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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 59, 1902

    Our Attitude Toward the Southern Field and Its Workers

    Nashville, Tennessee

    December, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in SpTB #18 5-6.

    The Word of God Gives Spiritual Strength

    “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” [John 15:1, 2.] Those who claim to believe on Jesus Christ should gain an understanding of the fifteenth chapter of John and reveal its teachings in the daily life.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 1

    “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.” [Verse 3.] It is through obedience to the Word that Christ’s disciples are made clean. Those who reject the Word, which is represented in the sixth chapter as the bread of life, remain unclean.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 2

    “Labor not,” Christ says, “for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. ... Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. ... This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” [John 6:27-29, 47, 48, 50, 51.] It is God’s work to cleanse hearts through His presented Word. Christ declared, “The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” [Verse 51.] The Lord gave His life in order that man might have a living connection with God. “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” [Verses 52-56.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 3

    It is not enough merely to read the Word. The Scriptures must also be believed, and carefully, prayerfully studied. In order to receive spiritual strength, those who read should have a mind and heart to obey. The Word, eaten, is food that supplies heart and mind with sanctified efficiency and power.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 4

    “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” [John 1:14.] This Word was “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” [Verse 9.] O that all would see the importance of understanding the Word of Life! “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” [Verse 10.] What a representation! The Majesty of heaven, sent to our world in the guise of humanity, was unrecognized, unacknowledged. Shall God’s people be as ignorant now of His working as were the people mentioned in this Scripture? Servants of the Most High are again preparing a people to know and understand Christ, uplifting Him before the people as the Lamb of God, who alone can take away the sin of the world. Shall we, by neglecting to obey the Word, allow our spiritual eyesight to become so blinded that we cannot discern the working of Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit through His servants?17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 5

    “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” [Verse 11.] What a statement is this! History is being repeated in our time. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [Verses 12, 13.] The will of the human mind has but little influence. “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.” [Verse 14.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 6

    God’s Instruction to the Workers

    In the night season I was reading to persons who were not in harmony. Among other Scriptures, the third and fourth chapters of First Corinthians were presented before me, and I was calling the attention of the brethren to the subject matter of these Scriptures. I was awakened at one o’clock at night with these chapters impressed upon my mind. Especially was my mind forcibly impressed with the third chapter. The entire chapter, I was instructed, is applicable to the situation.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 7

    “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:1-9.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 8

    Should not such words as these be carefully and prayerfully considered? They are of most solemn, weighty import to us.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 9

    The second chapter of Ephesians was also presented as containing instructive lessons for those who are not working in harmony. The apostle says: “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 10

    “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” [Verses 4-22.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 11

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 12

    “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, When he ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” [Ephesians 4:1-10.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 13

    “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 14

    “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 15

    “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Verses 11-32.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 16

    I am instructed to say to every worker: These inspired words are addressed to you. You have the Bible. Why do you persist in grieving the Holy Spirit? Inasmuch as you do not appropriate the Word of God for yourself, or believe it to mean just what it says, you are exerting an influence against the Word by a denial of its teachings in your daily life. You do not heed its warnings against strife and division—the very things of which you are guilty. You are not to set yourself up as a minister, to walk as a minister, dress as a minister, talk as a minister, or pray as a minister. You are to engage in humble missionary work as a laborer together with God. You are to help your brethren in the churches to be at agreement with one another.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 17

    Working humbly, such a minister will touch the hearts of the people, and they will say: “This man has not set himself up in his own ways. He is not above doing little acts of kindness in the homes where he is visiting. We will ask him to come home with us for dinner.” Thus the minister who works in humility gains an entrance into the homes of the people. Under his ministrations, hearts are made tender. Many a person is thus prepared to open the door of the heart in response to the knocking of Jesus. The repentant one invites the Saviour to enter.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 18

    The work of soul-saving is more precious than any line of business in which you may engage. The heavenly intelligences suggest ideas and plans to those working for the salvation of a human soul. You may think that such ideas originate with yourself, but they are given by unseen agencies who are communicating to you the wisdom of heaven, which you are to communicate to many other human agencies.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 19

    Those who cultivate sincerity and fervent piety will not make grievous mistakes. They are ever looking unto Jesus and studying what He would do if He were in their place. They manifest a deep sympathy for the lost race for whose redemption Christ suffered and died. They weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that rejoice.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 20


    True piety is not straitened, bigoted, hard, or exacting. When our hearts are drawn out because of the necessities of the fallen race, wisely and mercifully we shall exercise painstaking care to do good to others. The care that we give to those who can be helped will take our minds from ourselves. This is a recipe for the cure of all unprofitable conversation. In the place of backbiting, falsely accusing, thinking evil, and acting as if the evil that we imagined were surely in existence, when it is not, we shall, by following this recipe, be identified with Christ in the work of uplifting our fellow men and restoring their God-given nobility. No longer shall we drop, as evil seed, words that will cause man persons to be filled with suspicion and to watch for evil. No longer shall we make another an offender for a word that is misconstrued and misrepresented as an evil thing. No longer shall we abuse the minds of our associates by burdening them with evil thoughts, to which our minds have given birth, and which, as evil seed, spring up and grow in other minds. In the place of speaking evilly, we shall speak words of encouragement, taking particular pains to be pleasant and agreeable.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 21

    The Lord desires men and women to behold Christ so constantly that they will be changed into His likeness, from glory to glory—from character to character. When they think that they see wrongs in a brother, they are to remember the instruction and warning given by Christ: “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” [Luke 6:27-31.] If you follow this instruction, it will keep you from speaking evil of those whom God is using, and whom, if your spiritual discernment were not beclouded by Satan’s misrepresentations, you would know are engaged in a good work.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 22

    “If ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father (in heaven) also is merciful.” [Verses 32-36.] We recommend this recipe to those who claim to be sons and daughters of God and upon whom His light is shining. “Love as brethren.” [1 Peter 3:8.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 23

    “And why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” “Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:46-49.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 24

    In this Scripture two classes of persons are brought to view. These classes are in every place, in every church. Those who are building for time and for eternity, Christ represents by the house founded on the rock. The condition of each class is represented by this parable. Christ has pointed out the fate of those who fail of realizing the evil of what they are doing. Let all read and understand.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 25

    God has specified the work that must be done to prepare a people to stand in the great day of test and trial that shall come to every one. Those who desire to perfect a Christlike character cannot be neutral. “He that is not with Me,” says Christ, “is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 26

    God’s servants are to work not only with their own energy, but with an energy imparted by the Holy Spirit. Co-operating with the Lord Jesus, they are to be “laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Never are they to spend time in watching for defects to criticize and condemn in those who are endeavoring to put heart and mind and soul into the Master’s service. There are men who are working in the very best way in which they know how to work. These men may make mistakes; but because of their mistakes, their brethren are not to stand by as idle spectators and condemn them. Those who do not try to co-operate with their brethren are spoiling their own experience and dwarfing their own character. The ones who are very free to express words of sharp reproof and discouraging criticism are doing a work that must sometime be repented of. By thus following Satan’s plans, they create in themselves not only an appetite for the forbidden fruit of evil, but also a desire to give this objectionable knowledge to others. They suppose that a knowledge of evil is of advantage, but it is not. A knowledge of good only is essential.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 27

    Some men are carrying a very heavy load of criticism. They have taken on themselves burdens that they should not bear. They are going about as peddlers, offering their objectionable wares to others. My brethren, do not encumber yourselves with such forbidden wares as faultfinding and criticism.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 28

    God’s Message to Faultfinders

    So prevalent have objectionable, faultfinding traits of character become in the Church, that the Lord Jesus presents the Laodicean message to His people as an accurate description of their unsavory condition. In this message He gives the counsel that every church in the Southern field and all other fields should heed: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” [Revelation 3:14-16.] What a deception is upon them! But God gives the recipe that will change their condition: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” [Verses 17-20.] Who will use this God-given recipe? To those who choose to make use of it, the promise is: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” [Verse 21.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 29

    The time has now come when the faultfinders, the unthankful, and the unholy will make a final decision. If they are saved at last, they must now be converted. They must heed the message, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 30

    “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in bedchambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” [Romans 13:10-14.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 31

    “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.” [Luke 6:37.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 32

    My brethren in the Southern field, I ask you, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, to “quit you like men.” [1 Corinthians 16:13.] Use your talent of speech to a worthy purpose. Cultivate pleasantness of voice and fragrance of speech. Teach God’s Word—present truth—to those who are in the darkness of error. No longer imperil the salvation of your souls and the souls of others by speaking words of condemnation. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” [Luke 6:37, 38.] Do you believe the words of a God too wise to err and too good to do us harm?17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 33

    Often when a faultfinder asks forgiveness from his brother, he finds that he had no occasion for finding fault. Words misinterpreted, reports greatly exaggerated by those who carry them, result in estrangement between brethren. And when alienation creates an atmosphere so deleterious to spiritual health that some of the sufferers attempt to escape from the malarious atmosphere by asking the forgiveness of the one whom they have condemned, they discover that their brother is not guilty of the evils attributed to him. False reports had been passed from one to another, wrong impressions had been made, and at last the dish tasted so strongly of talebearing that it became nauseating.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 34

    He who cherishes a mischievous disposition and an unsanctified tongue, he who indulges his desire for criticism and talebearing, places himself in Satan’s power. He lives in darkness. His influence is of such a nature that many others are affected by the darkness surrounding his soul. Concerning such men Christ “spake a parable,” saying: “Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Mark closely this lesson that Christ taught. He continued: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? ... Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good measure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” [Verses 39-45.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 35

    I present to you these lessons. Will you be offended at Christ’s words of instruction?17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 36

    The words that I have quoted are the words of One who cannot err. Christ’s instruction applies to every one of His followers.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 37

    A Warning Against Dissension

    The Lord cannot work through those who give place to discord and strife. Those who think and speak evil scatter from Christ. He is ashamed to call them brethren.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 38

    Read the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of First Corinthians. Notice especially the instruction of the thirteenth chapter. Will you not believe and obey these words? What kind of a witness is borne to the truth when those who believe it separate into factions? Does such a witness testify to the power of the truth?17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 39

    The teachers of truth must be wise men, very careful of their words and actions. They must be men who will give meat in due season to the flock of God; men who will not give the least sanction to the dissension so dishonoring to Him; men who have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul from all carnal thoughts and desires.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 40

    My brethren and sisters, remember that those who appreciate the truth will not exert an influence contrary to the truth by giving way to envy and jealousy. Many of you, by giving place to the enemy, have failed to gain the precious experience the Lord desired you to [have]. If you would stop criticizing, if you would drink of the pure streams of Lebanon, instead of drinking of the murky waters of the valley, strength and peace and joy would come to you. The poisonous atmosphere with which you surround yourselves by engaging in contention brings physical and spiritual disease. Had you showed a united front, many would have been added to the church.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 41

    Controversy does no good. It leads to unrighteousness of thought and action. Let those who give way to angry feelings remember that silence will be their eloquence until they shall see their sin, and by repentance and confession prepare the way for God to forgive them, until they are born again, to live a new life in Christ. Then they will be able to speak words that will honor their Master.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 42

    “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” [2 Corinthians 5:14-21.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 43

    “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. ... Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by the Holy Ghost, in love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” [2 Corinthians 6:1, 3-7.]17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 44

    The Word of God is precious. Will my ministering brethren take heed to it? Will they strive to be wise shepherds? Will they hide themselves in Christ?17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 45

    Many of those who claim to believe the truth are walking and working contrary to the truth by cherishing a spirit of criticism. My faultfinding brethren, why do you not go out into the difficult, unworked fields and give a practical demonstration of what your principles of rightdoing are by engaging in faithful, hard work yourselves? Let those who are busybodies, who have no concern as to what mischief they may set in operation by unguarded words, repent before God and be converted. Let them talk and act like Christians. Unless a decided reformation takes place in their lives, God will cast them off forever.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 46

    Those who refuse to come into working order, who make it their aim to hinder those who will work, should be separated from the church. God will not serve with their sins. They are stumbling blocks over which sinners stumble and fall.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 47

    In God’s service there is room for all. Every one may find abundance to do. Upon the platform of eternal truth, all can find standing room. God’s servants are taken from the world and from churches of different denominations; but they are to work together in perfect unity, in a oneness surprising to the world.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 48

    Let none give up active service to pick flaws in the work of those who are trying to do something. Alienation and strife have had their day. Too long have they weakened the hands of God’s people. Too long have they retarded His work. Would that we could say, A reform has taken place. No longer shall these evils find place among God’s servants.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 49

    Our Trust

    God has made His people the depositaries of truth. This truth they hold in trust for a world dead in trespasses and sins. Every truth they receive regarding the closing scenes of this earth’s history places on them an added burden to communicate this knowledge to their fellow men. He in whose heart the truth abides will impart to others his knowledge of the truth.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 50

    Our work is aggressive. The world is to be warned. We cannot trifle with the message of mercy and warning to be given to our fellow men. The times of our ignorance, “God winked at.” [Acts 17:30.] But now great light is shining upon the church, and God is waiting to see what they are going to do with this light. For the last thirty years, great light has been shining upon the pathway of God’s people. But their practice has not been in harmony with this light. My brethren and sisters, what are you doing to save souls? You might have been years in advance of where you are now if you had given yourselves wholly to Christ. How long will you weary His patience? Oh, how much good you might have accomplished had you laid hold of the work with earnestness and zeal, ever learning of Christ! Not one-thousandth part is done of what might be done if those who know the truth would practice the truth.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 51

    Many of the ministers who hover over the churches instead of going forth into aggressive labor are as salt which has lost its savor. Their influence over the churches is not preservative. They are strengthless and spiritless because they have not been drinking of the pure streams of Lebanon, but of the murky streams of the valley.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 52

    The Lord has shown me that many of those sent forth to labor for the churches are not giving the churches any spiritual help.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 53

    A Neglected Work

    The Southern work has been and is strangely neglected. There is today a dearth of workers and a dearth of means because God’s work has not been carried on according to His plan. A great work should have been done in our cities. But the people in many, many of these cities are still unenlightened in regard to the truth. And why?—Because those who know the truth have neglected and still are neglecting their work. They have not traded wisely on their talent of knowledge. They have criticized and condemned, but have not shown what can be done.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 54

    To all, God has entrusted the goods of heaven. All are required to be faithful in multiplying agencies for the advancement of God’s work. No gift, however small, is to be lightly regarded. Every talent is the Lord’s, to be improved and doubled by use. The gifts bestowed on each one are exactly proportionate to his ability to use them.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 55

    Every entrusted talent is to be traded upon. Were God’s people to do this, able workers would be raised up to carry the last message of mercy to places where the truth has never yet had standing room. If those who have received the light of truth would give of their means to sustain His work in mission fields, where the work is hard and discouraging, there would be added to the church of such as should be saved—those who would represent Christ to the world, who would act their part in sustaining God’s work in all its branches. This is God’s design. But the barren, unworked condition of the cities testifies that God’s people have not fulfilled His purpose for them. Why did not those who have been so ready to criticize others enter these neglected fields and show what could be done? How much better to do this than to block the wheels for those who are trying to work!17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 56

    Long years of neglect make the work in the Southern field far harder than it would otherwise have been. Obstructions have been accumulating. Great progress might have been made in medical missionary work. Sanitariums might have been established. The principles of health reform might have been proclaimed. This work is now to be taken up. And into it not a vestige of selfishness is to be brought. It is to be done with an earnestness, perseverance, and devotion that will open doors through which the truth can enter, and that to stay.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 57

    In the South there is much work that could be done by lay workers of limited education. There are men, women, and children who need to be taught how to read. These poor souls are starving for the knowledge of God. Great responsibility rests upon those in the South in whose hands God has placed the torch of truth. Yet few of these have realized that to them has been given the work of carrying the light to those living in midnight darkness.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 58

    The history of the work in the Southern field, from its very beginning, has been opened before me. O what a history it is! When Brother Palmer and Edson White, in obedience to the impressions of the Spirit of God, took up the work in the Southern field, everything before them was uncertain, and the work was difficult and discouraging. Had their brethren encouraged them by their means and influence in doing the work God signified should have been done immediately after the emancipation of the colored people, then much more fruit would have been the reward of their self-denying efforts. How different would be the condition of the Southern work today had those believing the truth practiced the principles of truth! Many failed to endure His test and proving. They did not honor their absent Lord by giving His workmen the help they needed to do the work He had said should be done. They gave little encouragement to His work for souls so greatly in need of His love. Their practice did not correspond with their profession of faith.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 59

    Our churches have had the light of truth. From time to time they have been moved by the working of the Holy Spirit. But they have not walked in the light. For a little while they have practiced the holy principles of truth, and then because they did not impart, the impression made in their minds by the Spirit has faded; and they have fallen back into a listless, indifferent state. When the light first shone into the chambers of the mind, when their hearts were first warmed by the unspeakable love of Christ, they should have begun to work as laborers together with God. This was their opportunity to learn how to offer Him acceptable service.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 60

    When men co-operate with Christ, they become God’s helping hand. They see the great work that is to be done, and with untiring earnestness they labor to present, to high and low, rich and poor, the evidences of truth. They learn from Christ how to reach the unconverted. But those who neglect to impart what they receive soon lose their zeal and enthusiasm. They are described in the Word of God as those who have lost their first love. The self-sacrificing efforts made by others to advance the Lord’s work fail to arouse them. They criticize, but refuse to help. God sees it all. He sees that they do not appreciate the precious truths of His Word, that they do not share the blessings so freely given them. They lose the sense of the blessedness that always comes to those who work beside Christ.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 61

    Edson White took up the work in the Southern field, because the Lord selected him and impressed him by His Spirit to do this work. He used time and strength and means and influence to make this work self-sustaining; and God went before him. He was often discouraged, but much of the time he could say, “The good hand of the Lord has been with me. The Lord has gone before me, preparing facilities wherewith I could work successfully.” The Lord put it into the minds of unbelievers to supply at a low rate things needed for the work.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 62

    When he first entered upon his work in the South, the situation was forbidding. The unwillingness of his brethren to give attention to this neglected field caused him intense suffering. His fellow worker Brother Palmer was called away from him. What the object was in doing this—whether it was still further to discourage Edson—God, who knows all hearts, will one day reveal. Had the brethren passed over the ground that my son has passed over, their feelings with regard to his work would be altogether different. There were those who should have made themselves familiar with the condition and needs of the Southern field, but they passed by on the other side. How long will it require for men to understand the movings of the Spirit of God?17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 63

    I have tried to encourage my son. He has been presented to me at times in what seemed to be utter discouragement. I have known of his sleepless nights passed in conjecturing what it could mean that men, professing to be called to the work of saving souls, had so little burden for the Southern field. I have seen his anguish of spirit. I have seen him grieved, bruised in spirit. The fact that his brethren passed him by on the other side cut him to the heart. But angels of heaven were sent to lighten the darkness.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 64

    The Lord was not unmindful of His servants. Helpers were raised up. Brother Smouse and others helped as they could. And what blessing their assistance brought to the weary workers!17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 65

    God has marked Edson White’s efforts and his gratitude for the help he has received. At times he has made mistakes. But these mistakes, though causing him much disappointment, have taught him valuable lessons. He has been God’s helping hand. He was sent by God to carry forward the work in the Southern field. All the way along he has been tried, and sometimes very severely tried; but the Lord has strengthened him by the assurance, “I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” [Isaiah 41:10.] The Lord God of heaven has blessed the work he has tried to do.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 66

    God gave His servants the opportunity of co-operating with Edson White. But the judgment will reveal how little encouragement has been given him. Those who might have given the work added strength by giving to it their talents of means and influence stood aloof, as if there were not thousands of men and women, both white and black, perishing in sin without God and without hope in the world. There were heathen at their very door; and yet there were ministers who looked upon the work undertaken to help these poor souls as a work that should be spoken of lightly and discouraged.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 67

    I was shown the lack of interest the believers in the Southern field manifested in this work of self-denial and self-sacrifice. They treated it as a strange work.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 68

    There are those who have educated themselves to criticize the work of others. They have stood on the negative side till criticism has become a part of their nature. They are quick to see something to find fault with, quick to bring up objections; but they do not present a better way. Two or three such critics can effectually block the way against advancement. Nothing can free such ones from the terrible deception Satan has cast upon them, but receiving Christ into the heart.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 69

    God’s displeasure rests upon those who have had the light of truth, but whose hearts are not filled with love for perishing souls. Believers who are so occupied with their own work that they bring no additions to the church, no souls to Christ, are held responsible by God for a neglected work. Against their names in the heavenly record are written the words, Unfaithful stewards.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 70

    Christ’s true followers use their knowledge to make others the recipients of His grace. With their lamps filled with holy oil from the divine altar, they go forth to give light to those in darkness. Such workers see many souls turning to the Lord. New truths continually unfold to them, and as they receive, they impart.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 71

    Those for whom the fetters of sin have been broken, who have sought the Lord with brokenness of heart, and have obtained answer to their yearning requests for righteousness, are never cold and spiritless. They realize that they have a part to act in the grand work of soul-saving. They watch and pray and work for the salvation of souls. Molded and fashioned by the Holy Spirit, they gain depth and breadth and stability of Christian character. They gain enduring spiritual happiness. Walking in Christ’s footsteps, they become identified with Him in His self-sacrificing plans. Such Christians are not cold and unimpressible. Their hearts are filled with unselfish love for sinners. They put away from them all worldly ambition, all self-seeking. Contact with the deep things of God makes them more and more like their Saviour. They exult in His triumphs; they are filled with His joy. Day by day they grow up into the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 72

    Christ Our Only Dependence

    Consider these words: “Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor.” [1 Corinthians 3:8.] Because we are often crossed in our expectations, we are not to be discouraged. Was not Christ often disappointed in work in our world? In patience and hope we are to work together with God, devoting all we have and are to the advancement of His cause. Thus only can we be successful workers for Christ. Now we have the toil and hardship; by and by we shall share in the glorious reward.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 73

    We must make the principles of God’s Word a part of the life. Only thus can we be rooted and grounded in the truth. If we depend on man, if we make flesh our arm, we shall surely fail. We need a Teacher who has a deeper, wider knowledge than man has. When we sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him how to be meek and lowly in heart, He can impart to us His treasures of truth, knowing that we shall be wise teachers. Not until Christ’s life is a vitalizing power in our lives can we be strong to resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without. We need to press close to the side of Christ. We need to be sure that we are wearing His yoke of restraint and obedience. Then we shall be safe, because we are on the Lord’s side. His truth is in our hearts, and we find His yoke easy and His burden light. We are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. But without Christ’s strength, we shall bend like the willow at every breath of criticism. Nothing but the power of Christ can make us and keep us true and steadfast. No one can stand firm who does not cherish in His heart the truth of God.17LtMs, Ms 59, 1902, par. 74

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