Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 59, 1898

Notes of the Work


May 10, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1SM 116-117; 12MR 360-362.

We are pleased to see the large number of students who have come to our school. Some have had to be assisted to obtain this privilege, but when we see young men and young women so earnest, we cannot turn from them, and say, Wait until you obtain means. In order to prepare a place for these students, and to fit up their rooms with the plainest furniture, part of the tuition money for this term had to be used. Otherwise the students could not have been accommodated. We cannot do here as we have been in the habit of doing in America—visit the churches and appeal to them to assist us. This is a mission field. The people do not know us, and we cannot solicit help from those who regard Seventh-day Adventists as a deluded people who age setting forth strange doctrines. Those acquainted with us in America have granted us favors, and by liberal donations have given evidence of their confidence in us. But we are now on missionary ground, and we can only push the work we would advance by soliciting means from those who are willing to help us. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 1

Since locating on these grounds, which were purchased for the erection of school buildings, we have made decided advancement. Three commodious wooden buildings have been erected for school purposes, and, what is more appreciated than any other improvement, a plain, neat, house of worship has been built. We knew that this must be built, and our friends in Africa helped us when it seemed impossible for us to accomplish what we wished so much to do. The Lord bless them for their sympathy and liberality, is our prayer. Our friends in America have also helped in our various enterprises, and the Lord will bless them for so doing. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 2

Since the camp meeting held at Stanmore last November, a meetinghouse so constructed that it will hold six hundred people has been erected in that suburb. As a fruit of the work done in that place, seventy-five souls have taken their position to obey the commandments of God. A few weeks after the camp meeting, some of these interested ones introduced the subject of a meetinghouse, and stated what they would give toward it. Afterward, when we had decided that we must build, several of these doubled their donation. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 3

In the providence of God, land was secured in a beautiful locality, and the workmen began to prepare the material for the building. Again, for this enterprise, the help of our American brethren was solicited, and they gave of their means, even when a financial pressure was crippling their resources. We thank every liberal soul who came to our assistance in the time of our great necessity. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 4

During the erection of this building, we were favored by God, for not for one day were the workmen hindered by rain. April 24 and 25 the dedicatory services were held. The auditorium was full, and the heavenly Guest was present. His blessing rested on the worshipers. We thank the Lord for the precious privilege of presenting to Him a house in which His people can assemble to worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness. This house will stand as a living testimony, a memorial of the Sabbath given at creation. After the Lord had spent six days in creating the world, He rested on the seventh [and] was refreshed. Then He blessed the day on which He had rested; and while the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, He gave it to man as a rest day, to be kept holy throughout all time. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 5

The hearts of all who had carried the burden of this work were filled with thanksgiving and joy. The tent had been used for a tabernacle for nearly six months. Several times, on account of the weather, they had been unable to hold services in it; and for nearly a week now, we have had both rain and wind every day. When the last meeting was held in the tent, many expressed regret at leaving a place where the blessing of God had often rested so signally upon them. But had they been compelled to leave the tent standing for two more Sabbaths, it would have been of no more service to them. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 6

I feel grateful to my heavenly Father that we have in Stanmore a neat, comfortable chapel, that the people could leave the tent, so long used as a tabernacle, where many souls had heard the truth for the first time, and where they had felt the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 7

The building of this meetinghouse has drawn largely upon many, and some of the means invested has had to be withdrawn from the school. But we knew that the Lord was in the work of building the Stanmore meetinghouse. We must now turn our attention to the school at Avondale. There are in this school precious souls who are trying to obtain a knowledge of the science of true education. An increase of holy wisdom is a very important matter. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This knowledge is as enduring as the eternal ages. God would have His servants increase in the knowledge of His Word, that they may impart to others the truth that shines from that Word into their hearts. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 8

The prayer that Christ offered to His Father just before His crucifixion was an educating prayer, for the benefit of His disciples. “Father, the hour is come,” He prayed, “glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that thy might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:1-3.] 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 9

Prayer is needed in the home life, in the church life, in the missionary life. The efficiency of earnest prayer is but feebly understood. Were the church faithful in prayer, she would not be found remiss in so many things, for faithfulness in calling upon God will bring rich returns. When the church awakes to the sense of her holy calling, many more fervent and effective prayers will ascend to heaven for the Holy Spirit to point out the work and duty of God’s people regarding the salvation of souls. We have a standing promise that God will draw near to every seeking soul. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 10

The church needs to be begotten again unto a lively hope “by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” [1 Peter 1:3, 4.] When the church awakes to a sense of what must be done in our world, the members will have travail of soul for those who know not God and who in their spiritual ignorance cannot understand the truth for this time. Self-denial, self-sacrifice is to be woven into all our experience. We are to pray and watch unto prayer, that there may be no inconsistency in our lives. We must not fail to show others that we understand that watching unto prayer means living our prayers before God, that He may answer them. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 11

The church will not retrograde while the members seek help from the throne of grace, that they may not fail to co-operate in the great work of saving the souls that are on the brink of ruin. The members of a church that is an active, working church will have a realization that they are wearing Christ’s yoke, and drawing with Him. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 12

The heavenly universe is waiting for consecrated channels through which God can communicate with His people, and through them with the world. God will work through a consecrated, self-denying church; and He will reveal His Spirit in a visible and glorious manner, especially in this time, when Satan is working in a masterly manner to deceive the souls of both ministers and people. If God’s ministers will co-operate with Him, He will be with them in a remarkable manner, even as He was with His disciples of old. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 13

Will not the church awake to her responsibility? God is waiting to impart the spirit of the greatest Missionary the world has ever known to those who will work with self-denying, self-sacrificing consecration. When God’s people receive this Spirit, power will go forth from them. They will not speak smooth, flattering words; they will not fill the minds of their hearers with vanity. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 14

What is the character of the work of the Holy Spirit? “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth,” Christ declared. “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. ... When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he shall show you things to come.” [John 16:7-11, 13.] 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 15

The Lord gives His faithful workers a message of reproof for sin, as well as of encouragement for all who forsake their sins and are converted. We each have a work to do for the Master. Individually we must awake and face our responsibilities. In accordance with the privileges we have received through the grace of Christ, we must give to others. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 16

Defects exist in the church, and we need clear discernment, not only to see, but to take up the unwelcome task of pointing out these defects. This is an important phase of missionary work. We are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. The instruction given to Timothy by his father in the gospel was, “Continue thou in all things which thou hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:14-17.] 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 17

Then comes the solemn charge: “I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” [2 Timothy 4:1-4.] 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 18

The missionary is remiss in his work as a faithful shepherd who has no message to bear to the church, who is not instant in season and out of season, to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. We are under the most solemn obligation to do our duty to all, be it pleasant or unpleasant, even though we are misunderstood and our words are misinterpreted by those who know neither themselves nor the spirit which has moved upon the servants of God to do the disagreeable work of plainly pointing out the mistakes and errors of those who are so blindfolded by the enemy that they cannot discern their own defects of character. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 19

“The servant of God must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth: and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” [2 Timothy 2:24-26.] When reproved, souls may recover themselves if they will, but if they refuse to acknowledge their errors, and in self-sufficiency act as though they were insulted, the Holy Spirit cannot work with them, or improve their defective characters. If they turn away offended from the truth to fables, and cherish a feeling of revenge against the one who told them of their defects, the Lord cannot convince them of their danger, and they are left with the desire to do all the injury possible to the one who has had the moral courage to tell them of their wrong course of action in order to save them from ruin. 13LtMs, Ms 59, 1898, par. 20