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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1884

January - 1, 8, 15, 29, 29
February - 5
March - 4, 11, 18, 25, 25
April - 8, 15, 22, 22, 29, 29
May - 6, 13, 20, 27
June - 3, 10, 17, 24
July - 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August - 5, 12, 19, 26
September - 2, 9, 16, 23
October - 7, 14, 21, 21, 28
November - 4, 11, 18, 18, 25
December - 2, 9, 16, 23

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 1, 1884
(Vol. 61, #1)

 "God's Estimate of Worldly Wisdom"

    "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours." Such is the admonition of Paul to the Corinthian church. He would not have them dazzled or misled by those who were "wise in this world." He declared that instead of seeking such distinctions, they must become fools in the opinion of worldly wise men, if they would become wise in the estimation of God. The reasoning policy, and imaginations so highly exalted by men of the world, were vain and worthless in the sight of Heaven. Extraordinary talent was not to be considered as high honor; for unless consecrated to God and sanctified by his Spirit, it would prove a curse rather than a blessing.
    The apostle continues: "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." Here are presented the privileges of true believers. The abilities, gifts, and services of apostles and ministers are intended for their benefit. All the treasuries of God are opened to them. In possessing Christ, they possess all things. As his chosen, redeemed people, they are joint heirs with him. The world, with everything in it, is theirs so far as it can do them good. Even the enmity of the wicked will prove a blessing by disciplining them for Heaven.
    "All things are yours." How precious this assurance! Stewards of the grace of God, the treasures of Heaven are opened before you. Here is bounty without limit. We must have faith in order to appreciate this promise, and receive the blessings which it offers. Though it cannot be comprehended in its fullness, yet it is no less a precious treasure to the believer. It is so broad and deep as to amaze the skeptic; but the child of faith beholds the signature of God, and with rejoicing trusts to his unfailing word.
    "The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." The wisdom of the world is too highly valued, the wisdom from above too little sought, by the professed people of the Lord. Men may have a knowledge of Christian doctrine, and yet understand little of Christian experience. Many are keen, apt, prompt, in worldly affairs, while they manifest little interest, tact, or energy in the service of God. They do not exercise their sharpness and shrewdness in watching to discern the devices of Satan, and studying how they may outgeneral the enemy. They do not summon all their powers to form wise plans and put forth earnest, systematic effort to advance the cause of God. The wisdom exercised in worldly temporal things is seldom devoted to spiritual and eternal things. In this manner do men of ability give evidence that they are more carnal than spiritual.
    Every man, of whatever trade or profession, should make the cause of God his first interest; he should not only exercise his talents to advance the Lord's work, but should cultivate his ability to this end. Many a man devotes months and years to the acquirement of a trade or profession that he may become a successful worker in the world; and yet he makes no special effort to cultivate those talents which would render him a successful laborer in the vineyard of the Lord. He has perverted his powers, misused his talents. He has shown disrespect to his heavenly Master. This is the great sin of the professed people of God. They serve themselves, and serve the world. They may have the name of being shrewd, successful financiers; but they neglect to increase by use the talents which God has given them for his service. The worldly tact is becoming stronger by exercise; the spiritual is becoming weaker through inactivity.
    The present is a time when these talents, used in the cause of God, would tell with great effect in the upbuilding of his kingdom. But Satan has outgeneraled us in this matter. We have now to meet a class of men who have been cultivating their powers for his service. They have been encouraging doubts concerning the truth and the word of God; they have studied to find errors and to pick flaws. Some ministers make it their sole business to unsettle faith, to set souls adrift without an anchor. A vainglorious emulation renders them eager for controversy. Some who are desirous of exaltation seek to bring themselves into notice by conjecturing and reporting evil concerning the servants of Christ. Having no evidence to support a direct accusation, they throw out a covert hint, an insinuation, and thus sow the seeds of doubt to germinate in hearts that furnish a genial soil.
    There are men professing godliness who are persecutors, false teachers, tempters, seducers. They have cultivated their talents for this work; and they employ all their ingenuity in disseminating unbelief, impiety, infidelity, licentiousness. They are fellow workers with Satan, laboring with like zeal, diligence, and success, to draw away souls after them. Had the followers of Christ been cultivating their ability, they might be wise unto salvation, able to discern the devices of Satan; were they workers together with God, we would now have an army of faithful men prepared to stand in defense of the truth, and to meet and successfully expose the deceptions of the ungodly.
    Ministers of the gospel are building up the temple of the Lord,-- building upon the foundation stone, which is Christ himself. Says Paul, "Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it." We are building for eternity. It is doubly important now that we take heed how we build. If we indulge doubt and unbelief, we are bringing worthless material to the foundation stone. Only as we labor in faith can we bring to the building that which is precious and enduring.
    Many that are drifting into darkness and infidelity are picking flaws with the Bible, and bringing in superstitious inventions, unscriptural doctrines, and philosophical speculations; others excite trifling inquiries and disputations, which call off the servants of God from their work of building, causing them to waste their time and lose their labor. Those who permit themselves to be thus hindered are giving place to Satan, and surrounding their own souls with an atmosphere of doubt and unbelief. While doing this, they might have been bringing gold, silver, and precious stones to lay upon the Foundation.
    It is our work to direct souls to the living oracles. We must present to them sound doctrine, even the faith once delivered to the saints. We must show them the truth in its beauty that they may be led to renounce error. We must instruct them in faith, love, obedience, and hope, that through much prayer they may grow up "an holy temple in the Lord." The day of Judgment will test every man's work. Let us so build that our work may endure the fiery trial.
    Says Paul: "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful." To be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, we must not shrink from giving needed warning and reproof. Though the hearts of men may be uplifted in pride, and they may refuse to be warned, we still have done our duty. Those who reject reproof may be men who are honored by the world; but their wisdom is foolishness with God. In his own time, he will expose the vanity of their speculations, and bring to naught their counsels.
    A man of strict fidelity is a valuable steward, though he may not posses as great accomplishments as do some others. One who seeks to advance the truth for the glory of God and the good of souls, without respect of persons and regardless of his own ease, interest, or honor,--such a man should be highly esteemed, though he may not possess learning or eloquence. He is God's nobleman. In the sight of Heaven, he presents the highest type of manhood.
    When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, there will be many astonishing disclosures. Men will not then appear as they appear to the human eyes and finite judgments. Secret sins will then be laid open to the view of all. Motives and intentions which have been hidden in the dark chambers of the heart will be revealed. Designing ambitions, selfish purposes, will be seen where the outward appearance told only of a desire to honor God and to do good to men. What revelations will then be made. Men of pure motives and true and noble purpose may now be slighted, neglected, slandered, and despised; but they will then appear as they are, and will be honored with the commendation of God. Hypocritical, ambitious teachers may now be admired and exalted by men; but God, who knows the secrets of the heart will strip off the deceptive covering, and reveal them as they are. Every hypocrite will be unmasked, every slandered believer will be justified, and every faithful steward of God will be approved and rewarded.
    Not all are Christ's who adopt his name and wear his badge. Jesus says, "Follow me." Are those who indulge sinful habits and enjoy the frivolities of the world, Christ's children? Can we see the footprints of the Saviour in the path they tread? Are those who are neglectful of religious duties following Christ? Do they have sweet communion with him? Do they let their light shine before men?
    Brethren and sisters, are we following in the steps of Him who sought not his own will but the will of his Father? If we have not the Spirit of Christ, we are none of his. We cannot serve two masters. We cannot belong to Christ and to Belial. If we are the world's in our habits and practices, we do not belong to Christ. We may be his, in the sense in which the earth and the beasts of the forest are his, but we are not his chosen ones. We shall be prepared to stand as stewards of God, only as we are in Christ. By his grace alone can our life be such as to advance the cause of truth. We must learn in the school of Christ if we would have wisdom to work the works of Christ.
    To be Christ's is to be consecrated to his work, to employ every power of the mind and every member of the body to do his will and to advance his glory. It is to open the heart to his word, to reveal the testimonials of his love. It is to have Christ formed within, the hope of glory; to contemplate his matchless charms until the overflowing tribute of the soul shall be, "Hear what the Lord has done for me."
    Through the words of the apostle, the voice of Divine Wisdom speaks to us as it spoke to the church at Rome eighteen hundred years ago: "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 8, 1884
(Vol. 61, #2)

 "Separation from the World"

    "The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him." Such were the words spoken by Ezra, the Hebrew priest and scribe, to the king of Persia. Ezra was about to return to Jerusalem with authority for the rebuilding of the city, and the enforcement of the law of God. He was accompanied thither by a body of his countrymen to assist in the work. Before them was a journey which would occupy several months. They were to take with them their wives and children, and their substance, besides large treasures for the temple and its service. Ezra was aware that enemies lay in wait by the way to attack, plunder, and destroy him and his company; yet he asked from the king no armed force for their protection.
    Before setting out on the journey, he assembled his companions,--men, women, and little children,--"at the river of Ahava," where a solemn fast was proclaimed, prayer offered to God for his blessing upon the undertaking. Says Ezra: "I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him." And in recording the events that followed he adds: "So we fasted, and besought our God for this, and he was entreated of us." "Then we departed from the river of Ahava, on the twelfth day of the first month to go unto Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way. And we came to Jerusalem."
    Ezra and his companions had determined to fear and obey God, and to put their trust wholly in him. They would not form a connection with the world in order to secure the help or friendship of the enemies of God. Whether they were with the many or the few, they knew that success could come from God only. And they had no desire that their success should be attributed to the wealth or influence of wicked men. Ezra would run the risk of trusting his cause with God. He well knew that if they failed in their important work, it would be because they had not complied with the requirements of God and therefore he could not help them.
    The Scriptures furnish abundant evidence that it is safer to be joined to the Lord, and lose the favor and friendship of the world, than to look to the world for favor and support, and forget our dependence upon God. It was because they were convinced of this truth that the Jews had refused to allow their adversaries to unite with them in the work of building the temple. They saw in the propositions of those idolaters a device of Satan to beguile God's people into union and fellowship with his enemies.
    The Lord himself has established a separating wall between the things of the world and the things which he has chosen out of the world and sanctified to himself. The world will not acknowledge this distinction; they claim that it is needless. The servants of mammon make every effort to break down the barriers, and destroy the line of demarkation between the holy and the profane. Many of the professed followers of Christ are determined to break it down, and to maintain concord between Christ and Belial. But God has made this separation, and he will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon his people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice, to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness.
    This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time. It is not a profession of faith, or a name registered in the church book, that constitutes us children of God. We must have a vital connection with Christ; we must be one with him, imbued with his Spirit, partakers of the divine nature, crucified to the world with its affections and lusts, renewed in knowledge and true holiness. Paul wrote to the Colossians, "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." This is true of all real followers of Christ. They walk in humble obedience to the requirements of God. While in the world, they are the light of the world.
    "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." They are living examples of Christianity. They are called Christians because they represent Christ in life and character. They cannot follow the customs or practices of the world; for these are from beneath, and are of the wicked one. Those who follow Christ will have the principles of holy love in their hearts. They will cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.
    There is an element called love which would teach us to praise and flatter our associates, and not to faithfully tell them of their dangers and warn and counsel them for their good. This love is not Heaven-born. Our words and actions should be serious and earnest, especially before those who are neglecting their soul's salvation. If we profess to be sons and daughters of God, we should pursue such a course toward the unbelieving that our souls will be clear of their blood when we meet them in the great day of final reckoning. If we unite with them in lightness, trifling, pleasure seeking, or in any pursuit which will banish seriousness from the mind, we are constantly saying to them by our example, "Peace, peace; be not disturbed. You have no cause for alarm." This is saying to the sinner, "It shall be well with thee."
    Oh, how many ease loving souls there are among us, who virtually unite with sinners, and while in their society say and do nothing to awaken conviction, nothing to disturb their carnal security! Many who profess to be sons and daughters of God, and call themselves the light of the world, reflect no light upon its darkness. If these halfhearted, slothful, pleasure loving professors of Christ were what they profess to be, how much good they might do! It is their privilege to walk in the light of Christ's countenance, to learn his commandments and do them, and by precept and example reflect light upon those who are in the darkness of error. But not partaking of the Spirit of Christ, they do not apprehend and enjoy the privileges of children of God; they are so far separated from Jesus that with their limited conceptions and darkened understanding they cannot comprehend heavenly things, and do not love to meditate upon them. They do not enjoy the presence of God; they know not the power of his grace
    Those who persist in neglecting the only salvation that can deliver from the ruin of this fallen state, have no prospect before them better than that of the beast that perish. This consideration should lead every one who loves and fears God to be faithful to his trust, to walk in the light, gathering strength and wisdom day by day, that his light may shine forth clear and bright to direct sinners to the Lamb of God. By neglect of the salvation presented in the gospel, the world is becoming more and more hardened. Satan's power increases; his deceptions become more captivating, his delusions stronger. Christians must now come to the front; the help of every soul is needed. All should let their light shine forth, not merely in profession, but in good works. They should be heavenly guides, setting an example of faithfulness, of self-denial, of prompt, decided, vigorous action to push the triumphs of the cross.
    A genuine Christian experience unfolds day by day, bringing to its possessor new strength and earnestness, and leading to constant growth in spiritual life. But the Christian world abounds with professors of religion who are merely religious dwarfs. Many seem to have graduated as soon as they learned the rudiments of the Christian faith. They do not grow in grace or in the knowledge of the truth. They do nothing, either with their means or their influence, to build up the cause of God. They are drones in the hive. This class will not long stand where they are. They will be converted and advance, or they will retrograde. The perils of the last days will test the genuineness of our faith. Slothful servants will be found under the black banner of the powers of darkness.
    The message borne to the people by the faithful servants of God will not be calculated to lull them to carnal security. They will have words to speak to stir them to action. We call upon those who are imitating Meroz to arouse. Go to work; do something for the salvation of souls, something to advance the cause of God; and do it now. You have but little time in which to labor. The Lord has given to every man his work according to his ability. To meet the claims of God, you will have to make personal effort; and in this work you will need the resources of an ever growing Christian experience. Your faith must be strong, your consecration complete, your love pure and sincere, your zeal ardent, tireless, your courage unshaken, your patience unwearied, your hopes bright. Upon every one, old or young, rests a responsibility in this matter.
    Parents, I entreat you, for Christ's sake, for the sake of your dear children, teach them that God has claims upon them, and that they must be fully prepared for whatever work they may find to do. Educate, train them to have the eye single to the glory of God. In order to grow in grace, they must become acquainted for themselves with the reasons of our faith. Teach them to be learners in the school of Christ, to obtain a knowledge of the Scriptures, to diligently employ every means of grace, that their love may abound more and more, that they may approve things that are excellent.
    Every one who shall be found with the wedding garment on, will have come out of great tribulation. The mighty surges of temptation will beat upon all, and unless they are riveted to the eternal Rock, they will be borne away. Do not think that you can safely drift with the current. If you do, you will surely become the helpless prey of Satan's devices. By diligent searching of the Scriptures, and earnest prayer for divine help, prepare the soul to resist temptation. The Lord will hear the sincere prayer of the contrite soul, and will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. But you will be tried; your faith, your love, your patience, your constancy will be tested.
    Not all the names that stand registered in the church books will at last appear in the Lamb's book of life. There are tares among the wheat. There are betrayers, accusers, traitors, in the camp. These will wound, misrepresent, and falsely accuse you. They are false brethren, meddlesome and indiscrete, stumblingblocks to others. They are doing a work for Satan far more successfully than if they were not connected with the church. Some who have not spiritual discernment will fail to distinguish between the false and the true, and will highly esteem those who have no connection with God. Those who have been indifferent and neglectful, and have failed to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, will be deceived. They do not comprehend the first principles of doctrine and experience, which secure to man the perfection of Christian character.
    Our duty, our safety, our happiness and usefulness, and our salvation, call upon us each to use the greatest diligence to secure the grace of Christ, to be so closely connected with God that we may discern spiritual things, and not be ignorant of Satan's devices. Those who are willing to be instructed will heed the counsels and warnings of the Spirit of God. The Lord gives these admonitions and reproofs in mercy. When his professed people move in blindness, yield to temptation, and lose their hold upon him, he sends them a message of reproof, of warning, of counsel; if they refuse to be corrected, if they rise up in rebellion, and cast reproach upon the messenger whom he sends, they reject not the messenger, but the Lord. When the people refused "to listen to the counsel of Samuel the prophet, the Lord said unto him, They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me."
    Some have a heart of unbelief, and in their self-confidence and self-deception they cannot see their errors. They are blind to their defects and their dangers. Did they see their sins and errors, and still continue in them, the Lord would give them up to blindness of mind and hardness of heart, to follow their own ways, and be ensnared and ruined. Anciently when any neglected or refused to heed the words of reproof and warning sent them of God, his protection was removed from them, and they were left to be deceived and deluded to their own ruin. Only those who, with tears of contrition, listened to the voice of God and gave heed to the warning, escaped the tempter's snare.
    Those who refuse to receive reproof and to be corrected, will manifest enmity, malice, and hatred against the instrument that God has used. They will leave no means untried to cast stigma upon the one who bore to them the message. They will feel as did Ahab toward Elijah, that God's servant is the one who is the hindrance, the curse. Said Ahab, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" But Elijah threw back the imputation: "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim."
    He who can read the hearts of men as an open book, sees that which shortsighted mortals fail to discover. Finite wisdom cannot discern the necessity for sharp rebukes, for urgent warnings and entreaties. Those who are themselves deceived in men and in their purposes, will pronounce against the messages of reproof which God sends, and will undertake to interpret the matter to suit their own ideas. They turn aside the counsel of God, that it shall not do the work which he designed. Those who have confidence in them are misled, and through their influence they cast aside the warning which God sends them, and then Satan stands ready with his delusions to ensnare their souls. The Lord would have saved them from the ruin if they had listened to his voice. Those who should have helped them, but who only injured them, must render an account at the bar of God. They have influenced souls to doubt, to disbelieve, to disregard, and finally reject and bitterly oppose his work. Souls purchased with the blood of Christ are lost, because of the unfaithfulness of those who profess to stand as sentinels for God.
    God's word represents but two great classes among men. Said Jesus to his disciples, "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." There are but two classes of religious teachers. Of one class the apostle John declares: "They are of the world; therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them." Of the other class he says: "We are of God; he that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us."
    "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 15, 1884
(Vol. 61, #3)

 "Notes of Travel: The Meeting at South Lancaster, Mass"

    The meetings at Battle Creek were fraught with deeper interest than similar meetings ever held among our people. Many prayers had ascended to Heaven in behalf of this session of the General Conference; and we can testify that Jesus came up to the feast, and was an honored guest at this important gathering. The Bible readings afforded valuable instruction to ministers, licentiates, and people. The morning meetings, designed especially for the benefit of ministers and other workers in the cause of God, were intensely interesting. Faith and love were awakened in many hearts. Spiritual and eternal things became a reality, and not a mere sentiment; a glorious substance, and not a fitful shadow. This precious meeting is in the past, but its results are to be seen in the future. We shall never know the good accomplished during the twenty days of its continuance until we meet around the great white throne. At its close, with greatly improved health, and increased courage in the Lord, I started to attend a ten day's meeting in South Lancaster, Mass.
    Here we found it necessary to do much the same work that had been needed at Battle Creek. Many had not been making progress; their faith was at the lowest ebb. Arrangements were made to hold meetings at half-past five in the morning for the benefit of these dear brethren and sisters, and I was greatly pleased to see the interest manifested both by the youth and those who had had long experience. Young men and women who were attending our school seemed anxious to make the best use of these golden opportunities; they bore their testimonies, and many were blessed of the Lord. Some of our sisters who had been long in the truth, and were in feeble health, we felt should be excused from attending these early meetings, but they scarcely missed one, feeling that they could not be deprived of these precious seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
    My heart yearned to have these dear brethren and sisters become better acquainted with Jesus, with his unfathomable love, his tender compassion, his measureless mercy, and his willingness to pardon the repenting, contrite sinner. When the faith we profess is exemplified in the life and character of those who believe the truth they will exert an influence that cannot be easily resisted. Men may combat and defy your logic, they may resist your appeals; but a life of holy purposes, of disinterested love manifested in their behalf, is an argument in favor of the truth that they cannot gainsay. Earnest, unselfish effort will garner sheaves for Jesus. A consistent life, characterized by the meekness and lowliness of Christ, is a power in the world. But Christ says, "Without me ye can do nothing." If we will only believe, he will do great things for us. At these early meetings the Lord wrought for us. They were occasions of heart searching, of humiliation, and of confession, as well as of thanksgiving and praise to God for his mercies and goodness. The Lord heard our supplications, and his Spirit set his seal to our work.
    While at South Lancaster, the record of another year of my life closed and passed into eternity, and I entered upon my fifty-seventh year. I did not feel like making this an occasion of merriment, of exalting self, and of receiving presents, as is the custom of the world; but I felt more like reviewing my past life, and, with a sense of my own weakness and deficiencies, humbling my heart before God, pleading for his grace, and for health of body and clearness of mind, that the year just entered upon might be productive of more good than the past year had been. And yet I feel deeply grateful to God that he has blessed me in these respects beyond what I could reasonably expect. He has been better to me than my fears; and on this birthday the peace of Christ abiding in my heart was to me of priceless value.
    Thanksgiving Exercises.--Nearly the whole of Thanksgiving day, Nov. 29, was spent in church. Our morning meeting was one of special interest. In a cheerful testimony every one had a thank offering to present to God. In the forenoon we had a Bible reading on the subject of thanksgiving, and it was clearly shown from the Scriptures that it is our duty to glorify God by offering thanks and praise. This was a most precious season. All were instructed and reproved; for repining at the dealings of God has been almost continual, while gratitude and praise had been seldom expressed and little cherished in the heart. Many confessed that they had cherished doubt and distrust, and had reaped as they had sown; and as they expressed a resolution to reform in this particular, I reminded them that when pretexts for dissatisfaction are presented, we are to say, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Let every one who has tasted of the love of God praise him for his goodness to the children of men. In this let every soul be wholehearted and sincere.
    It is a great cause of gratitude that we understand the nature of this day better than we once did. It is not designed to minister to our selfish gratification in the enjoyment of every luxury because God has bestowed upon us the rich bounties of his providence; on the contrary, we are to recall his mercies, and to meditate upon his favors with thankful hearts. To devote this day to gluttony, and our time and strength to the preparation of rich and expensive dishes, thus tempting our families and friends to gorge themselves, instead of offering thanksgiving to God, is the basest idolatry of self; for it is perverting the very best gifts of Heaven to the indulgence of appetite. Many thus lay the foundation for disease and premature death, and furnish Satan an occasion for hellish exultation.
    I could not let this opportunity to invite sinners to Jesus pass unimproved. I wanted all who had not previously done so to present themselves a thank offering to Him who has made so costly an offering for them. Oh, matchless love! Oh, precious, precious offering in our behalf, that we might have eternal life! In response to the invitation, about thirty came forward, including some who had backslidden from God, and quite a number who were seeking him for the first time. What a precious thank offering to Jesus was this! He himself says, "Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." There was indeed cause for rejoicing when the news was borne to heaven that on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 29, 1883, at South Lancaster, Mass., souls were deserting the black banner of Satan, and taking their position beneath the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. In imagination I could hear the response of praise, as angels told the glad news that these precious souls had entered into covenant with God to obey him as dear children, and that their names were enrolled in the Lamb's book of life. What a victory was this for Christ, and what a disappointment for Satan!
    Our meeting closed about two o'clock, and we then took ample refreshments; but we had no time to devote to the preparation of extra dishes. We were having a feast of fat things; we were eating of the Bread of Heaven, and drinking rich draughts from the well of Bethlehem. Jesus graced the feast with his royal presence, and our hearts were joyful in him. The testimonies borne by our brethren and sisters were full of courage and gratitude to God; and their verdict was, "Oh, what a Thanksgiving day this has been! It is the best Thanksgiving day I ever experienced!"
    The School at South Lancaster.--The meetinghouse at South Lancaster was well filled, and all the services were of great interest. The wants of the cause in New England were presented. The school here has been productive of much good. As a result of its influence, several have gone out to labor in the cause of God, and students are constantly preparing themselves for some field of usefulness. Our brethren here have not been able to raise means to erect a suitable schoolbuilding and boardinghouse to accommodate those who should attend this school.
    I was free in presenting the importance of broader plans, and many important and pointed testimonies were borne in response. Our limited ideas and calculations show our limited faith. We are not half awake to the importance of working while the day lasts, remembering that the night cometh when no man can work. If we have a mind to work, and plan trusting in Jesus for help and wisdom, we shall see great things accomplished; but if we fold our hands in unbelieving idleness, Jesus cannot do many mighty works for us. We are standing upon the very threshold of the eternal world, and we need to realize the claims God has upon us to do something, and to do it now. All the heart is to be given to God; all the powers are to be dedicated to his service. How many profess much, but do little! God requires far more of us than we perform. Love for the Saviour will beget love for souls, and this love will be expressed not in words merely, but in earnest, substantial deeds. Every genuine Christian will be a worker with Christ. He cannot selfishly hoard the means in his keeping; God wants it, and he cannot withold the intrusted talent.
    A call was made for means to begin the erection of a college building and boarding house to meet the pressing needs of the cause in South Lancaster; and in about thirty minutes $7,000 was subscribed, and pledges came in until the sum was increased to $12,500. This was as it should be. No one was urged, but the brethren made their offerings freely, because their hearts were moved upon by the Holy Spirit; and they did no more than they ought to have done, considering what Jesus has done for them. I thank God that I can report evidences that our brethren have a zeal for the advancement of the cause of truth. I thank him that he has put it in their hearts to give their means and themselves also to the work.
    When I remember how forward our brethren in New England have been to respond to every call for means for our missions and the various other enterprises connected with present truth, even calls coming from the Pacific coast, I feel very anxious that now, when the cause in New England is in great need, the brethren in other sections may reciprocate their liberality. They may do this by taking shares in the school buildings that must go up at once. Twenty-five dollars is the amount which the law of Massachusetts fixes as a share; will our brethren express their interest in this enterprise by taking as many shares as they shall choose?
    This is a precious opportunity for all to cheerfully take part in a good work. We have seen the deep movings of the Spirit of God. The Lord has been fitting up the teachers; he has been bringing them nearer to himself. Professor Bell has been drawing near to God, and his rich blessing has rested upon him. Brethren, remember that the field, although large, is one. We are serving the same Master, and no jealous feelings should arise. Let the work go forward everywhere, and let no feeling of envy come into any heart. The school at South Lancaster is not designed to take the place of that at Battle Creek, but to supply a great need in the Eastern States. There are many who cannot attend the College at Battle Creek, who can spend a short time at South Lancaster.
    We are responsible for the use we make of the blessings God has given us. Let gratitude for the precious gift of a Saviour move our hearts, and let all take part in this good work. The children need not be excluded; for the smallest sums will be accepted. Brethren in Michigan and adjoining States should make liberal offerings for the endowment fund, and for the erection of a suitable boardinghouse to accommodate the students in Battle Creek; and at the same time, let all who can, have some share in the good work of the Lord in South Lancaster.
    Means can now be used to advance the cause of God, but those who wait till some future time will be too late. The cause has waited years for men to get ready to do, and work that ought to have been done years ago is not done yet. How many more years will God wait the convenience of moneyed men, who are doing their best to lay up treasure on earth, in direct opposition to the command of Christ? He says, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on 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." God has lent men strength to plant, to sow, to build, and to engage in various enterprises to accumulate means; and they most entirely lose sight of the great loss they sustain by not laying up treasure in Heaven. He has intrusted to individuals means to be used in advancing his cause. Will they unselfishly fulfill this trust? or will they wait until the Lord shall be obliged to curse the fruit of their grounds and their possessions, because they will rob him by appropriating his means to their own use?
    As I looked upon the few believers assembled in that small church in New England, and saw so large a sum raised so quickly without any labored effort, I thought of Michigan and the adjoining States, where, so far as means is concerned, the brethren have from fifty to seventy times the advantage of those in that small congregation. Very few of these New England brethren have means, and nearly all of them are poor, and their liberalities should provoke our wealthier brethren and sisters to good works. New England helped our College at Battle Creek, and was not slow in responding to the call for aid for our publishing house; and now is the time to help those who have stood in the front rank to aid in every enterprise. All that has yet been done for the school at South Lancaster has been done by the brethren in New England, while not abating their donations to others branches of the cause; now let the liberalities be mutual.
    The Importance of Faith and Love.--I had freedom in speaking of the simplicity of faith and its exercise. Faith and feeling are distinct, one not being dependent upon the other. Faith, relying upon the naked promise, takes God at his word, not because of any special feeling, but because the Lord has said it, and will fulfill his word. I felt burdened for this dear people; for I knew that the tender regard for one another that should exist among the members of the Lord's family had not been cultivated. The light shining from the cross of Calvary reveals a love that is broad, and deep, and exhaustless. If we depend on our own strength, we may make every effort in our power, and not be able to approach this high standard; but if Christ abides in us and we in him, we can love in our sphere as fully as Christ does in his. How can we claim to be children of God, while we disregard the oft repeated command to love one another? Says Christ: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Faith and love are the divine credentials we show to the world in proof that we are children of the light, and not of darkness.
    It is the special device of Satan to lead professed followers of Christ to love themselves, to hold themselves in high estimation. They exalt themselves above their brethren, and find fault as though their own judgment was unquestionable. It is self that divides brethren; but self must die. Christ will then be revealed in our words, in our tender regard for one another, and in a deportment characterized by true Christian politeness, free from affectation and dissimulation. Religion does not consist in a harsh, dictatorial, overbearing spirit. Those who are full of mistakes themselves, but do not realize their errors, are the least pitiful toward the erring. They are not happy, but they charge their unhappiness upon the course that others have pursued. There is continual friction, and they do not see that it all originates with themselves. These dear souls need the converting power of God; they need transforming grace. They will then be pleasant Christians, lovable, forbearing, kind, and courteous. Jesus has borne with our perversities; he has forgiven our transgressions and pardoned our errors; and we should exercise a similar spirit toward our fellowmen, even though their course may be very trying to us.
    When unselfish love reigns in the heart, the Christ side of our character will be revealed in our dealings with minds. But when men claim that their stereotyped positions and views are perfect, they will be led to criticise the character and plans of others, and the Satan side of their own characters will be manifested. The precious plant of love must be cherished; all bitterness, all malice, must be put away. Then we shall realize the promise, "Ye shall find rest to your souls." The fluctuating, mournful, repining experience of most professed believers is anything but rest; it is labor, bondage, and sorrow. But there is not the least necessity for an unhappy religious experience in the life of any child of God. I would commend to all the important graces of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," as the rich cluster of fruit growing on the Christian tree. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 29, 1884
(Vol. 61, #5)

 "Notes of Travel: From Battle Creek, Mich., to Oakland, Cal."

    From Battle Creek, Mich., to Oakland, Cal.--A little before two o'clock on the morning of Dec. 16, our party left Battle Creek on our long journey across the plains to California. On this journey, in which I had visited Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New York, Nebraska, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, I had seen more accomplished than I had anticipated. The Lord had seemed to mark out each step for me, and to give strength according to my day. I felt the need of guidance as never before. This was the first round of campmeetings I had attended since my husband's death. He is no longer at my side as a counselor; and I must evermore lean more firmly on the arm of Infinite Power.
    On this first night of our journey, I slept about three hours. When we reached Chicago Sunday morning, Eld. R. F. Andrews, Dr. Anderson, and Bro. Shireman came into the car, and said they had made an appointment for me to speak in their newly hired hall, and the people were already assembling. My head was dizzy, and I knew I was in no condition to labor; but the pleadings of my brethren prevailed, and I was soon standing in the humble but well filled room. While on my way to the hall, I had opportunity to offer a prayer for help and special grace, that I might have in my heart and on my lips words of truth which would strengthen the faith of the believing, and shed a ray of light upon the pathway of those who were in darkness. The Lord heard and answered my prayer. He gave me the assurance, as he has done many times before, that he was my helper. He hears the first breathing of our desires; and if it is for his glory, the mandate goes forth for help to be given as it is needed.
    I spoke an hour and a half with great freedom from Zech. 3:1-7, where Satan is represented as man's adversary, claiming his prey in the person of Joshua the high priest, even in the presence of the Lord of hosts; while our Advocate rebukes Satan, and pleads for man as a brand plucked from the burning. The people hung upon my words as those who were hungering for the bread of life. Tears started from many eyes, as I presented events to transpire in the near future which will test the people of God, bringing them where they will be required to make such decisions as Daniel made when the decree went forth that all who for the next thirty days should offer a petition to any save the king, should be thrown into the lion's den. Had Daniel obeyed the decree, he would have dishonored God; but he was true to principle, and the Lord delivered him. It is Satan's constant aim to exalt himself and his inventions, and to dishonor God. He is not satisfied unless he has the supremacy. It is not the purpose and work of God to compel men's consciences; but Satan pushes his advantages. He is a rebel against God and Christ, and is determined to war against them and those who are loyal to them. He hates them all with a bitterness that it is impossible to describe; and plots against the lives of those whom he cannot deceive by his devices.
    Brn. Corliss and St. John took part in this meeting. The precious season closed with prayer; and we were again hurrying through the icy streets to the cars. We resumed our journey westward, and the next morning reached Kansas City, where I spent the day with my children, Edson and Emma White. From this point our party numbered forty-eight. We here took the skeleton sleepers, our party occupying the whole of one car, and nearly all of another.
    Our train left Kansas City Monday evening, a little after nine o'clock. Tuesday we pursued our way across the wide Kansas prairies. Between ten and eleven o'clock in the evening, I was alarmed to find from the violent motion that the car we were in was off the track. Twenty-eight years ago when going from Jackson, Mich., to Wisconsin, I had a similar experience. The engine with part of the train was thrown from the track, and four persons lost their lives and a number were wounded. I thought of that time, and my heart was drawn out in prayer for safety from disaster and death. I called to my son to pull the bell rope. Before this could be done the lights had been shaken out; but to our great relief the cars soon stopped. The hind wheels were turned half way around; and had we not stopped just as we did, our car would have broken down, and the next car would have run into ours. Were not angels of God watching over us? I believe they were, and that could our eyes have been opened, we should have seen these holy beings, sent to preserve our lives. But for their care, we might have witnessed the suffering and death of dear friends.
    The accident was caused by running through a herd of cattle that had taken shelter from the wind and storm in a railroad cut. The storm prevented their being seen in time to stop the train, and so the engineer put on steam and drove through them. Eleven of these poor creatures were killed, and others were badly injured.
    Our car was left standing on the track while the engine and part of the train, including one of our cars with part of our company, went on to the next station; and as another train was expected, precautions were taken to prevent a collision. We were hindered about two hours. There was a lively scene on our car. All were astir, dressing, packing bedding, and moving into the next two cars. But though we were obliged to make this change in the night, and some of our company were moved into a crowded car and some into a cold one, none of us felt like murmuring. We were too deeply thankful that our hearts were not wrung with anguish over dead and dying friends. One of the railroad officials remarked that he had taken many parties across the plains, and had met with accidents, but he never before saw a company that were so cheerful under such circumstances. Not a word of complaint was uttered; and yet little children were roused up, and women in feeble health went to work with energy and cheerfulness. This was a merited compliment to our party; for under the trying circumstances, it would not have been surprising had there been just a little complaining.
    We remembered what sorrow and suffering might have been our portion. Twenty-eight years ago, when the train was wrecked three miles from Jackson, there was heard, not the moaning of dumb animals, but the groans and shrieks of wounded and dying human beings; and the next morning, as we took the cars to pursue our journey, we had on board the coffins of the dead, who, only a few hours before, had been as full of life and hope as any of us who were on the train. The psalmist says, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them;" and we felt that our safety on this occasion was due to the protection of heavenly messengers.
    How carefully should we avoid mirth and unbecoming levity on the cars, on the boat, wherever we may be; for the daily record of disasters shows that there is no safety anywhere. Even in our homes we are in danger; for storms, floods, and fire are sweeping off thousands, while earthquakes are destroying additional thousands. If there ever was a time when we should be sober and watch unto prayer, it is now. Our lives are safe only when hid with Christ in God. We need every day to purify ourselves even as he is pure. There is always hope for us in God. Faith is our defense, for it connects our human weakness with divine power. Men may laugh at our credulity in believing that angels of God were commissioned to avert a terrible calamity; but I am just simple enough to believe it, and this faith I shall cherish. I believe that God delivered us from what Satan would have been glad to make a terrible calamity.
    I felt that some of us--nay, all of us on that train--had a great work to do for the Master. Some on board, had they lost their lives, would have had no hope of coming up in the first resurrection. Did these know that on that night they stood face to face with death, and Satan was claiming his own, who had served him, while God's hand was stretched out to save them? If these would only feel the gratitude they should, they would leave the ranks of the enemy, and make their calling and election sure. Not one of us is safe without the care of God. We must commit the care of our souls to Jesus, and by faith place our hands in his. I appeal to those who were on that train, if they should read these lines, to make thorough work of repentance. Will they realize that God has something for them to do, and change the current of their lives? By watchfulness, faith, and prayer, by the diligent use of every means of grace, and above all by the help of Jesus, who died for them, they may cast sin out of their hearts, and turn aside from following Satan. If the lives saved are henceforth devoted to the service of Jesus, this gracious deliverance will work out glorious results.
    At Denver we were told that we must go into a smoking car, and at the same time no restriction was placed upon the smokers. When one or two were asked to forego smoking, they decidedly refused, declaring they should smoke all they chose to, and neither men nor women should hinder them. If any did not like it, "let them keep out of the car." These men were tobacco slaves. They had lost their sense of manly politeness, and did not care for their appearance. If they would abandon the use of the disgusting, defiling narcotic, and then could see its effects on the physical, mental, and moral powers, they would exclaim, as we felt like saying, "The Lord deliver us from such associates, and from such degrading bondage!"
    I knew that to inhale tobacco smoke for any length of time was to imperil my life. On a former occasion, I had been obliged to take the smoke when crossing the plains in a palace sleeper. The government inspector of steamboats, whose duty it was to see that all the machinery was sound, was in our car; and his good wife and daughter told him they had no objection to his smoking; they rather enjoyed it. He thought it might be the same with us all. After breathing the poisoned air several hours, my head began to feel strangely, as though a tight band were about it; but I did not realize that it was the tobacco smoke. Everything began to look strange to me, and soon I was in a spasm. My husband and a sister that accompanied me worked over me three quarters of an hour before I was relieved, and it was weeks before I fully recovered. The gentleman was told that it was the poison of his tobacco that had produced this effect, and he smoked no more in the car.
    This man, who was doing an important work, whose decision involved the safety or peril of human life, did not understand the wonderful machinery of the human organism. He was indulging a habit which would cause friction, and mar the fine workings of the delicate organs of the human body. He might easily have learned that tobacco possesses deadly properties; that it not only impairs physical strength, but robs the mental faculties of much of their activity and vigor.
    Would that there were a law passed that none but strictly temperate men should have any position of trust on ships and railroads. No others are fit to be intrusted with human life. How many terrible calamities by sea and land are wholly due to rum and tobacco, the great day of God will reveal. No code of morals, no rules of etiquette, no force of reasoning, will avail with men who for rum and tobacco abandon the teachings of common sense and intelligent judgment. With them, self-created lust is the ruling power.
    None of our party used tobacco in any form, and we were unwilling to breathe the poisoned atmosphere of a smoking car; and when those who had charge of the party decidedly protested against it, we were permitted to occupy a new day coach of an improved pattern, manufactured by the Pullman company, until we reached Ogden and were again provided with a skeleton sleeper. This new coach was the best we ever had the pleasure of riding in. The conveniences were similar to those we used to have when cars were first introduced, but they were improved. There was a ladies' toilet room, supplied with towels and other conveniences for washing. This was a luxury highly prized by all of us. We cannot see why the coaches for day passengers should be so destitute of these necessary things. On this car there was a toilet room for gentlemen also, and this is as it should be. Those who boast, that ours is an age of improvements, would receive the heartfelt gratitude of travelers if they would furnish the cars with such conveniences as this one was supplied with.
    We reached Ogden, Utah, Thursday morning; and by the kindness of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, our party were given a free excursion to Salt Lake City. As we were to spend but three hours here, we hired several conveyances, and were driven to points of the greatest interest. We visited the Mormon tabernacle, and also saw the new temple now in process of erection. This building was begun seven years ago, and has already cost $2,000,000, and it is believed that seven years more will be required for its completion. We were gratified that we had this privilege of visiting the city of the Mormons; but we saw nothing very attractive in this place, and had no desire to make it our home. After we had started to return to Ogden, we found that two of our number had been left behind. We all greatly regretted this; but while we were planning what could be done to help them, a telegram was received at the station seven miles from Salt Lake City to hold the train, as an engine had been dispatched to bring them on. They would receive nothing for this great favor.
    During the entire journey we felt that angels of God were protecting us. In our preservation the night of the accident, we had unmistakable evidence that Heaven was interested in this little party making their way to the Pacific coast. Believing that special gratitude was due for this great mercy, it was decided that we hold a Bible reading on the subject of Thanksgiving. This service was conducted by Eld. Corliss about ten o'clock Friday morning, not far from Tecoma, Nev. Some who were not of our faith joined in this interesting exercise. Gratitude for divine protection was made a prominent theme in subsequent services also.
    As the Sabbath drew on, we were left for two hours at Wells, Nev. We again assembled in one car for a prayer and social meeting. Twenty-six testimonies were borne, and the blessing of the Lord rested upon us. Some of the residents of the place looked in at the door to see what was going on, and seemed amazed as they saw us quietly holding a religious service, apparently as much at home in the car as in a church. There were several Chinese houses in this small place in the desert. Although it was still daylight, candles were burning before the door of one house and in another, and several Chinamen were bowing in reverence before their idols. How grateful we should be that we have not been left in the darkness of heathenism to worship hideous idols of wood, the work of men's hands. The living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all created things, is our God, and he is worthy of all honor. I was led to inquire, Have I set up idols in my heart? Have I allowed anything to come between myself and God, that he should not be supreme in my affections? We need individually to make close investigation on this point. The love of money, pride in dress and display,--anything that diverts the attention from God,--becomes an idol.
    On Sabbath, Dec. 22, we were at Winnemucca, Nev., two hours. I spoke, and enjoyed as much freedom as when speaking to thousands in our large churches or at campmeetings. We had good singing, and enjoyed much of the blessing of the Lord. Sunday the cars made another long stop at Truckee, and Eld. St. John gave an interesting Bible reading. In these services and on this journey, we seemed to be brought very near to Jesus, and our hearts were made glad in his love.
    Monday morning, Dec. 24, we arrived at Oakland, thankful that our long journey was ended, and glad to meet our dear friends again after an absence of nearly five months. Sabbath, Dec. 29, I spoke to the church in Oakland. The house was full; in the congregation were some not of our faith, and others who had recently received the truth. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking. My mind went back ten years to the first meetings held in Oakland in Bro. Tay's house. Then, there were about six in the faith; now, the church members number about two hundred. The Lord has wrought in Oakland, and we expect to see a still larger number of believers there ere long.
    I reached my home in Healdsburg, Sunday, Dec. 30, in time to attend the Sabbath school reunion on New Year's eve. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 29, 1884
(Vol. 61, #5)

 "Sabbath School Reunion at Healdsburg, Cal."

    At the close of my long journey East, I reached my home in time to spend New Year's eve in Healdsburg. The College hall had been fitted up for a Sabbath school reunion. Cypress wreaths, autumn leaves, evergreens, and flowers were tastefully arranged; and a large bell of evergreens hung from the arched doorway at the entrance to the room. The tree was well loaded with donations, which were to be used for the benefit of the poor, and to help purchase a bell. Except in a few instances, the names of the donors were not given; but appropriate Bible texts and mottoes were read as the gifts were taken down from the tree. On this occasion nothing was said or done that need burden the conscience of anyone.
    Some have said to me, "Sr. White, what do you think of this? Is it in accordance with our faith?" I answer them, "Is it with my faith." In Healdsburg, San Francisco, and Oakland, there are many things to attract our children; large sums are expended every year on Christmas and New Year's in purchasing gifts for friends. These gifts are not generally satisfactory; for many receive presents that they do not need, when they would be glad to have some other article; some receive the same article from several different persons; and others receive nothing at all. We have tried earnestly to make the holidays as interesting as possible to the youth and children, while changing this order of things. Our object has been to keep them away from scenes of amusement among unbelievers. Instead of following a selfish custom, and giving to those from whom presents will be expected in return, let us make our offerings to the Lord. This plan has proved successful in many of our churches, and it was a success on this occasion, the donations amounting to $138.00. Thus the new year was opened with offerings to the Giver of all our mercies and blessings.
    I have thought that while we restrain our children from worldly pleasures, that have a tendency to corrupt and mislead, we ought to provide them innocent recreation, to lead them in pleasant paths where there is no danger. No child of God need have a sad or mournful experience. Divine commands, divine promises, show that this is so. Wisdom's ways "are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." Worldly pleasures are infatuating; and for their momentary enjoyment, many sacrifice the friendship of Heaven, with the peace, love, and joy that it affords. But these chosen objects of delight soon become disgusting, unsatisfying.
    We want to do all in our power to win souls by presenting the attractions of the Christian life. Our God is a lover of the beautiful. He might have clothed the earth with brown and gray, and the trees with vestments of mourning instead of their foliage of living green; but he would have his children happy. Every leaf, every opening bud and blooming flower, is a token of his tender love; and we should aim to represent to others this wonderful love expressed in his created works. God would have every household and every church exert a winning power to draw the children away from the seducing pleasures of the world, and from association with those whose influence would have a corrupting tendency. Study to win the youth to Jesus. Impress their minds with the mercy and goodness of God in permitting them, sinful though they are, to enjoy the advantages, the glory and honor, of being sons and daughters of the Most High. What a stupendous thought, what unheard of condescension, what amazing love, that finite man may be allied to the Omnipotent! "To them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." Can any worldly honor equal this?
    Let us represent the Christian life as it really is; let us make the way cheerful, inviting, interesting. We can do this if we will. We may fill our own minds with vivid pictures of spiritual and eternal things, and in so doing help to make them a reality to other minds. Faith sees Jesus standing as our mediator at the right hand of God. Faith beholds the mansions he has gone to prepare for those who love him. Faith sees the robe and crown all prepared for the overcomer. Faith hears the songs of the redeemed, and brings eternal glories near. We must come close to Jesus in loving obedience, if we would see the King in his beauty. Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 5, 1884
(Vol. 61, #6)

 "Notes of Travel: The Meeting at Wellsville, N. Y."

    At the close of the meeting in South Lancaster, Mass., we went to Wellsville to meet with our brethren and sisters of the Pennsylvania Conference. On the way, we spent several days in the city of New York, at the home of Bro. and Sr. Boynton, who are engaged in missionary work there. It may seem that the work they are doing is a small beginning in so large a city, and that it cannot amount to much. It is indeed a small beginning; and when I see how great the work and how few the laborers, I am deeply pained. Dear brethren and sisters, when you become imbued with the missionary spirit, when you learn to love your neighbor as yourself, you will not be content to see souls perishing all around you without doing all you can to save them.
    The prophet Isaiah, speaking by divine inspiration, exclaims, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Want of faith in God and love for our fellowmen are the great sins of the present time. Selfishness, self-love, and love of display are withholding means from the Lord's treasury, and crippling the work that must be done. Satan is a sharp financier, and he manages with subtlety to keep in his service every dollar that he can; and money is invested in houses and lands and spent for selfish gratification that ought to be used in sending the light of truth to all parts of the world. Practical faith will lead to greater consecration. If a man believes present truth, his works will testify to the fact. The character of our work encourages the strongest faith; we have the treasury of Heaven to draw upon. Our large cities are to be entered by making beginnings, however small, and then working by faith. The Lord has committed to his followers the work of giving the message of warning, and those who have means should give financial aid. May the Lord move upon hearts to do this.
    In New York City we now have a reading room and a depository for our publications. Ships are visited, and the publications placed on board are carried to all parts of the world. Until the Judgment shall sit, it will not be known how much good has been done by this sowing of the gospel seed. Although for a time it may seem to have perished, if sown in faith and with earnest prayer, it will spring up and bear fruit. Brethren, you who are making a small beginning in the large cities, you are doing a good work, one which ought to have been entered upon years ago. Do not be discouraged if at first you see but little fruit of your labor. Continue to sow beside all waters, remembering the words of Christ, "Without me ye can do nothing." "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Will the people of God, who believe that we are living in the last days, wait for the light to be given to the world by some wonderful manifestation of divine power, while they themselves stand idle and irresponsible? Let us not, by our unbelief, stay the work of God and shut out his blessing.
    A larger number of the brethren of the Pennsylvania Conference were at the Wellsville meeting than we had expected to see. The ministers who attended the General Conference had received a blessing, and its influence was felt here. The meetings had been in progress two days when we arrived, and the brethren were already entering into the spirit of the work. Many manifested a strong desire for a new conversion, an entire submission to the will of God. Confessions of impatience, of fretfulness, of love of the world, were made with deep feeling. I was very anxious that the work should be thorough. Through his prophet God promises, "Ye shall find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." He demands the whole heart, or he will not accept the offering; many fail through being halfhearted.
    As soon as we realize that we are not our own, but are bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God, we shall work from an altogether higher standpoint. God despises a dead offering; he requires a living sacrifice, with intellect, sensibilities, and will fully enlisted in his service. Every distinctive faculty should be devoted to this work,--our feet swift to move at the call of duty, our hands ready to act when work is to be done, our lips prepared to speak the truth in love, and show forth the praise of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We should continue this consecration, not taking anything from the altar; for this is sacrilege. When his people thus consecrate themselves in sincerity and humility, they are accepted of God; and they become to him a sweetsmelling savor, diffusing a rich fragrance throughout all the earth. The mind is at rest, and the eyes are opened to behold wonderful things out of the law of God. That which was not understood when the mind was darkened and divided now becomes clear. Oh, amazing light for all who by faith and patient reliance upon Jesus claim the fullness of the promise of God!
    I was enabled to walk a quarter of a mile to attend the meetings held at half past five in the morning. A very gratifying interest was manifested in these early meetings. Persevering labor was put forth, and was attended with good results. It is my earnest prayer that these dear brethren and sisters may daily learn precious lessons in the school of Christ. "Learn of me," says the great Teacher; "for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls." Would that every one of them would testify to the world the matchless power of God, and his wonderful love to the children of men!
    There were two young men at the Wellsville meeting who attended Battle Creek College at the time when there was a state of things among teachers and students that confused the mind. The spirit then prevailing was not a right spirit; and while some gave them right counsel, others gave them advice that was not so good. These young men confessed that they did not take a right course themselves, and expressed great regret that they did not do differently. I was glad to listen to these confessions, and I am sure that quite a number will have to make similar ones before they can advance in the divine life. May the Lord give these youth that repentance that needeth not to be repented of.
    At this meeting I knew that I had help from Jesus, the source of my strength. Without this divine aid, I could not have borne my testimony. Sunday I attended three meetings of our people, and at each one spoke about half an hour. In the afternoon I walked half a mile to the Baptist church, and for an hour and a half spoke to a full house on the subject of Temperance. There was the best of attention; and at the close of the service, several ladies came forward and expressed their grateful appreciation of the words spoken.
    I was glad to see our brethren and sisters manifest a disposition to bring their offerings to the Lord. At this meeting about five thousand dollars was pledged to be used in enlarging the missionary work in the Pennsylvania Conference, and in establishing a depository of our publications. The means raised exceeded their expectations; but it would be no more than just and right for them to raise ten thousand dollars, and I believe they will do it. I believe they will present their willing offerings to God, and he will bless them.
    We make progressive movements; but at every step prejudice and false ideas must be removed. This has been the case with every reformatory movement the world has ever seen. To some of small faith and selfish, money loving disposition, each advance move has portended general disaster and an extravagant outlay of means. They have felt as did that poor man Judas when the ointment was poured upon the head of Jesus. Why this great waste? said he; this ought to have been sold, and the money given to the poor. Again and again, when some advance step has been taken, the selfish, cautious one have thought that everything was going to ruin; but when the battle has been fought against all odds, they have hailed the victory as a token that God was in the movement. When it has been so fully demonstrated that the work was of God that unbelief has had to yield, the men who led out, whose foresight was greater than that of others, who worked against all opposition, are hailed as men raised up for the time, and led by the Spirit of God. Do those men who blocked the way realize the work they have done? Do they see that the addition of their money, their strength, their faith, and courage, might have made the work stronger and more influential, and that their neglect to do what they could is sin? Many of these pioneers have become gray and enfeebled in making mighty efforts to advance the cause of God and the work of reform, while their brethren stood ready to wound them with their weapons of unbelief. There are graves in churchyards that would not now be there, had it not been for this very work of unbelief. Men of wisdom, mighty men of God, after having years added to their lives, and pressing through many obstacles, have failed, and gone to rest; and now we need their help.
    Would that we lived so near the cross that we could see as God sees, and work as he would have us work. If our brethren would learn the value of souls in the light of what their salvation has cost Jesus, they would know that souls are of greater value than houses and lands, gold and precious stones, or high positions of honor. Jesus calls upon us to love one another as he has loved us. May the Lord enlarge our minds to comprehend eternal things; for when we do, selfishness will disappear, and we shall be doers of the word, and not idle hearers.
    We left our brethren and sisters in Pennsylvania greatly encouraged, and at twelve o'clock at night took the cars for Hornellsville. We rode one hour, and were then obliged to wait in the depot till half past four in the morning. I spent this time in writing.
    Monday evening, about eight o'clock, we arrived at Battle Creek, very weary, and with only a few days in which to prepare for our long journey across the plains. Friday night I spoke to the helpers at the Sanitarium, and on the Sabbath to a large congregation in the Tabernacle. These were my closing labors in the East on this journey, and I have to say to the praise of God, that he has sustained me at every step. I have prayed in the night season; and in the day, when traveling, I have been pleading with God for strength, for grace, for light from his presence; and I know in whom I have believed. I return to California with more strength and better courage than I had when I left Oakland the 12th of August.
    I desire the love of Jesus as I never desired it before. I see reason to praise God for his goodness, his preserving care, and for the sweet peace, joy, and courage he gave me on this journey. I started out by faith, and not by sight; and I have seen the hand of God in every day's labor, and daily his praise has been in my heart and on my lips. His Spirit has helped my infirmities in so marked a manner that I cannot fear to commit myself to his keeping. I have the perfect assurance of his love. He has heard and answered my prayers, and I will praise his name. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 4, 1884
(Vol. 61, #10)

 "Unity in Christ (Gen. Conf., Nov. 7, 1883)"

    Text:--"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgments; seek righteousness, seek meekness. It may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."
    These words are addressed to us, who are here assembled, who have wrought his judgments and kept his ordinances. It would be a sad thing if we were to neglect or refuse to seek the Lord earnestly. It would be a great mistake to let this precious opportunity pass unimproved; for there are great blessings for all who will seek for them with all their heart.
    Let each ask himself, "Have I done all that I can to bring light and freedom into this meeting?" We each have a work to do that no one can do for us. The Lord would be pleased to see us humble our hearts before him, confessing our sins, and righting every wrong that exists between us and our brethren. There is danger that the adversary will suggest that we need not humble our hearts before God; that we need not make confession to our brethren of the wrongs we have done them in speaking of their faults, magnifying their errors, putting wrong constructions upon their words, and letting into our hearts enmity against them. Some have entertained such feelings. Alienation, prejudice, and jealousy have ruled in hearts, and love for Jesus and for one another has been supplanted by these weeds of Satan's planting. Brethren, shall we let the enemy triumph by allowing these wrongs to go uncorrected? Or shall we, while attending these meetings, confess our own faults and forgive those of our brethren? Shall we here seek meekness? Shall we open our hearts to the pure, sweet influences of the Sun of Righteousness? The apostle exhorts, "Be pitiful, be courteous." Let the Christlike qualities of love, gentleness, kindness, possess the soul. Let the character of Jesus shine through your characters, showing that you have the mind of Christ, that you are full of tender compassion for your brethren.
    In his last talk with his disciples before his cruel death, Jesus illustrated the union that exists between himself and his followers by the vine and its branches. Said he, "I am the vine; ye are the branches." He also prayed that his disciples might be one as he is one with the Father. Satan heard this prayer; he knows that in union there is strength; and he works hard to bring in dissensions and divisions among God's commandment keeping people. It is his constant endeavor to thwart the design of Christ. He tempts man; and evil is so natural an element of the human heart that it cannot be overcome except by divine aid. We want the words of Jesus to abide in our hearts, that we may be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Our wills must be trained to obedience.
    As embassadors for Christ, we are intrusted with the important work of presenting the truth before the people; and we are to do this, not merely by voice and pen, but by example also. This God requires of us; nothing short of this will he accept. We must abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine, or we shall not be fitted to bear the warning message to the world. The Lord has often to prune us, to remind us that a pure and holy God will allow no evil to stand before him unrebuked. Our sins and iniquities separate us from him. Then our first work is to put away sin; but in order to do this, we must come so close to God that we can understand his character and requirements, and thus measure our sinfulness and our need of a Saviour.
    Let us review our past year's labor, and see if we have done our whole duty. God should be made first. Have not some mingled so much of self with their labors that the Lord could not bless them with success? Have not some become self-sufficient? Have not others been dilatory, and almost idlers in the Lord's vineyard? Have they not neglected those branches of the work which were not agreeable, and chosen to do that part which was more pleasant? Dear brethren, have you watched for souls as they that must give account? Have you felt that you were responsible for their salvation? Have you suffered them to become selfish and worldly minded without faithfully presenting their danger before them? You have seen them robbing God in tithes and offerings; and have you held your peace? Have you not been afraid of incurring their displeasure, if you plainly presented their disregard of God's express command? What have you been doing, my brethren? Have you not been trying to carry the easy end of the yoke, while shunning to declare the whole counsel of God? Your churches and your Conferences will testify against you; for the sin of neglect is registered in the books of Heaven.
    It required condescension and sacrifice to prepare the way for man to be restored to the favor of God. The Son of the Most High became one of us, sharing the griefs and infirmities of human nature, that he might lift up fallen man and reunite him to God. Nor do the efforts in our behalf end with the great sacrifice made for our redemption. Divine forbearance and protecting care are ever in exercise to preserve souls from destruction; for it is Satan's constant work to separate them from Christ. We must resist his wiles with watchfulness and prayer; faith and preserving effort will give us the victory.
    Are we willing to put forth such efforts to save our fellowmen as Christ made for our salvation? Will we manifest such regard for the reputation and interest of our brethren as Jesus has taught us by his care for us? We are one in Christ. In his sight, the bond that unites believers is more sacred and enduring than any other tie. Christ is the Vine; we are branches, and only branches. This view of our relationship to him and to one another should lead us to labor earnestly for the salvation of our brethren. We must be faithful to do our appointed work, to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. This must be done in the spirit of meekness, while abiding in Christ. Here is our power over hearts. When Christ reigns in the hearts, selfishness will die out, and disinterested benevolence take its place. Coldness and indifference will then be considered as fatal as for a sentinel to sleep at his post, thus exposing the whole army to defeat and death. We must ever be on our guard. Our enemy is vigilant; he is ever watching for opportunities to come in with his snares.
    Should trials arise, tell all your troubles to Jesus. Should a branch of the vine lean away from its parent stalk, and depend upon some shrub to which it is not united? Shall those who profess Christ seek the friendship of worldlings, but have no communion with the Saviour? Take everything to him who gave his life for us. Oh! he loves us with a love that exceeds that of a mother for her helpless child.
    "Except ye abide in me," says Christ, "ye can do nothing." We need him every day; we cannot part with him for an hour. Every faculty of our being belongs to him, and should be dedicated to his service. My brethren, if you know that this union with Christ is required of you, and then neglect to maintain a consistent walk and to live in the exercise of faith, the heart will become hardened in disobedience. The tendency is to become self-important and emboldened in a wrong course. It is your duty to abide in Christ. We must be daily learners in his school. We must know the way ourselves before we can teach others how to walk in it.
    "Search the Scriptures," was the injunction of the Master. Many have lost much because they have neglected this duty. When we search the word of God, angels are by our side, reflecting bright beams of light upon its sacred pages. The Scriptures appeal to man as having power to choose between right and wrong; they speak to him in warning, in reproof, in entreaty, in encouragement. The mind must be exercised on the solemn truths of God's word, or it will grow weak. We have the truth brought out in publications, but it is not enough to rely upon other men's thoughts. We must examine for ourselves, and learn the reasons of our faith by comparing scripture with scripture. Take the Bible, and on your knees plead with God to enlighten your mind. If we would study the Bible diligently and prayerfully every day, we should every day see some beautiful truth in a new, clear, and forcible light.
    Our ministers are failing here. They are not Bible students, they are weak where they might be strong; for they take things for granted without searching for themselves. They do not become mighty in the Scriptures and in the power of God, because they are satisfied with their present position and attainments. They need to become familiar with prophecy, familiar with the strong pillars of our faith, familiar with the lessons of Christ. Then the man of God, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, will make practical godliness his theme.
    Many do not make God prominent, but expect to do some great work themselves. Remember, brethren, that though you go forth weeping, sowing the precious seed of truth, you must depend upon divine power to aid you in securing the harvest, that you may return with rejoicing, bringing your sheaves with you. Let us work; let us become Bible students ourselves, and teach all who hear us to search the Scriptures. Preach your own words less, but establish Bible readings. Let the Lord speak through his word directly to hearts; thus the truth will impress many minds, and the memory will retain it longer than it would a sermon.
    Sowers in the great harvest field, be diligent, steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. To the gracious, sleepless, mighty One, hopefully and prayerfully commit the result of your labor. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 11, 1884
(Vol. 61, #11)

 "Exacting Usury of Brethren"

    When the Jews were restored to their native land after the Babylonish captivity, they found themselves in a deplorable state of insecurity and discouragement. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down. The favor of God, their blessing and defense, had been removed because of their transgressions; and there were continual rumors of threatened invasion by their enemies. At this time God raised up a deliverer for his people in the person of Nehemiah, who was also a religious reformer to restore the worship of the true God and correct wrongs among the people. On account of his courage and fidelity, he was chosen of God to do this great work. Nehemiah prayed much, and trusted in God to help him; yet he was a man of wise forethought and resolute action, and he neglected no precaution that could tend to the success of the enterprise he had undertaken.
    While under his direction the people were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, and at the same time defending themselves against their enemies, they suffered many privations. They had no courage to plant or sow, for they were sure of nothing. And the sabbatical year, which God had commanded them to keep, increased their difficulties by shortening their supplies. Many who had large families were unable to buy necessary food except on credit. "And there was a great cry of the people and their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many; therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already; neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards."
    Now was the time for the wealthy Jews to carry out the principles of the law of God, and show that they loved their neighbor as themselves. Did they do this? No; they saw that they had an opportunity to enrich themselves at the disadvantage of their neighbor, and they improved it. The Lord had commanded that every third year a tithe be raised for the benefit of the poor,--a tithe in addition to, and entirely distinct from, that given every year for the service of God. But instead of observing this law of kindness, love, and mercy, they took advantage of the necessities of the poor to charge exorbitant prices, nearly double what an article was really worth.
    The poorer class of people were obliged to borrow money to pay their tribute to the king; and the wealthy, who loaned this money, exacted high rates of interest. They took mortgages on the lands of the poor, and finally added them to their own large possessions. Thus some became very wealthy, while others were in deep poverty. But the rich felt no compassion for their poorer brethren, not even when they were obliged to sell their sons and daughters into bondage, with no hope of being able to redeem them. Nothing but accumulating distress, perpetual want and bondage, seemed to be before them. There appeared to be no prospect of redress, no hope of redeeming children or lands. Yet these men were of the same nation and faith as their more wealthy and prosperous brethren; they too belonged to the chosen people of God.
    Some had brought upon themselves financial embarrassment by their own mismanagement and want of foresight; but this was not a sufficient reason for oppressing them, and those who took this advantage were revealing their true character. They were going directly contrary to the letter and spirit of God's command: "If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as a usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury." "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother: usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury."
    Nehemiah entered upon the work of reforming these wrongs with characteristic energy and promptness. He says: "And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. And I said unto them, We, after our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. Also I said, It is not good that ye do; ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?"
    The people had departed from the word of the Lord, and were following the inclination of their own hearts. And the rulers in Israel, the very ones who should have carried out the expressed will of God in dealing compassionately with the needy, who should have seen that no wrong was done, were themselves the worst oppressors. Nehemiah rebuked the rulers and the nobles for their unjust exaction. He set before them their course and its consequences, and their guilt in disobeying the command of God. He inquired, "Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn; I pray you, let us leave off this usury. Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise."
    Here is important instruction for all who would walk in the fear of the Lord and in the way of his commandments. Some who profess to be so walking are acting over again the course pursued by the rulers and nobles in Israel. Because they have the power, they exact more than is just and honest, and thus become oppressors. The word of God must be the rule in deal. Those who profess to love God, and yet take advantage of the necessities of their brethren to exact large interest, perhaps ten or twelve per cent, may for a time appear to gain by this course; but they will finally learn that God can scatter. The Lord will judge and punish; he will hear the cry of the oppressed, and will repay the oppressor according to his deeds.
    There are sins among us as a people. Love is not cherished as it should be. A cold, selfish, indifferent hardheartedness is increasing, and this has separated us from our God. There are reasons why the Lord does not favor us with his presence and love; there is great need of sharp, pointed testimonies, for selfishness has eaten out the love of God from our hearts. Hear what the Lord says to his people: "If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother; but thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him naught; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him; because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy, in thy land."
    This is the voice of God to you, my brethren and sisters who profess to keep the law of God. That law requires that you love your neighbor as yourself. Are you doing it? Our faith is peculiar, and separates us from the world. Our enemies reproach us and bear false witness against us, and if we give them the least occasion, they will reproach our faith also. Do not, I beg of you, deceive your own souls. We are all debtors to divine justice, and we have nothing to pay; but Jesus so pitied us that he paid the debt. He became poor, that through his poverty we might be made rich; and we should prove the sincerity of our gratitude by works of liberality and love performed for Christ's sake. We are assured by the Lord that his poor will always be among us, and we may at any time express our gratitude for his goodness to us by being thoughtful and liberal to them.
    No institution that God has established can afford to be unjust or unfair in any of its business transactions, either with brethren or worldlings. In no case should advantage be taken with the excuse that it is justifiable and right because the means gained will enrich the cause of God; for he will never approve injustice. The Bible rule, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them," should never be lost sight of in deal. Men in responsible positions should correct wrongs among the people, but they should not practice a wrong course themselves.
    God never designed that one man should prey upon another because the laws of the land justify him in this course. The world's maxims, customs, and practices are not to be our criterion; there is a higher law to be respected and obeyed. The religion of Christ has been regarded with contempt because his professed followers have acted out the selfishness of their hearts. Many worldlings and heathen abhor Christianity on account of the avarice, treachery, and cruelty of professed Christians. The churches retain upon their church books the names of men who have gained their possessions by unjust usury; they support their luxurious and extravagant style of living by means wickedly obtained.
    Those who are made the depositaries of God's law, those who are preparing for the Judgment, when every one will receive as his works have been, should carefully review their course in the light of the word of God. The men whom God has made rulers and watchmen, should consult with one another as to the best means to reform every wrong; and they should teach the churches everywhere that if wrongs are not corrected, the guilty must be placed under censure. But it is too often the case that the very men who should see that mercy and tender pity are shown, are themselves at fault, and have justly earned the name of sharpers. If these men would have the favor of God and his prospering hand with them, they must learn the principles of right dealing in the school of Christ.
    As genuine faith and the love of God are cherished in the heart, they will be manifested in deeds of mercy and benevolence to our brethren, and in this manner selfishness will be overcome. Paul enjoins: "Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." We have the word of God as our rule of action, and we need not fear to carry out its principles by dealing justly and loving mercy; for when we do this, God becomes our surety, and promises to bless all that we undertake. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 18, 1884
(Vol. 61, #12)

 "A Sabbath Reform Needed"

    In the days of Nehemiah, when the children of Israel had brought upon themselves humiliation and distress by their departure from God in disregarding his law, they sometimes felt that God had forgotten them. The Lord showed his rebellious people that they were dependent upon him for prosperity and safety, yet his eye was upon them. They were feeble, exposed to the ravages of their enemies; yet they were the guardians of the worship of the true God, and were to preserve a knowledge of his law until the Prince of peace should come. Nehemiah was God's chosen instrument to effect a reformation among his people, and to deliver them from the oppression of their enemies. The circumstances were discouraging, but Nehemiah was a man of courage and fidelity. He caused the people to be instructed in the law they had broken. Precept by precept it was carefully explained, that all might fully understand the will of God.
    One of the principal ways in which the people had departed from God was in the desecration of the Sabbath. Heathen merchants, who came to Jerusalem to sell their wages, lodged outside the gates, and when they were opened in the morning, offered their goods for sale. Many of the Jews traded with them on the Sabbath; these not only broke the Sabbath themselves, but tried to remove the scruples of their more conscientious countrymen. Thus to a great extent the sacredness of the Sabbath was destroyed.
    The Jews acknowledged that their deplorable condition was the result of their transgressions; and in a general assembly, the Levites, as the representatives of the people, confessed God's goodness in his dealings with them, and their ingratitude and sins as a nation, and pleaded before God: "Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people; since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly. Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it; and it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins; also they have dominion over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress."
    Having suffered punishment for their sins, and acknowledged the justice of God in his dealings with them, they covenanted to obey his law. And that it might be a sure covenant, and preserved in a permanent form, it was written out, and the priests, Levites, and princes "sealed unto it." They had a clear knowledge of the claims of God and of the character of sin; and with those who had real principle, to see and understand was to act.
    We need Nehemiahs in 1884, who shall arouse the people to see how far they are from God through their transgressions. It is time for the whole Christian world to search the Scriptures for themselves; for in the pulpits all through our land the law of God is made void by precept and example. The papal power has thought to change the law of God by instituting a Sabbath for the world and the Christian church; and this spurious Sabbath is exalted and revered, while the Sabbath of Jehovah is trampled beneath unholy feet. But will the Lord degrade his law to meet the standard of men? Will he accept a man-made institution in place of the Sabbath which he has sanctified and blessed? No; the convenience or profit of men is not to supersede the claims of God; for he is a jealous God. He does not alter his precepts to gratify the desires of the ambitious or the covetous. "Thus saith the Lord" should be sufficient to settle all controversy.
    He who instituted the Sabbath has never changed it to a common day. He rested on a definite day, and blessed and sanctified a definite day, and he requires the human family to observe that definite day. Every part of God's plan will be perfectly executed. Satan has interfered, and attempted to thwart it; but there is no change in the law of God. The position that God blessed and sanctified a seventh part of time, and no day in particular, is one of Satan's devices. By this means he has so confused the minds of many that they regard God's holy restday as possessing no special sacredness; and because the world do so, they feel at liberty to set it aside, and select a Sabbath that suits their own convenience. And professed ministers of the gospel assure their congregations that this course is right. Those who are conscientiously observing the original Sabbath are styled heretics, deluded fanatics. But who are thus regarded in God's sight? Whom will he rebuke and punish--those who have kept the day that he blessed and sanctified; or those who, trampling upon the holy commandment, have accepted the institution of the papacy?
    There is need of a Sabbath reform among us, who profess to observe God's holy restday. Some discuss their business matters and lay plans on the Sabbath, and God looks upon this in the same light as though they engaged in the actual transaction of business. Others who are well acquainted with the Bible evidences that the seventh day is the Sabbath, enter into partnership with men who have no respect for God's holy day. A Sabbathkeeper cannot allow men in his employ, paid by his money, to work on the Sabbath. If, for the sake of gain, he allows the business in which he has an interest to be carried on on the Sabbath by his unbelieving partner, he is equally guilty with the unbeliever; and it is his duty to dissolve the relation, however much he may lose by so doing. Men may think they cannot afford to obey God, but they cannot afford to disobey him. Those who are careless in their observance of the Sabbath will suffer great loss.
    The Lord has a controversy with his professed people in these last days. In this controversy men in responsible positions will take a course directly opposite to that pursued by Nehemiah. They will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but they will try to keep it from others by burying it beneath the rubbish of custom and tradition. In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week. There are calamities on sea and land: and these calamities will increase, one disaster following close upon another; and the little band of conscientious Sabbathkeepers will be pointed out as the ones who are bringing the wrath of God upon the world by their disregard of Sunday.
    Satan urges this falsehood that he may take the world captive. It is his plan to compel men to accept errors. He takes an active part in the promulgation of all false religions, and will stop at nothing in his efforts to enforce erroneous doctrines. Under a cloak of religious zeal, men, influenced by his spirit, have invented the most cruel tortures for their fellowmen, and have inflicted the most awful sufferings upon them. Satan and his agents have the same spirit still; and the history of the past will be repeated in our day.
    There are men who have set their minds and will to accomplish evil; in the dark recesses of their hearts they have resolved what crimes they will commit. These men are self-deceived. They have rejected God's great rule of right, and in its stead have erected a standard of their own, and comparing themselves with this standard they pronounce themselves holy. The Lord will permit them to reveal what is in their hearts, to act out the spirit of the master that controls them. He will let them show their hatred of his law in their treatment of those who are loyal to its requirements. They will be actuated by the same spirit of religious frenzy that goaded on the mob that crucified Christ; church and State will be united in the same corrupt harmony.
    The church of today has followed in the steps of the Jews of old, who set aside the commandments of God for their own traditions. She has changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant, and now, as then, pride, unbelief, and infidelity are the result. Her true condition is set forth in these words from the song of Moses: "They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children; they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?"
    When Nehemiah moved out as a reformer and deliverer in Israel, he was actuated by love to God and anxiety for the prosperity of his people. His heart was in the work he had undertaken; his hope, his energy his enthusiasm, his determination of character, were contagious, and inspired others with the same courage and lofty purpose. Each man became a Nehemiah in his own sphere, and helped to make stronger the hand and heart of his neighbor; and soon feebleness was succeeded by strength and courage.
    Here is a lesson for ministers and others who are laboring for the salvation of souls. Those who believe that we have the truth, that God has made us the depositaries of his law, should manifest the same earnestness and zeal that characterized Nehemiah. If ministers are inactive and irresolute, destitute of godly zeal, what can be expected of those to whom they minister? In some instances they may rise above the moral level of their teachers, but not often. But when ministers broaden their plans, and show that they are in earnest, the people will respond to their efforts; and disunited, dispirited workers will become united, strong, hopeful, and eager.
    It is a sin to be heedless, purposeless, and indifferent in any work in which we may engage, but especially in the work of God. Every enterprise connected with his cause should be carried forward with order, forethought, and earnest prayer. Faithful standard bearers for God and his truth are wanted, and many are ready to respond to the call. As these see the iniquity and violence that exist in consequence of making void the law of God, they will see greater reason than ever to reverence that law, and will greatly prize its righteous, restraining influences. Contempt and reviling increases their love for the precepts of Jehovah. With David they will say, "It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 25, 1884
(Vol. 61, #13)

 "May Christians Manufacture Wine and Cider?"

    I have received letters from different individuals, inquiring if I think it in accordance with our faith to raise hops, knowing that they are principally used in the manufacture of intoxicating drinks, or to engage in the manufacture of wine or cider for the market.
    I cannot see how, in the light of the law of God, Christians can conscientiously engage in these pursuits. All these articles may be put to a good use, and prove a blessing; and they may be perverted 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 do we know of what this palatable sweet cider is made? Those who manufacture apples into cider for the market are not very careful as to the condition of the fruit used, and in many cases the juice of decayed apples is expressed. Those who would not think of taking the poison of rotten apples into their system, 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 and 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 sweet wine may awaken a taste for stronger drinks, and many who have become confirmed drunkards have thus laid the foundation of the drinking habit.
    It is not safe, by any means, for some 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 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 evil 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. Every vital function refuses to act, and the physicians tell them that they have liver complaint, when if they would break in the head of the cider barrel, and never give way to the temptation to 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 fiery compound. Said my husband, "That man has used stimulants until he has destroyed the tender coats of the stomach. I should suppose that they must be as insensible as a burnt boot."
    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 high 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. Knowing this, I take my stand decidedly in opposition to the manufacture of wine or cider to be used as a beverage.
    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 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 have a few acres of land that, when I purchased it, was set out to wine grapes; but I will not sell one pound of these grapes to any winery. The money I should get for them would increase my income; but rather than aid the cause of intemperance by allowing them to be converted into wine, I would let them decay upon the vines. And 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 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 manufacturers 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 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 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.
    Love to God and man is the Christian's whole duty. The law of love is written upon the tablets of the soul, the spirit of Christ 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 him? 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 lightbearers 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 would 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 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 those 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 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 grape vine 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. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 25, 1884
(Vol. 61, #13)

 "Apples of Gold"

    Solomon declares that "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Such the reader will find to be the following words from the pen of Sr. White. It was a private letter, but the friends among whom it has circulated have found so much comfort and encouragement in it that we are induced to take the liberty to make public the following extract for the benefit of our readers in general:--
    "I feel continually grateful to God for his merciful kindness. When I think how weak and feeble I was when I started on my eastern journey, and how the Lord sustained and blessed me, and returned me home in safety, my heart is filled to overflowing with his great love. As I write upon my book I feel intensely moved. I want to get it out as soon as possible, for our people need it so much. I shall complete it next month, if the Lord gives me health as he has done. I have been unable to sleep nights for thinking of the important things to take place. Three hours, and sometimes five, is the most I get of sleep; my mind is stirred so deeply I cannot rest. Write, write, write, I feel that I must and not delay.
    "Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference to get ready. Things that are eternal crowd upon my vision day and night; the things that are temporal fade from my sight. We are not now to cast away our confidence, but to have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us, and he will help us to the end. We will look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord hath done, to comfort and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. We want to have fresh in our memory every tear the Lord has wiped from our eyes, every pain he has soothed, every anxiety removed, every fear dispelled, every want supplied, every mercy bestowed, and thus strengthen ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage. We can but look onward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may look on what is past as well as what is to come, and say,--Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." The trial will not exceed the strength which shall be given us to bear. Then let us take up our work just where we find it, without one word of repining, believing nothing can come but that strength will come proportionate to the trial.
    "Our children are in the hands of God. Our faith must awaken to grasp the promises; and we must not repine, nor be mournful, for then we dishonor God. We must encourage a cheerful, hopeful frame of mind. Our present peace must not be disturbed by anticipated trials; for God will never leave nor forsake one soul who trusts in him. God is better unto us than our fears. If we would encourage a diligent remembrance and recital of our mercies, counting up instances in which God has wrought for us, in which he has interposed his power and his grace when sorely perplexed, sustaining us when falling, comforting us when sorrowing, we would see that it is unbelief to distrust God or to be filled with anxiety. Let mercies be remembered and enjoyed daily. We must daily live by faith.
    "I do not know what called out these remarks, only the thought that many will look away from present duties, present comfort and blessings, and be borrowing trouble in regard to the future crisis. This will be making a time of trouble beforehand, and we will receive no grace for any such anticipated troubles. Rejoice in God always. Today praise God for his grace, and continue to praise him everyday; and then when the scenes of sore conflicts come, having learned the lesson of holy confidence, of blessed trust, we place our hands in the hands of Christ, our feet on the rock, and we are secure from storm and tempest." E. G. W.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 8, 1884
(Vol. 61, #15)

 "Humility and Faithfulness in Laborers (Gen. Conf., Nov. 8, 1883)"

    God requires that we confess our sins and humble our hearts before him; but at the same time we should have confidence in him as a tender Father, who will not forsake those who put their trust in him. We do not realize how many of us walk by sight and not by faith. We believe the things that are seen, but do not appreciate the precious promises given us in his word. And yet we cannot dishonor God more decidedly than by showing that we distrust what he says, and question whether the Lord is in earnest with us or is deceiving us.
    There are many who are really troubled because low, debasing thoughts come into the mind, and are not easily banished. Satan has his evil angels around us; and though they cannot read men's thoughts, they closely watch their words and actions. Satan takes advantage of the weaknesses and defects of character that are thus revealed, and presses his temptations where there is the least power of resistance. He makes evil suggestions, and inspires worldly thoughts, knowing that he can thus bring the soul into condemnation and bondage. To those who are selfish, worldly, avaricious, proud, faultfinding, or given to detraction,--to all who are cherishing errors and defects of character,--Satan presents the indulgence of self, and leads the soul off upon a track that the Bible condemns, but which he makes appear attractive.
    For every class of temptations there is a remedy. We are not left to ourselves to fight the battle against self and our sinful natures in our own finite strength. Jesus is a mighty helper, a never failing support. His followers should develop symmetrical characters by strengthening weak traits. They must become Christlike in disposition and pure and holy in life. None can do this in their own strength, but Jesus can give the daily grace needed to do this work. None need fail or become discouraged, when such ample provision has been made for us.
    The mind must be restrained, and not allowed to wander. It should be trained to dwell upon the Scriptures, and upon noble, elevating themes. Portions of Scripture, even whole chapters, may be committed to memory, to be repeated when Satan comes in with his temptations. The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is a profitable one for this purpose. Wall the soul in with the restrictions and instructions given by inspiration of the Spirit of God. When Satan would lead the mind to dwell upon earthly and sensual things, he is most effectually resisted with "It is written." When he suggests doubts as to whether we are really the people whom God is leading, whom by tests and provings he is preparing to stand in the great day, be ready to meet his insinuations by presenting the clear evidence from the word of God that this is the remnant people who are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
    It is natural for us to have much self-confidence and to follow our own ideas, and in so doing we separate from God; and we do not realize how far we are from him, until the sense of self-security is so firmly established that we are not afraid of failure. We should be much in prayer. We need Jesus as our counselor; at every step we need him as our guide and protector. If there was more praying, more pleading with God to work for us, there would be a greater dependence on him, and faith would be strengthened to take him at his word. It would be easier to believe that if we ask for grace or wisdom, we shall receive it; because his word says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." "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."
    Ministers would be more successful in their labor, if they would talk less of self and more of Christ. Of ourselves, we have no power to reach hearts; it is only by divine aid that we can find access to them. Brethren, teach the people to rely upon Jesus; lead them to feel that they are not dependent on the minister, but must have an experience for themselves. The minister is not infallible. He may err; ambition and unhallowed passion may burn in his heart; the vampire of envy may mar his work; he may defraud God of the glory due to his name by so laboring that the credit will be given to the poor, erring, finite instrument. The true laborer will take care that his hearers understand the leading points of our faith, and that they keep distinctly in mind the old landmarks, the way by which the Lord has led his people. He will teach them to look to God for themselves, expecting the outpouring of his Spirit. If those who profess to be teachers of the truth teach their own ideas independent of the opinions of their brethren, they should be labored with as unfaithful in their work. One who feels at liberty to advance what he chooses and keep back what he chooses, should not be encouraged to labor in the ministry; for he is failing to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord.
    It is not the best way to have one or two ministers go over the same ground again and again. There should be an interchange of laborers. They should not be confined to one field, but should labor in different Conferences, that the churches may have the benefit of their differing gifts. When this was done in the past, greater success attended the laborers.
    Some fail to educate the people to do their whole duty. They preach that part of our faith which will not create opposition and displease their hearers; but they do not declare the whole truth. The people enjoy their preaching; but there is a lack of spirituality, because the claims of God are not met. His people do not give him in tithes and offerings that which is his own. This robbery of God, which is practiced by both rich and poor, brings darkness into the churches; and the minister who labors with them, and who does not show them the plainly revealed will of God, is brought under condemnation with the people, because he neglects his duty.
    Brethren, the Lord will help you, if you seek his help; but do not exalt self, do not call the attention of the people to self. There is a spirit of worldliness coming into the church, and it must be firmly met and rebuked. If this is not done, there is a failure to make known the whole counsel of God. Unless we humble our hearts before God, unless we seek him earnestly, we shall be overcome by the temptations of Satan; and those whom we neglect to warn, to reprove, to exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine, will be ensnared by his devices, and we shall not be guiltless. Our duty is not done when we preach the word. We are to labor for souls; we are to bring to bear every means within our power to reach them. Let us labor in the Spirit of the living God; let us love souls; let us pray for them, and weep over them. Come close to your brethren when you see them in danger. It is time that there was more personal labor done in the churches. If one-half of the time spent in sermonizing was devoted to this kind of labor, the churches in the several Conferences would be in a more healthful condition. Take your Bibles, and devote one-half of the time now given to discourses to educating the people to understand the Scriptures and the claims of God upon them. We have no time to lose; we must be in earnest. May the Lord help us to put on the whole armor of God, and labor for time and for eternity. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 15, 1884
(Vol. 61, #16)

 "The Christian's Refuge (Gen. Conf., Nov. 9, 1883)"

    On this morning there was a spirit of earnest intercession for the Lord to reveal himself among us in power. My heart was especially drawn out in prayer, and the Lord heard and blessed us. Testimonies were borne by many discouraged ones, who felt that their imperfections were so great that the Lord could not use them in his cause. This was the language of unbelief.
    I tried to point these dear souls to Jesus, who is our refuge, a present help in every time of need. He does not give us up because of our sins. We may make mistakes and grieve his Spirit; but when we repent, and come to him with contrite hearts, he will not turn us away. There are hindrances to be removed. Wrong feelings have been cherished, and there have been pride, self-sufficiency, impatience, and murmurings. All these separate us from God. Sins must be confessed; there must be a deeper work of grace in the heart. Those who feel weak and discouraged may become strong men of God, and do noble work for the Master. But they must work from a high standpoint; they must be influenced by no selfish motives.
    No work that can engage our attention is of greater importance than a preparation for the future immortal life. We must watch unto prayer. We must learn in the school of Christ. Nothing but his righteousness can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. We have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them, because we have cherished the idea that we could do something to make ourselves worthy of them. We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Saviour. We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us; the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation. Through his prophet the Lord promises, "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." We must believe the naked promise, and not accept feeling for faith. When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.
    Our hearts have grown unfeeling and unimpressible through lack of faith. We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we were helpless to do this. In him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. We are to look and live. We should not despond, and fear that we have no Saviour, or that he has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time he is carrying on his work in our behalf, inviting us to come to him in our helplessness, and be saved. We dishonor him by our unbelief. It is astonishing how shamefully we treat our very best Friend, how little confidence we repose in Him who is able to save to the uttermost, and who has given us every evidence of his great love. My brethren, let us teach faith by precept and example.
    What a sacred trust God has committed to us in making us his servants to aid in the work of saving souls. He has intrusted to us great truths, a most solemn, testing message for the world. Our duty is not simply to preach, but to minister, to come close to hearts, to put forth personal efforts by the fireside. We should use our intrusted talents with skill and wisdom, that we may present the precious light of truth in the most pleasing manner, the way best calculated to win souls.
    Paul thus speaks of the ministry of the new covenant: "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory; whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." What a responsibility is this! A work is here brought to view that is more laborious than merely preaching the word; it is to represent Christ in our character, to be living epistles, known and read of all men.
    We may be cheerful; for there is nothing gloomy in the religion of Jesus. While all lightness, trifling, and jesting, which the apostle says are not convenient, are to be studiously avoided, there is a sweet rest and peace in Jesus that will be expressed in the countenance. Christians will not be mournful, depressed, and despairing. They will be sober minded; yet they will show to the world a cheerfulness which only grace can impart.
    "The love of Christ constraineth us." We must cherish love; and if those for whom we labor do not appreciate our efforts, we must not allow discontent or wrong feelings to rule in our hearts. Murmuring thoughts, jealousies, and evil surmisings will imbitter the life and mar the labors. Unless firmly and persistently resisted, we must, as laborers in the Lord's vineyard, persevere in our efforts. It is the Lord who has called us to this work, and we should have an eye single to his glory. We must not trust to our own efforts, as though we could do the work of converting souls; for this is impossible. God alone can convict and convert. Jesus invites sinners to come to him with all their burdens and perplexities, and he will give them rest and peace.
    Let us never forget that Jesus loves us. He died for us, and now he lives to make intercession in our behalf. And the Father also loves us, and desires our happiness. "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?" Brethren, you should set an example of faith, confidence, and love to the churches over which the Lord has made you overseers. Will you do your work with fidelity in the fear of God? Will you feel that you must avail yourselves of every opportunity to obtain grace and power from on high, that you may render to God the very best and highest service possible? If he has made us his agents to bless and save souls, we must keep in the heavenly current. At an infinite cost, every provision has been made for us, that we might not be bodies of darkness, but all light in the Lord; and we should lead the people to the light, bringing them nearer the standard, until every man is presented perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end let us labor in hope, ever remembering the Source of our strength.
    As you make the prayer, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law," the claims of God will be plain and distinct. The vices and wickedness of society will grieve the soul that views sin from the Bible standpoint. This sense of sin should not be lessened, but the love of souls increased. Light from the word of God is shining upon us and all around us; and we should try by every means in our power to bring this light before others, remembering that the religion of Jesus may be to everyone a glorious, divine reality.
    If, as laborers in the cause of God, you feel that you have borne greater cares and trials than have fallen to the share of others, remember that for you there is a peace unknown to those who shun these burdens. But do not force your trials upon others; do not groan over them. There is comfort and joy in the service of Christ. The Christian gives the Lord his entire affections, but he takes as well as gives; and his language is not that of a murmurer or a constant backslider. He makes no effort to appear righteous, but his life shows that he is led by the Holy Spirit. He can speak with assurance of his hope in Christ; for has he not the promise of God?
    We honor God most when we trust him most. Anxiety and worriment in his service, talking fears and doubts as to whether we shall be saved, savors of selfishness. True faith is more solicitous to know what can be done today. As we take up our duties one by one, each will come in its proper place; and the faithful discharge of these duties, however small, opens a field where all the powers of the mind can be employed in the service of God. His will will be known and obeyed.
    Brethren, you have expressed many doubts; but have you followed your Guide? You must dispense with him before you can lose your way; for the Lord has hedged you in on every side. In the darkest hour, Jesus will be our light. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." It is an exalted privilege to be connected with Jesus. In every condition of trial, we may have the consolation of his presence. We may live in the very atmosphere of Heaven. Our enemies will thrust us into prisons, but prison walls cannot cut off the communication between Christ and our souls. One who sees our every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels can come to us in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from Heaven. The prison will be as a palace, for the rich in faith dwell there; and the gloomy walls will be lighted up with heavenly light, as when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight in the Philippian prison. Bunyan was confined in Bedford jail; and from thence issued a light that has illuminated the pathway to the celestial city.
    God is the "Rock of our salvation," a present help in every time of need. Then let us be no longer babes in Christ, but bold and firm soldiers of the cross, rejoicing in suffering the will of God. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 22, 1884
(Vol. 61, #17)

 "Effectual Prayer (Gen. Conf., Nov. 10, 1883)"

    Many prayers are offered without faith. A set form of words is used, but there is no real importunity. These prayers are doubtful, hesitating; they bring no relief to those who offer them, and no comfort or hope to others. The form of prayer is used, but the spirit is wanting, showing that the petitioner does not feel his need, and is not hungering and thirsting after righteousness. These long, cold prayers are untimely and wearisome; they are too much like preaching the Lord a sermon.
    Learn to pray short and right to the point, asking for just what you need. Learn to pray aloud where only God can hear you. Do not offer make-believe prayers, but earnest, feeling petitions, expressing the hunger of the soul for the Bread of Life. If we prayed more in secret, we should be able to pray more intelligently in public. These doubtful, hesitating prayers would cease. And when we engaged with our brethren in public worship, we could add to the interest of the meeting; for we should bring with us some of the atmosphere of Heaven, and our worship would be a reality, and not a mere form. Those about us can soon tell whether we are in the habit of praying or not. If the soul is not drawn out in prayer in the closet and while engaged in the business of the day, it will be manifest in the prayer meeting. The public prayers will be dry and formal, consisting of repetitions and customary phrases, and they will bring darkness rather than light into the meeting.
    The life of the soul depends upon habitual communion with God. Its wants are made known, and the heart is open to receive fresh blessings. Gratitude flows from unfeigned lips; and the refreshing that is received from Jesus is manifested in words, in deeds of active benevolence, and in public devotion. There is love to Jesus in the heart; and where love exists, it will not be repressed, but will express itself. Secret prayer sustains this inner life. The heart that loves God will desire to commune with him, and will lean on him in holy confidence.
    Let us learn to pray intelligently, expressing our requests with clearness and precision. Let us put away the listless, sluggish habit into which we have fallen, and pray as though we meant it. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Faith takes a firm hold of the promises of God, and urges her petitions with fervor; but when the life of the soul stagnates, the outward devotions become formal and powerless.
    I have listened to testimonies like this: "I have not the light that I desire; I have not the assurance of the favor of God." Such testimonies express only unbelief and darkness. Are you expecting that your merit will recommend you to the favor of God, and that you must be free from sin before you trust his power to save? If this is the struggle going on in your mind, I fear you will gain no strength, and will finally become discouraged. As the brazen serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so was Christ lifted up to draw all men unto him. All who looked upon that serpent, the means that God had provided, were healed; so in our sinfulness, in our great need, we must "look and live." While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we must not be discouraged; we must rely upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Poor sin-sick, discouraged soul, look and live. Jesus has pledged his word; he will save all who come unto him. Then let us come confessing our sins, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance.
    Jesus is our Saviour today. He is pleading for us in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and he will forgive our sins. It makes all the difference in the world with us spiritually whether we rely upon God without doubt, as upon a sure foundation, or whether we are seeking to find some righteousness in ourselves before we come to him. Look away from self to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. It is a sin to doubt. The least unbelief, if cherished in the heart, involves the soul in guilt, and brings great darkness and discouragement. It is saying that the Lord is false; that he will not do as he has promised; and he is greatly dishonored. Some have cherished doubts, discontent, and a disposition to be on the wrong side, until they love doubts, and seem to think it is praiseworthy to be on the side of the doubting. But when the believing ones shall receive the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls, the doubting ones, who have sowed unbelief, will reap that which they have sown, and a pitiful, undesirable harvest it will be.
    Some seem to feel that they must be on probation, and must prove to the Lord that they are reformed before they can claim his blessing. But these dear souls may claim the blessing of God even now. They must have his grace, the spirit of Christ to help their infirmities, or they cannot form Christian characters. Jesus loves to have us come to him just as we are,--sinful, helpless, dependent. We claim to be children of the light, not of the night nor of darkness; what right have we to be unbelieving?
    Some obtain answers to prayer, a little freedom, and they become elated. They do not increase in faith, do not grow in strength and courage, but they depend on feeling. If they happen to feel well, they think they are in favor with God. How many stumble here, how many are overcome! Feeling is no criterion for any of us. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." We are to examine our characters in God's mirror, his holy law, to detect our errors and imperfections, and then to remove them by the precious blood of Christ.
    Jesus, who died for us, loves us with a love that is infinite; and we must love one another. We must put away all selfishness, and work together in love and unity. We have loved and petted ourselves, and excused ourselves in our waywardness; but we have been unmerciful toward our brethren, who are not as faulty as ourselves. The Lord loves us, and bears with us, even when we are ungrateful to him, forgetful of his mercies, wickedly unbelieving; but consider, brethren, how relentless we are to one another, how pitiless; how we hurt and wound one another when we should love as Christ has loved us. Let us make a complete change. Let us cultivate the precious plant of love, and delight to help one another. We must be kind, forbearing, patient with one another's errors; we must keep our sharp criticisms for ourselves, but hope all things, believe all things, of our brethren.
    When we have cultivated a spirit of charity, we may commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful Creator, not because we are sinless, but because Jesus died to save just such erring, faulty creatures as we are, thus expressing his estimate of the value of the human soul. We may rest upon God, not because of our own merit, but because the righteousness of Christ will be imputed to us. We must look away from self to the spotless Lamb of God, who did no sin; and by looking to him in living faith, we shall become like him.
    There are rich promises for us in the word of God. The plan of salvation is ample. It is no narrow, limited provision that has been made for us. We are not obliged to trust in the evidence that we had a year or a month ago, but we may have the assurance today that Jesus lives, and is making intercession for us. We cannot do good to those around us while our own souls are destitute of spiritual life. Our ministers do not wrestle all night in prayer, as many godly ministers before us have done. They sit up bent over tables, writing lessons, or preparing articles to be read by thousands; they arrange facts in shape to convince the mind in regard to doctrine. All these things are essential; but how much God can do for us in sending light and convicting power to hearts in answer to the prayer of faith! The empty seats in our prayer meetings testify that Christians do not realize the claims of God upon them; they do not realize their duty to make these meetings interesting and successful. They go over a monotonous, wearisome round, and return to their home unrefreshed, unblessed.
    If we would refresh others, we must ourselves drink of the Fountain that never becomes dry. It is our privilege to become acquainted with the Source of our strength, to have hold of the arm of God. If we would have spiritual life and energy, we must commune with God. We can speak to him of our real wants; and our earnest petitions will show that we realize our needs, and will do what we can to answer our own prayers. We must obey the injunction of Paul, "Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."
    Luther was a man of prayer. He worked and prayed as though something must be done, and that at once, and it was done. His prayers were followed up by venturing something on the promises of God; and, through divine aid, he was enabled to shake the vast power of Rome, so that in every country the foundations of the church trembled.
    The Spirit of God cooperates with the humble worker that abides in Christ and communes with him. Pray when you are faint-hearted. When you are desponding, close the lips firmly to men; keep all the darkness within, lest you shadow the path of another, but tell it to Jesus. Ask for humility, wisdom, courage, increase of faith, that you may see light in his light, and rejoice in his love. Only believe, and you shall surely see the salvation of God. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 22, 1884
(Vol. 61, #17)

 "Preparation for Campmeetings"

    Our campmeetings are held at considerable expense, and should be so managed as to accomplish the greatest amount of good. If they are properly located, and conducted as God would have them, they will be an excellent means of letting the light shine to the world. When our people are fully awake to the fact that our work is not to be limited, but it is to be aggressive and extended, they will not hold their State campmeetings in one locality year after year. There are some who will plead for this because it accommodates them; it enables them to attend without much effort or expense. And rather than displease these brethren whom he loves, the president of the Conference will accede to their wishes, although he knows it is not right nor best. Do the selfish few who make this plea consider that the truth is thus prevented from going to many who would perhaps appreciate it more highly than they do?
    In some cases, the campmeetings are held in the same place year after year, and as the people have had the truth, there are no new conversions. And yet these Conferences have not enough of the missionary spirit to see the necessity of making a change. The human heart is naturally inclined to selfishness; and the few who decide this question consider it best to let the meeting remain in one locality, if by this means they can avoid trouble and expense. But these considerations should not have the least weight in deciding matters of so much importance.
    Great wisdom is needed in order to act wisely, and yet offend as little as possible; but should a kind, God fearing minister attempt to conduct the affairs of a Conference in such a way as to please all, he will be liable to end by pleasing no one. The presidents of the several Conferences should seek wisdom of God, and should counsel with men of experience, and they should then work for the general good of the cause of God. The interests of selfish, money loving men and women should not sway their judgment, even if these persons are greatly offended because their wishes are not met.
    Those who seek merely to save their own souls,--who study their own convenience, and are indifferent to the condition and destiny of their fellowmen,--will fail to put forth sufficient effort to secure their own salvation. They have neither time nor inclination to become men of prayer, ready for the performance of every duty; and at last they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. The unselfish love that was manifested in the life of Christ will be seen in the lives of all his true followers. They will love souls, and will do all in their power to win them to the service of Him who died for them. If they fail to win so much as one soul to Christ, it is because they have no deep love for him, and they will have no honored place in the household of God. But "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever."
    Our campmeetings should be changed from place to place, that the light of truth may reach the greatest number of people. And if those who conduct them decide to hold them in prominent places near large cities, and if they make special efforts to secure a large attendance, they should feel under obligation to do all in their power to have the truth properly represented, and to make the meetings a success. Their responsibility in this direction is increased in proportion to the publicity they give the meetings and the efforts they make to get people to attend.
    Our campmeetings should continue two weeks. Not one-third the good is accomplished when the meeting is held a single week that would be if it were held a week longer. If the meeting is held but a week, there is not time for the truth to affect the heart and change the channel of the thought before the camp is astir, the tents are struck, and the people are on their way home. All care should be left behind, and all should be free to enter heartily into the spirit of the meeting. Our brethren should come at the commencement of the meeting, and stay to the close. They should make preparation for this, and as far as possible lay aside every worldly interest.
    On every campground there should be well-matured plans for pitching the tents. Have them in order; do not let the grounds look as though the tents had flown there, and had lighted on it just as it happened. Some one should understand the pitching of the tents, and oversee this part of the work. It should not be allowed to drag, so that it will take two or three days of the meeting to get the tents all pitched. The ministers, who labor in word and doctrine, are not the ones to drive the stakes, while young men stand looking on. They should be left free to give themselves to the study of the word and to prayer, that they may do noble work for God. Let the laymen do their part faithfully, and let the older and more experienced brethren act as counselors.
    The tents should be securely staked; and in a country where there is liability of rains, they should be trenched. If there has been no rain for weeks, this should be no excuse for want of thoroughness in this matter. Lives have been imperiled, and even lost, through neglect of this precaution. People in new countries sometimes become careless; but it should be one of the principles of our faith to correct this tendency to slack, indolent habits.
    The special directions which God gave to the Israelites when they lived in tents, should be often read. There was order in the arrangement of the tents, and most careful order in pitching the tabernacle. Men were assigned to particular duties, and any unfaithfulness caused confusion, and was severely punished. Each man was to do the duty assigned him promptly and without murmuring. By this the Lord designed to show that he is a God of order, and that he does not sanction any confusion in his work. He had what might be called a training school in the wilderness, and his people need training now just as much as they did then; for the Lord is no less particular now than he was in the days of ancient Israel.
    The church militant is not the church triumphant, but is composed of erring men and women. As in an army soldiers must be trained and disciplined for active service, so must the soldiers of Christ be educated for usefulness in his cause. It may be far easier for the president of a Conference to labor himself than to direct the work of others; but it is his duty to take an oversight of the field, and see that all are working to the best advantage. The younger men should be developing their talents, and preparing for future usefulness; and the older and more experienced ministers should not be left to expend their energies on work that others could do as well as not, and would be willing to do if they were only told how. E.G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 29, 1884
(Vol. 61, #18)

 "Are We in the Faith? (Gen. Conf., Nov. 11, 1883)"

    I would not miss being present at these early morning meetings; for here I meet my Saviour, and am strengthened and refreshed. Since I first took my seat in the cars to come on this journey East, I have enjoyed sweet peace in God. My soul has feasted on the love of Christ. While on the cars, I have been almost constantly sending up silent prayers to God, and my communion with him has been sweet. As I have read the Holy Scriptures, the gems of truth have shone with such lustre, and the beauty and harmony of truth has so impressed me, that I could not forbear praising God. At times, in contemplating heavenly things, my heart has been filled with a rapturous joy and love that is very precious, but that no words can describe. I love Jesus, I love his law; I want to be like Jesus, that I may reflect his image perfectly. I want to lie low at the foot of the cross, that I may be nothing, and Christ may be all in all.
    I want to see far more done in the way of presenting the truth than has hitherto been accomplished. Let us lay hold of the Arm of power. God has promised, and he will verify his word. He will work with us, and make our labor fruitful, when we seek him with the whole heart.
    Dear brethren, "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith." Many present may immediately respond, "Why, yes; I am in the faith, I believe every point of the truth." But do you practice what you believe? Are you at peace with God and with your brethren? Can you pray with sincerity," Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors? or are you estranged from your brother, because you suppose he has injured you? Are there no heartburnings among you? Is there no bitterness in your hearts, no envying, no jealousy, no evil surmising, no misjudging of your brethren? Is there no emulation, no desire for special favor and honors, no wish to have the supremacy? These feelings do exist to a greater or less degree among brethren.
    Some of you seem to be earnestly struggling for forgiveness of sins, for freedom in God. Do you deserve the pardon that you are seeking? No, you do not; nevertheless, it is given you. And do you withhold from your brethren the forgiveness and affection of which you do not think them worthy? Would you have God deal thus with you? Deal with your brethren as you wish God to deal with you. If we expect our prayers for forgiveness to be heard, we must offer them in a forgiving spirit. We must forgive others in the same manner and to the same extent that we ourselves hope to be forgiven. The hardheartedness that professed Christians manifest toward one another is not Christlike, but savors of the Satanic. We must everyone of us open our hearts wide to the love of Jesus, and encourage pity and affection for our brethren.
    Many are filled with self-importance and esteem themselves above their brethren. Such should let self die; let the carnal mind be crucified. If you have enmity, suspicion, envy, and jealousy in your hearts, you have a work to do to make these things right. Confess your sins; come into harmony with your brethren. Speak well of them. Throw out no unfavorable hints, no suggestions that will awaken distrust in the minds of others. Guard their reputation as sacredly as you would have them guard yours; love them as you would be loved of Jesus. Work for their interest, instead of seeking to tear them down that you may build yourself upon their ruins. It is Satan's work to injure the brethren, and he loves to have you help him in it. But disappoint him; do not let him triumph over you.
    Some pride themselves on being outspoken, blunt, and rough, and they call this frankness; but it is not rightly named, it is selfishness of the deepest dye. These persons may have virtues; they may be liberal, and have kind impulses; but their discourteous manners render them almost insupportable. They criticise, they wound, they say disagreeable things. Will the character they are cultivating recommend them to Jesus? Will it fit them for the society of heaven? We do well to examine ourselves to see what manner of spirit we are cherishing. Let us learn to speak gently, quietly, even under circumstances the most trying. Let us control not only our words, but our thoughts and imaginations. Let us be kind, be courteous in our words and deportment. There is a great neglect in this respect. We do not adorn the doctrines we profess. We are not what we might be nor what God would have us be. Those who hope to be the companions of holy angels, should possess refined manners. If the principles of the Christian religion are carried out in the daily life, there will be a kind thoughtfulness for others; for this was characteristic of Christ. Then, although a man may be poor, he will have true dignity; for he is God's nobleman.
    Christianity will make a man a gentleman. We are the purchase of Christ's blood; and we are to represent him, to pattern after him. And he was courteous, even to his persecutors. The true follower of Jesus manifests the same mind, self-sacrificing spirit that marked the life of his Master. Look at Paul when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is a model of dignified courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence. I would not encourage the formal politeness current with the world, which is destitute of the true spirit of courtesy, but the politeness that springs from real kindness of feeling.
    We profess a great and holy faith; and our characters must be in accordance with that faith, and with God's great moral standard. Let us shun every mean action, all dishonesty, all overreaching; and if anyone is guilty of wrong in this respect, let him make restitution to the one he has wronged, and in addition bring a trespass offering to God, that when the times of refreshing shall come, his sins may be blotted out, and his name retained in the book of life.
    Let us examine our hearts in the light of the great principles of the law of God as defined by Christ: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." Here the conditions of eternal life are specified. The promise is, "This do, and thou shalt live." Are you, my brethren, carrying out these principles in your everyday lives? Are there not reasons why you do not come to the light, why you have no freedom in Christ, why you do not find that rest he has promised to all who come unto him with their burdens?
    Jesus invites, "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." "Take my yoke," says Christ; "learn of me." In doing this, you will find rest to your souls. You will be learning in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly in spirit, and to wear his yoke with cheerfulness. Have you found this rest? If not, there is something for you to do. Come to Jesus with brokenness of heart and contrition of spirit, praying for his grace. The melting power of God can do wonders in subduing the heart, and making it tender and impressible. The Lord is gracious; and when you have done all that is required on your part, you will find his words true. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." He never fails. You may come to him with full assurance of faith, and he will fill your heart with rest, and peace, and love.
    The religion of some is cold and formal, and is not carried into the everyday life. Such professors have earnest work before them to bring themselves into harmony with the mind and will of God. If in sincerity you offer the prayer, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me," the answer is returned, "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Do not rely upon an experience that you had years in the past; it is your privilege to know that you have a living connection with Christ now. When the members individually stand fast in the faith, and have the favor of God, the church will have a power that she does not now possess. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 29, 1884
(Vol. 61, #15)

 "Importance of Attending Business Meetings"

    The business meetings held in connection with our annual gatherings do not receive the attention which their importance demands. We are sorry this is so; for through them our brethren and sisters might learn of the present standing of the cause, and of the plans laid for its advancement. Everyone who loves the truth ought to be interested in these meetings, and to attend them when it is possible. But there are some who have plenty of interest if there is any speculation on foot, who say by their indifference that the business meetings are of little consequence; and although these meetings should be intensely interesting to them because they unfold the workings of the different societies and institutions connected with the cause of God, they are, as a rule, poorly attended. At our General Conferences, many of our brethren spend time in aimless sightseeing, allowing their minds to be diverted from the spirit of the meeting by unimportant matters. Our sisters attend; but they bring their work, as though these meetings were not spiritual and devotional, but more after the order of common, temporal business. This is not treating with becoming respect meetings that are of so great importance.
    At our campmeetings, we see large numbers of believers strolling about the grounds, when they ought to be in the business meetings learning all they can in relation to the cause and work of God. They say, "Oh, it is only a business meeting." But all who have the mental capacity ought to be anxious and determined to understand how the business matters are managed. Some who have given up the faith have made very false statements in relation to the workings of the cause and the management of its business. Had these attended the business meetings, and listened attentively to the proceedings, they would have understood how the work was conducted in all its branches, and could have borne testimony to the strict integrity that characterizes every department. The enemy could not then have urged in the insinuation that there were things kept back that the people were not permitted to know. Those who take no interest in the business meetings, generally have no real interest in the cause of God, and these are the ones who are tempted to believe that the management of our various enterprises is not just what it should be.
    Brethren and sisters, if we love the truth, which has brought us from the darkness of error to the observance of the law of God, we shall highly estimate everything connected with its interests. At our business meetings everything is laid open, so that all may understand how our institutions and various enterprises are conducted and sustained; and when they have this opportunity to know, and yet fail to improve it, ignorance is sin. Those who believe the truth should be prepared to defend our institutions. When false and detrimental reports come, either from believers or unbelievers, they should be able to answer intelligently, telling, not what they have gathered from hearsay, but what they know to be true in relation to their prosperity and plan of operations.
    We shall be attacked on every point; we shall be tried to the utmost. We do not want to hold our faith simply because it was handed down to us by our fathers. Such a faith will not stand the terrible test that is before us. We want to know why we are Seventh-day Adventists,--what real reason we have for coming out from the world as a separate and distinct people. We want to know why our different institutions have been established. We want to know their relation to the cause of truth, and the part they are designed to act in the promulgation of truth. This knowledge can be best obtained at the business meetings. Our brethren and sisters should feel that these meetings are a school to them; to many, they are of greater importance than any other meetings held among us. Here persons of experience bear testimony in regard to the workings of the different institutions, and the manifestations of the providence of God in the various branches of the cause; and the Spirit of God bears witness to these statements that they are indeed true.
    When men are willing to become intelligent in regard to the cause of God because they have invested faith and means in it, God will help them to understand, and they will be steadfast in the faith; but when they have merely a theory, a shallow faith they cannot explain, a sudden temptation will cause them to drift away with the current bearing toward the world. It is not always an easy matter to be steadfast and immovable, "always abounding in the work of the Lord." In order to be firmly anchored, there must be something firm to hold us; and nothing will avail until Christ takes possession of the soul, until the cause becomes our property, and is made a part of ourselves. Many who now appear strong, and talk in vindication of the truth, are not rooted and grounded. They have no taproot; and when the storms of opposition and persecution come, they are like a tree uprooted by the blast.
    Everyone of us needs to have a deep insight into the teachings of the word of God. Our minds must be prepared to stand every test, and to resist every temptation, whether from without or from within. We must know why we believe as we do, why we are on the Lord's side. The truth must keep watch in our hearts, ready to sound an alarm, and summon us to action against every foe. The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God's dealings with his people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.
    Brethren and sisters, I beseech you to learn all you can in relation to the truth, and to the workings of the different societies and institutions connected with the cause of truth. All who can do so, should make their own business of minor importance, and should train their minds to understand the cause of God in all its departments. While we hold our convictions firmly, let us hold them in the strength of God, intelligently, as his truth, or they will be wrenched from us by the machinations of Satan. It is only when we have on the whole armor of God that we are prepared to resist Satan's devices and to triumph over him. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 6, 1884
(Vol. 61, #19)

 "Believers Christ's Representatives"

    The gospel is designed for all, and it will bring together in church capacity men and women who are different in training, in character, and in disposition. Among these will be some who are naturally slack, who feel that order is pride, and that it is not necessary to be so particular. God will not come down to their low standard; he has given them probation, and the necessary directions in his word, and he requires them to be transformed, to perfect holy characters. Everyone who is converted from sin to righteousness, from error to truth, will exemplify in words and acts the sanctifying power of the truth.
    The people of God have a high and holy calling. They are Christ's representatives. Paul addresses the church in Corinth as those who are "sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints." And he adds: "For we are laborers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Again he says to them: "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." To the saints at Ephesus he writes: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." Says Peter, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
    These passages are calculated to impress the mind with the sacred, exalted character of God's work, and with the high and holy position his people are to occupy. Could these things be said of those who do not seek to be refined by the truth?
    The Jewish temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains; and every stone was fitted for its place in the temple, hewed, polished, and tested, before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of an ax or hammer. This building represents God's spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation and tongue and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant. These are not dead substances, to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones quarried out from the world by the truth; and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them, and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the admiration of angels and of men; for its builder and maker is God. Truly, those who are to compose this glorious building are "called to be saints."
    It was indeed a ministration of glory, when, veiled by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, the Majesty of heaven led his people through the wilderness; when the symbol of the divine presence covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle; but the blessings and privileges granted to God's people in the present age exceed those bestowed upon ancient Israel. Christ has been manifested in the flesh; his blood has been poured out, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world; and now our Mediator stands before the mercy seat making an atonement for his people. In view of the increased light and greater privileges which we enjoy, we are laid under greater responsibilities than were the Israelites. God has given a light to the world in every soul who is brought to a knowledge of the truth and accepts his service; and he designs that each light shall be the means of lighting many others. We are not to let our light burn dim; we are to catch bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and reflect light to the world to the glory of God.
    All that was recorded in sacred history in regard to the journeyings of the children of Israel was written for our profit upon whom the ends of the world are come; but how shall we be warned, instructed, and encouraged by these lessons, if we do not search the Scriptures? As a people, we are sadly deficient here. We do not search the Scriptures, neither the Old Testament nor the New, as diligently and carefully as we should. We are not as earnest as we should be to learn what is the will of God concerning us. During their wanderings in the wilderness, while living in tents, the Israelites were required to observe specified rules and regulations, and to be careful in regard to cleanliness, both in their personal habits and in their surroundings; and in these particulars God will require no less of his people now. Especial care should be taken in regard to order and neatness at our large campmeetings, where we are observed by multitudes. These meetings are important, and no pains should be spared that our faith may be properly represented. God is a God of order, and there should be no confusion in his work. These large gatherings should be made training schools, where the people are taught their duty to God and how they may help their fellowmen by letting their light shine to the world.
    Our people do not come up to the standard that God requires of them. By their imperfections, many are causing the lame to be turned out of the way. When the truth is presented in a new place, some may take hold of it who are uncultured and rough. They may be untidy in dress, and careless in their conversation and surroundings. Such persons can never become subjects of Christ's kingdom without reforming in these particulars. If they feel that there is no need of reformation, be assured that the truth has not taken deep root in their hearts; for when it commences its refining process upon the receiver, there will be decided changes in the character and habits. The untidy housekeeper will become caretaking, neat, and orderly; for is she not to entertain angels of God, that minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation? And these heavenly messengers will not be attracted to untidy homes. The people of God profess to be pilgrims and strangers, seeking a better country, even a heavenly, and while here they should resemble its inhabitants as nearly as possible. The testimonies borne by ministers of the gospel should be calculated to educate. Patiently, step by step, they should carry forward those who are defective in character, until they shall become worthy representatives of Christ, such as he is not ashamed to call his brethren.
    Brethren and sisters, if we have habits of speech and deportment that do not rightly represent the Christian religion, we should at once set about the work of reform. As we represent Christ to the world, let us form such habits as will honor him. Everywhere hidden from observation, agencies are at work to draw souls from Christ; and God would have still more powerful agencies at work among his people to attract souls to Christ. If our lives are the visible expression of God's word; if we manifest to the world the wisdom, purity, and nobility of the Master whom we serve, we shall have a compelling power to win souls.
    Our observance of the seventh-day Sabbath makes us unpopular, and many false reports are circulated in regard to us as a people. Men who have heard the truth, and been convinced of its claims, have closed their hearts against it, and are filled with hatred of reform and reformers. These men are selfish, and their motives corrupt. They see that should they accept the truth, they would be in danger of losing their position, influence, and authority, and they choose to cling to what they call established authorities. Having rejected the plainest truths of the Bible, they try to influence others to reject them. They are of the class Christ denounced, who would not enter the kingdom of heaven themselves nor suffer others to enter. The masses of the Christian world have not searched the Scriptures, and they are deceived by those whom they have hired to explain the word to them. They are taught the customs and traditions of men, while the law of God is ignored; and the prevailing corruption in our large cities, the depravity that abounds everywhere, and is constantly breaking out in multiplied crimes, testify to the result of making void this holy law.
    The people whom God has made the depositaries of his law are generally from the poorer classes, and they have not had the advantages of wealth and culture. As they wish to make a good impression, and win souls to the light of truth, they must become intelligent and refined. They should stop at no low standard; for they will be hated and criticised by all who choose darkness rather than light.
    Brethren and sisters, you are "workers together with God." You have not come into the church to let your talents rust, while others do the work. You should obey the apostolic injunction, "Seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church." You are as a camp of armed men, soldiers enlisted under the banner of the cross, whose duty is to go out into a revolted world and bring back as many as possible to allegiance to Christ. Every new volunteer must learn to endure hardness as a good soldier, to keep the armor on, to wield the sword of the Spirit, and to gain victories for the Captain of our salvation. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 13, 1884
(Vol. 61, #20)

 "Christ's Followers the Light of the World (Gen. Conf., Nov. 12, 1883)"

    Text: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:14-16.
    In all ages the people of God have been the light of the world. Joseph was a light in Egypt. He represented Jehovah in the midst of a nation of gross idolaters. While the Israelites were on their way from Egypt to the promised land, they were a light to the surrounding nations. Through them God was revealed to the world. Satan sought to extinguish their light; but by the power of God it was kept alive through successive generations while Israel maintained a national existence, and even during the captivity there were faithful witnesses for God. From Daniel and his companions and Mordecai, a bright light shone amid the moral darkness of the kingly courts of Babylon. In holy vision, God revealed to Daniel light and truth that he had concealed from other men; and through his chosen servant this light has shone down through the ages, and will continue to shine to the end of time.
    We who are living in this age have greater light and privileges than were given to Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and other ancient worthies, and we are under correspondingly greater obligation to let our light shine to the world. God has made us the depositaries of his law. We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and we are to follow in his footsteps, to represent him before the world. But are we faithful depositaries of the truth, correctly representing it amid the spiritual declension and moral corruption that now exist? Are we doing one-third that we might and should do to diffuse the precious light of truth? Brethren, you see the truth, you understand the claims of God's law. You know that no willful transgressor of that law will enter into life, and yet you see that law made void in the world. What is your duty? You are not to ask, What is convenient for me? what is agreeable? but, What can I do to save souls?
    There is a great work before us. The world is to be warned. The truth is to be translated into different languages, that all nations may enjoy its pure, lifegiving influences. This work calls for the exercise of all the talents that God has intrusted to our keeping. He has given us abilities that enable us to exert an influence on other minds. We have talents in the pen, the press, the voice, the purse, and the sanctified affections of the soul. All these talents are the Lord's. He has lent them to us, and he holds us responsible for the use we make of them,--for the faithful discharge of our duty to the world. We may come very near to Jesus; we may commune with him, and, having found rest and peace to our own souls, we may show forth to others the beauties of true holiness. If we are illuminated by the Sun of Righteousness, we shall reflect the light to the world in good works. Our example will show what it is to be a practical Christian. Light from heaven may shine through us to the world.
    We must be better acquainted with our Bibles. We might close the door to many temptations, if we would commit to memory passages of Scripture. Let us hedge up the way to Satan's temptations with "It is written." We shall meet with conflicts to test our faith and courage, but they will make us strong if we conquer through the grace Jesus is willing to give. But we must believe; we must grasp the promises without a doubt. They are ample and rich, even during the perils and trials of the last days. Hear the assurance given by a prophet of the Lord: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; . . . he will make me to walk upon mine high places." As we exercise faith, talk faith, and act faith, the promises of God will be verified to us. And as we walk consistently with our profession of faith, we are also teaching others to walk circumspectly.
    Do not consult feeling; for feeling is not to be our guide. We are to walk by faith, not by sight. Do not let unbelief separate you from God. Do not let one word of unbelief or discouragement escape your lips. Satan is pleased at every such expression, because it is dishonoring to Jesus. Seek earnestly to remedy every defect of character. Put away murmuring and fretfulness. In the indulgence of these traits you represent Satan, the prince of darkness, and not Christ, the Prince of light. Cast no shadow to darken the pathway of others. Walk in the light, and the peace and joy that shine in the face of Jesus will be reflected upon you. Jesus lives; and his promise is, "According to your faith be it unto you."
    Those who talk unbelief will have a little enthusiasm when the sky is bright, and everything encouraging; but when the battle goes hard, when we have to hope against hope, and urge our petitions to the throne of grace through deep darkness, then the unbelieving ones will talk of the good land of Canaan, but will make prominent the dangers to be encountered. They will dwell on the strong walls, and the giants that we shall meet, when the language of faithful Caleb should be heard: "The land is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us."
    Men of courage are wanted now; men who will venture something for the truth's sake; men who will be sober, but not gloomy and desponding; men who will watch unto prayer, and whose prayers will be mingled with living, active faith. We may be cheerful and even joyful. Even under temptation, our language may be that of faith and hope and courage. But no lightness, no trifling, should be indulged in; no low witticism should escape our lips, for these things give Satan great advantage. And we are living in the solemn hour of the Judgment, when we should afflict our souls, confess our errors, repent of our sins, and pray one for another that we may be healed.
    If we are converted, we shall no longer represent Satan by warped, one-sided characters; but in character, in words, and in actions, we shall conform to the perfect model given us in the life of Christ. Unless we follow this perfect example, evil practices will confirm us in Satan's snare. We cannot afford to dally with the tempter,--to persist in one wrong habit, to cherish one darling sin. If we confess and forsake our sins; if we come to Jesus in penitence and humility of soul, acknowledging our inability to remove one spot or stain of sin, and relying wholly on the merits of a crucified Saviour, we may expect forgiveness; for his word is pledged. He has said that he will pardon our transgressions, and blot out our sins. We must dwell upon the matchless love and compassion of Jesus, and not upon our own unworthiness and sinfulness. If we look to ourselves, all will be darkness; but Jesus is all light, and we have only to "look and live." We may look unto "Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame." What tenderness, what mercy, what love, are here manifested!
    Through constant watchfulness and prayer, we may grow in grace, and perfect Christian characters. But prayer will be no task to the soul that loves God; it will be a pleasure, a source of strength. Our hearts will be stayed on God, and we shall say by our daily life, "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." In view of what Jesus has done to redeem us from the power of Satan, how can we allow evil traits of character to gain the ascendency, thus giving Satan occasion to rejoice and exult, and bringing grief to Him who died for us? How can we cherish malice toward our brethren, the purchase of Christ's blood, or even one feeling of unkindness? Let us put away all suspicion and hatred, and all feelings of bitterness even toward our worst enemies, those who are seeking to do us harm. But, brethren, do not wait until your heart is in harmony with your brother before you come to Jesus; for it is his spirit and power working in you that will give you the victory in this particular.
    The Lord is waiting to bestow rich blessings upon us if we only comply with the conditions. We cannot glorify him while we cherish doubt. We must believe that he will do just as he has said he would. Remember that we have a living Saviour. If you do not feel lighthearted and joyous, do not dishonor God by talking of your feelings. Talk of the promises, talk of Jesus' willingness to bless; and before you are aware of it, the cloud will lift, light will come into the soul, and you will find peace and rest in Jesus. Cherish love. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another." Form a habit of speaking words of cheerful hope and courage, words of love and appreciation, that will bind hearts together. "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." By Mrs. E. G. White

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 20, 1884
(Vol. 61, #21)

 "Consecration and Courage in Laborers (Gen. Conf., Nov. 13, 1883)"

    Those who would lead others in the path of holiness, must themselves be acquainted with the way. They must be disciplined in the school of Christ, and learn self-control. But some are teaching the truth to others when they themselves need to be taught the first principles of the Christian religion. They are at war with God through his providence. They watch for something to feel bad about; and they never fail to find it, for the faultfinding spirit is in their hearts and controls their lives. They are always dissatisfied. Their work is too hard, they are not appreciated, or they do not receive sufficient compensation. If anything crosses their track, they draw back like pettish children, forgetting that as Christ's servants they should not be affected by the course of any man. This spirit savors of Satan, and those who manifest it are in every sense under his control.
    Ministers of this class are a sore affliction to their brethren in the ministry and to the church. They are a constant source of anxiety and care, and the harm they do to the cause of God eternity alone will reveal. You never know where to find them; for they are like the weathervane, and change with every change of circumstances. One day they appear to be humble and affected by the Spirit of God, and our hopes are awakened; but the next day something occurs which drifts them into another current, and they are harder to get along with than a willful child; for while they are children in self-control, they are men in years and stature, and cannot be corrected like the child. They do not know what harm they do by their want of self-control. While they feel under no obligation to restrain the natural impulses of the heart, what right have they to take the position of guides to the flock? The Lord has said through his apostle, "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way." Any crooked path the leader may take, prepares the way for the weak to be turned aside from the path of safety.
    These men do not see themselves; for they look through Satan's deceptive glasses. They do not know that they are contending with God by resisting the efforts of his servants in their behalf. They may once have known the love of Christ, but they have not kept faith in exercise, and it is harder to reach their hearts than it is to move those who have never been converted. They do not so readily receive the heavenly mold; for they have stifled conviction, and have been disobedient hearers of the word.
    Others are in great peril through self-esteem. If they have a measure of success, Satan suggests to them that they are men of talent; and there are men and women professing godliness who help him in his work by repeating his suggestion. The man who is praised for his ability learns to lean on his own understanding, and does not feel his need of help from above. Selfishness becomes a ruling principle with him, his soul is spotted and marred by self-exaltation, and the weakness of his character is made manifest. The Lord leaves such persons to go on in their self-sufficiency, to work without his grace and special help; and they congratulate themselves that they have his blessing when they are walking in the sparks of their own kindling. All this labor is a positive injury, for it blocks the way against the efficient labor of devoted men. These persons need humble, pure religion, that is not tainted with self-exaltation. Jesus says to them, as he said to Peter, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
    The part we have to act is to return unto the Lord by confessing our sins to him and to one another. A broken and contrite heart he will not despise; but our self-righteousness is in his sight as filthy rags. With many, self is whole; but when they fall upon the Rock, and are broken, then the arms of Jesus will encircle them, and bind them close to his great heart of love. God will not do for us that which we can do for ourselves. But he has said: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. 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." And when we comply with the conditions, he will fulfill his word.
    "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord." We do not see ourselves as God sees us; therefore we do not feel the necessity of repentance, of humility, and of continual reliance upon him. There are efforts made in our own strength; but there is not a dying to self, the soul is not surrendered to God. Many are making a mistake here. They are hoping to overcome through their own efforts, and by their goodness gain the assurance of the love of God. They do not exercise faith; they do not believe that Jesus accepts their repentance and contrition, and so they toil on day after day without finding rest or peace. When the heart is fully surrendered to God, love springs up in the soul, and the yoke of Christ is easy, and his burden light. The will is swallowed up in God's will, and that which was a cross becomes a pleasure.
    When in well doing the keeping of the soul is committed to God as unto a faithful Creator, the light will shine upon our pathway, and it will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. But it must be in well doing. We may profess Christ, and yet deny him in our lives. If our words and acts are not in accordance with his character, if we manifest selfishness, if we have a complaining spirit, if we indulge in light and trifling conversation, if we love worldly amusements more than we love God, if we take no pleasure in self-denial for Christ's sake, can we suppose that God is our guide and counselor? There must be entire obedience to God; then our hearts will be in harmony with the spirit that pervades heaven, and benevolence and brotherly love will be in active exercise.
    Trials and temptations may come; but the child of God, whether minister or layman, knows that Jesus is his helper. Jesus is stronger than the strong man armed, and will rescue from the power of Satan every soul that relies wholly upon him. Although we may be weak and helpless in ourselves, yet all the forces of heaven are at the command of the believing child of God, and the hosts of hell cannot make him depart from the right course if he clings to God by living faith. Temptation is no sin; the sin is in yielding to temptation. "Count it all joy," says the apostle James, "when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." God permits us to be placed under circumstances that will test us, to increase our love and to perfect our trust in him. Through self-denial and suffering with Christ, we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Trials will come, but they are an evidence that we are children of God. Paul passed through great trials, but he did not despair as though his Father in heaven were dead. He rejoiced in tribulation; for he desired, through participation in the sufferings of Christ, to be conformed to his image. Let this hero of faith speak for himself. He says, "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for Christ's sake."
    "The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 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." Those who have an eye single to the glory of God will manifest in their lives the loveliness and purity of Christ's character. The enemy will not be able to pervert their understanding, causing them to view things in a false light, and misjudge the words and motives of their brethren. They will not plan how they may gain approbation; neither will they be so deeply affected by any course that may be pursued toward them that they will give up in discouragement. Shall they forsake their post of duty because they are slighted, or imagine that they are not appreciated? No; they will seek to honor Him whose servants they are. They have the Captain of their salvation to please, his order to obey, and they will leave the result to him.
    Brethren, if your eye be single, you will have well-balanced minds, and will be firm as a rock to principle. You will remember that the eye of God is upon you, overseeing your labor; and you will move on from strength to strength, from grace to grace, gathering rays of light to reflect them upon the pathway of others. Be strong in the grace of Christ, and let your hearts be filled with love to God and to one another. Remember that if you are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, you shall be also in the consolation. Though sorrowful, you may be "always rejoicing." Brethren, have courage in the Lord. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 27, 1884
(Vol. 61, #22)

 "God's Willingness to Save (Gen. Conf., Nov. 14, 1883)"

    Text: "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isa. 65: 24.
    Since he has made such gracious promises, why do we not trust God? Why do we not take him at his word? We must have increased faith. We must pray with our heart in our petitions, believing that God hears, and answers even while we pray. We have received rich blessings from him in these morning meetings. They are graced with the presence of Jesus, and we cannot afford to lose one of them. I thank the Lord for these precious opportunities; but they will soon be in the past, and the use we have made of them will be recorded in the books of Heaven. We have been making advancement since these meetings commenced; but while I am grateful for what has been accomplished, I long to see each of you, dear brethren, ministers of Christ, clothed with power from on high.
    God will hear the prayer of the contrite heart; he says he will, and what better assurance can you desire than the word of God? Your weakness and sinfulness are all known to him. While you cannot rejoice over this, you may rejoice that Jesus is your righteousness. Your very weakness may make manifest his grace and power; for your conscious weakness drives you to Him who is willing and mighty to help when you lay hold upon him by prevailing prayer. Will you trust your case in the hands of the dear Saviour, not tomorrow nor next week, but just now? Do not give way to a feeling of reckless unconcern as to your standing before God; but while your conscience is sensitive to sin, and you have the fear of God in your heart, it is your privilege to believe that you are "accepted in the Beloved." Are you sinful? it is for that very reason that you need a Saviour. He can cleanse you from all sin; he invites you to come to him with your burdens and trials, and if you come, he promises you rest.
    But you must believe in Jesus, and act out your faith. At this meeting you may present yourselves before God in all your helplessness and great need; you may give yourself to him without reserve, but obtain no relief because you do not take as well as give. You surrender to Jesus, but do not believe that he receives you. Come to our dear Saviour as a child would come to a parent. Do not talk of your feelings nor preach the Lord a sermon; do not allow your thoughts even to wander; but come right to the point, asking for what you need in the simplicity of faith, and pleading the promises in the word of God. I feel sad that we know so little about faith. Let us put away our wicked unbelief, and this morning venture upon the promises of God, and prove his word. Could our eyes be opened, we should see Jesus and heavenly angels in the room, only too willing to bless us. Our prayers are too cold and lifeless; they lack fervor and earnestness. Let us urge our petitions as did Jacob; and we shall find that importunate prayer will bring us precious victories.
    Do not choose darkness. Come out of the cold, dark caverns of unbelief into the upper chamber, where you may bask in the sunshine of God's love, and enjoy peace and rest in the presence of Jesus. Said Jesus, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." When you constantly complain of darkness, you represent to the world that you are not following Jesus, or else that he has deceived you. But, dear brethren, have you not been in the habit of talking darkness and unbelief? Have you not by so doing greatly shadowed the path of others, and led them to think that there could be nothing attractive in the truth, nothing satisfying in the religion and service of Christ? Your words, your life, and your character have represented your religion; and how many souls have you discouraged, and balanced in the wrong direction?
    Some are ever looking to themselves instead of to Jesus; but, brethren, you want to be clothed in Christ's righteousness. If you are trusting in your own righteousness, you are weak indeed; for you are exposed to the darts of Satan, and after the privileges you are now enjoying, you will have severe conflicts to meet. You are too cold. The work is hindered by your want of that love which burned in the heart of Jesus. You have too little faith. You expect little, and as the result you receive little; and you are satisfied with very small success. You are liable to self-deception, and to rest satisfied with a form of godliness. This will never do. You must have living faith in your hearts; the truth must be preached with power from above. You can reach the people only when Jesus works through your efforts. The Fountain is open; we may be refreshed, and in our turn refresh others. If your own souls were vitalized by the solemn, pointed truths you preach, cold-heartedness, listlessness, and indolence would disappear, and others would feel the influence of your zeal and earnestness.
    There is earnest work to be done in the cause of God. There is a continual narrowing down on the part of the laborers, and their influence upon the people is less and less. The law of God is made void. Ministers from the sacred desk declare that it has no binding claims upon us. As the result, there is almost universal depravity; for the carnal mind is at enmity with God, and is not subject to his law. You need to have broader views of the truth and of your duty. It is not enough to have a set form of arguments to prove our doctrines. The truth must be in the heart of the teacher, a living principle, and not a mere theory. With your own hearts aglow with the love of God, and softened and subdued by his Spirit, you will be able so to teach the truth that other hearts will be affected by the same gracious influence.
    Make it your aim to keep back nothing that is profitable to your hearers, but declare unto them the whole counsel of God. Present Jesus, the Saviour of sinners, and fasten minds upon him; let him be woven into all your preaching. It is your work to show the necessity of a change of heart and character, so that the claims of God's law can be fully met. True religion is nothing short of conformity to the will of God, and obedience to all things that he has commanded; and in return, it gives us spiritual life, imputes to us the righteousness of Christ, and promotes the healthful and happy exercise of the best faculties of the mind and heart. Infinite riches, the glory and blessedness of eternal life, are bestowed upon us on conditions so simple as to bring the priceless gift within the reach of the poorest and most sinful. We have only to obey and believe. And his commandments are not grievous; obedience to his requirements is essential to our happiness even in this life.
    We may expect great things of God. It is not as though we were making the sacrifice for men, and Jesus was reluctant to save. The cross of Calvary expresses his estimate of the worth of the soul, and his love for the fallen race. He is bending over the purchase of his blood, asking with inexpressible tenderness, pity, and love, "Wilt thou be made whole?" He invites, "Come unto me, and be saved. I have borne thy iniquities; by the stripes laid on me, thou mayest be healed." He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. But we must empty our hearts of iniquity. He will never reveal himself to us as a sin-pardoning Saviour until we feel that without him we are hopelessly lost, that to live in sin is misery, despair, and death.
    Jesus, precious Redeemer! You cannot trust him too fully nor too soon. Wait no longer for better opportunities or holier dispositions, lest you wait too long, and Satan fasten his delusions upon you. Lift the cross at once; however hard it may be, he will give you strength to bear it. He is a tried friend, a friend in need. Our necessities touch his great heart of love. The argument that we may plead now and ever is our great need, our utterly hopeless state, that makes him and his redeeming power a necessity. When we confidingly take his proffered hand, and walk where he leads the way, he will lead us into the light; he will guide us into all truth, and will clothe our lives with the beauty of holiness. But the holiness he is prepared to give us is not an exaltation of self, a Pharisaical self-righteousness; it is a principle in the heart that leads to a life of loving, trusting obedience. Then he will register our names in the books of heaven as heirs of eternal life.
    Just before his cruel death, Jesus said, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain a victory. He had kept his Father's commandments; and there was no sin in him that Satan could triumph over, no weakness or defect that he could use to his advantage. But we are sinful by nature, and we have a work to do to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Let us improve this precious privilege to confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another, that we may be healed. Let hearts sympathize with hearts; let love be without dissimulation. Put away sin; bruise Satan under your feet. Leave your weakness behind you, and, strong in the grace of Christ, press on to victory.
    When you return to your several fields of labor, take up your work with a more intelligent trust in Jesus as your helper. Speak the truth in love, and in the demonstration of the Spirit, remembering that "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." Let the praise of God be in your hearts and on your lips; for he says in his word, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me." It is our privilege to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 3, 1884
(Vol. 61, #23)

 "Love Among Brethren (Gen. Conf., Nov. 15, 1883)"

    Text: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8.
    The dealings of God with his people often appear mysterious. His ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts. Many times his way of dealing is so contrary to our plans and expectations that we are amazed and confounded. We do not understand our perverse natures; and often when we are gratifying self, following our own inclinations, we flatter ourselves that we are carrying out the mind of God. And so we need to search the Scriptures, and be much in prayer, that, according to his promise, the Lord may give us wisdom.
    Our work is aggressive. We are to be awake and discerning as to the devices of Satan, and to press the triumphs of the cross of Christ. While Satan is planting his dark banner among us, perhaps even in our families, we should not be indifferent and inactive. But though we have an individual work and an individual responsibility before God, we are not to follow our own independent judgment, regardless of the opinions and feelings of our brethren; for this course would lead to disorder in the church. It is the duty of ministers to respect the judgment of their brethren; but their relations to one another, as well as the doctrines they teach, should be brought to the test of the law and the testimony; then, if hearts are teachable, there will be no divisions among us. Some are inclined to be disorderly, and are drifting away from the great landmarks of the faith; but God is moving upon his ministers to be one in doctrine and in spirit.
    Brethren sometimes associate together for years, and they think they can trust those they know so well just as they would trust members of their own family. There is a freedom and confidence in this association which could not exist between those not of the same faith. This is very pleasant while mutual faith and brotherly love last; but let the "accuser of the brethren" gain admittance to the heart of one of these men, controlling the mind and the imagination, and jealousies are created, suspicion and envy are harbored; and he who supposed himself secure in the love and friendship of his brother, finds himself mistrusted and his motives misjudged. The false brother forgets his own human frailties, forgets his obligation to think and speak no evil lest he dishonor God and wound Christ in the person of his saints, and every defect that can be thought of or imagined is commented upon unmercifully, and the character of a brother is represented as dark and questionable.
    There is a betrayal of sacred trust. The things spoken in brotherly confidence are repeated and misrepresented; and every word, every action, however innocent and well-meaning, is scrutinized by the cold, jealous criticism of those who were thought too noble, too honorable to take the least advantage of friendly association or brotherly trust. Hearts are closed to mercy, judgment, and the love of God; and the cold, sneering, contemptuous spirit which Satan manifests toward his victim is revealed.
    The Saviour of the world was treated thus, and we are exposed to the influence of the same malicious spirit. The time has come when it is not safe to put confidence in a friend or a brother.
    As in the days of Christ spies were on his track, so they are on ours now. If Satan can employ professed believers to act as accusers of the brethren, he is greatly pleased; for those who do this are just as truly serving him as was Judas when he betrayed Christ, although they may be doing it ignorantly. Satan is no less active now than in Christ's day, and those who lend themselves to do his work will represent his spirit.
    Floating rumors are frequently the destroyers of unity among brethren. There are some who watch with open mind and ears to catch flying scandal. They gather up little incidents which may be trifling in themselves, but which are repeated and exaggerated until a man is made an offender for a word. Their motto seems to be, "Report, and we will report it.' These talebearers are doing the devil's work with surprising fidelity, little knowing how offensive their course is to God. If they would spend half the energy and zeal that is given to this unholy work in examining their own hearts, they would find so much to do to cleanse their souls from impurity that they would have no time or disposition to criticize their brethren, and they would not fall under the power of this temptation. The door of the mind should be closed against "they say" or "I have heard." Why should we not, instead of allowing jealousy or evil-surmising to come into our hearts, go to our brethren, and, after frankly but kindly setting before them the things we have heard detrimental to their character and influence, pray with and for them? While we cannot love and fellowship those who are the bitter enemies of Christ, we should cultivate that spirit of meekness and love that characterized our Master,--a love that thinketh no evil and is not easily provoked.
    This is a matter that rests between God and our own souls. We are living amid the perils of the last days, and we should guard every avenue by which Satan can approach us with his temptations. A fatal delusion seizes those who have had great light and precious opportunities, but who have not walked in the light nor improved the opportunities God has given them. Darkness comes upon them; they fail to make Christ their strength, and fall an easy prey to the snares of the deceiver. A mere assent to the truth will never save a soul from death. We must be sanctified through the truth; every defect of character must be overcome, or it will overcome us, and become a controlling power for evil. Commence without a moment's delay to root out every pernicious weed from the garden of the heart; and, through the grace of Christ, allow no plants to flourish there but such as will bear fruit unto eternal life.
    Cultivate whatever in your character is in harmony with the character of Christ. Cherish those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report; but put away whatever is unlike our Redeemer. Selfishness is cherished to an extent that few realize; guard against it at all times and in all places. Do not excuse yourself in any error. If you have one objectionable trait which you find it difficult to subdue, do not talk of your weakness that others must bear with. Do not soothe your conscience with the thought that you cannot overcome the peculiarities that deform your character, nor listen to Satan's suggestion that they are not very grievous. There is no way by which you can be saved in sin. Every soul that gains eternal life must be like Christ, "holy, blameless, undefiled, separate from sinners." The followers of Christ must shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
    Some seek to control their surroundings, thinking that if they are placed in favorable positions, the bad traits in their character will not be developed. But God orders our surroundings, and he will place us where we shall have test after test, to prove us and to reveal what is in our hearts. Again and again we shall be brought into strait places, that it may be known whether we are indeed crucified with Christ or full of self-love. How will this proving, testing process end with each of us? The prince of darkness will put forth all his power to retain us in his possession; but we have a mighty helper.
    Self-love will prompt to a much better opinion of self than the word of God will warrant, for "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" God's word is the standard that we must all reach. It is unsafe to consult feeling or trust to our own heart; for the wise man declares, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool." And yet how prone we are to trust this deceptive heart, and have confidence in our own goodness!
    Church membership will not guarantee us Heaven. We must abide in Christ, and his love must abide in us. We must everyday make advancement in the formation of symmetrical character. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." As God is perfect in his sphere, so are we required to be perfect in ours. There is a great work before us individually to reach this high standard, and some have scarcely learned their a b c's in the school of Christ. Our attainments will be just in accordance with the efforts we make, our character just what we choose to make it; for through the divine aid promised us, we can overcome. Jesus knows our frame; "he remembereth that we are dust." In pitying tenderness, he will give us the help and strength we need.
    Our souls have been purchased at an infinite cost, and we should value them according to this standard. Let us shun the first approach to the world's heedless, irreverent, and ungodly ways; but let us diligently cultivate the pure principles of the gospel of Christ,--the religion, not of self-esteem, but of love, meekness, and lowliness of heart. Then we shall love our brethren, and esteem them better than ourselves. Our minds will not dwell on the dark side of their character; we shall not feast on scandal and flying reports. But "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise," we shall "think on these things." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 10, 1884
(Vol. 61, #24)

 "The Transforming Grace of God (Gen. Conf., Nov. 16, 1883)"

    This morning one of the ministers remarked that he had been greatly helped in these meetings. He understood faith better than he ever had before; but he could not yet rejoice in the full assurance of the favor of God. His heart craved the blessing of God. His life seemed productive of little good; but he wished to go forth to his labors wholly consecrated, with no selfish motive, but with the object to save his fellowmen, and glorify his Creator.
    Another said that he had been in discouragement, and almost in despair, but the words spoken in these morning meetings had helped him. Rays of light had broken in upon his mind, dispelling the dark clouds that enshrouded him, and he felt that the Lord, for Christ's sake, had forgiven his sins. He could now see that unbelief had been the greatest hindrance to his enjoyment of the blessing of God.
    Others bore testimony that they were confessing their sins and striving for the blessing of God, but they had fears that Jesus would not, could not, pardon them. They could have faith for others, but not for themselves. This was the language of unbelief. Such persons will receive no help, no freedom, until they look to Jesus. There is no merit in self; Jesus is our only hope.
    Some confessed that they had a light and trifling spirit, which cut off their influence in the desk. They now realized the magnitude and wickedness of this fault as they never had before. This spirit of jesting and joking, of lightness and trifling, is a stumblingblock to sinners and a worse stumblingblock to those who give way to the inclination of the unsanctified heart. The fact that some have allowed this trait to develop and strengthen until jesting is as natural as their breath, does not lessen its evil effects. When anyone can point to one trifling word spoken by our Lord, or to any lightness seen in his character, he may feel that lightness and jesting are excusable in himself. This spirit is unchristian; for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. Jesus is a perfect pattern, and we must imitate his example. A Christian is the highest type of man, a representative of Christ.
    Some who are given to jesting, and to light and trifling remarks, may appear in the sacred desk with becoming dignity. They may be able to pass at once to the contemplation of serious subjects, and present to their hearers the most important, testing truths ever committed to mortals; but perhaps their fellow laborers, whom they have influenced, and who have joined with them in the careless jest, cannot change the current of their thoughts so readily. They feel condemned, their minds are confused; and they are unfitted to enter upon the contemplation of heavenly themes, and preach Christ and him crucified.
    The disposition to say witty things that will create a laugh, when the wants of the cause are under consideration, whether in a committee meeting, a board meeting, or any other meeting for business, is not of Christ. This untimely mirth has a demoralizing tendency. God is not honored when we turn everything to ridicule one day, and the next day are discouraged and almost hopeless, having no light from Christ, and ready to find fault and murmur. He is pleased when his people manifest solidity, strength, and firmness of character, and when they have cheerful, happy, hopeful dispositions.
    Says Peter, "Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Here is a lesson for us to learn; here is a work for us to do to control the mind, not letting it drift on forbidden themes, or spend its energies on trifling subjects. "The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." We are not only required to pray, but to guard the words and actions, and even the thoughts,--to "watch unto prayer." If the mind is centered upon heavenly things, the conversation will run in the same channel. The heart will overflow at the contemplation of the Christian's hope, the exceeding great and precious promises left on record for our encouragement; and our rejoicing in view of the mercy and goodness of God need not be repressed; it is a joy that no man can take from us.
    During the waking hours, the mind will be constantly employed. If it dwells upon unimportant matters, the intellect is dwarfed and weakened. There may be some spasmodic flashes of thought; but the mind is not disciplined to steady, sober reflection. There are themes that demand serious consideration. They are those connected with the great plan of redemption, which is soon to be finished. Jesus is about to be revealed in the clouds of heaven, and what manner of characters must we have to enable us to stand in that day? By dwelling upon these themes of eternal interest, the mind is strengthened, and the character developed. Here lies the foundation of that firm, unswerving principle which Joseph possessed. Here is the secret of growth in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
    The religion of Christ is not what many think it is, nor what their lives represent it to be. The love of God in the soul will have a direct influence upon the life, and will call the intellect and the affections into active, healthful exercise. The child of God will not rest satisfied until he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and sustained by his lifegiving power. When he sees a weakness in his character, it is not enough to confess it again and again; he must go to work with determination and energy to overcome his defects by building up opposite traits of character. He will not shun this work because it is difficult. Untiring energy is required of the Christian; but he is not obliged to work in his own strength; divine power awaits his demand. Everyone who is sincerely striving for victory over self will appropriate the promise, "My grace is sufficient for thee."
    Through personal effort joined with the prayer of faith, the soul is trained. Day by day the character grows into the likeness of Christ; and finally, instead of being the sport of circumstances, instead of indulging selfishness and being carried away by light and trifling conversation, the man is master of his thoughts and words. It may cost a severe conflict to overcome habits which have been long indulged, but we may triumph through the grace of Christ. He invites us to learn of him. He would have us practice self-control, and be perfect in character, working that which is well pleasing in his sight. "By their fruits ye shall know them," is his own standard of judging character.
    If we are true to the promptings of the Spirit of God, we shall go on from grace to grace, and from glory to glory, until we shall receive the finishing touch of immortality." "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." Can any earthly promotion confer honor equal to this,--to be sons of God, children of the heavenly King, members of the royal family? Man may be ambitious of the honor that his finite fellowman can bestow; but what will it avail? The nobility of earth are but men; they die, and return to dust; and there is no lasting satisfaction in their praise and honor. But the honor that comes from God is lasting. To be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, is to be entitled to unsearchable riches,--treasures of such value that in comparison with them the gold and silver, the gems and precious stones of earth, sink into insignificance. Through Christ we are offered joy unspeakable, an eternal weight of glory. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
    We are wanting in simple faith; we need to learn the art of trusting our very best friend. Although we see him not, Jesus is watching over us with tender compassion; and he is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. No one in his great need ever looked to him by faith, and was disappointed. Brethren, do not express doubt; do not let your lips utter one complaining, repining word. The Christian is not morose, sullen, and desponding; he is the happiest man in the world. He feels secure; for he trusts in Jesus, and enjoys his presence. His "defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart." Do not defer this matter, but begin here in this Conference to fix your minds more firmly upon Jesus and heavenly things, remembering that by beholding we become changed into the same image. Have courage in God, brethren; have courage in God. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 17, 1884
(Vol. 61, #25)

 "Christian Deportment and Influence (Gen. Conf., Nov. 17, 1883)"

    This morning many good testimonies were borne, expressing faith and confidence in God. But there were some not of this character. Some who come to God by repentance and confession do not accept the forgiveness he has promised. They do not see that Jesus is an ever present Saviour; and they are not prepared to commit the keeping of their souls to him, relying upon him to perfect the work of grace begun in their hearts. They lose sight of the fact that Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
    While some think they are committing themselves to God, there is a great deal of self-dependence. There are conscientious souls that trust partly to God, and partly to themselves. They do not look to God to be kept by his power, but depend upon watchfulness and the performance of certain duties for acceptance with him. There are no victories in this kind of faith. Such persons toil to no purpose; their souls are in continual bondage, and they find no rest until their burdens are laid at the feet of Jesus.
    There is need of constant watchfulness, and of earnest, loving devotion; but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power of God through faith. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to recommend ourselves to divine favor. We must not trust at all in ourselves nor in our good works; but when as erring sinful beings we come to Jesus, we may find rest in his love. God will accept everyone that comes to him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified Saviour. Love springs up in the heart. There is no ecstasy of feeling, but an abiding, peaceful trust. Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light.
    One brother said this morning that he had repented of his lightness and trifling again and again, and had asked God to help him to overcome this disposition; but for some reason he did not receive the help he asked for. Has the word of our God been tested, and proved false.? No, no; the fault is with man, not with his Creator. This brother's efforts to reform have been made by fits and starts in his own weak strength. He must put forth steady, persevering effort; he must follow his prayers by placing a strict guard over himself.
    There is a great and solemn work devolving upon ministers, and many have not felt its weight sufficiently to balance them, and lead them to walk circumspectly. Out of the desk, their ministerial labors cease almost entirely, and their example is not worthy of imitation. Their light, jesting conversation may entertain, and provoke mirth; but believers and unbelievers lose confidence in them as Christ's ambassadors. Such ministers may present a theory of truth to the people; but they have not felt its sanctifying power on their own souls, and the word spoken has but little effect.
    Those who are convicted of sin by the Spirit of God, need the assistance of loving, kindly labor that the work of grace may be carried forward to completion. This labor for souls is a part of the ministry that God requires of his servants; but it is a part that is sadly neglected by some. They do not realize their responsibility, nor know how to deal with souls. Having laid off the armor of righteousness, they are exposed to the darts of Satan, and often fall under the power of his temptations. They do not remember that a single thoughtless act, a light and trifling word, may balance a soul in the wrong direction, and effect decisions that are made for eternity.
    Ministers should live close to Jesus, that they may rightly represent him to others. He has set them an example in his ministry. They should labor for souls with the same unselfish love that characterized his labors. They have something more to do than merely to preach in the desk. This is only the beginning of their work. They are "overseers of the flock;" and it is their duty "to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." They are required to "watch for souls," as "they that must give account;" and they need clear discernment, that no wrong influence may pervert their work.
    Some ministers choose for their sermons subjects that will please the people, and offend none. This is shunning the cross of Christ. You see one man selfish; another controlled by pride or passion; another robbing God in tithes and offerings; and another doubting and unbelieving. Do not leave these deceived ones to remain blinded by the enemy in regard to their own spiritual standing. For each of these there is a special message in the word of God. Pray for wisdom, that you may be able so to present the instructions of that sacred word that they may see wherein their characters are defective, and what is required of them in order to conform to the true standard. Win their confidence and affection. Bring the truth as it is in Jesus to bear upon their hearts; for there is no other power that can keep the soul steadfast. The truth, planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and nourished by divine grace, is our only safeguard against Satan's devices. Thus you are to labor until you can present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
    This personal labor is not the most agreeable work; it involves a cross. Nevertheless, ministers have no right to shun the responsibilities laid upon them. To deal wisely and truly with souls is a work that calls for special help from God. A faithful performance of the duties assigned to his servants would drive every worker in the vineyard of the Lord to his closet in earnest intercession for divine aid. The love of God in the heart will lead them to make earnest appeals,--to warn, entreat, and reprove. If this work is neglected, souls will continue in sin, confirmed in a wrong course by those who have spoken to them only smooth things. In view of these considerations, how carefully should we walk; how closely should we cling to Jesus.
    The Apostle Paul felt the importance of faithfulness. He says of his own ministry in Christ, "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working which worketh in me mightily." And he exhorts Timothy: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." This is in accordance with the word which through the prophet Isaiah the Lord has spoken to the watchmen on the walls of Zion: "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins."
    We shall none of us be saved for our own merits. The rewards of eternity are purchased by Christ, and in no case merited by man; yet ministers should remember that every man will receive according as his works have been. The trials of the great assize will proceed most accurately on the basis of works; and our listlessness and want of zeal will tell on its decisions. The parable of the talents illustrates this subject. One man becomes ruler over ten cities, another over five, another over two. Each receives in exact proportion to his work,--to the improvement he has made on the talents lent him of God; and it is the privilege of each to strive for the highest recompense.
    The thought should be ever present with us that we must meet the record of our lives, that we are building characters for eternity. The lines traced by our pens will be read when the hand that wrote them is lying idle in the grave. The influence of our words and acts will live, and will decide the destiny of souls. Angels of God are writing the history of our lives; let us be careful that the record is such as we shall not be ashamed to meet when the Judgment shall sit, and we shall receive according to the deeds done in the body.
    Well would it be for us if we could always remember Calvary, where Jesus bore the terrible burden of the sins of the world. In his expiring agony hear him exclaim, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and remember that he endured the hiding of his Father's face that it might not be forever hidden from fallen man. He endured shame, cruel scourging, insult, and mockery, that we might be reconciled to God and rescued from endless death. If our minds dwell upon these themes, our conversation will be in Heaven, from whence we look for our Saviour, and even vain thoughts will seem out of place.
    He who died for us loves us with a love that is infinite. He wants us to be happy; but he would not have us find our happiness in foolish jesting and joking, which disgrace the holy cause we profess to love. If we are living branches of the true Vine, we shall bear fruit to the glory of God. "By their fruits ye shall know them." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 24, 1884
(Vol. 61, #26)

 "Consecration and Diligence in Christian Workers (Gen. Conf., Nov. 18, 1883)"

    Text: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee." Ps. 51:10-13.
    This is one of the most earnest and contrite prayers on record, and the Lord's response is. "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you."
    "Create in me a clean heart." This is beginning right, at the very foundation of Christian character; for out of the heart are the issues of life. If all, ministers and people, would see to it that their hearts are right with God, we should see much larger results from the labor put forth. The more important and responsible your work, the greater the necessity that you have clean hearts. The needed grace is provided, and the power of the Holy Spirit will work with every effort you make in this direction. If every child of God would seek him earnestly and perseveringly, there would be a greater growth in grace. Dissensions would cease; believers would be of one heart and one mind; and purity and love would prevail in the church. By beholding we become changed. The more you contemplate the character of Christ, the more you will become conformed to his image. Come to Jesus just as you are, and he will receive you, and put a new song in your mouth, even praise to God.
    "Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me." Repentance as well as forgiveness is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convinced of sin, and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of the Lord that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and he will help us. He will hear the prayer of faith; but the sincerity of prayer can be proved only by our efforts to bring ourselves into harmony with the great moral standard which will test every man's character. We need to open our hearts to the influence of the Spirit, and to experience its transforming power. The reason that you do not receive more of the saving help of God is because the channel of communication between Heaven and your own souls is clogged by worldliness, love of display, and desire for supremacy. While some are conforming more and more to the world's customs and maxims, we should be molding our lives after the divine model. And our covenant keeping God will restore unto us the joys of his salvation, and uphold us by his free Spirit.
    "Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee." The nearer we live to God, the more we shall be able to accomplish for our fellowmen; for the Lord will work with our efforts. Your hearts are too cold and unimpressible; they should be all aglow with the love of Jesus. While hungering and thirsting for salvation yourselves, you will have a longing desire to aid in saving precious souls; and your humble, pathetic appeals to those out of Christ will move hearts. How can you associate with the young, and yet have so little desire for their salvation? Let them see that you care for their souls. As far as possible break down every barrier that keeps them from Christ. Labor for them in the desk, and at their homes. Pray with and for them. Point them to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and urge them to come and be healed.
    Let labor for souls become a part of your life. Go to the homes of those even who manifest no interest. While mercy's sweet voice invites the sinner, work with every energy of heart and brain, as did Paul, "who ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears." In the day of God, how many will confront us, and say, "I am lost! I am lost! And you never warned me; you never entreated me to come to Jesus. Had I believed as you did, I would have followed every Judgment bound soul within my reach with prayers and tears and warnings."
    Ministers, teach the people how to work. Tell them that their usefulness does not depend so much on wealth or learning or power as on a willing mind, their consecration to Christ and his cause. In times past God has used humble men, and because of their faith and devotion they have often accomplished more than many more pretentious laborers. They realized their weakness and dependence upon God; and by letters, by tracts, by personal efforts in appeals and warnings, by a well ordered life and godly conversation, they turned many from error to truth, from the path of transgression to obedience to God's law. The mighty power of grace worked with them, and success attended their efforts. "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence."
    Two men start out to labor in the cause of God. One has had every advantage of education. His mind is cultivated; his powers are developed, and he is prepared to become an efficient worker. But we look in vain to see the good results of all the advantages he has enjoyed. Instead of increasing his usefulness, his education fosters a feeling of power and self-importance; he esteems himself above his less fortunate brethren. He does not continue to store his mind with useful knowledge, to fit himself for greater responsibilities. While he boasts of learning, he does not labor to the utmost of his ability, with an eye single to the glory of God. The other has good natural abilities, but a limited education. He is a constant learner in the school of Christ. The love of Jesus is in his heart, and he walks humbly with God. He is unselfish in thought and purpose, and tries to do all the good he can. As he uses the ability he has, his mind expands. Said the psalmist, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple."
    The educated man may exalt himself over his unlearned brother; but he is like the man in the parable, who hid his talent in the earth. He has shunned the trouble and exertion necessary to trade with his intrusted talent, that he may be able to return it with increase; and he will be condemned as a slothful servant, and dismissed from the presence of his Lord. But the one who is faithful in the improvement of his talents will return both principal and interest, and will hear the "Well done, good and faithful servant." The man who blesses society and makes a success of life, is the one, whether educated or uneducated, who uses all his powers in the service of God and his fellowmen.
    In all our churches there are persons who might be educated to become workers for Christ. But there are few who will venture to go out and labor unselfishly, trusting all to Jesus. They must have wages; and even then, if something offers that promises greater financial success, many youth will choose the worldly employment. They do not love Christ, and are not willing to make sacrifices for his sake.
    There is a great work to be done to warn the world. Let us do what we can ourselves, and encourage others to labor. There is certainly a fault among us, or there would be more talent developed to unite us in our efforts for souls. "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest." Have special meetings for the education of workers. Souls for whom Christ died are perishing all around us, and what excuse can we give that they have never been warned.
    If you would preach fewer sermons, and do more personal labor in visiting and praying with individuals, your ministry would be more like that of Jesus. We must have a knowledge of the truth, that we may be able to meet its wily opponents; but we have certainly made a mistake in supposing that so much depends on long, argumentative discourses. If one part of your work must be limited, let it be the discourses; for unless your sermons are followed by personal effort, Satan will often catch away the seed of truth sown in the heart, and the good effect will be lost.
    I charge you, Do not do halfhearted work. Some of you who in the beginning of your ministry were earnest and persevering have grown weary of protracted effort and ceaseless turmoil, and you sigh for repose, and dream of leisure and fireside comfort. Some are greatly overworked, and are suffering in consequence; and others, by doing their work negligently, have brought double burdens upon these unselfish, thorough, God fearing workers. Some are not willing to bear reproach for Christ's sake. Think what mighty truths God has entrusted to our keeping, and let earnest work follow your thoughts. Do mighty strokes for God. There are no compromises to be made with sin, nor any with timidity and cowardice. The Christian worker knows no weariness; there is no drudgery in his Heaven appointed work. He enters into the joy of his Lord in seeing souls emancipated from the slavery of sin; and this joy more than repays him for every self-denial.
    Our faith is weak, our sense of God's requirements feeble. We must awake to duty. We must be endued with power from on high; we must have a baptism of the holy Spirit before we leave this place. Instead of resting satisfied with our present attainments, let us cherish a longing desire that our unclean lips may be purified, and touched with a live coal from off the altar. The words of God to us must come to the people, not in a hesitating, doubting manner, but with earnestness and power. We must pray more fervently, more perseveringly, that God may work in us and by us. In these days of multiplied popular fables, there is no way to reach the people only as God works through our efforts. Angels are commissioned to be our helpers. They are passing between earth and heaven, bearing upward the record of the doings of all the children of men.
    We can never be saved in inactivity. The life of Jesus rebukes every idler. In his strength we may do much greater and more perfect work. The promises of God are rich, and full, and free, and we may have the power of his salvation with us. Then why do we not believe him and work for him? It is because threads of unbelief are woven into all the woof of life; but shall we not now commence to weave in the precious golden threads of faith? Remember, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith." If clouds hide the sun from sight, we do not mourn as though it would never appear again. God's dear face of brightness is not always seen; but we are not to despond. It is our duty to trust him in the darkness, knowing that his love is changeless. Then let us put all our powers into our work; let us devote our voice and pen to the service of God, not laboring in our own strength or to please ourselves; and we shall see sinners converted, and God will give us a rich reward. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 1, 1884
(Vol. 61, #27)

 "Our Mighty Helper (Gen. Conf., Nov. 19, 1883)"

    Jesus is very precious to me this morning. There is gratitude in my heart for his mercy and love, for the privilege of counting myself a child of God, and of crying, Abba, Father. I wish everyone present could realize the rich blessing that Jesus is waiting to bestow upon us,--upon each one; for he is no respecter of persons. It is our privilege to say with Paul, "I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
    And yet how many are making laborious work of walking in the narrow way of holiness. To many the peace and rest of this blessed way seems no nearer today than it did years in the past. They look afar off for that which is nigh; they make intricate that which Jesus made very plain. He is "the way, the truth, and the life." The plan of salvation has been plainly revealed in the word of God; but the wisdom of the world has been sought too much, and the wisdom of Christ's righteousness too little. And souls that might have rested in the love of Jesus, have been doubting, and troubled about many things.
    The testimonies borne here are not expressive of great faith. It is not hard to believe that Jesus will pardon others, but it seems impossible for each to exercise living faith for himself. But, dear brethren, is it profitable to express doubts in regard to the willingness of Christ to accept you? I fear you are depending too much on feeling, making that a criterion. You are losing much by this course; you are not only weakening your own souls, but the souls of others who look to you. You must trust Jesus for yourselves, appropriate the promises of God to yourselves, or how can you educate others to have humble, holy confidence in him? You feel that you have neglected duties, that you have not prayed as you should. You seem at a distance from Jesus, and think that he has withdrawn from you; but it is you who have separated from him. He is waiting for you to return. He will accept the contrite heart. His lips have assured us that he is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him than parents are to give good gifts to their children.
    We are wounded, polluted with sin; what shall we do to be healed from its leprosy? As far as it is in your power to do so, cleanse the soul temple of every defilement, and then look to the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." In the wilderness, when the Lord permitted poisonous serpents to sting the rebellious Israelites, Moses was directed to lift up a brazen serpent, and bid all the wounded look to it and live. But many saw no help in this Heaven appointed remedy. The dead and dying were all around them, and they knew that their fate was certain; but they would lament their wounds, their pains, their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they might have had instant healing.
    "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," even so was "the Son of man lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." If you are conscious of your wants, do not devote all your powers to representing them and mourning over them, but look and live. Jesus is our only Saviour; and notwithstanding millions who need to be healed will reject his offered mercy, not one who trusts in his merits will be left to perish.
    Why do you refuse to come to Jesus and receive rest and peace? You may have the blessing this morning. Satan suggests that you are helpless, and cannot bless yourself. It is true; you are helpless. But lift up Jesus before him: "I have a Saviour. In him I trust, and he will never suffer me to be confounded. In his name I triumph. He is my righteousness, and my crown of rejoicing." Let not one here feel that his case is hopeless; for it is not. It may seem to you that you are sinful and undone; but it is just on this account that you need a Saviour. If you have sins to confess, lose no time. These moments are golden. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled; for Jesus has promised it. Precious Saviour! His arms are open to receive us, and his great heart of love is waiting to bless us.
    The important future is before us; and to meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties will require great faith, energy, and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously. Not one waiting, watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All Heaven is interested in our welfare, and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. If any of us are not saved, it will be because we have chosen the service of Christ's great adversary, and the companionship of those who are his loyal followers.
    The Lord is willing to do great things for us. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through the full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in his strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel.
    There is a lesson for us in the story of Gideon's army. The ten thousand men who chose to follow Gideon were a small company compared with the vast and powerful army they were to meet. But the Lord would not work with them; for their trust was altogether too much in their own strength and skill. Gideon was astonished when the Lord said his army was still too large. When they came to a stream the Lord singled out the three hundred who in their haste caught up water in their hands as those through whom he would deliver Israel, while those who felt that there was time to get down on their knees to drink could return to their homes. Through this little handful of tried men the Lord wrought for his people; and their enemies, who were as grasshoppers for multitude, were utterly defeated and destroyed. Thus in a most decided manner the Lord made known to Gideon and his army that he was interested in his people and their cause. He revealed his power in their behalf, and taught them to look to him in every difficulty.
    The Lord is just as willing to work through human efforts now, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities. It is essential to have an intelligent knowledge of the truth; for how else could we meet its wily opponents? The Bible must be studied, not alone for the doctrines it teaches, but for its practical lessons. You should never be surprised, you should never be without your armor on. Be prepared for any emergency, for any call of duty. Be waiting, watching for every opportunity to present the truth familiar with the prophecies, familiar with the lessons of Christ. But do not trust in well prepared arguments. Argument alone is not enough. God must be sought on your knees; you must go forth to meet the people through the power and influence of his Spirit.
    Act promptly. God would have you minutemen, as were the men who composed Gideon's army. Many times ministers are too precise, too calculating. While they are getting ready to do a great work, the opportunity for doing a good work passes unimproved. The minister moves as though the whole burden rested on himself, a poor finite man, when Jesus is carrying him and his burden too. Brethren, trust self less, and Jesus more. He is willing to save the souls for whom we labor. Because he lives to intercede for us, we shall see of his great power. He "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" Jesus wants us to ask for help; he wants us to cast our helpless souls on him; and he will give us according to our faith.
    Ministers who are self-sufficient, and feel that so much depends upon themselves, give Jesus no room to work, and but little credit when he does work. They trust in their own ability, forgetting the words of Christ, "Without me ye can do nothing." The man that is self-righteous and wise in his own eyes,--rich and increased in goods, having need of nothing,--cannot ask in faith, and receive, because he trusts in himself, and feels no lack. His works testify that he labors out of Christ. It is those who feel themselves sinful before God, poor and helpless, that Jesus loves to help; for they will appreciate his aid. They have a longing desire to do the Master's work, and, knowing that the power is not of themselves, they take hold of the mighty arm of God, and by faith claim his promises.
    God is not pleased when his servants remain weak, wanting in courage, in faith, in hope, in love, and consequently inefficient laborers in his cause. God has given men reasoning powers, not to remain inactive or be perverted to earthly and sordid pursuits, but that these powers may be developed to the utmost, and used in his service to advance the interests of his kingdom.
    A high standard of purity and nobility of character is set before the Christian, and he can attain to this excellence only through the aid of Christ. But many experience grief, pain, and disappointment, because they are unwilling to fill the humble place which God's providence assigns them, where they will remain unnoticed and unknown. They love the supremacy, and their anxiety leads them to work against their brethren, fearing they will be preferred before them. Envy, malice, jealousy, and distrust are cherished in the heart, and Jesus cannot dwell where these evil traits are entertained. He invites those who are ambitious of preferment to come unto him, and at the foot of the cross of Calvary learn his meekness and lowliness of heart. If any desire high positions of trust, the Lord will lay the burden, not on them, but on those who have tested and proved them, and can understandingly urge them forward.
    The followers of Christ should not praise and flatter one another; for Satan will do a plenty of this work, and if persons have a high opinion of their own ability, it will prevent them from learning in the school of Christ. Let none censure and condemn others; for in doing this they are co-laborers with him who is the accuser of the brethren, who would steal from their hearts every particle of love for one another. Christians should not seek to tear others down that they may build themselves up on their ruins, but they should endeavor to strengthen and encourage one another.
    We should make it our daily care to cultivate sympathy and affection for one another. This is the fruit that grows on the Christian tree; it does not produce the briars and thorns of hatred and strife. The harsh, unsympathetic words we sometimes hear spoken, and the hardheartedness we see manifested, are wholly Satanic and this spirit must be supplanted by the Spirit of Christ. Jesus bids us, "Love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." He is our mighty helper; and if he abides in our hearts, we shall manifest his spirit. We shall love one another--we cannot help it, for he is love. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 8, 1884
(Vol. 61, #28)

 "Thoroughness in the Christian Minister (Gen. Conf., Nov. 20, 1883)"

    I thank the Lord for the marked manifestation of his Spirit that we have enjoyed in our meeting this morning. We have had sweet peace and joy in our hearts. But my soul is drawn out after God. I fear many do not grasp his promises firmly, but depend too much on feeling instead of what the Lord says. Have we not every evidence that Jesus is waiting to bless us? Is it his will that we should go forth to labor in his cause, and yet have no special help, no power from on high, to attend our labors?
    It is our duty to vindicate the claims of the law of God. This holy law is almost universally despised and made void in the land, but that is no reason why any of us should turn traitors to God and our duty. We may honor God by respecting the claims of his law. Now, when it is held in great contempt, he will be most glorified by our loyalty. We should say with David, "I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." We are not to wage this warfare against error at our own charges. God has never bidden us hold up the standard of his law in these days of general apostasy without the aid of divine grace and power. Mere arguments, however clear and convincing, are not enough. We may have help from God, and we should not feel free to go out to battle without the evidence that his presence will attend us.
    We need to have a deeper experience. We must pray more, believing that we have a living Saviour. Jesus loves us; he has not withdrawn himself from us, but we have withdrawn from him. There is often too little fervency in our prayers. The Scriptures are not studied with earnestness; the word of God is not made the rule of life. Paul charged Timothy, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine." The heart must be right with God. But we do not urge you to prosecute your work only when you have a happy flight of feeling; for feeling would mislead you. The victory is gained through faith; then do not be years learning how to take God at his word. Ministers, you who have had years of experience, never let the hand of faith tremble in grasping the promises of God; for your unbelief is a stumblingblock to the young and inexperienced, and gives the powers of darkness occasion to triumph.
    Be diligent in the service of God: It is not enough to preach in the pulpit; you should carry the truth to homes. Show those in error that you love them. Indifference here is sin. There should be fewer long sermons, and more time spent in visiting, in making personal efforts for souls. Self-denying labor is needed, and will result in great good, but it has been sadly neglected.
    You want to do a great work, but you do not work in the right spirit. You carry heavy burdens, and groan under the load, when Jesus invites you to lay your burdens at the foot of the cross, and find rest to your souls. When we see you working so hard, and almost ready to faint, when we see you grieve and mourn at every step, we know that you have lessons to learn in the school of Christ before you can successfully teach others. Without Jesus by your side you will find the way and work hard. You have much to learn, dear brethren, before you will accept the rest that he invites you to find in him. If you look to yourselves, and deplore your weakness and sinfulness, and continue to do this, you will make no advancement, but will remain spiritual dwarfs. You should be intelligent, growing Christians; for how else can you labor with the zeal, energy, and devotion necessary to insure success?
    Do not cultivate a pride for consistency in petty matters, and thus gain the reputation of being a fusser. Such a course lends no strength to the cause of truth. We are none of us required to make ourselves singular, or to be martyrs in a small way all through life, by contending for little things when there is really nothing to contend about. Those who take this course pity themselves, thinking they have so much trouble on account of being conscientious, upright, and straightforward in everything. But instead of being influenced by conscientiousness, they are indulging a wicked, selfish pride of notions. The life that is thought so straightforward is full of crookedness, and no one can live at peace with them, except by humoring their whims, and ever studying to avoid a collision.
    If these persons could only know how much trouble and grief they bring upon themselves by imagining that they are having a hard time and are great sufferers, they would change the current of their thoughts. We need not keep our own record of trials and difficulties, griefs and sorrows. All these things are written in the books, and Heaven will take care of them. While we are carefully counting up these disagreeable things, many things that are pleasant to reflect upon are passing from the memory; such as the merciful kindness of God surrounding us every moment, and the love over which angels marvel, that God gave his Son to die for us.
    The path of uprightness is the path of peace. Those who have the meekness and lowliness of Christ can walk this humble path calmly, restfully, trustingly. No matter what may be our temperament, we may walk this path if we will. It is plain, and there is no need of constant anxiety and fear, fretting and worry, lest we shall lose the way. This path is the highway of holiness, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. It is the glorious path of the just, which "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Those who walk this way will wear a cheerful, happy countenance; for it is lighted up by bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness.
    Remember that your works must stand the test of the Judgment. Let your eye be single to the glory of God, your hearts pure, your thoughts brought into obedience to the will of Christ. Do something everyday to improve, beautify, and ennoble the life that Christ has purchased by his own blood.
    It was the joy of Christ to save souls. Let this be your work and your joy. Perform all duties and make all sacrifices for Christ's sake, and he will be your constant helper. Go straight forward when the voice of duty calls; let no seeming difficulties obstruct your path. Take up your God given responsibilities; and as you bear your sometimes heavy burdens, do not ask, "Why idle stands my brother, no yoke upon him laid?" Do the duty nearest you thoroughly and well, not coveting praise, but as working for the Master because you belong to him.
    Paul exhorted Timothy, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We are to give the message of warning to the world, and how are we doing our work? Are you, brethren, preaching that part of the truth that pleases the people, while other parts of the work are left incomplete? Will it be necessary for some one to follow after you, and urge upon the people the duty of faithfully bringing all the tithes and offerings into the Lord's treasury? This is the work of the minister, but it has been sadly neglected. The people have robbed God, and the wrong has been suffered because the minister did not want to displease his brethren. God calls these men unfaithful stewards. The charge to his servants is, "Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine." If the under shepherds do their duty with fidelity, when the chief Shepherd shall appear he will give them "a crown of glory that fadeth not away." Daniel saw their reward, and he says, "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever."
    Writing to his Philippian brethren, Paul sets before them the anxiety he experienced lest those who were newly converted should be drawn away from the pure and simple faith of Christ. He exhorts them to be in nothing terrified by their adversaries. "For unto you it is given," he says, "in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake, having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me." He could see and understand their danger; and he prayed most earnestly in their behalf, that their hearts might be comforted, strengthened, knit together in love. Love is the bond of perfectness, an element of strength. United in faith and love, having a thorough knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity, they would not only believe and defend the gospel of Christ, but if need be, suffer for it.
    The apostle labored to "present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." This is the high standard that every minister should strive to reach. He is not fulfilling his commission unless he has an experience similar to that of Paul, and labors with the same unselfish spirit.
    The guardian angels whom Jacob saw in vision ascending and descending that ladder of shining brightness, are with us, recording our work, and bringing us divine strength and power to be combined with human effort. These angels weep over the coldness, the indolence, and want of love for souls, that exists among ministers who are laboring in their own strength.
    Do not be unreliable in your Christian course. Sin must not be cherished. This is a time when the love of many is waxing cold, and any defection on your part will encourage others in a wrong course, and lead to many and grievous transgressions. Do not set an example of lukewarmness; do not turn away from the testimonies of the Spirit of God. We are intrusted with a solemn message to give to the world, and there is much at stake. What a fearful thing it would be if any of us were to prove unfaithful to our sacred, holy trust, and in the Judgment be condemned to be separated from God and lose heaven.
    We cannot be safe amid the temptations that surround us in these times of peril without constantly watching unto prayer. We must guard against accepting a low standard of our own instead of the high Bible standard of character. Satan works through defects in character to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Often he gains the advantage, and betrays into sin those who should represent Christ to the world; and our Saviour is more deeply afflicted by this ingratitude and disobedience than is a tender, loving mother by the misconduct of a wayward child.
    You may forget childish things, and grow in grace day by day. As you make advancement, set your face like a flint against all falsehood, all pretense. You will sometimes be flattered by men, but more frequently by women. Especially when you present the truth in new fields, will you meet persons who will engage in this wicked flattery. As a servant of Christ, despise the flattery; shun it as you would a venomous serpent. Rebuke the woman who will praise your smartness, holding your hand as long as she can retain it in her own. Have little to say to persons of this class; for they are the agents of Satan, and carry out his plans by laying bewitching snares to beguile you from the path of holiness. Every sensible Christian lady will act a modest part; she will understand the devices of Satan, and will not be a co-laborer with him.
    Never earn the reputation of being a minister who is a particular favorite with the women. Shun the society of those who by their arts would weaken in the least your purpose to do right, or bring a stain upon the purity of your conscience. Do not give them your time or your confidence; for they will leave you feeling bereft of your spiritual strength. Do nothing among strangers, on the cars, in the home, in the street, that would have the least appearance of evil. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 15, 1884
(Vol. 61, #29)

 "Dangerous Amusements for the Young"

    We are living in an unfortunate age for the young. A heavy current is setting downward to perdition, and parents should deal faithfully with the souls committed to their trust. Satan is constantly presenting inducements to attract minds from the solemn work of preparation for scenes just in the future. He is in every sense of the word a deceiver, a skillful charmer. He is wide awake, busily engaged in leading the world captive. Through the agency of worldlings, he keeps up a continual pleasing excitement to induce the unwary to unite with them. The desire for excitement and pleasing entertainment is a temptation and a snare to God's people, and especially to the young. There are shows, lectures, and an endless variety of entertainments constantly arising, that are calculated to lead to a love of the world; and through this union with the world faith is weakened.
    The prevailing influence in society is in favor of allowing the youth to follow the natural turn of their own minds. If they are very wild, parents flatter themselves with the hope that when they are older, and reason for themselves, they will leave off their wrong habits, and become useful men and women. What a mistake! For years they permit an enemy to sow the garden of the heart, suffer wrong principles to grow and strengthen, and in many cases all the labor bestowed on that soil will avail nothing. Satan is an artful, persevering workman, a deadly foe. Whenever an incautious word is spoken to the injury of youth, whether in flattery, or to cause them to look upon some sin with less abhorrence, he takes advantage of it, and nourishes the evil seed, that it may take root and yield a bountiful harvest.
    He has many finely woven, dangerous nets, which appear innocent, but are skillfully prepared to entangle the young and unwary. Often these snares are disguised in coverings of light borrowed from heaven; but those who fall victims to these devices pierce themselves through with many sorrows.
    The standard of piety is low among professed Christians generally, and it is hard for the young to resist the influence. The mass of professed Christians have removed the line of distinction between them and the world, and while they profess to be living for Christ, they are really living for the world. They do not discern the excellence of heavenly things, and therefore cannot truly love them. They profess to be Christians because it is considered honorable, and there is no cross for them to bear; but their religion has but little influence to restrain them from worldly pleasures. Some such professors can enter the ballroom, and unite in all the amusements which it affords. Others cannot go to such lengths as this; yet they can attend parties of pleasure, picnics, donations, shows, and other places of amusement; and the most discerning eye would fail to detect in such professors of religion one mark of Christianity. There is no difference between their appearance and that of unbelievers. In the present state of society, it is no easy task for parents to restrain their children, and instruct them according to the Bible rule of right. They often become impatient, and wish to have their own way, and go and come as they please. Especially from the age of ten to eighteen, they often feel that there would be no harm in going to picnics and other gatherings of young associates; yet the experienced Christian parent sees danger. Parents are acquainted with the peculiar temperaments of their children, and know the influence of these things upon their minds, and from a desire for their salvation, keep them back from these exciting amusements. Even when the children choose for themselves to leave the pleasures of the world, and become Christ's disciples, the labor of the parents must not cease. They have just commenced in earnest the warfare against sin and the evils of the natural heart, and they need the counsel and watchcare of their parents.
    Young Sabbathkeepers who have yielded to the influence of the world, will have to be tested and proved. The perils of the last days are upon us, and a trial is before the young which they have not anticipated. They will be brought into distressing perplexity, and the genuineness of their faith will be proved. They profess to be looking for the Son of man; yet some of them have been a miserable example to unbelievers. They have not been willing to give up the world, but have united with them in attending picnics and other gatherings for pleasure, flattering themselves that they were engaging in innocent amusement. Yet it is just such indulgences that separate them from God, and make them children of the world. God does not own the pleasure seeker as his follower. Those only who are self-denying, and who live a life of sobriety, humility, and holiness, are true followers of Jesus; and such cannot enjoy the frivolous, empty conversation of the lovers of the world.
    There is chaff among us, and this is why we are so weak. Some are constantly leaning to the world. Their views and feelings harmonize much better with the spirit of the world than with that of Christ's self-denying followers. It is perfectly natural for them to prefer the company of those whose spirit will best agree with their own. And such have quite too much influence among God's people.
    They take part with them, and have a name among them, and are a text for unbelievers and the weak and unconsecrated ones in the church. These persons of two minds will ever have objections to the plain, pointed testimony which reproves individual wrongs. In this refining time, they will either be wholly converted, and sanctified by obeying the truth, or they will be left with the world, where they belong, to receive their reward with them.
    It cannot be harmless for servants of the heavenly King to engage in the pleasures and amusements which Satan's servants engage in, even though they often repeat that such amusements are harmless. God has revealed sacred and holy truths to separate his people from the ungodly, and purify them unto himself, and they should live out their faith.
    The true followers of Jesus will have sacrifices to make. They will discard places of worldly amusement; for they find no Jesus there,--no influence which will make them heavenly minded, and increase their growth in grace. Obedience to the word of God leads us to come out from all these things, and be separate. But the things of the world are sought for, and considered worthy to be admired and enjoyed, by all who are not spiritually minded.
    "By their fruits ye shall know them." All the followers of Christ bear fruit to his glory. Their lives testify that a good work has been wrought in them by the Spirit of God, and their fruit is unto holiness. Their lives are elevated and pure. Right actions are unmistakable fruits of true godliness, and those who bear no fruit have no experience in the things of God. They are not in the Vine. Says Jesus, "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."
    If we would be spiritual worshipers of the true God, we must sacrifice every idol. Jesus said to the lawyer, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." The first four precepts of the decalogue allow no separation of the affections from God. Nor is anything allowed to divide or share our supreme delight in him. Whatever divides the affections, and takes away from the soul supreme love to God, assumes the form of an idol. Our carnal hearts would cling to our idols, and seek to carry them along; but we cannot advance till we put them away, for they separate us from God.
    The great Head of the church has chosen his people out of the world, and requires them to be separate. He designs that the spirit of his commandments shall draw them to himself, and separate them from the elements of the world. To love God and keep his commandments is far from loving the world's pleasures and friendship. There is no concord between Christ and Belial. The people of God may safely trust in him alone, and without fear press on in the way of obedience.
    Young people who follow Christ have a warfare before them; they have a daily cross to bear in coming out from the world, and being separate, and imitating the life of Christ. But there are many precious promises on record for those who seek their Saviour early. Says the wise man, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." Wisdom calls to the sons of men, "I love them that love me; and they that seek me early shall find me." They will find that the "path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day;" and at the last, the Judge of all the earth will give everyone according to his works. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 22, 1884
(Vol. 61, #30)

 "Duties and Privileges of the Christian Laborer (Gen. Conf., Nov. 20, 1883)"

    It is a privilege to express my gratitude to God for these meetings now in the past. This is the best general meeting I have ever attended. We know that we have had the presence and blessing of God. He has breathed upon us his Holy Spirit. To me and to many others, Heaven has seemed very near; and we have been led to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
    Through the Bible readings the truth has been brought out with clearness and power. Deeper, broader views have been taken of divine truth and of our responsibility to God. Hearts have been subdued and softened by the love of God. Through grace the capacity to understand and appreciate the truth has been enlarged; and as we continue to advance in grace, our ability will still further increase, and we shall better understand the ways of God and the plan of redemption.
    Never feel that there is no need of applying yourself diligently to the study of the word. If you search for truth as for hid treasures, the Scriptures will unfold to you more and more. Many of you might be far in advance of what you now are. Young men who are just beginning to labor are in danger of thinking that because they have become familiar with a few subjects, they are qualified to present the truth anywhere. These lose much by wasting precious, golden moments that should be spent in studying the prophecies or the practical lessons of Christ.
    The morning meetings have been most precious. To me they have been a continual feast,--like heavenly manna to my soul. We have met Jesus in the assembly of his people. We have learned of him, and of his willingness to receive all who come to him in humble faith, taking God at his word. We have learned that if we would receive the dew of divine grace, we must allow nothing to come between God and our souls. We have seen many obtaining such a knowledge as they never had before of the true Source of spiritual strength and moral power. I knew that Jesus was waiting to be gracious, and that my brethren feared to take his offered mercy; and I have enjoyed seeing them receive rich blessings at his hand. I have not found it difficult to rejoice with those that rejoice, and to weep with those that weep.
    We have felt sad over the cases of some who have long been under the special power of the enemy. We had hoped to see them deeply impressed and converted at these meetings; but Satan spread his snare for them. For months he has been diligently working up his plans to prevent them from being present. They do not know what they have lost. Others who have been drunken with the spirit of the world, and have been entreated and reproved, did not want to be here. In view of the little time we have in which to prepare for our future home, we should not allow indifference to keep us away from such meetings, nor entanglements to arise which will make it impossible for us to attend them.
    We can never forget these good meetings. But now we are about to separate, and to be widely scattered. Our ministers go to their several fields of labor refreshed and strengthened, with broader views of the love of God, and of his willingness to work with their efforts, than they have heretofore had. Sensitive persons, as they view the conflicts and trials before them, shrink from the responsibility they must bear in warning the world of the judgments that are about to come. They fear its rude touch will stain their souls. But we are none of us to be shut up as precious perfumes, lest the fragrance shall escape. We have enjoyed a Pentecostal season; we have been warmed by the love of Jesus, invigorated by the clear, firm truths of the word of God, and refreshed by the dews of divine grace, all for a purpose, that we may shed forth to the world a sweet fragrance from Eden. We have gathered divine rays of light, that they may be reflected to others in good works.
    There are souls to be won to Christ. There is a great and solemn work before us to prepare the people to stand in the day of the Lord. We have but little time here, and the best use we can make of our faculties is to consecrate them to the work of God. It is the duty of everyone, not only of those who occupy the position of watchmen on the walls of Zion, but of the laymen also, to do their utmost to advance the cause of God and save their fellowmen. Opposition must be met. We shall be hated of all men for Christ's sake, and by Satan, because he knows that a divine power attends this work which will undermine his influence. But Heaven is open before us; we may take hold of divine strength. As children of God, it is our privilege and duty to come directly to him, and claim a Father's blessing. He will give it. Iniquity abounds, and for this very reason God is willing to give more grace and reveal himself to his people.
    I beseech you, do not withhold yourselves from God. We have seen of his salvation; but I have longed to hear happy souls saying, "My cup runneth over. Jesus, precious Saviour, is the crown of my rejoicing." The moment you surrender yourself wholly to him in simple faith, Jesus accepts you, and encircles you in his arms of love. He holds you more firmly than you can grasp him. Come to the light, and triumph in God. Then shall your peace be as a river, and your "righteousness as the waves of the sea."
    Expel sin from your hearts; for sin caused the death of the Son of God. Let your conversation be in heaven, "from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." Never forget, wherever your lot may be cast, that you are pilgrims and strangers here, journeying to a better country, even a heavenly. The talents you possess, the property God has lent you, must be used in doing good, in laying up treasure in heaven. The work which you are doing with your hand or your brain, must stand the test of the Judgment. How will it then appear? Are you acting well your part in preparing yourselves and others for glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life? Are you doing anything that you will wish undone when the books shall be opened, and you meet your deeds as they stand registered in heaven?
    "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." "The world knoweth us not because it knew him not." We are not understood by the world, we never shall be; but we must not let this discourage us. We are not to look at present appearances, nor be angry when we are misjudged, but we should improve every opportunity of doing good.
    It is wise to seek humility and meekness, and to carefully avoid raising a combative spirit, thus closing ears and hearts to the truth. Hold your mouth as with a bridle when the wicked are before you. When tempted to say sarcastic things, refrain. Censure no one; condemn no one. Let the life argue for Jesus, and the lips be opened with wisdom to defend the truth. The consistent life, the long forbearance, the spirit unruffled under provocation, is always the most conclusive argument and the most solemn appeal. We are often brought into positions that are trying, where human nature longs to break forth; but in such cases be still, do not retaliate.
    We must drink deeper draughts from the well of salvation. How can we possibly enter into the spirit of Christ's teachings unless we are partakers of the divine nature? We are seeking to vindicate the law of God. We need the energy of the Holy Spirit to accompany our efforts. Never venture to enter the desk until you have wrestled with God in prayer, and come forth as seeing Him who is invisible, with your faces lighted up with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. You will then have no tame words to offer. The divine truths which glow in your own breast will kindle the hearts of others. The men who would teach others the art of success in the sacred ministry should understand that art themselves. The best way to teach youthful laborers is to do yourself what you expect them to do.
    In every prayer let the hand of living faith lay hold upon infinite help. Faith is the medium by which the renewed heart is drawn close to the great heart of love. Faith elevates the sinking soul. Faith lightens every burden and relieves every weariness by the anticipation of the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare for them that love him.
    Jesus is the foundation and the author and finisher of our faith. Why are we so powerless? Jesus lives; and because he lives, we shall live also. He is to us not a Saviour in Joseph's new tomb, closed with a great stone, and sealed with the Roman seal. Mourn not as those who are hopeless and helpless; never, under any circumstances, give way to despair; but from grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, "Jesus is risen; he lives to make intercession for us." Grasp this hope, and it will hold the soul like a sure, tried anchor. Believe, and thou shalt "see the glory of God."
    Will it make you sad to be buffeted, despised, derided, maligned of the world? It ought not; for Jesus told us just how it would be. "If the world hate you," he says, "ye know it hated me before it hated you." The apostle Paul, the great hero of faith, testifies: "For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Look up, my brethren, look up. Let the love of God into your souls. Through Jesus the treasures of heaven are at our command, and what is there that he will not do for us? The Father also loves us, and is waiting to be gracious. "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?"
    Are we working to proclaim truth, righteousness, and the love of God? This is the work that is assigned us. Even in bereavements we should not stop to grieve; but let us show our love for the faithful workers who have gone to their rest, by doing the work they would have done had they lived. While we do our own work, we may also take up theirs where they left it, and firmly and courageously carry forward the banner of truth to final victory.
    Brethren, your aims are altogether too low. You have not used the great moral faculties of the soul,--faith, hope, and love. These powers are given us not to lie dormant, but that through their exercise the soul may be brought into harmony with heaven; but with many of you they are paralyzed through inaction, and as a consequence you are weak and helpless. Do not let your great need discourage you. The Saviour of sinners, the Friend of the friendless, with compassion infinitely greater than that of a tender mother for a loved and afflicted child, is inviting, "Look unto me, and be ye saved." "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." We may take hold of his strength, and make peace with God. Jesus will quicken all the faculties of the soul, and impart new life and energy.
    While you should make every effort to reach the highest standard of intellectual excellence, you should avoid self-sufficiency and dependence on your own ability. Learn of Jesus. He was the greatest teacher the world ever knew; yet he spoke in the language of common life. He met the necessities of all. He adapted his instruction to all times and places, to both the rich and the poor, the educated and the ignorant. He ever dwelt upon the grandest themes that can engage the attention; and he presented them in such a form, and used such illustrations, that the feeblest intellects could grasp his meaning, while the most intelligent minds were attracted and instructed.
    Let us beware lest we lose the simplicity of the gospel of Christ. We must become as little children in humility, in consciousness of our own weakness. We must learn from the Divine Teacher lessons of higher wisdom than were ever taught in the most exalted schools of human institution.
    There is danger of not making Christ's teachings a personal matter, of not receiving them as though they were addressed to us personally. In his words of instruction, Jesus means me. I may appropriate to myself his merits, his death, his cleansing blood, as fully as though there were not another sinner in the world for whom Christ died. In listening to his teachings with understanding open to receive his words, we display the highest wisdom. In being doers of the word,--obeying Christ by leading self-denying lives and forming pure and holy characters,--we shall secure the life which measures with the life of God.
    There are toils and conflicts and self-denials for us all. Not one will escape them. We must tread the path where Jesus leads the way, it may be in tears, in trials, in bereavements, in sorrow for sins, or in seeking for the mastery over depraved desires, unbalanced characters, and unholy tempers. It requires earnest effort to present ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. It takes the entire being. There is no chamber of the mind where Satan can hold sway, and carry out his devices. Self must be crucified. Consecration, submission, and sacrifices must be made that will seem like taking the very lifeblood from the heart.
    When self dies, there will be awakened an intense desire for the salvation of others, which will lead to persevering efforts to do good. There will be a sowing beside all waters; and earnest supplication, importunate prayers, will enter heaven in behalf of perishing souls. There will be an earnestness, a persistency, that will not let go. Love to Jesus will lead to ardent love for the souls of our fellowmen.
    Now, as we are about to separate, the question arises, shall we all meet again in General Conference? Probably we shall not; but where, then, will be our next grand meeting? and when shall we again greet each other? We have wept and rejoiced together here; but if we never meet again on earth, shall we unite our voices in songs of triumph around the great white throne? Shall we each prove worthy of the precious boon of eternal life? God grant that not one face may be missing, not one voice wanting, when the hallelujahs are sung in the courts of heaven. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 29, 1884
(Vol. 61, #31)

 "The Duty to Preserve Health"

    The health reform is an important part of the third angel's message; and as a people professing this reform, we should not retrograde, but make continual advancement. It is a great thing to insure health by placing ourselves in right relations to the laws of life, and many have not done this. A large share of the sickness and suffering among us is the result of the transgression of physical law, is brought upon individuals by their own wrong habits.
    Our ancestors have bequeathed to us customs and appetites which are filling the world with disease. The sins of the parents, through perverted appetite, are with fearful power visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations. The bad eating of many generations, the gluttonous and self-indulgent habits of the people, are filling our poorhouses, our prisons, and our insane asylums. Intemperance in drinking tea and coffee, wine, beer, rum, and brandy, and the use of tobacco, opium, and other narcotics, has resulted in great mental and physical degeneracy, and this degeneracy is constantly increasing.
    Are these ills visited upon the race through God's providence? No; they exist because the people have gone contrary to his providence, and still continue to rashly disregard his laws. In the words of the apostle I would entreat those who are not blinded and paralyzed by wrong teaching and practices, those who would render to God the best service of which they are capable: "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. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
    We have no right to wantonly violate a single principle of the laws of health. Christians should not follow the customs and practices of the world. The history of Daniel is placed upon record for our benefit. He chose to take a course that would make him singular in the king's court. He did not conform to the habits of courtiers in eating and drinking, but purposed in his heart that he would not eat of the king's meat nor drink of his wines. This was not a hastily formed, wavering purpose, but one that was intelligently formed and resolutely carried out. Daniel honored God; and the promise was fulfilled to him, "Them that honor me, I will honor." The Lord gave him "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom," and he "had understanding in all visions and dreams;" so that he was wiser than all in the king's courts, wiser than all the astrologers and magicians in the kingdom.
    Those who serve God in sincerity and truth will be a peculiar people, unlike the world, separate from the world. Their food will be prepared, not to encourage gluttony or gratify a perverted taste, but to secure to themselves the greatest physical strength, and consequently the best mental conditions.
    My sisters, do not place upon your tables food that is exciting and irritating, but that which is plain, wholesome, and nutritious. Do not have too great a variety at a meal; three or four dishes are a plenty. At the next meal you can have a change. The cook should tax her inventive powers to vary the dishes she prepares for the table, and the stomach should not be compelled to take the same kinds of food meal after meal.
    Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or iced lemonade, drank with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides, those who indulge in their use become slaves to the habit. Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must first be absorbed. Do not eat largely of salt, give up bottled pickles, keep fiery, spiced food out of your stomach, eat fruit with your meals, and the irritation that calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water drank some little time before or after the meal is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.
    Very hot food ought not to be taken into the stomach. Soups, puddings, and other articles of the kind, are often eaten too hot, and as a consequence the stomach is debilitated. Let them become partly cooled before they are eaten.
    In order to have healthy digestion, food should be eaten slowly. Those who wish to avoid dyspepsia, and those who realize their obligation to keep all their powers in the condition which will enable them to render the best service to God, will do well to remember this. If your time to eat is limited, do not bolt your food, but eat less, and eat slowly. The benefit you derive from your food does not depend so much on the quantity eaten as on its thorough digestion, nor the gratification of the taste so much on the amount of food swallowed as on the length of time it remains in the mouth. Those who are excited, anxious, or in a great hurry, would do well not to eat until they have found rest or relief; for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot supply the necessary gastric juice.
    When about to start on a journey, and obliged to meet the train at an hour earlier than your usual meal time, think of the results of irregular and rapid eating, and take something as a lunch, if it is no more than bread and an apple or some other kind of fruit. When traveling, some are almost constantly nibbling, if there is anything within their reach. This is a most pernicious practice. Animals that do not have reason, and that know nothing of mental taxation, may do this without injury; but they are no criterion for rational beings, who have mental powers that should be used for God and humanity. If travelers would eat regularly of the simplest and most nutritious kinds of food, they would not experience so great weariness, nor suffer so much from sickness.
    It is quite a common custom with people of the world to eat three times a day, besides eating at irregular intervals between meals; and the last meal is generally the most hearty, and is often taken just before retiring. This is reversing the natural order; a hearty meal should never be taken so late in the day. Should these persons change their practice, and eat but two meals a day, and nothing between meals, not even an apple, a nut, or any kind of fruit, the result would be seen in a good appetite and greatly improved health.
    Our Saviour warned his disciples that in the last days, just prior to his second coming, a state of things would exist very similar to that which preceded the flood. Eating and drinking would be carried to excess, and the world would be given up to business and pleasure. This state of things does exist at the present time. The world is largely given up to the indulgence of appetite; and the disposition to follow its customs and maxims will bring us into bondage to perverted habits,--habits that will make us more and more like the doomed inhabitants of Sodom.
    Excessive indulgence in eating and drinking is sin. Our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us the great blessing of health reform, that we may glorify him by obeying the claims he has upon us. It is the duty of those who have received the light upon this important subject to manifest a greater interest for those who are still suffering for want of knowledge. Those who are looking for the soon appearing of their Saviour should be the last to manifest a lack of interest in this great work of reform. The harmonious, healthy action of all the powers of body and mind results in happiness; the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness. An aimless life is a living death. The mind should dwell upon themes relating to our eternal interests. This will be conducive to health of body and mind.
    Our faith requires us to elevate the standard of reform, and take advance steps. The condition of our acceptance with God is a practical separation from the world. The Lord calls upon us as a people, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate," "and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you." The world may despise you because you do not meet their standard, engage in their dissipating amusements, and follow their pernicious ways; but the God of heaven promises to receive you, and to be a Father unto you. 'Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.' The apostle continues, "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." This is our work as Christians, to cleanse our robes of character from every spot. The spirit must be in harmony with the Spirit of Christ; the habits must be in conformity to his will, in obedience to his requirements. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 5, 1884
(Vol. 61, #32)

 "Christian Experience"

    When the children of Israel were slaves in the land of Egypt, God called them out of bondage into a place where they could worship him without restraint. He wrought for them in the way by miracles; he also proved them by bringing them into strait places. But, notwithstanding the wonderful dealings of God with them, and their deliverance so many times, they murmured when tried by him. Their language was, "Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt."
    Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days think it strange that the Israelites were so ungrateful as to forget what God had done for them, and even to murmur at the hardships they encountered as they journeyed, when in the sight of God these very persons have done worse than they. God has given us great light. We have a truth so clear, so plain, that it cannot be resisted; yet this great blessing has not been prized, or even realized. If trials arise, some think they have a hard time, and begin to look back. Some do not know what purifying trials are, and make trials for themselves. They are easily discouraged, and Satan magnifies their grievances, and puts thoughts into their minds that, if given away to, will destroy their influence and usefulness.
    It is a fearful thing to murmur against God. Should his hand be withdrawn from these complaining ones, and they be left subject to disease and death, then they would know what trouble is. They do not bear in mind that the way which they are traveling is a rugged, self-denying way, and that they must not expect everything to move on as smoothly as though they were traveling in the broad road. God proves his people in this world. This is the fitting up place to appear in his presence. Here persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be selfishness, covetousness, pride, and other evil passions.
    Professors of religion are not willing to examine their own hearts closely; and it is a fearful fact that many are indulging a false hope. Some are leaning on an old experience which they had years ago; but when brought down to this heart searching time, when all should have a living experience, they have nothing to relate. When they subdue those sins which God hates, Jesus will come in and sup with them, and they with him. Drawing divine strength from Jesus, they will grow up in him, and be able to say with holy triumph, "Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." But it would be more pleasing to the Lord if lukewarm professors of religion had never named his name; for they are a stumblingblock to unbelievers, and a continual weight to those who would be faithful followers of Jesus.
    The Lord is soon coming, and we should not put off that event. It is our present duty to prepare for the things that are coming on the earth, and to let our works correspond with our faith. The mind must be stayed upon God; our influence should tell on the side of truth. We cannot honor the Lord when we are careless and indifferent; we cannot glorify him when we are desponding. We must be in earnest to secure our own soul's salvation, and to save others. All importance should be attached to this work, and everything else should be secondary.
    A form of godliness will not save any. All must have a deep and living experience. This alone will save them in the time of trouble. Then their work will be tried of what sort it is; and if it is gold, silver, and precious stones, they will be hid as in the secret of the Lord's pavilion; but if their work is wood, hay, and stubble, nothing can shield them from the fierceness of Jehovah's wrath.
    The young, as well as those who are older, will be required to give a reason of their hope. But the mind, designed by God for better things, formed to serve him perfectly, is often allowed to wander aimlessly, or to dwell upon subjects of no real interest. It might have been trained to grasp the true foundation of the Christian's hope; but its energies have been absorbed by story books, dress and show, pride and vanity. Those who allow themselves to be diverted with idle tales may have the imagination fed, but the mind is led directly from God. The interest is destroyed in his precious word, which has been given us to guide our feet through the perils of this dark world.
    That precious word tells us how we can escape the wrath of God, and of the great Sacrifice that has been offered that we might enjoy his presence forever. If any come short at last, having heard the truth as they have in this land of light, it will be their own fault; they will be without excuse. The way has been made plain; but they allow other things to divert the mind, and take no interest to find out the divine will. God is trifled with by professed Christians, and when his holy word shall judge them at the last day, they will be found wanting. That word is the standard; their motives, words, works, and the manner in which they use their time, will be compared with the written word of God; and if they come short, their cases are decided forever.
    Many measure themselves among themselves, and compare their lives with the lives of others. This should not be. No one but Christ is given us as an example. He is our true pattern, and each should strive to excel in imitating him. We are co-workers with Christ, or co-workers with the enemy. We either gather with Christ or scatter abroad. We are decided, wholehearted Christians, or none at all. Says Christ, "I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth."
    Some hardly know as yet what self-denial is, or what it is to suffer for the truth's sake; but none will enter heaven without making a sacrifice. A spirit of self-denial should be cherished. Some have not laid themselves a sacrifice on the altar of God. They indulge in hasty, fitful tempers, gratify their appetites, and attend to their own self-interest, regardless of the cause of God. Those who are willing to make any sacrifice for eternal life will have it, and it will be worth all that it costs. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will eclipse every earthly pleasure.
    I wish that all could realize something of the wondrous love of the Son of God, to whom angels ascribe praise, honor, and glory. He was so interested for our salvation that for our sakes he left his high command in heaven, and patiently bore every indignity and slight which man could heap upon him. He was wounded, smitten, and bruised; he was stretched on Calvary's cross, and suffered the most agonizing death, that we might enjoy the light and glory of heaven, and live with him in the mansions he is preparing for us.
    All heaven is interested in our salvation; and shall we be indifferent? Shall we be careless, as though it were a small matter whether we are saved or lost? Shall we slight the sacrifice that has been made for us? Some have done this, and the frown of God is upon them. But his Spirit will not always be grieved. After God has done all that could be done to save men, if they still show by their lives that they slight offered mercy, death will be their portion; and it will be a dreadful death, for they will have to feel the agony that Christ felt upon the cross. They will then realize what they have lost,--eternal life and the immortal inheritance.
    Young and old have a conflict before them. They should not sleep for a moment, for a wily foe is constantly on the alert to lead them astray and overcome them. There must be an entire, unreserved surrender to God, a forsaking and turning away from the love of the world and earthly things, or we cannot be Christ's disciples. Jesus is soon coming: and will he acknowledge as his people those who are conformed to the world? Oh, no. He will accept as his none but those who are pure and holy,--those who have been purified and made white, and have kept themselves separate, unspotted from the world.
    The life and spirit of Christ is the only standard of excellence and perfection; and our only safe course is to follow his example. If we do this, he will guide us by his counsel, and afterward receive us to glory. If we strive to walk in the footsteps of our Redeemer, if we live for it, and believe for it, God is willing to give us of his free Spirit,--more willing than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. Then we shall walk in the light, as he is in the light. And we shall "be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," that we may be "filled with all the fullness of God." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 12, 1884
(Vol. 61, #33)

 "Unity and Love"

    Text: "Let love be without dissimulation." Rom. 12:9.
    The great lesson that Christ taught by his life and example was that of unity and love among brethren. This love is the token of discipleship, the divine credentials which the Christian bears to the world. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Love to God and man must be an inwrought principle in the soul; for there is no other way that the Christian can become a "partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
    Great light is shining, and some have received the precious light, and hold it fast with rejoicing. But Satan has had too great power even over these. They have not had a zeal and wide-awake, unselfish interest corresponding with the truth they believe. Love has been wanting, and its absence greatly pleases our wily foe. He is the author of malice, envy, jealousy, hatred, and dissension, and he rejoices to see these weeds choke out love, that tender plant of heavenly growth. In his providence, God permits those who, deluded by the enemy, have chosen fables instead of unadulterated truth, to entertain the same feelings toward commandment keepers that the Jewish nation had toward their Master,--feelings that led them to reject him as the promised Messiah, and delivered him up to suffer a cruel death. And as the people of God meet with opposition from the powers of darkness and the ungodly around them, they are drawn nearer to each other.
    The question arises again and again, Why does the Lord suffer these trials to come, and this hatred to be kindled against those who love Jesus and are keeping the commandments of God? But Jesus suffered before us, and we are exhorted to "consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself," lest we be wearied and faint in our minds. The battle between the powers of darkness and the powers of light is continually going forward. Christ and Satan are each in the field: Christ ready to save to the uttermost all who come unto him; Satan determined to afflict and control. Satan is angry with the righteous; for their life of obedience to God brings them in constant collision with his plans and wishes.
    We are now living in the antitypical day of atonement. The great and solemn closing work is going forward in the sanctuary above. Every man is required to afflict his soul before God; every heart is required to be in harmony with the divine will. In this important time the great enemy intercepts himself between man and his Creator. He is continually seeking to separate the people of God from the love of Jesus, to draw them away from his protecting care. He it is that inclines the human soul unto vanity.. He leads men to gather attention to themselves, and to receive praise and honor that should be given to God. And the greatest trials that men meet come in consequence of their blindness to Satan's temptations.
    The Lord works in behalf of his people. He seeks to break the cruel power that Satan exercises over the children of men; and he would do great things for them if they would submit to his authority instead of choosing the service of Satan. He wrought wonderfully for his ancient people Israel to deliver them from their oppressive bondage in Egypt. He went through the proud land of the Pharaohs with tempest and fire, with plague and death. He rescued them from their servile state, and brought them to a good land,--a land that in his providence had been prepared for them as a refuge from their enemies, where they might dwell under the shadow of his wings. He brought them to himself and encircled them in his everlasting arms; and in return for all his goodness and mercy to them, they were required to have no other gods before him, the living God, and to exalt his name and make it glorious in the earth.
    All heaven is interested in man, and desires his salvation. This is the great aim in all God's dealings with individuals. Now, in 1884, Jesus is pleading in behalf of his people; and it is a matter of the greatest wonder to the heavenly host that so few care to be freed from the bondage of evil influences, so few are willing to exercise all their powers in harmony with Christ in the great work of their deliverance. If men could have unveiled before them the workings of the great deceiver to keep them in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity, how earnest would they be to renounce the works of darkness, how guarded lest they yield to temptation, how careful to see and remove every defect which mars the image of God in them; how they would press to the side of Jesus, and what earnest supplications would ascend to heaven for a calmer, closer, happier, walk with God.
    Jesus came to earth to be, not only man's Redeemer, but his great Exemplar. His was a perfect life, a life of meekness, lowliness, purity, and unlimited trust in God. He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and he taught us practically the great lesson of calm, constant, unwavering confidence in our heavenly Father. He permits temptations, trials, and afflictions to come to his loved ones. They are his providences, visitations of mercy to bring them back when they stray from his side, and give them a deeper sense of his presence and providential care. The peace that passeth understanding is not for those who shrink from trials, from struggles, and from self-denial. We cannot appreciate peace and joy in Christ, and the gift of eternal life, unless we are willing to make every sacrifice to obtain these great blessings.
    The eye of Jesus is upon us every moment. The clouds which intervene between the soul and the Sun of Righteousness are in the providence of God permitted to arise that our faith may be strengthened to grasp the great hopes, the sure promises, that shine undimmed through the darkness of every storm. Faith must grow through conflict and suffering. We must individually learn to suffer and be strong, and not sink down in weakness nor faint in adversity. We must not count our lives dear unto ourselves, but must walk in the path of duty, denying self for Christ's sake.
    The path to freedom from sin is through crucifixion of self, and conflict with the powers of darkness. Let none be discouraged in view of the severe trials to be met in the time of Jacob's trouble, which is yet before them. They are to work earnestly, anxiously, not for that time, but for today. What we want is to have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ now, and a personal experience now. In these precious closing hours of probation, we have a deep and living experience to gain. We shall thus form characters that will insure our deliverance in the time of trouble.
    The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christlike characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, uproot him entirely from their affections. For to love and cherish sin, is to love and cherish its author, that deadly foe of Christ. When they excuse sin and cling to perversity of character, they give Satan a place in their affections, and pay him homage.
    The work of the enemy is not abrupt, it is not sudden and startling; it is a secret undermining of the strongholds of principle. It commences in small things,--the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon him wholly, the disposition to concede to the demands of the world for the sake of gaining numbers on the church book. But soon a wide gulf is opened between the position of the shepherd of the flock and the plain truths of the word of God. Our only safety is in searching the Scriptures and in being much on our knees before God, entreating him to imbue us with his Spirit, that when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall for us lift up a standard against him.
    It is great kindness on the part of our heavenly Father when he allows us to be placed under circumstances that lessen the attractions of earth, and lead us to place our affections on things above. Frequently, the loss of earthly blessings teaches us more than their possession. When we pass through trials and afflictions, it is no evidence that Jesus does not love and bless us. The pitying Lamb of God identifies his interest with that of his suffering ones. He guards them every moment. He is acquainted with every grief; he knows every suggestion of Satan, every doubt that tortures the soul. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for he has experienced even more than we are passing through. He suffered, being tempted, that he might know how to succor those who are tempted, and thus bring many sons and daughters to glory. And when we remember these things, the divine love touchingly appeals to our hearts.
    Jesus, our Advocate, is inviting us to walk with him. He is pleading the case of the tempted, the erring, and the faithless. He is striving to lift them into companionship with himself. It is his work to sanctify his people, to cleanse, ennoble, and purify them, and fill their hearts with peace. He is thus fitting them for glory, honor, and eternal life; for an inheritance richer and more lasting than that of any earthly prince.
    As children of God, members of the royal family, we must cultivate disinterested love for one another. We must press together. We should guard the interests of our brethren, even though we may think they err. We are not perfect ourselves; we are not immortal. Elijah was a mighty man of God; yet he was "subject to like passions as we are." We must be tender, kind, and true to one another. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples," says Christ, "if ye have love one to another."
    Dear brethren and sisters, if we have the religion of Jesus in our hearts, it will be revealed in our lives. If we love Christ, we shall love one another. Let your life more than your lips, argue for your Saviour. It is by a well ordered life and godly conversation that you represent him to the world. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 19, 1884
(Vol. 61, #34)

 "Importance of Education (Address before the B.C. College Teachers and Students)"

    Text: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Ps. 111:10.
    The true object of education should be carefully considered. God has intrusted to each one capacities and powers, that they may be returned to him enlarged and improved. All his gifts are granted to us to be used to the utmost. He requires every one of us to cultivate our powers, and attain the highest possible capacity for usefulness, that we may do noble work for God, and bless humanity. Every talent that we possess, whether of mental capacity, money, or influence, is of God, so that we may say with David. "All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."
    Dear youth, what is the aim and purpose of your life? Are you ambitious for education that you may have a name and position in the world? Have you thoughts that you dare not express, that you may one day stand upon the summit of intellectual greatness; that you may sit in deliberative and legislative councils, and help to enact laws for the nation? There is nothing wrong in these aspirations. You may every one of you make your mark. You should be content with no mean attainments. Aim high, and spare no pains to reach the standard.
    The fear of the Lord lies at the foundation of all true greatness. Integrity, unswerving integrity, is the principle that you need to carry with you into all the relations of life. Take your religion into your school life, into your boardinghouse, into all your pursuits. The important question with you now is, how to so choose and perfect your studies that you will maintain the solidity and purity of an untarnished Christian character, holding all temporal claims and interests in subjection to the higher claims of the gospel of Christ. You want now to build as you will be able to furnish, to so relate yourself to society and to life that you may answer the purpose of God in your creation. As disciples of Christ, you are not debarred from engaging in temporal pursuits; but you should carry your religion with you. Whatever the business you may qualify yourself to engage in, never entertain the idea that you cannot make a success of it without sacrificing principle.
    Balanced by religious principle, you may climb to any height you please. We would be glad to see you rising to the noble elevation God designs that you shall reach. Jesus loves the precious youth; and he is not pleased to see them grow up with uncultivated, undeveloped talents. They may become strong men of firm principle, fitted to be intrusted with high responsibilities, and to this end they may lawfully strain every nerve.
    But never commit so great a crime as to pervert your God given powers to do evil and destroy others. There are gifted men who use their ability to spread moral ruin and corruption; but all such are sowing seed that will produce a harvest which they will not be proud to reap. It is a fearful thing to use God given abilities in such a way as to scatter blight and woe instead of blessing in society. It is also a fearful thing to fold the talent intrusted to us in a napkin, and hide it away in the world; for this is casting away the crown of life. God claims our service. There are responsibilities for every one to bear; and we can fulfill life's grand mission only when these responsibilities are fully accepted, and faithfully and conscientiously discharged.
    Says the wise man, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." But do not for a moment suppose that religion will make you sad and gloomy, and will block up the way to success. The religion of Christ does not obliterate or even weaken a single faculty. It in no way incapacitates you for the enjoyment of any real happiness; it is not designed to lessen your interest in life, or to make you indifferent to the claims of friends and society. It does not mantle the life in sackcloth; it is not expressed in deep-drawn sighs and groans. No, no; those who in everything make God first and last and best, are the happiest people in the world. Smiles and sunshine are not banished from their countenance. Religion does not make the receiver coarse and rough, untidy and uncourteous; on the contrary, it elevates and ennobles him, refines his taste, sanctifies his judgment, and fits him for the society of heavenly angels and for the home that Jesus has gone to prepare.
    Let us never lose sight of the fact that Jesus is a wellspring of joy. He does not delight in the misery of human beings, but loves to see them happy. Christians have many sources of happiness at their command, and they may tell with unerring accuracy what pleasures are lawful and right. They may enjoy such recreations as will not dissipate the mind or debase the soul, such as will not disappoint, and leave a sad after influence to destroy self-respect or bar the way to usefulness. If they can take Jesus with them, and maintain a prayerful spirit, they are perfectly safe.
    The psalmist says: "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. No scientific works are so well adapted to develop the mind as a contemplation of the great and vital truths and practical lessons of the Bible. No other book has ever been printed which is so well calculated to give mental power. Men of the greatest intellects, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered; they cannot comprehend the Creator or his works. But set the mind to grasp and measure eternal truth, summon it to effort by delving for the jewels of truth in the rich mine of the word of God, and it will never become dwarfed and enfeebled, as when left to dwell upon commonplace subjects.
    The Bible is the most instructive and comprehensive history that has ever been given to the world. Its sacred pages contain the only authentic account of the Creation. Here we behold the power that "stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth." Here we have a truthful history of the human race, one that is unmarred by human prejudice or human pride.
    In the word of God we find subject for the deepest thought; its truths arouse to the loftiest aspiration. Here we hold communion with patriarchs and prophets, and listen to the voice of the Eternal as he speaks with men. Here we behold what the angels contemplate with wonder,--the Son of God, as he humbled himself to become our substitute and surety, to cope single-handed with the powers of darkness, and to gain the victory in our behalf.
    Our youth have the precious Bible; and if all their plans and purposes are tested by the Holy Scriptures, they will be led into safe paths. Here we may learn what God expects of the beings formed in his image. Here we may 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 cravings of the heart. By giving heed to the teachings of God's word, men may rise from the lowest depths of ignorance and degradation to become sons of God, associates of sinless angels.
    The more the mind dwells upon these themes, the more it will be seen that the same principles run through natural and spiritual things. There is harmony between nature and Christianity; for both have the same Author. The book of nature and the book of revelation indicate the working of the same divine mind. There are lessons to be learned in nature; and there are lessons, deep, earnest, and all-important lessons, to be learned from the book of God.
    Young friends, the fear of the Lord lies at the very foundation of all progress; it is the beginning of wisdom. Your Heavenly Father has claims upon you; for without solicitation or merit on your part he gives you the bounties of his providence; and more than this, he has given you all heaven in one gift, that of his beloved Son. In return for this infinite gift, he claims of you willing obedience. As you are bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God, he requires that you make a right use of the privileges you enjoy. Your intellectual and moral faculties are God's gifts, talents intrusted to you for wise improvement, and you are not at liberty to let them lie dormant for want of proper cultivation, or be crippled and dwarfed by inaction. It is for you to determine whether or not the weighty responsibilities that rest upon you shall be faithfully met, whether or not your efforts shall be well directed and your best.
    We are living in the perils of the last days. All heaven is interested in the characters you are forming. Every provision has been made for you, that you should be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Man is not left alone to conquer the powers of evil by his own feeble efforts. Help is at hand, and will be given every soul who really desires it. Angels of God, that ascend and descend the ladder that Jacob saw in vision, will help every soul who will to climb even to the highest heaven. They are guarding the people of God, and watching how every step is taken. Those who climb the shining way will be rewarded; they will enter into the joy of their Lord. By Mrs. E. G. White. (Concluded next week.)

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 26, 1884
(Vol. 61, #35)

 "Importance of Education (Concluded)"

    Text: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Psa. 111:10.
    With Daniel, the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom. He was placed in a position where temptation was strong. In king's courts, dissipation was on every side; selfish indulgence, gratification of appetite, intemperance and gluttony, were the order of each day. Daniel could join in the debilitating, corrupting practices of the courtiers, or he could resist the influence that tended downward. He chose the latter course. He purposed in his heart that he would not be corrupted by the sinful indulgences with which he was brought in contact, let the consequences be what they might. He would not even defile himself with the king's meat, or with the wine that he drank. The Lord was pleased with the course that Daniel pursued. He was greatly beloved and honored of heaven; and to him the God of wisdom gave skill in the learning of the Chaldeans, and understanding in all visions and dreams.
    If the students who attend our colleges would be firm, and maintain integrity, if they would not associate with those who walk in the paths of sin, nor be charmed by their society, like Daniel they would enjoy the favor of God. If they would discard unprofitable amusements and indulgence of appetite, their minds would be clear for the pursuit of knowledge. They would thus gain a moral power that would enable them to remain unmoved when assailed by temptation. It is a continual struggle to be always on the alert to resist evil; but it pays to obtain one victory after another over self and the powers of darkness. And if the youth are proved and tested, as was Daniel, what honor can they reflect to God by their firm adherence to the right.
    A spotless character is as precious as the gold of Ophir. Without pure, unsullied virtue, none can ever rise to any honorable eminence. But noble aspirations and the love of righteousness are not inherited. Character cannot be bought; it must be formed by stern efforts to resist temptation. The formation of a right character is the work of a lifetime, and is the outgrowth of prayerful meditation united with a grand purpose. The excellence of character that you possess must be the result of your own effort. Friends may encourage you, but they cannot do the work for you. Wishing, sighing, dreaming, will never make you great or good. You must climb. Gird up the loins of your mind, and go to work with all the strong powers of your will. It is the wise improvement of your opportunities, the cultivation of your God given talents, that will make you men and women that can be approved of God, and a blessing to society. Let your standard be high, and with indomitable energy, make the most of your talents and opportunities, and press to the mark.
    Will our youth consider that they have battles to fight? Satan and his hosts are arrayed against them, and they have not the experience that those of mature age have gained.
    Satan has an intense hatred for Christ, and the purchase of his blood, and he works with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. He seeks by every artifice to enlist the young under his banner; and he uses them as his agents to suggest doubts of the Bible. When one seed of doubt is sown, Satan nourishes it until it produces an abundant harvest. If he can unsettle one youth in regard to the Scripture, that one will not cease to work until other minds are leavened with the same skepticism.
    Those who cherish doubts will boast of their independence of mind; but they are far enough from possessing genuine independence. Their minds are filled with slavish fear, lest some one as weak and superficial as themselves should ridicule them. This is weakness, and slavery to the veriest tyrant. True liberty and independence are found in the service of God. His service will place upon you no restriction that will not increase your happiness. In complying with his requirements, you will find a peace, contentment, and enjoyment that you can never have in the path of wild license and sin. Then study well the nature of the liberty you desire. Is it the liberty of the sons of God, to be free in Christ Jesus? or do you call the selfish indulgence of base passions freedom? Such liberty carries with it the heaviest remorse; it is the cruelest bondage.
    True independence of mind is not stubbornness. It leads the youth to form their opinions on the word of God, irrespective of what others may say or do. If in the company of the unbelieving, the atheist, or the infidel, it leads them to acknowledge and defend their belief in the sacred truths of the gospel against the cavilings and witticisms of their ungodly associates. If they are with those who think it a virtue to parade the faults of professed Christians, and then scoff at religion, morality, and virtue, real independence of mind will lead them courteously yet boldly to show that ridicule is a poor substitute for sound argument. It will enable them to look beyond the caviler to the one who influences him, the adversary of God and man, and to resist him in the person of his agent.
    Stand up for Jesus, young friends, and in your time of need Jesus will stand up for you. "By their fruits ye shall know them." Either God or Satan controls the mind; and the life shows so clearly that none need mistake to which power you yield allegiance. Every one has an influence either for good or for evil. Is your influence on the side of Christ or on that of Satan? Those who turn away from iniquity enlist the power of Omnipotence in their favor. The atmosphere that surrounds them is not of earth. By the silent power of a well ordered life and a godly conversation, they may present Jesus to the world. They may reflect Heaven's light, and win souls to Christ.
    I am glad that we have institutions where our youth can be separated from the corrupting influences so prevalent in the schools of the present day. Our brethren and sisters should be thankful that in the providence of God our colleges have been established, and should stand ready to sustain them by their means. Every influence should be brought to bear to educate the youth and to elevate their morals. They should be trained to have moral courage to resist the tide of moral pollution in this degenerate age. With a firm hold upon divine power, they may stand in society to mold and fashion, rather than to be fashioned after the world's model.
    There can be no more important work than the proper education of our youth. We must guard them, fighting back Satan, that he shall not take them out of our arms. When the youth come to our colleges, they should not be made to feel that they have come among strangers, who do not care for their souls. There should be fathers and mothers in Israel who will watch for their souls, as they that must give account. Brethren and sisters, do not hold yourselves aloof from the dear youth, as though you have no particular concern or responsibility for them. You who have long professed to be Christians have a work to do to patiently and kindly lead them in the right way. You should show them that you love them because they are younger members of the Lord's family, the purchase of his blood.
    The future of society will be determined by the youth of today. Satan is making earnest, persevering efforts to corrupt the mind and debase the character of every young person; and shall we who have more experience stand as mere spectators, and see him accomplish his purpose without hindrance? Let us stand at our post as minute men, to work for these youth, and through the help of God hold them back from the pit of destruction. In the parable, while men slept, the enemy sowed tares; and while you, my brethren and sisters, are unconscious of his work, he is gathering an army of youth under his banner; and he exults, for through them he carries on his warfare against God.
    The teachers in our schools have a heavy responsibility to bear. They must be in words and character what they wish their students to be,--men and women that fear God and work righteousness. If they are acquainted with the way themselves, they can train the youth to walk in it. They will not only educate them in the sciences, but train them to have moral independence, to work for Jesus, and to take up burdens in his cause.
    Teachers, what opportunities are yours! What a privilege is within your reach of molding the minds and characters of the youth under your charge! What a joy it will be to you to meet them around the great white throne, and know that you have done what you could to fit them for immortality! If your work stands the test of the great day, how like sweetest music will fall upon your ear the benediction of the Master, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
    In the great harvest field there is abundance of work for all, and those who neglect to do what they can, will be found guilty before God. Let us work for time and for eternity. Let us work for the youth with all the powers God has bestowed upon us, and he will bless our well directed efforts. Our Saviour longs to save the young. He would rejoice to see them around his throne clothed in the spotless robes of his righteousness. He is waiting to place upon their heads the crown of life, and hear their happy voices join in ascribing honor and glory and majesty to God and the Lamb in the song of victory that shall echo and reecho throughout the courts of heaven. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 2, 1884
(Vol. 61, #36)

 "Parental Responsibility"

    There is great responsibility resting upon parents. They should not be led by their children, but should restrain and guide them. Abraham was faithful in his house. His authority was regarded. He commanded his household after him, and his fidelity was remembered of God.
    Eli took a different course. He might have restrained his children, but he did not; and as a consequence his sons became vile, and by their wickedness led Israel astray. Terrible calamities resulted from Eli's neglect, both to the house of Eli and to the children of Israel.
    The salvation of children depends very much upon the course pursued by the parents. Children must be restrained and their passions subdued, or God will surely destroy them in the day of his fierce anger, and the parents who have not controlled them will not be blameless. Especially should those who have authority in the church of God govern their own families, and have them in subjection. They are not prepared to decide in matters of the church unless they can rule well their own house.
    Even after they are of age, children are required to respect their parents. They should listen to the counsel of godly parents, and not feel that because a few more years are added to their life, they have grown out of their duty to them. There is a commandment with promise to those who honor their father and mother.
    There should always be a fixed principle on the part of Christian parents to be united in the government of their children. In some cases there is a fault in this respect,--a lack of union. The fault is sometimes with the father, but oftener with the mother. The father's labor calls him from home often, and from the society of his children. The fond mother pets and indulges them, and her influence tells. Sometimes she suffers wrongs in her children which should not be allowed for a moment, and even conceals these wrongs from the father. If the father discovers them, excuses are made, and but half the truth is told.
    Here a lesson of deception is effectually taught the children. The mother does not consider as she should that the father has an equal interest in the children with herself, and that he should not be kept ignorant of the wrongs or besetments that ought to be corrected in them when young. The children know the lack of union in the parents, and it has its effect. They begin young to deceive; they cover up, and tell things in a false light to their mother as well as to their father. Exaggeration becomes habit, and blunt falsehoods come to be told with but little conviction or reproof of conscience.
    Mother sets the example of pride, and this does much toward forming the character of their children. They are sowing seed that will bear fruit, and the harvest will be plenteous and sure. There will be not failure in the crop. Parents should be exemplary. They should exert a holy influence in their families. Their dress should be modest, different from that of the world around them. As they value the eternal interests of their children, they should faithfully rebuke pride in them and encourage it not by word or deed. Many parents do not take as firm and decided a stand as they should in dealing with their children. They suffer them to be like the world, and to associate with those who hate the truth, and whose influence is poisonous. By so doing they encourage in them a worldly disposition.
    Parents, it is easier for you to teach your children a lesson of pride than a lesson of humility. Satan and his angels stand by your side to make a word or an act on your part effectual to encourage them to dress, and to mingle with society that is not holy. You thus plant in your own bosoms a thorn that will often pierce you and cause anguish. When you would counteract the sad lesson you have taught your children, you will find it a hard thing to do. You may deny them things that would gratify their pride; yet pride will live in the heart, longing to be satisfied, and nothing can kill it but the quick and powerful Spirit of God. When this finds its way to the heart, it will work like leaven, and transform the character. All love of dress and pride of appearance will be eradicated. There will be no place for love of adornment in the sanctified heart.
    Parents generally put too much confidence in their children; for often when the parents are confiding in them, they are in concealed iniquity. Parents, watch your children with a jealous care. Exhort, reprove, counsel them, when you rise up, when you sit down; when you go out, when you come in; "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little." Subdue your children when they are young. Their whole religious experience is affected by their early training. Teach them to submit to you, and the more readily will they learn to yield obedience to the requirements of God.
    Children who are under strict discipline will at times become impatient of restraint, and will wish to have their own way, and go and come as they please. Especially from the age of ten to eighteen, they will often feel that there would be no harm in attending gatherings of their young associates; yet their experienced parents can see danger. They are acquainted with the peculiar temperament of their children, and know the influence of these things upon their minds; and from a desire for their salvation, keep them back from these exciting amusements. When these children decide for themselves to leave the pleasures of the world, and become Christ's disciples, what a burden is lifted from the hearts of the careful, faithful parents. Yet even then the labor of the parents must not cease. The children should not be left to take their own course, and always choose for themselves. They have but just commenced in earnest the warfare against pride, passion, envy, jealousy, hatred, and all the evils of the natural heart. And parents need to watch and counsel their children, and decide for them, and to show them that if they do not yield cheerful, willing obedience to their parents and to God, it is impossible for them to be Christians.
    Some parents attend carefully to their temporal wants, and then think their duty done. Here they mistake. Their work has but just begun. The wants of the mind should be cared for. Children have trials just as hard to bear, just as grievous in character, as those of older persons; and it requires skill to apply the proper remedies to heal a wounded mind. While parents should be firm they should be gentle. They should not forget their childhood years, how much they yearned for sympathy and love, and how unhappy they felt when censured and fretfully chided. They should be young again in their feelings, and try to understand the wants of their children. Parents should encourage their children to confide in them, and to unburden to them their heart griefs, their little daily annoyances and trials. Thus they can learn to sympathize with their children; and they will be better fitted to point them to their never failing Friend and Counselor, who will be touched with the feeling of their infirmities, who was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.
    Angels of God are watching the children with the deepest interest, to see what characters they develop. Jesus does not despise, neglect, or leave behind, the lambs of the flock. He has not bidden us move forward and leave them. He has not traveled so hastily as to leave us and our children behind. Oh, no; he has evened the path to life, even for the little ones. And parents should endeavor in his name to lead them along the narrow way. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 9, 1884
(Vol. 61, #37)

 "Pride and Worldliness to Be Avoided"

    The people of God should not imitate the fashions of the world. Some have done this, and are fast losing the peculiar, holy character which should distinguish them as God's people. They give the lie to their profession. They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation, and in actions, that there is no distinction between them.
    Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Is it not because professed Christians are not dead to the world? If they were, it would be easy living for Christ? But many have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible, and yet go to heaven. Such are seeking to climb up some other way. They do not enter through the strait gate and narrow way. And when they are thrown on a bed of death, the great inquiry is, "Am I prepared to die, prepared to appear before God in judgment, and pass the grand review?" Ah! then, if they could take back and live over the past, they would correct their lives; they would shun the follies of the world, its vanity and pride. They would live to the glory of God, and set an example to all around them.
    Few manifest an interest in their eternal welfare; few are preparing for their final change; earth attracts them, its treasures seem of worth to them. They find enough to engross the mind. Satan is ever seeking to plunge them deeper and deeper into the cares of this life. As soon as one perplexity is off the mind, he stands ready to involve them in another by exciting an unholy desire for more of the things of earth. And thus time passes, and when it is too late they see that they have gained nothing substantial. They have grasped at shadows, and lost eternal life.
    Many dress like the world to have an influence. They spend hours that are worse than thrown away, in studying this or that fashion to decorate the poor, mortal body. But here they make a sad and fatal mistake. If they would have a saving influence, if they would have their lives tell in favor of the truth, let them imitate the humble Pattern; let them show their faith by righteous works, and make the distinction broad between themselves and the world. The words, the dress, and the actions should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all, and all will take knowledge of them, that they have been with Jesus. Unbelievers will see that faith in Christ's coming affects the character.
    God hates pride; "and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up." The third angel's message must yet work like leaven upon the hearts of many that profess to believe it; pride, selfishness, covetousness, and love of the world must be subdued. Jesus is soon coming; and he will acknowledge as his none but those who have been purified and made white, and who have kept themselves separate, unspotted from the world.
    Those who profess to believe the third angel's message, often wound the cause of God by lightness, joking, and trifling. This evil is all through our ranks. There should be a humbling before the Lord; the Israel of God should rend the heart, and not the garment. Childlike simplicity is rarely seen; the approbation of man is more thought of than the displeasure of God. Set your hearts in order, dear brethren and sisters, lest the brittle thread of life be cut, and you lie down in the grave unsheltered, unprepared for the Judgment. Unless you make your peace with God, and tear yourselves from the world, your hearts will grow harder, and you will lean upon a false prop, a supposed preparation, and find out your mistake too late to secure a well-grounded hope.
    The ax must be laid at the root of the tree. Pride and worldliness should not be suffered in the church. It is these things that separate God from his people. They have been asleep to the pride and conformity to the world which exist in the very midst of the church. Pride, covetousness, selfishness, and love of the world, are constantly increasing. The external appearance is an index to the heart. When hearts are affected by the truth, there will be a death to the world; and those who are dead to the world will not be moved by the laugh, the jeer, and the scorn of unbelievers. They will feel an anxious desire to be like their Master, separate from the world. They will not imitate its fashions or customs. The noble object will be ever before them, to glorify God, and gain the immortal inheritance, and in comparison with this everything of an earthly nature will sink into insignificance.
    Too many neglect the Bible. They do not make that book their study and their rule of life as they should. Especially are the young guilty of this neglect. Most of them find plenty of time to read almost any other book; but the precious book that points to eternal life, the important book that is to judge them in the last day, is scarcely studied at all. Idle stories are attentively read, while the Bible is passed by neglected. A day is coming, a day of clouds and thick darkness, when all will wish to be thoroughly furnished by the plain, simple truths of the word of God, that they may meekly, yet decidedly, give a reason of their hope. All must understand the reason of their hope, to strengthen their own souls in the fierce conflict before the people of God. Without this, they will be wanting, and cannot have firmness and decision.
    God will have a people separate and distinct from the world. When any cherish a desire to imitate the fashions of the world, he ceases to acknowledge them as his children, and they become the children of the world and of darkness. Those that had professed Christ, virtually put him off, and show that they are strangers to grace and to the meek and lowly Jesus. Had they acquainted themselves with him, they would walk worthy of him.
    Young and old, God is now testing you. You are deciding your own eternal destiny. Your pride, your vain and empty conversation, your selfishness, are all put in the scale, and in many cases the weight of evil is fearfully against you. While evil is increasing and taking deep root, it is choking the good seed which has been sown in the heart. Many are flattering themselves that they are good Christians who have not a single ray of light from Jesus. They know not what it is to have the heart renewed by grace. They have no living experience for themselves in the things of God.
    God proves his people in this world. This is the fitting up place to appear in his presence. Here persons show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. It will elevate the receiver and make him noble hearted and generous, like his divine Lord. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be covetousness, selfishness, pride, and evil passions. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Many professors of religion are not willing to examine themselves closely to see whether they are in the faith, and some are leaning of a false hope. They seem to think a profession of the truth will save them. When they subdue those sins which God hates, Jesus will come in and sup with them and they with him. They will then draw divine strength from Jesus, and will grow up in him, and be able to say with holy triumph. "Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
    It is the privilege of every Christian to enjoy the deep movings of the Spirit of God. A sweet, heavenly peace may pervade the mind, and you may meditate with pleasure upon God and heaven. You may feast upon the glorious promises of his word. But know first that you have begun the Christian course. Know that the first steps are taken in the road to everlasting life. Be not deceived here; for eternal interests are at stake. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 16, 1884
(Vol. 61, #38)

 "A Lesson on Covetousness"

    As Jesus was departing from a certain place, a young man came to him with the inquiry, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions."
    Jesus quoted to the young man five of the last six commandments, also the second great commandment, on which the last six commandments depend. These he thought he had kept. Jesus did not mention the first four commandments, which define our duty to God. In answer to the inquiry," What lack I yet?" Jesus said to him, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven."
    Here was his lack. He failed to love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. Jesus touched his possessions. Said he, "Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor." This pointed out the young man's idol. His love of riches was supreme; hence it was impossible for him to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind. And this supreme love for his riches shut his eyes to the wants of his fellowmen. He did not love his neighbor as himself; therefore he failed to keep the last six commandments. His heart was on his treasures, swallowed up in his earthy possessions. He loved the things of earth better than God, better than the heavenly treasure. Jesus tested him to see which he loved most, riches or eternal life. Did he eagerly lay hold of the eternal prize? Did he earnestly strive to remove the obstacle that was in the way of his having a treasure in heaven? Oh, no; "he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."
    "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
    It is God's plan that riches should be used properly, distributed to bless the needy, and to advance the work of God. If men love their riches better than they love their fellowmen, better than they love God or the truths of his word, if their hearts are on their riches, they cannot have eternal life. Some would rather yield the truth than sell and give to the poor. Here souls are proved; and, like the rich young man, many go away sorrowful because they cannot have their riches and a treasure in heaven too. They cannot have both, and they risk their chance of eternal life for a worldly possession.
    "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." "With God all things are possible;" but he will not permit the rich men to selfishly hoard their riches, and yet enter into his kingdom. Truth, set home to the heart by the Spirit of God, will crowd out the love of riches. The love of Jesus and the love of money cannot dwell in the same heart. The love of God so far surpasses the love of money that the possessor breaks away from his riches and transfer his affections to God. Through love he is then led to minister to the wants of the needy and to assist the cause of God. It is his highest pleasure to make a right disposition of his Lord's goods. He holds all that he has as not his own, and faithfully discharges his duty as God's steward. Then he can keep both the great commandments of the law: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
    In this way it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Here is the reward for those who sacrifice for God. They receive a hundredfold in this life, and shall inherit everlasting life.
    "But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first." Some who receive the truth do not live it. They cling to their possessions, and are not willing to use their means to advance the cause of God. They will not trust God's promises. Their love of this world swallows up their faith. God calls for a portion of their substance, but they heed it not. They reason that they have labored hard to obtain what they have, and they cannot lend it to the Lord, for they may come to want. "O ye of little faith!" That God who cared for Elijah in the time of famine, will not pass by one of his self-sacrificing children. He who has numbered the hairs of their head will care for them, and in days of famine they will be satisfied. While the wicked are perishing from hunger and thirst, their bread and water will be sure. Those who cling to their earthly treasure, and will not make a right disposition of that which is lent them of God, will lose the heavenly treasure, eternal life.
    There was a time when there were but few who listened to and embraced the truth, and they had not much of this world's goods. Then it was necessary for some to sell their houses and lands, and obtain cheaper, while their means were freely lent to the Lord to publish the truth, and otherwise aid in advancing the cause of God. These self-sacrificing ones endured privations; but if they endure unto the end, great will be their reward.
    God has been moving upon many hearts. The truth for which a few sacrificed so much has triumphed, and multitudes have laid hold of it. In the providence of God, those who have means have been brought into the truth, that as the work increases the wants of his cause may be met. God does not now call for the houses his people need to live in; but if those who have an abundance do not hear his voice, cut loose from the world, and sacrifice for God, he will pass them by, and will call for those who are willing to do anything for Jesus, even to sell their homes to meet the wants of the cause. God will have freewill offerings. Those who give must esteem it a privilege to do so.
    Some give of their abundance, yet feel no lack. They do not practice self-denial for the cause of Christ. They give liberally and heartily, but they still have all that heart can wish. God regards it. The action and motive are strictly marked by him, and they will not lose their reward. But those who have less means must not excuse themselves because they cannot do as much as some others. Do what you can. Deny yourself of some article you can do without, and sacrifice for the cause of God. Like the poor widow, cast in your two mites. You will actually give more than all those who give of their abundance; and you will know how sweet it is to deny self, to give to the needy, to sacrifice for the truth, and to lay up treasure in heaven.
    The young, especially young men, who profess the truth, have yet a lesson of self-denial to learn. If these made more sacrifice for the truth, they would esteem it more highly. It would affect their hearts, and purify their lives. Too often the young do not take the burden of the cause of God, or feel any responsibility in regard to it. Is it because God has excused them? Oh, no; they excuse themselves. They do not realize that they are not their own. Their strength, their time, is not their own. They are bought with a price; and unless they possess the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice, they can never gain the immortal inheritance.
    Said the great Teacher, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 23, 1884
(Vol. 61, #39)

 "Temperance in All Things"

    Only one lease of life is granted us here; and the inquiry with every one should be, How can I invest my life that it may yield the greatest profit? Life is valuable only as we improve it for the benefit of our fellow creatures and the glory of God. Careful cultivation of the abilities with which the Creator has endowed us will fit us for usefulness here and eternal life in the world to come.
    That time is well spent which is directed to the establishment and preservation of sound physical and mental health. It is too often the case that the precious boon of health is not appreciated until it is lost by transgression of nature's laws, and suffering and disease are experienced. It is easy to lose health, but it is difficult to regain it.
    Many men in their eagerness to get money allow themselves to become so absorbed in business and the cares of this life that they sacrifice rest, sleep, and the comforts of life to this one object. Their naturally good constitutions are broken down, disease sets in, and death closes the scene. And yet the man who has obtained wealth at such a terrible price cannot take one dollar of it with him. Money, fine dwellings, and costly apparel avail him nothing now; his lifework is worse than useless.
    We can ill afford to dwarf or cripple a single function of mind or body by overwork, or by abuse of any part of the living machinery. So sure as we do this, we must suffer the consequences. It is our first duty to God and our fellow beings to develop all our powers. Every faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable. The grace of Christ is needed to refine and purify the mind; this will enable us to see and correct our deficiencies, and to improve that which is excellent in our characters. This work, wrought for ourselves in the strength and name of Jesus, will be of more benefit to society than any sermon we might preach. The influence of a well-balanced, well-ordered life is of inestimable value. Intemperance is at the foundation of a large share of the ills of life. It destroys tens of thousands annually. Intemperance is not limited to the use of intoxicating liquors, but includes the hurtful indulgence of any appetite or passion. Today thousands are suffering from physical pain, and wishing again and again that they had never been born. God did not design this condition of things; it was brought about by the gross violation of nature's laws. If the appetites and passions were under the control of sanctified reason, society would present a widely different aspect.
    Many things that are often made articles of diet are unfit for food; the taste for them is not natural, but has been cultivated. Stimulating food creates a desire for still stronger stimulants. Indigestible food throws the entire system out of order, and unnatural cravings and appetites are the result. "Touch not, taste not, handle not," is a motto that should be carried further than the mere use of spirituous liquors. True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and to use healthful and nutritious articles judiciously.
    Great efforts are made in our country to put down intemperance; but it is found a hard matter to overpower and chain the full grown lion. If half these efforts were directed toward enlightening parents as to their responsibility in forming the habits and characters of their children, a thousandfold more good might result than from the present course. We bid all workers in the cause of temperance Godspeed; but we invite them to look deeper into the cause of the evil they war against, and go more thoroughly and consistently into reform.
    The unnatural appetite for spirituous liquors is created at home, in many cases at the tables of the very ones who are most zealous to lead out in the temperance campaigns. The first steps in intemperance are usually taken in early youth. Stimulating food is given to the child, and excites unnatural cravings. These false appetites are pandered to as they develop. The taste becomes more and more perverted; stronger stimulants are craved and indulged in, until finally the slave of appetite throws aside all restraint. The evil commenced in early life, and could have been prevented by the parents.
    Parents should so conduct themselves that their lives will be a daily lesson of forbearance and self-control to their household. The father and mother should unite in disciplining their children; each should bear a share of the responsibility. They should acknowledge themselves under solemn obligations to God to train up their offspring in such a way as to secure to them, as far as possible, good physical health and well-developed characters. Upon the mother, however, will come the heavier burden, especially in the first few years of her children's lives. It is her duty to control and direct the developing minds of her tender charge, as well as to watch over their health. The father should aid her with his sympathy and counsel, and share her burden whenever it is possible for him to do so.
    Parents should not lightly regard the work of training their children, nor neglect it upon any account. They should employ much time in careful study of the laws that regulate our being. They should make it their first business to become intelligent in regard to the proper manner of dealing with their children, that they may secure to them sound minds in sound bodies. Especially should they spread their tables upon all occasions with unstimulating yet nourishing food. There are but few who carry out the correct principles of health reform in furnishing their tables. To a very great extent, they are controlled by custom instead of sound reason and the claims of God. Many who profess to be followers of Christ are sadly neglectful of home duties. They do not realize the importance of so molding the characters of their children that they will have the moral stamina to resist the many temptations that ensnare the feet of youth.
    We urge that the principles of temperance be carried into all the details of home life; that the example of the parents should be a lesson of temperance; that self-denial and self-control should be taught to the children, and enforced upon them, so far as consistent, from babyhood. And first it is important that the little ones be taught that they eat to live, and not live to eat; that the appetite must be held in subjection to the will; and that the will must be governed by calm, intelligent reason.
    There are few as yet who are aroused sufficiently to understand how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their characters, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual organs. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. All should understand in regard to their own physical frames, that with the psalmist they may be able to exclaim, "I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 7, 1884
(Vol. 61, #40)

 "Notes of Travel: From Oakland, Cal., to Denver, Col."

    Monday, Aug. 4, at 4 P. M., I left Oakland, Cal., to attend the Eastern campmeetings. Although long, the journey has been pleasant, and I am grateful to God that he has thus far sustained me.
    About two o'clock Thursday afternoon, we reached Denver, Col., and found that we were to stop there six hours. As we were about to leave the cars, we were glad to meet Elds. Jones and Ostrander, who were laboring here. A brother was at the station with his hack to take us to the tent. Besides the large tent, they had four small ones neatly fitted up for the accommodation of the laborers,--ministers, canvassers, and those engaged in missionary work.
    Our train was to leave Denver at eight o'clock, and I was requested to speak at six. Messengers were sent to notify the brethren and sisters. A brother walked four miles to inform one family, and get them to the meeting. At the time appointed there was quite a good congregation out; and I felt it a privilege to speak to them on the work that is to be done in the cause of God, and the qualifications that are essential to fit us to engage in this work. I had freedom is speaking, and enjoyed a very pleasant season with these brethren and sisters. There were a number present who were not of our faith, and these listened with apparent interest.
    The duty of elevating the standard of Christianity by adorning our profession, was set before these Christian laborers. Those who are giving themselves to the work of God should aim high; they will never reach a higher standard than that which they aim to attain. They cannot diffuse light until they have first received it. Work done for Christ endures forever; therefore the worker should know that he has the spirit of Jesus, and that he is daily learning in his school lessons that will be carried into practical life. If he consecrates all his powers to Jesus, his work will bear the impress of Heaven. He will work as Jesus worked, with that true humility which is the loveliest of graces, an ornament of great price in the sight of God. This will be the highest proof that Christ abides in the soul.
    We all admire humility. We love to see a man who has a low estimate of his own ability,--one who modestly shrinks from responsibilities, not because of indolence, but because he feels the importance of the work, and his own unworthiness to perform it. Such men may be safely urged forward. As long as they make God their strength, they will not betray sacred trusts.
    Some who feel capable of bearing responsibilities do not look to God for wisdom; they are self-sufficient, and are left to stumble and fall. There is everywhere seen a disposition to want the highest place, to seek for supremacy; and many, when they fail of their object, feel that their great ability is not appreciated. Such workers trouble the churches. It would be a relief if they would cease to work in the cause; for they never think that they are treated with the consideration they deserve. We are sick at heart of these pretentious men, who would force their own virtues and excellences upon the attention of others, and who are more than willing to assume responsibilities which they are not fitted to bear.
    But in every department of the cause of God there are plenty of openings for those who will work in the spirit of humility that characterized the Master. From every direction voices are calling to us for help. Ministers alone can never do this work. There is an abundance of talent in the church that should be put to use. There are men and women who have ability, and whom God would accept as laborers in his cause; but they are shirking responsibilities under the plea of unfitness for the work. Ladies who in the parlor can engage in conversation with wonderful tact and earnestness, shrink from pointing the sinner to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and then kneeling in prayer, pleading that light may shine into the mind and heart of this precious one for whom Christ died. Oh! there is so much work for God and souls that is left undone because it is a cross, and because each seeks his own amusement, and works for his own selfish interest.
    If those whose talents are rusting from inaction would seek the aid of the Spirit of God, and go to work, we should see much more accomplished. Urgent appeals for help would stir hearts; and the response would be made, "We will do what we can in our weakness and ignorance, looking to the great Teacher for wisdom." Can it be that amid all these open doors for usefulness, these pathetic pleadings for help, men and women will sit with folded hands, or employ those hands only in selfish labor for earthly objects?
    "Ye are the light of the world," said Jesus to his disciples. But how few are conscious of their own power and influence; how few realize what they might do to be a help and a blessing to others. They wrap their talent in a napkin, and bury it in the earth, and flatter themselves that they possess a commendable humility. But the books of Heaven testify against these idlers, as slothful, wicked servants who are grievously sinning against God by neglecting the work which he has given them to do. They will make no plea of unfitness when the heavenly records are opened, revealing their glaring neglect.
    Whatever the talent intrusted to us may be, we are required to use it in the service of God, and not in the service of mammon. Satan presented to Christ all the glories of the world in the most attractive light, offering them as a gift if he would worship him. But Jesus said, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord they God, and him only shalt thou serve." With men Satan has greater success. The alluring charms of the world, which he is capable of presenting in a manner to captivate the senses, in their estimation eclipses the attractions of heaven, and they lose all sense of the value of eternal riches. The abilities which God intrusted to them to be used to the utmost for his glory are devoted to selfish ends. Often men so pervert their talents as to use them to destroy others, to poison the moral atmosphere. For these there is a terrible retribution.
    Those who are hiding their talents in the earth are throwing away their opportunities to obtain a star-gemmed crown. Until the great disclosures of the final Judgment shall be made, it will never be known how many men and women have done this, nor how many lives have gone out in darkness because God given talents have been buried in business instead of being used in the service of the Giver.
    God calls upon you, dear brethren and sisters, to place a higher value upon eternal things. You are not to aim to reach the world's standard, but that of the Bible. You must honor your powers, which have been redeemed to God by an infinite price, by using them to save souls. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Jesus said to his disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." We have a work to do to prepare for the holy and beautiful home which Jesus is preparing for us. We should not be contented with merely gaining that home ourselves, but should be interested, earnest, and faithful in trying to lead others in the way of life, that they too may secure a home in those heavenly mansions.
    "None of us liveth to himself," is the testimony of Paul. The love of Jesus in the heart will be expressed in the life. Bible truth is of heavenly origin, and sanctifies the receiver. It refines the taste, improves the judgment, and ennobles the character. Says John: "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." Sons of God, members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King! Can there be any other honor equal to this bestowed on finite man? Yet the world does not discern our relationship to the divine, nor know the source of our strength. They know not that we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance. We may inherit all things. We may have a home where there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor sighing.
    Men in Colorado may be interested in mines which yield rich profit in silver and gold. They may devote a lifetime to securing earthly treasures; but they die, and leave it all behind. They cannot take one dollar with them to enrich them in the great beyond. Are these men wise? Are they not insane, to let the precious hours of probation pass without making a preparation for the future life? Those who are wise will lay up a "treasure in the heavens, that faileth not,"--"a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." If we would secure enduring riches, let us begin now to transfer our treasure to the other side, and our hearts will be where our treasure is.
    When God calls, let us each go willingly to labor in his vineyard. We cannot estimate the possibilities of usefulness that lie undeveloped in hand and brain and heart. We must go to work. The Lord will use human feebleness as well as human strength. It is purity, truth, faithfulness, and love, that sanctifies the work. With hearts full of love to God, we shall not work for human praise, but for the glory of the Master, and the good of souls. If we do our work with fidelity, the benediction from Christ, "Well done, good and faithful servant," will be our full reward.
    Jesus is coming in power and great glory to take his people to himself. Are our lives hid with Christ in God? shall we meet him in peace? God grant that we who composed that little company may meet again around the great white throne, having our robes of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.
    When the meeting closed, we bade our friends good-bye, and the hack bore us to the cars to resume our journey eastward. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 14, 1884
(Vol. 61, #41)

 "Notes of Travel: Kansas City, Mo."

    We arrived at Kansas City Friday, Aug. 8. My children, Edson and Emma White, met us at the cars with a carriage to take us to their pleasant home, away from the noise, bustle, and confusion of the city. Here we enjoyed rest and plenty of fresh air. We were happy to meet Bro. and Sr. Shireman, who, while doing missionary work in the city, are bearing their own expenses.
    On the Sabbath the few friends here assembled in Edson's parlor for a Sabbath school. There are four families--twelve persons in all--who usually meet for worship. Edson conducts the Sabbath school when he is at home. After Sabbath school they either have a Bible reading or a prayer and social meeting. This is as it should be. The family altar should be established in every home; and if in any locality there are no more than two or three of like precious faith, they should meet together. "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."
    In every place where there are two or three that love God, and keep his commandments, they should speak often one to another of the blessed hope, and should unite their prayers at the throne of grace. God will listen to their humble petitions. He will register their names in his book, and will preserve them in the hour of trial and temptation. Frequently these little meetings are precious occasions. Jesus has promised, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." And if they "shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."
    It is impossible to tell what may be the result of the small beginnings at Kansas City. If meetings are held regularly, and those not of our faith are invited to attend, precious seed may be sown which will bear fruit in the kingdom of God. It is not the greatness of the effort, but the unconquerable persistence, that wins. If each will labor on to the utmost of his capacity, large results will be seen by and by. Success in any enterprise can be gained only through sincere prayer, earnest effort, and stern conflicts. Let none become discouraged because of the feebleness of the impressions they are able to make on the world, and thus become weary in well doing. It is true that you are few in numbers; but united with the world's Redeemer, you may be mighty through God to the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy. Go to God for strength; ask him for wisdom, for right words, for opportunities to come close to hearts. God will hear you; angels will be round about you, and will second your efforts.
    I long to impress upon the defenders of the faith the magnitude of the work they may accomplish, even where there are but two or three in a village or city, if they will not become faint-hearted, but will do all they can with the talents which God has intrusted to them, letting a steady light shine forth to the world. What may we not do, if, regarding ourselves as servants of God, we are willing to work in any place, even though it be small and humble!
    We are not placed in this world merely to receive and gather that we may be benefited; we must give as we receive. We must not seek to be served, and to be treated generously ourselves; but we must be ready to serve, and to treat others kindly, exercising toward them the love that Jesus has manifested toward us, whether they treat us kindly or unkindly. With a heart overflowing with love, we should ask, "What can I do to help others?" The thought that we are Christ's workers invests the life with sacredness and dignity. A realization of the value of souls subdues pride; it fills the heart with pity and compassion. It softens the rugged nature; it makes the soul overflow with divine love,--a love that will help and bless and save.
    Every individual who has received light from God is responsible for that light. God has given us talents, and he requires us to improve them wisely. Christians must stand on the elevated and holy ground which, through the providence of God, the progress of truth has been for ages preparing for them. In their character and in their works they are required to exhibit to the world a oneness with Christ in accordance with the light that now shines on their pathway.
    Discouragements will come to sorely try our faith; but whatever these trials are, they should not be allowed to make us distrust God. Some may say, "What is the use of my serving God? I have tried for years, but what does it amount to? I am never successful in the things that I undertake. There are those that never pray, and yet are prospered. They transgress God's law, their life is hard, unjust, false, and selfish; but they enjoy prosperity, while my life is clouded by poverty, care, and want."
    Though these words may not be spoken, they express the thoughts of many hearts. But the Lord bears long with the transgressor. He does not always settle his accounts when men seem to think he should. But, tried one, he "knows thy works." He is acquainted with every word spoken in love for his name and for the souls of his children. Not a deed done for the glory of the Master is lost. He sees your tears; he hears your prayers; he witnesses your faithfulness in his service. The seed you are sowing may appear to you to fall upon soil where it will be trodden under foot and yield no fruit; but the sower will reap if he faint not. If we could only see how the Lord is working for us day by day, we should see that he loves us, and that often trial is better for us than prosperity. A little with Heaven's blessing is better than large gains with forgetfulness of God. In the end we shall know surely that well doing will succeed, and ill doing will bring sorrow and woe. God is a sure paymaster; equity and justice are the unfailing attributes of his throne.
    While in Kansas City, I had the pleasure of a visit from Sr. Mc Cullough of Lawrence City, who has recently embraced the faith. We had a very pleasant interview. This sister has been intrusted with large talents. She possesses no ordinary capabilities, but they have been exercised almost wholly in business transactions. All that she has undertaken has seemed to prosper in her hands, and she has been remarkably successful in accumulating means. When the truth was presented, she saw that it was sustained by the Bible. She commenced to study for herself, and took her position firmly on the Sabbath and other prominent views held by our people.
    Now that this dear sister is converted to the faith, how will her powers of intellect be employed? Will they be exercised only for purposes of earthly, temporal gain? Must these precious talents be buried in the world? Must they be employed in building upon the foundation only perishable substance,--hay, wood, and stubble? I cannot endure the thought. The Lord has so loved her that he has let light from his throne shine into her heart to expel the buyers and sellers there, and to illuminate her mind with the pure rays of the Sun of Righteousness, that she may from henceforth build upon the true foundation gold, silver, and precious stones,--material which the fires of the last day cannot consume.
    The Lord has paid an infinite price for Sr. M. She belongs to him and should do his work and should honor and glorify his name in the earth. The Master is saying to her, "Follow me. There are souls to save for whom I gave my life,--souls more precious than fine gold, even the golden wedge of Ophir." Here is something of permanent value. As a servant of Jesus, she can trade on her intrusted capital; she can put his money out to the exchangers. She can employ her power of intellect in making known to others the matchless depth of a Saviour's love; and when the shadows of evening begin to enshroud us, her lifework will not be seen to have been on the losing side. The life and its work stand daguerreotyped in heaven, and the close of the day is the proof of the picture. When the day of life is over, we can see and estimate human character at its true worth. We hope to meet this sister when the people of God shall be gathered around the great white throne, with many souls saved through her instrumentality to shine as stars in her crown of glory. "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
    We met Bro. Cudney here, and had, we think, a profitable interview with him in regard to the campmeeting which is to be held in Omaha, Neb.
    A sister with whom we became acquainted in Texas, is living about three miles from Kansas City. We went out to visit the family. The mother and children are keeping the Sabbath. We hope to see the husband and father also rendering willing obedience to all of God's commandments. Jesus is waiting to accept this brother, and to use him in his cause. He has been intrusted with good abilities; but day by day God is robbed of the service which is his due. "Them that honor me," saith the Lord, "I will honor." There are good and earnest men who are withholding from Jesus the energy, tact, and skill, which belong to him. Oh for an entire surrender to God; then with sanctified powers, they would do a good work in winning souls to the cross of Christ.
    Oh that all who know the way of life and truth would walk in the light, lest that light become darkness! Oh that all who know God's requirements would respond to his claims, and would become channels of light to others! The Lord has a right to the service of every soul. "Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." There are men who are large-hearted, generous, unselfish, noble-spirited,--men who are above suspicion, fraud, and meanness. Satan seeks to hold these men away from the truth by various devices and temptations, because he knows that if they were to become Christians, they would exercise a power for good. People would believe in their religion, for they would live it. Even the enemies of Christ would respect them.
    The Lord claims these men as his; their talents are his. Will they refuse to help build up his cause in the earth? He alone can "make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." He can cleanse the soul. He can purify the fountain that it shall no longer send forth bitter water as well as sweet. Any delay to do our best for the Master is dangerous. Life is uncertain. We may be full of hopes, plans, and expectations one day, and the next stretched upon a bed of suffering, or even silent in death. Our day for repentance, for an intelligent confession of Christ, may be past.
    Jesus calls for volunteers; who will respond? If this truth of heavenly origin were burned into our consciousness, if it ruled as a deep conviction and power in our hearts, it would have a transforming influence upon our lives, and would give new significance to all our human relationship. We are spending our last moments with relatives and friends who are in the darkness of error. What shall these associations be? Will we talk of unimportant matters, or on subjects of vital interest? Let us work for souls for whom Christ died. It will require tact, zeal, deep thought, much prayer, and perseverance through all obstacles and hindrances; but the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of God, will be our great reward. May the Lord help us to work while the day lasts. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 21, 1884
(Vol. 61, #42)

 "Notes of Travel: Marshalltown, Iowa"

    With Sr. Mcomber, who accompanied me from California, and my son Edson and his wife, I left Kansas City, Aug. 13, to attend the campmeeting at Marshalltown, Iowa. We were warmly welcomed by our brethren and sisters, who did everything possible for our comfort. We feel deeply grateful to them for their loving care and kind attentions.
    On Friday morning we attended their early meeting. Many of the testimonies were excellent; but others were not of a character to indicate that those who bore them were building on the sure foundation. We are in this world to form characters for eternity. God does not want his people to be under constant condemnation. He would have them learn to confide in him. We need not be content with merely formal prayers; we may come to Jesus as to a friend, and in the most simple hearted, definite manner tell him all our worries, perplexities, and trials, and he will carry our burdens for us. When our minds and our lives get tangled, we may take them to One who knows just how to untangle them. But after we have asked God to do this work for us, let us rest it with him. Here is where so many fail. They tell the Lord all their troubles, and then go on worrying just the same. They pray about their cares and sins, but do not cast off their cares nor cease to sin. Jesus invites us to cast all our cares upon him, for he cares for us; then let us leave them with him, and receive his peace and rest into our hearts.
    I looked over the large congregation assembled in the tent, and thought, If all who have a knowledge of the truth were carrying its sanctifying influence into their home life, what a light would they be in the world! Home duties are not to be neglected. It is in the home that the real work of properly training the children is to be done, repressing every wrong tendency, strengthening and developing the right. But all here--ministers, parents, and children--needed a work done for them which they did not realize. There was a manifest lack of the Spirit of God. I hoped to see the clouds break; for I knew many would never see their true spiritual condition until they should begin to return unto the Lord with full purpose of heart, with repentance, and confession of sins. Some even of those who were preaching the word were as destitute of the Spirit of God as were the mountains of Gilboa of dew and rain.
    An effort was made to arouse them by presenting our true position in the antitypical day of atonement, when every man should afflict his soul before God, when sins should be confessed and go beforehand to Judgment, that when the times of refreshing shall come they may be blotted out. But the ones who most needed to humble their hearts before God, seemed to be almost unimpressible. Some made advancement; others were left about as we found them, and these prevented the work of God from going forward. Had they confessed their sins, the moral atmosphere would have cleared; the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness would have shone into their own hearts, and the whole encampment would have been as the house of God, the gate of heaven. Jesus was waiting to supply their great need from his abundant fullness, to give them a large measure of his grace. But they did not feel their need; they did not realize their destitution. Although we had many precious seasons, the surrender to God was not full and entire.
    We felt that the message of the True Witness to the Laodiceans applied with peculiar force to this people. On the part of many, a spirit of self-satisfaction was manifested. There is a disposition to be contented with forms and theories of the truth; and as a consequence, those who might be giants in the cause and work of God are mere dwarfs. As a people we are in imminent danger; for we are becoming superficial, deficient in practical godliness. In our campmeetings we never receive the blessing that it is our privilege to gain; for we cease our efforts too soon. There is some confessing in a general way; but the real evil is untouched. There is no sense of the hatefulness of sin. There is repenting without brokenness of heart; there is professing to leave the world, but the life is still governed by its principles.
    Dear brethren and sisters, your hearts must be humbled before God. You need divine grace, not merely for your own enjoyment, but that you may help others also. All your powers belong to God. He asks the whole heart. He asks your physical and mental strength; for it is his own. He asks your money; for every dollar of it has been intrusted to your keeping, and you are his stewards. Will you rob God of your service! Will you rob him in tithes and offerings, and let his treasury be empty? Will you use the time, talents, and strength he lends you in serving your own selfish interests?
    On Sabbath morning a large company met for Sabbath school. Classes were soon arranged including all except a few who chose seats outside the tent. But these were not left to themselves; teachers were appointed, and two or three interesting classes formed. All were as busy as bees, and everywhere, in the tent and out of it, was heard the hum of voices. The school was well conducted and orderly, and to me the exercises were very interesting.
    By request I spoke about thirty minutes, warning them against letting their Sabbath schools degenerate into a mere mechanical routine. We should not seek to imitate Sunday schools, nor keep up the interest by offering prizes. The offering of rewards will create rivalry, envy, and jealousy; and some who are the most diligent and worthy will receive little credit. Scholars should not try to see how many verses they can learn and repeat; for this brings too great a strain upon the ambitious child, while the rest become discouraged.
    Try none of these methods in your Sabbath schools; but let superintendents and teachers make every effort to have life and interest in their schools. What a blessing it would be if all would teach as Jesus taught. He did not aim to attract attention by eloquence or by overwhelming grandeur of sentiment. On the contrary, his language was plain, and his thoughts were expressed with the greatest simplicity; but he spoke with loving earnestness. In your teaching be as near like him as possible. Make your exercises interesting. Let the teachers show that they have thoroughly learned the lesson, and are intensely interested in it. Let there be no frivolous or superficial interpretations of the Scriptures, but let each be prepared to go to the bottom of the subject presented.
    Parents should feel it a sacred duty to instruct their children in the statutes and requirements of God as well as in the prophecies. They should educate their children at home, and should themselves be interested in the Sabbath schools lessons. By studying with the children, they show that they attach importance to the truth brought out in the lessons, and help to create a taste for Bible knowledge. On the part of many who believe present truth, there is an alarming ignorance as to what the Scriptures really do say; and yet if we would be prepared to stand amid the perils of the last days, we must understand them for ourselves. A better knowledge of the Bible would be a blessing to all. Says the psalmist, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." The Bible contains the truest history, the purest devotion. Nothing strengthens the intellect like the study of the word of God.
    The teachers should be earnest in this work; they should watch for souls as they that must give an account. Their efforts should tend to lead the minds of those under their care to the contemplation of heavenly things; their instruction should be of a character to deepen the force of every lesson. They should be co-laborers with the parents for the salvation of the children; and Jesus will help them, and there will be a harvest of souls.
    Several meetings were held for the ministers. In these we tried to impress upon them the necessity of carrying the burden of the work. They cannot do this while at the same time they are carrying the burden of farms or other business enterprises, having their hearts on their earthly treasure. The want of a full consecration to the work on the part of the minister is soon felt all through the field where he labors. If his own standard is low, he will not bring others to accept a higher one. It is easy to preach; but it is an important part of the minister's work to visit families, and to converse, and if possible pray with every member. Let them see that you care for their souls.
    Some have preached the truth intelligently, and yet have not touched the hearts of their hearers because their own hearts were not affected and broken. They are whole, self-sufficient, self-confident. They do not know how to labor for souls and bring them to the foot of the cross; for they have never been there themselves. They have never felt helpless and undone without Jesus, never felt their sinfulness, nor experienced the transforming grace of Christ. They have loved self. They have extolled the theory of the truth, and made that everything. Feeling rich and proud in their knowledge, they have presented the truth in a boasting manner; and their preaching has produced no fruit.
    Their experience in the truth has been outside of Christ, and the simplicity of true heart religion they know nothing about. Now the important question is, Will these ministers, so long deficient in genuine Christian experience, ever so feel their need that they will gain an experience in the truth as it is in Jesus? Will they practice self-denial? Will they exemplify the principles of the Christian religion in their daily deportment and conversation? Will they grow daily in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, so that when temptations assail them, and their need is greatest, Jesus will prove their staff and stay, and keep them from stumbling in the darkness.
    Ministers of Christ, your experience must be of a higher type, or you can never be co-laborers with the Master. Learned or great men have not been chosen, but those who fear God and reverence spiritual and eternal things. Such will have the mind of Christ. His Spirit, shining through humanity, lights up the face, and finds expression in the tones of the voice. It is something that cannot be defined, and yet is plainly felt.
    Sometimes the manifestations of the Spirit of God, lifting the soul above self and away from everything earthly, may be transient; but it is our privilege to have an abiding sense of the presence of Christ, who dwells in the heart by living faith. Benevolence, gentleness, patience, nobility of thought and action, and the love of God, if cherished permanently, impress the countenance, and win souls, and give power in preaching. If this is possible in fallen man, who is often humbled through a sense of his sinfulness, what power must have attended the ministry of Jesus, who was pure, spotless, and undefiled, though dwelling in a world all seared and marred by the curse; through whose face divinity looked out upon a world that was his own; in whose heart dwelt love that is without a parallel,--love that shone in his eyes, and was revealed in words and acts!
    And what was the mission of Christ? It was to save the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. John pointed him out to the multitude with the words, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." And with their gaze thus directed to him, they saw a face where divine compassion was blended with conscious omnipotence. Every glance of the eye, every tone of the voice, every lineament of the features, while revealing divine power, was marked with humility and expressive of unutterable love.
    Here, ministers of Christ, is your Pattern. You are to copy the life and character of the Master. Humility, meekness, and love are to be revealed in your character as they were in his. Your labors need not be without marked results. If they are fruitless you should investigate your own case,--examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. If Christ abide in your hearts, you will go forth, weeping, bearing precious seed, and will doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing your sheaves with you. You who have labored year after year, and have seen no souls brought to the knowledge of the truth, no churches raised up and organized, should change your manner of labor. You should fast and pray. You should lay the matter before your brethren, and solicit their counsel and prayers, lest you be self-deceived, and, what is more, deceive others also.
    Ministers who have not true spirituality are not needed. The churches that have most of their labor degenerate until they possess a mere form of godliness. God calls for consecrated men, who will leave all to follow him. The truth intrusted to us is the most solemn and weighty ever committed to any people. Moses asked concerning Israel, "What nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" But the glory and excellence of that dispensation are far surpassed by the light and truth enjoyed in this generation. There "are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
    God designed that his work should be continually increasing and extending in the earth; and the reason that it makes no greater advancement is because men who handle sacred things are not what they might be, nor what Christ has made every provision that they should be. If we slight the superior privileges so freely offered us, which have been purchased for us at an infinite cost, we show contempt of Christ. His claims are continuous. They are in accordance with the ability he has intrusted to us; and the enlightenment given.
    We saw some tokens for good among those who are laboring in word and doctrine in Iowa; but it was a matter of grief and alarm to see youth preparing to enter the ministry who had no knowledge of true religion. They had a form of godliness, but their experience had been wholly superficial. How can they lead souls to the fountain of living waters, when they themselves have never drank of those waters?
    The elder ministers should be qualified to so educate the younger men that they may become able ministers, who will feel the responsibility of the work, and will build upon the sure foundation. There are many who neglect their duties outside the desk, and the condition of the churches testifies to the character of their work. Doubts, unbelief, backsliding, formality, exist in a marked degree. Oh! how much men of God are needed, who will faithfully warn the people of their sins. The Lord calls upon his people in Iowa, laymen as well as ministers, to let their light shine, and to be workers in his cause. Talents are now buried in earthly, temporal pursuits, that should be used in saving souls from perdition. When the church stand as God's chosen people should, they will be a peculiar people, zealous of good works. There will be no slackness, no concord with Belial. Oh that we could realize what God's people might now be, had they kept themselves in his love, without any compromise with evil, and had retained the peculiar character that distinguished them, and separated them from the world! In experience, in wisdom, in true holiness, they would be years in advance of what they now are. But as a people our obedience, our devotion, our spiritual attainments, are very far from being in proportion to our privileges, and to our sacred obligation to walk as children of the light.
    We were glad for the tokens of good which we saw during this meeting, but unless there is an awakening, the state of indifference and worldliness which prevails will prove the eternal ruin of very many who claim to have a knowledge of the truth.
    On the Sabbath a large number came forward for prayers; but many, even of these, failed to make thorough work. They seemed like the blind man whom Jesus healed; at first he could only see men as trees walking. Jesus gave him the second touch; then he could see all things clearly. We longed to see a similar work done for these repenting ones. We longed to see them so thoroughly in earnest that they would not give over their efforts until Jesus should impart unto them the riches of his grace. Had there been humble confession, we should have seen the mighty movings of the Spirit of God. There is divine aid for all who will help themselves.
    The outside attendance was good. On Sunday, especially, a large number listened with interest to the word spoken.
    Monday I labored in the different meetings, speaking, in all, five hours. I could not spare myself; for I knew the need that an advance move should be made in Iowa. Elds. Farnsworth and Olsen worked hard; some of the young ministers tried earnestly to do what they could; and the Lord blessed their efforts. When we bade our friends farewell, and took the cars for Chicago, we were glad that there remained another week of the meeting, and we hoped that before its close a higher standpoint would be reached by these brethren and sisters. Many felt that they had already received a blessing, and for this we were grateful; but we trust that before they returned home they received a much greater blessing; that they were transformed in character, prepared to work the works of righteousness. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 21, 1884
(Vol. 61, #42)

 "Remarks at Michigan Health and Temperance Association"

    "I feel distressed as I look upon our people and know that they are holding very loosely the temperance question. It has been a mystery to me how any of our people with all the light they have had, could manufacture and sell cider. From the light God has given me, every member among us should sign the pledge and be connected with the temperance association. Some have backslidden and tampered with tea and coffee. Those who break the laws of health will become blinded in their minds and break the law of God. We should unite with other people just as far as we can and not sacrifice principle. This does not mean that we should join their lodges and societies, but that we should let them know that we are most heartily in sympathy with the temperance question. We should not work solely for our own people, but should bestow labor also upon noble minds outside of our ranks. We should be at the head in the temperance reform. We want our sisters who are now injuring themselves by wrong habits to put them away and come to the front and be workers in reform. The reason why many of us will fall in the time of trouble is because of laxity in temperance and indulgence of appetite.
    "Moses preached a great deal on this subject, and the reason the people did not go through to the promised land was because of repeated indulgence of appetite. Nine-tenths of the wickedness among the children of today is caused by intemperance in eating and drinking. Adam and Eve lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, and we can only regain it by the denial of the same." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 28, 1884
(Vol. 61, #43)

 "Notes of Travel: Syracuse, N. Y."

    At Marshalltown, Iowa, I parted from my son, J. E. White, whose business was in such a state that he could not remain with me longer at present. In my intercourse with him I have been gratified to see that his heart is awakening to a sense of God's claims upon him. May the time soon come when he will be free from every embarrassment, and will give himself wholly to the work of God. I feel thankful that he has helped what he could at several campmeetings, and especially for his interested efforts in behalf of the Sabbath school and in other directions in the Iowa meeting. He will join me again in Ohio. If he keeps his soul in the love of God, he can be a blessing to others; while by using his talents in the work of God, he will grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
    How important it is that those who have talents use them in the cause of God, working with an eye single to his glory. Time is short; eternity is near. I long to see men who are fettering themselves with worldly entanglements and perplexities, lay these aside, and put all their energies into the work of God. If they will ask his help, they will not ask in vain. They should be often in prayer for divine guidance. Jesus invites their confidence; God will never hide his face from the earnest, contrite supplicant. When every other hope fails, our heavenly Father presents himself as a sure refuge.
    In the lives of all, difficulties will arise which they cannot solve, and from which they cannot free themselves. If they have neglected to make God their counselor, let this be so no longer. "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." What a precious promise is this! What a privilege it is that in the day of perplexity, even though we have brought ourselves into trial by neglecting to seek counsel of God, we may go to him with the full assurance that he will hear and answer our prayers. The Redeemer, who died for fallen man, and who well understands his value, is able to guide the humble seeker into straight paths.
    We arrived on the campground at Syracuse, N. Y., Aug. 20. The next day, Thursday, we were glad to greet Eld. U. Smith and wife. Here we met Eld. Wheeler, with whom we became acquainted in New Hampshire thirty years ago. Here was Eld. Cottrell, whom we have known for thirty years; Eld. Taylor, for more than twenty-five years; Bro. Robinson, for thirty-five years. My heart was touched as I looked upon these brethren who had long stood in defense of the faith. More than a score of years have passed into eternity with their burden of record since these men became soldiers of the cross; but their experience in the early history of the cause of God has never grown dim. As their thoughts linger about the past, the fires of love and faith kindle anew in their hearts. They can say with John, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life;" "that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us."
    Others were present whom we highly esteem, tried friends of the cause, whom we have known many years. We saw their countenances light up with fresh assurance as they listened to the presentation of the truth which has kept their hearts warm all these years. These brethren and sisters have an accurate, personal knowledge of events that occurred a score or more years ago. Some of them have witnessed remarkable manifestations of the power of God in times of our greatest trial and need, when our numbers were few, when opposition was strong, and unreasonable objections had to be met. While things that occurred a week ago may be forgotten, these scenes of thrilling interest still live in the memory.
    Whatever may be said of the later stages of their life history, their earlier experience in this work has left traces which can never be erased. We cannot afford to let these aged sentinels drop out of sight. To many, by pen and voice, they have spoken precious words of truth; and they should still be encouraged to do all they can with their influence, their counsel, and their experience in the cause of God. More youthful workers are taking their place in active service, and this is right; but let these younger men keep a warm place in their hearts, and room in their councils, for those whose heads have grown gray in the service of Christ. We want to see these men keep on the armor, and press the battle to the gates. We want to see them share with younger soldiers the triumphs of the final victory. It will be joy indeed to see them, when the conflict is ended, crowned and honored among the victorious ones.
    We had good meetings. Many were deeply moved, and their testimonies of confession brought light. The discourses were clear, pointed, and stirring, and melted their way into many hearts; but to many others they were as water spilled upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up. It was sad to see so many who have a knowledge of the truth feel so little responsibility to save souls. Jesus is disappointed in their lives. He comes seeking fruit, and finds nothing but leaves,--profession, pretense, hollow formalism.
    The truths brought from the storehouse of God's word will find a lodgement in hearts prepared to receive them, and will purify the mind and elevate the character. When men and women have professed the truth for years, but have made no advancement,--when they have failed to gain solidity of character or a valuable Christian experience,--it is because they are not doers of the word. They bear no fruit to the glory of God. They may have ability and tact, thought and skill, to exercise in temporal matters; but they are content to use them where only their own selfish interest is concerned, and they are daily robbing God of the use of the talents he has intrusted to them. Like the inhabitants of the Noachian world, they eat and drink, build, plant, and sow, and allow these things to absorb all their time and all their thought.
    As we thought of the numbers in attendance at the Iowa campmeeting, and looked over the large congregation assembled on this ground, we were deeply moved. We long to have these brethren and sisters discern spiritual things. What can arouse them to overcome doubts and unbelief, and exercise living faith? Many of them need to have the cobwebs of earthliness brushed away before they can turn a clear gaze heavenward. There are kindhearted professors who need to experience the converting power of God. Our Lord requires full and entire consecration; and the priceless boon of eternal life can be secured on no other terms. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and "thy neighbor as thyself."
    There was a large number on the ground who did not seem to lose the worldly mold. Their offense was that they were indolent, they rested satisfied while living in the neglect of duty, and as a consequence, they were making but little progress in the religious life. If their light shone at all, it was pale and flickering, and had a sickly, dying out appearance. Oh! that these dear souls could realize that God is waiting to be gracious; that all Heaven is waiting their demand upon its light and strength.
    In the light of God's word, there must be a decided change in the attitude and character of his chosen people, or they will never obtain the overcomer's reward. In their present state of spiritual inefficiency, they could never fight the good fight of faith as successful soldiers of Jesus Christ. While the great enemy of God and his people is wide awake, earnest, and untiring in his efforts to ensnare, where are the men and women who are qualifying themselves to meet and expose his arts and deceptions?
    Every man, every woman, and every youth is under obligation to work for the strengthening and upbuilding of the cause of Christ; but would not a large number of his professed people, in their present condition, be pronounced slothful servants? Brethren, you do not exercise skill, diligence, and devotion in the cause of your Master. After having received the richest gifts of heaven, you are content to give but little in return. Do not entertain complacent feelings in view of the talents which have been intrusted to you. God will prove you; and when he finds you are selfishly absorbed in your own plans and interests, he will take these talents away from you, and give them to those who have wrought unselfishly in his service.
    A day of reckoning is drawing on, when the rewards will be given to the faithful traders with their Lord's goods; but these true servants take no credit to themselves; they give their Lord all the glory. "Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds." There could have been no gain without the deposit, no interest without the principal. The pound was committed to the faithful servant, and he has gained besides it, or through its help, other pounds also. He does not feel that he has done more than his duty. The capital was advanced to him, and if he has been enabled to trade successfully with it, his Lord alone shall have the glory.
    When brethren render to God a small portion of their time, money, or intellect, which are all his own, they are inclined to feel well pleased with themselves, and to think that they have placed the Lord under obligation to them. But why should Brn. Whitney, Smith, Brown, Haskell, or any of these ministers, give all their powers to the service of God, and bear burdens in his cause, and the hundreds of believers go free, carrying no responsibility of the work? Has God given these brethren faculties different from yours? No, my brethren and sisters; you have the very same reasoning powers that they possess, but you have allowed your farm or business to absorb all your time and energies.
    There is work for all in the cause of God. The church in your own neighborhood requires care. Men of thought and self-denial are needed,--men who will work to keep up the interests of the church, even if their own worldly affairs suffer. You will give your thought and care to that cause whose prosperity you prize most highly. If it is your farm, your trade, or your business, then this will be first considered. But a day of reckoning is surely coming, when a full and minute account will have to be rendered as to how you have employed your God given abilities.
    The apostle Paul exhorts, "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." "A living sacrifice"--not a dead, corrupted, defiled offering. It is too often the case that the unclean hand stains, the impure heart sullies, the truth you profess to love. The earthly and sensual has been indulged at the expense of health and of the mental and moral powers. The baser affections have been mingled more or less with the truth you have handled, and it "tastes of the dish." God requires the earthen vessel containing this treasure to be pure, the soul temple to be cleansed of its defilement.
    Paul continues: "And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." With the Christian there is an abiding sense of his obligation to God. He looks to the Captain of his salvation for orders, and is faithful and true to obey these orders.
    I attended the morning meeting, Aug. 21, and spoke of the work that must be done for us individually. The meeting was a good one; but there was not that depth and earnestness of feeling that would insure the presence of the Spirit of God, and produce lasting impressions. The people are too well satisfied with themselves, and there is a deadness that savors of spiritual paralysis. The message to the Laodiceans is applicable to them; for while congratulating themselves upon their knowledge of the truth, they are destitute of true love and faith.
    In the morning meeting of Aug. 22, I spoke to the people upon the important work that is going forward in our behalf on this antitypical day of atonement. I then called upon all to come forward who had not been serving the Lord, but wished to do so, and all who were willing to put away by confession those sins that grieved the Spirit of God, and withheld his blessing from them. Nearly all in the tent came forward, and there seemed to be deep feeling in the meeting. Confessions were made with many tears.. Several spoke of their anxiety in regard to their children who were out of Christ. They longed for wisdom to know just how to reach them.
    One brother said that he had been impatient, and had not kept up the family altar. He thought that his wife would now be in the faith had he set before her such an example as a Christian should. Another had cherished hard feelings against his brother, and he made this confession that the wound might be healed.
    One sister said that her heart was filled with enmity and jealousy. This was indeed sad; but we were glad that she had courage and grace to confess. It is a blessing that she sees her fault now, while mercy stands pleading in behalf of the erring. To see one's sins is the first step toward putting them away. The Christian's experience is a checkered one; his path is uneven, because he does not always make God his trust, and follow where he leads the way. If the Christian life and character were always a faithful representation of Jesus, the world's Redeemer, the good work of grace wrought in the heart would flow out in the life, and would reflect a clear, steady, precious light upon the pathway of others. Such a confession of faith to the world would be a most powerful sermon in favor of Christianity.
    Another sister said that her mother had left money to her, the principal to be loaned to the cause, while she was permitted to use the interest; but she confessed that she had called in a portion of the principal for herself. In this case we could advise that she make restitution; and this gave opportunity to make remarks in regard to robbery toward God.
    In these last days we must learn from the experience of past ages. The confession of faith made by saints and martyrs has been recorded for our benefit. These living examples of holiness and steadfast faith have come down to us to inspire us with courage. They received grace and truth, not for themselves alone, but that the knowledge of God might enlighten the world. Has God given us light? Then we should let it shine forth to the world; we should reach out by faith to save souls for whom Christ died.
    At this campmeeting some took their stand with us to keep all the commandments of God. At most of the services there was a good attendance of those residing in the city who were not of our faith. My labors were taxing; but my interest for our people was so deep that I felt constrained to speak to them earnestly; and I longed to have those who are in the darkness of error see the beauty and preciousness of the truth, that they too might come to the light.
    We felt anxious that all who could be induced to attend our meeting should hear the prophecies explained in Bro. Smith's clear, forcible manner. The privilege of hearing such clear arguments should be appreciated by our people, and they should set themselves to study the precious truths which are opened to their understanding. These prophecies bring us down to the close of time, and warn us to prepare for the crisis that is approaching. We should be getting ready for the scenes of thrilling interest that are before us. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 4, 1884
(Vol. 61, #44)

 "Notes of Travel: Worcester, Mass."

    We arrived at Worcester Aug. 26. That evening it commenced to rain, and the storm continued that night and all day Tuesday; but Wednesday forenoon the weather cleared.
    The meeting had been in progress five days. Much hard work had been done, with some good results; but the good accomplished was not at all in proportion to the labor bestowed. From time to time we meet things on the campground that seem to stand in defiance of all the advice or labor that can be bestowed; and this makes the labor of the minister very discouraging. On the part of some of the youth present there seemed to be a disposition to pay too much attention to young ladies. When this spirit is once permitted to find place, it works like leaven, and but little permanent impression can be made upon the youth. Until this spirit is entirely rooted out, and the meekness and lowliness of Christ takes its place, their spiritual progress is stayed, and all the words spoken to them seem as water spilled upon a rock.
    Young men who have been granted a license to preach will be tested. They will show whether they are worthy to be recommended to the confidence of the people, and intrusted with the sacred responsibility of laboring for souls. It is a great thing to receive the words of God and present them to the people. It is a sacred trust to occupy the position of a shepherd of the flock of God. All who have a sense of this great responsibility, will be sober minded, thoughtful, praying men.
    It is not by lecturing or sermonizing that the minister will be able to meet the moral darkness of this age, and exalt the standard of truth in the earth. There must be heart culture. It is by cultivating truth, purity, love, and a disposition to help others, that the influence is sanctified. One that watches for souls as they that must give an account, will watch himself as well. He will consider the prayer of Christ, the Great Shepherd, who is the pattern for all the under shepherds: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. . . Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is 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."
    Jesus led the way where he wished others to follow, and those who labor intelligently to present the truth will do likewise. They will not engage in frivolous conversation. A wide field of usefulness is open before them; and if they realize its magnitude and importance, they will carry a burden for souls, and will have a weight of influence. But we meet some whose deportment and influence are no recommendation of the truth. If they have any connection with the work of God, it will be marred through the influence of their defective education and wrong habits of life.
    Those who are vain and self-important, who are given to trifling and jesting, cast reproach on the cause of God; for our faith and principles are judged by their course of action. The errors and mistakes of the unfaithful minister are charged to the whole body. Then let him that ministers in sacred things be careful to start right. Let him have a character as free from imperfections as possible, and let him walk quietly in the path of rectitude, mastering every passion and habit that will in any way mar the work of God or leave a spot upon its sacredness. It is the work of the minister to resist the temptations that lie in his pathway, and to rise superior to those debasements that give the mind a low level.
    Good habits are of great value to every young person. Self-importance, self-esteem, and boldness are to be deplored in any youth or in any professed follower of Christ; but how much more in one who is handling the most sacred truths ever committed to mortals. When such a one pursues a course out of the desk that is not in accordance with his calling and his pulpit labors, it is an evil that cannot be too strongly condemned. Those who take this course show that they are not Christians; that while they would teach others, they have need that one teach them. They are not students in the school of Christ; they are not wearing his yoke or bearing his burdens. They are an offense to God.
    I am greatly troubled; for I know that young men are accepted as laborers whose life and character are no honor to the cause of God. They may have repented of their past course of frivolity; but do they show that the transforming grace of Christ has had its influence on their hearts and lives? Those who are going out as canvassers, colporteurs, or lecturers, should bear their credentials to the world in a well ordered life and circumspect conversation. Will these young men consider what kind of a record they are making in the books of heaven? In some cases if their conduct toward young ladies could be laid open before the eyes of men as it is before the eyes of angels, what a picture would be presented! To trifle with hearts is a crime of no small magnitude in the sight of a holy God. And yet some will show preference for young ladies and call out their affections, and then go their way and forget all about the words they have spoken and their effect. A new face attracts them, and they repeat the same words, devote to another the same attentions.
    This disposition will reveal itself in the married life. The marriage relation does not always make the fickle mind firm, the wavering steadfast and true to principle. They tire of constancy, and unholy thoughts will manifest themselves in unholy actions. How essential it is, then, that the youth so gird up the loins of their mind and guard their conduct, that Satan cannot beguile them from the path of uprightness. We grieve to see men with good capabilities, to whom have been intrusted precious talents, wholly unfitting themselves to teach the truth. Their thoughts are upon low, debasing themes that defile the mind, so that it never reaches that high standard that would give nobleness of character and firmness of principle.
    Let every church frown upon the course of one who comes among them as a minister, and yet dishonors the cause of God by attracting to himself ladies, either married or single. The sacred, solemn truth is despised and made of none effect by the frivolous course of some, who, forgetting the solemnity and dignity that should ever characterize the embassador for Christ, amuse themselves out of the desk in coquetting with young ladies, thus helping them to put all serious thoughts out of their minds. These men show that they have not elevated views of the truth; that they know nothing of its sanctifying influence; and that they are not in harmony with the work for the salvation of souls. The Lord asks them, "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?"
    Each one in the day of investigative Judgment will stand in character as he really is; he will render an individual account to God. Every word uttered, every departure from integrity, every action that sullies the soul, will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. Memory will be true and vivid in condemnation of the guilty one, who in that day is found wanting. The mind will recall all the thoughts and acts of the past; the whole life will come in review like the scenes in a panorama. Thus every one will be condemned or acquitted out of his own mouth, and the righteousness of God will be vindicated.
    In the case of each individual there is a process going forward which is far more wonderful than that which transfers the features to the polished plate of the artist. The art of the photographer merely imprints the likeness on perishable substance; but in the life record the character is faithfully delineated, and this record, however dark, can never be effaced except by the blood of the atoning Sacrifice. Then, young friends, will you not stop and think what record the books in heaven present of your life and character? What kind of a picture are you making to confront you in the final Judgment? Will you consider that the harboring of a polluted thought, the formation of a bad, selfish habit, which debases your own soul and ruins others, is a blot upon that record that will one day appear against you? Can you afford this?
    Remember that to cause a suspicion or a reproach to rest upon the cause of God is a terrible thing. It is crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to open shame before his enemies. Those who do this are without excuse, and their course will stand against them in the day of reckoning. God has given to young men precious talents; but all have not made the best use of these gifts; some have perverted these powers, and used them to gratify their own desires, to serve their own purposes. The Lord accepts no such service.
    The true minister of God will not attempt to stand before the people until he is himself transformed by grace. Let the light of truth shine into the heart and sanctify the life, and the love of God be shed abroad in the heart, and one can hardly conceive what a change is wrought. It is difficult to realize what a man may become, and what solid work for God he may do. His conversation is in heaven. He is chaste in thought, pure in purpose, sensitive in conscience, unswerving in integrity.
    Think for a moment of the contrast between an intelligent Christian, and a man who is living for self, a votary of sin. There stand two men endowed with equal capabilities. Their opportunities have been the same; the same inducements have been presented before them. One has studied his Bible with the purpose to make it the rule of his life. He knows the Source of his strength, and trusts in the merits of Jesus, hanging his helpless soul upon his mercy. His life is one of self-denial. He does not live to please himself, but it is his pleasure to be a co-laborer with God. His countenance is lighted up with intelligence; his experience is rich and deep; his bearing is that of a Christian gentleman, calm, self-possessed, and dignified.
    Now look at the opposite picture. There stands one to whom God has intrusted precious talents. He is familiar with the Scriptures, but his heart has never been sanctified through the truths they teach. His affections have never been entwined about God, but are like the vine trailing upon the ground, its tendrils grasping the stumps and rubbish of earth. His entire character is marked by a littleness, an earthliness, a debasement, which testifies to those who observe his ways that the spirit of truth has not entered the inner sanctuary of the soul, and cleansed it of its defilement.
    Surely no one can hesitate to choose between these two representative characters. But let each one remember that refinement and true nobility are qualities that never come by chance. It is only by individual, personal effort, aided by the grace of God, that a high standard of moral excellence can be reached. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 11, 1884
(Vol. 61, #45)

 "Notes of Travel: Vermont Campmeeting"

    We reached the Burlington, Vt. campmeeting Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 3. The encampment was located on a high bank overlooking Lake Champlain, and the scenery was very interesting and attractive. The broad lake, stretched out before us, reminded me of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, which I have so often looked upon with admiration.
    As the sun was sinking out of sight, its crimson glory, like a pillar of fire, was mirrored in the waters of the lake. I thought of the children of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness,--of the defense God graciously gave them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. How could they doubt God, how could they murmur at the roughness of the way and the hardships they endured, when this symbol of the divine presence and protection was constantly with them? How could they forget that, enshrouded in that cloudy pillar, the Son of God was their leader, by day shielding them from the burning rays of the sun, and by night watching them with an eye that never slept?
    As I looked upon the beautiful landscape, which suggested thoughts so pleasant and elevating, I rejoiced that here was beauty which we could admire and enjoy without any fear that our minds would be led away from God. If we would seek less anxiously for the artificial, and would take greater delight in the Lord's created works, we would be freer from gloomy feelings, more simply honest and true, more like the divine Author of beauty and joy.
    We here met the largest number of Sabbathkeepers ever assembled at a campmeeting in Vermont. Among these brethren and sisters we were glad to see several of the old friends of the cause. But we were sorry to hear of the affliction of our beloved Bro. Barrows, who had attended every previous campmeeting held in the State. His son Hamlet was called home by a telegram that his father was at the point of death; and soon another was sent, summoning Sr. Hutchins to the bedside of her dying father. On Monday a telegram was received, stating that our beloved brother was sleeping in Jesus. I could say, "It is well. Weep not for the dead, but for the living." John, in holy vision, glancing down to our time, exclaimed, "Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." Let us not mourn for those who have gone to their rest, but work understandingly and intelligently for the living.
    Another faithful standard bearer is gone. His lifework is ended; his armor is laid off at the feet of his Redeemer. How many who were among the pioneers of the cause in Vermont have left us,--Bro. and Sr. Barrows, Bro. and Sr. Gardner, Bro. and Sr. Morse, Bro. and Sr. Childs, Bro. and Sr. Sperry, Bro. and Sr. Lockwood, Bro. and Sr. Butler, Bro. Bingham, Sr. Benson, and her husband, who embraced the truth at a later date, and others, whose names I cannot recall. I looked upon the careworn features of our aged Bro. and Sr. Loveland, and thought, How soon their faces too will be missing. These have let their light shine day by day in steady beams. May the Lord continue to give them a large measure of his Spirit, that while they live they may sow the seed of truth.
    During the Vermont campmeeting the heat was very oppressive and debilitating. My appetite was poor, and I felt the need of rest; for I had labored almost constantly since attending the Iowa meeting. But I would not yield to the enemy. I spoke five times from the desk, besides several times in morning meetings, and once to the ministers and canvassers.
    Sunday I was sick. It seemed impossible for me to stand and speak to the people in the oppressive atmosphere of that hot September day. But trusting in Jesus, I decided to make the attempt. The Lord blessed me with great freedom. He gave me special strength and utterance, so that no one would have suspected that I had been so very feeble before commencing to speak. Some had expressed fears that I would faint in the desk, but these fears were soon removed. I went trusting in God, and he sent me help. His angels were by my side, strengthening me for the work. I felt awed and solemn; for I knew that without this divine aid I could not have stood before the people. I recalled the many times that I had proved God under most discouraging circumstances, and he had blessed me beyond my expectations, and I felt reproved that I had allowed fears to arise as to whether, in my weakness, I could deliver my message to the congregation.
    The blessing I had received did not leave me, but I continued to grow stronger. A few hours before, want of faith had led me to look forward to a probable illness of days, and perhaps weeks, from malaria; but the spell of disease was broken. I drank of the well of Bethlehem, and was refreshed. Soul and body were invigorated; the praise of God was upon my lips, while I made melody to him in my heart.
    Our friends in Vermont merit our gratitude for their kindness and attention. They made every exertion to have our tent comfortable. As in New York, a small tent was pitched under a larger one. In the court outside the small tent a well furnished table was spread for the ministers from abroad. A stove was also placed here, all ready for use. Although in this instance we had no need of a stove, I was grateful for this evidence of their thoughtful care. It is often unsafe to be without a fire in the tent; and if nothing is done about getting a stove fitted up and in running order until the weather changes from hot to cold, the warmth and comfort often come one day too late, as we have found to our sorrow. Before arrangements can be made, and a fire built, the mischief is done. In such cases I have been thoroughly chilled through, and throat and lungs have suffered from a severe cold, which has clung to me for months.
    Everything was done that could be done to make us comfortable and at home during our stay with these friends. Our tent was tastefully arranged, and the pleasant motto, "Welcome," greeted us as we entered. We understood that this motto was put up by friends not of our faith, and that they cheerfully aided in furnishing and arranging our tent. May none of these kindly attentive ones lose their reward.
    Many who spend only one week in camp do not realize the need of these special preparations; but those who spend eight, ten, or fifteen weeks in campmeetings, obliged to labor constantly, and who do not eat or sleep at home for several months together, should have careful, thoughtful attention, that their strength and courage may be at the best, and they may be able to perform the greatest amount of labor. Ministers are constantly taxed, and are often reduced in strength by over labor. All that our brethren can do to preserve their health, and to make their labors successful and effective, should be cheerfully done. No pains should be spared to show them that their work for the Master is appreciated, and to relieve them, as far as possible, of every burden and anxiety.
    Do not feel, brethren, that those who minister to you in sacred things may have too easy a time if you are considerate of their comfort. You cannot do better service for the cause of God than by taking special care of those who are laboring in his vineyard. There is altogether too much of a feeling on the part of some that ministers should put up with every inconvenience, for this is a part of their legacy; but the neglect to do what should have been done for their comfort, has caused weeks of painful sickness, and has deprived the people of the labor that God designed they should have.
    I am happy to be able to say that thus far on this journey East, our brethren have given evidence that they love and appreciate the Master by the care they have bestowed on the servants who are engaged in doing his work. They have thus left the impression on the minds of their children, and of others who are not naturally considerate, that those to whom God has intrusted his most solemn, sacred message are to be highly esteemed for their work's sake. They have been made to feel that the lives and strength of God's chosen messengers are precious, and should be carefully preserved to do the work of the Lord in the best manner possible. Jesus counts the kindnesses done to them as service rendered to himself. Remember his words: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 18, 1884
(Vol. 61, #46)

 "Right Methods in Labor (Campmeeting, Burlington, Vt.)"

    Ministers, canvassers, colporteurs, and other laborers in the cause, should be careful to meet the responsibilities that God has laid upon them. Their course of action will mold the churches that have their labor; therefore there should be diligent heart searching to see whether they are in the love of God, whether Christ is dwelling in them by living faith.
    The standard of Bible religion has been greatly lowered. To confess Christ is not what many suppose it to be; and the lax ideas that prevail on this subject have affected ministers as well as people. Personal conflicts and victories will make up the experience of every child of God. But how many there are who profess Christ, and yet know nothing of this Christian warfare. They make no advancement in the Christian life after their baptismal vows are taken. It is not considered essential to carry their religion into their everyday life, into all their business and social relations; and with many, personal experience in the things of God come to an end when they unite with the church.
    A worldly religion is now current; and the minister has a work to do to arouse a sleepy, indolent, world loving church from their dangerous slumbers. If he is a true servant of Christ, he will not cease his prayers, he will not cease his efforts, until every member of his flock has been brought into working order. He will not, if he is a true educator, think to do all the work himself, but will show skill in bringing out and developing the talent that is within his reach. The people must be taught to labor in the vineyard of the Lord, and this is the minister's great work. All power belongs to God; but he has chosen human instrumentalities to do his work in the earth. Here is something to call into active exercise all the powers which men and women possess, whether mental or physical. They have no right to bury their talents in worldly enterprises, thus depriving the Creator of the service which is his due.
    The work of God must be carried forward in the earth, and that which he has determined must be accomplished. But the Lord is just, merciful, and good; he requires nothing of his servants which they cannot do,--nothing but that it is for their interest to do. Sometimes ministers do too much; they seek to embrace the whole work in their arms. It absorbs and dwarfs them; yet they continue to grasp it all. They seem to think that they alone are to work in the cause of God, while the members of the church stand idle. This is not God's order at all. Jesus inquires of these unemployed ones, "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" And his word of command to them is, "Go ye also into the vineyard."
    Christ is our living head, and we are the members of his body, mutually dependent. It is not his plan that a single member shall become weak for want of exercise. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. If one member is honored or enlightened, all the members rejoice with it. Every member receives life from Christ, the living head, "from whom the whole body, fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." "The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee," for "unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." "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."
    Thus it is plainly stated that each member is to be active, and to use his ability to the utmost for the upbuilding of Christ's kingdom in the earth. We each have an individuality in our work, but not separate and distinct from our brethren. A living link unites the people of God, and makes them one in spirit, one in knowledge, and one in love to God and their fellowmen. They are branches of the Living Vine, and are partakers of its sap and nourishment. Every branch in the Vine is expected to be fruit bearing. Said Jesus, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."
    It is not the will of God that any should perish, but that all should come to a knowledge of the truth, and be saved. And if men and women would unselfishly do the work which God has left for them, not shirking responsibilities, the gospel would be brought within the reach of all. Let none be content to drink of the lifegiving fountain themselves, but let them extend the invitation, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Christ left his royal throne and high command in heaven, and came into the world to save sinners. Who of those who profess to be his ministers--who of you, my brethren--have such a love for souls as Jesus has shown for you?
    God uses simple instruments. With Jesus abiding in the soul by faith, we can do all things. If the soul is sanctified through the truth, it will be revealed in the life. If you labor unselfishly, dear brethren, however imperfect your work may appear, it is accepted in the sight of your Master, and it will accomplish his purpose. But if your work has been done in human wisdom, or has been marred by selfish motives, the divine signet will not be placed upon it, and you will be made ashamed. Your preaching in the desk is only the beginning of your work for Jesus. Your discourses must be followed by holy living, by bearing burdens in the cause of God, by coming close to hearts, by teaching every one how to make the best use of the talents intrusted to him of God.
    Everything of a worldly nature must be kept subordinate to the higher, eternal interest. The minister must be Christlike, forgetful of self; all childishness, weakness, and deformity of character must be overcome. He must be a pattern of piety, having learned to exercise the meekness and lowliness of Christ and to bear his yoke with patience. Jesus lived not to please himself; but how few are the instances where men in this age are willing to deny self, and take up the cross and bear it after him. The present character and works of God's professed people are not in accordance with their faith. There must be more of a self-sacrificing spirit, more earnestness and faithfulness in their labors, on the part of those who would enter the ministry. Those who professedly represent Christ must keep themselves unspotted from the world. They must be minute men, earnest and true, that the power of God may attend their efforts, while like Paul they labor to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
    The great deficiency in love and zeal, the manifest backsliding, the easy, contented disposition of many who profess Christ, should alarm the watchmen. They should inquire, What does this mean? Where am I standing? What am I doing to make manifest the truth as it is in Jesus? Am I watching for souls as they that must give an account? What do the books of heaven testify of me? Is faithfulness set down opposite my name, or am I classed with the slothful servants, whose portion will be with hypocrites and unbelievers? As a people, we profess to believe most sacred, testing truths. God has made us the depositaries of his law. We are chosen to be separate from the world, to be God's peculiar people, to love him, but to renounce the world and the things of the world. We are called upon to deny self, and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
    Many youthful ministers have not a sense of the sacredness of the work. They are weak when they should be strong. Christ went without the camp, bearing the reproach of sin, and we are to follow his example. Paul exhorts, "Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." The Lord of glory assumed human nature that he might seek and save that which was lost, and link finite man with the infinite God. No other eyes looked upon man with such pity; no other arm was able to save; no other hand could lay hold on man to lift him up. The condescension of Jesus, his self-sacrifice and unparalleled effort, have prepared the way for us to labor in his strength. Now the question is, Will we work as Christ worked, full of love and pity, or will we coldly hold ourselves aloof from our fellowmen?
    We should manifest our love for souls by doing what we can for their salvation. We must exercise much forbearance and wisdom, and put forth painstaking effort. We must be much in prayer that God will work with our efforts. "Abide in me," is Jesus' requirement; and this involves careful living, and persevering, untiring efforts to save souls. But how easily we become discouraged, and turn away from souls because the great adversary binds them to his side. Selfishness girds us about as with iron bands, and we do not feel like exerting ourselves for others; but selfishness cannot exist where true faith in Christ is exercised. Self-interest, coldness, sluggishness, cowardice, all shrink from the presence of faith.
    There is danger of becoming selfish and sectional in our feelings while laboring for the upbuilding of the cause of God. If men are converted to the truth here in Vermont, is it any reason why you should feel that you have a right to confine their labors to this State? This is not wise policy. They may be adapted to some special work which the Lord has for them to do elsewhere, and let no man reach out his finite arm to bar the way. Let no one manifest a selfishness in this matter, for the world is to be warned. Souls in other States and Conferences are just as much in need of the message of truth as those in your own State, where you are particularly interested. The truth is in our hands to be communicated to those who have it not, and souls are to be reached wherever they are. The standard of Christ is to be raised in many places where as yet it has never been seen.
    If duty calls the young men who have been laboring in your State to go elsewhere, do not seek to hold them back. There has been too much of this selfishness shown in various sections. One part of the field is as important as another. Our field is the world. There are no bounds; but, sowers, be diligent, "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." If men are moved to other fields, work on, pray on, that God may raise up others, and by the soul transforming truths for this time fit them to labor in his vineyard, either to remain with you, or to go into other States.
    Of those who are just entering the work of the ministry, growth is expected. They should heed the words of Peter, "Giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." How few receive the amazing grace and love of Christ with a deep and permanent sense of their own weakness and unworthiness! If they would cherish true humility, the Lord could do much more for them; but he cannot trust them with any large measure of grace and responsibility without their becoming self-exalted, filled with pride and vain conceit.
    What a work might be done for the Master by you, brethren, who are assembled under this tent. But do not overestimate yourselves. "I dwell," says Jehovah, "with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit." We shall forfeit the favor of God if we lose the meek and lowly spirit which in his sight is of great price. Love to Jesus must be the motive which impels us to action. He places the highest value upon even the most trivial acts done from love to him. We must love one another as he has loved us; and by and by we shall hear him pronounce the welcome benediction, "Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 18, 1884
(Vol. 61, #46)

 "The Coming Thanksgiving"

    Our Thanksgiving is approaching. Will it be as it has been in many instances, a thanksgiving to ourselves? or will it be a thanksgiving to God? Our Thanksgivings may be made seasons of great profit to our own souls as well as to others, if we improve this opportunity to remember the poor among us. God has placed his poor in our midst, and he identifies his interest with them. Those who for Christ's sake relieve their necessities thus show that they would gladly do the same for Jesus; but as they cannot manifest their love to Jesus in person, they do their acts of sympathy, their deeds of love and beneficence, to him in the person of his saints.
    There are among us poor persons who need not have been thus if they had manifested wise forethought and careful Bible economy when they had opportunity and ability to earn wages. But they spent all as fast as it came, indulging in things they might have done without, and lacking nothing for their own comfort. Their desire to dress as richly as their relatives or friends, the desire to gratify their fancy so to provide for their tables as to make a good showing before friends or relatives who love not the truth, makes them very liberal to themselves, which results in their really doing injustice to themselves, to their families, and those whose capital they are using. Many need not be poor if they were self-denying and economical. When in possession of health, they should improve the opportunity when money comes in, to practice economy and lay by a certain sum weekly, resolving not to touch it even if for some meals they were obliged to eat salt and potatoes, or porridge and bread. This self-denial would be of the greatest advantage to the health. And if wages were low, or money scarce, it would be a gratification to know that there was something to fall back upon.
    There are families where enough is wasted to support a small family. Such the Lord is testing. He will let them experience pinching want,--the only way in which they can learn the lesson that it is not selfish indulgence or chasing after pleasure that brings peace and contentment. Real moral worth, the love and fear of God, opens fountains of pleasure that are never dry.
    While there are those who are in poverty through extravagant habits of living, there are also those who bear the curse of God for their dishonesty. They profess to be Christians; but they have overreached, thinking it was very cunning to deceive, to prevaricate, to obtain means under false pretenses, to take that which was not their own. God cannot bless this class. They will eventually come to want.
    But these are the degraded poor, bearing the present penalty for their evil course, preparatory to the final judgment of God, and the reward they will receive according as their deeds have been. While he bears long with the perversity and iniquity of those who profess to be Christians, but who are so only in name, God never forgets, and he will punish their transgressions and visit their iniquities. There are poor among us who have done the best they could; but misfortune and sickness seem to be their lot. Their homes are not attractive because they cannot make them so. They have no money to indulge in the gratification of luxuries or those things their tastes desire. The plain necessities of life are all they can afford. There are many such ones to whom it is exceedingly galling to be obliged to depend on charity in the least sense. But, brethren and sisters, God has placed these very ones in our midst to test and prove us, to keep our dispositions Christlike. God withholds nothing from us; we are the recipients of his mercies. Day by day and hour by hour, God is giving to us generously; and shall we for one moment look down upon the poor as though in God's sight we were better than they? God forbid! Never let the hungry cry of the destitute and afflicted ones come up to God against us; for every tear and every pressure of suffering want bears a cry up to heaven,--a grave charge upon someone of God's favored ones.
    There are a hundred ways that can be devised to help the poor in so delicate a manner as to make them feel they are doing us a favor by receiving our gifts and sympathy. We are to remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive. The attentions of our brethren are most liberal to those whom they wish to honor, and whose respect they desire, but who do not need their help at all. Custom and fashion say, Give to those who will give to you; but this is not the Bible rule of giving. The word of God declares against this way of gratifying self in thus bestowing our gifts, and says, "He that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want."
    Now a season is coming when we shall have our principles tested. Let us begin to think what we can do for God's needy ones. We can make them through ourselves the recipients of God's blessings. Think what widow, what orphan, what poor family you can relieve, not in a way to make a great parade about the matter, but be as a channel through which the Lord's substance shall flow as a blessing to his poor. As you look upon your own children, consider how many there are just as good and noble who have but little to cheer or make them glad. They may be orphans, with no home, no father, no mother, subject to temptations and influences calculated to lead them to ruin when these days of festivity occur. Who has a care for these homeless ones? Whose doors are open to them? Let the widow and the orphan be remembered.
    But this does not embrace all your duty. Make an offering to your best Friend; acknowledge his bounties; show your gratitude for his favors; bring a thank offering to God. How many want a share in our College at Healdsburg, Cal.? How many want to present a thank offering to God through the College at Battle Creek? How many want to invest something in our school at South Lancaster? Brethren and sisters, eat a plain dinner on Thanksgiving day, and with the money you would spend in extras with which to indulge the appetite, make a thank offering to God. What will you do for our new school just dedicated at South Lancaster? This school is at present in the greatest need. Will you do something for it?
    Everything seems to have degenerated into mixing the spurious with the genuine. Thanksgiving is almost entirely perverted. Instead of being a day of solemn gladness and gratitude to God, it has become a day of jollification, self-indulgence, and gluttony. Self interposes for attention, for gratification, for indulgence. This is a thanksgiving and oblation made to self to the forgetfulness of God and all his benefits to us. Let nothing interpose to detract glory from God.
    How much good might be done if we would make a right use of our associations with one another! Every one who has received of the heavenly benefits is under obligation to shed some light on the pathway of others. In all our associations we are to be witnesses for Christ. Then all those who truly love God will cease their idolatry of self. Let this be the case in the coming Thanksgiving. Employ your powers to a better purpose than in cooking a variety of food with which to gratify your appetites. Employ that time in becoming missionaries for God's cause, seeking how much you can do to turn the attention from self to the Lord our Creator. Gather up the offerings. Set the mind to running in a different channel than has been your custom. Let your works correspond with your faith. See what you can do toward turning your thoughts heavenward in place of upon earthly appetite and selfish indulgence. Wisely improve your powers in gathering up the smaller and larger offerings for the Master, and thus present a true thanksgiving to God. Make the most of your social position and influence to advance the interests of God's cause in the earth. There have been so few true Thanksgivings to God! Everything has been turned from God and heaven to earth; and now let us make every effort in our power to turn the mind back to God, away from earth, away from selfish interests, and away from self-serving. We know but little of the experience of self-denial. We must know more of it, weaving benevolence into our daily experience.
    There never was a time when we needed to begin to understand our duty to God as now. Let the questions be asked in sincerity, Am I a Christian (Christlike)? Am I showing my loyalty to God, and interestedly engaged in his service? Am I doing his word as well as hearing it? Let every one, young and old, feel the responsibility of his stewardship. All are in their Master's service. If those who profess to be Christians expend money needlessly when there are so many missionary enterprises that demand all the means that can be spared by every one of us, they are unfaithful servants. When about to purchase some article that is not essential, remember that the means thus invested, if not necessary for health or comfort, is so much retained for selfish purposes that ought to have been invested in the cause of God. It might have added some really necessary article of food or apparel to the needy poor around us. Cannot we, upon the coming celebration of Thanksgiving, make a thanksgiving for others through our thoughtful sympathy and deeds of love and kindness? We may bring rays of sunshine into many a heart that has long been desolate.
    How many in the Christian world will upon this Thanksgiving obey the injunction of Christ, "When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Instead of inviting those who have many good things in this life, and who cannot appreciate the favors of a feast, invite to your homes the needy, the poor, the widow, the fatherless. To the ones who have an abundance we have shown honor; but the ones who were really in need, who would esteem our favors as of great value, we neglect because they are poor, as though they did not belong to the Lord's family. The poor as well as the rich are under God's care. Then let us keep Thanksgiving in God's own way, and no longer follow the customs of the world, selfishly heaping our favors upon a few favorites, and neglecting the ones precious in the sight of the Lord, though slighted and neglected by those who profess to be the children of God.
    The pampered, the indulged, need to be in the place of the poor for a year, if not longer, that they might learn by experience what it is to be straitened in purse, to be humbled by slights, to be neglected, to want for sympathy, to put up with inconvenience, to lack many things necessary for comfort. This experience would give a different mold to the character. It would open eyes now selfishly blind; and when placed back where there was an abundance at their command, their sympathies, which are now sealed to everything but selfish interests, would become extended and deepened.
    Brethren and sisters, will you this Thanksgiving live and act the Christian as well as bear the name? Remember the words of Jesus: "I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. . . . Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me." Matt. 25:42-45. Never let it pass from our minds that Christ identifies his interest with suffering humanity. And we are to work for them as he worked for us. Jesus says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." We may show our love and benevolence to Jesus in the person of his saints, saying as did David, "All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."
    When the blessing is pronounced on the faithful, unselfish worker, the question arises from the lips of him receiving the blessing, "When saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?" They knew not that they had done any wonderful thing. The works of love and mercy had been the natural result of their love for Jesus. When the heart is filled with the heaven-born principles of true faith and devotion, there will be an immediate kindling of love toward Jesus, the author of redemption; and the very same works of benevolence which characterized the life of Jesus, will be wrought out by his followers, in gratitude, in devotion, in acts of mercy,--the natural fruit borne by a branch of the Living Vine. If there is in us the love of Jesus, who hath loved us, and given himself for us, then we shall reveal the spirit that is in us by doing as Christ has done. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
    The poor we have always with us; and opportunities are thus granted us of testifying to our love for Jesus in the person of his saints. Jesus linked himself with humanity in ties of close brotherhood. He sympathized with the poorest of the race. On the coming Thanksgiving, let us take our stand on the platform of love to our Redeemer. I shall look with interest for the reports of the coming Thanksgiving; for I believe it will be to all who will work as did Christ, the best and happiest of their lives. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 25, 1884
(Vol. 61, #47)

 "Notes of Travel: Portland, Me."

    We reached Portland about ten o'clock Tuesday evening, Sept. 9. Wednesday we rode twelve miles to Gorham to visit my sister, who has been an invalid six years from acute rheumatism. The suffering one awakened sorrow and called out deep sympathy; but we could do nothing to stay the progress of disease. We could only pray for and with her, and leave her in the hands of a compassionate Redeemer.
    While in Portland, in company with Sr. Mcomber, I visited localities of special interest in connection with my early life, among them the spot where I met with the accident that has made me a lifelong invalid. This misfortune, which for a time seemed so bitter and was so hard to bear, has proved to be a blessing in disguise. The cruel blow which blighted the joys of earth, was the means of turning my eyes to heaven. I might never have known Jesus, had not the sorrow that clouded my early years led me to seek comfort in him.
    I have read of a little bird that while his cage is full of light never sings the songs his master would teach him. He will listen, and learn a snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. But the master covers his cage, and then, in the dark, he listens to the one song he is to sing. He tries and tries again to sing that song, until it is learned, and he breaks forth in perfect melody; and then the cage is uncovered, and ever after he can sing it in the light. Thus God deals with his creatures. He has a song to teach us, and when we have learned it amid the deep shadows of affliction, we can sing it ever afterward.
    I passed the spot where the house once stood where Jesus revealed himself to me in power, and I seemed to see his blessed face beaming upon me in divine love and gentleness. I also visited my early home, and the house where my first vision was given me; but railroad buildings have crowded out many dwellings that used to stand in this locality. In the chamber of the last mentioned house, I once passed a night of anguish at the thought that I must go out and relate to others the things that God had presented before me. I shrank from this work in timidity and fear; the cross seemed so heavy that it would crush me. How clearly I remembered the experience of forty years ago, when my light went out in darkness because I was unwilling to lift this cross, and refused to be obedient. I shall never forget the agony of my soul when I felt the frown of God upon me. I was urged to attend a meeting in my father's house. The brethren and sisters bore me in the arms of their faith to a pitying Redeemer. I surrendered my will, feeling that I would do anything if the Lord would once more let his light shine upon me. I was delivered from darkness and despair, and restored to the favor of Heaven. I then lifted my cross, and have not since tried to exchange it for a lighter one.
    It has been my lot to be chastened by affliction, which has had a softening and subduing influence, removing enmity from my heart, and filling it with sympathy and love. My life of bereavement, pain, and suffering has not been without precious revealings of the presence of my Saviour. My eyes have been attracted to the heavens that shine in beauty above us; I have obtained glimpses of the eternal world and of the exceeding great reward. When all has seemed dark, there has been a rift in the clouds, and sunbeams from the throne have dispersed the gloom. God would not have any of us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up to catch the rainbow of promise, and reflect light to others.
    Oh, the blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern him. He longs to clasp our hands firmly, while we cling to him in simple faith, imploring him to guide us. It is our privilege to rejoice in God. If we will let the comfort and peace of Jesus into our lives, we shall be kept close to his great heart of love.
    I felt the deepest interest in the meeting in Portland, where my childhood and youth were passed. Some of my old schoolmates made themselves known to me on the ground. I also met a number of relatives who were my neighbors forty years ago. It afforded me great pleasure to meet and greet these old friends.
    Strict order was observed on the ground. At nine or half past, the bell was rung for retiring, and after that no meeting or loud talking was allowed. At five, at the sound of the bell, the camp was astir, preparing for the morning meeting in the pavilion. I was gratified to see the full attendance at this early hour.
    The practice which prevails in campmeetings held by some denominations, of continuing the meetings to a late hour, some even spending the night in praying and shouting is not conducive to the spiritual advancement of the worshipers. I have been told that in several instances persons have been taken from these meetings so excited that they were considered fit subjects for an insane asylum. This has caused many to decide never to attend a campmeeting; but on attending those held by our people, they are forced to admit that they can see nothing objectionable in them. They say that the order is fully as good as that observed in houses of worship in the cities.
    Body and mind need rest, that the mind may not become unbalanced and excited from being subjected to a constant strain. In our campmeetings great pains is taken in Bible readings and sermons to make important points of truth so clear that none need to be in ignorance. And good and regular sleep should be secured, that the mind may be clear, and in the best condition possible to weigh the arguments presented and to decide between truth and error.
    Wednesday evening the Lord gave me strength to bear my testimony. What emotions filled my heart as I stood before the people of my native city. It was here that I received my first impressions in regard to the speedy, personal coming of our Lord. Here my father's family, including myself, were excluded from the Methodist church for cherishing this blessed hope. I knew there were none in the congregation who had been active workers in the message of the first and second angels. And yet this city was favored with special light and privileges in the great movement of 1842-4. A large company accepted the faith, and rejoiced in the glad tidings that Jesus was soon coming. Many more would have taken their position with the waiting, watching ones, had not the ministers warned them against attending the Adventist meetings, telling them that it was as great a sin to listen to these doctrines as to attend a theater.
    A few paragraphs from a letter written in reference to the revival in Portland under Father Miller's labors will give a good idea of the character of his work. At the time, he was "lecturing to crowded congregations in the Casco street church on his favorite theme, the end of the world and the literal reign of Christ for one thousand years." Eld. L. D. Fleming wrote of these meetings:--
    "Things here are moving powerfully. Last evening about two hundred requested prayers, and the interest seems constantly increasing. The whole city seems agitated. Bro. Miller's lectures have not the least effect to frighten people; they are far from it. The great alarm is among those who do not come near them. Many who stay away and oppose, seem excited, and perhaps alarmed; but those who candidly hear are far from excitement or alarm.
    "The interest awakened by his lectures is of the most deliberate and dispassionate kind; though this is the greatest revival I ever saw, yet there is the least passionate excitement about it. It seems to take a deep hold on the main part of the community. What produces the effect is this: Bro. Miller simply takes the sword of the Spirit, unsheathed, and lays its sharp edge on the naked heart, and it cuts; that is all. Before the edge of this mighty weapon, infidelity falls and Universalism withers; false foundations vanish, and Babel's merchants wonder. It seems to me that this must be a little the nearest to apostolic revivals of anything that modern times have witnessed."
    A little later he wrote:--
    "There has probably never been so much religious interest among the inhabitants of this place, generally, as at present; and Mr. Miller must be regarded, directly, or indirectly, as the instrument, although many, no doubt, will deny it, as some are very unwilling to admit that a good work of God can follow his labors; and yet we have the most indubitable evidence that this is the work of the Lord. It is worthy of note that in the present instance there has been, comparatively, nothing like mechanical effort. There has been nothing like passionate excitement. If there has been excitement, it has been out of doors, among such as did not attend Bro. Miller's lectures.
    "At some of our meetings since Bro. Miller left, as many as two hundred and fifty, it has been estimated, have expressed a desire for religion by coming forward for prayers; and probably between one and two hundred have professed conversion at our meetings; and now the fire is being kindled through this whole city and all the adjacent country. A number of rumsellers have turned their shops into meeting rooms, and these places that were once devoted to intemperance and revelry are now devoted to prayer and praise. Others have abandoned the traffic entirely, and are converted to God. One or two gambling establishments, I am informed, are entirely broken up. Infidels, deists, and Universalists have been converted. Prayer meetings have been established in every part of the city by the different denominations or by individuals, and at almost every hour. Being down in the business part of our city on the 4th inst., I was conducted into a room over one of the banks, where I found about thirty or forty men, of different denominations, engaged in prayer, with one accord, at about eleven o'clock in the daytime.
    "In short, it would be almost impossible to give an adequate idea of the interest now felt in the city. There is nothing like extravagant excitement, but an almost universal solemnity on the minds of all the people. One of the principal booksellers informed me that he had sold more Bibles in one month since Mr. Miller came here than in any four months previous. A member of an orthodox church informed me that if Mr. Miller would now return, he would probably be admitted into any orthodox house of worship, and he expressed a strong desire for his return to our city."
    These statements I know to be true. And as under the first and second angel's messages the truth was proclaimed without excitement or extravagance, so the work goes forward under the message of the third angel. The discourses on the Portland campground were not of an emotional character, but appealed to the intellect; and many listened with deep interest to the evidences of our faith. Some, like the noble Bereans, began to search the Scriptures prayerfully to see if these things are so. Others were unmoved; they were content with their position and doctrines, and did not wish to make any change.
    Some passed our tent talking of the meetings. All expressed a favorable opinion, and acknowledged that a great deal of good instruction was given, which, if heeded, would prove a lasting benefit. One inquired, with considerable earnestness, "Well, what do you think of the Sabbath question, and the statement that the first-day Sabbath is a papal institution?" The answer came, "As for the Sabbath, I pay no attention to that. I just let the arguments go into one ear and out of the other. Why, the whole world keeps Sunday."
    Here is a message from God presenting Bible evidence that they are keeping holy a common working day; that they are reverencing an institution of the papacy instead of the one established by Jehovah; and they care not whether it is genuine or spurious as long as the world accepts it. If Jesus were on earth, he could say of them, as he did of the Pharisees of old, "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Well did the prophet say, "This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
    Said Christ, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Again he said, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness." The light of truth is going forth like a burning lamp, and those who love the light will not walk in darkness. They will study the Scriptures, that they may know of a surety that they are listening to the voice of the true Shepherd, and not that of a stranger.
    Those who are engaged in proclaiming the third angel's message are searching the Scriptures upon the same plan that Father Miller adopted. In the little book entitled "Views of the Prophecies and Prophetic Chronology," Father Miller gives the following simple but intelligent and important rules for Bible study and interpretation:--
    "1. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible; 2. All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by diligent application and study; 3. Nothing revealed in Scripture can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, not wavering; 4. To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence; and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error; 5. Scripture must be its own expositor, since it is a rule of itself. If I depend on a teacher to expound to me, and he should guess at its meaning, or desire to have it so on account of his sectarian creed, or to be thought wise, then his guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom is my rule, and not the Bible."
    The above is a portion of these rules; and in our study of the Bible we shall all do well to heed the principles set forth.
    Genuine faith is founded on the Scriptures; but Satan uses so many devices to wrest the Scriptures and bring in error, that great care is needed if one would know what they really do teach. It is one of the great delusions of this time to dwell much upon feeling, and to claim honesty while ignoring the plain utterances of the word of God because that word does not coincide with feeling. Many have no foundation for their faith but emotion. Their religion consists in excitement; when that ceases, their faith is gone. Feeling may be chaff, but the word of God is the wheat. And "what," says the prophet, "is the chaff to the wheat?"
    None will be condemned for not heeding light and knowledge that they never had, and they could not obtain. But many refuse to obey the truth that is presented to them by Christ's ambassadors, because they wish to conform to the world's standard; and the truth that has reached their understanding, the light that has shone in the soul, will condemn them in the Judgment. In these last days we have the accumulated light that has been shining through all the ages, and we shall be held correspondingly responsible. The path of holiness is not on a level with the world; it is a way cast up. If we walk in this way, if we run in the way of the Lord's commandments, we shall find that the "path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 2, 1884
(Vol. 61, #48)

 "The Otsego Meeting"

    Our General Conference over, we left Battle Creek Nov. 21, to attend a three days' meeting at Otsego. We rode on the cars to Kalamazoo in company with Eld. Daniels and his wife and Sister Mcomber. Bro. Leighton met us there, and took us in his carriage to Otsego, sixteen miles. As we entered the village, we heard the evening bells ringing for meeting, and we were told that there was an appointment for Sister White to speak. I hurried to Bro. Leighton's house, and back to the church, thinking that if I relied upon my own strength and wisdom I could make excuses and decline; but looking to Jesus for help I opened my Bible, and spoke with great freedom and clearness from Eph. 3:14-21.
    The brethren and sisters had come together from different churches, and the house of worship was crowded. The gallery was full, seats were placed in the aisles, and quite a number could obtain no seats. My own soul was strengthened and refreshed in dwelling upon the gracious promises of God. In watering others, my own soul was watered.
    Sabbath morning, at eight o'clock, we met for a social meeting, in which I considered it a privilege to take part. Many excellent testimonies were borne. I then addressed the Sabbath school for about twenty minutes.
    It is of consequence to us all to be thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures. There is in our land a general disregard of the Bible; and every believing parent among Seventh-day Adventists should make special efforts to become themselves intelligent in the Scriptures, and by precept and example to educate their children to appreciate the Sabbath school and the precious opportunities within their reach of learning the sacred truths of God's word. We shall all be severely tested. Persons who pretend to believe the truth will come to us and urge upon us erroneous doctrines, which will unsettle our faith in present truth if we pay heed to them. True religion alone will stand the test of the Judgment. Every teacher in the Sabbath school should be a learner in the school of Christ. Then he himself will be profited in his efforts to teach the children under his care. Special promises are made in the Scriptures to those who shall be instrumental in turning many souls from darkness, in bringing sheep and lambs to the fold of Christ, and in converting sinners from the errors of their ways. When the Master comes to reckon with his servants, every unselfish worker will receive a reward proportionate to his labor. Let every teacher, therefore, take his class, member by member, calling them each by name, and present them before God for his blessing. Then let him try by every means in his power to win them to Jesus. This important work is greatly neglected. Should it be carried forward, a spirit of reformation would be seen in the Sabbath schools. We should have fewer unmanageable youth; for divine power would be combined with human effort, and the Spirit of God would bring every power into subjection, into obedience to Christ.
    During the week, we should keep in view the Sabbath of the Lord, and labor to the end that our children shall have some time each day to study their lessons with their parents, the parents themselves showing an interest in the lessons. This will educate the children to feel that their lessons are of consequence. If on Sabbath morning parents spend hours in sleep, they lose much. They are wasting God's time, and it cannot be recalled. If it were their own, they would not thus idle it away. If the parents arise early, they can prepare the morning meal and have family prayers without haste or confusion. Then there is time to review the lessons, and the children, with their parents, can go to the Sabbath school without becoming hurried, and can do justice to their lessons.
    The ministers, who are stewards of the mysteries of God, and those who will give their lives to him without reserve, can do a good work for the Master. Lose no opportunities to help the children to become intelligent in the understanding of the Scriptures. This will do more to bar the way against Satan's devices than we can now imagine. If they become familiar with the truths of God's word, a barrier against ungodliness will be erected, and they will be able to meet the foe with Christ's words, "It is written." There is a great work to be done for youth and children; and every son and daughter of God may act a part in it, and thus be partakers of the reward that will be given to the faithful workers.
    Eld. Daniels spoke to the people Sabbath forenoon from Jer. 17:9,10: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." His discourse made a good impression on the minds of all present; and in the testimonies borne by our brethren and sisters Sunday forenoon, references were made to his discourse, showing that many hearts were deeply impressed by it, and that they meant to be doers of the word and not hearers only.
    Sabbath afternoon, I spoke from Rev. 3:7-9. Although the house was packed, when we called for those who wished to be on the Lord's side to separate themselves from the congregation and come forward, seat after seat had to be vacated, until nearly all the pews in the body of the house were filled with those who wished the prayers of God's people. Seventy-five came forward. This was a precious season. How my heart rejoiced to see Bro. Canright all interest, heart and soul in the work, as he used to be years in the past! I could but exclaim, What hath the Lord wrought! "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name." We knew angels of God were in the congregation. Evil angels were also there, at work with might and power to bind their chains upon souls that would otherwise yield to the entreaties and warnings of the Spirit of God. There were some in that congregation whom the Lord loved, but who had been in perplexity and doubt, and who had been loosening their hold on the pillars of our faith. How grateful I felt to the Lord that probation was not yet closed, that all who would, might come, and find mercy, and peace, and comfort in the Holy Spirit, and form characters for everlasting life! How my soul longed to help them, every one, to the path of safety,--to the path where there is light, and peace, and joy! We hope to see them free in Jesus and rejoicing in hope, standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints.
    A pure and holy faith is to be gained only by a diligent searching of the Scriptures; and there is danger even in this, unless the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit shall shine into the chambers of the mind. The Bible is the most precious of books; and reading and understanding its truths, making a practical application of them to the daily life, will be of the highest benefit, elevating and ennobling the character. Very many might know more of the Bible, if they would make the best use of their time, improving the minutes by diligently searching the Scriptures, testing every doctrine of faith by the law and the testimony. "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
    Eld. Canright spoke to the people evening after the Sabbath, from Luke 22:29, 30, giving an impressive discourse.
    Sunday, our morning meeting commenced at nine o'clock. We did not have preaching in the forenoon, the time being given to testimonies from those assembled. We consider it a wise plan to give all an opportunity to confess Christ, and to stand in defense of the truth, that all may have the privilege of witnessing for Jesus. We are always sorry that these meetings are not made more interesting than they are, that many should talk so low that they can be heard only by a few close beside them. Many need to be educated on this point; for they might as well talk in an unknown tongue, as far as others are concerned. The brethren cannot even say "Amen" intelligently; for they have not heard more than one or two words, if any. These dear souls can talk loud enough at home, or while engaged about their work; and they ought to be so grateful to God for the great plan of salvation, and that the gift of eternal life is brought within their reach, that they will be joyful witnesses for the Master. Then none would think that they were ashamed to speak of Jesus,--ashamed to acknowledge the truth. It is not enough to live in the atmosphere of truth; the truth itself must be in our hearts, its principles being interwoven in our lives day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Then we shall have a knowledge of the truths, of the Bible, and they will have an influence on all the faculties, freeing all from this backward spirit in meetings where they have the privilege of testifying for God. They will speak with a freedom from hesitancy, and their testimonies will be invigorating and refreshing. Such will be living channels of light, and their mental powers will expand as they grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. If Christ's spirit is in them, it will not create disorder and confusion, but will rectify all these mistakes and disturbances. Then let all drink deep of the fountain of truth, that through you may flow forth the living, refreshing streams that come from the fountain of life and salvation.
    We listened with deep interest to remarks made by Eld. Canright at the close of the morning meeting, which were reported by Eld. Daniels. Eld. Daniels spoke Sunday afternoon from Rom. 2:11: "For there is no respect of persons with God."
    We were invited to occupy the Congregationalist church Sunday evening. This kindness was appreciated by us all, as more could be accommodated there than in the Seventh-day Adventist church. Notwithstanding the stormy weather, the house was filled, extra seats having to be placed in the aisles; and all listened with interest to the words spoken. This closed our series of meetings at Otsego. We were wearied from the labors at the General Conference, and dreaded any additional labor; yet we bless God for this precious season with our brethren and sisters assembled at this meeting.
    Monday forenoon we visited Bro. and Sr. Russel; and Bro. and Sr. Brackett, Eld. Canright, Bro. Clemons, and Bro. J. Rumery, were present. After spending some time in profitable conversation, we bowed in prayer, and the sweet, subduing influence of the Spirit of God came into our hearts. We felt assuredly that Jesus was in our midst, and that to bless. We parted with our friends, not knowing as we should meet them all again in this life, but with a strong hope that we might again meet around the throne of God.
    We hope to see our Bro. Charles Russell firmly making his way to the light, rejoicing in every point of present truth, and doing work in the Master's vineyard in bringing others to the knowledge of the truth. There is work for all to do. At Otsego we met Bro. Philip Strong, whose voice has been silent for years. We hope to see this our brother and his wife again engaged in the work, giving the trumpet a certain sound, that the people may make ready to stand in the day of the Lord. Moments are precious; we have no time to lose. We must individually do our work, and then we shall hear the "Well done" from the lips of the Master.
    The most of our time was spent with the family of Eld. Canright. We were made very welcome at their pleasant and comfortable home, which is conveniently furnished, yet with simplicity. It is indeed a home. All was done that could be done for our ease and comfort. We were continually grateful to God that we felt indeed at home, and that Bro. Canright had met with so great a change in his feelings, that he had been transformed by the sanctifying grace of Christ, and that peace, and hope, and faith in present truth were again cherished in his heart. My heart was filled with joy as I looked upon his wife and his children, and thought, These will follow Eld. Canright in the path of light, and peace, and faith. While he shall go forth from his family to his labors, responsibilities must rest heavily upon his companion, to educate and discipline and mold the characters of the dear ones in her charge. Mingling firmness with love and tenderness, under the sanctifying influence of the grace of God, she can be in the fullest sense a home missionary, gathering and reflecting divine light every day, cheering, encouraging, and seconding the efforts of her husband in his work of saving souls. They are a precious family, and angels of God look upon them with interest. Angels will minister to the mother in her efforts,--the home missionary doing her appointed work,--and to the children as they may bear their lesser responsibilities. The reward that will be given the self-sacrificing worker in the vineyard, will also be given the faithful home missionary who tarries "by the stuff." I felt that peace rested in the plain but comfortable home of Bro. and Sr. Canright I could but make melody to God in my heart every moment as I considered the work that had been wrought so wonderfully in this case. Eld. Canright saved to the cause! His precious family led into the ways of truth and righteousness! I said in my heart, as I looked upon them, Saved, saved, from ruin! If there is joy in the presence of the angels in heaven, why should there not be joy in our hearts? I do rejoice, I do praise the Lord, that mine eyes have seen his salvation. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 9, 1884
(Vol. 61, #49)

 "Christmas is Coming"

    "Christmas is coming," is the note that is sounded throughout our world from East to West and from North to South. With youth, those of mature age, and even the aged, it is a period of general rejoicing, of great gladness. But what is Christmas, that it should demand so much attention? This day has been made much of for centuries. It is accepted by the unbelieving world, and by the Christian world generally, as the day on which Christ was born. When the world at large celebrate the day, they show no honor to Christ. They refuse to acknowledge him as their Saviour, to honor him by willing obedience to his service. They show preference to the day, but none to the one for whom the day is celebrated, Jesus Christ.
    The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour's birth. History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, he would have spoken through his prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes. In his wisdom, the Lord concealed the place where he buried Moses. God buried him, and God resurrected him, and took him to heaven. This secrecy was to prevent idolatry. He against whom they rebelled while he was in active service, whom they provoked almost beyond human endurance, was almost worshiped as God after his separation from them by death. For the very same purpose he has concealed the precise day of Christ's birth; that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world,--one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as he who could save to the uttermost all who come unto him. The soul's adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God.
    There is no divine sanctity resting upon the twenty-fifth of December; and it is not pleasing to God that anything that concerns the salvation of man through the infinite sacrifice made for them, should be so sadly perverted from its professed design. Christ should be the supreme object; but as Christmas has been observed, the glory is turned from him to mortal man, whose sinful, defective character made it necessary for him to come to our world. Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, the royal King of heaven, laid aside his royalty, left his throne of glory, his high command, and came into our world to bring to fallen man, weakened in moral power, and corrupted by sin, aid divine. He clothed his divinity with humanity, that he might reach to the very depths of human woe and misery, to lift up fallen man. By taking upon himself man's nature, he raised humanity in the scale of moral value with God. These great themes are almost too high, too deep, too infinite, for the comprehension of finite minds.
    Parents should keep these things before their children, and instruct them, line upon line, precept upon precept, in their obligation to God,--not their obligation to each other, to honor and glorify one another by gifts and offerings. But they should be taught that Jesus is the world's Redeemer, the object of thought, of painstaking effort; that his work is the grand theme which should engage their attention; that they should bring to him their gifts and offerings. Thus did the wise men and the shepherds.
    As the twenty-fifth day of December is observed to commemorate the birth of Christ, as the children have been instructed by precept and example that this was indeed a day of gladness and rejoicing, you will find it a difficult matter to pass over this period without giving it some attention. It can be made to serve a very good purpose. The youth should be treated very carefully. They should not be left on Christmas to find their own amusement in vanity and pleasure seeking, in amusements which will be detrimental to their spirituality. Parents can control this matter by turning the minds and the offerings of their children to God and his cause and the salvation of souls. The desire for amusement, instead of being quenched and arbitrarily ruled down, should be controlled and directed by painstaking effort upon the part of the parents. Their desire to make gifts may be turned into pure and holy channels, and made to result in good to our fellowmen by supplying the treasury in the great, grand work for which Christ came into our world. Self-denial and self-sacrifice marked his course of action. Let it mark ours who profess to love Jesus; because in him is centered our hope of eternal life.
    Youth cannot be made as sedate and grave as old age, the child as sober as the sire. While sinful amusements are condemned, as they should be, let parents, teachers, and guardians of youth provide in their stead innocent pleasures, which shall not taint or corrupt the morals. Do not bind down the young to rigid rules and restraints that will lead them to feel themselves oppressed and to break over and rush into paths of folly and destruction. With a firm, kindly, considerate hand, hold the lines of government, guiding and controlling their minds and purposes, yet so gently, so wisely, so lovingly, that they still will know that you have their best good in view. How many parents are lamenting the fact that they cannot keep their children at home, that they have no love for home. At an early age they have a desire for the company of strangers; and as soon as they are old enough, they break away from that which appears to them to be bondage and unreasonable restraint, and will neither heed a mother's prayers nor a father's counsels. Investigation would generally reveal that the sin lay at the door of the parents. They have not made home what it ought to be,--attractive, pleasant, radiant with the sunshine of kind words, pleasant looks, and true love.
    The secret of saving your children lies in making your home lovely and attractive. Indulgence in parents will not bind the children to God nor to home; but a firm, godly influence to properly train and educate the mind would save many children from ruin.
    On Christmas, so soon to come, let not the parents take the position that an evergreen placed in the church for the amusement of the Sabbath school scholars is a sin; for it may be made a great blessing. Keep before their minds benevolent objects. In no case should mere amusement be the object of these gatherings. While there may be some who will turn these occasions into seasons of careless levity, and whose minds will not receive the divine impress, to other minds and characters these seasons will be highly beneficial. I am fully satisfied that innocent substitutes can be devised for many gatherings that demoralize.
    Christmas is coming. May you all have wisdom to make it a precious season. Let the older church members unite, heart and soul, with their children in this innocent amusement and recreation, in devising ways and means to show true respect to Jesus by bringing to him gifts and offerings. Let every one remember the claims of God. His cause cannot go forward without your aid. Let the gifts you have usually bestowed upon one another be placed in the Lord's treasury. I present before you, my brethren and sisters, an object, the European mission. In every church let your smaller offerings be placed upon your Christmas tree. Let the precious emblem, "ever green," suggest the holy work of God and his beneficence to us; and the loving heart work will be to save other souls who are in darkness. Let your works be in accordance with your faith. I heard Eld. Butler read a touching letter a few days since from Eld. Whitney, of Europe. The good work is going forward there, but it ought to have been done six years ago. Let not this work be hindered. Let it advance. If all, both old and young, will forego giving presents to one another, and forego the selfish outlay of means in these coming holidays, there would be in heaven a most precious record of self-denial for Christ's sake.
    Every tree in Satan's garden hangs laden with the fruits of vanity, pride, self-importance, evil desire, extravagance,--all poisoned fruit, but very gratifying to the carnal heart. Let the several churches present to God Christmas trees in every church; and then let them hang thereon the fruits of beneficence and gratitude,--offerings coming from willing hearts and hands, fruits that God will accept as an expression of our faith and our great love to him for the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ. Let the evergreen be laden with fruit, rich, and pure, and holy, acceptable to God. Shall we not have such a Christmas as Heaven can approve? Thousands of dollars are needlessly spent every year in gifts to each other. That is means lost to God, lost to his cause. It pleases the vanity, encourages pride, creates all kinds of dissatisfaction, murmuring, and complaints, because perhaps the gifts are not just what was desired, not of the high value wanted or expected. Christmas is not observed as its name implies it should be. Man has forsaken God in almost everything, and has turned the attention to self. He has left the pure springs of living waters which flow from the throne of God, and hewn out to himself broken cisterns, which can hold no water. God gave man a probation that he might be fitted for heaven. He was to look upward to God, who was to be the soul's adoration; but talent, skill, and inventive powers are all exercised to make self the supreme object of attention. Man has withdrawn his gaze from Deity, and fastened his eyes upon the finite, the earthly, the corruptible.
    Satan is in this work to put God out of the mind and interpose the world and self that the eye shall not be single to the glory of God. Satan captivates and ensnares the mind. His infernal wisdom is continually exercised to mold and fashion the material with which he has to deal, to make God the least and the last object of devotion.
    The various amusements of society have been the ruin of thousands who, but for these devices of Satan, might be servants of the living God. There are wrecks of character seen everywhere who have been destroyed by gilded, fashionable pleasure; and still the work is going forward. Thousands more will go to ruin who will not open their eyes to see and sense the fact that, although they are professed Christians, they are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
    I entreat you, my brethren and sisters, to make this coming Christmas a blessing to yourselves and others. The birth of Jesus was unhallowed by the great men of earth. He was the Majesty of heaven; yet this royal subject had no attendants. His birth was unhonored by the very men he came to our world to save. But his advent was celebrated by the heavenly host. Angels of God, in the appearance of a star, conducted the wise men on their mission in search of Jesus. They came with gifts and costly offerings of frankincense and myrrh, to pay their oblation to the infant king foretold in prophecy. They followed the brilliant messengers with assurance and great joy. The angels passed by the school of the prophets, the palaces of kings, and appeared to the humble shepherds, guarding their flocks by night, upon Bethlehem's plains. One angel first appeared, clothed with the panoply of heaven; and so surprised and so terrified were the shepherds that they could only gaze upon the wondrous glory of the heavenly visitant with unutterable amazement. The angel of the Lord came to them, and said, "Fear not, for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." No sooner had their eyes become accustomed to the glorious presence of the one angel, than, lo! the whole plain was lighted up with the wondrous glory of the multitude of angels that peopled the plains of Bethlehem. The angel quieted the fears of the shepherds before opening their eyes to behold the multitude of the heavenly host, all praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest; and on earth, peace, good will to men."
    Then was the melody of heaven heard by mortal ears, and the heavenly choir swept back to heaven as they closed their ever memorable anthem. The light faded away and the shadows of the night once more fell on the hills and plains of Bethlehem; but there remained in the hearts of the shepherds the brightest picture mortal man had ever looked upon, and the blessed promise and assurance of the advent to our world of the Saviour of men, which filled their hearts with joy and gladness, mingled with faith and wondrous love to God. In simple trust, the shepherds hastened to follow the direction of the heavenly messengers, to find the royal babe, not in a palace, not in even a common inn, but in a stable. They bowed in reverence to the infant king, committing no idolatry. But how certain is it that idolatry is committed by those who profess to be lovers of Jesus! Their attention, thought, and powers are devoted to poor, finite mortals. Relatives and friends come in for the worship which belongs to God alone.
    I entreat my brethren and sisters to have a special object in view. The European mission is in great need of means to carry forward the work. In Switzerland they are building a printing office which is greatly needed; and means is wanted to carry forward this work to completion. It now seems an impossibility to supply this great need for lack of means. The missionary work must go forward. Now, brethren, let us on Christmas make special efforts to come before the Lord with gifts and grateful offerings for the gift of Jesus Christ as a Redeemer to the world. Let nothing now be spent needlessly; but let every penny that can be spared be put out to the exchangers. Satan has had his way in managing these occasions to suit himself. Now let us turn the current heavenward instead of earthward. Let us show by our offerings that we appreciate the self-denial and sacrifice of Christ in our behalf. Let God be brought to remembrance by every child and parent; and let the offerings, both small and large, be brought to the storehouse of God.
    You that have means, who have been in the habit of making donations to your relatives and friends until you are at a loss to know what to invent that will be new and interesting to them, seek to put your ingenuity to the test, as well as your influence, to see how much means you may gather to advance the work of the Lord. Let your skill and your capacities be employed to make the coming Christmas one of intense interest, paying your addresses to the God of heaven in willing, grateful offerings. Follow no longer the world's customs. Make a break here, and see if this Christmas cannot show thousands of dollars flowing into the treasury, that God's storehouse may not be empty. You may not be recompensed on earth, but you will be rewarded in the future life, and that abundantly. Let those who have so long planned for self now begin to plan for the cause of God, and you will certainly have increased wisdom. Let the conscience be enlightened, and the love of truth and of Christ take the place of idolatrous thoughts and love of self. Will you not arise, my Christian brethren and sisters, and gird yourselves for duty in the fear of God, so arranging this matter that it shall not be dry and uninteresting, but full of innocent enjoyment that shall bear the signet of Heaven? I know the poorer class will respond to these suggestions. The most wealthy should also show an interest, and bestow their gifts and offerings proportionate to the means with which God has intrusted them. Let there be recorded in the heavenly books such a Christmas as has never yet been seen, because of the donations which shall be given for the sustaining of the work of God and the upbuilding of his kingdom. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 16, 1884
(Vol. 61, #50)

 "The New Year"

    Another year has almost passed into eternity; 1884 is almost dead; 1885 will soon be here. Let us review the record of the year that so soon will be past. What advancement have we made in Christian experience? Our work--have we so done it that it will bear the inspection of the Master, who has given to every man work according to his several ability? Will it be consumed as hay, wood, and stubble, unworthy of preservation? or will it stand the trial by fire?
    The need of fidelity is overlooked by many. There is a great deal to be done in this world--not in our way, but in God's way--for the benefit of those for whom Christ has died; but if this is done negligently or imperfectly, "Wanting" will be written against our names in the book of heavenly records. God is not pleased with any work unless it is done in the very best way possible. Every provision has been made that we may attain a height of stature in Christ Jesus that will meet the divine standard. God is not pleased with his representatives if they are content to be dwarfs when they might grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. He wants you to have height and breadth in Christian experience. He wants you to have great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, and lofty purposes of action. Every passing year should increase the soul's yearning for purity and perfection of Christian character. And if this knowledge increases day by day, month by month, year by year, it will not be work consumed as hay, wood, and stubble; but it will be laying on the foundation stone, gold, silver, and precious stones,--works that are not perishable, but which will stand the fires of the last day. Is our earthly, temporal work done with a thoroughness, a fidelity, that will bear scrutiny? Are there those whom we have wronged who will testify against us in the day of God? If so, the record has passed up to heaven, and we shall meet it again. We are to work for the great Taskmaster's eye, whether our painstaking efforts are seen and appreciated by men or not. No man, woman, nor child can acceptably serve God with neglectful, hap-hazard, sham work, whether it be secular or religious service. The true Christian will have an eye single to the glory of God in all things, encouraging his purposes and strengthening his principles with this thought, "I do this for Christ."
    If all who profess to be servants of Christ are faithful in that which is least, they will be faithful in much. If there are debts yet unpaid, make special efforts to pay them. If you have run up accounts at the provision store or with the dry goods merchant, settle them if you possibly can. If you cannot, go to those to whom you are indebted, and frankly tell them the impossibility of meeting these demands; renew your note, and assure them you will cancel the debt as soon as you can. Then deny yourselves of everything you can do without, and be very economical in your expenditures, until your promises are fulfilled. Do not indulge yourselves in the use of other men's money for the sake of gratifying appetite or a love of display. You may thus remove a stumblingblock whereby many were hindered from believing the truth; and your good will not be evil spoken of. Will not our brethren make diligent efforts to correct this slack, hap-hazard way of doing business? The old year is fast passing; it is nearly gone. Make the most of the few days remaining.
    The Chinese New Year commences in February, and lasts one week. They have a custom of settling all quarrels between themselves and all outstanding debts; and if there are any who are unable to pay their debts, they are forgiven them. Thus the new year is commenced with all difficulties and accounts settled. This is a heathen custom that the Christian world would do well to imitate. God's law requires all this of us, and more,--we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is, we are to deal with our neighbors in everything just as we would wish them to deal with us. If we wish them to act fairly and justly toward us, then we should act fairly and justly toward them. We are simply to do as we would be done by.
    In every matter of deal between men, the conduct of each is a fair transcript of his character. If a man is upright in the sight of God, his dealings will be upright in the sight of his fellowmen. His integrity is not a matter of doubt; it shines forth as purest gold refined by fire. Has he money for which he has no immediate use? He does not take advantage of the necessities of his poorer brother to require more than a fair compensation. He will not require exorbitant interest because he can take advantage of the situation. A truly honest man will never take advantage of the distress of another to add to his own store; for in the end it would be a great loss. As far as principle is concerned, it would be just as criminal in the sight of God as for him to enter his neighbor's house and steal so much gold or silver. The customs and maxims of the world are not to be our criterion, unless by the word of God we can prove them to be right. "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." It is not the greatness or insignificance of an action that makes it honest or dishonest. God requires that in all our transactions we pursue the straight line of duty.
    If we have but little time, let us improve that little earnestly. The Bible assures us that we are in the great day of atonement. The typical day of atonement was a day when all Israel afflicted their souls before God, confessed their sins, and came before the Lord with contrition of soul, remorse for their sins, genuine repentance, and living faith in the atoning sacrifice.
    If there have been difficulties brethren and sisters,--if envy, malice, bitterness, evil surmisings, have existed, confess these sins, not in a general way, but go to your brethren and sisters personally. Be definite. If you have committed one wrong and they twenty, confess that one as though you were the chief offender. Take them by the hand, let your heart soften under the influence of the Spirit of God, and say, "Will you forgive me? I have not felt right toward you. I want to make right every wrong, that naught may stand registered against me in the books of heaven. I must have a clean record." Who, think you, would withstand such a movement as this? There is too much coldness and indifference--too much of the "I don't care" spirit--exercised among the professed followers of Christ. All should feel a care for one another, jealously guarding each other's interests. "Love one another." Then we should stand a strong wall against Satan's devices. Amid opposition and persecution we would not join the vindictive ones, not unite with the followers of the great rebel, whose special work is to accuse the brethren, to defame and cast stain upon their characters.
    Let the remnant of this year be improved in destroying every fiber of the root of bitterness, burying them in the grave with the old year. Begin the new year with more tender regard, with deeper love, for every member of the Lord's family. Press together. "United, we stand; divided, we fall." Take a higher, nobler stand than you ever have before.
    Many appear to be steadfast in the truth, firm, decided on every point of our faith; yet there is a great lack in them,--the tenderness and love which marked the character of the great Pattern. If a brother errs from the truth, if he falls into temptation, they make no effort to restore him in meekness, considering themselves lest they also be tempted. They seem to regard it as their special work to climb upon the judgment seat and condemn and disfellowship. They do not obey God's word, which says, "Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." The spirit of this passage is altogether too rare in our churches. It is the lack of it that shuts out the Spirit of God from the heart, from the home, from the church. Shall we not henceforth practice the Bible plan of restoring erring ones in the spirit of meekness? Shall we not have the spirit of Jesus, and work as he worked?
    Keep back that disposition to crowd out a brother, even if you think him unworthy, even if he has hindered your work by manifesting a spirit of independence and willfulness. Remember that he is God's property. Err always on the side of mercy and tenderness. Treat with respect and deference even your most bitter enemies, who would injure you if they could. Let not a word escape your lips that would give them opportunity to justify their course in the least degree. Give no occasion to any man to blaspheme the name of God or speak disrespectfully of our faith for anything you have done. We need to be wise as the serpent, and harmless as the dove.
    The old year is in its death struggle; let all wrath, malice, and bitterness die with it. Through hearty confession, let your sins go beforehand to judgment. Devote the remaining moments of the swift passing year to humiliation of self rather than trying to humiliate your brethren. With the new year, commence the work of lifting them up,--commence it even in the waning moments of the old year. Go to work anew, brethren and sisters,--go to work earnestly, unselfishly, lovingly, striving to lift up the hands that hang down, to strengthen the feeble knees, remove the heavy burdens from every soul. Let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke. Bring to your homes the poor that are cast out. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and the Lord shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not."
    Brethren in every church, will you follow the conditions God has specified, and prove the Lord, and see if he will fulfill his promises? I believe he will. I have not the shadow of a doubt of it. He will do just as he has said he would, and the exceedingly broad promises of rich blessings will be realized if we but comply with the conditions. Your heads may be hard and sound, but let not this hardness steal into your hearts. If you will fall on the Rock and be broken, then your self-righteousness will no longer exist. There will be instead soft, impressible hearts, kind, tender, true hearts, like that of Jesus, who was ever touched with human woe. You will weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn. Try it, brethren; God's way is always best. You have tried your own way very perseveringly, and it does not work for the prosperity, union, and upbuilding of the church. Therefore let us no longer think our own plan the right one, climbing upon the judgment seat; but let us in the spirit of God bear the testimony he has given us to bear, receiving the melting love of God in our hearts while we speak plain truths to tear away the vail of deception from the eyes of those in error, giving instead the earnest, sincere, genuine love of Jesus.
    This work of confession must be done sooner or later. Shall it not be done in the dying hours of the old year? Shall we not put away our sins by confession, and let them go beforehand to judgment? Shall we not strive now as we never have before, that we may commence the new year with a clean record? Shall we not individually take hold of this long neglected work, humbling our souls before God, that "pardon"--blessed pardon--may be written opposite our names? Shall we not be truly Christians--Christlike?
    Try it in every church. Have special meetings when you can,--meetings of humiliation, of afflicting the soul,--meetings where the rubbish shall be cleared away from the door of the heart, that the blessed Saviour may enter. What a wonderful time the dying of the old year and the birth of the new might be! If we individually try to do what we can on our part, God is faithful that hath promised, and he will fulfill on his part abundantly more than you can ask or even think. Let no more moments be wasted. Let us now arise, and make earnest efforts to cherish the subduing love of Jesus. We need to be melted over, that the dross may be removed. We need to learn in Christ's school meekness and lowliness of heart, drawing closer and closer to Jesus.
    The prevalent evils in our homes are faultfinding and censure, placing the worst construction upon words and motives. This is discouraging to the children, frequently causing them to give up their efforts to do right. If words of commendation were spoken, when they could be justly, it would show them that their efforts were appreciated, and teach them justice. If mistakes and defects are continually pointed out, often impatiently, and sometimes in the white heat of anger; if no kindly notice is taken of any improvement or progress, the children become disheartened. They feel that they are treated mercilessly, that they are left to struggle along without appreciation or encouragement. Shall not this state of things be changed? It must if parents want their children to enjoy religion.
    The same difficulties exist in the church. Many have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life whom one word of kindly cheer and courage would have strengthened to overcome. Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathizing, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say words that encourage and inspire hope. We cannot tell how far-reaching may be our tender words of kindness, our Christlike efforts to lighten some burden. My brethren and sisters, come to your high calling.
    Jesus, precious Jesus! How dear the name! how soul-inspiring! Jesus never suppressed one syllable of the truth; but he uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in his intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth always, but in love. When he denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, it was not in tones of thunder; but tears were in his voice as he uttered his scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city he loved, who refused to receive him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected him, the Saviour; but he regarded them with pitying tenderness, and sorrow so deep that it broke his heart. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. He never made truth cruel, but manifested a wonderful tenderness for humanity. Every soul was precious in his eyes. He always bore himself with divine dignity; yet he bowed with the tenderest compassion and regard to every member of the family of God. He saw in all, fallen souls whom it was his mission to save.
    Oh, how many fail in acting out their own peculiar temperament! They arouse in others a spirit of antagonism, and the worst feelings of opposition and enmity. Why should any one show disrespect to one who differs with him in doctrine? Agree with every one on every subject you can. Admit it when he is right; for the acknowledgment will greatly help to draw him nearer to you. He will then have no occasion to think you consider your own opinions infallible, or that you look upon him with contempt.
    As workers for Christ, we want sanctified tact. Study to be skillful when there are no rules to meet the case. Win hearts, not repulse them. In this kind of work more than in any other that can be undertaken, you need wisdom from above. Many souls have been turned in the wrong direction, and thus lost to the cause of God, by want of skill and wisdom in the worker. Tact, wisdom, and good judgment in the laborer in the cause of God increase his usefulness one hundredfold. If he can only speak the right words, and manifest the right spirit at the right time, it will exert a melting power on the heart of the needy one. To be workers for the Master, we must be educated in the school of Christ. All harshness, all denunciation and criticism, must be put away. As brethren let us love one another, then we shall not scatter abroad but gather with Christ.
    The evil tendencies of mankind are hard to overcome. The battles are tedious. Every soul in the strife knows how severe, how bitter, are these contests. Everything about growth in grace is difficult, because the standard and maxims of the world are constantly interposed between the soul and God's holy standard. The Lord would have us elevated, ennobled, purified, by carrying out the principles underlying his great moral standard, which will test every character in the great day of final reckoning. But God does not require us to impose upon ourselves taxing exactions which torture the bodies he has made for a wise use. We are to glorify him in the use of our every capacity. Self-imposed cruelty to the flesh is not an offering acceptable to God; it is a sacrifice not required. But to cherish kindness and love for one another is wholly acceptable to him,--a sweet savor. The glorious gifts God has bestowed upon us are to be used in his service, not abused as though self-torture would pay a ransom for our souls. The living sacrifice of the living affections--a working of the works of righteousness--will meet the mind of God. We may bring--he requires us to bring--our natural endowments and our acquired, educated powers to his feet. He will accept them at our hands, and return them to us sanctified, to be used in blessing others.
    The precious hours are passing. My soul is drawn out in deep, earnest, anxious interest in your behalf. As an embassador of Christ, I implore you to commence your work intelligently. Pick up the raveling ends, and bind them off for time and for eternity. It is not too late yet for wrongs to be righted; and while Jesus, our Mediator, is pleading in our behalf, let us do our part of the work. Love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself. Let us confess and forsake our sins that we may find pardon. Let those who have robbed God in tithes and offerings now come before him and make restitution. The question is asked, "Will a man rob God? as though it was not a possible thing for one to do so great a crime; but if God has ever spoken through me, there has been grievous robbery from him in tithes and offerings.
    Brethren, 1884 is almost gone. Improve its few remaining moments in making restitution for wrongs. Make thorough work for eternity. Every act, every word, must stand the test of the Judgment. Set your hearts in order. Set your house in order. Make thorough work while Jesus is ministering in the sanctuary. Let not these appeals be given in vain. God's treasury has been robbed of thousands of dollars, and this neglect stands registered against you in the books of heaven.
    Let there be meetings in every church; and let ample opportunity be given to all to humble themselves before God, and confess their sins, that they may receive the peace of pardon. When we will bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with his work, the Spirit that descended on the day of Pentecost will fall on us. We shall be strong in Christ's strength, and be filled with the fullness of God. Then the new year will be welcomed by us all as the commencement of a year a higher, better principles. We shall give ourselves to Christ, making an unreserved consecration of all our property, all our capacities, to his service. We shall make good our profession of faith; we shall serve God by serving those who need our help. Then we shall let our light shine forth in good works. God help you to commence the new year with a clean, unspotted record. May you live pure, holy lives, that, whether young or old, they may be beautiful and happy, because Christ is reflected in your characters. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 23, 1884
(Vol. 61, #51)

 "Thanksgiving Sermon"

    "Oh! sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nation are idols; but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts. Oh! worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth; the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved; he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."
    I think we have something to be thankful for. We ought to be glad, and rejoice in God; for he has given us many mercies. The thought comes to me that we may have a Thanksgiving in the future without any giving. It may be that the time of trouble will be upon us. But today let us rejoice that we are granted this opportunity of coming within the courts of the Lord. We ought to come with humble thanks for all his mercies that have been given us all through the year. But I fear too many of us encourage the habit of looking always upon the dark side of life, and that at a time when God has crowned us with his goodness and mercy. This is wrong. We should be enjoying the sunshine of his golden blessings, that have crowned the year with plenty. When God pours his blessings into our hearts, we should not shut them up as we would precious ointment, lest the perfume escape; we should bestow them upon those around us, that they also may be glad and rejoice. In my experience I have found that when I brought joy to the hearts of others, my own soul rejoiced, and was filled with the melting Spirit of God. In the morning and all through the day, a sense of God's goodness filled my heart, and it awakened such feelings of gratitude as I cannot express.
    We want this Thanksgiving to be all it implies. Do not let it be perverted, mingled with dross; but let it be what its name implies--giving thanks. Let our voices ascend in praise. Let our hearts lay hold on the Exalted One; for the train of his glory fills the temple.
    We should individually aim for a higher and holier standard. The mind will surely become dwarfed if it is continually occupied with earthly things. But if trained to dwell upon heavenly, eternal themes, it will be expanded, elevated, and strengthened. The mind should take hold of things unseen, and meditate thereon; then things of eternal interest will be so exalted above the earthly, that temporal affairs will sink into insignificance in comparison. We do not regard divine things as of high value; and by neglecting to train the mind to prize eternal things more than earthly, we lose a valuable experience. We fail to obtain the wisdom God has brought within our reach. Suppose we change this order of things, and begin from today to train the thoughts to dwell upon the great plan of salvation, devoting less time to self-serving. Suppose you try to count all you blessings. You have thought so little upon them, and they have been so continual, that when reverses or afflictions come, you are grieved, and think God is unjust. You do not call to mind how little gratitude you have manifested for all the blessings of God. You have not deserved them; but because they have flowed in upon you day by day, year by year, you have looked upon them as a matter of course, thinking it was your right to receive every advantage, and give nothing in return. The Lord sometimes withdraws his mercies to bring people to their senses. Shall we make it necessary in our case for him to do so? Look away from your own trials and difficulties. Cease to magnify your little grievances. Put all thoughts of self out of your heart. Cease self-service, and serve the only true and living God. Let his melody be in your heart, and his praises on your lips. The blessings of God are more than the hairs of our head, more than the sands of the seashore. Meditate upon his love and care for us, and may it inspire you with love that trials cannot interrupt nor afflictions quench.
    Let us give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever. What kind of a Thanksgiving shall we keep,--one to ourselves, bestowing all our benefits upon ourselves and receiving the attentions of others, but bringing no thanksgiving offering to God? This is idolatry of the most offensive character in the sight of a jealous God. Everything should be avoided that would have a tendency to draw our hearts' worship from God. Let not any more Thanksgiving days be observed to please and gratify the appetite, and glorify self. We have reason for coming into the courts of the Lord with offerings of gratitude that he has preserved our lives another year.
    Parents, do not neglect to impart to your children the very education they should have. Upon their birthdays, instead of calling their attention to themselves by giving them presents, teach them to come with an offering to God. It is a sad fact that there are many children who have been left to come up willful, disobedient, unthankful, and unholy, yet whose birthdays are respected and honored with feasting and with gifts, when it would have been better had they never been born. Their birthdays might better be observed with fasting, clothing them with sackcloth, instead of making them occasions of amusement and giving gifts; for their steps are rapidly leading to perdition and ruin. In many cases, birthday gifts have proved a detriment rather than a blessing. The children should be educated to look to God as the giver of life, their protector and their preserver, and to come to him with an offering for all his favors. Every opportunity should be employed to implant in their hearts right views of God and his love for us. Nothing should be done to foster in them vanity, self-esteem, or pride. Teach them to review the past year of their life, to consider whether they would be glad to meet its record just as it stands in the books of heaven. Encourage in them serious thoughts, whether their deportment, their words, their works, are of a character pleasing to God. Have they been making their lives more like Jesus, beautiful and lovely in the sight of God? Teach them the knowledge of the Lord, his ways, his precepts. "Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." We want the children to learn to look away from self to heavenly things, there to bestow their thanksgiving.
    God has spared our lives till this day; now how shall we keep it, with feasting and gluttony? Is this a true thanksgiving to God? No; we are to render thanks and thank offerings for the mercies bestowed upon us every day during the past year. How should we keep Thanksgiving?--"When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." This is the kind of a feast God instructs us to give. How many will follow these specific directions of God's word by calling the poor to their homes with words of sympathy and the spirit of beneficence, and thus make such a feast as will be pleasing to God? Satan has sought to destroy the true purpose and design of Thanksgiving, to turn away from God the honor due him, and to center it upon ourselves.
    Now is the time when God should be praised for his goodness and bountiful gifts to the children of men. You may say, "What has the Lord done for us?"--Much in every way. You have the products of the earth, filling your barns, your granaries, your storehouses. In this you have abundance for which to give thanks. Here are your children. They are clothed, and you have fuel, food, and shelter. You should not only praise God, but you should come into his courts with a thank offering. How many of us have trained ourselves to bring an offering to him? I remember a brother's once taking us to his granary, saying, "You see my barns and granaries are so full I shall have to build an addition; for I do not know where to bestow the products of my ground." And a little after, speaking of a poor widow, he said, "I do not see how she will take care of herself this cold winter. I fear she will have a hard time of it, indeed." I said, "Who gave you these things you have just shown me! Was it not the God of heaven? You say it was; then it is your duty to give of your plenty to that poor widow. Thus you can answer this question yourself." He had not seen it in that light. He had thought helping the poor from his bounty was another consideration. God help you to open your hearts to suffering humanity; for they are the purchase of high heaven. Christ identifies his interests with those of his needy, suffering children; and neglect done to them is registered in the books of heaven as done to Christ in the person of his saints.
    Brethren and sisters, you ought to be willing to do anything you can for his suffering children, that good deeds may be credited to you in heaven. Jesus will say to you in that day, "I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." They were not aware they had done anything for him; but Christ saw that these deeds of kindness had been done through love for him and his dear children. Let us be careful that we are not deceived in this matter.
    There are a great many who seem to have a great burden to do missionary work; but I have thought that if such would only begin in their own households, it would be the very best thing they could do. Whenever you take up the duty that lies nearest you, then God will bless you, and hear your prayers. There are too many doing outside missionary work, while their own households are left destitute of any such efforts,--going to ruin through neglect. They do not seem to understand that it should be their first work to take heed to home duties. The first missionary work is to see that love, light, and joy come into the home circle. Let us not be looking for some great temperance or missionary work to do until we have first done the duties at home. Every morning we should think, What kind act can I do today? What tender word can I speak? Kind words at home are blessed sunshine. The husband needs them, the wife needs them, the children need them. Now let us make a thanksgiving at home. How easy it might be for us to bring sunshine, mellow and beautiful, right into our homes, if our hearts were filled with the grace of God! This may be done by kind words and loving ministrations. If there had been more of them in the past, I believe that more of us would have come into this house with the praise of God in their hearts for his loving kindness unto us and ours. It ought to be the desire of every heart to make as much heaven below as possible. We ought to be just before we are generous. There needs to be a home religion, a home thanksgiving. There needs to be the very soul of a pure life right at home. Then when you come to such a place as this, you will make melody to God in your hearts. They would be full of the tenderness of love. You could speak of the mercy and love and goodness of Christ in your soul. Your hearts would be full of melody all the day. Your song would be, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name." This kind of piety is of some value. There is a great deal of meetinghouse religion; but there is little home religion. Cultivate it, that when you come into the house of God, you will love to talk of Jesus. You cannot make your tongue be silent. The love of Jesus will be like fire shut up in your bones.
    If a feast is to be made, let it be for those who are in need. Do you not think God regards those who are poor, who have but little of life's good things, who long for Jesus to come into their homes with blessing? Does he not call upon us to answer their prayers as far as is in our power, ministering unto their wants? Christ pities and loves them. Any neglect of them is written in the heavenly records as done to himself. Call into your houses the poor, the afflicted, the halt, and the blind.
    Your blessings do not come from mortal hands. God has ministered to you all these years. It is he who has kept your children. And now in return, why not make him a thank offering. Even today bring larger and smaller gifts, and put them in the treasury of the Lord. Do you not think it would be pleasing to the God of heaven? Jesus says, "I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it." What is that open door for? It is that the love of God may come streaming down to us,--poor unworthy mortals.. Never have his blessings ceased to flow to us through this open door. And for this reason we ought to let this love flow to others through the open door in our hearts. Oh! let us make this the best thanksgiving we have ever had. Let us look back and see how many thanksgiving days we have spent without acknowledging God's gifts to us, and render to him that which is his own.
    When you take heed to the word of God, and follow its instructions to the letter, you will enjoy blessings from the God of Jacob. Hear what Isaiah says: "Bring the poor that are cast out to thy house; when thou seest the naked, cover him. . . . Then shall thy light break forth as the morning." Your souls shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not. "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am." Do you want to hear that voice respond to your call, saying, "Here I am?" Then go to work in God's way. Get rid of your selfishness and heartlessness, and pray God to give you a loving, tender, sympathizing heart. Then when you call you may hear his voice answer, "Here I am."
    I remember the case of a poor man, who lived near a rich widow in Battle Creek. She had had her orchard trimmed, and the limbs and sprouts thus cut off lay by the fence. This poor man asked of her the small favor to give him this brush to use for fuel; but she refused him, saying, "I want to keep them; for the ashes will enrich my ground." I never pass the house of that woman without thinking of this incident. Ground enriched to the neglect of the poor!
    I thank God for my life--not that it has been one of ease or of pleasure. I am not glad because of any such thing; I would not exchange my experience for any life of ease upon earth. I have a faith that looks over into the future, and sees the tree of life. Upon it grown precious fruits, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No more broken hearts, no more sadness, no more sins, no more sorrow, no more suffering, in that kingdom of glory. If I am faithful, I expect to meet the loved ones there. Oh! I have everything to be thankful for. I expect to see Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life shall have glad fulfillment. I expect to see the Redeemer's glorified saints,--the white-robed ones about the throne, singing, the victor's song. They have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. There they stand by the great white throne, and Jesus, he that was crowned with majesty, glory, and honor,--he leads them to fountains of living waters. He is to open to us the living truths of the word of God. We have a little of it here; but throughout eternity will be unfolded the rich treasures of truth. I am so glad that he has honored me in giving me a part to act in this work of shedding the light of truth on the earth. I am so thankful that I can be a partaker with Christ of his self-denial and suffering, and finally of his glory. I thank him with all my heart; with all my voice will I praise the Most High, and glorify him on the earth. Soon we shall know as we are known. If there are any who have had wrong feelings of jealousy, now is the time to confess them. God help us to humble our proud hearts, and bring Jesus into our midst. Open the door of your hearts and let him enter, and you will have such a Thanksgiving as you never experienced before. By Mrs. E. G. White.