Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Lt 25, 1902

Leaders in the Southern Field

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

February 5, 1902

Portions of this letter are published in CL 19-20; HFM 55-57; MM 268, 323; Te 29; 2MR 64-65; 10MR 265, 388. +Note

To those in positions of responsibility in the Southern field

Dear brethren,—

The unworked, barren conditions of the Southern field calls for our serious consideration. A work must be done in the South that has not yet been even entered upon. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 1

I feel deeply sensible of the fact that the lines of work to be established in different places in the South will need men and women of wisdom and prayer, men and women who will carry the work forward from stage to stage soundly, intelligently, toiling, praying, working economically, as men and women of God’s appointment. The situation calls for personal, untiring, united effort. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 2

“One brick upon another, and the highest wall is made; One flake upon another, and the deepest snow is laid.” Patient continuance in well-doing—this is to be our motto. We are to put forth persevering effort, advancing step by step until the race is run, the victory gained. Paul writes, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.” [Philippians 3:13, 14.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 3

The work that God has specified is to be done is a work which can be done only by the presence of an abiding Christ. No one in his own power can work successfully for God. Only those who surrender body, mind, and spirit into the hands of the Lord, to be controlled by Him, will see of His salvation. Let every one remember Christ’s words, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Let all the workers unite their efforts, standing under the blood-stained banner of prince Emmanuel. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 4

Brethren, we have a great work before us. We must not continue to stand as we have stood for years—dreading this work. There are souls who have done stern, hard labor. Edson White and those associated with him have done a noble work, and the Lord recognizes and commends their self-sacrificing efforts. He has blessed them in their work. They have relieved the necessities of the needy ones brought to their notice, whether these persons were white or black. Their quickness to see what needed to be done, their readiness to help those in need of help, their kind words and actions, have opened doors of usefulness, which, had they not fed the hungry and clothed the naked, would have remained closed. Their efforts to uplift, their prayers and entreaties, have been blessed of God. They have come close to those in trouble, and the persuasive influence of their words has drawn many trembling souls to God. These have been greatly helped by their personal interest in them as they have told them of their experience in danger, how when their feet had well-nigh slipped, the loving Saviour stretched out His hand to save. They have received their reward by seeing those they helped placing their feet on the Rock of Ages and engaging in the work of helping others. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 5

Edson White has long been under a heavy strain. He should now come apart and rest awhile. And the Lord desires him to remember that he can best advance the work in the Southern field by uniting with those bearing responsibilities in the Southern Union Conference, and assisting them all he possibly can. God has men of His appointment to do His work. One man’s judgment and plans and methods must in no case be urged against the united judgment of men who have been placed as stewards in positions of trust. It is God’s purpose that the men entrusted with responsibility are to counsel and pray together in Christian unity. If it is not possible to reach perfect unity, why has God required it? Paul writes, “Now, I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” [1 Corinthians 1:10.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 6

I have a deep interest in the Southern work, and I have been trying to give light that I knew could be safely followed. In this work large centers are not to be made in the cities. Schools are to be established away from the cities, in places where plenty of land can be obtained. Thus the students can be given opportunity to help to support themselves while in schools, and at the same time they learn the valuable lessons taught by the cultivation of the soil. With the schools are to be connected various other industries. Teachers and ministers are to be wide awake to put to the very best use the talents they find in different ones. The Lord expects every man to make the best use of his physical and mental capabilities. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 7

Hygienic restaurants and small sanitariums are to be established in different places. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 8

The Son of man is represented as one taking a long journey, who left His home, and gave authority to His servants and to every man his work. What a blessing it would be if those who today are working for the Lord would comprehend the meaning of the words, “To every man his work.” [Mark 13:34.] To every one there is given a work—something to do to keep the physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities in exercise. And as the capabilities entrusted to man by the Lord are used in His service, they increase in usefulness. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 9

Some may say, “If the Lord is coming soon, what need is there to establish schools, sanitariums, and food factories? What need is there for our young people to learn trades?” It is the Lord’s design that we shall constantly improve the talents He has given us. We cannot do this unless we use them. The prospect of Christ’s soon coming should not lead us to idleness. Instead, it should lead us to do all we possibly can to bless and benefit humanity. No idler is guiltless in the Lord’s sight. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 10

Bible religion never makes men idlers. We believe that Christ’s coming is near. Then let every one make the most of his God-given time in seeking to prepare himself and others for this great event. Teach the importance of life’s duties to those who are wasting their opportunities. Work for the intemperate man and the tobacco user, telling them that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God, and that “there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth.” [Revelation 21:27.] Show them the good they could do with the money they now spend for that which does them only harm. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 11

There is a an abundance of money in our world. How different the condition of the world would be if this money were put into circulation to help the poor, to provide facilities, or establish industries that would give them employment. Thus many who are now spoiling their lives by inaction, or spending their time planning mischief, would be led to live useful lives. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 12

Think of the money wasted in saloons, where men sell their reason for that which places them wholly under Satan’s control. What a change there would be in society if this money were used to establish schools where children and youth would be given instruction in Bible lines, taught how to help their fellow beings, how to seek and save the lost! 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 13

There is a work to be done for all classes of society. We are to come close to the poor and depraved, those who have fallen through intemperance. And at the same time, we are not to forget the ministers, lawyers, senators, judges, many of whom use strong drink and tobacco. Leave no effort untried to show them that their souls are worth saving, that eternal life is worth striving for. Present the total abstinence pledge to those in high positions. Ask them to give the money they would otherwise spend for the harmful indulgences of liquor and tobacco, to the establishment of institutions where children and youth can be prepared to fill positions of usefulness in the world. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 14

We are looking for the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are not only to believe that the end of all things is at hand. We are to be filled with the advent spirit, that, when the Lord comes, He may find us ready to meet Him, whether we are working in the field, or building a house, or preaching the Word; ready to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.” [Isaiah 25:9.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 15

Our work is to prepare a people for the soon coming of the Lord. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Let us consider the work before us. We are laborers together with God. We are to prepare the way of the Lord. Let us bind ourselves to His sacred work. We have no time to lose in inaction. We must provide facilities for the accomplishment of the missionary work that the Lord has said must be done. We must teach old and young, men and women, to lay up treasure beside the throne of God. How are we to lay up treasure there? By using our talents to advance God’s work in the world, to sustain gospel teachers, to open new fields, to shed forth the light into the dark places of the earth. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 16

One soul saved is worth more to Christ than the whole world. Know you not the commission given: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”? [Matthew 28:19, 20.] Christ understands the value of human souls, and He desires His people to put forth all their powers in the work of soul-saving. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 17

In the night season I was taken from place to place, from city to city, in the Southern field. I saw the great work to be done—the work that ought to have been done years ago. We seemed to be looking at many places. Our first interest was the places where the work has already been established and for the places where the way has opened for a beginning to be made. I saw the places in the South where institutions have been established for the advancement of the Lord’s work. One of the places that I saw was Graysville, and another Huntsville. The Lord led in the establishment of these schools. Their work is not to be discouraged, but encouraged. They are to receive encouragement and support. Both of these places have a advantages of their own. There has been delay in pushing forward the work in these places. Let us delay no longer. At these schools, students may gain an education that, with the blessing of God, will prepare them to win souls to Christ. If they unite with the Saviour, they will grow in spirituality, and will be prepared to present the truth to others. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 18

We must provide greater facilities for the education and training of the youth, both white and colored. We are to establish schools away from the cities, where the youth can learn to cultivate the soil, and thus help to make themselves and the school self-supporting. Let means be gathered for the establishment of such schools. In connection with these schools work is to be done in mechanical and agricultural lines. All the different lines of work that the situation of the place will warrant are to be brought in. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 19

Carpentering, blacksmithing, agriculture, the best way to make the most of what the earth produces—all these things are part of the education to be given to the youth. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 20

In every place where schools are established, we are to study what industries can be started that will give the students employment. Small sanitariums should be established in connection with our larger schools, that the students may have opportunity to gain a knowledge of medical missionary work. This line of work is to be brought into our schools as part of the regular instruction. Such sanitariums should be established in connection with the schools at Graysville and Huntsville. The Lord will give those in charge of the different lines of work wisdom to use their talents for the best advancement of the work. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 21

Believers who are now living in the cities will have to move to the country, that they may save their children from ruin. Attention must be given to the establishment of industries in which these families can find employment. Those who have charge of the school work at Graysville and Huntsville should see what can be done by these institutions to establish such industries so that our people desiring to leave the cities can obtain modest homes without a large outlay of means and can also find employment. In both Graysville and Huntsville there are favorable and encouraging features for the development of this plan. Study what these features are. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 22

All that needs to be done cannot be specified till a beginning is made. Pray over the matter, and remember that God stands at the helm, that He is guiding in the work of the various enterprises. A place in which the work is conducted on right lines is an object lesson to other places. There must be no narrowness, no selfishness, in the work done. The work is to be placed on a simple, sensible basis. All are to be taught not only to claim to believe the truth as the truth, but to exemplify the truth in the daily life. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 23

There are places, where the work has been started, that seem unprofitable. But let not these places be abandoned. Let earnest, diligent efforts be put forth to make the work in them a success. Some places are specially adapted for the cultivation of fruit. And in planting, cultivating, and pruning fruit trees, students may learn precious spiritual lessons. Other places may be adapted for the cultivation of grains and vegetables. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 24

Read and study the thirty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. This is the Lord’s promise to us. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 25

In the Southern fields there should be facilities for the manufacture of inexpensive, necessary health foods. Worldly policy is not to be brought into this work. Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” [John 18:36.] It was not established by human power, and human power cannot overthrow it. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 26

All the gifts of God come to us through Jesus Christ. In giving His Son to our world, God gave all heaven. And in everything connected with the health food business, God is the One who is to be honored and glorified. The Lord Jesus desires all to understand His declaration, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Matthew 28:18.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 27

Concerning the manufacture and sale of health foods in the Southern field, I would say: If the Southern Union Conference will choose men of ability and strict economy to take up this work for the benefit of the cause in the South, it is well. But the greatest wisdom and economy will have to be exercised in order to make this work a success. If proper men are to be found to take up this work, then let the whole Union Conference take hold with unselfish interest to make their work a success. In this movement I can see that industries may be established which will help the cause in the Southern field. And centers of influence may be established in many places by the opening up of food stores and restaurants. All that men as missionaries for God can do for the Southern field should be done. The light I have been given is, that every effort made to manufacture health foods in the Southern field, the business should be conducted, not as a speculation for personal benefit, but as a business that God has devised whereby a door of hope may be opened for the people. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 28

There must be no misunderstanding in regard to what I said just before leaving Nashville. Some of my remarks were with reference to conditions which have existed in the South heretofore. If the Conference were to leave the burden-bearers without support, it should place no barrier in the way of their manufacturing health foods on a plan that would furnish them a living. The spirit of selfish monopoly must not enter into this work, but the spirit to help the people to get healthful foods freely and at moderate prices. This work must not be carried on in the South just as it has been in the North. The health food business should be regarded as God’s gift to His people. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 29

In connection with the commoner foods which you may make in the South, you may be able to arrange to handle many of the special foods manufactured by our people at Battle Creek. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 30

In all our work we are to remember that the same Jesus who fed the multitude with five loaves and two small fishes is able today to give us the fruit of our labor. He who said to the fishers of Galilee, “Let down your nets for a draught,” and who, as they obeyed, filled their nets till they broke, desires His people to see in this evidence of what He will do for them today. [Luke 5:4-6.] The same God who gave the children of Israel manna from heaven lives and reigns, He will give skill and understanding in the preparation of health foods. He will guide His people in the preparation of wholesome food. He desires them to see what they can do in the preparation of such food, not only for their own families, which is their first responsibility, but for the help of the poor. They are to show Christlike liberality, realizing that they are representing God, and that all they have is His endowment. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 31

Christ declares, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” [John 6:45.] We do not place sufficient importance on the instruction Christ has given. He who has given us His Word—the leaves of the tree of life—will not withhold from us the knowledge of how to prepare healthful food for the sustenance of His needy children. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 32

We desire all to realize that true believers, who keep the commandments of God, doing the things pleasing in His sight, will increase more and more in knowledge and wisdom. God’s past dealing with His people warrants us in taking Him at His Word and believing His promises. Have faith that something will be done to advance the work in the Southern field and to prepare laborers for this work. Go forward in faith and hope. He will bring His Word to pass. Your hopes will be realized. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 33

The love of Christ is revealed in the lives of those who believe in Him. John says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] Live the life of love for God and Christ and for one another. Unite in Christian fellowship. By this unity you bear witness to the world that God sent His Son to the earth to save sinners. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 34

The mystical union of Christ with His church has a greater influence than the church herself realizes. Listen to Christ’s prayer for His disciples: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee: that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory 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. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:21-26.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 35

My brethren, unquestioning faith in the Word of God will enable you to see and do the work God desires to have done. Unswerving faith and unselfish love will overcome the difficulties that arise in the path of duty to hinder the aggressive warfare. As those inspired by this faith go forward in the work of saving souls, they will run and not be weary, and will walk and not faint. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 36

I beseech you to live very near the Lord. Talk with Him in prayer. Draw nigh to Him, and He will draw nigh to you. He is wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption to those who feel their need of Him. He desires you to realize that in order to make advancement in His work, you must accept His invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Bearing Christ’s yoke and lifting His burdens will bring you rest. Filled with the consciousness of His presence, your doubts will vanish as the mist of the morning before the rising sun. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 37

We need more faith. It is because we turn from Christ to human beings, who are so prone to err, that we are lacking in spiritual power. Shall we not return to God, through Christ? Shall we not accept the Saviour’s gracious invitation? Shall we not learn His meekness and lowliness? Those who place their entire dependence on the Saviour, daily learning of Him, will not make mistakes. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 38

“I say, sayest thou, (but they are vain words) I have counsel and strength for war; now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it; so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.” [Isaiah 36:5, 6.] “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord.” [Isaiah 31:1.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 39

O that at this time, a time of such great importance, we might turn to the living God! “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” [Nahum 1:7.] To those who trust in him, he will give skill and understanding and wisdom. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 40

God’s people are to place their dependence on the power revealed in the love of Christ. The name by which they shall be called is found in the book of Daniel. “The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever and ever.” [Daniel 7:18.] Our citizenship is in heaven, and we may claim the rights and privileges of subjects of the kingdom of heaven. God requires us not to do anything that will disgrace our citizenship. When Paul wrote to the “saints in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 1:1], he was not writing to those who were perfect in character, those who were in no danger of falling, but to men and women who were striving against temptation. He charges them to stand fast in the faith, and to guard against strife, vain glory, selfishness, and dishonesty. Let us serve the Lord in sincerity of mind, guided by the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.” [Romans 6:16.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 41

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Let us be sure that the principles of true godliness lie at the foundation of all our work. 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 42

“I thank God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Corinthians 1:4-8.] 17LtMs, Lt 25, 1902, par. 43