Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 21a, 1892

Maxson, Brother and Sister

Preston, Australia

July 3, 1892

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother and Sister Maxson,

I was pleased to learn by the last steamer that you had decided to remain at the Health Retreat, and were determined to do your utmost to make it a success. You must not expect everything will move on without a ripple, for it will not be so. Difficulties will arise that will try the patience, and tax the nerves of every one who holds a responsible position. By working under cover in a deceptive, smooth way, yet in a way that will sting you, and will create a prejudice against the Health Retreat, Dr. Burke will do his utmost to injure the work. But if you will put your trust wholly in God, you will not be at a loss to know how to conduct yourselves under any pressure that may come. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 1

The Lord will try every soul of us, as gold is tried in the furnace, until the dross and the tin are consumed and the Refiner sees His image reflected as in a mirror. Therefore the trial is not to be a matter of discouragement, but rather as that which will increase our confidence in God. We need daily to show that we appreciate and have respect unto the recompense of the reward. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 2

We need not look for flattering hopes in this life; but by faith we may live as did Moses, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” [Hebrews 11:25-27.] 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 3

We are never to forget that we are to be proved in this life, and it is to be decided whether or not we shall be worthy to be counted among the members of the Lord’s family in the mansions above. By beholding we are to become changed into the likeness of Christ. We are to be one with Christ as He is one with the Father. We must not be greatly disappointed if we see those whom we have regarded as wheat manifest themselves as tares. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 4

While I am passing through this ordeal of physical suffering, I devote many sleepless hours to earnest prayer that I may be restored to health. For six months I have been nearly helpless. My hips are in such a condition that I cannot walk with any ease. My arms and shoulders are full of pain; but, nevertheless, I can use my right hand to write, when I get in the right position. I cannot lie on my right side at all, and have not been able to for six months. For some time I could not lie on my left side because of suffering in the hip. Then I was compelled to lie on my back. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 5

I am now convinced that my trouble is neuralgia of the nerves. I suffer with the nerves in the lower part of my spine. Emma White writes, saying, “Mother, if you are no better, take the very next boat back to America.” But this is not my way, to back out of the situation. My sickness may be in the Lord’s plan as a part of the arrangement to accomplish purposes which we do not discern. I expect to remain here my allotted time and do whatever I can, though compassed with infirmities. I have not one murmuring thought, not one rebellious feeling. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 6

I sleep but very little; but I am not in any way disheartened or discouraged. The Lord gives me of His Holy Spirit, and comforts me by His grace. I have much brightness in the night season. I love to think of Jesus, and His goodness and His mercy. I am full of thankfulness that I have my reason, I have my memory, and I have Jesus as my personal Saviour. I may live or I may die, but I am the Lord’s. He loves me, and I love Him. My peace is often like a river. I am filled with His love. I can see no reason for this affliction except overwork. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 7

Today is the 4th of July, and yet it is January here. The weather is cloudy and threatening. Many say it has been a cold winter for Australia; but we have had many pleasant days which I was glad to improve in riding out. There are others in the family that enjoy them [the rides] as much as I do. I do not allow myself to do much wishing, if I did, it would do no good; but when it seems so difficult to take treatment here, I think of the Health Retreat and the sanitarium at Battle Creek and know I should appreciate the advantages of the institutions, and especially of the Health Retreat. It is not safe to take treatment in these rooms in winter. But time is passing and winter will soon be gone and warm weather come, to the joy of us all. Through all these afflictions I am looking forward with great desire of soul to the home above to which we are bound. It is my prayer that I may be worthy to have a place among the sanctified. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 8

We have a chance to see and to hear much of the wretchedness that exists in the large city of Melbourne, and in its suburbs. Many are literally starving for food and are destitute of clothing. Driven to desperation, many commit suicide. We have no such misery in America. Never was money as scarce as now. It is going to be hard work to set in operation the school which is so much needed in this part of the world. The cause here is yet in its infancy and much younger and weaker than it should be because of the want of wise calculators to manage matters. There is just as precious talent here as in America, but it needs a wise general to develop it, in order that the work shall move forward, onward, and upward to success. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 9

The world is to be no criterion for us. Great changes are very soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones. Agencies from beneath have been set in operation by the powers of darkness, and they are working in secrecy and have advanced faster than any of us have calculated. Satan, with his whole confederacy of evil, is stirred to intense fervor, and plans that have been made only wait a favorable moment for open development. All things are getting into a state of readiness, and while those who believe have been contending over little matters, drawing apart from each other, each seeking to have and vindicate his own way, the powers of evil have been strengthening for the last great crisis. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 10

The church of God who have had great light are called upon to have works corresponding to their light. Considering our superior advantages, and knowing that we must be judged by the light and privileges bestowed, what can we offer as a justification of our conduct? Like Capernaum we have been exalted to heaven in point of privilege. The precious light, freely given to us of God, was not given to Sodom or Gomorrah, or they night have remained unto this day. If the mighty works and knowledge and grace of God had been made manifest to the nations who are in heathen darkness, we know not what they might have been. They might have been far in advance of what we are in Christian lands today. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 11

The world is uneasy, restless, apprehensive that they are on the eve of some great event. Look where we will, men’s hearts are failing them for fear. Impulse and excitement are bearing sway. As children of the light, we should now manifest zeal and deep earnestness for Christ and be constantly watchful, offering unceasing prayer that we may stand in our lot and place, having an eye single to the glory of God. We need to go weighted with the truth, having in our heart Christ’s love for souls. We should be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We are to be quickened by the Holy Spirit, that we may discern, and not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 12

We should have a vital connection with Christ, that we may note what is transpiring around us; and, having a true understanding of the existing nature of things, be in advance of the world, in advance of its intelligence. We should be in advance in plans and methods to relieve suffering humanity. We must have a character that is far above that of the worldling’s character—character that can bear scrutiny. We should be free from selfishness, abounding in liberality, self-denial, self-sacrifice, goodness and mercy. We must be wide awake, seizing every opportunity for usefulness, for benefiting others, having but one purpose in life, and that to do God’s will on the earth. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 13

Now is our time to work. The angels are holding the four winds, that they shall not blow upon the earth. A thousand doors of usefulness are opening before us, and if the church was in living connection with God, the people of God would have discerned the wants for this time, and workers would have been educated and trained, and even now be in readiness to enter them. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 14

We lament our scanty resources at present available, while various and urgent demands are pressing in upon us for means and men. Were we, as a people, thoroughly in earnest, even now we could multiply the resources a thousandfold. Selfishness and self-indulgence bar the way to the work of God. All this great want can be accounted for in the want of individual character fashioned after the divine Pattern. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 15

The world is perishing in sin, and our brethren and sisters have not education and training so that the Lord can make them vessels unto honor. They have not the capacity to comprehend and appreciate the things of eternal interest; therefore, they are not employed and honored in the work of the Lord. Christ says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Wanting the presence of Jesus, we want everything. Imbued with His Spirit, He is in us as a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 16

We have not a moment to lose. If the people of God had a living connection with Christ, they could do all things through Him that strengtheneth them. Our moral power is never to die, but is to expand and enlarge that through the ceaseless ages of eternity we may comprehend more and more of the character of God. Nothing that is done for Jesus will ever be lost. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 17

I feel an intense interest for the people who are connected with the Health Retreat. I pray that they may not become one with the world but one with Christ, so that by their good works they shall glorify their Father which is in heaven. Brother and Sister Maxson, how responsible is your position! Your influence may be a blessing to the helpers, and in your intercourse with the patients, you may sow the seeds of truth. The truth is rich, it is not a spiritless, feeble thing; but is instinct with life because Christ is light and life, and in Him is no darkness at all. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 18

May the Lord encircle you in the arms of His mercy; and when tried, when tempted, may you flee to Him for refuge, and find in Him a present help in every time of trouble. Be of good courage. Learn daily of Jesus, and He will be unto you all that you could desire. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 19

Much love to Cathy and the baby. 7LtMs, Lt 21a, 1892, par. 20