Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 52, 1902



April 18, 1902 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 18MR 146-152. +Note

Go forward. “Go forward” was the word given by God to give to the children of Israel as they stood before the Red Sea, hedged in by inaccessible mountains and pursued by Pharaoh. In obedience to the command they moved forward. Then the Lord worked for them. The waters of the sea parted and stood on one side of them like a mighty wall, leaving before them an open path. “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground.” The enemy attempted to follow, but the arm that held back the waters was removed, and with resistless force the sea flowed on. “The waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh.” [Exodus 14:15, 22, 28.] 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 1


Trial. Christians must not be discouraged by trial and hardship. These they will surely have. They are a part of their legacy. If the Master left His heavenly home to come to a world where He was despised and rejected, shall we complain when trial comes to us. Let us cheerfully partaker with Christ of His suffering. Then we shall be partakers with Him of His glory. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 2


“Be pitiful, be courteous.” [1 Peter 3:8.] He who is successful in his work for God must be courteous. Courtesy gains access to hearts. The worker for Christ must be to principle as firm as a rock, but at the same time, he is to reveal the Saviour’s gentleness. He is to be kind as well as true. He is to observe the weightier matters of the law, and he is also to observe the little proprieties of life. Christ desires our lives to be fragrant and refreshing, a blessing to others. The Christian is to be true and honest, and yet kind and forbearing, pitiful and courteous. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 3


Sanctification. What does it mean to be sanctified? It means an unreserved surrender to God, to know and do His will. It means to be heavenly-minded, pure, unselfish, without spot or blemish. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 4

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] “Thou most upright dost weigh the path of the just.” [Isaiah 26:7.] “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.” [Proverbs 16:2.] There is not a motive in the depths of the heart, not a secret in the recesses of the soul, that He does not read. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 5

Think of the years we have passed in careless indifference, without thought of service to God—years of self-seeking, when life was one long struggle against God’s will and God’s way. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 6

In one scale is the perfect, changeless law of God, demanding obedience; in the other, sin, disobedience, departure from righteousness. Shall it be said of us, Weighed in the balances, and found wanting? 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 7


Backbiting. There are those who cherish a spirit of envy and hatred against their brethren, calling it the Spirit of God. There are those who go up and down as talebearers, accusing and condemning, blackening character, inspiring hearts with maliciousness. They carry false reports to the doors of their neighbors who, as they listen to the slander, lose the Spirit of God. Not even the messenger of God, who bears to the people His truth, is spared. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 8

This sin is worse than the sin of Achan. Its influence is not confined to those who cherish it. It is a root of bitterness, whereby many are defiled. God cannot bless the church till it is purged of this evil. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 9

He who is renewed after the Spirit of Christ will not only love God; he will love his brethren also. Those who make mistakes are to be dealt with according to the directions given in the Word of God. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” [Galatians 6:1.] 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 10

Plainly and faithfully evil is to be reproved. But let the one who takes up this work first be sure that he is not himself separated from Christ by evil works. He must be able to restore the erring in the spirit of meekness. Unless he can do this, he should not attempt to correct or reprove his brethren; for he will make two evils in the place of curing one. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 11

Let men be careful how they treat the purchase of the blood of Christ. Let them not forget the prayer offered by the Saviour just before He left His disciples for the long struggle in the garden of Gethsemane. Let them not forget the high estimate He has placed on human beings by purchasing them at the sacrifice of His life. There are many who seem willing to wound and bruise the hearts of their brethren. Are they following the example Christ has left them? Where in the record of His dealing with men do they find themselves sustained in showing so little forbearance and patience in dealing with their brethren? Have they forgotten the words, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] That which distinguishes Christians from worldlings is the manifestation of Christlikeness, which by its pure influence cleanses the heart from selfishness. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 12

Christ hates sin. From Him evil met with stern rebuke. But while He hates sin, He loves the sinner. Laying aside His riches and glory, He came to this earth to seek after us—sinful, erring, unhappy—that He might lead us to heaven. He humbled Himself and took upon Him our nature, that He might make us like Himself, pure and upright, free from the defilement of sin. He suffered more than any of us will be called to suffer. He gave His all for you. What have you given Him? 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 13

The knowledge of God’s truth has been committed to you, not for you to quarrel over, but to fit you to be light-bearers to the world. According to the ability given you will be the returns required by the Master. What have you done to persuade men to accept the precious truth. All around you are those for whom Christ has died, that they might be pure, holy, sinless. Has your life been filled with good works? Have you in meekness and faith sowed in the hearts of those with whom you are brought in contact seeds that will bring forth fruit unto righteousness? 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 14

How much more strength the Lord’s people would have if they loved Him supremely and their neighbor as themselves! On how much higher ground they would stand if they followed on to know the Lord! They have many lessons to learn in the school of Christ before they will be prepared to enter heaven. Many are oppressive where they should be kind. Their sharpness makes them unskilful in dealing with minds. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 15

Christ’s life on earth was an expression of pure religion. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Those who believe in Him receive power to become the sons of God. They are no more of the world; they have come out from the world. The world knows them not, because it knew not their Master. By blameless lives they show that they are sons of God. They are united with Christ as the branch is united to the parent stalk. They are living examples of Christlikeness. They are Christians, because they are like Christ, because they abide in Him. They are light-bearers to the world. Because they are willing and obedient, they are led into all truth. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 16

Our words and works are to be channels through which the principles of truth are conveyed to the world. Those who do not cultivate personal piety cannot be lights in the world. Those who allow themselves to be dictatorial, who accuse and judge their brethren, seeking with unsanctified heart and unholy temper to mend their wrongs, drive souls from God. Such believers are a source of weakness to the Lord’s work; for they are not abiding in Christ. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 17

Do not think that you show love for one another by allowing that which God condemns. Do not let sin strengthen in the church. God requires His servants to exercise faithful watchcare. But be sure to manifest Christ’s love. Go the erring one, and pray with him. Draw him to Jesus. Press together, heart bound to heart in the love of Christ. Then will be seen in the church the mighty power of God. Then many souls will be brought to the truth. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 18


Asking Help From God. When men in their human wisdom frame something new and strange to present to the churches, they show that they need to learn of Christ and obtain the knowledge that is according to the faith which is in Jesus Christ. What is the chaff to the wheat? Of what value are the theories of human production when compared with the truths of God’s Word? Of what value are the words falling from lips untouched by a living coal from God’s altar? There are those who present to the people of God fables and suppositions which they declare they must accept or perish in their sins. Let God’s people pray to Him for clear spiritual discernment, that they may distinguish the theories of men from the Word of the living God. Let them study the Scriptures. Why do they not, with Bible in hand and on bended knee, ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit, that they may have wisdom and understanding? Precious will be the experience thus gained. It is the right of every soul to ask much of God. Do not make the words of men your standard. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.” [James 1:5, 6.] 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 19

He who asks help from God, and then, forgetting the Lord’s promise, asks for human help, puts a slight on the Saviour. He shows that he is not willing to trust himself in God’s hands, that he does not believe that God will do as he has promised. He is like the restless waves, driven with the wind and tossed. 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 20

With the rich assurances of God’s Word before us, let us ask in childlike faith, believing that we shall receive, because God’s word is Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. Are you a child of God? Then trust your heavenly Father. Believe that God means what He says. “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice.” “Let your moderation be known unto all men.” Do not doubt the Lord’s Word because an answer is not immediately returned. Doubt not the promise, “The Lord is at hand.” “Be careful in nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God,” remembering the word, “The Lord is at hand.” “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” [Philippians 4:4-7.] 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 21

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” [Hebrews 10:35, 36.] Will those who have been tossed about by temptation and doubt remember these words? “Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. ... Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. ... Do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” [Colossians 3:12-15, 17, 23, 24.] 17LtMs, Ms 52, 1902, par. 22