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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)

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    Ms 20, 1891

    Diary. Meeting Held in Melbourne

    Melbourne, Australia

    December 28-29, 1891

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 1SM 156-157; MRmnt 116. +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.

    Dec. 28, 1891

    After addressing the people, I returned to my temporary home and tried to write. But I was called off to see a sister who has been in the truth for some years. We conversed for about two hours. Soon after she left, Brother Foster was introduced. He is an intelligent man, and, I should judge, one who could do a good work if sanctified by the Spirit of God. I spent an hour in conversation with this brother who was very anxious to know whether it was his duty to preach. I could not tell him this. I laid down general principles and pointed him to Jesus, who said, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed,” sometimes believing, then doubting, then grasping by faith, then yielding to discouragement. “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” [James 1:5-8.]7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 1

    This brother had become discouraged and was on the point of letting everything go. But after our talk together, he was like a new man. The straight testimony I bore did him great good. He was obliged to return home that day, but the next day he came back, to remain as long as he could at the meetings.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 2

    In the evening I attended a meeting of the ministers, held in the Echo Office, and for half an hour talked to them plainly and decidedly, calling them by name and telling them that the Lord had shown me their danger. This was a precious season. Brother [Curtis] made a most heartbroken confession. He humbled himself as a little child. Weeping aloud, he confessed that he had not had the Spirit of the Lord with him in his preaching. He was greatly discouraged, and did not feel that he should receive credentials. Brother [Hare] also confessed that he could see no success attending his labors, and that he has been envious and jealous of Elder [Daniells].7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 3

    Brother [Steed] and Elder [Tenney] made humble confessions, and then we bowed before the Lord and had a precious season of prayer. The Lord did indeed bless us. The brethren confessed to one another and fell on one another’s necks, weeping and asking forgiveness. We were together for about three hours, while Brother [Starr] was speaking to the congregation in the room above. The Lord is at work, and we praise His holy name.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 4

    I have the same decided testimony to bear in Australia that I had in America. I see no more chance here than there was there to lay the burden off. I long to see this self-righteous spirit, which prevails everywhere, blown to the four winds. I know that the Lord has been with us in the meetings we have held. If I had not confidence that the Lord would work here, I would not remain longer than the sailing of the next boat. I want to be at work in America, and when they say, Come, we want your help, I shall feel it my duty to go.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 5

    Dec. 29

    I attended the morning meeting, and bore my testimony in regard to faith, pleading with all present to believe the promises of God as they read. “Ask, and ye shall receive;” He says; “seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh, findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7, 8.] I presented this Scripture to them, dwelling especially on the following verse, “If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things (or the Holy Spirit) to them that ask him?” [Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13.] These gifts are freely given to us by God’s own glory and virtue.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 6

    O how weak is our faith, that we do not avail ourselves of the rich, glorious promises of God. It is God’s nature to bestow His gifts upon us. All-wise and all-powerful, He will give liberally to all who ask in faith. He is more merciful, more tender, more patient and loving than any earthly parent. He draws us to Him by endearing language, that we may have courage and confidence. We are won to Him by the disclosure of the tenderest sympathy which flows from His heart of love. No human parent could plead as earnestly with an erring child as God pleads with us. He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.]7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 7

    I attended the nine o’clock meeting, and again addressed the people. The hall was filled. I was led to speak in regard to the work in Australia. I told them that the instruction the Lord had given me for them was that envy, jealousy, evil surmising, and unsanctified independence was withholding good from many of them. This spirit had been manifested in the Echo Office. Traits of character had been developed there that had prevented the Lord from blessing them. Pride of heart and unsanctified ambition had come in, leading them to carry out their individual ideas and opinions.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 8

    Some in responsible positions are ignorant of the best methods of conducting a publishing establishment so that it will be for the upbuilding and success of the cause. But they are offended if advised in regard to their work. Counsel only makes them more determined to follow out their own ideas and independent judgment, irrespective of the opinions and judgment of those whom the Lord designed to be a help to them. With this spirit the Lord cannot harmonize. God designs that we shall learn from one another, without envy, without jealousy, without evil surmising. Unsanctified independence placed men where God cannot work with them. These things grieve the Holy Spirit.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 9

    Many blunders have been made which might have been avoided if each worker had possessed the grace of humility and the teachable spirit of Christ. The Echo Office should not have been located where it is, but in its location the workers did not prayerfully seek wisdom from God as they should have done. Patience was not manifested. They did not consult together in brotherly kindness. A mistake difficult to remedy has been made because the workers did not, in kindness and harmony and with the Spirit of Christ, reason together candidly. They lacked the far-seeing wisdom which God would have given them if they had, in faith, committed the matter to Him.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 10

    Holy, beneficent actions, done from the highest motives of love and gratitude to God for the gift of Christ, constitute the highest development of Christian character. When our actions are controlled by the wisdom that comes alone from God, we testify to the world that our profession of faith in the truth is not spurious and hypocritical, but genuine. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [Matthew 7:20.] The truth should control life and character. Soul, body, and spirit are to be consecrated to God. We are not to follow impulse but principle in handling the sacred work of God. We should make the Word of God our guide, carefully searching its pages in every enterprise connected with His work. We are to have a “Thus saith the Lord” for our plans and methods.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 11

    In the fear of God weed out all pride and selfishness, that the work of God may not bear the impress of unsanctified, un-Christlike character. Those who connect with the cause of God should bring into their work the meekness and lowliness of Christ. They should labor as though they recognized the fact that the work is indeed the Lord’s and not to be controlled by their finite judgment. When each worker has given himself to the Lord, let him at every point look for light and instruction from the Lord, to see what service he can render that will be most acceptable to Him. Let him study where and how he can work to do the most good and best please the Master.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 12

    Let those who have striven to please and glorify self, to have the highest place, be assured that their supposed wisdom will in the end prove to be foolishness. The workers need to weigh matters calmly and patiently, working together, for one man’s finite judgment will fail to make proper estimates as regards the expenditure of means. Some are not discreet and would incur debts that might be avoided. Others exercise a caution that savors of unbelief. By taking advantage of circumstances we may at times invest means to such advantage that the work of God will be strengthened and upbuilt, and yet keep strictly to right principles.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 13

    The object to be kept ever before the minds of the workers is, How can we please Him who died for us? The salvation of the souls of men and women is to be our highest interest. To do a work which will save souls is the reason for which the Echo Office was built. It is to be the means of making known the truth which the Lord has made known to us. The old waste places are to be built, the breaches are to be repaired, the foundations of many generations are to be raised.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 14

    Everyone who joins the church takes upon him the responsibility of serving God to the best of his ability. The heart needs to be cleansed from all selfishness. If the little things were more closely guarded, less would be spent in self-gratification, and far more would be brought to the Lord’s treasury as the fruit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In our behalf Jesus lived on this earth a life of self-sacrifice, and this life we should seek to imitate. Each one, whatever may be his trade, should seek to obtain something to invest in the bank of heaven, that the Lord’s treasury may not be empty.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 15

    Many are fearfully lacking in a comprehension of their duty as Christians. The glory of the gospel is not in lowering the standard of God’s requirements and presenting an easier way whereby we may be saved, but in having God’s way unfolded and firmly established in all its divine beauty and spirituality, liberty and completeness of blessing.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 16

    Anciently, believers were saved by faith in the Saviour, who was typified by sacrifices and offerings. From time to time the Sun of Righteousness was revealed to them, and their faith waxed strong. When the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son to the earth. He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] He desires to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He needs workers who are growing in capability.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 17

    All must look to Him for guidance. The path He has marked out for us grows clearer and brighter as we advance to the perfect day. But the feet will sometimes slip, even though the path is safe. We must hold fast to the hand that was nailed to the cross. It can hold us up so that our feet will not slide. Christ will hold our hand more firmly than we can possibly hold His.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 18

    Dec. 30

    Again I bore a decided testimony in the early morning meeting and at nine a.m. Many are far behind in the Christian life. They do not walk in the light as Christ is in the light. If traditionary sentiments and practices had less weight with them, if they had a more earnest determination to be what Christ died to make it possible for them to be, they would break away from habits that hinder spiritual advancement and would wear Christ’s yoke and lift His burdens. There are so many who do not follow the light. Our faith must be something more than it now is. It must grasp the Word of God as meaning something to us. We must make a personal application of the principles of His Word. This is necessary for the purification of the soul and the quickening of the conscience.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 19

    Do we believe the Word of God just as it reads? Where is our unselfish missionary spirit? Time is passing. All around you souls are perishing in their sins, and yet you are contending to do things in your own way, according to your independent judgment. You are becoming inefficient, unfitted to be trusted with responsibilities, because you refuse to be learners, feeling fully capable of teaching others.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 20

    The work is the Lord’s and He has sent you men who, because of their greater experience, can teach you. But you feel sufficient of yourselves. You feel that the brethren from America are standing in your way. The American brethren have not all been so consecrated and sanctified that they could give a right mold to the work; but what manner of spirit have you been cherishing? What kind of a mold have you been giving to the work? Have you realized that the work is not yours, but the Lord’s? He must preside.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 21

    The time in which work can be done is short, and He does not consult your ideas. You and the brethren from America must go to the Lord with contrite hearts, humbling self at every step, and inquiring, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do in this missionary field?” There must be no loss of temper. No harsh words must be spoken by any of you. You must lay aside your criticism and practice self-control, or your influence will injure others. Closely examine your own hearts, to see whether you are in the faith. Individual sanctification is greatly needed.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 22

    Time is passing, and the end is near. While you are unconsecrated, golden opportunities to help souls to see Jesus as He is, full of grace and truth, are being lost. God requires you to be calm and patient, kind in all your words, your life fragrant with the influence of Christ’s righteousness. A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit. Christ must abide in your hearts, and you must abide in Christ, if you would be overcomers. You have no time to lose. As we near the end we must be more earnest, more intense; our interest in the souls for whom Christ died must be deeper.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 23

    That which you have not done as a devoted Christian in the year which has now almost passed into eternity, you cannot now do, but through the grace of Christ you can redeem the time. You may redouble your exertions. Wherever Christ’s cause has a claim, work as best you can. Inquire not, “Lord, what shall this man do?” for Christ would warn you as He did Peter, “What is that to thee; follow thou me.” [John 21:21, 22.] Keep your own souls in the love of God, and then wherever you are, you will see work to be done for Christ. You are individually responsible to God for all the good you can do. He wants all there is of you. Work as in the sight of the heavenly universe, holy hearts giving vigor to industrious hands.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 24

    Brethren, watch and wait and work, looking for the day of Christ’s appearing. Cherish love for God and for each other. Press together. Read the Bible with a determination to understand its precepts. “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.]7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 25

    I have been shown some things in regard to Brother and Sister [Hare]. Both have become exalted, and they exalt each other. Unless Brother [Hare] humbles himself, his work will not benefit the cause of God. He will not gather in souls. He soars among the heavens, attempting to explain the wonders of God in sun, moon, and stars. This pleases the ears of his hearers, but it does not bring souls under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It does not lead them to inquire, “What must I do to be saved?”7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 26

    Brother [Hare’s] manner of preaching must change. Daily he must feel the converting power of God, else his ministry will be of no avail. He does not minister. He soars above the simplicity of the work. He flatters himself that he is giving the people the food they need, but this is a mistake. They need the bread of life and the water of salvation. Brother [Hare] should dwell upon practical godliness, heart-holiness, in his preaching. It is not essential for salvation to know about the starry heavens. God can take care of that. But men and women must know what they must do to be saved, or they will lose eternal life.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 27

    Sister [Hare] does not keep her soul in the love of God. She cannot help her husband and should not, with her child, travel with him, for her influence does not correctly represent the principles of truth. Self is prominent. Christ is not abiding in her heart by faith.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 28

    Dec. 31

    I attended the early morning meeting and the meeting at nine o’clock. These are days of special work, and the place of worship is filled. A deep interest is manifested by those who have come in from abroad. We greatly desire to see the Spirit of the Lord poured out upon the ministers and their wives. Brother and Sister [Hare] need to feel the converting power of God.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 29

    As Christ’s ambassadors, it is the duty of Brother [Hare] to turn his attention away from some lines of work which have engaged his time, and study more earnestly the life and example of the Saviour and the manner of His teaching. Christ is the greatest educator the world has ever known. He met the people just where they were. He preached only few sermons, but He went about doing good. His was a grand work. His great heart of love was ever touched by human woe, and He helped the people just where they were.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 30

    Brother and Sister [Hare] need to study the life and mission of Christ. Brother [Hare] has received a mold which makes him a pleasing speaker, but he puts the crib too high for the sheep and lambs. They cannot receive nourishment. Under his instruction the people cannot gain a deeper knowledge of Christ.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 31

    I long to see souls becoming imbued with the Spirit of God at this meeting. If the ministers do not drink deeply of the water of life, how can they minister to other souls? The outlook for Australia, with the workers at present in the vineyard, is certainly not the most encouraging.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 32

    Elder [Curtis] is satisfied with preaching occasionally. He does not minister to the flock. He neglects visiting and praying with families. Thus he gives evidence that he is not a laborer together with God. The places where he labors will not be helped, but damaged, by his labor. He takes upon himself work that God does not require at his hands. It is his duty to feed the flock of God, to watch for souls as one that must give an account. Has he done this work? No; he has hated it. He cannot do the work of a faithful shepherd and devote so large a share of his time to his own business. God’s work demands faithful, earnest, whole-souled, patient, long suffering labor.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 33

    Eld. [Curtis] has failed of doing this work. Weighed in the balances and found wanting, is registered against his name in the book of heaven. He must change entirely his plan of work or else engage in other business, for the cause of God must not suffer because of his deficiency; souls must not be lost because of his unfaithful service. Some will never recover from the effects of the example and training received from him.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 34

    I look at the work of Brother and Sister [Hare] with sadness. Brother [Hare’s] labors greatly lack the influence of the Spirit of Christ. Self is exalted when it should be left in the shade. Brother [Hare] presents the truth in a one-sided way. He is carrying forward the work after his own ideas and is walking in the light of the sparks of his own kindling. The love of God must glow in his heart, so that he can with readiness dwell upon Christ and Him crucified. The people are perishing for the bread of heaven, but the door of science is opened to them. They are given food they do not need.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 35

    Christ, the great Teacher, had an infinite variety of subjects from which to choose, but the one upon which He dwelt most largely was the endowment of the Holy Spirit. What great things He predicted for the church because of this endowment! Yet what subject is less dwelt upon now? What promise is less fulfilled? An occasional discourse is given upon the Holy Spirit, and then the subject is left for after-consideration.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 36

    Brother and Sister [Hare], you must be converted anew. You are not abiding in Christ. Do not rest satisfied with just enough of the Spirit to save you from the sleep of death. Arouse, my dear brother and sister, arouse for Christ’s sake, and drink of the water of life, which is provided with an abundance proportionate to its vast resource.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 37

    By resting content with small blessings you have gone far to disqualify yourself for receiving the Spirit in its unlimited fullness. You need conversion. Daily blessed of heaven, you can be a blessing to others. Self-abasement will give you [a] distinct view of Christ and of your own littleness. Your conversion to the Spirit is as much a necessity as your conversion to God by repentance and your acceptance of Christ as the author of redemption. You must realize the need of the divine influence in your labors, or your work will be woefully deficient and your influence greatly limited.7LtMs, Ms 20, 1891, par. 38

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