Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 121, 1898

Haskell, Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 12, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 280; 6MR 57; 7MR 389.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

I have just read Brother Haskell’s letter. Thank you for writing. I am in very good health for me, but if I exercise, even to going into the orchard, I am out of breath and trembling. I have a heavy burden for Brethren Hare and Hughes. I am trying to lay this burden on the Lord. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 1

I will send you copies of my writing just as fast as I can get it copied. At present I have only Maggie with me. Minnie went to Sydney one week ago, but will be home soon. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 2

There have been a few hot days here lately, with very hot winds, and no rain since we came home. We need rain very much. There is some appearance of rain today. The bush fires are very close to us. We are watching these fires, for they have done much harm. We have only a few peaches this year, not enough for table use. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 3

The burden for souls lies heavy upon me. I spent one Sunday at Awaba, where Brother Heaton lives. The Sabbath after I came home from Brisbane, I was too ill to speak, but I have spoken every Sabbath since. My great burden is regarding the sin of faultfinding and criticism. It is very displeasing to our heavenly Father, and brings Satan right in, enabling him to exercise a contrary power. Oh, if all could see how the Lord regards this suspicious element among the workmen! It is the evil leaven, which absorbs to itself all with which it comes in contact. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 4

On Sabbath, December 3, the burden was heavy upon me. I spoke the words the Lord gave me, of which you have a copy. In the early morning I had written that matter, and I read and talked it in the church, yet in the social meeting there was no break. Very good testimonies were borne by some, but I felt that we had no special victory. I then knelt down and prayed, and yet there seemed to be the same tied-up spirit. W. C. White was at Dora Creek, attending the meeting there. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 5

Last Sabbath I thought I would not go to the meeting, but I repented and went. Again I read important matter. If I can find a copy, will send it to you. It is in a letter to Doctor Kellogg, written to Dr. Kellogg, and right to the point, as though written for this occasion. As I read, the power of God was upon me, and I spoke very plainly. The Lord must impress the hearts. I can only speak to the ear. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 6

The great trouble is that nearly all have lost their first love. They have not the evidence of their divine acceptance. They have not the witness of the Spirit. I never felt so much convinced as at the present of the need of repeating the Saviour’s words, “He that hath ears to hear, let him, hear.” [Matthew 11:15.] There are a very small number that are genuinely in sympathy with Christ Jesus, who show their allegiance to Him by keeping His commandments. They neither love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, nor their neighbor as themselves. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 7

I entreated, I plead with the people to set their hearts in order before the camp meeting. We are living amid the perils of the last days, and we must gather up and appreciate every ray of light. Our testimony must be plain, truthful, and searching. But it must not reveal in any degree a censorious, faultfinding spirit, for everything of this order does not sweeten, but sours and ruins the religious experience. Satan can do the faultfinding for the whole world. We may grieve, but must never fret. We can sorrow, but we will not scold. I know the battle is often severe. We cannot avoid the injunction, “Warn them that are unruly; comfort the feebleminded; support the weak; be patient toward all men.” [1 Thessalonians 5:14.] 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 8

I do wish the workers in every line would learn to believe the Word of God. I want more complete faith. I want communication opened between God and my soul. We must treat with tenderness those who make it hard work to believe. If they once get hold of that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, what a joy will come into their experience! We must pity them and pray for them. But no tartness of expression must be revealed; not a discouraging word must come from our lips to any soul that lives. We cannot tell what harm may result from a word spoken unadvisedly. “Love as brethren; be pitiful; be courteous.” [1 Peter 3:8.] We can show our faith by our works. If we melt into the love of Christ, if we become as little children, we are more sure of entering heaven. We may individually have to stand alone in God, yet blending in love and unity one with another. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 9

This is the conversion I am pleading that the students and teachers in our schools shall have. We must preach sanctification and live sanctification, and then self will not seek the supremacy. This is not a new doctrine. It was taught and enforced in the moral law at Sinai. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 10

When Abraham was ninety years old, the Lord appeared unto him, and said, “I am the Almighty God. Walk before me, and be thou perfect.” [Genesis 17:1.] If we had that perfect love, think ye we should be disagreeing and disunited as a people? This disunion takes the heart out of me. The Word must be received with such thoroughness that Christ has said, “And the glory (character) which thou hast given me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one.” If there were no defects in our characters, we would be one, “I in them, and they in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:22, 23.] 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 11

We need to have our natural tempers burnt away by the love of God, before we can exercise the perfect love that Christ requires. We shall certainly fail unless we are doers of the Word. We are slow to learn the lesson of perfect conformity to the love of God. Unconsciously we often act out self, giving self free scope in the very presence of God, when an hourly dependence would make us the subjects of Christ’s free grace. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 12

Self must not be expected to do a work for God without depending on the Holy Spirit’s leading. Self must be constantly subdued, if our will is in harmony with Christ’s will. The sooner we get down to bedrock, the more complete will be our victory in Christ Jesus. The grace of Christ can only come through surrender. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 13

Let self be entrusted to the Lord, for without Him we can do nothing. We must feel our dependence and our comfort and our exceeding great reward. I love the Lord. I know this. I delight to commune with God in the night season. Oh, let us be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. We must have this Spirit. It must mold and fashion our hearts, and then in the heavenly courts it will be written of us, “Ye are complete in him.” [Colossians 2:10.] We must not dwell upon our own imperfections, nor upon the imperfections of others. We have no time for this. We must keep our own souls in the love of God. There must be a giving up before there is a taking in. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 14

What a blessed experience it is our privilege to have! The old temperament must be cast out, and when this work is complete, true spiritual gifts will be revealed in us. We must look and live. The influence of the Holy Spirit, ever thirsting, is the secret of life in Christ. Under its power we are ever receiving and ever imparting. We have a great work to do for the Master; but if we keep ourselves in our own hand, and do not trust the Lord implicitly, realizing that we are kept by His power, we shall find we have a job on hand that brings to us very little heavenly joy. We shall flounder about, making ourselves miserable, when the Lord’s banquet, the bread of life, is ever before us. All need much more of Christ, a great deal more of His love. When we carry self and sustain self, we get troublesome. If we walk humbly with God, in all lowliness of mind, we have no hurts, no bruises of the soul. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 15

The Lord said to Abraham when he was ninety[-nine] years old, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” [Genesis 17:1.] Our work is to be of one accord. Then the petitions we offer to God will be acceptable in His sight. Our justification is by faith in a risen, ascended Saviour, who is fully able to do this work in an instant. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. Today, tomorrow, follow on to know the Lord, that we may know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 16

This is the reception of the Holy Spirit, to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Then we shall have a genuine experience. The correcting influence of the Spirit of God is as a refining furnace, removing all dross, and leaving His image discernable in us. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 17

When we reflect Christ’s image, we shall love one another as He has loved us. We shall not love as we love our neighbor, but as Christ loved us. It is an advance to love as Christ loved. This is the perfection of Christian character. When we can say, “My will is wholly submerged in God’s will,” then peace and rest comes in. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 18

We must have that love, else we cannot be perfect before God. We may be active; we may do much work; but unless we love as Christ loved, our candlestick will be removed out of its place. We must have Christian perfection ourselves, then we cannot only teach the same, but exemplify that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. No outward fixing, no suppositions, no devising of any description, can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. When self is surrendered, Christ will find room to abide in the heart. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 19

We need daily conversion, as vessels prepared and cleansed for the Master’s use. Then the language of our hearts will be, “O Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property; keep it pure; for I cannot keep it for Thee. I must have faith that I am kept by the power of God moment by moment. He will keep that which I have committed in faith to His trust. Save me in spite of myself, my poor, weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul.” 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 20

We have little enough of Christ’s character. We need it all through our ranks. We must reveal that love that dwelt in Jesus. Then we shall keep the commandment that not one in a hundred of those who claim to believe the truth for this time are keeping. Oh, we poor, weak mortals cannot stand on vantage ground until we love one another as Christ has loved us, until our labor can blend with the labor of those whom God has appointed to do the work He has given them to do. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 21

All have not the same work. “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints; for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” [Ephesians 4:11-17.] 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 22

We have individually a battle to fight which no one else can fight for us. We need to obtain all we can of the help God Himself has provided for the perfection, that the body may be complete and harmonious in Christ Jesus. Perfect unity must exist in a diversity of gifts. A union of all the gifts is essential. The one great commandment Christ has given is a new commandment. It reaches beyond loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are to love one another, “as I,” said Christ, “have loved you.” [John 13:34.] This experience must be obtained by every child of God. All must blend together in the work, thus making the work not one-sided, but a complete whole. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 23

I was awakened at two o’clock this morning. I have just put out my light. I feel that the principles of the truth as it is in Jesus must be brought into our daily experience. “Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God as a sweet smelling savor.” [Ephesians 5:1, 2.] 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 24

God help us to live the truth, to be doers of the Word, that we may have the very atmosphere in our souls, and surrounding our individual selves, that we may be perfect in one, as Christ was perfect in oneness with His Father. We cannot possibly be what God requires us to be until we reach this standard. Then we shall find we have taken Christ’s yoke, and in learning of Him His meekness and lowliness, we find rest unto our souls. When we have broken the old yoke that we have manufactured for ourselves, and have linked up with Jesus Christ, we can say, Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. But when we try to carry self in one hand and Christ in the other, there is constant collision. But when we submerge self in Christ, Christ abides in us. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 25

I have written as fast as my pen could go over the paper, and now I must close. I mean to keep my mind from all unnecessary anxieties and troubles. Let the Lord Jesus bear our burdens and carry us and our load. There are higher attainments for us. There is rest in Jesus. We must in these last days press together. God never designed that we should work apart, in lines peculiar to our individual selves. Our labors cannot be complete to the church unless there is a blending in spirit and labor. God has appointed a variety of gifts to work harmoniously for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, to the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 26

In much love. 13LtMs, Lt 121, 1898, par. 27