Lt 249, 1903

Lt 249, 1903

Magan, P. T.; Sutherland, E. A.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

November 11, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in SpM 339-341.

Dear Brethren Magan and Sutherland,—

Brother Magan left with Willie copy written for a circular regarding the Berrien Springs School. In it there are some things that I think would be better left out. Let us not dwell on the dark chapters in the experience of Seventh-day Adventists. They bring up a discouraging, depressing picture, and it would seem as if Christ, the Light of the world, had not been near to help. There was no need of the dearth of knowledge, no reason why mistakes should have been made. Christ was then, as He ever will be, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He was ready to help, and no one need have made grave mistakes or errors. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 1

The time to which you have referred, a time dark, perplexing, and discouraging—let it stay in the past. Do not talk of it unless forced to. To make reference to the worst features in the experience of those now in positions of trust in the work of God does not benefit any one. Let us not call up the dark shadows of the past. Let the past lie where it is, with all its objectionable features. Into the present we are to bring pleasantness, hope, and courage. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 2

If there are those who are allowing the enemy to obtain an advantage over them, tempting him to tempt them and carrying out his plans, let not this appear. And do not bring up the dark, unchristlike deeds of the past. The dear Saviour was all the time inviting those who did these deeds to cease to dishonor God and to turn to Him for help to do right. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 3

At the present time we have plain evidence of the specious, artful working of Satan on human minds. We have to meet this working with determined effort. But let the dark pictures of the past be buried, and let them stay buried. Let us not cloud the mind of any one by bringing up these representations. Let us at this time bring in all the light possible. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 4

Few realize the dangerous character of the sentiments that we are having to meet. I have been over the ground. I have been given plain words to speak concerning these specious, bewitching sentiments. If they are not most decidedly met and reproved, souls will be lost. We cannot afford to be deceived. We must point our people to the old landmarks. We are to obtain strength and courage from on high, that we may obey the command given me, “Meet it.” 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 5

“Ye are the children of the light and of the day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness.” [1 Thessalonians 5:5.] Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. The trouble with us is that we do not press on in the way illuminated by the Sun of righteousness. In order to walk in this way, we must receive strength from the Life-giver. As we move forward in obedience to Christ’s commands, His light shines on our way, and His strength sustains us. Thus we go forward from strength to strength, from grace to grace, by obedience becoming more and more Christlike. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 6

We are not to follow human leading. Christ is our leader. At all times and in all places, in every time of need, we shall find Him a present help. Because there are those professing to be Christians who dishonor Christ in thought, word, and deed, we are to give plainer evidence than ever before of our completeness in Him. We are to walk in the light of His countenance. We can each show that Christ is light and that in Him is no darkness at all. If we will submit to His guidance, He will lead us from the low level on which sin has left us to the loftiest heights of grace. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 7

We are not to darken our lives by talking of our own imperfections or of the imperfections of others. We are to be all light in the Lord. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 8

From Christ all truth radiates. Apart from Christ, science is misleading, and philosophy is foolishness. Those who are separated from the Saviour will advance theories which originate with the wily foe. Christ’s life stands out as the contrast of all false science, all erroneous theories, all misleading methods. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 9

Pretenders will arise with theories that have no foundation in the Word of God. We are to hold aloft the banner bearing the inscription, The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. We are to hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. Let no one attempt to dilute truth with a mixture of sophistry. Let no one attempt to tear down the foundation of our faith or to spoil the pattern by bringing into the web threads of human devising. Not one thread of pantheism is to be drawn into the web. Sensuality, ruinous to soul and body, is always the result of drawing these threads into the web. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 10

“Let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 11

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 12

“We exhort you, brethren, ... comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” [Verses 8-24.] 18LtMs, Lt 249, 1903, par. 13