Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Lt 301, 1904

Haskell, Brother and Sister

Armona, California

November 2, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 315; BTS 01/1905 and 02/1905 and 03/1905.

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell,—

We left home last Friday morning for Southern California, intending to spend the Sabbath in Fresno. This we did, and on Sunday morning we came on to Hanford, thinking to spend the day visiting some old friends, and then to go on to Los Angeles by the evening train. We were driven out to Sister Grey’s, where we took dinner. When she heard that our tickets would be good for three days longer, she urged us so strongly to stay with her during that time, that we consented. We have been with her for two days now. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 1

At family worship this morning we had a precious season of prayer. My soul was drawn out in longing for Sister Grey’s two sons. They were both present. When we first came, the elder one was away on a ranch that they have bought about forty miles from Armona. I fear and tremble for this young man, lest he become so absorbed in worldly business that he will forget his eternal interests. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 2

I wish that Sister Grey could lay off some of the responsibilities that she has borne for so long. I fear that if she does not do this, her physical strength will give way. She has had threatenings of paralysis. She is now taking electrical treatments of some kind. She keeps stirring about, but at times she is in great danger. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 3

We found that a series of meetings was in progress in Hanford and the surrounding districts. I spoke in Hanford on Sunday afternoon and again yesterday afternoon. The Lord gave me liberty, and I think that a good impression was made. I spoke of the work to be done in the South, and suggested ways in which our people here could help the laborers there. I told them that it is positively necessary that we become more deeply interested in the work that must be done in our world to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 4

On Sunday I dwelt especially on the words of Christ, “Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 5

I sought earnestly to carry the minds of those present above the things of this life to the things of eternity. I sought to impress them with the thought that those who are saved must now prepare for the heavenly mansions by washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. I urged the fathers and mothers present to realize the duty resting upon them to train their children for God. I told them that this work is of infinitely more importance than all the advantages they might gain by undue devotion to the things of this world. Those parents who set their affections on the things of earth rob themselves and their children of a place in the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him. I pray that God will help those to whom I spoke to make the kingdom of God their first consideration, placing earthly interests in their proper position. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 6

It was at an infinite sacrifice that Christ redeemed the human race. But in His parting conversation with His disciples, He made no reference to the suffering that He had endured and must yet endure. He did not speak of the humiliation that was before Him, but sought to bring to their minds that which would strengthen their faith, leading them to look forward to the joys that await the overcomer. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 7

Christ spoke of His death, telling them that only by His death could they be saved. Adam sinned, and the whole of his posterity became sinners. Christ came to this world and died on the cross of Calvary, that human beings might not perish, but have everlasting life. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 8

O how diligent and earnest and faithful we should be, in view of the great sacrifice that has been made for us. How earnestly we should strive to cease from sin and through Christ become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 9

There can be no true prayer without true faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Prayer and faith are the arms by which the soul hangs upon the neck of infinite love and grasps the hand of infinite power. God does not recognize dumb children, as far as experience in His truth is concerned. Faith is an active, working power. The new-born faith in Christ is revealed by prayer and praise. Prayer is a relief and a comfort to the troubled soul. The sincere, humble suppliant at the throne of grace may know that he is communing with God, through the divinely appointed means, and that it is His privilege to understand what God is to the believing soul. We must have a realization of our needs. We must hunger and thirst after life in Christ and through Christ. Then we shall come to Him in humility and sincerity, and He will give us the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 10

Yesterday afternoon I spoke at Lemoore, three miles from Sister Grey’s place. I spoke of the great opportunities offered God’s people to present the truth for this time to those who know it not. This truth must be proclaimed throughout the world. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 11

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent?” [Romans 10:13-15.] Those who know the truth must give of their means to send it to those who know it not. They must not be so engrossed in worldly business that they have little time to keep their souls refreshed and strengthened with the heavenly bread, of which they must eat daily if they would prepare for the future immortal life. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 12

I set before those present the necessity for strict economy in the outlay of means, that they may have something to bring to the Lord, saying, “Of Thine own we freely give Thee.” [See 1 Chronicles 29:14.] Thus they are to offer to God thanksgiving for the blessings received from Him. Thus, too, they are to lay up for themselves treasures beside the throne of God. Hear the words of the great Teacher: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 13

“The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 14

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:19-24.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 15

What can we say that will convince those who know the truth that if they would enter into eternal life, they must obey the words of Christ? 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 16

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought”—no anxious, complaining thought—“for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” [Verse 25.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 17

The health of the body is to be carefully guarded. The fashions of this degenerate age are not to be followed, regardless of the injury that these fashions do to the body that Christ has purchased at an infinite cost. “Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” [Verse 25.] He who died for human beings speaks to every one in these words, reproving those who give so much time and thought to dress, to the neglect of the soul’s highest interests. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 18

“Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? And which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Verses 26-29.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 19

In these words the great Master-worker speaks to every one. There are many who spend upon dress large sums of money, which ought to be used to feed and clothe those who are suffering from hunger and cold. Many of those for whom Christ gave His life are without the cheapest, most common clothing, while others are spending thousands of dollars in the effort to satisfy the never-ending demands of fashion. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 20

Even among those who profess to be children of God there are those who spend more than is necessary upon dress. We should dress neatly and tastefully, but, my sisters, leave off the unnecessary trimmings, and lay aside the means thus saved for the advancement of the cause of God. Learn the lesson of self-denial, and teach this lesson to your children. Every penny is needed now, in the work that must be done. The necessities of the suffering must be relieved; the naked must be clothed and the hungry fed; and the truth for this time must be proclaimed to those who know it not. By denying yourselves of that which is not necessary, you may have a part in this great work. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 21

We are Christ’s witnesses, and we are not to allow worldly interests and plans so to absorb our time and attention that we pay no heed to the things that God has said must come first. There are higher interests at stake. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Verse 33.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 22

Christ gave Himself willingly and cheerfully to the carrying out of the will of God. He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. In view of all that He has done, should we feel it a hardship to deny ourselves? Shall we draw back from being partakers of Christ’s sufferings? His death ought to stir every fiber of our beings, making us willing to consecrate to His work all that we have and are. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 23

As we think of what He has done for us, our hearts should be filled with gratitude and love, and we should renounce all selfishness and sin. What duty could the heart refuse to perform under the constraining influence of the love of God and Christ? “I am crucified with Christ,” the apostle Paul declared; “nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now life in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” [Galatians 2:20.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 24

Let us relate ourselves to God in self-denying, self-sacrificing obedience. Faith in Christ always leads to willing, cheerful obedience. He died to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. There is to be perfect conformity, in thought, word, and deed, to the will of God. Heaven is for those only who have purified their souls through obedience to the truth. It is a place where unsullied purity alone can dwell. “Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” [1 John 3:3.] 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 25

In perfect obedience there is perfect happiness. “These things have I spoken unto you,” Christ said, “that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [John 15:11.] May the Lord bless us, and strengthen our faith, and lead us onward to the heights to which we have not yet ascended. He gave Christ to die for us, that we might be purified from all iniquity. He has promised to pour out His Spirit upon us, that we may be sanctified through the truth. He has given us His Word, that through obedience to its teaching, we may be made holy. It is our privilege, our duty, to grow in grace. This is the will of God, even your sanctification. 19LtMs, Lt 301, 1904, par. 26