Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Ms 29, 1891

The Needs of the Work in Australia

Harbor Heights, Michigan

August 20, 1891

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1SAT 155-161.

There is much talk in regard to our journey to Australia, but I cannot see my [way] clearly to go. Brethren say that Sister White will have no such burdens to bear, as she has here in America, that she can write her books so much more readily without carrying so many responsibilities, but I know it is no use to tell them that all their flattering anticipation in my behalf does not lessen my ideas that going to Australia means work, responsibility to bear a message to the people who are not what the Lord would have them to be. If it were not thus, I would feel authorized to remain in America. As it is, I dare not mention the state of things in the office presented to me, for I am then sure they would firmly conclude I must go. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 1

There is work to be done there, and although those who have been there all testify that they will gladly receive any message that the Lord will give me to bear to them, I am not so sanguine in regard to this as my brethren in Australia. They know nothing of me and my work personally, only through my writings. Reproof is not pleasant to the natural heart, and the reproof coming to the people, as I know it will come to them, will meet with opposition. Already envy and evil surmisings and jealousies are at work, lest some one shall have a higher place in the work than themselves. There is want of spiritual knowledge, spiritual eyesight to discern the work that needs to be done as the Lord shall open the way. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 2

The same enemy that has wrought upon human hearts in America, leading the human minds to feel wise in their own conceits, is working upon the human minds in that far-off country. The work is almost now [at] a standstill. A messenger must be sent to Australia, but God forbid it should be I. I long for rest, for quietude, and to get out The Life of Christ. There is a cloud over the workers in Australia. The work must be reconstructed from its foundation of the office building, and there is not being done that which must be done in warning the world. The work of the Lord is aggressive. There should be a large number of souls converted to the truth in Australia. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 3

As I stood before you Monday and spoke to you, the power of the Lord came upon me. The light previously given me flashed upon my mind. I had to speak. I knew that there must be a different mold put upon the work. I have been shown of the Lord that there must be a setting [of] things in order. There is not harmony between the workers sent as missionaries from America. There are envious feelings [as to] which shall be the greater. The Lord is ready to work for His people if they will come where He can safely bless them, seeking to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 4

Workers have been sent from America. The Lord will send by whom He will, and you will meet with great loss unless you take heed how you hear. There has been a spirit unlike Christ. There has been a jealousy among you, lest the American brethren shall have too much influence in your midst and too much to say in regard to the plans to be devised to be followed; and there is the enemy at work to sow tares while men slept, for they were not watching and praying and guarding the garden of the soul, because you do not take heed how you hear. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 5

To take heed how you hear is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. Those who are teachers should feel the necessity of being taught, learning of Jesus Christ through His sent messengers, that they may communicate to you, that you may communicate freely to others as you have received. Ministers and people should show the same earnestness to learn the truth anew, and receive it afresh, as to learn it the first time. It will bear repetition and will need to be oft repeated to be appropriated, being heard from other lips. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 6

The gems of truth become dimmed in our possession unless we are increasing in love for the truth and practicing that faith which works by love and purifieth the soul. The gems of truth grow lusterless to the receiver unless put to a practical use. Hearts must be softened and subdued by the Spirit of God, receiving the truth in the soil of an humble, contrite heart. Isaiah 57:15-19. They will be active and willing to be refined, longing to be purified and ennobled by the truth. And thus they show its power upon human minds by what it accomplishes for the receiver. If the teachers of the truth think their own ways are perfect and begin to criticize the messenger the Lord sends, be sure you will reap that which you have sown. You will reap the fruit born of your criticism. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 7

We are too busy with intensity of desire to glorify His name through the human agents, because self is magnified; and should He work for the one who is not possessing humility, should He give him success, then he would take it for granted he is all right and not see that he needs daily the converting power of God that he may be a vessel unto honor. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 8

I have been shown that the work in the publishing interest would have been far in advance of what it is today were it not for the spirit of self-sufficiency, selfishness and self-importance, and expressed sometimes in words but more in actions. “We know all about this matter, and we need not to be told, to be advised, or counseled,” when this very spirit which was manifested revealed they needed to be educated and needed to seek counsel of their brethren in many things. Why? Because they had larger experience. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 9

Now the Lord has taken notice of this spirit which has been cherished, and He has not been pleased. Angels are sent down from heaven to give you knowledge only through the cooperation with human agencies. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 10

Now the Lord has presented to me that in New Zealand and Australia there are many things that have been done that have displeased the Lord. There has been a determined spirit which has been inclined to consider that those who had come to the truth in Australia and New Zealand had sufficient wisdom, to manage matters in the office of publication and in the churches, without counseling with those men whom the Lord had sent from America for this very purpose that the wisdom of their years of experience should be of advantage to them in Australia, that men who have ability may receive knowledge of experience, as well, from those whom the Lord has sent to do His own work in the most perfect way, and that mistaken, finite man shall not mar and retard His work. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 11

The Lord is not pleased with the spirit that has been manifested by Brother Scott. He has naturally a selfish nature. He is self-centered and his influence has not been correct and amicable in the office. He had a jealous spirit, fearing others should get credit which he desired. He encircled things in his arms [and] followed his own judgment in their management. His actions were [saying], This is my line of work, please do not step on my territory. It was unfortunate that he came to Australia, for men should have been placed here who were wholly surrendered to God, who had not a taint of selfishness. He also estimated his own capabilities too highly, and losses were sustained. If he had only been willing to ask counsel, he would have avoided many blunders. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 12

Other things that some of our brethren brought from America revealed a want of judgment, a want of discernment and solid experience. They did not advance the cause of God, as it should have been, but rather increased expenses without bringing in an equivalent. They walked in this new missionary field in the sparks of their own kindling. The aftersight of these things made the brethren suspicious of all that comes from America. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 13

Some have thought if the Lord honored them to have a connection with the work that it was their privilege to carry it forward in their own way and according to their own plans. The Lord knew what the sure result would be in doing this. They might have all the zeal and earnestness, but that ambition must be sanctified. These men must have that knowledge that comes from men who have been led and instructed of God, who have had long training and learned their trade under the special divine Teacher, else they will make many blunders. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 14

It is in mercy that the Lord has sent, at great expense to the conference, from time to time, men and women from America, some to make a short stay, others to abide with them longer to impart to them the lessons which they have themselves had to learn in a long experience in connection with the work of God. And as the work is not theirs but the Lord’s, they will get out of their place in attempting to monopolize it and think they can run it without counseling with God’s delegated workmen of larger experience. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 15

The Lord’s work must be done not according to men’s finite judgment, but according to [God’s] mind, according to the light He has been pleased to give from time to time to the workers. In any new place or countries where the truth has found a foothold, men of experience have thought they could manage the whole matter if the American brethren would only keep out of their way. This was the mind of finite men but far from being the mind of God for He has placed in connection with His missions in all parts of the world men who had experience as managers. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 16

The Lord will not at present leave the work solely in the hands of those in Australia who are brought into the truth, to run His own work after their limited experience. The thought of their heart and inclination to do this is positive evidence in the sight of the Lord, and in the sight of His workers, that they are not competent to do this without the counsel and guidance of that wisdom, that knowledge that has been obtained by experience, by mistakes that have been made in certain lines, which have brought losses and great discouragement to themselves and to the workers. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 17

The Lord God of heaven sees not as finite men. He knows the result of every movement, and God designs [that] His own work in the advance movements shall not be trusted to any who have not had orders from Him under similar circumstances. He has sent delegates to you from America [to] help you with their counsel. Remember, God has seen your need, and because He loves you He has sent you help. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 18

There is need of seeking the Lord daily. There are precious, entrusted capabilities in a business line whose hearts are interested in the work in the publishing house. The Lord is testing and proving these men, whether they will confine themselves to merely business transactions without consecrating themselves to the work, having discernment that it is God’s work, that His mold and superscription must be upon it. If they are willing to give themselves unreservedly to God, the result will be [that] they will be qualified by the Holy Spirit to be faithful stewards of the Lord to stand firm as a rock to principle. They will be men whom God will endow with wisdom to devise and plan and execute. 7LtMs, Ms 29, 1891, par. 19