Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 66a, 1886

Laborers at Lausanne



See Lt 66, 1886. Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Laborers at Lausanne:

I feel so earnest that something should be done in Switzerland. I have felt that the enemy would withstand every effort made to let the light in upon the people. He will dispute every inch of ground. We must keep the armor on, and in the name of Jesus press back this determined, powerful foe. We must do what we can and then leave the result wholly with Him whom we love and whom we serve. He loves souls more than we are capable of loving them. And when we place ourselves in right relation to God, we shall be channels of light. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 1

Jesus would have His workers cultivate the graces that dwell so richly in Himself, that they may be able to win souls. All harshness must be put away. These abrupt manners, which are so natural to some, must be softened, subdued, and all the rough edges taken away. “He that winneth souls is wise.” [Proverbs 11:30.] I am very desirous that the young men connected with the laborers at Lausanne should have the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, that they may start in right and feel the necessity of being thoughtful, courteous, tenderhearted, and pitiful. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 2

I hope that they will all be constantly learning in the school of Christ, that they may become better and better prepared to engage in the great, solemn work for this time—that of presenting the truth to the world. You must not mingle self in your labors; keep self out of sight, and work in humility and with wisdom. Make the most of your opportunities, and labor in harmony with your fellow workers. Do not say, either by word or action, “This is my field of labor. I do not care to have you enter it.” Just do your own work with fidelity. The Lord has not appointed to any one man a special territory in which he is to do all the work alone; for where the truth is introduced, there is need that different minds, different gifts, different plans and methods of labor be united. Christ says: “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 18:19.] No one worker has all the wisdom that is needed in introducing the truth in a new place. There should be a comparing of plans, praying and counseling together. One man may have tact in one direction, but be a decided failure in others, even in some essential points; and hence his work is imperfect. He needs another man’s gifts to blend with his. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 3

Let not any of the workers think that they of themselves can do anything; Christ must work with their efforts. Jesus must abide in their hearts by faith. They must have a sense of their weakness in order to feel their need of the help that Jesus alone can impart. They must do what they can, and with fidelity, and then trust Jesus to do the rest. Paul may plant, Apollos may water, but it is God that giveth the increase. The Lord knows our weakness, and He can impart to us strength and make us His polished instruments; but we must work with His efforts; we must seek to reach the highest standard of perfection, to cultivate every faculty, that all may be used to the glory of God. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 4

I feel deeply the need of our workers cultivating personal piety, having their spirit, their thoughts, and their words under subjection to Christ. There should be, on the one hand, no shirking of responsibility, and on the other, no laboring for supremacy, but a most devoted zeal in every one, to do his best. The Lord will not be pleased to have one carry a heavy load and another go lightly loaded. He would not have one eased and another burdened. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 5

God has set different gifts in the church. Each is precious in its place, and all are to act a part in the perfecting of the saints. Ephesians 4:11-16. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 6

This is God’s order, and men must labor according to His rules and arrangements, if they would be successful. God will accept only those efforts that are made willingly and with humble hearts, without the taint of personal jealousies or selfishness. No true worker should be guilty of habits of indolence. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 7

I do not wish these words to be any encouragement to Bro. [D. T. Bourdeau], for while others are doing too little, he is doing too much brainwork. He has been reproved several times for this. He has been warned not to commence an effort alone; for it would not be in God’s order. It would not only tax his strength, but would be injurious to the people. A man’s ways and his manner of address may seem to himself to be quite perfect, when in the opinion of others, they are far from good. The Lord does not lay these extra burdens on our brother, for He is a God of mercy and does not willingly grieve or afflict the children of men. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 8

Had [Eld. J. N. Andrews] acted upon the counsel given him of God in regard to laboring wisely, and with reference to his talking so much about himself, allowing his feelings and imaginations to control him, he would have been alive today. He imagined that his brethren were his enemies, and that if he died, they would be responsible. He was not right in this. He violated the laws of life and health and died before his time. Disregard of the laws of life and health has resulted in the death of many of our workers. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 9

Brother [D. T. Bourdeau] is not pursuing the right course. He refuses to rest, giving nature no chance to recuperate; and in the face of warnings as to the result of such a course, both physically and mentally, he continues to plan, as in the effort at [Geneva], to do a great amount of work himself. He is virtually committing suicide. We cannot sanction such a course in any of our workers. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 10

Now, my brethren, the Lord wants you to preserve your health. Do not rob yourselves of sleep when it is possible to rest; for it is not God’s way to work a miracle to prevent the sure result of a wrong course. He who robs himself of sleep will surely pay the penalty. Every one of the workers must bear in mind that he is mortal, and that he must work intelligently, rest intelligently, and take good care of his own body, that he may render to God perfect service. May the Lord imbue the workers in Lausanne with His own spirit of wisdom and give them tact and skill to win souls to Jesus. 4LtMs, Lt 66a, 1886, par. 11