Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 17, 1900

Jones, A. T.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 6, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 554, 558; CW 66; 1MR 123-124. +Note

Elder A. T. Jones
Battle Creek, Michigan, U. S. A

My Dear Brother:

My attention has been called to your articles in our papers in reference to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. In the work of temperance all church members are supposed to stand upon the platform of union. Your putting on the appearance of antagonism is natural to you, but it is not after the order of Christ. You are building up barricades that should not be made to appear. After reading your articles, will those who know not what our faith is feel inclined to make an attempt to unite with us? The tone of your articles savors of Pharisaism. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 1

The man who expects to enlighten a deceived people must come near to them and labor for them in love. He must become a center of holy influences. One concession made on their part would prepare the way after patient enlightenment for a second concession. The truth makes the believer more Christlike. The love of the truth in the soul is the love of Christ. The more Christlike a believer becomes, the more abundantly will the love of Christ be brought into the practical life. The family tie in the home will be more tender. In the church will be seen distinctly the unity which Christ prayed might exist. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 2

The Lord designs that men who have had great light should so appreciate Jesus Christ, the Truth and the Light, that their spiritual diet will be recommended by the sweetness of the breath of the soul. The work Christ came to do in our world was not to erect barriers and constantly thrust upon the people the fact that they were wrong. Paul in his journeys combined home and foreign missions. Now he is preaching to the Jews in their own place of worship. Now he is preaching to the Gentiles, before their own temple and in the very presence of their gods. Nor does Paul proclaim to the Jews a Messiah whose work is to destroy the old dispensation, but a Messiah who came to develop the whole Jewish economy in accordance with the truth. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 3

Those of the disciples who carried the Word of truth the widest were ready to stand the test of any interview with those who remained close at home. Here Christianity obtained a decided victory, and the high, elevated stand was taken by the converted Jews that Christianity and salvation were for all nations, tongues, and peoples upon the face of the earth. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 4

From the case of Cornelius we may learn a lesson that we would do well to understand. The God of heaven sends His messengers to this earth to set in operation a train of circumstances which will bring Peter into connection with Cornelius, that Cornelius may learn the truth. Through angel ministration Peter is brought into co-operation with the inquiring souls who have all things in readiness to hear the truth and receive advanced light. But it is with reluctance at every step that Peter undertakes the duty laid upon him by divine command. He does not defend his action on general principles, but as an exception, done because of divine revelation. And the result was a great surprise to him. The conversion of Cornelius and his household was only the firstfruits of a harvest to be gathered in from the world. From this household a widespread work of grace was carried on in a heathen city. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 5

If far more earnest, devoted, determined efforts were made for such associations as the W.C.T.U., light would shine forth to souls who are as honest as Cornelius. It was the Lord’s design that work should be done for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, that those who are seeking the light might be gathered out from those who are so bitterly opposed to the message God is giving to the world. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 6

The ideas expressed in your articles savor so strongly of antagonism that you will do harm, more harm than you can possibly conceive. Remember that if by the injudicious use of your pen you close the door to even one soul, that soul will confront you in the judgment. O, how much has been said that has turned souls to bitterness and gall against the truth. Words that should have been a savor of life unto life have been made a savor of death unto death by the spirit which accompanied them. 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 7

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me,” Christ said, “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.] Have you made this appear as Christ has said it? For what reason do you put on the armor of warfare, and battle so strongly? Sit down with Christ and learn of the divine Teacher. “The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” [2 Timothy 2:24-26.] 15LtMs, Lt 17, 1900, par. 8