The Review and Herald


May 9, 1899

The Excellency of the Soul


[In place of the usual study, this week I give to my sisters a portion of a letter just received from Sister White. It is so full of good things that I feel I must share it with you, knowing that it will be a means of strength and encouragement to you, as it has been to me.] RH May 9, 1899, par. 1

S. M. I. H.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, N. S. W.,

March 25,1899.

Dear Sister Henry,

I awoke at two o'clock, and know there is no more sleep for me. Your letter was read with interest, and I am grateful to my Heavenly Father, that although we can not meet face to face, we can have the advantages of pen and ink for communicating with each other. RH May 9, 1899, par. 2

There is a large work to be done, and we are seeking to do all we can in Newcastle and suburbs. The ministers are now aroused to opposition. We feel sorry for these shepherds, and sorry for the poor sheep who are starving for the precious words of life, which we, as God's servants, would be glad to give them, and which they long to receive, but of which they are afraid. God help them, is my prayer. If we could only impress them with the value of the human soul! If they could by proofs be made to understand that they must each act for himself, that each has a soul to save or to lose, then they would each act individually and independently of any human influence. If we can make these souls, who are waiting in the balance, to see, once to have a clear conviction of, the excellency of the human soul, which Christ has so valued as to give his life to save, we would be able to win them. What an account the ministers must meet who are making of none effect the plain, distinct “Thus saith the Lord.” RH May 9, 1899, par. 3

The work you are doing to help our sisters feel their individual accountability to God is a good and necessary work. Long has it been neglected; but when this work has been laid out in clear lines, simple and definite, we may expect that the essential duties of the home, instead of being neglected, will be done much more intelligently. The Lord would ever have us urge upon those who do not understand, the worth of the human soul. RH May 9, 1899, par. 4

If we can arrange, as you are now working, to have regularly organized companies intelligently instructed in regard to the part they should act as servants of the Master, our churches will have life and vitality such as have been so long needed. RH May 9, 1899, par. 5

Christ our Saviour appreciated the excellency of the soul. Our sisters have generally a very hard time, with their increasing families and their unappreciated trials. I have so longed for women who could be educators to help them to arise from their discouragement, and to feel that they could do a work for the Lord. And this effort is bringing rays of sunshine into their lives, and is being reflected upon the hearts of others. God will bless you, and all who shall unite with you, in this grand work. RH May 9, 1899, par. 6

Many youth as well as our older sisters manifest themselves shy of religious conversation. They do not take in the matter as it is. The word of God must be their assurance, their hope, their peace. They close the windows that should open heavenward, and open the windows wide earthward. But when they shall see the excellency of the human soul, they will close the windows earthward, cease depending on earthly amusements and associations, break away from folly and sin, and will open the windows heavenward, that they may behold spiritual things. Then can they say, I will receive the light of the Sun of Righteousness, that I may shine forth to others. RH May 9, 1899, par. 7

The most successful toilers are those who will cheerfully work to serve God in small things. Every human being is to work with his own individual thread, weave it into the fabric that composes the web, and complete the pattern. RH May 9, 1899, par. 8

The work of Christ was largely composed of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience; and that one soul has carried to thousands the intelligence received. RH May 9, 1899, par. 9

Educate the youth to help the youth; and in seeking to do this work each will gain experience that will qualify him to become a consecrated worker in a larger sphere. Thousands of hearts can be reached in the most simple way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon and praised as the world's great and gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the most humble, simple words spoken by one who loves God, who can speak of that love as naturally as worldlings can speak of those things which their minds contemplate and feed upon. Words, even if well prepared and studied, have little influence; but the true, honest work of a son or a daughter of God in words, or in a service of little things, done in natural simplicity, will unbolt the door, which has long been locked, to many souls. RH May 9, 1899, par. 10

But let every worker, whether a child, a youth, or a person of mature age, put on Christ; that is, seek him in prayer, and believe that his prayers are accepted of God, because he has charged all to watch and to pray without ceasing. Some pray during the week of prayer, and then suppose their praying may cease; and as they do not continue to pray, they do not continue to receive. They must continue to ask, that they may receive. Ask, and you shall receive. Seek me, and you shall find me close beside you, ready to shield, to help, to bless you. I will lead the current of your thoughts away from cheap and frivolous things. I will open for you subjects to contemplate that will give you my peace, my joy, and consolation, that will take away your worries. Our powers are not to be employed and worn out with responsibilities that belong to God, and not to any human being. Then let us educate the soul not to chafe and irritate and weaken its powers unnecessarily, but keep itself in calmness and in peace. RH May 9, 1899, par. 11

The wails of a world's sorrows are all around us; its shadow is pressing in upon us, and our minds must be ready for every good word and work because we know we have the presence of Jesus. The sweet influence of his Holy Spirit is teaching and guiding our thoughts, to speak the words that will refresh and cheer and brighten the path of others. RH May 9, 1899, par. 12

If we can, my sister, we should speak often to our sisters, and lead them in the place of saying “Go.” Lead them to do as we should do: to feel as we should feel, a strong and abiding perception of the value of the human soul. We are learners that we may be teachers. This idea must be imprinted in the mind of every church-member. RH May 9, 1899, par. 13

We believe fully in church organization, but in nothing that is to prescribe the precise way in which we must work; for all minds are not reached by the same methods. Nothing is to be allowed to keep the working servant of God from his fellow man. The individual believer is to labor for the individual sinner. Each person has his own lamp to keep burning; and if the heavenly oil is emptied into these lamps through the golden pipes, if they empty the golden oil out of themselves, and if it is received into the vessels which have been emptied of self, and so prepared to receive the holy oil, that lamp, well supplied with the holy oil, can to some purpose throw its light on the sinner's path. Very much more light shines from one such lamp onto the path of the wanderer, than would be given by a whole torchlight procession got up for parade and show. O, what a work may be done if we will not stretch ourselves beyond our measure! RH May 9, 1899, par. 14

Teach this, my sister. You have many ways opened before you. Address the crowd whenever you can; hold every jot of influence you can by any association that can be made the means of introducing the leaven to the meal. Every man and every woman has a work to do for the Master. Personal consecration and sanctification to God will accomplish, through the most simple methods, more than the most imposing display. RH May 9, 1899, par. 15

Personal work must be done; personal sanctification makes each one a partner with the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is invincible. Those who follow in the footsteps of Christ will not be seeking for show and parade. Christ is not there. He that will come after me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Without me, ye can do nothing to my name's glory. All this world's lusts, pleasures, and human power will pass away. Not one jot or tittle of all the world's pleasures and its supposed valuable treasures will be taken into the eternal world with any soul. One kind of life is spent in doing the will of God, and that life and labor shall abide forever; for the labor spent in advancing the kingdom of God in this world will carry its results into the future eternal kingdom of God. RH May 9, 1899, par. 16

Teach our sisters that every day the question is to be, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do this day? Each vessel consecrated to God will daily have the holy oil emptied into it, that it may be emptied out into other vessels. Every day we may be advancing in the Christian character, waiting and watching for opportunities to do the will and work of God. Every word uttered, every work performed in Christ's lines, will have an enduring pre-eminence. Speak the words that are given you of God, and the Lord will certainly work with you. Do not fail nor be discouraged, although you may see many things which you do not approve. I hope and pray that you may be clothed with the righteousness of Christ daily. RH May 9, 1899, par. 17

In much love,

(Signed) Ellen G. White.