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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 68, 1903

    Butler, Hiland


    May 1, 1903 [typed]

    Previously unpublished. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Dear Brother Hiland Butler,—

    I am sorry that any one has written to you disparagingly of Brother W. O. Palmer. Why should this be done? No one is free from mistakes. I might present many things in criticism of those with whom I associate. But what would be gained by this?18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 1

    I know that there are many who cherish feelings of criticism toward Brother Palmer. But I have been instructed that in the sight of a holy God his case is not one-tenth part as injurious to the cause as the cases of some to whom God has given great light and many opportunities, but who refuse to walk in the light if it does not suit their own ideas.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 2

    There are those who are doing what the Lord calls a strange work. They need the divine enlightenment. They need to be converted. Their testimony should not be allowed to lead to the rejection of those who are striving to serve God. They are not living in the light of God. They are not obeying His commands. Between them and Him there is a barrier that cannot be removed without a complete change of heart. Only by such a change of heart can they be brought into right relation with God.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 3

    There is but one path to heaven—the strait and narrow way. Of those who enter this path the Lord says, “Ye are My witnesses.” [Isaiah 43:10.] Those only who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves can walk in this way. Christ says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48.] We are to follow Christ in everything, conforming our lives to His teachings.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 4

    It is the duty of all to press toward the light, ever keeping in view the perfection of Him whose words and works bear the impress of divinity.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 5

    Paul writes, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:7-14.]18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 6

    That righteousness is of no real value that goes no further than external form. It was in this righteousness that the religion of the Pharisees consisted. Upon this they relied for salvation.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 7

    “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” [Verse 15.]18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 8

    By the counsel of His grace He will show them their mistakes. They must receive the truth in the meekness of holiness. Pride and self-importance must die.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 9

    The child of God is to reach out for higher and still higher attainments. He is to confess every sin, that by his example others may be helped to confess their sins and to cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. He is to be constantly on guard, never standing still, never turning back, but ever pressing on toward the mark of the prize of his high calling in Christ.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 10

    There is a crown of immortality for the children of God to win. He will give them power to conquer in the strife with evil. When danger comes to them, angels are beside them, to help them; for the angels are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.” [Hebrews 1:14.]18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 11

    Watch vigilantly, swerving not to the right hand or to the left. Never give up to despair. “Whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same things.” [Philippians 3:16.] “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. ... As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” [Galatians 6:14, 16.]18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 12

    A man is not one whit the safer because he occupies an exalted position and has been given great privileges. He is exposed to Satan’s attacks and is liable to fall into grievous sins and to make serious mistakes. Knowing his weakness, he should be very kind, very compassionate in dealing with others. In tenderness and love he should strive to reclaim the erring, doing nothing that will drive them away from Christ. When he sees a fellow worker in danger of making mistakes, he should not draw away from him, allowing him to stumble on in darkness. This would be revealing a selfishness most abhorrent.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 13

    Let men beware how they use their God-given talents to magnify the wrongs of others and to vindicate their own course. It may be that their own faults are more grievous in the sight of God than the faults of those they criticize.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 14

    Those who turn from the counsel of the Spirit of God, to follow their own counsel, counterwork the efforts of the Holy Spirit to guide their feet in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. They will surely lead other souls astray. God will place them among the chief of sinners. They had great light and many opportunities, but they exalted themselves to their own ruin. When sentence of condemnation is passed on them, they will have no one but themselves to blame. Seeking earthly distinction and advantages, they lost the crown that fadeth not away.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 15

    A man may distinguish himself by doing many praiseworthy things when it is agreeable to his feelings to do them, and then again may use strange fire which comes not from heaven, and which he has been forbidden to use. Men clothed with holy vestments may greatly dishonor their Creator by exalting the human above the divine. Unless those who do this repent, the wrath of God will come upon them.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 16

    This life is our time for eternity. The good seed that day by day we sow, because we believe in Christ and receive Him as our Saviour, will spring up and bear fruit unto eternal life. We shall be given power to become sons and daughters of God.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 17

    Those who are created anew in Christ do not live to themselves. They do not aspire to do some great thing that will bring them before the world. They are filled with a longing to practice the lessons of Christ. They pray constantly for conformity to His likeness. And not only do they pray; they work.18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 18

    Every day we should test our motives and opinions and course of conduct by the Bible rule. As we do this, bringing our wills into harmony with God’s will, He is glorified in us. He rejoices in the evidence of purity and self-denial that appears in our lives. Those who walk as Christ in His humanity walked, revealing His meekness and lowliness, bear with them that which makes them light in the world. They obey the word, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.]18LtMs, Lt 68, 1903, par. 19

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