Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 118, 1896

Walling, Addie; Walling, May

Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia

November 17, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 99. +Note

Dear Children Addie and May:

I received your letter containing the news of your mother’s death. Notwithstanding you have had no special connection with her since your early childhood, she was your mother, and you could but be afflicted with her affliction. Her death was sudden, and the manner of it could but be a shock to you. Was it hemorrhage of the lungs? It looks that way. We can but leave her now in the hands of God, who is too wise to err, and too good to do us harm. The Lord is good, very merciful. He reads the secrets of every heart; He ever judgeth righteously. He is acquainted with all the sorrows and sufferings of the children of men. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 1

Now I the only mother that you have, and since I have been a mother to you, acting a mother’s part until you were capable of caring for yourselves, I hope you will be free to act the part of children to me, and that our hearts shall blend as one. We may never be any closer connected in our lives that we are now in family relation, but we may cherish the tender kindness and affection which should exist. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 2

I have acted my part faithfully toward you, and know not that I have been in any respect amiss in my duty. If you both with devote yourselves to the service of God, then honor Him by consecrating your soul, body, and spirit to God, and I shall be repaid for all the burden I have had in your behalf, without any returns on your part, which I might justly require. There is not a mother living that could have done more for you through your childhood years, and even up to womanhood, than I have done in your behalf, and I have felt at times very certain that neither of you would sometime awake, and then your impressions would be of a different nature than they have been toward me. I know they will be when you shall be worked by the Holy Spirit of God. It cannot be otherwise than that things will come to your remembrance, and your obligations be sensed, in a way that you have never manifested hitherto. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 3

I would be pleased if May would give me some account of her work, her wages, and what she is doing. I have not had any account of this. I have an interest in this matter, such as a mother would have for children that she has cared for and educated, fed and clothed, until they were able to earn their own way in the world. I do hope you will not lose heaven at last through neglect to appreciate the Lord’s goodness, and His love and care for you. I hope your obligations to God <will be appreciated. He> has given you Jesus, a living sacrifice, that through faith in Him you should not perish, but have everlasting life. I hope you will respond by heart-devotion and service to God, that He will not be hungry and seek fruit upon the tree, representing your life and character, and find nothing but leaves. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 4

Busy activity in business matters is not religion. Is your heart temple a place cleansed, refined, and purified by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Mistake not leaves of profession for fruit. Examine your own hearts carefully. Make thorough investigation. Cultivate principles which are true and pure. Ever consider that your principles in every phase of character are deciding your future destiny. Keep these principles with intense solicitude boldly and vividly exposed to your own mind, and be sure that you can look upon them critically, with respect, in the light of the Word of God. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 5

Addie, there is in you danger of a Phariseeism to think you are religiously right and meeting a correct standard; but the deep and abiding love of God is not brought into your inner life. You suppose yourself to be a Christian, but, my dear child, are you a Christian? Do you love the Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself? Are you seeking to be a blessing in life actions, in good works, for which you are not paid in wages? You may pray, and you may perform a little touch of religious duties, and have an abundance of leaves; but where is the fruit? 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 6

Children, you could have helped your brother Fred. He would have been converted to the truth if you had lived the truth in all respects before him, and had revealed in your life and character what the truth has done through the transforming grace of Christ in your own hearts. God’s claims upon you both have never been presented to your mind and character as sacred <as they are.> You both need to accustom your individual selves to gaze upon the principles which are cherished, with great earnestness, and upon the Lord’s claims, with sacred awe. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 7

“Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirits, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] Will you consider how much it cost the Lord Jesus to ransom you? Your souls should be pervaded with a deep sense that every faculty of mind, soul, and body, is to be employed to honor and glorify Him. Both <of you need to> understand the heart’s need to maintain the most intimate, conscious connection with the pure, sacred springs from which it derives its vital force. Your supposed, most virtuous habits, your conclusions, need to be closely examined. Your life-experience as children of God must penetrate deeper than habit or opinion or authority. Those with whom you associate may discern nothing lacking, which they can put into words, and yet the atmosphere which surrounds your soul may not be instinct with the peace and grace of the principles of truth and righteousness and the tender pitying love which dwells in Jesus Christ. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 8

You may both have the form of godliness, but still may not show that life which means growth to the full stature in Christ Jesus. In Him is found intellect, power, and that true and earnest sympathy which is required by those who cooperate with Jesus Christ, as partakers of the divine nature, that they may diffuse the same. Your religious experience, <I am sorry to say,> is dwarfed. The deep and holy principles, and watchful, prayerful, strenuous efforts, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, do not characterize your lives. It is not made a part of your nature to receive light, to diffuse light, and to minister spiritual light and life to others. There is an inexhaustible source from which you can draw, if you will, and then impart, consciously and unconsciously. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 9

A few words more. How long have you calculated it is safe for you to be lukewarm Christians, neither cold nor not? Days and months and years have been added to your life, supplying you opportunities and advantages. The entire probationary period of your lives belongs unreservedly to God. He puts His claim on all the endowments and powers entrusted to us. Christ has a right to the entire consecration to our service. Every talent is to be improved and multiplied by being put into exercise. The capabilities given of God are to be improved and increased to His name’s glory, and in accordance with His divine will. We are to co-operate with God in promoting the well-being of all around us, and by making manifest the glory of God. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 10

As those who have the life of Christ, we are to grow, for all <things that have> life will grow; it cannot help growing. If there is no growth in the religious character, there is no <spiritual> life. Our physical and intellectual resources are to be increased by active effort. Spiritual attainment and grace are to grow in the same order, by constant exercise. O, then there will be the pouring forth unto God of thanksgiving and praise, as newborn souls in the fervor of their first love. They are clothed with His beautiful garments, and become potent, living agencies. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 11

The church needs the fresh live experiences of members who have habitual communion with God. Old, dry, stale testimonies and prayers, without the manifestation that Christ is in them, as a well of water springing up unto everlasting life, are no help to <the one praying, or> to the church. But continually feeding on the Word of God will create in the soul a fresh supply of living water, refreshing to all who associate with them. Try it, children. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 12

The Lord Jesus supplies all that is necessary for our salvation. In the cross of Calvary there is a guarantee for intellectual excellence and positive success. There is an ever-living, quickening motive found in that perfect trust, a living active, growing faith made stronger by the long, hard struggles with life, gathering opportunities, and improving every privilege which God provides to become complete in Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 13

The natural and cultivated traits of character need to be greatly improved; selfishness needs to be cut away, and sympathy, pure and uncorrupted, which is the sure fruit of all righteousness, needs to be constantly growing. Then, with the heart brought into captivity to Christ, there is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, the precious fruit the boughs will bear that are grafted into the True Vine. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 14

They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with [its] affections and lusts. Their character expresses the similitude of Christ’s character. Study the Word of God; make it the rule of your life. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 15

There must be decided changes in your sentiments as to what constitutes true devotion and piety, else you will miss heaven. You must now commence with earnestness to make your calling and election sure. Receive your illumination, not from what others may think of your religious standing, but by looking unto Jesus. Be only content to receive your illuminating from the great central light of the universe. Secure from Him the very highest attainments, and then bring to Him in thank offerings all your cultivated abilities, and consecrate them to His service. Exalt the cross of Christ above all honor and praise. 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 16

In love, 11LtMs, Lt 118, 1896, par. 17

Mother.