Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 18, 1902

Sanderson, Sister [A. J.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 6, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 5Bio 130.

Mrs. Sanderson

My dear sister,—

Do you know that you are spending your life for naught? If converted to the truth, you could be a help to your husband, but you have been a great hindrance. You are not satisfied with your position. You are not building on the Rock of ages, but are laying your foundation on the sand; and when the tempest beats on the house you are building, it will surely be swept away. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 1

I will copy a few lines from a book I have just opened. Giving an account of the last days of Sir David Brewster, his daughter writes: “He thanked God that the way of salvation was so simple. No labored argument, no hard attainment was required. To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ was to live. He trusted in Him, and enjoyed His peace.” The last words of this great man of science were, “Life has been very bright to me, and now there is the brightness beyond. I shall see Jesus, who created all things, who made the world. I shall see Him as He is. Yes, I have had the Light for many years. Oh, how bright it is! I feel so safe, so satisfied!” 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 2

I cannot feel at rest while I know that your life is misspent, your entrusted talents unimproved. Unless you change right about, you can neither see the kingdom of God by faith now nor by sight hereafter. Will you not turn to the Lord, and live? Will you not give up your fallacious ideas? Will you not see the errors of your ways, and be converted? When you are worked by the Holy Spirit, you will be meek and lowly in heart. As you are now, you have a cruel spirit, which leads you, when you are irritated, to do cruel things. When you undertake to punish a child, a spirit of satanic harshness and cruelty takes possession of your mind. It has been presented to me that this was the way it was with you when you were teaching the church school in Battle Creek. Oh, how often the angels of God were grieved by your wicked, overbearing spirit! 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 3

As you are now, you are not prepared to care thoughtfully and patiently, in all goodness and love, for your only child. And until you change, the child of your husband’s first wife should in no case be entrusted to your charge. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 4

Unless you are cleansed from every vestige of this harshness, this hardheartedness, you will never enter the gates of the city of God. A reformation is needed in your life. Will you not think of what you are, and of what you may be through Jesus Christ? He gives to you the invitation, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your soul.” [Matthew 11:29.] In accepting this invitation you will learn by personal experience that Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden light. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 5

The road to happiness is clearly indicated. Give up your own way, subdue your strong, undisciplined will, and come into right relation with Christ. Will you do this? It is a life and death question. Will you venture to continue the course you have been pursing? Will you continue to counterwork the influence of your husband? Will you grieve the Spirit of God till it leaves you to your own way, to receive the reward of your own doings? Will you obey God and be blessed by His Spirit, or will you continue in perversity till the close of your life. Remember that if you are destroyed, it will be because you have destroyed yourself. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 6

Had you been a converted woman, converted in body, mind, and heart, you would have been a great blessing to your husband. But you have been and are now blighting his life. At times there are exhibitions on your part that cause him intense anguish of mind. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 7

As you are now, Satan finds you a channel through which he can work to prevent the good your husband might do if you were not so great a hindrance. This hindrance you need not be if you will give yourself to Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 8

You are often discouraged with yourself, but still you will not surrender to Christ. There is no need for you to have the disagreeable discouragements you have, which make you sick. When you are under the control of the Spirit of God, you will not be subject to Satan’s rule, and your health will not suffer as it does now in consequence of his power. If you eat the Word of God, its truths will be to you as the leaves of the tree of life, healing and restoring you. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 9

These things concerning you have been opened to me. But it is not too late for you to change. The Lord’s hand is stretched out still. If you will surrender all to Christ, He will change your heart by His mighty power, casting out Satan, and reforming your life. It rests with you yourself whether you are under the control of the Spirit of God or under the control of the enemy. Oh, pray, pray, before Mercy’s sweet voice is no longer heard. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 10

The law of God is our rule of life. The secret of genuine sanctification lies in the promise of the new covenant, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” [Jeremiah 31:33.] Consecrate yourself to Christ. Withhold nothing from Him. Let His holy presence abide with you. Do not spoil your husband’s life. “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:2.] 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 11

I present this testimony to you both, that your husband may understand. I want him to see the danger of following your leading unless you are transformed in character. He must maintain his own individuality. He must be led by the Lord Jesus Christ, whose he is by creation, and by redemption. He has been bought with a price, and is accountable to God for the improvement of his entrusted talents. You too have been bought with a price. But if you choose to continue to serve the enemy, your husband must not allow you to lead him away from God. He must look to the Lord for strength to serve Him with full purpose of heart. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 12

It requires much grace to walk in the Spirit. If you do not make a determined effort to follow the light, to be in harmony with the Spirit’s leading, you will fall a prey to the enemy. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 13

I must now stop writing. I have been unable to sleep since eleven o’clock P.M. My sister, do not give way to hard, bitter feelings against me because I tell you the truth. I greatly desire to see you a converted woman, a wholehearted Christian, serving the Lord with full purpose of heart. I greatly desire to see you softened and subdued, cleansed from all satanic attributes. This must be, this must be, if you are to fill any position in the Lord’s work. 17LtMs, Lt 18, 1902, par. 14