Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 8, 1894

Corliss, J. O.

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect Street, Granville, Australia

November 14, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in VSS 260. +Note

Dear Brother,

I have been so thankful that the Lord has been present in your meeting. Last night I was in earnest conversation with you. I said to you, Satan is mustering his forces, for he will never allow the truth to triumph if he can prevent it. Everything that can be devised by priests and rulers to draw the mind to the side of truth will be devised. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 1

The Word of God is your weapon. If your enemies can formulate some plan by which to confuse you, and to provoke you to retaliate by making some personal thrusts, they will do it. Abide in Jesus, do nothing to irritate or provoke your adversary. Present the precious truth as a witness. Souls are in the valley of decision, and there may be some ministers present at the meeting who may never hear the truth again from human lips. When your opponent enters into personalities, be blind and deaf, and instead of taking notice to his thrusts, crowd in all the precious truth possible. Do not speak fast. In so doing, many lose the precious things that are spoken. Speak slowly, calmly, yet with the earnestness and zeal which God shall give you. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 2

Speak the truth in love and in pity for those who turn from the truth to fables. Bear in mind the fact that the Lord Jesus is present in your assemblies. He would have you manifest dignity, calmness, and composure of spirit. When you rush one word right upon another, half the power is taken out of your discourse. The Lord has so ordered this occasion that the truth may be presented as it is in Jesus, and not [be] presented with an appearance of excitement, but in a calm earnest manner that will produce an effect. If it is so presented it will convince, and some will receive, appreciate, and act upon the truth. The presentation of truth will be as a new revelation to some. Their hearts are becoming softened; their prejudice is being removed, and they are coming up to the time when they must fight the battle of yielding their will. But it is when this crisis is reached that the truth will indeed prove a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 3

Those who will not accept the clear evidence that is given, though professing to be saints, will find that resentment will kindle in their hearts against the messenger of truth and against those of our faith. Those who begin warfare with themselves, as did Paul, give evidence that they are accepting the Holy Spirit, but those who war against the truth and its advocates because the truth convicts their conscience will go into darkness, proportionate to the light they have received and refused. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 4

Place yourselves under the control of Christ, and if reviled do not revile again. You have the Word of God as your weapon. Keep cool, be calm and deliberate, bold and decided; but have a heart full of love and kindness toward your enemies. Leave no means untried to save them. Let not a word be uttered in triumph. The Spirit of Christ will be recognized. Your adversary and his counselors will be determined to gain the victory. The Lord does not promise to save His servants from trial, but in the name of the Lord put your trust. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 5

Satan will put you to a disadvantage if he can and bring you into confusion. Should this happen, the enemies of truth would interpret it to mean defeat. But be not overcome of the enemy. Let no word fall from your lips calculated in your mind to humiliate your opponent, be he ever so foolish and inconsistent. The angels of heaven are looking down upon you. Pity your enemies, and if you can, do them good; but ever bear in mind that Jesus, your precious Saviour, died for them as well as for you. It is fearful for them to resist the Spirit of God. Do not speak one word which shall increase their spirit of bitterness. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 6

Let the truth of God shine out in all its precious luster, in all its simplicity, and bring before them the realities of the eternal world. The truth will thus gain a precious victory. Cling to Jesus; pray, Lord be thou my Pattern and Helper. The Lord knows what will be the result of this meeting. God’s dear Son came to this world in human form, yet in the express image of God, and He was not accepted. The truth is not accepted, either, because it involves a cross; but speak the truth in love whether men hear or forbear, and leave the whole results with Jesus. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 7

November 15th. Last evening I thought that I should have no more to write, but scenes passed before my mind that lead me to add a few words. The world is not the church of Christ, and the church is not the world, yet we should suppose that the church was the world by the earnest efforts that are made by its members to meet the world’s standard. The ministers of the various churches have long patronized the world, and those who are loyal to God, who are following the example of Christ, are regarded as foolish and fanatical; but God regards them as precious. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 8

There will be evil angels in the meetings and they will seek to confederate with those who are blinded by Satan’s sophistries. Persons will attend your meetings who will think themselves very wise, and their attitude will be such as will be calculated to stir up human nature. But remember that you are a witness for Christ and for God, and that the universe of heaven is looking upon your audience. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 9

What you say in vindication of the truth as it is in Jesus must be said in the Spirit of Jesus in order that conviction may fasten upon minds. The validity of the law of God must be brought before ministers of congregations, before authorities, before kings and rulers. The advocates of truth should ever be imbued with the Holy Spirit in order that they may speak as the Spirit shall give them utterance. God regards these ministers and people as ignorant of the Scriptures and power of God, and to speak harsh words would give Satan an opportunity to bring an accusation against you. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 10

Those who have the knowledge of the truth are rich in the possession of heavenly treasures. But the world will not appreciate the value of the truth, and neither will those who claim to be preaching the gospel, and who yet are turning away their ears from the truth to hear fables and to present fables because it better suits their unconsecrated hearts. Those who stand on the side of Christ will hear His commandment and receive His promise. He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:15-18. He came not only to show us His divinity, but to make fallen men partakers of the divine nature. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 11

In proportion as the human agent hides himself in Jesus, the truth will triumph. Let him refrain his lips from uttering words that are not in harmony with the Spirit of truth. The world may not recognize you as the ambassador of God; it did not recognize Christ in the son of a carpenter, in a humble teacher who was surrounded by twelve disciples who followed the humble calling of fishermen, who were poor and unlearned. The world did not recognize in them the foundation of the kingdom that would finally embrace the whole earth. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 12

These disciples were simple-hearted men, who had their hearts touched by the Spirit of God. The truth which fell from the lips of the greatest teacher and missionary the world ever knew was to them a new revelation. Their poverty, the fewness of their number was urged over and over as a reason why men should not connect themselves with these simple-minded fishermen who followed Jesus. Yet, notwithstanding the feeble outward appearance, the little mustard seed was to grow and to fill the world. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 13

Though all who hear the truth will not practice it, yet they are tested by the truth. How careful should the living agent [be] through whom God communicates the light of truth, that he speaks no words to leave the impression that the truth does not change the natural tendencies of the sinful heart. Let the man who advocates truth manifest the spirit that will show that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him. 9LtMs, Lt 8, 1894, par. 14