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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1243—Thoughts on Creation and Character Development; Counsel to Seek and Follow God's Guidance

    (Written June 24, 1897, from “Sunnyside, Cooranbong, NSW, to “Dear Sister Wessels.”)

    I learn that you do not feel willing to have your son leave Africa. I heard that he was anxious to leave Africa and establish himself elsewhere, engaging in some missionary work. I understood that he wanted to build a sanitarium in some country where it was needed. We know that a sanitarium is much needed here in Sydney.17MR 57.1

    We feel very sad to think that so much money has been piled up in buildings in Battle Creek. This outlay of means, unadvised by the Lord, has crippled every new missionary field, because the treasury in Battle Creek has been left destitute of means. They could not help us to start the work from the great center because the means was misappropriated. This warning has been given to them over and over again. We cannot obtain means from the center in Battle Creek to advance the work because they have erected so many buildings that the means is not to be had.17MR 57.2

    If your son John is anxious to establish a sanitarium, he could try it here where it is so much needed. A start has already been made, but we cannot obtain suitable buildings by hiring them. From the light the Lord has given me, it is better for your sons to be in some place other than Africa. There are temptations constantly around them that have a tendency to lead them away from Bible principles. The souls of your children are precious to you, and much more precious are they to God, who gave His only begotten Son to redeem them to Himself, to bring in connection with Himself, that they might obtain a sound, all-round experience, and as the Lord's purchased possession call into exercise the qualifications and endowments God has given them to be used, not merely for selfish purposes but for His own name's glory.17MR 57.3

    The material world is under God's control. The laws that govern all nature are obeyed by nature. Everything speaks and acts the will of the Creator. The clouds, the rain, the dew, the sunshine, the showers, the wind, the storm, all are under the supervision of God, and yield implicit obedience to Him who employs them. The tiny spear of grass bursts its way through the earth, first the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear. The Lord uses these, His obedient servants, to do His will. The fruit is first seen in the bud, enclosing the future pear, peach, or apple, and the Lord develops these in their proper season, because they do not resist His working. They do not oppose the order of His arrangements. His works, as seen in the natural world, are not one half comprehended or appreciated. These silent preachers will teach human beings their lessons, if they will only be attentive hearers.17MR 58.1

    Can it be that man, made after the image of God, endowed with the faculties of reason and speech, shall alone be unappreciative of the gifts God has bestowed upon him, and which, if improved, can be enlarged? Shall those who might be elevated and ennobled, fitted to be co-laborers with the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, be content to remain imperfect and incomplete in character, producing disorder when they might become vessels unto honor? Shall the bodies and souls of God's purchased inheritance be so hampered with world-bound habits and unholy practices that they will never reflect the beauty of the character of Him who has done all things well in order that imperfect man, through the grace of Christ, might do all things well, and hear at last Christ's benediction, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”?17MR 58.2

    God spoke, and His words created His works in the natural world. God's creation is but a reservoir of means made ready for Him to employ instantly to do His pleasure. Nothing is useless, but the curse has caused tares to be sown by the enemy. Shall rational beings alone cause confusion in our world? Shall we not live to God? Shall we not honor Him? Our God and Saviour is all- wise, all-sufficient. He came to our world that His perfection might be revealed in us.17MR 59.1

    My dear sister, our faith must increase. We must be more like Jesus in conduct and disposition. The light that shines on our path, the truth that commends itself to our intelligence, if obeyed will sanctify and transform the soul, but if disobeyed it will consume us. I see that there is danger on every side. We now have altogether too little time left to use it unprofitably. The knowledge of truth, the heavenly wisdom, spiritual endowments, are heaven's goods committed to us for wise improvement. We have no time or strength or goods to use for selfish purposes. By using God's gifts as sanctified and holy to advance his cause in the world, we can lay up treasure in heaven.17MR 59.2

    I shall not urge your son to come to Sydney, but he can ask wisdom of God, who says He will give liberally to all that ask Him, and upbraid not. But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting, “for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing from the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”17MR 59.3

    If your son will hang his helpless soul on Jesus Christ, and believe in Christ as his personal Saviour, he will know the will of the Lord. Then let him do what the Lord says. If he feels inclined by the Spirit of the Lord to come to Australia, we will be glad and thankful. Not that we expect that he will invest all that he has here, to be any man's property, but his own. It is not the large gifts we desire.17MR 59.4

    When the Lord gives your son light to go to any place, do not try to stay his steps. Let him hear the voice of the great Shepherd, and follow Him. I have not written to Peter, John, or Philip, to draw means from you, in all the letters you have received. But as Sister Harmon Lindsay, Brother Peter Wessels, and Mother Wessels have means invested here, some as donations, others as a loan, I have had a desire to keep you acquainted with our situation and advancement.17MR 60.1

    If I supposed you thought my letters were written to draw means from you, I would stop my letter writing very decidedly. I do not write because I expect you to send us money, but because I wish to help you with the counsel and the light that God has given me. I do not want John to help us here in Australia if the Lord wants him in any other place. I want God's will and God's way to be my will and my way.17MR 60.2

    May the Lord be your strength, my dear sister. May He be very near to comfort and bless you and your children, and may you be greatly blessed in your children, and be bound up in complete harmony with Jesus Christ, is the prayer of your sister.—Letter 131, 1897.17MR 60.3

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.

    May 7, 1987.

    Entire Letter.