Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 50, 1886

Ertzenberger, Brother

Basel, Switzerland

September 5, 1886

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Ertzenberger:

I felt sorry as I read your letter to see that you were afflicted in mind and perplexed, but I know that you have a blessed helper and comforter in God. I have been awake since half-past two o’clock, pleading much of the time with God for help and light and a greater nearness to Him that I may reflect more light. And while all are sleeping, I arise to communicate a few thoughts to you. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 1

My dear brother, you cannot always know, neither can your brethren always know, how matters will shape themselves, when an effort is made any place. No one anticipated so great resistance as revealed itself in the mob spirit in Nimes. The question seemed hanging in the balance which would triumph. Many prayers were offered, and the Lord heard and answered prayer, and the victory was on the side of truth. In such a city such a victory gained is not small. The Lord revealed Himself as a wonder-working God. When such manifestations have happened in our experience, we have always taken it as an assurance that the Lord had precious souls in that place to whom He would reveal Himself. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 2

My mind was much exercised in the hours, while the others were sleeping, to write to you and those connected with you the things I did write. We may lay our plans according to the very best light we have, but frequently the workings of God in His own way reveal that for the good of souls and for the glory of God some change must be made in our plans, and we must none of us have our stakes fastened so strongly that we cannot pull them up. I have ever had to occupy a position to be prepared for anything, to work anywhere. Many cherished plans have had to be given up, my ideas and plans changed to meet the Lord’s plans as He opened them before me. And this is the position we shall have to occupy. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 3

It seems to me that you have not gathered all the sheaves that you can gather for the Master in this work at Nimes. You may all be learning new lessons, most valuable to yourselves and to others, in regard to the very best way to work in order to reach a certain class of minds. We are individually in a school where we may, if diligent students, be obtaining a more rich and valuable experience in the work. The Lord will shift and change us about, place us under varied circumstances, the better calculated to give us a broader and richer experience because there is a great work for us to do for Him and a very great reward for us to gain. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 4

We must every one of us be in that position where it is not difficult for us to give up our plans to the Lord’s plans. We all feel the tenderest regard for you who have been laboring in Nimes. It has seemed to impress itself upon my mind that if you move in accordance with the will of God, that you will see greater victories there. The work is now carried forward to that point where, if you work in wisdom, you will see of the salvation of God. We did not dare to encourage the relaxing of your efforts, the letting loose of one hand. The prospects may be fluctuating, sometimes encouraging, and other times discouraging; but present appearances must not govern your judgment, you must make your efforts over gain. If you present the same arguments you have already presented, they need not and will not lose one jot in vital interest, but be more interesting than they were the first time, because the mind is better prepared to receive them than at first. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 5

We must have greater faith and broader ideas, and every one try to do his very best, and the Lord will give the increase. I hope and believe that we will see of the mighty workings of the Lord in Nimes. We need to walk in all humility and continually expect great things of the Lord. Keep praying, keep believing. God is giving the workers in Nimes an experience which will fit them for His work in the future. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 6

We have been making special efforts to complete the book containing sketches of the missions and giving some reports of the work in Europe and of our travels. It has required more labor and far more taxing thought than we anticipated. Our object is to get this book out to benefit the mission by whatever it may bring in. There are many things to crowd upon the mind here; many things to decide; many communications to be answered; many things requiring much perplexing thought and careful consideration. Brother Whitney is constantly overworked. We have tried to bring the Lord into all our counsels. We have prayed much, and will still pray for the Lord to lead us, to guide us, to uphold us by His Holy Spirit, and help us that we may make no mistakes. We are all finite, and unless we have heavenly wisdom we will be in danger of making blunders. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 7

There is, my dear brother, a great work before us, and we must believe that Jesus is ready and will work with our efforts. Be of good courage, my dear brother; Jesus loves you and will lift upon you the health of His countenance. Take the Lord at His word; believe that He will do just as He said He would. Hang your helpless soul on Jesus Christ, as Jacob hung upon the neck of the angel, and declare: “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” [Genesis 32:26.] There is a fulness for us in Jesus. You may be strong; you may be of good courage. Look up, look up. The Lord in His glory is above the ladder, and angels are ascending and descending this ladder to bring light and blessings to the workers. Jesus will give you rest and peace in Him. Only believe. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 8

With much love, 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 9

I remain your sister in Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 50, 1886, par. 10