Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 143, 1902

To Every Man His Work


November 6, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 633-634; MR311 31-32. +Note

“To every man his work.” [Mark 13:34.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 1

The Lord has appointed certain men to do a special work. If they give themselves to this work, He will bless them in their effort to be His helping hand. The Lord has given Brother E. R. Palmer a special and important part to act in the canvassing work. He will give him wisdom that will enable him to teach others how to carry the canvassing work forward successfully. But He has not given Brother Palmer the responsibility of the publishing work. This is not his field of labor. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 2

Brother Palmer has traits of character that should not be brought into the work of dealing with minds. He has cultivated and inherited tendencies which, if he takes upon him the work of settling difficulties, will place him in an unfavorable light. The Lord has not fitted him for such work. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 3

God will give His chosen workers strength to bear every burden that He has laid upon them. He will help Brother Palmer to carry the responsibilities that He has given him in the canvassing work. But Brother Palmer must guard against adding to his work burdens that the Lord has not laid upon him. That which he is fitted to do in the education of canvassers is a large and much-needed work. But if he takes on himself too many burdens, he will surely disqualify himself for his appointed work as general canvassing agent. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 4

The Lord has given Elder Daniells a work. But Elder Daniells must not take upon himself too many responsibilities; for this will disqualify him for doing his appointed work. He is to stand stiffly for the truth for this time. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 5

When the Lord lays upon His stewards a special work, they should be careful not to increase their responsibilities; for this overtaxes their powers. My brethren, give diligent heed to the business for which you are fitted. Had Elder Olsen attended to his special line of work in connection with the General Conference, pleading with God for His purifying power and for wisdom to keep the way of the Lord, he would have had victory at every step. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 6

Christ Our King

Before God’s servants take up any work, they are to pray to God in all humility, and with a sense of their dependence upon God, realizing that they must be worked by His Spirit. They are to guard against setting themselves up as kings, because if they attempt to do this, they will dishonor the Lord and make a failure of their work. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 7

Man’s ingenuity, his judgment, his power to execute, all come from God. To God’s service all should be devoted. The principles of the Bible are to control the Lord’s servants. His workers are ever to do justice and judgment, steadfastly keeping the way of the Lord. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” [Matthew 6:33.] Make this the point round which your life centers, and then all things needful will be given you. Put the Redeemer’s interests before your own or those of any other human being. He has bought you, and all your powers belong to Him. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 8

Make no man your king. Who is our King?—He who is called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] He is our Saviour, our King. To Him you may always go with your burdens. However great your sins, you need have no fear of repulse. If you have injured your brother, go to him, and confess the wrong you have done him. Clear away the difficulty that exists between you and him. When you have done this, you may come to your King, asking Him for pardon. He will never take advantage of your confessions. He will never disappoint you. He has pledged His Word to forgive your transgressions and to cleanse you from all defilement. The names of all His people are written in His book of life. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 9

Remember that Christ is our only hope, our only refuge. He “bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.” [1 Peter 2:24.] “If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” [Hebrews 9:13-15.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 10

The Worth of Souls. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 11

One thing God’s servants need and must have—a realization of the value of souls. Christ died for human beings. His sacrifice on the cross is the measure of their value in God’s sight. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 12

Of the high priest of Israel we read, “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.” [Exodus 28:29.] What a beautiful and expressive figure this is of the unchanging love that Christ has for His people. Our great high priest, of whom Aaron was a type, bears His people upon His heart. His earthly ministers should have this lesson graven upon mind and heart. As they labor in connection with one another, they are to follow the example of Christ, cultivating His tenderness, revealing His kindness, His courtesy, His love. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 13

Human beings are Christ’s property, and they are not to be treated with disrespect because they do not follow the lines of action that men have marked out. Men err. Often they mark out false lines and set up false standards. But O how thankful I am that our Lord never makes a mistake. Those who follow His leading will never be disappointed. They will never be led astray. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 14

Christ bears His people upon His shoulders by His almighty power. He has made an atonement that avails for all. How it grieves Him to behold the fractious spirit manifested by His spirit. How it grieves Him to see that want of love and tenderness in their dealings with one another. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 15

Christ is making intercession for those assembled in council. He notes the words, the tones of the voice. He hears the harsh, severe judgment passed on those that He, in infinite love, is presenting to His Father. He hears every sigh of pain and sorrow caused by human harshness, and His Spirit is grieved. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 16

Christ as the great high priest, making a perfect atonement for sin, stands alone in divine majesty, grandeur, and glory. All other high priests were only types, and when He appeared, the need of their service vanished. “But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people; for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.” [Hebrews 7:24-27.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 17

“After He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,” He “sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. ... Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an high priest forever over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. ... And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” [Hebrews 10:12-15, 19-22, 24.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 18

Let human beings, subject to temptation, remember that in the heavenly courts they have a high priest who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities, because He Himself was tempted in all points like as they are. And let those in positions of responsibility, especially, remember that they are subject to temptation and wholly dependent on the merits of the Saviour. However sacred the work to which they may be called, they are still sinners who can be saved only by the grace of Christ. One day they must stand before the throne of God, saved by the blood of the Lamb, or condemned to the punishment of the wicked. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 19

Every one is to be dealt with according to his works. Christ has made for us a complete atonement. He has wrought out for us a perfect character. Our part is to depend wholly on Him. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. And apart from Him, we cannot do one good thing. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 20

How inconsistent it is for fallen human beings to exalt themselves. How strange it is that men forget that they must repent, in common with their fellow beings, and that those whom they condemn with such severity may stand justified before God, receiving the sympathy of Christ and the angels. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 21

Let God’s messengers act as wise men. Let them not lift up their souls unto vanity, but cherish humility. “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 22

Let no one be sharp and dictatorial in his dealing with God’s workers. Let those who are inclined to censure remember that they have made mistakes as grievous as those they condemn in others. Let them bow in contrition before God, asking His pardon for the sharp speeches they have made and the unguarded spirit they have revealed. Remember that God hears every word you speak, and that as you judge, you will be judged. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 23

Christ is pleading the case of every tempted soul, but while He is doing this, many of His people are grieving Him by taking their stand with Satan to accuse their brethren, pointing to their polluted garments. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 24

Let not the criticized ones become discouraged; for while their brethren are condemning them, Christ is saying of them, “I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands. [Isaiah 49:16.] By creation and redemption they are Mine.” 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 25

God’s word to us is, “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood.” [1 Peter 2:17.] Show all men respect, even though they do not reach the standard you have raised for them. They have made mistakes, but is your life faultless? Have you treated your own mistakes in the same way that you treat the mistakes of others? 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 26

Let us remember what Jesus is doing for the human race. In pitying tenderness He is seeking to save sinners from their sins. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil-speaking, as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” [Verses 1, 2.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 27

Let this be a council of confession. By earnest, fervent prayer bring the Lord into your meetings. Seek Him for guidance. Remember that Christ is standing at His Father’s right hand, to present to Him your confession and humiliation. Draw together. Have confidence in God. As you humble your hearts before Him, He will reveal Himself as gracious and merciful. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 28

“Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word. ... 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.” [Verses 7-9.] 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 29

My brethren, will you allow yourselves to become dwarfs in the things of God because your minds do not grasp eternal realities? Will you not strive to be what God through this instruction encourages you to be? Shall we not remedy the difficulties that exist by striving to restore the wounded, not by cutting off their limbs, leaving them crippled for life, their usefulness impaired, when they might have been restored? 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 30

Christ says, Restore the wounded. Show forth the praises of the great Medical Missionary, the Healer of both soul and body. He can make the wounded whole. He will save to the uttermost all who come to Him. Confess your sins one to another. With faith in God, and in the power of Christ the mighty Healer, work to restore. 17LtMs, Ms 143, 1902, par. 31