Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 130, 1897

Wessels, John

Summer Hill, Sydney, Australia

February 17, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in TSA 54-55; 4Bio 291.

Dear Brother John Wessels:

I feel sad that you do not feel impressed by the Spirit of God to come to New South Wales. I do not desire you to come unless you yourself have some burden. I do not believe in men depending upon the judgment and wisdom of other men, to know their duty in regard to going to any field upon the face of the earth. Men may make propositions, they may lay out the field and its necessity; and then they must leave the matter for the one who is ready to do God’s service unselfishly, to seek counsel of God, and obtain the counsel of heaven. Do we not read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.” [James 1:5, 6.] You cannot get this wisdom by looking to Battle Creek, or to any other place. Too much dependence has been placed upon the advice of men. Men have been so willing to be directed by human judgment that God has been dishonored. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 1

“Come unto me,” Christ says, “all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] All who depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who seek Him with their whole heart, will find in Him a very present help in time of trouble, and will be shown their duty. The Lord is much nearer to those who desire to know His will than are those in Battle Creek, or in the next neighborhood. He Himself declares, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” [Matthew 21:22.] 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 2

If the Lord teaches you that He wants you in any place, to do His service, go to that place. We need some one here very much, some one who can devise and plan and execute, to forward the work of God. Dr. Kellogg writes that he thinks that you would come to Australia if you were requested to come. I have made the request, as it is my privilege to do, as one who co-operates with Christ in His work. But I would have you come only because you feel it to be your duty. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 3

I shall encourage none of our people to go to India, unless they have clear light from the Lord that it is their duty to go. A duty made by man, and laid upon another man, is not reliable. Our Lord would have every one of His servants use their reason, and take measures to preserve their lives, that they may do the work He has for them to do. There is an abundance of places where the work to be accomplished is great, and where the plague is not raging. Let God’s workers fill the need in these places. I have no light to bid any one now in India leave that field, but I have light to say that no one should move thoughtlessly, placing themselves in dangerous situations, unless they know they have the word of God to sustain them in so doing. We shall receive help from the Lord when doing His work; but if we go on a warfare at our own charges, the Lord does not sustain us. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 4

I will not say anything to balance you to come to this place, but if you have decided that it is best to devote the remnant of your God-given time to doing God’s will, we need you in this locality. If your desire to serve self is stronger than your desire to serve God, if you obey your own inclinations, and with the prospect of increasing your means bind it up in a napkin, and bury it in buildings, or in the earth, you will one day find that you have made a mistake. The end is near, and the work to be done is urgent. We are not now to do that which the Lord has told us we should not do. We should put all our talents in active exercise, that we may accumulate a heritage for God in the salvation of souls. Fishing for more money will not be one hundredth part as profitable as fishing for men. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 5

I have been devoting all my talents of money and of time, golden, God-given time, to the service of the Lord Jesus. I am building for time and for eternity. I study every pound which I invest in buildings for myself, lest I shall in any way limit the resources which I can invest in the upbuilding of the cause of God. I do not regret that I have done this. We have seen some trying times, but amid all we say, It pays. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] Give me this as my reward, and I am satisfied. I hold myself, not as my own property. I am bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God. I place myself under the molding of the Holy Spirit. And at sixty-nine years of age, I am still in the service of my Master. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 6

When I called for the loan of money from your mother, it came, and we are grateful to the Lord for this. In a vision of the night, I was directed to send to South Africa for money. Said the messenger of the Lord, “They have my money, and it is endangering the souls of those to whom it has been entrusted. They do not all see that the means in their hands is entrusted to them, that they may develop characters fit for the heavenly courts. They are being tested, to see whether they will honor and glorify me by doing my work and advancing my interests, or whether they will serve self. If they keep my glory in view, if they listen to my voice, if they heed my instruction, and do my work, according to my word, I can trust them with the eternal riches. They are mine; all that they have is mine; it has been bought with a price. If they are loyal to me, if they honor me as they have opportunity, I will honor them. But if they do not walk with me, if they walk in the ways of the world, if they choose their own way and not my way, they can never see my face. Their money will either prove their eternal ruin or a blessing. Its only value is the good they can do with it to glorify me.” 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 7

I write you this because I have an interest in your soul. I would feel very delicate were I asking you for money for my own use, or for the use of my family. I ask not one penny for this. I only plead the necessities of a people, necessities which should awaken the interest of those who claim to be children of God. I ask not one dollar of your money for my own individual self. I am using my entrusted capital to advance the cause of God, which is dearer to me than life. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 8

We have asked you to come to Australia to help us. We are in great need of means. The Lord has assured me that He has means in the hands of His stewards for Australia; but Satan has hindered it from coming. We have nothing wherewith to work Sydney. A sanitarium is needed in that place, to give character to the work. We ask you whether you can help us by coming here yourself, and looking over the ground, and determining what you can do with your means, not as a gift, unless you desire it as such, but as a loan. We could thus work for all classes. So far I have largely had to supply the means for this work. I cannot go any deeper; but if you could see your way clear to invest <a portion of> the means in your hands <at low interest,> and interest others to do the same, the work would go forward. The Lord’s cause is suffering for want of the means that should be used in this destitute field. I plead for you to do something to interest others to appropriate the Lord’s means for the advancement of the work here. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 9

One school building is finished, and another is advancing. We thank the Lord for this. The means which your good mother loaned me I loaned to the builders, to advance the work. Souls are being added to our numbers in the suburbs of Sydney. I wish you would come to this place, and see for yourself. Then you could do as you pleased. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 10

We are doing all we can. But not one pound will come to us from any source outside of those of our own faith; and those who believe are poor, with nothing to do with. Our motto has been, We will not fail nor be discouraged. But time is short; we have but little time in which to work. The cities must hear the proclamation of the truth. Melbourne has not been worked, neither has Sydney, nor have the cities of New Zealand. Can you co-operate with Jesus Christ by doing His work? The Lord is waiting for men who will be laborers together with Him, who will seek to save those that are in darkness and error. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 11

Our special interest should be in God’s work. Our whole soul should be full of zeal to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. The message of warning must be given to the world. I dare not remain indifferent when there are souls to be saved for whom Christ has died. The leaven of truth must be introduced. We see that cities are becoming as they were in the days of Noah, and as were Sodom and Gomorrah. The inhabitants are planting and building. Their passions are stimulated to intense activity by games, horse racing, and intemperance of every description. The fever swells every vein, and the heart throbs with the restless tide of unhallowed emotion. Thousands upon thousands are sunk in a stupid lethargy. Their sleep is as deep as if they were under a powerful, poisonous drug. They are dead in trespasses and sins. And yet no work for God is being done in these cities. The entire tendency is toward corruption, and the end is a moral prostration which means death to the soul. Why should we not be alarmed? 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 12

Nothing but the leaven of truth can reach the people of these cities. The aid of the great I AM must be relied on. The healing fountain must be proclaimed. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” [John 7:37.] The balm of a Saviour’s love must be presented, to heal the sin-bruised souls. The mighty energies of the Holy Spirit, with all its quickening, recuperative, transforming power must be applied to the palsy-stricken souls. I see no way that we can do this work than to engage in medical missionary work. I have prayed, and I have written for help for this work, but none comes. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 13

Last mail brought me £50 from Peter Wessels. I acknowledge it. It came exactly at the right time. We were at the Health Home, trying to get means to furnish some rooms in the humblest style. We had bought a few things, such as oil cloth for the floor, and a couple of bureaus, one of which, second hand, cost less than a pound. This was for the room I occupy in the Home, and for which I pay four shillings per week. When our means gave out, we had to wait; and when that money came, we rejoiced, and were glad. Now we can finish furnishing the rooms. We would engage in more of such work if we had the means. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 14

Full and free salvation must be presented to those who are perishing in their ignorance and sin, in order that a complete renovation may take place. A great work is to be done, and all heaven is waiting for human agencies through whom the divine instrumentalities can work. We hope that some one will feel a burden to step in and unite with the great firm as a partner, to carry forward the work. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 15

Those who have felt the cleansing efficacy of the blood of Christ on their own souls will realize that Christ values the souls that He has purchased with His own blood more than gold or silver or previous stones. Growth in grace and spiritual soundness must be maintained and perfected by exercising every capability, every talent of money or influence in the service of God, to uplift, to point out the remedy for sin and all moral defilement. Upon those who engage in this work will the Sun of Righteousness arise, with healing in his wings. And all the heavenly intelligences, looking upon the fresh beauty and the vigor of the newly implanted life in the soul will rejoice over them with singing. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 16

I must close this hastily written letter. My soul is wrestling in earnest prayer that a work may be done in our cities. I know that it should be done. I leave this matter, to me so full of eternal result, to your consideration. I could not forbear doing my duty, and now I leave the matter with you. 12LtMs, Lt 130, 1897, par. 17