Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 65, 1898



May 19, 1898

Previously unpublished. +Note

I have a word to speak to all who are gathering up proxies from our people to use to advance their own plans and schemes, and bring into responsible positions men who are not fitted for the work. The men who are fitted for the work do not need this multitude of proxies, for their faithfulness will make a place for them when the ministers in the conference stand as faithful sentinels to do their work according to the Word of God. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 1

The men who are elected by such unlawful strivings should refuse the position from principle. It is not the way the work of God is to be advanced for this man and the other to obtain votes unlawfully, and through their scheming try to carry out their own projects. Those who do this kind of work reveal that they are unfitted for any position of trust. Under temptation, they will, as others have already done, betray the cause of God out of revenge. Beware of these men. Those who are elected to positions of trust through any such means can show themselves true by discontinuing these methods, for they are robbery. They appropriate the voice of the people upon questions in regard to which they have not been properly enlightened. God will not be mocked; He will not serve with those who accept positions of trust in this manner. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 2

There are men who are doing themselves and the cause of God great harm in sanctioning wrong principles in order to obtain a standing and if these are allowed to have a voice in councils, they will leave a blot upon the history of the work which will not be easily effaced. In the judgment day the books of heaven will reveal the spirit which led to this sowing of tares among the wheat. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 3

O, why will not men awaken to the situation! God’s work is being lowered in the dust by such a course of action. Says the apostle: “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things: hold fast that which is good; abstain from all appearance of evil.” [1 Thessalonians 5:19-22.] There is a spirit at work in Battle Creek which is revealing itself as the spirit which works in the children of disobedience. God has been dishonored. How much deeper He will permit Satan to lead those whom he has taken captive at his will, to humble His people who have not followed the divine counsel, we know not, but I would speak to you the truth as it has been presented to me. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 4

We need not go outside our own ranks to see the deep plottings of Satan. He is working through some of our own number, and they are deceiving the people. O why do not our people awake out of sleep! Why are they like men on enchanted ground? With all deceivableness of unrighteousness Satan is working in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. The churches have not kept pace with the truth. The minds of church members are clouded with unbelief. There are so many who practice iniquity that the faith of many has become confused, and their love for the truth grown cold. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 5

Says the apostle Paul: “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: ... we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention: for our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: but as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak: not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth the hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. ... Ye are witness and God also, how holy and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe. As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children. That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” [1 Thessalonians 2:1-7, 10-12.] 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 6

What a testimony is given in Timothy: “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of thy tears, that I might be filled with joy: when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in the grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice; and I and thou stir up the gift of God that is in thee by the putting on of hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of love, and of power and of a sound mind. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 7

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of thy Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling; not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. ... Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” 2 Timothy 1:3-18. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 8

“Thou therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. ... If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. ... Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord 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 2:1-3, 12-14, 23-26.] 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 9

The great apostle was a father to the flock. Timothy was his son in the gospel. From a child he had been trained in a knowledge of the Scriptures. The apostle was not satisfied with instructing his pupils in mere head knowledge; he felt that he was responsible for their spiritual welfare. This was the great burden of his work. They must know the true God, and Jesus Christ whom He had sent. He often called them to him, and bowed with them in prayer. The apostle instructed Timothy that he was not only to read and teach the Word, but that he was to become a diligent student of the Scriptures. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 10

And we can thank the Lord that in this day he has faithful men whose voice and influence will always be on the right side of every question, because they are learning in the school of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 11

We would counsel all Seventh-day Adventists to make the Word of God their study. Come earnestly to that Word, I entreat you. Look not to men, but to God, and obey Him with heart and soul. “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up: and he shall be brought low.” [Isaiah 2:10-12.] Read verses 19-22. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 12

Shall we recklessly trifle with our God-given probationary time? Shall we neglect the opportunities given us for qualifying ourselves physically, mentally and morally, to stand in the army of the Lord, under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ, and do our work as His entrusted sentinels? Rather, should not every faculty and power be brought into our service in laboring together with God? 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 13

It is wholly right that men who have become partakers of the divine nature should have respect for themselves. For His sake, who is their Creator, their Preserver, their Redeemer, their Father, the sons of the eternal God should behave circumspectly. They are bought with a price, and they should seek to co-operate with God in the restoration of every faculty. This God and heaven require. The Father has given the Holy Spirit to work with the human agent that he may be complete in Christ. O, what sacred treasures are entrusted to your guardianship as a church! And seeing that this is so, “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation” and circumspect deportment! [2 Peter 3:11.] 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 14

God would arouse men to life and vigor by bringing the nobler world within the range of their vision. A correct view of eternal realities will not incapacitate human beings for the faithful discharge of any essential duty in this world. It will roll back the cloud composed of things of minor importance, which obstructs the view and engrosses the thoughts and hides from their view the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. God would take the world by the hand and assign to it its proper place and rightful duties. He would have every moment of the life of every individual given to His service, for He has given His life that He might redeem every soul. He requires that every faculty shall be kept in health, that it may co-operate with God. He does not sanction any sinful defects of character. Indolent musing is not Christianity; idle contemplation is not religion. God requires of us earnest, vigilant watchfulness over our natural tempers, and strictest vigilance when most strongly assailed. We must cultivate all our powers to resist the wiles of Satan. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 15

“Why,” inquires the Master, “stand ye here all the day idle? Work while it is day; for the night cometh when no man can work.” [See Matthew 20:6; John 9:4.] O, brethren, be consecrated in the hands of God. Be as a lamp that burneth in a dark and godless world. God expects us to appreciate our varied endowments, as so many talents to be faithfully put out to the exchangers, and multiplied by constant use. The Lord expects His followers to be models of correctness in all their relations of life, and [to] shine forth in good works to the world. If every moment is appreciated and properly employed, there is sufficient time for all that is needed to be done for ourselves and for the world. 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 16

God is pleased when the follower of Christ respects himself and keeps in mind his royal birth. We are to be faithful stewards of God, keeping our bodies pure for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has made us the depositaries of the rich truths of His Word, that they may be communicated to the world. There must be no careless spirit, no unsanctified temper, no lack of strict integrity and uprightness, for these things, if cherished, dim our light. We must keep the soul in the love of God. This will not make any man, woman, or youth novices, or paralyze their sense of duty. The character of the Christian should reveal the great truths of the gospel. “Ye are the light of the world,” said Christ; “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.] 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 17

How many names will be written in the Lamb’s book of life because they have learned from your life and Christlike character to become sons and daughters of God? We are to seek to live in unity with Christ. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine,” said Christ, “no more can ye except ye abide in me.” [John 15:4.] We may have the faithful Shepherd’s guidance at every step. Said Christ, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, And I will give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” [John 10:27, 28.] 13LtMs, Ms 65, 1898, par. 18