Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 17, 1895

Strengthening One Another in Christ

Norfolk Villa, Granville, Australia

October 17, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MCP 577, 771-772.

I was in a council meeting where many things were under consideration; one of the dignity and authority arose, and presented in a clear light the present condition of the work, and its dangers. All were listening with intense interest as the principles upon which we should act in this time of peril were set forth. The words were often repeated, “Where there is unity, there is strength.” There is need of an Almighty power to work the human agent if he shall make straight paths for his feet. “If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love.” [John 15:10.] In order to have unity, we must recognize our dependence upon one another, for everyone is a part of the great web of humanity. But there has come in a servile dependence which leads man to look to his fellow man, and not to our infallible Superior, Jesus Christ. We are all weak, sinful, erring mortals, and unless we look to the Lord continually, we can do nothing in the right spirit, as it should be done. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 1

When men are encouraged to lean on men, there will manifest a surprising weakness. All the aptitude, all the sharp, clear discernment, becomes mixed with merely human wisdom. “Without Me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [Verse 5.] Every one must learn to lean on the true support, Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It is the grace of Christ alone that makes us overcomers, and this victory is gained through entire dependence upon God, and close examination of self. Our probation is short. The Lord calls for deep humility, earnest, humble prayer. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 2

At this time I can give only a part of what was presented to me. “Be careful of the words you speak, for they are written in the book.” Help one another, strengthen one another, build up one another in your most holy faith. The truth for this time is to lift up Jesus higher and still higher. Think no evil, speak no evil of another. If you see wrongs, be faithful. In the spirit of Christ, the spirit of meekness and love, go to the one you think in error, and plainly tell him his error and danger, all the time considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Seek that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 3

“Every moment divine power must be combined with human effort, else common, strange fire will be offered instead of the sacred. True faith is an active, working principle. It works by love and cleanses the soul from every moral impurity. Keep a constant guardianship over your individual selves, else strange fire will be offered—human passion proceeding from human prejudice. Weed out from your conversation every careless word. Remember that by your words you will be justified, and by your words condemned. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 4

“The tongue needs bridling. The words you speak are seeds sown, which produce fruit either good or evil. Now is your sowing time. The good man, from the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things. Why? Because Christ is an abiding presence in the soul. The sanctifying truth is a treasure house of wisdom to all who practice the truth. As a living spring it is welling up unto everlasting life. The one who has not Christ abiding in his heart will indulge in cheap talk, exaggerated statements, that make mischief. The tongue that utters perverse things, common things, slang phrases, that tongue needs to be treated with the hot coals of juniper. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 5

“You are now deciding your own destiny. If you see one whose words or attitude shows that he is separated from God, do not blame him. It is not your work to condemn him, but come close to his side to help him. The parable of the straying sheep needs to be placed as a motto in every dwelling. The divine Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine, and goes out into the wilderness to seek the one that is lost. There are thickets, quagmires, and dangerous crevices in the rocks, and the Shepherd knows that if the sheep is in any of these places, a friendly hand must lift it out. When He discovers the lost one, He does not heap reproaches upon it. He is only glad that He has found it alive. When He hears its bleating afar off, He encounters any and every difficulty, that He may save His sheep that was lost. With firm, yet gentle hand, He parts the briars, or takes it from the mire; He tenderly lifts it to His shoulders, and bears it back to the fold. The pure, sinless Redeemer bears the sinful, the unclean.” 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 6

Let every one of you consider that your individual self had been thus borne upon Christ’s shoulders. The Sin-bearer carries the befouled sheep; yet so precious is His burden that He rejoices, singing, “I have found my sheep that was lost.” [Luke 15:6.] Let not one human being entertain a masterly spirit, a self-righteous, criticizing spirit; for not one sheep that was lost would ever have entered the fold if the compassionate Shepherd had not undertaken the painful search in the desert. The fact that one sheep was lost was enough to awaken the sympathy of the Shepherd, and start Him on His quest. Are you, who have this example before you, co-operating with Him who is seeking to save the lost? Are you co-laborers with Christ? This speck of a world was the scene of the incarnation and suffering of the Son of God. Christ did not go to world’s unfallen, but He came to this world, all seared and marred with the curse. The outlook was not favorable, but most discouraging. Yet, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged until he have set judgment in the earth.” [Isaiah 42:4.] 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 7

We must bear in mind the great joy manifested by the Shepherd at the recovery of the lost. He called upon His neighbors, Rejoice with me; I have found my sheep that was lost. And all heaven echoes the note of joy. The Father Himself joys over the rescued one with singing. What a holy ecstasy of joy is expressed in this parable! That joy it is your privilege to share. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 8

Can you not endure suffering, sacrifice, and trial for the love of Christ? There is opportunity for doing good to the souls of the youth and the erring. Consider the humiliation of Christ, and His meekness and lowliness, and work as He worked, with a heart full of sanctified tenderness. “At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith the Lord, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” [Jeremiah 31:1-3.] (See Isaiah 57:15.) Self must be crucified. It is a painful death, but it is life; life is the soul. 10LtMs, Ms 17, 1895, par. 9