Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 347, 1907

Our Churches

St. Helena, California

October 12, 1907

Previously unpublished.

To Our Churches:

I have a special message to our churches. I do hope that all have done what they could in faith and love for our colored people in the South. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 1

One of our brethren has been doing missionary work and has received some donations. But there was one church where the pastor showed his weakness in using his influence that they as a church need all their means and could not give any donation. Now we do wish to censure the man, because he manifested so little interest in this earnest invitation that has gone out for help for the colored people in the South. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 2

We are acquainted with this church and know that there are none of our churches more able to impart of their earthly treasure than this church. That they should allow the voice of the pastor of the church to become conscience for them is a great mistake. We call upon the members of the church to do their duty. There were many members, and there should have been a liberal offering; for the fields in the South have been so often encouraged that something should be done to open the work in various places of the South. We have been able to do a little work, but now we are urged by the situation to take hold in earnest; and we had much expectation of what this church could do in raising a good sum to count in doing the very work needing to be done; and one man was allowed to be conscience for the church, and they made no gift. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 3

I must take up this matter, for I know the situation. A general movement must be made. I will not name the place or the influence of the weakness of one man that should hinder the church from making their gifts, which the Lord requires of them, to make a liberal offering. I will again present the necessities of the South, fearing that there may be other churches that have withheld their offering and failed in thus doing of placing their money in the heavenly savings bank. But I must write out this circumstance, for it may be the voice of one minister will raise objections to gifts, because he supposes the church needs them. This may as verily be the excuse in every church. This is a large church and should [not] every one from the child to every member of the household have done something? I write now that this neglect should be corrected and gifts come from this delinquent church and every other church who have, in like circumstances, been delinquent. I shall now send my letter to be published, lest many may withhold when the Lord calls for every family to become interested to make up their delinquencies. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 4

We now say to every church, Make your offerings now without delay. We are constantly receiving gifts from the heavenly treasury in favorable crops; and if crops are not favorable, you should not withhold your gifts. Let us each open our hearts to God in prayer to give us spiritual grace and make our hearts so full of a sense of the mercies and blessings of God, who gave to our world His only begotten Son. The great suffering He passed through on our account was that we might become partakers of His divine nature and escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 5

Now I plead with you, fearing you might be like this church. If you have made the mistake of withholding, as this church has done, Wake up. For Christ’s sake, wake up. And when the Lord gives His message of the great necessities in the southern field, you will not, ministers or deacons or church members, put in any plea to keep your money in your own church. How many will listen to the voice of selfishness and do this? The time stated to bring the offering is passed. This need not hinder you from setting in order your own households, to deny yourself and show you appreciate the blessings the Lord has given you. Now I am moved to write earnestly, because of this case coming up in selfishly withholding. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 6

I am instructed that many of our people are becoming entangled with worldly investments. Let there be a work of conversion in every home, to understand it is the Lord’s money many are spending in gratifying their pride or selfish indulgence. If we expect the Lord to be our keeper and to bless us with favors, will we consider that the colored people with few exceptions have not schoolhouses, have not the simplest houses in which to assemble to worship God? They need everything done for them to bring the missionary work where there may be appropriate places to worship God. Schools must be prepared. We again repeat the call for these donations. Worldliness has been coming in among our people and extinguishing the love of truth. Cut loose, cut loose, is the message we bring to our people. Become missionaries to sow the seeds of truth. Let ministers entrusted with a leading part to act in the churches never, never, by word or influence, bind the church from responding to the appeals made. Every soul is amenable to God. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 7

We are hearing the grand truths of the gospel in all our churches if the Word is presented in the love of Christ, in the power of the Spirit. Cut loose from the entanglements of the world. If it is not a decided time to work, by and through ministers, for the South, when will the time come? With strong crying and tears, seek the Lord. Go to no human being for help, but to Jesus Christ, the One who never makes a mistake. Wake up, brethren and sisters in our churches. Come out from the world and be separate. Plead with God with your whole heart. 22LtMs, Lt 347, 1907, par. 8