Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 2, 1895

A Work For Each Individual

Norfolk Villa, Prospect St., Granville, N. S. W., Australia

January 1895

Previously unpublished.

The Lord has a work for each individual to do, which he or she cannot be excused in neglecting; but I am pained when I see that many do not take in the circumstances and situation of others. The school in Australia is largely a missionary enterprise, and yet some who have been connected with it in responsible positions have not appreciated the necessities of some of those in attendance. In the providence of God each one of us has been placed in a position to aid those who are striving to obtain an education. But have all who were able to assist them been faithful in carrying out their responsibilities? 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 1

There have been those who have been able to expend means in providing apparel for themselves who have not enquired as to the needs of others who were fully as precious in the sight of God as they themselves. There were persons in the school who had not respectable clothing, who were entrusted with missionary work, and regarded as precious children of God, and yet the very ones who commended them took no burden to relieve their needs. It was impossible for them to provide themselves with clothing unless they had help from some source. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 2

The Lord has been proving and trying those who are connected with the school, and with the churches in Melbourne, to see whether or not they would interest themselves in those who apparently had nothing with which to supply their necessities. Their neglect of those who needed help is registered in the books of heaven as a neglect of Christ in the person of His saints. It is inconsistent on the part of those who call themselves Christians to set persons to work in missionary lines, and yet neglect to provide them with modest, respectable apparel. Would not our sisters, who have multiplied their own garments as their taste dictated, have received a blessing if they had denied some of their supposed wants and provided for those who had no means of providing themselves with clothing to meet their dire necessities? 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 3

Some of the Lord’s precious ones came to camp meeting and were set to work in various missionaries lines when they were not provided with suitable clothing, and this fact is a testimony against persons in Melbourne who had the oversight of them and who could have provided for their needs. There were those who knew the real state of those cases, and they could have changed the order of things; but they acted in a similar manner to that of the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 4

Those sisters were of as much value in the sight of God as were those who provided so abundantly for themselves and did not show sisterly consideration toward those who were needy, in providing garments for them of a modest and becoming character. They should have done this even if they had to deny themselves in purchasing things to gratify their taste. How is it that so many could be so blind as not to see the necessities of their sister-workers? How could they allow their neglect of Christ in the person of His saints to testify against them before God, before heaven, and before men? The root of selfishness must have been allowed to take deep hold, where such neglect could exist. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 5

I have asked again and again, How is it that those who profess to love God could so manifestly neglect their duty? How could they make no effort to relieve those who were right at their own door? How would this manner of conduct represent our school? I have been shown that it is because of neglect of manifest duties that many are weak and spiritless. The managers of the school have been willing to lay a burden of missionary work upon these sisters, and have been glad to use their ability, but they have not realized that as stewards of the Lord’s means, it devolves upon them to care for those who are doing the Lord’s work. It is their place to see that God’s workers are not left destitute of clothing, and of those things necessary to make a respectable appearance. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 6

There were some who came from Melbourne who remarked that Martha Brown was one of their best workers, but that they did wish she would dress differently—show more care and taste in the arrangement of her clothing. But instead of criticizing, why did not those who had the ability relieve her necessities? Why did they permit her and others to come from the school in a destitute condition? All heaven is looking upon those who profess to be Christians to see how they are representing Him who for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 7

Could not some of our sisters have given up some indulgence in dress, that those who were more needy might have been supplied? Did they not have some money that could have been invested in relieving the positive necessities of those sisters who were laborers together with God? Should they not have expressed love, as Christ has enjoined, toward their neighbors, loving them as themselves? I am pained over these things. I write this because God has revealed to me that it is because of this manifest neglect that many have not a richer experience in the things of God. They have lessons to learn in the school of Christ. They need to learn His meekness and lowliness of heart, His love and tender compassion. Self-exaltation, pride, and self-esteem separate souls from the love of God. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 8

Persons who neglected their duty to others were filling certain positions in the service of God and receiving remuneration for their services, and yet they manifested no interest in supplying the positive necessities of those who were also engaged in the service of God. These workers should have been recipients of means which would have been sufficient to supply their needs, and to make them happy because they realized that others had a tender care over them. Positive duties have been shamefully neglected, and there has been a decided lack of interest in others. I write this now in order that there may be no more of this kind of work done. It must not be done if you as Christians would have the favor of God. It is care for others that must be brought into your experience. The manifestation of selfishness on the part of ministers and people deprives them of the richest blessing. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 9

When it was thought best that Brother Rose should have a change of labor, you solicited help from Sydney where there are few believers, and where such deep poverty abounds that there is a constant demand for food and clothing. It was plainly your duty to meet the necessities of this case. I could not feel that it was my duty to supply your lack in making donations in this case. I knew it belonged to you to look after your own poor and to supply their necessities. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 10

Those who solicited aid from Sydney did not consider the fact that we have been carrying a very heavy load since we came to this poverty stricken region. You did not consider the fact that we had enough to do in clothing the destitute in our own field, but you permitted those in your midst to be destitute and did nothing to relieve their manifest wants, and when these cases came to our knowledge, we felt that it was our privilege to supply your lack, and do the very thing you could and should have done. When you sent here to obtain help for Brother Rose, I felt that I could not conscientiously do the work which I knew you were able to do, if only you had it in your heart to do it. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 11

The converting power of God is greatly needed in order that this state of affairs may be changed. Let us all consider the fact that we cannot live to please ourselves. We have God-given responsibilities to bear in denying self for Christ’s sake, and in showing the tenderness and compassion that he manifested. I want the Australian Conference to acknowledge the work that has been done for Christ, and to award to the workers who are in positive necessity the very money that is brought into the treasury by the tithes and offerings of the people. Work with equity, and show the wisdom of God in dealing with those who would do His work. Let every minister wear neat clothing, but let him avoid unnecessary expense; for it is not clothing that gives influence and success, but virtue received by personal contact with Christ. This is what gives value to the man or the woman. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 12

But I can write no more at present. By practicing economy with God’s blessing, you may, from your abundance, supply the necessities of the poor. 10LtMs, Ms 2, 1895, par. 13