Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Lt 53, 1904

Prescott, W. W.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 26, 1904

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 395-396; 1NL 105-106; 7BC 944; 1MR 383-384; 4MR 368-369; 6MR 26-27. +Note

Dear Brother Prescott,—

I will write you a letter, although I do not owe you one; and it is a long time since I have received one from you. But Brother Daniells has written me quite fully regarding the work in Washington. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 1

I should be much pleased to see you and talk with you. The message sent you in testimony was that you were not to confine yourself wholly to editorial work; because the Lord has a message for you to bear in our large cities. Washington is a place where, in connection with Elder Daniells, Elder A. T. Jones, and Elder Washburn, you can do valuable service in the ministration of the Word. A strong evangelistic effort must be put forth in the capital of the nation. This was shown me before the Review and Herald office burned. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 2

I rejoice that you have taken up this evangelistic work in Washington, and that so deep an interest has already been aroused. The accounts given regarding the work there correspond as nearly as possible to the representation given me of what would be. I am sure, for the matter has been presented to me, and this work must not be weakened by the necessary laborers’ being called to other places. The work in the South need not hold Elder Daniells and Elder Washburn long. Elder Butler is there, and there are other men who can come in to help. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 3

Evangelistic work must be done in Washington, and it must not be broken into by calls from other places. God would have His work in the highways carried forward in straight lines. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 4

You are where the Lord would have you. Elder Daniells and yourself must not be loaded down with a great many burdens. Washington has been neglected long enough. A decided work must now be done there. The Lord will give strength and grace. The workers must not allow themselves to be diverted from the work by the many things that will be sure to press for attention. This is the reason that I have felt anxious that every talent of the workers in Washington shall be used in a way that will best advance His work. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 5

Brother Daniells has mentioned several that he thought might be a help to the work in Washington. But be cautious as to whom you employ in the work there. Everything must be kept up to the Bible standard. Elder Franke could be a help, if he would be worked by the Holy Spirit. But he has his whole family fastened to him in a way that is not for the best interest of the cause of God. The charts that he has prepared have a strong influence on the minds of the people, but his experience is not such as to fit him to take up the work to best advantage in Washington. Elder Franke needs to be converted. Until there is a most decided change in his spirit, until he overcomes his rash manner of speaking, he should not bear heavy burdens. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 6

I have warned him in regard to this, but he has not heeded the testimonies sent him. His extravagance also cuts him off from helping in an effort such as you are now putting forth in Washington. Our success will depend on carrying forward the work in the simplicity in which Christ carried it forward, without any theatrical display. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 7

If in the future Elder Franke should be thoroughly converted, he could be a special help; for his charts have a telling influence. And his presentation of subjects by limelight views would also have a favorable influence, if he himself were different. But the way in which he carries forward his work does not give the proper education to the workers connected with him. When we have so many interests at stake, we cannot and must not do our work in the extravagant way in which Elder Franke labors. Should we uphold him in working in the cities as he has worked in the past, his manner of labor would be regarded as a model for our younger ministers to follow. All our preparations for presenting and illustrating the truth must correspond with the solemnity of the message we bear. The Lord never designed the advancement of His work to depend on outward display. Thus the means would quickly be spent, and little would be left with which to open new fields. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 8

New Orleans is to be worked. At a proper time of the year, a public effort is to be made there. Camp-meetings are to be held in many places, and evangelistic work is to be done after the camp-meeting is over. Thus the sheaves are to be gathered in. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 9

Every part of the work is to be carried forward solidly. When large, expensive preparations are made in connection with the public effort made in cities, these preparations may at first attract a large number of people. But they cannot be maintained for any length of time. It is found, however, when an effort is made to dispense with them, that they have created an appetite for such things, and that they cannot be dispensed with without a falling off in interest and in the number of the hearers. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 10

The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way; for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles; because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 11

For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing, combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 12

This is the provision the Lord has made whereby gospel medical missionary work is to be done for many souls. These institutions are to be established out of the cities, and in them educational work is to be intelligently carried forward. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 13

In some places where sanitarium work is to be established, it will be necessary to begin the work in small quarters and with few facilities. But let not the work be delayed. Let every obstruction to the hindrance of this special line of work be removed. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 14

In our work we are not to go onto a hilltop to shine. We are not told that we must make a special, wonderful display. The truth must be proclaimed in the highways and the byways, and thus work is to be done by sensible, rational methods. The life of every worker, if he is under the training of the Lord Jesus Christ, will reveal the excellence of His life. The work that Christ did in our world is to be our example, as far as display is concerned. We are to keep as far from the theatrical and the extraordinary as Christ kept in His work. Sensation is not religion, although religion will exert its own pure, sacred, uplifting, sanctifying influence, bringing spiritual life and salvation. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 15

We are to put on the excellence of Christ, bringing into our work the purity and nobility of His character, ever striving with all perseverance to prepare for the kingdom of heaven. There could be no such thing as one not prepared for heaven entering heaven. There is no such thing as a human being sanctified and fitted for the heavenly kingdom not having an election to that kingdom. God elects those who have been working on the plan of addition. The explanation is given in the first chapter of Second Peter. For every human being, Christ has paid the election price. No one need be lost. All have been redeemed. To those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour will be given power to become the sons and daughters of God. An eternal life insurance policy has been provided for all. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 16

Whom God elects, Christ redeems. The Saviour has paid the redemption price for every soul. “We are not our own; for we are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] From the Redeemer, who from the foundation of the world has chosen us, we receive the insurance policy that entitles us to eternal life. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 17

We are to be saved in God’s appointed way. By repentance from sin and by an intelligent faith in Christ as the Redeemer, we are washed in His blood from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. Every sinner may become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 18

As a Christian submits to the solemn rite of baptism, the three highest powers in the universe—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—place their approval on his act, pledging themselves to exert their power in his behalf as he strives to honor God. He is buried in the likeness of Christ’s death, and is raised in the likeness of His resurrection. He went down into the grave, but He rose from the dead, proclaiming over the rent sepulcher, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 19

The three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to furnish to the Christian all the assistance he requires. The Spirit changes the heart of stone to the heart of flesh. And by partaking of the Word of God, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of His Son, Christians obtain an experience that is after the divine similitude. When Christ abides in the heart by faith, the Christian is the temple of God. Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner, but hearts that are susceptible to the influences of heaven’s instrumentalities, and have been sanctified by obedience to the truth, are representatives of His righteousness. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 20

The light that shines forth from the lives of such ones testifies to their humility. Self is hidden from view, and Christ is revealed by good works. Heaven recognizes the fulfilment of the promise, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] “Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” [1 John 3:2.] Then those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer’s glory in the kingdom of God. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 21

Their glory in the world to come is the result of their self-denial and sacrifice in this life. Here they obeyed the word, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] “So shall he be My disciple.” [See John 15:8.] 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 22

“The world knoweth us not because it knew Him not.” [1 John 3:1.] To cherish Christian principles means to develop Christian character. The world hates the characteristics that make men and women Christians. Did genuine religion please them, they would be pleased with those who in sincerity follow the Saviour. But they condemn and persecute those who comply with the invitation, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] The worldling does not enjoy looking upon the exemplification of Christian character. The life of the one who is constantly learning of Christ does not please him. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 23

The true Christian is not ashamed of his faith. He realizes that this would be a denial of Christ. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 24

But I must return to the subject. How shall we carry on evangelistic work in large cities?—As you are carrying it on in Washington, without the parade that some who are deceiving their own souls are inclined to think necessary. The truth that we have to proclaim is the most solemn truth ever entrusted to mortals, and it is to be proclaimed in a way that corresponds to its solemnity and importance. There is to be attached to it no fantastic display. Such display meets the minds of some, but how few are really convicted and converted by a fanciful blending of display with the proclamation of the solemn gospel message for this time. The display counterworks the impression made by the gospel message. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 25

Were all to connect with the preaching of the Word the display that some deem so essential, how soon there would be a dearth of means. Extravagance would be seen on every side, and all through our ranks an appetite for display would be created and developed. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 26

God expects us to follow the example of the Majesty of heaven, who clothed His divinity with humanity, that divinity might touch humanity, and humanity might partake of the divine nature. It is only as we are clothed with humility that God can accept us as Christ’s followers. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 27

We are not to try to gather together strange, peculiar ideas, which are not revealed in the Word of God. If the shepherds of the flock of God are partakers of the divine nature, they will be clothed with genuine humility. They will fill contentedly the place God gives them, shining brightly amidst the moral darkness. Realizing the sacredness of the truth, they will refuse to be drawn out of their place by the attractions of the world or the praise of men. They will stand firmly at their post of duty as brave soldiers. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 28

Christ does not say to us, “Strive to shine.” He says, “Let your light shine.” [Matthew 5:16.] He in whose heart Christ abides can not help shining. “Let your light shine.” Do not allow your light to be dimmed by selfishness or unrighteous actions. Never gather clouds about you; for this means concealment of your light. Do not dim it by speaking words of harshness or anger. Let the light shine forth brightly to those within and without the home. Gather rays of light from Him who is the light of the world, and shine more and more brightly. Let your lamp be always trimmed and burning. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 29

Bring the Lord Jesus very near you in your home life; then when you speak the Word of God, this Word will be as a sharp, two-edged sword, cutting through the sinful practices of the sinner. The Lord will make the application of the Word spoken. 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 30

Keep your lamp trimmed and burning, that the light may shine forth to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Verse 16.] 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 31

In the Scriptures, Christians are called the salt of the world. True followers of Christ have precious preservative qualities. But those who are Christians only in name are like salt that has lost its savor. How can they exert a preserving influence on a world sunken in corruption? “If the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and trodden underfoot of men.” [Verse 13.] 19LtMs, Lt 53, 1904, par. 32