The Review and Herald

738/1902

September 4, 1894

“See That Ye Abound in This Grace Also”

EGW

One Sabbath, lately, in company with my son, W. C. White, I rode eight miles in our carriage to Seven Hills to meet with the church that was to assemble at three o'clock in the afternoon. Brother Hickox has been laboring in this place since coming to Sydney, and we have tried to help him in his work. Brethren Starr and McCullagh, W. C. White, and the writer have each labored in turn, and we have every reason to rejoice in the Lord, because twenty have taken their position on the side of truth. This has caused joy among the heavenly angels in the presence of Christ Jesus, and in the presence of the Father, who has made an infinite sacrifice in their behalf. RH September 4, 1894, par. 1

Upon this occasion I spoke from the eighth and ninth chapters of second Corinthians. Paul, in writing to his brethren at Corinth, sought to kindle their zeal and to stir them up to make contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem. He presented the example of the church in Macedonia to inspire them to benevolent action. He said: “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” RH September 4, 1894, par. 2

The grace of Christ imparted to us individually will give us a knowledge as to how we shall accept of Christ as our personal Saviour, and how we shall imitate his example. He can mold and fashion the character by imparting his divine attributes, and then each one of us can adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, lovely, and of good report, will be revealed as the precious fruits of the Christian tree. The religion of Jesus Christ must be revealed in a winsome character, bright as a light that shineth in a dark place. RH September 4, 1894, par. 3

Of the church in Macedonia we read that “in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” Then shall any of us who profess to be Christians, think that we shall be excused in doing nothing for the truth because we are poor? We regard the precious light of truth as an inexpressible, inexhaustible treasure. We are to exert an influence in proportion to our intrusted talents, be we rich or poor, high or low, ignorant or learned. We are servants of Jesus Christ, and the Lord expects us to do our best. RH September 4, 1894, par. 4

I said to the brethren at Seven Hills: You will soon be without a place in which to assemble to worship God. Shall we arise and build? The Lord wants you to be liberal. The members of the Macedonian churches were in deep poverty, yet they urged the apostles to receive their freewill offerings, and were willing to go beyond their power to help the saints in Jerusalem who were in greater need than themselves. We have in this record, a lesson for our instruction. Those who take their position on the side of Christ are to let their light shine forth in good works, and not to act selfishly; but each church is to consider the wants of her sister churches. “Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” We desire you to abound in the grace of liberality, making your gifts to assist those who have newly come to the faith, and in doing this work your joy will be abundant, according to the measure of your liberality. We call upon the children of God to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Who is the mighty?—It is Satan, the prince of this world, for the world has chosen him as its ruler. RH September 4, 1894, par. 5

There is a lesson also in this chapter to those who are working in the cause of God. Paul says, “We desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also;” that is, make you to abound in the grace of liberality. A responsibility rests upon the ministers of Christ to educate the churches to be liberal. Even the poor are to have a part in presenting their offerings to God. They are to be sharers of the grace of Christ in denying self to help those whose need is more pressing than their own. Why should the poor saints be denied the blessing of giving to aid those who are still poorer than themselves? The work of educating the people along these lines has been neglected, and the churches have failed to give for the necessity of poorer churches, and thus the blessing has been withheld that should have been theirs, and will be withheld until they shall have a realizing sense of their neglect. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. And herein I give my advice; for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men should be eased and ye burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want; that there may be equality; as it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.” RH September 4, 1894, par. 6

Thank God that he has put it in the heart of his servants to feel a deep interest for your welfare, causing them to present to you the precious truth. Some of you have hesitated, and have been slow in acting upon the convictions of your conscience; but one after another, you have given your own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. What does this mean? It means that you are to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have earnestly worked for your salvation, and according to the light and knowledge you have received, to unite with them in communicating in the spirit and love of Jesus, the truth to those who have not had the privileges and opportunities that you have had. RH September 4, 1894, par. 7

There are some here who are questioning as to whether they shall be obedient to the light which they have seen, or whether they will make a compromise with conscience. Character is being determined by the manner in which the truth is being treated. The voice of Christ is heard saying, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Whom do we love best, Jesus, or the enemy of Christ? On which side are you to stand? You will do the bidding of him whom you love. God wants every one to come unto him. Christ says, “Follow me.” RH September 4, 1894, par. 8

Brother Hickox and W. C. White made appropriate remarks. Brother McCullagh spoke a short time right to the point, and it was decided that a meeting-house should be built at Seven Hills, and that every one should do his best. Brother McCullagh said he would give two pounds, ten shillings, and brother Starr had authorized him to say that he would give two pounds, ten shillings, which would be twenty-five dollars. W. C. White had thought it would be impossible for him to give more than one pound, but he would venture to give two, if they would buy two lots instead of one. Then the brethren from Seven Hills, from their poverty, spoke one after another, pledging a pound apiece. One brother who had resided at Seven Hills, but who had removed to Parramatta, pledged five pounds. A man who sees the truth, but who has a large family of children, and has not faith to embrace the Sabbath lest he would lose his situation, pledged a pound. I had purposed to donate five pounds to the enterprise, but when I considered the poverty abounding in those who have recently embraced the truth, I doubled this donation to ten pounds. When I saw that it would be impossible to build a church with the meager sum which would be freely given, I decided to give twenty pounds. The talent of means is the Lord's intrusted talent, and as his faithful steward, I must apply it where the need is greatest. RH September 4, 1894, par. 9

We had a most precious meeting. Jesus was in the midst of us. The Sun of Righteousness was shining upon us. I was constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to speak words of hope and courage to those who had consented not only to believe the truth but to obey it. They will soon be left without a minister, and it would be necessary for each one to do the utmost of his ability in order that a church might be erected in which they could meet together to worship God. Each one must take upon himself the responsibility of educating and training himself to act a part in the meetings. They must be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ, and thus become a working church. Christ prayed for his followers, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” Here in this wicked world our light is to shine forth in good works. Christ charged his disciples with this responsibility. He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” RH September 4, 1894, par. 10

When the precious meeting closed, it was nearly dark. We seated ourselves in our carriage, and as our faithful horse traveled homeward with us, we rejoiced in the peace of Christ. RH September 4, 1894, par. 11