Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6

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Lt 43, 1890

Olsen, O. A.

Lynn, Massachusetts

December 15, 1890

See variant Lt 43a, 1890. This letter is published in entirety in 1888 743-749.

Dear Brother O. A. Olsen,

Our meeting at Danvers has closed. During the session I spoke five times, two evenings in the week and on Sabbath morning, at the missionary meeting held Sunday morning, and also on Sunday afternoon. I am satisfied beyond a doubt that the Lord has a message for me to bear to His people. I have felt the sustaining power of God as I have stood before the congregation, and I know that the power of God was working through the human agent. I know that many have received the Word, and hungry souls have been fed. My heart is full of sympathy and love for the souls that are ready to die. Since the Brooklyn camp meeting I no longer talk of sickness and infirmity. I have never had such freedom from pain, and have not slept so well for twelve years. The peace of God abides in my heart. To speak the words God has given me is more than my meat and my drink. Thankful praise ascends to God from my heart all the time. Day and night I have a spirit of intercession that the Lord will give me the spirit of meekness and the gentleness of Christ, and clothe me with His righteousness. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 1

We had a most precious meeting in Lynn, but especially so at Danvers. Last Sabbath all in the house save two—an aged colored man and a poor, timid soul who dare not make the move—came forward for prayer. The angel of God was in our midst. The ministers sought the Lord, and their supplications were heard in heaven. O, how thankful I was that I was able to feed the flock of God through the grace given me. The churches are starving for the bread of life, and they grasp readily the truth presented. I cannot hold back and refuse to visit these places, for I know that I have a message for them from the Lord. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 2

After the season of prayer, we asked those who were conscious of the blessing of the Lord to testify. Although many of them had been in the church from nine o’clock in the morning, and had nothing to eat in that time, they were in no hurry to have the meeting closed. Many testimonies were borne, and again supplications were made to God for ministers and people. The presence of the Lord was in the meeting. I felt the power of the Lord upon me. Elder Fifield was greatly blessed. After the season of prayer he grasped my hand and thanked the Lord for His goodness and rich blessing. It was the universal testimony from the Lord that the people at Danvers had never before experienced. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 3

When I see how much the Spirit of God is needed, and how much it is appreciated, I feel wholly reconciled to visit these places. I am treated by the people with respect and confidence. After the severe trials and hard labor I have undergone in Battle Creek, only to be met with a refusal to receive the message, this spirit refreshes my soul. I have a deep-seated conviction that my work is not to be one of perpetual conflict, that the Lord does not call upon me to brace and push for every inch done. The men who should have held up my hands in the work have been laboring to the best of their ability to weaken and discourage me. My strength has been spent in beating against the walls of wicked prejudice and opposition. They do not see and understand, and I fear sometimes they never will. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 4

The statement is made that Christ could not do many mighty works in certain places because of unbelief. Jesus was the source of all power, all light and life, and if His way was obstructed by unbelief, what can be expected of the finite instrument? Time and time again the Lord has longed to communicate His Spirit in rich measure, but there was no place for it to rest. It was not recognized or valued. The blindness of mind, the hardness of hearts interpreted it as something of which they should be afraid. Some hidden evil lurks in the heart to hinder the manifestation of the power of God, and His Spirit cannot descend. I know that if the way were only prepared, and there would be in Battle Creek such a feeling of love and sacred zeal in the heart, that the message would go to the world, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. When the leaders cease to obstruct the way, the work of God will progress in Battle Creek. The missionary spirit will revive, and the church will act from a sense of her obligation to God and the world. In the highest sense God’s people will be missionaries. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 5

Christ has bought the church with His own blood, and He is longing to clothe her with salvation. He has made her the repository of sacred, holy truth, and He wants her to partake of His glory. Again and again the Lord has sent His Spirit to change the attitude of His people by infusing into the church a living, working principle. But unconsecrated elements have been at work, and the church has been rocked to sleep in the cradle of carnal security. The God of Israel has opened the windows of heaven and sent to the world rich floods of light, but that light has been rejected. The spirit manifested in Battle Creek has been the spirit of many churches. The power of God, the rich grace He longs to bestow, is not desired, unless men can themselves mark out the way in which God shall work. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 6

The whole treasure of heaven is at our command in our work of preparing the way of the Lord. God has made it possible, by giving us the cooperation of heavenly angels, for our work to be a wonderful, yes, a glorious success. But success will seldom result from scattered, individual effort. The influence of every church member is required. The influence of ministers and workers is needed to prepare the way for the light and glory of God. Every soul who claims to believe in Jesus, God lays under tribute to Himself. The prayer of Christ for His disciples was, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” [John 17:20-22.] 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 7

As we near the time when principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places will be brought into warfare against the truth, when the deceiving power of Satan will be so great that if it were possible he will deceive the very elect, we must have our discernment sharpened by divine enlightenment, that we may know the Spirit that is of God, that we may not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Human effort must combine with divine power, that we may be able to accomplish the closing work for this time. Christ uses the wind as a symbol of the Spirit of God. As the wind bloweth whither it listeth, and we cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth, so it is with the Spirit of God. We do not know through whom it will be manifested. But I speak not my own words when I say that God’s Spirit will pass by those who have had their day of test and opportunity, but who have not distinguished the voice of God or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. Then thousands in the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth the seed.” [Amos 9:13.] These conversions to truth will be made with a rapidity that will surprise the church, and God’s name alone will be glorified. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 8

The church is highly privileged in being permitted to act a part with heavenly angels. God now calls upon professing Christians to be men and women of intercession. By their course of action they will show how much they love Jesus and the souls He has bought with His own blood. By holding up the hands that are ready to fall, they may gain a high and holy experience beautified by the attributes of Christ. We have a work to do if we would be a living church. Individually, and as a whole, we are to tread sin under our feet. Our habits, our conversation, our daily life, must be placed on the Lord’s side. We must intercede and wrestle with a covenant-keeping God in behalf of His watchmen, that souls may be won to the Saviour. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 9

How many there are who need to become fools in their own estimation in order that they may be wise. God bestows on the humble and contrite one a wisdom that He does not give to the worldly-wise and prudent, those who are so self-sufficient that they know not the things that make for their peace. He reveals His wisdom to babes. He lays in the dust all human pride, but He recognizes the meek and the lowly, and exalts them with a true exaltation. How tenderly God regards the humble, contrite, self-denying follower of Christ, who is a daily learner in the school of the great Teacher. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 10

Elder Olsen, I urge you to be of good courage. Have confidence in God. Carry every burden to Him. He can and will make you efficient, but you must have faith. Do not be depressed, do not mourn in secret because of the unfaithfulness of the watchmen on the walls of Zion. There is no call for despondency and misapprehension. Place yourself where the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness can shine into all the chambers of your mind and into the soul temple. Ye are the light of the world, God says. [Matthew 5:14.] He will make those who are faithful in the church radiant with the Word of God. His Spirit will be communicated to human instrumentalities, giving them light before which moral darkness must flee away. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 11

I must close this epistle. I send my sincere love to you and your wife and children. May the Lord bless you and them is the prayer of your sister. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 12

P.S. I was urged by our ministering brethren to return to Lynn and speak on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. I have consented to do this. Brother Fifield is doing all he can to get the people to the meetings on these two evenings. May the Lord move upon their hearts, is my prayer. On Thursday night we go to Boston, take the sleeper for Washington, and arrive in that city on Friday at eleven o’clock. 6LtMs, Lt 43, 1890, par. 13