Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Sound the note of warning, “Come; for all things are now ready.” Luke 14:17. In the time in which we are living, skepticism, infidelity, speculation, and Phariseeism abound to divert the mind from the vital questions at issue. False reports, false representations of character, calumny, and every species of reproach will be originated by the great deceiver to throw discredit upon the Word of God and those who advocate it. But what voice shall say, Quit the field; it costs too much in time, and calls for too great an outlay of means, and is a hard and unprofitable field? Oh, never let this voice call you away from the work.
Among the American brethren we see that which pains our hearts. Self-indulgence abounds in the church, and the world finds large patronage from its members, because self-denial is not practiced. Money is expended for unnecessary things, and we know that this means the limiting of donations which should be applied to the great enterprise of building up the kingdom of Christ in our world. As the world advances and converts the church to its customs, and to its fashions, and leads the professed follower of Christ to indulge in it gratifications, the treasury of God is robbed in the withholding of tithes and offerings that should be given, that there may be “meat in Mine house.” Malachi 3:8-10.
The indolence that is seen in the churches and among those who claim to believe the truth brings its curse of results, which are represented in the parable of the slothful servant who buried his talent in the earth and misrepresented his Lord who had loaned him the talent for wise improvement. Oh, that all who have an intelligent knowledge of the truth would realize that their talents are loaned them of God to be improved by trading upon the Lord’s goods! Those who put the Lord’s money out to the exchangers will receive divine commendation.
Suppose those who enter the field do meet with opposition; they will be but strengthened if they work in Christ’s lines; and if they have but one talent to begin with, it will not always remain one, but will become two. Then if the two are faithfully used, the talents will again be doubled, for heavenly wisdom will be imparted to the humble soul who walks by faith, imparting light under the most discouraging circumstances. He who handles the Lord’s goods as faithfully in trading upon pence as upon pounds will bring a large revenue into the Lord’s treasury.
Every missionary who goes forth seeking to do his best will have the support of One who will supply all his necessities. The great Master Workman will not leave him to want.
The missionary’s only business is to receive orders from God and to obey the orders given. Souls are to be sought for, and the truth is to be presented to men in its simplicity.
Missionaries are not to study English rules, customs, or practices; but they are to make everything according to the pattern shown to them in the mount. As certainly as our workers do not bring a new, divine element into their work that will be like leaven put into the meal, they might as well quit the field. Let missionaries do their best to follow the great Exemplar.
We are years behind. Let the missionaries obey orders from their great Captain and put life and energy into the work; God will give the power of His Holy Spirit. The fields in Europe do not require so great a change in the manner of working from the way in which the work is done in America, as they require an element of energy and renovation that will surprise and startle the people from their sleepy lethargy. They need the quickening, vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit, which will alone be efficient, and will speed the work in rapid movements. The Lord is not asleep, if England is. The Lord will give success to His work when His workers arouse to the emergency of the situation. Tares were sown among the wheat while men slept; and unless there is an earnest pushing forward of the work, it will never assume the proportions that God designed it should assume.
London is an important point, and throughout England the cities are not to be neglected. God will move upon agents, God will work, and His power will be revealed if men will co-operate with Him. Where are the men, where are the women, who will give themselves entirely to the work? We need the converting power of God every day. Old habits of precision, of moving in a certain groove, will have to be changed; old customs and habits that have long been cherished and idolized will have to be broken up.
Men will have to experience a daily conversion, in order that they may be working agents, who can be molded and fashioned as clay is molded and fashioned by the hands of the potter. Workers are to learn daily lessons in the school of Christ; for it is not your mold that God would have upon the characters of the church members. Give God a chance to impress minds and to place His mold upon the character and upon the church.
We are to look unto Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith, in order that by beholding we may become changed into His image, from character to character. We are not always to retain the same mold of character, but more and more to reflect the image of Jesus, that we may lead men away from self and out of self to become one with Christ. “Ye are complete in Him.” Colossians 2:10. Our completeness is in Jesus Christ. He is our pattern.
I am sorry I could not have done more labor in England. We long to see the work make more rapid strides, because we know it can and should. I am setting the wants of Europe before our people. I know that some will feel the burden, and others will do nothing, although they can do much. Asleep, asleep on the very verge of eternity! 5LtMs, Lt 15, 1887, par. 6 – 5LtMs, Lt 15, 1887, par. 14