Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 60, 1898

To Whom It May Concern

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

July 29, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in PM 223; 2MCP 560.

To Whom It May Concern:

Sabbath morning, I awake in the early hours, and while all are sleeping I write in my diary. In the night season I was earnestly addressing those who are bearing the responsibilities of editors and contributors of our periodicals. The Lord gave me a message for them. These words seemed to be spoken to me with great power: “Knowing the time, that it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed (than when we were first awakened to receive and believe the truth for this time; which deeply affected our hearts, and led to have love one for another). 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 1

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” [Romans 13:11-14.] “Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” [1 Corinthians 15:34.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 2

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” [Romans 13:10.] “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” [Romans 14:10-13.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 3

Why, I ask, is there so much said in regard to Frances Willard? In her great wisdom, wherewith she is exalted by those who claim to be loyal and true to the commandments of God, Frances Willard was on the other side, putting all her powers to work to exalt and voice the doctrines of men. She was teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. I leave Frances Willard with her God. I would not disparage her, neither would I extol her. Already she has had too much of praise and exaltation. She became so much wedded to her own ideas that she has not given ear to the voice of her God, but has been misled and misleading in her zeal to carry out her ideas, which were contrary to the will of God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 4

She has sought to exalt a false sabbath, and in making this her work, she has exalted that which has no value with God. Had she lived, the influence she had obtained would have created a sentiment which would have continued to exalt that which God does not exalt. She would have bound about the servants of God whom God has made free in Christ Jesus. The Lord in His pity would not suffer Miss Willard to stand on the pinnacle of greatness, in mingling a good work with a manifest determination to exalt an institution of the papacy, that others would entrench themselves behind Miss Willard as a pattern and example for them. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 5

Had she been true to her convictions, she would have been loyal and true to obey a “thus saith the Lord.” But should she plant her feet on a “thus saith the Lord,” the work she had been trying to preach for so many years must be surrendered. Herein was her mistake, and the mistake of all who close their eyes to truth in the Word of God. Herein lies the mistake of many God-loving, truth loving women in our world. Influence is power, and it appears to them an utterly vain endeavor to carry that influence in the world, when keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. Obedience to its claims would cut off her hopes, in securing representatives and so-called influential men to co-operate with her in her wonderful ideal of what she was determined to accomplish. But God would have been to her a majority—in force, in power, in influence. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 6

The wrong cannot be made right by her death. The wrong is still wrong. Neither time nor eternity can make it otherwise. But we leave this our sister in the many good and valuable works with her God. We must speak the truth. You who have had light, who have had truth, and evidence of the value of truth, your course in the exaltation of Frances Willard is an offense to God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 7

Do my brethren and sisters suppose that they are glorifying God in exalting Frances Willard in so ample a manner? The Lord is not honored in the exaltation of any human being. He is not pleased when men as it were worship the creature. Those who keep Frances Willard before the people had far better be giving praises to Jesus, their Redeemer. Was God leading Frances Willard to exalt and magnify a spurious sabbath? Was he leading her to magnify error and discard the Sabbath of the Lord? 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 8

Frances Willard was one of those who has been planning to make laws to bring oppression upon a people whom the Lord is leading and guiding. “O, consistency, thou art a Jewel!” Have the Lord’s people thought that by extolling Frances Willard they would find favor with God? It is just such things as this that bring the displeasure of God upon His people. Those who, in order to make themselves popular, strain matters and virtually present before the community that obedience to God’s commandments is a crime will bring upon them the displeasure of God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 9

I see the parable of the ten virgins continually before me. Five of these virgins were wise, and five were foolish. Shall those who are having the generalship of the Educator make it their work to weave in false theories? Shall those who claim to believe the truth in these last days fill the papers with praise and exaltation of one whose main work has for years been to trample upon the seventh day and to exalt Sunday as the sabbath, though indeed ignorant of the work she was doing in placing her whole power on the side of those who have worked to make of none effect the law of Jehovah, and bring into action measures that will oppress God’s people? But the Lord has His witnesses to all these movements, and He has put His hand upon the one who has great and effective measures to carry out. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 10

The good things have been woven up with the erroneous, the right all tangled up with the wrong. Frances Willard was the one who in sentiment united with Mr. Crafts to influence in every possible way the legislature to protect and exalt Sunday. She had her Bible. She could read the Word of God. She could have known the law of God, proclaimed in awful grandeur from Mount Sinai. She could have read (Exodus 31), where the Lord specifies in plain words the binding claims of His law and the penalty of transgression. She had ability and could have traced out the evidences upon this important subject. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 11

God had given her and all who are working in the line of Christian temperance ability to be sanctified to His service, and be under His supervision, under the rule of God. If those who are engaged in the Christian temperance reforms would had done the work which in the last great day they will have no excuse for having neglected, the Lord would have been back of all their endeavors. Their capacities and powers would not have been employed in setting people on the wrong path, the path of transgression and sin. No movement would have been made to impeach the character of God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 12

The efforts put forth to make void the law of God is a work that no one will be proud to acknowledge in that great day when every case will be tried by the great moral standard, the law of God. That law will judge every man “when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened,” and all are judged according to the deeds done in the body. [See Daniel 7:10.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 13

There are lessons of eternal importance to be learned in the Christian temperance work. The law of God is to be carefully studied, just as it reads. The holiness of God is discovered in His precepts and was represented by Jesus Christ in giving that law. God sends His only begotten Son into the world, and declared Him to be the revelation of the character of God to man. Jesus answered the question of Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ... If ye love me, keep my commandments. ... 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 14

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ... If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” [John 14:6, 15, 21, 23, 24.] “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love: even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” [John 15:10.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 15

The praise given Frances Willard is misleading. This exalting of her virtues and the works you do not understand. I am commissioned to say unto you: You are dishonoring God. I could say much, but will not do this now. Who placed anyone of you in the judgment seat as God? You would do best to keep silent. Why do our people move so strangely, and extol and praise when God, who reads every heart, has given them no commission to do so? Lift up the Man of Calvary. Unfurl the banner of the third angel’s message. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 16

If those in charge of our periodicals have no more judgment than to fill the publications with the exaltation of human beings, then let them seek the wisdom of God. Your spiritual eyesight needs the heavenly anointing. In such cases as that of Frances Willard, let those who have considered her high and lifted up speak as they view her case, and those who know that she has not been loyal and true to the law of Jehovah consider that for them silence is eloquence. It does not become those who are proclaiming the third angel’s message to do the work they are doing. They are leaving impressions on minds that those who are exalting a spurious sabbath and bringing in methods to make it appear a sacred, holy day, deserve a reward of merit. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 17

These productions in our papers reveal that men who have so much to say need to know the mind of God before they exalt any human being, dead or living. In pouring forth an overflow of praise of one whom you do not know, who has not accepted a “Thus saith the Lord” in keeping His commandments, they place themselves where, in the crisis coming upon us, they will have defective discernment as they shall see the good things done by those who will seek to deceive, who will claim to be Christ, and prophets sent of God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 18

Christ says of that time, “If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” [Matthew 24:24.] And again the question is asked, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” [Luke 18:8.] Those who use their pen and voice to give such praise to human beings need to have clearer discernment. How much better would it be if this confidence and faith would be exercised toward those who are striving with pen and voice to do the will of God as obedient children, keeping His commandments, not to praise or glorify the individual, but to obey the Word of God, to love as brethren, to uproot every fiber of the root of bitterness that they are allowing to spring up. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 19

The leaven of evil has been introduced into the church, and it has created dissension and alienation and strife. If God’s people possessed the daily converting power of the truth, and the precious anointing, that they might discern all things clearly, and know when to speak, and what words to utter that would tend to unity and love, they would obtain an experience that would be of great value to them. But how sad it is that our people who are in positions that require clear discernment act like blind men. They are not sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning of Him who never makes a mistake. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 20

I know how the Lord regards all such productions from those who suppose they are working righteousness, who seem to be neither on one side nor on the other. The message that is given to me for them is: You are in darkness; you know not what you praise. God cannot vindicate a work that has not His stamp upon it, for it is misleading others in a way that does not bear the signature of heaven. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 21

This is a time when every sentence written should mean something definite, should be true, sincere. Not a scratch of the pen should be made in order to become popular or to vindicate that which God condemns. Those who follow such a course have a zeal, a burning desire, to distinguish themselves, but they have not learned their lessons at the feet of Jesus. Self is interwoven with all they do and say. They aim their weapons against their brethren who are doing the work God has appointed them, and they think in their blindness that they are doing God service. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 22

I am commissioned now to say to our brethren, Humble yourselves, and confess your sins, else God will humble you. The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves. They are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm. Saith the Lord, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” [Revelation 3:15-18.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 23

Shall any one of us let the shame of our nakedness appear in the use of our God-given faculties of speech, and in the use of our pen? Shall we consider that Christ’s righteousness in His perfect obedience to His Father’s commandments was the cause of His crucifixion? By perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah we are to magnify the law and make it honorable. What mean these words placed before the people of God who, against obstacles, are trying to fight the good fight of faith, saying, “We will not bow the knee to Baal, or give glory or honor to any who do this”? 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 24

Divine blessedness is pronounced upon those who keep the commandments, and a curse He declares against those who transgress His law. And shall the pen or voice stoop to bestow laurels upon those who have been leaders in carrying the banner of Satan, declaring that the institution of the papacy shall receive the honor? The faculties God has given us for His name’s glory have been misappropriated, and [have] been used to bring in rebel sentiments. That human beings should exalt and worship the human agency who has been engaged in a work in direct opposition to the work God has given His people to do in these last days is altogether contrary to His purpose. Why do we see such blindness? The least any one could do is to show their eloquence before the universe of heaven, before the worlds unfallen and a fallen world in keeping silent. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 25

All the sufferings of Christ endured in our world were to magnify and exalt the law which Miss Willard has repudiated. How does our Saviour regard your actions in this instance? There is a false harmony presented before the world, before angels and men, and in this action you have revealed such qualifications that God cannot use you. You will exalt the wrong and repudiate the right. God calls for no false harmony to be cherished and set forth to the world. The heavenly angels are most delicately sensitive to any discord. Those who are now stirringly active in proclaiming to the world the last message of warning, those who see and understand that the last great conflict is right upon us, must proclaim to the world, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 26

“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready: and to her (the church who are obeying “Thus saith the Lord”) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” [Revelation 19:5-9.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 27

Why is this statement made? Because it is in contradiction to the statements made by the world that Christ changed the seventh-day sabbath to the first day of the week. There are thousands upon thousands who bear aloft the standard of the world’s sabbath, exalting the image of the papacy created by the man of sin. The churches worship the image of the beast and receive his mark, even as the inhabitants of Babylon worshipped the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar set up in the plain of Dura. The church of God was captive in Babylon, deeply tried, deeply humiliated. The glory had departed from Israel; the sons and daughters of Judah were captive, and the sacred vessels of the sanctuary had become the property of the spoiler. Their beautiful temple was in ruins, and “Ichabod, Ichabod, The glory is departed from Israel,” was heard in songs of lamentation. [See 1 Samuel 4:21.] The outward ordinances had been allowed to take the place of God, ceremonial observances were worshipped while Christ, the foundation of all their ceremonial service, was lost sight of. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 28

Saith the Word, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8.] Notwithstanding the external disadvantages, there were those who in their captivity had songs to sing in the night of discouragement. The Lord permitted them to be broken up until they should find in Him their center of attraction. If they would humble their proud hearts, and confess their sins, He would compensate them for the loss sustained, and in their obedience would magnify His name and glorify Himself as their Helper and their God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 29

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” [Verse 8.] The scattered church was to realize that she had become enfeebled by leaning upon ceremonies in the place of leaning upon God. To the captives in Babylon, especially to Daniel, God made known His mind and His will. Light was given for future ages, for the very time in which we are now living. By the River Hiddekel, Daniel saw that which would transpire in the latter days. Again, the Lord Jesus appeared to the lonely exile on the rocky isle of Patmos, to which the faithful disciple had been banished for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 30

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” he says—the very Sabbath which was instituted in Eden. He was keeping that Sabbath, for God had created only one Sabbath, and that was to last through eternal ages. This Sabbath was a wonderful Sabbath to John. He says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, what thou seest, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia.” [Revelation 1:10.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 31

Suppose our teachers and students should have more to teach and write in regard to these things which are now to be fulfilled, and which concern the eternal warfare of souls. Suppose that pen and voice should give meat in due season to the old and the young, to saints and sinners. Let the many things that might be said to awaken the church from its slumbers be spoken without losing any more time in dwelling on these things which are not essential and that have no bearing upon the present necessities of our people or upon the ignorant who know not the truth. Read the first three verses of Revelation, and see what work is especially enjoined upon those who claim to believe the Word of God. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 32

“I am he that liveth, and that was dead; and behold, I am alive forever more; Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” [Verses 18, 19.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 33

In the parable of the ten virgins, there is presented before us a foolish company who took their lamps, and took no oil with them, and the result was, their lamps went out. When they would have entered in, the door was shut, and they could not partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb. They lost their chance. They did not live the truth; they failed to obtain the wisdom and grace from God to make them complete in Jesus Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 34

My brethren, the recent productions in the papers reveal a blindness of spiritual discernment. When the eyes have been enlightened with the spiritual eyesight, then we shall see altogether clearly. The things of time and sense that now attract attention will lose their value, for there will be disclosed to man eternal interests. As God made known his will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world living in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a “Thus saith the Lord.” To them He will express His mind. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 35

Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works—to those He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God’s power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme. The wisdom of human agents who had misappropriated their God-given talents, God showed to be foolishness. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 36

“Thus saith the Lord, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised.” [Jeremiah 9:23-25.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 37

All who shall unite to praise and honor and glorify those who have lifted the banner of Satan are fighting against God. Our work now is to enlighten the world, in the place of bearing a peace and safety message. A banner has been placed in our hands, upon which is inscribed, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] This is a distinct, separating message—a message that is to give no uncertain sound. It is to lead the people away from the broken cisterns that contain no water to the fountain of living waters. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 38

One class in our world carry their banner high, upholding the spurious sabbath that has been created by the man of sin, and therefore possessing not one particle of sanctity. This position will eventually lead to their putting their neck under the Roman yoke. “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet not gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken the fountain of living waters, and hath hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 39

“Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he spoiled? ... Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way. And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what has thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Jeremiah 2:11-14, 17-19.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 40

This representation is applicable to many who claim to be the people of God. In their blindness they know not at what they stumble. God through His servant says: “And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord of hosts. And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep mine anger forever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and has scattered thy ways to the strangers.” [Jeremiah 3:10-13.] 13LtMs, Lt 60, 1898, par. 41