Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 103, 1901

“I have a most earnest desire for ...”

St. Helena, California

October 8, 1901 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7MR 226-227. +Note

I have a most earnest desire for the salvation of Brother and Sister Sanderson. I ask myself, What can I say to help them, or what can I write more than I have? Both Brother and Sister Sanderson have feelings, but these feelings are not acceptable to God. They have encased themselves in their own opinions as in a coat of mail. Is Brother Sanderson right in the sight of God? No; for years he has not walked wholly in the counsel of the Lord. Had he walked aright, he would have exerted a very different influence in the Sanitarium. At times he has strong desires to be and do right, but he has not the executive ability to carry out his purposes. He has some opinions and imaginations which are erroneous. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 1

I am carrying the burden of Brother Sanderson’s case, and I cannot rid myself of the load. What is the matter? The Lord has shown me Brother Sanderson’s spiritual condition. He needs a power out of and above himself. This he will not get from his wife, for she is not a wholehearted Christian. She does not feel the cords of gratitude and love binding her to Christ, and while her husband accepts her mind and will as his strength and sufficiency, he cannot see the glory of the Redeemer. His heart is not bound up with the heart of Christ. He cherishes a spirit of Pharisaism, which excludes Christ from his thoughts. His refusal to relinquish his high estimate of himself, to humble his heart before God and cast himself wholly on the mercy of Christ, is placing a barrier between him and his Saviour. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 2

Wisdom from on high is needed in laboring for one whose danger seems so great. The souls of his brethren are deeply afflicted. They see the peril to which he is exposed. How can he be helped while he looks upon himself as sufficient to carry the chief responsibilities of a Sanitarium without the aid and counsel of another experienced physician? As a physician he has much to learn. As a manager he shows a deficiency of character which reveals his need of the help he does not consent to accept. Years ago an experienced physician should have been brought to the Sanitarium to stand at Dr. Sanderson’s side. A willing acceptance of the gifts God offered would have made Dr. Sanderson in every way a much more complete physician. But he has not wanted the help which would have been a great blessing to him, bringing advancement to him in spiritual lines. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 3

Dr. Sanderson needs to see the evil of his resistance of light and the danger of having his own way. He needs to understand what it means to eat the meat, the strong meat, of gospel truth. The time that he has devoted to the study of how one mind can control another should have been spent in searching the Word of God to find the science of true godliness. Had he begun this work years ago and carried it on faithfully, the record of his connection with the Sanitarium would have been very different. The institution would have exerted on the surrounding community the purifying, beneficent influence which it ought to have exerted. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 4

The Doctor’s ideas in regard to what constitutes the practice of true religion need to be changed. The science of religion is explained by the Lord Jesus, Himself the author and finisher of our faith, in the words, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] He declares that at every step sacrifices will have to be made. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 5

The system of religion that Dr. Sanderson has cherished, though agreeable and pleasant to many, is not the system of heaven. It comforts in a great many ways that are not the ways of the Lord. Peaceableness in unrighteousness is not pure and undefiled religion. Men and women are not to be flattered in their impenitence, for this will never lead them to love and fear God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and until this fear comes into the personal experience of Brother and Sister Sanderson, until they have a realization of the great love expressed by Christ for sinful beings, until they show that their lives are guided by the high principles of a living, earnest, zealous faith, they have no right to be connected with any sanitarium. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 6

Self-righteousness means death to spiritual life. Self-righteousness is so inconsistent with being children of God, that Christ can have little influence on a self-righteous man. Those who are self-righteous are a law to themselves. The spiritual perception is perverted. They do not see the evil of transgression. Their religion needs to be reformed, for it is sick unto eternal death. They follow the subtle philosophy of the enemy—to be religious in a way that will keep them within the bounds of so-called consistency, pacify the conscience, and lead public sentiment to endorse their sentiments. Away with public sentiment when it favors an egotism and pride which it seems impossible to break down. If they are saved, the truth, as a two-edged sword, must cut away their false sentiments. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 7

The Lord expects human agencies to co-operate with Him, making constant advancement, increasing in faith and adaptability until Christ alone is magnified and self lost to view. The Holy Spirit will co-operate with determined effort on the part of the human agent. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 8

The Word of God is the living seed, and as this seed is sown in the mind, the human agent must give it diligent care through the successive stages of its growth. How is this to be done? After the Word has been carefully received, it is to be cherished and practiced in the daily life. It is to spring up and bear fruit, putting forth first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 9

Man is to hear the Word of God, filled with a hungering desire to hear in faith and profit by the hearing. He is to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] We are to fear and tremble lest we make a wrong use of the words of the gospel, the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations. “Take heed therefore how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given: and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away, even that which he seemeth to have.” [Luke 8:18.] 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 10

We are to give sincere, earnest attention to the instruction of Christ, realizing the importance of hearing correctly, that God may use us in instructing others. “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” [Matthew 7:2.] The measure of the earnestness with which you hear My Word, that you may benefit others, will be the measure which will be given back to you. To him who hath—who listens intently that he may receive knowledge to lay up in the treasure-house and impart to others—shall be given; for God sees that he will use his knowledge aright. He who hath not—who has not improved his opportunities, who has not practiced the truth that others may see the blessing of his knowledge—shall be taken away even that which he hath. His opportunity to be all that God designed he should be, receiving and imparting the light of heaven, shall be taken away from him. 16LtMs, Ms 103, 1901, par. 11