Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 89, 1899

Jones, C. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 4, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in CW 112-114.

C. H. Jones
Oakland, California

Dear Brother:

Permit me to express my mind, and yet not my mind, but the word of the Lord. I am troubled in regard to The Signs of the Times. There are plenty of newspapers and magazines that publish many of the things which are put into the Signs. The name of this paper was selected in its pages. You should not have so much matter in long articles that have no reference to the signs of the near coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. I think if the editor of this paper could discern the necessity of being a faithful householder, he would give meat in due season to the flock of God. 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 1

There is too much common matter and not enough of the sacred; there is too much dependence upon pictures and other things that do not relate to the vital issues for this time. There is danger of following in the track of Nadab and Abihu, using common in the place of sacred fire. Concerning many of the matters that are so fluently presented, many other papers can give all the information essential for any of us. But the name, Signs of the Times, means that in this paper a class of literature will be found that will give the trumpet a certain sound. Let there be fewer pictures, and more real, solid, spiritual food. 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 2

I am afraid that the editor does not drink deep from the fountain of living waters. It is now that we need to be worked by the Holy Spirit. The editors of our periodicals, the teachers in our Sabbath schools, the presidents of our conferences, all need to drink of the pure streams of living water. They need to understand more clearly the words spoken by our Lord to the Samaritan woman; “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given you living water.” [John 4:10.] 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 3

The woman tried to enter into a controversy. She said, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou that living water. Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.” [Verses 11-14.] 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 4

Many have not felt the necessity of drinking of this water of life. You may think that you understand the matter, and do drink of the living water; but there is a pain in my heart day and night because there is so little evidence that our householders understand the wants of the people at this time. They do not discern their own necessities. It can be truly said, “Thy silver is become dross; thy wine mixed with water.” [Isaiah 1:22.] These words represent the food that is acceptable, but that gives no real strength to the churches. The Lord’s work needs to be distinguished from the common affairs of life. He says, “I will turn my hand upon thee, and thoroughly purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin, and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning, afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, The faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment and her converts with righteousness.” [Verses 25-27.] 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 5

These words are full of importance. They are applicable to all those who sit in the editorial chair. Sacred things are mingled with the common. The words of Moses possess a deep meaning: “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” [Leviticus 10:1-3.] 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 6

This means something to all who are handling the matter that goes forth from our institutions to the world. The papers that have so wide a circulation, and that have been so highly exalted, should contain more precious instruction than appears in the common publications of the day. The true higher education is not to be gained by dealing with the lives and sentiments of the men who know not the Word of the Lord. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” [Jeremiah 23:28.] We want more pure wheat thoroughly winnowed from all chaff. 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 7

I call your attention to the sixth chapter of Isaiah. This chapter reveals much that is impressive. Chapter eight also contains lessons that are of value to every soul who is of understanding: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” [Verse 16.] Read also Exodus 31:12-18. 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 8

My brethren in responsible positions, you are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Brother Wilcox, when you see the necessity of being a faithful householder, you will give meat in due season. Present truth. Guard the paper, lest there shall be introduced into it articles that are not suitable for this time. God help you, my dear fellow laborers, to work as if you were in full view of the whole universe of heaven. Important issues must soon be met, and we wish to be hid in the cleft of the rock, that we may see Jesus, and be quickened by His Holy Spirit. We have no time to lose, not a moment. 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 9

“Hear, ye that are far off, at what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” [Isaiah 33:13-17.] 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 10

In constantly dealing with matters for the papers, many seem to lose their discrimination. May the Lord not only anoint your eyes that they may see, but pour into your heart the holy oil that from the two olive trees flows through the two golden pipes into the golden bowl, which feeds the lamp for the sanctuary. “And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” [Zechariah 4:13, 14.] Unless we are wide awake, we are not able to discern spiritual things. We lose the sense of the power of the truth, and handle sacred things as we handle the common things. The result is weakness and uncertainty, and we are not safe counsellors or guides. Wake up, brethren; for Christ’s sake, wake up. You are not being sanctified through the truth. 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 11

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:11-18.] 14LtMs, Lt 89, 1899, par. 12