Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 13, 1898

Hare, Metcalfe

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 19, 1898

Previously unpublished. +Note

Brother Hare:

I arise this morning early to speak with you. I have decided to write, for then the enemy cannot tell you I said things which I did not say. I want you to receive the things I have to say. This is the first time I have had it signified to me that I should write to you. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 1

Since I attended the last council, I have had an account of the after meetings. The proposition was made for Sister Hughes to be matron of the school in place of Sister Haskell. When the motion was made for Sister Haskell, there was no second. What does this mean? I said. Who is working out these things? At last an unwilling vote was given; but under such circumstances, I would not advise Brother and Sister Haskell to come into the school at all. There is an abundance of places where they will be wanted. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 2

My duty to write to you, Brother Hare, is now made known to me. I might speak to you, but you might forget my words, or the enemy might cause you to think I said that which I did not say. Therefore I will write. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 3

I was bidden to speak these words to you: “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” [Ezekiel 18:31.] You may say, This is impossible; I cannot do it. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 4

If you see your own helplessness in the matter, one point will be gained. You can truly say, “I have no power to make me a clean heart. Will God mock my inability? Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spots? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean.” You are surely in a helpless condition. You say in truth, My neighbor cannot help me. Why? Because you will not be helped by your neighbor. You say, He cannot help or redeem himself from sin; how can he help me? You are disgusted at the thought. You have not considered that your own heart is in such a diseased state that it cannot be repaired. Therefore the Lord says to you, “Make you a new heart.” [Verse 31.] 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 5

You do not think that you have wandered so far from God, but you have; and a voice is crying unto you, “Return unto me, and I will return unto you.” [Malachi 3:7.] “I will heal all thy backslidings.” [Jeremiah 3:22.] This work is yours to see and understand. You need to heed the voice which says to you, “Return.” You say, “This is a hard saying,” but take heed. [John 6:60.] The working of the Spirit of God upon your heart will make you feel your helplessness to save yourself. When you opened the door of your heart to envy, suspicion, and evil surmisings, Satan took possession of your mind; and if you continue the same work, the words of Christ will be applicable to you: 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 6

“By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” [Matthew 13:14-17.] 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 7

The sin of the Jews was prejudice against Jesus Christ. Your sin is prejudice against the servants of God, against God in the person of His brethren. In the place of improving the privileges and opportunities you have had of receiving the engrafted Word, you have closed your heart against the Lord’s workmen, because they did not harmonize in all things with your ideas. The servants of God are not placed at your disposal. God has given them their place of duty and their work; but because you have seen them move along in the path that He has bidden them take, you have taken counsel of yourself. You have received the testimonies of others who needed to have an entire change of sentiments. You will understand this when you “make you a new heart.” [Ezekiel 18:31.] Then mind and will, thoughts, plans, and purposes, will run in a more correct channel. Motives and principles will be in accordance with the will and ways of God. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 8

The stony heart is as unimpressible as the stony ground hearers of Christ’s parable. The engrafted word is not received. “Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” [Hebrews 4:1, 2.] You have much to learn. Unless you have a heart softened by the grace of God you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven. There are hindrances in you which you do not sufficiently consider. Hereditary tendencies and prejudices are strong. You hold fast to your impressions of men and things until, through these strong traits of character, you walk contrary to righteousness and truth. The enemy takes advantage, and brings in and makes prominent your objectionable traits of character, and deceives you. He spoils your Christian experience. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 9

I could say much, for there is much that could be said; but it would not be the least use until Brother Hare makes him a new heart. Then you will not think that God has laid on you the burden of arraying yourself in opposition to His delegated workmen, to whom He has given His work. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 10

You may say, What shall I do? Jesus tells you. “Come unto me,” He says, “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.] Come to Jesus just as you are, helpless sinful. Fall upon the Rock, and be broken. Christ is the Rock. When you see yourself just as you are, you will understand. You will come to Christ just as you are. You will plead with God. As you see your defects of character, you will see that you have been imbued with the spirit of the enemy, and have worked out his will. This is killing your soul. You are in danger, but when you will draw nigh unto God, God will draw nigh unto you. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 11

When you are tempted, He will lift up for you a standard against the enemy. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you,” He says, “and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. 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. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” [Ezekiel 36:25-27.] 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 12

“Thus saith the Lord God, In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities, I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden: and the waste and desolate and ruined places are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of for the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord!” [Verses 33-38.] 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 13

As the master calls for his servant, and he obeys, so all nature does the bidding of Jehovah. The Lord speaks: “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing: and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of them that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” [Ezekiel 34:26-31.] 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 14

God will bring you to the test. You may think yourself honest, that all your course of action is dictated by conscience. But that conscience is not a good conscience. You may be in as grievous an error as was Paul in his blindness. You do not possess the right spirit. When the practical working of the truth is felt upon your own heart, you will be altogether a changed man. You will learn invaluable lessons when you cease to make yourself a criterion. You will not only feel that you are weak, but helpless to help yourself. You will have a burden of soul. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 15

The Word of God is like a sharp, two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. It cuts to the joints and marrow, and is a revealer of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It will discover to you your impotency. It is not enough for you to have a vague sense of your inability and stop with that knowledge. The Lord says, “Make you a new heart.” [Ezekiel 18:31.] Then you will have an actual experience. Do this work in the light of the Word, while some strength remains in you to reform. Take hold of the work, for your eternal interests demand it. Break off your habits of criticism, overcome your self-sufficiency. You will then be convinced that some things which you have asserted to be true are the devil’s lies. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 16

Things which you have merely surmised have been looked upon in the light in which Satan has presented them to you, until you feel it your privilege to act upon them. The precepts of the Word of God must cut to your very conscience. Unless it does this, you will not reform. You need to closely examine yourself in the place of sympathizing with yourself and others who make a mountain out of a molehill. Take your stand as one whom the Lord can regard as a faithful sentinel. You are not to exercise your own ideas and supposed wisdom to counterwork the work which the Lord has given His servants to do in this locality, where so much is to be done. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 17

You regard yourself as deserving of sympathy because you have made moves to bind about and hedge up the way of the servants of God in doing the work He has appointed them. You are responsible to God to co-operate with the Holy Spirit. Make you a new heart. You can never have a transformation of character until you see your own weakness and the stubbornness of your own heart. The deceitfulness of your own heart must be met and repulsed. You do not need to exercise tenderness toward your defects. These defects weaken your judgment in many things in connections with your brethren. God has not called upon you to maintain your opinions as superior to those of your brethren. This self-sufficiency and want of harmonious action has always in the end reacted upon yourself, although you have not discerned it just in this light. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 18

The great Teacher is giving His lessons line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. As you now stand you cannot hear from Him words of condolence and sympathy. The old heart may tell you that you should hear such words; the new heart will tell you no such fabulous tale. God gives you His precepts of authority. He gives you the injunction, “Make you a new heart, and a new spirit.” [Verse 31.] You are responsible for the spirit you manifest in your family. You need much more tenderness and sympathy. This is an hereditary trait that needs to be cut away. You need to have more caution. Trust not to your own impulse. You think you see things in a correct light, and stand braced to resist everything that does not harmonize with your ideas. You shut yourself up to your own ideas. This cannot be while you are associated with your brethren in any work. The Lord’s work must be done with all opening candor, without one thread of selfishness or superiority. All must strive for harmonious action. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 19

You may ask, Why did you not come to me with this before? The Lord who sees the end from the beginning, who sees every stage of the spiritual conflict, comes with His individual dealing with the human heart at the right time. When you see your great necessity, and seek the Lord with contrition of soul, that which you cannot possibly do for yourself the Lord will do for you. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 20

As you ask Him with your whole heart, He will respond, “A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] This must be, or you will never see the kingdom of heaven. That which you need is a transformation of character, and this He promises to bestow upon you as an individual, if you will ask with a sense of your great need. The return which He requires of you, and which you are bound to render Him, is a full surrender of yourself, without any reservation. Then you will be able to say, “He pitied me in my lost estate. He looked upon me in my blindness and helplessness. It was in His grace that He pitied me when I had no pity for my weak, helpless, suffering self. He strengthened me when I was without strength.” 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 21

When you come to the point where you will submit to be helped in the Lord’s own way, then help will come. Then you will learn your obligation to God. You will learn that there is a Sovereign in the heavens, the Authority of God, and that the Lord maintains His right o control and command every one of His creatures. You will realize that whatever may be your personal inability, His power remains the same. He will reign over every human being. But if men will not submit to His salvation, it will be to their own destruction. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 22

If the Sovereign who rules in the heavens and on the earth—He who commands the worlds unfallen, and is excellent in His majesty and glory, who has ten thousand times ten thousand of angels at His command—singles you out, and distinguishes you by sending you the message, “A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you,” how grateful should you be that it is not too late for the wrongs in your disposition to be righted. The Holy Spirit, who teaches that man is helpless and guilty, and brings his deficiencies before Him, also promises that there is help and forgiveness in Christ. But only in meekness and humility before God will these promises be fulfilled. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 23

“I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and about the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen. 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 24

“And one of the elders answered saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” [Revelation 7:9-17.] 13LtMs, Lt 13, 1898, par. 25