Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 19, 1894

New Believers to Be Encouraged.

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

March 17, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 22; 2MCP 764-765; EV 238-239.

Friday was a very busy day, getting off the mail. I was unable to sleep after 2 a.m. Wrote about 25 pages of letter paper and was unable to rest as well as usual in the night. These days when the American mail closes are a very severe strain upon me and upon others as well who are in the family, and then when it is closed up, there come to mind many things one meant to write about, and did not have time to think of and a full month must pass before these things can be communicated. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 1

At times I have a great hungering of soul to see my friends in America, but do not feel that the time has come to leave this country now. There is much to be done, and may the Lord give us wisdom and the grace we so much need to do the work intelligently, to His own name’s glory. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 2

The inexperienced need to be guided by wise counsel when in trial and assailed with temptation; they must be taught that attainments in spiritual things will cost them steadfast, well directed effort. We must repeat it often to those newly come to the faith, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” [James 1:5.] These words are to be presented in the Spirit of the Master who gave them, for they are of more value than gold or silver or precious stones. Teach the young disciples to put their hands in the hand of Christ, saying, “Lead me, guide me.” What comfort and hope and blessing will the needy, perplexed souls receive if they will humbly seek God. The condition is that they come in faith, nothing wavering, asking for guidance in the day of perplexity. This pledge is given to every sincere seeker, “You shall have gracious answers.” “Ye shall receive.” [Matthew 21:22.] The instruction is to be often given that what God has said will never fail. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. We must teach every soul to lay his requests by prayers on the mercy seat. Strength and grace will surely come to the one who does this, for the Lord has promised. And yet so many go in weakness because they do not believe that God will do just as He has said. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 3

We know that we must work while it is day, for soon the night cometh, in which no man can work. We do not sanction inactivity; there is greater peril in idleness than many suppose. But all need to be on guard lest they practice robbery toward God because God is forgotten, robbery toward their own soul, because temporal and worldly business is allowed to crowd in, and while engaged in the busy activities, the soul’s highest interest is made a secondary matter, and religious devotion becomes second to the earthly and temporal. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 4

In order to perfect a Christian character, we must live day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, fighting the good fight of faith as in the sight of the invisible world. By faith we must, as did Moses, behold the unseen. Said the apostle Paul, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.” [2 Corinthians 4:17, 18.] The things that are seen are temporal, while the things that are unseen are eternal. We cannot risk the consequences of leaving the Word of God out of our counsels, and depending on human wisdom for guidance. We cannot in safety to the soul serve mammon. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 5

Sabbath, March 17. I did not attend meeting, but rested, for I was not well. My horse and phaeton were gone on the boat to Sydney, and I cannot do much walking. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 6

It is an important time, now, for those localities where an interest has been awakened. A large number in Brighton, in Williamstown, in Prahran, are in the valley of decision. O, that the Lord will give to His servants wisdom to speak to these souls such words as shall give them courage to confess the truth and surrender their wills, their hearts’ entire devotion to God. We pray that the Lord will inspire with faith these souls who are convinced of the truth that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, that they shall not confer with their own feelings, and let the enemy lead them to decide that the sacrifice is too great. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 7

They will suffer loss in temporal matters, and a helping hand must not be wanting. Many ask, “How can we support our families? We shall lose our positions as soon as we decide to keep holy the seventh day, and do no work on the Sabbath. Our families, shall they starve?” What can we say? Poverty and want are seen everywhere, and honest souls know not what to do. They dare not venture out, yet they are fully convinced that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. They know that God blessed the seventh day and set it apart for man to observe as a memorial of His creating the world in six days and His rest upon the seventh day. When we see the difficulties standing like mountains before their souls, the prospect of want to themselves and children staring them in the face, our hearts are pained. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 8

Many a one says, “I want to observe the seventh day, but as soon as I state to my employer that I have decided to keep the Sabbath, I shall be discharged. Hundreds are waiting to step into any place made vacant. I am sorely troubled. All we can do is to encourage them to have faith, and pray for them. Oh, sometimes I wish I had a million dollars. I could use every dollar in this work. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 9

Satan has been working at the wheel, turning it until he has the control of all the human minds who have received the lies with which he deceived Eve and then used her as his agent to entice Adam into sin. Satan has kept up his specious working upon human minds from that day to this. The seventh day, hallowed and sanctified by God at creation, its validity sustained by a miracle in the giving of the manna, its sacredness proclaimed in the giving of the commandments upon Mount Sinai, being placed in the very bosom of the Decalogue—this holy institution is discarded. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 10

The man of sin has placed before the world an idol in the first day of the week, a spurious sabbath, and has so blinded the minds of the professed Christian world that in their faith the false has taken the place of the true. The genuine Sabbath is discarded for the spurious, and the man of sin has brought the world to unite with him in his disloyalty to the only true and living God. They have united to tear down God’s memorial of creation and exalt in its place a common working day, and this child of papacy is nourished and cherished by the Protestant world. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 11

No one ever sinks into disregard of the fourth commandment unless urged on by religious teaching. But many become decided transgressors of God’s holy law as the result of union, concord, and cooperation with companions who are instruments of Satan. God sends them light to undeceive them, but they refuse to take the Word of God as it reads. They accept error, choosing the lies of Satan rather than a “Thus saith the Lord.” And these advocates of error make it very hard for those who see the truth to obey it. Human sight can see nothing but starvation before those who keep the Sabbath. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 12

I appeal to all our brethren and sisters to bear in mind the words of Christ, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, gave His precious life to save fallen man; every son and daughter of Adam is His purchased possession. He paid the infinite price, the ransom money [of] His own precious life to redeem man: therefore He identifies His interest with suffering humanity. He requires every man to be interested for his fellow man, making the Word of God his standard of duty. With meekness and lowliness of heart we are to show reverence and love to Him who hath bought us, giving His own life that “whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” [John 3:15.] Then let love and tender regard toward our fellow men be ever revealed, not merely in words, but in deeds. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 13

The children of the heavenly King should represent the character of the Ruler of the heavenly kingdom. They should cultivate unity and love for one another, each member of the royal family loyally representing the principles of the government of God. Jesus Christ was sent of God. In His character and life He represented every principle of the law of God. What are the two great principles of that law? Love to God and love to our neighbors. We are to cherish a warm, deep, abiding interest in one another, an unfeigned respect for our brethren and sisters. We are none of us to set ourselves up as critics, to discern defects in those with whom we associate, and then engage in a work of cannibalism, tearing to pieces the reputation of those who may be more precious in the sight of God than we are. Evil thinking and evil speaking are a great offense in the sight of God, and those who do those things are not born of the Spirit but of the flesh. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 14

The sad thing in our churches today is that Jesus is misrepresented in the character of those who profess to be His followers. Many claim to believe in and love Jesus, while they do neither. They advocate the law of God, but are transgressors of its precepts. The first four commandments require supreme love to God. Parents, children, wife, husband, houses, lands, or any other earthly treasure, whether of friends or property, is not to be loved selfishly, and thus become an idol to divert the mind, the time, the service, from God. He that loves and serves mammon cannot love and serve God supremely. When friends and relations are loved with inordinate affection, they are taking the place in the heart where God should be. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 15

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” [2 Peter 3:17.] “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” [1 John 2:15.] “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” [James 4:4.] 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 16

Here idolatry is plainly revealed, as existing in those who claim to worship God. The pure, refined, ennobling love is buried up by the love of eternal things. This, the True Witness represents as a fearful loss in experience and character building, the loss of the first love. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:5.] The True Witness sends forth this warning. Mercy and the love of God are the attributes of His throne. While claiming to be the subjects of the kingdom of God, and yet refusing to be converted from their selfish love, their stern, iron will, their own perverse ways, many are constantly bearing a false testimony of Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 17

Granville, N.S.W., March 29, 1894. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 18

We left Melbourne Monday, March 26th, at 5:00 p.m. and arrived at Sydney Tuesday, ten minutes before 12:00. A train for Parramatta left in half an hour, which took us to Granville, 13 miles from Sydney. We found everything as unsettled as possible. Furniture and boxes of goods piled were up everywhere, but the very things we must have first were still behind. Then our spring mattresses and bedding came in the evening so we were comfortably accommodated for the night. Brothers Starr and Belden left early this morning to attend to another shipment of goods by steamer from Melbourne. Wednesday evening all arrived, and there is a slight show of settling. With tact we can make the small rooms comfortable. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 19

We have not wardrobes sufficient so we shall do the best we can in an emergency. We have arranged a skeleton framework fastened to the head of the bed and reaching up nearly to the ceiling. We covered it with neat material, and the drapery is rather of an adornment. On the back of the frame is a shelf a foot wide, and cross bars covered, concealed in front by the drapery; hooks are placed on the back side, and a movable, folding screen, very pretty in design, reaches across the open space from the head of the bed to the wall of the room. This makes a space for [a] washstand and a wardrobe for my clothing. It is an excellent device where there are small rooms and no wardrobes. We use the space to dress and undress in, so there is no exposure from outside or inside. We intend that as far as possible, every sleeping room shall be thus arranged for convenience and neatness and attractiveness. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 20

We were happily surprised at the beauty of the lawn about the house, and the dwelling itself is more convenient than we expected. We found the cottage very neat in appearance. A large, broad piazza, the floor of tile, runs around the front and side of the house, and on the veranda [are] two long seats, very comfortable, such as are used in halls and churches. The room that they all insist is Sister White’s room is 15 by 24, having a large bay window facing the north, the sunny side, and two windows on the west, so I have the sun the whole day. The room that Brother and Sister Starr occupy is a front room across from mine. It has a French door with window that opens on the piazza, and one window on the east. They have the sun in the morning and forenoon. Their room is only 12 by 14. Marian’s and Emily’s rooms are the same size. All have grates. Brother Belden’s room is 9 by 14 and there is another bedroom 10 by 12. The diningroom is 12 by 21, with two halls leading out from it into other rooms. Opening on the east veranda is another room 7 by 21. There is a small piazza from the kitchen. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 21

We have soft water in [a] cistern, [such] as we had in America, one in the earth and one large sink reservoir which receives the rain from the eaves of the house; nothing like animals, they say, can get into it, so this is an advantage over the city water. We have no city water brought to the house. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 22

There [are] nearly five acres of land, no fruit on the place, for it has been left exposed to all who wished to have access to it. The front yard is nicely laid out; has some very pretty shrubs and flowers, several fine evergreen trees—the Norfolk pine and another beautiful variety—large lawns of the brightest, greenest grass, and paddocks for the horses. Brother Belden has a pony, and I have a horse and phaeton transported from Melbourne. 9LtMs, Ms 19, 1894, par. 23