Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 49, 1907

The Work in New Orleans


April 8, 1907 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 399-400; SD 42, 47; 17MR 31. +Note

In response to your letter in which you speak of entering upon work in New Orleans, I would say, This is one of the places which has been specified to me as a needy field. The cities of the South need our labor. They have not been worked as they should be. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 1

In 1904, at the meeting at Berrien Springs, I gave the following message in regard to the work in New Orleans and other cities of the South: 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 2

“There is a great work to be done, and we have only a little while in which to do it. There are cities in the South—New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis—in which but little has been done; and there are others that have not been entered. In these places the standard of truth must be uplifted. With might and with power we are to carry the truth to the people. ... 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 3

“It is not the Lord’s will that His people shall be forever discouraged by dissension and strife. Let all go to work for perishing souls, and as a result a work of grace will be done for their own souls. This year we desire to do the work that should have been done in the years past, but which has been neglected. We desire to see the truth proclaimed this year in places where as yet no real effort has been made to save those who are ignorant of the truth for this time.” 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 4

At another time I gave the instruction: 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 5

“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. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 6

“We stand rebuked before God because the large cities right within our sight are unworked and unwarned. A terrible charge of neglect is brought against those who have been long in the work, and yet have not entered the large cities. We have done none too much for foreign fields, but we have done comparatively nothing for the great cities right beside our own doors.” 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 7

Now that the work in New Orleans is to be more fully entered upon, I am bidden to say, Let men and women who have a knowledge of the truth, and understand the way of the Lord, enter this city to work with wisdom and in the fear of the Lord. The laborers who are chosen for the work in New Orleans should be those who have the good of the cause at heart, men who will keep the glory of God always in view, and who will make the strength of the God of Israel their frontguard and their rearward. The Lord will certainly hear and answer the prayers of His workers if they will seek Him for counsel and instruction. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 8

To the workers who enter that field, I would say, Exercise faith in God; and in your association with those not of our faith, let the practice of the truth appear in your lives. In presenting the doctrines of your faith, use the persuasive arguments of the Word of God, and let your hearers see that it is your desire not to have controversy with them over their beliefs, but to present to them a “Thus saith the Lord.” “It is written,” was Christ’s forcible appeal on every occasion. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 9

Preach in your lives the practical godliness of the faith that you believe. Let it be seen that the truth never degrades the receiver, making him rough and coarse, or fretful and impatient. Make apparent to all your patience, your kindness, your long-suffering, gentleness, compassion, and true goodness; for these graces are the expression of the character of the God whom you serve. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 10

Christ came to correct the evils that existed in the human family. He gave His life that He might purchase man’s freedom from the claims of Satan. In order to make man a partaker of His nature, He took humanity upon Himself from His earliest years, bearing the trials and temptations which the human family must bear. He identified Himself with man’s weakness, that man might identify himself with His strength. By enduring without sin, He would make it possible for man through faith in Him to become a partaker of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 11

While Christ was seeking to correct existing evils, Satan was constantly engendering evil and seeking to spoil the work of God. It was to defeat this enemy of God that Christ laid aside His glory with the Father and took the form of humanity. The Son of God, He became man, and as a man overcame the sophistries of Satan, that He might demonstrate to men and women that they, relying on His power, can resist the designing arts of Satan and refuse to be led into sin. Standing among the professing religionists of His day, whose lives were devoid of true religion, Christ gave evidence of a power against which Satan’s attacks could avail nothing. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 12

“What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 13

The affections of the pleasure lover are drawn away from heavenly to earthly things. He subordinates the glories of eternity to the engrossing interests of time. In his desire to possess earthly riches, the heavenly treasure is lost from view. The claims of the future life are disregarded, and the interests of this life hold sway. In the question Christ asks, He virtually says, “You are in a world of the dying. Soon Death will rob you of your earthly treasure. If you fail to secure a character that will fit you for membership in the heavenly family, you fail to gain eternal life in the city of God.” 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 14

Christ brings the nobler world to view. He presents the advantages of citizenship in that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. He takes us to the threshold of infinity and shows us its glories, declaring them to be within the reach of all who will live in harmony with the laws of God. Through obedience to the laws of Jehovah, the human family may become a united, happy family in the city of God; but there is no room there for those who have no regard for the will of the Lord. All who will may gain everlasting life, but they must gain it by accepting the law of God as their guide in this life instead of seeking to follow their own laws. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 15

It was by seeking to carry out his will instead of the will of God that Satan aroused rebellion in heaven and was finally cast out. In heaven all must be perfect harmony and peace. Satan, the originator of dissension and strife, with all who have united with him in his work, must be utterly destroyed. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 16

God gave His Son to the world, that He might live a life before men that was pure and straightforward, full of mercy and goodness and love, and by this means to become the Saviour of the fallen race. To those who will live a life that is in harmony with the Father, Christ will impart the virtues of His life. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 17

Obedience to the laws of God develops in man a beautiful character that is in harmony with all that is pure and holy and undefiled. In the life of such a man the message of the gospel of Christ is made clear. Accepting the mercy of Christ and His healing from the power of sin, he is brought into right relation with God. His life, cleansed from vanity and selfishness, is filled with the love of God. His daily obedience to the law of God obtains for him a character that assures him eternal life in the kingdom of God. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 18

In His earthly life, the Saviour gives us an example of the hallowed lives that may be ours if we will devote our days to doing good to the souls that need our help. It is our privilege to bring joy to the sorrowful, light to the darkened, and life to the perishing. The Lord’s message comes to us, “Why stand ye here all the day idle; work while it is day; for the night cometh when no man can work.” [See Matthew 20:6; John 9:4.] Every word we speak, every act we perform that conduces to the happiness of others will conduce to our own happiness and make our lives like the life of Christ. Our daily duties are to be cheerfully accepted and cheerfully performed. Our chief duty is to reveal in words and deportment a life which will make manifest the attributes of heaven. The Word of life is given to us to study and practice. Our actions are to be in strict conformity to the laws of the kingdom of heaven. Then heaven can approve our work, and the talents we employ in His service will multiply for greater usefulness. The consecrated life will shine amid the moral darkness of the world, guiding perishing souls to the truth of the Word. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 19

The Lord calls us to act as His almoners; we are His appointed agencies to supply the needs of humanity. If our interest in worldly things so absorbs our attention that we have no time to give to blessing our fellow men, our religion is not one that the Word of God can sustain. “Pure religion before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:27.] 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 20

Christ engages us in His work, that by a life of usefulness and consecration to duty, we may form a character after the divine similitude. By a well-ordered life and a godly conversation we may make manifest the transformation that may be wrought in the human life. In His Gift to the world, the Lord has revealed how solicitous He is that we bear in our lives the marks of our heavenly citizenship by letting every ray of light we have received shine forth in good works to our fellow men. 22LtMs, Ms 49, 1907, par. 21