Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

38/291

Lt 23a, 1893

Gates, E. H.

George’s Terrace, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia

January 10[-14], 1893

Portions of this letter are published in CS 96-97; VSS 400-401; TDG 18; ML 163; Ev 277, 582, 621-622; PM 166; 5MR 156, 161-162; 6MR 71-72; 12MR 7-9; 4Bio 58.

Dear Brother E. H. Gates:

The Lord is good, and greatly to be praised. My health is now much better than it has been. The Lord alone shall have the glory. We have now been in Australia more than a year, and we see that the work is but in its infancy. A good work has been done, but O, it is only a beginning, and there has been so much left undone because there has been so much of the human and so little of the divine. Among us as a people there is great lack of devotion, of pure and undefiled religion. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 1

For the last three Sabbaths I have spoken to the church in Melbourne. The Lord has helped and blessed me in speaking. I have had decided, earnest labor in the church, and have borne testimonies of a very close, personal character. This is not pleasant work for me; it is very taxing, but the Lord has helped; He has prepared the minds and hearts of the brethren to receive the message I have had for them. The persons for whom I have had special labor occupy responsible positions on the Echo Office Board, and are men who can do much good if sanctified; but if not, they will do much harm. Some of these testimonies I shall send to America by this mail, for they treat on subjects that should be considered. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 2

Brother Faulkhead, one of those for whom I have had a testimony, has had an important position in the Echo office. This brother has been connected with the Free Masons. After I had read him the testimony, he told me that he was a member of five lodges, and besides this he managed the business of three lodges, having charge of all the funds. With the lodge entertainments, the suppers or feasts, and the business transactions, you can judge whether he could love God with the whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love his neighbor as himself. You may judge how much thought and tact and skill he could put into the work of God; yet he was receiving fifteen dollars a week from the office. Well, he has accepted the testimony, and now is his time of trial. It is now three weeks since the testimony was read to him, and I have felt very great anxiety on his account. During the holidays he was camping with his family in the Fern Tree Gully. They returned to Melbourne January 2nd, thus being absent the Sabbath and Sunday of our Week of Prayer. During the meetings of the Week of Prayer the Lord was present with us, and gave us much freedom in speaking to the people. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 3

We tried to hold our meetings in a tent, but the location was not favorable; the open drains were offensive, the cars were near, and the noise and smoke from the engines disturbed us. Besides, the tent was too small for our numbers, so we had to give up the plan. Then we hired a hall, somewhat smaller but better ventilated than the one usually occupied by the church on the Sabbath. Here our conference assembles. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 4

I was poisoned by malaria from the drains at North Fitzroy, and since last Wednesday have been far from well. I took a severe cold, and had cramping pains in my bowels, and my mind was confused. I was very much exhausted. An appointment had been made for me to speak Sabbath afternoon, January 7th, but as I rode the five miles to the meeting, I was in such a state of exhaustion that I feared and trembled and was beset with temptations. Looking at appearance, it was impossible for me to speak. I prayed all the way. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 5

When I stood upon the platform, such an assurance was given me by the Lord that He had sent His angel to sustain me, that I could not doubt. These words seemed spoken to me: “Be strong in the Lord; yea, be strong.” [Ephesians 6:10; Daniel 10:19.] I never spoke with greater ease and freedom from infirmity. The hearers said my voice was clear and musical, and the congregation could not but know that the Spirit and power of God was upon me. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 6

I spoke for an hour upon the parable of the talents, dwelling with considerable definiteness on the slothful servant who hid his one talent in the earth, and presented it to the Lord with a bitter complaint, accusing God of being a hard Master, etc. The Lord spoke through clay, and hearts were touched. Some were deeply moved. A minister of the Church of England, who came from Tasmania in company with Brethren Baker and Rousseau, and who has just begun to keep the Sabbath, was present. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 7

After the discourse we had a social meeting in which many heartfelt testimonies were borne. Brother Faulkhead’s wife, who is a teacher in the public schools, spoke decidedly and with deep feeling. She said they had been tempted all the week, but she would stand firm and decided, holding fast to God. Immediately Brother Faulkhead arose, his heart seemed broken and subdued; like his wife, he said he had been sorely tempted all through the week. He had communicated to the Masons his purpose to leave them entirely, and had received letters from them presenting the strongest reasons why he should not take this step. They pronounced it folly for him to think of leaving them and made an earnest plea for him to reconsider his decision. But said he, “Brethren, I will not give up the conflict. I did not expect that it would be so severe. I thought I could sever my connection easily; but I find it a greater struggle to break the bonds than I had anticipated. But the Lord has honored me greatly in speaking to me through Sister White. He has presented my case to her and called me by name, and I will heed the instruction from the Lord.” His voice was full of tears so that he could hardly articulate plainly. “O,” he said, “the Lord has engraven my name on the palms of His hands.” 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 8

Now this brother is deciding his own destiny. Poor soul, he has not obtained an advanced experience in the things of eternal interest. Had he taken hold upon the truth with his whole heart, through earnest prayer and meditation letting it make a deeper and still deeper impression on mind and character, he might now be strong in God. There are few who have a knowledge of practical Christianity, and fewer still who sink the shaft deep in the mine of truth to recover the buried treasure and diffuse the light amid the moral darkness of error and superstition which surrounds them. The case of those who have been linking themselves with the world is highly perilous. But Jesus lives; He sees them on the very edge of the precipice, and He alone by His mercy and attractive loveliness, can draw them into the path of safety. O, that Brother F. may indeed flee to Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 9

There is no defect in God’s plan for the salvation of men. If the gospel is not to every soul the power of God unto salvation, it is not because the gospel is at fault, but because men are not practical believers, practical receivers of the grace and righteousness of Christ. If those who profess to receive the gospel are not complete in Christ, it is often because the human instrumentalities that convey the truth to them have not themselves a living connection with God. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 10

“He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:11-13.] 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 11

Since the ministry of the Word of God is the appointed agency for the perfecting of the saints, is there not a deficiency in the ministry which will in some measure explain the deficiency in our churches? The professed believers do not take Christ as their personal Saviour, but follow Jesus a great way off. One reason for this lack of personal religion is that they have not been educated in these vital principles. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 12

Another cause for the apathy and indifference in our churches is that the younger members have not been patiently, perseveringly taught how to work as faithful soldiers in Christ’s army. The direct teachings of the Word of God must be brought to bear on the practical life, and no minister should feel satisfied unless fruit is seen through his personal labor. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 13

When the Word of God, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cuts its way to the heart and arouses the conscience, many suppose that this is enough; but your work is just begun. Good impressions have been made, but then Satan works with his deceiving power upon ministers and people, leading them to be content with what has been done and go on no farther. Now the plowshare of truth must go deeper, and this it will surely do if there is a thorough system of education to direct the thoughts and establish the principles. Satan will counteract good impressions unless these impressions are deepened by careful and prayerful efforts. Too often the work is left in an unfinished state, and in many cases it amounts to nothing. This is why there has been so few sheaves gathered for the Master. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 14

As soon as a company has accepted the truth, the minister thinks he must go to a new field, and without proper investigation he is authorized to go. Thus thousands of souls have been left to the buffeting of Satan and the opposition of church members who reject the truth. Many are thus in a position where they can never again be reached. Ministers might better never enter upon a work that they cannot complete as far as lies in their power. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 15

As a rule, those who are converted to the truth have not previously been diligent students of the Scriptures, for in the popular churches there is little real study of the Word of God. The people trust their souls to the ministers. He must be mind for them in searching the Scriptures and in explaining what they teach; and the advocates of false doctrines will sustain their positions by assertions agreeable to all who are seeking to evade the cross, but which have no foundation in the Scriptures. Such assertions serve, however, to deceive those who are themselves ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. The people think the preacher has gained his point because he has skillfully built up a theory, when it has no plain “Thus saith the Lord,” to rest upon. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 16

The preacher spices his discourse with humorous remarks presenting the truth in a ludicrous manner and misrepresenting those who believe it. These amusing presentations please the audience, and ridicule serves to banish conviction from many minds. Often the teacher has no real knowledge of the subject he is treating upon, but the hearers accept his statements without bringing them to the test of the Scripture, and think that now they are released from the cross of obeying the truth and that they can have peace. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 17

Many have accepted the truth without digging down deep to understand its foundation principles, and when it is opposed, they forget the arguments and evidences that sustain it. It should be impressed upon all that true and abiding knowledge can be gained only by earnest labor and persevering energy. Were the minds of the people brought under discipline by thorough searching of the Scriptures, there would be hundreds converted to the truth where there is one today. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 18

The sermons preached make good impressions, and awaken in many hearts a real desire to be Christians; if the impressions were followed up by personal labor, there would be seen many temples for the indwelling of the truth and the Spirit of God. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] But because the work that is fairly entered upon is regarded as finished, many poor souls are only aroused, the work of personal labor is not done for them, and the impression wears away. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 19

Provision is not made for the edification and perfecting of those who are really converted. They are left for the wolves in sheep’s clothing to devour. They have been called to believe the truth, but not fully instructed as to what the truth is; plans are not devised to carry them forward from point to point in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Too often their piety degenerates into a form, and when the stirring appeals are no longer heard, they become spiritually dead. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 20

God’s work is not to be done in this bungling, slipshod manner. When a minister enters upon any part of the field, he should work that field thoroughly. Let him not trust in sermonizing, and neglect personal labor. He should give directness to the Bible teaching; let it be brought home to every conscience. Why has this kind of labor been so manifestly neglected? The people need definite instruction. They know so little of the Bible, that practical, definite lessons should be given concerning the nature of sin and its remedy. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 21

The minister has no sanction for confining his labors to the pulpit, and leaving the people to digest the Word themselves, or else remain in ignorance. The minister must know the nature of the difficulties in the minds of the people, that he may know how to give every man his portion of meat in due season. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 22

The Lord has given us a holy, perfect, and reasonable law. We owe to Him all that makes life desirable, and He asks of us the affections of the heart and the obedience of the life. His precepts, if obeyed, will bring happiness into the home life, happiness to every individual. But the minds of men are so blinded by the god of this world that they do not discern the goodness of God or the sacred character of His holy law. They choose their own way in opposition to His way. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 23

There are few who understand and appreciate the way of salvation. Graduates of colleges, eloquent orators, able statesmen, men who appear to possess acute and discriminating minds, are in need of education of the higher order, for they are ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God. Many are as ignorant as the very heathen in regard to the way in which a sinner can come to God and be justified before Him. They have no excuse for their ignorance; for the inspired oracles declare, “The entrance of thy word giveth light: it giveth understanding to the simple.” “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 119:130; 111:10.] 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 24

When learned men, statesmen, and so called honorable men are present in a place of worship, the minister thinks he must give them an intellectual treat; but in attempting to do this he loses a precious opportunity of teaching the very lessons that were presented by the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 25

All the congregations in our land need to learn more of Christ and Him crucified. A religious experience that is not founded in Christ and Him alone is worthless. These men of intellectual powers need a clear, scriptural presentation of the plan of salvation. Let the truth in its simplicity and power be presented to them. If this does not hold the attention and arouse the interest, they never can be interested in heavenly and divine things. In every congregation there are souls who are unsatisfied. Every Sabbath they want to hear something definite, explaining how they can be saved, how they are to become Christians. The important thing for them to know is, How can a sinner be justified before God? Let the way of salvation be presented before them in simplicity, just as plainly as you would speak to a little child. Lift up Jesus as the sinner’s only hope. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 26

Among those who met with us Sabbath, January 7, was Bro. Anderson, a minister who came from Tasmania with Brethren Rousseau and Baker, and who has just begun to keep the Sabbath. He is of French descent, and speaks French as well as English. He labors as an evangelist, and for years has not been connected with any denomination, feeling that he must be free to accept truth wherever he should find it. He was for sometime on the island of Mauritius, and for years held a position in civil service, preaching on Sundays and working among the people. In Hobart, which is now his home, he has gathered a congregation about him, to whom he ministers. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 27

Sabbath morning, when the church at North Fitzroy celebrated the ordinances, Bro. Anderson was present. He was invited to unite in the ordinance of feet washing, but said he preferred to witness it. He asked if participation in this ordinance was required before one could partake of communion and was assured by our brethren that it was not obligatory, and that he would be welcome to the table of the Lord. This Sabbath was a most precious day to his soul; he said that he had never had a happier day in his life. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 28

He afterward desired an interview with me, and we had a pleasant visit. His conversation was very interesting, and we had a precious season of prayer. I believe that he is a servant of God. I gave him my books, Great Controversy, Patriarchs and Prophets, and Steps to Christ. He seemed much pleased; said he wanted all the light he could get in order to meet the opponents of our faith. He was baptized before leaving for his home, and will present the truth to his own congregation. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 29

Sunday, January 8. I was not able to attend service, but Elder Starr and his wife reported an excellent morning meeting. The hall was well filled, and the presence of the Lord was manifest in the congregation. Brother Faulkhead said that on the Sabbath he obtained a great victory. He went home happy. During the previous week he had a severe struggle, but he had resisted the enemy, and he was determined to continue to strive for the mastery and obtain an experience in the things of God. He spoke with much earnestness and fervor. O, my heart praises God for this victory over the powers of darkness. Who can estimate the value of the human soul? “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mark 8:36.] 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 30

For years this brother [Faulkhead] has professedly believed the truth. It has not been brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, and his religious life has been dwarfed and crippled. He ceased to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, and the years freighted with blessings from heaven have not enriched his soul, giving him a deep experience in the things of God. Now his duty has been plainly set before him, and he has accepted all the warnings as from God. He says he feels highly honored that the Lord has taken his name into His lips. O, that he may continue thus sacredly to regard the admonitions of God! 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 31

Brother Prismall, another for whom I have had special labor, is receiving help in the meetings. His only hope is to cease looking at the hearts of others, and look wholly to Jesus. The Saviour is perfect, not a stain rests upon His character. He is the “chiefest among ten thousand,” and the One “altogether lovely.” [Song of Solomon 5:10, 16.] Our work, as finite, human agents, is between God and our own souls. It is very poor policy to dwell on the wrongs and defects of others. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 32

By beholding the faults and mistakes and errors of our brethren, we become changed into the same image. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory (from character to character), even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18.] Then let our thoughts dwell upon Christ; let our conversation be holy. By talking of Jesus and beholding Him by the eye of faith, we shall be changed to the same image. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 33

Monday, January 9, I was undecided whether to attend the meeting or to rest at home; but I so much wanted to go that I ventured out. I was glad that I went; the Lord strengthened me to speak for a short time, and gave me words to address to the people. I had prayed earnestly in the night season for His grace, and that He would give us the spirit of intercession. “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” [Zechariah 10:1.] Every one who receives the showers from heaven will bring forth fruit in rich abundance. “And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.” [Verse 7.] 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 34

Both while waking and sleeping I have been deeply impressed by the Holy Spirit that the Lord will manifest His mercy, and goodness, and power to His people in this country. O, how much we need the grace of God! Unless the Lord shall undertake for us, we shall never be able to succeed. Hope, faith, and love are attributes that must be cultivated in the church. Faith is weak, hope is feeble, love is almost dead. A great change must be wrought in the church before its members shall love one another as Christ loves. The love of Jesus is without a parallel. Yet He has told us to love one another as He has loved us. It is the great lack of love of Christ in the heart that brings such coldness toward one another, and keeps the church in such darkness. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 35

Tuesday, January 10, I attended the nine o’clock meeting. After a season of prayer and some appropriate remarks by Elder Starr, I spoke upon faith, hope, and love. The Lord blessed me in speaking of the love that should exist between brethren, and the care and tenderness that must be exercised in dealing with those who are out of the way. As an illustration of this, I spoke of the Lord’s dealing with Brother Faulkhead in regard to his connection with secret societies. I had had a message for Bro. F., which I did not give him for twelve months, for the Lord whom I served said, “Not yet, not yet.” 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 36

Brother Faulkhead was in a perilous condition, like a man about to lose his balance and fall over a precipice. I knew what how nice work it is to deal with human minds, and I was thankful when the time came when it was safe for me to present to him his danger. The Lord of heaven would have us fear to judge one another; as finite, erring beings we should be suspicious of ourselves, we should fear lest we offend God in bruising the souls of his children. They are the purchase of the Son of God, bought by His own precious blood, and are not to be accused or oppressed by word or act, for the Lord will stand in their defense. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 37

Wednesday, I was drawn out to speak of the principles upon which we should deal with minds and direct them in the right way. Many in the world have their affections on things that may be good in themselves, but their minds are satisfied with these things and do not seek the greater and higher good that Christ desires to give them. Now we must not rudely seek to deprive them of what they hold dear. Reveal to them the beauty and preciousness of truth. Lead them to behold Christ and His loveliness, then they will turn aside from everything that will draw their affections away from Him. This is the principle upon which parents should work in the training of their children. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 38

By your manner of dealing with the little ones you can by the grace of Christ mold their characters for everlasting life, or by a wrong course of action, you can give them the impress of a satanic character. Never act from impulse in governing children. Let authority and affection be blended. Cherish and cultivate all that is good and lovely, and lead them to desire the higher good by revealing Christ to them. While you deny them those things that would be an injury to them, let them see that you love them and desire to make them happy. The more unlovely they are, the greater pains you should take to reveal your love for them. When the child has confidence that you want to make him happy, love will break every barrier down. This is the principle of the Saviour’s dealing with men; it is the principle that must be brought into the church. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 39

Jesus came into the world to “bind up the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” [Isaiah 61:1.] “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.” [Malachi 4:2.] The world is full of men and women who are carrying a heavy burden of sorrow and suffering and sin. God sends His children to reveal to them Him who will take away the burden and give them rest. It is the mission of Christ’s followers to help, to bless, and to heal. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 40

Thursday, January 12, I spent the morning in writing and in the afternoon attended meeting, which was devoted to the publishing work. I gave a short relation of our early experiences in publishing the reasons of our faith, in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, and in Auburn and Rochester, New York, with an account of the final removal of the work to Battle Creek, Michigan, and of the difficulties we met and the poverty that bound us about. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 41

I then spoke particularly of the work in Australia, that there was much to be done, the cause was yet in its infancy, and we had come over the broad waters of the Pacific to help our brethren in obtaining a better knowledge of how to work according to the Lord’s plans, so as to secure the best results. The work was not to be taken out of their hands, but we were eagerly trying to secure their co-operation. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 42

As the Lord’s human agents, co-operating with the divine, we must all exercise our God-given ability to push the work. We must not draw away from one another; there must be unity in devising plans, and a determination to work to these plans. This would require much grace from Christ; we must move in the wisdom of God, and not fail nor be discouraged. If the Echo office was to mean no more to our people than a secular publishing house, if it was to be conducted on the same principles as were other business institutions, then it was not wise to invest so much means in establishing the office. It would have been less expense to hire our printing done by outside parties. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 43

Friday morning I spoke on the subject of tithing. This subject has not been presented to the churches as it should have been, and the neglect, together with financial depression, has caused a marked falling off in the tithes the past year. At this conference the subject has been carefully canvassed in meeting after meeting. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 44

Those who go forth as ministers have a solemn responsibility devolving upon them which is strangely neglected. They enjoy preaching, but do not give personal labor to the churches. All through this country the church is sadly in need of instruction concerning their obligations and duties to God, especially in regard to paying an honest tithe. These ministers would feel sadly aggrieved if they were not promptly paid for their labor; but will they consider that there must be meat in the treasure house of God wherewith to sustain the laborer? If they fail to do their whole duty in educating the people to be faithful in paying to God His own, there cannot be means in the treasury to carry forward the Lord’s work. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 45

The overseer of the flock of God should faithfully discharge his duty. If he takes the position that because this is not pleasant to him he will leave it for someone else to do, he is not a faithful worker. Let him read in Malachi the words of the Lord charging the people with robbery toward God in withholding the tithes. The mighty God declares, “Ye are cursed with a curse.” [Malachi 3:8, 9.] 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 46

When the one who ministers in word and doctrine sees the people pursuing a course that will bring this curse upon them, how can he neglect his duty to give them instruction and warning? How can he fail to train and educate the people never to commit robbery against God that will surely place them under His censure and curse? Every church member should be taught to be faithful in paying an honest tithe. This is God’s own plan in supplying the treasury with means. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 47

Read to the church the words of Malachi, the curse that God has pronounced upon all that rob Him in tithes and offerings, and the blessings pronounced upon all who render to the Lord His own. The Lord challenges them, “Bring ye all the tithes,” not one-fourth or one-half, but “all the tithe into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Verse 10.] (Read verses 11 and 12.) 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 48

If any one should say, “I can not see this matter,” what can we say in regard to the case? There is nothing in all the Word of God more direct and explicit than these words of Malachi. The selfishness of the human heart alone explains why men cannot see; and because selfishness is always striving for the mastery, the workers in the vineyard of the Lord are required to be faithful in giving labor to the church, and personal labor to individuals who are neglecting their duty on this point, and through this neglect are bringing themselves under the curse of God. Special labor should be given to this matter by all who have any line of work to do in connection with the church. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 49

Sabbath, January 14, was a day of great interest to us. In the morning I spoke from Isaiah 58. The Lord gave me strength and grace to deliver His message to the people. As a social meeting had been appointed, I did not intend to speak again in the afternoon; but as the testimonies were borne I felt urged to present the cases of some who seemed altogether too blind to comprehend their true condition. I was constrained to speak in regard to the dangers of those who were so completely absorbed in dwelling upon the mistakes and failings of others that they themselves were falling into far greater evils, and sinning against God. I told Brother P. that he would surely lose the reason that God had given him if he did not cease this work of accusing, and employ his powers to better purpose than feeding on the faults and errors of others. Christ has declared Himself to be the Bread that cometh down from heaven. John 6:61, 53, 57, 63. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 50

Our bodies are built up from what we eat, and the character of our spiritual experience depends on what our minds feed upon and assimilate. By continually dwelling upon the mistakes and defects of others, many become religious dyspeptics. The Lord has bidden us: Philippians 4:6-8. But those who are busy in dissecting the words and acts of others, to discern all that is objectionable, fail to discover the good and pleasant things. They do not eat of the proper food to give spiritual vitality and healthful growth. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 51

Many are bearing a yoke that Christ has never asked them to bear. It is galling to the neck, and it brings no rest to the soul. I said, “Dear brother, the Lord has not placed the sins of the people upon you. You are not the sin-bearer. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, was able to tread the winepress alone. He bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and there is not an angel in heaven who is able to bear the sins of one soul. No human being can bear the guilt of his own sins; then how inconsistent for any one to think that God has laid upon him the sins of his fellow men. If it were so indeed, his life would be crushed out. From henceforth please to remember that not one of you is able to be a sin-bearer. Do not feel that you are under the necessity of talking of the faults and errors of others. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 52

God has given His only begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Christ has invited us, “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you ... and ye shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Let these words fill us with comfort and hope and peace. While you are worrying over the sins of others, Jesus says, Turn your eyes away from these things and behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. You are not to be crushed under the load. Jesus is the great Physician; He can cure the maladies of the soul. There is a balm in Gilead; there is a Physician there, and He can cure all the maladies of the soul. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 53

The infinite wisdom of God has employed human agencies to co-operate with Him in His work for the salvation of man. He has a variety of agencies with different gifts, and all are to co-operate harmoniously, each filling his own special, God-given sphere of action. We are to work for the salvation of our fellow men, not by judging them, but by showing forth what the Lord has done for us in the transformation of character. Your faith, your sympathy, your forbearance, your love, your gentleness, your temperance in all things, will be as a light in a dark place. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 54

The spotless example of a poor and illiterate man God has often used as successfully to promote the great designs of the gospel as the labors of the minister who is lauded as talented and eloquent. The Lord’s wisdom and power are revealed in the humble, devoted worker who lives his religion, rather [than] in the educated man who does not rely so fully upon God’s help. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 55

Brother P. arose in the congregation and said he accepted every word Sister White had said, for it all meant him, and it was all true. O, that God may work in the hearts of those men who have been bodies of darkness, because they were not walking in the light as Christ is in the light! 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 56

Many good testimonies were borne. The delegates from the Paramatta church that has been raised up under the labors of Brethren Hare and Steed have acknowledged themselves as greatly blessed. They say that these meetings have been as a school to them. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 57

One brother, a noble looking man, a delegate from Tasmania, came to me and said, “I am glad I heard you speak today upon tithing. I did not know it was so important a matter. I dare not neglect it longer.” This brother’s name is Rogers. He and his wife were Seventh-Day Baptists before accepting the present truth. He urged me to visit him at his home if I went by the way of Tasmania to New Zealand. He is now figuring up the amount of his tithe for the last twenty years, and says he shall pay it all as fast as possible, for he cannot have robbery of God registered in the books of heaven meet him in the judgment. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 58

One sister belonging to the Melbourne church has brought in all back tithe which she had not understood that it devolved on her to pay. As they have received the light, many have made confession in regard to their indebtedness to God, and expressed their determination to meet their debt and no longer to rob God. I proposed that they place in the treasury their note promising to pay the full amount of an honest tithe as soon as they could obtain the money to do so. Many heads bowed assent, and I am confident that next year we shall not, as now, have an empty treasury. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 59

This conference has been by far the best that has ever been held in this country. It has been far better than last year’s meeting. All listened to me respectfully a year ago, but this year my message means far more to them. I have been writing out testimonies for individuals, and these, with the writing for American mail, have kept my pen in constant use, from 4 o’clock in the morning until dark at night. I feel worn, but I thank the Lord for His mercy, His goodness, and His love manifested to His people and to me. I have not a doubt concerning my duty in coming here, not a doubt that my sickness was permitted of God to fulfill His own purpose. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 60

I am not my own; I have been bought with a price. I am the Lord’s, to do His will. I dare not do my own planning independent of the Spirit of God. I want the Lord to work in my behalf. I want Him to give me the message to bear to His people; then He will strengthen me to do His work, as He has done at this meeting. 8LtMs, Lt 23a, 1893, par. 61