Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

189/345

Lt 345, 1904

Rogers, F. R.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

December 27, 1904

This letter is published in entirety in SpTB #12 12-16.

Dear Brother Rogers,—

Your letter was received and read some time ago. We rejoice with you for the precious tokens you have of the Lord’s blessing. Praise the Lord! Oh, let us be encouraged. Let our hearts be filled with thankfulness. Continue to work earnestly and interestedly, and have perfect trust in God. Do not doubt His goodness. When difficulties seem to surround you, remember the promise that the Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. If God will only let His blessing rest on the workers, everything will work out to His glory, and souls will be converted. The Lord will acknowledge and bless all who walk before Him in earnest, hopeful confidence. Look and live. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. He will draw near to each one who exercises faith and labors courageously to advance the work because this is what God directs. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 1

I am glad that you are of good courage. Our hearts should always be filled with praise and rejoicing. Truth will triumph. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 2

“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And He said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but one, that is God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 3

“He saith unto Him, Which? Jesus saith, Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; honor thy father and thy mother; and, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 4

“The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus saith unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 5

“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” [Matthew 19:16-22.] 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 6

This young ruler was a man of prepossessing appearance and of much outward piety. He had high capabilities, and he might have been a great blessing. But Christ saw in his character one great defect which, unless remedied, would mar his whole life. His possessions were his idol; unless they were given their proper place, they would rob him of eternal life. How kindly and tenderly the Saviour treated him. “If thou wilt be perfect, He said, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” [Verse 21.] 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 7

The young ruler’s errand to Christ was not a pretense. He fully desired to be as Christ was. He realized the importance of gaining the future eternal life. He was not ignorant of the service that man owes to God. He was fully convinced that there is a place of happiness prepared for all who in this life obey the commands of God. He realized that in order to gain a place in the abodes of bliss, he must work out a perfect character. He thought himself an honest applicant as to what he must do in order to gain eternal life. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 8

He was attracted and charmed by Christ’s life and His manner of teaching, and he realized that to be able to live eternally with God in the world to come would be a wonderful reward. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 9

When this young man asked what he should do that he might gain eternal life, Christ answered him plainly. When he asked, “What lack I yet?” He pointed out to him wherein he fell short. He failed when tested in regard to his worldly possessions. These were his idol. Distinctly and definitely Christ told him that his riches stood in the way of his gaining eternal life. “If thou wilt be perfect,” He said, “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, and follow Me.” [Verses 20, 21.] 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 10

“And when he heard this, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” [Verse 22.] He wanted the heavenly treasure, but he wanted also the temporal advantages his riches would bring him. He desired eternal life; but he was not willing to make the sacrifice. To give up his earthly treasure, that was seen, for the heavenly treasure, that was unseen, was too great a risk. He refused the offer of eternal life and went away, and ever after the world was to receive his worship. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 11

“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 12

“Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” [Verses 23-30.] 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 13

Christ gave His life to the work of soul-saving, making it possible for human beings to return to their loyalty and take their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 14

Brother and Sister Rogers, be of good courage. Remember that we are deeply interested in you and your work. We want to help you to be a help to those whom you are trying to educate. I am so glad that you are not discouraged. I am so glad, too, that the students appreciate your efforts in their behalf. I pray that there may be a large work done in Huntsville. I pray that all who shall visit the school farm may see by the united effort of students and teachers that the best kind of education is being given. I pray that the farm may tell its own story of thrift and painstaking effort, that those who gave this beautiful place to the work for the colored people may rejoice with you all. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 15

Heavenly angels are watching that farm, desiring that it may be so worked by the students that the students themselves, under the direction of wise teachers, shall show that improvement in their characters which God desires to see. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 16

I hope to visit the Huntsville school again some time, that I may see the result of the earnest, faithful efforts put forth on this, the Lord’s farm. 19LtMs, Lt 345, 1904, par. 17