Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 91, 1896

Brethren and Sisters on Pitcairn Island

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 12, 1896

This letter is published in entirety in RH 08/04/1896.

Dear Brethren and Sisters on Pitcairn Island:

I send you greeting. I have received from you letters and tokens of remembrance, which I value highly, because they speak to me of your love to one whom you have never seen. I have much love for you, and my heart goes out in prayer that you may grow in spiritual knowledge and understanding. Nothing would please me better than to spend some time with you on your island home, but we each have our corner in the Master’s vineyard in which to work for Him. God has given to each man his work. Our part is to do this work faithfully and well. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 1

How glad I am that you may have with you the presence of the One who is all-sufficient and all-powerful. Although you are cut off from the world by the broad ocean, yet you are not alone. The apostle John, banished to the Isle of Patmos by men inspired of Satan to persecute those who bore faithful witness to God, was visited by the heavenly messenger. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 2

Writing of his experience, John says, “I John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia, and I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 3

“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire: and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” [Revelation 1:9-19.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 4

On this lonely island John received “the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.” [Verses 1-3.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 5

That same Jesus who appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos will visit each one of you on your island home. He will be found of all who call upon Him, and will manifest unto them His love and the love of His Father. Light from the Son of God shone on the barren Isle of Patmos, making it a heaven to the lonely exile; and if you keep close to Jesus, your Elder Brother, your home will be honored by the divine presence. Keep your eyes uplifted to Jesus; feel that it is your privilege to come to him with all your griefs and troubles, be they large or small. Trust Him as implicitly as a child trusts its parents. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 6

But though you are largely shut away from the temptations which assail those living in cities and villages, yet you are not out of the reach of the enemy. Satan is constantly plotting the ruin of men and women; he watches untiringly to see where he can introduce himself; and he will seek to turn you from your allegiance to God. But in God there is strength to overcome all temptations. When you are tempted, let your heart go out to God in prayer for strength to resist the enemy. Learn to believe in Jesus, and to take Him at His word. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 7

Fasten the mind on His precious promises, that you may give help to those with whom you associate. The young, as well as the old, are to be workers together with God in the battle against evil. By faith in the blood of Christ they can keep their own souls in the love of God. Each morning let them say, I must live for Jesus today; I must love Him, and think of Him, and refuse to be led by the tempter to do a wrong action. Then they will be victors in the battle, and a victory gained today fortifies the soul against tomorrow’s temptations. Ask God to show you what you should avoid, and what you should encourage. Parents and children, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 8

God has given man a guide book, which shows him the way to heaven. The Bible is the voice of God to man, telling him what he must do to gain eternal life. “Search the Scriptures,” said Christ, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” [John 5:39.] If you would be successful students of this Word, ask God for the aid of His Holy Spirit, who will teach us all things. Carefully study the Bible verse by verse, praying that God will give you wisdom to understand His Word. Take one verse, and concentrate your mind on it, trying to ascertain the thought God has put in that verse for you. Dwell upon the thought until it becomes your own, and you know “what saith the Lord.” 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 9

It will not do merely to read God’s Word, for the truth it contains is like treasure hid in a field; it does not lie upon the surface, and only the earnest, persevering searcher is rewarded by finding the jewels of priceless worth—the inexhaustible riches of Christ Jesus. Never, till I made a business of searching the Bible, did I know what treasures it contains. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 10

Few realize what they lose by not searching the Scriptures. All who search the inspired Word for themselves will gain a knowledge of a personal, abiding Saviour; and their Christian experience will not depend upon feeling, but upon the Word of the living God. “The words I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are Spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] And the more one studies the Word of God, the more that Word takes possession of his mind, and he sees deeper and deeper into the divine purpose. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 11

Said the psalmist, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,”—to all who, with the simplicity of a child, will search that Word. [Psalm 119:130.] “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” [Proverbs 2:1-6.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 12

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16, 17.] The experience you gain by a study of God’s Word will enable you to be a help to others. As you appropriate the precious promises it contains, you will find help and assurance. Your light will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day, for you will know Him whose going forth is prepared as the morning. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 13

The precious Saviour watches over each one of His little flock on your island. He gave His own precious life that you might not perish; and each one should bear in mind that his life is given him, not to be lightly esteemed, but to be used in God’s service. A life of faithful service to God is the only happy life. Living for Him, we may enjoy a sweet sense of peace and assurance. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 14

Well may our hearts turn to our Redeemer with the most perfect trust when we think of what He has done for us, even when we were sinners. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Through faith we may rest in His love. “Whosoever cometh unto me,” He says, “I will in no wise cast out.” [John 6:37.] It would be a terrible thing to stand before God clothed in sinful garments, with His eye reading every secret of our lives. But through the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice we may stand before God pure and spotless, with our sins pardoned and atoned for. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 15

The redeemed sinner, clothed in the white robes of Christ’s righteousness, may stand in the presence of a sin-hating God, made perfect by the virtue and merits of his Saviour. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] Keep your eye fixed upon Jesus. Think of Him as your friend. Through His rich grace He can save to the uttermost all who come to Him. He tells us in His Word that He is the “living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever.” [John 6:51.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 16

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” [Colossians 2:6-10.] “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:15-17.] 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 17

I am sending you a few things by Brother Young. I am so situated that I cannot get to a store, and so must send what I have. Please accept these. Brother Young will make such disposition of them as he sees fit. I assure you of my interest and my love. 11LtMs, Lt 91, 1896, par. 18