Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 82, 1886

Sermon/Grimsby, England

Grimsby, England

September 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in 9MR 253-256.

Morning Talk

The disciples were to wait and look for the descent of the Spirit of God and they were to do a great work. They were to carry the truth for that time unto all nations and tongues and peoples. Christ tells them, in (Luke 24:49), “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” I have had great anxiety and burden upon my mind while at Basel and night after night could not sleep longer than three o’clock. I thought of our coming to England, and the matter that was presented before me pressed my mind so that when I awoke there was no more sleep for my eyes. My mind was laboring all the time in regard to the work and its importance in every department, and there stood out distinctly what had been impressed upon my mind. There was not all the manifestation of the Spirit of God that we should have, and we should not feel satisfied unless we have it. God will not accept half-hearted work in His cause, but He would have all performed with an exactitude. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 1

Last night I listened to the remarks of Elder Olsen and I knew his mind was laboring in the right direction. It is not the number that you gather into the truth, but it is the quality, the pith of those who take hold of the truth, that counts. In order for this work to go forward as God would have it, we want the Spirit of the Divine upon it. We want to see that God is attending us in all our efforts. Our object is not to get our mold upon the work and carry out our ideas, but it is to so present the truth that all who will take hold of it will feel that they have something to do; not that they are to lower the standard, but they must lift the truth. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 2

Yesterday I wrote out some things on which my mind was led out in regard to the foundation of the work. Now here is the way it is presented to me, and I would like to present it to you so your minds can take hold of it. It is like this: there is not unity of action. Every soul that goes out into the work should have unity and harmony with his brethren. “Well,” said a brother, “that is just what I believe.” And how do you believe it? Do you believe it enough to come into harmony with your brethren? or are you waiting for them to come into harmony with you? The work of educating workers is a great thing; and if one thinks of getting his stamp on this work, and that he must carry out the work according to his ideas and ways, you see it will have the stamp of man; but what we want is the divine stamp of God upon the work. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 3

If Jesus is in one brother, he will correspond to Jesus in another. There has been too much of disunion in your work. There should be unity in all things and the Spirit of God resting upon the work and upon us; then we are able to give the right instruction to those under our care. What we need is a great deal more of God and a great deal less of selfish wisdom; and unless there is, there will be disunion just as surely as God rules in the heavens. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 4

Most painful burdens have been resting upon my mind as I have considered how the work has been started in different places and how much better it would have been had it never been touched. As soon as one feels that he must give himself to the work, send him out into some unimportant place, says one. This is not the way to do. Another feels that he wants to go out and preach, but is no more fit to start out as a preacher than children are to be sea captains. They must be fitted as was John; he had been with God and learned of Him. And he gives us an example. These young men think they are sufficient to go forth, but they know nothing of how to handle the work; they are unfitted for it. They take their mold and do not see the necessity of correcting anything in their character. So they start out and they step up on the higher round and the very experience they need is dropped out. Instead of being able to give another of their experience, they have none of their own. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 5

As Brother Olsen said last night, we need a training school. Now God will test these (young men) to let them see they need altogether a different mold in order to be fitted for the work and have the work prosper in their hands. They will show weakness in one point and another. Those who go out to labor cannot bring others any higher than they are themselves. They cannot lead them to drink of the fountains that they have never drunk of. Every branch of our work is important. Many know what it is to plead with God in prayer, and many do not know anything about it. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 6

Now there is a great work before us, and it is necessary to lay the foundation well. When you are meeting with success in presenting the truth, do not feel that it is your own work, but give the glory to God, and more success will attend your efforts. You should not feel that it is because of your great wisdom that you have this success. A great deal has been said about this in cautions, yet men do not change. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 7

Now brethren, we must lay aside our ways and take God’s ways. I am so glad Elder Haskell is coming to England. Why? Because he has seen the work in all these phases, and we can take hold together and work with God. If ever a people needed melting over, it is us. If ever a people needed to be subdued, it is us. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 8

Now God may do something for us, but you are not ready for it. The workers must have the stamp of the divine upon them; and when this stamp of the divine is brought upon them, God will work and open the way so you can have greater success. And when the work moves forward in the fear of God, you may expect that God will work. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 9

There is too much of the spirit that “I am of Paul,” and “I am of Apollos.” [1 Corinthians 3:4.] There is too much of the feeling that, “I like such an one better.” “I would rather hear this one speak instead of him.” Now these preferences are all unsanctified. Wherever we go we want to give the impression that we are one. We are working to fit men for immortality, and we will study early and late to defend our brethren. Thus the work of God will move in harmony. There is a great deal more of self about us than we think. When God’s mold is upon us we can go to the uttermost part of the world and God will be with us. But when men who want their way and it is crossed, they go, as I have seen them in many places, and set a dead head against you. They may act as though they were on your side, but just let (their will be) crossed and they are against you. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 10

Now we don’t want such a class. I have been shown that wherever we go the devil will work to frustrate our plans, and there are those who will act as his agents instead of being as clay in the hands of the Potter, and Satan can handle them just to suit himself. Now I say we must be more cautious, and we must have a corps of workers who have a thorough training. Until they have this, they had better not touch the work. They want a training in their conversation, in their manner of preaching. Those who go out into the field to labor want to know how to address the people. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 11

There are many who might be a power in the field of labor if God were working with them. Let us see what kind of work they are doing, whether we must take it all down and build up another structure or not. God wants us to know how we are laying the foundation and what kind of stuff we are putting into the building. But you want the spirit of the Divine, and you will not dare to touch the work until you have it. I tell you, a higher class must be reached, but these low-minded people we do not need; they only hinder the work. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 12

What we want is a steady purpose, and then to carry it out. When the workers are willing to do as God would have them, then we may begin to educate and branch out more, but the first work is to be united with the Holy Spirit of God. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 13

Those who give themselves to the work do not know what true religion is if they begin a spirit of courtship, as though God had called them to do thus. God never has called them; they do not know anything about His work, or they would have nothing like this. It is the invention of the devil to get hold of them, but they must feel that it is a sacred work they have in their hands and they must do it for time and for eternity. When you have the burden of the work upon you, you will be so afraid that you will not give a right answer to every man that asketh you, that you will have no time for this dallying. This lovesick sentimentalism is a curse everywhere, and when you see it in young people, would you think they are fitted for the work? The command was, “Tarry in Jerusalem, until you receive the Holy Ghost.” [Luke 24:49.] You must be so fitted that there will not be any appearance of evil. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 14

Brethren, we need the Spirit of God in our midst; and when God puts His Spirit upon us, this seeking for the supremacy will cease. May God help us to reach a higher standard. What we want is to put self out of sight. I never felt it so much as of late. It is not the theory of the truth, it is not your argument that is needed, but what we want is religion—practical godliness—to teach the people and to weave into our own lives. We want to show in our actions the impress of the Divine and show that Christ is working for us, and with us, and that God is in our midst. We want to be a channel for good. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 15

It is the love of Jesus that we must have. We do not want to be shut in by ourselves, but to have the Spirit and power of God. We can never reach the people unless we have God with us, and we must get out of self and present the truth in the meekness of Jesus. 4LtMs, Ms 82, 1886, par. 16