Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)
Lt 89, 1896
Prescott, W. W.
Sunnyside, Cooranbong, Australia
September 24, 1896
Portions of this letter are published in 9MR 165.
Dear Brother Prescott:
I have risen early to add a few more words to a letter already written. You inquired in regard to whether you should accept responsibilities if they were urged upon you. You may have clear light for yourself upon this point when the time of action shall come. Times of necessity are God’s opportunities. I know not what you will meet; I know not how the Lord will move upon His people. You must go forward in faith. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 1
I am more than ever convinced that the same men should not be presidents of the same conferences year after year. They are to do their work after the divine similitude. And the same men should not be held year after year as advisors in committees or boards. Changes must be made, for these men come to think themselves a necessity; that the work will not prosper without their wisdom. There is great danger that their wisdom will become foolishness because they trust in themselves in the place of making God their trust. Rather than to hide in Jesus Christ and be worked by the Holy Spirit, they plan and devise methods to carry out the projects of their own minds, in order to make a show. Then the artful, deceptive working of Satan comes in, and men handling sacred responsibilities move in strange ways, and handle strange fire. They do not feel the sacredness of the work, and the importance of working in humility and contrition before God. Full of self-confidence, they devise and plan, but how little earnest desire they cherish that God shall lead and inspire their hearts, and give them His wisdom lest they shall voice resolutions that have never been thought of in the councils of heaven. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 2
If these men would but consider that there is one Proprietor of the universe, that man, with all his talents which God has given him to use for His name’s glory, and all his resources, powers, and capability, belongs to God. His gifts are only lent him to be kept pure, clean, and holy, for the great end of magnifying his Creator. Man should inquire at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? All of God’s gifts are lent on trial. If misused, if appropriated to selfish ends, as is so often done, or if used to place the brethren in hard places, or to lead any soul on to Satan’s battleground to be tempted, Satan triumphs, because he can use the human agent to give him the very help he needs, to bring discouragement and confusion, and to cause many to stumble. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 3
The truth that is to be promulgated is to fill the whole earth with its glory. Every thing done should magnify and exalt the God of truth. Let this fact be well considered by those who serve in any position of responsibility, that as Christ is magnified by the human agent, self, “I,” decreases. God has given to every man his work. He has a righteous claim upon every human worker to devise and plan with him, to yoke up with him, and to co-operate with him. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 4
The work and cause of God is to be handled as a sacred thing. It should engross every thought and energy, power and passion, of the human agent who wears Christ’s yoke and lifts Christ’s burdens. The heart which is consecrated to God will not be in haste to become rich, and will not sacrifice on the altar of mammon the powers lent him of God. The capabilities entrusted to him are sacred, and should be held sacred to God. Soul, body, and spirit are the Lord’s. God has a claim upon the affections. All is His, for every human soul has been bought with a price, and should be consecrated to the service of Him whose we are by creation and redemption. God’s will, not our pleasure, should be the controlling, governing power. Every blood-bought soul is to recognize divine authority. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 5
The world is watching, and is criticizing us as professed Christians. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.” [Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 7:12.] This is the fruit that grows on the Christian tree. The world will take knowledge of all who bear this kind of fruit, that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Their experience will be genuine. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 6
I add these words. Now, my brother and sister, give yourselves unreservedly to God, and He will be with you in power. God bless you, is my prayer. 11LtMs, Lt 89, 1896, par. 7