The Review and Herald

67/1902

April 18, 1871

The Poor

EGW

Some who are poor in this world's goods are apt to place all the straight testimony upon the shoulders of the men of property. But they do not realize that they also have a work to do. God requires them to make a sacrifice. He requires of them to sacrifice their idols. They should lay aside such hurtful stimulants as tobacco, tea, and coffee. If they are brought into straightened circumstances while exerting themselves to do the best they can, it will be a pleasure for their wealthy brethren to help them out of trouble. RH April 18, 1871, par. 1

Many lack wise management and economy. They do not weigh matters well, and move cautiously. Such should not trust to their own poor judgment, but counsel with their brethren who have experience. Those who lack good judgment and economy are often unwilling to seek counsel. They generally think that they understand how to conduct their temporal business, and are unwilling to follow advice. They make bad moves and suffer in consequence. Their brethren are grieved to see them suffer, and they help them out of difficulty. Their unwise management affects the church. It takes means from the treasury of God which should have been used to advance the cause of present truth. If these poor brethren would take a humble course and be willing to be advised and counseled by their brethren, and then are brought into straightened places, their brethren should feel it their duty to cheerfully help them out of difficulty. But if they choose their own course and rely upon their judgment, they should be left to feel the full consequences of their unwise course, and learn by dear experience that “in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” God's people should be subject one to another. They should counsel with each other, that the lack of one be supplied by the sufficiency of the other. I saw that the stewards of the Lord have no duty to help those persons who persist in using tobacco, tea, and coffee. RH April 18, 1871, par. 2

Speculations

I saw that some have excused themselves from aiding the cause of God because they were in debt. Had they closely examined their own hearts they would have discovered that selfishness was the true reason why they brought no free-will offering to God. And some will remain in debt. Because of their covetousness, the prospering hand of God will not be with them to bless their undertakings. They love this world better than they love the truth. They are not being fitted up and made ready for the kingdom of God. RH April 18, 1871, par. 3

If a new patent passes through the country, men who profess to believe the truth have found a way to raise means and join the enterprise. God is acquainted with every heart. Every selfish motive is known to him, and he suffers things to arise to try the hearts of his professed people, to prove them, and develop character. In some instances the Lord will suffer men to go on, and meet with an entire failure. His hand is against them to disappoint their hopes and scatter what they possess. Individuals who have really felt an interest in the cause of God, and have been willing to venture something for its advancement, will find it a sure and safe investment. Some will have a hundred-fold in this life, and in the world to come life everlasting. But all will not receive their hundred-fold in this life, because they cannot bear it. They would, if intrusted with much, become unwise stewards. The Lord withholds it for their good; but their treasure in Heaven will be secure. How much better is such an investment as this! The desire that some of our brethren possess to earn means fast, leads them to engage in a new enterprise and invest means, and their expectations of making money are not realized. They sink that which they could have spent in God's cause. There is an infatuation in these new enterprises. And notwithstanding these things have been acted over so many times, and the example of others is before them who have made investments and have met with an utter failure, yet they are slow to learn. Satan allures them on, and makes them drunk with anticipated hopes. When these hopes are blasted, they suffer many discouragements in consequence of their unwise adventures. If means are lost, the person looks upon it as a misfortune to himself, as his loss. But he must remember that it is the means of another that he is handling, that he is only a steward, and God is displeased with the unwise management of that means which could have been used to advance the cause of present truth. The unfaithful steward must give an account of his stewardship at the reckoning day. RH April 18, 1871, par. 4