Lt 32, 1899

1899

Lt 32, 1899

Muckersey, Brother and Sister

NP

February 14, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 4BC 1169, 1171; 5BC 1130; 5MR 139. +Note

My Brother and Sister in Jesus Christ:

I have answered your letter, but did not send you what I wrote, because I knew that for some time you had been under temptation, and that anything I might say would be liable to be misconstrued, and would not have the influence upon your mind that would relieve your feelings. Nothing I can say will be of value to you as long as you have not an understanding of the work the Lord has given me to do. Lt32-1899.1

Your letter certainly left a very sad impression upon my mind. Should I speak the truth, and say to you, I am guiltless of the imputations that your letter conveys as faultfinding and censorious, and stop there, then you would, I fear, continue to misunderstand the work given me by God when I was but a youth, which I have sought in truth and in the fear of God to do with fidelity, His grace upholding me. I speak with assurance. I have not forfeited my right to say, You simply do not understand the sentiments of your own mind. The gradual progress that has been at work to place you where you now stand in relation to the cause of God will eventually, if you continue to hold the position you now do, carry your sympathy away from those who are by God’s appointment doing His work for this last time. I am more sorry for you than I can express. Lt32-1899.2

We are all to see the necessity of walking humbly with God, of walking in the light as it shines upon our pathway. When we study and practice the lessons of Christ, increased light will shine upon us, and we will understand that souls are in the peril that led Christ to say, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” [Luke 18:8.] Lt32-1899.3

If I understand the matter correctly, you place me in the position of one who is faultfinding and accusing. This is not the correct interpretation of the work the Lord has laid upon me. Should I neglect this work, I should be unfaithful to my appointment. In every period of the work there have been those who have followed the counsel of the enemy. They have done all they possibly could do to deceive God’s people and lead them into error and suppositions of their own creating. But the Lord has presented these cases before me, and I have had a message of warning from the Lord to give to the several churches in regard to the snare that was being laid. I was bidden to warn them that Satan was working to lead them through human agencies into false paths. Lt32-1899.4

But when you lay upon me the imputation that I am speaking evil of my brethren and sisters, I promptly and decidedly deny the charge. I have had opened before me the thing which my brethren do not understand, and I have given them cautions and warnings, telling them that a decided reform must take place in the churches. There has been manifested an indifferent, careless, proud, revengeful spirit. This spirit cannot dwell in a converted, sanctified soul. The Spirit of Christ in the heart always prompts the human agent to speak and act as Christ spoke and acted. Christ’s followers are bound to make Him manifest in the life; then there will be a visible spiritual church. Lt32-1899.5

Through the Hebrew captives the Lord was made known to the heathen in Babylon. This idolatrous nation was given a knowledge of the kingdom the Lord was to establish, and through His power maintain against all the power and craft of Satan. Daniel and his fellow companions, Ezra, Nehemiah, and many others, were witnesses for God in their captivity. The Lord scattered them among the kingdoms of the earth that their light might shine brightly amid the black darkness of heathenism and idolatry. To Daniel God revealed the light of His purposes, which had been hidden for many generations. He chose that Daniel should see in vision the light of His truth, and reflect this light on the proud kingdom of Babylon. On the despot king was permitted to flash light from the throne of God. Nebuchadnezzar was shown that the God of heaven was Ruler over all the monarchs and kings of earth. His name was to go forth as the God over all gods. God desired Nebuchadnezzar to understand that the rulers of earthly kingdoms had a Ruler in the heavens. God’s faithfulness in rescuing the three captives from the flames and vindicating their course of action showed His wonderful power. Lt32-1899.6

Great light shone forth from Daniel and his companions. Glorious things were spoken of Zion, the city of the Lord. Thus the Lord designs that spiritual light shall shine from His faithful watchmen in these last days. If the saints in the Old Testament bore such a decided testimony of loyalty, how should God’s people today, having the accumulated light of centuries, shine forth, when the prophecies of the Old Testament shed their veiled glory into the future. Type met antitype in the life and death of Jesus Christ. The veil was rent in twain when the long-predicted death of the Son of God took place. He arose from the dead and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] He ascended to heaven, escorted by the angelic throng. He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Lt32-1899.7

Every specification of the Old Testament prophesied was fulfilled in the New Testament. There could be no uncertainty in regard to Christ being the Son of God. Then are we not bound to shine forth more brightly? The promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. Five thousand were converted in one day. For long ages after this, apostasies were constantly occurring. Disloyalty to God was manifested. But still God had faithful witnesses to whom He committed the truth, and who preserved the Word of God. The manuscripts of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures have been preserved through the ages by a miracle of God. Lt32-1899.8

The Lord is God. It was His design that the church should ever advance in purity and light and knowledge, from light to light, from glory to glory. John makes the statement that he saw the glory of Christ, the glory of the Redeemer. And the voice of prophecy declared that such would be the character of Christ’s kingdom. To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing the powers of the earth. But the ensign of the Messiah’s kingdom is a lamb. While earthy kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power, Christ is to banish every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion. His kingdom was to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity. Lt32-1899.9

“Whereunto,” saith He that is the first and the last, “shall I liken the kingdom of God, and with what comparison shall I compare it?” [Mark 4:30.] He could not employ any of the kingdoms of the world as a similitude. In society He found nothing that would resemble it. He looked for a comparison, but could not find it. He would have a new creation. He would make His church a beautiful temple for the Lord. “Where two or three are gathered in my name,” He declares, “there am I in the midst of them.” [Matthew 18:20.] His church is the court of holy life, filled with varied gifts and endowed with the Holy Spirit, bringing in piety, compassion, zeal, and love in their order. Lt32-1899.10

Appropriate duties are assigned by heaven to the church, and the members are to find their happiness in the happiness of those whom they bless and influence aright. The poor are to have the gospel preached unto them. The teachers are to be humble men. If they have an experimental knowledge of Christ, they will never place “Right Reverend” or even a simple “Reverend” before their names. This is a title which belongs to no living man. Lt32-1899.11

The great Teacher from heaven visited our world. Jesus Christ is His name. He is the Lord our Righteousness. He was visited by the prince of darkness; He was tempted in all points like as we are; He reached to the very depths of human woe; and all who carry their sorrows to Him, as to one who can be touched with the feeling of their infirmities, will receive the oil and wine of consolation. They will know from experience that Christ is their personal Saviour, One who comforteth those who are cast down, who bindeth up the broken-hearted. This experience grows as they in turn impart that which they have received. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. He is made unto them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. They can say, I know in whom I have believed. Lt32-1899.12

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith results in spiritual knowledge. By faith we are encouraged to grasp still more, for we behold God in the promise, and are armed with stability. The true Christian knows in whom he has believed. He has the evidence of things unseen, and a knowledge that is reassuring, overpowering, follows this. This may not be believed by some skeptics, but it is to the receiver no speculation, no mere theory. The gospel offers to him a remedy for the moral disorders which sin has made. He does not merely read the Bible, but experiences the Bible. He has not merely heard of the righteousness of Christ by faith, but he has opened the windows of his soul to the Sun of Righteousness. Lt32-1899.13

Skeptics may stand back, and argue the impossibility of the remedy he has taken, but their words are nothing to him against experience. It is a matter of knowledge with him. The believing man, even though he be unlearned, has a knowledge that cannot be wrested from him. The one who trusts his Saviour implicitly finds the gates of heaven ajar and flooded with glory from the throne of God. Lt32-1899.14

The great Physician is present to heal every malady. “We are saved by hope.” [Romans 8:24.] When Jesus took human nature, and became in fashion as a man, He possessed all the human organism. His necessities were the necessities of a man. He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved. By prayer to the Father He was braced for duty and for trial. Lt32-1899.15

“We are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered. For he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he asketh intercession for the wants according to the will of God. Lt32-1899.16

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ... What shall we then say to these things? if God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? ... I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.” [Verses 24-28, 31, 32, 38, 39.] Lt32-1899.17

I read to you all the writing I sent to Elder McCullagh. To write reproofs and warnings has been my duty and my appointed work for more than half a century. Men have been used by the enemy to work to deceive souls just as Elder McCullagh and Elder Hawkins have worked; but the Lord has wrought for His own name’s glory, and has disappointed the enemy. This has been our experience hundreds of times. Lt32-1899.18

Through evil and through good report I have gone about my work. People can say no more of me than they have said of Christ, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. God has been my support, my front guard and my rereward. He has fulfilled His Word to me. When utterly unable physically to stand before the people, the Lord has before thousands of people, healed me instantly, and thus given them an evidence that the work and message given me was from above. Hundreds have been enabled to listen to the word of the Lord through the weak instrument. Have I exalted myself? Have I taken any glory to myself? I have never felt the least disposition to do this. Lt32-1899.19

I have realized that I was one of the very weakest vessels the Lord could use, and for this reason God has been my only dependence. He is my strength. I look to Him, I trust in Him. I wait for Him to give me my discharge from the work. But until that time comes, I shall go forward in His name, bearing the message, not only of encouragement, but of reproof, of warning, opening to individual minds their dangers, revealing to them the will of God. This work I shall continue to do as long as the Lord shall bid me. Lt32-1899.20

I have had the tenderest sympathy for Elder McCullagh and his wife. When I was in New Zealand warnings were given me in reference to them and their child. The Lord made known to me that there was necessity for a change in the education and training of their child, else she would cause them sorrow and heartache. I bore this testimony in Ormondville, New Zealand. The Spirit of the Lord was upon me. I wrote to them decidedly on this point. I did not name their child in my public testimony, but laid down principles upon the duty of parents to their children, and the relation of children to parents, showing the great responsibility of parents. Lt32-1899.21

Christabel McCullagh’s mother came to me after the meeting. I was then making my home at their house. She said, “The Lord gave me these words to speak; for they meant me. I never had the subject of the responsibility of parents in the education and training of their children presented to me in this light.” She said, “I shall ever feel grateful to you for this counsel.” I told her I had written the matter out when living in Brother Wilson’s family at Hastings, New Zealand. Lt32-1899.22

When I was at Hastings, Brother and Sister McCullagh sent me a letter, saying that their daughter was at the point of death, and asking our prayers in their behalf. We did pray for the whole family, for all had been passing through a siege of diphtheria. That night the true situation of the family was laid open before me. I arose at one o’clock a.m., and wrote many pages in regard to the mismanagement of their child. The light given me was plain and decided. I could not send the large amount written until it was copied, and I wrote Brother and Sister McCullagh a short letter, in which I entreated them, for Christ’s sake and their own, to seek the Lord, to confess to Him the wrong course they had pursued toward their child, and the attributes of character she had developed as the sure result. Lt32-1899.23

I then pleaded with God in their behalf. My soul was wrought up to an agony as I thought the child was dying, and that even that little child had deceived and falsified. I begged of the parents to seek God for themselves and for their child. I knew that it would be better for her to die than to live and become what she surely would unless they took the matter decidedly in hand, and in the name of the Lord did the work that every parent should do. Lt32-1899.24

It was sometime after this that I visited Ormondville and bore my testimony, as I have stated, in the little hall which they had hired for their meetings. As I talked with Sister McCullagh, I really thought she would do as she said she would, and as I had laid the matter in a general way before the people, I thought that perhaps this was enough, and I let the matter rest. But I spoke again and again upon the duty devolving upon parents to work unitedly in the duty of training their children for the future immortal life. Lt32-1899.25

Once again I was in Ormondville. They had built a little church, and had determined that it should be dedicated free from debt. They had all the money they needed but five or six pounds. I paid this sum. Elder McCullagh insisted that I should give the dedicatory discourse. This I did, and the Spirit of the Lord was among us. Elder McCullagh had much to say in regard to the Lord’s special power being upon me, enabling me to speak the very words that were needed. After this he and his family moved to Parramatta, New South Wales. Our union was still unbroken. When the Ashfield camp meeting was held, I was not aware that anything was troubling him except some things in connection with Brethren Daniells and Rousseau. I would not sustain the brethren in some of their opinions. Lt32-1899.26

Then the Lord gave me words for Elder McCullagh. His manner of speaking was trying his throat. He spoke in a sharp, high key, and much too rapidly. This was injuring his vocal organs, and trying his lungs. I told him that the Lord would have our ministers do all they possibly could to improve the gift of speech. They were to guard the voice as faithful sentinels, and treat the vital organs with care, for the Lord would not work a miracle to remove the difficulties which are the result of not working in harmony with nature’s laws. Brother McCullagh thanked me for the cautions given him, and acknowledged that he talked too rapidly, and pitched his voice too high, which irritated the throat. Lt32-1899.27

Again I had a few words of testimony for him. I was shown that he might receive much light if he would attend the Bible lessons given by Elder Corliss, for Elder Corliss had searched the Scriptures, and knew how to explain God’s Word. If Elder McCullagh would attend these lessons, he would be better qualified to present the Word to those who were ignorant of the foundations of our faith. This was the tenor of the letter. After this some things were opened before me in regard to both Brother McCullagh and his wife who, in visiting among the churches, were leaving a wrong impression upon minds. They were drawing sympathy to themselves. Brother McCullagh’s health was failing, and it was thought that he would be better in a milder climate. Adelaide was proposed, but he and his wife objected to Adelaide. He said he would be much pleased to make a short visit in Adelaide. Lt32-1899.28

Some things were opened before me in regard to the family connections, and I told Brother McCullagh that I could not recommend his going to Adelaide on a short visit only, because the finances were low, and for him and his wife and daughter to go so far for only a short visit would entail unnecessary expense. Lt32-1899.29

I told Brother McCullagh that it was not the best thing for his wife and child to be traveling about with him, and that if they liked to come to Cooranbong, I would see that they had a good house of four rooms, and that they had hens and chickens. The climate here is all that could be wished, and there is plenty of missionary work to be done in and about Cooranbong. Their daughter could be placed in the school here. Lt32-1899.30

Brother McCullagh had expressed the wish that this should be as I said. I told him he would not need to be confined here. His wife and child could have a home, and he could come and live just as long as he chose, and go when he chose to labor among the churches. He seemed pleased with the idea. I told him that the reason why I presented the matter before him now was because I knew that it would not be best for his wife and child or himself to live in Adelaide, because of his family connections. This would not be any encouragement to them spiritually, and I knew that they would be a hindrance. He said he understood that, and that he was going to live in the country with a man who had invited him to come to his house. Lt32-1899.31

My brother and sister in the Lord, I ask you not to judge the work the Lord has appointed me to do. I feel sorry, very sorry, that I am in perplexity as to what I should write you, because you see matters in a perverted light. I wanted to help you, but the very work I am assured the Lord gave me to do, you have misjudged. Lt32-1899.32

I spoke last Sabbath upon the second chapter of Colossians. “I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you and for those of Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” [Verses 1-4.] This is a danger that requires to be guarded against. Lt32-1899.33

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit; after the tradition of men, ... and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” [Verses 5-10.] Lt32-1899.34

I speak to you, my brother, the words written in this chapter. I have had the same testimony to bear in many places. It is necessary for both to guard against being beguiled by those who know not of what they speak. Be on guard. Believe not every spirit, for their words may not be after the mind of Christ, words which will influence you in a wrong direction. You may lose much by demeriting the words the Lord sends you. There are many kinds of influences at work on human hearts. And you may think that your own judgment is without a flaw, and that those not agreeing with your ideas and opinions are in the wrong. But be careful. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” [Verse 8.] This verse presents to you your danger. Lt32-1899.35

Notwithstanding that your letter almost discouraged me from making any attempt to help your understanding, I must tell you that you have been losing the love and knowledge of the truth; and for this I feel very sorry. I thought I would write to you immediately, and did so. After passing two sleepless nights, I tried to remember anything that I had said to your injury. I could not recollect one statement. If I said that I was afraid that you were deceived in your interpretation of the truth on all points, I do not now call it to mind. I may have said this in reference to Brother John Bell, and mentioned the necessity of pressing together, and everyone seeking for unity. If I did this, it was to encourage our brethren not to draw apart one from the other, but to draw together. Lt32-1899.36