Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 60, 1894

Beneficent Action a Proof of Sincere Love



Portions of this manuscript are published in CG 124; OHC 268; TMK 63; AH 494; 11MR 194.

I would write a few lines this morning to all who are connected with the missionary work, and to those who are interested in its success. I have not been able to sleep since one o’clock, and have risen to take my pen to relieve my mind in writing. Very important matters of deep interest are now opened up before me. On every hand it is made apparent that means to carry on the work is very limited. The work must be pushed on into new fields, and it will go into “regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 1

Let every one cherish love for, and confidence in, one another in order that we may safely counsel together with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another. Let all the churches be taught lessons of economy in every line. Let every family heed the lesson which Christ has given. When He worked the miracle of feeding the multitudes who followed Him into a desert place, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” [John 6:12.] Let every member of the family who professes to believe the truth, watch and pray, and have works that correspond to the truth they believe. Let parents and children consider the fact that as the Father sent His Son into the world to represent Him, so Christ has sent us into the world to be His representatives. This we may do by not merely teaching the law in words, but by living out the principles of the law as Christ has given us an example. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 2

There is great need of proper family discipline. Both parents and children have need to mold and fashion their characters to meet the high standard of the law of God. The parents who feel the solemnity of the time in which we are living will follow where Christ leads the way, and will make straight paths for their own feet, walking in a way that will be safe for their children to follow after them. I have been shown that there is great need that there should be lessons given concerning industry and frugality, in order that the professed followers of Christ may learn to practice principles of economy in their eating, drinking and dressing. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 3

Every member of the church should seek to deny self, and let the result of his self-denial be placed in a box, sacredly dedicated to the work of the Lord. Each member of the family should ever have the fact before the mind that moment by moment he is dependent upon God’s mercy, love, and benevolence. God is the Provider not only of our food and raiment, but of every breath of air we breathe. Then why not present thank-offerings to God, and make frequent deposits in the missionary box, that may be dedicated to the work of relieving the destitute and saving the souls of the perishing? 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 4

Attention should be given to this matter. Let each member of the family from the oldest to the youngest practice self-denial in small matters as well as in large, that each one may have something to render to God. We are pressed for want of funds to do the work that must be done in this country. Many are in the darkness of error and need to be divinely enlightened, and when those who claim to believe the truth do sincerely believe, their works will testify to the fact, and it will be made manifest that the truth received into the heart works a great change in the life of its receiver, for “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 5

This is no time for any one to become discouraged, not even if there are many gloomy prospects before our vision, for forbidding circumstances may be made the means of attaining great advantages. Let faith, living faith, cut its way through every obstacle, and let our petitions go up to heaven and be lodged upon the throne of God. Let every one do his very best and be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] Let not parents or children regard the doing of honorable labor with their hands as too great a humiliation. Let parents teach industry to their children not only by precept but by example. Let parents employ their time, their mental and physical strength, in earning means to be used to educate their children and to provide things for the subsistence of their families. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 6

Those who feel too proud to work are too proud to sit down with the suffering Man of Calvary, and they will never hear the words of commendation from the divine Master, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] Let every man, woman, and child be both industrious and economical, that they may have gifts and offerings to present to God. If they fail in making contributions to the work of God, when God has endowed them with physical strength and opportunity to labor, they commit robbery toward God and do not follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Christ worked at the carpenter’s trade with His father, and He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. In thus doing He honored all honest workers, high or low, rich or poor. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 7

God calls upon every one to do his best. When the Lord sees both ministers and people standing as faithful workmen, each at his post of duty, co-operating with heavenly intelligences, then and then only He will say of them, “Ye are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Christ has said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” [Luke 9:23, 24.] 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 8

The father or mother who leaves the impression upon their children’s minds that it is lowering their dignity to work with their hands have exalted their wisdom above the wisdom of our Lord, and have need to be born again, that they may be converted from their false notions and ideas. To the holy pair in Eden God gave the work of tilling and dressing the garden, because labor was essential to their happiness and progress. Indolence is a great curse. God has blessed human beings with nerves, organs, and muscles, and they are not to be allowed to deteriorate because of inaction, but are to be strengthened and kept in health by exercise. To have nothing to do is a great misfortune, for idleness ever has been and ever will be a curse to the human family. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 9

When men and women are divested of pride and selfishness, the Lord will make them vessels unto honor, and honor comes in being accepted for the Master’s use, in being trusted to do His work in His name. There is a great work to be done in our world, and no one can answer the purpose of God in resting at his ease. No one ever will be happy in living a useless life. We are to follow the example of Jesus. He was a worker; He spent Himself for the good of the people and lived not to please Himself. In following His example we shall need to learn in the school of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart. He who is burdened to seek for the highest place, who has a disposition to desire to be first, exhibits himself rather than Jesus. He is vain, self-conceited, self-important, and cannot be trusted in the work of the Lord. He who seeks for the supremacy to have the first seat will at last, as a result of his course of action, have the last and the lowest seat. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 10

We must practice the example given us in the life of Jesus Christ, and follow Him in self-denial and cross-bearing if we would win the crown of life. Selfishness must be uprooted from the human heart. It has spread itself so thoroughly through the thoughts, through the plans and methods of life, that it will take earnest work to eradicate it, and to have an eye single to the glory of God. We must begin to work to set various and numerous rivulets flowing into the divine channel of benevolence, in order that missionary work may be done to save the souls that are perishing in our world. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 11

With an eye single to the glory of God, we should give careful, thoughtful attention to the matter of our eating and drinking. We need divine guidance, even in our commonest habits of every day life, that there may be no little leaks which will consume means unnecessarily, simply for the gratification of perverted appetites. In the New Testament not one of God’s requirements loses its binding force, or relaxes in the least its obligation to be fulfilled. The precepts and example of Christ are ever to be before us, presenting the true standard of our moral obligations. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 12

Instead of the requirements of God being relaxed in the New Testament, the lines are drawn closer, and duty is more distinctly defined. The apostle says, “Whatsoever ye do,” even in the matter of eating and drinking, “do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] The question may be asked, “May I not do what I like with myself? Am I never to have my own way? Is not my body my own?” You may have your own way, but it will be at the loss of your soul, or you may have God’s way and live to a purpose in this world, and in the world to come have life everlasting. “Ye are not your own, for you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 13

Will you give back to God that which He has ransomed with the price of His own blood? Will you give Him your reasoning powers; will you set them apart for His glory? They are His; He has bought them with a price. Will you place yourselves in the school of Christ, that your conscience may be enlightened, that it may be a good conscience, a faithful sentinel to guard the highest interests of the soul? Christ has purchased the affections; will you trifle with them, will you pervert them? Will you place them upon unworthy objects, center them upon human beings, and make the creature instead of the Creator your god to worship? Or shall your affections be purified, ennobled, refined, and made to twine about your Creator and Redeemer? 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 14

I am alarmed concerning our brethren and sisters who seem to have but a nominal faith. If they have the love of God, they do not reveal it, and it is certain that if they did have it they would manifest this love by letting it flow out to bless the souls who need the exhibition of divine compassion. God will not occupy a divided heart, or reign from a divided throne. Every rival that holds the affections and diverts them from the God of love must be dethroned. The Lord demands all that there is of us, and there must be no reserve. Christ has purchased us; we are His heritage, and we are to be honored by being co-laborers with Jesus Christ. Wear the yoke with Christ, and daily walk with God. How shall we do this? by laying hold upon the help which God has provided. The Lord has said, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” [Luke 11:9, 13.] 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 15

May God help us to maintain a godly jealousy over ourselves. God calls upon His ministers and His workers to be closely united in love and confidence. Let no unsanctified influence come in among the workers to make them suspicious one of another, for God will not and cannot work for His name’s glory when His professed children are living in strife and alienation. Press together, let heart be close to heart. Treat each other as God’s anointed, chosen ones, who are appointed to do special work for the Master. Let there be no whispering, no slandering, no evil speaking and backbiting. In the sight of the universe of heaven, let brother be perfectly honest with brother. Cultivate love and respect one for another, and manifest courtesy, in honor preferring one another. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 16

We have been entrusted with [the] most solemn message ever given to our world, and the object to be kept plainly and distinctly before our minds is the glory of God. Let us take care that we do nothing which will weaken physical, mental, or spiritual healthfulness, for God will not accept a tainted, diseased, corrupted sacrifice. Care must be exercised in eating, in drinking, in dressing, and in working, lest we detract from our efficiency and fail of doing our most exalted work in the best manner, in order that the results of our labor may be as lasting as eternity. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 17

It is our duty to train and discipline the body in order that we shall render to the Master the highest possible service. Inclination must not control us. We are not to pamper the appetite and indulge in the use of that which is not for our good, simply because it gratifies the palate; neither are we to seek to live by the starvation plan, with the idea that we shall become spiritually-minded, and that God shall be glorified. We must use the intelligence that God has given in order that we may be perfect in body, soul, and spirit, that we may have a symmetrical character, a well-balanced mind, and do perfect work for the Master. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 18

Those who work in harmony with God will become wise in learning the lessons that they should learn in the school of Christ. It is essential that every minister of the gospel should take physical exercise, and that every teacher and every student in our schools should cultivate their physical strength and live in such a way that disease shall not fasten upon them, so that the impression will go out that education is incompatible with good health. Shall not Christ’s soldiers keep themselves in training? Shall they not put on the whole armor of God, for this will be necessary in order to meet principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 19

Care needs to be exercised in regard to the regulation of hours for sleeping and laboring. We must take periods of rest, periods of recreation, periods for contemplation, or else the work of God will not be accomplished in a sound and healthful manner. If the worker does not take periods of rest, time for relaxation and contemplation, he will become diseased in body, and consequently will be sick in mind and soul, and his influence will not be a savor of life unto life. Divine grace alone can make a true, sensible, courteous Christian. The principles of temperance have a wider range than many think, and true temperance is not practiced as it should be. Long hours spent in council meetings are injurious to the sound principles and live interest that such meetings demand. No careless, off-hand decisions can be made with any safety. May God anoint our eyes with eyesalve, that we may see clearly. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 20

A great and solemn work is before us, which is not to be done in a surly, sour spirit, but with pleasantness and love. We are to remember that we are pilgrims and strangers here, having no continuing city, but we are seeking one to come, even a heavenly. But while we journey here we are to breathe in the atmosphere of the heavenly Canaan. We are to breathe the sweetness of the spices and fragrance of the heavenly land that shall make all our garments smell of myrrh. The influence we exert is to be of a pleasant, heavenly character. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 21

We see a great work to be done in order to advance the third angel’s message, and we find little means to sustain the workers and to push the work into the “regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] But if we have failed, we need not despond. We must plan wisely and push forward the work, and let not outward appearances cloud our faith. You must not talk in a hopeless, discouraged way. If you do you will lose much. Talk and act as though your faith was invincible. “Faith is the substance of the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 22

Trying times are before us; but the signs of the times tell us that the Lord is soon to come. Then lift up your heads and rejoice, for your redemption is at hand. Instead of doubtful words, let there be words of hope and courage in the Lord. Watch your words, watch your manners, in order that they may be indicators of spiritual health. You are to talk with certainty, not in a doubtful way, not stating truth as a supposition instead of a certainty. God will give you grace that with great boldness you may speak the truth in love as it is in Jesus. Jesus the precious Saviour is knocking at the door of your heart for entrance, in order that He may abide with you. If you invite Him to take up His abode with you, you may speak as one who knows. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 23

When Jesus abides in the heart, all pride is expelled from the soul. There will be no harshness, no coldness, no uncourteousness in word or spirit. He who is Christlike will manifest divine sympathy for others. Self will be forgotten and the fragrant influence of the character will testify to the power of the truth on the human agent. When we abide in Christ we are one with Him as He is one with the Father, and through us He lives again in the world blessing those with whom he comes in contact. He is a living, shining light unto the world. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 24

We have no time now to cultivate suspicion one of another. Let us draw together and love as brethren, guarding against judging, criticizing and condemning each other. All this brings confusion and every evil work. Christians should conform their lives to the life of Jesus Christ and not fashion their characters after the model of their former education in their ignorance. To fulfill Christian obligations is to act like Christ, to follow the example of Christ, to have the mind of Christ. Then there will be no variance, but only unity and love. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 25

Our faith must be something more confident than it now is. We must live the truth, and teach it by our lives as well as by our words. There are thousands within our reach to whom we can teach the truth, and it does not require the investment of large means to reach our neighboring towns and cities. We do not need to go to a people of a strange town, but to English-speaking people, and yet year after year has passed by, appeal after appeal has been sent out, and yet men, women, and means have done little to advance the work. Are we the light of the world? Has Christ committed to us sacred trusts in order that we may be witnesses for His truth? Then what are we doing? Were we living out the law of God as Christ lived it out, we would practice daily self-denial in order to seek and save that which was lost, and bring the wandering back to the fold. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 26

Let the people of God offer up many more earnest prayers. Let them open the heart for the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that He may mold and fashion us after the divine pattern. Let us pray that our eyes may be anointed, that we may discern the necessity of fields that are nigh and of fields that are afar off. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 27

When I am shown the great work that might be done if those who claim to know the truth would walk in the light, and co-operate with heavenly intelligences, I feel constrained by the Spirit to write early and late. Since coming to Granville, N.S.W., I have been unable to sleep after one and two o’clock in the morning, and could relieve my oppressed mind and heart only by writing and entreating souls to give proof of the sincerity of their love for Christ and His truth by holy and beneficent action. I have pleaded with many to give proof of their piety by manifesting conformity to the likeness of Christ. If they fail to do this, they are none of Christ. He who drinks of the water which Christ shall give him will refresh others. The water which Christ gives shall be in him “a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” Out of him shall flow “rivers of living water.” [John 4:14; 7:38.] This will be evidence that we are the children of God. 9LtMs, Ms 60, 1894, par. 28