Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

144/339

Lt 134, 1900

Jones, C. H.

St. Helena, California

October 27, 1900

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother:

I am troubled in reference to many things. I have just come across a letter written by Sister Gotzian to Elder Haskell. She says, “I am somewhat perplexed to know what to say in regard to sending the ten thousand dollars from Battle Creek to Australia. I just sent five thousand, and Brother C. H. Jones tells me that they raised quite a good deal of money at the California camp meeting to send to Australia. He says that this will give them a good start, with what Battle Creek and other places are sending. Some say that the Australian people are running themselves badly into debt, just the same as we did here in America. However I hope it is a false report. I wish I felt a little clearer in the matter.” 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 1

I suppose that such statements as this will have their influence. “To get a good start,” to begin the tower, and not be able to complete it, would leave matters in a shape that would be no credit to those who are endeavoring to do the very work the Lord has revealed should have been done years ago when we first went to Australia. This work was not done then because the means which ought to have come from America did not come. And I am very sorry that you and perhaps others should exert an influence to cut off the ten thousand dollars which Sister Gotzian offered to lend to the work in Australia. This means is greatly needed, and the workers have brought it into their account as they sat down to study whether if they began the tower, they could complete it. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 2

And now, after moving according to our advice and counsel, beginning the building and cutting down the first plan to a smaller one, so that the building would cost as little as possible, to withhold ten thousand dollars, which they have been assured they could have as a loan, will place matters in a most discouraging shape. The money raised in America for Australia has not been a large amount. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 3

From the light given me in regard to these matters, one after another of the conferences have done by their words just as you have done. Many thousands of dollars would have come to Australia in response to the appeals made if that appeal had not been rendered almost null and void by just such words as you have spoken and by the very men who should have taken the appeal the Lord directed to be sent, and helped to answer it. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 4

You, who are on standing ground now, had little to do with the first experience and the sacrifices made to place you there. We have carried out the same earnest, zealous work in Australia which we did in Battle Creek and in California. And when have such large amounts of money been sent to Australia? The amounts should have been much larger than they have been. In this emergency, which we understand better than those who have not been on the ground, who have not seen the necessities, we say, “Do not hinder the work which has been delayed for years, retarding greatly the advancement of the work.” 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 5

I would have you think of the thousands of dollars expended to make things more convenient in Battle Creek. In the face of the light God gave, an addition was made to the college building. This called for ten thousand dollars, which swelled into more than that amount. This was because men trusted to their own wisdom and suppositions against direct and positive cautions and a Thus saith the Lord, “Thou shalt not.” 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 6

When I left Australia, some said, “I greatly fear your going to America will lead the people there to think that their means need no longer go to Australia.” We assured them this would not be done. Shall their surmisings and fears become a reality? I answer, No. Sister Gotzian has made a promise which she should fulfil, and I beg of you and others who would speak as you have spoken to remember that such words will encourage a selfish withholding of money from the place where it is most needed, and at a time when the workers have been encouraged by the promise of this loan to begin. Nothing should be said to discourage these workers from going forward in faith. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 7

The Lord has said, “All that is being done now in America in behalf of our work in destitute fields should have been done years ago.” How many really believe the Testimonies? The workers in Australia, a new field, have labored against difficulties, and have pushed forward the work; and there is something to show for every dollar that has been expended. Advancement has been made. Churches have been formed. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 8

The Lord said, “Annex new territory. Enter new fields with your tents. Create an interest in the testing truth for this time. Lift up the standard. Exalt God’s memorial, the Sabbath, which is a sign between Me and the people, that they may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify them.” This work we have been trying to do; and if ministers or men in responsible positions in this country shall in the selfishness and narrowness of their souls hinder the very missionary work the Lord has commanded to be done, God will withhold from them His blessing. We want all to realize that we are laborers together with God. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 9

We must be awakened to understand that there is a great work to be done across the broad waters of the Pacific. During the nine years that we were in Australia, I felt the deepest humiliation before God that we were unable to answer the calls coming to us from many places. Souls perishing out of the truth cried to us for spiritual help, which they might have had if means had not been diverted into other channels. We are now no less interested in the work in Australia because we are in America. We are seeking to encourage men and women to go there who feel a burden for that field. Brother and Sister Burden and Sister Burden’s two sisters are about to leave for Australia, and Dr. Kress and his wife will soon be on their way. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 10

We feel the need of the influence, of these friends who are leaving, right here in America. They have had experience in the work. Could they link up with us in California to do aggressive missionary work, which so much needs to be done to advance the cause of God, these men and women of the Lord’s appointment would be the very help we would choose. We would like to have them stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart with us. We feel that they could do a good work according to the gift the Lord has given them. But we dare not selfishly hold them. We say, “Go, in the name of the Lord, and His grace and blessing and power go with you. Hasten to the help of the Lord’s servants who are advancing the work in its several lines.” 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 11

I am grateful to the Lord that He has given us so many distinguished proofs that we are in the place where He would have us. And our earnest entreaty is that He will arouse the churches, leading them to do no less for foreign fields or for fields nigh at hand. Let the whole church remember that Christ gave Himself as a complete sacrifice to save a world perishing in sin. He for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might come into possession of eternal riches. Shall the churches whom God has blessed with a knowledge of the truth become narrow? Should they not arouse to a sense of their new and vast obligations to God, cutting out every thread of selfishness, that the Lord may pour upon them His Holy Spirit from on high? 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 12

The great burden God has given me is to bear the message to the church, that the members may seek the Lord while He is to be found, and call upon Him while He is nigh. “Seek ye 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. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 13

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” [Isaiah 55:6-11.] 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 14

The present missionary work is to lead the church to see and understand that they have no reason to be faithless and complaining. They should encourage a spirit of gratitude for past mercies and blessings, and should cease all faultfinding and murmuring. The church needs to seek the Lord in unfeigned gratitude for the light of His Word, which shines upon their pathway, to be received into heart and mind and reflected back upon souls who are in darkness. Thus they will be fitted by the Holy Spirit to inscribe upon their banners, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] They can work to the praise and glory of Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 15

The life of the church depends on the interest the members manifest in the souls ready to die, who know not the truth. True spiritual missionary work, done by the individual members of the church, will draw them nigh to God to seek for wisdom, not to buy and sell and get gain, but to obtain strength and consolation from above in all trials and in all perplexities. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 16

Upon all church members rests the solemn obligation to let their light so shine forth to the world. Said Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] There is a world which needs all your light. Let it shine in a sanctified influence in the home and in the church. Christ’s light, shining in the sanctified characters of believers, will multiply the agencies of Christian usefulness, and will do more than all arguments to impress the minds and hearts of unbelievers. It will be seen that believers practice the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as teach it, and this living example will counteract the spirit of worldliness in the church, bringing in the excellencies of Christ’s character, and elevating the standard of testing truth which we believe. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 17

Believers will have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul from all selfishness; and from experience they will say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Acts 20:35.] The members of Christ’s body will not be working contrary to one another. The Christian church will diffuse the influence of self-denial and cross-bearing, revealing thorough consecration. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 18

Every step in wisdom in the line of true missionary work will show its results. Prosperity will follow whole souled activity in aggressive warfare, if wisely conducted. We are to be prepared to show that our missionary success is fully proportionate to our self-denying, self-sacrificing efforts. New fields have been entered and aggressive work has been done. Those who would have been the last to begin these efforts are the ones disposed to question their proportionate success. It has often been represented to me that it is those who would not have entered upon a work apparently unpromising, who would not have perseveringly pushed with all the hope and courage they could obtain from the Lord God of heaven, who have the least experience in such efforts, that will be the first to suggest unbelief and complain if means are called for to prosecute the work which, if perseveringly and patiently carried forward, will be a complete success. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 19

The Lord calls for sincere, earnest, determined efforts and for a faith that will not fail nor be discouraged. Our aggressive warfare is to be more abundant than it has been, taking in more territory and planting the standard of truth in new places, establishing churches, and doing all that can be done to fulfill the commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 20

The Lord has given light that we should call upon those who are stewards of His means, telling them that He has need of His own money to invest in establishing a sanitarium in Australia after His own order, that the truth may be brought before a class represented as in the highways who in their affliction will be brought to this institution. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 21

We ask the men in responsible positions in America how much missionary activity and earnest zeal have been manifested in behalf of the Lord’s work in His moral vineyard, in sending workers and money to foreign fields to do the work that must be done in order to carry out the commission of Christ. How many years, or how many hours, have you given to the object of your professed solicitude? How many times have you wrestled with God in prayer that the fields in His vineyard which have never been worked might have a chance to become acquainted with the last message of mercy to be given to the world? How many acts of practical self-denial and self-sacrifice have you done to fulfill the gospel commission? 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 22

The Lord is opening new, unworked fields, and is indicating that these fields should be entered. What are you doing? Have you co-operated with God? Has your example kindled in others a zeal to supply the necessities of the Lord’s vineyard, that it may be worked with all the success the Lord designs it to have? 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 23

I have been shown how individuals have been moved by the influence of the Spirit of God in response to appeals made. They were ready to impart of their means to help the work in Australia. But their spirit of liberality has been cooled by statements made by presidents of conferences and others, who have pointed to other enterprises as in need of the means. Thus help which should have been sent to Australia long ago was not sent because in selfishness and covetousness men discouraged those upon whose hearts the Lord had been moving. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 24

I ask why you have interposed to hinder the very work the Lord has signified should be carried forward to success? Much of the home missionary work in this country would be farther advanced in every way if a more liberal, self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit had been manifested for the prosperity of foreign missions; for the prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, on the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 25

Considering the help that has been sent to foreign fields, the result is indeed surprising. Much less has been spent in foreign fields than in the home field, and the work in foreign fields has been done under the hardest pressure and without proper facilities. Let us rejoice then that a work which God can approve has been done in these fields. In the name of the Lord I say, Let us lift up our hearts with praise and thanksgiving for the results of work abroad. We thank God for the liberality of the many dear souls who have sent their offerings to us in our great need. How many times has the money come after we had wrestled with God in earnest prayer, and how many tears of gratitude have been shed as we have thanked God for the help! 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 26

God alone can estimate the work done as the gospel message has been proclaimed in clear, straight lines. The seeds of truth have been sown, both in the knowledge of the Word and of the science of true education. The light has flashed upon minds, bringing enlarged views of God and a more correct estimate of the character to be formed. Men and women have been brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. They have been imbued with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 27

The value of these spiritual advantages is beyond our understanding. What line can sound the depths of the Word preached? What balances can correctly weigh the influence of those who are converted to the truth? In their turn they become missionaries, to educate others. Behold how, in many places, houses of worship have been established. See how the Bible, the precious Bible, is studied. The tabernacle of God is with men, and He dwells with them. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 28

Do you ask how many souls there are saved in this work? The answer comes back, “Thou hast a few names, even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before the angels.” [Revelation 3:4, 5.] Thank the Lord. 15LtMs, Lt 134, 1900, par. 29