Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 43, 1901

Kellogg, Brother and Sister [J. H.]

Oakland, California

June 13, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 8T 192-194; 1NL 15-16. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Kellogg,—

I have had a prosperous journey. I have attended many meetings in different places. At Indianapolis I was surprised to meet so large a number. On the Sabbath I met with most intelligent-looking people in the church. The audience presented a singular appearance, for all the sisters had removed their hats. This was well. I was impressed with the favorable appearance. The people were not obliged to stretch their necks to see over a mass of flowers, <feathers,> and ribbons. I believe that this is an example worth following by other congregations. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 1

I spoke twice in Indianapolis, on Sabbath and Sunday. Brethren Jones, Daniells, and Prescott were with us at the meeting. The Lord gave me a message for the people similar to the one given me in Battle Creek in regard to the errors which have crept in among us. Especially was this my duty when I spoke on Sunday. The people were ready to hear and receive the word. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 2

When errors come into our ranks, we are not to enter into controversy over them. We are to present the message of reproof and then lead the minds of the people away from fanciful, erroneous ideas, presenting the truth in contrast with error. Presenting heavenly scenes will open up principles that rest upon a foundation as enduring as eternity. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 3

Christ is the Root, His people are the branches. This makes a perfect whole. Those people are most serviceable to the Master whose Christian convictions are so consistent and so commendable that their characters are of solid worth. Nothing can move them from the faith. Truth is to them a precious treasure. The truth of God is found in His Word, and those who feel that they must seek elsewhere for present truth need to be converted anew. They have habits to mend, evil ways to be abandoned. They need to seek anew the truth as it is in Jesus, that their character building may be in harmony with the lessons of Christ. As they abandon their human ideas and take up their duties, beholding Christ and becoming conformed to His image, they say, “Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee, <e’en though it be a cross that raiseth me>.” 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 4

With the Word of God in hand, we may draw nearer, step by step, in consecrated love, to Jesus Christ. Let those who have been deluded give up all their fallacies. The love of Jesus will not endure such rivals. As the Spirit of God becomes better known, the Bible will be received as the only foundation of faith. God’s people will receive the Word as the leaves of the tree of life, more precious than fine gold purified in the fire and more powerful to sanctify than any other agency. To talk of Christ without the Word leads to sentimentalism. And to receive the theory of the Word without accepting and appreciating the Author, makes men legal formalists. But Christ and His precious Word are in perfect harmony. Received and obeyed, they open a sure path for the feet of all who are willing to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 5

If the people of God would appreciate His Word, what a heaven we should have here below in the church. Christians would be eager, hungry, to search the Word. They would be anxious for time to compare Scripture with Scripture and to meditate upon the Word. They would be more eager for the light of the Word than for the morning papers, magazines, or novels. Their greatest desire would be to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. And as a result their lives would be conformed to the principles and promises of His Word. Its instruction would be to them as the leaves of the tree of life. It would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. Refreshing showers of grace would refresh and revive the soul, causing them to forget all weariness and toil. They would be strengthened and encouraged by the words of inspiration. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 6

Then the ministers would be inspired by divine truth. Their prayers would be characterized by earnestness, filled with the divine assurance of truth. Weariness would be forgotten as the soul basks in the sunlight from the heavenly atmosphere. Truth would be interwoven with their lives, and its heavenly principles would be as a fresh, running stream, continually satisfying the soul. “And thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. ... Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Isaiah 58:11, 14.] 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 7

The Lord’s philosophy is the rule of the Christian’s life. The entire being is imbued with the life-giving principles of heaven. The busy nothings which consume the time of so many shrink into their proper, subordinate position before a healthy, sanctifying, Bible piety. The Bible, and the Bible alone, can produce this good fruit. It is the wisdom of God and the power of God, and it works with all power in the receptive heart. O, what might we not reach if we would conform our wills to the will of God. O, it is the power of God we need, my dear brother and sister, wherever we are. The mass of frivolity that cumbers the church makes it weak and inefficient. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are seeking and longing for channels through which to communicate the divine principles of truth to the world. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 8

Artificial lights may appear, claiming to come from heaven, but they cannot shine forth as the star of holiness, the star of heavenly brightness, to guide the feet of the pilgrim and the stranger into the city of our God. Shall we allow heaven’s bright beams to be eclipsed by artificial lights? False lights will take the place of the true, and many souls will be for a time deceived. God forbid that it should be so with us. The true light now shineth, and will light up the windows of the soul that are opened heavenward. 16LtMs, Lt 43, 1901, par. 9