Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 65b, 1898

“The Poor Have the Gospel Preached unto Them.” [Matthew 11:5.]


May 21, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 22, 170-172.

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias, and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:16-19.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 1

This is a wonderful description of Christ’s work. The Pharisees and Sadducees despised the poor. The learned and rich neglected them, as though their wealth and knowledge made them of more value than those who were poor. But Jesus declared that it was His work to give encouragement and comfort and help where it was most needed. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 2

These rich and learned ones exalted themselves above those who came to Jesus that they might have life. They trusted to their human wisdom for salvation. But the Word of God declares: “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto them which are saved it is the power of God; for it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? ... For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.” [1 Corinthians 1:18-20, 26-28.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 3

Christ came to this world not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. He was the great Physician. He knew that by His works of healing He could best reach the sick and afflicted, and that by this means He could draw the people to Himself. By being cured of physical suffering, many would be saved unto eternal life. “When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” [Matthew 8:1-4.] The leper was to follow the directions of Christ, that a testimony might be borne to the priests. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 4

In Luke is recorded another instance of the Saviour’s power. “A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this, for he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.” [Luke 7:2-5.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 5

Christ did not need this urging. He was ever willing to give relief. He went with them, “and when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends unto him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: ... but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.” “When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.” [Verses 6, 7, 9, 10.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 6

Christ came to the world to teach His followers the way to work. The disciples were to begin the great work by publishing the great truths of Christianity in the metropolis of Palestine, and from Jerusalem they were to go to all parts of the world. As Christ sent His disciples forth, He gave them their commission. “When he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” [Matthew 10:1.] This is just as verily a part of the work of those who proclaim the gospel message as it is to minister to the spiritual needs of the being. Christ’s followers are to act in His stead in behalf of their fellow men. And, in this age of the world, when Satan is stirred by a power from beneath to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, the Saviour is waiting to co-operate with His servants. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 7

Christ met with the greatest success among the poor, and with this class every human being, whether learned or unlearned, may find abundance to do. The poor need comfort and sympathy, for there are those who without a helping hand will never recover themselves. In working for these, Christ’s disciples will fulfill their commission. This is the highest credential of the gospel ministry. Had the gospel been of men, it would have been popular with the rich and mighty; but it pours contempt upon the rich and mighty, and calls upon all who accept it to work the works of Christ, helping those who are destitute, despised, forsaken, afflicted. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 8

Those who take hold of the work for the love of Christ and the love of souls will work in Christ lines. This world is a lazar house of disease, but Christ came to heal the sick, to comfort the broken-hearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, to give sight to the blind. The gospel is the very essence of restoration, and Christ would have us bid the broken-hearted, the hopeless, and the afflicted, take hold of His strength, for the acceptable year of the Lord has come. “His own received Him not.” [John 1:11.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 9


We must humble self today, tomorrow, and constantly. With a willing, sanctified heart, we must co-operate with God. We are living in the time when Satan has come down in great power. He is walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. But the Lord is ready to take away the sin that hinders us from yoking up with Christ. If we yoke up with Christ, He will be our Emmanuel—“God with us,” supplying every weakness with His strength, every inefficiency with His power and success. [Matthew 1:23.] But if we take glory in our selves, He removes His excellency from us, and we no longer ride prosperously. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 10

Take up the stones, remove the rubbish from your hearts. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. God’s servants need constantly with one hand to lay hold of souls ready to perish, while with the hand of faith they lay hold of the throne of God. Souls possessed with evil spirits will present themselves before us. We must cultivate the spirit of earnest prayer, mingled with genuine faith, to save them from ruin, and this will confirm our faith. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 11

God designs that the sick, the unfortunate, those possessed of evil spirits, shall hear His voice through us. Through His human agents He desires to be a comforter such as the world has never before seen. His words are to be voiced by His followers: “Let not your heart be troubled: Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” [John 14:1.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 12

The Lord will work through every soul that will give himself up to be worked, not only to preach but to minister to the despairing, and to inspire hope in the hearts of the hopeless. We are to act our part in relieving and softening the miseries of this life. The miseries and mysteries of this life are as dark and cloudy as they were thousands of years ago. There is something for us to do: “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” [Isaiah 60:1.] There are needy close by us; the suffering are in our very borders. We must try to help them. By the grace of Christ, the sealed fountains of earnest, Christlike work are to be unsealed. In the strength of Him who has all strength, we are to work as we have never worked before. The time of need and necessity makes plain our great need of a present, all-powerful God, in whom is everlasting strength, and in whose power we may work. 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 13

Day by day God must be with us, preparing us to learn of Him, that He may teach us perfect obedience. The secret of success is not in our learning, not in our position, not in our numbers, not in the greatness of our talents; it is not in the will of man. The Lord God of Israel is our strength. The willing and obedient will gain victory after victory. The Lord’s workers must feel their inefficiency, must contemplate Christ, and conquer through Him who is the thought of all thought, the strength of all strength. Grasp the hand of Christ, and say, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me. He will respond, keep near to me; I will hold your hand. My grasp shall never relax. Possess your souls in patience, in meekness, in humbleness of mind, and yet, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” [Verse 1.] 13LtMs, Ms 65b, 1898, par. 14