Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1


Chapter 93—Usury

In the view given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that the subject of taking usury should be considered by Sabbathkeepers. Wealthy men have no right to take interest from their poor brethren, but they may receive usury from unbelievers. “And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him.... Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.” “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury: unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” 1T 534.2

God has been displeased with Sabbathkeepers for their avaricious spirit. Their desire to get gain is so strong that they have taken advantage of poor, unfortunate brethren in their distress and have added to their own already abundant means, while these poorer brethren have suffered for the same means. “Am I my brother's keeper?” is the language of their hearts. 1T 535.1

A few years ago some of the poorer brethren were in danger of losing their souls through wrong impressions. Everywhere Satan was tempting them in regard to the wealthy. These poor brethren were constantly expecting to be favored, when it was their duty to rely upon their own energies; and had they been favored, it would have been the worst thing that could have been done for them. All through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, Satan was seeking to overthrow the poorer class by his temptations. Some who have lacked judgment and wisdom have taken their own course, being unwilling to ask advice or to follow it. Such have had to suffer as the result of their miserable calculation, and yet these same ones would feel that they should be favored by their brethren who have property. These things needed to be corrected. The first-mentioned class did not realize the responsibilities resting upon the wealthy, nor the perplexity and cares they were compelled to have because of their means. All they could see was that these had means to use, while they themselves were cramped for the same. But as a general thing the wealthy have regarded all the poor in the same light, when there is a class of poor who are doing the best in their power to glorify God, to do good, to live for the truth. These persons are of solid worth. Their judgment is good, their spirit precious in the sight of God; and the amount of good which they accomplish in their unpretending way is tenfold greater than that accomplished by the wealthy, although the latter may give large sums on certain occasions. The rich fail to see and realize the necessity of doing good, of being rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. 1T 535.2