Manuscript Releases, vol. 13 [Nos. 1000-1080]


MR No. 1080—The Importance of Houses of Worship

Simple, Neat Churches Give Character to the Work—There are already inquiries being made, If we embrace the truth, where is the place to worship in? We see and feel the necessity; as soon as a company shall leave the churches there must be prepared for the sheep and lambs an humble place where they can be called to the fold. 13MR 405.1

Meetinghouses must be built. There is in contemplation a meetinghouse to be erected in Hawthorn. It will not answer to leave the people without a place where they can assemble to worship God. There must be erected simple and neat churches which will give character to the important truths that we are advocating. Tasmania also must have a church built for the people to assemble in. 13MR 405.2

Edson, we see so many places to be worked, and where are the means? I have appropriated $19 a week to sustain workers in the field, and if I dared to express my desire I would say I will sustain still others. Every shilling seems precious; there are so many ways that shillings can be invested. There is enough to be done to employ 20 workers at this very time right here in Melbourne and suburbs.—Letter 83, 1895, p. 4. (To Edson White, November 18, 1895.) 13MR 405.3

Churches to Be Built Wherever Tent Meetings Are Held—Our work is new, and if we are aggressive many places we now have in view will be worked. We are trying to enter Newcastle and Maitland, both important places. The first tent effort is now being made in Brisbane, and I am now consulted by Brother Haskell as to what they are to do. They cannot hold tent-meetings any longer, and they have no places in which to meet. They are trying to find a house which they can rent and, by removing partitions, make it a place in which to assemble. But they have failed in this. 13MR 405.4

A humble house of worship must be built there. This work must be done in every city where camp meetings are held. If we cannot secure a house of worship, where those who accept unpopular truths can assemble, we might better not enter new places; for the ministers work under the inspiration of the enemy to counter the work of Seventh-day Adventists.—Letter 140, 1898, pp. 7, 8. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, December 20, 1898.) 13MR 406.1

Money to Be Spent in Many Places, Not in One Mammoth Institution—No one is to make an urgent appeal for means with which to erect large and expensive buildings for sanitariums, colleges, or publishing houses, so absorbing means that the work in other places is crippled. Let our brethren be careful lest by drawing largely from our people for the erection of large buildings in one place, they rob other parts of the Lord's vineyard. Unduly to invest means and exalt this work in one part of the field when there is city work to be done in many places, is not the right thing. It is selfishness and covetousness. The Lord especially condemns such a manifestation, for by it His sacred work is misrepresented before the world. He would have His work controlled and guided by equity, justice, and judgment. He does not call for the erection of immense institutions. One corner of the vineyard is not the whole world. In many places throughout the world memorials for God are to be established to represent His truth. And such a reasonable course is to be pursued that we shall stand in our large cities in so sensible an attitude that those not of our faith will give us help with their means. Every dollar that we have belongs to God. “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts” [Haggai 2:8]. 13MR 406.2

Yet some do not recognize His ownership. Though the work in the part of the field where they are laboring already possesses an abundance of facilities, they continue to draw from the Lord's treasury. They do not think of the needy portions of the field, which require such facilities as they already have, and must be helped. Would they work as zealously to provide for some other place the facilities they think are required in their field? All must consider there are cities that have never had the message. 13MR 407.1

Every worker must labor with an eye single to the glory of God. If the work in all parts of the field bore the signature of heaven, there would be means enough to carry it forward. Those who have the money of God's treasury are to economize in the use of means, and they are to consider carefully the needs of the work in the home field and in the regions beyond. If they did this they would not erect mammoth institutions, contrary to the instruction of God. The Lord has plainly told us that instead of erecting a mammoth institution in any one place, we should establish plants in many places.—Manuscript 53, 1903, pp. 1, 2. 13MR 407.2

Church Building Has an Indirect Influence—We feel the need of a church very much. Had we moved out in faith, and started to build a church before now, it would have been better, far better, for the success of the work. Such a movement would have given importance and character to our work. Having to come so great a distance from the road into the bush to get to the place of meeting, and then climb the stairs to the mill—often exposed to cold, and again to heat—and with surroundings of every conceivable kind of furniture and utensils, did not honor God or inspire the people with sacred ideas. The force of truth loses much of its influence on the mind because of the surroundings. I have seen this and deplored it, but the dearth of means has left us in perplexity. 13MR 407.3

We must make the Lord's cause and work first. I see we have not done this. There is in a church building an indirect influence upon the people where its direct power is not apparently felt; that there is a restraining of transgression and sin.—Manuscript 175, 1897, pp. 7, 8. (Diary entry, August 11, 1897, Sunnyside, Cooranbong, N.S.W.) 13MR 408.1

Christ's Command Is, “Go Ye Into All the World”—A true sense of equity, judgment, and the love of God is to be brought into our devising and planning. Those who bear responsibilities are to set an example that will give church members confidence that they are wise men who are not influenced by selfishness or pride. 13MR 408.2

God brings His people together in church fellowship that they may better impart to the world the blessings of light which they receive from Him. There is no need of an education in criticism. All should strive to be true missionaries, encouraging and sustaining one another by speaking words of encouragement and hope, lifting up the hands which hang down, and strengthening the feeble knees. Each is to work according to his ability. But even after they have done their best, God's people will not feel a sense of self-congratulation. The true worker always feels a sense of abasement, of dissatisfaction with self. Humility is the fruit borne on the Christian tree. 13MR 408.3

Christ said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” This commission comes from the lips of One who loves the world, not [merely] a few human beings. When the church ignores the word, “Go ye into all the world,” she makes the promise of none effect. She places herself where she cannot see the realization of the words, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” 13MR 409.1

Let not the church, by binding up her interests in a few places, refuse to obey the command of Christ. Thus she draws away from Him who gave His life for the life of the world. The Saviour desires His cause to make proportionate advancement in the various openings made by the proclamation of the truth. He does not direct men to make extravagant expenditures in a few spots, multiplying the advantages there while other places remain barren and unworked. By such misappropriation of means the work in foreign fields is hindered. The way is not prepared for Christ. 13MR 409.2

For our publishing houses to add continually to their conveniences is not according to God's plan. Constant investment in new machinery means that commercial work must be brought in to keep the new presses running. 13MR 409.3

God calls for a higher devotion on the part of His people. There is need of a revival of the Holy Spirit in every place. A reformation is needed. The expense is to be carefully guarded lest too much money shall be expended in a few places. Human planning has been seen in the erection of costly buildings involving a large expenditure, when less expensive buildings would have been sufficient for the needs of the work. All the buildings erected should be neat and tasteful, but unnecessary expense should be avoided. These buildings are to represent our faith. They are not to be put up at such an expense that the debt on them will deny our faith. It is the integrity of the workers, not the costliness of the building, that exalts an institution before men and angels. 13MR 409.4

Success in any field means support for that field. Success brings with it increased responsibilities. It means that the work must widen, that the church must put forth every effort to properly sustain the advancing work. It means that new territory must be annexed, that the standard must be planted in towns and cities that have not heard the word of truth.—Manuscript 99, 1901, pp. 5-7. 13MR 410.1

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

July 19, 1984.