Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 39, 1893

Diary, May 1893

Bank’s Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand

May 20-27, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 131; TMK 357.

My heart is deeply grateful to the Lord this morning. At the beginning of the Sabbath last evening, we felt the supplication to God for His blessing. We felt our great need of physical and spiritual strength. And as we drew near to God in earnest prayer, telling Him our necessities, His peace came into my heart. I could rest in assurance. I had sweet rest in sleep. I awoke at quarter past three, and my heart went forth in grateful offerings to God, because I could rest in His love. The promise seems this morning sure and steadfast. It is one of the most precious lessons of Christ, to inspire the hearts of His disciples with faith through all time. It comes to us fresh and assuring this morning: 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 1

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things”—the Holy Spirit—“to them that ask him.” [Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:13.] 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 2

I will not dishonor God with unbelief. I take Him at His word. He hath promised. I appropriate the promise to myself. The blessing is mine; by faith I grasp it, and will not doubt. Very precious to me in the night season is my contemplation of Jesus and His matchless love. Why should we become weak and nerveless in religious experience? Why should our souls be anxious and worrying? Why should we not venture out in the promises given in Matthew 7? Let our hearts go out after God. Lord, increase our faith. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 3

Monday morning, May 22

Yesterday, Sunday, May 21, I wrote that which I considered important for our youth to have in reference to their perfecting a Christian character. Many who believe in Jesus do not feel the importance of keeping the Pattern, Christ Jesus, before them. Christ is our Restorer, our Redeemer. If any have transmitted to them defects of character, and they have cultivated wrong habits, when they become sons and daughters of God and are converted, they should discern these objectionable features in their individual characters and make strenuous efforts to overcome them, that they may do just as Christ has told them: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] As God is perfect in His sphere so shall we make the grace given of God ours, that it may work wrong ways from our characters, and establish right ways, that the human agent may be perfect in his sphere. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 4

If we do not in any way co-operate with the heavenly agencies, bringing our will and our ways into conformity to God’s will and God’s ways, then we are not made vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use. There will be a defective character, showing that the transforming grace of Christ has not had its corrective, transforming influence upon our hearts, and old hereditary habits and practices are retained as fixtures in the formation of character. Habits which are not good have been retained as an essential part of our individuality that cannot be changed; they are constant hindrances to our usefulness, and while cherished as a necessity, they witness against us that we are not Christians. To be a Christian is to be Christlike. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 5

We need to comply with the conditions that are so plainly given us by Christ. We need to educate the soul to lay hold, and hold fast the rich promises of Christ. The Lord Jesus knows that it is not possible for us to resist the many temptations of Satan, only as we shall have divine power given us from God. He well knows that in our own human strength we should surely fail. Therefore every provision has been made, that in every emergency and trial we shall flee to the stronghold and ask for the Holy Spirit in faith, and it shall be given us. We have the word of promise from lips that will not lie. His word is yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Let every weary, burdened, heavy-ladened soul come and ask, and ye shall receive. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 6

Will not our heavenly Father, who gave His only beloved Son to die for us, that whosoever believeth (not doubteth) in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, [keep His promises]? May we have grace to believe in the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must individually cherish the faith that we receive of Him the things He hath promised. God will be to us everything we will let Him be. Our languid, half-hearted prayers will not bring us returns from heaven. Oh, we need to press our petitions! Ask in faith, wait in faith, receive in faith, rejoice in hope, for every one that seeketh findeth. Be in earnest in the matter. Seek God with all the heart. People put soul and earnestness into everything they undertake in temporal things, until their efforts are crowned with success. With intense earnestness learn the trade of seeking the rich blessings that God has promised, and with persevering, determined effort you shall have His light and His truth and His rich grace. These blessings, I repeat, are for me, for I cannot glorify God with soul and body and spirit without them. We need to fear, lest any should “come short of the glory of God.” [Hebrews 4:1; Romans 3:23.] But we may, if we obey God, have assurance. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 7

Sabbath, May 20, I spoke to the few assembled in the Rechabite Hall from 1 Peter 1. The Lord gave me much freedom in speaking, and souls were comforted and encouraged. I spoke in the same place in the evening of Sunday, May 21, from John 14:1-3. The audience was small. I dwelt especially upon the promise, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [Verse 3.] I brought out the ascension of Christ in (Acts 1), to prove a large link in the chain, connecting it with John 14. “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel.” And while the disciples were looking upward to heaven to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, they heard these words, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” [Acts 1:10, 11.] A personal Saviour ascended. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 8

A personal Saviour will come again. He will come with power and great glory to be admired in all them that believe. I stated, We are Adventists. We are looking for the appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and we love to think about it. We know in whom we have believed, and are not afraid to commit the keeping of our souls unto Him against that day. We are not at all humiliated by confessing ourselves to be Adventists. Jesus gave the lessons of His coming in power and great glory to His disciples. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” [Matthew 24:30, 31.] 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 9

The signs are foretold which shall precede the coming of Christ. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” [Luke 21:28, 34.] 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 10

Christ the Son of God proclaimed His coming. The angels, who addressed the disciples who were intently gazing upward to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, proclaimed His second coming. “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” [Acts 1:11.] Why, then, should Seventh-day Adventists be stigmatized as fanatics? In the teachings of Christ He was ceaselessly referring to the Scriptures. Whenever a question was put to Him His answer was, “Have ye not read?” “What saith the Scriptures?” “How readest thou?” [Luke 10:26.] “Search the Scriptures.” [John 5:39.] 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 11

Christ had the wisdom which is infinite, yet He referred to His own inspired instruction given to good and holy men of old. This people, Seventh-day Adventists, are Bible readers and Bible believers, and present in answer to questions asked in regard to their faith the Scriptures as the foundation of our faith. We do not search for the sayings of men, but for the Word of God, “It is written” for the foundation of our faith. I hope our people will ever stand on the Bible and the Bible only for the foundation of our faith, for whom the truth maketh free is free indeed. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 12

We believe the Sabbath of the fourth commandment because it is written plainly and is the foundation of our religious faith. Let none of us be ashamed of this. We see the importance of believing the truth, and obeying the command of God, and not heeding the pope’s instituted authority who claims he has a right to change the seventh-day Sabbath God gave to man to the first day of the week. We heed not the words that are reiterated in the pulpits throughout the land, that Sunday is the Sabbath. We accept not the authority of men’s councils; but we go further back, even to the councils of heaven. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” [Psalm 119:89.] We take a “Thus saith the Lord.” Here we stand. A doctrine that has not a “Thus saith the Lord” may be accepted by the whole world, but that does not make it truth. We want truth, and we refuse to run any risk in accepting anything else. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 13

When vital interests are at stake, we dare not accept man’s assertions. Our souls are too precious to be imperiled. Matters that concern the salvation of our souls are too weighty to be trifled with, and human opinions must be laid aside. We must have the decision of Him who “is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” [John 14:6.] If we want to know the way to heaven, we must study the Bible, not man-made theories or man’s suppositions; but a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” We are not at all ashamed of our faith, Seventh-day Adventism, for it is the very best specification we can have. We are waiting for the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Men may scoff and ridicule our faith, but this should not provoke or surprise us. All these demonstrations do not make the truth error, neither do they make error truth. We take our stand firmly and immovably upon the platform of the Word of God. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 14

The Pharisees, the rulers, the Rabbis, scoffed at Christ, and the Sadducees derided Him; and can we expect anything better in our day? But the Bible also states that the common people heard Him gladly. There is a power in the presentation of truth that the unprejudiced of the people were not able to resist. “I will not leave you comfortless (orphans), I will come to you.” [Verse 18.] The world and Christians cannot walk together. The Christian’s faith, hope, joy, and pursuits are not understood or appreciated by the world. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 15

The second coming of the Son of man is to be the wonderful theme kept before the people. Here is a subject that should not be left out of our discourses. Eternal realities must be kept before the mind’s eye, and the attractions of the world will appear as they are, altogether profitless as vanity. What are we to do with the world’s vanities, its praises, its riches, its honors, or its enjoyments? We are pilgrims and strangers who are waiting, hoping and praying for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If we believe this and bring it into our practical life, what vigorous action would this faith and hope inspire; what fervent love one for another; what careful holy living for the glory of God; and in our respect for the recompense of the reward, what distinct lines of demarcation would be evidenced between us and the world! 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 16

We had several visitors today, Monday [May] 22, who came off the boat that is on its course to Melbourne. These individuals expect to attend the Melbourne Bible School. We are busy preparing mail for them to take to Melbourne. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 17

The Lord is good and greatly to be praised. How little personal piety is practiced. No soul will ever be converted if approached with harshness, contempt, and denunciation. It is time that heart should touch heart with the sense of our own infirmities, and then we shall have sympathy for the infirmities of others. If our hold upon the Mighty One is firm, our piety will be sound and healthful, and will have nothing to fear from contact with error; if our trust is continually abiding in Christ, we shall not have less zeal because of abounding iniquity, but we shall keep close to the bleeding side of Jesus. We must be constantly seeking those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 18

Tuesday, May 23

It is cloudy and rainy this morning. I have been since half-past four o’clock writing on The Life of Christ. Oh that the Holy Spirit may rest and abide upon me that my pen may trace the words which will communicate to others the light which the Lord has been pleased in His great mercy and love to give to me. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 19

While at the breakfast table W. C. White read a letter from Elder Daniells in reference to his finding a large tract of land which can now be secured at low figures. He thinks it might be a good location for the Bible school. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 20

Sabbath, May 27

I spoke in the Rechabite Hall [at] 3 p.m. from Philippians 4:4-7. The message the Lord gave me was a message of faith. We cannot dishonor God more than in distrusting His Word. Feeling is not at all reliable. God’s Word is the foundation upon which our hopes may safely rest. 8LtMs, Ms 39, 1893, par. 21