Lt 127, 1899

1899

Lt 127, 1899

Jones, C. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 11, 1899

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Jones:

Can you give me any information in regard to the money raised for the Southern Field? The neglect of his field is again urged upon me. This matter has been presented to you so many times that I feel sad to have to bring it before you again. I do not need this additional burden. In regard to the royalties on books it was thought best to ask the authors to wipe out their claims, but God calls for a full restitution of the means raised for the Southern Field. Whatever the condition of the institutions in Battle Creek or on the Pacific Coast, they had no right to use this money for any other purpose than that for which it was raised. I ask you again, where is that money? Lt127-1899.1

I am writing on the subject of the unfaithful husbandmen. The Lord made terms with these stewards to return to Him the fruits of His vineyard at a specified time. A certain amount of fruit was to be given in its season. The whole vineyard was the Lord’s, and as the owner He had a right to expect a revenue from it. Lt127-1899.2

Through His servant Isaiah, the Lord declares, “The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the whole house of Israel.” [Isaiah 5:7.] Again the church is represented by a vine brought out of Egypt and planted in the Holy Land. Christ represents the union which should exist between Him and the church by a vine. “I am the vine,” He says, “ye are the branches.” [John 15:5.] Lt127-1899.3

In this the Lord has a lesson to give to His children. They are His chosen ones, favored above all other people on the face of the earth, and He calls them to show forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The blessings which are so liberally bestowed upon them, they are to respond to by returning to the Lord the fruits essential for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name. The blessings and privileges granted to God’s people mean sacred responsibilities. God required that the returns shall be proportionate to the blessings received. Those who receive largely are to divide their goods with their fellow laborers. Lt127-1899.4

God requires that the tithes and offerings shall be regarded as sacred by those who are in charge of the Lord’s vineyard. Faithful returns are to be made to Him. Those portions of the Lord’s vineyard which have received the most advantages should prove that they are benefitted by these advantages by rendering to God His own in unselfish, devoted service; for this He requires. The gratitude of the heart is to be expressed in deeds of holiness and strictest integrity. Lt127-1899.5

It is for the advantage of the husbandmen to render to the Lord the fruits in their season, for the well cultivated vineyard speaks for the faithfulness of the caretaker. Any deviation from integrity, in allowing parts of the vineyard to remain unworked, limit the powers of that part to bear fruit, for it is capable of bearing just as good fruit as other portions of the field if it has proper advantages. God sees the barren, unworked parts of His vineyard, and He wants these parts worked. The message we bear is a worldwide message. The good news of salvation is to go to every kindred, tongue and people. Shall this work be bound about because some of the husbandmen appropriate all the facilities to that portion of the field over which they have supervision? Lt127-1899.6

The Lord made a covenant with the Jewish nation if they would be loyal to the Lord of the vineyard, who had placed His goods in their hands, and unselfishly return to the Lord the fruits of His enriched land. As the husbandmen, they were to do unselfish, faithful work for every part, and not bind up all the blessings and facilities in one part. We should be awake to see all the improvements that can be made, and use to the best advantage the Lord’s money. Lt127-1899.7

There are fields desolate and bare, in which much work needs to be done. Selfishness and covetousness has been brought in, and everything possible is centered in a few places. Plants are not made in other portions of the vineyard, and the Lord’s way is not prepared, His paths are not made straight. He cannot gather fruit from the trees of His planting. The Lord has work to be done that is not done, because every advantage is centered in a few places. God calls this unfaithful stewardship. Lt127-1899.8

God revealed Himself in great power to ancient Israel. He designed that through this nation His name should be magnified in all parts of the world. Their advantages were not to lead them to glorify themselves. They were to glorify His name by them, in appropriating facilities to the more destitute fields. But God’s name was not glorified; and selfishness and covetousness has marked the path of God’s people all the way from the time of ancient Israel to the present day. The good that God has purposed to do has not been done because of this unfaithful stewardship, and He will take away the trust from those who have proved untrustworthy. Lt127-1899.9

In every work God entrusts to the hands of men He leaves room for the development of character. He has sent message after message to this people as He did to ancient Israel, but still the human traits of character are seen in the selfish, covetous appropriation of means. God is watching every institution to see how it will trade upon His goods. He has sent servants to overlook His vineyard; but words have been spoken that to a large extent have made of no effect the message brought. His service is now mingled with selfishness, and God is dishonored. Lt127-1899.10

The common fire, in the place of the sacred, is used. Man’s opinions and devisings have created a condition of things which is not as God would have it. Matters are not now as they should be to represent the work for this time. The message that should come to the world is being warped to meet the convenience of men who desire to make a success of their worldly business. Money is invested in worldly enterprises and bound up in schemes which are not after God’s order. Lt127-1899.11

We must not move impulsively, regardless of the poverty stricken fields which have nothing to give character to the work. Men are to heed the warnings Christ has given in regard to moving with consideration. He asks the question, “Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it, begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:28-33.] Lt127-1899.12