Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 53, 1897

Farnsworth, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

March 19, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Farnsworth:

I have had very much writing to do, and have not written to you as I would have been glad to do. I have commenced writing as early as eleven and twelve o’clock, and one and two o’clock in the morning, and I sleep none through the day. There is constant work in this line to be done. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 1

I will send you some matters written in regard to the case of Brother Hickox. I have not written them one line, or they me; but I have been given light in regard to his present situation. Brother Farnsworth, I am compelled to say that if this is the right way for our ministers to treat their brethren ministers, then I am not acquainted with right and Scriptural methods. I know that this is not according to the Scriptures. Those who know the truth as it is in Jesus, and who bring that truth into their practical life, would not do as you have done. The love of truth brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness shining into the heart, melt the frozen heart. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 2

There is a divine side of truth in the aspect which the human agent assumes toward his brethren. There is an objective and external side to us, and there is a subjective side, which is possessing that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Our inward thoughts and feelings testify to the tenor and character of our faith. The soul’s appropriation of faith is the Lord’s provision, made for our individual souls. Faith in Jesus Christ is saving grace, whereby we receive and rest alone in Christ for salvation, believing in Him, and looking unto and depending on Jesus Christ day by day, hour by hour, grasping His saving grace. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 3

When the soul rests solely in the Lord Jesus Christ for its individual salvation, it entirely surrenders to Him, in full reliance upon “It is written.” The whole man is the purchase of the only begotten Son of God. The heart, the mind, the affections, the strength, the will, all connect, depending on Jesus Christ as One able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. This act joins the soul to God. Saving faith centers in Christ alone, in His blood and sacrifice, and in the promises of God. All who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour, believe in him as their Sin-bearer, Teacher, Counsellor, Sanctification, and Righteousness, and their eternal reward. He is their supreme Ruler. You must trust in Him, and Him alone and place yourself, individually, in His keeping. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 4

Now, this is the right of every being that has breath and life. This is just as much the privilege of Brother Hickox as it is the privilege of Brother Farnsworth or Brother Crothers or Brother Daniells. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Brother Hickox is under service to Jesus Christ, not to man, or any counsel of men. This man-rule has done a great amount of mischief in separating the soul from God, and in educating a trust and dependence upon human agents that the Lord condemns. What evidence have our brethren that Brother Hickox was not chosen of God to do His work? What right have you to leave him out of your confidence, and refuse to sustain him, as though the Lord has given you the right to do this? Brother Hickox should have had a place to work from the first period that he was ready to work. He has done nothing that should have kept him handicapped, so that he could not work. You know not but that he has done the very best thing that could be done under the circumstances. God does not look upon many things [as] man does. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 5

I speak the things that I do know. This kind of a remedy will not heal the soul’s bruises, and the Lord has not prescribed it. From the light that the Lord has given me, it is high time for us to awake out of sleep, and read and re-read the Scripture defining the fruit of true Christianity. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.” “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” [Galatians 5:22, 23; 6:1, 2.] 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 6

I have been writing to Battle Creek in regard to man lifting himself up against his fellow laborer if that laborer does not follow his ideas and plans. But I have reason to say that the Lord has permitted these things to transpire to reveal the wrong principle of action. In this action, Brother Hickox has been more sinned against than sinning. If his brethren continue this kind of management, they cannot bind the hearts of God’s workers to their hearts, because no one could move as the brethren of Brother Hickox have moved unless their souls were lifted up in them. This is exactly the spirit which the Pharisees manifested in Christ’s day, and which brought God’s displeasure upon them. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 7

“All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Men chosen of God are to be left far more to His management, and less, far less, to the supposed wisdom of human instrumentalities. How men dare take men away from a work, or forbid them doing service to God and refuse to link up with them, for the reasons that exist in this case, I cannot explain only on the ground that they do not understand that they are not to assume the place of God. O, for more love, and less self. May the Lord help us to seek Him with a whole heart, that we may find Him. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 8

O, I am so thankful that it is not the prerogative of finite, erring man to work the Holy Spirit. Every one must be worked by the Holy Spirit, or else he had better call a halt, and seek the Lord with all humility of mind, and with the persevering purpose, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” [Genesis 32:26.] We are to believe in Jesus, not in self. We are not to exalt self one jot or tittle, but to walk humbly with God. Then He can work with us. Our lofty, self-sufficient ideas only bring dearth to the soul. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 9

Your look of faith, my Brother Farnsworth, must not be a looking now and then, but a lifelong looking to Jesus Christ. Every day give Jesus a proof of your faith, a proof of your love, by loving those for whom Christ has given His life. In a deep sense, bring your soul into close relation to Jesus Christ. Our Brother Hickox and his wife can be helpers with you all, laborers together with God. Christ died, not to save righteous men, but sinners. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 10

Brethren Farnsworth and Crothers, may the Lord draw nigh to you by His Holy Spirit. Never interpose between your fellow man and his God. The principle that man must control his fellow men has been gradually coming in, until it is regarded as a vital principle. I hope you will allow your hearts to be softened and subdued by the Spirit of God. Let icebound souls melt under the Holy Spirit’s working. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 11

We read of Christ, “When he saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then said he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” [Matthew 9:36-38.] Consider Christ’s strange compassion—shall we call it? No; it was His natural tenderness of heart. He understood the value of men. He was working to bring the gospel of salvation to sinful man, that through faith in Christ he might forsake his sins, believe in Him, and be saved. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 12

Did you not see that your fellow laborer was in need of tender, pitying love? Did you not see him discouraged? Should you not have acted the part of the good Samaritan, “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.” [Hebrews 12:12, 13.] Are you confident that the Lord directed you to give your brother a severe letting alone? Did you think Jesus would have done this kind of work? His heart of love is grieved, because compassion did not lead you to understand the situation. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 13

Compassion was not a strange element for Christ to exercise, for it has its eternal abode in His heart, and was revealed in His life-practice. This compassion and measureless love He wants you to have, my brethren, and if you cherish this heavenly attribute, you will certainly express the same. One sight of the need of humanity aroused and filled Christ’s soul. The sight of bodily weakness, of hunger and thirst, of exhaustion, and weakness that made men fall on the hill side, kindled his compassion. Your brother needed this compassion; but the words spoken by men have influenced your actions more than the words spoken by Christ, who tells you by precept and example just what you should do under all circumstances. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 14

Do not let your heart’s compassion freeze. Let the light of love streaming from the Sun of Righteousness melt the austere, severe, unsympathizing nature, which has been cultivated altogether too much. Such cases must be understood, and treated tenderly and courteously. I speak plainly, because notwithstanding all the light given, the same spirit is acted over and over and over again. I must close. I love you all. May the light of heaven shine into your hearts and minds, is my prayer. 12LtMs, Lt 53, 1897, par. 15