Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 85, 1896

Olsen, O. A.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, Australia

March 16, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in UL 89; WM 202.

Elder O. A. Olsen
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother:

In this place thousands of acres of land lie uncultivated. Very few orchards are planted, and only little patches of land are worked here and there. The complaint has been made that it was of no use to sow the land because it would not produce. All we have done is to experiment. We have ploughed the land for orchard and garden. We were late in commencing. The bullock team, sixteen in number, drag the heavy plough in breaking up the land. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 1

If we want fruit we have to send to Sydney, Parramatta, or some other place to get it. When it reaches us, boxes for which we pay four or five shillings each, are worthless. Vegetables have had to be sent in the same way, and are spoiled before reaching us. But we have found just as good land in this place on which to raise produce, as we could wish. On the school ground they have raised tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, melons, beans, peas, turnips, and such things, between the rows of trees. These have had a luxuriant growth, and the trees are doing excellently well. All the planting that is done in season, and is well cultivated, will produce earth’s treasures. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 2

All who have had suspicion about this place in regard to the location for the school are well pleased after seeing it, and are the more convinced that the city is not the place for our school. Temptations from Satan will come from every source, but there should be most earnest seeking from the Lord for the guidance of His wisdom. We cannot plan much without God to plan with us. We can only walk safely when we keep all His commandments. The Lord Jesus will be to us individually a present help and sufficiency in every emergency. We must not walk in our own finite wisdom. The Lord will lead us in sure, safe paths if we will follow Him. The influence of truths upon the human heart, if they are acted out in the life, will be a savor of life unto life. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 3

The neglect of all those in responsible places to do His commandments by dealing justly will meet its reward. It is no excuse for any to say, You must submit to this or that plan because it will help that “Cause,” which means injustice or oppression in turning a man from his rights. The Lord does not need the working out of corrupt nature in the human agent to serve His cause in any line. Even in little things human nature, unsanctified, will lay plans which will do great harm. The whole life will be a thing which God cannot approve, because it misrepresents Him. The inconsistencies practiced and sanctioned by men in high places do not make a wrong right, neither do they give it the superscription of heaven. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 4

The Holy Spirit will bless only where it can mold and influence. When any man or any class of men exclude from themselves the rich blessing of God because it does not, as they suppose, sustain their plans and honor their judgment, they cut off the life of God from their souls, and when they do this they walk in darkness. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 5

I am watching and waiting for the coming of my Lord. I have not only to wait and watch and pray, but must work most diligently as well. Every action of our lives, in our business transactions with our fellow men, is to be regulated by the law of God, and we cannot then swerve from right and justice toward our fellow men under any circumstance, for the Lord will not serve with any man’s sins that would injure his neighbor. With our faces heavenward, breathing out our petitions to God, developing an unselfish love for our fellow men, because we have supreme love for Jesus Christ who has bought them with His own blood, we rise superior to the most grievous, subtle temptations. Humble dependence upon God is our surety and our power. “My soul, wait thou upon God, who is the light of my countenance and my God.” [Psalm 42:5.] 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 6

Difficulties in the work will arise, and things will occur to humble our supposed wisdom and talent in the dust because we will have to be corrected. Moving carefully and righteously in the supposed little things that will be abundant in our life experience, is our school. The ordinary, common things of life enter largely into the mode of thought, which thought produces action. In every instance those with whom we associate are to be treated, if in humble circumstances, with great deference and respect, because they have so little to make life happy, and because they need help. Souls are too precious to be trifled with. They are God’s purchased possession. Those who are passed by as inferior, the Lord will see set in high places if they trust in Him. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 7

The grace of God takes men as they are and works as an educator, using every principle on which an all-sided education depends. The steady influence of the grace of God trains the soul after Christ’s methods, and every fierce passion, every defective trait of character is worked upon by the molding influence of the Spirit of Christ, until new motive power becomes filled with the Holy Spirit of God, after the likeness of the divine similitude. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 8

Never forget that thoughts work out actions. Repeated actions form habits, and habits form character. Then in giving attention to the little things, there is no fear but that the larger things will become stained and corrupted. The Bible is to be the rule of life. It is marvelous in the eyes of the universe of heaven that men who teach the Word do not always practice the truth. Few realize what it means to be complete in Christ Jesus, the revealed will of God. His Word is not dishonored by being brought into practical life to form habits which will develop character. God calls for attention from every man. Reformations must be made, or souls will be lost, and by precept and example these souls will cause the loss of many more souls. One insubordinate element of character, allowed to live, produces fruit of its kind, and sad is the harvest. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 9

God often raises up some one who will shield the poor from being placed in positions that will be loss to them, even if it be given to their disadvantage. This is the duty of man toward his fellow man. To take advantage of a man’s ignorance because he cannot discern the outcome of a course of action is not right. It is the duty of his brother to personally set the matter plainly and faithfully before him in all its bearings, lest he shall act blindly, and cripple the resources justly his. When men observe the golden rule, Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you, many difficulties now existing would be quickly adjusted. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 10

Strict fidelity in little things becomes natural by repetition, and he is becoming qualified to pass into a higher position, where his sphere of action will be enlarged, who does this. The principles that should control the life and character become his rule of action. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 11

Those who have acted contrary to the holy principles of light and righteousness will find their natural inclinations contradicted by the high and holy purposes of Christian consistency. The deficiency in their corrupt nature will be made prominent in the larger responsibilities. Self-wisdom disdains restraint, and the whole life becomes a contradiction of the life of Christ. Christian meekness will lead a man to be kind and thoughtful of another’s interest. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 12

The power of principle is not neutralized by the force of habit acquired to rule down everything that does not please the mind and administer to pride and self-exaltation. Self becomes a terrible tyrant, and thinks that everything will be a success that is carried by storm. That will of man, finite, erring, becomes the will of his fellow men, who think it their prerogative to rule. “All ye are brethren” [Matthew 23:8] is put out of his practice, and hearts are hardened that Christ has died to save. The rule-or-ruin principle might better quickly find a natural death. It becomes a man who holds any responsibility to consider that he is not the Lord, and for his own soul’s sake, for the sake of Christ who has bought souls by his most precious blood, these souls are to be treated as God’s property and not as the property of any man. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 13

Until the power of the Spirit of God shall take possession of a man’s soul, to lead him to plan and work in Christ’s lines, that man who loves rule will not be a co-laborer with Jesus Christ, because this great evil is permitted to exist, and is a stumbling block to his own soul, and to every other soul that comes within the sphere of his influence. Christian meekness will work its way everywhere, and precious souls will be saved unto eternal life. We have no time now to confer with flesh and blood, we must lay hold of the spiritual power of God, and make reforms before it shall be everlastingly too late. 11LtMs, Lt 85, 1896, par. 14