Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)


Lt 65, 1900

Covell, W.

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

March 1900

Portions of this letter are published in Ev 379; 2MR 15-16; 7MR 150. +Note

My Brother: 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 1

There is a work to be done in New Zealand that has not yet been done. The impress of human imperfection has bound about the work. The Lord’s eye is upon His people in New Zealand. He wishes them to reach a higher standard. He desires them to overcome all self-exaltation. No envy or jealousy is to be manifested, no evil surmisings entertained. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 2

Your character has been presented to me as faulty. You do not link up with your brethren; therefore you fail to accomplish the good which you might accomplish in the work of God. You need to be converted. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. There is an important work which you have to do for yourself. Will you attend to this matter as a faithful steward of your own soul? You need to recognize sacred things aright. Examine your motives most attentively. What doest thou, my brother, in New Zealand? Do you realize that you are in missionary ground? Are you working interestedly for your own welfare by living on the Bible plan of addition? Is your faith clean and pure? Does it work by love to purify the soul? Are you relating yourself to God in such a way that you can be a helper to your brethren in New Zealand? 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 3

Let us study the plan of addition upon which God requires us to work. Peter writes, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:1.] This is a faith obtained, not through our own devisings, but through the righteousness of God. It sanctifies and purifies the soul. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 4

My brother, read these words as you have never read them before. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world through lust.” [Verses 2-4.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 5

These promises are the assurance that through the influence of the Holy Spirit we are strengthened to be like God in character. By beholding His purity and holiness, we become partakers of the divine nature, overcoming the selfishness of the natural heart. There is a power in the truth that will always work if the human agent will heartily co-operate, allowing himself to be brought by faith into captivity to Jesus Christ. The Saviour’s virtues and excellencies becomes the savor of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 6

“And besides this,” the apostle continues, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” [Verses 5-7.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 7

“If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is not a surface work. It means a spiritual understanding of spiritual things, and a genuine sense of the practical working of the Holy Spirit upon the mind and heart. “He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off; and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” [Verses 8, 9.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 8

Through the application of the truths of the gospel, men become laborers together with God. But those who while claiming to believe the Bible fail to practice the truth it contains are blind, and cannot see afar off. This is the reason why so many men and women live at cross-purposes with God. They do not live and work upon the gospel plan of addition. Their religious experience is dwarfed. Obedience to the gospel is the remedy for all sin and selfishness. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 9

My brother, you have looked for defects in others, not to heal and restore them to healthfulness, but to benefit yourself. You have not been a savor of life unto life to your associates in this country. You have wanted to stand by yourself and for yourself, to be a separate, entire whole. With you self is the largest consideration; and it is a peculiarity of your temperament to take advantage of the defects of others in such a way as to bring you recognition and influence. God does not co-operate with you in this. You are trying to serve your own ends, contrary to the principles upon which God’s people, by their profession of faith and their baptismal vows, are pledged to work. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 10

My brother, come nearer to the Lord in humble faith. Take hold of the strength of the God of Israel. Unless you do this, the work in New Zealand will be better without your influence. No man is following Bible principles unless he has brotherly kindness in his soul, unless he tries unselfishly and helpfully to establish the work of God. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 11

You are not to feel that you can be an independent whole. While you feel this, your work cannot be perfect. Christ declared, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” [John 17:23.] You are on missionary ground. If you cannot work in connection with your brethren, seeking to preserve the unity prayed for by Christ, if you cannot labor for the upbuilding of the cause, then for Christ’s sake do not remain; for you will only weaken and undermine, causing anxiety and worry, and standing in the way as a stumbling block. You will certainly come to this unless by the divine Spirit you are lifted out of and away from yourself. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 12

The work in New Zealand needs men who will stand shoulder to shoulder. God despises all secret conniving. He desires the work of His children to be as open as the day. Take heed to these words, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” [2 Peter 1:10.] God will work for you upon the plan of multiplication. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 13

“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. ... For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of his majesty.” [Verses 11, 12, 16.] My brother, you need the heavenly eyesalve. You are in danger of spoiling your record by watching your brethren lest they shall attain the advantage. You do not work in brotherly love. God help you to see your danger, and be warned. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 14

If you would act your part well, you must seek the Lord most earnestly. Those who live the gospel will die to self. They will obey the plain injunctions of the Word of God. When you do this, your words and works will be a testimony to the world that you have been born again. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 15

There is a great work to be done in Australia and New Zealand in the book business, but this work must be done on right lines. This work is not done, and never will be done as it should be, until the workers act in harmony, strength united with strength. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 16

My brother, you need to carefully consider the question, What doest thou here in New Zealand? There is a great work to be done in this country. Did you come to New Zealand to take from the conference resources which are so much needed in advancing the work of God? Would you lessen the resources and establish yourself to the weakening of the work which just now needs so much the help of everyone? 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 17

No speculation is to be entered upon in the work of God. You have been inclined to work for your own advantage. The Lord is not in favor of this way of working. It will create uneasiness and questioning, and will bring about evil results. It will hinder the unity which Christ desires shall exist. God desires you to work with all the tact and ingenuity you possess, connecting with your fellow workers to make the work a success. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 18

I wish to arouse in the souls of the workers in Australia and New Zealand a sense of individual responsibility. The Lord says to every believer, “Go work today in my vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] New Zealand is a promising portion of the Lord’s vineyard, but by a train of circumstances it has been made hard to work. The Lord would have this order of things changed. He asks those in that country who claim to be in His service to use every jot and tittle of their ability in the work, studying earnestly how to advance and build up His cause. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 19

God has given His servants different talents and capabilities; but all are to work under one great Head. No one in the work of God is to establish from it a business for his individual profit. He is to put his whole being into the work of God. Those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists are under obligation to work for God with faithfulness and unselfishness. They are not to watch for a chance to build up themselves to the undermining of some other individual or some branch of the Lord’s work. They are not to be policy men or schemers, but are to consecrate themselves to God’s service, uniting their labors with those of their brethren. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 20

To the disciples Christ gave the commission, “Go; make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 28:19.] Churches are to be raised up. By the ordinance of baptism the converted souls are to be dedicated to God, who is known by the manifestation of His Name. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God’s spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine Name, “The Lord our Righteousness.” [Jeremiah 23:6.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 21

When a church is raised up, the members are to arise and build. Let the newly converted ones, under the direction of a minister who is guided by the advice of his fellow ministers, work with their own hands, saying, We need a church and we must have a church. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 22

Moves such as this are to be made in New Zealand. Let us reveal Christ by making advancement. God calls upon those who claim to follow Jesus to make cheerful, united efforts in His cause. Let this be done and soon will be heard the voice of thanksgiving, “See what the Lord hath wrought.” 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 23

A revival is needed in the Seventh-day Adventist churches in New Zealand. The believers need to receive grace from the fountain of life. The Lord desires His workers to go forward and add new territory to His kingdom. When those who claim to believe the truth are sanctified through the truth, soul, body, and spirit, when they learn of Christ, there will be complete and perfect unity in the church. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 24

In the Saviour’s presence God’s people will have no fear of evil. The ever-varying perplexities, the abrupt, unexpected changes, the new phases of this age, will not baffle or discourage them, but will give them fortitude and courage, bracing them for the work. They will answer Christ’s prayer, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified” (through the high estimate they place upon themselves? No; no) “through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” [John 17:17-20.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 25

This is not a make-believe faith, but a genuine faith, which works by love and purifies the soul. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; and that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory (character) which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [Verses 21-23.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 26

Why do not the professed followers of Christ believe in Him? Why do they not do the things He has told them to do? Why do they not unite with one another in harmonious action? Those who love Christ will bear kindly with one another, instead of trying to have everything their own way. 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 27

Let us strive with earnestness for the victory over sin. Let us be determined not to give place to the enemy by criticizing, by picking flaws, by demeriting others and seeking to be first. Let us study the prayer made in our behalf, and work for its fulfillment. Let us keep our eyes fixed upon the perfect Pattern. The only way to avoid dissension and strife is to behold Him who came to this world to save sinners. It is for this object that His followers are to work. They are to yoke up with the Saviour, learning of Him His meekness and lowliness. He says to us, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:20.] How then can there be dissension and strife among us? 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 28

If we live in Christ’s presence, there will be no contention. There will be no hesitancy about introducing new plans of action as the Holy Spirit may move upon some one to suggest them. Christ’s presence means advance. He imbues men, women, and children with a sense of individual responsibility. We need to feel the sacred, sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, that we may hear Christ saying to us, “Follow me.” “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 29

When Christ abides in the church, all quarrels, all dissensions, all discourteous words, all selfish actions, will be repudiated. Each member will ask earnestly, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” [Acts 9:6.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 30

There are many who stand with a stone in their hand, waiting to place it before the wheel. But the Holy Spirit can so convert these hindering ones that they will be prepared to place the stone behind the wheel, so that it will not roll back. Let us each seek to be ready to place the stone in the proper position. Work, brethren, work with zeal and fervor. Help by prayer and thanksgiving to God. Act as though you believed the promise, “I am with you always.” [Matthew 28:20.] 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 31

Unbelief is a cruel element to bring into the work. It weakens the hands and saddens the heart. The Lord Jesus is among us. Let us be glad and rejoice. The Sun of Righteousness has risen upon us with healing in His wings. He will cure all disorders. The gospel must be lived out in the everyday life. Then it will be the power of God unto salvation. My brethren in New Zealand, will you not begin to work in unity and love, to build up, not to tear down? 15LtMs, Lt 65, 1900, par. 32