Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

13/284

Lt 11, 1895

Haskell, S. N.

Granville, Australia

January 30, 1895

This letter is published in entirety in 16MR 157-170. +Note

Dear Brother:

We have just received letters from you, and Willie has just read them to Brother Sisley and myself. I regard your reasoning and statements as correct. I am very much pained as I see how readily those who write for our papers make unkind thrusts and allusions that will certainly do harm, and that will hedge up the way and hinder us from doing the work that we should to reach all classes, the Catholics included. It is our work to speak the truth in love, and not to mix in with the truth the unsanctified elements of the natural heart, and speak things that savor of the same spirit possessed by our enemies. All sharp thrusts will come back upon us in double measure when the power is in the hands of those who can exercise it for our injury. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 1

Over and over the message has been given to me that we are not to say one word, not to publish one sentence, <unless positively essential in vindicating the truth,> that will stir up our enemies against us, and arouse their passions to a white heat <by personalities.> Our work will soon be closed up, and soon the time of trouble such as never was will come upon us, of which we have but little idea. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 2

Writers and speakers among us will have to learn that the highest obligations of the Christian life involve the giving of careful attention in heeding the messages that God has sent to us. It is essential that we have a knowledge of our own motives and actions in order to have constant self-improvement. I long to see men in responsible positions feeling the burden in regard to themselves, so that they will exercise Christian politeness, and speak and write in a courteous manner. The Lord wants His workers to represent Him, the great Missionary Worker. The manifestation of zeal and rashness always does harm. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 3

The proprieties essential for Christian life must be learned daily in the school of Christ. He who is careless and heedless in uttering words or in writing words for publication to be sent broadcast into the world, <sending forth expressions in words that can never be taken back,> is disqualifying himself to be entrusted with the sacred work which devolves upon Christ’s followers at this time. Those who practice giving harsh thrusts are forming habits that will <strengthen by repetition and will> have to be repented of. To discharge every duty that devolves upon those who are entrusted with sacred responsibility, in the right manner, calls for humble prayer, a close <examination of self and> study of the life of Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 4

A surgeon, a physician, a teacher, a guide, needs to study carefully and attentively the way in which to do the work which is entrusted to his hands. How much more should those who are entrusted with the sacred responsibilities <to watch for souls as they that must give an account> study to work in harmony with the truth and in accordance with the wisdom which is from above, which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:17, 18.] 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 5

I am pained when I see the sharp thrusts which appear in the Sentinel. I speak to my brethren who are communicating with the people through that paper: It is best for you to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. We should carefully and severally examine our ways and our spirits, and see in what manner we are doing the work given us of God, which involves the destiny of souls. The very highest obligation is resting upon us. Satan is standing ready, burning with zeal to inspire the whole confederacy of satanic agencies, that he may cause them to unite with evil men and bring upon the believers of truth speedy and severe suffering. Every unwise word that is uttered [by] our brethren will be treasured up by the prince of darkness. But I would like to ask, How dare finite human intelligences speak careless and venturesome words that will stir up the powers of hell against the saints of God when “Michael the archangel ... durst not bring against Satan a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan”? [Jude 9.] 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 6

It will be impossible for us to avoid difficulties and suffering. Jesus said, “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” [Matthew 18:7.] But because offence will come, we should be careful not to stir up the natural temperament of those who love not the truth, by unwise words and by the manifestation of an unkind spirit. The truth works by love and purifies the soul. It is the privilege and duty of every child of God to have spiritual apprehension. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 7

If we are children of the light we should walk in the light as Christ is in the light, and testify before the world, before angels and men, that the truth has power to transform human character and to cause men to represent Christ. With David our testimony should be, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] O, that we might have divine perceptions, and be able to appreciate the holy, sacred efficiency of the truth which fell from the lips of Christ! O, that a permanent impression might be made upon the hearts of all! 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 8

The words Christ has spoken, the spirit He has revealed in all His lessons to His disciples, are as the bread of life, the flesh and blood of the Son of God. He said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] But all He has said is contested by the confederacy of evil; nevertheless precious truth must be presented in its native force. The deceptive errors that are widespread, and that are to lead the world captive, are to be unveiled. Every effort that is possible is being made to ensnare souls with subtle reasonings, to turn them from the truth to fables, and to prepare them to be deceived by strong delusions. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 9

But while these deceived souls turn from the truth of God to error, do not speak to them one word of censure. Seek to show these poor, deluded souls their danger, and [seek] to reveal to them how grievous is their course of action toward Jesus Christ; but let it all be done in pitying tenderness. By a proper manner of labor some of the souls who are ensnared by Satan may be recovered from his power. But do not blame and condemn them. To ridicule the position held by those who are in error will not open their blind eyes, nor attract them to the truth. The followers of Christ may receive divine illumination daily, and have clear conceptions of the great mercy and love of God toward us poor sinners. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 10

As we behold the love of Christ, we shall begin to reflect it. “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Corinthians 4:6.] In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. How are they hid? Under the veil of humanity and deep humiliation. The abundance of His knowledge covers all the treasures of wisdom, for in Christ all fullness dwells. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 11

When men lose sight of Christ’s example, and do not pattern after His manner of teaching, they become self-sufficient, and go forth to meet Satan with his own manner of weapons. The enemy knows well how to turn his weapons upon those who use them. Jesus spake only words of pure truth and righteousness. It was He who inspired prophets and holy men of old, and they spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit. But Christ was superior to the prophets, in that He was the Author of eternal salvation, the Originator of all that they have written and spoken, and in His example, He has left us a perfect model for faith and practice. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 12

If ever a people needed to walk in humility before God, it is His church, His chosen ones in this generation. We all need to bewail the dullness of our intellectual faculties, the lack of appreciation of our privileges and opportunities. We have nothing whereof to boast. We grieve the Lord Jesus Christ by our harshness, by our unchristlike thrusts. We need to become complete in Him. It is true that we are commanded to “cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1.] This message must be given; but while it must be given, we should be careful not to thrust and crowd and condemn those who have not the light that we have. We should not <go out of our way to> make hard thrusts at the Catholics. Among the Catholics there are many who are most conscientious Christians, and who walk in all the light that shines upon them, and God will work in their behalf. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 13

Those who have had great privileges and opportunities, and who have failed to improve their physical, mental, and moral powers, but who have lived to please themselves, and have refused to bear their responsibilities, are in great danger, and in greater condemnation before God than those who are in error upon doctrinal points, yet who seek to live to do good to others <corresponding with the knowledge which they have.> Do not censure others, do not condemn them. As free moral agents under the government of God, our responsibility and obligation is not limited by the knowledge we actually possess, but the knowledge we might and ought to have had if we had advanced in faith, and obtained the rich Christian experience that would have corresponded with our advantages. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 14

We should improve our faculties, and we shall be held accountable for their improvement. They are a sacred trust, and if we do not use them properly, if we do not educate ourselves to trust in God, to believe and practice His Word, we shall be held accountable. If we show selfish considerations, false reasonings, and false excuses to bring us into a perverse state of mind and heart, so that we shall not know the ways and will of God, we shall be far more guilty than the open sinner. We need to be very cautious in order that we may not condemn those who before God are less guilty than ourselves. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 15

*****

Willie, Brother Rousseau and Sister Bree came from Melbourne last Friday. Willie had been away several weeks attending the convention at Melbourne. Sister Rousseau is staying with us. After the Sabbath the usual inflowing came for council meetings and so forth. My home is the only place in which the people can be accommodated for these meetings. Brother Colcord came from Melbourne on Monday. Doctor M. G. Kellogg has made his home with us for some time, by special invitation. There is no place in which to entertain our people but at my home. Last night we lodged seventeen persons. They report this morning that they have all rested well. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 16

Your letter only came today, and at a time when a number were about to leave our house to take passage on a steamer from Sydney to New Zealand. It was to sail at four p.m. Elder Corliss and his wife, Brother Colcord, Sister Bree, and Willie are among its passengers. Brother Sisley will go to New Zealand one week from today. Willie told me that a boat would leave for Cape Town, Africa, tomorrow. This gives me but little time in which to write to you, but I will send you copies of letters that are of importance to all. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 17

You inquire in respect to the propriety of receiving gifts from Gentiles or the heathen. This question is not strange; but I would ask you, who is it that owns our world? Who are the real owners of houses and lands? Is it not God? He has an abundance in our world which he has placed in the hands of men by which the hungry might be supplied with food, the naked with clothing, the homeless with homes. The Lord would move upon worldly men, even idolaters, to give of their abundance for the support of His work, if we would approach them wisely, and give them an opportunity of doing those things which it is their privilege to do. What they would give we should be privileged to receive. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 18

We should become acquainted with men in high places and, by exercising the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove, we might obtain advantages from them, for God would move upon their minds to do many things in behalf of His people. If proper persons would set before those who have means and influence the needs of the work of God in a proper light, these men might do much to advance the cause of God in our world. We have put away from us privileges and advantages that we might have had the benefit of, because we chose to stand independent of the world. But we need not sacrifice one principle of truth while taking advantage of every opportunity to advance the cause of God. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 19

The Lord would have His people in the world but not of the world. They should seek to bring the truth before the men in high places, and give them a fair chance to receive and weigh evidence. There are many who are unenlightened and uninformed, and as individuals we have a serious, solemn, wise work to do. We are to have travail of soul for those who are in high places, and go to them with the gracious invitation to come to the marriage feast. Very much more might have been done than has been done for those in high places. The last message that Christ gave to His disciples before He was parted from them and taken up into heaven, was a message to carry the gospel to all the world, and was accompanied by the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Lord said, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8.] 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 20

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” [Psalm 24:1.] “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Haggai 2:8.] “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee! for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.” [Psalm 50:10-12.] 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 21

There is a great work to be done in the earth, and the Lord Jesus has taken men into copartnership with Himself, in order that heavenly agencies may cooperate with human agencies. Christ was in travail of soul for the redemption of the world, and those who are laborers together with God are representatives of Christ to our world, and will have compassion for the lost, and will travail in soul for the redemption of men. Unless the church awakes and stands to her post of duty, God will charge the loss of souls to her account. I have a deep interest that the work of God shall advance. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 22

Those who are the chosen of God are required to multiply churches wherever they may be successful in bringing souls to the knowledge of the truth. But the people of God are never to collect together into a large community as they have done in Battle Creek. Those who know what it is to have travail of soul will never do this, for they will feel the burden that Christ carried for the salvation of men. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 23

Every one who is chosen of God should improve his intellectual powers. Jesus came to represent the character of the Father, and He has sent His disciples into the world to represent the character of Christ. He has not given us His Word to point out the way of life, and left us simply to carry that Word, but has also promised to give the Word efficiency by the power of the Holy Spirit. Is there need then that any one should walk in uncertainty, grieving that they do not know and experience the movings of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts? 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 24

Are you hungering and thirsting for instruction in righteousness? then you have the sure promise that you shall be filled. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” [1 John 5:20.] 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 25

The Lord would have us in possession of the spirit of heavenly wisdom. Are we all being impressed to pray to the Lord humbly and earnestly as our necessities require, importuning Him for the spirit of wisdom? Do we pray, saying, “Show me the secrets of wisdom. That which I know not, teach Thou me”? [See Job 11:6; Jeremiah 33:3.] Oh, for humble, earnest prayer to go forth from unfeigned lips praying for the counsel that is of God. He says, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom.” [Proverbs 8:14.] 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 26

January 31

Yesterday some of the company who have been entertained at our house made their departure. Brother Colcord, W. C. White and Sister Bree who has been attending school in Melbourne, all departed for New Zealand. Bro. Lawrence, Brother Sisley, and Brother Rousseau leave today for Dora Creek. Doctor Kellogg and Sister Rousseau are still here. We shall keep a free hotel as long as we are living in Granville, for there is no other way to do. We shall have to have counsel meetings and committee meetings at our home, and those who come to these meetings must be entertained at our house, and sit at our table. We like to have them here, but it is almost a constant draft upon us. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 27

I hope that you will not let the things that have come out in the Sentinel dishearten you. It is Satan’s purpose to dishearten you concerning these matters. But you must hold fast to the hand of infinite power. The Lord has greatly blessed you; do not in any way be affected when you think that thrusts are made at you. Solemn, serious times are upon us, and perplexities will increase to the very close of time. There may be a little respite in these matters, but it will not be for long. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 28

I have letters to write that must go in the next mail to Battle Creek. Our brethren there are not looking at everything in the right light. The movements they have made to pay taxes on the property of the Sanitarium and Tabernacle have manifested a zeal and conscientiousness that in all respects is not wise or correct. Their ideas of religious liberty are being <interwoven> with suggestions that do not come from [the] Holy Spirit, and the religious liberty cause is sickening, and its sickness can only be healed by the grace and gentleness of Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 29

The hearts of those who advocate this cause must be filled by the Spirit of Jesus. The Great Physician alone can apply the balm of Gilead. Let these men read the book of Nehemiah with humble hearts touched by the Holy Spirit, and their false ideas will be modified, and correct principles will be seen, and the present order of things will be changed. Nehemiah prayed to God for help, and God heard his prayer. The Lord moved upon heathen kings to come to his help. When his enemies zealously worked against him, the Lord worked through kings to carry out His purpose and to answer the many prayers that were ascending to Him for the help which they so much needed. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 30

I am often greatly distressed when I see our leading men taking extreme positions, and burdening themselves over matters that should not be taken up or worried over, but left in the hands of God for Him to adjust. We are yet in the world, and God keeps for us a place in connection with the world, and works by His own right hand to prepare the way before us in order that His work may progress along its various lines. The truth is to have a standing place, and the standard of truth is to be uplifted in many places in regions beyond. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 31

Be sure that God has not laid upon those who remain away from these foreign fields of labor the burden of criticizing the ones who are on the ground where the work is being done. <You need not be so zealous to get into the hands of worldly men God’s own money of which they have been robbing Him all their lives.> Those who are not on the ground know nothing about the necessities of the situation, and if they cannot say anything to help those who are on the ground, let them not hinder, <but stand out of the way and give the Lord a chance to work with people.> Let them show their wisdom by the eloquence of silence, and attend to the work that is close at <their> hand. I protest against the zeal that they manifest that is not according to knowledge when they ventilate their ideas about foreign fields of labor. <When they shall be sent to these foreign fields it will then be time for them to attend to the work God has assigned them.> 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 32

Let the Lord work with the men who are on the ground, and let those who are not on the ground walk humbly with God, lest they get out of their place, and lose their bearings. The Lord has not placed the burden of criticizing the work upon those who have taken this burden, and He does not give them the sanction of His Holy Spirit. Many move according to their own human judgment, and zealously seek to adjust things that God has not placed in their hands. Just as long as we are in the world, we shall have to do a special work for the world, and yet not be contaminated with the spirit of the world. The message of warning is to go to all countries, tongues, and peoples. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 33

The Lord does not move upon His workers to make them take a course which will bring on the time of trouble before the time. Let them not build up a wall of separation between themselves and the world, by advancing their own ideas and notions. There is now altogether too much of this throughout our borders. The message of warning has not reached large numbers of the world in the very cities that are right at hand, and to number Israel is not to work after God’s order. <There is abundance of earnest work in cities that have not been worked. Let your pen and voice work to enlighten these souls in simple, stirring articles upon faith and love. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 34

Just as long as we are in this world, and the Spirit of God is striving with the world, we are to receive as well as to impart favors. We are to give to the world the light of truth as presented in the sacred Scriptures, and we are to receive from the world that which God moves upon them to do in behalf of His cause. <God has not closed the door of mercy yet.> The Lord still moves upon the hearts of kings and rulers in behalf of His people, and it becomes those who are so deeply interested in the religious liberty question not to cut off any favors, or withdraw themselves from the help that God has moved men to give for the advancement of His cause. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 35

We find examples in the Word of God concerning this very matter. Cyrus, king of Persia, made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also into writing, saying, “Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build an house at Jerusalem which is in Judea. Who is there among you of all His people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judea, and build a house of the Lord God of Israel.” [Ezra 1:2, 3.] A second commandment was issued by Darius for the building of the house of the Lord, and is recorded in the sixth chapter of Ezra. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 36

The Lord God of Israel has placed His goods in the hands of unbelievers, but they are to be used in favor of doing the work that must be done for a fallen world. The agents through whom these gifts come, who open up avenues through which the truth may go, may have no sympathy with the work, and no faith in Christ, and no practice of His words; but their gifts are not to be refused on that account. <The Holy Ghost strives with hearts of the so-called great men of earth. He is drawing them until they have light, and when convicted turn from the light of truth to fables.> 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 37

It is very strange that some of our brethren should feel that it is their duty to bring about a condition of things that will <bind> up the means that God would have set free. God has not laid upon them the responsibility of coming in conflict with the authorities and powers of the world in this matter. <Their business is not to close up the avenues. Let the Lord work in that line.> The restraining hand of God has not yet been withdrawn from the earth. <The four angels are holding the four winds.> Let the leaders in the work bide their time, hide in Christ, and move and work with great wisdom. Let them be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. I have repeatedly been shown that we might receive far more favors than we do in many ways if we would approach men in wisdom, acquaint them with our work, <as though we had a right to expect them to help in the best and greatest enterprises in our world,> and give them an opportunity of doing those things which it is our privilege to induce them to do for the advancement of the work of God. 10LtMs, Lt 11, 1895, par. 38