Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 147, 1899

Haskell, Brother and Sister [S. N.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

September 25, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in PM 215-216. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Haskell:

I cannot sleep tonight, for I am heart sick, and my soul is weighed down with a nameless burden. We are living in the most important period of this earth’s history, and the large work to be done is presented before me. There is no time to be lost. Many places close about us have not yet heard the third angel’s message. The banner has not been uplifted, calling the attention of the people to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 1

We have been commissioned to advance. When I inquired how we should do this, I was instructed, Present your situation before the brethren in America, and ask for means. Call for help from the churches in every place, and ask them to bind about their supposed wants. Some are investing the Lord’s money in buildings, thus patterning after the unfaithful servant, who hid his lord’s money in a napkin in the earth. These need to consider and be afraid. What are they doing with their Lord’s goods? Are they heeding the divine command, “Sell that ye have, and give alms”? [Luke 12:33.] “Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, ... but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven” [Matthew 6:19, 20], by investing your means in the work of the Lord? No; their money is expended to gratify the inclination for things which are unnecessary. These souls need to study the twelfth chapter of Luke. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 2

Christ lived not to please Himself, and He says to his followers, “He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] That cross cuts across every tendency to wrong, whether it be hereditary or cultivated. In His life and His plans for reaching the people, Christ teaches us how we should follow Him. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 3

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” He says, “and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding; that when he cometh, and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom their lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.” [Luke 12:33-38.] 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 4

We shall have strong temptations to invest our money in the erection of unnecessary buildings, and for personal advantage; but this should not be done now. At this time our money is needed to sustain the missionary work in many places, and thus extend the knowledge of the truth. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 5

I have been shown that the abundant picture making for our periodicals and books is growing into an unsanctified ambition; and the dangers of rivalry are increasing to an alarming extent. The books we are sending out to the world are costing too much. Extravagance in illustrations costs time and money and creates worries which can and should be avoided. The Lord would have us keep the eye single to the glory of God. This infatuation for <so abundant> illustrations is not in God’s order; it is the pulse of the world, and this is beating strongly in God’s people at the present time. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 6

In every line of the work economy must be practiced. All unnecessary expenditure must be avoided; for God is testing His people. There are missions to be opened in new fields. Men of God’s appointment are to be raised up to step in their lot and place, and sound the grand, testing message for this time. The Word of the Lord must come to the people. The trumpet must give a certain sound. This is a life and death message, and it must not come uncertainly from the watchmen who stand on the walls of Zion. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 7

Speaking concerning this time, Christ said, “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed.” [Luke 17:26-30.] 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 8

The world is soon to meet God over His broken law, and its binding claims must be set before the people. May the Lord help His people to do their God-given work with fidelity. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.” [Isaiah 58:1, 2.] God calls His people to press together, to be a unit. This is their strength. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 9

“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to be humble.” [James 4:6.] The apostle Paul exhorts us, “Be kindly affectioned one toward another, with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another;” “submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” [Romans 12:10; Ephesians 5:21; Philippians 2:3.] Let the church heed these words, for they are for their present and eternal good. The church must maintain her sacred, holy calling, keeping separate from the world; for unless the church itself is respected, it is powerless to influence. God has placed His message in the church, and His voice must control the members. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 10

Again I entreat my brethren to send us the fruits of their self-denial in freewill offerings; for we are directed by God to advance in new territories. “The night cometh, when no man can work.” [John 9:4.] Christ came into our world to save it from ruin by connecting it with the infinite God, for this was the only way. Christ’s followers are to be channels of light to this apostate world. Who will follow the example of Christ, the great Teacher? 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 11

There is need for close searching of heart in regard to every investment of money. Those who have not hitherto separated themselves from the Spirit and influence of the world, have not been learners in the school of Christ. They rob God in using His time and talents in following the customs and practices of the world. God calls for the whole being to be surrendered to Him. “Ye are not your own,” He says; “for ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] You are His by creation, and doubly His by redemption, and He calls you to earnest service. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 12

“What,” Christ asks, “could be done in my vineyard more than has been done in it? And I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.” [Isaiah 5:4, 2.] The fruit Christ requires is faith, patience, love, forbearance, heavenly unity, and meekness. These clusters of fruit ripen amid storm clouds and darkness as well as in the sunshine. There is no place in God’s work for dyspeptic religion. Practical godliness will strengthen the whole man, and make him complete in Christ. We need that faith which works by love, and purifies the soul. 14LtMs, Lt 147, 1899, par. 13