Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

September 16, 1902

A Letter to a Worker in New York City

Elmshaven, Sanitarium, Cal.,

July 8, 1902.

My Dear Brother,

I have no special light that you should remain in New York City. You must look to the Lord to teach you your duty. If that field, in its pitiful and sinful condition, does not speak for itself, what place can you find that expresses its need?

I understand why you feel discouraged. It is because the work is hindered by a lack of united and harmonious action on the part of those who were already in the field when you came.

If you go to the Lord in faith, believing his promises and taking special care of yourself, he will give you strength and blessing. Take periods of rest. Husband the strength that God has given you. If during the summer the heat is very severe, you must not endanger your life by remaining in the city.

O, who will rid himself of all hindrances, and take up the work in New York City? Will you, my brother, take hold of this work where you are, helping as best you can?

Let us remember Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Let us remember that he lived not to please himself. He left heaven to take his place in the ranks of fallen beings, to endure humiliation and abuse. Without humbling himself to the death of the cross, he could not have borne the penalty of transgression.

It must have been a very severe ordeal for our Saviour to lay aside his royal robe and kingly crown, and clothe his divinity with humanity, coming to this world as a little child, to live a life of obedience in behalf of the sinful race. Lest we should make a mistake in regard to what the redeemed must be, he came to give in his life a revelation of the character God requires of his children. He came that we might have an example of what human nature may become by receiving him as a perfect Saviour. He came to show us that we may be Christlike. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

Before the foundation of the world was laid, the plan of redemption was devised. In heaven a mysterious voice was heard saying, “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.... Lo, I come to do thy will, O God;” “yea, thy law is within my heart.”

Think you not that Christ suffered loneliness of spirit, as, unrecognized and unhonored, he lived in the world that he himself had made? Who is he? Ask Isaiah. He will tell you.

“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Ask him who was sent to announce his coming.

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.... I indeed baptize you with water... but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Ask John, the beloved disciple.

“In the beginning was the Word,” he declares, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... In him was life, and the life was the light of men.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”

We turn to Peter, and he declares of his Master,

“Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.”

We ask Christ himself who he is, and he replies,

“Before Abraham was, I am.” “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.”

We ask Paul, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?”

With strength and assurance comes the answer, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” “Being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” In him “we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

My brother, do not become discouraged. The light given me is that in our large gatherings, our camp meetings, we need all the ministerial talent that can possibly be spared from other work. Our ministers must not think that God has appointed them to hover over believers, or to tie themselves down to a business office. Let business men attend to the business, and let ministers be left free to labor in the camp meetings. At these meetings a special work is to be done.

Let each one offer the prayer, Lord, “give therefore thy servant an understanding heart.”

Solomon called himself the Lord's servant, pleased that he could sustain this relation to the King of kings.

“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said; Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of the people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”

God gave this prayer to Solomon as a sample prayer, appropriate for all, high and low, rich and poor.

God said to Solomon, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”

The Lord told Solomon that if he would walk in his way, his blessing would go with him, and wisdom would be given him. But Solomon failed to keep his contract with God. He followed the promptings of his own heart, and the Lord left him to his own impulses.

Today each one has a part to act—duties to perform and responsibilities to bear. No one can act his part acceptably without wisdom from on high. May God help us all to understand the prayer that he gave to Solomon as a prayer appropriate for him to offer.

Ellen G. White.

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