Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 79, 1899

“How Much Owest Thou Unto My Lord?”

Cooranbong, Australia

May 1, 1899

Previously unpublished. +Note

I address all who suppose that they have not been treated as they should in regard to book making. It is the will of God that we consider these things and say to the Lord, “Forgive my great indebtedness, and cancel this debt. For my part I will forgive wherein I have not received what I suppose was my right. I have robbed God in not making a full consecration of myself to Him—body, soul, and spirit.” 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 1

The lawyer asked Christ, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And the Saviour answered, “What is written in the law? how readest thou? And He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy strength and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right. This do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] Every soul has robbed God in not improving the advantages God has given him at such infinite cost. Because of a refusal to do the will of God, great mistakes have come into the churches everywhere, and now, when the question arises in regard to royalty, and every man and woman is left to set their own value upon their productions, the sin of selfishness will be revealed, and this, unrestrained, will bring in a worse condition of things than has yet existed. 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 2

A voice is heard, asking, “How much owest thou unto my Lord?” [Luke 16:5.] When you can settle this account, then you can safely require the last farthing that you think is due you from your fellow men. The subject takes on too fearful a significance for me to enter into it. I dare not be exacting, nor should any other man or woman. The different phases of character make this matter altogether an uncertainty. I would not under any consideration demand any part of the losses I have sustained. I would blot out the account. 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 3

And I would say to all who are interested in this matter, whether you have met with loss or not, say from the heart, “Lord, the debt I owe Thee is very large. I have not loved Thee with the whole heart. I have loved self and have served my own selfish purposes. I have robbed Thee, in that I have not served Thee with heart and mind and soul and strength, and have withheld help from my neighbor, who needed the benefit of every jot of ability I have received from the Lord, that the divine image might be restored in him. My unconsecrated life has led to unconsecration in my fellow men. Had I earnestly sought for that perfection of character which the Word shows me I must have in order to see God’s face, how many souls I might have brought as sheaves to the Master. But I have served self far more than I have served the Lord. I have failed when if I had surrendered my way and will to God, I might have had complete success. 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 4

“I had every assurance that God could give me that He would use me in a good work. But my life has been lived apart from Christ, and as a result God has been robbed of the talents entrusted to me. The unseen but all-seeing God has taken the measure and weight of my influence, and He has declared me to be weighed in the balance, and found wanting. The record stands engraven with an accurate pen on tablets that are imperishable. My destitution of the grace of Christ has kept me in a shiftless state of mind, and my opportunities for doing a good work have been lost because of my unfaithfulness. There is no thing hidden that shall not be revealed. All things that I have ever done are open to the eyes of Him with whom I have to do. I understand now what it means to be a Christian. No, Lord, I will not claim a farthing. Only Christ can know the weight of my own unfulfilled obligations.” 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 5

Seventh-day Adventists need a new conversion. God gives us the promise of justification, sanctification, and redemption. “This is the covenant which I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord. I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” [Hebrews 10:16, 17.] Let us awake and realize our individual responsibility. Let us take ourselves in hand. God will do His part in co-operation with the human agent if man will be converted and emptied of self. Christ will take possession, and make of him a vessel unto honor to work the works of God. 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 6

I have been instructed by the Lord to send in no claims to the conference or to the publishing house. But He has commanded me to say to all our brethren, Turn over a new page in the book, and let us all begin anew to make a record of sanctification. The Lord is waiting to pardon all our transgressions. Then let us humble ourselves before Him, and realize how much we owe to our Lord. This is a problem that human minds cannot handle, for our sins have been many. 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 7

It is time now to make a new departure from the old life of sin, that our record in the books laid up in the great library above may be read by the heavenly host with joy and thanksgiving, because the character of Christ is revealed in humanity, and we bear testimony that “whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandments. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.” [1 John 3:22-24.] 14LtMs, Ms 79, 1899, par. 8