Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 29, 1896

For the Church at North Fitzroy

North Fitzroy, Australia

October 31, 1896, Sabbath

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 131, 209; 4MR 411-412. +Note

I fear greatly for the church at North Fitzroy. The Lord has been working there. We have held morning meetings and feel thankful that there are some hungry souls who have desire to eat of the bread of life; that there are some who are receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Others who have not chosen to assemble with us have lost more than they have any idea of. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 1

When Christ was upon earth, the sick, both in body and soul, came to Him, and He healed them all. When the blind man came to Him, Christ touched His eyes; but he only received a partial restoration; he could not see all things clearly. Jesus then touched his eyes a second time and bade him to look up, and then he could see every man clearly. This is the work that needs to be done for this church. We may appoint meetings, as we have done, but many who have drawn the curtain of unbelief around their souls, and who walk in darkness, know not at what they stumble. And they refuse to come to the light, lest their deeds shall be reproved. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 2

To the Pharisees Christ said, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] Every soul needs the light and life that Christ alone can give, and more and more of this light will be given us as we improve the opportunities we have for obtaining it. But there are those who refuse the precious privilege brought within their reach, the opportunities for obtaining light and comfort and knowledge in heavenly things, who refuse to partake of the heavenly banquet prepared for them. But these are as accountable to God as if they had heard and rejected the message which He has sent them. Christ says of all such, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” [John 3:19, 20.] 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 3

Those who love Jesus and the truth will avail themselves of every privilege that God sends them by His servants. The stay-away argument only testifies against those who might, but will not, come, because they have no appreciation of the light. By these arguments they say, “We have no desire for reproofs, for warnings, or for consolation. Let us alone.” 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 4

Many could not get to camp meeting, but the Lord has favored them with privileges that would be of the greatest benefit to them. All who desire light and knowledge may, through God’s appointed agencies, come and receive it. Murmurings and complainings and much talking will not bring happiness or grace, and yet many will not come to Jesus and find in His presence that rest and assurance that He has promised. The lesson that Christ desires all to learn of Him is, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 5

The Lord is not unforgiving, that He will not forgive our mistakes. His great heart of pity and love is drawn out to all those who are blind and lose their way. And to those also who have led these souls into darkness, and have become blind leaders of the blind, His pity and forgiveness are extended. Do you want blind eyes opened? Then come to Jesus. He says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20.] Jesus is in every assembly that has gathered together to learn of Him, to hear His Word. And He can make all see clearly. He never makes mistakes. But serious blunders are made because His people do not receive His counsel, but choose to go forward in the light of the sparks of their own kindling. These will lie down in sorrow if they do not come to Jesus and have their blind eyes opened. They will continue walking contrary to God’s will, not humble enough to bear Christ’s yoke, but [will] become helpless, withering branches that bear no fruit that God will accept. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 6

There has been enmity between God and your souls, and you will never become reconciled to Him by keeping away from Him. He has said, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” [James 4:8.] Every soul must come and partake of the heavenly banquet for his individual self. All the precious things God that have been provided at such an infinite cost will do you no good, will not strengthen and invigorate you, and produce spiritual growth, unless you eat the words of God, and make them a part of yourself. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 7

There is need for the children of God, those who profess to be His servants, to awake. The words of Christ to them are, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is.” [Hebrews 10:25.] While we must maintain our personality and have our own personal experience, we must bear in mind that in religious gatherings the festal board is spread, the banquet set, for all, and that we cannot be benefited by the food, the Word of God, unless we partake of it ourselves, and make a practical application of it to our own souls. In doing this we shall be strengthened—soul, body, and spirit. Then every individual soul will reveal what the gospel is to him. Every song of praise will find a response in his heart. Every petition to God will lift his soul into a higher, holier atmosphere. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 8

Christ declared, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, 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, my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” [John 6:53-57.] No one can eat this flesh and drink this blood for another. Each must come to Christ with his own soul hunger, each must have his own convictions, feel his own soul’s need, and learn of Christ for himself. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 9

Tell Jesus your wants in the sincerity of your soul. You are not required to hold a long controversy with, or preach a sermon to God; but with a heart of sorrow for your sins, say, “Save me, Lord, or I perish.” [See Matthew 8:25.] There is hope for such souls. They will seek, they will ask, they will knock, and they will find. When Jesus has taken away the burden of sin that is crushing the soul, you will experience the blessedness of the peace of Christ. Then, filled with sacred joy and reverence, you will find words with which to tell the story of the Saviour’s wonderful love. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 10

The ministry of Christ has been portrayed in prophecy. Through the prophet Isaiah, Christ declares: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3.] 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 11

Christ did not come to the scribes and Pharisees. They were so thoroughly encased in self, so full of pride, of self-sufficiency, exalting their intellectual religion, and extolling their all-sufficient spirituality, that Christ could not reach them. They could not take in His words; they were to them as if in an unknown tongue. Although He was a light shining in the darkness, they comprehended Him not. Christ came to the meek and lowly, the broken hearted, the oppressed, and suffering of humanity. And His words were comprehended by this class, while they were unintelligible to the priest and rulers. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 12

God is seeking for the humble, contrite heart. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] These understand the language of Jesus Christ, and every word He speaks is the right word in the right place. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 13

Christ charged those whom He healed to tell the good news in the home circle, but not to the world. He would not convert the world by His miracles. His work was to present the Word, that man might not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. His prayer for them was, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] And His words to Nicodemus were, “Marvel not that I say unto you, Ye must be born again.” [John 3:7.] Your will must be placed in subjection to the will of God. It is then that the restoration of the moral image of God in the human heart commences. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 14

God wants the gift of your whole heart just as it is. And He says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] God cannot work for a man who cherishes a perverse will. A self-serving will has shut away thousands from the kingdom of heaven. But when we place ourselves in the hands of the Lord without the least reservation, to be molded and fashioned after His similitude, God will work, and make our will complete in His will. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 15

Christ came from the heavenly courts to raise up workers, to be His messengers, co-operating with Him in presenting His message of mercy to the world. They are to be the ministers of His grace, in His service, and their hearts should throb in unison with the heart of Christ. It should be their meat and drink to do the will of Him who has called them to His service. If they are not advantaged in eternal things, of what value is the earthly to them? 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 16

God calls for young men and young women who are strong. He will keep them by His power, and make them instruments through whom He can accomplish His great work of redemption. Consecration to the work will bring its reward. He lays the Christian under obligation to Him at every step. They are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, making no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. Then let your cry be, “Teach me thy way, O God.” [Psalm 27:11.] Those who represent Christ to the world should be men of earnest prayer. The Lord will enable them to gain strength in their activity in the good work of the Lord. Wheresoever God’s Spirit or Providence may lead them, they should be ready to go. Their talents, their possessions, should not be counted as their own. They are stewards of the manifold grace of God, and servants to the Church for Christ’s sake. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 17

The work of the salvation of souls is to be carried forward in our world by aggressive warfare, in the midst of opposition, peril, loss, and human suffering. Christianity is to be wrought out in self-denying and cross-bearing. By His experience in our world the Lord did not mark out a path to heaven that is easy and flattering. He declared to His followers, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” [John 15:18-21.] 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 18

Life is too precious to be trifled away. Therefore live the life of Christ. Express your gratitude to God for His great love for you by continual growth in grace. You are a branch in the living Vine, and you must daily draw nourishment from it. This will result in your bearing fruit. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 19

“But cannot I do as I please with myself?” asks one. You may try it at your cost; but you will find that the Lord, whose you are by creation and redemption, knows your case. He came to pay the redemption price to save you from eternal ruin. He knows the value of every soul He came to save. And He knows that if you will be obedient, you will have a life that is immortal, a treasure that is imperishable. Each individual has heavenly resources at his command, if he will by faith lay hold on the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 20

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” [Psalm 91:1.] The time has now come when we need to hide in the cleft of the Rock and view the character of God. Enoch walked with God 300 years. He reflected upon God, he contemplated His character, and his life was well-pleasing in the sight of God. And on the part of His children today there should be just such a meditation upon the Word of God. It should not only be read, but carefully studied, for it furnishes the only safe standard and guide in the formation of moral character and the only sure road to intellectual culture. 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 21

“And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” [Deuteronomy 6:6-9.] 11LtMs, Ms 29, 1896, par. 22