Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12

53/457

Lt 48, 1897

Daniells, A. G.; Salisbury, W. D.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 21, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in UL 35; ML 157, 162, 217; CTr 231. +Note

Dear Brethren Daniells and Salisbury:

I have just received and read your letter. I was very much pleased with the contents. What the result would be if our brethren separated from the office has been presented to me, in regard to the Echo office, in regard to their business, and in regard to the church. Their reunion with God’s great center is just as it should be, for all the families interested will be placed in a much more pleasing relation to one another, and to our Redeemer, whose they are by creation, and whose they are doubly by redemption. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 1

It was impossible, before, for me to present the things I had written in regard to this subject. Knowing the condition of the minds of Brethren Miller and Woods when I was with you, I knew it would be labor lost. I may bring before you all some things, which I have not felt that I could present before, that you may be benefited by the principles presented to me; but I cannot do this just now. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 2

In regard to the branch office in the city, I cannot see why it is not the proper thing to do. If you move carefully and prayerfully the Lord will give you wisdom. Heart-consecration to God means everything to us. The good leaven of truth absorbs and permeates everything, heart, mind, and strength. It is the grace of God, hidden in the heart, reforming, purifying, and cleansing. The whole life becomes one of service, not to self, but to God. Thus the truth, working like leaven, influences all brought within the sphere of our influence. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 3

One strong reason why an office should be established in the city of Melbourne is that some will be converted. Men often find God when they are not seeking Him. They alight on the hidden treasure of truth, which is more precious to the finder than gold. If those who shall have charge of this branch office keep in close relation with God, others will find Him. Let the light shine in the highways and the byways. In every line of our work we are to seek most earnestly to become fishers of men. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 4

Consider how circumstances which occur bring truth before the minds of others. Call to mind the woman of Samaria, who came, as was her usual custom, to draw water. A stranger sitting on the well asks her for a drink. A conversation begins. Jesus says to her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.” [John 4:7-14.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 5

Remembering the weary work which she had to repeat day after day, and thinking what an advantage it would be if she could have water without all this trouble, the woman said, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.” [Verse 15.] She did not realize that Jesus was presenting to her the soul’s highest interest, the water of life. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 6

The words spoken by Christ were the living water. But she soon became so interested that she left her water pot, and going into the city, bore the words to her countrymen, “Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?” [Verse 29.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 7

The woman had come for water, and she heard of the water of life. She had been convinced of sin, and believed on Jesus Christ. Thus is the holy oil is emptied by the holy messengers, represented by the two olive trees, into the golden tubes, and from thence into the golden bowls. The emptying process goes on, from the receiving of the golden oil, to the communicating of the same to others. Words are spoken; the unconscious influences that surround the soul are felt, although no words are designedly spoken. A word may be often spoken that will be as seed sown. The presentation of a tract or a paper may carry impressions to hearts, and the result is that the reader or hearer thirsts for the water of life. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 8

The Lord has made ample provision that the heavenly graces shall be abundantly supplied to all, that the truth as it is in Jesus shall hold the first place in the heart, and shall ever occupy the soul-temple. Then there will be thorough devotion to God, and every true believer will become a fisher of men. He will pray for wisdom, and will walk in accordance with the prayer: “Ye are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 9

I cannot see but that you are being driven, as it were, to the city, to raise the standard of the Lord, that others may be convinced. It takes a variety of gifts to do the Lord’s work. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 10

The pearl of great price is the truth. The seeker after it represents the humble, sincere seeker after Christ. If that which he finds does not better enable him to reveal Christ, both by precept and example, it is not of God. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 11

We have abundant evidence that tares grow with the wheat in the church of God. There are sincere Christians in the church, and there are also lukewarm Christians. These have opportunity to know the truth. The Word of God is presented to them; they come to the banquet, as Judas came to the passover, but like Judas, they do not eat the Word of life. No one can compel them to eat the Word of eternal life, to make thorough work for repentance, that they may obtain a Christian experience, and become rooted and grounded in the truth. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 12

The lessons of Christ drew all kinds of people together, many of whom professed to receive the truth. Some followed the disciples as did Ananias and Sapphira, who acted a lie to get credit for liberality, that others might think they were sacrificing all. But God read their pretension; for He is the searcher of all hearts. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 13

Simon Magus was baptized, but he thought that the Holy Ghost could be purchased with money. He offered the disciples money, saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” But with holy indignation Peter answered, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” [Acts 8:19-23.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 14

Sharp testimonies must be borne, testimonies that reveal sin. It is often difficult to make the impression upon human minds that must be made to enable them to distinguish sacred, eternal interests from common things. The witness for God often repeats truth clearly and distinctly, and he thinks, “There is no more to be said now.” But there are those who like Simon Magus, think that sacred things of God are merchandise. There are learned men who, like Nicodemus, say, “How can these things be?” [John 3:9.] God’s worker is then grieved and astonished. Disappointment comes, and he says, “What is the use of working? Clear and striking arguments, illustrations appropriate and right to the point, earnestness, and hope to save a soul from death, all have failed to arouse the benumbed senses.” Because of the failure of his efforts his heart becomes discouraged. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 15

But this will never do. We are to remember that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The carnal mind is as dark as midnight, and its illumination must come from the Holy Spirit. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” [Zechariah 4:6.] The most simple representation will be the most effective. This work is to be done by every believing child of God. None are to fail or be discouraged in their service for the Master, whatever the ignorance of spiritual things is shown by learned men. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 16

Demas forsook Paul. Writing to Timothy Paul says, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me; for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” [2 Timothy 4:9, 10.] This is acted out over and over again. Many choose the world before Christ. Paul writes further, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil; the Lord reward him according to his works: of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” [Verses 14-17.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 17

This experience we shall have to meet. But work on, lifting Christ higher and still higher, as the sin-pardoner. We must not be overwhelmed with discouragement because good and bad are gathered into the church. Judas was numbered among the disciples. He had every advantage a man could have, but although he heard the truth, and listened to the principles so plainly laid down, yet Christ knew that he did not receive the truth. He did not eat the truth. It did not become a part of himself. His old habits and practices constantly sought to assert themselves. But Christ did not take forcible means to cut Judas away from the disciples. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 18

There is a time coming when those who have joined the church but who have not joined Christ, will be manifest. Their corrupt principles cannot blend with Christ. He has represented all such as a new patch put on an old garment. The old cloth tears away from the new, and the rent is made worse. They are like new wine put into old bottles. The bottles break, and the wine is lost. The heart must be made new before it can receive the truth which sanctifies the receiver. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 19

All this represents the condition of the church. But what are we to do? To sit in judgment upon these poor, delinquent ones, to condemn them, and root them out, is not given to mortal men to do. God has not given this work to any human being. “Let both grow together until the harvest,” said Christ. [Matthew 13:30.] Christ is the judge. He has bought man. Man is His property. The Redeemer does not want to lose one soul, and His experience with Judas is recorded to show His long patience with perverse human nature. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 20

Christ will decide who are worthy to dwell in perfect unity with the saints in the family of heaven. Christ will judge every man by his works and by his words; by his works, whether they be good or bad; by his words, whether they be spoken in the language of heaven or in the language of this earth. Man’s profession is as nothing in the scale. Character will decide the destiny of every soul. “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 according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 21

Those who are members of the church of Christ will be tested. Some will make shipwreck of the faith. There will be those in the church who will be shown to be tares. They have no appetite for the heavenly banquet. There will be those who appear to be wheat, but by their works and words they prove themselves to be tares. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 22

All who are trying to do true service to God will be brought into perplexity; but do not think of failure. Do not talk of discouragement. Let all be united in doing the will of our heavenly Father. “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 of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” [Hebrews 12:12-16.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 23

I see by faith a channel of light which must come more and more directly to humanity. If those who are connected with God’s work would feel the burden of it, and would realize that they are representatives of Jesus Christ, what a light would go forth from them to others. The Lord presents many opportunities to those in His army, but these opportunities are not always discerned. There are hungry, aching hearts, to whom we could speak words that would be as seed sown in good ground, if we could only see the inner wants of the soul. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 24

But God knows that we cannot do that, and He has given as directions for work. He inspired His apostle Paul to write, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifice God is well pleased.” [Hebrews 13:15, 16.] James writes, “Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you, let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” [James 3:13.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 25

Peter writes, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but now are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [1 Peter 2:9-12.] “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you, a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear: having a good conscience, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, that they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” [1 Peter 3:15, 16.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 26

There is not a man living that can truly enjoy the world except the man of God. That heart is the happiest that has Christ as an abiding guest. That home is the most blessed where godliness is a <controlling> principle. In the cultivation of the soil the worker can read from nature lessons upon spiritual things. In the workshop where the peace and heavenly presence of Christ dwells, the workers <will be the most trustworthy, the most faithful, the most efficient.> The fear and love of God is seen. They walk in wisdom toward those that are connected with them, and toward all with whom they deal. The Bible sheds light upon their pathway, and the living principles of God’s law are brought into every transaction. But gain obtained in an unfair way is gain without godliness, and as money put into a bag with holes. It will eat the flesh as doth a canker. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 27

If we are Christians, we cannot follow the world’s policy. “It is written” must be our constant counsellor. What ungodly men do should not guide us. What men think and say should never lead one soul to swerve from the path of strict rectitude. We are to go to the Fountainhead, and carefully meditate upon the great moral principles contained in the law of Jehovah. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] We are to bring it into all our business transactions. The decisive question is, What has God said? What standard has He set up? This once determined, we should feel bound to follow it. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 28

We cannot afford to barter away our birthright for a mess of pottage. If we do this, we lose life, eternal life, to secure a treasure that will perish in the using. Shall we not hear the voice of our Redeemer, saying, “He that will come after me, let him take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 29

In obeying the Word of God, we find righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. This the humble, persevering Christian can and will have. It is God’s eternal covenant with those who do His commandments. Where can we find a surer guide than the only true God? The world is under a terrible infatuation which will end in eternal ruin. The guidance of the Holy One should be appreciated as of the highest value. Where is <a safer> path than that in which the Eternal leads the way? When we follow Him, we are in no cheap, tangled bush path, but in a narrow path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, opened by the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son. Who, I ask, are not rational, not sane? Those who turn from the Lord’s standard to follow the impulses of their own perverted hearts. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 30

What is Bible religion? Living the law of God as Christ lived it in His humanity. That law is holy, just, and good. “The words that I speak unto you,” said Christ, “they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63.] Whatever be our situation, if we are doers of those words, we have a guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexity, we have a sure counsellor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing friend. If you, in your ignorance, have taken missteps, God does not leave you. His voice, clear and distinct, is heard, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” [John 14:6.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 31

Those who choose to follow their own way reap the sure results. Could they be persuaded to follow the Lord, fearing and loving Him, how different would be their end. Those who truly love God can rest their souls in His keeping. The way given to guide the feet of every one is divine; but if men refuse to follow this path, and make imperfect rules, and raise human standards, you will see a mournful people, a dissatisfied people, and an accusing people. They lay the misfortunes, which come because they follow their own imperfect standards, to their brethren, because they did not do exactly as they said. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 32

Thank God, we have a divine path, marked out for us to follow. The man who has true religion planted in his heart will not be guided by human opinion, but by the verdict of One who is unerring. God’s laws are not uncertain conjectures, but the truth, the decisions of an infallible judge. The very laws which He has made known to His people are the laws by which they are to be tried when they stand before His judgment seat. “And I saw a great white throne,” writes John, “and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” [Revelation 20:11, 12.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 33

I would that we could all remember, much better than we have done in the past, that each day we are deciding what shall be written in the books of heaven. “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice, to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” [Revelation 14:15.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 34

“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass, mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” [Revelation 15:1-4.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 35

Men act as though they had been given special liberty to cancel the decisions of God. The higher critics put themselves in the place of God, and review the Word of God, revising or endorsing it. In this way all nations are induced to drink the wine of the fornication of Babylon. These higher critics have fixed things to suit the popular heresies of these last days. If they cannot subvert and misapply the Word of God, if they cannot bond it to human practices, they break it. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 36

But no man who is a partaker of the divine nature will judge the Word of God, for he realizes that it is that Word that judges him. We cannot bring our religion to the Bible, and re-shape and misplace the Scriptures to prove our religion true. We must obtain our religion from the Word, just as it reads. Those who have felt at liberty to reject any portion of God’s Word at pleasure, trampling upon it because it does not suit the world’s measure, or accommodate their own practices in business deal, will find that they are handling a sword which cuts both ways. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 37

All who are doers of the Word of God will be blessed abundantly. Whatever crosses they must lift, whatever losses they must sustain, whatever persecution they may suffer, even if it be to the loss of their temporal life, they are amply recompensed, for they secure that life which measures with the life of God. In losing their lives for Christ’s sake, they gain a life which lasts through the eternal ages. They walk under the direction of the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. They shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 38

Every one that kindles his taper from the divine altar holds his lamp firmly. He does not use common fire upon his censer, but the holy fire, kept burning by the power of God day and night. <Those> who walk in the footsteps of Jesus, who will surrender their lives to His guidance and to His service, have the golden oil in their vessels with their lamps. They will never be placed in a position for which God has not made provision. The lamp of life is always trimmed by the very hand that lit it. 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 39

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.” [Hebrews 13:20, 21.] 12LtMs, Lt 48, 1897, par. 40