Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 20, 1896

Colcord, W. A.; Daniells, A. G.; Faulkhead, N. D.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

August 25, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 374.

Dear brethren Colcord, Daniells, and Faulkhead:

I send you several articles, which you can use in the Echo if you choose. I am thankful to the Lord that it is as well with me as it is, and that I am still able to write. I am also pleased to see the talent displayed by my new workers, Maggie Hare and Minnie Hawkins. I did not suppose that either of them would show so soon that they were capable of doing the work that is now coming from their hands. I think we are often too negligent in developing talent which is close at hand. More persons should certainly be educated in lines of literary work, that when one is sick, or called away for any reason, another can step into the place and prevent any break in the work. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 1

My brethren, I beseech you not to lay one stone of stumbling in the way of those who have followed their own judgment, and have left the office. Keep steadfastly to your own work, praying and offering up thanksgiving to God. The men who have lately left the office had no more reason for taking this course than had Korah, Dathan, and Abiram for following the course of action they pursued. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 2

The Lord entrusted Korah, Dathan, and Abiram with a part in His work, but they failed in the performance of their duty, and became proud and rebellious. “And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown; and they gathered themselves together against Moses, and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” [Numbers 16:2, 3.] 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 3

I will ask you to read this history for yourselves. These men were guilty of a great sin in the sight of the Lord, and their course was made a lesson of warning to the rest of the congregation. They suffered the penalty of rebellion against God, for “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained unto them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the congregation of Israel.” [Verses 32, 33.] 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 4

There will always be those who, like Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, set up their own opinion and strive to be first; and they will do just as some in your experience at the office have done, irrespective of all consequences. But although those whom you supposed would understand the situation, and would stand firm to principle, have been swayed by the leaven of dissension, yet I beg of you to stand patiently and calmly. Go forward unitedly in the work of the Lord; let him handle those whose love to be first has led them to keep their own interest in view. They have sinned against Him by using their influence and advantages for their own benefit, without a thought of whether their movements would cripple the cause of God or hinder the dissemination of light. If prosperity attends their efforts, it will be the worst thing that can happen to them. They cannot see that their course of selfishness means a harvest which they will not care to reap; but the Lord sees it all, and He will judge them in righteousness. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 5

I am often troubled and my heart sinks within me as I think how men, who have had light poured in upon them from almost every source, have cultivated selfishness. But our work is to hide self in Jesus and in His strength pursue a straightforward course of action. All through the history of our work just such crises as the one you have been passing through have come up. In every one of our institutions they have occurred, and they will occur again and again. But although the waves of circumstance cause our boat to pitch and toss, we are never to forget that the Master is on board. Our faith is too weak; we need to cultivate it more earnestly. Look to Jesus, and tell him of all your difficulties. Be cheerful; talk faith and hope and courage. Press forward in your work as fast as possible. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 6

For a time those who have selfishly left the work, gathering to themselves all the advantages they could have seemed to prosper; but God Himself has wrought; and in the hands of unselfish workers, His work has prospered wonderfully. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 7

Brethren, in your work be careful to sow only wheat, pure unadulterated wheat. Walk steadily and calmly. Walk humbly before God. Hide in the refuge which Christ has prepared for you. Do not talk of the inconvenience which for the time being has been brought upon the Echo Office. All this will work for the glory of God. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 8

Not in your own strength or by virtue of your own merits can you serve God acceptably. Only by continual dependence upon Christ can you do the work of God in a way well-pleasing to Him. True Christians will meet with many difficulties; they will encounter many perplexities, but the way out of these trials is simple. Trustful dependence upon Jesus makes victory not only possible, but certain. Though multitudes be pressing on in the wrong way, though the outlook be ever so discouraging, yet we may have full assurance in our Leader, for “I am God,” He declares, “and there is none else.” [Isaiah 45:22.] He is infinite in power, and therefore all-sufficient, yea, omnipotent to save all that come to Him. There is no other in whom we can safely trust. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 9

I have just received good letters from Professor Prescott and Elder Haskell. These I will read to you when I go to Melbourne. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 10

In God’s work we must all press together, standing shoulder to shoulder. By our words and actions we must show that we have entire dependence upon Jesus Christ and sincere love for one another. When we are a unit with Christ, we shall all be of one mind, and our work will tell on the side of right. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 11

The Word of God represents the power of the Christian church to be an individual dependence upon Christ and a unity between the members. The union between the members of the church and the leader is illustrated by a temple and its foundation. The whole weight of the temple rests upon the foundation, without which it could not stand. So the members of the church of Christ are to build upon Him, for He is the only true foundation. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 12

“We are his workmanship,” writes Paul, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In whom the whole building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:10, 18-22.] 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 13

“Ye also, as lively stones,” writes Peter, “are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is become the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:5-9.] 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 14

The union which exists between Christ and His followers is also illustrated by the relation which the head sustains to the other parts of the body. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, pastors, and teachers.” “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. From whom the whole body, fitly framed together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” [Ephesians 4:11, 14-16.] 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 15

Christ Himself compares the union between Him and His followers to the union which exists between a vine and its branches. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 16

Brethren, I feel hurt when I see that so many decided thrusts are made against the Catholics. Preach the truth, but restrain the words which show a harsh spirit, for such words cannot help or enlighten any one. The Echo is a paper that should be circulated largely. Do not do anything that would hinder its sale. There is no reason why it should not be as a light shining in a dark place. But for Christ’s sake heed the admonitions which have been given in regard to making scathing remarks about the Catholics. Many Catholics read the Echo, and among the number there are honest souls who will accept the truth. But there is such a thing as shutting the door in their faces as they are about to enter. Put more cheering, testimonies of thanksgiving into the Echo. Do not hedge up its way, and prevent it from going to all parts of the world by making it a medium for hard expressions. Satan rejoices when one word of bitterness is found on its pages. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 17

In His great mercy and infinite love, God has given you light from His Word. You have been led not only to see the light, but to walk in it, and Christ says to you, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8.] Let the light God has given you shine forth to those who are in darkness. As you do this, God will give you the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove. Let us be glad and rejoice that Christ has not only given us His Word, but that He has also given us the spirit and wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, and that in His strength we may be more than conquerors. 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 18

Christ is saying to us, “Come unto me. Right counsel and sound judgment belong to me. I have understanding and strength for you.” By faith we must rest in Christ, remembering the words of one who inspired by God to write, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] Ask God that He will give you much of the oil of His grace. Carefully consider every word, whether it be written or spoken. “Preach the word; be instant in season and out of season,” using only the weapon which Christ used—“It is written.” [2 Timothy 4:2.] 11LtMs, Lt 20, 1896, par. 19