Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 149, 1899

“All Ye Are Brethren.”

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

October 24, 1899

This manuscript is published in entirety in 18MR 65-69. +Note

I was instructed in America, and have been instructed since coming to this country, that there would be many things to be adjusted in regard to the settlement of accounts in America and Australia. There are those who are so constituted that they should not be placed where they will have to deal with other minds as one in charge. They have traits of character that would place their brethren in difficult positions. Thus pain and suffering would be caused when there was no need of it. They would exercise an arbitrary authority, and manifest an overbearing spirit, that would imperil the souls of their fellow men. They lack judgment in dealing with their brethren, and a great positiveness takes possession of them. They do not treat their brethren as they would wish to be treated were they in similar circumstances. They forget that Christian courtesy, forbearance, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, pity, and love are to be exercised. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] There is need of the Spirit of the Master. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 1

I wish to present some matters to those laboring in New Zealand. There is need of a clearer light in regard to dealing with brethren. All minds are not constituted alike, and we may thank God that this is the case. Each person is at liberty to freely state his convictions, and there is to be no lording it over the children of God. No man is to take another man’s mind and mould it over to meet his mind and his ideas; for the molding might be for worse instead of for better. When one of those whom the Lord has chosen shows blindness of mind and makes mistakes, let his brethren remember that they also have made mistakes. Their way has not been perfect before God. Let them show the spirit and mind of Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 2

When a man takes control of any other man’s conscience, he is entirely out of his place. The Lord has not delegated to any man the work of ruling his brother. There are times when powers pass through strait places. They are depressed. They want to do the will of God, and they long to clasp a friendly hand. Brethren differ in ideas, for their temperaments are unlike. One is more speculative then practical; another thinks his position gives him authority to say what the next man should and must do, without any argument on the point. “All ye are brethren.” [Verse 8.] Let each resolve that he will not, under any provocation, show a cheapness and littleness of spirit, that he will speak no words in bitterness. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 3

Under the working of the Spirit, the disciples were made of one heart and one mind. But today different opinions are entertained in regard to the value of the work done. One estimates his work as of the most value. Another supposes his own work to be far more valuable then that of his brother. But men cannot judge one another’s work. The Lord alone understands the heart. It is the motive which decides the value of the action. Let all cease to measure the work of other men by their own standard. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 4

Women, as well as men, are needed in the <carrying forward of> the work that must be done. Those women who give themselves to the service of the Lord, who labor for the salvation of others by doing <ministerial> house-to-house work, which is as taxing, and more taxing than standing before a congregation <to speak and preaching a sermon,> should receive payment for their labor <as verily as their brethren or their husbands.> If a man is worthy of his hire, so also is a women. <Here is a matter that God has taken up and reproved—that sisters qualified to do good in canvassing or giving Bible readings should be encouraged, and receive remuneration as well as men.> 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 5

God has entrusted talents to His servants, and He expects them to see that mistakes can be readily made. Make no mistake in neglecting to correct the error of giving ministers less than they should receive <for their labor. This has oft been done.> When you see persons in necessity who have been placed in positions of trust, let God move upon your heart to set things right. The tithe should go to those who labor in word and doctrine, be they men or women. <There has been neglect to recognize the time devoted in doing God’s work, be it of a character of explaining the Word in private [or] in public in ministerial lines. Their work will generally testify in the saving of souls.> 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 6

It is not right to leave persons unacknowledged who are doing a good work because they do not work just exactly in accordance with other men’s ideas. It is not right for men to fold their hands in quietude, and see injustice done to any in the Lord’s work. There is an open field for industry in cultivating the talents lent by God for the accomplishment of His work. Those whom men call strong are not to be allowed to oppress in the least a brother who is thought not to have the merits of the stronger. God says of those who are pushed and crowded, “If they cry unto me in their distress, I will hear their cry, and deliver them.” There is no reward for cowardice, no reward for oppression, for partiality in God’s service. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 7

Some receive credit for that which they have not done. Others are demerited for doing that which is just and right. There is a prudence which is stretched beyond measure, which shuns the work of lifting up and vindicating those who are wronged. But principle is to be maintained. Over and over again the persons misjudged are to be vindicated. Shortsighted ambition requires brick without straw, but God would have His work done with all careful regard for one another’s feelings. A false estimate may be placed upon the work of a favored few, who have facilities, conveniences, and influence, but who have not obtained these favors by patient labor, practical self-denial and cross-bearing. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 8

God wants men of clear discernment, men whose eyes have been anointed with the golden oil from the golden tubes, which empty themselves, according to the order of God, into the vessels prepared for the reception of the sacred oil. Talent is best developed where it is most needed. At this time in our history God has a place for every worker, and reward will be given to those who have respect for the laws of demand and supply. Every pure, sincere worker sees that there is something better than mere wages. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 9

I cannot at this time say all that might be said on this point. There is to be no criticism upon such things as are mentioned in Brother Mountain’s letter. I see nothing at all to condemn in the action of Brother Hickox on the points referred to. Enough of this work of criticism has had a natural growth in New Zealand, and it needs now to be weeded out by the roots. God help us to have an education in the line of thinking no evil and speaking no evil, to watch closely every tendency of the human heart, that it may be softened and subdued, and bear the fruit of kindness, love, patience, and long-suffering. O that we all might look to Jesus, and say, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] We want to be above all disposition to carp, to make the service of God disagreeable because of human ideas and suppositions. God is too wise to err, too good to due us harm. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 10

When a man is having a hard time on every side, heaven beholds with pleasure the one who, moved by the Spirit of infinite love, takes hold of him with a firm hand, and lifts him up that his feet may not slide. Workers are few and too much needed to be turned into rebels because of things which are interpreted to be not exactly straight. We may criticize ourselves and humble ourselves and have a humble opinion of our own merits, but God save us from educating ourselves to pass judgment and act out our own ideas in regard to others. 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 11

The fields are spread out all around us, and any man who has a desire to do service for Christ need not remain where his efforts are misinterpreted. We need money badly enough, but not enough to hurt souls in order to obtain it; for this God cannot approve. The Macedonian cry is heard from every quarter, “Send us laborers. We want sound men.” 14LtMs, Ms 149, 1899, par. 12