Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 125, 1900

James, Brother and Sister

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 24, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 245; 6MR 25-26.

Dear Brother and Sister James:

I have been so hurried that I have not been able to write to you; but this morning I will trace a few lines, not knowing but that I shall be interrupted. I had hoped to see you and converse with you before I should leave for America, but this cannot be, therefore I trace these lines. I know that you have had trials which would not have come to you if all who claim to believe and teach the truth had made straight paths for their feet. But you must not fail nor be discouraged. You must trust in One who knows, One who understands all things. Put your trust in the Lord, and He will be your true and everlasting Friend. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 1

The Lord loves you. The Lord is of tender compassion. His promise is, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” [James 4:8.] When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up for you a standard against him. Bear in mind that Jesus Christ is your hope. In the sad, discouraging things that shall come to you at any time, Christ says to you, “Let him take hold of my strength that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] Your work is to take hold of the strength that is as firm as is the eternal throne. Believe in God. Trust in Him. Be cheerful under all circumstances. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 2

Although you may have trials, know that Christ suffered these afflicting things in behalf of His heritage. Nothing is as dear to the Lord as His church. The Lord looks at the heart. He knows who are His. The Lord will test and prove every soul that lives. “Many shall be purified and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 3

Brother and Sister James, the Lord loves you, and He solicits the affections of your whole heart. Every day consider that you belong to God. Be very careful in your words, and give no occasion for any one to condemn you. Hold fast your integrity. Attend the meetings, bear your testimony freely, and reveal that the Lord loves you and that you love the Lord. The Lord will be your Helper. Let all understand that your witness is for the truth. “Be strong, yea, be strong.” [Daniel 10:19.] 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 4

By baptism you have taken upon you a solemn pledge. In the name and presence of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost you have solemnly covenanted to be the Lord’s. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness also of his resurrection.” [Romans 6:1-5.] I think that if we all understood the sacred ceremony, we should see much more in it than we now discern. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 5

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” [Verses 12, 13.] “If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1.] 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 6

This Scripture is given for the instruction of every soul who receives baptism. The apostle continues, “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead (thus you are to view yourselves) and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” “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 ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ 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.” [Verses 2-4, 12-16.] 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 7

This was the very practice of Christ. When He was oft assailed with temptations, in the place of yielding or being provoked at the perversity and crooked ideas He had to meet, He sang praise to God. He was teaching lessons of wisdom and admonition to the one whom the enemy was working with to create animosity and disgust that they might fall into the deceiver’s snares. Their fluent speech Christ stopped with spiritual songs, singing with fervency and melody. The grace expressed in words stopped the fluency of the speech of tempters who did not know what they were talking about. And these precious psalms Christ poured forth, giving thanks unto the Father. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 8

Let those who love God and are doers of His Word sing praise and thanksgiving rather than speak words of accusing and faultfinding and murmuring. The Lord will bless those who make for peace. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 9

My brother James, I feel a deep interest that no devising of the enemy shall overcome you, but that you shall be an overcomer, and that your wife and children shall with you follow on to know the Lord until you know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. Trust in the Lord. Let not the feelings, the speeches, or the attitude of any human agent depress you. Be careful that in words or acts you do not give others any opportunity to obtain the advantage in hurting you. Keep looking unto Jesus. He is your strength. By beholding Jesus you will become changed into His likeness. He will be the health of your countenance and your God. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 10

Christ says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” [John 7:37; 6:37.] Can we read these precious assurances without feeling that we are standing in the presence of superior goodness, and mercy, and compassion? I beg of you, my Brother and Sister James, to have faith in God. Be not discouraged. Learn of Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 11

The church needs you, and you need to soften and subdue your own feelings for Christ’s sake. He wants you to have His Holy Spirit to work you. Then you may impart life and comfort to the church. Let your words be well-chosen that you may be a real blessing to the church. Do not afflict your souls over the inconsistencies of others. Take yourselves in hand, and be consistent in all things. Thus you can gain precious victories. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man. This we must do if we would have a clear conscience. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 12

I want you to stand free in the grace of God, enjoying His full salvation. Have courage in the Lord. Talk faith, practice faith, the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. I feel great tenderness toward you. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 13

In love. 15LtMs, Lt 125, 1900, par. 14