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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)

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    Ms 25, 1895

    Diary/December 1895

    Cooranbong, N. S. W., Australia

    December 29, 1895

    Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 95, 652.

    On Christmas day, in company with W. C. White and Sister Sarah Belden, I came to Avondale, Cooranbong. After our two months’ absence from New South Wales, in attending the camp meetings in Melbourne and Hobart, we see that a decided change has taken place in the forests here. The drought has been general in N.S.W. as almost everywhere in Australia. When we left, the cattle were suffering for want of feed. But the precious blessing of heaven has come, in the showers of rain, and as we rode up from the station, four miles to our home in the forest, we marked that the cattle were in excellent condition. The “apple tree oak” was in blossom, and everything in nature was fresh and beautiful. We found on my piece of land a comfortable, convenient cottage, which has been erected under the direction of Brother Shannon. There are three tents standing near by, my large family tent, my dining tent, and one other. We are pleased with our location. It seems restful to be here among the trees.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 1

    Since coming here we have had meetings for counsel and prayer in regard to the immediate erection of buildings for our school. We feel that no time is to be lost. We must have a place for worship. On Sabbaths, we have crowded into the dining room of the building that has been occupied by the industrial school, but the weather is now too warm for this. We cannot invite our neighbors to attend the meetings, for there is no room for them. It is a necessity to erect a building that will accommodate the worshippers on the Sabbath, so that we may welcome every one who desires to come. In these forests we shall not prepare for an aristocratic class, who are seeking for a popular religion, a worldly piety. We must make preparation for the development of a piety that God shall approve.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 2

    We have little means, and must build carefully and solidly, exercising the greatest economy, but ever keeping in view the eternal interests of all who shall make their home in Cooranbong. We wish to open a way for all who shall settle in this section for the purpose of giving their children opportunity to receive a proper education for the higher life.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 3

    We shall not try to ape any class of people by seeking for outward show in grand buildings, but we need plain, healthful buildings, just such as God can approve, and such as will be appropriate for the work that is to be done. Neatness, convenience, and healthfulness are all to be considered, for God demands this of us.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 4

    Faith and perseverance will overcome serious obstacles. Hitherto the land here has been left uncultivated, because the first trial did not bring the results hoped for, but we mean not to be guilty of pursuing the same course. The Lord gave Adam a garden, and work to keep him employed. He was required to subdue the land, to till it, and this is the very thing that we are required to do. While we are to pray for God’s blessing, we are to second our prayers by most diligent, thorough, earnest labor.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 5

    The Lord would have all who are in His service to be learners. The tillers of the soil, the mechanics, the men who have learned their trades, are still to be learning better methods, expanding, enlarging in their ideas. Those who do not think they can learn anything are not the ones who can be a blessing in the enterprises in which we are engaged. We want now, without delay, to give all that God has given His human agents to help in advancing the work. Those who are willing to learn are wanted, for our God is continually instructing and leading; and through the mediation of Christ, the communication with heaven is still open.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 6

    “For 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 hearts of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth, for the spirit would fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wrote, and smote him; I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him, and to his mourners.” [Isaiah 57:15-18.]10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 7

    Young men are needed here who will combine physical labor in agricultural lines with the exercise of mind and muscle in the work of building. These are the ones who, if they will put heart and soul, and unselfish endeavor into the work, will help us now. Genius is wanted, ability to devise and plan and work harmoniously. We want those who will labor, not merely to benefit themselves, receiving all they can get for their work, but who will labor with an eye single to the glory of God, for the rapid carrying forward of the work in various lines. This is a precious opportunity to reveal their devotion to the Lord’s work, and their capability for it. To every man is given his work, not for the purpose of glorifying himself, but for the glory of God. And all are to bring in, not only the means, but the ability God has given them.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 8

    As workers together with God, we are not to study critically how we can give just such an amount of strength, and measure out our moments to an exact limit, and confine our interest and efforts to the particular thing expected of us individually. We should be ready to see what needs to be done in any line, and do it as if in view of the whole heavenly universe. Let none come merely to get all the advantages they can gain for themselves. This is selfishness and covetousness. God cannot put His seal upon the work that shall be done with the spirit of selfishness. Whatever is done is to be done to the glory of God. We are in a school, and individually we are developing character.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 9

    The Lord is weighing moral worth. He is watching the spirit that is brought into the work. There are men and women in abundance who are waiting to be carried, but who are not unselfish and earnest and thorough and faithful to the interests of the work that is to be done. At this time of financial depression, it is very hard to obtain means for erecting school buildings, meeting houses, and for doing the work that must be done; and workers who would measure out just the jot and tittle that they suppose is their part, and do nothing else although there is abundance in need of being done, belong to the class who are excused from this enterprise.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 10

    All who have a hand in the work will need to be constantly learning how they can serve to the very best advantage, working for the advancement of the cause of God. It is to the earnest, faithful workers that the “Well done” is to be spoken. “Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” [Matthew 25:21.] “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] We are all required to do our best in time and in labor. Those who shirk responsibilities are not the ones whom God can look upon with favor.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 11

    All who devote themselves unselfishly to the work of God will receive a continual blessing, for they are continually learning how to do better and more faithful service. Those who are older in experience will be an example to the younger workers. In the right performance of physical labor there is a valuable education to be obtained. All the workers are under the watchcare of the great Master Worker. Christ never brought a thread of selfishness into His labors, and those who place themselves under His guidance will be learning how to work to advance the interests of His cause. They will have enlarged ideas of what constitutes faithful service, and while working in common lines of business where Providence has placed them, they will gain broader views of their duties and privileges in the divine life. Those who shun every duty not directly specified to be theirs will bring into their spiritual life the very same disposition to do as little as possible.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 12

    Just the same spirit and principles that one brings into the common day labor for his employer will be brought into the whole life work and cause of God. Were employees as careful to work diligently and thoroughly during all the hours of labor as they are not to exceed the specified time, there would be an entirely different showing from that which is generally made.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 13

    Those who want to help the cause of God in any emergency will be appreciated. Those who keep self prominent, and study how they can give as little as possible of their physical, mental, and moral power are not those whom God can bless. Their example is contagious. Self-interest is the ruling motive. Those had better not come to the work in this locality, who need to be watched, and who enter into the work only as every duty is specified to them. Young men are wanted who shall bear the impress of integrity and faithfulness, taking up one line of work after another, ready to do anything that has to be done. Self is a terrible tyrant. It encloses the soul in a very narrow compass. The example is not worthy of imitation, and if followed will do great harm.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 14

    We are all to be faithful in that which is least, looking about to see how each can employ his time in thoughtful service to make himself profitable.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 15

    Whatever work they undertake, let all bear in mind that we are individually a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. In probationary time we are developing before the heavenly universe the spirit that has a controlling power upon our being. By our own course of action we are deciding our eternal destiny. The character is faithfully chronicled in the books of heaven, as the countenance is reflected from the polished plate of the artist. God reigns everywhere. In whatever position you may serve in this life, you are developing character, revealing motive. If you make God your guide, if you receive His Word as the rule of your life, then in whatever sphere of action you work, you will be faithful in that which is least. Christ and conscience are to be consulted. You cannot in any service be beyond the domain of God.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 16

    There is a great amount of false reasoning to the effect that we need not do anything that has not been specified as our individual work. To carry out this principle is to work out your destiny without guidance from God. You have taken your case into your own hands. Whatever you see is necessary to be done for the interests of the one who has employed you, that is your duty. Your employer expects you to work for his interests in every line. And true religion will reveal itself in faithfulness in all these matters. The standing and success of young men is determined by their usefulness and their unswerving fidelity. Those who are faithful and diligent will be always in demand. Those who slight a thing because they can will not hear the “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21.] The Lord has much work for faithful, conscientious workers. The young men who have the fear of God before them, and will keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, may be sure that there is need now for the help that each one can give.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 17

    Money is in the fullest sense an entrusted talent from God, and is committed to us to use as His cause shall demand. Every penny that we handle is the Lord’s. The whole portion we have is the Lord’s. He has shown His love for us in trusting us with His goods. Our own necessities He supplies. “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Haggai 2:8.] Will all, who can, help now in the work that needs to be done in this locality, Saying, “Of thine own we have freely given thee?” [1 Chronicles 29:14.]10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 18

    When the need for money in the Lord’s cause is presented, some may feel that the appeal has not much bearing upon them, because they have very little of this world’s goods; but if every believer will study economy in the use of the pennies, praying for wisdom from God, all will find that they can put something into the treasury in the present emergency. Those who really believe present truth will seek to do what they can, and every effort will give them a deeper sense of their privilege and positive duty in this respect. They will not fail of giving to the Lord His own money to advance the work which means the salvation of souls.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 19

    “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” [2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.] “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. ... If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” [2 Corinthians 8:9, 12.]10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 20

    The Lord calls for genuine free will offerings, the giver to receive no return for his money other than the promise of God. And those who cannot give thus, let them loan money without interest. We do not think that money or gifts drawn from people unwillingly will be acceptable to God. There are many who can find money to gratify their desire for holiday excursions, but the Lord invites His people to prove Him by bringing all their tithes into the store house, and see if He will not open the windows of heaven, and pour them out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. We call upon all whose hearts are in the work to do their best.10LtMs, Ms 25, 1895, par. 21

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