Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 43, 1900

Sisley, W. C.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

March 1900

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother:

I received your letter, and will now write a few words. We would be very glad were you on the ground here to give your assistance in building a sanitarium. But when [you] come, we want you to have evidence for yourself that it is your duty. This is your privilege. I have been strongly convicted that I should be at the next General Conference. I have a message to bear to our people, and would be pleased to have you in your lot and place to unite with us in setting things in order. Whether it is best for you to come to us in this country, to assist us in building just now, we must leave with you to decide. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 1

The land has been purchased, and since our movements have let the people know that a sanitarium is to be built, not a foot of land can be purchased except at a large advancing price, fully double. Some places are more than double. We have purchased more land than the institution will actually need, because several families have spoken for land on which to build cottages. These are persons who will be connected with the sanitarium, and who must have homes for themselves; for there are no buildings to be had within a considerable distance. These men have means with which to build their own homes, or rather will have in a short time. They are not now in possession of the money, though it is theirs. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 2

O, how I wish to see the work of the Lord for these last days advancing in clear, straight lines. How my heart aches as Africa is presented before me in its terrible poverty. Missionaries have been sent to that field, the most destitute country on the globe, and have been told that no means could be supplied them, they must be self-supporting. And in America there is Lincoln College, with three times the amount of money invested in it that there should be, and this done by the calculation of men that did not permit God to mold their minds to carry our His will. This is the method of consumers, who are not producers. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 3

The building and devising has not been a proper object lesson to students. The instruction of Holy Writ has not been followed. God’s money has been misapplied. And the people of Africa calling in their great need. God has heard, and He is measuring the court and the worshipers thereof. And the record is made of all that the destitute portions of His vineyard have needed and have not received. Those who are laboring in far-off fields, even in famine districts, have been told that they must sustain themselves. The Missionary Board could not help them. It would be fifty times more appropriate for such words from the Mission Board to be sent to the workers in countries where there is some kind of a showing, but not to countries where there is positive starvation on every side. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 4

God sees just what measure of wisdom is needed to carry on His work, and what kind of men are engaged in the work. He knows whether they are heavenly-minded or selfish and self-willed, refusing to obey His instruction. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 5

Again has been presented before me the Southern field and the necessity for means in the treasury of the Lord to place the work on a proper basis. The over-abundance in one place in expensive buildings, God did not plan, while other places had nothing, or next to nothing. The most destitute regions have been left without culture, without facilities. While the Lord has opened these things before me, I have seen that the unfaithful stewardship will stand before the universe of heaven. The sharp, keen men ought to have sanctified ability to do a work more proportionate. While working in one portion of the field, they should plan for all portions of the Lord’s vineyard. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 6

At times the workers in our publishing houses have accepted large wages, while the self-sacrificing missionaries, who have gone to foreign nations, have been told, “You must sustain yourselves.” Where is the mercy and spiritual-mindedness of God’s professed people who cannot read these things? They should carry a burden day and night until these matters are adjusted. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 7

My spirit burns within me when I think of contributions that have gone to America in response to various calls for aid. It is America that should have sent donations across the waters of the broad Pacific to relieve the necessities of the work in destitute portions of the Lord’s vineyard. What kind of managers are planning these things? Is it men who are inspired by God? All these unnecessary outlays in sanitariums and school buildings at immense cost will tell their story before another audience than human council meetings. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 8

Every man in our institutions who was receiving pounds weekly should have said, I will divide, and get along with one half, in order to relieve those in famine districts who have nothing. Where is the self-denial? Where is the self-sacrifice? Where is the thoughtfulness for laborers who are enduring every kind of privation in order to carry the truth to a people starving for the bread of eternal life as well as for food to sustain temporal life? The unnecessary things that abound in so many homes, the costly furniture and carpets and ornaments, and more than all, the extravagant buildings, will be a witness against those who have felt no touch of want. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 9

The thousands of dollars that have been expended so freely, not according to God’s order, not under His theocracy, will have to be accounted for. It was a selfish ambition that created so many places to swallow up means in America, while wretched beings are perishing for the very husks that are thrown away in our country. If the money invested in the Boulder Sanitarium could have [been] sent to the most destitute places to create something as a beginning, whereby they could work and become producers, it would have shown unselfish, wise policy. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 10

Thus one thing after another has been opened before me, showing the extravagance of the plans and execution of men who work without the wisdom of God, and the sure result—deprivation in destitute fields. It is a terrible picture. May the Lord pity His people. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 11

It is a fearful thing to work in such spiritual blindness. But you see the policy. You see the result of going in debt, and going on and on by our institutions, as though men had lost their reason. They build their towers without first sitting down and counting the cost. They do not consider how they must meet the armies in warfare with a limited number of men, or how to secure a larger number. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 12

All this shows a lack of wisdom and sound financiering ability. Men should have been employed in every country who have keen foresight as well as aftersight. There should be careful examination of the account of every conference, in every publishing house, and in every sanitarium, to see what disposition is made of the monies received. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 13

God wants faithful stewards. He will not accept such shoddy work as is done in advancing His kingdom, in order to save a small sum of money. In these large establishments disinterested men must be employed to investigate all the transactions that pertain to the institution. Things have been left to drift, with incompetent accountants, half-fledged bookkeepers. Work has been done and means appropriated according to one man’s ideas and judgment. The means required to employ qualified, conscientious, God-fearing men for such an examination would have saved millions of dollars to the cause of God. But the Lord knows it all. We must now repent for our lax management. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 14

I have much more to say, but cannot say it. I returned home last night from Melbourne. W. C. White is still there. I will write again next mail, and continue this subject farther. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 15

Do you wonder the Lord has shown me that in our schools bookkeeping is as important a study as it is possible for our youth to have? I can write no more, for the copyist is waiting for this. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 16

Come to us, if you feel free to do so, just as soon as you can. 15LtMs, Lt 43, 1900, par. 17