Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 19a, 1892

Olsen, O. A.

Melbourne, Australia

April 12, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in 12MR 103.

Dear Brother Olsen:

I have been waiting day after day, hoping that my arms would not pain me so severely and my hands become a little stronger before writing to you; but I think I will go ahead anyway, pain or no pain. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 1

Well, Elder Grant is in Melbourne preaching. And last Sabbath, after I had spoken, one of our brethren asked me for the evidence of the preexistence of Christ with the Father before, I think he said, the worlds were made. He said he had been to hear Elder Grant and that he denied the preexistence of Christ in his discourse. I told him to go to the Scriptures, etc. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 2

I feel rather sad as I consider we have no church in which to meet. We assemble in halls that are very hot in summer and very cold this season of the year. We have been having cold, windy weather accompanied with rain. There are no arrangements made to warm these halls and we have a poor show for meetings in North Fitzroy. Where the money is coming from to build with is a very puzzling question. And this makes me feel deeply over the cautions that have been repeatedly given me in regard to investing largely in different localities when there are missionary fields that must have something established in order to find a standing place, a center from which the message must go forth in its decided character to elevate and ennoble the cause of present truth. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 3

From the light given me, men mingle their ambition with the work of God, and their desire to do some great thing becomes a passion; and large means are swallowed up, very much to please and receive the praise of men, when if their eye was single to the glory of God, they would have sanctified judgment and would consider the necessities of the cause all over the wide field. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 4

The whole world needs a planting of the truth, in various countries in order for the success of the work in these places. Men who have not been in the habit of seeking counsel of God, and moving with an eye single to His glory, need to educate themselves in this direction. If they please themselves in their plans, and are desirous of having the name of doing some great thing, the faith, the wisdom, and judgment will be perverted. We need far less talking and very much more praying in living faith, less, a great deal less, of self and more firm trust and confidence in God. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 5

There are presented before me serious difficulties that are going to bring to us as a people weakness and not strength. There is danger of binding our interests in the work of God with the enemies of truth. God asks not the sacrifice of wickedness, nor accepts the offerings of them that seek after and serve other gods. He is pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness; the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Without these, human instrumentalities will certainly walk in the sparks of their own kindling. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 6

The living faith, repentance and humbling of the soul before God, is a strange experience to many of our brethren who are in positions of trust. The Lord’s work is sacred, and the hearts of men who are enlisted in it need daily the converting power of the truth, for then they will co-operate with God as His living human instrumentalities. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 7

I am sure that we need far greater trust and confidence in God. If we look to Him who owns the world, and if we walk before Him in all humility of mind, He will hear the prayers of His people. But He will not encourage human pride. “Who is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity.” [Habakkuk 1:13.] The Lord wants every heart and every hand that touches His work to be doers of His Word, to do the things that God has commanded them, and not follow their own inventions. Then if they follow the Lord fully and are of an humble, contrite heart, He will certainly lead them; He will work with them because they wear His yoke, which is always the consecration of mind and will to the will of God. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 8

The Lord hath resources. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: the cattle upon a thousand hills are His. The gold and the silver are His. He receives not the offering of any of His creatures because it will make Him rich; but He receives these offerings of men as an acknowledgement of His ownership and their dependence upon Him for every thing which they possess. These gifts, unless presented to the Lord as the evidence of the effect of our love and devotion to Him, are of no account. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 9

Christ asks that men shall co-operate with Him in self-denial and beneficence through the love they have for suffering humanity. Christ has bought us with His own most precious blood, and by our gifts we acknowledge that all we have belongs to Him; He requires and receives the improvement of our time, our talents, as the fruit of the mercies and grace bestowed upon us. We are to do our work heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men. Thus a living testimony is borne that we recognize the fact that we are not our own, but are bought with a price, and that we consecrate ourselves unreservedly to Him who hath given His life for us. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 10

The line of distinction between the children of God and the servants of Satan is decided. It has not become obliterated. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] I long to see the people of God arise to their high position, for unless they do this, they cannot be saved. The divine requirements are not met. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 11

If professed Christians would be doers of the Word, they would receive of the rich blessings of heaven. They would do a work which they are not now doing. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” [Romans 12:1.] If men were indeed abiding in Christ, they would not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 12

There are many whom the Lord of heaven is ashamed to call His brethren: yet, notwithstanding their base minds and offensive characters, they have the form of godliness. If the precious hours of probation are spent by them in gratifying fleshly lusts, the offerings they present to God are polluted and will in no case be accepted. How are those earthly, sensual beings in any sense laborers together with God? Everything they touch is defiled by their impurity. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 13

Elder Olsen, our only hope for our churches is to pray in faith that the Lord will present before them their own spiritual condition in its true character: defiled in thought, defiled in action, impure, sensual, devilish. Can such enter heaven as they now are? Never! “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:22, 23.] Then follow the words from the lips of the Redeemer, Matthew 7:25-29. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 14

Elder Olsen, our hearts must be broken and humbled before God, and then we shall reveal that we have given ourselves to Him, and that we love Him more than anything else. Then we shall feel that nothing we possess is ours. We give all, without reserve, to God. He is full of heavenly wisdom and goodness, mercy and truth, and our fruits will appear unto righteousness. Our actions are the fruit of our faith, and we give evidence before the heavenly intelligences and the world that we have that faith which is genuine, which works by love, and purifies the soul. The gracious purpose of our God who hath called us unto virtue and holiness, is fulfilled in us. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 15

There are tares among the wheat. There are many whose names are entered on the church books who are not joined to Christ. They have not been transformed into His likeness; they are not subjects of His kingdom. They may practice some self-denial and perform good deeds, but they are not Christians. Under temptation they reveal that they have another spirit than that of Christ. They are not abiding in Christ, and in their association and dealings with men they misrepresent the Saviour. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 16

The Lord needs not any profession or service from these to promote His glory or to establish His kingdom upon earth. He waits not for their counsels, or acknowledgements, or co-operation; and His work will not long be hindered by their objections or resistance. The will of God will be done in the earth. It is not the strength of human instrumentalities on which the Lord depends, but it is His own wisdom, His own grace, which works with us, that gives us success in doing the very things the Lord has in His providence designed should be done. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 17

God’s people must build on the foundation prepared for them, which is Christ Jesus, or in the tempest of temptation their house will certainly fall. Christians must have the mind of Christ, and live in Christ, [and] not live by the counsel, advice, or praise of those who know not God or Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. We must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Self must be crucified; then our principles and thoughts and actions will be according to the words of God. We shall hear the voice, “Come up higher,” and shall stand on holier ground every year of our religious life. We shall separate from idols, and from every unclean thing, and worship God in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. We shall walk in the light. And there is no occasion for stumbling. 7LtMs, Lt 19a, 1892, par. 18