Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 63, 1901

Diary/“I have passed another sleepless ...”


April 30, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 283, 302; 6MR 166. See RH 06/13/1907.

April 30, 1901

I have passed another sleepless night. The Lord has been instructing me. He has means by which to relieve His institutions from debt if His people will walk in His light and honor and glorify Him. He will bring to light His benevolent plans for the restoration of a world sunken in sin and degradation. He has efficiency and power and hidden excellency which will be revealed to all who love Him and trust in Him and depend on Him. When men adhere to His principles of justice, His grace will be felt, producing results that will seem supernatural. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 1

Through man God desires to reveal His love and grace. Let every church member constantly remember that he is united with Christ, and that no feebleness of character must appear, no lack of self-control be seen; for he is under the supervision of heavenly powers. Nothing unseemly, in word, in spirit, or in disposition, must appear. If the constraining power of Christ fills his heart, this will give him power to triumph over the selfishness of humanity. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 2

The power of Christianity is to be put to the test. Genuine liberality is to be seen in the church and among unbelievers. Let the people of God humble themselves before Him; and His grace, which bringeth salvation, will be revealed. Brethren will love one another. Their hearts will overflow with Christlike compassion. Then will be seen the unworldly actions which the grace of God alone can produce. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 3

The church is the object of God’s tenderest love and care. If the members will allow Him, He will reveal His character through them. He says to them, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Those who walk and talk with God practice the gentleness of Christ. In their lives forbearance, meekness, and self-restraint are united with holy earnestness and diligence. As they advance heavenward, the sharp, rough edges of character are worn off, and godliness is seen. The Holy Spirit, full of grace and power, works upon mind and heart. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 4

Before genuine Christianity the world stands condemned. The cause of God is not to diminish in importance. The Christian should realize his value in the Lord’s sight. God says, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” [Hebrews 13:5.] Those who love God supremely will realize that they are rich beyond computation in the wealth that God gives them. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 5

When a new enterprise is presented, the first inquiry should be, “What saith the Lord?” Before listening to any other considerations, take time to meditate and pray, asking, “Lord, what is Thy will in this matter? What wilt thou have me to do?” 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 6

Man possesses nothing to which he has an exclusive right. He does not even own himself; for he has been bought with a price, even the blood of the Son of God. Christ has a claim on all the property in our world. He can set in operation a train of circumstances which will sweep away the accumulated gain of years. He can also call in needed help for His children. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 7

The world is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. It is God who gives man the breath of life. We cannot originate. We can only collect that which God has originated. He is our Guardian, our Counselor; and more than this, from His liberal supply we derive all the skill, tact, and ability that we possess. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 8

The caution comes to us, Say not, “My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.” [Deuteronomy 8:17, 18.] All you possess is His gift, for you had nothing with which to create or purchase it. It is given you, not to become a wedge to separate you from Him, but to help you in doing Him service. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 9

The moment that a man loses sight of the fact that his capabilities and possessions are the Lord’s, that moment he is embezzling his Lord’s goods. He is acting the part of an unjust steward, provoking the Lord to transfer His goods to more faithful hands. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 10

God calls upon those to whom He has entrusted His goods to handle them faithfully, to show to the world that they are laboring for the salvation of sinners. He calls upon those who profess to be under His supervision not to misrepresent Him in character. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 11

Thank the Lord, O my soul! Praise His holy name. In Him we can trust. We fear not, neither are we dismayed. He daily loadeth us with benefits. Shall we grasp them all, and bear them away as our own, selfishly consuming them upon ourselves? He “crowneth us with lovingkindness and tender mercy.” [Psalm 103:4.] Wearing the crown of His royal favor, let us glorify Him by imparting to others the abundance He has bestowed upon us. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 12

O for love, sacred, holy, unselfish love! Let us, as the Lord’s representatives, realize what a terrible thing it is to misrepresent the Saviour by revealing selfishness. God calls upon His sons and daughters to show to the world that He is not selfish, but full of liberal, unselfish plans. He is waiting for channels through which to communicate the wealth of His love. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 13

The blessings received are to be imparted. There is a demand for the sacred, elevating, sanctifying truths of the gospel. There are barren fields to be worked. Workers are to be employed to sow the seeds of truth and garner the harvest. The standard of truth is to be planted in new places. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 14

A continual sin is committed by withholding from the Lord that which belongs to Him in tithes and offerings. The money brought to the Lord’s treasury is not sufficient to meet the demand. If God were not robbed, if His portion were not withheld, one hundred times more work could be done for Him. But cheap, inexpensive plans are laid by those engaged in His work. Selfishness and cupidity are indulged. Few realize the necessity of practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice. Did the people of God learn and practice the lessons He is seeking to teach them, the church would today be as the light of the world. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 15

[May 1,] 1901

During the night I have been greatly distressed. A burden rested upon me. I was taken from house to house, through the homes of our people, and as we went from room to room, my Instructor said, “Behold the idols that have accumulated.” I had been pleading with God to work in behalf of His people. My attention was called to the many photographs which have been produced by God’s entrusted capital. I was instructed that these pictures are as so many idols, taking up the time and thought that should be sacredly devoted to God. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 16

As I visit our schools and the homes of our people, I see that all the available space on tables, what-nots, and mantelpieces is filled up with photographs. On the right hand and left are seen the pictures of human faces. God desires this order of things to be changed. Were Christ on earth, He would say, “Take these things hence.” [John 2:16.] 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 17

These photographs cost money. Is it consistent for us, knowing the work that is to be done at this time, to spend God’s money in producing pictures of our own faces and the faces of our friends? Should not every dollar that we can spare be used in the upbuilding of the cause of God? These pictures take money that ought to be sacredly devoted to God’s service. They divert the mind from the truths of God’s Word. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 18

This making and exchanging photographs is a species of idolatry. Satan is doing all he can to eclipse heaven from our view. Let us not help him by making picture-idols. We need to reach a higher standard than these human faces suggest. The Lord says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” [Exodus 20:3.] 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 19

Those who claim to believe in Christ need to realize that they are to reflect His image. It is His likeness that is to be kept before the mind. The words that are spoken are to be freighted with heavenly inspiration. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 20

After going from home to home, and seeing the many photographs, I was given the instruction I have given here. Christ looks upon the busy world, filled with the din of merchandise and trade, with the dishonesty and scheming of buyers and sellers. “It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.” [Proverbs 20:14.] 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 21

Satan has devised a multitude of ways in which to keep men from serving God. He has invented various games into which men enter with such an intensity that one would suppose a crown of eternal life was to reward the winner. Horse races are attended by thousands and thousands. On the racecourse, lives for which Christ shed His blood are thrown away with no more thought than would be given to the life of a dog. What will become of the souls of the men and boys whose lives are extinguished on the racecourse? Will they be counted worthy of the redemption which Christ gave His life to obtain for them? 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 22

Looking upon these God-dishonoring scenes, Christ lifts up His voice like the trump of God, and seeks to break the spell upon the human race. “What shall it profit a man,” He cries, “if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] He brings to their attention the nobler world which they have lost from view. He points them to the threshold of heaven, flushed with the glory of the infinite God. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 23

Those who have taken part in the solemn rite of baptism have pledged themselves to seek for those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. They have pledged themselves to labor earnestly for the saving of sinners. God asks those who name His name, How are you using the powers that have been redeemed by the death of my Son? Are you doing all in your power to rise to a greater height in spiritual understanding? Are you adjusting your interests and actions in accordance with the momentous claims of eternity? 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 24

Let there be a reformation among the people of God. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] Those upon whom the Lord has placed the burden of the work are struggling to proclaim the message, that souls perishing in ignorance may be warned. Can you not, by self-denial, do something to help them in their work? Arouse; and show by your unselfish zeal and earnestness that you are converted. Every dollar is required in the work of saving souls. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 25

The money invested by the professing people of God in getting pictures made of human faces would support several missionaries in the field. Many small streams, when put together, swell into a large river. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 26

We embezzle our Lord’s goods when we use for selfish pleasure the means which should be used to help forward the proclamation of the last message of warning. If you spend the Lord’s money in this way, can you expect Him to continue to bestow His goods on you? 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 27

It is important that the truths which God has given us be heralded to the world. The Lord calls for self-denial and self-sacrifice. The gospel demands entire consecration. We have been given the privilege of laboring together with God. Our appointed work is to sow the seeds of truth beside all waters. The necessities of the work demand all that we can give. Our indulgence in photographs has been a selfish gratification on our part, which bears silent witness against us. By this indulgence a large amount of wood, hay, and stubble has been brought to the foundation to be consumed by the fires of the last day. How does the Master regard those who for self-gratification invest His money in photographs? That very money could be used to purchase reading matter to send to those in the darkness of ignorance. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 28

This much we can do for God. We can put these picture-idols out of sight. They have no power for good, but interpose between God and the soul. They can do nothing to help in sowing the seeds of truth. Christ calls upon those who claim to be converted to put on the whole armor of God. Our educational institutions need to feel the reforming power of the Spirit of God. “If the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” [Matthew 5:13.] Those who are engaged as teachers in our schools and sanitariums need to reach a higher standard of consecration. And the students in these institutions who are fitting themselves to become missionaries should learn to practice self-denial. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 29

We are God’s stewards, and “it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” [1 Corinthians 4:2.] The money God has entrusted to us is to be carefully husbanded. We are to increase in efficiency by putting to the best use the talents given us, that at God’s coming we may return to Him His own with usury. At every step there is need of self-sacrifice. 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 30


Why is so much time devoted to useless, common conversation? Is not our time a blood-bought talent? Ought not we to consecrate it to God? 16LtMs, Ms 63, 1901, par. 31