Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 64, 1894


Ashfield, Australia

October 27, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 306; 6MR 228.

During the past night matters have been presented to me which I dare not withhold. I seemed to be in a meeting at Battle Creek, where many were assembled. Persons from far and near were present. But in the meeting there was revealed a lack of unity. I saw marked evidence that our ministering brethren did not have the love and confidence they should have, and they were weak in consequence. Then one rose in the meeting and with solemn, earnest words addressed the congregation. The words spoken impressed my mind vividly. The prayer of Christ for His disciples was repeated in a solemn, reverential manner, giving to it a sacred importance that I had never realized before. Then followed words of a similar character. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 1

The Lord desires that each believing soul shall have a high estimate of Christ’s claims upon him. He designs that His followers shall be in sympathy with Him, one with Christ as He is one with the Father. He would have us hear to a purpose, and do His will. The restraining of persons from engaging in the work of convincing souls of the truth, because they have not been educated, has had much to do with erecting partition walls in the church. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 2

The fear of evil being done by uneducated ones has led to the neglect of many talents, and has caused men to feel no travail of soul for a perishing world. This neglect to employ the means that might have been set in operation to carry forward God’s work has resulted in a dearth of laborers, and has cut off a vast amount of good from God’s people. God has been robbed of the power He should have in the work of opening new fields, and the world has been robbed of instrumentalities it should have to win it to God. God requires every member of the church who believes in Christ as his personal Saviour to employ his talents as agencies of heaven, that the church members may become active workers, uniting their forces to win souls to Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 3

A precise line for the work has been marked out, and this the Spirit of God will obliterate. An altogether different spirit and plan of work than has hitherto been exercised must be called into action. The large amount of means spent in conducting ministerial institutes might far better be invested in sustaining the ministers who will give their whole energies to the work of declaring the truth to the souls who have not had the privilege of hearing it. Those men who spend their time in listening to the exposition of the Word are exhausting the strength and consuming the time which should be given to the poor souls in the darkness of error. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 4

Why do not our people reason from cause to effect. How can the people hear without a preacher, and how can they have the light except a preacher be sent? But very little earnest ministry is done in the places where camp meetings have been held. Personal house-to-house labor is needed. If this were done, many who have strong convictions of the truth would become established, and small and large companies would be raised up in every place. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 5

There are strange dealings in the management of the work in Michigan and other places. Large sums of money are consumed in traveling long distances by men who are in no condition to give wise counsel—men who have put out their spiritual eyesight. My brethren in Michigan, let nothing be devised to keep ministers who know the truth from engaging in earnest, self-sacrificing labor. Let them communicate the light to their fellow men who know not the truth, and in teaching others more light will be flashed upon their minds. They will gain more experimental knowledge than they would gain in all the Bible institutes you can establish. It is selfish to deprive the people of the labor they should have. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 6

In failing to co-operate with God, the church has lost her first love. God’s professed people today do not love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. The prayer of Christ for unity among His followers is not being lived out. The principles Christ carried into His life and work are to be practiced in every mission in our ranks. God has given dignity to men by giving His Son to save them. Christ allied Himself to humanity that He might make it possible for humanity to ally itself with divine power, that man might love his fellow man with the love wherewith Christ has loved him. This conversion must leaven our churches. Christ calls upon men to exercise the same spirit of forgiveness, the same tender spirit of sympathy and love, which He has revealed for us. This is a debt which every man enlightened by the Spirit of God and converted through the truth, owes to every other man with whom he comes in contact, be he friend, neighbor, or acquaintance. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 7

When Christ sent forth the seventy to proclaim the truths of the kingdom of God, their work was not to be restricted to the Jews. Christ presented the world before the disciples as their field of labor. From them the light was to shine to all parts of the world. And today Christ is calling upon His church to advance. God’s people should never, never cease their labors till they have belted the world. We are to regard every man as our neighbor. The bitterest opponent should be treated with deference and respect in the advocacy of truth that we may show that we are sanctified through the truth. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 8

Every soul in darkness needs our aid. Some will not respond to our efforts but will make light of the gospel invitation. But others—even those who now stand in opposition to the truth, and whom we suppose have passed the boundary of God’s love and mercy—will be won to Christ. The very last work in the controversy may be the enlightening of minds who have not rejected light and evidence, but who have been in midnight darkness, who like Paul have in ignorance resisted and worked against the truth. Therefore treat every man as honest. Speak no word, do no deed, that will confirm them in unbelief. Their souls are as precious in the sight of God as was Saul’s. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 9

As we seek to carry forward this work, God will break down the partition wall. He will widen before us the circle of our influence. Leading us to the mount of Beatitudes, He strengthens our vision by presenting truths of the greatest importance. All territorial lines, all man-made distinctions, disappear before His teaching. Our vision takes in sinful, suffering humanity in regions beyond. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 10

The angel said, “The world is in midnight darkness. Let your light shine.” Christ says, not to the ministers alone, but to every believer, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] Every one who truly believes God will be a light in the world. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 11

God does not want His people to be weakened by being educated to lean upon the minister, to depend upon human beings for help. God calls His ministers to lift the standard of truth, to proclaim the last message of warning, not merely to a few select friends, but in regions where the truth has never entered. There are portions of the Lord’s vineyard which have been left to run waste, places where many should be at work. There are large communities in peril, because they are making void the law of God. But these are praying for light, and Christ is drawing them to Himself. If Christ’s followers would take up this work, and carry it on faithfully, they would understand that they are yoked up with Christ to plough the ground, to sow the seed, and to gather a precious harvest. And they would see results that would inspire them with hope and courage. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 12

Those who have walked in the light as far as they have had knowledge of it will have a hungry desire to know more of the truth. They will long for a greater knowledge of the ways and works of God. Even the most irreligious have their hours of conviction, and then there comes to them a longing for something they have not. Instinctively their soul cries out after God. The Lord will use those who are humble in heart, and through them reach souls that the ordained minister cannot approach. They are moved to speak words which reveal the saving grace of Christ. The prayer offered from the humble soul will reach the throne of the Infinite. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 13

God wants us to learn deeper lessons; He desires to lead us to greater heights, to educate us to love and obey Him. He wants to place us where we can use the talents God has given us. He is giving us opportunities to impart grace, that He may refill us with increased grace. It is by working in Christ’s lines that we become laborers together with God. “Take my yoke upon you,” says the Great Teacher, “and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Do not fail nor be discouraged in the work. Means may be restricted, but despair of nothing. You are laborers together with God. The promise is given you, “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] God’s promise is immutable. The unfailing God has encouraged us to ask, assuring us that He will establish His Word. Hope and faith will increase as the agent of God works with all the talents and facilities God has provided. He will have a divine agency to work with him. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 14

When our entrusted capabilities are allowed to lay unimproved, God’s vineyard is deprived of the labor it should have. The human agent is to obey the command, As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them. This is a duty broad and deep to be brought into our practical lives, and which, under God’s divine working, will be a convincing power to the world. Wake up, brethren. Go, laborers, go and work in humble ways to bring souls to the truth. The Lord will open the way before you. In the great day of reckoning, the slothful servant will be dealt with according to the work he might have done by putting his talents to use. Your own talent, improved, will gain another talent, and those two talents will gain other two. In a faithful discharge of your duty, you will acquire increased ability, tact, knowledge and experience. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 15

Had there been nothing in the world to work at cross purposes with us, patience, forbearance, gentleness, meekness and longsuffering would not have been called into action. The more these graces are exercised, the more will they be increased and strengthened. The more we deal our temporal bread to the hungry, the oftener we clothe the naked, visit the sick, and relieve the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, the more decidedly shall we realize the blessing of God. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 16

The truly converted soul will have as his object the honor and glory of God. The obedience God required of Adam in Eden will be the obedience he will render to all the commandments of God. From the first hour of his belief in Christ as his personal Saviour, all his influence will be under contribution to God. He is Christ’s purchased possession, and his physical, mental, and moral powers are to be constantly increasing in adaptability for the work of God. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 17

Those standing under Christ’s banner are to be united in the various branches of the work. They are to be of one mind, of one judgment. As there is to be one shepherd of the sheep, so there is to be one flock. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] Union with Christ brings man back to his allegiance to his Creator. It implants in the mind a love for God and His holy law. The soul that is one with Christ prays, and watches unto prayer, that he may have transcribed in his heart and reflected in his life the purity, the forbearance, the mercy, and the righteousness of God. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ... full of grace and truth. And of his grace have all we received, and grace for grace.” [Verses 14, 16.] Upon this all-perfect Pattern he fixes his eye, and with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, he is changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 9LtMs, Ms 64, 1894, par. 18