Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 54, 1899

Henry, S. M. I.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

March 24, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 6T 114-116; RH 05/09/1899.

Dear Sister Henry:

I awake at two o’clock a.m., and know that there is no more sleep for me tonight. Your letter was read with interest. I am very grateful to my heavenly Father that if we cannot meet face to face to talk with each other, we still have the advantages of pen and ink. I have not an idea that these words I write to you will be copied. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 1

My eyes are afflicted at the present time, but I venture this morning to write you a few lines, my sister. I was riding with my editors and secretary in the country when a gnat flew in my eye. It felt like a spark of fire. My eye felt disagreeable, but I used it. The next day, accompanied by my secretary, I went to Newcastle to fill my appointment to speak Sabbath and Sunday afternoons. Friday night I suffered much. A week has passed, and the difficulty is not yet entirely removed. I have written much with one eye bandaged; but I thank the Lord I am much better, although not entirely restored. I would not on this occasion fail nor be discouraged. Wearing my glasses, I managed to speak twice in Newcastle to an interested congregation. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 2

There is a large work to be done in Newcastle and suburbs, and we are seeking to do all we can. Thirty-five precious souls have been baptized, and fifteen more will be baptized in a week. The ministers are now aroused to opposition. We feel sorry for the shepherds and sorry for the poor sheep who are starving for the precious words of life, which God’s servants would give them, and which they long to receive, but are afraid. God help them, is my prayer. If we could only impress them with the value of the human soul, if they could be made to understand that they must act for themselves, that they have souls to save or souls to lose, they would individually act independently of any human influence. If we can make these souls, who are hanging in the balance, gain a clear conviction of the excellency of the human soul, which Christ has valued so highly as to give His life to save, we would win them for Jesus. What an account the ministers must have who are making of none effect a plain, distinct “Thus saith the Lord.” 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 3

The work you are doing to help our sisters feel their individual accountability to God is a good and necessary work. Long has it been neglected. But when this work is laid out in clear, simple, definite lines, we may expect that home duties, instead of being neglected, will be done much more intelligently. The Lord would have us ever urge the worth of the human soul upon those who do not understand its value. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 4

If we can arrange to have regular, organized companies instructed intelligently in regard to the part they should act as servants of the Master, our churches will have a life and vitality that they have long needed. The excellency of the soul Christ has saved will be appreciated. Our sisters generally have a hard time with their increasing families and their unappreciated trials. I have so longed for women who could be educated to help our sisters rise from their discouragement and feel that they could do a work for the Lord. This is bringing rays of sunshine into their own lives, which are reflected into the hearts of others. God will bless you and all who unite with you in this grand work. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 5

Many youth as well as elder sisters appear shy of religious conversation. They do not take in the matter as it is. The Word of God must be their assurance, their hope, their peace. They close the windows which they should open heavenward, and open their windows wide earthward. But when they see the excellency of the human soul, they will close the windows earthward, which depend on worldly amusements and associations in folly and sin, and will open the windows heavenward to behold spiritual things. Then they can say, I will receive the light of the Sun of Righteousness, that it may shine forth to others. The most successful toilers are those who cheerfully take up the work of serving God in little things. Every human being is to work with his thread, weaving it into the fabric to help to complete the pattern. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 6

The work of Christ was largely composed of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. From that one soul the intelligence received was carried to thousands. Educate the youth to help the youth, and in seeking to do this work they will gain an experience which will qualify them to become consecrated workers in a larger sphere. Thousands of hearts can be reached in the most simple, humble way. The most intellectual, those looked upon and praised as the world’s most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words of one who loves God, and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling can speak of the things his mind contemplates and feeds upon. The words well-prepared and studied have little influence. But the true honest words of a son or daughter of God, spoken in natural simplicity, unbolt the door to many souls that have long been locked. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 7

Every worker, whether a child, a youth, or a person of mature age, is to put on Christ, that is, seek him in prayer and believe that the prayer is accepted by God. He has been charged to watch and pray without ceasing. Some pray during the Week of Prayer, and then suppose that their praying is to cease. They do not continue in prayer, and therefore they do not receive. They must continue to ask, that they may receive. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” [John 16:24.] Seek me, and ye shall find me close beside you, ready to shield, to help and bless you. I will lead the current of your thoughts away from cheap, frivolous things. I will open to you subjects the contemplation of which will bring you My peace, My joy, My consolation, and these will take away your worries. Our powers are not to be employed and worn out in bearing responsibilities which belong to God, which He has not given the human agent. Let us educate the soul not to chafe and irritate, weakening its powers unnecessarily, but keep itself in calmness and peace. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 8

The wails of a world’s sorrow are heard all around us. Sin is pressing its shadow upon us, and our minds must be ready for every good word and work. We know we have the presence of Jesus. The sweet influence of His Holy Spirit is teaching and guiding our thoughts to speak words that will refresh and cheer and brighten the pathway of others. If we can speak to our sisters often, and in the place of saying, “Go,” lead them ourselves to do as we would do, to feel as we should feel, we shall have a strong and abiding conception of the value of the human soul. We are learners, that we may be teachers. This ideal must be imprinted on the minds of every church member. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 9

We fully believe in church organization, but this is not to prescribe the exact way in which we shall work, for all minds are not to be reached by the same methods. Nothing is to be allowed to keep the servant of God from his fellow men. The individual believer is to labor for the individual sinner. Each person has his one lamp to keep burning, and if the heavenly oil is emptied into these lamps through the golden pipes, if the vessels are emptied of self and prepared to receive the holy oil, its light will be thrown on the sinner’s path to some purpose. More light will shine on the pathway of the wanderer through one lamp than through a whole procession of torchlights got up for a show. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 10

O what a work may be done if we do not stretch ourselves beyond our measure. My sister, there are many ways open before you. Address the crowds whenever you can. Hold every jot of influence you gain, by association, that will introduce the leaven into the meal. Every man and every women has his and her work to do for the Master. Personal consecration and sanctification to God will bring better results than the most imposing display. Personal work must be done, and personal sanctification makes each one a partaker with the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is invincible. Those who follow in the footsteps of Christ will not seek for show and parade. Christ is not there. “He that will come after me,” He says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Without Me ye can do nothing to My name’s glory. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 11

All this world’s pleasure and power will pass away. No soul can carry its supposed valuable treasures with it to the eternal world. But the life spent in doing the will of God will abide forever. The labor given to advance the kingdom of God in this world will carry its results into the future eternal world. Teach our sisters that their question should be each day, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do this day? Each consecrated vessel will daily have the holy oil emptied into it, to be emptied out into other vessels. Every day we may advance in the perfection of Christian character. As we wait and watch for opportunities to do the will and work of God, every word we utter, every work we perform in Christ’s lines will have an enduring preeminence. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 12

I am so glad, my sister, that you did not sever your connection from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. You may have to sever this connection, but not yet, not yet. Hold your place. Speak the words given you by God, and the Lord will certainly work with you. You may see many things you do not approve of, but do not fail nor be discouraged. I hope and pray that you may be clothed daily with the righteousness of Christ. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 13

In much love. 14LtMs, Lt 54, 1899, par. 14