Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Lt 93, 1901

Sharp, Smith

St. Helena, California

July 23, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 1MCP 44.

Dear brother Smith Sharp,—

I have received your letter, and I am more thankful than words can express that the Lord is opening blind eyes. There is hope for you, if you will continue to look to Christ as your Creator and Redeemer. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 1

If you could see the result of always occupying the negative side, as you have done for years to a greater or less extent, you would have a better understanding of the words of the Saviour, recorded in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. The disciples came to Jesus with the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” [Verses 1-7.] 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 2

My brother, cast away all evil thinking. Humble your heart before God. Then, your eyes being opened, you will no longer stand on the negative side. “If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” [Verse 8.] Cut away your defective attributes, however painful to human nature it may be to do this. “And if thine eye”—so sharp to see something to criticize or oppose—“offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” [Verse 9.] 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 3

Then comes the precious instruction: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” [Verses 10-14.] The “little ones” are Christ’s disciples, changed in views and character. Meek and lowly in heart, docile and submissive, they are as little children. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 4

This lesson comes sounding down along the line to our time. Its words of assurance are for those new in the faith, and for those also who, though they may have known the truth for a longer time, feel their nothingness. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 5

Greatness in the sight of God differs greatly from greatness in the sight of men. When self is hid with Christ in God, there will be no strife for the supremacy. All of God’s children are precious in His sight. He takes a deep interest in them. He loves and cares for the weakest and feeblest. That which is done for His saints He counts as done for Himself. Seeking and saving the lost is a work which makes all heaven rejoice. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 6

My dear brother, you need to feel in your soul the vivifying influence of the Spirit’s power. Remember that Christ, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, clothed His divinity with humanity. But on the mount of transfiguration His divinity shone forth in all its glorious brightness. Regarding this we read, “After six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and, behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” [Matthew 17:1-8.] 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 7

These disciples were favored with a glimpse of the future glory of the Saviour, that they might be strengthened to endure the test and trial of their faith. They were to bear testimony to the other disciples concerning what they had seen, that their faith also might be strengthened. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 8

Self must be guarded. It must not be allowed to grow to large proportions. Man is to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Christ. Not now are human beings to be exalted. When the Son of man shall come in His glory and in the glory of His Father, those who have suffered for Him on this earth will see Him as He is. They will be made like Him and will reign with Him in glory. But the time for this has not yet come. The church militant is not the church triumphant. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 9

Human beings are to be hid with Christ in God. Self must die. Christ must reign in the soul, testifying to the transforming power of divine grace. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 10

In order for us to comprehend and appreciate the truth as it is in Jesus, we must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, as represented in the sixth chapter of John. We must make continual growth in grace, and for this, as well as for all other blessings, our prayers should ascend to God. Christ taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” [Matthew 6:11.] Truth must be brought into the daily experience. Our people must be taught daily in the school of Christ. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 11

In some places there is need of a publication of the whole truth. But there are times when this would open up in our experience chapters for which we are not prepared. It would prevent much good, hindering us from doing that which is essential for the salvation of souls. Again, much of a person’s usefulness in this world depends on his doing the right thing at the right time and in the right way. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 12

God has given you capabilities which He desires you to use to His name’s glory. But your counsel has often hindered the advancement of the work. The Lord will hold you accountable for the goods He has lent you. Do not, like the slothful servant, bind your talent in a napkin and hide it in the earth. No, there is work enough to do. Take up work in some part of the field, and by wise trading increase your talents. Learn how to serve God in the way for which you are best adapted. Be convinced that you need daily to feel the converting power of God upon heart, mind, and strength. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 13

My brother, do not become a do-nothing. Obey the word of God with unselfishness. This will secure for you greatness in the kingdom of heaven. Many who hold the position of teacher in the visible church have not practical godliness. Their words and their works show this. There is need of understanding in spiritual things. In matters of religion and conscience, men cannot bow to human judgment without giving to men that which belongs to God alone. Those who exercise the authority of a leader, directing what shall be done and what shall not be done, need to be sure that they are not working out the plans of antichrist. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 14

To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God,—this is what is required of Christians. In fulfilling this command they bear continual testimony that God has sent His Son into the world. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 15

I feel the deepest, most tender interest in you. Now, just now is the time for you to place yourself in right relation with God. Do not feel that you are cast off. But I must tell you that it is not for Brother Kilgore’s spiritual good to be under the influence of your sharp, criticizing spirit. God help you, from this time on, to exert an influence which is a savor of life unto life. 16LtMs, Lt 93, 1901, par. 16