Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 61, 1898

Jones, A. T.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 1, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 340-341; 5MR 414-415.

Dear Brother Jones:

Your letter was received last evening. I am very glad to hear from our brethren and sisters. For some cause our mails are rather smaller than usual. I have an intense interest for the work and cause of God all over the field, and especially in Battle Creek where Satan has worked in varied ways to bring in erroneous methods and strange fire that God has not kindled. Had Satan been permitted to have his way, the cause of God at the very center of the work would have been hopelessly ruined. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 1

Luke, the inspired evangelist, in his record of the life of Christ reveals the purpose of Satan. “And the Lord said to Simon, Behold, Satan hath desired to have thee; that he might sift thee as wheat.” [Luke 22:31.] Had Satan been permitted to have his way, poor Simon would have been a lost sheep, never to be recovered. Satan was permitted to tempt the too confident Peter, as he had been permitted to tempt Job, but when that work was done, he had to retire. He dared not go one hair’s breath beyond his appointed sphere. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 2

I have written largely in regard to Christians who believe the truth placing their cases in courts of law to obtain redress. In doing this, they are biting and devouring one another in every sense of the word, “to be consumed one of another.” [See Galatians 5:15.] They cast aside the inspired of counsel God has given, and in [the] face of the message He gives, they do the very thing He has told them not to do. Such men may as well stop praying to God, for He will not hear their prayers. They insult Jehovah, and He will leave them to become the subjects of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sins. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 3

Had Peter walked humbly with God, hiding self in Christ, the wily foe with all his power could not have gone farther than God permitted. Had Peter earnestly looked for divine help, had he been less self-confident, had he received the Lord’s instructions and practiced them, he would have been watching unto prayer, and working out his own salvation with fear and trembling lest he should not make straight paths for his feet. Had he closely examined himself, had he not only heard the word, but had been a doer of it, the Lord would have given him divine help. There would have been no need of Satan’s sifting. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 4

Gratitude should be cultivated in every heart. Christ is our tower of strength, and Satan can have no power over the soul who walks with God in humility of mind. The promise is, “Let him take hold of my strength and make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] There is perfect and complete help for every tempted, tried soul. There will always be temptations to meet, but the whole universe of heaven is standing on guard that no soul shall be tempted above that he able to bear. If men will look unto Jesus, as the One in whom they can trust, Christ will never fail them in any emergency. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 5

There is not power in the whole satanic force that can disable the soul who lives in simple confidence in the wisdom which cometh from God. Here is where the apostle Peter failed. It was essential that he should become intelligent in regard to his own defects of character and see his need of the power and grace of Christ, in order to know himself. But Peter was not left hopeless. He had a precious assurance in the word of Christ: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” [Luke 22:32.] This watchcare that Christ had over Peter was the cause of his restoration. Peter came to appreciate the words, “I have prayed for thee.” Satan could do nothing against the all powerful intercession of Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 6

In Peter’s fall we have before us our own individual cases. We are exhorted, “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:12.] The fall of Peter in denying his Lord was fearful and humiliating. He gave away his Lord, saying. “I know not the man.” [Matthew 26:74.] And just as verily have many of the professedly commandment-keeping people of God dishonored and brought reproach upon their best Friend, the One who could save them to the uttermost. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 7

The Lord would restore to himself all who have put him to open shame by their unscriptural course of action. The apostle Peter was restored, and the message was brought to him from Christ, “Go tell my disciples that I have risen from the dead.” Tell Peter also to meet me in Galilee. [See Mark 16:7.] O, what love, what wondrous love, dwells in the bosom of our divine Lord! O matchless grace, wondrous love! While Peter’s soul was passing [through] deep humiliation, through the awful struggle with satanic agencies, he remembered the words of Christ, “I have prayed for thee.” [Luke 22:32.] With startling vividness his self-confident words lashed upon his mind, “Though all shall deny thee, yet will not I.” “I will go with thee to prison and to death.” [Mark 14:29; Luke 22:33.] Yet Peter denied his Lord with cursing and swearing. O, how active is Satan in casting his seeds of tares. But the awakening came before the restoration. Peter had committed sin against light and knowledge and great and exalted privileges. His sin was very great, but it was his self-confidence that caused him to fail. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 8

And it is self-confidence that is now working human minds. There is not a thread of Christ’s love in the heart that reveals such demonstration as has been seen in the hatred manifested toward one another, and unless those who have shown such a spirit shall humble themselves and become as little children, Christ says, “They shall not see the kingdom of heaven.” [See Matthew 18:3.] 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 9

I had much more I would have been pleased to write, but I cannot do so at this time. Brother Morse, his son, and Dr. Caro have been our guests when my writing should have been done. The meeting at Stanmore and counselling with these brethren has kept me very busy, and for these reasons my letter is not finished. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 10

We must answer the prayer of Christ. He speaks to us from His Word. (John 17.) If we will not hear and obey Christ, we cannot bear any test. We must be laborers together with God. In our different lines of responsibility we must draw with Christ, wearing His yoke. We must die to self, and let Christ abide in us. I am trying each day to seek the Lord for myself. Without the love of Christ all our profession is as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. It is this love that makes us love one another as Christ has loved us. This is a science that our teachers and brethren in responsible positions would do well to bring into their studies. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 11

I must close. I send you the matter in reference to our brethren laying their laurels at the feet of Frances Willard. Would that all would lay their laurels at the feet of Him who died for us. He has left the commandment that we should love one another as Christ has loved us. I am so grieved in spirit that I am compelled by their own imprudent course of action to write such reproofs. What will be done with the writing is the question? Put it into no one’s hand but your own and Brother Smith’s. There are those who are indiscreet, who would blaze this matter abroad, and present it in a most objectionable light. I shall have to ask you to let Dr. Kellogg see it, and give him a copy if he wishes it. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 12

I ask you, my brother, to help those who have acted like men with their eyes put out to wake up and be converted, that God can use them. We have a solemn message from God. We have no time to lose. Ask and receive, that you may give. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 13

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth we would ask you to pray that in every church in America, and in this far off country [of] Australia, we may find the missing link between God and humanity. This link is Christ Jesus. We have no time for dissension, no time for selfishly seeking to be first. God is our Father. His law represents His character. Man is to sense his responsibility in behalf of perishing souls. Then there will be deep, earnest efforts made to uplift the fallen. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 14

Often as we do the work God has appointed us to do in going forward in new fields and giving the ABC of Bible truth to others, the ministers will seek to turn the minds of the hearers away, saying, “All this is enthusiasm. The people will go away, and leave you. This excitement will die out.” But soon they find that the interest increases in the place of gradually going down. Its day is not ended. The work for the souls who are starving for the bread of life, and the waters of salvation is deepening and broadening. The Word of God in its simplicity is finding a home in hearts that long for the truth. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 15

Let those who hear the message say, Come. Let the first steps be taken to receive the souls ready to die in their sins. Nothing is to come in to block the way in winning souls to Christ. Every soul who is truly converted, and who receives the Word, is to impart it to others. Look well to the work appointed of God. Satan will erect his parishes in the midst of every one that may be established for the dissemination of truth and righteousness. The Lord wills that every man and woman enlisted as His earnest, active agents to communicate the truth shall communicate the message sent of God—the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 16

This ends abruptly, but I have no time to write farther this morning. 13LtMs, Lt 61, 1898, par. 17