Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)

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Lt 168, 1909

Officers of the General Conference

St. Helena, California

December 1, 1909

Portions of this letter are published in MM 300, 308-310; 4MR 278-279; 10MR 362; LLM 459-461. +Note

To the officers of the General Conference
Washington, D.C.

Dear Brethren:

In the night seasons I seem to be repeating the messages of warning and encouragement that I bore at the General Conference; and I am instructed to urge upon our people that we as the people of God are not to follow the customs and fashions of the world. The world is following their leader, the great apostate: we are to follow the great Teacher, Jesus Christ. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 1

I have endeavored to arouse our people to labor for the unworked portions of the great missionary field, yet but few seem to respond to the appeals of the Spirit of God. We do not realize the extent to which satanic agencies are at work in these large cities. The work of bringing the message of present truth before the people is becoming more and more difficult. It is essential that new and varied talents unite in intelligent labor for the people. If the burden of these unworked cities rested upon the hearts of our people as it should, they would arouse to labor as they have not yet done for the souls that are perishing in sin. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 2

The leading men in our colleges and churches need to study faithfully the highest counsel. They should make the Word their rule and guide in life. They should give heed to the “sure word of prophecy,” which is as a light shining in a dark place. [2 Peter 1:19.] That word will point out unfailingly the path of duty, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” [Isaiah 30:21.] None who hold positions of trust should dare to stand off guard for one moment, for the enemy is watching vigilantly to take advantage of such occasions. The leading men in our colleges have been instructed again and again in these lines, yet much that has no part in Christ has been introduced and urged as essential. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 3

The message that I am bidden to bear to our people at this time is, Work the cities without delay, for time is short. The Lord has kept this work before us for the last twenty years or more. A little has been done in a few places, but much more might be done. I am carrying a burden day and night, because so little is being accomplished to warn the inhabitants of our great centers of population of the judgments that will fall upon the transgressors of God’s law. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 4

The Lord has spoken to Elder Prescott and wife, instructing them to go out into new fields and labor in connection with other workers to present the truth. Let these workers be learners of the great Teacher, following His methods of labor as they present the Word of God in its simplicity to the people. Elder Prescott’s ability as a speaker is needed in presenting the truth in the highways. When the truth is presented in the highways, the hedges will be opened and an extended work will be done. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 5

The word has come to us to work diligently in opening new fields, to carry the knowledge of the third angel’s message to those who have not yet heard it. Let men of ability go forth without delay into the fields now open. Some of these fields will soon be closed to the message of mercy. May the Lord stir the hearts of men and women to enter upon this work without delay. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 6

A Broadening Work

In every city where the truth is proclaimed, churches are to be raised up. In some large cities there must be churches in various parts of the city. In some places, meetinghouses will be offered for sale at reasonable rates, which can be purchased advantageously. In some important places there will be offered for sale properties that are especially suitable for sanitarium work. The advantages of these should be carefully considered. In order that some of these places may be secured for our work, it will be necessary carefully to husband the resources, no extravagant outlay being made in any one place. The very simplicity of the buildings that we use will be a lesson in harmony with the truths we have to present. For our sanitarium work we must secure buildings whose appearance and arrangement will be a demonstration of health principles. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 7

It will be a great advantage to have our buildings in retired locations so far as possible. The healthfulness of the surroundings should be fully considered. Locations should be selected a little out from the noisy cities. Those who labor in the large cities need special advantages, that they may not be called to sacrifice life or health unnecessarily. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 8

I write these things because it has been presented to me as a matter of importance that our workers should so far as possible avoid everything that would imperil their health. We need to exercise the best of judgment in these matters. Feeble or aged men and women should not be sent to labor in unhealthful, crowded cities. Let them labor where their lives will not be needlessly sacrificed. Our brethren who bring the truth to the cities must not be obliged to imperil their health in the noise and bustle and confusion, if retired places can be secured. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 9

Those who are engaged in the difficult and trying work in the cities should receive every encouragement possible. Let them not be subjected to unkind criticism from their brethren. We must have a care for the Lord’s workers who are opening the light of truth to those who are in the darkness of error. We have a high standard presented before us. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 10

Every gospel minister should be a friend to the poor, the afflicted, and the oppressed among God’s believing people. Christ was always the poor man’s friend, and the interests of the poor need to be sacredly guarded. There has too often been a wonderful dearth of Christ’s compassion and loving interest in the poor and afflicted. Love, sacred, refined love, is to be exercised in behalf of the poor and unfortunate. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 11

Charge our people to clothe themselves with the garments of Christ’s righteousness. Let those who are handling sacred things be sure that their work resembles the work done by Jesus Christ. Let the members of the churches cultivate the heavenly grace of the Holy Spirit, that in their families they may create an atmosphere of pure, unselfish love and bring that love, intensified, into the churches. Christlike love is to be cultivated and expressed in a much more decided manner than it has been in many who profess to be Christ’s followers. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 12

Let gladness and joy and peace reign in the home life, and these blessings will be brought into the church relationship. Those who labor in word and doctrine are to be living examples of the truths Christ taught and practiced. Love as brethren. Be kind and courteous at home. Let true religion be manifested in every walk in life. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 13

New York and Other Large Cities

You should feel a decided responsibility for the working of New York City. The men in the business houses of New York and other large cities, as verily as the heathen in foreign lands, must be reached with the message. The enemy would be rejoiced to see the grand, saving truth for this time confined to a few places. He is not inactive. He is instilling into the minds of men his deceptive theories to blind their eyes and confuse their understanding, that the saving truth may not be brought to their knowledge. Soon the Sunday laws will be enforced, and men in positions of trust will be embittered against the little handful of God’s commandment-keeping people. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 14

Satan seems to have been permitted to gain many points of advantage. But the Lord will bring men of understanding from the various churches, to combat the enforcement of a law that the first day of the week shall be honored as a day when no business shall be transacted. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 15

After He had wrought the work of creation in six days, the Lord of heaven and earth appointed the seventh as a day of rest. He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 16

The nineteenth and twentieth chapters of Exodus are of great importance. They should be often repeated, and the instruction given should be sacredly observed. The Lord is the only true God, and He demands that His people shall be obedient to His Word. At this time when Satan is using every device to draw people away from truth and righteousness, let all who would stand on the Lord’s side keep holy the memorial of creation. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 17

The Word of God must now be magnified. Those who know the truth, and who know the results of transgression, must give the truth in clear evidence from the Word of God. There should be a general awakening. Ministers and church members need now to seek the Lord, as did His people in ancient times, that they may have wisdom to give the message as it should be given at this time. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 18

I am instructed to say to you, Bring often to the attention of the people such Scriptures as the following: 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 19

“Behold My Servant whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 20

“Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord; that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to grave images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I will tell you of them. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 21

“Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands. The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against His enemies. I have long time holden My peace; I have been still and refrained Myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 22

“And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not: I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” [Isaiah 42:1-16.] 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 23

Now is the opportune time to work the cities; for we must reach the people there. As a people we have been in danger of centering too many important interests in one place. This is not good judgment nor wisdom. An interest is now to be created in the principal cities. Many small centers must be established, rather than a few large centers. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 24

While some are at work earnestly, as the Lord’s Spirit moves upon them, there are many who devote their time and means rather for display than for positive necessities. But the Lord’s words of warning cannot safely be disregarded. I am urged to bring before the people over and over again the essential things. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 25

Let missionaries be laboring two and two in different parts of all our large cities. The workers in each city should frequently meet together for counsel and prayer, that they may have wisdom and grace to work together effectively and harmoniously. Let all be wide-awake to make the most of every advantage. Our people must gird the armor on and establish centers in all the large cities. The agencies of Satan are active in the field, putting forth efforts to confuse the minds of men, and to fill them with wain imaginations, that they may not become interested in the truth. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 26

The people of God have received many admonitions and encouragements to advance, and it is time that the purpose of God regarding His work shall be understood by them and carried out. By cherishing unbelief in the plans and directions that have been laid out for them to follow, and by exalting human judgment, much time and valuable experience have been lost. The Lord, He is God, and beside Him there is none else. Let all now search the Word of the Lord and walk in His ways. Let the prophecies of Isaiah be studied and heeded, and the Lord will perform His part. “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life.” [John 5:39.] 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 27

While no one should be presumptuous, there is need that wise efforts be put forth to reach many who by the ordinary methods of labor are not reached. Let the leading men and women, chosen of God, unite in carrying forward the work intelligently and in faith. I am pained when I see with some a desire for the highest position, and to be honored of men. This is not the leading of the Holy Spirit. Angels of God are commissioned to labor with every company that will work humbly and intelligently. Truth and righteousness must go forth as a lamp that burneth. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 28

A School and a Sanitarium

We need a sanitarium and a school in the vicinity of New York City; and the [longer the] delay [in] the securing of these, the more difficult it will become. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 29

It would be well to secure a place as a home for our mission workers outside of the city. It is of great importance that they have the advantages of pure water, free from all contamination. For this reason, it is often well to consider the advantages of locations among the hills. And there should be some land, where fruit and vegetables might be raised for the benefit of the workers. Let it be a mission in as healthful a place as possible, and let there be connected with it a small sanitarium. A place in the city should also be secured where simple treatments might be administered. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 30

Such a home would be a welcome retreat for our workers, where they may be away from the bustle and confusion of the city. The exercise called for in climbing hills is often a great benefit to our ministers, physicians, or other workers who are in danger of failing to take sufficient exercise. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 31

Let such homes be secured in the neighborhood of several cities and earnest, determined efforts be put forth by capable men to give in these cities the warning message that is to go to all the world. We have only touched, as it were, a few of the cities. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 32

Let men of sound judgment be appointed, not to publish abroad their intentions, but to search for such properties in the rural districts, in easy access to the cities, suitable for small training schools for workers, and where facilities may also be provided for treating the sick and weary souls who know not the truth. Look for such places just out from the large cities, where suitable buildings may be secured, either as a gift from the owners, or purchased at a reasonable price by the gifts of our people. Do not erect buildings in the noisy cities. 24LtMs, Lt 168, 1909, par. 33