Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Ms 8, 1892

Christ Our Sufficiency

Adelaide, Australia

November 25, 1892

Formerly Undated Ms 14. Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 343; HP 73; 7BC 914; ChL 66-67; 2MR 24; 9MR 164.

The intercession of Christ is as a golden chain fastened to the throne of God. He has turned the merit of His sacrifice into prayer. Jesus prays, and by prayer succeeds. If He would have the heathen for His inheritance, He is directed to ask to that effect. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 1

“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” [Isaiah 62:1-3.] 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 2

The Lord Jesus prays for triumph, and He summons His church to join Him: “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence. And give him no rest, till he established, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” [Verses 6, 7.] 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 3

“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” [Verses 10-12.] 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 4

“I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not; I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.” [Isaiah 65:1.] Christ identifies Himself with His people. As their representative and surety, He is represented as placing Himself by their side by the altar; and their prayers ascending to the Father in His name are fragrant with the incense of His own merits. The prayers of the saints multiply the voice of His own intercession, and He gives to the prayers His own efficiency. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 5

Let not my Brother Olsen question God’s wise arrangements, for God hath said He will make His strength perfect in your weakness. [2 Corinthians 12:9.] Ever bear a humble, contrite heart, and you will afford God an opportunity of manifesting His love and grace to the frail instrument. Let not one moment be wasted in lamenting the opportunities you never had. You have often thought, “If I had been in another position in life, and had had the advantages that many others have had, I might have had a larger capital to invest for my Lord.” The Lord knew all about this matter when He selected you for the work He has given you to do. In God’s beautiful arrangement the one talent may be increased by use, even becoming ten. And ever remember that God will accept according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 6

God has given you your talents. He has chosen you to bear responsibilities, not because you had a thorough education, not because you were an orator, or a man of brilliant intellect; He chose you because through His grace you walked humbly with God and manifested faithfulness in that which is least. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 7

Jesus has been delivering His goods to His servants age after age. One generation after another has been gathering up the hereditary trust; the talents have increased largely by use, and have descended to us. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 8

We are as His hired servants. He has bought us, paid the ransom money in His own blood to secure our willing service. Some, like yourself, feel the responsibility of trading upon the goods of heaven committed to them. You long to bring a greater income to your Lord. You are unreconciled to the smallness of the largest gifts which you can lay on the altar for Christ. The utmost of time and effort you can give to the Master seems all too little, and you bemoan the imperfect service. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 9

Look to the uplifted Saviour. He is not dead and in Joseph’s new tomb, with a great stone rolled before it. He has risen! Eld. Olsen, he has risen! He stands as our great high priest! He maketh intercession for you. All he asks of you is just to use the talents intrusted. If you think that God has given you five talents, then be consoled that He does not require of you the improvement of ten. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I bid you look up. The rainbow of promise is encircling the throne. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 10

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” [Matthew 5:3.] You may gratify your love for Jesus, and without stint pour out the wealth of affection you have for him. Say, “I can in thought and desire serve Him continually.” You may feel that your influence with men is limited; but you can have constant communication with God. While others plead with men, you plead with God, and then with men. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 11

Could there be a convocation of all the churches on earth, the object of their united cry should be for the Holy Spirit. When we have that, Christ our sufficiency is ever present. We shall have every want supplied. We shall have the mind of Christ. While you yearn over the whole human race, you will have One by your side who hath said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] Have you not then a helper? One who died for the recovery of the world? Have you not a sufficiency? Is not He your counselor? and is He not devising fresh methods for the saving of the souls for whom He died? While we are His instruments to seek and save the lost, we must permit the work of saving to rest on our Saviour. While in your prayers you present the great want of souls before the world’s Redeemer, commit both yourself and them to Him as His own purchased possession. Your only hope for yourself and for them is in Jesus. He bears your name upon His breast. Your prayers may rise with an importunity that will not accept denial; that is faith. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 12

But do not write bitter things against yourself; do not charge yourself with being an unfaithful servant or betraying sacred trust. At times I feel so sorry for you, but not at all because I consider that you are out of your place. You tremble and fear because after all your labor there seems to be so much left undone that ought to have been done, and you long to lay off the great responsibility. But where is the man that you could, that you would dare, put in your place, that you could trust as a steward of God’s grace, a custodian of the precious treasures of truth? You have difficulty in finding even a man to act as an assistant, one on whom you can depend to do humble service, exercising his qualifications to the high end of doing the Master’s bidding, and promoting His glory. If it is so hard to find a man to stand by your side, I ask you, Where is the man to stand in your place? 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 13

By all means select some one, whoever he may be, to share your burdens. I was shown this should be done. When Eld. Butler was president of the conference, he should have had such a helper. One man is not physically or mentally capable of overseeing and doing so large an amount of work as you have tried to do. You have done too much. The responsibilities which you have borne should be shared by three men, these three to be united in counsel, and in close, harmonious action. We cannot release you until some one shall be raised up to take the work; there must be decided efforts to educate and train the best kind of talent; and if in being tested, men show that they are not consecrated, tell them so plainly. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 14

The question that determines our efficiency is not so much, “What have I received of my Lord?” but, “What have I done with what I have?” You have exerted yourself to the utmost, taking a great amount of work upon you; and when you see that with all your intense interest, you cannot accomplish all that you desire to do, you are tempted and discouraged. But the Lord understands all about the matter. He lays not to your charge the sin of neglect or of indolence. If Jesus were on earth, he would say, “Come apart, and rest awhile.” [Mark 6:31.] O, precious, compassionate Redeemer! What would the feeble humble agent do without Thee? How quickly He was touched with human woe! 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 15

Now, my brother, if you would take it more easy in your preaching, not rein yourself up and labor so hard, it would be better for you in every way. You wear too fast. After habits are formed, it is most difficult to change them; but every effort should be made to preserve the vital forces. God will help in this matter. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 16

In the place of doing more work, you must do less. Your physical and mental powers must have rest. Take it, my brother, take it, and do not be conscience-stricken, feeling that you are neglecting duty. You will come forth refreshed, to do much better work with less danger of a breakdown. Will you change your manner of laboring? Will you consider that the infirmities of mortality are upon you, and will you give your brain time to rest? I insist that you consider this matter in all its bearings, and then act rationally. Destroy not thyself. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 17

While some ministers carry but little burden, and go light-loaded, you keep yourself as a cart pressed beneath sheaves, because you realize the responsibility of your office. While you are wearing, there are others whose minds are not expanding, whose souls are not enlarged by the Spirit of God, and who are not growing at all. They are simply drifting. They do not lack capability, but they are not willing to train their ability to do the highest service for the Master. Thus some laborers are worked nearly to death, while others are weak in moral power and feeble in experience, because they do not feel the importance of growing in grace. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 18

I have been shown that the presidents of our conferences are not all doing their duty. They are not all becoming more and more efficient. Their experience is cheapened, and as they do not exercise their powers by taxing them, trusting in God to give them efficiency, their work is defective in every respect. The mere possession of qualifications is not enough; the ability must be diligently used. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 19

Can nothing be devised to arouse the presidents of conferences to a sense of their obligations? Would they could see that their positions of trust only increase and intensifies their responsibility. If each president would feel the necessity of diligent improvement of his talents in devising ways and means for arousing ministers to work as they should, what a change would take place in every conference. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 20

Faithful service on the part of the conference officers and the ministers would relieve the president of the General Conference of a large share of taxing, wearing labor. Fidelity is wanting in a marked degree. Do these men consider that the solemn scrutiny of every man’s work is soon to begin in heaven? 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 21

When the Master went away, He gave to every man in every age and in every generation his work; and He says to us all, “Occupy till I come.” [Luke 19:13.] Have ministers thought how much is comprehended in these words? Verily there may be but a step between them and death. How stands the record of sacred trusts committed for wise improvement—talents misused, wasted hours, neglected opportunities, duties left undone, sickly churches, the flock of God not strengthened by having their portion of meat in due season? 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 22

What is to be done? Shall the president of the General Conference carry the burden of the neglects of presidents and ministers, and weep between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach”? [Joel 2:17.] Shall he feel that he is responsible for the deep sleep, the paralysis, that is upon the people of God? If he works as he has done to arouse the careless and set in order the things that others have neglected, he will become unable to labor, and will go down to an untimely grave. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 23

Will the presidents of conferences and the ministers of the people seek the Lord earnestly, put away their sins, empty their souls of their idols, or will they continue to go on half-heartedly, neglecting solemn duties, while Satan triumphs, whispering to his evil angels, and to his human confederacy in evil, “Hopeless, irredeemable bankruptcy”? Let there be no more wasted hours, neglected duties, despised privileges. Open your eyes to what is taking place around you in the signs of the times. The warnings of God have been given; why not heed them? 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 24

Do not abandon yourselves to despair, but heed the words of Christ, “Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die.” [Revelation 3:2.] When the eyesalve is applied, many will see as never before their life of unfulfilled duties, and will be conscience-stricken. But the words of the inspired apostle present, now, just now, hope to those who have been lagging behind and now are trembling for the future. He says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” [Ephesians 5:16.] Remember, all depends on the use you make henceforth of your entrusted talents. If you refuse to use your powers, they will surely become weak and decay. God has given to every man his work. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 25

We have been granted a long time of solemn privilege and sacred trust, and now the crisis is opening upon us—anxious, solemn moments in our experience. As a people we have only touched the missionary work with the tip ends of our fingers. Many are unwarned and ensnared in Satan’s devices. Apparent success in some lines of our work has led many to retreat, self-satisfied, instead of pressing the battle to the gates. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 26

The whole church needs to be aroused and brought to their knees before God. Pride must be expelled, for it has been the cherished idol. Selfishness and ambition and self-esteem have made men to walk proudly in their own imaginings. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 27

Great is the mercy of the Lord toward those who have departed from Him. He says: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel? How shall I make thee as Admah? How shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within me; my repentings are kindled together.” [Hosea 11:1, 8.] 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 28

Let the churches seek the Lord. Let them humble themselves before God. It is an individual work. But, Elder Olsen, you cannot repent for the people. You cannot give a ransom for the soul of one. The ransom has been paid, a dear price. Jesus and all heaven are working for the salvation of man. Commit the keeping of your soul unto God as to a faithful Creator. Look, not at your infirmities, but look to Jesus for sufficiency and power. 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 29

“Finally, my brother, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” [Ephesians 6:10, 11.] “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” [Colossians 1:11, 12.] 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 30

O, what precious possibilities are for every one who believes and trusts in Jesus! When man could not possibly remedy his depraved condition, Jesus paid the ransom by dying in his stead. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” [Romans 11:33.] 7LtMs, Ms 8, 1892, par. 31