Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 93, 1894

Jones, C. H.

Granville, Australia

May 9, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 8MR 249.

Dear Brother Jones:

Since my letter was written to you, the decision we have so long contemplated has been made in regard to the land we contemplate purchasing for the school. The tract comprises 1500 acres, which we obtain for about $4,500. This not only provides land for the school, but gives our brethren who are out of employment an opportunity to secure ground for cultivation. The sum of $1,500 is required for the first payment, and the balance is to be paid in a few months. We had thought to pay $125 to hold the land until Brother Daniells and one or two others can come to see it, but we had not the money so we risk the matter. If that $1,000 had come by last mail, as God designed it should, then we should have had something with which to work. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 1

Oh, how sorry I am that you should have felt at liberty to exercise your wisdom and authority as you have done in this case! You may think you had sufficient reasons, but I think that no circumstance which is likely to arise can be an excuse for you. You should have considered whether even greater emergencies might not arise in this new portion of God’s vineyard. This means had been given for a specific object, and how dare you prevent it from going to the very purpose for which it was designed? I look on this action upon your part as a dangerous precedent. Had your eye been single to discern the necessities of the work in this country, which has been kept before you, you would not have been induced to retain that gift from God to the cause of the Australian missions, no, not for a moment. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 2

I want you to understand plainly that God is not pleased with your ideas or principles, nor with the ideas and principles upon which some of our brethren in America have in some cases been working. You have been writing to me of the prosperous condition of the Pacific Press; you stated that you were never in a better condition financially. If the Lord has been so gracious and bountiful in His provision for you, could not you allow brethren who had means, and whose hearts the Lord made willing, to appropriate that means as they were moved by the Spirit of God to do? Has not covetousness taken possession of your soul? 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 3

In the night season, while pleading with God in regard to our destitute condition, I had a vivid impression that the Lord was moving upon hearts to send some of His entrusted goods to help us in this country in our great necessity. We have tried to wait patiently for the means to come. When I read that last letter from Brother Haskell, stating why he did not send the money, I knew that had you been in living connection with God, you would have been in fear and trembling before Him, and His Spirit would so have impressed your heart that you would not have ventured to do such a thing. Has not God as great an interest in His work for the salvation of souls in the far-off country as He has in the work in California or Battle Creek? Why do men become so self-centered? Why do they so earnestly grasp everything they can, in order to build up the branch of work under their supervision, irrespective of the great whole? 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 4

You know that my husband and I labored with just as much interest to build up our publishing house in California and to erect the churches in San Francisco and Oakland as we are now manifesting in our work here. We called for means from the different conferences; we labored most earnestly to gather donations for California. We knew we were doing our duty, and we carried heavy burdens in California. We freely invested means and influence. We had done the same in Battle Creek. Now we have not the slightest hesitancy in calling on California or any other part of America to help us. We must have help. Had it not been for the royalty on my books, we could have done little. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 5

I have had to stand in a position to help and encourage our brethren in this country; I have tried to inspire them with zeal to do all they possibly can. The cause is young here, and needs strengthening. The only way we could open the school was by investing, investing, investing of our own means. I have thought that our brethren at home understand but little of what it means to work in new fields and lay the foundation of schools and churches. I did not wish to come here, but I am here by the voice of the Conference. I have some knowledge of the sacrifice Willie is making, away from home and children, when traveling by steamer, going in the steerage to save passage money, and putting his hand into his purse to help students pay their passage. There are constant outgoes, and we study to bring our own wants into as narrow a compass as possible. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 6

If our brethren are so blind that they cannot see things afar off, then there is need that the heavenly eyesight be employed, and I shall try to stir up their minds by way of remembrance. There are but few men here who have means, and we are trying to teach economy in every line to a people who have not been educated to bind about their wants. I desire that the churches should carry the burden of other fields, not by fits and starts, but perseveringly, continuously. In doing this they will receive the Lord’s blessing. I do not cease to admonish you, who have been prospered of God, not to become weary in well doing. I wish to say to you who are conveniently settled, think of these “regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] The much money invested to increase the facilities in our institutions in America would, if rightly distributed, have built a church in Melbourne, where there are nearly half a million people. We have no church in Adelaide, in Ballarat, in Melbourne, or in Sydney. Our people in the cities and towns must have places of their own where they can worship. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 7

Our God is no respecter of persons, and if the stewards are not faithful in handling the Lord’s goods, if they refuse to heed His counsel, and will center His money in favored localities, leaving other places, which are fully as important, with scarcely any facilities, will the Lord be pleased with such management? No, no, this matter has been presented to me again and again. The will of our heavenly Father has been made known. We form one brotherhood. God does not design that those for whom He has done large things shall come to think that His money must be absorbed in their special localities. They are not to imagine that they must keep building, because they want things still more convenient, while some of God’s “regions beyond” have no facilities whatever. [Verse 16.] 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 8

It is the hardest battle that must be waged, to get the eye to see afar off, to see the needs of places that are just making a beginning. Not only are men to sow the seed, but the reapers in the great harvest field must follow, and the garner must be prepared to gather in and protect the harvest which is reaped. Christ taught His followers to pray, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10.] Ours is a worldwide message. Australia and New Zealand are only a little part of the world, but this is the portion, the region beyond, in which we are called to be interested and to labor, and while in these parts of the field the work needs to obtain a standing place, let not building be added to building in those places where there is now almost every convenience. This absorbs means selfishly, which the workers could manage to do without. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 9

God opens before you continually the prospect of the “regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] Do you have sensitive ears to distinguish His voice? The standard of truth must be planted where the people have not as yet heard the message of warning. God wants the large cities to hear the last solemn message that is to be given to the world. Progression and improvement must follow the sowing of the seed, and angels will co-operate with the human agents. The more that men have the message burning in their own souls, the more unselfish will be their interest in other places, and the more earnestly will they seek to let their light shine out to others. At every step as they advance, they call the heavenly agencies to their side. All heaven is interested in the work. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 10

As God’s agents, we are to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us under like circumstances. Our duty to our fellow men is broad and deep; benevolent action is called for. Through mismanagement in the past, the work in Australia is now burdened with debt. This makes it very hard for those who shall work here to inspire confidence, but this embarrassment must be overcome; debts must be canceled; the work of God must not be crushed to death through the miscalculation of men who had not wisdom in the doing of the work. The heavenly agencies will now co-operate with men if they will do their best. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 11

Agencies of every kind must be set in operation; every follower of Christ can do something. Not to do one’s God-given work means unfaithfulness, indifference to the claims of God; it means the ranging of one’s self against Him. Jesus said, “He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Every member of the church is to be enlisted in His service. Every talent of means or of influence is to be employed. Christ asks of those who carry no burden of labor, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” [Matthew 20:6.] Work while it is day, for the night cometh, in which no man can work. The influence of Christ multiplies itself through His human agencies. To deny self for Christ’s sake is the daily obligation of every Christian. 9LtMs, Lt 93, 1894, par. 12