Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 185, 1902

Lane, Sands

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

November 26, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 334. +Note

Elder Sands Lane

My dear brother,—

I have words to speak to you. As one who has been long in the work of God, you have grave responsibilities resting upon you. God calls upon you to take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Will you read carefully and prayerfully the first chapter of James, from the first verse to the last? If you have a clear understanding of the Scriptures, you will make an application of the instruction contained in this chapter—an application that will lead you to see that you have a work to do to clear the King’s highway. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 1

I urge this chapter upon your attention; for I do not want you to be weighed in the balances and found wanting. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 2

Be not forward to condemn your brother, whose work God has again and again declared that He has accepted. When he was in danger, God warned him, and in His wisdom pointed out where and how he could improve. The Lord has not handled him roughly, but carefully and tenderly, as a gardener would handle a delicate plant in which he sees great promise and from which he knows that, by wise handling, he may receive all that he expects. The Lord did not pull this His servant up by the roots when He saw that He was not growing straight, but carefully corrected any inclination to unsightly growth. God does no bungling work. He gives every one advantages. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 3

God connected Brother W. O. Palmer with Edson White in the Southern field, that, though varying in disposition and temperament, they might be a help and a blessing to one another. The Pharisaical religionist may sneer at this, but our heavenly Father’s thoughts are not as the thoughts of men. I thank God that they are not. Man’s thoughts must be elevated and ennobled, cleansed, purified, and sanctified, before they are in harmony with the thoughts of God. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 4

In the first chapter of James we read, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trial of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” [Verses 2-4.] 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 5

My brother, when you set yourself diligently to obey this instruction, you will see your need. You have a special line of treatment to give Sands Lane before your life pleases the Lord, before your example is a safe one for others to follow. Your character must become Christlike, else heaven will never be your home. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 6

See that no blunders are made, no superficial work done. Make an unreserved consecration to God, or else step down from your place as a minister of the Word; for thus saith Christ, “I have not found thy works perfect before God.” [Revelation 3:2.] Self figures too largely. Christ is not honored or glorified by your work. You have much of self to leave behind before you can enter the straight gate. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 7

The Lord is thoroughly displeased with those who upbraid and condemn their brethren. They do not know whom God approves and whom He condemns. Let them, therefore, be very careful in speech, lest they discourage those whom the Lord commends and sustains. The Lord does not call His workers into His council that they may disparage their brethren. The duty of each one is to give attention to his own soul, to see that he himself is pursuing a course that will elevate and ennoble. Let him be sure that his Christian experience is such that it is a blessing to himself and to the church. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 8

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that 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. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” [James 1:5-8.] 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 9

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” [Verse 12.] Wonderful are the inducements held out before those whom Christ has purchased with His blood. Those who truly love the Saviour will not yield to temptation either in thought or in action. They will not, because they are tried, speak unkind, unbrotherly words, the saying of which makes them commandment-breakers. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 10

“Do not err, my beloved brethren.” [Verse 16.] Do not err, God says, in your estimate of My gifts. You need sanctified discernment, that you may see all things clearly. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 11

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us, with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.” [Verses 17, 18.] 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 12

Of all the works of God, man stands highest, because he is to represent God. Men and women are the members of Christ’s body, and they are to receive from one another respect and love and kindness, because they have been bought with a price, even the blood of the Son of God. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 13

Never are we to lose sight of this thought. I am afraid of the men who fail to treat one another with thoughtfulness and kindness, who use their powers to weaken and depress and discourage the Lord’s servants, who, it may be, are striving in the face of great difficulties to do their appointed work, and, by mastering the difficulties, to reach success. How dare their ministering brethren ruthlessly uproot their influence by harsh, unsanctified words. How dare they wound and bruise their souls, leaving them to perish unless the Lord, in His great mercy and love, reaches out His hand, saying, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 14

These things hurt my soul, not alone because by their wicked course of action men are injuring and discouraging their brethren, and making them faithless, but because they are placing themselves where they cannot be laborers together with God. The Lord Jesus will not co-operate with those who do this work. He wants the first fruits of His sacrifice to resemble Him. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 15

Let those who are to ready to hurt the influence of the ministers engaged in the work of God, because for some reason they do not meet their ideas, remember that God looks at the heart, and by the words and actions judges whether the life is good or evil. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 16

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:19-27.] 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 17

I call upon those who name the name of Christ to depart from all iniquity, no longer cherishing enmity against their brethren, nor speaking with unruly tongues. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 18

The work that has been going forward in the South is a work of God’s appointment. Nashville is the place that He designed should become a center for the work in the South. Elder Kilgore needs to look closely into the divine mirror. And let him not go away and soon forget what manner of man he is. Elder Lane and the others who have seemed to be leagued together to increase the discouragements of the work that some one must do in this hard field, may be assured that the Lord did not set them to act the part of critics. Let them read the Word of God to a purpose, and act out the instruction it contains. They have something to do besides tearing to pieces the work that God has given their brethren to do. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 19

Those who have no interest in the Southern field, who work zealously to keep from those who are trying to do something the means that ought to go to the work in that field (and in saying this I must specify Nashville); those who circulate reports that turn into other channels the means that should go to the work in Nashville, are doing that which God calls robbery. Will He not judge for these things? My brethren, look at yourselves in the divine mirror, and remember that the Lord God of Israel does not accept the zeal that you have shown in hindering instead of helping the work in Nashville. A great work is to be done in the South, but if you cannot do differently from what you have done in the past, for Christ’s sake have nothing to do with the work in Nashville and other places in the South. You do not understand what you are about. I am bidden to tell you in the name of the Lord that unless you show greater wisdom, unless you reason from cause to effect, you might better have nothing to do with the work in the South; for this work is difficult enough without being made more so by hindrances from those who are not walking in the way of the Lord. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 20

Please read the second chapter of James. God is displeased with your work. He calls for a reformation. Without delay do the work that you need to do for yourselves. 17LtMs, Lt 185, 1902, par. 21