Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 65, 1896

Miller, Brother; Woods, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

November 8, 1896

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren Miller and Woods:

You have both moved unwisely. Brother Miller has disappointed us. Had he walked humbly with God, he himself and his brothers, would today be connected with the Echo Office, but they have withdrawn themselves. Unless transformed, mother and sons will from henceforth view things in a perverted light. Deceptive fancies will lead to a course of action that will result in spiritual weakness, and they will not go on from strength to strength. They themselves have closed the passage behind them. They have now created a condition of things that will make it very difficult for them in their future Christian experience. Assertions have been made that were not true, and thus it stands in the record books of heaven. Will this be seen and repented of? 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 1

The Lord highly favored Brother Miller and his brothers with a position in His work. In their connection with the Echo Office, they could be in touch with the world, but not of the world. They have placed themselves where temptations will be increased. At such a time as this every soul, especially young men, should be found where there is the most light. If the Lord in His providence places them, as He did Joseph, amid the corruption of heathen courts, then He will give them grace to stand, not in their own finite strength, but in His strength. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 2

But of what use is it for me to write on these points? I write much, but the matter will not be appreciated, and may confirm a spirit of resistance which will make it still more difficult for them to retrace their steps. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 3

The whole devising has been wrong. The whole planning has created a perplexing condition of things that will be detrimental to the church. Whenever, through a certain devising, impressions are made on the church members so that there is less unity among them, whenever seeds of bitterness are sown, whenever brothers and sisters, instead of drawing together in stronger fellowship and union with their brethren and sisters, are drawing apart, when the root of bitterness is striking its fibers deeper and deeper, to spring up, whereby many will be poisoned and defiled, know that God’s signature is not on any such work. The conflict, the heart burnings, are unholy, and deadly to spirituality. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 4

When these influences prevail, what words in warnings will be respected in counsels? There is a spirit springing into earnest activity which leads many to despise the very ones whom God is using to do His work. In their hearts they are despising, not the messengers, but Him who has delegated them to speak His Word. They cannot extinguish the message; they cannot prevent the accomplishment of the work God has in His Providence appointed to be done; but they can place themselves in a position to make light of God’s appointed agencies, and the words of the Lord’s messengers have no weight with them. They can ridicule the message and the messengers, but that will not change the truth of God into a lie. The truth is the truth still. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 5

But what does this feeling of bitterness effect? Those who cherish these sentiments place themselves where the Lord has no means to reach them. They close the door against light which the Lord desires shall be communicated to them and appreciated by them. They make it an impossibility for them to love the Lord Jesus Christ and His work. There is a jealous, sensitive spirit cherished. Those who have pampered their own pride into such morbid activity will be wounded constantly. The truth which God commands to be spoken cannot be expressed without creating offense. Our Master Himself, who was perfect in character, was misunderstood and unkindly judged by those who cherished their own spirit and the feelings of an unrenewed, unsanctified heart. Will not His followers who are wearing His yoke and lifting His burdens, share the contempt and scorn and reproach with Jesus? Those who have sown evil seed in the minds of others are responsible before God. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 6

The Lord will speak just the same, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. The Lord’s servants may be disapproved by the very ones whom He would help, whom, if they would let Him, He would instruct, strengthen, bless, refine, and ennoble, but God calls for faithful work to be done at all times, and in all places. Read Ezekiel 3:11, and chapter 18. There is a very great work to be done in our world. Every jot and tittle of capability and tact and ingenuity is needed. Messages of reproof and warnings will come to the people of God, to mothers, to fathers, to the children of Israel, that they may not move blindly. If those to whom these messages shall come will hear, if they will take heed with patience, with a generous, teachable spirit, then the blessing of the Lord will come to them. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 7

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. “As an earring of gold, an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him, for he refresheth the soul of his master.” Proverbs 25:10-13. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 8

Our communications to one another should never savor of flattery, or deception, but should always be in truth and righteousness. Then and then only can one fulfill the work God has given him to do. When divine instruction is given to an obedient ear, God’s purposes are fulfilled, and his name glorified. I tell you, the Lord has a work for all to do, earnest work for their own souls, that they may abide in the light, and be a precious light unto others. A disposition to choose flattery and praise in a wrong course of action, to refuse counsel and advice, reveals that the heart is opposed to God, opposed to His instruction, opposed to the ways of God. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 9

When one rejects advice and reproof, when he will not accept it, or cannot accept it, because the pride of the human heart will not admit it, and those ignorant of the warnings of the Spirit of God cannot realize what they are doing, irritation arises. They are provoked at any words of reproof, and the headstrong obstinacy will not yield, although they are fully convicted. All this spirit must be overcome. The grace of Christ must take possession of the will, and bring it into submission, and conform it to God’s mind and will, else they cannot become members of God’s family above. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 10

The deficiency of perception which leads men to indignantly refuse advice or counsel is the result of unsubdued attributes, ignorance of self, ignorance of divine truth, ignorance of God, ignorance of pure and undefiled religion. There are many who keep their souls away from light and the grace of Christ, because they will never admit that they are wrong. They ever have a supply of excuses at hand. They have in store any amount of reasons to justify and vindicate themselves, which is all vain and foolish. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 11

They who will vindicate themselves as always right are in a deception and delusion of the enemy, for they become hopelessly, helplessly wrong; helplessly because they will not be convinced. They reject all advice that would set the mind right. Hopelessly because there is a denial of the necessity of every reproof or counsel. This was the sin of the Jews. They would not receive advice or counsel, not even the instructions of Jesus Christ. They were whole, and felt no need of a physician. Christ said of them, “I came not to call the righteous (self-righteous), but sinners to repentance. They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” [Luke 5:31, 32.] 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 12

The Laodicean message is applicable to the church. Revelation 3:14-22. We have no time to cavil or gossip over the cases of one another, but we should seek earnestly for the precious gold of character. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold (character) tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” [Verses 18-20.] Here is the work the Holy Spirit that is striving to [have] recognized. When the mind is willing to admit Jesus, there will be a reflection of His image in the soul, and an intensity of love will be created. 11LtMs, Lt 65, 1896, par. 13