Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 113, 1896

Wessels, Sister

Victoria, Australia

October 20, 1896

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Wessels:

I have a letter written to you, but in leaving Cooranbong, it has been mislaid. We reached Sydney October 2, 1896, on our way to the Adelaide camp meeting. We tarried in Sydney from Friday noon till four o’clock Monday afternoon. Then taking the cars, we reached Melbourne Tuesday noon. We took dinner at the house of Brother Bell, and then went to the station on our way to Adelaide. As I will send you copies from my diary, I will pass over the particulars of this meeting. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 1

Monday, October 19, Elder Haskell, Sara McEnterfer, and I left Adelaide. On the morning of October 20, Sister James met us [at] Ballarat, where we were all made welcome. In the afternoon we had a meeting. I spoke to a small company of believers. Quite a number from Ballarat were at the camp meeting, and as meetings were held there over the third Sabbath and Sunday, they did not return to Ballarat. Brother Haskell spoke twice in Ballarat, and I spoke once. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 2

Wednesday morning we left Brother James’ at a little before seven for the station. We reached Melbourne at half past ten o’clock, and went to the house occupied by Brother Daniells and his wife, and Sisters Ingels and Graham. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 3

Sabbath Elder Haskell spoke in the new church in North Fitzroy. W. C. White, Sara McEnterfer, my secretary, accompanied me to Williamstown. I spoke to a goodly number of Sabbath keepers there. My heart rejoiced as I looked upon that intelligent company who since the Brighton camp meeting have taken their position among the number who keep the commandments of God. I had perfect freedom in speaking to these believers, and their hearts were receptive to the message given me of God. This is a healthy, living church. It has an increased and growing interest in the truth. The members do good missionary work, and are living as shining lights to the world. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 4

Three years ago I spoke to the company at Williamstown. There was in attendance a lady full of worldly pride, who had not attended the meetings before. She consented to come this time to please her mother who was a most worthy Christian, and who had embraced the truth. I had a solemn and searching testimony to bear in reference to the infallibility of the law of God, which was established as firmly as his throne, also in reference to the coming of the Son of God the second time, to be admired in all them that believe and love His appearing. This worldly woman was convicted. The truth took so firm a hold upon her, and she felt such conviction, that she could scarcely stand upon her feet. She said that she thought her limbs would not sustain her body long enough for her to get to her home. She did not say to the Spirit of God, “Go thy way for this time; and when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee.” [Acts 24:25.] She came out fully and decidedly. Now the mother in her widowhood has her daughter to help her. Both are in the faith, keeping the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 5

The daughter, Mrs. Hanna, related these circumstances as we were sharing her hospitality at the noonday meal. Three years have passed into eternity since her conversion, and what rejoicing of soul I felt to meet these dear ones. We were all one in Christ Jesus. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 6

Sister Hanna’s husband is not with her in the faith. He believes the truth, but has not the moral courage to decide to deny self, and obey it. He has not yet yielded his heart to God, but his wife and mother have faith to believe that he will yet be converted. We hope and pray that he will not much longer resist the Spirit of God. He is a successful businessman, but is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God. Should he give up his whole soul in obedience to truth, he would indeed be a light that would shine amid the moral darkness that covers our world like a funeral pall. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 7

O, how many would be used by the Spirit if they would only yield themselves to Him who gave His only precious life to ransom them from the slavery of sin. Could those of good impulses, and who at times are deeply moved, determine to be wholly on the Lord’s side, how their friends and relatives would rejoice. There is triumph and rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. The highest joy and gladness is expressed by the angels when one soul receives Jesus Christ. That one soul causes gladness in the heavenly universe. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee,” writes Zephaniah, “is mighty; he will save. He will rejoice over thee with rejoicing. He will rest in his love. He will joy over thee with singing.” [Zephaniah 3:17.] 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 8

What a representation this is. What then must we do to please the Lord Jesus Christ, whose we are by creation and by redemption? We are the purchased possession of Jesus Christ, and we please him most by having implicit trust in His Word. It will not do for anyone who is striving for eternal life to float away with the worldly current. The Lord Jesus will be best pleased to see those who claim to love Him relying individually upon divine influence, and striving, loving, working by faith. Then we are “laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Every one striving after eternal life is to strenuously search out the truth for himself. He is to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We are “laborers together with God.” 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 9

Sunday, October 25, I spoke in the newly built chapel in North Fitzroy, from Revelation, chapters 1, 2, 3. The Lord gave me His Holy Spirit in appealing to the people. I showed them the solemn importance of their becoming, not only Bible readers, but doers of the Word. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein; for the time is at hand.” “Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him; they also which pierced him and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” [Revelation 1:3, 7.] 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 10

The Lord spoke to the hearts of the people that day. God grant that they may hear and understand. I urged upon all present who had a knowledge of the truth to have a living connection with God; if they are sons and daughters of God, that they understand that the next thing they need to do is to show their gratitude for the mercy and grace freely given them of God by consecrating themselves, body, soul, and spirit, without any reserve, to Him who gave His life for them. This is the very least they can do. He has bought every soul with a price. “Ye are not your own.” [1 Corinthians 6:19.] Therefore do not rob God by withholding from Him your whole-hearted service. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 11

No one can serve himself and follow his own natural will and desires, and yet enter the portals of bliss. You may ask the question, Cannot I serve God, and yet indulge my inclination, my taste, my will? Christ has answered this question, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] It is the cross which means denial of inclination that must be borne. There is no excuse for self in this matter. “Ye are not your own.” [1 Corinthians 6:19.] It is not left for us to choose our own way or our own plans, or to follow our own imaginings in being saved. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 12

The matter is laid before every human soul. Will you give to God all, or keep back part of the price, which all we owe to Him? God has a right to demand all that you have and all that you are. Those who refuse to accept all that is involved in such whole-hearted service should not only be heartily ashamed, but solemnly afraid. They should resist the devil, and flee for refuge to Jesus; seeking for the Holy Spirit to give grace to overcome the inclinations of the natural will. And then they should give to God His own as freely and as fully as He has given Himself a living sacrifice. All those who are listening to these words will see that this means discipline at every step. It is the will of God that you should be sanctified soul, body, and spirit. The Holy Spirit is not to be worked by any mortal, but it is to work the human agent, making him clean, pure, and holy, fitted to do the highest service for God. This sanctification of soul, body, and spirit, is the work of God, not of man. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 13

Monday morning we met with the workers in the Echo Office. Brother Haskell and I conducted the meeting. We prayed most earnestly for all present. We had something to say. We urged upon them all to realize that individually they were handling sacred things. God has His centers where His work is to be established, and from which light is to go forth to all parts of the world. The Echo Office is to stand in the pure radiance of God’s light, to shine amid moral darkness. It is to stand in this part of God’s great moral vineyard to sow the world with truth. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 14

To everyone connected with God’s instrumentalities is given the personal honor of being co-laborers with God. In this institution young men and young women are to be educated to become missionaries for God. Every year, by close application of all their powers to God’s work, they will become better qualified for the work. Each one engaged in the work is a part of the great firm which is composed of God and Jesus Christ and His servants, the heavenly intelligences, and the Lord takes into partnership with Himself every soul that will consecrate Himself to do His will. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 15

As each one takes up cheerfully his own duties, and works with all his God-given ability, he will need communion and counsel from the Chief Worker, his partner Jesus Christ, that he may receive His grace, His consolation, and His inspiration, to carry out His plans and cherish His motives, and make them his own. Indolence, love of ease, being satisfied with cheap nothings in the line of pleasure that withdraws from the heaven-appointed responsibilities in the great firm, results in a loss, a terrible loss, both in this life and in the future life. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 16

The work of those who are saved by grace is to bring to the foundation stone not hay, wood, and stubble, all of which must be consumed, but gold, silver, and precious stones. Now is an opportunity to bring into our character-building every qualification essential to fit men for the exalted partnership in God’s great, holy firm. “Ye are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 17

These are the lines of work we are trying to present before our churches. Tuesday morning at eight o’clock we met a goodly little company in the new chapel, to pray and set before the church the great and exalted privilege of having a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. The truth has come to us in clear lines. We see its beauty; we know its claims. The Word of God is our counsellor, and we want to put forth that zeal, that earnest, persevering effort, that is proportionate to the object we are seeking to gain—life, eternal life. God wants us to be happy in His love. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 18

Elder Haskell made appropriate remarks at this meeting. May the Lord bless his words to the good of all who heard them. Elder Haskell speaks tonight in the new church. O how much more comfortable and appropriate this church is to worship God in than the dirty, ill-ventilated halls! We feel like thanking our heavenly Father for a church which we can dedicate to Him as a house of worship. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 19

Dear Sister Wessels, I wish I could see you, that as mothers, we could converse together. I have much to thank you for in placing in my hands the £1,000 I asked you to loan me. In his letter Brother Lindsay said that the £1,000 was to be paid, if called for, in one year. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 20

Now, I shall not be able to get the money to pay it in one year. It must be loaned to me longer than that. I am responsible for it, and I know it is just where it can be used for the Lord’s honor and glory. You must give me time to use this money in the Lord’s firm, that it may advance His business and build up His work. I know that your heart would willingly do this, and therefore I write for time. Had it been possible for us to obtain means from any other source, we should not have sent to you for this money. We shall hope to soon be in better circumstances for obtaining means. We trust wholly in God; He can, and will help us. He will work with our efforts, and He will open ways before us to honor His name in advancing His cause in our world. 11LtMs, Lt 113, 1896, par. 21