Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 190, 1902

Franke, E. E.


December 11, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 126-127, 304, 509; 4MR 275-276. +Note

Elder Franke

Dear Brother,—

The large cities are to be warned, but, my brother, not all the methods that you follow in this work are right. You think that you are at liberty to spend all the money that you please to gain the attention of the people. But remember that in the Lord’s vineyard there are many, many places to be worked, and that every dollar is needed. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 1

God is not pleased by your large outlay of means to advertise your meetings, and by the display made in other features of your work. The display is out of harmony with the principles of the Word of God. He is dishonored by your expensive preparations. At times you do that which is represented to me as the shredding of wild gourds into the pot. This display makes the truth taste too strongly of the dish. Man is exalted. The truth is not advanced, but hindered. Sensible men and women can see that the theatrical performances are not in harmony with the solemn message that you bear. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 2

How can God be glorified when you depend for your singing on a worldly choir that sings for money? My brother, when you see these things in a right light, you will have in your meetings only sweet, simple singing, and you will ask the whole congregation to join in the song. What if among those present there are some whose voices are not so musical as the voices of others? When the singing is such that angels can unite with the singers, an impression is made on minds that singing from unsanctified lips cannot make. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 3

I am instructed to say to you, Brother Franke, Turn square about. Do not longer shut the Spirit of God away from your meetings. Depend on the Lord. Go forward in His strength. Henceforth, place no more wild gourds in the pot, to poison the food. Bring meal, the grace of God, to counteract the element of death. Feed the flock of God with meat in due season. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 4

Do not cherish a spirit of controversy. Little good is accomplished by denunciatory speeches. The surest way to destroy false doctrine is to preach the truth. Keep to the affirmative. Let the precious truths of the gospel kill the force of evil. Show a tender, pitiful spirit toward the erring. Come close to hearts. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 5

Let the believers living near the place where you are holding meetings share the burden of the work. They should feel it a duty and a privilege to help to make the meetings a success. God is pleased by efforts to set them at work. He desires every church member to labor as His helping hand, seeking by loving ministry to win souls to Christ. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 6

The people in Greater New York need gospel teaching. But the parade you make destroys the impressions that God desires you to leave on their minds by your presentation of truth. Christlike words and deeds have far more influence for good than all the outward show and expensive preparations that can be made. Expending money for display is not the way to get the truth before the people. It is the way to keep Christ hidden. Conduct your meetings with the solemnity befitting the importance and sacredness of the testing truths that you are presenting, praying constantly, and constantly drawing nearer to God. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 7

Lift up Christ, the sin-pardoning Saviour. Bend all your efforts to proclaiming His message of forgiveness. A great work is to be done. In the future there will be many conversions. Some now in error will be preaching the truth. 17LtMs, Lt 190, 1902, par. 8