Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 75, 1896

Nobbs, Alfred

Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia

November 24, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 489; 9MR 351-352.

Dear Brother:

I have not heard from Brother and Sister Belden for some time. I have some fears that they may not be able to write to me. If anything is the matter with them, I would be pleased to have you write me. The last I heard, they were both crippled in their hands from accident. It may be that no boat has lately come into Sydney from Norfolk Island. We learn from the papers that a boat will leave for the island today. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 1

I received your letter, and thank you for writing. We are here in Ashfield, where we came to attend our second conference in New South Wales. The meetings have been well attended, and have been interesting, because the Lord’s presence has been with us in deed and in truth. We were much encouraged to see so good an attendance. Delegates came in from the different churches, and they remained until the close of the meeting. Brethren Farnsworth and Haskell attended this meeting, and there labors were blessed of the Lord. These brethren left us last Wednesday, on their passage to New Zealand. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 2

Our camp meeting at Adelaide, South Australia, was a success. There was a much larger interest than we had at Armadale, a year ago. You know we had an excellent interest in that place. Sabbath and Sunday the crowd was much larger at Adelaide than at Armadale. The opposition was much stronger, chiefly from two persons, one who professed to be a converted Jew, and the other a Disciple minister named Green. These men stormed and fumed and raved like two madmen. They challenged our ministers to enter into controversy with them, but our answer to them was, “We are doing a great work, and we cannot come down.” [Nehemiah 6:3.] The fact that we would not turn aside to enter into controversy with them, made them almost frantic. They showed what manner of spirit they were of, and the people had an opportunity of seeing the contrast between those who keep the commandments of God, and those who disregard them. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 3

Additions have been made to the number of believers. Some of the very firstclass in the community have taken their position firmly. They will have trials, for trial is the portion of all who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. If we follow Jesus, we need not expect a better portion in this world than had our Master. He our Redeemer was reproached and hated by the world, and He has told us that all who follow Him will suffer persecution for His sake. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12.] 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 4

How does God estimate His true followers? He says, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but and if the salt have lost his savor, where with shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men.” [Verse 13.] Here we see [that] the value of the profession of any Christian is seen in his character and life. A good man draws all his virtue from the life of Christ. If Christ is abiding in him, he has life in Christ, and will be of value in saving the souls of others from corruption. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 5

A believer in the truth is ever bound to manifest his principles in full view of the world; and with intense solicitude he should keep the principles of the Word of God boldly and vividly before his own mind, that he may never be guilty of misrepresenting Him whose disciple he claims to be. He should respect himself because Christ has given him an evidence of the value God has placed upon him in the costly sacrifice made to redeem him. Therefore his influence should always be as represented by the words of Christ when He compared His principles to salt because of its preserving quality. Those who profess to be Christians, yet in their words and works are not Christlike, reveal that they have no vital connection with Christ. They have no power to save the world from its moral corruption. They are like the salt that has lost its savor. “Without me,” said Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] All our profession of godliness is worthless. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 6

“Ye are the light of the world. A city set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house.” [Matthew 5:14, 15.] An indwelling Saviour will be manifest to all with whom the human agent is brought in contact. There is the necessity of planting the truth in the heart of man; then it will control his life. For this purpose the Spirit of God is to take the things of God, the truth from the sacred Word, and stamp it on the soul. Then it will be revealed in words, in actions, in every business transaction. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 7

Our work is to represent Christ in character, then when we co-operate with God, we shall work out that which the Holy Spirit works within. A power will attend every soul who derives his spiritual life from Jesus Christ. All, then, have a work to do for the Master, earnest, solemn work in spreading the truth. The truth is first to be planted in his own soul, and then he plants the seeds of truth in other souls. Thus we become lights to shine amid the moral darkness of the world. The influence is constantly going forth to repress sin. The Christian will be consistent in his persevering efforts to restore the souls who are sin-sick and perishing. We must manifest more zeal. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 8

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Verse 16.] This is our work, but Satan does not want that heaven’s light shall appear and shine amid the moral darkness. He will seek to intercept every ray of light from heaven, that it shall not irradiate the soul, and reflect back glory to God. We must walk by faith, and have an increasing, growing faith, that shall resist the powers of darkness. Both the understanding and the heart need daily to maintain the most intimate and conscious connection with the pure sacred springs, the Fountain of Life, from which they derive their inspiration. There is far more blessing for the human agent, even for every one who will yield to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 9

We are living in a time when iniquity abounds. The oil of grace must be in our vessels with our lamps. Our only safety is to live in hourly contact and conscious communion with the principles [of] truth, righteousness, and mercy, which reveal the attributes of God within the soul. God is the deep Source of all moral and intellectual power. We are to bind ourselves up with God, and co-operate with Him. Behold the cross of Calvary. It is the guarantee that through Jesus Christ we may have, not only spiritual efficiency but skill and understanding in the Scriptures, but may represent the truth in its attractive, powerful principles, by precept and example. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 10

There will constantly be a struggle in order to gain access to the hearts of the ignorant and wicked. But do we individually try as earnestly and faithfully by personal effort as we should? Do we not hold ourselves too much aloof from the poor souls dead in trespasses and sins? Can we not, every one of us, arm ourselves with the intense earnestness of Christ, and do more? I fear that there is not that faith that is essential. Shall we not brace ourselves against disappointments and temptations to be discouraged? God is merciful, and with the truth, rejoicing, purifying, ennobling the life, we can do a sound and solid work for God. Prayer and faith will do wonderful things. The Word must be our weapon of warfare. Miracles can be wrought through the Word, for it is profitable for all things. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 11

Light, precious light, is shining forth from the cross of Calvary. This is our illumination. This is our central light. Look at the cross and accept Jesus Christ by living faith as our righteousness, and power will be with you, for you will prevail with God as did Jacob. Work for the salvation of souls as though you knew by sight that you were in full view of the whole universe of heaven. Every angel in glory is interested in the work being done for the salvation of souls. We are not awake as we should be. All the angelic host are our helpers. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee, (think of that!) is mighty: he will save: he will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in his love: he will joy over thee with singing.” O cannot we then work with courage and faith? “In that day it will be said to Jerusalem, Fear thee not: and lo Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.” [Zephaniah 3:17, 16.] Only have faith. Pray and believe, and ye shall see the salvation of God. 11LtMs, Lt 75, 1896, par. 12