Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 29, 1898

Sisley, W. C.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 11, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 12MR 221-222. +Note

Dear Brother Sisley:

I wish to speak a few words to you. I feel to regret that you were placed in the position of trust that you now occupy. This is too heavy a responsibility for you. You are not physically healthy. You suffer with a diseased stomach. Connected with so many responsibilities, you need a sound mind and a sound body. Your state of health affects your words. You are often blue in spirit, and then you have little hope, courage, or faith. At these times, if you have to deal with young men and young women, if you say anything in answer to their question, it is in an abrupt way. And if you think that any one is wronging you, you speak in a harsh manner. This is especially the case when you have physical infirmities. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 1

My brother, this abrupt way of dealing with the youth creates an atmosphere about their souls that is very objectionable. Unless you are imbued with the Spirit of Christ, you will do harm to souls. You will not be kind and courteous to your brethren and sisters and to the workers in the office. The spirit of despondency, if allowed to obtain the victory, will make you impatient, and unkind in speech, and will cause you to look unfavorably upon many matters brought before you. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 2

You do not see the necessity of being with one accord in one place. Your faith must lay hold upon the promises of God. Then the Holy Spirit will come upon you and heal your infirmities. When subjects of importance are brought before you in regard to any lines of God’s work, you need the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God upon your heart, that you may be moved upon, and hear the still, small voice speaking to you. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 3

There are floods of spiritual influence yet to be poured out upon all who will be worked by God’s Spirit. The zeal of these will kindle and burn. They will speak words that will represent the Spirit within their heart, crying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” [Matthew 3:3.] 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 4

You are supposed to be one who is working to cleanse the office from the cold, harsh, unsympathetic spirit that has been a curse to it for so long. This was the sin of Brother A. R. Henry. He has a diseased stomach and a very much diseased faith, and being destitute of the Spirit of God, he was wholly unfitted to have a connection with the work. Now, my brother, I love you in the Lord, and I feel deeply over your being so heavily burdened. As a man of experience, you should ever be prepared to advance the work in its various lines, but unless the Holy Spirit floods your soul, you will take very narrow views, and will surely retard the work. The Lord designs that all who are connected with the work in the office shall be under His controlling power. The plan of the Holy Spirit was to send forth holy influences, multiplying and combining with perfect unity to raise human efficiency to the highest standard in the carrying forward of the work of God. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 5

“Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] The solemn charge is given to us to go forth and dispense the light, that the world may see and receive it and rejoice in its beams, and in their turn shine forth amid the moral darkness, that others may receive the light. To refuse to shine is to lose the light that is shining upon you, for in not letting your light shine forth, you contract a burden of guilt that is of great magnitude. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] Then why does not the church take up this work, yoking up with Christ to be co-laborers with Him? 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 6

The freshness and power of the Holy Spirit upon the human agent is diffusive. <I speak to the church,> Let not the spirit of indolence and slothfulness be indulged, for it will be the most sorry indulgence you have ever experienced. Take up the work. Every one who has the light of truth is to do something. Do it now, before another day passes. Wrestle with God in prayer. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 7

I address the church in Battle Creek. Let the sweetness and fragrance of the Spirit of God find a place in your hearts. Then it will be entertained in your homes. A home where Christ presides is a home where peace and love and joy are the ruling elements. Then the Spirit of God will not be repulsed by your perverse, untamable spirit. You will bear about with you the sweet fragrance of peace, and love, and unity. Your work is not to repulse, but to draw, saying, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come and take of the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17.] 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 8

God’s Spirit enters the home first, and presides there. Then it is brought into the church, to sanctify and bless the church. Every holy agency is put into working order. No voice can be silent. Every talent entrusted to man is to be used for the recovery of the lost image of God in man. Each one is to help his brother who is weak in faith. Every converted soul is a new agency coming in to unite in working for the great object for which Christ gave His life. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 9

Hear the words of the Saviour, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the church, I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” [Verse 16.] What a wonderful declaration is this. Christ Himself united the wide extremes of divinity and humanity. “All power is vested in me, both in heaven and earth,” He declares. “I have made in it my plan that angels as well as men should act a part in My service. Therefore I have sent mine angel to communicate these things to all the world; and lo, I am with you to the end of the world. The Holy Spirit and the church, angels and men, are to combine in the great, grand work of pointing to the living fountain of life, opened to the whole world if they believe on Me. This is My final will. All may partake of the waters of life freely.” 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 10

Every soul that believes is to connect with Christ and angels in saying, Come; whosoever will may partake of the water of life freely. But we look around us, and what do we see? Many churches erected, and worship going on in them, formal and insincere. The heart is going after its idols. In the place of heart-devotion, the Lord beholds apparent solemnity and formality. The attitudes and signs of devotion are performed. He hears men confessing their sins, but not repenting or forsaking them. He discerns an array of spiritual idols which engage the attention, and in which men trust, supplanting God. He sees a system of maxims, customs, and false theories, which they tenaciously cherish, robbing Him of the honor due His name. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 11

The idols of the heathen stood between them and their God, obscuring God from their vision. Thus it is today. By the cunning deception of Satan, false theories are made a power to rob God. Man’s spiritual understanding is darkened by Satan’s sophistry. Instead of religion making men meek and lowly in heart, it words to make them religious zealots, exacting and hard-spirited because their ideas are not met. Their religious ideas do not lead the soul to humble, fervent trust in God. False theories, wholly human, stand between them and their God. Their souls are wrapped up in their own preconceived opinions, separate them from all who differ with them, engrossing the soul to self. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 12

Shall not Seventh-day Adventists have a record differing entirely from this? The Lord declares that He will have the whole heart, for God is a Spirit, and all who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. My brother, you need so much to have enlarged views. Then your light will shine. You will not try to shine, for you cannot help shining. Satan is working with power, deceiving the world by his sophistry, putting into the hearts and minds of those who minister in the churches that God’s law is done away—the very same story that he tried to make current in heaven, and with which he induced angels to become disloyal with him. Out of the heart, said Christ, proceed evil thoughts. A heart unsubdued by the grace of Christ is the source of moral defilement. The Satan who fell from the high estate he occupied in heaven has originated in those who serve him many untrue thoughts of God, which the tongue does not express. He has created many desires, which are covered from the light. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 13

Christ said, Every man is known by the fruit he bears. Make the tree good, and the fruit will be good. God asks for the whole heart. My brother, give it to Him daily. Let the Lord work you, and the fruit from your lips will be good. For many years, ever since the printing office was established, the Lord has plainly shown what principles should prevail in it. No hard, unsympathetic spirit should be cherished. Those who act in the capacity of superintendents, <managers, and foremen in the different departments> should be men who have the heart of a father, treating every child as his child, every fellow worker as God’s property, as of more value than gold or silver or precious stones. For who can estimate the price paid for men in the sufferings and death of the only begotten Son of God? 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 14

<Of Christ it is written,> “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.” Those who have an abiding Christ will do His ways and speak with His Spirit. “With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” [Isaiah 11:2-4.] 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 15

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel, both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his goings forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” [Isaiah 13:9-11.] 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 16

In God’s kingdom the loftiest distinction is reserved for the pure, the contrite in heart. When the heart is fully consecrated to God it becomes one with the heart of Christ. All who are truly converted will show that they have passed from death unto life, because they love the brethren. Why do they love them? Because they are united in the same parent stock. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 17

“I will make a man more precious than gold,” God declares; “even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Verse 12.] Christ impressed upon His disciples that they were to ask God in prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and then, placing themselves in an attitude to receive, they would receive all the gifts comprehended in the gift of the Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is to purify the heart, uniting it with the divine nature. The Spirit changes the heart, bringing it into conformity with its own pure nature. The heart of every church member must become as humble as the heart of a little child. All overbearing, accusing speech must be overcome, else we can never unite with the family above. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 18

My brother, looking unto Jesus, communing with Jesus, you will become one with Christ. “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you when if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone; or if he ask a fish will he give him a serpent? ... If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” [Luke 11:9-11, 13.] 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 19

Stand in your Saviour. Be gentle, be kind, be tender and compassionate. An abundance of the opposite attributes, which originate with Satan, have been manifested. This has made a record in heaven that none of those who are guilty will care to meet. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] How selfish has been the spirit of some who have served in the office of publication. Sharp, criticizing, unjust dealing has marked their course. The hearts of some connected with the work became so imbued with the attributes of Satan that they had no vital interest in the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. Their souls were palsied by self-sufficiency and superiority. They were so disabled by the sting of the serpent that they were incapable of appropriating the bread which comes down from heaven. They did not put into every line of the work a divine life that has been provided for them at infinite cost. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 20

Some seemed to have such great spiritual blindness that they were in the hands of the tempter, ingenious to pervert every blessing received, turning it into wrong channels, misinterpreting and misrepresenting God. This was done to such a degree that God could not bless them. Thus at the heart of the work have satanic attributes held sway. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 21

My brother, I entreat of you not to enter into this kind of policy. Search out God’s expressed will in the Old Testament Scriptures. “Thou shalt not oppress the hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren or of the strangers that are in thy land within thy gates; at his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee. ... Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge; but thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, that the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence; therefore I command thee to do this thing. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 22

“When thou cuttest down thy harvest in the field, and hast forgotten a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in the work of thy hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt; therefore I command thee to do this thing.” [Deuteronomy 24:14, 15, 17-22.] 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 23

The Lord will have mercy upon those that seek Him with contrition of soul. “I am the light of the world,” He declares. [John 8:12.] He is a blessing as universal as light. He came to break down every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment in the temple of His creation, that every soul, Jew or Gentile, might have free access to the presence of God. The message He brought from the Father was for the ears of the whole world. Then let every soul yoke up with Christ in an effort to reach the souls of every caste, of every nation. There are no boundaries to God’s grace. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 24

I leave these words with you. I beg of you to hang your helpless soul upon Jesus Christ. Seek to encircle and draw every soul to Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 25

In much love to yourself and your family. 13LtMs, Lt 29, 1898, par. 26