Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Lt 36, 1894

Ings, Jennie L.

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

August 4, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 351.

Mrs. Jennie L. Ings
Crystal Springs
St. Helena, California

Dear Sister:

We are now nicely located, having moved into a much more desirable house, and in the midst of very pleasant scenery. The building was 78 pounds a year when Willie looked at it in March with the idea of renting, but there was no stable, and the rent was too high. After that they built a stable and carriage house, and offered us the place at 60 (pounds stg.) a year—nearly twenty-five dollars a month. The location is excellent, on high land, no drainage to annoy us, and only one house very near. I wish you were here. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 1

I have written out some things of which I desire you to have a copy, but fear I shall not be able to get a copy. Fannie came down with influenza a day or two ago, and Emily has been giving her treatment. My cook, Maud Camp was not well, and went home yesterday for a rest of one or two weeks. We are trying to do the best we can with the limited means which we have to do with. Our hands are tied for want of means. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 2

Brethren Hare and Teasdale have visited us. They said that a willow rocking chair was to be sent me by them. They expected it to be brought to them on the boat, but none came. When the next party comes, I would like to have at least two of my cane-seat chairs and one or two of my folding tables, which can be easily brought. I thank you for the satchel. It is a good one, just what I want, but I could find no price mark on it. Did it get lost? I am anxious to see you all, but the prospect is not favorable. The location for the school has been selected, fifteen hundred acres of land for forty-five hundred dollars. All who have seen the place are much pleased with it. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 3

Cannot Brother and Sister Ings come to work in this country? Brother Ings would be gladly received by us and by all, I am sure, and I would just let my family drop on to you instead of me. Ask the Lord about this. There is much missionary work to be done in this country; the school buildings are to be erected and plans to be devised for the work more and more. Students must be educated and trained, not only in book knowledge, but in knowledge that has a more direct bearing upon practical life. There is so much to be done in this little world of itself that we cannot understand it to be our duty to leave this field. Willie has an excellent influence here, but he works altogether too hard, and he must not be left to labor as he has done, alone, without a man to help him. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 4

Yet when our past year’s account was settled, we were coolly informed that there was a reduction of two dollars per week on my wages for the year, and one dollar from Willie’s. This is evidence to us that money is not very flush with the General Conference, for the statement is that the wages of all ministers have been proportionately reduced. This decision has made a change in my action. All my wages for the past year, and several hundred dollars besides, I have thought it duty to invest in the work here, for how could we see it come to a standstill for the want of means and the apparent impossibility of our brethren appreciating the situation in this part of the Lord’s moral vineyard? In America thousands of dollars have been expended in making things a little more convenient to answer certain supposed ends, when in this country we have nothing with which to make even a beginning. God has cautioned and warned our brethren against putting up building against building in Battle Creek, but their plans were settled that thus it must be, and they paid not the least heed to cautions and entreaties or to the earnest portrayal of our positive necessities in this distant land. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 5

Now I am compelled to do certain things which otherwise I would not have done. I have not called to this country any of the royalty on foreign books sold in Europe, only the royalty on the foreign books sold in America. Now I must give heed to the counsel given me, and repeated for years in the past, that God will instruct me how to use the money He has intrusted to me as His steward, that I was not to place this money out of my control, for necessities would arise, and for the good of the work and its advancement we must have means at hand, and not beyond our power to use. I have never been so impressed in regard to this matter as since the action of the conference concerning the disposition of means. It is evident that our brethren do not appreciate the situation in this field; they do not perceive the necessities of the work and the demand for means and facilities to advance it. For want of funds we are liable at any time to be brought into strait places where the work will be crippled and souls lost because of the slow movements of men who need the heavenly anointing every day that they may see, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance that they may fulfill the purpose of God in reference to the regions beyond. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 6

I am constrained to take the means coming to me in royalty on foreign books sold in Europe and apply it to relieve the pressing wants of the cause where I am working. I will help the conference so that they need not feel we are demanding too much. They cannot discern our needs, because their eyes are holden. It pains me to the heart to see necessities right where I am, and no means to use to change the order of things. It is just taking the strength and courage and life out of me. And now, as one whom the Lord has chosen to lay great burdens of the cause of truth upon, I must not consent to be led in all things by the counsels and decisions of my brethren, when I know there are times when they are moving blindly. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 7

As one who has had an experience in the work from the very rise of the third angel’s message, and to whom the Lord has seen fit to give an experience in almost every line of the work, by opening up before me the present, the past, and the future, I am responsible to God alone for my action. If I do not make the very best use of the light given me in reference to the various branches of the work, I shall not meet the approval of God. We are amid the perils of the last days, and if all who were connected with the work were themselves molded in mind and in character by the Holy Spirit of God, then I could move with better assurance. But when I know that men are acting officially who are not under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I am obliged to follow the light given me of God, irrespective of the decisions that are sometimes directly contrary to that light. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 8

To the best of my understanding I shall work after the similitude given me of God, which is His way and His will. During the experience I have been through in this work, it has cost me intense suffering of mind to be compelled, as I have been, to differ with my brethren. It is just as sore and distressing a matter now as it has ever been, but the Lord alone can guide and sustain my mind and control my purposes. In this country I see, as it were, a new world, and a very great work to be done. The wrong management at the beginning of the work has made it much harder for us who are now in this field; a new mold has had to be given to everything, for the influences extended from the Echo office in fine threads through the entire work in every part of the field. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 9

If the work of remolding does not break down Willie and discourage his soul, it will be only because God upholds him. Think you it is not a daily sacrifice for him to be separated from his children nearly three years, not to look upon the faces of these motherless ones, they growing up without seeing their father? Both in this country and in America there are those who are ready to criticize and who have little appreciation of his work and the burdens that come upon him. I know something about this matter, for the Lord has opened it before me. All the time since coming here he has had no one connected with him to assist him in the work. He cannot link up with an unmarried woman to do his work, for how soon reports would be started, as they have been, without any cause. We are to abstain from the very appearance of evil. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 10

Willie has staggered under a tremendous load, until I have become alarmed for him. For months he has had a slow, weakening fever upon him, and congestion of the brain from continuous committee meetings held until a late hour at night. But now I am determined that there shall be a change. His life is of too much value to the cause of God to be sacrificed. In order to save money to the conference he has travelled by steerage on the boat, and never thinks of taking a sleeper, but rides second class always, to set an example to students and to the brethren in this field. But when we have worked in every way to save means, placing ourselves in any position in order to economize, the decisions in regard to our wages tell me that such constant study to make means go the farthest ceases to be a virtue, for it tells upon physical as well as mental power and disqualifies the human agent to do the work of the Lord courageously. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 11

If this movement of the conference does no more for me, it has done this much: it has aroused me to understand the situation, that if men take into their minds to do certain things through blind judgment, we must arrange our affairs so that we are not left to be disposed of as they shall see fit. We must not follow the judgment of those who seem unable to comprehend our work or the burdens and taxations that we are forced to bear. I write this because it is time to write it. We cannot trust to any man, or make flesh our arm. If blindness in part has happened unto Israel, it is no virtue in me to follow the blind leadings. I must look to Him who speaks as never man spoke, and who says, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 12

Just as far as I can, in perfect clearness and confidence, go with my brethren, I will cheerfully and gladly go. But to follow counsel which I know is not from God, and sacrifice ourselves in order to do this, would be folly. I feel at liberty to accept means from any man or woman who shall be stirred by the Spirit of God to invest in this work; and it is not necessary for the means to pass through Battle Creek or the Pacific Press to obtain their consent or receive their superscription. The work is fast drawing to the last crisis. We are now where Satan will, if possible, lay hold of every mind to insinuate his plans, and I am becoming jealous for the work, that it shall not bear the similitude of man’s imperfection, but the similitude of God in every line. I have consecrated to God all that I possess. It is His, to be used for His name’s glory. I must move humbly and tremblingly before God. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 13

I am much alarmed and deeply stirred as I see so little of the compassion and sympathy of Christ manifested by brother toward brother. There is such coldness, such indifference for human wants and human woes. I greatly fear lest God shall let His judgments fall heavily upon those who have not the tenderness of Christ for His heritage. In (Revelation 2) the cause of this sad condition is given: “Thou has lost thy first love.” [Verse 4.] The distress, the sufferings, of God’s people are unalleviated, the cries ascend to heaven, and God will take their case in hand; He will surely avenge them. It is a time now when we cannot for a moment take the spiritual eye from Christ Jesus. His admonition to us is, “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” [Mark 13:37.] Is there one professed Christian who needs not the warning, and whose heart will not bear watching? The heart must be kept with all diligence, under constant watchfulness. We must be ever looking unto Jesus, saying, “Be Thou my Pattern.” 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 14

Watch the stealthy approach of the enemy, watch against old habits and natural inclinations, lest they exert themselves; force them back, and watch; force them back, if need be, a hundred times. Watch the thoughts, watch the plans, lest they become selfish and self-centered. Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Watch over the souls whom Christ has purchased with His own blood. Watch for opportunities to do them good. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 15

Like Mary, we need to sit at the feet of Jesus to learn of Him, having chosen that better part which will never be taken from us. Like Martha we need to be ever abounding in the work of the Lord. The higher Christian attainments can be reached only by being much on our knees in sincere prayer. Our hands and our hearts, our whole being, must be devoted to the work. One fiber of the root of selfishness remaining in the soul will spring up when least expected, and thereby will many be defiled. It is no light or easy work to save souls; not all are to be treated in the same way. On some have compassion, making a difference, and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted with the flesh. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 16

Again I say, Will you come to this country? Will you help me in my life work? I will have the best girl I can secure to do the work, but I want you if God says come. 9LtMs, Lt 36, 1894, par. 17