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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 204, 1903

    Diary/The Use of Means and Family Responsibilities

    Elmshaven, St. Helena, California

    October 20, 1903

    Previously unpublished.

    1 Thessalonians, chapter 1. We need to read this chapter with interest, for it is a lesson to the individual members of the church. The writings of the apostles bear testimony that they are laborers together with God.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 1

    Each retains his individuality as a person whose character is continually forming—valuable to the work of the church and able to be used to the glory of God. They have not all the same stamp of character. There is diversity as in the branches of the vine, yet in diversity there is unity in Christ Jesus. Each branch of the parent stock is doing its best to bear the most perfect fruit, pleasant and profitable, each acting out his personality in union with the Great Worker, as represented in the prayer of Christ just before His death. They now have a mutual understanding of the words of Christ, “It is my Father's good pleasure” “that ye bear much fruit.” [See Luke 12:32; John 15:8.] “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing” that will be of value with God. “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”—for abiding in Christ, he has the spirit and will of Christ. “Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” [Verses 4-9.]18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 2

    He [Christ] enjoins the disciples to show distinctly the depth and clearness and fullness and reality of the work of the Holy Spirit of God upon the human heart. They have the depth and clearness of the genuine love of God, for in their experience it carries its own credentials. Their characters and work bear careful examination, for the fruit testifies of the character of the tree.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 3

    The use of money is a wonderful talent. [Is it] to be put out in interest in various speculations in houses and lands? No; no. This is not the way of using the means. It is to be invested in various ways only to glorify God. “Ye are not your own, 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.] In cooperation with Christ Jesus, the Lord's own money is to be used to do the work He has given His life to accomplish, first as the Alpha and continuing until the Omega.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 4

    God calls upon all [to] cooperate with Him, to use His talents of means in His charge, that His entrusted capital shall become an instrumentality placed in the hands of His people to be invested and consumed, to produce fruit through the various methods that He, the Alpha, shall outline. They will be God's stewards, investing His means wisely, bringing to many souls the gospel of Jesus Christ. First there must be the sowing of the seed, else there will be no harvest.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 5

    We will all try to answer correctly the lesson given by the parable of the unjust steward who showed, in one sense, a wise calculation that all should learn from, in administering his master's estate, to make the best possible security for himself in the future, thus becoming an example to others. How much property is being wasted in outward show, in speculations, and in buildings which testify nothing to the glory of God, when if that money was put into circulation to accomplish the work of God in this world, human minds would be enlightened to make provision for the future, eternal home in the mansions Christ has gone to prepare. He said to His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. ... If I go, ... I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1, 3.]18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 6

    Will we consider [that] Satan is playing the game of life for the souls of every human being, that they may perish with him? He has in mind still another battle, when he shall have in his ranks all who are not on the Lord's side, and in that battle take not only the kingdoms of the earth but also the kingdom of heaven.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 7

    He is tempting men to secure money-value in every objectionable way possible, but the most successful way is to become so besotted with poisonous liquor and tobacco, and the various drugs—opium, laudanum, and kindred drugs—to use [them] until the countenance bears the irritated, inflamed, representation in the features of the face, destroying the moral image of God in man. Thus whole families are reduced below the level of the brute creation. It is these temptations to deal in these life and health destroying drugs that are legalized by the laws of the nation until the whole family is ruined.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 8

    What can be done? Is nothing to be set in operation to save the souls from death, eternal death? In in the place of diverting thousands, millions, of dollars in liquor, let there be a voice earnestly heard in missionary lines to call to those who have means to help erect sanitariums and schools and churches, as Christ has counseled we should do. Let every effort be made to call into circulation the Lord's entrusted capital, to be consuming in order to be producing decided reformations. All who claim to be laborers together with God are now to begin to work in various lines as colporteurs, as evangelists, as Bible readers. House-to-house work may be done by women and men.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 9

    God calls upon all who have means to put it into circulation and incorporate it into various working agencies to the saving of souls. Many, in their turn, will unite in giving of their means and in uniting their own physical, mental, and moral efficiency to advance the work. Especially is the work to be done for the youth, as is being done in several localities in Berrien Springs and in other parts of America, and which is already in operation in some foreign countries. Use your entrusted means for saving the souls of men, women, and children. We need church schools. We need to educate the youth, and [we need] schools for older students who will give themselves wholly to the Lord and to His work.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 10

    While some Christian men in various lines [of work] are acquiring property, they may be all the time in touch with a class to whom their own example of strictest integrity as servants of Jesus Christ is exerting its influence. They are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Ever bear in mind the Christian is one who is pledged to God. He is not his own, for he is bought with a price. He is to strive continually to do the will of his Master. [He is to do] just that work which he is best adapted to perform, guided by the Master in all his acts. The Lord calls for workmen and Satan ought not to be permitted to gather in all the talents of influence.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 11

    God calls for more earnest, thoroughly converted workmen who shall speak in united voice all the words Christ has commanded them. This they can do with the word of the Old and New Testaments. Some are to be trained workers. God has assigned men His work. As money is a necessity, let all consider how much good they can accomplish in putting their entrusted goods out to usury to gain souls for Christ. Now, just now, let there be a reformation. [Let] every worker strive to do his best in being a witness for Christ by imitating His life of unselfishness. All are required to work and use their talents according to their several ability. Some can conduct a Bible class; some can speak in the pulpit; some conduct conference and prayer meetings; some do house-to-house work. Use your talents to secure tangible results. Some can run a farm, and so conduct that farm as to add means in small sums, and others in larger sums, to aid the advancement of the work of God.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 12

    Nashville needs help just now, and Washington and Berrien Springs. Let all who can, place the work upon a higher ground, growing larger and larger bases. Those farmers tilling the soil can reason from cause to effect. Their seed must be put in in season. In order to be successful there is pruning to be done, pruning of the orchards, and every tree bearing fruit is to be cared for in its season. “Ye are God's husbandry,” others are God's building, but all, harmonious in action, are to be planting the seeds of truth in men's hearts. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Ministers of the Word [are] to speak a word in season. “Go, ye therefore into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20.] Let the farmers, the carpenters, [and] the men who have various kinds of business be diligent and acquire in order to improve your talents to impart, to be used in wisdom to the glory of God.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 13

    Fathers in this world should encourage their children to ever keep in view the usefulness of their children in doing the greatest good in winning souls to Christ. The great good to be done for our children is to keep before them that work which will educate as for eternity. There is no greater harm done by parents than to lay up an inheritance for their children and neglect to use their means to advance their [children's] education in this life. [They should] give more time to personal interest in their children by taking them with them in the work, that these children may have, from their youth, greater attention and education and training to seek for the heavenly treasure rather than the earthly. We can afford to devote this life to the very best interest of our children, that they will know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, as in the prayer of Christ in John 17:3. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 14

    The time given to securing the wealth of this world may [cost] parents and their children the wealth of the eternal riches in the world to come. Fathers themselves should feel the responsibility resting upon them to respond to the claims of God to serve the Lord with their undivided affection and to encircle their children with every saving influence possible to make them your companions in early life. Fathers and mothers, let there be no question in the matter. Take your children by the hand and affectionately, lovingly, lead them to Jesus. Let your home be made fragrant with kind, affectionate, tender love. Bring capacity and knowledge by practical experiment, into the home. By your tact and capabilities, experiment to win your children in the home circle. Make your home so full of pleasantness that angels will love to abide with you, when you, as parents, make the very most of your capabilities to win every member of your family through earnest, unwavering Christlike endeavor for their souls.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 15

    Fathers, educate your boys to be useful and to ever be an interested link in the family firm. Keep them from the evil association of city life; bind them, fathers and mothers, to your heart with the strong, firm cords of affection and love and keeping-power from the evils that are in the world. Your sons may become trained to consider that the faithful discharge of duty in this life is the education they are to receive in their home life below to fit them with a preparation for the school in heaven above, to become members of the royal family and children of the heavenly King. Let the boys be cared for. Fathers [should,] if it is possible, arrange their business so as to take their boys with them to educate and train them.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 16

    The mothers at home should keep in mind the future of her children. Give them something useful to do. Unless you attend to the earliest years of their lives, teaching them to help the mother to do the jots and tittles that they can do, and should be educated to do, they will have other educators. Satan will teach other lawless, wicked youths to inspire the children with his wily alluring, and through the associations with others will put wicked plans in words and habits into their minds.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 17

    I wish to cry out with heart and soul and voice. Fathers, mothers, if you would save your children, give them something to do—little jobs. Let them be encouraged [that] they do help you.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 18

    In allowing them money to expend as they choose, [they receive] an education that will be dangerous. The habit is formed of becoming spendthrifts. They will learn to steal to obtain little or larger sums to gratify their inclination. There should be lessons taught to be economical. The missionary box [should be] purposely made prominent. Father and mother, put in that box a certain sum, besides their tithe, to help in providing means to aid the poor children who are suffering, to help in various ways to meet their necessities Some are in real poverty through sickness; some have no father and mother. Let the children earn something themselves to have something to give; but, parents, do not hire your children to help you in the home, or round about the house, or in things that must be done in various lines. They are to understand they are to help in the jots and tittles according to their strength. [They are] acting a part in the firm, to receive in food and clothing, and in preparing—making and repairing—their clothing. They must help in all these necessary things to be done, and they must act their individual parts in useful employment. The Lord's money is to be carefully treasured, while they are fitting themselves to be the Lord's helping hand to the very needy.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 19

    Guard against providing means to help your children obtain an education that will, in all probability, unfit them for taking up the very work in the service of God that they might do. Never let the idea be fastened in their mind that it is an enviable position to be trained to be above the necessity of working. If the parent sees that his means is not being used wisely, then withhold it. You are a steward of the Lord's goods. Christians are not excusable in indulging in luxuries. Tea and coffee should not be placed upon our tables. Tobacco should be ever presented to the children as a disgusting indulgence and detrimental to the physical, mental, and moral health.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 20

    We see what the world is becoming by not obeying the commandments of God. If the world would have received Christ Jesus as their personal Saviour, then they would have conducted themselves altogether differently. They do not feel to act their individual part in being honorable toward their parents. And they are receiving, in this neglected line of their education, the idea that they [should] receive all the home attentions in food and in clothing as their individual right. They spend money for that which is not bread. They are permitted to be in society to learn to become gentlemen, and the very worst part of their nature becomes strengthened through indulgence. This is the reason the world today is as it was in the days of Noah, and in Sodom and Gomorrah—hot beds of iniquity—as is represented [as being] acted around the dwelling of Lot. The worst deeds of iniquity are being practiced under Satan, the general of armies. This education and selfish indulgence in the home is the large cause of these iniquitous practices.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 21

    The more children are first educated diligently in the home life, the better are they prepared for entering the school to behave as gentlemen, to help lessen the arduous task of the teacher in managing the varied minds and dispositions of the learners of all ages. The well-regulated home prepares children to be a help to the teacher in the school to influence, as far as possible, the lads and misses whose course of action represents the home education. The children who have been trained at home to understand how to bear home burdens and appreciate the care of the mother in her varied lines of work will not permit the mother to be a slave in the family of several children.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 22

    The children, especially the young misses—the “little ones,” God calls them—are prepared to do the little jots and tittles from their early years. [Matthew 18:6, 10, 14.] They regard life as a serious and important matter, not to be spent in play while the mother is harried in the home work which their young strength can do. They can be continually learning by the mistakes they make. A wise mother will not fret and scold over their early errors in the efforts to help mother. And the father will not expect of the lad, just beginning to help father, the wisdom of how to do even the little jobs that will [be learned] if he patiently trains without fretting and scolding. Let the father patiently speak encouraging words. They may blunder at first, because they have never been taught, but the mistakes and blunders [had] better be [met] in the early beginning with a father's and mother's patient forbearance, than to say to them, “You have done that all wrong. I wish you would go away and not try to help. You have broken a dish,” and thus, and thus. Something has been done so awkwardly your patience is tried, but remember, they are learners not teachers. You are the teacher, showing them over and over and over again how to do the little matters carefully, neatly, savingly.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 23

    Not one cross word should ever be spoken to people trying to learn. One encouraging word at the right time is as apples of gold in pictures of silver. The child will often remember how his heart was made sad and discouraged by an impatient word, or a bruise to the soul when he was awkwardly doing the best he knew how. One word of encouragement, “Well, we will not feel bad over your failure, for it will be something to be thought of to not do the same thing again,” will be a lesson upon the mind worth more than the loss through some mistake for lack of knowledge. Then your children have improved by practical exercise, so that they are able every day to be learning what it means to have a home and to understand how every member is to have the privilege of acting their part in fulfilling their duty and, as children, to lighten the burdens of their parents.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 24

    Parents, while they feel their responsibilities as teachers in the home school, are themselves gaining a first class education that will aptly repay them for all the experience and task in training their children. If they study their Bibles, they have been coming to know how to properly obey the requirements of the heavenly Teacher. They know how they have felt when their children made blunders, and they will guard their own words in the home life in order to be faithful guardians in the position where the Lord has placed them.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 25

    When trials arise, they will not offend the Lord Jesus by being grown-up little children that have never disciplined themselves to leave their childhood mistakes and follies behind, but have taken them with them right along, so that their childhood ignorance is brought into the church and spoils their Christian experience. They are fretful and impatient when they should be a continual example to those little ones [who are] trying to learn. Through the error of mismanagement they have brought a very unpromising disposition with them into their own family life. Oh, how hard it makes everything in their home training school! Undisciplined mothers and fathers, unless you shall learn your lesson from the Great Teacher how to speak kindly, having control of your own unamiable temper, you will sow the seeds of murmuring, complaining, fretting, and all the ills of an undisciplined heart. This is the experience in the church life. This want of harmony in the home life is carried into the religious life, and, oh, what an unsightly presentation heaven looks upon! Some parents have had so little self-control that they carry all their ill dispositions, unconverted and unreformed into the church and spoil that life as a member of the family of God.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 26

    God's present government takes cognizance of the conduct of men. Every soul will be judged according to his works. There is to be a just discrimination revealed when the Judge of all the earth shall speak the words written in the books, and every man and woman and youth [is judged] according as their works have been. This is a close and accurate discrimination and not a promiscuous handling of things—an averaged account in measurement. The Judge of all the earth will do right.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 27

    Every man and woman will be judged and punished according to their deeds. There are human agencies that are doing, as they suppose, many good things, but that criticism in the home and carried into the church is a counter-working influence against the work of the gospel ministry, and it is a discouragement to the whole church.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 28

    [The Judgment will reveal] the measure of the guilt in counter-working the messages to be given by human agencies to the church, hindering by their negative position when the Lord says, “Advance!” [They] criticize every movement that others are trying to make in the line of work God has given them. And if they had opportunity, they would continue their church work they consider essential to find fault and manufacture mistakes. If all such would just go to work earnestly and prayerfully, to reveal in some locality their wise judgment in showing the better and faultless way, they would then have no time to watch others, but just show and give full proof of their ministry. They would soon understand they had their hands full to keep themselves straight.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 29

    The Judge of all the earth has the case of every man written in the books. The arguments you have given to quiet your own conscience—why you did this or that wrong action—will not appear to you as you made them appear to yourself or to those who are blinded by not being able to give that clear interpretation.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 30

    If men and women only believed that every human agency will be judged according to their deeds, just as the Word declares, then how much wiser it would be to acknowledge this without your reasoning to make it other than the Word declares. Let all rest fully assured that at the Judgment not one sinner shall ever enter the courts of heaven.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 31

    Satan, the originator of sin, was once expelled from heaven, because he would not acknowledge sin was sin but claimed it to be righteousness. The law of God has plainly specified what constitutes sin and what is meant by righteousness. What a pity, then, that men have invented a god of their own and a sanctification that calls sin righteousness. But all this will stand revealed just as it is—an invented god of their own interpretation—a god who will connive at sin through the sanctifying of sin. This will not do. There stands the cross, representing all who will believe in Christ as their sin-pardoning Saviour, [and who] will cease to transgress the law of God.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 32

    The transgression of this law condemns every sinner who does not repent of his sins and believe in Christ, accepting His power to make them sons of God. He is Truth, sacred, eternal Truth. The Word of God defines the work of the gospel ministry. [It] is to preach the truth, Bible truth as revealed in His Word. The [idea that it makes] no difference what doctrine you teach is Satan's lie. The Word of God is truth. If men will put their own explanation upon the truth, what it is, and urge their own ideas that are not in harmony with the truth of the Word, and they misinterpret the Word, we cannot say, [“It does] not matter what doctrine you believe.”18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 33

    It does very much [matter] whether we believe the Word of God or the word of the enemy. It made every difference with Cain and Abel in the offering of representation before God. Cain made a truth of pretention—an altar, a most splendid presentation—but the only representation that made that altar and offering of any value was obedience to the Lord, to offer the blood of the slain lamb, which could take away sin. God had respect unto Abel and his offering, and fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice. His acceptance of Abel's offering made Cain furious, because Abel vindicated the truth upon the subject—doing just as God had directed. There was every difference as to the presentation of the two offerings. God acknowledged the offering of Abel and sent fire from heaven to kindle the altar's sacrifice. He gave no recognition of Cain's offering.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 34

    While Cain was complaining of God's partiality, Abel was reasoning with his brother, to show that he had gone according to the Lord's direction, and therefore, in obeying the Lord in every particular, the Lord honored the sacrifice. Cain would not admit any error on his part. He was filled with hatred because Abel did not follow his lead. The Lord condescended to talk with Cain. “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” [Genesis 4:6, 7.]18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 35

    But Cain would not correct his wrong course. And while he talked with his brother, and was in opposition to God, he put all the blame on Abel and God. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel they brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?” [Verses 8, 9.] Cain lied to God and refused the responsibilities of an elder brother which were his, to care for and protect [Abel] from any evil. And the Lord said, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.” [Verse 10.] Read verses 11-15.18LtMs, Ms 204, 1903, par. 36

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