Testimonies to Southern Africa


Chapter 7—Four Letters to a Leading Missionary Worker in Africa

Letter A

North Fitzroy, Victoria

July, 1892

Dear Brother,

There are lessons for each child to learn in the line of firm trust, and implicit obedience. Jesus gave His life for us, that we should not perish, but believe in Him and have everlasting life. And shall we distrust God for one moment, when He has given us such evidence of His love? No, no; my soul cries out for the living water of life that I may refresh others TSA 63.1

As a people we must practise self-denial and economy. Every soul should make a covenant with God by sacrifice. We should not expend money in extra expensive clothing, and rich furniture. We are pilgrims and strangers seeking a better country, even an heavenly. Time is short, and every dollar not necessary to be used in supplying positive wants, should be brought in as a thank offering to God. It is the Lord's, and the Lord has presented to me that houses of worship, and schoolhouses should be erected through this country, and in the islands of the sea; that our leading men should not build for display, or to gratify ambition and pride. If the Lord has favoured them above their brethren in other countries, let them in true liberality assist those who greatly need to be helped to find a standing place, and give character to the work. TSA 63.2

The Lord is no respecter of persons or of places. The work is one great whole. The world is our field, and I have made decided appeals to our brethren in America to bind about their wants, and to devise and plan everything in a simple, modest, comfortable style, that corresponds with our faith. TSA 63.3

When I consider that the Lord has placed ample means in the hands of His servants to be used not improvidently, but wisely, not extravagantly, but economically as the case seems to demand, there would not be a dearth of means in the treasury, but an ample supply to meet the demands for this time, to plant the banner of truth in many dark places of the earth. But the blessing which the Lord has bestowed upon His stewards, with few exceptions, is misappropriated, bound up in selfish enterprises where God does not direct. Carefully should every dollar be considered, that it shall not be expended to please fancy, to administer to pride in expensive buildings, but to administer where there is a necessity, working in lines where God is working to establish His kingdom in the earth, in harmony with the prayer given by Christ, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Let the works harmonize with the prayer, for men are the human agents through whom the divine agents are working. “We are labourers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” The Lord's work calls for labourers everywhere. As God bountifully gives, we should deliberately, prayerfully resolve that we will honour God with our substance, and with the first-fruits of our increase. TSA 64.1

All things belong to God, and all the good which man enjoys is the result of divine beneficence. He is the great and bountiful Giver. God lays His hand upon all possessions and says, “I am the rightful owner of all these goods.” Oh that the hearts of the people of God would be moved! To every man to whom the Lord has entrusted goods, will come the temptation of the enemy to withhold it from its rightful channel. Satan will seek to divert the means so that it shall not serve the cause of God.... TSA 64.2

Souls are perishing for the bread of life, for the waters of salvation. There is no time now for the building of grand edifices. Let everything be done with an eye single to the glory of God. We are to lift up the cross of Calvary before all nations, tongues and people; but instead of doing this, many are hiding their talents of ability under a bushel, and the means which should carry forward the work is buried in the world. TSA 64.3

Lift the cross higher, that many may behold, and look and live. Christ died for the world, and His command is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The lord would give us no such commission without placing resources at our command sufficient for the work. Will men act the part of faithful stewards, appropriating God's means where He designed it should be used? Shall souls famishing for the bread of life be denied the heavenly manna? Who will sacrifice for Christ's sake? Who will present in its rich fulness the righteousness of Christ? Will the church who claim to believe the truth, the blood-bought church, do this work? TSA 64.4

If you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, if His love can move your heart, and His glory be dear to you, be faithful to your trust. Unite your influence with that of the heavenly agencies, and devote your God-given energies, your entrusted talents to the work of saving souls. Your talents will increase by winning souls to Christ. Paul may plant, Apollos water; but God giveth the increase. God calls for the co-operation of a devoted church. Their co-operation with Him will prove that they really believe that which they teach. Let the children of God give evidence of their faith by their actions. Every one is pledged before God to do all that is possible to win souls to Christ. God calls for the dedication of soul, body and spirit to the work. TSA 65.1

Unless the truth sanctifies the soul, unless it leads to humility and meekness, self-denial and self-surrender, the enemy will gain influence on his side. Let the effort made be in harmony with sacred truth of heavenly origin. The Holy Spirit will be imparted and the church will be consistent, and will fulfil the injunction, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” They will live not unto themselves, but unto Christ who died for them, and rose again, and liveth to make intercession for the saints. TSA 65.2

In God we can do valiantly, for the Lord will move upon the heart by His Holy Spirit, and add daily unto the faith of such as shall be saved. How I long to direct our brethren in America to look to Jesus, to study His life and character, and manifest disinterestedness, self-denial, and devotion to the service of Christ, becoming thereby a power for good in the world. TSA 65.3

Brother _____, tell all who labour in Africa that they must have characters that can be identified as Christlike. Property will not give us a character; but union with Christ will invest every movement we make with interest, give power to all our actions, and bring us into harmony with Christ's perfection.—Letter 23c, 1892. TSA 65.4