set before them, in not letting their light shine forth in steady rays to others, will lose the light they already have because they have not diffused it to others. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 8

The Bible truths of justification and righteousness by faith have been set before large numbers of people. Some have been animated and delighted with the truth for a short time, but they do not appropriate the truth, and their minds and hearts are not purified from their sins. They do not cultivate an abiding faith, or drink the rich and living draught placed to their lips, and they soon lose the impression made upon their hearts. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 9

Shall we not seek to arouse the sluggish sensibilities of those who know the truth and impress upon them their duty to practice it themselves, and to teach it to those who know it not. In this work the angels of God will cooperate with them, and those who are dead in trespasses and sins will be convicted and converted. The truth will become a living, working principle in their own hearts, and as they communicate to others that which they have received, the angels of God will communicate fresh and new light to the Christlike workers. Those who wish to know the reality of Bible truth in their own experience should impart it to the poor souls who are in the darkness of error. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 10

Christ is the source of all light and efficiency, and all the honor, all the praise, and all the gratitude offerings belong to Jesus who is the giver of every good gift. If you would be inspired with the most lofty ambition to secure the highest spiritual attainments, draw your inspiration from Jesus Christ. Glory not in self, or in success; But consecrate everything to Him who has loved us, and washed us from our sin in His own most precious blood. Lift Him up, the Man of Calvary. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 11

You have been doing this, but do it more purely, more devotedly, more entirely. Do not be discouraged in the least; but I tell you as I have done before, be careful. Weed out from your discourses all needless, extravagant words that will be caught up by those who have a disposition to carry things to the extreme. Give them no excuse for doing this, for their extravagance will react upon you sometime. But so long as you and Elder Waggoner shall live give the trumpet a certain sound, and be yourselves living epistles known and read of all men. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 12

May the Lord give you wisdom and give wisdom to all who are teaching the truth to others in Biblical institutes, or in any other place, that they may know how to communicate that which they have learned to perishing souls. If those who have heard the precious truth, which has been spoken in the demonstration of the Spirit, will lay hold upon God by living faith and be vitalized by His Holy Spirit and take up the work right where they are, lifting up Jesus before their own family [so] that all may behold Him, they will do the very work that God calls upon them to do. Those who take up their home responsibilities will also trade upon the Lord’s goods by extending their efforts into the neighborhood and into the church. They will increase in tact and wisdom, for the Holy Spirit will cooperate with a willing, God-fearing, humble worker. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 13

Warnings must be given, and entreaties must be made, dangers must be pointed out, and the landmarks of truth must be made plain. God will not give any man this work unless he is making a practical application of the truth to his own soul and revealing the fact that he has the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. O, how precious are these words, “I write unto you, little children, (those newly come to the faith) because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” 1 John 2:12. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 14

Brethren Jones and Prescott, you have expressed ardent faith and joy in the Lord. This you have a right to do. You may encourage souls who enlist in the army of the Lord to rejoice in the Lord and to joy in the God of their salvation. You may encourage them to have their hearts aglow with the love of God, as they see how rich is His treasure of truth and grace for those who believe in Him. Impress upon them the fact that if they would keep fresh and strong their first love, they must give to others who are not in the faith the knowledge which they have received, for as God works in them to will and to do of His good pleasure, they must work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Heavenly agencies are working with human agencies, and the doer of the Word is justified before God. There can be no more pleasant tidings to ascend to God than the tidings that sinners are turning from error to truth, from sin to righteousness. Every one must pray to God and believe that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 15

“I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning.” 1 John 2:14. These are the old disciples who are the warriors of the faith. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:1-4. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 16

Every channel that God has used through which to communicate truth is to be respected. God has appointed human agents whom He has made channels through which the waters of life have flowed down through the ages of the past to our times. God has made them the depositories of sacred truth, and they have been co-laborers with Jesus Christ, diffusing the light and truth that has made the church what it is today. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 17

Let God alone specify the mistakes that they have made, but let us be silent concerning what we may think is a defect. We have enough to do to learn the lessons He would have us learn. Increased light has come to us from God as we have searched the living oracles. We have discovered gems that were more precious than gold and silver, and these rich treasures have been pointed out to us by men who are now laid away in the grave. Let us not depreciate one of God’s workmen. If God in His great mercy has traced the imperfection of any of His workmen, it is for the purpose of leading the church to shun his defects and to imitate his virtues. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 18

Let us cherish the truth which has been spoken to us and the counsel that has been given to us by men through whom God has manifested His will in a marked manner. Let us be grateful that there were men who appropriated the grace of Christ and bore the burden in the heat of the day, whose lips are now silent. The Lord Jesus bade John to write of them, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” [Revelation 14:13.] We should be careful how we handle the names of the precious and blessed ones who sleep in Jesus. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 19

It has been at very great cost that the truth has been brought before the people. The third angel’s message was established through very great difficulties, for every conceivable obstruction was in the way of its proclamation at first. Those who have seen the truth at a later date, who have had no experimental knowledge as to what it cost to become a Seventh-day Adventist when all the believers could be numbered within a small compass, should be guarded in their expressions in regard to the men through whom the Lord wrought as pioneers in His work. These men gave not only themselves, but all that they possessed to advance the precious truth. It cost them more than it costs many today who take it upon themselves to speak so freely of the mistakes the servants of God made in their youth and inexperience. The Lord loved them and valued them, for they had fervor and honesty of soul, and He took them by the hand and led them in safe paths, planting their inexperienced feet upon the Rock of Ages. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 20

Now let every one who loves God love and respect those whom God has loved and honored. “Them that honor Me, I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” 1 Samuel 2:30. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 21

These are the words of the Lord, and they point out the fact that we should not lightly esteem those who honor God. 9LtMs, Lt 39, 1894, par. 22