Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)

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Lt 9, 1891

Ferrell, Brother and Sister

Petoskey, Michigan

May 15, 1891

Previously unpublished.

Dear Bro. and Sr. Ferrell,

While at Grand Rapids I wrote you a letter, but know not as you have received it, and this morning I will write again. With you, my brother, I can sympathize, for I have heart trouble and know not how long my life may continue. It is wisdom for you and me to make a disposition of our Lord’s goods while our life is spared. As the Lord’s stewards we should be faithful in our stewardship, for this is essential if we are to be entrusted with the eternal interest. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 1

Many who are sick or aged, and whose grasp upon the world is loosening, fail to set their house in order and secure to the treasury of the Lord their intrusted talents of means, because this is regarded as a delicate subject to be brought before sick or aged persons. But it is a false delicacy that prompts this feeling. Why should not those in health, and much more those who are feeble, invalids, and all who are likely soon to close their life history, do up their work while reason and life are granted them? To do this is to act sensibly and with an eye single to the glory of God. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 2

Anciently, the Lord sent messages by His prophets to certain ones bidding them set their house in order prior to the close of their life. There are certain duties to be performed in regard to the transfer and disposition of our property so that it may not pass into the hands of the enemies of the truth, to be used to gratify worldly pride and ambition, to build up the kingdom of Satan. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 3

The Lord has entrusted His goods to your keeping, and I feel it my duty, as His ambassador, to ask you in the name of Jesus to make a faithful disposition of the same. Our educational and benevolent institutions do not receive legacies and endowments, as do those of other denominations, because our faith in regard to the Sabbath makes such a separation between us and the rest of the world. Hence, there is the greater need for these institutions to be remembered by those who respect the special truths which we hold. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 4

Our college in Battle Creek is in debt. You can be a blessing institution by bestowing a donation here. Do not leave it merely in a will; if you do it may be disputed; make your disposition now while you live. Of the orphan’s home I have previously spoken. These institutions are worthy instrumentalities to accomplish a good work for the Master. Will you consider these objects while the responsibility of stewardship is in your hands, and not do as some have done: leave it to others to perform your duty? 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 5

O, there is a special work to be set in operation, to exercise an influence over children and youth, to remove them from the debasing influences of the world, to bring them under the influence of truth through which the Spirit of God is constantly operating. The Spirit will take of the things of God and show them to those souls with transforming power, making them partakers of the divine nature, keeping before them the future immortal life. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 6

“We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandmen, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] The disinterested love manifested in the life of Christ was the means of drawing many to Him. All who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ will look upon those who in self-denial and self-sacrifice are doing His work, as did Christ when the information was brought to Him, “Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.” He had a lesson to give right at this point, a lesson which was to have a telling influence through the ages. “And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” [Mark 3:32-35.] 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 7

Christ identifies His interest with that of all who believe in Him. And every one who is imbued with the spirit of the cross and ready to sacrifice property, life in its service, will reveal Himself as bound up in Christ. He will not rob God in life or in death. He does not live for self, for he who makes self first is not a Christian. The character of the Christian is to be a reproduction of the character of Christ; the Saviour’s love and tender solicitude for souls is to live in the words and works of those who are laborers together with God. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 8

The Lord Jesus expects that the goods He had intrusted to His stewards will be returned to Him. To the unfaithful steward of the one talent He has said, “Wherefore, then, gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?” [Luke 19:23.] The Christian, when tempted to use his means selfishly, replies, “I am not my own; I have been bought with a price. Christ has placed it out of my power to render back any thing that does not belong to Him; for He has purchased it, and all that I am, all that I possess, is His.” 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 9

My Brother, it is now in your power to do good with the Lord’s money. May God help and bless you and give you clear spiritual eyesight. I want you to trust your soul and all that you have to Jesus. Let your acts stand out in vivid contrast to the selfish actions of the worldling and thus condemn the practice of robbing God of His own. When strength and life seem to be failing, acknowledge a will higher than that controlled by human judgment. Ever keep in view the will of God, your accountability to Him, and your purpose to keep the way of the Lord. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 10

The world is sensual, supremely so, and worldlings will follow their own customs and practices. But the Lord speaks to His people: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” [1 John 2:15.] “Set your affection on things above.” [Colossians 3:2.] Keep the cross ever in view, for it is the perpetual memorial of a nobler world. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 11

You are standing as it were on the threshold of eternity. Angels are around you; your heart is bound up with the heart of Christ. You may be a representative of the pure, unworldly, unselfish benevolence of Jesus. Here in this life we leave an example of what Christians should be with their intrusted talent; give it back to the true Owner, the Giver of all you possess, to be used in the instrumentalities of God, for the conversion of many souls. Let not what I have written depress you, but make you glad. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 12

With much love, your sympathizing sister, in Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 9, 1891, par. 13