Lt 165, 1899

1899

Lt 165, 1899

Belden, F. E.

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

October 22, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in PH151 81-82; 4MR 13-16; 8MR 336-337.

Dear Nephew:

Your letter, with others, was re-mailed to me by W. C. White, and reached me Sabbath, yesterday. This morning I was up writing long before day. I did not know that the mail is to go on Tuesday, the 24th. We can send no mail from here to Sydney in season to meet the boat. I must see W. C. White, and consult with him in regard to the propositions you have made in relation to books, and other letters demand attention. I have spoken here five times; and now I told Elder Daniells that I would speak in the forenoon of Sunday if he would consent to my taking the cars for home on Sunday noon. This would bring me home Monday noon. Then I could look over all letters with W. C. White, and send my mail to Sydney Tuesday morning. Brethren Daniells and Tenney decided that this was the best thing to be done. So I shall speak at half past ten, and then have plenty of time to go to the station, and shall be on the way home this afternoon. Lt165-1899.1

Your letter relieved my mind. You have touched the keynote. It is indeed the searching of the Scriptures that brings the Holy Spirit to open the understanding, that we may see wonderful things out of God’s Word. The Word of God is to be eaten, as a hungry man would eat food. It is thus that we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. Just as soon as we surrender our will and way to the will and way of God, the Holy Spirit will take the human agent, and mold and fashion him as a vessel unto honor. Lt165-1899.2

When we are emptied of self, the vacuum is supplied by the power of the Holy Spirit. You are certainly now working on right lines. Be assured that the enemy will plan to throw you off the track. Things will arise that would naturally provoke you, but you must be patient under provocation, that you may secure the triumph of the truth. Lt165-1899.3

Seek to cooperate as a laborer together with God, that you may consummate the grand purpose for which Christ came into the world—to save all who would receive Him as their personal Saviour. The Spirit of Christ will be revealed in those who do Christ’s service. You will see the need of perfecting self-control, and you will do this if you wear the yoke of Christ. The work of God has no need of overbearing men, and harsh, unkind spirits to carry it forward. True zeal will be tempered with the meekness and lowliness of Christ. Lt165-1899.4

A decided testimony will often be required; wrong should in no case be vindicated. The Spirit of the Lord is needed, O so much, in the Review and Herald Office. Christ would not have us pass over wrongdoing, but He calls upon His followers to represent His character. They are required to walk in the light of His example. At whatever sacrifice of ease or reputation, whatever may be the outcome, we must maintain the reformatory principles of practical godliness, for this is the gospel of Christ. Every one is to help the next one, and on and on proceed to push the triumphs of the cross of Christ, extending the territory of His kingdom. Close not the lips, refuse to keep silence when sin and ungodliness are seeking the mastery. Our vigilance should be keen, and we are to be awake to exterminate every evil work. But the way in which this battle is carried on will make every difference in the result. Our own spirit is to be subdued, self is to be hid in Christ. In all reforms Christ alone is to appear. Lt165-1899.5

God calls for the spirit of unvarying kindness and love. Nothing is ever gained by harsh denunciations and bitterness of spirit. To be harsh in trying to correct wrong is committing sin in reproving sin. Reformers are not destroyers. They will never seek to ruin those who do not harmonize with their plans and assimilate to them. Reformers must advance, not retreat. They must be decided, firm, resolute, unflinching. But firmness must not degenerate into a lording spirit. God would have all who serve Him firm as a rock to principle, and meek and lowly of heart, like Christ. Then, abiding in Christ, they can do the work He would do were He in their place. A rude, condemnatory spirit is not essential to heroism in the reforms for this time. All selfish methods in the service of God are an abomination in His sight. Lt165-1899.6

Those who have positions of authority in our institutions are to be upright, pleasant not only to those who are accounted ladies and gentlemen, but to the patient, toiling workers as well. The softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit in the heart will lead us to make life pleasant to the toiler. Those who are to represent Christ must be like Him in character. Lt165-1899.7

We should be kind and courteous to all, but especially are we to be pitiful and tender toward the unfortunate, as are the African race. God calls upon Christians, high or low, to represent Christ in their treatment of the colored people. God calls for His workers to consecrate themselves to the cause of justice and reform. But in every work there is a right way and a wrong way. In dealing with the colored race there are some who think it right to treat then as if in all respects on an equality with white people. This cannot be done safely. It is not right to say that no distinction should be made in the association of the two races. Let the colored people be treated as human beings. Let then be uplifted. The youth should be educated to become missionaries among their own people. Lt165-1899.8

This should not, however, exclude the ministration of the white laborers whom God may send to work for the colored race. Special attention should be given to the education of laborers, both white and colored, for the work to be done in the South under judicious managers. But let no person lead you to believe that the work can be carried on as if there were no distinction to be made. White and colored children are not to be associated promiscuously in the Southern States. You cannot more effectually spoil the colored children of the South than by leading them to think that they are to be placed in every respect on a social equality with the white race. Untold evils will be the outcome. Our way would be hedged up, our work be placed in jeopardy. Lives would be sacrificed without gaining the least advantage. Lt165-1899.9

The age in which we live calls for decided reformatory action; but wisdom must be exercised in dealing with the race that has so long been degraded and abused. That which is now undertaken cannot be carried forward as it might have been had the white churches at the time of the abolition of slavery acted as Christ would have done in their place. They should have begun for these degraded multitudes the work of uplifting, seeking to correct the degrading habits taught them by the example of the whites. Lt165-1899.10

As a nation we have been guilty of a great wrong. In the Judgment the charge of neglect will fall with heavy weight upon those who claim to be Christians, but who have left millions of people, men, women, and children, to become more and more depraved. In comparison with the great need there has been very little outlay of means to improve them by teaching them the knowledge of God. After being deprived of their rights, and for generations treated like cattle, they have been deprived of the means of bettering their condition. Virtually, they have been left in heathenism, when they might have been helped to educate and elevate themselves. Their color has closed to them almost every possible avenue to improvement. There have been exceptions, but as a people they have received little labor, and have had little inducement to mental or moral improvement. God will soon take this matter in hand. He will judge the nation for their neglect and abuse of His creatures. Lt165-1899.11

The colored people have had before them the example of commonness and adultery. These evils are all through our world, but when the poor, wretched, ignorant race, who knows scarcely anything of purity and righteousness, do commit sin—sin that committed by white people is scarcely condemned—colored people are tortured to death whether proved guilty or not. And the nation that permits this bears the name of Christian. God says, “Shall I not judge for these things?” [Jeremiah 5:9.] Lt165-1899.12

It will be much harder to help the colored people now than immediately after their emancipation from slavery. Then was the time to show that freedom was given them that they might have the advantages of education. Among the colored people, as among the white people, there is need of special instruction under judicious teachers who can discern how to plan the work. Some <both men and women> have talents of no ordinary character, and they need to be removed from the society they are in, and placed in good surroundings. Every effort should be made to encourage conscientiousness, to show what it means to do service for God. Patiently, in the spirit of Christ, these people should be educated to do a work for God as missionaries to their own race. Lt165-1899.13

God will endow men with capabilities for this work. They will learn that “the entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] There is evidence that God is at work among the downtrodden race. We want the evidence that God is at work among professed Christians, who have the advantage of a white skin. Would that they might respond to the Lord’s favors, and reveal that they have the advantage—of far higher estimate in His sight—the advantage of a pure, white soul, a soul washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Lt165-1899.14

The love of God perfected in the human soul will be revealed by the sanctification of soul, body, and spirit. The love of God is fulfilled in him who loves God with all the heart, and his neighbor as himself. This is the whole duty of man. The gospel is satisfied when this victory is achieved. The Word of God labors from age to age to make man more practical. The Lord does not despise the day of small things, but He requires growth in every good work. Advancement must be made. And how many who commenced under difficulties and had to work under disappointment have lived to see the work established. Lt165-1899.15

There is a variety of talents used in the Lord’s work. God uses whoever are converted and sanctified to His service—the ignorant outcast, the heathen, the European, the slave. These are Christ’s by creation and by redemption, no matter who they are. There is no caste in heaven. All who believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, whatever their position, whether they be high or low, rich or poor, black or white, are Christ’s, bought with a price. If converted from sin to holiness, they are members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, His well-beloved brethren who will walk with Him in white because they are worthy. Those who are now looked upon as lords, great men of the earth, will be glad, when their intelligence shall see what is the only source of true nobility, to go to heaven and associate with those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, even though their skin is as black as coal. Lt165-1899.16

Angels of God are sent to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation. Angels are co-workers with God’s servants in preaching the gospel to their poor brethren. If all would heed the instruction given in the Word, there would be a development of high intellectual attainment and true spiritual refinement of sentiment and manners, for all these things follow in the great result of the renewal of the soul by the grace of Christ. The character is transformed and renewed after the divine similitude. Lt165-1899.17

I can write no more now. With love and deep interest for all your family. Lt165-1899.18