Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Lt 204, 1907

A Pioneer

St. Helena, California

June 6, 1907

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 106-107, 332, 633; OHC 16.

To a pioneer

My dear Brother:

I am instructed to say to you and to others in positions of responsibility, Let not the enemy cause you to speak words that will dishonor God. Do not criticize the work of the brethren in Washington who are bearing heavy burdens in General Conference work. We are the Lord’s servants, and we must not give ourselves to the work of judging our brethren; if we do this, we will encourage others to take up the same work. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 1

We are among the oldest of the laborers in the cause. Through the grace of Christ, we may come off more than conquerors in these last days of our labors. Let us guard diligently our hearts and minds, that we speak no word that will cast reflection on the work of our brethren and sisters. When we indulge in criticism, we hurt our own souls. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 2

We are old, experienced soldiers of the cross. Let us walk humbly with God, ever learning more perfectly the way of the Lord. Do not let us say one word that will increase the perplexity of any soul or cast a discouraging cloud upon the mind. We are to educate ourselves that we may not sin against God with our tongues. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 3

Sometimes the Lord gives me messages of reproof to speak. When He bids me do this, I dare not withhold my words; but this is always a painful task. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 4

We cannot know how many are the perplexities of our brethren, or how weary and worn they become with the difficulties of the work. I have been instructed that we are to guard carefully every word we utter, that we may not increase the perplexities of those who have to battle constantly with trials and discouragements. Let us not speak evil of these brethren, but let us seek to help them. Not much longer shall we have to battle with the difficulties of this life. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 5

When we allow ourselves to think and speak harshly of our fellow workers, we dishonor God. Our brethren are the purchase of the blood of Christ. And what a price that was. Let the praise of God be continually upon our lips. All the good qualities that we possess, all the blessings that daily come to us, are the Lord’s gifts. We should ever bear in mind that we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Let us keep a grateful heart and speak of His goodness and tell of His power. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 6

It is our privilege to speak words that will encourage our associates and fellow laborers; it is not our privilege to speak words that will depress. It is not wise for us to compare ourselves with other workers, speaking of their failings and raising objections to their methods of labor. It would be no surprise if those who are laboring under grave responsibilities, and who have many trials to meet, should sometimes make mistakes. We should thank the Lord that we are not called to serve in their place. Their position calls upon them the censure and criticism of those who have educated themselves to find fault. Let us pray for those upon whom the Lord has laid responsibilities; for this is the duty of all God’s workers. “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] To my brethren I am bidden to say, If the Lord has kept you from making mistakes which you see in the work of others, do not make the great mistake of becoming uplifted and boastful. Let us become familiar with the good that is being done by our brethren and talk of that. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 7

We would do well to study carefully the words of Christ in the fifth chapter of Matthew, the record of His wonderful sermon on the mount. “And seeing the multitude, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him.” [Verse 1.] Whenever Christ addressed the multitude as on this occasion, there was always room for His disciples to be close beside Him. “And He opened His mouth and taught them saying: 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 8

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
“Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil
against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in
heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.” [Verses 2-12.]
22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 9

The class here mentioned are persecuted for trying to do the works of Christ. Satan, who seeks in every possible way to make their labors difficult, stirs up men to speak against them. We need to guard our words and actions, that we may not be numbered with the persecutors of God’s servants. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 10

“Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.” [Verse 13.] Only a little while before this, the Saviour had called His disciples to be fishers of men, and promised them that they should be blessed in their work. Now He says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house.” [Verses 14, 15.] 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 11

The Saviour had declared that His disciples were to meet with trial and persecution, and now He encourages them with a cheering promise. They would be treated with contempt by the rejecters of truth; but notwithstanding this, they were ever to remember that they were blessings sent by God into the world. The more humble and Christlike they should be, the more of blessing would abound through them to the human race. The prophets and messengers of God who had gone before them were salt of the land of Canaan. The apostles of Christ were to be the salt of the earth. They were to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. And while they would meet with discouragement in the treatment they would receive, they were ever to remember their high privilege; though few in number, they were to be God’s blessing to the world—salt that had not lost its savor. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 12

In the commission to the early disciples, the world was their field. His disciples in this age are to carry the message to all the world. The reception of the Word of God and obedience to it will make the followers of Christ a powerful influence in the world; for the Word of God is “powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12.] Those who labor in the cause of God in 1907 have reason for greater faith than had the disciples in Christ’s day. We have learned much from their experience. “Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” [Verses 14-16.] 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 13

All who are traveling the road to heaven need a safe guide. We must not walk in human wisdom. It is our privilege to listen to the voice of Christ speaking to us as we walk the journey of life, and His words are always words of wisdom. As He journeyed from place to place in the days of His earthly ministry, He talked with His disciples, and their hearts burned within them as He talked. We are not privileged to have His visible presence, but through His Holy Spirit, He still communicates with His servants. His precious promises are to strengthen and refresh and comfort us; but they are never to be the cause of our uplifting and lead us to suppose that we are better than our brethren. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 14

Satan is working with great diligence to compass the ruin of the souls of men. He has come down with great power, knowing that He has but a short time to work. Our only safety lies in following closely after Christ, walking in His wisdom, and practicing His truth. We cannot always readily detect the working of Satan; we do not know where he lays his traps. But Jesus understands the subtle arts of the enemy, and He can keep our feet in safe paths. He said on one occasion to His servant, “Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield.” [Genesis 15:1.] He will say the same to you if you will place yourself under His protection. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 15

I am bidden to say to my aged brethren, Walk humbly with God. Be not accusers of the brethren. You are to do your appointed work under the direction of the God of Israel. The inclination to criticize is the greatest danger of many. The brethren whom you are tempted to criticize are called to bear responsibilities which you could not possibly carry; but you can be their helpers. You can do great service to the cause if you will by presenting your experience in the past in connection with the labors of others. The Lord has not given to any of you the work of correcting and censuring your brethren. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 16

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Christ declares. [John 14:6.] Follow on with your brethren to know the Lord. Sympathize with those who are bearing a heavy load, and encourage them wherever you can. Your voices are to be heard in unity, and not in dissension. You are to exercise your influence as pioneers, as old standardbearers to meet and quiet the spirit of censure and complaint among the workers. Teach them to be afraid of such a work, lest they be found building barriers between themselves and Christ. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 17

The Lord has the oversight of His work, and you may co-operate with Him in the upbuilding of His cause, if you will refuse to place confidence in self. Do not, by holding to your own plans and methods, turn others from the path in which they ought to go. Act your part in the work humbly; labor in harmony with your brethren. Do not educate yourselves to find fault. Learn to give up your own way when a better and a right way is presented. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 18

The Lord has a place in His cause for you to fill; but you cannot take the place of your brethren. Each is to act his part faithfully, and each is to give credit to his brother-worker for the part which he performs. Let not your conversation be covetous, taking credit to self. God has used many instrumentalities in His work. That which you have done is only a part of that work. Others have worked diligently, and prayerfully, and intelligently, and they must not be overlooked. “His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” [Isaiah 40:10.] In the day of final reckoning, God will justly reckon with His servants; and He will give to every man according as his works have been. God has marked the lives of the self-denying, self-sacrificing workers who have carried the work in difficult fields. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 19

These are things that you are to consider. The Lord is not pleased with His servants when they take credit to themselves. In our old age let us be just, and not appropriate to ourselves that which belongs to others. It has taken years to accomplish the work that has been done, and one group after another of noble workers have acted their part in it. 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 20

Finally brethren, “fulfil ye My joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” [Philippians 2:2-4.] 22LtMs, Lt 204, 1907, par. 21