Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 147, 1898

An Appeal

Campground, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

October 24, 1898

Previously unpublished.

I must make an appeal to our brethren, in our great necessity, for means to carry forward the work in these new fields. We have held our first camp meeting in Queensland, and the healthful influence of this meeting on the community exceeds that of any camp meeting that has been held. The Lord has given Elder Haskell and Elder Daniells great liberty, and the power of the Holy Spirit has attended the word spoken. This meeting has been in session one week. Every evening there has been a full tent, often many standing as a wall outside. Some of the best people of the place attend these meetings, many of them coming from localities miles away. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 1

Brethren and sisters, we must take into consideration the fact that we are on missionary soil as laborers together with God. Just as soon as the standard is lifted in one locality, and it is safe to leave the converts new to the faith, we must plan to enter another new field. And we find that it is as has been represented to me in visions of the night. The words of Christ to His disciples were, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and finish his work. Say not ye, There are four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields: for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto eternal life: that he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:34-36.] 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 2

There is no release in this warfare. The work is to be done, and while the angels hold the four winds, we are to work with all our capabilities. We must bear our message without any delay. We must give evidence to the universe of heaven and to men in this degenerate age that our religion is a faith and a power of which Christ is the Author and His Word the divine oracle. Human souls are hanging in the balance. They will be subjects for the kingdom of God or slaves to the despotism of Satan. All are to have the privilege of laying hold of the hope set before them in the gospel, and how can they hear without a preacher? The human family is in need of a moral renovation and a preparation of character. These are souls ready to perish because of the theoretical errors which are prevailing, and which are calculated to counterwork the gospel message. Who will now fully consecrate themselves to become laborers together with God? 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 3

There is to be no stain left on our work by independent atoms. Each worker is to be linked with the other. Brotherly love, tenderheartedness, is to be cherished because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and this will lead to fellowship one with the other. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 4

There is a practical test prescribed for us by One who knows. “By their fruits,” He says, “ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] The whole course of the providence of God is traced in the Book of books for our study. “The eyes of all wait upon Thee: thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest their hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.” [Psalm 145:15, 16.] The Lord has entrusted His talents in the hands of His church, that through its multiplied blessings, the grace of God may be communicated to those who know Him not. God’s people are to work in winning souls to Christ. A belief of the truth is not enough. There must be no burying of even the one talent. That talent is to be used in winning souls to Christ. One soul labored for and converted will bring the talents he possesses to be used to advance the work of God in our world. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 5

The revelation of life and the knowledge of immortality is not inherited. It is obtained only through Him who alone hath immortality. We must receive light and truth, that we may give to others. There is a life which measures with the life of God. This Christ proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph after His resurrection, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] This proclamation illumines with heaven-born splendors the track of our present travel as pilgrims and strangers. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness demonstrate the goodness and mercy and grace of God, and the true principles and purposes of the divine ministration. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 6

Let all awake to their God-given responsibilities. Let none suppose that they can live a life of selfishness, and then, having served their own selfish interests, enter into the joy of their Lord, “who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” [Hebrews 12:2, 3.] “For as much then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, for he that suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin that he should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men; but to the will of God.” [1 Peter 4:1, 2.] 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 7

New territories are to be worked by the Holy Spirit. Churches are to be established in different localities. The angels of God will go before us and prepare the way. God wants channels through whom the influence of His Holy Spirit can be poured out upon our world and the light of truth shine amid its moral darkness. There are places which are now a moral wilderness, and these are to become as the garden of the Lord. The Lord will work if man by faith and works will clear the King’s highway. Self-sacrifice will testify of the reality of truth. Believers themselves must be reconverted if through their influence sinners are to be brought to God, and employed in telling the story of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. The words and actions will testify of the value placed upon souls. Brotherly kindness will lead to brotherly love. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 8

What gifts God has given to His people! How abundant are the gifts given to us in Christ! In Him God poured upon the world a profusion of gifts and graces; therefore it is not because Christ has not bestowed His gifts that His church is so destitute of the treasures of heaven that would make her rich in resources. Why is it that the light of truth does not rapidly extend to all the morally destitute places of the world? It is because God’s stewards are not faithful in giving their tithes and offerings. Christ has given to us abundantly. He has given Himself, the highest, richest Gift, that could be given. As our helper and benefactor, He holds for us the richest gifts that the Holy Spirit can impart. Had man chosen what this gift should be, he would have selected something inferior; but the Lord takes the matter into His own hands and pours out upon the world the Holy Spirit, that all who receive Him may be holy as He is holy. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 9

How much owest thou unto our Lord? God exhorts us to “honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thy increase.” [Proverbs 3:9.] God gives to us regularly and freely. His bestowments for the support of His work are systematic, and annual contributions must be made by us to advance the kingdom of God in our world. These are God’s claims upon men, and these claims are to be met willingly. Say, as you give your contributions for the support of the work, “Of thine own we freely give thee.” [See 1 Chronicles 29:14.] 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 10

These claims of God are upon the whole world, but those who have made the world, and the love of money their god, the Lord will cause to perish with their gains. All things belong to God. Men may ignore His claims, while He bountifully bestows His blessings upon them, they resolve to use His gifts for their own selfish gratifications, but they will be called to give an account of their stewardship. God’s vineyard is not to be left to the caprice and chance of men. It is to be worked. It must have regular and specified reserves. The tithes and offerings are to be given, that God’s treasure house may be full. Means must be invested, that the message of mercy and warning may be borne to our world. None are to live unto themselves, but for Him who has made us His purchased possession, who died, and rose again. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 11

God’s claims underlie every other claim, and there can be no robbery practiced toward God without a strict inquiry being made of those who have done this. The fields are all ripe for the harvest, but the work is hindered for the want of means to invest in facilities and to sustain the workers in various lines. Our school interest in Cooranbong should be the interest of every church. God lays His hand on a part of His own entrusted capital, and says, “This is mine, to be reserved for my special benefit, to sustain the gospel messengers who shall labor in all parts of the world.” 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 12

He who provides all the necessities to our bodies is the bountiful Giver. According to the multitude of His tender mercies, He provides for all people; and those who are abundantly supplied are to help to supply the necessities of those who are needy. The portion God reserves is His own. He has laid His hand upon it. He says, I require your gifts an offerings to sustain My work. Thus He gives opportunity to develop Christlike attributes of character in those whom He proposes shall compose His family in the heavenly courts. He tests the men and women, the youth and children. He sees that justice and righteousness is maintained by all in rendering to Him that which is His own. If He demands the first fruits, the choicest of our possessions, has He not a right to do what He will with His own? And should not gratitude and love move us to a hearty acknowledgement of His righteous requirements? 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 13

How much owest thou unto my Lord? If we inquire, we shall not find this a hard problem to solve. Every specification is given in every dispensation. God lays His hand upon all our possessions saying, I am the rightful owner of the whole universe; these are My goods. Consecrate to Me the tithes and offerings. Bring in these specified goods as a token of your loyalty, as an acknowledgement of my entrusted goods and your submission to My sovereignty, and you will be free to retain your portion. My blessing shall increase your substance, and you will have abundance. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 14

In Eden, the fruit of the tree of knowledge which stood in the midst of the garden was reserved as God’s. It was not to be used. It was one of the most attractive of trees, but God said, “Ye shall not eat of it lest ye die.” [Genesis 3:3.] God here made a declaration of His rights, and He desired that man should demonstrate His true integrity and obedience to His commandments. The tenth of all our increase is the Lord’s. It is a sacred portion, and is to be regarded as God’s special fund for the sustenance of His cause and the upbuilding and extension of His kingdom in the world. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 15

The seventh day is the Lord’s memorial. One seventh part of our time is wholly unto the Lord. To devote God’s money to any worldly enterprise is to rob God. But the tithe is not to be the compass of our liberality toward God. The work of God is to advance, and we must have means to establish the work in every new field we enter. There is a great work to be done. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 16

Ever increasing opportunities for usefulness are presented before us in connection with our school. There must be, as there has been, princely offerings for the advancement of the work of God in this locality. God says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:10.] 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 17

In Isaiah our work is set before us. The poor are in need of light and knowledge and special help. Hospitals and sanitariums must be established to relieve the necessities of the suffering, to bring to them physical relief, to present to them the bread of heaven, the Word of the living God. The Lord in His goodness and tender compassion is to be revealed as a covenant keeping God. His mercy, His love, His benevolence are to be reflected in His representatives. The Lord calls for your means. The covetous man may write upon his hoarded treasures, “These are good for nothing, for I have held them to the destruction of my soul.” The value of the world’s treasures is estimated in the heavenly courts by the good we do <with them> here. It is like the breaking of the box of precious ointment the fragrance of which will fill the whole house for the refreshment of Jesus. 13LtMs, Ms 147, 1898, par. 18