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Manuscript Releases Volume Fifteen : Page 265

34. Encouragement for One Who Had Been Bereaved

(Written January 5, 1894, from Melbourne, Australia, to "My dear Brother [J. R.] McCoy," shortly after he had received word, by telegram, of the death of his wife and one of his daughters on Pitcairn Island.)

We feel sad indeed to part with you at this time. We hoped that you would be privileged to be with us during the entire course of the meetings now in progress. To every man God has given his work. Grave and weighty responsibilities rest upon you, and you have a duty to do for your people upon the island. They love and respect you. You have a Christlike interest in them. Your interest is identified with theirs.

Much as you desire to remain during the entire conference, your interest for your own loved ones in your island home and the responsibilities which are resting upon you, lead you to feel that you cannot longer remain with us. We must say farewell. As you sail upon the waters of the Pacific, our prayers shall follow you. Thank the Lord that Jesus is chief Commander on board the vessel, and He will bring you safely to your destination.

As you take this voyage, you will have many hours for reflection. Sad thoughts will necessarily come, but these sorrowful reflections will be mingled with joy, for you will have hope that in the soon coming of the morn of the resurrection you will meet your loved ones who have so recently fallen in death. The broken links of the family chains will then be reunited, and together you will meet Him whom you all love and adore--Jesus, the center and foundation of all your hopes, the author and finisher of your

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faith. Then there will be joy in the morning such as never before has been known by the redeemed saints. John says, [Rev. 7:9-17, quoted].

Praise God for these precious words. Praise God, praise His holy name that we have been led to the cross of Christ, and we understand that our only hope is to renounce self and all dependence in anything and everything, and take Jesus as our Saviour, a complete Redeemer. "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious." He can be precious only to those who believe. "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."

My brother, you will be sorely tried and tempted at times; but ever remember that Jesus Christ is at your right hand to help you. Cast all your burdens upon the Lord, for He hath promised, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Rest yourself wholly in the hands of Jesus. Contemplate His great love; and while you meditate upon His self-denial, His infinite sacrifice made in our behalf in order that we should believe in Him, your heart will be filled with holy joy, calm peace, and indescribable love.

As we talk of Jesus, as we call upon Him in prayer, our confidence that He is our personal, loving Saviour will strengthen, and His character will appear more and more lovely. We will understand that He does not "afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." We may enjoy rich feasts of love; and as we fully believe that we are His by adoption, we may have a foretaste of heaven.

Wait upon the Lord in faith. The Lord draws out the soul in prayer, and gives us to feel His precious love. We have a nearness to Him, and can hold sweet communion with Him. We obtain distinct views of His tenderness

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and compassion, and our hearts are broken and melted with contemplation of the love that is given to us. We feel indeed an abiding Christ in the soul.

We abide in Him, and feel at home with Jesus. The promises flow into the soul. Our peace is like a river, wave after wave of glory rolls into the heart, and indeed we sup with Jesus and He with us. We have a realizing sense of the love of God, and we rest in His love. No language can describe it; it is beyond knowledge. We are one with Christ; our life is hid with Christ in God. We have the assurance that when He who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. With strong confidence we can call God our Father. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. His Spirit makes us like Jesus Christ in temper and disposition, and we represent Christ to others.

When Christ is abiding in the soul, the fact cannot be hid, for He is like a well of water springing up into everlasting life. We can but represent the likeness of Christ in our character, and our words, our deportment, produces in others a deep, abiding, increasing love for Jesus, and we make manifest in word and deportment that we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." The language expressed by John will be the language of every individual soul: "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

Oh, that we will have the meekness and lowliness of Christ! My dear brother in Christ, we will not allow Satan to triumph by expressing one doubt of the love of God for us. We may suffer sickness and bereavement,

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but God is our loving heavenly Father still, and we will not murmur. In trouble, however trying, let us heed the precious words of encouragement. "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me." This is the privilege of all God's people. The promise is not for a favored few. Jesus lives, my brother. He will go with you over the broad waters. Your faith will be tried; but you must believe, believe, believe. Cling to the arm of infinite power. God's hand will hold you more firmly than you can hold to Him. While you trust in Him, He will never let you go or leave you to perish. May the Lord bless you day by day is the prayer of you sister, Ellen G. White.--Letter 52, 1894. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. February 13, 1986. Entire Letter.