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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 72, 1902

    Our Churches in America


    May 18, 1902 [typed]

    This letter is published in entirety in RH 05/27/1902. +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.

    An Appeal for the Southern Work

    To our churches in America,—

    There is a heavy burden on my soul in regard to the Southern work. Something has already been done in the South; but the work must advance much more rapidly than it has been advancing. A publishing house has recently been established in Nashville to print reading-matter suitable for the different classes of people in that field. The needs of this new institution have been presented before our Northern churches, and, in response to the calls of our brethren, many gifts, large and small, have been made. We thank the Lord that He has aroused some of the brethren to establish and sustain the publishing house in Nashville. The establishment of this institution is an advance movement and will accomplish much good. This institution will still need to be sustained by gifts and offerings, just as the publishing house in Battle Creek and the publishing house in Oakland were sustained when they were first established.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 1

    Sanitarium work has also been begun in Nashville. This must be given support. Medical missionary work is indeed the helping hand of the gospel ministry. It opens the way for the entrance of truth.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 2

    These newly established interests should receive help from our people. Those living in places where the truth has been long established should remember the needs of the preparatory work to be done in Nashville. This place has been selected as a center because of the large educational institutions situated in and near it. In these institutions there are those who are doing a noble work for the people of the South. They must be given opportunity to hear the message that is to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 3

    Words have come to me from the One highest in authority. My Instructor asked, “In establishing the work in the Southern field, will you do less than you have done in more favorable places—less than you have done in Michigan and on the Pacific Coast?” I responded, “No, Lord.” Then the word came: “You have no time to lose in establishing the work in the Southern field. Many are saying in their hearts, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’ [Matthew 24:48.] But the Word of the Lord declares: ‘There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake unto them a parable: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees, when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.’” [Luke 21:25-31.]17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 4

    It is high time that we awake out of sleep. In the Lord’s vineyard there should be one hundred workers where now there is but one. If we move forward in faith, the Lord will care for us. He declares: “Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” [Luke 12:29-32.]17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 5

    The time has come for those who have a large amount of means invested in houses and lands to begin to dispose of their possessions. “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Verses 33, 34.]17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 6

    My brethren and sisters in the faith of Christ’s soon coming, I ask you how it will be with you when you stand before the great white throne, to answer for the talents He has entrusted to you? If you hoard your money, if you invest it in houses and costly furniture, how can you meet your Lord in peace? Your heart will be where your treasure is.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 7

    If in the providence of God you have been given means, do not settle down with the thought that you need not engage in useful labor, that you have enough, and can eat, and drink, and be merry. Do not stand idle while others are struggling to obtain means for the cause. If you do less than your duty in giving help to the perishing, remember that your indolence is incurring guilt. Before it is forever too late, begin to reform. Invest less in worldly enterprises, and use your means in creating increased facilities for giving the third angel’s message to the world. The time will soon come when no man can buy or sell, save he who has the mark of the beast. We have no time to lose. The end is near. But opportunity is still offered for your talent of means now buried in worldly possessions to be transferred to the Lord’s work.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 8

    God desires His people to do far more for the establishment of His church, far more for the maintenance of the cause of truth. Keeping the glory of God in view will enable us to make a wise use of His goods. If God gives us much of this world’s goods, it is not that we may selfishly hoard them, or that we may crave for more, but that we may freely impart to those not so richly blessed. Nothing so refreshes the spirit as giving gladly and willingly of the blessings God has so freely given us. The life of the soul is revived by the sight of the good thus accomplished and by a sense that a conscientious use has been made of the Lord’s goods.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 9

    All are being tested and tried. By the way in which we do the work Christ has given us to do in His absence, we decide our future destiny. Many neglect their God-given work. They refuse to be His helping hand. Let us fear to fall short of God’s plan for us. His servants are to be ever on duty, working always for the uplifting of those for whom He gave His life.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 10

    Christ, the Master of the household, has gone to prepare for us mansions in the heavenly city. We are waiting for His return. Let us honor Him in His absence by doing with faithfulness the work He has placed in our hands. Waiting, watching, working, we are to prepare for His return. If we are faithful, if we serve Him with full purpose of heart, He will receive us with the gracious words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” [Matthew 25:34.] He will receive us with honor. To us will be given a crown of glory that fadeth not away; and a new name, “which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Those who follow Christ here will one day “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” [Revelation 2:17; 14:4.]17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 11

    I am instructed to say that slowly, but surely, the wheel of Providence is turning. We know not how soon our Lord will say, “It is done.” [Revelation 16:17.] His coming is drawing nigh. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” [Luke 12:35-37.]17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 12

    Great and solemn events are soon to take place; and the Lord says, “I will scatter; and I will also gather together a people to serve me.” God’s judgments are in the land. To the whole world the warning message is to be given.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 13

    I inquire of those upon whom for so long the light of truth has been shining, In this time of such solemn importance, what are you doing to advance the work necessary to be done in saving perishing souls? There is much work to be done for the Master. He calls upon all to watch, that when He comes, they may open to Him immediately. He asks you to do His commandments, to bring forth much fruit because you are branches of the true Vine. As you bear much fruit, His joy will remain in you.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 14

    My brethren, what are you going to do in regard to the Southern field? With earnest effort, you are to strive to establish memorials for God throughout the Southern states. A great work is before us in the South. The brethren there need to erect inexpensive buildings that are necessary for the carrying forward of work that must be done speedily. Churches should be raised up; houses of worship should be built; small schools and sanitariums should be established; and the publishing interests should be strengthened.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 15

    I am instructed to call upon my brethren in the different Conferences of America to take a greater interest in the Southern work than you have taken. From the light that the Lord has been pleased to give me, there is resting upon you a duty to look upon these destitute fields and to do more for them than you have yet done. The Lord has blessed you with means to help carry forward His work, and He now calls upon you to be faithful to your stewardship by helping advance the work in this long-neglected portion of His vineyard. Let the churches arise as one, and work earnestly, as those who are walking in the full light of truth for these last days.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 16

    In the name of the Lord, I call upon my brethren to do something to strengthen the publishing interests and to help establish other lines of work in the South, and to do it now. Soon it will be too late to do anything. Soon our opportunities to work will have passed by forever. The plagues of God are already beginning to be poured out upon the earth. The evidences before us indicate that God’s Spirit is being withdrawn from the earth. Only a little while longer shall we be permitted to labor, and then in heaven it will be said, “It is done.” “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” [Revelation 16:17; 22:11.]17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 17

    Brethren and sisters, now is the time to make haste to do something. Will you now give of your means to advance the work in the South? If you have in your possession houses and lands that you do not need, will you sell them, and invest the means thus obtained in more firmly establishing the various lines of work that have been begun in the Southern field?17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 18

    To rescue the fallen race from the thralldom of sin, Christ came to the world and died on Calvary. He gave His all to us. What are we willing to give to Him?17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 19

    Those who at such a time as this defraud God, will suffer eternal loss. “Sell that ye have, and give alms.” [Luke 12:33.] Put your money in the bank of heaven. Thus invested, it will yield an infinitely higher rate of interest than if placed in the banks of this world.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 20

    Divine grace accompanies those who deny self for the sake of the work of the Redeemer. This grace is woven into all they do. The blessing of good works will follow them into the eternal world. They are wise stewards. By a right use of the Lord’s goods, they are laying up treasure that will endure through the ceaseless ages of eternity.17LtMs, Lt 72, 1902, par. 21

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