Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21

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Lt 58, 1906

Washburn, J.; Prescott, W. W.; Daniells, A. G.; Colcord, W. A.

St. Helena, California

January 16, 1906

Portions of this letter are published in PM 222; TDG 24; 9MR 125. +Note

Dear Brethren Washburn, Prescott, Daniells, and Colcord:

I have received from Brother Colcord a letter regarding his work. I do hope that the trumpet will give a certain sound in regard to this Sunday law movement. I think that it would be best if in our papers the subject of the perpetuity of the law of God were made a specialty. Should there not be a paper or a pamphlet issued to take the place of the Sentinel? I have not been able to think that it was the wise thing to do to let that paper drop. It was a voice that was constantly speaking in defense of religious liberty. The truth should be presented in short articles in clear, distinct lines, giving special points in regard to the Lord’s Sabbath and showing that those who frame laws to compel the observance of the first day of the week are disloyal to the Lord of heaven, who placed His sanctity upon the seventh day. Are we doing all we can to exalt the law of Jehovah? 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 1

We should now be doing our very best to defeat this Sunday law. The best way to do this will be to lift up the law of God and make it stand forth in all its sacredness. This must be done if the truth triumphs. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 2

It is no time for us to be asleep. The sleeping virgins must arise and trim their lamps and fill their vessels with oil; for our light is now to shine forth brightly. We are to revive the truth. Its evidence needs repeating. We are to make a renewed consecration of ourselves to God. Let all the stewards and the appointed messengers of God now be wide-awake. Let the message of the gospel shine forth in the affirmative of truth. We must be wide-awake, and the very best workers will find their hands full. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 3

O how hard it seems to have so many gathered at Battle Creek. But the voice of warning must go forth, plain and decided, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. I have been very much burdened, and I have been unable to get all the sleep I should have had. I long and pray for clearness of mind. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 4

I have not heard from any one in Battle Creek recently. I hope that Elder Farnsworth will have much of the Holy Spirit and will do the very work that should be done. May the Lord give His grace, is my constant prayer. Our faith must center in Christ as the only One who can help us. He is the One to whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess, as men behold His exalted glory. He is the One to whom all allegiance will be given. Legions of angels stand ready to do His bidding. Behold Him by faith. He is our Redeemer, the One who is to be crowned and honored and worshipped. And He is the One who said to His disciples, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] He said again, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 5

Ministry occupied an important place in the teachings of Christ. In word and doctrine He has given us an example of perfect ministry. His life exemplifies the pure, uplifting principles that all must cherish who enter the pearly gates. No one will enter heaven who is unworthy. Those who are saved must here have their garments of character freed from every spot and wrinkle. Those to whom the pearly gates will open, those who will be given a welcome to the holy city, must here be cleansed from all that defiles. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 6

God did for us the very best thing that He could do when He sent from heaven a Sinless Being to manifest to this world of sin what those who are saved must be in character—pure, holy, and undefiled, having Christ formed within. He sent His Ideal in His Son and bade men build characters in harmony with this ideal. And in all His ministry, all His self-denial and self-sacrifice, Christ’s object was to reveal God to the world. It was not merely a theory of the excellence of divine mercy that was to be presented to the world. Christ came and in the likeness of man wrought out before the world a perfect character, that the world may be without excuse. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 7

God gave His law of ten commandments to be observed in the lower school of earth, that human beings might be qualified for the higher grade. Men and women are to exemplify on this earth the character of Christ. Then, as the redeemed, they are to enter through the gates into the city of God, to eat of the tree of life that is for the healing of the nations. But the characters of those who are saved must here be fashioned in accordance with the divine likeness. They are to be partakers of the divine nature, thus escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. They must keep the law of God, in order to give a true revelation of the character of the One to whom every knee should bow. This believers must do in this life, that unbelievers may see what the members of the Lord’s family in heaven are to be. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 8

Christ came to this world to give an expression of the character of God. And the commission that He gave His disciples is, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] There is to be no such thing as limiting the gospel ministry, and no such thing as hovering over the churches that already know the truth, or collecting large numbers of believers in one place. Under the Holy Spirit’s unction, the gospel message will be proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 9

All the ministry of Christ was performed in obedience to the law of service. Those who are truly consecrated will be given tongue and utterance to communicate the message of salvation to souls perishing in sin. Human beings would have less selfishness than they have if they would learn from the Son of God Himself how to minister to others. Christ, the Son of God, sinless, pure, and noble, came to this sin-cursed world to express the character of God. What a wonderful prayer He offered in behalf of the fallen order: 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 10

“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. 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. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 11

“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. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 12

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:18-26.] 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 13

Though Christ was rich, yet for our sake He became poor. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. “I am among you,” He said, “as one that serveth.” [Luke 22:27.] He came to exemplify in His character the law of God. There was in His service no haphazard work. He taught and practiced the law of the kingdom of heaven. When His parents lost Him, and went back to Jerusalem to seek Him, they found Him among the doctors and lawyers in the temple, listening to them and asking them questions. The Jewish teachers were astonished at His questions, which set their minds on a train of thought of the highest consequence. When His mother asked Him, “Son, why hast Thou dealt thus with us,” He answered, with His hand uplifted in a most reverent manner, and with His countenance aglow, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” [Luke 2:48, 49.] Clearly and decidedly these words rang out; He spoke as One who understood the keynote of His life. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 14

In a world of lawbreakers, a world revolting from allegiance to God, and refusing to obey the law of Him who created the earth, Christ was to magnify the law and make it honorable. He came to show that the law could be obeyed. “Think not,” He said, “that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” [Matthew 5:17.] “I came not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” [John 6:38.] “I am among you as one that serveth.” [Luke 22:27.] All His work was done in the ministry of service, for the saving of a lost world. His ministry bore not one vestige of selfishness. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 15

Had our churches heeded the words of the Lord’s messenger, given them by pen and voice, had they taken their position as true believers, we should have seen a most wonderful ingathering, which would have convinced the world that we have the truth. The law of God would have been magnified. And the Sunday law, which leading men are trying to bring in, could have had little influence. But hindrances in the very midst of us have worked counter to the purposes of God. My heart is almost broken as I think of what the Lord has opened to me in regard to what might have been, but is not. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 16

When I see erratic measures entered upon, when I see a counterworking of God’s plans, when I see those who hold the truth failing to proclaim it as they should, I call to mind the words recorded in the eleventh chapter of Matthew: 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 17

“Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 18

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 19

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Verses 20-30.] 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 20

Jesus Christ is the world’s greatest Teacher. I have tested and proved the blessed evidence of this. He has made me His messenger, to communicate great spiritual truths to many thousands. With pen and voice I have been doing this for the past half century. How greatly I desire so to present His instruction that many will be led to Him. I never question His leading, and I know that I am sustained by the One who bade His disciples go forth and proclaim the gospel message, “teaching them all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 21

Since 1844 I have been engaged in public labor. I am always strengthened by the Lord. I realize that a power from above is imparted to me, giving me physical, mental, and spiritual efficiency. I have the full assurance that Christ gives me His sustaining grace and the evidence that He is the light of the world. I acknowledge His power. I desire to do all I possibly can for Him while I live. I want, in calm, perfect trust, to commit the keeping of my soul to God against that day. When my work here is ended, I shall rest. Sleeping in Jesus has no terror for me. In the morning of the resurrection I shall see Him as He is. I praise the Lord for the comfort of His grace. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 22

My brethren, I wish to say to you, Do not go out of your way to attack the theories of any one, and thus multiply them. Let the evidence of the truth shine forth in all its heavenly brightness, and call error by its right name. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 23

Let us pray in faith. Let us remember the intercessory prayer of Moses for Israel after they had apostatized by worshiping the golden calf. How earnestly he pleaded with God to reverse the decision to appoint to destruction the people for whom He had done so much. And the Lord heard his prayer. Supposing that we prayed more, evidencing that we have a right to plead for the precious souls who for years have been befogged. The Lord has plainly shown them their errors, but they have been too proud to confess and forsake their sins. God cannot pardon them unless they confess and forsake their sins. To have such ones as leaders seems to be a great mistake. God is not leading them; for they refuse to be led. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 24

Let us be sure that our own souls are right with God, so that the Lord can teach us and guide us and reveal His will to us. Please consider these things. And let us be much with God in prayer. The Lord is our helper and strength and fortress. If we walk humbly with God, and fear and glorify His name, He will be in our thoughts and hearts, and we shall become assimilated to His image. Let us diligently search our own hearts and obtain that wisdom that God alone can give. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 25

Let us remember that doubts are dangerous. If entertained, they lead to unbelief. “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:13, 14.] There are plain words to speak and intelligent warnings to be given. All our people need now to seek for the impartation of the Holy Spirit. Enter into no contention, but put away dissension and strife, and seek to answer the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. I beg of you to pray, pray, with heart and soul and voice. 21LtMs, Lt 58, 1906, par. 26