Lt 93, 1898

Lt 93, 1898

Salisbury, W. D.

Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

November 5, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in CD 52.

Dear Brother Salisbury:

I must speak a few words to you with my pen. You are casting about in your mind as to what you will do to make improvements. You were presenting different plans and methods, and seemed to suppose that if you could have this and that advantage, you would do great things. But the voice that often speaks to us in our perplexities said, The greatest advantages will not accomplish that which you design. I have had light on these subjects. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 1

A plan was laid pointing men to go to far off regions, to see what could be done. Much money was to be invested, all without the counsel of God. How much better it would be if there had been less anxious care, and more trust in God, more humility of mind, more searching of the Scriptures. You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. Put your talent into the work, and ask God for wisdom and it will be given you. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have at your command that will give you success in the work. It is that which the Lord can do for you. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 2

Physical habits have a great deal to do with the success of every individual. The more careful you are in your diet, the more simple and unstimulating the food that sustains the body in its harmonious action, the more clear will be your conception of duty. There needs to be a careful review of every habit, every practice, lest a morbid condition of the body shall cast a cloud upon everything. There is more uneasiness than is at all necessary. If you do your best and stand true as steel to principle, and then seek God for wisdom, and you will receive it, for God has promised this. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 3

God is very near to all who call upon Him, and He must be the One to go before us and work with us. Self must be consecrated to God. It is not the great and wonderful things you may do that will make the work a success, for with all your methods and plans, you cannot accomplish that which you suppose. Your work is to do your level best knowing that if you use your talents as God requires of you, this is all He asks. The Lord can make a success in any place. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 4

If you lack faith where you are, when difficulties present themselves, you will lack faith in any place. God has a work to be done right here in Australia, and He is willing to open ways and means before you right where you are if you will have faith. But without faith it is impossible to please God. I trust that there will be less criticising, less suspicion and unbelief. Do not place your confidence in the voice of human agents, but have more confidence in God. Unless we shall increase our faith, and cease to talk doubts, unbelief will encircle the soul. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 5

That which you need is faith in God. You hedge up your own way by unbelief. You open the door of the heart to fears and conjectures, and are altogether too cowardly. You need connected with you in the office men of capability, men who will put their whole soul into the work. You need not feel that God has forsaken His work. You look on the dark side, and you are losing your hold upon the Lord God of Israel. We greatly dishonor God by our unbelief. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 6

The case was clearly laid before me. There must be less talking unbelief, less imagining that this one and that one is hedging up the way. Go forward in faith, and trust the Lord to prepare the way for His work to advance. Then you will find rest in Jesus Christ. Train yourself to see the attractiveness of Christ. As you cultivate faith, as you place yourself in a right relation to God, and brace yourself by earnest prayer to do your duty, to realize the expanding and ennobling character which it is possible for you to have, you can be worked by the Holy Spirit. The many problems that are now mysterious to you, you may solve for yourself by continued trust in God. You need not be painfully indefinite, because you are living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You may walk and work in confidence. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 7

I cannot see any light in your going to America. There must be faithful men who for Christ’s sake will do the work you are proposing to do, and who are in the very place you propose to visit. I have had presented to me the plans that have been laid to send several of our brethren on a tour round the world. Was not the light from heaven? Money and time was consumed in traveling, which, had they been invested in the improvements so sadly needed, would greatly have helped the cause of God. The money used in taking these long wearisome journeys to find out matters which seem so essential to you has proved no gain in the end. Elder Olsen was ready to go traversing the country with several merely businessmen to investigate matters which they might have adjusted themselves had they asked wisdom of God. This was a dishonor to God and to the truth, and consumed means that were needed in other lines. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 8

I have been made to understand the result of these things. Had the men in responsible positions pressed into the work every jot of ability to make a success where there was so much to be accomplished, the showing would be far better. There are men just come from America, and there are businessmen there who love and fear God, and who will, I believe, act conscientiously to advance the work of God. It seems to me that there is altogether too much work now that needs the help of every one. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 9

The trouble with our brethren in Melbourne is that there is so little openness and frankness among them. There is so much secrecy, so little confidence in one another. When meetings are held to counsel together, and arrangements are made in regard to methods and plans, there seem to be so little gained, so much time lost in criticizing, that God’s blessing cannot come. The Lord cannot work where unbelief is so manifest. If we all sought counsel of God, and depended far less on human wisdom, the Lord would be honored, and the human agent would become the channel for the two olive branches, through which the golden pipes might empty the golden oil out of themselves. The golden oil supplies the vacuum in all who are emptied of self. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 10

We must have less faith in what we can do, and more faith in what the Lord can do for us if we will have clean hands and pure hearts. I was in great burden when you with Willie were assembled night after night. I was as a cart beneath sheaves. Then I was made to understand that we need a spirit of humility and consecration brought into every line of the work. I was referred to matter through figures and symbols, and words were spoken by which I obtained the impression that when the love of Christ becomes an abiding principle in the soul, there will be far less unbelief, less suspicion and distrust, less resentment. There was presented before me the figure of a man impatiently drawing away his shoulder as from one whom he considered was meddling with a work of which he was manager. This has been the great evil with the Echo office from the beginning, and it is not yet clear from it. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 11

All the light I can see is: Bind about the edges. Make no calculations for the absorbing of means. Take hold of the work interestedly and do it. There is need that you in Melbourne and we in Cooranbong, have a deeper teaching than man’s teaching. All these conveniences are not a positive necessity while the dearth of means is so great as at the present time. It is not the way to rush out of perplexities by expending large sums of money just now. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 12

Christ must dwell in the heart just as the blood is in the body and circulates there as a vitalizing power. We have no time to be going around the world to see what kind of terms can be made for the work. If there are not businessmen there who can be trusted to see what kind of terms can be made in the things you mention, I feel that we are to be pitied. Lay your plans before men whom you can trust as surely as you yourself can be trusted, who understand your plainly stated necessities as well as you can state them with your voice. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 13

There is such a thing as being anxious to make many preparations, but accomplishing but little with that which you already have. The thought will come that if you only had all that you thought you need, the difficulties would be all removed. The word to Zerubbabel is needed by us all. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain; and he shall bring forth the headstone of it with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace, unto it.” [Zechariah 4:6, 7.] 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 14

Threads of selfishness are woven into the fabric. Every thread should be a golden thread of love, because the web is the Lord’s and every worker should be a worker together with God. You are none of you engaged in your own human work, you are doing the work of God. You are to be united as one mind in God’s great firm, putting away all selfish ideas and thoughts. There is quite a heap of rubbish to be cleared away and consumed. This is an individual work, a work for time and for eternity. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 15

I wrote to you because light came to me from God. I sent that light to W. C. White so that he could bring it in when it was thought best. More love is needed, more frankness, less suspicion, less evil thinking. We need to be less ready to blame and accuse. It is this that is so offensive to God. A spirit is cherished that does not reveal the love of Christ. The heart needs to be softened and subdued by love. The strengthless condition of our people is the result of the heart not being right with God. There are plenty of words, but the soul temple is not clean. When the Holy Spirit controls minds and hearts, there will be an altogether different showing in every line of the work. There will be more faith. There will be a sense that the pure hearts and clean hands are much more significant than it now appears. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 16

Not a step can be taken in spiritual progress without fresh supplies from the fountain of grace and strength. And yet how often our words provoke God, and by our spirit we deny Him, so that He has to withdraw His influence, and leave us to our own human inventions. The Lord would have us lean heavily upon Him; and the less we depend upon human help, the more we depend on and make God our trust, the greater will be our supply of strengthening, quickening grace. True repentance means a daily change of heart, a turning the face to the Sun of Righteousness. This leaves no chance for self-exaltation, no opportunity to trust to our own wisdom. When the cleansing, refining process shall take place, and continue its daily work upon our hearts, we shall go forward. But as long as difficulties arise, and we look at the discouragements, we shall not advance. We must brace up the soul in God, and we shall endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 17

Lay hold of the hope set before you in the gospel. Work right where you are. The Lord understands the situation. We have no time now to doubt, no time now to lay off the armor. Consider we are merely agents in the hands of God, and if we are controlled by the Spirit of God, we shall have courage and faith and perseverance that will not fail nor be discouraged. There is altogether too little faith. Advance by faith. Aspire constantly to follow Christ our Saviour, attaining more and more excellency of character. The human mind, like the heavenly bodies, are worked [and] inspired by an influence unseen and incomprehensible, but its effects are certain. Give the correct direction to the thought and brace up for trials and duty. 13LtMs, Lt 93, 1898, par. 18