Lt 27, 1890

Lt 27, 1890

Abbey, Sister; Abbey, Rosetta; Abbey, Arthur

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 6, 1890

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 371; CG 188, 506.

Dear Sister Abbey, Rosetta, and Arthur,

I hope that in this season of your great trial you will not be overcome, that you will not become confused and distracted. Put your trust in God, and patiently rely upon Him. Jesus lives and reigns. I can only bid you look to Jesus, trust in Jesus. Cast your helpless souls upon Jesus. Help has been laid upon One that is mighty. Oh, how I wish that Arthur and Rosetta were Christians, that they could speak to you, dear Sister Abbey, words of comfort and hope, and be your true counselors. If these souls would only come to Jesus, confessing their backslidings, the Lord would be to them a present help in every time of need; but if they are not truly converted, they will never be happy in this life, and will never have the eternal life. I hope that they will awake to a sense of their real need. Both are prodigals from their Father’s house and their Father’s blessing. O that these dear souls, purchased by the blood of Christ, might turn their footsteps into the heavenward path. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 1

The love of God is without measure, without comparison. It is infinite. The omnipotence of Christ has been employed in opening channels through which His love might flow without measure. His wisdom has been revealed in devising means for drawing every heart; but who will respond? Some will and some will not; they will be indifferent to this great salvation and lose eternal riches. When we contemplate the dignity and glory of Christ, we see how great was that love that prompted the sacrifice made upon the cross of Calvary for the redemption of a lost world. This theme will fill the saints with wonder and amazement through eternal ages, and why should we not meditate upon it here in this world with intense interest? 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 2

Why should not the deepest gratitude be awakened in the human heart as we contemplate the boundless, fathomless ocean of the love of the Father and His Son? Oh, that all might behold it! Oh, that all might make melody in their hearts as they contemplate Christ dying upon the shameful cross to purchase for them life, eternal life, in the Kingdom of Glory! After the Father and Jesus Christ the Son of God have done so much that man might be saved, it will be a terrible thing to be lost. But the sensibilities of the soul are blunted. Satan wants it thus so that men and women shall not be able “to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” [Ephesians 3:18, 19.] 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 3

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, took upon Himself our nature and came in the form of a servant. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; His hands and feet were lacerated with nails; His side was pierced, and He died amid insult and mockery, amid torture of soul and body. The Son of the infinite God submitted to all this in order to save fallen man. He was the Majesty of heaven, He was the brightness of His Father’s glory, and yet He withheld not His own life but gave Himself a sacrifice to bring many sons and daughters to God. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 4

Oh, the mystery of godliness—God manifest in the flesh! This mystery increases as we try to comprehend it. It is incomprehensible, and yet human beings will allow worldly, earthly things to intercept the faint view it is possible for mortals to have of Jesus and His matchless love. All this humiliation, all this weight of woe, was endured for us, poor, fallen, sinful beings. How can we be enthusiastic over earthly, common things and not be stirred with this picture—the cross of Calvary, the love that is revealed in the death of God’s dear Son that perishing souls may not be held under the bondage of sin, the curse of the law? 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 5

All this humiliation and anguish was endured to bring back the wanderers, guilty and thankless, to the Father’s house. Oh, the home of the blest, I cannot afford to lose it! I shall, if saved in the kingdom of God, be constantly discerning new depths in the plan of salvation. All the redeemed saints will see and appreciate, as never before, the love of the Father and the Son, and songs of praise will burst forth from immortal tongues. He loved us, He gave His life for us. With glorified bodies, with enlarged capacities, with hearts made pure, with lips undefiled, we shall sing the riches of redeeming love. There will be no suffering ones in heaven, no skeptics whom we must labor to convince of the reality of eternal things, no prejudices to uproot; but all will be susceptible of that love which passeth knowledge. Rest, thank God, there is a rest for the people of God where Jesus will lead the redeemed into green pastures, by the streams of living waters which make glad the city of our God. Then the prayer of Jesus to His Father will be answered, “I will that those also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” [John 17:24.] 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 6

Although in this world we must battle and strive, let us be patient, considering the love that is bestowed upon us. Jesus prayed, “That the love wherewith thou [the Father] hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [Verse 26.] “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.” [Verse 23.] Oh what a thought, that fallen man, corrupted with sin, may be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and be purified, elevated, and ennobled by the grace of Christ; being partakers of the divine nature can do for him all things. The Father loves the one in whom Christ abides, even as He loved the Son. “And I have declared unto them thy name and will declare it that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them.” [Verse 26.] The people of God are catching glimpses of the attraction of heaven, and they should keep the eye steadily fixed upon the bright beams of heavenly hope. Clouds may gather, and for a time shut away the brightness, yet if they keep their eyes fixed where they last saw the light, the storm will pass away, the clouds disappear, and rays from the Sun of Righteousness will shine forth in brighter glory than before the cloud hid it from sight. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 7

Look up, Sister Abbey; look up, Rosetta; there is hope for you if you only believe, if you will only take Jesus for your personal Saviour. Arthur, is it not time that you were coming back to your Father’s house? Have you buried soul and body in the world? What spiritual semblance to the Son of God have you or Rosetta borne? You may, in some sense, retain a form of godliness, but you are destitute of the power and spirit thereof. Will you not turn your eyes to Calvary and see Jesus, your Sacrifice, upon the cross, dying that you might live? As you have for so many years borne the image of the earthly, is it not time that you felt the necessity, without any further neglect and delay on your part, to make your surrender to God that you will bear the image of the heavenly? Oh that a new life, the life from above, might be begotten within you by the Spirit of God! In your present state, your minds are weakened by sin. The storms of Satan have beaten upon and deranged every power of the soul. Reason holds but a feeble authority over mind and conscience. The judgment is perverted, the will is on the side of Satan, your ideas are crude, earthly. The truth has but little force to you, for you give it no place in your heart or in your life. Your faith is mingled with unbelief, with skepticism. Should sickness and death come to you as you now are, you would meet with eternal loss. Is it not time for you to change? Have you not long enough buried your talents in the earth? The world has occupied the soul temple, and there has been no room for Jesus, no room for His love and His peaceful presence. Oh, what storms of passion have beaten about the soul! The world has been your god. To save, to gather, has been the object of your life, but the eternal riches have not attracted you. Shall it always be thus? Are you satisfied with the outlook? 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 8

Arthur, for long years you have been deteriorating in character. Shall this work continue? Is it not time for you to be wise, not only for time, but for eternity? You are cultivating selfishness, avarice, making yourself into a vessel of dishonor before God. Is it not best to surrender to God, that He may mold and fashion you into a vessel of honor, fit for the Master’s use? 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 9

The great day will reveal the character of the work you have done, and you will be rewarded accordingly. When you get angry—insane with passion—remember that a record is made which you must meet in the judgment. When you are penurious, close, and hardhearted, be sure that all is written in heaven. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 10

My brother and sister, you are still prisoners of hope, but you must make determined efforts if you free yourselves from the bondage of sin and Satan. The evil fruits you bear—the sins you commit daily in word and action—testify to the character of the tree. Much may be hidden from others, but before God you appear just as you are. A new moral taste must be created within you. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 11

Oh, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] Are you who are dependent upon God for every breath, for all the capabilities you possess, for every blessing you enjoy, indifferent as to whether you do His sayings or not? Can you afford to be satisfied with gaining the things of this life at the loss of the eternal riches? God has blessed you with intellect; whatever sound judgment you have, it is His gift. Do you realize that you are bought with a price? that the Lord has claims upon you? Will you give Him back that which is His own? 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 12

Christ is seeking to draw you unto Himself. He has bought you with His blood; and now He is saying to you, “Look and live.” [Numbers 21:8.] Look to Christ as He is revealed in His word. Sinful and polluted as you are, look, oh, look to Jesus on the cross of Calvary! See the judgments of God falling upon your Redeemer, that you should not be lost. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 13

Confess your sins to one another and to God. Arthur, covenant before God and angels that the past of your life shall suffice to have wrought the will of Satan. May the Lord bring you both to a position where you will humbly seek Him with the whole heart, is my earnest desire and prayer. If you do seek Him with all the heart, might, mind, and strength, He will be found of you. The invitation is, “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.] “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” [Isaiah 1:18.] Confess and forsake your sins, and appropriate to yourselves the promises of pardon, and of Christ’s righteousness. This alone will be accepted of God. The proclamation is made to you who are sinners in His sight, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” [Luke 13:24.] Strive, for the grasp of the destroyer is upon you, and if you do not make determined effort, he will put his own seal upon you. Strive, for the foe is on the right hand and on the left, before you, behind you, and he must be resisted and overcome or he will overcome you. Strive, for there is a crown of immortality to win. Strive, in the strength of Christ, not in your own strength. Put away your avariciousness. It is a terrible thing to cling to your own ways, to your own will, and risk the consequences. Arthur, I call upon you to be reconciled to God. Your only hope is to fall upon the Rock and to be broken. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 14

Jesus is ready to give you grace, to restore you to Himself. But He does not do this without full cooperation on your part. You must “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 15

Oh, the worth of the soul! It cannot be estimated by you, Arthur and Rosetta, because you have not cultivated a sense of the great sacrifice made by the Son of God to save the soul from eternal ruin. You do not realize the abhorrence which the Lord has for sin. The prophet says, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. ... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:12, 15.] “Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” [Psalm 97:2.] 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 16

Our God is strict in justice to those who continue in their impenitence. He will punish the wicked, but He is ready to pardon the sinner who comes to Him in contrition of soul, and He will reward the faithful and righteous. To think, even for a moment, of losing eternal life should make us tremble, and it will make us tremble if the heart is not hardened, calloused, with worldliness and sin. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 17

God forbid that you should continue to walk in darkness. You have hindered one another. Arthur, you have hurt and bruised your wife, whom you vowed to love and cherish. Rosetta, you have not been wise in all things. Pride and folly have bound your soul away from Jesus, the only one who can save and help and bless you. You want not only to have a knowledge of the truth, but to realize its work upon your heart. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 18

Will you now be wise? Will you come to Jesus? Your cases have been presented to me as hopeless if you make no change in life and character. Let your thoughts be turned to God; humble yourselves under His mighty hand, and He will lift you up. If you will follow the dictates of an enlightened conscience, you will come back to your Father’s house as did the prodigal son. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 19

You have children whom you are to train for the heavenly courts. Give yourselves to God, and then teach the precious lessons of Jesus to your children. Store their young minds with pure principles, with a knowledge of Jesus, of what He is to them and of His claims upon them. You do not realize what you have lost, and what you are daily losing in this precious probationary time. Educate the faculties and tastes of your dear ones; seek to preoccupy their minds, so that there shall be no place for low, debasing thoughts or indulgences. The grace of Christ is the only antidote or preventive of evil. You may choose, if you will, whether the minds of your children shall be occupied with pure, uncorrupted thoughts or with the evils that are existing everywhere—pride, and forgetfulness of their Redeemer. The mind, like the body, must have pure food in order to have health and strength. Give your children something to think of that is out of, and above, themselves. The mind that lives in a pure, holy atmosphere will not become trifling, frivolous, vain, and selfish. The beautiful lessons of the Bible stories and parables, the pure, simple instruction of God’s Holy Word, is the spiritual food for you and your children. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 20

Oh, what a work is before you! Will you take hold of it in the love and fear of God? Will you put yourselves in communication with God through His Word? You as parents, Arthur and Rosetta, have something to do for the Master in working out your own salvation with fear and trembling, and then as God works in you, as divine power is combined with human effort, you will have courage and zeal to work both for your children and for others. Your children need your help; and there are others also who need it. When you are converted, you will have a work to do to teach your children and others the lessons that you are learning in the school of Christ. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 21

There are precious souls that you can be the means of saving. But your own souls are yet unsaved. Will you disappoint the Saviour, who has paid the purchase money for all souls in His own blood and agony? For both of you the time is short. You have none to lose. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 22

I entreat you to heed the injunction of the apostle, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that he shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” [2 Peter 1:5-10.] 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 23

Will it pay, Rosetta, to neglect the inward adorning, for outward ornaments and display? How much better to know the will of God and do it! How much better to take time to store the mind with the rich treasures of the word of God! Then you will have light to shed upon others. The great day will reveal the character of the work done in your life here, and you will be rewarded accordingly. God calls upon you to pause in the work you have been pursuing and turn to Him in sincerity. Show your ambition now, dear children, to win the crown of life. You may achieve successes in the common affairs of this life, but how quickly do they pass away! Only work with as much determination, as much perseverance, for the crown that is imperishable and your life will be pronounced by all the universe of heaven a grand success. Where can you show your skill, your aptness, your persevering energy so well as in using your talents for the glory of God—in being good and in doing good? Who will faint in such a work? In what other field can you sow seed with the assurance of obtaining so valuable a harvest? 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 24

Now is the sowing time. The reaping time will soon come, and what will your harvest be? Those who sow to the flesh, gratifying selfish desires, natural inclinations and passions, will gather a harvest of the same kind as the seed sown. They will reap corruption. But those who sow to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 25

I entreat you to begin in earnest. Determine that you will be followers of Christ as dear children; that you will be faithful in the performance of your duty as Christians, diligent in the cultivation of personal piety. Then you will be light bearers, examples for others, “holding forth the word of life.” [Philippians 2:16.] 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 26

I send you these words in love, because I am impelled by the Lord to write them to you. May the Lord by His Holy Spirit soften and subdue your hearts to receive them. 6LtMs, Lt 27, 1890, par. 27