Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 41, 1901

Instruction to those who are working in the Southern Field



Previously unpublished.

The experiences of the late General conference should be to us a savor of life unto life. They should teach us the value of unity of action and show us that controversies never heal difficulties. In a remarkable manner we have seen the salvation of God. Let the Lord be praised and exalted! 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 1

A decided reformation is needed in our churches. Worldly policy has been encouraged. Thus selfishness has strengthened and has become interwoven with the work. There seems to be a growing desire to obtain advantages for which no equivalent is given. There is woven into the web a selfishness which God abhors. Let this kind of weaving cease. Remember that God calls upon His people today to work as the apostles worked under the dictation of the Holy Spirit. Read of the witness they bore to the power of the gospel as they worked as God’s helping hand, strengthening and enlarging the church. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 2

By the erection of expensive buildings, and by the endeavor of some connected with our institutions to get gain, the work has been greatly hindered. Selfishness goes hand in hand with covetousness. Those who while connected with the work have made keen, sharp bargains may have supposed that they were doing God service, but their sharpness has rendered them useless in strengthening the church. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 3

In our institutions the world has found the keenest competitors for advantage in trade, and it has to a large degree lost the conviction that Seventh-day Adventists are a people peculiarly loyal to God. It has taken knowledge of those who ought to have been patterns of good works, but whose practice has left them weighed in the balances and found wanting. There are those in our institutions whose actions bear witness that they love the sharp practices of the world. Because of this they have lost their spiritual eyesight. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 4

The spirit which controls the world has controlled some handling sacred responsibilities. God calls for a reformation. He calls upon them to return to their first love, lest they sleep the sleep that knows no awakening. May the Holy Spirit work upon hearts, leading men to see these things as the Lord has presented them, that the reformation may be thorough and all defiling practices be put away. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 5

Let not these who have lost their first love justify their past doings. Let them not vindicate the course which has brought to our institutions a want of justice, mercy, and the love of God. The Lord calls upon them to repent. If they do not obey, He will certainly remove their candlestick out of its place. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 6

Union conferences have been formed, and I entreat those who compose them, and those to whom their management has been entrusted, to remember that the Lord will not tolerate the handling of His interests as they have been handled in the past. There is to be no rivalry among the Lord’s institutions. The business transactions connected with His cause are to be conducted in accordance with the high principles of integrity. It is the Lord’s design that His institutions shall be related to one another in the closest bonds of friendship and loyalty. They are to be true to one another. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 7

The customs and practices of worldlings are not to be followed by those in Christ’s service. It is God’s design that His church shall demonstrate to the world that through the grace of Christ the law can be kept. Amid the awful confederacy of evil now existing in the world, He desires His people to stand firmly and bravely for Him, protesting by blameless lives against the prevailing apostasy. That He might “purify unto himself a peculiar people” Christ left the royal courts above and clothed His divinity with humanity. [Titus 2:14.] He lived in the world the principles of the law, showing that His grace has power to redeem men and women and raise them to a position of moral integrity. He desires to sanctify and glorify His people. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 8

I speak to the laborers in the Southern field. Unfairness in deal has its origin with Satan. It defiles the whole man. Never think that in order to be successful you must be sharpers. God hates such work. He has given men talents that they may use them for the spiritual ends for which they were bestowed. His people are to be distinct from the world. They are to vindicate His supremacy as owner [of] all in the earth. They are to testify to the reality of Bible religion. For the church to ape the world [by] cherishing selfishness and covetousness is to put Christ to open shame. God’s people are to esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 9

I am much pleased with your earnest simplicity. I assure you that if you work in right lines, God will make your enemies to be at peace with you. God desires the Southern Conference to profit by the instruction which He has given. Do not become stirred up by the inconsistencies you may see in others. Do not worry over the difficulties which present themselves. Keep the way of the Lord, and He will bring to pass His will. His righteousness will go before you, and His glory will be your rearward. Do not lose self-command. Guard your words, that no strong speeches may be heard. Do not put undue force upon the supposed neglect of others. Do not use the talent of speech as a whip with which to lash others. Remember that a soft answer turneth away wrath. In dealing with one another do not use exaggerated expressions. Such language is not according to the Spirit of the Master. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 10

Walk humbly with God. He is your strength. He will uphold and sustain you. Cultivate the patience and forbearance of Christ. Remember that those who err in human judgment have the hardest time. Bring sweetness and pleasant words into the letters you write. Show that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. A revengeful speech never heals, never makes one feel that he has gained a victory. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 11

Strive for the mastery over self. Watch unto prayer. Exert the influence that Christ desires you to exert. Let all with whom you are connected see that the thoughts of your heart are under the softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 12

Your present happiness and success and your future well-being depend upon the ascendancy which the spiritual gains over the temporal. Make a solemn covenant with God that you will govern your words. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” [James 3:2.] Let your words be such that they will exert a divine influence. Keep your souls in the love of God. Let Christ speak and breathe through you. Do not lose the blessings that come from thinking no evil. Prayer, humble, contrite prayer is your strength. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 13

It is the privilege of each one of you to be a pattern of good works. Help one another. Make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Be strictly vigilant over self. Let the Holy Spirit work upon souls. Let each one connected with the Southern work surprise the other by the manifestation of Christ’s meekness and lowliness. Yoke up with Christ and learn of Him; for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. 16LtMs, Ms 41, 1901, par. 14