Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 66a, 1900

An Appeal

NP

November 29, 1900 [typed]

Variant of Ms 66, 1900. See PH008.

In Scodsborg, Denmark, a Sanitarium and a school have been established. Our brethren there have moved forward hopefully, doing, as they supposed, the work God has enjoined upon His people. But these dear, hopeful brethren have moved faster than the means in hand warranted, and now they are in difficulty and distress. The enemy has been represented to me as waiting eagerly to destroy these instrumentalities of God. Shall his desire be gratified? Because our brethren have made a mistake, shall we let them bear all the consequences of the miscalculations they have made? 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 1

Money has been pledged to relieve the situation in Denmark, but influences have been exerted against the use of this money for the purpose for which it was pledged; and therefore the looked-for-relief does not come. Oh, what bitterness there is in the hope deferred! 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 2

I now wish to warn my brethren and sisters against the selfishness which covets the money pledged for the relief of certain exigencies which God wishes to see relieved. He has moved on hearts to help His institutions in Europe. Let men beware of exerting their influence to hinder the Lord’s money from being used in the way in which He designs it to be used. Let our past experience in this suffice. Let not the sin be repeated which was committed in America through covetousness. The most destitute fields were robbed to build up interests in places where the work was already established. It was God’s purpose that the most destitute portions of the Southern field should receive the donations raised for it. But the Southern field did not receive these gifts. The enemy planned to counterwork the very work which God moved upon hearts to do. Influences were brought to bear upon those whom the Lord had impressed to help, so that the means diverted into other channels. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 3

It is a most terrible mistake to work on principles which will not stand the test of the critical examination of the final day of accounts. Brethren, be careful how you advise or caution those whose hearts the Lord has stirred and made willing to help in this emergency. The love of money is the root of all evil. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 4

God’s purposes are a chain which unites, link by link, to guard His working machinery from being diverted to uses other than those which He has planned. Satan is constantly trying to break this chain. Those whom God has made stewards in trust are impressed by Him to relieve His distressed instrumentalities, and thus mend the broken lines in His chain, until it becomes a great whole. God desires to work out His plan in all his European institutions. Who will venture to turn aside one soul from his duty? 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 5

We need not despair, even though greed and selfishness have hindered the work. If those who have sinned will repent, the Lord will forgive. Let them show that they deeply deplore the past by firmly resisting the first approach to anything of a similar character. To those who have failed, I would say, humble your hearts before God. Do not give the enemy the slightest chance to obtain the advantage over you again by the same deceptive working. Because you have pursued a wrong course, do not be distrustful of God. Do not think that He will never look with favor upon you again. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 6

We read in the Word, “And the Lord descended in a cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.” [Exodus 34:5-7.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 7

Let not men intercept the gracious designs of God by keeping back His money from those who are in pressing need, and whom the Lord desires would be relieved. Emergencies will come as a test, to bring men over the ground where they have before failed and been reproved. The Lord permits necessities to arise to test those who have sinned by hindering His money from going to the needy portions of His vineyard. Men were tempted, and failed to resist the enemy. A very strange work was done, a work which misrepresented the character of God. In His providence the Lord permits these men to be once more tempted in a similar way. Let those who have been so blinded as not to discern the way of righteousness return to the place where their feet strayed from the path of righteousness into a way forbidden by God. God’s kingdom is governed by the principles of truth and righteousness. Let this people, as the year 1900 is closing, think of the sinful departure from the principles of truth, and remember that it will not answer to repeat the past, making the Lord’s vineyard a very poor representation of what it ought to be. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 8

Into all the work which we do in the service of God we must bring the principles of heaven. Not one thread of selfishness is to be woven into the web, for this will mar the pattern of the fabric. If we would recognize the Power which has done so much for us, if we would have increased faith in the guidance of God, if we would refuse to connive at questionable actions, which are clothed with dishonesty and fraudulent devising, the Lord would stand forth to protect us. But He will never recognize or approve a selfish appropriation of His goods in one part of the vineyard to the neglect of other parts. The Lord withdraws Himself from those who work with the cunning of the enemy to take advantage of their brethren. Those who work in this way fall into temptation and a snare, and Satan carries his work forward to success. His attributes are revealed; and the Lord withdraws Himself until the human agency is cleansed and sanctified, so that He can use it as His hand to do His work and carry out His purposes. God will not serve with man’s sins. From those who use harp, cunning schemes to increase their facilities, the power of God will be withdrawn. Every institution which departs from the principles of heaven will find sooner or later that it is on the losing side. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 9

The world is the Lord’s. He understands every secret device, every action, great or small. He would work with power if human instruments were clean vessels, fit to be honored by the Master’s use. But should the Lord use unclean, unsanctified vessels, His name would be dishonored. If human beings will cleanse themselves from all selfishness, God will use them as His hands to work out His plans, but when they think to supply deficiencies by their own fancied wisdom, He cannot connect with them; for their influence is destroying to spirituality. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 10

God’s instrumentalities in Denmark need our help. Let us impart to them at once all we can spare of the Lord’s entrusted gifts. Those who have fallen into difficulty honestly thought they were doing God’s service. And were they not following the example of their more experienced brethren in America? Have they not been influenced by the erection in America of the buildings which stand before them as an object lesson? And when, because of following this example, pressure comes upon our institutions in foreign lands, shall those in America say, “Let them suffer; they ought to know better.” I am instructed to say, No, no. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 11

I have been referred to the ninth chapter of Nehemiah, and have been instructed that it is a lesson for the people of God for this time. Men have pursued a course of action similar to the one outlined in this chapter. This has been an offence to God. Of the children of Israel we read, “They were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets, which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.” But did the Lord forsake those who sinned against him? No! “In the time of their trouble when they cried unto thee, then thou heardest them from heaven; according to thy manifold mercies thou savest them out of the hand of their enemies.” [Verses 26, 27.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 12

Read the entire chapter; for it is an illustration of the way in which God deals with His people. Again and again He has delivered them when they cried to Him. Then shall His people refuse to help their distressed brethren in Denmark, who have not offended by departing from the principles of truth and the testimony of God, as have those who have had great ligh? Shall God’s people close their eyes that they shall not see and their hearts that they shall not be softened and subdued by the distress of their brethren? Because mistakes have been made shall we allow the institutions which have been established to pass into the hands of the enemies of our faith? No, no. Let us do all we can to help. Let us remember that God wants us to lay hold upon the resources He has prepared for us. Let us be as the right hand of the Lord, to work out His will. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 13

Let us reveal the spirit shown by Moses. Israel had committed a grievous sin, and God said to Moses, who was with Him in the mount, “Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made a molten calf and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed there unto, and said, These by thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people, now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and then will I make of thee a great nation.” [Exodus 32:7-10.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 14

But Moses did not crave honor at the expense of Israel being destroyed, and he said, “Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak and say, for mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from they fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, they servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.” [Verses 11-13.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 15

Read this chapter carefully, and then consider whether it is best to let the cause of God become a reproach. God desires the human instrumentalities, as His hands, to purge away the evils which are perverting the Israel of God. He would have His people possess more of the spirit of Moses. In his estimation personal advantages were nothing. He could not bear to think of the people for whom God has worked so marvelously being no longer the objects of His divine mercy and preservation. He knew that this would bring disaster and death, and that the hands of the idolators would be strengthened and God’s name reproached. This he could not endure, and because of his earnest intercession God consented to spare the people. They were given the opportunity to turn from idolatry and take their position on the side of God. And for those who repented not, but cherished their rebellious spirit, there could be but one punishment. There was only one cure for the grievous wrong. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 16

The call was made by Moses, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, put every man his sword by his side and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses, and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. And Moses said, consecrate yourselves this day unto the Lord, even every man upon his son and upon his brother, that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day. And it came to pass on the morrow that Moses said unto the people, ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up onto the Lord: peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.” [Verses 26-30.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 17

“And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin: and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—: and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore go now, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.” [Verses 31-34.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 18

We need more such men as Moses, men who have great kindness and compassion for the erring, yet who will not hesitate to obey the command of God to cleanse away the sin of idolatry and rebellion. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 19

We have a work before us, the work of freeing the Lord’s instrumentalities in Denmark and Norway from their burden of debt. This can be done. It would have been done before this if human hands had not interposed and hindered. The Lord calls upon His people to make a New Year’s offering to Him by lifting the burden of debt from His people. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 20

Our brethren, by erecting large buildings, have placed themselves in the bondage of debt. But though this has been done, let us not by criticizing and censuring, create a worse evil. Let us not dishonor God by a neglect to relieve the situation. I plead with my brethren and sisters to make offerings of self-denial. Give up something you intended to get for yourself. Let the presents you designed to give your children be turned into an offering for the Lord. Teach your children to deny self and become the Lord’s helping hand in dispensing His blessings. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 21

I will give three hundred dollars to this enterprise. Let those who can do more not be gauged by this amount; for I have invested according to my ability in Australia, and I shall have to hire the money for Denmark. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 22

Now is our opportunity to help. Do not be willing to see your brethren handicapped. If you are, your turn will surely come. You will be brought over the ground on which they are now suffering. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 23

You will, I am sure, heed the call to rescue God’s institutions in Europe. At first this seemed to me to be a hopeless task, but it does not seem so now. Send in your offerings, and the Lord will bless the gifts made so that they will be multiplied as was the food with which Christ fed the five thousand. The sums raised may seem to be small, but take hold in faith. The miracle of feeding the five thousand people is an object lesson to us. Christ is the Desire of Ages. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. He who fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves and two small fishes, can do great things for His people today. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 24

Read the account of how the prophet fed one hundred men. “There came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the first-fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat. And the servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord.” [2 Kings 4:42-44.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 25

What condescension it was on the part of Christ to work a miracle to satisfy hunger. He relieved the hunger of one hundred sons of the prophets, and again and again since then, though not in such a marked and visible way, He has worked to relieve human weakness. If we had clearer spiritual discernment, so that we could recognize more readily God’s merciful, compassionate dealings with His people, what a rich experience we would gain. We need to look beneath the surface. We need to study more than we do into the wonderful working of God. He has worked with men who are not united with us in acknowledging the truth, but whose hearts He will oft times move to favor His people. The Lord has His men of opportunity, like the man which brought the food to feed the sons of the prophets. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 26

When the Lord gives us a work to do, let us not stop to question or criticize. Do not take time to inquire into the reasonableness of the command or the probable result of your action in relieving the situation at the present time. The supply, judged by human estimate, may fall far short, but in the hands of the Lord it will be more than sufficient. “The servitor set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord.” [Verse 44.] 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 27

We need greater faith. Our spiritual life depends on the vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit. We should daily have a fuller sense of God’s relationship to those whom He has purchased by the blood of His only begotten Son. He should make efforts to help with cheerfulness, activity, and faith. We should exercise faith in the onward progress of the work of the kingdom of God. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 28

Let us not waste time by deploring the scantiness of our visible advantages, but let us make the best use of what we have. Energy and trust in God will develop resources, even though the outward appearance may be unpromising. The power of God will enable us, if we use the very best facilities we have, to reach the multitudes who are starving for the bread of life. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 29

Let us hang in memory’s hall the record of how Christ fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves and two small fishes. He will co-operate with the members of His body. If they will work on pure, unselfish principles, the little will be so blessed and increased that it will be sufficient to supply the necessities of a large territory. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 30

Why should we be surprised if the offerings we present to God in cheerfulness and love are increased by Him? We do not learn half as much as we should from the lessons of the Bible. The sanctified mind will see that God unites with the one who gives to Him with an unselfishness akin to heavenly benevolence. We need to take a far broader and more trustful view of God’s relation to this world and His people, through whom He is working to carry out His purposes. By the touch of His divine hand and the word of blessing from His lips, Jesus can increase the scanty provision. By His power He can multiply the scanty store until it is sufficient to place in the hands of His servants for the carrying forward of His work. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 31

In the work of helping our brethren in Denmark and Norway, let us lift zealously and nobly, and leave the rest to God, with faith to believe that He will enlarge our offerings until they are sufficient to place His institutions in Europe on vantage ground. 15LtMs, Ms 66a, 1900, par. 32