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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1886

January - 5, 12, 19, 26
February - 2, 9, 16, 23
March - 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
April - 6, 13, 20, 27
May - 4, 11, 18, 25
June - 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
July - 6, 13, 20, 27
August - 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
September - 7, 14, 21
October - 5, 12, 19, 26
November - 2, 9, 16, 30
December - 7, 14, 21

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 5, 1886
(Vol. 63, #1)

 "Rejection of Light"

    Text: "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12.
    As persons become convinced from the Scriptures that the claims of the fourth commandment are still binding, the question is often raised, Is it necessary in order to secure salvation that we keep the Sabbath? This is a question of grave importance. If the light has shone from the word of God, if the message has been presented to men, as it was to Pharaoh, and they refuse to heed that message, if they reject the light, they refuse to obey God, and cannot be saved in their disobedience. On the other hand, many have died conscientiously observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. These will not be condemned, because they followed the best light they had. They will not be held responsible for light which they never received. Christ said to the scribes and Pharisees: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin.' Again he said, "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
    Thus Jesus caused the Pharisees to understand that if he, the light and truth, had not come, they would not have been guilty of the sin of rejecting him. But he came and flashed the light upon their pathway, and they chose darkness rather than light. This was their guilt. Thus it is with the Sabbath. Those upon whom the light of the Sabbath truth has never shone, have no condemnation. But those to whom the Scriptures have been opened are no longer in darkness. We are not living in the age in which our fathers lived. God gave them treasures of wisdom, which, through the manifestation of his Spirit, and through the testimony and example of his children from generation to generation, have come down along the lines to our time. We have all the light which they had, and additional light is continually shining, and will shine more and more unto the perfect day. This generation is responsible, not only for all the light that God has imparted to past generations through his Spirit and word, but for the more abundant light now shining. We cannot be accepted and honored of God in rendering the same service and doing the same works that our fathers did. In order to be blessed of God as they were blessed, we must be faithful in improving the increased light, as they were faithful in improving the light that God gave them. Our heavenly Father requires of his people devotion and obedience according to the light and truth given them, and his claims are right and just. He will accept nothing less than he claims; all his righteous demands must be fully met, or they will remain in force against the transgressor.
    If rational beings really desire the truth, God will give them sufficient light to enable them to decide what is truth. If they have a heart to obey, they will see sufficient evidence to walk in the light. But if they in heart desire to evade the truth, he will not work a miracle to gratify their unbelief. He will never remove every chance or occasion to doubt. If they honestly, sincerely grasp the light, and walk in it, that light will increase until lingering doubts will be dispelled. But if they choose darkness, their questioning and caviling over the truth will increase, their unbelief will be strengthened, and the light which they would not accept will become to them darkness, and how great will be that darkness! It will be as much greater than before the light came, as the light which was rejected was clearer and more abundant than the light which first shone upon them. Thus it was with the Jewish nation; thus it will be with the Christian world in every generation. The rejectors of light treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath. There are those who walk amid perpetual doubts. They feed on doubts, enjoy doubts, talk doubts, and question everything that it is for their interest to believe. To those who thus trifle with the plain testimonies of God's word, and who refuse to believe because it is inconvenient and unpopular to do so, the light will finally become darkness; truth will appear to the darkened understanding as error, and error will be accepted as truth. When thus shrouded in error, they will find it perfectly natural and convenient to believe what is false, and will become strong in their faith.
    There are men who have so long rejected light and truth that, like Pharaoh, they have become hardened in heart and fastened in unbelief. They crave error; their appetite is for falsehood. They drink up scandal against those who believe the truth as an ox drinketh up water, while they reject, with demonstrations of anger, the truth, pure Bible truth, which would give health and vigor to the soul. When there are so many false teachers, who lead men away from the path of obedience into that of transgression, we need to pray constantly that we may be led into all truth, and that we may not hesitate to stand in defense of the truth. Those who transgress God's law will have much to say about charity; and when the truth is spoken they talk of the liberality and license given in God's word. But love for Christ and for the souls for whom he died, will lead to the utterance of faithful warnings and appeals by the servants of God.
    Those who walk in the light will progress; they will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. This is the result of sanctification through the truth, and this is what God requires of all. Truth is progressive; and those who are preparing for the last great day will go forward in accordance with the accumulated light which shines upon them from the prophecies and from the lessons of Christ and the apostles. No one will be condemned in the day of Judgment because of a lack of knowledge which he never had an opportunity to obtain. The light which never shone upon him will never be his darkness. The truth which God's messengers have presented by pen and by voice, the treasures of the word of God which they have opened to the people, the light which has penetrated the darkened chambers of the mind, will, if rejected, be witnesses against them in the last great day. The testimony which will come with condemning power upon the sinner, and which will close his mouth before God and testify of his guilt, is the fact that he saw the light, but for various reasons in harmony with the carnal heart, would not receive it. He would not receive the truth that was given to save him. The greater the light, the greater the obligations.
    If God has sent a message to the world, giving us light in regard to the true Sabbath, and showing us that the great Lawgiver is coming to judge the world in righteousness, those who refuse to accept the message and continue to cling to their errors and to their darkness and unbelief, will, like the inhabitants of the Noachian world, be punished with everlasting destruction. God sent them a message of truth, but they would not believe; nevertheless it was the truth, and their unbelief did not hinder the event. The judgments of God came just the same as Noah had predicted they would come. God has sent a message of warning to our world just prior to his coming the second time without sin unto salvation. Great light has been permitted to shine from the prophecies, and from the lessons of Christ and the apostles, but the majority refuse to walk in the light just as they did in Noah's day. If they were blind they would have no sin, but the light has been flashed into their pathway; precious truths from the word of God have been presented; but they have chosen darkness rather than light.
    When we speak of unbelief, we do not mean that a person believes nothing. The mind must rest upon something; and when it does not grasp truth, it lays hold of error. All men in one sense believe, and the effect produced upon the heart and character is according to the things believed. Eve believed the words of Satan, and the belief of that falsehood in regard to God's character, changed the condition and character of both herself and husband. They were changed from good and obedient children into transgressors, and it was only by repentance toward God and faith in the promised Messiah that they could hope ever to regain the lost image of God. Paul had faith before his conversion; but it was not a correct faith. His self-righteousness strengthened his faith that he was doing God's service in rejecting Christ, and he enjoyed a restful satisfaction. False faith as well as true faith will give peacefulness for a time. Paul verily thought that he was doing God service when he was persecuting the followers of Christ and putting them to death. He was sincere in his belief; but sincerity will not make error truth, nor truth error. "When the commandment came," says Paul, "sin revived, and I died." He then received the truth as it is in Jesus, and experienced its transforming power upon his soul. The truth was so firmly planted in his heart that he could say, "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
    The prophet Malachi raises the questions, "Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?" Surely, the arrows of God's wrath will pierce where the arrows of conviction could not. Where will the sinner flee when God pronounces judgment against him? Where are the men in whom he trusted? Where are the false shepherds that led him astray? They can pay no ransom for his soul, for they are pressed under a heavier weight of guilt themselves. The dens and caves of the earth afford no shelter for either deceiver or deceived. There are souls to be saved; but the plan of salvation must be God's plan. He will not lower his law to meet man's standard, neither can man lift himself up to meet God's standard. But through the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour, all who will may be overcomers. It is an exalted privilege to become sons and daughters of God. Says Christ, "I have kept my Father's commandments." Christ pleased his Father in all things; it was his meat and drink to do the will of his Father in heaven. We should imitate Christ in his implicit obedience to his Father's commands, and our prayers should ascend to heaven by night and by day that we may so walk that our light shall not become darkness, but that we may have the light of life, and at last be permitted to sing the song of triumph in the kingdom of glory. Torre Pellice, Italy, Dec. 4, 1885. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 12, 1886
(Vol. 63, #2)

 "Faithful and Slothful Servants"

    All should now endeavor to realize the shortness and solemnity of the time in which we live. There is no time now to be spent in serving self, and in acquiring property for ourselves and our children. A change is soon to take place; a new order of things is to begin. The heavens are to be rolled together as a scroll. "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory." "The Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him; then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." Then it is that "the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman and every freeman," will receive as their works have been. Solemn hour when the servants are reckoned with, and retribution is awarded to all! There is no second trial. Probation is forever ended. All unbelief in regard to the claims of God's law here ceases; for it is by this standard that all are judged. Every eye then sees him; and every soul then realizes what has proved his ruin. It is then seen and acknowledged that God's law governs all created intelligences. There is none to question his authority. Scoffers no longer say, "Where is the promise of his coming?" neither do they wonder that a peculiar people believed in, and waited for, their Lord's appearing. The reason of this is apparent to all. His coming is the greatest event in the world's history. Those who have had respect to all his commandments, are then classed among the loyal and true, and rewarded with eternal life.
    Will not my brethren and sisters be aroused before probation closes, to see that fidelity to Christ in this life will meet with a sure reward when he shall give to every man according as his works have been? Shall we not begin to trade more diligently upon our intrusted talents? Many who think quite well of themselves, and approve of other's laboring and feeling the burden for souls, are doing nothing themselves. The Lord plainly states what he thinks of those who sit at ease while others do the work. They are represented by the slothful man in the parable. "I was afraid," says the delinquent, "and went and hid thy talent in the earth." "I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed." The Lord replies, "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow; wherefore then gavest thou not my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have received mine own with usury?" Then says he to them that stand by, "Take the talent from him;" take away all my gifts and endowments, and all his opportunities for usefulness. He will be of no use in my kingdom. For a time I lent him talents, and gave him opportunity to use them to my glory. He saw others at work, and might have joined them and done much good; but he had no love for me or my service; his life was spent in serving self. The pound that I gave him, he wrapped in a napkin and hid in the earth, and now he says, Here, Lord, is the talent that thou gavest me. This indolent servant now sees those whom he considered far inferior to him in talents and capabilities, receiving large gifts from their Lord, and hears the awful words from the King, "Those mine enemies, which would not that I should rule over them, bring hither and slay them before me." God's claims cannot be set aside with impunity.
    In this parable two classes are presented,--the workers and the idlers. All have received talents, and all can use them in the service of the Master; but many choose to use them to please themselves. They put skill, tact, perseverance, and energy into their business transactions. They see opportunities to do good, but their feelings are, "Some one who has been doing this work, understands it better than I. I will let him do the work. I will go to my farm." Another says, "I will go to my merchandise. I do not like the rigid requirements of God's word that leave a man no chance to build up his own interests." There are many who act out these words, if they do not say them. Too little is said to stir up these non-workers; but if anything is said, many pay no attention. The Lord Jesus is soon to "be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." You who have hid your Lord's talents, may think that this plain, decided warning is not the way to preach the gospel of peace; but it is just the way that Christ preached it, and it will be his way of fulfilling what he has said would take place. Men neglect all the claims of Jehovah, disregard his holy law, disappoint his expectations in everything, and yet they feel that they are not the ones who will be punished. It is the blasphemer, the murderer, the adulterer, who deserves punishment. They themselves have really loved to hear the gospel preached. True, they have spent their lives in caring for their own interest, instead of helping to build up their Master's kingdom; yet they would be surprised to hear the words, "Take the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents." "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." How terrible is the self-deception of those souls who are at ease in Zion! They believe everything in God's word which flatters their self-love; but they heed not the warnings and denunciations that make them uncomfortable. Like the Jews, many mistake the enjoyment of their privileges for the benefit they should derive from them.
    It is a great step heavenward, not only to see and love the truth, but to carry it out in the daily life. How changed will a man become under its sanctifying influence! "Wherefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." His words and deportment are so ennobled, so elevated, that it can in truth be said of him, "He is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Laying aside every weight, and the sin,--unbelief,--that doth so easily beset him, he will run the Christian race with patience.
    In marked contrast to the class here mentioned are those whom Christ represented by the barren fig tree. When the cruel act of Pilate in mingling the blood of the Galileans with the sacrifices was reported to Jesus, he discovered in those who bore the news to him, a self-sufficient, self-righteous spirit; and he reproved them, saying, "Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." He then gives them the parable of the fig tree, thus impressing upon them the fact that natural endowments, national blessings, and religious privileges greatly increase individual responsibility. They had taken it for granted that their superior advantages, and the favors they had received from God, gave them a right to claim all the blessings he had promised to the faithful on condition of obedience. But they had not been obedient. They were apparently in a flourishing condition; but they were destitute of fruit. They stood in proud, pretentious display; but they failed to exert a religious influence upon others. They were satisfied with doing no positive injury; but this did not satisfy their Saviour. He expects of every one of his followers good works. But after he has waited patiently year after year, and been disappointed, the commandment is given, as to the barren tree, "Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?"
    Let every one inquire, What is my condition before God? Is Jesus disappointed in me from year to year? Am I a fruitless tree in the Lord's garden? It is not an orchard or a vineyard that is presented before us in the parable; it is a single tree. Its history is that it bore no fruit; its destiny is, to be cut down. The work of overcoming is an individual work. During the past summer many of our brethren have in various ways received additional light, and enjoyed precious privileges. This increased light only makes your cases more aggravated and your doom more certain, if fruit does not appear. Will you now go to work for the Master, or will his solemn inspection after this additional light has shone upon you, still find you satisfied with yourselves and unconcerned for sinners. Will you now overcome the world, and, keeping close to the side of Jesus, learn to bear his yoke and lift his burdens? Will there now be found in the church burden bearers,--not those who are trying to occupy the highest position, but those who are earnest, humble workers for Jesus? Fathers and mothers in Israel are everywhere needed,--those who will honor God in their families, in the church, among unbelievers, and wherever they are. Think of different ones for whom you can manifest an interest, and in the fear of God make personal efforts to reach them. Consider, oh! consider how many years you have occupied a place in the garden of the Lord, and how little fruit you have borne.
    As long as probation lasts, there will be work to do for the Master; and his rich blessing will attend the worker who keeps self out of sight, and, with his heart filled with love, labors to seek and to save that which was lost. May God's converting power come upon the churches throughout the United States and Europe, that they may feel a burden for souls, for the souls for whom Christ died. Christiana, Norway . By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 19, 1886
(Vol. 63, #3)

 "Workers With Christ"

    A great work has been committed to the followers of Christ. Every one may do something to strengthen and build up the church, and to enlighten those who are in darkness. But there must be a feeling of individual responsibility. Each must seek to maintain a close connection with God, that he may have strength to aid and counsel others. "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." The heart in which his Spirit dwells, will be a channel of light to others. It cannot be otherwise.
    Those who do not preserve a living connection with God themselves, will have little interest in the salvation of others. They have no light from Heaven to reflect to the world. If these careless, irresponsible ones could see the fearful results of their course, they would be alarmed. Every one of us is exerting an influence upon some other soul; and we shall each be held accountable for the effect of that influence. Words and actions have a telling power, and the long hereafter will show the results of our life here. Yet how few consider these things! The members of the church listen to the word of God, spoken by his servant, and then one goes to his farm, another to his merchandise; and by their absorbing interest in the affairs of this life, they declare that eternal things are of secondary importance to them.
    We should prayerfully study the word of God, and ponder it in our hearts, and we shall be better prepared to obey it in our lives. We must each have an experience for ourselves. The work of our salvation lies between God and our own souls. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before him, yet he will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being on earth.
    At the final day, we shall be approved or condemned according to our works. The Judge of all the earth will render a just decision. He will not be bribed; he cannot be deceived. He who made man, and whose are the worlds and all the treasures they contain--he it is who weighs character in the balance of eternal justice.
    Would that we as a people might realize how much is pending upon our earnestness and fidelity in the service of Christ. All who realize their accountability to God, will be burden bearers in the church. There can be no such thing as a lazy Christian, though there are many indolent professors of Christianity. While Christ's followers will realize their own weakness, they will cry earnestly to God for strength, that they may be workers together with him. They will constantly seek to become better men and better women, that they may more faithfully perform the work which he has committed to their hands.
    The days are evil, wickedness prevails; therefore there is the greater need that Christ should be faithfully represented to the world as a mighty Saviour, able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. But the professed people of God are asleep. They are not doing what it is in their power to do for the salvation of souls. Especially are the youth deficient. They seem to feel no burden for souls, no duty to represent Christ to those with whom they associate. In all this are they not following in the steps of church members who are older in experience, and who should have set them a better example?
    The young, as well as those of more advanced age, are accountable to God for their time, their influence, and their opportunities. They have their fate in their own hands. They may rise to any height of moral excellence, or they may sink to the lowest level of depravity. There is no election but one's own by which any may perish. Every person is a free moral agent, deciding his own future by his daily life. What course, then, is it wisest for us, as rational beings, to pursue? Shall we live as becometh candidates for eternity, or shall we fail to fulfill the great end of our creation?
    Jesus died that through his merits men might be redeemed from the power of sin, and be adopted into the family of God; and in view of the great sacrifice which Christ has made for us, we are exhorted to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Yet how many, endowed by their Creator with reasoning powers, reject the high honors which Christ proffers, and degrade themselves to the level of the brute. Because they do not like to retain God in their knowledge, he leaves them to follow their own evil ways. They yield to Satan's control the souls for whose redemption Christ has died.
    We are free to obey or to disregard the will of God; free to pray or to live without prayer. As God compels no man to be righteous, so none are compelled to be impenitent and vicious. Human passions may be strong and wayward, but help has been laid upon One who is mighty. While that help will not be forced upon any who despise the gift, it is freely, gladly given to all who seek it in sincerity.
    We may be assailed by powerful temptations, for we have a powerful, cunning foe; but these temptations are never irresistible. He who struggles against them in the strength of Christ, will overcome; but God will never deliver those who will not strive to free themselves. The Christian must be watchful against sins of the flesh, watchful against sins of the mind. Says the apostle, "Gird up the loins of your mind." The thoughts and feelings must be restrained with a firm hand, lest they lead us into sin. How many have become the willing slaves of vice, their physical and mental powers enervated, their souls debased, because impure thoughts were allowed to dwell in the mind, and to stain the soul. "Unto the pure, all things are pure." To those who are pure in heart, all the duties and lawful pursuits of life are pure; while to those whose heart and conscience are defiled, all things are impure.
    Another sin of the mind is that of extolling and deifying human reason, to the neglect of divine revelation. Here, too, we must "gird up the loins of the mind." We are living in an age when the minds of men are ever on the stretch for something new. Rightly, directed, and kept within proper limits, this desire is commendable. God has given us in his created works enough to excite thought and stimulate investigation. He does not desire men to be less acute, less inquiring, or less intelligent. But with all our aspirations, and in all our researches, we should remember that arrogance is not greatness, nor is conceit knowledge. Human pride is an evidence, not of strength, but of weakness. It reveals not wisdom, but folly. To exalt reason unduly is to abase it. To place the human in rivalry with the divine, is to make it contemptible.
    How can man be just with God? This is the one great question that most concerns mankind. Can human reasoning find an answer?--No; revelation alone can solve this all-important problem, can shed light upon the pathway of man's life. What folly, then, to turn from the one great source of light, the Sun of righteousness, to follow the feeble and uncertain light of human wisdom!
    Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the Judgment shall sit and the books be opened, when with Daniel every individual must stand in his lot at the end of the days.
    Oh that Christ's followers might realize that it is not houses and lands, bank-stock or wheat-fields, or even life itself, that is now at stake; but souls for whom Christ died! We should ever remember that the men and women whom we daily meet are Judgment-bound. They will stand before the great white throne, to testify against us if we are unfaithful to duty, if our example shall lead them away from the truth and from Christ, or to bear witness that our fidelity has encouraged them in the path of righteousness. These souls will either live to offer praise to God and the Lamb through ceaseless ages, or they will perish with the wicked. Christ suffered and died that they might enjoy a blissful eternity. What sacrifices are we willing to make for their salvation? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 26, 1886
(Vol. 63, #4)

 "Courtship and Marriage"

    In these days of peril and corruption, the young are exposed to many trials and temptations. Many are sailing in a dangerous harbor. They need a pilot; but they scorn to accept the much-needed help, feeling that they are competent to guide their own bark, and not realizing that it is about to strike a hidden rock that may cause them to make shipwreck of faith and happiness. They are infatuated with the subject of courtship and marriage, and their principal burden is to have their own way. In this, the most important period of their lives, they need an unerring counselor, an infallible guide. This they will find in the word of God. Unless they are diligent students of that word, they will make grave mistakes, which will mar their happiness and that of others, both for the present and the future life.
    There is a disposition with many to be impetuous and headstrong. They have not heeded the wise counsel of the word of God; they have not battled with self, and obtained precious victories; and their proud, unbending will has driven them from the path of duty and obedience. Look back over your past life, young friends, and faithfully consider your course in the light of God's word. Have you cherished that conscientious regard for your obligations to your parents that the Bible enjoins? Have you treated with kindness and love the mother who has cared for you from infancy? Have you regarded her wishes, or have you brought pain and sadness to her heart by carrying out your own desires and plans? Has the truth you profess sanctified your heart, and softened and subdued your will? If not, you have close work to do to make past wrongs right.
    The Bible presents a perfect standard of character. This sacred book, inspired by God, and written by holy men, is a perfect guide under all circumstances of life. It sets forth distinctly the duties of both young and old. If made the guide of life, its teachings will lead the soul upward. It will elevate the mind, improve the character, and give peace and joy to the heart. But many of the young have chosen to be their own counselor and guide, and have taken their cases in their own hands. Such need to study more closely the teachings of the Bible. In its pages they will find revealed their duty to their parents and to their brethren in the faith. The fifth commandment reads, "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Again we read, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right." One of the signs that we are living in the last days is that children are disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. The word of God abounds in precepts and counsels enjoining respect for parents. It impresses upon the young the sacred duty of loving and cherishing those who have guided them through infancy, childhood, and youth, up to manhood and womanhood, and who are now in a great degree dependent upon them for peace and happiness. The Bible gives no uncertain sound on this subject; nevertheless, its teachings have been greatly disregarded.
    The young have many lessons to learn, and the most important one is to learn to know themselves. They should have correct ideas of their obligations and duties to their parents, and should be constantly learning in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly of heart. While they are to love and honor their parents, they are also to respect the judgment of men of experience with whom they are connected in the church. A young man who enjoys the society and wins the friendship of a young lady unbeknown to her parents, does not act a noble Christian part toward her or toward her parents. Through secret communications and meetings he may gain an influence over her mind; but in so doing he fails to manifest that nobility and integrity of soul which every child of God will possess. In order to accomplish their ends, they act a part that is not frank and open and according to the Bible standard, and prove themselves untrue to those who love them and try to be faithful guardians over them. Marriages contracted under such influences are not according to the word of God. He who would lead a daughter away from duty, who would confuse her ideas of God's plain and positive commands to obey and honor her parents, is not one who would be true to the marriage obligations.
    The question is asked, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?" and the answer is given, "By taking heed thereto according to thy word." The young man who makes the Bible his guide, need not mistake the path of duty and of safety. That blessed book will teach him to preserve his integrity of character, to be truthful, to practice no deception. "Thou shalt not steal" was written by the finger of God upon the tables of stone; yet how much underhand stealing of affections is practiced and excused. A deceptive courtship is maintained, private communications are kept up, until the affections of one who is inexperienced, and knows not whereunto these things may grow, are in a measure withdrawn from her parents and placed upon him who shows by the very course he pursues that he is unworthy of her love. The Bible condemns every species of dishonesty, and demands right-doing under all circumstances. He who makes the Bible the guide of his youth, the light of his path, will obey its teachings in all things. He will not transgress one jot or tittle of the law in order to accomplish any object, even if he has to make great sacrifices in consequence. If he believes the Bible, he knows that the blessing of God will not rest upon him if he departs from the strict path of rectitude. Although he may appear for a time to prosper, he will surely reap the fruit of his doings.
    The curse of God rests upon many of the ill-timed, inappropriate connections that are formed in this age of the world. If the Bible left these questions in a vague, uncertain light, then the course that many youth of today are pursuing in their attachments for one another, would be more excusable. But the requirements of the Bible are not halfway injunctions; they demand perfect purity of thought, of word, and of deed. We are grateful to God that his word is a light to the feet, and that none need mistake the path of duty. The young should make it a business to consult its pages and heed its counsels; for sad mistakes are always made in departing from its precepts.
    If there is any subject that should be considered with calm reason and unimpassioned judgment, it is the subject of marriage. If ever the Bible is needed as a counselor, it is before taking a step that binds persons together for life. But the prevailing sentiment is that in this matter the feelings are to be the guide; and in too many cases lovesick sentimentalism takes the helm, and guides to certain ruin. It is here that the youth show less intelligence than on any other subject; it is here that they refuse to be reasoned with. The question of marriage seems to have a bewitching power over them. They do not submit themselves to God. Their senses are enchained, and they move forward in secretiveness, as if fearful that their plans would be interfered with by some one.
    This underhand way in which courtships and marriages are carried on, is the cause of a great amount of misery, the full extent of which is known only to God. On this rock thousands have made shipwreck of their souls. Professed Christians, whose lives are marked with integrity, and who seem sensible upon every other subject, make fearful mistakes here. They manifest a set, determined will that reason cannot change. They become so fascinated with human feelings and impulses that they have no desire to search the Bible and come into close relationship with God. Satan knows just what elements he has to deal with, and he displays his infernal wisdom in various devices to entrap souls to their ruin. He watches every step that is taken, and makes many suggestions, and often these suggestions are followed rather than the counsel of God's word. This finely woven, dangerous net is skillfully prepared to entangle the young and unwary. It may often be disguised under a covering of light; but those who become its victims, pierce themselves through with many sorrows. As the results, we see wrecks of humanity everywhere.
    When will our youth be wise? How long will this kind of work go on? Shall children consult only their own desires and inclinations irrespective of the advice and judgment of their parents? Some seem never to bestow a thought upon their parents' wishes or preferences, nor to regard their matured judgment. Selfishness has closed the door of their hearts to filial affection. The minds of the young need to be aroused in regard to this matter. The fifth commandment is the only commandment to which is annexed a promise; but it is held lightly, and is even positively ignored by the lover's claim. Slighting a mother's love, dishonoring a father's care, are sins that stand registered against many youth.
    One of the greatest errors connected with this subject is that the young and inexperienced must not have their affections disturbed, that there must be no interference in their love experience. If there ever was a subject that needed to be viewed from every standpoint, it is this. The aid of the experience of others, and a calm, careful weighing of the matter on both sides, is positively essential. It is a subject that is treated altogether too lightly by the great majority of people. Take God and your God-fearing parents into your counsel, young friends. Pray over the matter. Weigh every sentiment, and watch every development of character in the one with whom you think to link your life destiny. The step you are about to take is one of the most important in your life, and should not be taken hastily. While you may love, do not love blindly.
    Examine carefully to see if your married life would be happy, or inharmonious and wretched. Let the questions be raised, Will this union help me heavenward? will it increase my love for God? and will it enlarge my sphere of usefulness in this life? If these reflections present no drawback, then in the fear of God move forward. But even if an engagement has been entered into without a full understanding of the character of the one with whom you intend to unite, do not think that the engagement makes it a positive necessity for you to take upon yourself the marriage vow, and link yourself for life to one whom you cannot love and respect. Be very careful how you enter into conditional engagements; but better, far better, break the engagement before marriage than separate afterward, as many do.
    True love is a plant that needs culture. Let the woman who desires a peaceful, happy union, who would escape future misery and sorrow, inquire before she yields her affections, Has my lover a mother? What is the stamp of her character? Does he recognize his obligations to her? Is he mindful of her wishes and happiness? If he does not respect and honor his mother, will he manifest respect and love, kindness and attention, toward his wife? When the novelty of marriage is over, will he love me still? Will he be patient with my mistakes, or will he be critical, overbearing, and dictatorial? True affection will overlook many mistakes; love will not discern them.
    The youth trust altogether too much to impulse. They should not give themselves away to easily, nor be captivated too readily by the winning exterior of the lover. Courtship, as carried on in this age, is a scheme of deception and hypocrisy, with which the enemy of souls has far more to do than the Lord. Good common sense is needed here if anywhere; but the fact is, it has little to do in the matter.
    If children would be more familiar with their parents, if they would confide in them, and unburden to them their joys and sorrows, they would save themselves many a future heartache. When perplexed to know what course is right, let them lay the matter just as they view it before their parents, and ask advice of them. Who are so well calculated to point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand their peculiar temperaments so well as they? Children who are Christians will esteem above every earthly blessing the love and approbation of their God-fearing parents. The parents can sympathize with the children, and pray for and with them that God will shield and guide them. Above everything else they will point them to their never-failing Friend and Counselor, who will be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. He who was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin, knows how to succor those who are tempted, and who come to him in faith. Basel, Suisse. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 2, 1886
(Vol. 63, #5)

 "Unwise Marriages"

    Few have correct views of the marriage relation. Many seem to think that it is the attainment of perfect bliss; but if they could know one quarter of the heartaches of men and women that are bound by the marriage vow in chains that they cannot and dare not break, they would not be surprised that I trace these lines. Marriage, in a majority of cases, is a most galling yoke. There are thousands that are mated but not matched. The books of heaven are burdened with the woes, the wickedness, and the abuse, that lie hidden under the marriage mantle. This is why I would warn the young who are of a marriageable age, to make haste slowly in the choice of a companion. The path of married life may appear beautiful and full of happiness; but why may not you be disappointed as thousands of others have been?
    This question of marriage should be a study instead of a matter of impulse. Obedience to the last six commandments requires this. Obedience to the fifth commandment also requires that the young honor the judgment of their parents in the matter. Crimes of every kind may be traced to unwise marriages; then why should ignorant and inexperienced children be allowed to enter the marriage relation blindly? Parents should feel their responsibility to guard the interests of their children, when their own mature judgment teaches them that should they marry unwisely, lifelong unhappiness would be the result.
    While there are weighty responsibilities devolving upon the parents to guard carefully the future happiness and interests of their children, it is also their duty to make home as attractive as possible. This is of far greater consequence than to acquire estates and money. Home must not lack sunshine. The home feeling should be kept alive in the hearts of the children, that they may look back upon the home of their childhood as a place of peace and happiness next to heaven. Then as they come to maturity, they should in their turn try to be a comfort and blessing to their parents. They should not be too ready to leave the parental roof and give their affections and services to a stranger, at the very time when they are most needed at home.
    Parents are entitled to the love of their children; and if the children would manifest in their words and acts more affection for the parents, it would be a blessing to both. Every kind attention is appreciated by parents. Before a marriage contract is made, every young person should look carefully to see how his or her absence from home will affect the happiness of the parents. Do they in their age of feebleness need the help that you alone can give them? Think carefully in regard to who has the strongest claims upon you.
    When so much misery results from marriage, why will not the youth be wise? Why will they continue to feel that they do not need the counsel of older and more experienced persons? In business, men and women manifest great caution. Before engaging in any important enterprise, they prepare themselves for their work. Time, money, and much careful study are devoted to the subject, lest they shall make a failure in their undertaking. How much greater caution should be exercised in entering the marriage relation,--a relation which affects future generations and the future life? Instead of this, it is often entered upon with jest and levity, impulse and passion, blindness and lack of calm consideration. The only explanation of this is that Satan loves to see misery and ruin in the world, and he weaves this net to entangle souls. He rejoices to have these inconsiderate persons lose their enjoyment of this world and their home in the world to come.
    Many make light of the Heaven-appointed institution of marriage, and after it has been entered into thoughtlessly, without a true sense of its sacredness, the obligations it imposes are often shamefully disregarded. Frequently a man who is entirely ignorant of the wants of one of the opposite sex, of the treatment she should receive, takes her under his proposed protection when his influence and his temperament are to her a desolating hail, beating down her will and her aspirations, and leaving her no freedom of mind or judgment. Ignoring her personal rights, he becomes unkind and authoritative. Her individuality is lost in his, and she becomes the slave of his caprice and passions, at though she had naught to do but to obey his whims.
    He may even quote texts of Scripture to show that he is the head, and that he must be obeyed in all things. He feels that his wife belongs to him, and that she is subject to his order and dictation. But who gives him the right to thus dictate and condemn? Is it the law of God, which commands him to love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself? No; there is no moral or religious defense for such unjust authority. The same Bible that prescribes the duty of the wife, prescribes also the duty of the husband. It says, "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." The husband is to be kind and affectionate. He is to love his wife as a part of himself, and to cherish her as Christ does his Church.
    While women want men of strong and noble characters, whom they can respect and love, these qualities need to be mingled with tenderness and affection, patience and forbearance. The wife should in her turn be cheerful, kind, and devoted, assimilating her taste to that of her husband as far as it is possible to do without losing her individuality. Both parties should cultivate patience and kindness, and that tender love for each other that will make married life pleasant and enjoyable.
    Those who have such high ideas of the married life, whose imagination has wrought out an air-castle picture that has naught to do with life's perplexities and troubles, will find themselves sadly disappointed in the reality. When real life comes in with its troubles and cares, they are wholly unprepared to meet them. They expect in each other perfection, but find weakness and defects; for finite men and women are not faultless. Then they begin to find fault with each other, and to express their disappointment. Instead of this, they should try to help each other, and should seek practical godliness to help them to fight the battle of life valiantly. Their daily prayer should be,--"Help us to help each other, Lord, Each other's woes to bear."
    Self-denial must be practiced in the home. Every member of the family should be kind and courteous, and should studiously seek by every word and act to bring in peace, contentment, and happiness. All members of the family do not have the same disposition, the same stamp of character; but through self-discipline, and love and forbearance one for another, all can be bound together in the closest union. In many families there is not that Christian politeness, that true courtesy, deference, and respect for one another that would prepare its members to marry and make happy families of their own. In the place of patience, kindness, tender courtesy, and Christian sympathy and love, there are sharp words, clashing ideas, and a criticising, dictatorial spirit. In every family where Christ abides, a tender interest and love will be manifested for one another; not a spasmodic love expressed only in fond caresses, but a love that is deep and abiding. True love is a high and holy principle, and is altogether different in character from that love that is awakened by impulse, and which suddenly dies when tested and tried.
    My heart is drawn out for the young. God has given them talents, which, if improved, would be of great service in his cause. Satan knows this, and therefore seeks in every possible way so to occupy their minds that they will have no time or inclination to devote themselves to the service of God. There needs to be a great change in the home life of some. They need to overcome the defects in their characters, if they would become useful workers for God and useful members of society. They do not realize that the inconsistencies in their characters are great drawbacks to their usefulness, and that unless they war against those tendencies which have controlled them to a greater or less degree, they will surely fail of attaining the future life.
    Many are seeking for happiness, but they know not how to obtain it. If such would find true happiness, their minds must first receive the right discipline. They must learn to have faith and confidence in God. Those who have not learned to subdue self, to control impulse, and to bring themselves into obedience to the principles of the law of God, will not, cannot be happy, or at peace and rest. They need the meekness and lowliness of Christ. They need to learn daily in his school, to wear his yoke, to lift his burdens, to deny inclination, to sacrifice a seeming present good for a future good, a personal advantage for a general advantage. The fountain of content must spring up in the soul. He who seeks happiness by changing his outward surroundings without changing his own disposition, will find that his efforts will produce only fresh disappointments. He carries himself with him wherever he goes. His unrest, his impatience, his uncontrollable thoughts and impulses, are ever present. The great trouble is in himself. Self has been cherished. He has never fallen upon the Rock and been broken. His will has never been trained to submit; his unyielding spirit has never been brought into subjection to the will of God.
    There are many youth, who, because they cannot find happiness in plans of their own devising, will not accept it in God's appointed way. They wonder over their unhappiness, and count their best friends, those who discern and point out their deficiencies, their enemies. They cling with tenacious grasp to their impressions, and their ideas of what they must have and what they must do in order to be happy; but they lose sight of the fact that it is the Lord who rules, and that it is he who shapes circumstances. He says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Finite beings should be humble and submissive in their desires, realizing that God uses many influences which it is beyond their power to control. It is for them to subdue self, bringing it under the control of intelligent reason. And in faithfully doing this work, peace, rest, and happiness will surely come. "Learn of me," says the Great Teacher, "for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
    Time is valuable. Now is our time of probation. There is an eternity of bliss to gain, a perdition to shun. Do not, my young friends, fritter away your God-given opportunities by trying to accomplish your own desires. Up to duty and to work for the Master! Many of you have lessons to learn that you have not yet dreamed of. The books of heaven reveal many things that you can have blotted from their pages by coming to God with a truly repentant heart, and exercising faith in the blood of Christ as the atoning sacrifice. The life that was once lived to the flesh must now be lived by faith on the Son of God. You may now be passing through a critical experience; but, I entreat of you, be not hasty, be not discouraged, but submit your case to God. Wait upon the Lord and do his will, and in this hour of trial he will work for you, and you will obtain a precious experience. Lie low at the foot of the cross. Give God a chance to work, and he will teach you precious lessons.
    Ask yourselves the questions, What education am I receiving at the present time? What advancement am I making in the divine life? Some are training in the school of vice and deception, receiving an education that will unfit them for this life and for the future immortal life. Others are educating themselves for lofty positions where they may receive the praise and honor of men. Still others are educating themselves in Christ's school, seeking goodness and truth, aiming to meet God's great moral standard of righteousness, and fitting for the high school above. Every day we are learning lessons in good or evil. Every thought cherished, every impulse indulged, leaves its impression on the mind.
    We are under obligations to God to be constantly learning of Christ how to guide and control our thoughts, our feelings, and our passions. Oh, how fearfully lax we are in our duty to ourselves, in allowing our ideas to be molded by our own faulty will, and in allowing ourselves to be controlled by circumstances. We must study the pattern Jesus Christ. Self-culture and divine grace will strengthen us in moral power. Every faculty should be employed to make of us all that Christ has made provision that we should become. How many are losing the balance of their minds for want of heart culture! All goodness commences in the heart.
    God has intrusted the young with the ability to do a good work for the Master, if they will consecrate themselves wholly to his service. But there must first be a transformation of character, an overcoming of obstinacy and self-sufficiency, and a cultivation of kindness and affection. The critical and censorious spirit that is ever ready to find occasion for reproof and condemnation in others, shows a narrow mind, and plainly reveals that its possessor has never carefully studied and correctly read the pages of his own heart.
    Our home here on earth is the place in which to prepare for the home above. If there are such temperaments in the family that they cannot live in harmony here, they would not, unless converted, be in harmony in the heavenly family. There is altogether too much careless talking, censuring, faultfinding, in families that profess to love and serve God. The unkind words, the irreverence and disrespect, found in many families make angels weep. What a record is made upon the books of heaven of unkind looks and words that bite and sting like an adder. And this is not the record of one day in the year merely, but of day after day. Oh that these families would consider that angels of God are taking a daguerreotype of the character just as accurately as the artist takes the likeness of the human features; and that it is from this that we are to be judged!
    All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. By being kind and forbearing, true love may be kept warm in the heart, and qualities will be developed that Heaven will approve. He who goes forth from such a family to stand at the head of a family of his own, will know how to advance the happiness of the one whom he has selected as a companion for life. There will be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Marriage, instead of being the end of love, will then be as it were the very beginning of love.
    If those who are contemplating marriage would not have miserable, unhappy reflections after marriage, they must make it a subject of serious, earnest reflection now. This step taken unwisely in one of the most effective means of ruining the usefulness of young men and women. Life becomes a burden, a curse. No one can so effectually ruin a woman's happiness and usefulness, and make life a heart-sickening burden, as her own husband; and no one can do one hundredth part as much to chill the hopes and aspirations of a man, to paralyze his energies and ruin his influence and prospects, as his own wife It is from the marriage hour that many men and women date their success or failure in this life, and their hopes of the future life. Basel, Switzerland. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 9, 1886
(Vol. 63, #6)

 "Christian Beneficence"

    "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
    "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."
    God is able to fulfill his promises. His resources are infinite, and he employs them all in accomplishing his will. Yet all his promises are based upon conditions, and it is only by complying with these that we can hope to gain the proffered blessing. God has intrusted of his bounties to every man, in varying measure, according to the capacity of each. These gifts of Providence are to be wisely employed in the service of the Giver, and to be returned with interest at the day of reckoning. Those who prove themselves good stewards, will receive in greater measure as they disperse their means to advance God's cause and to bless suffering humanity.
    Our heavenly Father has been pleased to make men co-laborers with himself in the work of human redemption. Those who have been commissioned to preach the gospel are not the only ones whom he will use as his instruments. All whose minds have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit will in their turn be required to enlighten others. "None of us liveth to himself." Every individual has his station of duty in the accomplishment of God's great plan. And every one who receives and obeys the light which God has given, will be a living witness for Christ and the truth.
    The children of God will not be like the world, enshrouded in moral darkness, loving themselves, and seeking for earthly treasure. They will be a "peculiar people, zealous of good works." It will require self-denial and self-sacrifice to imitate the pattern of Christ Jesus. In order to be like him we must cultivate a spirit of beneficence. The first great principle of God's law is supreme love to the Creator; the second, equal love to our neighbor. "On these two commandments," said Christ, "hang all the law and the prophets."
    Experience shows that a spirit of benevolence is more often to be found with those of limited means than among the more wealthy. The most liberal donations for the cause of God or the relief of the needy, come from the poor man's purse, while many to whom the Lord has committed an abundance for this very purpose, see not the necessity for means to advance the truth, and hear not the cries of the poor among them.
    Yet many who greatly desire riches would be ruined by their possession. When such persons are intrusted with talents of means, they too often hoard or waste the Lord's money, until the Master says to them individually, "Thou shalt be no longer steward." They dishonestly use that which is another's as though it were their own. God will not intrust them with eternal riches.
    The cry of souls that have been left in darkness, and the cry of the widow and the fatherless, go up to heaven as a swift witness against the unfaithful stewards. The poor man's gift, the fruit of self-denial to extend the precious light of truth, is as fragrant incense before God. And every act of self-sacrifice for the good of others will strengthen the spirit of beneficence in the giver's heart, allying him more closely to the Redeemer of the world, "who was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich."
    The smallest sum given cheerfully as the result of self-denial is of more value in God's sight than the offerings of those who could give thousands and yet feel no lack. The poor widow who cast two mites into the treasury of the Lord, showed love, faith, and benevolence. She gave all that she had, trusting to God's care for the uncertain future. Her little gift was pronounced by our Saviour the greatest that day cast into the treasury. Its value was measured, not by the worth of the coin, but by the purity of the motive which prompted her sacrifice.
    God's blessing upon that sincere offering has made it the source of great results. The widow's mite has been like a tiny stream flowing down through the ages, widening and deepening in its course, and contributing in a thousand directions to the extension of the truth and the relief of the needy. The influence of that small gift has acted and reacted upon thousands of hearts in every age and in every country upon the globe. As the result, unnumbered gifts have flowed into the treasury of the Lord from the liberal, self-denying poor. And again, her example has stimulated to good works thousands of ease-loving, selfish, and doubting ones, and their gifts also have gone to swell the value of her offering.
    Liberality is a duty on no account to be neglected; but let not rich or poor for a moment entertain the thought that their offerings to God can atone for their defects of Christian character. Says the great apostle, "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
    Again, he sets forth the fruits of true charity: "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth." If we would be accepted as the followers of Christ, we must bring forth the fruits of his Spirit; for our Saviour himself declares, "Ye shall know them by their fruits."
    It is to cultivate a spirit of benevolence in us that the Lord calls for our gifts and offerings. He is not dependent upon men for means to sustain his cause. He declares, by the prophet, "Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof."
    These words were spoken as a reproof to Israel, who did not cherish the love of God in their heart, yet were increasing the number of their sacrifices, as if they would make a compromise with the Lord. Gifts and offerings will not purchase salvation for any of us. The religion of the Bible is that development of our moral nature by which the soul learns to love what God loves and to hate what God hates. The Lord will not accept our offerings, if we withhold ourselves. He asks for that which is his own,--not only the means intrusted to us, but all that we have and are, in body, soul, and spirit; for all has been purchased at the infinite price of the blood of Christ.
    God might have made angels the ambassadors of his truth. He might have made known his will, as he proclaimed the law from Sinai, with his own voice. But he has chosen to employ men to do this work. And it is only as we fulfill the divine purpose in our creation, that life can be a blessing to us. All the riches intrusted to man will prove only a curse, unless he employs them to relieve his own daily wants and the wants of the needy around him, and to glorify God by advancing his cause in the earth.
    The Majesty of heaven-yielded up his high command, his glory with the Father, and even his own life, to save us. And now what will we do for him? God forbid that his professed children should live for themselves! There is work to be done for the Master, by our means and by our influence. God's claim underlies every other. The first and best of everything rightfully belongs to him. When Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven, he will have no use for the money which he has intrusted to us. It is in this life that he requires all our talents to be put out to the exchangers. In this life he calls upon us to bring all the tithes into the storehouse, and thus prove him and see if he will not pour us out a blessing. This proposition is made by the Lord of hosts. Shall we comply with the conditions and thus secure the promised blessing?
    "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." There has been a fearful withholding from God, and as a result the withdrawal of his special blessing. My brethren and sisters, I entreat you to look carefully to this matter; learn where you have robbed the Lord in tithes and offerings. Let not the record stand against you in the books of heaven. Repent, and show your repentance by your works. Make up the deficiencies without delay.
    We should not look upon the tithe as the limit of our liberality. The Jews were required to bring to God numerous offerings besides the tithe; and shall not we, who enjoy the blessings of the gospel, do as much to sustain God's cause as was done in the former, less-favored dispensation? As the work for this time is extending in the earth, the calls for help are constantly increasing. And in view of this the Lord commands us, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house;" that is, a surplus of means in the treasury, to amply sustain the work of God in its various branches.
    As we are continually receiving the blessings of God, so are we to be continually giving. When the heavenly Benefactor ceases to give to us, then we may be excused; for we shall have nothing to bestow. God has never left us without evidence of his love, in that he did us good. He gives us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, providing us abundantly with his bounties, and filling our hearts with gladness. He has declared that "while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
    We are sustained every moment by God's care, and upheld by his power. He spreads our tables with food. He gives us peaceful and refreshing sleep. Weekly he brings to us the Sabbath, that we may rest from our temporal labors, and worship him in his own house, He has given us his word to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. In its sacred pages we find the counsels of wisdom; and as oft as we lift our hearts to him in penitence and faith, he grants us the blessings of his grace. Above all else is the infinite gift of God's dear Son, through whom flow all other blessings for this life and for the life to come.
    Surely goodness and mercy attend us at every step. Not till we wish the infinite Father to cease bestowing his gifts on us, should we impatiently exclaim, Is there no end of giving? Not only should we faithfully render to God our tithes, which he claims as his own, but we should bring a tribute to his treasury as an offering of gratitude. Let us with joyful hearts bring to our Creator the firstfruits of all his bounties,--our choicest possessions, our best and holiest service. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 16, 1886
(Vol. 63, #7)

 "Christ's Representatives"

    The disciples of Christ are his representatives upon the earth; and God designs that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world, dotted all over the country, in the towns, villages, and cities, "a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men." If they obey the teachings of Christ in his sermon on the mount, they will be seeking continually for perfection of Christian character, and will be truly the light of the world--channels through which God will communicate his divine will, the truth of heavenly origin, to those who sit in darkness, and who have no knowledge of the way of life and salvation.
    God cannot display the knowledge of his will, and the wonders of his grace, among the unbelieving world, unless he has witnesses scattered all over the earth. This is God's plan: that men and women who are partakers of this great salvation through Jesus Christ, should be his missionaries, bodies of light throughout the world, to be as signs to the people--living epistles, known and read of all men, their faith and their works testifying to the near approach of the coming Saviour, and that they have not received the grace of God in vain. The people must be warned to prepare for the coming Judgment. To those who have been listening only to fables, God will give an opportunity to hear the sure word of prophecy, whereunto they do well that they take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place. God will present the sure word of truth to the understanding of all who will take heed, that they may contrast truth with the fables which have been presented to them by men who claim to understand the word of God, and profess to be qualified to instruct those in darkness.
    Every follower of Jesus has his or her work to do as a missionary of Christ, in their families, in their neighborhoods, and in the towns and cities where they live. If they are consecrated to God, they are channels of light. God makes them instruments of righteousness to communicate the light of truth, the riches of his grace, to others. Unbelievers may appear indifferent and careless; yet God is impressing and convicting their hearts that there is a reality in the truth. But when men leave the field, give up the contest, and allow the cause of God to languish before God says, "Let them alone," they will only be a burden to any church where they may move. Those they have left, who were convicted, have frequently quieted their consciences with thinking that, after all, they were needlessly anxious; they decide that there is no reality in the profession made by Seventh-day Adventists.
    Satan triumphs to see the vine of God's planting either entirely uprooted or left to languish. It is not the purpose of God that his people should cluster together and concentrate their influence in a special locality.
    God designs that his people shall be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. The plan of gathering together in large numbers, to compose a large church, has contracted their influence, and narrowed their sphere of usefulness, and is literally putting their light under a bushel. It is God's design that the knowledge of the truth should come to all, that none may be left ignorant of its principles, and so remain in darkness; and that every one should be tested upon it, and decide for or against it, that all may be warned, and left without excuse. The plan of colonizing, or moving from different localities where there is but little strength or influence, and concentrating the influence of many in one locality, is removing the light away from place where God would have it shine.
    The followers of Jesus Christ, scattered throughout the world, do not have a high sense of their responsibility, and the obligation resting upon them to let their light shine forth to others. If there are but one or two in a place, they can, although few in number, so conduct themselves before the world as to have an influence which will impress the unbeliever with the sincerity of their faith. The followers of Jesus are not meeting the mind and will of God if they are content to remain in ignorance of his word. All should become Bible students. Christ commanded his followers, "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Peter exhorts us, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear."
    Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days, will be found wanting. They have neglected the weightier matters. Their conversion is superficial; not deep, earnest, and thorough. They do not know why they believe the truth, only because others have done so, and they take it for granted it must be so. They can give no intelligent reason why they believe. Many have allowed their minds to be filled with things of minor importance, and their eternal interest is made secondary. Their own souls are dwarfed and crippled in spiritual growth. Others are not enlightened or edified by their experience and the knowledge it was their privilege and duty to obtain. Strength and stability lie with truehearted professors. Christ and him crucified should become the theme of our thoughts, and stir the deepest emotions of our souls. The true followers of Christ will appreciate the great salvation he has wrought for them; and wherever he leads the way, they will follow. They will consider it a privilege to bear whatever burdens Christ may lay upon them. It is through the cross alone that we can estimate the worth of the human soul.
    Such is the value of men for whom Christ died that the Father is satisfied with the infinite price which he pays for the salvation of man in yielding up his own Son to die for their redemption. What wisdom, and mercy, and love, in its fullness, are here manifested! The worth of man is only known by going to Calvary. In the mystery of the cross of Christ, we can place an estimate upon man.
    What a responsible position, to unite with the Redeemer of the world in the salvation of men! This work calls for self-denial, sacrifice, and benevolence; for perseverance, courage and faith. Why there are so little results seen of those who minister in word and doctrine, is, they have not the fruit of the grace of God in their hearts and lives. They have not faith. Many who profess to be ministers of Jesus Christ, manifest a wonderful submission in seeing the unconverted all around them going to perdition. A minister of Christ has no right to be at ease, and sit down submissively to the fact that the truth is powerless, and souls are not stirred by its presentation. They should resort to prayer, and should work and pray without ceasing. Those who submit to remain destitute of spiritual blessings, without an earnest wrestling for those blessings, consent to have Satan triumph. Persistent, prevailing faith is necessary. God's ministers must come into closer companionship with Christ, and follow his example in all things,--in purity of life, in self-denial, in benevolence, in diligence, in perseverance. They should remember that a record will one day appear in evidence against them for the least omission of duty.
    In order for laborers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, they must have a varied experience, which will be best acquired in extended labor in new fields, in different localities, coming in contact with all classes of people, and with all varieties of minds, calling into exercise various kinds of labor to meet the wants of many and varied minds. This drives the true laborer to God and the Bible for light, and strength, and knowledge, in order to be fully qualified to meet the wants of the people. They should heed the exhortation given to Timothy: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." "Who, then, is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?" Wisdom is needed to discern the most appropriate subject for the occasion. Paul exhorted Timothy, "Be thou an example to the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 23, 1886
(Vol. 63, #8)

 "What Shall We Answer?"

    Jesus warned the people, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." He then addressed his disciples, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
    These warnings are given for the benefit of all. Will they be benefited? Will they improve the warnings given? Will they regard these striking illustrations of our Saviour, and shun the example of the foolish rich man? He had abundance; so have many who profess to believe the truth, and they are acting again the case of the poor foolish rich man. Oh that they would be wise, and feel the obligations resting upon them to use the blessings God has given them in blessing others, instead of turning these blessings into a curse! God will say to all such, as to the foolish rich man, "Thou fool."
    Men act as though they were bereft of their reason. They are buried up in the cares of this life. They have no time to devote to God, no time to serve him. Work, work, work, is the order of the day. All about them are required to go upon the high-pressure plan, to take care of large farms. To tear down and build greater is their ambition, that they may have room wherein to bestow their goods. Yet these very men who are weighed down with their riches, pass for Christ's followers. They have the name of believing that Christ is soon to come, that the end of all things is at hand; yet they have no spirit of sacrifice. They are plunging deeper and deeper into the world. They allow themselves but little time to study the word of life, and to meditate and pray. Neither do they give others in their family, or those who serve them, this privilege. Yet these men profess to believe that this world is not their home--that they are merely pilgrims and strangers upon the earth, preparing to move to a better country. The example and influence of all such is a curse to the cause of God. Hollow hypocrisy characterizes their professed Christian life. They love God and the truth just as much as their works show, and no more. A man will act out all the faith he has. "By their fruits ye shall know them." The heart is where the treasure is. Their treasure is upon this earth, and their heart and interests are here.
    "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and hath not works? Can faith save him?" "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." When those who profess the faith show their lives to be consistent with their faith, then we shall see a power attending the presentation of the truth, that will convict the sinner, and draw souls nigh to Christ.
    A consistent faith is rare among rich men. Genuine faith, sustained by works, is rare. But all who possess this faith will be men who will not lack influence. They will copy after Christ in that disinterested benevolence and interest in the work of saving souls that he had. The followers of Christ should value souls as he valued them. Their sympathies should be with the work of their dear Redeemer, and they should labor to save the purchase of his blood at any sacrifice. What are money, houses, and lands, in comparison with even one soul?
    Christ made a full and complete sacrifice, sufficient to save every son and daughter of Adam who should show repentance toward God because they have transgressed his law, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet notwithstanding that the sacrifice was ample, but few consent to a life of obedience, that they may have this great salvation. But few are willing to imitate his amazing privations, and endure his sufferings, and his persecutions, and share his exhausting labor to bring others to the light. But few will follow the example of our Saviour in earnest, frequent prayer to God for strength to endure the trials, and to perform the daily duties, of this life. Christ is the captain of our salvation, and by his own sufferings and sacrifice, has given an example to all his followers, that watchfulness and prayer and persevering effort were necessary on their part if they would rightly represent the love which dwelt in his bosom for the fallen race.
    Men of property are dying spiritually because of their neglect to use the means God has placed in their hands to aid in saving their fellowmen. Some become aroused at times, and resolve that they will make to themselves friends with the unrighteous mammon, that they may finally be received into everlasting habitations. But their efforts in this direction are not thorough. They commence, but not being heartily, earnestly, and thoroughly in the work, they make a failure. They are not rich in good works. While lingeringly retaining their love and grasp of their earthly treasures, Satan outgenerals them.
    Some who have been intrusted with only one talent, excuse themselves because they have not as large a number of talents as those to whom are intrusted many talents. They, like the unfaithful steward, hide the one talent in the earth. They are afraid to render to God that which he has intrusted to them. They engage in worldly enterprises, but invest little, if anything, in the cause of God. They expect those who have large talents, to bear the burden of the work, while they feel that they are not responsible for its success and advancement.
    When the Master comes to make an investigation of his servants, in confusion the unwise servants acknowledge, "I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed; and I was afraid [afraid of what?--That the Lord would claim some portion of the small talent intrusted to him.], and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou has that is thine." His Lord answered, "Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed; thou oughtest, therefore, to have put my money to the exchangers, and then, at my coming, I should have received mine own with usury. Take, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath, shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
    Many who have but little of this world, are represented by the man with one talent. They are afraid to trust God. They are afraid that God will require something they claim to be their own. They hide their talent in the earth, fearing to invest it anywhere, lest they be called to give back the improvements to God. Instead of putting out the talent to the exchangers as God required, they bury it, or hide it, where neither God nor man can be benefited with it. Many who are professing to love the truth, are doing this very work. They are deceiving their own souls; for Satan has blinded their eyes. In robbing God, they have robbed themselves more. They have deprived themselves of the heavenly treasure through their covetousness, and because of their evil heart of unbelief. Because they have but one talent, they are afraid to trust it with God, and they hide it in the earth. They feel relieved of responsibility. They love to see the truth progress, but do not think that they are called upon to practice self-denial, and aid in the work through their own individual effort and with their means, although they have not a large amount.
    All should do something. The case of the widow who cast in her two mites, is placed upon record for the benefit of others. Christ commended her for the sacrifice she made. He calls the attention of his disciples to the act of the widow: "Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury; for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." Christ esteemed her gift more valuable than the large offerings of the most wealthy. They gave of their abundance. They would not feel the least privation because of their offerings. The widow, to do her little, had deprived herself of even the necessaries of life. She could not see how her future needs were to be supplied. She had no husband to support her in want. She trusted God for the morrow. The value of the gift is not estimated so much by the amount as by the proportion that is given, and the motive that prompts the gift. When Christ shall come, whose reward is with him, he will give every man according as his work shall be.
    All, both high and low, rich and poor, have been trusted by the Master with talents; some more, and some less, according to their several ability. The blessing of God will rest upon the earnest, loving, diligent workers. Their investment will be successful, and will secure souls to the kingdom of God, and for themselves an immortal treasure. All are moral agents, and are intrusted with the goods of heaven. The amount of talents is proportioned according to the capabilities possessed by each.
    God gives to every man his work, and he expects corresponding returns, according to their various trusts. He does not require the increase from ten talents of the man to whom he has given only one talent. He does not expect the man of poverty to give alms as the man who has riches. He does not expect of the feeble and suffering, the activity and strength which the healthy man has. The one talent, used to the best account, God will accept "according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."
    God calls us servants, which implies that we are employed by him to do a certain work, and to bear responsibilities. He has lent us capital for investment. It is not our property; and we displease God if we hoard up, or spend as we choose, our Lord's goods. We are responsible for the use or abuse of that which God has thus lent us. If this capital which the Lord has placed in our hands lies dormant, or we bury it in the earth, be it only one talent, we shall be called to an account by the Master. He requires, not ours, but his own, with usury.
    Every talent which returns to the Master, will be scrutinized. The doings and trusts of God's servants will not be considered an unimportant matter. Every individual will be dealt with personally, and will be required to give an account of the talents intrusted to him, whether he has improved or abused them. The reward bestowed will be proportionate to the talents improved. The punishment awarded will be according as the talents have been abused.
    The inquiry of each one should be, What have I of my Lord's? and how shall I use it to his glory? "Occupy," says Christ, "till I come." The heavenly Master is on his journey. Our gracious opportunity is now. The talents are in our hands. Shall we use them to God's glory? or shall we abuse them? We trade with them today; but tomorrow our probation may end, and our account be forever fixed.
    If our talents are invested for the salvation of our fellowmen, God will be glorified. Pride and position are made apologies for extravagance, vain show, ambition, and profligate selfishness. The Lord's talents, lent to a man as a precious blessing, will, if abused, reflect back upon him a terrible curse. Riches may be used by us to advance the cause of God, and to relieve the wants of the widow and the fatherless. In thus doing, we gather to ourselves rich blessings; not only in expressions of gratitude from the recipients of our bounties, but the Lord himself, who has placed the means in our hands for this very purpose, will make our souls like a watered garden, whose waters fail not. When the reaping time shall come, who of us will have the inexpressible joy of seeing the sheaves we have gathered, as a recompense of our fidelity and our unselfish use of the talents the Lord has placed in our hands to use for his glory? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 2, 1886
(Vol. 63, #9)

 "The Two Dispensations"

    God's truth is the same in all ages, although differently developed to meet the wants of his people in various periods. Under the Old Testament dispensation, every important work was closely connected with the sanctuary. In the holy of holies the great I AM took up his abode, and no human being was permitted to enter there except by divine appointment. There, above the mercy seat, overshadowed by the wings of the cherubim, dwelt the shekinah of his glory, the perpetual token of his presence; while the breastplate of the high priest, set with precious stones, made known from the sacred precincts of the sanctuary the solemn message of Jehovah to the people. Wonderful dispensation, when the Holy One, the creator of the heavens and the earth, thus manifested his glory, and revealed his will to the children of men!
    The typical sacrifices and offerings of that dispensation represented Christ, who was to become the perfect offering for sinful man. Besides these mystic symbols and shadowy types pointing to a Saviour to come, there was a present Saviour to the Israelites. He it was, who, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, led them in their travels; and he it was who gave direct words to Moses to be repeated to the people. Those who sneer at the old dispensation, and professedly accept Christ in the new, do not discern that this same Christ was the ancient leader of Israel, and that from his lips came all the commands, all the rules and regulations, to govern more than a million of people. He who was equal with the Father in the creation of man was commander, lawgiver, and guide to his ancient people.
    The Christ typified in the former dispensation is the Christ revealed in the gospel dispensation. The clouds that then enshrouded his divine form have been rolled back; the mists and shadows have disappeared; and he stands revealed, not as the Jewish nation expected, as a powerful king who would conquer their enemies and achieve for them glorious victories, but as a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. His divinity is now hid, not under a cloud, but under the garb of humanity.
    As time has rolled on from creation and the cross of Calvary, as prophecy has been and is still fulfilling, light and knowledge have greatly increased. But it does not become believers in God or the Bible to pour contempt on the age that has led step by step to the present. In the life and death of Christ, a light flashes back upon the past, giving significance to the whole Jewish economy, and making of the old and the new dispensations a complete whole. Nothing that God has ordained in the plan of redemption can be dispensed with. It is the working out of the divine will in the salvation of man.
    The sacrificial offerings were established by infinite wisdom to impress upon the fallen race the solemn truth that it was sin which caused death. Every time the life of a sacrificial offering was taken, they were reminded that if there had been no sin, there would have been no death. "The wages of sin is death."
    The word of God covers a period of history reaching from the creation to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. Yea, more; it carries the mind forward to the future life, and opens before it the glories of paradise restored. Through all these centuries the truth of God has remained the same. That which was truth in the beginning is truth now. Although new and important truths appropriate for succeeding generations have been opened to the understanding, the present revealings do not contradict those of the past. Every new truth understood only makes more significant the old.
    With the broader, clearer light that shines upon us, we can see with greater distinctness the glory of the former dispensation. We can hold converse with the patriarchs of old; we can listen to Moses as he legislates for Israel, to the prophets as they look down through future ages and foretell coming events, and to the apostles as they lay open the mysteries of the new dispensation, and relate their personal experience and the wonderful words of Him that spake as never man spake. As we see the prediction of the prophets fulfilling around us, we are brought nearer to them, and we read them with a deeper and more intelligent interest. And as time rolls on and we near the close of earth's history, we shall, if humble learners in the school of Christ, be able to comprehend still more clearly divine wisdom.
    Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the patriarchs and prophets, heard the gospel through Christ; they saw the salvation of the race through the substitute and surety, Jesus, the world's Redeemer. They saw a Saviour to come to the world in human flesh, and communed with him in his divine majesty. Abraham walked and talked with the heavenly angels who came to him in the garb of humanity. Jacob talked with Christ and angels. Moses held converse with Jesus face to face as one who speaketh with a friend.
    From the creation and fall of man to the present time, there has been a continual unfolding of the plan of God for the redemption, through Christ, of the fallen race. The tabernacle and temple of God on earth were patterned after the original in heaven. Around the sanctuary and its solemn services mystically gathered the grand truths which were to be developed through succeeding generations. There has been no time when God has granted greater evidences of his grandeur and exalted majesty, than while he was the acknowledged governor of Israel. The manifestations of an invisible King were grand and unspeakably awful. A scepter was swayed, but it was held by no human hand. The sacred ark, covered by the mercy seat, and containing the holy law of God, was symbolical of Jehovah himself. It was the power of the Israelites to conquer in battle. Before it idols were thrown down, and for rashly looking into it thousands perished. Never in our world has the Lord given such open manifestations of his supremacy as when he alone was the acknowledged king of Israel.
    How wise was the arrangement of God to preserve a knowledge of himself in the earth by giving man his holy law, which was the foundation of his government in heaven and in earth, and by connecting with it a system of worship that would be a continual reminder of a coming Saviour. While darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, the Lord had a humble few who acknowledged his sovereignty by respecting and obeying the constitution of his kingdom, the ten commandments. Through the ages of idolatry and apostasy, the promise of a Messiah kept the star of hope shining in the darkened moral heavens until the time came for Christ to make his first advent.
    In the sacrificial offering on every altar was seen a Redeemer. With the cloud of incense arose from every contrite heart the prayer that God would accept their offerings as showing faith in the coming Saviour. Our Saviour has come and shed his blood as a sacrifice, and now he pleads that blood before his Father in the sanctuary in heaven. It is now, as anciently, only through the merits of that blood that the transgressor of God's law can find pardon. It is by exercising repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
    While we rejoice today that our Saviour has come, that the sacrifices of the former dispensation have given place to the perfect offering for sin, we are not excusable in showing contempt for that period. Those who make slurring remarks concerning the old Jewish age, show that they are ignorant of the Scriptures, and of the power of God. Amid the moral darkness of the idolatrous nations of that time are seen burning traces of the great I AM. His goings forth stand registered in the pages of Bible history. What is now needed is divine enlightenment, and a more intelligent knowledge of the wonderful dealings of God with his people anciently. The psalmist exclaims, "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God." Basel, Switzerland. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 9, 1886
(Vol. 63, #10)

 "The Government of God"

    Text: "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. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way." Ps. 119:126-128.
    If this prayer was appropriate in David's time, it is in a special sense appropriate now. If in his day sin and iniquity prevailed to such a degree that it was time for God to work, it certainly is time for him to work in our day; for the warring powers of darkness are prevailing to a remarkable extent. The entrance of sin into heaven cannot be explained. If it were explainable, it would show that there was some reason for sin. But as there was not the least excuse for it, its origin will ever remain shrouded in mystery.
    Sin began with Satan when he was an exalted angel in heaven. He had great honor there among the angels. The first sign of his dissatisfaction was the manifestation of his desire to be equal with God, to be worshiped as God. He tried to falsify the word of God, and pervert his plan of government before the angels. He claimed that God was not just in laying rules and laws upon the inhabitants of heaven. He represented that God was not self-denying, and that Christ was not self-denying; why, then, should the angels be required to be self-denying?
    Satan was greatly loved by the heavenly beings, and his influence over them was strong. Some course must be pursued to uproot him from their affections. God's government included not only the inhabitants of heaven but of all the created worlds; and Satan thought that if he could carry the intelligences of heaven with him in rebellion, he could also carry with him the other worlds.
    God in his wisdom did not immediately thrust Satan out of heaven. This act would not have changed his principles, and would only have strengthened his rebellion, for it would have created sympathy for him as one unjustly dealt with; and he would have carried a much larger number with him. He must be displaced, and have time to more fully develop his principles.
    Satan was artful in presenting his side of the question. As soon as he found that one position was seen in its true character, he changed it for another. Not so with God. He could work with only one class of weapons,--truth and righteousness. Satan could use what God could not,--crookedness and deceit. These are the very weapons that he uses in our day to make the truth of none effect. When the truth is presented to the people, it seems to many to be consistent and right; and if the enemy and his followers did not come in and oppose it by every means in their power, where there are now ten who take hold of it, there would be thousands.
    The only way in which God could deal with Satan was to take a straightforward course; and this is the course that his children must pursue in the great controversy which is still being carried on in the world between truth and error, light and darkness. Those who hold the truth in righteousness will be fair; they can afford to be fair. But those who oppose the truth lack Bible evidence to sustain their position. Therefore they are not fair, but are constantly warring against the things that are for their good.
    When Satan tempted and overcame Adam and Eve, he thought he had gained possession of this world; "because," said he, "they have chosen me as their governor." God had said to man, Thou shalt not eat of the forbidden tree. Satan had said, Thou mayest eat. They did eat, and in consequence were driven out of the garden. The sentence of death rested upon them, and the entire race was plunged in hopeless misery. This world is, as it were, but one link in a chain composed of a thousand links; but because of sin it was struck off from the continent of heaven, and Satan claimed it as his.
    If God were like us, we would expect to hear him say, "Let the world go; let Satan have it for his own." But I am so thankful that God is not like man. He so loved the creatures of his care that he provided a way by which they might be brought back to their Eden home. But at what an immense cost was this provision made! It was no less than by giving up his own dear Son, who was equal to himself, to bear the penalty of the transgressor. The controversy was not to be taken into the other worlds of the universe; but it was to be carried on in the very world, on the very same field, that Satan claimed as his.
    Ever since his fall, Satan has been at work to establish himself as ruler of this earth. He saw the sacrificial offerings which had been ordained to represent Christ as dying for the race; and he tried in every possible way to so pervert them that the people would lose sight of their true meaning. He was acquainted with the people whom Christ led out of Egyptian bondage, and who were the depositaries of God's law; and he tried earnestly to overcome them by constantly plying them with his temptations. But God did not give them up to his control. He so far succeeded, however, that nearly the whole company who left Egypt fell in the wilderness. Not all, thank God! not all. There were a few faithful ones to pass the work into the hands of others to carry forward.
    From the Jewish age down to the present time, Satan's warfare has been directed against the Son of God and his work; and he still flatters himself that he will obtain the victory. Christ came to our world in the form of humanity. All heaven were intensely interested in following him from the manger to Calvary, as he traversed, step by step, the bloodstained path to redeem man. Here were the very people whom he had led out of bondage, and to whom God had intrusted his law; but they received him not. He was the light of the world; but the darkness comprehended it not.
    It was Satan's studied purpose to bring the Jewish nation into such a state of darkness that they would not know Jesus when he came. Had they walked in the light, they would not have been thus deceived. Heaven marked the insult and mockery that he received from the very men who professed to be his children. They knew that it was at Satan's instigation that spies were placed upon his track as he went from city to city. Christ declared that he came to break the yoke of bondage from every neck, and to let the oppressed go free. Here was a work of counter-agencies going on. Satan was constantly pressing darkness, suffering, and sorrow upon the race; Christ was counteracting it.
    When Christ went into the wilderness of temptation after his baptism, it was to meet the wily foe in conflict. Satan did not at first appear to Christ in his true character, but as a bright, beautiful, attractive angel sent to him with a message direct from his Father in heaven. This was a temptation to Christ. His humanity made it a temptation to him. It was only by trusting in his Father that he could resist these temptations. He walked by faith as we must walk by faith. It would have been impossible for him to know how to succor those who are tempted had he not known what it was to be tempted. The temptations that he endured were as much more severe than those which come upon us as his character is more exalted than ours. He overcame Satan by the word of God, "It is written." So must we.
    When Satan exercised his power by taking Christ and placing him on a pinnacle of the temple, he tempted him, saying: "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Christ answered him saying, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
    Again Satan takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and laying aside his disguised character, presents before him the kingdoms of the world in all their glory and attractiveness. "All these will I give thee," he says, "if thou wilt fall down and worship me." He declares that they are his to give; and he presents them as a tempting bribe to the Son of God. It is then that the indignation of Christ is stirred; and he says, "Get thee hence, Satan." The tempter then leaves Christ, faint and dying, upon the field of battle, and one of the heavenly angels who are watching the scene is immediately sent to minister unto him.
    As the ministry of Christ commences, the battle between light and darkness waxes stronger. And as he cries out upon the cross in his expiring agony, "It is finished," a shout of triumph rings through every world and through heaven itself. The great contest that has been going on in this world for so long is ended, and Christ is conqueror. His death has now answered the question whether there was self-denial with the Father and the Son.
    The angelic host who watched the scenes in the betrayal and crucifixion of Christ, knew that it was Satan who entered into Judas and led him to betray Christ into the hands of the murderous mob; they knew, too, that it was he who impelled the throng to cry out, "Crucify him; crucify him;" and "release unto us Barabbas." Satan has now revealed his true character as a liar and a murderer. It is seen that the very same spirit with which he ruled the children of men who were under his power, he would manifest if permitted to control the intelligences of heaven. The question is settled in all the worlds that there is no place for him in all their dominions.
    They see their loved Commander hanging upon Calvary's cross as a malefactor. He is taken down and laid in Joseph's tomb. He comes forth a conqueror. Again, as at his death, a shout of victory echoes and re-echoes throughout the universe. Now that the issue is determined, all are free to express their indignation at Satan's rebellion; and with one voice, the loyal universe unite in extolling the divine administration.
    The penalty of the transgression of God's law is death. Christ suffered death for man, and brought life and immortality to light by coming from the dead. When he died, the death knell of Satan was sounded. The work of Christ was to destroy him who had the power of death; therefore we are today prisoners of hope. How grateful we should be that, notwithstanding this earth is so small amid the created worlds, God notices even us. The nations are before him as the drop in the bucket, and as the small dust in the balance; and yet the great, the stupendous work that has been done for us shows how much he loves us.
    As soon as Christ was raised from the dead, Satan's lying propensities led him to start the lie that the body of Christ had been stolen. By this he thought he could conceal the fact that it was the Son of God who had died, and he could, after all, make a victory out of his terrible defeat. Failing in this, he tried another scheme. He had controlled the Jewish nation so that they had rejected and crucified the Son of God. He now pretends to exalt Christ before the Christian world by telling them that instead of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath they must keep the first day of the week in memory of Christ's resurrection. Anything, he cares not what, to show that the law of God can be changed! If he can make the world believe that this law can be changed, he has gained his point.
    There is one pointed out in prophecy as the man of sin. He is the representative of Satan. Taking the suggestions of Satan concerning the law of God, which is as unchangeable as his throne, this man of sin comes in and represents to the world that he has changed that law, and that the first day of the week instead of the seventh is now the Sabbath. Professing infallibility, he claims the right to change the law of God to suit his own purposes. By doing, he exalts himself above God, and leaves the world to infer that God is fallible. If it were indeed true that God had made a rule of government that needed to be changed, it would certainly show fallibility.
    But Christ declared that not one jot or tittle of the law should fail until heaven and earth should pass away. The very work that he came to do was to exalt the law, and show to the created worlds and to heaven that God is just, and that his law need not be changed. But here is Satan's right-hand man ready to carry on the work that Satan commenced in heaven, that of trying to amend the law of God. And the Christian world has sanctioned his efforts by adopting this child of the papacy,--the Sunday institution. They have nourished it, and will continue to nourish it, until Protestantism shall give the hand of fellowship to the Roman power. Then there will be a law against the Sabbath of God's creation, and then it is that God "will do a strange work in the earth." He has borne long with the perversity of the race; he has tried to win them to himself. But the time will come when they shall have filled their measure of iniquity; and then it is that God will work. This time is almost reached. God keeps a record with the nations: the figures are swelling against them in the books of heaven; and when it shall have become a law that the transgression of the first day of the week shall be met with punishment, then their cup will be full.
    We should consider that it was not merely to accomplish the redemption of man that Christ came to earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to demonstrate to all the worlds that God's law is unchangeable, and that the wages of sin is death.
    There is a great deal more to this subject than we can take in at a glance. Oh that all might see the importance of carefully studying the Scriptures! Many seem to have the idea that this world and the heavenly mansions constitute the universe of God. Not so. The redeemed throng will range from world to world, and much of their time will be employed in searching out the mysteries of redemption. And throughout the whole stretch of eternity, this subject will be continually opening to their minds. The privileges of those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony are beyond comprehension.
    We have each to battle with the fallen foe. I feel an intense interest that all should look upon this battle in the light of the Bible. Begin the warfare at once by gaining victories over self. Do not give place to the Devil. Do not sin against God, by indulging sinful thoughts or words. Do not let the enemy have control over your powers, but throw all the weight of your influence on the side of Christ.
    When you look at the cross of Calvary, you cannot doubt God's love or his willingness to save. He has worlds upon worlds that give him divine honor, and heaven and all the universe would have been just as happy if he had left this world to perish; but so great was his love for the fallen race that he gave his own dear Son to die that they might be redeemed from eternal death. As we see the care, the love, that God has for us, let us respond to it; let us give to Jesus all the powers of our being, fighting manfully the battles of the Lord. We cannot afford to lose our souls; we cannot afford to sin against God. Life, eternal life in the kingdom of glory, is worth everything. But if we would obtain this precious boon, we must live a life of obedience to all of God's requirements; we must carry out the principles of the Christian religion in our daily life.
    The law of God is made void in the land. For this reason every one who sees the light in regard to that law should put on the armor, and in the name of Jesus try to build the breach that has been made in that law by the man of sin. "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
    Oh that I might impress upon the minds of all the true mission of Christ in coming to our world! It was to redeem man, and at the same time to show the immutability of his Father's law. The very fact that it was necessary for him to give his life for the fallen race, shows that the law of God will not release man from one tittle of its claims upon him. Satan's work has ever been to find fault with the law of God. But the very fact that Christ bore the penalty of the transgression of the law, is a mighty argument to all created intelligences in heaven and in other worlds that that law is changeless; that God is righteous, merciful, and self-denying; and that his administration is one of justice and mercy. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 16, 1886
(Vol. 63, #11)

 "Christ Our Great Sacrifice"

    Text: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14.
    While we were under the power of the enemy, in slavery to him, Christ gave his life a sacrifice for us. We are not our own; he has purchased us with the price of agony and blood. The object of this great sacrifice was to bring us into the liberty of sons and daughters of God. But if we cherish iniquity in our hearts, we defeat the purpose of our Saviour, and rob God of the service that is his due. Jesus came not to save men in their sins, but from their sins. "Sin is the transgression of the law," and if we fail to obey the law, we do not accept our Saviour. The only hope we have of salvation is through Christ. If his Spirit abides in the heart, sin cannot dwell there.
    The love of Christ in the soul not only sanctifies the life and character, but it creates a desire on the part of its possessor to bring others to see and rejoice in that love. Christ came to draw all men unto himself and if we accept him, we shall, by the power of his grace working in us, attract others to him. But when those whom we thought to be our best friends resist our efforts for them, and turn upon us a cold shoulder, how apt we are to think that we are having a hard time, that we endure many trials and make great sacrifices for the truth.
    At such times we should do well to think of Jesus. He left his throne in glory, came to earth, and died the ignominious death of the cross, "that he might redeem us from all iniquity." But he was despised and rejected by the very ones whom he came to redeem. Can the servant expect better treatment than was received by his Master? When we are disappointed in men, let us think how many times Jesus has been disappointed in those whom he came to save. How often he has sought fruit upon the fig tree of his own planting, and found nothing but leaves! Shall we then become discouraged when personal friends forsake us, or when those whom we seek to bring to Christ choose a life of sin rather than of holiness?
    Jesus said to those who refused his love, "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." He presented before them no worldly honor, no earthly bribe; but he tried to impress them with the fact that it was to their advantage to possess this heavenly treasure; it was their only hope of being rescued from the slavery of sin and the cruel power of Satan. But when his teachings came close home and reproved their darling sins, many closed their eyes to the light.
    Shall we, like the Jewish nations, reject the light, and turn from the eternal reward? God forbid! It is said of Moses, that he "had respect unto the recompense of the reward;" and why not we? What is this recompense?--It is being made partakers with Christ of his glory. But only those will be made partakers of his glory who have also been partakers of his sufferings. Are we willing to drink of the cup that he drank of?
    How is it in our home experience? Do we bear the little vexations and disappointments of life without complaint? If we do not, neither would we endure greater trials. Compared with the great sacrifice of the Majesty of heaven, our petty trials sink into insignificance. But if these are rightly borne, we shall realize the truthfulness of the apostle's words, "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
    We all need to cultivate a firm trust in Jesus. When our eyes are fixed upon him, we shall not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. He says, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Our faith is altogether too weak. Severe trials will soon come upon the people of God in this and other countries. The present is the time for them to learn to exercise strong faith in God, and to obtain a better understanding of his word.
    What greater evidence can we have that Jesus loves us than that he died for us? And because he lives we shall live also. He is to us not a Saviour in Joseph's new tomb, that tomb closed with a great stone, and sealed with a Roman seal. Mourn not, brethren and sisters, as those who are hopeless and helpless; but from grateful hearts, and lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, "Jesus is risen; he lives to make intercession for us." "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Grasp this hope, and it will hold the soul like a sure, tried anchor. Believe, and thou shalt see the glory of God.
    This is a world of darkness. Those to whom the precious truths of God's word have been presented are to search the Scriptures for themselves, that they may, in turn, present the truth to others. The loyal and true are now called upon to come to the front, and let their light shine forth in firm, steady rays to those who are in darkness. None of us can meet the darkness of the world unless we rely firmly upon Jesus, our mighty helper. All heaven is interested in the salvation of the human family; and when God sees that we are interested in the salvation of others, he will work with us and for us. I entreat you, my brethren and sisters, to go to work to save the souls for whom Christ died. Do not wait for a strong impulse before you move. If I had waited for feeling, one-half of my life would have been spent without doing anything. Feeling is not to be our criterion. As soldiers of the cross of Christ, we must put on the whole armor of God. We have his promise, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
    When Jesus ascended to heaven, he appointed men as his representatives to carry forward, in his name, the work which he had begun, promising them that, as they engaged in this work, they should have special help and strength. In view of this promise, and the great love of God for man, it has been difficult for many to understand why he permits his followers to suffer as the martyrs did through the Satanic cruelty of men professing to be the successors of Christ. This question troubled me for years. But when I saw how the angels of God hovered over these precious jewels, even as they hovered over the cross of Christ, my feelings were changed. By faith these faithful ones saw the crown of immortal glory, the white robe, and the palm branch of victory, and Jesus, their loved commander, watching over them. I then understood why our heavenly Father permits temptations, trials, and afflictions, to come to his loved ones. These are designed to give his children a deeper sense of his presence and providential care. They are also his providences, visitations of mercy, to bring back those who stray from his side. The peace that passeth understanding is not for those who try to shirk trials and self-denial. We cannot fully appreciate peace and joy in Christ, and the gift of eternal life, unless we are called to make some sacrifice to obtain these great blessings.
    Let not the Christian feel that he is forsaken in the hour of trial. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of our Father in heaven. He loves and cares for the feeblest of his creatures. We cannot dishonor him more than to doubt him. We need that living faith that will trust him in the hour of darkness and trial.
    I wish I could impress every soul before me today with the importance of having a close connection with God. If the heart is pure, we can come with boldness to the throne of grace. Believing that God hears us, we shall act just as though we knew that he heard. This is faith. If we wait for a special feeling, we may be disappointed. Feeling has nothing to do with faith. The conditions of acceptance are, that we come out from the world and be separate, that we put away secret sins, and that we cease to transgress knowingly any of God's requirements.
    What a heaven we would have if each were to go there with his peculiar temperament, his desire to have his own way! How unhappy would such persons be, even in heaven, if they could not always do as they pleased! The love of right must be inwrought in us while on the earth. The light of heaven will then come in, our hearts will open to Jesus, and we shall have perfect submission to the will of God.
    Jesus gave us a perfect pattern. Let us study it carefully, and as we study and pray, we shall come into close connection with Heaven. Shall we not try harder to be like Jesus? Shall we not pray more? Shall we not make more earnest efforts for others? There is no time to be idled away. Every one who enters heaven will have, as the result of his labor, some soul to present to Jesus. The "well done" will never be said to those who have not done well. We must be faithful, we must be active, if we would receive the reward promised to the faithful.
    The religion of Christ does not consist in merely having our names written on the church book; they must be written in the Lamb's book of life. Examine again the text. From this it will be seen that there is a decided difference between the followers of Christ and the world. They are a peculiar people; Jesus came to make them thus. The great motive presented to them is, "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Let us keep our minds fixed upon the glorious appearing of him "who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works;" and let us act every day of our life as though we believed that his coming was near at hand.
    Let us open the door of our hearts, that Jesus may come in and that sin may go out. Let us forsake the evil and choose the good, remembering that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." All who enter the city of God will do so as conquerors. Jesus overcame; and we may overcome, if we will fight our battles in his name. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 23, 1886
(Vol. 63, #12)

 "The Spirit of Law-Breakers: How Ministers Should Meet Them"

    Men who will not admit the claims of God's law, which are so very plain, will generally take a lawless course; for they have so long taken sides with the great rebel in warring against the law of God, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and on earth, that they are trained in this labor. In their warfare, they will not open their eyes or consciences to light. They close their eyes lest they shall become enlightened. Their case is as hopeless as was that of the Jews, who would not see the light which Christ brought to them. The wonderful evidences of his Messiahship, by the miracles he performed in healing the sick and raising the dead, and doing the works which no other man had done or could do, instead of melting or subduing their hearts and overcoming their wicked prejudices, inspired them with Satanic hatred and fury, such as Satan possessed when he was thrust out of heaven. The greater light and evidence they had, the greater was their hatred. They were determined to extinguish the light by putting Christ to death.
    The haters of God's law, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and earth, are on the same ground as were the unbelieving Jews. Their defiant power will follow those who keep the commandments of God, and great light will be rejected by them. Their consciences have been violated so long, and their hearts have grown so hard by their choosing darkness rather than light, that they feel that it is a virtue in them to bear false witness or stoop to almost any course of equivocation or deception, as did the Jews in their rejection of Christ, to gain their object. They reason that the end justifies the means. They virtually crucify the law of the Father as the Jews crucified the Son.
    Our work should be to embrace every opportunity to present the truth in its purity and simplicity where there is any desire or interest to hear the reasons of our faith. Those who have dwelt mostly upon the prophecies and the theoretical points of our faith, should without delay become Bible students upon practical subjects. They should take a deeper draught at the fountain of divine truth. They should carefully study the life of Christ and his lessons of practical godliness, given for the benefit of all, and the rule of right living for all who should believe on his name. They should be imbued with the spirit of their great Example, and have a high sense of the sacred life of a follower of Christ.
    Christ met the case of every class in his subjects and manner of teaching. He ate and lodged with the rich and poor, and made himself familiar with the interests and occupations of men, that he might gain access to their hearts. The learned and most intellectual were gratified and charmed with his discourses, which were yet so plain and simple as to be comprehended by the humblest minds. Christ availed himself of every opportunity to give instructions to the people upon the heavenly doctrines and precepts which should be incorporated into their lives, and which would distinguish them from all other religionists, because of their holy, elevated character. These lessons of divine instruction are not brought to bear upon men's consciences as they should be. Ministers believing present truth are furnished with discourses by these sermons of Christ which will be appropriate on almost any occasion. Here is a field of study for the Bible student, which he cannot be interested in without having the spirit of the heavenly Teacher in his own heart. Here are subjects which Christ presented to all classes. Thousands of people of every stamp of character, of every grade of society, were attracted and charmed with the matter brought before them.
    Some ministers who have been long in the work of preaching present truth, have made great failures in their labors. They have educated themselves as combatants. They have studied out argumentative subjects for the object of discussion, and these subjects which they have prepared they love to use. The truth of God is plain and conclusive. It is harmonious, and in contrast with error shines with clearness and beauty. Its consistency commends it to the judgment of every heart that is not filled with prejudice. Our ministers present the arguments upon the truth, which have been made ready for them, and if there are no hindrances the truth bears away the victory. But in many cases, the poor instrument takes the credit of the victory; and the people, who are more earthly than spiritual, praise and honor the instrument, while the truth of God is not exalted.
    The eternal welfare of sinners regulated the conduct of Jesus Christ. He went about doing good. Benevolence was the life of his soul. He not only did good to all who came to him soliciting his mercy, but he perseveringly sought them out. He was never elated with applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. When he met with the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, he was of good courage. Christ preached the most important discourse inspiration has given us, to only one listener. As he sat by the well to rest, for he was weary, a Samaritan woman come to draw water, and he saw an opportunity to reach her mind, and through her to reach the minds of the Samaritans, who were enveloped in great darkness and error. Although weary, he presented the truths of his spiritual kingdom, which charmed the heathen woman, and filled her with admiration for Christ. She went forth publishing the news, "Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?" This woman's testimony converted many to a belief in Christ. Through her report many came to hear for themselves, and believed because of his own word.
    However small may be the number of interested listeners, if their hearts are reached and their understanding convinced, they can carry the report, as did the Samaritan woman, which will raise the interest of hundreds to investigate for themselves. While laboring in places to create an interest, there will be may discouragements; but if at first there seems to be but little interest, it is no evidence that you have mistaken your duty and place of labor. If the interest steadily increases, and the people move understandingly, not from impulse but from principle, the interest is much more healthy and durable than where a great excitement is created suddenly, and the feelings are all stirred up by listening to a debate and sharp contest on both sides of the question, for and against the truth. Fierce opposition is thus aroused, and rapid decisions are made and positions taken. There is a feverish state of things. Calm consideration and judgment are wanting. Let this excitement subside, or let it be managed indiscreetly, and reaction takes place and the interest can never be raised again. Feeling and sympathy were stirred, but the conscience was not convicted, the heart was not broken and humbled before God.
    In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, laborers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never be cutting. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not seek to provoke debate, not defy ministers of other denominations. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath, but he made his proud boasts against God and his people. The defying and boasting and railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath; but none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world.
    Goliath trusted in his armor. He terrified the armies of Israel by his defiant, savage boastings, while he made a most imposing display of his armor, which was his strength. David, in his humility and zeal for God and his people, proposed to meet this boaster. Saul consented, and had his own kingly armor placed upon David; but he would not wear it. The king's armor was laid aside; for he had not proved it. He had proved God, and, trusting in him, had gained special victories. To put on Saul's armor would give the impression that he was a warrior, when he was only little David, who tended the sheep. He did not mean that any credit should be given to the armor of Saul; for his trust was in the Lord God of Israel. He selected a few pebbles from the brook, and with his sling and staff,--his only weapons,-- he went forth in the name of the God of Israel to meet the armed warrior.
    Goliath disdained David; for his appearance was that of a mere youth untaught in the tactics of warfare. Goliath railed upon David, and cursed him by his gods. He thought it an insult to his dignity to have a mere stripling, without so much as an armor, come to meet him. He made his boast of what he would do to him. David did not become irritated because he was looked upon as so inferior; neither did he tremble at his terrible threats. David replied, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." David tells Goliath that in the name of the Lord he will do to him the very things Goliath had threatened to do to David. "And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands."
    If you, like David, are brought into a position where God's cause really calls you to meet a defier of Israel, go forth in the strength of God, relying wholly upon him, and he will carry you through, and cause his truth to triumph gloriously. Christ has given us an example. "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the Devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 30, 1886
(Vol. 63, #13)

 "Words for the Young"

    "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the [new] earth." Children who dishonor their parents, and disobey them, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the unthankful, ungrateful son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn the lesson hereafter; and the peace of the ransomed will never be marred by the disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment-breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven. Will all the youth please read the fifth commandment spoken by Jehovah from Sinai, and engraven with his own finger upon tables of stone. "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." "Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord."
    There are many passages of Scripture that are plain, instructing the young, showing them clearly the will of God concerning them. These plain teachings they must meet in the Judgment. Yet there is not one young man or woman in twenty who professes the present truth, who heeds these Bible teachings. They do not read the word of God enough to know its claims upon them, and yet these truths will judge them in the great day of God, when young and old will be judged according to the deeds done in the body.
    Says John, "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."
    This exhortation to young men extends also to young women. Their youth does not excuse them from the responsibilities resting upon them. The youth are strong. They are not worn down with the weight of years, and with cares. Their affections are ardent, and if they are withdrawn from the world, and placed upon Christ and heaven, doing the will of God, they will have a hope of the better life that is enduring, and they will abide forever, being crowned with glory, honor, immortality, eternal life. If the youth live to gratify the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, they are seeking for the things of the world, are pleasing their great adversary, and separating themselves from the Father. And when these things that are sought after pass away, their hopes are blighted and their expectations perish. Separated from God, then they will bitterly repent their folly of serving their own pleasure, of gratifying their own desires, and for a few frivolous enjoyments, of selling a life of immortal bliss that they might have enjoyed forevermore. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," says the inspired apostle. Then the warning, "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." It is an alarming fact that the love of the world predominates in the minds of the young. They decidedly love the world and the things that are in the world, and for this very reason the love of God finds no room in their hearts. Their pleasures are found in the world, and in the things of the world, and they are strangers to the Father and the graces of his Spirit. Frivolity and fashion, and empty, vain talking and laughing, characterize the life of the youth generally, and God is dishonored. Paul exhorts the youth to sobriety: "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
    I entreat the youth for their souls' sake to heed the exhortation of the inspired apostle. All these gracious instructions, warnings, and reproofs, will be either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Many of the young are reckless in their conversation. They choose to forget that by their words they shall be justified, or by their words be condemned. Take heed to the words of our Saviour: "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of Judgment; for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." How little regard is paid even to the instructions of the heavenly Teacher! The word of God is either not studied at all, or if it is, its solemn truths are not heeded, and these plain truths will rise up in Judgment and condemn them.
    Words and acts testify plainly what is in the heart. If vanity and pride, love of self and love of dress, fill the heart, the conversation will be upon the fashions, the dress, and the appearance, but not upon Christ or the kingdom of heaven. If envious feelings dwell in the heart, the same will be manifested in words and acts. Those who measure themselves by others, and do as others do, and make no higher attainments, and excuse themselves over the wrongs and faults of others, are feeding on husks, and will remain spiritual dwarfs as long as they gratify the Devil by thus indulging their own unconsecrated feelings. Some dwell upon what they shall eat and drink and wherewithal they shall be clothed. Their hearts are filled with these thoughts, and they flow out from the abundance of the heart, as though these things were their grand aim in life, their highest attainment. They forget the words of Christ, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
    Satan is gratified to have the attention of youth attracted by anything to divert their minds from God, so that the deceiver can steal a march upon them, and they, unprepared for his attacks, be ensnared. They are not aware that the heavenly Artist is taking cognizance of every act, every word, and their deportment; and that even the thoughts and intents of the heart stand faithfully delineated. Every defect in the moral character stands forth revealed to the gaze of angels, and they will have the faithful picture presented to them in all its deformity at the execution of the Judgment. Those vain, frivolous words are all written in the book. Those false words are written. Those deceptive acts, with the motives concealed from human eyes, but discerned by the all-seeing eye of Jehovah, are all written in living characters. Every selfish act is exposed. The young generally conduct themselves as though the precious hours of probation, while mercy lingers, were one grand holiday, and that they are placed in this world simply for their own amusement, to be gratified by a continued round of excitement.
    Satan has been making special efforts to lead the youth to find happiness in worldly amusements, and to justify themselves in thus doing, by endeavoring to show that these amusements are harmless, innocent, and even important to health. The impression has been given by some physicians that spirituality and devotion to God are detrimental to health. This suits the adversary of souls well. There are persons with diseased imaginations who do not rightly represent the religion of Christ; such have not the pure religion of the Bible. Some are scourging themselves all through their life because of their sins; all they can see is an offended God of justice. Christ and his redeeming power, through the merits of his blood, they fail to see. Such have not faith. This class are generally those who have not well-balanced minds. Through disease transmitted to them from their parents, and an erroneous education in youth, they have imbibed wrong habits, injuring the constitution, affecting the brain causing the moral organs to be diseased, and making it impossible for them upon all points to think and act rationally. They have not well-balanced minds. Godliness and righteousness are not destructive to health, but are health to the body and strength to the soul. Says Peter: "He that will love life, and see good days, . . . let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it: for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled."
    The consciousness of right doing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health. To have a consciousness that the eyes of the Lord are upon us, and his ears open to hear our prayers, is a satisfaction indeed. To know that we have a never-failing Friend in whom we can confide all the secrets of the soul, is a privilege which words can never express. Those whose moral faculties are beclouded by disease, are not the ones to rightly represent the Christian life, or the beauties of holiness. They are often in the fire of fanaticism, or the water of cold indifference or stolid gloom.
    The words of Christ are of more worth than the opinions of all the physicians in the universe. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." This is the first great object--the kingdom of Heaven, the righteousness of Christ. Other objects to be attained should be secondary to these. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 6, 1886
(Vol. 63, #14)

 "Diligence a Necessary Qualification in the Minister"

    Truly earnest men are few in our world, but they are greatly needed. The example of an energetic person is far-reaching; he has an electric power over others. He meets obstacles in his work; but he has the push in him, and instead of allowing his way to be hedged up, he breaks down every barrier.
    Especially should those who are engaged in teaching the word of God cultivate a steady, unyielding energy in their labors. There are thorns in every path. All who follow the Lord's leading must expect to meet with disappointments, crosses, and losses. But a spirit of true heroism will help them to overcome these. Many greatly magnify seeming difficulties, and then begin to pity themselves and give way to despondency. Such need to make an entire change in themselves. They need to discipline themselves to put forth exertion, and to overcome all childish feelings. They should determine that life shall not be spent in working at trifles. Let them resolve to accomplish something, and then do it. Many make good resolutions, but they are always going to do something and never get at it. About all their resolutions amount to is talk. In many cases, if they had more energy and accomplished something in spite of obstacles, they would have far better health.
    Every one should have an aim, an object, in life. The loins of the mind should be girded up, and the thoughts be trained to keep to the point, as the compass to the pole. The mind should be directed in the right channel, according to well-formed plans. Then every step will be a step in advance. No time will be lost in following vague ideas and random plans. Worthy purposes should be kept constantly in view, and every thought and act should tend to their accomplishment. Let there ever be a fixedness of purpose to carry out that which is undertaken.
    Success or failure in this life depends much upon the manner in which the thoughts are disciplined. If they are controlled as God directs that they shall be, they will be upon those subjects which lead to greater devotion. If the thoughts are right, the words will be right. If the dreamings of the mind are of great purposes in which self figures largely, self and self-exaltation will be revealed in the words and actions. Such thoughts do not lead to a close walk with God. Those who move without thoughtful consideration, are almost sure to move unwisely. They make fitful efforts, striking out here and there, catching at this and that; but their efforts amount to nothing.
    The true minister of Christ should make continual improvement. The afternoon sun of his life may be more mellow and productive of fruit than the morning sun. It may continue to increase in size and brightness until it drops behind the western hills. My brethren in the ministry, it is better, far better, to die of hard work in some home or foreign mission field, than to rust out with inaction. Be not dismayed at difficulties; be not content to settle down without studying and without making improvement. Search the word of God diligently for subjects that will instruct the ignorant, and feed the flock of God. Become so full of the matter that you will be able to bring forth from the treasure house of his word, things new and old.
    Your experience should not be ten, twenty, or thirty years old, but you should have a daily, living experience, that you may be able to give to each his portion of meat in due season. Look forward, not backward. Never be obliged to tug at your memory in order to relate some past experience. What does that amount to today to you or to others? While you treasure all that is good in your past experience, you want a brighter, fresher experience as you pass along. Do not boast of what you have done in the past, but show what you can do now. Let your works and not your words praise you. Prove the promise of God "that those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; and they shall be fat and flourishing; to show that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him."
    Keep your heart and mind young by continuous exercise. If you have the quickening grace of Christ to energize your movements, you will put earnestness into your sermons. Your subject will be clear and well-defined in your mind. You will not be lengthy in your remarks, neither will you speak hesitatingly, as though you did not yourself believe what you were saying. You must overcome slow hesitation, and undecided, sluggish movements, and learn to be minute men.
    The subjects which many of our ministers present before the people are not half as connected and as clear and strong in argument as they should be. They profess to be teachers of the word, but they sadly neglect to search the Scriptures for themselves. They are content to use the arguments which are prepared in pamphlets and books, and which others have labored earnestly to search out; but they are not willing to tax their minds to study them out for themselves. In order to make full proof of their ministry, those who open the word of God to others should search the Scriptures diligently. They should not be content to use other men's thoughts, but should dig for truth as for hid treasures. While it is perfectly right to gather ideas from other minds, they should not be satisfied to take those ideas and repeat them in a poll-parrot manner. Make these ideas your own, brethren; frame the arguments yourselves, from your own study and research. Do not borrow the productions of other men's brains and pens, and recite them as a lesson; but make the most of the talents, the brain power, that God has given you.
    Those who teach the word should not shun mental discipline. Every worker, or company of workers, should by persevering effort establish such rules and regulations as will lead to the formation of correct habits of thought and action. Such a training is necessary not only for the young men, but for the older workers, in order that their ministry may be free from mistakes, and their sermons be clear, accurate, and convincing. Some minds are more like an old curiosity shop than anything else. Many odd bits and ends of truth have been picked up and stored away there; but they know not how to present them in a clear, connected manner. It is the relation that these ideas have to one another that gives them value. Every idea and statement should be as closely united as the links in a chain. When a minister throws out a mass of matter before the people for them to pick up and arrange in order, his labors are lost; for there are few who will do it.
    Many of our young men might today be intellectual giants, had they not been content to reach a low level. Those who do not love to study, are ever in great danger of becoming dwarfs in spiritual and mental growth. They consider that they have a moderate understanding of Scripture subjects, and they cease to investigate, cease to plow deep that they may obtain all the treasures of knowledge possible. Instead of cultivating studious habits, they yield to inclination, and are content to skim the surface, without going with energy to the bottom of the question under consideration. Those who have this superficial manner of study would not be prepared to meet an opponent in discussion should one oppose them. They penetrate only deep enough into a subject to meet the present emergency, and to conceal the real ignorance of their lazy minds. Gradually this course causes hesitancy, dwarfs the comprehension, and bars the way to successful effort.
    Some of our ministers have a run-way of discourses which they use year after year, with little variation. The illustrations are the same, and the words are almost the same. Such persons have ceased to improve, ceased to be students. They think to prevent mental decrepitude by not taxing the mind with too much study. Mistaken idea! It is only by being taxed that the mind gains vigor and acuteness. It must work, or it will lose its strength; it must have fresh subjects to feed upon, or it will starve. Unless it is made to think regularly and systematically, it will surely lose its power to think.
    The perusal of works upon our faith, the reading of arguments from the pens of others, while an excellent and important practice, is not that which will give the mind the greatest strength. The Bible is the best book in the world for intellectual culture. The grand themes presented in it, the dignified simplicity with which these themes are handled, the light which it sheds upon the mysteries of heaven, bring strength and vigor to the understanding. The mind must be made to penetrate beneath the surface. This is compared to digging for the truth as for hid treasures.
    There are those in the ministry who have been readers of the Bible all their lives, and who think themselves so well versed in its teachings that they do not need to study it. Here is where they mistake. To the diligent Bible student new light, new ideas, new gems of truth, will constantly appear, and be eagerly grasped. Even through eternal ages the truths of this wonderful book will continue to unfold.
    Our ministers are too well satisfied with themselves. They need intellectual discipline. They seem to feel that their education is finished. But this is not the case; indeed, it will never be completed. Education is the work of a lifetime; and when this life ends, the same work will be carried forward in the future life. As they advance in years, many become worthless as preachers, and cease their labors, at the very time when their experience would be of most advantage to the cause, and when they can be illy spared. Had these disciplined their brains to work, they would have been fruitful in old age.
    The gospel is not properly represented by those who have ceased to be students, who have, as it were, graduated in Bible study. If men would reach the ears of the people in these days when pleasing fables are presented by eloquent lips, their minds must be disciplined and richly furnished with the imperishable truths of God's word.
    To you who have ceased to be Bible students, and who have become intellectually lazy, I would say, Begin now to redeem the time. You may not be able to do this entirely, but you can to a certain degree accomplish it. Begin at once to harness up the mind for effort. Say in the strength of Jesus, I will study for eternity; I will overcome my sluggish temperament. And then engage with greater earnestness than ever before in the work of God and in the study of his word. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 13, 1886
(Vol. 63, #15)

 "Exclusiveness Among Laborers"

    It is important that those who engage in the work of God be constant learners in the school of Christ. Indeed, this is absolutely necessary if they would labor with acceptance in the great, the solemn work of presenting the truth to the world. If self is kept out of sight, and the workers labor with humility and wisdom, a sweet spirit of harmony will exist among them. One will not say by word or act, "This is my field of labor; I do not care to have you enter it;" but each will work with fidelity, sowing beside all waters, remembering that Paul may plant, Apollos may water, but God alone can give the increase.
    The Lord does not apportion to any one man some special territory in which he alone is to labor. This is contrary to his plans. He designs that in every place where the truth is introduced, different minds, different gifts, shall be brought in to exert an influence upon the work. No one man has sufficient wisdom to manage an interest without helpers, and no one should think himself competent to do so. Because a person has ability in one direction, it is no sign that his judgment on all other subjects is perfect, and that the wisdom of some other mind does not need to be united with his.
    Those who do labor together should seek to be in perfect harmony. And yet no one should feel that he cannot labor with those who do not see just as he sees, and who do not in their labors follow just his plans. If all manifest a humble, teachable spirit, there need be no difficulty. God has set in the church different gifts. These are precious in their proper places, and all may act a part in the work of preparing a people for Christ's soon coming.
    "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. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
    This is God's order, and if men expect success, they must labor according to his arrangement. Oh, how much the workers need the spirit of Jesus to change and fashion them as clay is molded in the hands of the potter! When they have this spirit, there will be no spirit of variance among them; no one will be so narrow as to want everything done his way, according to his ideas; there will be no inharmonious feeling between him and his brother laborers who do not come up to his standard. The Lord does not want any of his children to be shadows of others; but he would have each one be his own simple self, refined, sanctified, ennobled by imitating the life and character of the great Pattern. The narrow, shut-in, exclusive spirit which keeps everything within the compass of one's self, has been a curse to the cause of God, and always will be wherever allowed to exist.
    During the recent Conference at Basel I had an impressive dream concerning those who were engaged in the work of God. A tall, noble-looking man was examining a book of records. Drawing near with a number of others, I saw the reports of labor for 1885, and was told that every man's work was accurately recorded there. According to this record, some had done considerable labor. They had not saved themselves, they had worked harder and done more than was required of them. Others had not given themselves a living sacrifice. They had not brought Jesus into their work, as their only all-powerful helper; but they had trusted too much to what they were able to do. There was in their record a manifest lack of simple dependence and holy confidence in the promises of God. By not availing themselves of these promises, they often became discouraged, and a shadow was cast where all should have been hope and courage in God. Many a word was left unspoken, many an opportunity lost, whereby souls might have been benefited.
    In reading the history of the past year's labor, I saw distinctly how much the laborers had lost through a lack of faith; how much they could have asked of God, and how willingly he would have bestowed his grace upon them in answer to their humble prayers of faith. Many have fallen away, and many more will fall away, because they do not live by faith and increase in the knowledge of the truth day by day. The workers need to be greatly alarmed lest that light which is in them be removed from them. Watchfulness and prayer will alone keep their souls garrisoned against the entrance of the enemy.
    The record showed a failure on the part of many to labor in the meekness and lowliness of Christ. They were reaching for some more exalted work. Their eyes were directed to some far-off place, and they failed to avail themselves of the opportunities lying right before them to minister to souls. Their minds were so fully made up that the Lord had a great work for them to do in preaching, that they failed to minister. They failed to drop the seeds of truth into hearts wherever an opportunity could be found. But these opportunities came and passed, and souls who might have been instructed were left without labor. One here and one there, two or three in a place, might have been led to search their Bibles and to find their Saviour; but this was so small a work that it was overlooked and neglected.
    There are some who seek to become popular, thinking that they will thereby gain numbers. They study how they shall make an appearance, how they can make it seem that they have plenty of means and occupy a lofty position in the world. Are these the lessons to be learned from the meekness and lowliness, the purity and self-sacrifice, of Jesus? Oh, no; there are many who labor in this way who accomplish almost nothing. The better way is to labor in the spirit of Jesus. Do not try to make the impression that you are remarkable men, but let the people see that you are handling startling, remarkable subjects, which are plainly brought to view in God's word, but which have so long been buried up under the rubbish of error that they have almost been lost sight of. Do not profess to be more than you really are, the Lord's servants to do his work.
    In the book of records there were registered days in which prayer had been neglected by the workers, and as the result they had been overcome by temptations. On one page were registered large expenses because of the lack of the true missionary spirit, and a desire to labor in the most expensive style, when a more humble manner and more simple plans would have accomplished greater results. Some are constantly seeking a better portion than our Saviour had in his life. They accept the name, the position, of missionaries, but not the portion. They want all the good things, all the conveniences, of life; things which their Redeemer knew little or nothing about.
    There were also registered in this book the names of workers who appeared to be humble, but who were self-sufficient and egotistical. The work must go according to their ideas or not at all; and yet they made no efforts to teach others how to work, to patiently instruct them in every branch of the work which they themselves understood. Instead of this, they selfishly retained this knowledge to themselves. None are excusable for this exclusiveness, for thus confining their work to a small compass.
    The cause of God, not only in Europe but in America, has suffered greatly because of these narrow ideas of labor. Much talent which is now lost to the cause might have been seen and made use of; many might have been educated, and today be useful laborers in the cause of God, had it not been for these exclusive, these narrow ideas. Oh that those laboring in all parts of the vineyard of the Lord might see how their record appears, when self is mingled with everything they do! Oh that they might see the importance of submitting their wills and ways to God, and of being in harmony with their brethren, of one mind, of one judgment! As soon as they do this, God will work through them to will and to do of his good pleasure. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 20, 1886
(Vol. 63, #16)

 "Whom Will Christ Welcome?"

    Christ says to his redeemed people, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For 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."
    To be a toiler through patient continuance in well-doing, which calls for self-denying labor, is a glorious work, which Heaven smiles upon. Faithful work is more acceptable to God than the most zealous and thought-to-be holiest worship. It is in working together with Christ that is true worship. Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree.
    Pure religion and undefiled before the Father is this: "To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." The doing principle is the fruit that Christ requires us to bear; deeds of benevolence, of kind words, of tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted. When hearts sympathize with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat at your fireside and to a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an answering strain is responded to in heaven. Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes sweet music ring in heaven. The Father from his throne beholds and numbers them with his most precious treasures. "And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, when I make up my jewels." Every merciful act done to the needy, the suffering, is counted as though it were done to Jesus himself. When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.
    "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels: for 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. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    "Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal."
    Jesus here identifies himself with his suffering people. It was I who was hungry and thirsty. It was I who was a stranger. It was I who was naked. It was I who was sick. It was I who was in prison. While you were enjoying your food from your bountifully spread tables, I was famishing of hunger in the hovel or street not far from you. When you closed your doors against me, while your well-furnished rooms were unoccupied, I had not where to lay my head. Your wardrobes were filled with an abundant supply of changeable suits of apparel, upon which means had been needlessly squandered, which you might have given to the needy; I was destitute of comfortable apparel. When you were enjoying health, I was sick. Misfortune cast me into prison and bound me with fetters, bowing down my spirit, depriving me of freedom and hope, while you roamed free. What a oneness Jesus here expresses as existing between himself and his suffering disciples. He makes their case his own. He identifies himself as being in person the very sufferer. Mark it, selfish Christian! every neglect of yours to the needy poor, the orphan, the fatherless, is a neglect to Jesus in their person.
    I know some who make a high profession, but whose hearts are so encased in self-love and selfishness that they cannot appreciate what I am writing. All their lives they have thought and lived only for self. To make a worthy sacrifice to do others good, to disadvantage themselves to advantage others, is out of the question with them. They have not the least idea that God requires it of them. Self is their dear idol. Precious weeks, months, and years of valuable time pass into eternity, but they have no record in heaven of kindly acts, of sacrificing for other's good, of feeding the hungry, in clothing the naked, or taking in the stranger. This entertaining strangers at a venture is not agreeable to them. If they knew that all who shared their bounty were worthy, then they might be induced to do something in this direction. But there is virtue in venturing something; perchance we may entertain angels.
    There are orphans who can be cared for; but this some will not venture to undertake; for it brings them more work than they care to do, leaving them but little time for their own pleasure. But when the King shall make investigation, these do-nothing, illiberal, selfish souls will then learn that heaven is for those who have been workers, those who have denied themselves for Christ's sake. No provisions have been made for those who have ever taken such special care in loving and looking out for themselves. The terrible punishment the King threatened those on his left hand, in this case is not because of their great crimes. They are not condemned for the things which they did do, but for that which they did not do. You did not do those things Heaven assigned to you. You pleased yourself, and can take your portion with the self-pleasers.
    To my sisters I would say, Be daughters of benevolence. The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. You may have thought that if you could find a child without fault, you would take it, and care for it; but to perplex your mind with an erring child, to have to instruct it, and to unteach it many things and teach it anew, to teach it self-control, is a work you refuse to undertake. To teach the ignorant, to pity those who have ever been learning evil, and to reform them, is no slight task; but Heaven has placed just such ones in your way. They are blessings in disguise.
    Christ for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He made a sacrifice that he might provide a home for pilgrims and strangers in the world seeking for a better country, even an heavenly. Shall those who are subjects of his grace, who are expecting to be heirs of immortality, refuse or even feel reluctant to share their homes with the homeless and needy? Must strangers be refused entrance at the doors of those who are disciples of Jesus because they can claim no acquaintance with any of the inmates? Has the injunction of the apostle no force in this age,--"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares"?
    Our heavenly Father lays blessings disguised in our pathway, which some will not touch for fear they will detract from their enjoyment. Angels are waiting to see if we embrace opportunities within our reach of doing good,--waiting to see if we will bless others, that they in turn may bless us. The Lord himself has made us to differ--some poor, some rich, some afflicted--that all may have an opportunity to develop a character. The poor are purposely permitted of God to be thus, that we might be tested and proved, and develop what is in our hearts.
    I have heard many excuse themselves from inviting to their homes and hearts the saints of God. "Why, I am not prepared for them--I have nothing cooked--they must go to some other place." And at that other place there may be some other excuse invented for not receiving those who need their hospitality; and the feelings of the visitors are deeply grieved, and they leave with unpleasant impressions in regard to their hospitality. If you have no bread, sister, imitate the case brought to view in the Bible. Go to your neighbor and say, "Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him." We have not an example of this lack of bread ever being made an excuse to refuse entrance to an applicant.
    When Elijah came to the widow of Sarepta, she shared her morsel with the prophet of God, and he wrought a miracle, and caused that through that act of making a home for his servant and sharing her morsel with him, she herself was sustained, and her life and that of her son preserved. Thus will it prove in the case of many, if they do this cheerfully for the glory of God. Others plead their poor health--they would love to do it if they had strength. Such have so long shut themselves up to themselves, and thought so much of their own poor feelings, and talked so much of their sufferings, trials, and afflictions, that it is their present truth. They cannot think of any one else, however much they may be in need of sympathy and assistance. You who are suffering with poor health, there is a remedy for you. If you clothe the naked, and bring the poor that are cast out to your house, and deal your bread to the hungry, "then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily." Doing good is an excellent remedy for disease. Such are invited to bring their prayers to God, and he has pledged himself to answer them. His soul shall be satisfied in drought, and he "shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not."
    Wake up, brethren and sisters. Don't be afraid of good works. Be not weary in well-doing, for you shall reap in due time if you faint not. Do not wait to be told your duty. Open your eyes and see who are around you, and make yourselves acquainted with the helpless, afflicted, and needy. Hide not yourselves from them, and seek not to shut out their needs. Who give the proofs mentioned in James of their possessing pure religion, untainted with any selfishness or corruption? Who are anxious to do all it is in their power to do to aid in the great plan of salvation?
    As you regard your eternal interest, arouse yourselves, and begin to sow good seed. That which ye sow shall ye also reap. The harvest is coming--the great reaping time, when we shall reap what we have sown. There will be no failure in the crop. The harvest is sure. Now is the sowing time. Now make efforts to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that ye may lay hold on eternal life. I implore you, my brethren, in every place, rid yourselves of your icy coldness. Encourage in yourselves a love of hospitality, a love to help those who need help.
    You may say you have been deceived, bestowing your means upon those unworthy of your charity, and therefore have become discouraged in trying to help the needy. I present Jesus before you. He came to the earth and died to save fallen man. He came to bring salvation to his own nation; but they would not accept him. They treated his mercy with insult and contempt, and at length they put to death him who came for the purpose of giving life to them. Did our Lord turn from all the fallen race because of this? If your efforts for good have been unsuccessful ninety-nine times, and you receive only insult, reproach, and hate, if the one-hundredth effort proves a success, and one soul is saved, oh, what a victory is achieved! One soul wrenched from Satan's grasp; one soul you have benefited; one soul encouraged! This will a thousand times pay you for all your efforts. To you Jesus will say, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Should we not gladly do all we can to imitate the life of our divine Lord? By Mrs. E. G. White

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 27, 1886
(Vol. 63, #17)

 "Esau's Mistake"

    Esau, because he lusted for a favorite dish, sacrificed his birthright to gratify appetite. After his lustful appetite was gratified, then he saw his folly, but found no space for repentance, although he sought it carefully, and with tears.
    There are very many who are like Esau. He represents a class who have a special, valuable blessing within their reach--the immortal inheritance; life that is as enduring as the life of God, the Creator of the universe; happiness immeasurable, and an eternal weight of glory. Yet there are very many who have indulged their appetites, passions, and inclinations so long that their powers to discern and appreciate the value of eternal things are weakened. Esau had a special, strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had gratified self so long that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He thought upon it, and made no special effort to restrain his appetite, until its power bore down every other consideration, and controlled him, and he imagined he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he thought upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright, which was sacred, lost its value and its sacredness. He thought, Well, if I now sell it, I can easily buy it back again. He flattered himself that he could dispose of it at will, and buy it back at pleasure. He bartered it away for a favorite dish. When he sought to purchase it back, even at a great sacrifice on his part, he was not able to do so. He then bitterly repented his rashness, his folly, his madness. He looked the matter over on every side. He sought for repentance carefully and with tears. It was all in vain. He had despised the blessing, and the Lord removed it from him forever.
    Under the parable of a great supper, our Saviour shows that many will choose the world above himself, and will, as the result, lose heaven. The gracious invitation of our Saviour was slighted. He had been to the trouble and expense of making a great preparation at an immense sacrifice; then he sent his invitations. But they with one consent began to make excuses. "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, therefore I cannot come." The Lord then turns from the wealthy and the world-loving, whose lands and oxen and wives were of so great value in their estimation as to outweigh the advantages they would gain by accepting the gracious invitation he had given them to eat of his supper. The master of the house is angry, and turns from those who had thus insulted the bounty offered them; turns to a class who are not full, who are poor, who are hungry, who are not in possession of lands and houses; they are maimed and lame, halt and blind, and they will appreciate the bounties provided, and in return will render the master sincere gratitude, unfeigned love and devotion. And yet there is room. The command is to go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. "For I say unto you that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper." Here is a class rejected of God because they despised the invitation of the Master. The Lord declared to Eli, Them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Says Christ, "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honor." God will not be trifled with. Those who have the light and reject it, or neglect to follow it out, to them it will become darkness. An immense sacrifice was made on the part of God's dear Son, that he might have power to rescue fallen man and exalt him to his own right hand, make him an heir of the world, and a possessor of the eternal weight of glory. Language will fail of estimating the value of the immortal inheritance.
    The glory, riches, honor, offered by the Son of God, is of such infinite value that it is beyond the power of men or even angels to give any just idea of its worth, its excellence, its magnificence. If men, plunged in sin and degradation, refuse these heavenly benefits, refuse a life of obedience, trample upon the gracious invitations of mercy, and choose the paltry things of earth because they are seen, and it is convenient for their present enjoyment to pursue a course of sin, Jesus will carry out the figure in the parable; such shall not taste of his glory, but the invitation will be extended to another class. Those who choose to make excuses, continue in sin and conformity to the world, will be left to their idols. There will be a day when they will not beg to be excused, when not one will wish to be excused. When Christ shall come in his glory, and with the glory of his Father,and all the heavenly angels surrounding him, escorting him on his way, with voices of triumph, while strains of the most enchanting music fall upon the ear, all will then be interested; not one indifferent spectator will be there.
    Speculations will not then engross the soul. The miser's piles of gold, which are before him, which have feasted his eyes, are no more attractive. The palaces which proud men of earth have erected, and which have been their idols, are turned from with loathing and disgust. No one pleads his lands, his oxen, his wife that he has just married, as reasons why he should be excused from sharing the glory that bursts upon his astonished vision. All want a share, but they know it is not for them. They call in earnest, agonizing prayer for God not to pass them by. The kings, the mighty men, the lofty, the proud, the mean man, alike bow together under a pressure of woe, desolation, misery; inexpressible, heart-anguished prayers are wrung from the lips, Mercy! mercy! Save us from the wrath of an offended God! A voice answers with terrible distinctness, sternness, and majesty, "Because I have called, and ye have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and ye have not regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh."
    Then kings and nobles, the mighty man, and the poor man, and the mean man, alike cry there most bitterly. They who in the days of their prosperity despised Christ and the humble ones who followed in his footsteps, men who would not humble their dignity to bow to Jesus Christ, who hated his despised cross, now are prostrate in the mire of the earth. Their greatness has all at once left them, and they do not hesitate to bow to the earth at the feet of the saints. They then realize with terrible bitterness that they are eating the fruit of their own way, and being filled with their own devices. In their supposed wisdom they turned away from the high, eternal reward, rejected the heavenly inducement, for earthly gain. The glitter and tinsel of earth fascinated them, and in their supposed wisdom they became fools. They exulted in their worldly prosperity as though their worldly advantages were so great that they could, through them, be recommended to God, and thus secure heaven. Money was power among the foolish of earth, and money was their God; but their very prosperity has destroyed them. They became fools in the eyes of God and his heavenly angels, while men of worldly ambition thought them wise. Now their supposed wisdom is all foolishness, and their prosperity their destruction. Again rings forth in shrieks of fearful, heart-rending anguish, "Rocks and mountains, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?" To the caves of the earth as a covert they flee, but they fail to be such then.
    "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Very many who profess to be Christ's disciples will apparently pass along smoothly in this world, and men will regard them as upright, godly men, when they have a plague spot at the core, which taints their whole character and corrupts their religious experience.
    "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This forbids the taking advantage of our fellowmen in order to advantage ourselves. We are forbidden to wrong our neighbor in anything. We should not view the matter from the worldling's standpoint. To deal with our fellowmen in every instance, just as we should wish them to deal with us, is a rule we should apply to ourselves practically. God's laws are to be obeyed to the letter. In all our intercourse and deal with our fellowmen, whether believers or unbelievers, this rule is to be applied: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
    Here many who profess to be Christians will not bear the measurement of God; when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, they will be found wanting. Dear brethren, "Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, and be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." What a promise is this! But we are not to lose sight of the fact that it is a promise based upon obedience to the command. God calls us to be separate from the world, We are not to imitate or follow their practices, nor be conformed to the world in our course of action in any respect. 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. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 4, 1886
(Vol. 63, #18)

 "Parental Neglect"

    If religion is to influence society, it must first influence the home circle. If children were trained to love and fear God at home, when they go forth into the world they would be prepared to train their own families for God, and thus the principles of truth would become implanted in society, and would exert a telling influence in the world. Religion should not be divorced from home education. May God pity the parents who do not teach their children by precept and by example the way of the Lord; for they will have a fearful account to give to the Judge of all the earth for their wicked neglect of duty to their children and to society. They should present to their children the divine warnings against sin, and teach them the importance of implicit obedience. They should show them the danger of joining hands with the world if they ever expect to become children of God.
    Many Christian parents fail to command their children after them, and then wonder that their children are perverse, disobedient, unthankful, and unholy. Such parents are under the rebuke of God. They have neglected to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They have failed to teach them the first lesson in Christianity: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." "Foolishness," says the wise man, "is bound in the heart of a child." The love of folly, the desire to do evil, the hatred of holy things, are some of the difficulties that parents must meet in the home mission field.
    There are many, even among those who profess to be Christians, who do not take up their home duties in the fear of the Lord. There is many a prayerless home, and that, too, among those who profess to believe the special truths for this time. The Bible is not brought into the family as the guide of life. The parents, not being men and women of prayer, do not train and command their households in the way of God's commandments. That holy standard is set aside because finite man thinks he sees a better way.
    Atheism and infidelity prevail in every land. Bold blasphemers stand forth in the earth, the house of God's own building, and deny the existence of the Creator, and challenge the God of heaven to strike them dead on the spot if their position is wrong. Behold the societies of infidels everywhere forming to devise means to spread their hellish poisons! See the papists plotting how to suppress the word of God, and to cover up the truth with the rubbish of error!
    In view of all these influences which are at work in the world to instill infidel sentiments into the minds of the rising generation, shall those parents who have the light of truth aid in this work? Shall they, by their example, their influence, give the impression to their own children and to the world that it makes little difference whether they obey God in every particular? We all need both sound Bible doctrine and pure heart religion in order that we may represent the truth as it is in Jesus. We need continually to breathe the vitalizing atmosphere of heaven that we may have spiritual health and strength. The law of God must be an abiding, active principle in the heart, if we would exert a correct influence over others. I must have a controlling influence upon the conscience and the understanding, and upon the thoughts, and words, and deeds.
    In the strength of God, parents must arise and command their households after them. They must learn to repress wrong with a firm hand, yet without impatience or passion. They should not leave the children to guess at what is right; but should point out the way in unmistakable terms, and teach them to walk therein. Parents should pray much, and should lead the minds of the children up to God and heaven. A religion of simple faith in the all-atoning, sacrifice of Christ, and of implicit obedience to God's moral rule of right, will make the household such a one as Heaven can smile upon. It will be productive of purity and peace; for they are obeying that Guide who came from heaven to earth to lead erring man to the mansions above.
    Oh, the sin of parental neglect! How many children are lost to God and become a source of sorrow and distress to their parents, because they are not trained according to God's express directions! What a history the Judgment will reveal of affliction and misery produced by the children of parents who professed to be Christians, but who did not make the word of God their standard, their rule of life! What a record of crimes of every magnitude will then be opened to the view of parents, and traced to their lax discipline! Their children, like Eli's, did wickedly from childhood; but instead of firmly restraining them, they caressed and indulged them. The inborn evil of the natural heart was permitted to grow and strengthen. Even the house of God was not revered.
    Eli was a believer in God and in his word; but he did not, like Abraham, "command" his children and his household after him. Let us hear what God says about Eli's neglect: "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle." The Lord had borne long with Eli. He had been warned and instructed; but, like the parents of today, he had not heeded the warning. But when the Lord took hold of the case, he ceased not till he had made thorough work. He says: "When I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told Eli that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not."
    Here the neglect of Eli is brought plainly before every father and mother in the land. As the result of his unsanctified affection or his unwillingness to do a disagreeable duty, he reaped a harvest of iniquity in his perverse sons. Both the parent who permitted the wickedness and the children who practiced it were guilty before God, and he would accept no sacrifice or offering for their transgression.
    There are many lessons in the Bible calculated to impress fathers and mothers with the sin of neglecting their duty to their children; and yet how silent are the voices of the teachers in Israel on these important subjects. Parents allow the defects in their children to pass uncorrected until the curse of God rests upon both their children and themselves. Like Eli, they do not show decision in repressing the first appearance of evil.
    In what striking contrast do the cases of Eli and Abraham stand! The example of one is given that parents may shun a similar course; the example of the other is given for parents to imitate. The characteristics of each stand out sharp and distinct. Each was doing a work the result of which would not only be seen in his own life, but would reach down to future generations, to his children, and to his children's children. The influence that a person exerts in his own family is that which testifies of the genuineness of his religious experience. Neglectful and unfaithful there, he will be unfaithful everywhere. Home religion, home training, is what is now most needed. The future of society is indexed by the youth of today. Basel, Switzerland. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 11, 1886
(Vol. 63, #19)

 "The Power of Love"

    Love is power. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it. The power of wealth has a tendency to corrupt and destroy; the power of force is strong to do hurt; but the excellence and value of pure love consist in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing else but good. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God measures more with how much love one worketh, than the amount he doeth. Love is of God. The unconverted heart cannot originate nor produce this plant of heavenly growth, which lives alone, and flourishes only where Christ reigns. Love cannot live without action, and every act increases, strengthens, and extends it. Love will prevail and gain the victory when argument and authority are powerless. Love works not for profit nor reward; yet God has ordained that great gain shall be the certain result of every labor of love. It is diffusive in its nature, and quiet in its operation, yet strong and mighty in its purpose to overcome great evils. It is melting and transforming in its influence, and will take hold of the lives of the sinful, and affect their hearts when every other means has proved unsuccessful. Wherever the power of intellect, of authority, of force, is employed, and love is not manifestly present, the affections and will of those whom we seek to reach, assume a defensive, repelling position, and increase their strength of resistance as they are met by another power than love. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He came into the world to bring resistance and authority into subjection to himself. Wisdom and strength he could command, but the means he employed to overcome evil were wisdom and strength of love. Suffer nothing to divide your interest from your present work until God shall see fit to give you another piece of work in the same field. Seek not for happiness, for that is never to be found by seeking for it. Go about your duty. Let faithfulness mark all your doings, and be clothed with humility.
    "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you even so to them." Blessed results would appear as the fruit of such a course. "With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again." Here are strong motives which should operate on minds to constrain them to love one another with a pure heart, fervently. Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all his actions. We are not commanded to do to ourselves what we wish others to do unto us; we are to do unto others what we wish them to do to us under like circumstances. The measure we mete is always measured to us again. Pure love is simple in its operations, and is distinct from any other principle of action. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life, and, frequently, a blameless conversation. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of vice. A selfish heart may perform generous actions, acknowledge the present truth, and express humility and affection in the outward manner, with the motives deceptive and impure; and the efforts and actions that flow from them may be destitute of the savor of life and the fruits of true holiness, being destitute of the principles of pure love. Love, love, should be cultivated. It needs cherishing, for its influence is divine.
    Nothing is more treacherous than the deceitfulness of sin. It is the god of this world that deludes, and blinds, and leads to destruction. Satan does not enter with his array of temptations at once. He disguises these temptations with a semblance of good. He mingles with amusements and folly some little improvements, and deceived souls make it an excuse that great good is to be derived by engaging in them. This is only the deceptive part. It is Satan's hellish arts masked. Beguiled souls take one step, then are prepared for the next. It is so much more pleasant to follow the inclinations of their own hearts than to stand on the defensive, and resist the first insinuation of the wily foe, and thus shut out his in-comings. Oh! how Satan watches to see his bait taken so readily, and to see souls walking in the very path he has prepared. He does not want them to give up praying and maintaining a form of religious duties; for he can thus make them more useful in his service. He unites his sophistry and deceptive snares with their experiences and professions, and thus wonderfully advances his cause.
    The hypocritical Pharisees prayed and fasted, observed the forms of godliness, while corrupt at heart. Satan stands by, taunting Christ and his angels with insults, "I have them! I have them! I have prepared my deceptions for them. Your blood is worthless here. Your intercessions and power and wonderful works may as well cease; I have them! They are mine! for all their high profession as subjects of Christ, for all they once enjoyed the illuminations of his presence, I will secure them to myself in the very face of Heaven, which they are talking about. It is such subjects as these that I can use to decoy others." Solomon says, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool;" and there are hundreds of such to be found among professors of godliness. Says the apostle, "We are not ignorant of his devices." Oh! what art, what skill, what cunning, to lead to a union with the world, to seek for happiness in the amusements of the world, under the delusive idea that some good is to be gained! And thus they walk right into the net, flattering themselves that there is no evil in the way. The affections and sympathies of such are wrought upon, which lays a foundation for their ill-built confidence that they are the children of God. They compare themselves with others, and settle down satisfied that they are even better than many true Christians. But where is the deep love of Christ shining forth in their lives, its bright rays blessing others? Where is their Bible? and how much is it studied? And where are their thoughts? upon heaven and heavenly things? It is not natural for their minds to go forth in that direction. The study of God's word is uninteresting to them. It does not possess that which excites and fevers the mind, and natural, unrenewed hearts will prefer some other book to the study of God's word. Their attention is engrossed in self. They have no deep, earnest longings for the influence of the Spirit of God upon the mind and heart. God is not in all their thoughts. How can I have it that most of the youth in this age will come short of everlasting life? Oh that their sound of instrumental music may cease, and they no more while away so much precious time in pleasing their own fancy! Oh that they would devote less time to dress and vain conversation, and send forth their agonizing prayers to God for a sound experience! There is a necessity for close self-examination, and to closely investigate in the light of God's word, Am I sound, or am I rotten, at heart? Am I renewed in Christ, or am I still carnal at heart, with an outside, new dress put on? Rein yourself up to the tribunal of God, and see as in the light of God, if there is any secret sin, any iniquity, any idol you have not sacrificed. Pray, yes, pray as you have never prayed before, that you may not be deluded by Satan's devices; that you may not be given up to a heedless, careless, and vain spirit, and attend religious duties to quiet your own conscience. It is inappropriate for Christians in every age of the world to be lovers of pleasure, but how much more so now, when the scenes of this earth's history are so soon to close. Surely the foundation of your hopes of everlasting life cannot be made too sure. The welfare of your soul and your eternal happiness depend upon whether your foundation is built upon Christ. While others are panting after earthly enjoyment, be ye panting after the unmistakable assurance of the love of God, earnestly, fervently crying, Who will show me how to make my calling and election sure? One of the sins that constitute one of the signs of the last days, is that professed Christians are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Deal truly with your own souls. Search carefully. How few, after a faithful examination, can look up to Heaven and say, I am not one of those thus described. I am not a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God. How few can say, I am dead to the world; the life I now live is by faith on the Son of God. My life is hid with Christ in God, and when he who is my life shall appear, then shall I also appear with him in glory. The love and grace of God! Oh precious grace! more valuable than fine gold. It elevates and ennobles the spirit beyond all other principles. It sets the heart and affections upon Heaven. While those around us may be engaged in worldly vanity, pleasure-seeking, and folly, the conversation is in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour; the soul is reaching out after God for pardon and peace, for righteousness and true holiness. Converse with God, and contemplation of things above, transform the soul into the likeness of Christ. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 18, 1886
(Vol. 63, #20)

 "A Peculiar People"

    That which more especially distinguishes God's people from the popular religious bodies is not their profession alone, but their exemplary character, and their principles of unselfish love. The powerful and purifying influence of the Spirit of God upon the heart, carried out in words and works, separates them from the world, and designates them as God's peculiar people. The character and disposition of Christ's followers will be like the Master. He is the pattern, the holy and perfect example given for Christians to imitate. The true followers of Christ will love their brethren and be in harmony with them. They will love their neighbors, as Christ has given them an example, and will make any sacrifice if they can by so doing persuade souls to leave their sins and be converted to the truth.
    The truth, deeply rooted in the heart of believers, will spring up and bear fruit unto righteousness. Their words and works are the channels through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. Especial blessings and privileges are for those who love the truth, and walk according to the light they have received. If they neglect to do this, their light will become darkness. When the people of God become self-sufficient, the Lord leaves them to their own wisdom. Mercy and truth are promised to the humble in heart, the obedient and faithful.
    "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. He that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now." Those who labor for God should be clean vessels, sanctified to the Master's use. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." The embassadors of Christ have a responsible and sacred work before them. They are savors of life unto life, or of death unto death. Their influence decides the destiny of souls for whom Christ died.
    We would wish all the Lord's servants were laborers. This work should not be confined alone to the ministers, but brethren who have the truth in their hearts, and have exerted a good influence at home, should feel that a responsibility rests upon them of devoting a part of their time to going out among their neighbors, and in adjoining towns, to be missionaries for God. They should carry the publications, and engage in conversation, and, in the spirit of Christ, pray with and for those whom they visit. This is the work that will arouse a spirit of reformation and investigation.
    The self-denial, humility, and temperance required of the righteous, whom God has especially led and blessed, are to be presented to them in contrast with the extravagant, health-destroying habits of the people who live in this degenerate age. God has shown that health reform is as closely connected with the third angel's message as the hand is united to the body. And there is nowhere to be found so great a cause of physical and moral degeneracy, as a neglect of this important subject. Those who are indulging their appetite and passions, and close their eyes to the light for fear they will see sinful indulgences which they are unwilling to forsake, are guilty before God. Whoever turns from the light in one instance, hardens his heart to disregard the light in other matters. Whoever violates moral obligations in the matter of eating and dressing, prepares the way to violate the claims of God in regard to eternal interests. Our bodies are not our own. God has claims upon us to take care of the habitation he has given us, that we may present our bodies to him a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable. Our bodies belong to Him who made them, and we are in duty bound to become intelligent in regard to the best means of preserving from decay the habitation He has given us. If we enfeeble the body by self-gratification, by indulging the appetite, and by dressing in accordance with health-destroying fashions, in order to be in harmony with the world, we become enemies of God.
    "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." But light becomes darkness to all those who will not walk in it. In order to be accepted and blessed of God as our fathers were, we must be faithful, as they were faithful. We must improve our light as the ancient faithful prophets improved theirs. God requires of us according to the grace he has bestowed upon us. He will not accept less than he claims. All his righteous demands must be fully met. In order for us to meet our responsibilities, we must stand on that elevated ground that the order and advancement of holy, sacred truth has prepared for us.
    The work of pruning and purifying, to fit us for heaven, is a great work, and will cost us a great deal of suffering and trial, because our will is not subjected to the will of Christ. We must go through the furnace till the fires have consumed the dross, and we are purified, and reflect the divine image. Those who follow their inclinations and are governed by appearances, are not good judges of what God is doing. They are filled with discontent. They see failure where there is indeed triumph, a great loss where there is gain; and, like Jacob, they have been ready to exclaim, "All these things are against me," when the very things whereof they complained were all working together for their good.
    "No cross, no crown." How can one be strong in the Lord without trials. To have strength, we must have exercise. To have strong faith, we must be placed in circumstances where our faith will be called forth. The apostle Paul, just before his martyrdom, exhorted Timothy, "Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, according to the power of God." It is through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of God. Our Saviour was tried in every possible way, and yet he triumphed in God continually. It is our privilege to be strong in the strength of God under all circumstances, and to glory in the cross of Christ. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 25, 1886
(Vol. 63, #21)

 "Christian Recreation"

    While we are seeking to refresh our spirits and invigorate our bodies, we are required of God to use all our powers at all times to the best purpose. We can, and should, conduct our recreations in such a manner that we shall be better fitted for the more successful discharge of the duties devolving upon us, and our influence be more beneficial upon those with whom we associate. We can return from such occasions to our homes improved in mind and refreshed in body, and prepared to engage in the work anew with better hope and better courage.
    We are of that class who believe that it is our privilege every day of our lives to glorify God upon the earth; that we are not to live in this world merely for our own amusement, merely to please ourselves. We are here to benefit humanity and be a blessing to society; and if we let our minds run in that low channel that many who are seeking only vanity and folly permit their minds to run in, how can we be a benefit to our race and generation? how can we be a blessing to society around us? We cannot innocently indulge in any amusement which will unfit us for the more faithful discharge of ordinary life duties.
    Between the associations of the followers of Christ for Christian recreation, and worldly gatherings for pleasure and amusement, will exist a marked contrast. Instead of prayer and the mentioning of Christ and sacred things, will be heard from the lips of worldlings the silly laugh and the trifling conversation. Their idea is to have a general high time. Their amusements commence in folly and end in vanity. We want in our gatherings to have them so conducted, and to so conduct ourselves, that when we return to our homes we can have a conscience void of offense toward God and man; a consciousness that we have not wounded nor injured in any manner those with whom we have been associated, or had an injurious influence over them.
    Here is where very many fail. They do not consider that they are accountable for the influence they daily exert; that in all their associations in life, they must render an account to God for the impressions they make and the influence they cast. If this influence is such as shall have a tendency to draw the mind away from God, and attract it into the channel of vanity and folly, and lead persons to seek for their own pleasure in amusements and foolish indulgences, they must give an account for this. And if these persons are men and women of influence, if their position is such that their example will affect others, then the greater sin will rest upon them for neglecting to regulate their conduct by the Bible standard.
    We want to seek the elevated and lovely. We want to direct the mind away from those things that are superficial and of no importance, and that have no solidity. What we desire is, to be gathering new strength from all that we engage in, from all our gatherings for the purpose of recreation, from all our pleasant associations. We want to be gathering new strength to become better men and women. We want from every source possible to gather new courage, new strength, new power, that we may elevate our lives to purity and holiness, and not come down upon the low level of this world.
    Christ humiliated himself to humanity, and took upon himself our nature, that by his own humiliation, and suffering, and sacrifice, he might become a steppingstone to fallen men, that they might climb up upon his merits, and through his excellence and virtue receive from God an acceptance of their efforts to keep his law. There is no such thing here as "coming down upon a level." It is the elevated and exalted platform of eternal truth that we are seeking to plant our feet upon. We are seeking to be more like the heavenly angels, more pure in heart, more sinless, more harmless and undefiled. We are seeking for purity and holiness of life, that we may at last be fitted for the heavenly society in the kingdom of glory; and the only means by which to attain this elevation of Christian character is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way for the exaltation of the human family. Some talk of humiliation, and of the sacrifice they make because they adopt the truth of heavenly origin! Surely, this is not accepted by the world, it is not received by the unbeliever. They may talk of those that have embraced the truth and sought the Saviour, and represent them as leaving everything, and giving up everything, and making a sacrifice of everything that is worth retaining. But do not tell me this. I know better. My experience proves this to be otherwise. You need not tell me that we have to give up our dearest treasures, and receive no equivalent. No, indeed! That God, that Creator, who planted the beautiful Eden for our first parents, and has planted for us the lovely trees and flowers, and everything that is beautiful and glorious in nature for the human race to enjoy, designed that we should enjoy it. Then do not think that God wishes us to yield up everything which it is for our happiness here to retain. All he requires us to give up is that which would not be for our good and happiness to retain.
    That God who has planted the noble trees and clothed them with their rich foliage, and given us the brilliant and beautiful shades of the flowers, and whose handy and lovely work we see in all the realm of nature, does not design to make us unhappy; he does not design that we shall have no taste, and take no pleasure in these things. It is his design that we shall enjoy them. It is his design that we shall be happy in the charms of nature, which are of his own creating. It is right that we should choose places for seasons of relaxation and recreation. But while we are there, it is not to devote our attention to ourselves merely, and fritter away precious time, and engage in amusements which will encourage a disrelish for sacred things; not to indulge in jesting and joking, in the senseless laugh and foolish talking. We are to behold the beauties of nature. And what then? fall down and worship them?--No, indeed; but as you behold these works of nature, let your mind be carried up higher to nature's God; let it be elevated to the Creator of the universe, and then adore the Creator who has made all these beautiful things for your benefit, for your happiness.
    Many men and women delight in lovely paintings; but where do the artists get their ideas of these things to put upon the canvas?--From nature's beautiful scenery. Persons are ready to worship the talent which can produce a beautiful drawing; but where do those who devote their lives to this work obtain their designs?--From nature, only from nature; and yet these individuals will devote the entire strength of their being, and will bestow all their affections, upon their tastes in this direction. But art can never attain the perfection seen in nature. Many withdraw their minds from the beauties and glories of nature that our Creator has prepared for them to enjoy, and devote all the powers of their being to the perfecting of art; yet works of art are only imperfect copies of nature. The Maker of all these beautiful things is forgotten. Many will go into ecstacies over a picture of a sunset; but at the same time they could have the privilege of seeing an actual and glorious sunset almost every evening in the year. They can see the beautiful tints with which nature's Master and invisible Artist, with divine skill, has painted glorious scenes on shifting canvas, and carelessly turn from the heavenly-wrought picture to paintings of art, traced by imperfect fingers, and they will almost fall down and worship them. What is the reason of all this?--It is because the enemy is almost constantly seeking to divert the mind from God. But when you present God, and the religion of Jesus Christ, will they receive them?--No; they cannot accept of Christ. What! they make the sacrifice they would have to make to receive him?--Not at all. But what is required?--Simply their heart's holiest and best affections for Him who left the glory of the Father and came down to die for a race of rebels. He left his riches, his majesty, and his high command, and took upon himself our nature, that he might make a way of escape--to do what? to humiliate you? to degrade you?--No, indeed; to make a way of escape for you from hopeless misery, and to elevate you to his own right hand in his kingdom at last. For this, the great, the immense, sacrifice was made. And who can realize this great sacrifice? Who can appreciate it!--None but those who understand the mystery of godliness, who have tasted the powers of the world to come, who have drank from the cup of salvation that has been presented to us.
    Come out from among them and be separate, says God, and I will receive you, and ye shall be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. What a promise is this! It is a pledge to you that you shall become members of the royal family, heirs of the heavenly kingdom. If a person is honored by, or becomes connected with, any of the monarchs of earth, how it goes the rounds of the periodicals of the day, and excites the envy of those who do not think themselves so fortunate. But here is One who is king over all, the monarch of the universe, the originator of every good thing; and He says to us, I will make you my sons and daughters; I will unite you to myself; you shall become members of the royal family, and children of the Heavenly King.
    Let me enjoy the beauties of the kingdom of God. Let me delight in the paintings which his own fingers have colored. I may enjoy them. You may enjoy them. Yet we may not worship them; but through them we may be directed to Him, and behold His glory, who has made all these things for our enjoyment. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 1, 1886
(Vol. 63, #22)

 "Visit to the Vaudois Valleys"

    Ever since our visit to the Piedmont Valleys last December, we have had a deep interest for this people, and have felt a great desire to visit them again. Arrangements were accordingly made, and last Thursday, April 15, W. C. White and wife and myself left Basel for a second visit to this place. These valleys are located in the northwestern part of Italy, in what is known as the Cottian Alps. The scenery through which we passed in crossing the range of Alps in southern Switzerland, was varied, and in many places truly sublime. As we climbed carefully up the side of the mountains towering in solemn grandeur toward heaven, we could look down hundreds of feet into the abyss below, and listen to the music of the foaming river as it rushed impetuously along its channel and dashed violently against the rocks at our feet. Above us, from the tops of the highest peaks, came tumbling down the tiny rills and larger cataracts, leaping from point to point, and breaking into fine, vail-like spray ere they reached the bottom.
    As we beheld the wonderful works of the Master Architect, feelings of reverence and awe were awakened in our souls, and we could but wonder how any one can look upon such scenes and say, "There is no God." I fail to comprehend how it is possible for any to be so bound about with narrow ideas as to look upon the works of God in nature, and not adore and reverence the God of nature. My heart was lifted up in praise to him as I viewed scenes which seemed calculated to bind the mind of the beholder to the infinite Creator.
    We left Basel at seven o'clock in the morning, and at eight in the evening arrived at Milan. This, the largest city of northern Italy, is beautifully located on the flourishing plains of Lombardy. These plains at the present time embrace an area of nine thousand square miles of land which is in many respects the most productive of any in Europe. The summers are hot and dry, but the means for irrigation are ample. It is said that the "meadows yield as many as twelve crops in the year, their growth being unretarded by winter." Wine, fruit, and silk culture, together with the raising of wheat, corn, hay, and sheep, form the principal occupations. The richness of the country, together with its general location, has ever rendered it the "apple of discord" among the various nations of Europe.
    For a number of years Milan was the capital of the kingdom of Italy, and since the fourth century it has surpassed Rome in extent, and in many respects in importance also. Here was the head of the church founded by St. Ambrose, whose diocese maintained its independence of the popes until the middle of the eleventh century. His diocese included not only the flourishing plains of Lombardy, but also the plains and mountain valleys of Piedmont, and the southern provinces of France. Although it is not to be supposed that the light of this people was entirely undimmed by the surrounding darkness of their age, still their faith was essentially Protestant, and in strong opposition to the Roman creed. When at last they were induced to yield their independence, it was amid popular tumults which plainly showed with what regret they laid their liberties at the feet of the Roman power. Nor was this submission universal. Although the plains were conquered, the mountains were not. Quite a company refused to yield their rights under any consideration. Some of these crossed the Alps into France, there to meet a martyr's death; while others sought refuge in the valleys of the Piedmontese Alps, where they were enabled through much hardships and suffering to maintain the faith of their Fathers. In this latter class, their early persecutions, and present condition, we are most interested, and we shall speak of them more fully hereafter.
    But to return to Milan. Here we were obliged to stay all night, and as the train did not leave till 10:30 the next morning, we improved the time in visiting some of the various places of interest. Chief among these is the Cathedral, which, next to St. Peter's at Rome, is the largest church in Europe. Built entirely of white marble, and adorned as it is on the exterior with three thousand marble statues, ninety-eight Gothic turrets, and a tower three hundred and sixty feet high, one cannot fail to be impressed with its grandeur and immensity, and the artistic skill displayed in its design and execution. And yet we could only look upon it as a vast pile of extravagance.
    The building was begun in 1386, and yet it is not completed. Additions and repairs are constantly being made. While some parts are comparatively new and attractive in appearance, others have become dingy and unattractive by the dust of centuries. Ascending a wide flight of red granite steps in front, we entered through one of five doors into the temple. As we passed up and down the wide aisles, we could not make it seem like a place in which to worship God. The mind is continually diverted by the surroundings. The immense weight of the stone roof is supported by fifty-two massive pillars twelve feet in diameter. The floor is laid with different-colored marble mosaics. The windows and walls are adorned with high-colored pictures, painted by the finest Italian artists. These paintings represent scenes in Bible history and in traditional church history. It seemed to me that I never saw such a gorgeous combination of colors as was displayed in the purple and scarlet robes represented as worn by some of the kings and mighty men of earth.
    We were asked by one in long garments if we wished to see the relics of the saints, a privilege which we could have had, as we afterward learned, only by the payment of one dollar each. But we had no desire to see the bones of dead men called saints,--men, who, while claiming holiness, might have been the most corrupt at heart. The ignorance and superstition of all classes is worked upon until they are made to believe that these bones possess marvelous power, and by this means a large revenue is annually brought into the treasury. The Lord knew the weakness of men, and their desire to venerate dead men's bones and things of no value; therefore when Moses and Aaron, the leaders of ancient Israel, died, the Lord hid them so that the people would not be tempted to commit idolatry over them, as the Romanists do over their senseless relics. The Lord's plan was that the living God alone should be exalted; but the Roman Church has turned this reverence from the Creator to the creature, and Satan is satisfied.
    From one corner of the building a staircase ascends to the roof and tower, where in a clear morning the finest views of the Alps are obtained. The ascent to the top is made by five hundred steps. This journey I was not able to undertake, but the rest of the company did; and while they were gone, I had an excellent opportunity to walk about and take observations.
    Men and women, youth and children, were constantly coming and going. On entering, each would dip his fingers reverently into a marble basin of "holy water" which stood by each door, and would make the sign of the cross on his forehead and breast; then, passing quietly to the seats in front of the altar, where were the images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, would there repeat his prayers in silent reverence. Old men who were tottering on the brink of the grave would cross themselves and bow low before the various images of Christ, the apostles, and the saints. I had never witnessed anything of the kind except in the heathen Chinese Joss houses, and this seemed to me but a little above the pagan worship. How I longed to lift my voice in this grand old building, and point the poor deluded souls to God and heaven! I was forcibly reminded of the words of Paul at Athens when he exclaimed, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." The people are enveloped in the blackest clouds of error and superstition, and are kept thus by their teachers. Deprived as they are of the light shining from the word of God, their religion consists of a round of ceremonies as verily as did the corrupted religion of the Jews, which Christ in his day so strongly condemned.
    Stationed in various parts of the room, were numerous confessional boxes. Before the open window of one of these a woman was kneeling, and confessing her sins to the priest within, while others sat on the seats waiting their turn to confess. This made my heart ache. It was placing a man with like passions as themselves in the place of Christ. Indeed it is for the interest of such teachers to keep the Bible from the people, for it condemns everything of this kind. It plainly states that there is only one mediator, whereas Luther states that "this only was taught and practiced [in the Roman Church] to wit, the invoking of the Virgin Mary and other saints as mediators and intercessors, much fasting and praying, making pilgrimages, or running into monasteries," etc., "and while we were doing such things we dreamed we were meriting heaven." Again he says: "We were scandalously led astray in the papacy; for Christ was not painted out in so mild a character as he is by the prophets and apostles." "We were all taught that we must ourselves make satisfaction for our sins, and that, at the Judgment, Christ would call us to an account in respect of our penances, and the amount of our good works. . . . And because we could never do penances and works enough, and felt nothing else but terrors and fears before his wrath, we were directed to the saints in heaven as them that should be mediators between us and Christ. We were taught to call upon the mother of Christ, that she would beseech him, by the breasts wherewith she nursed him, to put away his anger and show mercy. If she were not sufficient, then the apostles and other saints were to be invoked, till at last we came to saints whose sanctity was unknown, nay, who for the greater part never existed, as St. Anne, St. Barbara, St. Christopher, St. George, and such like." "I had none other knowledge of Christ, than to form him in my mind as sitting on a rainbow, and to account him as a rigorous Judge. For that we had no true knowledge of Christ, we fell away from him, and cleaved to the saints, and called on them to be our patrons and mediators."
    It is with such teachings as these that Christ is belied and misrepresented, and wicked men are exalted by the Church of Rome. Here before me was a deluded people opening the secrets of the heart to a man of like infirmities as themselves. Deprived of the word of God, they are kept in ignorance of the fact that salvation can be obtained only through Jesus Christ, and are taught to believe that it can be obtained through the forms and ceremonies which the Church itself has invented. Doing penance is confounded by them with Christian repentance. Instead of teaching the people to look to Christ alone for pardon through faith in his merits, the priests professedly grant it to them through penitential works. Fasting and mortification of the flesh is enjoined, while the inward work, the regeneration of the heart, which constitutes true conversion, is deemed unnecessary. It is easier to the natural heart to confess and do penance than to put away sin; therefore there are few who do not choose to gratify unholy passions at the expense of a little confession and penance. I never felt more deeply the value of the word of God, and the necessity of opening it to the people, than I did when I saw these poor souls worshiping--they knew not what.
    How the Roman Church can clear herself from the charge of idolatry we cannot see. True, she professes to worship God through these images; so did the Israelites when they bowed before the golden calf. But the Lord's wrath was kindled against them, and many were slain. God pronounced them impious idolaters, and the same record is made today in the books of heaven against those who adore images of saints and so-called holy men.
    And this is the religion which Protestants are beginning to look upon with so much favor, and which will eventually be united with Protestantism. This union will not, however, be effected by a change in Catholicism; for Rome never changes. She claims infallibility. It is Protestantism that will change. The adoption of liberal ideas on its part will bring it where it can clasp the hand of Catholicism. "The Bible, the Bible, is the foundation of our faith," was the cry of Protestants in Luther's time, while the Catholics cried, "The Fathers, custom, tradition." Now many Protestants find it difficult to prove their doctrines from the Bible, and yet they have not the moral courage to accept the truth which involves a cross; therefore they are fast coming to the ground of Catholics, and, using the best arguments they have to evade the truth, cite the testimony of the Fathers, and the customs and precepts of men. Yes, the Protestants of the nineteenth century are fast approaching the Catholics in their infidelity concerning the Scriptures. But there is just as wide a gulf today between Rome and the Protestantism of Luther, Cranmer, Ridley, Hooper, and the noble army of martyrs, as there was when these men made the protest which gave them the name of Protestants.
    Christ was a protestant. He protested against the formal worship of the Jewish nation, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves. He told them that they taught for doctrines the commandments of men, and that they were pretenders and hypocrites. Like whited sepulchers they were beautiful without, but within full of impurity and corruption. The Reformers date back to Christ and the apostles. They came out and separated themselves from a religion of forms and ceremonies. Luther and his followers did not invent the reformed religion. They simply accepted it as presented by Christ and the apostles. The Bible is presented to us as a sufficient guide; but the pope and his workers remove it from the people as if it were a curse, because it exposes their pretensions and rebukes their idolatry.
    At half past ten o'clock Friday morning we left Milan for Turin, where we arrived at half past one, and remained till three. Among the cities of northern Italy, Turin stands next to Milan in population and importance. For several years it was the capital of Italy and the residence of the king. It is one of the most modern-looking cities we have seen in Europe. It is noted for the regularity of its construction; for its long, broad, straight streets, wide squares, and numerous gardens. In some of the principal streets there are four rows of shade trees. Between the two center rows is a broad highway for carriages, while between the two outside rows are wide walks for foot travelers. In the business part of the town, the second story of many of the buildings projects over the sidewalk, forming a broad archway, where one is protected from the sun, the rain, and the cold.
    The first question which arises in my mind as we enter one after another of these large cities, is, Would not this be a good place to present the truth? But here, as in Milan, we are told that the people are nearly all Catholics. The time was, however, when this was not the case. It was here in the ninth century that Claudius contended so valiantly for the doctrines of the Christian Church. The mantle of Ambrose, archbishop of Milan, descended upon him, and, grasping the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, he waged a battle which did much to delay, although it could not prevent, the final overthrow of his church. The influence of his pen was felt where his voice could not be heard, and was a mighty instrumentality in preserving, even in the Waldensian valleys, then a part of his diocese, the first principles of the Christian religion.
    A three hours' ride from Turin brought us to our destination at Torre Pellice. Here we found a cordial welcome at the home of Eld. A. C. Bourdeau. Sabbath I spoke to the little company of Sabbath-keepers who assembled. Although the day was rainy, some came on foot three miles from their home in the mountains. All seemed to feel that Jesus was present by his Spirit to strengthen and encourage. The impression made upon my mind as I viewed the expensive cathedral at Milan with the cold, frozen formality of its worshipers, was such that I never felt better satisfied with holding meetings in a humble place, and I never felt more grateful for the opportunity of speaking words of comfort and hope than on this occasion. I tried to hold up before the little company gathered together the importance of possessing repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, the sinners only hope. Here, free from all outward display to charm the senses, we were able to worship God in simplicity and the beauty of holiness.
    Sunday afternoon we rode five miles to Villar Pellice, where Bro. Bourdeau has been holding meetings a few weeks. Although it was very rainy, the hall was literally packed, and many could not find even standing room, and had to go away. The congregation was composed of intelligent-looking people, and the peasant women looked neat and modest in their white bonnets with heavily fluted fronts. Tears were in many eyes as I directed their attention to the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, and the destruction of Jerusalem which symbolized the final destruction of the wicked. The very best attention was given throughout. We look for much good to result from the meetings now being held in this place. Of these and our further labors in the valleys, we will speak more fully in our next. Torre Pellice, Italy. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 8, 1886
(Vol. 63, #23)

 "Faithfulness in Reproving Sin"

    The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin it its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand, who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work, under the figure of the men, each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
    Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God, and murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? It is those who take their stand against them, and sympathize with those who commit wrong?--No, indeed! These, unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work, and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of all the wicked, represented by the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care; those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by the man in linen, are those "that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done" in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in an agony, even sighing and crying.
    But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary."
    God said to Joshua (in the case of Achan's sins), "Neither will I be with you any more except ye destroy the accursed from among you." How does this instance compare with the course pursued by those who will not raise their voice against sin and wrong; but whose sympathies are ever found with those who trouble the camp of Israel with their sins? Said God to Joshua, "Thou canst not stand before thine enemies until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." He pronounced the punishment which should follow the transgression of his covenant.
    Joshua then began a diligent search to find out the guilty one. He took Israel by their tribes, and then by their families, and next, individually. Achan was designated as the guilty one. But that the matter might be plain to all Israel, that there should be no occasion given them to murmur, and to say that the guiltless was made to suffer, Joshua used policy. He knew that Achan was the transgressor, and that he had concealed his sin, and provoked God against his people. Joshua discreetly induced Achan to make confession of his sin, that God's honor and justice should be vindicated before Israel: "And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done. Hide it not from me.
    "And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed, I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones."
    God holds his people, as a body, responsible for sins existing in individuals among them. If there is a neglect with the leaders of the church to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon his people as a body, they become responsible for these sins. But this is the nicest work that men ever engaged in, to deal with minds. All are not fitted to correct the erring. They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. They will not be inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tender compassion with faithful reproof of wrongs. Some will ever be needlessly severe, and will not feel the necessity of the injunction of the apostle, "And of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire." There are many who do not have the discretion of Joshua, and who have no special duty to search out wrongs, and to deal promptly with the sins existing among them. Let not such hinder those who have the burden of this work upon them. Let them not stand in the way of those who have this duty to do. Some make it a point to question, and doubt, and find fault, because others do the work that God has not laid upon themselves. These stand directly in the way to hinder those upon whom God has laid the burden of reproof, and of correcting the sins that are prevailing, that his frown may be turned away from his people. Should a case like Achan's be among us, there are many who would accuse those who might act the part of Joshua in searching out the wrong, of having a faultfinding, wicked spirit. God is not to be trifled with, and his warnings disregarded with impunity by a perverse people.
    The manner of Achan's confession is similar to the confessions that some have made, and will make, among us. They hide their wrongs, and refuse to make a voluntary confession, until God searches them out, and then they acknowledge their sins. A few persons pass on in a course of wrong, until they become hardened. They may even know that the church is burdened, as Achan knew that Israel were made weak before their enemies because of his guilt; yet their consciences do not condemn them. They will not relieve the church by humbling their proud, rebellious hearts before God, and putting away their wrongs. God's displeasure is upon his people, and he will not manifest his power in their midst while sins are existing among them, and fostered by those in responsible positions.
    Those who work in the fear of God to rid the church of hindrances, and to correct grievous wrongs, that the people of God may see the necessity of abhorring sin, and that they may prosper in purity, and the name of God be glorified, will ever meet with resisting influences from the unconsecrated. Zephaniah describes the true state of this class, and the terrible judgments that will come upon them: "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees; that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil." "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land."
    God will not be trifled with. It is in time of conflict when the true colors should be flung to the breeze. It is then the standard bearers need to be firm, and let their true position be known. It is then the skill of every true soldier for the right is tested. Shirks can never wear the laurels of victory. Those who are true and loyal will not conceal the fact, but will put heart and might into the work, and venture their all in the struggle, let the battle turn as it will. God is a sin-hating God; and those who will encourage the sinner, saying, It is well with thee, God will curse. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 15, 1886
(Vol. 63, #24)

 "To Every Man His Work"

    When Christ ascended on high, he bade his disciples take the gospel work where he had left it, and carry it forward to completion. Though more than eighteen centuries have passed since that command was uttered, it has lost naught of its force. Today, the last warning message of mercy, the closing invitation of the gospel, is sounded to the world. A great work is yet to be accomplished, a work which will require most earnest, determined effort. Every one who has received the light of truth, is required, in turn, to aid in giving the light to the world. If we would at last share the reward of the righteous, we must wisely improve the time of our probation. Moments are more precious than gold. We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ; our time, our talents, belong to him. We should improve every opportunity to advance the cause of our Master.
    We should seek to preserve the full vigor of all our powers, for the accomplishment of the work before us. Whatever detracts from physical vigor, weakens mental effort. Hence, every practice unfavorable to the health of the body, should be resolutely shunned.
    Says the great apostle, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." We cannot maintain consecration to God, and yet injure our health by the willful indulgence of a wrong habit. Self-denial is one of the conditions, not only of admission into the service of Christ, but of continuance therein. Christ himself declared, in unmistakable language, the conditions of discipleship: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
    Yet how many who call themselves Christians are unwilling to exercise self-denial, even for Christ's sake. How often the love for some pernicious indulgence is stronger than the desire for a sound mind in a sound body! Precious hours of probation are spent, God-given means squandered, to please the eye or to gratify the appetite. Custom holds thousands in bondage to the earthly and sensual. Many are willing captives; they desire no better portion.
    They are few who walk in the clear light of God's word, who maintain their freedom in Christ by daily self-denial. Yet none need fail in this work of self-renunciation. God will give help to every earnest seeker. He reads the intents and purposes of the heart. He marks every soul-struggle. If we sincerely seek his grace, our life will correspond with our profession of faith; our light will shine forth, in good works, to the world.
    "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." He knows whether our hearts are wholly devoted to his service, or given to the things of the world. We may profess what we will, but unless our life corresponds with our profession, our faith is dead. The rule given by the apostle Paul is the only safe rule for our guidance in all the affairs of life. "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." In the selection of our food, we should not seek merely to please the taste, but should choose that which is most healthful. In dress, we should seek that which is simple, comfortable, convenient, and appropriate.
    The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. We have but a little time in which to make ready. If precious opportunities are slighted, it will result in eternal loss. We need a close connection with God. We are not safe a moment unless guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The soul should be often uplifted to God in prayer, even while we are engaged in our business vocations. These silent prayers rise like precious incense before the throne of grace. Satan is baffled. He cannot overcome the Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon God. No hellish arts can destroy his peace. All the promises of God's word, all the power of divine grace, all the resources of Jehovah, are pledged to secure his deliverance.
    If we would not be misled by error and falsehood, the heart must be preoccupied by the truth. The word of God will furnish the mind with weapons of divine power, to vanquish the enemy. Happy is the man, who, when tempted, finds his soul rich in the knowledge of the Scriptures, who finds shelter beneath the promises of God. "Thy word," said the psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." We need now, as never before, that calm, steady faith, that undaunted moral courage, which none but Christ can give, to brace us for trial and strengthen us for duty.
    My fellow Christians, we are far from reaching the divine standard. Our works to not correspond with our privileges and opportunities. Few devote themselves unreservedly to the service of God. Few are accomplishing all that they might accomplish if they would wisely put to use the talents that God has given them. The powers that are suffered to lie dormant should be strengthened and developed by active work for the Master. Some who would gladly be useful in the cause of Christ, are hindered by timidity and self-distrust. Such persons need encouragement. Many possess latent powers of which they are wholly unconscious. They should be aroused to put to use their God-given ability. Many refuse to enter the harvest field because they cannot do as great a work as some others. But there is work for all to do. When one excuses himself, the burden rests more heavily upon others, who must do their part and that of the delinquent.
    Christ has left his work on earth to be carried forward by those who believe in him. Love for Jesus will be manifested in a desire to work for him. Love for Jesus will lead to love, tenderness, and sympathy for his followers. Those who are partakers of the grace of Christ, will be willing to make any sacrifice, that others for whom he died may share the heavenly gift. They will do all they can to make the world better for their sojourn in it. The Lord is not pleased with our weak, inefficient efforts, our indifference and indecision concerning matters of eternal moment. Whatever we do for the salvation of souls, should be done with zeal and devotion, as though this were--as indeed it is--the most important work that can engage our attention. We must work with the same earnestness with which Christ worked. Our efforts should be marked by intensity and perseverance, proportionate to the importance of the object which we seek--eternal life.
    Conscientious, enthusiastic workers are needed. The time for labor is short. The months of 1886 are swiftly passing. Soon this year, with its burden of records, will be numbered with the past. Let the precious months remaining be devoted to earnest soul-labor for our Master. Could we behold a faithful record of the manner in which we have spent the months already past, would the view be satisfactory? Deduct every action which would benefit no one, which was performed merely to gratify "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," and how little remains of willing service, performed for the glory of God! Is not the record alarming? How many will have such an account to meet in the day of final Judgment! How many precious hours have been squandered in selfish gratification! How often, to please ourselves, have we neglected opportunities to work for Christ! Even when we consecrate to God the full strength of our powers, we can do but little in comparison with all that Christ has done for us. Let us, then, serve him with undivided affection, by zeal and fidelity manifesting our gratitude for the love which we are powerless to repay.
    In the service of God there is no middle ground. Said Christ, "He that is not with me is against me." Let none expect to make a compromise with the world, and yet enjoy the blessing of the Lord. Let God's people come out from this world, and be separate. Let us seek more earnestly to know and do the will of our Father in heaven. Let the light of truth which has shone upon us be so received that its bright rays may go forth from us to the world. Let unbelievers see that the faith we hold makes us better men and better women; that it is a living reality, sanctifying the character, transforming the life. Let the word of God dwell richly in our hearts. Let our conversation be upon heavenly things. Let us surround ourselves with an atmosphere of Christian cheerfulness. Let us show that our religion can stand the test of trial. Let us by our kindness, forbearance, and love, prove to the world the power of our faith.
    Many who set out well in the Christian life, are losing spiritual strength, and placing themselves in the enemy's power, by their indulgence in vain and trifling conversation. They cannot look up to God with holy confidence, to ask for needed strength. By their irreligious course, they bar the way of souls that might have come to Christ. Let these careless triflers remember that every word and act is photographed in the books of heaven. No human hand can erase one disgraceful blot.
    Life, with its marvelous privileges and opportunities, will soon be ended. The time for improvement in character will be past. Unless our sins are now repented of, and blotted out by the blood of the Lamb, they will stand in the ledger of heaven to confront us in the coming day.
    As we are daily brought in contact with those who have not a knowledge of Christ and the truth, shall we talk only of our farms, our merchandise, our gains and losses; or shall we speak of those things which concern our future life? shall we seek to win souls to Jesus? Oh, what shameful neglect of duty stands registered against the professed followers of Christ! Let us earnestly examine ourselves by the light of God's word, seeking to discover every defect of character, that we may wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.
    Life is short. The things of the world must perish with the using. Let us be wise, and build for eternity. We cannot afford to idle away our precious moments, or engage in busy activities that will bring forth no fruit for eternity. Let the time hitherto devoted to idleness, frivolity, worldliness, be spent in gaining a knowledge of the Scriptures, in beautifying our life, and blessing and ennobling the life and character of others. This work will meet the approval of God, and win for us the heavenly benediction of "Well done." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 22, 1886
(Vol. 63, #25)

 "The Spirit of Christ"

    The religion of Jesus Christ means something more than talk. The righteousness of Christ consists in right actions and good works from pure, unselfish motives. Outside righteousness, while the inward adorning is wanting, will be of no avail. "This, then, is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but 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." If we have not the light and love of God, we are not his children. If we gather not with Christ, we scatter abroad. We all have an influence, and that influence is telling upon the destiny of others, for their present and future good, or for their eternal loss.
    All have lessons to learn in the school of Christ, in order to perfect Christian characters, and have a oneness with Christ. Said Christ to his disciples, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." He explained his meaning to them. He did not wish them to become children in understanding, but in malice. Little children do not manifest feelings of superiority and aristocracy. They are simple and natural in their appearance. Christ would have his followers cultivate unaffected manners, that their whole bearing might be humble and Christlike. He has made it our duty to live for others' good. He came from the royal courts of heaven to this world, to show how great an interest he had in man; and the infinite price paid for the redemption of man shows that man is of so great value that Christ could sacrifice his riches and honor in the royal courts, to lift him from the degradation of sin.
    If the Majesty of heaven could do so much to evidence his love for man, what ought not men to be willing to do for each other, to help one another up out of the pit of darkness and suffering? Said Christ, "Love one another as I have loved you;" not with a greater love, for "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Our love is frequently selfish; for we confine it to prescribed limits. When we come into close union and fellowship with Jesus Christ, our love and sympathy, and our works of benevolence, will reach down deeper, and will widen and strengthen with exercise. The love and interest of Christ's followers must be as broad as the world; and those who live merely for "me and mine" will fail of heaven.
    "Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." This is close language. Who can stand the test? The word of God is to us a daguerreotype of the mind of God and of Christ, also of man fallen, and man renewed after the image of Christ, possessing the divine mind. We may compare our thoughts, feelings, and intentions, with the picture of Christ. We have no relationship with him unless we are willing to work the works of Christ.
    Christ came to do his Father's will. Are we following in his steps? All who have named the name of Christ should be constantly seeking for a more intimate acquaintance with him, that they may walk even as he walked, and do the works of Christ. We should appropriate the lessons of his life to our lives. "Christ gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Hereby perceive we the love of God; because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Here is the work of self-denial which we must enter upon with cheerfulness, in imitation of the example of our Redeemer. The Christian's life must be one of conflict and of sacrifice. The path of duty should be followed; not the path of inclination and of choice.
    We must let Christ into our hearts and homes if we would walk in the light. Home should be made all that the name implies. It should be a little heaven upon the earth, a place where the affections are cultivated instead of being studiously repressed. Our happiness depends upon this cultivation of love, sympathy, and polite courtesy to one another. The reason why there are so many hardhearted men and women in our world, is because true affection has been regarded as weakness, and has been discouraged and repressed. The better part of the nature of those of this class was perverted and dwarfed in childhood; and unless rays of divine light can melt away their coldness and hardhearted selfishness, the happiness of such is buried forever. If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when he was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for sinful mortals, we must cultivate the sympathies of childhood, which are simplicity itself. Then we shall be refined, elevated, and directed by heavenly principles.
    A cultivated intellect is a great treasure; but without the softening influence of sympathy and sanctified love, it is not of the highest value. We want words and deeds of tender consideration for others. A thousand little attentions we can manifest in friendly words and pleasant looks, which will be reflected back upon us again. Thoughtless Christians manifest in their neglect of others that they are not in union with Christ. It is impossible to be in union with Christ and yet be forgetful of others' rights, and be unkind to others. Many long intensely for friendly sympathy. God has given each of us an identity of our own, which cannot be submerged in another; but our individual characteristics will be much less prominent if we are indeed Christ's, and his will is ours. Our lives should be, as was our Saviour's, consecrated to the good and happiness of others. We should be self-forgetful, and ever looking out for opportunities, even in little things, to show gratitude for the favors we have received of others, and watching for opportunities to cheer and lighten, and relieve the sorrows and burdens of others, by acts of tender kindness and little deeds of love. These thoughtful courtesies in our families, that extend outside the family circle, help make up the sum of life's happiness; and the neglect of these little things makes up the sum of life's bitterness and sorrow.
    It is the work we do, or do not do, that tells with tremendous power upon our lives and destinies. God requires us to improve every opportunity for usefulness that is offered us. Neglect in doing this is perilous to our spiritual growth. We have a great work to do. Let us not pass in idleness the precious hours that God has given us in which to perfect characters for heaven. We must not be inactive or slothful in this work; for we have not a moment to spend without a purpose or object. God will help us to overcome our wrongs, if we will pray, and believe on him. We shall be more than conquerors through Him who hath loved us. When this short life in this world is ended, and we see as we are seen, and know as we are known, how short in duration and how small will appear to us the things of this world in comparison with the glory of the better world. Christ would never have left the royal courts and taken humanity, and become sin for the race, had he not seen that man might, with his help, become infinitely happy, and attain durable riches, and a life that would run parallel with the life of God. He knew that without his help sinful man could not attain these things.
    We should have the spirit of progress. We must guard continually against being fixed in our views, feelings, and actions. The work of God is onward. Reforms must be carried on, and we must take hold and help move on the car of reform. Energy, tempered with patience and ambition, balanced by wisdom, are now needed by every Christian. The work of saving souls is yet left to us, the disciples of Christ. We are not one of us excused. Many in their Christian life have become dwarfed and stunted, from inaction. We should employ our time diligently while in this world. How earnestly should we improve every opportunity of doing good, of bringing others to the knowledge of the truth. Our motto should ever be, "Onward, higher,"--surely, steadily onward to duty and to victory.
    "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." Here is the process, the refining, purifying process, to be carried on by the Lord of hosts. The work is most trying to the soul, but it is only through this process that the rubbish and defiling impurities can be removed. Our trials are all necessary to bring us close to our Heavenly Father, in obedience to his will, that we may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. God has given each of us capabilities, talents to improve. We need a new and living experience in the divine life, in order to do the will of God. No amount of past experience will suffice for the present, or will strengthen us to overcome the difficulties in our path. We must have new grace and fresh strength daily in order to be victorious.
    We are seldom, in all respects, placed in the same condition twice. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, and many others, were all sorely tried, but not in the same way. Every one has his individual tests and trials in the drama of life, but the very same trial seldom comes twice. Each has his own experience, peculiar in its character and circumstances, to accomplish a certain work. God has a work, a purpose, in the life of each and all of us. Every act, however small, has its place in our life experience. We must have the continual light and experience that come from God. We all need them, and God is more than willing we should have them, if we will take them. He has not closed the windows of heaven to our prayers, but there are those who have felt satisfied to pass on without the divine help they so much need.
    How little many of us realize the bearing of our daily acts upon the history of others. We may think that what we do and what we say are of little consequence, when the most important results for good or evil are the consequence of our words and actions. The words and actions looked upon as so unimportant and so small, are links in the long chain of human events. With our first parents, the desire for a single gratification of appetite opened the floodgate of woe and sin to this world. Would that all might feel that every step they take may have a lasting and controlling influence upon their own lives and the characters of others. Oh, how much need, then, of communion with God! What need of divine grace to direct every step, and show us how to perfect Christian characters!
    Christians will have new scenes and new trials to pass through, where their past experience cannot be a sufficient guide. We need to learn of the divine Teacher as much now as at any period of our lives, and even more. And the more experience we gain, the nearer we draw toward the pure light of heaven, the more shall we discern in ourselves that needs reforming. We may all do a good work in blessing others, if we will seek counsel of God, and follow on in obedience and faith. The path of the just is a progressive one, from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory. The divine illumination will increase more and more, corresponding with our onward movements, qualifying us to meet the responsibilities and emergencies before us.
    Real godliness is diffusive and communicative. The psalmist says, "I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart. I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation. I have not concealed thy loving-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation." Wherever the love of God is, there is always a desire to express it. It is hard for us to submit to the crucifixion of self; but when the work is all submitted to God, to him who knows our weaknesses and our sinfulness, he takes the very best way to bring about the desired results. It was through constant conflict and simple faith that Enoch walked with God. We may all do the same. We may be thoroughly converted and transformed, and be indeed children of God, enjoying not only the knowledge of his will, but leading others, by our example, in the same path of humble obedience and consecration. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 29, 1886
(Vol. 63, #26)

 "Labors in the Piedmont Valleys"

    We have already mentioned our first meeting at Villar Pellice, Italy. Although it was rainy, the hall, the largest place of meeting in the town except the Catholic and Vaudois churches, was crowded. The next Sunday it was pleasant, and long before the hour appointed, the people began to gather. It was soon seen that the house would not accommodate those who would come. The seats were therefore removed, and placed in the yard just in front of the building. Here about four hundred people gathered. Although not more than two-thirds of these were accommodated by seats, the best of attention was given throughout the exercises. We expected that the novelty of having service in the open air, and of hearing a woman speak, would lead some to amuse themselves and disturb the meeting; but in this we were happily disappointed. I had spoken but a few moments when a solemn silence prevailed. Young men and women looked serious, and many were in tears.
    I tried to present the truth in its simplicity, that old and young, the learned and the unlearned, might understand. I feel deeply for the people of Italy, especially for those who live in these valleys. They are far from being the conscientious, devoted people they once were. They seem to rest satisfied with their past experience. They have not been educated to sacrifice for the cause of religion, and they do little if anything toward the support of their pastors. But the Lord still has a people in these valleys, and my prayer is that he will break down the barriers that have been built up to prevent the truth from reaching them. There are many who yearn for greater purity and godliness. They need just such plain, simple teaching as the apostles gave. There is great vagueness in the doctrines which prevail in the reformed churches. The general belief is that their faith is founded upon the Scriptures; but the real lack of knowledge of what the Bible does teach is surprising. When the truth is presented, some, like candid men and women, are willing to sit down and investigate. They say, "If this is truth, we want it." We are glad to say that at the present time many are thus investigating for themselves. Paul found such in his day. He commended the Bereans for being more noble than those of Thessalonica, for they searched the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
    Eld. A. C. Bourdeau has been holding meetings in Villar for some time, and expects to continue them at least once a week during the summer. It would be difficult to hold them oftener, as most of the people of this place at this season of the year go high up in the mountains where they can pasture their flocks on government land, free of charge. But they say that if Bro. Bourdeau will continue the meetings, they will attend every Sunday afternoon. He has already presented the advent and Sabbath questions quite fully; and still the interest is unabated. It is a question how soon to press these people to a decision in regard to the Sabbath. A few may be prepared to decide understandingly now; but the majority are not. It was therefore decided that the best way would be to induce them to continue to study the Bible, and see that plenty of good reading matter is placed in their hands. It was thought that this, with one sermon a week, would keep up their interest until they returned to the valleys in the early fall, when another effort could be made, and they would be prepared to move intelligently.
    Preparatory steps were taken while we were at Torre Pellice, to organize a missionary society, whose special object at present would be to send reading matter to, and correspond with, those who are interested, but who will be scattered upon the mountains during the summer. The brethren and sisters seemed willing and anxious to engage in this work, and we expect that much good will result if they labor perseveringly and in the fear of God.
    At St. John, a village three miles down the valley from Torre Pellice, I spoke three times to intelligent and attentive congregations. No less than half a dozen of those who attended were good English scholars. One was a minister who had traveled quite extensively in England; another, a professor in the high school in that place; and another, a young man who had been educated in England. The latter heard me speak several times when we were in Italy last winter, and on one occasion acted as my interpreter.
    While at Torre Pellice, we were glad to meet Bro. Biglia from Naples, and have a brief period of consultation with him. In connection with his work of translating for our Italian paper, he has labored some in Naples; but he now desires to give himself more fully to the work of presenting the truth in other places. We spent considerable time, we trust profitably, in conversation with him in regard to the publishing work, and the best means of reaching the people. Southern Italy is in almost every respect a hard field. The mass of the people are poor, unlearned, degraded, and the rankest Catholics. There are, however, honest souls scattered all through Italy, and these must have an opportunity to receive the light. The message is to go to all nations, tongues, and peoples, and he who labors in the difficult fields, where little fruit of his labors may appear, will, if he labors faithfully, receive as great a reward as those who labor in easier fields and apparently accomplish more.
    Sabbath I spoke to the little company assembled in Torre Pellice, from 1 Peter 3:15: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." Several of those present were engaged directly in colportage work. I sought to impress upon all the importance of exercising meekness and gentleness in presenting the truth to unbelievers. The work of saving souls requires tact and wisdom; it must not be carried forward impulsively, but intelligently and in the spirit of Christ. Many are turned from the truth by the spirit and manner of the one who presents it to them. Although his words may be misinterpreted and falsified, although cutting and unjust things may be said to him, unkindness or resentment on his part are unlooked-for and inexcusable. Many enjoy the fighting part of presenting the truth much better than they do enduring reproach with patience and meekness. They can contend for the truth much more easily than they can teach it by their godly lives.
    There are many honest souls in these valleys; but they do not understand the truth for this time, and it is not merely by argument that they are to learn it. There is a work to be done of feeding these hungry, starving sheep with spiritual food. Many of the professed teachers of the people are perfectly content to set their stakes and make no advancement themselves, and they are much disturbed when others are induced to seek for truth. When new light is presented, they feel as the Pharisees felt when Christ came with new light for the Jewish nation. They want to stop the increase of light. They not only refuse to search the Scriptures for themselves, but they do all in their power to prevent others from searching.
    The Scriptures are constantly opening to the people of God. There always has been and always will be a truth specially applicable to each generation. The message given to Noah was present truth for that time; and if the people had accepted that message, they would have been saved from drinking the waters of the flood. Now suppose a certain people should say, "We have all the truth that our fathers had; we don't want any more," and the God of heaven should send them a message as he did to Nineveh. What would be the result?--The same as would have resulted to the Ninevites if they had not repented. Sentence was pronounced upon them, but their repentance saved them. How thankful we should be that we have a God who will repent of the threatened evil, when the erring return to him with true contrition of soul.
    To all who are scattered amid the darkness of the world, and especially to those who live in these valleys, I would say, There is no other way to break down the barriers and reach the people than by the power of love and by living faith, by having a firm hold of the God of Israel. There is a way to reach the people of these valleys, but it is not in our own spirit and way. It is by having a close connection with Christ. You must feel your utter helplessness without him, and be much with God in prayer. The more ignorant the people are of Bible truth, and the lower they have sunk in ignorance and superstition, the more they need the arm of infinite power to lift them up. Pity rather than censure them. Recall your own sins, and how long the Lord bore with your neglect of his great salvation, and walk with fear and trembling before him. Christ has said, "Without me, ye can do nothing." You want to be imbued with his spirit. The human heart, uncontrolled by the Spirit of God, is void of the meekness of Christ, and loves to battle for the truth. But it will not answer for those who profess unpopular truth to engage in this work, or to be critical and over-bearing. They should not be too free to criticise and condemn others. They should be careful not to let their words wound, but should let pure Bible truth cut its way to the heart. When tempted to speak impatiently, remember, brethren, that when Jesus was reviled, he reviled not again. Give the reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. With fear lest you have not the truth?--No; but with fear lest by some unwise, impatient word you will close the door of hearts against the truth. If you cannot answer the accusations of enemies with calmness, it is better to keep silent. It will not answer to come with the battle-ax against the people, especially of these valleys. They are of a quick, impatient temperament; and when their combativeness is aroused, the door of their hearts is closed to the truth.
    God wants you to testify to the world that you have a special message for them, by presenting it in the spirit of Christ. They will then see the difference between those who teach it and those who oppose. But if you have exalted views of your own ability, self will rise in self-justification at the least provocation. What all the workers need is to make an entire surrender to God, and, putting self out of sight, lift up the Man of Calvary. When you have placed yourselves in the right relation to God, then, if you are compelled to go among the warring elements, Christ will give you his spirit, and will work with your efforts. When brought in contact with the powers of darkness, angels of God will be right by your side, and will preserve you from the wrath of men.
    God has thoughts of mercy toward the people of these valleys. He is not unmindful of those who are traveling on foot long distances over the rugged mountains to present the truth to them. You may feel that it is your privilege to look to him for help and strength. It is only by living faith that you can carry forward this work. While you are to preserve the strength that God has given you, it will frequently seem that you have to venture much for the truth's sake. If a good degree of success attends your efforts, do not for a moment take the credit to yourselves. It is not because of your capability, but because Jesus died for precious souls, and he is working to save them. From your past success or failure, God would have you learn to present the truth more acceptably.
    Those who do not go from place to place to labor, can take hold of the arm of God by living faith. They can pray that the God of heaven will help those who are carrying the truth to others. Whatever their position in life, all can do something to help spread the light by giving the reasons of their faith to those who are around them. Basel, Switzerland, May 10, 1886. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 6, 1886
(Vol. 63, #27)

 "Cannot Come Down"

    "I am doing a great work," says Nehemiah, "so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?"
    God's people should not relax their watchfulness, or their vigilance, for one moment. Satan is upon our track. He is determined to overcome God's commandment-keeping people with his temptations. If we give no place to the Devil, but resist his devices, steadfast in the faith, we shall have strength to depart from all iniquity. Those who keep the commandments of God will be a power in the land, if they live up to their light and their privileges. They may be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation. We shall not have ease, that we may cease watchfulness and prayer. As the time draws near for Christ to be revealed in the clouds of heaven, Satan's temptations will be brought to bear with greater power upon those who keep God's commandments; for he knows that his time is short.
    The work of Satan will be carried on through agents. Ministers who hate the law of God will employ any means to lead souls from their loyalty. Their hearts are fully determined to make war against those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. This class feel that it is a virtue to talk, to write, and to act out, the most bitter hatred against us. We need not look for fair dealing, or for justice, at their hands. Many of them are inspired by Satan with insane madness against those who are keeping the commandments of God. We will be maligned and misrepresented, all our motives and actions will be misjudged, and our characters will be attacked. The wrath of the dragon will be manifested in this manner. But we should not be in the least discouraged. Our strength is in Jesus, our advocate. If we, in humility and humble trust, hold fast to God, he will give us grace and heavenly wisdom to withstand all the wiles of Satan, and to come off victors.
    It will not increase our influence, or bring us into favor with God, to retaliate or come down from our great work to their level in meeting their slanders. There are those who will resort to any species of deception and gross falsehood, to gain their object and deceive souls, and to cast stigma upon the law of God and those who love to obey his commandments. They will repeat the most inconsistent and vile falsehoods, over and over, until they make themselves believe that they are truth. These are the strongest arguments they have to use against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. We should not allow our feelings to control us, and divert us from the work of warning the world.
    The case of Nehemiah is presented before us. He was engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem, and the enemies of God were determined that the walls should not be built. "But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, and conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it."
    In this case, a spirit of hatred and opposition to the Hebrews formed the bond of union, and created the mutual sympathy among different bodies of men, who otherwise might have warred against each other. This will illustrate what we frequently witness in our day in the existing union of men of different denominations to oppose the present truth, whose only bond seems to be that which is dragonic in its nature, manifesting hatred and bitterness against the remnant who keep the commandments of God. "Nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them."
    We are in constant danger of becoming self-sufficient, relying upon our own wisdom, and not making God our strength. Nothing disturbs Satan so much as our not being ignorant of his devices. If we feel our dangers, we shall feel the need of prayer as did Nehemiah, and, like him, we shall obtain that sure defense that will give us security in peril. If we are careless and indifferent, we shall surely be overcome by Satan's devices. We must be vigilant. While, like Nehemiah, we resort to prayer, taking all our perplexities and burdens to God, we should not feel that we have nothing to do. We are to watch as well as pray. We should watch the work of our adversaries, lest they gain advantage in deceiving souls. We should, in the wisdom of Christ, make efforts to defeat their purposes, while, at the same time, we do not suffer them to call us from our great work. Truth is stronger than error. Righteousness will prevail over wrong.
    The Lord's people are seeking to heal the breach which has been made in the law of God. "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
    This disturbs the enemies of our faith, and every means is employed to hinder us in our work. And yet the broken down wall is going steadily up. The world is being warned, and many are turning away from trampling under their feet the Sabbath of Jehovah. God is in this work, and man cannot stop it. The angels of God are working with the efforts of God's faithful servants, and steadily the work advances.
    We shall meet with opposition of every description, as did the builders of the walls of Jerusalem; but if we watch and pray, and work as they did, God will fight our battles for us, and give us precious victories. Nehemiah "clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him."
    Messengers were sent repeatedly, soliciting a conference with Nehemiah; but he refused to meet them. Bold threats were made of what they proposed to do, and messengers were sent to harangue the people engaged in the work of building. They presented flattering inducements, and promised them a freedom from restraint, and wonderful privileges, if they would unite their interest with them, and cease their work of building the walls of Jerusalem.
    But the people were commanded not to engage in controversy with their enemies, and to answer them not a word, that no advantage of words might be given them. Threatenings and ridicule were resorted to. They said, "Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall." Sanballat "was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews." Nehemiah prays, "Hear, O our God; for we are despised; and turn their reproach upon their own head."
    "And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand."
    We shall receive the most fierce opposition from those who oppose the law of God. But, like the builders of the walls of Jerusalem, we should not be diverted and hindered from our work by reports, by messengers desiring discussion or controversy, or by intimidating threats, the publication of falsehoods, or any of the devices Satan may instigate. Our answer should be, We are engaged in a great work, and we cannot come down. We shall sometimes be perplexed to know what course we should pursue, to preserve the honor of the cause of God, and to vindicate his truth.
    The course of Nehemiah should have a strong bearing upon our minds, as to the manner of meeting this kind of opponents. We should take all these things to the Lord in prayer, as Nehemiah made his supplication to God while his own spirit was humbled. He clung to God with unwavering faith. This is the course we should pursue. Time is too precious for the servants of God to devote to vindicating their character blackened by those who hate the Sabbath of the Lord. We should move forward with unwavering confidence, believing that God will give to his truth great and precious victories. In humility, meekness, and purity of life, relying upon Jesus, we shall carry a convincing power with us that we have the truth.
    We do not understand the faith and confidence we may have in God, the great blessings which faith will give us, as is our privilege. An important work is before us. We are to obtain a moral fitness for heaven. Our words and our example are to tell upon the world. Angels of God are actively engaged in ministering to the children of God. Precious promises are upon record on condition of our obedience to God's requirements. Heaven is full of the richest of blessings, all waiting to be communicated to us. If we feel our need, and come to God in sincerity and earnest faith, we shall be brought into close connection with Heaven, and shall be channels of light to the world.
    The warning needs to be often sounded, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 13, 1886
(Vol. 63, #28)

 "The Sin of Selfishness"

    The simplicity of the truth will ever lead us to feel a sympathy for others' woes. There are those who need our sympathy and our love. To exercise these traits of character, is a part of the life work which Christ has given us all to do.
    There exists in the hearts of many an element of selfishness which clings to them like the leprosy. They have so long consulted their own wishes, their own pleasure and convenience, that they do not feel that others have claims upon them. Their thoughts, plans, and efforts are for themselves. They live for self, and do not cultivate disinterested benevolence, which, if exercised, would increase and strengthen until it would be their delight to live for others' good. This selfishness must be seen and overcome; for it is a grievous sin in the sight of God. They need to exercise a more special interest for humanity; and in thus doing, they would bring their souls into closer connection with Christ, and would be imbued with his Spirit, so that they would cleave to him with so firm a tenacity that nothing could separate them from his love.
    God will not excuse us for not taking up the cross, and practicing self-denial, in doing good to others with unselfish motives. We may, if we will take the trouble to make the self-denial required of Christians, be qualified, by the grace of God, to win souls to Christ. God has claims upon many of us to which we have never responded. There are those all around us who hunger for sympathy and love. But many of us are nearly destitute of that humble love which naturally flows out in pity and sympathy for the destitute, the suffering, and the needy. The human countenance itself is a mirror of the soul, read by others, and leaving a telling influence upon them for good or evil. God does not call upon any of us to watch our brethren, and to repent of their sins. He has left us a work to do, and calls upon us to do it resolutely, in his fear, with an eye single to his glory.
    Every one must give to God an account of himself, not of others, whether he is faithful or otherwise. Seeing faults in other professors, and condemning their course,, will not excuse or offset one error of ours. We should not make others our criterion, nor excuse anything in our course because, others have done wrong. God has given us consciences for ourselves. Great principles have been laid down in his word, which are sufficient to guide us in our Christian walk and general deportment. Those have not kept the principles of the law of God who have never felt the burden of the duty devolving upon man to his fellowmen.
    "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, 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. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."
    Here the conditions of inheriting eternal life are plainly stated by our Saviour in the most simple manner. The man wounded and robbed represents those who are subjects of our interest, sympathy, and charity. If we neglect the cases of the needy and the unfortunate that are brought under our notice, no matter who they may be, we have no assurance of eternal life; for we do not answer the claims that God has upon us. We are not compassionate and pitiful to humanity, because they may not be kith or kin to us. All such are found transgressors of the second great commandment, upon which the last six commandments depend. Whosoever offendeth in one point, he is guilty of all. Those who do not open their hearts to the wants and sufferings of humanity, will not open their hearts to the claims of God stated in the first four precepts of the decalogue. Idols claim the heart and affections, and God is not honored and does not reign supreme.
    Some are quite exact in some things, yet neglect the weightier matters--judgment, mercy, and the love of God. Although the customs of the world are no criterion for us, yet the pitying sympathy and the benevolence of the world for the unfortunate, in many cases, shame the professed followers of Jesus Christ. Many manifest indifference to the cases of those whom God has thrown in their midst for the purpose of testing and proving them, and developing what is in their hearts. God reads. He marks every act of selfishness, every act of indifference to the afflicted, the widows, and the fatherless; and he writes against their names, Guilty, wanting, law-breakers. We shall be rewarded as our works have been. Any neglect of duty to the needy and to the afflicted is a neglect of duty to Christ in the person of his saints.
    When the cases of all come in review before God, the question, What did they profess? is never asked, but, What have they done? Have they been doers of the word? Have they lived for themselves? or have they been exercised in works of benevolence, in deeds of kindness, in love, preferring others before themselves, and denying themselves that they might bless others? If the record shows that this has been their life, that their characters have been marked with tenderness, self-denial, and benevolence, they will receive the blessed assurance and benediction from Christ, "Well done," "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Christ has been grieved and wounded by our marked selfish love, and indifference to the woes and needs of others.
    Many times our efforts may be disregarded and apparently lost upon others. But this should be no excuse for us to become weary in well-doing. How often has Jesus come to find fruit upon the plants of his care, and found nothing but leaves! We may be disappointed as to the result of our best efforts; but this should not lead us to be indifferent to others' woes, and to do nothing. "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty." How often is Christ disappointed in those who profess to be his children! He has given them unmistakable evidences of his love. He became poor, that through his poverty we might be made rich. He died for us, that we might not perish, but have eternal life. What if Christ had refused to bear our iniquity because he was rejected by many, and so few appreciated his love and the infinite blessings he came to bring to them? We need to encourage patient, painstaking efforts. Courage is now wanted, not lazy despondency and fretful murmuring. We are in this world to do work for the Master, and not to study our inclination and pleasure, and to serve and glorify ourselves. Why, then, should we be inactive and discouraged because we do not see the immediate results we desire?
    Our work is to toil in the vineyard of the Lord, not merely for ourselves, but for the good of others. Our influence is a blessing or a curse to others. We are here to form perfect characters for heaven. We have something to do besides repining and murmuring at God's providence, and writing bitter things against ourselves. Our adversary will not allow us to rest. If we are indeed God's children, we shall be harassed and sorely beset; and we need not expect that Satan or those under his influence will treat us well. But there are angels who excel in strength, who will be with us in all our conflicts, if we will only be faithful. Christ conquered Satan in our behalf in the wilderness of temptation. He is mightier than Satan, and he will shortly bruise him under our feet.
    Our spiritual strength and blessing will be proportionate to the labor of love and good works which we perform. The injunction of the apostle is, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Keeping the commandments of God requires of us good works, self-denial, self-sacrifice, and devotion for the good of others; not that our good works alone can save us, but that we surely cannot be saved without good works. After we have done all that we are capable of doing, we are then to say, We have done no more than our duty, and at best are unprofitable servants, unworthy of the smallest favor from God. Christ must be our righteousness, and the crown of our rejoicing.
    All must be lost who will not arouse themselves and work with Christ. Many encase themselves in cold, unfeeling, unsympathizing armor. There is but little life and warmth in their associations with others. They live for themselves, not for Jesus Christ. They are careless and indifferent to the needs and conditions of others less fortunate than themselves. All around us there are those who have soul hunger, and who long for love expressed in words and deeds. Friendly sympathy and real feelings of tender interest for others would bring to our souls blessings that we have never yet experienced, and would bring us into close relation to our Redeemer, whose advent to the world was for the purpose of doing good, and whose life we are to copy. What are we doing for Christ? "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 20, 1886
(Vol. 63, #29)

 "Among the Churches of Switzerland"

    Thursday morning, May 20, we left our home in Basel for a two weeks' tour among the churches of Switzerland. We traveled by private conveyance, partly because we needed the benefit healthwise to be derived from such a journey. The roads of Switzerland are excellent. They are everywhere broad and macadamized, and are so carefully kept that there is but little dust or mud; and although Switzerland is very mountainous, the roads have been so laid out that there are few steep or difficult places. At noon we would usually stop to rest and eat our dinner in the grove, or under some broad-spreading tree by the wayside, and while resting in the heat of the day, our guide and interpreter would supply the neighboring families with our French or German missionary papers, according to the language they spoke. Much of the scenery was beautiful, and in places its grandeur was beyond all description. For grandeur and beauty combined, we think it exceeds anything we have seen in America, not excepting the mountains of Colorado.
    Friday noon, we arrived at Tramelan, where we were cordially welcomed and entertained at the home of Bro. Roth. With the exception of the youngest three, this entire family--father, mother, seven sons, and three daughters--are members of the church. One son and one daughter are at work in the office at Basel. Bro. Roth is a merchant tailor, and his oldest son is in the same business. The second son has been a successful baker, and still retains an interest in the bakery, while he gives himself to the work as a colporter. The bakery, with its sales room, the two tailoring establishments, a store for general merchandise, and rooms for three or four families are all found in one commodious building. This arrangement by which the work and business are conducted under the same roof where the persons engaged in it find their home, is a characteristic feature of this country. This family is better situated and much more independent than most of our brethren in Switzerland, many of whom find it very difficult to obtain work on account of keeping the Sabbath.
    The church at Tramelan is not large, and their meetings are held at the houses of the brethren. When the time for meeting comes, the largest room is quickly cleared, benches and boards which are kept for this purpose are brought in, and the large family room soon assumes the appearance of a meeting hall. On Sabbath, quite a number came in from the neighboring churches, so that the meeting room was filled and the adjoining rooms were occupied. It is seldom that these brethren have the privilege of listening to preaching, and they seemed hungry for gospel food. As I looked around upon those assembled, I thought, What great good they may do if they maintain their allegiance to God! Those who love not the truth will place many obstacles in the way of all such little companies; false doctrines will surely be presented for their acceptance. But if they are listening attentively to the voice of the True Shepherd, they will walk in the light as he is in the light. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." He who is all-powerful is able to keep his people, although they may be exposed to temptations and perils. He has promised to do this, however, only on condition that they trust and obey him. "Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation."
    On Sunday, services were held during the day, and in the evening the brethren came together for a missionary meeting. I spoke a short time on the privileges and duties of the Christian. If our brethren do not enjoy much ministerial labor, it is all the more important that they place themselves in a right relation to God, so that they can receive of his blessing themselves, and become channels of light to others. Much more is included in the term "missionary work" than is commonly supposed. Every true follower of Christ is a missionary, and there is almost an endless variety of ways in which he can work. But there is one thing which is frequently overlooked and neglected. It is the work of making the prayer and social meetings as interesting as they should be. If every one would do his duty with fidelity, he would be so filled with peace, faith, and courage, and would have such an experience to relate when he came to the meetings, that others would be refreshed by his clear, strong testimony for God.
    Our prayer and social meetings are not what they should be,--seasons of special help and encouragement to one another. Each one has a duty to do to make these gatherings as interesting and profitable as possible. This can best be done by having a fresh experience daily in the things of God, and by not hesitating to speak of his love in the assemblies of his saints. If you do not allow darkness and unbelief to enter your hearts, they will not be manifest in your meetings. Do not gratify the enemy by dwelling upon the dark side of your experience, but trust Jesus more fully for help to resist temptation. If we thought and talked more of Jesus and less of ourselves, we should have much more of his presence in our meetings.
    When we make our Christian experience appear to unbelievers, or to one another, as one that is joyless, filled with trial, doubt, and perplexity, we dishonor God; we do not correctly represent Jesus or the Christian faith. We have a friend in Jesus, who has given us the most marked evidence of his love, and who is able and willing to give life and salvation to all who come unto him. Why, then, do we not bring cheerfulness, hope, and thankfulness into our religious life? Why do we not praise God for his goodness, and speak with confidence of what he is doing for us? It is not necessary for us to be ever stumbling and repenting and mourning and writing bitter things against ourselves. It is our privilege to believe the promises of the word of God, and accept the blessings that Jesus loves to bestow, that our joy may be full.
    On Tuesday, we drove from Tramelan to Bienne, where we attended their evening missionary meeting. A goodly number were present. I spoke about half an hour on the importance of not being discouraged in our efforts to spread the truth, and W. C. W. and others followed. They have here an active missionary society; but there is always danger of the workers' becoming discouraged when all their expectations are not realized. How was it with the Prince of life, the world's Redeemer? He came to men with messages of love and warning; but only a few took any interest in his work. Did he then become discouraged because of the hardness of men's hearts? If he had, the whole human race would have been hopelessly lost. But no; he continued to work with unabated interest, whether men would hear or whether they would forbear. He was man's only hope, a bright and shining light amid the darkness. And shall the light of his followers grow dim amid the surrounding darkness because their labor is not appreciated? God forbid. We have entered upon a lifelong struggle. We have started to run a race for an immortal crown, and we must run with patience if we would succeed. If we are weak, Christ is strong; if we are ignorant, he is wise; and we may unite our ignorance to his wisdom, and our frailty to his enduring might.
    From Bienne we went to Chaux-de-Fonds, where we have a growing church of about forty members. Ten of these have been added during the last few months by the labors of Brn. Ertzenberger and Vuilleumier. Here I spoke Thursday evening, also Sabbath forenoon. Although followed by two interpreters, one in French and one in German, I felt the deep movings of the Spirit of God upon my heart. The truth seemed so clear and powerful, that I felt to say with the beloved 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," "declare we unto you." Although pressed by infirmities before I commenced to speak, the power of God rested upon me to such a degree, and I felt such a sense of the worth of souls, that every faculty seemed to be renewed.
    I was specially called out to appeal to those who had been convinced of the truth, but who were still in a state of indecision, shrinking at the cross. Now was the time for them to decide to be on the Lord's side. Joshua said to Israel in their backslidings, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." We could not call the people forward, for they were packed in too closely; but nearly the entire congregation arose to signify their intention to put away every sin, and obey God.
    After an earnest season of prayer, testimonies were borne in quick succession by nearly all present. It was a profitable meeting to us all. Although of different nationalities, our hearts were united on worshiping the one only true God. It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion. John says, "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory." Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue. God can breathe new life into every soul that sincerely desires to serve him, and can touch the lips with a live coal from off the altar, and cause them to become eloquent with his praise. Thousands of voices will be imbued with the power to speak forth the wonderful truths of God's word. The stammering tongue will be unloosed, and the timid will be made strong to bear courageous testimony to the truth. May the Lord help his people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with him that they may be partakers of the latter rain when it shall be poured out.
    Several meetings were held at Chaux-de-Fonds for the special benefit of the church, and Sunday evening we went to Locle, where I had an appointment to speak on temperance. The brethren there had secured a large hall, and it was filled with a fine class of people, who listened with deep interest. While here in Europe, I shall try to improve every opportunity of reaching the public. Here, as in America, whenever the truth is presented in a new place, our enemies try to arouse the prejudice of the people against me and my work. If, when these false reports are put in circulation, there are some who have heard me speak, and can testify of the nature of my work, it may help counteract the influence of these falsehoods, and prevent much prejudice that might otherwise arise.
    We have now visited all the churches in Switzerland, and spoken once or more in each place. But we feel a great desire to do more thorough work for them. While the brethren are noble, wholehearted, and generous to the last with what little they have, there is still a great work to be done for them. They need more of a spirit of union and brotherly love. Not only is this the case in the churches of Switzerland, but we find the same difficulty existing all through Europe. There is a criticising, exacting spirit manifested, which, if long cherished, is sure death to spirituality and a growth in grace. May God give his ministering servants wisdom to know how to suppress this tendency wherever it may appear, and grant strength to his people to so overcome in this respect that the sweet spirit of the Lord may run from heart to heart, and His name be glorified.
    In a few days we start for Scandinavia, where we expect to spend about four weeks in attending the Conference in Sweden, and other general meetings, as may be appointed. Basel, Switzerland, June 13, 1886. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 27, 1886
(Vol. 63, #30)

 "Experience as a Teacher"

    Experience is said to be the best teacher. Genuine experience is indeed superior to book knowledge. But habits and customs gird men and women as with iron bands, and they are generally justified by experience, according to the common understanding of experience. Very many have abused precious experience. They have clung to their injurious habits, which are decidedly enfeebling to physical, mental, and moral health, and when you seek to instruct them, they sanction their course by referring to their experience. But true experience is in harmony with natural law and science.
    Here is where we have met with the greatest difficulties in religious matters. The plainest facts may be presented, the clearest truths brought before the mind, sustained by the word of God; but the ear and heart are closed, and the all-convincing argument is "my experience." Some will say, The Lord has blessed me in believing and doing as I have; therefore I cannot be in error. "My experience" is clung to, and the most elevating, sanctifying truths of the Bible are rejected for what they are pleased to style experience. Many of the grossest habits are cherished, with the plea of experience. Many fail to reach that physical, intellectual, and moral improvement it is their privilege and duty to attain, because they will contend for the reliability and safety of their experience, although that misjudged experience is opposed to the plainest revealed facts. Men and women, with constitution and health gone because of their wrong habits and customs, will be found recommending their experience, which has robbed them of vitality and health, as safe for others to follow. Very many examples might be given to show how men and women have been deceived in relying upon their experience.
    The Lord made man upright in the beginning. He was created with a perfectly balanced mind. The size and strength of the organs of the mind were perfectly developed. Adam was a perfect type of man. Every quality of mind was well proportioned, each having a distinctive office, and yet dependent one upon another for the full and proper use of any one of them. Adam and Eve were permitted to eat of all the trees in the garden, save one. The Lord said to the holy pair, In the day that ye eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, ye shall surely die. Eve was beguiled by the serpent to believe that God would not do as he had said he would. Ye shall not surely die, said the serpent. Eve ate, and imagined that she felt the sensations of a new and more exalted life. She bore the fruit to her husband; and that which had an overpowering influence upon him, was her experience. The serpent had said that she should not die, and she felt no ill effects from the fruit which could be interpreted to mean death, but just as the serpent had said, a pleasurable sensation, which she imagined was as the angels felt.
    Her experience stood arrayed against the positive command of Jehovah, and Adam permitted himself to be seduced by the experience of his wife. Thus it is with the religious world generally. God's express commands are transgressed, and because "sentence against the evildoer is not executed speedily, the hearts of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil."
    Men and women, in the face of the most positive commands of God, will follow their own inclination, and then dare to pray over the matter, to prevail upon God to consent to allow them to go contrary to his expressed will. God is not pleased with such prayers. Satan comes to their side, as he did to Eve in Eden, and impresses them, and they have an exercise of mind, and this they relate as a most wonderful experience which the Lord has given them. A true experience will be in perfect harmony with natural and divine law. False experience will array itself against science and the principles of Jehovah. The religious world is covered with a pall of moral darkness. Superstition and bigotry control the minds of men and women, and blind their judgment, so that they do not discern their duty to their fellowmen, and their duty to yield unquestioned obedience to the will of God.
    Balaam inquired of God if he might curse Israel, because in so doing he had the promise of great reward. God said, Ye shall not go; but he was urged by the messengers, and greater inducements were presented. Balaam had been shown the will of the Lord in this matter, but he was so eager for the reward that he ventured to ask God the second time. The Lord permitted Balaam to go. Then he had a wonderful experience; but who would wish to be guided by such an experience as that of Balaam? There are those who would understand their duty clearly if their duty was in harmony with their natural inclinations. Circumstances and reason may indicate clearly their duty, but when against their natural inclination, these evidences are frequently set aside. Then these persons will presume to go to God to learn their duty. But God will not be trifled with. He will permit such persons to follow the desires of their own hearts. Ps. 81:11, 12: "But my people would not hearken to my voice; . . . So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust; and they walked in their own counsels."
    Those who are desirous to follow a course which pleases their fancy, are in danger of being left to follow their own inclinations, supposing them to be the leadings of God's Spirit. Some have their duty indicated by circumstances and facts sufficiently clear, but have, through the solicitations of friends, in harmony with their own inclinations, been swerved from the path of duty, and passed over the clear evidences in the case; and, with apparent conscientiousness, they have prayed long and earnestly for light. They have had earnest feeling in the matter, and they interpret this to be the Spirit of God. But they have been deceived. This course has grieved the Spirit of God. They had light, and in the very reason of things, should have understood their duty; but a few pleasing inducements balance their minds in the wrong direction, and they urge these before the Lord, and press their case, and the Lord allows them to have their own way. They have so strong an inclination to follow their own course that God permits them to do so, and to suffer the results. These imagine they have a wonderful experience.
    God made Adam and Eve in paradise, and surrounded them with everything that was useful and lovely. God planted for them a beautiful garden. No herb, nor flower, nor tree was wanting, which might be for use and ornament. The Creator of man knew that this workmanship of his hands could not be happy without employment. Paradise delighted their souls, but this was not enough; they must have labor to call into exercise the wonderful organs of the body. The Lord had made the organs for use. If happiness consisted in doing nothing, man in his state of holy innocence would have been left unemployed. But he who formed man, knew what would be for his best happiness; and he no sooner made him, than he gave him his appointed work. In order to be happy, he must labor.
    God has given us all something to do. In the discharge of the various duties which we are to perform, which lie in our pathway, we shall be blessed, and our lives will be useful. Not only will the organs of the body be gaining strength by their exercise, but the mind will be acquiring strength and knowledge, in the action of all the organs of the body. The exercise of one muscle, while other muscles are left with nothing to do, will not strengthen the inactive ones any more than the use of one of the organs of the mind, if continually exercised, will develop and strengthen the organs not brought into use. Each faculty of the mind and each muscle have their distinctive office, and all require to be exercised in order to become properly developed and retain healthful vigor. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 3, 1886
(Vol. 63, #31)

 "Known by Their Fruits"

    Impressions and feelings are no sure evidence that a person is being led by the Lord. Satan will, if he is unsuspected, give feelings and impressions. These are not correct and safe guides. All should acquaint themselves thoroughly with the evidences of our faith, and the great study should be, how they can adorn their profession and bear fruit to the glory of God. None should take a course to make themselves disgusting to unbelievers. They should be chaste, modest, and elevated in their conversation. Their lives should be blameless. A reckless, trifling, joking spirit should be rebuked. It is no fruit of the grace of God upon the heart for a person to talk and pray with talent in meeting, and when out of meeting give up to a rough, careless manner of talking and acting. Such are a reproach to the cause of God, and are miserable representatives of our faith.
    The truth should be presented in a manner which will make it attractive to the intelligent mind. We as a people are not understood. We are looked upon as degraded, and are accounted as poor, weak-minded, and low. Then how important for all those who teach, and all who believe the truth, to be so affected by its sanctifying influence as to show unbelievers, by their consistent, elevated lives, that they have been deceived in this people! How important that the cause of truth be stripped of everything like a false and fanatical excitement, that the truth may stand upon its own merits, revealing its native purity and exalted character!
    It is highly important for those who preach the truth to be refined in their manners. They should shun oddities and eccentricities, and present the truth in its purity and clearness. See Titus 1:9: "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." In verse 16 Paul speaks of class who profess that they know God, but in works deny him, and are "unto every good work reprobate." He then exhorts Titus, "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience." "Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." This instruction is written for the benefit of all whom God has called to preach the word, and also for the benefit of his people who hear the word.
    The truth of God will never degrade, but will elevate the receiver. It will refine his taste, sanctify his judgment, and perfect him for the company of the pure and holy angels in the kingdom of God. There are those whom the truth finds coarse, rough, odd, boastful, who take advantage of their neighbors if they can, in order to benefit themselves. They err in many ways, yet when the truth is believed by them from the heart, it will work an entire change in their lives. They will immediately commence the work of reformation. The pure influence of truth will elevate the whole man. In his business deal with his fellowmen he will have the fear of God before him, will love his neighbor as himself, and will deal just as he would be dealt by. His conversation will be truthful, chaste, and of such an elevating character that unbelievers cannot take advantage, or say evil of him justly, neither be disgusted with his uncourteous ways and unbecoming speech. He will carry the sanctifying influence of the truth into his family, and let his light so shine before them that they by seeing his good works may glorify God. He will in all the walks of life exemplify the life of Christ.
    The law of God will be satisfied with nothing short of perfection, of perfect and entire obedience to all its claims. To come halfway to its requirements, and not render perfect and thorough submission and obedience, will avail nothing. The worldling and the infidel admire consistency, and have ever been powerfully convicted that of a truth God has been with his people when their works have corresponded with their faith. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Every tree is known by his own fruits. Our words, our actions, are the fruit we bear. There are those who hear the sayings of Christ, but do them not. They profess, but their fruits are such as to disgust unbelievers. They are boastful, and pray and talk in a self-righteous manner, exalting themselves, and virtually thanking God, like the Pharisee, that they are not as other men. They recount their good deeds, yet these very ones are crafty, and overreach in business deal. Their fruits are not good. Their words and acts are wrong, and yet they seem to be blinded to their destitute, wretched condition.
    The following scripture is applicable to those who go along under such a deception: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
    Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind,--for persons to believe that they are right when they are wrong. They think that they are doing a great work in their religious life. Finally Jesus tears off their self-righteous covering, and vividly presents before them the true picture of themselves, in all their wrongs and deformity of religious character. They are found wanting when it is forever too late to have their wants supplied.
    God has provided means to correct the erring; yet if those who err, choose to do as they think best, and follow their own judgment, and despise the means God has ordained to correct the erring and unite them upon the truth, they will be brought into the position described by the words of our Lord quoted above.
    God is bringing out a people, and preparing them to stand as one, united, to speak the same things, and to carry out the prayer of Christ for his disciples: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
    God has blessed his people who have moved forward, following his opening providence. He has brought out a people from every class upon the great platform of truth. Infidels have been convinced that of a truth God is with his people, and have humbled their hearts to obey him. The work of God progresses and moves steadily on. Notwithstanding all the evidences that God has been leading the body, yet there are, and will continue to be, those who profess the Sabbath, who will move independent of the body. They will believe and act as they choose. Their views are confused. Their scattered state is a standing testimony that God is not with them. By the world, the Sabbath and their errors are placed upon a level, and thrown away together. God is angry with those who pursue a course to make the world hate them. If a Christian is hated because of his good works, and for following Christ, he will have a reward. But if he is hated because he does not take a course to be loved, hated because of his uncultivated manners, and because he makes the truth a matter of quarrel with his neighbors, and because he has taken a course to make the Sabbath as annoying as possible to them, he is a stumblingblock to sinners, a reproach to the sacred truth; and unless he repents, it were better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck, and he cast into the sea.
    No occasion should be given to unbelievers to reproach our faith. We are considered odd and singular, and should not take any course to lead unbelievers to think us more so than our faith requires us to be. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 10, 1886
(Vol. 63, #32)

 "Characteristics of God's People"

    Many of the professed people of God are so conformed to the world that their peculiar character is not discerned, and it is difficult to distinguish "between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." God would do great things for his people if they would come out from the world and be separate. He would make them a praise in all the earth, if they would submit to be led by him. Says the True Witness, "I know thy works." Angels of God, who minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation, are acquainted with the condition of all, and understand just the measure of faith possessed by each individual. The unbelief, pride, covetousness, and love of the world which have existed in the hearts of God's professed people, have grieved the sinless angels. The grievous and presumptuous sins which exist in the hearts of many, have caused angels to weep, as they have seen that God has been dishonored because of the inconsistent, crooked course of professed followers of Christ. And yet those the most at fault, those who cause the greatest feebleness in the church, and bring upon their holy profession a stain, do not seem to be alarmed, or convicted, but seem to feel that they are flourishing in the Lord.
    Many believe themselves to be on the right foundation, that they have the truth, and rejoice in the clearness of truth, and boast of the powerful arguments in proof of the correctness of our position, and reckon themselves among the chosen, peculiar people of God; yet experience not his presence, and his power to save them from yielding to temptation and folly. These profess to know God, yet in works deny him. How great is their darkness! The love of the world with many, the deceitfulness of riches with others, has choked the word, and they have become unfruitful.
    When efforts are made to set things in order, and bring the people up to the position God would have them occupy, a class will be affected by the labor, and will make earnest efforts to press through the darkness to the light. But many do not persevere in their efforts long enough to realize the sanctifying influence of the truth upon their hearts and lives. The cares of the world engross the mind to that degree that self examination and secret prayer are neglected. The armor is laid off, and Satan has free access to them, benumbing their sensibilities, and causing them to be unsuspicious of his wiles.
    Some do not manifest a desire to know their true state, and escape from Satan's snares. They are sickly and dying. They are occasionally warmed by the fire of others, yet are so nearly chilled by formality, pride, and the influence of the world, that they have no sense of their need of help.
    There are many who are deficient in spirituality and the Christian graces. A weight of solemn responsibility should daily rest upon them as they view the perilous times in which we live, and the corrupting influences which are teeming around us. Their only hope of being partakers of the divine nature, is to escape the corruption that is in the world. All need a deep and thorough experience in the things of God. This experience cannot be obtained without effort on the part of all such. Their position requires them to possess earnestness and unabated diligence, so as not to be found sleeping at their post. Satan and his angels sleep not.
    Christ's followers should be instruments of righteousness, workmen, living stones, that emit light, that they may encourage the presence of heavenly angels. They are required, as it were, to be channels through which the spirit of truth and righteousness shall flow. Many have partaken so largely of the spirit and influence of the world that they act like the world. They have their likes and dislikes, and discern not excellence of character. Their conduct is not governed by the pure principles of Christianity; therefore they think only of themselves, their pleasure and enjoyment, to the disregard of others. They are not sanctified through the truth, therefore realize not the oneness of Christ's followers the world over. Those who are most loved of God are those who have the least self-confidence, and are adorned with a meek and quiet spirit; whose lives are pure and unselfish, and whose hearts are inclined, through the abundant measure of the spirit of Christ, to obedience, justice, purity, and true holiness.
    If all were devoted to God, a precious light would shine forth from them, which would have a direct influence upon all who are brought in contact with them. But all need a work done for them. Some are far from God, variable and unstable as water. Some have no idea of sacrifice. When they desire any pleasure, or any article of dress, or any special indulgence, they do not consider whether they can do without the article, or deny themselves of the pleasure, and make a freewill offering to God. How many have considered that they were required to make some sacrifice? Although it may be of less value than that of the wealthy man in possession of his thousands, yet that which really costs self-denial would be a precious sacrifice, and an offering to God. It would be a sweet-smelling savor, and would come up from his altar like sweet incense.
    The youth are not authorized to do just as they please with their means, regardless of the requirements of God. With David, they should say, "Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing." Quite an amount of means has been expended to multiply copies of their pictures. Could all enumerate the amount given to the artist for this purpose, it would swell to quite a large sum. This is merely one way in which means are squandered. In this direction, much money is invested for self-gratification, from which no profit is received. They are not clothed or fed by this outlay. The widow and the fatherless are not relieved; the hungry are not fed; the naked are not clothed. Your stinted offerings are brought to God almost unwillingly, while in self-gratification means are spent lavishly. How much of the wages earned finds its way into the treasury of God to aid in the advancement of his work in saving souls? They give a mite each week, and feel that they do much. But they have no sense that they are each stewards of God over their little, as are the wealthy over their larger possession. God has been robbed, and themselves indulged, their pleasures consulted, their tastes gratified, without a thought that God would make close investigation of how they have used their Lord's goods. While they unhesitatingly gratify their supposed wants (which are not wants in reality), and withhold from God the offering they ought to make, he will no more accept the little pittance they hand in to the treasury than he accepted the offering of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who purposed to rob God in their offerings.
    The young among us are, as a general thing, allied to the world. But few maintain a special warfare against the internal foe. But few have an earnest, anxious desire to know and do the will of God. But few hunger and thirst after righteousness. But few know anything of the Spirit of God as a reprover or comforter. Where are the missionaries? Where are the self-denying, self-sacrificing ones? Where are the cross-bearers? Self and self-interest have swallowed up high and noble principles. Things of eternal moment bear with no special weight upon the mind. God requires you individually to come up to the point, to make an entire surrender. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Ye cannot serve self and at the same time be servants of Christ. You must die to self, die to your love of pleasure, and learn to inquire, Will God be pleased with the objects for which I purpose to spend this means? Shall I glorify him? We are commanded, whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, to do all to the glory of God. How many have conscientiously moved from principle rather than from impulse, and obeyed this command to the letter? How many of the youth have made God their trust and portion, and have earnestly sought to know and do his will? There are many who profess to be servants of Christ in name, but they are not so in obedience. Where religious principle governs, the danger of committing important errors is small; for selfishness, which always blinds and deceives, is subordinate. The sincere desire to do others good so predominates that self is forgotten. To have firm religious principles is an inestimable treasure. It is the purest, highest, and most elevated influence mortals can possess. Such have an anchor. Every act is well considered, lest its effect be injurious to another, and lead away from Christ. The constant inquiry of the mind is, Lord, how shall I best serve and glorify thy name in the earth? How shall I conduct my life to make thy name a praise in the earth, and lead others to love, serve, and honor thee? Let me only desire and choose thy will. Let the words and example of my Redeemer be the light and strength of my heart. While I follow and trust in him, he will not leave me to perish. He shall be my crown of rejoicing.
    If we get the wisdom of man before us as the wisdom of God, we are led astray by the foolishness of man's wisdom. Here is the great danger with many. They have not an experience for themselves. They have not been in the habit of prayerfully considering for themselves, with unprejudiced, unbiased judgment, questions and subjects that are new, which are liable to arise. They wait to see what others will think. If they dissent, that is all that is needed. The evidence in their own minds then is positive that it is all of no account whatever. This class is not small; but although their numbers are large, it does not change the fact that they are weak minded through long yielding to the enemy, inexperienced, and will always be as sickly as babes, walking by others' light, living on others' experience, feeling as others feel, acting as others act. They act as though they had not an individuality. Their identity is submerged in others. They are merely shadows of others whom they think about right. These will all fail of everlasting life unless they become sensible of their wavering character, and correct it. They will be unable to cope with the perils of the last days. They will possess no stamina to resist the Devil; for they do not know that it is he. Some one must be at their side to inform them whether it is a foe approaching, or a friend. They are not spiritual, therefore spiritual things are not discerned. They are not wise in those things which relate to the kingdom of God. None, young or old, are excusable in trusting to another to have an experience for them. Said the angel, "Cursed be man who trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." A noble self-reliance is needed in the Christian experience and warfare. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 17, 1886
(Vol. 63, #33)

 "God Requires Energy in His Work"

    The Lord requires his servants to be energetic. It is not pleasing to him to see them listless and indolent. They profess to have the evidence that God has especially selected them to teach the people the way of life; yet frequently their conversation is not profitable, and they give evidence that they have not the burden of the work upon them. Their own souls are not energized by the mighty truths they present to others. Some present these truths of such weighty importance in so listless a manner that they cannot affect the people. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Those whom God has called, must be trained to put forth efforts, and work earnestly and with untiring zeal for him, and pull souls out of the fire. When such feel the power of the truth in their own souls, thrilling their own being, then can they possess a power which will affect hearts, and show that they firmly believe the truths they preach to others. They should keep before the mind the worth of souls, and the matchless depths of a Saviour's love, which will awaken the souls, that with David they may say, "My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned."
    Paul exhorted Timothy, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." What a weight of importance is here attached to the Christian life of the laborers for God! What a necessity for their faithful study of the word, that they may be sanctified by the truth themselves, and may be qualified to teach others.
    All are required to exemplify the truth in their lives. Some who think that they have a work to do to teach others the truth, are not all converted and sanctified by the truth themselves. Some have erroneous ideas of what constitutes a Christian, and the means through which a firm religious experience is obtained; much less do they understand the qualifications that God requires his servants to possess. These are unsanctified. They have occasionally a flight of feeling, which gives them the impression that they are indeed the children of God. Depending thus upon impressions is one of the special deceptions of Satan. Those who are thus exercised, make their religion a matter of circumstance. The firm principle is wanting. None are living Christians unless they have a daily experience in the things of God, and daily practice self-denial, cheerfully bearing the cross and following Christ. Every living Christian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until perfection of Christian character is attained, and a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality. God should be the highest object of our thoughts. Meditating upon him, and pleading with him, elevate the soul and quicken the affections. A neglect of meditation and prayer will surely result in a declension in religious interests. Then will be seen carelessness and slothfulness.
    The servants of Christ need a new anointing, that they may the more clearly discern sacred things, and have clear conceptions of the holy, blameless character they must form. Nothing that we can do, of ourselves, will bring us up to the high standard where God can accept us as his ambassadors. Only a firm reliance upon God, and a strong and active faith, will accomplish the work that God requires to be wrought in us. Working men God calls for. It is a continuance in well-doing that will form characters for heaven. In plainness, in faithfulness and love, they must appeal to men and women to prepare for the day of God. Some will need to be entreated with earnestness before they will be moved. Let the labor be characterized by humility and meekness, yet with earnestness that will make them understand that these things are a reality, and that life or death are before them, for them to choose. The salvation of the soul is not a matter to be trifled with. The deportment of the laborer for God should be serious, and characterized with simplicity, and with true Christian politeness; and yet he should be fearfully in earnest in the work the Master has left him to do. A decided perseverance in a course of righteousness, disciplining the mind by religious exercises to love devotion and heavenly things, will bring the greatest amount of happiness while thus exercised.
    We have it in our power to control the mind in these things, if we make God our trust. Through continued exercise, the mind will become strong to battle with internal foes, and to subdue self, until there is a transformation of the mind. The passions, appetites, and will are brought into perfect subjection. Then there will be a daily piety at home and abroad. When engaged in labor for souls, there will be a power which will attend the efforts that are made. There will be with the humble Christian, seasons of devotion, which are not spasmodic, fitful, or superstitious, but calm and tranquil, deep, constant, and earnest. The love of God, the practice of holiness, will be pleasant when there is a perfect surrender to God.
    The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in his earthly mission, was often in earnest prayer. He did not always visit Olivet, for his disciples had learned his favorite retreat, and often followed him. Therefore he chose the stillness of night, when there would be no interruption. While Jerusalem was hushed in silence, and the disciples had returned to their homes to obtain refreshment in sleep, Jesus slept not. His divine pleadings were ascending to his Father for his disciples, that they might be kept from the evil influences which they would daily encounter in the world, and that his own soul might be strengthened and braced for the duties and trials of the coming day. All night, while his followers were sleeping, was their divine Teacher praying. The dew and frost of night fell upon his head bowed in prayer. His example is left for his followers.
    Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead. He was himself a source of blessing and strength. He commanded even the tempests, and they obeyed him. He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet he prayed, and that often, with strong crying and tears. He prayed for his disciples, and for himself, thus identifying himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, possessing not the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from his Father. Christ is our example.
    Angels ministered to Christ, yet the presence of these angels did not make his life one of ease and freedom from severe conflict and fierce temptations. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. If the laborers, while engaged in the work the Master has appointed them to do, have trials and perplexities and temptations, should they be discouraged, when they know that there is One who has endured all these before them? Shall they cast away their confidence because they do not realize all that they expect from their labors? Christ labored earnestly for his own nation; but his efforts were despised by the very ones he came to save, and they put him to death who came to give them life.
    True laborers, co-workers with God, have a sense of the sacredness of the work, and the severe conflicts they must meet in order to carry it forward successfully. They will not faint and despond in view of the labor, arduous though it may be. In the epistle of Paul to the Romans he says: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We are without excuse if we fail to avail ourselves of the ample provisions made for us that we may be wanting in nothing. The shrinking from hardships, the complaints while suffering under tribulation, make the servants of God weak and inefficient in bearing responsibilities and burdens.
    All those who unshrinkingly stand in the forefront of the battle, must feel the especial warfare of Satan against them. As they realize his attacks, they will flee to the stronghold; for they feel their need of special strength from God. They labor in his strength; therefore every victory they gain does not exalt them, but leads them in faith to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God is awakened in their hearts, and a joyfulness in tribulation, which they experience while pressed by the enemy. An experience is being gained by these willing servants. A character is being formed which will do honor to the cause of God.
    It is a season of solemn privilege and sacred trust to the servants of God. If these trusts are faithfully kept, great will be the reward of the faithful servant when the Master shall say, "Give an account of thy stewardship." The earnest toil endured, the unselfish work of patient, persevering effort, will be rewarded abundantly; while Jesus will say, Henceforth I call you not servants, but friends, guests. The approval of the Master was not given because of the greatness of the work performed, because of having gained many things, but the fidelity in even a few things. It is not because of the great results that the reward is given; but the motives weigh with God. Goodness and faithfulness God prizes more than the greatness of the work accomplished. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 24, 1886
(Vol. 63, #34)

 "Laborers Together With God"

    It is the purpose of God that the plan of salvation shall not be wrought out independent of human instrumentalities. He has not chosen angels, but men of like passions as ourselves, to proclaim the gospel to the human race. Paul says, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." It was that He might receive the honor that this work was committed to weak, erring mortals. Being the feeble instruments in his hands, all the glory of their success would naturally be reflected upon him, the great Master Workman. And after he has, in his wisdom, instituted this plan, we have no reason to expect that the work will be accomplished without the ordained means. Hence it is important that all who have been made partakers of this great salvation, communicate to others that which has been made known to them.
    All who have received the light of truth are placed under solemn obligations to let that light shine forth to others. Each can, in his humble sphere, do something for the Master. He may not be able to make magnificent offerings to advance the cause of God, but he can give the willing, cheerful, service of an obedient heart. All cannot be preachers; all cannot be generals in the army of the Lord; but all can be faithful privates, following in humble obedience the commands of the Captain of their salvation. They can cheer their companions with words of hope and courage, and by so doing will show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. God demands of all the very best service that they can give. If they can only do the lowly errands for him, these should not be neglected.
    Opportunities are placed in the way of many who might become workers together with God, but their hearts are not consecrated, and their eye is not single to his glory; they are not awake to seize these openings, and therefore permit them to pass unimproved. Thus a precious blessing is lost. Let each anxiously inquire, What have I done for Jesus? and what can I do for him? And then in humility let each surrender himself unreservedly to God, saying, Here am I; Lord, send me.
    In that great day when every work shall be brought into judgment, the words will fall from the lips of the Master upon the astonished ears of the humble, patient worker, "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." The ones thus addressed have no knowledge that they have done anything worthy of this commendation, and they ask, When saw we thee thus, Lord? The answer comes, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." "Come, ye blessed of my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." To the astonished multitude on his left the Master will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed." "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." The response comes from hearts that have been so wrapt up in selfishness that they could not see the wants of others: Lord, when saw we thee thus and so, and ministered not unto thee? The answer is, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of these, ye did it not to me."
    By this we see that those who neglect the simple, daily courtesies of life which they might perform to one another as servants of God, are not the ones who will receive the commendation of faithful servants. The lives of those who are connected with God are fragrant with deeds of love and goodness. The sweet savor of Christ surrounds them; their influence is to elevate and bless. They are fruitful trees. Men and women of this stamp of character will render practical service in thoughtful deeds of kindness, and earnest, systematic labor.
    Wherever a church is raised up, the minister should not consider his duty done until it is thoroughly organized and placed in working order. Every member should become a missionary. All should be given something to do to help spread the light of truth; for this very activity will cause them to grow in spirituality. It is because so many who profess to be followers of Jesus are left without responsibilities, to center their thoughts upon their own interest, without being trained to become workers in the Master's vineyard, that there are so many idlers, and so few workers. "No one," say they, "has hired us."
    It is this kind of discipline that has been sadly neglected in many of our churches. The time and labor of our ministers have not been spent in the manner best calculated to keep the churches in a healthy, growing condition. If less time had been spent in sermonizing, and far more in educating the people to work intelligently, there would now be many more to enter the broad field as missionaries, and much more talent to be put to use in the various branches of the work.
    Never should the laborer who raises up little companies here and there give the impression to those newly come to the faith, that God does not require them to work systematically in helping to sustain the cause by their personal labors and by their means. Frequently those who receive the truth are among the poor of this world; but they should not make this an excuse for neglecting those duties which devolve upon them in view of the precious light which they have received. They should not allow poverty to hinder them from laying up a treasure in heaven. The blessings within reach of the rich are also within their reach. If they are faithful in using what little they do possess, their treasure in heaven will increase according to their fidelity. It is the motive with which they work, not the amount they do, that makes their offering valuable in the sight of Heaven.
    All should be taught to do what they can for the Master; to render to him according as he has prospered them. He claims as his just due a tenth of their income, be it large or small; and those who withhold this, commit robbery toward him, and cannot expect his prospering hand to be with them. Even if the church is composed mostly of poor brethren, the subject of systematic benevolence should be thoroughly explained and the plan heartily adopted. God is able to fulfill his promises. His resources are infinite, and he employs them all in accomplishing his will. And when he sees a faithful performance of duty in the payment of the tithe, he often, in his wise providence, opens ways whereby it shall increase.
    Those who have been made partakers of the grace of God should not be slow to show their appreciation of that gift. They should not look upon the tithe as the limit of their liberality. The Jews were required to bring to God numerous offerings besides the tithe; and shall not we who enjoy the blessings of the gospel, do as much to sustain God's cause as was done in the former, less-favored dispensation? None should forget to make thank offerings and freewill offerings to God, that through their instrumentality the precious light that they have received may be borne to others just as worthy as themselves.
    The Lord gives some an opportunity to honor him with the abundance of their substance; others, if they can do no more, can honor him just as much by watching for an opportunity to give a cup of cold water to the weary, thirsty disciple. It is the privilege and duty, not only of those who have large possessions, but of those who have but little, to be faithful, to grudge nothing from the Lord. The poor widow who gave two mites made as great a sacrifice as the rich man who gives his thousands; and her reward will be as great. He who follows God's arrangement in the little that has been given him will receive the same returns as he who bestows of his abundance. The same is true also of those who cheerfully employ their talents of ability in the cause of God, while those who fail to improve that which has been given them will incur the same loss as though that little had been much. It was the man who had only one talent, but who went and hid that talent in the earth, that received the condemnation of the Lord.
    Oh that I could impress all with the importance of following God's order in all things, and of becoming workers for him! Let us humble our hearts before the Lord, and when we become indeed his true followers, we shall feel to confess that we have done very little for the dear Saviour who has done so much for us. Let us closely examine our own hearts, our motives, and our actions, realizing that these must each bear the close scrutiny of the Master, and that then we shall receive his impartial verdict.
    To those engaged in the work of opening the Scriptures to those who are in the darkness of error I would say, Have faith in God. Let your consecration be entire. Never despond. Never shrink from apparent impossibilities. There is a crown to win. If God has made you the heralds of salvation, never allow one word of discouragement to escape your lips. Never deem any heart too hard to be reached. Never feel that poverty is binding you and the people about so that you cannot advance. "Go forward," is the word from the Captain of our salvation. Move steadily onward in obedience to this command. He who bids you move is ready to move with you. "Without me," says Christ, "ye can do nothing."
    The Lord will work for his people when those who have newly come to the faith and those who are older in the truth say individually, I can and will do something for the Master. I will lay up something in the bank of heaven, even if it cost me present self-denial. And after his servants have come up to their privilege and done all that they possibly can do, even at a sacrifice to themselves, then the Lord will still advance his cause. He can subdue hearts the most obdurate. He can, by his Holy Spirit, bring the most selfish and grasping to appreciate truth above earthly treasure, and bring their talents of means and ability into his service. But unless those who have already received the truth go forward and learn how to work, the success of truth in their borders will be according to their limited faith.
    The followers of Christ are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. The eyes of many are turned upon his people. The world may scorn the truth and those who dare to believe it, and self righteousness may treat it with disdain; yet the word from our Captain is, "Go forward to victory!" And he has said, "My word shall not return unto me void," "but it shall accomplish that which I please." If his people are faithful in performing their part of the work, certain victory will at last crown their labors.
    And will it not pay to deny ourselves of many of the good things of this life if by so doing we can help to advance the cause of God? Let us consider what joy unspeakable will fill our hearts if, as we gather around the great white throne, we shall see souls saved through our instrumentality, with the crown of immortal glory upon their brows. How shall we feel when we look upon that company, and see one soul saved through our agency, and understand that that one has saved others, and these still others,--a large company brought into the haven of rest as the result of our labors, there to lay their crowns at Jesus' feet, and to praise him with immortal tongues throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity! Orebro, Sweden, July 22, 1886. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 31, 1886
(Vol. 63, #35)

 "Walk in the Light"

    God's people dwell too much under a cloud. It is not the will of God for his people to live in unbelief. Jesus is light, and in him is no darkness at all. His children are the children of light. They are renewed in his image, and called out of darkness into his marvelous light. He is the light of the world, and they that follow him are the light of the world. They shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The more closely the people of God strive to imitate Christ, the more perseveringly will they be pursued by the enemy. But their nearness to Christ strengthens them to resist the efforts of our wily foe to draw them from Christ.
    God requires his people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ. Their conversation should be heavenly. And while they enjoy communion with God, they will wish to have intercourse with their fellowmen, in order to express by their words and acts the love of God which animates their hearts. In this way they will be lights in the world, and the light transmitted through them will not go out, or be taken away. It will indeed become darkness to those who will not walk in it; but it will shine with increasing brightness on the path of those who will obey and walk in the light.
    The Spirit, wisdom, and goodness of God, revealed in his word, are to be exemplified through the disciples of Christ, and will condemn the world. God requires of his people according to the grace and truth given them. All his righteous demands must be fully met. Accountable beings must walk in the light that shines upon them. If they fail to do this, their light becomes darkness, and their darkness is great according to the degree that their light was abundant. Accumulated light has shone upon God's people. Many have neglected to follow the light, and for this reason are in a state of great spiritual weakness.
    It is not for lack of knowledge that God's people are now perishing. They will not be condemned because they do not know the way, the truth, and the life. The truth that has reached their understanding, the light which has shone on the soul, that has not been cherished, and which they have neglected, or refused to be led by, will condemn them. Those who never had the light to reject, will not be in condemnation. What more could have been done for God's vineyard than has been done? Light, precious light, shines upon them; but the light will not save them, unless they consent to be saved by it, and fully live up to it, and transmit that light to others who are in darkness. God calls upon his people to act. It is an individual work of confessing and forsaking sins and returning unto the Lord which is needed. One cannot do this work for another. Religious knowledge has accumulated, which has increased corresponding obligations. Great light has been shining upon the church, and they are condemned by the light, because they refuse to walk in it. If they were blind, they would be without sin. But they have seen light, and have heard much truth; yet they are not wise and holy. Many have not advanced in knowledge and true holiness from what they were years ago. They are spiritual dwarfs. Instead of going forward to perfection, they are taking back tracks to the darkness and bondage of Egypt. Their minds are not exercised unto godliness and true holiness.
    Will the Israel of God awake? Will all who profess godliness seek to put away from them every wrong, confess to God every secret sin, and afflict the soul before him? Will they with great humility investigate the motives of every action, and know that the eye of God reads all--searches out every hidden thing? Let the work be thorough, the consecration to God entire. He calls for a full surrender of all that we have and are. Ministers and people need a new conversion--a transformation of the mind, without which we are not savors of life unto life, but of death unto death. Great privileges belong to the people of God. Great light has been given them, that they may attain to their high calling in Christ Jesus; yet they are not what God would have them to be, and what he designs they shall be.
    There is too much comparing ourselves among ourselves, taking poor fallible mortals for a pattern when we have a sure, unerring Pattern. The people of God should not measure themselves by the world, nor by the opinions of men, nor by what they once were before embracing the truth. But their faith and position in the world, as they now are, must be compared with what they would have been if their course had been continually onward and upward since they professed to be followers of Christ. This is the only safe comparison that can be made. In every other, there will be self-deception. If the moral character and spiritual state of God's people do not correspond with the blessings, privileges, and light which have been conferred upon them, they are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Angels make their report, Wanting!
    With some the knowledge of their true state seems to be hidden from them. They see the truth, but perceive not its importance or its claims. They hear the truth, but do not fully understand it, because they do not conform their lives to it, and therefore are not sanctified through obeying it; and yet they rest as unconcerned and well satisfied as though the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as tokens of God's favor, went before them. They profess to know God, but in works deny him. They reckon themselves as his chosen, peculiar people; yet his presence and power to save to the uttermost are seldom manifested among them. How great is the darkness of such! yet they know it not. The light shines, but they do not comprehend it. No stronger delusion can deceive the human mind than that which makes them believe that they are right, and that God accepts their works, when they are sinning against him. They mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof. They suppose that they are rich, and have need of nothing, when they are poor, wretched, blind, and naked, and need all things.
    There are some who profess to be Christ's followers, yet have no labor in spiritual things. In any worldly enterprise they put forth efforts, and manifest ambition to accomplish their object and bring about their desired end; but in the enterprise of everlasting life, where all is at stake, and their eternal happiness depends upon their success, they act as indifferent as though they were not moral agents, and another was playing the game of life for them, and they had nothing to do but wait the result. Oh, what folly! what madness! If all will only manifest that degree of ambition, zeal, and earnestness for everlasting life that they manifest in their worldly pursuits, they will be victorious overcomers. Every one must obtain an experience for himself, act well and faithfully his part in the game of life. While Satan is watching his opportunity when the Christian is unguarded, to seize the precious graces, the Christian will have a severe conflict with the powers of darkness to retain them; or if through lack of watchfulness he has lost a heavenly grace, he will have a struggle to regain it.
    But it is the privilege of Christians to obtain strength from God to hold every precious gift. Fervent and effectual prayer will be regarded in heaven. When the servants of Christ take the shield of faith for their defense, and the sword of the Spirit for war, there is danger in the enemy's camp, and something must be done. Persecution and reproach only wait for those who are indued with power from on high to call them into action. When the truth in its simplicity and strength prevails among believers, and is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, it will be evident that between Christ and Belial there is no concord. The disciples of Christ must be living examples of the life and spirit of their Master.
    Young and old have a conflict and warfare before them. They should not sleep for a moment. A wily foe is constantly on the alert to lead them astray and overcome them. Believers in present truth must be as watchful as their enemy, and manifest wisdom in resisting Satan. Will they do this? Will they persevere in this warfare? Will they be careful to depart from all iniquity? Christ is denied in many ways. We may deny him in our words, by speaking contrary to truth, or by speaking evil of others, or by foolish talking or jesting, or by words that are idle. In these things we manifest but little shrewdness or wisdom. We make ourselves weak, and our efforts are feeble to resist our great enemy, and we are conquered. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and through lack of watchfulness we confess that Christ is not in us. Those who will hesitate to devote themselves unreservedly to God, make poor work of following Christ. They follow him at such a distance that they do not really know half the time whether they are following his footprints, or the footsteps of their great enemy. Why are we so slow to give up our interest in the things of this world, and take Christ for our only portion? Why should we wish to keep the friendship of our Lord's enemies, and follow their customs, and be led by their opinions? 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 his disciples.
    The life and spirit of Christ are the only standard of excellence and perfection, and our only safe course is in following his example. In doing this, he will guide us by his counsel, and afterward receive us to glory. We must strive diligently, and be willing to suffer much, in order to walk in the footsteps of our Redeemer. God is willing to work for us, to give us of his free Spirit, if we will strive for it, live for it, believe for it; and then we can walk in the light as he is in the light. We can feast upon his love, and drink in of his rich fullness. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 7, 1886
(Vol. 63, #36)

 "The Fruits of Holiness"

    Holiness of heart and purity of life were the great subjects of the teachings of Christ. In his sermon on the mount, after specifying what must be done in order to be blessed, and what must not be done, he says, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Perfection, holiness,--nothing short of this would give them success in carrying out the principles he had given them. Without this holiness, the human heart is selfish, sinful, and vicious. Holiness will lead its possessor to be fruitful, and abound in all good works. He will never become weary in well-doing, neither look for promotion in this world; but he will look forward to be promoted by the Majesty of heaven when he shall exalt his sanctified and holy ones to his throne. Then shall He say unto them, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," enumerating the works of self-denial and mercy, compassion and righteousness, they have wrought. Holiness of heart will produce right actions. It is the absence of spirituality, of holiness, which has led to unrighteous acts,--envy, hatred, jealousy, evil surmisings, and every hateful and abominable sin.
    The words of Christ have been plain. "Strive [agonize] to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able." Professed Christians are not all Christians at heart. There are sinners in Zion now, even as there were anciently. Isaiah speaks of them in referring to the day of God: "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil. He shall dwell on high; his defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure."
    The people of God are not ready for the fearful, trying scenes before us, not ready to stand pure from evil and lust amid the perils and corruptions of this degenerate age. They have not on the armor of righteousness, and are unprepared to war against the prevailing sin and iniquity around them. Many are not obeying the commandments of God; yet they profess so to do. If they would be faithful to obey all the statutes of God, they would have a power that would carry conviction to the hearts of the unbelieving.
    Men and women professing godliness, yet not sanctified by the truth they profess, will not change materially their course of action, which they know is hateful before God, because they are not subjected to the trial of being reproved individually for their sins. They see in the reproofs given to others, their own cases faithfully pointed out before them. They are cherishing the same evils. By continuing their course of sin, they are violating their consciences, hardening their hearts, and stiffening their necks, just the same as if the reproofs had been given directly to them. In passing on, and refusing to put away their sins and correct their wrongs by humble confession, repentance, and humiliation, they choose their own way, and are given up to the same, and are finally led captive by Satan at his will. They may become quite bold because they are able to conceal their sins from others, and because the judgments of God are not seen in a visible manner upon them. They may be apparently prosperous in this world. They may deceive poor, short-sighted mortals, and be regarded as patterns of piety while in their sins. But God cannot be deceived. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him. But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God." The life of the sinner may be prolonged upon the earth, yet not in the earth made new. He shall be of that number whom David mentions: "For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place; and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth."
    Mercy and truth are promised to the humble and penitent, and judgments are prepared for the sinful and rebellious. "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne." A wicked and adulterous people will not escape the wrath of God and the punishment they have justly earned. Man has fallen: and his is a work of a lifetime, be it longer or shorter, to recover from his fall, and regain, through Christ, the image of the Divine, which was lost by sin and continued transgression. God requires a thorough transformation of soul, body, and spirit, in order to regain the estate lost through Adam; and he mercifully sends rays of light to show man his true condition. If he will not walk in the light, he manifests a pleasure in darkness. He will not come to the light lest his deeds shall be reproved.
    The Seventh-day Adventists who profess to be looking for and loving the appearing of Christ, should not follow the course of worldlings. They are no criterion for commandment-keepers. Commandment-keeping Adventists are occupying a peculiar, exalted position. John viewed them in holy vision, and described them. "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." The Lord made a special covenant with his ancient Israel if they would prove faithful: "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." And he thus addresses his commandment-keeping people in these last days: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an 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." "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul."
    Seventh-day Adventists, above all people in the world, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation. The warnings, corrections, and reproofs are not given to the erring among them because their lives are more blameworthy than professed Christians of the nominal churches, or because their acts and examples are worse than those of people who will not yield obedience to the claims of God's law; but because they have great light, and have by their profession taken their position as God's special, chosen people, having the law of God written in their hearts. They signify their loyalty to the God of heaven by yielding obedience to the laws of his government. They are God's representatives upon the earth. Any sin or transgression in them separates them from God, and in a special manner dishonors his name, by giving the enemies of God's holy law occasion to reproach his cause and his people, whom he has called "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people," that they should show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.
    The people who are at war with the law of the great Jehovah, who consider it a special virtue to talk, and write, and act the most bitter and hateful things to show their contempt for that law, may make a high and exalted profession of love to God, and apparently have much religious zeal, as did the Jewish chief priests and elders; yet in the day of God, "Found wanting" will be said by the Majesty of heaven. By the law is the knowledge of sin. The mirror which would discover to them the defects in their character, infuriates them, because it points out their sins. But the people who profess to keep the law of God, he corrects, he reproves. He points out their sins, and lays open their iniquities, because he wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in his fear, and be prepared either to die in the Lord, or to be translated to heaven. God will rebuke, reprove, and correct them, that they may be refined, sanctified, elevated, and finally exalted to his own throne.
    Ample provisions have been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Power and strength, grace and glory, have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, and corrupt, and vile, but that they can find in Jesus, who died for them, strength, purity, and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, stop their course of iniquity, and turn with full purpose of heart to the living God. He is waiting to strip them of their garments, stained and polluted by sin, and to put upon them the white, bright robes of righteousness; and he bids them live and not die. In him they may flourish. Their branches will not wither nor be fruitless. If they abide in him, they can draw sap and nourishment from him, be imbued with his Spirit, and walk even as he has walked, overcome as he has overcome, and be exalted to his own right hand. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 14, 1886
(Vol. 63, #37)

 "The Law Immutable"

    How wonderful in its simplicity, its comprehensiveness and perfection, is the law of Jehovah! In the purposes and dealings of God there are mysteries which the finite mind is unable to comprehend. And it is because we cannot fathom the secrets of infinite wisdom and power that we are filled with reverence for the Most High.
    There are men who proudly boast that they believe only what they can understand. But the folly of their vaunted wisdom is apparent to every thoughtful mind. There are mysteries in human life, and in the manifestations of God's power in the works of nature,--mysteries which the deepest philosophy, the most extensive research, is powerless to explain.
    But there is no mystery in the law of God. The feeblest intellect can grasp these rules to regulate the life and form the character after the divine Model. If the children of men would, to the best of their ability, obey this law, they would gain strength of intellect and power of discernment to comprehend still more of God's purposes and plans. And this advancement may not only be continued during the present life, but it may go forward during the eternal ages.
    However far we may advance in the knowledge of God's wisdom and his power, there is ever an infinity beyond.
    Men shut out from their souls the rays of divine light by refusing to walk in it as it shines upon them. How many will sacrifice purity of heart, the favor of God, and their hope of heaven, for selfish gratification or worldly gain! The question comes home to every soul, Shall I obey the voice from heaven, in God's ten words, or shall I join with the multitude who trample upon the law of Jehovah?
    God will not always bear with the sinner. Christ declares that there is a greater sin than that for which Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown. It is the sin of those who have a knowledge of Christ's life and his death in their behalf, but who continue to transgress the law of God. They may look upon Calvary, they may see the Son of God agonizing in the garden and dying upon the cross, and yet many for whom he has made this great sacrifice refuse to obey the law which he died to vindicate. It will indeed be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of Judgment than for the transgressors of God's law.
    The infinite sacrifice which Christ has made to magnify and exalt the law, testifies that not one jot or tittle of that law will relinquish its claims upon the transgressor. Christ came to pay the debt which the sinner had incurred by transgression, and by his own example to teach man how to keep the law of God. Said Christ, "I have kept my Father's commandments." In consideration of all the facts so clearly establishing the claims of God's law, with heaven and eternal life in view to inspire hope and induce effort, it is inconceivable how so many professing to be servants of God, can set aside his law and teach sinners that they are not amenable to its precepts. What a fatal delusion! Satan first devised this heresy, and by it he enticed Eve into sin. The sad results of that transgression are before us.
    We are living in a land of bondage and of death. Multitudes are enslaved by sinful customs and evil habits, and their fetters are difficult to break. Iniquity, like a flood, is deluging the earth. Crimes almost too fearful to be even mentioned, are of daily occurrence. Shall we say that all this is because men live in obedience to the will of God, or is it because ministers and people hold and teach that its precepts have no binding force?
    Men professing to stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion speak of the Jewish age as one of darkness. They represent the religion of the Hebrews as consisting of mere forms and ceremonies, and present in striking contrast the glorious light and privileges of the gospel age. While it is pleasing to God that we prize the blessings of the gospel, he is dishonored, and Christ's mission is misrepresented, by those who belittle his work in ancient times, as seen from the history of Adam down to the Christian era.
    In what contrast to the teachings of these men are the words of Moses, the prophet whom God honored above all other mortals, talking with him face to face, as a man speaketh with a friend. Moses possessed a spirit which is rarely found at the present day. He had a sacred regard for the right, a morality unmingled with selfishness and policy, and grandly rising above respect for times and people. Moses fully understood the force of his words, as he challenged the Hebrew host: "For 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?"
    Moses understood the sacred character and value of the divine law. Israel was highly honored of God, and the surrounding nations looked with admiration and wonder upon them. Their laws and discipline, when compared with the laws of other nations, seemed even to their enemies in every way superior to their own. Moses stands forth superior in wisdom and integrity to all the sovereigns and statesmen of earth. Yet this man claims no credit for himself, but points the people to God as the source of all power and wisdom. Where is there such a character among men of this age? Those who would speak contemptuously of the law of God, are dishonoring him and casting a shadow over the most illustrious character presented in the annals of men.
    In that memorable sermon upon the mount, in which our Saviour announced to his followers the principles of his government, he expressly declares the perpetuity of the moral law. His solemn warnings to the neglecters and despisers of the law of God are echoing down, even to our time: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." And in consideration of the claims of the law, he continues: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven."
    Obedience to the law of God was the only condition upon which ancient Israel was to receive the fulfillment of his promises. Obedience to that law will bring as great blessings to individuals and to nations now as it would have brought to the Hebrews. The history of that people was recorded for our benefit. We should study it with a prayerful heart, and seek to shun the sins that brought upon them the wrath of God.
    Christ came to teach men the way of salvation. And when the shadowy services of the former dispensation were no longer of any value,--when type had met antitype in the death of Christ,--then we might expect that if the law of ten commandments were no longer binding, Christ would declare its abrogation. If the Old Testament Scriptures were no longer to be regarded as a guide for Christians, he would make known the fact.
    Let us briefly notice a few events that occurred after the resurrection. As two of the disciples were traveling to Emmaus, conversing in sad tones of their disappointed hopes, Jesus himself, concealing his identity, drew near, and with words of sympathy sought to draw from these sorrowing ones the cause of their grief. Although they had reason to regard with distrust and fear all men outside the little circle of believers, yet they freely unburdened their hearts to this stranger. Now was the time for Jesus to give those lessons which he would have repeated to his followers in all coming time. He reproved those disciples for their unbelief in not accepting the word of God just as it reads. And "beginning at Moses and the prophets," he expounded to them the scriptures concerning his mission and his work. He then impressed upon them the fact that Jesus did come exactly as foretold by the prophets. The hopes of the disciples were revived as the words of the Old Testament were clothed with new life and power. Their hearts burned within them, and when Christ made himself known, they were ready to accept him as the risen Saviour.
    The same night he revealed himself to the disciples assembled at Jerusalem. He did not point to the mighty works which he had done, to awaken their faith in him as the promised Redeemer. But he went back to Moses and the prophets and explained the scriptures concerning himself. The Old Testament, the "sure word of prophecy," is the only key that will unlock the New Testament Scriptures, and show that Jesus Christ revealed in the gospel is the Son of God, the long-expected Messiah.
    Holy prophets have foretold the manner of Christ's birth, the events of his life, his mission, and his death and resurrection. In the Old Testament we find the gospel of a coming Saviour. In the New Testament we have the gospel of a Saviour revealed as prophecy had foretold. The light of the gospel in the New Testament reflects its glory back upon the Jewish age, showing the significance and importance of the typical sacrifices prefiguring the Lamb of God.
    There is no discord between the teachings of Christ in the Old Testament and his teachings in the New. While the Old Testament is constantly pointing forward to the true Offering, the New Testament shows that the Saviour foretold by prophecy, and prefigured by the typical offerings, has come. The dim glory of the Jewish age has been succeeded by the brighter, clearer glory of the Christian age. But not once has Christ stated that his coming destroyed the claims of God's law.
    In the very last message to his church, by way of Patmos, the risen Saviour pronounces a benediction upon those who keep his Father's law: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 21, 1886
(Vol. 63, #38)

 "Christ Our Sacrifice"

    As we look back and see how small was the work thirty years ago, and how bound about with poverty, the evidence is very clear that God has singularly led us as a people. Amid discouragement and financial embarrassment, the word has come to us again and again, "Go forward!" And the same voice still says, "Go forward!"
    God has wonderfully led us. There have been apostasies and threatened dangers; there have been deep plots laid by the adversary of souls to ensnare us; but we are still on the move "forward." There have been sins among us as among ancient Israel; but, thank God! Christ has been to us an open door which no man could shut. Men may freely extend to us forgiveness for all injuries done them; but that will not blot out one sin from the great record book. But the voice sounding from Calvary--"My son, my daughter, thy sins be forgiven thee"--is all efficacious. That word alone has power, and awakens gratitude in the grateful heart. There is but one channel of forgiveness, and that is ever open; and through it comes pouring a rich flood of divine mercy and forgiveness. "The cleansing stream I see, I see,"--and the greatest sinner may find pardon.
    Many have expressed wonder that God demanded so many slain victims in the sacrificial offerings of the Jewish people; but it was to rivet in their minds the great truth that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. A lesson was embodied in every sacrifice, impressed in every ceremony, solemnly preached by the priest in his holy office, and inculcated by God himself,--that through the blood of Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins. How little we as a people feel the force of this great truth! How seldom, by living, acting faith, do we bring into our lives this great truth, that there is forgiveness for the least sin, forgiveness for the greatest sin!
    I wish I could present the subject as it seems to me. Justice demanded the sufferings of a man. Christ, equal with God, gave the sufferings of a God. He needed no atonement. His suffering was not for any sin he had committed; it was for man--all for man; and his free pardon is accessible to all. The suffering of Christ was in correspondence with his spotless purity; his depth of agony, proportionate to the dignity and grandeur of his character. Never can we comprehend the intense anguish of the spotless Lamb of God, until we realize how deep is the pit from which we have been rescued, how grievous is the sin of which mankind is guilty, and by faith grasp the full and entire pardon. Here is where thousands are failing. They do not really believe that Jesus pardons them personally, individually. They fail to take God at his word. He has assured us that faithful is He that hath promised to forgive us, but still he will be just to his own law. His mercy is wanting in nothing. Were one link in the chain defective, then were we hopelessly ruined in our sins. But the chain is perfect--not one flaw in any part, not one link missing.
    I would I might sound the glad note to earth's remotest bounds. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Oh, precious redemption! How broad this great truth is--that God for Christ's dear sake, forgives us the moment we ask him in living faith, believing that he is fully able. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Glorious truth! Just to his own law, and yet the justifier of all them that believe! Well may we exclaim with the prophet, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy."
    Those who are so gloomy and desponding, gathering clouds of darkness about them, would find strength and encouragement if they would spend one hour of each day in searching the Scriptures for these precious promises, gathering and treasuring them like precious pearls. Let them dwell especially upon the mercy of God and his willingness to forgive sins. Many who have all their lives walked under a cloud, would be filled with amazement as they view the channels overflowing with mercies instead of dark clouds heavy with wrath and denunciations.
    We need greater faith in Jesus Christ. We need to bring him into our everyday life. Then we shall have peace and joy, and we shall know by experience the meaning of his words, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." Our faith must claim the promise that we abide in the love of Jesus. "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
    Precious opportunities and privileges are granted to us to be a light and blessing to others, strengthening their faith, and encouraging them through the heavenly sunshine in our own souls. We may gather for our own benefit precious rays of cheerful hope and peace and fullness of joy, and in so doing help every one with whom we associate. Instead of strengthening unbelief and doubt, we shall inspire hope.
    It is the privilege of all who comply with the conditions to have an experimental faith, to know for themselves that pardon is freely extended for every sin. God has pledged his word that when we confess our sins he will forgive them and cleanse from all unrighteousness. Put away unbelief. Put away the suspicion that these promises are not meant for you. They are for every repentant transgressor, and God is dishonored by your unbelief. Let those who have been filled with doubt, only believe the words of Jesus fully, and thence forward they will rejoice in blessedness of light. Jesus said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." In relying upon the sure word of God, in showing confidence in him, we honor him; and he has said that if we honor him he will honor us.
    We keep the Saviour too far apart from our everyday lives. We want him abiding with us as an honored, trusted friend. We should consult him on all subjects. We should tell him every trial, and thus gain strength to meet temptation; and his peace will enter our souls, and our joy will be full, as we contemplate that this mighty Helper has said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Let us open our hearts to receive the peace and joy of heaven; and let our lips make melody to God in praise and thanksgiving for these wonderful blessings vouchsafed to us.
    In the light of divine revelation, through the atoning Sacrifice, we may see the glorious plan of redemption whereby our sins are pardoned, and we drawn near to the heart of infinite love. We see how God can retain all his justice, and yet pardon the transgressor of his law. And we are not simply forgiven, but we are accepted of God through the Beloved. The plan of redemption is not merely a way of escape from the penalty of transgression, but through it the sinner is forgiven his sins, and will be finally received into heaven,--not as a forgiven culprit pardoned and released from captivity, yet looked upon with suspicion and not admitted to friendship and trust; but welcomed as a child, and taken back into fullest confidence. The sacrifice of our Saviour has made ample provision for every repenting, believing soul. We are saved because God loves the purchase of the blood of Christ; and not only will he pardon the repentant sinner, not only will he permit him to enter heaven, but he, the Father of mercies, will wait at the very gates of heaven to welcome us, to give us an abundant entrance to the mansions of the blest. Oh what love, what wondrous love the Father has shown in the gift of his beloved Son for this fallen race! And this Sacrifice is a channel for the outflow of his infinite love, that all who believe on Jesus Christ may, like the prodigal son, receive full and free restoration to the favor of Heaven.
    Have we not grand themes for thought, and a solid foundation for our faith? What more can we ask of God than what he has already given us? Oh the love, the infinite love of our blessed Lord, to be our sacrifice! What joy should fill the heart of the Christian, and what expressions of gratitude be heard from his lips! that through the blood of Jesus it is possible for us to gain the love of God, to be one with him. If by living faith we accept this wonderful salvation, we shall never perish as guilty transgressors of God's holy immutable law. Believing on the Son, we shall be obedient to all of the Father's commandments, and have life through Jesus Christ.
    But many fail to act upon this faith, and therefore God is dishonored. They go about as if under a weight of woe and condemnation, when they might have peace and comfort and hope and fullness of joy. If they would but bring Jesus into their life, they might receive the rich blessings in store for them. When we have such daily manifestations of God's love to us, why should we continually act as if suspicious of him? Rather, let us honor him by implicit belief in his word.
    We have not a Saviour in Joseph's new tomb, with a great stone before the door of the sepulcher. Jesus is not dead. We have a risen Lord, ascended on high, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. Be not weeping, like Mary, because they have taken away our Lord, and ye know not where they have laid him. We know where he is,--in the presence of the Father, pleading his blood for the forgiveness of our sins.
    But the gospel of good news was not to be interpreted as allowing men to live in continued rebellion against God by transgressing his just and holy law. Why cannot those who claim to understand the Scriptures, see that God's requirement under grace is just the same he made in Eden,--perfect obedience to his law. In the Judgment, God will ask those who profess to be Christians, Why did you claim to believe in my Son, and continue to transgress my law? Who required this at your hands--to trample upon my rules of righteousness? "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." The gospel of the New Testament is not the Old Testament standard lowered to meet the sinner and save him in his sins. God requires of all his subjects obedience, entire obedience to all his commandments. He demands now as ever perfect righteousness as the only title to heaven. Christ is our hope and our refuge. His righteousness only is imputed to the obedient. Let us accept it through faith, that the Father shall find in us no sin. But those who have trampled on the holy law will have no right to claim that righteousness. Oh that we might view the immensity of the plan of salvation as obedient children to all God's requirements, believing that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ, our atoning sacrifice! Copenhagen, Denmark. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 5, 1886
(Vol. 63, #39)

 "The Conference in Sweden"

    Tuesday evening, June 15, in company with Sr. Mcenterfer and Sr. Kristine Dahl, of Christiana, Norway, I left Basel, to attend the Conference in Orebro, Sweden, and general meetings in Christiana and Copenhagen. W. C. White had gone to Leipsic with Elds. Whitney and Conradi, on business connected with the publishing work at Basel, and it had been arranged that we should join him at Hamburg. But on Monday I had an attack of pleurisy, which, though yielding for a time to treatment, returned the next day with greater severity. Every breath was painful. It seemed impossible for me to travel, especially at night. To take a sleeping car, for one night only, would involve an extra expense of ten or twelve dollars, and this was out of the question. Yet it was necessary for us to leave Basel that night in order to reach Orebro before the Sabbath. Although appearances were against us, we determined not to be hindered. We looked to the Lord in faith, and he gave me help. Though not entirely freed from pain, I was relieved from the intense suffering. On the cars we had a compartment to ourselves, and were able to secure some rest.
    We reached Hamburg in safety, where we met my son. From this place a three hours' ride brought us at midnight to Kiel, on an arm of the Baltic Sea. Thence we were conveyed in a small steamer to the shores of Denmark. We traveled by rail to Copenhagen, and again embarked on a steamer for Malmo, Sweden. Here, on the afternoon of the 17th, we took the cars for Orebro, which is situated near the central part of Sweden.
    From Hamburg, Sr. Dahl went direct to Christiana, and we were left to make our own way as best we could. Those who are accustomed to traveling in the United States, where one can go from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean without change of country or language, making a journey of nearly four thousand miles with three or four changes and little delay, can hardly appreciate the difficulties of European travel to those who know little of any language except the English, where every day brings one to a new country, with its strange language, its peculiar customs, its customhouses, and frequent changes. At Malmo, however, we found a gentlemanly official who could speak English, and who kindly rendered us assistance. On taking the train for Orebro, we were told that we would not change cars till midnight; and as we had a compartment to ourselves, we determined to improve the time till then in sleeping. About ten o'clock, however, we were abruptly aroused. The Swedish officials came to our door and with great earnestness rattled off something, of which we could only distinguish, "straxe," "straxe." What was wanted we could not comprehend, yet there was evident need of haste. They finally made us to understand that we were to change cars immediately, and we sleepily gathered up our belongings, and went where we were directed.
    In Sweden we are as far north as Labrador and Hudson's Bay, and the days in summer are very long. The last night of our journey we could hardly call night. The sun did not go out of sight till past nine o'clock, and the long twilight continued till eleven. At 2 a. m. the dawn was already gilding the eastern sky, broad belts of crimson and gold reflecting the light of the sun, which had not yet appeared above the horizon. At three the sun was shining brightly. A sunrise at this early hour was a sight which we had never before witnessed.
    We reached Orebro Friday morning, and were soon in the home of Sr. Jacobson, who entertained us at our visit last fall. Here we were pleased to meet Eld. Olsen and his son, recently from America, Bro. and Sr. Matteson, from Stockholm, Sweden, and Eld. Oyen, from Christiana, Norway.
    The number of Sabbath-keepers in Orebro is not large, but there is a little company who are striving to obey the truth. When we were here last fall, the meetings were held in a very unfavorable place to obtain an outside attendance. Since that time our people have hired a new hall, which is neat and convenient, and which will seat three hundred persons. This is much larger than is needed for their Sabbath meetings, which are attended by about a score. But during the Conference it was frequently filled, and many were obliged to go away, unable to obtain an entrance.
    The Conference was preceded by a meeting for missionary workers, which, beginning June 16, continued one week. There was a larger attendance of our brethren than we had expected, both at these meetings and at the Conference. We have ten churches in Sweden, and though widely scattered, all but one was represented by delegate. There were, in all, between fifty and sixty brethren and sisters present.
    The time was well filled up with meetings varying in character, but all-important for those who contemplate giving themselves to the work in any capacity. The morning meetings, held at half past six, were well attended, and they were profitable seasons. The Spirit of the Lord was manifested, and many testified that they had received increased light, and were strengthened and blessed. I spoke six times in the morning meetings, and five times upon other occasions. We were much encouraged by the testimonies borne at these meetings, and to see the brethren eagerly grasping new ideas, and rejoicing in the light given.
    Sweden has as yet had but little labor, and the sound of the truth has reached but few ears; yet it is a good field, and earnest, persevering efforts should be made to extend the knowledge of the truth. Calls are coming in from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden for meetings to be held in the large cities, where a few have already been raised up. We look at these cities with pain that we have not more missionaries to send to them. The few who have received the truth in different places are left almost without help, when they should be visited often, and educated to become workers. The openings are many; but where are the laborers?
    In Sweden most of our brethren are poor, and as they look at appearances it seems impossible for them to do much to sustain and extend the work. But in the early days of the cause in America similar difficulties had to be met. There were very few at first who accepted the truth, and nearly all of them were poor. We were obliged to practice the strictest economy; we pressed our wants into as close a compass as possible, that we might have even a limited amount of our own hard-earned means to use in advancing the work. Sometimes it seemed that we must come to a standstill, that the publication of the truth must stop. But after we had done to the utmost of our ability, we cried unto the Lord, and he heard us. Some one would be raised up to supply the present pressing necessity, and as we moved forward, new strength was given us to make advance moves.
    It is only by faith, self-denial, and persevering effort that this work can be carried forward. The poorer class have embraced the truth, and it seems to be so ordered in the providence of God that these should be educated and disciplined to strain every nerve and arouse every power, to do that which, if they were to look at appearances, would be impossible. All the mental and financial strength of those who believe the truth must be called out. If they walk by faith, as we were obliged to do at the commencement of the work, God will work with their efforts. When they have done all that they can do, and have gained the experience which God would have them gain in lifting the burdens of responsibility, then he will raise up men to teach the truth, and also men of means to push the work.
    In the beginning, the work goes hard and slow. Now is the time when all should bend their shoulders to raise the load and carry it forward. Advance we must, though the Red Sea be before us, and impassable mountains on either hand. God has been with us and has blessed our efforts. We must work by faith. "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." We are to pray, believe that our prayers are heard, and then work.
    The work may now seem small; but there must be a beginning before there can be any progress. "First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." The work may start in weakness, and its progress may for a time be slow; yet if it is commenced in a healthy manner, there will be a steady and substantial gain. A high standard should be placed before those who are newly come to the faith. They should be educated to be careful in speech and circumspect in conduct, giving evidence that the truth has accomplished something for them, and thus by their example shedding light upon those who are in darkness. All who accept the truth are to be lights in the world, not merely in profession, but in good works. Wherever an effort is made to raise up a church, thorough and faithful instructions should be given to those who accept the truth. No part of the work should be neglected, and they should not be left to themselves when the laborer goes to a new field, but should still receive care and instruction. Let nothing be left in an incomplete, slipshod manner. Whatever is done, should be done with thoroughness. The few who are thus brought into the truth will in time accomplish more than if there is a greater number uneducated, untrained, who do not realize their responsibility, and whose peculiarities are woven into their religious experience. It will be far more difficult to undo that which has been done wrong, and put another mold on the work, than to take the work from the very beginning.
    Those who have received the truth may be poor, but they should not remain ignorant or defective in character, to give the same mold, by their influence, to others. When the church fully receives the light, darkness will be dispelled; and if in holiness of character they keep pace with the truth revealed, their light will grow brighter and brighter. The truth will do its refining work, restoring the moral image of God in man, and the darkness and confusion and strife of tongues which is the curse of so many churches, will cease. The power that God will give to his church, if they will only walk in the light as fast as it shines upon them, is scarcely conceived of.
    The Lord is soon to come, and the message of warning is to go forth to all nations, tongues, and peoples. While God's cause is calling for means and laborers, what are those doing who live under the full light of the present truth? There are some who feel no burden for souls. While they claim to believe that the end is at hand, covetousness has blinded their eyes to the wants of the cause of God. The means which he has placed in their hands to be used to his glory, they are binding up in houses and lands, while the saving truth, which God has intrusted to us to be given to the world, is hedged about and shut in by poverty. God calls upon every individual believer to do to the utmost of his ability, and then to pray in faith for God to do what man cannot.
    My brother, you cannot be a Christian and cherish covetousness. You cannot be a Christian and not be a missionary. When you hear that there are thousands upon thousands who are in the darkness of error and superstition, knowing not the things that are coming upon the earth, how can you enjoy the truth and remain at ease? You may feel that the little you can do will be so inadequate to the demand that you will do nothing; but if each will do what he can, God will bless the effort, and the treasury will not be empty. If you were perishing from cold and hunger, would you call one your friend who refused even to attempt to relieve you? Think of the multitudes in foreign lands who are perishing for want of the bread of life in the precious, saving truths for this time; and remember that Christ identifies his interest with that of these needy ones. "Inasmuch," he says, "as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."
    During the meetings at Orebro, I was urged by the Spirit of the Lord to present his law as the great standard of righteousness, and to warn our people against the modern, counterfeit sanctification which has its origin in will-worship rather than in submission to the will of God. This error is fast flooding the world, and as God's witnesses we shall be called to bear a decided testimony against it. It is one of the veriest delusions of the last days, and will prove a temptation to all who believe present truth. Those who have not their faith firmly established upon the word of God will be misled. And the saddest part of it all is that so few who are deceived by this error ever find their way to the light again.
    The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of all who profess sanctification. Jesus prayed that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and he says, "Thy word is truth;" while the psalmist declares, "Thy law is the truth." All whom God is leading will manifest a high regard for the Scriptures in which his voice is heard. The Bible will be to them "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." "Ye shall know them by their fruits." We need no other evidence in order to judge of men's sanctification; if they are fearful lest they shall not obey the whole will of God, if they are listening diligently to his voice, trusting in his wisdom, and making his word the man of their counsel, then, while they make no boasts of superior goodness, we may be sure that they are seeking to attain to perfection of Christian character. But if the claimants of holiness even intimate that they are no longer required to search the Scriptures, we need not hesitate to pronounce their sanctification spurious. They are leaning to their own understanding, instead of conforming to the will of God.
    God requires at this time just what he required of the holy pair in Eden, perfect obedience to his requirements. His law remains the same in all ages. The great standard of righteousness presented in the Old Testament is not lowered in the New. It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God's holy law, but to bring men up where they can keep its precepts.
    The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. "Believe, believe," is their cry; "only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do." While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works. And the apostle John declares, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
    It is unsafe to trust to feelings or impressions; these are unreliable guides. God's law is the only correct standard of holiness. It is by this law that character is to be judged. If an inquirer after salvation were to ask, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" the modern teachers of sanctification would answer, "Only believe that Jesus saves you." But when Christ was asked this question he said, "What is written in the law? How readest thou?" And when the questioner replied, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, . . . and thy neighbor as thyself," Jesus said, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." True sanctification will be evidenced by a conscientious regard for all the commandments of God, by a careful improvement of every talent, by a circumspect conversation, by revealing in every act the meekness of Christ.
    A number of persons were present at this meeting who held to the popular theory of sanctification; and as the claims of God's law were presented, and the true character of this error was shown, one man was so much offended that he rose abruptly and left the meeting hall. I afterward heard that he had come from Stockholm to attend the meeting. In conversation with one of our ministers, he claimed to be sinless, and said that he had no need of the Bible, for the Lord told him directly what to do; he was far beyond the Bible teachings. What can be expected of those who follow their own imaginings rather than God's word, but that they will be deluded? They cast away the only detector of error, and what is to prevent the great deceiver from leading them captive at his will?
    This man represents a class. Spurious sanctification leads directly away from the Bible. Religion is reduced to a fable. Feelings and impressions are made the criterion. While they profess to be sinless, and boast of their righteousness, the claimants of sanctification teach that men are at liberty to transgress the law of God, and that those who obey its precepts have fallen from grace. A presentation of its claims arouses their opposition, and excites anger and contempt. Thus their character is shown, for "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
    The true follower of Christ will make no boastful claims to holiness. It is by the law of God that the sinner is convicted. He sees his own sinfulness in contrast with the perfect righteousness which it enjoins, and this leads him to humility and repentance. He becomes reconciled to God through the blood of Christ, and as he continues to walk with him he will be gaining a clearer sense of the holiness of God's character and the far-reaching nature of his requirements. He will see more clearly his own defects, and will feel the need of continual repentance, and faith in the blood of Christ. He who bears with him a continual sense of the presence of Christ, cannot indulge self-confidence or self-righteousness. None of the prophets or apostles made proud boasts of holiness. The nearer they came to perfection of character, the less worthy and righteous they viewed themselves. But those who have the least sense of the perfection of Jesus, those whose eyes are least directed to him, are the ones who make the strongest claim to perfection. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 12, 1886
(Vol. 63, #40)

 "An Appeal"

    I am deeply exercised in regard to our present position, realizing from the word of God how far down we are in prophetic history, so near the close of time, with so much work undone that must be accomplished to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. As we look over the vast field here in Europe, we can truly say, The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Some are being added to the church. In Lausanne, as the result of earnest effort, twenty-six have recently taken their stand to keep the Sabbath. Under Bro. Ertzenberger's labors, fourteen have been added to the church in Chaux-de-Fonds; and Sabbath, June 5, twenty from different churches were baptized at Tramelan. Since our last visit to Chaux-de-Fonds, another has taken a stand upon the truth, and we expect to hear that others have decided.
    But how little is being done in comparison to the great work to be accomplished! In our journeyings, we pass through many large, populous cities where the warning message has never been proclaimed. We travel through pleasant villages, and know that the message has not reached them. And how few of our brethren of the different nationalities are bearing any burden of the work of God! I am often unable to sleep for thinking wherein we have neglected to arouse the missionary spirit in those who can labor in German, French, and other languages. How can you who have received the truth feel so little burden for those of your own tongue in other countries? The heavenly messengers are doing their work; and what are we doing? Where are our youth? Are they earnestly seeking the Lord, endeavoring to obtain a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, that they may become lightbearers to the world?
    The Prince of life once came from heaven to earth, and bore insult and mockery, pain and death. Preparation is now being made in heaven for his reign in glory, and the message must be proclaimed to all nations, tongues, and peoples. The youth can engage in this work if they will learn in the school of Christ. What is the aim of those who are enjoying the advantages of our schools, Bible lectures, and Sabbath schools. You who have precious opportunities and privileges, who are feasting upon the truth, what use are you making of these blessings? Are you seeking a preparation to unite with Christ in his work? Are you obtaining a thorough knowledge of the truth, that you may impart it to others? What our youth need now is the burden of the missionary work, which is a sure outgrowth of a soul converted. I would recount to them the sufferings, the sacrifices, the persistent and untiring efforts of the Majesty of heaven, that he might save fallen man. Upon the cross of Calvary he paid the redemption price for a world lost. It was the world that he loved, the one lost sheep that he would bring back to his Father's fold. Would that you could appreciate the strength and fervor of that divine compassion! If you will take hold of the work right where you are at the present time, and do what you can, be sure that you will have the help of Jesus. All heaven is pledged to those who will seek the Lord with the whole heart. Error prevails everywhere. Those with whom God has intrusted the treasures of his truth are to let the light shine amid the moral darkness. Where are the soldiers of the cross of Christ? Let the God-fearing, the honest, the single-hearted, who look steadfastly to the glory of God, prepare themselves for the battle against error.
    Missions are being established; and if the converting power of the truth comes to our youth, we shall see them pressing into the ranks of the workers. Had they been educated from the beginning of their religious experience to be true to their faith, fervent in piety, and in sympathy with Christ's longing for the salvation of souls, we would have hundreds of missionaries where we have one today. In every mission established, there should be a school for the education of laborers. The very best German, French, and Scandinavian talent should be enlisted in the work of educating promising young men and women of these different nationalities. This essential matter has been greatly neglected. In the office at Battle Creek, at Basel, and at Christiana, there is pressing need of translators in these different languages; and the various branches of the work are crippled for want of laborers. God-fearing workers are wanted in our houses of publication, in our missions, in our churches. There is need of persons educated in English, French, German, and other languages. We want a hundred workers where there is one. The heavy responsibilities should not rest upon one man in any branch of the work. Two or three should be fitted to share the burden, so that if one should be called to another post of duty, another may come in to supply his place. Provision has not been made half as extensively as it should have been, against any and every emergency. A fund should be raised to educate for missionary work those who will give themselves unreservedly to God and the cause, and who will labor not for large wages, but for the love of Christ, to save souls for whom he died.
    A great responsibility rests upon those who profess the truth, to guard their means from flowing into channels that will not bring glory to God. How much has been thoughtlessly wasted by our youth in America, spent for display, for things which they would have been just as happy without! Every dollar we possess is the Lord's. Instead of spending means in self-indulgence, we should invest it in answering the calls of missionary work. As new fields are opened, these calls are constantly increasing. A deep longing is now taking possession of souls, a longing for something which they have not. They call for light, for help, for the opening of the Scriptures. To meet these calls we must have means. If we ever needed workers who would use means economically, it is now. They should see in the money they handle, a trust which God has committed to them. Every cent should be carefully treasured. A cent seems like a trifle; but a hundred cents make a dollar, and, rightly spent, may be the means of saving a soul from death.
    Care should be exercised to select the right men for teachers in missionary schools. Young men who are themselves deficient in Christian experience are not wanted. We need men who fear God, and who will labor with an eye single to his glory. The workers need to come closer to God than they have done. They must have his converting power upon the heart, in order that he may impart to them wisdom and knowledge, as he did to Daniel, and make them channels of light to orders. Let those who are to be educators, seek for this heavenly endowment, that the understanding may be quick and clear. God will help them if they seek him; and those who have been under their instruction may be presented before the Master fitted to do his work with thoroughness and fidelity. Our ideas are altogether too narrow. With ears of faith we should hear the mighty Captain of the Lord's host saying, "Go forward." We must act, and God will not fail us. He will do his part when we in faith do ours.
    The great adversary of souls is mustering his forces. He is setting every device in operation in order to confuse the minds of men with specious errors, and thus destroy souls. There are too many faint, cowardly hearts in this hour of spiritual battle. Oh that our weakness may be made strong, that we may wax valiant in fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens. Our work is not to be done in a haphazard manner. Satan, united with human agencies, will take advantage of every mistake. Unclean hands and unholy hearts cannot be intrusted with this sacred work. Those who profess to keep God's commandments, but whose lips and hearts have not been touched with a live coal from off his altar, should not engage in his work until they are converted. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord."
    We must awake out of sleep. Europe is stretching out her hands, and the Macedonian cry comes from across the broad waters, "Come over and help us." The work here has advanced very slowly, for want of men and means. Where are the idlers in the market places? Let them arouse, and place themselves where they may be trained to render acceptable service. Oh, my heart is full to bursting when I think what ought to have been done here in Europe in days gone by, and how far the work might now be advanced if those who have received the light of present truth had been faithful to their trust! If so many had not wrapped their talents of ability and money in a napkin, and buried them in the earth; if the church had done the work that God made it her duty to do, we should today have thousands rejoicing in the truth here, and there would be lightbearers in all parts of Europe. Brethren, God calls upon you to redeem the time. Make haste to unearth your buried talents. If God has intrusted you with money, show yourselves faithful to your trust; unwrap your napkin, and send your talents to the exchangers, that when Christ shall come, he may receive his own with interest. What if some do become poor by investing their means in the work of spreading the truth? Your Master for your sakes became poor; and by following his example, you are securing for yourselves eternal riches, a treasure in heaven that faileth not. Your means are far safer placed in the cause of God than deposited in a bank, or invested in houses and lands. No thief can approach them, no fire can consume them. They are laid up in bags that wax not old.
    When Jesus ascended to heaven, he committed his work on earth to those who had received the light of the gospel. They were to carry the work forward to completion. He has provided no other agency for the promulgation of his truth. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." This solemn commission reaches us in this age. God leaves with his church the responsibility of receiving or rejecting it. Many seem to rest perfectly easy, as if heavenly messengers were to come to this earth, to proclaim with an audible voice the message of warning; but while angels have their work to do, we are to do ours in opening the Bible truth to those who are in darkness. Is your interest selfishly shut up in your own family, to your church? God pity your narrowness! You should have that undying zeal, that far-reaching love, which encircles the world. Those who are not called to go to foreign countries have a work to do in their own borders, to keep up the interest in their churches by well-directed effort, that they may be spiritual and self-sacrificing, and by their means and earnest prayers may aid those who enter new and difficult fields. Ministers should not do work that belongs to the laymen, thus wearying themselves, and preventing others from doing their duty. They should teach the members how to work in the church and community, to build up the church, to make the prayer meeting interesting, and to train for missionaries youth of ability. The members of the church should cooperate actively with the ministers, making the section of country around them their field of missionary labor. Churches that are weak or few in numbers, should be looked after by sister churches.
    The gospel of Christ is aggressive and diffusive. In the day of God not one will be excused for being shut up to his own selfish interests. There is work for every mind, and for every hand, work adapted to different minds and varied capabilities. Every one who is connected with God will impart light to others. If there are any who have no light to give, it is because they have no connection with the Source of light. Is it any marvel that God does not visit the churches with greater manifestations of his power, when so large a number are shut up in themselves, engrossed in their own interests? It is thus that their piety becomes weakened, and they grow bigoted and self-caring; but by working for others they would keep their souls alive. If they would become co-laborers with Jesus, we should see the light in our churches steadily burning brighter and brighter, sending forth its rays to penetrate the darkness beyond our own border. Oh, if the church would arise, and put on her beautiful garments, the righteousness of Christ, what a change would be realized in her influence, and in her spiritual condition! The jealousies and faultfinding, the heart-burnings, the envy and dissensions, the strife for supremacy, would cease. A close sympathy with Christ and his mission of love and mercy, would bring the workers into sympathy with one another, and there would be no disposition to cherish these evils, which, if indulged, are the curse of the church. In giving attention to the work of saving souls, they would be stimulated themselves to greater piety and purity; there would be a unity of purpose, and the salvation of precious souls would be felt to be of such great importance that all little differences would be completely swallowed up.
    The Lord holds the church responsible for the souls whom they might save. If his people were to see themselves as God sees them, they could not endure to look their responsibilities and delinquencies in the face. Self-reproach would overwhelm them. Brethren and sisters in the faith, does the question arise in your hearts, "Am I my brother's keeper?" If you claim to be the children of God, you are your brother's keeper. God has intrusted to you sacred truths. Christ abiding in the individual members of the church is a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. You are guilty before God if you do not make every effort possible to dispense this living water to others. Men are perishing close by your own doors, while they hew out to themselves broken cisterns that hold no water. Heaven is indignant at the ease of men and women in Zion, while souls are going down to ruin in their ignorance and sins. Have we the truth for these last days? If we have, it must be carried to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Ere long, the living and the dead will have been judged according to the deeds done in the body, and the law of God is the standard by which they are to be tested. Of this they must now be warned. God's holy law must be vindicated, and held up before them as a mirror.
    But this work requires means. It is true that times are hard, that money is not plenty; but the truth must be spread, and money to spread it must be placed in the treasury. Many are trembling with fear because the work moves faster than their slow faith, and means is expended more rapidly than it comes into the treasury; and yet we have taken only the first few steps in advance. Our message is worldwide; yet many are doing nothing, and many more, so very little, and with so great a want of faith, that it is next to nothing. Shall we abandon the field that has already been opened in foreign countries? Shall we drop part of the work in our home missions? Shall we be disheartened at a debt of a few thousand dollars? Shall we falter and become laggards in the very last scenes of this world's history? My heart says, No, no! I cannot contemplate this question without a burning zeal in my souls to see this work go. We would not deny our faith, we would not deny Christ; yet we shall commit this fearful sin unless we move forward, as the providence of God opens the way. The work must not stop for want of means. More money must be invested. "Sell that ye have and give alms." There is a time coming when commandment-keepers can neither buy nor sell. In the last extremity, before this work shall close, thousands of dollars will be cheerfully laid upon the altar. Men and women will feel it a blessed privilege to share in the great work of preparing souls to stand in the great day of God, and they will give hundreds as readily as five dollars are given now. But let us not dishonor God by thinking that the church has not the means to do all the work that devolves upon her just now.
    None need be in darkness concerning their duty if they make God's word their rule. They should study the instructions given by Christ upon different occasions, and should put them in practice. The Saviour has bidden us, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, . . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." Some selfishly retain their means during their lifetime, trusting to make up for their neglect by remembering the cause in their wills. But not half of the means thus bestowed in legacies, ever benefits the object specified. Brethren and sisters, invest in the bank of heaven yourselves, and do not leave your stewardship upon another. Do just as Christ has directed you, and you are in a safe path. In obeying this injunction, our example will preach louder than words. The highest display of the power of the truth is seen when those who profess to believe it give evidence of their faith by their works. Those who believe this solemn truth, should possess such a spirit of self sacrifice that the worldly ambition of the money-worshiper will be rebuked. We shall be brought into straight places in our work. Trials will come. God will test the strength of our faith. He will prove us to see if we will trust him under difficulties. The silver and the gold are the Lord's; and when his stewards have done their duty fully, and can do no more, they are not to sit down at ease, and let things take their course. It is then that they should cry to God for help. There should be stated seasons for prayer. Let those who have faith seek the Lord earnestly, remembering that the "kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
    The church has, with open hand and heart, come forward to the work hitherto, and she will do it yet. We have confidence in her integrity, and she will not be the poorer for the multitude and costliness of her gifts. The offerings of the church have in many instances been more numerous than her prayers. The missionary movement is far in advance of the missionary spirit. Earnest prayers have not followed the workers, like sharp sickles, into the harvest field. It is true that there is an interest to see success attend the efforts to unfurl the banner of truth in foreign lands; but there has been a lack of heart-felt sympathy with laborers, a lack of real burden of soul, that the means invested may do its work. This is the ground of our difficulties. This is the reason for the pressure for means. The people must be called to reflection. There must be a spiritual awakening. They must have a personal interest, a burden of soul to watch and pray for the success of the work. Let every one who give his means, also send up his prayers daily that it may bring souls to the foot of the cross. And in every church, once a week at least, let there be a season set apart for praying for this work. Let all be united, not mingling in their petitions other wants, such as blessings for the sick and needy, but having a specific object for their faith and entreaties. Brethren, move high heaven by your prayers for God to work with the efforts of his servants. The Lord has agencies which he will put in operation in answer to the importunate prayers of faith. He will fulfill his word, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
    Our work is calling attention to us as a people. We are signs and wonders in the world. Seventh-day Adventists are making progress, doubling their numbers, establishing missions, and unfurling the banner of truth in the dark places of the earth; and yet the work moves far more slowly than God would have it. The members of the church are not aroused to put forth the earnest individual efforts they are capable of making, and every branch of the work is crippled for the want of fervent piety and devoted, humble, God-fearing workers. There is a class that are represented by Meroz. My heart is sore troubled for these. The missionary spirit has never taken hold of their souls. The calls for foreign missions do not stir them to action. What account will these render to God, who are doing nothing in his cause, nothing to win souls to Christ? Such will receive the denunciation, "Thou wicked and slothful servant!" The interest and labors of the church must be extended more earnestly and decidedly to both home and foreign missions. There should be deep heart-searching among our young men and women, to see if they have a work to do for the Master. There is work to be accomplished that money cannot do. Heart devotion is needed now. The destitute portions of the field must be supplied with earnest laborers. Warm, loving hearts are wanted. We must have great faith and corresponding works. All who go into the missionary field will have hardships and trials to endure; they will find hard work, plenty of it; but those who have the right stamp of character will persevere under difficulties, discouragements, privations, holding firmly to the arm of the Lord. They will show a zeal that will not flag, a faith that will not yield, a resolution that will not weaken. They are doing no more than God requires when they dedicate themselves soul, body, and spirit, to his service, becoming partakers with Christ in his sufferings. If they share his self- denial and cross-bearing, they will be partakers also in his joy,--the joy of seeing souls saved through their instrumentality in the kingdom of glory.
    We need to cry to God as did Jacob, for a greater baptism of the Holy Spirit. The time for labor is short. Let there be much praying. Let the soul yearn after God. Let the secret places of prayer be often visited. Let there be a taking hold of the strength of the mighty God of Israel. Let the ministers walk humbly before the Lord, weeping between the porch and the altar, and crying, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach." Let the members of the church lay aside their pride and ornamentation. Instead of being expended for needless things, let their means flow into the treasury of the Lord. Thousands of dollars would thus be brought in to supply the wants of the cause.
    But more than this is to be done. Self-denial must be practiced. Some of our comfortable and desirable things must be sacrificed. The preachers must sharpen up their message, not merely assailing self-indulgence and pride in dress, but presenting Jesus and his life of self-denial and sacrifice. Let genuine love, piety, and faith be cherished in the heart, and their precious fruits will appear in the life. Let none indulge the thought that we have attempted too much. No, no; we have attempted too little. The work which we are now doing ought to have been done ten years ago. Our plans must be enlarged, our operations extended. What is needed now is a church whose individual members shall be awake and active to do all that is possible for them to accomplish. We are not left alone in this work. We are laborers together with God, in partnership with divine resources. The Captain of our salvation is on every field of battle where truth is waging war against error. The truth which we profess, offers the highest encouragement to the most devoted and self-sacrificing and persevering effort that mortal energies can bestow. We should have the courage of heroes, the faith of martyrs. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 19, 1886
(Vol. 63, #41)

 "Labors in Christiana"

    July 2 we arrived in Christiana. We were met at the station by friends, and taken to the rooms which had been prepared for us in a part of the old office building formerly used as a meeting hall. These rooms were fitted up very comfortably, and were made attractive by a variety of house plants. We were glad to meet Bro. and Sr. Clausen, so recently from America, and other friends with whom we formed an acquaintance at our visit last fall.
    Sabbath, July 3, we met with the church in their hall in the new publishing house, a pleasant and commodious place of worship. I spoke to them from 2 Pet. 3:11 : "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness." I urged upon them the importance, since they had received so great light, of having corresponding works. The genuine receiver of truth is a doer of the word, and not a hearer only. As the truth is brought into the life, the whole character is changed. "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." The truly converted soul will become gentle and condescending. His character will be marked with simplicity. He will be spiritually minded. Self-exaltation will cease. His affections have entered a new channel. He loves Jesus with the whole heart, and he loves his brethren as the purchase of the blood of Christ. Here is the fruit that will certainly appear in the renewed heart.
    We have a most solemn faith. Believing as we do that Christ is soon to come, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness! What holy energy and diligence should be manifested in our lives! It should be our delight to do the will of God; and if we do his will, we shall be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
    An appointment had been made for me to speak Sunday afternoon at Laurvig, about seventy miles from Christiana. We went to this place by steamer, leaving Christiana at ten o'clock Saturday evening. The little steamer was so crowded that we could not obtain a stateroom, but the seats in the ladies' cabin served us for berths. The night seemed long, and we were glad to see, about two o'clock, the red eastern sky foretelling the sunrise.
    We arrived in Laurvig at 5 A. M., and were met by Bro. E. G. Olsen, and taken to our rooms at the hotel, where we spent the morning in sleeping. After taking dinner with Bro. and Sr. Olsen, we visited a beautiful forest park, an extensive grove of beech trees, which is said to be the only beech grove in Norway. What especially interested me was, while it was a place of public resort, no alcoholic liquor of any kind was allowed to be sold there. Nothing stronger than soda water was dealt out to visitors.
    In the afternoon I addressed a good congregation from Luke 10:25-28: "A certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, 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." I showed from the words of Christ what constitutes true holiness, that faith and obedience go hand in hand.
    In this place, as in Orebro, are to be found the claimants of sanctification, some of whom, not satisfied with the boast of perfect holiness, make the most presumptuous claims, one man even professing to be Christ himself. This spurious sanctification has a bewitching power very similar to that of Spiritualism, and as difficult to break. Its advocates claim to be holy while they are workers of iniquity, calling sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. Satan uses this class to bring contempt upon Bible religion.
    Under Bro. Olsen's labors a good interest had been manifested in Laurvig, and about twenty had begun to keep the Sabbath. We felt a deep interest in this little company. Some of its members were converted from a life of dissipation. The appearance of one of these brethren impressed me forcibly; his countenance bore in so marked a manner the impress of the spirit of Jesus that one could but say, This man is indeed born of God. He is poor, dependent upon his daily labor for support, and on account of the Sabbath he expects to lose his position; he is no longer young, and infirmities press upon him; but he has the peace of Christ. The truth he loves has done much for him; there has been a decided change in his whole life. The fountain has been purified, and the change is evinced by the sweetness of the stream that flows from it. The renewed man can say, "For me to live is Christ." I much desired to remain longer in this place; but duty called us elsewhere, and on Monday we returned to Christiana.
    We felt much burdened for the church in this place; for we knew that it was not in a healthy condition. While some of its members were earnest and devoted, earnestly striving to follow Christ, there were others of that class whom the apostle calls vain talkers, whose mouths must be stopped. Their religion consists in prying into the affairs of others, as if the Lord had placed them on the judgment seat to criticise and condemn their brethren. They have carried their reproaches and accusations from household to household, and instead of being promptly rebuked, they have found listeners. Those who thus give ear to these faultfinding ones are equally guilty; for they are encouraging them in their cruel work. Whoever lends himself to this work of evil surmising, reproach, and accusation, is rendering service to Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren, accusing them before God day and night. Those who have Christ abiding in the heart will not be engaged in any such work; they will be as far removed from it as the east is from the west.
    Those who are associated together in church capacity have entered into a relationship with one another which implies mutual responsibility. They have individually pledged themselves to God and to their brethren to build up one another in the most holy faith,--to build up, not to tear down. No church can be in a healthy, flourishing condition unless its leaders shall take firm, decided measures to repress this faultfinding, accusing spirit wherever it exists. Its indulgence should be made a matter of church discipline; for it is a violation of the law of God, a violation of the rules which Christ has laid down for preserving order in the church. If these mischievous talkers are not subjected to church discipline they become confirmed in their evil work, and God charges the guilt upon the church.
    It is impossible to express the pain and trouble caused by the false tongue. The atmosphere surrounding the soul is vital with influences for good or evil. There are persons whose presence leaves a taint on everything wherever they go. An intelligent Christian lady, after a scandal-monger had left her house, set all the doors and windows wide open to cleanse the atmosphere of its pollution. The professed followers of Christ should realize that the influence of their words and acts not only has a bearing upon themselves, but extends outside the church. If they could see the mischief wrought by their careless words, the repetition of vague reports, the unjust censures, there would be far less talking and more praying when Christians assemble together.
    At the bar of God there will be opened before us astonishing revelations of the results of evil-speaking. At that bar the deceitful tongue, the cruel tongue, that has been so unsparing in its accusing and denunciation, will receive from the Judge of all the earth the same judgment that it has passed upon others. Vain talkers will then be called to meet their work, to answer for the souls that have been turned from the truth by their wicked words.
    The members of the church need to be educated to realize their accountability. They should feel that it extends to all the minutest acts of life, to the words and to the thoughts. We must individually meet our whole life again before God's throne, and give an account, not only for all we have done, whether good or evil, but for all the good we might have done yet failed to accomplish because we were not consecrated to God.
    We spent two weeks in Christiana, and labored earnestly for the church. The Spirit of the Lord moved me to bear a very plain testimony. At our last meeting especially, I presented before them the necessity of a thorough change in the character if they would be children of God. When they come to worship before the Lord, it should be with subdued and reverent hearts. The house built for his worship is a sacred place, not a place for unholy feelings, malice, faultfinding, and bitterness of spirit. I urged upon them the necessity of deep repentance, confession, and forsaking of the sins which had shut away the sweet spirit of Christ from the church. We then called for those to come forward who would take a decided position on the Lord's side. Many responded. Some good confessions were made, and earnest testimonies were borne. We hope that this move is but the beginning of a decided advance on the part of many members of this church.
    The Lord is willing to work for the church if they will in his fear go to work for themselves. They must individually make earnest efforts to reach a higher standard; but the church cannot rise while the mischief-makers are allowed to do their work of death. Each member of the church should do all in his power to eradicate this curse. God would have his children keep guard, not only over their words, but over their thoughts. Let the heart be closed firmly against all evil reports and meddling talkers, and let it be opened wide to receive God's light and love. Let the soul receive the impress of the divine image, that it may reflect Jesus to the world.
    The grace of Christ in the soul is represented as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The heart imbued with the spirit of Christ renders back love and obedience, gratitude and thanksgiving, thus showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. How terrible a thing it is to disappoint Jesus by failing to do this work which he expects of-us, and which we can do if his light is shining in our hearts! The world is to be warned by the solemn truths which God has committed to his people. And the condition of the church is making its impression either for or against these truths. A perishing world has need of living Christian men and women, in whom Christ is abiding, and in whose daily life he is revealed. A church whose members are quickened by personal connection with Jesus will have an influence upon unbelievers. Their purity of character, their inflexible fidelity, their Christlike meekness, are a light to guide other souls to Christ and to the truth. Basel, Switzerland. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 26, 1886
(Vol. 63, #42)

 "Visit to Copenhagen"

    From Christiana we went by steamer direct to Copenhagen. This was a pleasant journey of about twenty-four hours. Much of the way we were in sight of land. Christiana is situated at the head of a bay, or fiord, extending about fifty miles into the country from the sea. While passing through this fiord we have a fine view of the scenery on each side. Sometimes the bay narrows so that there seems to be little more than room to pass, and again widening stretches away to a great distance. Along the coast are mountains, sometimes covered with pine forests, and again bare and rocky, while here and there are clusters of little houses, perched high upon the rocks.
    Arriving in Copenhagen, we found Bro. Brorsen waiting for us. Eld. Matteson's family, with whom we stayed last fall, had moved to Stockholm, and we now took rooms at the hotel. We were very pleasantly situated. Just across the street were the city botanical gardens, of which we had a fine view from our windows. The grounds were very attractive, and being open to the public afforded us a pleasant place to walk, apart from the noise and confusion of the crowded streets. My health improved much after coming to Copenhagen, so that I was in a better condition to labor than when I left home.
    Our meetings here were appreciated, and seemed to be a blessing to the church. Last fall there were only about a dozen in Copenhagen keeping the Sabbath. Since that time there have been several valuable additions to their number. Those who have received the truth, have moved very cautiously. Some have been six months searching the Bible, like the noble Bereans, to see if these things are so. Among this number was a retired sea captain, who was a member of the Methodist Church, and a teacher in their Bible class. The members of his class were very much attached to him, and he had hoped, by moving with wisdom and caution, to bring some of them to accept the truth. But the minister, learning of his change of views, became alarmed, and deprived him of his class. This brother's testimony in our meetings revealed a warm interest in this work. He said that in past ages the gospel had gone from the east to the west, and now he thanked God that the precious light of truth was returning with increased power from the west to the east.
    In one of our meetings a stranger arose to speak, saying that he had not been in Copenhagen before for years; he could not see anything good there; but he was thankful he had come now. He had never listened to such things as he had heard in that meeting. He believed that the time had come for the outpouring of the Spirit of God, spoken of by the prophet Joel. He seemed deeply moved, and expressed a desire to go with this people. He also attended the Sabbath school, which was conducted by Bro. Oyen with life and spirit, presenting a marked contrast to the ordinary Sunday school. The stranger seemed greatly interested in the exercises, and at the close he spoke again, saying that he had never before seen anything like it; that he must go home and tell his Baptist brethren all that he had seen and heard.
    This man's wife, who was present at the meeting, had been a Sabbath-keeper for several years, and had been bitterly opposed by her husband. The change in him was to her an unexpected blessing, and she was filled with joy. With Sr. Matteson as interpreter, she afterward came to speak to me, and with deep emotion expressed her gratitude for what she had heard.
    One brother who with his wife has recently accepted the truth, is a first-class carpenter. He stated his faith to his employer, saying that he could not work on the seventh day; but instead of being discharged, as he had feared, he was retained and allowed to keep the Sabbath. Whatever one's business or calling, it always pays to be thorough, to do our very best, and to be continually learning and improving. Those who do this, will be retained by their employers when others, who are less capable and efficient, are discharged. And, as a rule, those who are faithful and thorough in their business will bring the same characteristics into their religious life. God grant that this may be the case with this dear brother.
    There are some who have had to take less pleasant and profitable positions because they keep the Sabbath; yet they are not discouraged, but are fully decided to obey God's commandments. There are others who are convinced of the truth, and are endeavoring to arrange their business so they can keep the Sabbath. One encouraging feature which we noticed in the little company here is that they are all anxious to have special efforts made to spread the truth in this large city, well knowing that such labor will involve efforts and responsibility on their part.
    If those who have received the truth will let their light shine out to others in meekness, holiness, and love, they will be a power for good in the world. Every truly converted soul will, like Daniel, Ezra, and other faithful servants of God, stand as a witness for him amid the almost universal apostasy. They will catch the divine rays of light shining from God's word, and will reflect it to the world. If his servants under the former dispensation were to shine brightly, as lights amid the darkness, how much more should we in this age, when in addition to the light which they had, we have all the increased light which has since been shining from God's word and from his dealings with his people. When the Christian church was established, the light of heaven was in the midst of it, and its bright beams penetrated everywhere. So it should be now.
    God has given the individual members of his church ability to exert an influence on other minds. He expects all to improve in ability by putting to exercise the talents he has lent them. The pen, the power of speech, and the affections sanctified, are to be used in his work of enlightening the world. And as we thus work in his order, he will be constantly renewing, sanctifying, elevating, and increasing our powers, that we may accomplish a greater amount of good. The Christian no longer asks, What is agreeable to self, or for my own interest? but, What is God's will? what is for his glory, and the good of my fellowmen? How can I be instrumental in the salvation of souls? Every one who is a partaker of the divine nature will feel the burden of souls. He will love as Christ loved and work as Christ worked, expecting the reward at the end of the warfare. What is needed in every church is the vitalizing spirit of Christ, earnest, practical piety. In Christ we can do all things; without him we can do nothing.
    While in Copenhagen we visited several beautiful parks, and one day ascended the "round tower," a very large and high tower connected with an old church. The ascent to this tower is not by stairs, but by an inclined plane, winding round and round, nine stories high. From this point a few stairs take us to the roof, which commands an extensive view of the city and the surrounding towns and islands. The ascent to the tower is so gradual, and the passage so wide, that several horses could be driven abreast. We were told that Peter the Great and Frederick IV. rode to the top of this tower, and while looking down from the dizzy height the former said to his companion, "Which of us has soldiers who would prove their loyalty by throwing themselves down from here if their king required it?" Frederick replied that he could not claim to have any soldier that would do this, but he could say that he was not afraid to sleep in the house of the poorest subject in his kingdom.
    As I looked down upon the great city, I could but think of the scenes that will be witnessed here when Christ shall come. This city is given up to pleasure and worldliness. Beer drinking and card playing, dancing and reveling, absorb the attention of the people. The multitudes will mock at the message of warning. Like the dwellers in Sodom, they will be awakened only when it is too late. As the sun arose for the last time upon the cities of the plain, the people thought to commence another day of godless riot. All were eagerly planning their business or their pleasure, and the messenger of God was derided for his fears and his warnings. Suddenly as the thunder peal from an unclouded sky, fell balls of fire on the doomed capital. "So shall also the coming of the Son of man be." The people will be eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage,until the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture of mercy. The world will be rocked to sleep in the cradle of carnal security. They have been taught by their ministers to believe that the second advent of Christ is to be spiritual or to take place in the distant future, and the warning of his soon coming is denounced as fanaticism or heresy. Skepticism and "science falsely so called" have undermined faith in the Bible. The multitudes are striving to forget God, and they eagerly accept fables, that they may pursue the path of self-indulgence undisturbed. The people are hurrying to and fro, the lovers of pleasure intent upon amusement, the money-makers seeking wealth, and all are saying, Where is the promise of his coming? Then it is that the voice of the archangel and the trump of God are heard. Oh, what terror will then overwhelm the wicked! What cries of anguish will be heard from those who have derided the overtures of mercy from God's messengers! The bolts and bars by which they sought to guard their treasures are rent asunder by the mighty earthquake. The grand and magnificent buildings are shaken down, and the guilty triflers are buried in the ruins.
    Says the apostle, "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." Yet Jesus sees that even those who have received the light are in danger of becoming careless and losing the spirit of watchfulness, and he addresses to them the solemn warning words, "Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. " Increased vigilance is our only safety. The waiting, watching ones will be actively engaged in preparing to meet their Lord. They will keep a faithful watch over themselves lest the least sin shall defile the character. They will maintain strict temperance. Humility and simplicity will characterize every action, in harmony with the truth they hold. We cannot be too careful in our preparation that we may meet the Lord in peace. Our powers should be tasked to the utmost to understand the word of God, and to heed its warning and counsels. We should seek earnestly to adorn the soul temple in a manner to please our Lord. "Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
    Those are watching most nobly and truly who are laboring with the greatest diligence to arouse souls to their danger. All heaven is astir, actively engaged in preparing for the great day of God's vengeance, the day of Zion's deliverance; and shall not equal earnestness and zeal be manifested by his people on the earth?
    The little while of tarrying is almost ended. The pilgrims and strangers who have so long been seeking a better country are almost home. Let the blessed hope of our Saviour's soon appearing inspire us with fresh courage, and give vigor to every Christian grace. "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." Basel, Switzerland. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 2, 1886
(Vol. 63, #43)

 "Hold Fast, and Repent"

    You to whom are committed the sacred, testing truths for this time,are you faithful to your God-given trust? Every one wields an influence over the destiny of other souls. "Ye are the light of the world." A faithful discharge of duty on your part will have a telling influence on the impenitent; but if you neglect the work which God has given to you, some soul will be lost. Consider this matter, I pray you, in the light of God's word; and may your souls feel the burden of your intrusted responsibility. Oh that there might be a turning to the Lord by every member of the church, that the earnest, fervent piety of each might be a message of warning to the sinner! "Be zealous and repent," is the word of God to his professed people. "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
    Many of our people are backsliding from God. We need to arouse. Let every soul that has named the name of Christ depart from iniquity. We want a pure Christianity. Great dangers are lurking for us on every side. When they most need the presence of God, many have it least. They are in danger of becoming like the Jewish nation, who knew not the Scriptures nor the power of God. Like the teachers of Israel, you may explain Bible truth to others, and yet not practice it in your daily life. If the Jews had possessed an experimental knowledge of the Scriptures, they would not have been ignorant of the power of God. Like them, we have great light and privileges; but many do not respond to these, and herein lies their peril. When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, his tears were for all who abuse present privileges. He wept that so many who profess his name fail to become what God designed them to be; that they continue in sin and weakness, while he is willing and able to save them if they will but come to him. The Saviour says, "What more could I have done that I have not done in it?" He has dealt with his people as a loving father with a wayward and rebellious child. But he sees grace resisted, privileges abused, opportunities slighted. Where he had a right to expect earnest, vital piety, he sees insincerity, hollow formalism, and Pharisaic pride. Neglect of light is chargeable on those whom God has intrusted with great and solemn truths. Ingratitude for God's mercies, abuse of blood-bought privileges, stand registered against many in the books of heaven, and are treasuring up for them wrath against the day of wrath. Vengeance will surely be visited on those who have had so great light, yet are so cold and unimpressible that no light shines from them to the world.
    God has loaded us with his benefits. Immortal blessings have been poured upon us in great measure. Messengers have been sent with warnings, reproofs, and entreaties. God's servants have wept and prayed over the lukewarm state of the church. Some may arouse, but only to fall back into unconsciousness of their sin and peril. Passion, worldliness, malice, envy pride, strife for supremacy, make our churches weak and powerless. Some of Christ's embassadors are carrying a heavy burden on their souls, because their message is treated by so many as an idle tale. The eye of Jesus, looking down the ages, was fixed upon our time when he said, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace!" It is still thy day, O church of God, whom he has made the depositary of his law. But this day of trust and probation is fast drawing to a close. The sun is fast westering. Can it be that it will set, and thou not know the things that belong unto thy peace? Must the irrevocable sentence be passed, "But now they are hid from thine eyes"? I tell you there is need to be alarmed. It is time to seek God earnestly, saying with Jacob, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me." It will be of no avail to make a spasmodic effort, only to fall back into spiritual lethargy and lukewarmness. The past, with the slighted mercies, the admonitions unheeded, the earthly passions uncorrected, the privileges unimproved, the soul temple filled with desecrated shrines,--all is recorded in the books of heaven. But most solemn moments are still before you. Because of past neglect, the efforts you make must be the more earnest.
    The Saviour speaks to his people, "Be zealous and repent." It is not ministers whom you have slighted; it is not the warnings of men that you have rejected; it is not my delegated prophets that you have refused to hear, but your Redeemer, your only hope. If ye are destroyed, it is yourselves alone that are responsible. Ye will not come to me that ye might have life. "O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not." I desired to save you, but ye would not be doers of my word. The arm strong to save, is also strong to punish. Jesus is now looking from heaven above with yearning pity upon thee, even thee in this thy day, O thoughtless, careless soul. But unless there is in our churches a general arousing, unless there is an individual work of confessing and putting away sin, unless all shall give earnest heed to the things that belong to their peace, the words of Christ may at any moment be applicable to them: "Now they are hid from thine eyes." I intrusted thee with a solemn, sacred message of truth to be made known to others, but thou hast been unfaithful to thy holy trust. Souls have not been enlightened, warned, and urged to repentance. Their blood will I require at thy hand.
    Will our churches humble themselves before the Lord in this day of atonement? Will they put away the sins which defile their garments of character, and separate them from God? The present is our day of visitation. Look not to a future, more convenient season, when the cross to be lifted will be less heavy, when the inclinations of the carnal heart will be subdued with less effort. "Today," saith the Spirit of God, "if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart." Today go about the work, else you may be one day too late. The impression that you have now may not be as strong tomorrow. Satan's snare may close about you. The candlestick may be moved out of its place, and you left in darkness. "See that you refuse not him that speaketh." Says the true Witness, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God, or through his delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world's care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond. The heavenly Guest is standing at your door, while you are piling up obstructions to bar his entrance. Jesus is knocking through the prosperity he gives you. He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity, that they may flow out from you to others. Will you permit your selfishness to triumph? Will you squander God's talents, and lose your soul through idolatrous love of the blessings he has given?
    There are some whose hold on life is weakening. Disease is preying upon them. Soon will come the time for the separation from all earthly things. Will they venture to trifle with God now? Will they rob him by withholding help from his cause? Are there any who will prefer perishable, earthly treasure to the heavenly, immortal substance? Christ is making his last appeal to hearts. How importunate his entreaty, how reluctant he is to give you up to separation from his love and presence forever! Still is heard the step of Him who waiteth at your door; his voice is yet pleading for entrance; but there is a point beyond which his forbearance will not reach. Shall the words be written over the doomed doorway, "Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone"? Shall it be spoken concerning you, He is joined to his idol of sensuality: let him alone? He is joined to his idol of earthly treasure: let him alone? He is joined to his idolatry of self: let him alone? The Sun of righteousness may set this very day for those who have had great light and privileges, and have not improved them. You have no time to loiter, no time to consult your convenience. It is now, even now, that you are to be zealous and repent. Oh, it is peace that you need,--Heaven's forgiveness, peace, and love in the soul. Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot procure it, wisdom cannot attain to it; but Jesus offers it as a gift. It is yours if you will but reach out your hand and grasp it. Many are weary of their halfhearted service. Their souls cry out after the living God. We are so weak, so helpless, yet so desirous for a better state of things, that we turn away from a religion that has no divine manifestation. We cannot be satisfied with a form of godliness. We must have the deep movings of the Spirit of God in the soul.
    Let the minister of God in his labors lean upon the arm of infinite power. Let him lay bare his soul in the secret place alone before God. Let him with loathing put away soul defilement. Let the weary, discouraged soul cry as did Jacob, for the Comforter. Never trust in what you yourself can do. Your wisdom is but foolishness. Ever keep in heart the knowledge that we are laborers for God. The Lord is leading his church in these last days as he led ancient Israel. While he gives them warnings, reproofs, and encouragement through his delegated servant, Christ, the angel of the covenant, who in the pillar of cloud and of fire went before the Hebrew host, is the leader of his people today. Provoke him not with your murmurings, by your selfish withholding from his cause, by cherishing iniquity; for in the face of great light he will not pardon your continual transgressions. The warning to the Sardis church is applicable at this time: "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." And to us also the promise is extended. "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 9, 1886
(Vol. 63, #44)

 "Mental Inebriates"

    What shall our children read? is a serious question, and demands a serious answer. I am troubled to see in Sabbath-keeping families periodicals and newspapers containing continued stories that leave no impress of good upon the minds of the children and youth. I have watched those whose taste for fiction has been thus cultivated. They have had the privilege of listening to the truth, of becoming acquainted with the reasons of our faith; but they have grown to maturer years destitute of true piety and practical godliness. These dear youth need so much to put into their character building the very best material--the love and fear of God and a knowledge of Christ. They should copy his example in denying self, in living to do good, and in obeying all God's commands. Christ says, "I have kept my Father's commandments."
    But many know little or nothing of the reasons of our faith, and have little of an intelligent knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. The mind is feasted upon sensational stories, and the brain is excited just according to the food given it. They live in an unreal world, and are unfitted for the practical duties of life. I have observed children allowed to come up in this way. Whether at home or abroad, they are restless or dreamy, and are unable to converse save upon the most commonplace subjects. Religious thought and conversation is a channel quite foreign to their minds. I have felt sincere pity for these souls when I have considered how much they were losing by neglecting opportunities for knowledge of the religion of Jesus Christ, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. How much precious time is wasted in which they might be studying the Pattern of true goodness and loveliness of character! They might become like Jesus, pure and undefiled in a world of fierce temptation, reflecting the rays of light from the character of our blessed Example. Thus confessing Jesus to the world, they would reveal on whose side they stand.
    But when an appetite for reading exciting, sensational stories is cultivated, and the habit of reading any and every thing that is to be had, is established, the moral taste is perverted, and the mind is unsatisfied unless fed upon this trashy, unwholesome food. I am pained to see young men and women thus ruining their usefulness in this life, and failing to obtain an experience that will prepare them for an eternal life in heavenly society. I can think of no more fit name for them than mental inebriates. Intemperate habits of reading have a similar effect upon the brain to intemperance in eating or drinking.
    I am personally acquainted with some who have lost the healthful tone of the brain through wrong habits of reading; and they will go through life with a diseased imagination, magnifying every little grievance. Things which a sound, sensible mind would not notice, will become to them unendurable trials and insurmountable obstacles, and life will be to them a constant shadow. The nerves of the brain are constantly and unnecessarily taxed by this passion for reading. The nobler powers of the mind, adapted to higher pursuits and contemplation, are educated to be contented with commonplace, yes, worse than commonplace, things, and are thus abused, debased, and dwarfed. Those who indulge the habit of racing through an exciting story, are simply crippling their mental strength, and disqualifying their minds for vigorous thought and research. When the intellect is fed and stimulated upon this depraving food, the thoughts become impure and sensual. Youth and even those of mature age have been afflicted with paralysis from no other cause than excess in reading. The nerve power of the brain was kept constantly excited, until the delicate machinery became worn and refused to act, some of its fine mechanism gave way, and paralysis was the result. There are men and women now in the decline of life who have never recovered from the effect of intemperance in reading. The habit, formed in early years, grew with their growth, and strengthened with their strength. Determined efforts to overcome this sin of abusing the God-given power of intellect were partially successful; but many have never recovered the vigor of mind God bestowed upon them.
    Others continue as they began. All desire to be practical Christians ends with the wish; for they cannot be truly Christlike, and continue feeding mind and soul upon the class of literature they have chosen. Professedly obeying God and loving his word, they are crowding their minds with all kinds of sensational reading, until their moral powers are perverted, they become useless in the world, and God is dishonored. I have seen Sabbath-keeping young ladies fairly unhappy unless they had on hand some new novel or some paper with an exciting, fascinating story. During their leisure moments the mind craved stimulation, as the drunkard craves intoxicating drink. These youth manifested no devotion; no heavenly light reflected upon their associates to lead them to the Fount of knowledge. They had no deep religious experience. If this class of reading had not been constantly before them, there might have been some hope of their reforming; but they craved it constantly, and must have it.
    Persons who indulge the habit of story-reading make no progress mentally or morally. The time so devoted is worse than wasted. The gospel seed that is sown in the heart remains unfruitful, or is choked by the weeds sown by such reading. Seed that does not spring up and bear fruit loses its power of germinating. The fig tree which bore no fruit was doomed to be cut down, condemned as an encumbrance to the very soil it occupied. God requires healthy growth of every tree in the garden of the Lord. But story-reading dwarfs the intellect. Childhood and youth are the time to begin to store the mind, but not with the chips and dirt found in modern newspapers and sensational literature. The mind should be guarded carefully. Nothing should be allowed to enter that will harm or destroy its healthy vigor. But to prevent this, it should be preoccupied with good seed, which, springing to life, will bring forth fruit bearing branches. If all kinds of seed are sown--good and bad indiscriminately--the mind's soil will be impoverished and demoralized by a wild and noxious growth. Weeds of every kind will flourish, and good seed attain no growth at all. A field left uncultivated speedily produces a rank growth of thistles and tangled vines, which exhaust the soil and are worthless to the owner. The ground is full of seeds blown and carried by the wind from every quarter; and if it is left uncultivated, they spring up to life spontaneously, choking every precious fruit bearing plant that is struggling for existence. If the field were tilled and sown to grain, these valueless weeds would be extinguished, and could not flourish.
    The similarity between an uncultivated field and an untrained mind is striking. Children and youth already have in their minds and hearts corrupt seed, ready to spring up and bear its perverting harvest; and the greatest care and watchfulness are needed in cultivating and storing the mind with precious seeds of Bible truth. The children should be educated to reject trashy, exciting tales, and turn to sensible reading that will train their minds to be interested in Bible story, history, and arguments. If their imagination becomes excited by feeding it upon highly-wrought fictitious stories, they will have no desire to search the Scriptures or obtain a knowledge of truth to impart to others. Truth is what our youth should read and study, not fiction--truth to be practiced every day, that truth which Christ prayed might sanctify his disciples.
    When the mind is stored with Bible truth, its principles take deep root in the soul, and the preference and tastes become wedded to truth, and there is no desire for debasing, exciting literature, that enfeebles the moral powers, and wrecks the faculties God has bestowed for usefulness. Bible knowledge will prove an antidote for the poisonous insinuations received through unguarded reading.
    Parents are asleep as to the importance of this subject. Instead of recommending your children to read "Robinson Crusoe" or fascinating stories even of real life, such as "Uncle Tom's Cabin," open to them the Scriptures, and have hours of reading God's word and searching the Scriptures for evidences of his truth. Parents can choose, if they will, whether or not their children's minds shall be filled with pure and holy thoughts and sentiments; but their tastes must be disciplined and educated with the greatest care. They must commence early to unfold the Scriptures before the expanding minds of their children, that proper habits and tastes may be formed. The Bible would not be neglected as it is if parents would take the proper course in teaching it to their families. The elements of evil cannot be exterminated except by the introduction of food for pure, solid thought.
    The Bible should be a book for study. The precious pearls of truth do not lie upon the surface, to be found by a careless, uninterested reader. Christ knew what was best for us, of whatever age, when he commanded us, "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me." Jesus, the greatest teacher the world ever knew, would have men and women and children and youth reach the highest standard of excellence of character. He would have them become fully developed mentally, morally, and physically.
    The holy Bible is neglected in many homes because so many other things are allowed to crowd it out. Center tables are covered with fictitious literature, newspapers, magazines, albums, and trinkets; and although the Book of books may be there also, its covers are seldom if ever opened by the younger members of the household, because of the ever-present temptation in the form of some alluring tale. Love for solid thought and reading is little cultivated by such literature.
    Men who are under the power of the evil one, are inspired by him to write overwrought fictitious stories, with which our world is flooded. In this they are fulfilling Satan's own plan; for if left to itself, the mind naturally chooses such food, to the neglect of the important saving truths of God's word. Our youth and children, and even those of mature age, should firmly pledge themselves to abstain from indulgence in reading the fascinating novels and sensational literature of the day. They delude the imagination, and fill the mind with such an amount of trash that there is no room for storing the sacred utterances of the prophets and apostles, who wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.
    The Lord, in his great mercy, has revealed to us in the Scriptures his rules of holy living, his commandments, and his laws. He tells us therein the sins to shun; he explains to us the plan of salvation, and points out the way to heaven. If they obey his injunction to "search the Scriptures," none need be ignorant of these things. The actual progress of the soul in virtue and divine knowledge, is by the plan of addition,--adding constantly the graces which Christ made an infinite sacrifice to bring within the reach of all. We are finite; but we are to have a sense of the infinite. The mind must be taxed contemplating God and his wonderful plan for our salvation. The soul will thus be lifted above commonplace things, and fastened upon things that are eternal. The thought that we are in God's world, and in the presence of the great Creator of the universe, who made man in his own image, after his own likeness, will lift the mind into broader, higher fields for meditation than any fictitious story. The thought that God's eye is watching us, that he loves us, and cared so much for fallen man as to give his dearly beloved Son to redeem us, that we might not miserably perish, is a great one; and whoever opens his heart to the acceptance and contemplation of these great themes, will never be satisfied with trivial, sensational subjects.
    Light and truth are within the reach of all and those who have the knowledge of the truth are to be as light in darkness; but if they do not set their minds to searching God's word, Satan will find chaff to fill their minds, leaving no room for the growth of the precious seed of truth. Amid the perils of these latter days, every individual member of the church should understand the reasons of his hope and faith, which are not difficult of comprehension if the mind is only kept free from the perverting and paralyzing influence of modern romance and fiction. There is work for the brain to do if we would grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then let us labor most earnestly to impress and urge upon our children the necessity of understanding the reasons of our faith. We are surrounded with temptations so disguised that they allure while they taint and corrupt the soul. Satan varies his enticements to suit different minds; and he takes advantage of every circumstance to make his plans for a soul's destruction successful.
    God inspired holy men to record for our benefit instruction concerning these dangers that beset our salvation, and how to escape them. The great needs of the soul will be felt upon becoming acquainted with God's word. The Bible declares that obedience to all God's commandments is essential to our salvation. It teaches us our duty to him, and his will concerning us. We are pointed to the cross of Calvary, and the voice of God says, Look in faith upon Him whom your sins have pierced, and live. Direct the eye of faith to the Lamb of God, and the sins that bruised the blessed body and broke the tender heart of God's dear Son will become hateful and abhorrent. The heart must realize its sins and repent of them. If there is faith in the pardoning blood of Jesus, who is full of compassion and divine love, gratitude and heavenly joy will fill the heart. Confidence in the power of Christ to save will steal into the soul, and thoughts of heavenly things will fill the mind. Jesus, precious Jesus, will become the chief among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely. Have we individually opened the door of our hearts to welcome the blessed Redeemer? If we have, we shall find no satisfaction in feeding upon husks; for we feast with Christ, and he feasts with us. Nothing more is wanted for the soul's comfort or salvation.
    I call upon the children and youth to empty their minds of foolish vanities, and make Jesus their everlasting friend. Be sure you have a well-grounded hope. Nothing short of this should satisfy the soul. Make no mistake, for we are working for eternal results. It is insanity to be quiet and at ease as so many are at the present time, having no assurance that they are indeed sons and daughters of God. Eternal interests are at stake. Put away that story, fall upon your knees in prayer for strength to overcome temptations, and devote your time to searching the Bible. And when Jesus reveals himself to you as a sin-pardoning Saviour, reflect the heavenly radiance upon others. You need not remain in suspense; true light shines from God's word upon all hearts that are open to receive its precious rays; and it is your privilege to say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." The Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that you are indeed children of God. You may commune with Christ, who will be within you a hope of glory. This is true religion. All else is deception, a delusion. Let us open our hearts to its influence, that when Christ comes, we may be ready to receive him in joy and peace. Nimes, France. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 16, 1886
(Vol. 63, #45)

 "The Duty of Forgiveness"

    "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." It is most difficult, even for those who claim to be followers of Jesus, to forgive as Christ forgives us. The true spirit of forgiveness is so little practiced, and so many interpretations are placed upon Christ's requirement, that its force and beauty are lost sight of. We have very uncertain views of the great mercy and loving-kindness of God. He is full of compassion and forgiveness, and freely pardons when we truly repent and confess our sins. But when the message of God's pardoning love comes from a heart that has an experimental knowledge thereof, to those who have not experienced it for themselves it is like speaking in parables. We must bring into our characters the love and sympathy expressed in Christ's life.
    Peter, when brought to the test, sinned greatly. In denying the Master he had loved and served, he became a cowardly apostate. But his Lord did not cast him off; he freely forgave him. After the resurrection, the angel told the women who had brought spices to the tomb, to carry the glad news of a risen Lord to the "disciples and Peter." And when afterward Christ thrice repeated the question, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" Peter cast himself upon the tender mercy of the Master he had so wronged, and said, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." And when our Lord intrusted to him the care of the sheep and lambs of the heavenly fold, Peter knew that he was taken back into divine confidence and affection. To fulfill this charge, he would need to have that mind which was in Jesus Christ; and if he was converted, he would copy the Pattern. Henceforth, remembering his own weakness and failures, he would be patient with his brethren in their mistakes and errors; remembering the patient love of Christ toward him, affording him another opportunity to bring forth the fruit of good works, he would be more conciliatory toward erring ones.
    If we have received the gift of God, and have a knowledge of Jesus Christ, we have a work to do for others. We must imitate the longsuffering of God toward us. The Lord requires of us the same treatment toward his followers that we receive of him. We are to exercise patience, to be kind, even though they do not meet our expectations in every particular. The Lord expects us to be pitiful and loving, to have sympathetic hearts. The fruits of the grace of God will be shown in our deportment to one another. We should keep always before us that, while claiming to be commandment-keepers, we must not be found to be commandment-breakers. The last six commandments specify man's duty to man. Christ did not say, You may tolerate your neighbor, but, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This means a great deal more than professing Christians carry out in their daily life. While they claim to be doers of God's word, they fail to make sure work by earnest practice.
    When Christ was on earth, instead of removing from the commandments one jot or one tittle of their force, he showed by precept and example how far-reaching their principles are, how much broader they are than the scribes and Pharisees thought. As Jesus taught the people practical godliness, the scribes and Pharisees were thinking that he was lowering the Old Testament standard; but Christ read their thoughts and understood their feelings like an open book, and reproved the self-righteous rulers in these words to the disciples: "For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
    Christ continues to impress upon his disciples the necessity of practicing the principles of the commandments. He tells them that the seventh commandment may be violated by the eyes and thoughts; therefore, the principles of God's law reach even to the intents and purposes of the mind. The Saviour seeks to impress upon his followers that merely believing the commandments is not enough; they must do them. He sets forth plain evidence that if we faithfully keep the ten precepts we shall love our neighbor as ourselves. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works which I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments." "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." "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."
    All the lessons and works of Christ were to show the elevated character of the law of his Father. If we have any just comprehension of the love wherewith he hath loved us, we will see that we come far short of doing his words. We claim to have special light in regard to the binding claims of God's law upon the whole human family, and we profess to be walking in that light. Let us critically examine ourselves, to see if we are living in obedience to the words of our Master in which he plainly points out the duty of his followers to their enemies as well as to their brethren.
    Nothing short of unreserved consecration to God will place us in such a relation to him that we will rightly perform every daily duty, and cultivate a piety so thorough and practical as to make itself felt by all in the circle of our influence. We must guard ourselves against a love of self that will lead us to neglect to render obedience to the important instructions Christ has given. These lessons should be so impressed upon our minds that we will consider how our words and actions appear to those who behold them. We should studiously cultivate Christian courtesy at all times, which will keep us from neglecting that which is due to others. We must study the example Christ has left us, as revealed in his character; and then, all unconsciously to ourselves, we shall do the works he did. By reflecting upon those around us the rays of light we thus receive, we may bring to a saving knowledge of him those who know him not. If all who claim to believe the truth would practice the lessons of Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves, there would be a forward, upward movement all along the line. We are to love souls for whom the Saviour died, with the pure unselfish love he manifested when he became our sacrifice.
    Let heads of families look into their home life. Is this love exemplified in the family circle? Go farther in your self-examination: in your association with your brethren in church capacity, do you find unkindness, selfishness, or even dishonesty? Be sure that you examine and prove yourselves as Paul has directed: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves." In the light of God's word, search carefully whether you truly have the love of God in the heart. "This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you." "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now."
    The love of Jesus needs to be brought to bear upon our lives. It will have a softening, subduing influence upon our hearts and characters. It will prompt us to forgive our brethren, even though they have done us injury. Divine love must flow from our hearts in gentle words and kindly actions to one another. The fruit of these good works will hang as rich clusters upon the vine of character. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
    "Longsuffering" is patience with offense; long endurance. If you are longsuffering, you will not impart to others your supposed knowledge of your brother's mistakes and errors. You will seek to help and save him, because he has been purchased with the blood of Christ. "Tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." To be longsuffering is not to be gloomy and sad, sour and hardhearted; it is to be exactly the opposite.
    There are church members who never feel sweet peace and rest in Jesus. They have made no growth in grace, they manifest no increase in meekness and love. An impatient, faultfinding, critical, envious, suspicious spirit classes them as yet among those under the influence of the adversary of souls. If they would let the spirit of their Saviour come in, their cold, hard hearts would be melted, and the merciful love of Jesus would be communicated to others instead of this worrying, exacting spirit. Christ's followers are in this world for the purpose of working intelligently to pluck brands from the burning. A consistent religious life, holy conversation, a godly example, true-hearted benevolence, mark the representative of Christ. Every duty he will faithfully perform, thus becoming a beacon light.
    Have you an unwavering trust in God? Lacking self-confidence, do you put your faith in him, rejoicing that you are privileged to be his child, even to suffer for his dear sake? Rejoicing in Christ as your Saviour, pitiful, compassionate, and touched with the feeling of your infirmities, love and joy will be revealed in your daily life. If you love Him who died to redeem mankind, you will love those for whom he died. A restful peace and happiness will fill your heart to overflowing when you believe that Jesus carries you and all your burdens.
    Brethren, we are nearing the Judgment. Talents have been lent us in trust. Let none of us be at last condemned as slothful servants. Send forth the words of life to those yet in darkness. Let the church be true to her trust. Her earnest, humble prayers will make the presentation of truth effectual, and Christ will be glorified. Nimes, France. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 30, 1886
(Vol. 63, #47)

 "Love for the Erring"

    Christ came to bring salvation within the reach of all. Upon the cross of Calvary he paid the infinite redemption price for a world lost. His self-denial and self sacrifice, his unselfish labor, his humiliation, and, above all, the offering up of his life, testify of the depth of his love for fallen man. It was to seek and to save that which was lost that he came to earth. His mission was to sinners--sinners of every grade, of every tongue and nation. He paid the price for all, to ransom them and bring them into union and sympathy with himself. The most erring, the most sinful, were not passed by; his labors were especially for those who most needed the salvation he came to bring. The greater their need of reform, the deeper was his interest, the greater his sympathy, and the more earnest his labors. His great heart of love was stirred to its depths for the ones who were the most hopeless, and who most needed his transforming grace.
    In the parable of the lost sheep is represented the wonderful love of Christ for the erring, wandering ones. He does not choose to remain with those who accept his salvation, bestowing all his efforts upon them, and receiving their gratitude and love. The true Shepherd leaves the flock that love him, and goes out into the wilderness, enduring hardship and facing danger and death, to seek and save the sheep that has wandered from the fold, and that must perish if not brought back. When after diligent search the lost is found, the Shepherd, though suffering from weariness, pain, and hunger, does not leave it in its weakness to follow him. He does not drive it back, but, oh wondrous love! he tenderly gathers it in his arms, and placing it upon his shoulder bears it to the fold. Then he calls upon his neighbors to rejoice with him over the lost that is found.
    The parable of the prodigal son, and that of the lost piece of silver teach the same lesson. Every soul that is especially imperiled by falling into temptation causes pain to the heart of Christ, and calls forth his tenderest sympathy and most earnest labor. Over one sinner that repenteth, his joy is greater than over the ninety and nine who need no repentance.
    These lessons are for our benefit. Christ has enjoined upon his disciples that they cooperate with him in his work; that they love one another as he has loved them. The agony which he endured upon the cross testifies of the estimate he places upon the human soul. All who accept this great salvation pledge themselves to be co-workers with him. None are to consider themselves special favorites of heaven, and center their interest and attention upon self. All who have enlisted in the service of Christ are to work as he worked, and to love as he loved even those who are in ignorance and sin.
    But there has been among us as a people a lack of deep, earnest, soul-touching sympathy and love for the tempted and the erring. Many have manifested great coldness and sinful neglect, represented by Christ as passing by on the other side--keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need help. The newly converted soul often has fierce conflicts with established habits, or with some special form of temptation, and he may be overtaken in a fault. Overcome by some master passion or tendency, he is guilty of indiscretion or actual wrong. It is then that energy, tact, and wisdom are required of his brethren, that he may be restored to spiritual health. In such cases the instructions of God's word apply: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." But how little of the pitying tenderness of Christ is manifested by his professed followers! When one errs, others too often feel at liberty to make the case appear as bad as possible. Those who perhaps are guilty of fully as great sins in some other direction, will treat their brother with cruel severity. Errors committed through ignorance, thoughtlessness, or weakness are exaggerated into willful, premeditated sin. As they see souls going astray, some fold their hands, and say, "I told you so. I knew there was no dependence to be placed upon them." Thus they place themselves in the attitude of Satan, exulting in spirit that their evil surmisings have proved to be correct.
    We must expect to meet and bear with great imperfections in those who are young and inexperienced. Christ has bidden us seek to restore such in the spirit of meekness, and he holds us responsible for pursuing a course which will drive them to discouragement, despair, and ruin. Unless they daily cultivate the precious plant of love, many who believe the solemn truths for this time are in danger of becoming narrow, unsympathizing, bigoted, and critical of others, esteeming themselves as righteous when they are far from being approved of God. Some are uncourteous, abrupt, and harsh. They are like chestnut burrs; they prick whenever touched. These do not rightly represent Christ, and they do incalculable harm by misrepresenting our loving Saviour.
    We must come up to a higher standard, or we are unworthy of the Christian name. We should cultivate the spirit with which Christ labored to save the erring. These are as dear to him as we are. They are equally capable of being trophies of his grace, and heirs of his kingdom. But they are exposed to the snares of a wily foe, exposed to danger and defilement, and, without the saving grace of Christ, to certain ruin. Did we view this matter in the right light, how would our zeal be quickened, and our earnest, self-sacrificing efforts be multiplied to come close to those who need our help, our prayers, our sympathy and love.
    Let those who have been remiss in this work consider their duty in the light of the great commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This obligation is resting upon all. All are required to labor to diminish the ills and multiply the blessings of their fellow-creatures. If we are strong to resist temptation, we are under the greater obligation to help those who are weak and yielding. Have we knowledge, we should instruct the ignorant. Has God blessed us with this world's goods, it is our duty to succor the poor. We must work for others' good. Let all within the sphere of our influence be partakers of whatever of excellence we may possess. None should be content to feed on the bread of life without sharing it with those around them.
    Those only live for Christ and honor his name who are true to their Master in seeking to save that which is lost. Genuine piety will surely manifest the deep longing and earnest labor of the crucified Saviour to save those for whom he died. If our hearts are softened and subdued by the grace of Christ, and glowing with a sense of God's goodness and love, there will be a natural outflow of love, sympathy, and tenderness to others. The truth exemplified in the life will exert its power, like the hidden leaven, upon all with whom it is brought in contact.
    God has ordained that in order to grow in grace and in a knowledge of Christ, men must follow his example, and work as he worked. It will often require a struggle to control our own feelings and refrain from speaking in a manner to discourage those who are laboring under temptation. A life of daily prayer and praise, a life which will shed light upon the path of others, cannot be maintained without earnest effort. But such effort will yield precious fruit, blessing not only the receiver but the giver. The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who exercise the Christian graces will grow. They will have spiritual sinew and muscle, and will be strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perception, a steady, growing faith, and increased power in prayer. Those who are watching for souls, those who devote themselves most fully to labor for the salvation of the erring, are most surely working out their own salvation.
    But how this work has been neglected! If the thoughts and affections were wholly given to God, think you that souls in error, under the temptations of Satan, would be dropped as carelessly and unfeelingly as they have been? Would not greater efforts be put forth, in the love and simplicity of Christ, to save these wandering ones? All who are truly consecrated to God will engage with the greatest zeal in the work for which he has done the most, for which he has made an infinite sacrifice. This is the special work to be cherished and sustained, and never allowed to flag.
    God calls upon his people to arise, and come out of the chilling, frosty atmosphere in which they have been living, to shake off the impressions and ideas that have frozen up the impulses of love and held them in selfish inactivity. He bids them come up from their low, earthly level, and breathe in the clear, sunny atmosphere of heaven.
    Our meetings for worship should be sacred, precious occasions. The prayer meeting is not a place where brethren are to censure and condemn one another, where there are to be unkind feelings and hard speeches. Christ will be driven from the assemblies where this spirit is manifested, and Satan will come in to take the lead. Nothing that savors of an unchristian, unloving spirit should be permitted to enter; for do we not assemble to seek mercy and forgiveness from the Lord? And the Saviour has plainly said, "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Who can stand before God and plead a faultless character, a blameless life? And how, then, dare any criticise and condemn their brethren? Those who themselves can hope for salvation only through the merits of Christ, who must seek forgiveness by virtue of his blood, are under the strongest obligation to exercise love, pity, and forgiveness toward their fellow-sinners.
    Unless you educate yourselves to respect the place of devotion, you will receive no blessing from God. You may worship him in form, but there will be no spiritual service. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name," says Jesus, "there am I in the midst of them." All should feel that they are in the divine presence; and instead of dwelling upon the faults and errors of others, they should be diligently searching their own hearts. If you have confessions to make of your own sins, do your duty, and leave others to do theirs.
    When you indulge your own harshness of character by manifesting a hard, unfeeling spirit, you are repulsing the very ones whom you should win. Your harshness and severity destroy their love of assembling together, and too often result in driving them from the truth. You should realize that you yourselves are under the rebuke of God. While you condemn others, the Lord condemns you. You have a duty to do to confess your own unchristian conduct. May the Lord move upon the hearts of the individual members of the church, until his transforming grace shall be revealed in life and character. Then when you assemble together it will not be to criticise one another, but to talk of Jesus and his love.
    Our meetings should be made intensely interesting. They should be pervaded with the very atmosphere of heaven. Let there be no long, dry speeches and formal prayers, merely for the sake of occupying the time. All should be ready to act their part with promptness, and when their duty is done, the meeting should be closed. Thus the interest will be kept up to the last. This is offering to God acceptable worship. His service should be made interesting and attractive, and not be allowed to degenerate into a dry form. We must live for Christ minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day; then Christ will dwell in us, and when we meet together, his love will be in our hearts, welling up like a refreshing spring in the desert, refreshing all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the waters of life.
    We are not to depend upon two or three members to do the work for the whole church. We must individually have a strong, active faith, carrying forward the work God has left us to do. There must be an intense, living interest to inquire of God, "What wilt thou have me to do?" "How shall I do my work for time and for eternity?" We must individually bend all our powers to search for the truth, employing every means within our reach that will aid us in a diligent, prayerful investigation of the Scriptures; and then we must live the truth, that we may save souls.
    An earnest effort should be made in every church to put away evil-speaking and a censorious spirit. Severity and faultfinding must be rebuked as the work of Satan. Mutual love and confidence must be encouraged and strengthened in the members of the church. Let all close their ears to gossip and censure. Direct the tale bearer to the teachings of God's word. Bid him carry his complaints directly to those whom he thinks in error. This united action would bring a flood of light into the church, and close the door to a flood of evil.
    The admonition of the True Witness to the Sardis church is, "Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." The sin especially charged against this church is that they have not strengthened the things that remain that are ready to die. Does this warning apply to us?
    God has done his part of the work for the salvation of men, and now he calls for the cooperation of the church. There is the blood of Christ, the word of truth, the Holy Spirit, and there are the perishing souls. Every follower of Christ has a part to act to bring men to accept the blessings Heaven has provided. Let us closely examine ourselves, and see if we have done this work. Let us question the motives, the actions of the life. Are there not many unpleasant pictures hanging in memory's halls? Often have you needed the forgiveness of Jesus; you have been constantly dependent upon his compassion and love. Yet have you not failed to manifest toward others the spirit which Christ has exercised toward you? Have you felt a burden for the one whom you saw venturing into forbidden paths? Have you kindly admonished him? Have you wept for him and prayed with him? Have you shown by words of tenderness and kindly acts that you love him and desire to save him? As you have associated with those who were faltering and staggering under the load of their own infirmities of disposition and faulty habits, have you left them to fight the battles alone, when you might have given them help? Have you not passed these sorely tempted ones by on the other side, while the world has stood ready to give them sympathy, and to allure them into Satan's nets? Have you not, like Cain, been ready to say, "Am I my brother's keeper?" How must the great Head of the church regard the work of your life? How does He to whom every soul is precious as the purchase of his blood, look upon your indifference to those who stray from the right path? Be sure that He who is the true Watchman of the Lord's house, the sleepless Warder of the temple courts, has marked every neglect.
    Have not Christ and his love been shut out from your life, until a mechanical form has taken the place of heart service? Where is the kindling of soul you once felt at the mention of the name of Jesus? In the freshness of your early dedication, how fervent was your love for souls. How earnestly you sought to represent to them the Saviour's love. The absence of that love has made you cold, critical, exacting. Seek to win it back, and then labor to bring souls to Christ. If you refuse to do this, others who have had less light and experience, and fewer opportunities, will come up and take your place, and do that which you have neglected; for the work must be done to save the tempted, the tried, the perishing. Christ offers the service to his church; who will accept it?
    God has not been unmindful of the good deeds, the self-denying acts, of the church in the past. All are registered on high. But these are not enough. These will not save the church when she ceases to fulfill her mission. Unless the cruel neglect and indifference manifested in the past shall cease, the church, instead of going from strength to strength, will continue to degenerate into weakness and formality. Shall we let this be? Is the dull torpor, the mournful deterioration in love and spiritual zeal, which exists today, to be perpetuated? Is this the condition in which Christ is to find his church?
    Brethren, your own lamps will surely flicker and become dim, until they go out in darkness, unless you shall make decided efforts to reform. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works." The opportunity now presented may be short. If this season of grace and repentance passes unimproved, the warning is given, "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place." These words are uttered by the longsuffering, forbearing One. They are a solemn warning to churches and to individuals, that the Watcher who never slumbers is measuring their course of action. It is only by reason of his marvelous patience that they are not cut down as cumberers of the ground. But his Spirit will not always strive. His patience will wait but little longer.
    At the last day the final decision by the Judge of all the earth will turn upon our interest in, and practical labor for, the needy, the oppressed, the tempted. You cannot always pass these by on the other side, and yourselves find entrance as redeemed sinners into the city of God. "Inasmuch," says Christ, "as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."
    But it is not yet too late to redeem the neglects of the past. Let there be a revival of the first love, the first ardor. Search out the ones you have driven away; bind up by confession the wounds you have made. Come close to the great Heart of pitying love, and let the current of that divine compassion flow into your heart, and from you into the hearts of others. Let the tenderness and mercy that Jesus has revealed in his own precious life be an example to us of the manner in which we should treat our fellow-beings, especially those who are our brethren in Christ. 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 a word to encourage and inspire hope. We cannot tell how far-reaching may be our tender words of kindness, our Christlike efforts to lighten some burden. The erring can be restored in no other way than in the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and tender love. "Wouldst thou an erring soul redeem, And lead a lost one back to God? Wouldst thou a guardian angel seem To one who long in guilt has trod? Go kindly to him, take his hand, With gentle words, within thine own, And by his side a brother stand, Till thou the demon sin dethrone. "Scorn not the guilty, then, but plead With him in kindest, gentlest mood, And back to the lost one thou mayest lead To God, humanity, and good. Thou art thyself but man, and thou Art weak, perchance to fall as he; Then mercy to the fallen show, That mercy may be shown to thee." Nimes, France. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 7, 1886
(Vol. 63, #48)

 "Workers With God"

    God's blessings are not bestowed upon men independent of human effort. We see this principle illustrated in the natural world. God has given us the earth with its treasures. He causes it to bring forth food for man and beast, he sends the recurring seasons, he gives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain; yet man is required to act his part; he must cooperate with God's plan by diligent, painstaking effort. The plough must break up the soil, the seed must be sown, the field must be tilled, or there will be no harvest.
    So in the spiritual world. All that we possess, whether of talents, of influence, or of means, is of God; we can accomplish nothing without divine aid. Yet we are not released from the necessity of effort. While salvation is the gift of God, man has a part to act in the carrying out of the plan of redemption. God has chosen to use men as his instruments, to employ human agencies in the accomplishment of his purposes. He has ordained to unite divine power with human endeavor, in the work of saving souls. Thus we become laborers together with God. We have a grand and important work, because it is a part of God's great plan for the redemption of man. It is a high honor bestowed upon finite beings thus to cooperate with the Majesty of heaven.
    God is not dependent upon men for the advancement of his cause. He might have made angels the embassadors of his truth. He might have made known his will, as he proclaimed the law from Sinai with his own voice. But in order to cultivate a spirit of benevolence in us, he has chosen to employ men to do this work. Every act of self-sacrifice for the good of others will strengthen the spirit of beneficence in the giver's heart, allying him more closely to the Redeemer of the world, who "was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich." And it is only as we fulfill the divine purpose in our creation that life can be a blessing to us. All the good gifts of God to man will prove only a curse, unless he employs them to bless his fellow men, and for the advancement of God's cause in the earth.
    The spirit of benevolence is the spirit of heaven. The spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. Christ's self-sacrificing love is revealed upon the cross. He gave all he had, and then gave himself that man might be saved. The cross of Christ appeals to the benevolence of every follower of the blessed Saviour. The principle illustrated there is to give, give. This carried out in good works is the true fruit of the Christian life. The principle of worldliness is to get, get, and thus people expect to secure happiness; but carried out in all its bearings, its fruit is misery and death.
    Selfishness is the strongest and most general of human impulses, the struggle of the soul between sympathy and covetousness is an unequal contest; for while selfishness is the strongest passion, love and benevolence are too often the weakest, and as a rule the evil gains the victory. Therefore in our labors and gifts for God's cause, it is unsafe to be controlled by feeling or impulse. To give or to labor when our sympathies are moved, and to withhold our gifts or service when the emotions are not stirred, is an unwise and dangerous course. If we are controlled by impulse or mere human sympathy, then a few instances where our efforts for others are repaid with ingratitude, or where our gifts are abused or squandered, will be sufficient to freeze up the springs of beneficence.
    Christians should act from fixed principle, following the Saviour's example of self-denial and self-sacrifice. What if Christ had left his work, becoming weary because of the ingratitude and abuse that met him on every side? What if he had returned to heaven discouraged by his reception? We are reaping the fruits of his infinite self-sacrifice; and yet when labor is to be done, when our help is needed in the work of the Redeemer in the salvation of souls, we shrink from duty and pray to be excused. Ignoble sloth, careless indifference, and wicked selfishness seal our senses to the claims of God.
    How does God regard our ingratitude and lack of appreciation of his blessings? When we see one slight or misuse our gifts, our hearts and hands are closed against him. But those who received God's merciful gifts day after day, and year after year, misapply his bounties, and neglect the souls for whom Christ has given his life. The means which he has lent them to sustain his cause and build up his kingdom are invested in houses and lands, lavished on pride and self-indulgence, and the Giver is forgotten. The truth which is designed of God to be carried to all nations is impeded in its course, because the money that is needed for the work is expended on selfish gratifications. The gifts of heaven, if employed for the purpose for which they were bestowed, would bring many sons and daughters to God. But vanity and extravagant display grasp everything within their reach to build up and glorify self, and many souls are lost because of this neglect.
    By their abuse of God's gifts in this life, many are proving themselves unworthy of eternal life. The powers of the mind and the affections of the soul are selfishly diverted from the channel in which God would have them flow. These persons do not appreciate the great salvation brought within their reach, or they would unite with Christ in his work. Their interest is not in that direction, but centered upon self. Their treasure is not laid up in heaven but on the earth, and they mind earthly things. They are laying upon the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, which the fires of the last day will consume. The life work, so full of anxiety, perplexity, and needless toil, is lost, eternally lost! The treasure that might have been laid up in the bank of heaven is swept away, and the poor souls who have misapplied the means lent them of God are bankrupt for eternity!
    You who claim to believe the truth, to be waiting for the appearing of our Lord in the clouds of heaven, waiting to be translated to the mansions Christ has given his life to purchase, how much, I ask, do you love his appearing? How much do you value eternal above temporal things?--Just as much as your works show, and no more. Brethren and sisters, "the night is far spent, the day is at hand." I call upon you to awake out of sleep. Let every church arouse and put away their pride and vanity and worldliness. Let them humble their hearts before God by repentance that they have lifted so few burdens for Christ.
    Did we realize that we are not our own, but are bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God, we would work from altogether a 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 sweet smelling savor, diffusing a rich fragrance throughout all the earth.
    To us as a people God has committed great and solemn truths, not merely to be enjoyed by ourselves, but to be given to others. The banner of truth must be unfurled in every nation. The message of warning must be proclaimed to every tongue and people. But this work is still far from being accomplished. I am pained as I see the condition of things in Europe. Something has been accomplished, and the angels are still holding the four winds that a far greater work may be done; but there is so great poverty and actual want that the truth makes slow progress. In how many countries has the message as yet only found an entrance! In how many cities is there not even one soul that has heard the proclamation of the Third Angel's Message! Angels of God are moving upon minds, and preparing the way for the reception of the truth. From every side the Macedonian cry is heard, "Come over and help us." But the work is hindered for lack of workers and for lack of means.
    The people of God are not half awake. A stupor seems to be paralyzing their sensibilities. Each of us will soon have to stand before the Judge of all the earth, to answer for the deeds done in the body. All will then have to give an account for the good they might have done, but did not do because they were not so closely connected with God that they could know his will and understand his claims upon them. If the money that has been expended annually by our brethren in selfish gratification had been placed in the mission treasury, where there is now one missionary in the field there might be one hundred. Who will have to render an account for this great lack of funds? Many of our American brethren have done nobly and willingly for the advancement of the truth in Europe, but there is a great work yet to be done. Many who have given liberally could do more, and others should now come forward and bear their share of the burden. Now is the time when houses and lands should be converted into mission funds. Men are to be educated and disciplined. We feel alarmed as we see the little that is being done, when we have a worldwide message, and the end of all things is at hand.
    The voice of Providence is calling upon all who have the love of God in their hearts to arouse to this great emergency. Never was there a time when so much was at stake as today. Never was there a period in which greater energy and self-sacrifice were demanded of God's commandment-keeping people. If there was ever need of economy and self-denial, it is now. There should be no extravagance in dress, no useless expenditure for self-indulgence or display. Let our means and our labors be devoted to the cause of God, to save souls for whom Christ died.
    As the holidays are approaching, I appeal to you, instead of making gifts to your friends, to bring your offerings to God. Let us show that we appreciate the great plan of redemption. As God has given us all Heaven in the gift of his dear Son, let us express our gratitude by thank offerings to his cause. Let the evergreen Christmas trees yield a rich harvest for God.
    I present before you our missions in foreign lands as the object of your gifts. Let us show that we value the precious light of truth by making a sacrifice to extend the light to those who are in darkness. Through our self-denial and sacrifice, lands that have never heard the truth may hear it. They may become vocal with the praise of God, and from them many voices may be lifted to swell the last note of warning. Let every church, every family, join in this work. Let every child take a part, bringing some offering as the result of his own industry and self-denial. The Saviour will accept the freewill offerings of every one. Gifts which are the fruit of self-denial to extend the precious light of truth, will be as fragrant incense before God.
    Have we been forgetful of God's goodness in the past, we have now a precious opportunity to redeem these neglects. Let us upon the coming Christmas and New Year's not only make an offering to him of our means, but give ourselves to him in willing service. To each of us, from the oldest to the youngest, is granted the privilege of becoming workers together with God. Christ is soon to come in the clouds of heaven to reward every one according to his works. To whom will it then be said, "Ye have done what ye could"? Torre Pellice, Italy. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 14, 1886
(Vol. 63, #49)

 "The Old Year and the New"

    Another year has nearly closed. The history of everyone's life has been registered in the books of heaven. This record we are soon to meet. What does it testify of you and of me? Does it bear witness of self-denial for Christ's sake? Does it testify that you have been laborers together with God?
    To each of us some work is assigned in the vineyard of the Lord. There is enough for all to do; none need to stand idle. Not one is excused. Have you been faithful to your appointed task, doing what you could to win others to the truth? How many have been led to the cross of Christ through your individual efforts? Have you by precept and example pointed your fellowmen to the Lamb of God, or have you, by assimilating to the world, directed their thoughts and affections into a wrong channel?
    The men and women whom we have met day by day are Judgment bound. They will stand before the great white throne to testify against us if we have been unfaithful to duty, if our example has led them away from the truth and from Christ, or to bear witness that our fidelity has encouraged them in the path of righteousness. These souls will either live to offer praise to God and the Lamb through ceaseless ages, or they will perish with the wicked. Christ suffered and died that they might enjoy a blissful eternity. What sacrifices have we been willing to make for their salvation?
    It is not alone in distant lands that there is need of lightbearers. There are honest souls living close by our own doors who have never yet heard the reasons of our faith. The people are perishing for want of knowledge. Thousands are in ignorance of the Scriptures. They accept the teachings of their ministers, and many of these are trying by every means to lead the minds of the people away from the plain "thus saith the Lord," to human doctrines and traditions. We see multitudes sunken in vice and ignorance, without hope and without God in the world. Yet provision has been made that they may become children of God. His mercy is still lingering for them. He still invites them, weary, heavy laden with sin, to come to him for pardon, rest, and peace. To us he has given the message of truth, the invitation of mercy, to bear to these perishing souls.
    Here is the work before us. I call upon you who have a knowledge of Christ, to engage in this work as never before. Labor earnestly, with a spirit of self-sacrifice, to save the souls that are perishing around you. Do not wait for them to come to you, but go out and search for them. Study to devise ways and means of reaching them. Dig deep for those buried up in error; bring them up to the broad daylight of truth. Point them to the lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.
    During the past year how much time that might have been devoted to this work has been given to self serving! How much money has been needlessly expended on trifles to gratify taste and please the eye! How much has been spent for the indulgences of appetite! For all this what account can be rendered to God?
    Notwithstanding the advancement of the cause, and the increasing need of funds to push the work in new fields, many are still binding up their means and absorbing all their energies in worldly enterprises, burying their talent in the earth, as if they designed thus to keep it from God's treasury, as if God had no just claims upon them. They seem to look upon their ability and possessions as their own. By their actions, and in their hearts, they echo the charge of the unjust steward, "I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth." God penetrates their motives, and understands the thoughts of their hearts. They may make trivial excuses for their course, but God reads their selfishness and covetousness.
    They charge him with being a hard master, because he claims their possessions and their service. But we can bring nothing to God which is not already his. Everything was lost by sin; man forfeited his title to every blessing. It is only by divine grace, through the infinite sacrifice of Christ, that we could be re-instated in the favor of God, and be permitted to enjoy his gifts. We are not our own. Christ has bought us with his precious blood, and we belong to him. All that we possess, our mental and physical powers, all the blessings of the present and the future life, are delivered to us stamped with the cross of Calvary. Therefore the charge that God is a hard master, reaping where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strewn, is false. When God calls for our gifts or our service, he is only claiming that which is his own. "All things come of thee," said King David, "and of thine own have we given thee."
    The means which God has furnished for the advancement of his cause are placed in the hands of his servants. He has intrusted them with his goods, and made them his agents, the dispensers of these goods to advance his glory. The cause has waited for 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? All now have an opportunity to use their means to advance the cause of God, but those who wait till some future time will be too late. Let the stewards critically examine the use they have made of God's intrusted capital. Have they embezzled it? Have they squandered it by mismanagement? Are they guilty of robbery toward God?
    There have been some who have done what they could with self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. God is not unmindful of their works of love and devotion. Of Cornelius it was said that his prayers and his alms had come up in remembrance before God. Every act of self-denying benevolence and loving service is precious in the sight of God. Some have ever manifested a willingness to do for his cause, and the Lord has prospered these willing ones, making them channels for his gifts, that they might continue to do and be blessed in doing. They can say with David, "What am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort?" "God is not unrighteous," said the apostle Paul, "to forget your work and labor of love." Neither will he overlook the lack of these labors in the members of his church who make themselves first and his cause second. Everyone will be rewarded as his works have been.
    Those who have failed to present to God the tithes and offerings which belong to him, should awaken to a sense of their duty. Wherever there has been any neglect on your part to give back to the Lord his own, repent with contrition of soul, and make restitution, lest his curse rest upon you. Many are in a cold, backslidden state on account of their robbery of God; and now the Lord calls upon them to redeem the past. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse," he says, "and prove me now herewith." When you have done what you can on your part, withholding nothing that belongs to your Maker, you may ask him to provide means to send the message of truth to the world.
    The spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice should be cultivated in the church. It must be encouraged in the young. God has claims on the service of all,--men and women, youth and children,--and the earlier they are led out of and away from themselves, and taught to exercise self-denial or engage in unselfish labor for others, the nearer will they come to fulfilling this holy commission. If we desire to engage the hearts of the youth in the cause and work of God, we must teach them to sacrifice for it. That which costs little we have no special interest in; but that in which we have invested our means will claim our interest and attention, and we shall labor to make it a success.
    Children should be trained to habits of self-denial for Christ's sake. Let the Saviour's life of sacrifice and unselfish labor be often presented before them as the example which they are to copy. Teach them that without self-denial and cross-bearing we cannot be his disciples. When they would foster vanity by needless display in dress, let parents show them from God's word its sinfulness. Educate them to have beautiful characters, to seek the adorning which is precious in God's sight. As they are brought in conflict with the fashions and customs of the world, let not Satan gain control, but let honor be shown to Jesus by obedience to his precepts. Children will learn to love that which the parents love; to value that which they value. If fathers and mothers desire their children to place eternal above temporal things, they must set the example.
    We are approaching the beginning of a new year. What shall be the nature of its record? Many have made great mistakes during the past year. Shall these be repeated during the year upon which we are soon to enter? We need to examine ourselves carefully to see what is the tendency of our course. The Spirit of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and it will reveal to us our standing and the nature of our work. It is not yet too late for wrongs to be righted; and while Jesus our mediator is pleading in our behalf, let us do our part of the work. Let us confess and forsake our sins, that we may find pardon.
    Brethren, 1886 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 houses in order. Set your hearts in order. Make thorough work while Jesus is ministering in the sanctuary. 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 of 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 alone can tell what will transpire during the year 1887. It may be in our lives and in the history of our cause more eventful than any that has preceded it. During the past year we have seen special evidences that the Lord is a work; but this should not lead us to settle down satisfied and at ease. The light of truth is to go into remote and darkened corners of the earth. Each unfolding of His providence, each token that His hand is in the work, to move it forward with power, is designed to arouse us to greater zeal and earnestness, while we look for still more wonderful and glorious triumphs of the truth in the future.
    Will each of you who believe present truth earnestly inquire, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" His Spirit is at work upon minds, preparing them to receive the truth. Let your efforts be fully up to the openings of his providence. Do something, do it now, and let the record of the new year be one that you will not be ashamed to meet. Torre Pellice, Italy. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 21, 1886
(Vol. 63, #50)

 "The Graces of the Spirit"

    We are plainly told what are the fruits of the Spirit; and I ask, Who will be excused in the day of God? If the word of inspiration has told us the fruits of the Spirit, and made plain to us the very work to be done in order to cherish and cultivate the fruits of the Spirit, then, I say, who can be excused for cherishing evils that will hinder us from entering into the kingdom of God?
    Anyone can be just what he chooses to be. Character is not obtained by receiving an education. Character is not obtained by amassing wealth, or by gaining worldly honor. Character is not obtained by trying to have others fight the battle of life for us. It must be sought, worked for, fought for; and it requires a purpose, a will, a determination. To form a character which God will approve, requires persevering effort. It will take a continual resisting of the powers of darkness to stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel, to be approved in the day of Judgment, and have our names retained in the book of life. Is it not worth more to have our names registered in that book, have them immortalized among the heavenly angels, than to have them sounded in praise throughout the whole earth? Let me know that Jesus smiles upon me; let me know that he approves my actions and my course, and then let come what may, let afflictions be ever so great, I will be resigned to my lot and rejoice in the Lord.
    The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering. Are you in a position where you do not possess these graces? Just as soon as any one crosses you, or offends you, does there arise in your heart a feeling of bitterness, a spirit of rebellion? If this is the spirit you have, bear in mind that you have not the spirit of Christ. It is another spirit. It is the Satan side of your character that is ruling rather than the spirit of Christ. We want a spirit of gentleness. We cannot live right in the family circle without it. In order to have the proper control of our children, we must manifest a spirit of gentleness and of meekness, and of longsuffering. We do not want to have a faultfinding, fretful, scolding spirit. If we teach them to have a spirit of gentleness, we must have a spirit of gentleness ourselves; if we teach them to be longsuffering, we must be longsuffering ourselves; and if we would have them manifest a spirit of love toward us, we must manifest a gentle, loving spirit toward them. But at the same time there need be no weakness or unwise indulgence on the part of parents. The mother must have firmness and decision. She must be as firm as a rock, and not swerve from the right. Her laws and rules should be carried out at all times and under all hazards; but she can do this with all gentleness and meekness. She should not be bitter and accusing; that only causes a spirit of opposition. She should be gentle, kind, meek, and longsuffering; but with this there should be firmness of principle. In a family disciplined and trained after this plan, there is a power in favor of Christianity. The children will grow up God-fearing men and women. But in a family where the opposite course is taken, even though the parents profess to be followers of Jesus, you will find the children going in the ways of the world. The powers of darkness are gaining a hold upon them, and they are passing right over into the hands of the enemy. And what influence does this have upon the outside world? Does it testify in favor of Christianity?--No, indeed.
    Then we are to have godliness and faith. We are to believe in God and his promises, and in his power to help and save us. We must believe him; for he is well able and more than willing to help us in time of trouble, to comfort us in times of affliction and distress, and to deliver us out of all our trials and difficulties. Troubles and difficulties will come, and we must confide in God. If our children do not do as we wish them, what course are we going to take in the matter? give them up because we see that they do not have the Spirit of God?--Never! it should only make them dearer to our hearts. We must come before God with them in our prayers. We must present them before the throne of God, and say, Lord, here are the children thou hast given me, and I cannot rest day nor night till thou hast brought them into the ark. I cannot enjoy it to be in the ark unless my children are there also.
    When the children of Israel rebelled so that the Lord threatened to destroy them, did Moses give them up?--No, no; he pleaded for them. And when the Lord said, "Let me . . . destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a great nation," etc., Moses wished the Lord to blot his name out of the book also, if he could not forgive their sin. Thus he was willing to sacrifice his own eternal interests if God would spare the children of Israel.
    How is it with you, fathers and mothers? Are you drinking in the things of this life, and forgetting the eternal interests of your children? or are you coming to the throne of grace, pleading and agonizing with God for his mercy and blessing upon your household? Do you plead with your children to come to Christ, and then go where there is no eye to see and no ear to hear, and there pour out your petitions before God for them? Why do you have your homes filled with unconsecrated children?--It is because there is no sense of the claims of God. It is because there is no sense that Christ has bought them, and they are his children. Christ says: "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." How?--By the cultivation of the graces of the Spirit--love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith. We want the living faith that will grasp the strong arm of Jehovah. Christ said: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Here is the promise. Where is the faith to grasp the promise of God, and never give up until every child is gathered into the ark?
    We should all have an interest in this matter of faith. There is not a soul that is not indebted to God. Christ died for all, that you might have the grace of the Spirit, that you might become conquerors, that you might have eternal life. And when the saints shall stand around the great white throne, where praise, and honor, and glory, and might, and power are ascribed to him, will one of these before me be missing? Is there one here who has not his eyes and affections fastened upon heaven? Are there any here who are not seeking for "those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God"? Have you been baptized with the baptism of Christ? Have you received these graces of the Spirit? Have you risen with Christ? Then "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
    Then we want piety. If piety was practiced daily, you would find that it would be a living testimony, burning its way to the hearts of the youth, and to all around you. Let your light shine. Have you the light? Have you kindled your fire from off the altar? Then let it shine forth in good works to those around you. Gather yourselves together, and by your divine influence and earnest efforts scatter the light. Let it be scattered upon those who are in error and in moral darkness among the world. There are those that need light, those that need help, those that need strength; and you are to let your light shine forth to them.
    Every man, and every woman, and every child must be in earnest. It is no time to be discouraged now, for the evil one is pressing upon us harder than ever before, and we cannot afford to lose ground by going backward. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we must rally for the right; and we must strive not to have our children taken right out of our arms, and out of our homes, to pass into the ranks of the enemy. We cannot afford it. We must work for God, and we must work for heaven, with all the might and faith there is in us. Be not deceived by the temporary things of this life. Consider the things of eternal interest. I want a closer connection with God. I want to sing the song of redemption in the kingdom of glory. I want the crown of immortality to be placed upon my brow. With an immortal tongue I want to sing praises to Him who left glory, and came to earth to save those that were lost. I want to praise him. I want to magnify him. I want to glorify him. I want the immortal inheritance and the eternal substance. And what care I, I ask you, what care I for the things of the world, if I lose or if I gain heaven at last? Of what advantage will they be to me? But if I have a hold on Heaven, I can have a right hold on my fellowmen; I can have an influence that will constantly press against the tide of evil that there is in the world, and lead souls into the ark of safety.
    We all need the graces of the Spirit of God in the heart. God help us to seek for this. Do not rest until you have received it. Break the chains of darkness asunder. Come where the living waters flow, and drink of salvation. Then, if Christ is in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life, you may water all that are around you, and bring others into the kingdom of God. God grant, oh, may God grant,that all these souls may be there. Christ has bought you; and you cannot afford to be lost. May you in God's strength make your calling and election sure. By Mrs. E. G. White.