Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 228, 1903

Jones, W. H.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

October 18, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in MM 41-44; LLM 58-59.

Dr. W. H. Jones

My dear brother,—

My heart is drawn out toward you. The Lord has not left you. He is a God of tender compassion and wonderful lovingkindness, and He does not desire you to walk in darkness. You need not cast yourself away; for the Lord says, “His life need not be a failure. I will make him Mine. I will show him that I prize his soul. I will strive with him and lift him up. He must not perish. I have a special work for him to do. If he will unite with Me, believe in Me, and work for Me, his weakest points of character, notwithstanding his past failures, will become his strongest points.” 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 1

Do not keep your mind fixed on the defective example of professing Christians. You will of course see in their lives things that are not right. But if you keep looking at their faults, you will become like them. Instead of looking at the lives of your fellow men, look to Jesus. There you will see no imperfection, but perfection, righteousness, goodness, mercy, and truth. Take the Saviour as your example in all things. It is in looking to men instead of beholding Christ that you have made your great mistake. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 2

You are not excusable for living an unchristlike life. Christ came to this world, subject to His Father’s will, for one great purpose—to show men and women what God desires them to be and what, through His grace, they may be. He came to develop for man a character after the similitude of heaven. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 3

But I did not begin to write this letter to condemn you, but to encourage you to look away from sinful examples to the perfect example; to point you to the path of peace and holiness. The Lord’s merciful love is still for you. But He would have you follow a better way than you have followed in the past. This you are to do, not by keeping your eyes fixed on the defective lives of professing Christians, but by beholding Christ, the Sent of God, who in this world, and in human nature, lived a pure, noble, perfect life, setting an example that all may safely follow. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 4

The Lord is reaching out His hand to save you. I long to see you responding to His invitation, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] You and your brother are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God, and I cannot endure the thought that you should not appreciate the love that he has expressed for you—a love infinitely greater than the love that your father and mother have for you. How eagerly the Saviour will take the trembling hand in His own, holding it with a warm, firm grasp, until the feet are placed on vantage ground. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 5

Will you not set your brother an example that will help him? Neither of you needs to be unbelieving. Trust in Him who understands your weakness. Keep close to the side of Christ; for the enemy stands ready to take captive every one who is off his guard. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 6

Do not allow the enemy to control you as you have in the past. You are acquainted with the truth. You have had precious opportunities to form a symmetrical character. There have been many things to tempt you to swerve from your allegiance to the truth, but the Saviour has been willing to lead you at every step. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 7

It is young men whom the Lord claims as His helping hand. Samuel was a mere child when the Lord used him to do a good and gracious work. What an honor it would have been to him had his sons served the Lord as he served Him. They had the temptation of bad example, and they fell under the temptation. But they need not have done this. Because some serve on the enemy’s side, all need not forsake the Lord. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 8

Gather to your soul the light of the Word of God. Remember that day by day you are building character for time and for eternity. The teaching of the Bible in regard to character-building is very explicit. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” [Colossians 3:17.] Place yourself under His control and then ask for His protecting power. He gave His life for you. Do not cause Him sorrow. Be guarded in all that you say and do. Christ wants you to be to other young men His representative, His delegated gospel medical missionary. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 9

Remember that in your life religion is not to be merely one influence among others. It is to be an influence dominating all others. Be strictly temperate. Resist every temptation. Make no concessions to the wily foe. Listen not to the suggestions that he puts into the mouths of men and women. You have a victory to win. You have nobility of character to gain, but this you cannot gain while you are depressed and discouraged by failure. Break the bands with which Satan has bound you. There is no need for you to be his slave. “Ye are My friends,” Christ said, “if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [John 15:14.] 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 10

Jesus loves you, and He has given me a message for you. His great heart of infinite tenderness yearns over you. He sends you the message that you may recover yourself from the snare of the enemy. You may regain your self-respect. You may stand where you regard yourself, not as a failure, but as a conqueror, in and through the uplifting influence of the Spirit of God. Take hold of the hand of Christ, and do not let it go. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 11

You may be a great blessing to others if you will give yourself unreservedly to the Lord’s service. Power from on high will be given you if you will take your position on the Lord’s side. Through Christ you can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust and be a noble example of what Christ can do for those who co-operate with Him. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 12

Do not choose the society of those who are the servants of sin, and thus place yourself in temptation. Nobility of character is not gained by placing oneself in objectionable society. Do not put on one side the grand requirements of the Word of God. Your only hope is in placing yourself in right relation to God. You have supposed that you could so harden your heart that you would be regardless of truth and righteousness. But this you have not been able to do. You have longed to clasp the hand of One who could be a stay, a strength, a support. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 13

God’s purpose for us is that we shall ever move upward. Even in the smaller duties of common life, we are to make continual growth in grace, supplied with high and holy motives, powerful because they proceed from One who gave His life to furnish us with the incentive to be wholly successful in the formation of Christian character. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 14

Christ has made an atonement for you. You are not to go through life with a half-formed character. You are to be strong in the strength of God, grounded in the hope of the gospel. You are acquainted with God’s requirements, and I beg of you not to remain a weakling. You possess qualifications that if rightly used would make you a blessing in the world. Arise in your God-given dignity, living the truth in its purity. Christ is ready to pardon you, to take away your sins, and make you free. He is ready to purify your heart and give you the sanctification of His Spirit. As you commit yourself to His service, He will be at your right hand to help you. Day by day you will be strengthened and ennobled. Looking to the Saviour for help, you will be a conqueror, yes, more than a conqueror over the temptations that beset you. You will become more and more like Christ. The angels of heaven will rejoice to see you standing on the Lord’s side, in righteousness and true holiness. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 15

I am very hopeful that you will become all that the Lord desires you to be—a gospel medical missionary. You are to be not only an increasingly skilful physician, but one of the Lord’s appointed missionaries, in all your work placing His service first. Let nothing mar your peace. Give your heart’s best and holiest affections to Him who gave His life that you might be among the redeemed family in the heavenly courts. Striving for the crown of life will not make you dissatisfied or less useful. The great Teacher desires to acknowledge you as His helping hand. He calls for your co-operation. Will you not now give Him all that you have and are? Will you not consecrate your talents to His service? 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 16

This life is your sowing time. Will you not pledge yourself to God that your seed-sowing shall be that which will produce, not tares, but a harvest of wheat? God will work with you; He will increase your usefulness. He has entrusted to you talents that in His strength you may use to produce a precious harvest. 18LtMs, Lt 228, 1903, par. 17