Even in heaven we are to continually improve. Then is it not essential that we cultivate our characters in this life? You must be prepared for a place in the family of God. When you are complete in Christ, you will not give yourself up to such entirely needless experiences as you have had.--Letter 100, 1895, p. 4. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, circa October 10, 1895.)
The ability to enjoy the riches of glory will be developed in proportion to the desire we have for these riches. How shall an appreciation of God and heavenly things be developed unless it is in the life.--Ms 28, 1899, p. 6. ("Think Not That I Have Come to Destroy the Law," typed March 19, 1899.)
Christ bore the sins of the whole world. He endured our punishment,-- the wrath of God against transgression. His trial involved the fierce temptation of thinking that he was forsaken by God. His soul was tortured by the pressure of a horror of great darkness lest he should swerve from his uprightness during the terrible ordeal. He could not have been tempted in all points like as man is tempted had their been no possibility of his failing. He was a free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam and as is man.
Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation comes and is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action, and knowing that he can do it, resists by faith, with a firm hold upon divine power. This was the ordeal through which Christ passed. In his closing hours, while hanging upon the cross, he experienced to the fullest extent what man must experience striving against sin. He realized how bad man may become by yielding to sin. He realized the terrible consequence of the transgression of God's law; for the iniquity of the whole world was upon him. . . .
By giving his only begotten Son to die on the cross, God has shown us the estimate he places on the human soul. All that the world admires, all it calls precious, sinks into insignificance when placed in the balance with one soul; for a matchless ransom has been paid for that soul. All heaven has been given in one gift.--Ms 29, 1899, pp 4, 5. ("Sacrificed for Us," typed March 17, 1899.)
As becomes the beings to whom God has given the faculties of reason and of action, we should use our powers in accordance with the divine purpose. God desires to be honored and glorified in the work of His hands. Every human being will have to give an account to God for the way in which he has used his entrusted talents. We are under obligation to use our powers aright that we may be qualified for eternal life in the kingdom of God. God demands perfection from every human being. We are to be perfect in this life of humanity even as God is perfect in His divine character.
God made every provision in man's behalf, creating him only a little lower than the angels. Adam disobeyed, and entailed sin upon his posterity; but God gave His Son for the redemption of the race. Christ took on him the nature of man, and passed over the ground where Adam fell, to be tested and tried as all human beings are tested and tried. Satan came to him as an angel of light, to induce him if possible to commit sin, and thus place the human race entirely under the dominion of evil. But Christ was victorious. Christ was victorious, and man was placed on vantage ground with God.
When the Father gave His Son to live and die for man, he placed all the treasure of heaven at our disposal. There is no excuse for sin. God has given us all the advantages he could possibly give, that we may have strength to withstand the temptations of the enemy. Had man, when tested and tried, followed the example of Christ, he would have given his children and his children's children an example of steadfast purity and righteousness, and the race would not have deteriorated, but improved.
God is the owner of man. He required the human family to perfect faultless characters, and leave the results to future generations. Many in this our day act as though this were a matter of small importance; but had the human family, even after the fall of Adam, worked according to the example of Christ, every father and mother would leave their children an example how to conduct themselves so as to fulfil their obligations to God. Then the world would have been as Eden. The earth, now a desert of sin, would have rejoiced and blossomed as the rose.--Letter 143, 1900, pp. 5, 6. (To N. McClure, typed November 5, 1900.)
Heaven, I long for heaven; Christ is the center of attraction. Our future state is a continuation of our work in coming to God in probationary time. Heaven is the ceaseless approaching to God through Jesus Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. The eternal weight of glory is not taken in all at once, but it pours its tide, wave after wave, of glory into the mind and heart. When Christ said, Come unto me, he means us to walk with him in this life, and be filled with love, satisfied with his presence in this world. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here. But what is this compared with the hereafter. "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes."--Ms 14, 1895, pp. 1, 2. (Untitled, August 10, 1895.)
The Lord Jesus took upon him the form of sinful man, clothing his divinity with humanity. But he was holy, even as God is holy. If he had not been without spot or stain of sin, he could not have been the Saviour of mankind. He was a Sin-bearer, needing no atonement. One with God in purity and holiness of character, he could make a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. . . .
When the human agent feels his need of the Sun of Righteousness, when he comes to Jesus saying, Lord, I am sinful, unworthy, hopeless; save me, or I perish, he is accepted in the beloved, and his heart is warmed by the rays of divine love. In this sincere coming to Christ he opens the door to Him who has long been saying, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." He is accepted by faith, and he knows what it means to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.--Ms 164, 1898, pp. 1, 4. ("Be Ye Therefore Perfect," typed December 14, 1898.)
The work of consecration must go forward and upward, elevating the mind, elevating the speech. Thus we become more and more heavenly minded, better prepared for translation. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Man is to be perfect in his sphere, as God is perfect in his sphere. How can we attain so lofty a standard? The required perfection is based on the perfection of Christ. In Him is our righteousness. He spoke these words, and he was by birth a human being, though allied to divinity. Every provision has been made that man should be a partaker of the divine nature. God never issues a command without furnishing the grace essential to carry it out. He says, "Without me ye can do nothing." --Ms 157, 1898, pp. 1, 2. ("Be Ye Therefore Perfect," typed December 5, 1898.)
But I would inquire if our dear friends here seek to respond to the light that God is letting shine upon them? It is not the amount of light that
comes to us individually that will save us, but it is the use that we make of this light that is given us from heaven. Light has been flashed upon our pathway, and we want to know how much better it makes us. Has it discovered to us our imperfections of character? and has it perfected us so that we cease to sin?--Ms 19a, 1886, p. 4. "Lessons from the Life of Abraham," March 27, 1886.)
Man cannot change one attribute of his diseased character. Man aspired to be as God, and from that fatal moment the originator of evil began to alienate him from God. Satan is an author of all envy, all jealousy, all deception, and all strife. He erected the traitor's ensign of revolt upon this earth. He manifested his apostasy by his insane effort to create an empire governed by himself. He is the author of every sin which has cursed the earth.--Letter 20, 1901, p. 8. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, January 28, 1901.)
This morning my heart is full of gratitude to my Saviour for His healing power. Yesterday I suffered all day with heartache as I thought of how Satan is working to gain entrance to every mind that is open to his devisings. He will use his artifice as he used it among the heavenly angels, presenting his scientific problems to deceive, sowing seed that would bear the fruit of rebellion, and yet working with such apparent innocence that when the seed that he himself had sown had taken root, he drew from the angels expressions of disaffection, and then reported the result of his own seed-sowing as sentiments held by certain of the angels. This work could not be dealt with
until the results of his artful suggestions had fully developed.--Ms 13, 1906. p. 1. ("Israel's Apostasy at Sinai," December 11, 1905.)
Just prior to the coming of the Son of man, there is and has been for years a determination on the part of the enemy to cast his hellish shadow right between man and his Saviour, and why? So that he shall not distinguish that it is a whole Saviour, a complete sacrifice that has been made for him. Then he tells them that they are not to keep the law, for in keeping that law man would be united with the divine power, and Satan would be defeated. But in keeping that law man would be united with the divine power. Notwithstanding man was encompassed with the infirmities of humanity he might become a partake of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Now here is the redemption. . . .
"Then," says one, "you cannot be accepted unless you repent." Well, who leads us to repentance? Who is drawing us? Here the law of God condemns the sinner. It points out the defects of his character. But you can stand before that law all your lifetime and say, "Cleanse me. Fit me for heaven," but can it do it? No; there is no power in law to save the transgressor of law in sin. Then what? Christ must appear in that law as our righteousness, and then Christ is lifted up. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32)
Here we look at the cross of Calvary. What has made us look at it? Christ is drawing us. Angels of God are in this world, at work upon human minds, and the man is drawn to the One who uplifts him, and the One who
uplifts him draws him to repentance. It is no work of his own; there is nothing that he can do that is of any value at all except to believe.
As he sees Christ hanging upon the cross of Calvary he sees that He loves sinners, those who were at enmity with God. He begins to marvel, and is abased. What is the reason for this? Why, he sees that there is a transgressed law, and that man cannot keep it, but he sees Christ, and with hope and faith he grasps the arm of infinite power and repents at every step. Of what? That he has violated every principle of the law of Jehovah.
Paul says he taught from house to house repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. What did Christ come to our world for?--To attract the mind and bring it to repentance. Here we have the love of the Father in giving His Son to die for fallen man, that he might keep the law of Jehovah.
Now Jesus stands in our world, His divinity clothed with humanity, and man must be clothed with Christ's righteousness. Then he can, through the righteousness of Christ, stand acquitted before God.
Oh, I am glad I have a Saviour! We must have the Holy Spirit to combine with man's human effort. We can do nothing without Christ. "Without Me, ye can do nothing." "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock" if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." (Rev. 3:20). I am so glad that we can be partakers of the divine nature, and that through Jesus Christ we can be conquerors. This is the victory,--even your faith, feelings and good works?--Is that it? No; "This is the victory. . . , even your faith." (1 John 5:4).
What is faith? It "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Then what? "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:17). Therefore we lay hold upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. Our lives are hid with Christ in God. There we have the whole of it. We can do nothing of ourselves, but the fire of God's love is burning on the altar of our hearts. We are not following cunningly devised fable, no indeed; but we have been revealing Christ our righteousness. If you boast in your own good works, you cannot boast in Christ. . . .
God has opened to us our strength, and we need to know something about it and be prepared for the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. But here is our strength, Christ our righteousness. Let us ask Isaiah who is to be our strength. Well, he answers, and it comes echoing down along the lines to our time: "For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6). Is not that enough for us? Cannot we cover ourselves all over with it? Do we need any of our own self esteem? No, we cannot have that. We must hide in Christ, and we can hide in the mighty strength of Israel's God. Thus we work to meet the powers of darkness. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and power, and spiritual wickedness in high places. And it is only in Christ that we can meet them. . . .
We want you to go forward. Advance from light to clearer light. Here are the mines of truth. Work them; dig for the truth as for hid treasures. As you
go to the Scriptures and ask God to help you, He will illuminate your minds, and the Holy Spirit will bring all things to your remembrance and the light of heaven will shine upon you.--Ms 5, 1889, pp. 5, 6-10. ("Christ and the Law," June 19, 1889.)
Every soul of man may be saved if they believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. All will not be saved. Not because He does not want them to be saved, for He is drawing every soul whatever may be their position, whatever may be their education, their nationality, or their training, He is drawing every soul to Himself. Why? Because in Him is life and light and truth, and all of these are essential to us for our happiness daily in this present life, and all these things are going to help us bear the burdens and trials and perplexities of life with greater ease, and Christ says in his invitation, "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." . . .
John pointed the people to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. He said, "Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." There is a great deal in that "taketh away." The question is shall we keep on sinning as though it were an impossibility for us to overcome? How are we to overcome? As Christ overcame, and that is the only way. He prayed to His heavenly Father. We can do the same. . . . When tempted to speak wrong and do wrong, resist Satan and say, I will not surrender my will to your control, I will cooperate with divine power and through grace be conqueror. --Ms 83, 1891, pp. 2-4. ("Importance of Exercising Faith," Sermon, July 22, 1891.)
The Lord has done great things for you in California, particularly in Oakland. But there is much more that He would be well pleased to do for you if you will make your works correspond with your faith. God never honors unbelief with rich blessings. Review what God has done, and then know that it is only the beginning of what He is willing to do. We must place a higher value than we do upon the Scriptures, for therein is the revealed will of God to man. It is not enough to merely assent to the truthfulness of God's Word, but we must search the Scriptures to know what they contain. Do we receive the Bible as the "Oracle of God?" It is really a divine communication as though its words came to us in an audible voice. Oh, we do not know its value, its preciousness, because we do not obey its instructions. . . .
"A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you." I believe with all my heart that the Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world; and those who have had great light and opportunities and have not improved them, will be the first to be left. They have grieved away the Spirit of God. The present activity of Satan in working upon hearts, and upon churches and nations should startle every student of prophecy. The end is near. Let our churches arise. Let the converting power of God be experienced in the heart of the individual members, and then we shall see the deep moving of the Spirit of God. Mere forgiveness of sin is not the sole result of the death of Jesus. He made the infinite sacrifice not only that sin might be removed, but that human nature might be restored, rebeautified, reconstructed from its ruins, and made fit for the presence of God. . . .
Christ is the ladder which Jacob saw whose base rested on the earth and whose topmost round reached the highest heavens. This shows the appointed method of salvation. We are to climb round after round of this ladder. If any one of us (shall finally be) saved, it will be by clinging to Jesus as to the rounds of a ladder. Christ is made unto the believer wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption. . . .
There will be some terrible falls by those who think they stand firm because they have the truth; but they have it not as it is in Jesus. A moment's carelessness may plunge a soul into irretrievable ruin. One sin leads to the second, and the second prepares the way for a third and so on. We must as faithful messengers of God, plead with Him constantly to be kept by His power. If we swerve a single inch from duty we are in danger of following on in a course of sin that ends in perdition. There is hope for every one of us, but only in one way by fastening ourselves to Christ. and Exerting every energy to attain to the perfection of His character. This goody goody religion that makes light of sin and that is forever dwelling upon the love of God to the sinner, encourages the sinner to believe that God will save him while he continues in sin and he knows it to be sin. This is the way that many are doing who profess to believe present truth. The truth is kept apart from their life, and that is the reason it has no more power to convict and covert the soul. There must be a straining of every nerve and spirit and muscle to leave the world, its customs, its practices, and its fashions. . . .
Will those who claim to be children of the Most High elevate the standard, not for a day, not simply while assembled in your meeting, but as
long as time shall last? Will they not be on the Lord's side and serve him with full purpose of heart? . . . If you put away sin and exercise living faith, the riches of heaven's blessing will be yours.--Letter 53, 1887, pp. 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 12. (To "Dear Brethren and Sisters Who Shall Attend the April Meeting at Oakland, California," undated.)
A work of self-renunciation is essential, and unreserved casting of yourself, all broken on Christ Jesus. Then He will gather you in His everlasting arms. Open the door of the heart, and bring into your soul all the heavenly agencies and attributes that will make you a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. . . .
The Lord would have His sons and daughters reach the highest efficiency in His service; in order to do this, they must maintain the most clear and practical views with regard to the agencies connected in the Lord's economy with the working out of their salvation, else they will often dwell in darkness and doubt, and in their warfare beat the air; for they seem to have lost sight of the Saviour. The Power is of God, not of us; out of weakness we may become strong.--Letter 47, 1892, pp. 5, 6. (To Brother Morrison, December 22, 1892.)
It is not enough to say, "I am a child of God"; but it's our works that will bear witness if we are children of God. Every one who is a child of God will do the will of God. Profession is of no value unless it is followed by true practical godliness. Our Saviour has a right to the service of every one of us.--Ms 17, 1887, p. 1. ("Godliness," Sermon, June 11, 1887.)
The Lord has in His heavenly counsels set forth methods and agencies whereby His grace shall be at work through various influences for the saving of the soul of the sinner; but all these facilities will be ineffectual and powerless without the sinner's consent to be drawn, and he cooperates with the Divine agencies. . . .
The Spirit of God does not propose to do our part either in the willing or the doing. This the work of the human agent in cooperation with the Divine agencies. As soon as we incline our will to harmonize with God's will, the peace of Christ stands to cooperate with the human agent. But it [the Holy Spirit] will not be the substitute to do our work independent of our resolving and decidedly acting; therefore it is not the abundance of light, and evidence piled upon evidence that will convert the soul. It is only the human agent accepting the light, rousing the energies of the will fully to that which he knows is righteousness and truth, and thus cooperating with the heavenly ministrations appointed of God in the saving of the soul. . . .
Always the Lord gives the human agent his work. Here is the Divine and the human cooperation. There is the man working in obedience with Divine light given. If Saul had said, "Lord, I am not at all inclined to follow your specified directions to work out my own salvation," then should the Lord have let ten times the light shine upon Saul, it would have been useless. It is man's work to cooperate with the Divine. And it is the very hardest, sternest conflict which comes with the purpose and hour of great resolve, and decision of the human to incline the will and way to God's will and God's way, relying upon the gracious influences which accompanied him all his life long. The man
must do the work of inclining,--"For it is God that worketh in you (us) both to will and to do." And the character will determine the nature of the resolve and the action. The doing was not in accordance with the feeling or the inclination, but the known will of our Father which is in heaven. Follow and obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
Obey not the voice of the deceiver which is in harmony with the unsanctified will, but obey the impulse that God has given. The work of the heavenly intelligences, in all their operations, is constantly working to induce the human agent to will and to do. Everything is at stake. Will the human agent cooperate with the Divine? "To will and to do." If man places his will on God's side, fully surrendering self to God's will, the high and holy endeavor of the human agent tears down the obstruction he himself has erected; the rubbish is cleared away from the door of the heart, the defiance and barricading of the soul is broken down. The door of the heart is opened, and Jesus enters to abide as a welcome guest.--Ms 9, 1889, pp. 1-3. ("Behold the Lamb," undated.)
God has come near to bless and revive his children, and empower them to do a special work if they will allow the Holy Spirit to work them, but some have refused the Spirit's power. . . .
The voice of God, plainly heard by Moses, has been given to his people from age to age. . . .
The word of God is to be the guide book, the counsellor, the teacher in the highest class of education. The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning the plan of salvation, and if men are ignorant, it is because they
do not choose to be wise. God says of the supposed great men of our world, They must become fools in order to be wise. The sentiments of infidel authors are not needed to perfect an education. In the past our schools have mingled with that essential for education, the writing of men who advance error, the sophistries of men who trample under foot God's memorial. The Book that reveals the plan of salvation has been made secondary. But how is the honest inquirer after truth to find the way to heaven. Only by the Word of God, from which, even in his ignorance, he will learn the truth and be saved from destructive errors.--Ms 12b, 1896, pp. 4, 5, 15. ("Higher Education," March 17, 1896.)
Willing and doing are bound together. The salvation of the soul requires the blending of human and divine strength. God does not propose to do the work that man can do to meet the standard of righteousness. Man has a part to act. Humanity must unite and cooperate with divinity. Grace and sufficiency have been abundantly provided for every soul. But in order to receive this, man must unite with his divine Helper. Unless of his own accord man consents to renounce his sinful practices, Christ cannot take away his sin. Man must heartily cooperate with God, willingly obeying his laws, showing that he appreciates the great gift of grace. Feeling his dependence upon God, having faith in Christ as his personal Saviour, expecting efficiency and success only as he shall keep the Lord ever before him,--it is thus that man complies with the injunction, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
But human effort is not sufficient. Human effort avails nothing without divine power. Of himself man has not strength to wrestle with the powers of darkness. Therefore Christ clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to this earth that he might cooperate with man. To those who will receive him and trust in his power to save, he imparts the virtue of his righteousness. He gives them power to become the sons of God. "As many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth. . . And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace."
The human agent must remember that he has in himself no merits to present to God. Christ is the fountain of life, the only security for man's salvation, the one great source of immortality. He is the author and finisher of our faith. The great, grand work of perfecting character cannot be accomplished without the help that heaven is always ready to supply.
He who desires to grow in physical, mental, and moral power must feel every moment his dependence upon the One who provides efficiency for growth. In the work of perfecting the strength and activity of the faculties of mind and body, man must constantly receive power from on high. The Lord is watching with earnest interest to see how man will conduct himself in the life which has been given him. Be not careless and indifferent in regard to the grand union work to be done by man and God. On your part you are to believe, receive the grace of God, and honor Christ in your life. On his
part, he dwells in your heart, supplying you with divine strength, working in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. . . .
Without human effort divine effort is in vain. God will work with power when in trustful dependence upon him parents will awake to the sacred responsibility which rests upon them, and seek to train their children aright.
He will cooperate with those parents who carefully and prayerfully educate their children, working out their own and their children's salvation. He will work in them, to will and to do of his own good pleasure.--Ms 49, 1901, pp. 1-3, 9. ("Work Out Your Own Salvation," typed June 26, 1901.)
I cannot neglect the great salvation that has been brought to me at such an infinite cost to my heavenly Father, "who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I will not dishonor My Redeemer to lightly esteem His sufferings, His trials, His condescension, His sacrifice, His death, because He so loves us, He would himself become our sin-bearer. Oh, what love, what inexpressible love! He became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He died on the cross a transgressor that man might be justified through his merits. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."--Ms 73, 1893, p. 3. ("Parables," undated.) [Mark 2:17 quoted:] Then you are not to wait, but come now, and believe that He will receive you. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." You cannot enjoy His blessing without any action on your part. Salvation is a gift offered to you free; on no other condition can you obtain it, only as a free gift. But cooperation on your part is essential for your salvation. . . .
The arms of Jesus are open to receive you; will you not come to Him? Jesus presents to you the gift of eternal life; will you receive it? Faith and works go together, and each is dead if alone. Not that works will save you; they are the fruit of faith, and living faith will reveal itself in action. The hand of Christ is stretched forth to receive you; will you put your hand in that of the dear Saviour and say, Lead me; I will follow Thee, my Saviour? You must not be neglectful of the conditions of salvation, which are faith and obedience. There must be a cooperation of the human with the divine. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord; but Jesus is ready to receive you now; and if you will only believe that He is your Saviour, that He died to redeem you, He will be found of you as the most precious friend.--Letter 9a, 1891, pp. 3, 6. (To Sister D. S. Gilbert, June 3, 1891.)
I wish there were men and women who could appreciate the situation, and would decide to move to these countries, Australia and New Zealand. Helpers are needed who have some means, who can engage in some employment and sustain themselves and not draw upon the Conference for their support. With genuine faith in the message of truth, such workers could settle in our cities as missionaries, letting their light shine forth to others.
It is not ordained ministers upon whom we must depend for this work, but laymen who love and fear God, and who feel the burden for the salvation of souls. They can be agents and co-workers with divine providence in seeking to save the lost. We want those who have sanctified energy, moral and intellectual. Let these put to use the talents they have, and by exercise they will grow. It can not be otherwise if they abide in Christ. In His companionship they will be constantly growing in wisdom. Christ says, "Without me ye can do nothing." With Christ by your side, as your Teacher and Leader you can do all things. . . .
We must have institutes for educating the members of the churches. Let the believers assemble as did the disciples in the upper chamber where prayer was wont to be made. The churches must have more decided help. . . .
Every believer is under bonds to God to be spiritually minded, keeping himself in the channel of light, that he may let his light shine to the world. When all those who are engaged in the sacred work of the ministry shall grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, they will hate sin and all selfishness. A moral renovation is constantly going on; as they continue looking to Jesus, they become conformed to his image, and are found complete in him, not having their own righteousness, but the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus our Lord . . . .
But we are not simply to be waiting; we are to be vigilantly working with reference to this solemn event. The living church of God will be waiting, watching and working. None are to stand in a neutral position. All are to represent Christ in active, earnest efforts to save perishing souls. Will the church fold her hands now? Shall we sleep as is represented in the
parable of the foolish virgins? Every precaution is to be taken now; for haphazard work will result in spiritual declension, and that day overtake us as a thief. The mind needs to be strengthened, to look deep, and discern the reasons for our faith. The soul-temple is to be purified by the truth; for only the pure in heart will be able to stand against the wiles of Satan. . . .
The best way to deal with error is to present the truth, and leave wild ideas to die out for want of notice. Contrasted with truth the weakness of error is made apparent to every intelligent mind.--Letter 19b, 1892, pp. 4, 9, 11, 12, 14-16. (To Elder O. A. Olsen, June 19, 1892.)
The Lord employs human agents to be co-workers with him in the salvation of sinners. All heaven is actively engaged in furnishing facilities by which to extend the knowledge of the truth to all peoples, nations, and tongues. If those who profess to have been truly converted do not let their light shine forth to others, they are neglecting the doing of the words of Christ. We need not tax ourselves with rehearsing how much has been given to the cause of God, but rather let us consider how much has been kept back from his treasury to be devoted to the indulgence of self in pleasure seeking and self gratification. . . .
Those who ought to be laborers in the vineyard, will not undertake the work in faith and hope. The stay-at-home, professed Christians are misrepresenting Jesus Christ. They refuse to be partakers with him of his trials, of his humiliation, and of his burden-bearing. They do not wear his yoke. If they would engage all their powers for God, they would not work
alone. But many feel no genuine burden for souls. Step by step they might work their way until by study and prayer they might become skillful in the Scriptures, and be able to lay hold with intense earnestness of the God of all grace, beseeching him for His Holy Spirit to mold and fashion them and make them wise to win souls to Christ. . . .
A large number will not go without the camp, bearing the reproach, as did Jesus their Master, and yet by their attitude, by their inconsistent conduct, they actually weaken the efforts of those who are bearing the heavy burdens. They know nothing of what it means to be meek and lowly of heart. They know nothing of what it means to be self-denying, of what it means to be a partaker with those who go forth to labor in the cause of God.--Letter 31, 1894, pp. 7-9. (To Walter Harper, September 23, 1894.)
Dear Sister, I have much that I might write you, but have so much to write to different individuals. But I will give you a sketch of the vision I had at our last conference. At our last conference I was shown in vision the backwardness of some in our meetings. Some held back because they had nothing new to say and must repeat the same story. I saw that pride was at the bottom of this. That God and angels witnessed the testimonies that were borne and God was well pleased and glorified by the testimonies of all His humble children. I saw that God and His angels admired simplicity and humility. . . . Washing feet and the Lord's supper should be more frequently practiced among us. Jesus set us the example and told us to do as He had done
to us.--Letter 9, 1853, pp. 1, 2. (To Sister Kellogg, December 5, 1853.) [Written before the quarterly plan was adopted.]
The apostles, used as His representatives, would make a decided impression upon all minds. Being humble men would not diminish their influence, but increase it. The minds of their hearers would be carried from the men to the Majesty of heaven, who, though unseen, was still working. The teaching of the apostles, the special doctrines taught, their words of trust, would assure all that it was not by their own power that they did their works, but that they were continuing the same line carried forward by the Lord Jesus when He was with them. Humbling themselves, the apostles would declare that the man the Jews had crucified was the Prince of life, the Son of the living God, and that in His name, they did the works He had done.-- Ms 41, 1896, pp. 6, 7. ("Words of Comfort," undated.)
If we would work as Christ worked, we must have the mind of Christ. He cannot cooperate with those whose lives reveal variance, strife, and bitterness. Those who cherish these attributes are not susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. The divine Comforter strives with them, but they close the door of their hearts to its gracious pleadings, desiring to be left alone in their foolish, selfish perversity. They find a satisfaction, a kind of rest without pardon, without wearing Christ's yoke and learning His meekness and lowliness. But let adversity come, and they find that they are leaning on a broken reed. These mistakes and delusions are to be corrected. A
most solemn work, full of responsibility and accountability, is to be done. There is no peace, saith God, to the wicked.
Difference and dissension will be seen among those who are not chosen by the Lord, but let it not spring up and bear fruit among those who profess to be representing Christ. There is no work more sacred for Christians than to maintain peace among themselves. Then they present to the world the unity that Christ prayed might exist, and bear witness that God sent Christ into the world to redeem the world.--Ms 43, 1897, pp. 5, 6. ("Ministry," undated.)
It was at the last Passover that the disciples were to hold with their Lord that these words were spoken. Very soon Christ was to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the world. At this time, in the last hours that the disciples would have with their Master, Satan made a determined effort to arouse contention among them. Sorrow filled Christ's heart as He saw them yielding to the spirit of strife, and disputing as to who should be greatest. Had they been in a right frame of mind, they would have received great blessing. But they came to the supper with hearts filled with selfishness, and with tempers heated by contention.
Christ heard their whisperings, and saw their flushed faces. Without a word, he laid aside His outer garment, and girding Himself with a towel, as if He had been a servant, proceeded to wash the feet of His disciples. His action opened their eyes. They were too astonished and too ashamed to speak. Bitter shame and humiliation filled their hearts. They saw themselves in altogether a new light. As long as life lasted they would remember this
experience.--Ms 115, 1902, pp. 1, 2. ("The Danger of Self-Sufficiency," typed September 7, 1902.)
Many who are highly esteemed among men but who are carried away by the love of self will find at last that they have built their house, not upon the Rock, but upon the sand.--Ms 19, 1898, p. 7. ("The Unjust Steward," undated.)
To know the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is everything to us individually. We must wear the yoke of Christ. Only in submission and consecration is rest found. God in Christ is full of mercy, love, goodness, and truth. His compassion cannot be measured. Look at the cross of Calvary. Behold God's precious gift. We should set a high estimate upon the Gospel, building our hopes on the sure Rock, Christ Jesus. The time has come, and this will be seen more and more plainly, when a faithful standard bearer for God, who ministers in word and doctrine, is far more secure than those who possess gold and silver.--Ms 87, 1898, p. 1. ("Go, Work Today in My Vineyard," typed July 7, 1898.)
By baptism you have taken upon you a solemn pledge. In the name and presence of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, you have solemnly covenanted to be the Lord's. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin,
live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness also of his resurrection." I think that if we all understood the sacred ceremony, we should see much more in it than we now discern.
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." "If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
This Scripture is given for the instruction of every soul, who receives baptism.--Letter 125, 1900, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother and Sister Iram James, August 24, 1900.)
As a Christian submits to the solemn rite of baptism, the three highest powers in the universe,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,--place their approval on his act, pledging themselves to exert their power in his behalf as he strives to honor God. He is buried in the likeness of Christ's death, and is raised in the likeness of His resurrection. He went down into the grave, but He rose from the dead, proclaiming over the rent sepulcher, "I
am the resurrection and the life."--Letter 53, 1904, p. 6. (To Brother Prescott, January 26, 1904.)
The rite of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to be the efficiency of all who submit to this ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then make. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." It is here that the great danger comes in. A worldly spirit and worldly practices have taken the place that Christ should have in the life. "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. . . . Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. . . . Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And
above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts."
God has opened the way for us to receive help from the source of all power. He has accepted his people in the beloved. Those who thus unite with the church by baptism are sealed as men and women who have been born again, of water and of the Spirit. They have entered upon a new life. They are to be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world through lust. They are to keep themselves free from every dishonest practice. Their example is to be a continual witness to the power of heavenly grace. The spirit of truth is to control them.
We are to be consecrated channels, through which the heavenly life is to flow to others. The Holy Spirit is to animate and pervade the whole church, purifying and cementing hearts. Those who have been buried with Christ in baptism are to rise to newness of life, giving a living representation of the life of Christ. The commission has been given to us. Upon us is laid a sacred charge. Go then, Christ says to them. Make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. "And lo," he declares, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." You are dedicated to the work of making known the gospel of salvation. Heaven's perfection is to be your power. As God's followers, by converted lives, make known the power of his grace. A clear distinction is drawn between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."--Ms 78, 1905, pp. 3-5. ("A Message to Believers," undated.)
"Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit." We are ordained unto God to bear fruit. Was this not our experience when we were led down into the water and baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost? What did that mean?--It meant that the three great powers in heaven were pledged to keep us so long as we remain one with Christ, united to the vine.--Ms 37, 1908, p. 6. ("Abiding in Christ," Sermon, March 10, 1908.)
Christ Himself was baptized by John. When John would forbid him, saying, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" Jesus replied, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."
Baptism is a most solemn ceremony. When men and women, truly converted, are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, these three representatives of heavenly authority behold the scene, and accept the vows made by human agents to walk henceforth in newness of life. In taking the baptismal vows, you have united with the highest powers in the heavenly courts, to live a life patterned after the life of Christ. I praise the Lord with my whole soul that you have taken this step. [Romans 6:3, 4 quoted].
Christ will fulfil every promise that He has made in His word. Wonderful is His work in behalf of fallen man. For those who endeavor to follow in His footsteps, He molds the character after the divine similitude. What privileges and blessings are ours, as children of the heavenly King! In our Christian experience as children of God, we are to be workers together with Christ, our lives fashioned after His life. And if we bear His likeness, we
shall represent Him before the world."--Letter 174, 1909, pp. 1, 2. (To Sister Rambaugh, December 21, 1909.)
In the visible creation, divine wisdom is manifested in an endless variety of processes. Uniformity is not the rule that is followed in the kingdom of nature.--Letter 39, 1903, p. 2. (To John Wessels, February 28, 1903.)
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.--Letter 131, 1897, p. 3. (To Sister Wessels, June 24, 1897.)
How beautiful the earth was when it came from the Creator's hand. God presented before the universe a world in which even His all-seeing eye could find no spot or stain, no defect or crookedness. Each part of His creation occupied the place assigned to it, and answered the purpose for which it was created. Like the parts of some great machine, part fitted to part, and all was in perfect harmony. Peace and holy joy filled the earth. There was no confusion, no clashing. There was no disease to afflict man or beast, and the vegetable kingdom was without taint of corruption. God looked upon the work
of His hands, wrought out by Christ, and pronounced it very good. He looked upon a perfect world, in which there was no trace of sin, no imperfection. --Letter 29, 1903, p. 2. (To the Members of the Churches in Australia and New Zealand, January 25, 1903.)
Immense interests are here involved. We are made partakers of Christ's sacrifice here in this life, and then we are assured that we shall be partakers of all its benefits in the future immortal life, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.--Letter 9a, 1891, pp. 1, 2. (To Sister D. S. Gilbert, June 3, 1891.)
When any soul approaches God as his Father, heaven becomes his home. He is a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. He holds a life insurance policy endorsed by the Lord God who created him; and all who hold this life insurance policy are linked with the family of the redeemed by a tie which cannot be broken. . . .
Only through Christ is there hope for the soul's salvation. He will identify Himself with your present and eternal good, and there is no favor in all the world can compare with this. It raises man above all distinctions of wealth, above all title or any earthly dignity. Through faith in the righteousness of Christ, man holds the hand of angels. Receiving Christ he is elevated and ennobled. He has an abiding sense of all sufficiency, for the truth lives in his believing soul, walks the world as an heir of God, a joint
heir with Christ to an immortal inheritance an eternal substance.--Letter 34, 1901, pp. 1, 2. (To Mrs. Minchin, December 12, 1900.)
We must not base our salvation upon supposition; we must know of a surety that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. We must know for ourselves that the Spirit of God is abiding in our hearts, and that we can hold communion with God. Then if He should come to us quickly, if by any chance our life should suddenly be ended, we should be ready to meet our God. --Ms 21, 1903, pp. 1, 2. ("A Call to Repentance," Talk at General Conference, April 5, 1903.)
The question will come up, How is it? Is it by conditions that we receive salvation?--Never by conditions that we come to Christ. And if we come to Christ, then what is the condition? The condition is that by living faith we lay hold wholly and entirely upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. When we do that, then we work the works of righteousness. But when God is calling the sinner in our world, and inviting him, there is no condition there; he draws by the invitation of Christ, and it is not, Now you have got to respond in order to come to God. The sinner comes, and as he comes and views Christ elevated upon that cross of Calvary, which God impresses upon his mind, there is a love beyond anything that is imagined that he has taken hold of. . . .
Christ is drawing every one that is not past the boundary. He is drawing him to Him today, no matter how great that sinner is, He is drawing him. And if the sinner can get his arm fixed upon the cross of Calvary, then there is
no conviction of sin. What is he there for?--Because the law has been transgressed, and he begins to see that he is a sinner; and Christ died because the law was transgressed. And then he begins to look to the righteousness of Christ as the only thing that can cleanse the sinner from his sins and from his transgressions.
Now, we want to have an intelligent knowledge of this thing. Then we want to take hold of the righteousness of Jesus Christ by living faith, and know that we have not any. We may work to the very best of our ability, and we cannot make a single virtue in ourselves; it is the righteousness of Christ alone that can do it. Then as we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ we have a power and a strength that is imparted unto us, and we will not want to sin; we cannot do it without the righteousness of Christ, with ourselves in a position where we shall have Christ working with us and by us. We may make mistakes; we may make errors; but we shall hate these sins--the sins that caused the suffering of the Son of God in our behalf because we were transgressors of the law of God.--Ms 9, 1890, pp. 2, 3. ("Remarks of Mrs. White at the Bible School," February 3, 1890.)
Elder Andrews' time should be devoted some to old England, and not confined to the French. I have had considerable light. The Strength, ability and means are needed more at the present crisis in our own country than in any other place. The heart of the work must be kept strong and in a vigorous helpful action. Then all branches of the work will have vitality. There must not be too much branching out, which calls for means, until the great center
of the work is free from financial embarrassment. Elder Andrews is in danger of concentrating his mind, his means, and energies, upon one branch of the work, and not being sufficiently awake to other important interests.-- Letter 1, 1879, p. 2. (To S. N. Haskell, January 27, 1879.)
I think that even in England a good work has been done. It must be acknowledged to be a hard and trying field, and not one word of discouragement ought to be spoken. The Lord is at the helm and if we do not trust in Him to work, naught will be done. There is a good beginning made. Publications have been and still are doing a good work. Let not one grain of unbelief be sown for unless we keep a brave front, we cannot expect to inspire others with courage. I am telling everything I can in relation to the mission that will inspire confidence. When I think how slow the work has gone in [New] England and how little done in Mass., and Maine and many other places where they have all circumstances in their favor we need not be discouraged in regard to Old England. With the same amount of labor expended on Old England in a wise manner I will produce, I believe, good results. May the Lord work is my prayer. And let us look at every token of good; acknowledge all the Lord has done with grateful hearts. . . .
Now, my Brother, be of good heart and notwithstanding the work may move slow, nevertheless it moves. Thank God for that, but however we may view the work, in no case put in print one single word as though there had not much been done. Do not intimate that it would be better if nothing had been done, and you could commence new. I do not thus regard it. . . .
The work is not to be belittled, neither is it to be depreciated but every step that it has arisen is to be appreciated and still carried forward. . . . Talk faith, talk courage and do not block the way that we cannot make appeals to the people. . . .
Do not make the remark to any one that it would be better if nothing had been done in England because this would not be just to the missionaries sent there, neither to our God. There has been a good work done in England and you should not make any such remarks when you did not make the commencement, [and] therefore cannot see the advance work that has been done. Give all the credit possible to that which has been done and then be prepared to reach out and make the most of what has been done . . . .
Brother John's ideas of open air meetings have made his labors almost a failure during his stay in England. Now if all the workers had counseled together and esteemed one another and moved in perfect [unity], in faith and in courage, relying less upon what they could and more upon that which God could do for them, had they thought well of one another and respected one another, God would have heard their cries, He would have revealed His power and the work would be farther advanced than it is. . . . If there have been mistakes made, if there has been want of judgment and now the errors are seen, let us consider whether the very same mistakes might not have been made in the commencement by any of us had we acted a part in the work.--Letter 50, 1887, pp. 1, 2, 6-9. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, September 1, 1887.)
This country [England] has been presented to me several times as a field that required men who will not fail nor be discouraged, men who will cooperate with the heavenly intelligences. . . .
Your cherished, pet ways may be very dear to you, but valueless in the sight of God; for they are constantly getting in the way of his plans and interfering with his designs. Let every worker be clothed with humility, and be sure that he worships God in spirit and in truth and does not bow down to his own idol, self. . .
God would have the workers in England derive their efficiency from Him; then every worker may feel that his hand is upon a lever that will move the world. . . .
Oh, if those who believe the truth in England had the spirit of Christ, feeling the peril of souls, what a work would be done wholly in his name! There would be much earnest prayer ascending to God, not merely in public service, not only from the secret chamber, but there would be unceasing prayer combined with determined action.--Letter 31, 1892, pp. 1-3, 5, 6. (To Brother Waggoner, May, 1892.)
One reason that there is not more sincere piety and religious fervor, is because the mind is occupied with unimportant things and there is no time to meditate, search the Scriptures, or pray. If the consciences can be aroused to see the errors in the preparation of the food, and their influence upon the moral tendencies of our nature, there would be in every family decided reform. Intemperance in desire resulted to our first parents in the loss of
Eden. We generally find, even among Seventh-day Adventists, that inclination, habit, delicate, unhealthful preparations in cooking and unhealthful habits of dress are weakening physical, mental, and moral efficiency, and making it impossible to overcome temptation.--Ms 1, 1875, pp. 2, 3. ("Educational, Health and Temperance Work," undated.)
The condition of the health has its influence upon the spiritual life, and may be discerned by the words, the tone of voice, and by the pleasant and unpleasant atmosphere that surrounds each soul. The Christian should carefully guard himself against spiritual and physical disease. It is our duty to cooperate with the Life-giver in caring for our bodies.--Ms 63, 1903, p. 1. (Diary, December 1, 1902.)
Ministers of the gospel are engaged in a most solemn work. They should be encouraged to deny themselves on the point of appetite, refusing to eat anything that will work an injury to their physical and mental powers. It is their privilege to have physical strength, which they may use to the honor of God in carrying forward His work. The fact that a man preaches the gospel does not give him license to indulge in selfish practices that will imperil his health. The ministers should set an example of temperance before the church members. They should keep their physical and mental powers in the very best condition, that they may do the greatest amount of good.--Ms 101, 1903, p. 2. (Diary, typed September 1, 1903.)
I believe if our ministering brethren would only read the testimonies that the Lord has graciously given them, that they would reveal a different spirit. God will hold them accountable for neglect and disregard of the light which he has given them. . . . You have had too many burdens upon you, but I tell you in love that the Lord has not been pleased with the spirit of warfare you have had on health reform. Had you been a health reformer in deed and truth, you would have had much better health and escaped many perils. God has given light upon this subject, but you have worked away from the light, and your influence has been opposed to the work that the Lord would do for this people upon this point. You have stood directly in the way of the work of God in health reform. You have suffered sickness because your habits in eating and in labor have not been according to the light which God has given to His people. I am sorry that I have to write in reference to these things as I do. Had you appreciated and heeded the light which the Lord has given us, you would not now be confused in judgment, and so enfeebled in nerve and brain power. You attribute your sickness to erroneous causes. . . . Your health is shattered, but do not allow your mind to take a wrong bias; for when you once get set in the wrong direction it will be difficult for you to change. You have been doing this, little by little, for years. . . . I want to be in harmony with God and in harmony with you. I want you to fall on the Rock and be broken. Let self die; let Christ be enthroned in the heart. . . . Jesus loves you and will work for you and gather you in His strong arms.--Letter 18, 1888, pp. 3, 4, 6. (To Brother and Sister Butler, December 11, 1888.)
Those ministers who feel at liberty to indulge appetite are falling far short of the mark. God wants them to be health reformers. He wants them to live up to the light that has been given us on this subject.--Ms 48, 1904, p. 7. ("Lessons from the First and Second Chapters of Colossians," Talk, May 20, 1904.)
Never before had there been a being upon the earth who hated sin with so perfect a hatred as did Christ. He had seen its deceiving, infatuating power upon the holy angels, causing them to revolt, and all his powers were enlisted against Satan. In the purity and holiness of his life, Christ flashed the light of truth amid the moral darkness with which Satan had enshrouded the world. Christ exposed his falsehoods, and deceiving character, and spoiled corrupting influence.--Ms 143, 1897, p. 4. ("Christ's Commission to Earth," undated.)
God created man for His glory. He will not, cannot endure the presence of sin in His dominion. If there are in the church those who are wilfully sinning against God, every possible means should be used to bring them to repentance. If this is not done, God's name is dishonored. He is too pure to look upon iniquity with favor. He can not endure the dishonesty and selfishness cherished in the hearts of those who practice robbery toward God by taking means from his treasury to pay themselves for their services, while many who are laboring far harder to advance the cause of God, do not receive half as much. God calls this selfishness and idolatry, and he will remove his
Spirit from those who have thus allowed themselves to become spiritually blind. Their consciences are not sensitive. Like Judas, they allow themselves to be tempted by the enemy.
God will not tolerate the slightest deviation from right principles. He has given to the world the purest, most elevated code of morals. These principles his people must bring into practical life.--Ms 2, 1900, p. 2. ("The Need of a Reformation," typed January 2, 1900.)
I have been shown some things with reference to _____'s traits of character, and I now feel it to be my duty to write you; for unless changes are made, she will be a draw back to her husband in his work. _____ is naturally selfish. In her home life she has shunned responsibilities, and has been ready to let others perform the duties which devolved upon her. This is a bad experience, and warps the character. She has shunned caretaking, and if this spirit is carried into her married life, it will be a great hindrance to her.
She must learn to bear the responsibilities she has shunned; for she is now a mother, and has a mother's care and responsibilities. There is danger that the deficiencies manifested in her character will be moulded into her married life, and that she will neglect to perform the duties she owes to her child. A mother has greater work to do for her child than merely to feed, and dress, and caress it. There are stern duties connected with the training of a child. I see that you are both neglecting those duties. Your child rules you.
She controls you, and in permitting this, you are not doing your duty. --Letter 1, 1877, pp. 1, 2. (To Brother and Sister _____, December 17, 1877.)
If you continue to allow your feelings to control you as you have done, you will be a burden to him rather than a blessing. How much better it would be to unite your interest with his, laboring together as consecrated human agents, in saving the souls that are ready to perish.
It is essential that missionaries should be all that this word signifies. The wife of the missionary may, through lack of wisdom, counteract the testimony which the Lord requires her husband to bear to the people.
The wife of the minister must not at any time follow impulse or give occasion for those with whom she is connected to stumble over her manifest defects of character. If the Spirit of Christ is not manifest in her daily life, then it cannot be otherwise than that she will prove a stumbling stone to many, she will close up the way so that the message which the Lord has given her husband will not reach the hearts of the people. Warning and reproof will reflect back upon his own head, because of the course pursued by his wife.
Is the wife exacting? Does she keep her own spirit under control? Is selfishness at times apparent, even when she is in a position of responsibility, connected with those who are urged to give themselves to the work? While her husband is preaching the truth and laboring for individual cases, to prepare them for the canvassing field, will her influence and example give force to his teaching? Jealousy and evil-surmising are calculated to do much harm to the persons with whom she is brought in
connection. Such exhibitions have been made even in the presence of young persons who needed to learn what it means to be a Christian. These things are grievous matters before the Lord. When the servant of the Lord, who is bearing the message of truth to the people, sees anything of this kind in his home, he has a work to do in his own family; while he should ever deal kindly, in the spirit of tenderness, he should deal decidedly, whatever the consequences may be.--Ms 14, 1892, pp. 5, 6. ("Counsel to a Minister's Wife," September 19, 1892.)
You have a controlling influence over your husband, and if your heart were a treasure house filled with the word of God, if your mind were a channel through which God could work, you could be a great blessing to him. But this is not so, neither has it been. You have not obtained those qualifications which it is essential that the wife of a chosen servant of God should have; and therefore you are unable to give spiritual help and wise counsel to your husband. By your words you have planted suspicion in his mind. You have suggested thoughts to him in reference to his brethren in the faith, which he never would have had had you not suggested them to him. Thus seeds have been planted which were ready to spring into life at any favorable opportunity.
My sister, the transforming grace of Christ must be brought into your heart and mind. When the influence of this grace is seen in your life, you will no longer be a hindrance and a cause of temptation to your husband by bringing to his notice things which others have said and done and which you
think reflect upon his work in the ministry.--Letter 40, 1893, pp. 1, 2. (To Brother and Sister McCullagh, September, 1893.)
The work of God demands most earnest labor, and the Lord would have ministers and their wives closely united in this work. The husband and wife can so blend in labor that the wife shall be the complement of the husband. The Lord desires them unitedly to watch for his voice, to draw closer and still closer unto him, feeding upon his word, and receiving light and blessing to impart to others. They should be as free as possible to attend campmeetings and other general gatherings. And the wife may continually be a great help to her husband in visiting and other personal labor. . . . The wives of many of the Lord's servants have united heartily with their husbands in the work of saving souls. Through her unselfish interest to advance the cause of God, the wife has made her husband's work much more complete. But with some it is a hard lesson to learn to bring the will into harmony with the will of God. The experience of one sister, as she related it to me some years ago, is full of instruction.
She inquired of me: "Do you think I am assuming too great responsibility in seeking to understand the reasons of our faith, so that I can do missionary work with my husband? I greatly desire to grow into a self-sacrificing worker with him. Am I out of my place in trying, as far as possible, to keep pace with him in understanding the Word of God, and the various lines of the work. He has sometimes asked me questions which made me feel that I ought to be able to help see some things in a clearer light. Am I wrong in this earnest desire? I pray much that I may make no mistake. But it
seems to me that the relation of husband and wife is most sacred and solemn. If I thought I was bound in marriage ties merely to be petted and treated like a child, that I was to amuse my husband, and he to amuse me, I should be most unhappy. God has given me reason, capabilities, talents, which I must increase by using. I feel that they are a sacred trust, which I must employ to the glory of God.
"We once had two dear children, and I allowed my mind to be almost wholly absorbed with them, notwithstanding my husband was often burdened with the cares of his labor, and wanted counsel. I allowed the care of my children to occupy too much of my time, and I gave him so little. He did not complain; but I was blind. Oh, so blind. Even with the care of my children, I could have united with him in searching the Scriptures, and two of one heart can work more successfully than one. I might have learned to copy his letters, and might have assisted him in keeping his accounts. But when I thought of this, I excused myself, saying, He knows I have my hands full. I was proud of my children, and bought many needless little things to dress them, and spent time needlessly in preparing their clothing to excite admiration. I know now that my children were my idols. I loved them before the Lord. I allowed them to absorb my interest, so that I had little time to qualify myself to help souls.
"When my little ones were removed from me by death, I murmured and wept as if I were hardly dealt with. I would not be consoled for my loss. I would not admit that my husband loved the children fully as much as I did. I made his heart sad by my rebellious grief. But my eyes were opened, and I saw my error. I saw that he realized the value of the souls of his children, because
he was a physician of souls, and he placed a higher estimate upon his loved ones than I did.
"My selfish sorrow nearly killed me, and crippled my husband in his labors. But the Lord had mercy upon us, and he let me see the selfishness of my heart. Now I am as one awakened out of a deep sleep. I am not in the world to amuse myself, to seek to be amused or petted, or to work in my own selfish interests. I am here to do my duty. I try to show that I respect and honor my husband by being interested in his work in the various lines of the cause of God. I no longer make myself miserable over the things I cannot help, but try to adapt myself to circumstances. If the Lord sees fit to give me another child, I shall hold it, not as a plaything, but as a sacred entrusted charge; not as an idol, but as a soul that I am to train for the courts above.
"I am trying to help my husband bear his burdens. I do most of his copying. The work was not pleasant to me at first, but I have overcome my dislike for it. I no longer feel that sentimentalism must be brought into our experience in our married life. As God's workmen, we should be seeking to do him service, to honor his name, keeping the eye fixed upon Jesus, and encouraging each other to work for Christ. My husband says he can rest and I can encourage him now, because we are so interested to save souls for Christ. I had for a time to study hard and pray much to overcome my weakness of character, and become in some degree, what a woman should be, a true helpmeet. I desire not to lead into sin as did Eve, but with a firm hold upon Jesus. I would lead away from sin, and pride, and love of show, into the quiet parts of meekness and lowliness of heart."
Then she said that she had been advised to take an infant to bring up. She asked if I thought it her duty to do this. I advised her to take this question to God. I told her that she should be closely united with her husband in his work. She should keep his respect and love as a true woman whom God was teaching and leading. "You can," I said, "cultivate an aptitude to work for the children. You can reach their hearts and win them to Christ. Those children you may bring to the gates of the city of God, with your own little ones, saying, 'Here are we, father, mother, children, and a large number whom thou hast given us as sheaves for Christ.'"--Ms 35, 1896, pp. 2-6. ("Adopting Infant Children," December, 1896.)
You have a wife and children. Your wife has home duties, and you must not depend upon her to accompany you, and she must not depend upon you, feeling that she must be always with you. When you can do so, unite your efforts; when you cannot unite them, do your individual work manfully, drawing inspiration from righteous principles, from fixed religious principles and from convictions as to what God expects of you. If you do not feel that you are a part of God's great firm, then arouse yourself to realize the situation, face your responsibilities as one who must give account for your talent of time. If you have the abiding love of Christ in your heart, you would do your best for Christ's sake who gave his life for you.--Letter 126, 1900, pp. 3, 4. (To Brother Hickox, August 5, 1900.)
Treat your wife tenderly. She needs all the care and comfort and encouragement that you promised in your marriage vow to give her. Do not give her the slightest occasion to question your loyalty of your sincere desire to fulfil your obligations.--Letter 164, 1902, pp. 8, 9. (To Elder A. T. Jones, September, 1902.)
The father of the household represents the divine lawgiver, whom God has made His vicegerent in his family to carry out upright principles, as did Abraham, keeping heaven continually in view, and doing his work after the divine order for time and for eternity.--Ms 24b, 1894, p. 6. ("Testimony Concerning Idleness," April 30, 1894.)
When a minister has performed his ministerial duties, he must have time for his family responsibilities. He is not to be watched and criticized if every moment of his time is not employed in the special work of preaching and visiting.--Letter 168, 1899, p. 4. (To Brother Mountain, October 25, 1899.)
I have been shown that if a minister and his wife unite in labor, they should show themselves patterns of piety. If they take their children with them, the children should be subject to them, well disciplined and obedient; for if the parents have not sufficient judgment to control their own children, they cannot properly minister to the church of God, or preserve it
from broils or insubordination.--Letter 1, 1877, p. 3. (To Brother and Sister _____, December 17, 1877.)
When our ministers are visiting in a family, let them seek to make the hour of worship a great blessing, and let them when at the meal table, seek to make the conversation a source of spiritual refreshing. Let them talk on Bible subjects, and relate their experiences in holding meetings and in visiting among the people. The parents will be benefitted, the children will be impressed, and as the warmth and grace of Christ are felt, the spiritual pulse will be quickened.--Ms 41, 1903, p. 1. ("Less Preaching; More Teaching," typed May 5, 1903.)
Now is the time to restrain and control your child. Teach her that her will is not to bear sway, but that what you require of her must be carried out. Do not deceive yourself, as many parents have done, by thinking that children when in their babyhood should not be required to obey, that if they are left to follow their own will and way, they will, as they become older, outgrow their wrong traits of character. Those who reason in this way find to their sorrow that as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. Little pranks and errors may seem to be amusing when the child is a baby, and they may be permitted and encouraged, but as the child grows older, they become disgusting and offensive.
The work of education and training should commence with the babyhood of the child; for then the mind is the most impressible, and the lessons given are remembered. Do not let your inclination to shun responsibilities lead you
to neglect the proper discipline of your child. Restrain her; give her much attention; teach her submission in her early years. Do your duty to her patiently and decidedly, with firmness and love. If you allow her to have her own way, and to control you as she has done, you can be of no use to your husband in traveling with him, or visiting the people. Do not let your child grow up gnarled and crooked in character because of your neglect to do your duty.--Letter 1, 1877, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother and Sister _____, December 17, 1877.)
The father is the priest of the family. The souls of his wife and children, as God's property, should be to him of the highest value, and he should faithfully guide the formation of their characters. The care of his children from their infancy should be his first consideration; for it is for their present and eternal good that they develop right characters. He should carefully weigh his words and actions, considering their influence, and the results they may produce.
He who is engaged in the work of the gospel ministry must be faithful in his family life. It is as essential that as a father he should improve the talents God has given him for the purpose of making the home a symbol of the heavenly family, as that in the work of the ministry, he should make use of his God given powers to win souls for the church. As the priest in the home, and as the ambassador of Christ in the church, he should exemplify in his life the character of Christ. He must be faithful in watching for souls as one that must give an account. In his service there must be seen no carelessness and inattentive work. God will not serve with the sins of men
who have not a clear sense of the sacred responsibility involved in accepting a position as pastor of a church. He who fails to be a faithful, discerning shepherd in the home, will surely fail of being a faithful shepherd of the flock of God in the church.--Ms 42, 1903, pp. 1, 2. ("The Training of Children," typed May 4, 1903.)
When difficulties arise, as they will, remember that Jesus in by your side, a very present help in time of need. To meet trial bravely is part of the Christian warfare, and in this warfare all heaven is interested. Christ knows what temptations you will meet. He knows that when one accepts the truth, he will have a cross to lift, and He is ready to give the needed help. . . .
If, after accepting the truth, you are sad and gloomy, cast down by discouragement, you give evidence that you do not enjoy the peace of God; you are misrepresenting Him by giving others a false impression regarding the religion of Christ. How can you rise above this depression and unbelief? "In everything give thanks" for the keeping power of God through Jesus Christ, and the peace of God will rest upon you. If you believe that Jesus will do just as He has said He would, the peace that passeth all understanding will rest upon you. At the moment when you are offering your prayer for help, you may not feel all the joy and blessing that you would like to feel, but if you believe that Christ will hear and answer your petition, the peace of Christ will come. If you rely upon His word, the promise will be fulfilled, as
surely as the throne of God exists.--Ms 8, 1885, pp. 2, 3. ("Soldiers of Christ," Sermon, October 24, 1885.)
What would I give for a minister that goes into the desk and preaches a discourse with the solemn truths that we bear at this time, and then goes out and his conversation is light, trifling, and narrow? His words carry no weight. . . . You should preach less; teach the Bible in the family; read and explain. You can do more at the family circle than in all the sermonizing.-- Ms 10, 1891, pp. 10, 11. (Sermon, August 2, 1891.)
We are in a world of sin and temptation, and youth are perishing out of Christ all around us, and He wants you to labor for the youth in every conceivable way that you can. If you have a house, and a pleasant home, then invite the youth that have no homes, invite the youth that are in need of help, that are in need of sympathy and kind words, courtesy and respect. They want all this. If you want to bring them to Christ, you must show your love and respect for the purchase of His blood, the souls whom He has ransomed by the infinite cost of His own precious life, and is not that enough to lead us as soon as we are a branch in the vine to bear fruit? . . .
In heaven we shall see those youth that we helped, those youth that we invited to our house, those youth that we led from temptation, those youth that we tried to win away from being drunkards and tobacco users and wine drinkers and all these habits which are taking the underpinning out of the house, befogging the brain, and taking away the reason, and leaving men
without a sound mind and a sound body.--Ms 43, 1894, pp. 9, 10. ("The Vine and the Branches," Sermon, October 27, 1894.)
We must help our young people to understand the important truths which make us a peculiar people, denominated by God. Those who work faithfully will gather most precious, enduring fruit.--Letter 190, 1903, pp. 4, 5. (To A. G. Daniells, August 27, 1903.)
In regard to the Sanitarium, Brother Merrit Kellogg drew up the plan for the building. I was instructed by the Lord that the Sanitarium should not be a mammoth building, because there are other places where Sanitariums must be established. All these buildings must be erected in the most economical manner, that the most possible good may be done. In all our designs the expenditure of means must be carefully considered. We must be careful how we spend the money so essential to sustain the work in new fields, to commence and advance the work in places where the truth has never yet been represented. The question came up as to whether we should build the Sanitarium of brick or of wood. I said, "Brethren, build it of wood. If you hear the patients discussing the matter, saying that wooden buildings are not safe on account of fire, tell them that wooden buildings are more healthful than brick buildings." I related the experience I had while living in brick and stone buildings in Rochester, N.Y., and in Preston, Melbourne.
They discussed the matter for some time, arguing pro and con, and finally decided unanimously that wooden buildings are more in accordance with
our belief in the third angel's message than brick buildings. We found by reducing the size of the building, and using wood instead of brick we could save eight or ten thousand pounds.
We were sent for again to come to Summer Hill and consider the building plans. We did this, and before we left, there was some talk of lessening the size of the building still more. With these changes we think the plan will succeed. Dr. Kellogg came to Cooranbong and told us that he had made some more changes. He had taken two sections out of the plan, to reduce the expense all that he possibly could.
Thus we have cut down the expense, using wood instead of brick, and reducing the plan, until we think that it will pass before the Lord as an acceptable building, fit to be used as a Sanitarium.
All our school buildings were erected upon the most strictly economical plan. Our meeting house in this place is built on wooden piles to save expense. I do not see how we could have put up the buildings with more economy. You will bear testimony with us to this. After the word had gone forth in regard to our extravagance in the expenditure of means, and had been plainly and decidedly corrected, it is strange that Brother _____ should take his way to America and Battle Creek, and make the same false statements that others have made. He knows better; he has judgment and insight; but when the human heart is yielded to the temptations of the enemy, Satan can lead where he will.--Letter 122, 1900, pp. 2-4. (To Brother Irwin, August 12, 1900.)
Not half has been done that might have been done, because the physicians were not consecrated to God, but full of ideas and plans of their own. They wanted to be the first, where "I" should have the supremacy, where "I" is to have the control. This is the reason the Lord could do so little for them. This is the attribute of Satan and the Lord Jesus and Satan can never work in co-partnership.
Had the Lord wrought in a wonderful manner all the glory would be credited to themselves. He that humbleth himself, himself shall be exalted. He that exalteth himself shall be humbled. He that would be first shall be last, and he that is last shall be first.--Letter 11c, 1892, pp. 1, 2. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, February 11, 1892.)
As Christians, we are now to labor most earnestly to bring souls to Jesus Christ. There must be no cheap chapters of experience woven into our Christian life. All true experience costs every soul that obtains it an effort, because of Satan's temptations. God sees how the soul hungers for the knowledge of God, for salvation through Christ, and the promise is, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." . . .
Christianity. How many there are who do not know that it is not something put on the outside. It is a life inwrought with the life of Jesus. It means that we are wearing the robe of Christ's righteousness. In regard to the world Christians will say, We will not dabble in politics. They will say
decidedly, We are pilgrims and strangers; our citizenship is above. They will not be seen choosing company for amusement. They will say, We have ceased to be infatuated with childish things. We are strangers and pilgrims, looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.--Ms 7, 1898, pp. 1, 12, 13. ("True Education in Our Churches," undated.)
There should be no carelessness in dress. Teach the young converts that dress is a talent. For Christ's sake, whose property we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance.--Ms 56, 1900, p. 4. ("Preparation for Baptism," typed August 12, 1900.)
He [Jesus] told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they should be endued with power from on high. "Without me," He said again, "ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). But Paul declares, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13).
We should be often in prayer. The outpouring of the Spirit of God came in answer to earnest prayer. But mark this fact concerning the disciples; the record says, "They were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:1-4).
They were not assembled to relate tidbits of scandal, they were not seeking to expose every stain they could find upon a brother's character.
They felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction to help them in overcoming their own infirmities, and to fit them for the work of saving others. They prayed with intense earnestness that the love of Christ might be shed abroad in their hearts. This is our great need today in every church in the land. For, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). That which was objectionable in the character is purified from the soul by the love of Jesus. All selfishness is expelled. All envy, evil-speaking are rooted out and a radical transformation is wrought in the heart.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22, 23). "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace" (James 3:18).--Letter 1c, 1890, pp. 7, 8. (To Brethren Atwood and Pratt," May 28, 1890.)
The donation of the Holy Spirit was the greatest gift God could bestow upon finite man. This is free to all, and in this gift the enthronement of the only begotten Son of God in his mediatorial kingdom. In this the gift of the Comforter the Lord God of heaven demonstrates to man the perfect reconciliation which he had effected between himself and men, which hope, says the apostle, "We have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered.--Letter 35, 1893, p. 2. (To Brother and Sister Kellogg, February 19, 1893.)
The measure of the Holy Spirit we receive will be proportionate to the measure of our desire, and the faith exercised for it, and the use we shall make of the light and knowledge that shall be given to us. We shall be entrusted with the Holy Spirit according to our capacity to receive and our ability to impart it to others.--Letter 54, 1894, pp. 1, 2. (To Elder O. A. Olsen, June 10, 1894.)
When the lips of a speaker move under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the words of God find utterance in warnings, in reproofs, in appeals. This power is not of the speaker. It is a power given him by God, that he may reach those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and arouse them to see the need of receiving life from God. God works through His faithful servants, who do not shun to declare the whole truth in the power of the Spirit. Their work bears His endorsement.--Ms 161, 1897, pp. 5, 6. (To "My Ministering Brethren," December 16, 1897.)
This is the reception of the Holy Spirit, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. Then we shall have a genuine experience. The correcting influence of the Spirit of God is as a refining furnace, removing all dross, and leaving his image discernable in us.--Letter 121, 1898, p. 6. (To Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell, December 12, 1896.)
When you are baptized with the Holy Spirit of God, you will draw together with your brethren. When your brethren are baptized with the Holy
Spirit, you will all draw in harmony.--Letter 55, 1899, p. 3. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, March 24, 1899.)
He [God] has in store for us the richest gift of heaven, even the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is waiting to pour upon His people the mighty power of this Spirit.--Ms 121, 1902, p. 10. ("The Results of Genuine Conversion," typed October 15, 1902.)
God has instructed me to tell you and all His people to be very careful not to resist the working of the Holy Spirit,--the Comforter that Christ sends. Fear to take the first presumptuous step in resistance. When Christ spoke to the disciples of the Holy Spirit, He sought to uplift their thoughts and enlarge their expectations to grasp the highest conception of excellence. Let us strive to understand His words. Let us strive to appreciate the value of the wonderful gift He has bestowed on us. Let us seek for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.--Letter 155, 1902, pp. 5, 6. (To Brother and Sister Arthur, September 5, 1902.)
The Holy Spirit will work through every consecrated channel. When as a people we give evidence of our faith in the wonderful truths of the Word, and give these truths to the people, many eyes now blinded will be opened to discern spiritual things. As we keep the way of the Lord to do justice and righteousness, sinners will be drawn to Christ and will be converted.--Ms 25, 1908, p. 6. ("A Plea for Aggressive Work," typed May 5, 1908.)
I have a message to bear to our people. Some of them are in danger of being deceived by the workings of the enemy. At the present time there are in this Conference a man and his wife who have strange manifestations that they believe to be caused by the Holy Spirit. But I am instructed that these manifestations are caused by the same spirit that wrought fanaticism after the passing of the time in 1844.
At that time, as you are well aware, we met and opposed the work and influence of many who supposed that they were exercised by the Holy Spirit, but who had gone into fanaticism. They had what they supposed were visions from God, and to vindicate their wonderful power, they would pray loudly, and would sometimes sing with a loud voice, dancing or working the body from side to side and to and fro. These experiences are brought to my mind as forcibly as if they had happened but yesterday.
I have already written you something of my visit with Mr. and Mrs. Mackin. I did not sanction their experience. I told them about some of the experiences that we had had to meet and of the things that had happened in the past, and I hoped that they would regard as a warning this story of fanaticism in early days. I appealed to them to have an experience based, not on wonderful manifestations, but on the word of God. I pointed out how the enemy would use fanaticism as a means to place us before the world in such a light as to hedge up our way, to a large extent.
We are not surprised to find that Satan will work today as he has worked in the past. We must live by faith; for without faith it is impossible to please God. He is ready to hear our prayers, and to impart to His people the Holy Spirit for service; but I have been warned that the manifestations that
are seen in this brother and sister are not the workings of the Holy Spirit. Boasting claims of righteousness and noisy demonstrations are calculated to lead to a fanatical experience that will confuse many minds. If such things are encouraged, a wave of fanaticism will come into our ranks that will be detrimental to the work of God, and that will sweep away many souls in a dangerous delusion. These things are designed by Satan to deceive, if possible, the very elect.
It is our privilege to preach the Word in the demonstration of the Spirit. It is the privilege of every soul to exercise faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. But pure spiritual life comes only as the soul surrenders itself to the will of God through Christ, the reconciling Saviour. It is our privilege to be worked by the Holy Spirit. Through the exercise of faith we are brought into communion with Christ Jesus, for Christ dwells in the heart of all who are meek and lowly. Theirs is a faith that works by love and purifies the soul, a faith that brings peace to the heart, and leads in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice.
The promise is that if we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that "His going forth is prepared as the morning." It is essential that we have daily the converting grace of God in the heart, that all our words and deeds may give evidence that we are in submission to the mind and will of God. In doing with meekness and humility our appointed service, we are to reveal the converting power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Then we become the Lord's agencies to do His work.
With humility and meekness, and yet with great earnestness we are to render our service to God. Christ is our Pattern, our Example in all things.
He was filled with the Spirit, and the Spirit's power was manifested through Him, not by bodily movements, but by a zeal for good works.
Among God's people there is need of deep, thorough heart-searching, that we may be able to understand what constitutes true religion. Christ is a wonderful Educator. His life and words are based upon sound principles. His manner of teaching was very simple. He was fashioned after the divine similitude, and if we follow Him, we shall make no mistakes.
Let there be no oddities or eccentricities of movement on the part of those who speak the word of truth; for such things will weaken the impression that should be made by the Word. We must be guarded; for Satan is determined, if possible, to intermingle with religious services his evil influence. Let there be no theatrical display; for this will not help to strengthen belief in the word of God. Rather it will divert attention to the human instrument.
Let your conversation be "honest among the Gentiles; that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." "Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be always ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
Our lives must be hid with Christ in God. We must have a personal knowledge of Christ. Then only can we rightly represent Him before the world. Wherever we are, we must let our light shine forth to the glory of God in good works. This is the great, the important work of our lives. Those who are really under the influence of the Holy Spirit, will reveal its power by a
practical application of the eternal principles of truth. They will reveal that the holy oil is emptied from the two olive-branches into the chambers of the soul-temple. Their words will be imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit to soften and subdue the heart. It will be manifest that the words spoken are spirit and life.--Letter 352, 1908. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, December 16, 1908.)
Let everyone who has eaten of the bread which came down from heaven labor in all simplicity to teach others what they must do to be saved. . . . Those who are not doing their duty, who are not helping others to see the importance of the truth for this time, must feel dissatisfied with themselves. Satan takes advantage of this feature in their experience, and leads them to criticize and find fault. If they were busily engaged in seeking to know and do the will of God, they would feel such a burden for perishing souls, such an unrest of mind, that they could not be restrained from fulfilling the commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," "teaching them all things whatsoever I have commanded."--Letter 169, 1904, pp. 6, 7. (To the Ministers in Southern California, April 27, 1904.)
God says to those who profess to believe in him, "Go forth into all parts of the world, and diffuse the light of my truth, that men and women may be led to Christ." Let us awaken to our duty, and do all that we can to help
forward the Lord's work."--Letter 56, 1901, p. 5. (To Brother C. H. Jones, typed June 26, 1901.)
When you strike deep root in Christ, you will bear fruit to God's glory. Your good works will be fragrant to Him.--Letter 13, 1902, p. 2. (To Brother and Sister Caro, February 3, 1902.)
Do not move hastily in establishing interests in new places, in a way that will divide your workers and your means, so that your force will be weakened. Wait until some of the interests that have been started more nearly approach perfection. . . . But understand that this is not meant to hinder any individual worker from entering any place to which he is directed by the Spirit of God to do house to house work. This is work that ought to be done. All the efforts that can be made should be made to reach the people in every place. . . .
Be sure that the Holy Spirit is guiding; and then move forward solidly and wisely.--Letter 87, 1902, pp. 2, 4, 5. (To Brother Kilgore, June 11, 1902.)
Our great burden should be to represent Him [Christ] aright. Our work consists not in seeing how much we can do on the right hand and on the left, but rather in seeing how faithfully, as evangelists, we can represent Christ Jesus in His ministry. Both the high and the low among God's workers are to take their position as ministers of the Word,--evangelists,--seeking to represent the Saviour in every place where they can reach the people. . . .
God will help us as ministers to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called. He will help us to strengthen one another in the most holy faith. At times I am in an agony of distress over the indifference our ministers manifest toward God's instruction to His ambassadors to close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward, that the light flooding heaven's threshold may shine into the chambers of every mind. When the mind is filled with the light of heaven, the human agent is given power to reach the hearts of others.--Ms 127, 1902, pp. 2, 8. ("Words to Ministers," Talk, September 16, 1902.)
This personal effort is that which the people must have. Heart must be brought close to heart and in every soul we have to see one whom Christ died to save. This work is not pleasant to all, but it is a work that is to be done, and it is essential in the formation and building up of a church and in educating you to become able ministers. . . . Many love to preach but they do not love to minister; but this is the work which is really more essential than preaching alone. There is to be practical instruction given in regard to the daily Christian life and duty. We are to present in our own life patience, meekness and forbearance, long-suffering and cheerfulness, joyfulness in the truth,--but not a love for controversy. . . .
The salvation of sinners requires a great outlay of positive power. God expects His workers to do something; to let light shine forth in good works that flash light upon the pathway of the sinner and turn his steps from the gates of hell."--Letter 60, 1886, pp. 4, 9. (To John and Julia Corliss, December 25, 1886.)
The churches that have not life in themselves, that have lost their spiritual discernment, call for ministers to come to their help, to bring them the breath of life. But the ministers have other work to do. They must carry the message of truth to those who know it not. Those ministers who hover about the churches, who have not a clear cut message, which, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cuts both ways, will do the churches harm. They will not work for the salvation of souls that are in great peril because they know not the truth, and they will die spiritually themselves, and trouble and discourage those who try to help them. . . .
Many love to preach, but they have very little experience in ministering. Search the Scriptures with the families you visit. Christ's work was to put believers in possession of every essential truth, that by searching, they might discover other precious gems. . . .
When a discourse is given, precious seed is sown. But if personal efforts are not made to prepare the soil for that seed, it does not take root in the heart. Unless the heart is softened and subdued by the Spirit of God, much of the discourse is lost. . . .
The Lord Jesus expects more of you than you give; yes, a great deal more. He has called and chosen you. Every man, according to his several ability, has been given his work. You are to occupy a place as a laborer together with God, and as his agent, you are to gather other agencies, and unite them with those already in the work, that the instrumentalities for winning souls to look to Christ, may be as many as possible. . . .
The meaning of the words, "I am made a minister," is too little comprehended. Those who preach the word of life to others should be weighted with the Spirit of Christ, as was Paul. If the minister goes to his work light-loaded, if he carries no burden for the people, he shows that he has mistaken his calling. He has not that spirit of intercession and consecration to God that would enable him to receive light from God. Those who work for God must feed upon Christ; for spiritually they are built up from what they eat. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, they have wisdom from God, not only to eat of Christ, but to feed the flock of God in due season, giving to every man his portion.--Ms 7, 1891, pp. 3, 6, 8, 19-20, 22. ("Christian Service in the Living Church," June 10, 1891.)
Those who are shepherds of the flock should impress upon the people the importance of acting upon right principles in eating, drinking and dressing. They should warn the people to forsake every practice, restrain every appetite that endangers health and life.--Letter 19, 1892, p. 3. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, August 5, 1892.)
When the work seems to go hard, dip thy words and spirit into the oil of God's love; and then, under the working of the Holy Spirit, thou canst pray with all earnestness, and preach with all power. And God giveth the increase.--Letter 50, 1897, p. 5. (To Brethren Daniells, Palmer, and Colcord, March 12, 1897.)
All need to feel daily the converting power of the Holy Spirit, that they may bear much fruit for the Lord. It is not the one who preaches the gospel that provides the efficiency that makes his efforts successful. It is the unseen worker standing behind the minister who brings conviction and conversion to souls. . . .
Ministry means more than sermonizing. It means earnest, personal effort. And there are many different kinds of work to be done. Those who have gained an experience in God's service are to take young, inexperienced workers with them into the harvest-field, teaching them how to work successfully for the conversion of souls. They are to exhort the church-members to qualify themselves for service.--Letter 21, 1903, pp. 3, 6. (To "Those Who at the Last General Conference Chose Australia as Their Field of Labor," January 26, 1903.)
If you are to give discourses, your mind is not vigorous enough, although intensely active, to sustain the strain of speaking and visiting and writing. You should let your mind rest in a great degree when you engage in an effort to present new and startling truths to the people, the reception of which involves a cross. You need to carefully select your subject, make your discourses short, and important points of doctrine very plain. Take up one point at a time in a discourse, make it strong and clear and plain, with reasons drawn from the word of God that all may understand. Your discourses should be short. When you preach at great length the mind of the hearer cannot grasp one quarter of what you say. . . .
Now you are to engage in an important work and let the Lord come into your counsels. Preach short, govern your voices, put all the pathos and melody into it you can, and this terrible exhaustion that is liable to come through long protracted preaching will be avoided. Remember that the whole counsel of God is not to be brought out in one discourse. Let the people have the heavenly food in such measure that they can retain it and carry it away with them and digest it; so that their minds can comprehend the truth, and their souls be impressed with it. . . .
But the humble devoted worker feeling his own weakness and depending only upon God will realize the strength and sufficiency of the Mighty Helper.--Letter 47, 1886, pp. 2-4, 8, 9. (To Brother Bourdeau, June 5, 1886.)
The work of him who is called to the ministry is not simply to preach, but to minister to the people by coming in personal contact with them. Wherever there is a failure on the part of the minister to do this kind of work, weakness results to the people; and no one should take upon him the sacred responsibility of the gospel minister unless he is willing to undergo all the labor that such a calling demands . . . .
I am greatly distressed because that while there are so few preachers, there are still fewer ministers. After the sermons are preached the minister has a work to do in visiting those who have been impressed with the truth, and the work of God is greatly hindered when the expositor of Bible truth does not follow up the interest as a wise master-builder, making the most of his opportunity to press home upon the understanding and the conscience the truth which he has presented to the people. He must be a laborer together
with God, a zealous, interested worker, visiting those who have heard his expositions of truth. . . .
The solemn work of the gospel minister is to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God. If one enters upon this work choosing the least self-sacrificing part of it, contenting himself with preaching, and leaving the work of ministering for some one else to do he need not expect that his labors will be acceptable to God. Souls for whom Christ died are perishing for well directed personal labor, and when the minister is not willing to be a servant of the people, as Jesus has directed in his word, then he has mistaken his calling. . . .
The very men who are presenting the truth to them had need to learn the first lessons of what constituted the work devolving on a gospel minister. It is not sermonizing, The minister of the gospel should be far from cherishing an envious spirit, fearing that another may receive too much credit if he shares his labor with him in the office or in more general life. Selfishness has so actuated men that the work of God has been hindered and the message of God has been refused. . . .
The churches have been so trained that they feel no special responsibilities resting upon them to visit, to talk the truth to pray with and for one another, to visit the sick, to encourage them, to give sympathy and love, and make it manifest that in Christ they are members one of another.--Letter 3, 1892, pp. 1, 4, 15, 16. (To Brother Curtis, January 16, 1892.)
Our message is a life and death message, and we must let it appear as it is, the great power of God. We are to present it in all its telling force. Then the Lord will make it effectual. . . .
Public effort alone will not suffice for the work that is to be done. By personal, house-to-house labor, ministers should seek to reach the people where they are. . . .
All should be taught how to work. Especially should those who are newly come to the faith be educated to become laborers together with God. If this duty is neglected, the work of the minister is incomplete. . . .
We talk and write much of the neglected poor; should not some attention be given also to the neglected rich? Thousands of rich men are starving for spiritual food. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church; for they receive no benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the soul. Are we to make no personal effort in their behalf?
Some will ask, "Can we not reach them with publications?" No; there are many who cannot be reached in this way. It is personal effort that they need. Are they to perish without any special warning? It was not so in ancient times. God's servants were sent to tell those in high places that they could find peace and rest only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the light given me I know that a plain "Thus said the Lord" should now be spoken to men who have influence and authority in the world. If they will repent and be converted, God will use them in His cause.
We have a work to do for the ministers of other churches. Our ministers should seek to come near to them. Pray for and with these men, for whom
Christ is interceding. A solemn responsibility is theirs. As Christ's messengers, we should manifest a deep, earnest interest in these shepherds of the flock.--Ms 19, 1900, pp. 5, 10, 11. ("A Perfect Ministry," typed March 5, 1900.)
The preacher spices his discourses with humorous remarks, presenting the truth in a ludicrous manner and misrepresenting those who believe it. These amusing presentations please the audience, and ridicule serves to banish conviction from many minds. Often the teacher has no real knowledge of the subject he is treating upon, but the hearers accept his statements without bringing them to the test of Scripture, and think that now they are released from the cross of obeying the truth, they can have peace.
Many have accepted the truth without digging down deep to understand its foundation principles, and when it is opposed, they forget the arguments and evidences that sustain it. It should be impressed upon all that true and abiding knowledge can be gained only by earnest labor and persevering energy. Were the minds of the people brought under discipline by thorough searching of the Scriptures, there would be hundreds converted to the truth where there is one today.
The sermons preached make good impressions, and awaken in many hearts a real desire to be Christians; if the impressions were followed up by personal labor, there would be seen many temples for the indwelling of the truth and the spirit of God. . . .
God's work is not to be done in this bungling, slip-shod manner. When a minister enters upon any part of the field, he should work that field
thoroughly. Let him not trust in sermonizing, and neglect personal labor. He should give directness to the Bible teaching, let it be brought home to every conscience.--Ms 4, 1893, pp. 7-9. (Untitled, January 10, 1893.)
Divine knowledge may become human knowledge. Every minister should study closely the manner of Christ's teaching. They must take in his lessons. There is not one in twenty who knows the beauty, the real essence, of Christ's ministry. They are to find it out. Then they will become partakers of the rich fruit of his teachings. They will weave them so fully into their own life and practice, that the ideas and principles that Christ brought into his lessons will be brought into their teaching. The truth will blossom and bear the noblest kind of fruit. And the worker's own heart will be warmed; yea, it will burn with the vivifying spiritual life which they infuse into the minds of others. Then all this tame sermonizing will come to an end; for frequently this is an exhibition of self, rather than the fruit that the teacher bears who has been at the feet of Jesus and learned of Him. . . .
God looks for fruit in his church--fruit that responds to the lessons of Christ, worthy of the truth we profess to believe, and revealing the wisdom and mercy of Christ. The Lord calls for a converted ministry,--a ministry that will meet the people where they are, that will agree with them wherever they can, but that will not deny the truth. We are not to keep ourselves shut within four walls, so that our light cannot come to others. There is common ground where we may meet those not of our faith, where we may agree in principles and in regard to the lesson of Christ. Few will become combative
over these holy principles.--Ms 104, 1898, pp. 7, 11. ("Christ's Manner of Teaching," typed August 24, 1898.)
It is God's great day of preparation, and therefore every minister of Jesus Christ should have in his course of action, in the burden of his labor a zeal and living interest, and intensity in his efforts which is appropriate to the truth as it is for this time, which is claimed to be the last message of mercy to our world. Well, then, we cannot sleep, we cannot be indifferent, we must labor for the precious souls around us of men and women, we must work with all our might, for the Lord is coming.
The real laborers will be care-worn, oppressed in spirit, and they will feel as did Christ when he wept over Jerusalem, when they see crookedness and impenitence, and when they see people who will not listen to the Word of the Lord, they will feel as he felt.--Ms 13, 1888, p. 7. (Sermon, December 1, 1888.)
I have a message for you. Those who serve the cause of God, need to be men of prayer, men who will heed the instruction that the Lord is giving regarding the prosecution of His work.
I am deeply impressed as I realize that time is rapidly passing. Every worker should now be daily converted, and every power be employed in doing a work in our large cities that has been strangely neglected.
I entreat of you to delay not to open the fields that so greatly need attention, and that have scarcely been touched. This is your work. There is
need of a reformation in the work that God has pointed out for you to do in opening new fields. There is much to be done in bringing before the world the light of Bible truth in its sacred simplicity, and you both need to be revived by the influence of the Holy Spirit of God. Let the refining grace of truth lead you into the deepest experience of consecration and sanctification.
You need to realize the necessity of home religion, and earnest activity for the glory of God. Let the sanctification of the truth come into your home life. Let there be nothing common in your words and actions. May the softening, subduing, and sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit impart to you meekness and gentleness, and may the presence of the Spirit close the door of the heart to the great apostate who is determined, if possible, to gain control. If you could but see as the Lord sees, you would discern how persistently the enemy of souls is seeking to attain the ascendancy. . . .
Some things were clearly opened before me during the last meeting I attended in Washington, D. C. But those who ought to have been the first to recognize the movings of the Holy Spirit were not sufficiently impressed to receive the light and to act in harmony with it. The work in the cities has not yet been carried forward as it should be. . . .
The Lord calls for ministers to go into the cities, men who realize that Satanic agencies are taking counsel together to work with their deceiving influence upon every mind, to the end that the gospel message shall not be proclaimed.
Time is rapidly passing, and there is much to be done. We have come far
short of doing the very work that has been specified by the Holy Spirit to be done, the work of giving the Bible truth to those who know it not.
Seven men should have been chosen to be united with the President, to set in operation a work in the great cities for those who are perishing without the truth, while no determined efforts are being put forth to save them. These seven men should be men who are wide awake, men that are humble and meek and lowly in heart. Never should the cities have been neglected as they are; for there has come most decidedly message after message calling for earnest labor.
No less than seven men should be chosen to carry the large responsibilities of the work of God in the great cities. And these men should humble themselves daily, and seek the Lord most earnestly for sanctified wisdom. They should relate themselves to God as men desirous to be taught. They must be men of prayer, who realize the peril of their own souls. What should be the work of these seven men?--They should investigate the needs of the cities, and put forth earnest, decided efforts to advance the work.
Will you not now gather up many of my past messages, study them, and present them to the people? It is high time that our churches should know what has been the word of the Lord. These cities must not remain unwarned.
The Lord will test and prove every one who professes to be righteous. Many of our people, and among them some who are laborers, are not ready for the Lord's appearing. For your souls' sake, my brethren, heed the messages that the Lord sends to you. Let every one take heed to his own soul's salvation, and then work earnestly for the salvation of others.
If those who are consecrated unite to work untiringly for souls, they can do great good in our conferences and in our camp-meetings. Our camp-meetings must not be treated indifferently. Let the time of these gatherings be regarded as precious, and let it be devoted to seeking the Lord sincerely for a fitness to serve the Lord in humility. In many cases there should be less of lengthy sermonizing, and more hunting and fishing for souls.
Let Christ be the Teacher. If we obey His word, and do His works, we shall never be found on the background. Presidents of conferences, to whom the Lord has given great light, will you not decide to deal truly with your own souls' best interests? Walk in the light while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you. . . .
I feel an intense interest that in this period of time, no haphazard work shall be done. Satan and his agencies are playing the game of life for our souls. His plan is to steal away the true conviction of the Holy Spirit. For months I have been troubled because I see that many are not discerning the signs of the times.
You were present at the General Conference last spring when the power of God rested upon me as I delivered His messages. If those messages had been received and acted upon, I should not now be suffering under the burden that I am carrying.
I dare not be silent longer. Angels of great power were expelled from heaven because of the spirit of self-exaltation. They felt that they should be above Christ. These fallen angels are now at work to deceive those that
will give heed to their deceptions, and to delay and hinder the work of God. . . .
Read the whole of the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel carefully, and pray that you may understand the working of God. We are dealing with fallen angels and with fallen men.
I would that our conference presidents, our physicians, and all our ministers might understand the message that the Lord gave me in Washington. I did not speak in my own strength. But some of the very ones who needed most the warnings given have chosen to follow on in their own ideas, and I am sorry that their hearts are not awake to the work of the hour.
Our brethren should study carefully the instruction given in "Gospel Workers." Valuable instruction is given in the chapter "Personal Effort."
Let our brethren east and west fast and pray earnestly, and humble their souls before God, O, that all would be reconverted, and not give up till they know that they are following on to know the Lord. Those who humbly follow on to know the Lord will know that His going forth is prepared as the morning.
There is encouragement for all in the third chapter of Zechariah: [Entire chapter quoted].--Letter 58, 1910, pp. 1-4, 6, 7. (To Elders Daniells and Prescott, June 15, 1910.)
God has given His Son in order to give men a chance to form characters for the school above. The mind is to be fitted to receive the gift of immortality. It is capable of appreciating the goodness, the mercy, the love of God; and to appreciate is to glorify. But what if man's life proves a
failure? What if he has proved false to his fearful and solemn responsibility? Then his education has been the means of strengthening Satan's kingdom. God will judge him for that which he might have done, which God furnished him ability to do, but which He did not do. We must render to God an account proportionate to the intelligence and opportunities He has granted us.--Ms 25a, 1895, p. 2. ("The Essential Education," undated.)
Immorality and ignorance prevail in our world; but it is because the carnal heart chooses darkness rather than light. The light shines from the written word in bright, clear rays; and if ignorance now exists, it is because men do not for themselves become diligent students of the pages of knowledge that they may become intelligent. The intelligent mind is one of heaven's most precious gifts. It is beyond estimate. And God demands of us the full improvement of this entrusted talent.--Ms 57, 1897, p. 2. ("Remember the Sabbath Day," June 7, 1897.)
Many suppose that they must have holidays and recreation; but if the time thus spent were devoted specially to doing good, making use of the faculties to advance the cause of God in the world, either in planting crops for him, in building chapels or school houses, or any institution that the Lord is in need of to carry on his work, these things would not cost so heavily. If there were a company formed, who were devoted to the service of God, who would donate extra time above the eight hours, and call it the recreation hour, I know that they would receive a blessing. Many do this conscientiously. They will not be restricted in their movements, or bound
about by precise hours when they are engaged in the King's business. The work which the Lord designs shall be done in preparing facilities calls for unselfish and cheerful labor.
I have heard men and women who have been engaged in the work in the publishing houses and Sanitarium complain of having to work over hours. If they cannot stop work after eight hours labor, they become dissatisfied. But these very ones, when they enter business for their own private benefit, will work on fully ten hours as they do in America and often extend their labor to twelve hours. They make no complaint because it is in their own personal interest. It makes every difference whether the time is to be employed to their own special advantage or for the service of God or their neighbor. If the extra time could be called the recreation hours, working from a sense of duty to benefit the oppressed, poverty stricken cause of God, I believe those who are able would find more advantage from this than from the hard, trying, taxing labor they often engage in in order to amuse themselves.
Willing service in saving the means that is so limited is more satisfactory than hoarding means. With the right motive in view, such time would be reckoned as devoted to the service of God. This definite work for God in building, in planting, in reaping harvest or any line of work, will cost considerable thought and labor. But it pays. God will multiply the resources; he will help in producing the means.
Many are already working in this line, and have always done so. The devotion of time to God in any line of work, is a most important consideration. Some can use the pen to write a letter to some far off friend.
By consecrated personal labor we may in many ways do personal service for God.
Some think that if they give a portion of their money to the cause of God, this is all they are required to do, and the precious time given them of God, in which they could do hours of personal service for him, passes by unimproved. It is the privilege and duty of all who have health and strength to render to God active service. The giving of donations in money cannot take the place of this. Those who have no money can substitute personal labor, and even money can be made in various ways in this work.
Every one may be a laborer together with God. The hours which have been usually spent in recreation that has not rested or refreshed either body or soul, may be spent in seeking to help some poor soul who is in need of help, in visiting the poor, the sick, and the suffering. Your time is God's and as Christians, we must use it to the glory of God. God has graciously entrusted us with twenty four hours in each day and night. This is a precious treasure by which much good can be accomplished. How are we using God's golden opportunities? We must, as Christians, set the Lord always before us, if we would not lose precious hours in uselessness, and have nothing to show for our time.
Time is money. If a man refuses to work because he cannot obtain the highest wages, he is pronounced an idler. Far better would it be for him to work, even if he receives much less than he supposes his labors are worth.
Time is a talent committed to our trust that may be shamefully misused. Every child of God, man, woman, youth or child, should consider and appreciate the value of the moments of time. If they do this, they will keep
themselves employed, even if they do not receive as high wages as they have been able to command. They should show their appreciation of diligence, and work, receiving what wages they can get. The idea of a poor man with a family refusing to work for moderate wages, because it is not showing, as he supposes, sufficient dignity for his trade, is folly that is not to be encouraged.
How little thought has been bestowed upon this subject. How much greater prosperity might have attended the missionary enterprises if this talent of time had been thoughtfully considered and faithfully used. We are each one answerable to God for the time that has been wantonly thrown away, and for the use of which we must give an account to God. This is a stewardship that has been but little appreciated; many think it not sin to waste hours and days in doing nothing to benefit themselves or to bless others.--Letter 127, 1897, pp. 5-8. (To John Wessels, January 1, 1897.)
The human family have scarcely begun to live when they begin to die, and the world's incessant labor ends in nothingness unless a true knowledge in regard to eternal life is gained. The man who appreciates time as his working day will fit himself for a title to a mansion and a life that is immortal. It is well that he was born. Our characters are revealed by what we do. We are admonished to redeem the time. We cannot call time back, but by making the most of what remains we can redeem the time.--Ms 50, 1898, p. 10. ("The Jews Require a Sign," undated.)
The reason why our ministers are so inefficient, is that they go to their labors, and come from their labors, if they have any success, full of themselves. The disciples of Christ did this when they came and said, Even the devils are subject unto us. Jesus could discern their danger, and he said, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while--come out of the din of battle, away from the conflict, and hold communion with God. Thus it is with many workers they are too strong, too full of self. The Lord cannot lead them or teach them, or use them to his glory, for they are wise in their own conceit, and vainly imagine that the Lord cannot do without them. Self must be buried. We must educate the people to seek the Lord. We must speak plain words to ministers who are walking in the sparks of their own kindling. The praise and flattery of men make ministers hungry for more until they think . . . the praise and flattery of men of more value than the approval of God.
We must, if saved, imbibe the Spirit and power of Christ, self be hidden in Christ, and Christ alone appear. Our work is to elevate, not by praising any one, but by upholding Jesus, bringing the mind to Jesus, lift him up, the Man of Calvary, before the people, and he can do all things for the humble, trusting, believer.--Letter 16f, 1892, pp. 9, 10. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, May 9, 1892.)
I then saw the appetite must be denied, that rich food should not be prepared, and that which is lavished upon the appetite should be put in the
treasury of the Lord.--Ms 1, 1854, p. 7. ("Reproof for Adultery and Neglect of Children," February 12, 1854.) Released November 13, 1973.