Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

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Lt 33, 1895

Israel, Sister

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

July 24, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in ML 184, 313; 7BC 916, 948; 4Bio 251. +Note

Dear Sister Israel,

I was conversing with you in the night season, and I was saying to you: “Fear not for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” [Isaiah 43:1.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 1

Often our trials are such that they seem almost unbearable, and without help from God they are indeed unbearable. Unless we rely upon him, we shall sink under the burden of responsibilities that bring only sadness and grief. But if we make Christ our dependence, we shall not sink under trial. When all seems dark and unexplainable, we are to trust in His love; we must repeat the words that Christ has spoken to our souls, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” [John 13:7.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 2

When souls are converted, their salvation is not yet accomplished. They then have the race to run; the arduous struggle is before them to do, what? “To fight the good fight of faith,” to press forward to the mark for the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. [1 Timothy 6:12; Philippians 3:14.] There is no release in this warfare; the battle is life-long, and must be carried forward with determined energy proportionate to the value of the object you are in pursuit of, which is eternal life. Immense interests are here involved. We are made partakers of Christ’s self-sacrifice here in this life, and then we are assured that we shall be partakers of all its benefits in the future, immortal life, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Think of this. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 3

The promise is, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.” [1 Corinthians 10:13.] Maintain to the last your Christian integrity, and do not murmur against God. “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing that ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” [2 Peter 3:17.] Consider that eternal interests are here involved. You cannot afford to become discouraged and cast away your confidence. The Lord loves you, trust in the Lord. The Lord Jesus is your only hope. Make sure work for eternity. You must not murmur or complain or condemn yourself. Neglect no means of grace, encourage your soul to believe and to trust in God. “Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, having done all, to stand.” [Ephesians 6:13.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 4

Satan is ever seeking to destroy; he is casting his hellish shadow between our souls and the light of the Sun of Righteousness. When you talk doubts and distrust your heavenly Father’s love, Satan comes in and deepens the impression, and that which is shadowed is made the blackness of despair. Now, your only hope is to cease talking darkness. In dwelling on the dark side you cast away your confidence in God, and this is just what Satan wants you to do. He wants to sift you as wheat; but Jesus is making intercession for you. His love is broad and deep. Perhaps you will say, “How do you know he loves me?” I look where you may look—to the cross of Calvary. That blood shed upon the cross cleanseth from all sin. An angel was represented to me pointing you to Jesus who is light and life and peace. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 5

Supposing you do make mistakes. “Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” [Isaiah 1:18, 19.] “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones that thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold with thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” [Psalm 51:7-13.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 6

Let your prayers ascend to our heavenly Father, and let this fifty-first Psalm be assurance and comfort to you. Do not keep yourself away from Jesus, for He loves you. You may say, “He will not hear my prayers; I am a sinner; I neglected my duty.” God has not given any message of reproof because you neglected your duty, but Christ says, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Matthew 9:13.] We are all sinners liable to err, and Christ is our only hope. Then you are not to wait, but to come now and believe that He will receive you just now. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 7

“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.] You cannot enjoy His blessing without you have faith on your part. Salvation is a gift offered to you free; on no other conditions can you obtain it, only as a free gift. But co-operation on your part is essential for your salvation. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] You are to come humbly saying, 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 8

“In my hands no price I bring;
Simply to thy cross I cling.”
10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 9

Jesus is doing the work in your heart; Satan is seeking to counteract it, but as the Lord works in you, you must co-operate and work out that which He works in your heart to your own salvation. The Holy Spirit works in us by bringing to mind, vividly and often, the precious truths concerning God’s saving operations in the plan of redemption. We would forget the truths and rich promises of God which we neglect to obey, and for us they would lose their efficiency, but the Holy Spirit works upon our hearts; He takes of the things of God and presents them anew to our minds. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 10

The Lord would not have us forget that we are to place the keeping of our souls to God. He imparts from the riches of His grace that we may daily work out our salvation. We have a crown of eternal life to win. We certainly cannot save ourselves, and we know that Christ wants us to be saved; He gave His own life, that He might pay the ransom for our souls. Then when He has made this infinite sacrifice, He does not regard us with indifference. He is ready to help us when we get into straight places and feel our need of help, and come to Him, penitent and believing, trusting in His compassion and grace and love to save us to the uttermost. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 11

Then why not put away unbelief? The promise is, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” And then, to make assurance doubly sure, the Saviour adds, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7, 8.] What you need, my dear Sister, is faith, living, active faith. Do not go about with a gloomy countenance because affliction has touched you, for this increases the sorrow for yourself and for others. You want to encourage cheerfulness; do not go about as if Jesus were in Joseph’s tomb and a great stone were rolled before the door. This will not have any saving influence upon your friends in their great affliction. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 12

In the trial of your faith, show that you know you have a risen Saviour, One who is making intercession for you and your loved ones. If they will only come to Jesus, He will receive them. You can help show them the way, not by desponding, but by encouraging hope, cheerfulness, faith, and perfect confidence in God. Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us. He has no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his sins and live. What more positive language could be employed than the following: “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” [Luke 15:7.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 13

To make God’s grace our own, we must do our allotted part, which is to believe in Christ as our personal Saviour, our helper, and talk light, and talk faith, and thus reveal Christ in our lives, bearing fruit to the glory of God. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 14

Now do not please Satan and glorify him by carrying a sad, mournful countenance. Now is the time, when the furnace fire kindles about your soul, to reveal your confidence, your trust in Jesus. I wish I could say something, dear afflicted one, that shall lead you to repose in Jesus Christ trustingly. The Bible places the responsibility of our happiness upon ourselves. We are to look to the light of life. Our usefulness depends on our own course of action. When any afflicted ones inquire earnestly, “What must I do to be saved?” the answer comes, “Come, suffering ones, come to Christ just as you are. Him that cometh I will in no wise cast out.” [See Acts 16:30; John 6:37.] Do not then refuse the drawing of His Spirit. He wants to make you happy even in this life. Resist not the Spirit of God. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 15

“Lay hold on eternal life.” [1 Timothy 6:12.] Come to Jesus in faith. Ask, and ye shall receive. The forgiveness of sins is promised to him who repents, justification to him who believes, and the crown of life to him who is faithful unto death. The arms of Jesus are open to receive you now just now. Will you come to Him? Jesus presents to you the gift of eternal life. Will you receive it? Faith and works go together, and each is dead if alone. Not that works will save you, they are the fruit of faith. But living faith will reveal itself in action. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 16

The hand of Christ is stretched forth to receive you. Will you put your hand in that of the dear Saviour and say, “Lead me; I will follow Thee, my Saviour”? You must not be neglectful of the conditions of salvation which are faith and obedience. There must be a co-operation of the human with the divine. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. But Jesus is ready to receive you now, and if you will only believe that He is your Saviour, that He died to redeem you, He will be found of you as the most precious Friend. Simply trust in Jesus, receive Him as your personal Saviour. You will never seek His face in vain. If you are afflicted in any way, He is your present help, He is at your right hand to help you. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 17

Again I say to you, now is your opportunity to look to Jesus, to show that you have not lost Jesus, but that you love Him, and trust in Him. Thus you can reveal by your example confidence and perfect faith, and thus point souls to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. There is no need for you to despair. Look away past the hellish shadow of Satan, and open your heart to the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Only trust your loving, compassionate Saviour. His grace is sufficient for you; His strength is made perfect in your weakness. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 18

The Lord Himself has pledged His word: “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.” You are standing under the banner of Jesus Christ. Now mark the following words: “Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me” (how? by faith) “because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments” (he that hath light in regard to the binding claims of the law of God), “and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [John 14:14-21.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 19

You are the subject of His love. This message I bring to you. He hath loved you with an everlasting love. Will you believe the promises of God? The Lord will fulfill His Word. It is often presented as an excuse for not serving the Lord, trusting hopefully that your imperfect life quenches your faith. We have a perfect character in Jesus Christ that the Father accepts in our behalf. Have you not a Bible that reveals [that] the self-sacrificing life of Jesus was in our behalf? “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 20

The complaint is made that the world forms its estimate of Christianity by the imperfect lives of its professors. This is true, but such judgment is unjust. Men have the sure Word of God, the Bible standard. There is revealed the unpolluted fountain of the water of life, clear as crystal, the holy truth of heavenly origin. The truth, received into the heart works wonderful changes in the character. If men and women profess the truth, and are not made pure, not transformed; if they do not become upright, and in their words and actions show that there is a change in character, then they are not what they claim to be. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 21

The truth brought into the heart is a sanctifier of the life. It lifts man up from his depravity and profligacy; it is the power of God unto salvation. By its work in the soul, every faculty is brought into subjection, and laid under contribution to Christ. Though professed Christians may set their standard very low, and reach no higher, that should not lead us to doubt the truth as it is in Jesus, in the love of God expressed for us. Christ is the Pattern for every believer. Only believe. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 22

I wish to call your mind away from the insinuations of Satan to Christ, the Fountain of life. He says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [John 7:37; 4:14.] We want to cling to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let us be sincere followers of Christ. You will certainly have trials; Satan has his human agencies, the children of disobedience through whom he works; but we have the sure word of prophecy; we have not followed cunningly devised fables; we have a living Saviour, a living Intercessor, One who will help us in every time of need. When tempted to go into the dark cave of doubt and despair, sing:— 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 23

“Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding Sacrifice,
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne my Surety stands;
My name is written on his hands.”
10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 24

“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.” [1 John 2:1.] How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan’s fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us, and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not our Saviour. Christ prayed for us. He was tempted in all points like as we are; and having been tempted, He knows how to succor those who are tempted. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 25

Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks upon Him, grasps Him as the one who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all-sufficient Offering is accepted of the Father. Unto Christ is committed all power in heaven and in earth, and all things are possible to him that believeth. Christ’s glory is concerned in our success. He has a common interest with all humanity. He is our sympathizing Saviour. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 26

“If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” [Romans 5:10.] What greater assurance can we have of the willingness, yea, yearning longing, of Christ to have all come unto Him, believe in Him, that they may have eternal life! O, when we see the sorrows and sufferings of loved ones shall we turn away from Christ, dissatisfied, murmuring, and complaining? No, I say no; shall we demerit our individual self because they are taken away? No! No! That is the time to come close to the only One who can be our helper in every time of need. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 27

You have no time for repining now, no time for unbelief now, no time to let go of Jesus. Now is the time, when trial comes, to press close to the bleeding side of Jesus. When the whole world was under condemnation, Christ took upon Himself the guilt of the sinner; He bore the wrath of God for the transgressor, and thus suffering the penalty of sin, He ransoms the sinner. Had it been the choice of God to destroy the disobedient, He might in justice have swept the earth clean of the guilty transgressors, but He reveals Himself as a compassionate, loving Father. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” [Ezekiel 33:11; 18:32.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 28

The Son of God bore the contradiction of sinners against Himself. Behold His agony in the garden of Gethsemane. Hear His thrice repeated prayer, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” Sweating great drops of blood in His human agony, He added, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” [Matthew 26:39.] Hath then God no knowledge of His suffering creatures? Behold the Saviour betrayed, mocked, derided in the judgment hall. Who was this? The Prince of Life, the holy and beloved of God. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 29

Faint and weary after His long, agonizing struggle in the garden of Gethsemane, He was dragged from one tribunal to another, testified against by false witnesses, given up to the malice of the Jews by Pilate, who pronounced Him blameless, scourged with cruel whips, spit upon, mocked at, fainting under the burden of the cross, and then lifted upon the cross, reproached in His dying agonies, the rude soldiers quarreling over His few garments, the reward for their part in the shameful work, priests and rulers in triumph wagging their heads and taunting Him, “He saved others, Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him.” [Matthew 27:42, 43.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 30

How could heaven keep silent? Can we wonder at the horrible, unnatural darkness over and about the cross? Can we wonder at the rending of the rocks, the rolling thunder, the flashing lightning, the shaking of the earth beneath the tread of the heavenly army as they behold their loved Commander suffering such base indignity? The crown of thorns He wore, the curse of the cross He suffered,—who could have imagined that He, the Son of the infinite God, the Majesty of Heaven, the King of Glory, would bow His righteous soul to such a sacrifice! For sinners, for sinners, He died. Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished O earth! The Son of God has died on the shameful cross, [that] the world should not perish; He died to bring life, everlasting life, to all who shall believe. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 31

Can we look to the cross of Calvary, and then question the love of Jesus? The stone is rolled away from the sepulcher, Christ is risen. Rejoice, O rejoice, that there is hope for you! Pray to the Lord Jesus that a holy influence may be brought [into] your life, an influence which shall subdue every passion, hush every murmuring thought, exalt your affections, and purify your heart. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,” or the crown of righteousness. [James 1:12.] Look up, look up, come out of the cave of unbelief, and stand with God. If you dwell upon your trials, you will have a hopeless life. If you look across the hellish shadow to Jesus, your only hope, you will see the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and not walk in the shadow of the cross. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 32

Learn the lessons of meekness and lowliness in the school of Christ. Realize how much He bore for us, and then count it not a mark of God’s anger against you because you have some trials to bear for Jesus. If you trust God, the trials will always prove a blessing, and your faith will come forth the brighter, stronger, and purer for the trial. Satan is always trying to press the soul into distrust with God, therefore we must educate the mind to trust Him. Talk faith and hope when Satan says, as did the wife of Job, “Curse God and die.” [Job 2:9.] 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 33

If you trust God, you will see more reasons to trust Him. As you talk of His goodness, you will see more of His love to talk about. Thus the mind may be trained to live in the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness, and not in the shadow which Satan casts athwart our path. Hope in God, who is the health of our countenance and our God. I testify to you, God loves you. Last night I was talking with you, and bright angels seemed encircling you. Then believe, commit the keeping of your soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. He loved your friends with an unselfish love. He will judge righteously. They are His property. He is good and kind and merciful. Trust Him. 10LtMs, Lt 33, 1895, par. 34