Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 16, 1902

Burden, Brother and Sister [J. A.]

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 5, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 135. +Note

Dear brother and sister Burden,—

I should be so pleased to see you and converse with you. But the broad Pacific Ocean is between you and us, and I fear I shall not have the privilege I so much desire, the privilege of meeting you in Australia. Many times we have wished that you were right here in St. Helena; but you are where you should be, and the Lord will be your strength. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 1

It is not the will of the Lord that the work on the sanitarium should move so slowly. But when men who ought to put shoulder to shoulder, both in Australia and elsewhere, fail to come up to the help of the Lord, fail to be laborers together with Him, then the work moves slowly. But the Lord God is our helper, and His eye is upon all our works. When you do the very best you can, after straining every nerve to carry forward the building up of an institution that ought to have been established years ago, as the Lord’s memorial in Australia, and you then see this institution standing unfinished, hope deferred makes the heart sick. But the Lord is our God. He is our strong tower of strength and efficiency. He will regard the self-sacrificing efforts that you have made. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 2

We mean to secure means at once, if we can. But the Lord is our only dependence. The sanitarium building has been hindered because the human, helping hands have not co-operated with the divine. And the Judgment will reveal this matter just as it is. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 3

Since coming to this country I have had all the burden I could possibly carry, and again and again it has seemed as if I could not live through the night. Last night I could not sleep after eleven o’clock. I see many things that I cannot write about, because my brethren cannot bear it. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 4

Since we came to America, a whole year with its burden of record has passed into eternity. Some months ago changes were made at the Sanitarium here. But the labor has well-nigh killed me, I carried the burden so long. And nothing was done. It seemed that we were in danger of depending upon human help instead of taking right hold and setting things in order. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 5

The Lord knows all about these things. When men come into God’s line, something will be done. For months Brethren A. T. Jones and Taylor have been doing all in their power to change the order of things spiritually at the Sanitarium; and there is a decided change for the better. I thank the Lord for this. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 6

While you have been harassed with hindrances and delay in completing the building that for years has been contemplated, the work has also been hard and trying here in St. Helena. For the last fifteen years it has been in a slipshod, raveled-out condition. And until within the last few months, there has not been a rallying to make a thorough change. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 7

I have carried a very heavy load, not only for the work at St. Helena, but for the cause at large in America. Something is now being done in right lines. Dr. Kellogg has had so many responsibilities to carry in his line of work that he is breaking down. Unless he changes his program, he will be laid aside. He carries too many burdens. We need to realize that to every man God has given his work, and that Dr. Kellogg is not a complete whole. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 8

It takes men of varied capabilities to shoulder the load as you have done in Australia. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 9

I can write but little this morning. I wrote diligently all day yesterday. But henceforth I shall not write many letters. I might spend every jot of my life-force in writing letters; but I am carrying on my soul important subjects, Bible subjects, that must be written out. So if letters do not come often from me, do not think that we have forgotten you. We pray constantly for you. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 10

I do not know how long my life may be spared, but while I live, may the Lord give me courage and firmness to speak the truth as it is at all times and in all places. Bible principles must once more take the field. Self-denial and self-sacrifice must once more be practiced. I must bear a clear, sharp testimony against the worldly policy of dealing with one another as if no one can be trusted. Thus men have dealt with their brethren. They have no confidence in those who will not carry out all their schemes and methods and plans. If the subduing love of Christ were received into the heart, if self-confidence were weakened and faith were established in the Word of the living God, we should see changes in our sanitariums, our printing offices, [and] our schools that would cause all heaven to rejoice. If those who are connected with these lines of work would let the love of Jesus fill the heart, the miserable feelings of selfishness and suspicion would be banished. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 11

There needs to be less self-importance; then there would be less arbitrary authority. If all would yield to the power of Christlikeness in the practical life, what a change would take place! Heavenly grace would bring peace. Sin would not be allowed to run riot. God desires to see an altogether different atmosphere pervading every institution established to advance His work—every sanitarium, every publishing house, every school. If His will in this were obeyed, spirituality would revive. The holiness and peace of heaven would come in. That love of Christ in the soul would be as an ever-flowing stream in the desert, refreshing all, turning the sear and barren wilderness into a green pasture, in which flowers spring into a life of fragrance to delight the senses. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 12

Has the truth been lodged in the heart? Is the mind of God, the law of the Lord, our guide? Wherever the love of Jesus reigns, there is peace; for those whose minds are as Christ’s mind seek the highest good of those with whom they are brought in contact. We must live as Christ has given us an example in His life. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 13

There is much to be done. But I am instructed that many who are continually busy are putting the means for the end. This is a matter with which [it] is most difficult to deal. It has come to be that man rarely regards aright the life given him, which, if thoroughly sanctified, is to live through eternal ages. So many are satisfied with a busy life, with something done. They do not think it essential to inquire whether they have followed the right methods and plans—methods and plans that will show their fellow laborers heaven’s way of working. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 14

Man must not only read the Word of God, supposing that a casual knowledge of this Word will bring about in him a reformation of character. This work only the One who is the way, the truth, and the life can accomplish. Firmly may certain doctrines of truth be held. Again and again they may be reiterated, till the holders come to think that they are indeed in possession of the great blessings which these doctrines represent. But the greatest, most powerful truths may be held, and yet kept in the outer court, exerting little influence to make the daily life wholesome and fragrant. The soul is not sanctified through the truth that is not practiced. Correct precepts may be uttered by the one who does not receive the truth into the inner sanctuary of the soul, but when his track is crossed, the worst of all feelings are aroused, and these feelings guide and control him in his dealings with others. In spirit and life such a one is represented by Chorazin and Bethsaida. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 15

The Word of God is a means to an end. The death of Christ means something to every one of us. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, we are to build up the spiritual life, and in this our end is to be the glory of God. As the physical life is built up from the food that we eat, so our Christian experience is of the same nature as the food which, day by day, we give to the soul. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 16

Jesus said unto them, “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” [John 6:35-38.] 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 17

What a lesson this is to all who claim to be Christians. O that the weak souls would take courage! Christian worth does not depend on brilliant talents, lofty birth, wonderful powers, but on a clean heart—a heart purified and refined, that does not exalt self, but, by beholding Christ, reflects the long-lost image of divinity. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 18

O how impatient some become when their schemes are interfered with. The Lord in mercy sends a message to save them, to give them an opportunity to save others who are in danger. But they make of none effect the word sent them from God. Some go on proudly and blindly in their own way, and when too late they find out their mistake. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 19

My brother, to you and to those in your family, I desire to say, Continue to follow on to know the Lord. Walk humbly with God, and His peace shall dwell in your hearts by faith. Let nothing interpose between you and your God. Time is short. We must form characters for the future life. The folly of man’s wisdom is not always discerned; therefore keep close to your Saviour. Do not take one false step. Walk in Christ’s footsteps. Then you will surely enter the gates of the city of our God. Be true to principle. Do not sacrifice one jot or tittle of the sacred precepts of the law of God; for it is your life, your eternal salvation. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 20

In love. 17LtMs, Lt 16, 1902, par. 21