Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 118, 1901

Sanderson, Sister [A. J.]

St. Helena, California

August 24, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 128.

My dear sister,—

The past night has been one of labor, and it concerned you. I have words to speak to you. Your connection with your husband, as his wife, places you in a responsible position. Both you and your husband are standing in a position of the highest responsibility. Will you look upon this as you should? Will you ask yourselves from day to day, “What is my record in the books of heaven?” 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 1

My sister, I have in my mind a distinct history of your life. Your life has been one of selfish indulgence. Your heart has not been in harmony with the One who gave His life for you. Your life on the whole has been a mistake. You have lived to do as you pleased. You are wide awake when amusement is presented. Scenes of pleasure fill you with enthusiasm. But the truth that purifies the soul from all defilement does not receive your attention. So long have you consulted self that it has become second nature for you to do this. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 2

The Lord has not been glorified by the train of your thoughts, by your words, or by your life-practice. You have not done that which is for the health of body and soul. Your will has never been surrendered for any length of time to the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore you know not the joy of Christian self-control in obtaining victory after victory over the impulsive passion which rises when self is crossed. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 3

My sister, you have had opportunity to know the truth. But you have not gained that which you might have gained by studying the life of Christ. You enter into the falsities of the world because the peace and joy of Christ are not abiding in your heart. You should lose no opportunity to obtain soul culture, that you may be an example of good to others. Christ said to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] Truthfulness of character in Christian service is immortalized. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 4

There is no excuse for religious defection or religious despondency, because all the promises of heavenly grace are for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Christ declares, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” [Verse 6.] “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” [Isaiah 45:22-25.] 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 5

Standing in the righteousness in Jesus Christ, the sinner is justified by faith. “Israel shall be saved ... with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. ... I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.” [Verses 17, 19.] “I will bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” [Isaiah 46:13.] 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 6

“Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” [Isaiah 48:17.] 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 7

“He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” [2 Corinthians 5:21.] The righteousness promised is free to all who hunger and thirst for it. Those shall be filled who feel their spiritual need. To hunger and thirst for righteousness means the continual subjection of self to God’s requirements; it means entire conformity to His will, obeying the law from the heart. This will all be fulfilled in us when we crave for spiritual blessings. The intensity of desire, represented by hungering and thirsting after righteousness, is a pledge that the coveted supply will be given. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 8

The appetite must be educated to long for spiritual blessing. Those who become enthusiastic over worldly pleasure, who willingly use their qualifications and talents in planning for that which will minister to selfish gratification, who find their happiness in preparing entertainments for worldlings or for professing Christians are hungering and thirsting for that which will give no strength to the character, that which brings only weakness, dwarfing the religious experience. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 9

My dear sister, you have at times felt a desire for righteousness, but this desire has not been lasting. A reformation must take place in your character. Hitherto in your selfishness you have thought that everybody should help you. This should not be. You must overcome this helplessness. You are not to think that you are to be helped step by step to heaven by your friends, like a cripple who is helped over a rough pathway. You must make persevering efforts to obtain righteousness. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 10

You have always had capabilities, but you have become so self-centered in your desires that you have not shown the perseverance necessary to stablish, strengthen, and settle you in the truth. You are not bound up with God. If you were converted, He would use you as His helping hand, but though you know your Master’s will, you refuse [to] break up the customs which keep you a sinner. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 11

My sister, I have been instructed to say to you, God has given you capabilities. If you improve these capabilities in His service, turning away from that which cheapens your character-building, God will receive you and will pardon you for the defective service which you have in the past offered him. Thus saith the Lord, You must be converted; for your past experience is misleading to others and is fastening you in a deception. Your spirit and your habits of life must change decidedly. Unless there is a change, your soul will be lost. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 12

You have done very little in trading upon the talents entrusted to you. You need to learn as an apprentice what it means to follow in the footsteps of Christ, living in the light of His countenance and under the influence of His example. Your life can now be reformed, but you alone, in the strength of Jesus Christ, can do the work necessary to be done. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 13

Says the psalmist, in language which stretches far beyond the present, far away from all earthly attractions, “Deliver me, ... O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life. ... As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.” [Psalm 17:13-15.] 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 14

When your dormant spiritual faculties are awakened to action, when you are filled with a determination to overcome through the power of Christ, you will begin to live the new life of which Christ spoke to Nicodemus, saying, “Ye must be born again. ... Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:7, 3.] Then you will experience not only a spiritual revival, but a spiritual reformation. You will reveal new desires, new tastes. You will cast away the unprofitable selfishness which has kept you in your own guardianship, expecting everyone to help you. You will work perseveringly to obtain that which no human being can obtain for you. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 15

Overcome the passion that often arises to spoil your physical and spiritual health. You have a work to do which you can do if you will die to self and hide in Christ. When you are converted, you will appreciate the beauty of Christ’s character. You will see the necessity of cultivating gentleness. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 16

All last night I was laboring with you, giving you instruction from the Lord. You must now make a break. You have played long enough at serving God. You now have an opportunity to come under the sweet, saving influence of His divine grace. As you dedicate yourself fully to His service, you will know the fellowship of His Holy Spirit. Give yourself to God without a single reservation. Place yourself under the moulding, fashioning hand of Christ. He is your pattern. Thus you will become familiar with His meekness and gentleness. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 17

Study the tenderness of Christ, His kindness to the poor, His compassion to the afflicted and bereaved. As you think of and care for others, you will yourself receive rich blessing which will flow forth to bless those in need of sympathy and consolation. Your heart-beats will be more healthy. You will be inspired by a new, strong motive-power—the power of faith. You will look above the cheap amusements of this life. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 18

Read and understand the proofs of Christ’s sufficiency as our great High Priest and Advocate, and as our tender, earnest, interested Shepherd. He is far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named. When you trust in Him, you have a power which is above all human power. Yes, as you obey Christ in all things, you will have faith and courage and patience and love. The study of the Saviour’s life gives you a constantly increasing knowledge of His power and your weakness. Beholding Him, you cultivate every Christian virtue. Sin appears to you in all its terrible deformity. 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 19

Will you seek the Lord while He may be found? Will you as far as possible redeem your spoiled life? Will you awaken to your possibilities and improve them before it is too late to heed the invitation Christ has given? 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 20

Read the first four verses of the first chapter of second Peter. The apostle says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Study this Scripture and see in it the possibilities before you. As you work for God on the plan of addition, He will work for you on the plan of multiplication. And “so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verse 11.] 16LtMs, Lt 118, 1901, par. 21