Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 45, 1886

Vuilleumier, Brother and Sister

Basel, Switzerland

May 12, 1886

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Vuilleumier:

I am anxious to obtain the loan of a book entitled The Giant Cities of Bashan. Will you please to send it to me? I will take good care of it and return it to you again soon. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 1

I cannot tell you how anxious I am for the work in Lausanne, that it shall take a right mold and prosper. There is a great work to be done in many places in this great European harvest field. And I hope that the work in Lausanne will so shape itself that you will not feel that you must be confined to this locality, but be ready to take hold with earnestness in other places as the Lord shall open the way. There is a great work to be done and but few workers. And there is need of every one who can work, taking hold with disinterested effort wherever and whenever duty seems to indicate. Every worker must now make the most of the precious time and opportunities to win souls to Christ. There is need of broader views with most of our workers and of their cultivating a spirit of unselfishness. These are the lessons we must learn and teach to others. There is need of your cultivating a trait of character of thoughtfulness, of tenderness, and of respect for your brethren. You need to cultivate tact to build up and draw men to Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 2

There has been encouraged in yourself and your brothers a constant temptation to criticize, to find fault, and to question others’ motives. Now, my brother, work out of this as fast as possible. The state of the church in Bienne I regard in a very sad condition. God is not pleased with that church, because the spirit of criticism has been largely indulged, and they have not been cherishing the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus. There has been much said to the injury of those whom Christ calls His brethren; and Christ charges it to them as though done unto Himself. Christ identifies His interests with His people. God will not work with the church to add souls to it when they do not show wisdom and tact to strengthen and build up those of their own number. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 3

God’s people should become wise, and the church in Bienne need a special work accomplished for them in order that they may correctly represent the religion of Jesus Christ, the need to come into a position of humiliation before God. They must seek the meek and lowly spirit of Jesus and love as brethren. The church must work as Christ worked, and love as Christ loved. They need not expect that God will add souls to the church, when they do not know how to treat them. With their present spirit they will criticize and sit in judgment upon any one who does not agree with their own ideas. What they want is the grand principles of truth interwoven in their experience and mingled in their character, and then they will be fit to represent Christ and to lead souls to the truth. When their meetings are meetings of criticisms, the Spirit of God leaves them to themselves. They need the sweet, abiding Spirit of Christ in their own hearts; then angels will accompany them in their meetings. But self has been interwoven into their religious experience, and self has ruled and controlled in their meetings. There is a weak and sickly state of things in the church, because of the condition of its members. This spirit I hope will never be revealed in the church at Lausanne. I hope and pray that all the workers may feel the solemn responsibility that rests upon them, that they may so conduct their labors that they may leave a Christlike mold upon the work and not the mold of finite man. They should be kind and affectionate and sacredly guard the interests of each other. They should be courteous like Christ; pure, holy, and humble; constantly gathering with Christ; binding up wounds, but not making them. They should bring all the fragrance of the graces of the Spirit of Christ into their work. They must study never to repel, but to win. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 4

We have reason to expect that more will embrace the truth in Lausanne, if the workers place themselves in right relation to God; for then they will become channels of light. Remember ever, that you can only reach the people through God. If Jesus is brought into your hearts, then your works will reveal Christ. You will not become narrow in your ideas, but broad and extended. Just as soon as the spirit of criticism comes in, then the Spirit of the Lord departs. It is Satan’s work to be an accuser of the brethren. I feel very deeply over this point, that the very first example that is given to this church in Lausanne should be that of kindness, compassion, and true Christian courtesy. If the workers cultivate gentleness, and meekness, and love for one another, this example will be far reaching. It will be well to dwell much upon the exercise of thoughtfulness in words and actions towards each other. There is altogether too little of the love of Jesus exhibited in the hearts of those who profess the love of the truth, and in those who teach the truth to others, because they are not daily learners themselves in the school of Christ. Hearts are too much bound up in selfishness; they love that which appertains to self more than they love God and their brethren. The love of God will bind hearts together. Selfishness will separate hearts. We want more of Jesus and less of self. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 5

May the Lord help you, my brother, that you may be in the hands of God, as clay in the hands of the potter, molded and fashioned to be a vessel unto honor. You have light; you have knowledge of the truth; and God wants you to impart all this to those who are in darkness. You cannot live to yourself, and yet please God. God will do for you great things if you will only believe in Him and walk before Him in meekness and humbleness of mind. Never, never become self-sufficient. Rely wholly upon Jesus. His might and power will attend you. Throw your whole energies into the work; looking to Jesus, trusting in Jesus, put on the whole armor of righteousness; weave the golden threads of love into your character; reveal it in your labor; and you will carry a holy atmosphere with you; you will win souls to Jesus Christ. Oh, my brother, the Lord is good! He wants to work for us, and He will work for us if we only believe and trust Him. But self-sufficiency often excludes Jesus. I long to see this work move forward as I know it will if we have a close connection with God. You can do a good work if you hide self behind Jesus. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 6

May God bless you abundantly, that you may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus is my prayer. 4LtMs, Lt 45, 1886, par. 7