Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 101, 1899

Responsible Men in Our Institutions


July 3, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 270-271.

To the Responsible Men in Our Institutions:

I call upon those who stand as presidents and overseers in our institutions to change. Altogether too much of the natural tendency of the human heart is revealed, which has nothing to do with Christ, but everything to do with self. Hear the words of the Lord to you: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.” [Colossians 3:12, 13.] 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 1

I testify to you that this has not been done as God requires. My fellow laborers in a high and holy calling, you have a work to do. Clear the King’s highway, make His paths straight, that holy angels may come into our institutions. Remember that whatever your position, you are only men and not God. The Lord says to you, “Above all things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” [Verse 14.] What is charity? It is love for God and for your fellow laborers. “All ye are brethren,” Christ declares. [Matthew 23:8.] He includes every soul from the highest to the least. 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 2

Kindness and courtesy, gentleness and grace, must be revealed in the men who bear high responsibilities. Then there will be unity, and love will be exercised toward all, for they will have “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free; but Christ is all and in all.” [Colossians 3:10, 11.] 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 3

The Holy Spirit stands ready to work man if he will submit to the working. But you feel fully capable of working yourselves. You are too apt to criticize others. You may criticize yourself as much as you please, but refrain from criticizing your fellow workers, for if you do this, you will be left to your own ways. 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 4

The apostle exhorts us, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” [Verse 15.] When you empty the soul-temple of self, there will be room for the peace of God to rule. With some, self has occupied the throne of your hearts ever since you professed to be converted. This self is a selfish, bigoted creature who needs to die daily. “Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” [Verse 16.] If there were less scolding, and more singing with grace in the heart to the Lord, think you not that the atmosphere of every room in the office would be changed? The workers would be easily entreated to show mercy and tenderness for every soul in need of help and strength and grace. 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 5

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Verse 17.] I am charged to say to you, Will you do whole-souled, thorough work, and let Christ abide in you? To be converted one day under the Holy Spirit’s working is not enough. Let the Spirit of God cleanse the soul-temple. Let Jesus in. He invites you to receive Him. Covetousness and the other evils that dominate in your lives are not such precious traits that you should be unwilling to part with them. I tell you that you have not attained to the height of your possibilities. You have only reached a low level, for self is cherished as if it were pure, untarnished gold. However high in the scale of piety you have risen, there are heights you have never yet reached—heights which if you do not reach, you will be “found wanting.” [Daniel 5:27.] 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 6

The Lord says to you, You may govern yourselves. He has provided the aid of the Holy Spirit, that you may put on Christ and build up a pure, beautiful building which God can delight in. Sit in serious, earnest judgment on your own defects. Look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. He gave His life a sacrifice for your sins, that He might present you pure and spotless before the heavenly universe. 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 7

You have knowledge, plenty of it. Have you used it as sacred fire of the Lord’s kindling? If you have cultivated your knowledge, you know that it is possible for you to lay hold of wisdom. But God never elevates a man above his fellow men because of his much learning. The question the Lord asks is, Has he wisdom to appropriate that knowledge? The gathering together of so many books for study has interposed between God and man a mass of knowledge which dwarfs the mind and makes it unable to organize that which it has already taken in. The mind becomes dyspeptic. Wisdom is needed, that man may choose aright between these many authors and the Word of life, that he may eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 8

My brethren, discard the streams of the lowlands and come to the pure waters of Lebanon. Never can you walk in the light of God while you crowd your brains with a mass of matter which they cannot handle. It is time we resolved to have heaven’s help and allow the mind to be impressed with the Word of God. Let us close the door to so much reading. Let us pray more, and eat the words of life. Unless there is a deeper work of grace in mind and heart, unless we reveal true Christian charity, we can never see the face of God. 14LtMs, Lt 101, 1899, par. 9