Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17

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Lt 43, 1902

Hart, J. S.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 19, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 17-18; CM 77; 3MR 310-311.

Dear brother Hart,—

I have read your letter, and I cannot fully comprehend it. I have received instruction in regard to laborers in many places who did not seem to produce fruit. They were consumers, and not producers. The figure of idle shepherds was presented to me. I saw that in different places there were idle shepherds, who were not bringing fruit to the church. They were not themselves receiving grace from God to impart to others. Some of the laborers in Iowa were presented to me as not doing the work they should do. They were not reaching the high standard that their knowledge of the truth required them to reach. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 1

Can we not see that the judgments of God are in the world? As I think of godless men sailing the broad waters, with only a few boards between them and eternity, I am filled with awe and with fear for them. Scene after scene has passed before me concerning the loss of vessels. I saw vessels lost in dense fogs. Angels of God were commissioned to withdraw from the some of these vessels, and they withdrew. The officers and crew were cursing and swearing, and acting in a godless manner, as if there were no God. Those in charge were half drunk. Their reason was confused. There were ministers of the gospel among the passengers, but some of them were smoking and drinking, and their example was no restraint on officers or crew. Those in charge were half drunk. Their reason was confused. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 2

Vessel after vessel was lost that might have been saved had the men in charge been in possession of their reasoning powers. But the Lord did not work a miracle to save them. He did not say to the angry, tumultuous waters, “Peace, be still” [Mark 4:39], neither did He give clear discernment to the men who by self-indulgence had robbed themselves of understanding. Disaster came, and nearly all were lost. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 3

Years ago this scene passed before me as a representation of what would happen in the future. I saw also that costly buildings in the cities, supposed to be fire proof, would be consumed by fire. The fire that lately swept through Patterson, N. Y., and the fires that have been in other places, are a fulfilment, in part, of the warning. Yet God has not executed His wrath without mercy. His hand is stretched out still. His message must be given in Greater New York. The people must be shown how it is possible for God, by a touch of His hand, to destroy the property they have gathered together against the last great day. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 4

A little longer will the voice of mercy be heard; a little longer will the gracious invitation be given, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” [John 7:37.] God sends His warning message to the cities everywhere. Let the messengers He sends work so harmoniously that all will take knowledge of them, that they have learned of Jesus. Let them speak the words of reason and good sense. Let their message be that all who accept Christ will gain eternal life. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 5

If our ministers realize how soon the inhabitants of the world are to be arraigned before the judgment seat of God, to answer for the deeds done in the body, how earnestly they would work, together with God, to present the truth! How earnestly they would strive to lead men to accept the truth. How untiringly they would labor to advance God’s cause in the world, proclaiming in word and deed, “The end of all things is at hand.” [1 Peter 4:7.] 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 6

“Prepare to meet thy God” is the message we are everywhere to proclaim. [Amos 4:12.] The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Clearly and distinctly the warning is to ring out, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. ... Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” [Revelation 18:2, 4.] 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 7

John writes, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” [Verses 1-5.] 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 8

The words of this Scripture are to be fulfilled. Soon the last test is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth. At that time prompt decisions will be made. Those who have been convicted under the presentation of the Word will range themselves under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. They will see and understand as never before that they have missed many opportunities for doing the good they ought to have done. They will realize that they have not worked as zealously as they should to seek and save the lost, to snatch them, as it were, out of the fire. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 9

But when I began this letter, I had no idea of writing in this way. While writing, I seemed to be looking beyond the present to the future. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 10

Our work has been marked out for us by our heavenly Father. We are to take our Bibles and go forth to warn the world. We are to be God’s helping hand in saving souls. We are to be channels through which His love is day by day to flow to the perishing. The realization of the great work in which he has the privilege of taking part ennobles and sanctifies the true worker. He is filled with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Nothing is drudgery to the one who submits to the will of God. “Doing it unto the Lord” [Matthew 25:40] is a thought that throws a charm over the work that God gives him to do. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 11

God’s servants are to be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” [Romans 12:11.] Listlessness and inefficiency are not piety. When we realize that we are working for God, we shall have a higher sense than we have ever had before of the sacredness of spiritual service. This realization will put life and vigilance and persevering energy into the discharge of every duty. Religion, pure, undefiled religion, is intensely practical. Nothing but earnest, wholehearted labor will avail in the saving of souls. We are to make our every-day duties acts of devotion, constantly increasing in usefulness because we see our work in the light of eternity. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 12

My brother, I advise you still to seek to do God service. Though you may not be recognized as a minister on the pay roll of the Conference, you need not regard yourself as dismissed from God’s service, if in all things you are consulting His will and living for His glory. Carry on all your work on strictly religious principles. Let your earnest inquiry be, “What can I do to please the Master?” Visit places where the believers need encouragement and help. At every step, ask, “Is this the way of the Lord? Am I, in spirit, in word, in action, in harmony with His will?” 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 13

If you labor for God with an eye single to His glory, your work will bear the divine mold, and you will be carrying out the Lord’s purpose. Look ever to Jesus, constantly asking Him for guidance. Then your citizen’s dress will be replaced by the robe of Christ’s righteousness. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 14

By beholding Christ, we become changed into His image. The expression of the countenance is changed. Cheerfulness takes the place of gloom, testifying that he whom the Son of God makes free is free indeed. Under the light of Christ’s countenance, the life is brightened, the actions beautified. The truth improves all with which it is brought in contact. It binds together human beings of different dispositions. Its silken threads, mingling with the coarse and fine threads in the great web of life, cause it to bear the impress of divinity. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 15

Bring the precious pictures of Christ’s love and work into your home life and into your work outside the home. Fill out in the pattern the figures God has given you to fill out, drawing in the threads as perfectly as possible. Do your work faithfully. Do not let go. Do you not want to work for the Master? There are souls to be saved. Enter into the work with earnestness and diligence. Heed the words I have spoken to you. Enter God’s service as a canvasser-evangelist. Do not think that you are taking a lowly position, or that you are working in a limited capacity. Draw, draw with all your might for Christ. Get right down to bedrock in experience, and give such evidence that you are working with Christ that no one will question your tact or skill or the worth of your work. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 16

Draw your power from the highest Authority, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will reward you according to your work. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] Remember that you are working for God, not for man. Plead earnestly for power, as you strive to win souls to the truth. Show a constantly increasing devotion to God’s service, and leave with Him the measurement of your work. Confer not with flesh and blood. Lay hold of the promises God has given. Do not complain. With a heart melted with the love of God, work for those who know not the truth. Let your inquiry be, “Lord, what wilt thou have me do?” [Acts 9:6.] 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 17

O, it will be a blessed thing for you when your natural self-will is changed for a child-like, teachable, submissive spirit. Lean not to your own understanding; for it will lead you into false paths. Conform to the mind of Christ. Wear His yoke. Sit at His feet, and learn of Him. He says to you, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] Then you will find rest. You will know that Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden light. As you recognize Christ’s authority, allowing Him to lead and guide you, you will feel the need of obeying Him. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 18

Do not evade the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Strive to realize the need of unquestioning obedience to the highest authority, the need of glorifying God in spirit, in word, in action. You must consecrate yourself to God. You must bear the fruit of the Spirit. In order to express the love of God, you must cherish earnest, wholesouled religion. Henceforward, you must work on a higher plane of action. Use your talent of speech to speak words that will comfort and bless and edify. Even if you are not working in the Conference, you can do genuine, earnest work for the Master. To scores and even hundreds you may say, “Come; for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 19

Give yourself unreservedly to the work of helping souls in out-of-the-way places. Do not give up. Pray and work. Draw with you those who can help others. Hold on, Brother Hart. Let your voice be heard in prayer, in song, in entreaty. Do missionary work among those who have never heard the truth. Lead all you possibly can to the light. 17LtMs, Lt 43, 1902, par. 20