Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 116, 1897

Wessels, Peter

Summer Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

February 17, 1897

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Peter Wessels:

We were pleased to receive a donation from you of £50. It came at a time when we needed it very much. When it came, we had been away from Cooranbong eight days and were staying at the Health Home, in order to do something in fitting it up. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 1

Brother and Sister Semmens are energetic, self-denying people. They spent several years at Battle Creek, to obtain an education in the medical missionary work. They returned about eighteen months ago and expected to go right into this work, but we had no money. He took hold of the conference work, giving Bible readings, visiting, and looking after the religious interests of the people; and he had good success. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 2

Dr. Kellogg thought we should have a sanitarium at once; and so we might if we had been in America, where we could have called upon those who know us for means to carry forward the work. But here every step has been attended with difficulty. Last year I furnished the means to keep five laborers in the field, and as to calling for means, we might as well try to make brick without straw. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 3

I want the doctor to come over here and see the field. One thing I know, a good work has been done in this region; but a great deal more needs to be done. We have only just made a beginning. We cannot make much advancement, but we cannot neglect the poor. We must be kind and courteous. We must have an interest in the necessities of the poor. By showing an interest in the wants of suffering humanity, we can best reach hearts. The culture of the mind and heart is much more easily accomplished when we feel such tender sympathy in others that we scatter our benefits and privileges to relieve their necessities. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 4

Getting and holding all we can for ourselves tends to poverty of soul; and as the soul and mind is the principal part of the man, we must see that all its powers are kept unpolluted and holy unto the Lord. A practical exhibition of piety, of pure and undefiled religion is to visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. This is the power of the gospel. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 5

We must work in Christ’s lines. This is of far more consequence to us than sermons or professions or creeds. The world will watch our attitude, our works, our principles. With keenness and severity it will criticize all we do in temporal lines. We are constantly making an impression, favorable or unfavorable, to the Christian religion, upon some member of the human family. We should demonstrate to the world that Bible religion prompts to industry and frugality, but in no case encourages avariciousness, penuriousness, over-reaching, or any dishonesty. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 6

Religion is service to God. The faith we claim to believe will, if the heart is refined and purified, lead us nearer to Christ. If Christ abides in the soul-temple, it will be free from all worldly projects and all selfishness. We are under holy vows to God to have our faith grounded in truth and justice. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 7

The world and the Christian cannot be in co-partnership. “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] The Lord help us all to keep His commandments. The first four commandments reveal the duty of man to his God. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” Here the mental, moral, and physical powers are embraced. “This do,” said Christ, “and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:27, 28.] He is speaking of eternal life in the kingdom of God. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 8

The divine regulations which regulate the life of the obedient children of God demand that we love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” [Matthew 7:12.] This is the genuine experience of everyone that is born of God. In doing the commandments of God there is great reward. Your temporal life will be one of usefulness, and Jesus will not be ashamed to call you His brother. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 9

Satan has had, and still has, great power over human minds. His constant suggestion is, “You cannot bring the principles of life eternal into your daily life. In order to acquire the things of this world, you must follow my practice. Serve me; I hold the kingdoms of wealth in my grasp. Pleasure, happiness, and honor are at my disposal. If you would obtain wealth, hearken to my counsel. Do not be over scrupulous in regard to honor or honesty. If you do, the world will take every advantage of you. Look out sharply for your own interest, and do not entertain whimsical notions of honesty or benevolence. Work on my plans, and serve me, and I will see that you have money.” These specious temptations will be proffered to all who serve God. 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 10

My dear brother, the Lord Jesus loves you, and would have you cherish that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. “O for freedom,” says one, “so that I shall not be under the condemnation of the law.” There is indeed a remedy for all who hunger and thirst. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Romans 5:1.] 12LtMs, Lt 116, 1897, par. 11