Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 9, 1894

Corliss, J. O.

Norfolk Villa, Prospect Street, Granville, Australia

December 28, 1894

Previously unpublished.

My Dear Brother:

Your only safety is to keep in vital connection with God. You have had a hard strain, the trial has been severe for you, but praise the Lord, He has wrought in your behalf, and His holy angels have been round about you. You have every reason to be thankful that the Holy Spirit has worked through you in this controversy between truth and error. The Spirit of the Lord has been recognized as abiding upon you, in that by His power you were kept from rashness, from speaking unadvisedly with your lips when the way was temptingly opened before you. Had you erred here, the enemies of truth would have exulted. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 1

There are many whose hearts the Lord has touched. They are convicted and are seeking for the truth in a private way. The gentleness you sought to maintain in controversy does not in any way imply weakness but strength. You know that the truth cannot be controverted; and on every occasion, in the pulpit, in home life, in conversing with those who oppose the counsel of God against themselves, you are to work as Christ worked, not to gain the mastery, but to convert souls. The prejudice, the stubbornness and spiritual blindness, of many minds will be swept away before the calm dignity and grace of divine love manifested by the human agent in and through Christ Jesus. The light has appeared as light; the advanced truth presented disturbed the enemies of truth, and the sound arguments came with convincing power. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 2

What reason you have now to give the Lord all the glory when He has been by your side, graciously giving you His Holy Spirit. The Lord heard the earnest prayers offered in behalf of the speaker and the believing hearers. The good that has been accomplished, eternity alone will reveal. There will be reaction; you will feel exhausted after this long effort. The brain has been severely taxed and greatly wearied, and temptation will come in whatever form Satan shall see he can make the most trying to human nature. Be on your guard. “Ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God.” [Jude 20, 21.] 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 3

Your health, your spiritual life, depend upon your personal relation to God. In order to lead others to Christ you must yourself be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. Inhale not a breath from Satan in retaliation. If you walk with contrition of heart, with full and decided purpose, having faith in Jesus, He will breathe upon you His Holy Spirit. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 4

By inheritance you are naturally subject to strong, impetuous feelings, disposed to complain of and accuse your brethren; if you do not have the Spirit of God upon you, this makes you weak, even though the things you state may all be true; but if you look at matters in a wrong light, and act accordingly, your fuming and fretting and strong language hurts your own soul and the souls of others. All those who hear you are the property of Christ, purchased with His blood, and by an error on your part many may be defiled. Better, far better, not have so sharp a discernment. When tempted you may be more than conqueror through Him who has loved you and given Himself for you. And praise will be given to those to whom it is due, to all who have triumphed in the strength of Jesus. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 5

What scenes will be witnessed in that great day when every man shall be rewarded as his works have been. The very ones who have been reviled, falsified, abused for Christ’s sake and treated with contempt and derision, will stand forth justified before angels and men, and the benediction will fall upon their ears, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” [Matthew 25:21.] All who engage in this warfare, if they obtain the victory, must be true and pure and holy. Jesus says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 6

My brother, your spirit must rest in God. You are of value with God, and your organs of speech are altogether too precious to be employed in speaking extravagantly and unjustly of your ministering brethren. You cannot afford to let your spirit chafe over any real or supposed wrong done to yourself. Jesus has been your friend. God has mercifully preserved your life through many trying scenes, that you may give yourself wholly to His service. The moment you are off guard, and yield to the control of your natural feelings, you will have exalted ideas of your own capabilities. Do not indulge any such spirit, for if you do, the Lord Jesus cannot abide with you. Let all glory and majesty and honor be given to God and the Lamb. Let self be nothing, and Christ be everything. Self is the enemy we need to fear. Repress every evil thing. Rest your soul in God, for He is the health of your countenance and your God. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 7

Do not suppose that during the discussion all recognized that the impress of the likeness of Christ was revealed in the human advocate of truth? Those who have the eternal Word written upon the heart by the Holy Spirit are God’s witnesses. The Word living in them is ready for use. “The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] Now, my brother, take the Word now, treasure it up. It is through the Word that the Spirit manifests its quickening power, as it is appropriated in the inner life. Oh, consider that the Lord has greatly honored you by making you His witness to present pure and unadulterated truth to His people, and that the grace of Christ enabled you in your speech to honor God. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 8

He who is the truth has made it possible for His servants, even in controversy, to make it manifest that the Spirit of truth is dwelling within them. Through the sanctification of the Spirit, the words will be true, because they are inspired by the indwelling Spirit. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” [Matthew 12:34.] If the manner and words of the speaker are under the influence of the Spirit of God, self will be hid in Christ. If His words were always declared faithfully, calmly, without impetuosity, many more would believe in the truth. The precious words of truth may be robbed of their power because of impetuosity, hurried speech, or lack of tact on the part of him who bears the message. The truth is to be presented as it is in Jesus. Speak the truth in love. Let it be manifest that the love of Christ is in the heart, expressed in the countenance and in the words. A responsibility rests upon the human agent to represent the preciousness and the value of Christ as the Truth before the people. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 9

Would not many souls be convicted and converted if God’s messengers, as co-laborers with Him, would in every discourse, in every controversy, show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light? There is great and lasting good done when an abiding Christ is represented before the people in wisdom and tenderness and love. There are many who before God stand guilty of counteracting the power and efficiency of truth because they weave in their own spirit and manner of speech, which in their human wisdom they think apt, sharp, and appropriate to the occasion. The truth is marred in their hands, and the Lord, who has entrusted the truth to His agents, is dishonored. The Word of God is to be presented unalloyed with him impetuosity, but with earnestness, with the authority that the truth gives, with meekness, yet with assurance and power. Simple truth is a power when the human agent is serious, solemn, yet presenting the truth in the demonstration of the Spirit. The truth is to live and be proclaimed amid evil as well as good report. See Jeremiah 9:3-6; John 3:18-21, 43-47; Ephesians 4:14, 15. 9LtMs, Lt 9, 1894, par. 10