Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 10, 1896

Belden, Brother and Sister

Avondale, Cooranbong, Australia

February 3, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 1BC 1109; 4Bio 261.

Dear Brother and Sister Belden:

Last evening I heard that there was a boat going to Norfolk Island today. Sarah Belden informed me. I can only write you a few lines this morning. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 1

We are thankful for the goodness and love of God. We praise His holy name that in Him we may trust and not be ashamed. It is not best for us to look on the dark side and walk in the shadow of the cross. We must have faith in God; we must believe and trust God to be our Healer, our joy, and our song. Many trying things will cross our pathway, but we must present ourselves before Him as children, asking of a parent the things we need. We must tell the Lord exactly what we want. And He says, “Whatsoever thing ye ask in my name, I will do it.” [John 14:13.] Have we proved this true? Then we have accepted it, and appropriated it to ourselves personally. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 2

If prayer were offered with humility and contrition of soul, in simplicity, short prayers, right to the point, with unfaltering confidence in the name of Jesus Christ, rich blessings would be received, because we take God at His word, telling Him exactly what we want, and believing we receive the things we ask of Him, whether it be in temporal or spiritual things. Rest your whole soul’s burden in the hands of God. It is your privilege to ask; it is His prerogative to discriminate what will be for your real good,and what would be an injury to you. We need much more of the childlike simplicity [in] which we tell the Lord all our necessities, and He will satisfy them abundantly, according to the riches of His liberality. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 3

After this promise, the Lord Jesus adds His practical lesson, If you do really love Me, show Me that love by first keeping My commandments, “and I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter, who shall abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.” [Verses 16, 17.] He is not only the Comforter, but the Spirit of truth. He will not frame a falsehood to deceive you, for there is no comfort in error or in a lie. There is satisfaction only in the truth. The truth makes free. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 4

The office work of the Holy Spirit is to reprove sin and bring in righteousness and judgment. Words of encouragement are to be spoken, even in reproof, but our comfort does not always come in order not to disturb, lest there shall be trouble. We may speak the truth in a way that it will do no good, and we may bring in our own temperament and conceal the truth to avoid displeasing a friend or neighbor. But if this is done, the Holy Spirit is not using the human agent as a reprover, and we repeat the sin of Aaron, pacifying, when the eyesight should be clear to discern evil and state it plainly, even if it places us in an unpleasant position, because our motives may be misapprehended. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 5

We must not suffer wrong upon a brother or any soul with whom we are connected. This neglect to stand up firmly for truth was the sin of Aaron. Had he spoken the truth plainly, that golden calf would never have been made. The same spirit that led him to shun to declare the whole truth for fear of offending, led him to act a falsehood in pointing to the golden calf as a representation of the one who brought them from Egypt. Thus one unfaithfulness leads to another. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 6

Our duty is to speak the truth plainly; live the truth; maintain the truth; and leave the comfort to follow. The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and through the truth, dwells in the heart as a Comforter. “I will not leave you comfortless.” I will not leave you orphans, but “I will come unto you.” The best evidence we can have to prove our love to God is to obey Him. “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” [Verses 18, 21.] Here is the true test. To do His will is the best evidence we can give to show that we are believers in Jesus as our personal Saviour. We evidence we love Him by doing His commandments. The evidence that we love Him is not pretension but practice. You may read this to some who need it. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 7

Sometimes I have a mind to leave everything and come down to see you. It is not impossible that I shall do this. I long for retirement, but I find it not. Our family continues to be large, <numbering fourteen,> but we feel deeply that now is the time to work. A large and over-shadowing falsehood, the corruption of truths that are ancient, the invention of falsehood in regard to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment means ruin to souls, and if possible we must roll back the moral darkness, for its element is to eclipse truth. A mixture of truth and error prevails. The truth is overcast by error so largely that the error predominates. Every truth is made of none effect by corresponding error, and the Word of God so interpreted as to administer to the superstitions and falsehoods of man, is filling our world with the false instead of the true. The Lord Jesus Christ appears as in opposition to all error, for Christ is truth. Our gospel is a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. A saving knowledge of a personal Saviour will lead us into <extensive> fields of truth. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 8

Dear brother and sister, I want to see you very much, but this is not favorable or easy. I hope to hear how you are prospering. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 9

We have a garden here on a small scale, and it is doing well. We have the testimony that with care taken off the trees and vegetables in the dry season, we shall have good results. Our trees are doing well. Some of the orange and lemon trees are not doing as well as the apricot and peach trees. These are doing real well, and I can testify by experience that false witness has been borne of this land. On the school ground, they have tomatoes, squashes, potatoes, and melons. The trees are doing well, but have been neglected. We know that the land will do well with proper care. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 10

The bell is ringing, and I must go to prayers. I hope to see a very much better showing next year, because everything put into the ground this year was weeks behind the proper time of planting. But we have had things to eat out of our own garden. We could wish our oranges looked better; they are rather small. We shall replace what die out. 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 11

We hope you will be prospered. The sweet corn has done nothing; how is yours? 11LtMs, Lt 10, 1896, par. 12