Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

223/345

Lt 31, 1892

Waggoner, Brother

North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

May 1892

This letter is published in entirety in 3MR 10-19.

Dear Bro. Waggoner,

I understand that you are to labor in England. This country has been presented to me several times as a field that required men who will not fail nor be discouraged, men who will co-operate with the heavenly intelligences. But I saw that one great hindrance to the advancement of the work has been, and will be, that those placed in positions of trust feel that of themselves they could manage the work, that they have ability and they want to sway everything their way. Among the workers there is much of self that lives, and refuses to die. Now this self wants the supremacy, but if it is allowed to rule, the work will be marred, losses will occur, and there will be a revealing of self in management, and mistakes will be made. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 1

Not all who take hold of the work will all be of the same temperament. They will not be men of the same education or training, and they will just as surely work at cross purposes as they are different in character, unless they are daily converted men. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 2

Every day Satan has his plans to carry out certain lines that will hedge up the way of those who are witnesses for Jesus Christ. Now, unless the living, human agents for Jesus are humble, meek, and lowly of heart because they have learned of Jesus, they will just as surely fall under temptation as they live, for Satan is watching and artful and subtle; and the workers, if not prayerful, will be taken unawares. He steals upon them as a thief in the night and makes them captives. Then he works upon the minds of individuals to pervert their individual ideas and frame their plans; and if brethren see danger and speak of it, they feel that a personal injury is done them, that some one is trying to weaken their influence. One draws one way and another in an opposite direction. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 3

The work has been bound about, false moves have been made, and Satan has been pleased. If self had not been so carefully, tenderly cherished, lest it should not find room enough to preserve its native dignity, the Lord could have used these differently constituted characters to do a good work and much larger, for in their diversity of talent, yet unity in Christ, was the power of their usefulness. If, like the diverse branches of the vine, they were centered in the vine stock, all would bear the rich clusters of precious fruit. There would be perfect harmony in their diversity, for they are partakers of the nourishment and fatness of the vine. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 4

The Lord is displeased with the want of harmony that has existed among the workers. He cannot impart His Holy Spirit, for they are bent on having their own way, and the Lord presents to them His way. Great discouragement will come in from Satan and his confederacy of evil, but “all ye are brethren” [Matthew 23:8], and it is an offence to God when you allow your individual, unsanctified traits of character to be active agencies to discourage one another. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 5

Now, the Lord would have all closely united together in the bands of love, each seeking to help the other into courage and hopefulness and perseverance in the work. There has been a spirit of childish emulation and strife. But, we are to be “no more children, tossed to and fro.” [Ephesians 4:14.] We are in an earnest battle. The foes are many and strong and determined to defeat. And if the workers do not have special help from the heavenly agencies, they will not be victorious. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 6

You are individually to put your strong wills on the side of God’s will. You are God’s servants; you are to have the eye single, looking unto Jesus for His orders, for Christ is your Captain. Your cherished, pet ways may be very dear to you, but valueless in the sight of God, for they are constantly getting in the way of His plans and interfering with His designs. Let every worker be clothed with humility, and be sure that he worships God in spirit and in truth and does not bow down to his own idol, self. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 7

Brethren in the English field, I tell you in the fear of God, you have lessons to learn in the school of Christ that are not at all flattering to the opinions which you cherish of yourselves. God calls upon you as His representatives to be a united whole, co-operating with the heavenly intelligences, and among yourselves to be of one mind, sanctified through the truth, pure and without guile. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 8

As there are divisions everywhere in society, the Lord Jesus would have the unity of His workers appear in marked contrast to the divisions. In unity there is strength; in division there is weakness. In seeking to answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples may be one, you are making manifest to the world the power and principles of truth and thus increasing their influence in the world. “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Listen to the prayer of Christ that all His disciples may be one, “That the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [John 17:21.] Diverse in mind, in ideas, one subject is to bind heart to heart—the conversion of souls to the truth, which draws all to the cross. All should be working to the utmost of their ability to win souls to Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 9

You are not to criticize one another, but love as brethren. You are not to feel hurt because every plan is carefully considered from end to end. But much more progress might have been made if there had not been undue caution, which let opportunities slip by unimproved, putting off a work, which needed to be done then and there, for some future time, because you feared you were not quite ready. You must be minute men, all the time watching to make an aggressive movement, and not let the enemy preoccupy the field before you are ready to act. This slowness to advance is not in the order of God, for Satan presses in himself and hedges up the way, or he will make it very hard when you decide to act. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 10

There is need of zeal in the church, and wisdom to manage that zeal. You have made altogether too tame work of saving souls. If you [would] see a work done in London and the surrounding cities, you must have a united, irresistible force; press the battle to the gate, and plant the standard firmly, as if you meant that the truth should triumph. The timidity, the cautious movements, have been faithless; there has been little expectation of results. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 11

Will the workers now submerge self in Jesus? Let not self appear but lift up Jesus. With the fire of God’s love burning upon the altar of your hearts, melt down the barriers and make every advance move that is possible. But bear in mind that you are only God’s agents; all your works, all your means, are of little account unless you are imbued with the Spirit of Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 12

The Holy Spirit must mold and fashion the workers. I wish I could make all understand this matter. The union of the workers must be complete, and there must be a real earnestness and an inspiration from God to teach them how to win souls to Christ. Thank God that some advancement has been made, but if the workers had been united in love and in faith, there would have been a marked progress that does not now appear. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 13

The fact that things move slowly in England is no reason why the great missionary work shall move slowly to meet men’s habits and customs for fear of surprising the people. They need to be much more surprised than they have hitherto been. The Lord’s business requires haste; souls are perishing without a knowledge of the truth. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 14

But those who are engaged in the work cannot have success if they move in their own spirit. Their lips must be touched with a live coal from off the altar. They must be imbued with the Holy Spirit. They have no right to go forth and take hold of the work unless they first meet with Christ in the closet. Whatever the character of the duties may be, none must bring their own spirit into the work. God would have the workers in England derive their efficiency from Him; then every worker may feel that his hand is upon a lever that will move the world. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 15

Moses descending from the holy mount, his face glorified by communion with God, the high priest reappearing from within the holy of holies, Isaiah fresh from beholding the Lord high and lifted up, the train of His glory filling the temple, never came to the people with truth greater or more precious than that which, as messengers of God, we have to bear to the people, the doctrine of the cross, the imputed righteousness of Christ. This comes to the people not in word only, but in the power of God to every one that believeth. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 16

Man becomes a co-laborer with Christ, bringing souls back to God, by representing in actions the character of God, which has been misrepresented, falsified, by Satan. We aim too low. We are hesitating, doubtful; in self-esteem we can do nothing. Caution is needed; but while some of the workers are guarded, and make haste slowly, if there are not united with them in the work those who see the necessity of being aggressive, very much will be lost; opportunities will pass, and the opening providence of God will not be discerned. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 17

When persons who are under conviction are not brought to make a decision at the earliest period possible, there is danger that the conviction will gradually wear away. When the truth is preached, there should be wise, understanding workers, men and women who commune with God, who derive wisdom from the source of all power, to make personal efforts for those who are under conviction. Here is the trouble with people in England; they move so slowly that the decision essential for them to make must be urged home without unnecessary delay. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 18

Let every speaker and every one who believes the truth show by their actions that they are not children, tossed to and fro, but men and women who thoroughly believe that they have saving truth. Frequently when a congregation is at the very point when the heart is prepared for the Sabbath question, it is delayed through fear of the consequences. This has been done, and the result has not been good. God has made us depositaries of sacred truth; we have a message, a saving message, which we are commanded to give to the world, and which is pregnant with eternal results. To us as a people has been committed light that must illuminate the world. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 19

The work has moved slowly in England; unbelief has exerted its power to retard the work in various ways. Satan is doing his utmost to barricade the way, and not all who are engaged in the work have a decided wholeness for God, so that He can use them as chosen vessels. It is a serious matter when there is not a thorough consecration of heart, mind, and the whole being to God so that the strong human will is submerged in the will of God. Self has had much to do with the work. If self had been hid in Christ, the workers would have submitted their individual plans to God [and] would have moved in His way. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 20

O, if those who believe the truth in England had the spirit of Christ, feeling the peril of souls, what a work would be done wholly in His name! There would be much earnest prayer ascending to God, not merely in public service, not only from the secret chamber, but there would be unceasing prayer combined with determined action. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 21

I ask our brethren in England who are brought together in church capacity, What are you doing for your neighbors? What are you doing for your friends and relations? You need to be in earnest communion with God. Every one should exercise self-denial to save something to invest in the work of saving souls. Oh, if all could see the shortness of time and the vigilant working of the relentless foe to secure all souls possible to himself, how earnestly and whole-heartedly would each one labor. They would feel an intensity of desire to win souls to Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 22

I restrain the deep feelings of my soul, knowing that you have difficulties to meet, prejudices and customs to overcome; but I plead for the souls for whom Christ has died. You are not to labor as though by your human efforts alone you must carry forward the work. Go forward, knowing that as you press forward by faith, the obstacles will be removed. Brethren in England, you have not asked enough; you have moved too slowly. Work as in the fear of God, praying and working and constantly depending upon God. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 23

All heaven is astir; every believer should be deeply interested to co-operate with God. He does not leave any of you to fight alone; He sends His angels to compose the army. But unless you, my brethren, are constantly looking away from self to your Captain for His orders, in place of following your own defective judgment, you will be disappointed. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 24

Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. His presence, His power, is just what every believer needs; and the chief workers need by faith and decided action to inspire confidence and faith in every soul who believes. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 25

I hope that none will become discouraged because I speak plainly. There is need of a great deal more faith, and all the entrusted talents must be called into action with an earnestness, a zeal, corresponding to the greatness of the truth to be presented to the people. Let self die; then every one will be imbued with the Spirit of Christ, to work, not in his own mind or will, but in perfect unity with Christ Jesus. May the Lord come very near to you, that you may be a bright and shining light to those in darkness. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 26

Day after day is passing into eternity, bringing us nearer the close of probation. Now we must pray as never before for the Holy Spirit to be more abundantly bestowed upon us, and we must look for its sanctifying influences to come upon the workers, that the people for whom they labor may know that they have been with Jesus and learned of him. We need spiritual eyesight now as never before, that we may see afar off, and that we may discern the snares and gins of the enemy and as faithful watchmen proclaim the danger. We need spiritual power that we may take in, as far as the human mind can, the great subjects of Christianity and how far reaching are its principles. There are many who need faith. They will have to fight the good fight of faith every day, yes, every hour. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 27

“Emmanuel, God with us.” [Matthew 1:23.] This means everything to us. What a broad foundation does it lay for our faith. What a hope, big with immortality, does it place before the believing soul! God with us in Christ Jesus to accompany us every step of the journey to heaven. The Holy Spirit with us as a comforter, a guide in our perplexities, to soothe our sorrows, and shield us in temptation. “O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” [Romans 11:33.] 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 28

I beseech our brethren in England to strive for unity; cultivate love, uproot suspicion, envy, jealousy, and the thinking and the speaking of evil. Press together, work as one man. Be at peace among yourselves. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 29

I beseech you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to put away everything like spiritual pride and love of supremacy. Become as little children if, when the warfare is ended, you would become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly king. Read (John 17) over and over again. That prayer of our Saviour, offered to His Father in behalf of His disciples, is worthy to be oft repeated, and carried in the practical life. This will raise fallen man; for the Lord has promised that if we preserve this unity, God will love us as He loved His Son; the sinner will be saved, and God eternally glorified. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 30

Angels and archangels wonder at this great plan of redemption; they admire and love the Father and the Son as they behold the mercy and love of God. There is no feeling of jealousy as this new temple, renewed in the image of Christ, is presented in its loveliness to stand around the throne of God. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 31

But my letter must close. I send this to you, Elder Waggoner, for you to make use of it as you shall deem fit. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 32

P.S. I would be glad to see you and your wife and children, but this cannot be. I sit writing to you sitting upon pillows in a large hair cloth chair, a box covered with pillows is brought close to the chair, my limbs are extended upon it, and an air rubber pillow [is placed] under my limbs, a cardboard in my lap, and my paper before me. May the Lord bless you with much of His power and with the riches of His grace is my prayer. Love to all the dear ones. 7LtMs, Lt 31, 1892, par. 33