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					TESTIMONIES FOR THE
 CHURCH, VOLUME 5


     Ellen G. White




           1
                     Chapter 2

      Camp Meeting Address

    Dear Brethren and Sisters Who Shall Assemble
at the Michigan Camp Meeting: [THIS APPEAL
WAS WRITTEN FOR THE MICHIGAN CAMP
MEETING, BUT BEING FORGOTTEN AT
THAT TIME, WAS READ BEFORE THE
GENERAL CONFERENCE, DECEMBER, 1881.]

    I feel a deeper interest in this meeting than in
any other that has been held this season. Michigan
has not had the labor which she should have had.
God has planted important institutions among you,
and this brings upon you greater responsibilities
than upon any other conference in the whole field.
Great light has been given you, and few have
responded to it; yet my heart goes out in tender
solicitude for our beloved people in Michigan. The
warning that the Son of man is soon to come in the
clouds of heaven has become to many a familiar
tale. They have left the waiting, watching position.

                         2
The selfish, worldly spirit manifested in the life
reveals the sentiment of the heart, "My Lord
delayeth His coming." Some are enveloped in so
great darkness that they openly express their
unbelief, notwithstanding our Saviour's declaration
that all such are unfaithful servants and their
portion shall be with hypocrites and unbelievers.

    Our ministers are not doing their whole duty.
The attention of the people should be called to the
momentous event which is so near at hand. The
signs of the times should be kept fresh before their
minds. The prophetic visions of Daniel and John
foretell a period of moral darkness and declension;
but at the time of the end, the time in which we are
now living, the vision was to speak and not lie.
When the signs predicted begin to come to pass,
the waiting, watching ones are bidden to look up
and lift up their heads and rejoice because their
redemption draweth nigh.

    When these things are dwelt upon as they
should be, scoffers will be developed who walk
after their own lusts, saying, "Where is the promise

                         3
of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all
things continue as they were from the beginning of
the creation." But "when they shall say, Peace and
safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon
them." "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that
that day should overtake you as a thief." Thank
God, all will not be rocked to sleep in the cradle of
carnal security. There will be faithful ones who
will discern the signs of the times. While a large
number professing present truth will deny their
faith by their works, there will be some who will
endure unto the end.

    The same spirit of selfishness, of conformity to
the practices of the world, exists in our day as in
Noah's. Many who profess to be children of God
follow their worldly pursuits with an intensity that
gives the lie to their profession. They will be
planting and building, buying and selling, eating
and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up
to the last moment of their probation. This is the
condition of a large number of our own people.
Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes
cold. To but few can it be said: "Ye are all ... the

                         4
children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of
darkness."

    My soul is burdened as I see the great want of
spirituality among us. The fashions and customs of
the world, pride, love of amusement, love of
display, extravagance in dress, in houses, in
lands—these are robbing the treasury of God,
turning to the gratification of self the means which
should be used to send forth the light of truth to the
world. Selfish purposes are made the first
consideration. The work of qualifying men to labor
for the salvation of souls is not considered of so
great consequence as worldly enterprises. Souls are
perishing for want of knowledge. Those who have
had the light of present truth, and yet feel no spirit
of labor to warn their fellow men of the coming
judgment, must give an account to God for their
neglect of duty. The blood of souls will be upon
their garments.

     The old standard-bearers are fainting and
falling. Our young men have not been educated to
feel their accountability to God; little inducement is

                          5
presented for them to labor in the cause, and they
enter the fields that promise the largest
remuneration with the least toil and responsibility.
As a people we are not advancing in spirituality as
we near the end. We do not realize the magnitude
and importance of the work before us. Hence our
plans are not becoming wider and more
comprehensive. There is a sad lack of men and
women prepared to carry forward the increasing
work for this time.

    We are not doing one-twentieth part of what
God requires us to do. There has been a departure
from the simplicity of the work, making it intricate,
difficult to understand, and difficult to execute. The
judgment and wisdom of man rather than of God
has too often guided and controlled. Many feel that
they have not time to watch for souls as they that
must give account. And what excuse will they
render for this neglect of the important work which
was theirs to do?

    At our college young men should be educated
in as careful and thorough a manner as possible

                          6
that they may be prepared to labor for God. This
was the object for which the institution was
brought into existence. Our brethren abroad should
feel an interest not only to sustain but to guard the
college, that it may not be turned away from its
design and be molded after other institutions of the
kind. The religious interest should be constantly
guarded. Time is drawing to a close. Eternity is
near. The great harvest is to be gathered. What are
we doing to prepare for this work?

    The leading men in our college should be men
of piety and devotion. They should make the Bible
the rule and guide of life, giving heed to the sure
word of prophecy as to "a light that shineth in a
dark place." Not one of us should dare to be off
guard for a moment, for "in such an hour as ye
think not the Son of man cometh." It is only those
who continue faithful in well-doing that shall reap
the reward. Much that has no part in Christ is
allowed a place among us. Unconsecrated
ministers, professors, and teachers assist Satan to
plant his banner in our very strongholds.


                         7
    The design of our college has been stated again
and again, yet many are so blinded by the god of
this world that its real object is not understood.
God designed that young men should there be
drawn to Him, that they should there obtain a
preparation to preach the gospel of Christ, to bring
out of the exhaustless treasury of God's word
things both new and old for the instruction and
edification of the people. Teachers and professors
should have a vivid sense of the perils of this time
and the work that must be accomplished to prepare
a people to stand in the day of God.

    Some of the teachers have been scattering from
Christ instead of gathering with Him. By their own
example they lead those under their charge to adopt
the customs and habits of worldlings. They link the
hands of the students with fashionable, amusement-
loving unbelievers, and carry them an advance step
toward the world and away from Christ. And they
do this in the face of warnings from heaven, not
only those given to the people in general, but
personal appeals to themselves. The anger of the
Lord is kindled for these things.

                         8
    God will test the fidelity of His people. Many
of the mistakes that are made by the professed
servants of God are in consequence of their self-
love, their desire for approval, their thirst for
popularity. Blinded in this manner, they do not
realize that they are elements of darkness rather
than of light. "Come out from among them, and be
ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a
Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and
daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." These are the
conditions upon which we may be acknowledged
as the sons of God— separation from the world,
and renunciation of those things which delude, and
fascinate, and ensnare.

    The apostle Paul declares that it is impossible
for the children of God to unite with worldlings:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers." This does not refer to marriage alone;
any intimate relation of confidence and
copartnership with those who have no love for God
or the truth is a snare.

                         9
    The apostle continues: "For what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hath light with darkness? and what
concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath
he that believeth with an infidel? and what
agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for
ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath
said: I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I
will be their God, and they shall be My people." In
consideration of these facts, he exclaims:
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate." Having therefore these promises, dearly
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness
of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the
fear of God."

    If we comply with the conditions, the Lord will
fulfill to us His promises. But there is a work for us
to do which we should in no wise neglect. In the
strength of Jesus we can perform it aright. We may
press ever onward and upward, constantly growing
in grace and in a knowledge of the truth.


                         10
    The children of the light and of the day are not
to gather about them the shades of night and
darkness which encompass the workers of iniquity.
On the contrary, they are to stand faithfully at their
post of duty as light bearers, gathering light from
God to shed upon those in darkness. The Lord
requires His people to maintain their integrity,
touching not—that is, imitating not—the practices
of the ungodly.

    Christians will be in this world "an holy nation,
a peculiar people," showing forth the praises of
Him who hath called them "out of darkness into
His marvelous light." This light is not to grow dim,
but to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect
day. Christ's standard-bearers are never to be off
duty. They have a vigilant foe who is waiting and
watching to take the fort. Some of Christ's
professed watchmen have invited the enemy into
their stronghold, have mingled with them, and in
their efforts to please have broken down the
distinction between the children of God and the
children of Satan.


                         11
    The Lord never designed that our college
should imitate other institutions of learning. The
religious element should be the controlling power.
If unbelievers choose this influence, it is well; if
those who are in darkness choose to the light, it is
as God would have it. But to relax our vigilance,
and let the worldly element take the lead in order to
secure students, is contrary to the will of God. The
strength of our college is in keeping the religious
element in the ascendancy. When teachers or
professors shall sacrifice religious principle to
please a worldly, amusement-loving class, they
should be considered unfaithful to their trust and
should be discharged.

     The thrilling truth that has been sounding in our
ears for many years, "The Lord is at hand; be ye
also ready," is no less the truth today than when we
first heard the message. The dearest interests of the
church and people of God, and the destiny of an
impenitent and ungodly world, for time and for
eternity, are here involved. We are all judgment
bound. "The Lord Himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the

                         12
Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the
dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are
alive and remain [unto the coming of the Lord]
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be
with the Lord." Christ will then be revealed from
heaven, "taking vengeance on them that know not
God, and that obey not the gospel."

    These momentous events are nigh at hand, yet
many who profess to believe the truth are asleep.
They will surely be numbered with the unfaithful
servant who saith in his heart, "My Lord delayeth
His coming," if they remain in their present
position of friendship with the world. It is only to
those who are waiting in hope and faith that Christ
will appear, without sin unto salvation. Many have
the theory of the truth who know not the power of
godliness. If the word of God dwelt in the heart, it
would control the life. Faith, purity, and
conformity to the will of God would testify to its
sanctifying power.

           Responsibility of Ministers
                        13
    A solemn responsibility rests upon the
watchmen. How careful should they be rightly to
understand and explain the word of God. Blessed is
he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things which are written
therein." Says the prophet Ezekiel: The word of the
Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to
the children of thy people, and say unto them,
When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people
of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him
for their watchman: if when he seeth the sword
come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn
the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of
the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword
come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon
his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet,
and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow
not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if
the sword come, and take any person from among
them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood
will I require at the watchman's hand. So thou, O

                         14
son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the
house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word
at my mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say
unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely
die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from
his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity;
but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to
turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall
die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy
soul."

    The responsibility of the watchmen of today is
as much greater than in the days of the prophet as
our light is clearer and our privileges and
opportunities greater than theirs. It is the minister's
duty to warn every man, to teach every man, in all
meekness and wisdom. He is not to conform to the
practices of the world, but, as God's servant, he
must contend for the faith once delivered to the
saints. Satan is constantly at work to break down
the strongholds which debar him from free access
to souls; and, while our ministers are no more
spiritually minded, while they do not connect

                          15
closely with God, the enemy has great advantage,
and the Lord holds the watchman accountable for
his success.

    I would, at this time, sound the note of warning
to those who shall assemble at our camp meeting.
The end of all things is at hand. My brethren,
ministers and laymen, I have been shown you must
work in a different manner from what you have
been in the habit of working. Pride, envy, self-
importance, and unsanctified independence have
marred your labors. When men permit themselves
to be flattered and exalted by Satan, the Lord can
do little for them or through them. To what
unmeasured humiliation did the Son of man
descend, that He might elevate humanity! Workers
for God, not the ministers only, but the people,
need the meekness and lowliness of Christ if they
would benefit their fellow men. As God, our
Saviour humbled Himself when He took upon Him
man's nature. But He went lower still. As a man,
He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto
death, even the death of the cross." Would that I
could find language wherewith to present these

                        16
thoughts before you. Would that the veil could be
rent away and you could see the cause of your
spiritual weakness. Would that you could conceive
of the rich supplies of grace and power awaiting
your demand. Those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness will be filled. We must exercise
greater faith in calling upon God for all needed
blessings. We must strive, agonize, to enter in at
the strait gate.

    Says Christ: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor
and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take
My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls." I testify to you, my dear brethren, ministers,
and people, you have not yet learned this lesson.
Christ endured shame and agony and death for us.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus." Bear reproach and abuse without
retaliation, without a spirit of revenge. Jesus died,
not only to make atonement for us, but to be our
pattern. Oh, wondrous condescension! matchless
love! As you look upon the Prince of Life upon the
cross, can you cherish selfishness? Can you

                         17
indulge hatred or revenge?

     Let the proud spirit bow in humiliation. Let the
hard heart be broken. No longer pet and pity and
exalt self. Look, oh look upon Him whom our sins
have pierced. See Him descending step by step the
path of humiliation to lift us up; abasing Himself
till He could go no lower, and all to save us who
were fallen by sin! Why will we be so indifferent,
so cold, so formal, so proud, so self-sufficient?

     Who of us is faithfully following the Pattern?
Who of us has instituted and continued the warfare
against pride of heart? Who of us has, in good
earnest, brought himself to wrestle with selfishness
until it should no longer dwell in the heart and be
revealed in the life? Would to God the lessons
given us, as we view the cross of Christ and see the
signs fulfilling which bring us near to the
judgment, might be so impressed upon our hearts
as to render us more humble, more self-denying,
more kind to one another, less self-caring, less
critical, and more willing to bear one another's
burdens than we are today.

                         18
    I have been shown that, as a people, we are
departing from the simplicity of the faith and from
the purity of the gospel. Many are in great peril.
Unless they change their course, they will be
severed from the True Vine as useless branches.
Brethren and sisters, I have been shown that we are
standing upon the threshold of the eternal world.
We need now to gain victories at every step. Every
good deed is as a seed sown, to bear fruit unto
eternal life. Every success gained places us on a
higher round of the ladder of progress and gives us
spiritual strength for fresh victories. Every right
action prepares the way for its repetition.

    Some are closing their probation; and is it well
with them? have they obtained a fitness for the
future life? Will not their record show wasted
opportunities, neglected privileges, a life of
selfishness and worldliness that has borne no fruit
to the glory of God? And how much of the work
which the Master has left for us to do has been left
undone. All around us are souls to be warned; but
how often has the time been occupied in self-

                        19
serving, and the record gone up to God of souls
passing to their graves unwarned and unsaved.

    The Lord still has purposes of mercy toward us.
There is room for repentance. We may become the
beloved of God. I entreat you who have put far off
the appearing of our Lord, commence now the
work of redeeming the time. Study the word of
God. Let all at this meeting make a covenant with
God to put away light and trifling conversation and
frivolous, unimportant reading, and, for the coming
year, diligently and prayerfully study the Bible,
that you may be able to give to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you,
with meekness and fear. Will you not, without
delay, humble your hearts before God and repent of
your backslidings?

    Let none entertain the thought that I regret or
take back any plain testimony I have borne to
individuals or to the people. If I have erred
anywhere, it is in not rebuking sin more decidedly
and firmly. Some of the brethren have taken the
responsibility of criticizing my work and proposing

                        20
an easier way to correct wrongs. To these persons I
would say: I take God's way and not yours. What I
have said or written in testimony or reproof has not
been too plainly expressed.

    God has given me my work, and I must meet it
at the judgment. Those who have chosen their own
way, who have risen up against the plain
testimonies given them, and have sought to shake
the faith of others in them, must settle the matter
with God. I take back nothing. I soften nothing to
suit their ideas or to excuse their defects of
character. I have not spoken as plainly as the case
required. Those who would in any way lessen the
force of the sharp reproofs which God has given
me to speak, must meet their work at the judgment.

    Within a few weeks past, standing face to face
with death, I have had a near look into eternity. If
the Lord is pleased to raise me from my present
state of feebleness, I hope, in the grace and strength
that comes from above, to speak with fidelity the
words which He gives me to speak. All through my
life it has been terribly hard for me to hurt the

                         21
feelings of any, or disturb their self-deception, as I
deliver the testimonies given me of God. It is
contrary to my nature. It costs me great pain and
many sleepless nights. To those who have taken the
responsibility to reprove me and, in their finite
judgment, to propose a way which appears wiser to
them, I repeat: I do not accept your efforts. Leave
me with God, and let Him teach me. I will take the
words from the Lord and speak them to the people.
I do not expect that all will accept the reproof and
reform their lives, but I must discharge my duty all
the same. I will walk in humility before God, doing
my work for time and for eternity.

    God has not given my brethren the work that
He has given me. It has been urged that my manner
of giving reproof in public has led others to be
sharp and critical and severe. If so, they must settle
that matter with the Lord. If others take a
responsibility which God has not laid upon them; if
they disregard the instructions He has given them
again and again through the humble instrument of
His choice, to be kind, patient, and forbearing, they
alone must answer for the results. With a sorrow-

                         22
burdened heart, I have performed my unpleasant
duty to my dearest friends, not daring to please
myself by withholding reproof, even from my
husband; and I shall not be less faithful in warning
others, whether they will hear or forbear. When I
am speaking to the people I say much that I have
not premeditated. The Spirit of the Lord frequently
comes upon me. I seem to be carried out of, and
away from, myself; the life and character of
different persons are clearly presented before my
mind. I see their errors and dangers, and feel
compelled to speak of what is thus brought before
me. I dare not resist the Spirit of God.

    I know that some are displeased with my
testimony. It does not suit their proud,
unconsecrated hearts. I feel more and more deeply
the loss which our people have sustained by their
failure to accept and obey the light which God has
given them. My younger brethren in the ministry, I
entreat you to reflect more upon your solemn
responsibility. If consecrated to God, you may
exert a powerful influence for good in the church
and the world; but you lack heartfelt piety and

                        23
devotion. God has sent you to be a light to the
world by your good works as well as by your
words and theories. But many of you may truly be
represented by the foolish virgins, who had no oil
in their lamps.

    My brethren, heed the reproof and counsel of
the True Witness, and God will work for you and
with you. Your enemies may be strong and
determined, but One mightier than they will be
your helper. Let the light shine, and it will do its
work. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of
Jacob is our refuge.




                        24
                     Chapter 3

                Our College

    There is danger that our college will be turned
away from its original design. God's purpose has
been made known, that our people should have an
opportunity to study the sciences and at the same
time to learn the requirements of His word. Biblical
lectures should be given; the study of the
Scriptures should have the first place in our system
of education.

    Students are sent from a great distance to attend
the college at Battle Creek for the very purpose of
receiving instruction from the lectures on Bible
subjects. But for one or two years past there has
been an effort to mold our school after other
colleges. When this is done, we can give no
encouragement to parents to send their children to
Battle Creek College. The moral and religious
influences should not be put in the background. In
times past, God has worked with the efforts of the

                         25
teachers, and many souls have seen the truth and
embraced it, and have gone to their homes to live
henceforth for God, as the result of their
connection with the college. As they saw that Bible
study was made a part of their education, they were
led to regard it as a matter of greater interest and
importance.

    Too little attention has been given to the
education of young men for the ministry. This was
the primary object to be secured in the
establishment of the college. In no case should this
be ignored or regarded as a matter of secondary
importance. For several years, however, but few
have gone forth from that institution prepared to
teach the truth to others. Some who came at great
expense, with the ministry in view, have been
encouraged by the teachers to take a thorough
course of study which would occupy a number of
years, and, in order to obtain means to carry out
these plans, have entered the canvassing field and
given up all thought of preaching. This is entirely
wrong. We have not many years to work, and
teachers and principal should be imbued with the

                        26
Spirit of God and work in harmony with His
revealed will instead of carrying out their own
plans. We are losing much every year because we
do not heed what God has said upon these points.

    Our college is designed of God to meet the
advancing wants for this time of peril and
demoralization. The study of books only cannot
give students the discipline they need. A broader
foundation must be laid. The college was not
brought into existence to bear the stamp of any one
man's mind. Teachers and principal should work
together as brethren. They should consult together,
and also counsel with ministers and responsible
men, and, above all else, seek wisdom from above,
that all their decisions in reference to the school
may be such as will be approved of God.

    To give students a knowledge of books merely
is not the purpose of the institution. Such education
can be obtained at any college in the land. I was
shown that it is Satan's purpose to prevent the
attainment of the very object for which the college
was established. Hindered by his devices, its

                         27
managers reason after the manner of the world and
copy its plans and imitate its customs. But in thus
doing, they will not meet the mind of the Spirit of
God.

    A more comprehensive education is needed, an
education which will demand from teachers and
principal such thought and effort as mere
instruction in the sciences does not require. The
character must receive proper discipline for its
fullest and noblest development. The students
should receive at college such training as will
enable them to maintain a respectable, honest,
virtuous standing in society, against the
demoralizing influences which are corrupting the
youth.

    It would be well could there be connected with
our college, land for cultivation and also
workshops under the charge of men competent to
instruct the students in the various departments of
physical labor. Much is lost by a neglect to unite
physical with mental taxation. The leisure hours of
the students are often occupied with frivolous

                        28
pleasures, which weaken physical, mental, and
moral powers. Under the debasing power of
sensual indulgence, or the untimely excitement of
courtship and marriage, many students fail to reach
that height of mental development which they
might otherwise have attained.

    The young should every day be impressed with
a sense of their obligation to God. His law is
continually violated, even by the children of
religious parents. Some of these very youth
frequent haunts of dissipation, and the powers of
the mind and body suffer in consequence. This
class lead others to follow their pernicious ways.
Thus, while principal and teachers are giving
instruction in the sciences, Satan, with hellish
cunning, is exerting every energy to gain control of
the minds of the pupils and lead them down to ruin.

    Generally speaking, the youth have but little
moral strength. This is the result of neglected
education in childhood. A knowledge of the
character of God and our obligations to Him should
not be regarded as a matter of minor consequence.

                        29
The religion of the Bible is the only safeguard for
the young. Morality and religion should receive
special attention in our educational institutions.

             The Bible as a Textbook

    No other study will so ennoble every thought,
feeling, and aspiration as the study of the
Scriptures. This Sacred Word is the will of God
revealed to men. Here we may learn what God
expects of the beings formed in His image. Here
we learn how to improve the present life and how
to secure the future life. No other book can satisfy
the questionings of the mind and the craving of the
heart. By obtaining a knowledge of God's word,
and giving heed thereto, men may rise from the
lowest depths of ignorance and degradation to
become the sons of God, the associates of sinless
angels.

    A clear conception of what God is, and what
He requires us to be, will give us humble views of
self. He who studies aright the Sacred Word will
learn that human intellect is not omnipotent; that,

                        30
without the help which none but God can give,
human strength and wisdom are but weakness and
ignorance.

    As an educating power the Bible is without a
rival. Nothing will so impart vigor to all the
faculties as requiring students to grasp the
stupendous truths of revelation. The mind
gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it
is allowed to dwell. If occupied with commonplace
matters only, to the exclusion of grand and lofty
themes, it will become dwarfed and enfeebled. If
never required to grapple with difficult problems,
or put to the stretch to comprehend important
truths, it will, after a time, almost lose the power of
growth.

    The Bible is the most comprehensive and the
most instructive history which men possess. It
came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and a
divine hand has preserved its purity through all the
ages. Its bright rays shine into the far distant past,
where human research seeks vainly to penetrate. In
God's word alone we find an authentic account of

                          31
creation. Here we behold the power that laid the
foundation of the earth and that stretched out the
heavens. Here only can we find a history of our
race, unsullied by human prejudice or human pride.

    In the word of God the mind finds subject for
the deepest thought, the loftiest aspiration. Here we
may hold communion with patriarchs and prophets,
and listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks
with men. Here we behold the Majesty of heaven
as He humbled Himself to become our substitute
and surety to cope singlehanded with the powers of
darkness and to gain the victory in our behalf. A
reverent contemplation of such themes as these
cannot fail to soften, purify, and ennoble the heart,
and, at the same time, to inspire the mind with new
strength and vigor.

    If morality and religion are to live in a school,
it must be through a knowledge of God's word.
Some may urge that if religious teaching is to be
made prominent our school will become
unpopular; that those who are not of our faith will
not patronize the college. Very well, then, let them

                         32
go to other colleges, where they will find a system
of education that suits their taste. Our school was
established, not merely to teach the sciences, but
for the purpose of giving instruction in the great
principles of God's word and in the practical duties
of everyday life.

    This is the education so much needed at the
present time. If a worldly influence is to bear sway
in our school, then sell it out to worldlings and let
them take the entire control; and those who have
invested their means in that institution will
establish another school, to be conducted, not upon
the plan of popular schools, nor according to the
desires of principal and teachers, but upon the plan
which God has specified.

    In the name of my Master I entreat all who
stand in responsible positions in that school to be
men of God. When the Lord requires us to be
distinct and peculiar, how can we crave popularity
or seek to imitate the customs and practices of the
world? God has declared His purpose to have one
college in the land where the Bible shall have its

                         33
proper place in the education of the youth. Will we
do our part to carry out that purpose?

    It may seem that the teaching of God's word
has but little effect on the minds and hearts of
many students; but, if the teacher's work has been
wrought in God, some lessons of divine truth will
linger in the memory of the most careless. The
Holy Spirit will water the seed sown, and often it
will spring up after many days and bear fruit to the
glory of God.

    Satan is constantly seeking to divert the
attention of the people from the Bible. The words
of God to men, which should receive our first
attention, are neglected for the utterances of human
wisdom. How can He, who is infinite in power and
wisdom, bear thus with the presumption and
effrontery of men!

    Through the medium of the press, knowledge
of every kind is placed within the reach of all; and
yet, how large a share of every community are
depraved in morals and superficial in mental

                        34
attainments. If the people would but become Bible
readers, Bible students, we would see a different
state of things.

    In an age like ours, in which iniquity abounds
and God's character and His law are alike regarded
with contempt, special care must be taken to teach
the youth to study, to reverence and obey the
divine will as revealed to man. The fear of the Lord
is fading from the minds of our youth because of
their neglect of Bible study.

     Principal and teachers should have a living
connection with God, and should stand, firmly and
fearlessly, as witnesses for Him. Never from
cowardice or worldly policy let the word of God be
placed in the background. Students will be profited
intellectually, as well as morally and spiritually, by
its study.

               Object of the College

   Our college stands today in a position that God
does not approve. I have been shown the dangers

                         35
that threaten this important institution. If its
responsible men seek to reach the world's standard,
if they copy the plans and methods of other
colleges, the frown of God will be upon our school.

    The time has come for me to speak decidedly.
The purpose of God in the establishment of our
college has been plainly stated. There is an urgent
demand for laborers in the gospel field. Young men
who design to enter the ministry cannot spend a
number of years in obtaining an education.
Teachers should have been able to comprehend the
situation and adapt their instruction to the wants of
this class. Special advantages should have been
given them for a brief yet comprehensive study of
the branches most needed to fit them for their
work. But I have been shown that this has not been
accomplished.

   Brother ——- could have done a much better
work than he has done for those who were to be
ministers. God is not pleased with his course in this
matter. He has not adapted himself to the situation.
Men who have left their fields of labor at a

                         36
considerable sacrifice to learn what they could in a
short time have not always received that help and
encouragement which they should have had. Men
who have reached mature years, even the meridian
of life, and who have families of their own, have
been subjected to unnecessary embarrassment.
Brother ——- is himself extremely sensitive, but
he does not realize that others can feel the sting of
ridicule, sarcasm, or censure as keenly as he. In
this he has wounded his brethren and displeased
God.

             Teachers in the College

    There is a work to be done for every teacher in
our college. Not one is free from selfishness. If the
moral and religious character of the teachers were
what it should be, a better influence would be
exerted upon the students. The teachers do not seek
individually to perform their own work with an eye
single to the glory of God. Instead of looking to
Jesus, and copying His life and character, they look
to self, and aim too much to meet a human
standard. I wish I could impress upon every teacher

                         37
a full sense of his responsibility for the influence
which he exerts upon the young. Satan is untiring
in his efforts to secure the service of our youth.
With great care he is laying his snare for the
inexperienced feet. The people of God should
jealously guard against his devices.

     God is the embodiment of benevolence, mercy,
and love. Those who are truly connected with Him
cannot be at variance with one another. His Spirit
ruling in the heart will create harmony, love, and
unity. The opposite of this is seen among the
children of Satan. It is his work to stir up envy,
strife, and jealousy. In the name of my Master I ask
the professed followers of Christ: What fruit do
you bear?

    In the system of instruction used in the
common schools the most essential part of
education is neglected, namely, the religion of the
Bible. Education not only affects to a great degree
the life of the student in this world, but its
influence extends to eternity. How important, then,
that the teachers be persons capable of exerting a

                        38
right influence. They should be men and women of
religious experience, daily receiving divine light to
impart to their pupils.

    But the teacher should not be expected to do
the parent's work. There has been, with many
parents, a fearful neglect of duty. Like Eli, they fail
to exercise proper restraint; and then they send
their undisciplined children to college to receive
the training which the parents should have given
them at home. The teachers have a task which but
few appreciate. If they succeed in reforming these
wayward youth they receive but little credit. If the
youth choose the society of the evil disposed and
go on from bad to worse, then the teachers are
censured and the school denounced.

    In many cases the censure justly belongs to the
parents. They had the first and most favorable
opportunity to control and train their children,
when the spirit was teachable and the mind and
heart easily impressed. But through the slothfulness
of the parents the children are permitted to follow
their own will until they become hardened in an

                          39
evil course.

     Let parents study less of the world and more of
Christ; let them put forth less effort to imitate the
customs and fashions of the world, and devote
more time and effort to molding the minds and
character of their children according to the divine
Model. Then they could send forth their sons and
daughters, fortified by pure morals and a noble
purpose, to receive an education for positions of
usefulness and trust. Teachers who are controlled
by the love and fear of God could lead such youth
still onward and upward, training them to be a
blessing to the world and an honor to their Creator.

    Connected with God, every instructor will exert
an influence to lead his pupils to study God's word
and to obey His law. He will direct their minds to
the contemplation of eternal interests, opening
before them vast fields for thought, grand and
ennobling themes, which the most vigorous
intellect may put forth all its powers to grasp and
yet feel that there is an infinity beyond.


                         40
    The evils of self-esteem and an unsanctified
independence, which most impair our usefulness
and which will prove our ruin if not overcome,
spring from selfishness. "Counsel together" is the
message which has been again and again repeated
to me by the angel of God. By influencing one
man's judgment, Satan may endeavor to control
matters to suit himself. He may succeed in
misleading the minds of two persons; but, when
several consult together, there is more safety.
Every plan will be more closely criticized; every
advance move more carefully studied. Hence there
will be less danger of precipitate, ill-advised
moves, which would bring confusion, perplexity,
and defeat. In union there is strength. In division
there is weakness and defeat.

    God is leading out a people and preparing them
for translation. Are we, who are acting a part in this
work, standing as sentinels for God? Are we
seeking to work unitedly? Are we willing to
become servants of all? Are we following our great
Exemplar?


                         41
    Fellow laborers, we are each sowing seed in the
fields of life. As is the seed, so will be the harvest.
If we sow distrust, envy, jealousy, self-love,
bitterness of thought and feeling, we shall reap
bitterness to our own souls. If we manifest
kindness, love, tender thought for the feelings of
others, we shall receive the same in return.

    The teacher who is severe, critical, overbearing,
heedless of others' feelings, must expect the same
spirit to be manifested toward himself. He who
wishes to preserve his own dignity and self-respect
must be careful not to wound needlessly the self-
respect of others. This rule should be sacredly
observed toward the dullest, the youngest, the most
blundering scholars. What God intends to do with
those apparently uninteresting youth you do not
know. He has, in the past, accepted persons no
more promising or attractive to do a great work for
Him. His Spirit, moving upon the heart, has
aroused every faculty to vigorous action. The Lord
saw in those rough, unhewn stones, precious
material that would stand the test of storm and heat
and pressure. God seeth not as man sees. He judges

                          42
not from appearance, but He searches the heart and
judges righteously.

     The teacher should ever conduct himself as a
Christian gentleman. He should ever stand in the
attitude of a friend and counselor to his pupils. If
all our people—teachers, ministers, and lay
members—would cultivate the spirit of Christian
courtesy, they would far more readily find access
to the hearts of the people; many more would be
led to examine and receive the truth. When every
teacher shall forget self and feel a deep interest in
the success and prosperity of his pupils, realizing
that they are God's property and that he must
render an account for his influence upon their
minds and character, then we shall have a school in
which angels will love to linger. Jesus will look
approvingly upon the work of the teachers and will
send His grace into the hearts of the students.

    Our college at Battle Creek is a place where the
younger members of the Lord's family are to be
trained according to God's plan of growth and
development. They should be impressed with the

                         43
idea that they are created in the image of their
Maker and that Christ is the pattern which they are
to follow. Our brethren permit their minds to take
too narrow and too low a range. They do not keep
the divine plan ever in view, but are fixing their
eyes upon worldly models. Look up, where Christ
sitteth at the right hand of God, and then labor that
your pupils may be conformed to that perfect
character.

    If you lower the standard in order to secure
popularity and an increase of numbers, and then
make this increase a cause of rejoicing, you show
great blindness. If numbers were evidence of
success, Satan might claim the pre-eminence; for in
this world his followers are largely in the majority.
It is the degree of moral power pervading the
college that is a test of its prosperity. It is the
virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people
composing our churches, not their numbers, that
should be a source of joy and thankfulness.

   Without the influence of divine grace,
education will prove no real advantage; the learner

                         44
becomes proud, vain, and bigoted. But that
education which is received under the ennobling,
refining influence of the Great Teacher will elevate
man in the scale of moral value with God. It will
enable him to subdue pride and passion and to walk
humbly before God, as dependent upon Him for
every capability, every opportunity, and every
privilege.

    I speak to the workers in our college: You must
not only profess to be Christians, but you must
exemplify the character of Christ. Let the wisdom
from above pervade all your instruction. In a world
of moral darkness and corruption, let it be seen that
the spirit by which you are moved to action is from
above, not from beneath. While you rely wholly
upon your own strength and wisdom, your best
efforts will accomplish little. If you are prompted
by love to God, His law being your foundation,
your work will be enduring. While the hay, wood,
and stubble are consumed, your work will stand the
test. The youth placed under your care you must
meet again around the great white throne. If you
permit your uncultivated manners or uncontrolled

                         45
tempers to bear sway, and thus fail to influence
these youth for their eternal good, you must at that
day meet the grave consequences of your work. By
a knowledge of the divine law, and obedience to its
precepts, men may become the sons of God. By
violation of that law they become servants of
Satan. On the one hand they may rise to any height
of moral excellence, or on the other hand they may
descend to any depth of iniquity and degradation.
The workers in our college should manifest a zeal
and earnestness proportionate to the value of the
prize at stake—the souls of their students, the
approval of God, eternal life, and the joys of the
redeemed.

    As colaborers with Christ, with so favorable
opportunities to impart the knowledge of God, our
teachers should labor as if inspired from above.
The hearts of the youth are not hardened, nor their
ideas and opinions stereotyped, as are those of
older persons. They may be won to Christ by your
holy demeanor, your devotion, your Christlike
walk. It would be much better to crowd them less
in the study of the sciences and give them more

                        46
time for religious privileges. Here a grave mistake
has been made.

    The object of God in bringing the college into
existence has been lost sight of. Ministers of the
gospel have so far shown their want of wisdom
from above as to unite a worldly element with the
college; they have joined with the enemies of God
and the truth in providing entertainments for the
students. In thus misleading the youth they have
done a work for Satan. That work, with all its
results, they must meet again at the bar of God.
Those who pursue such a course show that they
cannot be trusted. After the evil work has been
done, they may confess their error; but can they as
easily gather up the influence they have exerted?
Will the "well done" be spoken to those who have
been false to their trust? These unfaithful men have
not built upon the eternal Rock. Their foundation
will prove to be sliding sand. "Know ye not that the
friendship of the world is enmity with God?
whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is
the enemy of God."


                        47
    No limit can be set to our influence. One
thoughtless act may prove the ruin of many souls.
The course of every worker in our college is
making impressions upon the minds of the young,
and these are borne away to be reproduced in
others. It should be the teacher's aim to prepare
every youth under his care to be a blessing to the
world. This object should never be lost sight of.
There are some who profess to be working for
Christ, yet occasionally go over to the side of Satan
and do his work. Can the Saviour pronounce these
good and faithful servants? Are they as watchmen
giving the trumpet a certain sound?

    Every man will at the judgment receive
according to the deeds done in the body, whether
they be good or evil. Our Saviour bids us: "Watch
ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." If we
encounter difficulties, and in Christ's strength
overcome them; if we meet enemies, and in
Christ's strength put them to flight; if we accept
responsibilities, and in Christ's strength discharge
them faithfully, we are gaining a precious
experience. We learn, as we could not otherwise

                         48
have learned, that our Saviour is a present help in
every time of need.

    There is a great work to be done in our college,
a work which demands the co-operation of every
teacher; and it is displeasing to God for one to
discourage another. But nearly all seem to forget
that Satan is an accuser of the brethren, and they
unite with the enemy in his work. While professed
Christians are contending, Satan is laying his
snares for the inexperienced feet of children and
youth. Those who have had a religious experience
should seek to shield the young from his devices.
They should never forget that they themselves were
once enchanted with the pleasures of sin. We need
the mercy and forbearance of God every hour, and
how unbecoming for us to be impatient with the
errors of the inexperienced youth. So long as God
bears with them, dare we, fellow sinners, cast them
off?

   We should ever look upon the youth as the
purchase of the blood of Christ. As such they have
demands upon our love, our patience, and our

                        49
sympathy. If we would follow Jesus we cannot
restrict our interest and affection to ourselves and
our own families; we cannot give our time and
attention to temporal matters and forget the eternal
interests of those around us. I have been shown that
it is the result of our own selfishness that there are
not one hundred young men where now there is
one engaged in earnest labor for the salvation of
their fellow men. "Love one another, as I have
loved you," is the command of Jesus. Look at His
self-denial; behold the manner of love He has
bestowed upon us; and then seek to imitate the
Pattern.

    There have been many things displeasing to
God in the young men and young women who have
acted as teachers at our college. You have been so
absorbed in yourselves, and so devoid of
spirituality, that you could not lead the youth to
holiness and heaven. Many have returned to their
homes more decided in their impenitence because
of your lack of love for God and Christ. Walking
without the spirit of Jesus, you have encouraged
irreligion, lightness, and unkindness in that you

                         50
have indulged these evils yourselves. The result of
this course you do not realize—souls are lost that
might have been saved.

    Many have strong feelings against Brother —
—-. They accuse him of unkindness, harshness,
and severity. But some of the very ones who would
condemn him are no less guilty themselves. He that
is without sin among you, let him first cast a
stone." Brother ——- has not always moved
wisely, and he has been hard to convince where he
has not taken the best course. He has not been as
willing to receive counsel, and to modify his
methods of instruction and his manner of dealing
with his students, as he should have been. But
those who would condemn him because of his
defects could in their turn be justly condemned.
Every man has his peculiar defects of character.
One may be free from the weakness which he sees
in his brother, yet he may at the same time have
faults which are far more grievous in the sight of
God.

   This unfeeling criticism of one another is

                        51
wholly satanic. I was shown Brother ——-
deserves respect for the good which he has done.
Let him be dealt with tenderly. He has performed
the labor which three men should have shared. Let
those who are so eagerly searching for his faults
recount what they have done in comparison with
him. He toiled when others were seeking rest and
pleasure. He is worn; God would have him lay off
some of these extra burdens for a while. He has so
many things to divide his time and attention he can
do justice to none.

    Brother ——- should not permit his combative
spirit to be aroused and lead him to self-
justification. He has given occasion for
dissatisfaction. The Lord has presented this before
him in testimony.

    Students should not be encouraged in their
faultfinding. This complaining spirit will increase
as it is encouraged, and students will feel at liberty
to criticize the teachers who do not meet their
liking, and a spirit of dissatisfaction and strife will
rapidly increase. This must be frowned down until

                          52
it shall become extinct. Shall this evil be corrected?
Will teachers put away their desire for the
supremacy? Will they labor in humility, in love,
and harmony? Time will tell.




                         53
                     Chapter 4

           Parental Training

     I have been shown that very many of the
parents who profess to believe the solemn message
for this time have not trained their children for
God. They have not restrained themselves and have
been irritated with anyone who attempted to
restrain them. They have not by living faith daily
bound their children upon the altar of the Lord.
Many of these youth have been allowed to
transgress the fourth commandment by seeking
their own pleasure upon God's holy day. They have
felt no compunctions of conscience in going about
the streets on the Sabbath for their own
amusement. Many go where they please and do
what they please, and their parents are so fearful of
displeasing them that, imitating the management of
Eli, they lay no commands upon them.

   These youth finally lose all respect for the
Sabbath and have no relish for religious meetings

                         54
or for sacred and eternal things. If their parents
mildly remonstrate with them, they shield
themselves by telling of the faults of some of the
church members. In place of silencing the first
approach to anything of the kind, the parents think
just as their children think; if this one or that one
were perfect, their children would be right. Instead
of this they should teach them that the sins of
others are no excuse for them. Christ is the only
true pattern. The wrongs of many would not excuse
one wrong in them or lessen in the least their guilt.
God has given them one standard, perfect, noble,
elevated. This they must meet, irrespective of the
course which others may pursue. But many parents
seem to lose reason and judgment in their fondness
for their children, and, through these indulged,
selfish, mismanaged youth, Satan in turn works
effectually to ruin the parents. I was referred to the
wrath of God which came upon the incredulous
and disobedient of ancient Israel. Their duty to
instruct their children was plainly enjoined upon
them. It is just as binding upon believing parents in
this generation. Give ear, O My people, to My law:
incline your ears to the words of My mouth. I will

                         55
open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark
sayings of old: which we have heard and known,
and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them
from their children, showing to the generation to
come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and
His wonderful works that He hath done."

    Children are what their parents make them by
their instruction, discipline, and example. Hence
the overwhelming importance of parental
faithfulness in training the young for the service of
God. Children should early be taught the
sacredness of religious obligations. This is a most
important part of their education. Our duty to God
should be performed before any other. The strict
observance of God's law, from principle, should be
taught and enforced. For He established a
testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers, that they should
make them known to their children: that the
generation to come might know them, even the
children which should be born; who should arise
and declare them to their children: that they might
set their hope in God, and not forget the works of

                         56
God, but keep His commandments: and might not
be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious
generation; a generation that set not their heart
aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with
God."

    Here is seen the great responsibility devolving
upon parents. Children who are allowed to come up
to manhood or womanhood with the will
undisciplined and the passions uncontrolled, will
generally in afterlife pursue a course which God
condemns. These are eager for frivolous
enjoyments and irreligious associates. They have
been allowed to neglect religious duties and
indulge the inclinations of the carnal heart, and, as
a consequence, Satan controls the mind and
principles. In ——- ——- parents have given him
ample room thus to work. Most of the backsliding
from God that has occurred in that place has come
in consequence of the parents' neglect to train their
children to a conscientious, religious life. The
condition of these children is lamentable. They
profess to be Christians; but their parents have not
taken upon themselves the burden of teaching them

                         57
how to be Christians—how to recount the mercies
of God, how to praise Him, how to exemplify in
their lives the life of Christ.

     When these children enter school and associate
with other students, those who have been really
trying to be Christians are ashamed to act out their
faith in the presence of those who have had so
much light. They are ashamed to appear singular
and deny inclination, and so they throw away their
armor at the very time when it is most needed,
when the powers of darkness are working through
these irreligious companions to lead them away
from Christ. They enter upon a path that is full of
danger without the protection and support of
religious principle, because they think it will be
difficult or unpleasant to carry their religion with
them to the schoolroom, the playground, and into
all their associations. Thus they lay bare their soul
to the shafts of Satan. Where are the guardians of
these youth? Who have taken a firm hold of the
throne of God with one hand while with the other
they encircle these youth to draw them to Christ? It
is just here that these children need to know the

                         58
power of religion, need to be held back with a firm
hand.

    Many of those who have so long rejected
divine guidance and guardianship are rushing on in
the path of levity and selfish pleasure, yea, more,
into baser acts and defilement of the body. As a
consequence their minds are polluted, and religion
is distasteful to them. Some have gone so far in this
downward course, and followed so earnestly in the
path of the Sodomites, that they are today nigh
unto cursing, and the voice of reproof and warning
is lost upon them. They will never be redeemed,
and the parents are guilty of their ruin. The
debasing enjoyments for which they have made
such an enormous sacrifice—health, peace of
mind, and eternal life—are bitterness in the end.

    Parents, for Christ's sake do not blunder in your
most important work, that of molding the
characters of your children for time and for
eternity. An error on your part in neglect of faithful
instruction, or in the indulgence of that unwise
affection which blinds your eyes to their defects

                         59
and prevents you from giving them proper
restraint, will prove their ruin. Your course may
give a wrong direction to all their future career.
You determine for them what they will be and what
they will do for Christ, for men, and for their own
souls.

     Deal honestly and faithfully with your children.
Work bravely and patiently. Fear no crosses, spare
no time or labor, burden or suffering. The future of
your children will testify the character of your
work. Fidelity to Christ on your part can be better
expressed in the symmetrical character of your
children than in any other way. They are Christ's
property, bought with His own blood. If their
influence is wholly on the side of Christ they are
His colaborers, helping others to find the path of
life. If you neglect your God-given work, your
unwise course of discipline places them among the
class who scatter from Christ and strengthen the
kingdom of darkness.

    I speak the things I know; I testify to you the
things which I have seen when I say there is among

                         60
our youth, among educated young men of
professedly Christian parents, a grievous offense in
the sight of God, which is so common that it
constitutes one of the signs of the last days. It is so
full of evil tendencies as to call for decided
exposure and denunciation. It is the sin of
regarding with levity or contempt their early vows
of consecration to God. In a religious interest the
Holy Spirit moved upon them to take their stand
wholly under the bloodstained banner of Prince
Immanuel. But the parents were so far from God
themselves, so busily engaged in worldly business,
or so filled with doubts and dissatisfaction in
regard to their own religious experience, that they
were wholly unfitted to give them instruction.
These youth, in their inexperience, needed a wise,
firm hand to point out the right way and to bar with
counsel and restraint the wrong way.

    A religious life should be shown to be in
marked contrast to a life of worldliness and
pleasure seeking. He who would be the disciple of
Christ must take up the cross and bear it after
Jesus. Our Saviour lived not to please Himself,

                          61
neither must we. High spiritual attainments will
require entire consecration to God. But this
instruction has not been given the youth because it
would contradict the life of the parents. Therefore
the children have been left to gain a knowledge of
the Christian life as best they could. When tempted
to seek the society of worldlings and participate in
worldly amusements, the fond parents, disliking to
deny them any indulgence, have—if they have said
or done anything in the matter—taken a position so
indefinite and undecided that the children have
judged for themselves that the course they desired
to pursue was in keeping with the Christian life and
character.

    Having once started in this way, they usually
continue in it until the worldly element prevails
and they sneer at their former convictions. They
despise the simplicity manifested when their hearts
were tender, and they find excuse to elude the
sacred claims of the church and of the crucified
Redeemer. This class can never become what they
might have been had not the convictions of
conscience been stifled, the holiest, tenderest

                        62
affections blunted. If in after years they become
followers of Christ, they will still bear the scars
which irreverence for sacred things has made upon
their souls.

    Parents do not see these things. They do not
foresee the result of their course. They do not feel
that their children need the tenderest culture, the
most careful discipline in the divine life. They do
not look upon them as being in a peculiar sense the
property of Christ, the purchase of His blood, the
trophies of His grace, and as such, skillful
instruments in God's hands to be used for the
upbuilding of His kingdom. Satan is ever seeking
to wrest these youth from the hands of Christ, and
parents do not discern that the great adversary is
planting his hellish banners close by their sides.
They are so blinded they think it is the banner of
Christ.

    By ambition or indolence, skepticism or self-
indulgence, Satan allures the young from the
narrow path of holiness cast up for the ransomed of
the Lord to walk in. They do not generally leave

                        63
this path all at once. They are won away by
degrees. Having taken one wrong step, they lose
the witness of the Spirit to their acceptance with
God. Thus they fall into a state of discouragement
and distrust. They dislike religious services
because conscience condemns them. They have
fallen into the snare of Satan, and there is only one
way of escape. They must retrace their steps and
with humility of soul confess and forsake their
halfhearted course. Let them renew their first
experience which they have made light of, cherish
every divine aspiration, and let those holy emotions
which God's Spirit only can inspire, reign in their
souls. Faith in Christ's power will impart strength
to sustain, and light to guide.

    This practical instruction in religious
experience is what Christian parents should be
prepared to give their children. God requires this of
you, and you neglect your duty if you fail to
perform this work. Instruct your children in regard
to God's chosen methods of discipline and the
conditions of success in the Christian life. Teach
them that they cannot serve God and have their

                         64
minds absorbed in overcareful provision for this
life; but do not let them cherish the thought that
they have no need to toil, and may spend their
leisure moments in idleness. God's word is plain on
this point. Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, has left an
example for the youth. He toiled in the workshop at
Nazareth for His daily bread. He was subject to His
parents, and sought not to control His own time or
to follow His own will. By a life of easy
indulgence a youth can never attain to real
excellence as a man or as a Christian. God does not
promise us ease, honor, or wealth in His service;
but He assures us that all needed blessings will be
ours, with "persecutions," and in the world to come
"life everlasting." Nothing less than entire
consecration to His service will Christ accept. This
is the lesson which every one of us must learn.

    Those who study the Bible, counsel with God,
and rely upon Christ will be enabled to act wisely
at all times and under all circumstances. Good
principles will be illustrated in actual life. Only let
the truth for this time be cordially received and
become the basis of character, and it will produce

                          65
steadfastness of purpose, which the allurements of
pleasure, the fickleness of custom, the contempt of
the world-loving, and the heart's own clamors for
self-indulgence are powerless to influence.
Conscience must be first enlightened, the will must
be brought into subjection. The love of truth and
righteousness must reign in the soul, and a
character will appear which heaven can approve.

    We have marked illustrations of the sustaining
power of firm, religious principle. Even the fear of
death could not make the fainting David drink of
the water of Bethlehem, to obtain which, valiant
men had risked their lives. The gaping lions' den
could not keep Daniel from his daily prayers, nor
could the fiery furnace induce Shadrach and his
companions to fall down before the idol which
Nebuchadnezzar set up. Young men who have firm
principles will eschew pleasure, defy pain, and
brave even the lions' den and the heated fiery
furnace rather than be found untrue to God. Mark
the character of Joseph. Virtue was severely tested,
but its triumph was complete. At every point the
noble youth endured the test. The same lofty,

                        66
unbending principle appeared at every trial. The
Lord was with him, and His word was law.

     Such firmness and untarnished principle shines
brightest in contrast with the feebleness and
inefficiency of the youth of this age. With but few
exceptions, they are vacillating, varying with every
change of circumstance and surroundings, one
thing today and another tomorrow. Let the
attractions of pleasure or selfish gratification be
presented, and conscience will be sacrificed to gain
the coveted indulgence. Can such a person be
trusted? Never! In the absence of temptation he
may carry himself with such seeming propriety that
your doubts and suspicions appear unjust; but let
opportunity be presented, and he will betray your
confidence. He is unsound at heart. Just at the time
when firmness and principle are most required, you
will find him giving way; and if he does not
become an Arnold or a Judas, it is because he lacks
a fitting opportunity.

    Parents, it should be your first concern to obey
the call of duty and enter, heart and soul, into the

                        67
work God has given you to do. If you fail in
everything else, be thorough, be efficient, here. If
your children come forth from the home training
pure and virtuous, if they fill the least and lowest
place in God's great plan of good for the world,
your life can never be called a failure and can
never be reviewed with remorse.

    The idea that we must submit to ways of
perverse children is a mistake. Elisha, at the very
commencement of his work, was mocked and
derided by the youth of Bethel. He was a man of
great mildness, but the Spirit of God impelled him
to pronounce a curse upon those railers. They had
heard of Elijah's ascension, and they made this
solemn event the subject of jeers. Elisha evinced
that he was not to be trifled with, by old or young,
in his sacred calling. When they told him he had
better go up, as Elijah had done before him, he
cursed them in the name of the Lord. The awful
judgment that came upon them was of God. After
this, Elisha had no further trouble in his mission.
For fifty years he passed in and out of the gate of
Bethel, and went to and fro from city to city,

                        68
passing through crowds of the worst and rudest of
idle, dissolute youth, but no one ever mocked him
or made light of his qualifications as the prophet of
the Most High. This one instance of terrible
severity in the commencement of his career was
sufficient to command respect through his whole
life. Had he allowed the mockery to pass
unnoticed, he might have been ridiculed, reviled,
and even murdered by the rabble, and his mission
to instruct and save the nation in its great peril
would have been defeated.

    Even kindness must have its limits. Authority
must be sustained by a firm severity, or it will be
received by many with mockery and contempt. The
so-called tenderness, the coaxing and the
indulgence, used toward youth by parents and
guardians is the worst evil which can come upon
them. Firmness, decision, positive requirements,
are essential in every family. Parents, take up your
neglected responsibilities; educate your children
after God's plan, showing "forth the praises of Him
who hath called you out of darkness into His
marvelous light."

                         69
                    Chapter 5

        Important Testimony

   Healdsburg, California, March 28, 1882.

   Dear Brother ——-: Your letter was received in
due time. While I was glad to hear from you, I was
made sad as I read its contents. I had received
similar letters from Sister ——- and from Brother
——-. But I have had no communications from
Brother ——- or anyone who sustains him. From
your own letters I learn the course which you have
pursued in the proceedings against Brother ——-.

    I am not surprised that such a state of things
should exist in Battle Creek, but I am pained to
find you, my much-esteemed brother, involved in
this matter on the wrong side with those whom I
know God is not leading. Some of these persons
are honest, but they are deceived. They have
received their impressions from another source
than the Spirit of God.

                       70
    I have been careful not to express my opinion
to individuals concerning important matters, for
unjust advantage is often taken of what I say even
in the most confidential manner. Persons set
themselves to work to draw out remarks from me
on various points, and then they distort and
misrepresent, and make my words express ideas
and opinions altogether different from what I hold.
But this they must meet at the bar of God.

    On the occurrence of your present difficulties I
determined to keep silent; I thought it might be best
to let matters develop, that those who had been so
ready to censure my husband might see that the
spirit of murmuring existed in their own hearts and
was still active, now that the man of whom they
had complained was silently sleeping in the grave.

    I knew that a crisis must come. God has given
this people plain and pointed testimonies to prevent
this state of things. Had they obeyed the voice of
the Holy Spirit in warning, counsel, and entreaty
they would now enjoy unity and peace. But these

                         71
testimonies have not been heeded by those who
professed to believe them, and as a result there has
been a wide departure from God, and the
withdrawal of His blessing.

    To effect the salvation of men, God employs
various agencies. He speaks to them by His word
and by His ministers, and He sends by the Holy
Spirit messages of warning, reproof, and
instruction. These means are designed to enlighten
the understanding of the people, to reveal to them
their duty and their sins, and the blessings which
they may receive, to awaken in them a sense of
spiritual want, that they may go to Christ and find
in Him the grace they need. But many choose to
follow their own way instead of God's way. They
are not reconciled to God, neither can be, until self
is crucified and Christ lives in the heart by faith.

    Every individual, by his own act, either puts
Christ from him by refusing to cherish His spirit
and follow His example, or he enters into a
personal union with Christ by self-renunciation,
faith, and obedience. We must, each for himself,

                         72
choose Christ, because He has first chosen us. This
union with Christ is to be formed by those who are
naturally at enmity with Him. It is a relation of
utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud
heart. This is close work, and many who profess to
be followers of Christ know nothing of it. They
nominally accept the Saviour, but not as the sole
ruler of their hearts.

    Some feel their need of the atonement, and with
the recognition of this need, and the desire for a
change of heart, a struggle begins. To renounce
their own will, perhaps their chosen objects of
affection or pursuit, requires an effort, at which
many hesitate and falter and turn back. Yet this
battle must be fought by every heart that is truly
converted. We must war against temptations
without and within. We must gain the victory over
self, crucify the affections and lusts; and then
begins the union of the soul with Christ. As the dry
and apparently lifeless branch is grafted into the
living tree, so may we become living branches of
the True Vine. And the fruit which was borne by
Christ will be borne by all His followers. After this

                         73
union is formed, it can be preserved only by
continual, earnest, painstaking effort. Christ
exercises His power to preserve and guard this
sacred tie, and the dependent, helpless sinner must
act his part with untiring energy, or Satan by his
cruel, cunning power will separate him from
Christ.

    Every Christian must stand on guard
continually, watching every avenue of the soul
where Satan might find access. He must pray for
divine help and at the same time resolutely resist
every inclination to sin. By courage, by faith, by
persevering toil, he can conquer. But let him
remember that to gain the victory Christ must abide
in him and he in Christ.

    A union of believers with Christ will as a
natural result lead to a union with one another,
which bond of union is the most enduring upon
earth. We are one in Christ, as Christ is one with
the Father. Christians are branches, and only
branches, in the living Vine. One branch is not to
borrow its sustenance from another. Our life must

                        74
come from the parent vine. It is only by personal
union with Christ, by communion with Him daily,
hourly, that we can bear the fruits of the Holy
Spirit.

    There has come into the church at Battle Creek
a spirit that has no part in Christ. It is not a zeal for
the truth, not a love for the will of God as revealed
in His word. It is a self-righteous spirit. It leads you
to exalt self above Jesus and to regard your own
opinions and ideas as more important than union
with Christ and union with one another. You are
sadly lacking in brotherly love. You are a
backslidden church. To know the truth, to claim
union with Christ, and yet not to bring forth fruit,
not to live in the exercise of constant faith—this
hardens the heart in disobedience and self-
confidence. Our growth in grace, our joy, our
usefulness, all depend on our union with Christ and
the degree of faith we exercise in Him. Here is the
source of our power in the world.

   Many of you are seeking honor of one another.
But what is the honor or the approval of man to one

                           75
who regards himself as a son of God, a joint heir
with Christ? What are the pleasures of this world to
him who is daily a sharer in the love of Christ
which passes knowledge? What are the contempt
and opposition of man to him whom God accepts
through Jesus Christ? Selfishness can no more live
in the heart that is exercising faith in Christ than
light and darkness can exist together. Spiritual
coldness, sloth, pride, and cowardice alike shrink
from the presence of faith. Can those who are as
closely united with Christ as the branch to the vine,
talk of and to everyone but Jesus?

    Are you in Christ? Not if you do not
acknowledge       yourselves    erring,    helpless,
condemned sinners. Not if you are exalting and
glorifying self. If there is any good in you, it is
wholly attributable to the mercy of a
compassionate Saviour. Your birth, your
reputation, your wealth, your talents, your virtues,
your piety, your philanthropy, or anything else in
you or connected with you, will not form a bond of
union between your soul and Christ. Your
connection with the church, the manner in which

                         76
your brethren regard you, will be of no avail unless
you believe in Christ. It is not enough to believe
about Him; you must believe in Him. You must
rely wholly upon His saving grace.

    Many of you at Battle Creek are living without
prayer, without thoughts of Christ, and without
exalting Him before those around you. You have
no words to exalt Christ; you do no deeds that
honor Him. Many of you are as truly strangers to
Christ as though you had never heard His name.
You have not the peace of Christ; for you have no
true ground for peace. You have no communion
with God because you are not united to Christ. Said
our Saviour: "No man cometh to the Father, but by
Me." You are not useful in the cause of Christ.
Except ye abide in Me, says Jesus, ye can do
nothing —nothing in God's sight, nothing that
Christ will accept at your hands. Without Christ
you can have nothing but a delusive hope, for He
Himself declares: "If a man abide not in Me, he is
cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men
gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they
are burned."

                        77
     Advancement in Christian experience is
characterized by increasing humility, as the result
of increasing knowledge. Everyone who is united
to Christ will depart from all iniquity. I tell you, in
the fear of God, I have been shown that many of
you will fail of everlasting life because you are
building your hopes of heaven on a false
foundation. God is leaving you to yourselves, "to
humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was
in thine heart." You have neglected the Scriptures.
You despise and reject the testimonies because
they reprove your darling sins and disturb your
self-complacency. When Christ is cherished in the
heart, His likeness will be revealed in the life.
Humility will reign where pride was once
predominant. Submission, meekness, patience, will
soften down the rugged features of a naturally
perverse, impetuous disposition. Love to Jesus will
be manifested in love to His people. It is not fitful,
not spasmodic, but calm and deep and strong. The
life of the Christian will be divested of all pretense,
free from all affectation, artifice, and falsehood. It
is earnest, true, sublime. Christ speaks in every

                          78
word. He is seen in every deed. The life is radiant
with the light of an indwelling Saviour. In converse
with God and in happy contemplation of heavenly
things the soul is preparing for heaven and laboring
to gather other souls into the fold of Christ. Our
Saviour is able and willing to do for us more than
we can ask or even think.

    The church at Battle Creek need a self-abasing
unpretending spirit. I have been shown that many
are cherishing an unholy desire for the supremacy.
Many love to be flattered and are jealously
watching for slights or neglect. There is a hard,
unforgiving spirit. There is envy, strife, emulation.

    Nothing is more essential to communion with
God than the most profound humility. "I dwell,"
says the High and Holy One, "with him also that is
of a contrite and humble spirit." While you are so
eagerly striving to be first, remember that you will
be last in the favor of God if you fail to cherish a
meek and lowly spirit. Pride of heart will cause
many to fail where they might have made a
success. "Before honor is humility," and the patient

                         79
in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." "When
Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in
Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died."
"Many are called, but few are chosen." Many hear
the invitation of mercy, are tested and proved; but
few are sealed with the seal of the living God. Few
will humble themselves as a little child, that they
may enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Few receive the grace of Christ with self-
abasement, with a deep and permanent sense of
their unworthiness. They cannot bear the
manifestations of the power of God, for this would
encourage in them self-esteem, pride, and envy.
This is why the Lord can do so little for us now.
God would have you individually seek for the
perfection of love and humility in your own hearts.
Bestow your chief care upon yourselves, cultivate
those excellencies of character which will fit you
for the society of the pure and the holy.

   You all need the converting power of God. You
need to seek Him for yourselves. For your soul's
sake neglect this work no longer. All your trouble

                        80
grows out of your separation from God. Your
disunion and dissension are the fruit of an
unchristian character.

    I had thought to remain silent and let you go on
until you should see and abhor the sinfulness of
your course; but back sliding from God produces
hardness of heart and blindness of mind, and there
is less and less perception of the true condition,
until the grace of God is finally withdrawn, as from
the Jewish nation.

    I wish my position to be clearly understood. I
have no sympathy with the course that has been
pursued toward Brother ——-. The enemy has
encouraged feelings of hatred in the hearts of
many. The errors committed by him have been
reported from one person to another, constantly
growing in magnitude, as busy, gossiping tongues
added fuel to the fire. Parents who have never felt
the care which they should feel for the souls of
their children, and who have never given them
proper restraint and instruction, are the very ones
who manifest the most bitter opposition when their

                        81
children are restrained, reproved, or corrected at
school. Some of these children are a disgrace to the
church and a disgrace to the name of Adventists.

    The parents despised reproof themselves, and
despised the reproof given to their children, and
were not careful to conceal this from them. The sin
of the parents began with their mismanagement at
home. The souls of some of these children will be
lost because they did not receive instruction from
God's word and did not become Christians at
home. Instead of sympathizing with their children
in a perverse course, the parents should have
reproved them and sustained the faithful teacher.
These parents were not united to Christ themselves,
and this is the reason of their terrible neglect of
duty. That which they have sown they will also
reap. They are sure of a harvest.

   In the school Brother ——- has not only been
burdened by the wrong course of the children, but
by the injudicious management of the parents,
which produced and nurtured hatred of restraint.
Overwork, unceasing care, with no help at home,

                        82
but rather a constant irritation, have caused him at
times to lose self-control and to act injudiciously.
Some have taken advantage of this, and faults of
minor consequence have been made to appear like
grave sins.

    The class of professed Sabbathkeepers who try
to form a union between Christ and Belial, who
take hold of the truth with one hand and of the
world with the other, have surrounded their
children and clouded the church with an
atmosphere entirely foreign to religion and the
Spirit of Christ. They dared not openly oppose the
claims of truth. They dared not take a bold stand
and say they did not believe the testimonies; but,
while nominally believing both, they have obeyed
neither. By their course of action they have denied
both. They desire the Lord to fulfill to them His
promises; but they refuse to comply with the
conditions on which these promises are based.
They will not relinquish every rival for Christ.
Under the preaching of the word there is a partial
suppression of worldliness, but no radical change
of the affections. Worldly desires, the lust of the

                        83
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life
ultimately gain the victory. This class are all
professed Christians. Their names are on the
church books. They live for a time a seemingly
religious life and then yield their hearts, too often
finally, to the predominating influence of the
world.

    Whatever may be Brother ——-'s faults, your
course is unjustifiable and unchristian. You have
gone back over his history for years and have
searched out everything that was unfavorable,
every shadow of evil, and have made him an
offender for a word. You have brought all the
powers you could command to sustain yourselves
in your course as accusers. Remember, God will
deal in the same manner with every one of you.
"With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:
and with what measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you again." Those who have taken
part in this disgraceful proceeding will meet their
work again. What influence do you think your
course will have upon the students, who have ever
been impatient of restraint? How will these things

                         84
affect their character and their life history?

    What say the testimonies concerning these
things? Even one wrong trait of character, one
sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize
all the power of the gospel. The prevalence of a
sinful desire shows the delusion of the soul. Every
indulgence of that desire strengthens the soul's
aversion to God. The pains of duty and the
pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan
binds men in his snares. Those who would rather
die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who
will be found faithful.

    A child may receive sound religious
instruction; but if parents, teachers, or guardians
permit his character to be biased by a wrong habit,
that habit, if not overcome, will become a
predominant power, and the child is lost.

    The testimony borne to you by the Spirit of
God is: Parley not with the enemy. Kill the thorns,
or they will kill you. Break up the fallow ground of
the heart. Let the work go deep and thorough. Let

                          85
the plowshare of truth tear out the weeds and
briers.

    Said Christ to the angry, accusing Pharisees:
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast
a stone." Were those sinless who were so ready to
accuse and condemn Brother ——-? Were their
characters and lives to be searched as closely and
publicly as they have searched Brother ——-'s,
some of them would appear far worse than they
have tried to represent him.

    I dare not longer remain silent. I speak to you
and to the church at Battle Creek. You have made a
great mistake. You have treated with injustice one
to whom you and your children owe a debt of
gratitude which you do not realize. You are
responsible for the influence you have exerted
upon the college. Peace has come because the
students have had their own way. In another crisis
they will be as determined and persevering as they
have been on this occasion; and, if they find as able
an advocate as they have found in Brother ——-,
they may again accomplish their purpose. God has

                         86
been speaking to teachers and students and church
members, but you have cast His words behind you.
You have thought best to take your own course,
irrespective of consequences.

     God has given us, as a people, warnings,
reproofs, and cautions, on the right hand and on the
left, to lead us away from worldly customs and
worldly policy. He requires us to be peculiar in
faith and in character, to meet a standard far in
advance of worldlings. Brother ——- came among
you, unacquainted with the Lord's dealings with us.
Having newly come to the faith, he had almost
everything to learn. Yet you have unhesitatingly
coincided with his judgment. You have sanctioned
in him a spirit and course of action that have
nought of Christ.

     You have encouraged in the students a spirit of
criticism, which God's Spirit has sought to repress.
You have led them to betray confidence. There are
not a few young persons among us who are
indebted for most valuable traits of character to the
knowledge and principles received from Brother —

                         87
—-. To his training many owe much of their
usefulness, not only in the Sabbath school, but in
various other branches of our work. Yet your
influence encouraged ingratitude, and has led
students to despise the things that they should
cherish.

     Those who have not the peculiar trials to which
another is subjected may flatter themselves that
they are better than he. But place them in the
furnace of trial, and they might not endure it nearly
as well as the one they censure and misjudge. How
little we can know of the heart anguish of another.
How few understand another's circumstances.
Hence the difficulty of giving wise counsel. What
may appear to us to be appropriate, may, in reality,
be quite the reverse.

    Brother ——- has been an earnest seeker after
knowledge. He has sought to impress upon the
students that they are responsible for their time,
their talents, their opportunities. It is impossible for
a man to have so much care, and carry so heavy
responsibilities, without becoming hurried, weary,

                          88
and nervous. Those who refuse to accept burdens
which will tax their strength to the utmost know
nothing of the pressure brought to bear upon those
who must bear these burdens.

    There are some in the college who have looked
only for what has been unfortunate and
disagreeable in their acquaintance with Brother —
—-. These persons have not that noble, Christlike
spirit that thinketh no evil. They have made the
most of every inconsiderate word or act, and have
recalled these at a time when envy, prejudice, and
jealousy were active in unchristian hearts.

    A writer has said that "envy's memory is
nothing but a row of hooks to hang up grudges on."
There are many in the world who consider it an
evidence of superiority to recount the things and
persons that they "cannot bear," rather than the
things and persons that they are attracted to. Not so
did the great apostle. He exhorts his brethren:
"Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good

                         89
report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any
praise, think on these things."

    Envy is not merely a perverseness of temper,
but a distemper, which disorders all the faculties. It
began with Satan. He desired to be first in heaven,
and because he could not have all the power and
glory he sought, he rebelled against the
government of God. He envied our first parents and
tempted them to sin and thus ruined them and all
the human race.

    The envious man shuts his eyes to the good
qualities and noble deeds of others. He is always
ready to disparage and misrepresent that which is
excellent. Men often confess and forsake other
faults, but there is little to be hoped for from the
envious man. Since to envy a person is to admit
that he is a superior, pride will not permit any
concession. If an attempt be made to convince the
envious person of his sin, he becomes even more
bitter against the object of his passion, and too
often he remains incurable.


                         90
   The envious man diffuses poison wherever he
goes, alienating friends and stirring up hatred and
rebellion against God and man. He seeks to be
thought best and greatest, not by putting forth
heroic, self-denying efforts to reach the goal of
excellence himself, but by standing where he is and
diminishing the merit due to the efforts of others.

    Envy has been cherished in the hearts of some
in the church as well as in the college. God is
displeased at your course. I entreat you, for Christ's
sake, never treat another as you have treated
Brother ——-. A noble nature does not exult in
causing others pain, or delight in discovering their
deficiencies. A disciple of Christ will turn away
with loathing from the feast of scandal. Some who
have been active on this occasion are repeating the
course pursued toward one of the Lord's servants in
affliction, one who had sacrificed health and
strength in their service. The Lord vindicated the
cause of the oppressed and turned the light of His
countenance upon His suffering servant. I then saw
that God would prove these persons again, as He
has now done, to reveal what was in their hearts.

                         91
    When David had sinned, God granted him his
choice, to receive his punishment from God or at
the hand of man. The repentant king chose to fall
into the hand of God. The tender mercies of the
wicked are cruel. Erring, sinful man, who can
himself be kept in the right path only by the power
of God, is yet hardhearted, unforgiving toward his
erring brother. My brethren at Battle Creek, what
account will you render at the bar of God? Great
light has come to you, in reproofs, warnings, and
entreaties. How have you spurned its heaven-sent
rays!

     The tongue that delights in mischief, the
babbling tongue that says, Report, and I will report
it, is declared by the apostle James to be set on fire
of hell. It scatters firebrands on every side. What
cares the vendor of gossip that he defames the
innocent? He will not stay his evil work, though he
destroy hope and courage in those who are already
sinking under their burdens. He cares only to
indulge his scandal-loving propensity. Even
professed Christians close their eyes to all that is

                         92
pure, honest, noble, and lovely, and treasure up
what ever is objectionable and disagreeable, and
publish it to the world.

    You have yourselves thrown open the doors for
Satan to come in. You have given him an honored
place at your investigation, or inquisition meetings.
But you have shown no respect for the excellencies
of a character established by years of faithfulness.
Jealous, revengeful tongues have colored acts and
motives to suit their own ideas. They have made
black appear white, and white black. When
remonstrated with for their statements, some have
said: "It is true." Admitting that the fact stated is
true, does that justify your course? No, no. If God
should take all the accusations that might in truth
be brought against you, and should braid them into
a scourge to punish you, your wounds would be
more and deeper than those which you have
inflicted on Brother ——-. Even facts may be so
stated as to convey a false impression. You have no
right to gather up every report against him and use
them to ruin his reputation and destroy his
usefulness. Should the Lord manifest toward you

                         93
the same spirit which you have manifested toward
your brother, you would be destroyed without
mercy. Have you no compunctions of conscience?
I fear not. The time has come for this satanic spell
to lose its power. If Brother ——- were all that you
represent him to be,— which I know he is not, your
course would still be unjustifiable.

    When we listen to a reproach against our
brother, we take up that reproach. To the question,
"Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who
shall dwell in Thy holy hill?" the psalmist
answered, "He that walketh uprightly, and worketh
righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth
evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach
against his neighbor."

    What a world of gossip would be prevented if
every man would remember that those who tell him
the faults of others will as freely publish his faults
at a favorable opportunity. We should endeavor to
think well of all men, especially our brethren, until
compelled to think otherwise. We should not

                         94
hastily credit evil reports. These are often the result
of envy or misunderstanding, or they may proceed
from exaggeration or a partial disclosure of facts.
Jealousy and suspicion, once allowed a place, will
sow themselves broadcast, like thistledown. Should
a brother go astray, then is the time to show your
real interest in him. Go to him kindly, pray with
and for him, remembering the infinite price which
Christ has paid for his redemption. In this way you
may save a soul from death, and hide a multitude
of sins.

    A glance, a word, even an intonation of the
voice, may be vital with falsehood, sinking like a
barbed arrow into some heart, inflicting an
incurable wound. Thus a doubt, a reproach, may be
cast upon one by whom God would accomplish a
good work, and his influence is blighted, his
usefulness destroyed. Among some species of
animals, if one of their number is wounded and
falls, he is at once set upon and torn in pieces by
his fellows. The same cruel spirit is indulged by
men and women who bear the name of Christians.
They manifest a pharisaical zeal to stone others

                          95
less guilty than themselves. There are some who
point to others' faults and failures to divert
attention from their own, or to gain credit for great
zeal for God and the church.

    A few weeks since I was in a dream brought
into one of your meetings for investigation. I heard
the testimonies borne by students against Brother
——-. Those very students had received great
benefit from his thorough, faithful instruction.
Once they could hardly say enough in his praise.
Then it was popular to esteem him. But now the
current was setting the other way. These persons
have developed their true character. I saw an angel
with a ponderous book open in which he wrote
every testimony given. Opposite each testimony
were traced the sins, defects, and errors of the one
who bore it. Then there was recorded the great
benefit which these individuals had received from
Brother ——-'s labors.

   We, as a people, are reaping the fruit of Brother
——-'s hard labor. There is not a man among us
who has devoted more time and thought to his

                         96
work than has Brother ——-. He has felt that he
had no one to sustain him, and has felt grateful for
any encouragement.

    One of the great objects to be secured in the
establishment of the college was the separation of
our youth from the spirit and influence of the
world, from its customs, its follies, and its idolatry.
The college was to build a barrier against the
immorality of the present age, which makes the
world as corrupt as in the days of Noah. The young
are bewitched with the mania for courtship and
marriage. Lovesick sentimentalism prevails. Great
vigilance and tact are needed to guard the youth
from these wrong influences. Many parents are
blind to the tendencies of their children. Some
parents have stated to me, with great satisfaction,
that their sons or daughters had no desire for the
attentions of the opposite sex, when in fact these
children were at the same time secretly giving or
receiving such attentions, and the parents were so
much absorbed in worldliness and gossip that they
knew nothing about the matter.


                          97
    The primary object of our college was to afford
young men an opportunity to study for the ministry
and to prepare young persons of both sexes to
become workers in the various branches of the
cause. These students needed a knowledge of the
common branches of education and, above all else,
of the word of God. Here our school has been
deficient. There has not been a man devoted to God
to give himself to this branch of the work. Young
men moved upon by the Spirit of God to give
themselves to the ministry have come to the
college for this purpose and have been
disappointed. Adequate preparation for this class
has not been made, and some of the teachers,
knowing this, have advised the youth to take other
studies and fit themselves for other pursuits. If
these youth were not firm in their purpose, they
were induced to give up all idea of studying for the
ministry.

   Such is the result of the influence exerted by
unsanctified teachers, who labor merely for wages,
who are not imbued with the Spirit of God and
have no union with Christ. No one has been more

                        98
active in this work than Brother ——- The Bible
should be one of the principal subjects of study.

    This book, which tells us how to spend the
present life, that we may secure the future,
immortal life, is of more value to students than any
other. We have but a brief period in which to
become acquainted with its truths. But the one who
had made God's word a study, and who could more
than any other teacher have helped the young to
gain a knowledge of the Scriptures, has been
separated from the school.

    Professors and teachers have not understood
the design of the college. We have put in means
and thought and labor to make it what God would
have it. The will and judgment of those who are
almost wholly ignorant of the way in which God
has led us as a people, should not have a
controlling influence in that college. The Lord has
repeatedly shown that we should not pattern after
the popular schools. Ministers of other
denominations spend years in obtaining an
education. Our young men must obtain theirs in a

                        99
short time. Where there is now one minister, there
should be twenty whom our college had prepared
with God's help to enter the gospel field.

    Many of our younger ministers, and some of
more mature experience, are neglecting the word of
God and also despising the testimonies of His
Spirit. They do not know what the testimonies
contain and do not wish to know. They do not wish
to discover and correct their defects of character.
Many parents do not themselves seek instruction
from the testimonies, and of course they cannot
impart it to their children. They show their
contempt for the light which God has given, by
going directly contrary to His instructions. Those at
the heart of the work have set the example.

    You have published your contentions to the
world. Do you think you stand, as a people, in a
more favorable light in Battle Creek? Christ prayed
that His disciples might be one, as He was one with
the Father, that the world might know that God had
sent Him. What testimony have you borne during
the past few months? The Lord is looking into

                        100
every heart. He weighs our motives. He will try
every soul. Who will bear the test?




                     101
                     Chapter 6

    The Testimonies Slighted

    Dear Brethren and Sisters in Battle Creek: I
understand that the testimony [REFERENCE IS
HERE MADE TO THE PRECEDING ARTICLE.]
which I sent to Brother ——-, with the request that
it be read to the church, was withheld from you for
several weeks after it was received by him. Before
sending that testimony my mind was so impressed
by the Spirit of God that I had no rest day or night
until I wrote to you. It was not a work that I would
have chosen for myself. Before my husband's death
I decided that it was not my duty to bear testimony
to anyone in reproof of wrong or in vindication of
right, because advantage was taken of my words to
deal harshly with the erring and to unwisely exalt
others whose course I had not in any degree
sustained. Many explained the testimonies to suit
themselves. The truth of God is not in harmony
with the traditions of men, nor does it conform to
their opinions. Like its divine Author, it is

                        102
unchangeable, the same yesterday, today, and
forever. Those who separate from God will call
darkness light, and error truth. But darkness will
never prove itself to be light, nor will error become
truth.

    The minds of many have been so darkened and
confused by worldly customs, worldly practices,
and worldly influences that all power to
discriminate between light and darkness, truth and
error, seems destroyed. I had little hope that my
words would be understood; but when the Lord
moved upon me so decidedly, I could not resist His
Spirit. Knowing that you were involving
yourselves in the snares of Satan, I felt that the
danger was too great for me to keep silent.

    For years the Lord has been presenting the
situation of the church before you. Again and again
reproofs and warnings have been given. October
23, 1879, the Lord gave me a most impressive
testimony in regard to the church in Battle Creek.
During the last months I was with you I carried a
heavy burden for the church, while those who

                        103
should have felt to the very depths of their souls
were comparatively easy and unconcerned. I knew
not what to do or what to say. I had no confidence
in the course which many were pursuing, for they
were doing the very things which the Lord had
warned them not to do.

    That God who knows their spiritual condition
declares: They have cherished evil and separated
from Me. They have gone astray, every one of
them. Not one is guiltless. They have forsaken Me,
the Fountain of living waters, and have hewed out
to them broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Many have corrupted their ways before Me. Envy,
hatred of one another, jealousy, evil surmising,
emulation, strife, bitterness, is the fruit that they
bear. And they will not heed the testimony that I
send them. They will not see their perverse ways
and be converted, that I should heal them.

    Many are looking with self-complacency upon
the long years during which they have advocated
the truth. They now feel that they are entitled to a
reward for their past trials and obedience. But this

                        104
genuine experience in the things of God in the past
makes them more guilty before Him for not
preserving their integrity and going forward to
perfection. The faithfulness for the past year will
never atone for the neglect of the present year. A
man's truthfulness yesterday will not atone for his
falsehood today.


    Many excused their disregard of the
testimonies by saying: "Sister White is influenced
by her husband; the testimonies are molded by his
spirit and judgment." Others were seeking to gain
something from me which they could construe to
justify their course or to give them influence. It
was then I decided that nothing more should go
from my pen until the converting power of God
was seen in the church. But the Lord placed the
burden upon my soul. I labored for you earnestly.
How much this cost both my husband and myself,
eternity will tell. Have I not a knowledge of the
state of the church, when the Lord has presented
their case before me again and again for years?
Repeated warnings have been given, yet there has

                       105
been no decided change.

     I saw that the frown of God was upon His
people for their assimilation to the world. I saw
that the children of Brother ——- have been a
snare to him. Their ideas and opinions, their
feelings and statements, had an influence upon his
mind and blinded his judgment. These youth are
strongly inclined to infidelity. The mother's want of
faith and trust in God has been given as an
inheritance to her children. Her devotion to them is
greater than her devotion to God. The father has
neglected his duty. The result of their wrong course
is revealed in their children.

    As I spoke to the church I tried to impress upon
parents their solemn obligation to the children,
because I knew the state of these youth and what
tendencies had made them what they are. But the
word was not received. I know what burdens I bore
in the last of my labors among you. I would never
have thus tasked my strength to the utmost had I
not seen your peril. I longed to arouse you to
humble your hearts before God, to return to Him

                        106
with penitence and faith.

    Yet now when I send you a testimony of
warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be
merely the opinion of Sister White. You have
thereby insulted the Spirit of God. You know how
the Lord has manifested Himself through the spirit
of prophecy. Past, present, and future have passed
before me. I have been shown faces that I had
never seen, and years afterward I knew them when
I saw them. I have been aroused from my sleep
with a vivid sense of subjects previously presented
to my mind; and I have written, at midnight, letters
that have gone across the continent and, arriving at
a crisis, have saved great disaster to the cause of
God. This has been my work for many years. A
power has impelled me to reprove and rebuke
wrongs that I had not thought of. Is this work of the
last thirty-six years from above or from beneath?

    Suppose—some would make it appear,
incorrectly however—that I was influenced to
write as I did by letters received from members of
the church. How was it with the apostle Paul? The

                        107
news he received through the household of Chloe
concerning the condition of the church at Corinth
was what caused him to write his first epistle to
that church. Private letters had come to him stating
the facts as they existed, and in his answer he laid
down general principles which if heeded would
correct the existing evils. With great tenderness
and wisdom he exhorts them to all speak the same
things, that there be no divisions among them.

    Paul was an inspired apostle, yet the Lord did
not reveal to him at all times just the condition of
His people. Those who were interested in the
prosperity of the church, and saw evils creeping in,
presented the matter before him, and from the light
which he had previously received he was prepared
to judge of the true character of these
developments. Because the Lord had not given him
a new revelation for that special time, those who
were really seeking light did not cast his message
aside as only a common letter. No, indeed. The
Lord had shown him the difficulties and dangers
which would arise in the churches, that when they
should develop he might know just how to treat

                        108
them.

    He was set for the defense of the church. He
was to watch for souls as one that must render
account to God, and should he not take notice of
the reports concerning their state of anarchy and
division? Most assuredly; and the reproof he sent
them was written just as much under the inspiration
of the Spirit of God as were any of his epistles. But
when these reproofs came, some would not be
corrected. They took the position that God had not
spoken to them through Paul, that he had merely
given them his opinion as a man, and they regarded
their own judgment as good as that of Paul.

    So it is with many among our people who have
drifted away from the old landmarks and who have
followed their own understanding. What a great
relief it would be to such could they quiet their
conscience with the belief that my work is not of
God. But your unbelief will not change the facts in
the case. You are defective in character, in moral
and religious experience. Close your eyes to the
fact if you will, but this does not make you one

                        109
particle more perfect. The only remedy is to wash
in the blood of the Lamb.

    If you seek to turn aside the counsel of God to
suit yourselves, if you lessen the confidence of
God's people in the testimonies He has sent them,
you are rebelling against God as certainly as were
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. You have their
history. You know how stubborn they were in their
own opinions. They decided that their judgment
was better than that of Moses and that Moses was
doing great injury to Israel. Those who united with
them were so set in their opinions that,
notwithstanding the judgments of God in a marked
manner destroyed the leaders and the princes, the
next morning the survivors came to Moses and
said: Ye have killed the people of the Lord." We
see what fearful deception will come upon the
human mind. How hard it is to convince souls that
have become imbued with a spirit which is not of
God. As Christ's ambassador, I would say to you:
Be careful what positions you take. This is God's
work, and you must render to Him an account for
the manner in which you treat His message.

                       110
     While standing over the dying bed of my
husband, I knew that had others borne their part of
the burdens, he might have lived. I then pleaded,
with agony of soul, that those present might no
longer grieve the Spirit of God by their hardness of
heart. A few days later I myself stood face to face
with death. Then I had most clear revealings from
God in regard to myself, and in regard to the
church. In great weakness I bore to you my
testimony, not knowing but it would be my last
opportunity. Have you forgotten that solemn
occasion? I can never forget it, for I seemed to be
brought before the judgment seat of Christ. Your
state of backsliding, your hardness of heart, your
lack of harmony of love and spirituality, your
departure from the simplicity and purity which God
would have you preserve—I knew it all; I felt it all.
Faultfinding, censuring, envy, strife for the highest
place, were among you. I had seen it and to what it
would lead. I feared that effort would cost me my
life, but the interest I felt for you led me to speak.
God spoke to you that day. Did it make any lasting
impression?

                         111
    When I went to Colorado I was so burdened for
you that, in my weakness, I wrote many pages to
be read at your camp meeting. Weak and
trembling, I arose at three o'clock in the morning to
write to you. God was speaking through clay. You
might say that this communication was only a
letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the
Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things
that had been shown me. In these letters which I
write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to
you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do
not write one article in the paper expressing merely
my own ideas. They are what God has opened
before me in vision—the precious rays of light
shining from the throne.

    After I came to Oakland I was weighted down
with a sense of the condition of things at Battle
Creek, and I, weak, power less to help you. I knew
that the leaven of unbelief was at work. Those who
disregarded the plain injunctions of God's word
were disregarding the testimonies which urged
them to give heed to that word. While visiting

                        112
Healdsburg last winter, I was much in prayer and
burdened with anxiety and grief. But the Lord
swept back the darkness at one time while I was in
prayer, and a great light filled the room. An angel
of God was by my side, and I seemed to be in
Battle Creek. I was in your councils; I heard words
uttered, I saw and heard things that, if God willed, I
wish could be forever blotted from my memory.
My soul was so wounded I knew not what to do or
what to say. Some things I cannot mention. I was
bidden to let no one know in regard to this, for
much was yet to be developed.

    I was told to gather up the light that had been
given me and let its rays shine forth to God's
people. I have been doing this in articles in the
papers. I arose at three o'clock nearly every
morning for months and gathered the different
items written after the last two testimonies were
given me in Battle Creek. I wrote out these matters
and hurried them on to you; but I had neglected to
take proper care of myself, and the result was that I
sank under the burden; my writings were not all
finished to reach you at the General Conference.

                         113
    Again, while in prayer, the Lord revealed
Himself. I was once more in Battle Creek. I was in
many houses and heard your words around your
tables. The particulars I have no liberty now to
relate. I hope never to be called to mention them. I
had also several most striking dreams.

    What voice will you acknowledge as the voice
of God? What power has the Lord in reserve to
correct your errors and show you your course as it
is? What power to work in the church? If you
refuse to believe until every shadow of uncertainty
and every possibility of doubt is removed you will
never believe. The doubt that demands perfect
knowledge will never yield to faith. Faith rests
upon evidence, not demonstration. The Lord
requires us to obey the voice of duty, when there
are other voices all around us urging us to pursue
an opposite course. It requires earnest attention
from us to distinguish the voice which speaks from
God. We must resist and conquer inclination, and
obey the voice of conscience without parleying or
compromise, lest its promptings cease and will and

                        114
impulse control. The word of the Lord comes to us
all who have not resisted His Spirit by determining
not to hear and obey. This voice is heard in
warnings, in counsels, in reproof. It is the Lord's
message of light to His people. If we wait for
louder calls or better opportunities, the light may
be withdrawn, and we left in darkness.

    By once neglecting to comply with the call of
God's Spirit and His word, when obedience
involves a cross, many have lost much—how much
they will never know till the books are opened at
the final day. The pleadings of the Spirit, neglected
today because pleasure or inclination leads in an
opposite direction, may be powerless to convince,
or even impress, tomorrow. To improve the
opportunities of the present, with prompt and
willing hearts, is the only way to grow in grace and
the knowledge of the truth. We should ever cherish
a sense that, individually, we are standing before
the Lord of hosts; no word, no act, no thought,
even, should be indulged, to offend the eye of the
Eternal One. We shall then have no fear of man or
of earthly power, because a Monarch, whose

                        115
empire is the universe, who holds in His hands our
individual destinies for time and eternity, is taking
cognizance of all our work. If we would feel that in
every place we are the servants of the Most High,
we would be more circumspect; our whole life
would possess to us a meaning and a sacredness
which earthly honors can never give.

     The thoughts of the heart, the words of the lips,
and every act of the life, will make our character
more worthy, if the presence of God is continually
felt. Let the language of the heart be: "Lo, God is
here." Then the life will be pure, the character
unspotted, the soul continually uplifted to the Lord.
You have not pursued this course at Battle Creek. I
have been shown that painful and contagious
disease is upon you, which will produce spiritual
death unless it is arrested.

    Many are ruined by their desire for a life of
ease and pleasure. Self-denial is disagreeable to
them. They are constantly seeking to escape trials
that are inseparable from a course of fidelity to
God. They set their hearts upon having the good

                         116
things of this life. This is human success, but is it
not won at the expense of future, eternal interests?
The great business of life is to show ourselves to be
true servants of God, loving righteousness and
hating iniquity. We should accept gratefully such
measures of present happiness and present success
as are found in the path of duty. Our greatest
strength is realized when we feel and acknowledge
our weakness. The greatest loss which any one of
you in Battle Creek can suffer is the loss of
earnestness and persevering zeal to do right, the
loss of strength to resist temptation, the loss of
faith in the principles of truth and duty.

    Let no man flatter himself that he is a
successful man unless he preserves the integrity of
his conscience, giving himself wholly to the truth
and to God. We should move steadily forward,
never losing heart or hope in the good work,
whatever trials beset our path, whatever moral
darkness may encompass us. Patience, faith, and
love for duty are the lessons we must learn.
Subduing self and looking to Jesus is an everyday
work. The Lord will never forsake the soul that

                        117
trusts in Him and seeks His aid. The crown of life
is placed only upon the brow of the overcomer.
There is, for everyone, earnest, solemn work for
God while life lasts. As Satan's power increases
and his devices are multiplied, skill, aptness, and
sharp generalship should be exercised by those in
charge of the flock of God. Not only have we each
a work to do for our own souls, but we have also a
duty to arouse others to gain eternal life.

    It pains me to say, my brethren, that your sinful
neglect to walk in the light has enshrouded you in
darkness. You may now be honest in not
recognizing and obeying the light; the doubts you
have entertained, your neglect to heed the
requirements of God, have blinded your
perceptions so that darkness is now to you light,
and light is darkness. God has bidden you to go
forward to perfection. Christianity is a religion of
progress. Light from God is full and ample, waiting
our demand upon it. Whatever blessings the Lord
may give, He has an infinite supply beyond, an
inexhaustible store from which we may draw.
Skepticism may treat the sacred claims of the

                        118
gospel with jests, scoffing, and denial. The spirit of
worldliness may contaminate the many and control
the few; the cause of God may hold its ground only
by great exertion and continual sacrifice, yet it will
triumph finally.

    The word is: Go forward; discharge your
individual duty, and leave all consequences in the
hands of God. If we move forward where Jesus
leads the way we shall see His triumph, we shall
share His joy. We must share the conflicts if we
wear the crown of victory. Like Jesus, we must be
made perfect through suffering. Had Christ's life
been one of ease, then might we safely yield to
sloth. Since His life was marked with continual
self-denial, suffering, and self-sacrifice, we shall
make no complaint if we are partakers with Him.
We can walk safely in the darkest path if we have
the Light of the world for our guide.

    The Lord is testing and proving you. He has
counseled, admonished, and entreated. All these
solemn admonitions will either make the church
better or decidedly worse. The oftener the Lord

                         119
speaks to correct or counsel, and you disregard His
voice, the more disposed will you be to reject it
again and again, till God says: "Because I have
called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My
hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at
nought all My counsel, and would none of My
reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will
mock when your fear cometh; when your fear
cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh
as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh
upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will
not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall
not find me; for that they hated knowledge, and did
not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of
My counsel: they despised all My reproof.
Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own
way, and be filled with their own devices."

    Are you not halting between two opinions? Are
you not neglecting to heed the light which God has
given you? Take heed lest there be in any of you an
evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living
God. You know not the time of your visitation. The
great sin of the Jews was that of neglecting and

                        120
rejecting present opportunities. As Jesus views the
state of His professed followers today, He sees
base ingratitude, hollow formalism, hypocritical
insincerity, pharisaical pride and apostasy.

    The tears which Christ shed on the crest of
Olivet were for the impenitence and ingratitude of
every individual to the close of time. He sees His
love despised. The soul's temple courts have been
converted into places of unholy traffic. Selfishness,
mammon, malice, envy, pride, passion, are all
cherished in the human heart. His warnings are
rejected and ridiculed, His ambassadors are treated
with indifference, their words seem as idle tales.
Jesus has spoken by mercies, but these mercies
have been unacknowledged; He has spoken by
solemn warnings, but these warnings have been
rejected.

    I entreat you who have long professed the faith
and who still pay outward homage to Christ: Do
not deceive your own souls. It is the whole heart
that Jesus prizes. The loyalty of the soul is alone of
value in the sight of God. "If thou hadst known,

                         121
even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which
belong to thy peace!" "Thou, . . . even thou"—
Christ is at this moment addressing you personally,
stooping from His throne, yearning with pitying
tenderness over those who feel not their danger,
who have no pity for themselves.

    Many have a name to live while they have
become spiritually dead. These will one day say:
"Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?
and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy
name done many wonderful works? And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from
Me, ye that work iniquity." Woe will be
pronounced against thee, if thou loiter and linger
until the Sun of Righteousness shall set; the
blackness of eternal night will be thy portion. Oh,
that the cold, formal, worldly heart may be melted!
Christ shed not only tears for us, but His own
blood. Will not these manifestations of His love
arouse us to deep humiliation before God? It is
humility and self-abasement that we need, to be
approved of God.


                        122
    The man whom God is leading will be
dissatisfied with himself because the light from the
perfect Man shines upon him. But those who lose
sight of the Pattern, and place an undue estimate
upon themselves, will see faults to criticize in
others; they will be sharp, suspicious,
condemnatory; they will be tearing others down to
build themselves up.

    When the Lord last presented your case before
me, and made known to me that you had not
regarded the light which had been given you, I was
bidden to speak to you plainly in His name, for His
anger was kindled against you. These words were
spoken to me: "Your work is appointed you of
God. Many will not hear you, for they refused to
hear the Great Teacher; many will not be corrected,
for their ways are right in their own eyes. Yet bear
to them the reproofs and warnings I shall give you,
whether they will hear or forbear."

    I bear you the testimony of the Lord. All will
hear His voice who are willing to be corrected; but
those who have been deceived by the enemy are

                        123
not willing now to come to the light, lest their
deeds shall be reproved. Many of you cannot
discern the work and presence of God. You know
not that it is He. The Lord is still gracious, willing
to pardon all who turn to Him with penitence and
faith. Said the Lord: Many know not at what they
stumble. They heed not the voice of God, but
follow the sight of their own eyes and the
understanding of their own hearts. Unbelief and
skepticism have taken the place of faith. They have
forsaken Me.

    I was shown that fathers and mothers have
departed from their simplicity and neglected the
holy calling of the gospel. The Lord has
admonished them not to corrupt themselves by
adopting the customs and maxims of the world.
Christ would have given them the unsearchable
riches of His grace freely and abundantly, but they
prove themselves unworthy.

    Many are lifting up the soul unto vanity. No
sooner does a person imagine that he possesses any
talent which might be of use in the cause of God

                         124
than he overestimates the gift and is inclined to
think too highly of himself, as though he were a
pillar of the church. The work which he might do
with acceptance he leaves for someone else with
less ability than he considers himself to possess. He
thinks and talks of a higher station. He must let his
light shine before men; but instead of grace,
meekness, lowliness of mind, kindness, gentleness,
and love shining in his life, self, important self,
appears everywhere.

    The spirit of Christ should so control our
character and conduct that our influence may ever
bless, encourage, and edify. Our thoughts, our
words, our acts, should testify that we are born of
God and that the peace of Christ rules in our hearts.
In this way we throw around us the gracious
radiance of which the Saviour speaks when He
enjoins upon us to let our light shine forth to men.
Thus we are leaving a bright track heaven ward. In
this way all who are connected with Christ may
become more effectual preachers of righteousness
than by the most able pulpit effort without this
heavenly unction. Those light bearers shed forth

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the purest radiance that are the least conscious of
their own brightness, as those flowers diffuse the
sweetest fragrance that make the least display.

    Our people are making very dangerous
mistakes. We cannot praise and flatter any man
without doing him a great wrong; those who do this
will meet with serious disappointment. They trust
too fully to finite man and not enough to God, who
never errs. The eager desire to urge men into public
notice is an evidence of backsliding from God and
of friendship with the world. It is the spirit which
characterizes the present day. It shows that men
have not the mind of Jesus; spiritual blindness and
poverty of soul have come upon them. Often
persons of inferior minds look away from Jesus to
a merely human standard, by which they are not
made conscious of their own littleness, and hence
have an undue estimate of their own capabilities
and endowments. There is among us as a people an
idolatry of human instrumentalities and mere
human talent, and these even of a superficial
character. We must die to self and cherish humble,
childlike faith. God's people have departed from

                        126
their simplicity. They have not made God their
strength, and they are weak and faint, spiritually.

     I have been shown that the spirit of the world is
fast leavening the church. You are following the
same path as did ancient Israel. There is the same
falling away from your holy calling as God's
peculiar people. You are having fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness. Your concord
with unbelievers has provoked the Lord's
displeasure. You know not the things that belong to
your peace, and they are fast being hid from your
eyes. Your neglect to follow the light will place
you in a more unfavorable position than the Jews
upon whom Christ pronounced a woe.

    I have been shown that unbelief in the
testimonies has been steadily increasing as the
people backslide from God. It is all through our
ranks, all over the field. But few know what our
churches are to experience. I saw that at present we
are under divine forbearance, but no one can say
how long this will continue. No one knows how
great the mercy that has been exercised toward us.

                         127
But few are heartily devoted to God. There are
only a few who, like the stars in a tempestuous
night, shine here and there among the clouds.

    Many who complacently listen to the truths
from God's word are dead spiritually, while they
profess to live. For years they have come and gone
in our congregations, but they seem only less and
less sensible of the value of revealed truth. They do
not hunger and thirst after righteousness. They
have no relish for spiritual or divine things. They
assent to the truth, but are not sanctified through it.
Neither the word of God nor the testimonies of His
Spirit make any lasting impression upon them. Just
according to the light, the privileges, and
opportunities which they have slighted will be their
condemnation. Many who preach the truth to
others are themselves cherishing iniquity. The
entreaties of the Spirit of God, like divine melody,
the promises of His word so rich and abundant, its
threatenings against idolatry and disobedience—all
are powerless to melt the world-hardened heart.

   Many of our people are lukewarm. They

                         128
occupy the position of Meroz, neither for nor
against, neither cold nor hot. They hear the words
of Christ, but do them not. If they remain in this
state, He will reject them with abhorrence. Many of
those who have had great light, great opportunities,
and every spiritual advantage praise Christ and the
world with the same breath. They bow themselves
before God and mammon. They make merry with
the children of the world, and yet claim to be
blessed with the children of God. They wish to
have Christ as their Saviour, but will not bear the
cross and wear His yoke. May the Lord have mercy
upon you; for if you go on in this way, nothing but
evil can be prophesied concerning you.

    The patience of God has an object, but you are
defeating it. He is allowing a state of things to
come that you would fain see counteracted by and
by, but it will be too late. God commanded Elijah
to anoint the cruel and deceitful Hazael king over
Syria, that he might be a scourge to idolatrous
Israel. Who knows whether God will not give you
up to the deceptions you love? Who knows but that
the preachers who are faithful, firm, and true may

                        129
be the last who shall offer the gospel of peace to
our unthankful churches? It may be that the
destroyers are already training under the hand of
Satan and only wait the departure of a few more
standard-bearers to take their places, and with the
voice of the false prophet cry, Peace, peace," when
the Lord hath not spoken peace. I seldom weep, but
now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are
falling upon my paper as I write. It may be that
erelong all prophesyings among us will be at an
end, and the voice which has stirred the people
may no longer disturb their carnal slumbers.

    When God shall work His strange work on the
earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe
will be upon the people. Oh, that thou hadst
known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that
belong unto thy peace! Oh, that our people may, as
did Nineveh, repent with all their might and believe
with all their heart, that God may turn away His
fierce anger from them.

   I am filled with pain and anguish as I see
parents conforming to the world and allowing their

                        130
children to meet the worldly standard at such a
time as this. I am filled with horror as the condition
of families professing present truth is opened
before me. The profligacy of youth and even
children is almost incredible. Parents do not know
that secret vice is destroying and defacing the
image of God in their children. The sins which
characterized the Sodomites exist among them. The
parents are responsible; for they have not educated
their children to love and obey God. They have not
restrained them nor diligently taught them the way
of the Lord. They have allowed them to go out and
to come in when they chose, and to associate with
worldlings. These worldly influences which
counteract parental teaching and authority are to be
found largely in so-called good society. By their
dress, looks, amusements, they surround
themselves with an atmosphere which is opposed
to Christ.

   Our only safety is to stand as God's peculiar
people. We must not yield one inch to the customs
and fashions of this degenerate age, but stand in
moral independence, making no compromise with

                         131
its corrupt and idolatrous practices.

    It will require courage and independence to rise
above the religious standard of the Christian world.
They do not follow the Saviour's example of self-
denial; they make no sacrifice; they are constantly
seeking to evade the cross which Christ declares to
be the token of discipleship.

    What can I say to arouse our people? I tell you
not a few ministers who stand before the people to
explain the Scriptures are defiled. Their hearts are
corrupt, their hands unclean. Yet many are crying,
Peace, "peace;" and the workers of iniquity are not
alarmed. The Lord's hand is not shortened that He
cannot save, nor His ear heavy that He cannot hear;
but it is our sins that have separated us from God.
The church is corrupt because of her members who
defile their bodies and pollute their souls.

    If all of those who come together for meetings
of edification and prayer could be regarded as true
worshipers, then might we hope, though much
would still remain to be done for us. But it is in

                         132
vain to deceive ourselves. Things are far from
being what the appearance would indicate. From a
distant view much may appear beautiful which,
upon close examination, will be found full of
deformities. The prevailing spirit of our time is that
of infidelity and apostasy—a spirit of pretended
illumination because of a knowledge of the truth,
but in reality of the blindest presumption. There is
a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God and
to the testimony of His Spirit. There is a spirit of
idolatrous exaltation of mere human reason above
the revealed wisdom of God.

    There are men among us in responsible
positions who hold that the opinions of a few
conceited philosophers, so called, are more to be
trusted than the truth of the Bible, or the
testimonies of the Holy Spirit. Such a faith as that
of Paul, Peter, or John is considered old-fashioned
and insufferable at the present day. It is
pronounced absurd, mystical, and unworthy of an
intelligent mind.

   God has shown me that these men are Hazaels

                         133
to prove a scourge to our people. They are wise
above what is written. This unbelief of the very
truths of God's word because human judgment
cannot comprehend the mysteries of His work is
found in every district, in all ranks of society. It is
taught in most of our schools and comes into the
lessons of the nurseries. Thousands who profess to
be Christians give heed to lying spirits.
Everywhere the spirit of darkness in the garb of
religion will confront you.

    If all that appears to be divine life were such in
reality; if all who profess to present the truth to the
world were preaching for the truth and not against
it, and if they were men of God guided by His
Spirit,—then might we see something cheering
amid the prevailing moral darkness. But the spirit
of antichrist is prevailing to such an extent as never
before. Well may we exclaim: "Help, Lord; for the
godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among
the children of men." I know that many think far
too favorably of the present time. These ease-
loving souls will be engulfed in the general ruin.
Yet we do not despair. We have been inclined to

                         134
think that where there are no faithful ministers
there can be no true Christians, but this is not the
case. God has promised that where the shepherds
are not true He will take charge of the flock
Himself. God has never made the flock wholly
dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the
days of purification of the church are hastening on
apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the
mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better
able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs
reveal that the time is near when the Lord will
manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will
thoroughly purge His floor.

    The days are fast approaching when there will
be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in
angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very
elect. There will be gods many and lords many.
Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who
have rendered supreme homage to "science falsely
so called" will not be the leaders then. Those who
have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not
then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not
keep pace with the light. Those who have proved

                        135
themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted
with the flock. In the last solemn work few great
men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient,
independent of God, and He cannot use them. The
Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking,
testing time will be disclosed to view. There are
precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the
knee to Baal. They have not had the light which
has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you.
But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior
the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character
will be revealed. In the day time we look toward
heaven but do not see the stars. They are there,
fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot
distinguish them. In the night we behold their
genuine luster.

    The time is not far distant when the test will
come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be
urged upon us. Those who have step by step
yielded to worldly demands and conformed to
worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to
yield to the powers that be, rather than subject
themselves to derision, insult, threatened

                        136
imprisonment, and death. The contest is between
the commandments of God and the commandments
of men. In this time the gold will be separated from
the dross in the church. True godliness will be
clearly distinguished from the appearance and
tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for
its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff
like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even
from places where we see only floors of rich
wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the
sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's
righteousness, will appear in the shame of their
own nakedness.

    When trees without fruit are cut down as
cumberers of the ground, when multitudes of false
brethren are distinguished from the true, then the
hidden ones will be revealed to view, and with
hosannas range under the banner of Christ. Those
who have been timid and self-distrustful will
declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth.
The most weak and hesitating in the church will be
as David—willing to do and dare. The deeper the
night for God's people, the more brilliant the stars.

                        137
Satan will sorely harass the faithful; but, in the
name of Jesus, they will come off more than
conquerors. Then will the church of Christ appear
"fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as
an army with banners."

    The seeds of truth that are being sown by
missionary efforts will then spring up and blossom
and bear fruit. Souls will receive the truth who will
endure tribulation and praise God that they may
suffer for Jesus. "In the world ye shall have
tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome
the world." When the overflowing scourge shall
pass through the earth, when the fan is purging
Jehovah's floor, God will be the help of His people.
The trophies of Satan may be exalted on high, but
the faith of the pure and holy will not be daunted.

    Elijah took Elisha from the plow and threw
upon him his mantle of consecration. The call to
this great and solemn work was presented to men
of learning and position; had these been little in
their own eyes and trusted fully in the Lord, He
would have honored them with bearing His

                        138
standard in triumph to the victory. But they
separated from God, yielded to the influence of the
world, and the Lord rejected them.

   Many have exalted science and lost sight of the
God of science. This was not the case with the
church in the purest times.

    God will work a work in our day that but few
anticipate. He will raise up and exalt among us
those who are taught rather by the unction of His
Spirit than by the outward training of scientific
institutions. These facilities are not to be despised
or condemned; they are ordained of God, but they
can furnish only the exterior qualifications. God
will manifest that He is not dependent on learned,
self-important mortals.

    There are few really consecrated men among
us, few who have fought and conquered in the
battle with self. Real conversion is a decided
change of feelings and motives; it is a virtual
taking leave of worldly connections, a hastening
from their spiritual atmosphere, a withdrawing

                        139
from the controlling power of their thoughts,
opinions, and influences. The separation causes
pain and bitterness to both parties. It is the variance
which Christ declares that He came to bring. But
the converted will feel a continual longing desire
that their friends shall forsake all for Christ,
knowing that, unless they do, there will be a final
and eternal separation. The true Christian cannot,
while with unbelieving friends, be light and
trifling. The value of the souls for whom Christ
died is too great.

    He "that forsaketh not all that he hath," says
Jesus, "cannot be My disciple." Whatever shall
divert the affections from God must be given up.
Mammon is the idol of many. Its golden chain
binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor
are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish
ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of
others. These are Satan's snares, set for unwary
feet. But these slavish bands must be broken; the
flesh must be crucified with the affections and
lusts. We cannot be half the Lord's and half the
world's. We are not God's people unless we are

                         140
such entirely. Every weight, every besetting sin,
must be laid aside. God's watchmen will not cry,
"Peace, peace," when God has not spoken peace.
The voice of the faithful watchmen will be heard:
"Go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go
ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the
vessels of the Lord."

    The church cannot measure herself by the
world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she
once was. Her faith and her position in the world as
they now are must be compared with what they
would have been if her course had been continually
onward and upward. The church will be weighed in
the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral
character and spiritual state do not correspond with
the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon
her, she will be found wanting. The light has been
shining clear and definite upon her pathway, and
the light of 1882 calls her to an account. If her
talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not perfect
before God, if her light has become darkness, she is
indeed found wanting. The knowledge of our state
as God views it, seems to be hidden from us. We

                        141
see, but perceive not; we hear, but do not
understand; and we rest as unconcerned as if the
pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by
night, rested upon our sanctuary. We profess to
know God, and to believe the truth, but in works
deny Him. Our deeds are directly adverse to the
principles of truth and righteousness, by which we
profess to be governed.




                       142
                     Chapter 7

      Workers in Our College

    The very foundation of all true prosperity for
our college is a close union with God on the part of
teachers and students. The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom. His precepts should be
acknowledged as the rule of life. In the Bible the
will of God is revealed to His children. Wherever it
is read, in the family circle, the school, or the
church, all should give quiet and devout attention
as if God were really present and speaking to them.

    A high religious standard has not always been
maintained in our school. A majority of both
teachers and students are constantly seeking to
keep their religion out of sight. Especially has this
been the case since worldlings have patronized the
college. Christ requires from all His followers
open, manly confessions of their faith. Each must
take his position, and be what God designed he
should be, a spectacle to the world, to angels, and

                        143
to men. Every Christian is to be a light, not hid
under a bushel or under a bed, but put on a
candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in
the house.

    The teachers in our college should not conform
to worldly customs or adopt worldly principles.
The attributes which God prizes most are charity
and purity. These attributes should be cherished by
every Christian. "Everyone that loveth is born of
God, and knoweth God." "If we love one another,
God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in
us." "We shall see Him as He is. And every man
that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even
as He is pure."

     God has been moving upon the hearts of young
men to devote themselves to the ministry. They
have come to our college in the hope of finding
advantages there which they could obtain nowhere
else. But the solemn convictions of the Spirit of
God have been lightly regarded by teachers who
know but little of the worth of souls and feel but
little burden for their salvation, and they have

                         144
endeavored to turn the youth from the path into
which God had been seeking to lead them.

    The compensation of well-qualified teachers is
much higher than that of our ministers, and the
teacher does not labor nearly so hard or subject
himself to so great inconvenience as the minister
who gives himself wholly to the work. These
things have been presented before the youth, and
they have been encouraged to distrust God and
disbelieve His promises. Many have chosen the
easier course and have prepared themselves to
teach the sciences or to engage in some other
employment instead of preaching the truth.

    Thus God's work has been hindered by
unconsecrated teachers, who profess to believe the
truth but who have not the love of it in their hearts.
The educated young man is taught to look upon his
abilities as too precious to be devoted to the service
of Christ. But has God no claims upon him? Who
gave the power to obtain this mental discipline and
these accomplishments? Are they held on terms
altogether independent of Jehovah?

                         145
    Many a youth who is ignorant of the world,
ignorant of his weakness, ignorant of the future,
feels no need of a divine hand to point out his
course. He considers himself fully competent to
guide his own bark amid the breakers. Let such
youth remember that, wherever they may go, they
are not beyond the domain of God. They are not
free to choose what they will without consulting
the will of their Creator.

    Talent is ever best developed and best
appreciated where it is most needed. But this truth
is overlooked by many eager aspirants for
distinction. Though superficial in religious
experience and mental attainments, their
shortsighted ambition covets a higher sphere of
action than that in which Providence has placed
them. The Lord does not call them, as He did
Joseph and Daniel, to withstand the temptations of
worldly honor and high station. But they force
themselves into positions of danger and desert the
only post of duty for which they are fitted.


                       146
    The Macedonian cry is coming to us from all
directions. "Send us laborers," is the urgent appeal
from East and West. All around us are fields white
already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth
wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." Is it
not folly to turn from these fields to engage in a
business that can yield only pecuniary gain? Christ
wants no selfish workers who are seeking only for
the highest wages. He calls for those who are
willing to become poor for His sake, as He became
poor for them. What were the inducements
presented before Christ in this world? Insults,
mockery, poverty, shame, rejection, betrayal, and
crucifixion. Shall the undershepherds seek for an
easier lot than that of their Master?

    The word of God is a great simplifier of life's
complicated pursuits. To every earnest seeker it
imparts a divine wisdom. We should never forget
that we have been redeemed by suffering. It is the
precious blood of Christ that makes atonement for
us. By toil and sacrifice and peril, by losses of
worldly goods, and in agony of soul the gospel has
been borne to the world. God calls young men in

                        147
the vigor and strength of their youth to share with
Him self-denial, sacrifice, and suffering. If they
accept the call, He will make them His instruments
to save souls for whom He died. But He would
have them count the cost and enter upon their work
with a full knowledge of the conditions upon which
they serve a crucified Redeemer.

    I can hardly express my feelings when I think
how God's purpose in the establishment of our
college has been disregarded. Those who have a
form of godliness are denying, by their
unconsecrated lives, the power of the truth to make
men wise unto salvation. Look at the history of the
apostles, who suffered poverty, disgrace, abuse,
and even death for the truth's sake. They rejoiced
that they were accounted worthy to suffer for
Christ.

    If great results can be attained by great efforts
and great suffering, who of us that are subjects of
divine grace can refuse the sacrifice? The gospel of
Christ includes in its requirements every soul that
has heard the message of glad tidings. What shall

                        148
we render unto God for all His benefits to us? His
matchless mercy can never be repaid. We can, only
by willing obedience and grateful service, testify
our loyalty, and crown with honor our Redeemer.

    I have no higher wish than to see our youth
imbued with that spirit of pure religion which will
lead them to take up the cross and follow Jesus. Go
forth, young disciples of Christ, controlled by
principle, clad in the robes of purity and
righteousness. Your Saviour will guide you into the
position best suited to your talents and where you
can be most useful. In the path of duty you may be
sure of receiving grace sufficient for your day.

    The preaching of the gospel is God's chosen
agency for the salvation of souls. But our first work
should be to bring our own hearts into harmony
with God, and then we are prepared to labor for
others. In former days there was great searching of
heart among our earnest workers. They counseled
together and united in humble, fervent prayer for
divine guidance. There has been a decline in the
true missionary spirit among ministers and

                        149
teachers. Yet Christ's coming is nearer than when
we believed. Every passing day leaves us one less
to proclaim the message of warning to the world.
Would that there were today more earnest
intercession with God, greater humility, greater
purity, and greater faith.

    All are in constant danger. I warn the church to
beware of those who preach to others the word of
life but do not themselves cherish the spirit of
humility and self-denial which it inculcates. Such
men cannot be depended on in a crisis. They
disregard the voice of God as readily as did Saul,
and like him many stand ready to justify their
course. When rebuked by the Lord through His
prophet, Saul stoutly asserted that he had obeyed
the voice of God; but the bleating sheep and lowing
oxen testified that he had not. In the same manner
do many today assert their loyalty to God, but their
concerts and other pleasure gatherings, their
worldly associations, their glorifying of self, and
their eager desire for popularity all testify that they
have not obeyed His voice. "As for My people,
children are their oppressors, and women rule over

                         150
them."

    That is a high standard which the gospel sets
before us. The consistent Christian is not only a
new but a noble creature in Christ Jesus. He is an
unfailing light to show others the way to heaven
and to God. He who is drawing his life from Christ
will have no desire for the frivolous, unsatisfying
enjoyments of the world.

    Among the youth will be found great diversity
of character and education. Some have lived in an
element of arbitrary restraint and harshness, which
has developed in them a spirit of obstinacy and
defiance. Others have been household pets,
allowed by overfond parents to follow their own
inclinations. Every defect has been excused, until
their character is deformed. To deal successfully
with these different minds the teacher needs to
exercise great tact and delicacy in management, as
well as firmness in government.

   Dislike and even contempt for proper
regulations will often be manifested. Some will

                       151
exercise all their ingenuity in evading penalties,
while others will display a reckless indifference to
the consequences of transgression. All this will call
for more patience and greater exertion on the part
of those who are entrusted with their education.

    One of the greatest difficulties with which
teachers have had to contend is the failure on the
part of parents to cooperate in administering the
discipline of the college. If the parents would stand
pledged to sustain the authority of the teacher,
much insubordination, vice, and profligacy would
be prevented. Parents should require their children
to respect and obey rightful authority. They should
labor with unremitting care and diligence to
instruct, guide, and restrain their children until
right habits are firmly established. With such
training the youth would be in subjection to the
institutions of society and the general restraints of
moral obligation.

    Both by precept and example the young should
be taught simplicity of dress and manners, industry,
sobriety, and economy. Many students are

                        152
extravagant in expending the means furnished them
by their parents. They try to show themselves
superior to their associates by a lavish use of
money for display and self-indulgence. In some
institutions of learning this matter has been
regarded of so great consequence that the dress of
the student is prescribed and his use of money
limited by law. But indulgent parents and indulged
students will find some way to evade the law. We
would resort to no such means. We ask Christian
parents to take all these matters under careful,
prayerful consideration, to seek counsel from the
word of God, and then to endeavor to act in
accordance with its teachings.

    If facilities for manual labor were provided in
connection with our school, and students were
required to devote a portion of their time to some
active employment, it would prove a safeguard
against many of the evil influences that prevail in
institutions of learning. Manly, useful occupations,
substituted for frivolous and corrupting diversions,
would give legitimate scope for the exuberance of
youthful life and would promote sobriety and

                        153
stability of character. All possible effort should be
made to encourage a desire for moral and physical
as well as mental improvement. If girls were taught
how to cook, especially how to bake good bread,
their education would be of far greater value. A
knowledge of useful labor would prevent, to a great
extent, that sickly sentimentalism which has been
and is still ruining thousands. The exercise of the
muscles as well as the brain will encourage taste
for the homely duties of practical life.

     The present age is one of show and surface
work in education. Brother ——- possesses
naturally a love for system and thoroughness, and
these have become habit by lifelong training and
discipline. He has been approved of God for this.
His labors are of real worth because he will not
allow students to be superficial. But in his very
first efforts toward the establishment of a school he
encountered many obstacles. Had he been less
resolute and persevering he would have given up
the struggle. Some of the parents neglected to
sustain the school, and their children did not
respect the teacher because he wore poor clothing.

                        154
They allowed his appearance to prejudice them
against him. This spirit of disrespect was rebuked
of the Lord, and the teacher encouraged in his
work. But the complaints and unwise reports
carried home by the children strengthened the
prejudice of the parents. While Brother ——- was
seeking to inculcate true principles and establish
right habits, overindulged children were
complaining of their taxing studies. These very
ones, I was shown, were suffering because the
mind was not sufficiently occupied with proper
subjects. Their thoughts were upon demoralizing
matters, and both mind and body were enfeebled
through the habit of self-abuse. It was this vile
practice, not overstudy, that caused the frequent
illness of these children and prevented them from
making the advancement which the parents desired.

    The Lord approved of the general course of
Brother ——-, as he was laying the foundation for
the school which is now in operation. But the man
has labored too hard, without a firm, blessed,
strengthening home influence to lighten his
burdens. Under the strain of overwork he has made

                       155
some mistakes, not half so grievous, however, as
those of persons who have cherished bitterness
against him. In his connection with the youth he
has had to meet that spirit of rebellion and defiance
which the apostle declares to be one of the signs of
the last days.

    Some of the teachers in the college have failed
to realize the responsibility of their position. They
have not themselves been learners in the school of
Christ, and hence they have not been prepared to
instruct others.

    Among the students will be found some of idle,
vicious habits. These will need reproof and
discipline; but if they cannot be reformed, let them
not be driven further toward the pit by impatience
and harshness. Teachers should ever remember that
the youth under their charge are the purchase of the
blood of Christ, and are younger members of the
Lord's family. Christ made an infinite sacrifice to
redeem them. And teachers should feel that they
are to stand as missionaries, to win these students
to Jesus. If they are naturally combative, let them

                        156
carefully guard against the indulgence of this trait.
Those who have passed the critical period of youth
should never forget the temptations and trials of
early life and how much they wanted sympathy,
kindness, and love.

    He who devotes himself to arduous public labor
in the cause of humanity often finds little time to
devote to his own family and, in one sense, is left
almost without a family and without fireside, social
influences. It has been thus with Brother ——-. His
mind has been constantly taxed. He had little
opportunity to win the affections of his children or
to give them needed restraint and guidance.

    There are many in the college who need a
thorough conversion. Let none seek to discern the
mote that is in their brother's eye, when they have a
beam in their own eye. Each should cleanse his
own soul-temple from its defilement. Let envy and
jealousy go with the accumulated rubbish. Exalted
privileges and heavenly attainments, purchased for
us at an immense cost, are freely presented for our
acceptance. God holds us individually accountable

                        157
for the measure of light and privileges He has
given us. And if we refuse to render unto God the
improvement of the talents committed to our trust
we forfeit His favor.

    Professor ——- would have served you well
had he not been flattered by some and condemned
by others. He became confused. He had traits of
character that needed to be suppressed. In their
enthusiasm some have given him undue confidence
and praise. You have placed the man where it will
be difficult for him to recover himself and find his
true position. He has been sacrificed by both
parties in the church, because they failed to heed
the admonitions of the Spirit of God. This is
injustice to him. He had newly come to the faith,
and was not prepared for the developments which
have been made.

    How little we know of the bearing our acts will
have upon the future history of ourselves and
others. Many think it is of little importance what
they do. It will do no harm for them to attend this
concert, or unite with the world in that amusement,

                        158
if they wish to do so. Thus Satan leads and controls
their desires, and they do not consider that the
results may be most momentous. It may be the link
in the chain of events which binds a soul in the
snare of Satan and determines his eternal ruin.

     Every act, however small, has its place in the
great drama of life. Consider that the desire for a
single gratification of appetite introduced sin into
our world, with its terrible consequences.
Unhallowed marriages of the sons of God with the
daughters of men resulted in apostasy which ended
in the destruction of the world by a flood. The most
trifling act of self-indulgence has resulted in great
revolutions. This is the case now. There are very
few who are circumspect. Like the children of
Israel, they will not take heed to words of counsel,
but follow their own inclination. They unite with a
worldly element in attending gatherings where they
will be brought into notice, and thus lead the way
and others follow. What has been done once will
be done again by themselves and many others.
Every step these take makes a lasting impression,
not only on their own consciences and habits, but

                        159
upon those of others. This consideration gives
awful dignity to human life.

    My heart aches day after day and night after
night for our churches. Many are progressing, but
in the back track. "The path of the just . . . shineth
more and more unto the perfect day." Their march
is onward and upward. They progress from
strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from
glory to glory. This is the privilege of all our
churches. But, oh, how different has it been with
them! They need divine illumination. They must
face square about. I know what I say. Unless they
shall become Christians indeed, they will go from
weakness to weakness, divisions will increase, and
many souls will be led to perdition.

   All I can say to you is: Take up the light which
God has given you and follow it at any cost to
yourselves. This is your only safety. You have a
work to do to come into harmony, and may the
Lord help you to do it even if self is crucified.
Gather up the rays of light that have been slighted
and rejected. Gather them up with meekness, with

                         160
trembling, and with fear. The sin of ancient Israel
was in disregarding the expressed will of God and
following their own way according to the leadings
of unsanctified hearts. Modern Israel are fast
following in their footsteps, and the displeasure of
the Lord is as surely resting upon them.

     It is never difficult to do what we love to do,
but to take a course directly against our inclinations
is lifting a cross. Christ prayed that His disciples
might be one as He was one with the Father. This
unity is the credentials of Christ to the world that
God sent Him. When self-will is renounced in
reference to matters there will be a union of
believers with Christ. This all should pray for and
work for determinedly, thus answering as far as
possible the prayer of Christ for unity in His
church.




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                     Chapter 8

    Jealousy and Faultfinding
          Condemned

    It pains me to say that there are unruly tongues
among church members. There are false tongues
that feed on mischief. There are sly, whispering
tongues. There is tattling, impertinent meddling,
adroit quizzing. Among the lovers of gossip some
are actuated by curiosity, others by jealousy, many
by hatred against those through whom God has
spoken to reprove them. All these discordant
elements are at work. Some conceal their real
sentiments, while others are eager to publish all
they know, or even suspect, of evil against another.

    I saw that the very spirit of perjury, that would
turn truth into falsehood, good into evil, and
innocence into crime, is now active. Satan exults
over the condition of God's professed people.
While many are neglecting their own souls, they
eagerly watch for an opportunity to criticize and
                        162
condemn others. All have defects of character, and
it is not hard to find something that jealousy can
interpret to their injury. "Now," say these self-
constituted judges, "we have facts. We will fasten
upon them an accusation from which they can not
clear themselves." They wait for a fitting
opportunity and then produce their bundle of
gossip and bring forth their tidbits.

    In their efforts to carry a point, persons who
have naturally a strong imagination are in danger
of deceiving themselves and deceiving others.
They gather up unguarded expressions from
another, not considering that words may be uttered
hastily and hence may not reflect the real
sentiments     of the       speaker. But those
unpremeditated remarks, often so trifling as to be
unworthy of notice, are viewed through Satan's
magnifying glass, pondered, and repeated until
molehills become mountains. Separated from God,
the surmisers of evil become the sport of
temptation. They scarcely know the strength of
their feelings or the effect of their words. While
condemning the errors of others, they indulge far

                       163
greater errors themselves. Consistency is a jewel.

    Is there no law of kindness to be observed?
Have Christians been authorized of God to criticize
and condemn one another? Is it honorable, or even
honest, to win from the lips of another, under the
guise of friendship, secrets which have been
entrusted to him, and then turn the knowledge thus
gained to his injury? Is it Christian charity to gather
up every floating report, to unearth everything that
will cast suspicion on the character of another, and
then take delight in using it to injure him? Satan
exults when he can defame or wound a follower of
Christ. He is "the accuser of our brethren." Shall
Christians aid him in his work?

    God's all-seeing eye notes the defects of all and
the ruling passion of each, yet He bears with our
mistakes and pities our weakness. He bids His
people cherish the same spirit of tenderness and
forbearance. True Christians will not exult in
exposing the faults and deficiencies of others. They
will turn away from vileness and deformity, to fix
the mind upon that which is attractive and lovely.

                         164
To the Christian every act of faultfinding, every
word of censure or condemnation, is painful.

    There have always been men and women who
profess the truth, who have not conformed their
lives to its sanctifying influence; men who are
unfaithful, yet deceiving themselves and
encouraging themselves in sin. Unbelief is seen in
their life, their deportment, and character, and this
terrible evil acts as does a canker.

    Would all professed Christians use their
investigative powers to see what evils needed to be
corrected in themselves, instead of talking of
others' wrongs, there would be a more healthy
condition in the church today. Some will be honest
when it costs nothing; but when policy will pay
best, honesty is forgotten. Honesty and policy will
not work together in the same mind. In time, either
policy will be expelled, and truth and honesty reign
supreme, or, if policy is cherished, honesty will be
forgotten. They are never in agreement; they have
nothing in common. One is the prophet of Baal, the
other is the true prophet of God. When the Lord

                        165
makes up His jewels, the true, the frank, the honest,
will be looked upon with pleasure. Angels are
employed in making crowns for such ones, and
upon these star-gemmed crowns will be reflected,
with splendor, the light which radiates from the
throne of God.

     Our ministering brethren are too often imposed
upon by the relation of trials in the church, and
they too frequently refer to them in their
discourses. They should not encourage the
members of the church to complain of one another,
but should set them as spies upon their own
actions. None should allow their feelings of
prejudice and resentment to be aroused by the
relation of the wrongs of others; all should wait
patiently until they hear both sides of the question,
and then believe only what stern facts compel them
to believe. At all times the safe course is not to
listen to an evil report until the Bible rule has been
strictly carried out. This will apply to some who
have worked artfully to draw out from the
unsuspecting, matters which they had no business
with and which would do them no good to know.

                         166
    For your soul's sake, my brethren, have an eye
single to the glory of God. Leave self out of your
thoughts as much as possible. We are nearing the
close of time. Examine your motives in the light of
eternity. I know you need to be alarmed; you are
departing from the old landmarks. Your science, so
called, is undermining the foundation of Christian
principle. I have been shown the course you would
surely pursue should you disconnect from God. Do
not trust to your own wisdom. I tell you, your souls
are in imminent peril. For Christ's sake, search and
see why you have so little love for religious
exercises.

    The Lord is testing and proving His people.
You may be just as severe and critical with your
own defective character as you please; but be kind,
pitiful, and courteous toward others. Inquire every
day: Am I sound to the core, or am I false-hearted?
Entreat the Lord to save you from all deception on
this point. Eternal interests are involved. While so
many are panting after honor and greedy of gain,
do you, my beloved brethren, be eagerly seeking

                        167
the assurance of the love of God and crying: Who
will show me how to make my calling and election
sure?

    Satan carefully studies the constitutional sins of
men, and then he begins his work of alluring and
ensnaring them. We are in the thickest of
temptations, but there is victory for us if we fight
manfully the battles of the Lord. All are in danger.
But if you walk humbly and prayerfully you will
come forth from the proving process more precious
than fine gold, even than the golden wedge of
Ophir. If careless and prayerless, you will be as
sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

    Some have become almost lost in the mazes of
skepticism. To such I would say: Lift your mind
out of that channel. Fasten it upon God. The more
closely faith and holiness bind you to the Eternal
One, the clearer and brighter will the justice of His
dealings appear to you. Make life, eternal life, the
object of your pursuit.

   I know your danger. If you lose confidence in

                         168
the testimonies you will drift away from Bible
truth. I have been fearful that many would take a
questioning, doubting position, and in my distress
for your souls I would warn you. How many will
heed the warning? As you now hold the
testimonies, should one be given crossing your
track, correcting your errors, would you feel at
perfect liberty to accept or reject any part or the
whole? That which you will be least inclined to
receive is the very part most needed. God and
Satan never work in copartnership. The testimonies
either bear the signet of God or that of Satan. A
good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit, neither
can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. By their
fruit ye shall know them. God has spoken. Who has
trembled at His word?




                       169
                     Chapter 9

  The Day of the Lord at Hand

    "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near,
and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the
Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That
day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress,
a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of
darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick
darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against
the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And
I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk
like blind men, because they have sinned against
the Lord."

    "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I
will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the
men that are settled on their lees: that say in their
heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He
do evil."

   "Gather    yourselves    together,   yea,   gather

                        170
together, O nation not desired; before the decree
bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before
the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before
the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek
ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have
wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek
meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of
the Lord's anger."

    We are near the close of time. I have been
shown that the retributive judgments of God are
already in the land. The Lord has given us warning
of the events about to take place. Light is shining
from His word; yet darkness covers the earth, and
gross darkness the people. "When they shall say,
Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh
upon them; . . . and they shall not escape."

    It is our duty to inquire the cause of this terrible
darkness, that we may shun the course by which
men have brought upon themselves so great
delusion. God has given the world an opportunity
to learn and to obey His will. He has given them, in
His word, the light of truth; He has sent them

                          171
warning, counsel, and admonition; but few will
obey His voice. Like the Jewish nation, the
majority, even of professed Christians, pride
themselves on their superior advantages, but make
no returns to God for these great blessings. In
infinite mercy a last warning message has been
sent to the world, announcing that Christ is at the
door and calling attention to God's broken law. But
as the antediluvians rejected with scorn the
warning of Noah, so will the pleasure lovers of
today reject the message of God's faithful servants.
The world pursues its unvarying round, absorbed
as ever in its business and its pleasures, while the
wrath of God is about to be visited on the
transgressors of His law.

    Our compassionate Redeemer, foreseeing the
perils that would surround His followers at this
time, has given them special warning: "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. For as a snare shall it come on all them
that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye

                        172
therefore, and pray always, that ye may be
accounted worthy to escape all these things that
shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of
man." If the church pursue a course similar to that
of the world, they will share the same fate. Nay,
rather, as they have received greater light, their
punishment will be greater than that of the
impenitent.

    We as a people profess to have truth in advance
of every other people upon the earth. Then our life
and character should be in harmony with such a
faith. The day is just upon us when the righteous
shall be bound like precious grain in bundles for
the heavenly garner, while the wicked are, like the
tares, gathered for the fires of the last great day.
But the wheat and tares "grow together until the
harvest." In the discharge of life's duties the
righteous will to the last be brought in contact with
the ungodly. The children of light are scattered
among the children of darkness, that the contrast
may be seen by all. Thus are the children of God to
"show forth the praises of Him who hath called you
out of darkness into His marvelous light." The

                        173
divine love glowing in the heart, the Christ like
harmony manifested in the life, will be as a
glimpse of heaven granted to men of the world that
they may see and appreciate its excellence.

    Like will attract like. Those who are drinking
from the same fountain of blessing will draw
nearer together. Truth dwelling in the hearts of
believers will lead to blessed and happy
assimilation. Thus will be answered the prayer of
Christ that His disciples might be one even as He is
one with the Father. For this oneness every truly
converted heart will be striving.

    With the ungodly there will be a deceptive
harmony that but partially conceals a perpetual
discord. In their opposition to the will and the truth
of God they are united, while on every other point
they are rent with hatred, emulation, jealousy, and
deadly strife.

   The pure and the base metal are now so
mingled that only the discerning eye of the infinite
God can with certainty distinguish between them.

                         174
But the moral magnet of holiness and truth will
attract together the pure metal, while it will repel
the base and counterfeit.

    "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near,
and hasteth greatly;" but where do we behold the
true advent spirit? Who are preparing to stand in
that time of temptation which is just before us? The
people to whom God has entrusted the sacred,
solemn, testing truths for this time are sleeping at
their post. They say by their actions: We have the
truth; we are "rich, and increased with goods, and
have need of nothing;" while the True Witness
declares: Thou "knowest not that thou art wretched,
and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."

    With what fidelity do these words portray the
present condition of the church: "Knowest not that
thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind, and naked." Messages of warning, dictated
by the Holy Spirit, are borne by the servants of
God, defects of character are presented before the
erring; but they say: "That does not represent my
case. I do not accept the message you bring. I am

                        175
doing the best I can. I believe the truth."

    That evil servant who said in his heart, "My
Lord delayeth His coming," professed to be waiting
for Christ. He was a "servant," outwardly devoted
to the service of God while at heart he had yielded
to Satan. He does not, like the scoffer, openly deny
the truth, but reveals in his life the sentiment of the
heart—that the Lord's coming is delayed.
Presumption renders him careless of eternal
interests. He accepts the world's maxims and
conforms to its customs and practices. Selfishness,
worldly pride, and ambitions predominate. Fearing
that his brethren may stand higher than himself, he
begins to disparage their efforts and impugn their
motives. Thus he smites his fellow servants. As he
alienates himself from the people of God he unites
more and more with the ungodly. He is found
eating and drinking "with the drunken"—joining
with worldlings and partaking of their spirit. Thus
he is lulled into a carnal security and overcome by
forgetfulness, indifference, and sloth.

    The very beginning of the evil was a neglect of

                         176
watchfulness and secret prayer, then came a
neglect of other religious duties, and thus the way
was opened for all the sins that followed. Every
Christian will be assailed by the allurements of the
world, the clamors of the carnal nature, and the
direct temptations of Satan. No one is safe. No
matter what our experience has been, no matter
how high our station, we need to watch and pray
continually. We must be daily controlled by the
Spirit of God or we are controlled by Satan.

    The Saviour's instructions to His disciples were
given for the benefit of His followers in every age.
He had those in view who were living near the
close of time, when He said: "Take heed to
yourselves." It is our work, each for himself, to
cherish in the heart the precious graces of the Holy
Spirit.

    Satan is working with unfailing perseverance
and intense energy to draw into his ranks the
professed followers of Christ. He is working "with
all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that
perish." But Satan is not the only worker by whom

                        177
the kingdom of darkness is supported. Whoever
solicits to sin is a tempter. Whoever imitates the
great deceiver becomes his aid. Those who give
their influence to sustain an evil work are doing
Satan's drudgery.

    Actions reveal principles and motives. The fruit
borne by many who claim to be plants in the Lord's
vineyard shows them to be but thorns and briers. A
whole church may sanction the wrong course of
some of its members, but that sanction does not
prove the wrong to be right. It cannot make grapes
of thorn berries.

    If some who profess to believe present truth
could understand their true position, they would
despair of the mercy of God. They have been
exerting all their influence against the truth, against
the voice of warning, against the people of God.
They have been doing the work of Satan. Many
have become so infatuated by his deceptions that
they will never recover. Such a state of backsliding
cannot exist without causing the loss of many
souls.

                         178
    The church has received warning after warning.
The duties and dangers of God's people have been
plainly revealed. But the worldly element has
proved too strong for them. Customs, practices,
and fashions which lead the soul away from God
have been for years gaining ground in defiance of
the warnings and entreaties of the Holy Spirit, until
at last their ways have become right in their own
eyes, and the Spirit's voice is scarcely heard. No
man can tell how far he may go in sin when once
he yields himself to the power of the great
deceiver. Satan entered into Judas Iscariot and
induced him to betray his Lord. Satan led Ananias
and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Ghost. Those who
are not wholly consecrated to God may be led to do
the work of Satan, while yet they flatter themselves
that they are in the service of Christ.

   Brethren and sisters, I entreat you to "examine
yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your
own selves." To maintain the warmth and purity of
Christian love requires a constant supply of the
grace of Christ. Have you employed every means

                        179
that your "love may abound yet more and more,"
"that ye may approve things that are excellent," and
be filled with the fruits of righteousness "which are
by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God"?

    Many who should stand firm for righteousness
and truth have manifested weakness and indecision
that have encouraged the assaults of Satan. Those
who fail to grow in grace, not seeking to reach the
highest standard in divine attainments, will be
overcome.

    This world is to the Christian a land of
strangers and enemies. Unless he shall take for his
defense the divine panoply and wield the sword of
the Spirit he will become the prey of the powers of
darkness. The faith of all will be tested. All will be
tried as gold is tried in the fire.

   The church is composed of imperfect, erring
men and women, who call for the continual
exercise of charity and forbearance. But there has
been a long period of general lukewarmness; a
worldly spirit coming into the church has been

                         180
followed by alienation, faultfinding, malice, strife,
and iniquity.

    Should there be less sermonizing by men who
are unconsecrated in heart and life, and were more
time devoted to humbling the soul before God, then
might we hope that the Lord would appear to your
help and heal your backslidings. Much of the
preaching of late begets a false security. Important
interests in the cause of God cannot be wisely
managed by those who have had so little real
connection with God as some of our ministers have
had. To entrust the work to such men is like setting
children to manage great vessels at sea. Those who
are destitute of heavenly wisdom, destitute of
living power with God, are not competent to steer
the gospel ship amid icebergs and tempests. The
church is passing through severe conflicts, but in
her peril many would trust her to hands that will
surely wreck her. We need a pilot on board now,
for we are nearing the harbor. As a people we
should be the light of the world. But how many are
foolish virgins, having no oil in their vessels with
their lamps. May the Lord of all grace, abundant in

                        181
mercy, full of forgiveness, pity and save us, that we
perish not with the wicked!

    In this season of conflict and trial we need all
the support and consolation we can derive from
righteous principles, from fixed religious
convictions, from the abiding assurance of the love
of Christ, and from a rich experience in divine
things. We shall attain to the full stature of men
and women in Christ Jesus only as the result of a
steady growth in grace.

    Oh, what can I say to open blind eyes, to
enlighten the spiritual understanding! Sin must be
crucified. A complete moral renovation must be
wrought by the Holy Spirit. We must have the love
of God, with living, abiding faith. This is the gold
tried in the fire. We can obtain it only of Christ.
Every sincere and earnest seeker will become a
partaker of the divine nature. His soul will be filled
with intense longing to know the fullness of that
love which passes knowledge; as he advances in
the divine life he will be better able to grasp the
elevated, ennobling truths of the word of God, until

                         182
by beholding he becomes changed and is enabled
to reflect the likeness of his Redeemer.




                     183
                    Chapter 10

          Unwise Marriages

    I have been shown that the youth of today have
no true sense of their great danger. There are many
of the young whom God would accept as laborers
in the various branches of His work, but Satan
steps in and so entangles them in his web that they
become estranged from God and powerless in His
work. Satan is a sharp and persevering workman.
He knows just how to entrap the unwary, and it is
an alarming fact that but few succeed in escaping
from his wiles. They see no danger and do not
guard against his devices. He prompts them to
fasten their affections upon one another without
seeking wisdom of God or of those whom He has
sent to warn, reprove, and counsel. They feel self-
sufficient and will not bear restraint.

    Your own case, Brother ——-, is a forcible
illustration of this. You have become infatuated
with the thought of marriage. As is generally the

                       184
case with those who have their minds directed in
this channel, the warnings of the servants of God
have but little influence upon you. I have been
shown how easily you are affected by surrounding
influences. Should you connect with associates
whose minds are cast in an inferior mold, you
would become like them. Unless the love and fear
of God were before you, their thoughts would be
your thoughts; if they lacked reverence, you also
would be come irreverent, if they were frivolous
and given to pleasure seeking, you would follow in
the same path with a zeal and perseverance worthy
of a better cause.

    The young lady upon whom you have placed
your affections has not depth of thought or
character. Her life has been frivolous, and her mind
is narrow and superficial. Yet you have steadily
refused to be cautioned by your father, your loving
sister, or by your friends in the church. I came to
you as Christ's ambassador; but your strong
feelings, your self-confidence, closed your eyes to
danger and your ears to warnings. Your course has
been as persistent as though no one knew quite so

                        185
much as yourself or as though the salvation of your
soul depended upon your following your own
judgment.

    Should every young man who professes the
truth do as you have done, what would be the
condition of families and of the church? Consider
the influence of the disrespect you have shown for
your parents by your self-will and self-sufficiency.
You are among the class described as heady, high-
minded. This infatuation has caused you to lose
your interest in religious things and to think only of
yourself instead of the glory of God. No good can
come of this intimacy or attachment. The blessing
of God will not attend any such willful course as
you are pursuing. You should not be eager to enter
the marriage relation and assume the care of a
family before you have thoroughly established
your own character. I regard you as in great
darkness but unable to realize your peril.

    The truth was reforming your life and
character, and you were gaining the confidence of
the brethren; but Satan saw that he was losing you,

                         186
and therefore he increased his efforts to entangle
you in his wily snare and has succeeded
wonderfully. The weakness of your nature, hitherto
undiscovered, is now developed. You do not see
your condition, although it is very apparent to
others. Light does not come to a man who makes
no effort to obtain it. When you saw that your
brethren and sisters were grieved with your course,
then it was time for you to stop and consider what
you were doing, to pray much, and to counsel with
men of experience in the church and gratefully
accept their advice.

     "But," say you, "should I follow the judgment
of the brethren independent of my own feelings?" I
answer: The church is God's delegated authority
upon earth. Christ has said: "Whatsoever ye shall
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and
whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed
in heaven." There is altogether too little respect
paid to the opinion of members of the same church.
It is the want of deference for the opinions of the
church that causes so much trouble among
brethren. The eyes of the church may be able to

                       187
discern in its individual members that which the
erring may not see. A few persons may be as blind
as the one in error, but the majority of the church is
a power which should control its individual
members.

    The apostle Peter says: "Likewise, ye younger,
submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be
subject one to another, and be clothed with
humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth
grace to the humble." Paul exhorts: "Be kindly
affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in
honor preferring one another," "submitting
yourselves one to another in the fear of God." "Let
nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in
lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than
themselves." Unless the advice and counsel of the
church can be respected, it is indeed powerless.
God has placed a voice in the church which must
control its members.

    If you are led by truth rather than error you will
be willing to obey your parents and sacredly regard
the voice of the church. Your prayers have been

                         188
made with a determination to carry out what you
regarded as right, irrespective of the wishes of your
parents or of the church. All through your life you
have been actuated in a large degree by selfish
feelings. Ofttimes a great sacrifice of feeling has to
be made in order to comply with the conditions laid
down in God's word and to act from principle.

    "Should parents," you ask, "select a companion
with out regard to the mind or feelings of son or
daughter?" I put the question to you as it should be:
Should a son or daughter select a companion
without first consulting the parents, when such a
step must materially affect the happiness of parents
if they have any affection for their children? And
should that child, notwithstanding the counsel and
entreaties of his parents, persist in following his
own course? I answer decidedly: No; not if he
never marries. The fifth commandment forbids
such a course. "Honor thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee." Here is a
commandment with a promise which the Lord will
surely fulfill to those who obey.

                         189
    Wise parents will never select companions for
their children without respect to their wishes. No
one has ever proposed to do this in your case. But
most of that which the youth of our day term love
is only blind impulse, which originates with Satan
to compass their destruction.

    Should you, my brother, go to our college now,
as you have planned, I fear for your course there.
Your expressed determination to have a lady's
company wherever you should go shows me that
you are far from being in a position to be benefited
by going to Battle Creek. The infatuation which is
upon you is more satanic than divine. I do not wish
to have you disappointed in regard to Battle Creek.
The rules are strict there. No courting is allowed.
The school would be worth nothing to students
were they to become entangled in love affairs as
you have been. Our college would soon be
demoralized. Parents do not send their children to
our college or to our offices to commence a
lovesick, sentimental life, but to be educated in the
sciences or to learn the printer's trade. Were the

                        190
rules so lax that the youth were allowed to become
bewildered and infatuated with the society of the
opposite sex as you have been for some months
past, the object of their going to Battle Creek
would be lost. If you cannot put this entirely out of
your mind and go there with the spirit of a learner
and with a purpose to arouse yourself to the most
earnest, humble, sincere efforts, praying that you
may have a close connection with God, it would be
better for you to remain at home.

    Should you go you ought to be prepared to
withstand temptation and to hold up the hands of
professors and teachers, letting your influence be
wholly on the side of discipline and order. God
designs that all who work in His cause shall be
subject one to another, ready to receive advice and
instruction. They should train themselves by the
severest mental and moral discipline, that by the
assisting grace of God they may be fitted in mind
and heart to train others. Fervent prayer, humility,
and earnestness must be combined with God's help,
for human frailties and human feelings are
continually striving for the mastery. Every man

                        191
must purify his soul through obedience to the truth,
and with an eye single to God's glory he must
abase self and exalt Jesus and His grace. By thus
continually advancing toward the light he will
become acquainted with God and receive His help.
Some of those who attend the college do not
properly improve their time. Full of the buoyancy
of youth, they spurn the restraint that is brought to
bear upon them. Especially do they rebel against
the rules that will not allow young gentlemen to
pay their attentions to young ladies. Full well is
known the evil of such a course in this degenerate
age. In a college where so many youth are
associated, imitating the customs of the world in
this respect would turn the thoughts in a channel
that would hinder them in their pursuit of
knowledge and in their interest in religious things.
The infatuation on the part of both young men and
women in thus placing the affections upon each
other during school days shows a lack of good
judgment. As in your own case, blind impulse
controls reason and judgment. Under this
bewitching delusion the momentous responsibility
felt by every sincere Christian is laid aside,

                        192
spirituality dies, and the judgment and eternity lose
their awful significance.

    Every faculty of those who become affected by
this contagious disease—blind love—is brought in
subjection to it. They seem to be devoid of good
sense, and their course of action is disgusting to all
who behold it. My brother, you have made yourself
a subject of talk and have lowered yourself in the
estimation of those whose approval you should
prize. With many the crisis of the disease is
reached in an immature marriage, and when the
novelty is past and the bewitching power of love-
making is over, one or both parties awake to their
true situation. They then find themselves ill-mated,
but united for life. Bound to each other by the most
solemn vows, they look with sinking hearts upon
the miserable life they must lead. They ought then
to make the best of their situation, but many will
not do this. They will either prove false to their
marriage vows or make the yoke which they
persisted in placing upon their own necks so very
galling that not a few cowardly put an end to their
existence.

                         193
    Associating with the vain, the superficial, and
the skeptical will be productive of moral depravity
and ruin. Bold, forward young gentlemen or ladies
may have something pleasing in their address; they
may have brilliant powers of mind and skill to
make the bad appear even preferable to the good.
Such persons will enchant and bewilder a certain
class, and souls will be lost in consequence. The
influence of every man's thoughts and actions
surrounds him like an invisible atmosphere, which
is unconsciously breathed in by all who come in
contact with him. This atmosphere is frequently
charged with poisonous influences, and when these
are inhaled, moral degeneracy is the sure result.

    My young brother, would that I could impress
upon you your true condition. You must repent or
you can never see the kingdom of heaven. Many
young men and women who profess godliness do
not know what it is to follow Christ. They do not
imitate His example in doing good. Love and
gratitude toward God are not springing up in the
heart nor expressed in their words and deportment.

                       194
They do not possess the spirit of self-denial, neither
do they encourage each other in the way of
holiness. We do not want young people to engage
in the solemn work of God who profess Christ but
have not the moral strength to take their position
with those who are sober and watch unto prayer
and who have their conversation in heaven, whence
they look for the Saviour. We do not feel
overanxious for youth to go to Battle Creek who
profess to be Sabbath-keepers but who indicate by
their choice of companions their low state of
morals.

    The door of our college will ever be open to
those who are not professors of religion, and the
youth coming to Battle Creek may have this
irreligious society if it is their choice. If they have
right motives in associating with these and
sufficient spiritual strength to withstand their
influence they may be a power for good; while they
are learners they may become teachers. The true
Christian does not choose the company of the
unconverted for love of the atmosphere
surrounding their irreligious lives or to excite

                         195
admiration and secure applause, but for the purpose
of communicating light and knowledge, and
bringing them up to a noble, elevated standard, the
broad platform of eternal truth.

    One person with pure motives, intent on
becoming intelligent that he may make a right use
of his abilities, will be a power for good in the
school. He will have a molding influence. When
parents justify the complaints of their children
against the authority and discipline of the school,
they do not see that they are increasing the
demoralizing power which now prevails to such a
fearful extent. Every influence surrounding the
youth needs to be on the right side, for youthful
depravity is increasing.

    With worldly youth, the love of society and
pleasure becomes an absorbing passion. To dress,
to visit, to indulge the appetite and passions, and to
whirl through the round of social dissipation
appears to be the great end of existence. They are
unhappy if left in solitude. Their chief desire is to
be admired and flattered, and to make a sensation

                         196
in society; and when this desire is not gratified, life
seems unendurable.

    Those who will put on the whole armor of God
and devote some time every day to meditation and
prayer and to the study of the Scriptures will be
connected with heaven and will have a saving,
transforming influence upon those around them.
Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions
of truth and duty to God, will be theirs. They will
be yearning for purity, for light, for love, for all the
graces of heavenly birth. Their earnest prayers will
enter into that within the veil. This class will have a
sanctified boldness to come into the presence of the
Infinite One. They will feel that heaven's light and
glories are for them, and they will become refined,
elevated, ennobled by this intimate acquaintance
with God. Such is the privilege of true Christians.

    Abstract meditation is not enough; busy action
is not enough; both are essential to the formation of
Christian character. Strength acquired in earnest,
secret prayer prepares us to withstand the
allurements of society. And yet we should not

                          197
exclude ourselves from the world, for our Christian
experience is to be the light of the world. The
society of unbelievers will do us no harm if we
mingle with them for the purpose of connecting
them with God and are strong enough spiritually to
withstand their influence.

    Christ came into the world to save it, to connect
fallen man with the infinite God. Christ's followers
are to be channels of light. Maintaining
communion with God, they are to transmit to those
in darkness and error the choice blessings which
they receive of heaven. Enoch did not become
polluted with the iniquities existing in his day; why
need we in our day? But we may, like our Master,
have compassion for suffering humanity, pity for
the unfortunate, and a generous consideration for
the feelings and necessities of the needy, the
troubled, and the despairing.

   Those who are Christians indeed will seek to
do good to others and at the same time will so
order their conversation and deportment as to
maintain a calm, hallowed peace of mind. God's

                        198
word requires that we should be like our Saviour,
that we should bear His image, imitate His
example, live His life. Selfishness and worldliness
are not fruits of a Christian tree. No man can live
for himself and yet enjoy the approbation of God.




                       199
                    Chapter 11

      Warnings and Reproofs

    There is an element in the church at ——- that
is detrimental to its spiritual interests. There is a
great want of vital godliness, of experimental
religion. I call no names. Let each search his own
heart and understand his own imperfections. There
are some who are ever leaning toward the world,
ever lowering the standard of religion by their
worldly conversation. They have not the love of
God in their hearts. They are weak-handed when
real help is needed in the church. This spiritual
weakness is the result of their own unwillingness to
bear burdens when and where they can help the
most. When, however, there is any plan or device
of their own to carry out, they are willing to
assume any responsibility; to have their own way is
their purpose. If that were a sanctified way, it
would not be so bad; but it is not.

   There is great need of zealous, disinterested

                        200
workers in God's cause. One Christ-loving, devoted
member will do more good in a church than one
hundred half-converted, unsanctified, self-
sufficient workers. It is impossible for the church
to be a living, active church unless its members
shall be willing to bear burdens and assume
responsibilities. In church relationship are brought
together different temperaments and dispositions.
In the ——-church there are a few devoted, God-
fearing, faithful souls who pray much, who carry
the burden of the church, and whose happiness is in
the prosperity of its members. Here, as elsewhere,
Satan is constantly at work to drag down and
demoralize. It is the business of the adversary of
souls to weaken and destroy every organization
which, if prospered, would glorify God.

    Young men have received the truth and run
well for a season, but Satan has woven his meshes
about them in unwise attachments and poor
marriages. This he saw would be the most
successful way he could allure them from the path
of holiness. For a while some of these youth bore
the gospel armor with dignity and grace. Just as

                        201
long as the heart and mind were in subjection to the
divine will, there was prosperity; but when the eye
was diverted from Jesus and attracted to unworthy
objects, then it was that self asserted the sway, that
carnal reason overbore wise judgment and
integrity, and the Christian armor was thought too
weighty to be borne by those so young in years. It
would do for old, experienced soldiers of the
gospel, but it was too heavy for youth. The tempter
offered many suggestions calculated to cause
inconstancy and vacillation in the Christian course.

    The injunction of the Captain of their salvation
was, "Take ye heed, watch and pray," "lest ye enter
into temptation;" but it was too much trouble to
faithfully guard the soul, and the deceptive power
of Satan and the deceitful heart allured away from
Christ. If these young men and young women had
considered the words of the apostle, "Ye are not
your own, for ye are bought with a price," they
would not have felt at liberty to keep back from
God that which He had purchased at an infinite
cost.


                         202
    There is not one youth in one hundred who
feels his God-given responsibility. Every physical
and mental capability should be carefully preserved
and put to the best and highest use to advance the
glory of God. Those youth who permit their powers
to be perverted, thus abusing God's gifts, will be
called to strict account for the good they might
have done had they availed themselves of the
provision made through Jesus Christ. God claims
the working of every faculty.

    There are youth in the ——- church who
should be cultivating the grace of Christian
steadfastness and growing up to be men of faith.
They should become firm, unwavering, rooted and
grounded in the truth. The church needs the very
help which God designed they should give. Those
professing His name have not consecrated their
powers fully and entirely to Him, but have yielded
them, in a measure, to the service of Satan. Such
have been, and still are, robbing God. Like the
unfaithful steward to whom were entrusted talents,
they have hid the gifts of God in the world.


                       203
    Another great detriment to the church at ——-
has been the material which has come into it. This
material needs to be melted over by the Spirit of
God. The dross is seen in crude, sharp traits of
character, which might have been removed had
these individuals been learners of Christ. But they
have not fully separated themselves from the spirit
and influences of the world. They rob God by daily
mingling His time, His talents, and His strength
with a worldly element. These powers cannot be
withheld from God without resulting in eternal
ruin. You have been bought with a price, even if
you perish because you will not be saved in God's
appointed way.

    Holy angels are watching with intense interest,
to see if the individual members of the church will
honor their Redeemer, to see if they will place
themselves in connection with heaven and no
longer defraud the Lord, whom they profess to
love, honor, and serve. God calls for His own. You
are His by creation, and doubly His by redemption.
But when you suffer the fires of unhallowed
passion to light up the eye, when you speak words

                       204
that drive the holy angels from you, when you
think evil of your brethren, when you profane your
hands with the gains of ungodliness, you are
yielding your members as instruments of
unrighteousness.

    Brother ——-, I saw that "Wanting" was
written against your name in the Ledger of
Heaven—wanting in patience, in forbearance, in
self-control, in lowliness and meekness. The want
of these heavenly graces will surely close the gates
of heaven against you. Your body, your soul, your
entire being with all its capabilities, God claims as
His. That hasty, uncontrolled temper must be
overcome. Spiritual disease is the sure result of
giving way to this fretting, complaining,
murmuring spirit. And this disease of soul will be
your own fault. Cease to fret, cease to be stubborn,
cease to pet self, and be a noblehearted, valiant
man for God. Jesus loves you. Has He not made
ample provision for you, that you should have help
when brought into difficult places? "What," He
says, "could have been done more to My vineyard,
that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I

                        205
looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it
forth wild grapes?" The fruit Christ claims, after
the patient care bestowed upon His church, is faith,
patience, love, forbearance, heavenly-mindedness,
meekness. These are clusters of fruit which mature
amid storm and cloud and darkness, as well as in
the sunshine.

    Brother ——- is joined to the church, but not to
the Lord. He has a dyspeptic religion. He is not
right with God; he is filled with self. He has lost
much by uniting with individuals who have not the
spirit of Christ. He is lacking in almost every grace.
He is useless to himself, and a great stumbling
block to the church. Dear brother, Satan has
controlled you to a great extent; your thoughts are
unsanctified, your actions are not in accordance
with the spirit of a true Christian. You have
brought on your own disease; you must be your
own restorer through the help of the divine
Physician. Your moral powers are weak for want of
nourishment. You are starving spiritually for Bible
truth—the bread of life. You need to draw daily
nourishment from the living Vine. The church

                         206
receives no strength from you and in your present
condition would be better off without you, for now,
if anything arises to cross your track and you
cannot control matters, you settle back with
stubbornness, a dead weight on the church. You
bear no burden or weight of the cause. God has
borne long with you, but there is a limit to His
forbearance, a line beyond which you may venture,
when His Spirit will no longer strive with you, but
leave you in your own perversity, defiled with
selfishness, and debased with sin.

    Brother ——- does not possess a right spirit.
His disposition to lead hurts him, for he is not fitted
for any such work. He can act a good part in the
church if self is not made prominent. More
meekness and lowliness will make his efforts a
blessing to the church instead of a burden.

   Brother and Sister ——-, I saw opposite your
names also, in the heavenly record, the word,
"Wanting." You need to be emptied of self and the
soul temple cleansed. Both of you have ability to
do good, but it is unsanctified. You are greatly

                         207
deficient in the simplicity of godliness. Were the
church left to be molded by your standard of
religion, it would be demoralized into a worldly,
unconsecrated form. You might have been a great
blessing to the church, but you have greatly failed.
Jesus bids you come out from the spirit of the
world. Sister ——-, I am alarmed for you and for
those who are brought in contact with your
influence. You reach a low standard. "Whatsoever
a man soweth, that shall he also reap." By your
words and actions you are now casting the seed.
You are either sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit.
In the day of final reckoning everyone must take
the sickle and mow down the crop his own hand
has sown.

    Your husband is mistaking his work. When he
shall humble his heart as a little child, and when he
shall feel his own importance less and his need of
help from God more, then he may be where he can
be used to God's glory. But, as he is, he does not
realize the wants of the cause. There is so much
great I, and so little Jesus exhibited in the life and
character of many, that God will accept nothing

                         208
from their hands. But few realize the solemnity of
the time in which we live—the day of God's
preparation. Should you both be converted and
devote your ability to studying how to build up the
church instead of weakening it and helping the
enemy in his work of leading its members to the
world you would be gaining a valuable experience
every day as you pass along. Brother ——- has
been a great hindrance to the church. He should not
be a member of the church unless his daily life is in
harmony with his profession. God does not
acknowledge him as His child. He stands today
under the black banner of the powers of darkness.
Satan has him completely under his control.

    Such strong, discouraging influences as these
have been a tide almost too strong for the church to
stand against. Ten members, who were walking in
all humbleness of mind, would have a far greater
power upon the world than has the entire church,
with its present numbers and lack of unity. The
more there is of the divided, inharmonious element,
the less power will the church have for good in the
world.

                        209
    Would that I could make plain to your
beclouded senses, my brethren, the great peril you
are in. Every action, good or bad, prepares the way
for its repetition. How was it in the case of
Pharaoh? The statement in Holy Writ is that God
hardened his heart, and at every repetition of light
in the manifestation of God's power the statement
is repeated. Every time he refused to submit to
God's will his heart became harder and less
impressible by the Spirit of God. He sowed the
seed of obstinacy, and God left it to vegetate. He
might have prevented it by a miracle, but that was
not His plan. He allowed it to grow and produce a
harvest of its own kind, thus, proving the
truthfulness of the scripture: "Whatsoever a man
soweth, that shall he also reap." When a man plants
doubts, he will reap doubts. By rejecting the first
light and every following ray, Pharaoh went from
one degree of hardness of heart to another, until the
cold, dead forms of the first-born only checked his
unbelief and obstinacy for a moment. And then,
determined not to yield to God's way, he continued
his willful course until overwhelmed by the waters

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of the Red Sea.

    This case is placed on record for our benefit.
Just what took place in Pharaoh's heart will take
place in every soul that neglects to cherish the light
and walk promptly in its rays. God destroys no one.
The sinner destroys himself by his own
impenitence. When a person once neglects to heed
the invitations, reproofs, and warnings of the Spirit
of God, his conscience becomes seared, and the
next time he is admonished, it will be more
difficult to yield obedience than before. And thus
with every repetition. Conscience is the voice of
God, heard amid the conflict of human passions;
when it is resisted, the Spirit of God is grieved.

    We want all to understand how the soul is
destroyed. It is not that God sends out a decree that
man shall not be saved. He does not throw a
darkness before the eyes which cannot be
penetrated. But man at first resists a motion of the
Spirit of God, and, having once resisted, it is less
difficult to do so the second time, less the third,
and far less the fourth. Then comes the harvest to

                         211
be reaped from the seed of unbelief and resistance.
Oh what a harvest of sinful indulgences is
preparing for the sickle!

    When secret prayer and reading of the
Scriptures are neglected today, tomorrow they can
be omitted with less remonstrance of conscience.
There will be a long list of omissions, all for a
single grain sown in the soil of the heart. On the
other hand, every ray of light cherished will yield a
harvest of light. Temptation once resisted will give
power to more firmly resist the second time; every
new victory gained over self will smooth the way
for higher and nobler triumphs. Every victory is a
seed sown to eternal life.

    There is great need of zealous, faithful, self-
denying workers in our churches throughout the
land. No one can labor in the Sabbath school or in
the temperance work without reaping a bountiful
harvest, not only in the end of the world, but in the
present life. In the very effort to enlighten and
bless others his own views will become clearer and
broader. The more we endeavor to explain the truth

                        212
to others, with a love for souls, the plainer will it
become to ourselves. It ever opens with new beauty
and force to the understanding of the expounder.

    There are some good workers in your church,
and these self-denying ones will never know how
much good they have accomplished by their
persevering efforts in the missionary field. But the
Lord has claims upon more men and women in the
church than have yielded to His demands. Some of
the stones composing God's holy temple reflect the
light which shines upon them from Jesus Christ,
while others emit no light, thus clearly revealing
that they are not living stones, elect, precious. They
are not devotional, but prayerless, talkative,
irreligious. True Christians will copy the pattern
given them by our Saviour and will be meek,
lowly, forbearing, gentle, easy to be entreated, free
from pomposity and stubbornness.

              Dangers of the Young

   Mr. ——- has a nature that Satan plays upon
with wonderful success. This case is one that

                         213
should teach the young a lesson in regard to
marriage. His wife followed feeling and impulse,
not reason and judgment, in selecting a companion.
Was their marriage the result of true love? No, no;
it was the result of impulse,—blind, unsanctified
passion. Neither was at all fitted for the
responsibilities of married life. When the novelty
of the new order of things wore away, and each
became acquainted with the other, did their love
become stronger, their affection deeper, and their
lives blend together in beautiful harmony? It was
entirely the opposite. The worst traits of their
characters began to deepen by exercise, and,
instead of their married life being one of happiness,
it has been one of increasing trouble, especially to
the wife. God in His mercy has tested her, spared
her life, and lengthened her probation in order that
she might obtain a fitness for the future life.

    Her husband has a very defective character.
Without a thorough transformation by the grace of
God he would be unfit to connect in marriage with
any woman. He is so thoroughly impregnated with
self, so entirely given up to habits of self-

                        214
indulgence and easy indolence, that he needs to be
under discipline himself, rather than have anything
to do in disciplining wife or children. This man's
mind has been cast in an inferior mold. He has
encouraged coarseness and objectionable traits of
character, until he was presented to me as having
scarcely a redeeming quality in his character. There
is only one hope, and that is that he will see
himself, and so despise and loathe himself that he
will seek a new heart, be born again, and become a
new man in Christ Jesus. He should become a
diligent man. Industry will be of great advantage to
him. His course is offensive to God, in that he
invites temptation. His rudeness, his threats, his
untamable, uncourteous spirit, will make him a
curse to himself and to others. His conduct toward
his wife's mother has been rude and
ungentlemanly. It should henceforth be the life
study of both husband and wife how to avoid
everything that creates contention and to keep
unbroken the marriage vows.

   Just such unsanctified marriages are filling up
the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. God wants His

                        215
children to be happy, and, if they would learn of
Him, He would save them from the daily misery
which comes in consequence of these unhappy
unions. Many marriages can only be productive of
misery; and yet the minds of the youth run in this
channel because Satan leads them there, making
them believe that they must be married in order to
be happy, when they have not the ability to control
themselves or support a family. Those who are not
willing to adapt themselves to each other's
disposition, so as to avoid unpleasant differences
and contentions, should not take the step. But this
is one of the alluring snares of the last days, in
which thousands are ruined for this life and the
next. Imagination, lovesick sentimentalism, should
be guarded against as would be the leprosy. Very
many of the young men and women in this age of
the world are lacking in virtue; therefore great
caution is needed. A virtuous character is the
foundation upon which to build; but if the
foundation is gone, the building is worthless. Those
who have preserved a virtuous character, although
they may lack in other desirable qualities, may be
of real moral worth.

                        216
    In order for the church to prosper there must be
a studious effort on the part of its members to
cherish the precious plant of love. Let it have every
advantage that it may flourish in the heart. Every
true Christian will develop in his life the
characteristics of this divine love; he will reveal a
spirit of forbearance, of beneficence, and a freedom
from envy and jealousy. This character developed
in word and act will not repulse, and will not be
unapproachable, cold, and indifferent to the
interests of others. The person who cultivates the
precious plant of love will be self-denying in spirit,
and will not yield self-control even under
provocation. He will not impute wrong motives
and evil intentions to others, but will feel deeply
over sin when discovered in any of the disciples of
Christ.

    Love vaunteth not itself. It is a humble element;
it never prompts a man to boast, to exalt himself.
Love for God and for our fellow men will not be
revealed in acts of rashness nor lead us to be
overbearing, faultfinding, or dictatorial. Love is not

                         217
puffed up. The heart where love reigns will be
guided to a gentle, courteous, compassionate
course of conduct toward others, whether they suit
our fancy or not, whether they respect us or treat us
ill. Love is an active principle; it keeps the good of
others continually before us, thus restraining us
from inconsiderate actions lest we fail of our object
in winning souls to Christ. Love seeks not its own.
It will not prompt men to seek their own ease and
indulgence of self. It is the respect we render to I
that so often hinders the growth of love.

    There are men of poverty and obscurity whose
lives God would accept and make full of usefulness
on earth and of glory in heaven, but Satan is
working persistently to defeat His purposes and
drag them down to perdition by marriage with
those whose character is such that they throw
themselves directly across the road to life. Very
few come out from this entanglement triumphant.
Brother ——-, you are willing to experiment and
try to prove that you will be an exception to the
general rule. Joseph was one of the few who could
withstand temptation. He showed that he had an

                         218
eye single to the glory or God. He evidenced a
lofty regard for God's will, alike when occupying
the prisoner's cell and when standing next the
throne. He carried his religion with him wherever
he went and in whatever situation he was placed.
True religion has an all-pervading power. It gives
tone to everything man does. You need not go out
of the world in order to be a Christian, but you may
carry your religion, with all its sanctifying
influences, into all you do and say. You may
discharge well the duties belonging to the situation
where God has placed you, by keeping the heart
fixed upon heavenly things, and thus break the
spell now upon you through unwise association.
Had you followed the light you would now be able
to escape the snares which those who discern not
the will of God have laid to captivate your soul.

    Another striking point in the character of
Joseph, worthy of imitation by all youth, is his
deep filial reverence. As he meets his father with
tears streaming from his eyes, he hangs upon his
neck in an affectionate, loving embrace. He seems
to feel that he cannot do enough for his parent's

                        219
comfort and watches over his declining years with
a love as tender as a mother's. No pains is spared to
show his respect and love upon all occasions.
Joseph is an example of what a youth should be.
Love manifested for your mother would disclose a
beautiful trait of character such as God would
approve.

    The want of respect for the counsel of a godly
parent is one of the marked sins of this degenerate
age. There are many lives in our land that are dark
and wretched because of one step taken in the dark.
By one act of disobedience many a youth has
blighted his whole life and weighed down a loving
mother's heart with anguish. God will not hold you
guiltless if you follow in this course. By despising
the counsel of a God-fearing mother, who would
willingly give her life for her children, you are
transgressing the fifth commandment. You know
not where your steps are leading you.

   I again plead a mother's claim, a mother's love.
There can be no baser ingratitude than that which
marks the sin of disobedience to a Christian

                        220
mother. In the days of your helpless infancy she
watched over you; her prayers and tears were
witnessed of heaven as she affectionately cherished
you. For her children she has toiled and planned,
thought, prayed, and exercised self-denial. Through
your whole life her true heart has been anxious and
earnest for your welfare. And yet now you choose
your own course; you follow your own blind,
stubborn will, irrespective of the bitter harvest you
will reap and the sorrow you will bring upon her.

    Infirmities are gathering about your mother.
She needs you; any attention you may render will
be very precious to her. There are none of her other
children to whom she can look. They feel under no
obligation to her. But you will find the privilege
which is now yours may soon be lost. Do not think,
however, that should you neglect your privilege
and your duty as a son, your mother would suffer.
She has true friends who will feel it a privilege to
do the duties from which you withdraw yourself.
God loves your mother and will care for her. If her
own children neglect her, He will raise up others to
do the work they might have done, and receive the

                        221
blessing which was offered them. It is their
privilege to make her last days her best and
happiest.

    I tell you plainly, God is displeased with your
course. There are troubles before you that you do
not discern and which may be avoided if you
choose to follow wise counsel. Our Saviour has
made you the object of His unwearied labors and
tender solicitude, that you may be wise and not
ruin your self. He yearns over you in boundless
compassion and love, exclaiming: "How often
would I have gathered thy children together, as a
hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye
would not!" Your foolish heart has turned from the
counsel of your best friends.

    Because of earnest, faithful warnings to guard
you against the mistakes of a lifetime, you have
imagined you were a great benefit to the church.
True, you are capable, in Jesus Christ, of being
useful; but, notwithstanding this, the Lord and the
church can get along without you. You can join the
army of Christ's followers if you will; you may

                       222
share in its conflicts and triumphs. But if you
choose not to do this, the self-denying army under
the bloodstained banner of the cross will move on
to certain victory, and leave you behind. If you
choose to guide your own frail bark across life's
stormy waters you must answer for the
presumption and be held responsible for the result.

    If you could see how you have already become
weak in principle, if you could see how your honor
and honesty are imperiled, you would then see that
God is not with you and that you ought not to stand
in the place of responsibility you now occupy; you
are unworthy. My heart is sad indeed when I know
what you might have been had you yielded
yourself wholly to God and then see the power the
enemy has had over you.

    The Sabbath school work is important, and all
who are interested in the truth should endeavor to
make it prosperous. Brother ——- could have
served well in this branch of the work had he and
others in the church pursued a right course. But he
has been praised and petted too much. It has nearly

                       223
ruined him. The Lord can do without him, but he
cannot afford to do without God. The Lord will
entrust His work to men with clean hands and a
pure heart; therefore it is an honor to bear
responsibilities in His cause.

    The temperance work is also worthy of your
best endeavors. But great care should be taken to
make the temperance meetings as elevated and
ennobling as possible. Avoid a surface work and
everything of a theatrical character. Those who
realize the solemn character of this work will keep
the standard high. But there is a class who have no
real respect for the cause of temperance; their only
concern is to show off their smartness upon the
stage. The pure, the thoughtful, and those who
understand the object of the work, should be
encouraged to labor in these great branches of
reform. They may not be intellectually great, but if
pure and humble, God-fearing and true, the Lord
will accept their labors.

   Literary societies are quite frequently
organized, but, in nine cases out of ten, they have

                        224
proved a damage to souls, rather than a blessing.
This is because an alliance is formed with the
world or with a class whose influence and tendency
is ever to lead away from the solid to the
superficial, from the real to the fictitious. Literary
societies would be of great advantage if controlled
by a religious element; but, sooner or later, the
irreligious element is almost certain to gain the
ascendancy and have a controlling influence. Just
so it is with our temperance societies. The
solemnity of the work is all covered up with the
superficial, and a continual temptation is placed
before the youth whom we wish to save.

    The facts are before us. The burden bearers
among us are dropping off into the silent grave.
The active members of the church, the true workers
in all reforms, are mostly past the meridian of life,
and are declining in physical and mental strength.
We should anxiously contemplate who are to rise
up and fill their places. To whom are to be
committed the vital interests of the church? The
question may be asked by us with the deepest
concern, Who will bear the responsibilities of the

                         225
cause of God when a few more standard-bearers
fall? We can but look anxiously upon the youth of
today as those who must take these burdens, and
upon whom responsibilities must fall. They must
take the work where others leave it; and their
course will determine whether morality, religion,
and vital godliness shall prevail, or whether
immorality and infidelity shall corrupt and blight
all that is valuable. It is the way the standard is
carried now that will determine the future.

    Parents, will you now show by your course of
action that wholesome restraint, good order,
harmony, and peace shall be the ruling principle?
or, shall those whose course of life shows that they
have frivolous minds and are low in the scale of
moral worth have a molding, controlling influence?
God calls upon His believing people to connect
with Him, to purify their souls by humbly walking
in the footsteps of Jesus. God calls upon you to put
away pride of opinion, pride of dress, and self-
exaltation, and let the good and noble faculties of
the mind strengthen with use.


                        226
    Will men and women professing the most
solemn truths ever borne to mortals be true to
principle? If they would have an influence to lead
the world to serious reflection they must be; their
dress and conversation must be in strict accordance
with their peculiar faith. Those who are older must
educate the young, by precept and example, how to
discharge those claims which society and their
Maker have upon them. Upon these youth must be
laid grave responsibilities. The question is whether
they are capable of governing themselves and
standing forth in the purity of their God-given
manhood, abhorring anything which savors of
licentiousness and discord.

     Can I say anything that will make an
impression upon the young? Never before was
there so much at stake; never were there such
weighty results depending upon a generation as
upon those now coming upon the stage of action.
Not for one moment should they think that they can
fill any position of trust without possessing a good
character. Just as well might they expect to gather
grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. A good

                        227
character must be built up brick by brick, every day
growing in proportion to the effort put forth. Those
characteristics which they will take to heaven with
them must be obtained by the diligent exercise of
their own faculties, by improving every advantage
Providence gives them, and by connecting with the
Source of all wisdom. Aim for no low standard. Let
not your minds be cast in an inferior mold. The
characters of Joseph and Daniel are good models
for you to follow, but Christ is the perfect pattern.

    Some of the brethren and sisters in the ——-
church have done a good missionary work, but
their interest must not flag. A few have done more
than their strength would admit, but it was their
meat and drink to do it. All can act a part in this
work, and none are excused. Jesus would have all
who profess His name become earnest workers. It
is necessary that every individual member build
upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. A storm is arising that
will wrench and test the spiritual foundation of
every one to the utmost. Therefore avoid the sand
bed; hunt for the rock. Dig deep; lay your
foundation sure. Build, oh, build for eternity! Build

                        228
with tears, with heartfelt prayers. Let every one of
you from henceforth make your life beautiful by
good works. Calebs are the men most needed in
these last days. That which will make our churches
vigorous and successful in their efforts is not
bustle, but quiet, humble work; not parade and
bombast, but patient, prayerful, persevering effort.

    "He that is not with Me," said Christ, "is
against Me." It is wholehearted, thoroughly
decided men and women who will stand now.
Christ sifted His followers again and again, until at
one time there remained only eleven and a few
faithful women to lay the foundation of the
Christian church. There are those who will stand
back when burdens are to be borne; but when the
church is all aglow, they catch the enthusiasm, sing
and shout, and become rapturous; but watch them.
When the fervor is gone, only a few faithful Calebs
will come to the front and display unwavering
principle. These are salt that retains the savor. It is
when the work moves hard that the churches
develop the true helpers. These will not be talking
of self, vindicating self, but will lose their identity

                         229
in Jesus Christ. To be great in God's kingdom is to
be a little child in humility, in simplicity of faith,
and in the purity of love. All pride must perish, all
jealousy be overcome, all ambition for supremacy
be given up, and the meekness and trust of the
child be encouraged. All such will find Christ their
rock of defense, their strong tower. In Him they
may trust implicitly, and He will never fail them.

    Oh, that all who believe present truth would be
warned to seek the Lord. The thoughts of God's
infinite mercy and of His matchless love should
influence all to imitate His example. But this is not
the case. Some of our sisters indulge too freely in a
love for dress and display; they do not dress at all
in harmony with our holy faith. This is true of
Sister ——-. The world should have a better
example than this sister has given it. She should
feel her God-given responsibility to cast the entire
weight of her influence upon the side of Christ and
seek to make those with whom she associates less
worldly. She and Sister ——- would be of far
greater advantage to the church if they would
encourage plainness of dress in themselves and

                         230
others. Those sisters who are dressmakers and who
study the fashion plates frequently lead others in
the church to do that which is displeasing to God
by encouraging them to cut and trim their dresses
in imitation of the world. The efforts of these
sisters to do good would be far more acceptable to
God were there seen in their lives less dressing,
less cheap, worldly talking, and less visiting; less
complaining and murmuring against the ministers
laboring for you, and more praying and reading of
the Bible.

    The Lord is displeased with the course pursued
by many in the church toward some of their
ministering brethren. He bids you cease your cruel
speeches and let words of encouragement take the
place of your murmuring, your repining, your
faultfinding. Christ is speaking to you in the person
of His saints, and you have despised His counsel
and rejected His reproof. Do this no longer. Elder
——- has a work to do, not only in the East, but in
many places. God will be with him and prosper
him if he hides in Jesus. He is not infallible; he
may at times err in judgment. But be careful how

                        231
you speak that which will make of none effect the
words God bids him utter.

     When he knows what the will of God is, he
would not hesitate to do it should it cost him his
life. While many of you plan only how you can
please self and have an easy life, his whole life and
interest is wrapped up in the cause of God. While
studying and planning for the cause, he has
sometimes exercised shrewdness and sharpness,
which has led others to misjudge him. His aim was
not to advantage himself, but the cause which he
loved. While the Lord would have you faithfully
uphold the hands of His tried servants, He would
warn you against placing too great confidence in
those who have newly come to the faith or with
whose past life and labors you are unacquainted.

    It is your privilege to be a prosperous, happy
church. Let each one of you search his own heart,
cleanse the defiled soul temple, and watch unto
prayer. Be determined you will seek Jesus until you
find Him; release not your grasp until His love
dwells in your heart and you have His spirit

                        232
subduing your life and fashioning your character.
Then believe, and with boldness you may approach
His throne, knowing that He will hear your prayers.




                       233
                    Chapter 12

           Laborers for God

    Fellow laborers in the great harvest field, we
have but little time left in which to labor. Now is
the most favorable opportunity we shall ever have,
and how carefully ought every moment to be
employed. So devoted was our Redeemer to the
work of saving souls that He even longed for His
baptism of blood. The apostles caught the zeal of
their Master and firmly, steadily, zealously went
forward to the accomplishment of their great work,
fighting against principalities and powers, and
spiritual wickedness in high places.

    We are living in a time when even greater
earnestness is needed than in the apostles' day. But
among many of the ministers of Christ there is a
feeling of unrest, a desire to imitate the romantic
style of modern revivalists, a desire to do
something great, to create a sensation, to be
accounted able speakers, and to gain for

                        234
themselves honor and distinction. If such could
encounter perils and receive the honor given to
heroes, they would engage in the work with
unflagging energy. But to live and labor almost
unknown, to toil and sacrifice for Jesus in
obscurity, receiving no special praise from men—
this requires a soundness of principle and a
steadfastness of purpose that but few possess. Were
there a greater effort to walk humbly with God,
looking away from men and laboring only for
Christ's sake, far more would be accomplished.

    My ministering brethren, seek Jesus with all
lowliness and meekness. Do not try to draw the
attention of the people to yourselves. Let them lose
sight of the instrument, while you exalt Jesus. Talk
of Jesus; lose self in Jesus. There is too much
bustle and stir about our religion, while Calvary
and the cross are forgotten.

    We are in the greatest peril when we receive
praise of one another, when we enter into a
confederacy to exalt one another. The great burden
of the Pharisees was to secure the praise of men;

                        235
and Christ told them that that was all the reward
they would ever receive. Let us take up our
appointed work and do it for Christ; if we suffer
privation, let it be for His sake. Our divine Lord
was made perfect through suffering. Oh, when
shall we see men laboring as He labored!

    The word of God is our standard. Every act of
love, every word of kindness, every prayer in
behalf of the suffering and oppressed, is reported
before the eternal throne and placed on heaven's
imperishable record. The divine word pours light
into the most darkened understanding, and that
light makes the most cultivated feel their
inefficiency and sinfulness.

    The enemy is buying souls today very cheap.
"Ye have sold yourselves for nought," is the
language of Scripture. One is selling his soul for
the world's applause, another for money; one to
gratify base passions, another for worldly
amusement. Such bargains are made daily. Satan is
bidding for the purchase of Christ's blood and
buying them cheap, notwithstanding the infinite

                       236
price which has been paid to ransom them.

     Great blessings and privileges are ours. We
may secure the most valuable heavenly treasures.
Let ministers and people remember that gospel
truth ruins if it does not save. The soul that refuses
to listen to the invitations of mercy from day to day
can soon listen to the most urgent appeals without
an emotion stirring his soul.

    As laborers with God we need more fervent
piety and less self-exaltation. The more self is
exalted, the more will faith in the testimonies of the
Spirit of God be lessened. Those who are the most
closely connected with God are the ones who know
His voice when He speaks to them. Those who are
spiritual discern spiritual things. Such will feel
grateful that the Lord has pointed out their errors,
while those who trust wholly in themselves will see
less and less of God in the testimonies of His
Spirit.

   Our work must be accompanied with deep
humiliation, fasting, and prayer. We must not

                         237
expect all peace and joy. There will be sadness; but
if we sow in tears we shall reap in joy. Darkness
and despondency may at times enter the heart of
the self-sacrificing ones; but this is not against
them. It may be God's design to cause them to seek
Him more earnestly.

     What we need now is Calebs, men who are
faithful and true. Indolence marks the lives of too
many at the present day. They turn their shoulders
from the wheel just when they should persevere
and bring all their powers into active exercise.
Ministers of Christ, "awake thou that sleepest, and
arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee
light." Your labors taste so strongly of self that
Christ is forgotten. Some of you are pampered and
flattered too much. As in the days Noah, there is
too much eating and drinking, planting and
building. The world has stolen the energies of the
servants of Christ. Brethren, if you would have
your religion honored by unbelievers, honor it
yourselves by corresponding works. By a close
connection with God and a strict adherence to
Bible truth in the face of difficulty and worldly

                        238
pressure, you may infuse the spirit of the truth into
the hearts of your children so that they will work
effectually with you as instruments in God's hands
for good.

    Many are incapacitated for labor both mentally
and physically by overeating and the gratification
of the lustful passions. The animal propensities are
strengthened, while the moral and spiritual nature
is enfeebled. When we shall stand around the great
white throne, what a record will the lives of many
then present. Then will they see what they might
have done had they not debased their God-given
powers. Then will they realize what height of
intellectual greatness they might have attained had
they given to God all the physical and mental
strength He had entrusted to them. In their agony
of remorse they will long to have their lives to live
over again.

     I call upon those who profess to be light
bearers— ensamples to the flock—to depart from
all iniquity. Use well the little remnant of time now
left you. Have you that strong hold of God, that

                        239
consecration to His service, that your religion will
not fail you in the face of direst persecution? The
deep love of God alone will sustain the soul amid
the trials which are just upon us.

    Self-denial and the cross are our portion. Will
we accept it? None of us need expect that when the
last great trials come upon us a self-sacrificing,
patriotic spirit will be developed in a moment
because needed. No, indeed, this spirit must be
blended with our daily experience, and infused into
the minds and hearts of our children, both by
precept and example. Mothers in Israel may not be
warriors themselves, but they may raise up
warriors who shall gird on the whole armor and
fight manfully the battles of the Lord.

    Ministers and people need the converting
power of grace before they will be able to stand in
the day of the Lord. The world is fast approaching
that point in iniquity and human depravity when
God's interference will become necessary. And at
that time His professed followers should be more
marked for their fidelity to His holy law. Their

                        240
prayer will be as that of David: "It is time for Thee,
Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law."
And by their conduct they will say: "Therefore I
love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above
fine gold." The very contempt that is shown to the
law of God is sufficient reason why His
commandment-keeping people should come to the
front and show their esteem and reverence for His
downtrodden law.

    "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of
many shall wax cold." The very atmosphere is
polluted with sin. Soon God's people will be tested
by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those
who now appear to be genuine and true will prove
to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and
confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they
will cowardly take the side of the opposers. The
promise is: "Them that honor Me I will honor."
Shall we be less firmly attached to God's law
because the world at large have attempted to make
it void?

   Already the judgments of God are abroad in the

                         241
land, as seen in storms, in floods, in tempests, in
earthquakes, in peril by land and by sea. The great
I AM is speaking to those who make void His law.
When God's wrath is poured out upon the earth,
who will then be able to stand? Now is the time for
God's people to show themselves true to principle.
When the religion of Christ is most held in
contempt, when His law is most despised, then
should our zeal be the warmest and our courage
and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in
defense of truth and righteousness when the
majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord
when champions are few—this will be our test. At
this time we must gather warmth from the coldness
of others, courage from their cowardice, and
loyalty from their treason. The nation will be on
the side of the great rebel leader.

    The test will surely come. Thirty-six years ago
I was shown that what is now transpiring would
take place, that the observance of an institution of
the papacy would be enforced upon the people by a
Sunday law, while the sanctified rest day of
Jehovah would be trampled underfoot.

                        242
    The Captain of our salvation will strengthen
His people for the conflict in which they must
engage. How often when Satan has brought all his
forces to bear against the followers of Christ, and
death stares them in the face, have earnest prayers
put up in faith brought the Captain of the Lord's
host upon the field of action and turned the tide of
battle and delivered the oppressed.

    Now is the time when we should closely
connect with God, that we may be hid when the
fierceness of His wrath is poured upon the sons of
men. We have wandered away from the old
landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve
Him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be
on?




                        243
                    Chapter 13

            Agents of Satan

     Satan uses men and women as agents to solicit
to sin and make it attractive. These agents he
faithfully educates to so disguise sin that he can
more successfully destroy souls and rob Christ of
His glory. Satan is the great enemy of God and
man. He transforms himself through his agents into
angels of light. In the Scriptures he is called a
destroyer, an accuser of the brethren, a deceiver, a
liar, a tormentor, and a murderer. Satan has many
in his employ, but is most successful when he can
use professed Christians for his satanic work. And
the greater their influence, the more elevated their
position, the more knowledge they profess of God
and His service, the more successfully can he use
them. Whoever entices to sin is his agent.

   While attending one of the Eastern camp
meetings I was introduced one Friday to a man
who occupied a tent with several women and

                        244
children. That night I was unable to sleep; my soul
was deeply burdened. While pleading with God in
the night season a vision given years ago at the
time when the course of Nathan Fuller was
reproved was distinctly revived in my mind. At that
time I was shown three men whom I should meet
who would be pursuing the same course of iniquity
under the profession of godliness. This man was
one of the three. As I bore my testimony in the
morning meeting, the power and Spirit of God
rested upon me; but I did not mention individual
cases. Later in the day I felt clear in reference to
my duty and bore my testimony, referring to his
case as most marked. By this course of action this
man was going exactly contrary to the direction of
the apostle to "abstain from all appearance of evil."
He was breaking the seventh commandment, while
professedly keeping the fourth. By his deception he
was gathering around him a company of women
who followed him from place to place, as a faithful
wife would accompany her husband.

   As a people, we are looked upon as peculiar.
Our position and faith distinguish us from every

                        245
other denomination. If we are in life and character
no better than worldlings, they will point the finger
of scorn at us and say: "These are Seventh-day
Adventists." "We have here a sample of the people
who keep the seventh day for Sunday." The stigma
which should be rightfully attached to such a class
is thus placed upon all who are conscientiously
keeping the seventh day. Oh, how much better it
would be if such a class would not make any
pretension to obey the truth!

    I felt led out to rebuke this man in the name of
the Lord and to call upon the women who were
with him to separate from him and withdraw their
misplaced confidence, for unhappiness and ruin
were in the path they had entered upon. The Ledger
of Heaven testifies of this man thus: "A deceiver,
an adulterer, creeping into houses and leading
captive silly women." How many souls he will
destroy with his satanic sophistry the judgment
alone will reveal. Such men ought to be rebuked
and discountenanced at once, that they may not
bring a continual reproach upon the cause.


                        246
    As we near the close of earth's history, perils
and dangers thicken around us. A mere profession
of godliness will not avail. There must be a living
connection with God, that we may have spiritual
eyesight to discern the wickedness which is in a
most artful and secret manner creeping into our
midst through those who make a profession of our
faith. The greatest sins are brought in through those
who profess to be sanctified and claim that they
cannot sin. Yet many of this class are sinning daily
and are corrupt in heart and life. Such are self-
sufficient and self-righteous, making their own
standard of righteousness and utterly failing to
meet the Bible standard. Notwithstanding their
high claims, they are strangers to the covenant of
promise. It is in great mercy that God bears with
their perversity and that they are not cut down as
cumberers of the ground, but still remain within the
possibilities of forgiveness. The forbearance of
God is continually presumed upon and His mercy
abused. David in his day thought that men had
exceeded the boundaries of the long-suffering of
God, and that He must interfere to vindicate His
honor and restrain unrighteousness.

                        247
    Mr. ——- is a teacher of doctrines that defile
the temple of God. There is scarcely a ray of hope
for him; he has deceived himself and deluded
others so long that Satan has almost entire control
of his mind and body. If his professed robe of
righteousness can be torn from him and his vile
purposes and thoughts be exposed, so that he will
not continue to lead others in the paths of hell, it
will be all we may expect.

    The warnings of God he first hated and then
resisted because they brought his own wicked
course to be seen in the light of God's law. It is one
of the saddest evidences of the blinding influence
of sin that months and years roll on and there is no
awaking to repentance. With a firm persistence he
has pursued his downward course. He has no bitter
feelings of remorse, no dread of heaven's
vengeance. If by lies and deception he can cover
his sins from observation he is content. All sense of
right and wrong is dead within him. A harvest is
before him that he will be horrified to reap.


                         248
    The worst feature in this case is that all his
satanic work is done under pretense of being a
representative of Jesus Christ. One sinner dressed
up as an angel of light can do incalculable harm.
Dark and fearful plans are deliberately made to
separate man and wife. Said the apostle: "Of this
sort are they which creep into houses, and lead
captive silly women laden with sins, led away with
divers lusts." These licentious characters even
creep into respectable families and by their
deceptive wiles and intrigues lead astray the
conscientious. Damnable heresies are received as
truth, and the most revolting sins committed as acts
of righteousness, for conscience becomes confused
and stupefied.

    This man embraced the unpopular doctrine that
the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, in order
to give to his religious experience a semblance of
honesty. Our views have been clearly defined in
our publications, but, concealing this fact, he
mixed with truth his own defiling heresies and tried
to make others believe that God had given him new
light upon the Bible. By thus professing to have

                        249
great light for the people on the Sabbath of the
fourth commandment and kindred truths he had to
the unsuspecting an appearance of really being led
of God. But when once the confidence is gained, he
commences his satanic work of wresting the
Scriptures from their true meaning by seeking to
show that adultery condemned in the law of God
does not mean what it is generally understood to
mean. He really tries to make sensible women
believe it not offensive to God for wives to be
untrue to their marriage vows. He will not even
admit that this would be breaking the seventh
commandment. Satan rejoices to have sinners enter
the church as professed Sabbathkeepers while they
allow him to control their minds and affections,
using them to deceive and corrupt others.

    In this degenerate age many will be found who
are so blinded to the sinfulness of sin that they
choose a licentious life because it suits the natural
and perverse inclination of the heart. Instead of
facing the mirror, the law of God, and bringing
their hearts and characters up to God's standard,
they allow Satan's agents to erect his standard in

                        250
their hearts. Corrupt men think it easier to
misinterpret the Scriptures to sustain them in their
iniquity than to yield up their corruption and sin
and be pure in heart and life.

    There are more men of this stamp than many
have imagined, and they will multiply as we draw
near the end of time. Unless they are rooted and
grounded in the truth of the Bible, and have a
living connection with God, many will be
infatuated and deceived. Dangers unseen beset our
path. Our only safety is in constant watchfulness
and prayer. The nearer we live to Jesus, the more
will we partake of His pure and holy character; and
the more offensive sin appears to us, the more
exalted and desirable will appear the purity and
brightness of Christ.

    In order to cover his corrupt life and make his
sins appear harmless, this man will bring up
instances recorded in the Bible where good men
have fallen under temptation. Paul met with just
such men in his day, and the church has been
cursed with them in all ages. At Miletus Paul called

                        251
the elders of the church together and warned them
in regard to what they would meet: "Take heed
therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over
the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
to feed the church of God, which He hath
purchased with His own blood. For I know this,
that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter
in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your
own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space
of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night
and day with tears."

    He who holds the truth in unrighteousness, who
declares his belief in it, and yet wounds it every
day by his inconsistent life, is surrendering himself
to the service of Satan and leading souls to ruin.
This class hold intercourse with fallen angels and
are aided by them in gaining the control of minds.
When Satan's bewitching power controls a person,
God is forgotten, and man who is filled with
corrupt purposes is extolled. Secret licentiousness
is practiced by these deceived souls as a virtue.

                        252
This is a species of witchcraft. The question of the
apostle to the Galatians may well be asked: "Who
hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the
truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been
evidently set forth, crucified among you?" There is
always a bewitching power in heresies and in
licentiousness. The mind is so deluded that it
cannot reason intelligently, and an illusion is
continually leading it from purity. The spiritual
eyesight becomes blurred, and persons of hitherto
untainted morals become confused under the
delusive sophistry of those agents of Satan who
profess to be messengers of light. It is this delusion
which gives these agents power. Should they come
out boldly and make their advances openly they
would be repulsed without a moment's hesitation;
but they work first to gain sympathy and secure
confidence in themselves as holy, self-sacrificing
men of God. As His special messengers they then
begin their artful work of drawing away souls from
the path of rectitude by attempting to make void
the law of God.

   When ministers thus take advantage of the

                         253
confidence the people place in them and lead souls
to ruin, they make themselves as much more guilty
than the common sinner as their profession is
higher. In the day of God, when the great Ledger of
Heaven is opened, it will be found to contain the
names of many ministers who have made
pretensions to purity of heart and life and professed
to be entrusted with the gospel of Christ, but who
have taken advantage of their position to allure
souls to transgress the law of God.

    When men and women fall under the
corrupting power of Satan, it is almost impossible
to recover them out of the horrible snare so that
they will ever again have pure thoughts and clear
conceptions of God's requirements. Sin, to their
deluded minds, has been sanctified by the minister,
and it is never again regarded in the loathsome
light that God looks upon it. After the moral
standard has been lowered in the minds of men,
their judgment becomes perverted, and they look
upon sin as righteousness, and righteousness as sin.
By associating with these, whose inclinations and
habits are not elevated and pure, others become

                        254
like them. Their tastes and principles are almost
unconsciously adopted.

    If the society of a man of impure mind and
licentious habits is chosen in preference to that of
the virtuous and pure, it is a sure indication that the
tastes and inclinations harmonize, that a low level
of morals is reached. This level is called by these
deceived, infatuated souls, a high and holy affinity
of spirit—a spiritual harmony. But the apostle
terms it "spiritual wickedness in high places,"
against which we are to institute a vigorous
warfare.

    When the deceiver commences his work of
deception, he frequently finds dissimilarity of
tastes and habits; but by great pretensions to
godliness he gains the confidence, and when this is
done, his wily, deceptive power is exercised in his
own way to carry out his devices. By associating
with this dangerous element, women become
accustomed to breathe the atmosphere of impurity
and almost insensibly become permeated with the
same spirit. Their identity is lost; they become the

                         255
shadow of their seducer.

    Men professing to have new light, claiming to
be reformers, will have great influence over a
certain class who are convinced of the heresies that
exist in the present age and who are not satisfied
with the spiritual condition of the churches. With
true, honest hearts, these desire to see a change for
the better, a coming up to a higher standard. If the
faithful servants of Christ would present the truth,
pure and unadulterated, to this class, they would
accept it, and purify themselves by obeying it. But
Satan, ever vigilant, sets upon the track of these
inquiring souls. Someone making high profession
as a reformer comes to them, as Satan came to
Christ disguised as an angel of light, and draws
them still further from the path of right.

    The unhappiness and degradation that follow in
the train of licentiousness cannot be estimated. The
world is defiled under its inhabitants. They have
nearly filled up the measure of their iniquity; but
that which will bring the heaviest retribution is the
practice of iniquity under the cloak of godliness.

                        256
The Redeemer of the world never spurned true
repentance, however great the guilt; but He hurls
burning denunciations against Pharisees and
hypocrites. There is more hope for the open sinner
than for this class.

    "And for this cause [not receiving the love of
the truth] God shall send them strong delusion, that
they should believe a lie: that they all might be
damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness." This man and those
deceived by him love not the truth but have
pleasure in unrighteousness. And what stronger
delusion could come upon them than that there is
nothing displeasing to God in licentiousness and
adultery? The Bible contains many warnings
against these sins. Paul writes to Titus of those who
"profess that they know God; but in works they
deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and
unto every good work reprobate." "But there were
false prophets also among the people, even as there
shall be false teachers among you, who privily [not
openly] shall bring in damnable heresies, even
denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon

                        257
themselves swift destruction. And many shall
follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom
the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." The ones
here referred to are not those who openly claim to
have no faith in Christ, but those who profess to
believe the truth and by their vileness of character
bring a reproach upon it, causing it to be evil
spoken of.

    "And through covetousness shall they with
feigned words make merchandise of you: whose
judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and
their damnation slumbereth not." "But these, as
natural brute beasts, made to be taken and
destroyed, speak evil of the things that they
understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own
corruption; and shall receive the reward of
unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to
riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes,
sporting themselves with their own deceivings
while they feast with you; having eyes full of
adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling
unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with
covetous practices; cursed children: which have

                        258
forsaken the right way, and are gone astray,
following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor,
who loved the wages of unrighteousness."

    "These are wells without water, clouds that are
carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of
darkness is reserved forever. For when they speak
great swelling words of vanity," boasting of their
light, their knowledge and their love of the truth,
"they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through
much wantonness, those that were clean escaped
from them who live in error."

    In this age of corruption when our adversary
the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking
whom he may devour, I see the necessity of lifting
my voice in warning. "Watch ye and pray, lest ye
enter into temptation." There are many who
possess brilliant talents who wickedly devote them
to the service of Satan. What warning can I give to
a people who profess to have come out from the
world and to have left its works of darkness? to a
people whom God has made the repositories of His
law, but who, like the pretentious fig tree, flaunt

                        259
their apparently flourishing branches in the very
face of the Almighty, yet bear no fruit to the glory
of God? Many of them cherish impure thoughts,
unholy imaginations, unsanctified desires, and base
passions. God hates the fruit borne upon such a
tree. Angels, pure and holy, look upon the course
of such with abhorrence, while Satan exults. Oh,
that men and women would consider what is to be
gained by transgressing God's law! Under any and
every circumstance, transgression is a dishonor to
God and a curse to man. We must regard it thus,
however fair its guise, and by whomsoever
committed.

     As Christ's ambassador, I entreat you who
profess present truth to promptly resent any
approach to impurity and forsake the society of
those who breathe an impure suggestion. Loathe
these defiling sins with the most intense hatred.
Flee from those who would, even in conversation,
let the mind run in such a channel; "for out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

   As those who practice these defiling sins are

                        260
steadily increasing in the world and would intrude
themselves into our churches, I warn you to give
no place to them. Turn from the seducer. Though a
professed follower of Christ, he is Satan in the
form of man; he has borrowed the livery of heaven
that he may the better serve his master. You should
not for one moment give place to an impure, covert
suggestion; for even this will stain the soul, as
impure water defiles the channel through which it
passes.

    Choose poverty, reproach, separation from
friends, or any suffering rather than to defile the
soul with sin. Death before dishonor or the
transgression of God's law should be the motto of
every Christian. As a people professing to be
reformers, treasuring the most solemn, purifying
truths of God's word, we must elevate the standard
far higher than it is at the present time. Sin and
sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with,
that others may not be contaminated. Truth and
purity require that we make more thorough work to
cleanse the camp from Achans. Let those in
responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother.

                       261
Show him that he must either put away his sins or
be separated from the church.

    When the individual members of the church
shall act as true followers of the meek and lowly
Saviour, there will be less covering up and
excusing of sin. All will strive to act as if in God's
presence. They will realize that His all-seeing eye
is ever upon them and that the most secret thought
is known to Him. The character, the motives, the
desires and purposes, are as clear as the light of the
sun to the eye of the Omnipotent. But few bear this
in mind. The larger class by far do not realize what
a fearful account must be rendered at the bar of
God by all the transgressors of His law.

    Can you who have professed to receive such
great light be content with a low level? Oh, how
earnestly and constantly should we seek for the
divine presence and a realization of the solemn
truths that the end of all things is at hand and that
the Judge of all the earth stands at the door! How
can you disregard His just and holy requirements?
How can you transgress in the very face of

                         262
Jehovah? How can you cherish unholy thoughts
and base passions in full view of the pure angels
and of the Redeemer, who gave Himself for you
that He might redeem you from all iniquity and
purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of
good works? As you contemplate the matter in the
light which shines from the cross of Christ, will not
sin appear too mean, too perilous, to be indulged
when standing upon the very borders of the eternal
world?

    I speak to our people. If you draw close to
Jesus and seek to adorn your profession by a well-
ordered life and godly conversation, your feet will
be kept from straying into forbidden paths. If you
will only watch, continually watch unto prayer, if
you will do everything as if you were in the
immediate presence of God, you will be saved
from yielding to temptation, and may hope to be
kept pure, spotless, and undefiled till the last. If
you hold the beginning of your confidence firm
unto the end, your ways will be established in God;
and what grace has begun, glory will crown in the
kingdom of our God. The fruits of the Spirit are

                        263
"love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against
such there is no law." If Christ be within us, we
shall crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts.




                         264
                    Chapter 14

        Will a Man Rob God?

    The Lord has made the diffusion of light and
truth in the earth dependent on the voluntary efforts
and offerings of those who have been partakers of
the heavenly gifts. Comparatively few are called to
travel as ministers or missionaries, but multitudes
are to co-operate in spreading the truth with their
means.

     The history of Ananias and Sapphira is given
us that we may understand the sin of deception in
regard to our gifts and offerings. They had
voluntarily promised to give a portion of their
property for the promotion of the cause of Christ;
but when the means was in their hands they
declined to fulfill that obligation, at the same time
wishing it to appear to others that they had given
all. Their punishment was marked in order that it
might serve as a perpetual warning to Christians of
all ages. The same sin is fearfully prevalent at the

                        265
present time, yet we hear of no such signal
punishment. The Lord shows men once with what
abhorrence He regards such an offense against His
sacred claims and dignity, and then they are left to
follow the general principles of the divine
administration.

    Voluntary offerings and the tithe constitute the
revenue of the gospel. Of the means which is
entrusted to man, God claims a certain portion—a
tithe; but He leaves all free to say how much the
tithe is, and whether or not they will give more
than this. They are to give as they purpose in their
hearts. But when the heart is stirred by the
influence of the Spirit of God, and a vow is made
to give a certain amount, the one who vowed has
no longer any right to the consecrated portion. He
has given his pledge before men, and they are
called to witness to the transaction. At the same
time he has incurred an obligation of the most
sacred character to co-operate with the Lord in
building up His kingdom on earth. Promises of this
kind made to men would be considered binding.
Are they not more sacred and binding when made

                        266
to God? Are promises tried in the court of
conscience less binding than written agreements
with men?

    When the divine light is shining into the heart
with unusual clearness and power, habitual
selfishness relaxes its grasp, and there is a
disposition to give to the cause of God. None need
expect that they will be allowed to fulfill the
promises then made without a protest on the part of
Satan. He is not pleased to see the Redeemer's
kingdom on earth built up. He suggests that the
pledge made was too much, that it may cripple
them in their efforts to acquire property or gratify
the desires of their families. The power Satan has
over the human mind is wonderful. He labors most
earnestly to keep the heart bound up in self.

    The only means which God has ordained to
advance His cause is to bless men with property.
He gives them the sunshine and the rain; He causes
vegetation to flourish; He gives health and ability
to acquire means. All our blessings come from His
bountiful hand. In turn He would have men and

                        267
women show their gratitude by returning Him a
portion in tithes and offerings_in thank offerings,
in freewill offerings, in trespass offerings.

    The hearts of men become hardened through
selfishness, and, like Ananias and Sapphira, they
are tempted to withhold part of the price while
pretending to come up to the rules of tithing. Will a
man rob God? Should means flow into the treasury
exactly according to God's plan,—a tenth of all the
increase,—there would be abundance to carry
forward His work.

    Well, says one, the calls keep coming to give to
the cause; I am weary of giving. Are you? Then let
me ask: Are you weary of receiving from God's
beneficent hand? Not until He ceases to bless you
will you cease to be under bonds to return to Him
the portion He claims. He blesses you that it may
be in your power to bless others. When you are
weary of receiving, then you may say: I am weary
of so many calls to give. God reserves to Himself a
portion of all that we receive. When this is returned
to Him, the remaining portion is blessed, but when

                        268
it is withheld, the whole is sooner or later cursed.
Go's claim is first; every other is secondary.

     In every church there should be established a
treasury for the poor. Then let each member
present a thank offering to God once a week or
once a month, as is most convenient. This offering
will express our gratitude for the gifts of health, of
food, and of comfortable clothing. And according
as God has blessed us with these comforts will we
lay by for the poor, the suffering, and the
distressed. I would call the attention of our brethren
especially to this point. Remember the poor.
Forego some of your luxuries, yea, even comforts,
and help those who can obtain only the most
meager food and clothing. In doing for them you
are doing for Jesus in the person of His saints. He
identifies Himself with suffering humanity. Do not
wait until your imaginary wants are all satisfied.
Do not trust to your feelings and give when you
feel like it and withhold when you do not feel like
it. Give regularly, either ten, twenty, or fifty cents a
week, as you would like to see upon the heavenly
record in the day of God.

                          269
    Your good wishes we will thank you for, but
the poor cannot keep comfortable on good wishes
alone. They must have tangible proofs of your
kindness in food and clothing. God does not mean
that any of His followers should beg for bread. He
has given you an abundance that you may supply
those of their necessities which by industry and
economy they are not able to supply. Do not wait
for them to call your attention to their needs. Act as
did Job. The thing that he knew not he searched
out. Go on an inspecting tour and learn what is
needed and how it can be best supplied.

    I have been shown that many of our people are
robbing the Lord in tithes and in offerings, and as
the result His work is greatly hindered. The curse
of God will rest upon those who are living upon
God's bounties and yet close their hearts and do
nothing or next to nothing to advance His cause.
Brethren and sisters, how can the beneficent Father
continue to make you His stewards, furnishing you
with means to use for Him, when you grasp it all,
selfishly claiming that it is yours!

                         270
    Instead of rendering to God the means He has
placed in their hands, many invest it in more land.
This evil is growing with our brethren. They had
before all they could well care for, but the love of
money or a desire to be counted as well off as their
neighbors leads them to bury their means in the
world and withhold from God His just dues. Can
we be surprised if they are not prospered? if God
does not bless their crops and they are
disappointed? Could our brethren remember that
God can bless twenty acres of land and make them
as productive as one hundred, they would not
continue to bury themselves in lands, but would let
their means flow into God's treasury. "Take heed,"
said Christ, lest at any time your hearts be
overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and
cares of this life." Satan is pleased to have you
increase your farms and invest your means in
worldly enterprises, for by so doing you not only
hinder the cause from advancing, but by anxiety
and overwork lessen your prospect for eternal life.

   We ought now to be heeding the injunction of

                        271
our Saviour: "Sell that ye have, and give alms;
provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a
treasure in the heavens that faileth not." It is now
that our brethren should be cutting down their
possessions instead of increasing them. We are
about to move to a better country, even a heavenly.
Then let us not be dwellers upon the earth, but be
getting things into as compact a compass as
possible.

    The time is coming when we cannot sell at any
price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting
men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath
the mark of the beast. We came near having this
realized in California a short time since; but this
was only the threatening of the blowing of the four
winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We
are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done,
and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the
four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a
decisive time for God's children, a time of trouble
such as never was since there was a nation. Now is
our opportunity to work.


                         272
    There is among many professing the truth a
spirit of unrest. Some want to go to another county
or state, buy large lands, and carry on an extensive
business; others want to go into the city. Thus little
churches are left in weakness and discouragement
to die, when, had the ones who left them been
content to work on a smaller scale, doing their little
with fidelity, they might have made their families
comfortable and been free to keep their own souls
in the love of God. Many who move are
disappointed. They lose what little property they
had, lose health, and finally give up the truth.

    The Lord is coming. Let everyone show his
faith by his works. Faith in Christ's near advent is
dying out of the churches, and selfishness is
causing them to rob God to serve their own
personal interests. When Christ is abiding in us, we
shall be self-denying like Him.

   In times past there has been great liberality on
the part of our people. They have not been
backward to respond to calls for help in the various
branches of the work. But of late a change has

                         273
come. There has been, especially with our Eastern
brethren, a withholding of means, while
worldliness and love of possessions have been
increasing. There is a growing disregard of
promises made to help our various institutions and
enterprises. Subscriptions to build a church, to
endow a college, or to assist in the missionary
work are looked upon as promises which persons
are under no obligation to fulfill if it is not
convenient. These promises were made under the
holy impressions of the Spirit of God. Then do not
rob Him by withholding what rightfully belongs to
Him. Brethren and sisters, look over your past life
and see if you have dealt faithfully with God. Have
you any unredeemed pledges? If so, resolve that
you will pay them if it is within your power.

     Listen to the counsel of the Lord: "Bring ye all
the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be
meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, .
. . if I will not open you the windows of heaven,
and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be
room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy

                        274
the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine
cast her fruit before the time in the field." "And all
nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a
delightsome land."

    Are you not willing to accept the promises
which the Lord here makes and to put selfishness
from you and begin to work earnestly to advance
His cause? Do not strengthen your hold on this
world by taking advantage of your poorer
neighbor, for God's eye is upon you; He reads
every motive and weighs you in the balances of the
sanctuary.

    I saw that many withhold from the cause while
they live, quieting their consciences that they will
be charitable at death; they hardly dare exercise
faith and trust in God to give anything while living.
But this deathbed charity is not what Christ
requires of His followers; it cannot excuse the
selfishness of the living. Those who hold fast their
property till the last moment, surrender it to death
rather than to the cause. Losses are occurring
continually. Banks fail, and property is consumed

                         275
in very many ways. Many purpose to do
something, but they delay the matter, and Satan
works to prevent the means from coming into the
treasury at all. It is lost before it is returned to God,
and Satan exults that it is so.

    If you would do good with your means, do it at
once lest Satan get it in his hands and thus hinder
the work of God. Many times, when the Lord has
opened the way for brethren to handle their means
to advance His cause, the agents of Satan have
presented some enterprise by which they were
positive the brethren could double their means.
They take the bait; their money is invested, and the
cause, and frequently themselves, never receive a
dollar.

   Brethren, remember the cause; and when you
have means at your command lay up for yourselves
a good foundation against the time to come, that
you may lay hold on eternal life. Jesus for your
sakes became poor, that you through His poverty
might be made rich in heavenly treasure. What will
you give for Jesus, who has given all for you?

                          276
    It will not do for you to depend on making your
charity gifts in testamentary bequests at death. You
cannot calculate with the least degree of surety that
the cause will ever be benefited by them. Satan
works with acute skill to stir up the relatives, and
every false position is taken to gain to the world
that which was solemnly dedicated to the cause of
God. Much less than the sum willed is always
received. Satan even puts it into the hearts of men
and women to protest against their relatives' doing
what they wish in the bestowment of their property.
They seem to regard everything given to the Lord
as robbing the relatives of the deceased. If you
want your means to go to the cause, appropriate it,
or all that you do not really need for a support,
while you live. A few of the brethren are doing this
and enjoying the pleasure of being their own
executors. Will the covetousness of men make it
necessary that they shall be deprived of life in
order that the property which God has lent them
shall not be useless forever? Let none of you draw
upon yourselves the doom of the unprofitable
servant who hid his Lord's money in the earth.

                        277
    Dying charity is a poor substitute for living
benevolence. Many will to their friends and
relatives all except a very small pittance of their
property. This they leave for their supreme Friend,
who became poor for their sakes, who suffered
insult, mockery, and death, that they might become
sons and daughters of God. And yet they expect
when the righteous dead shall come forth to
immortal life that this Friend will take them into
His everlasting habitations.

     The cause of Christ is robbed, not by a mere
passing thought, not by an unpremeditated act. No.
By your own deliberate act you made your will,
placing your property at the disposal of
unbelievers. After having robbed God during your
lifetime, you continue to rob Him after your death,
and you do this with the full consent of all your
powers of mind, in a document called your will.
What do you think will be your Master's will
toward you for thus appropriating His goods? What
will you say when an account is demanded of your
stewardship?

                       278
    Brethren, awake from your life of selfishness,
and act like consistent Christians. The Lord
requires you to economize your means and let
every dollar not needed for your comfort flow into
the treasury. Sisters, take that ten cents, that twenty
cents, that dollar which you were about to spend
for candies, for ruffles, or for ribbons, and donate it
to God's cause. Many of our sisters earn good
wages, but it is nearly all spent in gratifying their
pride of dress.

    The wants of the cause will continually
increase as we near the close of time. Means is
needed to give young men a short course of study
in our schools, to prepare them for efficient work
in the ministry and in different branches of the
cause. We are not coming up to our privilege in
this matter. All schools among us will soon be
closed up. How much more might have been done
had men obeyed the requirements of Christ in
Christian beneficence! What an influence would
this readiness to give all for Christ have had upon
the world! It would have been one of the most

                         279
convincing arguments in favor of the truth we
profess to believe—an argument which the world
could not misunderstand nor gainsay. The Lord
would have distinguished us with His blessing even
before the eyes of the world.

    The first Christian church had not the privileges
and opportunities we have. They were a poor
people, but they felt the power of the truth. The
object before them was sufficient to lead them to
invest all. They felt that the salvation or the loss of
a world depended upon their instrumentality. They
cast in their all and held themselves in readiness to
go or come at the Lord's bidding.

    We profess to be governed by the same
principles, to be influenced by the same spirit. But
instead of giving all for Christ many have taken the
golden wedge and a goodly Babylonish garment
and hid them in the camp. If the presence of one
Achan was sufficient to weaken the whole camp of
Israel, can we be surprised at the little success
which attends our efforts when every church and
almost every family has its Achan? Let us

                         280
individually go to work to stimulate others by our
example of disinterested benevolence. The work
might have gone forward with far greater power
had all done what they could to supply the treasury
with means.




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                    Chapter 15

          Power of the Truth

     The word of God was preached by His
ministers in early days "in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power." The hearts of men were
stirred by the proclamation of the gospel. Why is it
that the preaching of the truth has now so little
power to move the people? Is God less willing to
bestow His blessing upon the laborers in His cause
in this age than in the apostles' day?

    The warning which we bear to the world must
prove to them a savor of life unto life or of death
unto death. And will the Lord send forth His
servants to proclaim this fearfully solemn message
and withhold from them His Holy Spirit? Shall
frail, erring men, without special grace and power
from God, dare to stand between the living and the
dead to speak the words of everlasting life? Our
Lord is rich in grace, mighty in power; He will
abundantly bestow these gifts upon all who come

                        282
to Him in faith. He is more willing to give the Holy
Spirit to them that ask Him than are parents to give
good gifts to their children. The reason why the
precious, important truth for this time is not
powerful to save is that we do not work in faith.

    We should pray as earnestly for the descent of
the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day
of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need
it more today. Moral darkness, like a funeral pall,
covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines,
heresies, and satanic deceptions are misleading the
minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of
God it will be in vain that we labor to present the
truth.

    It is by contemplating Christ, by exercising
faith in Him, by experiencing for ourselves His
saving grace, that we are qualified to present Him
to the world. If we have learned of Him, Jesus will
be our theme; His love, burning upon the altar of
our hearts, will reach the hearts of the people. The
truth will be presented, not as a cold, lifeless
theory, but in the demonstration of the Spirit.

                        283
    Many of our ministers in their discourses dwell
too largely upon theory and not enough on
practical godliness. They have an intellectual
knowledge of the truth, but their hearts are
untouched with the genuine fervor of the love of
Christ. Many have gained by the study of our
publications a knowledge of the arguments that
sustain the truth, but they have not become Bible
students for themselves. They are not constantly
seeking for a deeper and more thorough knowledge
of the plan of salvation as revealed in the
Scriptures. While preaching to others, they are
becoming dwarfs in religious growth. They do not
often go before God to plead for His Spirit and
grace that they may rightly present Christ to the
world.

    Human strength is weakness, human wisdom is
folly. Our success does not depend on our talents
or learning, but on our living connection with God.
The truth is shorn of its power when preached by
men who are seeking to display their own learning
and ability. Such men display also that they know

                       284
very little of experimental religion, that they are
unsanctified in heart and life and are filled with
vain conceit. They do not learn of Jesus. They
cannot present to others a Saviour with whom they
themselves are not acquainted. Their own hearts
are not softened and subdued by a vivid sense of
the great sacrifice which Christ has made to save
perishing man. They do not feel that it is a
privilege to deny self and to suffer for His dear
sake. Some exalt self, and talk of self; they prepare
sermons and write articles to call the attention of
the people to the minister, fearing that he will not
receive due honor. Had there been more lifting up
of Jesus and less extolling the minister, more praise
rendered to the Author of truth and less to its
messengers, we would occupy a more favorable
position before God than we do today.

    The plan of salvation is not presented in its
simplicity for the reason that few ministers know
what simple faith is. An intellectual knowledge of
the truth is not enough; we must know its power
upon our own hearts and lives. Ministers need to
come to Christ as little children. Seek Jesus,

                        285
brethren, confess your sins, plead with God day
and night, until you know that for Christ's sake you
are pardoned and accepted. Then will you love
much because you have been forgiven much. Then
you can point others to Christ as a sin-pardoning
Redeemer. Then you can present the truth from the
fullness of a heart that feels its sanctifying power. I
fear for you, my brethren. I counsel you to tarry at
Jerusalem, as did the early disciples, until, like
them, you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Never feel at liberty to go into the desk until you
have by faith grasped the arm of your strength.

    If we have the spirit of Christ we shall work as
He worked; we shall catch the very ideas of the
Man of Nazareth and present them to the people. If,
in the place of formal professors and unconverted
ministers, we were indeed followers of Christ we
would present the truth with such meekness and
fervor, and would so exemplify it in our lives, that
the world would not be continually questioning
whether we believe what we profess. The message
borne in the love of Christ, with the worth of souls
constantly before us, would win even from

                         286
worldlings the decision: "They are like Jesus."

    If we desire to reform others we must ourselves
practice the principles which we would enforce
upon them. Words, however good, will be
powerless if contradicted by the daily life.
Ministers of Christ, I admonish you: "Take heed
unto thyself, and unto the doctrine." Do not excuse
sins in yourselves which you reprove in others. If
you preach on meekness and love, let these graces
be exemplified in your own life. If you urge others
to be kind, courteous, and attentive at home, let
your own example give force to your admonitions.
As you have received greater light than others, so
is your responsibility increased. You will be beaten
with many stripes if you neglect to do your
Master's will.

    Satan's snares are laid for us as verily as they
were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their
entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating
the history of that people. Lightness, vanity, love of
ease and pleasure, selfishness, and impurity are
increasing among us. There is need now of men

                          287
who are firm and fearless in declaring the whole
counsel of God; men who will not sleep as do
others, but watch and be sober. Knowing as I do
the great lack of holiness and power with our
ministers, I am deeply pained to see the efforts for
self-exaltation. If they could but see Jesus as He is,
and themselves as they are, so weak, so inefficient,
so unlike their Master, they would say: If my name
may be written in the obscurest part of the book of
life, it is enough for me, so unworthy am I of His
notice.

    It is your work to study and to imitate the
Pattern. Was Christ self-denying? so must you be.
Was He meek and lowly? so must you be. Was He
zealous in the work of saving souls? so must you
be. Did He labor to promote the glory of His
Father? so must you. Did He often seek help from
God? so must you. Was Christ patient? so will you
be patient. As Christ forgave His enemies, so will
you forgive.

    It is not so much the religion of the pulpit as the
religion of the family that reveals our real

                         288
character. The minister's wife, his children, and
those who are employed as helpers in his family
are best qualified to judge of his piety. A good man
will be a blessing to his household. Wife, children,
and helpers will all be the better for his religion.

     Brethren, carry Christ into the family, carry
Him into the pulpit, carry Him with you wherever
you go. Then you need not urge upon others the
necessity of appreciating the ministry, for you will
bear the heavenly credentials which will prove to
all that you are servants of Christ. Carry Jesus with
you in your hours of solitude. Remember that He
was often in prayer, and His life was constantly
sustained by fresh inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
Let your thoughts, your inner life, be such that you
will not be ashamed to meet its record in the day of
God.

    Heaven is not closed against the fervent prayers
of the righteous. Elijah was a man subject to like
passions as we are, yet the Lord heard and in a
most striking manner answered his petitions. The
only reason for our lack of power with God is to be

                        289
found in ourselves. If the inner life of many who
profess the truth were presented before them, they
would not claim to be Christians. They are not
growing in grace. A hurried prayer is offered now
and then, but there is no real communion with God.

    We must be much in prayer if we would make
progress in the divine life. When the message of
truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed.
How often was the voice of intercession heard in
the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the
grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer,
two or three together claiming the promise; often
the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice
of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the
day of God is nearer than when we first believed,
and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and
fervent than in those early days. Our perils are
greater now than then. Souls are more hardened.
We need now to be imbued with the spirit of
Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it.

   Brethren and sisters, have you forgotten that
your prayers should go out, like sharp sickles, with

                        290
the laborers in the great harvest field? As young
men go forth to preach the truth, you should have
seasons of prayer for them. Pray that God will
connect them with Himself and give them wisdom,
grace, and knowledge. Pray that they may be
guarded from the snares of Satan and kept pure in
thought and holy in heart. I entreat you who fear
the Lord to waste no time in unprofitable talk or in
needless labor to gratify pride or to indulge the
appetite. Let the time thus gained be spent in
wrestling with God for your ministers. Hold up
their hands as did Aaron and Hur the hands of
Moses.




                        291
                    Chapter 16

         Our Camp Meetings

    I have been shown that some of our camp
meetings are far from being what the Lord
designed they should be. The people come
unprepared for the visitation of God's Holy Spirit.
Generally the sisters devote considerable time
before the meeting to the preparation of garments
for the outward adorning, while they entirely forget
the inward adorning, which is in the sight of God
of great price. There is also much time spent in
needless cooking, in the preparation of rich pies
and cakes and other articles of food that do positive
injury to those who partake of them. Should our
sisters provide good bread and some other healthful
kinds of food, both they and their families would
be better prepared to appreciate the words of life
and far more susceptible to the influence of the
Holy Spirit.

   Often the stomach is overburdened with food

                        292
which is seldom as plain and simple as that eaten at
home, where the amount of exercise taken is
double or treble. This causes the mind to be in such
a lethargy that it is difficult to appreciate eternal
things; and the meeting closes, and they are
disappointed in not having enjoyed more of the
Spirit of God.

    While preparing for the meeting each
individual should closely and critically examine his
own heart before God. If there have been
unpleasant feelings, discord, or strife in families, it
should be one of the first acts of preparation to
confess these faults one to another and pray with
and for one another. Humble yourselves before
God, and make an earnest effort to empty the soul
temple of all rubbish—all envyings, all jealousies,
all suspicions, all faultfindings. "Cleanse your
hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye
double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:
let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your
joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of
the Lord, and He shall lift you up."


                         293
    The Lord speaks; enter into your closet, and in
silence commune with your own heart; listen to the
voice of truth and conscience. Nothing will give
such clear views of self as secret prayer. He who
seeth in secret and knoweth all things will
enlighten your understanding and answer your
petitions. Plain, simple duties that must not be
neglected will open before you. Make a covenant
with God to yield yourselves and all your powers
to His service. Do not carry this undone work to
the camp meeting. If it is not done at home, your
own soul will suffer, and others will be greatly
injured by your coldness, your stupor, your
spiritual lethargy.

    I have seen the condition of the people
professing the truth. The words of the prophet
Ezekiel are applicable to them at this time: "Son of
man, these men have set up their idols in their
heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity
before their face: should I be inquired of at all by
them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto
them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the
house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart,

                         294
and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity
before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the
Lord will answer him that cometh according to the
multitude of his idols."

    If we love the things of the world and have
pleasure in unrighteousness or fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness we have put the
stumbling block of our iniquity before our face and
have set up idols in our heart. And unless by
determined effort we put them away we shall never
be acknowledged as the sons and daughters of God.

    Here is a work for families to engage in before
coming up to our holy convocations. Let the
preparation for eating and dressing be a secondary
matter, but let deep heart searching commence at
home. Pray three times a day, and, like Jacob, be
importunate. At home is the place to find Jesus;
then take Him with you to the meeting, and how
precious will be the hours you spend there. But
how can you expect to feel the presence of the
Lord and see His power displayed when the
individual work of preparation for that time is

                       295
neglected?

    For your soul's sake, for Christ's sake, and for
the sake of others, work at home. Pray as you are
not accustomed to pray. Let the heart break before
God. Set your house in order. Prepare your
children for the occasion. Teach them that it is not
of so much consequence that they appear with fine
clothes as that they appear before God with clean
hands and pure hearts. Remove every obstacle that
may have been in their way,—all differences that
may have existed among themselves or between
you and them. By so doing you will invite the
Lord's presence into your homes, and holy angels
will attend you as you go up to the meeting, and
their light and presence will press back the
darkness of evil angels. Even unbelievers will feel
the holy atmosphere as they enter the encampment.
Oh, how much is lost by neglecting this important
work! You may be pleased with the preaching, you
may become animated and revived, but the
converting, reforming power of God will not be felt
in the heart, and the work will not be so deep,
thorough, and lasting as it should be. Let pride be

                        296
crucified and the soul be clad with the priceless
robe of Christ's righteousness, and what a meeting
will you enjoy. It will be to your soul even as the
gate of heaven.

    The same work of humiliation and heart-
searching should also go on in the church, so that
all differences and alienations among brethren may
be laid aside before appearing before the Lord at
these annual gatherings. Set about this work in
earnest, and rest not until it is accomplished; for if
you come up to the meeting with your doubts, your
murmurings, your disputings, you bring evil angels
into the camp and carry darkness wherever you go.

    I have been shown that for want of this
preparation     these   yearly    meetings    have
accomplished but little. The ministers are seldom
prepared to labor for God. There are many
speakers, —those who can say sharp, crank things,
going out of their way to whip other churches and
ridicule their faith,—but there are but few earnest
laborers for God. These sharp, self-important
speakers profess to have truth in advance of every

                         297
other people, but their manner of labor and their
religious zeal in no way correspond with their
profession of faith.

    I looked to see the humility of soul that should
ever sit as a fitting garment upon our ministers, but
it was not upon them. I looked for the deep love for
souls that the Master said they should possess, but
they had it not. I listened for the earnest prayers
offered with tears and anguish of soul because of
the impenitent and unbelieving in their own homes
and in the church, but heard them not. I listened for
the appeals made in the demonstration of the Spirit,
but these were missing. I looked for the burden
bearers, who in such a time as this should be
weeping between the porch and the altar, crying,
Spare Thy people, Lord, and give not Thine
heritage to reproach; but I heard no such
supplications. A few earnest, humble ones were
seeking the Lord. At some of these meetings one or
two ministers felt the burden and were weighed
down as a cart beneath sheaves. But a large
majority of the ministers had no more sense of the
sacredness of their work than children.

                        298
    I saw what these yearly gatherings might be,
and what they should be—meetings of earnest
labor. Ministers should seek a heart preparation
before entering upon the work of helping others,
for the people are far in advance of many of the
ministers. They should untiringly wrestle in prayer
until the Lord blesses them. When the love of God
is burning on the altar of their hearts, they will not
preach to exhibit their own smartness, but to
present Christ who taketh away the sins of the
world.

    In the early church Christianity was taught in
its purity; its precepts were given by the voice of
inspiration; its ordinances were uncorrupted by the
device of men. The church revealed the spirit of
Christ and appeared beautiful in its simplicity. Its
adorning was the holy principles and exemplary
lives of its members. Multitudes were won to
Christ, not by display or learning, but by the power
of God which attended the plain preaching of His
word. But the church has become corrupt. And
now there is greater necessity than ever that

                         299
ministers should be channels of light.

    There are many flippant talkers of Bible truth,
whose souls are as barren of the Spirit of God as
were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. But what
we need is men who are thoroughly converted
themselves and can teach others how to give their
hearts to God. The power of godliness has almost
ceased to be in our churches. And why is this? The
Lord is still waiting to be gracious; He has not
closed the windows of heaven. We have separated
ourselves from Him. We need to fix the eye of faith
upon the cross and believe that Jesus is our
strength, our salvation.

    As we see so little burden of the work resting
upon ministers and people, we inquire: When the
Lord comes, shall He find faith on the earth? It is
faith that is lacking. God has an abundance of
grace and power awaiting our demand. But the
reason we do not feel our great need of it is
because we look to ourselves and not to Jesus. We
do not exalt Jesus and rely wholly upon His merits.


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    Would that I could impress upon ministers and
people the necessity of a deeper work of grace in
the heart and more thorough preparation to enter
into the spirit and labor of our camp meetings, that
they may receive the greatest possible benefit from
these meetings. These yearly gatherings may be
seasons of special blessing or they may be a great
injury to spirituality. Which shall they be to you,
dear reader? It remains for each to decide for
himself.




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                    Chapter 17

             Brotherly Love

    "By this shall all men know that ye are My
disciples, if ye have love one to another." The more
closely we resemble our Saviour in character, the
greater will be our love toward those for whom He
died. Christians who manifest a spirit of unselfish
love for one another are bearing a testimony for
Christ which unbelievers can neither gainsay nor
resist. It is impossible to estimate the power of
such an example. Nothing will so successfully
defeat the devices of Satan and his emissaries,
nothing will so build up the Redeemer's kingdom,
as will the love of Christ manifested by the
members of the church. Peace and prosperity can
be enjoyed only as meekness and love are in active
exercise.

   In his First Epistle to the Corinthians the
apostle Paul sets forth the importance of that love
which should be cherished by the followers of

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Christ: "Though I speak with the tongues of men
and of angels, and have not charity, I am become
as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And
though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand
all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have
all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and
have not charity, I am nothing. And though I
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I
give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it
profiteth me nothing."

    No matter how high his profession, he whose
heart is not imbued with love for God and for his
fellow men is not a disciple of Christ. Though he
should possess great faith, and even have power to
work miracles, yet without love his faith would be
worthless. He might display great liberality, but
should he from some other motive than genuine
love bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act
would not commend him to the favor of God. In his
zeal he might even meet a martyr's death, yet if
destitute of the gold of love he would be regarded
by God as a deluded enthusiast or an ambitious
hypocrite.

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    The apostle proceeds to specify the fruits of
love: "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity
envieth not." The divine love ruling in the heart
exterminates pride and selfishness. "Charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." The purest
joy springs from the deepest humiliation. The
strongest and noblest characters rest upon the
foundation of patience and love, and trusting
submission to the will of God.

    Charity "doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil." The heart in which love rules will
not be filled with passion or revenge, by injuries
which pride and self-love would deem unbearable.
Love is unsuspecting, ever placing the most
favorable construction upon the motives and acts of
others. Love will never needlessly expose the faults
of others. It does not listen eagerly to unfavorable
reports, but rather seeks to bring to mind some
good qualities of the one defamed.

   Love "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in

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the truth." He whose heart is imbued with love is
filled with sorrow at the errors and weaknesses of
others; but when truth triumphs, when the cloud
that darkened the fair fame of another is removed,
or when sins are confessed and wrongs corrected,
he rejoices.

     "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth
all things, endureth all things." Love not only bears
with others' faults, but cheerfully submits to
whatever suffering or inconvenience such
forbearance makes necessary. This love "never
faileth." It can never lose its value; it is the
attribute of heaven. As a precious treasure it will be
carried by its possessor through the portals of the
city of God.

    The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace.
Discord and strife are the work of Satan and the
fruit of sin. If we would as a people enjoy peace
and love, we must put away our sins; we must
come into harmony with God, and we shall be in
harmony with one another. Let each ask himself:
Do I possess the grace of love? Have I learned to

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suffer long and to be kind? Talents, learning, and
eloquence, without this heavenly attribute, will be
as meaningless as sounding brass or a tinkling
cymbal. Alas that this precious treasure is so lightly
valued and so little sought by many who profess
the faith!

    Paul writes to the Colossians: "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, to the which also ye are
called in one body; and be ye thankful." "And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and
the Father by Him."

    The fact that we are under so great obligation to
Christ places us under the most sacred obligation to
those whom He died to redeem. We are to manifest

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toward them the same sympathy, the same tender
compassion and unselfish love, which Christ has
manifested toward us. Selfish ambition, desire for
supremacy, will die when Christ takes possession
of the affections.

    Our Saviour taught His disciples to pray:
"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
A great blessing is here asked upon conditions. We
ourselves state these conditions. We ask that the
mercy of God toward us may be measured by the
mercy which we extend to others. Christ declares
that this is the rule by which the Lord will deal
with us. "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye
forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your
Father forgive your trespasses." Wonderful terms!
but how little are they understood or heeded. One
of the most common sins, and one that is attended
with most pernicious results, is the indulgence of
an unforgiving spirit. How many will cherish
animosity or revenge and then bow before God and
ask to be forgiven as they forgive. Surely they can
have no true sense of the import of this prayer or

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they would not dare to take it upon their lips. We
are dependent upon the pardoning mercy of God
every day and every hour; how then can we cherish
bitterness and malice toward our fellow sinners! If,
in all their daily intercourse, Christians would carry
out the principles of this prayer, what a blessed
change would be wrought in the church and in the
world! This would be the most convincing
testimony that could be given to the reality of Bible
religion.

    God requires more of His followers than many
realize. If we would not build our hopes of heaven
upon a false foundation we must accept the Bible
as it reads and believe that the Lord means what He
says. He requires nothing of us that He will not
give us grace to perform. We shall have no excuse
to offer in the day of God if we fail to reach the
standard set before us in His word.

    We are admonished by the apostle: "Let love be
without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil,
cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned
one to another with brotherly love; in honor

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preferring one another." Paul would have us
distinguish between the pure, unselfish love which
is prompted by the spirit of Christ, and the
unmeaning, deceitful pretense with which the
world abounds. This base counterfeit has misled
many souls. It would blot out the distinction
between right and wrong, by agreeing with the
transgressor instead of faithfully showing him his
errors. Such a course never springs from real
friendship. The spirit by which it is prompted
dwells only in the carnal heart. While the Christian
will be ever kind, compassionate, and forgiving, he
can feel no harmony with sin. He will abhor evil
and cling to that which is good, at the sacrifice of
association or friendship with the ungodly. The
spirit of Christ will lead us to hate sin, while we are
willing to make any sacrifice to save the sinner.

    "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord,
that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk,
in the vanity of their mind, having the
understanding darkened, being alienated from the
life of God through the ignorance that is in them,
because of the blindness of their heart: who being

                         309
past feeling have given themselves over unto
lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with
greediness." The apostle admonishes his brethren,
in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus,
that after having professed the gospel they should
not conduct themselves as did the Gentiles, but
should show by their daily deportment that they
had been truly converted.

     "Put off concerning the former conversation the
old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful
lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
and that ye put on the new man, which after God is
created in righteousness and true holiness." Once
they were corrupt, degraded, enslaved by lustful
passions; they were drugged by worldly opiates,
blinded, bewildered, and betrayed by Satan's
devices. Now that they had been taught the truth as
it is in Jesus, there must be a decided change in
their life and character.

   The accession of members who have not been
renewed in heart and reformed in life is a source of
weakness to the church. This fact is often ignored.

                        310
Some ministers and churches are so desirous of
securing an increase of numbers that they do not
bear faithful testimony against unchristian habits
and practices. Those who accept the truth are not
taught that they cannot safely be worldlings in
conduct while they are Christians in name.
Heretofore they were Satan's subjects; henceforth
they are to be subjects of Christ. The life must
testify to the change of leaders. Public opinion
favors a profession of Christianity. Little self-
denial or self-sacrifice is required in order to put on
a form of godliness and to have one's name
enrolled upon the church book. Hence many join
the church without first becoming united to Christ.
In this Satan triumphs. Such converts are his most
efficient agents. They serve as decoys to other
souls. They are false lights, luring the unwary to
perdition. It is in vain that men seek to make the
Christian's path broad and pleasant for worldlings.
God has not smoothed or widened the rugged,
narrow way. If we would enter into life, we must
follow the same path which Jesus and His disciples
trod—the path of humility, self-denial, and
sacrifice.

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    Ministers should see that their own hearts are
sanctified through the truth, and then labor to
secure these results for their converts. It is pure
religion that ministers and people need. Those who
put away iniquity from their hearts and stretch out
their hands in earnest supplication unto God will
have that help which God alone can give them. A
ransom has been paid for the souls of men, that
they may have an opportunity to escape from the
thralldom of sin and obtain pardon, purity, and
heaven.

    God hears the cry of the lowly and contrite.
Those who frequent the throne of grace, offering
up sincere, earnest petitions for divine wisdom and
power, will not fail to become active, useful
servants of Christ. They may not possess great
talents, but with humility of heart and firm reliance
upon Jesus they may do a good work in bringing
souls to Christ. They can reach men through God.

    Ministers of Christ should ever feel that a
sacred work engages all their souls; their efforts

                        312
should be for the edification of the body of Christ,
and not to exalt themselves before the people. And
while Christians should esteem the faithful minister
as Christ's ambassador, they should avoid all praise
of the man.

    "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear
children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath
loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering
and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."
Man by wicked works alienated himself from God,
but Christ gave His life that all who would, might
be freed from sin and reinstated in the favor of the
Creator. It was the anticipation of a redeemed, holy
universe that prompted Christ to make this great
sacrifice. Have we accepted the privileges so
dearly purchased? Are we followers of God as dear
children, or are we servants of the prince of
darkness? Are we worshipers of Jehovah, or of
Baal? of the living God, or of idols?

    No outward shrines may be visible, there may
be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be
practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of

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cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of
wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception
of God and His attributes. They are as verily
serving a false god as were the servants of Baal.
Are we worshiping the true God as He is revealed
in His word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring
some philosophical idol enshrined in His place?
God is a God of truth. Justice and mercy are the
attributes of His throne. He is a God of love, of pity
and tender compassion. Thus He is represented in
His Son, our Saviour. He is a God of patience and
long-suffering. If such is the being whom we adore
and to whose character we are seeking to
assimilate, we are worshiping the true God.

    If we are following Christ, His merits, imputed
to us, come up before the Father as sweet odor.
And the graces of our Saviour's character,
implanted in our hearts, will shed around us a
precious fragrance. The spirit of love, meekness,
and forbearance pervading our life will have power
to soften and subdue hard hearts and win to Christ
bitter opposers of the faith.


                         314
    "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." "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."

    Vainglory, selfish ambition, is the rock upon
which many souls have been wrecked and many
churches rendered powerless. Those who know
least of devotion, who are least connected with
God, are the ones who will most eagerly seek the
highest place. They have no sense of their
weakness and their deficiencies of character.
Unless many of our young ministers shall feel the
converting power of God, their labors will be a
hindrance rather than a help to the church. They
may have learned the doctrines of Christ, but they
have not learned Christ. The soul that is constantly
looking unto Jesus will see His self-denying love
and deep humility, and will copy His example.

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Pride, ambition, deceit, hatred, selfishness, must be
cleansed from the heart. With many these evil traits
are partially subdued, but not thoroughly uprooted
from the heart. Under favorable circumstances they
spring up anew and ripen into rebellion against
God. Here lies a terrible danger. To spare any sin is
to cherish a foe that only awaits an unguarded
moment to cause our ruin.

    "Who is a wise man and endued with
knowledge among you? let him show out of a good
conversation his works with meekness of wisdom."
My brethren and sisters, how are you employing
the gift of speech? Have you learned so to control
the tongue that it shall ever obey the dictates of an
enlightened conscience and holy affections? Is
your conversation free from levity, pride and
malice, deceit and impurity? Are you without guile
before God? Words exert a telling power. Satan
will, if possible, keep the tongue active in his
service. Of ourselves we cannot control the unruly
member. Divine grace is our only hope.

   Those who are eagerly studying how they may

                        316
secure the pre-eminence should study rather how
they may gain that wisdom which is "first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated,
full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality,
and without hypocrisy." I have been shown that
many ministers need to have these words imprinted
on the tablets of the soul. He who has Christ
formed within, the hope of glory, will "show out of
a good conversation his works with meekness of
wisdom."

     Peter exhorts the believers: "Be ye all of one
mind, having compassion one of another, love as
brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil
for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise
blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that
ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love
life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue
from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let
him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace,
and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the
righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers:
but the face of the Lord is against them that do
evil."

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     When the right way is so plainly marked out,
why do not the professed people of God walk in it?
Why do they not study and pray and labor earnestly
to be of one mind? Why do they not seek to cherish
compassion for one another, to love as brethren,
instead of rendering evil for evil and railing for
railing? Who does not love life and desire good
days? yet how few comply with the conditions, to
refrain the tongue from evil and the lips from
speaking guile. Few are willing to follow the
Saviour's example of meekness and humility.
Many ask the Lord to humble them, but are
unwilling to submit to the needful discipline. When
the test comes, when trials or even annoyances
occur, the heart rebels, and the tongue utters words
that are like poisoned arrows or blasting hail.

     Evilspeaking is a twofold curse, falling more
heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He
who scatters the seeds of dissension and strife
reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits. How
miserable is the talebearer, the surmiser of evil! He
is a stranger to true happiness.

                        318
     "Blessed are the peacemakers." Grace and
peace rest upon those who refuse to join in the
strife of tongues. When vendors of scandal are
passing from family to family, those who fear God
will be chaste keepers at home. The time that is so
often worse than wasted in idle, frivolous, and
malicious gossip should be given to higher and
nobler objects. If our brethren and sisters would
become missionaries for God, visiting the sick and
afflicted, and laboring patiently and kindly for the
erring,—in short, if they would copy the Pattern,—
the church would have prosperity in all her borders.

    The sin of evilspeaking begins with the
cherishing of evil thoughts. Guile includes impurity
in all its forms. An impure thought tolerated, an
unholy desire cherished, and the soul is
contaminated, its integrity compromised. "Then
when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and
sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." If we
would not commit sin, we must shun its very
beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held
in subjection to reason and conscience. Every

                         319
unholy thought must be instantly repelled. To your
closet, followers of Christ. Pray in faith and with
all the heart. Satan is watching to ensnare your feet.
You must have help from above if you would
escape his devices.

     By faith and prayer all may meet the
requirements of the gospel. No man can be forced
to transgress. His own consent must be first gained;
the soul must purpose the sinful act before passion
can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph over
conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never
an excuse for sin. "The eyes of the Lord are over
the righteous, and His ears are open unto their
prayers." Cry unto the Lord, tempted soul. Cast
yourself, helpless, unworthy, upon Jesus, and claim
His very promise. The Lord will hear. He knows
how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart,
and He will help in every time of temptation.

   Have you fallen into sin? Then without delay
seek God for mercy and pardon. When David was
convicted of his sin, he poured out his soul in
penitence and humiliation before God. He felt that

                         320
he could endure the loss of his crown, but he could
not be deprived of the favor of God. Mercy is still
extended to the sinner. The Lord is calling to us in
all our wanderings: "Return, ye backsliding
children, and I will heal your backslidings." The
blessing of God may be ours if we will heed the
pleading voice of His Spirit. "Like as a father
pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that
fear Him."




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                    Chapter 18

       Diligence in Business

    "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he
shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before
mean men." "He becometh poor that dealeth with a
slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh
rich." "Be kindly affectioned one to another with
brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not
slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the
Lord."

    The many admonitions to diligence found in
both the Old and the New Testament plainly
indicate the intimate relation existing between our
habits of life and our religious feelings and
practices. The human mind and body are so
constituted that plenty of exercise is necessary in
order to a proper development of all the faculties.
While many are too much engaged in worldly
business, others go to the opposite extreme and do
not labor sufficiently to support themselves or

                        322
those dependent upon them. Brother ——- is one
of this class. While he occupies the position of
house band to his family he is not this in reality.
The heaviest responsibilities and burdens he allows
to rest upon his wife, while he indulges in careless
indolence or busies himself about small matters
that tell little for the support of his family. He will
sit for hours and chat with his sons or his neighbors
upon matters of no great consequence. He takes
things easy and enjoys himself while the wife and
mother does the work which must be done to
prepare food to eat and clothes to wear.

    This brother is a poor man and always will be a
burden to society unless he asserts his God-given
privilege and becomes a man. Anyone can find
work of some kind to do if he really desires it; but
if he is careless and inattentive, the positions which
he might have secured he will find filled by those
who had greater activity and business tact.

   God never designed that you, my brother,
should be in the position of poverty that you are
now in. Why did He give you that physical frame?

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You are just as responsible for your physical
powers as your brethren are for their means. Some
of these would today be gainers could they
exchange their property for your physical strength.
But if placed in your position, they would, by a
diligent use of both mental and physical powers,
soon be above want and owe no man anything. It is
not because God owes you a grudge that
circumstances appear to be against you, but
because you do not use the strength He has given
you. He did not intend that your powers should rust
by inaction, but that they should strengthen by use.

    The religion you profess makes it as much your
duty to employ your time during the six working
days as to attend church on the Sabbath. You are
not diligent in business. You let hours, days, and
even weeks pass without accomplishing anything.
The very best sermon you could preach to the
world would be to show a decided reformation in
your life, and provide for your own family. Says
the apostle: "If any provide not for his own, and
specially for those of his own house, he hath
denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

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    You bring a reproach upon the cause by
locating in a place, where you indulge indolence
for a time and then are obliged to run in debt for
provision for your family. These your honest debts
you are not always particular to pay, but, instead,
move to another place. This is defrauding your
neighbor. The world has a right to expect strict
integrity in those who profess to be Bible
Christians. By one man's indifference in regard to
paying his just dues, all our people are in danger of
being regarded as unreliable.

   "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to
you, do ye even so to them." This refers to those
who labor with their hands as well as to those who
have gifts to bestow. God has given you strength
and skill, but you have not used them.

    Your strength is sufficient to abundantly
support your family. Rise in the morning, even
while the stars are shining, if need be. Lay your
plans to do something, and then accomplish it.
Redeem every pledge unless sickness lays you

                        325
prostrate. Better deny yourself food and sleep than
be guilty of keeping from others their just dues.

    The hill of progress is not to be climbed
without effort. No one need expect to be carried
along to the prize, either in religious or secular
matters, independently of his own exertions. The
race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the
strong, yet he that dealeth with a slack hand will
become poor. The persevering and industrious are
not only happy themselves, but they contribute
largely to the happiness of others. Competency and
comfort are not ordinarily attained except at the
price of earnest industry. Pharaoh showed his
appreciation of this trait of character when he said
to Joseph: If thou knowest any men of activity
among them [Joseph's brethren], then make them
rulers over my cattle."

    There is no excuse for Brother ——-, unless
love of ease and inability to plan and set himself to
work is an excuse. The best course for him now to
pursue is to go from home and work under
someone who shall plan for him. He has so long

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been a careless, indolent master over himself that
he accomplishes but little, and his example before
his children is bad. They have his stamp of
character. They let mother bear the burdens. When
asked to do anything, they will do it; but they do
not cultivate, as all children should, the faculty of
seeing what needs to be done and doing it without
being told.

    A woman does herself and her family a serious
wrong when she does her work and theirs too—
when she brings the wood and water, and even
takes the ax to prepare the wood, while her
husband and sons sit about the fire having a social,
easy time. God never designed that wives and
mothers should be slaves to their families. Many a
mother is overburdened with care while her
children are not educated to share the domestic
burdens. As the result, she grows old and dies
prematurely, leaving her children just when a
mother is most needed to guide their inexperienced
feet. Who is to blame?

   Husbands should do all they can to save the

                        327
wife care and keep her spirit cheerful. Never
should idleness be fostered or permitted in
children, for it soon becomes a habit. When not
engaged in useful employment, the faculties either
depreciate or become active in an evil work.

   What you need, my brother, is active exercise.
Every feature of your countenance, every faculty of
your mind, is indicative of this. You do not love
hard work nor to earn your bread by the sweat of
your brow. But this is God's ordained plan in the
economy of life.

    You fail to carry through what you undertake.
You have not disciplined yourself to regularity.
System is everything. Do but one thing at a time,
and do that well, finishing it before you begin a
second piece of work. You should have regular
hours for rising, for praying, and for eating. Many
waste hours of precious time in bed because it
gratifies the natural inclination and to do otherwise
requires an exertion. One hour wasted in the
morning is lost never to be recovered. Says the
wise man: "I went by the field of the slothful, and

                        328
by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and
nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone
wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and
considered it well: I looked upon it, and received
instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a
little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy
poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want as
an armed man."

    Those who make any pretensions to godliness
should adorn the doctrine they profess and not give
occasion for the truth to be reviled through their
inconsiderate course of action. "Owe no man
anything," says the apostle. You ought now, my
brother, to take hold earnestly to correct your
habits of indolence, redeeming the time. Let the
world see that the truth has wrought a reformation
in your life.




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                    Chapter 19

      Moving to Battle Creek

    Our Saviour represents Himself as a man taking
his journey into a far country, who left his house in
charge of chosen servants, giving to every man his
work. Every Christian has something to do in the
service of his Master. We are not to seek our own
ease or convenience, but rather to make the
upbuilding of Christ's kingdom our first
consideration. Unselfish efforts to help and bless
our fellow men will not only evince our love for
Jesus, but will keep us near Him in dependence and
faith, and our own souls will be constantly growing
in grace and in a knowledge of the truth.

    God has scattered His children in various
communities that the light of truth may be kept
shining amid the moral darkness that enshrouds the
earth. The deeper the darkness around us, the
greater the need that our light should shine for
God. We may be placed in circumstances of great

                        330
difficulty and trial, but this does not prove that we
are not in the very position assigned us by
Providence. Among the Christians at Rome in
Paul's day the apostle mentions them "that are of
Caesar's household." Nowhere could the moral
atmosphere be more unfavorable to Christianity
than at that Roman court under the cruel and
profligate Nero. Yet those who had, while in the
emperor's service, accepted Christ did not feel at
liberty, after their conversion, to leave their post of
duty. In the face of seductive temptations, fierce
opposition, and appalling dangers they were
faithful witnesses for Christ.

    Whoever will rely wholly upon divine grace
may make his life a constant testimony for the
truth. No one is so situated that he cannot be a true
and faithful Christian. However great the obstacles,
all who are determined to obey God will find the
way opening as they go forward.

   Those who maintain their fidelity to God in the
midst of opposing influences are gaining an
experience of the highest value. Their strength

                         331
increases with every obstacle surmounted, every
temptation overcome. This fact is often
overlooked. When a person has received the truth,
mistaken friends fear to expose him to any test or
trial, and they immediately endeavor to secure for
him an easier position. He goes to some place
where all are in harmony with him. But is his
spiritual strength increased thereby? In many cases
not. He comes to have as little real stamina as a
hothouse plant. He ceases to watch; his faith
becomes weak; he is neither growing in grace
himself nor aiding others.

    Do any shrink from maintaining the truth in the
midst of unbelief and opposition? I ask them to call
to mind the believers in Nero's household; consider
the depravity and persecution which they
encountered, and gather from their example a
lesson of courage, fortitude, and faith.

    It may at times be advisable for those who are
young in the faith to be withdrawn from great
temptations or opposition and to be placed where
they can enjoy the care and counsel of experienced

                        332
Christians. But it should be ever kept before their
minds that the Christian life is a constant warfare;
that the indulgence of sloth or indolence will be
fatal to success.

    We should not, after accepting the truth, unite
with those who oppose it, nor in any manner place
ourselves where it will be difficult for us to live out
our faith. But should anyone while thus situated
receive the truth, he should weigh the matter
carefully before leaving his position. It may be the
design of Providence that his influence and
example shall bring others to the knowledge of the
truth.

   Many are connected in family relations with
opposers of the faith. These believers are often
subjected to great trials, but by divine grace they
may glorify God by obedience to the truth.

    As servants of Christ we should be faithful in
the position where God sees that we can render
most efficient service. If opportunities of greater
usefulness are presented to us, we should accept

                         333
them at the Master's bidding, and His approving
smile will be upon us. But we should fear to leave
our appointed work unless the Lord clearly
indicates our duty to serve Him in another field.

    Different qualifications are needed for different
departments of the work. The carpenter is not fitted
to work at the anvil, nor the blacksmith to use the
plane. The merchant would be out of place beside
the sickbed, and the doctor in the counting room.
Those who become weary with the work which
God has committed to them, and place themselves
in positions where they cannot or will not work,
will be accounted slothful servants. "To every man
his work." Not one is excused.

    Our duty to act as missionaries for God in the
very position where He has placed us has been
greatly overlooked by us as a people. Many are
eagerly turning from present duties and
opportunities to some wider field; many imagine
that in some other position they would find it less
difficult to obey the truth. Our larger churches are
looked upon as enjoying great advantages, and

                        334
there is among our people a growing tendency to
leave their special post of duty and move to Battle
Creek or to the vicinity of some other large church.
This practice not only threatens the prosperity and
even the life of our smaller churches, but it is
preventing us from doing the very work which God
has given us to do, and is destroying our
spirituality and usefulness as a people.

    From nearly all our churches in Michigan, and,
to some extent, from other states, our brethren and
sisters have been crowding into Battle Creek.
Many of them were efficient helpers in smaller
churches, and their removal has greatly weakened
those little companies; in some cases the church
has thus been completely disorganized.

    Have those who moved to Battle Creek proved
a help to the church? As the matter was presented
before me, I looked to see who were bearing a
living testimony for God, who were feeling a
burden for the youth, who were visiting from house
to house, praying with families and laboring for
their spiritual interests. I saw that this work had

                        335
been neglected. On coming to this large church,
many feel that they have no part to act. Hence they
fold their hands and shun all responsibility and
effort.

    There are some who come here merely to
secure financial benefit. This class are a heavy
burden to the church. They are cumberers of the
ground, their unproductive boughs shutting from
other trees the glory of heaven's sunlight.

    It is not pleasing to God that so many of our
ministers should settle at Battle Creek. If their
families were scattered in different parts of the
field, they might be far more useful. It is true that
the minister spends but a short time at home, yet
there are many places where that time would be of
far greater benefit to the cause of God.

    The Lord says to many at Battle Creek: What
doest thou here? What account can you render for
leaving your appointed work and becoming a
hindrance rather than a help to the church?


                        336
    Brethren, I entreat you to compare your own
spiritual state as it now is with what it was when
you were actively engaged in the cause of Christ.
While helping and encouraging the church you
were gaining a useful experience and keeping your
own souls in the love of God. As you have ceased
to work for others, has not your own love grown
cold and your zeal languid? And how is it with
your children? Are they more firmly established in
the truth and more devoted to God than before
coming to this large church?

    The influence exerted by some who have long
been connected with the work of God is fatal to
spirituality and devotion. These gospel-hardened
youth have surrounded themselves with an
atmosphere of worldliness, irreverence, and
infidelity. Dare you risk the effect of such
associations upon your children? It would be better
for them never to obtain an education than to
acquire it at the sacrifice of principle and the
blessing of God.

   Among the youth who come to Battle Creek

                       337
there are some who maintain their fidelity to God
in the midst of temptation, but the number is small.
Many who come here with confidence in the truth,
in the Bible, and in religion have been led astray by
irreligious associates and have returned to their
homes doubting every truth which we as a people
hold dear.

    Let all our brethren who contemplate removing
to Battle Creek, or sending their children here,
consider the matter well before taking this step.
Unless the forces at this great center are keeping
the fort, unless the faith and devotion of the church
are proportioned to her privileges and
opportunities, this is the most dangerous position
which you can choose. I have seen the condition of
this church as angels look upon it. There is a
spiritual deception upon both the people and the
watchmen. They maintain the forms of religion, but
lack the abiding principles of righteousness. Unless
there is a decided change, a marked transformation
in this church, the school here should be removed
to some other locality.


                        338
    Had the youth who have lived here for years
improved their privileges, several who are now
skeptics would have devoted themselves to the
work of the ministry. But they have considered it
an evidence of intellectual superiority to doubt the
truth and have been proud of their independence in
cherishing infidelity. They have done despite to the
Spirit of grace and have trampled upon the blood of
Christ.

     Where are the missionaries who should be
raised up at the heart of the work? From twenty to
fifty should be sent out from Battle Creek every
year to carry the truth to those who sit in darkness.
But piety is at so low an ebb, the spirit of devotion
is so weak, worldliness and selfishness so
prevalent, that the moral atmosphere begets a
lethargy fatal to missionary zeal.

    We need not go to foreign lands to become
missionaries for God. All around us are fields
"white already to harvest," and whoever will may
gather "fruit unto life eternal." God calls upon
many in Battle Creek who are dying of spiritual

                        339
sloth to go where their labor is needed in His cause.
Move out of Battle Creek, even if it requires a
pecuniary sacrifice. Go somewhere to be a blessing
to others. Go where you can strengthen some weak
church. Put to use the powers which God has given
you.

     Shake off your spiritual lethargy. Work with all
your might to save your own souls and the souls of
others. It is no time now to cry, "Peace and safety."
It is not silver-tongued orators that are needed to
give this message. The truth in all its pointed
severity must be spoken. Men of action are needed
–men who will labor with earnest, ceaseless energy
for the purifying of the church and the warning of
the world.

    A great work is to be accomplished; broader
plans must be laid; a voice must go forth to arouse
the nations. Men whose faith is weak and wavering
are not the ones to carry forward the work at this
important crisis. We need the courage of heroes
and the faith of martyrs.


                        340
                     Chapter 20

    Worldliness in the Church

    It is recorded of the holy men of old that God
was not ashamed to be called their God. The reason
assigned is that instead of coveting earthly
possessions or seeking happiness in worldly plans
or aspirations they placed their all upon the altar of
God and made disposition of it to build up His
kingdom. They lived only for God's glory and
declared plainly that they were strangers and
pilgrims on earth, seeking a better country, that is,
an heavenly. Their conduct proclaimed their faith.
God could entrust to them His truth and could
leave the world to receive from them a knowledge
of His will.

    But how are the professed people of God today
maintaining the honor of His name? How could the
world infer that they are a peculiar people? What
evidence do they give of citizenship in heaven?
Their self-indulgent, ease-loving course falsifies

                         341
the character of Christ. He could not honor them in
any marked manner before the world without
endorsing their false representation of His
character.

    I speak to the church at Battle Creek: What
testimony are you bearing to the world? As your
course was presented before me, I was pointed to
the dwellings recently erected by our people in that
city. These buildings are so many monuments of
your unbelief of the doctrines which you profess to
hold. They are preaching sermons more effective
than any delivered from the pulpit. I saw
worldlings point to them with jesting and ridicule,
as a denial of our faith. They proclaimed that
which the owners have been saying in their hearts:
"My Lord delayeth His coming."

    I looked upon the dress and listened to the
conversation of many who profess the truth. Both
were opposed to the principles of truth. Dress and
conversation reveal that which is most treasured by
those who claim to be pilgrims and strangers on the
earth. "They are of the world: therefore speak they

                        342
of the world, and the world heareth them."

    Puritan plainness and simplicity should mark
the dwellings and apparel of all who believe the
solemn truths for this time. All means needlessly
expended in dress or in the adorning of our houses
is a waste of our Lord's money. It is defrauding the
cause of God for the gratification of pride. Our
institutions are burdened with debt, and how can
we expect the Lord to answer our prayers for their
prosperity when we are not doing what we can do
to relieve them from embarrassment?

    I would address you as Christ addressed
Nicodemus: "Ye must be born again." Those who
have Christ ruling within will feel no desire to
imitate the world's display. They will carry
everywhere the standard of the cross, ever bearing
witness of higher aims and nobler themes than
those in which worldlings are absorbed. Our dress,
our dwellings, our conversation, should testify of
our consecration to God. What power would attend
those who thus evinced that they had given up all
for Christ. God would not be ashamed to

                        343
acknowledge them as His children. He would bless
His devoted people, and the unbelieving world
would fear Him.

    Christ longs to work mightily by His Spirit for
the conviction and conversion of sinners. But,
according to His divine plan, the work must be
performed through the instrumentality of His
church; and her members have so far departed from
Him that He cannot accomplish His will through
them. He chooses to work by means, yet the means
employed must be in harmony with His character.

    Who are there in Battle Creek that are faithful
and true? Let them come over on the Lord's side. If
we would be in a position where God can use us,
we must have an individual faith and an individual
experience. Only those who trust wholly in God are
safe now. We must not follow any human example
or lean upon any human support. Many are
constantly taking wrong positions and making
wrong moves; if we trust to their guidance we shall
be misled.


                       344
    Some who profess to be spokesmen for God are
in their daily life denying the faith. They present to
the people important truths; but who are impressed
by these truths? who are convicted of sin? The
hearers know that those who are preaching today
will tomorrow be the first to join in pleasure, mirth,
and frivolity. Their influence out of the pulpit
soothes the conscience of the impenitent and
causes the ministry to be despised. They are
themselves asleep upon the very verge of the
eternal world. The blood of souls is upon their
garments.

    How are the faithful servants of Christ
employed? "Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit," praying in the closet, in
the family, in the congregation, everywhere; "and
watching thereunto with all perseverance." They
feel that souls are in peril, and with earnest, humble
faith they plead the promises of God in their
behalf. The ransom paid by Christ—the atonement
on the cross—is ever before them. They will have
souls as seals of their ministry.


                         345
    The rebuke of the Lord is upon His people for
their pride and unbelief. He will not restore unto
them the joys of His salvation while they are
departing from the instructions of His word and
His Spirit. He will give grace to those who fear
Him and walk in the truth, and He will withdraw
His blessing from all that assimilate to the world.
Mercy and truth are promised to the humble and
penitent, and judgments are denounced against the
rebellious.

    The church at Battle Creek might have stood
free from idolatry, and her faithfulness would have
been an example to other churches. But she is more
willing to depart from God's commandments than
to renounce the friendship of the world. She is
joined to the idols which she has chosen; and
because temporal prosperity and the favor of a
wicked world are hers, she believes herself to be
rich toward God. This will prove to many a fatal
delusion. Her divine character and spiritual
strength have departed from her.



                       346
    I counsel this church to give heed to the
Saviour's admonition: "Remember therefore from
whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first
works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and
will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except
thou repent."




                        347
                    Chapter 21

 Shall We Consult Spiritualist
        Physicians?

    "Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his
upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick:
and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go,
inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron whether I
shall recover of this disease. But the angel of the
Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to
meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and
say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God
in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the
god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the Lord,
Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which
thou art gone up, but shalt surely die."

    This narrative most strikingly displays the
divine displeasure against those who turn from God
to satanic agencies. A short time previous to the
events above recorded the kingdom of Israel had
changed rulers. Ahab had fallen under the
                       348
judgment of God and had been succeeded by his
son Ahaziah, a worthless character, who did only
evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the ways of
his father and mother, and causing Israel to sin. He
served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the
Lord God of Israel to anger, as his father Ahab had
done. But judgments followed close upon the sins
of the rebellious king. A war with Moab, and then
the accident by which his own life was threatened,
attested the wrath of God against Ahaziah.

    How much had the king of Israel heard and
seen in his father's time of the wondrous works of
the Most High! What terrible evidence of His
severity and jealousy had God given apostate
Israel! Of all this, Ahaziah was cognizant; yet he
acted as though these awful realities, and even the
fearful end of his own father, were only an idle
tale. Instead of humbling his heart before the Lord
he ventured upon the most daring act of impiety
which marked his life. He commanded his
servants: "Go, inquire of Baal-zebub the god of
Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease."


                        349
    The idol of Ekron was supposed to give
information, through the medium of its priests,
concerning future events. It had obtained such
general credence that it was resorted to by large
numbers from a considerable distance. The
predictions there uttered and the information given
proceeded directly from the prince of darkness. It is
Satan who created and who maintains the worship
of idols, to divert the minds of men from God. It is
by his agency that the kingdom of darkness and
falsehood is supported.

    The history of King Ahaziah's sin and
punishment has a lesson of warning which none
can disregard with impunity. Though we do not
pay homage to heathen gods, yet thousands are
worshiping at Satan's shrine as verily as did the
king of Israel. The very spirit of heathen idolatry is
rife today, though under the influence of science
and education it has assumed a more refined and
attractive form. Every day adds sorrowful evidence
that faith in the sure word of prophecy is fast
decreasing, and that in its stead superstition and
satanic witchery are captivating the minds of men.

                         350
All who do not earnestly search the Scriptures and
submit every desire and purpose of life to that
unerring test, all who do not seek God in prayer for
a knowledge of His will, will surely wander from
the right path and fall under the deception of Satan.

    The heathen oracles have their counterpart in
the spiritualistic mediums, the clairvoyants, and
fortunetellers of today. The mystic voices that
spoke at Ekron and En-dor are still by their lying
words misleading the children of men. The prince
of darkness has but appeared under a new guise.
The mysteries of heathen worship are replaced by
the secret associations and seances, the obscurities
and wonders, of the sorcerers of our time. Their
disclosures are eagerly received by thousands who
refuse to accept light from God's word or from His
Spirit. While they speak with scorn of the
magicians of old, the great deceiver laughs in
triumph as they yield to his arts under a different
form.

     His agents still claim to cure disease. They
attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, or

                        351
the so-called "sympathetic remedies." In truth, they
are but channels for Satan's electric currents. By
this means he casts his spell over the bodies and
souls of men.

    I have from time to time received letters both
from ministers and lay members of the church,
inquiring if I think it wrong to consult spiritualist
and clairvoyant physicians. I have not answered
these letters for want of time. But just now the
subject is again urged upon my attention. So
numerous are these agents of Satan becoming, and
so general is the practice of seeking counsel from
them, that it seems needful to utter words of
warning.

    God has placed it in our power to obtain a
knowledge of the laws of health. He has made it
our duty to preserve our physical powers in the best
possible condition, that we may render to Him
acceptable service. Those who refuse to improve
the light and knowledge that has been mercifully
placed within their reach are rejecting one of the
means which God has granted them to promote

                        352
spiritual as well as physical life. They are placing
themselves where they will be exposed to the
delusions of Satan.

    Not a few in this Christian age and Christian
nation resort to evil spirits rather than trust to the
power of the living God. The mother, watching by
the sickbed of her child, exclaims: "I can do no
more. Is there no physician who has power to
restore my child?" She is told of the wonderful
cures performed by some clairvoyant or magnetic
healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge,
placing it as verily in the hands of Satan as if he
were standing by her side. In many instances the
future life of the child is controlled by a satanic
power which it seems impossible to break.

    Many are unwilling to put forth the needed
effort to obtain a knowledge of the laws of life and
the simple means to be employed for the
restoration of health. They do not place themselves
in right relation to life. When sickness is the result
of their transgression of natural law, they do not
seek to correct their errors and then ask the

                         353
blessing of God, but they resort to the physicians.
If they recover health they give to drugs and
doctors all the honor. They are ever ready to
idolize human power and wisdom, seeming to
know no other God than the creature—dust and
ashes.

    I have heard a mother pleading with some
infidel physician to save the life of her child; but
when I entreated her to seek help from the Great
Physician who is able to save to the uttermost all
who come unto Him in faith, she turned away with
impatience. Here we see the same spirit that was
manifested by Ahaziah.

    It is not safe to trust to physicians who have not
the fear of God before them. Without the influence
of divine grace the hearts of men are "deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked." Self-
aggrandizement is their aim. Under the cover of the
medical profession what iniquities have been
concealed, what delusions supported! The
physician may claim to possess great wisdom and
marvelous skill, when his character is abandoned

                         354
and his practice contrary to the laws of life. The
Lord our God assures us that He is waiting to be
gracious; He invites us to call upon Him in the day
of trouble. How can we turn from Him to trust in
an arm of flesh?

    Go with me to yonder sickroom. There lies a
husband and father, a man who is a blessing to
society and to the cause of God. He has been
suddenly stricken down by disease. The fire of
fever seems consuming him. He longs for pure
water to moisten the parched lips, to quench the
raging thirst, and cool the fevered brow. But, no;
the doctor has forbidden water. The stimulus of
strong drink is given and adds fuel to the fire. The
blessed, heaven-sent water, skillfully applied,
would quench the devouring flame; but it is set
aside for poisonous drugs.

    For a time nature wrestles for her rights; but at
last, overcome, she gives up the contest, and death
sets the sufferer free. God desired that man to live,
to be a blessing to the world; Satan determined to
destroy him, and through the agency of the

                        355
physician he succeeded. How long shall we permit
our most precious lights to be thus extinguished?

    Ahaziah sent his servants to inquire of Baal-
zebub, at Ekron; but instead of a message from the
idol, he heard the awful denunciation from the God
of Israel: "Thou shalt not come down from that bed
on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die." It
was Christ that bade Elijah speak these words to
the apostate king. Jehovah Immanuel had cause to
be greatly displeased at Ahaziah's impiety. What
had Christ not done to win the hearts of sinners and
to inspire them with unwavering confidence in
Himself? For ages He had visited His people with
manifestations of the most condescending kindness
and unexampled love. From the times of the
patriarchs He had shown how His "delights were
with the sons of men." He had been a very present
help to all who sought Him in sincerity. "In all
their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of
His presence saved them: in His love and in His
pity He redeemed them." Yet Israel had revolted
from God and turned for help to the Lord's worst
enemy.

                        356
    The Hebrews were the only nation favored with
a knowledge of the true God. When the king of
Israel sent to inquire of a pagan oracle, he
proclaimed to the heathen that he had more
confidence in their idols than in the God of his
people, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In
the same manner do those who profess to have a
knowledge of God's word dishonor Him when they
turn from the Source of strength and wisdom to ask
help or counsel from the powers of darkness. If
God's wrath was kindled by such a course on the
part of a wicked, idolatrous king, how can He
regard a similar course pursued by those who
profess to be His servants?

    Why is it that men are so unwilling to trust Him
who created man, and who can by a touch, a word,
a look, heal all manner of disease? Who is more
worthy of our confidence than the One who made
so great a sacrifice for our redemption? Our Lord
has given us definite instruction through the apostle
James as to our duty in case of sickness. When
human help fails, God will be the helper of His

                        357
people. "Is any sick among you? let him call for the
elders of the church; and let them pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and
the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord
shall raise him up." If the professed followers of
Christ would, with purity of heart, exercise as
much faith in the promises of God as they repose in
satanic agencies, they would realize in soul and
body the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.

    God has granted to this people great light, yet
we are not placed beyond the reach of temptation.
Who among us are seeking help from the gods of
Ekron? Look on this picture—not drawn from
imagination. In how many, even among Seventh-
day Adventists, may its leading characteristics be
seen? An invalid—apparently very conscientious,
yet bigoted and self-sufficient—freely avows his
contempt for the laws of health and life, which
divine mercy has led us as a people to accept. His
food must be prepared in a manner to satisfy his
morbid cravings. Rather than sit at a table where
wholesome food is provided, he will patronize
restaurants, because he can there indulge appetite

                        358
without restraint. A fluent advocate of temperance,
he disregards its foundation principles. He wants
relief, but refuses to obtain it at the price of self-
denial. That man is worshiping at the shrine of
perverted appetite. He is an idolater. The powers
which, sanctified and ennobled, might be employed
to honor God, are weakened and rendered of little
service. An irritable temper, a confused brain, and
unstrung nerves are among the results of his
disregard of nature's laws. He is inefficient,
unreliable.

    Whoever has the courage and honesty to warn
him of danger thereby incurs his displeasure. The
slightest remonstrance or opposition is sufficient to
rouse his combative spirit. But now an opportunity
is presented to seek help from one whose power
comes through the medium of witchcraft. To this
source he applies with eagerness, freely expending
time and money in hope of securing the proffered
boon. He is deceived, infatuated. The sorcerer's
power is made the theme of praise, and others are
influenced to seek his aid. Thus the God of Israel is
dishonored, while Satan's power is revered and

                         359
exalted.

    In the name of Christ I would address His
professed followers: Abide in the faith which you
have received from the beginning. Shun profane
and vain babblings. Instead of putting your trust in
witchcraft, have faith in the living God. Cursed is
the path that leads to En-dor or to Ekron. The feet
will stumble and fall that venture upon the
forbidden ground. There is a God in Israel, with
whom is deliverance for all that are oppressed.
Righteousness is the habitation of His throne.

    There is danger in departing in the least from
the Lord's instruction. When we deviate from the
plain path of duty, a train of circumstances will
arise that seems irresistibly to draw us further and
further from the right. Needless intimacies with
those who have no respect for God will seduce us
ere we are aware. Fear to offend worldly friends
will deter us from expressing our gratitude to God
or acknowledging our dependence upon Him. We
must keep close to the word of God. We need its
warnings and encouragement, its threatenings and

                        360
promises. We need the perfect example given only
in the life and character of our Saviour.

     Angels of God will preserve His people while
they walk in the path of duty, but there is no
assurance of such protection for those who
deliberately venture upon Satan's ground. An agent
of the great deceiver will say and do anything to
gain his object. It matters little whether he calls
himself a spiritualist, an "electric physician," or a
"magnetic healer." By specious pretenses he wins
the confidence of the unwary. He pretends to read
the life history and to understand all the difficulties
and afflictions of those who resort to him.
Disguising himself as an angel of light, while the
blackness of the pit is in his heart, he manifests
great interest in women who seek his counsel. He
tells them that all their troubles are due to an
unhappy marriage. This may be too true, but such a
counselor does not better their condition. He tells
them that they need love and sympathy. Pretending
great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over
his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the
serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are

                         361
completely in his power; sin, disgrace, and ruin are
the terrible sequel.

    These workers of iniquity are not few. Their
path is marked by desolated homes, blasted
reputations, and broken hearts. But of all this the
world knows little; still they go on making fresh
victims, and Satan exults in the ruin he has
wrought.

    The visible and the invisible world are in close
contact. Could the veil be lifted, we would see evil
angels pressing their darkness around us and
working with all their power to deceive and
destroy. Wicked men are surrounded, influenced,
and aided by evil spirits. The man of faith and
prayer has yielded his soul to divine guidance, and
angels of God bring to him light and strength from
heaven.

    No man can serve two masters. Light and
darkness are no more opposites than are the service
of God and the service of Satan. The prophet Elijah
presented the matter in the true light when he

                        362
fearlessly appealed to apostate Israel: "If the Lord
be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him."

    Those who give themselves up to the sorcery of
Satan may boast of great benefit received thereby,
but does this prove their course to be wise or safe?
What if life should be prolonged? What if temporal
gain should be secured? Will it pay in the end to
disregard the will of God? All such apparent gain
will prove at last an irrecoverable loss. We cannot
with impunity break down a single barrier which
God has erected to guard His people from Satan's
power.

    Our only safety is in preserving the ancient
landmarks. "To the law and to the testimony: if
they speak not according to this word, it is because
there is no light in them."




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                    Chapter 22

        Looking Unto Jesus

    Many make a serious mistake in their religious
life by keeping the attention fixed upon their
feelings and thus judging of their advancement or
decline. Feelings are not a safe criterion. We are
not to look within for evidence of our acceptance
with God. We shall find there nothing but that
which will discourage us. Our only hope is in
"looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our
faith." There is everything in Him to inspire with
hope, with faith, and with courage. He is our
righteousness, our consolation and rejoicing.

    Those who look within for comfort will
become weary and disappointed. A sense of our
weakness and unworthiness should lead us with
humility of heart to plead the atoning sacrifice of
Christ. As we rely upon His merits we shall find
rest and peace and joy. He saves to the uttermost
all who come unto God by Him.

                       364
    We need to trust in Jesus daily, hourly. He has
promised that as our day is, our strength shall be.
By His grace we may bear all the burdens of the
present and perform its duties. But many are
weighed down by the anticipation of future
troubles. They are constantly seeking to bring
tomorrow's burdens into today. Thus a large share
of all their trials are imaginary. For these, Jesus has
made no provision. He promises grace only for the
day. He bids us not to burden ourselves with the
cares and troubles of tomorrow; for "sufficient unto
the day is the evil thereof."

     The habit of brooding over anticipated evils is
unwise and unchristian. In thus doing we fail to
enjoy the blessings and to improve the
opportunities of the present. The Lord requires us
to perform the duties of today and to endure its
trials. We are today to watch that we offend not in
word or deed. We must today praise and honor
God. By the exercise of living faith today we are to
conquer the enemy. We must today seek God and
be determined that we will not rest satisfied

                         365
without His presence. We should watch and work
and pray as though this were the last day that
would be granted us. How intensely earnest, then,
would be our life. How closely would we follow
Jesus in all our words and deeds.

    There are few who rightly appreciate or
improve the precious privilege of prayer. We
should go to Jesus and tell Him all our needs. We
may bring Him our little cares and perplexities as
well as our greater troubles. Whatever arises to
disturb or distress us, we should take it to the Lord
in prayer. When we feel that we need the presence
of Christ at every step, Satan will have little
opportunity to intrude his temptations. It is his
studied effort to keep us away from our best and
most sympathizing friend. We should make no one
our confidant but Jesus. We can safely commune
with Him of all that is in our hearts.

    Brethren and sisters, when you assemble for
social worship, believe that Jesus meets with you;
believe that He is willing to bless you. Turn the eye
away from self; look unto Jesus, talk of His

                        366
matchless love. By beholding Him you will
become changed into His likeness. When you pray,
be brief, come right to the point. Do not preach the
Lord a sermon in your long prayers. Ask for the
bread of life as a hungry child asks bread of his
earthly father. God will bestow upon us every
needed blessing if we ask Him in simplicity and
faith.

    The prayers offered by ministers previous to
their discourses are frequently long and
inappropriate. They embrace a whole round of
subjects that have no reference to the necessities of
the occasion or the wants of the people. Such
prayers are suitable for the closet, but should not be
offered in public. The hearers become weary and
long for the minister to close. Brethren, carry the
people with you in your prayers. Go to your
Saviour in faith, tell Him what you need on that
occasion. Let the soul go out after God with intense
longing for the blessing needed at that time.

   Prayer is the most holy exercise of the soul. It
should be sincere, humble, earnest_the desires of a

                         367
renewed heart breathed in the presence of a holy
God. When the suppliant feels that he is in the
divine presence, self will be forgotten. He will
have no desire to display human talent; he will not
seek to please the ear of men, but to obtain the
blessing which the soul craves.

    If we would only take the Lord at His word,
what blessings might be ours! Would that there
were more fervent, effectual prayer. Christ will be
the helper of all who seek Him in faith.




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                    Chapter 23

          Calls for Laborers

    A spirit of worldliness and selfishness has
deprived the church of many a blessing. We have
no right to suppose an arbitrary withholding from
the church of the divine light and power, to account
for its limited usefulness. The measure of success
which in the past has followed well-directed effort
contradicts such an idea. Success has ever been
granted proportionate to the labor performed. It is
the limitation of labors and sacrifices alone which
has restricted the usefulness of the church. The
missionary spirit is feeble; devotion is weak;
selfishness and cupidity, covetousness and fraud,
exist in its members.

    Does not God care for these things? Can He not
read the intents and purposes of the heart? Earnest,
fervent, contrite prayer would open to them the
windows of heaven and bring down showers of
grace. A clear, steady view of the cross of Christ

                        369
would counteract their worldliness and fill their
souls with humility, penitence, and gratitude. They
would then feel that they are not their own, but that
they are the purchase of Christ's blood.

     A deadly spiritual malady is upon the church.
Its members are wounded by Satan; but they will
not look to the cross of Christ, as the Israelites
looked to the brazen serpent, that they may live.
The world has so many claims upon them that they
have not time to look to the cross of Calvary long
enough to see its glory or to feel its power. When
they now and then catch a glimpse of the self-
denial and self-dedication which the truth demands,
it is unwelcome, and they turn their attention in
another direction, that they may the sooner forget
it. The Lord cannot make His people useful and
efficient while they are not careful to comply with
the conditions He has laid down.

    Great demands are everywhere made for the
light which God has given to His people; but these
calls are for the most part in vain. Who feels the
burden of consecrating himself to God and to His

                        370
work? Where are the young men who are
qualifying themselves to answer these calls? Vast
territories are opened before us where the light of
truth has never penetrated. Whichever way we look
we see rich harvests ready to be gathered, but there
are none to do the reaping. Prayers are offered for
the triumph of the truth. What do your prayers
mean, brethren? What kind of success do you
desire?—a success to suit your indolence, your
selfish indulgence?—a success that will sustain and
support itself without any effort on your part?

    There must be a decided change in the church
which will inconvenience those who are reclining
on their lees, before laborers who are fitted for
their solemn work can be sent into the field. There
must be an awakening, a spiritual renovation. The
temperature of Christian piety must be raised.
Plans must be devised and executed for the spread
of truth to all nations of the earth. Satan is lulling
Christ's professed followers to sleep while souls
are perishing all around them, and what excuse can
they give to the Master for their negligence?


                         371
    The words of Christ apply to the church: "Why
stand ye here all the day idle?" Why are you not at
work in some capacity in His vineyard? Again and
again He has bidden you: "Go ye also into the
vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye
receive." But this gracious call from heaven has
been disregarded by the large majority. Is it not
high time that you obey the commands of God?
There is work for every individual who names the
name of Christ. A voice from heaven is solemnly
calling you to duty. Heed this voice, and go to
work at once in any place, in any capacity. Why
stand ye here all the day idle? There is work for
you to do, a work that demands your best energies.
Every precious moment of life is related to some
duty which you owe to God or to your fellow men,
and yet you are idle!

    A great work of saving souls remains yet to be
done. Every angel in glory is engaged in this work,
while every demon of darkness is opposing it.
Christ has demonstrated to us the great value of
souls in that He came to the world with the hoarded
love of eternity in His heart, offering to make man

                       372
heir to all His wealth. He unveils before us the love
of the Father for the guilty race and presents Him
as just and the justifier of him that believeth.

    "Christ pleased not Himself." He did nothing
for Himself; His work was in behalf of fallen man.
Selfishness stood abashed in His presence. He
assumed our nature that He might suffer in our
stead. Selfishness, the sin of the world, has become
the prevailing sin of the church. In sacrificing
Himself for the good of men, Christ strikes at the
root of all selfishness. He withheld nothing, not
even His own honor and heavenly glory. He
expects corresponding self-denial and sacrifice on
the part of those whom He came to bless and save.
Everyone is required to work to the extent of his
ability. Every worldly consideration should be laid
aside for the glory of God. The only desire for
worldly advantages should be that we may the
better advance the cause of God.

    Christ's interests and those of His followers
should be one; but the world would judge that they
are separate and distinct, for those who claim to be

                        373
Christ's pursue their own ends as eagerly, and
waste their substance as selfishly, as nonprofessors.
Worldly prosperity comes first; nothing is made
equal to this. The cause of Christ must wait till they
gather a certain portion for themselves. They must
increase their gains at all hazards. Souls must
perish without a knowledge of the truth. Of what
value is a soul for whom Christ died in comparison
with their gains, their merchandise, their houses
and lands? Souls must wait till they get prepared to
do something. God calls these servers of Mammon
slothful and unfaithful servants, but Mammon
boasts of them as among his most diligent and
devoted servants. They sacrifice their Lord's goods
to ease and enjoyment. Self is their idol.

    Doing nothing to bring souls to Jesus, who
sacrificed everything to bring salvation within our
reach! Selfishness is driving benevolence and the
love of Christ from the church. Millions of the
Lord's money are squandered in the gratification of
worldly lust, while His treasury is left empty. I
know not how to present this matter before you as
it was presented to me. Thousands of dollars are

                         374
spent every year in gratifying pride of dress. That
very means should be used in our missions. I was
shown families who load their tables with almost
every luxury and gratify almost every desire for
fine clothes. They are engaged in a prosperous
business, or are earning good wages, but nearly
every dollar is expended upon themselves or their
families. Is this imitating Christ? What burden do
these feel to carefully economize and deny
inclination that they may do more to advance the
work of God on earth? Should Elder Andrews have
the advantage of some of the means thus needlessly
expended, it would be a great blessing to him and
give him advantages which would prolong his life.
The missionary work might be enlarged a
hundredfold if there were more means to employ in
carrying out larger plans. But the means which God
designed should be used for this very purpose is
expended for articles which are thought necessary
to comfort and happiness, and which there might
be no sin in possessing were not means so greatly
needed in extending the truth. How many of you,
my brethren, are seeking your own and not the
things which are Jesus Christ's!

                       375
    Suppose Christ should abide in every heart and
selfishness in all its forms should be banished from
the church, what would be the result? Harmony,
unity, and brotherly love would be seen as verily as
in the church which Christ first established.
Christian activity would be seen everywhere. The
whole church would be kindled into a sacrificial
flame for the glory of God. Every Christian would
cast in the fruit of his self-denial to be consumed
upon the altar. There would be far greater activity
in devising fresh methods of usefulness and in
studying how to come close to poor sinners to save
them from eternal ruin.

     Should we dress in plain, modest apparel,
without reference to the fashions; should our tables
at all times be set with simple, healthful food,
avoiding all luxuries, all extravagance; should our
houses be built with becoming plainness and
furnished in the same manner, it would show the
sanctifying power of the truth and would have a
telling influence upon unbelievers. But while we
conform to the world in these matters, in some

                        376
cases apparently seeking to excel worldlings in
fanciful arrangement, the preaching of the truth
will have but little or no effect. Who will believe
the solemn truth for this time when those who
already profess to believe it contradict their faith
by their works? It is not God who has closed the
windows of heaven to us, but it is our own
conformity to the customs and practices of the
world.

     The third angel of Revelation 14 is represented
as flying swiftly through the midst of heaven
crying: "Here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Here is shown the nature of the work of the people
of God. They have a message of so great
importance that they are represented as flying in
the presentation of it to the world. They are holding
in their hands the bread of life for a famishing
world. The love of Christ constraineth them. This
is the last message. There are no more to follow, no
more invitations of mercy to be given after this
message shall have done its work. What a trust!
What a responsibility is resting upon all to carry

                        377
the words of gracious invitation: "And the Spirit
and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth
say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life
freely."

    Everyone who heareth is to say: Come. Not
only ministers, but the people. All are to join in the
invitation. Not only by their profession, but by
their character and dress, all are to have a winning
influence. They are made trustees for the world,
executors of the will of One who has bequeathed
sacred truth to men. Would that all could feel the
dignity and glory of their God-given trust.




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                    Chapter 24

            The Seal of God

    "He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice,
saying, Cause them that have charge over the city
to draw near, even every man with his destroying
weapon in his hand."

    And he called to the man clothed with linen,
which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the
Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the
city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark
upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that
cry for all the abominations that be done in the
midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine
hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and
smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little
children, and women: but come not near any man
upon whom is the mark; and begin at My
sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men
which were before the house."

                        379
    Jesus is about to leave the mercy seat of the
heavenly sanctuary to put on garments of
vengeance and pour out His wrath in judgments
upon those who have not responded to the light
God has given them. "Because sentence against an
evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the
heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do
evil." Instead of being softened by the patience and
long forbearance that the Lord has exercised
toward them, those who fear not God and love not
the truth strengthen their hearts in their evil course.
But there are limits even to the forbearance of God,
and many are exceeding these boundaries. They
have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God
must interfere and vindicate His own honor.

    Of the Amorites the Lord said: "In the fourth
generation they shall come hither again: for the
iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." Although
this nation was conspicuous because of its idolatry
and corruption, it had not yet filled up the cup of its
iniquity, and God would not give command for its
utter destruction. The people were to see the divine

                         380
power manifested in a marked manner, that they
might be left without excuse. The compassionate
Creator was willing to bear with their iniquity until
the fourth generation. Then, if no change was seen
for the better, His judgments were to fall upon
them.

    With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still
keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy
is tendered with calls to repentance, this account
will remain open; but when the figures reach a
certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry
of His wrath commences. The account is closed.
Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading
of mercy in their behalf.

    The prophet, looking down the ages, had this
time presented before his vision. The nations of
this age have been the recipients of unprecedented
mercies. The choicest of heaven's blessings have
been given them, but increased pride,
covetousness, idolatry, contempt of God, and base
ingratitude are written against them. They are fast
closing up their account with God.

                        381
    But that which causes me to tremble is the fact
that those who have had the greatest light and
privileges have become contaminated by the
prevailing iniquity. Influenced by the unrighteous
around them, many, even of those who profess the
truth, have grown cold and are borne down by the
strong current of evil. The universal scorn thrown
upon true piety and holiness leads those who do not
connect closely with God to lose their reverence
for His law. If they were following the light and
obeying the truth from the heart, this holy law
would seem even more precious to them when thus
despised and set aside. As the disrespect for God's
law becomes more manifest, the line of
demarcation between its observers and the world
becomes more distinct. Love for the divine
precepts increases with one class according as
contempt for them increases with another class.

    The crisis is fast approaching. The rapidly
swelling figures show that the time for God's
visitation has about come. Although loath to
punish, nevertheless He will punish, and that

                       382
speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs
of the approaching peril; but they are not to sit in
quiet, unconcerned expectancy of the ruin,
comforting themselves with the belief that God will
shelter His people in the day of visitation. Far from
it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor
diligently to save others, looking with strong faith
to God for help. "The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much."

    The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its
power. At the time when the danger and depression
of the church are greatest, the little company who
are standing in the light will be sighing and crying
for the abominations that are done in the land. But
more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of
the church because its members are doing after the
manner of the world.

    The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not
be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an
avenger, He will also come as a protector of all
those who have preserved the faith in its purity and
kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at

                         383
this time that God has promised to avenge His own
elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He
bear long with them.

    The command is: "Go through the midst of the
city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark
upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that
cry for all the abominations that be done in the
midst thereof." These sighing, crying ones had
been holding forth the words of life; they had
reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had
been dishonoring God repented and humbled their
hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had
departed from Israel; although many still continued
the forms of religion, His power and presence were
lacking.

    In the time when His wrath shall go forth in
judgments, these humble, devoted followers of
Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the
world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in
lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings.
While others try to throw a cloak over the existing
evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere

                        384
prevalent, those who have a zeal for God's honor
and a love for souls will not hold their peace to
obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed
day by day with the unholy works and conversation
of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the
rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled
with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to
see religion despised in the very homes of those
who have had great light. They lament and afflict
their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and
deception of almost every kind are in the church.
The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is
trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan
triumph. God is dishonored, the truth made of none
effect.

    The class who do not feel grieved over their
own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins
of others, will be left without the seal of God. The
Lord commissions His messengers, the men with
slaughtering weapons in their hands: "Go ye after
him through the city, and smite: let not your eye
spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and
young, both maids, and little children, and women:

                         385
but come not near any man upon whom is the
mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began
at the ancient men which were before the house."

     Here we see that the church—the Lord's
sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the
wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom
God had given great light and who had stood as
guardians of the spiritual interests of the people,
had betrayed their trust. They had taken the
position that we need not look for miracles and the
marked manifestation of God's power as in former
days. Times have changed. These words strengthen
their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do
good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to
visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and
safety" is the cry from men who will never again
lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's
people their transgressions and the house of Jacob
their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark
are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an
offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all
perish together.


                        386
    The abominations for which the faithful ones
were sighing and crying were all that could be
discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins,
those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and
holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of
hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by
the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel
secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-
suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act
as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will
detect their hypocrisy and will open before others
those sins which they were so careful to hide.

    No superiority of rank, dignity, or worldly
wisdom, no position in sacred office, will preserve
men from sacrificing principle when left to their
own deceitful hearts. Those who have been
regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-
leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference
and in the abuse of God's mercies. Their wicked
course He will tolerate no longer, and in His wrath
He deals with them without mercy.

   It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws

                        387
His presence from those who have been blessed
with great light and who have felt the power of the
word in ministering to others. They were once His
faithful servants, favored with His presence and
guidance; but they departed from Him and led
others into error, and therefore are brought under
the divine displeasure.

    The day of God's vengeance is just upon us.
The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads
of those only who sigh and cry for the
abominations done in the land. Those who link in
sympathy with the world are eating and drinking
with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with
the workers of iniquity. "The eyes of the Lord are
over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their
prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them
that do evil."

    Our own course of action will determine
whether we shall receive the seal of the living God
or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already
a few drops of God's wrath have fallen upon the
earth; but when the seven last plagues shall be

                        388
poured out without mixture into the cup of His
indignation, then it will be forever too late to
repent and find shelter. No atoning blood will then
wash away the stains of sin.

    "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the
great prince which standeth for the children of thy
people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as
never was since there was a nation even to that
same time: and at that time thy people shall be
delivered, everyone that shall be found written in
the book." When this time of trouble comes, every
case is decided; there is no longer probation, no
longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the
living God is upon His people. This small remnant,
unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict
with the powers of earth that are marshaled by the
dragon host, make God their defense. The decree
has been passed by the highest earthly authority
that they shall worship the beast and receive his
mark under pain of persecution and death. May
God help His people now, for what can they then
do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance!


                        389
    Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in
God's power to save do not come in a moment.
These heavenly graces are acquired by the
experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and
firm adherence to the right the children of God
were sealing their destiny. Beset with temptations
without number, they knew they must resist firmly
or be conquered. They felt that they had a great
work to do, and at any hour they might be called to
lay off their armor; and should they come to the
close of life with their work undone, it would be an
eternal loss. They eagerly accepted the light from
heaven, as did the first disciples from the lips of
Jesus. When those early Christians were exiled to
mountains and deserts, when left in dungeons to
die with hunger, cold, and torture, when
martyrdom seemed the only way out of their
distress, they rejoiced that they were counted
worthy to suffer for Christ, who was crucified for
them. Their worthy example will be a comfort and
encouragement to the people of God who will be
brought into the time of trouble such as never was.

   Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be

                        390
sealed. There are many even among those who
teach the truth to others who will not receive the
seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light
of truth, they knew their Master's will, they
understood every point of our faith, but they had
not corresponding works. These who were so
familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine
wisdom should have acted their faith. They should
have commanded their households after them, that
by a well-ordered family they might present to the
world the influence of the truth upon the human
heart.

    By their lack of devotion and piety, and their
failure to reach a high religious standard, they
make other souls contented with their position.
Men of finite judgment cannot see that in
patterning after these men who have so often
opened to them the treasures of God's word, they
will surely endanger their souls. Jesus is the only
true pattern. Everyone must now search the Bible
for himself upon his knees before God, with the
humble, teachable heart of a child, if he would
know what the Lord requires of him. However high

                       391
any minister may have stood in the favor of God, if
he neglects to follow out the light given him of
God, if he refuses to be taught as a little child, he
will go into darkness and satanic delusions and will
lead others in the same path.

    Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God
while our characters have one spot or stain upon
them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our
characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every
defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as
the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of
Pentecost.

    We are too easily satisfied with our
attainments. We feel rich and increased with goods
and know not that we are "wretched, and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Now is
the time to heed the admonition of the True
Witness: "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in
the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the
shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint
thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."

                        392
    In this life we must meet fiery trials and make
costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the
reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little
suffering for Christ's sake, that the cross is almost
entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with
Christ of His sufferings if we would sit down in
triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we
choose the easy path of self-indulgence and are
frightened at self-denial, our faith will never
become firm, and we cannot know the peace of
Jesus nor the joy that comes through conscious
victory. The most exalted of the redeemed host that
stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad
in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they
have come up through great tribulation. Those who
have yielded to circumstances rather than engage in
this conflict will not know how to stand in that day
when anguish will be upon every soul, when,
though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land,
they could save neither son nor daughter, for
everyone must deliver his soul by his own
righteousness.


                         393
    No one need say that his case is hopeless, that
he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample
provision is made by the death of Christ for every
soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need.
Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised
to hear and answer your petitions.

     Oh, for a living, active faith! We need it; we
must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of
trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path
must not discourage us or drive us to despair. It is
the veil with which God covers His glory when He
comes to impart rich blessings. We should know
this by our past experience. In that day when God
has a controversy with His people this experience
will be a source of comfort and hope.

    It is now that we must keep ourselves and our
children unspotted from the world. It is now that
we must wash our robes of character and make
them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that
we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual
slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and
make determined effort for symmetry of character.

                         394
"Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your
hearts." We are in a most trying position, waiting,
watching for our Lord's appearing. The world is in
darkness. "But ye, brethren," says Paul, "are not in
darkness, that that day should overtake you as a
thief." It is ever God's purpose to bring light out of
darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of
weariness for the waiting, longing soul.

    What are you doing, brethren, in the great work
of preparation? Those who are uniting with the
world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing
for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful
of self, who are humbling themselves before God
and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these
are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for
the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree
goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their
character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.

    Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God
will never be placed upon the forehead of an
impure man or woman. It will never be placed
upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving

                         395
man or woman. It will never be placed upon the
forehead of men or women of false tongues or
deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be
without spot before God—candidates for heaven.
Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only
write briefly upon these points at this time, merely
calling your attention to the necessity of
preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves,
that you may understand the fearful solemnity of
the present hour.




                        396
                    Chapter 25

                 An Appeal

    I am filled with sadness when I think of our
condition as a people. The Lord has not closed
heaven to us, but our own course of continual
backsliding has separated us from God. Pride,
covetousness, and love of the world have lived in
the heart without fear of banishment or
condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins
have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion
is that the church is flourishing and that peace and
spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.

    The church has turned back from following
Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward
Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their
want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief
of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening
our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus.
Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would
have it thus. The testimonies are unread and

                        397
unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has
been shining from His word and from the
testimonies, and both have been slighted and
disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of
purity and devotion and earnest faith among us.

    Let each put the question to his own heart:
"How have we fallen into this state of spiritual
feebleness and dissension? Have we not brought
upon ourselves the frown of God because our
actions do not correspond with our faith? Have we
not been seeking the friendship and applause of the
world rather than the presence of Christ and a
deeper knowledge of His will?" Examine your own
hearts, judge your own course. Consider what
associates you are choosing. Do you seek the
company of the wise, or are you willing to choose
worldly associates, companions who fear not God
and obey not the gospel?

   Are your recreations such as to impart moral
and spiritual vigor? Will they lead to purity of
thought and action? Impurity is today widespread,
even among the professed followers of Christ.

                       398
Passion is unrestrained; the animal propensities are
gaining strength by indulgence, while the moral
powers are constantly becoming weaker. Many are
eagerly participating in worldly, demoralizing
amusements which God's word forbids. Thus they
sever their connection with God and rank
themselves with the pleasure lovers of the world.
The sins that destroyed the antediluvians and the
cities of the plain exist today—not merely in
heathen lands, not only among popular professors
of Christianity, but with some who profess to be
looking for the coming of the Son of man. If God
should present these sins before you as they appear
in His sight, you would be filled with shame and
terror.

    And what has caused this alarming condition?
Many have accepted the theory of the truth who
have had no true conversion. I know whereof I
speak. There are few who feel true sorrow for sin,
who have deep, pungent convictions of the
depravity of the unregenerate nature. The heart of
stone is not exchanged for a heart of flesh. Few are
willing to fall upon the Rock and be broken.

                        399
    No matter who you are or what your life has
been, you can be saved only in God's appointed
way. You must repent; you must fall helpless on
the Rock, Christ Jesus. You must feel your need of
a physician and of the one only remedy for sin, the
blood of Christ. This remedy can be secured only
by repentance toward God and faith toward our
Lord Jesus Christ. Here the work is yet to be begun
by many who profess to be Christians and even to
be ministers of Christ. Like the Pharisees of old
many of you feel no need of a Saviour. You are
self-sufficient, self-exalted. Said Christ: "I came
not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The blood of Christ will avail for none but those
who feel their need of its cleansing power.

    What surpassing love and condescension, that
when we had no claim upon divine mercy, Christ
was willing to undertake our redemption! But our
great Physician requires of every soul
unquestioning submission. We are never to
prescribe for our own case. Christ must have the
entire management of will and action.

                         400
    Many are not sensible of their condition and
their danger; and there is much in the nature and
manner of Christ's work averse to every worldly
principle and opposed to the pride of the human
heart. Jesus requires us to trust ourselves wholly to
His hands and confide in His love and wisdom.

    We may flatter ourselves, as did Nicodemus,
that our moral character has been correct and we
need not humble ourselves before God like the
common sinner. But we must be content to enter
into life in the very same way as the chief of
sinners. We must renounce our own righteousness
and plead for the righteousness of Christ to be
imputed to us. We must depend wholly upon Christ
for our strength. Self must die. We must
acknowledge that all we have is from the
exceeding riches of divine grace. Let this be the
language of our hearts: "Not unto us, O Lord, not
unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy
mercy, and for Thy truth's sake."

   Genuine faith is followed by love, and love by

                        401
obedience. All the powers and passions of the
converted man are brought under the control of
Christ. His Spirit is a renewing power,
transforming to the divine image all who will
receive it. It makes me sad to say that this
experience is understood by but few who profess
the truth. Very many follow on in their own ways
and indulge their sinful desires and yet profess to
be disciples of Christ. They have never submitted
their hearts to God. Like the foolish virgins they
have neglected to obtain the oil of grace in their
vessels with their lamps. I tell you, my brethren,
that a large number who profess to believe and
even to teach the truth are under the bondage of
sin. Base passions defile the mind and corrupt the
soul. Some who are in the vilest iniquity have
borrowed the livery of heaven, that they may serve
Satan more effectively.

    "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit
sin." He feels that he is the purchase of the blood of
Christ and bound by the most solemn vows to
glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are
God's. The love of sin and the love of self are

                         402
subdued in him. He daily asks: "What shall I render
unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?"
"Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" The true
Christian will never complain that the yoke of
Christ is galling to the neck. He accounts the
service of Jesus as the truest freedom. The law of
God is his delight. Instead of seeking to bring
down the divine commands, to accord with his
deficiencies, he is constantly striving to rise to the
level of their perfection.

     Such an experience must be ours if we would
be prepared to stand in the day of God. Now, while
probation lingers, while mercy's voice is still heard,
is the time for us to put away our sins. While moral
darkness covers the earth like a funeral pall, the
light of God's standard-bearers must shine the more
brightly, showing the contrast between heaven's
light and Satan's darkness.

    God has made ample provision that we may
stand perfect in His grace, wanting in nothing,
waiting for the appearing of our Lord. Are you
ready? Have you the wedding garment on? That

                         403
garment will never cover deceit, impurity,
corruption, or hypocrisy. The eye of God is upon
you. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
the heart. We may conceal our sins from the eyes
of men, but we can hide nothing from our Maker.

     God spared not His own Son, but delivered
Him to death for our offenses and raised Him again
for our justification. Through Christ we may
present our petitions at the throne of grace.
Through Him, unworthy as we are, we may obtain
all spiritual blessings. Do we come to Him, that we
may have life?

    How shall we know for ourselves God's
goodness and His love? The psalmist tells us—not,
hear and know, read and know, or believe and
know; but—"Taste and see that the Lord is good."
Instead of relying upon the word of another, taste
for yourself.

   Experience is knowledge derived from
experiment. Experimental religion is what is
needed now. "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

                        404
Some—yes, a large number—have a theoretical
knowledge of religious truth, but have never felt
the renewing power of divine grace upon their own
hearts. These persons are ever slow to heed the
testimonies of warning, reproof, and instruction
indited by the Holy Spirit. They believe in the
wrath of God, but put forth no earnest efforts to
escape it. They believe in heaven, but make no
sacrifice to obtain it. They believe in the value of
the soul and that erelong its redemption ceaseth
forever. Yet they neglect the most precious
opportunities to make their peace with God.

     They may read the Bible, but its threatenings
do not alarm or its promises win them. They
approve things that are excellent, yet they follow
the way in which God has forbidden them to go.
They know a refuge, but do not avail themselves of
it. They know a remedy for sin, but do not use it.
They know the right, but have no relish for it. All
their knowledge will but increase their
condemnation. They have never tasted and learned
by experience that the Lord is good.


                        405
    To become a disciple of Christ is to deny self
and follow Jesus through evil as well as good
report. Few are doing this now. Many prophesy
falsely, and the people love to have it so; but what
will be done in the end thereof? What will be the
decision when their work, with all its results, shall
be brought in review before God?

    The Christian life is a warfare. The apostle Paul
speaks of wrestling against principalities and
powers as he fought the good fight of faith. Again,
he declares: "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,
striving against sin." Ah, no. Today sin is cherished
and excused. The sharp sword of the Spirit, the
word of God, does not cut to the soul. Has religion
changed? Has Satan's enmity to God abated? A
religious life once presented difficulties and
demanded self-denial. All is made very easy now.
And why is this? The professed people of God
have compromised with the power of darkness.

   There must be a revival of the strait testimony.
The path to heaven is no smoother now than in the
days of our Saviour. All our sins must be put away.

                        406
Every darling indulgence that hinders our religious
life must be cut off. The right eye or the right hand
must be sacrificed if it cause us to offend. Are we
willing to renounce our own wisdom and to receive
the kingdom of heaven as a little child? Are we
willing to part with self-righteousness? Are we
willing to give up our chosen worldly associates?
Are we willing to sacrifice the approbation of men?
The prize of eternal life is of infinite value. Will we
put forth efforts and make sacrifices proportionate
to the worth of the object to be attained?

    Every association we form, however limited,
exerts some influence upon us. The extent to which
we yield to that influence will be determined by the
degree of intimacy, the constancy of the
intercourse, and our love and veneration for the one
with whom we associate. Thus by acquaintance
and association with Christ we may become like
Him, the one faultless Example.

    Communion with Christ—how unspeakably
precious! Such communion it is our privilege to
enjoy if we will seek it, if we will make any

                         407
sacrifice to secure it. When the early disciples
heard the words of Christ, they felt their need of
Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him.
They were with Him in the house, at the table, in
the closet, in the field. They were with Him as
pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from His lips
lessons of holy truth. They looked to Him as
servants to their master, to learn their duty. They
served Him cheerfully, gladly. They followed Him,
as soldiers follow their commander, fighting the
good fight of faith. "And they that are with Him are
called, and chosen, and faithful."

    "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself
also so to walk, even as He walked." "Now if any
man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of
His." This conformity to Jesus will not be
unobserved by the world. It is a subject of notice
and comment. The Christian may not be conscious
of the great change; for the more closely he
resembles Christ in character the more humble will
be his opinion of himself; but it will be seen and
felt by all around him. Those who have had the
deepest experience in the things of God are the

                        408
farthest removed from pride or self-exaltation.
They have the humblest thoughts of self, and the
most exalted conceptions of the glory and
excellence of Christ. They feel that the lowest
place in His service is too honorable for them.

    Moses did not know that his face shone with a
brightness painful and terrifying to those who had
not, like himself, communed with God. Paul had a
very humble opinion of his own advancement in
the Christian life. He says: "Not as though I had
already attained, either were already perfect." He
speaks of himself as the "chief" of sinners. Yet
Paul had been highly honored of the Lord. He had
been taken in holy vision to the third heaven and
had there received revelations of divine glory
which he could not be permitted to make known.

    John the Baptist was pronounced by our
Saviour the greatest of prophets. Yet what a
contrast between the language of this man of God
and that of many who profess to be ministers of the
cross. When asked if he was the Christ, John
declares himself unworthy even to unloose his

                       409
Master's sandals.

     When his disciples came with the complaint
that the attention of the people was turned to the
new Teacher, John reminded them that he himself
had claimed to be only the forerunner of the
Promised One. To Christ, as the bridegroom,
belongs the first place in the affections of His
people. "The friend of the bridegroom, which
standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because
of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is
fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He
that cometh from above is above all." "He that hath
received His testimony hath set to his seal that God
is true."

    It is such workers that are needed in the cause
of God today. The self-sufficient, the envious and
jealous, the critical and faultfinding, can well be
spared from His sacred work. They should not be
tolerated in the ministry, even though they may
apparently have accomplished some good. God is
not straitened for men or means. He calls for
workers who are true and faithful, pure and holy;

                        410
for those who have felt their need of the atoning
blood of Christ and the sanctifying grace of His
Spirit.

     My brethren, God is grieved with your envying
and jealousies, your bitterness and dissension. In
all these things you are yielding obedience to Satan
and not to Christ. When we see men firm in
principle, fearless in duty, zealous in the cause of
God, yet humble and lowly, gentle and tender,
patient toward all, ready to forgive, manifesting
love for souls for whom Christ died, we do not
need to inquire: Are they Christians? They give
unmistakable evidence that they have been with
Jesus and learned of Him. When men reveal the
opposite traits, when they are proud, vain,
frivolous, worldly-minded, avaricious, unkind,
censorious, we need not be told with whom they
are associating, who is their most intimate friend.
They may not believe in witchcraft; but,
notwithstanding this, they are holding communion
with an evil spirit.

   To this class I would say: "Glory not, and lie

                        411
not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not
from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For
where envying and strife is, there is confusion and
every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above
is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be
entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of
righteousness is sown in peace of them that make
peace."

    When the Pharisees and Sadducees flocked to
the baptism of John, that fearless preacher of
righteousness addressed them: "O generation of
vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath
to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for
repentance." These men were actuated by
unworthy motives in coming to John. They were
men of poisonous principles and corrupt practices.
Yet they had no sense of their true condition. Filled
with pride and ambition, they would not hesitate at
any means to exalt themselves and strengthen their
influence with the people. They came to receive
baptism at the hand of John that they might better
carry out these designs.

                        412
    John read their motives, and met them with the
searching inquiry: "Who hath warned you to flee
from the wrath to come?" Had they heard the voice
of God speaking to their hearts they would have
given evidence of the fact by bringing forth fruit
meet for repentance. No such fruit was seen. They
had heard the warning as merely the voice of man.
They were charmed with the power and boldness
with which John spoke, but the Spirit of God did
not send conviction to their hearts and as the sure
result bring forth fruit unto eternal life. They gave
no evidence of a change of heart. Without the
transforming power of the Holy Spirit, John would
have them understand that no outward ceremony
could benefit them.

    The reproof of the prophet is applicable to
many in our day. They cannot gainsay the clear and
convincing arguments that sustain the truth, but
they accept it more as the result of human
reasoning than of divine revelation. They have no
true sense of their condition as sinners, they
manifest no real brokenness of heart; but, like the

                        413
Pharisees, they feel that it is a great condescension
for them to accept the truth.

    None are further from the kingdom of heaven
than self-righteous formalists, filled with pride at
their own attainments, while they are wholly
destitute of the spirit of Christ; while envy,
jealousy, or love of praise and popularity controls
them. They belong to the same class that John
addressed as a generation of vipers, children of the
wicked one. Such persons are among us, unseen,
unsuspected. They serve the cause of Satan more
effectively than the vilest profligate; for the latter
does not disguise his true character; he appears
what he is.

    God requires fruit meet for repentance. Without
such fruit our profession of faith is of no value. The
Lord is able to raise up true believers among those
who have never heard His name. "Think not to say
within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father:
for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones
to raise up children unto Abraham."


                         414
    God is not dependent upon men who are
unconverted in heart and life. He will never favor
any man who practices iniquity. "And now also the
ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every
tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
down, and cast into the fire."

    Those who laud and flatter the minister, while
they neglect the works of righteousness, give
unmistakable evidence that they are converted to
the minister and not to God. We inquire: "Who
hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
Was it the voice of the Holy Spirit or merely the
voice of man which you heard in the message sent
from God? The fruit borne will testify to the
character of the tree.

    No outward forms can make us clean; no
ordinance, administered by the saintliest of men,
can take the place of the baptism of the Holy
Ghost. The Spirit of God must do its work upon the
heart. All who have not experienced its
regenerating power are chaff among the wheat. Our
Lord has His fan in His hand, and He will

                         415
thoroughly purge His floor. In the coming day He
will discern "between him that serveth God and
him that serveth Him not."

    The spirit of Christ will be revealed in all who
are born of God. Strife and contention cannot arise
among those who are controlled by His Spirit. "Be
ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." The
church will rarely take a higher stand than is taken
by her ministers. We need a converted ministry and
a converted people. Shepherds who watch for souls
as they that must give account will lead the flock
on in paths of peace and holiness. Their success in
this work will be in proportion to their own growth
in grace and knowledge of the truth. When the
teachers are sanctified, soul, body, and spirit, they
can impress upon the people the importance of
such sanctification.

    To talk of religious things in a casual way, to
pray for spiritual blessings without real soul hunger
and living faith, avails little. The wondering crowd
that pressed close about Christ realized no vital
power from the contact. But when the poor,

                        416
suffering woman, in her great need, put forth her
hand and touched the hem of Jesus' garment, she
felt the healing virtue. Hers was the touch of faith.
Christ recognized that touch, and He determined
there to give a lesson for all His followers to the
close of time. He knew that virtue had gone out of
Him, and turning about in the throng He said:
"Who touched My clothes?" Surprised at such a
question His disciples answered: "Thou seest the
multitude thronging Thee, and sayest thou, Who
touched Me?"

    Jesus fixed His eyes upon her who had done
this. She was filled with fear. Great joy was hers,
but had she overstepped her duty? Knowing what
was done in her, she came trembling and fell at His
feet and told Him all the truth. Christ did not
reproach her. He gently said: "Go in peace, and be
whole of thy plague."

    Here was distinguished the casual contact from
the touch of faith. Prayer and preaching, without
the exercise of living faith in God, will be in vain.
But the touch of faith opens to us the divine

                        417
treasure house of power and wisdom; and thus,
through instruments of clay, God accomplishes the
wonders of His grace.

    This living faith is our great need today. We
must know that Jesus is indeed ours, that His spirit
is purifying and refining our hearts. If the ministers
of Christ had genuine faith, with meekness and
love, what a work they might accomplish! What
fruit would be seen to the glory of God!

    What can I say to you, my brethren, that shall
arouse you from your carnal security? I have been
shown your perils. There are both believers and
unbelievers in the church. Christ represents these
two classes in His parable of the vine and its
branches. He exhorts His followers: "Abide in Me,
and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,
except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the
branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the
same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye
can do nothing."


                         418
    There is a wide difference between a pretended
union and a real connection with Christ by faith. A
profession of the truth places men in the church,
but this does not prove that they have a vital
connection with the living Vine. A rule is given by
which the true disciple may be distinguished from
those who claim to follow Christ but have not faith
in Him. The one class are fruit bearing, the other,
fruitless. The one are often subjected to the pruning
knife of God that they may bring forth more fruit;
the other, as withered branches, are erelong to be
severed from the living Vine.

    I am deeply solicitous that our people should
preserve the living testimony among them, and that
the church should be kept pure from the
unbelieving element. Can we conceive of a closer,
more intimate relation to Christ than is set forth in
the words: "I am the Vine, ye are the branches"?
The fibers of the branch are almost identical with
those of the vine. The communication of life,
strength, and fruitfulness from the trunk to the
branches is unobstructed and constant. The root
sends its nourishment through the branch. Such is

                        419
the true believer's relation to Christ. He abides in
Christ and draws his nourishment from Him.

    This spiritual relation can be established only
by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must
express on our part supreme preference, perfect
reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be
wholly yielded to the divine will, our feelings,
desires, interests, and honor identified with the
prosperity of Christ's kingdom and the honor of His
cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him,
and Christ accepting gratitude from us.

    When this intimacy of connection and
communion is formed, our sins are laid upon
Christ; His righteousness is imputed to us. He was
made sin for us that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him. We have access to
God through Him; we are accepted in the Beloved.
Whoever by word of deed injures a believer
thereby wounds Jesus. Whoever gives a cup of cold
water to a disciple because he is a child of God will
be regarded by Christ as giving to Him.


                        420
    It was when Christ was about to take leave of
His disciples that He gave them the beautiful
emblem of His relation to believers. He had been
presenting before them the close union with
Himself by which they could maintain spiritual life
when His visible presence was withdrawn. To
impress it upon their minds He gave them the vine
as its most striking and appropriate symbol.

   The Jews had always regarded the vine as the
most noble of plants and a type of all that was
powerful, excellent, and fruitful. "The vine," our
Lord would seem to say, "which you prize so
highly, is a symbol. I am the reality: I am the True
Vine. As a nation you prize the vine; as sinners you
should prize Me above all things earthly. The
branch cannot live separated from the vine; no
more can you live unless you are abiding in Me."

    All Christ's followers have as deep an interest
in this lesson as had the disciples who listened to
His words. In the apostasy, man alienated himself
from God. The separation is wide and fearful; but
Christ has made provision again to connect use

                        421
with Himself. The power of evil is so identified
with human nature that no man can overcome
except by union with Christ. Through this union we
receive moral and spiritual power. If we have the
spirit of Christ we shall bring forth the fruit of
righteousness, fruit that will honor and bless men,
and glorify God.

    The Father is the vinedresser. He skillfully and
mercifully prunes every fruit-bearing branch.
Those who share Christ's suffering and reproach
now will share His glory hereafter. He "is not
ashamed to call them brethren." His angels minister
to them. His second appearing will be as the Son of
man, thus even in His glory identifying Himself
with humanity. To those who have united
themselves to Him, He declares: "Though a mother
may forget her child, 'yet will not I forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My
hands.' Thou art continually before Me."

   Oh, what amazing privileges are proffered us!

   Will we put forth most earnest efforts to form

                        422
this alliance with Christ, through which alone these
blessings are attained? Will we break off our sins
by righteousness and our iniquities by turning unto
the Lord? Skepticism and infidelity are widespread.
Christ asked the question: "When the Son of man
cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" We must
cherish a living, active faith. The permanence of
our faith is the condition of our union.

    A union with Christ by living faith is enduring;
every other union must perish. Christ first chose us,
paying an infinite price for our redemption; and the
true believer chooses Christ as first and last and
best in everything. But this union costs us
something. It is a union of utter dependence, to be
entered into by a proud being. All who form this
union must feel their need of the atoning blood of
Christ. They must have a change of heart. They
must submit their own will to the will of God.
There will be a struggle with outward and internal
obstacles. There must be a painful work of
detachment as well as a work of attachment. Pride,
selfishness, vanity, worldliness—sin in all its
forms—must be overcome if we would enter into a

                        423
union with Christ. The reason why many find the
Christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so
fickle, so variable, is that they try to attach
themselves to Christ without first detaching
themselves from these cherished idols.

    After the union with Christ has been formed, it
can be preserved only by earnest prayer and
untiring effort. We must resist, we must deny, we
must conquer self. Through the grace of Christ, by
courage, by faith, by watchfulness, we may gain
the victory.

    Believers become one in Christ, but one branch
cannot be sustained by another. The nourishment
must be obtained through the vital connection with
the vine. We must feel our utter dependence on
Christ. We must live by faith on the Son of God.
That is the meaning of the injunction: "Abide in
Me." The life we live in the flesh is not to the will
of men, not to please our Lord's enemies, but to
serve and honor Him who loved us and gave
Himself for us. A mere assent to this union, while
the affections are not detached from the world, its

                        424
pleasures and its dissipations, only emboldens the
heart in disobedience.

     As a people we are sadly destitute of faith and
love. Our efforts are altogether too feeble for the
time of peril in which we live. The pride and self-
indulgence, the impiety and iniquity, by which we
are surrounded have an influence upon us. Few
realize the importance of shunning, so far as
possible, all associations unfriendly to religious
life. In choosing their surroundings, few make their
spiritual prosperity the first consideration.

    Parents flock with their families to the cities
because they fancy it easier to obtain a livelihood
there than in the country. The children, having
nothing to do when not in school, obtain a street
education. From evil associates they acquire habits
of vice and dissipation. The parents see all this; but
it will require a sacrifice to correct their error, and
they stay where they are until Satan gains full
control of their children. Better sacrifice any and
every worldly consideration than to imperil the
precious souls committed to your care. They will

                         425
be assailed by temptations, and should be taught to
meet them; but it is your duty to cut off every
influence, to break up every habit, to sunder every
tie, that keeps you from the most free, open, and
hearty committal of yourselves and your family to
God.

    Instead of the crowded city seek some retired
situation where your children will be, so far as
possible, shielded from temptation, and there train
and educate them for usefulness. The prophet
Ezekiel thus enumerates the causes that led to
Sodom's sin and destruction: "Pride, fullness of
bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in
her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand
of the poor and needy." All who would escape the
doom of Sodom must shun the course that brought
God's judgments upon that wicked city.

    My brethren, you are disregarding the most
sacred claims of God by your neglect to consecrate
yourselves and your children to Him. Many of you
are reposing in false security, absorbed in selfish
interests, and attracted by earthly treasures. You

                       426
fear no evil. Danger seems a great way off. You
will be deceived, deluded, to your eternal ruin
unless you arouse and with penitence and deep
humiliation return unto the Lord.

    Again and again has the voice from heaven
addressed you. Will you obey this voice? Will you
heed the counsel of the True Witness to seek the
gold tried in the fire, the white raiment, and the
eyesalve? The gold is faith and love, the white
raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the eyesalve
is that spiritual discernment which will enable you
to see the wiles of Satan and shun them, to detect
sin and abhor it, to see truth and obey it.

    The deadly lethargy of the world is paralyzing
your senses. Sin no longer appears repulsive
because you are blinded by Satan. The judgments
of God are soon to be poured out upon the earth.
"Escape for thy life" is the warning from the angels
of God. Other voices are heard saying: "Do not
become excited; there is no cause for special
alarm." Those who are at ease in Zion cry "Peace
and safety," while heaven declares that swift

                        427
destruction is about to come upon the transgressor.
The young, the frivolous, the pleasure loving,
consider these warnings as idle tales and turn from
them with a jest. Parents are inclined to think their
children about right in the matter, and all sleep on
at ease. Thus it was at the destruction of the old
world and when Sodom and Gomorrah were
consumed by fire. On the night prior to their
destruction the cities of the plain rioted in pleasure.
Lot was derided for his fears and warnings. But it
was these scoffers that perished in the flames. That
very night the door of mercy was forever closed to
the wicked, careless inhabitants of Sodom.

    It is God who holds in His hands the destiny of
souls. He will not always be mocked; He will not
always be trifled with. Already His judgments are
in the land. Fierce and awful tempests leave
destruction and death in their wake. The devouring
fire lays low the desolate forest and the crowded
city. Storm and shipwreck await those who journey
upon the deep. Accident and calamity threaten all
who travel upon the land. Hurricanes, earthquakes,
sword and famine, follow in quick succession. Yet

                         428
the hearts of men are hardened. They recognize not
the warning voice of God. They will not flee to the
only refuge from the gathering storm.

    Many who have been placed upon the walls of
Zion, to watch with eagle eye for the approach of
danger and lift the voice of warning, are
themselves asleep. The very ones who should be
most active and vigilant in this hour of peril are
neglecting their duty and bringing upon themselves
the blood of souls.

    My brethren, beware of the evil heart of
unbelief. The word of God is plain and close in its
restrictions; it interferes with your selfish
indulgence; therefore you do not obey it. The
testimonies of His Spirit call your attention to the
Scriptures, point out your defects of character, and
rebuke your sins; therefore you do not heed them.
And to justify your carnal, ease-loving course you
begin to doubt whether the testimonies are from
God. If you would obey their teachings you would
be assured of their divine origin. Remember, your
unbelief does not affect their truthfulness. If they

                        429
are from God they will stand. Those who seek to
lessen the faith of God's people in these
testimonies, which have been in the church for the
last thirty-six years, are fighting against God. It is
not the instrument whom you slight and insult, but
God, who has spoken to you in these warnings and
reproofs.

    In the instruction given by our Saviour to His
disciples are words of admonition especially
applicable to us: "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." Watch,
pray, work—this is the true life of faith. "Pray
always;" that is, be ever in the spirit of prayer, and
then you will be in readiness for your Lord's
coming.

    The watchmen are responsible for the condition
of the people. While you open the door to pride,
envy, doubt, and other sins, there will be strife,
hatred, and every evil work. Jesus, the meek and
lowly One, asks an entrance as your guest; but you

                         430
are afraid to bid Him enter. He has spoken to us in
both the Old and the New Testament; He is
speaking to us still by His Spirit and His
providences. His instructions are designed to make
men true to God and true to themselves.

    Jesus took upon Himself man's nature, that He
might leave a pattern for humanity, complete,
perfect. He proposes to make us like Himself, true
in every purpose, feeling, and thought—true in
heart, soul, and life. This is Christianity. Our fallen
nature must be purified, ennobled, consecrated by
obedience to the truth. Christian faith will never
harmonize with worldly principles; Christian
integrity is opposed to all deception and pretense.
The man who cherishes the most of Christ's love in
the soul, who reflects the Saviour's image most
perfectly, is in the sight of God the truest, most
noble, most honorable man upon the earth.




                         431
                    Chapter 26

             Christian Unity

   "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing,
and that there be no divisions among you; but that
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind
and in the same judgment."

    Union is strength; division is weakness. When
those who believe present truth are united, they
exert a telling influence. Satan well understands
this. Never was he more determined than now to
make of none effect the truth of God by causing
bitterness and dissension among the Lord's people.

    The world is against us, the popular churches
are against us, the laws of the land will soon be
against us. If there was ever a time when the people
of God should press together, it is now. God has
committed to us the special truths for this time to
make known to the world. The last message of

                        432
mercy is now going forth. We are dealing with men
and women who are judgment bound. How careful
should we be in every word and act to follow
closely the Pattern, that our example may lead men
to Christ. With what care should we seek so to
present the truth that others by beholding its beauty
and simplicity may be led to receive it. If our
characters testify of its sanctifying power, we shall
be a continual light to others—living epistles,
known and read of all men. We cannot afford now
to give place to Satan by cherishing disunion,
discord, and strife.

    That union and love might exist among His
disciples was the burden of our Saviour's last
prayer for them prior to His crucifixion. With the
agony of the cross before Him, His solicitude was
not for Himself, but for those whom He should
leave to carry forward His work in the earth. The
severest trials awaited them, but Jesus saw that
their greatest danger would be from a spirit of
bitterness and division. Hence He prayed:

   "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is

                        433
truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so
have I also sent them into the world. And for their
sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be
sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these
alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me
through their word; that they all may be one; as
Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they
also may be one in Us: that the world may believe
that Thou hast sent Me."

    That prayer of Christ embraces all His
followers to the close of time. Our Saviour foresaw
the trials and dangers of His people; He is not
unmindful of the dissensions and divisions that
distract and weaken His church. He is looking upon
us with deeper interest and more tender
compassion than moves an earthly parent's heart
toward a wayward, afflicted child. He bids us learn
of Him. He invites our confidence. He bids us open
our hearts to receive His love. He has pledged
Himself to be our helper.

   When Christ ascended to heaven, He left the
work on earth in the hands of His servants, the

                         434
undershepherds. "And He gave some, apostles; and
some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some,
pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the
saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying
of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ."

    In sending forth His ministers our Saviour gave
gifts unto men, for through them He communicates
to the world the words of eternal life. This is the
means which God has ordained for the perfecting
of the saints in knowledge and true holiness. The
work of Christ's servants is not merely to preach
the truth; they are to watch for souls as they that
must render account to God. They are to reprove,
rebuke, exhort with long-suffering and doctrine.

    All who have been benefited by the labors of
God's servant should, according to their ability,
unite with him in working for the salvation of
souls. This is the work of all true believers,
ministers and people. They should keep the grand

                         435
object ever in view, each seeking to fill his proper
position in the church, and all working together in
order, harmony, and love.

    There is nothing selfish or narrow in the
religion of Christ. Its principles are diffusive and
aggressive. It is represented by Christ as the bright
light, as the saving salt, as the transforming leaven.
With zeal, earnestness, and devotion the servants of
God will seek to spread far and near the knowledge
of the truth; yet they will not neglect to labor for
the strength and unity of the church. They will
watch carefully lest opportunity be given for
diversity and division to creep in.

    There have of late arisen among us men who
profess to be the servants of Christ, but whose
work is opposed to that unity which our Lord
established in the church. They have original plans
and methods of labor. They desire to introduce
changes into the church to suit their ideas of
progress and imagine that grand results are thus to
be secured. These men need to be learners rather
than teachers in the school of Christ. They are ever

                         436
restless, aspiring to accomplish some great work, to
do something that will bring honor to themselves.
They need to learn that most profitable of all
lessons, humility and faith in Jesus. Some are
watching their fellow laborers and anxiously
endeavoring to point out their errors, when they
should rather be earnestly seeking to prepare their
own souls for the great conflict before them. The
Saviour bids them: "Learn of Me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls."

    Teachers of the truth, missionaries, officers in
the church, can do a good work for the Master if
they will but purify their own souls by obeying the
truth. Every living Christian will be a disinterested
worker for God. The Lord has given us a
knowledge of His will that we may become
channels of light to others. If Christ is abiding in
us, we cannot help working for Him. It is
impossible to retain the favor of God and enjoy the
blessing of a Saviour's love, and yet be indifferent
to the danger of those who are perishing in their
sins. "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear

                        437
much fruit."

    Paul urges the Ephesians to preserve unity and
love: "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech
you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness,
with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love;
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and
in you all."

    The apostle exhorts his brethren to manifest in
their lives the power of the truth which he had
presented to them. By meekness and gentleness,
forbearance and love, they were to exemplify the
character of Christ and the blessings of His
salvation. There is but one body, and one Spirit,
one Lord, one faith. As members of the body of
Christ all believers are animated by the same spirit
and the same hope. Divisions in the church
dishonor the religion of Christ before the world and

                        438
give occasion to the enemies of truth to justify their
course. Paul's instructions were not written alone
for the church in his day. God designed that they
should be sent down to us. What are we doing to
preserve unity in the bonds of peace?

      When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the
early church, the brethren loved one another. "They
. . . did eat their meat with gladness and singleness
of heart, praising God, and having favor with all
the people: and the Lord added to the church daily
such as should be saved." Those primitive
Christians were few in numbers, without wealth or
honor, yet they exerted a mighty influence. The
light of the world shone out from them. They were
a terror to evildoers wherever their character and
their doctrines were known. For this cause they
were hated by the wicked and persecuted even unto
death.

    The standard of holiness is the same today as in
the days of the apostles. Neither the promises nor
the requirements of God have lost aught of their
force. But what is the state of the Lord's professed

                         439
people as compared with the early church? Where
is the Spirit and power of God which then attended
the preaching of the gospel? Alas, "how is the gold
become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!"

    The Lord planted His church as a vine in a
fruitful field. With tenderest care He nourished and
cherished it, that it might bring forth the fruits of
righteousness. His language is: "What could have
been done more to My vineyard, that I have not
done in it?" But this vine of God's planting has
inclined to the earth and entwined its tendrils about
human supports. Its branches are extended far and
wide, but it bears the fruit of a degenerate vine.
The Master of the vineyard declares: "When I
looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it
forth wild grapes?"

    The Lord has bestowed great blessings upon
His church. Justice demands that she return these
talents with usury. As the treasures of truth
committed to her keeping have increased, her
obligations have increased. But instead of
improving upon these gifts and going forward unto

                        440
perfection, she has fallen away from that which she
had attained in her earlier experience. The change
in her spiritual state has come gradually and almost
imperceptibly. As she began to seek the praise and
friendship of the world, her faith diminished, her
zeal grew languid, her fervent devotion gave place
to dead formality. Every advance step toward the
world was a step away from God. As pride and
worldly ambition have been cherished, the spirit of
Christ has departed, and emulation, dissension, and
strife have come in to distract and weaken the
church.

    Paul writes to his Corinthian brethren: "Ye are
yet carnal: for whereas there is among you
envying, and strife, and divisions, are yet not
carnal, and walk as men?" It is impossible for
minds distracted by envy and strife to comprehend
the deep spiritual truths of God's word. "The
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of
God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can
he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned." We cannot rightly understand or
appreciate divine revelation without the aid of that

                        441
Spirit by whom the word was given.

     Those who are appointed to guard the spiritual
interests of the church should be careful to set a
right example, giving no occasion for envy,
jealousy, or suspicion, ever manifesting that same
spirit of love, respect, and courtesy which they
desire to encourage in their brethren. Diligent heed
should be given to the instructions of God's word.
Let every manifestation of animosity or unkindness
be checked; let every root of bitterness be removed.
When trouble arises between brethren, the
Saviour's rule should be strictly followed. All
possible effort should be made to effect a
reconciliation; but if the parties stubbornly persist
in remaining at variance, they should be suspended
till they can harmonize.

    Upon the occurrence of trials in the church let
every member examine his own heart to see if the
cause of trouble does not exist within. By spiritual
pride, a desire to dictate, an ambitious longing for
honor or position, a lack of self-control, by the
indulgence of passion or prejudice, by instability or

                        442
lack of judgment, the church may be disturbed and
her peace sacrificed.

     Difficulties are often caused by the vendors of
gossip, whose whispered hints and suggestions
poison unsuspecting minds and separate the closest
friends. Mischief-makers are seconded in their evil
work by the many who stand with open ears and
evil heart, saying: "Report, . . . and we will report
it." This sin should not be tolerated among the
followers of Christ. No Christian parent should
permit gossip to be repeated in the family circle or
remarks to be made disparaging the members of
the church.

    Christians should regard it as a religious duty to
repress a spirit of envy or emulation. They should
rejoice in the superior reputation or prosperity of
their brethren, even when their own character or
achievements seem to be cast in the shade. It was
the pride and ambition cherished in the heart of
Satan that banished him from heaven. These evils
are deeply rooted in our fallen nature, and if not
removed they will overshadow every good and

                         443
noble quality and bring forth envy and strife as
their baleful fruits.

    We should seek for true goodness rather than
greatness. Those who possess the mind of Christ
will have humble views of themselves. They will
labor for the purity and prosperity of the church,
and be ready to sacrifice their own interests and
desires rather than to cause dissension among their
brethren.

    Satan is constantly seeking to cause distrust,
alienation, and malice among God's people. We
shall be often tempted to feel that our rights are
invaded, when there is no real cause for such
feelings. Those whose love for self is stronger than
their love for Christ and His cause will place their
own interests first and resort to almost any
expedient to guard and maintain them. When they
consider themselves injured by their brethren, some
will even go to law instead of following the
Saviour's rule. Even many who appear to be
conscientious Christians are hindered by pride and
self-esteem from going privately to those they

                        444
think in error, that they may talk the matter over in
the spirit of Christ and pray for one another.
Contentions, strife, and lawsuits between brethren
are a disgrace to the cause of truth. Those who take
such a course expose the church to the ridicule of
her enemies and cause the powers of darkness to
triumph. They are piercing the wounds of Christ
afresh and putting Him to an open shame. By
ignoring the authority of the church they show
contempt for God, who gave to the church its
authority.

    Paul writes to the Galatians: "I would they were
even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye
have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty
for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one
another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word,
even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take
heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This
I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not
fulfill the lust of the flesh."

   False teachers had brought to the Galatians

                        445
doctrines that were opposed to the gospel of Christ.
Paul sought to expose and correct these errors. He
greatly desired that the false teachers might be
separated from the church, but their influence had
affected so many of the believers that it seemed
hazardous to take action against them. There was
danger of causing strife and division which would
be ruinous to the spiritual interests of the church.
He therefore sought to impress upon his brethren
the importance of trying to help one another in
love. He declared that all the requirements of the
law setting forth our duty to our fellow men are
fulfilled in love to one another. He warned them
that if they indulged hatred and strife, dividing into
parties, and like the brutes biting and devouring
one another, they would bring upon themselves
present unhappiness and future ruin. There was but
one way to prevent these terrible evils and that
was, as the apostle enjoined upon them, to "walk in
the Spirit." They must by constant prayer seek the
guidance of the Holy Spirit, which would lead
them to love and unity.

   A house divided against itself cannot stand.

                         446
When Christians contend, Satan comes in to take
control. How often has he succeeded in destroying
the peace and harmony of churches. What fierce
controversies, what bitterness, what hatred, has a
very little matter started! What hopes have been
blasted, how many families have been rent asunder
by discord and contention!

    Paul charged his brethren to beware lest in
trying to correct the faults of others they should
commit sins equally great themselves. He warns
them that hatred, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, and envyings are as truly the works of the
flesh as are lasciviousness, adultery, drunkenness,
and murder, and will as surely close the gate of
heaven against the guilty.

    Christ declares: "Whosoever shall offend one
of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better
for him that a millstone were hanged about his
neck, and he were cast into the sea." Whoever by
willful deception or by a wrong example misleads
a disciple of Christ is guilty of a great sin. Whoever
would make him an object of slander or ridicule is

                         447
insulting Jesus. Our Saviour marks every wrong
done to His followers.

    How were those punished who in olden time
made light of what God had chosen as sacred to
Himself? Belshazzar and his thousand lords
profaned the golden vessels of Jehovah and praised
the idols of Babylon. But the God whom they
defied was a witness of the unholy scene. In the
midst of their sacrilegious mirth a bloodless hand
was seen tracing mysterious characters upon the
palace wall. Filled with terror, king and courtiers
heard their doom pronounced by the servant of the
Most High.

    Let those who delight to trace words of
calumny and falsehood against the servants of
Christ remember that God is a witness of their
deeds. Their slanderous touch is not profaning
soulless vessels but the characters of those whom
Christ has purchased by His blood. The hand which
traced the characters upon the walls of Belshazzar's
palace keeps faithful record of every act of
injustice or oppression committed against God's

                        448
people.

    Sacred history presents striking examples of the
Lord's jealous care for the weakest of His children.
During the journeying of Israel in the wilderness
the weary and feeble ones who had fallen behind
the body of the people were attacked and slain by
the cowardly and cruel Amalekites. Afterward
Israel made war with the Amalekites and defeated
them. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this
for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears
of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the
remembrance of Amalek from under heaven."
Again the charge was repeated by Moses just
before his death, that it might not be forgotten by
his posterity: "Remember what Amalek did unto
thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of
Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the
hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind
thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he
feared not God. . . . Thou shalt blot out the
remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou
shalt not forget it."


                        449
     If God thus punished the cruelty of a heathen
nation, how must He regard those who, professing
to be His people, will make war upon their own
brethren who are worn and wearied laborers in His
cause? Satan has great power over those who yield
to his control. It was the chief priests and elders—
the religious teachers of the people—that urged on
the murderous throng from the judgment hall to
Calvary. There are hearts today among the
professed followers of Christ inspired by the same
spirit that clamored for the crucifixion of our
Saviour. Let the workers of evil remember that to
all their acts there is one witness, a holy, sin-hating
God. He will bring all their works into judgment,
with every secret thing.

    "We then that are strong ought to bear the
infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Let every one of us please his neighbor for his
good to edification. For even Christ pleased not
Himself." As Christ has pitied and helped us in our
weakness and sinfulness, so should we pity and
help others. Many are perplexed with doubt,
burdened with infirmities, weak in faith, and

                         450
unable to grasp the unseen; but a friend whom they
can see, coming to them in Christ's stead, can be as
a connecting link to fasten their trembling faith
upon God. Oh, this is a blessed work! Let not pride
and selfishness prevent us from doing the good
which we may do if we will work in Christ's name
and with a loving, tender spirit.

    "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye
which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit
of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be
tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so
fulfill the law of Christ." Here, again, our duty is
plainly set before us. How can the professed
followers of Christ so lightly regard these inspired
injunctions? Not long since I received a letter
describing a circumstance in which a brother had
manifested indiscretion. Although it occurred years
ago, and was a very small matter, hardly worthy of
a second thought, the writer stated that it had
forever destroyed her confidence in that brother. If
that sister's life should show upon review no
greater errors, it would be indeed a marvel, for
human nature is very weak. I have been and am

                         451
still fellowshiping as brethren and sisters those who
have been guilty of grave sins and who even now
do not see their sins as God sees them. But the
Lord bears with these persons, and why should not
I? He will yet cause His Spirit so to impress their
hearts that sin will appear to them as it appeared to
Paul, exceedingly sinful.

    We know but little of our own hearts and have
but little sense of our own need of the mercy of
God. This is why we cherish so little of that sweet
compassion which Jesus manifests toward us and
which we should manifest toward one another. We
should remember that our brethren are weak, erring
mortals like ourselves. Suppose that a brother has
through unwatchfulness been overborne by
temptation and contrary to his general conduct has
committed some error, what course shall be
pursued toward him? We learn from the Bible that
men whom God had used to do a great and good
work committed grave sins. The Lord did not pass
these by unrebuked, neither did He cast off His
servants. When they repented, He graciously
forgave them and revealed to them His presence

                        452
and wrought through them. Let poor, weak mortals
consider how great is their own need of pity and
forbearance from God and from their brethren. Let
them beware how they judge and condemn others.
We should give heed to the instruction of the
apostle: "Ye which are spiritual, restore such an
one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself,
lest thou also be tempted." We may fall under
temptation and need all the forbearance which we
are called to exercise toward the offender. "With
what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and
with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to
you again."

    The apostle adds a caution to the independent
and self-confident: "If a man think himself to be
something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth
himself. . . . Every man shall bear his own burden."
He who considers himself superior in judgment and
experience to his brethren and despises their
counsel and admonition, evinces that he is in a
dangerous delusion. The heart is deceitful. He
should test his character and life by the Bible
standard. God's word sheds an unerring light upon

                        453
the pathway of man's life. Notwithstanding the
many influences which arise to divert and distract
the mind, those who honestly seek God for wisdom
will be guided into the right course. Every man
must at last stand or fall for himself, not according
to the opinion of the party that sustains or opposes
him, not according to the judgment of any man, but
according to his real character in the sight of God.
The church may warn, counsel, and admonish, but
it cannot compel any to take a right course.
Whoever persists in disregarding the word of God
must bear his own burden, answer to God for
himself, and suffer the consequences of his own
course.

    The Lord has given us in His word definite,
unmistakable instructions, by obedience to which
we may preserve union and harmony in the church.
Brethren and sisters, are you giving heed to these
inspired injunctions? Are you Bible readers and
doers of the word? Are you striving to fulfill the
prayer of Christ that His followers might be one?
"The God of patience and consolation grant you to
be like-minded one toward another according to

                        454
Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one
mouth glorify God." "Be perfect, be of good
comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God
of love and peace shall be with you."




                       455
                    Chapter 27

      The Work of the Gospel
            Minister

    There are many things that need to be corrected
in the Upper Columbia and North Pacific
Conferences. The Creator expected the brethren
there to bear fruit according to the light and
privileges bestowed upon them, but in this He has
been disappointed. He has given them every
advantage; but they have not improved in
meekness, godliness, benevolence. They have not
pursued that course of life, have not revealed that
character nor exercised that influence, which would
tend most to honor their Creator, ennoble
themselves, and make them a blessing to their
fellow men. Selfishness exists in their hearts. They
love to have their own way and seek their own
ease, honor, and wealth, and their own pleasure in
its grosser or more refined forms. If we pursue the
course of the world and follow the bent of our own
minds, will that work for our best good? Does not
                        456
God, who formed man, look for something better
from us?

    "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear
children." Christians must be like Christ. They
should have the same spirit, exert the same
influence, and have the same moral excellence that
He possessed. The idolatrous and corrupt in heart
must repent and turn to God. Those who are proud
and self-righteous must abase self and become
penitent and meek and lowly in heart. The worldly-
minded must have the tendrils of the heart removed
from the rubbish of the world, around which they
are clinging, and entwined about God; they must
become spiritually minded. The dishonest and
untruthful must become just and true. The
ambitious and covetous must be hid in Jesus and
seek His glory, not their own. They must despise
their own holiness and lay up their treasure above.
The prayerless must feel the need of both secret
and family prayer, and must make their
supplications to God with great earnestness.

   As the worshipers of the true and living God

                       457
we should bear fruit corresponding to the light and
privileges we enjoy. Many are worshiping idols
instead of the Lord of heaven and earth. Anything
that men love and trust in instead of loving the
Lord and trusting wholly in Him becomes an idol
and is thus registered in the books of heaven. Even
blessings are often turned into a curse. The
sympathies of the human heart, strengthened by
exercise, are sometimes perverted until they
become a snare. If one is reproved, there are
always some who will sympathize with him. They
entirely overlook the harm that has been done to
God's cause by the wrong influence of one whose
life and character do not in any way resemble those
of the Pattern. God sends His servants with a
message to the people professing to be followers of
Christ; but some are children of God only in name,
and they reject the warning.

    God has in a wonderful manner endowed man
with reasoning powers. He who fitted the tree to
bear its burden of goodly fruit has made man
capable of bearing the precious fruits of
righteousness. He has planted man in His garden

                       458
and tenderly cared for him, and He expects him to
bear fruit. In the parable of the fig tree Christ says:
"Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit."
For more than two years has the Owner looked for
the fruit that He has a right to expect from these
conferences, but how has His search been
rewarded? How anxiously we watch a favorite tree
or plant, expecting it to reward our care by
producing buds, blossoms, and fruit; and how
disappointed we are to find upon it nothing but
leaves. With how much more anxiety and tender
interest does the heavenly Father watch the
spiritual growth of those whom He has made in His
own image and for whom He condescended to give
His Son that they may be elevated, ennobled, and
glorified.

    The Lord has His appointed agencies to meet
men in their errors and backslidings. His
messengers are sent to bear a plain testimony to
arouse them from their sleepy condition and to
open the precious words of life, the Holy
Scriptures, to their understanding. These men are
not to be preachers merely, but ministers, light

                         459
bearers, faithful watchmen, who will see the
threatened danger and warn the people. They must
resemble Christ in their earnest zeal, in their
thoughtful tact, in their personal efforts—in short,
in all their ministry. They are to have a vital
connection with God, and are to become so
familiar with the prophecies and the practical
lessons of the Old and the New Testament that they
may bring from the treasure house of God's word
things new and old.

    Some of these ministers make a mistake in the
preparation of their discourses. They arrange every
minutia with such exactness that they give the Lord
no room to lead and impress their minds. Every
point is fixed, stereotyped as it were, and they
cannot depart from the plan marked out. This
course, if continued, will cause them to become
narrow-minded, circumscribed in their views, and
will soon leave them as destitute of life and energy
as are the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. They
must throw the soul open and let the Holy Spirit
take possession to impress the mind. When
everything is laid out beforehand, and they feel that

                        460
they cannot vary from these set discourses, the
effect is little better than that produced by reading a
sermon.

     God would have His ministers wholly
dependent upon Him, but at the same time they
should be thoroughly furnished unto every good
work. No subject can be treated before all
congregations in the same manner. The Spirit of
God, if allowed to do its work, will impress the
mind with ideas calculated to meet the cases of
those who need help. But the tame, formal
discourses of many who enter the desk have very
little of the vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit in
them. The habit of preaching such discourses will
effectually destroy a minister's usefulness and
ability. This is one reason why the efforts of the
workers in ——- and ——- have not been more
successful. God has had too little to do with
impressing the mind in the desk.

    Another cause of failure in these conferences is
that the people to whom God's messenger is sent
wish to mold his ideas to theirs and to put into his

                         461
mouth the words that he should speak. God's
watchmen must not study how they shall please the
people, nor listen to their words and utter them; but
they must listen to hear what saith the Lord, what is
His word for the people. If they rely upon
discourses prepared years before they may fail to
meet the necessities of the occasion. Their hearts
should be laid open so that the Lord may impress
their minds, and then they will be able to give the
people the precious truth warm from heaven. God
is not pleased with those narrow-minded ministers
who devote their God-given powers to matters of
little moment and fail to grow in divine knowledge
to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus. He would
have His ministers possess breadth of mind and
true moral courage. Such men will be prepared to
meet opposition and surmount difficulties, and will
lead the flock of God instead of being led by them.

   There is altogether too little of the Spirit and
power of God in the labor of the watchmen. The
Spirit which characterized that wonderful meeting
on the Day of Pentecost is waiting to manifest its
power upon the men who are now standing

                        462
between the living and the dead as ambassadors for
God. The power which stirred the people so
mightily in the 1844 movement will again be
revealed. The third angel's message will go forth,
not in whispered tones, but with a loud voice.

    Many who profess to have great light are
walking in sparks of their own kindling. They need
to have their lips touched with a live coal from off
the altar, that they may pour forth the truth like
men who are inspired. Too many go into the desk
with mechanical discourses that have no light from
heaven in them.

    There is too much of self and too little of Jesus
in the ministry of all denominations. The Lord uses
humble men to proclaim His messages. Had Christ
come in the majesty of a king, with the pomp
which attends the great men of earth, many would
have accepted Him. But Jesus of Nazareth did not
dazzle the senses with a display of outward glory
and make this the foundation of their reverence. He
came as a humble man to be the Teacher and
Exemplar as well as the Redeemer of the race. Had

                        463
He encouraged pomp, had He come followed by a
retinue of the great men of earth, how could He
have taught humility? how could He have
presented such burning truths as in His Sermon
upon the Mount? His example was such as He
wished all His followers to imitate. Where would
have been the hope of the lowly in life had He
come in exaltation and dwelt as a king upon the
earth? Jesus knew the needs of the world better
than they themselves knew. He did not come as an
angel, clothed with the panoply of heaven, but as a
man. Yet combined with His humility was an
inherent power and grandeur that awed men while
they loved Him. Although possessing such
loveliness, such an unassuming appearance, He
moved among them with the dignity and power of
a heaven-born king. The people were amazed,
confounded. They tried to reason the matter out;
but, unwilling to renounce their own ideas, they
yielded to doubts, clinging to the old expectation of
a Saviour to come in earthly grandeur.

  When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the
Mount, His disciples were gathered close about

                        464
Him, and the multitude, filled with intense
curiosity, also pressed as near as possible.
Something more than usual was expected. Eager
faces and listening attitudes gave evidence of the
deep interest. The attention of all seemed riveted
upon the speaker. His eyes were lighted up with
unutterable love, and the heavenly expression upon
His countenance gave meaning to every word
uttered. Angels of heaven were in that listening
throng. There, too, was the adversary of souls with
his evil angels, prepared to counteract, as far as
possible, the influence of the heavenly Teacher.
The truths there uttered have come down through
the ages and have been a light amid the general
darkness of error. Many have found in them that
which the soul most needed—a sure foundation of
faith and practice. But in these words spoken by
the greatest Teacher the world has ever known
there is no parade of human eloquence. The
language is plain, and the thoughts and sentiments
are marked with the greatest simplicity. The poor,
the unlearned, the most simple-minded, can
understand them. The Lord of heaven was in mercy
and kindness addressing the souls He came to save.

                       465
He taught them as one having authority, speaking
the words of eternal life.

    All should copy the Pattern as closely as
possible. While they cannot possess the
consciousness of power which Jesus had, they can
so connect with the Source of strength that Jesus
can abide in them and they in Him, and so His
spirit and His power will be revealed in them.

    "Walk in the light, as He is in the light." It is
earthliness and selfishness that separate from God.
The messages from heaven are of a character to
arouse opposition. The faithful witnesses for Christ
and the truth will reprove sin. Their words will be
like a hammer to break the flinty heart, like a fire
to consume the dross. There is constant need of
earnest, decided messages of warning. God will
have men who are true to duty. At the right time
He sends His faithful messengers to do a work
similar to that of Elijah.

             Ministers as Educators


                        466
    The state of things in ——- is a matter of deep
regret. That which the Lord has been pleased to
present before me has been of a character to give
me pain. Whoever shall labor here or in ——-
hereafter will have uphill work and must carry a
heavy load because the work has not been
faithfully bound off, but has been left in an
unfinished state. And this is the more grievous
because the failure is not wholly chargeable to
worldliness and want of love for Jesus and the truth
on the part of the people; but much of it lies at the
door of the ministers, who, while laboring among
them, have signally failed in their duty. They have
not had the missionary spirit; they have not felt the
great need of thoroughly educating the people in all
branches of the work, in all places where the truth
has gained a foothold. The work done thoroughly
for one soul is done for many. But the ministers
have not realized this and have failed to educate
persons who in their turn should stand steadfast in
defense of the truth and educate others. This loose,
slack, halfway manner of working is displeasing to
God.


                        467
    A minister may enjoy sermonizing, for it is the
pleasant part of the work and is comparatively
easy; but no minister should be measured by his
ability as a speaker. The harder part comes after he
leaves the desk, in watering the seed sown. The
interest awakened should be followed up by
personal labor,—visiting, holding Bible readings,
teaching how to search the Scriptures, praying with
families and interested ones, seeking to deepen the
impression made upon hearts and consciences.

    There are many who have no desire to become
acquainted with their unbelieving neighbors and
those with whom they come in contact, and they do
not feel it their duty to overcome this reluctance.
The truth they teach and the love of Jesus should
have great power to help them to overcome this
feeling. They should remember that they must meet
these very men and women in the judgment. Have
they left words unsaid that should have been
spoken? Have they felt interest enough for souls, to
warn, to entreat, to pray for them, to make every
effort to win them to Christ? Have they united
discrimination with zeal, heeding the direction of

                        468
the apostle: "Of some have compassion, making a
difference: and others save with fear, pulling them
out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by
the flesh"?

     There is earnest work to be done by all who
would be successful in their ministry. I entreat you,
dear brethren, ministers of Christ, not to fail in
your appointed duty to educate the people to work
intelligently to sustain the cause of God in all its
varied interests. Christ was an educator, and His
ministers, who represent Him, should be educators.
When they neglect to teach the people their
obligation to God in tithes and offerings, they
neglect one important part of the work which their
Master has left them to do, and "Unfaithful
servant" is written against their names in the books
of heaven. The church come to the conclusion that
if these things were essential, the minister, whom
God has sent to present the truth to them, would
tell them so; and they feel secure and at ease while
neglecting their duty. They go contrary to the
express requirements of God and as the result
become lifeless and inefficient. They do not exert a

                        469
saving influence upon the world, and they are
represented by Christ as salt without savor.

    Companies of Sabbathkeepers may be raised up
in many places. Often they will not be large
companies; but they must not be neglected, they
must not be left to die for want of proper personal
effort and training. The work should not be left
prematurely. See that all are intelligent in the truth,
established in the faith, and interested in every
branch of the work, before leaving them for
another field. And then, like the apostle Paul, visit
them often to see how they do. Oh, the slack work
that is done by many who claim to be
commissioned of God to preach His word, makes
angels weep.

    The cause might be in a healthful condition in
every field, and it would be if ministers would trust
in God and allow nothing to come between them
and their work. Laborers are needed much more
than mere preachers, but the two offices must be
united. It has been proved in the missionary field
that, whatever may be the preaching talent, if the

                         470
laboring part is neglected, if the people are not
taught how to work, how to conduct meetings, how
to act their part in missionary labor, how to reach
people successfully, the work will be nearly a
failure. There is much to be done in the Sabbath
school work also in bringing the people to realize
their obligation and to act their part. God calls
them to work for Him, and the ministers should
guide their efforts.

    The sad fact is apparent that the work in these
fields ought to be years in advance of what it now
is. The negligence on the part of the ministers has
discouraged the people, and the lack of interest,
self-sacrifice, and appreciation of the work on the
part of the people has discouraged the ministers.
"Two years behind" stands recorded in the Ledger
of Heaven. This people might have done much to
advance the cause of truth and to bring souls to
Christ in different localities, and at the same time
might themselves have been growing in grace and
in the knowledge of the truth, had they improved
their opportunities and made the most of their
privileges, walking, not with murmuring and

                        471
complaining, but in faith and courage. Eternity
alone can reveal how much has been lost during
these years—how many souls have been left to
perish through this state of things. The loss is too
great to be computed. God has been insulted. The
course pursued has brought upon the cause a
wound which will be years in healing; and if the
mistakes that have been made are not seen and
repented of, they will surely be repeated.

    A realization of these facts has brought
unspeakable burdens upon me, driving sleep from
my eyes. At times it has seemed that my heart
would break, and I could only pray, while giving
vent to my anguish in weeping aloud. Oh, I felt so
sorry for my Saviour! His searching for fruit amid
the leaf-covered branches of the fig tree and His
disappointment in finding nothing but leaves"
seemed so vivid before my eyes. I felt that I could
not have it so. I could in no way be reconciled to
the past years of neglect of duty on the part of
ministers and people. I feared that the withering
curse passed upon the fig tree might be the fate of
these careless ones. The terrible neglect of doing

                        472
the work and fulfilling the mission which God has
entrusted to them incurs a loss which none of us
can afford to sustain. It is running a risk too fearful
to contemplate and too terrible to be ventured at
any time in our religious history, but especially
now, when time is so short and so much is to be
done in this day of God's preparation. All heaven is
earnestly engaged for the salvation of men; light is
coming from God to His people, defining their
duty, so that none need err from the right path. But
God does not send His light and truth to be lightly
esteemed and trifled with. If the people are
inattentive, they are doubly guilty before Him.

    As Christ was riding into Jerusalem, on the
crest of Olivet He broke forth in uncontrollable
grief, exclaiming in broken utterances as He looked
upon Jerusalem: "If thou hadst known, even thou,
at least in this thy day, the things which belong
unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine
eyes." He wept not for Himself, but for the
despisers of His mercy, long-suffering, and
forbearance. The course taken by the hardhearted
and impenitent inhabitants of the doomed city is

                         473
similar to the attitude of churches and individuals
toward Christ at the present time. They neglect His
requirements and despise His forbearance. There is
a form of godliness, there is ceremonial worship,
there are complimentary prayers, but the real
power is wanting. The heart is not softened by
grace, but is cold and unimpressible. Many, like the
Jews, are blinded by unbelief and know not the
time of their visitation. So far as the truth is
concerned, they have had every advantage, God
has been appealing to them for years in warnings,
reproofs, corrections, and instruction in
righteousness; but special directions have been
given only to be disregarded and placed on a level
with common things.

         Duty to Reprove Money Lovers

    Many who are numbered with the believers are
not really with them in faith and principle. They
are doing exactly that which Jesus told them not to
do—seeking to lay up treasures upon the earth.
Christ said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth: . . . but lay up for yourselves treasures

                        474
in heaven: . . . for where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also." Here is one danger which
threatens Christians. They are not obedient to
Christ's positive directions. They show no real faith
and confidence in God. In order to gain riches they
accumulate burdens and cares until their minds are
almost wholly engrossed with them. They are eager
for gains and always anxious for fear of losses. The
more money and lands they possess the more eager
are they for more. "They are drunken, but not with
wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink."
They are surfeited with the cares of this life, which
affect them as strong drink does the drunkard. They
are so blinded by selfishness that they work night
and day to secure perishable treasures. Their
eternal interests are neglected; they have no time to
attend to these things. The great matters of truth are
not kept in mind, as is evidenced by their words,
their plans, and their course of action. What if souls
around them perish in their sins? This is not of so
much consequence to them as their earthly
treasures. Let souls for whom Christ died sink to
ruin; they have no time to save them. In laying
plans for earthly gain they show skill and talent;

                         475
but these precious qualities are not devoted to
winning souls to Christ, to the upbuilding of the
Redeemer's kingdom. Are not the senses of such
persons perverted? Are they not drunken with the
intoxicating cup of worldliness? Is not reason laid
aside, and have not selfish aims and purposes be
come the ruling power? The work of preparing
themselves to stand in the day of the Lord, and
employing their God-given abilities in helping to
prepare a people for that day, is considered too
tame and unsatisfying.

    The Saviour of the world has presented a most
profitable business in which rich and poor, learned
and unlearned, may engage. All may safely lay up
for themselves "a treasure in the heavens that
faileth not." This is investing their powers on the
right side. It is putting out their talents to the
exchangers.

   Jesus illustrated His teaching by the case of a
substantial farmer whom the Lord had greatly
favored. The Lord had blessed his grounds, causing
them to produce plentifully, thus placing it in his

                       476
power to exercise liberality to others not so greatly
blessed. But when he found that his grounds had
produced so abundantly, far beyond his
expectation, instead of planning how to relieve the
poor in their necessities, he began to devise means
to secure all to himself. As he saw the gifts of
heaven rolling into his garners he poured not out
his soul in thanksgiving to the bounteous Giver,
neither did he consider that this great blessing had
brought additional responsibility. In the pure
selfishness of his nature he inquires: "What shall I
do, because I have no room where to bestow my
fruits?" Taking counsel with his own covetous
heart, he said: "This will I do: I will pull down my
barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all
my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul,
Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years;
take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." The
means of real enjoyment and elevation of soul are
activity, self-control, holy purposes; but all that this
man proposed to do with the bounties God had
given him was to degrade the soul. And what was
the result? "God said unto him, Thou fool, this
night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose

                          477
shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So
is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not
rich toward God."

    This poor rich man possessed great earthly
treasure, but was destitute of the true riches. How
many today are under condemnation for a similar
reason. Streams of salvation are poured in upon us
from the throne of God. Temporal blessings are
given, but they are not improved to bless humanity
or to glorify God. The Lord is our gracious
benefactor. He has brought light and immortality to
light through Jesus Christ. Yes, through Jesus all
our blessings come. Oh, that every tongue would
acknowledge the great Giver! Let every voice, in
clear and joyful strains, proclaim the glad tidings
that through Jesus the future, immortal life is
opened to us; and invitations are given for all to
accept this great boon. All the treasures of heaven
are brought within our reach, waiting our demand.
Can we be surprised that this poor rich man was
called a fool because he turned away from eternal
riches, the priceless gift of immortal life, the
eternal weight of glory, and was satisfied with

                        478
perishable, earthly treasures?

    God tests men, some in one way, and some in
another. He tests some by bestowing upon them
His rich bounties, and others by withholding His
favors. He proves the rich to see if they will love
God, the Giver, and their neighbor as themselves.
When man makes a right use of these bounties,
God is pleased; He can then trust him with greater
responsibilities. The Lord reveals man's relative
estimate of time and eternity, of earth and heaven.
He has admonished us: "If riches increase, set not
your heart upon them." They have a value when
used for the good of others and the glory of God;
but no earthly treasure is to be your portion, your
god, or your savior.

    My brethren, the world will never believe that
you are in earnest in your faith until you have less
to say about temporal things and more about the
realities of the eternal world. The Lord is coming,
but many who profess the faith do not realize that
that event is nigh. They cannot fasten their faith
upon the revealed purposes of God. With some, the

                        479
passion for money-making has become all-
absorbing, and earthly riches have eclipsed the
heavenly treasure. Eternal things have faded from
the mind as of minor consequence, while
worldliness has come in like a flood. The great
question is: How can I make money? Men are alive
to every hope of gain. They try a thousand plans
and devices, among them various inventions and
patent rights. Some dig in the earth for the precious
metals, others deal in bank stock, still others till the
soil; but all have the one object in view of making
money. They become bewildered and even insane
in the pursuit of wealth, yet they refuse to see the
advantage of securing an immortal inheritance.

    When Christ was on earth, He was brought in
contact with some whose imaginations were
fevered with the hope of worldly gain. They were
never at rest, but were constantly trying something
new, and their extravagant expectations were
aroused only to be disappointed. Jesus knew the
wants of the human heart, which are the same in all
ages; and He called their attention to the only
permanent riches. "The kingdom of heaven," said

                          480
He, "is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which
when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy
there-of goeth and selleth all that he hath, and
buyeth that field." He tells men of treasure beyond
estimate, which is within the reach of all. He came
to earth to guide their minds in their search for this
treasure. The way is marked out; the very poorest
who will follow Him will be made richer than the
most wealthy upon earth who know not Jesus, and
they will be made increasingly rich by sharing their
happiness with others.

    "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon
earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: but lay up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth
nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal." Those who do this will
meet with no loss. The treasure laid up in heaven is
secure; and it is put to our account, for Jesus said:
"Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." Men
may sow here, but they reap in eternity.

   It is this eternal treasure that ministers of Christ

                         481
are to present wherever they may go. They are to
urge the people to become wise unto salvation.
They are not to allow world-loving, timeserving
professed believers to influence their course and
weaken their faith. It is not their mission to help
individuals or churches to contrive how they can
save money by narrow plans and circumscribed
efforts in the cause of God. Instead of this they are
to teach men how to work disinterestedly and thus
become rich toward God. They should educate
minds to place the right estimate on eternal things
and to make the kingdom of heaven first.

     Calebs are wanted in these two fields. There
must be in these conferences, not children, but men
who will move understandingly and bear burdens,
letting their voice be heard above the voices of the
unfaithful, who present objections, doubts, and
criticism. Great interests are not to be managed by
children. An undeveloped Christian, dwarfed in
religious growth, destitute of wisdom from above,
is unprepared to meet the fierce conflicts through
which the church is often called to pass. "I have set
watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which

                        482
shall never hold their peace day nor night." Unless
the minister shall fearlessly declare the whole truth,
unless he shall have an eye single to the glory of
God and shall work under the direction of the great
Captain of his salvation, unless he shall move to
the front, irrespective of censure and
uncontaminated by applause, he will be accounted
an unfaithful watchman.

    There are some in ——- who ought to be men
instead of boys and heavenly minded instead of
earthly and sensual; but their spiritual vision has
become obscured; the Saviour's great love has not
ravished their souls. He has many things to say
unto you, but you cannot bear them now. You are
children in growth and cannot comprehend the
mysteries of God. When God raises up men to do
His work, they are false to their trust if they allow
their testimony to be shaped to please the minds of
the unconsecrated. He will prepare men for the
times. They will be humble, God-fearing men, not
conservative, not policy men; but men who have
moral independence and will move forward in the
fear of the Lord. They will be kind, noble,

                         483
courteous; yet they will not be swayed from the
right path, but will proclaim the truth in
righteousness whether men will hear or whether
they will forbear.




                     484
                     Chapter 28

            Christian Growth

     I have been shown that those who have a
knowledge of the truth, and yet allow all their
powers to be absorbed in worldly interests, are
unfaithful. They are not, by their good works,
letting the light of truth shine to others. Nearly all
their ability is devoted to becoming sharp, skillful
men of the world. They forget that their talents
were given them of God to be used in advancing
His cause. If they were faithful to their duty, the
result would be great gain of souls to the Master,
but many are lost through their neglect. God calls
upon those who know His will to be doers of

    His word. Weakness, halfheartedness, and
indecision provoke the assaults of Satan; and those
who permit these traits to grow will be borne
helplessly down by the surging waves of
temptation. Everyone who professes the name of
Christ is required to grow up to the full stature of

                         485
Christ, the Christian's living head.

    We all need a guide through the many strait
places in life as much as the sailor needs a pilot
over the sandy bar or up the rocky river, and where
is this guide to be found? We point you, dear
brethren, to the Bible. Inspired of God, written by
holy men, it points out with great clearness and
precision the duties of both old and young. It
elevates the mind, softens the heart, and imparts
gladness and holy joy to the spirit. The Bible
presents a perfect standard of character; it is an
infallible guide under all circumstances, even to the
end of the journey of life. Take it as the man of
your counsel, the rule of your daily life.

     Every means of grace should be diligently
improved that the love of God may abound in the
soul more and more, "that ye may approve things
that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and
without offense till the day of Christ; being filled
with the fruits of righteousness." Your Christian
life must take on vigorous and stalwart forms. You
can attain to the high standard set before you in the

                         486
Scriptures, and you must if you would be children
of God. You cannot stand still; you must either
advance or retrograde. You must have spiritual
knowledge, that you "may be able to comprehend
with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ,"
that you may "be filled with all the fullness of
God."

    Many who have an intelligent knowledge of the
truth, and are able to defend it by arguments, are
doing nothing for the upbuilding of Christ's
kingdom. We meet them from time to time, but
they bear no fresh testimonies of personal
experience in the Christian life; they relate no new
victories gained in the holy warfare. Instead of this
you notice the same old routine, the same
expressions in prayer and exhortation. Their
prayers have no new note; they express no greater
intelligence in the things of God, no more earnest,
living faith. Such persons are not living plants in
the garden of the Lord, sending forth fresh shoots
and new foliage, and the grateful fragrance of a
holy life. They are not growing Christians. They

                        487
have limited views and plans, and there is no
expansion of mind, no valuable additions to the
treasures of Christian knowledge. Their powers
have not been taxed in this direction. They have
not learned to view men and things as God views
them, and in many cases unsanctified sympathy has
injured souls and greatly crippled the cause of God.
The spiritual stagnation that prevails is terrible.
Many lead a formal Christian life and claim that
their sins have been forgiven, when they are as
destitute of any real knowledge of Christ as is the
sinner.

    Brethren, will you have a stinted Christian
growth, or will you make healthy progress in the
divine life? Where there is spiritual health there is
growth. The child of God grows up to the full
stature of a man or woman in Christ. There is no
limit to his improvement. When the love of God is
a living prin ciplein the soul, there are no narrow,
confined views; there is love and faithfulness in
warnings and reproofs; there is earnest work and a
disposition     to   bear    burdens     and    take
responsibilities.

                        488
    Some are not willing to do self-denying work.
They show real impatience when urged to take
some responsibility. "What need is there," say they,
of an increase of knowledge and experience? This
explains it all. They feel that they are "rich, and
increased with goods, and have need of nothing,"
while heaven pronounces them poor, miserable,
blind, and naked. To these the True Witness says:
"I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire,
that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that
thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy
nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes
with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Your very
self-complacency shows you to be in need of
everything. You are spiritually sick and need Jesus
as your physician.

    In the Scriptures thousands of gems of truth lie
hidden from the surface seeker. The mine of truth
is never exhausted. The more you search the
Scriptures with humble hearts, the greater will be
your interest, and the more you will feel like
exclaiming with Paul: "O the depth of the riches

                        489
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how
unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past
finding out!" Every day you should learn
something new from the Scriptures. Search them as
for hid treasures, for they contain the words of
eternal life. Pray for wisdom and understanding to
comprehend these holy writings. If you would do
this you would find new glories in the word of
God; you would feel that you had received new and
precious light on subjects connected with the truth,
and the Scriptures would be constantly receiving a
new value in your estimation.

    "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near,
and hasteth greatly." Jesus says: "Behold, I come
quickly." We should keep these words ever in
mind, and act as though we do indeed believe that
the coming of the Lord is nigh, and that we are
pilgrims and strangers upon the earth. The vital
energies of the church of God must be brought into
active exercise for the great object of self-
renovation; every member must be an active agent
for God. "For through Him we both have access by
one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no

                        490
more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens
with the saints, and of the household of God; and
are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief
Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed
together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
in whom ye also are builded together for an
habitation of God through the Spirit." This is a
particular work, which must be carried forward in
all harmony, in unity of Spirit, and in the bonds of
peace. No place should be given to criticisms,
doubts, and unbelief.

     The Upper Columbia and North Pacific
Conferences years behind. Some who ought to be
strong and established in Christ are as babes in
understanding and experimental knowledge of the
workings of the Spirit of God. After years of
experience they are able to comprehend only the
first principles of that grand system of faith and
doctrine that constitutes the Christian religion.
They do not comprehend that perfection of
character which will receive the commendation:
"Well done."

                        491
    Brethren, your duty, happiness, future
usefulness, and final salvation call upon you to
sever the tendrils of your affections from
everything earthly and corruptible. There is an
unsanctified sympathy that partakes of the nature
of lovesick sentimentalism and is earthly, sensual.
It will require no feeble effort for some of you to
overcome this and change the course of your life,
for you have not placed yourselves in connection
with the Strength of Israel and have become
enfeebled in all your faculties. Now you are loudly
called upon to be diligent in the use of every means
of grace, that you may be transformed in character
and may grow to the full stature of men and
women in Christ Jesus.

    We have great victories to gain, and a heaven
to lose if we do not gain them. The carnal heart
must be crucified; for its tendency is to moral
corruption, and the end thereof is death. Nothing
but the life-giving influences of the gospel can help
the soul. Pray that the mighty energies of the Holy
Spirit, with all their quickening, recuperative, and

                        492
transforming power, may fall like an electric shock
on the palsy-stricken soul, causing every nerve to
thrill with new life, restoring the whole man from
his dead, earthly, sensual state to spiritual
soundness. You will thus become partakers of the
divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is
in the world through lust; and in your souls will be
reflected the image of Him by whose stripes you
are healed.

              Tithes and Offerings

    The Lord requires that we return to Him in
tithes and offerings a portion of the goods He has
lent us. He accepts these offerings as an act of
humble obedience on our part and a grateful
acknowledgment of our indebtedness to Him for all
the blessings we enjoy. Then let us offer willingly,
saying with David: "All things come of Thee, and
of Thine own have we given Thee." Withholding
more than is meet tends to poverty. God will bear
long with some, He will test and prove all; but His
curse will surely follow the selfish, world-loving
professor of truth. God knows the heart; every

                        493
thought and every purpose is open to His eye. He
says: "Them that honor Me I will honor, and they
that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed." He
knows whom to bless and who are deserving of His
curse. He makes no mistakes, for angels are
keeping a record of all our works and words.

     When the people of God were about to build
the sanctuary in the wilderness, extensive
preparations were necessary. Costly materials were
collected, and among them was much gold and
silver. As the rightful owner of all their treasures,
the Lord called for these offerings from the people;
but He accepted only those that were given freely.
The people offered willingly, until word was
brought to Moses: "The people bring much more
than enough for the service of the work, which the
Lord commanded to make." And the proclamation
was made to all the congregation: "Let neither man
nor woman make any more work for the offering of
the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from
bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for
all the work to make it, and too much."


                        494
    Had some men of limited ideas been on the
ground they would have opened their eyes in
horror. Like Judas they would have asked: "To
what purpose is this waste?" "Why not make
everything in the cheapest manner?" But the
sanctuary was not designed to honor man, but the
God of heaven. He had given specific directions
how everything was to be done. The people were to
be taught that He was a being of greatness and
majesty, and that He was to be worshiped with
reverence and awe.

    The house where God is worshiped should be
in accordance with His character and majesty.
There are small churches that ever will be small
because they place their own interests above the
interests of God's cause. While they have large,
convenient houses for themselves, and are
constantly improving their premises, they are
content to have a most unsuitable place for the
worship of God, where His holy presence is to
dwell. They wonder that Joseph and Mary were
obliged to find shelter in a stable, and that there the
Saviour was born; but they are willing to expend

                         495
upon themselves a large part of their means, while
the house of worship is shamefully neglected. How
often they say: "The time is not come, the time that
the Lord's house should be built." But the word of
the Lord to them is: "Is it time for you, O ye, to
dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie
waste?"

    The house where Jesus is to meet with His
people should be neat and attractive. If there are
but few believers in a place, put up a neat but
humble house, and by dedicating it to God invite
Jesus to come as your guest. How does He look
upon His people when they have every
convenience that heart could wish, but are willing
to meet for His worship in a barn, some miserable,
out-of-the-way building, or some cheap, forsaken
apartment? You work for your friends, you expend
means to make everything around them as
attractive as possible; but Jesus, the One who gave
everything for you, even His precious life,—He
who is the Majesty of heaven, the King of kings
and Lord of lords,—is favored with a place on
earth but little better than the stable which was His

                        496
first home. Shall we not look at these things as God
looks at them? Shall we not test our motives and
see what kind of faith we possess?

    "God loveth a cheerful giver," and those who
love Him will give freely and cheerfully when by
so doing they can advance His cause and promote
His glory. The Lord never requires His people to
offer more than they are able, but according to their
ability He is pleased to accept and bless their thank
offerings. Let willing obedience and pure love bind
upon the altar every offering that is made to God;
for with such sacrifices He is well pleased, while
those that are offered grudgingly are an offense to
Him. When churches or individuals have no heart
in their offerings, but would limit the cost of
carrying forward the work of God, and gauge it by
their own narrow views, they show decidedly that
they have no living connection with God. They are
at variance with His plan and manner of working,
and He will not bless them.

   We are builders for God, and we must build
upon the foundation which He has prepared for us.

                        497
No man is to build upon his own foundation,
independent of the plan which God has devised.
There are men whom God has raised up as
counselors, men whom He has taught, and whose
heart and soul and life are in the work. These men
are to be highly esteemed for their work's sake.
There are some who will wish to follow their own
crude notions; but they must learn to receive advice
and to work in harmony with their brethren, or they
will sow doubt and discord that they will not care
to harvest. It is the will of God that those who
engage in His work shall be subject to one another.
His worship must be conducted with consistency,
unity, and sound judgment. God is our only
sufficient helper. The laws which govern His
people, their principles of thought and action, are
received from Him through His word and Spirit.
When His word is loved and obeyed, His children
walk in the light, and there is no occasion of
stumbling in them. They do not accept the world's
low standard, but work from the Bible standpoint.

   The selfishness which exists among God's
people is very offensive to Him. The Scriptures

                        498
denounce covetousness as idolatry. No "covetous
man," says Paul, "who is an idolater, hath any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."
The trouble with many is that they have too little
faith. Like the rich man in the parable they want to
see their supplies piled up in their granaries. The
world is to be warned, and God wants us wholly
engaged in His work; but men have so much to do
to forward their money-making projects that they
have no time to push the triumphs of the cross of
Christ. They have neither time nor disposition to
put their intellect, tact, and energy into the cause of
God.

    Brethren and sisters, I wish to excite in your
minds disgust for your present limited ideas of
God's cause and work. I want you to comprehend
the great sacrifice that Christ made for you when
He became poor, that through His poverty you
might come into possession of eternal riches. Oh!
do not, by your indifference to the eternal weight
of glory which is within your reach, cause angels to
weep and hide their faces in shame and disgust.
Arouse from your lethargy; arouse every God-

                         499
given faculty, and work for precious souls for
whom Christ died. These souls, if brought to the
fold of Christ, will live through the ceaseless ages
of eternity; and will you plan to do as little as
possible for their salvation, while, like the man
with the one talent, you invest your means in the
earth? Like that unfaithful servant, are you
charging God with reaping where He has not sown,
and gathering where He has not strewed?

     All that you have and are belongs to God. Then
will you not say from the heart: "All things come
of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee"?
"Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the
first fruits of all thine increase." Paul thus exhorts
his Corinthian brethren to Christian beneficence:
"As ye abound in everything, in faith, and
utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and
in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace
also." In his epistle to Timothy he says: "Charge
them that are rich in this world, that they be not
high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in
the living God, who giveth us richly all things to
enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good

                         500
works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
laying up in store for themselves a good foundation
against the time to come, that they may lay hold on
eternal life."

    Liberality is not so natural to us that we gain
this virtue by accident. It must be cultivated. We
must deliberately resolve that we will honor God
with our substance; and then we must let nothing
tempt us to rob Him of the tithes and offerings that
are His due. We must be intelligent, systematic,
and continuous in our acts of charity to men and
our expressions of gratitude to God for His
bounties to us. This is too sacred a duty to be left to
chance or to be controlled by impulse or feeling.
We should regularly reserve something for God's
cause, that He may not be robbed of the portion
which He claims. When we rob God we rob
ourselves also. We give up the heavenly treasure
for the sake of having more of this earth. This is a
loss that we cannot afford to sustain. If we live so
that we can have the blessing of God we shall have
His prospering hand with us in our temporal
affairs, but if His hand is against us He can defeat

                         501
all our plans and scatter faster than we can gather.

    I was shown that the situation of things in these
two conferences is sad indeed; but God has many
precious souls here over whom He has a jealous
care, and He will not leave them to be deceived and
misled.




                         502
                    Chapter 29

   Faithfulness in the Work of
              God

    There is precious talent in the churches in
Oregon and Washington Territory; and had it been
developed by well-directed labor, there might now
be efficient workers in these conferences. A live
church is always a working church. The truth is a
power, and those who see its force will stand
boldly and fearlessly in its defense. Truth must be
apprehended by the intellect, received into the
heart, and its principles incorporated into the
character; and then there must be a constant effort
to win others to accept it, for God holds men
responsible for the use they make of the light He
imparts to them.

    The Lord calls upon all His people to improve
the ability He has given them. The mental powers
should be developed to the utmost; they should be
strengthened and ennobled by dwelling upon
                       503
spiritual truths. If the mind is allowed to run almost
entirely upon trifling things and the common
business of everyday life, it will, in accordance
with one of its unvarying laws, become weak and
frivolous, and deficient in spiritual power.

    Times that will try men's souls are just before
us, and those who are weak in the faith will not
stand the test of those days of peril. The great
truths of revelation are to be carefully studied, for
we shall all want an intelligent knowledge of the
word of God. By Bible study and daily communion
with Jesus we shall gain clear, well-defined views
of individual responsibility and strength to stand in
the day of trial and temptation. He whose life is
united to Christ by hidden links will be kept by the
power of God through faith unto salvation.

    More thought should be given to the things of
God, and less to temporal matters. The world-
loving professor, if he will exercise his mind in that
direction, may become as familiar with the word of
God as he now is with worldly business. "Search
the Scriptures," said Christ; "for in them ye think

                         504
ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify
of Me." The Christian is required to be diligent in
searching the Scriptures, to read over and over
again the truths of God's word. Willful ignorance
on this subject endangers the Christian life and
character. It blinds the understanding and corrupts
the noblest powers. It is this that brings confusion
into our lives. Our people need to understand the
oracles of God; they need to have a systematic
knowledge of the principles of revealed truth,
which will fit them for what is coming upon the
earth and prevent them from being carried about by
every wind of doctrine.

    Great changes are soon to take place in the
world, and everyone will need an experimental
knowledge of the things of God. It is the work of
Satan to dishearten the people of God and to
unsettle their faith. He tries in every way to
insinuate doubts and questionings in regard to the
position, the faith, the plans, of the men upon
whom God has laid the burden of a special work
and who are zealously doing that work. Although
he may be baffled again and again, yet he renews

                        505
his attacks, working through those who profess to
be humble and God-fearing, and who are
apparently interested in, or believers of, present
truth. The advocates of truth expect fierce and cruel
opposition from their open enemies, but this is far
less dangerous than the secret doubts expressed by
those who feel at liberty to question and find fault
with what God's servants are doing. These may
appear to be humble men; but they are self-
deceived, and they deceive others. In their hearts
are envy and evil surmisings. They unsettle the
faith of the people in those in whom they should
have confidence, those whom God has chosen to
do His work; and when they are reproved for their
course they take it as personal abuse. While
professing to be doing God's work they are in
reality aiding the enemy.

    Brethren, never allow anyone's ideas to unsettle
your faith in regard to the order and harmony
which should exist in the church. Many of you do
not see all things clearly. The directions in regard
to order in the tabernacle service were recorded
that lessons might be drawn from it by all who

                        506
should live upon the earth. Men were selected to do
various parts of the work of setting up and taking
down the tabernacle, and if one strayed in
carelessly and put his hands to the work assigned to
another, he was to be put to death. We serve the
same God today. But the death penalty has been
abolished; had it not been, there would not now be
so much careless, disorderly work in His cause.
The God of heaven is a God of order, and He
requires all His followers to have rules and
regulations, and to preserve order. All should have
a perfect understanding of God's work.

    It is unsafe to cherish doubt in the heart even
for a moment. The seeds of doubt which Pharaoh
sowed when he rejected the first miracle were
allowed to grow, and they produced such an
abundant harvest that all subsequent miracles could
not persuade him that his position was wrong. He
continued to venture on in his own course, going
from one degree of questioning to another, and his
heart became more and more hardened until he was
called to look upon the cold, dead faces of the first-
born.

                         507
    God is at work, and we are not doing one half
that must be done to prepare a people to stand in
the day when the Son of man shall be revealed.
Woe be to the man that shall in the least degree
seek to hinder the work which God is doing. We
must labor for others; we must try to weaken the
hold of our brethren upon their earthly treasures;
for many will sell their birthright to eternal life for
worldly advantages. How much better to encourage
them to lay up their treasure in heaven than
complainingly to drop the words: "It is money,
money, that these men are continually calling for;
and they are getting rich by it." How sweet are
words like these to the world-loving professor!
How they strengthen his courage to withhold from
God the proportion which belongs to Him and
which should be returned to Him in tithes and
offerings! The curse of the Lord will rest upon
those who fail to render to Him His own. Let us
work in harmony with God. His servants have a
message to bear to money lovers; why should they
not bear a close testimony in regard to bringing all
the tithes into the storehouse, when the Lord

                         508
Himself has set them the example?

    The religion of Christ subdues the selfish spirit
and transforms the mind and the affections; it lays
low the pride of men, that God alone may be
exalted. This is what Brother A wants. He needs a
practical faith in God. He needs to see and feel the
glory of serving Christ; he needs to exalt principle
and elevate the Christian standard; he needs to
store his mind with the rich promises, the
warnings, the counsels and threatenings, of God's
word; he needs to see the importance of having
faith and corresponding works, that he may fairly
represent, at home, in the church, and in his
business, the purity and elevated character of
religion. He should place himself in connection
with Christ, that he may have spiritual power. His
connection with the world, and with influences
adverse to the spirit of truth, have greater power
over him than the Spirit of Christ. Here is his
danger; and he will eventually make shipwreck of
faith unless he changes his course of action and
firmly connects with the Source of light.


                        509
     If his interest in spiritual things were as great as
it is in the things of the world, his consecration to
God would be entire; he would show himself a true
disciple of Christ, and God would accept and use
the talents which are now wholly devoted to the
service of the world. The very same ability is
required in the cause of God that is now given to
the accumulation of property. Managers are needed
in every branch of His work, that it may be carried
on with energy and system. If a man has tact,
industry, and enthusiasm, he will make a success in
temporal business, and the same qualities,
consecrated to the work of God, will prove even
doubly efficient; for divine power will be
combined with human effort. The best of plans,
either in temporal or spiritual matters, will prove a
failure if their execution is entrusted to
inexperienced, incapable hands.

    Those who bury their talents in this world are
not pleasing God. All their powers are devoted to
the accumulation of property, and the desire to
accumulate becomes a passion. Brother A is an
active man, and he takes pride in carrying out

                          510
worldly projects. If the same interest, tact, and
ambition were exercised in trading for the Lord,
how much grander, nobler results would he realize!
The education obtained in worldly business will
not be of the least advantage in the future life, for
no such business will be carried on in heaven; but
if the faculties which God has given are used to His
glory, to the upbuilding of His kingdom, and
education is received which will be taken into
heaven.

    What is our position in the world? We are in
the waiting time. But this period is not to be spent
in abstract devotion. Waiting, watching, and
vigilant working are to be combined. Our life
should not be all bustle and drive and planning
about the things of the world, to the neglect of
personal piety and of the service that God requires.
While we should not be slothful in business, we
should be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. The
lamp of the soul must be trimmed, and we must
have the oil of grace in our vessels with our lamps.
Every precaution must be used to prevent spiritual
declension, lest the day of the Lord overtake us as a

                        511
thief. That day is not to be put far off; it is near,
and no man should say, even in his heart, much
less by his works, "My Lord delayeth His coming,"
lest for so doing his portion be appointed with
hypocrites and unbelievers.

    I saw that God's people are in great peril; many
are dwellers upon the earth; their interest and
affections are centered in the world. Their example
is not right. The world is deceived by the course
pursued by many who profess great and noble
truths. Our responsibility is in accordance with the
light given, the graces and gifts bestowed. On the
workers whose talents, whose means, whose
opportunities and abilities, are greatest rests the
heaviest responsibility. God calls upon Brother A
to change his course of action, to use his ability to
God's glory instead of debasing it to sordid worldly
interests. Now is his day of trust; soon will come
his day of reckoning.

    Brother A was presented before me to represent
a class who are in a similar position. They have
never been indifferent to the smallest worldly

                        512
advantage. By diligent business tact and successful
investments, by trading, not on pounds, but on
pence and farthings, they have accumulated
property. But in doing this they have educated
faculties inconsistent with the development of
Christian character. Their lives in no way represent
Christ; for they love the world and its gain better
than they love God or the truth. "If any man love
the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

    All the abilities which men possess belong to
God. Worldly conformity and attachments are
emphatically forbidden in His word. When the
power of the transforming grace of God is felt upon
the heart, it will send a man, hitherto worldly, into
every pathway of beneficence. He who has in his
heart a determination to lay up treasure in the
world, will "fall into temptation and a snare, and
into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown
men in destruction and perdition. For the love of
money is the root of all evil [the foundation of all
avarice and worldliness]: which while some
coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and
pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

                        513
    Each member of the church should feel under
sacred obligations to guard strictly the interests of
the cause of God. The individual members of the
church are responsible for its distracted,
discouraged state, by which the most sacred truths
ever committed to man are dishonored. There is no
excuse for this condition of things. Jesus has
opened to everyone a way by which wisdom,
grace, and power may be obtained. He is our
example in all things, and nothing should divert the
mind from the main object in life, which is to have
Christ in the soul, melting and subduing the heart.
When this is the case, every member of the church,
every professor of the truth, will be Christlike in
character, in words, in actions.

    Some who have been channels of light, whose
hearts have been made glad by the precious light of
truth, have denied that truth by assimilating to the
world. They have thus lost the spirit of self-
sacrifice and the power of the truth, and have
depended for happiness upon unstable things of
earth. They are in great peril. Having once rejoiced

                        514
in the light, they will be left in total darkness unless
they speedily gather up the rays that are still
shining upon them and return to the Lord with
repentance and confession. We are in a day of
peril, when error and deception are captivating the
people. Who will warn the world, who will show
them the better way, unless those who have had the
light of truth are sanctified through it and shall let
their light so shine that others may see their good
works and glorify God? I wish I could impress
upon all the danger they are in of losing heaven.
Joining the church is one thing, and connecting
with Christ is quite another. Not all the names
registered in the church books are registered in the
Lamb's book of life. Many, though apparently
sincere believers, do not keep up a living
connection with Christ. They have enlisted, they
have entered their names on the register; but the
inner work of grace is not wrought in the heart. As
the result they are not happy, and they make hard
work of serving God.

   "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be
judged." Remember that your brethren are fallible

                          515
creatures like yourself, and regard their mistakes
and errors with the same mercy and forbearance
that you wish them to exercise toward you. They
should not be watched and their defects paraded to
the front for the world to exult over. Those who
dare to do this have climbed upon the judgment
seat and made themselves judges, while they have
neglected the garden of their own hearts and have
allowed poisonous weeds to obtain a rank growth.

    We individually have a case pending in the
court of heaven. Character is being weighed in the
balances of the sanctuary, and it should be the
earnest desire of all to walk humbly and carefully,
lest, neglecting to let their light shine forth to the
world, they fail of the grace of God and lose
everything that is valuable. All dissension, all
differences and faultfinding, should be put away,
with all evil speaking and bitterness; kindness,
love, and compassion for one another should be
cherished, that the prayer of Christ that His
disciples might be one as He is one with the Father
may be answered. The harmony and unity of the
church are the credentials that they present to the

                         516
world that Jesus is the Son of God. Genuine
conversion will ever lead to genuine love for Jesus
and for all those for whom He died.

     Everyone who does what he can for God, who
is true and earnest to do good to those around him,
will receive the blessing of God upon his efforts. A
man may render effective service for God although
he is not the head or the heart of the body of Christ.
The service represented in the word of God by that
of the hand or the foot, though lowly, is
nevertheless important. It is not the greatness of the
work, but the love with which it is done, the motive
underlying the action, that determines its worth.
There is work to be done for our neighbors and for
those with whom we associate. We have no liberty
to cease our patient, prayerful labors for souls as
long as any are out of the ark of safety. There is no
release in this war. We are soldiers of Christ, and
are under obligation to watch lest the enemy gain
the advantage and secure to his service souls that
we might win to Christ.

   The day of trust and responsibility is ours; we

                         517
have a work to do for God. The church in ——-
has been gradually growing cold and irreligious.
There is much to be done for its individual
members. Great light has shone upon their
pathway. For this they will be held accountable.
Said Christ: "Ye are the light of the world;" "ye are
the salt of the earth." They need a deeper work of
grace in their hearts. There must be a reformation
before God can bless them. There are plenty of
formal professors. A selfish grasping for gain
eclipses the heavenly inheritance. If the kingdom
of heaven is made first, noble integrity will shine
forth in the life and character. This is what Brother
A needs if he would exert an influence for good.
He loves to handle money, and to see it accumulate
by turning it one way and another. His mind and
affections are absorbed in worldly enterprises. He
is drunken with the cares of this life; that is, he is
so swallowed up in his business that he cannot
think rationally and intelligently of the things of
God; his vision is obscured by love of money. The
truth should reach down deep into his heart and
develop fruit in his private and public life.


                         518
    Brother A has excused himself for not making
the Scriptures his study because he was a
businessman. But to one pressed with business
cares the Scriptures will be a source of strength and
safety. Such a man has greater need of light from
the word of God, of its counsels and warnings, than
if he were not placed in such a dangerous position.
If Brother A would exercise the same forethought
and business tact in the things of God that he has
given to worldly matters, he would realize blessed
results. If he thinks that God is satisfied with him
while giving his talent and energy almost entirely
to the service of mammon, he is fearfully deceived.
Said Christ: "No man can serve two masters: for
either he will hate the one, and love the other; or
else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon." If Brother A
continues to make eternal things subordinate to his
worldly interests, his passion for accumulating will
steadily increase until it will overrule principle, and
he will be so blinded by the god of this world that
he will be unable to discern between the sacred and
the common.


                         519
    Brother A has a strong influence upon the
minds of his brethren; they view things largely
from his standpoint. He needs to improve in
spiritual soundness and be wise in the things of
God. He should begin to show an interest in and
devotion to heavenly things and to so educate his
powers that they may be of service in the cause of
God. He needs the armor of righteousness with
which to ward off the darts of the enemy. It is
impossible for him to obtain salvation unless there
is a decided change in the objects and pursuits of
his life, unless he exercises himself continually in
spiritual things.

     God calls upon the individual members of the
churches in these two conferences to arouse and be
converted. Brethren, your worldliness, your
distrust, your murmuring, have placed you in such
a position that it will be exceedingly difficult for
anyone to labor among you. While your president
neglected his work and failed in his duty, your
attitude was not such as to give him any
encouragement. The one in authority should have
acquitted himself as a man of God, reproving,

                        520
exhorting, encouraging, as the case demanded,
whether you would receive or reject his testimony.
But he was easily discouraged, and left you without
the help that a faithful minister of Christ should
have given. He failed in not keeping up with the
opening providence of God, and in not showing
you your duty and educating you up to the
demands of the time; but the minister's neglect
should not dishearten you and lead you to excuse
yourselves for neglecting duty. There is the more
need of energy and fidelity on your part.

             Vowing and Not Paying

    Some of you have been stumbling over your
pledges. The Spirit of the Lord came into the ——-
meeting in answer to prayer, and while your hearts
were softened under its influence, you pledged.
While the streams of salvation were pouring upon
your hearts, you felt that you must follow the
example of Him who went about doing good and
who cheerfully gave His life to ransom man from
sin and degradation. Under the heavenly, inspiring
influence you saw that selfishness and worldliness

                       521
were not consistent with Christian character and
that you could not live for yourselves and be
Christlike. But when the influence of His abundant
love and mercy was not felt in so marked a manner
in your hearts, you withdrew your offerings, and
God withdrew His blessing from you.

    Adversity came upon some. There was a failure
in their crops, so that they could not redeem their
pledges; and some were even brought into
straitened circumstances. Then, of course, they
could not be expected to pay. But had they not
murmured and withdrawn their hearts from their
pledges, God would have worked for them and
would have opened ways whereby every one could
have paid what he had promised. They did not wait
in faith, trusting God to open the way so that they
could redeem their pledges. Some had means at
their command; and had they possessed the same
willing mind as when they pledged, and had they
heartily rendered to God in tithes and offerings that
which He had lent them for this purpose, they
would have been greatly blessed. But Satan came
in with his temptations and led some to question

                        522
the motives and the spirit which actuated the
servant of God in presenting the call for means.
Some felt that they had been deceived and
defrauded. In spirit they repudiated their vows, and
whatever they did afterward was with reluctance,
and therefore they received no blessing.

    In the parable of the talents the man to whom
was entrusted one talent manifested a grudging
spirit and hid his money so that his lord could not
be benefited by it. When his master required him to
give an account of his stewardship, he excused his
neglect by laying blame upon his lord. "I knew thee
[he professes to be acquainted with his lord] that
thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not
sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed:
and I was afraid [that all my improvements would
not be mine, but that you would claim them], and
went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou
hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto
him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou
knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather
where I have not strewed: thou oughtest therefore
to have put my money to the exchangers, and then

                        523
at my coming I should have received mine own
with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and
give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto
everyone that hath [made a right use of my goods]
shall be given, and he shall have abundance [for I
can trust him, knowing that he will make right
improvement of what is lent him]: but from him
that hath not [who has been fearful to trust me]
shall be taken away even that which he hath. [I
shall deprive him of what he claims as his; he shall
forfeit all right of trust; I will take away his talents
and give them to one who will improve them.] And
cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    The spirit manifested by the brethren in regard
to their pledges has been very offensive to God.
Had they seen the cause prospering in the fields
already entered they would have felt differently.
There was no deception practiced upon them, and
the charge of deception which they made was
against the Spirit of God and not against the
servant He sent. Had Brother A occupied the right
position in this matter, had he cherished the spirit

                          524
which influenced him to make the pledge, he
would not have felt such an unwillingness to invest
in the cause of God. But he thought how much he
could do with his means by investing it in worldly
enterprises. Avarice, worldliness, and covetousness
are defects in character which are opposed to the
exercise of the Christian graces. Said the apostle:
"Let your conversation [your very deportment and
habits of life] be without covetousness; and be
content with such things as ye have: for He hath
said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

    It was evident that many who vowed had no
faith and believed themselves wronged. They
talked of it and dwelt upon it until it seemed a
reality to them. They felt that they ought not to
have aided the General Conference, and urged that
they ought to have had the means to use in their
own field. The Lord worked for them according to
their limited faith. Satan, who had been holding
their minds in deception, caused them to think that
they had done a liberal thing in sending means to
the General Conference, when, upon investigation,
the facts showed that they still lacked a

                       525
considerable of returning to the conference the
amount that had been paid out in sending them
laborers and in helping them in various ways to
start the work and carry it forward. Yet these
persons have been grieved, dissatisfied, unhappy,
and have backslidden from God, because they
thought they were doing such great things. This
only shows what a terrible deception can come
upon minds when they are not under the special
control of the Spirit of God. Their doubting, their
suspicions, their prejudice in regard to the General
Conference, were all prompted by Satan. The cause
of God is one the world over. Every branch of the
work centers in Christ. No one portion of the field
is independent of the rest.

    Dear brethren, you have let Satan into your
hearts, and he will never be fully vanquished until
you repent of your wicked doubts and the
withdrawal of your pledges. The Lord's messenger
was despised and charged with bringing an undue
pressure upon the people. God was displeased with
Brother B because he did not bear a decided
testimony against everything of that sort and show

                        526
you your sin as it really was.

    "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not
to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that
which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou
shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow
and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy
flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that
it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at
thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?"

    Here the matter is presented in its true light.
Your work was done before the angel of God. Your
words were not only heard by men, but the angel of
God listened to them, and can you be surprised that
God was angry with you? Can you wonder that He
has not blessed you and made you able to pay your
pledges? When you have grumbled and murmured
and withdrawn your pledges and felt that God's
servants had deceived you and extorted from you
pledges that were not just, the enemy has exulted.
Could you see your course as it is you would never
make one semblance of an excuse for it.


                         527
    Be careful how you speak one word to lessen
the influence of God's messengers. There may
sometimes have been too much urging for means.
But when the light and love of Jesus illuminates the
hearts of His followers, there will be no occasion
for urging or begging their money or their service.
When they become one with Jesus, and realize that
they are not their own, that they are bought with a
price and are therefore the Lord's property, and that
all they have is simply entrusted to them as His
stewards, they will with cheerful heart and
unswerving fidelity render to God the things that
are His. The Lord will not accept an offering that is
made unwillingly, grudgingly. With your present
feelings there would be no virtue in making more
pledges. When you recover from this snare of the
enemy, when you heal the breach that you have
made, and realize that the wants of God's cause are
as continual as are His gifts to the children of men,
your works will correspond with your faith, and
you will receive a rich blessing from the Lord.




                        528
                    Chapter 30

        Influence of Unbelief

    The church in ——- ——- has greatly
backslidden from God. It is no longer in a state of
healthful prosperity. Each individual member of
the church has had burdens and discouragements of
his own to bear, but these he should have borne and
kept his soul alive before God without weakening
others in the church. He should have added to the
strength of the church instead of diminishing it.
Brother C has not taken a position to strengthen his
own faith or that of the church. He has been acting
on the side of the enemy to dishearten and
discourage. Satan is constantly encouraging
unbelief. He notes the mistakes and failings of
Christ's professed followers, and taunts the angels
of God with them. He is an accuser of the brethren,
and he will influence as many as possible to do the
same work. Those who take it upon themselves to
watch their neighbor's garden instead of weeding
their own plot of ground will surely find their own

                        529
gardens so grown up to weeds that every precious
plant will be crowded out.

     Brother C is not in a position to be a light to the
world. Oh, no; he is a body of darkness. Eternity
will reveal the fact that his inconsiderate words
have planted the seeds of questioning, doubt, and
faultfinding in many minds and that his influence
has turned many souls from the truth. He has
consented to make himself a channel of darkness,
to     communicate        suspicion      and       bring
discouragement upon minds. God is not pleased
with him. His own soul is becoming less and less
susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God. He
has but little faith; and how could it be otherwise,
when by his words he is constantly strengthening
unbelief? While he suggests doubts instead of
letting beams of precious light shine upon others,
he is aiding the enemy in his work. This spirit
makes him almost an infidel, and unless he turns
square about he will yet become one.

    Brother C is thoughtless of his words and
actions. Idle words, for which he must render an

                          530
account in the day of God, are almost continually
falling from his lips. He places himself upon the
enemy's ground and, as the result, has not the Spirit
of Christ. He will sometime see that he has made a
great mistake, that he has been losing precious,
golden moments which he might have employed in
purifying his own heart. He has been picking flaws
in others, living on their mistakes; and this is
spiritual starvation. Every revival is liable to bring
persons into the church who are not really
converted. They hold the truth nominally, but are
not sanctified by its sweet influence. Being
destitute of grace, they are selfish, hard, and
unyielding. Such persons are always unreliable.
They will ever be doing and saying things contrary
to our faith. The church that has such a burden
inflicted upon it deserves pity. The world is in
opposition to the church, and Satan and his angels
are constantly at war with it. Therefore the defects
of these unworthy members are held up before
those who are sound in the faith.

    Those who believe the truth should be
determined to help and not to hinder the few in —

                         531
—-      ——-       who     are   struggling      under
discouragements. The members of the church
should each have a jealous care that the enemies of
our faith have no occasion to triumph over their
lifeless, backslidden state. Some have wasted their
influence, when with a little self-denial,
earnestness, and zeal, they might have been a
power on the side of good. This zeal will not come
without effort, without earnest struggles. If only
three faithful souls were left in the ——- ——-
church, they would, if connected with God, be
living channels of light, and He would add to their
numbers. God has raised up standard-bearers in —
—- ——-. Some have moved away, some have
died, and some have become spiritually dead; their
services are given to Satan. They do not realize that
a by-and-by is coming when their account in the
heavenly records will be balanced and when every
man's work will be revealed of what sort it is.

    Remember that everyone must be judged
according to his work. When, in the great day of
final reckoning, the record of your life shall be
opened before you, my doubting, questioning,

                        532
accusing brother, how will it stand? "Your words
have been stout against Me, saith the Lord. Yet ye
say, What have we spoken so much against Thee?
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what
profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and
that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of
hosts?" This has been the language of your heart;
and "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth
speaketh." By your words you are to be justified or
condemned. Accusing the brethren is the very work
that Satan has been engaged in since his fall. You
have disheartened the church who had little enough
courage at best. You have presented the truth in
almost every objectionable light. This is the work
Satan is doing. You have no occasion to be proud
of your words; for they will bring confusion of
face, shame and despair, in the day when every
man shall receive according to the deeds done in
the body.

   Your wife has heard your expressions of
darkness until she is molded in a great degree to
your ideas. The fear of the Lord is almost entirely
removed from you both. You are now sowing seeds

                       533
of unbelief, and they will produce a plentiful
harvest by and by, in the reaping of which you will
take no satisfaction. You have lent yourself to the
enemy to be his agent to lead souls to doubt and
unbelief. Your whole work has been to scatter from
Christ. You glory in your sharpness, your aptness
in confusing minds. You think it a mark of
intelligence; but it is the same kind of intelligence
that the prince of darkness possesses, and will
receive the same reward that he is winning by his
intense activity and shrewdness. The tendency of
this age is to unbelief, to making light of godliness
and true religion. This is Satan's plan, and when
you yield your powers to unbelief you are led
captive by his devices to do his work.

    Your wife will have a hard fight to conquer the
devices of the enemy, to overcome her own defects
of character, and bring all her powers into
subjection to the will of God, planting her feet
firmly upon the platform of eternal truth. She is not
naturally devotional, and you have placed things
before her in such an uncertain light that she is left
to drift without anchorage. She takes no real

                         534
comfort in faith and hope, for she has not an
intelligent knowledge of the truth. She is greatly
affected by the atmosphere of unbelief she
breathes, and if she is lost, the blood of her soul
will be found on your garments.

    You are just as surely doing the work of Satan
as is any one of his open agents. The doubts which
you have introduced into many minds will bear
fruit. Your harvest is ripening for the final
gathering. Will you be proud of it then? You may
turn to the Lord; you may find rest in Him. But you
have so long educated yourself to criticize, to turn
and twist everything in a false light, that it will
require earnest prayer and constant watchfulness to
break the habit which has become second nature.
My heart yearns over you and your family. The
Lord is displeased with you; He is grieved every
day. You must be a thoroughly converted,
transformed man, or you will never have the
precious gift of everlasting life.




                        535
                    Chapter 31

        Deceitfulness of Sin

    Brother D was presented before me as doing a
work which in the judgment he will wish undone.
He is not correct in all points of doctrine, and he
obstinately maintains his erroneous positions. He is
an accuser of the brethren. He has not only thought
evil of those whom God has chosen as laborers in
His cause, but he has spoken this evil to others. He
has not conformed to the Bible rule and conferred
with the leading brethren, and yet he finds fault
with them all.

    The excuse made for him is: "Oh, Brother D is
such a good man. He is a pattern of amiability and
kindheartedness, and is a ready helper anywhere."
Brother D has many excellent traits of character.
He has no great ability as a preacher, but may
become an earnest, faithful worker. The enemy has
come in through his estimation of himself. Had he
not esteemed himself more highly than he should,

                        536
he would never have dared to use the reputation of
his brethren as he has done. By his freedom in
gathering up and repeating false reports, he has
come in between the people and the message which
God has given His ministers to bear to them to fit
them to stand in the day of the Lord. His good
traits have made him all the more dangerous; for
they have given him influence. People have
thought that what he said must be so. Had he been
an immoral or quarrelsome person, he could not
have succeeded in winning the confidence of so
many.

    Brother D's manner of working also makes his
course more deserving of censure and a greater
offense to God. Had he shown his feelings
undisguised, had he said in public the things he
talked in private, no one would have thought for a
moment of sending him out to labor in the
conference. While he is laboring under its sanction,
his brethren have a right to suppose that his views
are correct. And with this sanction his influence
has been a power for evil. There are some who
would never have entertained suspicion of their

                        537
brethren or thought evil of them had it not been for
his words. He has started minds on a track which,
if pursued, will end in rebellion and the loss of the
soul. Stripped of its disguise, this is the work which
our good brother has been doing.

     God has presented this matter before me in its
true light. Brother D's heart is not right. It is defiled
with bitterness, wrath, envy, jealousy, and evil
surmising, and it needs to be purified. Unless he
changes his course entirely, he will soon be a fallen
man. Charity, or love, "suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is
not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but
rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth
all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

    Suppose that Brother D leads the people to
question and reject the testimonies that God has
been giving to His people during the past thirty-
eight years; suppose he makes them believe that
the leaders in this work are designing, dishonest

                          538
men, engaged in deceiving the people; what great
and good work has he done? It is a work exactly
similar to that of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and
with all whom he has influenced the result will be
disastrous. He has thought that he could not be in
error; but does this work bear the signet of heaven?
No; Brother D has indulged a self-righteous spirit,
which has almost ruined him. Let him come upon
an equality with his brethren; if he has difficulties
with them in regard to their course of action, let
him show wherein their sin lies.

    When Satan became disaffected in heaven, he
did not lay his complaint before God and Christ;
but he went among the angels who thought him
perfect and represented that God had done him
injustice in preferring Christ to himself. The result
of this misrepresentation was that through their
sympathy with him one third of the angels lost their
innocence, their high estate, and their happy home.
Satan is instigating men to continue on earth the
same work of jealousy and evil surmising that he
commenced in heaven.


                        539
    When Jesus was upon earth, the Jews were ever
acting as spies on His track. They gathered up
every false report and charged Him with one crime
after another. They were constantly endeavoring to
turn the people away from Him. Was their course
right? If it was, then Brother D has not sinned, for
he is doing a similar work. He may now break the
snare of the enemy; he may conquer this spirit
which leads him to exalt himself above his
brethren. Let him seek meekness, and learn to
esteem others better than himself. If he will work
in fidelity and in harmony with God's plan he will
hear the sweet words, "Well done," from the lips of
the Master. But if he rejects the labors of God's
servants, if he chooses his own way and leans to
his own understanding, he will surely make
shipwreck of faith. God has not passed His people
by and chosen one solitary man here and another
there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with
His truth. He does not give one man new light
contrary to the established faith of the body. In
every reform men have arisen making this claim.
Paul warned the church in his day: "Of your own

                        540
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to
draw away disciples after them." The greatest harm
to God's people comes through those who go out
from among them speaking perverse things.
Through them the way of truth is evil spoken of.

    Let none be self-confident, as though God had
given them special light above their brethren.
Christ is represented as dwelling in His people.
Believers are represented as "built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone; in
whom all the building fitly framed together
groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom
ye also are builded together for an habitation of
God through the Spirit." "I therefore, the prisoner
of the Lord," says Paul, "beseech you that ye walk
worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
with all lowliness and meekness, with long-
suffering, forbearing one another in love;
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and

                        541
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and
in you all."

    That which Brother D calls light is apparently
harmless; it does not look as though anyone could
be injured by it. But, brethren, it is Satan's device,
his entering wedge. This has been tried again and
again. One accepts some new and original idea
which does not seem to conflict with the truth. He
talks of it and dwells upon it until it seems to him
to be clothed with beauty and importance, for Satan
has power to give this false appearance. At last it
becomes the all-absorbing theme, the one great
point around which everything centers; and the
truth is uprooted from the heart.

    No sooner are erratic ideas started in his mind
than Brother D begins to lose faith and to question
the work of the Spirit which has been manifested
among us for so many years. He is not a man who
will entertain what he believes to be special light
without imparting it to others; therefore it is not
safe to give him influence that will enable him to
unsettle other minds. It is opening a door through

                         542
which Satan will rush in many errors to divert the
mind from the importance of the truth for this time.
Brethren, as an ambassador of Christ I warn you to
beware of these side issues, whose tendency is to
divert the mind from the truth. Error is never
harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings
confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous.
The enemy has great power over minds that are not
thoroughly fortified by prayer and established in
Bible truth.

    There are a thousand temptations in disguise
prepared for those who have the light of truth; and
the only safety for any of us is in receiving no new
doctrine, no new interpretation of the Scriptures,
without first submitting it to brethren of
experience. Lay it before them in a humble,
teachable spirit, with earnest prayer; and if they see
no light in it, yield to their judgment; for "in the
multitude of counselors there is safety."

   Satan saw in Brother D traits that would enable
him to gain an advantage. "The prince of this world
cometh," said Christ, "and hath nothing in Me."

                         543
But while appearing to possess great humility,
Brother D has placed too high an estimate upon
himself. For years he has entertained the feeling
that his brethren did not appreciate him, and he has
expressed this feeling to others, and Satan found in
him a self-conceit to which he could successfully
appeal.

    This is a time of extreme peril to Brother D,
and to many others. Angels of God are watching
these souls with intense interest, and Satan and his
angels are very anxious to see how their plans will
succeed. This is a crisis in Brother D's life. He will
here make decisions for time and for eternity. God
loves him, and this experience may be one of great
value to him. If he fully yields his heart to God and
accepts all the truth he will be a tireless laborer;
God will work through him, and he may do much
good. But he must work in harmony with his
brethren. He must overcome sensitiveness and
learn to endure hardness as a good soldier of the
cross of Christ.

   Satan is constantly at work, but few have any

                         544
idea of his activity and subtlety. The people of God
must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. It is
this resistance that Satan dreads. He knows better
than we do the limit of his power and how easily he
can be overcome if we resist and face him.
Through divine strength the weakest saint is more
than a match for him and all his angels, and if
brought to the test he would be able to prove his
superior power. Therefore Satan's step is noiseless,
his movements stealthy, and his batteries masked.
He does not venture to show himself openly, lest
he arouse the Christian's dormant energies and
send him to God in prayer.

    The enemy is preparing for his last campaign
against the church. He has so concealed himself
from view that many can hardly believe that he
exists, much less can they be convinced of his
amazing activity and power. They have to a great
extent forgotten his past record; and when he
makes another advance move, they will not
recognize him as their enemy, that old serpent, but
they will consider him a friend, one who is doing a
good work. Boasting of their independence they

                        545
will, under his specious, bewitching influence,
obey the worst impulses of the human heart and yet
believe that God is leading them. Could their eyes
be opened to distinguish their captain, they would
see that they are not serving God, but the enemy of
all righteousness. They would see that their boasted
independence is one of the heaviest fetters Satan
can rivet on unbalanced minds.

    Man is Satan's captive and is naturally inclined
to follow his suggestions and do his bidding. He
has in himself no power to oppose effectual
resistance to evil. It is only as Christ abides in him
by living faith, influencing his desires and
strengthening him with strength from above, that
man may venture to face so terrible a foe. Every
other means of defense is utterly vain. It is only
through Christ that Satan's power is limited. This is
a momentous truth that all should understand.
Satan is busy every moment, going to and fro,
walking up and down in the earth, seeking whom
he may devour. But the earnest prayer of faith will
baffle his strongest efforts. Then take "the shield of
faith," brethren, "wherewith ye shall be able to

                         546
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

     The worst enemies we have are those who are
trying to destroy the influence of the watchmen
upon the walls of Zion. Satan works through
agents. He is making an earnest effort here. He
works according to a definite plan, and his agents
act in concert. A line of unbelief stretches across
the continent and is in communication with the
church of God. Its influence has been exerted to
undermine confidence in the work of the Spirit of
God. This element is here and is silently working.
Be careful lest you be found aiding the enemy of
God and man by spreading false reports and by
criticisms and decided opposition.

    Through deceptive means and unseen channels,
Satan is working to strengthen his authority and to
place obstacles in the way of God's people, that
souls may not be freed from his power and
gathered under the banner of Christ. By his
deceptions he is seeking to allure souls from Christ,
and those who are not established upon the truth
will surely be taken in his snare. And those whom

                        547
he cannot lead into sin he will persecute, as the
Jews did Christ.

    Satan's object is to dishonor God, and he works
with every element that is unsanctified to
accomplish this design. The men whom he makes
his instruments in doing this work are blinded and
do not see what they are doing until they are so
deeply involved in guilt that they think it would be
useless to try to recover themselves, and they risk
all and continue in their course of transgression to
the bitter end.

    Satan hopes to involve the remnant people of
God in the general ruin that is coming upon the
earth. As the coming of Christ draws nigh, he will
be more determined and decisive in his efforts to
overthrow them. Men and women will arise
professing to have some new light or some new
revelation whose tendency is to unsettle faith in the
old landmarks. Their doctrines will not bear the test
of God's word, yet souls will be deceived. False
reports will be circulated, and some will be taken
in this snare. They will believe these rumors and in

                        548
their turn will repeat them, and thus a link will be
formed connecting them with the archdeceiver.
This spirit will not always be manifested in an open
defiance of the messages that God sends, but a
settled unbelief is expressed in many ways. Every
false statement that is made feeds and strengthens
this unbelief, and through this means many souls
will be balanced in the wrong direction.

    We cannot be too watchful against every form
of error, for Satan is constantly seeking to draw
men from the truth. He fills them with notions of
their own sufficiency, and persuades them, as he
has Brother D, that originality is a gift much to be
coveted. Brother D needs to learn the truth more
perfectly. Satan has taken advantage of his
ignorance in this direction, and here comes the
danger. One man has been drawn aside who is hard
to be persuaded when once he has set his feet in a
wrong track, and many who thought they were only
following the man as he followed Christ are
betrayed into following him when he has turned his
back upon his Saviour.


                        549
    Pride dwells in the heart of Brother D, and it
will be exceedingly difficult for him to yield; but
unless he makes a full surrender to Christ, the
enemy will continue to work through him. And if
he does not at once take a decided stand, I fear he
never will.

    The ——- and ——- churches have taken a
heavy responsibility. The full result of the work
they have done will not be known until the
judgment. You need heavenly wisdom, brethren,
for sin has many disguises. The want of spiritual
vision makes you stumble like blind men. Had you
had singleness of purpose, it would have been in
your conference an element of tremendous power.
But the very things I feared have come. There was
work to be done that has been left undone. The
companies that I saw would have been raised up as
the result of well-directed effort, and the
meetinghouses that would have been built,—where
are they? Your unbelief has held the work. You
have done comparatively nothing yourselves, and
when one would work, you hedged the way so that
he could not labor to any advantage.

                       550
    Some are slow, very slow, and they pride
themselves in it. But this indolent sluggishness is a
defect of character of which no man should boast.
Make a firm resolve to be prompt, and with divine
help you will succeed. Let your consecration be
complete; bind property and friends on the altar of
God, and when the heart is prepared to receive the
heavenly influence, bright beams from the throne
of God will flash into your soul, quickening all its
dormant energies.

    Some men have no firmness of character. They
are like a ball of putty and can be pressed into any
conceivable shape. They are of no definite form
and consistency, and are of no practical use in the
world. This weakness, indecision, and inefficiency
must be overcome. There is an indomitableness
about true Christian character which cannot be
molded or subdued by adverse circumstances. Men
must have moral backbone, an integrity which
cannot be flattered, bribed, or terrified.

   I greatly fear for the church. As Paul expressed

                        551
it: "I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled
Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be
corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
Paul then explains that it is by means of corrupt
teachers that the enemy will assail the faith of the
church. "For such are false apostles," he says,
"deceitful workers, transforming themselves into
the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also
be transformed as the ministers of righteousness."

    The more we learn in reference to the early
days of the Christian church, and see with what
subtlety Satan worked to weaken and destroy, the
better we shall be prepared to resist his devices and
meet coming perils. We are in the time when
tribulations such as the world has never yet seen
will prevail. "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and
of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you,
having great wrath, because he knoweth that he
hath but a short time." But God has set bounds that
Satan cannot pass. Our most holy faith is this
barrier; and if we build ourselves up in the faith,

                         552
we shall be safe in the keeping of the Mighty One.
"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I
also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world, to try them
that dwell upon the earth."




                       553
                    Chapter 32

         Criticizing Ministers

    One mistake leads to another. Our brethren
must learn to move intelligently and not from
impulse. Feeling must not be the criterion. A
neglect of duty, the indulgence of undue sympathy,
will be followed by a neglect to properly estimate
those who are laboring to build up the cause of
God. Jesus said: "I am come in My Father's name,
and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his
own name, him ye will receive."

    Many do not look upon preaching as Christ's
appointed means of instructing His people and
therefore always to be highly prized. They do not
feel that the sermon is the word of the Lord to them
and estimate it by the value of the truths spoken;
but they judge it as they would the speech of a
lawyer at the bar—by the argumentative skill
displayed and the power and beauty of the
language. The minister is not infallible, but God

                        554
has honored him by making him His messenger. If
you listen to him as though he were not
commissioned from above you will not respect his
words nor receive them as the message of God.
Your souls will not feed upon the heavenly manna;
doubts will arise concerning some things that are
not pleasing to the natural heart, and you will sit in
judgment upon the sermon as you would upon the
remarks of a lecturer or a political speaker. As soon
as the meeting closes you will be ready with some
complaint or sarcastic remark, thus showing that
the message, however true and needful, has not
profited you. You esteem it not; you have learned
the habit of criticizing and finding fault, and you
pick and choose, and perhaps reject the very things
that you most need.

    There is very little reverence for sacred things
in either the Upper Columbia or the North Pacific
Conference. The ordained instrumentalities of God
are almost entirely lost sight of. God has instituted
no new method of reaching the children of men. If
they cut themselves off from heaven's appointed
agencies to reprove their sins, correct their errors,

                         555
and point out the path of duty, there is no way to
reach them with any heavenly communication.
They are left in darkness and are ensnared and
taken by the adversary.

     The minister of God is commanded: "Cry
aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet,
and show My people their transgression, and the
house of Jacob their sins." The Lord says of these
people: "They seek Me daily, and delight to know
My ways, as a nation that did righteousness." Here
is a people who are self-deceived, self-righteous,
self-complacent, and the minister is commanded to
cry aloud and show them their transgressions. In all
ages this work has been done for God's people, and
it is needed now more than ever before.

    The word of the Lord came to Elijah; he did not
seek to be the Lord's messenger, but the word came
to him. God always has men to whom He entrusts
His message. His Spirit moves upon their hearts
and constrains them to speak. Stimulated by holy
zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon
them, they enter upon the performance of their duty

                        556
without coldly calculating the consequences of
speaking to the people the word which the Lord has
given them. But the servant of God is soon made
aware that he has risked something. He finds
himself and his message made the subject of
criticism. His manners, his life, his property, are all
inspected and commented upon. His message is
picked to pieces and rejected in the most illiberal
and unsanctified spirit, as men in their finite
judgment see fit. Has that message done the work
that God designed it should accomplish? No; it has
signally failed because the hearts of the hearers
were unsanctified.

    If the minister's face is not flint, if he has not
indomitable faith and courage, if his heart is not
made strong by constant communion with God, he
will begin to shape his testimony to please the
unsanctified ears and hearts of those he is
addressing. In endeavoring to avoid the criticism to
which he is exposed, he separates from God and
loses the sense of divine favor, and his testimony
becomes tame and lifeless. He finds that his
courage and faith are gone and his labors

                         557
powerless. The world is full of flatterers and
dissemblers who have yielded to the desire to
please; but the faithful men, who do not study self-
interest, but love their brethren too well to suffer
sin upon them, are few indeed.

    It is Satan's settled purpose to cut off all
communication between God and His people, that
he may practice his deceptive wiles with no voice
to warn them of their danger. If he can lead men to
distrust the messenger or to attach no sacredness to
the message, he knows that they will feel under no
obligation to heed the word of God to them. And
when light is set aside as darkness, Satan has things
his own way.

     Our God is a jealous God; He is not to be
trifled with. He who does all things according to
the counsel of His own will has been pleased to
place men under various circumstances, and to
enjoin upon them duties and observances peculiar
to the times in which they live and the conditions
under which they are placed. If they would prize
the light given them, their faculties would be

                        558
greatly enlarged and ennobled, and broader views
of truth would be opened before them. The
mysteries of eternal things, and especially the
wonderful grace of God as manifested in the plan
of redemption, would be unfolded to their minds;
for spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

    We are never to forget that Christ teaches
through His servants. There may be conversions
without the instrumentality of a sermon. Where
persons are so situated that they are deprived of
every means of grace, they are wrought upon by
the Spirit of God and convinced of the truth
through reading the word; but God's appointed
means of saving souls is through "the foolishness
of preaching." Though human, and compassed with
the frailties of humanity, men are God's
messengers; and the dear Saviour is grieved when
so little is effected by their labors. Every minister
who goes out into the great harvest field should
magnify his office. He should not only seek to
bring men to the knowledge of the truth, but he
should labor, as did Paul, "warning every man, and
teaching every man in all wisdom," that he may

                        559
"present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."

     The man is to be regarded and honored only as
God's ambassador. To praise the man is not
pleasing to God. The message he brings is to be
brought to the test of the Bible. "To the law and to
the testimony: if they speak not according to this
word, it is because there is no light in them." But
the word of the Lord is not to be judged by a
human standard. It will be seen that those whose
minds have the mold of earthliness, those who have
a limited Christian experience and know but little
of the things of God, are the ones who have the
least respect for God's servants and the least
reverence for the message He bids them bear. They
listen to a searching discourse and go to their
homes prepared to sit in judgment on it, and the
impression disappears from their minds like the
morning dew before the sun. If the preaching is of
an emotional character, it will affect the feelings,
but not the heart and conscience. Such preaching
results in no lasting good, but it often wins the
hearts of the people and calls out their affections
for the man who pleases them. They forget that

                        560
God has said: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is
in his nostrils."

   Jesus is waiting with longing desire to open
before His people the glory that will attend His
second advent, and to carry them forward to a
contemplation of the landscapes of bliss. There are
wonders to be revealed. A long lifetime of prayer
and research will leave much unexplored and
unexplained. But what we know not now will be
revealed hereafter. The work of instruction begun
here will be carried on to all eternity. The Lamb, as
He leads the hosts of the redeemed to the Fountain
of living waters, will impart rich stores of
knowledge; He will unravel mysteries in the works
and providence of God that have never before been
understood.

    We can never by searching find out God. He
does not lay open His plans to prying, inquisitive
minds. We must not attempt to lift with
presumptuous hand the curtain behind which He
veils His majesty. The apostle exclaims: "How
unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past

                        561
finding out!" It is a proof of His mercy that there is
the hiding of His power, that He is enshrouded in
the awful clouds of mystery and obscurity; for to
lift the curtain that conceals the divine presence is
death. No mortal mind can penetrate the secrecy in
which the Mighty One dwells and works. We can
comprehend no more of His dealings with us and
the motives that actuate Him than He sees fit to
reveal. He orders everything in righteousness, and
we are not to be dissatisfied and distrustful, but to
bow in reverent submission. He will reveal to us as
much of His purposes as it is for our good to know;
and beyond that we must trust the hand that is
omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.




                         562
                    Chapter 33

    Fidelity and Perseverance
              Needed

    The state of the church in ——- is far from
what it should be. Unless there is a decided change,
it will wither and die. There is much faultfinding;
many are giving way to doubt and unbelief. Those
who talk faith and cultivate faith will have faith,
but those who cherish and express doubts will have
doubts.

    There has been a neglect on the part of the
ministers. They have not urged home to the hearts
of their hearers the necessity of faithfulness. They
have not educated the church on all points of truth
and duty nor labored with zeal to bring them into
working order and to get them interested in every
branch of the cause of God. I have been shown that
had the church been properly educated, they would
have been far in advance of their present position.
The neglect on the part of the ministers has made
                        563
the people careless and unfaithful. They have not
felt their individual responsibility, but have
excused themselves on account of the failure of the
ministers to do the work of a pastor. But God does
not hold them excused. Had they no Bible, had
they no warnings, reproofs, and entreaties from
heaven to bring duty to their minds, there would be
less condemnation. But the Lord has given counsel
and instruction; the duty of each individual has
been made so plain that he need make no mistake.

    God gives light to guide those who honestly
desire light and truth; but it is not His purpose to
remove all cause for questioning and doubt. He
gives sufficient evidence to found faith upon, and
then requires men to accept that evidence and
exercise faith.

    He who will study the Bible with a humble and
teachable spirit will find it a sure guide, pointing
out the way of life with unfailing accuracy. But
what does your study of the Bible avail, brethren
and sisters, unless you practice the truths it
teaches? That holy book contains nothing that is

                        564
nonessential; nothing is revealed that has not a
bearing upon our actual lives. The deeper our love
for Jesus, the more highly we shall regard that
word as the voice of God directly to us.

    The church in ——- is standing on Satan's
enchanted ground, and there is necessity for a
thorough conversion. Individual effort is needed.
The rich promises of the Bible are for those who
take up their cross and deny self daily. Everyone
who has a sincere desire to be a learner in the
school of Christ will cultivate spiritual-mindedness
and will avail himself of every means of grace, but
in this church opportunities and privileges have
been slighted. One may be able to say but few
words in public and to do but little in the vineyard
of the Lord, but he is in duty bound to say
something and to be an interested worker. Every
member should help to strengthen and sustain the
church; but in many cases there are one or two who
have the spirit of faithfulness that characterized
Caleb of old, and these are permitted to bear the
burdens and take the responsibilities, while the rest
shirk all care.

                        565
     Caleb was faithful and steadfast. He was not
boastful, he made no parade of his merits and good
deeds; but his influence was always on the side of
right. And what was his reward? When the Lord
denounced judgments against the men who refused
to hearken to His voice, He said: "But My servant
Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and
hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the
land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess
it." While the cowards and murmurers perished in
the wilderness, faithful Caleb had a home in the
promised Canaan. "Them that honor Me I will
honor," saith the Lord.

   Hannah prayed and trusted; and in her son
Samuel she gave to the Israel of God a most
precious treasure—a useful man, with a well-
formed character, one who was as firm as a rock
where principle was concerned.

    In Joppa there was a Dorcas, whose skillful
fingers were more active than her tongue. She
knew who needed comfortable clothing and who

                       566
needed sympathy, and she freely ministered to the
wants of both classes. And when Dorcas died, the
church in Joppa realized their loss. It is no wonder
that they mourned and lamented, nor that warm
teardrops fell upon the inanimate clay. She was of
so great value that by the power of God she was
brought back from the land of the enemy, that her
skill and energy might still be a blessing to others.

    Such patient, prayerful, and persevering fidelity
as was possessed by these saints of God is rare; yet
the church cannot prosper without it. It is needed in
the church, in the Sabbath school, and in society.
Many come together in church relationship with
their natural traits of character unsubdued; and in a
crisis, when strong, hopeful spirits are needed, they
give up to discouragement and bring burdens on
the church; and they do not see that this is wrong.
The cause does not need such persons, for they are
unreliable; but there is always a call for steadfast,
God-fearing workers, who will not faint in the day
of adversity.

   There are some in the church in ——- who will

                        567
cause trouble, for their wills have never been
brought into harmony with the will of Christ.
Brother E will be a great hindrance to this church.
When he can have the supremacy he is satisfied,
but when he cannot stand first he is always upon
the wrong side. He moves from impulse. He will
not draw in even cords, but questions and takes
opposite views, because it is his nature to be
faultfinding and an accuser of his brethren. While
he claims to be very zealous for the truth, he is
drawing away from the body; he is not strong in
moral power, rooted and grounded in the faith. The
holy principles of truth are not made a part of his
nature. He cannot be trusted; God is not pleased
with him.

    Brother and Sister E have not regarded the
directions of God's word in the training of their
children. These children have been allowed to
control at home to a very great degree and have
come and gone as they pleased. Unless they are
placed under entirely different influences they will
be found in the enemy's ranks, warring against
order, discipline, and subordination. Children thus

                        568
left to have their own way are not happy; and
where parental authority is lightly regarded, the
authority of God will not be respected.

    The work of the parent is solemn and sacred;
but many do not realize this because their eyes are
blinded by the enemy of all righteousness. Their
children are allowed to grow up undisciplined,
uncourteous, forward, self-confident, unthankful,
and unholy, when a firm, decided, even course, in
which justice and mercy are blended with patience
and self-control, would produce wonderful results.

    Brother E must have transforming grace. There
is no safety for him while he retains his natural
defects of character, and he must war against them
continually. Unless he will live a watchful,
prayerful life he will not be well balanced, and
there is danger that the truth will be hindered,
misrepresented, and brought into disrepute through
his influence. Let him be careful lest he awaken in
unbelievers prejudices that can never be removed.

   There is in human nature a tendency to run to

                       569
extremes and from one extreme to another entirely
opposite. Many are fanatics. They are consumed by
a fiery zeal which is mistaken for religion, but
character is the true test of discipleship. Have they
the meekness of Christ? have they His humility and
sweet benevolence? Is the soul-temple emptied of
pride, arrogance, selfishness, and censoriousness?
If not, they know not what manner of spirit they are
of. They do not realize that true Christianity
consists in bearing much fruit to the glory of God.

    Others go to an extreme in their conformity to
the world. There is no clear, distinct line of
separation between them and the worldling. If in
one case men are driven away from the truth by a
harsh, censorious, condemnatory spirit, in this they
are led to conclude that the professed Christian is
destitute of principle and knows nothing of a
change of heart or character. "Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,"
are the words of Christ.

   There are many who have not a correct

                        570
knowledge of what constitutes a Christian
character, and their lives are a reproach to the
cause of truth. If they were thoroughly converted
they would not bear briers and thorns, but rich
clusters of the precious fruits of the Spirit,— "love,
joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance." The great danger is
in neglecting a heartwork. Many feel well pleased
with themselves; they think that a nominal
observance of the divine law is sufficient, while
they are unacquainted with the grace of Christ, and
He is not abiding in the heart by living faith.

    "Without Me," says Christ, "ye can do
nothing;" but with His divine grace working
through our human efforts, we can do all things.
His patience and meekness will pervade the
character, diffusing a precious radiance which
makes bright and clear the pathway to heaven. By
beholding and imitating His life we shall become
renewed in His image. The glory of heaven will
shine in our lives and be reflected upon others. At
the throne of grace we are to find the help we need
to enable us to live thus. This is genuine

                         571
sanctification, and what more exalted position can
mortals desire than to be connected with Christ as a
branch is joined to the vine?

    I have seen a device representing a bullock
standing between a plow and an altar, with the
inscription, "Ready for either"—willing to swelter
in the weary furrow or to bleed on the altar of
sacrifice. This is the position the child of God
should ever be in—willing to go where duty calls,
to deny self, and to sacrifice for the cause of truth.
The Christian church was founded upon the
principle of sacrifice. "If any man will come after
Me," says Christ, "let him deny himself, and take
up his cross daily, and follow Me." He requires the
whole heart, the entire affections. The exhibitions
of zeal, earnestness, and unselfish labor which His
devoted followers have given to the world should
kindle our ardor and lead us to emulate their
example. Genuine religion gives an earnestness and
fixedness of purpose which molds the character to
the divine image and enables us to count all things
but loss for the excellency of Christ. This
singleness of purpose will prove an element of

                         572
tremendous power.

    We have a greater and more solemn truth than
was ever before committed to mortals, and we are
responsible for the way we treat that truth. Every
one of us should be intent on saving souls. We
should show the power of the truth upon our own
hearts and characters, while doing all we can to
win others to love it. To bring a sinner to Christ is
to elevate, dignify, and ennoble his whole
character, and make him a blessing in the home, in
society, and in the church. Is not this a work that is
worthy of our noblest powers?

    Persons of little talent, if faithful in keeping
their hearts in the love of God, may win many
souls to Christ. Harlan Page was a poor mechanic
of ordinary ability and limited education; but he
made it his chief business to seek to advance the
cause of God, and his efforts were crowned with
marked success. He labored for the salvation of his
fellow men in private conversation and in earnest
prayer. He established prayer meetings, organized
Sunday schools, and distributed tracts and other

                         573
religious reading. And on his deathbed, with the
shadow of eternity resting upon his countenance,
he was able to say: "I know that it is all of God's
grace, and not through any merit of anything that I
have done, but I think I have evidence that more
than one hundred souls have been converted to
God through my personal instrumentality."

    Every member of the church should be
instructed in a regular system of labor. All are
required to do something for the Lord. They may
interest persons to read; they may converse and
pray with them. The minister who shall educate,
discipline, and lead an army of efficient workers
will have glorious conquests here, and a rich
reward awaits him when, around the great white
throne, he shall meet those saved through his
influence.

    Do something, do it soon, with all thy might;
    An angel's wing would droop if long at rest;
    And God Himself, inactive, were no longer
blest.


                       574
    After the church in ——- came to the
knowledge of the truth, they would have been
fruitful in good works, and would have had an
influence that would make them a power on the
side of right, had they manifested becoming
earnestness, zeal, and love. But they have been
indifferent, and have been growing cold and dead.
Some have attended social meetings when they
have carried with them the atmosphere of earth
rather than that of heaven. The church has not been
ready to respond to the efforts that have been made
for them. In their present state they cannot see or
realize the need of co-operation on their part; and
their lack of earnestness and consecration has
discouraged the ministers. Instead of this
carelessness, there should have been a feeling of
individual responsibility. This church will never
prosper until the members commence the work of
reform in their own hearts. Many who profess the
faith are easily satisfied; if they come up to a few
points of self-denial and reform they do not see the
necessity of going further. Why is there such a
resting on the lees? There is no halting place for us
this side of heaven. None of us should be content

                        575
with our present spiritual attainments. No one is
living up to his opportunities unless he can show
continual progress. He must be climbing, still
climbing. It is the privilege of every Christian to
grow up until he shall reach the full stature of a
man in Christ Jesus.

    How much the dear people in ——- need
instruction in personal godliness; how much they
need pastoral labor. But they do not do as well as
they know. God will test you, brethren, and some
will prove to be chaff and some precious grains of
wheat. Yield not to the power of the tempter. He
will come as a strong man armed, but give him no
advantage. Nerve yourselves for duty, and dispute
every inch of ground. Instead of retreating,
advance; instead of becoming weak and nerveless,
brace yourselves for the conflict. God calls on you
to engage with all your powers against sin in every
form. Put on the whole armor of God, and keep
your eye steadily fixed on the Captain of your
salvation; for there is danger ahead. Follow no
false colors, but watch the banner of our holy faith,
and be found where that waves, even though it be

                        576
in the thickest of the fight. Soon the warfare will be
over and the victory won, and if you are faithful
you will come off more than conquerors through
Him that has loved you. The glorious prize, the
eternal weight of glory, will then be yours.




                         577
                    Chapter 34

      Sinfulness of Repining

    Dear Friends: I have been shown that as a
family you experience much needless unhappiness.
God has not designed that you should be miserable;
but you have taken your minds from Jesus and
centered them too much upon yourselves. The
great sin of your family is that of needless repining
over God's providences; your unsubmissiveness in
this respect is indeed alarming. You have
magnified small difficulties and have talked
discouragements too much. You have a habit of
draping everything about you in mourning and
have made yourselves unhappy without cause.
Your continued murmurings are separating you
from God.

   You should keep off from Satan's enchanted
ground and not allow your minds to be swayed
from allegiance to God. Through Christ you may
and should be happy and should acquire habits of

                        578
self-control. Even your thoughts must be brought
into subjection to the will of God and your feelings
under the control of reason and religion. Your
imagination was not given you to be allowed to run
riot and have its own way without any effort at
restraint or discipline. If the thoughts are wrong the
feelings will be wrong, and the thoughts and
feelings combined make up the moral character.
When you decide that as Christians you are not
required to restrain your thoughts and feelings you
are brought under the influence of evil angels and
invite their presence and their control. If you yield
to your impressions and allow your thoughts to run
in a channel of suspicion, doubt, and repining you
will be among the most unhappy of mortals, and
your lives will prove a failure.

   Dear Sister F, you have a diseased imagination;
and you dishonor God by allowing your feelings to
have complete control of your reason and
judgment. You have a determined will, which
causes the mind to react upon the body,
unbalancing the circulation and producing
congestion in certain organs; and you are

                         579
sacrificing health to your feelings.

    You are making a mistake, which, if not
corrected, will not end with wrecking your own
happiness merely. You are doing positive injury,
not only to yourself, but to the other members of
your family, and especially your mother. She is
very nervous and highly sensitive. If one of her
children is suffering, she becomes confused and
almost distracted. Her mind is becoming
unbalanced by the frequent fits of hysteria which
she is compelled to witness, and great unhappiness
is brought upon all around you. And yet you are
capable of controlling your imagination and
overcoming these nervous attacks. You have will
power, and you should bring it to your aid. You
have not done this, but have let your highly
wrought imagination control reason. In this you
have grieved the Spirit of God. Had you no power
over your feelings, this would not be sin; but it will
not answer thus to yield to the enemy. Your will
needs to be sanctified and subdued instead of being
arrayed in opposition to that of God.


                         580
    My dear friends, instead of taking a course to
baffle disease, you are petting it and yielding to its
power. You should avoid the use of drugs and
carefully observe the laws of health. If you regard
your life you should eat plain food, prepared in the
simplest manner, and take more physical exercise.
Each member of the family needs the benefits of
health reform. But drugging should be forever
abandoned; for while it does not cure any malady,
it enfeebles the system, making it more susceptible
to disease.

    Man has been placed in a world of sorrow,
care, and perplexity. He is placed here to be tested
and proved, as were Adam and Eve, that he may
develop a right character and bring harmony out of
discord and confusion. There is much for us to do
that is essential to our own happiness and that of
others. And there is much for us to enjoy. Through
Christ we are brought into connection with God.
His mercies place us under continual obligation;
feeling unworthy of His favors, we are to
appreciate even the least of them.


                         581
    For all that you have and are, dear friends, you
are indebted to God. He has given you powers that,
to a certain extent, are similar to those which He
Himself possesses; and you should labor earnestly
to develop these powers, not to please and exalt
self, but to glorify Him. You have not improved
your privileges to the best advantage. You should
educate yourselves to bear responsibilities. Intellect
must be cultivated; if left to rust from inaction it
will become debased.

     This earth is the Lord's. Here it may be seen
that nature, animate and inanimate, obeys His will.
God created man a superior being; he alone is
formed in the image of God and is capable of
partaking of the divine nature, of co-operating with
his Creator and executing His plans; and he alone
is found at war with God's purposes.

    How wonderfully, with what marvelous beauty,
has everything in nature been fashioned.
Everywhere we see the perfect works of the great
Master Artist. The heavens declare His glory, and
the earth, which is formed for the happiness of

                         582
man, speaks to us of His matchless love. Its surface
is not a monotonous plain, but grand old mountains
rise to diversify the landscape. There are sparkling
streams and fertile valleys, beautiful lakes, broad
rivers, and the boundless ocean. God sends the dew
and the rain to refresh the thirsty earth. The
breezes, that promote health by purifying and
cooling the atmosphere, are controlled by His
wisdom. He has placed the sun in the heavens to
mark the periods of day and night, and by its genial
beams give light and warmth to the earth, causing
vegetation to flourish.

    I call your attention to these blessings from the
bounteous hand of God. Let the fresh glories of
each new morning awaken praise in your hearts for
these tokens of His loving care. But while our kind
heavenly Father has given us so many things to
promote our happiness, He has given us also
blessings in disguise. He understands the
necessities of fallen man; and while He has given
us advantages on the one hand, on the other there
are inconveniences which are designed to stimulate
us to use the ability He has given us. These develop

                        583
patient industry, perseverance, and courage.

    There are evils which man may lessen but can
never remove. He is to overcome obstacles and
make his surroundings instead of being molded by
them. He has room to exercise his talents in
bringing order and harmony out of confusion. In
this work he may have divine aid if he will claim it.
He is not left to battle with temptations and trials in
his own strength. Help has been laid upon One who
is mighty. Jesus left the royal courts of heaven and
suffered and died in a world degraded by sin, that
He might teach man how to pass through the trials
of life and overcome its temptations. Here is a
pattern for us.

    As the benefits conferred upon His creatures by
our heavenly Father are recounted, do you not feel
reproved for your ungrateful repinings? For a
number of years He lent you a daughter and sister,
until you began to regard her as yours and felt that
you had a right to this good gift. God heard your
murmurings. If there was a cloud in sight, you
seemed to forget that the sun ever shone; and

                         584
clouds and darkness were ever about you. God sent
you affliction; He removed your treasure from you
that you might discern between prosperity and real
sorrow. But you did not subdue your hearts before
Him and repent of the great sin of ingratitude
which had separated you from His love. Like Job,
you felt that you had cause for grief, and would not
be comforted. Was this reasonable? You know that
death is a power that none can resist; but you have
made your lives nearly useless by your unavailing
grief. Your feelings have been little less than
rebellion against God. I saw you all dwelling upon
your bereavement, and giving way to your
excitable feelings, until your noisy demonstrations
of grief caused angels to hide their faces and
withdraw from the scene.

    While thus giving way to your feelings, did you
remember that you had a Father in heaven who
gave His only Son to die for us that death might not
be an eternal sleep? Did you remember that the
Lord of life and glory passed through the tomb and
brightened it with His own presence? Said the
beloved disciple: "Write, Blessed are the dead

                        585
which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith
the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and
their works do follow them." The apostle well
knew what he was talking about when he wrote
these words; but when you give way to
uncontrollable grief, is your conduct consistent
with the comfort which they express?

    The Lord is gracious, merciful, and true. He has
permitted the one of your household band who was
the most innocent and the best prepared to rest
through the perils of the last days. Oh! do not shut
up your souls against melody and joy, mourning as
though there were to be no resurrection of the dead,
but praise God that for her there is no more death,
no more trial, no more sorrow. She rests in Jesus
until the Life-giver shall call forth His sleeping
saints to a glorious immortality.

    F has a work to do, through the grace of God,
to control her feelings. She knows that she is not in
heaven, but in a world where death reigns and
where our loved ones may be removed from us at
any moment. She should feel that the great burden

                        586
of life is to prepare for a better world. If she has a
right hold on eternal life, it will not disqualify her
for living in this world and nobly bearing life's
burdens, but it will help her in the performance of
self-denying, self-sacrificing duties.

    As a family you have talked darkness and
complaining until you are changed into the same
image. You seem to work upon one another's
sympathies and to arouse nervous excitability until
you have a dark, sad, dismal time by yourselves.
You have held mourning services, but these do not
attract angels around you. If you do not change
your course, God will come a little closer and deal
with you in judgment. Is it not time that you hold
thanksgiving services in your home and recount
with rejoicing the blessings that have been
bestowed upon you?

    The power of the truth should be sufficient to
sustain and console in every adversity. It is in
enabling its possessor to triumph over affliction
that the religion of Christ reveals its true value. It
brings the appetites, the passions, and the emotions

                         587
under the control of reason and conscience, and
disciplines the thoughts to flow in a healthful
channel. And then the tongue will not be left to
dishonor God by expressions of sinful repining.

    Our Creator justly claims the right to do as He
chooses with the creatures of His hand. He has a
right to govern as He will, and not as man chooses.
But He is not a severe judge, a harsh, exacting
creditor. He is the very fountain of love, the giver
of blessings innumerable. It should cause you the
deepest grief that you have disregarded such love,
and have not let gratitude and praise well up in
your hearts for the marvelous goodness of God. We
do not deserve all His benefits; but they are
continued to us, notwithstanding our unworthiness
and cruel ingratitude. Then cease to complain as
though you were bond servants under a hard
taskmaster. Jesus is good. Praise Him. Praise Him
who is the health of your countenance, and your
God.




                        588
                    Chapter 35

       “Praise Ye the Lord! ”

    "Let everything that hath breath praise the
Lord." Have any of us duly considered how much
we have to be thankful for? Do we remember that
the mercies of the Lord are new every morning and
that His faithfulness faileth not? Do we
acknowledge our dependence upon Him and
express gratitude for all His favors? On the
contrary, we too often forget that "every good gift
and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh
down from the Father of lights."

     How often those who are in health forget the
wonderful mercies that are continued to them day
by day, year after year. They render no tribute of
praise to God for all His benefits. But when
sickness comes, God is remembered. The strong
desire for recovery leads to earnest prayer, and this
is right. God is our refuge in sickness as in health.
But many do not leave their cases with Him; they

                        589
encourage weakness and disease by worrying about
themselves. If they would cease repining and rise
above depression and gloom, their recovery would
be more sure. They should remember with
gratitude how long they enjoyed the blessing of
health; and should this precious boon be restored to
them, they should not forget that they are under
renewed obligations to their Creator. When the ten
lepers were healed, only one returned to find Jesus
and give Him glory. Let us not be like the
unthinking nine, whose hearts were untouched by
the mercy of God.

    God is love. He has a care for the creatures He
has formed. "Like as a father pitieth his children,
so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him." Behold,
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."
What a precious privilege is this, that we may be
sons and daughters of the Most High, heirs of God
and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Then let us not
mourn and grieve because in this life we are not
free from disappointments and afflictions. If in the
providence of God we are called upon to endure

                        590
trials, let us accept the cross and drink the bitter
cup, remembering that it is a Father's hand that
holds it to our lips. Let us trust Him in the darkness
as well as in the day. Can we not believe that He
will give us everything that is for our good? "He
that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up
for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely
give us all things?" Even in the night of affliction
how can we refuse to lift heart and voice in grateful
praise, when we remember the love to us expressed
by the cross of Calvary?

    What a theme for meditation is the sacrifice
that Jesus made for lost sinners! "He was wounded
for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon
Him; and with His stripes we are healed." How
shall we estimate the blessings thus brought within
our reach? Could Jesus have suffered more? Could
He have purchased for us richer blessings? Should
it not melt the hardest heart when we remember
that for our sakes He left the happiness and glory
of heaven and suffered poverty and shame, cruel
affliction and a terrible death? Had He not by His

                         591
death and resurrection opened for us the door of
hope, we should have known nothing but the
horrors of darkness and the miseries of despair. In
our present state, favored and blessed as we are, we
cannot realize from what depths we have been
rescued. We cannot measure how much deeper our
afflictions would have been, how much greater our
woes, had not Jesus encircled us with His human
arm of sympathy and love, and lifted us up.

    We may rejoice in hope. Our Advocate is in the
heavenly sanctuary, pleading in our behalf.
Through His merits we have pardon and peace. He
died that He might wash away our sins, clothe us
with His righteousness, and fit us for the society of
heaven, where we may dwell in light forever. Dear
brother, dear sister, when Satan would fill your
mind with despondency, gloom, and doubt, resist
his suggestions. Tell him of the blood of Jesus, that
cleanses from all sin. You cannot save yourself
from the tempter's power, but he trembles and flees
when the merits of that precious blood are urged.
Then will you not gratefully accept the blessings
Jesus bestows? Will you not take the cup of

                        592
salvation that He presents, and call on the name of
the Lord? Do not show distrust of Him who has
called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Do not for a moment pain the heart of the pitying
Saviour by your unbelief. He watches with the
most intense interest your progress in the heavenly
way; He sees your earnest efforts; He notes your
declensions and your recoveries, your hopes and
your fears, your conflicts and your victories.

    Shall all our devotional exercises consist in
asking and receiving? Shall we be always thinking
of our wants and never of the benefits we receive?
Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never
express our gratitude to God, never praise Him for
what He has done for us? We do not pray any too
much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If
the loving-kindness of God called forth more
thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more
power in prayer. We would abound more and more
in the love of God and have more bestowed to
praise Him for. You who complain that God does
not hear your prayers, change your present order
and mingle praise with your petitions. When you

                        593
consider His goodness and mercies you will find
that He will consider your wants.

    Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but
do not forget to praise. It becomes every child of
God to vindicate His character. You can magnify
the Lord; you can show the power of sustaining
grace. There are multitudes who do not appreciate
the great love of God nor the divine compassion of
Jesus. Thousands even regard with disdain the
matchless grace shown in the plan of redemption.
All who are partakers of this great salvation are not
clear in this matter. They do not cultivate grateful
hearts. But the theme of redemption is one that the
angels desire to look into; it will be the science and
the song of the ransomed throughout the ceaseless
ages of eternity. Is it not worthy of careful thought
and study now? Should we not praise God with
heart and soul and voice "for His wonderful works
to the children of men"?

    Praise the Lord in the congregation of His
people. When the word of the Lord was spoken to
the Hebrews anciently, the command was: "And let

                         594
all the people say, Amen." When the ark of the
covenant was brought into the city of David, and a
psalm of joy and triumph was chanted, "all the
people said, Amen, and praised the Lord." This
fervent response was an evidence that they
understood the word spoken and joined in the
worship of God.

    There is too much formality in our religious
services. The Lord would have His ministers who
preach the word energized by His Holy Spirit; and
the people who hear should not sit in drowsy
indifference, or stare vacantly about, making no
responses to what is said. The impression that is
thus given to the unbeliever is anything but
favorable for the religion of Christ. These dull,
careless professed Christians are not destitute of
ambition and zeal when engaged in worldly
business; but things of eternal importance do not
move them deeply. The voice of God through His
messengers may be a pleasant song; but its sacred
warnings, reproofs, and encouragements are all
unheeded. The spirit of the world has paralyzed
them. The truths of God's word are spoken to

                       595
leaden ears and hard, unimpressible hearts. There
should be wide-awake, active churches to
encourage and uphold the ministers of Christ and
to aid them in the work of saving souls. Where the
church is walking in the light, there will ever be
cheerful, hearty responses and words of joyful
praise.

    Our God, the Creator of the heavens and the
earth, declares: "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth
Me." All heaven unite in praising God. Let us learn
the song of the angels now, that we may sing it
when we join their shining ranks. Let us say with
the psalmist: "While I live will I praise the Lord: I
will sing praises unto my God while I have any
being." "Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all
the people praise Thee."




                        596
                     Chapter 36

      Parental Responsibility

     Parents are in a great degree responsible for the
mold given to the characters of their children. They
should aim at symmetry and proportion. There are
few well-balanced minds, because parents are
wickedly negligent of their duty to stimulate weak
traits and repress wrong ones. They do not
remember that they are under the most solemn
obligation to watch the tendencies of each child,
that it is their duty to train their children to right
habits and right ways of thinking.

    Sometimes parents wait for the Lord to do the
very work that He has given them to do. Instead of
restraining and controlling their children as they
should, they pet and indulge them, and gratify their
whims and desires. When these children go out
from their early homes, it is with characters
deformed by selfishness, with ungoverned
appetites, with strong self-will; they are destitute of

                         597
courtesy or respect for their parents, and do not
love religious truth or the worship of God. They
have grown up with traits that are a lifelong curse
to themselves and to others. Home is made
anything but happy if the evil weeds of dissension,
selfishness, envy, passion, and sullen stubbornness
are left to flourish in the neglected garden of the
soul.

    Parents should show no partiality, but should
treat all their children with tenderness,
remembering that they are the purchase of Christ's
blood. Children imitate their parents; hence great
care should be taken to give them correct models.
Parents who are kind and polite at home, while at
the same time they are firm and decided, will see
the same traits manifested in their children. If they
are upright, honest, and honorable, their children
will be quite likely to resemble them in these
particulars. If they reverence and worship God,
their children, trained in the same way, will not
forget to serve Him also.

   It is often the case that parents are not careful

                        598
to surround their children with right influences. In
choosing a home they think more of their worldly
interests than of the moral and social atmosphere,
and the children form associations that are
unfavorable to the development of piety and the
formation of right characters. Then parents allow
the world to engross their time, strength, and
thought; and when the Sabbath comes, it finds
them so utterly exhausted that they have nought to
render to God on His holy day, no sweet piety to
grace the home and make the Sabbath a delight to
their children. They are seldom visited by a
minister, for they have placed themselves out of
reach of religious privileges. An apathy steals over
the soul. The children are contaminated by evil
communications, and the tenderness of soul that
they once felt dies away and is forgotten.

    Parents who denounce the Canaanites for
offering their children to Moloch, what are you
doing? You are making a most costly offering to
your mammon god; and then, when your children
grow up unloved and unlovely in character, when
they show decided impiety and a tendency to

                        599
infidelity, you blame the faith you profess because
it was unable to save them. You are reaping that
which you have sown—the result of your selfish
love of the world and neglect of the means of
grace. You moved your families into places of
temptation, and the ark of God, your glory and
defense, you did not consider essential; and the
Lord has not worked a miracle to deliver your
children from temptation.

    You who profess to love God, take Jesus with
you wherever you go; and, like the patriarchs of
old, erect an altar to the Lord wherever you pitch
your tent. A reformation in this respect is needed, a
reformation that shall be deep and broad. Parents
need to reform; ministers need to reform. They
need God in their households. They need to build
the waste places of Zion, to set up her gates and
make strong her walls for a defense of the people.

    There is earnest work to be done in this age,
and parents should educate their children to share
in it. The words of Mordecai to Esther may apply
to the men and youth of today: "Who knoweth

                        600
whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a
time as this?" Young men should be gaining
solidity of character, that they may be fitted for
usefulness. Daniel and Joseph were youth of firm
principle, whom God could use to carry out His
purposes. Mark their history, and see how God
wrought for them. Joseph met with a variety of
experiences, experiences that tested his courage
and uprightness to the fullest extent. After being
sold into Egypt he was at first favored and
entrusted with great responsibilities; but suddenly,
without any fault on his part, he was unjustly
accused and cast into prison. But he is not
discouraged. He trusts in God; and the purpose of
his heart, the purity of his motive, is made
manifest. The eye of God is upon him, a divine
hand leads him, and soon we see him come forth
from prison to share the throne of Egypt.

    Joseph's checkered life was not an accident; it
was ordered of Providence. But how was he
enabled to make such a record of firmness of
character, uprightness, and wisdom? It was the
result of careful training in his early years. He had

                        601
consulted duty rather than inclination; and the
purity and simple trust of the boy bore fruit in the
deeds of the man. The most brilliant talents are of
no value unless they are improved; industrious
habits and force of character must be gained by
cultivation. A high moral character and fine mental
qualities are not the result of accident. God gives
opportunities; success depends upon the use made
of them. The openings of Providence must be
quickly discerned and eagerly seized upon.

    Young men, if you would be strong, if you
would have the integrity and wisdom of a Joseph or
a Daniel, study the Scriptures. Parents, if you
would educate your children to serve God and do
good in the world, make the Bible your textbook. It
exposes the wiles of Satan. It is the great elevator
of the race, the reprover and corrector of moral
evils, the detector which enables us to distinguish
between the true and the false. Whatever else is
taught in the home or at school, the Bible, as the
great educator, should stand first. If it is given this
place, God is honored, and He will work for you in
the conversion of your children. There is a rich

                         602
mine of truth and beauty in this Holy Book, and
parents have themselves to blame if they do not
make it intensely interesting to their children.

    To many, education means a knowledge of
books; but "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of
wisdom." The true object of education is to restore
the image of God in the soul. The first and most
precious knowledge is the knowledge of Christ;
and wise parents will keep this fact ever before the
minds of their children. Should a limb be broken or
fractured, parents will try every means that love or
wisdom can suggest to restore the affected member
to comeliness and soundness. This is right; it is
their duty. But the Lord requires that still greater
tact, patience, and persevering effort be employed
to remedy blemishes of the soul. That father is
unworthy of the name who is not to his children a
Christian teacher, ruler, and friend, binding them to
his heart by the strong ties of sanctified love—a
love which has its foundation in duty faithfully
performed.

   Parents have a great and responsible work to

                        603
do, and they may well inquire: "Who is sufficient
for these things?" But God has promised to give
wisdom to those that ask in faith, and He will do
just as He said He would. He is pleased with the
faith that takes Him at His word. The mother of
Augustine prayed for her son's conversion. She saw
no evidence that the Spirit of God was impressing
his heart, but she was not discouraged. She laid her
finger upon the texts, presenting before God His
own words, and pleaded as only a mother can. Her
deep humiliation, her earnest importunities, her
unwavering faith, prevailed, and the Lord gave her
the desire of her heart. Today He is just as ready to
listen to the petitions of His people. His "hand is
not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear
heavy, that it cannot hear;" and if Christian parents
seek Him earnestly, He will fill their mouths with
arguments, and for His name's sake will work
mightily in their behalf in the conversion of their
children.




                        604
                    Chapter 37

     The Training of Children

    Dear Brother and Sister G: I am troubled in
reference to your case. I see dangers that you seem
never to have realized. Have you thoughtfully and
prayerfully considered your duty to the children
you have taken the responsibility of bringing into
the world? Have you thought whether these
children are receiving from you an education and
discipline that will lead them to honor their Creator
in the days of their youth? Have you considered
that if you fail to teach them to respect you, their
father and mother, and to yield to your authority,
you are educating them to dishonor God? Every
time you allow them to trample on your authority,
and their will to control yours, you are fostering a
defect which will be carried with them into all their
experience should they become religiously
inclined, and will teach them to disregard and
trample upon divine authority.


                        605
    The question to be settled by you is: "Am I
raising a family of children to strengthen the
influence and swell the ranks of the powers of
darkness, or am I bringing up children for Christ?"
If you do not govern your children and mold their
characters to meet the requirements of God, then
the fewer children there are to suffer from your
defective training the better it will be for you, their
parents, and the better it will be for society. Unless
children can be trained and disciplined from their
babyhood by a wise and judicious mother, who is
conscientious and intelligent, and who rules her
household in the fear of the Lord, molding and
shaping their characters to meet the standard of
righteousness, it is a sin to increase your family.
God has given you reason, and He requires you to
use it.

    You should feel under obligation, by patient,
painstaking effort and by earnest, fervent prayer, to
so form the characters of your children as to make
them a blessing in the home, a blessing in the
church, and a blessing in society. You will receive
no credit for your work if you allow your children

                         606
to be controlled by the enemy of all righteousness;
the reward is promised for conscientiously forming
their characters after the divine Pattern. If you
neglect this work, which is so far-reaching in its
results, because for the present it is more agreeable
for you to do so, and your children grow up
morally deformed, their feet in the broad road to
death, can God pronounce your work well done?
Those who cannot inform themselves, and work
intelligently with all their powers to bring their
children to Jesus, should decide not to take upon
themselves the responsibility of becoming parents.

    Mothers must be willing and even anxious to
qualify themselves for their important work of
developing the characters of their children,
guiding, instructing, and restraining their tender
charge. Fathers and mothers should be united in
this work. Weakness in requiring obedience, and
false love and sympathy—the false notion that to
indulge and not to restrain is wisdom—constitute a
system of training that grieves angels; but it
delights Satan, for it brings hundreds and
thousands of children into his ranks. This is why he

                        607
blinds the eyes of parents, benumbs their
sensibilities, and confuses their minds. They see
that their sons and daughters are not pleasant,
lovely, obedient, and care-taking; yet children
accumulate in their homes, to poison their lives, fill
their hearts with grief, and add to the number
whom Satan is using to allure souls to destruction.

    Oh! when will parents be wise? When will they
see and realize the character of their work in
neglecting to require obedience and respect
according to the instructions of God's word? The
results of this lax training are seen in the children
as they go out into the world and take their place at
the head of families of their own. They perpetuate
the mistakes of their parents. Their defective traits
have full scope; and they transmit to others the
wrong tastes, habits, and tempers that were
permitted to develop in their own characters. Thus
they become a curse instead of a blessing to
society.

   Because men and women do not obey God, but
choose their own way and follow their own

                         608
perverted imagination, Satan is permitted to set up
his hellish banner in their families and make his
power felt through babes, children, and youth. His
voice and will are expressed in the unsubdued will
and warped characters of the children, and through
them he exerts a controlling power and carries out
his plans. God is dishonored by the exhibition of
perverse tempers, which exclude reverence for Him
and induce obedience to Satan's suggestions. The
sin committed by parents in thus permitting Satan
to bear sway is beyond conception. They are
sowing seed which will produce briers and thorns,
and choke out every plant of heavenly growth; and
the harvest that will be gathered the judgment
alone will reveal. But how sad is the thought that
when life and its mistakes are viewed in the light of
eternity, it will be too late for this aftersight to be
of any avail.

    The utter neglect of training children for God
has perpetuated evil and thrown into the ranks of
the enemy many who with judicious care might
have been co-laborers with Christ. False ideas and
a foolish, misdirected affection have nurtured traits

                         609
which have made the children unlovely and
unhappy, have embittered the lives of the parents,
and have extended their baleful influence from
generation to generation. Any child that is
permitted to have his own way will dishonor God
and bring his father and mother to shame. Light has
been shining from the word of God and the
testimonies of His Spirit so that none need err in
regard to their duty. God requires parents to bring
up their children to know Him and to respect His
claims; they are to train their little ones, as the
younger members of the Lord's family, to have
beautiful characters and lovely tempers, that they
may be fitted to shine in the heavenly courts. By
neglecting their duty and indulging their children in
wrong, parents close to them the gates of the city of
God.

   These facts must be pressed home upon
parents; they must arouse, and take up their long-
neglected work. Parents who profess to love God
are not doing His will. Because they do not
properly restrain and direct their children,
thousands are coming up with deformed characters,

                        610
with lax morals, and with little education in the
practical duties of life. They are left to do as they
please with their impulses, their time, and their
mental powers. The loss to the cause of God in
these neglected talents lies at the door of fathers
and mothers; and what excuse will they render to
Him whose stewards they are, entrusted with the
sacred duty of fitting the souls under their charge to
improve all their powers to the glory of their
Creator?

    My dear brother and sister, may the Lord open
your eyes and quicken your minds, that you may
see and redeem your failures. You are neither of
you living with an eye single to the glory of God.
You show but little power to stand up for Jesus and
in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints.
You have neglected your duty in the family and
have proved that youth entrusted to your care are
not safe. Thus God looks upon your work in the
home; thus it stands registered in the books of
heaven. You might have brought many to Jesus;
but your want of moral courage has made you
unfaithful in every position.

                         611
    The errors in your lax system of family
government are revealed in the characters of your
children. You have not educated yourselves to
follow the instructions given in the word of God.
The evils resulting from your failures in duty are
becoming serious and deep. Sister G does not have
the right influence. She has yielded to the strong
wills of her wrong-minded children, and has
indulged them to their hurt. Both of you should
have taught your children from their very
babyhood that they could not control you, but that
your will was to be obeyed. Had Sister G received
the proper training in her childhood, had she been
disciplined and educated according to the word of
God, she would have a different mold of character
herself and would better understand the duties that
devolve upon her. She would know how to train
her children so as to make their ways pleasing to
God. But the defects that have resulted from her
own wrong training are reproduced in her children,
and what will be the nature of their work should
they ever stand at the head of families of their
own? The oldest may have some knowledge of

                       612
domestic duties; but, further than this, she is a mere
novice.

     With wise, firm government these children
might have been useful members of society; as it
is, they are a curse, a reproach to our faith. They
are vain, frivolous, willful, extravagant. They have
but little reverence for their parents, and their
consciences are far from sensitive. They have had
their own way, and their wishes have governed
their parents, until it is almost impossible to arouse
their moral sensibilities. The natural tendencies of
the parents, particularly those that are
objectionable, are strongly developed in the
children. The whole family, parents and children,
are under divine censure; and none of them can
hope to enter the peaceful abodes of bliss unless
they will take up their long-neglected duties and, in
the spirit of Christ, build up characters that God
can approve.

    Parents are responsible for the work coming
from their hands. They should have wisdom and
firmness to do their work faithfully and in the right

                         613
spirit. They are to train their children for usefulness
by developing their God-given talents. A failure to
do this should not be winked at, but should be
made a matter of church discipline, for it will bring
the curse of God on the parents and a reproach and
grievous trials and difficulties on the church. A
moral leprosy that is contagious, polluting the
bodies and souls of the youth, often results from a
failure to discipline and restrain the young; and it is
time that something was done to check its ravages.

    The Bible gives explicit directions concerning
the important work of educating children: "Hear, O
Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And
these words, which I command thee this day, shall
be in thine heart." The parents are themselves to be
connected with God; they are to have His fear
before them and to have a knowledge of His will.
Then comes their work: "And thou shalt teach them
diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou
walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and

                         614
when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a
sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets
between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them
upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."

    The Lord commanded Israel not to make
marriages with the idolatrous nations around them.
"Thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor
his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they
will turn away thy son from following Me, that
they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the
Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee
suddenly." "For thou art an holy people unto the
Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee
to be a special people unto Himself, above all
people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord
did not set His love upon you, nor choose you,
because ye were more in number than any people;
for ye were the fewest of all people: but because
the Lord loved you, and because He would keep
the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers."

   Here are positive directions that reach down to
our time. God is speaking to us in these last days,

                        615
and He will be understood and obeyed. God spoke
to Israel through His servants: "This book of the
law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou
shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou
mayest observe to do according to all that is written
therein: for then thou shalt make thy way
prosperous, and then thou shalt have good
success." "The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is
sure, making wise the simple." "The entrance of
Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding
unto the simple." "Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet, and a light unto my path."

    Here the duties of parents are clearly set forth.
The word of God is to be their daily monitor. It
gives such instruction that parents need not err in
regard to the education of their children; but it
admits of no indifference or negligence. The law of
God is to be kept before the minds of the children
as the great moral standard. When they rise up, and
when they sit down, when they go out, and when
they come in, this law is to be taught them as the
great rule of life, and its principles are to be

                        616
interwoven with all their experience. They are to be
taught to be honest, truthful, temperate,
economical, and industrious, and to love God with
the whole heart. This is bringing them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is setting
their feet in the path of duty and safety.

    Youth are ignorant and inexperienced, and the
love of the Bible and its sacred truths will not come
naturally. Unless great pains is taken to build up
around them barriers to shield them from Satan's
devices, they are subject to his temptations and are
led captive by him at his will. In their early years
children are to be taught the claims of God's law
and faith in Jesus our Redeemer to cleanse from the
stains of sin. This faith must be taught day by day,
by precept and example.

    A solemn responsibility rests upon parents, and
how can the Lord bless them in the positive neglect
of their duty? Children can be molded when they
are young. But years pass when their hearts are
tender and susceptible to the impressions of truth,
and but little time is devoted to their moral culture.

                         617
The precious lessons of truth and duty should be
instilled into their hearts daily. They should have a
knowledge of God in His created works; this will
be of greater value to them than any knowledge of
books.


    "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
God," are the words of our Saviour. Errors in
doctrine are multiplying and twining themselves
with serpentlike subtlety around the affections of
the people. There is not a doctrine of the Bible that
has not been denied. The great truths of prophecy,
showing our position in the history of the world,
have been shorn of their beauty and power by the
clergy, who seek to make these all-important truths
dark and incomprehensible. In many cases the
children are drifting away from the old landmarks.
The Lord commanded His people Israel: "When
thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What
mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the
judgments, which the Lord our God hath
commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son,

                        618
We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the
Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
and the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and
sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his
household, before our eyes: and He brought us out
from thence, that He might bring us in, to give us
the land which He sware unto our fathers. And the
Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear
the Lord our God, for our good always, that He
might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it
shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all
these commandments before the Lord our God, as
He hath commanded us."

    Here are principles that we are not to regard
with indifference. Those who have seen the truth
and felt its importance, and have had an experience
in the things of God, are to teach sound doctrine to
their children. They should make them acquainted
with the great pillars of our faith, the reasons why
we are Seventh-day Adventists,—why we are
called, as were the children of Israel, to be a
peculiar people, a holy nation, separate and distinct
from all other people on the face of the earth.

                        619
These things should be explained to the children in
simple language, easy to be understood; and as
they grow in years, the lessons imparted should be
suited to their increasing capacity, until the
foundations of truth have been laid broad and deep.

    Parents, you profess to be children of God; are
you obedient children? Are you doing the will of
your heavenly Father? Are you following His
directions, or are you walking in the light of sparks
of your own kindling? Are you daily working to
outgeneral the enemy and save your children from
his devices? Are you opening to them the precious
truths of the word of God, explaining to them the
reasons of our faith, that their young feet may be
planted on the platform of truth?

    The Bible with its precious gems of truth was
not written for the scholar alone. On the contrary, it
was designed for the common people; and the
interpretation given by the common people, when
aided by the Holy Spirit, accords best with the truth
as it is in Jesus. The great truths necessary for
salvation are made clear as the noonday, and none

                         620
will mistake and lose their way except those who
follow their own judgment instead of the plainly
revealed will of God.




                      621
                    Chapter 38

       Christian Forbearance

    Dear Brother and Sister H: In regard to your
present relations with the church I would advise
that you do all that can be done on your part to
come into harmony with your brethren. Cultivate a
kind, conciliatory spirit, and let no feeling of
retaliation come into your minds and hearts. We
have but a little time in this world, and let us work
for time and for eternity. Be diligent to make your
calling and election sure. See that you make no
mistake in regard to your title to a home in Christ's
kingdom. If your name is registered in the Lamb's
book of life, then all will be well with you. Be
ready and anxious to confess your faults and
forsake them, that your mistakes and sins may go
beforehand to judgment and be blotted out.

    I believe that you are making improvement; but
let the work be deeper, more thorough, more
earnest. Leave nothing undone that you can do.

                        622
Walk humbly with God, set your heart in order,
overcome self, and watch to avoid every device of
Satan. When the heart is in harmony with Jesus,
when in words, in spirit, and in deportment, you
copy the Pattern, the manners will be refined and
elevated, convincing all that there has been in you
a radical change. You will then be numbered
among the virtuous, God-fearing followers of
Jesus.

    My brother, you have a very spotted record.
God and your own soul know this. But no one will
be more rejoiced than I to see you setting your feet
in the way that Christ has walked, and to meet you
in the kingdom of God. It is difficult for us to
understand ourselves, to have a correct knowledge
of our own characters. The word of God is plain,
but often there is an error in applying it to one's
self. There is liability to self-deception and to think
its warnings and reproofs do not mean me. "The
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked: who can know it?" Self-flattery may be
construed into Christian emotion and zeal. Self-
love and confidence may give us assurance that we

                         623
are right when we are far from meeting the
requirements of God's word.

    The Bible is full, clear, and explicit; the
character of the true disciple of Christ is marked
out with exactness. We must search the Scriptures
with humble hearts, trembling at the word of the
Lord, if we would not be in any way deceived in
regard to our true character. There must be
persevering effort to overcome selfishness and self-
confidence. Self-examination must be thorough,
that there be no danger of self-deception. A little
catechizing of self on special occasions is not
sufficient. Daily examine the foundation of your
hope, and see whether you are indeed in the love of
Christ. Deal truly with your own hearts, for you
cannot afford to run any risk here. Count the cost
of being a wholehearted Christian, and then gird on
the armor. Study the Pattern; look to Jesus, and be
like Him. Your peace of mind, your hope of eternal
salvation, depend on faithfulness in this work. As
Christians we are less thorough in self-examination
than in anything else; it is no wonder, then, that we
make such slow advancement in understanding

                        624
self.

    I am writing these things to you because I want
you to be saved. I do not want to discourage you,
but to urge you to more earnest, vigorous effort.
Self-love will prompt you to make a superficial
work of self-examination; but let no vain
confidence cheat you out of eternal life. Do not
build yourself up on the mistakes and errors of
others, but between God and your own soul settle
the important question upon which hangs your
eternal destiny.

    "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but
the Lord looketh on the heart,"—the human heart,
with its conflicting emotions of joy and sorrow,—
the wandering, wayward heart, which is the abode
of so much impurity and deceit. He knows its
motives, its very intents and purposes. Go to Him
with your soul all stained as it is. Like the psalmist,
throw its chambers open to the all-seeing Eye,
exclaiming: "Search me, O God, and know my
heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if
there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the

                         625
way everlasting." Submit your heart to be refined
and purified; then you will become a partaker of
the divine nature, having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust. Then you will "be
ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with
meekness and fear." The peace of Christ will be
yours. Your name will stand registered in the book
of life; your title to the heavenly inheritance will
bear the royal signet, which none on earth dare
question. No one can bar your way to the portals of
the city of God, but you will have free access to the
royal presence and to the temple of God on high.

    A few words more press upon my mind. I want
you to be united with the church, not because I
regard all the church members perfect nor because
I regard you perfect. God has precious ones in His
church; there are also men and women who are as
tares among the wheat. But the Lord does not give
you or anyone else the office of saying who are
tares and who are wheat. We may see and condemn
the faults of others, while we have greater faults
which we have never realized, but which are

                        626
distinctly seen by others. God requires you to give
to the world and the church a good example, a life
that represents Jesus. There are duties to be
performed and responsibilities to be borne. The
world has not enough true Christians; the church
has need of them; society cannot spare them.
Christ's prayer for His disciples was: "I pray not
that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but
that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil."
Jesus knows we are in the world, exposed to its
temptations, but He loves us and will give us grace
to triumph over its corrupting influences. He would
have us perfect in character, that our waywardness
may not occasion moral deformity in others.

    You see that your brethren do not come up to
the Bible standard, that there are defects in them;
and you dwell upon these defects. You feed upon
them instead of feeding upon Christ, and by
beholding you become changed into the same
image. But criticize no one; do not contrast your
own exact course with the deficiencies of others.
You may be in danger of wanting to correct others
and make them feel their wrongs. Do not do this.

                       627
This is not the work God has given you to do. He
has not made you a church tinker. There are many
things which you view in the light of the Bible. But
though you may be in the right on some points, do
not get the impression that your positions are
always correct; for on many points your ideas are
distorted and will not bear criticism.


    Do not seek to exalt self, but learn in the school
of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart. You
know what Peter's character was, how strikingly
his peculiar traits were developed. Before his great
fall he was always forward and dictatorial,
speaking unadvisedly from the impulse of the
moment. He was always ready to correct others and
to express his mind before he had a clear
comprehension of himself or of what he had to say.
But Peter was converted, and the converted Peter
was very different from the rash, impetuous Peter.
While he retained his former fervor, the grace of
Christ regulated his zeal. Instead of being
impetuous, self-confident, and self-exalted, he was
calm, self-possessed, and teachable. He could then

                         628
feed the lambs as well as the sheep of Christ's
flock.

    You, my brother, have a great work to do for
yourself day by day. You must make constant
effort to curb bad tempers and evil propensities.
These have grown with your growth, and Jesus
alone can strengthen you to fully overcome them.
You should regard yourself as a servant of Christ
and seek to be like Him in character. Try to make
yourself agreeable to others. Even in your business
relations, be courteous, kind, and forbearing,
showing the meekness of Jesus and that His spirit
is ruling you. You are related to humanity, and you
must be patient, kind, and pitiful. You need to
cherish thoughtfulness and subdue selfishness. Let
your inquiry be: "What can I do to bless others?" If
your heart is yearning to do them good, even at
inconvenience to yourself, you will have the
blessing of God. Love, lifted out of the realm of
passion and impulse, becomes spiritualized and is
revealed in words and acts. A Christian must have
a sanctified tenderness and love, in which there is
no impatience or fretfulness; the rude, harsh

                        629
manners must be softened by the grace of Christ.

    O my brother, my sister, educate yourselves in
the school of Christ. Let the spirit of controversy
cease at home and in the church. Let your hearts be
drawn out in love for the people of God. Hearts
that are filled with the love of Christ can never get
very far apart. Religion is love, and a Christian
home is one where love reigns and finds expression
in words and acts of thoughtful kindness and gentle
courtesy. Let no harsh words be spoken. Let the
family worship be made pleasant and interesting.
Be a Christian gentleman, my brother; for the very
same principles that characterize the home life will
be carried into the church. A lack of courtesy, a
moment of petulance, a single rough, thoughtless
word, will mar your reputation and may close the
door to hearts so that you can never reach them.

     Now I have set before you your dangers, and I
tell you there are precious victories that you may
gain. We can never see the kingdom of heaven
unless we have the mind and spirit of Christ. Then
copy the pattern at home, at your work, and in the

                        630
church. Do not try to teach others nor to see how
widely you can differ from your brethren, but try to
see how near you can come to them, how fully you
can be in harmony with them. While doing all that
you can on your part to perfect Christian character,
give your heart to God for Him to mold according
to His pleasure. He will help you; I know He will.
May God bless you and your dear children; and
may I meet you all around the great white throne, is
my prayer.




                        631
                    Chapter 39

           Worldly Ambition

     My Dear Brother I: Since meeting you at the
Maine camp meeting I have felt that it is not too
late for you to set your heart and house in order. I
know that you have been impressed by the Spirit of
God; and now the question is: Will you, in
response to this invitation to repent, gladly
surrender your heart to God? Your case has been
presented to me in vision; but while you were so
completely under the control of the enemy of souls,
I had no courage to send you the message given me
of the Lord. I feared that you would make light of
it and that the Holy Spirit would be grieved away
for the last time. But now I feel urged to send you
this testimony, which will prove to you a savor of
life unto life or death unto death.

    Do not read this if you are decided to choose
darkness rather than light, to serve mammon rather
than Christ. But if you really want to do the will of

                        632
God, and are willing to be saved in His own
appointed way, then read the testimony; but do not
read it to cavil, nor to pervert, ridicule, and despise
it; for in that case it will be to you a savor of death
unto death, and will witness against you in the
judgment. Before reading this warning message, go
alone before God and ask Him to remove from you
the spirit of defiance, rebellion, and unbelief, and
to melt and subdue your stony heart.

    We do not understand the greatness and
majesty of God nor remember the immeasurable
distance between the Creator and the creatures
formed by His hand. He who sitteth in the heavens,
swaying the scepter of the universe, does not judge
according to our finite standard, nor reckon
according to our computation. We are in error if we
think that that which is great to us must be great to
God, and that which is small to us must be small to
Him. He would be no more exalted than ourselves
if He possessed only the same faculties.

   God does not regard all sins as of equal
magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His

                         633
estimation as well as in that of finite man. But
however trifling this or that wrong in their course
may seem in the eyes of men, no sin is small in the
sight of God. The sins which man is disposed to
look upon as small may be the very ones which
God accounts as great crimes. The drunkard is
despised and is told that his sin will exclude him
from heaven, while pride, selfishness, and
covetousness go unrebuked. But these are sins that
are especially offensive to God. He "resisteth the
proud," and Paul tells us that covetousness is
idolatry. Those who are familiar with the
denunciations against idolatry in the word of God
will at once see how grave an offense this sin is.

    God speaks through His prophet: "Let the
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man
his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and
He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for
He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts, are
not your thoughts neither are your ways, My ways,
saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts." We need

                       634
clear discernment, that we may measure sin by the
Lord's standard and not by our own. Let us take for
our rule, not human opinions, but the divine word.

    We are on the great battlefield of life, and let it
never be forgotten that we are individually
responsible for the issue of the struggle; that
though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, yet
should they deliver neither son nor daughter by
their righteousness. You, my brother, have not
thought of this. But you have justified your own
course because you thought that your brethren did
not do right. Sometimes you have acted like a
petted, spoiled child and have talked unbelief and
doubt to spite others; but will it pay? Is there
anything in your family, in the church, or in the
world to justify your indifference to the claims of
God? Will any of your excuses avail when you
stand face to face with the Judge of all the earth?
How foolish and sinful will your selfish, avaricious
course then appear. How unaccountable it will
seem to you that you could let worldly opinions
and worldly gain eclipse the reward to be given to
the faithful,—an eternity of bliss in the Paradise of

                         635
God.

    When you were in great physical suffering and
there was no hope for you in human skill, the Lord
pitied you and mercifully removed disease from
you. Satan has sought to afflict and ruin you, and
even to take your life; but your Saviour has
shielded you again and again, lest you should be
cut down when your heart was filled with a satanic
frenzy, your tongue uttering words of bitterness
and unbelief against the Bible and against the truth
you once advocated. When Satan has clamored for
you, claiming you as his own, Christ has repulsed
your cruel and malignant foe with the words: "I
have not yet withdrawn My Spirit from him. He
has two more steps to take before he will pass the
boundary of My mercy and love. Souls are the
purchase of My blood. The Lord rebuke thee, O
Satan; the Lord rebuke thee."

    I was then carried back in your life, and you
were shown to me when the truth found a response
in your heart. The Spirit of God convicted you of
the course you should pursue, and you had quite a

                        636
struggle with self. You had been a sharp, scheming
man. You had not done by others as you would
wish them to do by you, but had taken advantage of
them whenever you could. You had a close, stern
battle to fight to subdue self and mortify pride; and
it was only through the grace of God that this work
could be accomplished. Instead of effecting a
thorough reformation, you joined the truth to a
patched-up character, which would not stand the
test of temptation. You did not begin by seeking
God with a broken and contrite heart, and making
wrongs right. Had you done this, you would not
have stumbled and fallen into the snare of the
enemy. There was a mixture of selfishness in your
motives, which you yourself did not clearly see.
Arguments drawn from worldly interest, social
position, and comparative respectability influenced
you and decided you not to make earnest, thorough
work before God and men. Reaching after the
worldly standard marred the sincerity and purity of
your Christian character; and you failed to bring
forth fruits meet for repentance.

   Zacchaeus declared: "If I have taken anything

                        637
from any man by false accusation, I restore him
fourfold." You could at least have made efforts to
correct your acts of injustice to your fellow men.
You cannot make every case right, for some whom
you have injured have gone into their graves, and
the account stands registered against you. In these
cases the best you can do is to bring a trespass
offering to the altar of the Lord, and He will accept
and pardon you. But where you can, you should
make reparation to the wronged ones.

    Had the unbelievers with whom you have
associated seen in you the transforming power of
the truth, they would have had an argument in
favor of Christianity which they could not
controvert. You might thus have reflected a clear,
sharp light to the world; but instead of this you
have mingled with the world and imbibed its spirit.
My brother, you must be born again. A mere form
of Christianity is not of the least value. It is
destitute of saving power, having in it no
reformative energy. A religion which is confined to
Sabbath worship emits no rays of light to others. I
entreat you to examine your own heart closely.

                        638
You have a combative, contentious spirit, and you
are cultivating instead of repressing that spirit. You
should make a decided change, and cultivate
meekness, faith, humility, and love. Your soul is in
peril; you will surely be subject to the strong
delusions of Satan unless you stop where you are
and press against the current of worldliness and
ambition. Your relations with the world must be
changed, and a decided separation must take place.
The positions which you occupy, which are
continually opening to you doors of temptation,
must be given up. Avoid politics; shun contention.
Keep clear of every office which would encourage
those traits in your character that need to be battled
down and overcome.

    My brother, you must make a strong, decided
effort, or you will never be able to cast off the
works of darkness. Satan looks upon you as his
own. When you listen to the testimonies of God's
servants, as at the late camp meeting, you are
deeply convicted. But you do not respond to the
impressions of the Spirit of God; and as you mingle
with worldlings you drink in their spirit and are

                         639
borne down by the worldly current, having no
moral power to resist its influence. You become
one with the world-loving, and your spirit is worse
than theirs, for your choice is voluntary. You love
the praise of men, and you love worldly
possessions above Jesus. The love of mammon has
been woven into every fiber of your being and has
become all-absorbing. To eradicate it will be like
plucking out the right eye or cutting off the right
arm. But I speak to you as one who knows: Unless
you overcome this intense love of money, it will
cost you your soul's salvation, and then it would
have been better for you had you never been born.

    "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Just as
far as you love and cherish the spirit of the world
you will have a spirit of defiance and will question
and find fault with those who bring you the
message of truth. You will deride the truth, and
will become a false witness, an accuser of the
brethren. The talents given you of God to be
improved to His glory will be actively employed
against His work and cause. There is no concord
between Christ and Belial. You have already

                        640
chosen the friendship of the world, therefore you
are decidedly on the side of Satan. The natural
heart is at enmity against God, and will resist the
clearest evidence of truth. The wicked will not
endure the light that condemns their wrong course
of action.

    You have opened your heart to doubt and
skepticism, but you will never be able to be an
honest infidel. You may boast that you do not
believe the Bible; but you will be perjuring
yourself all the time, for you know better.

     I entreat you to make earnest work for eternal
life. Break the snare of Satan; work against his
devices. Let this be the language of your soul.
"There is nothing in the universe that I fear so
much as that I shall not know all my duty, or that,
knowing, I shall fail to do it." "Stand up for Jesus"
were the words of a dying saint. Yes, Brother I,
stand up for Jesus. It will take all to do this. You
may have to change your position in the world; but
a name, distinction, office, are to you a snare,
imperiling your soul. A calculating, worldly

                        641
wisdom is continually seeking to turn you away
from the Saviour. A bold, defiant, blasphemous
infidelity will attempt to crush His gospel, not only
out of your own soul, but out of the world. But
stand up for Jesus. In the presence of your relatives
and friends, in all your business relations, in your
associations with the world,—anywhere and
everywhere, under all circumstances,—stand up for
Jesus.




                        642
                    Chapter 40

       Love Among Brethren

    Dear Brethren and Sisters in ——-: My mind
has been exceedingly troubled in regard to your
condition. I have not been able to sleep, and I arise
at twelve o'clock to write to J, and to you as a
church. I do not know what might have been the
condition of J at the present time had you pursued a
righteous, Christian course toward him—such a
course as every child of God should pursue in such
a case. Some of you will not be able to comprehend
my words, for your own course has placed you
where you have not sanctified discernment. You
have allowed strong, hard feelings against him to
come into your hearts, and have justified
yourselves in treating him with indifference and
even contempt. You have reasoned that by his
unbelief and his wrong course he was certainly
injuring the church and endangering souls, and you
must have no fellowship with him. But will you, in
the light of God's great standard of righteousness,

                        643
critically examine every word and act of your own
that you can call to mind and compare these with
the life of Christ? If you have been doing the will
of God, then His light and His approval will second
your efforts, and prosperity will attend you. I wish
the members of this once prosperous church would
each begin to build over against his own house.
When they see their course in its true light they
will know that they have made a very great mistake
in allowing their own critical, pharisaical spirit to
control their tongues and develop itself in their
treatment of their brethren. This unchristian
harshness has excluded Jesus from the church and
has brought in a spirit of dissension. It has fostered
a disposition to judge and condemn, a hatred of
those who do not see things as you see them. Even
if your brethren say and do many things that really
injure you, will you push them to one side, and say:
"I am holier than thou"?

    "By their fruits ye shall know them." Christ has
not been revealed in your deportment toward some
who were much nearer the kingdom of heaven than
yourselves. The Lord has opened before you your

                         644
wrong toward His children—your want of mercy
and love, your determination to control minds and
make them see things just as you see them. And
when light came to you, what course did you take?
Did you merely admit that you were wrong, or did
you heartily confess your error and humble your
proud hearts before God? Did you cast aside your
ways and accept God's teachings? Did you go to
the very ones you had bruised and wounded, and
say: "I have been wrong; I have sinned against you.
Forgive me. I have failed; I have worked in my
own spirit. I had a zeal, but not according to
knowledge. It was the spirit of Jehu, rather than the
meekness and lowliness of Christ. The word of
God directs: 'Confess your faults one to another,
and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.'
Will you pray for me that God will forgive me for
the distress and anguish I have caused you?"

    If you who have engaged in this work of
bruising and condemning have not heartily
repented, then light, peace, and joy will not come
into your souls. When you are careful, kind, and
tender to your brethren in the same degree that you

                        645
have been hard, unforgiving, and oppressive, you
will confess your faults and make restitution as far
as possible; and when you have done all on your
part you may ask the Lord to do that which it is
impossible for you to do—heal the wounds you
have made, forgive you, and blot out your
transgression. When there is so great reluctance to
confess a wrong which is laid open and plain
before the erring, it shows that they are controlled
by their own untamable, unsanctified natures rather
than by the spirit of the gospel of Christ.

    If God has ever spoken by me, you have most
earnest work to do in zealous repentance for
showing to the erring the satanic element in your
character, not in coldness and indifference merely,
but in neglect and contempt. If they are indeed in
darkness and doing things that imperil their souls,
you should manifest the greater interest in them.
Show them that while you will be true to principle
and will not swerve from the right, you love their
souls. Let them know by your words and actions
that you have not a spirit of revenge and retaliation,
but that for their sakes you will sacrifice feeling

                         646
and subdue self. Represent Jesus, our pattern;
manifest His spirit at all times and under all
circumstances, and let that mind be in you which
was in Christ Jesus. Your ways have not been
God's ways; your will has not been God's will. The
precious plant of love has not been cultivated, and
watered by the dews of grace. Self-love, self-
righteousness, self-complacency, have exerted a
controlling power.

     What has Jesus done for you, and what is He
continually doing for us individually? What have
you that you have not received? Said Christ: "I am
the Vine, ye are the branches." "Every branch in
Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every
branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may
bring forth more fruit." The branches do not sustain
the vine, but the vine supports and nourishes the
branches. The church does not support Christ, but
Christ, by His vital power, supports the church. It
is not enough to be a branch; we are to be fruitful
branches. "He that abideth in Me," said Jesus, "and
I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." But if
the fruit produced be that of the thornbush, it is

                        647
evident that we are not branches of the living Vine.

    Life is disciplinary. While in the world, the
Christian will meet with adverse influences. There
will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by
meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian
graces are developed. If injuries and insults are
meekly borne, if insulting words are responded to
by gentle answers, and oppressive acts by kindness,
this is evidence that the Spirit of Christ dwells in
the heart, that sap from the living Vine is flowing
to the branches. We are in the school of Christ in
this life, where we are to learn to be meek and
lowly of heart; and in the day of final accounts we
shall see that all the obstacles we meet, all the
hardships and annoyances that we are called to
bear, are practical lessons in the application of
principles of Christian life. If well endured, they
develop the Christlike in the character and
distinguish the Christian from the worldling.

    There is a high standard to which we are to
attain if we would be children of God, noble, pure,
holy, and undefiled; and a pruning process is

                        648
necessary if we would reach this standard. How
would this pruning be accomplished if there were
no difficulties to meet, no obstacles to surmount,
nothing to call out patience and endurance? These
trials are not the smallest blessings in our
experience. They are designed to nerve us to
determination to succeed. We are to use them as
God's means to gain decided victories over self
instead of allowing them to hinder, oppress, and
destroy us.

    Character will be tested. Christ will be revealed
in us if we are indeed branches of the living Vine.
We shall be patient, kind, and forbearing, cheerful
amid frets and irritations. Day by day and year by
year we shall conquer self and grow into a noble
heroism. This is our allotted task; but it cannot be
accomplished without continual help from Jesus,
resolute decision, unwavering purpose, continual
watchfulness, and unceasing prayer. Each one has a
personal battle to fight. Each must win his own
way through struggles and discouragements. Those
who decline the struggle lose the strength and joy
of victory. No one, not even God, can carry us to

                        649
heaven unless we make the necessary effort on our
part. We must put features of beauty into our lives.
We must expel the unlovely natural traits that make
us unlike Jesus. While God works in us to will and
to do of His own good pleasure, we must work in
harmony with Him. The religion of Christ
transforms the heart. It makes the worldly-minded
man heavenly-minded. Under its influence the
selfish man becomes unselfish because this is the
character of Christ. The dishonest, scheming man
becomes upright, so that it is second nature to him
to do unto others as he would have others do unto
him. The profligate is changed from impurity to
purity. He forms correct habits, for the gospel of
Christ has become to him a savor of life unto life.

    Now, while probation lingers, it does not
become one to pronounce sentence upon others and
look to himself as a model man. Christ is our
model; imitate Him, plant your feet in His steps.
You may professedly believe every point of present
truth, but unless you practice these truths it will
avail you nothing. We are not to condemn others;
this is not our work; but we should love one

                        650
another and pray for one another. When we see one
err from the truth, then we may weep over him as
Christ wept over Jerusalem. Let us see what our
heavenly Father in His word says about the erring:
"If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are
spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of
meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be
tempted." "If any of you do err from the truth, and
one convert him; let him know, that he which
converteth the sinner from the error of his way
shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a
multitude of sins." What a great missionary work is
this! how much more Christlike than for poor,
fallible mortals to be ever accusing and
condemning those who do not exactly meet their
minds. Let us remember that Jesus knows us
individually and is touched with the feeling of our
infirmities. He knows the wants of each of His
creatures and reads the hidden, unspoken grief of
every heart. If one of the little ones for whom He
died is injured, He sees it and calls the offender to
account. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He cares for
His feeble, sickly, wandering sheep. He knows
them all by name. The distress of every sheep and

                        651
every lamb of His flock touches His heart of
sympathizing love, and the cry for aid reaches His
ear. One of the greatest sins of the shepherds of
Israel is thus pointed out by the prophet: "The
diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye
healed that which was sick, neither have ye brought
again that which was driven away, neither have ye
sought that which was lost; but with force and with
cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were
scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they
became meat to all the beasts of the field, when
they were scattered. My sheep wandered through
all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea,
My flock was scattered upon all the face of the
earth, and none did search or seek after them."

    Jesus cares for each one as though there were
not another individual on the face of the earth. As
Deity He exerts mighty power in our behalf, while
as our Elder Brother He feels for all our woes. The
Majesty of heaven held not Himself aloof from
degraded, sinful humanity. We have not a high
priest who is so high, so lifted up, that He cannot
notice us or sympathize with us, but one who was

                       652
in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    How different from this spirit is the feeling of
indifference and contempt that has been manifested
by some in ——- toward J and those who have
been affected by his influence. If ever the
transforming grace of God was needed, it is needed
in this church. In judging and condemning a
brother, they have undertaken to do a work that
God never put into their hands. A hardness of
heart, a censorious, condemnatory spirit that would
destroy individuality and independence, has been
woven into their Christian experience, and they
have lost the love of Jesus out of their hearts. Make
haste, brethren, to get these things off your soul
before it shall be said in heaven: "He that is unjust,
let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let
him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him
be righteous still and he that is holy, let him be
holy still."

    You will have many perplexities to meet in
your Christian life in connection with the church,
but do not try too hard to mold your brethren. If

                         653
you see that they do not meet the requirements of
God's word, do not condemn; if they provoke, do
not retaliate. When things are said that would
exasperate, quietly keep your soul from fretting.
You see many things which appear wrong in
others, and you want to correct these wrongs. You
commence in your own strength to work for a
reform, but you do not go about it in the right way.
You must labor for the erring with a heart subdued,
softened by the Spirit of God, and let the Lord
work through you, the agent. Roll your burden on
Jesus. You feel that the Lord must take up the case
where Satan is striving for the mastery over some
soul; but you are to do what you can in humility
and meekness, and put the tangled work, the
complicated matters, into the hands of God. Follow
the directions in His word, and leave the outcome
of the matter to His wisdom. Having done all you
can to save your brother, cease worrying, and go
calmly about other pressing duties. It is no longer
your matter, but God's.

    Do not, through impatience, cut the knot of
difficulty, making matters hopeless. Let God

                        654
untangle the snarled-up threads for you. He is wise
enough to manage the complications of our lives.
He has skill and tact. We cannot always see His
plans; we must wait patiently their unfolding and
not mar and destroy them. He will reveal them to
us in His own good time. Seek for unity; cultivate
love and conformity to Christ in all things. He is
the source of unity and strength; but you have not
sought for Christian unity that you might knit
hearts together in love.

    There is work for you to do in the church and
out of the church. "Herein is My Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit." The fruit we bear is the
only test of the character of the tree before the
world. This is the proof of our discipleship. If our
works are of such a character that as branches of
the living Vine we bear rich clusters of precious
fruit, then we wear before the world God's own
badge as His sons and daughters. We are living
epistles, known and read of all men.

   Now, I fear that you will fail in doing the work
you must do to redeem the past and become living,

                        655
fruit-bearing branches. If you do as God would
have you, His blessing will come into the church.
You have not yet been humble enough to make
thorough work and meet the mind of the Spirit of
God. There has been self-justification, self-
pleasing, self-vindication, when there should have
been humiliation, contrition, and repentance. You
should remove every stumbling block and make
"straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame
be turned out of the way." It is not too late for
wrongs to be righted; but you must not feel that
you are whole and have no need of a physician, for
you need help. When you come to Jesus with a
broken heart, He will help and bless you, and you
will go forth in the Master's work with courage and
energy. The best evidence that you are in Christ is
the fruit you bear. If you are not truly united to
Him, your light and privileges will condemn and
ruin you.




                         656
                    Chapter 41

        Redeeming the Time

    Dear Brother J: I have arisen at twelve o'clock
to write to you because my mind is burdened. I am
troubled on your account; for I know that we are
near the close of earth's history, and your life
record is not such a one as you will be pleased to
meet in the great day when every man will receive
as his works have been.

    You may feel that others have done wrong, and
I know as well as you do that a Christlike spirit has
not been manifested in the church. But will this
avail you in the judgment? Will two wrongs make
one right? Though one, two, or three in the church
have done wrong, this will not blot out or excuse
your sin. Whatever course others may take, your
work is to set your own heart in order. God has
claims upon you which no circumstances should
lead you to forget or neglect, for every soul is
precious in His sight.

                        657
    My heart is drawn out after those who have
stumbled on the dark mountains of unbelief, and I
want to help them. There is good material in the
church in ——-; but the members have not been
transformed by the Spirit of God, and brought into
a position where they can let their light shine to the
world. Some, with the best of motives, and
possessing capabilities for great usefulness, utterly
fail in times of trial in the church, for want of the
love and mercy that dwelt so richly in the heart of
Christ. They see one in error; and instead of
helping him they hold themselves aloof. They are
inclined to make unpleasant allusions, and to touch
sensitive spots when they might avoid them. Self
comes up and bears sway, and they give pain and
stir up wrong feelings. However pure their
intentions, their efforts to do good nearly always
result in failure, if not in actual harm, because the
tenderness and compassion of Christ are wanting.
They would make very good surgeons, but they are
poor nurses. They have not the tact that is born of
love. If they had this they would know how to

                         658
speak the right word and do the right thing at the
right time and in the right place. Others may have
no more sincere desires to do right, no deeper
interest in the cause of God; they may be no more
true and loyal, their sympathies no deeper, their
love no warmer; yet because of their gentleness
and tact they are far more successful in winning
back the erring.

    The Lord would be pleased to have His people
more considerate than they now are, more merciful
and more helpful to one another. When the love of
Christ is in the heart, each will be tenderly
regardful of the interests of others. Brother will not
take advantage of brother in business transactions.
One will not charge exorbitant interest because he
sees his brother in a close place where he must
have help. Those who will take advantage of the
necessities of another prove conclusively that they
are not governed by the principles of the gospel of
Christ. Their course is recorded in the books of
heaven as fraud and dishonesty; and wherever
these principles rule, the blessing of the Lord will
not come into the heart. Such persons are receiving

                         659
the impress of the great adversary rather than that
of the Spirit of God. But those who shall finally
inherit the heavenly kingdom must be transformed
by divine grace. They must be pure in heart and life
and possess symmetrical characters.

    I regard you, my brother, as in great peril. Your
treasure is laid up on the earth, and your heart is
upon your treasure. But all the means you may
accumulate, even though it should be millions, will
not be sufficient to pay a ransom for your soul.
Then do not remain in impenitence and unbelief,
and in your case defeat the gracious purposes of
God; do not force from His reluctant hand
destruction of your property or affliction of your
person.

    How many there are who are now taking a
course which must erelong lead to just such
visitations of judgment. They live on day by day,
week by week, year by year, for their own selfish
interest. Their influence and means, accumulated
through God-given skill and tact, are used upon
themselves and their families without thought of

                        660
their gracious Benefactor. Nothing is allowed to
flow back to the Giver. Indeed, they come to regard
life and its entrusted talents as their own; and if
they render back to God that portion which He
justly claims, they think that they have placed their
Creator under obligation to them. At last His
patience with these unfaithful stewards is
exhausted; and He brings all their selfish, worldly
schemes to an abrupt termination, showing them
that as they have gathered for their own glory, He
can scatter; and they are helpless to resist His
power.

     Brother J, I address you today as a prisoner of
hope. But will you consider that your sun passed its
meridian some time ago and is now rapidly
declining? The evening has come. Do you not
discern the lengthening shadows? You have but a
little time left in which to work for yourself, for
humanity, and for your Master. There is a special
work to be done for your own soul if you are ever
to be numbered with the overcomers. How stands
your life record? Is Jesus pleading in your behalf in
vain? Shall He be disappointed in you? Some of

                        661
your companions, who stood side by side with you,
have already been summoned away. Eternity will
reveal whether they were bankrupt in faith and
failed to secure eternal life, or whether they were
rich toward God and heirs of the "far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Will you
not consider that the long forbearance of God
toward you calls for repentance and humiliation of
soul before Him?

     There are other weighty considerations aside
from your own personal salvation which demand
your attention. Late as it now is, with your sun
about to sink behind the western hills, you have
still a great work to do for your children, who have
allowed the love of the world to separate them
from God. You have also unsaved relatives,
neighbors, and friends. Had your example been
consistent with the light given you; had you been
as diligent to save these precious souls as you have
been to gather earthly treasure; had you used your
means and influence, your wisdom and tact, in an
effort to gather these straying ones into the fold of
Christ—had this been your lifework, you would

                        662
have secured a harvest of souls and would have
ensured a rich reward in the day of God. You
would thus have been building upon the true
foundation valuable and imperishable material; but
instead of this you have been building wood, hay,
and stubble, to be consumed when every man's
work shall be tried, of what sort it is.

    Your life has been a failure. You have been a
stumbling block to sinners. They have said of you:
"If the religion which this man professes is indeed
genuine, why is he so eager after this world? Why
does he not in his own conduct show the spirit of
Christ?" Hasten, my brother, before it is forever too
late, to remove this stumbling block from the way
of sinners. Can you look with pleasure upon your
life or upon the influence you have exerted? Will
you now consider your ways? Will you now make
efforts to come into right relations with God? I do
not believe your heart is unimpressible, and I know
that the loving-kindness and tender mercy of God
are marvelous. You have a little time of probation;
will you improve it now while Jesus is pleading
His blood before the Father? He has graciously

                        663
spared your life; but it has been like the barren fig
tree upon which year after year there appeared no
fruit, nothing but leaves. How long will you
continue to disappoint the Master? Will you
compel Him to say: "Let no fruit grow on thee
henceforward forever;" or, "Cut it down; why
cumbereth it the ground"? Oh, wait not for the
Lord to put His hand against you and scatter the
property which you have accumulated. Remember
that all your wealth will not give you one moment
of sweet assurance and peace upon your dying bed.

    I earnestly urge upon you the necessity of
returning to the Lord at once. I entreat you to
disappoint the enemy. Break from off you his cruel
power. Seek, during the remainder of your life, to
make an entirely different record in heaven, one of
which you will not be ashamed when the books
shall be opened and the Judge shall pronounce
sentence upon those who have neglected this great
salvation.

    Paul exhorts his Ephesian brethren to redeem
the time because the days are evil. This exhortation

                        664
is very applicable to you. In one sense it is
impossible to redeem the time; for once gone, it is
gone forever. But you are called upon to reform, to
be zealous of good works in the same degree that
you have been negligent of duty. Turn square
about. Double your diligence to make your calling
and election sure. Keep God's commandments, and
live, and His law as the apple of your eye. Tax
every moment to the utmost in laboring for your
own eternal interest and for the salvation of souls
around you. By so doing you may save both
yourself and those who are more or less controlled
by your example. These are motives which should
be duly considered.

   Wake up! wake up! You have work to do, and
your sun is fast hastening to its setting. Your
powers are becoming enfeebled; but all there is of
you, every particle of your ability, belongs to God,
and should be used earnestly and disinterestedly in
His service. Work while the sun still lingers in the
heavens; for the "night cometh, when no man can
work."


                        665
    Come, my brother, come just as you are, sinful
and polluted. Lay your burden of guilt on Jesus,
and by faith claim His merits. Come now, while
mercy lingers; come with confession, come with
contrition of soul, and God will abundantly pardon.
Do not dare to slight another opportunity. Listen to
the voice of mercy that now pleads with you to
arise from the dead that Christ may give you light.
Every moment now seems to connect itself directly
with the destinies of the unseen world. Then let not
your pride and unbelief lead you to still further
reject offered mercy. If you do you will be left to
lament at the last: "The harvest is past, the summer
is ended, and we are not saved."

    Wait in deep humiliation before God. From this
hour resolve to be the Lord's, doing your whole
duty, trusting implicitly in the great atonement. Do
this and you will have nothing to fear. The
remainder of your life journey will be tranquil and
happy, and you will secure to yourself that life
which shall continue as long as God shall live.

   I have written this because I felt urged to do so

                        666
by the Spirit of God, and because I have a deep
interest for you. Do not for one moment let your
feelings rise against me; for I have been influenced
by love for your soul. We have enjoyed many
precious seasons in worshiping God, when our
hearts were made joyful by His sweet blessing. Are
these seasons forever past? We may never meet
again in this life, but shall we not meet when the
ransomed are gathered around the great white
throne?




                        667
                    Chapter 42

 The Manufacture of Wine and
           Cider

   Dear Brethren and Sisters of the Church at —
—-: I have been shown that as a church you are not
growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
There is not that consecration to God, that devotion
to His service, and that disinterested labor for the
upbuilding of His cause which would make you a
prosperous and healthy church. You are not subject
one to another. There are too many among you
who have their own ideas to maintain and their
own selfish plans to carry out, and some who
occupy prominent places in the church are of this
number.

    Brother K has not an eye single to the glory of
God; he does not view things from a right
standpoint. He is giving heed to suggestions of
Satan and taking counsel of his own unsanctified
judgment, and he grasps at every word that can be
                        668
framed into a justification of his wrong course. He
is self-deceived; he does not see that he is shutting
himself away from the Spirit of God. When he
entered upon this path he did not know its dangers
nor realize where it would lead him. All who are
walking in the same way would do well to turn
their feet at once into the path of safety.

    We are living in an age of intemperance, and
catering to the appetite of the cider bibber is an
offense against God. With others you have engaged
in this work because you have not followed the
light. Had you stood in the light, you would not,
you could not, have done this. Every one of you
who has acted a part in this work will come under
the condemnation of God unless you make an
entire change in your business. You need to be in
earnest. You need to commence the work at once
to clear your souls from condemnation.

    Some of you in ——- developed wonderful
zeal in denouncing the red-ribbon clubs. So far as
you were actuated by a desire to condemn the evil
in these societies, you were right; but when you

                        669
acted as though it were a crime to speak at all in
their favor, or to show them the least good will,
you carried matters to extremes. You should be
consistent in all things. You have cherished a
hatred for the very name "red-ribbon club" that
savors not of the Spirit of Christ, and your feelings
of bitterness have not helped you or anyone else.

    You have taken the testimonies given in
reference to our people's mingling with the
temperance societies to the detriment of their
spiritual interest, and by perverting them have used
them to oppress and burden souls. By this
treatment of the light given you have brought my
work into disrepute. There was not the least
necessity for this, and some of you have a work to
do to make this matter right. You would make an
iron bedstead for others; if too short, they must be
stretched; if too long, they must be cut off. "Judge
not, that ye be not judged."

   After you had taken a decided stand in
opposition to active participation in the work of the
temperance societies, you might still have retained

                        670
an influence over others for good, had you acted
conscientiously in accordance with the holy faith
which you profess; but by engaging in the
manufacture of cider you have hurt your influence
very much; and what is worse, you have brought
reproach upon the truth, and your own souls have
been injured. You have been building up a barrier
between yourselves and the temperance cause.
Your course led unbelievers to question your
principles. You are not making straight paths for
your feet, and the lame are halting and stumbling
over you to perdition.

    I cannot see how, in the light of the law of God,
Christians can conscientiously engage in the
raising of hops or in the manufacture of wine or
cider for the market. All these articles may be put
to a good use and prove a blessing, or they may be
put to a wrong use and prove a temptation and a
curse. Cider and wine may be canned when fresh
and kept sweet a long time, and if used in an
unfermented state they will not dethrone reason.
But those who manufacture apples into cider for
the market are not careful as to the condition of the

                        671
fruit used, and in many cases the juice of decayed
apples is expressed. Those who would not think of
using the poisonous rotten apples in any other way
will drink the cider made from them and call it a
luxury; but the microscope would reveal the fact
that this pleasant beverage is often unfit for the
human stomach, even when fresh from the press. If
it is boiled, and care is taken to remove the
impurities, it is less objectionable.

    I have often heard people say: "Oh! this is only
sweet cider; it is perfectly harmless, and even
healthful." Several quarts, perhaps gallons, are
carried home. For a few days it is sweet; then
fermentation begins. The sharp flavor makes it all
the more acceptable to many palates, and the lover
of sweet wine or cider is loath to admit that his
favorite beverage ever becomes hard or sour.
Persons may become just as really intoxicated on
wine and cider as on stronger drinks, and the worst
kind of inebriation is produced by these so-called
milder drinks. The passions are more perverse; the
transformation of character is greater, more
determined and obstinate. A few quarts of cider or

                        672
wine may awaken a taste for stronger drinks, and in
many cases those who have become confirmed
drunkards have thus laid the foundation of the
drinking habit. For some persons it is by no means
safe to have wine or cider in the house. They have
inherited an appetite for stimulants, which Satan is
continually soliciting them to indulge. If they yield
to his temptations they do not stop; appetite
clamors for indulgence and is gratified to their ruin.
The brain is benumbed and clouded; reason no
longer holds the reins, but they are laid on the neck
of lust. Licentiousness, adultery, and vices of
almost every type are committed as the result of
indulging the appetite for wine and cider. A
professor of religion who loves these stimulants,
and accustoms himself to their use, never grows in
grace. He becomes gross and sensual; the animal
passions control the higher powers of the mind, and
virtue is not cherished.

    Moderate drinking is the school in which men
are receiving an education for the drunkard's
career. So gradually does Satan lead away from the
strongholds of temperance, so insidiously do the

                         673
harmless wine and cider exert their influence upon
the taste, that the highway to drunkenness is
entered upon all unsuspectingly. The taste for
stimulants is cultivated; the nervous system is
disordered; Satan keeps the mind in a fever of
unrest; and the poor victim, imagining himself
perfectly secure, goes on and on, until every barrier
is broken down, every principle sacrificed. The
strongest resolutions are undermined; and eternal
interests are not strong enough to keep the debased
appetite under the control of reason.

    Some are never really drunk, but are always
under the influence of cider or fermented wine.
They are feverish, unbalanced in mind, not really
delirious, but in fully as bad a condition; for all the
noble powers of the mind are perverted. A
tendency to disease of various kinds, as dropsy,
liver complaint, trembling nerves, and a
determination of blood to the head, results from the
habitual use of sour cider. By its use many bring
upon themselves permanent disease. Some die of
consumption or fall under the power of apoplexy
from this cause alone. Some suffer from dyspepsia.

                         674
Every vital function is deadened and the physicians
tell them that they have liver complaint, when if
they would break open the cider barrel and never
replace it, their abused life forces would recover
their vigor.

    Cider drinking leads to the use of stronger
drinks. The stomach loses its natural vigor, and
something stronger is needed to arouse it to action.
On one occasion, when my husband and myself
were traveling, we were obliged to spend several
hours waiting for the train. While we were in the
depot, a red-faced, bloated farmer came into the
restaurant connected with it, and in a loud, rough
voice asked: "Have you first-class brandy?" He
was answered in the affirmative, and ordered half a
tumbler. "Have you pepper sauce?" "Yes," was the
answer. "Well, put in two large spoonfuls." He next
ordered two spoonfuls of alcohol added, and
concluded by calling for "a good dose of black
pepper." The man who was preparing it asked:
"What will you do with such a mixture?" He
replied: "I guess that will take hold," and, placing
the full glass to his lips, drank the whole of this

                        675
fiery compound. That man had used stimulants
until he had deadened the tender coats of the
stomach.

    Many, as they read this, will laugh at the
warning of danger. They will say: "Surely the little
wine or cider that I use cannot hurt me." Satan has
marked such as his prey; he leads them on step by
step, and they perceive it not until the chains of
habit and appetite are too strong to be broken. We
see the power that appetite for strong drink has
over men; we see how many of all professions and
of heavy responsibilities, men of exalted station, of
eminent talents, of great attainments, of fine
feeling, of strong nerves, and of good reasoning
powers, sacrifice everything for the indulgence of
appetite, until they are reduced to the level of the
brutes; and in very many cases their downward
course commenced with the use of wine or cider.

    When intelligent men and women who are
professedly Christians plead that there is no harm
in making wine or cider for the market because
when unfermented it will not intoxicate, I feel sad

                        676
at heart. I know there is another side to this subject
that they refuse to look upon; for selfishness has
closed their eyes to the terrible evils that may result
from the use of these stimulants. I do not see how
our brethren can abstain from all appearance of evil
and engage largely in the business of hop raising,
knowing to what use the hops are put. Those who
help to produce these beverages that encourage and
educate the appetite for stronger stimulants will be
rewarded as their works have been. They are
transgressors of the law of God, and they will be
punished for the sins which they commit and for
those which they have influenced others to commit
through the temptations which they have placed in
their way.

    Let all who profess to believe the truth for this
time, and to be reformers, act in accordance with
their faith. If one whose name is on the church
book manufactures wine or cider for the market, he
should be faithfully labored with, and, if he
continues the practice, he should be placed under
censure of the church. Those who will not be
dissuaded from doing this work are unworthy of a

                         677
place and a name among the people of God. We are
to be followers of Christ, to set our hearts and our
influence against every evil practice. How should
we feel in the day when God's judgments are
poured out, to meet men who have become
drunkards through our influence? We are living in
the antitypical day of atonement, and our cases
must soon come in review before God. How shall
we stand in the courts of heaven if our course of
action has encouraged the use of stimulants that
pervert reason and are destructive of virtue, purity,
and the love of God?

    The lawyer asked Christ: "Master, what shall I
do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is
written in the law? how readest thou? And he
answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy
neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou
hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."
Eternal life is the prize at stake, and Christ tells us
how we may gain it. He directs us to the written
word: "How readest thou?" The way is there

                         678
pointed out; we are to love God supremely and our
neighbor as ourselves. But if we love our neighbor
as ourselves we shall not throw upon the market
anything that will be a snare to him.

    To love God and man is the Christian's whole
duty. The law of love is written upon the tablets of
the soul, the Spirit of God dwells in him, and his
character appears in good works. Jesus became
poor that through His poverty we might be made
rich. What sacrifices are we willing to make for
His sake? Have we His love enshrined in our
hearts? Do we love our neighbor as Christ loved
us? If we have this love for souls, it will lead us to
consider carefully whether by our words, our acts,
our influence in any way, we are placing
temptation before those who have little moral
power. We shall not censure the weak and
suffering, as the Pharisees were continually doing,
but we shall endeavor to remove every stone of
stumbling from our brother's path lest the lame be
turned out of the way.

   As a people we profess to be reformers, to be

                         679
light bearers in the world, to be faithful sentinels
for God, guarding every avenue whereby Satan
could come in with his temptations to pervert the
appetite. Our example and influence must be a
power on the side of reform. We must abstain from
any practice which will blunt the conscience or
encourage temptation. We must open no door that
will give Satan access to the mind of one human
being formed in the image of God. If all would be
vigilant and faithful in guarding the little openings
made by the moderate use of the so-called harmless
wine and cider, the highway to drunkenness would
be closed up. What is needed in every community
is firm purpose, and a will to touch not, taste not,
handle not; then the temperance reformation will
be strong, permanent, and thorough.

    The love of money will lead men to violate
conscience. Perhaps that very money may be
brought to the Lord's treasury, but He will not
accept any such offering; it is an offense to Him. It
was obtained by transgressing His law, which
requires that a man love his neighbor as himself. It
is no excuse for the transgressor to say that if he

                        680
had not made wine or cider, somebody else would,
and his neighbor might have become a drunkard
just the same. Because some will place the bottle to
their neighbor's lips, will Christians venture to stain
their garments with the blood of souls,—to incur
the curse pronounced upon these who place this
temptation in the way of erring men? Jesus calls
upon His followers to stand under His banner and
aid in destroying the works of the devil.

     The world's Redeemer, who knows well the
state of society in the last days, represents eating
and drinking as the sins that condemn this age. He
tells us that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it
be when the Son of man is revealed. "They were
eating and drinking, marrying and giving in
marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the
ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took
them all away." Just such a state of things will exist
in the last days, and those who believe these
warnings will use the utmost caution not to take a
course that will bring them under condemnation.

    Brethren, let us look at this matter in the light

                          681
of the Scriptures and exert a decided influence on
the side of temperance in all things. Apples and
grapes are God's gifts; they may be put to excellent
use as healthful articles of food, or they may be
abused by being put to a wrong use. Already God
is blighting the grapevine and the apple crop
because of men's sinful practices. We stand before
the world as reformers; let us give no occasion for
infidels or unbelievers to reproach our faith. Said
Christ: "Ye are the salt of the earth," "the light of
the world." Let us show that our hearts and
consciences are under the transforming influence
of divine grace, and that our lives are governed by
the pure principles of the law of God, even though
these principles may require the sacrifice of
temporal interests.




                        682
                    Chapter 43

   Marriage With Unbelievers

    Dear Sister L: I have learned of your
contemplated marriage with one who is not united
with you in religious faith, and I fear that you have
not carefully weighed this important matter. Before
taking a step which is to exert an influence upon all
your future life, I urge you to give the subject
careful and prayerful deliberation. Will this new
relationship prove a source of true happiness? Will
it be a help to you in the Christian life? Will it be
pleasing to God? Will your example be a safe one
for others to follow?

     Before giving her hand in marriage, every
woman should inquire whether he with whom she
is about to unite her destiny is worthy. What has
been his past record? Is his life pure? Is the love
which he expresses of a noble, elevated character,
or is it a mere emotional fondness? Has he the
traits of character that will make her happy? Can

                        683
she find true peace and joy in his affection? Will
she be allowed to preserve her individuality, or
must her judgment and conscience be surrendered
to the control of her husband? As a disciple of
Christ, she is not her own; she has been bought
with a price. Can she honor the Saviour's claims as
supreme? Will body and soul, thoughts and
purposes, be preserved pure and holy? These
questions have a vital bearing upon the well-being
of every woman who enters the marriage relation.

    Religion is needed in the home. Only this can
prevent the grievous wrongs which so often
embitter married life. Only where Christ reigns can
there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will
be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in
harmony. Angels of God will be guests in the
home, and their holy vigils will hallow the
marriage chamber. Debasing sensuality will be
banished. Upward to God will the thoughts be
directed; to Him will the heart's devotion ascend.

    The heart yearns for human love, but this love
is not strong enough, or pure enough, or precious

                       684
enough, to supply the place of the love of Jesus.
Only in her Saviour can the wife find wisdom,
strength, and grace to meet the cares,
responsibilities, and sorrows of life. She should
make Him her strength and her guide. Let woman
give herself to Christ before giving herself to any
earthly friend, and enter into no relation which
shall conflict with this. Those who would find true
happiness must have the blessing of heaven upon
all that they possess and all that they do. It is
disobedience to God that fills so many hearts and
homes with misery. My sister, unless you would
have a home where the shadows are never lifted,
do not unite yourself with one who is an enemy of
God.

    As one who expects to meet these words in the
judgment, I entreat you to ponder the step you
contemplate taking. Ask yourself: "Will not an
unbelieving husband lead my thoughts away from
Jesus? He is a lover of pleasure more than a lover
of God; will he not lead me to enjoy the things that
he enjoys?" The path to eternal life is steep and
rugged. Take no additional weights to retard your

                        685
progress. You have too little spiritual strength, and
you need help instead of hindrance.

    The Lord commanded ancient Israel not to
intermarry with the idolatrous nations around them:
"Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy
daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his
daughter shalt thou take unto thy son." The reason
is given. Infinite Wisdom, foreseeing the result of
such unions, declares: "For they will turn away thy
son from following Me, that they may serve other
gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled
against you, and destroy thee suddenly." "For thou
art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord
thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people
unto Himself, above all people that are upon the
face of the earth." "Know therefore that the Lord
thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which
keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love
Him and keep His commandments to a thousand
generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to
their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to
him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his
face."

                        686
    In the New Testament are similar prohibitions
concerning the marriage of Christians with the
ungodly. The apostle Paul, in his first letter to the
Corinthians, declares: "The wife is bound by the
law as long as her husband liveth; but if her
husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to
whom she will; only in the Lord." Again, in his
second epistle, he writes: "Be ye not unequally
yoked together with unbelievers: for what
fellowship       hath      righteousness         with
unrighteousness? and what communion hath light
with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with
Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an
infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of
God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living
God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and
walk in them; and I will be their God, and they
shall be My people. Wherefore come out from
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive
you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be
My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."


                        687
    My sister, dare you disregard these plain and
positive directions? As a child of God, a subject of
Christ's kingdom, the purchase of His blood, how
can you connect yourself with one who does not
acknowledge His claims, who is not controlled by
His Spirit? The commands I have quoted are not
the word of man, but of God. Though the
companion of your choice were in all other
respects worthy (which he is not), yet he has not
accepted the truth for this time; he is an unbeliever,
and you are forbidden of heaven to unite yourself
with him. You cannot, without peril to your soul,
disregard this divine injunction.

    I would warn you of your danger before it shall
be too late. You listen to smooth, pleasant words
and are led to believe that all will be well; but you
do not read the motives that prompt these fair
speeches. You cannot see the depths of wickedness
hidden in the heart. You cannot look behind the
scenes and discern the snares that Satan is laying
for your soul. He would lead you to pursue such a
course that he can obtain easy access to aim his
shafts of temptation against you. Do not give him

                         688
the least advantage. While God moves upon the
minds of His servants, Satan works through the
children of disobedience. There is no concord
between Christ and Belial. The two cannot
harmonize. To connect with an unbeliever is to
place yourself on Satan's ground. You grieve the
Spirit of God and forfeit His protection. Can you
afford to have such terrible odds against you in
fighting the battle for everlasting life?

    You may say: "But I have given my promise,
and shall I now retract it?" I answer: If you have
made a promise contrary to the Scriptures, by all
means retract it without delay, and in humility
before God repent of the infatuation that led you to
make so rash a pledge. Far better take back such a
promise, in the fear of God, than keep it and
thereby dishonor your Maker.

    Remember, you have a heaven to gain, an open
path to perdition to shun. God means what He says.
When He prohibited our first parents from eating
the fruit of the tree of knowledge, their
disobedience opened the floodgates of woe to the

                        689
whole world. If we walk contrary to God, He will
walk contrary to us. Our only safe course is to
render obedience to all His requirements, at
whatever cost. All are founded in infinite love and
wisdom.

    The spirit of intense worldliness that now
exists, the disposition to acknowledge no higher
claim than that of self-gratification, constitutes one
of the signs of the last days. "As it was in the days
of Noah," said Christ, "so shall it be also in the
days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank,
they married wives, they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the
Flood came, and destroyed them all." The people
of this generation are marrying and giving in
marriage with the same reckless disregard of God's
requirements as was manifested in the days of
Noah. There is in the Christian world an
astonishing, alarming indifference to the teaching
of God's word in regard to the marriage of
Christians with unbelievers. Many who profess to
love and fear God choose to follow the bent of
their own minds rather than take counsel of Infinite

                         690
Wisdom. In a matter which vitally concerns the
happiness and well-being of both parties for this
world and the next, reason, judgment, and the fear
of God are set aside, and blind impulse, stubborn
determination, is allowed to control. Men and
women who are otherwise sensible and
conscientious close their ears to counsel; they are
deaf to the appeals and entreaties of friends and
kindred and of the servants of God. The expression
of a caution or warning is regarded as impertinent
meddling, and the friend who is faithful enough to
utter a remonstrance is treated as an enemy. All
this is as Satan would have it. He weaves his spell
about the soul, and it becomes bewitched,
infatuated. Reason lets fall the reins of self-control
upon the neck of lust, unsanctified passion bears
sway, until, too late, the victim awakens to a life of
misery and bondage. This is not a picture drawn by
the imagination, but a recital of facts. God's
sanction is not given to unions which He has
expressly forbidden. For years I have been
receiving letters from different persons who have
formed unhappy marriages, and the revolting
histories opened before me are enough to make the

                         691
heart ache. It is no easy thing to decide what advice
can be given to these unfortunate ones, or how
their hard lot can be lightened; but their sad
experience should be a warning to others.

    In this age of the world, as the scenes of earth's
history are soon to close and we are about to enter
upon the time of trouble such as never was, the
fewer the marriages contracted, the better for all,
both men and women. Above all, when Satan is
working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness
in them that perish, let Christians beware of
connecting themselves with unbelievers. God has
spoken. All who fear Him will submit to His wise
injunctions. Our feelings, impulses, and affections
must flow heavenward, not earthward, not in the
low, base channel of sensual thought and
indulgence. It is time now that every soul should
stand as in the sight of the heart-searching God.

    My dear sister, as a disciple of Jesus you
should inquire what will be the influence of the
step you are about to take, not only upon yourself,
but upon others. The followers of Christ are to be

                         692
co-workers with their Master; they must be
"blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without
rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse
nation, among whom," says Paul, "ye shine as
lights in the world." We are to receive the bright
beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and by our
good works let them shine forth to others in clear,
steady rays, never fitful, never growing dim. We
cannot be sure that we are doing no harm to those
about us unless we are exerting a positive influence
to lead them heavenward.

    "Ye are My witnesses," said Jesus, and in each
act of our lives we should inquire: How will our
course affect the interests of the Redeemer's
kingdom? If you are indeed Christ's disciple, you
will choose to walk in His footsteps, however
painful this may be to your natural feelings. Said
Paul: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world
is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." You,
Sister L, need to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of
Him, as did Mary of old. God requires of you an
entire surrender of your will, your plans and

                         693
purposes. Jesus is your leader; to Him you must
look, in Him you must trust, and you must permit
nothing to deter you from the life of consecration
which you owe to God. Your conversation must be
in heaven, from whence you look for your Saviour.
Your piety must be of a character to make itself felt
by all within the sphere of your influence. God
requires you in every act of life to shun the very
appearance of evil. Are you doing this? You are
under the most sacred obligation not to belittle or
compromise your holy faith by uniting with the
Lord's enemies. If you are tempted to disregard the
injunctions of His word because others have done
so, remember that your example also will exert an
influence. Others will do as you do, and thus the
evil will be extended. While you profess to be a
child of God, a departure on your part from His
requirements will result in infinite harm to those
who look to you for guidance.

    The salvation of souls will be the constant aim
of those who are abiding in Christ. But what have
you done to show forth the praises of Him who has
called you out of darkness? "Awake, thou that

                        694
sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall
give thee light." Shake off this fatal infatuation that
benumbs your senses and palsies the energies of
the soul.

    The very strongest incentives to faithfulness are
set before us, the highest motives, the most
glorious rewards. Christians are to be Christ's
representatives, sons and daughters of God. They
are His jewels, His peculiar treasures. Of all who
will maintain their steadfastness He declares:
"They shall walk with Me in white: for they are
worthy." Those who reach the portals of eternal
bliss will not count that any sacrifice which they
have made was too great.

    May God help you to stand the test and
preserve your integrity. Cling by faith to Jesus.
Disappoint not your Redeemer.

   St. Helena, California, Feb. 13, 1885.




                         695
                    Chapter 44

 The Support of City Missions

    Dear Brother M: A few days ago I received a
letter written by you to Elder N, in which you raise
very serious objections to leaving the ——-
mission to be supported by your conference, and
say that other conferences all over the field should
have an equal interest in this mission. But if these
conferences do not now have important missions to
sustain in cities in their own borders, are there not
places where such missions should be established?
If your conference is asked to take the ——-
mission under its care and carry it on under the
supervision of the General Conference, the
responsible men should feel that this is an evidence
that their brethren have confidence in them, and
they should say: "Yes; we accept the sacred trust.
We will do all in our power to make the mission a
success and to show that the confidence of our
brethren is not misplaced. We will ask wisdom of
God and will practice self-denial and rigid

                        696
economy if necessary." God will sustain you in the
cheerful performance of this duty and will make it
a blessing to you rather than a burden, a hindrance
to the cause in your state.

    That great city is in darkness and error, and we
have left it so thus long. Will God pardon this
negligence on our part? What account shall we
give for the men and women who have died
without hearing the sound of present truth, who
would have received it had the light been brought
to them? My spirit is stirred that the work in ——-
has been delayed so long. The work that is now
being done there might have been done years ago
and could then have been accomplished with far
less expenditure of money, time, and labor.
Nevertheless it must not be left undone now. A
small beginning has been made on a very
economical plan, and much more has been
accomplished than could have been expected
considering the facilities that have been provided.
But better facilities must be furnished. There must
be a place where people can hear the truth. There
must be means to support the workers in this

                        697
mission field, not in ease and luxury, but in a plain,
comfortable manner. They are God's instruments,
and nothing should be said or done to discourage
them. On the contrary, let their hands be
strengthened and their hearts encouraged.

    There is enough wealth in your conference to
carry forward this work successfully; and shall the
prince of darkness be left in undisputed possession
of our great cities because it costs something to
sustain missions? Let those who would follow
Christ fully come up to the work, even if it be over
the heads of ministers and president. Those who in
such a work as this will say, "I pray thee have me
excused," should beware lest they receive their
discharge for time and for eternity. Let Christians
who love duty lift every ounce they can and then
look to God for further strength. He will work
through the efforts of thoroughgoing men and
women and will do what they cannot do. New light
and power will be given them as they use what
they have. New fervor and zeal will stir the church
as they see something accomplished.


                         698
    We rejoice in spirit as we contemplate what
may be done; but we blush before our Maker at the
thought of the little that has been accomplished.
Shepherds have neglected their God-given
responsibilities; they have become narrow and
faithless, and have encouraged unpardonable
cowardice, slothfulness, and covetousness. They
have not realized the magnitude and importance of
the work. Men are wanted whose eyes are anointed
to see and understand heaven's designs. Then the
standard of piety will be raised, and there will be
real missionaries who will be ready to sacrifice for
the truth's sake. There is no room in the church of
God for the selfish and ease-loving; but men and
women are called for who will make exertions to
plant the standard of truth in our large cities, in the
great thoroughfares of travel.

    A world is to be warned, and in humility we
should work as God has given us ability. Let every
state come up to the work. What right have those
with narrow and unconsecrated ideas to say what
their conference will do and what it will not do?
The ——- mission will not be left wholly to your

                         699
state; but if your conference had a heart to work, it
could sustain two such missions and not feel the
burden. Come, brethren, arouse to action. Time lost
through your unbelief and want of courage is lost
forever. Let the ministers act as though something
were to be done, and the largehearted men who
love God and keep His commandments will come
up to the help of the Lord. In this way the church
will be disciplined for future efforts; for their
beneficence is never to cease.

    Elder M, as president of the ——- Conference,
you have shown by your general management that
you are unworthy of the trust reposed in you. You
have shown that you are conservative, and that
your ideas are narrow. You have not done one half
what you might have done had you had the true
spirit of the work. You might have been far more
capable and experienced than you now are; you
might have been far better prepared to manage
successfully this sacred and important mission—a
work which would have given you the strongest
claim to the general confidence of our people. But,
like the other ministering brethren in your state,

                        700
you have failed to advance with the opening
providence of God; you have not shown that the
Holy Spirit was deeply impressing your heart, so
that God could speak through you to His people. If
in this crisis you do anything to strengthen doubt
and distrust in the churches of your state, anything
that will prevent the people from engaging heartily
in this work, God will hold you responsible. Has
God given you unmistakable evidence that the
brethren of your state are excused from the
responsibility of putting their arms about the city of
——- as Christ has put His arms about them? If
you were standing in the light, you would
encourage this mission by your faith.

    You need to drink deep of the streams of grace
and salvation before you can lead others to the
Fountain of living waters. Holding the office of
president of a conference, with the experience and
influence that this office gives, instead of
discouraging the people you should have urged
them to new exertion, to bear weightier
responsibilities. There are special duties devolving
upon men in responsible positions; there are

                         701
laborious efforts to be made which it would be
convenient to neglect. But when the shepherds are
negligent of duty, may the Lord pity the poor
sheep.

    Your work, my brother, does not show that you
have realized that your obligations are sacred and
weighty. I have been shown that you are capable of
doing much better work than you have done, and
that God requires more and better work at your
hands. He requires integrity and faithfulness. The
work of saving souls is the highest and noblest ever
entrusted to mortal man; and you should allow
nothing to come in between you and this sacred
work to absorb your mind and confuse your
judgment. One standing in the responsible position
that you occupy should make eternal interests first,
and temporal matters of secondary importance.
You are an ambassador for Christ; and you should
encourage those under your charge to seek for
higher spiritual attainments, to live holier and purer
lives. In your efforts to save souls from perdition
and to build up the church in truth and
righteousness, you should use tact, wisdom, and

                         702
the power that it is your privilege to have through
constant communion with God. God requires this
of you and of every other minister engaged in His
work. You should show your loyalty to your
crucified Redeemer by acting as though you
realized that you have a solemn charge to present
every man perfect in Christ Jesus, wanting in
nothing.

    In your case very much more might have been
accomplished by holy living, by fervent prayer, and
by a careful, painstaking discharge of every duty.
You might have done much by faithful warnings
and reproofs and by affectionate appeals. It is not
brain power alone that is needed, but heart power.
The truth presented as it is in Jesus will have an
effect. You lack ardent, active home religion.
Selfish interests have clouded your mind and
perverted your judgment, and the claims of God
have not been realized. You need to unburden your
soul of worldly cares and business, and to have an
eye single to the glory of God.

   The eternal destiny of all is soon to be decided.

                       703
From Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and other
conferences scores of ministers should go forth
with burning zeal to proclaim the last message of
warning. And at such a time as this will the
presidents of our conferences lie back in the
harness and refuse to draw the heavy load? Will
they by voice or pen exert an influence to
discourage those who have a mind to work? Any
course on their part that would encourage
indolence and unbelief is criminal in the highest
degree. They should encourage the people to
diligence in the cause of God, to make every
exertion for the salvation of souls; but they should
never leave even the slightest impression on their
minds that they are sacrificing too much for the
cause of God, or that more is required of them than
is reasonable. In the heavenly warfare something
must be ventured. Now is our time to work, to
encounter difficulties and dangers. The providence
of God says, "Go forward," not back into Egypt;
and instead of framing a testimony to please the
people, ministers should seek to arouse those who
are asleep.


                        704
    I discern in your letter, Elder M, a vein of
unbelief, a lack of judgment and discernment. Your
position confirms the testimony I have had that you
are giving the conference a narrow mold and have
stood in the way of its advancement because you
have not elevated the standard of truth. I will here
quote a few paragraphs from this testimony, which
was written during the General Conference at
Battle Creek, in November, 1883:

    "Our conversation in regard to the ——-
mission has left a disagreeable impression on my
mind. Do not think me severe in my remarks in
regard to this mission. You spoke with great
satisfaction of the way this work had been carried
forward. You said that Brother O and those
associated with him were willing to do any way to
get along; that they had a small room in a loft,
where they prepared their food; and that they were
doing a good work in the most economical way.
Your ideas on this subject are not correct. The light
which God has given us, precious above the price
of silver and gold, is to go forth in a way to give
character to the work. The brethren connected with

                        705
this mission are not free from the infirmities of
humanity; and unless attention is given to their
health, their work must be greatly embarrassed.
Those who stand at the head of the work in the
conference should not permit such a state of things
to exist. They should educate the people to give of
their means, that no pinched want may be
experienced by the workers. As the stewards of
God the responsibility rests upon them to see that
one or two do not have all the sacrificing to do
while others are taking their ease, eating, drinking,
and dressing, without a thought of our sacred
missions or of their duty with reference to them.

    "I have been shown, Elder M, that you do not
take a correct view of the work, that you do not
realize its importance. You have failed to educate
the people in the true spirit of self-sacrifice and
devotion. You have feared to urge duty upon
wealthy men; and when you have made a feeble
effort in the right direction, and they have begun to
make excuses and to find a little fault with
someone in regard to the management of the work,
you have thought perhaps they were right. This

                        706
subterfuge, which has developed in them doubt and
unbelief, has taken effect in your own heart, and
they have turned this to account and have learned
just how to treat your efforts. When they have
encouraged doubt in regard to the Testimonies, you
have not done what you should to uproot this
feeling. You should have shown them that Satan is
always picking flaws, questioning, accusing, and
laying reproach upon the brethren, and that it is
unsafe to be in any such position."

    "My brother, you have not taken a course to
encourage men to give themselves to the ministry.
Instead of bringing the expense of the work down
to a low figure, it is your duty to bring the minds of
the people to understand that 'the laborer is worthy
of his hire.'" "The churches need to be impressed
with the fact that it is their duty to deal honestly
with the cause of God, not allowing the guilt of the
worst kind of robbery to rest upon them, that of
robbing God in tithes and offerings. When
settlements are made with the laborers in His
cause, they should not be forced to accept small
remuneration because there is a lack of money in

                         707
the treasury. Many have been defrauded of their
just dues in this way, and it is just as criminal in the
sight of God as for one to keep back the wages of
those who are employed in any other regular
business.

    "There are men of ability who would like to go
out and labor in our several conferences; but they
have no courage, for they must have means to
support their families. It is the worst kind of
generalship to allow a conference to stand still or to
fail to settle its honest debts. There is a great deal
of this done; and whenever it is done, God is
displeased.

    "If the presidents and other laborers in our
conferences impress upon the minds of the people
the character of the crime of robbing God, and if
they have a true spirit of devotion and a burden of
the work, God will make their labors a blessing to
the people, and fruit will be seen as the result of
their efforts. Ministers have failed greatly in their
duty to so labor with the churches. There is
important work to be done aside from that of

                          708
preaching. Had this been done, as God designed it
should be, there would have been many more
laborers in the field than there now are. And had
the ministers done their duty in educating every
member, whether rich or poor, to give as God has
prospered him, there would be a full treasury from
which to pay the honest debts to the workers; and
this would greatly advance missionary work in all
their borders. God has shown me that many souls
are in danger of eternal ruin through selfishness
and worldliness; and the watchmen are guilty, for
they have neglected their duty. This is a state of
things that Satan exults to see.

    "All branches of the work belong to the
ministers. It is not God's order that someone should
follow after them and bind off their unfinished
work. It is not the duty of the conference to be at
the expense of employing other laborers to follow
after and pick up the stitches dropped by negligent
workers. It is the duty of the president of the
conference to have an oversight of the laborers and
their work, and to teach them to be faithful in these
things; for no church can prosper that is robbing

                        709
God. The spiritual dearth in our churches is
frequently the result of an alarming prevalence of
selfishness. Selfish, worldly pursuits and schemes
interpose between the soul and God. Men cling to
the world, seeming to fear that should they let go
their hold upon it, God would not care for them.
And so they attempt to take care of themselves;
they are anxious, troubled, distressed, holding on to
their large farms and adding to their possessions.

    "The word of God speaks of 'the hire of the
laborers, . . . which is of you kept back by fraud.'
This is generally understood to apply to wealthy
men who employ servants and do not pay them for
their labor, but it has a broader meaning than this.
It applies with great force to those who have been
enlightened by the Spirit of God and yet in any
degree work upon the same principle that these
men do in hiring servants, grinding them down to
the lowest price."

   I solemnly warn you not to stand in an attitude
similar to that of the unfaithful spies, who went up
to view the land of promise. When these spies

                        710
returned from their search, the congregation of
Israel were cherishing high hopes and were waiting
in eager expectancy. The news of their return is
carried from tribe to tribe and is hailed with
rejoicing. The people rush out to meet the
messengers, who have endured the fatigue of travel
in the dusty highways and under a burning sun.
These messengers bring specimens of the fruit,
showing the fertility of the soil. The congregation
rejoice that they are to come into possession of so
goodly a land; and they listen intently as the report
is brought to Moses, that not a word shall escape
them. "We came unto the land whither thou sentest
us," the spies begin, "and surely it floweth with
milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it." The
people are enthusiastic; they would eagerly obey
the voice of the Lord and go up at once to possess
the land.

    But the spies continue: "Nevertheless the
people be strong that dwell in the land, and the
cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we
saw the children of Anak there." Now the scene
changes. Hope and courage give place to cowardly

                        711
despair as the spies utter the sentiments of their
unbelieving hearts, which are filled with
discouragement prompted by Satan. Their unbelief
casts a gloomy shadow over the congregation, and
the mighty power of God, so often manifested in
behalf of the chosen nation, is forgotten.

     The people are desperate in their
disappointment and despair. A wail of agony arises
and mingles with the confused murmur of voices.
Caleb comprehends the situation and, bold to stand
in defense of the word of God, does all in his
power to counteract the evil influence of his
unfaithful associates. For an instant the people are
stilled to listen to his words of hope and courage
respecting the goodly land. He does not contradict
what has already been said; the walls are high and
the Canaanites strong. "Let us go up at once, and
possess it," he urges; "for we are well able to
overcome it." But the ten interrupt him and picture
the obstacles in darker colors than at first. "We be
not able to go up against the people," they declare,
"for they are stronger than we." "All the people that
we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there

                        712
we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come
of the giants: and we were in our own sight as
grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

    "And all the congregation lifted up their voice,
and cried; and the people wept that night." The
men who have so long borne with the perversity of
Israel know too well what the next scene will be.
Revolt and open mutiny quickly follow; for Satan
has had full sway, and the people seem bereft of
reason. They curse Moses and Aaron, forgetting
that God hears their wicked speeches, and that,
enshrouded in the cloudy pillar, the Angel of His
presence is witnessing their terrible outburst of
wrath. In bitterness they cry out: "Would God that
we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we
had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath
the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the
sword, that our wives and our children should be a
prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
And they said one to another, Let us make a
captain, and let us return into Egypt."

   In humiliation and distress, Moses and Aaron

                        713
fall on "their faces before all the assembly of the
congregation of the children of Israel," not
knowing what to do to turn them from their rash
and passionate purpose. Caleb and Joshua attempt
to quiet the tumult. With their garments rent in
token of grief and indignation, they rush in among
the people, and their ringing voices are heard above
the tempest of lamentation and rebellious grief:
"The land, which we passed through to search it, is
an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us,
then He will bring us into this land, and give it us;
a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only
rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the
people of the land; for they are bread for us: their
defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with
us: fear them not."

    The false report of the unfaithful spies was
fully accepted, and through it the whole
congregation were deluded, just as Satan meant
that they should be; and the voice of God through
His faithful servants was disregarded. The traitors
had done their work. All the assembly, as with one
voice, cried out in favor of stoning Caleb and

                        714
Joshua.

    And now the mighty God reveals Himself, to
the confusion of His disobedient, murmuring
people. "And the glory of the Lord appeared in the
tabernacle of the congregation before all the
children of Israel." What a burden was brought
upon Moses and Aaron, and how earnest were their
entreaties that God would not destroy His people!
Moses pleads before the Lord the wonderful
manifestations of divine power that have made the
name of Israel's God a terror to their enemies, and
entreats that the enemies of God and of His people
may have no occasion to triumph, saying: "Because
the Lord was not able to bring this people into the
land which He sware unto them, therefore He hath
slain them in the wilderness." The Lord hearkened
unto the prayer of Moses; but he declared that
those who had rebelled against Him, after having
witnessed His power and glory, should fall in the
wilderness; they should never see the land which
was their promised inheritance. But of Caleb He
said: "My servant Caleb, because he had another
spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him

                       715
will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and
his seed shall possess it."

    It was Caleb's faith in God that gave him
courage; that kept him from the fear of man, even
the mighty giants, the sons of Anak, and enabled
him to stand boldly and unflinchingly in defense of
the right. From the same exalted source, the mighty
General of the armies of heaven, every true soldier
of the cross of Christ must receive strength and
courage to overcome obstacles that often seem
insurmountable. The law of God is made void; and
those who would do their duty must be ever ready
to speak the words that God gives them, and not
the words of doubt, discouragement, and despair.

    Elder M, although you may be sustained by
many, as were the unfaithful spies, yet the
sentiments of your letter are not prompted by the
Spirit of the Lord. Beware lest your words and
your spirit be like theirs, and your work of the
same baleful character. At such a time as this we
must not harbor a thought nor breathe a word of
unbelief, nor encourage an act of self-serving. This

                        716
has been done in the Upper Columbia and North
Pacific Conferences; and while there we felt in
some measure the sorrow, mortification, and
discouragement that Moses and Aaron, Caleb and
Joshua, experienced. We tried to set the current
flowing in an opposite direction; but it was at the
cost of much severe labor and great anxiety and
distress of mind. And the work of reform in these
conferences has but just commenced. It is the work
of time to overcome the unbelief, distrust, and
suspicion of years. Satan has been to a great extent
successful in carrying out his purposes in these
conferences because he has found persons whom
he could use as his agents.

    For Christ's sake and the truth's sake, Brother
M, do not leave the work in your conference in
such a shape that it will be impossible for the one
that succeeds you to set things in order. The people
have received narrow and limited views of the
work; selfishness has been encouraged, and
worldliness has been unrebuked. I call upon you to
do all in your power to efface the wrong mold you
have given to this conference, to remedy the sad

                        717
effects of your neglect of duty, and thus to prepare
the field for another laborer. Unless you do this,
may God pity the workman who shall follow you.

    Presidents of conferences should be men who
can be fully trusted with God's work. They should
be men of integrity, unselfish, devoted, working
Christians. If they are deficient in these respects,
the churches under their care will not prosper.
They, even more than other ministers of Christ,
should set an example of holy living and of
unselfish devotion to the interests of God's cause,
that those looking to them for an example may not
be misled. But in some instances they are trying to
serve both God and mammon. They are not self-
denying; they do not carry a burden for souls. Their
consciences are not sensitive; when the cause of
God is wounded, they are not bruised in spirit. In
their hearts they question and doubt the
Testimonies of the Spirit of God. They do not
themselves bear the cross of Christ; they know not
the fervent love of Jesus. And they are not faithful
shepherds of the flock over which they have been
made overseers; their record is not one that they

                        718
will rejoice to meet in the day of God.

    How much is required of the minister in his
work of watching for souls as they that must give
an account! What devotion, what singleness of
purpose, what elevated piety, should be seen in his
life and character! How much is lost through a
want of tact and skill in presenting the truth to
others, how much through a carelessness of
deportment, a roughness of speech, and a
worldliness that in no way represents Jesus or
savors of heaven. Our work is about to close up.
Soon it will be said in heaven: "He that is unjust,
let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let
him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him
be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be
holy still." At this solemn time the church is called
upon to be vigilant because of the intense activity
of Satan. His agency is seen on every hand, and yet
ministers and people act as though they were
ignorant of his devices and paralyzed by his power.
Let each member of the church awake. Let each
laborer remember that the vineyard he tills is not
his own, but belongs to his Lord, who has gone on

                         719
a long journey and in His absence has
commissioned His servants to look after His
interests; and let him remember that if he is
unfaithful to his trust he must give an account to
his Lord when He shall return.

    While the doubting ones talk of impossibilities,
while they tremble at the thought of high walls and
strong giants, let the faithful Calebs, who have
"another spirit," come to the front. The truth of
God, which bringeth salvation, will go forth to the
people if ministers and professed believers will not
hedge up its way, as did the unfaithful spies. Our
work is aggressive. Something must be done to
warn the world; and let no voice be heard that will
encourage selfish interests to the neglect of
missionary fields. We must engage in the work
with heart and soul and voice; both mental and
physical powers must be aroused. All heaven is
interested in our work, and angels of God are
ashamed of our weak efforts.

   I am alarmed at the indifference of our
churches. Like Meroz, they have failed to come up

                        720
to the help of the Lord. The laymen have been at
ease. They have folded their hands, feeling that the
responsibility rested upon the ministers. But to
every man God has appointed his work; not work
in his fields of corn and wheat, but earnest,
persevering work for the salvation of souls. God
forbid, Elder M, that you or any other minister
should quench one particle of the spirit of labor
that now exists. Will you not rather stimulate it by
your words of burning zeal? The Lord has made us
the depositaries of His law; He has committed to us
sacred and eternal truth, which is to be given to
others in faithful warnings, reproofs, and
encouragement. By means of railroads and
steamboat lines we are connected with every part
of the world and given access to every nation with
our message of truth. Let us sow the seed of gospel
truth beside all waters; for we know not which
shall prosper, this or that, or whether both shall be
alike fruitful. Paul may plant, and Apollos water;
but it is God who giveth the increase.

   "Let your light so shine before men, that they
may see your good works, and glorify your Father

                        721
which is in heaven." Do not put your light under a
bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light
to all that are in the house. "Ye are not your own;
for ye are bought with a price," even the precious
blood of the Son of God. We have no right to live
to ourselves. Every minister should be a
consecrated missionary; every layman a worker,
using his talents of influence and means in his
Lord's service; for active benevolence is a vital
principle of Christianity. It is the exercise of this
principle that is to bring sheaves to the Lord of the
harvest, while a want of it hinders the work of God
and bars the way for the salvation of souls.

    Ministers have neglected to enforce gospel
beneficence. The subject of tithes and offerings has
not been dwelt upon as it should have been. Men
are not naturally inclined to be benevolent, but to
be sordid and avaricious, and to live for self. And
Satan is ever ready to present the advantages to be
gained by using all their means for selfish, worldly
purposes; he is glad when he can influence them to
shirk duty and rob God in tithes and offerings. But
not one is excused in this matter. "Let every one of

                        722
you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered
him." The poor and the rich, the young men and the
young women who earn wages—all are to lay by a
portion; for God claims it. The spiritual prosperity
of every member of the church depends on
personal effort and strict fidelity to God. Says the
apostle Paul: "Charge them that are rich in this
world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in
uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth
us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that
they be rich in good works, ready to distribute,
willing to communicate; laying up in store for
themselves a good foundation against the time to
come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." All
are required to show a deep interest in the cause of
God in its various branches, and close and
unexpected tests will be brought to bear upon them
to see who are worthy to receive the seal of the
living God.

    All should feel that they are not proprietors, but
stewards, and that the time is coming when they
must give an account for the use they have made of
their Lord's money. Means will be needed in the

                         723
cause of God. With David they should say: "All
things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we
given Thee." Schools are to be established in
various places, publications are to be multiplied,
churches are to be built in the large cities, and
laborers are to be sent forth, not only into the cities,
but into the highways and hedges. And now, my
brethren who believe the truth, is your opportunity.
We are standing, as it were, on the borders of the
eternal world. We are looking for the glorious
appearing of our Lord; the night is far spent; the
day is at hand. When we realize the greatness of
the plan of redemption we shall be far more
courageous, self-sacrificing, and devotional than
we now are.

    There is a great work for us to do before
success will crown our efforts. There must be
decided reforms in our homes and in our churches.
Parents must labor for the salvation of their
children. God will work with our efforts when we
do on our part all that He has enjoined upon us and
qualified us to do; but because of our unbelief,
worldliness, and indolence, blood-bought souls in

                          724
the very shadow of our homes are dying in their
sins, and dying unwarned. Is Satan always thus to
triumph? Oh, no! The light reflected from the cross
of Calvary indicates that a greater work is to be
done than our eyes have yet witnessed.

    The third angel, flying in the midst of heaven
and heralding the commandments of God and the
testimony of Jesus, represents our work. The
message loses none of its force in the angel's
onward flight, for John sees it increasing in
strength and power until the whole earth is
lightened with its glory. The course of God's
commandment-keeping people is onward, ever
onward. The message of truth that we bear must go
to nations, tongues, and peoples. Soon it will go
with a loud voice, and the earth will be lightened
with its glory. Are we preparing for this great
outpouring of the Spirit of God?

    Human agencies are to be employed in this
work. Zeal and energy must be intensified; talents
that are rusting from inaction must be pressed into
service. The voice that would say, "Wait; do not

                       725
allow yourself to have burdens imposed upon you,"
is the voice of the cowardly spies. We want Calebs
now who will press to the front—chieftains in
Israel who with courageous words will make a
strong report in favor of immediate action. When
the selfish, ease-loving, panic-stricken people,
fearing tall giants and inaccessible walls, clamor
for retreat, let the voice of the Calebs be heard,
even though the cowardly ones stand with stones in
their hands, ready to beat them down for their
faithful testimony.

    Can we not discern the signs of the times? Can
we not see how earnestly Satan is at work binding
the tares in bundles, uniting the elements of his
kingdom, that he may gain control of the world?
This work of binding up the tares is going forward
far more rapidly than we imagine. Satan is
opposing every obstacle to the advancement of the
truth. He is seeking to create diversity of opinion
and to encourage worldliness and avarice. He
works with the subtlety of the serpent and, when he
sees it will do, with the ferocity of the lion. The
ruin of souls is his only delight, their destruction

                        726
his only employment; and shall we act as though
we were paralyzed? Will those who profess to
believe the truth listen to the temptations of the
wily foe and allow themselves to become selfish
and narrow, and their worldly interests to interfere
with efforts for the salvation of souls?

    All who ever enter heaven's gates will enter as
conquerors. When the redeemed throng surround
the throne of God, with palm branches in their
hands and crowns on their heads, it will be known
what victories have been won. It will be seen how
Satan's power has been exercised over minds, how
he has linked with himself souls who flattered
themselves that they were doing God's will. It will
then be seen that his power and subtlety could not
have been successfully resisted had not divine
power been combined with human effort. Man
must also be victor over himself; his temper,
inclinations, and spirit must be brought into
subjection to the will of God. But the righteousness
and strength of Christ avail for all who will claim
His merits.


                        727
    Then let earnest and determined effort be made
to beat back the terrible foe. We want on the whole
armor of righteousness. Time is passing, and we
are fast approaching the close of our probation.
Will our names stand registered in the Lamb's book
of life, or shall we be found with the unfaithful?
Are we of the number who shall gather around the
great white throne, singing the song of the
redeemed? There are no cold, formal ones in that
throng. Every soul is in earnest, every heart full of
thanksgiving for the marvelous love of God and the
overcoming grace that has enabled His people to
conquer in the warfare against sin. And with a loud
voice they swell the song: "Salvation to our God
which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."




                        728
                     Chapter 45

   The True Missionary Spirit

    The true missionary spirit is the spirit of Christ.
The world's Redeemer was the great model
missionary. Many of His followers have labored
earnestly and unselfishly in the cause of human
salvation; but no man's labor can bear comparison
with the self-denial, the sacrifice, the benevolence,
of our Exemplar.

    The love which Christ has evinced for us is
without a parallel. How earnestly He labored! How
often was He alone in fervent prayer, on the
mountainside or in the retirement of the garden,
pouring out His supplications with strong crying
and tears. How perseveringly He urged His
petitions in behalf of sinners! Even on the cross He
forgot His own sufferings in His deep love for
those whom He came to save. How cold our love,
how feeble our interest, when compared with the
love and interest manifested by our Saviour! Jesus

                         729
gave Himself to redeem our race; and yet how
ready are we to excuse ourselves from giving all
that we have for Jesus. Our Saviour submitted to
wearing labor, ignominy, and suffering. He was
repulsed, mocked, derided, while engaged in the
great work which He came to earth to do.

   Do you, my brethren and sisters, inquire: What
model shall we copy? I do not point you to great
and good men, but to the world's Redeemer. If we
would have the true missionary spirit we must be
imbued with the love of Christ; we must look to the
Author and Finisher of our faith, study His
character, cultivate His spirit of meekness and
humility, and walk in His footsteps.

    Many suppose that the missionary spirit, the
qualification for missionary work, is a special gift
or endowment bestowed upon the ministers and a
few members of the church and that all others are
to be mere spectators. Never was there a greater
mistake. Every true Christian will possess a
missionary spirit, for to be a Christian is to be
Christlike. No man liveth to himself, and "if any

                        730
man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
His." Everyone who has tasted of the powers of the
world to come, whether he be young or old, learned
or unlearned, will be stirred with the spirit which
actuated Christ. The very first impulse of the
renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour.
Those who do not possess this desire give evidence
that they have lost their first love; they should
closely examine their own hearts in the light of
God's word, and earnestly seek a fresh baptism of
the Spirit of Christ; they should pray for a deeper
comprehension of that wondrous love which Jesus
manifested for us in leaving the realms of glory and
coming to a fallen world to save the perishing.

    There is work for every one of us in the
vineyard of the Lord. We are not to seek that
position which will yield us the most enjoyment or
the greatest gain. True religion is free from
selfishness. The missionary spirit is a spirit of
personal sacrifice. We are to work anywhere and
everywhere, to the utmost of our ability, for the
cause of our Master.


                        731
    Just as soon as a person is really converted to
the truth there springs up in his heart an earnest
desire to go and tell some friend or neighbor of the
precious light shining forth from the sacred pages.
In his unselfish labor to save others he is a living
epistle, known and read of all men. His life shows
that he has been converted to Christ and has
become a colaborer with Him.

    As a class, Seventh-day Adventists are a
generous and warmhearted people. In the
proclamation of the truth for this time we can rely
upon their strong and ready sympathy. When a
proper object for their liberality is presented,
appealing to their judgment and conscience, it calls
forth a hearty response. Their gifts in support of the
cause testify that they believe it to be the cause of
truth. There are, indeed, exceptions among us. Not
all who profess to accept the faith are earnest and
true-hearted believers. But the same was true in the
days of Christ. Even among the apostles there was
a Judas; but that did not prove all to be of the same
character. We have no reason for discouragement
while we know that there are so many who are

                         732
devoted to the cause of truth, and are ready to make
noble sacrifices for its advancement. But there is
still a great lack, a great need among us. There is
too little of the true missionary spirit. All
missionary workers should possess that deep
interest for the souls of their fellow men that will
unite heart to heart in sympathy and in the love of
Jesus. They should plead earnestly for divine aid
and should work wisely to win souls to Christ. A
cold, spiritless effort will accomplish nothing.
There is need that the spirit of Christ fall upon the
sons of the prophets. Then will they manifest such
love for the souls of men as Jesus exemplified in
His life.

    The reason why there is no deeper religious
fervor and no more earnest love for one another in
the church is that the missionary spirit has been
dying out. Little is now said concerning Christ's
coming, which was once the theme of thought and
of conversation. There is an unaccountable
reluctance, a growing disrelish for religious
conversation; and in its stead, idle, frivolous
chitchat is indulged in, even by the professed

                        733
followers of Christ.

    My brethren and sisters, do you desire to break
the spell that holds you? Would you arouse from
this sluggishness that resembles the torpor of
death? Go to work, whether you feel like it or not.
Engage in personal effort to bring souls to Jesus
and the knowledge of the truth. In such labor you
will find both a stimulus and a tonic; it will both
arouse and strengthen. By exercise your spiritual
powers will become more vigorous, so that you can
with better success work out your own salvation.
The stupor of death is upon many who profess
Christ. Make every effort to arouse them. Warn,
entreat, expostulate. Pray that the melting love of
God may warm and soften their icebound natures.
Though they may refuse to hear, your labor will
not be lost. In the effort to bless others your own
souls will be blessed.

    We have the theory of the truth, and now we
need to seek most earnestly for its sanctifying
power. I dare not hold my peace in this time of
peril. It is a time of temptation, of despondency.

                       734
Everyone is beset by the wiles of Satan, and we
should press together to resist his power. We
should be of one mind, speaking the same things,
and with one mouth glorifying God. Then may we
successfully enlarge our plans and by vigilant
missionary effort take advantage of every talent we
can use in the various departments of the work.

     The light of truth is shedding its bright beams
upon the world through missionary effort. The
press is an instrumentality by which many are
reached whom it would be impossible to reach by
ministerial effort. A great work can be done by
presenting to the people the Bible just as it reads.
Carry the word of God to every man's door, urge
its plain statements upon every man's conscience,
repeat to all the Saviour's command: "Search the
Scriptures." Admonish them to take the Bible as it
is, to implore divine enlightenment, and then, when
the light shines, to gladly accept each precious ray
and fearlessly abide the consequences.

   The downtrodden law of God is to be exalted
before the people; as soon as they turn with

                        735
earnestness and reverence to the Holy Scriptures,
light from heaven will reveal to them wondrous
things out of God's law. Great truths that have long
been obscured by superstition and false doctrine
will blaze forth from the illuminated pages of the
Sacred Word. The living oracles pour forth their
treasures new and old, bringing light and joy to all
who will receive them. Many are roused from their
slumber. They rise as it were from the dead and
receive the light and life which Christ alone can
give. Truths which have proved an overmatch for
giant intellects are understood by babes in Christ.
To these is plainly revealed that which has clouded
the spiritual perception of the most learned
expositors of the word, because, like the Sadducees
of old, they were ignorant of the Scriptures and of
the power of God.

    Those who study the Bible with a sincere desire
to know and do the will of God will become wise
unto salvation. The Sabbath school is an important
branch of the missionary work, not only because it
gives to young and old a knowledge of God's word,
but because it awakens in them a love for its sacred

                        736
truths and a desire to study it for themselves; above
all, it teaches them to regulate their lives by its holy
teachings.

    All who take the word of God as their rule of
life are brought into close relationship with one
another. The Bible is their bond of union. But their
companionship will not be sought or desired by
those who do not bow to the Sacred Word as the
one unerring guide. They will be at variance, both
in faith and practice. There can be no harmony
between them; they are unreconcilable. As
Seventh-day Adventists we appeal from custom
and tradition to the plain "Thus saith the Lord;" and
for this reason we are not, and cannot be, in
harmony with the multitudes who teach and follow
the doctrines and commandments of men.

    All who are born of God will become co-
workers with Christ. Such are the salt of the earth.
"But if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall
it be salted?" If the religion we profess fails to
renew our hearts and sanctify our lives, how shall it
exert a saving power upon unbelievers? "It is

                          737
thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out,
and to be trodden underfoot of men." That religion
which will not exert a regenerating power upon the
world is of no value. We cannot trust it for our own
salvation. The sooner we cast it away the better, for
it is powerless and spurious.

    We are to serve under our great Leader, to
press against every opposing influence, to be
laborers together with God. The work appointed us
is to sow the gospel seed beside all waters. In this
work everyone must act a part. The manifold grace
of Christ imparted to us constitutes us stewards of
talents which we must increase by putting them out
to the exchangers, that when the Master calls for
them, He may receive His own with usury.




                        738
                    Chapter 46

  Young Men as Missionaries

    Young men who desire to enter the field as
ministers, colporteurs, or canvassers should first
receive a suitable degree of mental training, as well
as a special preparation for their calling. Those
who are uneducated, untrained, and unrefined are
not prepared to enter a field in which the powerful
influences of talent and education combat the truths
of God's word. Neither can they successfully meet
the strange forms of error, religious and
philosophical combined, to expose which requires
a knowledge of scientific as well as Scriptural
truth.

    Those especially who have the ministry in view
should feel the importance of the Scriptural method
of ministerial training. They should enter heartily
into the work, and while they study in the schools
they should learn of the Great Teacher the
meekness and humility of Christ. A covenant-

                        739
keeping God has promised that in answer to prayer
His Spirit shall be poured out upon these learners
in the school of Christ, that they may become
ministers of righteousness.

    There is hard work to be done in dislodging
error and false doctrine from the head, that Bible
truth and Bible religion may find a place in the
heart. It was as a means ordained of God to educate
young men and women for the various departments
of missionary labor that colleges were established
among us. It is God's will that they send forth not
merely a few, but many laborers. But Satan,
determined to overthrow this purpose, has often
secured the very ones whom God would qualify for
places of usefulness in His work. There are many
who would work if urged into service, and who
would save their souls by thus working. The church
should feel her great responsibility in shutting up
the light of truth and restraining the grace of God
within her own narrow limits when money and
influence should be freely employed in bringing
competent persons into the missionary field.


                       740
    Hundreds of young men should have been
preparing to act a part in the work of scattering the
seeds of truth beside all waters. We want men who
will push the triumphs of the cross; men who will
persevere under discouragements and privations;
who will have the zeal and resolution and faith that
are indispensable in the missionary field.

    Our churches are called upon to take hold of
this work with far greater earnestness than has yet
been manifested. Every church should make
special provision for the training of its
missionaries, thus aiding the fulfillment of the
great command: "Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature." My brethren,
we have erred and sinned in attempting too little.
There should be more laborers in the foreign
missionary field. There are among us those who,
without the toil and delay of learning a foreign
language, might qualify themselves to proclaim the
truth to other nations. In the primitive church,
missionaries were miraculously endowed with a
knowledge of the languages in which they were
called to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.

                        741
And if God was willing thus to help His servants
then, can we doubt that His blessing will rest upon
our efforts to qualify those who naturally possess a
knowledge of foreign tongues, and who with
proper encouragement would bear to their own
countrymen the message of truth? We might have
had more laborers in foreign missionary fields had
those who entered these fields availed themselves
of every talent within their reach. But some have
had a disposition to refuse help if it did not come
just according to their ideas and plans. And what is
the result? If our missionaries were to be removed
by sickness or death from their fields of labor,
where are the men whom they have educated to fill
their places?

    Not one of our missionaries has secured the co-
operation of every available talent. Much time has
thus been lost. We rejoice in the good work which
has been done in foreign lands; but had different
plans of labor been adopted, tenfold, yes,
twentyfold, more might have been accomplished;
an acceptable offering would have been presented
to Jesus in many souls rescued from the bondage of

                        742
error.

    Everyone who receives the light of truth should
be taught to bear the light to others. Our
missionaries in foreign lands should gratefully
accept every help, every facility, offered them.
They must be willing to run some risk, to venture
something. It is not pleasing to God that we defer
present opportunities for doing good, in hope of
accomplishing a greater work in the future. Each
should follow the leadings of Providence, not
consulting self-interest, and not trusting wholly to
his own judgment. Some may be so constituted as
to see failure where God intends success; they may
see only giants and walled cities, where others,
with clearer vision, see also God and angels ready
to give victory to His truth.

    It may in some cases be necessary that young
men learn foreign languages. This they can do with
most success by associating with the people, at the
same time devoting a portion of each day to
studying the language. This should be done,
however, only as a necessary step preparatory to

                        743
educating such as are found in the missionary field
themselves, and who with proper training can
become workers. It is essential that those be urged
into the service who can speak in their mother
tongue to the people of different nations. It is a
great undertaking for a man of middle age to learn
a foreign language, and with all his efforts it will
be next to impossible for him to speak it so readily
and correctly as to render him an efficient laborer.

    We cannot afford to deprive our home missions
of the influence of middle-aged and aged ministers
to send them into distant fields, to engage in a work
for which they are not qualified, and to which no
amount of training will enable them to adapt
themselves. The men thus sent out leave vacancies
which inexperienced laborers cannot supply.

    But the church may inquire whether young men
can be trusted with the grave responsibilities
involved in establishing and superintending a
foreign mission. I answer: God designed that they
should be so trained in our colleges and by
association in labor with men of experience that

                        744
they would be prepared for departments of
usefulness in this cause. We must manifest
confidence in our young men. They should be
pioneers in every enterprise involving toil and
sacrifice, while the overtaxed servants of Christ
should be cherished as counselors, to encourage
and bless those who strike the heaviest blows for
God. Providence thrust these experienced fathers
into trying, responsible positions at an early age,
when neither physical nor intellectual powers were
fully developed. The magnitude of the trust
committed to them aroused their energies, and their
active labor in the work aided both mental and
physical development.

    Young men are wanted. God calls them to
missionary fields. Being comparatively free from
care and responsibilities, they are more favorably
situated to engage in the work than are those who
must provide for the training and support of a large
family. Furthermore, young men can more readily
adapt themselves to new climates and new society,
and can better endure inconveniences and
hardships. By tact and perseverance they can reach

                        745
the people where they are.

     Strength comes by exercise. All who put to use
the ability which God has given them will have
increased ability to devote to His service. Those
who do nothing in the cause of God will fail to
grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. A
man who would lie down and refuse to exercise his
limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus
the Christian who will not exercise his God-given
powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he
loses the strength which he already has; he
becomes a spiritual paralytic. It is those who, with
love for God and their fellow men, are striving to
help others that become established, strengthened,
settled, in the truth. The true Christian works for
God, not from impulse, but from principle; not for
a day or a month, but during the entire period of
life.

    How is our light to shine forth to the world
unless it be by our consistent Christian life? How is
the world to know that we belong to Christ, if we
do nothing for Him? Said our Saviour: "Ye shall

                        746
know them by their fruits." And again: "He that is
not with Me is against Me." There is no neutral
ground between those who work to the utmost of
their ability for Christ and those who work for the
adversary of souls. Everyone who stands as an idler
in the vineyard of the Lord is not merely doing
nothing himself, but he is a hindrance to those who
are trying to work. Satan finds employment for all
who are not earnestly striving to secure their own
salvation and the salvation of others.

    The church of Christ may be fitly compared to
an army. The life of every soldier is one of toil,
hardship, and danger. On every hand are vigilant
foes, led on by the prince of the powers of
darkness, who never slumbers and never deserts his
post. Whenever a Christian is off his guard, this
powerful adversary makes a sudden and violent
attack. Unless the members of the church are active
and vigilant, they will be overcome by his devices.

    What if half the soldiers in an army were idling
or asleep when ordered to be on duty; the result
would be defeat, captivity, or death. Should any

                        747
escape from the hands of the enemy, would they be
thought worthy of a reward? No; they would
speedily receive the sentence of death. And is the
church of Christ careless or unfaithful, far more
important consequences are involved. A sleeping
army of Christian soldiers—what could be more
terrible! What advance could be made against the
world, who are under the control of the prince of
darkness? Those who stand back indifferently in
the day of battle, as though they had no interest and
felt no responsibility as to the issue of the contest,
might better change their course or leave the ranks
at once.

    The Master calls for gospel workers. Who will
respond? All who enter the army are not to be
generals, captains, sergeants, or even corporals. All
have not the care and responsibility of leaders.
There is hard work of other kinds to be done. Some
must dig trenches and build fortifications; some are
to stand as sentinels, some to carry messages.
While there are but few officers, it requires many
soldiers to form the rank and file of the army; yet
its success depends upon the fidelity of every

                         748
soldier. One man's cowardice or treachery may
bring disaster upon the entire army.

    There is earnest work to be done by us
individually if we would fight the good fight of
faith. Eternal interests are at stake. We must put on
the whole armor of righteousness, we must resist
the devil, and we have the sure promise that he will
be put to flight. The church is to conduct an
aggressive warfare, to make conquests for Christ,
to rescue souls from the power of the enemy. God
and holy angels are engaged in this warfare. Let us
please Him who has called us to be soldiers.

    All can do something in the work. None will be
pronounced guiltless before God unless they have
worked earnestly and unselfishly for the salvation
of souls. The church should teach the youth, both
by precept and example, to be workers for Christ.
There are many who complain of their doubts, who
lament that they have no assurance of their
connection with God. This is often attributable to
the fact that they are doing nothing in God's cause.
Let them seek earnestly to help and bless others,

                        749
and their doubts and despondency will disappear.

    Many who profess to be followers of Christ
speak and act as though their names were a great
honor to the cause of God, while they bear no
burdens and win no souls to the truth. Such persons
live as though God had no claims upon them. If
they continue in this course they will find at last
that they have no claims upon God.

    He who has appointed "to every man his work,"
according to his ability, will never let the faithful
performance of duty go unrewarded. Every act of
loyalty and faith will be crowned with special
tokens of God's favor and approbation. To every
worker is given the promise: "He that goeth forth
and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless
come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves
with him."




                        750
                    Chapter 47

Importance of the Canvassing
           Work

    Very much more efficient work can be done in
the canvassing field than has yet been done. The
canvasser should not rest satisfied unless he is
constantly improving. He should make thorough
preparation, but should not be content with a set
form of words; he should give the Lord a chance to
work with his efforts and impress his mind. The
love of Jesus abiding in his heart will enable him to
devise means to gain access to individuals and
families.

    Canvassers need self-culture and polished
manners, not the affected and artificial manners of
the world, but the agreeable manners that are the
natural result of kindness of heart and a desire to
copy the example of Christ. They should cultivate
thoughtful, care-taking habits,—habits of industry
and discretion,—and should seek to honor God by
                        751
making of themselves all that it is possible for them
to become. Jesus made an infinite sacrifice to place
them in right relations to God and to their fellow
men, and divine aid combined with human effort
will enable them to reach a high standard of
excellence. The canvasser should be chaste like
Joseph, meek like Moses, and temperate like
Daniel; then a power will attend him wherever he
goes.

    If the canvasser pursues a wrong course, if he
utters falsehood or practices deception, he loses his
own self-respect. He may not be conscious that
God sees him and is acquainted with every
business transaction, that holy angels are weighing
his motives and listening to his words, and that his
reward will be according to his works; but if it
were possible to conceal his wrongdoing from
human and divine inspection, the fact that he
himself knows it, is degrading to his mind and
character. One act does not determine the
character, but it breaks down the barrier, and the
next temptation is more readily entertained, until
finally a habit of prevarication and dishonesty in

                        752
business is formed, and the man cannot be trusted.

    There are too many in families and in the
church who make little account of glaring
inconsistencies. There are young men who appear
what they are not. They seem honest and true; but
they are like whited sepulchers, fair without, but
corrupt to the core. The heart is spotted, stained
with sin; and thus the record stands in the heavenly
courts. A process has been going on in the mind
that has made them callous, past feeling. But if
their characters, weighed in the balances of the
sanctuary, are pronounced wanting in the great day
of God, it will be a calamity that they do not now
comprehend. Truth, precious, untarnished truth, is
to be a part of the character.

    Whatever way is chosen, the path of life is
beset with perils. If the workers in any branch of
the cause become careless and inattentive to their
eternal interests, they are meeting with great loss.
The tempter will find access to them. He will
spread nets for their feet, and will lead them in
uncertain paths. Those only are safe whose hearts

                        753
are garrisoned with pure principles. Like David
they will pray: "Hold up my goings in Thy paths,
that my footsteps slip not." A constant battle must
be kept up with the selfishness and corruption of
the human heart. Often the wicked seem to be
prospered in their way; but those who forget God,
even for an hour or a moment, are in a dangerous
path. They may not realize its perils; but ere they
are aware, habit, like an iron band, holds them in
subjection to the evil with which they have
tampered. God despises their course, and His
blessing will not attend them.

    I have seen that young men undertake this work
without connecting themselves with heaven. They
place themselves in the way of temptation to show
their bravery. They laugh at the folly of others.
They know the right way; they know how to
conduct themselves. How easily they can resist
temptation! How vain to think of their falling! But
they make not God their defense. Satan has an
insidious snare prepared for them, and they
themselves become the sport of fools.


                       754
     Our great adversary has agents that are
constantly hunting for an opportunity to destroy
souls, as a lion hunts his prey. Shun them, young
man; for, while they appear to be your friends, they
will slyly introduce evil ways and practices. They
flatter you with their lips, and offer to help and
guide you; but their steps take hold on hell. If you
listen to their counsel, it may be the turning point
in your life. One safeguard removed from
conscience, the indulgence of one evil habit, a
single neglect of the high claims of duty, may be
the beginning of a course of deception that will
pass you into the ranks of those who are serving
Satan, while you are all the time professing to love
God and His cause. A moment of thoughtlessness,
a single misstep, may turn the whole current of
your lives in the wrong direction. And you may
never know what caused your ruin until the
sentence is pronounced: "Depart from Me, ye that
work iniquity."

    Some young men know that what I have said
fairly describes their course. Their ways are not
hidden from the Lord, although they may be hidden

                        755
from their best friends, even their fathers and
mothers. I have little hope that some of these will
ever change their course of hypocrisy and
deception. Others who have erred are seeking to
redeem themselves. May the dear Jesus help them
to set their faces as a flint against all falsehoods
and the flatteries of those who would weaken their
purpose to do right or who would insinuate doubts
or infidel sentiments to shake their faith in the
truth. Young friends, do not spend an hour in the
company of those who would unfit you for the pure
and sacred work of God. Do nothing before
strangers that you would not do before your father
and mother, or that you would be ashamed of
before Christ and the holy angels.

    Some may think these cautions are not needed
by Sabbathkeepers, but those to whom they apply
know what I mean. I tell you, young men, to
beware; for you can do nothing that is not open to
the eyes of angels and of God. You cannot do an
evil work and others not be affected by it. While
your course of action reveals what kind of material
is used in your own character building, it also has a

                        756
powerful influence over others. Never lose sight of
the fact that you belong to God, that He has bought
you with a price, and you must render an account
to Him for all His entrusted talents. No one should
have any part in the work of the canvasser or
colporteur whose hand is defiled with sin or whose
heart is not right with God, for such persons will
surely dishonor the cause of truth. Those who are
workers in the missionary field need God to guide
them. They should be careful to start right and then
keep quietly and firmly on in the path of rectitude.
They should be decided, for Satan is determined
and persevering in his efforts to overthrow them.

   A mistake has been made in soliciting
subscriptions for our periodicals for only a few
weeks, when by a proper effort much longer
subscriptions might have been obtained. One
yearly subscription is of more value than many for
a short time. When the paper is taken for only a
few months, the interest often ends with the short
subscription. Few renew their subscriptions for a
longer period, and thus there is a large outlay of
time that brings small returns, when, with a little

                        757
more tact and perseverance, yearly subscriptions
might have been obtained. You strike too low,
brethren; you are too narrow in your plans. You do
not put into your work all the tact and perseverance
that it deserves. There are more difficulties in this
work than in some other branches of business; but
the lessons that will be learned, the tact and
discipline that will be acquired, will fit you for
other fields of usefulness, where you may minister
to souls. Those who poorly learn their lesson, and
are careless and abrupt in approaching persons,
would show the same defects of manner, the same
want of tact and skill in dealing with minds, should
they enter the ministry.

    While short subscriptions are accepted, some
will not make the effort necessary to obtain them
for a longer time. Canvassers should not go over
the ground in a careless, unconcerned manner.
They should feel that they are God's workmen, and
the love of souls should lead them to make every
effort to enlighten men and women in regard to the
truth. Providence and grace, means and ends, are
closely connected. When His laborers do the very

                        758
best they can, God does for them that which they
cannot do themselves; but no one need expect to
succeed independently and by his own exertions.
There must be activity united with firm trust in
God.

     Economy is needed in every department of the
Lord's work. The natural turn of youth in this age is
to neglect and despise economy, and to confound it
with stinginess and narrowness. But economy is
consistent with the most broad and liberal views
and feelings; there can be no true generosity where
it is not practiced. No one should think it beneath
him to study economy and the best means of taking
care of the fragments. Said Christ, after He had
performed a notable miracle: "Gather up the
fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."

    Quite a sum may be expended in hotel bills that
are not at all necessary. The cause of God lay so
near the heart of the pioneers in this message that
they seldom took a meal at a hotel, even though the
cost was but twenty-five cents each. But young
men and women generally are not educated to

                        759
economize, and waste follows waste everywhere.
In some families there is a wicked waste of enough
to support another family if reasonable economy
were used. If, while traveling, our youth will keep
an exact account of the money they expend, item
by item, their eyes will be opened to see the leaks.
While they may not be called upon to deprive
themselves of warm meals, as the early workers did
in their itinerant life, they may learn to supply their
real wants with less expense than they now think
necessary. There are persons who practice self-
denial in order to give means to the cause of God;
then let the workers in the cause also practice self-
denial by limiting their expenses as far as possible.
It would be well for all our workers to study the
history of the Waldensian missionaries and to
imitate their example of sacrifice and self-denial.

    We have a grand work to do for the Master, to
open the word of God to those who are in the
darkness of error. Young friends, act as though you
had a sacred charge. You should be Bible students,
ever ready to give to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is in you. By your true

                         760
Christian dignity give evidence that you know you
have a truth that it is for the interest of the people
to hear. If this truth is inwrought in the soul, it will
manifest itself in the countenance and demeanor, in
a calm, noble self-possession and peace which the
Christian alone can possess.

     Those who have genuine humility, and whose
minds have been expanded by the truths unfolded
in the gospel, will have an influence that will be
felt. They will make an impression upon minds and
hearts, and they will be respected by the larger
number, even of those who have no sympathy with
their faith. With the truths of the Bible and our
valuable papers they will have success, for the
Lord will open the way before them. But to urge
our papers upon the people by means of gifts and
premiums does not have a permanent influence for
good. If our workers would go forth relying upon
the truths of the Bible, with the love of Christ and
of souls in their hearts, they would accomplish
more in obtaining permanent subscribers than by
depending upon premiums or low prices. The
prominence given to these inducements to take the

                          761
paper gives the impression that it cannot possess
real merit in itself. The results would be better if
the paper were made prominent and the money
spent for premiums were reserved to distribute a
few copies free. When premiums are offered, some
may be induced to take the paper who otherwise
would not, but others will refuse to subscribe
because they think it a speculation. If the canvasser
would present the merits of the paper itself, with
his heart uplifted to God for success, and would
depend less upon premiums, more would be
accomplished.

    In this age the trivial is praised and magnified.
There is a call for anything that will create a
sensation and make sales. The country is flooded
with utterly worthless publications, which were
written for the sake of making money, while really
valuable books are unsold and unread. Those who
handle this sensational literature because by so
doing they can make higher wages are missing a
precious opportunity to do good. There are battles
to be fought to arrest the attention of men and
women, and interest them in really valuable books

                        762
that have the Bible for their foundation; and it will
be a still greater task to find conscientious, God-
fearing workers who will enter the field to canvass
for these books for the purpose of diffusing light.

    The worker who has the cause of God at heart
will not insist on receiving the highest wages. He
will not plead, as some of our youth have done,
that unless he can make a stylish and elegant
appearance, and board at the best hotels, he will not
be patronized. What the canvasser needs is not the
faultless apparel, or the address of the dandy or the
clown, but that honesty and integrity of character
which is reflected in the countenance. Kindness
and gentleness leave their impress upon the face,
and the practiced eye sees no deception, detects no
pomposity of manner.

    A large number have entered the field as
canvassers with whom premiums are the only
means of success. They have no real merit as
workers. They have no experience in practical
religion; they have the same faults, the same tastes
and self-indulgences, that characterized them

                        763
before they claimed to be Christians. Of them it
may be said that God is not in their thoughts; He
has no abiding place in their hearts. There is a
littleness, an earthliness, a debasement in their
character and deportment, that testifies against
them that they are walking in the way of their own
hearts and in the sight of their own eyes. They will
not practice self-denial, but are determined to enjoy
life. The heavenly treasure has no attractions for
them; all their tastes are downward, not upward.
Friends and relatives cannot elevate such persons,
for they have not a mind to despise the evil and
choose the good.

    The less we trust these persons, who are not
few but many, the better will the work of present
truth stand in the eyes of the world. Our brethren
should show discretion in selecting canvassers and
colporteurs, unless they have made up their minds
to have the truth misapprehended and
misrepresented. They should give all real workers
good wages; but the sum should not be increased to
buy canvassers, for this course hurts them. It makes
them selfish and spendthrifts. Seek to impress them

                        764
with the spirit of true missionary work and with the
qualifications necessary to ensure success. The
love of Jesus in the soul will lead the canvasser to
feel it a privilege to labor to diffuse light. He will
study, plan, and pray over the matter.

    Young men are wanted who are men in
understanding, who appreciate the intellectual
faculties that God has given them, and who
cultivate them with the utmost care. Exercise
enlarges these faculties, and if heart culture is not
neglected, the character will be well balanced. The
means of improvement are within the reach of all.
Then let none disappoint the Master, when He
comes seeking for fruit, by presenting nothing but
leaves. A resolute purpose, sanctified by the grace
of Christ, will do wonders. Jesus and holy angels
will give success to the efforts of intelligent, God-
fearing men who do all in their power to save
souls. Quietly, modestly, with a heart overflowing
with love, let them seek to win minds to investigate
the truth, engaging in Bible readings when they
can. By so doing they will be sowing the seed of
truth beside all waters, showing forth the praises of

                         765
Him who hath called them out of darkness into His
marvelous light. Those who are doing this work
from right motives are doing an important work of
ministering. They will manifest no feeble,
undecided character. Their minds are enlarging,
their manners are becoming more refined. They
should place no bounds to their improvement, but
every day be better fitted to do good work.

    Many of the workers in the canvassing field are
making no sacrifices. As a class they have less of
the missionary spirit than the workers in any other
denomination. When the way is all prepared for
them, when they can command the highest wages,
then they are willing to enter the field. Many
inducements are presented to canvassers to handle
popular books; large wages are offered them; and
many refuse to work for less wages to circulate
books treating on present truth. Therefore the
inducements have been increased to correspond
with those offered by other publishers, and as a
consequence the expense of getting our
publications before the people is large; many of the
canvassers obtain their money easily and spend it

                        766
freely.

    Among the people professing present truth
there is not a missionary spirit corresponding with
our faith. The ring of the true gold in character is
wanting. Christian life is more than they take it to
be. It does not consist in mere gentleness, patience,
meekness, and kindliness. These graces are
essential; but there is need of courage, force,
energy, and perseverance also. Many who engage
in the work of canvassing are weak, nerveless,
spiritless, easily discouraged. They lack push. They
have not those positive traits of character that give
men power to do something,—the spirit and energy
that kindle enthusiasm. The canvasser is engaged
in an honorable business, and he should not act as
though he were ashamed of it. If he would have
success attend his efforts he must be courageous
and hopeful.

    The active virtues must be cultivated as well as
the passive. The Christian, while he is ever ready to
give the soft answer that turneth away wrath, must
possess the courage of a hero to resist evil. With

                        767
the charity that endureth all things, he must have
the force of character which will make his
influence a positive power for good. Faith must be
wrought into his character. His principles must be
firm; he must be noble-spirited, above all suspicion
of meanness. The canvasser must not be self-
inflated. As he associates with men he must not
make him self conspicuous, talking of himself in a
boastful way; for by this course he would disgust
intelligent, sensible people. He must not be selfish
in his habits nor overbearing and domineering in
his manners. Very many have settled it in their
minds that they cannot find time to read one in ten
thousand of the books that are published and put
upon the market. And in many cases when the
canvasser makes known his business, the door of
the heart closes firmly; hence the great need of
doing his work with tact and in a humble, prayerful
spirit. He should be familiar with the word of God
and have words at his command to unfold the
precious truth and to show the great value of the
pure reading matter he carries.

   Well    may    everyone    feel   an   individual

                        768
responsibility in this work. Well may he consider
how he may best arrest the attention, for his
manner of presenting the truth may decide the
destiny of a soul. If he makes a favorable
impression, his influence may be to that soul a
savor of life unto life; and that one person,
enlightened in regard to the truth, may enlighten
many others. Therefore it is dangerous to do
careless work in dealing with minds.

    The canvassing work is God's means of
reaching many that would not otherwise be
impressed with the truth. The work is a good one,
the object high and elevating; and there should be a
corresponding dignity of deportment. The
canvasser will meet men of varied minds. He will
meet those who are ignorant and debased and can
appreciate nothing that does not bring them money.
These will be abusive, but he should not heed
them. His good nature should never fail; he should
take a cheerful, hopeful view of every perplexity.
He will meet those who are bereaved, disheartened,
and sore and wounded in spirit. He will have many
opportunities of speaking to these kind words and

                        769
words of courage, hope, and faith. He may be a
wellspring to refresh others if he will; but, in order
to do this, he must himself draw from the Fountain
of living truth.

    The canvassing work is more important than
many have regarded it, and as much care and
wisdom must be used in selecting the workers as in
selecting men for the ministry. Young men can be
trained to do much better work than has been done
and on much less pay than many have received.
Lift up the standard, and let the self-denying and
the self-sacrificing, the lovers of God and of
humanity, join the army of workers. Let them
come, not expecting ease, but to be brave and of
good courage under rebuffs and hardships. Let
those come who can give a good report of our
publications because they themselves appreciate
their value.

    May the Lord help everyone to improve to the
utmost the talents committed to his trust. Those
who work in this cause do not study their Bibles as
they should. If they did, its practical teachings

                         770
would have a positive bearing upon their lives.
Whatever your work may be, dear brethren and
sisters, do it as for the Master, and do your best. Do
not overlook present golden opportunities and let
your life prove a failure while you sit idly
dreaming of ease and success in a work for which
God has never fitted you. Do the work that is
nearest you. Do it, even though it may be amid
perils and hardships in the missionary field; but do
not, I beg of you, complain of hardships and self-
sacrifices. Look at the Waldenses. See what plans
they devised that the light of the gospel might shine
into benighted minds. We should not labor with the
expectation of receiving our reward in this life, but
with our eyes fixed steadfastly upon the prize at the
end of the race. Men and women are wanted now
who are as true to duty as the needle to the pole,
men and women who will work without having
their way smoothed and every obstacle removed.

    I have described what canvassers ought to be;
and may the Lord open their minds to comprehend
this subject in its length and breadth, and may they
realize their duty to represent the character of

                         771
Christ by their patience, courage, and steadfast
integrity. Let them remember that they can deny
Him by a loose, lax, undecided character. Young
men, if you take these principles with you into the
canvassing field you will be respected; and many
will believe the truth you advocate, because you
live your faith, because your daily life is as a bright
light set upon a candlestick, which giveth light to
all that are in the house. Even your enemies, as
much as they war against your doctrines, will
respect you; and when you have gained this much,
your simple words will have a power and will carry
conviction to hearts.




                         772
                    Chapter 48

        The Publishing Work

    There are and ever will be many perplexities
connected with the publishing office at Battle
Creek. The institutions established there are God's
instrumentalities for accomplishing His work in the
earth. For this reason Satan is on the ground,
exercising his ingenuity to embarrass and hinder.
He comes with his temptations to men and women
connected with these institutions, whether in
responsible positions or doing the humblest work,
and if possible he so ensnares them with his
devices that they lose their connection with God,
become confused in judgment, and are unable to
discern between right and wrong. He knows that
the time will surely come when the spirit that has
controlled the life will be made manifest, and he is
glad to have the lives of these persons testify
against them that they are not co-workers with
Christ.


                        773
    Many who have grown to the years and stature
of manhood are deficient in the elements that
constitute a noble, manly character. God does not
regard them as men. They are not reliable. Some of
these are connected with our institutions. They
have influence; but it is of a pernicious character,
for it is seldom on the side of right. While they
profess godliness, their example constantly tends to
encourage       unrighteousness.   Skepticism     is
interwoven with their thoughts and expressed in
their words, and their powers are used for the
perversion of righteousness, truth, and justice.
Their minds are controlled by Satan, and he works
through them to demoralize and bring in confusion.
The more pleasing and attractive their manners, the
more richly they are endowed with brilliant talents,
the more effectual agents are they in the hands of
the enemy of all righteousness to demoralize all
who come under their influence. It will be found a
hard and thankless task to keep these from
becoming a ruling power and carrying out their
own purposes in encouraging disorder and loose,
lax principles.


                        774
    The youth exposed to their influence are never
safe unless those under whose care they are placed
exercise the greatest vigilance and they themselves
have right principles firmly established. But it is a
sad fact that in this age many of the young yield
readily to the influence of Satan, but resist the
Spirit of God; and in many cases wrong habits have
become so firmly fixed that the greatest effort on
the part of the managers would not result in
molding their characters in the right direction.

    Those who stand in positions of trust in the
publishing house have weighty responsibilities to
bear, and they are not fitted for these places unless
they are day by day gaining a deeper and more
reliable Christian experience. Eternal interests
should be made the first consideration, and every
influence which would help in the divine life
should be welcomed. Men to whom the Lord has
given the charge of business matters connected
with His cause should be spiritually minded. They
should not neglect to attend religious meetings nor
consider it a task to speak often one to another of
their religious life and experience. God will listen

                        775
to their testimonies; they will be recorded in His
book of remembrance; and He will favor His
faithful ones and "will spare them, as a man spareth
his own son that serveth him."

    Those standing at the head of the publishing
work should remember that they are an example to
many; and they should be faithful in the public
worship of God, just as they would have every
workman in every department of the office faithful.
If they are seen in the house of worship only
occasionally, others will excuse themselves on
account of their neglect. These businessmen can at
any time talk fluently and intelligently on business
matters, showing that they have not exercised their
powers in this direction in vain. They have put tact
and skill and knowledge into their work, but how
important it is that their hearts, their minds, and all
their powers be also trained for faithful service in
the cause and worship of God; that they be able to
point out the way of salvation through Christ in
language eloquent in its simplicity. They should be
men of earnest prayer and firm reliance upon God;
men who, like Abraham, will order their

                         776
households after them and will manifest a special
interest in the spiritual welfare of all connected
with the office.

     Those who make Christ first in everything can
be trusted. They will not be self-confident, nor will
they sink their religious interest in their business.
Has      God     entrusted    men     with    sacred
responsibilities? then He would have them feel
their own weakness and their dependence upon
Him. It is unsafe for men to lean to their own
understanding; therefore they should daily seek
strength and wisdom from above. God should be in
all their thoughts; then all the wiles and subtleties
of the old serpent cannot betray them into sinful
neglect of duty. They will meet the adversary with
the simple weapon that Christ used, "It is written,"
or will repulse him with, "Get thee behind Me,
Satan."

    In the warning to "watch and pray," Jesus has
indicated the only safe course. There is need of
watchfulness. Our own hearts are deceitful; we are
compassed with the weaknesses and frailties of

                        777
humanity, and Satan is intent to destroy. We may
be off our guard, but our adversary is never idle.
Knowing his tireless vigilance, let us not sleep, as
do others, but "watch and be sober." The spirit and
influence of the world must be met, but they must
not be allowed to take possession of the mind and
heart.

    The active man of business, as he is brought in
contact with the world, will have trials, perplexity,
and anxious care. He will find that there is a
tendency to let worldly thoughts and plans take the
lead, and that it will require effort, and discipline of
mind and soul, to maintain a devotional spirit. But
divine grace waits his demand, and his great need
is the mighty argument that will prevail with God.
For these men Jesus has made special provision.
He invites them: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor
and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take
My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is
light." Those who have fellowship with Christ have
constant rest and peace. Then why do we walk

                          778
alone, disdaining His companionship? Why do we
not take Him into all our counsels? Why do we not
come to Him in all our perplexities and prove the
strength of His promises?

    The Holy Spirit illumines our darkness, informs
our ignorance, and understands and helps us in our
manifold necessities. But the mind must be
constantly going out after God. If coldness and
worldliness are allowed to come in, we shall have
no heart to pray, no courage to look up to Him who
is the source of strength and wisdom. Then pray
always, dear brethren and sisters, "lifting up holy
hands, without wrath and doubting." Urge your
requests to the throne of grace, and rely upon God
hour by hour and moment by moment. The service
of Christ will regulate all your relations with your
fellow men and make your life fruitful in good
works.

   Let none imagine that selfishness, self-esteem,
and self-indulgence are compatible with the Spirit
of Christ. Upon every truly converted man or
woman there rests a responsibility that we cannot

                        779
rightly estimate. The maxims and ways of the
world are not to be adopted by the sons and
daughters of the heavenly King. "Beloved, now are
we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what
we shall be: but we know that, when He shall
appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him
as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him
purifieth himself, even as He is pure." But the
world know us not, because they knew not Christ,
our Master.

    Business managers are needed in the Review
office who will correctly represent Jesus and the
plan of salvation. God is displeased when they use
all their powers in worldly enterprises, or even in
business relating to the publishing work, and do
nothing for the strengthening of His church, the
upbuilding of His kingdom. To labor for God and
for the salvation of souls is the highest and noblest
calling that men ever had or ever can have. The
losses and gains in this business are of great
importance; for the results do not end with this life,
but reach over into eternity.


                         780
    Brethren, whatever business you engage in,
whatever department of the work is allotted to you,
carry your religion with you. God and heaven
should not be left out of the experience and the
lifework. The workers in this cause should guard
against becoming one-sided men and letting only
the worldly element in their characters appear. In
the past there have been decided failures on the
part of men connected with the office. They have
not been spiritually minded; and their influence has
not tended to lead toward the heavenly Canaan, but
backward toward Egypt.

    Brother P has been blessed with abilities which,
if consecrated to God, would enable him to do
great good. He has a quick mind. He understands
the theory of the truth and the claims of God's law;
but he has not learned in the school of Christ the
meekness and lowliness that would make him a
safe man to stand in a position of trust. He has been
weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found
wanting. He has had great light in warnings and
reproofs; but he has not given heed to them; he has
not even seen the necessity of changing his course

                        781
of action. His example before those laboring in the
office has not been consistent with his profession.
He has not manifested a steadfast purpose; he has
been a boyish man, and his influence has had a
tendency to lead away from Christ toward
conformity to the world.

    The cross of Christ has been presented to
Brother P; but he has turned away from it, for it
involves shame and reproach rather than the honor
and praise of the world. Again and again Jesus has
called: Take up the cross and follow Me, so shall
ye be My disciple. But other voices have been
calling in the direction of worldly pride and
ambition; and he has listened to these voices
because their spirit is more pleasing to the natural
heart. He has turned from Jesus, divorced himself
from God, and embraced the world. He was called
to represent Christ, and to be a bright light in the
world; but he has betrayed his sacred trust. The
world interposes between his soul and Jesus, and
he has had a worldly experience when he should
have been gaining one of an entirely opposite
character. He has been decidedly worldly in his

                        782
tastes and opinions, and consequently has been
unable to comprehend spiritual things.

    Brother P's success in the ministry, and also in
his position of trust in the office, depended upon
the character he should maintain. Painstaking,
persevering effort was needed that in going out and
coming in before his fellow laborers no wrong
example should be set. The plan he should have
adopted, the course of action he should have
pursued, is plainly marked out in the word of God.
Had he taken heed to that word, it would have been
a light to his path, guiding his inexperienced feet
into a safe way. Testimonies of the Spirit of God
have been sent to him again and again, showing
him where he was diverging from the highway cast
up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in and
warning and entreating him to change his course of
action. But his own ways have seemed right in his
eyes; and he has followed inclination, not heeding
the light given him. He was not a safe counselor.
He was not a safe man in the office; neither was he
a safe shepherd, for he would lead the sheep astray.
He has preached excellent discourses; but out of

                        783
the desk he has not carried out the principles he has
preached. This kind of work is an offense to God.

    Brother P's union with the world has proved a
snare to him self and to others. Oh, how many
stumble over such lives as his. They get the
impression that when they take the first steps in
conversion,—repentance, faith, and baptism,—this
is all that is required of them. But this is a fatal
error. The arduous struggle for conquest over self,
for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle.
There is no release in this war; the effort must be
continuous and persevering. Christian integrity
must be sought with resistless energy and
maintained with a resolute fixedness of purpose.

    A genuine religious experience unfolds and
intensifies. Continual advancement, increasing
knowledge and power in the word of God, is the
natural result of a vital connection with God. The
light of holy love will grow brighter and brighter
unto the perfect day. It was Brother P's privilege to
have such an experience as this; but he has not had
the oil of grace in his vessel with his lamp, and his

                        784
light has been growing dim. If he does not make a
decided change soon, he will be where no warnings
or entreaties will ever reach him. His light will go
out in darkness, and he will be left in despair.

             Importance of Economy

    Brother R has good business ability for some
branches of the work, which would enable him to
serve the office acceptably; but he has not educated
and disciplined himself to be a thorough, efficient
manager. Under his charge there have been grave
neglects; a disorderly, disorganized state of things
has existed, which should be promptly corrected.
There are many little matters connected with his
work that have not received attention, and as a
consequence there are leaks. Losses and wastes are
allowed that might be avoided.

    I have passed through the office and have been
shown how the angels of God look upon the work
done in the various rooms. In some the condition of
things is better than in others; but in all there are
wrongs that might be remedied. Loss, loss, is seen

                        785
in many departments. The reckless way that many
work results in loss to the office and is an offense
to God. It is sad that it should be thus. Jesus has
given us lessons in economy. "Gather up the
fragments," He says, "that nothing be lost." It
would have been better not to undertake so many
large enterprises if by this means so many small
matters must be left without attention, for the little
things are like small screws that keep the
machinery from falling to pieces. The word of God
explains duty; it gives the rule of faithful service:
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful
also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is
unjust also in much."

    I have been shown that, in addition to the help
now in the office, competent men should be
employed to assist in the management of the
different departments of the work. Men should be
employed who have experience in business and
who are wise managers. It would have been better
years ago to have employed men who were
thorough managers,—men who would have taught
thoroughness, promptness, and economy,—even if

                         786
double the wages that has been paid to foremen had
been necessary. Brother R is deficient here; he has
not a happy way of correcting evils. He undertakes
to do this, but very many things are entirely
neglected that ought to be reformed at once. The
office has lacked a care-taking economist, a
thorough businessman. There is three times as
much lost as would be required to pay for the very
best talent and experience in this work.

    Very much is lost for want of a competent
person, one who is efficient, apt, and practical, to
oversee the different departments of the work. One
is needed who is a practical printer and is
acquainted with every part of the work. There are
some who understand printing, but utterly fail in
generalship. Others do the best they can, but they
are yet inexperienced and do not understand the
publishing work. Their ideas are often narrow.
They do not know how to meet the demands of the
cause; and, as a consequence, they are unable to
estimate the advantages and disadvantages of
enlarging their work. They are also liable to
misjudge, to make wrong calculations, and to

                        787
estimate incorrectly. There have been losses in
consequence of a failure to make proper estimates
and to improve opportunities of pushing the
publishing work. In such an institution as this,
thousands of dollars may be lost through the
calculations of incompetent persons. Brother P had
ability in some respects to understand and properly
estimate the interests of the publishing work, but
his influence was an injury to the office.

    There should be someone to see that the youth,
as they enter the office to learn trades, have prompt
and proper attention. A man should be employed
for this work who is apt to teach, patient, kind, and
discerning. If one man is not sufficient for this
work, let others be employed. If it is done faithfully
it will save to the office the wages of three men.
These youth are forming habits that will affect their
entire experience. They are, as it were, in a school;
and if they are left to pick up their knowledge as
best they can, marked defects will be seen all
through their future work. The basis of
thoroughness, honesty, and integrity must be laid in
youth. The formation of correct habits in youth is

                         788
of the utmost importance. If instead of being
trained to obedience to rules and regulations, and to
habits of punctuality, thoroughness, neatness,
order, and economy, they are allowed to form
loose, lax habits, they will be liable to retain these
bad habits all though life. They may have talent to
make a success in their business, and they should
be taught the importance of making a right use of
their powers. They should also be taught to be
economical, to gather up the fragments that nothing
be lost.

    Men in responsible positions should undertake
no more than they can do thoroughly, promptly,
and well; for if they would have those under their
care form right habits they must set a right
example. A great responsibility rests upon these
leading men as to the mold of character that by
their principles and their manner of working they
are giving to the youth. They should consider that,
by the instruction they are giving, both in regard to
their work and in the way of religious education,
they are helping these youth to form character.
Progress is the watchword. The youth should be

                         789
taught to aim at perfection in whatever branch of
labor they undertake. If there are persons at the
head of any of the rooms who are not thorough,
who are not economists, who are not diligent in the
use of their time and careful of their influence, they
mold others in the same way. If these do not
change after being admonished, they should be
removed and more competent persons secured,
even if it is necessary to try again and again. The
workers ought to be far more efficient and faithful
than they are at the present time.

    The first impressions, the first discipline, of
these youthful workers should be of the very
highest order, for their characters are being molded
for time and for eternity. Let those who have
charge of them remember that they have a great
and solemn responsibility. Let them mold the
plastic clay before it becomes hardened and
insensible to impressions; let them train the sapling
ere it becomes a gnarled and tangled oak; let them
direct the course of the rivulet ere it becomes a
swollen river. If they are left to choose their own
boardinghouse and their own companions, some

                         790
will choose those that are good, and others will
choose improper associations. If the religious
element is not mingled with their education, they
will become easy subjects of temptation, and their
characters will be liable to become warped and
one-sided. The youth who show respect for sacred
and holy things learn these lessons under the home
roof, before the world has placed upon the soul its
mark,—the image of sin, deceit, and dishonesty.
Love to God is learned at the family altar, of the
father and mother in very babyhood.

    The want of a religious influence is sadly felt in
the office; there should be greater devotion, more
spirituality, more practical religion. Missionary
work done here by God-fearing men and women
would be attended with the very best results.
Brother R's course is not well-pleasing to God. A
man in his position should be a man of devotion;
he should be among the first in religious matters.
His only safety is in maintaining a living
connection with God and feeling his dependence
upon Him. Without this, he will not do justice to
his position, neither will be exert a right influence

                         791
in the office and over those with whom his
business brings him in contact.

    I have also seen that there should be a close
investigation of the manner of dealing in the office,
both with brethren and with unbelievers.
Benevolence, purity, truth, and peace are the fruits
that should be seen there. Motives and actions
should be closely examined and compared with the
law of God; for this law is the only infallible rule
by which to regulate the conduct, the only reliable
code of honor between man and man.

                Unity of the Work

    The Lord would have union among those who
manage His work in different parts of the field.
Those who manage His work on the Pacific Coast,
and those who are engaged in His work on the east
side of the Rocky Mountains, should be of the
same mind and judgment,—one in heart, in plans,
and in action. He would not have those at either
office think it a virtue to differ with their brethren
at the other publishing house. There should be a

                         792
comparing of notes, an interchange of plans and
ideas; and if any improvements are suggested in
either office, let the managers consider the
proposition, and adopt improved plans and
methods. In both publishing houses there are very
great improvements to be made, and the managers
have much to learn. And the lesson which will bear
its mark most decidedly and happily in the
advancement of the work is to lean less to their
own understanding, and to learn more of the
meekness and lowliness of Christ. Let not those at
either office be so egotistical, so unlike Christ, as
to maintain their own plans for the gratification of
having their own way, irrespective of
consequences.

     Those connected with our office of publication
at Battle Creek are not what they should be nor
what they might be. They think their tastes, habits,
and opinions are correct. They are in constant
danger of becoming narrow in their ideas and
jealous of the Pacific Press, and of standing in an
attitude to criticize and have feelings of superiority.
This feeling is suffered to grow and to mar and

                         793
hinder their own interests and also the interests of
the work on the Pacific Coast, all because selfish
feelings control and prevent clear discernment as to
what is for their own good and for the advancement
and upbuilding of the cause of God. This sectional
feeling is contrary to the spirit of Christ. God is
displeased with it; He would have every particle of
it overcome. The cause is one; the vineyard is one
great field, with God's servants employed in
various parts of the work. There should be no aim
but to work disinterestedly to warn the careless and
to save the lost.

     The men connected with the work of God in the
office, the sanitarium, and the college can be
accounted safe men only so far as they assimilate
to the character of Christ. But many have inherited
traits of character that in no way represent the
divine Model. There are many who have some
defect of character received as a birthright, which
they have not overcome, but have cherished as
though it were fine gold, and brought with them
into their religious experience. In many cases these
traits are retained through the entire life. For a time

                         794
no particular harm may be seen to result from
them; but the leaven is at work, and when a
favorable opportunity arrives, the evil manifests
itself.

    Some of these men who have marked
deformities of character have strong, decided
opinions and are unyielding when it would be
Christlike to yield to others whose love for the
cause of truth is just as deep as their own. Such
persons need to cultivate opposite traits of
character and to learn to esteem others better than
themselves. When they become connected with an
important enterprise, where great designs are to be
worked out, they should be careful lest their own
peculiar ideas and special traits of character have
an unfavorable influence on its development. The
Lord saw the danger that would result from one
man's mind and judgment controlling decisions and
working out plans, and in His Inspired Word we
are commanded to be subject one to another and to
esteem others better than ourselves. When plans
are to be laid that will affect the cause of God, they
should be brought before a council composed of

                         795
chosen men of experience; for harmony of effort is
essential in all these enterprises.

    Men of various temperaments and defective
characters can see the faults of others, but do not
seem to have a knowledge of their own errors; and
if left to carry outtheir own plans without
consultation with others, they would make sad
mistakes. Their ideas must become broader. With
ordinary humanity there is a selfishness, an
ambition, that mars the work of God. Self-interest
must be lost sight of. There should be no aiming to
be first, no standing aloof from God's workmen,
speaking and writing in a bigoted manner of things
that have not been critically and prayerfully
investigated and humbly brought before the
council.

    The future world is close at hand, with its
unalterable and solemn issues—so near, so very
near, and such a great work to be done, so many
important decisions to be made; yet in your
councils the preconceived opinions, the selfish
ideas and plans, the wrong traits of character

                       796
received by birth, are lugged in and allowed to
have an influence. You should ever feel that it is a
sin to move from impulse. You should not abuse
your power, using it to carry out your own ends
regardless of the consequences to others, because
you are in a position that makes this possible; but
you should use the power that is given you as a
sacred, solemn trust, remembering that you are
servants of the most high God and must meet in the
judgment every decision that you make. If your
acts are unselfish and for the glory of God, they
will bear the trying test. Ambition is death to
spiritual advancement, genius is erring, slothful
indolence is criminal; but a life where every just
principle is respected must be a successful one.

    Many of your councils do not bear the stamp of
heaven. You do not come to them as men who have
been communing with God and who have His mind
and His merciful compassion, but as men having a
firm purpose to carry out your own plans and to
settle questions according to your own minds, In
every department of the work it is essential to have
the mind and spirit of Christ. You are God's

                        797
workmen; and you must possess courtesy and
grace, else you cannot represent Jesus.

    All who are employed in our institutions should
realize that they will be a blessing or a curse. If
they would be a blessing they must renew their
spiritual strength daily; they must be partakers of
the divine nature, having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust.

    Amid the cares of active life it is sometimes
difficult to discern our own motives, but progress is
made daily either for good or evil. Likes or
dislikes, an uprising of personal feelings, will come
in to control our actions; the things of sense will
blind our vision. I have been shown that Jesus
loves us; but He is grieved to see such a want of
wise discrimination, of adaptability to the work,
and of wisdom to reach human hearts and enter
into the feelings of others. While we are to guard
against the constant danger of forming an alliance
with the enemies of Christ and being corrupted by
them, we must guard against holding ourselves
aloof from those whom our Lord claims as His.

                        798
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least
of these My brethren," He says, "ye have done it
unto Me." If with an earnest, loving purpose we
improve every opportunity to help to their feet
those who have stumbled and fallen, we shall not
have lived in vain. Our manners will not be harsh,
overbearing, and dictatorial, but our lives will be
fragrant with the hidden grace of Christ.

    Our heavenly Father requires of His servants
according to that which He has entrusted to them,
and His requirements are reasonable and just. He
will not accept less of us than He claims; all His
righteous demands must be fully met, or they will
testify against us that we are weighed in the
balances and found wanting. But Jesus watches our
efforts with the deepest interest. He knows that
men with all the infirmities of humanity are doing
His work, and He notes their failures and
discouragements with the tenderest pity. But the
failures and defects might be far less than they are.
If we will move in harmony with heaven,
ministering angels will work with us and crown our
efforts with success.

                        799
    This is the great day of preparation, and the
solemn work going on in the sanctuary above
should be kept constantly before the minds of those
employed in our various institutions. Business
cares should not be allowed to absorb the mind to
such a degree that the work in heaven, which
concerns every individual, will be lightly regarded.
The solemn scenes of the judgment, the great day
of atonement, should be kept before the people,
and urged upon their consciences with earnestness
and power. The subject of the sanctuary will give
us correct views of the importance of the work for
this time. A proper appreciation of it will lead the
workers in the publishing houses to manifest
greater energy and zeal to make the work asuccess.
None should become careless, blinded to the wants
of the cause and the perils that attend every soul;
but each should seek to be a channel of light.

   In all our institutions there is too much of self,
and too little of Christ. All eyes should turn to our
Redeemer, all characters should become like His.
He is the model to copy, if we would have well-

                        800
balanced minds and symmetrical characters. His
life was as the garden of the Lord, in which grew
every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for
food. While embracing in His soul every lovely
trait of character, His sensibility, courtesy, and love
brought Him into close sympathy with humanity.
He was the creator of all things, sustaining worlds
by His infinite power. Angels were ready to do
Him homage and to obey His will. Yet He could
listen to the prattle of the infant and accept its
lisping praise. He took little children in His arms
and pressed them to His great heart of love. They
felt perfectly at home in His presence and reluctant
to leave His arms. He did not look upon the
disappointments and woes of the race as a mere
trifle, but His heart was ever touched by the
sufferings of those He came to save.

    The world had lost the original pattern of
goodness and had sunk into universal apostasy and
moral corruption; and the life of Jesus was one of
laborious, self-denying effort to bring man back to
his first estate by imbuing him with the spirit of
divine benevolence and unselfish love. While in

                         801
the world, He was not of the world. It was a
continual pain to Him to be brought in contact with
the enmity, depravity, and impurity which Satan
had brought in; but He had a work to do to bring
man into harmony with the divine plan, and earth
in connection with heaven, and He counted no
sacrifice too great for the accomplishment of the
object. He "was in all points tempted like as we
are." Satan stood ready to assail Him at every step,
hurling at Him his fiercest temptations; yet He "did
no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." He .
. . suffered being tempted," suffered in proportion
to the perfection of His holiness. But the prince of
darkness found nothing in Him; not a single
thought or feeling responded to temptation.

    His doctrine dropped as the rain; His speech
distilled as the dew. In the character of Christ was
blended such majesty as God had never before
displayed to fallen man and such meekness as man
had never developed. Never before had there
walked among men one so noble, so pure, so
benevolent, so conscious of His godlike nature; yet
so simple, so full of plans and purposes to do good

                        802
to humanity. While abhorring sin, He wept with
compassion over the sinner. He pleased not
Himself. The Majesty of heaven clothed Himself
with the humility of a child. This is the character of
Christ. Are we walking in His footsteps? O my
Saviour, how poorly art Thou represented by Thy
professed followers!




                         803
                    Chapter 49

       Business and Religion

    Those employed in our various institutions—
our publishing houses, our schools, and our health
institutions—should have a living connection with
God. Especially is it very important that those who
have the management of these great branches of
the work be men who make the kingdom of God
and His righteousness the first consideration. They
are not fit for their positions of trust unless they
take counsel of God and bear fruit to His glory.
They should pursue a course of life that will honor
their Creator, ennoble themselves, and bless their
fellow men. All have natural traits which must be
cultivated or repressed, as they shall help or hinder
in obtaining a growth in grace, a depth of religious
experience.

   Those engaged in the work of God cannot serve
His cause acceptably unless they make the best use
possible of the religious privileges they enjoy. We

                        804
are as trees planted in the garden of the Lord; and
He comes to us seeking the fruit He has a right to
expect. His eye is upon each of us; He reads our
hearts and understands our lives. This is a solemn
search, for it has reference to duty and to destiny;
and with what interest is it prosecuted. Let each of
those to whom are committed sacred trusts inquire:
"How do I meet the inspecting eye of God? Is my
heart cleansed from its defilement? or have its
temple courts become so desecrated, so occupied
with buyers and sellers, that Christ finds no room?"
The bustle of business, if continuous, will dry up
spirituality and leave the soul Christless. Although
they may profess the truth, yet if men pass along
day by day with no living connection with God,
they will be led to do strange things; decisions will
be made not in accordance with the will of God.
There is no safety for our leading brethren while
they shall go forward according to their own
impulses. They will not be yoked up with Christ,
and so will not move in harmony with Him. They
will be unable to see and realize the wants of the
cause, and Satan will move upon them to take
positions that will embarrass and hinder.

                        805
    My brethren, are you cultivating devotion? Is
love of religious things prominent? Are you living
by faith and overcoming the world? Do you attend
the public worship of God? and are your voices
heard in the prayer and social meeting? Is the
family altar established? Do you gather your
children together morning and evening, and present
their cases to God? Do you instruct them how to
become followers of the Lamb? Your families, if
irreligious, testify to your neglect and
unfaithfulness. If, while you are connected with the
sacred cause of God, your children are careless,
irreverent, and have no love for religious meetings
or sacred truth, it is a sad thing. Such a family
exerts an influence against Christ and against the
truth; and "he that is not with Me is against Me,"
says Christ. The neglect of home religion, the
neglect to train your children, is most displeasing
to God. If one of your children were in the river,
battling with the waves and in imminent danger of
drowning, what a stir there would be! What efforts
would be made, what prayers offered, what
enthusiasm manifested, to save the human life! But

                        806
here are your children out of Christ, their souls
unsaved. Perhaps they are even rude and
uncourteous, a reproach to the Adventist name.
They are perishing without hope and without God
in the world, and you are careless and
unconcerned.

    What example do you give your children?
What order do you have at home? Your children
should be educated to be kind, thoughtful of others,
gentle, easy to be entreated, and, above everything
else, to respect religious things and feel the
importance of the claims of God. They should be
taught to respect the hour of prayer; they should be
required to rise in the morning so as to be present
at family worship.

    Fathers and mothers who make God first in
their households, who teach their children that the
fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, glorify
God before angels and before men by presenting to
the world a well-ordered, well-disciplined family, a
family that love and obey God instead of rebelling
against Him. Christ is not a stranger in their homes;

                        807
His name is a household name, revered and
glorified. Angels delight in a home where God
reigns supreme, and the children are taught to
reverence religion, the Bible, and their Creator.
Such families can claim the promise: "Them that
honor Me I will honor." As from such a home the
father goes forth to his daily duties, it is with a
spirit softened and subdued by converse with God.
He is a Christian, not only in his profession, but in
trade, in all his business relations. He does his
work with fidelity, knowing that the eye of God is
upon him.

    In the church his voice is not silent. He has
words of gratitude and encouragement to utter; for
he is a growing Christian, with a fresh experience
every day. He is a helpful, active worker in the
church, laboring for the glory of God and the
salvation of his fellow men. He would feel
condemned and guilty before God were he to
neglect to attend public worship, thus failing to
improve the privileges that would enable him to do
better and more effective service in the cause of
truth.

                        808
    God is not glorified when influential men make
themselves mere businessmen, ignoring their
eternal interests, that are so much more enduring,
so much more noble and elevated, than the
temporal. Where should the greatest tact and skill
be exercised, if not upon those things that are
imperishable, as enduring as eternity? Brethren,
develop your talent in the direction of serving the
Lord; manifest as much tact and ability in working
for the upbuilding of the cause of Christ as you do
in worldly enterprises.

    There is, I am sorry to say, a great want of
earnestness and interest in spiritual things on the
part of the heads of many families. There are some
who are seldom found in the house of worship.
They make one excuse, then another, and still
another, for their absence; but the real reason is
that their hearts are not religiously inclined. A
spirit of devotion is not cultivated in the family.
The children are not brought up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord. These men are not what
God would have them. They have no living

                       809
connection with Him; they are purely businessmen.
They have not a conciliatory spirit; there is such a
lack of meekness, kindness, and courtesy in their
deportment that their motives are misconstrued,
and the good they really do possess is evil spoken
of. If they could realize how offensive their course
is in the sight of God, they would make a change.

    The work of God should be carried forward by
men who have a daily, living experience in the
religion of Christ. "Without Me," says Christ, "ye
can do nothing." None of us are beyond the power
of temptation. All who are connected with our
institutions, our conferences, and our missionary
enterprises may ever have the assurance that they
have a powerful foe, whose constant aim is to
separate them from Christ, their strength. The more
responsible the position they occupy, the more
fierce will be Satan's attacks; for he knows that if
he can move them to take an objectionable course,
others will follow their example. But those who are
continually learning in the school of Christ will be
able to pursue the even tenor of their way, and
Satan's efforts to throw them off their balance will

                        810
be signally defeated. Temptation is not sin. Jesus
was holy and pure; yet He was tempted in all
points as we are, but with a strength and power that
man will never be called upon to endure. In His
successful resistance He has left us a bright
example, that we should follow His steps. If we are
self-confident or self-righteous we shall be left to
fall under the power of temptation; but if we look
to Jesus and trust in Him we call to our aid a power
that has conquered the foe on the field of battle,
and with every temptation He will make a way of
escape. When Satan comes in like a flood, we must
meet his temptations with the sword of the Spirit,
and Jesus will be our helper and will lift up for us a
standard against him. The father of lies quakes and
trembles when the truth of God, in burning power,
is thrown in his face.

    Satan makes every effort to lead people away
from God; and he is successful in his purpose when
the religious life is drowned in business cares,
when he can so absorb their minds in business that
they will not take time to read their Bibles, to pray
in secret, and to keep the offering of praise and

                         811
thanksgiving burning on the altar of sacrifice
morning and evening. How few realize the wiles of
the archdeceiver! how many are ignorant of his
devices! When our brethren voluntarily absent
themselves from religious meetings, when God is
not thought of and reverenced, when He is not
chosen as their counselor and their strong tower of
defense, how soon secular thoughts and wicked
unbelief come in, and vain confidence and
philosophy take the place of humble, trusting faith.
Often temptations are cherished as the voice of the
True Shepherd because men have separated
themselves from Jesus. They cannot be safe a
moment unless right principles are cherished in the
heart and carried into every business transaction.

     "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him." Such a promise is of
more value than gold or silver. If with a humble
heart you seek divine guidance in every trouble and
perplexity, His word is pledged that a gracious
answer will be given you. And His word can never
fail. Heaven and earth may pass away, but His

                        812
word will never pass away. Trust in the Lord, and
you will never be confounded or ashamed. "It is
better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in
man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put
confidence in princes."

    Whatever position in life we may occupy,
whatever our business, we must be humble enough
to feel our need of help; we must lean implicitly on
the teachings of God's word, acknowledge His
providence in all things, and be faithful in pouring
out our souls in prayer. Lean to your own
understanding, dear brethren, as you make your
way through the world, and you will reap sorrow
and disappointment. Trust in the Lord with all your
heart, and He will guide your steps in wisdom, and
your interests will be safe for this world and for the
next. You need light and knowledge. You will take
counsel either of God or your own heart; you will
walk in the sparks of your own kindling, or will
gather to yourself divine light from the Sun of
Righteousness.

   Do not act from motives of policy. The great

                         813
danger of our businessmen and those in responsible
positions is that they will be turned from Christ to
secure some help aside from Him. Peter would not
have been left to show such weakness and folly had
he not sought by the use of policy to avoid
reproach and scorn, persecution and abuse. His
highest hopes centered in Christ; but when he saw
Him in humiliation, unbelief came in and was
entertained. He fell under the power of temptation,
and, instead of showing his fidelity in a crisis, he
wickedly denied his Lord.

    For the sake of making money, many divorce
themselves from God and ignore their eternal
interests. They pursue the same course as the
scheming, worldly man, but God is not in this; it is
an offense to Him. He would have them prompt to
devise and execute plans; but all business matters
should be transacted in harmony with the great
moral law of God. The principles of love to God
and our neighbor must be carried out in all the acts
of the daily life, the least as well as the greatest.
There must be a spirit to do more than pay tithes on
mint, anise, and cummin; the weightier matters of

                        814
the law, judgment, mercy, and the love of God,
must not be neglected; for the personal character of
each one connected with the work leaves its
impress upon it.

    There are men and women who have left all for
Christ's sake. Their own temporal interests, their
own enjoyment of society and of family and
friends, are made of less importance than the
interests of the kingdom of God. They have not
made houses and lands, and relatives and friends
however dear, first in their affections, and God's
cause second. And those who do this, who devote
their lives to the advancement of the truth, to
bringing many sons and daughters to God, have the
promise that they shall have a hundredfold in this
life and in the world to come life everlasting.
Those who work from a noble standpoint and with
unselfish motives will be consecrated to God,
body, soul, and spirit. They will not exalt self; they
will not feel competent to take responsibilities; but
they will not refuse to bear burdens, for they will
have a desire to do all that they are capable of
doing. These will not study their own convenience;

                         815
the question with them will be: What is duty?

     The more responsible the position, the more
essential that the influence be right. Every man
whom God has chosen to do a special work
becomes a target for Satan. Temptations press thick
and fast upon him; for our vigilant foe knows that
his course of action has a molding influence upon
others. We are amid the perils of the last days, and
Satan has come down in great wrath, knowing that
he has but a short time. He works with all
deceivableness of unrighteousness; but heaven is
open to everyone who makes God his trust. The
only safety for any of us is in clinging to Jesus and
letting nothing separate the soul from the mighty
Helper.

    Those who have merely a form of godliness,
and yet are connected with the cause in business
relations, are to be feared. They will surely betray
their trust. They will be overcome by the devices of
the tempter and will imperil the cause of God.
There will be temptations to allow self to control;
an overbearing, critical spirit will arise, and in

                        816
many cases compassion and consideration for those
who need to be dealt with in thoughtful tenderness
will be wanting.

    "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also
reap." What seed are we scattering? What will be
our harvest for time and for eternity? To every man
the Master has assigned his work in accordance
with his ability. Are we sowing the seed of truth
and righteousness, or that of unbelief, disaffection,
evil surmising, and love of the world? The one who
scatters evil seed may discern the nature of his
work, and repent and be forgiven. But the pardon
of the Master does not change the character of the
seed sown, and make of briers and thistles precious
wheat. He himself may be saved so as by fire; but
when the time of harvest comes, there will be only
poisonous weeds where there should be fields of
waving grain. That which was sown in wicked
heedlessness will do its work of death. This
thought pains my heart and fills me with sadness. If
all who profess to believe the truth would sow the
precious seeds of kindness, love, faith, and
courage, they would make melody to God in their

                        817
hearts as they travel the upward way, rejoicing in
the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and
in the great gathering day they would receive an
eternal reward.




                       818
                    Chapter 50

 Worldly Mindedness a Snare

   Dear Brother and Sister P: My soul is
exceedingly sorrowful as I review your cases. Last
night my mind was heavily burdened. In dreams I
was conversing with you, Brother P. Your
separation from God was so evident, and you were
so blind in regard to your true condition, that it
seemed like saying to a blind man, "See," to try to
make you discern your true standing.

    I have not been able to sleep since three
o'clock, and have been pleading with God for a
larger measure of His Spirit. I inquire over and
over again: Who is sufficient for these things? I
dare not hold my peace when light has been given
me of God. I must speak; and yet it is with
trembling, fearing that the message will be
rejected, and the souls to whom it is addressed will
be enshrouded in darkness more dense than before
the light came to them. I must come close to Jesus.

                        819
I have laid my hand in His, with the earnest prayer:
"Lead me, guide me; I have not wisdom to go
alone." Jesus seems very near; and I am deeply
impressed that He is about to do a special work for
His people, particularly for those that labor in word
and doctrine. He is willing to help you both if you
will receive help in His own appointed way, but I
cannot speak one word of encouragement to you
while you remain in your present position. The
words of Christ to the Pharisees, "Ye will not come
to Me, that ye might have life," are applicable to
you.

    I wish we could do something to help you; but
while you remain in the worldly channel in which
you have placed yourselves, what can be done for
you? You love the world, and the world loves you,
because, so far as practical godliness is concerned,
there is no separation between yourselves and
worldlings. In their eyes you are agreeable, smart,
and good; they find in you both that which pleases
them. They have praised you and spoken to you
smooth things, and thus have had an influence to
soothe and comfort you; and you, in your turn,

                        820
have soothed and comforted them in their careless
indifference to the claims of God. You have
encouraged them in their pride and love of
pleasure; for your actions have said to the sinner:
"It shall be well with thee." By mingling with
worldlings, your judgment has become perverted;
and sins which God abhors are tame and harmless
in your sight.

    I greatly fear that by your self-righteousness
you are building around your souls barriers that
nothing can break down. You have been no nearer
to God, no more working His works, no more
imbued with His Spirit, than the professors in the
nominal churches. You have had no real sense of
the sacredness of the Sabbath, and God has not
accepted your observance of His holy day. You
have had no true consecration, no sincere devotion.
God has not been honored by either of you; you
have not known Him experimentally. You have
walked apart from Him so long that He is nearly a
stranger to you. Spiritual things are spiritually
discerned; but you have so long cultivated worldly
tastes and habits that it will not be easy for you to

                        821
bend your mind in an opposite direction.


    You will feel: "This is an hard saying; who can
hear it?" But the world cannot understand the
people of God. There is no harmony between the
children of light and the children of darkness. Paul
asks: "And what concord hath Christ with Belial?
or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with
idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as
God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in
them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My
people. Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will
be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and
daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." John testifies:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth
not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that,
when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we
shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath
this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is
pure." "Know ye not that the friendship of the

                        822
world is enmity with God?" asks James.
"Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world
is the enemy of God."

    Jesus said to His disciples: "If ye love Me, keep
My commandments. And I will pray the Father,
and He shall give you another Comforter, that He
may abide with you forever [not a profession of the
truth, not a form of godliness, but]: even the Spirit
of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it
seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know
Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in
you." "He that hath My commandments, and
keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that
loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will
love him, and will manifest Myself to him. Judas
saith unto Him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that
Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto
the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a
man love Me, he will keep My words: and My
Father will love him, and We will come unto him,
and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me
not keepeth not My sayings."


                        823
    The words of Christ find no response in your
hearts, for you have blinded your eyes and
hardened your hearts. In the books of heaven you
are both accounted as of the world. Your hearts are
sometimes troubled, but not enough to lead you to
repent and change your course of action. The world
holds your affections, and its customs are more
agreeable to you than obedience to the heavenly
Teacher.

    Your example before your children is not at all
in accordance with the truth you profess to love.
The truth does not sanctify you or them. You love
selfish enjoyment; and the lessons taught your
children, both by precept and example, have not
been of a character to foster in them humility,
meekness, and a Christlike disposition. You are
molding them after the world's standard. When
Jesus shall open before you the book of records,
where day by day your words and actions have
been faithfully registered, you will see that with
both of you life has been a terrible failure.

   What your recent affliction may have done for

                       824
you, I am unable to say; but if it has had power to
open your eyes and convict your souls, you will
certainly take a course to make this evident.
Without a thorough conversion, you can never
receive the crown of everlasting life; and your
children will never have part with the blood-
washed throng unless they first unlearn the lessons
you have taught them, which have become a part of
their life and character. Your example has led them
to think that religion is like a garment that may be
worn or laid off as occasion requires or
convenience dictates; and unless there is an entire
change in the influences brought to bear upon
them, these lax ideas of the claims of God will
cling to them. They do not know what constitutes
the Christian life; they have not learned what it is
to live the truth and bear the cross.

    "If the world hate you," said Christ, "ye know
that it hated Me before it hated you." You have
entertained the opinion that the reason why the
world is so much opposed to us as a people is that
we are too unsocial, too plain in our dress, and too
strict in regard to amusements, withdrawing

                        825
ourselves from them too much in practice as well
as in precept. You have thought that if we would be
less exclusive and would mingle more with the
world, their opinions and impressions of us would
be greatly modified. But no greater mistake could
affect the human mind. Said Christ: "If ye were of
the world, the world would love his own: but
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen
you out of the world, therefore the world hateth
you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The
servant is not greater than his lord. If they have
persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they
have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.
But all these things will they do unto you for My
name's sake, because they know not Him that sent
Me."

    These are the words of One of whom even His
enemies were forced to admit: "Never man spake
like this Man." The words of men express their
own human thoughts; but those of Christ are spirit
and life. "If ye continue in My word," He says,
"then are ye My disciples indeed." "He that is of
God heareth God's words," but these divine

                        826
utterances find no place in the heart of one who is
of the world and loves its pleasures.

    God has given us specific directions so that no
one need err. "Man shall not live by bread alone,"
He says, "but by every word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God." The truth given by inspiration
"is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness." Not by
one word, not by many words, but by every word
that God has spoken, shall man live. You cannot
disregard one word, a single injunction that He has
given, however trifling it may seem to you, and be
safe. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these
least commandments, and shall teach men so, he
shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:
but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same
shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Whosoever will willfully break one command
cannot in spirit and in truth keep any of them. He
may claim that, with the exception of what he may
regard as slight deviations, he keeps them all; yet if
he willingly offends in one point he is guilty of all.


                         827
    Brother and Sister P, while you have been
making a profession of Christianity you have been
keeping back part of the price. You have robbed
God of thought and devotion; you have robbed
Him of your talents and influence. Your
inclinations have been a snare to you. You have not
followed the light that God has graciously given
you in testimonies; and you have done things that
without repentance and reformation on your part
will exclude you from heaven. Had you heeded the
reproofs sent to you by the Holy Spirit you would
now be strong in God and far advanced in Christian
experience, and you would have had an entirely
different record in the books of heaven.

    "He that rejecteth Me," says Christ, "and
receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth
him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall
judge him in the last day." In that day what shame
and confusion of face will cover those who have
had such light and privileges, who have had
salvation brought within their reach by the infinite
sacrifice of the Son of God, and yet have not
availed themselves of these precious gifts. Through

                        828
His word God is constantly pointing out to us the
right path, even the high and glorious path of the
just. The travelers in this path do not walk in
darkness, for it is illuminated by the Sun of
Righteousness; but you have rejected it because it
was too far separated from the world. Self-love and
selfish ambition cannot pass the strait gate and
walk the narrow, upward way.

     It will be found in the day of final settlement
that God was acquainted with everyone by name.
There is an unseen witness to every action of the
life. "I know thy works," says He that "walketh in
the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." It is
known what opportunities have been slighted, how
untiring have been the efforts of the Good
Shepherd to search out those who were wandering
in crooked ways, and to bring them back to the
path of safety and peace. Again and again God has
called after the pleasure lovers; again and again He
has flashed the light of His word across their path,
that they might see their peril, and escape. But on
and on they go, jesting and joking as they travel the
broad road, until at length their probation is ended.

                        829
God's ways are just and equal; and when sentence
is pronounced against those who are found
wanting, every mouth will be stopped.

     How different it would now be with you both
had you regarded in their true light the praise and
honor that come from men. You both thirst more
for the praise of the world than for the waters of
life. The idea of being thought of importance
among men of the world has intoxicated you; their
words of esteem have deceived you. When you
place a right estimate on eternal things, the
friendship and esteem of the rich and the learned
will have no influence over you. Pride, in whatever
form it may manifest itself, will no longer live in
your heart. But you have so long drunk of the
turbid stream of worldliness that you see no better
way to live.

    Again and again God has stretched out His
hand to save you by showing you your duties and
obligations. These duties change in character with
the increase of light. When the light shines, making
manifest and reproving the errors that were

                        830
undiscovered, there must be a corresponding
change in the life and character. The mistakes that
are the natural result of blindness of mind are,
when pointed out, no longer sins of ignorance or
errors of judgment; but unless there are decided
reforms in accordance with the light given, they
then become presumptuous sins. The moral
darkness that surrounds you will become more
dense; your heart will become harder and harder,
and you will be more offensive in the sight of God.
You do not realize the great peril you are in, the
danger there is that in your case the light will
become entirely obscured, veiled in complete
darkness. When the light is received and acted
upon, you will be crucified to sin, being dead
indeed unto the world, but alive to God. Your idols
will be abandoned, and your example will be on
the side of self-denial rather than that of self-
indulgence.

   Brother and Sister P, had you heeded the
Testimonies of the Spirit of God, you would now
be walking in the light, in harmony with the people
of God; but your unbelief has shut you away from

                       831
great good. Sister P has not risen up against the
Testimonies, neither has she shown confidence in
them as from the Lord by obeying them. She loves
to have her husband praised and honored by the
world; it gratifies her pride, which is by no means
small. You may each appropriately inquire: "Why
am I so slow to come out from the world and take
Christ for my portion? Why should I love and
honor those whom I know do not love God nor
respect His claims? Why should I wish to retain the
friendship of my Lord's enemies? Why should I
follow their customs or be influenced by their
opinions?" You cannot, my dear friends, serve both
God and mammon. You must make an unreserved
surrender, or in the near future the light that shines
upon your pathway will go out in the darkness of
despair. You are on the enemy's ground. You have
voluntarily placed yourselves there, and the Lord
will not protect you against his assaults.

   In your present state you are doing far more
harm than good; for you have a form of godliness
and profess to believe the truth, while your words
and actions say: "Wide is the gate, and broad is the

                         832
way" that leads to life, "and many there be which
go in thereat." If your life is a confession of Christ,
then we may truly say that the world has gone after
Him. Your profession may be right; but have you
humility and love, meekness and devotion?
"Whosoever shall confess Me before men," by a
holy life and godly conversation, "him shall the
Son of man also confess before the angels of God."
No one can confess Christ unless he has the mind
and spirit of Christ; he cannot communicate that
which he does not possess. The daily life must be
an expression of the sanctifying power of the truth,
and evidence that Christ is abiding in the soul by
faith. Whatever is opposed to the fruits of the
Spirit, or to the work of God in separating His
people from the world, is a denial of Christ; and
His words are: "He that denieth Me before men
shall be denied before the angels of God."

    We may deny Christ by our worldly
conversation and by our pride of apparel. You have
a circle of friends who are a snare to you and to
your children. You love their companionship.
Through association with them, you are led to dress

                         833
yourselves and your children after the fashions
followed by those who have no fear of God before
their eyes. You thus show that you have friendship
with the world. "In the multitude of words there
wanteth not sin." Does your intercourse with these
friends incline you to visit the closet and ask divine
love and grace, or does it estrange your mind from
God? And your dear children—what is your
neglect of their eternal interests doing for them?
Your example has encouraged them to hurry on the
life journey with heedless presumption or with
blind self-confidence, having no fixed religious
principles to guide them. They have no
conscientious regard for the Sabbath, or for the
claims of God in any respect; they do not love
Christian duties, and are straying further and
further from the Source of light, peace, and joy.

    Without faith it is impossible to please God;
"for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." The faith that
is required is not a mere assent to doctrines; it is
the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.
Humility, meekness, and obedience are not faith;
but they are the effects, or fruit, of faith. These

                         834
graces you have yet to attain by learning in the
school of Christ. You do not know the sentiments
and principles of heaven; its language is almost a
strange language to you both. The Spirit of God
still pleads in your behalf; but I have serious,
painful doubts whether you will heed that voice
that has been appealing to you for years. I hope you
will, and that you will turn and live.

    Do you feel that it is too great a sacrifice to
give your poor unworthy selves to Jesus? Will you
choose the hopeless bondage of sin and death
rather than to have your life severed from the world
and united to Christ by bonds of love? Jesus still
lives to intercede for us. This should daily call out
the gratitude of our hearts. He that realizes his guilt
and helplessness may come just as he is and
receive the blessing of God. The promise belongs
to him if he will grasp it by faith. But he that in his
own eyes is rich, and honorable, and righteous,
who sees as the world sees, and calls evil good and
good evil, cannot ask and receive, because he feels
no need. He feels that he is full; therefore he must
go away empty.

                         835
    Should you become alarmed for your own
souls, should you seek God diligently, He will be
found of you; but He will accept no halfhearted
repentance. If you will forsake your sins, He is ever
ready to forgive. Will you just now surrender to
Him? Will you look to Calvary and inquire: "Did
Jesus make this sacrifice for me? Did He endure
humiliation, shame, and reproach, and suffer the
cruel death of the cross because He desired to save
me from the sufferings of guilt and the horror of
despair, and make me unspeakably happy in His
kingdom?" Look upon Him whom your sins have
pierced, and resolve: "The Lord shall have the
service of my life. I will no longer unite with His
enemies; I will no longer lend my influence to the
rebels against His government. All I have and am
is too little to devote to Him who so loved me that
He gave His life for me—His whole divine self for
one so sinful and erring." Separate from the world,
be wholly on the Lord's side, press the battle to the
gates, and you will win glorious victories.

   Blessed is he who heeds the words of eternal

                        836
life. Guided by "the Spirit of truth," he will be led
into all truth. He will not be loved, honored, and
praised by the world; but he will be precious in the
sight of heaven. "Behold, what manner of love the
Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be
called the sons of God: therefore the world
knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."




                        837
                    Chapter 51

       Responsibilities of the
            Physician

    "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
wisdom." Professional men, whatever their calling,
need divine wisdom. But the physician is in special
need of this wisdom in dealing with all classes of
minds and diseases. He occupies a position even
more responsible than that of the minister of the
gospel. He is called to be a colaborer with Christ,
and he needs stanch religious principles and a firm
connection with the God of wisdom. If he takes
counsel of God he will have the Great Healer to
work with his efforts, and he will move with the
greatest caution lest by his mismanagement he
injure one of God's creatures. He will be firm as a
rock to principle, yet kind and courteous to all. He
will feel the responsibility of his position, and his
practice will show that he is actuated by pure,
unselfish motives and a desire to adorn the doctrine
of Christ in all things. Such a physician will
                        838
possess a heaven-born dignity and will be a
powerful agent for good in the world. Although he
may not be appreciated by those who have no
connection with God, yet he will be honored of
heaven. In God's sight he will be more precious
than gold, even the gold of Ophir.

    The physician should be a strictly temperate
man. The physical ailments of humanity are
numberless, and he has to deal with disease in all
its varied forms. He knows that much of the
suffering he seeks to relieve is the result of
intemperance and other forms of selfish
indulgence. He is called to attend young men, and
men in the prime of life and in mature age, who
have brought disease upon themselves by the use
of the narcotic tobacco. If he is an intelligent
physician he will be able to trace disease to its
cause, but unless he is free from the use of tobacco
himself he will hesitate to put his finger upon the
plague spot and faithfully unfold to his patients the
cause of their sickness. He will fail to urge upon
the young the necessity of overcoming the habit
before it becomes fixed. If he uses the weed

                        839
himself, how can he present to the inexperienced
youth its injurious effects, not only upon
themselves, but upon those around them?

    In this age of the world the use of tobacco is
almost universal. Women and children suffer from
having to breathe the atmosphere that has been
polluted by the pipe, the cigar, or the foul breath of
the tobacco user. Those who live in this
atmosphere will always be ailing, and the smoking
physician is always prescribing some drug to cure
ailments which could be best remedied by throwing
away tobacco.

    Physicians cannot perform their duties with
fidelity to God or to their fellow men while they
are worshiping an idol in the form of tobacco. How
offensive to the sick is the breath of the tobacco
user! How they shrink from him! How inconsistent
for men who have graduated from medical colleges
and claim to be capable of ministering to suffering
humanity, to constantly carry a poisonous narcotic
with them into the sickrooms of their patients. And
yet many chew and smoke until the blood is

                         840
corrupted and the nervous system undermined. It is
especially offensive in the sight of God for
physicians who are capable of doing great good,
and who profess to believe the truth of God for this
time, to indulge in this disgusting habit. The words
of the apostle Paul are applicable to them: "Having
therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us
cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies
of God, that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service."

     Tobacco users cannot be acceptable workers in
the temperance cause, for there is no consistency in
their profession to be temperance men. How can
they talk to the man who is destroying reason and
life by liquor drinking, when their pockets are
filled with tobacco, and they long to be free to
chew and smoke and spit all they please? How can
they with any degree of consistency plead for
moral reforms before boards of health and from
temperance platforms while they themselves are

                        841
under the stimulus of tobacco? If they would have
power to influence the people to overcome their
love for stimulants, their words must come forth
with pure breath and from clean lips.

    Of all men in the world, the physician and the
minister should have strictly temperate habits. The
welfare of society demands total abstinence of
them, for their influence is constantly telling for or
against moral reform and the improvement of
society. It is willful sin in them to be ignorant of
the laws of health or indifferent to them, for they
are looked up to as wise above other men. This is
especially true of the physician, who is entrusted
with human life. He is expected to indulge in no
habit that will weaken the life forces.

    How can a tobacco-using minister or doctor
bring up his children in the nurture and admonition
of the Lord? How can he discountenance in his
child that which he allows in himself? If he does
the work enjoined upon him by the Ruler of the
universe he will protest against iniquity in every
form and in every degree; he will exert his

                         842
authority and influence on the side of self-denial,
and strict, undeviating obedience to the just
requirements of God. It will be his object to place
his children in the most favorable conditions to
secure happiness in this life and a home in the city
of God. How can he do this while yielding to the
indulgence of appetite? How can he place the feet
of others on the ladder of progress while he himself
is treading the downward way?

    Our Saviour set an example of self-denial. In
His prayer for His disciples He said: "For their
sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be
sanctified through the truth." If a man who assumes
so grave a responsibility as that of a physician sins
against himself in not conforming to nature's laws,
he will reap the consequences of his own doings
and abide her righteous decision, from which there
can be no appeal. The cause produces the effect;
and in many cases the physician, who should have
a clear, sharp mind and steady nerves, that he may
be able to discern quickly and execute with
precision, has disordered nerves and a brain
clouded by narcotics. His capabilities for doing

                        843
good are lessened. He will lead others in the path
his own feet are traveling. Hundreds will follow the
example of one intemperate physician, feeling that
they are safe in doing what the doctor does. And in
the day of God he will meet the record of his
course and be called to give an account for all the
good he might have done, but did not do because
by his own voluntary act he weakened his physical
and mental powers by selfish indulgence.

    The question is not, What is the world doing?
but, What are professional men doing in regard to
the widespread and prevailing curse of tobacco
using? Will men to whom God has given
intelligence, and who are in positions of sacred
trust, be true to follow intelligent reason? Will
these responsible men, having under their care
persons whom their influence will lead in a right or
a wrong direction, be pattern men? Will they, by
precept and example, teach obedience to the laws
which govern the physical system? If they do not
put to a practical use the knowledge they have of
the laws that govern their own being, if they prefer
present gratification to soundness of mind and

                        844
body, they are not fit to be entrusted with the lives
of others. They are in duty bound to stand in the
dignity of their God-given manhood, free from the
bondage of any appetite or passion. The man who
chews and smokes is doing injury not only to
himself but to all who come within the sphere of
his influence. If a physician must be called, the
tobacco devotee should be passed by. He will not
be a safe counselor. If the disease has its origin in
the use of tobacco, he will be tempted to
prevaricate and assign some other than the true
cause; for how can he condemn himself in his own
daily practice?

    There are many ways of practicing the healing
art, but there is only one way that Heaven
approves. God's remedies are the simple agencies
of nature that will not tax or debilitate the system
through their powerful properties. Pure air and
water, cleanliness, a proper diet, purity of life, and
a firm trust in God are remedies for the want of
which thousands are dying; yet these remedies are
going out of date because their skillful use requires
work that the people do not appreciate. Fresh air,

                         845
exercise, pure water, and clean, sweet premises are
within the reach of all with but little expense, but
drugs are expensive, both in the outlay of means
and in the effect produced upon the system.

    The work of the Christian physician does not
end with healing the maladies of the body; his
efforts should extend to the diseases of the mind, to
the saving of the soul. It may not be his duty,
unless asked, to present any theoretical points of
truth; but he may point his patients to Christ. The
lessons of the divine Teacher are ever appropriate.
He should call the attention of the repining to the
ever-fresh tokens of the love and care of God, to
His wisdom and goodness as manifested in His
created works. The mind can then be led through
nature up to nature's God and centered on the
heaven which He has prepared for those that love
Him.

    The physician should know how to pray. In
many cases he must increase suffering in order to
save life; and whether the patient is a Christian or
not, he feels greater security if he knows that his

                        846
physician fears God. Prayer will give the sick an
abiding confidence; and many times if their cases
are borne to the Great Physician in humble trust, it
will do more for them than all the drugs that can be
administered.

    Satan is the originator of disease; and the
physician is warring against his work and power.
Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine
tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have
their foundation here. Perhaps some living home
trouble is, like a canker, eating to the very soul and
weakening the life forces. Remorse for sin
sometimes undermines the constitution and
unbalances the mind. There are erroneous doctrines
also, as that of an eternally burning hell and the
endless torment of the wicked, that, by giving
exaggerated and distorted views of the character of
God, have produced the same result upon sensitive
minds. Infidels have made the most of these
unfortunate cases, attributing insanity to religion;
but this is a gross libel and one which they will not
be pleased to meet by and by. The religion of
Christ, so far from being the cause of insanity, is

                         847
one of its most effectual remedies; for it is a potent
soother of the nerves.

    The physician needs more than human wisdom
and power that he may know how to minister to the
many perplexing cases of disease of the mind and
heart with which he is called to deal. If he is
ignorant of the power of divine grace he cannot
help the afflicted one, but will aggravate the
difficulty; but if he has a firm hold upon God he
will be able to help the diseased, distracted mind.
He will be able to point his patients to Christ and
teach them to carry all their cares and perplexities
to the great Burden Bearer.

     There is a divinely appointed connection
between sin and disease. No physician can practice
for a month without seeing this illustrated. He may
ignore the fact; his mind may be so occupied with
other matters that his attention will not be called to
it; but if he will be observing and honest he cannot
help acknowledging that sin and disease bear to
each other the relationship of cause and effect. The
physician should be quick to see this and to act

                         848
accordingly. When he has gained the confidence of
the afflicted by relieving their sufferings and
bringing them back from the verge of the grave, he
may teach them that disease is the result of sin and
that it is the fallen foe who seeks to allure them to
health-and-soul-destroying practices. He may
impress their minds with the necessity of denying
self and obeying the laws of life and health. In the
minds of the young especially he may instill right
principles. God loves His creatures with a love that
is both tender and strong. He has established the
laws of nature, but His laws are not arbitrary
exactions. Every "Thou shalt not," whether in
physical or moral law, contains or implies a
promise. If it is obeyed, blessings will attend our
steps; if it is disobeyed, the result is danger and
unhappiness. The laws of God are designed to
bring His people closer to Himself. He will save
them from the evil and lead them to the good if
they will be led, but force them He never will. We
cannot discern God's plans, but we must trust Him
and show our faith by our works.

   Physicians who love and fear God are few

                        849
compared with those who are infidels or openly
irreligious, and these should be patronized in
preference to the latter class. We may well distrust
the ungodly physician. A door of temptation is
open to him, a wily devil will suggest base
thoughts and actions, and it is only the power of
divine grace that can quell tumultuous passion and
fortify against sin. To those who are morally
corrupt, opportunities to corrupt pure minds are not
wanting. But how will the licentious physician
appear in the day of God? While professing to care
for the sick, he has betrayed sacred trusts. He has
degraded both the soul and the body of God's
creatures, and has set their feet in the path that
leads to perdition. How terrible to trust our loved
ones in the hands of an impure man, who may
poison the morals and ruin the soul! How out of
place is the godless physician at the bedside of the
dying!

    The physician is almost daily brought face to
face with death. He is, as it were, treading upon the
verge of the grave. In many instances familiarity
with scenes of suffering and death results in

                        850
carelessness and indifference to human woe, and
recklessness in the treatment of the sick. Such
physicians seem to have no tender sympathy. They
are harsh and abrupt, and the sick dread their
approach. Such men, however great their
knowledge and skill, can do the suffering little
good; but if the love and sympathy that Jesus
manifested for the sick is combined with the
physician's knowledge, his very presence will be a
blessing. He will not look upon his patient as a
mere piece of human mechanism, but as a soul to
be saved or lost.

    The duties of the physician are arduous. Few
realize the mental and physical strain to which he is
subjected. Every energy and capability must be
enlisted with the most intense anxiety in the battle
with disease and death. Often he knows that one
unskillful movement of the hand, even but a
hairbreadth in the wrong direction, may send a soul
unprepared into eternity. How much the faithful
physician needs the sympathy and prayers of the
people of God. His claims in this direction are not
inferior to those of the most devoted minister or

                        851
missionary worker. Deprived, as he often is, of
needed rest and sleep, and even of religious
privileges on the Sabbath, he needs a double
portion of grace, a fresh supply daily, or he will
lose his hold on God and will be in danger of
sinking deeper in spiritual darkness than men of
other callings. And yet often he is made to bear
unmerited reproaches and is left to stand alone, the
subject of Satan's fiercest temptations, feeling
himself misunderstood, betrayed by his friends.


    Many, knowing how trying are the duties of the
physician and how few opportunities physicians
have for release from care, even upon the Sabbath,
will not choose this for their lifework. But the great
enemy is constantly seeking to destroy the
workmanship of God's hands, and men of culture
and intelligence are called upon to combat his cruel
power. More of the right kind of men are needed to
devote themselves to this profession. Painstaking
effort should be made to induce suitable men to
qualify themselves for this work. They should be
men whose characters are based upon the broad

                         852
principles of the word of God—men who possess a
natural energy, force, and perseverance that will
enable them to reach a high standard of excellence.
It is not everyone who can make a successful
physician. Many have entered upon the duties of
this profession every way unprepared. They have
not the requisite knowledge; neither have they the
skill and tact, the carefulness and intelligence,
necessary to ensure success.

    A physician can do much better work if he has
physical strength. If he is feeble he cannot endure
the wearing labor incident to his calling. A man
who has a weak constitution, who is a dyspeptic, or
who has not perfect self-control, cannot become
qualified to deal with all classes of disease. Great
care should be taken not to encourage persons who
might be useful in some less responsible position,
to study medicine at a great outlay of time and
means, when there is no reasonable hope that they
will succeed.

   Some have been singled out as men who might
be useful as physicians, and they have been

                        853
encouraged to take a medical course. But some
who commenced their studies in the medical
colleges as Christians did not keep the divine law
prominent; they sacrificed principle and lost their
hold on God. They felt that singlehanded they
could not keep the fourth commandment and meet
the jeers and ridicule of the ambitious, the world-
loving, the superficial, the skeptic, and the infidel.
This kind of persecution they were not prepared to
meet. They were ambitious to climb higher in the
world, and they stumbled on the dark mountains of
unbelief and became untrustworthy. Temptations
of every kind opened before them, and they had no
strength to resist. Some of these have become
dishonest, scheming policy men and are guilty of
grave sins.

    In this age there is danger for everyone who
shall enter upon the study of medicine. Often his
instructors are worldly-wise men and his fellow
students infidels, who have no thought of God, and
he is in danger of being influenced by these
irreligious associations. Nevertheless, some have
gone through the medical course and have

                         854
remained true to principle. They would not
continue their studies on the Sabbath, and they
have proved that men may become qualified for the
duties of a physician and not disappoint the
expectations of those who furnish them means to
obtain an education. Like Daniel, they have
honored God, and He has kept them. Daniel
purposed in his heart that he would not adopt the
customs of kingly courts; he would not eat of the
king's meat nor drink of his wine. He looked to
God for strength and grace, and God gave him
wisdom and skill and knowledge above that of the
astrologers, the soothsayers, and the magicians of
the kingdom. To him the promise was verified:
"Them that honor Me I will honor."


    The young physician has access to the God of
Daniel. Through divine grace and power he may
become as efficient in his calling as Daniel was in
his exalted position. But it is a mistake to make a
scientific preparation the all-important thing, while
religious principles, that lie at the very foundation
of a successful practice, are neglected. Many are

                        855
lauded as skillful men in their profession who
scorn the thought that they need to rely upon Jesus
for wisdom in their work. But if these men who
trust in their knowledge of science were
illuminated by the light of heaven, to how much
greater excellence might they attain! How much
stronger would be their powers, with how much
greater confidence could they undertake difficult
cases! The man who is closely connected with the
Great Physician of soul and body has the resources
of heaven and earth at his command, and he can
work with a wisdom, an unerring precision, that the
godless man cannot possess.

    Those to whom the care of the sick is entrusted,
whether as physicians or nurses, should remember
that their work must stand the scrutiny of the
piercing eye of Jehovah. There is no missionary
field more important than that occupied by the
faithful, God-fearing physician. There is no field
where a man may accomplish greater good or win
more jewels to shine in the crown of his rejoicing.
He may carry the grace of Christ, as a sweet
perfume, into all the sickrooms he enters; he may

                        856
carry the true healing balm to the sin-sick soul. He
can point the sick and dying to the Lamb of God
that taketh away the sin of the world. He should not
listen to the suggestion that it is dangerous to speak
of their eternal interests to those whose lives are in
peril, lest it should make them worse; for in nine
cases out of ten the knowledge of a sin-pardoning
Saviour would make them better both in mind and
body. Jesus can limit the power of Satan. He is the
physician in whom the sin-sick soul may trust to
heal the maladies of the body as well as of the soul.

    The superficial and the evil-minded in the
profession will seek to arouse prejudice against the
man who faithfully discharges the duties of his
profession, and to strew his path with obstacles; but
these trials will only reveal the pure gold of
character. Christ will be his refuge from the strife
of tongues. Though his life may be hard and self-
denying, and in the estimation of the world may be
a failure, in the sight of heaven it will be a success,
and he will be ranked as one of God's noblemen.
"They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of
the firmament; and they that turn many to

                         857
righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."




                        858
                    Chapter 52

          The Coming Crisis

    "And the dragon was wroth with the woman,
and went to make war with the remnant of her
seed, which keep the commandments of God, and
have the testimony of Jesus Christ." In the near
future we shall see these words fulfilled as the
Protestant churches unite with the world and with
the papal power against commandment keepers.
The same spirit which actuated papists in ages past
will lead Protestants to pursue a similar course
toward those who will maintain their loyalty to
God.

    Church and state are now making preparations
for the future conflict. Protestants are working in
disguise to bring Sunday to the front, as did the
Romanists. Throughout the land the papacy is
piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the
secret recesses of which her former persecutions
are to be repeated. And the way is preparing for the

                        859
manifestation, on a grand scale, of those lying
wonders by which, if it were possible, Satan would
deceive even the elect.

    The decree which is to go forth against the
people of God will be very similar to that issued by
Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther.
The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman
toward Mordecai. Not that Mordecai had done him
harm, but he had refused to show him reverence
which belongs only to God. The king's decision
against the Jews was secured under false pretenses
through misrepresentation of that peculiar people.
Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth
of those who preserved the knowledge of the true
God. But his plots were defeated by a
counterpower that reigns among the children of
men. Angels that excel in strength were
commissioned to protect the people of God, and the
plots of their adversaries returned upon their own
heads. The Protestant world today see in the little
company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the
gate. His character and conduct, expressing
reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke

                        860
to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and
are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome
intruder must by some means be put out of the
way.

    The same masterful mind that plotted against
the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the
earth of those who fear God and obey His law.
Satan will excite indignation against the humble
minority who conscientiously refuse to accept
popular customs and traditions. Men of position
and reputation will join with the lawless and the
vile to take counsel against the people of God.
Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover
them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers,
and church members will conspire against them.
With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and
ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith. By
false representations and angry appeals they will
stir up the passions of the people. Not having a
"Thus saith the Scriptures" to bring against the
advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to
oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To
secure popularity and patronage, legislators will

                        861
yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who
fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a
precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes
the last great conflict of the controversy between
truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to
the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the
Lord will vindicate His truth and His people.

    By the decree enforcing the institution of the
papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation
will disconnect herself fully from righteousness.
When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across
the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power,
when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands
with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this
threefold union, our country shall repudiate every
principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and
republican government, and shall make provision
for the propagation of papal falsehoods and
delusions, then we may know that the time has
come for the marvelous working of Satan and that
the end is near.

   As the approach of the Roman armies was a

                        862
sign to the disciples of the impending destruction
of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us
that the limit of God's forbearance is reached, that
the measure of our nation's iniquity is full, and that
the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never
to return. The people of God will then be plunged
into those scenes of affliction and distress which
prophets have described as the time of Jacob's
trouble. The cries of the faithful, persecuted ones
ascend to heaven. And as the blood of Abel cried
from the ground, there are voices also crying to
God from martyrs' graves, from the sepulchers of
the sea, from mountain caverns, from convent
vaults: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost
Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that
dwell on the earth?"

    The Lord is doing His work. All heaven is astir.
The Judge of all the earth is soon to arise and
vindicate His insulted authority. The mark of
deliverance will be set upon the men who keep
God's commandments, who revere His law, and
who refuse the mark of the beast or of his image.


                         863
    God has revealed what is to take place in the
last days, that His people may be prepared to stand
against the tempest of opposition and wrath. Those
who have been warned of the events before them
are not to sit in calm expectation of the coming
storm, comforting themselves that the Lord will
shelter His faithful ones in the day of trouble. We
are to be as men waiting for their Lord, not in idle
expectancy, but in earnest work, with unwavering
faith. It is no time now to allow our minds to be
engrossed with things of minor importance. While
men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging
matters so that the Lord's people may not have
mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now
making its way in darkness. The leaders are
concealing the true issue, and many who unite in
the movement do not themselves see whither the
undercurrent is tending. Its professions are mild
and apparently Christian, but when it shall speak it
will reveal the spirit of the dragon. It is our duty to
do all in our power to avert the threatened danger.
We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing
ourselves in a proper light before the people. We
should bring before them the real question at issue,

                         864
thus interposing the most effectual protest against
measures to restrict liberty of conscience. We
should search the Scriptures and be able to give the
reason for our faith. Says the prophet: "The wicked
shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall
understand; but the wise shall understand."

    Those who have access to God through Christ
have important work before them. Now is the time
to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer
of David should be the prayer of pastors and
laymen: "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for
they have made void Thy law." Let the servants of
the Lord weep between the porch and the altar,
crying: "Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not
Thine heritage to reproach." God has always
wrought for His people in their greatest extremity,
when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be
averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies
of the church, are subject to His power and
overruling providence. He can move upon the
hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and
disaffected, the haters of God, His truth, and His
people can be turned aside, even as the rivers of

                        865
water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves
the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the
stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls
the waves of the great deep, the same infinite
Creator will work in behalf of His people if they
call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces
of darkness until the warning is given to the world
and all who will heed it are prepared for the
conflict.

    "The wrath of man shall praise Thee," says the
psalmist; "the remainder of wrath shalt Thou
restrain." God means that testing truth shall be
brought to the front and become a subject of
examination and discussion, even if it is through
the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the
people must be agitated. Every controversy, every
reproach, every slander, will be God's means of
provoking inquiry and awakening minds that
otherwise would slumber.

   Thus it has been in the past history of God's
people. For refusing to worship the great golden
image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the three

                        866
Hebrews were cast into the fiery furnace. But God
preserved His servants in the midst of the flames,
and the attempt to enforce idolatry resulted in
bringing the knowledge of the true God before the
assembled princes and great men of the vast
kingdom of Babylon.

    So when the decree went forth forbidding
prayer to any god save the king. As Daniel,
according to his custom, made his supplications
three times a day to the God of heaven, the
attention of the princes and rulers was called to his
case. He had an opportunity to speak for himself, to
show who is the true God, and to present the reason
why He alone should receive worship, and the duty
of rendering Him praise and homage. And the
deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions was
another evidence that the Being whom he
worshiped was the true and living God.

    So the imprisonment of Paul brought the gospel
before kings, princes, and rulers who otherwise
would not have had this light. The efforts made to
retard the progress of truth will serve to extend it.

                        867
The excellence of truth is more clearly seen from
every successive point from which it may be
viewed. Error requires disguise and concealment. It
clothes itself in angel robes, and every
manifestation of its real character lessens its chance
of success.

    The people whom God has made the
depositaries of His law are not to permit their light
to be hidden. The truth must be proclaimed in the
dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and
surmounted. A great work is to be done, and this
work has been entrusted to those who know the
truth. They should make mighty intercession with
God for help now. The love of Christ must be
diffused in their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ
must be poured out upon them, and they must be
making ready to stand in the judgment. While they
are consecrating themselves to God, a convincing
power will attend their efforts to present the truth
to others, and its light will find access to many
hearts. We must sleep no longer on Satan's
enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our
resources and avail ourselves of every facility with

                         868
which Providence has furnished us. The last
warning is to be proclaimed "before many peoples,
and nations, and tongues, and kings;" and the
promise is given, "Lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world."




                      869
                    Chapter 53

  The Church the Light of the
           World

    The Lord called out His people Israel and
separated them from the world that He might
commit to them a sacred trust. He made them the
depositaries of His law, and He designed, through
them, to preserve among men the knowledge of
Himself. Through them the light of heaven was to
shine out to the dark places of the earth, and a
voice was to be heard appealing to all peoples to
turn from their idolatry to serve the living and true
God. Had the Hebrews been true to their trust, they
would have been a power in the world. God would
have been their defense, and He would have
exalted them above all other nations. His light and
truth would have been revealed through them, and
they would have stood forth under His wise and
holy rule as an example of the superiority of His
government over every form of idolatry.

                        870
    But they did not keep their covenant with God.
They followed after the idolatrous practices of
other nations, and instead of making their Creator's
name a praise in the earth their course held it up to
the contempt of the heathen. Yet the purpose of
God must be accomplished. The knowledge of His
will must be spread abroad in the earth. God
brought the hand of the oppressor upon His people
and scattered them as captives among the nations.
In affliction many of them repented of their
transgressions and sought the Lord. Scattered
throughout the countries of the heathen, they
spread abroad the knowledge of the true God. The
principles of the divine law came in conflict with
the customs and practices of the nations. Idolaters
endeavored to crush out the true faith. The Lord in
His providence brought His servants, Daniel,
Nehemiah, Ezra, face to face with kings and rulers,
that these idolaters might have an opportunity to
receive the light. Thus the work which God had
given His people to do in prosperity, in their own
borders, but which had been neglected through
their unfaithfulness, was done by them in captivity,
under great trial and embarrassment.

                        871
     God has called His church in this day, as He
called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth.
By the mighty cleaver of truth, the messages of the
first, second, and third angels, He has separated
them from the churches and from the world to
bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. He
has made them the depositaries of His law and has
committed to them the great truths of prophecy for
this time. Like the holy oracles committed to
ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be
communicated to the world. The three angels of
Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the
light of God's messages and go forth as His agents
to sound the warning throughout the length and
breadth of the earth. Christ declares to His
followers: "Ye are the light of the world." To every
soul that accepts Jesus the cross of Calvary speaks:
"Behold the worth of the soul: 'Go ye into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature.'"
Nothing is to be permitted to hinder this work. It is
the all-important work for time; it is to be far-
reaching as eternity. The love that Jesus manifested
for the souls of men in the sacrifice which He made

                          872
for their redemption, will actuate all His followers.

    But very few of those who have received the
light are doing the work entrusted to their hands.
There are a few men of unswerving fidelity who do
not study ease, convenience, or life itself, who push
their way wherever they can find an opening to
press the light of truth and vindicate the holy law
of God. But the sins that control the world have
come into the churches, and into the hearts of those
who claim to be God's peculiar people. Many who
have received the light exert an influence to quiet
the fears of worldlings and formal professors.
There are lovers of the world even among those
who profess to be waiting for the Lord. There is
ambition for riches and honor. Christ describes this
class when He declares that the day of God is to
come as a snare upon all that dwell upon the earth.
This world is their home. They make it their
business to secure earthly treasures. They erect
costly dwellings and furnish them with every good
thing; they find pleasure in dress and the
indulgence of appetite. The things of the world are
their idols. These interpose between the soul and

                         873
Christ, and the solemn and awful realities that are
crowding upon us are but dimly seen and faintly
realized. The same disobedience and failure which
were seen in the Jewish church have characterized
in a greater degree the people who have had this
great light from heaven in the last messages of
warning. Shall we, like them, squander our
opportunities and privileges until God shall permit
oppression and persecution to come upon us? Will
the work which might be performed in peace and
comparative prosperity be left undone until it must
be performed in days of darkness, under the
pressure of trial and persecution?

    There is a terrible amount of guilt for which the
church is responsible. Why are not those who have
the light putting forth earnest efforts to give that
light to others? They see that the end is near. They
see multitudes daily transgressing God's law; and
they know that these souls cannot be saved in
transgression. Yet they have more interest in their
trades, their farms, their houses, their merchandise,
their dress, their tables, than in the souls of men
and women whom they must meet face to face in

                        874
the judgment. The people who claim to obey the
truth are asleep. They could not be at ease as they
are if they were awake. The love of the truth is
dying out of their hearts. Their example is not such
as to convince the world that they have truth in
advance of every other people upon the earth. At
the very time when they should be strong in God,
having a daily, living experience, they are feeble,
hesitating, relying upon the preachers for support,
when they should be ministering to others with
mind and soul and voice and pen and time and
money.

    Brethren and sisters, many of you excuse
yourselves from labor on the plea of inability to
work for others. But did God make you so
incapable? Was not this inability produced by your
own inactivity and perpetuated by your own
deliberate choice? Did not God give you at least
one talent to improve, not for your own
convenience and gratification, but for Him? Have
you realized your obligation, as His hired servant,
to bring a revenue to Him by the wise and skillful
use of this entrusted capital? Have you not

                        875
neglected opportunities to improve your powers to
this end? It is too true that few have felt any real
sense of their responsibility to God. Love,
judgment, memory, foresight, tact, energy, and
every other faculty have been devoted to self. You
have displayed greater wisdom in the service of
evil than in the cause of God. You have perverted,
disabled, nay, even besotted your powers, by your
intense activity in worldly pursuits to the neglect of
God's work.

    Still you soothe your conscience by saying that
you cannot undo the past, and gain the vigor, the
strength, and the skill which you might have had if
you had employed your powers as God required.
But remember that He holds you responsible for
the work negligently done or left undone through
your unfaithfulness. The more you exercise your
powers for the Master, the more apt and skillful
you will become. The more closely you connect
yourself with the Source of light and power, the
greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater
power will be yours to use for God. And for all that
you might have had, but failed to obtain through

                         876
your devotion to the world, you are responsible.
When you became a follower of Christ you
pledged yourself to serve Him and Him alone, and
He promised to be with you and bless you, to
refresh you with His light, to grant you His peace,
and to make you joyful in His work. Have you
failed to experience these blessings? be sure it is
the result of your own course.

    In order to escape the draft during the war,
there were men who induced disease, others
maimed themselves that they might be rendered
unfit for service. Here is an illustration of the
course which many have been pursuing in relation
to the cause of God. They have crippled their
powers, both physical and mental, so that they are
unable to do the work which is so greatly needed.

   Suppose that a sum of money were placed in
your hands to invest for a certain purpose; would
you throw it away and declare that you were not
now responsible for its use? would you feel that
you had saved yourself a great care? Yet this is
what you have been doing with the gifts of God. To

                       877
excuse yourself from working for others on the
plea of inability, while you are all absorbed in
worldly pursuits, is mockery of God. Multitudes
are going down to ruin; the people who have
received light and truth are but as a handful to
withstand all the host of evil; and yet this little
company are devoting their energies to anything
and everything but to learning how they may
rescue souls from death. Is it any marvel that the
church is weak and inefficient, that God can do but
little for His professed people? They place
themselves where it is impossible for Him to work
with them and for them. Dare you continue thus to
disregard His claims? Will you still trifle with
heaven's most sacred trusts? Will you say with
Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?"

    Remember that your responsibility is measured,
not by your present resources and capacities, but by
the powers originally bestowed and the
possibilities for improvement. The question which
each one should ask himself is not whether he is
now inexperienced and unfit to labor in God's
cause, but how and why he is in this condition, and

                        878
how it can be remedied. God will not
supernaturally endow us with the qualifications
which we lack; but while we exert the ability we
have, He will work with us to increase and
strengthen every faculty; our dormant energies will
be aroused, and powers which have long been
palsied will receive new life.

    So long as we are in the world, we must have to
do with the things of the world. There will ever be
a necessity for the transaction of temporal, secular
business; but this should never become all-
absorbing. The apostle Paul has given a safe rule:
"Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving
the Lord." The humble, common duties of life are
all to be performed with fidelity; "heartily," says
the apostle, "as to the Lord." Whatever our
department of labor, be it housework or field work
or intellectual pursuits, we may perform it to the
glory of God so long as we make Christ first and
last and best in everything. But aside from these
worldly employments there is given to every
follower of Christ a special work for the upbuilding
of His kingdom—a work which requires personal

                        879
effort for the salvation of men. It is not a work to
be performed once a week merely, at the place of
worship, but at all times and all places.

    Everyone who connects himself with the
church makes in that act a solemn vow to work for
the interest of the church and to hold that interest
above every worldly consideration. It is his work to
preserve a living connection with God, to engage
with heart and soul in the great scheme of
redemption, and to show, in his life and character,
the excellency of God's commandments in contrast
with the customs and precepts of the world. Every
soul that has made a profession of Christ has
pledged himself to be all that it is possible for him
to be as a spiritual worker, to be active, zealous,
and efficient in his Master's service. Christ expects
every man to do his duty; let this be the watchword
throughout the ranks of His followers.

   We are not to wait to be solicited to give light,
to be importuned for counsel or instruction.
Everyone who receives the rays of the Sun of
Righteousness is to reflect its brightness to all

                        880
about him. His religion should have a positive and
decided influence. His prayers and entreaties
should be so imbued with the Holy Spirit that they
will melt and subdue the soul. Said Jesus: "Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father which is
in heaven." It would be better for a worldling never
to have seen a professor of religion than to come
under the influence of one who is ignorant of the
power of godliness. If Christ were our pattern, His
life our rule, what zeal would be manifested, what
efforts put forth, what liberality exercised, what
self-denial practiced! How untiringly should we
labor, what fervent petitions for power and wisdom
would ascend to God! If all the professed children
of God would feel that it is the chief business of
life to do the work which He has bidden them to
do, if they would labor unselfishly in His cause,
what a change would be seen in hearts and homes,
in churches, yea, in the world itself!

    Vigilance and fidelity have been required of
Christ's followers in every age; but now that we are
standing upon the very verge of the eternal world,

                        881
holding the truths we do, having so great light, so
important a work, we must double our diligence.
Everyone is to do to the very utmost of his ability.
My brother, you endanger your own salvation if
you hold back now. God will call you to account if
you fail in the work He has assigned you. Have you
a knowledge of the truth? give it to others.

    What can I say to arouse our churches? What
can I say to those who have acted a prominent part
in the proclamation of the last message? "The Lord
is coming," should be the testimony borne, not only
by the lips, but by the life and character; but many
to whom God has given light and knowledge,
talents of influence and means, are men who do not
love the truth and do not practice it. They have
drunk so deeply from the intoxicating cup of
selfishness and worldliness that they have become
drunken with the cares of this life. Brethren, if you
continue to be as idle, as worldly, as selfish as you
have been, God will surely pass you by, and take
those who are less self-caring, less ambitious for
worldly honor, and who will not hesitate to go, as
did their Master, without the camp, bearing the

                        882
reproach. The work will be given to those who will
take it, those who prize it, who weave its principles
into their everyday experience. God will choose
humble men who are seeking to glorify His name
and advance His cause rather than to honor and
advance themselves. He will raise up men who
have not so much worldly wisdom, but who are
connected with Him, and who will seek strength
and counsel from above.

    Some of our leading men are inclined to
indulge the spirit manifested by the apostle John
when he said: "Master, we saw one casting out
devils in Thy name; and we forbade him, because
he followeth not with us." Organization and
discipline are essential, but there is now very great
danger of a departure from the simplicity of the
gospel of Christ. What we need is less dependence
upon mere form and ceremony, and far more of the
power of true godliness. If their life and character
are exemplary, let all work who will, in any
capacity. Although they may not conform exactly
to your methods, not a word should be spoken to
condemn or discourage them. When the Pharisees

                        883
desired Jesus to silence the children who sang His
praise, the Saviour said: "If these should hold their
peace, the stones would immediately cry out."
Prophecy must be fulfilled. So in these days, the
work must be done. There are many departments of
labor; let everyone act a part as best he can. The
man with one talent is not to bury that in the earth.
God has given to every man his work according to
his ability. Those to whom larger trusts and
capabilities have been committed should not
endeavor to silence others who are less able or
experienced. Men with one talent may reach a class
that those with two or five talents cannot approach.
Great and small alike are chosen vessels to bear the
water of life to thirsting souls. Let not those who
preach the word lay their hands upon the humblest
worker and say: "You must labor in this channel or
not work at all." Hands off, brethren. Let everyone
work in his own sphere, with his own armor on,
doing whatever he can do in his humble way.
Strengthen his hands in the work. This is no time
for pharisaism to control. Let God work through
whom He will. The message must go.


                        884
    All are to show their fidelity to God by the wise
use of His entrusted capital, not in means alone, but
in any endowment that will tend to the upbuilding
of His kingdom. Satan will employ every possible
device to prevent the truth from reaching those
who are buried in error; but the voice of warning
and entreaty must come to them. And while only a
few are engaged in this work, thousands ought to
be as much interested as they. God never designed
that the lay members of the church should be
excused from labor in His cause. "Go, labor in My
vineyard," is the Master's command to each of His
followers. As long as there are unconverted souls
in the world, there should be the most active,
earnest, zealous, determined effort for their
salvation. Those who have received the light
should seek to enlighten those who have it not. If
the church members do not individually take hold
of this work, then they show that they have no
living connection with God. Their names are
registered as slothful servants. Can you not discern
the reason why there is no more spirituality in our
churches? It is because you are not colaborers with
Christ.

                        885
    God has given to every man his work. Let us
each wait on God, and He will teach us how to
work and what work we are best adapted to
perform. Yet none are to start out in an
independent spirit to promulgate new theories. The
workers should be in harmony with the truth and
with their brethren. There should be counsel and
co-operation. But they are not to feel that at every
step they must wait to ask some higher officer if
they may do this or that. Look not to man for
guidance, but to the God of Israel.

    The work which the church has failed to do in a
time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in
a terrible crisis under most discouraging,
forbidding circumstances. The warnings that
worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must
be given under the fiercest opposition from
enemies of the faith. And at that time the
superficial, conservative class, whose influence has
steadily retarded the progress of the work, will
renounce the faith and take their stand with its
avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies

                        886
have long been tending. These apostates will then
manifest the most bitter enmity, doing all in their
power to oppress and malign their former brethren
and to excite indignation against them. This day is
just before us. The members of the church will
individually be tested and proved. They will be
placed in circumstances where they will be forced
to bear witness for the truth. Many will be called to
speak before councils and in courts of justice,
perhaps separately and alone. The experience
which would have helped them in this emergency
they have neglected to obtain, and their souls are
burdened with remorse for wasted opportunities
and neglected privileges.

    My brother, my sister, ponder these things, I
beseech you. You have each a work to do. Your
unfaithfulness and neglect are registered against
you in the Ledger of Heaven. You have diminished
your powers and lessened your capabilities. You
lack the experience and efficiency which you might
have had. But before it is forever too late, I urge
you to arouse. Delay no longer. The day is almost
spent. The westering sun is about sinking forever

                        887
from your sight. Yet while the blood of Christ is
pleading, you may find pardon. Summon every
energy of the soul, employ the few remaining hours
in earnest labor for God and for your fellow men.

     My heart is stirred to the very depths. Words
are inadequate to express my feelings as I plead for
perishing souls. Must I plead in vain? As Christ's
ambassador I would arouse you to labor as you
never labored before. Your duty cannot be shifted
upon another. No one but yourself can do your
work. If you withhold your light, someone must be
left in darkness through your neglect.

     Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is
about to be lifted. We who occupy this solemn,
responsible position, what are we doing, what are
we thinking about, that we cling to our selfish love
of ease, while souls are perishing around us? Have
our hearts become utterly callous? Cannot we feel
or understand that we have a work to do for the
salvation of others? Brethren, are you of the class
who having eyes see not, and having ears hear not?
Is it in vain that God has given you a knowledge of

                        888
His will? Is it in vain that He has sent you warning
after warning? Do you believe the declarations of
eternal truth concerning what is about to come
upon the earth, do you believe that God's
judgments are hanging over the people, and can
you still sit at ease, indolent, careless, pleasure
loving?

    It is no time now for God's people to be fixing
their affections or laying up their treasure in the
world. The time is not far distant, when, like the
early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge
in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of
Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for
flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption
of power on the part of our nation in the decree
enforcing the papal sabbath will be a warning to us.
It will then be time to leave the large cities,
preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired
homes in secluded places among the mountains.
And now, instead of seeking expensive dwellings
here, we should be preparing to move to a better
country, even a heavenly. Instead of spending our
means in self-gratification, we should be studying

                        889
to economize. Every talent lent of God should be
used to His glory in giving the warning to the
world. God has a work for His colaborers to do in
the cities. Our missions must be sustained; new
missions must be opened. To carry forward this
work successfully will require no small outlay.
Houses of worship are needed, where the people
may be invited to hear the truths for this time. For
this very purpose, God has entrusted a capital to
His stewards. Let not your property be tied up in
worldly enterprises, so that this work shall be
hindered. Get your means where you can handle it
for the benefit of the cause of God. Send your
treasures before you into heaven.

    The members of the church should individually
hold themselves and all their possessions upon the
altar of God. Now, as never before, the Saviour's
admonition is applicable: "Sell that ye have, and
give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not
old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where
no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For
where your treasure is, there will your heart be
also." Those who are fastening their means in large

                         890
houses, in lands, in worldly enterprises, are saying
by their actions: "God cannot have it; I want it for
myself." They have bound up their one talent in a
napkin and hid it in the earth. There is cause for
such to be alarmed. Brethren, God has not
entrusted means to you to lie idle nor to be
covetously retained or hid away, but to be used to
advance His cause, to save the souls of the
perishing. It is not the time now to bind up the
Lord's money in your expensive buildings and your
large enterprises, while His cause is crippled and
left to beg its way, the treasury half-supplied. The
Lord is not in this way of working. Remember, the
day is fast approaching when it will be said: "Give
an account of thy stewardship." Can you not
discern the signs of the times?

    Every day that passes brings us nearer the last
great important day. We are one year nearer the
judgment, nearer eternity, than we were at the
beginning of 1884. Are we also drawing nearer to
God? Are we watching unto prayer? Another year
of our time to labor has rolled into eternity. Every
day we have been associating with men and

                        891
women who are judgment bound. Each day may
have been the dividing line to some soul; someone
may have made the decision which shall determine
his future destiny. What has been our influence
over these fellow travelers? What efforts have we
put forth to bring them to Christ?

     It is a solemn thing to die, but a far more
solemn thing to live. Every thought and word and
deed of our lives will meet us again. What we
make of ourselves in probationary time, that we
must remain to all eternity. Death brings
dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the
character. The coming of Christ does not change
our characters; it only fixes them forever beyond
all change.

    Again I appeal to the members of the church to
be Christians, to be Christlike. Jesus was a worker,
not for Himself, but for others. He labored to bless
and save the lost. If you are Christians you will
imitate His example. He has laid the foundation,
and we are builders together with Him. But what
material are we bringing to lay on this foundation?

                        892
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the
day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by
fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what
sort it is." If you are devoting all your strength and
talent to the things of this world, your lifework is
represented by wood, hay, and stubble, to be
consumed by the fires of the last day. But unselfish
labor for Christ and the future life will be as gold,
silver, and precious stones; it is imperishable.

    My brethren and sisters, awake, I beseech you,
from the sleep of death. It is too late to devote the
strength of brain, bone, and muscle to self-serving.
Let not the last day find you destitute of heavenly
treasure. Seek to push the triumphs of the cross,
seek to enlighten souls, labor for the salvation of
your fellow beings, and your work will abide the
trying test of fire.

    "If any man's work abide, . . . he shall receive a
reward." Glorious will be the reward bestowed
when the faithful workers are gathered about the
throne of God and the Lamb. When John in his
mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one

                         893
dead; he was not able to endure the sight. But when
mortal shall have put on immortality, the ransomed
ones are like Jesus, for they see Him as He is. They
stand before the throne, signifying that they are
accepted. All their sins are blotted out, all their
transgressions borne away. Now they can look
upon the undimmed glory from the throne of God.
They have been partakers with Christ of His
sufferings, they have been workers together with
Him in the plan of redemption, and they are
partakers with Him in the joy of beholding souls
saved through their instrumentality to praise God
through all eternity.




                        894
                    Chapter 54

       Joshua and the Angel

     If the veil which separates the visible from the
invisible world could be lifted, and the people of
God could behold the great controversy that is
going on between Christ and holy angels and Satan
and his evil hosts concerning the redemption of
man; if they could understand the wonderful work
of God for the rescue of souls from the bondage of
sin, and the constant exercise of His power for their
protection from the malice of the evil one, they
would be better prepared to withstand the devices
of Satan. Their minds would be solemnized in view
of the vast extent and importance of the plan of
redemption and the greatness of the work before
them as colaborers with Christ. They would be
humbled, yet encouraged, knowing that all heaven
is interested in their salvation.

    A most forcible and impressive illustration of
the work of Satan and the work of Christ, and the

                        895
power of our Mediator to vanquish the accuser of
His people, is given in the prophecy of Zechariah.
In holy vision the prophet beholds Joshua the high
priest, "clothed with filthy garments," standing
before the Angel of the Lord, entreating the mercy
of God in behalf of his people who are in deep
affliction. Satan stands at his right hand to resist
him. Because Israel had been chosen to preserve
the knowledge of God in the earth, they had been,
from their first existence as a nation, the special
objects of Satan's enmity, and he had determined to
cause their destruction. He could do them no harm
while they were obedient to God; therefore he had
bent all his power and cunning to enticing them
into sin. Ensnared by his temptations they had
transgressed the law of God and thus separated
from the Source of their strength, and had been left
to become the prey of their heathen enemies. They
were carried into captivity to Babylon, and there
remained for many years. Yet they were not
forsaken of the Lord. His prophets were sent to
them with reproofs and warnings. The people were
awakened to see their guilt, they humbled
themselves before God, and returned to Him with

                        896
true repentance. Then the Lord sent them messages
of encouragement, declaring that He would deliver
them from their captivity and restore them to His
favor. It was this that Satan was determined to
prevent. A remnant of Israel had already returned
to their own land, and Satan was seeking to move
upon the heathen nations, who were his agents, to
utterly destroy them.

    As Joshua humbly pleads for the fulfillment of
God's promises, Satan stands up boldly to resist
him. He points to the transgressions of Israel as a
reason why that people should not be restored to
the favor of God. He claims them as his prey and
demands that they be given into his hands to be
destroyed.

    The high priest cannot defend himself or his
people from Satan's accusations. He does not claim
that Israel are free from fault. In his filthy
garments, symbolizing the sins of the people,
which he bears as their representative, he stands
before the Angel, confessing their guilt, yet
pointing to their repentance and humiliation,

                       897
relying upon the mercy of a sin-pardoning
Redeemer and in faith claiming the promises of
God.

    Then the Angel, who is Christ Himself, the
Saviour of sinners, puts to silence the accuser of
His people, declaring: "The Lord rebuke thee, O
Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem
rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the
fire?" Israel had long remained in the furnace of
affliction. Because of their sins they had been well-
nigh consumed in the flame kindled by Satan and
his agents for their destruction, but God had now
set His hand to bring them forth. In their penitence
and humiliation the compassionate Saviour will not
leave His people to the cruel power of the heathen.
"A bruised reed shall He not break, and the
smoking flax shall He not quench."

    As the intercession of Joshua is accepted, the
command is given, "Take away the filthy garments
from him," and to Joshua the Angel declares,
"Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from
thee, and I will clothe thee with change of

                        898
raiment." "So they set a fair miter upon his head,
and clothed him with garments." His own sins and
those of his people were pardoned. Israel were
clothed with "change of raiment" —the
righteousness of Christ imputed to them. The miter
placed upon Joshua's head was such as was worn
by the priests and bore the inscription, "Holiness to
the Lord," signifying that, notwithstanding his
former transgressions, he was now qualified to
minister before God in His sanctuary.

    After thus solemnly investing him with the
dignity of the priesthood the Angel declared: "Thus
saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in My
ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou
shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My
courts, and I will give thee places to walk among
these that stand by." He would be honored as the
judge or ruler over the temple and all its services;
he should walk among attending angels, even in
this life, and should at last join the glorified throng
around the throne of God.

   "Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and

                         899
thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men
wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My
servant the Branch." Here is revealed the hope of
Israel. It was by faith in the coming Saviour that
Joshua and his people received pardon. Through
faith in Christ they were restored to God's favor.
By virtue of His merits, if they walked in His ways
and kept His statutes, they would be "men
wondered at," honored as the chosen of heaven
among the nations of the earth. Christ was their
hope, their defense, their justification and
redemption, as He is the hope of His church today.

    As Satan accused Joshua and his people, so in
all ages he accuses those who are seeking the
mercy and favor of God. In the Revelation he is
declared to be the "accuser of our brethren,"
"which accused them before our God day and
night." The controversy is repeated over every soul
that is rescued from the power of evil and whose
name is registered in the Lamb's book of life.
Never is one received from the family of Satan into
the family of God without exciting the determined
resistance of the wicked one. Satan's accusations

                       900
against those who seek the Lord are not prompted
by displeasure at their sins. He exults in their
defective characters. Only through their
transgression of God's law can he obtain power
over them. His accusations arise solely from his
enmity to Christ. Through the plan of salvation,
Jesus is breaking Satan's hold upon the human
family and rescuing souls from his power. All the
hatred and malignity of the archrebel is stirred as
he beholds the evidence of Christ's supremacy, and
with fiendish power and cunning he works to wrest
from Him the remnant of the children of men who
have accepted His salvation.

    He leads men into skepticism, causing them to
lose confidence in God and to separate from His
love; he tempts them to break His law, and then he
claims them as his captives and contests the right
of Christ to take them from him. He knows that
those who seek God earnestly for pardon and grace
will obtain it; therefore he presents their sins before
them to discourage them. He is constantly seeking
occasion against those who are trying to obey God.
Even their best and most acceptable services he

                         901
seeks to make appear corrupt. By countless
devices, the most subtle and the most cruel, he
endeavors to secure their condemnation. Man
cannot meet these charges himself. In his sin-
stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands
before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an
effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance
and faith have committed the keeping of their souls
to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their
accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His
perfect obedience to God's law, even unto the death
of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven
and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy
and reconciliation for guilty man. To the accuser of
His people He declares: "'The Lord rebuke thee, O
Satan.' These are the purchase of My blood, brands
plucked from the burning." Those who rely upon
Him in faith receive the comforting assurance:
"Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from
thee, and I will clothe thee with change of
raiment." All that have put on the robe of Christ's
righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and
faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them
out of the hand of Christ. Not one soul that in

                        902
penitence and faith has claimed His protection will
Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. His
word is pledged: "Let him take hold of My
strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he
shall make peace with Me." The promise given to
Joshua is made to all: "If thou wilt keep My
charge, . . . I will give thee places to walk among
these that stand by." Angels of God will walk on
either side of them, even in this world, and they
will stand at last among the angels that surround
the throne of God.

     The fact that the acknowledged people of God
are represented as standing before the Lord in
filthy garments should lead to humility and deep
searching of heart on the part of all who profess
His name. Those who are indeed purifying their
souls by obeying the truth will have a most humble
opinion of themselves. The more closely they view
the spotless character of Christ, the stronger will be
their desire to be conformed to His image, and the
less will they see of purity or holiness in
themselves. But while we should realize our sinful
condition, we are to rely upon Christ as our

                         903
righteousness, our sanctification, and our
redemption. We cannot answer the charges of
Satan against us. Christ alone can make an
effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence
the accuser with arguments founded not upon our
merits, but on His own.

     Yet we should never be content with a sinful
life. It is a thought that should arouse Christians to
greater zeal and earnestness in overcoming evil,
that every defect in character, every point in which
they fail to meet the divine standard, is an open
door by which Satan can enter to tempt and destroy
them; and, furthermore, that every failure and
defect on their part gives occasion to the tempter
and his agents to reproach Christ. We are to exert
every energy of the soul in the work of
overcoming, and to look to Jesus for strength to do
what we cannot do of ourselves. No sin can be
tolerated in those who shall walk with Christ in
white. The filthy garments are to be removed, and
Christ's robe of righteousness is to be placed upon
us. By repentance and faith we are enabled to
render obedience to all the commandments of God,

                         904
and are found without blame before Him. Those
who shall meet the approval of God are now
afflicting their souls, confessing their sins, and
earnestly pleading for pardon through Jesus their
Advocate. Their attention is fixed upon Him, their
hopes, their faith, are centered on Him, and when
the command is given, "Take away the filthy
garments, and clothe him with change of raiment,
and set a fair miter upon his head," they are
prepared to give Him all the glory of their
salvation.

    Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel
applies with peculiar force to the experience of
God's people in the closing up of the great day of
atonement. The remnant church will be brought
into great trial and distress. Those who keep the
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will
feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan
numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained
control of the apostate churches; but here is a little
company that are resisting his supremacy. If he
could blot them from the earth, his triumph would
be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations

                         905
to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir
up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people
of God. All will be required to render obedience to
human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those
who will be true to God and to duty will be
menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will
"be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and
kinsfolks, and friends."

    Their only hope is in the mercy of God; their
only defense will be prayer. As Joshua was
pleading before the Angel, so the remnant church,
with brokenness of heart and earnest faith, will
plead for pardon and deliverance through Jesus
their Advocate. They are fully conscious of the
sinfulness of their lives, they see their weakness
and unworthiness, and as they look upon
themselves they are ready to despair. The tempter
stands by to accuse them, as he stood by to resist
Joshua. He points to their filthy garments, their
defective characters. He presents their weakness
and folly, their sins of ingratitude, their unlikeness
to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer.
He endeavors to affright the soul with the thought

                         906
that their case is hopeless, that the stain of their
defilement will never be washed away. He hopes to
so destroy their faith that they will yield to his
temptations, turn from their allegiance to God, and
receive the mark of the beast.

    Satan urges before God his accusations against
them, declaring that they have by their sins
forfeited the divine protection, and claiming the
right to destroy them as transgressors. He
pronounces them just as deserving as himself of
exclusion from the favor of God. "Are these," he
says, "the people who are to take my place in
heaven and the place of the angels who united with
me? While they profess to obey the law of God,
have they kept its precepts? Have they not been
lovers of self more than of God? Have they not
placed their own interests above His service? Have
they not loved the things of the world? Look at the
sins which have marked their lives. Behold their
selfishness, their malice, their hatred toward one
another."

   The people of God have been in many respects

                        907
very faulty. Satan has an accurate knowledge of the
sins which he has tempted them to commit, and he
presents these in the most exaggerated light,
declaring: "Will God banish me and my angels
from His presence, and yet reward those who have
been guilty of the same sins? Thou canst not do
this, O Lord, in justice. Thy throne will not stand in
righteousness and judgment. Justice demands that
sentence be pronounced against them."

    But while the followers of Christ have sinned,
they have not given themselves to the control of
evil. They have put away their sins, and have
sought the Lord in humility and contrition, and the
divine Advocate pleads in their behalf. He who has
been most abused by their ingratitude, who knows
their sin, and also their repentance, declares: "'The
Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.' I gave My life for these
souls. They are graven upon the palms of My
hands."

    The assaults of Satan are strong, his delusions
are terrible; but the Lord's eye is upon His people.
Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace

                         908
seem about to consume them; but Jesus will bring
them forth as gold tried in the fire. Their
earthliness must be removed that the image of
Christ may be perfectly reflected; unbelief must be
overcome; faith, hope, and patience are to be
developed.

    The people of God are sighing and crying for
the abominations done in the land. With tears they
warn the wicked of their danger in trampling upon
the divine law, and with unutterable sorrow they
humble themselves before the Lord on account of
their own transgressions. The wicked mock their
sorrow, ridicule their solemn appeals, and sneer at
what they term their weakness. But the anguish and
humiliation of God's people is unmistakable
evidence that they are regaining the strength and
nobility of character lost in consequence of sin. It
is because they are drawing nearer to Christ, and
their eyes are fixed upon His perfect purity, that
they so clearly discern the exceeding sinfulness of
sin. Their contrition and self-abasement are
infinitely more acceptable in the sight of God than
is the self-sufficient, haughty spirit of those who

                        909
see no cause to lament, who scorn the humility of
Christ, and who claim perfection while
transgressing God's holy law. Meekness and
lowliness of heart are the conditions for strength
and victory. The crown of glory awaits those who
bow at the foot of the cross. Blessed are these
mourners, for they shall be comforted.

    The faithful, praying ones are, as it were, shut
in with God. They themselves know not how
securely they are shielded. Urged on by Satan, the
rulers of this world are seeking to destroy them; but
could their eyes be opened, as were the eyes of
Elisha's servant at Dothan, they would see the
angels of God encamped about them, by their
brightness and glory holding in check the hosts of
darkness.

    As the people of God afflict their souls before
Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is
given, "Take away the filthy garments" from them,
and the encouraging words are spoken, "Behold, I
have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I
will clothe thee with change of raiment." The

                        910
spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed
upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of
God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious
apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions
of the world. Their names are retained in the
Lamb's book of life, enrolled among the faithful of
all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the
deceiver; they have not been turned from their
loyalty by the dragon's roar. Now they are eternally
secure from the tempter's devices. Their sins are
transferred to the originator of sin. And the
remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but
honored. "A fair miter" is set upon their heads.
They are to be as kings and priests unto God.
While Satan was urging his accusations and
seeking to destroy this company, holy angels,
unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them
the seal of the living God. These are they that stand
upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the
Father's name written in their foreheads. They sing
the new song before the throne, that song which no
man can learn save the hundred and forty and four
thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
"These are they which follow the Lamb

                        911
whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed
from among men, being the first fruits unto God
and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no
guile: for they are without fault before the throne of
God."

    Now is reached the complete fulfillment of
those words of the Angel: "Hear now, O Joshua the
high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before
thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I
will bring forth My servant the Branch." Christ is
revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His
people. Now indeed are the remnant "men
wondered at," as the tears and humiliation of their
pilgrimage give place to joy and honor in the
presence of God and the Lamb. "In that day shall
the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious,
and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and
comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it
shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and
he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called
holy, even everyone that is written among the
living in Jerusalem."


                         912
                    Chapter 55

 Unity and Love in the Church

    Dear Brethren and Sisters in Healdsburg: Do
not forget that the most dangerous snares which
Satan has prepared for the church will come
through its own members who do not love God
supremely or their neighbor as themselves. Satan is
continually striving to wedge himself in between
brethren. He seeks to gain control of those who
claim to believe the truth, but who are unconverted;
and when he can influence these, through their own
carnal nature, to unite with him in trying to thwart
the purposes of God, then he is exultant.

    The Health Institute, the college, the ministry,
and    the     missionary    societies,    are   all
instrumentalities which God employs for the
accomplishment of His work. If Satan can in any
way invent something which will divert talent and
means from these instrumentalities into another
channel, he will do it. There are some who are

                        913
deceived in themselves. While flattering
themselves that they are doing God's work, they
are playing into the hands of the great deceiver and
rendering him effectual service. Beware of these
deceptions. Ever remember what is due to our
Christian profession as God's peculiar people; and
beware lest, in the exercise of personal
independence, your influence may work against the
purposes of God, and you, through Satan's devices,
become a stumbling block, directly in the way of
those who are weak and halting. There is danger of
giving our enemies occasion to blaspheme God and
heap scorn upon believers in the truth.

    Be especially guarded against becoming a tool
in the hands of the enemy to divert the minds of
any—men and women, or children—from an entire
surrender of themselves to God and to the great
work for this time. Beware of flattering the young
by holding out to them the prospect of financial
gain, wonderful educational advantages, or great
personal achievements. Flattering words are sweet
to the unconsecrated heart, and some who think
they are standing firm, are dazed, allured, and

                        914
intoxicated with hopes that will never be realized.
A great wrong has been done in this way. All
should think and speak modestly of their own
capabilities, and should be careful not to encourage
pride and self-esteem in others. Men and women,
unless consecrated to God, are weak in moral
power and may be entirely mistaken in their
estimate of human ability and of what constitutes
Christian fidelity. Present no inducements which
will lessen the interest of any in building up an
institution which God has said should be built up.

    Brother A does not manifest good judgment
upon all occasions and in all matters. He is not
well-balanced, and unless he walks in humility
before God, he will make dangerous mistakes. He
lacks discernment, and therefore misjudges
character, using such extravagant words of flattery
to some as will hurt their souls. He will lead them
to think that they can do some great thing, and thus
they will neglect the little duties lying directly in
their path.

   I do not plead for inactivity, but I plead for this

                        915
selfish, worldly spirit to be overcome. Any
enterprise which will unite the interests of church
members, and will bring harmony and unity of
effort into the work of God, may be safely entered
into. But never, never forget that you are either
servants of Jesus Christ, working strenuously for
that unity of believers which Christ prayed might
exist, or you are working against this unity and
against Christ.

    Those who seek to lessen the interest of any in
the school at Healdsburg, or in the missionary work
in any of its branches, are not working together
with God, but are working under another captain,
whose aim is to weaken and destroy. Your
usefulness, brethren and sisters of the Healdsburg
church, requires that you be straightforward in all
your dealings; that you be humble, holy, and
undefiled. There should be less proud self-seeking,
less self-importance. When the members of the
church are clothed with humility, when they put
from them self-esteem and self-seeking, when they
seek constantly to do God's will_then they will
work together in harmony. God's Spirit is one. . . .

                        916
    The crisis is just before us when each will need
much strength from God in order to stand against
the wiles of Satan, for his deceptions will come in
every conceivable form. Those who have allowed
themselves to be the sport of Satan's temptations
will be unprepared then to take the right side. Their
ideas will be confused so that they cannot discern
between the divine and the satanic.

    There will come a crisis in every one of our
institutions. Influences will be at work against
them from both believers and unbelievers. There
must be no betraying of confidence or holy trust
now to benefit or exalt self. We should constantly
watch our life with jealous care lest we leave
wrong impressions upon the world. Say it, act it: "I
am a Christian. I can not act upon the world's
maxims. I must love God supremely and my
neighbor as myself. I cannot enter into or connive
at any arrangement which will interfere in the
slightest manner with my usefulness or weaken my
influence or destroy the confidence of anyone in
God's instrumentalities." . . .

                        917
    Remember that God's people are but a little
flock compared with the professedly Christian
world and the myriads of world-adoring men and
women. They are to be Bible Christians, examples
to our youth of righteousness and exactness in all
things. Every influence surrounding the young
should be of a holy character, and this influence
should begin in our own families. The sacred and
the common should not be commingled.

       Guarding the Interests of Brethren

    By his baptismal vows every member of the
church has solemnly pledged himself to guard the
interests of his brethren. All will be tempted to
cling to their own cherished plans and ideas, which
appear sound to them; but they should watch and
pray, and endeavor, to the utmost of their ability, to
build up the kingdom of Jesus in the world. Every
Christian is required by God, as far as it is in his
power, to ward off from his brethren and sisters
every influence which will have the least tendency
to divide them or to separate their interests from

                         918
the work for this present time. He should not only
have a regard for his own spiritual interests, but
should manifest a burden for the souls of those to
whom he stands related; and he should, through
Christ, have a constraining power over other
members of the church. His words and deportment
should have an influence to lead them to follow
Christ's example in self-denial, self-sacrifice, and
love for others.

    If there are any in the church who exert an
influence contrary to the love and disinterested
benevolence which Jesus manifested for us, if they
draw apart from their brethren, faithful men should
deal with these cases in wisdom, laboring for their
souls, yet being careful that their influence shall
not leaven others, and that the church shall not be
led astray by their disaffection and false reports.
Some are filled with self-sufficiency. There are a
few who they think are right, but they question and
find fault with every act of others. These persons
must not be allowed to imperil the interests of the
church. In order to raise the moral tone of the
church, each should feel it his duty to seek personal

                        919
spiritual culture, through the practice of strict Bible
principles, as in the sight of a holy God.

    Let each church member feel that he himself
must be right with God, that he must be sanctified
through the truth. Then he can represent Christian
character to others and can set an example of
unselfishness. If each will do this, the church will
increase in spirituality and in favor with God.

    Every church member should feel under
obligation to consecrate his tithe to God. None are
to follow the sight of their eyes or the inclination of
their selfish hearts and thus rob God. They should
not use their means to gratify vanity or for any
other selfish indulgence, for in so doing they
entangle themselves in Satan's snares. God is the
giver of tact, of ability to accumulate wealth, and
therefore all is to be laid upon His altar. The
requirement is: "Honor the Lord with thy
substance." The tendency to covetousness must be
constantly restrained, else it will eat into the hearts
of men and women, and they will run greedily after
gain.

                         920
    In the wilderness of temptation, Satan, the
adversary of souls, presented before Christ the
glories of this world and said: "If Thou therefore
wilt worship me, all shall be Thine." The Saviour
repulsed Satan; but how easily is man seduced by
the representations of the great enemy! Many are
charmed with the attractions of the world; they
serve mammon rather than God, and so lose their
souls.

    In a little while we are to meet our Lord; and
what account shall we have to give Him of the use
we have made of our time, our talents of influence,
and our possessions? Our joy should be in the work
of saving souls. I solemnly inquire of the
Healdsburg church: Is God among you of a truth?
Says the True Witness: "Thou hast a few names
even in Sardis which have not defiled their
garments; and they shall walk with Me in white:
for they are worthy." Are you of this number?
Have you held fast your integrity? As drowning
men, have you clung to Jesus, who is your refuge?
Are you obeying Him, living for Him, loving Him?

                       921
Is each member pure and holy and undefiled, one
in whose mouth there is no guile? If so, you are
most happy; for you are, in the sight of God, "more
precious than fine gold; even . . . than the golden
wedge of Ophir." While multitudes are devoted to
mammon, and serve not the Holy One of Israel,
there are a few who have not defiled their
garments, but have kept them unspotted from the
world; and these few will be a power. This class
will have that faith which works by love and
purifies the soul. They will exemplify lofty
Christian principles. They will seek for personal
connection with the Source of light and will
endeavor to make constant improvement,
cultivating every faculty to its fullest extent. God
would have you bring into your life the most
unbending uprightness and integrity; this will
distinguish you before the world as children of the
most high God. Jesus was calm and gentle, not
losing His self-command, even when in stormy
conflict, amid fiercest elements of opposition.

   God says to you who have had great light:
"Come up higher." Draw nearer to God and

                        922
heaven. Go forward. You need faith, an unfeigned
love for your brethren, and a deeper interest in
them. God has entrusted you with sacred
responsibilities. There is a mission field for every
member of the church, where he may exert an
influence for good.

     Our college is not what it should be nor what it
will be if our brethren and sisters will feel that it is
a sacred trust committed to them. If they will
elevate the standard of spirituality in the church, if
they will set an example of integrity in all their
dealings, if all will cultivate godliness and
Christian dignity, then the influence of the college
will be widespread, and a light will go forth from it
with rich blessings. I have seen that if the college is
properly conducted, many youth will go forth from
it to be active laborers in the cause of God. But let
all take heed lest in word or action they cast an
influence against it or against the truth by an
unconsecrated life, by evil surmising, or by evil
report; for God will surely mark it against them.
The college will always be obliged to struggle
against difficulties because some men lack faith

                          923
and are not controlled by the mind of Christ. If
Satan can find persons among us who will watch
for evil and speak disparagingly of our institutions,
picking up every little unpleasant thing that
happens, he is well pleased. He will not cease his
efforts to lead persons to depreciate the college
because it does not in every particular meet their
ideas. If he sees that youth can be benefited he will
press every influence into the church to discourage
rather than to strengthen and build up.

    That these elements are in Healdsburg as well
as in other places none will deny; and if Satan did
not use them, he would use some other influence to
the same end. But "woe to that man by whom the
offense cometh;" for it were "better for him that a
millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were
cast into the sea." God has His means of working.
Men cannot always discern them, and by attaching
so much importance to their own efforts they not
only give the Lord no room to work, but are found
working against Him. "Let him that thinketh he
standeth take heed lest he fall." "Ye therefore,
beloved, seeing ye know these things before,

                        924
beware lest ye also, being led away with the error
of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

     We are nearing the end of time. Trials will be
abundant from without, but let them not come from
within the church. Let God's professed people deny
self for the truth's sake, for Christ's sake. "For we
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;
that everyone may receive the things done in his
body, according to that he hath done, whether it be
good or bad." Everyone who truly loves God will
have the spirit of Christ and a fervent love for his
brethren. The more a person's heart is in
communion with God, and the more his affections
are centered in Christ, the less will he be disturbed
by the roughness and hardships he meets in this
life. Those who are growing up to the full stature of
men and women in Christ Jesus, will become more
and more like Christ in character, rising above the
disposition to murmur and be discontented. They
will despise to be faultfinders.


                        925
     The church at this time should have the faith
once delivered to the saints, which will enable
them to say boldly: "God is mine helper;" "I can do
all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
The Lord bids us arise and go forward. Whenever
the church at any period have forsaken their sins,
and believed and walked in the truth, they have
been honored of God. There is in faith and humble
obedience a power that the world cannot withstand.
The order of God's providence in relation to His
people is progression—continual advancement in
the perfection of Christian character, in the way of
holiness, rising higher and higher in the clear light
and knowledge and love of God, to the very close
of time. Oh! why are we ever learning only the first
principles of the doctrine of Christ?

    The Lord has rich blessings for the church if its
members will seek earnestly to arouse from this
perilous lukewarmness. A religion of vanity, words
devoid of vitality, a character destitute of moral
strength,—these are pointed out in the solemn
message addressed by the True Witness to the
churches, warning them against pride, worldliness,

                        926
formalism, and self-sufficiency. To him that says,
"I am rich, and increased with goods, and have
need of nothing," the Lord of heaven declares,
Thou "knowest not that thou art wretched, and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." But to
the lowly, the suffering, the faithful, the patient,
who are alive to their weakness and insufficiency,
are given words of encouragement: "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." The True
Witness says to all: "I know thy works." This close
scrutiny is over the churches in California. Nothing
escapes His searching gaze; their faults and errors,
their neglects and failures, their sinful departure
from the truth, their declensions and
shortcomings—all are "opened unto the eyes of
Him with whom we have to do."

   I hope and pray that you may walk in all
lowliness of mind, that you may be a blessing to
one another. "Yet a little while, and He that shall
come will come, and will not tarry." The bridal
lamps must be kept trimmed and burning. Our Lord

                        927
delays because of His long-suffering to usward,
"not willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance." But when we, with all
the redeemed, shall stand upon the sea of glass,
with harps of gold and crowns of glory, and before
us the immensity of eternity, then we shall see how
short was the waiting period of probation. "Blessed
are those servants, whom the Lord when He
cometh shall find watching."

    We are living in an age when all should
especially give heed to the injunction of the
Saviour: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into
temptation." Let everyone bear in mind that he
should be true and loyal to God, believing the truth,
growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus
Christ. The Saviour's invitation is: "Learn of Me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find
rest unto your souls." The Lord is willing to help
us, to strengthen and bless us; but we must pass
through the refining process until all the impurities
in our character are burned away. Every member of
the church will be subjected to the furnace, not to
consume,