Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 173, 1899

Wessels, Peter

Campground, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 4, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 7MR 149. +Note

Dear Brother:

Your last letter was placed in my hands last night, and this morning is the first opportunity I have had to read it. My brother, I deeply sympathize with you. I am sorry you have engaged in worldly business, but I do not want you to suppose that I have any condemnation for you in my heart or mind. I have no feelings toward you but the feelings of tenderness which every Christian should feel for the Christian brother or sister who is striving under difficulties. Keep fast hold of God. Trust wholly in Him, and when the furnace has refined and purified you, He will bring you forth to honor His name. The Lord would have our souls restored to purity and holiness, filled with the virtues and capabilities that are best adapted to a heavenly career. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 1

Under the Lord’s guidance, every sphere of action, every position in life, every disappointment, becomes the means of the development of Christian experience. I am so thankful as any one possibly could be that in our perplexities and disappointments, a faithful, tender, compassionate High Priest maketh intercession for us. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, for He has been tempted in all points like as we are. He knoweth how to succor those who are tempted. He has His eye upon His erring children who repent and love Him, and who desire to serve Him. The Lord’s mercies are over all His works, and He declares, “I will show him my covenant of grace.” [See Numbers 25:12.] 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 2

Money is not our saviour. It is a talent lent us by God. This talent is not to be used for self-gratification, to dishonor God’s name and misrepresent His character, but to honor Him by wisely trading on His goods. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is not a slavish fear, but a fear to dishonor His name. God says, I will show him my covenant. The Lord will become wisdom, sanctification, and righteousness to all who fear and serve Him. The knowledge and wisdom of man becomes foolishness when he takes himself into his own keeping, but when he puts his trust in God, the Lord can and will make him His instrument for the promotion of the sacredness of His pure and holy character, to the highest ends of His divine ministration. God designs every man to reach the perfection of character revealed in Christ’s humanity. He desires to communicate His attributes in the manifestation of His grace, with which the gospel will enrich and beautify His disciples. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 3

The purifying process is not always pleasant and agreeable, but thus the Lord desires to lead Peter Wessels to the exercise of that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Lift up your soul unto God in prayer. Let your motto be: “I will not fail nor be discouraged. I will urge my way through the thick darkness: for there is light beyond. The divine presence dwells beyond the mist and cloud; there my faith shall reach Him. Let me fall into thy hands, O God, and do Thou deal with me. Let me not fall into the hands of man.” If you trust humbly in God as a little child, you will not only live the gospel, but teach the gospel. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 4

The gospel of Christ is the source of all saving life. It is eternal life to all who believe. This is the true science of salvation. It is salvation to all troubled hearts. In faith it is your privilege to point to Jesus Christ, and cry, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Remember that a departure from righteousness never leads to righteousness and goodness and faith. This message, received into the heart and lived in the life, is a message from God, continually saying to other souls, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] This is our argument, our doctrine, our warning, to those who know not God or the truth. It is our encouragement to the sorrowing. It is the rich hope of all who believe, who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 5

When we ourselves receive the Lord Jesus, and walk in His footsteps, our work is effectual. The sinner beholds the cross and repents. He receives Christ’s pardon for transgression. Then the instrument God has used in this work may step aside, and leave the soul who has been born again to go on to perfection. He has accepted the yoke of Him who said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] In wearing Christ’s yoke of restraint and obedience, in looking unto Jesus and learning His meekness and lowliness of heart, there is created in the heart a hatred for every action which would wound the heart of Jesus Christ. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 6

Faith will increase as the believer continues to learn, believing not sophistry or some strange thing that is not truth, but the gospel of the living God, which is His Word unto salvation to all that believe. His doubts will vanish in the clear light of the Word, which is so wondrously and gloriously fulfilled. Jesus will be seen as all-compassionate, full of love, full of tenderness. The believer becomes imbued with the love, grace, kindness, and benevolence that led Jesus to go about doing good. He beholds constantly a loving, tender, compassionate Saviour. The more he beholds Him, the more he longs and prays to be like Him in character. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 7

The view of Christ involves not only very important but elevating, ennobling truths. None can bear away from the contemplation of Christ a harsh, denunciatory, combative temperament, and the hungering, thirsting, believing soul becomes transformed by beholding. His hard, combative spirit is changed. He loves Jesus, and the current of the love of Christ passes through his soul. Heavenly gratitude feels his heart, and heavenly love becomes a blessed, abiding presence in his life, as he reveals the attributes of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Christ, with His divine grace, abides in his heart. He is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. No longer does the god of this world blind his eyes. He does not manifest harshness and coldness toward others. He does not make harsh speeches. He does not think evil. He does not reveal a selfish, unchristlike temper, because Christ abides in his heart by faith, and Christlike attributes are revealed. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 8

Those who do not manifest the grace, kindness, tenderness of Christ, do great harm by claiming to be Christians. We can none of us do Christ a greater injury than to claim to have been blessed with a knowledge of the truth, to talk the truth to others as ministers of Jesus Christ, and then reveal that we are not sons of God, but are harsh, impatient, and not under God’s control. Selfish and self-centered, these know not the science of subjecting themselves to the yoke of Christ. What kind of an impression do they make on others? 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 9

My brother, the Lord strengthen, bless, and save you. There is advancement for you. There is life and strength and grace for you. Reach up by faith and grasp the hand that will never let you go. 14LtMs, Lt 173, 1899, par. 10