Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 71, 1898

Prescott, Brother and Sister [W. W.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 27, 1898

This letter is published in entirety in 17MR 208-215.

Dear Brother and Sister Prescott:

I have been very desirous that you should visit us in Australia again. It would be pleasing to us if for a time you could stand as principal of our school. I have hoped this might be. But again, I have desired that you might stand in the school at Battle Creek. Then Europe with all its necessities has come before me, and I have kept quiet, believing that you are in the place where you are most needed. England has had few enough laborers. It is a place where those who labor need to push at every step. You need to act as if you meant that something should give way and move. Aggressive warfare alone will prove successful. I am really pleased that you are there, and yet I would be so glad could you have carried our school through one term, if no more. God help you, is my most earnest prayer. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 1

Present Truth is an important paper, and you are at home in working as best you can with that. The Lord would have advance moves made in England. He desires that a school shall be established there, and this no one can do as well as yourself. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 2

Time is short, and that work which is essential must be done quickly. Satan has seen this, and he has worked with his deceptive, intriguing power to entangle everything in America so that the work that you and others could and should have done has been made impossible. And the work which should have been done in England has been blocked by the very same power that has swayed things in America. The wisdom of men disconnected and out of touch with the wisdom of God, the spirit of arbitrary authority which has manifested itself so decidedly in America, has not been confined to that country but has extended its power to leaven other countries. I am afraid of the men who have moved like blind men. The cause and work of God demands men who will attend to the work God has given them; and had this been the case, men would have listened to the counsels of God, and not to the wisdom of fools, wise only in their own conceits. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 3

Morning after morning I awake at 2 a.m., and often at 12 p.m. [midnight]. During the night season has been presented before me the unfaithfulness of men who have occupied positions of responsibility at the great heart of the work. The councils at this great center, if kept pure and uncorrupted, would have been as the voice of God; but men have worked upon principles that are condemned by the Word of God, and they have not heard nor obeyed the voice of God. Like Jehu, they have driven furiously in a course to uproot the confidence of God’s people in men who are true to the Master’s cause. They have sought to establish their own authority, while betraying the cause of God. While making decisions, and devising and planning, they have tried to make their oppressive human orders as the voice of God to His people. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 4

My spirit burns within me as these things are revealed to me, and I cry to God in an agony of remorse, because of those who have pursued this course and who feel no remorse, because of their heedless disregard of right principles. At this time above all others the paths of life are beset with perils that I cannot find language to describe. In a single departure from the path of sanctified principle, Satan obtains an advantage, and he leads on and on, farther and farther from right and truth. God calls every man and woman who has any connection with His cause and work at this time to walk with fear and trembling before Him, lest self become interwoven with His work, and they be led to neglect the very things that require careful, prayerful watching and consideration. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 5

With many, neglect of the smaller matters leads to unfaithful stewardship, until the highest claims of duty are unrecognized. They want to devise some very wonderful thing, to do something that will astonish but not reform. But if we would attain to the highest education, we must be sure that the smaller matters are not neglected in order that we may grasp and do great things. If in the fear of God we are faithful in the performance of the little things, the larger responsibilities will be light to handle. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 6

When those in high places of trust do not consider it essential to be true as steel to principle, true to their fellow men, they will not be true to God, the highest sovereignty. If those who are entrusted with responsibilities in high places take as their guide human beings who have no connection with God, they will make shipwreck of the work in every line they handle. Not for any soul living, be they young or old, is there security from the temptations of Satan, and those who choose to bind up with unholy men will imbibe their spirit and bear similar fruit. The only safety for any one of us is in walking humbly with God, in going where the Master leads the way. There is always safety and protection in obeying a “Thus saith the Lord.” 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 7

Men may err unwittingly. The most conscientious will make mistakes and take missteps, because they do not heed the counsel given; but in every case beware of the men who oppose the spirit of truth and righteousness. Keep close in confidence and friendship to those who have never betrayed the cause of God. They only are safe who wear the yoke of Christ and lift His burdens—not burdens which have been manufactured by themselves or by some one whom they know has no connection with God and who is working contrary to His way and will, but the burdens of Christ. They only are safe who learn of Christ His meekness, His lowliness of heart. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 8

We need to pray without ceasing. Let the heart long after God. Let the heart go out in daily, hourly prayer, believing, trusting, holding on to the promise, saying as did Jacob, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” [Genesis 32:26.] “Hold up my goings in thy path,” O God, “that my footsteps slip not” into pitfalls which men have dug for my feet. [Psalm 17:5.] 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 9

The removal of one safeguard from the conscience, the failure to do the very thing that the Lord has marked out, one step in the path of wrong principle, often leads to an entire change of the life and action. It is a terrible thing for men standing in responsible positions not to understand when to say Yea, and when Nay. Satan has used men to deceive, to allure, to betray souls that they may obtain some selfish purpose. God says, “My people have been deceived by men who forget God, who walk contrary to His Word, who have felt they have no need of light from above, and who have walked in slippery paths.” It is no longer safe for human souls to follow human devisings. We are safe only in following where Christ leads the way. This path will grow clearer, brighter and brighter, unto the perfect day. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 10

The apostle Paul says: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] Man’s business is to work in co-operation with God. Alone, his feet will slip in apparently the safest path. We cannot walk one step safely in mere human wisdom. If we would walk without fear, we must know that the hand of Jesus Christ holds our own firmly. And we can only know this by searching the Word of the living God. Paul’s charge to Timothy is: 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 11

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [1 Timothy 4:9-16.] 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 12

The heart of infinite love pities those who are in perilous places—when He sees men exalt by word, by confidence, by action, those who have faith in human law and force, who have no pity and who cannot discern the sufferings of the needy, to whom souls may cry in their agony of distress but whose hearts remain as hard as adamant. We may turn away from this picture and look to God, and Him alone. God desires that men shall feel their dependence upon Him, and trust to that Hand that can save to the uttermost, that Heart that throbs in response to the appeals of suffering humanity. We must not trust in man, or make flesh our arm. Our trust must be placed in a Hand and a Heart that is warm with life, that throbs with love for the helpless. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 13

September 1, 1898

I have just been having some conversation with Elders Daniells, Starr, and W. C. White. We were considering matters relating to our school: Who shall be preceptor the next term? My mind at once referred to you, but W. C. White said, “I wish we could, but we dare not urge him from Europe. England is almost destitute of workers.” 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 14

I know the situation, and dared not express anything further. W. C. White then presented the situation of Europe, and how very much Brother Prescott was needed in England, saying that he could advance the work and the school which is to be established there. The time for this has fully come. The want of means is the objection, but the work must advance. Men must go to England to help there in the work. “We must,” said W. C. White, “hold up the hands of Brother Prescott. We must make every effort and see that means is sent to England without delay.” Be of good courage in the Lord, my brother. A work is to be done in England. God will help you and Elder Waggoner to do this work, and others will be added to your number. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 15

As I consider the past history of our people in Battle Creek, I suffer intense agony of soul. It seems, if I could, that I would roll back the years that have been, and blot them out from their history. Very recent transactions tell us that those who have not yet learned their lesson, who have not had a depth of experience in the things of God, have come forward with their bold words. They are fluent in words but destitute of true understanding. True education would teach them to listen to the words of wisdom, “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10.] Their words have been like a brawling brook; lacking depth, it makes the moist noise. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 16

But the Lord has not left His people. He will work with each heart that turns fully to Him. Many of those who are so ready of speech are not under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Will these ever learn from the lesson book to be doers of the Word? Striplings who have but a limited experience are coming to the front; and this is well if they have learned the meekness and lowliness of Jesus Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 17

The Highest, who was with the Father before the world was, submitted to humiliation; He clothed His divinity with humanity that He might lift up the lowly. Prophecy lifts the veil that may behold the throne of heaven, that we may see upon that throne, high and lifted up, One who in human form came to our world, to suffer, to be lacerated with stripes and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. He proclaims Himself the advocate of the sinful human family. Before all the universe of heaven the Lord of glory suffered in human form, that His love, as a mighty Helper, might flow in rich currents to all suffering human beings. He cried out in His agony. He poured out His life on the cross for the one lost sheep. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 18

And all heaven is enlisted in beseeching Christ’s laborers to recover the guilty sheep that was lost. The lost sheep must be recovered. All the resources of heaven are at the command of the interested workers, that they may bestow them upon perishing souls. The Word declares that the Father has given all heaven in the great gift of His Son to seek and save that which was lost. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 19

“In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save thee, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them fame and praise in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before the eyes, saith the Lord.” [Zephaniah 3:16-20.] 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 20

The cross! the cross! it is set up that we may understand and know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. It tell us of the depth and breadth of infinite love, the greatness of the Father’s love. It reveals the astonishing truth that God the Father gave Himself in His Son, that He might have the joy of receiving back the sheep that was lost. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 21

We will co-operate with God in leading back to His fold the lost sheep. Then, my brother, my sister, work on, I beseech you. By living faith lay hold of the power of divinity, and lead the sheep back to the Shepherd who gave His life for it. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 22

The day is breaking, and I must stop for a little rest. But I want you to know that we sympathize with you and with Brother Waggoner. We have no time to lose. While the day lasts, let us work to turn the wandering ones to the path of life. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire: hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.” [Jude 21-25.] 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 23

In love. 13LtMs, Lt 71, 1898, par. 24