Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 7, 1901

Brethren Who Occupy Positions of Trust

St. Helena, California

January 17, 1901

This letter is published in entirety in 16MR 68-75.

I cannot sleep after half past two o’clock. I wish to speak to my brethren who occupy positions of trust. As God’s husbandry you are invested with the responsibility of acting in His stead, as His helping hand. Those who are placed in positions of trust must have the authority of action, but they are never to use this authority as a power to refuse help to the needy and helpless. It is never to be exercised to discourage or depress one struggling soul. Let those to whom have been given positions of influence ever remember that God desires them to carry out the mind of Christ, who, by creation and redemption, is the owner of all men. Just as long as a man is imbued with the Spirit of Christ, he is registered in the books of heaven as a co-partner with God. He is God’s helping hand. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 1

As the disciples received bread from the hands of the Saviour to give to the people, so he receives divine grace to impart to those in need. And in the distribution, the gift is increased. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 2

I wish we could appreciate more fully the value of the lesson taught by the miracle of feeding the five thousand. He who makes it his lifework to labor together with God, not apart from Him, is carrying out the purposes of Christ. It is only such who are fit to be entrusted with the work of dealing with human minds. Those who are not partakers of the divine nature cannot properly estimate the value of the human soul. They do not share in Christ’s deep, earnest longing for the souls which cost such an immense price. They have not a personal piety. They cannot be trusted to work in Christ’s lines, to lift up, not to tear down; to encourage, not to depress; to restore, not to mar and deface by their own imperfection. They are not safe, accurate judges of the necessities of the soul; they have not the pure, unselfish Spirit of Christ; and therefore they are not qualified to judge of human merit in cases that present peculiar difficulties. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 3

By the great law of God man is bound up with his fellow man. To the answer given by the lawyer, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself,” Christ said, “Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:27, 28.] 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 4

In these few words are laid down the terms of eternal life. True godliness is measured by the work done. Profession is nothing; position is nothing; a character like the character of Christ is the evidence we are to bear that God has sent His Son into the world. Those who profess to be Christians, yet do not act as Christ would were He in their place, greatly injure the cause of God. They misrepresent their Saviour, and are standing under false colors. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 5

The true disciple, in whose heart Christ abides, shows forth to the world Christ’s love for humanity. He is God’s helping hand. The glow of spiritual health thrills his whole being as he receives from the Saviour grace to give to others. This is medical missionary work. Its performance heals the wounds inflicted upon disordered human nature by the one who was once a covering cherub, but who through self-exaltation lost his high and holy estate, and took up a warfare against God and man. By his subtlety he led human beings into the pit of degradation, and it cost the life of the Son of God to redeem them. Christ gave His life to save every sinner. He is the light and life of men. He came as a mighty physician, a great medical missionary, to heal the wounds sin had made in the human family. His mighty healing power sends a glow of spiritual health into the soul. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 6

Pure and undefiled religion is not a sentiment, but a doing of works of love and mercy. This religion is necessary to health and happiness. It enters the polluted soul-temple and with a scourge drives out the sinful intruder. Taking the throne, it consecrates all by its presence, illuminating the heart with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. It opens the windows of the soul heavenward, letting in the sunshine of God’s love. With it comes serenity and composure. Physical, mental, and moral strength increase, because the atmosphere of heaven, as a living, active agency, fills the soul. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 7

God calls upon us to show, by the exercise of true piety, that we are under divine enlightenment. When those connected with the service of God center their hopes on Jesus, a change will be seen in their deportment. Supreme love for God and unselfish love for their fellow men will place them on vantage ground. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 8

The gospel is good tidings of great joy. Its promises bring light to the soul and shine forth as light to the world. Therefore Christ says to those who have received the gospel, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 9

Again, He illustrates the living reality of a Christian life by the saving properties of salt. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” He says, “but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” Solemn question! If the saving principles of truth are not exemplified by professing Christians, what benefit does the world derive from their lives? When salt has lost its savor, “it is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” [Verse 13.] When Christians do not reveal Christ, of what value are they? Are they not like savorless salt, “good for nothing?” But when they reveal in their lives the saving properties of the truth, poor, sin-hardened souls are not left to perish in corruption. Good works are seen; for the living principles of righteousness cannot be hidden. The gospel acted is like salt which contains all its savor. It is powerful in the saving of souls. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 10

Christ inculcates the value of obedience, saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verses 17-19.] Is it not best for us to keep the commandments, so that through us God can reveal His power? If all God’s people were obeying His commandments, they would indeed be lights in the world. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 11

God’s promises to the obedient are “good tidings of great joy.” [Luke 2:10.] They are gladdening to the humble, contrite soul. The life of the true Christian is radiant with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. If men and women would act as the Lord’s helping hand, doing deeds of love and kindness, uplifting the oppressed, rescuing those ready to perish, the glory of the Lord would be their rereward. Then they would not send thousands of miles to learn from human beings their duty. They would call, and the Lord would answer, “Here am I.” They would turn to the One close beside them, who has given them the promise, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 12

Look, thirsty, bewildered souls! Can ye not see the fountain of life opened for the weary, wayworn traveller? Can ye not hear the voice of mercy as she beckons to you saying, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” [Isaiah 55:1.] “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17.] The waters of this fountain contain medicinal properties which will heal spiritual and physical infirmities. All are invited to wash away their pollution in this fountain. Drink deeply from the fountain opened for Judah and Jerusalem. Then you can take the refreshing cup to parched, fainting souls. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 13

Christ said of His work, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to preach liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” [Isaiah 61:1, 2.] Notice; you are not to comfort only the few whom you are inclined to regard with favor, but all that mourn, all who apply to you for help and relief; and more, you are to search for the needy. Job says, “The cause that I knew not, I searched out.” [Job 29:16.] He did not wait to be urged, and then turn away, saying, “I will not help him.” 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 14

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:3.] 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 15

Wake up, wake up, my brethren and sisters. You must do the work that Christ did when He was upon this earth. Remember that you may act as God’s helping hand in opening the prison doors to those that are bound. Wonderful is the work that God desires to accomplish through His servants, that His name may constantly be glorified. He is waiting to work through His people. Those who are willing to be used will obtain a rich experience, an experience of the goodness of God. 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 16

Of those who act as His helping hand, the Lord says, “Ye shall be named Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Ministers of our God; ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among all the people; all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. ... And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” [Isaiah 61:6-11; 62:2-3.] 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 17

Shall we not try to crowd all the goodness and love and compassion we can into our lives, that these words may be said of us? 16LtMs, Lt 7, 1901, par. 18