Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Lt 175, 1899

Wessels, Philip

Campground, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

November 4, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 12MR 85-86. +Note

Dear Brother Philip Wessels:

I have this morning received and read your letter. Thank you, my brother. You seem to be drawn nearer to me. You do not repulse me, and I thank you. I hope and pray that you and your brother Peter may engage in the work of God, and that He who gives to every man his work will link you, heart and mind and soul, in His cause. I have had great hopes of you, Philip, and I have still great hope that you may stand in your lot and in your place, I pray that you may stand the test and trial, and that you may be entrusted with still greater capabilities. The Lord God of heaven has given you knowledge in regard to your accountability to serve the Saviour, who has entrusted to you capabilities and powers which are to be improved by use. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 1

Remember, my brother, that you are the Lord’s. He has bought you with a price. You are His property by creation, His property by redemption. He has not left you. I understand the circumstances which have separated you from your brethren. The heavenly universe rejoices to see you returning to your loyalty and allegiance to God. Then, as heaven has rejoiced, all your brethren should rejoice, and should help you with their hearty co-operation. But what if they do not? Then do the best you can. Attend the meetings. Give your testimony freely whenever you can do so. Act out the will of God in meeting and out of meeting. Never, never lose your hold of the Sabbath. There is a work for you to do in the cause of God. Do what you can. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 2

But it is of no use for me to go over the experience of the past. I know it from the beginning to the end, and for this reason I have held on to you, believing that you would return to the Lord. I know the Lord is not pleased with things that have been done in Cape Town in the management of the work. I know that brotherly love and kindness have not always been the order of the experience, and that there is need of the thorough working of the Holy Spirit in human hearts. These things cause me great sorrow and heartache. The men, who ought to be representing the beauty of the grace and love which dwelt in the great Teacher, are serving self. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 3

Light was given me that your younger brothers, Henry and Francis, did want to do good with their means. They needed one connected with them as a counsellor to warn them against making large donations to be appropriated by any one man. To loan large sums of money to one man is not working on the right principle. Advisers should have been appointed to receive all such donations, which should have been invested as the very best wisdom of the wisest men should direct, after much earnest supplication to God for light and knowledge. The advice should have been, You are not old enough, young men, to have an intelligent knowledge of the necessities and demands that may arise. Therefore put your money where it shall still remain as your own property. Bye and bye you will better understand how to appropriate this large means. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 4

One man’s mind and one man’s judgment is not to be trusted in the appropriation of funds. That man himself may be unselfish as far as his personality is concerned, but he may act selfishly in grasping all the donations he can to invest in the work in which he is interested, while the importance of the work of annexing new territory for the kingdom of God is not weighed and measured properly. There is much to be done in opening new fields and lifting the standard of truth in places which have not heard the truth. The work is to be advanced on right lines. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 5

The question is to be carefully considered. Am I to take the stewardship of thousands of pounds, and invest this money in objects that will require just as much more money to sustain them? Are there not interests of vast importance in missionary lines that should be helped by part of these donations? Shall I erect in America building after building, as memorials, while my brethren are laboring in fields which are without one standard or memorial? Has God designed that I shall have such large supplies, while others are toiling without conveniences, without the means to advance the work of God in new fields? Shall I erect buildings, gathering to myself all the means I can to do a class of medical missionary work in my part of the vineyard, adding constantly to my facilities, when one half of this money, appropriated more evenly, would set in operation a work which would greatly advance the kingdom of God? While my brethren are laboring without facilities, shall I add building to building because some have confidence in my management? 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 6

Thus was this matter placed before me. God sent me to Australia. Here I have worked, parting with all I have received in royalties to advance the work. I was instructed by the Lord to say to _____, You are swaying altogether too heavily in one line of work. It is not after the counsel of God that so much means shall be absorbed in America. There are other portions of His vineyard which are to be worked. Call to the men in America, call to Dr. Kellogg, for the help which they should give to build up the work in places where I have sent My experienced workers. They need the facilities which are so abundantly provided in America. Call upon those in South Africa. Let them understand that Australia should have a part of the means which has flowed into America. The donations received should be distributed in accordance with the necessities of the field. If this were done, Australia would stand more evenly with America. We would be able to send forth educated workers. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 7

The medical missionary work is to be a hand and an arm to the body. But it is not to become the body, to control every part connected with the body. I am speaking plainly. Selfishness has been fast increasing. This selfishness God rebukes. The light was given me that the Wessels’ money is God’s money, and that the members of the Wessels family ought not to feel it is right to give largely to any one line of work. I have not spoken directly in regard to this matter to the Wessels family, excepting to Henry Wessels. I was shown that after giving away so much in donations, he was tempted by temptations which he could not name if he tried. I have been shown that the Wessels should have the stewardship of their own means. 14LtMs, Lt 175, 1899, par. 8