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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)

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    Ms 20, 1885

    Diary, September 25-27, 1885

    Basel, Switzerland

    September 25 - 27, 1885

    Drawn from Ms 24, 1885. Portions of this manuscript are published in 3Bio 310-313; EGWE 83.

    September 25, 1885

    I attended the early morning meeting. Several prayers were offered in French and in English. My heart was drawn out after God in earnest prayer for the Lord to help and strengthen and bless us and impress our hearts with the sacredness and importance of His work.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 1

    At an early stage of this meeting, the burden came upon me to say some plain things. I told those present that God has given us great and solemn truths to proclaim to the world. I told them that we should certainly fail if we did not walk in the light. Our success in this great work depends on daily seeking help from God. With the aid of divine power, His servants can do what He has given them to do, without fear of failure. However strong the powers of darkness, one can chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 2

    I was impressed by the Spirit of God to tell those present that as a people we are far behind our opportunities and privileges. No other people has been so greatly favored with the measure of grace that has been bestowed upon those living in these last days. If those who have received such great light do not improve this light, their condemnation will be in accordance with the privileges granted them.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 3

    At the close of my talk, many testimonies were borne, giving evidence that some were determined to consecrate themselves wholly to the Lord.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 4

    During the forenoon I had a conversation with Brother Daniel Bourdeau. Elder Bourdeau’s wife, Elder Whitney, Elder Lane, and W. C. White were present. I was compelled to bear to Brother Bourdeau a testimony of reproof very grievous for me to bear. May the Lord send home this testimony. I believe that Satan has been repulsed and that the Lord will give Brother Bourdeau the victory. We sought the Lord in earnest prayer and presented the whole matter before Him. We believe that He heard us, and that He will take this case into His own hands.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 5

    We rejoice to see that some of our brethren are coming to the light. We rejoice to find Elder Matteson in an excellent state of mind. His testimonies are to the point. He seems to be in perfect harmony with the meeting and helps us much in all the efforts made.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 6

    We had arranged for a meeting in the evening of the ministers alone. This was carried out, and there were present about seventeen ministers and their wives. Brother Daniel Bourdeau was present. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I prayed for light and grace from heaven. My faith laid hold upon the promises of the Lord, and His Spirit came into our meeting in large measure. Hearts were broken before Him. Brother Daniel Bourdeau wrenched himself from the shackles of Satan and surrendered his will to the Lord. Satan had thought to gain the victory over this brother, but he was signally defeated. Angels of God were in the meeting, and the power of God was felt. Brother Albert Vuilleumier prayed in French, but we understood the Spirit that inspired it. Brother Matteson’s petition was indited by the Lord and was offered in brokenness of heart. I felt the peace of Jesus in my soul. I had carried a heavy load, and now I rolled that load upon the great Burden-bearer. I could do nothing; Jesus could do everything; and I felt the peace of Christ in my heart. Oh, what could we do without Jesus? How dark and lonely would be our lives. He is our only helper.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 7

    September 26, 1885

    The early morning meeting was held at six o’clock. I was so burdened that before the meeting I spent some time in prayer. I did not feel able to go, but felt that I should lose a blessing if I remained away.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 8

    We found twenty-three assembled in a small room. I opened the meeting with prayer, and the Lord did indeed come near to me and to those assembled. Brother Daniel Bourdeau then prayed and confessed his weakness in yielding to the temptations of the enemy. He made a more full surrender to God, and light from God shone into his heart. Fervent, heart-broken prayers were offered with weeping, and the blessing of the Lord came upon us.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 9

    The Spirit of the Lord helped and strengthened me to speak to my brethren and to present before them the holy character of our work and the necessity of our improving the talents God has given us. The night before, a book had been opened before me with the record of the past year’s labor of the workers, just as God viewed it. As I traced down the record, there stood revealed all the defects. The record of some showed many hours spent in idleness or occupied by unimportant matters, when they should have been devoted to the service of God. Every time these laborers associated with their fellow men, they were offered opportunities—could they have realized it—to draw minds to the Saviour, to sow the seeds of truth. But these opportunities passed by without being seen or improved. Words of no consequence were spoken, and evidence was given that the message of warning was not uppermost in their minds, not resting as a burden on these souls, so that whenever their lips opened it would flow out in the reflecting of the light given them to bless others.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 10

    This registered account showed unfulfilled duties, days spent without prayer, and night coming with nothing to show for the day’s labor. There were recorded large expenses and little results. The record showed that other laborers had done their work with less expenditures of means, but better results.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 11

    Instruction was given by the One who held the records. He said, You cannot trust in your own ability or wisdom. There must be union of effort, union of faith. You must pray and counsel together.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 12

    God will work for His people if they will yield their lives to Him. You are not working for men merely to receive wages. An eternal reward will be given to him who faithfully labors for God.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 13

    At half-past two I spoke to a goodly number of people from the words of Zechariah: “And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Zechariah 3:1. The Lord led my mind into a channel unexpected to myself; but from the testimonies borne after the meeting, I think it was just what the people needed.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 14

    I had a testimony of encouragement for Sister Oyen. I exhorted her to take Christ as her Saviour. I told her that if she would come to Him, believing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, she would find comfort and encouragement and hope. In looking to herself, she would find nothing to inspire her with faith. She must come to Jesus with her imperfections, believing that He alone would remove these defects. Christ alone could remove from her the stain of sin and blot out her transgressions and give her His righteousness.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 15

    I said, “Jesus stands at the door of your heart, my sister, knocking for entrance, inviting you to let Him in. Will you hear His voice? Will you open the door? Will you renounce self and welcome Jesus?” “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord of hosts.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. Jesus came to save sinners, not to destroy them. He declares, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17. You who are sin-sick need the aid of the great, all-powerful Physician. Let Him do His work for you. “Wilt thou be made whole?” [John 5:6.] He is saying to you. What answer have you to give?4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 16

    Sister Martha Bourdeau, Jesus loves you. Why gather about your soul the clouds of darkness? Why walk in a fog of unbelief? Come into the clear light, where there is no darkness, no shadows. Come just as you are, helpless and hopeless. He says that He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. [Luke 11:13.] When the promise is so ample, why do you stand in the shadow? Christ says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 11:25[; 14:6]. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask anything in My name, I will do it. If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:13-18.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 17

    My sister, have you not every encouragement to gather up your confidence? Have you endeavored not only to believe in Christ, but to live in your daily life as His disciple? Actions speak louder than words. There are those who conceal their lack of spiritual power by loud assertions. The truth that sanctifies the heart and life is always expressed in simple language.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 18

    Basel, Switzerland, September 27, 1885. I attended the morning meeting for ministers. There was a room full of ministers and their wives. I opened the meeting with prayer. Many earnest, heartfelt prayers were offered. There seemed to be a desire for more thorough consecration to God. The prayers went up as the prayer of one man.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 19

    I then made some remarks in regard to the workers for God, being of one mind, of one judgment, ready to receive advice and counsel. The Lord can do nothing for us unless we submit to His molding hand. We must be molded as clay is molded in the hands of the potter. You may have thought it strange that I should say so much in regard to children’s being trained and disciplined and taught to obey and respect their parents. But it is essential for them to learn to obey their parents before they can learn to obey and reverence God. Neglected, undisciplined children, allowed in the home to have their own way, carry their unsubmissive, untameable spirit into their religious experience. There is many a church trial that is the result of a defective training in childhood.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 20

    Our work is made exceedingly hard. We meet with those whose will is strong and untameable, those who know nothing of submission. They will argue their way and plead for their way in the face of the testimonies of the Spirit of God; and if at last they yield, it is not with a good grace. They have received their will as an inheritance, and it has grown with their growth and strengthened with their strength; and when their way is crossed, they rise up like a lion.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 21

    A strong determined will is essential, but it should be under submission. It should not bear the mold of selfishness, but the grace of Christ should be seen in all the words and ways. When our way is crossed, we must not lose self-control. We must not push Christ from the soul temple, and enthrone Satan there, but we must be meek and lowly, willing to learn in Christ’s school. We must study carefully the perfect Model, as revealed in the life and character of Christ.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 22

    The testimonies of the Lord have followed some for many years. While they profess to believe them, they have not made the changes in their character that are essential. To those who do not walk in the light as it comes to them, the light becomes darkness.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 23

    The Lord calls upon us to set our mark higher, to be content with no low and common standard, but to reach the Bible standard. He desires us to exercise living faith. He wants Sister Martha Bourdeau to walk out of the darkness that has enshrouded her into the light. It is her privilege to be free in Jesus, to make His promises her own. And Sister Oyen. These souls have been doubting, distrusting, disbelieving. But Jesus has not left them. His mercies are free, but they do not accept Jesus as their Saviour.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 24

    Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man ... open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20. Do not keep the door of the heart closed and then mourn because Jesus is not your guest. He is knocking at the door of your heart. Let Him in. He will give you peace and happiness and joy, and His power. Will you accept the precious boon? Or will you turn your face from Him and say, He loves me not; I cannot see Him.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 25

    Many precious testimonies were borne. Sister Oyen spoke more hopefully. She said that she could see that the reason for her unhappiness for these years was that she had not exercised faith. Her unbelief had shut the Saviour out of her heart. She was now determined to commit herself fully to Christ, and that every step should be a step of faith heavenward.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 26

    Brother Oyen bore an excellent testimony. He said that he had felt that he was too unworthy to have any part in the work of God, and that he had better return to America. But they had received much light, and he believed that it was the purpose of God that they should come to Europe to save his own soul and his wife’s soul. He said he believed that the Lord would work for him if he did the best that he could.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 27

    Brother Matteson’s testimonies tell on the right side every time. He has been a blessing all through these meetings.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 28

    Many humble confessions have been made and many tears shed. A blessed work is being done for Brother Daniel Bourdeau. He seems to be clothed in his right mind.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 29

    Sister Martha Bourdeau bore a good testimony. She says that she will trust in God, that she will dismiss her doubts, that she will no longer deplore her darkness, but will talk of the light, of Jesus and His love and mercy.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 30

    After reading this matter, I said some plain things; and for the first time since our meetings began, Brother John surrendered his ideas and his set notions of laboring in large watering places. He had gone to Wales, but in the place of working with the Welsh, and getting a knowledge of the language, he has situated himself in a large watering place, hired a house for over one hundred dollars a year, a portion of it to be used for a meetinghouse, just as if he were to raise up at once a large company that would demand any such facilities. The matter that I read them had the effect of changing their views, and leading them to sow the seeds of truth in places near by, to enter families, to hold Bible readings, sitting down as one with the family. Have them read the texts; arouse their interest; pray with them. This will be of far greater account than sermonizing. Men love to preach, but they find it harder to do individual work, to instruct in meekness those who are in perplexity and darkness. This work must be taken up more fully by our ministering brethren.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 31

    All through this meeting we have striven for harmony and unity, and I think that there is now a better state of things. All accept the words I speak, although at times they are very close and pointed.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 32

    Those who teach the Word must not work away from Christ’s manner of laboring. The great Physician, who ministered to the souls and bodies of men, was always simple in His instruction. He approached the needy and suffering in the simplest way. He used the ordinary speech of the people as a means of communicating the truth of heaven, clothing these truths in language that the common people could understand.4LtMs, Ms 20, 1885, par. 33

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