Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

21/284

Lt 19, 1895

Caro, Doctor

Norfolk Villa, Granville, New South Wales, Australia

June 1, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 116.

Dear Brother:

I rise very early to write to you. The Lord has given me a message for you. I have seen you in great sorrow, mourning for your son who is not. A messenger of the Lord was standing by your side, speaking words to you of great importance. I shall present them to you as the Holy Spirit shall bring them to my mind. Pointing upward, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 1

You have built high hopes upon your son who has lately been laid in the grave; but you cannot charge upon God this affliction. He overtaxed himself in securing an education, and by violation of the laws of life and health, he brought about a condition which resulted in his disease and death. Had he studied how to preserve his physical and mental health to the honor of God, had he kept the love and fear of God before him, he might have preserved a sound mind and a healthy body. Unless God is made first and last and best in everything, our hopes may be blighted by disappointment. My brother, do not continue mourning for the dead. Do not make a failure of your present opportunity to do the work which God has appointed as your line of work for the living. Gird yourself with the righteousness of Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 2

Use your God-given powers, not in exalting your son who is not, but in glorifying God who is a rewarder of all who diligently seek Him, who gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. You are dishonoring yourself in making an idol of your son. The work you are doing in exalting him, in lamenting over him, will bring only sorrow to your heart, for you cannot have the favor of God in doing a work which is not appointed to you. This is not becoming to a soldier of the cross of Jesus Christ. You should resist the enemy and overcome the habit of thought into which you are falling. In giving way to grief and mourning you will lose vital power in both body and mind. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 3

You should live to promote the happiness, and to share in the burden, of the living. You have two sons left who need the advice and counsel that you can give them as a loving, God-fearing father. You are afflicted with bodily infirmities, and need all the help and encouragement that your children can give you. But do not cherish a grieved spirit; for it disqualifies you to do the work that you should do in discharging your responsibilities as a physician, a husband, and a father. The Lord loves you. His Holy Spirit has followed you, and is waiting to impart peace and grace to your soul in order that you may be able to impart the same to others. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 4

You are called upon by your Lord who has made you His own both by creation and redemption to gird up the loins of your mind. Do not bind upon your soul the son who is now dead. This will result in your own physical and moral decay. In so doing you not only embitter your own life with sorrowful memories, but you bring grief into your home. You unfit yourself for thinking healthful, well-balanced thoughts, and do not help the case of the one who is dead. You think your sorrows are too deep to be expressed, and you cover the altar of God with tears. How does the Lord look upon this way of doing. When David’s child was sick, for seven days and nights he lay prostrate on the floor, importuning for the life of his child, but when he knew that his child was dead, he rose from his prostrate position, and no longer continued to mourn. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 5

When a greater calamity came upon David and another son was found disloyal to him and to his God, David stood humble and mournful before God. He was true to God though, in all his sorrow, and never was he more precious in the sight of heaven than in the hour of his greatest trial. In the time of his deepest mourning, one of his subjects curses him to his face and hurls stones at him, pouring forth expressions of hatred; but when one of David’s generals asks for the privilege of putting a stop to his insulting taunts, David said, “No, let him curse on; for the Lord has bidden him to curse.” “My own son is seeking my life.” [2 Samuel 16:11.] In his great trial David reveals entire resignation to the will of God, and does not rebel against the suffering that results to him through the rebellion of those who should have been loyal and true. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 6

My brother, you have another kind of work to do than that of living over scenes in the history of the life of him who is dead. Do not bind yourself up with your dead son, do not weave him into your experience, lest the shafts of the enemy which has reached his frame and vitals shall also reach yours, and your life become a sacrifice to the dead. Will you cover yourself with sackcloth, or will you arise and shine because your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you? 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 7

Let this experience teach you the unsatisfactory nature of all things earthly. Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity. In one brief hour the most flattering, the most glowing, expectations may be dispelled, the brightest hopes be found vain, for the shifting dreams of this world pass away. At a time when your beloved son was the idol of your affections, the bright hope of your future, he was borne to his last resting place. But though your hopes have been shattered, your heart is not to break over your bereavement. You have lessons to learn, and others have lessons to learn from this sudden affliction. This is an uplifted danger signal to all youth, warning them that they are not to place all their dependence upon their educational advantages. What do educational advantages amount to, what does the friendship of the world amount to, to the soul that is disconnected from God? It is all a snare. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 8

Let all who hear of this affliction learn the lesson that a book education is not the most essential knowledge. Let them learn that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Proverbs 9:10.] Worldly education cannot make a symmetrical, perfect man. It must be combined with the wisdom that cometh from above. An intelligent knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent is the essential knowledge, for “this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his wisdom: but let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord, which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” [Jeremiah 9:23, 24.] 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 9

Bro. Caro, you are educating yourself in a sentimentalism of grief. You must leave your loved one with the Lord. Nothing that you can do will avail anything in his case. You must withdraw your mind from the dead to consider the living. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 10

In the mourning in which you are indulging, you are bringing unnecessary burdens upon the members of your family and upon all those with whom you come in contact. You must learn resignation under the affliction you cannot avoid. Humble, childlike reliance on God will bring peace and rest to your soul. In this dark providence seek in every way possible to relieve the sting that grief has caused, and do not make the pain more poignant by pressing it upon the sensitive nature, and seeking to feel it to the very depths. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 11

Your grief is a selfish one that God would have you overcome. You should arouse and turn your attention to doing the will and the way of God. Do not cast reflections upon the divine faithfulness. Do not think that you are justified in your deep unreconciliation to the sad event which has taken place. Although you may feel that it is hard for you to bear this terrible disappointment, yet you will find no rest, no peace, no salvation, in talking about and mourning over your affliction. The Lord called Elijah out of the cave to talk with God. The same call comes to you. When our cherished plans are shattered, God sends us grace to meet the trial. He is the One to whom we should look. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 12

What pictures are you hanging in memory’s hall? Are you presenting before your friends the spotless life of the only begotten Son of God? Are you introducing His merits? Are you speaking of His perfections? Are you making a study of His character, beholding and becoming changed into His image? Your last thought at night, your first thought in the morning, should be of Him in whom is centered your hope of eternal life. Satan is hoping to gain control of your mind; but the Lord Jesus is saying to the cruel deceiver who has cast his hellish shadow athwart your pathway, “Get thee behind me, Satan, and interpose not yourself between Me and this soul who has newly come to the faith. Let my life and my love reach this tempted, tried soul.” 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 13

Christ says to you as He said to Peter, “Satan hath desired to have thee that he may sift thee as wheat; but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” [Luke 22:31, 32.] Look unto Jesus, and by faith see Him bending tenderly, pityingly over you. There is no time to dwell in the dark shadow that Satan casts athwart our pathway. Let faith pierce the dark shadow and lay hold on the light beyond. It is not good for you, and will not bring glory to God, to fix your eyes upon the image of your son. Dwell upon Christ, the Chiefest among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 14

Do not let Satan accomplish his determined purpose, to worry your life out, and make you sit in a funeral chamber of darkness and shadow where the bright beams of the Son of righteousness do not penetrate. Dwelling in the darkness, your views will be tinged with gloom, and your hopes buried in night. The Lord bids you to look high above all human beings, living or dead, and meditate upon God. Remove the gloomy pictures that Satan has caused you to hang in memory’s hall. Let Christ be lifted up. There is balm in Gilead. There is a Physician there for you. He will restore you if you will permit Him to apply the healing balm to your soul. Christ will be the health of your countenance and your restorer, but you cannot be healed if you refuse to allow Jesus to apply the balm. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 15

Let the faith that works by love and purifies the soul come into your spirit. Leave your son in the hands of God who is his Creator and Redeemer. Will not the Lord God of heaven do that which is righteous and just? Will He not save the purchase of His blood if it is a possible thing? Who has manifested the greatest love toward your son? Yourself with your finite capacity, or Jesus in His infinite capacity? God has made manifest the fact that He loves every human being infinitely above the love with which human beings love each other. “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.] But your influence, your words, your attitude, is a daily reproach upon God whose love is measureless. Change your attitude, or your reason will fail you. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 16

The Lord will strengthen you by His grace, and enable you to experience resignation and peace in God. By the course you have taken you are allowing the destroyer to extinguish the light that God would have burning, to show forth the beauty of His precepts, and you are also imperiling the health of your wife and the mother of your son. Her love for her son was equally as great as yours, and far more reasonable. Will it please God for you to keep your dead son ever present in mind, and refuse to see a crucified and risen Saviour? By indulging in grief you are weakening both your physical and moral power, and shall your sun set in darkness? 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 17

Will you not consider from a physician’s point of view what will be the effect upon mind and body to thus allow grief to have control? What advice would you prescribe as a physician for some other person if in the same affliction as yourself? Submit yourself to God without a moment’s delay. Do not remain under Satan’s jurisdiction for another moment. He exults in the thought that in your case he is counter-working the good that was begun in you by Christ Jesus. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 18

From your heart say, “I will turn my attention from my dead. I will cease to afflict my soul to my own ruin. I will turn to Thee, my living Saviour. O God, here I am, do unto me as it seemeth good to Thee. Take me, use me to Thy name’s honor and glory. I will no longer make my life an affliction to myself and to others. I will not shun the cross or refuse to take up the work that Thou hast bidden me to do. I am Thine by creation and Thine by redemption. I will no long sit in sackcloth and ashes. I will come out of the darkened chamber of death into the upper room where is shining the bright beams of the Son of righteousness.” 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 19

Your probationary time is too precious to be spent in weeping and in sitting in sackcloth. Your future is in the hands of Him who created the earth. God will lead you if you will be led. In olden times one who was placed in circumstances of peril, against whom the host of enemies were encamped, said, “We have no might against this great multitude, neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee.” [2 Chronicles 20:12.] The Lord said, “Hearken thee, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid, nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. ... 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 20

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah, and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with loud voice on high. ... 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 21

“Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets; so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, ... and they were smitten.” [Verses 15, 17-22.] There is a lesson in this for you. Place your dependence upon God, and praise Him, and He will bring you deliverance. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 22

The enemies of truth are strong. Satan is moving with a power from beneath, inspiring his subjects with hatred towards the truth, and causing them to take such measures as will make it hard for those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ. And shall any one to whom Christ has revealed Himself as a personal Saviour permit himself to be engrossed by anything in such a way that the Lord shall be dishonored? that the hands of the enemy be strengthened, and the hearts of the righteous be made sad? The help of everyone is required now. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 23

Christ said to a certain man when He was upon earth, “Follow me.” The man answered, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:59, 60.] The truth is to be proclaimed by precept and example. It is your privilege to use your influence as a co-workers with Christ. By pen and voice you should seek to reproduce the likeness of Christ. You should be a representative of Christ to the world. You should present Him as a Saviour who will save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. Every moment you need to be learning in the school of Christ in order that you may teach others also. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 24

The apostle says, “Ye are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.” [1 Corinthians 4:9.] The world is watching to see whether the miracle that has been wrought upon your heart by the Holy Spirit is of the right character. The Lord Jesus calls, saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Will you hear this gracious invitation? Or will you manufacture a yoke for yourself which will be grievous to your soul? You need to learn of Jesus. Satan is pressing his delusions upon you, and you need the converting power of God to come upon your heart to transform your thoughts, to turn your attention to the living interests of the day. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 25

If you will come close to men, seeking to save their souls, you yourself will be profited, and will not miss the crown of immortal life which none but God can bestow. The object of your conversion is twofold. It is to benefit you personally by opening before you the matchless depths of a Saviour’s love, and it is to benefit others by the manifestation of the love of Christ through you to those with whom you associate. Do not stop short in the first stage of the Christian life, but follow on to know the Lord. Do not stand still, looking into the grave of a loved son; but follow on to know the Lord, that you may know His going forth is prepared as the morning. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 26

You have been blessed with a large share of intellectual power; but you have not always employed this power to the glory of God; but now, “if so be that you have tasted that the Lord is gracious,” declare it to others. [1 Peter 2:3.] If you have come unto Christ, the living Stone, though indeed “disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious,” relate your experiences to others as did Saul of Tarsus after his conversion. [Verse 4.] “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 27

“Wherefore also it is contained in the Scriptures, Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is become the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [Verses 5-9.] 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 28

Satan is making determined efforts to hinder you from being a witness for Christ. Break away from the influence he is casting over you by keeping your mind dwelling upon things that sadden the mind and break down the health. Do not permit him to imperil your soul and to cause great unhappiness to others. Come out of the cave, and talk with God. You can only break the spell of the enemy by arousing yourself from your helplessness, by training your mind to dwell upon cheerful and hopeful subjects. Take the position that you are not your own, but that you are God’s property bought at an infinite price. “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] Everyone who truly believes receives the Holy Spirit, and there is manifest truth of His working when the character is transformed. This miracle gives to the world a testimony of the grace and power of God. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 29

The Lord has not forgotten your labors of love in behalf of His people. You have opened your doors to them, you have fed and sheltered them, and done many things to prepare their way before them. The Lord has been preparing your heart for the reception of His grace that you might acknowledge Christ as one who is “able to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by him.” [Hebrews 7:25.] The Lord would have you discern His paternal character. He would have you educate yourself to delight yourself in Him that you may be able to lead others to the fountain of refreshment. The Lord Jesus is continually seeking to lead men to acquaint themselves with God, to bow at His footstool, until they shall realize the great mercy and love of the heavenly Father. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 30

When hearts are impressed with the love of God, Satan’s power is broken, and when in trial and difficulty the believer flies unto His refuge, feeling his oneness with God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, he allies himself with God against Satan and all his synagogue, and cannot be overthrown. Everything has been bestowed upon man through Christ. God has given the Holy Spirit as an abiding Comforter, so that we may walk in the light and rejoice in Him who is able to make us more than conquerors. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 31

We have no power ourselves to bring ourselves into the light, but our Saviour approaches us. He reveals Himself to us as [a] compassionate and loving Saviour, and tells us that by beholding Him we may be changed into His divine image. Wherever there is a desire to be like Jesus, there the Holy Spirit begins the work of transcribing the divine image upon the soul. God who has commanded the light to shine out of darkness is willing to shine in your heart, to give you the knowledge of His character in the face of Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 19, 1895, par. 32