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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 115, 1902

    Those Laboring in the Southern States

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    July 25, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in PM 93, 94, 131-132. +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.

    To those laboring for the advancement of the work in the Southern states

    Dear brethren,—

    At the last General Conference, the past and present experience of Brother W. O. Palmer was presented to me. When I read, at the special meeting held in the Review and Herald chapel, the testimony regarding the work of Brother Palmer, there were some things that I did not mention.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 1

    When Brother Palmer’s case was presented to me, and I was shown his recent dangers—his having money and being so free in spending it—I was shown also that the Lord did not prompt the movements made to separate him from the Southern work. He was in need of much help from the Lord and was not prepared to wrestle with the temptations to which he was exposed by the changes made in his field and work. He did not, in the work that he was given, gain strength to resist temptation; his faith was weakened by the course of those in positions of responsibility, by their wrong methods, their disregard of God’s law. The conduct of the managers at the heart of the work had a deleterious influence on him.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 2

    Position does not make the man. Every one must build aright from the foundation, bringing pure principles into every movement made. This is the education that should be given to every man, woman, and youth employed in the Review office; for this office is a sacred place, from which is issued the truth for these last days.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 3

    In such an institution there are many duties to perform, all necessary to the running of the establishment. Life in such a place is a network of duties. There must be brain workers to plan for the various lines of work. There must be apprentices who need constant teaching. There must be pressmen, and compositors, and many other different workers, or the work will not be done.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 4

    How important is the work of the one who stands as manager of such an institution! How necessary that he be a man led and controlled by the Holy Spirit, a man who daily receives wisdom from on high.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 5

    Upon the managers of our publishing houses there rests a great responsibility—the responsibility of doing their best to secure the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the workers, that God may be glorified.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 6

    At times in the past, Brother Palmer’s chosen associates have been of a character to please his natural temperament. He has been very free with his money and has been sought after as, “hail-fellow-well-met.” The righteousness of Christ has not gone before him, and the glory of the Lord has not been his rearward. There have been chapters in his experience that have nearly destroyed his physical health. But the Lord Jesus has traced the history of his case from the beginning as one whom He loves and pities. The Lord has thoughts of mercy for him and for all others in like circumstances.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 7

    Instruction was given me that Brother Palmer should be separated from his worldly associates; that unless he were placed under altogether different influences, he would be ruined; and that as he was called away from his work in the Southern field, without a proper motive, to take up work in the Review office, he should return to the work from which he was called.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 8

    The word given me was: “Take this young man as your son. Your mother’s heart must adopt him as one who will need your sympathy and watchcare. His soul is precious. He may be imbued with My Spirit, and enabled to accomplish a work of soul saving. You can be instrumental in helping him. Do not turn from him because he has weak points in his character. The example set before him by those with whom he has worked since he left the Southern field has been detrimental to his physical, mental, and spiritual life. He is erring, but he is beloved of God. He has traits of character which, if sanctified by the truth, may be of great value in my work. Guard him as you would your own son. He loves liberty and freedom. He must learn that the soul can find perfect liberty only in the realm of duty, and that this liberty is as much higher and more satisfactory than the liberty of this world, as the love from which obedience springs is higher than mere earthly love.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 9

    “When love for God predominates in Brother Palmer’s heart, when he renders full and willing obedience to the law of God, he will learn that this is Christian liberty, full and complete. This is the liberty of angels and of God Himself. In God’s commands, ‘Thou shalt,’ and, ‘Thou shalt not,’ there is no bondage, because the performance of duty is the natural outflow of the love that is the motive of right action.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 10

    “Both Edson White and Brother Palmer may become God’s servants, in the highest sense of the term.”17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 11

    Those who obey the law of God know no hindrance to perfect liberty, because the life is bound up with the life of Christ. The law of God keeps the keeper of this law in perfect freedom. It is the preserver of liberty. No one feels the restriction of law as long as he remains within the sphere of duty. The moment that the law is broken, the liberty is lost.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 12

    The Lord of heaven has laws by which He governs His kingdom. But human beings have all the freedom they need. They have no excuse for tugging against restrictions. There can be no genuine liberty without perfect obedience to the law of God—an obedience so glad, so willing, that the restraint of the law is not felt. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.]17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 13

    God’s law is of heavenly extraction, born of divine love. Genuine love for God and man brings freedom and sanctification and a knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, and our example in all things. The law becomes the basis of the action of love. The stronger and purer this love, the more willing the obedience. Nothing trammels the liberty. The faculties of soul and body harmonize in love and perfect obedience.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 14

    We need to understand more perfectly the right relation of man to his fellow man. Many, even of experienced Christians, are placed where test and trial come to them. But because a man is placed in trying circumstances, this is not to be regarded as showing that he is not fitted for the work in which he is engaged.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 15

    Perhaps he has not as yet made any particular mistake. Then an emergency arises, and he moves at a venture. And it may be that he makes a mistake. The Word of God speaks of sowing beside all waters, not knowing which shall prosper, either this or that. He feels the weight of his responsibilities, and in his effort to do his very best, he may move unwisely. Thus he fails to accomplish what he hoped to do.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 16

    Sometimes he is forced to make his efforts unaided, and with very little financial support. He plans, he devises, he gives himself heartily to doing the Master’s bidding and promoting His glory. But the field in which he labors is poverty-stricken. Those for whom he works are poor. The field, neglected and unappreciated, has long been left unworked. He meets with many difficulties.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 17

    After years of self-denial and self-sacrifice, he has success in his work. Souls are convicted and converted. The Lord blesses him as he clothes the naked, feeds the hungry, and teaches the ignorant to read and write.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 18

    The men who have long neglected the barren field give him no encouragement, but watch for flaws in his work, expressing no confidence in his methods. Then, when under trying circumstances, he makes mistakes, they propose that another man take his place. But is this the time to make the change? Should the one who has fought the battle bravely and nobly, and under the most trying circumstances, be set aside for some one who does not understand the work, and whose life-experience is far from being free from mistakes?17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 19

    Let us be ashamed of our Pharisaism. Let us hold on to the men who try to do something. Even though they err in judgment, let not their work be taken from them and given to others who may be liable to commit errors of equal importance.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 20

    What do those who claim to be converted need more than the love of Christ in the soul—that love which can see the error of discouraging the soul that is striving to rise to a higher plane; that love which sees that there is one who needs to be helped, not crushed.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 21

    It would be much easier to destroy fallen human beings than to reform them. Satan says, “They shall not be reformed.” But Christ came to this earth to uplift and elevate the race. He took upon Him human nature, that He might bear the penalty of transgression, and that sinners might stand before God accepted in the beloved.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 22

    When the Pharisees saw Christ associating in friendly intercourse with unbelievers, they went to His disciples with the question, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” [Matthew 9:11.] Christ met the charge for His disciples, declaring in the presence of the Pharisees and publicans, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.]17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 23

    The Lord Jesus sees every sin that is committed; and to every sinner who, convicted and repentant, turns to Him for pardon, He says, “My son, my daughter, thy sins be forgiven thee; go in peace, and sin no more.” The cry of the soul for forgiveness, freedom, and love is heard. The sinner is taken to the heart of God.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 24

    How many professing Christians there are who, though committing sins that they never confess, refuse to forgive their erring fellow beings. If a youth, even though fatherless and motherless, commits a wrong, they turn from him as they would from a pestilence. The church needs to reveal more, far more, of the pardoning love of Christ. Love for God holds man in right relation to his fellow man. This love leads him to strive with all his power to restore in man the image of God. It is the love that dwelt in the heart of Christ, which led Him, in His dying agony, to pray for His enemies, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34.]17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 25

    The Lord forgives and pardons all who come to Him. Christ gave His life to save sinners. We need to be filled with His love—that love which will lead us to draw sinners to Him with all the powers of our being, instead of pushing them into darkness and death.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 26

    It is the privilege of those who claim to be children of God to learn from Christ how to save the souls He died to redeem. Loving one another as Christ has loved us leads us upward, step by step, into the liberty of heaven. This is the demonstration of the perfection of Christian action. In this law the soul finds freedom—full, large, and abundant. Christ makes room for him by His side. He delights in the love that is higher, deeper, broader than any earthly love.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 27

    There is no bondage in perfect love. It casts out all fear of what this one will say or that one will say. It binds us up with Christ. Selfishness is expelled from the hearts of those who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 28

    “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” [Revelation 7:9-17.]17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 29

    What a victory! what a triumph is this! Then Christ Himself will teach us the pure principles of heavenly love.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 30

    “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 31

    “And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 32

    “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” [Isaiah 25:4-9.]17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 33

    I present this to you as a little of what has been presented to me. This has been written while the others were asleep.17LtMs, Lt 115, 1902, par. 34

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