Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 161, 1899

Notes of the Work


December 17, 1899 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

We have reason to thank God that the work is going forward in Maitland. The camp meeting was an excellent one. There were interruptions which no human wisdom could see or prevent, but no murmuring or complaining was heard. The Lord has His way in the storm as well as in the calm. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 1

I have spoken to the people in Maitland every Sabbath and Sunday afternoon for five weeks, and hundreds, yes, thousands, of people, not only in Maitland, but in the adjacent towns, have had an opportunity to hear the message of truth. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 2

During the meetings the word was presented with earnestness and power. The prophecies were brought out in clear, strong lines, and the teachings of Christ in both the Old and New Testaments were explained in their order. The people were astonished at the Scriptures. On the last Sunday of the camp, a company of men and women walked from another town several miles away to attend the evening meeting. Other interested ones have attended the meetings regularly, and many of them expressed themselves as did the Jews in the days of Christ when He presented to them the truths of the Old Testament Scriptures. We did not know that such wonderful things were in the Bible, they declared. After attending meetings all day and in the evening, they were loath to leave the ground. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 3

At the present time, Brethren Colcord and Hickox are carrying forward the work, with the help of the workers who visit from house to house. Notwithstanding the heat, they visit among the homes of the people, often walking three and six miles to their place of labor. We thought this too much for some of the sisters; but they have a burden for the work, and persevere in it, notwithstanding the difficulties. The people receive them kindly, studying the Scriptures and praying with them. Several persons, after severe struggles, have obtained the victory and are now keeping the Sabbath. Others are still in perplexity in regard to the seventh day. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 4

We find none so blind as those who stand in positions of responsibility in the churches. Like the rulers in Christ’s day, those who are blessed with every spiritual advantage, and who claim to be teachers of the people, are the least able to interpret the Scriptures correctly. They know not what is truth for this time. To the Jewish leaders, who were exciting the prejudices of the people against Him, Christ said, “Ye teach for doctrine the commandments of men.” “Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God.” [Matthew 15:9; 22:29.] His words apply to the religious teachers of today who refuse to sit down with the servants of God and study the messages He sends. O if these ministers would only take the stand of the noble Bereans, and search the Scriptures, to see if these things are so! They would be safe in coming to the Word of God. If they would lay aside their prejudice, and unite in prayer and searching of the Word, the Holy Spirit would give them understanding. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 5

The spirit which in Christ’s day led the priests and rulers to forbid the recognition of Christ as the Sent of God is alive today, and is forbidding men to accept the Word of God just as it reads. Prophets and holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, foretold the advent of the Messiah. But when the prophecy was fulfilled, and Christ came, the Jews knew Him not. In their pride and bitter enmity they unconsciously fulfilled the Word of prophecy. The One to whom all their sacrifices pointed, the One in whom their hopes of eternal life were centered, they forced out of their synagogues, and would have thrust Him over a precipice outside the gates of the city had not angels, unseen by them, come to His rescue. His disciples also they turned out of their synagogues, imprisoning some and stoning others. The Christ they would receive must be one who would intensify their hatred for the Romans and exalt the Jewish nation. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 6

Peter speaking of this says, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” [Acts 2:22-24.] This history of the Jews is a warning to men who live in these times, for it is the future history of the religious world. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 7

The prophets did not all at once understand the mission and work of Christ, His humiliation in accepting humanity, and the treatment He would receive at the hands of His chosen people. Of this salvation “the prophets inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” [1 Peter 1:10-12.] 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 8

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [Verse 13.] If these things are of such consequence that they engage the attention of prophets and apostles and angels, Gird up the loins of your mind. Search the Scriptures, and understand that God requires obedience to every precept of His law. Stand fast in the faith, and practice the Word which will be your righteousness and redemption in that day when every man will receive according as his works have been. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 9

Increased light comes to the people of God in every age. If this were not so, the world would not have heard of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. In the year 1899, there are good men who have not received the light of truth, and these are righteous before God. Men may be in possession of the Scriptures, and yet not understand their meaning. God judges human beings by the light they have, not by the light they have not. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 10

Even the angels in heaven long to understand the mysteries of God. This should lead professing Christians to regard with interest every event of history, that they may not walk blindfold, and thus lose the precious instruction they need. Men need to change their ideas in regard to the true standard of Christian character. Their ideas of right may be hoary with age, as old as the first lie framed in Eden, but this will not make error truth or truth error. Men must learn to obey a “Thus saith the Lord” if they would have eternal life. 14LtMs, Ms 161, 1899, par. 11