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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Lt 94a, 1909

    Brethren and Sisters in Washington

    Washington, D. C.

    June 6, 1909

    This letter is published in entirety in 2SAT 305-313. +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.

    Dear Brethren and Sisters in Washington:

    The Lord has a solemn and important work for His remnant people to do. There is much faithful missionary work to be done in the highways and byways of the earth, and all who have any part to act in this work must be truly converted at heart. It is not a tame, scientific religion that we advocate, but a religion that will subdue hearts and sanctify and cleanse and refine the life. It is a religion that possesses living power and the spirit of the great Teacher Jesus Christ. We are to reveal in our lives practical, genuine godliness. We are to be drawn out of and away from every selfish action. With the blessing of Christ upon us day by day, we are to be channels for the communication to all around us of heaven’s blessed light and grace.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 1

    The work of the third angel’s message is strengthening and broadening, and I have been instructed that the responsibilities in our large conferences should be divided and that we should not have all our work under the supervision of one group of men. The Lord has shown me that all the means should not be centered in one place. Arrangements should be made to share the responsibilities, and wise, godly men, who will act their part faithfully, should be selected to act a part in bearing responsibilities and to be entrusted with means for their part of the field. We have true and reliable men in various parts of the field, who have ability to carry responsibilities and to give wise counsel. We have reason to put confidence in them as verily as we have reason to trust the responsible men in Washington. These should be trusted to take hold and do a work for the places that have been neglected.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 2

    In all our churches in every conference there is need of a deep heartwork being done both among leaders and laymen. The president of the conference should sense his individual need and by living faith draw from Christ divine power and wisdom and efficiency. Heavenly understanding will surely be given to all who seek for it in humble faith. What we need is an inspiration from the cross of Calvary. This will make men and women laborers together with God.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 3

    During the past few years there have been some experiences in which men have set themselves to watch certain workers, lest they solicit means for the upbuilding in their part of the field of the work that the Lord has instructed us should be built up. The work in the southern field has been hindered, and means which should have gone to advance the work there has been held back because of a spirit of fear lest too much means be diverted to this channel. We ought not to have had this experience of keeping back men from the important work of opening blind eyes to the light of present truth. It was inconsistent with the faith we profess to hold that faithful men, doing a work greatly needed, should be forbidden to receive donations for the assistance of their work.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 4

    There was spread out before me city after city in need of evangelistic labors. If diligent effort had been given to the work of making known the truth for this time in the cities that are unwarned, they would not now be as impenitent as they are. From the light that has been given me, I know that we might have had today thousands more rejoicing in the truth if the work had been carried forward as the situation demands in many aggressive lines.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 5

    There are lessons for us to learn from the experience of Philip and the Ethiopian. Angels of God saw the Ethiopian traveler reading the Scriptures as he rode in his chariot, and one of the disciples was sent to meet him. Philip said to the Ethiopian, “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?” Acts 8:30, 31. Then Philip opened to him the Scripture. And when he had heard and believed, the Ethiopian asked, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” Acts 8:36.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 6

    It was the Spirit of God that led this man’s mind to the study of the Scriptures; and because he could not understand their meaning, the Lord sent one of His servants to enlighten him and make him understand. When the Ethiopian asked, “What doth hinder me to be baptized,” Philip said, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” Acts 8:37, 38.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 7

    After Philip had given his message, he was caught away by the Spirit, and the eunuch saw him no more. This experience should teach us that we have a God, and that angels, who are ministering spirits, are sent by Him to do a special work in the earth. The man who undertakes to step in between the angels, and one whom God is seeking to instruct is out of his place. He had better stand on one side and let God work. God is able to work on human hearts and to lay upon them the burden of opening the Scriptures to the people.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 8

    Men bearing responsibilities are not faultless. They do not stand where they can make no mistakes. Sometimes they act like children. When we put confidence in self, and do not stop to pray, we are in great danger of marring the sacred work that we are dealing with. The Lord wants His workers to wrestle with Him in prayer. He wants to see the evidences of the working of the Holy Spirit upon human minds.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 9

    The Lord requires that we honor Him more fully in the management of the work than we have done in the past; but He cannot be honored by a course that hinders the advancement of the message of truth. He is dishonored when men set themselves to watch their fellow workers and to criticize them for seeking to obtain means from those who are willing to give for the needs of the advancing work. Such a work as this destroys the confidence of brother in brother. The advance work which we might have seen done, and which would have glorified God, has been hindered, and the message of truth has been retarded. If faithful and willing workers had been encouraged to do individual, personal work for souls in the highways and the byways, many would have been brought into the fold of Christ; but instead of this, some who desired to labor have become discouraged and disheartened and have lost their convictions of duty.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 10

    Every minister of the gospel needs to understand that those whom the Lord chooses to carry forward a special work in needy fields are to have freedom to solicit means from their brethren. I would that there could be opened before the leading men of the conference that which the Lord has presented to me as the result of the spirit of suspecting and watching and binding about. It has brought hindrances to the work which need never have existed. There have been laborers who were working far beyond their strength, and practicing economy in every possible way, who should have been encouraged and supported in their work. But the churches have had sown among them the seeds of suspicion and mistrust against these self-denying missionaries.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 11

    All who have engendered this spirit of suspicion, and have created this lack of confidence in God’s servants, need to be converted. They need to put away fear and jealousy and to cleanse their hearts from the evil seed of unbelief which has corrupted their thoughts and caused distress and forebodings. Some who have had abundant evidence of the good work that is being accomplished did not do what they could for its advancement, but took a course to hedge up the way. When we learn to define aright what sin is and what the righteousness of Christ is, we shall no longer justify such a course of action.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 12

    The heart, as well as the understanding, needs to be enlarged. It is not enough in this time of test and trial to have merely an intellectual knowledge of the truth. Heartwork must be done. “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 13

    The soul temple must be cleansed, and the experience of many must be seen in its true light. The buyers and the sellers must be driven out, and the Spirit of God must take possession of heart and mind. Let none question their need of a personal Saviour. The Lord cannot use the worker into whose experience true conversion has not entered. Character must be formed after the divine pattern. We are to work with Christ in the forming of character after the divine similitude.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 14

    The Lord does not accept worldly policies for the carrying forward of His work. This spirit must not come into the management of our conferences. The work given to the human agent is to copy the character of Jesus Christ. Shall worldly policies be allowed to hide the principles of men who claim to be doing the work of God? I say, No; no. The agencies of God and satanic agencies cannot combine. While so many are saying, Who is the Lord, that I should serve Him? while there prevails a lack of faith in God, let those who represent the work of the third angel’s message act like converted men. Let them wrestle with God in prayer. When our men in official positions are fully converted, they will advocate the truth for this time in every line of their work. I am hoping that we may have the satisfaction of seeing a work done that is free from selfishness and that will rapidly advance work in missionary lines.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 15

    Isaiah, speaking of the mission of Christ and His followers, says: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 16

    “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” Isaiah 61:1-4. “Thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach; the restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 17

    If ever there was a time in the history of Seventh-day Adventists when they should arise and shine, it is now. No voice should be restrained from proclaiming the third angel’s message. Let none, for fear of losing prestige with the world, obscure one ray of light coming from the Source of all light.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 18

    It requires moral courage to do the work of God for these last days; but let us not be led by the spirit of human wisdom. The truth should be everything to us. Let those who want to make a name with the world go with the world. The great conflict is right at hand in which all will take sides; in it the whole Christian world will be involved. Daily, hourly, we must be actuated by the principles of the Word of God. Self must be sanctified by the principles of the righteousness, the mercy, and the love of God. At every point of uncertainty, pray, and earnestly inquire: Is this the way of the Lord? With your Bibles before you, consult with God as to what He would have you do. Holy principles are revealed in the Word of God. The source of all true wisdom is found in the cross of Calvary.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 19

    Everywhere we see increasing evidence that the message we have from God is to be the last message of warning to the churches of the world. Yet year after year is passing into eternity, and the churches are unwarned. I am instructed to speak to my brethren and to ask, Are we conscious of the neglect? I have been given message after message for our brethren, encouraging them to begin work in every place where the way shall open. If laborers would go forth to the work, the Lord would bless their own souls and would make their efforts fruitful. As the people hear the reasons of our faith, they will become interested and will be converted. There are many important places open to those who will work for souls. We should not be selfish in seeking to retain workers long in one place, but should be willing to sacrifice that the work may be begun in other cities that need the light of truth.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 20

    Let us urge those who have been converted from error to truth to become missionaries for the extension of the knowledge of truth. Invent some way of becoming acquainted with the people. In many instances you can make your way by presenting the books Christ’s Object Lessons and Ministry of Healing. Tell the people the story of the book and how the means raised by its sale is used for the carrying forward of gospel work. This kind of labor will open the way for you to establish small schools and medical missionary work in our cities.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 21

    Call the attention of the people to the importance of educational work. All may do something in this line. If any of our people are working in that city, connect with them in labor. They may be able to help you in finding ways of disposing of books among the people. If you will work with wisdom, with heart and soul interest, and with earnest prayer to your heavenly Father, you will find access to souls. If you are a minister, you may do a precious work in opening the Scriptures to the people.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 22

    There are places all around Washington in which missionary effort is needed. Right in Washington itself is a small world of unconverted souls, both white and colored. Who is feeling the burden for them? And there are many other important places yet unwarned. When I see this neglect, I feel sore at heart. I am praying night and day that the burden may be rolled onto the men who are acting as leaders in the work. Let those who are already at work open the way for others who desire to labor and who are qualified to take part in missionary effort.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 23

    We are thankful for this good conference we have had. Yet I am distressed to see so much territory in America left unworked. Large donations are sometimes appropriated without considering what should be done to give thorough work to these neglected fields. Workers must be paid, if the field is to be cultivated and seeds of truth sown. We must have houses of worship to accommodate those who shall come out to hear.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 24

    A great amount of strength and a great many advantages are being centered here in Washington. Our leading men should refuse to expend means too largely in this place. They should improve their opportunities and advantages for working in other places. God will honor their service by making them a power in His closing work.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 25

    There are important cities needing labor that are near by Washington, our next door neighbors, as it were. If our brethren and sisters will do earnest missionary work for all with whom they come in contact, new fields of labor right around us will be opened up. The burden to labor for souls will come to many of those settled here, and they will desire to take an active part in the proclamation of the truth.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 26

    We plead that those settled in Takoma Park shall become laborers together with God in planting the standard of truth in unworked territories. Let a part of the large donations called for be used to furnish workers in our cities close by Washington. Let faithful house-to-house work be done. Souls are perishing out of the ark of safety. Let the standard of truth be lifted up by the church members in their neighborhoods. Let ministers pitch their tent and preach the truth to the people with power and then move to another vicinity and preach the truth there. I pray that many at the close of this meeting may take their stand to work as they have never worked before for the spread of a knowledge of present truth.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 27

    My brethren, lose no time in giving the message in the southern field. Dwell upon the Word of God. Let every statement be in harmony with a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Exalt Bible truth. Show forth its beauty and holiness. None who work in the South can proclaim the truth as boldly and fearlessly as in the North. Men are to labor with watchfulness and much prayer. Be guarded in what you say regarding the work of other denominations; for there are some who would be quick to retaliate. Let no words be spoken against the white people.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 28

    The Lord has seen the struggles and untiring efforts of men in the South to teach the truth. He has counseled these workers in their necessity and has enabled them to work with safety in times of peril, as they have sought Him in earnest prayer and have gone forward with unwavering faith.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 29

    God looks with sadness upon the unworked cities. The message has come to us, Work the cities quickly. The Lord would be pleased to see His messengers go forth as Christ the Son of the living God went forth. He is our example. He would be pleased to see our conferences laying plans for progressive work in our cities, to build up the old waste places. He would be pleased to hear the truth proclaimed wisely by every believer. Lack of faith has greatly hindered the work of God. There are decided reformations to be made. Our cities East and West and North and South are to be given the message of present truth. Companies are to go forth into the highways and the hedges, searching for the scattered sheep.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 30

    A mighty work is to be done by the people who observe the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The Sabbath truth is to be presented in clear lines. Our platform is to be the law of God. We are to call attention to the Sabbath as the holy of the Lord, honorable. The Sabbath day is set apart by Jehovah as a sign between the Lord and His people. “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep,” He says, “for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 31

    There has been some talk of putting up a large building here. The Lord does not want us to erect large buildings. He wants converted men with converted hearts more than anything else. I urge you to go to the places that have been neglected and give the message of warning to the people. The Lord is coming soon, and many are unready, unready. Here is territory all around you, where thorough work should be done to interest souls in the truth for this time. Some can take our books and learn what it means to go to the highways and hedges with the message of truth. Use the gift that you have; impart the light you have received. Repeat the truth over and over again to the people in simplicity and love. Such labor will be greatly appreciated.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 32

    Do not try to weave in a spirit of human wisdom. Do not try to find something new and strange to bring to the people, but speak the truth as it is in Jesus. When the doctrine is presented in the simplicity of true godliness, it will speak to hearts. There is need that all have opportunity to labor for souls. Then their ability will be increased, and they will be qualified to do a greater work.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 33

    Many laborers can work here in Washington, but there are some who are especially qualified to stand in the pulpits in our large cities and preach the truth as they have presented it acceptably for years. This class of work Brother Prescott is well fitted to perform. God wants him out of Washington. He wants him to labor where he can see souls being brought to the truth through his instrumentality. I am instructed to say to Elder Prescott, You are needed in the fields that are opening for evangelistic work; and when you make the Lord your trust, and, like a little child, cast your helpless soul upon your Saviour, He will be your righteousness, He will be your sanctification, He will be your power to reach the people by the messages of truth. Wonderful reformations will be seen, and there will be an awakening and a conversion of many souls who are now ignorant of what is the truth for these last days.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 34

    I am instructed to say to our people: Consider the warnings God has sent regarding the closing up of this earth’s history. It is not now a time for us to make a great display in large buildings. All our efforts for display will not convert one soul. When we consider that we are to be judged by our works, should we not give to the people of the world a representation in works that corresponds with the truths we proclaim? As a people we are to stand before the world to tell that time is soon to end. But our words of warning will be of no special value unless we show our faith by our works. Let us not testify by large and expensive buildings that we do not really believe what we teach. We are to provide simple, well-constructed buildings for the carrying on of our work; but we must not in one place, in the erection of buildings, [use] sums so large that we would have to leave the byways and hedges unwarned of the coming of the Saviour.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 35

    We are delivering sermons in every building we erect, and these things are taken as testimonies borne of our faith, while these very buildings testify that we are not expecting to move soon from this world to the heavenly. As this representation of the matter was presented before me, I could not rest. I determined to present it as it was presented to me and to urge our people to show their faith by their works. If we will work humbly and in the fear of God, He will work with our efforts to impress men and women with the truths of the message, and they in turn will testify to the faith they hold.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 36

    Missionaries are called for to go to foreign countries to present the truth to those who are in darkness. And the cities right around us are unworked and are calling for help. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord,” “to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Isaiah 43:10; 61:1, 2. My brethren and sisters, let us not make representations of unbelief, but let the light shine forth to the world in clear, distinct rays.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 37

    My heart is all the time asking the question, How can we reach the people? What can we do to open the blind eyes? There is missionary work to be done right here in this place, just as important as that to be done in foreign countries. Why isn’t it just as important to awaken an interest in the fields right about us as to work for the lands afar off? Oh, I do beseech our people in Washington to represent rightly the religion of Jesus Christ, the intensity of His love for the perishing, and the greatness of His power to save.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 38

    I want to read you a few words concerning Christ’s work of ministry: “When He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened, and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 39

    “As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 40

    “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:28-36.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 41

    In connection with this, let us read Christ’s great commission to His disciples: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. ... And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:16-20.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 42

    This instruction given by Christ to His disciples is the true higher education. The highest education in our world is to be found in the teachings of the Word of God. To receive its teachings, to carry its principles into the daily life, is to receive the highest education that man can gain. It is the only education that will secure us an entrance into the city of God.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 43

    When I came to Washington, I thought that, if I could, I would stay all through the meeting. Then there came a time when I felt that I could not stay any longer. I said I would go away. But in the night season, the word came to me: You are My messenger; you must give the message that I give you for the people. I said, I will stay, and if the meeting is prolonged, I will still stay till the close.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 44

    There are great reformations that need to be made here. These reformations are to be made on the right hand and on the left. May God help us to pray as we have never prayed before. We need His guidance and His counsel in all our works.24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 45

    And now let us pray: Heavenly Father, I come to Thee in the name of Thy dear Son. [Copy ends here.]24LtMs, Lt 94a, 1909, par. 46

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