Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 13, 1893

Sermon/Diligence in Service. 9:30 a.m.

Napier, New Zealand

April 7, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 3MR 302-303. +Note

Every branch of the work is worthy of diligence. In the Scriptures we read, “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] Nothing could be more applicable to the canvassers. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 1

One year ago last November I wrote some things in reference to the work and its branches. There is great danger in this country of not feeling the sacredness of the work, and therefore mingling the chaff with the wheat. We have the most important truth ever committed to mortals to give to this world. [There is] much danger of mingling self with the work, so that our own ideas would be so mingled with the truth of heavenly origin, and have a counteracting influence in place of decided influence of power from God. If we do not show that the truth we profess is of so much importance, if it has not a decided influence upon characters, we make it of none effect and make it a lie. We deny Christ by not evidencing that the truth has power upon us. There needs to be a constant uplifting of the standard, here a little, and there a little. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 2

In the office in Australia there were things of this order, and in various positions, and some felt that they dare not correct the evil lest these men would drop the work. We should not fear for the work in that way, for Christ said on one occasion, “If these would hold their peace the very stones would cry out.” [Luke 19:40.] If there is nothing that we can do, we can heed those placed in authority. Why should we go if we cannot work with them at all? 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 3

Everywhere there seems to be a reckless spirit of time and means, as though moments were not of any special consequence. Not everyone has been “diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] There is no use to enter this work unless every man does his best. The many holidays that you have have been represented to us as a demoralizing influence upon this country. So many feel that they must have so much time. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 4

Oh, you may say that your work is not so important as mine. You take some of the little pins out of the machinery and see how it goes. I knew of a man who failed to put only one little pin in a saw. And when the machinery began to operate, that saw flew hither and thither, and as a result one man was deprived of two limbs. And that was because of one little pin being left out. Everyone is to be as particular in his lines as I am in mine. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 5

The Lord declares, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] That should be of the highest satisfaction that even the little things are noticed. Here the heavenly angels are looking upon us; we are working in sight of a holy God, and only with work well done will we pass the grand review. Any work done negligently, the heavenly intelligences have marked with “unfaithfulness.” Unless those negligent workers repent, they must face this in the judgment. Those who have responsibility may be deficient, and [being] unconsecrated [may] rise against it. The work in such cases had better be left untouched because it demoralizes the work. It places imperfection everywhere, and discouragement. This unfaithfulness spoils the field for better workmen. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 6

You cannot do work in true integrity without the armor on. When you have on the whole armor, success will attend your efforts. It is of the highest consequences that every work shall tell. There must be urgency of prayer; there must be self-denial and self-sacrifice. There must be a copying the Pattern, Jesus Christ. Everything that is worth doing is worth doing well. Do not let a particle of unfaithfulness be in any of your work. You are the human agents to carry the truth, and human souls are dependent on your faithfulness. Give yourself to Christ, and when the worker is renewed by the Spirit of Christ the work must be received. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 7

There is little true value placed upon time in this country. People have no idea of the value of time. I am generally up at three a.m. or four. When I was in Europe I would rise at three o’clock. I have entered my 66th year, and my right hand writes a great deal. I feel that every subject in the Word of God is of such vast importance, and when I realize that certain ones need help, I dare not be indifferent. There must nothing be left undone on my part. And I write on the lines to help them. The last year, during my sickness of eleven months, I have sent away 2500 pages. I must treasure these truths of the Word as gold, and communicate these truths to others as they have been communicated to me. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 8

Christ said, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” [Matthew 20:6.] Many have no sense as to the value of time, but this negligence can and should be overcome through the transforming grace of Christ. The work of God will elevate you if you will be elevated. Many think they must live to please themselves else life is of no value. They indulge in this pleasure and that pleasure. It is their custom to live up to the last edge of means. God wants every man and woman to do his best. If you all economize you can save a little here and there. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 9

When I was only fourteen years old I knew what it was to economize and save money. I learned a trade, and we could only earn about a shilling a day. In place of putting it all on our bodies, we saved it, that is, a little at a time until we had six pounds sterling. We gave it to our father, and no one bought me any clothing after I was twelve years old. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 10

When the message came of the Lord’s soon coming, and the calling for men and means, you may be assured it was a privilege for my sister and me to hand over the six pounds to father, telling him to invest in tracts and publications to send the message to those that were in darkness. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 11

God wants us to work and do our best. It is perfect laziness to be satisfied with something to eat and wear. We must be educated to industry and work with an eye single to the glory of God. If you have not judgment to know how to spend means, go and advise with someone that knows how to economize. We used to hand our money to Mother and say, Buy that quality of clothing [so] that we can pay for our own clothing and have some left for the missionary work. And she would do so, and thus they encouraged us into lines of work. It is the duty of everyone that touches the work of God to plan and devise and learn economy. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 12

There is so little sacredness attached by many to the most glorious truths ever committed to mortals. Angels desired to look into these wonderful things that are opened to us so freely. You are just as much doing the right kind of service at work in the field as you would be to open the Scriptures to others. You have no time to lose. Seek to bring the solid timbers into the character building. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 13

Unless those who are supposed to be missionary workers are faithful, the sooner they are dismissed the better it will be for them and the cause of truth. The slipshod workers may expect dearth wherever they go. To every man is committed his work. You are expected to train that talent. To the one that neglected to train the talent it was said, “Take him and cast him into outer darkness.” [Matthew 22:13.] Here is the judgment of God against the slothful servant. He said of God, “We knew thee that thou wast an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sowed, and gathering where thou hast not strawed.” [Matthew 25:24.] He lied against God. He did not know God at all. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 14

We beseech of you for Christ’s sake not to be negligent. Seek to redeem the time. We want to have the best address. If there are those who do not care to improve in tact, in grace, in ability, then dismiss them. It is an injury to them to hold them. Select others, the best you can find, and prove them. They should not enter the work with the idea to carry out their own way. They are in service, and when they are not willing to serve, let them choose another work. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 15

Consecrate yourself every day. The Lord can make you free, and if you keep praying you will find that you will not need such an abundance of holidays. Your moral taste will become refined, elevated, and ennobled. You will have the angels of God to cooperate with you. You can repeat the promise, “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find.” [Matthew 7:7.] When you make an entire surrender to God you shall have precious, clean, profitable thoughts. And when you come to one whom you wish to save, the Spirit of God gives you the right words to say, and the heart is reached. We feel an intense interest to help souls, and Satan has an intense interest to ruin them. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 16

Christ says, “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] This is a most blessed promise. To lay our worriment down, and rest in Jesus. Heaven knows all about every one who improves and becomes refined. How do they learn it? By coming in contact with obstacles. Why are the muscles of the blacksmith’s arm so powerful? It is because he wields the heavy sledge. You want to so exercise yourself that you shall have spiritual sinew and muscle. The more tax you put upon yourself, your mental qualities, to do unselfish service, the more you will improve and the more talents you will gain. When obstacles confronted Christ, He did not fail or become discouraged. It was said of Him, “He will not fail nor be discouraged.” [Isaiah 42:4.] 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 17

Because the human instrument submits to Christ, The Lord Jesus that died for us means to do everything He can for each soul that comes to Him for strength and efficiency. Christ says, “They that follow me shall not walk in darkness.” “Walk in the light while ye have the light.” [John 8:12; 12:35.] Move forward. If you do not improve in methods and tact by exercising your faculties [to learn] how to work better, when will you increase in efficiency? Every leading of the Spirit of God will always lead you to better efficiency in time. To the one with five talents it was said, “I will make thee ruler over many things.” [Matthew 25:21.] The one-talented man was expected to do his best also. “I will multiply the one talent.” But he robbed God of that time, and wasted his Lord’s goods. The record says, “He gave to every man his work.” [Mark 13:34.] How? “According to their several ability.” [Matthew 25:15.] 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 18

God measures every talent, and our ability, and knows just what to lay upon us. We are not to nourish ourselves and study for ease. Here are men that are faithful, then the word comes, “Entrust him with great responsibility.” And he proves faithful to that trust. And the word comes again, “Bring him up to a still higher standard of responsibility.” And through grace he grows to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. Did not the Saviour know all about Cornelius? Yes, He knew just what to do for him. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 19

How much could be said to the young people. How many ways they might improve in lines of economy. Just to put a little into the treasury now, and a little again, would soon amount to considerable. We should not spend our pence in buying ribbons or sweets or pleasing trifles. We should count our pence over and over again before spending. 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 20

My parents taught their children that it was a sin to be idle, and father said he would supply us with yarn if we would knit for the poor. And we did so, and drew quite heavily for supplies of yarn. I never allow my hands to be idle. I know we can do a great deal more than we think we can. We do not know how much God has before us. We should be willing to put the whole heart into the work. You need not expect the heavenly agencies will work unless you place yourself in line. And then to have “well done” said to you at last! Christ will pronounce “Well done” on those only who have “well done.” [Verse 21.] 8LtMs, Ms 13, 1893, par. 21