Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 70, 1894

Review and Herald Office.

Brighton, Victoria, Australia

January 13, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in PC 389-395.

Dear Brethren in responsible positions in the Review and Herald office:

I am much pleased that you have restored Henry Kellogg to his old position, who I trust is born again, not of the flesh but of the Spirit of God. I greatly feared that his long separation from the work would disqualify him to stand in the position he is now occupying; but if the Lord has indeed accepted him, and I know He is always ready to accept any soul who will return from his wanderings and accept of Jesus Christ, he will be qualified to do the work to which God has called him. The arms of Jesus are open to accept him, and He is willing to bless and to teach him. He will realize the force of the word that Christ spoke to Joshua, the high priest, “And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; for if thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, (the Lord has in His messages shown what His charge is) then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” [Zechariah 3:6, 7.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 1

I long to see the righteousness of Christ upon everyone who has any official standing in the office. For a long time warnings, invitations, entreaties, [and] reproofs have been given of God in order that decided reforms should be made in those who were not revealing the life of Christ in their characters. God has sent messages in order that there might have been a transformation of the natural temperament so that men, leaning on Christ, might be laborers together with God. Men should heed the instruction, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 2

Many moves have been made, many decisions have been carried out in your counsels, that have not been after Christ’s likeness. Why? Because self has not been under the control of the Spirit of Christ. You have too often revealed in your counsels a hard, harsh, iron-like spirit, to those who differ with you, that has been as unlike the meekness and gentleness of Christ as Satan is unlike Christ. The Spirit of Christ has been grieved, and His great heart of love has been wounded because souls have been torn and bruised that might have been healed and bound up and saved, that might today have been doing acceptable service in the Lord’s army. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 3

A great need there is of cultivating tenderness and gentleness! None should be ashamed to manifest a tender, compassionate spirit for those who err, for those who think they make no mistakes are far from being without fault before God. No one needs to think that the manifestation of compassion is something for which they need be ashamed. Thorough and decided reformation must be made that this hard, iron-like spirit which has been so often and so easily brought to the front, and made manifest in words and measures that savor more of the attributes of Satan than of the spirit of Christ, should be overcome. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 4

I have a message for the workers in both high and low position in the office, to each one of them in their several departments. It is that unless the transforming grace of Christ conforms you to His character, you will never be numbered with the family of God in heaven. Now is the testing time. Angels of God are watching the development of character. Angels of God are weighing moral <worth,> and nothing can make a man truly great in God’s estimation except being truly good, being a partaker of the divine nature, escaping the corruption of the world through lust. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 5

The world’s Redeemer demands that those who are called by His name, who claim to stand under His banner, shall represent His character; Christianity is intensely practical. When Christianity is brought into the circumstances of actual life, it is a safeguard to the soul in all daily cares, perplexities and annoyances, and then it is that the sympathy, tenderness, and gentleness of Christ is manifested in the deportment, and revealed in the character of those in whose heart Christ abides; then it is that the kingdom of God comes in through His representatives into the world. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 6

The whole man is then molded after the divine likeness, and he manifests the character of Christ in the home, in the office, and in the congregation where saints assemble to worship God. Christianity then becomes a working power, and has a transforming effect upon the agents in a working world, for then men co-operate with divine agencies in their daily occupations, whatever they may be, or wherever they may be. At the present time there is not a thorough, correcting, transforming power circulating through the publishing institution, such as God requires. A deeper and more thorough work is needed in the hearts of those who hold positions, from the lowest to the highest. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:17.] Again comes the requirement, “Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 7

The truth of God revealed in His Word is to be a living, abiding principle. It is not to be looked upon as an influence among many others, but that which is set over all others. It will exercise a power over the life and conduct until the whole being is assimilated to the image of the perfect Pattern, and the human agent is complete in Jesus Christ. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up,” not in self, not after man’s ideas, but “in him stablished in the faith as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” [Colossians 2:6-8.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 8

Your greatest danger will be that you will not see the need of contemplating the character of Christ with a set purpose to imitate His life and conform your character to His character. You are to show a marked difference between your character and that of the world. “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” [Verses 9, 10.] “Epaphras who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” [Colossians 4:12.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 9

The grand truths of the Bible are for us individually, to rule, to guide, to control our life, for this is the only way in which Christ can be properly represented to our world in grace and loveliness in the characters of all who profess to be His disciples. Nothing less than heart service will be acceptable with God. God requires the sanctification of the entire man—body, soul, and spirit. The Holy Spirit implants a new nature, and molds through the grace of Christ the human character, until the image of Christ is perfected; this is true holiness. Will the workers in the office give heed to the light which the Lord has sent you in the lines which I trace this morning? 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 10

You are handling sacred things, and the spirit and word and influence you carry are making impressions upon the minds of others. The atmosphere which surrounds the soul, if it is evil, will be like a spiritual malaria which will be poisonous to those around. But it is profitable for the soul to have an atmosphere that will be as a savor of life unto life to others. When the soul is weighted with the truth which works by love and purifies the soul, a heavenly atmosphere will pervade the soul. “He that walketh with wise men, shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” [Proverbs 13:20.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 11

Every soul who claims to believe the truth should manifest uprightness of character, devotion to God, steadfastness of purpose, and represent the character of Christ in a well-ordered life and godly conversation. You should render service to God with an eye single to His glory. You should cultivate true respect for every soul with whom you come in contact, because the soul is of great value with God. Saints and sinners are to be treated with courtesy, with kindness, with love, that Christ has manifested for all souls. He died that we might live. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 12

Satan uses human agents to bring the soul under the power of temptation, but the angels of God are searching for human agents through whom they may co-operate to save the tempted ones. Angels are looking for those who will work in Christ’s lines, who will be moved by the realization that they belong to Christ. They are looking for those who will feel that those who fall under temptation, whether high or low, are the ones who need their special labors, and that Christ looks on those who are passed by, neglected, wounded and bruised by the enemy, and ready to die, and is grieved at the hardness of men who refuse to exercise the faith that works by love, which will purify the soul. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 13

Angels of God will work with, and through, and by, those who will co-operate with the heavenly agencies for the saving of a soul from death, and the hiding of a multitude of sins, that will lead them to consider themselves, lest they also be tempted. It is the sick that need a physician, not those who are whole. When you expend labor on those who do not need it and take no notice of the very ones whom your words and actions could bless, you are forming a character that is not after the likeness of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 14

Christ says, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] Let none dream that these obligations do not belong to this time, for they do rest upon all. “Moreover it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful.” [1 Corinthians 4:2.] Those who are making it manifest that they are not faithful in doing the very work that God has enjoined upon them are working in an exactly opposite direction to Christ. “First cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:5.] Be careful yourselves not to become tempters in evil things. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 15

When a soul is in peril, one who knows little of sympathy and has little of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, by unadvised words may bruise where he should bind up, and fail to draw to Christ. They are likely to fail to give the words of tenderness and love that they should, to stand back in cold dignity, which is most hateful in the sight of God, and drive souls into the very snare that Satan has laid for their feet. Those who do this will have the blood of souls on their garments, because they obeyed the orders of Satan and disregarded the words of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 16

When a crisis comes in the life of any soul, and another attempts to give advice, that advice and counsel will have only the weight of influence for good that the example and spirit of the adviser has accumulated for him. It is the consistent life, the revelation of a sincere, Christlike interest for the soul in peril, that will make counsel effectual to persuade and win into safe paths. Those who are quick to <censure> others, who speak words that cut and bruise the already wounded soul, are doing Satan’s work, and are laborers with the prince of darkness. But the True Witness says, “I know thy works,” “every work shall be brought into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” [Revelation 3:14, 15; Ecclesiastes 12:14.] They will have to give an account for their neglect of those whom they might have blessed, strengthened, upheld, and healed. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 17

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come unto thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I shall come unto thee.” [Revelation 3:1-3.] How many times the human agent fails and, when the urgency rises, is all unprepared to do service for Christ. Had he watched, he would have proved himself a friend indeed, and an ambassador of Jesus. But the Spirit of Christ is not in him, it is another spirit. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 18

Let the tempted and tried souls remember that when chastisement comes upon them, it is the Lord who would save them from death. Let the souls to whom reproof comes, remember that “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” [Verse 19.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 19

The human agent, imbued with the Spirit of Christ, will watch for souls as they that must give an account. The claims of Christ are upon us, and we must understand our duty, and do it in the fear of God, with an eye single to His glory, and not prove unfaithful. Let no thought of self or of natural feelings be cherished to keep the lips silent. Speak, and be not afraid. With the heart full of tenderness and love for souls, want, exhort, and entreat. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 20

Never cease to labor for a soul while there is one ray of hope. Your words may cut to the soul. Oh, then be cautious, and clothe them with the love and tenderness of Jesus. Soften every accent with love and sympathy, remembering that you are not to be ignorant of the plague of your own heart, and that if Christ should mark your every word and action, there would be an array of figures written in His book, showing that you yourself are greatly out of harmony with His holy will. As you deal with others, as you judge others, so the Lord will judge and deal with you. Let the agent who claims to be a child of God, practice the lessons of Christ. If he is compelled to wound, let him feel the duty of healing as compulsory upon him. The truth is ever to be spoken in love, with the Spirit of Christ abiding in the soul. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 21

God calls upon you to conquer your own spirit, to correct your own mistakes, to confess your sins before God, that pardon may be written off against your own names. With earnest prayer seek wisdom of God, and be careful how you judge and pass sentence upon your brother. God has not placed you on the judgment seat. Great and grand truths for this time are to be brought into practical life. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 22

Christ says, “I sanctify myself, that as head and representative of the human family, the soul may believe on me, and may be sanctified.” [John 17:19.] A religion that does not touch the heart cannot transform the character, and sanctify the life. Religious vigilance can never be laid to rest. We must stand as faithful sentinels over the mind and soul, lest Satan steal away the heavenly gifts. Dare not to cast the first stone at your neighbor, lest Christ shall say to you, as you parade the sins of others, presenting them in an aggravated light, “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.” [John 8:7.] 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 23

Would you not then be covered with confusion of face, as you consider the daily record of sins in your practical life, and remember what is written in the books of heaven? It is these things that are bringing the wrath of God on the children of disobedience. The discrepancy of profession and practice is doing a baleful work, and misrepresenting the character of Christ. Oh, that all would realize what great harm is done to souls by little acts, and by sinful inconsistencies! Oh that all might see this and be converted! 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 24

The Lord is soon to come, and the perils of the last days are upon us. Probation will soon close. Will you fall upon the Rock and be broken? Self must die. Your heart can be made tender only by the grace of Jesus Christ. Redeem the time, and no longer pull down with one hand what you are striving to build up with the other. The influence of your words is too often destroyed by the inconsistency of your example. The power of your principles is neutralized by your practice. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 25

The unsubdued passions of the human heart, the hard judgment that is meted out to others in your manner and words, does not reveal the meekness of Christ, and in the records of heaven you are judged as you have judged others, and your hard heart has become more unfit for heaven. Take away the stumbling blocks for the sake of your own soul and for the sake of the souls of others for whom Christ died. Open the door of the heart to the love and gentleness of Christ. Let it pervade the soul, and brighten the lives of others, and you will know what the blessing of God is. 9LtMs, Lt 70, 1894, par. 26