Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 18, 1894

Daniells, Sister [A. G.]

George’s Terrace, Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

March 23, 1894

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Daniells:

In their religious life many act in some respects as though Jesus had not given them special words of instruction to enlighten them and to guide them in all the difficulties they encounter. But if they pass on heedlessly, and are not doers of His words, they do not follow Him who is in the light. “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 compass 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; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” [Isaiah 50:10, 11.] 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 1

We cannot be sanctified through the truth, and cherish selfishness in any respect. We cannot prosper while striving for our own way, indulging self-will, giving up to petulance of temper, cherishing pride and sensitiveness. When we yield to the temptations of the enemy, indulging our natural traits of character and hereditary tendencies, we are exercising our powers in a manner to reproduce our own deficiencies in others. Irregularities, inconsistencies in the course of those who stand as the representatives of Christ, are detrimental to all with whom they associate, and react upon their own life and character. Shall these things be cherished? Shall they be allowed to taint and corrupt the soul when Christ has given His precious life that that soul may reflect His own divine likeness? Shall the human agent allow the soul to be the habitation of sin, and act as if there were no God, no Christ, no Holy Spirit? God forbid! 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 2

In the little matters where there is no human eye to see, the course of action is often weak and inconsistent. The active mind is devising and planning things that are not in accordance with God’s will. Religion has to do with even the details of life. A so-called faith that does not actively work by a pure and holy love, to purify and sanctify the soul, is a faith that is dead, being alone. It is powerless to transform the character after the similitude of Christ. Conversion is needed. The affections must be refined, the religion of Christ must control all the so-called little things of life. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 3

Christian—what does it mean? To be Christlike. There is not one of us but needs the grace of Christ moment by moment. There are those who will be especially helped by our practical Christian life, and there are many who will be injured by a practice or habit in us which shows that we are hearers and not doers of the words of Christ. The Lord Jesus is greatly dishonored by those who have had great light and precious opportunities to learn what constitutes Christian character. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 4

Christ has declared, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] This language is simple and plain, and my heart is pained when I see that those who have had large opportunities and special privileges give evidence to the world, to men and angels, that they do not make Christ’s life and character their own. Their lives show that they are not doers of the Word of Christ, and therefore are growing away from the only true copy. They are neglecting the only means whereby they can become partakers of the divine nature, and grow up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. Christ is not correctly represented in them. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 5

O, how far short have we come of imitating our holy Pattern! This is because we study so little the definite features of that character. So many are full of busy plans, always active, and there is no time or place for the precious Jesus to be a close, dear companion. They do not refer every thought and action to Him, inquiring, “Is this the way of the Lord?” If they did, they would walk with God as did Enoch. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 6

Many who bear with fortitude the great calamities of life, are overcome in little matters. By giving unrestrained license to the natural disposition, some trivial thing, some supposed slight, which, if carried to Jesus, the grace of Christ would ennable the soul to overcome, is magnified into mountains of difficulty. As a man thinketh, so is he. Therefore molehills are magnified to large mountains; a supposed slight or discourtesy is allowed to cause heart burnings. Failing to conquer a dishonorable habit, the poor, sensitive, proud soul stumbles over a pebble of offense. A little thing, which should be forgotten, is construed into a grievous inconsistency in a brother or a sister. If Christ were visibly among us, He would address the one who is speaking evil, the accuser of the brother, as of old He spoke to the Pharisees, “He that is without sin among [you], let him first cast a stone.” [John 8:7.] 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 7

Read carefully the third chapter of James, especially verses 13-18. How carefully should we learn the lessons which Christ has given us. “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” [Verse 16.] Then how carefully should we watch, not our brother, our sister, or our friend, and become their accuser, but our individual selves, examining our own selves, to see whether indeed we be in the faith. The great standard of righteousness, the law of God, is often transgressed, its sacred principles are entirely ignored, and yet the one who does this is not aware of his own disobedience, because he does not take time to consider his ways. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 8

My sister, very many things which your hands find to do, which are of a trifling character, and are really nerve taxing rather than nerve quieting, might better be left undone. Like Mary, sit at the feet of Jesus, learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart, and the promise, is, “Ye shall find rest unto your soul.” [Matthew 11:29.] Regulate all your words and actions by the principles of the holy law of God, which is to judge you in that last great day. You separate the large portion of your life from God, and rob Him of the capital of talents entrusted to your hands. This has produced numerous difficulties in your life and your work, which would be avoided if you would consent to bring yourself into subjection to Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 9

Even your thoughts are not to be allowed to run riot. They must be restrained, brought into captivity and obedience to Christ. How little is the law of God studied, how little practiced in the daily life! What is to be done? The little things are to be strictly guarded. The little things must be brought to Jesus as well as the larger things. It is the little foxes that spoil the vines. It is the little things which seem so small and unworthy of notice that work mischief in the life of those who believe. These things enter into the habitual train of thought, and shape the character. When the great things come to try the soul, the oil of grace is wanting. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 10

In the great emergencies of life, can we expect persons to act on principles to which they have not educated and trained themselves to act? The affections have not been trained, and the course of Christian consistency becomes a matter of difficulty when it crosses inclination and habit. The untrained, undisciplined nature, allowed to act its will in little things, will be most difficult to bring under restraint and subjection in larger things. Thus the whole life is scarred and warped, and the great danger is that the name will be blotted from the book of life. The soul does not find delight in real heart service for Christ, and the grace of Christ can bless only where it influences. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 11

My sister, you have failed to bring yourself into the channel of light and rich blessings. When you first connected with the school, your habit of constant activity made it next to impossible for you to listen interestedly to the very things you had the privilege of hearing; and that which you did hear, did not profit you, not being mixed with faith which would lead you to appropriate these truths to your own soul as the bread and water of life. Precious instruction was brought within your reach, but you did not prize the opportunity sufficiently to make any sacrifice in order to obtain the light which God desired to shed on your pathway. What excuse will you render to God for these neglected opportunities? You failed to receive the precious blessings you might have grasped. Will you please to consider the words of Christ, for they were presented to [me] as applicable in your case: “I am the bread of life: He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” [John 6:35, 36, 47, 48.] 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 12

O that every soul might be impressed with these words! “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” [Verses 53, 54.] See John 6:55-57. These words of Christ seem so full, they embrace so much, that I am amazed as I see how little influence they have upon the life and character of those who claim to believe the Word of God. The explanation is given: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verse 63.] The life of Christ is to become our life; our spirit is to be one with His, as the branch of the vine is one with the parent stock, nourished by the sap which flows from the stock to every branch. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 13

Who of those who have a knowledge of the truth answer the Saviour’s representation? If the professed followers of Christ did live thus in communion with Him, what Christian consistency would mark the life and be revealed in the character! To eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God is to hear and to search His Word and then give the Word entrance into the life and the character by becoming a doer of the Word. Had you possessed the spirit of Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him when you had every opportunity, you would have been far in advance of what you are at the present time. If the privilege granted to both yourself and Sister Rousseau had been improved, you would have learned the way of life more perfectly. You failed to improve the opportunity placed within your reach. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 14

Both you and Sister Rousseau made many excuses, but these were mere subterfuges; God will in no wise accept them. Your souls did not hunger for an experimental knowledge of justification by faith. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] As you two associated together, as you began your privacies to each other, there began that hunger which is death to spirituality. The desire to find spot and stain in Sister Starr extended to Brother Starr, and the word to which you listened was not mixed with faith; in them that heard it. It found no genuine love for the truth. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 15

If this close intimacy had never existed, if these carnal communications had never been made, if you both had been hungering and thirsting for righteousness, the bread and water of life would satisfy every soul-longing; but the power of principle was neutralized by your practice. The temper and disposition of you both were influenced by that which you fed upon. You indulged in evil thinking and evil speaking until the testimony of one was the testimony of both, that Sister Starr was the most selfish woman you ever saw. The recording angel wrote in the book concerning you, “Sister Daniells, and Sister Rousseau, False accusers. Ye have borne false witness against Christ in the person of His children.” 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 16

All these things reacted upon yourselves. Truth, precious, sacred truth, was made of no effect to you. The bitterness of your words, the eloquent, unspoken language of your manner; the repining state of your feelings, the wicked suggestions of Satan which you have entertained, the vivid imagination that was fruitful in inventing things which had no foundation in truth—all I have seen; the Lord has caused the burden to rest upon me, so that I have felt deeply. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 17

Your thoughts of dress and of deportment have been a hindrance to you. Your lack of Christ’s meekness and lowliness of heart witnesses against you. This is why you did not receive special light and make special advancement in obtaining a knowledge of the truth. You did not place yourselves in the channel of light, that you might receive the precious heavenly current, to be in you as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. You have lost more than you can now realize. You placed yourselves in the channel of darkness. The spirit with which you were imbued, I leave you to name. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 18

For the sake of your own souls, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the human beings whom He loves, I beg of you never to place yourselves in the same attitude again, for it would be at the peril of your souls. See that the evil is corrected, for it is without excuse. However you are disposed to look at the matter, you could as easily fall into temptation in regard to myself or others of your brethren and sisters as in regard to Sister Starr. Let not one fiber of this root of bitterness be left to spring up again, lest many be thereby defiled. Until the love of Christ shall reach out through all the lines of your life, you will continue to reveal this same weakness of character, appealing to your own sympathies, indulging yourself in appetite and dress and in many ways that you regard as harmless, but which have placed you at physical and spiritual disadvantages. And you are looked upon as missionaries from America. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 19

The word I heard spoken concerning you was, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:3.] “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” [Joshua 7:12.] I sincerely hope that you both may have the curtain withdrawn, and that the Lord may present to you as He has done to me the grave things of an objectionable character which I have tried to present to you. I have nothing but love in my heart toward you, but I am compelled to speak the words of warning which I give you in these letters. I could write much more that has been presented before me in regard to these things, but I have not time nor strength. 9LtMs, Lt 18, 1894, par. 20