Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

Australasian Union Conference Record

July 28, 1899

An Appeal For Help

(Mrs. E. G. White.)

Talk at the Meeting Where Money Was Raised for the Sanitarium.

When I read in the General Conference Bulletin that twenty thousand dollars had been donated to Australia, and that large donations had been made to the General Conference to help in other places, a feeling of sadness came over me. I felt that if this donation came to our people in this way, it would deprive them of a blessing, according to the eighth and ninth chapters of 2 Corinthians, so that rich supplies of grace might flow in upon God's people, because of their self-denial and self-sacrifice. Christ says: “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” You have read your Bibles, and you know of the cross the Saviour bore when He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown and clothed His divinity with humanity. He did not come to take his position among the wealthy, where He could have all the luxuries and conveniences of life. For our sakes He became poor, that we, through His poverty, might become rich. He is our example. We can deny ourselves, and we can do a great deal more of this than we have any idea of.

Just as soon as we place ourselves where we realize that all that we have and are is the Lord's, it will be easy to give. When we accepted Jesus Christ, we accepted not only the advantages that we are entitled to by the Word of God, but the suffering and humiliation also; and all the spiritual and temporal advantages which have come from Christ. He bridged the gulf between heaven and earth, and thus made finite man of value in God's sight. Through Christ, our Mediator and Intercessor, the human race has been placed on vantage ground. Whatever our capabilities, whatever our poverty or riches, we are to show that we realize that we are accountable to God and dependent on Him. By our liberality and self-denial we are to strive to co-operate with Him. As labourers together with God we have pledged ourselves to co-operate with Him in the advancement of His work. This is our stewardship.

The work of God is to be carried on by us as a people. We know how it started. My husband said: “Wife, let us take only sixteen shillings a week. We shall live very plainly and dress very plainly, and take the means that otherwise would come to us, and invest it in the publishing work.” The publishing house was then a plain, square building, twenty-four by thirty-six. Some narrow-minded men, who wanted the money for themselves, said, “This is altogether too large a building.” They brought such heavy pressure to bear regarding this question that a meeting was called. I was asked to go and explain why, if the Lord was coming so soon, the publishing work should need such a large building. I said: “You that have ears, I want you to hear. It is because the Lord is coming that we want a building as large as this is; and more than that, it will grow larger as the work progresses. The Lord has a work to do in the world. The message must go to all parts of the earth. It is because we believe this that we have started this work. We are going to deny ourselves.”

My husband and I decided to take lower wages. Others pledged themselves to do this also, and the money thus saved was used in starting the work. Some of our brethren donated quite liberally, because they believed what we said. In after years, when prosperity attended the work, and these brethren had grown old, and become poor, we took their cases into account, and helped them all we could. My husband was a man full of sympathy for the needy and the suffering. “Brother-----put his means into the work when it was in need of help, and now we must help him,” he would say.

There are cases where people will give, as those did when the apostles were unwilling to receive it, so liberal was the gift. There have been cases where my husband has said: “I cannot take your means.” I believe Christ will make us willing to do just as the Israelites did when they were building the tabernacle in the wilderness. The tabernacle was to be built, and the Lord was very particular about the building, as He is about anything connected with His service. In Egypt the Israelites had been accustomed to see splendour and grandeur connected with anything kingly; and God knew they would not be impressed unless there was some outward display. He let them have this, and gave men of His appointment skill and tact to do the work.

We want God to take hold of this work. But to say we will not receive any loans, with or without interest, would not be wise. There may be those who could loan us money, while they would not feel able to make a gift. Newly come to the faith, they might hardly feel that they could give the money. We need a Sanitarium, and we must have it. I have not had much to do with this institution, but I feel that it is my Sanitarium as much as it is yours, because my prayers and interest are in it. It is a necessity that we have a Sanitarium; but I cannot go so far as to say that there will be no debt upon it. For years I have been hiring money from America. Nevertheless, from those who can make donations we shall be very thankful to receive donations. There are many who can give. But to say to our brethren, “You must make a donation, because we will not take a loan, with or without interest,” would be unwise.

One brother said to me not long ago: “You are in a heavy pressure for means. I will loan you sixty pounds for one year without interest.” We were under heavy pressure in order to put up the Health Retreat, and I knew this means would help us. I felt as though it was a God-send, and I was very grateful for it. I believe the Lord stirred up our brother's mind to loan this money, and I felt very thankful. I help as long as I have any means to help with. As for laying up money, I do not do it; and I do not expect to do it.

The Sanitarium, in Summer Hill, as it is now, does not properly represent the grand and ennobling work we have to do for the Master. In the Sanitarium we shall erect, there should be no extravagant display. We must locate where we shall not feel that we have to keep up a grand appearance in order to make a right impression. We must begin, as has been stated, with a building that will accommodate one hundred patients, and then as the Lord gives prosperity, we must enlarge, if His Spirit leads in that direction. But we must make sure that we are treading on safe ground, and then God will help us.

Our work is to educate men and women to understand their responsibility to God, to understand that everything they have comes from Him through Jesus Christ. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your Spirit, which are God's.” Each one of us should stand where we realize our responsibility and accountability to the God of heaven. When we realize this, Divine blessing will rest upon us.

God declares: “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.” The Lord comes to His temple to find those who are sincere. He measures the worshippers. He knows those who are true-hearted and self-sacrificing. “Who may abide the day of His coming; and who shall stand when He appeareth?” Who will stand in the day of investigation. This does not mean the time when the books are opened. It is a preparatory work. “For He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap.” To those who have felt unconcerned, the Spirit comes as a reprover, and shows them that they need to do something to cleanse the temple. He investigates the temple and the worshippers thereof. “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto God an offering in righteousness.” It will be as it was in the days of old, when the people were bringing their gifts for the building of the tabernacle. Their offerings were accepted, and they brought so much that the word went forth, “Bring no more; there is enough.” Even though an offering may be small, the Lord will receive it as wholly acceptable; and He can make it go a long way. “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

“I am the Lord; I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.”

Today men are robbing God. For the costly, massive structures they are rearing, they will have to give an account. The means thus used is needed to send the Gospel to the dark places of the earth. The owners are accountable to God for the misuses of the means God has given them.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of Hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

God speaks to the class who are always complaining. “Your words have been stout against Me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken so much against Thee? Ye have said, it is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?” Who asked them to walk mournfully? God wants us to walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. He wants His people to reflect the light of heaven. He wants us to lift up our heads and rejoice, because our redemption draweth nigh.

“And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” Thus the murmurers talk. But a different class is brought to view. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels. And I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth Him not.”

When God's people show that they realize their accountability to Him, and their dependence on Him, by carrying forward His work, the Lord blesses them. We are to do the very best we can. We must have a Sanitarium, and we must have it out of the city, in a convenient location, where there is plenty of water, because we use water in the place of drugs. The Sanitarium is to be located in a restful place, where trams are not passing all the time. It should be away from the smoke of the chimneys of a city, where the atmosphere is as pure as can be found. We can be in touch with Sydney, and yet be out of Sydney. Christ prayed for His people. “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil.” We are not to leave the world, but we are to avoid all the evil possible. The Lord God of Israel is going to help us in this matter, and we are going to seek Him with heart and soul. We are going to plead that God will let His Holy Spirit rest upon us. He will hearken to the testimony of faith, and I believe we shall see the salvation of God. I believe He will furnish good counsellors, men who can think in right lines, and He will work with them. I have no confidence in the smartest men that ever lived unless they are under the control of God. They may have natural capabilities and talents, but unless they are guided by the Holy Spirit, they will be controlled by some one else. God has given us talents, and He wants us to place ourselves under His working power. And just as sure as we do this, He will give us power to work.

Brother Wessels is a little diffident in taking hold in a new place, but though he is in a new country he has not a new God. He has the same God that he had in Africa, and he can put himself under His teaching here. Christ says, “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.” Let us lay hold in order that we can lift. Let us behold the grace and glory in the face of Jesus Christ. The Lord God of Israel wants to work with every man who will be worked, and I believe that Brother Wessels is a man who wants to be worked. Christ says, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” I have always found it so. Christ's yoke is easy because He bears the heavy end. His burden is light because He lifts with us. He says, “Learn of Me, and ye shall find rest.” We need this rest. We need to find it by living experience, and then go right to work, as though we knew that the God of Israel was at our right hand to help us.

By self-sacrifice the work was started in America, and now the Lord has seen fit to send us here to commence the work. Even in my old age I have come. The Lord has given me strength, and I call upon you today to help us. I have been sick, but you have been praying for me, and He has heard your prayers. I did not think that I could have talked as I did yesterday. The Lord God of Israel is the hope of His people. He has said. “Build a Sanitarium,” and a Sanitarium we are going to build. He is going to help us to do this. We are going to call upon all to take hold and do what they can. The Lord's blessing will rest upon the work if we only have a willing mind. God has always helped us, and He will continue to help us. I praise His holy name.

July 28, 1899

The School and Its Work

[Mrs. E. G. White.]

Talk, Sabbath Afternoon, July 22.

God designs that this place shall be a centre, an object lesson. Our School is not to pattern after any school that has been established in America, or after any school that has been established in this country. We are looking to the Sun of Righteousness, trying to catch every beam of light that we can. Why? Because we want that light in our school. Why have we gone to such an expense in putting up buildings here if we are not to be separate from the world. We are to stand in Christ, learning of Him, the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. His word is to be the foundation of all the education given.

Our greatest need is converted families, parents and children who are under obedience to God. From the light given me by God, I know that if the students in this school will learn of Jesus Christ, teachers can be sent from here to take charge of schools for smaller children; teachers who have learned the greatest of all lessons, who understand the Word of the Lord; teachers who will help the children to obtain a knowledge of the Scriptures.

From this centre we are to send forth missionaries. Here they are to be educated and trained, and sent to the islands of the sea and other countries. The Lord wants us to be preparing for missionary work. But if, while here, the students show no aptitude for missionary work, and are weak in moral power, they are not fitted to go to other countries. They are to be tested and proved here, that it may be seen what their adaptability is, and whether they have a right hold from above. If they have a firm hold on Christ, they will have a right hold on all with whom they come in contact.

In this place students are to be prepared to enter the work of God in different places. Why were workers sent to this country? Were there no fields to be worked in America? There was much work to be done there; but God designed that here an institution should be established, from which workers should go forth to the islands of the sea. Persons of other languages are to be brought here and taught the English language. These will go back to their different countries to educate others.

This work will take money. Then let none of us go into any extravagance, for we cannot afford it. We must bind about our wants, because the Master tells us to. We must be laborers together with Him who left the royal courts, and for our sakes became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich. He says to us, “Follow Me.” I have been instructed that we need to wake up and cut off every needless expense. Come right down to self-denial and self-sacrifice, that the work of God may be advanced, and places entered where people know nothing about the truth. The souls of those in darkness are just as precious as our souls, and they are to be won to God.

We are to work in these lines. This is why light was given me that there should be a centre here, that we should have a school where men and women can be prepared to go as missionaries to different countries. One missionary is not to stay in the same place for years. He is to work as a laborer together with God, and when he has served for a time, let him leave that field. He is better prepared to tell those in the home field what is needed in the field he has left, and to educate workers for that field.

We are to have at this school an office of publication. A printing press is to be established here; not one so fully equipped perhaps as the one in Melbourne. An education in printing is to be given here to those who shall come from the Islands and other places. They are to learn to print in their own languages, and to translate from the English into these languages. Then they are prepared to give valuable help. At the same time they can give instruction in the Island languages to those who are fitting themselves to go to the Islands.

These things can be done, and they can be done right on this ground. God designs that they shall be done. The Lord wanted us to realize that we are under responsibility to reach the very highest standard in spirituality and usefulness. There is a world to be warned. This field has been presented to me in every case as a world by itself. We cannot always send to Battle Creek for our publications, or even to the Echo office; for we cannot get them soon enough. We must have a printing press here, where pamphlets and leaflets can be printed, and more especially that students may be educated in the art of printing. If there were two or three presses it would be none too many. I am talking of what I know. We need to wake up. The Third Angel's Message is to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord.

In this school workers are to be educated to enter families after a camp meeting is over, and give Bible-readings. As these workers learn the meekness and lowliness of Christ, they can enter families and give a right impression. It is the after-work of camp-meetings, the house to house work, that gathers sheaves for the Master. It is then that opposing ministers come in with their objections; and workers need to be on the ground to meet these objections; for the truth is new to the people, and they must be taught line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. In this work there is need of a great deal of prayer. There must be a taking hold of God. The people in the darkness of error can be reached only through God.

Students are to be trained for this work. But if those here show foolishness, if they are not solid and sound when here on the ground, where the influence tends to press them right ahead, what good will it be to send them into new fields to work for unbelievers.

God designs that every soul shall be tested, tried, and proved, to see if he is prepared to join the heavenly family, to see if he can endure temptation, so that he will not do Satan's work. There is a great and grand work to be done. Some who are here may feel that they must go to China or other places to proclaim the message. These should first place themselves in the position of learners, and thus be tested and tried. God wants us above everything else to have a right hold on Him. Every teacher and student is to be linked together, and be determined to press the battle to the gates, refusing to allow the enemy to come on to this ground. This is holy ground. God's Spirit moves upon persons to come here, to make something of them. Those who have no appreciation of this work might better be one thousand miles away than to be in the school. We want students who will be subordinate to rule, who will learn in the school of Christ, who can be prepared for the higher school, so that God can say to them, Come up higher, I have lessons to teach you. In My higher school you shall learn throughout all eternity.

God wants to do something for each one of us. This work is an individual work, a personal work. Students, do not depend on your teachers to form your character. For Christ's sake make your characters individually. Take hold of God, and do not think that you have to be always with your teachers in order to be solid workers. We are to represent God to the world, to show what the truth has done for us right on this ground. We want to see the moving of the Holy Spirit. You will remember that the Spirit so worked in the schools of the prophets that when Saul, when hunting for David, came in connection with one of these schools, the Spirit came upon him, and he prophesied. But we need something more lasting than Saul had. Take hold of God. You have little enough time in which to form characters fit for the future immortal life.

To those who tie up their money in worldly enterprises, I would say, We want that money, that we may set the work of God in operation in places where the people are still in darkness. The towns from here to Queensland are to be worked, and yet there are regions beyond. There are those who, when the Spirit of God comes upon them, can go to Western Australia, where a great work is to be done. Get hold of God, and God will get hold of you. Reach the people through Christ; you cannot reach them through yourself. Reach them through the Spirit of God. God calls upon us to put on the armour. We do not want Saul's armour, but the whole armour of God. Then we can go forth to the work with hearts full of Christ-like tenderness, compassion, and love.

[A question was asked regarding the connection of the health foods business and the school.]

The light given me is that it will not be very long before we shall have to give up using any animal food. Even milk will have to be discarded. Disease is accumulating rapidly. The curse of God is upon the earth, because man has cursed it. The habits and practices of men have brought the earth into such a condition that some other food than animal food must be substituted for the human family. We do not need flesh food at all. God can give us something else.

When we were talking about this land, it was said, “Nothing can be raised here.” “Nevertheless,” I said, “the Lord can spread a table in the wilderness.” Under His direction food will go a long way. When we place ourselves in right relation to Him, He will help us, and the food we eat in obedience to Him will satisfy us. We can subsist on very much less than we think we can, if God's blessing is on the food; and if it is for His glory, He can multiply it.

We need to understand that God is in the health reform movement. When we put Christ in it, it is right for us to grasp every probability and possibility.

The health food business is to be connected with our school, and we should make provision for it. We are erecting buildings for the care of the sick, and food will be required for the patients. Wherever an interest is awakened, the people are to be taught the principles of health reform. If this line of work is brought in, it will be the entering wedge for the work of presenting truth. The health food business should be established here. It should be one of the industries connected with the school. God has instructed me that parents can find work in this industry, and send their children to school. But everything that is done should be done with the greatest simplicity. There is to be no extravagance in anything. Solid work is to be done, because unless the work is done solidly, a slipshod experience is the result. We need solid, well-developed workers in every line. The work must be solid. Just as soon as the helpers in this line of work are controlled by the Holy Spirit, the Lord will give them tact and intelligence in the manufacturing of foods, just as He gave the workers on the tabernacle understanding and ability. He will enable them to do the right kind of work in building up the tabernacle of the body.

I would say to you—In all the work here keep out criticism and accusing. This will naturally creep in, but it is to be overcome. Get your hearts filled with the Spirit of God, and then you can be placed in positions of trust. Each one of us should seek to excel in the grace of Christ. I would warn you now against the spirit of criticism, that you may guard against it. Let us put the enemy out of the camp, and let each one of us try to do his best. First let us give ourselves to the Lord; then we can make our offerings to Him, and He will say, ye are laborers together with Me.

July 28, 1899

Union Conference Proceedings

Sister White: I feel very thankful that we have got the Word, and I have read this over and over again: “Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering.” Now, what kind of a people would we be if we were to do that always? “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And, above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” Now, I thought if all this company here would just carry out these words that are here, why, we should be ready for translation; we certainly would be ready for the work of God to go forward in the world. And now here is something that I want you to consider: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye also are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” What an influence you could carry if everyone would carry out these principles. But there is something more. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God and the Father by Him.” Well, now, is not that very precious; I think it is very precious. Then we read in Ephesians, “And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess.” Here is something you can be filled with; it will restore the moral image of God in man: “But be filled with the Spirit.” Then we can be, that is a possibility. Then let us let it; let us let the Spirit of God dwell in our hearts, and give no place for the devil. Here it says again: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts.” Do not you think that we should do this, and if we should sing more to the glory of God, and if we should be cheerful and not appear as if we were a band of mourners going to the cemetery; do you not think that if we lifted up our heads and rejoiced because our redemption draweth nigh there would be altogether a different atmosphere surrounding our souls? Now, I felt very thankful indeed that Brother Haskell came just at the time of the first term of our school, and we had a blessed school. Every soul that came to the school for that term was converted. The Bible was opened, and there seemed to be a treasure house that Brother Haskell could draw from and present it to the people, and it was of the greatest value to us. I thank the Lord to see this congregation here, a large company. I feel sorry we cannot have the labours of Brother Haskell here and have them in America, but we cannot have both, and the Lord will give us the strength if it is his duty to go there. I am very thankful to meet Brother Irwin. It has seemed like having a little piece of America here, and here we can speak and pray together, although I was ill for a week and could not get out. I thought I would have to take time to recover, but the Spirit of the Lord strengthened me and blessed me. Now I thank God I have the pleasure of saying these few words, and the Lord will bless every one of us that wants to be blessed.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»