Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Ms 40, 1896

The Workers Needed in Cooranbong


December 31, 1896

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MCP 572; 5MR 448-449; 9MR 377. +Note

The Lord has sent us to this country for wise purposes. We are most decidedly on missionary soil. In the work which we are doing, we need men who are not traitors, who will not work more interestedly for themselves than for God; who will not be indifferent either in the army or in the home guards. We must have helpers who will work disinterestedly. All are under bonds to God to be faithful, vigilant, brave, and patriotic. We shall have weighty and solemn responsibilities to bear, and those who will make a covenant with God by sacrifice to love as brethren, not only those who will favor and accommodate them, but all who are in service; those who will make every effort to use their God-given talents in the service of God; those who will stand shoulder to shoulder with their brethren, drawing in even lines, are the men God delights to own, and with whose efforts the heavenly intelligences can co-operate. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 1

Those who put their heart and soul into service of the Master, doing their duty to God and to their fellow men, will not be free from temptation. Satan will tempt every one whom <God is using.> He will not need an invitation to take mind and heart under his guidance and control. When tempted, will God’s workers stand firm to principle, or will they use their God-given powers to dishonor God? 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 2

The voice and tongue are gifts from God, and if rightly used, they are a power for God. Words mean very much. They may express love, devotion, praise, melody to God, or hatred and revenge. Words reveal the sentiments of the heart. They may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. The tongue is a world of blessing, or a world of iniquity. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 3

My brother, when circumstances shall occur that make it necessary for you to speak words of reproof, instruction, or correction in righteousness, restrain your tongue. Do not misuse the precious talent lent you by God to do good with and to be a blessing to others. Do not utter harsh and impatient words. Keep that fire and that burst of passion out of your voice. Do not hurt the souls of your brethren by scolding, by commanding, by violent gesticulations. Angels of God are present when you do this, and they are made ashamed of you. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 4

What, are you a commander? Then speak not harshly, but as a brother Christian should speak to a brother Christian. In the name of Jesus, who with His own blood has paid the purchase money, that men may be co-workers with Him, I ask you not to offend or hurt any soul by your impatience at their ignorance. Restrain your wrath; it does no good to any of your fellow workers in your business or in the church. Remember that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. You should come out from temptation without speaking one word to offend. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body.” [James 3:2.] 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 5

There will come into this work men of varied temperaments, weak on some points. Men chosen as elders of the church or are as deacons will be tempted on some points; but whatever the temptation may be, they may conquer it. Will they fight the enemy? Will they drive him from them, and stand as victor, or will they do the work Satan wishes them to do by putting into another’s mind the thoughts of evil they have been tempted to cherish? They do good service for Satan by communicating those evil thoughts to another mind, setting him to watch with keen scrutiny, to think and speak evil of his brethren, and to pass along the dish prepared by Satan to poison others. This is the root of bitterness springing up, whereby many are defiled. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 6

This work has been carried on unscrupulously on the grounds we have purchased for the establishment of a school. But no one should feel at liberty to enter the army of Satan and unite with him by pointing their weapons of warfare against their fellow workmen, because they think that they themselves are not specially favored. If any one has come to this place to be served instead of to serve, if they have come for their own advantage, and not to do the utmost to increase facilities for the work of God, this is not the place for them. God does not take pleasure in men who place their interest first. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 7

We are not here in Cooranbong to study selfish interests. We are not here to help Satan in his work, or to add the weight of our unconsecration to the load some one must carry. Those that are desirous to ride and let others pull the load will not do here. It is not encouraging for those who are putting their money and their anxious care into the work, who are working on the right hand and on the left, to hear bitter murmurings and complaints from those who ought to be burden bearers. When those who ought to act like brave, loyal men change captains, and place themselves under the control of another leader, the outlook is made most discouraging. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 8

This is a most poverty-stricken region. But if the workers will give back to God their entrusted ability, acting their part disinterestedly, the Lord God of hosts will work with them. Many will come here who need pity and compassion. They will need succor, for they will be weak. Young men will come on these grounds, who will need help. In the strength of Him whose lovingkindness is exercised toward the helpless, the ignorant, and those counted as the least of His little ones, their future must be shaped. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,” Christ says, “ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] The brows of those who do this work will wear the crown of sacrifice. They will receive their reward for acting their part in this enterprise of establishing and carrying forward a school which will give the proper education. But if at the very start of the work strife is seen, if suspicion is peddled around and traded upon, doubt and unbelief will be sown in the minds of those who shall come on the ground. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 9

I ask, in the name of the Lord, that those who have certainly been at work in lines of faultfinding and accusing be converted, or go to some other locality as soon as they can. If they have educated themselves to spend little time in searching their own hearts with true contrition, but feel it a duty to prove and test their brethren by their measuring rod, let them go where less harm will be done by this kind of work. In unity there is strength; in disunion there is weakness. No one who has engaged in the work of criticizing should locate here, because education in this line is not to be given. Those who are loyal and steadfast to principle are the men and women that are wanted. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 10

We must guard every point, for Satan is unwearied in his work of temptation. Watch well your words; guard well the spirit that prompts your words. Stand as faithful sentinels over your own defective attributes of character, that you may take no liberty that will prove a stumbling block to your weak brother. Be careful how you treat those for whom Christ has died. Do not make crooked paths for your feet, paths which will turn his feet out of the way of life. I wish all to remember that a day is coming when every case will be revealed. Then the plague spot, the rock of offense, that wrecked your bark, will be seen. Then many will realize that the tongue, though a little member, can do a weight of mischief. Many, eternally lost, will then in their despair look with reproach upon the ones who sowed the seeds of bitterness in their hearts, who put suspicious thoughts into their minds. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 11

The whole of the eighteenth chapter of Matthew is a practical lesson. Will we hang it in the chambers of the mind, in memory’s hall, that we may oft read and ponder and obey the lesson so essential for us to practice and weave into our Christian experience? 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 12

Many who think themselves first class Christians do not obey the holy law of God. They do not love God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind and with all their strength. They do not love their neighbor as themselves. But these are the only terms upon which we can secure eternal life. Then should we not practice the principles Christ has laid down? Should we not individually cultivate the garden of the soul, that we may remove every weed, every tare that Satan has sown while we have neglected our garden, because we have been so fully occupied in finding the weeds in our neighbor’s garden? If each one will take his own garden under his own special stewardship, and purify his own thoughts, bringing them into captivity to Jesus Christ, [he] will not scatter [his] words recklessly hither and thither, without careful consideration as to their lodgment and the result. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 13

In His lesson Christ said, “Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” [Luke 11:28.] This is the work devolving upon all. All are to hear the Word of God and keep it. If we do not do this, we are not serving God. “He that is not with me,” said Christ, “is against me, and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Christ came to our world to live the law of God in humanity, and this we can do only through the grace of Christ. What are we doing on this school ground? Are any of us here to gather to ourselves more money? Are we here to add our weight to the burden of others? Are we here to instill the poison of disaffection into the minds of new comers, to make them suspicious, to cause them to lose confidence in their brethren? This root of bitterness owes its growth to selfishness, to the depravity of the heart. “The love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” [1 Timothy 6:10.] 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 14

This class must be met right in our midst. What shall we do? Shall we let these discordant elements prevail? Shall we allow the leaven of evil to be introduced into other minds because it is brought here? Will those bringing this disaffection allow their own prejudices to prevail? Will they allow their love of money to gain the victory, or will they overcome their sin, and let Christ take it away? Will those who have means venture something to advance the work, or will they stand by and do nothing unless they are paid for it, saying, “I have no confidence in the management here.” It is much easier to tear down another man’s building than to go to work yourself and build for time and for eternity. It is much easier to take a review of what has been done, and then tell how much better it could have been done, than to do anything. All these fretting, complaining ones, who will not do anything to improve the condition of things, who sit on the stool of criticism, calling the attention of those who come upon the ground to what might have been done, are stumbling blocks, and had better go away, taking their envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings with them. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 15

It is our privilege to inquire, What kind of elements will work harmoniously together? Those who will not betray sacred trusts, who will seek to build up, and not to tear down, we promise to unite with. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 16

“Finally be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. ... For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you if ye be followers of that which is good?” [1 Peter 3:8, 10-13.] “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves, for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him that hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 4:7-10; 2:9.] 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 17

God demands that our faith shall produce the fruit of good works. All who will help us to do true missionary work, to bless others, have the approval of God and are welcome here. But do not remain here, I beseech of you, if you are going to hinder the work by sowing seeds of discord. If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and you say to them, I am very sorry for you. Depart in peace; be warmed and filled. I wish you were comfortable, and at the same time, [you] do not give them what is needful for the body, what does it profit? This may be applied to those who shall come upon this ground. If you have a true interest in the work, if you are willing to do God’s service faithfully, if you are not bound about by your own selfish plans, the Lord can work in co-partnership with you. But men who work for their own personal advantage, have not the right spirit or the right influence, will not be approved by God. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 18

It is gold of character that God estimates as of value. He reads the purposes; He has seen the disaffection where men should have been one in Christian unity. Christ is hungry and thirsty to see Christians working upon Christian principles. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and He longs to see His children manifesting His character. “Will a man rob God?” [Malachi 3:8.] Human brotherhood is needed. All dissension, bickering, and self seeking is not of God, but of Satan. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 19

In the last great day those who have sympathized with self, and by their words of suspicion have turned in the wrong direction the scale on which the soul of a human being was hanging, will see their mistake. When their strength and influence were needed to turn the balance for the right, they sowed their seeds of suspicion and criticism, standing under Satan’s banner and doing his work, and the blood of souls will be charged to them. They will be held accountable for what they might have done had they been instant in season and out of season in the work of Christ. The wrong impression made upon human minds may live long after those that have made these impressions are dead. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 20

If possible, I would awaken the sluggish mind to realize that we are bought with a price. “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] Think of what Christ suffered in order to ransom man from the slavery of sin. Think of what opportunities are within our reach if we would but see our privileges. Looking at it from this standpoint no one will venture to degrade himself in any way. The mind, the physical organism, the soul temple, every nerve, sinew, and muscle, may be weakened and crippled through inaction. But this is not pleasing to God. He did not make the human body the weak, inefficient habitation that we now see. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 21

God made man upright, fitted to stand in his God-given capabilities. He created him to possess a nature allied to the angels, an inheritance of life eternal. He delights in those who do not always remain children, who have the mind of Christ, and grow up into Christ. God’s family here below are to wait and watch for opportunities of blessing others. They are to be the sons and daughters of God. The Holy One has given rules of guidance, and the weakest saint need not fall short of the standard of righteousness. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 22

Life in the branch grafted into the living vine means growth. God has made every provision that His children shall possess divine strength and power, so that they shall not sink below the level of the brute creation. He designs that through obedience to His laws man shall deserve the report made of John and of Christ. Of John, the pen of inspiration traces the words, “And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit.” Of Jesus we read, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. ... And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” [Luke 1:76-80; 2:40, 52.] This human life may be repeated in the life of every child and youth. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 23

This testimony may be borne of all who will resist temptation, who will educate themselves to respect themselves, not as lords, but as human beings, whose redemption cost heaven an infinite price. They are to cut loose from the slavery of Satan’s power, and look upon themselves as too precious and valuable to descend to any cheap ideas or common, mean practices, and so dishonor body and soul that the Lord is ashamed to call them brethren. They are to reverence themselves by reverencing God, who gave Jesus to ransom them. Thus they may make of themselves, through Christ, powerful, consecrated workmen, who can co-operate with God in the great work of restoring in man the moral image of God. In order to understand and reverence themselves, they must reverence God. This will give them correct ideas of their entire dependence upon God. Then they may be called sons of God, and angels will dwell amongst them. 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 24

In all business transactions never forget that you are dealing with minds that are God’s property. Be kind, be pitiful, be courteous. Let there be no overbearing, no stirring up the human passions by unadvised words. Respect God’s property. Treat each other with tenderness and courtesy. Lose not a single opportunity for qualifying yourself intellectually to work for God, that through your influence you may qualify others. Will God’s people in Cooranbong exert every God-given faculty to the fullest extent of their ability to become examples to others in word, in spirit, and in action? O, many will regret that their ideas of Christianity were not uplifted with an uplifted Saviour. Seek to be uplifted in Christ. By your obedience to God reverence yourselves as the purchase of His dear Son. This work is as lasting as eternity. Then shall we, as sons and daughters of God, forget our royal birth? Shall we not rather honor our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Shall we not show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light? 11LtMs, Ms 40, 1896, par. 25