Times are growing hard, and money is difficult to obtain; but God will open the way for us from sources outside our own people. I cannot see how anyone can take exceptions to the receiving of gifts from those not of our faith. They can only do so by taking extreme views and by creating issues which they are not authorized to do. This is God's world, and if God could move upon human agents so that the land which has been in the hands of the enemy may be brought into our hands, so that the message may be proclaimed in regions beyond, shall men block up the way with their narrow notions? Such conscientiousness as this is anything but healthful. The Holy Spirit does not lead men to pursue such a course.
Let all be careful how they interpose themselves between God, the great Master Worker, and His people. We should see and acknowledge the workings of His providence, and bow to His authority. Let every messenger of God attend to his own specific work, and not rush into a work that is simply after his own wisdom and devising. Let the Lord's messengers go unto the mercy seat, that they may receive wisdom and grace to know God, to understand His workings. Knowledge of God will give them well-balanced minds and sound judgment, that they will not move impulsively at this critical, important time of earth's history.
It is not the will of God that any of His servants should move hastily and take shortsighted views. He
would have them wait patiently, and manifest due consideration. Every movement should be made with judicious thoughtfulness, and after much prayer. Then our brethren will have a more even, tranquil experience, and will be able to be a greater benefit to the people; for the glory of the Lord will be their reward.
Our only safety will be found in constantly seeking wisdom from God, in carefully weighing every matter with much fear and trembling, lest there should be brought into the work not the light of heaven, but the weakness of man. But the Lord has promised to give light to those who seek Him with the whole heart. If we will but wait patiently and prayerfully upon God, and not follow our own impetuous plans, He will guide our decisions and open many doors of hope and labor.
The great General of armies will lead in every battle for the advancement of His cause. He will be the guide of His people in the perilous conflicts in which they have to engage, if the under leaders and undershepherds will do their appointed work, and listen to the voice which says: "This is the way, walk ye in it;" "He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness." What a great comfort this promise should be to us! We may walk in the light as He is in the light.
Let the men to whom God has entrusted great responsibilities be perfectly sure that they are following their great Leader, even Christ, and are not moving under the impulse of their own natural tempers. We shall be safe only when we consecrate ourselves to God and look unto Jesus, earnestly longing to work out His plan. Men may follow many kinds of lights, but there is only one Light that it will be safe for them to follow. Be sure that you are following Jesus whithersoever He goeth. Let none run ahead of Christ,
but wait for the word of command, "Follow Me." Let our leaders be distrustful of their own counsel, of their own ambitious fancies. Let them not suppose that the sparks of their own kindling are the true light, or after a while they will find that, instead of following the heavenly guiding Star, they are following an uncertain leader.
I am grieved as I see men seeking to mark out the precise course that missionaries in far-off lands shall pursue. We must give matters more into the hands of Him whom we profess to follow, that He may work through His appointed agents as He shall see fit. We should not think that everything should be brought under the jurisdiction of a few finite men, who need to look constantly to God for wisdom or else they will make grave blunders. The Lord does not design to have everything center in Battle Creek.[* SEE APPENDIX.] He would have men stand aside, and not feel that His work depends wholly upon them and that every question must be referred to their judgment. It is difficult for me to express what I desire to, but in the name of the Lord I lift the danger signal. Responsible men should fear and tremble for themselves. They should not feel competent to run ahead of Him who has said, "Follow Me." God is not pleased that men in distant lands should have to wait before they can venture to make a move. We should believe in the power of the Lord to guide, for He has the ordering of His own work. He will give wisdom and understanding to His representative men in every part of His great moral vineyard. He says, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit." To my brethren in Battle Creek I would say: The Lord does
not need to send His orders to His messengers in all parts of the world through Battle Creek. He does not lay this responsibility upon all those who assume to say to His workers, "Do this," and "Thou shalt not do that." God is dishonored when men are led to look to Battle Creek to so large a degree.
The people of every country have their own peculiar, distinctive characteristics, and it is necessary that men should be wise in order that they may know how to adapt themselves to the peculiar ideas of the people, and so introduce the truth that they may do them good. They must be able to understand and meet their wants. Circumstances will arise which demand immediate action, and it will be necessary that those who are right on the field should take hold of the interest, and do the thing that is necessary to be done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Should they wait in a time of crisis for direction to come from Battle Creek as to what they should do, they might lose much. The men who are handling the work should be faithful stewards of the grace of God. They should be men of faith, and they should be encouraged to look to God, and to trust in Him.
Let God's workmen study the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and the first and second chapters of Ezekiel.
To the prophet the wheel within a wheel, the appearances of living creatures connected with them, all seemed intricate and unexplainable. But the hand of Infinite Wisdom is seen among the wheels, and perfect order is the result of its work. Every wheel works in perfect harmony with every other.
I have been shown that human instrumentalities seek after too much power and try to control the
work themselves. They leave the Lord God, the Mighty Worker, too much out of their methods and plans, and do not trust everything to Him in regard to the advancement of the work. No one should fancy that he is able to manage these things which belong to the great I AM. God in His providence is preparing a way so that the work may be done by human agents. Then let every man stand at his post of duty, to act his part for this time, and know that God is his instructor.
In the taking of Jericho the Lord God of hosts was the general of the army. He made the plan for the battle and united heavenly and human agencies to act a part in the work, but no human hand touched the walls of Jericho. God so arranged the plan that man could take no credit to himself for achieving the victory. God alone is to be glorified. So it shall be in the work in which we are engaged. The glory is not to be given to human agencies; the Lord alone is to be magnified. Please read carefully the third chapter of Ezekiel. We must learn to put our entire dependence upon God, and yet we must ever bear in mind that the Lord God has need of every agency that holds the truth in righteousness. As workers for Christ we are to stand in view of the cross of Calvary, proclaiming to the world, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." We are to proclaim the third angel's message with our human voices, and it is to go to the world with power and glory.
When men cease to depend upon men, when they make God their efficiency, then there will be more confidence manifested one in another. Our faith in God is altogether too feeble and our confidence in one another altogether too meager.
Christ breathed upon His disciples and said, "Receive
ye the Holy Ghost." Christ is represented by His Holy Spirit today in every part of His great moral vineyard. He will give the inspiration of His Holy Spirit to all those who are of a contrite spirit.
Let there be more dependence upon the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, and far less upon human agencies. I am sorry to say that at least some have not given evidence that they have learned the lesson of meekness and lowliness in the school of Christ. They do not abide in Christ, they have no vital connection with Him. They are not directed by the wisdom of Christ, through the impartation of His Holy Spirit. Then I ask you, How can we regard these men as faultless in judgment? They may be in responsible positions, but they are living separated from Christ. They have not the mind of Christ, and do not learn daily of Him. Yet in some cases their judgment is trusted, and their counsel is regarded as the wisdom of God.
When human agents choose the will of God and are conformed to the character of Christ, Jesus acts through their organs and faculties. They put aside all selfish pride, all manifestation of superiority, all arbitrary exactions, and manifest the meekness and lowliness of Christ. It is no more themselves that live and act, but it is Christ that lives and acts through them. They understand the precious words of the Saviour's prayer, "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me."
God would have every individual look less to the finite, depend less upon men. We have counselors who make manifest that they have not a knowledge of the grace of Christ and do not understand the truth
as it is in Christ. Those who are cooperating with God have humble opinions of themselves. They are not boastful, self-sufficient, and self-exalted. They are long-suffering, kind, full of mercy and good fruits. Human ambition takes the background with them. The righteousness of Christ goes before them, and the glory of the Lord is their reward.
In counseling for the advancement of the work no one individual is to be in controlling power, a voice for the whole, unless it is evident to all that the counsel given is the right one. All methods and plans are to be carefully considered so that all may become intelligent in regard to their relative merits and decide which one will be best to be followed in the missionary work that is to be done in the fields that open before us. It will be well not only to consider the fields to which duty seems to call us, but the difficulties that will be encountered. Committees of counsel, as far as possible, should let the people understand their plans, that the judgment of the church may sustain their efforts. Many of the church members are prudent, and have many other excellent qualities of mind. It is proper that their wisdom should be exercised, that others may become aroused in reference to the great questions to be considered. Many may be awakened to the fact that they should have deeper insight into the work of God.
Some are convinced that they are far behind in their knowledge of the message, but God will help those who earnestly seek Him for wisdom. None ever seek His mercy seat in vain. We should earnestly seek wisdom from above, realizing that souls are perishing for the word of life and that the kingdom of
Christ is to be extended. Men and women of noble minds will yet be added to the number of those of whom it is said, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, . . . that ye should go and bring forth fruit."
From the beginning of our missionary work, we have been much perplexed to know how we could secure funds adequate to the support of missionary enterprises in the fields which Providence has opened before us. Missionary work is to be widely extended, and those who believe the truth should avoid using their means in purchasing that which is unnecessary. We are not to study our convenience but rather our necessities. We shall have to bind about our wants in order that there shall be means in the treasury to raise the standard of truth in new territory.
Seek God; believe in Him who has infinite resources. If we move wisely, putting our ability into the work, the good hand of God will be upon us. We must push forward the work, not waiting to see the funds in the treasury before we undertake it. God forbid that when His providence summons us to enter the fields white already to harvest, our steps should be retarded by the cry, "Our treasury is exhausted. We have no means to sustain the workers that are already in the field, and it is impossible for us to enlarge our operations."
We thank God that our Sabbath schools have contributed enough to advance many a precious enterprise. Children and youth have given their pennies, that like little rivulets have supplied a stream of beneficence. Children should be educated in such a way that they may perform unselfish acts which heaven will rejoice
to see. When the dew of youth is upon them children should be trained how to do service for Christ. They should be taught self-denial.
The fields nigh and afar off belong to God; for the world is His. Usurpers have taken possession of God's earthly property, but He will make a way so that the truth may be presented in the dark corners of the earth. If men will only follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit they will find ways and means by which the message may go forth and gain a glorious victory.
The servants of God who live in obedience to His requirements, who speak the truth in humility, will carry an influence with them which will work for the salvation of many souls. But we must not allow the people to hang helplessly upon us. We are human and finite. We must direct them to Christ, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Jesus pleads the case of His colaborers, but every hour they need to feel humble dependence upon the Captain of their salvation, and through the intercession of Christ our Advocate many souls will be saved unto eternal life. The Lord has provided for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon His workers, and everyone who sincerely seeks God will find Him. We are to come boldly to the throne of grace, and seek the footstool of mercy. We are to believe that the Lord hears and answers our prayers. Our great High Priest who has passed into the heavens says, "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." The Holy Spirit abides with consecrated laborers who in any locality are seeking to advance the cause.
I beg of you for Christ's sake, let no hasty, rash expressions fall from your lips, let no extravagant language be used, let nothing be uttered that will savor of railing, for all this is human. Christ has no part in it. Let the ready writers be careful how they use their pens, lest they may seem to cast ridicule upon the positions of believers or unbelievers. We shall find our only safety in preserving the lowly spirit of Christ, in making straight paths for our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. The meekness and lowliness of Christ must take possession of the soul.
Satan is putting forth his power in presenting masterly delusions, so that he may bring to pass that which is not in accordance with God's will. Let not those who believe the truth give occasion to our enemies to vindicate opposition, to give ground for the misrepresentation that men would use to oppose the advance of the truth. For the sake of Christ let every worker put forth efforts that will bring to naught Satan's assertions, and not engage in anything that God has not required at his hands. Under heavenly generalship we may work in accordance with God's will, and success will crown our efforts. Give God a chance to work, and leave men to do whatever He wishes them to do to advance His truth.
The question of religious liberty is very important, and it should be handled with great wisdom and discretion. Unless this is done there is danger that by our own course of action we shall bring upon ourselves a crisis before we are prepared for it. The burden of our message should be "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Our brethren should be cautioned to make moves that will not stir up and provoke the powers
that be, so that they will make moves that will limit the work, and cut us off from proclaiming the message in different localities.
We need more of the working of the Infinite and far less trust in human agencies. We are to prepare a people to stand in the day of God's preparation; we are to call men's attention to the cross of Calvary, to make clear the reason why Christ made His great sacrifice. We are to show men that it is possible for them to come back to their allegiance to God and to their obedience to His commandments. When the sinner looks upon Christ as the propitiation for his sins, let men step aside. Let them declare to the sinner that Christ "is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Encourage him to seek wisdom from God; for through earnest prayer he will learn the way of the Lord more perfectly than if instructed by some human counselor. He will see that it was the transgression of the law that caused the death of the Son of the infinite God, and he will hate the sins that wounded Jesus. As he looks upon Christ as a compassionate, tender High Priest, his heart will be preserved in contrition.
When he who is a colaborer with Christ presses home the truth to the sinner's heart in humility and love, the voice of love speaks through the human instrumentality. Heavenly intelligences work with a consecrated human agent, and the Spirit operates upon
the soul of the unbeliever. Efficiency to believe comes from God to the heart, and the sinner accepts the evidence of God's word. Through the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit he is changed and becomes one with Christ in spirit and purpose. His affection for God increases, he hungers after righteousness and longs to be more like his Master. By beholding Christ, he is changed from glory to glory, from character to character, and becomes more and more like Jesus. He is imbued with love for Christ and filled with a deep, unresting love for perishing souls, and Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
Please read the second and third chapters of Philippians, and the first chapter of Colossians. There are lessons there that we all should study. Paul writes, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name. . . . Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the
midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain." "I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
Our workers should use the greatest wisdom, so that nothing shall be said to provoke the armies of Satan and to stir up his united confederacy of evil. Christ did not dare to bring a railing accusation against the prince of evil, and is it proper that we should bring such accusation as will set in operation the agencies of evil, the confederacies of men that are leagued with evil spirits? Christ was the only-begotten Son of the infinite God, He was the Commander in the heavenly courts, yet He refrained from bringing accusation against Satan. Speaking of Him, Isaiah says, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Let those who speak and write concerning the third angel's message consider the fact that the Prince of Peace did not bring a railing accusation against the enemy, and let them learn the lesson they ought to
have learned much earlier in their experience. They should wear Christ's yoke, they should practice the humility of Christ. The Great Teacher says, "Learn of Me [I am not boastful, I hide My glory]; for I am meek and lowly in heart." In learning of Me, "ye shall find rest unto your souls." Let such work be done by our missionaries as will lead to that repentance that needs not to be repented of. We need to learn much more of the meekness of Christ in order to be a savor of life unto life.
Let no one open the way for the enemy to do his work. Let no one help him to advance his oppressive powers, for we are not yet prepared to meet them. We need the softening, subduing, refining influence of the Holy Spirit, to mold our characters, and to bring every thought into captivity to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that will enable us to overcome, that will lead us to sit at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary, and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart.
We need to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit every hour of the day, lest we be ensnared by the enemy and our souls be imperiled. There is constant temptation to exalt self, and we must watch much against this evil. We need to be on guard continually lest we manifest the spirit of overbearing, criticism, and condemnation. We should seek to avoid the very appearance of evil, and not reveal anything like the attributes of Satan that will dishearten and discourage those with whom we come in contact. We are to work as did Christ--to draw, to build up, not to tear down. It is natural for some to be sharp and dictatorial, to lord it over God's heritage; and because of the manifestation of these attributes, precious souls have been lost to the cause. The reason that men have manifested these unpleasant characteristics is because they have not been connected with God.
Those who occupy important positions, who are brought in contact with souls for whom Christ has died, should place upon men the estimate God has placed upon them and regard them as precious. But many have treated the purchase of Christ's blood in a harsh manner, in harmony with the disposition of men instead of according to the mind and spirit of Christ. Of His disciples Christ says, "All ye are brethren." We should ever keep in mind the relation which we bear one to another, and remember that we must meet those with whom we associate here, around the judgment seat of Christ. God will be the Judge, and He will deal justly with every individual.
John says, "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Let everyone who professes the name of Christ consider the fact that he must meet every act of injustice, give an account for every harsh word, at the judgment seat of Christ. It will not be pleasant to review the words that have been spoken that have wounded and bruised souls, to review the decisions that have worked against souls for whom Christ died. Every action will come into judgment, and the spirit that prompted it will be made manifest. The fruit of every selfish, arbitrary exaction will be made plain, and men will see the results of their doings even as God sees them. They will see that they have turned precious souls out of the right path by dealing with them in an un-Christlike manner. We are living in the great Day of Atonement, and it is now time that everyone should repent
before God, confess his sins, and by living faith rest upon the merit of a crucified and living Saviour.
My brethren and sisters, will you bear in mind that in dealing with God's heritage you are not to act out your natural characteristics? The people of God are Christ's purchased possession, and what a price He has paid for them! Shall any of us be found aiding the enemy of God and man in discouraging and destroying souls? What will be the retribution brought upon us if we do this class of work? Every one of us should weed out of our conversation everything that is harsh and severe. We should not indulge in condemning others, and we will not do so if we are one with Christ. We are to represent Christ in our dealings with our fellowmen. We are to be laborers together with God in helping those who are tempted. We are not to encourage souls to sow seeds of doubt; for they will bear a baleful harvest. We are to learn of Christ, to practice His methods, to reveal His spirit. We are enjoined, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." We should educate ourselves to believe in the word of God which is being so wonderfully and gloriously fulfilled. If we have the full assurance of faith, we will not indulge in doubting our brethren and sisters.
We are privileged to see Jesus as He is, to know Him as One who is full of compassion, courteousness, and divine politeness. He is good and merciful, and will forgive our sins. Of Him it is written: "Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He
Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted."
We should cherish love and gratitude, we should look unto Jesus and become transformed into His image. The result of this will be increased confidence, hope, patience, and courage. We shall be drinking of the water of life of which Christ spoke to the woman of Samaria. He said: "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. . . . Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." This water represents the life of Christ, and every soul must have it by coming into living connection with God. Then blessed, humble, grateful confidence will be an abiding principle in the soul. Unbelieving fear will be swept away before living faith. We shall contemplate the character of Him who first loved us.
By contemplation of God's matchless love, we take upon us His nature. Christ was a representative before men and before angels, of the character of the God of heaven. He demonstrated the fact that when humanity depends wholly upon God, men may keep God's commandments and live, and His law be as the apple of the eye.
Those who inquire after the way of life need not be rich, need not be wise, learned, or honored; yet God will quicken their perceptions so that they may understand what they may do to be saved. The light of heaven is shining upon the earth from the throne of God, and Christ says, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." His gracious invitation is going forth to all mankind, and those who respond to it will find life and salvation. Peter writes, "Grace and peace be
multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
The Lord is soon to work in greater power among us, but there is danger of allowing our impulses to carry us where the Lord would not want us to go. We must not make one step that we will have to retrace. We must move solemnly, prudently, and not make use of extravagant expressions or allow our feelings to become overwrought. We must think calmly and work without excitement; for there will be those who become easily wrought up, who will catch up unguarded expressions and make use of extreme utterances to create excitement, and thus counteract the very work that God would do. There is a class of people who are always ready to go off on some tangent, who want to catch up something strange and wonderful and new; but God would have all move calmly, considerately, choosing our words in harmony with the solid truth for this time, which requires to be presented to the mind as free from that which is emotional as possible, while still bearing the intensity and solemnity
that it is proper it should bear. We must guard against creating extremes, guard against encouraging those who would either be in the fire or in the water.
I beseech you to weed out of your teachings every extravagant expression, everything that unbalanced minds and those who are inexperienced will catch up, and from which they will make wild, immature movements. It is necessary for you to cultivate caution in every statement you make, lest you start some on a wrong track, and make confusion that will require much sorrowful labor to set in order, thus diverting the strength and work of the laborers into lines which God does not design shall be entered. One fanatical streak exhibited among us will close many doors against the soundest principles of truth.
Oh, how careful should every worker be not to rush on before the Master, but to follow where He leads the way! How it would rejoice the enemies of our faith to get hold of some statement made by our people which will have to be retracted! We must move discreetly, sensibly, for this is our strength; for then God will work with us, and by us, and for us. . . . Oh, how Satan would rejoice to get in among this people and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of regulation and order. In this way license shall not be given to disorderly elements to control the work at this time. We are living in a time when order, system, and unity of action are most essential. And the truth must bind us together like strong cords in order that no distracted efforts may be witnessed among the workers. If
disorderly manifestations appear, we must have clear discernment to distinguish the spurious from the genuine. Let no messages be proclaimed until they have borne a careful scrutiny in every jot and tittle.
My soul is much burdened, for I know what is before us. Every conceivable deception will be brought to bear upon those who have not a daily, living connection with God. In our work no side issues must be advanced until there has been a thorough examination of the ideas entertained, that it may be ascertained from what source they have originated. Satan's angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, will proclaim as new and wonderful things; and yet while in some respects the message is truth, it will be mingled with men's inventions and will teach for doctrines the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. There may be supposable things that appear as good things, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging from the right path, though almost imperceptibly. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a while it is seen to be widely divergent from the path of safety, from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. My brethren, I warn you to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way.
Brother-----laid out before me the plans for meetings to be held for weeks in different places among those who know the truth. Doubtless some who have newly come to the faith would be benefited, but I know you are not on the right track. Some of those called together will no doubt have their faith strengthened and confirmed; but this work is not bearing the message of warning to those who are still in darkness and error, who know not the truth. Time is passing, the perils of the last days are upon us; and how many will say to us in the last great day when every man shall receive according to his works: Why have you not warned us? You have not told us those things that we should have known.
Christ says, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Let our ministers go forth weighted with the solemn message of warning. When men have had every advantage to obtain a knowledge of the truth, how shall plans be laid to keep our laborers from the work of saving souls in the darkness of error? The time is short. Let the message of warning be given clear and distinct. The Lord is coming to execute judgment upon all who obey not the gospel.
Enoch in his day sounded the proclamation of the coming of Christ and the execution of judgment upon the unrighteous; and we now see the fulfillment of Enoch's prophecy concerning the great wickedness that should abound. But these who have the light are the very ones commissioned of God to make constantly aggressive warfare. As the inquiry shall be
made, "Watchman, what of the night?" the faithful message is to be heard in response, "The morning cometh, and also the night."
The influence of truth is too much restricted. Let men who know the truth be urged to communicate truth to those who are in darkness. Many are satisfied with a view of truth, but they have not yet stepped into their place to communicate that which they have received. God has let men feel the power of truth, but they are not all doing their appointed work in seeking to save that which was lost. Everyone is to have the armor on, prepared to win others to obedience to the law of God. I see so much given to those who already have; these wonderful meetings for those who wish to get more strength are depriving the world of the very work that should be done. Our ministers should now be working for the saving of the lost. The weeks spent in gatherings to fit men for work might better, far better, be spent in going to the highways and hedges with the proclamation, "Come; for all things are now ready."
To those who obey the light they have, illumination will come from on high; for the heavenly messengers are waiting to cooperate with men in warning a deceived, sinful world. When the people of God engage in this work with real travail of soul there will be manifest a decided change in cities and villages. This hovering about churches to keep them propped up makes them more dependent on human effort. They learn to lean on the experience of their fellowmen and do not make God their dependence and their efficiency. It is time that cities and villages everywhere were hearing the solemn note of warning, "Behold,
He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him." Get ready that you may be found of Him in peace.
I entreat you whom God has favored with a knowledge of the truth, Go to work; there is work to do everywhere. The fields are all white unto the harvest. Sowers and reapers are needed just now. The time you devote to imparting constantly to those who understand the message of warning will not give one tithe of the strength which they would receive in taking hold of the work to communicate life to save perishing souls. Angels are waiting to bless the consecrated workers. The parable of the lost sheep should be a lesson to every soul who has been rescued from the snare of Satan. We are not to hover over the ninety and nine, but to go forth to save the lost, hunting them up in the wilderness of the large cities and towns. In this work the laborers will be led to feel their weakness and they will flee to the stronghold. The divine presence will be with them to give strength and courage and faith and hope. The truehearted workers will be laborers together with God.
The warnings that Christ gave to Jerusalem were not to end with them. The judgments upon Jerusalem were a symbol of the events of Christ's coming to judgment in the last day, when before Him shall be gathered all nations. "He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Every true follower of Christ has a work to do. God has given to every man his work. A few are now pointing to the roll of fast-fulfilling prophecy and proclaiming, Get ready, show your obedience to God
by keeping His commandments. This is no time for the messengers of God to stop to prop up those who know the truth, and who have every advantage. Let them go on to lift the standard and give the warning, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him." Many who hear the message--by far the greatest number--will not credit the solemn warning. Many will be found disloyal to the commandments of God, which are a test of character. The Lord's servants will be called enthusiasts. Ministers will warn the people not to listen to them. Noah received the same treatment while the Spirit of God was urging him to give the message, whether men would hear or whether they would forbear.
Come when it may, the advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers who are saying, "Peace and safety;" "all things continue as they were from the beginning." Thus saith the word of Inspiration, "Sudden destruction cometh upon them." The day of God shall come as a snare upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. It comes to them as a prowling thief. "If the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." Habitual watching is our only safety. We must be ever ready, that that day may not overtake us as a thief.
Let everyone who loves God consider that now while it is day is the time to work, not among the sheep already in the fold, but to go out in search of the lost and perishing ones. These need to have special help to bring them back to the fold. Now is the time for the careless to arouse from their slumber. Now is the time to entreat that souls shall not only hear the word of God, but without delay secure oil in their
vessels with their lamps. That oil is the righteousness of Christ. It represents character, and character is not transferable. No man can secure it for another. Each must obtain for himself a character purified from every stain of sin.
The Lord is coming in power and great glory. It will then be His work to make a complete separation between the righteous and the wicked. But the oil cannot then be transferred to the vessels of those who have it not. Then shall be fulfilled the words of Christ: "Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." The righteous and the wicked are to be associated together in the work of life. But the Lord reads the character; He discerns who are obedient children, who respect and love His commandments.
The looker-on may discern no difference; but there is One who said that the tares were not to be plucked up by human hands lest the wheat be rooted up also. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then the Lord sends forth His reapers to gather out the tares and bind them in bundles to burn, while the wheat is gathered into the heavenly garner. The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous. "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Those who have been obedient to God's commandments will unite with the company of the saints in light; they shall enter in
through the gates into the city, and have right to the tree of life. The one shall be taken. His name shall stand in the book of life, while those with whom he associated shall have the mark of eternal separation from God.
The tares and wheat are now commingled, but then the one hand that alone can separate them will give to everyone his true position. Those who have had the light of truth, and heard the warning message, heard the invitation to the marriage supper--farmer, merchant, lawyer, false shepherds who have quieted the convictions of the people, unfaithful watchmen who have not sounded the warning or known the time of night--all who have refused obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God, will have no right therein. Those who have sought an excuse to avoid the cross of separation from the world will, with the world, be taken in the snare. They mingled with the tares from choice. Like drew to like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation. Men choose to stand with the first rebel, who tempted Adam and Eve in Eden to disobey God. The tares multiply themselves, for they sow tares, and they have their part with the root of all sin--the devil.
Upon those who keep the commandments of God the benediction is pronounced: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." They are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;" that they should show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. The obedient are called the just; they are drawn to the holy magnet, Jesus Christ; the holy attracts the holy. He that is unjust will be unjust still. Character cannot then be made or transformed. The oil of grace
cannot be lent by one to another, neither have the foolish virgins time to buy oil for themselves. The righteous are those who keep the commandments of God, and they will be forever separated from the disobedient and unrighteous who trampled underfoot the law of God. The pure ore and the dross will no longer commingle.
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household?" Can we answer? Am I the steward, faithful to the sacred trust which is committed to me? To every man is given an individual responsibility. The watchmen have their specific work to discern the approach of danger and sound the note of warning. The soldiers of the cross of Christ are to have ears keen to hear. In their position of responsibility they are to give the trumpet a certain sound, that everyone may gird on the armor for action.
What work are we individually doing for the Master? Who are unfolding the truth to those who are in the darkness of error? Who are holding forth the words of life? The enemies of Christ are many, who, while they claim to be righteous, have not the righteousness of Christ. They disguise themselves as angels of light, but they are ministers of sin. This fact should be sufficient to stir every soul to action. Who are faithful stewards of the grace of Christ? Who are making wise division of labor, calling into active service every soul that has an intelligent knowledge of the truth, and giving to all a work to do?
The outposts are to be kept guarded. There are to be men to hold the fort, while the advancing forces are engaged in active warfare. To every man is
given his work. We are not to echo the words of those in error, but to inculcate ideas of truth. Our work is to benefit our fellowmen. We are not to travel over the track of opponents to the truth, but to sound the message of the third angel, who is flying in the midst of heaven proclaiming the note of warning, the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Those who are "do-nothings" now will have the superscription upon them, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." They knew their Master's will, but did it not. They had the light of truth, they had every advantage, but chose their own selfish interests, and they will be left with those whom they did not try to save. "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Let there be an earnest consideration of these words. Let none say, "That does not mean me; I am a Christian." Who says this, yourself or He who reads the heart? The unfaithful steward had solemn responsibilities entrusted to him; before the world he appeared as a servant of Christ; but, oh, how deplorable for himself, and for all connected with him; he is an evil servant! He is imperiling his Lord's goods. He is teaching souls to trample upon the holy law of God. He calls Christ, "My Lord." But he says, "My Lord delayeth His coming." He does not say that Christ will not come; he does not scoff at the idea of His
second coming; but he tells the people that His coming is delayed. He is removing from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. Thus they are off their watch and they echo the words of the unfaithful watcher; still others catch them up, and the evil spirit, and men are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Their course is downward, not upward; they are not looking for and hasting unto the day of God. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind.
The evil servant smites his fellow servants who are seeking to do the will of his Lord. He eats and drinks with the drunken, those who are carnally minded, notwithstanding their profession of Christianity. They are opposed to Christ and the work He came to our world to do, which was to live the law of God in humanity, to be an example to all humanity.
Christ was surrounded by His disciples, and a vast congregation were listening to His words when He said, "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."