Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 31, 1903

Robinson, Brother and Sister [A. T.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 28, 1903

Previously unpublished.

Dear brother and sister Robinson,—

I can write you only a few lines; for the mail goes today at noon. We should be very much pleased to see you and talk with you. But we are a long way from you, and all that we can do is to trace with the pen words that express our love for you and our deep interest in you. You have our sympathy as you labor in Queensland, where the work must be very hard, on account of the long drouth from which the country has suffered. My dear brother and sister, look on the bright side. Trust in God with a confidence that will not fail or be discouraged. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 1

I should indeed be glad to see you and talk over with you the strange experiences through which we have passed during the past two years. Ever since I came to America, I have been engaged in taxing labor. I cannot but feel deeply in regard to the condition of things in our institutions. In some of them we can see but little in the way of reform. But we must continue to urge them to make determined efforts to reach the highest standard. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 2

I am so situated that I could do a large work in preparing my writings for publication in book form, if it was not that my energies are divided. Much of my time has to be spent in writing words of reproof and counsel to those who, though occupying positions of trust, have not carried successfully the burden of the work, but have needed to be worked by the Holy Spirit. I feel deeply pained by the indifference manifested in regard to setting in operation plans of work that would carry the truth to thousands who have never heard the third angel’s message. As I have thought of the work that is left undone, I have been unable to sleep. From the time that I came to this country until now, it has been a terrible battle. At one time, I was so sick that I almost gave up hope of recovery. But I kept praying, and although not raised up, I was made wondrously able to depend on my Saviour, though suffering intense pain. At that time I lost about thirty pounds in weight and have not yet regained this. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 3

The lack of love among believers is one of the surest evidences that Christ is not dwelling in their hearts. There is a strong desire to hinder and repress some one who is doing a good work. This is the most bitter, grievous spirit that I have ever had anything to do with. One accuses another, and one worker wants another worker, who occupies a higher office, to be removed from his position. It seems as if the spirit of accusation, of thinking and speaking evil, is now in every place. Let us give no place to the enemy. Let us refuse to think or to speak evil. Let us take the Word of God and give it in strong portions to those who are mischief makers, who know not what they are about. The Lord has nothing to do with the plans that are devised to separate brethren. These are the enemy’s devices and must be met and condemned. It has cost me much mental anguish to do this; for I know that the Spirit of the Lord has been and still is grieved. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 4

Christ’s instruction to the disciples, recorded in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, is right to the point. God does not desire any man to draw apart from his brethren. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 5

In the messages to the churches, given in the first, second, and third chapters of Revelation, is given the history of Satan’s effort to bring dissension into the church. I know something in regard to these difficulties, which must be met today. The members of the church in Ephesus, the message to which is given in verses one to five of the second chapter, possessed excellent qualifications, and these are mentioned by the true Witness. But Satan through his subtlety succeeded in destroying much of the good that had been accomplished. Christ was therefore compelled to say to them: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Verses 4, 5.] 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 6

The message to the church in Sardis is full of instruction for us: “These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” [Revelation 3:1-5.] 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 7

The explanation of the condition existing in the churches today is given more fully in the message to the Laodicean church: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold not hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” [Verses 14-19.] 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 8

This is the work that we must do. Let us rest not until it is completed—until the loss of love for Christ and for the brethren is repented of as a grievous sin. I pray that God’s people may put away this wrong; for it is the seal of death to the spirituality of the church. There will be a dearth of spirituality until the sin of evil speaking among our people is repented of and forsaken. This sin must no longer exist in the church. We must take hold of this masterly element and deal with it uncompromisingly, yet not in such a way as to lose our love for our brethren and sisters. With kindness and courtesy let us give strict attention to this matter and bring to an end the satanic activity of those who by their own sinful imaginations make their fellow beings guilty. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 9

Brother and Sister Robinson, let us do what we can to correct this evil. Let us pray that there shall be a crucifixion of self in our churches and that we shall have the vital breath of the Christ-life in the soul. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 10

I shall not be able to write more now. May the Lord bless and strengthen you. I desire very much to see you, but will await God’s time. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 11

In love to you both and to Gladys. 18LtMs, Lt 31, 1903, par. 12