Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Lt 9, 1905

Leading Men of the Pacific Press

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

January 5, 1905

Previously unpublished.

To the leading men of the Pacific Press

Dear Brethren,—

I am very much interested in your work as it now stands in Mountain View. I have this message to present to you: Look to God for your orders. Do not shape your cause in conformity to the views of worldly businessmen. We are living in the great day of atonement, when every case is being decided by the Judge of all. Those who are preparing for entrance into the heavenly courts cannot afford to be careless now. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” is the word that comes to us. [Matthew 5:48.] We are to be constantly reaching forward toward perfection of character, striving continually for conformity to the will of God. Daily we are to make earnest efforts to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 1

The solemn instruction that the Lord gave to Moses for the guidance of Israel is to be studied and obeyed by the church of God in these last days. From the pillar of fire this instruction was given, and it contains principles from which there is to be no departure. Every institution under the control of God’s denominated people is now to take its stand in its God-given knowledge of right, of justice, of virtue, free from every vestige of self-serving, if it would be a blessing to humanity in this degenerate age. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 2

We are to stand firm against all forms of degeneracy and backsliding, against every temptation to mingle worldly policy with the work of God. The policy of worldly men is not to be brought into our institutions and our churches. It is a spurious fabrication, which makes to appear righteous, that which the Lord calls fraud. God calls upon those connected with our publishing houses, sanitariums, and schools, and with all others lines of His work, to stand under His banner, following His principles in every business transaction. They are safe only when they are standing on the side of truth and righteousness. They are to take their stand against all Satan’s devising; for if followed this devising would spoil the figure of the pattern that Christ has given us to work out in our characters. Never are the rules of worldlings to be adopted. Never are the standards of those who do not recognize the standards of Jehovah to be accepted and followed in our institutions. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 3

The love of God is free from all selfishness. The prosperity of His institutions is to be our first consideration. At every point self-denial is to be exercised without measure and without its bitterness’ being tasted. Never are we to ask, How can I gain advantage for myself. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 4

In the time of Israel’s deliverance, God gave men wisdom and skill to be used in building the tabernacle. In their work they were to be guided by the unseen Leader. These chosen men felt greatly honored that a part had been assigned them in the Lord’s work. Love and reverence for God led them to offer Him faithful, unselfish service, returning to Him the increase of the talents given them. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 5

And today the capabilities God has given men and women are not to be employed for selfish advantage. These gifts have been bestowed upon them that they may show forth the glory of God. They are to praise Him that He has chosen them to reveal, in the smaller as well as the larger matters of life, the greatness of His gift. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 6

Christ has a place for all sanctified ability. He first bestows the gift and then the power to improve the gift. Not for selfish interest is this power to be exercised, but for the advancement of the cause of God. There is to be a daily surrender of self to God. Every capability is to be used with unselfish love for God. The cross of self-denial is to be cheerfully and willingly borne. And the worker is not to forget to go apart, at times, to rest and commune with God, that he may learn how to work in a way that will redound to the greatest glory of God. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 7

Great is the grace imparted to one who works thus. The Lord bestows on him wisdom and judgment and skill, and he is to give them back to the Lord in willing service. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 8

The glory of God is to be your first consideration. Confess your own nothingness, and praise the Lord that He has singled you out as one whom He can entrust with the capabilities. Pray for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Hold converse daily with God. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 9

True godliness is a close union with Christ. This godliness enables us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God which worketh in us, both to will and to do of His own good pleasure. Day by day we are to follow on to know the Lord. To all who are weary and heavy laden the invitation is given, “Come unto Me, ... and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30.] 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 10

The Lord permits the confused soul to exert all his strength in an attempt to gain holiness; and then when he has become weary and faint in following his own devising, He invites him to come to Him in simple faith, saying, “I have surrendered myself to the Lord, believing in Him as my Redeemer, my sanctification, my righteousness. I surrender all to Him.” Those who accept this invitation will find rest and peace. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 11

Surrender to Christ means more than many realize. We cannot make this surrender while we refuse to wear His yoke and to learn His meekness and lowliness. The mind, the will must be wholly surrendered to the control of the will of God. All schemes and makeshifts to show that you have nothing to confess must be put away. You must be born again of the Holy Spirit. All your attempts to gain holiness in your own strength will avail nothing. You are to surrender all to the Lord Jesus, whose you are by creation and by redemption, saying, “I am His, I am not my own. I belong to Him. All the talents and capabilities that I have are to be used to glorify His name. I must keep foremost the prosperity of His institutions. If I am not prepared to work unselfishly for the prosperity and growth of the institution with which I am connected, I must renew my consecration to God and make a solemn surrender of all to Him.” 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 12

In this the great day of atonement, God calls for a condition of things among His people that is appropriate to the occasion. Confess, confess, confess your mistakes and errors. To all who profess to be Seventh-day Adventists, I would say, You are entitled to the name of Christian only as you employ your talents in harmony with the plan of the Lord Jesus Christ, only as you are co-workers with God. The life of Christ is the only pattern that it is safe for us to follow. 20LtMs, Lt 9, 1905, par. 13