Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 68, 1898

Sanderson, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

August 29, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in MRmnt 105; WM 39.

Brother Sanderson:

I received your letter in regard to the Health Retreat. Was pleased to read of the prosperity you are having there, and pleased also to learn the favorable report you send in regard to Brother Crothers. We received a letter from Brother Crothers ourselves, stating some things which were not so pleasing. He said he was placed in a tent, and the charge made him was eight dollars per week. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 1

Who had the charge of the case of this servant of God, who left America and came to this country to do missionary work? Through travelling and laboring in all kinds of weather beyond his strength, he came into the condition you find him. I wrote to you at the sanitarium in California that you should care for him, and not charge him fees. The conference of New Zealand is a poor conference, struggling under debt, and yet it raised the money to take him across the broad waters to America, in hope of his regaining his health. What, I ask you, are our sanitariums for if not to help just such ones as this? 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 2

What encouragement has Brother Crothers in looking forward to the years under sickness? How can he remain, with his bills swelling eight dollars per week? Cannot you understand the situation? What does this all mean? What need was there for me to write and call your attention to him? Can you not reason that our missionaries and our preaching brethren have demands upon us when they fail in health? In no case should they be left to feel that they are paupers, but that our institutions are freely open to them. A debt like a heavy cloud should not hang over them. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 3

I now ask you to change this matter, and make no charge for any poor servant of God who shall come within your borders. I am sure of one thing, and that is that whoever the parties are who have decided this matter, they take heed to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, if they ever have the “Well done” spoken to them. [Matthew 25:21.] Then they will be able to take in the situation for themselves, without my having to call the attention of any who compose the board. I ask you now for Christ’s sake to change this matter. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 4

Our self-sacrificing laborers must not return from their missionaries fields, worn out physically, to find that there is “no place for them in the inn,” and that they must seek a place outside. [See Luke 2:7.] I think you need to come to your senses. You need to study your Bibles until you shall understand your duties without being so dull as to have to be told it. Let our worn-out ministers be encouraged, and let them know that in their <illness or their> failing health, there is a home for them, where they will be cared for and treated as you would wish to be treated under like circumstances. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 5

I do not lay this matter upon you, for I suppose there is a board of directors to be consulted. I should suppose that you would be of that class who could understand the situation. By merely looking upon the man you should know that he cannot work, that he cannot earn money. And if he ever should recover and take his place again, the wages are usually apportioned according to the labor done, and he will have no large surplus of funds upon which to fall back and pay all debts. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 6

I must say that I am disappointed in you. I am more grieved than I can express to know that the Spirit of the Lord is not working the hearts of our people, that their principles are not of a Christlike character. I have <had this matter presented to me> by the Lord Jesus that it is these very things that will constitute us Christians. Whatever our profession may be, we are not Christians if we neglect this work. Christ says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Matthew 25:40.] 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 7

We are dealing with God in the person of His saints. We need men in our institutions who have hearts of flesh and not of steel. We want men to conduct our institutions who will make Christ their model. The words and works of Christ are to be the pattern—of the youth and of the man. Every man will be tested and tried, and this will develop character. All who desire to hear from the lips of Christ the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” must make these words true of themselves. [Verse 23.] 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 8

It becomes all to study carefully the character of Jesus Christ, that we may refer all that we do to His life, and inquire, “What would Christ do under similar circumstances?” that we may truly say, “I will follow thee, my Saviour.” Study the life of Christ, and let Him be your example in all things. Find out as soon as possible what it means to act as He acted, and what He would do under circumstances similar to those in which you are called to move—circumstances which affect one of the brethren of Christ, one for whom He has given His life. Act upon the high, elevated, noble principles upon which Christ acted. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 9

The principles which governed Christ’s actions are to govern our actions under all circumstances. O, how much we need the Holy Spirit to work the entire man, that we may love one another as Christ has loved us. It is selfish actions that keep the soul in feebleness and deprive it of its power. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 10

A lady who has just recently embraced the truth, and who conducted a large dressmaking establishment, thought she would be able to take treatment at our sanitarium in Sydney and then come to the school and be educated as a missionary. She remained there paying out her little board of means until she dared not remain longer. Then she went to the Mission Home where she was boarded for 10/- [ten shillings] per week. But money was going out and none coming in. It was thought that if she could get into the quiet of the country, into the pure air of Cooranbong, it would be beneficial to her. I invited her to my house and told her to make her home with me, although we had to crowd up our own family to do this. I could not see her pay out her last shilling for board. She is now located in my family, and is having all the opportunities she desires in riding out and sitting at my family board. She is treated as a member of my family without the cost to herself of a penny. I thought that Jesus would do just this. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 11

It had been thought that she would remain here only four weeks, then return to the city. But she shall remain just as long as she pleases. I tell her that this is her home. We must do these works just as Christ would do them if He were in our place. We want to show Christian warmth and heartiness, not as though we were doing some wonderful thing, for this is just what we would expect any real Christian to do in our case, were we placed in like circumstances. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 12

Well, this sister, young in the truth, is being blessed. Already we see decided improvement in her. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 13

We must show Christian consideration in all cases. When our ministers, our canvassers, or our missionaries go forth to foreign fields, to engage in the work, and through privation lose their health, God expects every one of us to act as His human agencies, to take these men in, to receive them heartily. They must not receive the cruel idea that you will put them in some out-of-the-way place and draw from the little morsel of funds they have. What kind of reflections do you suppose will come to them? 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 14

I do not ask any one of you to excuse me for speaking thus plainly. It is my duty. For years I have had these things presented before me, and I cannot forbear. Ten thousand times more prosperity will rest upon the families and institutions who will work on these principles, and thus represent the character of Christ. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 15

In much solicitude. 13LtMs, Lt 68, 1898, par. 16