Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Lt 113, 1894

Corliss, J. O.

[Granville, Australia]

December 16, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 24-25.

Dear Brother Corliss:

I praise the Lord for His goodness, loving kindness, compassion, and love in sending His only begotten Son to our world to bear the penalty of our transgression, and for making provision that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Since the Lord has given such great evidence to us that He loves the world, and cares for sinners who are living in rebellion against Him, then why should not the human agent who have seen his sin and repented of his transgression, love those whom God loves, and work for those who are the purchase of the blood of the only begotten Son of God? God hates sin, but in mercy reaches out His hand to the sinner. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 1

I thank the Lord that He is our present help in this time of need. I know that the name of the Lord will be glorified in this discussion, if you and your brethren look unto Jesus and trust in Him; for he will speak through His living agent. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Those who oppose the counsel of God against themselves do not know what they are doing. From the light that God has been pleased to give me, I know that the arrows of truth have penetrated their armor. But the teachers of false doctrines will close their eyes, lest they should see, and harden their hearts lest they should yield to conviction. They are wounded by the truth which has been applied to their hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 2

Hitherto hath the Lord helped you, and whatever course your opponent may pursue know that Jesus is close beside you. Your attention must be fixed on Christ, for by beholding Him you will manifest the love which He claims and which is our happiness to make known. The evident presence of the divine influence, the opposers of truth do not wholly disrespect and deny. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 3

You will be tested and tried by the enemy of truth, but if you hide yourself behind Jesus, so that He alone shall appear in your defense, God’s name will be magnified, for you will be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. You are doing a good work in presenting old truths which are as a new revelation to your hearers. You are unfolding precious truths which for centuries have been placed in the companionship of error. As Christ’s representative you are now engaged in the sacred work of redeeming truth from the base companionship of error and are placing it in its appropriate framework. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 4

That which has [been] ignored and despised is shown to proceed from God, who inspired holy men of old, as they spoke being moved upon by the Holy Spirit. God spake through human instrumentality. He designs that His truth should be recovered from the gloomy regions of doubt and unbelief into which Satan has plunged it, designing that it should remain in oblivion. It is to be presented before the people who are in the darkness of spiritual error, who are deluded with falsehood, and it is to shine before them in its original luster, enlightening their moral darkness. That which has been merely a “guess-so” will be forced upon the conscience as a certainty. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 5

The Sabbath of the fourth commandment has been an outcast. Satan’s design has been to obliterate from the minds of men the knowledge of the true God, in order that they might not know the Creator of the heavens and the earth. God set apart the seventh day as a memorial of His creative works. The seventh day Sabbath is surrounded with the awful sanctions of the God of truth, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 6

We are praying for you that the Lord may give you largely of His Holy Spirit, and that as His human agent you may represent the likeness of Christ’s character by manifesting the practical power of the truth in the manner in which you treat your opponent. Give him not the least semblance of an excuse to become irritated over any personal thrusts that may be given in the debate. On this occasion you are representing the Author of truth. You are to show that the truth is sacred, and not to be made a scourge to those who oppose it. In handling the words of the infinite God, you are not to manifest a sharp, cruel spirit. The Lord will be your teacher and enable you to carry the controversy through with Christlike dignity. Your opponent will seek to make the truth appear unimportant, but to many he will not be successful in this design. You are Christ’s instrumentality, and should clothe your words with sacred, reverential dignity. This attitude will not be without effect on human minds. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 7

The Sabbath question is a test question, and it is not to be handled indifferently. But when you are compelled to hear the truth garbled and misconstrued, the scripture wrested and handled with deception, you will be tempted to give vent to your indignation, to show your opponent just how you regard his dishonest evasions and his contempt of eternal truth. But God would have you restrain your zeal and fiery indignation. Bear in mind the fact that you are not warring against men but against supernatural powers which hold these men to their falsehoods. They have been educated and trained in the school of error. They have handled the truth of God as a lie. But do you continually bear in mind the nobler world, the audience of heaven which you have in your assembly? Remember also that Satan and his synagogue are present. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 8

How Satan would rejoice to see you lose your self-control, and answer your opponent according to his kind. This is what the devil wants, and it is what your opponent also desires. But Jesus will lead you to the threshhold of the infinite, that you may there behold the living glories of heaven and present them to the people. Bear in mind that this occasion is deciding the destiny of souls. Satan has almost expelled from the world the truth of God, and it would delight him to make the man who is advocating the truth display such a spirit as would show that he was not under the influence of truth which subdues and sanctifies the soul. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 9

Much is at stake, and may God strengthen and bless you. Deal only in the currency of heaven. Make use of the truth upon which is God’s image and superscription. The precious truth given of God is our stock in trade, and will bring us heaven in return. Meet falsehood with truth. Put truth against personal hints, references or insult. Truth is immortal, eternal. You are now having the precious privilege of testifying for Christ. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me; and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” [John 15:26, 27.] 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 10

The Lord strengthen you, bless and sustain you, for you must consider that you are a mouthpiece for God. Cultivate the habit of speaking slowly and unexcitedly, yet earnestly, and with assurance, giving especial attention to the points you wish to make forcible. You can so manage your voice that the truth will be made more effective. I speak to you as a mother speaks to her son; for I greatly desire that through Christ you shall present the truth in power before the people, and I believe you have done this. 9LtMs, Lt 113, 1894, par. 11