Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 195, 1898

The Week of Prayer in Australia


June 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 09/27/1898.

In all our Australian churches the nine days from May 28 to June 5 were set apart as a special season of self-examination, prayer and thanksgiving. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 1

Appropriate readings were published and sent out to the officers of the churches, and to isolated families of Sabbath-keepers. In these readings the perils and duties of the present time were clearly set before our people, with fervent exhortations to purity of life, godliness, and consecration. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 2

A review of the special blessings of the year showed clearly that the Lord has had a constant care for His people, and is ever working in their behalf. As individuals, as families, [and] as churches we have felt His loving care; and in the growth of our conferences and the development of our institutions we see material advancement. During the year churches and companies of Sabbath-keepers have been raised up in several places, and two commodious meetinghouses built, one in Cooranbong and one in Stanmore. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 3

One year ago there were about fifty students attending the school. During May of this year, one hundred were in attendance. Last year at this time the health home was struggling to win back the patronage it had lost through the interruption of its work on account of the sale of the building it occupied, which necessitated moving; now it is full to overflowing with patients, and earning something with which to make up the losses of last year. The Echo Publishing Company has erected a large and convenient building, which will double its capacity for work; and the New Zealand Tract Society has just erected a commodious building, in a good location in Wellington, which furnishes abundance of room for the book depository, and provides a good meeting hall for the Wellington church. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 4

And right here I wish to express my thanks, and the hearty thanks of my brethren in these colonies, to our brethren and friends in America and Africa, who have responded so heartily to our appeals for assistance to build meetinghouses in the important centers in these colonies; and whose timely aid has enabled us to build plain but commodious meetinghouses in Melbourne, Sydney, Ashfield, Wellington, Hobart, Epsom, Christchurch, and Cooranbong. Great care has been exercised in the use of the funds given for this work, and in no case have the appropriations been made until the brethren in the locality where the house was needed have lifted to the extent of their ability. It would hardly have been possible in any of these places for our people, unaided, to build suitable places of worship. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 5

Our Institutions

The Lord has entrusted His people in the Australasian colonies with manifold blessings and with great responsibilities. The Echo office, the school, the health home, and the tract society depositories are centers of influence, established in the providence of God as places through which He can work in a special manner. By the appointment of these centers, God designs to bring human beings into connection with Himself, that humanity may touch humanity; and that men, controlled by the Spirit of God, may increase in knowledge, strengthening eery principle of character according to the divine similitude. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 6

It is of great importance that all the workers in these institutions shall fully understand their privileges and their responsibilities. If it is not done, self will be woven into the work, and will take the place that should be given to God. The managers of our institutions should teach the workers, by precept and example, that in all things the excellence of God is to be made prominent. And church officers must teach this also in the churches. The standard of the Lord must be uplifted. All should be made to see that our institutions are of God’s appointment. Those who depreciate one of them, representing, from selfish motives, that it is an inferior affair, must render to God an account for their words and influence. The Lord designs that everything connected with His work shall be treated as sacred. Let all be warned that no common fire is to be used in the place of the sacred fire, that common things are not to be mingled with God’s appointed agencies. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 7

Let all beware how they weave self-serving, and self-pleasing into the work. If they do this, they dishonor God, and He cannot use them to His name’s glory. When trials come to prove us, when we cannot see an increase of prosperity and comfort before us, but a probable lessening of these things; when there is a pressure necessitating a sacrifice on the part of all, who shall we receive Satan’s insinuations that we are going to have a hard time, that everything is going to pieces, and that there is sore trouble ahead of us? If we listen to these suggestions, unbelief will spring up, bringing blindness to the soul. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 8

We ought to believe that God has always had a care for His people and for His institutions. We ought to look at the work that He has done, and the reforms that He has wrought. We ought to gather up the fragments of heaven’s blessings, and all the tokens of good, saying, “Lord, I believe in Thee; I believe in Thy servants and in Thy work. I will trust in Thee. Thou hast made this institution a center of light. It is Thine own instrumentality, and we will not fail nor be discouraged. We are greatly honored in being connected with thy work. We will be true to the work of God. We will act faithfully our part. We will keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment.” 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 9

God has sent trials to His institutions to prove who will stand faithful under the severe temptations of the enemy. Those who have shown themselves ready to listen to the voice of a stranger rather than to the voice of God have lost much. They have loosened their hold on Christ, and have chosen a broken reed on which to lean. For them there is but one way of escape, and that is to learn to be afraid of themselves, carefully to reject false principles and wrong theories, accepting the invitation, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” [Matthew 11:29.] 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 10

The Lord would have the Echo office stand as a living witness for the truth. Rays of light must be shed abroad through various avenues. Therefore the commercial work should not be entirely cut away, but it must be cleansed from all that is offensive in character. It would be a mistake for our offices of publication to build up barriers to exclude all work from the outside, for this would close an avenue through which rays of light and knowledge should be given to the world. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 11

The Echo office and our publishing houses in Europe and America should give more attention than they have done to the education of the workers. Each institution should be a school for the training of laborers. Patient effort should be bestowed upon the youth. Every good attribute is to be cultivated and developed with kindness, love, compassion, and tenderness. There should [be] no scolding, no fretting, but much praying with the learners. Do not fret, do not worry. By looking at appearances, and complaining when difficulties come, you show an enfeebled, sickly faith. Show your faith by earnest, cheerful work. The Lord is rich in resources. He made the world. He is never bound by circumstances. We need to look heavenward, in faith. Let us look to God, who has light, and power, and efficiency. God will open heaven, and let us see that He is light, and that in Him is no darkness at all. God will bless everyone who is in a position to communicate light and love to others. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 12

With these, and many other words, I presented to the workers in the Echo office, and to our laborers in our established centers, the principles that should guide us in our work in Australasia, where there are so many open doors, so many ripening fields, and so few laborers to go forth with the message which is due at this time, and for which thousands are hungering. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 13

The managers of our institutions in every land should constantly study how they may enlarge the sphere of their usefulness. The work in our publishing houses is ever in danger of being crippled by the influence of unconsecrated workers, and restricted by narrow plans and prejudices. We must ever strive to make our printing houses, as well as our sanitariums, training schools for home and foreign missionaries. 13LtMs, Ms 195, 1898, par. 14