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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 173, 1902

    Those Assembled in Council at Battle Creek

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    November 13, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in TDG 326; 5Bio 194-195.

    To those assembled in council at Battle Creek,—

    A short time after the council that was held at my house October 19, in regard to the Southern work, a great burden came upon me. I was bowed down with distress. I had wakened with an inexpressible load resting on me. I could not explain the sadness upon me. The whole day was one of constant perplexity.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 1

    In the night season I was in a council with a few who were in perplexity. Many companies were presented to me as confused, in darkness, sad, and discouraged because so many were stirred by feelings of opposition to the work in the Southern field. While there were some who felt the burden of the work in this field, there were others who would try to counterwork anything done.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 2

    I was given instruction regarding the conversation that I had with the brethren in reference to the Southern work. Part of the conversation was repeated, and my Instructor said, “You cannot maintain any such position. You must not allow the words of ministers or presidents of conferences to have such an effect on you as to lead you to take your stand against the Southern Missionary Society. I shall give you messages to bear, and you must bear them. You are in a trying place. You will be severely tried. These trials need not be. The Southern Missionary Society is not to be extinguished. It must exist to do a work that will be neglected unless it lives. You have sought to avoid taking a position, even if this position is entirely as it should be, that would lead others to say that you are influenced by your son J. E. White.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 3

    “Mistakes have been made in the work in the South, but these are not such as to require the doing of the work that is supposed to be mended. This work can, by lack of proper handling, be made to afflict your soul and to force upon you that which need not be. There has been a lack of consecration, a failure to seek the Lord most earnestly, to open the door of the heart, that Christ may enter to mold and fashion the life.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 4

    “There are some things in the report of the interview that you must correct. As the Lord’s messenger you cannot stand where you will give your word as to what you will or will not do. You are to speak the word of the Lord as one having authority. All this sorrow, all these burdens, should be spared you; still your work is not done.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 5

    “The people of God are now to pray and humble their hearts before God. Then they will see all things clearly. It is heart-humiliation that is needed by the people who have in trust so great and so important a truth—a truth that, if received and believed, will purify the life from all selfishness, all emulation. Our words and works need to be purified from all selfishness. God’s people need to draw nigh to Him and love as brethren. A guilty world is going to destruction. And if Satan can keep at variance those whose hearts should be full of tenderness and love, on whose lips there should ever be the law of kindness, how pleased he is.”17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 6

    O that God’s people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities, now almost wholly given to idolatry. But many of those who are acquainted with the truth are busy about things here and there. Their first work is to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as the disciples prayed for it after the ascension of Christ.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 7

    When the converting power of God comes upon minds, there will be a decided change. Men will have no inclination to counterwork what others are doing. They will not stand in a position that hinders God’s voice from coming to the people. The criticism, the accusing, will cease. Men will no longer brace themselves against the doing of that which should be done.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 8

    I am almost heartbroken over the condition of things in the Southern field. But I will not try to speak of my feelings. I an instructed to say that the council-meeting now being held will do only harm unless a more humble and contrite spirit prevails.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 9

    At the last General Conference thorough work was not done. The men in positions of authority in the medical missionary work did not clear the King’s highway. Had the work been done that God would have had done, hearts would have been softened and subdued and humbled.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 10

    All the book work in the world will not take the place of the Holy Spirit of God. The hearts of some claiming to be in service to God are as destitute of the Holy Spirit’s power as the hills of Gilboa were of dew and rain. Call for a fast and for putting away of sin.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 11

    O that men would die to self and reveal the compassion and love of Christ! As long as we hold ourselves in our own keeping, and refuse to be humbled, we cannot be sanctified. Your council meeting will be of no avail unless you allow the Spirit of God to come in.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 12

    In much of the service professedly done for God, there is self-emulation and self-exaltation. God hates pretense. When men and women receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they will confess their sins, and pardon—which means justification—will be given them; but the wisdom of human agents who are not penitent, not humbled, is not to be depended on; for they are blinded in regard to the meaning of righteousness and sanctification through the truth. When men are stripped of self-righteousness, they will see their spiritual poverty. Then they will approach that state of brotherly kindness that will show that they are in sympathy with Christ. They will be able to appreciate the high and elevated character of Christian missions.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 13

    My brethren, until you reach this place, your board meetings and council meetings might as well come to an end; for your plans and devisings will bear the stamp of imperfection.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 14

    Many are readily satisfied with offering the Lord trifling acts of service. Their Christianity is feeble. Christ gave Himself for sinners. With what anxiety for the salvation of souls we should be filled as we see human beings perishing in sin. These souls have been bought with a price. The death of the Son of God on Calvary’s cross is the measure of their value. Day by day they are deciding a question of life and death, deciding whether they will have eternal life or eternal destruction. And yet men and women professing to serve the Lord are content to occupy their time and attention with matters of little importance. They are content to be at variance with one another. If they were consecrated to the work of the Master, they would not be striving and contending like a family of unruly children. Every hand would be engaged in service. Every one would be standing at his post of duty, working with heart and soul as a missionary of the cross of Christ. The Spirit of Christ would abide in the hearts of the laborers, and works of righteousness would be wrought. The workers would carry with them into their service the prayers and sympathies of an awakened church. They would receive their orders from Christ and would find no time for contention or strife.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 15

    Messages would come from lips touched by a live coal from the divine altar. Earnest, purified words would be spoken. Humble, broken-hearted intercessions would ascend to heaven. With one hand the workers would take hold of Christ, while with the other they would grasp sinners and draw them to Christ.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 16

    Work is what the churches need. They need an unreserved consecration to service. Let your council meetings be turned into penitent, humble seeking of the Lord for His Spirit. Jesus wept over the guilt and obduracy of Jerusalem. Whose hearts break today because of the peril of those in darkness? Who among those who have received such great light and such rich gifts mingle their tears with the tears of the Saviour?17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 17

    I am instructed to tell you that while there is dissension among you, you are not in harmony with Christ. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Revelation 3:2, 3.]17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 18

    Never can the church reach the position that God desires it to reach until it is bound up in sympathy with its missionary workers. Never can the unity for which Christ prayed exist until spirituality is brought into missionary service, and until the church becomes an agency for the support of missions. The efforts of the missionary will not accomplish what they should until the church members in the home field show, not only word but in deed, that they realize the obligation resting on them to give these missionaries their hearty support.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 19

    God calls for workers. Personal activity is needed. But conversion comes first—seeking for the salvation of others, next.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 20

    Spiritual despotism is to lose its hold on souls. Each one is to awaken to the necessity of personal holiness and of having a personal, living faith. Then will God’s work be done. Then will reformations take place. Souls will be rescued from the grasp of selfishness and in love, patience, and Christian forbearance will help one another to work for those perishing out of Christ.17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 21

    I can write no more now; for this must go in today’s mail. I have been instructed to send you these words. Will you act upon them?17LtMs, Lt 173, 1902, par. 22

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