There is an element in the church at ----- that is detrimental to its spiritual interests. There is a great want of vital godliness, of experimental religion. I call no names. Let each search his own heart and understand his own imperfections. There are some who are ever leaning toward the world, ever lowering the standard of religion by their worldly conversation. They have not the love of God in their hearts. They are weak-handed when real help is needed in the church. This spiritual weakness is the result of their own unwillingness to bear burdens when and where they can help the most. When, however, there is any plan or device of their own to carry out, they are willing to assume any responsibility; to have their own way is their purpose. If that were a sanctified way, it would not be so bad; but it is not.
There is great need of zealous, disinterested workers in God's cause. One Christ-loving, devoted member will do more good in a church than one hundred half-converted, unsanctified, self-sufficient workers. It is impossible for the church to be a living, active church unless its members shall be willing to bear burdens and assume responsibilities. In church relationship are brought together different temperaments and dispositions. In the -----church there are a few devoted, God-fearing, faithful souls who pray much, who carry the burden of the church, and whose happiness is in the prosperity of its members. Here, as elsewhere, Satan is constantly at work to drag down and demoralize. It is the business of the adversary of souls to weaken and destroy every organization which, if prospered, would glorify God.
Young men have received the truth and run well for a season, but Satan has woven his meshes about them in unwise attachments and poor marriages. This he saw would be the most successful way he could allure them from the path of holiness. For a while some of these youth bore the gospel armor with dignity and grace. Just as long as the heart and mind were in subjection to the divine will, there was prosperity; but when the eye was diverted from Jesus and attracted to unworthy objects, then it was that self asserted the sway, that carnal reason overbore wise judgment and integrity, and the Christian armor was thought too weighty to be borne by those so young in years. It would do for old, experienced soldiers of the gospel, but it was too heavy for youth. The tempter offered many suggestions calculated to cause inconstancy and vacillation in the Christian course.
The injunction of the Captain of their salvation was, "Take ye heed, watch and pray," "lest ye enter into temptation;" but it was too much trouble to faithfully guard the soul, and the deceptive power of Satan and the deceitful heart allured away from Christ. If these young men and young women had considered the words of the apostle, "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price," they would not have felt at liberty to keep back from God that which He had purchased at an infinite cost.
There is not one youth in one hundred who feels his God-given responsibility. Every physical and mental capability should be carefully preserved and put to the best and highest use to advance the glory of God. Those youth who permit their powers to be perverted, thus abusing God's gifts, will be called to strict account for the good they might have done had they availed themselves of the provision made through Jesus Christ. God claims the working of every faculty.
There are youth in the ----- church who should be cultivating the grace of Christian steadfastness and growing up to be men of faith. They should become firm, unwavering, rooted and grounded in the truth. The church needs the very help which God designed they should give. Those professing His name have not consecrated their powers fully and entirely to Him, but have yielded them, in a measure, to the service of Satan. Such have been, and still are, robbing God. Like the unfaithful steward to whom were entrusted talents, they have hid the gifts of God in the world.
Another great detriment to the church at ----- has been the material which has come into it. This material needs to be melted over by the Spirit of God. The dross is seen in crude, sharp traits of character, which might have been removed had these individuals been learners of Christ. But they have not fully separated themselves from the spirit and influences of the world. They rob God by daily mingling His time, His talents, and His strength with a worldly element. These powers cannot be withheld from God without resulting in eternal ruin. You have been bought with a price, even if you perish because you will not be saved in God's appointed way.
Holy angels are watching with intense interest, to see if the individual members of the church will honor their Redeemer, to see if they will place themselves in connection with heaven and no longer defraud the Lord, whom they profess to love, honor, and serve. God calls for His own. You are His by creation, and doubly His by redemption. But when you suffer the fires of unhallowed passion to light up the eye, when you speak words that drive the holy angels from you, when you think evil of your brethren, when you profane your hands with the gains of ungodliness, you are yielding your members as instruments of unrighteousness.
Brother -----, I saw that "Wanting" was written against your name in the Ledger of Heaven-wanting in patience, in forbearance, in self-control, in lowliness and meekness. The want of these heavenly graces will surely close the gates of heaven against you. Your body, your soul, your entire being with all its capabilities, God claims as His. That hasty, uncontrolled temper must be overcome. Spiritual disease is the sure result of giving way to this fretting, complaining, murmuring spirit. And this disease of soul will be your own fault. Cease to fret, cease to be stubborn, cease to pet self, and be a noblehearted, valiant man for God. Jesus loves you. Has He not made ample provision for you, that you should have help when brought into difficult places? "What," He says, "could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" The fruit Christ claims, after the patient care bestowed upon His church, is faith, patience, love, forbearance, heavenly-mindedness, meekness. These are clusters of fruit which mature amid storm and cloud and darkness, as well as in the sunshine.
Brother ----- is joined to the church, but not to the Lord. He has a dyspeptic religion. He is not right with God; he is filled with self. He has lost much by uniting with individuals who have not the spirit of Christ. He is lacking in almost every grace. He is useless to himself, and a great stumbling block to the church. Dear brother, Satan has controlled you to a great extent; your thoughts are unsanctified, your actions are not in accordance with the spirit of a true Christian. You have brought on your own disease; you must be your own restorer through the help of the divine Physician. Your moral powers are weak for want of nourishment. You are starving spiritually for Bible truth--the bread of life. You need to draw daily nourishment from the living Vine. The church receives no strength from you and in your present condition would be better off without you, for now, if anything arises to cross your track and you cannot control matters, you settle back with stubbornness, a dead weight on the church. You bear no burden or weight of the cause. God has borne long with you, but there is a limit to His forbearance, a line beyond which you may venture, when His Spirit will no longer strive with you, but leave you in your own perversity, defiled with selfishness, and debased with sin.
Brother ----- does not possess a right spirit. His disposition to lead hurts him, for he is not fitted for any such work. He can act a good part in the church if self is not made prominent. More meekness and lowliness will make his efforts a blessing to the church instead of a burden.
Brother and Sister -----, I saw opposite your names also, in the heavenly record, the word, "Wanting." You need to be emptied of self and the soul temple cleansed. Both of you have ability to do good, but it is unsanctified. You are greatly deficient in the simplicity of godliness. Were the church left to be molded by your standard of religion, it would be demoralized into a worldly, unconsecrated form. You might have been a great blessing to the church, but you have greatly failed. Jesus bids you come out from the spirit of the world. Sister -----, I am alarmed for you and for those who are brought in contact with your influence. You reach a low standard. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." By your words and actions you are now casting the seed. You are either sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit. In the day of final reckoning everyone must take the sickle and mow down the crop his own hand has sown.
Your husband is mistaking his work. When he shall humble his heart as a little child, and when he shall feel his own importance less and his need of help from God more, then he may be where he can be used to God's glory. But, as he is, he does not realize the wants of the cause. There is so much great I, and so little Jesus exhibited in the life and character of many, that God will accept nothing from their hands. But few realize the solemnity of the time in which we live--the day of God's preparation. Should you both be converted and devote your ability to studying how to build up the church instead of weakening it and helping the enemy in his work of leading its members to the world you would be gaining a valuable experience every day as you pass along. Brother ----- has been a great hindrance to the church. He should not be a member of the church unless his daily life is in harmony with his profession. God does not acknowledge him as His child. He stands today under the black banner of the powers of darkness. Satan has him completely under his control.
Such strong, discouraging influences as these have been a tide almost too strong for the church to stand against. Ten members, who were walking in all humbleness of mind, would have a far greater power upon the world than has the entire church, with its present numbers and lack of unity. The more there is of the divided, inharmonious element, the less power will the church have for good in the world.
Would that I could make plain to your beclouded senses, my brethren, the great peril you are in. Every action, good or bad, prepares the way for its repetition. How was it in the case of Pharaoh? The statement in Holy Writ is that God hardened his heart, and at every repetition of light in the manifestation of God's power the statement is repeated. Every time he refused to submit to God's will his heart became harder and less impressible by the Spirit of God. He sowed the seed of obstinacy, and God left it to vegetate. He might have prevented it by a miracle, but that was not His plan. He allowed it to grow and produce a harvest of its own kind, thus, proving the truthfulness of the scripture: "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." When a man plants doubts, he will reap doubts. By rejecting the first light and every following ray, Pharaoh went from one degree of hardness of heart to another, until the cold, dead forms of the first-born only checked his unbelief and obstinacy for a moment. And then, determined not to yield to God's way, he continued his willful course until overwhelmed by the waters of the Red Sea.
This case is placed on record for our benefit. Just what took place in Pharaoh's heart will take place in every soul that neglects to cherish the light and walk promptly in its rays. God destroys no one. The sinner destroys himself by his own impenitence. When a person once neglects to heed the invitations, reproofs, and warnings of the Spirit of God, his conscience becomes seared, and the next time he is admonished, it will be more difficult to yield obedience than before. And thus with every repetition. Conscience is the voice of God, heard amid the conflict of human passions; when it is resisted, the Spirit of God is grieved.
We want all to understand how the soul is destroyed. It is not that God sends out a decree that man shall not be saved. He does not throw a darkness before the eyes which cannot be penetrated. But man at first resists a motion of the Spirit of God, and, having once resisted, it is less difficult to do so the second time, less the third, and far less the fourth. Then comes the harvest to be reaped from the seed of unbelief and resistance. Oh what a harvest of sinful indulgences is preparing for the sickle!
When secret prayer and reading of the Scriptures are neglected today, tomorrow they can be omitted with less remonstrance of conscience. There will be a long list of omissions, all for a single grain sown in the soil of the heart. On the other hand, every ray of light cherished will yield a harvest of light. Temptation once resisted will give power to more firmly resist the second time; every new victory gained over self will smooth the way for higher and nobler triumphs. Every victory is a seed sown to eternal life.
There is great need of zealous, faithful, self-denying workers in our churches throughout the land. No one can labor in the Sabbath school or in the temperance work without reaping a bountiful harvest, not only in the end of the world, but in the present life. In the very effort to enlighten and bless others his own views will become clearer and broader. The more we endeavor to explain the truth to others, with a love for souls, the plainer will it become to ourselves. It ever opens with new beauty and force to the understanding of the expounder.
There are some good workers in your church, and these self-denying ones will never know how much good they have accomplished by their persevering efforts in the missionary field. But the Lord has claims upon more men and women in the church than have yielded to His demands. Some of the stones composing God's holy temple reflect the light which shines upon them from Jesus Christ, while others emit no light, thus clearly revealing that they are not living stones, elect, precious. They are not devotional, but prayerless, talkative, irreligious. True Christians will copy the pattern given them by our Saviour and will be meek, lowly, forbearing, gentle, easy to be entreated, free from pomposity and stubbornness.
Dangers of the Young
Mr. ----- has a nature that Satan plays upon with wonderful success. This case is one that should teach the young a lesson in regard to marriage. His wife followed feeling and impulse, not reason and judgment, in selecting a companion. Was their marriage the result of true love? No, no; it was the result of impulse,--blind, unsanctified passion. Neither was at all fitted for the responsibilities of married life. When the novelty of the new order of things wore away, and each became acquainted with the other, did their love become stronger, their affection deeper, and their lives blend together in beautiful harmony? It was entirely the opposite. The worst traits of their characters began to deepen by exercise, and, instead of their married life being one of happiness, it has been one of increasing trouble, especially to the wife. God in His mercy has tested her, spared her life, and lengthened her probation in order that she might obtain a fitness for the future life.
Her husband has a very defective character. Without a thorough transformation by the grace of God he would be unfit to connect in marriage with any woman. He is so thoroughly impregnated with self, so entirely given up to habits of self-indulgence and easy indolence, that he needs to be under discipline himself, rather than have anything to do in disciplining wife or children. This man's mind has been cast in an inferior mold. He has encouraged coarseness and objectionable traits of character, until he was presented to me as having scarcely a redeeming quality in his character. There is only one hope, and that is that he will see himself, and so despise and loathe himself that he will seek a new heart, be born again, and become a new man in Christ Jesus. He should become a diligent man. Industry will be of great advantage to him. His course is offensive to God, in that he invites temptation. His rudeness, his threats, his untamable, uncourteous spirit, will make him a curse to himself and to others. His conduct toward his wife's mother has been rude and ungentlemanly. It should henceforth be the life study of both husband and wife how to avoid everything that creates contention and to keep unbroken the marriage vows.
Just such unsanctified marriages are filling up the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. God wants His children to be happy, and, if they would learn of Him, He would save them from the daily misery which comes in consequence of these unhappy unions. Many marriages can only be productive of misery; and yet the minds of the youth run in this channel because Satan leads them there, making them believe that they must be married in order to be happy, when they have not the ability to control themselves or support a family. Those who are not willing to adapt themselves to each other's disposition, so as to avoid unpleasant differences and contentions, should not take the step. But this is one of the alluring snares of the last days, in which thousands are ruined for this life and the next. Imagination, lovesick sentimentalism, should be guarded against as would be the leprosy. Very many of the young men and women in this age of the world are lacking in virtue; therefore great caution is needed. A virtuous character is the foundation upon which to build; but if the foundation is gone, the building is worthless. Those who have preserved a virtuous character, although they may lack in other desirable qualities, may be of real moral worth.
In order for the church to prosper there must be a studious effort on the part of its members to cherish the precious plant of love. Let it have every advantage that it may flourish in the heart. Every true Christian will develop in his life the characteristics of this divine love; he will reveal a spirit of forbearance, of beneficence, and a freedom from envy and jealousy. This character developed in word and act will not repulse, and will not be unapproachable, cold, and indifferent to the interests of others. The person who cultivates the precious plant of love will be self-denying in spirit, and will not yield self-control even under provocation. He will not impute wrong motives and evil intentions to others, but will feel deeply over sin when discovered in any of the disciples of Christ.
Love vaunteth not itself. It is a humble element; it never prompts a man to boast, to exalt himself. Love for God and for our fellow men will not be revealed in acts of rashness nor lead us to be overbearing, faultfinding, or dictatorial. Love is not puffed up. The heart where love reigns will be guided to a gentle, courteous, compassionate course of conduct toward others, whether they suit our fancy or not, whether they respect us or treat us ill. Love is an active principle; it keeps the good of others continually before us, thus restraining us from inconsiderate actions lest we fail of our object in winning souls to Christ. Love seeks not its own. It will not prompt men to seek their own ease and indulgence of self. It is the respect we render to I that so often hinders the growth of love.
There are men of poverty and obscurity whose lives God would accept and make full of usefulness on earth and of glory in heaven, but Satan is working persistently to defeat His purposes and drag them down to perdition by marriage with those whose character is such that they throw themselves directly across the road to life. Very few come out from this entanglement triumphant. Brother -----, you are willing to experiment and try to prove that you will be an exception to the general rule. Joseph was one of the few who could withstand temptation. He showed that he had an eye single to the glory or God. He evidenced a lofty regard for God's will, alike when occupying the prisoner's cell and when standing next the throne. He carried his religion with him wherever he went and in whatever situation he was placed. True religion has an all-pervading power. It gives tone to everything man does. You need not go out of the world in order to be a Christian, but you may carry your religion, with all its sanctifying influences, into all you do and say. You may discharge well the duties belonging to the situation where God has placed you, by keeping the heart fixed upon heavenly things, and thus break the spell now upon you through unwise association. Had you followed the light you would now be able to escape the snares which those who discern not the will of God have laid to captivate your soul.
Another striking point in the character of Joseph, worthy of imitation by all youth, is his deep filial reverence. As he meets his father with tears streaming from his eyes, he hangs upon his neck in an affectionate, loving embrace. He seems to feel that he cannot do enough for his parent's comfort and watches over his declining years with a love as tender as a mother's. No pains is spared to show his respect and love upon all occasions. Joseph is an example of what a youth should be. Love manifested for your mother would disclose a beautiful trait of character such as God would approve.
The want of respect for the counsel of a godly parent is one of the marked sins of this degenerate age. There are many lives in our land that are dark and wretched because of one step taken in the dark. By one act of disobedience many a youth has blighted his whole life and weighed down a loving mother's heart with anguish. God will not hold you guiltless if you follow in this course. By despising the counsel of a God-fearing mother, who would willingly give her life for her children, you are transgressing the fifth commandment. You know not where your steps are leading you.
I again plead a mother's claim, a mother's love. There can be no baser ingratitude than that which marks the sin of disobedience to a Christian mother. In the days of your helpless infancy she watched over you; her prayers and tears were witnessed of heaven as she affectionately cherished you. For her children she has toiled and planned, thought, prayed, and exercised self-denial. Through your whole life her true heart has been anxious and earnest for your welfare. And yet now you choose your own course; you follow your own blind, stubborn will, irrespective of the bitter harvest you will reap and the sorrow you will bring upon her.
Infirmities are gathering about your mother. She needs you; any attention you may render will be very precious to her. There are none of her other children to whom she can look. They feel under no obligation to her. But you will find the privilege which is now yours may soon be lost. Do not think, however, that should you neglect your privilege and your duty as a son, your mother would suffer. She has true friends who will feel it a privilege to do the duties from which you withdraw yourself. God loves your mother and will care for her. If her own children neglect her, He will raise up others to do the work they might have done, and receive the blessing which was offered them. It is their privilege to make her last days her best and happiest.
I tell you plainly, God is displeased with your course. There are troubles before you that you do not discern and which may be avoided if you choose to follow wise counsel. Our Saviour has made you the object of His unwearied labors and tender solicitude, that you may be wise and not ruin your self. He yearns over you in boundless compassion and love, exclaiming: "How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" Your foolish heart has turned from the counsel of your best friends.
Because of earnest, faithful warnings to guard you against the mistakes of a lifetime, you have imagined you were a great benefit to the church. True, you are capable, in Jesus Christ, of being useful; but, notwithstanding this, the Lord and the church can get along without you. You can join the army of Christ's followers if you will; you may share in its conflicts and triumphs. But if you choose not to do this, the self-denying army under the bloodstained banner of the cross will move on to certain victory, and leave you behind. If you choose to guide your own frail bark across life's stormy waters you must answer for the presumption and be held responsible for the result.
If you could see how you have already become weak in principle, if you could see how your honor and honesty are imperiled, you would then see that God is not with you and that you ought not to stand in the place of responsibility you now occupy; you are unworthy. My heart is sad indeed when I know what you might have been had you yielded yourself wholly to God and then see the power the enemy has had over you.
The Sabbath school work is important, and all who are interested in the truth should endeavor to make it prosperous. Brother ----- could have served well in this branch of the work had he and others in the church pursued a right course. But he has been praised and petted too much. It has nearly ruined him. The Lord can do without him, but he cannot afford to do without God. The Lord will entrust His work to men with clean hands and a pure heart; therefore it is an honor to bear responsibilities in His cause.
The temperance work is also worthy of your best endeavors. But great care should be taken to make the temperance meetings as elevated and ennobling as possible. Avoid a surface work and everything of a theatrical character. Those who realize the solemn character of this work will keep the standard high. But there is a class who have no real respect for the cause of temperance; their only concern is to show off their smartness upon the stage. The pure, the thoughtful, and those who understand the object of the work, should be encouraged to labor in these great branches of reform. They may not be intellectually great, but if pure and humble, God-fearing and true, the Lord will accept their labors.
Literary societies are quite frequently organized, but, in nine cases out of ten, they have proved a damage to souls, rather than a blessing. This is because an alliance is formed with the world or with a class whose influence and tendency is ever to lead away from the solid to the superficial, from the real to the fictitious. Literary societies would be of great advantage if controlled by a religious element; but, sooner or later, the irreligious element is almost certain to gain the ascendancy and have a controlling influence. Just so it is with our temperance societies. The solemnity of the work is all covered up with the superficial, and a continual temptation is placed before the youth whom we wish to save.
The facts are before us. The burden bearers among us are dropping off into the silent grave. The active members of the church, the true workers in all reforms, are mostly past the meridian of life, and are declining in physical and mental strength. We should anxiously contemplate who are to rise up and fill their places. To whom are to be committed the vital interests of the church? The question may be asked by us with the deepest concern, Who will bear the responsibilities of the cause of God when a few more standard-bearers fall? We can but look anxiously upon the youth of today as those who must take these burdens, and upon whom responsibilities must fall. They must take the work where others leave it; and their course will determine whether morality, religion, and vital godliness shall prevail, or whether immorality and infidelity shall corrupt and blight all that is valuable. It is the way the standard is carried now that will determine the future.
Parents, will you now show by your course of action that wholesome restraint, good order, harmony, and peace shall be the ruling principle? or, shall those whose course of life shows that they have frivolous minds and are low in the scale of moral worth have a molding, controlling influence? God calls upon His believing people to connect with Him, to purify their souls by humbly walking in the footsteps of Jesus. God calls upon you to put away pride of opinion, pride of dress, and self-exaltation, and let the good and noble faculties of the mind strengthen with use.
Will men and women professing the most solemn truths ever borne to mortals be true to principle? If they would have an influence to lead the world to serious reflection they must be; their dress and conversation must be in strict accordance with their peculiar faith. Those who are older must educate the young, by precept and example, how to discharge those claims which society and their Maker have upon them. Upon these youth must be laid grave responsibilities. The question is whether they are capable of governing themselves and standing forth in the purity of their God-given manhood, abhorring anything which savors of licentiousness and discord.
Can I say anything that will make an impression upon the young? Never before was there so much at stake; never were there such weighty results depending upon a generation as upon those now coming upon the stage of action. Not for one moment should they think that they can fill any position of trust without possessing a good character. Just as well might they expect to gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. A good character must be built up brick by brick, every day growing in proportion to the effort put forth. Those characteristics which they will take to heaven with them must be obtained by the diligent exercise of their own faculties, by improving every advantage Providence gives them, and by connecting with the Source of all wisdom. Aim for no low standard. Let not your minds be cast in an inferior mold. The characters of Joseph and Daniel are good models for you to follow, but Christ is the perfect pattern.
Some of the brethren and sisters in the ----- church have done a good missionary work, but their interest must not flag. A few have done more than their strength would admit, but it was their meat and drink to do it. All can act a part in this work, and none are excused. Jesus would have all who profess His name become earnest workers. It is necessary that every individual member build upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. A storm is arising that will wrench and test the spiritual foundation of every one to the utmost. Therefore avoid the sand bed; hunt for the rock. Dig deep; lay your foundation sure. Build, oh, build for eternity! Build with tears, with heartfelt prayers. Let every one of you from henceforth make your life beautiful by good works. Calebs are the men most needed in these last days. That which will make our churches vigorous and successful in their efforts is not bustle, but quiet, humble work; not parade and bombast, but patient, prayerful, persevering effort.
"He that is not with Me," said Christ, "is against Me." It is wholehearted, thoroughly decided men and women who will stand now. Christ sifted His followers again and again, until at one time there remained only eleven and a few faithful women to lay the foundation of the Christian church. There are those who will stand back when burdens are to be borne; but when the church is all aglow, they catch the enthusiasm, sing and shout, and become rapturous; but watch them. When the fervor is gone, only a few faithful Calebs will come to the front and display unwavering principle. These are salt that retains the savor. It is when the work moves hard that the churches develop the true helpers. These will not be talking of self, vindicating self, but will lose their identity in Jesus Christ. To be great in God's kingdom is to be a little child in humility, in simplicity of faith, and in the purity of love. All pride must perish, all jealousy be overcome, all ambition for supremacy be given up, and the meekness and trust of the child be encouraged. All such will find Christ their rock of defense, their strong tower. In Him they may trust implicitly, and He will never fail them.
Oh, that all who believe present truth would be warned to seek the Lord. The thoughts of God's infinite mercy and of His matchless love should influence all to imitate His example. But this is not the case. Some of our sisters indulge too freely in a love for dress and display; they do not dress at all in harmony with our holy faith. This is true of Sister -----. The world should have a better example than this sister has given it. She should feel her God-given responsibility to cast the entire weight of her influence upon the side of Christ and seek to make those with whom she associates less worldly. She and Sister ----- would be of far greater advantage to the church if they would encourage plainness of dress in themselves and others. Those sisters who are dressmakers and who study the fashion plates frequently lead others in the church to do that which is displeasing to God by encouraging them to cut and trim their dresses in imitation of the world. The efforts of these sisters to do good would be far more acceptable to God were there seen in their lives less dressing, less cheap, worldly talking, and less visiting; less complaining and murmuring against the ministers laboring for you, and more praying and reading of the Bible.
The Lord is displeased with the course pursued by many in the church toward some of their ministering brethren. He bids you cease your cruel speeches and let words of encouragement take the place of your murmuring, your repining, your faultfinding. Christ is speaking to you in the person of His saints, and you have despised His counsel and rejected His reproof. Do this no longer. Elder ----- has a work to do, not only in the East, but in many places. God will be with him and prosper him if he hides in Jesus. He is not infallible; he may at times err in judgment. But be careful how you speak that which will make of none effect the words God bids him utter.
When he knows what the will of God is, he would not hesitate to do it should it cost him his life. While many of you plan only how you can please self and have an easy life, his whole life and interest is wrapped up in the cause of God. While studying and planning for the cause, he has sometimes exercised shrewdness and sharpness, which has led others to misjudge him. His aim was not to advantage himself, but the cause which he loved. While the Lord would have you faithfully uphold the hands of His tried servants, He would warn you against placing too great confidence in those who have newly come to the faith or with whose past life and labors you are unacquainted.
It is your privilege to be a prosperous, happy church. Let each one of you search his own heart, cleanse the defiled soul temple, and watch unto prayer. Be determined you will seek Jesus until you find Him; release not your grasp until His love dwells in your heart and you have His spirit subduing your life and fashioning your character. Then believe, and with boldness you may approach His throne, knowing that He will hear your prayers.