Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 66, 1886

Laborers at Lausanne



See also Lt 66a, 1886. Portions of this letter are published in 3SM 24-25.

My Brother Laborers at Lausanne:

I hope that you will be constantly learning in the school of Christ, that you may be better and better prepared to engage in the great, the 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 harmonize with your fellow workers. Do not say, This is my field in which I am to work, I do not want you to come into my field. This is a wrong course to pursue. Just do your work with fidelity. Sow beside all waters. Paul may plant, Apollos water, but God giveth the increase. The Lord has not appointed to any one man a special territory in which to work; for in every effort, in every place where the truth is introduced, there is need of different minds, different gifts, different plans and methods of labor being united. All should make it a point to counsel together, to pray together. 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.] 4LtMs, Lt 66, 1886, par. 1

No one worker has all the wisdom that is needed. There should be a comparing of plans, a counseling together. No one man should think himself sufficient to manage an interest in any place without helpers. One man may have tact in one direction, but may be a decided failure upon some essential points. This makes his work imperfect. He needs the tact of another man’s mind and gift to blend with his efforts. All should be perfectly harmonious in the work. If they can work with only those who see just as they do and follow just their plans, then they will make a failure. The work will be defective because none of these laborers have learned the lessons in the school of Christ that makes them able to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. All should be constantly improving. They should lay hold of every opportunity and make the most of every privilege until they become better fitted for their great and solemn work. 4LtMs, Lt 66, 1886, par. 2

But God has set in the church different gifts. These are all precious in their place, and all are to act a part in the perfecting of the saints. “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” [Ephesians 4:11-16.] 4LtMs, Lt 66, 1886, par. 3

This is God’s order, and men must labor according to His rules and arrangement if they would meet with success. God will accept only those efforts that are made willingly and with humble hearts, without the trait of personal feelings or selfishness. There should be no habit of indolence with the true worker. I do not wish these words to be any encouragement to Bro. Daniel Bourdeau, for he has been several times reproved for writing too much and talking too loud, too frequently, and at too great length. He has been warned not to commence an effort alone, for it would not be in God’s order. It would not only be a tax to his strength, but would not be the best for the people. One man’s ways and manner of address may seem to himself to be quite perfect, when they are far from it. The Lord does not lay these extra burdens on our brother, for God is a God of mercy, and He does not willingly grieve or afflict the children of men. 4LtMs, Lt 66, 1886, par. 4

Had Eld. Andrews received the advice and counsel given him of God in regard to his laboring wisely, and with reference to his talking and dwelling upon himself, not allowing his feelings and imagination to be a controlling power, 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 prematurely. 4LtMs, Lt 66, 1886, par. 5

Brother Daniel is not pursuing the right course. He refuses to rest. He gives nature no chance to recuperate, and in the place of warnings and statements of the result physically and mentally of such a course, he continues to plan as in the effort at Geneva for a great amount of work to be done by himself. He is committing suicide. We cannot sanction such a course in any of the workers. But while Bro. Daniel is working his brain too much, there is danger of some erring on the other hand and doing too little. 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 will to work a miracle to prevent the sure result of a wrong course pursued healthwise. 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. Many of our workers have died because they do not work as God would have them, carefully regarding the laws of life and health. 4LtMs, Lt 66, 1886, par. 6