Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 28, 1886

Vuilleumier, Brother

Basel, Switzerland

February 9, 1886

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Vuilleumier:

I am much interested in the work that is opening in the place where you live. Although quite unable to write, I sit propped up with pillows, and with trembling nerve I attempt to express a few ideas. May have to drop my pen after writing a few lines. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 1

I am anxious for the people who know not the truth, and I have been shown that it is a nice job to deal with minds and that there is with you, my brother, a manner of too great severity. You are not as humble and Christlike as you should be. You are not as patient and kind and long-suffering as you should be. Your feelings are too quickly stirred, and you show resentment in words and deportment when you are not treated with respect. That hurts you. You do not see the importance of daily learning in the school of Christ the lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart. You are impatient if your course is questioned and suggestions made contrary to your ideas. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 2

My brother, your labors have not been what they might have been, because you have not learned the lessons of Christ. He has invited you to learn meekness and lowliness of heart. Every worker must have the meekness of Jesus. He must have the spirit of Christ. His love, His patience, His kindness, His forbearance and mercy must be interwoven in the life experience. The workers must cease to say sharp things. They must not be critical. They must not be overbearing. They must have tact, wisdom, and great gentleness in seeking to win souls to Christ. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 3

Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. We are to meet the people where they are and let God’s light flash upon their pathway. The moral condition of those in error is pitiable. They are under the delusion of Satan. He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. The god of this world has blinded the eyes of them who believe not. Christ is the light of the world, and His followers are gathering the light from the great Source of light, and in their turn they are the light of the world. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 4

I have been shown that in the work of saving souls there is much lost through unskilful management of the work. There is frequently more accomplished in simplicity than in efforts to make display. All the preaching may be good, but there is not that meeting of the [people] where they are and becoming acquainted with them individually—in entering their homes, visiting with them, talking with them socially, not reprovingly, not creating prejudice by assailing them on their errors of doctrine, but agreeing with them whenever you can and praying with them and for them. Show that kindness and love that Christ has shown to us poor erring mortals. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 5

Never set yourself up as a reprover. This would suit your nature, but it is not your work. You are to cultivate a different set of graces. You are to develop traits of character which need to be cultivated as I have mentioned. Being full of earnest love, meekness, and forbearance, you will not disgust people, but will win them to you. Our work is aggressive. It should be the study of every worker how they can find access to hearts. Faith, zeal, and holiness in your own life will have a telling influence upon those for whom you labor. Those who wrestle most earnestly with God in their closets will go forth to their converse with men, anointed with the heavenly unction for their mission. They carry with them the breezes of the heavenly atmosphere. Their faces express the inward Saviour. “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 6

I leave these lines with you, my brother. Labor in the spirit of Jesus, doing your duty for eternity. There is constant necessity of being faithful sentinels over self, that not one selfish act shall control the workers. No one is to have a spirit that will lead him to want to embrace in his labor any certain field or branch of the work to the exclusion of other workers, feeling that he himself can do the work better than to connect with them. One individual is only one link in the great chain. Other links are essential or the chain will be deficient. So in the work of God, one man is not to consider himself sufficient to begin and carry forward and finish the work. God has different gifts to use in perfecting the work in any place. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 7

I have been shown that in Europe and also in America there is a selfish spirit that creeps into the heart and intrudes itself into the labor of the workers and makes it difficult and almost impossible for workers to unite together. One has an idea even in the missionary work that he is capable of doing the best kind of work. Therefore he prefers to work alone to show what he can do. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 8

March 8

Brother Vuilleumier: I was unable to complete this letter and have been so pressed with other writing since this was begun that I have not had time to touch this until now. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 9

I have been shown that there should be less of self and more of Jesus with all the workers. There should be a blending together, a chiming in wherever they can to advance the work. Brother Albert Vuilleumier has a most excellent ability to enter into families, and in this work he can do much good. He should not be discouraged, but should be a zealous, earnest worker wherever he can find a chance to work. He can do as much in coming close to hearts, in talking, in opening the Scriptures to families as the minister can who preaches the discourses. 4LtMs, Lt 28, 1886, par. 10