Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 30, 1895

Hardy, Brother

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, N. S. W., Australia

January 29, 1895

Formerly Undated Ms 57. Portions of this letter are published in UL 43; LDE 60-61.

Dear Brother:

The apostle writes, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” [Colossians 3:19.] You have not followed this instruction but have treated your wife in an unchristlike manner during your married life. You have not acted as a father and husband in your family, but have acted more the part of a stranger. You should have borne the burden and carried the household expenses for food and raiment, and not have let this burden fall upon a frail woman. You have taken no more responsibility than has a boarder, and yet you have been very exacting in demanding your privileges as a husband. You have been free to criticize, have been overbearing and dictatorial, but have allowed the burden of planning and devising [to] fall upon your wife. You have been willing that the taxing part of keeping up the home, of providing for the household expenses, should fall upon her. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 1

You have not behaved yourself as a house-band. You have felt grieved and wronged if you did not have all the privileges you claimed. You did not take into consideration how much suffering your selfish course brought upon your wife, and yet you suppose yourself a Christian, though you were determined to have your own way, and to do exactly as you pleased. You have been unkind and unjust, and have manifested a hard, unsympathetic spirit. The fruits you have born are not the fruits of the branches that abide in the vine, but the fruits which grow upon the wild olive tree. These fruits are not palatable, but very bitter, and the result of your course has brought bitterness to yourself. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 2

A mere profession of truth will not bring the peace of Christ to your soul. You will experience this peace only by being sanctified by the truth. Christ prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] If you had believed the Word and obeyed the Word, you would not need the reproof the Lord sends you on this occasion. When the converting power of God comes upon you, a great change will be seen in your character. You will be a new man in Christ Jesus. You will search the Scriptures to know what God says unto you in order that you may live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 3

The matter that is of greatest importance to you is to see that your every step tends in the right direction heavenward. Your great anxiety should not be to set someone else in order, but to see that your own soul is in order. Your eternal interests demand that the truth be brought in contact with your soul, to sanctify, elevate, and ennoble your whole being. When you are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, your whole nature will be regenerated through the instrumentality of the Word of God. When you are thus sanctified, the disturbing elements that now make you most miserable will be expelled from your soul. Truth is not truth to you because you have not an experimental knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. You have a knowledge of the theory of truth, but do not understand the vital influence of its sanctifying power upon the heart and character. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 4

I want to say to you that the history of your private life is a terrible chapter for the universe of heaven to look upon. You have no need that it should be rehearsed to your ears, for you know all its secret evil. You left your wife and your children for the sake of another woman, and you have little sense of your sin in so doing. You have had little realization of the life of toil, privation, and hardship that your wife has had to lead in order to care for your children. Does not God care for these things? 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 5

Since you have returned to your home, you have simply been as a boarder. How much have you done to redeem the past? What efforts have you made to make your wife's burdens lighter and her life easier? Unless you repent and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, the Lord will repay for your neglect of your duty to your companion. It was a mistake on her part to think that it was her duty to accept you back into her home. You have expected her to yield in submission to your lustful passions without a question, when such a course brought upon her great suffering of body. She has tried to live a Christian life, and God loves her. In the midst of all her trials, she has made determined efforts to secure and maintain her home, but what have you done in this direction? You have been very exacting, and have thought you were having a hard time, because you have not been able to sway everything in the direction you desired, to meet your arbitrary requirements. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 6

What is God’s definition of the word husband? It is houseband, the one who binds the family together. The husband is to be the priest in the family, and he is to carry the burden of accountability and responsibility; but this you have not done. You have felt at liberty to find fault, and to express the feelings of your natural heart. You have been hardhearted and unsympathetic, and the trials that have resulted from your own unconverted heart, you have blamed upon your wife at home, and upon your brethren in the church. Your case is illustrated by that of the relentless servant. Unless you fall upon the Rock and become broken all to pieces, unless your hard heart becomes melted and softened, the Lord will repay for all these things. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 7

If your wife in your judgment makes some mistakes, where is your pity, where is the manifestation of the love for her on your part, that Jesus has manifested toward you? Where is the patience on your part that God has manifested toward you in your many errors and sins? You should exercise the love that suffereth long and is kind, tender, pitiful. The world is full of men who are called husbands who are husbands only in name, just as they are Christians only in name. Will it be possible for you to take the spirit you manifest in your home life and in the church into heaven? Could you do so, you would certainly find fault with God and the holy angels, and with the saints in light. You would object to being under discipline to God, and would want to have everything your own way. If ever you are saved in the kingdom of heaven, you must be entirely renewed in heart and mind and spirit. You must die to self and become a new man in Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 8

When Philip visited Christ where He dwelt, and listened to the words that fell from His lips as He expounded the Scriptures in regard to the work and mission of the Messiah, the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart. He looked up into the face of Christ, and as he listened to His gentle words, they were as rain upon the mown grass, as seed sown in good soil. The teaching of Christ came from an inwrought conviction and experience, and Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He went in search of Nathanael, and when he found him, he did not say, “I want you to see the Saviour of which Moses speaks;” but he said with assurance, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” [John 1:45.] It was not a supposition with him, but a live truth, his whole soul was aglow with the truth which he had found. He taught as one who knew whereof he spoke, and the one who heard saw the reasonableness of the truth and laid hold upon it. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 9

The converting power of the truth works upon the soul to make a man a new creature in Christ Jesus. The preacher or teacher of truth may not know the true meaning of truth, or have experienced its sanctifying influence upon heart and character, and yet may present truth to others in such a way that souls may be brought to Christ. But if the heart of the teacher is under the sanctifying influence of the truth, He can say with Philip, “I have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write. I have tasted myself, I have myself handled the word of life. I have found, and am assured that this is the Christ, and I can tell you what the truth has done for my soul.” 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 10

Though the Word of truth may be preached by one who has not experienced its power, and that Word be blessed to the conversion of his hearers, because truth is truth, no matter who may handle it, yet when it is spoken by those who are cleansed from all sin, who have received the truth in the love of it, there is a life-giving power, a freshness that goes with its utterance, that makes it attractive to those who hear it, and convicts them of the fact that it is a living reality. It is as a light shining in darkness, that dispels the mists of error and unbelief. The teacher who has received the truth in the love of it, makes this manifest in the persuasion of his manner, in the tones of his voice. He makes known that which he has heard, seen, and handled of the Word of life. This he declares to his hearers, that they may have fellowship with him through the knowledge of the truth. The testimony from those whose lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar is truth to the receptive heart, and works sanctification upon his character. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 11

The Word and the Spirit agree, and through the power of both, the human agent becomes the possessor of that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, and he is thus enabled to bear a decided testimony saying, “I know whom I have believed. Christ is my personal Saviour, not merely because I have read of him, but because his grace has transformed my heart and character.” He realizes the fulfillment of the promise, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” [Verses 12-14.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 12

When the truth has a sanctifying power upon the heart, the spirit that prompts to unholy lust will be expelled from the soul. The spirit so full of selfishness that is manifested in home life, manifested in your church connection, will be banished from the soul temple. You will not then be left without occupation, for through co-operating with the Holy Spirit you will find an abundance to do in conforming your own life to the divine character, and you will see that there is no need of becoming an ally of Satan’s in accusing the brethren. You will see that your eternal interest depends upon your having the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 13

Read carefully the following verses: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” [1 John 1:1-6.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 14

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. ... In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” [1 John 3:3-8, 10.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 15

Read the whole chapter, for it will be applied to your case by the Holy Spirit of God. Read also Ezekiel 33:1-16. Let the Holy Spirit come into your heart and abide there, and let Satan be expelled from the soul temple. If you will open the door of your heart to Jesus, you may enjoy the richest blessing. He says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 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 3:18-21.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 16

God has laid weighty responsibilities upon men who are placed in positions of trust. They are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. They must be endowed with the Holy Spirit which is the appointed agency through whom men may represent Christ in all places and at all times. Christ said to His disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you, and when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me.” [John 16:7-9.] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] The Holy Spirit will reprove “of righteousness, because I go to the Father and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged,” by the Lord God of heaven and the whole angelic family. [John 16:10, 11.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 17

The Lord appeared unto Saul, revealing Himself as the Son of God. In speaking of his experience he said, “I heard a voice speaking unto me and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (in the person of his saints). “But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” [Acts 26:14-18.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 18

The same work is given to every minister as was given to Paul. The servants of Christ are “to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” [Verse 18.] The Lord has sent His messengers with His message to the Sydney church for the purpose of opening the eyes of its members to discern their spiritual necessities, that they might turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God; [that they] might repent, confess their sins, receive forgiveness of sin and have an inheritance among those which are sanctified by faith in Jesus. But how little has been the effect of the preaching of the Word upon many who have listened. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 19

How little has the Word of God been brought into the practical life of men and women who have been leavened with the spirit of evil surmising, who have talked at random concerning the messages that have been brought to them, and who have made the messengers of God the subjects of criticism. Instead of receiving the Word into good and honest hearts, they have barred it out of their hearts by criticism and misjudging. The Word presented to them has not profited them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. This is the condition of everyone who has played the part of a critic, and instead of getting a blessing from what they have heard, they have questioned the messengers, and pointed out defects in the message. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 20

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation ... For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel, for Isaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:10, 13-17.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 21

“Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers with Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye would hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” [Hebrews 3:7-4:2.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 22

The Lord has given us many warnings, that show us that to refuse light sent us from God, is to refuse Christ. In these last days God’s people will be exposed to the very same dangers as were ancient Israel. Those who will not receive the warnings that God gives will fall into the same perils as did ancient Israel and come short of entering into rest through unbelief. Ancient Israel suffered calamities on account of their unsanctified hearts and unsubmitted wills. Their final rejection as a nation was a result of their own unbelief, self-confidence, impenitence, blindness of mind, and hardness of heart. In their history we have a danger signal lifted before us. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God ... For we are made partakers with Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” [Hebrews 3:12, 14.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 23

In pursuing a wrong course, the eyes of our understanding become blinded. Through cherishing evil thoughts, through surmising and speaking evil, we lose our sensibilities to good. The virtue of Christ, the Spirit of the living God, alone can keep the heart. My brother, you have had your own way so long that your heart has become hardened, unimpressible to the Spirit of God. His living power cannot abide in the heart that cherishes evil, nor can his perfection be revealed in the character of one who seeks not to represent Him. God will not be mocked by those who claim to be Christians, who think themselves righteous, and imagine that they have spiritual discernment to see the faults of others, when they do not see that they themselves are sinners in the sight of God. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 24

How can a man who has a beam in his own eye see clearly to pick out the mote that is in his brother’s eye? Yet this is a picture of your condition, and shows the manner in which you have acted in the Sydney church. We read that Christ was hindered from doing the mighty works of God because of the unbelief of the people. The record states that when He visited His own country, “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” [Matthew 13:58.] This is the reason that mighty works are not done in the Sydney church. God speaks to you in Sydney, saying, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” [Hebrews 3:12.] Unbelief always results in separation from God; men refuse to hear His voice, and as a result the heart is hardened. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 25

The Lord has His chosen instrumentalities to do the work that Christ would do were He upon the earth in person. Of His ministers He says, “So thou, Oh son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt bear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, Oh wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he is not turned from his way he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Therefore, Oh thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; ....” 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 26

“The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right: he shall surely live.” [Ezekiel 33:7-10, 12-16.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 27

Thus it is that the Word of the Lord is to be spoken to the people. The warning is to be respected and the message received. The people are not to set themselves up to think evil or to speak evil of God’s messengers. But this has been done in Sydney. Some of the brethren have found fault and accused the messengers of God, and as a result unbelief has been sown in the hearts of the people. Complaint of God’s messengers often amounts to complaint of God. Hear the Word of the Lord: “The children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal. Oh ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.” [Verses 17-20.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 28

Brethren, your lives are sadly defective, and you need to be converted in order to be vessels fit for the Masters use. You have lost much time. You have failed to obtain a correct experience. You have not been agents through whom the Holy Spirit could communicate. It is the Spirit’s work to convince you, not of other people’s sins, but of your own sins. If you had obtained a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, if you had represented Christ in character, you would not have been a scourge to the church, but a savor of life unto life. Will you see yourselves as you really are, humble your hearts before God and pray as you have never before prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me”? [Psalm 51:10.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 29

The Lord will reply to the contrite heart, saying, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” [Ezekiel 36:25-27.] The stubborn heart is represented as refusing to hear the continued messages of the Lord. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 30

Pharaoh hardened his heart, and despised the messengers and hated the message. He sowed his contempt of God in bitter words and in stubbornness, and his heart became like one of stone, devoid of tenderness and compassion for the bondmen of Egypt. Many are following the same course in this day, and walking the same path as did Pharaoh. Again and again God speaks through His servants, and men do not dare to hear the words and will not receive it. If they would receive it, they would be made wise unto salvation. But because of their rejection of the message of God, the labor of His servants is in vain. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 31

Why do you, Brother <Hardy> and Brother <Humphrey,> stand apart by yourselves, and do nothing to strengthen and build up the church? Have you been faithful in paying your tithe as God requires you? Have you not robbed God in tithes and offerings, and have you not by precept and example led others to walk in the path of unfaithfulness? Read what Malachi says, and you will see your duty plainly manifested. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:10.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 32

Brother _____ have you been God’s faithful steward in paying your tithes, or have you excused yourself in any way from doing your duty? No excuse that you render for not doing God’s requirement in paying to God His own to the uttermost farthing, will stand as a valid excuse. God means what He says, and says what He means. His Word has gone forth to the ends of the earth and cannot be changed in the least particular. There are many among those who profess to believe present truth who are committing robbery against God. God saw that there was danger that men’s hearts should become estranged from Him, and [they] would fail to practice self-denial, and fail in giving to the Lord that which He claims in tithes, and gifts, and offerings. Therefore He has not left His requirements in a fog of mysticism, but has made plain and positive commands concerning this duty, and has pronounced a special blessing upon those who will meet His requirements. If we do His will we shall meet the conditions of prosperity and blessing. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 33

The question is, Shall we obey God or practice robbery against Him? Jeremiah says, “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: thou showest loving kindness unto thousands, and recompenseth the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them. The Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is His name. Great in counsel, and might in work: for thine eyes are open unto all the ways of the sons of men, to give every one to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” [Jeremiah 32:17-19.] “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” [Jeremiah 17:9, 10.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 34

In the time of Christ the people trusted in the traditions of men, and supposed that the words of the rabbis were above the Scriptures and that their misinterpretations of the Word of God would lead them in the straight path. They did not heed the injunction of Christ: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” [John 5:39, 40.] The rabbis were blind leaders of the blind. They did not see that the Scriptures testified of Christ, and that they must come to Him and believe in Him, or else they would perish. Their understanding was blinded, and they studied not the Scriptures in the light and power of God’s Spirit, and so they failed to know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 35

Many think that they have eternal life in the Scriptures, and yet they do not receive the living Christ as their personal Saviour. They have a theoretical knowledge of the Word, but are strangers to its sanctifying power on heart and character. We are enjoined to “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” [Ephesians 5:2.] Self-denial and self-sacrifice [are] surrendering self to God. Self-sacrifice is the very essence of true love. Christlike love consists in forgetting self and benefiting and blessing others. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 36

Christ loved the human race, and this love impelled Him to sacrifice His own happiness for the good of others. He took upon Himself human nature in order that He might unite divine power with human weakness. Although it cost Him a great sacrifice, He was willing to humble Himself, in order that He might elevate humanity and make all who believed in Him sharers of His own blessings, honor, and glory. Revelations of His love are among the great secrets which eternity will reveal. The highest glory of the love of God was manifested in the self-sacrifice of Christ, and the highest glory of the Christian is in imitating his Lord in self-denial and self-sacrifice. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 37

Without entirely sacrificing self we cannot love one another as Jesus has loved us. This is conformity to the image of Christ; but the standard of Christianity is trailing in the very dust. True religion is to follow Christ; but a religion built upon selfishness is worthless. The sinful, selfish heart can never be satisfied, for it has never been surrendered to God, and the peace of Christ cannot enter in, the Sun of Righteousness cannot shine into the chambers of the mind and illuminate the soul-temple. He who makes compromise with sin, cannot be accepted by Christ, for he that “gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] True repentance and true conversion change the entire man, and there is no complaint that the service of Christ is a hard one. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 38

The Lord is calling upon the church in Sydney, and saying, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:6-9.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 39

If the Lord should deal with the human family as men deal with one another, we should have been consumed; but he is longsuffering, of tender pity, forgiving our transgressions and sins. When we seek him with the whole heart he will be found of us. When we repent and confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The Lord is merciful and gracious, and His limit of forbearance is far beyond that of humanity. On one occasion Peter came to his Lord, and said, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” [Matthew 18:21, 22.] 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 40

Christ is our Sin-bearer, One who constantly pardons iniquity and sin. Mercy, forbearance, longsuffering, in the glory of his character. When Moses prayed to the Lord, saying, “Show me thy glory,” He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass before thee.” [Exodus 33:18, 19.] The question that Peter asked of Christ was suggested to him by the lessons that Christ had previously given in regard to church discipline. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 41

The Jewish precepts enjoined upon men the duty of forgiving five offenses, and Peter thought that in suggesting seven times he had reached the limit of human patience. But Jesus would have him understand that those who had the divine mind, and were imbued with the divine spirit, would exercise forgiveness without limit. The plan and ground of salvation, which is love, is the principle which must be carried out by [the] human family. Should Christ limit His mercy, compassion, and forgiveness by a certain number of sins, how few men would be saved! But the mercy of Christ in forgiving the iniquities of men teaches us that there must be free forgiveness of wrong and sin that are committed against us by our fellow men. Christ gave this lesson to His disciples to correct the evils that were being taught and practiced in the precepts and examples of those who were interpreting the Scriptures at that time. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 42

The principle upon which Christ acted in seeking the recovery of the human family through the plan of salvation was the very same principle that must actuate His followers in their dealings one with another, when brought into church capacity. The lesson was also to impress upon our minds the fact that we cannot reach heaven by our own merits, but only through the wonderful mercy and forbearance of God which is exercised toward us who can in no way render an equivalent. Men can be saved only through the wonderful forbearance of God in the forgiveness of his many sins and transgressions. But those who are blessed by the mercy of God should exercise the same spirit of forbearance and forgiveness toward those who constitute the Lord’s family. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 43

In spite of the plain directions given in the Word of God, there are many who are walking in deceptions. These who do not profess to be Christians seek to excuse themselves for standing in opposition to Christ by this subterfuge: “I see so many faults in those who are members of the church, that I do not think I would improve my condition by becoming a member myself. Men and women who profess to be Christian do not make religion attractive to me. My standard is high, and unless I see that those who profess to believe in Christ are better men and women for so doing, I conclude that I will remain as I am, for I do not discover that they are any better than myself.” But this excuse will not stand. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 44

Because there are counterfeit Christians, because there are false representations of Christianity does not argue that there is no genuine Christianity. Those who show such keep perceptions as to discern that the standard of Christianity is high and elevated, pure and noble, and yet refuse to do the will of God, are walking against light and evidence, and are covering their defects with the shortcomings of those who, though professing to be on the Lord’s side are on Satan’s side of the question. A faultless Pattern has been given to men in the character of Christ, and all are to look to Him. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 45

No one is required to take Christianity upon a false representation. The attributes of Satan are distinct from the attributes Christ, and men are not blind to this fact. The Saviour says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] There is power provided for every son and daughter of Adam through the virtue of Christ. Men may become partakers of the divine nature. The offer of pardon and forgiveness is based wholly on the atonement of the spotless, perfect offering. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 46

Unless those who believe in Christ have the mind of Christ, and walk as He walked, in love, in forbearance, in long patience, kindness, and tender compassion, their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. The reception of truth in the heart in the reception of Christ. It is obedience to all God’s commandments that constitutes the human agent a child of God. He studies the Pattern that he may obtain Christlikeness, and becomes holy and undefiled, elevated and ennobled, by coming into harmony with the law of God which is a transcript of the divine character. 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 47

How foolish it is to take the position that you will not perform your duties to God and to your own soul that has been purchased by the precious blood of the only begotten Son of God, because there are false Christians whose conduct misrepresent Christ. These are the tares that Christ refused to give into human hands to root up, lest they should root up the wheat also. There will always be counterfeit believers; those who are uncircumcised by grace will be found among those who are true disciples of our Lord. Why should any one refuse to believe in Christ because some unchristlike professor walks and works contrary to Christ? Will another man’s sin excuse you in continuing in sin? Will these feeble excuses cover you in the day of God? Never, no never! 10LtMs, Lt 30, 1895, par. 48