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Manuscript Releases, vol. 21 [Nos. 1501-1598]

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    MR No. 1538—An Appeal for Sacrificial Giving

    (Written February 10, 1897, from Summer Hill, Sydney, N.S.W., to Dr. and Mrs. J. H. Kellogg.)

    I thought I should have time to write you a letter to go by this mail, but we were fully employed in writing to Africa, and then word came to us from Brother Haskell that he had arrived in Sydney last Sabbath from New Zealand, and would very much like to converse with me in reference to furnishing the Health Home. In three hours we were speeding to the train with our fastest team, conjecturing all the four miles and a half whether or not we would be able to catch the train to Sydney. We were in season, the train was out of season—delayed in Newcastle, twenty miles from Morisset Station. We reached Strathfield, changed cars for Summer Hill, and arrived at the Health Home at 11:00 o'clock p.m.21MR 188.1

    Sara and myself slept scarcely any through the night, but went into the city to purchase needed things to furnish a room in the Health Home, for which I pay one dollar a week to help them in the rent. Brother and Sister Baker hire two rooms for which they pay ten shillings per week. Brother and Sister Semmens pay ten shillings a week. We do hope to get the house in something like presentable shape for them to do justice to the patients who shall come.21MR 188.2

    Sister Semmens had worked very hard up to the time of her confinement and she is not as well as we could wish. She has a nice boy, one week old last Monday. I think she is much worried over a deformity in her child. He has a double harelip, and it is very hard for him to nurse. She is a very sensitive woman, and this keeps her back. I know this is one cause of her weakness. The want of means has made it very hard for them both, but this could not be helped. I have done what I could. I advanced thirty-five pounds, and the health foods have been highly appreciated.21MR 188.3

    It takes a long time for goods via London to reach us, but they have come in good order. I have not seen the things you said were sent to me. I have not had time yet to investigate the matter. I have learned that Brother Semmens is doing well selling the health foods, but we have our talk today over the possibilities and probabilities of the situation. We feel thankful that you could give them this timely assistance. They appreciate it very much, for they have been in most straitened circumstances in his efforts to do anything.21MR 188.4

    You cannot appreciate in Battle Creek our hand-tied condition. I shall move forward cautiously and as fast as we can and not incur debt. This we must not do if we can avoid it. Elder Haskell proposes to furnish a good-sized room economically, and then when patients that can pay come, charge them a reasonable price for room, board, and treatment. Here many things cost double what we have to pay in America, therefore it means something to furnish rooms, and the rent is three pounds per week. We shall have to build a sanitarium, and I wish we could do this at once, but I fear it will not be done, for unless help comes from abroad it cannot be done.21MR 188.5

    Brother John Wessels says he is engaged where he is, and he would want the advice and counsel of those at Battle Creek before becoming located in Australia. We are sorry. We hoped he could come on here at once, and then we could have his judgment and devisings and planning. But, as usual, we must bear these burdens. But I am drawn upon in so many different ways, I almost become confused as to that which needs doing the most. All these things seem to cry out, “Take hold of me first.”21MR 189.1

    We are going to do our best under the circumstances. We must have a physician and proper helpers. I consider that there is nothing that can give character to the work like a proper entering into [of] the work of hygienic treatment for the sick, but as we are so helpless so far as money is concerned, everything moves so slow and so hard you have to watch closely to see if it moves at all.21MR 189.2

    I know if I should visit America I would lift my voice and exert a far greater influence in behalf of foreign missionary fields than I have done with my pen. I know from the light the Lord has given me that means could be made to flow in many cases in different channels from those in which they are now running—selfish indulgence. I know that thousands of dollars are used for things that are supposed to be a necessity, but which are not necessities. If they loved the Lord God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, would they not see the necessities of their neighbor, to help him save his soul? Would they not consider the extra indulgences they allow themselves? Luke 10:27.21MR 189.3

    The Lord Jesus was reading the heart of the lawyer as an open book, reading the hearts also of the Pharisees who suggested that he should ask that question, for they wished to tempt Him, lay a snare for Him, that His speech should condemn Him. Our Lord did not reply to the question, but He gave the lawyer the benefit of answering his own question.21MR 189.4

    “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, ... this do, and thou shalt live.”[Luke 10:25-28.]21MR 189.5

    My brother, my sister, what can we do, what can we say to those whom we know do not obey the first four precepts of the decalogue, neither the last six, when we consider that this plain answer is truth, and that those who are not obeying the law of God in precept and example are, notwithstanding they make the highest profession, living in disobedience to the whole principles of the moral law? That law of God will teach the whole duty of man. He turned the confusion upon themselves: “Thou has answered right: this do, and thou shalt live, for on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”21MR 190.1

    Then the Lord, in answer to the question of the lawyer, “And who is my neighbor?” shows them what is true love, and the relation in which all mankind stand toward their fellow men, each interested for one another. The scene was presented in parable form, but had been a true transaction to the letter, and quite a number knew this to be fact. One of those Samaritans they so much despised was the only one who helped the wounded, bruised, and half-killed man and neighbor.21MR 190.2

    Here are represented the stony hearts, who supposed themselves to be the only true religionists in the world, the only nation who did righteousness. It was a descendant of Abraham who was in so pitiful a condition, lying on the road, so cruelly wounded, passed [by] by priest and Levite. Those who professed to be religiously exalted to heaven in point of privilege saw the great need that man had of a neighbor who could be touched with the feeling of his infirmities, and alleviate his distress.21MR 190.3

    The Samaritan was touched with pity, and although the sufferer was a Jew, he assisted him and showed himself a brother, a friend. We need, everyone who claims to be a child of God, to do all in our power to relieve physical distress, and we need also to have that faith that works by love, to be laborers together with God.21MR 190.4

    Not alone are efforts to be made for those in the byways and hedges, but for those in the highways. We need every penny that is not a positive necessity to be expended in making ourselves comfortable, to do the necessary work for others who are in need. I appeal to those who are in comfortable circumstances to be content with such things as they have and devote their gifts and offerings to God's treasury, “that there may be meat in Mine house.” In this way you will demonstrate that you have a determination to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. This, Christ has given as the condition of eternal life. Then let us not only be readers of the Word, but believers of the Word and doers of the Word.21MR 190.5

    Consider how much money has gone in purchasing needless trinkets, needless indulgences, that might have been placed in the Lord's treasury to set [Ellipsis in file copy.] ... heavenward, revealing that you are cooperating with God, as in His service, to do His will. You are highly honored to be co-workers with God. The Lord is trusting our fidelity. We must be content to be policy workers in the Lord's line. The Word tells you your high duty, which He requires of all in His service. Fix your eyes upon the cross of Calvary, and learn your lessons, and begin your practical experiments of sowing liberally. Sow through denial.21MR 191.1

    We want very much the means that are being expended needlessly, because there are so many selfish wants that absorb the Lord's goods. [There are] letters coming in constantly from different places where there are one, two, and again whole families and neighborhoods converted by reading Great Controversy, or Daniel and the Revelation. They have not seen the face of an Adventist. They beg for help to be sent them. They begin to cry, Give us food and not husks to nourish our spiritual strength. Brother Baker has just gone out one hundred and fifty miles to meet one of these calls.21MR 191.2

    One man writes, “I have been reading Great Controversy. I have accepted the Sabbath. Two of my daughters and a son are united with me. We want you to come here and baptize us. Our neighbors are asking for a minister. I think they will be baptized too.”21MR 191.3

    Such letters come in frequently, and only one minister in all New South Wales. There is no money to pay laborers, no money to pay missionaries. Let everyone to whom you shall read this consider, Have you any idols in your house that you can dispose of and send in many rivulets flowing to God's house, “that there may be meat in Mine house”? Ye are the light of the world. Are you indeed? Is your light burning brightly?21MR 191.4

    The faith in doctrines we hold dreads nothing but being covered beneath the bushel. Open the way by your self-denial, your self-consecration, and let everything—your means, your entrusted talents, all your capabilities—do service for God, that the work may advance in this region. We call for you to do all in your power to bring the truth before souls that are in darkness of error. Will you gather up treasures and make them provide for necessities as far as possible?21MR 191.5

    We expect too little from the inherent power of the gospel. We would rejoice to see a revival of the true missionary spirit. Let everyone consider and enter the field as home missionaries, as missionaries in foreign fields. The Lord has given every man his work. Can you have any doubt, if you enter this field to give Bible readings to hold forth the word of life in humble reliance upon the Holy Spirit's power? His grace will be given to every self-denying one, earnest to do God service.21MR 191.6

    God would have all your idols abolished. Begin the work of sowing while you are continually gathering up the seed to be sown, ever educating your God-given powers that they may do better service. Sow beside all waters. Illumination must be given; religious inculcation of ideas is essential through our schools, through the press, for this is a most important instrumentality proportioned to the extent of its far-reaching knowledge communicated. Work, work with brain and with strength and with heart, and God will open the way and bless every effort. Press the work, urge it forward. Let self die. Let Christ live in you in every effort made.21MR 192.1

    Sara says this must go without delay.21MR 192.2

    (Only half completed. Excuse all mistakes; cannot look it over. I call for help in the name of the Lord for this field. I know it can be given.)—Letter 82a, 1897.21MR 192.3

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Silver Spring, Maryland,

    December 13, 1990.

    Entire Letter.

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