Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)
Lt 39, 1896
Haskell, S. N.
Cooranbong, Sunnyside, New South Wales, Australia
April 26, 1896
Portions of this letter are published in 10MR 63.
“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7.] Let the question come home to each individual soul, What kind of harvest am I preparing to reap? 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 1
There is a self-propagating power in evil, and the man, woman, or child who pursues a wrong course in any line, becomes through his influence a propagator of evil, a parent to a line of misdoings. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 2
When the Lord shall send a message by any one of His delegated messengers, it is for the good of the person who shall hear it and with humble heart act upon it. To go on just the same as if no warning had been given is to refuse to be corrected in an evil way, and [to] refuse the admonitions which the Lord graciously gives the soul that He sees is in peril of losing the crown of eternal life. Pride, self-will, obstinacy, and a determination to hold to some idol and refuse to yield up some gratification which has been indulged in until it has become a fixed habit and a part of the very nature is injurious to both mind and body. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 3
If the Lord in mercy calls to the wrong doer, “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” it is because He wills not the death of the sinner but rather that he should accept the invitation of mercy and truth unto the Lord, repent, and be saved. [Ezekiel 33:11.] He may do many things that are right and consistent in themselves, and yet hold firmly to wrong practice and refuse to obey the warnings of God. The conviction is stifled, and the first step in resistance of the message, brought to him from Jesus Christ, was the first step in the pathway which led directly to the strengthening of self in resistance, and to stupefying the conscience. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 4
There will be a satisfaction in hearing the Word from the lips of the Lord’s servant notwithstanding the natural master—passion—which holds the will in selfish, lustful indulgence of some kind, holds undisputed lordship over his spirits, and he is the servant or slave to sin. This passion may be selfishness, self-indulgence of appetite, it may be lustful passion, it may be ambition, envy, jealousy, or pride; it may be the appetite craves tobacco or stimulating drinks, yet it is lust and holds dominion over the man until he shall through faith, by placing his will on the Lord’s side, control the unnatural appetite which he has acquired. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 5
The Word of God delivered in earnestness, the spirit of the living God speaking through the human agent, would break through the stronghold of Satan; but the moral power of the human agent is not exercised fully, strongly, to heed the words of warning God has sent. His will is not put on the Lord’s side, but on the side of the enemy, to be a co-worker with Him to his own ruin, as well as to the ruin of others. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 6
When Paul stood before Felix in his own defense concerning the faith in Christ, as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, “Go thy way for this time, when I have a more convenient season I will call for thee.” [Acts 24:25.] How many act in the same way as did Felix? Under the Holy Spirit’s ministration, they are moved; they tremble at the appeals of God through His servants, but it has become habit to hear, to feel, and yet make no change in their course of action, and the next appeal has less effect. God spares them, He bears long with their perversity. Satan’s kingdom trembles at the Word lest those who are warned of God will hear the message from heaven and shall yield to the entreating, compelling message of the Spirit of God. It is at such times that Satan trembles for his ascendancy. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 7
When sin is denounced in all its forms, revealing the danger to which the impenitent are exposed, and the direct comment is made, “Thou art the man” [2 Samuel 12:7], the individual, sought after and drawn by the Holy Spirit, knows that all this means him, that he is in peril; but he has procrastinated so long that he knows not his danger and ventures on still further [in] resistance, still clinging to his unsanctified propensities. It looks like a hard matter to break up his old habits. He does not heed the admonitions, but goes on in his own strength. He will do everything he can in any other line, but he does not heed the admonitions of God on the very points that are essential, and therefore the impression wears away. The impulse is gone. For a time he felt his danger, but the oil of grace was not in his vessel with his lamp, and he continues in self-indulgence. The mind soon habituates itself to indifference in regard to his own personal danger, and his old habits, which are second nature, are not disturbed. He has sown to the flesh, he shall reap that which he has sown, which is corruption. 11LtMs, Lt 39, 1896, par. 8