Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 76, 1896

Gilbert, Lillie

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

August 1, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in TSB 47-49; AH 350.

Dear Niece Lillie Gilbert:

I was grieved to learn from the letter which you wrote to Sarah, of your illness, and especially to know that it was that phase of illness. In such cases, a change of climate, if possible, should be made at once. If you could now go to the Sanitarium in Battle Creek, it might prove highly beneficial to you. If it is possible for you to make the change, do so. Your life is worth saving, for your children need a mother. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 1

It is essential for you to put your trust in God. I am sorry that in the place where you live, you have so little encouragement in religious lines. There are many who will give you words of sympathy, but they do not bring comfort to the longing, hungry soul which is bruised and wounded, and which needs the healing balm. Never forget that your Saviour lives and reigns. Your grasp on the divine promises must be strong. Human teachers in Christian faith are few. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 2

You may have felt almost discouraged, and may have yielded to the temptation to neglect your religious duties, to shun the cross-bearing life of a Christian; you may have consented to be governed by worldly principles and sentiments, you may have neglected prayer, neglected to confess Christ. If you have done this, do so no more. Remember the words of Christ, “Ye are my witnesses.” [Isaiah 43:10.] Your light may have been flickering, but thank God, it is not too late, even now, to acknowledge the claims the Lord has upon you. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 3

You are the property of Jesus Christ. He has purchased you at an infinite cost to himself. His you are by creation and by redemption. Although to you your hope of heaven may be at times uncertain, yet you know in whom to trust. Your hope of heaven is found alone in the merits of Jesus Christ. You may now gain a living experience in the things of God. Looking unto Jesus by faith, trusting in His merits, doubts of His love will vanish as dew before the morning sun. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 4

Let your surrender to God be full and complete: wait not one day or hour. Make the most now of your probationary time, be it longer or shorter. Just as soon as you cast yourself unreservedly upon Jesus Christ, He accepts you. Do not in any way conceal the fact that you have chosen truth, and all the inconveniences that this choice will involve. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 5

I have just been reading a paragraph in history, which enforced the necessity of the religious training of children and youth. Of all the names which embellish the history of England, that of Alfred the Great stands among the foremost. Equally remarkable for his genius, his wisdom, his godliness, and his trials, we might find in his single case enough to encourage parental painstaking or to rebuke parent neglect. Hear how this monarch speaks: “To Thee, O God, I call and speak. Hear, O hear me, Lord, for Thou art my God and my Lord, my Father, my Creator, my Ruler, and my Hope, my wealth, and my honor, my house, my country, my salvation, and my life! Hear me, O Lord; Few of Thy servants comprehend Thee; but Thee alone I love indeed, above all other things; Thee I seek; Thee I will follow. Thee I am ready to serve. Under Thy power I desire to abide; for Thou alone art the Sovereign of all. I pray Thee to command me as Thou wilt.” 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 6

By what process was this king enabled to gain such acquirements, and so improve His God-given talents? It was by the influence of a God-fearing mother, whose wisdom and clearness of discernment influenced him to choose paths that would be safe, where he would be a channel of light and righteousness, where he would learn the truth which in after life he so carefully practiced. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 7

Listen to the dying charge given by this king to his son Edward: “We must now part. I go to another world; and thou shalt be left alone with all my wealth. I pray thee (for thou art my dear child), strive to be a father and a lord to thy people. Be thou the children’s father, and the widow’s friend. Comfort thou the poor, and shelter the weak; and with all thy might right what is wrong. And, my son, govern thyself by law. Then shalt the Lord love thee, and God above all things shall be thy reward. Call thou upon Him to advise thee in all thy need, and so shall He help thee the better to compass what thou needest.” 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 8

This is the instruction the world needs today. All need to give heed to it. Every family needs to have the highest sense of their God-given responsibilities. Their faith in God must rise above every obstacle. What cannot a Christian mother do by faithful and persevering efforts to mold and fashion the children God has given her after the character of Christ. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 9

My dear niece, never, under any circumstances, even in appearance, consent to leave the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. Be steadfast, immovable to Christian obligations and to your God. “Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] O that every home might be that which God designed it should be—a symbol of the family in heaven. “Him that honoreth me,” saith God, “I will honor; but he that despiseth me shall be lightly esteemed.” [1 Samuel 2:30.] 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 10

My dear niece, may the Lord spare your life that you may take up His work heartily, and through the grace the Lord shall give, carry it forward and upward, even though you stand alone. You must set your children a right example by representing in your life the principles of righteousness. You must strive for the victory, putting your trust by faith in God. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 11

The household where God is not worshipped is like a ship in the midst of the sea, without a pilot or a helm. The tempest beats and breaks upon it, and there is danger that all on board may perish. Regard your life and the life of your children as precious for Christ’s sake, for you must meet them and your husband before the throne of God. Your steadfast Christian principles must not become weak, but stronger and stronger. However much your husband may be annoyed, however strongly he may oppose you, you must show a consistent, faithful, Christian steadfastness. And then whatever he may say, in heart and judgment he can but respect you if he has a heart of flesh. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 12

I urge upon you to fulfil your Christian obligations to God. If there is no one within a hundred miles of you who observes the Sabbath, the whole universe of heaven is in sympathy with you. Christ your Saviour and the heavenly angels are round about you. If you will call upon God in every time of need, He will be your helper. Practice the truth in your home. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.” [Isaiah 43:10.] 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 13

But I am not able to write you more. If you love the father of your children, live the life of a Christian at all times, and under all circumstances. If you had done this, God would have worked in your behalf. But when you please yourself, and displease your heavenly Father, how can the Lord work in your behalf? 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 14

May the Lord help you, my poor, dear tempted one, to choose the right way just now. May He help you to give your husband and children a testimony that you are a Christian in practice, that you love God, that you love Jesus, who gave His life for you. “And as your day is, so shall your strength be.” [Deuteronomy 33:25.] 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 15

In much love. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 16

Your Aunt. 11LtMs, Lt 76, 1896, par. 17