Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)


Ms 37, 1887

Co-operating With God

Copenhagen, Denmark

June 7, 1887

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 167.

1 Corinthians 3:9. “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Every one of us has a work to do in our own salvation, which is to meet every requirement of God. God does not do anything independent of the agency of him for whom the work is to be done. His grace is sufficient to work in and with them that are His, in the fulfilment of every promise, while the one for whom this grace is supplied is to obey every command. 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 1

The effect of God’s claims is to cause His people to come out from the world and be separate, having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Without holiness “no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. “Whosoever ... will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4. 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 2

While the Lord is working with us, we must be working for ourselves. When the Lord sends His servants to us with reproof, with cautions, with warnings, we are not to turn away and refuse to receive the message because it does not come from learned men. We are not to say, This message is not needed. Every message sent to you by God’s messenger is for your good, to teach you the way of salvation more perfectly. What means has God to communicate His will to men unless it be through His delegated messengers? And are you not afraid to select that portion of the message that pleases you and reject that which crosses your track? 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 3

You must not give expression to your doubts. They are the suggestions of Satan. If you do not respect the ways and means God has employed to reach you, will you consider what means He has in reserve to reach your case? Has there not been utterly a fault among you to criticize the ministers of God, to speak lightly of those whom the apostle has enjoined upon you to regard highly for their work’s sake? Will men and women with very limited experience refuse to be helped by the very means God has ordained—His ministers? 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 4

I was visiting a family in _____ and was solicited to labor for the conversion of their children. I said, We will see what can be done. I visited the family and took dinner with them several times, and almost as soon as the family was seated at the table, the father and mother began to make remarks in regard to the discourse to which they had just listened. The father criticized the manner, the subject, and the delivery of the speaker. Then the mother added her words in regard to the discourse. She could not see as such straight preaching was needed. The unconverted children then joined in with comical remarks and grimaces, imitating the tones and the gestures of the speaker. The heads of the family added, “Such a discourse was entirely uncalled for. Why did he not give us something new and interesting?” 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 5

I was astonished that they should dare to do this in the presence of guests. We were again at the table on another occasion, and the same criticisms and faultfinding were commenced by the parents and joined in by the children. I did not learn of any discourse given that was just that which they thought was best for them. 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 6

Again I was solicited to talk with the children. I said, No, I have nothing to say to your children. My first work would be to exhort you, the parents, to become Christians. 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 7

They looked at me as though they doubted my sanity. I said, “I have sat at your table and heard your remarks, your criticisms, your faultfinding with every minister who has preached at the camp meeting; and I expect you have said the same unkind things of me you have said of your brethren, the ministers of God. My burden is for you. What kind of respect do you think your children will have for the messengers of God after you have taken it upon yourselves to talk disrespectfully of these men as you have done? I saw and heard your children with other children repeating your remarks about different ministers, and one of your children was mocking his words and tones. [Remainder missing.] 5LtMs, Ms 37, 1887, par. 8