Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Lt 304, 1908

Churches in Washington, D. C.


October 19, 1908 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 397; 4MR 32-33. +Note

To our churches in Washington, D.C.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:

God calls upon you to show yourselves steadfast, immovable, always abounding in faith and love. I am commissioned to say to you that if you will seek the Lord, you will find Him precious to your souls. Some have piled so much of the rubbish of self against the door of the heart that the Saviour cannot enter. God calls upon them to clear away the rubbish and let Jesus in. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 1

Do not work in your own way, but in the Lord’s way. “Come unto Me,” 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 11:28, 29.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 2

I seemed to be standing among you, entreating you to come to Christ for cleansing of heart and mind, saying, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.” If you will come to Jesus, He will put out His hand and touch you, saying, “I will, be thou clean.” [Matthew 8:2, 3.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 3

The Lord Jesus is grieved by the character that some are revealing. Unless they humble their hearts before God, He will set them aside. The One who was instructing us called several by name, and said: You are making trouble for yourselves. You are walking away from Christ onto the enemy’s ground and are imperiling your souls. Unless you change, you will communicate to others the leaven of unbelief that is working in your hearts. You need Christ’s ministry of healing. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 4

I call upon the believers in Washington to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Personal labor will be needed in this city and its suburbs. Clear the King’s highway. Lift up the standard higher and still higher. There is evangelistic work to be done in Washington and Baltimore and in the many other large cities of the South and the East. Let the work of teaching and healing be combined. Let ministers and medical missionaries put on the whole armor of God and go forth to proclaim the gospel message. A decided message is to be proclaimed in Washington. The trumpet is to be given a certain sound. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 5

Close the door of the heart against Satan’s entrance. Let no one become an instrument in the enemy’s hand, used by him against Christ. When you come into working order, you will find what appeared to be mountains of difficulty will have shrunk into molehills. God calls upon you to live the Christ-life, to reveal this life to the world. When you do this, prejudice will vanish and difficulties will adjust themselves. You will gather about the Great Missionary, your hearts filled with gratitude and love. The searching truths of the Word of God will be as cool, refreshing streams to thirsty souls. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 6

There is a work to be done both for the white and the colored people in Washington, and in the neighboring states. Many obstacles will arise to retard this work. Inconsiderate or premature movements would bring no real satisfaction and would make it far more difficult to carry forward any line of work for the colored people. The work in behalf of this people has been sadly neglected, and the powers of darkness are prepared to work with intensity of effort against those who take up this work. From the light given me, I know that every injudicious movement made in or about Washington, or in other parts of the southern field, to encourage the sentiment that the white and the colored people are to associate together in social equality, will mean more in retarding our work than any human mind can comprehend. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 7

There is too much at stake for human judgment to be followed in this matter. If the conference should say that no difference is to be recognized and no separation is to be made in such relationship between the white people and the colored people, our work with both races would be greatly hindered. If it should be recommended and generally practiced in all our Washington churches, that white and black believers assemble in the same house of worship and be seated promiscuously in the building, many evils would be the result. Many would say that this should not be, and must not be. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 8

But who will press the question of entire exclusion? Both white and colored people have the same Creator and are saved by the redeeming grace of the same Saviour. Christ gave His life for all. He says to all, “Ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:20.] God has marked out no color line, and men should move very guardedly, lest we offend God. The Lord has not made two heavens, one for white people and one for colored people. There is but one heaven for the saved. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 9

All who enter heaven will enter, not through their own merit, but through the merits of Christ, God’s gift to the world. By His sacrifice He has secured for us a probation, in which to form characters for the future, immortal life. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 10

An Illustration

A lawyer came to Christ with the question, “What shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?” The question was asked before a large number of people, who listened with intense interest for Christ’s answer. The Pharisees, who had prompted the question, hoped that Christ would say something that they could use in securing His condemnation. Christ laid upon the lawyer the burden of answering his own question. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” He asked. The lawyer answered, “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; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 11

The lawyer knew that he had kept neither the first four nor the last six commandments. He was convicted under Christ’s searching words, but instead of confessing his sin, he tried to excuse it. Rather than acknowledge the truth, he endeavored to show how difficult of fulfilment the commandment is. Thus he hoped to parry conviction and to vindicate himself in the eyes of the people. The Saviour’s words had shown that his question was needless, since he had been able to answer it himself. Yet he put another question, “Who is my neighbor?” [Verse 29.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 12

Christ answered the question by relating an incident, the memory of which was fresh in the minds of His hearers. “A certain man,” He said, “went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his raiment, and departed, leaving him half dead.” [Verse 30.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 13

In journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, the traveler had to pass through a portion of the wilderness of Judea. The road led down a wild, rocky ravine, which was infested with robbers and was often the scene of violence. It was here that the traveler was attacked, stripped of all that was valuable, and left half dead by the wayside. As he lay thus, a priest came that way; he saw the man lying wounded and bruised, weltering in his own blood. He “passed by on the other side.” Then a Levite appeared. Curious to know what had happened, he stopped and looked at the sufferer. He was convicted of what he ought to do, but it was not an agreeable duty. He wished that he had not come that way, so that he would not have seen the wounded man. He persuaded himself that the case was no concern of his, and he too “passed by on the other side.” [Verses 31, 32.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 14

But a Samaritan, traveling the same road, saw the sufferer, and he did the work that others had refused to do. With gentleness and kindness he ministered to the wounded man. “When he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” [Verses 33-35.] The priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he was truly converted. It was no more agreeable for him to do the work than for the priest, but in spirit and works he proved himself to be in harmony with God. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 15

In giving this lesson, Christ presented the principles of the law in a direct, forcible way, showing His hearers that they had neglected to carry out these principles. His words were so definite and pointed that the listeners could find no opportunity to cavil. The lawyer found in the lesson nothing that he could criticize. His prejudice in regard to Christ was removed. But he had not overcome his national dislike sufficiently to give credit to the Samaritan by name. When Christ asked, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell upon the thieves?” he answered, “Him that showed mercy on him.” [Verses 36, 37.] 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 16

“Then said Jesus, Go, and do thou likewise.” [Verse 37.] Show the same tender regard to those in need. Thus you will give evidence that you keep the whole law. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 17


It costs something to live the Christ-life in this world; but it pays, yes, greatly pays. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 18

The Lord hears every word that is spoken and sees every movement that is made. He knows the motives that prompt us to action. 23LtMs, Lt 304, 1908, par. 19