Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 22, 1900

Hare, Brother and Sister [Joseph]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 13, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in 1BC 1085-1086; 7ABC 469.

Dear Brother and Sister Hare:

I have been deeply sad to hear of your great bereavement. I have had hope that something would be heard that would change the features of the case, so that this great calamity would not be. But there seems to be no hope, but that all must have perished. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 1

No one can know how it was until that day when the sea gives up its dead. It may be that in their great peril they saw that there was no hope, and called upon God in their distress, as the thief called upon Christ on the cross, and was heard. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 2

My brother and sister, you must not now increase the greatest affliction that could apparently come to your family by sitting in sackcloth, for this will not relieve the situation at all. Do not give yourselves up to a grief that will disqualify you for doing your duty to your remaining children. It is yours to give them an education in this life which will prepare them for the future immortal life. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 3

Let this sad experience be turned to your present and eternal good. May the Lord be your Helper and Comforter. May you, my brother and sister, have still that courage and faith that works by love and purifies the soul. You loved your children, but God has declared that His love is greater than any human love can possibly be. He represents His love as greater than the love of a mother for her child. “She may forget,” He says, “yet will not I forget thee.” [Isaiah 49:15.] 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 4

Let not your sorrowful hearts cherish thoughts of rebellion against God. The time has come when we know not what will be next. Everything in our world is in confusion. War and bloodshed might be avoided, but are not, because human hearts are not under the control of the Prince of Peace. Our only safety and refuge is in God. He is a high tower, into which we can run and be safe. Let this great evil that has come into your family work for your present and eternal good. Do not dishonor God by the way in which you shall treat His chastisement. He is not unmerciful. He does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. This great bereavement may be His way of bringing you to submission and obedience, the only means of saving the souls of your family. God may have permitted this sorrow in order to call you to remember that it is dangerous to trifle with the soul’s salvation. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 5

To us have been given grand, saving truths, which, received and obeyed, will make us wise unto salvation. The Lord has invited and called us, and has drawn us by the cords of His love. The words in which He proclaims His truth for this time are plain and clear, and if believed and accepted, they will be refreshing and sanctifying to the soul. Light has been shining upon the pathway in clear, distinct lines. No one need err in any phase of his experience. God’s Word is living bread to the soul of the humblest who trust in Him, as well as warning, instruction, and reproof to the highest powers—kings, rulers, and nations. If these disregard the law of Jehovah, they cannot evade the consequences. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 6

Sin has entered our world through the apostasy of Satan, once an angel of light in the heavenly courts. And the human family brought death on themselves by yielding to temptation. But Christ, the Son of the living God, came to this world to ransom every sinner from death. The living way has been laid open. Every provision has been made that man shall have another probation and trial. All who will return to their loyalty may secure the life which is eternal. Life and immortality have been purchased by Jesus Christ. Through obedience to God’s commandments, fallen, condemned sinners may find pardon, and live in perfect harmony with God. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 7

We may choose God’s way, and live; we may choose our own way, and know that sin has entered into the world and death by sin. When the earth was created by the Lord Jesus, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it “very good.” [Genesis 1:31.] Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely, and filled the mind with thoughts of love for the Creator. Every sound was music, in perfect harmony with the voice of God. But a change has come. The sin of man has brought the sure result—decay, deformity, and death. Today the whole world is tainted, corrupted, stricken with mortal disease. The earth groaneth under the continual transgression of the inhabitants thereof. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 8

The truth fades from the mind because the intellect does not appreciate its value, and in consequence is more and more darkened by the atmosphere which has become malarious because of the perpetuating of Adam’s sin. One after another, men fall under the sure result, because sin has entered into our world, and death by sin. The truth is not made precious by practice. It does not sanctify the soul. The conscience has lost its sensitiveness. Through a repetition of sin, the impression once made by sin has no longer force to arrest the transgressor, diseased, depraved, and dying. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 9

The voice, a precious talent, no longer echoes the voice of God or the music of a soul sanctified through the truth. The heart, where God should be enthroned, is the place from which come forth all kinds of abominations, which are in accordance with satanic attributes. How has the fine gold become dim! Man has lost the reflection of God’s character. He has degenerated. This calamity has become universal. There is no place upon earth where the track of the serpent is not seen and his venomous sting felt. The whole earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof. The curse is increasing as transgression increases. The earth is preparing for purification by fire. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 10

Satan has come down with great power to work in the children of men. But in Christ’s strength we can stand against him. The instant man accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, “Let the punishment fall on me. I will stand in man’s place. He shall have another chance.” 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 11

And when human beings choose to follow Adam’s example, the Saviour still invites them, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30.] But if man refuses to yoke up with Christ, if he refuses to learn of the great Teacher, he cannot receive God’s protection. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 12

If he feels and acts independently of God, walking in the path of disobedience, Satan will exercise his power, after deceiving, to destroy. Satan is controlling human minds. Man’s senses are perverted by his schemes. He leads enchantment to the view, covering the course of transgression with great desirableness. As he tempted Adam and Eve, saying, Ye shall be as gods, made wise by partaking of the fruit which God has forbidden you to eat, so he tempts men and women today. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 13

All that God and Christ could do has been done to save sinners. Transgression placed the whole world in jeopardy, under the death sentence. But in heaven there was heard a voice saying, I have found a ransom. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for fallen man. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 14

Christ gave Himself as a ransom. He laid off His royal robe. He laid aside His kingly crown, and stepped down from His high command over all heaven, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might carry all the infirmities and bear all the temptations of humanity. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. For our sake He became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. He left the admiration of the angels for the insults and execrations of a mob lashed to madness by the priests and rulers. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 15

The words in the first chapter of John are full of meaning. “He was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. ... The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [Verses 9-12, 14, 16.] 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 16

How precious is the bread of life to the souls of all who eat of it. It is as the tree of life for the healing of the maladies of the soul. But in order to be benefitted by it, the human agent must eat it. It is not enough for him to contemplate. He must eat the Word. This will bring every spiritual muscle and sinew into healthful action. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 17

The Lord has come very near to you, my brother and sister, and may you and every member of your family learn the lesson which the gospel teaches. Christ is the true Light. Shall this light shine in darkness, and the darkness comprehend it not? God forbid. The Word of God comes to us as a prescription, a cure for diseased souls and bodies. It is life for the dead in trespasses and sins. He who knew no sin was made sin for me, that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. On Him the iniquities of us all were laid. From Him alone do we receive all our blessings. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 18

My brother and sister, to you has come a terrible sorrow, yet God lives; Jesus lives to be our Advocate. He did nothing worthy of death, yet He died. And if we hear the glad words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of the Lord” [Matthew 25:23], we shall have done nothing worthy of life. Jesus the sinless died without having done anything to deserve death. The sinner, upon whom the sentence of death has been passed, does nothing worthy of the rich blessings which come to him. He is wholly without merit, so far as his individual goodness is concerned. But clothed with the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness, he is accepted by God. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 19

You have given up largely to serve earthy things. My brother, my sister, your eternal life depends upon your daily eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Upon you rests the heavy responsibility of educating and training your children to walk in the way of all God’s commandments. Let the work of God be carried on in your hearts and in the hearts of your children. Surrendering your will entirely to the will of God will bring peace and happiness to the soul. Open the windows of the soul heavenward; then you will see Him who is invisible. Close the windows of the soul earthward, and shut out the poisonous, earthly malaria. Let light into your family. Help your children to know what they must be and do in order to be saved. Be assured that in writing these words, we feel the deepest sympathy for you. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 20

I have been writing this letter since two o’clock. It is now daylight. 15LtMs, Lt 22, 1900, par. 21