Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19

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Lt 31, 1904

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]; Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 17, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in UL 31. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Burden and Brother and Sister Kress,—

The Lord will greatly bless you if you will come into unity. But He cannot place His approval on the spirit of disunion that exists. The grace of God is not revealed by this spirit. All of you have a part to act in changing the present condition of things. Will you not strive to answer the prayer of Christ? You are not all of the same stamp of character, but by showing tact and consideration, you can work together in harmony. We are to love one another, Christ says, “as I have loved you.” [John 13:34.] 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 1

You can all harmonize in Christian love and sympathy, each accommodating himself to the other. I do not say that a separation between Brother Burden and Dr. Kress would be wrong, but, my brethren, if the cause demands your service in the same place, do not separate, but fulfil God’s purpose for you by blending together. Christ addresses you all when He says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Read and study the prayer that Christ offered for His disciples just before His crucifixion, and determine to become one in heart with your fellow workers. A rich blessing will come to you as you do this. None of you needs be unhappy for a moment. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 2

Christ’s prayer was the preface to the sacrifice that He was about to make for us. It is an illustration of the intercession that He is offering for us before the Father. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 3

“Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth,” He prayed. “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 4

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” [John 17:17-23.] 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 5

Today the One who offered this prayer is interceding before the Father in behalf of the beings He has redeemed. He presents them to Jehovah, saying, “I have graven them upon the palms of My hands.” [Isaiah 49:16.] 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 6

Sanctification through the truth, oneness with Christ—this is God’s purpose for us. By their sanctification and their unity, Christians are to give evidence to the world that a perfect work has been done for them in and through Christ. Thus they are to bear witness that God sent His Son to save sinners. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 7

Will you not let Christ carry on this work of sanctification in your hearts? You may all be complete in Him. You have the assurance that through the sanctification of the truth you may be made perfect in one. From the light God has given me, I know that harmony would prevail if you were all willing to give up your special preferences. Do not grieve the dear Saviour’s heart of love and your own souls by clinging to your own ideas. I beg of you all to do your part in answering the prayer of Christ. Concede your individual preferences, and do not think of separating because you can not agree. You would dishonor Christ were you to do this. You would weaken yourselves spiritually, and rob yourselves of an experience that you need. You can work together in harmony if self is crucified, and Christ reigns in heart and mind. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 8

I love you all, and I have confidence in you all as dear children of God, beloved of Him. True, you do not always see things in the same light. Remember that the more you make of little differences of opinion, the more firmly seated will become the habit of making precise rules, which would better not [be] made. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 9

Study the words that Christ spoke to His disciples in the upper chamber just before His trial and crucifixion. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 10

“Let not your heart be troubled,” He said; “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 31, 1904, par. 11

The Saviour is acquainted with the mental suffering of His children. He knows how at times their hearts are wounded and bleeding. He would have the afflicted soothed and helped. He says to us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” [Galatians 6:2.] “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” [Romans 15:1.] We are to relate ourselves rightly to one another, even though to do this demands sacrifice. Christ made an infinite sacrifice for us, and should we not be willing to sacrifice for others? We are to guard carefully against wounding or bruising the hearts of God’s children; for when we do this, we wound and bruise the heart of Christ. 19LtMs, Lt 31, 1904, par. 12