Lt 93, 1899

1899

Lt 93, 1899

Brethren in America

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 19, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 6MR 319-320. +Note

To My Brethren in America:

The question has been asked me by letter, Have you any light for us in regard to the Boulder Sanitarium? Those who write state that they have been doing their best, practicing economy in every line, but that there is not the least hope of the sanitarium becoming self-sustaining. They say that because of the published notices that this is a sanitarium for consumptives, only this class patronize this institution, and that only the poorer class come, who must be treated free, or for only a limited sum. Lt93-1899.1

The light which the Lord has been pleased to give me is that it was not right to build this sanitarium upon funds supplied by the General Conference. The money used for this purpose was not the property of the General Conference. The conference was carrying on its business with borrowed capital. It has no moral right to use means which was not its own. One thing after another has sapped the resources of the great center, until it is nearly bankrupt, and has been working on hired money. Lt93-1899.2

This has been brought about by the mismanagement of men who were not controlled by the Holy Spirit. Unfaithful stewardship blinded the minds of these men to the real situation. Things would never have been thus if the presidents of the state conferences and the president of the General Conference had walked humbly and cautiously before the Lord, if all had come to the rescue of the General Conference. Years ago a close thorough investigation of the true inwardness of the work should have been made. Lt93-1899.3

The president of the General Conference is never, never to be left to follow the advice of men who are considered as financial successes, unless the Lord God of Israel is leading these men. If the presidents of state conferences are worthy of being entrusted with the work of faithfully managing a conference, the president of the General Conference should make them his counsellors. He should not trust to his own human wisdom, neither should he devise and plan with men whose hearts do not bear the stamp of the divine. Lt93-1899.4

The presidents of state conferences should be picked men, appointed after much prayer, and after they have given evidence that they will be trustworthy stewards of the grace of God. The president of the General Conference should counsel with these men, and with men who realize how the work started at the beginning, who follow the principles of self-sacrifice revealed in the life of Christ, who practice economy in every line, remembering that the whole world must receive the warning. Lt93-1899.5

The work at College View demanded more than the judgment of human minds. The outlay was not as God would have had it. Men who had divorced themselves from God were left to be the most influential counsellors; and in many lines their judgment was not according to divine wisdom. God desires that the humble, meek, and lowly spirit of the Master, who was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, be ever expressed. No means are to be invested for unnecessary display, with the plea that it will give character to the work. Character is not given to the work by investing means in large buildings, but by maintaining the true standard of righteous principles, with noble Christlikeness of character. Lt93-1899.6

It was the Lord’s purpose that the General Conference should be His agency, connected in true relation with the institutions in Battle Creek. The president of the General Conference was never to receive the idea that he was himself the great whole, that everything for the state conferences must be prepared according to his will. The Lord would not have him think that position makes the man. And the men appointed as presidents of state conferences are to carry themselves circumspectly before God, as men who realize that they are wholly dependent upon Him. They must be instructed and guided by the Lord Jesus in all their undertakings, strictly heeding His words, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Lt93-1899.7

The frailest human being, if he implicitly obeys Christ’s word, not learning from men who have no living connection with God, but wearing Christ’s yoke and learning of Him, will find rest. This promise is full and complete. Men who give counsel are themselves to receive counsel from One who is infinite in wisdom. Those whose consciences are seared and whose hearts are hard, are not inspired by God to direct the General Conference president. Their perceptions, their judgments, their tastes, their words, the spirit they reveal, are in complete harmony with their non-religious, unsanctified condition. Eternity will tell their history. Lt93-1899.8

The guiding hand held out from the God of love and mercy to rescue them from ruin they would not receive. They would betray the cause of God into the hands of the unbelieving world, just as Satan prompted them to do. These men feel the reproaches of conscience, but they are not willing to let Christ take away their sin. How could the work of God be carried forward in straight lines of uprightness and integrity under the management of men whose spirit is not subordinate to God and the truth, who follow the law of blind impulse? Lt93-1899.9

Those at the head of the work, at the great center, need something stronger than human sympathy. God’s servants need the motive of action which the living oracles reveal. Why? Because from every human being goes forth an influence which either gathers with Christ or scatters from Him. This influence affects the eternal destiny of men, women, and youth. Lt93-1899.10

I have not time to dwell upon these matters which have been opened before me. Alienation from God is the only cause of the burdened condition of our institutions. These institutions were brought into existence by a Christlike spirit of self-sacrifice, that the light of truth might shine to all parts of the world. It was God’s purpose to honor those connected with these institutions, not as they honored and glorified themselves, but as they honored Him by their humility, and by revealing the meekness and lowliness of heart learned from Christ. The goodly fabric in building up of character wrought out by God was to receive light and glory from Him, and stand before the world, pointing to the throne of the living God. Lt93-1899.11

It is the planning and devising of men who has placed increased burdens upon our institutions. The Lord did not approve many of the plans which have been carried out. How much better it would have been if men had walked and worked humbly, as servants of Jesus Christ, not exalting themselves and placing great value upon labor which the Lord does not approve because it does not represent His character. It is not wealth, parentage, position, or high accomplishments which God regards as of value. The imposing display of large buildings is valueless for the accomplishment of His purpose. The Lord values each human being just in accordance as He can put His Spirit into the soul-temple. Lt93-1899.12

The work that bears God’s image is the work that He will accept. The ineffaceable characteristics of His immortal principles are the credentials which Christ would have His people bear to the world. This will rivet the soul to God. It testifies of His fostering care, His patient forbearance, His honor, His glory, revealing that He has a people that He can honor because they are loyal and true to His Sabbath and bear the last message of warning to a doomed world. Lt93-1899.13

Men and women are fixing their own destiny. They are candidates either for heaven or for hell. There is a world to be warned. With every true, self-sacrificing, faithful worker God sends forth His angels. But those who will not work without the wages they themselves stipulate are represented by those first called in the parable, who at the close of the day found themselves last. Christ says, “He who will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] Those who obey will enter into the design of the divine Planner, and they will be instructed and guided. Lt93-1899.14

The Lord has made human agents trustees of His goods. They are stewards in trust. The Lord is the owner of all they possess, and His stewards will one day have to render strict account as to how they have administered the entrusted capital. No one can with safety waste his Lord’s goods merely to gratify a desire for expensive dress or furniture. The spiritual lamps of the Lord are to be filled with oil and kept trimmed and burning. Every precaution must be taken that they go not out. Men must watch and pray and wait for the Master. Never are we to sleep at our post of responsibility. Our lamps must never grow dim. Lt93-1899.15

Christ declares, “Ye are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] This is our work. Doers of the Word—this is the most comprehensive definition that can be given of the practical life of a Christian. We are to be always on guard, ever being good and doing good. The affections of the heart must be wholly the Lord’s. The exhortation comes to us, “Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine.” [1 Timothy 4:16.] The inner lamp of the soul must be fed with holy oil. Then its light will shine forth amid moral darkness. Lt93-1899.16

“Then opened he their understanding,” we read of Christ, “that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of the Father unto you, but tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be imbued with power from on high.” [Luke 24:45-49.] Lt93-1899.17

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” [Mark 16:16-18.] Lt93-1899.18

“And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them, and it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” [Luke 24:50-52.] “And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:20.] Lt93-1899.19