Lt 68, 1897

Lt 68, 1897

Hardy, Brother

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 7, 1897

Previously unpublished. +Note

Dear Brother Hardy:

Your son tells me that you have sent a letter to me, but I have not read any communication from you, therefore cannot speak of that of which I know nothing. What you said in the letter I sent to you has been presented to me for some years back, and not one word has passed between your wife and me. We had our first conversation when she asked my advice in reference to your son going to Africa. I gave him my advice because I had a knowledge of the element in Africa, and knew that it would not be for his spiritual interest to mingle with such society. I saw your son as he was passing by with a load of goods for Brother Hansen, when we had a few words. He told me that you had decided that as they had rejected to take your advice in having him go to South Africa, you would not do anything more for them. The Lord has presented this matter to me in such a light that I know it would be at the peril of his soul if he should go; and, again, his duty is with his God-fearing mother just as long as he can be any help and comfort to her. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 1

It is my work to do my duty to the flock of God, irrespective of human judgment and human plans. I am sorry, very sorry, that you have placed yourself in such a position. And I am sorry also that Brother Shannon left Cooranbong to make his statements to you as he viewed matters. In doing this he has strengthened you in your prejudice against the work that God is doing in this place. We would have been pleased to have had the co-operation of yourself and Brother Shannon, for your own good and for the upbuilding of the work here. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 2

Every man has his opportunities and advantages and light to enable him to do a work that God can approve. This is the work of God here in Cooranbong. It is bound to succeed because the Lord is at the back of it. And those who will not themselves lift one ounce of the burdens to be borne, and who is the development of their own self-centered ideas only seek their own advantage, may see things in their own perverted judgment, and represent matters in a light which is not true. The hindrances they thus place in the way are working against God. Unless they have the mind of Christ, and are working in His lines, they will do only harm. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 3

I know that the enemy is not in favor of the work being done here, but I did not expect that such men as Brother Shannon, who had been employed by me and connected with me, and knew the interest I had and the sacrifice I was making to advance the work by right methods and to establish right principles, would feel themselves at liberty to counteract that which we were trying to do, and so misrepresent the work as to discourage those who are not here to see and know for themselves. You can unite with him if you choose; you can help him to lay stumbling blocks in the way of the advance of the work; but in so doing you will make it harder for those whom God is using to carry out His mind and will in working against the forces of the enemy. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 4

These very same influences we have had and to breast against in the establishment of the work in Battle Creek, in Oakland, in Healdsburg, in St. Helena, and in Europe. We found just the same hindrances placed in our way. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 5

There were men then who became offended because things did not go according to their ideas, and they balked and flounced themselves about like a balky horse. They made us all the trouble they possibly could. If some mistakes were made, they talked of these mistakes, they enlarged upon them, they magnified them. But in every place, the Lord has allowed mistakes to be made, in order to reveal character, to demonstrate who are the men of true material who will not fail nor be discouraged, but whose object is to do the will and work of God, turning their mistakes into victories. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 6

Thus it has been in every enterprise. My husband and I started the work in various places, and there were always those who joined the enemy’s ranks and made our work tenfold harder than it needed to be. They would talk of everything that worked disadvantageously, and then stand, having the advantage of aftersight, and tell what should have been done. Had these had the care and responsibility of the work, they would not have done half as well as those who have tried to do a large and important work with limited means. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 7

The Lord does not condemn those who have made mistakes. They have tried to economize: they have tried to save money by purchasing certain things, supposing they would be a success. But they should have invested double the amount that they did, in order to bring the very best article [into] their possession. Those who, like Brethren Shannon and Lawrence, have not lifted and ounce of the burden, have stood as critics, mingling their sentiments together, and working them up to a perfection in their own estimation. But God says of their plans and devising, “It is naught: it is naught.” [See Proverbs 20:14.] 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 8

The very men who have been censured are the men who have had to lead out and do something. In our life on earth we are to be as learners, and when we look to God and obediently do His will, He will not leave us to fail of be discouraged in trying to do our best. Apparently, there may be some mistakes, and these may bring sadness and depression: but the Lord has presented to me that in every enterprise entered upon, His people should not fail nor be discouraged. Some who have never carried any burdens will criticize and tell how they would have done the work. They view matters through the colored glasses of their own prejudiced ideas. They pass their decision upon things that they suppose are wrong, when further test and trial proves them to be right, and done at the right time. But let us all bear in mind that it is much easier to pick to pieces other men’s work than to build a better structure ourselves. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 9

We have had obstacles to surmount at every step until advancement has seemed impossible. But great advancement has been made. We do not have the power of control ever accidents and circumstances. The Lord has this in hand, and we have the promise, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” [Romans 8:28.] The Lord prizes the heart service that will be steadfast and true to principle under every and all circumstances, and He will reward every soul who works to do his best. We cannot always see the future with the brightness of day, but we can have faith and hope for the day while we work under apparent discouragement and losses. The work is not ours, but the Lord’s. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 10

We were promised a manager to come from America to take hold of the work here. In waiting for him to come and take the responsibilities of the financial interests, the work was greatly retarded. Then, when we thought that this man would arrive on the next boat, word came that he had been called to do business in another line, so that we had no one. The question arose, Shall we give up the whole enterprise? Shall we now do nothing, and wait? But the word came from the Lord, You are to advance. You will meet with discouragement. Satan and his host, that hindered the messengers of heaven from coming to Daniel to answer his prayer, will seek to discourage every movement made, but do not trust in men, for they will mislead. Do not trust in experts to examine land and give their judgment. Work in God and do your best. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 11

You will have the forces of Satan to oppose. You will have criticisms to meet; you will have misrepresentations; you will have the unbelief and prejudices of those who ought to stand heart to heart and shoulder to shoulder with you. This unbelief will darken other minds. Their selfishness will pain and burden your hearts. While you work, and strain every nerve and muscle, there will be those who, while they can benefit themselves, will manifest interest thus for and no farther, and if you link up with these, they will carry you from weakness to weakness instead of from strength to strength, from darkness to deeper darkness, and not from gloom to day. But if you will put your trust in God, He will be your helper notwithstanding. Love for Him will work out love for your fellow men. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 12

If men will divest themselves of selfishness and self-confidence, they will be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. Then they will not crush themselves, neither will they crush others. They will feel that a great responsibility is upon them to employ their talents to the glory of God. If their powers are wisely governed and sanctified, if their mind and heart is invested in the work to the purest ends, every day of their engagement in the building up and sustaining of those who carry the heavy load will receive the sanction of God. Christ came to redeem man from his natural, strong, perverted traits of character, and in this process of redemption, strange developments will be made to lead him to see what is in his own heart before he can be fitted for the kingdom of God. 12LtMs, Lt 68, 1897, par. 13