Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 84, 1899

Jones, A. T.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

April 28, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 3BC 1164; 7MR 149. +Note

Dear Brother:

I have written several letters to my brethren in America. I hope the one in regard to the royalty on books will receive candid attention and respect, for I know that the Lord gave me true wisdom in this matter, showing me the only true way to do. If we will pursue the right course of action, we shall perplex the enemy and defeat his deep laid plots to bring distress upon our publishing institutions. The letters I have written you in the interests of the publishing work will let in light and close the door to a selfish, grasping spirit. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 1

I am very anxious to learn how this letter on royalties was received. The matter of royalties will affect me more than any other person. The only thing I can say is: The word of the Lord is good. I receive it, and all the light and blessing it brings to my heart, for it is a sure indication that the Lord has turned His face toward His people. My heart rejoices. I praise His holy name that the Sun of Righteousness has risen upon His people and institutions in Battle Creek. This is worth more to me than any amount of gold and silver and precious stones. Let the clouds be dispersed, and our churches and institutions will have increased light from the Sun of Righteousness. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 2

My brother, you need to guard A. T. Jones. You need to dip your pen into the holy oil of grace and love. You need to taste of this holy oil, that you may bring forth words that are full of gentleness, and that no coarse, harsh words may come from your pen or lips to bruise the souls of your fellow men. The Lord will help every one of us where we need help the most in the grand work of overcoming and conquering self. Let the law of kindness be upon your lips and the oil of grace in your heart. This will produce wonderful results. You will be tender, sympathetic, courteous. You need all these graces. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 3

The Holy Spirit must be received and brought into your character; then it will be as holy fire, giving forth incense which will rise up to God, not from lips that condemn, but as a healer of the souls of men. <Your countenance will express the image of the divine.> No sharp, critical, blunt, or severe words should be spoken. This is common fire, and must be left out of all our councils and intercourse with our brethren. God requires every soul in His service to kindle their censers from the coals of sacred fire. The common, severe, harsh words <that come from your lips so readily> must be withheld, and the Spirit of God speak through the human agent. <By beholding the character of Christ you will become changed into His likeness. The grace of Christ alone can change your heart, and then you will reflect the image of the Lord Jesus.> 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 4

God calls upon us to be like Him—pure, holy, and undefiled. We are to bear the divine image. “Love your enemies,” He said; “bless them which curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to shine upon the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” “Be ye therefore merciful, even as your Father which is in heaven is merciful.” [Matthew 5:44, 45; Luke 6:36.] 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 5

We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, and pray in regard to receiving them; but unless the human agent is worked by the Spirit of God, he reveals that he has Him not. When the Spirit molds and fashions the character after the divine similitude, He will be unmistakably revealed in every word we speak and in everything we do, showing to the world that there is a marked difference between the children of light and the children of darkness. The Lord wants us to stand stiffly for the faith once delivered to the saints. We are to speak the truth in love. Our great Teacher says, “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.] Selfishness and sharpness will creep into the character if we are not faithful sentinels over ourselves. This is where so many fail, because they neglect to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 6

The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. Every true child of God “may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:2.] You need that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. You need to humble yourself under the hand of God. You must be molded and fashioned after the divine similitude. Your entire being needs the divine touch. God declares, “I will be honored of all them that come nigh unto me.” [See Leviticus 10:3.] If you will honor God by a reception of His Spirit, then the truth you advocate will be exalted. The exceeding grace and mercy and love of Christ will be the fruit you bear. The pardoning love of God will be revealed in all you do and say. The Holy Spirit by the mouth of Zechariah beautifully presents this truth as “salvation through the tender mercy of God.” [Luke 1:77, 78.] 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 7

We make a great mistake in contenting ourselves with speaking of the Holy Spirit and our need of it, while we continue to work without its immediate influence to mold and fashion our characters. Evil spirits are all around us, making every unguarded house their abode, that inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil may be developed. Impressions are made that are detrimental to the work of God. This greatly dishonors God, and may result in the loss of souls. Let every minister of God be that man that Christ at infinite cost has made it possible for him to become, that in his work for God he may not give vent to hard, passionate words which hurt the souls of others. The man who speaks unadvisedly and unthinkingly needs to have that repentance that needeth not to be repented of. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 8

My brother, press toward the light. If you would work to bring souls under the moving of the Spirit of God, you must die to self and be renewed in the divine image. Then you can impart that which you receive. You have had great light. The Scriptures have been opened to you, and you have feasted upon them. But there are still greater blessings for you. You are to more fully reveal the work of grace in your character. The Lord would have every teacher of truth behold Him, until he is changed into the same image. Then he will delight in the law after the inward man. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 9

It is not enough that those who know the truth merely have a knowledge of it. They are to walk and work in love, conforming themselves to the law of God. The Lord declares, I will put my laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts. God is the mighty all-powerful agency in this work of transformation. The writing of the law of God in the heart is accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Divine relationship is to be renewed between God and man. “I will be their God,” He says, “and they shall be my people.” [2 Corinthians 6:16.] Sin will not be harbored. In the refining furnace all dross will be consumed. Saith God, “There is no attribute of My nature that I will not freely give in order that man may reflect My image.” When we place ourselves in this relation to God, we can represent Christ. Only a spiritual people can shine as lights in the world. God’s people are to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works. “This people have I formed for myself,” God says; “thou shalt show forth my praise.” [Isaiah 43:21.] We may have the Lord as our sun and shield, and our exceeding great reward. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 10

My brother, you have had great light. God has made you as a lamp that burneth, but your light needs to be more free and clear. Humble yourself under the hand of God, and He will lift you up. I leave these words with you. God will make you the repository of sacred, eternal truth, but that truth must sanctify you, soul, body, and spirit. If you have an abiding Christ, He will be seen at all times and in all places. I will send a copy of this letter to you, and a revised copy to all the ministers, for they need it every word. We need to place ourselves individually in His hands. God’s messengers should take themselves in hand and purge from their souls the leaven of corruption, that they may be holy and without blame in the great day of God. 14LtMs, Lt 84, 1899, par. 11