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Experiences in Australia

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    “See that Ye Abound in this Grace Also.”

    (680) One Sabbath in company with my son I rode eight miles in our carriage to Seven Hills to meet with the church that was to assemble in the afternoon. Since coming to Sydney, Brother Hickox had been laboring in this place, and we tried to help him in his work. Brethren Starr, McCullagh, W.C. White and the writer had labored in turn, and we had reason to rejoice in the Lord, because twenty had taken their position for the truth. This has caused joy among the angels in the presence of the Father and in the presence of Christ.EA 175.1

    On this occasion I spoke from the eighth and ninth chapters of Second Corinthians. Paul, writing to his brethren at Corinth, sought to kindle their zeal, and to stir them up to make contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem. He presented the example of the church in Macedonia to inspire them to (681) benevolent action. He said: “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take unto us the fellowship of the ministering of the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.”EA 175.2

    The grace of Christ imparted to us individually will give us a knowledge as to how we shall accept of Christ as a personal Saviour, and how we shall imitate his example. He can mold and fashion the character by imparting his divine attributes, and then each one of us can adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, lovely and of good report, will be revealed as the precious fruits of the Christian tree. The religion of Jesus Christ must be revealed in a winsome character, bright as a light that shineth in a dark place.EA 175.3

    (682) Of the church in Macedonia we read that “in the great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abound unto the riches of their liberality.” Then shall any of us who profess to be Christians think that we shall be excused in doing nothing for the truth because we are poor? We regard the precious light of truth as an inexpressible, inexhaustible treasure. We are to exert an influence in proportion to our entrusted talents, be we rich or poor, high or low, ignorant or learned. We are servants of Jesus Christ, and the Lord expects us to do our best.EA 175.4

    I said to the brethren in Seven Hills: You will soon be without a place in which to assemble to worship God. Shall we arise and build? The Lord wants you to be liberal. The members of the Macedonian churches were in deep poverty, yet they urged the apostles to receive their free will offerings, and were willing to go beyond their power to help the saints in Jerusalem who were in greater need than themselves. We have in this record a lesson for our instruction. Those who take their position on the side of Christ are to let their light shine forth in good works, and not to act selfishly; but each church is to consider (683) the wants of her sister churches. “Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.” We desire you to abound in the grace of liberality, making your gifts to assist those who have newly come to the faith, and in doing this work your joy will be abundant, according to the measure of your liberality. We call upon the children of God to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Who is the might—It is Satan, the prince of this world; for the world has chosen him as its ruler.EA 175.5

    There is also a lesson in this chapter for those who are working in the cause of God. Paul says, “We desire Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you this same grace also;” that is, make you abound in this grace also, the grace of liberality. A responsibility rests upon the ministers of Christ to educate the churches to be liberal. Even the poor are to have a part in presenting their offerings to God. They are to be sharers of the grace of Christ in denying self to help those whose need is more pressing than their own. Why should (684) the poor saints be denied the blessing of giving to help those who are still poorer than themselves? The work of educating the people along these lines has been neglected, and the churches have failed to give for the necessity of poorer churches, and thus the blessing has been withheld until they have a realizing sense of their neglect. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. And herein I give my advice; for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so also there may be a performance also that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a name hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men should be eased, and ye burdened, but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want; that there may be equality; as it is written, He that had gathered much had little over; and he that had (685) gathered little had no lack.”EA 176.1

    Thank God that he has put it in the heart of His servants to feel a deep interest for your welfare, causing them to present to you the precious truth. Some of you have hesitated, and have been slow in acting upon the convictions of your conscience; but one after another you have given your own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God. What does this mean? It means that you are to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have earnestly worked for your salvation, and according to the light and knowledge you have received, to unite with them in communicating in the spirit and love of Jesus the truth to those who have not had the opportunities and privileges that you have had.EA 176.2

    There are some here who are questioning whether they shall be obedient to the light they have received, or whether they will make a compromise with conscience. Character is being determined by the manner in which the truth is being treated. The voice of Christ is heard saying, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Whom do you love best, Jesus, or the enemy of (686) Christ? On which side are you to stand? You will do the bidding of him whom you love. God wants everyone to come unto Him. Christ says, “Follow Me.”EA 176.3

    Brother Hickox and W.C. White made appropriate remarks. Brother McCullagh spoke for a short time right to the point, and it was decided that a meeting house should be built at Seven Hills, and that everyone should do his best. Bro. McCullagh said He would give two pounds ten shillings ($12.50), and Brother Starr had authorized him to say that he would give two pounds ten shillings. This would make twenty-five dollars. W.C. White had thought it impossible to give more than one pound, but would venture to give two if the church would buy two lots instead of one. Then the brethren from Seven Hills from their poverty spoke one after another, pledging one pound apiece. One brother who had resided in Seven Hills but who had moved to Parramatta, pledged five pounds. I purposed to pledged five pounds to the enterprise, but when I considered the poverty abounding among those who had recently embraced the truth, I doubled by donation, making it ten pounds. Then when I saw that it would be impossible to build a church with the (687) meagre sum that had been raised, I decided to give twenty pounds ($100). The talents of means is the Lord’s entrusted talent, and as His faithful steward, I must apply it where the need is greatest.EA 176.4

    We had a most precious meeting. Jesus was in the midst of us. The sun of Righteousness was shining upon us. I was constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to speak words of hope and courage to those who had consented to believe the truth and obey it. They would soon be left without a minister, and it was necessary for each one to do his utmost in order that a church might be erected in which they could meet together to worship God. Each one must take upon himself the responsibility of educating and training himself to act a part in the meetings. They must be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ, and thus become a working church. Christ prayed for his followers, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: The word is truth.” Here in this wicked world our light is to shine forth in good works. Christ charged his (688) disciples with this responsibility. He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”EA 177.1

    When the precious meeting closed, it was nearly dark. We seated ourselves in our carriage, and as our faithful horse traveled home with us, we rejoiced in the peace of Christ.EA 177.2

    (683) On Sabbath, July 28, Brother Corliss was appointed to go to Seven Hills to meet with the little church in that place. Brother Hickox had left this place to join Brother Starr in Queensland in the beginning of the work there. For a week I had been feeling quite ill from exhaustion and heart-affection and as I felt sure that the more I was in the open air the better it would be for me, I decided to make the journey with Brother Corliss.EA 178.1

    The meetings was held in a private house, and as the room was well filled, I did not venture to remain indoors, but sat in my carriage until Brother Corliss had finished his labors. He gave a Bible reading which interested the little flock.EA 178.2

    When Brother Corliss had concluded his reading, I went into the house, and spoke for a short time. The Lord strengthened and blessed me as I presented the all-sufficiency of our Saviour, his readiness and willingness to bless those who seek (690) him with all the heart. I sought to impress the necessity of constant vigilance, watchfulness, and unceasing prayer.EA 178.3

    We need to watch the signs of the times; for unless we are constantly on guard, the enemy will steal a march upon us. The heart is to be a dwelling-place for Jesus; but we are to keep the heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We have been taken as rough stones from the quarry of the world, and placed in the workshop of God. The one who has genuine faith in Christ as his personal Saviour will find the truth accomplish a definite work for him. His faith will be a working faith,—the faith that work by love and purifies the soul. Those who receive the truth by faith will bear testimony to the quality of the faith they have. They will continually make improvement, looking unto Jesus, as the author and finisher of our faith.EA 178.4

    The work of Christ in the heart does not destroy man’s powers. Christ directs, strengthens, ennobles and sanctifies the faculties of the soul. It is through personal acquaintance with him that we become qualified to represent his character to the world. John says, “as many as received him, to them gave he (691) power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”EA 178.5

    Christ is to be represented in the home circle. Fathers and mothers bear a weighty responsibility; for they will be held accountable for the lessons they give their children. They are to speak kindly to them, be patient with them, to watch unto prayer, praying the Lord to mold and fashion the hearts of their children. And while asking God to do this work for them, fathers and mothers must act their part, presenting to their offspring a living representation of the divine pattern. Parents, God will not accept haphazard work at your hands. Your children are God’s heritage, and heavenly angels are watching to see that both parents and children become co-laborers with God in building a character after the divine model. “Blessed is He whom his lord when he cometh shall find watching.”EA 178.6

    As I spoke the melting Spirit of the Lord was in the midst of us. We then had a social meeting. This was a new exercise to those who had newly come to the faith; but Elder Corliss called upon one after another to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus, (692) until all but one of the believers had born testimony.EA 178.7

    There are some excellent lessons in the book of Malachi for those who profess to be followers of Jesus. Two classes of followers are represented by the prophet. Of one class it is said, “Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, “It is a vain thing to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?” These words are spoken by those who should have better represented the truth, who ought to have been an example to those newly come to the faith. They continue: “And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.EA 178.8

    Malachi turns away from this dark picture which Satan presents through these professed followers of Christ; for it is a libel on the paternal character of God.EA 179.1

    The Lord presents another picture for the contemplation of every believer. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard it; and a book of remembrance was written for them that feared the Lord, and that (693) feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” What a hope-inspiring picture this is. The Lord is representing as bending down and listening to the testimonies born by his witnesses! What inspiration it should be to us to know that the heavenly universe is listening with pleasure to the words that are spoken to exalt the name of God in the earth. They may not be words of oratory, but they are not words of doubt and unbelief and complaint. God and the angels listen with delight to the words of appreciation of the great Gift that has been made to the world in the only begotten Son of God. Every word of praise for the blessing of the truth that has dispelled the darkness of error, every word that acknowledges the merciful kindness of our heavenly Father, is written in the book of his remembrance. Testimonies of this kind “show forth the praises of Him that hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Of such witnesses the Lord says, “They shall be mine. . . . in that day when I make up my Jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”EA 179.2

    The fact that the Lord is represented as hearkening to the words spoken by his witnesses, tells us that Jesus is in the (694) midst of us. He says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.” One person is not to do all the witnessing; every soul who loves God is to testify to the preciousness of his grace and truth. Those who receive the light of truth are to have lesson upon lesson to educate them not to keep silent, but to speak often to one another. They are to keep in mind the Sabbath meeting, when those who love and fear God and who think upon His name can have opportunity to express their thoughts. Let not the little companies think they can have no meeting when they cannot have no meeting when they cannot have a minister. When there is no minister to speak, let each one witness to the truth, and be faithful in speaking to one another of the love of God. The time is precious. Believers assembled for the worship of God are in the audience chamber of God. They are to witness for God and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave his life for the world. The little company is to serve God by offering him spiritual worship.EA 179.3

    Let each one seek to become an intelligent Christian, bearing his responsibility, and acting his part to make the meeting interesting and profitable. Those who speak of the (695) goodness of God, who talk of the plan of salvation, who relate their personal experiences, who speak often to one another, are serving God in his own ordained way, and are honoring their Redeemer. Such he says shall be honored by him, even as a father honors a son who is faithful. We should appreciate the value of the social meeting. It is a mistake to suppose that we cannot have an enjoyable meeting unless entertained by a preacher. Where dependence on the minister exists, the people fail to obtain that vigorous religious experience that they so much need wherever their lot may be cast. If the minister does all the witnessing, those newly come to the faith become dwarfed and sickly for lack of opportunity to use their spiritual muscle. They have need to learn how to testify, how to pray, how to sing to the glory of God. Failing to do this, they have a one-sided experience.EA 179.4

    The children of God are to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. They are to be faithful in their service to God. They are to learn the trade of being spiritual worshippers. It is only but practice that we learn to speak and pray to the edification of those who listen. Let us remember that angels are in the assembly of the saints. (696) Christ is in the midst to impress the mind with spiritual truths. The humblest believer, who may regard his talents as of little value, will find that by exercise of his powers his talents will increase, and using the mites, he may gain pounds by trading with his abilities for the glory of God. The physical, mental, and moral power will grow as they are used in the service of God.EA 180.1

    I looked upon the little company who were newly come to the faith. My interests were identified with the interests of these precious souls. What possibilities are before every such little company, what deep and grave importance heaven attaches to them. Christ has paid the ransom for them with his own blood, and he is in their midst when they meet to worship him. The Majesty of heaven identifies his interests with those of the believers, however humble their circumstances. Whenever they meet it is appropriate that they speak to one another giving utterance to the gratitude and love that results from thinking upon the name of the Lord. Thus God is glorified as he hearkens and hears, and the testimony meeting will be regarded as the most precious of (697) all meetings; for the words spoken are recorded in the book of remembrance.EA 180.2

    The world is not to hold the highest place in our esteem. The Lord calls the attention of his people to the world above, which has been lost from view, and brings it again within the range of our vision. The presents before us the privileges of being taught by the greatest teacher the world has ever known. God desires that we shall so train the intellect and the affections that we shall be able to render Him pure and holy service. We are to seek for precious jewels of truth as for hidden treasure; we are to get light that we may give light to others. Those who do this will think upon the name of the Lord. They will study the character of God and become acquainted with the Redeemer. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Let the character of God become the theme of our thought. The Lord would have his people think upon his name, and impart the knowledge they receive to those about them.EA 180.3

    Every moment of life is to be weeded from vanity and to be spent in sowing seed that will bear eternal fruit. Our (698) entrusted talents are to be used, and increased by use if we would bring glory to God. Thus in the social meeting, let no one fail to improve his opportunity to testify to the praise of the Lord; for failing to take up this duty, he fails to gain the experience that the Lord would have him obtain. The Lord is hearkening; the angels are recording in the books of remembrance every word spoken to vindicate the character of Christ. Of those who testify of the love of God, He says, “They shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”EA 180.4

    After the meeting closed I spoke to the sister who did not testify, asking her why she had remained silent. “Oh,” she said, “I could not speak.” “It cannot be possible,” I said, “that you have nothing to say. In all your necessities you have a Helper. Put your trust in Jesus.” I tried to speak encouragement to her. She said, “I do not trust him. Jesus is precious to me. He does help me. His goodness is great to me, and his grace strengthens me.” The tears were raining down her face.EA 180.5

    “My sister,” I said, “you have borne a most precious (699) testimony; why were you not the Lord’s witness in the meeting??EA 181.1

    She said, “I will speak next time.” After these words between us, I felt that her heart was linked to my heart by the golden chain of love. We had one common Saviour, one was the object of our souls’ affection.EA 181.2

    In these small gatherings the Lord will use his human agents if they will surrender all to him, and the soul will gain spiritual strength. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. The Holy Spirit will take the passions of the heart and bring them into subjection to Jesus Christ. Our meetings should take more the form of training classes where new converts will be taught to do service in the house of God. Every effort made by believers to glorify God, every comforting thought expressed, strengthens the soul of the speaker, and results in the benefit of those who listen.EA 181.3

    (700) On Sabbath July 28, W.C. White and myself drove to Kellyville to speak to the church there by special request. One who was not of our faith, but who was interested, had said he would attend the meeting if one of our ministers would speak. We were the only ones who could respond to the request.EA 182.1

    As we rode slowly up the hills, everything our eyes rested upon was peaceful and pleasant. In every direction in which we looked the scenery was lovely. The orange and mandarin orchards displaying their golden fruit, and we remarked that the world is still beautiful, although it has been marred by the wickedness of men.EA 182.2

    We were glad to see in the assembly, the family of Brother Radly from Castle Hill, who had come ten miles to the meeting. We had a very precious meeting; for the promise of the Lord was fulfilled “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst.” When Jesus meets with His people his blessing rests upon those who assemble for the purpose of worshipping God. We need to cultivate and cherish a spirit of true worship, a spirit of devotion on the Lord’s day. We should assemble together believing that we shall receive comfort and hope, light and peace from Jesus Christ.EA 182.3

    I spoke from the fifth chapter of Matthew, and W.C. White followed with a short discourse. Then we had a social meeting, when a number of testimonies were borne. We know that the Lord comforted those who were witnesses for Christ. The preaching service should generally be short, so that opportunity may be given to those who love God to express their gratitude and (701) adoration. Prayer and praise offered to God by His believing children, honors and glorifies His name. The believers may be few in number, but they have been taken from the quarry of the world by the cleaver of truth, and have been brought into God’s workshop to be hewed and squared by ax and chisel, fitted by test and trial for a place in God’s heavenly temple. Even in the rough they are precious in the sight of God. The axe and the hammer and the chisel of trial are in the hands of One who is skillful, and are used not to destroy, not to bring to nothingness, but to work out the perfection of every soul, that as precious stones transformed and polished, the children of God may find their place in the temple of God.EA 182.4

    I would that every soul who sees the evidences of truth, would accept Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. Those who thus accept Christ are looked upon by God, not as they are in Adam, but as they are in Christ Jesus, as the sons and daughters of God. The Lord will no more cast of the humblest, lowliest believer in Jesus, than He will demolish His throne. We are accepted in the Beloved. We are members of the (702) royal family, children of the heavenly King, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.EA 182.5

    The church of God upon the earth is one with the church of God above. Believers on the earth, and those who have never fallen in heaven, are one church. Every heavenly intelligence is interested in the assemblies of the saints, who on earth meet to worship God in spirit and truth, and in the beauty of holiness. In the inner courts of heaven they listen to the testimonies of the witnesses for Christ in the outer court on earth, and the praise and thanksgiving that comes from the church below is taken up in the heavenly anthem, and praise and rejoicing resounds through the heavenly court because Christ has not died in vain for the fallen sons of Adam. While angels drink from the fountain head, the saints on earth drink of the pure streams flowing from the throne of God, making glad the city of God. O that we could all realize the nearness of heaven to earth! When the earthborn children know it not, they have the angels of light as their companions; for heavenly messengers are sent forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation. A silent witness guards every (703) soul that lives, seeking to win and draw to Jesus. The angels never leave the tempted one a prey to the enemy who would destroy the souls of men if permitted to do so. As long as there is hope, until they resist the Holy Spirit to their eternal ruin, men are guarded by heavenly intelligences. Let us all bear in mind that in every assembly of the saints below, are the angels of God, listening to the praise, the thanksgiving the supplication that is offered by the people of God in testimonies, songs and prayers. Let us remember that our praises are supplemented by the choirs of the angelic host above.EA 182.6

    As we journeyed homeward my mind was called out in contemplation of these precious themes, and I was filled with an intense longing to pass along some of these precious thoughts to my brethren and sisters. O that with pen and voice, I could represent the privileges of the children of God as they really exist. O that we who are pilgrims and strangers in this foreign country, seeking a better, even a heavenly, might comprehend Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life! He says, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” The path He has marked (704) out is so plain and distinct, that the veriest sinner, loaded with guilt, need not miss his way. Not one trembling seeker need to fail of finding the true path, and of walking in pure and holy light; for Jesus leads the way. The path is so narrow, so holy, that sin cannot be tolerated therein, yet access to the path has been made for all, and not one desponding, doubting, trembling soul, needs to say, “God cares nought for me.” Every soul is precious in His sight; “for God so loved the world,” even in its blackness and disobedience, even with the heavy shadow of sin and Satan upon it, “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” When Satan was triumphing as the prince of the world, claiming the world as his kingdom, when we were all marred and corrupted with sin, God sent his messenger from heaven, even His only begotten Son, to proclaim to all the inhabitants of the world, I have found a ransom; I have made a way of escape for the perishing. I have your emancipation papers prepared for you, sealed by the Lord of heaven and earth. You may have freedom upon the condition of faith in Him who is able to save unto the uttermost (705) all who come unto God by him. A ransom has been provided at infinite cost, and it is not because there is any flaw in the title which has been purchased for you that you do not accept it. It is not because the mercy, the grace, the love of the Father and the son is not ample, and has not been freely bestowed, that you do not rejoice in pardoning love, but it is because of your unbelief, because of your choice of the world that you are not comforted by the grace of God. It is your love of disobedience, your pleasure in sin, your enjoyment of rebellion that has blunted your perceptions until you fail to discern the things that make for your peace. If you are lost, it will be because you will not come unto Christ that you may have life. God waits to bestow the blessing of forgiveness, of pardon for iniquity, of the gift of righteousness upon all who will believe in His love, and accept His salvation. Christ is ready to say to the repenting sinner, “Take away the filthy garments from him. . . . Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment; and I said, “Let them set a fair mitre upon His head. So they set a fair mitre upon His head, and clothed him with (706) garments.” “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, If thou wilt walk in my ways, and wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge mine house, and shalt also keep my courts; and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” Christ is the connecting link between God and man. The blood of Jesus Christ is the eloquent plea that speaks in behalf of Sinners. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses from all sin.”EA 183.1

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