Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 79, 1898

Lindsay, Harmon

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 3, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in SD 14; 3SM 316; 3MR 204-205.

Dear Brother:

I am writing to Philip Wessels, because I dared not withhold the matter urged upon me for him. I have also something written for you. My brother, your connection with the Wessels family placed you where you could exert a great influence for good. They needed the very help that it was possible for you to give them. Had you not leaned to your own understanding, had you put your trust in God, you could have acted as an uplifter to the whole family. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 1

“Trust in the Lord with all thy heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil. ... Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” [Proverbs 3:5-7, 13-18.] 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 2

This is the word of the Lord. My brother, you have been making your way, climbing up the ladder of progress. You were entrusted with capabilities and talents, which were to be under the control and supervision of God. Then as you should improve every day in knowledge and understanding, you would gain increased knowledge. You were required to go forward and acquire more knowledge, that you might be able to impart understanding to others. You were to make God your trust, as did Daniel in the courts of Babylon, and with a conscientious sense of your accountability, make the Word of God your rule, your counsellor. God requires you to exercise every ability given you. This imposes weighty obligations upon you as to how you use your reason. “Ye are God’s husbandry: ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The Lord is constantly at work, putting the very best timber into His building. As part of the Lord’s garden, you are to be cultivated and improved, that you may produce the very choicest kind of fruit. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 3

God speaks to Harmon Lindsay. “Hear, oh Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” [Deuteronomy 6:4, 5.] “Behold, A certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” This question was framed by the priests, in the hope that Christ’s answer would give them an occasion to accuse and condemn Him. Christ reads all hearts, and He understood this plan. He laid the burden of the answer upon the lawyer himself, knowing that he understood the claims of God’s law. “What is written in the law?” He said, “how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 4

The lawyer knew from the Scriptures that God required His people to reveal His character to suffering humanity, to represent Christ as Christ was representing the Father. But willing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Christ then gave the parable of the good Samaritan and asked, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves?” The priest and Levite, who saw the suffering one, and passed by on the other side, or the Samaritan, who went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The lawyer answered, “He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” [Verses 29-37.] 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” [1 Peter 1:3-5.] 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 6

We may appropriate this promise to ourselves; for we are most assuredly living in the last time. We are quickened together with Christ. This quickening is the work we need to have done for us, because then a new life from Christ will enter the soul, and by faith we shall grasp a new, strong hope. My brother, this is what you need, and what you must have if your life is to be a useful one. I urge you to realize that this privilege is for you if you will sanctify the Lord in your heart. My heart is drawn out to say to you that the time of our sojourn here is short. Take yourself in hand. See that your heart is clean and pure, and that you can sanctify the Lord God in your heart. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 7

The Lord has given great opportunities to many. In His providence He has given some privileges above others. He requires them to improve every talent in proportion to the privileges and opportunities granted them. The Lord would have every soul seek for wisdom and understanding, that He may make good to the very letter every promise given in His Word. If men and women would be true doers of the Word, God would fulfil His promises to the letter. We are to follow on to know the Lord. Our course of action is to be planned in accordance to what the Lord will expect of us. We are to be faithful and discreet, making continual advancement in faith. Enoch walked with God. He walked forward, not backward. He did not stand still. Discretion and judgment are to be zealously maintained. Then we can speak to God in any place. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 8

“The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] My brother, you have not been as God planned you should be—growing up into the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. It is necessary that we understand the relation between spiritual and intellectual improvement, that we may see that with a renewed heart, we shall be enabled more clearly to understand the mystery of godliness and the working out of Satan’s corrupting principles. We are living in a world where God is dishonored by apostasy and rebellion. False prophets, false doctrines, and strange voices would claim our attention; but God’s servants will be as though they heard not. The Word of the living God is the treasure which God has given us, and if we appreciate this Word, which is spirit and life, we shall not become apostates, neither shall we be orphans. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 9

The Word from God is, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] These words were given to the Lord’s watchmen, “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” [Isaiah 52:11, 12.] As the chosen of God, we are called upon to have His Spirit vitalizing our whole being. Then the precious principles in the Word of God will not be clouded before our eyes, but will be clear and distinct, upon high and holy ground. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 10

God would have your principles pure, elevated, ennobling. We are under distinct obligation to God, and we are to be a peculiar and holy people, distinguished by moral purity. Our acknowledgment by God as His adopted children, as His sons and daughters, depends upon our coming out from the world and being separate. Paul was inspired. He spoke as an inspired man, and the promise was given to him to be given to us as coming directly from God, “I will be a Father unto you.” [2 Corinthians 6:18.] God is our Father, a tender parent, solicitous for His spiritual children. He is pledged to be the protector, counsellor, guide, and friend of all who are obedient to Him. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 11

My brother, you have ceased to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Do you not realize that you have lost your vital connection with God? Unless the matter is opened before you, you cannot see the great good you might have accomplished had you kept in vital touch with God. There are those you might have helped, blessed, and saved had you employed your God-given powers to the best account. Today, the present moment, is yours. It may be your last opportunity, your last privilege, to speak and act as one who must give an account. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 12

The sinners, the misguided ones, with whom you are linked, are some of them standing where if God should say to them, “This night thy soul shall be required of thee,” they would not be ready. [Luke 12:20.] Have you been true and faithful? If you had continued to be linked closely to Jesus Christ, what a good work you might have done. Your own neglect to improve and grow as God’s husbandry has lost for you your influence and power. Will you remember that God holds in His hand your life, and the life of every member of your family, and the family with whom you have united? 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 13

Eternal results hang on the present movements of human beings. But how unconcerned many are in regard to this matter. How frequently the sinner who might come to Christ today closes up his earthly record on the morrow. He is then beyond repentance, beyond pardon; his case is fixed, eternally fixed. To lose heaven is to lose everything. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 14

You have become a dwarf in more than one respect. Your mind has become bound about because you have not felt the need of rising to meet emergencies and mastering difficulties. The Lord abundantly bestows upon us the most precious things from His treasury. He has given us the glorious sunlight, to cause vegetation to flourish, that we may be enriched with the sustenance His garden produces. But God’s greatest gift is Christ, whose life is ours, given for us. He died for us, and was raised for us, that we might come forth from the tomb to a glorious companionship with heavenly angels, to meet our loved ones and to recognize their faces, for the Christlikeness does not destroy their image, but transforms it into His glorious image. Every saint connected in family relationship here will know each other there. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 15

When we are redeemed, the Bible will be understood in a higher, broader, and clearer sense than it now is. The veil that has hung between mortality and immortality will be rent away. We shall see His face. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 16

The Bible tells us that we gain immortality through Jesus Christ. Our life must be hid with Christ in God. My brother, you have lost your vitality. You have ceased to be a wrestler. You have willingly allowed your mental and physical powers to stagnate. Better would it have been for you if your lines had been laid in poverty, if you had been dependent upon your own exertions for success. You have not felt the pressure of responsibility. You have relaxed both physical and spiritual muscles, and have shown yourself to be a slothful servant. You need not be thus. A do-little attitude accustoms itself to any situation. But you can rise above this sloth-bound attitude. For Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, for the sake of the Wessels family, recover your God-given manhood. You are defrauding your own soul of the richest treasures. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 17

God is our witness to all our transactions. You are either serving the Lord with all diligence, [or] else you are wasting the talents given you that you might make every advancement toward physical and mental perfection. The Lord speaks. Hear what He says, “Be not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] You have ceased to progress. There is much you might have done in many lines, but you are losing your attitude, and this will diminish more and more, unless you arouse yourself, and use your talents to the glory of God. The Lord wants what He calls men of opportunity, men of tact and ability, who can meet and overcome difficulties. The Lord made Daniel and Joseph shrewd managers. They did not live to please their own inclination, but to please God. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 18

Remember that you are constantly making an impression, favorable or unfavorable. The heavenly universe is watching what we are doing. God would have you make impressions that will be as abiding as eternity. By your example you should demonstrate to the Wessels family that Bible religion gives no endorsement to idleness, selfish pleasure, self-gratification, or extravagance. You are to practice before them habits of making the most of your time, of being industrious and frugal. You are to show that you appreciate the truth and the love of God. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 19

My brother, I am pained to see that in the place of rising up to walk with the Lord Jesus, you are indulging a spirit of doing very little. Will you not bind yourself up with God? Waste not your physical and mental powers in inaction. Let your example be a constant reminder of what God requires from every steward of means and of ability. Faith and prayer will do everything for you. May the Lord move upon you by His Holy Spirit. Arise and shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 13LtMs, Lt 79, 1898, par. 20