Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Lt 68, 1895

Prismall, Brother

North Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

May 27, 1895

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother:

I have been strongly impressed to write to you, and to ask you what you are going to do in your Christian life. Are you going to unite with us with heart and soul, might, mind, and strength, and seek with all your powers to advance the cause of God, to advocate that which you know to be truth? Time is passing and precious opportunities are left unimproved by you, so that you fail to do your duty to God and to your fellow men. The enemy desires to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but Christ has not given you up into his hands. His spirit is still striving with you. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 1

Jesus is saying to the enemy, “Get thee behind me, Satan, and let me come close to this tempted soul. Do not interpose yourself between me and him. Get behind me, that I may impart my grace, my light, and my love to the purchase of my blood.” Christ is interceding in your behalf. Shall He plead in vain? You have had your danger presented before you, and you know that knowledge perverted will work your destruction. Knowledge sanctified is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 2

You are walking apart from Christ; but it is best for your soul, and for the souls of others, that you call a halt. You are perverting one talent which the Lord has given you, and putting it to most dangerous uses. You have the power of speech, and it is a means of influence and blessing when rightly used; but you need the grace of Christ in order that your words shall express His love. Can it be possible that you realize that “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned?” [Matthew 12:37.] Is it possible that our words are of such great import that they will be the subject of the investigative judgment? I have seen your danger, and as a faithful sentinel in the fear of God I have given you warning, hoping that you might realize your peril, and turn unto the Lord with true contrition of heart, hoping that you might see your danger, repent, and be converted, that your sins might be blotted out. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 3

The Word of God teaches us that speech is one of the most precious of God’s gifts, and that it is to be employed to the glory of God. But, my dear brother, you have not used this talent in such a manner as to glorify your Redeemer. You have not received and heeded the warnings given you of God. You have turned from the entreaties of the Spirit of God, and your spirit and your words are unchanged. But you have been bought with a price, you are not your own. You have not liberty to talk and to act as you please. You are to glorify God in your body and your spirit which are God’s, and thus do honor to your Master. You are to serve Him with fidelity, sincerity, and thoroughness of purpose. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 4

Jesus loves you. Although you are pursuing a course that will work disaster to your present and future interests, yet the Saviour has not turned from you. He who gave His life for you is looking sorrowfully upon you. He is saying to you, “O that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day the things that belong unto thy peace!” Will He be compelled to say to you the irrevocable sentence, “But now they are hid from thine eyes”? [Luke 19:42.] God forbid. I realize the peril in which you are, as you do not, and for Christ’s sake I beg of you, and for your own soul’s sake I beseech you, to make a decided change before it shall be everlastingly too late. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 5

God has entrusted to you a capacity for knowing Him and the power of His grace. Through the grace of Christ you may overcome your evil hereditary and cultivated tendencies, and may no longer be an accuser of your brethren. Every day in which you employ your powers of speech in criticizing others, you are pleasing the enemy and doing him decided service. You are following his leadership, for he is a criticizer of the brethren. You are learning of this evil teacher to find fault with the words, the pronunciation, and the tones of voices of the messengers of God. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 6

We are in this world as probationers on test and trial. God has furnished us help in order that we may improve our time and powers and become in spirit and word and character like Christ. If we attain unto this standard, our names will be written in the book of life as members of the royal family, as sons of God, heirs of heaven. Jesus will look upon the overcomer with pleasure, and will say, “I have redeemed him, I have covered him with a robe of righteousness. He will walk with me in white, for he is worthy.” 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 7

I am filled with an intense longing that you may disappoint the enemy. You have been engaged in his service as a criticizer and accuser of the brethren until he glories in you as one of his faithful agents through whom he can work, and make manifest his own attributes. The highest employment that you could give to your tongue would be to communicate the knowledge of God by precept and example. There is an imperative need that you should put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and die to self, learning of Him His meekness and lowliness of heart. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 8

You have grieved the heart of Christ by your impulsive, fierce accusations against those whom he has sent as messengers. He sees in the men whom you have criticized precious traits of character. Some of them may not be refined, according to your standard of refinement, some of them may not use perfectly grammatical language; but in spite of their defects, they are dear to the heart of infinite love. The harsh comments that you have made against the ministers that Christ has sent forth to preach His gospel have had a reactionary influence upon your own character. You yourself have spoken coarse words, and given utterance to extravagant expressions, and what you have said has been far more dishonoring to God than the words of those whom you have considered so defective. You are yourself becoming coarse, rough, and uncourteous. You are making use of impolite, unchristian language. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 9

If you feed upon that which is objectionable in those with whom you come in contact, you will make manifest the character of food upon which you are feeding. Will it pay to feed upon the defects of your brethren? Satan inspires you with a spirit of criticism, and causes you to become a channel of darkness. You live and breathe in the atmosphere which is filled with the supposed imperfections of others, and which is charged with spiritual malaria. If you do not change your course of action, you will be corrupted through and through. You yourself will be filled with the objectionable things which you see and hear and which you imagine exist. For Christ’s sake control your spirit and your words at home and abroad. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 10

Gather up the precious things of peace, righteousness, and grace with which to store your mind. “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” [Philippians 4:4-8.] 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 11

My brother, turn your attention away from everything that is of a disagreeable character, and remember that the brethren you criticize are the property of Jesus Christ. He died to save sinners. He came to purify, refine, elevate, and ennoble just such objectionable characters. He came to clothe man in His robe of righteousness. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 12

My brother, for years you have been educating yourself in habits of criticism or ridicule and of denouncing the imperfections of others. You have found fault with the accent, the pronunciation, and the language of others, and yet there were as great imperfections in your own manner of speech and choice of words. Because others were not perfect in their speech and manners, there was no reason why you should leave refinement of speech and become coarse in your use of language. You yourself are far from perfection, and why do you ruin your present and eternal welfare in doing a work that is of a most injurious character to yourself? Your speech should always be with grace. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 13

You are a husband and a father. You owe it to your family to preserve refinement of speech. You are responsible before God for the influence you exercise in your home. You should exert such an influence in your home that the members of your family may be fitted for the society of the city of God. Your conversation should be as becometh a citizen of heaven. You know what your Master’s will is. The gospel has supplied all of us with themes for conversation in the life and lessons of Christ. Souls are perishing out of Christ, and it is required of you, not to find fault with them, not to criticize them, but to be a savor of life unto life. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 14

You can greatly benefit your own family and those with whom you come into association if you will weed out of your conversation your extravagant condemnation of others. You are to be a learner in the school of Christ in order that you may be a teacher in your family. You should teach others how to secure precious things from the treasure house of truth by presenting profitable things in your conversation. As your lips shall be touched with a coal from off the altar, as your heart shall be sanctified to the Lord Jesus Christ, you may stand in your little circle of home as an oracle of the cross. Christ will inspire you with the right words because He dwells in your heart by faith, and speaks through you, testifying to the wonders of His grace until you can say, “I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it.” [John 17:26.] 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 15

You possess an influence in your home, and I would ask you, “Is this influence exercised in such a way as to make more plain and distinct to all others the heavenward path?” My brother, are you in living connection with God so that you represent God in your home circle? Your children should find in you a daily example to strengthen them in every right purpose, and to discourage in them every refining spiritual grace. The tones of your voice, the words of your lips, the expression of your countenance, your actions and gestures are making impressions that will be as lasting as eternity. Your influence mingles with the earliest conceptions of your children, and they should be in accordance with the perfect model that has been presented to you. You should represent the purity, the sweetness, the compassion, the love, and the perfection of Christ’s character. You should co-operate with God in seeking to fashion your children’s characters after the pattern Christ Jesus. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 16

Each one of us sustains a relation to all other members of the human family. Each one of us is a vital link in the great chain of influence that binds one member of the human family to the other. We cannot any of us sever ourselves from other human agencies. Each one forms a part in the web of humanity. But the influence we exert will be either on the side of Christ or on the enemy’s side. We should ask ourselves, Is my influence after the heavenly order? My brother, it is your duty and privilege to connect with Jesus Christ, so that you may represent Him in character. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 17

When God has sent His ministers to present His truth to the people, He has not given you a commission to make void the precious truth to yourself and to others by catching up something in their words, accents, and manner you consider objectionable. In doing this class of work, you separate yourself from your brethren and do dishonor to God. I beseech of you to become a channel of light. Speak of the goodness and love of Jesus. The Lord will hold you accountable for the words you might have spoken, but have left unsaid. You should have spoken words to strengthen righteousness, faith, hope, and courage in the Lord. Your life should be one of continual, active obedience to God. Every day is charged with responsibility proportional to the capacities and powers which God has given. As a faithful steward you are to trade upon the Lord’s talents. Strive for the crown of eternal life, bearing in mind that Christ is the Sin-bearer for the guilt of the world. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 18

God has not called upon you to search out sin or to be a sin detector. You are to consider the fact that the church militant is not the church triumphant. Christ has died to make you a well-balanced man. Your passions are to be under the control of principle, and you are to grow in spiritual knowledge, until you shall be able to devote your whole being to the service of Christ. Then you will be a faithful member of the church, and instead of criticizing and condemning, you will strengthen and build up its members. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 19

My brother, we do not wish to leave you behind in the race. We desire that you should triumph through the third angel’s message. There is no need of your feeling that you have a responsibility of keeping in order the whole world. You are not the one to set in order others. Take yourself in hand, and overcome your own imperfections. When you are so imperfect yourself, it is a hard matter for you to discern perfection. Your ideas are far from being right, but are influenced by an overstrained imagination. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 20

Brother Prismall, the Lord has a controversy with you. You have separated yourself from him, and brought reproach upon the truth, but the Lord has a right to expect that those for whom He gave His life should not grow weary in well doing. You are to enter into the plans of divine mercy, and work as Christ worked for the recovery of perishing souls. They are to be patiently instructed and guided. You are to lift up the hands that hang down, and to strengthen the feeble knees. Put a stop to your criticisms and comparisons. Had Christ done this kind of work, who of us would have been saved? 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 21

Put off the old man with his deeds. Put on the new man, Christ Jesus. Win souls by kindness and love. Do not express disgust in your countenance when some little mistake is made in word or manner. Let the thought that the Lord Jesus, whose character was spotless, has more reason to turn from you than you have to turn from those whom you criticize and condemn. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 22

Instead of giving expression to unkind judgments concerning others, pray that God may give you a new heart imbued with the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Then your words will be like precious treasures. You will make it manifest that you have a sweet spirit, a kindly heart, a compassionate feeling toward those who need your fostering care. You will manifest sympathy toward those who have not been so favorably surrounded as you yourself have been. The atmosphere that surrounds your soul will not then be of a malarious character, but will be pure and healthful, filled with a heavenly influence, a savor of life unto life. You will have a taste for things that are lovely, honest, true, and of good report. You will be absorbed in the greatness and the goodness that dwells in our Lord Jesus Christ, and will so represent Him that you will rebuke all vulgarity, and be an influence that will refine, elevate, and ennoble those with whom you associate. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 23

Heaven’s richest light has shone upon our world, and will you not seek to appreciate it? Will you not walk in the light as Christ is in the light, and make yourself a channel for the precious illumination of heaven to flow through to the souls of men? If you use your abilities to condemn and stigmatize others, if you employ your powers of speech in casting contempt upon those who are seeking to do the will of Christ, you rank yourself with the enemy of Jesus Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 24

You close your heart against him who bore your defects, your sin, and rebellion. You leave the cool streams of Lebanon for the murky, malarious waters of the Nile. Jesus is a healer as well as a Saviour, and He would cure you of your malady and make you a co-worker with Himself. He would have you no longer pick flaws with the persons with whom you are brought in contact, but rather have you restore, impart light and grace to them, and do a work which will have a saving influence in time and eternity. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 25

Christ came to heal human imperfections; but you have lived to magnify them, to comment upon them, and to despise those who possess them. But in doing this, you were doing a work far more grievous than was the work of those you condemned. The Lord will hold you accountable for the way you have treated your fellow men. Christ has enjoined love toward your fellow creatures in the last six commandments. Do you obey them? Do you heed the admonitions of the Lord? The Lord is the embodiment of purity, and yet He came to our world, which was all marred with the curse, filled with deformity and impurity, in order that He might seek and save that which was lost. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 26

John says, “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.” [John 3:17-21.] Instead of condemning your brethren, follow the example of Christ in seeking to save their souls. 10LtMs, Lt 68, 1895, par. 27