Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 98, 1896

Shannan, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

December 26, 1896

Previously unpublished. +Note

Brother and Sister Shannan:

Wherein did you practice the Word of God when you made your home with Brother Prismall? Poor man, he has turned his face from Jesus Christ. The Lord has sent reproofs, warning him not to pursue the course he has followed. His only hope is to come off the devil’s ground, and cease to be an accuser of the brethren. He thinks he has something to question and find fault with in everything, and in every man’s teaching. In his eyes, no one is perfect. But he could give no greater evidence of his own imperfection of character. Read carefully the third chapter of James, and criticize yourself severely. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 1

“Do you think that the Scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgeth another?” [James 4:5-12.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 2

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” [2 Timothy 2:14-16.] “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves in obedience to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all mannner of conversation, because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 3

Brother Prismall was given the privilege of building for time and for eternity upon the right foundation, the one sure foundation. Had he built upon this foundation laying stone upon stone in its proper place, the structure would have risen every day, growing in symmetry and beauty until the purposes of God were fully accomplished, and the top stone brought forth with shoutings of grace. “We are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Thus it is said of all who build on Christ Jesus. Let all who have been given the opportunity and privilege of being living stones in the spiritual house, depart from all evil, and let them reveal to the world that perfection of character which they expect others to reveal. Let them show that they are living stones, emitting light to all with whom they come in contact. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 4

God has invited Brother Prismall to look upon Christ’s perfection of character, and by beholding become changed into His divine similitude, as all will be who are built upon Him. Being built upon Christ implies actual, personal contact with the Lord Jesus. This makes the human agent a living stone, and imparts to it a lustre which has the power of emitting light and attracting others to the great center. “Ye also, as lively (living) stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.” [1 Peter 2:5.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 5

The Lord has pointed out the perils in the life of Brother Prismall, and his defective character. But Brother and Sister Shannan poured out to him their grievances, and stated falsely that matters were all wrong on the school ground. They said that those who had been at work were doing everything wrong, and that they had no confidence in them. Thus the seeds of bitterness were planted, because Brother and Sister Shannan did not practice the Word of God. “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail from the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” [Hebrews 12:12-15.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 6

Brother Shannan, in Brother Prismall you saw a man who had not accepted the light, who did not heed the warnings given. As a faithful agent, he has been working out the will of the enemy. He has not a vital connection with God, and he has refused everything that in his estimation was not perfect. By his actions he has showed that were he in the place of God, he would have blotted from the universe all men as imperfect as himself, all men defective in doing that work for which they were appointed—to love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 7

A lawyer came to Christ, asking, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The scribes and Pharisees were listening as spies and criticizers, seeking to catch some word from the lips of Him whose appointed work was to bring life and immortality to light. Christ reads every heart as an open book, and knows every thought lurking therein. He gave the lawyer the privilege of answering his own question. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” He said. The scribes and Pharisees who were laying a trap for Christ were great sticklers for the letter of the law, although they did not keep it, either in spirit or letter. The lawyer answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” These words were spoken by one who had been put forward by the scribes and Pharisees to tempt Christ to speak words which they could use against Him. The greatest Teacher the world ever knew said in response, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 8

The lawyer, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus then related an incident which had recently taken place. A certain man, going from Jerusalem to Jericho had fallen among thieves, who had stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, “and departed, leaving him half dead.” A priest passing by saw this man in distressing need of a friend, but he did not desire the trouble of caring for him. A Levite also came and looked on him, but the care of the sick man was too much trouble for him to undertake, and he “passed by on the other side.” [Verses 29-32.] But a Samaritan found the wounded man, and he had compassion on him. He did not pass by, and leave him in his helpless misery. He did the work which the others were unwilling to undertake. Yet the Samaritans were excommunicated by the Jews, and were made a byword; yet one of this class did the work which the priest and Levite refused to do. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 9

The lawyer had asked, “And who is my neighbor?” [Verse 29.] Again Jesus arranged matters so that the decision should come from the lips of the lawyer. “Which <one> of these three thinkest thou was neighbor to him that fell among thieves?” He asked. And the answer came from the lawyer, “He that showed mercy on him.” By this answer the lawyer condemned, not only the course of the scribes and Pharisees, but his own practice. In order to be truthful, he condemned himself. He would not say, “The Samaritan,” but “He that showed mercy on him.” Christ said, “Go thou and do likewise.” [Verses 36, 37.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 10

O what principles are here laid down! What matchless teaching is given. What lessons are here given and immortalized. These words have opened rivers in the wilderness and streams in the desert. This is the work we are appointed to do. These words acted upon have laid the foundation for hospitals, for sanitariums. This teaching defines the true spirit that magnifies the law and fulfills it by perfect obedience. It shows that the law of God is a law of love. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 11

The selfish priest and Levite represent a class who disobey the law of God, who do not love God supremely, or their neighbors as themselves. “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought again, that which was lost; but with force and cruelty have ye ruled them.” [Ezekiel 34:4.] This answers to the work that some in their blindness and selfishness have been doing. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 12

The lesson that the Lord would have His people learn is that they must do the work appointed them of God. They must keep His commandments. The Lord gave Brother Shannan an opportunity to do the work appointed him, to overcome his own hereditary and cultivated tendencies; but he exalted himself as superior, as did the scribes and Pharisees. He demerited others, who were doing the work, not always, it may be, perfectly, but whose desire and aim it was to do service for God. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 13

Brother Shannan could have done the work appointed him, as an intelligent Christian gentleman. He could have shown himself interested in the Lord’s work. He could have put himself on an equality with his brethren, counselling with them, exercising all his God-given wisdom and ability, speaking wise words, in season and out of season, to those that needed them. The Lord gave Brother Shannan this chance, but he did not do the work to which he was appointed. He let jealousy and suspicious thoughts come in. Thus he showed that he did not love God with all his heart and strength and mind, and therefore did not love his neighbor as himself. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 14

No human being on the school ground in Cooranbong is faultless and incapable of making mistakes. No one is unerring in judgment. For this reason each one needs to talk less and pray a great deal more. Any who come here to locate or to engage in the work essential to be done, who will be so unkind and unchristian as to allow their self-esteem and self-sufficiency to lead them to criticize their brethren, and the work that others have been appointed to do, when, had they been in their place, they would not have done the work that has been done any more perfectly, might better go away. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 15

It is much easier to tear the work of others to pieces than to show that had you occupied their place, you would have done any better, or even as well. The men working on the school ground have had to move under straitened circumstances. They have been almost destitute of means which they so much needed. They have tried to save money. Had they had the means, they could have taken advantage of circumstances, and saved something. Then they would have had more to show than they now have. But it is impossible for critics to tell justly what might have been done, and how much better it would have been had certain things been left undone. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 16

Aftersight will sometime reveal the mistakes of foresight. This has frequently been the case in the experience of those considered to be men of wise judgment. But the aftersight has the advantage of an experience which the foresight cannot have; and who shall be censured? Who shall tear to pieces another man’s work? Since the workmen have finished the building on my place, I have not allowed myself to complain to this one and the other one, notwithstanding my aftersight has given me an experience which I would repeat should I have another building put up. Old as I am, I have learned lessons that I would not again repeat. Do you think, Brother Shannan, that no criticism could be made of the work appointed you to do? Do you think that all your management was without a flaw? But shall we spend our time and strength trying to hunt up every little thing that we think might be improved, and expatiate upon them? No; were I to do this I should not improve the matter, but would hurt my own soul. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 17

Brother Shannan, you have done a work in Cooranbong and Melbourne which, when your eyes shall be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, you will wish you had never done. You have felt at liberty to carry to Melbourne salted down grievances, your evil thinking and evil speaking; and because you have not been favored as you thought you should be, you have criticized your brethren unmercifully, and in a most unchristian, unbrotherly manner. Read Hebrews 12:12-15. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 18

You have been counterworking the work of God. I am sorry that while on this ground you were not the right kind of a brother or neighbor. The same unkind work of criticizing and accusing that you set in active operation in Hobart, and which the Lord revealed to me had done great injury to His work there, has been repeated here. You have made sharp criticisms and overbearing denunciations, so that the lame have been turned out of the way, and souls that can never be recovered have been driven onto the enemy’s battleground. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 19

I had so hoped that the rich opportunities of light and knowledge which were granted you here in Cooranbong would have helped you to do the work appointed you of God. But the condition of some souls in Melbourne at the present time is most lamentable. There are scavengers in the church who gather up little things, talking of them, and feeding on them. The leaven of criticism has been introduced by you, and unrighteous denunciations have been pronounced against God’s people because you were not favored as you thought you ought to be. Your representations have been received by prejudiced minds. What a work will have to be done to correct this work of unrighteousness, to destroy the leaven of evil which you have put into the minds and hearts of others. In doing this work, you have hurt yourself, and have hurt poor, weak, spiritually crippled souls. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 20

The Lord did not inspire you to do the work which you did in Melbourne. You worked directly contrary to the Word of God. You counteracted the work the Lord has given me to do—to set things in order. The influence of your misrepresentation of men and things in Cooranbong has been positively working in an opposite direction to the work which we have been called upon to do. Why did you do this? Because your natural feelings obtained the supremacy, irrespective of a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” O how sorry I am for you, and for Jesus Christ, who has purchased at an infinite cost the human agents he has appointed to do the work in Cooranbong. How sorry I am for those into whose minds you have introduced the leaven of evil. This leaven has worked, absorbing to itself the sentiments upheld by you, and these sentiments have been passed on to others. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 21

No man, high or low, experienced or inexperienced, can steadily maintain before his fellow men a pure, forceful life unless his life is hid with Christ in God. The fruit borne by a tree testifies to the character of the tree. The greater the activity among men, closer should be the communion intercourse of the heart with God. When men fall into sin, it is commonly because of unsuspected weakness. When they stand in humility, in constant distrust of <self, and making God their trust,> grace and strength is given them by God. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 22

Brother and Sister Shannan, the Lord is grieved with you. You could have done good missionary work in Melbourne had you gone from Cooranbong with the right spirit. But your words of evil, your expressions of distrust, your sweeping assertions against Cooranbong, were unjust and false. How much hard labor will be required to counteract the evil you have done. Should others criticize your course and magnify and talk over your actions, they would have fully as much justice on their side as you have had on yours when you have accused them. God alone reads the intents and the purpose of the heart. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 23

In locating the school buildings in Cooranbong, we have moved under the leading of God. Had those who have come here had more earnest love for Jesus, they would have shown love one for another, that the world might have had the infallible evidence that God had sent His Son into the world. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,” Christ says. “If ye have love one to another.” [John 13:35.] Until Christ’s representatives are imbued with the Spirit of the Great Teacher, there will be an abundance of that inner, secret skepticism, which shuts the human heart against truth and against God. This is the leaven hidden in the meal, which permeates the whole mass. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 24

My brother, your inconsistent course of action in Cooranbong and Melbourne, which has counteracted the work that has been done with painful, self-sacrificing effort, will bear its testimony in the judgment. God will never honor the church with complete success until its members shall come into conformity to His will. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 25

Brother Prismall has virtually said, I am prevented from being a Christian by seeing so many faults in the church members with whom I come in contact. My standard of Christian character is high, very high, and I cannot see any one who reaches it. My brother, who has given you the right to measure the characters of your fellow men? Judgment has been given only to Christ. He has lived humanity, and He alone can understand human weakness, and human striving to attain to Christian perfection. We must admit that there are counterfeit Christians in every church. But the tares and the wheat must grow together until the harvest. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 26

“The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” [Matthew 13:24-30.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 27

“His disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered, and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that do offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” [Verses 36-43.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 28

Here we see that the church of Christ militant is not the church triumphant. The church today is composed of wheat and tares. Not all who claim to be sons and daughters of God are this in truth. But the work of judgment has not been committed into our hands. Read carefully Romans 2:1-11. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 29

The Lord has presented the spiritual condition of certain individuals before me. He has presented general principles, that all the church might be benefited. But to some He has come personally, seeking to bring them into a vital connection with Himself. He has given them reproofs and warnings, mercifully presenting before them their individual defects of character, telling them what they must do, and what they must be in order to be saved. Some have taken heed. They have made every effort to obey, and the Lord has blessed and honored them. But the spirit of criticism has been the meat and drink of some souls. The defective members of the church has been their theme of conversation. It has become habitual for them to see evil and to talk of evil. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 30

It is a lamentable truth that there are tares, counterfeit Christians, in the church. But because of this will you look at them, and feed on their defective character? If you do, you too will be ranked among the tares. Christ is the only perfect pattern of Christianity. Let us hear what He says. “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” [John 6:35, 51, 53-55.] The same principles are found in John 15. The explanation of this is given, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 31

It is the privilege of all to feed on Christ. They need not feed on the real or supposed faults of their brethren. If they do, they will have a false Christian experience themselves, because they will be contentious, and will not obey the truth, but will obey unrighteousness. Jesus Christ is to be your theme of conversation. He is the Sin-bearer. The Lord has not made Brother or Sister Shannan, or Brother Muckersey, or Brother Smith, or any of the brothers or sisters in the North Fitzroy church, sinbearers. Christ, the Sin-bearer, must take away their sins, or they will perish miserably. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 32

Christ never ordained that man should look to man, and make the defective characters of man a cause of stumbling or an excuse for imperfection. God commands every soul to repent of his own sins, confess his own sins, and be contrite in heart because of his own weakness of character. Christianity is a divine system of religion. The Bible is the code of conduct for every one. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 33

No one can come to God through any other man. God commands men to repent of their sins, and come to Him just as they are, all covered with sin and pollution. They are to receive His crucified, only begotten Son into their hearts, and be one with Him as He is one with the Father. It is the privilege of all that are weary and heavy laden to come to Christ. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says, “and learn of me; ... for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 34

When Brother Prismall shall fall upon the Rock Christ Jesus, and be broken, then the Lord can restore the moral image of God in him. But, my brother, you have an unsubdued heart. You have practically said, I will not perform my duty to God and to my fellow men until the weeds are rooted out of the church. Because of counterfeit professors, you refuse allegiance to God and to His commandments. But will another man’s disloyalty to God help your soul, if you refuse to be loyal to God? The defections of professed Christians are no excuse for you to sin, and they will be no protection to you. O how foolish are men’s subterfuges to screen themselves. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 35

Christ’s invitation is made to you personally. You must take Him as your personal Saviour, or you are lost, eternally lost. God has claims upon you, and these claims are made without consideration of any other person’s perfections or imperfections. Brother Prismall, you have a soul to save, or a soul to lose, just as though you were the only person in existence. The question of the salvation of your soul is a matter between you and your God. Turn away from the shortcomings of your brethren and sisters. You have an individual case pending in the courts of heaven. Have you secured the Advocate to plead for you? 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 36

The arch adversary is cheating your soul out of peace and hope and faith and joy in Jesus Christ. If you lose heaven it will be because you have been determined to have your own way at all hazards. If you would look at yourself with one half the keenness that you look at the motives and mistakes of others, you would be filled with terror, and would cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30.] Cast your helpless soul on Christ, and become, as it were, a little child. When tempted to criticize, seal your lips. Utter not a word before you ask God to help you and strengthen you by His grace. O, it is such a terrible thing to use the tongue and voice wrongly. These talents are given us by God to be used only to His glory. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 37

In your family you need to cultivate patience. Put yourself under the control of God; submit your will to the will of God, and then you will live to do God’s service. Commence now. Fall on the rock, and be broken. Let Jesus put His signature upon you. Then you will rejoice in the Lord always. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God.” [Philippians 4:5, 6.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 38

Tell all your troubles to the One who best understands how to help you. Rest your case in His hands, and believe that He hears your simple, heartfelt prayers. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” [Verse 7.] You need this peace, for you are very easily disturbed. You are educating yourself in this direction. But the peace of God, which comes through entire service to Him, will give you strength of nerve and brain. You will no longer be as you have been represented to me—taking no genuine comfort in yourself, and giving no comfort to those around you. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 39

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be in you.” [Verses 8, 9.] Take heed to these words. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 40

I do not want you to put this aside. I will again send you the communication which I sent you more than a year ago, and will ask if you received it. I dreamed that I asked you if you had received this letter, and you were very positive that you had not. This leads me to send it to you again, hoping that you will receive it. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 41

I have been commissioned to write to you, since it has been shown me that you have <had> Brother Shannan’s <influence> united in the work which you have been doing for a long time; yes, during the whole of your life time. My brother, the humanity shown in Christ’s life must be shown in your life. Yield up your will to God, and He will deliver you from the thralldom of sin. He will arouse the spiritual nature, which you have neglected to keep alive. He will quicken your conscience, and bring you under the control of Christ. Living by faith and hope in Christ will satisfy the demands of a genuine humanity. Human nature can only be perfected by education, and this education can be obtained in the school of Christ. He is the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 42

You have lost time, you have lost moral power, because the food you have given your mind has been the criticism of others. Be more concerned about your own personal relation to the kingdom of God than about expressing your disgust at other persons. Many are just as much disgusted with you as you are with those who criticize, accuse, condemn. Have you not served the enemy long enough in this line? Christ calls to you, Follow Me, and you shall not walk in darkness. [John 8:12.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 43

Christ not only uttered precepts, but He illuminated these precepts by His life. He has been in humanity that which He enjoins every individual to be. This they can and will be if they join themselves to Christ. We are not to demand that we be ministered unto, but we are to minister. See what you can do to make others happy. Lighten the sorrows and relieve the distress of others. We are under obligation to do this. God demands it, and you cannot be loyal to Christ unless you discharge your duties by ministering to others. Let not your eager, watchful eye be ever looking for something to charge against others. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 44

Our love toward men is to be like the Lord’s. You can carry the needs and sorrows of men in your minds. When you have the mind of Christ, you will not feed upon the garbage of their faults and mistakes, but you will seek to help them. God would awaken in you a desire to think of others without despising their ways and manners. You are very far from perfect, but does God despise you? No; He is grieved with your course of action, yet He invites you as a sinner to come to Him and let Him take away your sins, your harshness, your exaggerated expressions, your accusing power. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 45

Satan has used you a long time as his agent in this line, and will you not now step close to the bleeding side of Jesus? I tell you that you have no time to lose. Christ sets before you a perfect example. Will you consider this? Will you behold this? Will you talk of the perfection of Jesus Christ? On our behalf He surrendered ease, supremacy, honor, riches. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He submitted to suffering, even after He had accepted humanity; He bore insult, mockery, and the most cruel death [to] save you and me. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5.] Use your voice and tongue for the rest of your life to talk of the matchless depths of a Saviour’s love. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 46

Let not one word of evil speaking be expressed toward your brethren. God has not given you this work to do. You may feel all the disgust you please at the way you have employed your tongue in the past, for you have dishonored God and the truth. Give expression to the love you have for the perfect character of Christ. All His teachings are invested with a beauty that charms the mind. His words breathe the inspiration of truth, and are weighted with eternal wisdom. Talk of the perfection of Christ until you become inspired with His loveliness of character. To see Christ is to see the Father. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 47

The more you dwell upon Christ, and the less you exalt self, the more you will see to love and admire in Christ. He took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses. He was the Majesty of heaven, the high and exalted One; but He came to earth in human disguise. He never shrank from actual contact with man, nor required others to do the work from which His taste revolted. He never made the ignorance of human beings a subject of conversation. He went about doing good. His life was spent in purposes of holiness. His refinement never shut Him away from the lowly or the ignorant. He was not the one to tear to pieces and destroy, but He sought to restore the moral image of God in man. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 48

This is your work. Do, I beseech of you, change square about. In view of the love of Christ for humanity, take up the cross, deny self, live the life of a Christian. Then you will strive for a pure and holy heaven. Let it be your highest aim to become Christlike. When any one comes to you with their burden of criticism, refuse to take up a reproach against your neighbor. Tell them that your eyes are fixed upon the Author and Finisher of your faith. If you love pure and perfect things, seek for them where they can be found. Manifest refinement in words, in spirit, and in character. Love all men as brethren. Christ’s character formed within you will incline you to aim for sanctified humanity. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 49

Our education is incomplete, whatever ideas we may have of grace and refinement, unless we are learning to be complete in Christ. God has not given us any sinful human being as our model. He has given His only begotten Son as our sample of character. And when we have the perfect Pattern to follow, if we do not represent Christ, we do our heavenly Father great dishonor. By devoting our thoughts and our tongue to the defects of professed Christians, we manifest the attributes of Satan. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 50

Christ has specified what kind of fruit will always grow on the Christian tree. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (They surmise evil; they tear character in pieces.) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:15-20.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 51

What kind of fruit is brought forth from the mind and heart that takes the supposed evil deeds on his neighbors for the subject of his meditation and his conversation? Evil speaking is condemned by the Lord Jesus. To unsettle the confidence of brother in brother is a most contemptible work, and should not be tolerated in those who claim to be Christians any more than taking the Lord’s name in vain, for every word of accusing is as the sin of swearing, 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 52

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridle not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:26, 27.] “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Ephesians 4:29-32.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 53

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” [Galatians 5:22-26.] “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith.” [Galatians 6:7-10.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 54

Here is a specification traced by the pen of inspiration of the character which every follower of Christ will reveal. It denotes not simply a character which centers and terminates in ourselves, but a loving, unselfish, generous regard for others. There are those who live and breathe and act for self. Such will never perfect a character after the divine similitude. Grace and refinement after Christ’s order will never be revealed in the character as long as self is considered as the supreme object. Humanity after the divine Pattern will renew the spirit which renders us human in all our life practice. The man that studies Jesus and aims to reach His faultless character, will not ignore his relationship to humanity, for humanity, in the full acceptation of the term, will regard all men as brethren, with similar God-given abilities, aspirations, capacities, and similar need of help. Minister to one another, for happiness brought into the lives of others brings happiness to every soul that does this loving, unselfish work. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 55

Inhumanity is the opposite of this. Man may have grand notions and wonderful ideas. He may have knowledge, but without love to his fellow man, he is as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Any harshness, injustice, or cruelty manifested in spirit or in words; any commands or injunctions savoring of an overbearing and dictatorial spirit, is sinful man’s inhumanity. All who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ will build on Christ, the only true foundation of righteous humanity. And a righteous humanity will communicate with humanity, having a true sense of human brotherhood, a true love for man. God has paid an infinite price for man, in that while he was dead in trespasses and sins, He gave His life a ransom for his redemption, without distinction of rank, relationship, race, or knowledge. And man must show respect, not merely for his fellow man, but for the One who has shown His estimate of man. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 56

The Lord God made man capable, giving him all the qualifications, that through the merits of Jesus Christ, he could obtain victories which would exalt him as a child of God, to win the immortal crown that fadeth not away. Any man that shall demerit his fellow man, and place himself as a hindrance to his winning the immortal crown, will receive according to his work. The outward appearance may be forbidding, but if with one hand he reaches forth to grasp his fellow brother’s hand, while by faith he lays hold of Christ, what may he not accomplish? 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 57

The one who sees the value of Christ’s character is to reveal that character. Husband and wife each have a personality, as far as the salvation of their souls is concerned. The individuality of the husband cannot be submerged in the wife, or the individuality of the wife in the husband. Each individual life is God’s personal property, and while they labor to do their utmost to help one another heavenward, not one principle in the lessons and teachings of Christ should be ignored. We are Christ’s purchased possession, to do His work on the earth. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 58

Christ was the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. Was there ever a man that could find any defect, in speech or in character, in Him? And if not, it is safe to practice that humanity which you know to be perfect. Then you will sympathize with the One who desires to make you a partaker of His divine nature, to clothe you with His power. No man is to be permitted to interpose between Christ and our souls. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 59

The spell of a stronger and a perfect mind will be over us if we have a living connection with the Source of all-enduring strength. And gratitude must need be expressed for these continued mercies. In our divine life we shall be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. We no longer live the common life of selfishness, but Christ lives in us. His character is reproduced in our human nature. Then the bitter, poisonous root of selfishness will be uprooted. Tender feelings, full of sympathy for the erring, take possession of the man or woman who has fallen on the Rock and been broken. It becomes a delight to do all His commandments. The tree must be made good in order that the fruit may be good. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 60

Man is of more value in the sight of heaven than he realizes. A sense of his responsibility as a possessor of humanity after the perfection of the similitude of Christ in human nature will make man understand as he has not before done, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God (not yourself) in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] “I will make a man (if he will use the talents entrusted to him by God) more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 61

Here, my brother, you can see your accountability and responsibility. You cannot be a Christian and despise one of those with whom Christ associated. Your fellow man may be weak in knowledge, he may be sinful, but by association with Christ, even though poor and degraded, he may be uplifted. Christ was divinity in human form. He assumed humanity that He might uplift man. Did He not love man in that He gave Himself to ransom him? Then shall man speak of his fellow man with scorn? Shall he lift up his soul unto vanity? 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 62

You could have been a real blessing, my brother, in the church, if you had placed yourself under the control of God. The cross of Calvary reveals Christ’s redeeming work, and this has invested humanity with great possibilities, even eternal life in the kingdom of God, if they will eat of the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. The infinite sacrifice made for you and for me should call us to our duty. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 63

The incarnation of Christ, His death, and His resurrection, are subjects upon which you should converse. They will close your lips, so that you will not help Satan in his work as an accuser of the brethren. The Lord’s estimate of man, shown by the price He has paid for him, warns every one off the accuser’s ground. Christ was not ashamed to assume our nature, and to submit to its liabilities. Then let each appreciate himself. I call upon you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to come out from the world and be separate. Now is the time for you to make your calling and your election sure. May the Lord bless you, and incline your heart to honor Him by true service, is my prayer. 11LtMs, Lt 98, 1896, par. 64