Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 11, 1899


Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

January 25, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in TDG 33; ML 358. +Note

Dear Brethren:

A great work is before us; it is not our own devising or planning. All heaven is interested in this work, and those who engage in it must stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. God would have us stand with our faces to the front, watching every movement of our leader and prepared to obey orders. To every man He has given his work. God has given men and women faculties that are not to be wasted in idle contemplation and fitful emotion, but employed in decided action. Our abilities are not to be absorbed in abstraction, and neither are they to be used in idle bustle. Everything in the outside world is stirred by a power from beneath. Those who know the truth must be filled with an inspiration from God Himself. The lamps of the soul must be kept trimmed and burning. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 1

The work we do is the least part of our taxation. It is the sin which has attached itself to all the activities that wears us out. God did not design that labor should be anything but a blessing. Man never could have been happy without something to do. When man had no dark, condemning thoughts before sin came, his own companionship was not a burden, for he could contemplate all nature with the most satisfactory results. But the slimy track of the serpent has left its trail of misery in a hardened conscience. Labor does not bring misery; it is carrying lawful things to excess which taxes the powers of mind and body. A life of the hardest labor is more satisfying than a life of idleness. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 2

The Word of God is plain and distinct upon this point of labor. No man or woman who is converted to God can be anything but a worker. There certainly is and ever will be employment in heaven. The whole family of the redeemed will not live in a state of dreamy idleness. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. In heaven activity will not be wearying and burdensome; it will be rest. The whole family of the redeemed will find their delight in serving Him whose they are by creation and by redemption. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 3

But if ever there was a time when every nerve and muscle should be put to the stretch it is now. “What does it profit my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? ... Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” [James 2:14, 17, 18.] The last call to the supper is now being given. The lamp of the soul must be kept trimmed and burning by being replenished with the holy oil. See Zechariah 4:11-14. In the name of the Lord let every soul now depart from all iniquity, lest the day of the Lord overtake them as a thief. The truth is to be proclaimed in clear, straight lines but always as it is in Jesus. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 4

We need to beware lest we bring upon ourselves the rebuke of God as found in Revelation 2:4, 5 and 3:1-3. Would it not be well for us to be jealous of ourselves and be doers of the Word of God? “If there be therefore any consolation of Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:1-5.] 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 5

Who, I inquire, are doers of the Word of God, and not hearers only? How many live their profession? If we would draw men from the pit of sin, we ourselves must have a firm foundation beneath our feet, else the world will draw us into its plans. The closer we keep to the feet of Christ, humble, meek, lowly, distrustful of self, having a firm hold of Jesus, the more power will we have to convert sinners. It is not the human agent who moves the soul, it is the heavenly intelligences co-operating with humanity that impress truth upon minds. It is not our finite power that creates the influence over others, it is the presence of the One who says, “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] The power we have to overcome temptation is given us by Christ, who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 6

To represent the truth aright, we need divine tact, gentleness and kindness. The love of God must flow naturally from a heart made tender and sympathetic. We need to hold close communion with God, lest self shall rise up, and words be spoken that are not appropriate. As the dew and the still showers fall upon the withering plants, so let words fall gently when seeking to win souls. God will surely work for those who seek Him for wisdom. We are not to wait until opportunities come to us, we are to watch for opportunities and be prepared always to give a reason for the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear, lest we shall impress hearts unfavorably. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 7

If you keep your heart uplifted in prayer, God will give you the right word at the right time. When an opportunity does present itself, let no excuse lead you to pass that soul by because you do not feel inclined to undertake the case. The Spirit of the Lord will help those who work faithfully for the Master, that the truth may be spoken in love. It is the Holy Spirit that makes the application. 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 8

The truth is to be spoken in a straightforward, plain manner, but it accomplishes but very little when the pen or the voice becomes severe and harsh. The region of human passion must be passed, else misapprehension with all its erroneous consequences will be the result. Our work is to prepare the way of the Lord, and make ready a people to stand in that great day when it will be too late for wrongs to be righted. Our warfare is aggressive. The truth is not to be left out of our message, but is to be proclaimed as a plain, “Thus saith the Lord,” “It is written.” 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 9

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12.] We must warn and entreat and pray. But be careful when advocating the truth to give no one occasion to rightfully accuse us of advocating treason. We must be firmly rooted in God. The crisis is very near. The test will come, but for Christ’s sake manifest at all times His meekness and lowliness. Then the Lord can work in our behalf. We are to go forward in His name, fearing even to bring a railing accusation against Satan. We should, if possible, live peaceably with all men, advocating the words, “It is written;” for the end is near. Go forward in the name of the Lord, uplifting the banner on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] 14LtMs, Lt 11, 1899, par. 10