Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 29, 1892

Wessels, Brother and Sister

NP

August 1, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in TSA 39-40.

Dear Brother and Sister Wessels,

I would be glad to see you this morning, and converse with you about many things; but this is not possible. Pen and ink will have to answer. I feel an interest for the mission in Africa, and every mission field in the world. How much we now need Jesus as our counsellor, and how grateful should we be that the Lord has blessed and exalted us, so that we may have communion with Himself. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 1

O how much we need the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, for we are living in a time of peril. The love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us, will lead to right actions. Partaking of the divine nature, we shall work as Christ worked. I am assured that we have everything for which to be thankful. It is our privilege to enjoy the richness of the promises that may be made fully ours. The Lord is ready to do large things for all those who believe. Jesus longs to quicken our hearts with healthful spiritual life. Jesus dwelling in the soul, purifying and ennobling all our faculties, guiding us into all truth, makes us a bright and shining light unto the world. Then let not this light burn dim. Moment by moment we need to live, “looking unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith.” [Hebrews 12:2.] 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 2

In this country we see a great work to be done and our greatest need is devoted workers and means now to push on the work. I would be pleased to set the real necessities of the case before you; but as I cannot do it intelligently at this time, I will give a brief statement of the matter. This country seems to be a little world of itself. Melbourne is a large city, and comparatively nothing has been done as yet to enlighten its inhabitants. Very few earnest sisters are giving Bible readings in North Fitzroy; but the end is near, and how is this large city to be warned? Wickedness, violence, robbery, and murder abound, as in all large cities. But the Lord has many souls in this great city of Melbourne that need the light of truth. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 3

Our school for instruction in the Bible will soon open in a humble way. There are many youth who desire to come, but they have not the means. By the help of God I am going to create a fund to assist those who are desirous of attending school, that they may fit themselves to be laborers in the Master’s work. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 4

Besides this we must have a place for worship. It is not at all appropriate to meet for the worship of God in the halls used for every purpose, for the worshippers lose their sense of the sacredness of the service because of the appearance of surroundings. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 5

My brother, I learn that in the providence of God you have been favored with your Lord’s talent, and I ask you if you cannot help us at this time to make a beginning. After you have prayed over the matter, and sought counsel of the Lord, will you do what you feel the Lord will have you [do] in this matter? 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 6

The work must be aggressive, and many moves must be made that have not yet been made. What we now need most is a suitable, plain house of worship, so that we can advertise meetings and invite outsiders to attend. Such a place of worship would give character to the work. At quite an expense, laborers have been sent to this field. The printing office has been established here, and we cannot now call upon the conference, for the calls have been so many that the treasury is about empty. But now, as Christ’s ambassador, I appeal to you as His steward of means in Africa, if possible, to help us at this time. In this field, at present, there are those who can devise and plan and pray and work. We do not wish to set sail for America until we shall see the cause of God uplifted, ennobled and dignified in this important field. I long to see the work advance, but we must have facilities in order to make the work successful. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 7

We are all seeking God with much earnest prayer. This is the Lord’s work, and He must have help for us somewhere. While praying in the night season, it came to me to ask our brethren in Africa to give aid to this missionary field. I believe the Lord will lead and guide you. Instead of the plans being very broad and extensive in this field, they are very narrow and bound about for want of means. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 8

We do not feel that it would be in accordance with the mind of the Spirit of God to lay plans for building an expensive structure, even if we had plenty of means to invest, for the reason that new fields are constantly opening, and we should take every precaution that not a dollar shall be laid out for the sake of display, or for the indulgence of pride. Every dollar of means will be needed to start the work in new mission fields and plant the banner of truth where they are in darkness. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 9

In Lincoln a great deal of means has been invested unnecessarily. These expensive college buildings were put up when many were begging for just a little help, that they might have facilities to do the work to bring souls a knowledge of the truth. The enemy will tempt those who have means to gratify pride and ambition in the erection of fine buildings. But the very means employed for the gratification of ambition ought to be employed in assisting others to make a beginning. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 10

The influence of a commodious, neat, attractive building, constructed without any extravagance, would be in harmony with the life and mission of Jesus, in harmony with the sacred, solemn, truth we profess to believe—that the end of all things is at hand. Our power is not to be found in grand buildings calling for a large outlay of means. Our strength will be found in the devotion and piety of the believers, for if they represent Jesus, they will be a bright, shining light unto the world. Everything we do makes its impression on the world as favorable or unfavorable to Christ and the truth. If we would see Jesus, all worldliness and human pride must lie in the dust. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 11

The enemy will come to you as he came to Christ with his temptation. He will bid you to look out sharply for your own interest, and not be carried away with any whimsical notions of being liberal with your means. He will bid you to do his way and that he will make your name great; but as you look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, you will become strong in His strength and will resist the temptations of the enemy. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 12

I will now have to close this letter. I wish to be remembered to your brothers and relatives whom I have met. May the blessing of the Lord rest upon you in large measure. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” [Psalm 128:1, 2.] 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 13

In much love. 7LtMs, Lt 29, 1892, par. 14