Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]


MR No. 1270—The Work in England; Leaders to Walk With Fear and Trembling Before God, Leading People to the Cross and the True Shepherd

(Written August 27, 1898, from “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, NSW, to “Dear Brother and Sister Prescott.”)

I have been very desirous that you should visit us in Australia again. It would be pleasing to us if for a time you could stand as principal of our school. I have hoped this might be. But again, I have desired that you might stand in the school at Battle Creek. Then Europe with all its necessities has come before me, and I have kept quiet, believing that you are in the place where you are most needed. England has had few enough laborers. It is a place where those who labor need to push at every step. You need to act as if you meant that something should give way and move. Aggressive warfare alone will prove successful. I am really pleased that you are there, and yet I would be so glad could you have carried our school through one term, if no more. God help you, is my most earnest prayer. 17MR 208.1

Present Truth is an important paper, and you are at home in working as best you can with that. The Lord would have advance moves made in England. He desires that a school shall be established there, and this no one can do as well as yourself. 17MR 208.2

Time is short, and that work which is essential must be done quickly. Satan has seen this, and he has worked with his deceptive, intriguing power to entangle everything in America so that the work that you and others could and should have done has been made impossible. And the work which should have been done in England has been blocked by the very same power that has swayed things in America. The wisdom of men disconnected and out of touch with the wisdom of God, the spirit of arbitrary authority which has manifested itself so decidedly in America, has not been confined to that country but has extended its power to leaven other countries. I am afraid of the men who have moved like blind men. The cause and work of God demands men who will attend to the work God has given them; and had this been the case, men would have listened to the counsel of God, and not to the wisdom of fools, wise only in their own conceits. 17MR 208.3

Morning after morning I awake at 2 a.m., and often at 12 p.m. [midnight]. During the night season has been presented before me the unfaithfulness of men who have occupied positions of responsibility at the great heart of the work. The councils at this great center, if kept pure and uncorrupted, would have been as the voice of God; but men have worked upon principles that are condemned by the word of God, and they have not heard nor obeyed the voice of God. Like Jehu, they have driven furiously in a course to uproot the confidence of God's people in men who are true to the Master's cause. They have sought to establish their own authority, while betraying the cause of God. While making decisions, and devising and planning, they have tried to make their oppressive human orders as the voice of God to His people. 17MR 209.1

My spirit burns within me as these things are revealed to me, and I cry to God in an agony of remorse, because of those who have pursued this course and who feel no remorse, because of their heedless disregard of right principles. At this time above all others the paths of life are beset with perils that I cannot find language to describe. In a single departure from the path of sanctified principle, Satan obtains an advantage, and he leads on and on, farther and farther from right and truth. God calls every man and women who has any connection with His cause and work at this time to walk with fear and trembling before Him, lest self become interwoven with His work, and they be led to neglect the very things that require careful, prayerful watching and consideration. 17MR 209.2

With many neglect of the smaller matters leads to unfaithful stewardship, until the highest claims of duty are unrecognized. They want to devise some very wonderful thing, to do something that will astonish but not reform. But if we would attain to the highest education, we must be sure that the smaller matters are not neglected in order that we may grasp and do great things. If in the fear of God we are faithful in the performance of the little things, the larger responsibilities will be light to handle. 17MR 210.1

When those in high places of trust do not consider it essential to be true as steel to principle, true to their fellow men, they will not be true to God, the highest sovereignty. If those who are entrusted with responsibilities in high places take as their guide human beings who have no connection with God, they will make shipwreck of the work in every line they handle. Not for any soul living, be they young or old, is there security from the temptations of Satan, and those who choose to bind up with unholy men will imbibe their spirit and bear similar fruit. The only safety for any one of us is in walking humbly with God, in going where the Master leads the way. There is always safety and protection in obeying a “Thus saith the Lord.” 17MR 210.2

Men may err unwittingly. The most conscientious will make mistakes and take missteps, because they do not heed the counsel given; but in every case beware of the men who oppose the spirit of truth and righteousness. Keep close in confidence and friendship to those who have never betrayed the cause of God. They only are safe who wear the yoke of Christ and lift His burdens—not burdens which have been manufactured by themselves or by someone whom they know has no connection with God and who is working contrary to His way and will, but the burdens of Christ. They only are safe who learn of Christ His meekness, His lowliness of heart. 17MR 210.3

We need to pray without ceasing. Let the heart long after God. Let the heart go out in daily, hourly prayer, believing, trusting, holding on to the promise, saying as did Jacob, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me”; [and saying as did David], “Hold up my goings in Thy path.” O God, “that my footsteps slip not” into the pitfalls which men have dug for my feet. [Psalm 17:5] 17MR 211.1

The removal of one safeguard from the conscience, the failure to do the very thing that the Lord has marked out, one step in the path of wrong principle, often leads to an entire change of the life and action. It is a terrible thing for men standing in responsible positions not to understand when to say Yea, and when Nay. Satan has used men to deceive, to allure, to betray souls that they may obtain some selfish purpose. God says, “My people have been deceived by men who forget God, who walk contrary to His word, who have felt they have no need of light from above, and who have walked in slippery paths.” It is no longer safe for human souls to follow human devisings. We are safe only in following where Christ leads the way. The path will grow clearer, brighter and brighter, unto the perfect day. 17MR 211.2

The apostle Paul says: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” [Philippians 2:12, 13]. Man's business is to work in cooperation with God. Alone, his feet will slip in apparently the safest path. We cannot walk one step safely in mere human wisdom. If we would walk without fear, we must know that the hand of Jesus Christ holds our own firmly. And we can know this only by searching the Word of the living God. Paul's charge to Timothy is: [1 Timothy 4:9-16, quoted]. 17MR 211.3

The heart of infinite love pities those who are in perilous places—when He sees men exalt by word, by confidence, by action those who have faith in human law and force, who have no pity and who cannot discern the sufferings of the needy, to whom souls may cry in their agony of distress but whose hearts remain as hard as adamant. We may turn away from this picture, and look to God, and Him alone. God desires that men shall feel their dependence upon Him, and trust to that Hand that can save to the uttermost, that Heart that throbs in response to the appeals of suffering humanity. We must not trust in man, or make flesh our arm. Our trust must be placed in a Hand and a Heart that is warm with life, that throbs with love for the helpless. 17MR 212.1