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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 48, 1903

    Kress, Brother and Sister [D. H.]

    Oakland, California

    April 1, 1903

    Portions of this letter are published in HP 72; 7BC 958; 4MR 451.

    Dear Brother and Sister Kress,—

    The Australian mail leaves tomorrow, and I thought I should try to send you a short letter. My health is much better than when I wrote last. I have been well since coming to Oakland, notwithstanding that for the last week the weather has been very unpleasant. I am determined to do my best to keep well and in working order.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 1

    I and my workers are on the ground, attending the General Conference. My son Willie came to Oakland the 22nd of March. Sara, Maggie, and I came the next day. Clarence Crisler came a day or two after that. The General Conference asked for Clarence’s services during the meeting, and Dores Robinson is working for me in his place. He assists Maggie in reporting my talks and is a great help. When the council meetings began, there were only a few delegates present. Some of them were delayed by late trains.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 2

    I have spoken six times since coming down.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 3

    We intended to bring a horse and carriage from St. Helena, but we found that the care of the horse would be some trouble, and we decided to rent a wheel chair during the meetings. Sara found a good one, and in it I am wheeled to and from the meetings by different ones—Willie, Sara, Maggie, and by one and another of our ministers.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 4

    For nearly a week the rain has fallen steadily. Today the sky is clear and the sun shines brightly. We hope for good weather now. If the weather continues fair this week, I think I shall plead for a large tent to be pitched, so that all who attend the meetings shall be able to hear what is said. The Oakland church is a very hard one to hear in. This has been a great disadvantage. The effect of the social meeting is largely lost, because it is impossible to hear what the different ones say.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 5

    I expect to take part in the meetings daily. There are many important questions to be settled. We should sometimes feel discouraged if we depended on our own wisdom and understanding. We are looking to God. The Holy Spirit will do His own work in and for the people of God at this meeting. He will graciously bring their hearts under the power of the truths for this time.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 6

    Christ made an infinite sacrifice—even the sacrifice of His own life—to redeem us. It is our privilege to taste the sweetness of communion with a crucified and risen Saviour. But in order for this to be, self must be surrendered to God. Self-indulgence means that Christ is not followed in self-denial and cross-bearing. When self strives for the highest place, the spiritual perceptions become dimmed. The eyes are turned from Christ to the poor picture of self. We cannot afford to become separated from Christ. We must keep looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Beholding Him by faith, we become changed into His image. We are made partakers of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 7

    Beholding Christ means talking with Christ and working with an eye single to His glory. It is as we commune with Christ that precious, holy light shines into our souls, until every chamber is lighted up, and we become bright lights in the world, reflecting to others the glory of Christ.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 8

    We are to keep Christ before us as the example of perfection. When we allow our minds to dwell upon the supposed imperfections of others, we become sinful in word and deed. Our own souls become filled with the leaven of evil. Every one who dwells upon the faults of others commits sin.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 9

    “Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” [Psalm 15:1-5.]18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 10

    We may pray, “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make Thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy Thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against Thee. But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them; let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee. For Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.” [Psalm 5:8-12.]18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 11

    We shall meet with many difficulties, but if we keep our minds and hearts fixed upon the precious Saviour, if we talk of His love and power, the perplexities will pass away, and we shall become happy in the assurance of a Saviour’s love. We are not dependent upon the world and its changeableness. He in whom dwelleth “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” and “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” is our joy and crown of rejoicing, our peace, our power, our satisfaction. [Colossians 2:9, 3.]18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 12

    Then let us rejoice, whatever may happen, within or without. From the Sun of Righteousness subduing, yet cheering rays of light are shed upon us and are reflected back by us to the throne of God.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 13

    O how sad it is that Christians think and talk of the little differences existing among them, allowing them to depress the soul. We must obtain that grace that will make us able to dwell together in love and unity in this life, else we can never dwell together in the life to come. I am trying to show our people the need of the unity for which Christ prayed. I have tried to impress upon them the need of their souls’ bowing beneath the thought of the preciousness of the truth which, if practiced, will enable us to attain to Christian perfection and to live consecrated lives. The soul must fully own the power and authority of the Word of God. Then, though we may make mistakes, we always have a touchstone by which to test our ways and a standard by which we may, by true service, recall the heart and conscience. Christ, the perfect example, is ever before us. To Him we may look for grace and power to overcome every fault. We shall get ready for the great day of God by carrying out in the daily life the perfect principles presented before us in the life of Christ. We are called and chosen by Him to be His representatives. We are God’s children. By spiritual adoption we are His sons and daughters. By spiritual adoption we are to live in conformity to His will, representing Him in life and character.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 14

    “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.” [Revelation 3:1.] God called upon this church to make a change. They had a name to live, but their works were destitute of the love of Jesus. O how many have fallen because they trusted in their profession for salvation! How many are lost by their effort to keep up a name! If one has the reputation of being a successful evangelist, a gifted preacher, a man of prayer, a man of faith, a man of special devotion, there is positive danger that he will make shipwreck of faith when tried by the little tests that God suffers to come. Often his great effort will be to maintain his reputation.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 15

    He who lives in the fear that others do not appreciate his value is losing sight of Him who alone makes us worthy of glorifying God. Let us be faithful stewards over ourselves. Let us look away from self to Christ. Then there will be no trouble at all. All the work done, however excellent it may appear to be, is worthless if not done in the love of Jesus. One may go through the whole round of religious activity, and yet, unless Christ is woven into all that he says and does, he will work for his own glory.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 16

    Self, self, self is continually intruding upon us. O what a mockery is a name to be religious, while the life is not hid with Christ in God, while there is no sense of the presence of the Saviour. We need so much to dig deep and lay our foundation upon the Rock Christ Jesus.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 17

    It is the purity that Christ imparts that gives sacredness and elevation to our work. The work that is done with a zeal that is not according to knowledge does not bear the divine impress. We need the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, which imparts a distrust of self and throws the helpless soul upon Christ.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 18

    May God deliver us from the slavery of trying to maintain our dignity. May He give us grace to walk humbly with Him, doing all with the constant realization that we are ever in His presence.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 19

    We are on trial for our lives. I am instructed to say that unless there is an entire change in our attitude, we shall not stand faultless before the great white throne. Perfect conformity to the will of God is the condition upon which eternal life is given. Peter writes, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” This is our life insurance policy. “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” [2 Peter 1:5-12.]18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 20

    I must close this letter now; for the mail goes tomorrow morning. I would that both of you could be in our meetings. We are waiting upon the Lord, hoping for a much greater manifestation of His love and power.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 21

    May the Lord bless you, my dear friends.18LtMs, Lt 48, 1903, par. 22

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