Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 141a, 1897

Notes of the Work

Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

December 17, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I could not sleep after two o’clock a.m., but commenced my writing. About ten o’clock I became seriously ill. I think I would have died had I not made the most vigorous efforts to change the order of things. Notwithstanding my efforts, it was some time before I was relieved or safe. I had an appointment in Stanmore an Sabbath and Sunday. Sara could not feel that it was right for me to go to Stanmore. It certainly did not look consistent to do this, but I have done it many times, walking out by faith and not by sight, during my experience. It looked like a great effort, but would not the Lord sustain me, as He had done in the past? Had I not a message to bear to the people in Stanmore? 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 1

This certainly is an important time in Stanmore. The work is going forward. One case, that of Brother Sharp, is of special interest. One year ago Brother Sharp was convicted of the truth, and believed that he ought to keep the Sabbath. But his employer would not give him the Sabbath, and he has worked on, conscious that he was dishonoring God. Again conviction came to him, and he determined to embrace the truth, whatever might be the result. He was then told that if he did not yield up the Sabbath, he would lose his place. For fourteen years he had been with the same firm as bookkeeper and solicitor. He occupied a very responsible position, and had never been admonished for any dishonesty of or unfaithfulness. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 2

He was given one month, and at the end of that time the test came. Obey the fourth commandment, and you will lose your place. He told his employer that he would make up every hour of his time by working overtime. “Are you not entirely satisfied with the way my work is done?” he asked his employer. He replied that he was entirely satisfied, but that he would not allow him to keep the Sabbath. He then asked Brother Sharp if he would not resign. “No,” said Brother Sharp, “I could not do this. Why should I resign my situation, as though I were conscious of doing wrong? It is a matter of conscience with me to keep the seventh day, and if you dismiss me, this is the only reason I can give.” 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 3

Brother Sharp was dismissed, and he went home and told his wife the facts in the case. She was very much wrought up, and the enemy made the most of his opportunity. He comes to every tempted soul with his temptations, as he came to Christ. He took Christ to an exceeding high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. Then he said, “All this will I give Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” [Matthew 4:9, 10.] At this rebuke, Satan’s power was broken. He left the field conquered, and angels came and ministered to the Saviour. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 4

So Satan came to the wife of Brother Sharp. He placed the worst view of things before her mind, and strengthened her unbelief in the care of her heavenly Father. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 5

He improved his opportunity to make her life a sacrifice in consequence of her husband moving out in loyalty to God. He would do his worst to make this case perplexing. Mrs. Sharp felt troubled and for a time almost helpless. It was a very trying time for the family. Mrs. Sharp was taken with spasms, and for a time her life was despaired of. But the angel of God stepped in between Satan and the afflicted one, and rebuked his cruel power. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 6

I prayed much over this case. We all prayed most earnestly that the Lord would open the way that His own name would be glorified. Brother Sharp’s relatives, with others in positions similar to the one he had occupied, who were deeply interested, watched to see how he would come out. I wrote to W. C. White, who was then in Melbourne, telling him that Brother Sharp would be an excellent man to have in the Health Home. I urged that the situation be given him. The lack of means was the only question. Finally they provided a good place for him in Melbourne, with a salary of £2.10 per week. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 7

But the Lord understood His own work, and in one week after Brother Sharp’s dismissal he was sent for by the proprietor of a firm in Sydney. This man said, “I hear that you have been dismissed because you would not break the Sabbath. You are just the man I want. You shall have the Sabbath without question, and will you come at once? My business agent, who is also my bookkeeper and solicitor, left for a vacation. During his absence I have kept my own books, and I find that I save £15 a month more than when he is here.” 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 8

Brother Sharp was given a larger and pleasanter room in which to do his work, than he had when with the other firm, and he receives the same wages, £3.10 per week. When his wife heard this, she said that the words, “O ye of little faith,” had been in her mind all day. [Matthew 6:30.] We feel very thankful to our heavenly Father for this instance of how He is working for the honor of His name. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 9

Sabbath, December 18

I have just returned from speaking in the tent. The tent was not full, but we had a good congregation. Several were present who are just on the point of deciding. They listened with great attention. I spoke from (Colossians 1:4-6), taking up also the fourteenth chapter of John and the conditions of acceptance with God. The Lord gave me much freedom. Brother Sherwin’s brother, whose home is five hundred miles back in the country, and who has embraced the Sabbath, was introduced to me. He spoke quite feelingly in regard to the talk I had given. Tears stood in his eyes. He seemed to feel so thankful that he could hear me and speak with me. He donated £2 to the church-building. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 10

I was introduced to several who gave just taken their stand on the Sabbath and other points of our faith. I was glad to speak to these dear souls. Most diligent efforts are being made by the workers to watch for souls as they that must give account. The workers watch and pray, and work as well. There are many precious souls hanging in the balance. I tried to present to them the importance of deciding to follow every ray of light that shines upon them. Then they will have increased light. If they follow on to know the Lord, they will know that His path is prepared as the morning. The lesser beams of light will increase to greater light. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 11

How much God loves us we can never measure. Sin entered the world. Men rebelled against God. But in the place of bringing death on them, He gave His only begotten Son, and in this gift He gave all heaven’s resources. God could not change His law to meet man in his fallen condition. He did not send His Son into the world to condemn and destroy the world. Neither did He send His Son into the world to unite with disloyalty in making void the law of Jehovah. Christ came to give Himself as a sacrifice for sin, thus to reveal to the heavenly universe that the law is as unchangeable, immutable, and eternal in its character as Jehovah Himself. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 12

Christ entered into a covenant with God to vindicate every specification of His character as expressed in His holy law. He must refute Satan’s lie, that God had given a law that man could not keep. This charge Satan made in heaven, and if possible he would have changed the principles of God’s law. But he was not permitted to subvert heaven to his false principles. There was war in heaven, and the Prince of life overcame the apostate. The Lord cast Satan out of heaven, and with him the angels that had taken side with him. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 13

Satan carried forward on this earth the work begun in heaven. By falsehood and misrepresentation he succeeded in turning Adam and Eve from their allegiance. By his falsehood against God, he overcame them. In the antediluvian world he demonstrated his principles, and he worked them out in Sodom and Gomorrah. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 14

The Lord destroyed the inhabitants of the old world, after giving them one hundred and twenty years to repent. During this time Noah, the preacher of righteousness, warned them of what was coming on the earth. For one hundred and twenty years he preached and worked, building the immense ark on dry land. Those who followed their own pleasure mocked and derided the messages sent from heaven, and every day that passed was one less of probation. When the appointed time came, rain was sent from heaven, the foundations of the great deep were broken up, and the waters from beneath united with the waters from heaven. Only eight souls out of that vast population were saved. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 15

But no sooner was the earth re-peopled than men threw off the restraint of God’s law, and united with the great apostate in lifting their banner of hostility against God. Their disloyalty they transmitted to their posterity as though a sacred responsibility rested upon them to make void the law of God. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were fruitful in devising all kinds of polluting practices. Fire from heaven consumed the inhabitants of these cities. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 16

So the inhabitants of the earth have in all time lifted the banner of hostility against God. They have confederated with satanic agencies, as if under the most important obligation to make void the law of God. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 17

Before Christ’s advent the sin of refusing to conform to the law of God had become widespread. The armies of evil were kept in unison by their determined enmity against the law of God. Their aversion to God bound them together in transgression and sin. Man cherished the principles of sin. Through Satan’s deceiving power transgression and apostasy had become consecrated. Vice and disobedience, in a variety of forms, were seen. Apparently Satan’s power was growing and his boasted superiority against heaven becoming more and more marked. Men strengthened themselves in transgression and sin, showing that they had no sense of what was due God, no respect for His law. While living in His house, the world, they were disobedient, unthankful, unholy. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 18

God looked down upon the world, and what did He see? He saw the world, that had been granted a second probation, forgetful of God, and at enmity with Him. His patience and forbearance had not led them to repentance. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11.] The memorial of creation, the seventh-day Sabbath, which God has sanctified and blessed, was trampled under foot by a race of rebellious subjects. Men made stringent laws to compel their fellow men to respect a false sabbath, while they themselves, though in high positions of trust, were disobedient, unthankful, unholy. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 19

Enmity against God was so deep-seated that any indication of a solitary soul returning to His allegiance was denounced as treachery against the national interest. Impiety was wakeful, ready to detect the first desire to return to God. Those who manifested a desire to return to their loyalty were regarded with determined hatred and punished with unmerciful cruelty. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 20

A crisis had arrived in regard to the world. The government of God was being watched by the unfallen worlds with intense interest. Would God come forth from His place to punish the world for her iniquity? Would He send fire or flood to consume the disobedient inhabitants? All heaven waited the bidding of their Commander to pour out the vials of wrath upon a rebellious world. One word from God, one sigh, and the world would have been destroyed by His condemnation and wrath. The worlds unfallen would have said, Amen. Thou are righteous, O God, because Thou hast extinguished rebellion. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 21

But “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] God might have sent His Son to condemn the world, but He sent Him to save. The Redeemer came to save, not to destroy. No words can describe the effect of His movement on the heavenly angels. They would only exclaim in wonder and admiration, “Herein is love.” [1 John 4:10.] 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 22

Every soul who joins the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists has a most solemn responsibility devolving upon him. Men are depraved. Their passion for gambling, horse-racing, and all kinds of amusement, is far more absorbing than things of eternal interest. Time, God’s precious talent, is wasted. Thousands of poor, infatuated human beings devoted their precious, God-given ability to securing the honor of being a champion in the games of this world, forgetting that while they are educating themselves to become experts in football and cricket, they lose sight of the crown of immortality, which will be presented to all who are victors in the race for eternal life. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 23

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away.” [2 Timothy 3:1-5.] 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 24

We are in a world where as Christians we must show our colors. We must show that we are on the Lord’s side. “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” [2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 6.] 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 25

That revelation is now being made. The man of sin to whom the apostle calls our attention is being revealed. The great controversy will wax stronger as we near the close of this earth’s history. 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 26

What is sin? “Sin is the transgression of the law.” [1 John 3:4.] In acting out his principles, the man of sin “exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself to be God.” [2 Thessalonians 2:4.] So the prophet writes of Satan, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the earth which did weaken the nations. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. ... I will be like the Most High. Yea, thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that look upon thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?” [Isaiah 14:12-16.] 12LtMs, Ms 141a, 1897, par. 27