Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 200, 1907

Belden, Vina; Believers on Norfolk Island

St. Helena, California

June 10, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in 10MR 146-149.

Dear Sister Vina Belden:

I received your letter today. I was glad to hear from you. The box of dental tools is now in our possession, though I have not seen them yet. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 1

For some weeks we have been without any person to do our housework and cooking. We have now secured a good woman, who with her husband will be members of our family. The husband works at the St. Helena Sanitarium; the wife has for some time been doing the cooking for the boarding house at Mountain View. We feel sure that she can do our work satisfactorily. I am very glad that we have been able to secure this help; for the girls who are working in the office have had to do the work of the house in addition to their usual work. We appreciate having these Christian people in our home. The husband is a quiet man and a firm believer in the truth. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 2

Our camp-meeting in St. Helena will begin in less than two weeks. This is the first that has been held in St. Helena since we have lived here. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 3

I had always hoped that I would be able to visit you in your home on Norfolk Island. I regret that I was not permitted to bear my testimony there. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 4

A Message to Believers on Norfolk Island

I have a message to give to those who are desirous of having lives that are cleansed from all sin and selfishness. I heard a voice speaking to the believers on Norfolk Island, saying, Unless you turn wholly from your sins, and become fervent in spirit, giving to the unbelievers on the island the evidence that you are changed in heart, you cannot enter in through the gates to the city of God. No unclean person will enter that blessed abode. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 5

All may become intelligent Christians, if they will study the Word. In the Word lies life eternal for all who will obey its instruction. Unless we understand the terms of our salvation, and are willing to be wholly obedient to the Word of God, we can never be admitted to the city of God. Could this be possible, and those who refuse to comply with the conditions of salvation be admitted to the home of the redeemed, they would introduce their own unsanctified ideas into the heavenly family, and a second rebellion would be created. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 6

Christ bids you, “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.] The members of the church of Christ are to act out the principles of truth, representing the character of the meek and lowly Jesus. This is contrary to the spirit of the world. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 7

“A city that is set on a hill,” Christ said, “cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16.] The disciples are bound by solemn obligations to show to the world that they love God and keep His commandments. By obedience to the Word of God, light must shine in clear, distinct rays from every soul who has received the truth. And believers will be happy in reflecting the light of the love of God upon others. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 8

Those who desire to see Jesus and dwell with Him in the heavenly courts must reveal the truth in the form of sound words. They must refrain from all foolish jesting and joking. You are living in the presence of angels who are appointed to lead you to right action; yet knowing the truth of God as expressed in His Word, you fail. You are now making your choice as to whom you will pattern after. It is your privilege to follow that which is right, and by your example lead to right action on the part of others. If you take this course, the commendation of God will rest upon you. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 9

The mind of God can be learned only from His Word. The Lord has sent His angels to guard those who are willing to be led in the ways of truth. He bids you take heed to your ways. There are souls living on the island who are daily receiving blessings from God, yet who do not as much as look heavenward and say, “I thank Thee, Lord, for all the mercies I receive.” All the love that God expresses for them, in sparing their lives, and in providing them with food and clothing, does not waken in them one grateful response. The precious Word of truth is not stamped upon the soul. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the lips confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:10.] 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 10

The first great commandment of the law is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” [Luke 10:27.] Who among us obey this commandment? God asks for the heart’s best and holiest service; but careless hearts turn away from Him to taste of the cup of folly and sin, and thus God is mocked. How many living on Norfolk Island have heard the instruction of the Word of God, but have turned away with decided refusal to obey its instruction? The Searcher of hearts knows who are they who turn from His law, saying, I want not Thy will and Thy way O God. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 11

When the attention of the man who is honest in heart is drawn to the truth of the Bible, he reads, marks, learns, and inwardly digests it teachings. He comes to God in prayer. He sees the wonderful sacrifice made in his behalf in the words of the prophet: “He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. ... He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. ... The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” [Isaiah 53:3, 5, 6.] Conviction comes to his heart, and he is troubled, for he sees that he is under condemnation. He feels the power of the truth in his soul. Then the light which the Spirit of God sheds upon the convicted mind comes to him, and he sees the meaning of the Word as he never saw it before. As the blood propelled from the heart, circulates through the body, carrying life and vigor to the extremities, so the truth received into the heart diffuses itself through the inner man, bringing the thoughts and affections and powers into obedience to Christ. If the heart is submitted to the will of Christ, the great Master Builder will in due time perfect the whole being. 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 12

Paul in the fifth chapter of Romans shows us where the true experience of the child of God begins. “Being justified by faith,” he says, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we now stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope: and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; but peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [Verses 1-11.] 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 13

I send you this to be read to those who shall gather together for worship. Shall I have the satisfaction of knowing that this my testimony to the believers in Norfolk has impressed your hearts to serve the Lord more fully? 22LtMs, Lt 200, 1907, par. 14