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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Lt 68, 1899

    Wessels, Brother and Sister [John]

    “Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

    April 10, 1899

    Portions of this letter are published in WM 232; 9MR 236. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Dear Brother and Sister John Wessels:

    We received your letter and were much pleased to hear from you. I was brought into a position where I could hear words that passed among some of the members of the Wessels family, casting on me the imputation that all I wanted was the money you would bring with you to Australia. I cannot say that I wanted this money, for personally I did not want one penny. What I do want is that your money should help us in our emergency, for it has been placed in your hands as stewards of the Master, to be appropriated to the glory of God in the advancement of His work.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 1

    Whenever we have been called to any new country, it has been to break ground and to cultivate the Lord’s vineyard. I came to this country at a sacrifice of all that I possessed, for it will take every penny I have to cancel the debts I have incurred in obeying the call, “Go forward.” [Exodus 14:15.] We have been advancing from point to point, saying, I will not fail nor be discouraged. As the Lord directed me to call upon the Wessels family to impart of the Lord’s goods for us to trade upon in this field, I called, and I thank God that a response came in a time of our greatest need.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 2

    I thank the Lord that Mother Wessels and Philip Wessels did make at the first an offering to God. In that great day when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, every member of the Wessels family, if they continue in the faith, making Christ their personal Saviour, will be of that number who shall receive the benediction, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 3

    Brother Peter Wessels, Brother and Sister Lindsay, have co-operated with the Lord’s servants in laying the foundation of God’s work in this new field. My heart rejoices to see the work that has been done. It brings joy to my soul to see companies of Sabbathkeepers converted to the truth. If those who have acted any part in holding up our hands, in providing facilities which have enabled us to work, will be true and faithful, steadfast in the faith, they will receive their reward.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 4

    I have seen your danger as a family. I have been giving you messages of warning, for I have seen that you were in danger of losing your heavenly reward. I have invited your donation in the past, not for myself; for I am putting every dollar in[to] the treasury, except what I actually need for food and clothing, and to provide a humble house to live in, and a place where ministers, and doctors who come to visit the sick, and any who need my hospitality, may be entertained and refreshed. It is not Sister White who wants your money. The Lord invites you through His delegated servant to lay up for “yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on eternal life.” [1 Timothy 6:19.]14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 5

    “Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not highminded nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” [Verse 17.] This danger is surely not only threatening, but is in reality imperiling your souls, and as I am to watch for souls as they that must give an account, I have sent warnings and entreaties and most earnest appeals to the Wessels family. We will thank God that some of your money is in bags that wax not old, laid up in the bank of heaven. It is the Lord’s money, entrusted to you for this very purpose.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 6

    The charge continues, “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” [Verses 18, 19.] It means a great deal to me and to you what disposition we make of our means. It means very much to every member of the Wessels family whether they lay up for themselves a treasure in the heavens or whether they bury their Lord’s talents in the world. The talents entrusted are to accumulate by being invested in the work of saving souls. These souls saved will work for other souls, and the work will go forward and upward, the treasure all the while accumulating. May the Lord make you channels of light.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 7

    When I asked Dan to make a donation of the one thousand pounds, I was in earnest. I wanted him to give back to the Lord His own, willingly, gladly, to show by this practical action that he felt his accountability to God, and that he would render to Him a thank offering. The Lord never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Of all the gifts that heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most valuable, and brings the highest honor. But I would not accept an unwilling offering. Dan shall not be disappointed in getting back the one thousand pounds, unless he feels, himself, that he would consider it a privilege to return to the Lord His entrusted gift. Can he not at least return this much to the Master?14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 8

    The work here is opening in many places. The Lord has moved upon the people in Battle Creek to help us put up a sanitarium, and we shall do the very best we possibly can with the means that has been given. We shall not build a mammoth building, but one that will serve the present emergency. Our methods of treatment are taking with the people, and we hope that the sanitarium, having once obtained a standing, will gain success that will give solidity to the work in this country. It is best to work where God is working.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 9

    Brother and Sister John Wessels, what I have written, I have written, and now I must leave the burden on you. It rests not on others, but on you personally.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 10

    We do not desire everything to be centered in one place. Plants are to be made in different localities, that the light may shine forth. We do not want to do as they have done in Battle Creek, where they have established a publishing house, a school, a sanitarium, an orphans home, and a home for the aged, in one city. Homes for the aged should be found in private families, where they can receive love and attention. God has a people in this world, and there are many who can adopt children, and care for them as God’s little ones. But the changeable life of a minister and his wife makes it impossible for them to take this responsibility. They are to be fathers and mothers to their own flesh and blood, and so train their children that they will be laborers together with them in the work.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 11

    The influence centering in Battle Creek should have been divided and sub-divided. One quarter is all that could be properly and thoroughly carried. And the first building, in Cape Town, the sanitarium there, was all they could properly carry. Spacious buildings will not run themselves. There needs to be men of mind, men of talent, men who learn every day in the school of Christ, to carry on all that has been entered into. If the sanitarium was capable by its large proportions of converting the people, it is none too large. It has grown large, but the advancement in piety and Christlike experience has not been proportionate to the growth of the building.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 12

    This is my anxiety for you. The windows of the soul are not closed earthward against the malarious atmosphere deleterious to piety; they are not opened heavenward to the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. What is the matter with the people who have had great light and great opportunities? They are world-bound, they do not obey God’s direct command, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] To what does this refer? To all spiritual defects in character and practice, to every window opened earthward, which looks out upon the world, allowing its habits, its customs, its pride of appearance, its extravagant use of the Lord’s entrusted capital, to lead the human agent to gratify unsanctified ambition. The sinful lust of selfishness, this is the unclean thing. This worldly element hides Jesus from the view.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 13

    The Lord will not prosper any such self-glorification. Everything pertaining to selfishness and self-love is condemned by God. “Come out from among them,” is the call, “and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [Verses 17, 18.] This is the Word of the Lord. But worldly customs and worldly practices are preventing men and women from growing in grace and in the knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. The Lord is not served, the Lord is not worshipped, the Lord is not glorified, by a divided, half and half life.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 14

    Parents have a more serious charge than they imagine. The inheritance of children is that of sin. Sin has separated them from God. Jesus gave His life that He might unite the broken links to God. As related to the first Adam, men receive from him nothing but guilt and the sentence of death. But Christ steps in and passes over the ground where Adam fell, enduring every test in man’s behalf. He redeems Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall by coming forth from the trial untarnished. This places man on vantage ground with God. It places him where, through accepting Christ as his Saviour, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Thus he becomes connected with God and Christ.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 15

    Christ’s perfect example and the grace of God are given him to enable him to train his sons and daughters to be sons and daughters of God. It is by teaching them, line upon line, precept upon precept, how to give the heart and will up to Christ, that Satan’s power is broken. “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.] This is the work, the grand and holy work of parents. They are to keep before their children the great and vital work of receiving Christ, of believing on Christ as their Redeemer, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is the instruction they are to give to their children. All who will accept Christ by living faith will take His life as their pattern.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 16

    “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.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] What a privilege to be adopted into the royal family, to be children of the heavenly King. “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 17

    “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it; because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” [1 Corinthians 3:9-17.]14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 18

    Satan will try to snatch these things out of our minds. Shall we allow ourselves to be made the sport of his devisings? He lies in wait to catch souls, but as Christians we ought to know that it is high time to awake out of sleep, for the time of the end is nearer than when we first believed.14LtMs, Lt 68, 1899, par. 19

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