Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18

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Lt 106, 1903

General Conference Committee

Healdsburg, California

May 20, 1903

Portions of this letter are published in 2SM 384; Ev 21; 1MR 275; RH 08/11/1903, 09/17/1903. +Note

To the General Conference Committee

My dear brethren,—

During the past night many things have been presented to me regarding our present dangers, and some things about our publishing work have been brought most distinctly to my mind. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 1

As our brethren search for a location for the Review and Herald Publishing House, they are earnestly to seek the Lord. They are to move with great caution, watchfulness, and prayer, and with a constant sense of their own weakness. We must not depend upon human judgment. We must seek for the wisdom that God gives. No proud, self-sufficient spirit is to be cherished. We are to move forward with humility and contrition. We are to pray earnestly, with humble hearts remembering our weakness. Prayer places us at the feet of the great Teacher, imploring His help, confiding in His wisdom. We ought to pray much more than we do, and talk less. Our Saviour is wise in counsel. When He bids us watch unto prayer, He means that we are to keep the windows of the soul opened heavenward and closed earthward. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 2

God understands our situation. He alone knows where the Review and Herald Publishing House should be established. “The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way.” [Psalm 25:9.] 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 3

In regard to establishing the institution in New York, I must say, Be guarded. I am not in favor of its being near New York, I cannot give all my reasons, but I am sure that any place within thirty miles of that city would be too near. Study the surroundings of other places. I am sure that the advantages of Washington, D.C. should be closely investigated. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 4

The workers connected with the publishing house must be closely guarded. Our young men and young women must not be placed where they will be in danger of being ensnared by Satan. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 5

We should not establish this institution in a city or in the suburbs of a city. It should be established in a rural district, where it can be surrounded by land. In the arrangements made for its establishment, the climate must be considered. The institution should be placed where the atmosphere is most conducive to health. This point should be given an important place in our considerations; for wherever the office of publication is established, preparation must also be made to fit up a small sanitarium and to establish an agricultural school. We must, therefore, find a place that has sufficient land for these purposes. We must not settle in a congested center. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 6

My brethren, open up the work intelligently. Let every point be carefully and prayerfully considered. After much prayer and frequent consultation together, act in accordance with the best judgment of all. Let each worker sustain the other. Do not fail or become discouraged. Keep your perceptive faculties keen and clear by learning constantly of Christ, the Teacher who cannot err. Avoid all that would endanger your eternal interests. The foe, keen and wary, stands ready to take the helm if he is given opportunity. He watches his chance to seduce souls to their ruin. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 7

I have seen heavenly angels watching with intense interest the movements of the people of God. I have seen Satan presenting false securities, while a hand was stretched out, pointing the other way. One reckless movement, one imprudent step, and the surging waves of some strong temptation would have to be met. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 8

We are Seventh-day Adventists, and of this name we are never to be ashamed. As a people we must take a firm stand for truth and righteousness. Thus we shall glorify God. We are to be delivered from dangers, not ensnared and corrupted by them. That this may be, we must look ever to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must plan wisely, in much prayer, asking God to make us partakers of the divine nature, that we may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. We must seek in every way to adorn the doctrines of Christ our Saviour. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 9

In every part of the work done, love for Jesus and for one another is to be expressed. Then God’s miracle-working power will be revealed. In our human weakness His strength will be perfected. He will give courage and strength and perseverance and joy and that inward peace that Christ alone can impart. His followers are to be strong in the grace that the Saviour has provided for them. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 10

God will work with all who will submit to Him. They will grow in grace, becoming more and more nearly conformed to His likeness. Those who work out the will of Christ will have a heaven here to go to heaven in. Their influence will be a constant blessing to others. It will be a light shining amidst the moral darkness of the world. To them will be fulfilled the promise: “Thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 11

God knows how to distinguish between the righteous and the wicked in His church on this earth. To the righteous He will give peace and comfort in this life, and in the life to come glory everlasting. But to the wicked He will give confusion and unrest and shame everlasting. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 12

I have given you the instruction that God has given me. He has told us what He expects of us. Wherever we may go, we are zealously and faithfully to carry out the principles of Christ’s kingdom, thus showing plainly the difference between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 13

When the office of publication is once more established, a much purer, holier atmosphere should pervade it than pervaded the institution in Battle Creek. Principles should be followed that will make the institution an honor to the cause of God. Those who refuse to work except for the highest wages should not be encouraged to connect with this institution. We do not need those who have no spirit of self-sacrifice. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 14

God’s work is to go forward. Its success depends on the putting forth of consecrated efforts and the carrying out of pure principles. Amidst the apparent confusion of surrounding difficulties, we may feel at a loss to know how to proceed. Let us be sure that those who are united with the work are first united with Christ. Let us remember that every day we are to be preparing for promotion into the higher grade. This world is not our home. We are pilgrims and strangers. Our part is to reveal in our lives the light and life of Christ, that others may take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. The love of Christ cherished in the soul will make our words and actions fragrant. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 15

Ever we are to press forward, keeping in view the city whose Builder and Maker is God. He has prepared for us a city, and He longs to see us giving proof, by faithfulness in service, that we are preparing to enter this city. He longs to see us learning the language of Canaan. In His strength we can make steady advancement in gaining a preparation for His kingdom, becoming transformed in character, having a conscience void of offence toward God and man. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 16

An Assurance of Victory

As we see the strife and confusion that fill the world, we ask, What will be the end of these things? We are given courage to press on in the work of the Lord by the waving of the banner of victory, on which is inscribed the words, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] My brethren, will you assemble together to consult as to whether it is best to continue to carry forward aggressive warfare amidst hindering discouragements and backsets? Will you lower the banner that God has given you? Will you allow despondency to seize you, while you wait for a revelation to inspire you to advance? Have you learned what it means to wrestle with God in prayer? Have you presented your requests to Him? His Word declares, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” [John 16:24.] Have you assembled with one accord in one place, to ask God for understanding, that you may know, through the wisdom God has promised, what course to pursue? Have you asked Him for help and strength and then gone to work in faith in harmony with your prayers? If you will give yourselves to prayer as did the disciples, confessing your sins and drawing near to God, He will draw near to you, and you will see of His salvation. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 17

The kingdom of Christ is to be enlarged. The workers are to grow in power and efficiency. This they will do if they will believe as the disciples believed. The Lord will act His part. But when human beings refuse to be the Lord’s helping hand, they break the link that connects them with heaven. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 18

To us as a people God has given great light, and He calls upon us to let it shine forth into the darkness. By us the light, the power, of a living truth is to be given to the world. From us there is to shine forth to those in darkness a clear, steady light, kept alive by the power of God. We are charged to use the light given us to create other lights, that our fellow men may rejoice in the truth. Let us not disregard the charge. Suppose that the sun should refuse to shine. What terrible darkness and confusion would result. For us to refuse to let our light shine to those in darkness is to contract guilt the magnitude of which cannot be computed. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 19

The Work Before Us

Christ’s commission to us is, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:19, 20.] 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 20

We have before us a great work. False teachers will preach false theories. They do not desire the truth. They are afraid to have the truth presented to the people. They do not want the facts to appear as they are given in the Word of God. Let all who believe the third angel’s message take up the work that God has committed to them. Let them seek to realize its greatness and importance. Let believers do all in their power to arouse an interest in present truth in the neighborhood in which they live. Let all act an earnest, disinterested part. Some will labor in one way, and some in another, but all should do something. The books containing the reasons of our faith must be translated into all languages. This work must make more rapid progress than it has made. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 21

When we act our part with faithfulness, Christ will work with power upon minds. We are to be God’s helping hand. We have no time to devote to self-pleasing. With freshness and power the truth is to be presented to the people of the world. Christian workers are greatly needed. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 22

God’s Plan for Proclaiming the Gospel Message

“The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17.] These words outline God’s plan for the promulgation of the gospel. His instrumentalities, human and divine, are to unite in an effort to save the lost. Thus souls are to be rescued from the bondage of sin. God calls upon those who have taken His name to obey His orders. All are called to some part of His work. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 23

“I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. I have united humanity and divinity, and My office invests Me with all power in heaven and in earth. I have ordained that angels and men shall be employed in My work. Divine and human instrumentalities are to unite. I have given the churches instruction regarding what they are to do. My work is to be carried forward until I shall arise and proclaim with a loud voice, ‘It is finished.’ [John 19:30.] I have opened a fountain of living water for a perishing world. Agencies from the heavenly courts unite in urging the members of the church on earth to give the invitation to come to the water of life. Each one, feeble though he may deem himself, is to voice My words and perform some part of My work. I call upon those who have received the truth to take up the work entrusted to them. Do your best. Proclaim the gospel invitation. Unite with those who are already at work. I testify that if any one shall alter the words of the prophecy of this book, engendering unbelief, and causing My words to lose the practical application which I thus fully and authoritatively give them, I will visit him with signal marks of My displeasure.” 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 24

The Power of the Truth to Convict and Convert Souls

It is through the transforming influence of divine grace on human hearts that the power of the word of truth is revealed. The truth, proclaimed in regions where it has not yet been heard, makes an impression on hearts. It seems to have greater power to transform character than when presented to those who are familiar with its office work. Truth has little power on the hearts of those who walk contrary to it when by so doing they can gain advantage for themselves—those who, while claiming to receive it, follow a course opposed to its principles. Such ones admit that they believe the truth, but they give no evidence that they are sanctified by the truth. The places in which the truth has never been proclaimed are the best places in which to work. The truth is to take possession of the will of those who have never before heard it. They will see the sinfulness of sin, and their repentance will be thorough and sincere. The Lord will work upon hearts that in the past have not often been appealed to, hearts that heretofore have not seen the enormity of sin. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 25

Christ is the only successful antagonist that sin has ever encountered. Let the full light of His life stream into the souls of those who are in darkness. Under the direct power of the gospel thousands have been converted in a day. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 26

When a sinner becomes sensible of the fact that only through Christ can he gain eternal life, when he realizes that obedience to God’s Word is the condition of entrance into the kingdom of God, when he sees Christ as the propitiation for sin, he comes to the Saviour in humility and contrition, confessing his sin and asking for forgiveness. His soul is impressed with a sense of the majesty and glory of God. The power of an eternal life of peace and joy and purity is felt so deeply that an entire surrender is made. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 27

I am instructed to say that some who outwardly appear the most fully given to sin will, when light flashes into the soul, make most successful workers in places where there are those who are just such sinners as they themselves once were. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 28

I write this because those engaged in canvassing work and in house-to-house labor often meet men and women who are coarse and forbidding in outward appearance, but who, if won to the truth, will be among its most loyal and staunch adherents. The spirit of truth is indeed of value in any church. Those whom the Lord uses may not always have outward polish, but if they have integrity of character, the Lord values them just as highly. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 29

Power From Above

As the end draws near, the work of God is to increase in strength and purity and holiness. The workers are to be filled with love for God and for one another. They are to cherish principles of the strictest integrity. When the true keynote is struck, God will reveal Himself as a God of mercy and love. Angels of heaven will ascend and descend the ladder of shining brightness, co-operating with human workers. The members of the church triumphant—the church in heaven—will be permitted to draw near to the members of the church militant, to aid them in their necessity. Let us ever remember that we are laborers together with God. In this heavenly union, we shall carry forward His work with completeness, with singing and rejoicing. In every soul will be kindled the fire of holy zeal. Company after company will leave the dark standard of the foe to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 30

God’s workers must gain a far deeper experience. If they will surrender all to Him, He will work mightily for them. They will plant the standard of truth upon fortresses till then held by Satan and with shouts of victory take possession of them. They bear the scars of battle, but there comes to them the comforting message that the Lord is teaching them terrible things in righteousness. He will lead them on, conquering and to conquer. 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 31

When God’s servants with consecrated zeal co-operate with divine instrumentalities, the state of things that exists in this world will be changed, and soon the earth with joy will receive her King. Then “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” [Daniel 12:3.] 18LtMs, Lt 106, 1903, par. 32