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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 55, 1902

    Zelinsky, Brother and Sister [F.]

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    April 6, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in AH 118-119; CG 211-212, 301-302.

    My dear brother and sister,—

    You need to know yourselves. There is a particular knowledge that will be of the highest value to both of you—the knowledge of how to be refined, kind, and conciliatory in your dealings with one another. To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is a lifework. Those who marry enter a school of discipline from which they are never to be graduated in this life. In this the very first year of your married life, let there not be chapters that will spoil your future experience.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 1

    My sister, you now have opportunity to learn your first practical lessons in regard to the responsibilities of married life. Be sure to learn these lessons day by day. You are not to become discontented and moody. Try to be a real medical missionary. You must not forget that you have a husband who has suffered much. His life will always be more or less an affliction to him because he cannot do all that other physicians do. There are many reasons why he should not suppose himself able to be in all respects a complete physician. He often becomes over-fatigued in <body and> mind. But even when tired, his brain is filled with a kind of strength that leads him to feel capable of doing anything. He is a very proud-spirited man and is inclined to let high ambitions and imaginations predominate over firm, solid judgment.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 2

    Every work of human beings, be they men or women, “shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is.” [1 Corinthians 3:13.]17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 3

    As men and women are generally designed for the home life, they should from an early age be trained to perform the duties of this life. They should be taught to use their hands and feet in helpful ways. Constantly they should be taught to see the need of learning to be useful. They are to be regarded as a part of the family firm.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 4

    Such a training is of untold value to a child, and this training need not be a painful process. It can be so given that the child will find pleasure in learning to be helpful. Mothers can amuse their children while teaching them to perform little offices of love, little home duties. This is the mother’s work—patiently to instruct her children, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. And in doing this work, the mother <herself> will gain an invaluable training and discipline.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 5

    If the child has a stubborn will, the mother, if she understands her responsibility, will realize that this stubborn will is part of the inheritance she has given him. She will not look upon his will as something that must be broken. There are times when the determination of the mother meets the determination of the child, when the firm, matured will of the mother meets the unreasoning will of the child; and when either the mother rules because of her advantage of age and experience, or there is a ruling of the older will by the younger, undisciplined will of the child, at such times there is need of great wisdom; for by unwise management, by stern compulsion, the child may be spoiled for this life and the next. By a lack of wisdom everything may be lost.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 6

    This is a crisis that should seldom be permitted to come; for both mother and child will have a hard struggle. Great care should be shown to avoid such an issue. But once such a issue is entered into, the child must be led to yield to the superior wisdom of the parent. The mother is to keep her words under perfect control. There are to be no loud-voiced commands. Nothing is to be done that will develop a defiant spirit in the child. The mother must study how to deal with him in such a way that he will be drawn to Jesus. She must pray in faith that Satan shall not be victor over the child’s will. The heavenly angels are watching the scene.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 7

    The mother must realize that God is her helper; that love is her success, her power. If she is a wise Christian, she will not attempt to force the child into submission. She will pray; and as she prays, she will be conscious of a renewal of spiritual life within herself. And she will see that at the same time the power that is working in her is working also in the child. And the child, in the place of being compelled, is led, and grows gentler; and the battle is gained. Each kindly thought, each patient action, each word of wise restraint, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. The mother has gained a victory more precious than language can express. She has renewed light and increased experience. The “true Light, which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world,” has subdued her will. [John 1:9.] There is peace after the storm, like the shining of the sun after rain.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 8

    Such crises come also between husband and wife, who, perhaps, bring childishness into the married life. Unless men and women have learned of Christ His meekness and lowliness, they will reveal the impulsive, unreasonable spirit so often revealed by children. The strong, undisciplined will will seek to rule. Such ones need to study the words of Paul: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” [1 Corinthians 13:11.]17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 9

    Both of you need to soften the disposition, else, when there is any difference of judgment between you, it will be as flint striking flint. Watch your words; for speech is a precious, God-given talent. Be careful not to put sharpness into your words. Let not your married life be one of contention. If it is, you will both be miserable. You can make each other miserable, or you can make each other happy.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 10

    My sister, your husband is not a stranger to suffering. He has not yet been truly converted, and neither have you. Your first work should be to heed the invitation of Christ, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] The Lord desires you to wear His yoke. Remember that we cannot have rest in this life or in the future life unless we comply with Christ’s invitation. His Holy Spirit alone can develop a harmonious character, a character that will produce uniformity and peace. By praying and watching unto prayer, bring fragrance into your lives. Both of you need to feel your entire dependence on God. It is only by His aid that any of us can gain spiritual power. You may both at times struggle hard and long, to rule and subdue self, but you will fail unless you receive help from on high. Only through our Lord Jesus Christ can we gain the victory over self and selfishness. Let us acknowledge God as the source of all our blessings. Let there be in our lives no boasting, no feeling of superiority. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, consecrating all we have and are to Him.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 11

    You may with safety cherish an ambition to obtain the divine favor by a surrender to the Spirit of God. If this is the grand aim and purpose of life, we shall repress all desire for self-exaltation, all vain-glory, all self-sufficiency, and self-confidence. It is safe for us to glory only when we glory in the thought that we have an all-powerful Redeemer and that He is our personal Saviour. As we do the things He has commanded us, we glorify God in our body and in our spirit.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 12

    It is not enough for you to admit that the truth is good. The light of God is good, yet if you keep the door of your heart closed against it, of what avail is it to you? Truth is a wonderful power, but unless it is imparted to the understanding, unless it is brought into the life and, through the Holy Spirit, made a working agency, it is of no help to us.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 13

    Men and women are to be received or rejected by God. The characters we form here will decide our eternal destiny. And it is the condition of the heart that determines the character. Our own estimate of our value in God’s sight is not to be depended on, because the human mind, unless worked by the Holy Spirit, makes grievous blunders, blunders that may result in the eternal loss of the soul.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 14

    Both of you need the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Neither of you will gain peace or hope or comfort by exhibitions of passion or self-will. The Christian should be a man of true, pure, sensitive spirit. By the love of the truth he is to walk in the narrow path. I urge you both to humble your minds, and always to be kind, pitiful, and respectful to each other, a help to each other. My brother, remember that your wife accepted you as her husband, not that you might rule her, but that you and she might be a help to each other. Husband and wife are to be kind in speech and gentle in spirit, bearing and forbearing with one another. The husband is to be considerate and courteous, not over-bearing or dictatorial. Truth is never advanced by a haughty, belligerent spirit.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 15

    Brother Zelinsky is a cripple, and the knowledge that he is humiliates him. But if this humility is of the right order, if it does not lead to discouragement and rebellion, but to trust in God, he will receive great blessing. My brother, be not discouraged. A discouraged man is good for nothing. In His life in this earth, the Lord Jesus has left us a perfect example, and He will give us strength to follow this example. Afflicted as you are, my brother, you have a work to do for God in the world. This work is to seek to undo the work that Satan is doing in planting the seeds of evil. The Lord Jesus is looking upon you both. He who has given you so great an evidence of His love bids you follow the path of the just, which shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Christ is your leader, and He calls upon you to deny self, to take up the cross, and follow Him. Then nothing will come in to prevent the development of the whole nature. The cultivation of the powers will tend to the glory of God’s name. All spiritual blessings will be appreciated. The experience will reveal healthfulness and harmonious action.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 16

    Christ gave His precious life that the life of man might be bound up with His in the union of humanity and divinity. He came to our world and lived a divine-human life, that human beings might be partakers of the divine nature, that their life might be as harmonious as God designed it should be. It is only when man is in harmony with himself as Christ’s redeemed possession that he can be in harmony with his Creator.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 17

    You have a battle to fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. One victory is positively essential for your present and eternal good. It is the victory over the stubborn will. It requires a long time to free the minds of young men and young women from the erroneous impressions that have been received from unwise instructors. May the Lord help you, my brother. In your own strength you will never be able to conquer the hungering ambition for worldly honor. In this struggle you can gain success only through Christ. As you partake of His sufferings, showing self-sacrifice at every point, strengthening your sympathy for fallen humanity, you will obtain victory after victory in and through your Redeemer. And you will be preparing to be a partaker of Christ’s glory in the life to come.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 18

    My brother, if you stand on God’s side of theology, cherishing the faith which works by love and purifies the soul, you will no longer be discontented, unreconciled, unhappy. Let your hearts, my brother and my sister, be in unity with God. Take hold of the work that you may constantly do for God. Speak to the suffering words of sympathy, of cheer, of hope. Seek to show them the blunders they have made, that they may redeem the past.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 19

    Remember, my dear brother and sister, that God is love, and that by His grace you can succeed in making each other happy, as you promised to do in your marriage pledge. And in the strength of the crucified Redeemer you can work with wisdom and power to help some crooked life to be straight in God. What is there that God cannot do? He is perfect in wisdom, righteousness, power, and love.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 20

    Let us strive harmoniously to live in God’s sunshine, that our influence may bless the world. Let us break Satan’s power over ourselves, that Christ may abide in our hearts. The loving spirit of Jesus is ever to control us. The law of kindness is ever to be on our lips. Forbearance and unselfishness mark the words and acts of those who are born again to live a new life in Christ.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 21

    We are to gain breadth and nobility where Paul gained them. He says, “Covet earnestly the best gifts.” [1 Corinthians 12:31.] Faith, hope, and charity are the best gifts that we can have, because they bring our hearts into harmony with the purposes of God. What a blessed thing it would be if we all felt an intense longing for these gifts. If we earnestly covet them, we shall, when we obtain them, use them in such a way that our influence will draw those around us nearer to Christ. In coveting these gifts, we are imparting to others the richest blessings. In cherishing these gifts, we increase in Christlikeness, in love, in self-denial, in generosity, in compassion. We shall find many things that have to be given up, because we would use them in such a way as to make them stumbling blocks. But if we have these best and highest gifts, their influence will make our experience wholesome and helpful.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 22

    Remember that for our sake the Commander of the heavenly hosts clothed His divinity with humanity. The Highest stooped to be the servant of all, that He might beautify the meek with salvation and be the wisdom of all who learn of Him. “Where I am, there shall also my servant be.” [John 12:26.] He giveth grace to the humble and to the contrite in heart.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 23

    Wealth we shall have when we are welcomed to the heavenly courts, to tread the streets of gold in the city of God. We shall not exalt earthly gain, human genius, when we see light in God’s light.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 24

    My brother, my sister, will you, without delay, lay down your self-sufficiency, and at the cross of Christ obtain wholeness of restoration? God help you to be kind, condescending, courteous. Open your hearts to the softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit, the light of the Sun of Righteousness, that radiates from the throne of God.17LtMs, Lt 55, 1902, par. 25

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