Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 26, 1894

Haskell, S. N.

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

November 22, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in SD 44; 8MR 249.

Dear Brother,

I have just learned that a steamer leaves for Cape Town on the morrow. I will write a short letter directed to you, and will send you copies of letters that were written during the camp meeting but have just been copied. I am now preparing to go to Sydney on business. We are bending our energies to helping Bro. and Sr. Belden prepare for their journey. The steamer leaves in three weeks. I think I wrote to you that they were going to Norfolk Island to make it their home. We think this is a good field for them. Brother Belden is adapted to work in various lines, as carpenter, blacksmith, agriculturist, etc. He can educate others by precept and example. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 1

We received your letter stating definitely that Bro. Lindsey and his wife, with her mother and brothers, were to start for America Nov. 20. We shall be looking for them. At last it is decided to locate the school at Morrisett, or Dora Creek. We feel sorry for the delay, but must accept this as one of the “all things” that work for good. [Romans 8:28.] My worry in regard to the school matter ended some time since. I am no longer on the anxious seat so far as the question is concerned. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 2

For one week I have been ill with an attack of malaria, and I might better give up trying to write, but this is a hard matter; my heart is full, my pen must, it seems to me, be expressing the thoughts of my mind. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 3

O, the Lord is very precious to me. I am so grateful for the love I feel in my heart for my heavenly Father. I want to do His will, to glorify His name upon the earth. I want that love which Christ has told us we must have for our brethren and sisters. I have felt more pain over this absence of love than anything else. Love is power. To see professed Christians so regardless of the command of Christ to love one another as He has loved us is most distressing to me. They do not seem to comprehend what this love means. If one differs from another, they feel and act as though this difference was a personal offense and should be an excuse to withdraw love and tender sympathy, and to be distant, unsympathetic, enclosing themselves within a cold wall of granite. O, so many act in this way, testifying to angels and to men that they have not the love of Jesus abiding in their hearts. How can they suppose that they are in any way representing Christ? Self needs to die, to fall on the Rock, Christ Jesus, and be broken; then the Lord Jesus can mold and fashion them after the divine similitude. The Lord will soon come, and if we do not obey His command to love one another in this world, what evidence do we give that we would manifest an entirely different character in the world to come? 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 4

A converted man will in life and character reveal the fruits of the Spirit; he will obey the commandments of God, for he is under the controlling influence of a principle that emanates from God. He will love God supremely, and his neighbor as himself. Boundless gratitude will fill his heart. Love will be the abiding principle; it will be exercised toward his fellow men, because God is love. The contemplation of the cross of Calvary has stirred his soul and transformed his character. He is no longer quick-tempered, overbearing, harsh and dictatorial, proud, and fond of maintaining his own opinion independent of others. The world has lost him. He sits at the feet of Jesus, and beholding His attractions he is held to willing and delighted allegiance. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 5

Brother Haskell, I am sorry that there are so many professors of religion, while there are so few Christians. This is why the world is not moved. We must live and talk the commandments of God. See (John 13:34, 35); here is a positive requirement that the followers of Christ love one another as He has loved them. Their character is to be a reproduction of the character of Christ. The unselfish, disinterested love which appeared in Christ will appear in the life of His true followers. The tenderness, the patience, the goodness of Christ will be revealed in the Christian. If we are His disciples, Christ’s solicitude to save souls will be revealed in our tones of entreaty, in our persevering, untiring efforts to save the perishing. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 6

The salvation of souls is above every other consideration. He who is a worker together with God wrestles with God in prayer that he may be imbued with His Spirit, that under the constraining power of the Holy Spirit he may win souls to Jesus. He denies self as did Jesus; he lifts the cross through evil as well as good report. If tempted, through flattering presentations made by human agents, he has one answer for them: “I am not my own, I have been bought with a price. I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” [See 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Galatians 2:20.] Every member of the church may do a good work for Jesus is he works in Christ’s lines. Truth will triumph gloriously if self is not introduced into the work and allowed to mar the beauty of the sacred, eternal truth. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 7

Christ engaged to represent to this world and to worlds unfallen the amazing riches of the love of God in the redemption of man. The Son of God alone knew the extent of that love which he had engaged to represent. Christ has demonstrated to the world that the divine and the human nature combined constitutes a sufficiency for all. Nothing that Christ might say or suffer could give an exaggerated conception of the infinite love of God to men. Having in His human nature absorbed the love of the Father, He has, as the source of grace, the fountain of all goodness and compassion, imparted His grace to men and increased their power of comprehension, that through the sanctification of the truth as it is in Jesus, a copy of the character of God should appear in their lives. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 8

In His petition for His disciples before His death, the Saviour prayed: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me have I given them; that they may be one even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:17-23.] 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 9

O how comprehensive, how far-reaching, how deep, how full, are these words! What a position of exaltation is theirs who believe in Jesus. They are the messengers of God. They are Christ’s instrumentalities, co-laborers with Him. How earnest should be their determination to live and walk as seeing Him who is invisible. What exaltation is theirs in being one with Christ, one with each other, as Christ is one with the Father. No provision is made for them to be at variance, pulling apart, walking selfishly alone in maintaining their individual independent judgment. Christians are to labor for the oneness for which Christ prayed. In their perfect oneness they are to represent their unity with Christ. Thus they testify to the world of the goodness and benevolence of God in making those who believe in Him partakers of the divine nature. This is designed to be a standing miracle before the world, testifying to men that God has sent Christ to be the Saviour of the world. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 10

Upon every individual who believes in Him, Christ has placed the obligation to represent Him as full of grace and truth, conveying to the world the cheering, uplifting, sanctifying power which characterizes the truth. We are to make it manifest to the world that the Lord God of heaven not only intends our salvation, but the salvation of other souls through our instrumentality. He has commissioned us to go forth to the world and make known that mercy and love and the forgiveness of sin represents the character of God. He is a God of mercy. Christ says to His followers, “You have given yourselves to Me; I now give you to the world as My representatives, that you may express love to one another as I have loved you. Thus the world will believe that God hath sent me to draw all hearts into unity through their love to Me. You are my delegated agents to do a special work, to draw all hearts into unity with Myself. As My work on earth was to represent the paternal character of God, so it is your work to represent Me.” 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 11

Christ was the foundation of the entire Jewish economy. The Jewish nation was to be a peculiar and distinct people, separate from all the other nations of the earth; yet God did not desire them to be exclusive. They were a chosen and peculiar people to be made the depositary of sacred and eternal truths adapted to bless the entire world. An all-powerful and omnipresent Providence is revealed in their entire history. His laws were not alone for the Jewish nation. The moral law was given before the people called Jews were in existence. The law of ten commandments was of universal obligation. The sacrificial ordinances were devised to represent the one great Sacrifice, the Lamb of God, that was to take away the sin of the world, and in every respect meet the requirements of divine justice in behalf of the transgressor. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 12

The Lord would not have His people exclusive. Christ’s delegated messengers are to proclaim the gospel of His grace to all nations, tongues, and peoples. We are to make it known that the great Advocate is giving audience to the whole world. The Jewish church was called to be God’s representative to an apostate world, and in order to fulfill this mission the Jewish people were to maintain their own existence as a nation distinct from all the idolatrous nations upon the earth. They were to stand in the world maintaining their peculiar and holy character. They could maintain their own spirituality by doing that which Adam and Eve failed to do—by rendering obedience to all the commandments of God, and in their characters representing God’s mercy, goodness, compassion, and love. Thus in excellence of character they would stand above every other nation, for through a pure and obedient people the Lord would manifest His rich blessings. Thus the principles of the laws governing His kingdom were to be exalted through the world. Just as surely as they responded to the mercy, the light, the grace given, they would become the light of the world. They would be constantly directing attention to God, as a wise, faultless, supreme ruler, and the praise of God would be in all the earth. It was God’s purpose that his people should be separated from all idolatry, and should fully consecrate their powers to working in harmony with Christ for the spiritual recovery of a fallen world. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 13

The Lord is our God, and He has the same purpose in regard to His believing, loyal people today. He has given them special light; they are to be a peculiar, separate, holy people, in the world but not of the world. One all-important subject is to engross our mind, how we may do the work for the enlightenment of the world so as to be approved of God. This is an individual work. The human agent must co-operate with the divine, else the work will not be accomplished. “The whole multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” [Acts 4:32.] Hearts were linked together by the ever-abiding love of Christ. What was then demonstrated to the world? When strife and contention had no place, the gospel went rapidly around the world. New churches were raised up, and the converts became witnesses for Christ. Those who had been the bitterest persecutors were converted and bore a living testimony for the Saviour, for they were imbued with the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “He shall not speak of himself, he shall glorify me.” [John 16:13, 14.] 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 14

What can we do to arouse a careless, ease-loving, selfish people? God has made every provision that His followers may be freed from the curse of dissension and become one with Christ and with each other. God requires us to have the spirit of forgiveness toward our enemies. As we look unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, He will impress upon us [the fact] that love to our fellowmen is an acknowledgment [of the debt] we owe to our Redeemer, which can never be discharged. The piety of God’s people is to be diffusive. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 15

The parable of the man who fell among thieves and [was] left wounded, bruised, and half dead, who was neglected by the priest and Levite, but pitied by the Samaritan, is a lesson to bring into our practical life. Every man who needs our help, whether physically or spiritually, is our neighbor. Our field of labor is the world. The belief of the truth takes us from our selfish, narrow worldliness, and shows us that we must be laborers together with God. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 16

All who believe in Him, Christ places upon an eminence, and bids them to behold the whole world as His vineyard. There are no territorial lines, no sects, no nationalities, or distinctions of society, to be observed. We must plan to reach all, using that wisdom which God alone can impart to work these fields. We must begin with those that are nigh. A Jerusalem is to have work done in it. All the regions that have some knowledge of the truth are to be worked as God shall lead by his Holy Spirit. This will develop laborers to go into regions beyond. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 17

Wisdom must be exercised in apportioning the work for every man to do. No one class of laborers is adapted to every field. Danger threatens one class because of constitutional difficulties; in a position unfavorable to health they would surely fail. God would not have any unwise movements made which would imperil life. We are to make improvement in the Lord’s work continually. We should study to place the workmen not only according to their spiritual but to their temporal ability. Not only ordained ministers but laymen are to be enlisted in the work. We must not fail nor be discouraged. But while there is work to be done everywhere, we should try to place every one where he may labor to the best advantage. There are those who can do a large amount of work through the grace of God if they are so situated as to preserve health and strength to labor. Let the most favorable climate be chosen for them. To pursue such a course is not an evidence of unbelief. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 18

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest.” [Matthew 9:38.] The sowers of the seed, and also the workers who gather in the harvest, are essential. Agencies of every kind will find ample room to work. Every true Christian can do something. To do nothing means to backslide from God and work against His interest. Jesus says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] By their lack of diligence in working for Christ, His professed followers are ranking themselves with those who manifest positive hostility against Him. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 19

Every line of influence given to man is to be employed to the uttermost. “Why,” is the Master’s question, “stand ye here all the day idle?” “Go work in my vineyard.” [Matthew 20:6; 21:28.] Work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Our life has been purchased at infinite cost, not to be used selfishly for our own benefit, but it is to become a lamp which is to be constantly supplied with the oil of grace, and to be kept bright and burning. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 20

We are to be found faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. We shall be called to give an account of our stewardship. Let our one pound be used to the very best of our ability, for our accountability is according to our known capacity to trade on our Lord’s goods. The man to whom He had lent one talent, He will not require to account for three, nor will He accept the return of the one talent merely. The talents are to be improved by use, and increased. He who has but one may by the exercise of wisdom and tact gain another. Then with the two he may gain other two, and thus the work goes on in God’s appointed way. As we endeavor to communicate the light God has given, it multiplies. Every man is held responsible not only for the right use of the intrusted talent, but for the additional talents which through use [it is his privilege] to gain. We must arouse and be sanctified to God, soul, body, and spirit, holding everything in subordination to the law of Jesus Christ. The New Commandment given by our Saviour, “that ye love one another,” is to be practiced. Jesus said, “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” [John 13:34.] Love to one another is the evidence of our discipleship. 9LtMs, Lt 26, 1894, par. 21