Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 24, 1903

The Trial Volume of the Review


April 24, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in PM 221-222; Ev 15, 565; 1SM 118; 1NL 95.

I fear that our ministering brethren are not doing the work that the time demands. Special efforts are being made in the trial volume of the Review to present our faith in a condensed form before its readers. Every number of the paper going to so many people should correctly represent our faith. Articles are needed that will place before the readers a comprehensive view of our position. The different points of faith are to be clearly defined. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 1

The publication of this trial volume is an important enterprise. The most should be made of the opportunity to awaken in the minds of the readers of the Review an interest in the truths we hold essential and sacred. Many numbers of the trial volume have been published. There are not many more to be issued. Soon the golden opportunity to present important truths at the right time will have passed. The most should be made of this opportunity. Articles right to the point should be published, clearly and correctly defining our position. Impressions, either favorable or unfavorable, are being made upon the readers. How anxious all should be who contribute to the Review to have every article interesting and right to the point. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 2

My husband has worked with intense interest through the day and frequently far into the night, writing articles for the Review, The Reformer, preparing articles for translation into other languages, and answering numerous letters that come to him in regard to the work and cause of God. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 3

We have walked to the post office after dark for our mail, and after reading it, my husband would that same night answer the letters he had received which required immediate attention. This prolonged his work far into the night. And then before breakfast, while it was yet scarcely light, we would take the letters through the rain to the post office. The weeks seemed to us to be not more than three days long. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 4

I have hoped and prayed that our ministering brethren would awake to the needs of the cause of God and work to the point, co-operating with my husband and feeling the same interest in the work that he feels. I do not advise them to put forth the intense, continuous effort that he has put forth, but I do plead for co-operation. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 5

We are pained to see the time passing and so little done. Many of our brethren seem to be overlooking the needs of the present time. Our ministers should work as if they had on their hands the interest and responsibilities of a large camp-meeting, each doing his part to make the best impression on the people, placing our views before them in such a way as to commend our faith to their good judgment. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 6

We see with pain some of the columns of the Review filled with common matter that may be found in almost any religious paper. Brother Smith is doing all that he can, and he should not be so heavily taxed. God is co-operating with him. He needs the co-operation of his brethren. He has responsibilities to bear that they have not. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 7

We need just now articles from the pens of our most experienced brethren—the best articles that they can produce. If enough of these articles are sent in for publication, there will be less room for common articles, which do not give any instruction regarding our faith. Some of our ministering brethren are doing enough work for two, but they are not working directly to the point. Deep, studied articles, which require considerable time for preparation, will be too late for the present need. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 8

Working as Christ Worked

We may do much in a short time if we will work as Christ worked. We may reflect with profit upon His manner of teaching. He sought to meet the minds of the common people. His style was plain, simple, comprehensive. He took His illustrations from the scenes with which His hearers were most familiar. By the things of nature He illustrated truths of eternal importance, thus connecting heaven and earth. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 9

If we had firm faith in God, if we appropriated His promises to ourselves, mingling faith with our prayers and efforts, we would surely see the salvation of God. “All things are possible to him that believeth.” [Mark 9:23.] 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 10

In the work for this time, it is not money or talent or learning or eloquence that are needed so much as faith graced with humility. No opposition can prevail against truth presented in faith and humility, by workers who willingly bear toil and sacrifice and reproach for the Master’s sake. We must be co-workers with Christ if we would see our efforts crowned with success. We must weep as He wept for those who will not weep for themselves, and plead as He pleaded for those who will not plead for themselves. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 11

In giving His commission to the disciples, Christ said: “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” [John 20:21.] “In My name I send you forth, and by My Spirit I will qualify you for service.” And as He sent His disciples forth, so today He sends forth His ministers. They are His shepherds! It is their work to feed the flock of God with meat in due season. They may feel weak, inefficient, powerless; but if they make God their strength, He will work with them, and they will not labor in vain. They should feel that it is not a deceptive, unreal work in which they are engaged. It is not a work in which they will never know whether or not they have gained success. God said to Jeremiah: “Say not, I am a child; for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee, thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces; for I am with thee to deliver thee.” Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched His servant’s mouth, and said to him, “Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth.” [Jeremiah 1:7-9.] Let us thank God for such encouragement. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 12

The closest and most lofty of all friendship is participation with Christ in His work for the uplifting of humanity. We are not to go forth in our own strength. Not in our own ability, but in the wisdom of God are we to trust. We are to speak the words that God gives us, feeling His holy touch upon our lips. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 13

Christ said to His disciples, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” [John 14:15.] He desired to make His disciples understand that mere attachment to His person is not enough. They must have faith in the work that He came to do. “If ye indeed love Me,” He says to them and to us, “show your love by keeping My commandments, by doing the work you have seen Me do, by putting into practice the lessons I have taught you. Then your love will not be merely emotional; it will be a permanent principle of action. It will bring forth fruit unto life eternal. The loving will make the doing easy.” 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 14

“Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [John 15:14.] This is the test of friendship with Christ. It is not enough for us to know His will; we must obey. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 15

Christ’s last words to His disciples were: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” [Matthew 28:20, 19.] “Go to the farthest bounds of the habitable globe, and know that wherever you go, My presence will attend you.” No more valuable legacy could He have left them than the promise of His abiding presence. 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 16

To us also the commission is given. We are bidden to go forth as Christ’s messengers, to teach, instruct, and persuade men and women, to urge upon their attention the Word of life. And to us also the assurance of Christ’s abiding presence is given. Whatever the difficulties with which we may have to contend, whatever the trials we may have to endure, the gracious promise is always ours, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Verse 20.] 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 17

So great is the value of the human soul that Christ paid an infinite price for the redemption of the race. God gave His Son up to shame and reproach and to an ignominious death that man might have eternal life. In view of this, why are we not working more earnestly to save sinners? Why are we so indifferent, so careless? Where is our faith, where our works? 18LtMs, Ms 24, 1903, par. 18