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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1555—Perplexities in the South Are Not Impossibilities; Work on in Faith

    (Written August 14, 1898, from Sunnyside, Cooranbong, to Edson and Emma White.)

    I have a few words to say to you. You must not be discouraged. I know how hard you are striving to push the work forward, but as long as you have that portion of the field to work perplexities will arise, and your only relief will be to take these matters to the Lord in prayer. Do not dwell in silence; speak to the Lord and He will say, here I am, what will you that I shall do?21MR 265.1

    I am not so distressed as you may suppose I would be, because you are the Lord's agent, and God has ways and means, and He will surely fulfill His word. You must consider that the righteousness of Christ shall go before you. Though you have made mistakes and errors, will God be pleased to have you fold your hands and do nothing? You are to call, and the Lord will answer, “Here I am.”21MR 265.2

    Jesus Christ, your righteousness, shall go before you. He is light and truth. He forgives our transgressions and sins. Then move in faith, and move in prayer. The Lord Jesus is your righteousness. With His presence leading the way there will be no fear of evil. The ever-recurring difficulties do not baffle the wisdom of Christ. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Ask of God wisdom, and He says that it shall be given you. His mercy is full of pardon and grace to all who repent, and His mercy is not exhausted.21MR 265.3

    We must keep advancing as fast as possible. The first and second messages are represented by angels flying through the midst of heaven, the second proclaiming the fall of Babylon. The third message is proclaimed with a loud voice by another angel flying in the midst of heaven. Read these messages and see their importance. We need to wake out of sleep and press together—press together in the doing of the work for this period of time.21MR 265.4

    God has not purposed that there should be an organized board of directors to carry a stone in their hand with which to hinder and block every turn of the wheel. The stone which they carry in their hand should be put behind the wheel, not before it, that every advance move may count. The neglect of doing the very work that ought to have been done in the Southern field, and that could have been done, is a manifest expression of the stubborn resistance of those in responsible positions against doing that work. The perplexities that confront the people are not impossibilities. Christ is the great Head of the church in 1898.21MR 265.5

    With ever so few or ever so many, Christ is a power and a success wherever He may work. He knows how to press through the difficulties. You have been sorely tried, but the trial has worked for your good. You have had little encouragement, and when you asked for one of your mother's books at reduced rates they did not consider in their charge they were dealing with your mother.21MR 266.1

    Now, Edson, is it possible that a mistake was made in the list of names of my friends to whom I made presents of some of my books? But even if this were the case they all knew that a gift of your mother's books would have been a kindness toward you. I am so sorry, so sorry! I would have delighted to have given you two of the books, one for you and one for Emma, and why your name was not on the list I cannot explain. Edson, I would not have had this occur for the value of a dozen books, but this is one of the mysteries that occur sometimes.21MR 266.2

    If the enemy has used this as a temptation, be assured, my son, you are just as near my sympathies and heart as your brother, W. C. White. I am not near enough to you to do you favors. If I were there, I would gladly do these favors. If at any future time I do not send you books, do not let the matter pass; obtain the books and charge them to your mother.21MR 266.3

    You ask me what you shall do, for so little help is given to that portion of the field where you are working. Trust it all to the Lord. There is a way opened for you in regard to the Southern field. Appeal to the people. This is the only course you can pursue under the circumstances. Send no statement of the situation through our religious papers because it will not be honored. Send direct to the people. God's ways are not to be counterworked by man's ways. There are those who have means and will give, some small sums and some large sums, but have it come direct to your destitute portion of the vineyard. The Lord has not specified any regular channel through which means should pass.21MR 266.4

    In the efforts made to save the perishing souls that for years God has been presenting to the people as a field to be worked, let the work be done by whomsoever will work under the Lord's directions, and then you will be blessed.21MR 266.5

    I do not know, Edson, how many things ought to be said, and how many things should be left unsaid. I know you have had a hard time. I know that you are in a difficult and a most dangerous field, made thus because of the prejudice of the whites against the blacks, and because our brethren have not interested themselves personally in that field to decide how it should be worked. Our brethren do not yet have correct ideas, and they button up their coats over their hearts, hearts that should go out in sympathy and tenderness and encouragement to the laborers in that poor, destitute, neglected field.21MR 266.6

    Much as I would be pleased to have you with me and receive your help, I have not yet got to the point where I can say, Come. As you seem to have so great a burden upon you, I must say, Work on in faith. If your brethren do not feel disposed to take in the situation, hold on and do your level best. Is it not enough that God has accepted your labors, although they have not been altogether free from mistakes? Then let not your heart be made sad because your brethren are not doing as God would have them to do. Go right forward. Though left nearly empty-handed, yet do your best, though but little interest is manifested in the welfare of these unfortunate colored people in the southern States who are under a cloud of woe and oppression.21MR 267.1

    It was presented to me that God in His providence was measuring the temple and the worshippers therein. There are those who, in the providence of God, have been placed in positions where they have received many blessings. With self-denial and self-sacrifice these could do a good work in imparting to the most needy and suffering ones, to those who have few blessings and but little encouragement. This is a work which God has laid upon every saint to do, and for the neglect of which they will be held accountable.21MR 267.2

    The Lord marks the longing of many souls for privileges that they might become better informed and better clothed. The angels of the Lord are looking to see what testimony they can carry to the courts above of this suffering class. Oh, that those who have so many comforts of life would deny self, take up the cross, and follow Jesus!21MR 267.3

    Human beings in their suffering humanity are crying unto God, and their prayers are just as surely coming up before God as did the blood of Abel. Christlike men will not employ their time in devising to profit self, and promote their own interest. God is not indifferent to the pressing need of white or black in any place, wherever they may be. Who is saying, “Be thou warmed, and be thou clothed and fed,” yet do nothing to relieve the situation?21MR 267.4

    The indiscriminate almsgiving is often more injurious than helpful. It often encourages idleness and destroys self-respect. In the Southern field small churches are to be built. If they are burned, this act will stand as a witness against the men who oppose the work of God, when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened, and every one judged according to the deeds written in the books.21MR 267.5

    I am glad and thankful for this step taken by Brother Smouse. If the work is made dangerous in one place, go to another and labor, but move discreetly, so that the work shall not be destroyed. Our responsible men stand in need of the Holy Spirit's power. To send men who are rash and inconsiderate into the Southern field will be to create a prejudice and hatred that will come from the opposing whites and blacks. Ministers who teach the blacks will report a tissue of lies concerning the work of God which will give the Southern people a supposed excuse to create mobs, and thus the field will be closed. Said Christ, “Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves” [Matthew 10:16].—Letter 136, 1898.21MR 268.1

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    February 28, 1991.

    Entire Letter.