Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 145, 1899

“Give, and It Shall be Given Unto You.”


October 6, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4BC 1143, 1151. +Note

“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defensed city a ruin; a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a shadow to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” [Isaiah 25:1-4.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 1

Wherein do we show our gratitude to God? His benefits to us are inexpressibly great. Do we frame His mercies and blessings, and hang them in memory’s hall, where we can see them and be led to offer thanksgiving to God for His goodness and love? There are thousands upon thousands who have no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no hearts to appreciate God’s work in their behalf. They pass by the goodness of the Lord as their’s by right. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 2

On one occasion Christ cleansed ten lepers. He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” “And it came to pass as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give God thanks save this stranger.” [Luke 17:14-18.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 3

Can we not see the lesson Christ here sought to teach? Many of these who have been given advantages and privileges, and who should appreciate God’s goodness, make only a feeble response to His matchless love. God cannot give them the grace and power He longs to bestow, because if He did, they would glorify self, and mar God’s work by their self-sufficiency. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 4

The gratitude we are to show to God for His sacred bounties is not left to chance or impulse. We are to do the work Christ did when He was upon this earth. Our obligations to God and to our fellow men are endless. There are many poor and needy among us, and opportunities for helping suffering humanity will continually increase. We are enjoined to do good to all men, but especially those who are of the household of faith. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 5

In Nazareth Christ announced His mission to the world. He declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sigh to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:18, 19.] Those who are in partnership with Christ, who have the Saviour abiding in their hearts, will possess the same attributes that Christ possessed. They will work as Christ worked. Their hearts will ever be touched by human woe. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 6

How many are there that do this work? Job declared, “The cause that I knew not, I searched out.” [Job 29:16.] But have you relieved the cases brought directly to your notice? You have seen many who love and fear God bearing the galling yoke of poverty, but like the priest and Levite, you have passed by on the other side, making no resolute, determined efforts to help the oppressed. Will you manifest zeal to gather all the means you can for yourself, while Christ in the person of His saints is left to suffer for the necessities of life, to go hungry and naked? 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 7

In the fifth chapter of Jeremiah some grievous sins are specified. “They overpass the deeds of the wicked,” God declares; “they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper, and the cause of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this. A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?” [Verses 28-31.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 8

Let us seek the Lord. Let all, men in high positions of trust, and men of low estate, avoid the least approach to anything God calls crime. Cut away every root of selfishness; uproot this evil, that it may not bear its poisonous fruit. Put away all hardness of heart, and pray for hearts of flesh; for God has declared that He will punish the least act of injustice and false dealing. No failure to obey the Word of God or to deal justly and mercifully with our fellow men will be overlooked by the Lord. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 9

We need to read and study the lessons given in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinance of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard in high.” [Verses 1-4.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 10

Have not such things been seen among those who claim to have great light? What has been the tenor of the resolutions you have formed in counsel? Have you sought to gain a controlling power? Do your resolutions savor in the least of oppression? 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 11

“Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” [Verses 5-7.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 12

God’s cause embraces every needy, suffering saint. We are not selfishly to single out a few relatives and friends and help them, letting our work end here. All the needy who come to our notice are to be helped, but especially those who are suffering for the truth’s sake. If we neglect this work, God will hold us accountable. Shall we not, as a people who work righteousness, follow the conditions God has laid down, and be doers of His Word? 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 13

May the Lord let His converting power rest upon men and women. May they realize the importance of working in Christ’s lines. When they do this, the promise will be theirs, “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.” [Verses 8-11.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 14

Let not the representative men in our institutions think that their zeal for some department of the work will excuse them for withholding from Christ in the person of His saints the help God has said should be given them. No one can bless the cause by gifts and offerings who leaves the Lord’s suffering children under the yoke of oppression. Let those in positions of trust remember that when God’s children in their unrelieved distress cry to Him, He hears their prayers. He tests their brethren and sisters by giving them opportunity to help these needy ones. If they do not obey the command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” how can God bless them? [Leviticus 19:18.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 15

I have been instructed to say that it is time that practical religion was more deeply respected. Let every church member make close self-examination in regard to this matter. The blindness that is upon human minds seems marvelous. The hardness of heart, the neglect to relieve suffering, almost baffles belief. Earnest work must be done in order to redeem the time, to make confession and restitution. When cases of suffering are brought to our notice, and we do not make immediate efforts to relieve this suffering, our neglect is charged against us as done to Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 16

That which is given for Christ enriches the giver. Hear what the Lord says in regard to those who care for the poor: 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 17

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him into the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing; thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily, thou shalt be fed.” [Psalm 41:1-3; 37:3.] “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase; so shall thy barns be willed with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” [Proverbs 3:9, 10; 11:24, 25.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 18

“He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” [Proverbs 19:17.] “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosoms. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” [Luke 6:38.] “True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:27.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 19

Paul declared, “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Acts 20:35.] “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, nor of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” [2 Corinthians 9:7, 8.] “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” [Hebrews 6:10.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 20

God’s people must make no delay if they wish the Lord to fulfill His promises to them. I have been clearly led by the Lord to take up this matter. There are many neglected ones who have cried to the Lord because of the indifference of their brethren. The representative men among us need to feel the converting power of God. I am constrained by the Holy Spirit to tell my brethren in positions of trust to seek the Lord while He may be found. “Call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:6-9.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 21

The Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and hindered from coming in power to our churches, because of the hard, iron-like spirit that is cultivated and manifested when brethren fall into decay. The attributes revealed are more like the attributes of Satan than the goodness, mercy, and pitying tenderness of our Saviour. Shall we not change this spirit? Shall we not ask Christ to subdue and soften our hearts, filling them with His love? God grant that this hardness and impenitence may be seen and repented of before it is everlastingly too late. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 22

How will those men and women meet God in peace who read appeals for help in fields where the truth has never been presented, and yet close the door of the heart, making no special effort to lift the standard and proclaim the warning, “Prepare to meet thy God”? [Amos 4:12.] Ruin is soon to come upon all who refuse to obey God. The Minister of our salvation declares, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” [Matthew 7:24-27.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 23

The Lord Jesus, in His mission to the world, continually carried the burden of the individual members of the human family. When He saw people afflicted by Satan’s power, He was touched by their woe. God permits chastisement to come to His children that they may be drawn from the earthly attractions, which imperil the soul, to look to Him for refuge. But He has an intense longing that each one shall have happiness in this life and gain an immortal inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. He sees men and women passing through life with unholy, impure, defective characters, and He seeks to draw their attention to Himself, that by beholding His representation of God, they may be led to see their own unchristlikeness, and be brought into conformity to His divine will. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 24

No one will understand the gospel who fails to see that the cross of Calvary is the source of all life, all elevation. No one can find peace in believing while he is ashamed to bear the cross and follow his Leader. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 25

“Follow after peace.” [Romans 14:19.] Christ’s righteousness always brings peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Sinning knowingly against God destroys this peace and drives away the Spirit. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 26

No one can be happy apart from God. Holiness means wholeness to God in life and character. When the heart is emptied of self, the vacuum must be filled with the Holy Spirit. If the soul is emptied, then swept and garnished but not filled with the Spirit, Satan comes with other evil spirits and takes possession of the uninhabited house. And God’s Word declares, “The last state of that man shall be worse than the first.” [Matthew 12:44, 45.] Christ will not accept a divided heart. There must be a continual watching unto prayer. “Watch and pray,” Christ enjoined His disciples, “that ye enter not into temptation.” [Matthew 26:41.] 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 27

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8.] These have such an intense desire to know God, such an earnest longing to do His will, that there is revealed to them a representation of God in His Word. Those who cultivate purity and simplicity of heart will indeed be rewarded. “Thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] The stronghold of faith, which rests on Christ, the living and eternal Foundation, will ever remain secure, a resting place for the wear souls of those who put their trust in God. 14LtMs, Ms 145, 1899, par. 28