Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 37a, 1903

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

Oakland, California

April 1, 1903 [?]

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 100.

Dear Brother and Sister Burden,—

I have written a lengthy letter to Brother and Sister Kress and it is for you as well, but I thought I would trace a few lines to you. We are in the midst of our Conference and we are very, very much in earnest that everything shall move off rightly. The people attending the Conference need so very much transformation of character, for this will impart a moral elevation and purity of faith in the truth for this time which is in our religious service beyond all price. It will confirm our energies, it will tend to raise us up above common tittle-tattle and will intensify our actions; and the wisdom of Christ will be expressed in all our movements. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 1

I wish to speak of Brother Sharp. Give him enough to do, and keep him from going back to the world. We must help one another, we must be kind, attentive to each other, cultivating an interest in each other. I do not wish Brother Sharp to link up with Dr. Caro. Every soul needs so much connection to God every day—true surrender of the soul to God. All the speculations of commercial life, all the schemes of moneymaking—these are snares. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 2

The Lord is soon to come. We have none too much time to prepare to meet our Saviour coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. All of us individually must face the question, Are we ready? Have we washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb? There is no discharge in this war. All the wealth of the world could not purchase for us one hour of time to prepare for the great issue. My brother, do not, I beg of you, become entangled in any enterprises that shall in any way cloud your faith. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 3

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And 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.” Revelation 20:11, 12. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 4

Consider these great and solemn truths that concern us. The plain facts are set before us for a purpose, that we shall not be negligent to prepare for that great, grand review. For those whose names are written in the book of life it is no judgment at all. Every case has been decided, and all those whose names are not written in the book of life shall be judged according to their works. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 5

Now in 1903 we have a most solemn work before us on our own account. “Is my name written there?” Let not cares be so magnified that the time shall be occupied in many cares that are not positively essential. The seriousness of this question presses upon my mind with an intensity that I cannot express. Time is passing, and when I am presented with the many churches that are not prepared to work for the Master but are in a careless, unconcerned state, I am alarmed, and inquire, What can I say, what can I do to change this order of things? I can say, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36, 37. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 6

I think none of us is in a state to realize we must be laborers together with God. Many do not understand what true conversion means, what it involves. And now I address you and your family, that you may be aroused and impressed with the solemn duty to seek to arouse them to a sense of the need of most diligent watching and seeking to save perishing souls out of Christ. Every day warn someone who knows not that the end of all things is at hand. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 7

Not one jot or tittle of God’s holy requirements will ever be changed to meet man in his unready condition. His holy Word will never change or be done away. The world is asleep in their sins. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word can never pass away. All of us must be guided by the Word of God. What a work is before us, and professed Christians realize it not! “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 8

This truth stands forth as the words of our Redeemer in all their moral force and deep solemnity. There are many who are employed in doing service in many lines of religious work, but they are not converted. Oh, shall we lead the five virgins who went forth to meet the bridegroom without oil in their vessels with their lamps? The heart work needs to be done. Envy, evil surmisings, speaking evil, thinking evil—their souls lifted up unto vanity, loving to be exalted! 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 9

How few realize the influence of the little things in this life. Those who can bear the test, the proving of God, will be acknowledged of Christ. The truth, saving truth, of God’s Word, lived, will fit us for the company of the redeemed. God help us to appreciate moral excellence. Refined mental qualities, sanctified, are of more value than the gold of Ophir. The formation of a true moral standing with God is the work of a lifetime. Teach this, my dear brother and sister, by precept and example. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 10

I wish you were with us. In much love. 18LtMs, Lt 37a, 1903, par. 11