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The Review and Herald Articles
for the Year 1888

January - 10, 24, 31
February - 7, 14, 21, 28
March - 6, 13, 20, 27
April - 3, 10, 17, 24
May - 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
June - 5, 12, 19, 26
July - 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
August - 7, 14, 21, 28
September - 4, 11, 18, 25
October - 9, 16, 23, 30
November - 6, 13
December - 11, 11, 11, 18, 18, 18

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 10, 1888
(Vol. 65, #2)

 "The Faith That Will Stand the Test"

    The time has fully come when darkness is called light, and light is called darkness. We are living in an age when sham liberality is extolled; when those who scatter falsehood, false doctrines, and soul-destroying heresies are received and exalted by society, and the most terrible deeds of iniquity are glossed over and excused on the plea of charity. Even the voices from the pulpits of our land are saying, "It shall be well with the transgressor." Sin is not dealt with as a thing of fearful consequence, destined to bring inevitable ruin upon those who persist in its indulgence. It is not pictured in its abhorrent character before the people of the world. Smooth things are prophesied by false teachers, and the multitudes are resting in their sin, unmindful of the solemn warnings and examples of the word of God. The time has come when we should "sigh and . . cry for all the abominations" that are done in the land.
    While the law of God is being made void in our world, there is a decided testimony to be borne. The truth is to be presented in its native force and clearness, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. This cannot be done without exciting opposition. Those who refuse to receive the love of the truth will not rest without attempting to retard its progress. They have been turned unto fables, and will unite with the great adversary of souls to bring the message of heaven into contempt.
    The apostle Paul warns us that "some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." This is what we may expect. Our greatest trials will come because of that class who have once advocated the truth, but who turn from it to the world, and trample it under their feet in hate and derision. God has a work for his faithful servants to do. The attacks of the enemy must be met with the truth of his word. Falsehood must be unmasked, its true character must be revealed, and the light of the law of Jehovah must shine forth into the moral darkness of the world. We are to present the claims of his word. We shall not be held guiltless if we neglect this solemn duty. But while we stand in defense of the truth, let us not stand in defense of self, and make a great ado because we are called to bear reproach and misrepresentation. Let us not pity ourselves, but be very jealous for the law of the Most High.
    Says the apostle, "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." On every side we see men easily led captive by the delusive imaginations of those who make void the word of God; but when the truth is brought before them, they are filled with impatience and anger. But the exhortation of the apostle to the servant of God is, "Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." In his day some left the cause of the Lord. He writes, "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world;" and again, he says, "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words."
    Prophets and apostles experienced similar trials of opposition and reproach, and even the spotless Lamb of God was tempted in all points like as we are. He bore the contradiction of sinners against himself.
    Every warning for this time must be faithfully delivered; but "the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." We must cherish carefully the words of our God lest we be contaminated by the deceptive workings of those who have left the faith. We are to resist their spirit and influence with the same weapon our Master used when assailed by the prince of darkness,--"It is written." We should learn to use the word of God skillfully. The exhortation is, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." There must be diligent work and earnest prayer and faith to meet the winding error of false teachers and seducers; for "in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." These words portray the character of the men the servants of God will have to meet. "False accusers," "despisers of those that are good," will attack those who are faithful to their God in this degenerate age. But the embassador of Heaven must manifest the spirit that was displayed in the Master. In humility and love he must labor for the salvation of men.
    Paul continues concerning those who oppose the work of God, comparing them to the men who made war against the faithful in the time of ancient Israel. He says: "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." We know that the time is coming when the folly of warring against God will be revealed. We can afford to wait in calm patience and trust, no matter how much maligned and despised; for "nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest," and those who honor God shall be honored by him in the presence of men and angels. We are to share in the sufferings of the reformers. It is written, "The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me." Christ understands our grief. Not one of us is called to bear the cross alone. The suffering Man of Calvary is touched with the feeling of our woes, and as he has suffered being tempted, he is able also to succor them that are in sorrow and trial for his sake. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned."
    God has provided abundant means for successful warfare with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places; for "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 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." The Bible is the armory where we may equip for the struggle. Our loins must be girt about with truth. Our breastplate must be righteousness. The shield of faith must be in our hands, the helmet of salvation shine on our brows, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, be wielded to cut our way through the ranks of our bitter foes. We must be ready, at the command of our Captain to follow where he may lead. We must be doers of his word, not deceiving our own selves.
    If we look to self, and trust in self, we shall surely fall from our steadfastness. The terrible tempest that is gathering will sweep away our sandy foundation, and leave our house a wreck on the shores of time; but the house that is built upon the rock shall stand forever. We must be "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." The apostle spoke some plain words to his Hebrew brethren, that meet the condition of many of those who profess the truth for this time. "We have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. [They were not quick to discern the things of the Spirit of God.] For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." It is positively necessary for those who believe the truth, to be making continual advancement, growing up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. There is no time for backsliding and indifference. Each one must have a living experience in the things of God. Have root in yourselves. Become grounded in the faith, so that having done all you may stand, with unwavering confidence in God, through the time that will try every man's work and character. Exercise your powers in spiritual things, till you can appreciate the deep things of God's word, and go on from strength to strength.
    There are thousands who claim to have the light of truth who take no steps in advance. They have no living experience, notwithstanding they have had every advantage. They do not know what consecration means. Their devotions are formal and hollow, and there is no depth to their piety. The word of God offers spiritual liberty and enlightenment to those who seek for it earnestly. Those who accept the promises of God, and act on them with living faith, will have the light of heaven in their lives. They will drink of the fountain of life, and lead others to the waters that have refreshed their own souls. We must have that faith in God that takes him at his word. We can have no victory without cloudless confidence; for "without faith it is impossible to please" God. It is faith that connects us with the power of Heaven, and that brings us the strength for coping with the powers of darkness. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." In order to exercise intelligent faith we should study the word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, communicates a correct knowledge of the character of God and his will concerning us. The duty and the destiny of man are defined in its pages. The conditions on which we may hope for eternal life are explicitly stated, and the doom of those who neglect so great a salvation is foretold in the most forcible language.
    Had the Bible been received as the voice of God to man, as the book of books, as the one infallible rule of faith and practice, we would not have seen the law of Heaven made void, and the swelling tide of iniquity devouring our land.
    As men wander away from the truth into skepticism, everything becomes uncertain and unreal, No thorough conviction takes hold of the soul. No faith is exercised in the Scripture as the revelation of God to men. There is nothing authoritative in its commands, nothing terrifying in its warnings, nothing inspiring in its promises. To the skeptic it is meaningless and contradictory.
    There are many among us who are not cultivating faith. They have a vacillating experience. They are "like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." Sometimes they seem strong in faith, then a blast of unbelief sweeps over them, and they are filled with gloom and doubt. They make no decided efforts to recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, but are taken captive by him at his will. There are others who, when assailed by temptations of unbelief, flee to the word of God and to earnest prayer, and they are not left to the power of the enemy. The day is coming that will reveal whether we are building on the solid rock or the sliding sand.
    If men could realize the blighting influence of doubt upon their minds, if they could but see into the future, they would realize the imperative need of cultivating firm trust in God and implicit confidence in his promises. They would not sow one grain of unbelief; for every single grain blossoms into fruit. Satan is a living, active agent. It is his business to encourage skepticism, and every word of doubt is carefully nourished by the adversary of souls. While men sleep in indifference, suggestions that weaken faith are insinuated into the heart. Influences that confuse the perception of truth are brought to bear upon the life. In every way possible, Satan strives to turn souls from the narrow path that leads to heaven; and because men love darkness they follow the voice of strangers, and reject the call of the Good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep. The plain, authoritative "Thus saith the Lord," is refused for some winding sophistry of error. Infidelity has increased in proportion as men have questioned the word and requirements of their Maker. They have taken up the work of cheapening character, and lessening faith in the inspiration of the Bible. Men claiming great wisdom have presumed to criticise and cut and cull the words of the living God, and have started questions to make shipwreck of the happiness of their fellowmen and to ruin their hopes of heaven. This is a work that is pleasing to the enemy of all righteousness. The arguments that men bring against the Bible are the result of the counsels of the evil one. The door of their minds was opened to his suggestions, and the more they drifted into error, the greater grew their desire to draw other souls into the same channel of darkness.
    Many claim to believe the Bible, and their names are enrolled on the church records, who are among the most influential agents of Satan. The work they are doing they will not consider an honor to them in the day of Judgment. It will then be seen that every effort that weakened faith was made at a terrible loss. The tremendous price that must be paid will sink them into everlasting shame and ruin. The only safety is in rejecting instantly every suggestion of unbelief. Do not open your mind to entertain doubts, for even an instant; bid them a decided refusal as they come to you for admission. Fasten the mind upon the promises of God. Talk of them, rejoice in them; and the peace of God will rule in your hearts.
    The fruits of doubt are not desirable. Oh! look around you and see what havoc has been wrought by the machinations of the evil one. Error and falsehood and heresy have held high carnival in the deceived hearts of men. From century to century the adversary has repeated his experiments with growing success; for in spite of the sad records of lives that have gone out in darkness, as moths fly to the fire, so men rush on into the ruinous deceptions that he has prepared to entrap them. If you desire salvation, I entreat you to shun his insinuations concerning the truth of God's word. Come to the "sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place." If that is not authoritative, what is? If the word of the Lord of heaven and earth is not solid rock upon which to build, then it is in vain to look for a sure foundation. "Heaven and earth shall pass away," but "the word of the Lord endureth forever;" and unwavering faith in his word is the only faith that will endure through the perils of the last days. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 24, 1888
(Vol. 65, #4)

 "The Treasure and the Heart"

    "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
    Mark these words of the Great Teacher, who spake as never man spake. He sets before you the course to pursue if you would serve your best interests in this life, and lay up for yourselves an eternal treasure. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth." There is danger of losing all in the pursuit of worldly gain; for in the feverish eagerness for earthly treasure, higher interests are forgotten. The care and perplexity that are involved in laying up treasures upon the earth, leave no time or desire to estimate the value of eternal riches. The glory of the world to come is eclipsed by the corruptible things of earth. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Your thoughts, your plans, your motives, will all have an earthly mold, and your soul will be defiled with covetousness and selfishness. "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? The day is coming when the idols of silver and gold will be cast to the moles and to the bats, and the rich men will weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon them.
    Christ entreats, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." This work of transferring your possessions to the world above, is worthy of all your best energies. It is of the highest importance, and involves your eternal interests. That which you bestow in the cause of God is not lost. All that is given for the salvation of souls and the glory of God, is invested in the most successful enterprise in this life and in the life to come. Your talents of gold and silver, if given to the exchangers, are gaining continually in value, which will be registered to your account in the kingdom of heaven. You are to be the recipients of the eternal wealth that has increased in the hands of the exchangers. In giving to the work of God, you are laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven. All that you lay up above is secure from disaster and loss, and is increasing to an eternal, an enduring substance.
    It should be your determined purpose to bring every power of your being into the service of Christ. Why, his service is profitable for the life that now is, and for that which is to come. If your thoughts, your plans, your purposes, are all directed toward the accumulation of the things of earth, your anxiety, your study, your interests, will all be centered upon the world. The heavenly attractions will lose their beauty. The glories of the eternal world will cease to have the force of reality to you. Your heart will be with your treasure, and every faculty of your mind will be so concentrated on the work you have chosen, that you will not heed the warnings and entreaties of the word and Spirit of God. You will have no time to devote to the study of the Scriptures and to earnest prayer that you may escape the snares of Satan, and render intelligent obedience to your Heavenly Father.
    Satan has nets and snares, like the snares of the fowler, all prepared to entrap souls. It is his studied purpose that men shall employ their God-given powers for selfish ends rather than yield them to glorify God. God would have men engage in a work that will bring them peace and joy, and will render them eternal profits; but Satan wants us to concentrates our efforts for that which profiteth not, for things that perish with the using. The service of Satan is one of care, perplexity, anxiety, and wearing labor, and the treasure men toil to accumulate on earth is only for a season. The greatest caution is exercised in the worldly investment of means, that the expenditure may yield a good profit; but in things of eternal concern the utmost indifference is displayed. On that the great interests of the world to come were appreciated! Why is it that men are so unconcerned about the salvation of the soul when it was purchased at such cost by the Son of God?
    The heart of man may be the abode of the Holy Spirit. The peace of Christ that passeth understanding may rest in your soul, and the transforming power of his grace may work in your life, and fit you for the courts of glory. But if brain and nerve and muscle are all employed in the service of self, you are not making God and heaven the first consideration of your life. It is impossible to be weaving the graces of Christ into your character while you are putting all your energies on the side of the world. You may be successful in heaping up treasure on the earth, for the glory of self; but "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Eternal considerations will be made of secondary importance. You may take part in the outward forms of worship; but your service will be an abomination to the God of heaven. You cannot serve God and mammon. You will either yield your heart and put your will on the side of God, or you will give your energies to the service of the world. God will accept no halfhearted service.
    "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." If the eye is single, if it is directed heavenward, the light of heaven will fill the soul, and earthly things will appear insignificant and uninviting. The purpose of the heart will be changed, and the admonition of Jesus will be heeded. You will lay up your treasure in heaven. Your thoughts will be fixed upon the great rewards of eternity. All your plans will be made in reference to the future, immortal life. You will be drawn toward your treasure. You will not study your worldly interest; but in all your pursuits the silent inquiry will be, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Bible religion will be woven into your daily life.
    The true Christian does not allow any earthly consideration to come in between his soul and God. The commandment of God wields an authoritative influence over his affections and actions. If everyone seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness would be always ready to work the works of Christ, how much easier would become the path to heaven. The blessings of God would flow into the soul, and the praises of the Lord would be on your lips continually. You would then serve God from principle. Your feelings might not always be of a joyous nature; clouds would at times shadow the horizon of your experience; but the Christian's hope does not rest upon the sandy foundation of feeling. Those who act from principle, will behold the glory of God beyond the shadows, and rest upon the sure word of promise. They will not be deterred from honoring God, however dark the way may seem. Adversity and trial will only give them an opportunity to show the sincerity of their faith and love. When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God had changed. He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body shall be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that his love provides. Let your faith be like Job's that you may declare, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Lay hold on the promises of your Heavenly Father, and remember his former dealing with you, and with his servants; for "all things work together for good to them that love God."
    The most trying experiences in the Christian's life may be the most blessed. The special providences of the dark hours may encourage the soul in future attacks of Satan, and equip the servant of God to stand in fiery trials. The trial of your faith is more precious than gold. You must have that abiding confidence in God that is not disturbed by the temptations and arguments of the deceiver. Take the Lord at his word. You must study the promises, and appropriate them as you have need. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Become rooted and grounded in the word, and then you will not renounce the important truths for this time, which are to exert a sanctifying influence upon your life and character.
    It is faith that familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God; and when we live with an eye single to his glory, we discern more and more the beauty of his character. Our souls become strong in spiritual power; for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven, and realizing that God is at our right hand, that we shall not be moved. Faith sees that God witnesses every word and action, and that every thing is manifest to Him with whom we have to do. We should live as in the presence of the infinite One.
    "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son," that the lost might be reclaimed. The sacrifice and mediation of Christ has brought the repentant soul into sacred relations with the Eternal Father. He who has tasted and found that the Lord is good, cannot bear the thought of following in the path of transgression. It is pain to him to violate the law of that God who has so loved him. He avails himself of the help which God has promised, ceases his disobedience, flees to Christ, and, through faith in his blood receives remission of sin. The divine hand is reached to the aid of every repentant soul. Divine wisdom will order the steps of those who put their trust in the Lord. Divine love will encircle them, and they will realize the presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
    If the eye is single to the glory of God, the treasure will be laid up above, safe from all corruption or loss; and "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Jesus will be the pattern that you will seek to imitate. The law of the Lord will be your delight, and at the day of final reckoning you will hear the glad words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  January 31, 1888
(Vol. 65, #5)

 "Individual Accountability"

    There are many professors of religion who claim to be servants of God, and yet are filled with spiritual pride and self-exaltation. They make high pretensions to holiness, and feel that they are "rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." They are like the fig tree which put forth its boastful foliage, but when the Master came seeking fruit upon it, he found nothing but leaves. They are ever ready to advance their opinions, to display their attainments, and to interpret the meaning of the word of God. They claim to be led by the Spirit, but they turn away their ear from hearing the law of God. Says the psalmist, "Thy law is the truth," and "all thy commandments are righteousness." The Spirit of God will lead us in the path of the commandments; for the promise is, that "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." We should try the spirits by the test of God's word; for there are many spirits in the world. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
    Some of these false teachers occupy prominent positions in the churches, and they influence others to swerve from the path of humble obedience. God holds every one of us to an individual accountability, and calls upon us to serve him from principle, to choose him for ourselves. We should not hang our souls upon the words and actions of another; for Satan uses men as his agents, and clothes his ministers in garments of light. Not one of us can pardon the sins of any other. In the day of Judgment, when the question comes to you as to why you did not obey the commandments of God, you cannot make an acceptable excuse on the plea of another's disobedience. If your words and example have led others in the path of sin, you alone must bear the responsibility of your actions and influence. Because a man who professes to love God, disobeys the plain word of instruction, you will not be justified in neglect of duty. We should every one ask, How shall I keep the commandments of our God?
    God will not lightly esteem the transgression of his law. "The wages of sin is death." The consequences of disobedience prove that the nature of sin is at enmity with the well-being of God's government and the good of his creatures. God is a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of them that hate him: the results of transgression follow those who persist in wrongdoing; but he shows mercy unto thousands of them that love him and keep his commandments. Those who repent and turn to his service find the favor of the Lord, and he forgiveth all their iniquities and healeth all their diseases.
    In earthly affairs, the servant who seeks most carefully to fulfill the requirements of his office, and to carry out the will of his master, is most highly valued. A gentleman once wanted to employ a trusty coachman. Several men came in answer to his advertisement. He asked each one how near he could drive to the edge of a certain precipice without upsetting the carriage. One and another replied that he could go within a very perilous distance; but at last one answered that he would keep as far as possible from such a dangerous undertaking. He was employed to fill the position. Shall a man be more appreciative of a good servant than is our Heavenly Father? Our anxiety should not be to see how far we can depart from the commandments of the Lord and presume on the mercy of the Lawgiver, and still flatter our souls that we are within the bounds of God's forbearance; but our care should be to keep as far as possible from transgression. We should be determined to be on the side of Christ and our Heavenly Father, and run no risks by heady presumption.
    What reason have men for thinking that God is not particular whether they obey him implicitly or take their own course? Adam and Eve lost Eden for one transgression of his command; and how dare we trifle with the law of the Most High, and frame deceitful apologies to our souls? We do it at a terrible peril. We must keep all the law, every jot and tittle; for he that offendeth in one point is guilty of all. Every ray of light must be received and cherished, or we shall become bodies of darkness. The Lord Jesus declares, "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." We should magnify the precepts of heaven by our words and actions. He that honors the law shall be honored by it in the Judgment; but he that treats it with contempt shall be condemned by it before the Judge of all the earth.
    Before the flood swept upon the world, God sent a message through Noah to warn the people of the coming deluge. There were those who did not believe the warning; but their unbelief did not stay the showers, nor prevent the waters of the great deep from submerging a scoffing world. And today, while the last message is being heralded to bring God's servants into harmony with every precept of his law, there will be scoffers and unbelievers; but every soul must stand in his own integrity. As Noah was faithful in warning the antediluvian world, so we must be faithful to the great trust that God has given us. Although there are scoffers and traducers on every side, we must not shrink from presenting the truth of heaven to this generation.
    I have not come to cry peace; you can hear this voice wherever you go. There are those who will be glad to lull you to sleep in your carnal security; but I have a different work. My message is to alarm you, to bid you to reform your lives, and cease your rebellion against the God of the universe. Take the word of God, and see if you are in harmony with it. Is your character such as will bear the search of the heavenly investigation? Remember, Jesus says that not every one that says, "Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
    Paul said to the elders of Ephesus, "I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Repentance must be exercised toward God because we have all sinned, broken his righteous law, violated the rule of his government, and brought discord into his harmony. We must exercise faith toward Jesus Christ because he had become our sacrifice and surety. He has died that we might have "remission of sins that are past," and obtain grace and help so that we may keep the commandments of the Lord our God. Faith in Jesus does not make void the law, but establishes it, and will work the fruits of obedience in our lives. Faith in Christ means that you are to do whatsoever he commands; it means that you are to follow in his footsteps. "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
    We want to impress upon you the necessity of cleansing yourselves from every stain of sin. The church that Christ presents before the throne of his glory is without "spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." Do you want to be among those who have washed their robes of character in the blood of the Lamb? then, "cease to do evil; learn to do well;" walk in the commandments and ordinances of your God blameless. You are not to ask whether it suits your convenience to keep the truth of Heaven. You are to take up your cross and follow Jesus, cost what it may. You will find that his "yoke is easy, and his burden is light." When you broke his law and incurred the penalty of death, God did not spare his only begotten Son, that you might be brought from the path of transgression into the way of life and holiness; and will you neglect so great salvation, and refuse to comply with the conditions of eternal life?
    One of God's commandments reads: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." You are robbing God when you refuse to give that day to his service, abstaining from your own work. He has sanctified the seventh day, but you ignore its holiness, and thus cast contempt upon the Lawgiver. Still the forbearance of God is exercised toward you. Make up your mind that from henceforth your feet shall go in the path of obedience. The darkness that binds you, like a thick cloud, will part asunder, and heavenly light will shine upon all those who will have the truth at any cost.
    The Lord understands all about your trials; and however impossible it may seem to live for God, you will find that the way will appear. When your faith has been tested, as the Lord opened the Red Sea, so the waters will divide, and his providence will make a path for your feet. It is safe to serve God. It may not be to your worldly advantage to keep God's ways; but the transgressor will be at an eternal loss. "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings." We must walk carefully and humbly before the Lord in these precious hours of probation. We must draw close to Jesus till his light is shed upon us. It is the desire of our Saviour that we should be the light of the world, reflecting every ray that shines upon us. What straight paths should we make for our feet, so that the lame may not be turned out of the way! This is an age of light. The Lord of heaven is sending the rays of light into the homes of the world. A special light is shining upon the commandments of God. The door of the most holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary stands ajar, and within, as in the most holy place of the ancient sanctuary, is the ark of the testimony. The law of the Most High is beneath the mercy seat. The light of this law is shining upon the world, penetrating the moral darkness that has covered the people.
    John beheld an angel flying through the midst of heaven, warning men of the final judgments of God. He proclaimed the position of those who heeded his warning, and who would escape the seven last plagues. He announced them as God's people, and called attention to their peculiar character: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." The time for the fulfillment of this prophecy has come. We hear the sound of this very message calling the attention of men and women to the broken law of God, and demanding repentance and reform.
    The children of light are to be as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. The world will be condemned by the testimony of those who follow the light as it shines upon their pathway. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." The servants of Jesus are to bear the precious truth to the world, and to present the claims of God to every soul, not pandering to custom, or lessening the responsibility of any soul, but declaring the whole counsel of God.
    When the book of the law was found in the house of the Lord, in the time of ancient Israel, it was read before Josiah, the king. And he rent his garments, and bade the men in holy office to inquire of the Lord for him, and for his people; for they had departed from the statutes of the Lord. He called together all the men of Israel, and the words of the book were read in the hearing of the congregation. The sin of the rulers and the people was pointed out, and the king stood up before them, and confessed his transgression. He manifested his repentance, and made a covenant to keep the statutes of the Lord with his whole heart. Josiah did not rest until the people did all that they could to return from their backsliding, and serve the living God.
    Is not this our work today? Our fathers have transgressed, and we have followed in their footsteps; but God has opened the book of the law, and backslidden Israel hear the commandments of the Lord. Their transgression stands revealed, and the wrath of God will be upon every soul that does not repent and reform as the light shines upon his pathway.
    When Josiah heard the words of warning and condemnation because Israel had trampled upon the precepts of Heaven, he humbled himself. He wept before the Lord. He made a thorough work of repentance and reformation, and God accepted his efforts. The whole congregation of Israel entered into a solemn covenant to keep the commandments of Jehovah. This is our work today. We must repent of the past evil of our doings, and seek God with all our hearts. We must believe that God means just what he says, and make no compromise with evil in any way. We should greatly humble ourselves before God, and consider any loss preferable to the loss of his favor.
    Christ left all to save man from the consequence and penalty of the transgression of the law. The way from the manger to Calvary was marked with blood. The Son of God did not deviate from the path of unwavering obedience, even to the death of the cross. He endured all the woe of man's sin; and shall we turn away from the commandments of the Lord because it involves the loss of friends, position, or worldly gain? Will you not take away your feet from trampling upon the Sabbath of Jehovah? Will you continue to rob God of his holy time? You cannot afford to do this work of making void the law of God. It is at an eternal loss that you rebel against the truth of Heaven. I beseech you, in the name of Christ, that you confess your sins, and reform your ways, that your name may not be blotted out from the book of life, but may be confessed before the Father and before his angels. Jesus is pleading his blood before the Father, and now while mercy lingers and probation is prolonged, seek the approbation of Heaven. Delay not to keep the commandments of the Lord. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 7, 1888
(Vol. 65, #6)

 "Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth"

    Before Jesus went forth to his final conflict with the powers of darkness, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed for his disciples. He said: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. . . . Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word."
    The burden of Jesus' request was that those who believed on him might be kept from the evil of the world, and sanctified through the truth. He does not leave us to vague surmising as to what the truth is, but adds, "Thy word is truth." The word of God is the means by which our sanctification is to be accomplished. It is of the greatest importance, then, that we acquaint ourselves with the sacred instruction of the Bible. It is as necessary for us to understand the words of life as it was for the early disciples to be informed concerning the plan of salvation. We shall be inexcusable if, through our own negligence, we are ignorant of the claims of God's word. God has given us his word, the revelation of his will, and has promised the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, to guide them into all truth; and every soul who honestly desires to do the will of God shall know of the doctrine.
    The world is full of false teaching; and if we do not resolutely search the Scriptures for ourselves, we shall accept its errors for truth, adopt its customs, and deceive our own hearts. The doctrines and customs of the world are at variance with the truth of God. Those who seek to turn from the service of the world to the service of God, will need divine help. They will have to set their faces like a flint toward Zion. They will feel the opposition of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and will have to go contrary to the spirit and influences of the world. Since the time when the Son of God breasted the haughty prejudices and unbelief of mankind, there has been no change in the attitude of the world toward the religion of Jesus. The servants of Christ must meet the same spirit of opposition and reproach, and must go "without the camp, bearing his reproach."
    The mission of Jesus was demonstrated by convincing miracles. His doctrine astonished the people. It was not the contradictory jargon of the scribes, full of mysticism, burdened with absurd forms and meaningless exactions; but it was a system of truth that met the wants of the heart. His teaching was plain, clear, comprehensive. The practical truths he uttered, had a convincing power, and arrested the attention of the people. Multitudes lingered at his side, marveling at his wisdom. His manner corresponded with the great truths he proclaimed. There was no apology, no hesitancy, not the shadow of a doubt or uncertainty that it might be other than he declared. He spoke of the earthly and the heavenly, of the human and the divine, with positive authority; and the people "were astonished at his doctrine; for his word was with power."
    He had declared himself to be the Messiah, but the people would not receive him, though they saw his wonderful works and marveled at his wisdom. He did not meet their expectation of the Messiah. They had been instructed to look for earthly pomp and glory at the advent of their Deliverer, and they dreamed that under the power of "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" the Jewish nation would be exalted to preeminence among the nations of the world. With these ideas they were not prepared to receive the humble Teacher of Galilee, although he came just as the prophets had foretold that he should come. He was not recognized as "the truth," the "light of the world," although he spake as never man spake; for his appearance was humble and unpretending. He came without attendants of earthly pageant and glory. There was, however, a majesty in his very presence that bespoke his divine character. His manners, though gentle and winning, possessed an authority that inspired respect and awe. He commanded, and disease left the sufferer. The dead heard his voice and lived, the sorrowing rejoiced, and the weary and heavy laden found rest in his compassionate love.
    Spies watched him with suspicious glances, ready to put an evil construction on any word or action that was in the least questionable. They were continually lying in wait to find whereof they might accuse him. He was the central object of observation and scrutiny to the people of Judea. His steps were thronged with curious multitudes that waited for a sign. The lame, the blind, the palsy stricken, the leprous, and those afflicted with all manner of diseases, came to him, and he healed them all. Those who had come to criticise and condemn, heard the people glorifying God; and his fame spread from city to city. Heaven indorsed his claims with mighty manifestations; but the evil hearts of men, filled with unbelief born of prejudice, thrust aside the tokens of his truth, and clung to their empty traditions. They were not prepared to acknowledge him as the long-looked-for Messiah, because of their false conceptions as to the manner of his advent and the character of his mission. They walked in the obscuring shadow of manmade theories.
    The word of God, that they professed to believe, stated plainly every detail of his ministry, and again and again he quoted from the prophets, and declared, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." But the minds of the Jewish people were so concentrated on the hope of earthly power and national elevation that they despised the humble Nazarene, and would not have him to reign over them. Had they earnestly searched the Scriptures, and brought their theories and expectations to the test of God's word, Jesus need not have wept over their impenitence. He need not have declared, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate," "because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation." They might have been acquainted with the evidences of his Messiahship, and the calamity that laid the proud city in ruins might have been averted. The minds of the Jews had become dwarfed and narrowed by their unjust prejudices and unyielding bigotry. The practical lessons of Christ revealed the deficiencies of their characters, and demanded thorough repentance. If they accepted his teaching, their practices must be changed, their thoughts enlarged, and their cherished hopes relinquished. They would have to sacrifice the honor of men, in order to be honored of heaven; and if they obeyed the words of this new "Rabbi," they would have to go contrary to the opinions of the great teachers and thinkers of the time.
    Many wonder at the unwillingness of the Jews to receive Christ as the promised Messiah. Why did they cling to their false creeds, empty forms, and useless ceremonies, when the truth of heaven waited their acceptance? They spent their money for chaff and husks, when the Living Bread was within their reach. Why did they not go to the word of God, and search diligently to know whether or not they were in error, and to discover to Jesus the absurdity of his claims and the evidences of his deception? The cause of their rejection of Christ was the same as that which keeps men in error to day: they "loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
    Truth was unpopular in Christ's day. Truth is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a disrelish for it by presenting bewitching fables that lead to self-exaltation. Do we not meet theories and doctrines today that have no foundation in the word of God? Men cling as tenaciously to them as did the Jews to their traditions and delusions. We have the same difficulties to meet and resist as did the Redeemer of the world.
    The Jewish leaders were filled with spiritual pride. Their desire for the glorification of self, manifested itself even in the services of the sanctuary. They loved the highest seats in the synagogues, and the praise of men. They loved greetings in the marketplaces, and were gratified with the sound of their titles on the lips of men. As real piety declined, they became more jealous for their traditions and ceremonies. Do we not see the same perverseness in the Christian church of today? Those who love God with sincere hearts should the more earnestly desire the truth as it is in Jesus. They should search the Scriptures with humble hearts, intensely desiring to know what is truth; for Christ prayed that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth.
    The Jews, because their understanding was darkened by selfish prejudice, could not harmonize the strange power and authority of Christ's convicting words, with his humble life and appearance. They did not appreciate the fact that real greatness can afford to go without display. This man's poverty and humility seemed wholly inconsistent with his claims to the great honor and power of the Messiah. That he should announce himself as the Son of God, they deemed intolerable blasphemy. They questioned, if he were the Messiah, why was he so unpretending? What would become of their nation if he were satisfied to be without the force of arms? When and how would the glory and power, so long anticipated, bring the nations as subjects to the city of the Jews? Had not the priests taught that they were to bear rule over all the earth? and could it be possible that the great religious teachers were in error? The Lord had answered their query through Isaiah: "O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."
    The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees had wandered away from the truth, and Jesus exhorted the people to study the Scriptures for themselves. God has endowed men with intellect, and has made it possible for them to be enlightened by the word of life; but today, as then, people will accept the teaching and doctrines of men, rather than obey the plain word of God. They choose to take the broad road that leads to death, rather than to bear their cross and follow the bloodstained path that leads to eternal life.
    Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians joined to oppose the Son of God. Their rejection of the truth influenced many to turn from the Saviour. Those who cherish enmity to the pure principles of heaven, are acting in concert with the "rulers of the darkness of this world." When Christ met with success in his ministry, those who hated truth and rejected light manifested their spirit of opposition, and sought to silence him. The same spirit is apparent today, wherever the truth is brought in contact with long established error of doctrine and custom. With mad prejudice, men bitterly condemn that which disturbs their preconceived opinions. It is a matter of the highest importance and interest to us that we understand what the truth is, and our petitions should go forth with intense earnestness that we may be guided into all truth.
    David appreciated the divine enlightenment, and recognized the power of the word of God. He declares, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Let those who want light, search the Scriptures, comparing scripture with scripture, and pleading with God for the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The promise is, that those who seek shall find. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 14, 1888
(Vol. 65, #7)

 "The Condition of Acceptance"

    Text: "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." Matt. 7:21.
    A profession of religion is of no value unless good works testify to the sincerity and reality of its claim. Those who are the children of God will work the works of God, and show "forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." They will reflect the light of his countenance, and manifest the Spirit of Christ. If we do not live for the good of others, seeking the salvation of souls and obeying the commandments of God, our religion is vain. Those who make great professions, and do not bear the fruits of godliness, make it manifest that they are not abiding in the True Vine; for "by their fruits ye shall know them." They are dead branches; for "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." It is not those who cry "Lord, Lord," who are accepted; but those who do the will of the Heavenly Father.
    We were made in the image of God, after his likeness; but because of sin we have lost our resemblance to the Creator and Redeemer. We are out of harmony with the will of God; but the Son of God has brought us, at infinite cost to himself, that we might serve him, and do the will of Heaven. The moral image of God may be restored in our fallen natures, through faith in Christ, and obedience to the commandments of Jehovah.
    Through the goodness of God, we have been surrounded with innumerable blessings. There are tokens of his love on every hand. Nature seems to be rejoicing before us. The beautiful things in heaven and earth express the love and favor of the Lord of hosts toward the inhabitants of the world. The sunshine and the rain fall on the evil and the good. The hills and seas and plains are all speaking eloquently to the soul of man of the Creator's love. It is God who brings the bud to bloom, the flower to fruit, and it is he who supplies our daily needs. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father's notice. Our minds should go up in gratitude and adoration to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. We should teach our children to consider the works of God. They should be instructed of his love, and the provision he has made for their salvation. Lead them to give their young hearts as a grateful offering, fragrant with love, to Him who has died for them. Point out the attractive loveliness of the earth, and tell them of the world that is to come, that shall never know the blight of sin and death, where the face of nature will no more wear the shadow of the curse. Lead their young minds to contemplate the glories of the reward that awaits the children of God. Cultivate their imaginative powers by picturing the splendor of the new earth and the city of God; and when they are charmed with the prospect, tell them it will be more glorious than their brightest imagination can portray; for "it is written. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
    The poet and the naturalist have many things to say about nature; but it is the Christian who enjoys the beauty of the earth with the highest appreciation, because he recognizes his Father's handiwork, and perceives his love in flower and shrub and tree. No one can fully appreciate the significance of hill and vale, river and sea, who does not look upon them as an expression of the love of God to man. Should we hesitate a moment in deciding that we will serve him who so graciously provides for our happiness? Why should we not do the will of such a Father?
    God does not compel anyone to love him and obey his law. He has manifested unutterable love toward man in the plan of redemption. He has poured out the treasures of his wisdom, and has given the most precious gift of heaven that we might be constrained to love him, and come into harmony with his will. If we refuse such love, and will not have him to rule over us, we are working our own ruin, and we shall sustain an eternal loss at last. God desires the willing service of our hearts. He has endowed us with reasoning faculties, with talents of ability, and with means and influence, to be exercised for the good of mankind, that we may manifest his Spirit before the world. Precious opportunities and privileges are placed within our reach, and if we neglect them, we rob others, we defraud our own souls, and dishonor our Maker. We shall not want to meet these slighted opportunities and neglected privileges in the day of Judgment. Our eternal interests for the future depend on the present diligent performance of duty in improving the talents that God has given into our trust for the salvation of souls.
    How inclined is man to set his affections on earthly things! His attention is absorbed in houses and lands, and his duty to his fellowman is neglected; his own salvation is treated as a matter of little consequence, and the claims of God upon him are forgotten. Men grasp the treasures of earth as tenaciously as if they could hold on to them forever. They seem to think that they have a right to do with their means just as it pleases them, no matter what the Lord has commanded, or what may be the need of their fellowmen. They forget that all they claim as theirs, has simply been intrusted to them. They are stewards of the grace of God. God has committed this treasure to them to prove them, that they may manifest their attitude to his cause, and show the thoughts of their heart toward him. They are not only trading for time, but for eternity, with their Lord's money, and the use or abuse of their talent will determine their position and trust in the world to come. If it is used to glorify themselves, they transfer their affections from God to his gift, and it becomes an idol. They will have to give an account of their work before the righteous Judge. All that you have and are, belongs to God, to be used in blessing humanity, and in advancing the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Position and influence, be they ever so exalted, should not be made an excuse for misappropriating the Lord's goods. The special favors of God should stimulate us to render wholehearted and affectionate service to him; but many who are thus blessed forget their Giver, and become reckless, defiant, and profligate. They dishonor the God of heaven, and wield an influence that curses and destroys their associates. They do not seek to lessen the sufferings of the needy. They do not build up the work of God. They do not seek to redress the wrongs of the innocent, to plead the cause of the widow and the orphan, or to reveal a lofty pattern of character before high and low, showing a spirit of beneficence and virtue. But on the contrary, they oppress the hireling; they keep back by fraud the just recompense for labor, cheat the innocent, rob the widow and heap up treasure corroded with the blood of souls. They will have to render an account at the bar of God. This class are not doing the will of the Father in heaven, and they will hear the stern command, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
    True religion works out the principles of God's law,--love to God and love to man. Those who will be accepted of heaven, will have put their talents out to the exchangers for the glory of God and the good of humanity. They will have become laborers together with God, and will receive the approval of the Master when he comes in the clouds of heaven. Religion is something more than a profession, something deeper than an impulsive feeling. It is doing the will of God through faith in Christ.
    Conversion has become a matter of perplexity to many, because of the confusing doctrines that are taught in regard to what is religion. Coming to Christ means something more than belonging to the church. There are many whose names are registered on the leaves of the church record, but whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life. Coming to Christ does not require a severe mental effort and agony. It is simply accepting the terms of salvation that God has made plain in his word.
    It is faith in Jesus that works in your life obedience to all the commandments of God. Will you not accept Christ as your captain, and enlist in his army? Will you not leave the black banner of the prince of darkness, and march under the bloodstained banner of the Prince Emmanuel? Will you not take a solemn vow that you will obey the commands of your Captain, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life? Will you not come from a state of transgression to a state of obedience and love? Those who believe in Jesus have no enmity toward the law of God. They delight in his law, and count self-denial as of small consequence, if they may only honor their Master, and win souls for his kingdom. We must lift the cross daily, and follow in the steps of our dear Redeemer.
    When man placed himself in opposition to the will of the Father, infinite pity filled the breast of the Son of God. He offered his life to pay the penalty of the broken law, that man might have another trial. He promised to give those who believed in him grace to resist temptation, and power to build up a righteous character, through keeping the commandments of God. Our Saviour purchased this privilege for us at an infinite cost. How blind must man be to his own interests, that he does not accept the terms of God, and receive eternal life! It is a solemn thought that the condition of man required the sacrifice of the Son of God in order that he might be redeemed from a life of sin to a life of faith and obedience. Though the race has fallen in rebellion, and ruin awaits those who neglect so great a salvation, Christ has promised to "make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." This honor will be conferred upon man, because the Son of God, as his substitute and surety, has imparted to him his own righteousness. Our precious Saviour laid aside his royal robes, stepped down from his royal throne, and was made man, that he might bring man into harmony with his God.
    It is only in the light of Calvary's cross that we can estimate the value of our salvation. And after the Son of God has taken step after step of self-denial and humiliation, even to Calvary and the death of the cross, have we nothing to do? Christ has commanded, "Let this mind be in you, that was also in Christ Jesus." If we have the love of Christ abiding in our hearts, we cannot enjoy it alone. We shall have a deep anxiety to present the precious news of salvation to others. Our daily steps will leave a bright track heavenward. We shall become lights in the world. We want you to fasten your eyes on the perfect Pattern. We want you to comply with the conditions of salvation. Are you loving God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself? It is not those who say they believe in Jesus, and yet are not laborers in his vineyard, that he will confess before his Father and the holy angels; but he will own those who humbly seek his grace, and do the will of his Father. They shall have eternal life, and be heirs with Christ in a world without end. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 21, 1888
(Vol. 65, #8)

 "The Path of Progress"

    Text: "And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
    The apostle has presented before us the importance of making continual advancement in the Christian life. There is no excuse for our lack of spiritual understanding. The successive steps in the path of progress are stated in the exhortation of the text, and we must take these steps if we fulfill the requirement of God, and become fitted for the heavenly courts. The work of progress is not left wholly dependent on our weak human efforts; but as we endeavor to walk in the footsteps of the Redeemer, divine strength will be imparted, that the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us. Help has been laid upon One who is mighty to save, and as we strive to add these virtues, he will multiply grace, according to our need, from his own divine sufficiency.
    Faith is the first round in the ladder of advancement. Without faith it is impossible to please God. But many stop on this round, and never ascend higher. They seem to think that when they have professed Christ, when their names are on the church record, their work is completed. Faith is essential; but the inspired word says, "Add to your faith, virtue." Those who are seeking for eternal life, and a home in the kingdom of God, must lay for their character building the foundation of virtue. Jesus must be the chief cornerstone. The things that defile the soul must be banished from the mind and life. When temptations are presented, they must be resisted in the strength of Christ. The virtue of the spotless Lamb of God must be woven into the character till the soul can stand in its integrity. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you."
    The young Christian will have severe tests and temptations. Satan will not permit you to leave his banner of darkness to march under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel, without making an effort to retain you in his service. He will present every attraction to cause you to leave the narrow road that leads to eternal life; but you must stand like a faithful soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph is an example of how the youth may stand unspotted, amid the evil of the world, and add to their faith, virtue. Though a captive in a strange land, far from the restraints of home, he kept the fear of God before him, and when he was sorely tempted to indulge in evil, he exclaimed. "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" The grace of God enabled him to resist the tempter. He was cast into prison, because of his steadfastness of purpose to keep the commandments of God. But prison walls could not shut out the light of Heaven's favor, nor hinder his advancement in the divine life; for "the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy." And the Lord will be with every soul who adds the precious grace of virtue, and who fears to transgress the law of Heaven.
    Joseph did not complain at his lot, nor question why the Lord permitted him to suffer for righteousness' sake. He did not allow any cloud of despondency to settle upon his heart. He believed in God, and patiently waited for his salvation. He determined that this affliction should serve as an occasion to glorify God and benefit his associates. He did not cease his efforts toward perfection of character. He forgot his sorrow in seeking to lighten the sorrows of others, and the prisoners saw that the Lord was with Joseph. When he had borne the proving of the furnace, the Lord brought him out of the gloomy cell, and exalted him to a position next to the king of Egypt. Those who honor God will be honored by him.
    Had Joseph wavered and fallen under the first temptation, his strength would have been insufficient for the second test. It is important that we do not take a wrong step in any direction; for it is very unprofitable to us. Whatever it may cost you, add to your faith, virtue. The greatest earthly loss will prove eternal gain if this is accomplished. If we use our powers unwisely, for the gratification of sinful desires, we cannot attain to the exaltation of character to which God would have us attain. We rob God of the service we should render, and fail to accomplish the good that we owe to our fellowmen. If we give ourselves to Christ, he will become our helper. Poor and sinful and dependent, he will wash us in his own blood, put his Spirit within us, and make us to reflect his image.
    Every moment of our lives is intensely real, and charged with solemn responsibilities. Ignorance will be no excuse for lack of spiritual understanding and attainment; for we are exhorted to add to virtue, knowledge. Many are very ignorant of Bible truth, and they do not realize the duty and necessity of becoming intelligent Christians. The disciples learned of Jesus, and men perceived the benefits of his association and service, as they saw the change in these men. The uncultured fishermen became men of refinement and ability; and the lessons that they were privileged to learn are written for our admonition and instruction. We are invited to become learners in the school of Christ. We need to acquire all the knowledge possible. We cannot afford to be ignorant of the things that pertain to our eternal welfare. If all would cease gossip and evil communication, devoting the time to contemplation of Christ and the plan of salvation, they would add the knowledge essential to a growth in grace. We are to add knowledge from "whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report." God wants us to understand why he has placed us in the world, and given us the sacred burden of life to bear. He would have us develop the faculties of mind and body, that we may be a blessing to those around us, and that his glory may be reflected from us to the world. It is not his will that our powers should be bound up in torpid stupidity and ignorance. "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
    "And to knowledge, temperance." This is the third step in the path toward perfection of character. On every side there is indulgence and dissipation, and the result is degeneration and corruption. The inhabitants of our earth are depreciating in mental, moral, and physical power, because of the intemperate habits of society. Appetite, passion, and love of display are carrying the multitudes into the greatest excesses and extravagance. Temptations present themselves on every hand, not only in places of vice, but also in the homes of our land. Our tables are spread with little regard for health or morality, and the cravings of perverted appetite are indulged, to the detriment of physical and mental strength. The people of God must take an opposite course from the world. They must take up the warfare against these sinful practices, deny appetite, and keep the lower nature in subjection. Said 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."
    God has given us the fruits and grains of the earth for food, that we might have unfevered blood, calm nerves, and clear minds. The stimulating diet and drink of this day are not conducive to the best state of health. Tea, coffee, and tobacco are all stimulating, and contain poisons. They are not only unnecessary, but harmful, and should be discarded if we would add to knowledge, temperance. We should live by "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." It is for us to "search the Scriptures," and bring our habits into harmony with the instruction of the Bible. We are admonished, "Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
    "And to temperance, patience." The need of becoming temperate is made manifest as we try to take this step. It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient. We should make decided efforts to be on the right side in every matter. We are on a battleground, and Satan is striving for our souls. No impatient man or woman will ever enter into the courts of heaven. We must not allow the natural feelings to control our judgment. Many are quickly irritated, and their words are sharp and bitter. They wound the hearts of those about them, and make it apparent that the Spirit of Christ is not abiding in their souls. The grace of Christ will bring the peace of God into your homes; but many who profess the truth, do not seem to realize that it is an essential part of religion to become meek and lowly, tenderhearted and forbearing.
    Is there anything desirable in impatience? The loud, harsh complaint, the fretful, faultfinding spirit, are evidences of a narrow, conceited mind. Impatience brings strife and accusation and sorrow; but patience pours the balm of peace and love into the experiences of the home life. When we exercise the precious grace of patience toward others, they will reflect our spirit, and we shall gather with Christ. Patience will seek for unity in the church, in the family, and in the community. This grace must be woven into our lives. Everyone should mount this round of progress, and add to faith, virtue, and temperance, the grace of patience.
    "And to patience, godliness." Godliness is the fruit of Christian character. If we abide in the Vine, we shall bear the fruits of the Spirit. The life of the Vine will manifest itself through the branches. We must have a close and intimate connection with heaven, if we bear the grace of godliness. Jesus must be a guest in our homes, a member of our households, if we reflect his image and show that we are sons and daughters of the Most High. Religion is a beautiful thing in the home. If the Lord abides with us, we shall feel that we are members of Christ's family in heaven. We shall realize that angels are watching us, and our manners will be gentle and forbearing. We shall be fitting up for an entrance into the courts of heaven, by cultivating courtesy and godliness. Our conversation will be holy, and our thoughts will be upon heavenly things.
    Enoch walked with God. He honored God in every affair of life. In his home and in his business, he inquired, "Will this be acceptable to the Lord?" And by remembering God, and following his counsel, he was transformed in character, and became a godly man, whose ways pleased the Lord. We are exhorted to add godliness, brotherly kindness. O how much we need to take this step, to add to this quality to our characters! In many of our homes there is a hard, combative spirit manifested. Critical words and unkind actions are offensive to God. Dictatorial commands and haughty, overbearing manners are not acceptable to Heaven. The reason there are so many differences existing between brethren is that they have failed to add brotherly kindness. We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us. A man is estimated at his true value by the Lord of heaven. If he is unkind in his earthly home, he is unfit for the heavenly home. If he will have his own way, no matter whom it grieves, he would not be content in heaven, unless he could rule there. The love of Christ must control our hearts, and the peace of God will abide in our homes. Seek God with a broken and contrite spirit, and you will be melted with compassion toward your brethren. You will be prepared to add to brotherly kindness, charity, or love. Without charity we will become "as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Our highest professions are hollow and insincere; but "love is the fulfilling of the law." We shall be found wanting, if we do not add charity that suffereth long and is kind; that vaunteth not itself, that seeketh not her own.
    Will it make us miserable to follow this plan of Christian progression?-- No. It will bring heaven nearer to us. We may have the sweet peace and consolation of God in doing this work. These steps will take us into the atmosphere of heaven; for as God sees his children seeking to carry out his instruction in their habits and thoughts, he multiplies grace, and gives them that wisdom that cometh down from above, that is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits." "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  February 28, 1888
(Vol. 65, #9)

 "Our High Calling"

    Text: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." 1 John 3:1.
    The love of the Father toward a fallen race is unfathomable, indescribable, without a parallel. This love led him to consent to give his only begotten Son to die, that rebellious man might be brought into harmony with the government of Heaven, and be saved from the penalty of his transgression. The Son of God stepped down from his royal throne, and for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. He became "a Man of sorrows," that we might be made partakers of everlasting joy. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" God permitted his beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory to a world marred and blighted with sin, shadowed with the shadow of death and the curse. He permitted him to leave the bosom of his love, the adoration of the angels, to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and death. And Jesus bore all this untold sorrow, that we might be changed to his divine image, and become the sons of God. John exclaims, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us." Is there not a response of gratitude in your hearts? Are you not lost in wonder and adoration as you contemplate the theme of redemption?
    When Adam fell and lost the liberty of a son of God, and brought himself into captivity to Satan, infinite pity filled the heart of Jesus. He took the field of conflict to fight in man's behalf, that all who desired to leave the cruel bondage of the "god of this world," might be set free, to serve the living God. Through all the lowly experiences of life, the exalted Son of God, consented to pass, step by step, from the manger to the cross; for "he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." And "he was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." In the wilderness he fasted forty days, and was tried by every subtle temptation that the prince of darkness could devise. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, he suffered the depth of temptation and sorrow, and "he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him." The nature of man had become so weakened by transgression, that it was an impossibility for him to overcome in his own strength; for he was led captive at the will of Satan; but, through the strength of Christ, everyone may be an overcomer. We may be more than conquerors through Him who has "loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."
    The Prince of heaven has placed man in an exalted position. His life has been valued at the cost of Calvary's cross. The penalty of his transgression has been paid by the precious blood of the Son of God. He may, through repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, have remission of sins that are past, have another trial and test his loyalty to God by obedience to his law, that he may win an eternal inheritance. From the depths of sin's degradation, we may be exalted to become heirs with Christ, the sons of God, and kings and priests unto the Most High. Every repentant, obedient soul may stand as did Adam, free from the condemnation of the law. He may "come boldly unto the throne of grace," and "obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
    When Christ bowed on the banks of Jordan, after his baptism, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, like burnished gold, and encircled him with its glory; and the voice of God from the highest heaven was heard, saying. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The prayer of Christ in man's behalf opened the gates of heaven, and the father had responded, accepting the petition for the fallen race. Jesus prayed as our substitute and surety, and now the human family may find access to the Father through the merits of his well-beloved Son. This earth because of transgression had been struck off from the continent of heaven. Communication had ceased between man and his Maker; but the way has been opened, so that he may return to the Father's house. Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life." The gate of heaven has been left ajar, and the radiance from the throne of God shines into the hearts of those who love him, even though they dwell in the sin-cursed earth. The light that encircled the divine Son of God will fall upon the pathway of all those who follow in his footsteps. There is no reason for discouragement. The promises of God are sure and steadfast.
    "Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Do you desire to become the sons and daughters of the Most High? Here is stated the condition of this great privilege. Come, be separate, touch not the unclean. You cannot keep the fellowship of the world, participate in its pleasures, identify yourself with its interests, and still be the sons of God. Says John, "The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." But shall we let the desire for the favor of our Lord's enemies weigh against our accepting the conditions of salvation? You may come unto the Father in the name of his Son, and, no matter how broken and feeble your petitions, Jesus will present them before the throne of infinite power, and the light that was shed upon him, will be reflected upon you. You will be "accepted in the Beloved."
    There are great things expected from the sons and daughters of God. I look upon the youth of today, and my heart yearns over them. What possibilities are open before them! If they sincerely seek to learn of Christ, he will give them wisdom, as he gave wisdom to Daniel. They may obtain directions from Him who is mighty in counsel. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Says the psalmist, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." And the wise man writes, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Let the youth try to appreciate the privilege that may be theirs, to be directed by the unerring wisdom of God. Let them take the word of truth as the man of their counsel, and become skillful in the use of "the sword of the Spirit." Satan is a wise general; but the humble, devoted soldier of Jesus Christ may overcome him. It is written of the victors, that "they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony." We must not trust in self. Our finite strength is only weakness. Says Jesus, "Without me ye can do nothing;" but he promises, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
    It is thought a great honor to be invited into the presence of a king of this earth. But let us consider the amazing privilege that is proffered to us. If we obey the requirements of God, we may become the sons and daughters of the King of the universe. Through a crucified and risen Saviour, we may be filled with the fruits of righteousness, and be fitted to shine in the courts of the King of kings through unending ages. The world does not know the exaltation of the sons and daughters of the Most High. Those around them do not see that the humble, self-denying spirit, the patient meekness of heart, has any extraordinary value. They did not know or appreciate Christ when he was on the earth, and the servant is not greater than his Lord. They could not understand him; and the greater our likeness to the divine character of our Lord, the more we shall be misunderstood by the world. The more we come into fellowship with Christ and heaven, the less will be our fellowship with the world; for we are not of the world, therefore the world knoweth us not. Our work is to seek the closest union with the Son of God, to learn in his school, to become meek and lowly of heart, to work the works of Christ, advancing his kingdom and hastening his coming.
    The great ambition of the children of this world is to meet the world's standard. They cannot see the precious advantages to be obtained in serving the God of heaven; but the children of light have the great prize set before them. They find the service of Christ is not grievous but full of delight. He says, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Beloved, if God has so loved us, should we not serve him with all our might, and strive to enter in at the strait gate, complying with every requirement of his word? Let us seek by "patient continuance in well-doing" to gain immortality and the crown of life. "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." If we do this, we shall ere long see him as he is, and we shall be like him; for he "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body"; for "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Beloved, "behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." Let us try to appreciate this love, and "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." By E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 6, 1888
(Vol. 65, #10)

 "Evidences of Genuine Faith"

    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.
    There is a great work for us to do if we would inherit eternal life. We are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live a life of righteousness. Many teach that all that is necessary to salvation is to believe in Jesus; but what saith the word of truth?--"Faith without works is dead." We are to "fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life," take up the cross, deny self, war against the flesh, and follow daily in the footsteps of the Redeemer. There is no salvation for us except in Jesus; for it is through faith in him that we receive power to become the sons of God; but it is not merely a passing faith; it is faith that works the works of Christ. Jesus has said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." We have a part to act as well as to believe; for we are to be judged according to our works.
    Living faith makes itself manifest by exhibiting a spirit of sacrifice and devotion toward the cause of God. Those who possess it stand under the banner of Prince Emmanuel, and wage a successful warfare against the powers of darkness. They stand ready to do whatsoever their Captain commands. Each one is exhorted to be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity;" for we are to "live soberly, righteously, and godly" in this present evil world, representing the character of Christ, and manifesting his Spirit. We are to follow in his footsteps, as dear children. By beholding him, we are to be changed into the same image, reflecting the light of heaven into the moral darkness of the world.
    Genuine faith in Jesus leads to denial of self; but however high the profession may be, if self is exalted and indulged, the faith of Jesus is not in the heart. The true Christian manifests by a life of daily consecration that he is bought with a price, and is not his own. He realizes that an infinite sacrifice has been made for him, and that his life is of inestimable value, through the merits of Jesus' blood, intercession, and righteousness. But while he comprehends the exalted privileges of the sons of God, his soul is filled with humility. There is no boasting of holiness from the lips of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary's cross. They feel that it was their sin which caused the agony that broke the heart of the Son of God, and their comeliness is turned to corruption. Those who live nearest to Jesus, feel most deeply their own unworthiness, and their only hope is in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own insufficiency in contrast with the purity and exalted loveliness of Jesus.
    Is there not occasion for humility? Is there not need of feeling our utter dependence upon Christ every day and hour? Have we not walked in the ways of our own choosing, and have we not found in this path only failure? We have "sinned, and come short of the glory of God," and in order to save man, Jesus made an infinite sacrifice. Nothing less than the life of God's beloved Son would suffice to pay the heavy debt that we had incurred by breaking the law of God. He took on him our nature, and became sin for us, that we might have "remission of sins that are past," and through his divine strength and grace, might fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. Whoever takes the position that it makes no difference whether or not we keep the commandments of God, is not acquainted with Christ. Jesus says, "I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love;" and those who follow Jesus will do as he has done. The beloved disciple writes, "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." We cannot abide in the love of our Saviour, if we trample under foot any part of that law which he came to "magnify" and make "honorable," even to the cost of suffering the humiliation and death of the cross.
    It is a fatal mistake to think that there is nothing for you to do in obtaining salvation. You are to cooperate with the agencies of heaven. We are exhorted to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." You want to take hold of the work intelligently; and when you discern spiritual things, you will see that there is a warfare before you. There is a cross to be lifted in the pathway, a wall to be scaled before you enter the eternal city, a ladder to be climbed before the gate of pearl is reached; and as you realize your inability and weakness, and cry for help, a divine voice will come to you from the battlements of heaven, saying, "Take hold of my strength." "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
    Satan will seek to entice you to enter into the paths of sin, promising that some wonderful good will result from the transgression of God's law; but he is a deceiver. He would only work your ruin, and the dishonor of the name and cause of God; for every step away from the commandments of Jehovah lessens your power to resist evil, and makes you more and more inefficient to fulfill your obligations to God and man. Christ came to break the rule of the evil one, to let the oppressed go free, to undo the heavy burden, and to bring liberty to the captive. Man was so weakened through transgression that he did not possess sufficient moral power to turn from the service of Satan to the service of the only true God; but Jesus, the Prince of life, to whom is committed "all power in heaven and earth," will impart to every soul who desires salvation the strength necessary to overcome the enemy of all righteousness.
    The controversy that was waged between Christ and Satan is renewed over every soul that leaves the black banner of the prince of darkness, to march under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. The evil one will present the most subtle allurements to draw those away from their allegiance who would be true to Heaven; but we must yield all the powers of our being into the service of God, and then we shall be kept from falling into the snares of the enemy.
    Says Paul, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Any course of action that weakens your physical or mental power, unfits you for the service of your Creator. We are to love God with all our hearts, and, if we have an eye single to his glory, we shall eat, drink, and clothe ourselves with reference to his divine will. Everyone who has a realizing sense of what it means to be a Christian, will purify himself from everything that weakens and defiles. All the habits of his life will be brought into harmony with the requirements of the word of truth, and he will not only believe, but will work out his own salvation with fear and trembling, while submitting to the molding of the Holy Spirit.
    Those who are connected with Jesus are in union with the Maker and Upholder of all things. They have a power that the world cannot give nor take away. But while great and exalted privileges are given to them, they are not simply to rejoice in their blessings. As stewards of the manifold grace of God, they are to become a blessing to others. They are intrusted with great truth, and "unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." There are weighty responsibilities resting upon all who have received the message for this time. They are to exert an influence that will draw others to the light of God's word. "Even Christ pleased not himself." He lived for the good of men, and we are to work the works of Christ. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are our brother's keeper. Christ "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." And that faith which accomplishes this zeal in us is the only genuine faith. If the branch is abiding in the True Vine, its union is made manifest by the fruit that appears, for "by their fruits ye shall know them."
    If we are true believers in Jesus, we shall be gathering rays from glory, and we shall shed light on the darkened pathway of those around us. We shall reveal the gracious character of our Redeemer, and many will be drawn by our influence to "behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." And they will yield themselves to his service; for Jesus will be in them "a well of water springing up into everlasting life." And those who have honored his name, who have been co-laborers with him in seeking the salvation of souls, shall enter into his joy, and sit down on his throne, to share in his eternal glory. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 13, 1888
(Vol. 65, #11)

 "The Necessity of Labor"

    We have a sacred message to bear to the world. The Third Angel's Message is not a theory of man's inventing, a speculation of the imagination; but it is the solemn truth of God for these last days. It is the final warning to the perishing souls of men. It is not a system of truth simply to gratify and please the intellect; it means diligent and sacrificing labor to all who accept its holy teaching. The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus must be brought to the attention of the world. The tidings of the coming of the Saviour must be proclaimed. The Judgment scenes must be portrayed before the unenlightened minds of men, and hearts must be aroused to realize the solemnity of the closing hours of probation, and prepare to meet their God.
    The light that has shone upon your pathway has been given you, not simply that you may rejoice in it, and better understand the Scriptures, and see more clearly the way of life; but that you may become a lightbearer, and carry the torch of truth into the darkened pathways of those around you. We are to be co-laborers with Christ. We are to follow the example that he has left us in the daily steps of his life on earth. His was not a life of ease and devotion to himself; but he toiled with persistent, untiring, earnest effort for the salvation of lost mankind. From the manger to Calvary he followed in the path of self-denial, and sought not to be released from arduous tasks, painful travels, and exhausting care and labor. He said: "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
    When but twelve years of age, the Son of God was found among the learned rabbis, executing his mission; and when asked as to why he had remained after the feast, he replied, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" This was the one great object of his life. Everything else was secondary and subservient. It was his meat and drink to do the will of God, and to finish his work. Self and selfish interest had no part in his labor. Love to God and man demands the whole heart, and leaves no place for selfishness to flourish in the life. Jesus declared, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.
    Jesus and his disciples were surrounded with bigotry, pride, prejudice, unbelief, and hatred. Men were filled with false doctrines, and nothing but united, persistent endeavor could be attended with any measure of success; but the great work of saving souls could not be laid aside because there were difficulties to surmount. It was written of the Son of God, that he should "not fail nor be discouraged." There is a great work before us. The work that engages the interest and activity of heaven is committed to the church of Christ. Jesus said: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." The work for our time is attended with the same difficulties that Jesus had to meet, and that the reformers of every age have had to overcome; and we must set our wills on the side of Christ, and move forward with firm confidence in God.
    The work of the apostles of Christ was to educate and train men and women to publish the good tidings of the crucified and risen Saviour. Every soul converted to the gospel felt under solemn obligation to the Lord Jesus, to teach others the way of salvation. This is the spirit that should animate us; but there is a marked indifference upon this point in our churches, and this is the reason why there is not more spirituality and vigor in our Christian life. If you would go to work as Christ designed that his disciples should, and win souls to the truth, you would feel the need of a deeper experience and greater knowledge in divine things, and would hunger and thirst after righteousness. You would plead with God, and your faith would be strengthened, and your soul would drink deeper draughts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials would drive you to the Bible and to prayer, and then you would go forth as laborers together with God, to open the Scriptures to the people. You would grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the truth, and your experience would be rich and fragrant. Upon every converted soul rests the responsibility of laboring for the salvation of men. It is your privilege to visit your neighbors and become lightbearers to your community. This personal effort will accomplish a precious work, and will meet the approbation of Heaven.
    Go to work, brethren. It is not alone the large camp meetings or conventions and councils that will have the especial favor of God; the humblest effort of unselfish love will be crowned with his blessing, and receive its great reward. Do what you can, and God will increase your ability. Let no church think it is too small to exert an influence and do service in the great work for this time. Let no one excuse himself because there are others who have talents to employ in the cause. Do your part. God will excuse no one. Jesus has given to "every man his work," and every man will be rewarded "according as his work shall be." Everyone will be judged "according to the deeds done in the body," and will "give account of himself to God."
    There is need of systematic labor; but where some of you are so long in devising, and planning, and getting ready for the work, Satan preoccupies the field with bewitching fables, and the attention of men becomes absorbed in the delusions of the master deceiver. These very minds were unsettled and inquiring in regard to the Bible truth, and had the opportunity been improved, they would have given unprejudiced attention to the message; but after receiving error, it is doubly hard to induce them to give a candid investigation to the evidences of our faith.
    Take up the work anywhere and everywhere. Do that which is the nearest to you, right at your own doors, however humble and uncommended it may seem. Work only for the glory of God and the good of men. Let self sink out of sight, while with earnest purpose and solemn prayers of faith you work for Him who has died that you might live. Go to your neighbors one by one, and come close to them till their hearts are warmed by your unselfish interest and love. Sympathize with them, pray for them, watch for opportunities to do them good, and as you can, gather a few together and open the word of God to their darkened minds. Keep watching, as he who must render an account for the souls of men, and make the most of the privileges that God gives you of laboring with him in his moral vineyard. Do not neglect speaking to your neighbors, and doing them all the kindness in your power, that you "by all means may save some." We need to seek for the spirit that constrained the apostle Paul to go from house to house, pleading with tears, and teaching "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
    When churches are revived, it is because some individual seeks earnestly for the blessing of God. He hungers and thirsts after God, and asks in faith, and receives accordingly. He goes to work in earnest, feeling his great dependence upon the Lord, and souls are aroused to seek for a like blessing, and a season of refreshing falls on the hearts of men. The extensive work will not be neglected. The larger plans will be laid at the right time; but personal, individual effort and interest for your friends and neighbors, will accomplish much more than can be estimated. It is for the want of this kind of labor that souls for whom Christ died are perishing. One soul is of infinite value; for Calvary speaks its worth. One soul, won to the truth, will be instrumental in winning others, and there will be an ever-increasing result of blessing and salvation. Your work may accomplish more real good than the more extensive meetings, if they lack in personal effort. When both are combined, with the blessing of God, a more perfect and thorough work may be wrought; but if we can have but one part done, let it be the individual labor of opening the Scriptures in households, making personal appeals, and talking familiarly with the members of the family, not about things of little importance, but of the great themes of redemption. Let them see that your heart is burdened for the salvation of souls.
    Those who have been most successful in winning souls, were men and women who did not pride themselves in their ability, but who went in humility and faith, and the power of God worked with their efforts in convicting and converting the hearts of those to whom they appealed. Jesus did this very work. He came close to those whom he desired to benefit by personal contact. How often with a few gathered about him, he commenced the precious lessons, and one by one the passers by paused to listen, until a great multitude heard with wonder and awe the words of God through the heaven-sent Teacher. He did not wait for congregations to assemble. The grandest truths were spoken to single individuals. The woman at the well in Samaria heard the wonderful words, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
    The interview with the humble Samaritan was not in vain. The words that fell from the lips of the divine Teacher stirred the heart of the listener. She gladly acknowledged him. She felt the power of his holy character and the heavenly influence that went with his words of truth. Perfect trust filled her heart. Forgetful of her errand to the well, she hastened to publish his fame to her townsmen. Many left their employment to come to the stranger at Jacob's well. They plied him with questions, and eagerly received the explanation of many things that had been dark to their understanding. The perplexity of their minds began to clear away. They were like people in darkness tracing up a sudden ray till they had found the day; and the result of the work of Jesus, as he sat weary and hungry at the well, was widespread in blessing. The one soul for whom he had labored became a means of reaching others and bringing them to the Saviour of the world.
    This is ever the way the work of God has made progress in the earth. Let your light shine, and others will be kindled. Jesus said, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." This means work. Idleness and religion do not go hand in hand; and the cause of our great deficiency in the Christian life and experience is inactivity in the work of God. The muscles of your body will become weak and useless if they are not kept in exercise, and it is so with the spiritual nature. If you would be strong, you must exercise your powers. Exercise faith in God by proving his promises as you take up your cross and lift your burden. Put on the yoke of Christ, and prove his words that "ye shall find rest unto your souls." Open the Scriptures to someone that is in darkness, and you will not complain of weariness and lack of interest in the cause of truth. Your heart will be awakened to an anxiety for souls, and joy in the evidences of the faith will fill your heart, and you will know that "he that watereth shall be watered also himself." With living faith claim the promises of God. Has he not said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened"? "But let him ask in faith."
    There are too many talents hid in a napkin, and buried in the earth. O that they might all be employed in the service of the Master, that at his coming he might receive his "own with usury," and that fruit might abound to your account! When Jesus went away, he left to every man his work, and "nothing to do" is an unwarrantable excuse. "Nothing to do" is the reason of trial among brethren; for Satan will fill the minds of idlers with his own plans, and set them to work. Your unemployed heart and mind afford him a plat to sow the seeds of doubt and skepticism. Those who have nothing to do, find time for gossiping, talebearing, backbiting, and mischief-making. "Nothing to do" brings evil testimony against the brethren, and dissension into the church of Christ. Jesus says, "He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."
    The law of God is being trampled underfoot, the blood of the covenant is being despised; and can we fold our hands and say that we have nothing to do? Let us arouse! The battle is waging. Truth and Error are nearing their final conflict. Let us march under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal honors; for the truth will triumph, and we may be more than conquerors through Him who has loved us. The precious hours of probation are closing. Let us make sure work for eternal life, that we may glorify our Heavenly Father, and be the means of saving souls for whom Christ died. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 20, 1888
(Vol. 65, #12)

 "The Conditions of Strength"

    Three thousand of the warriors of Israel had gone up to besiege the little city of Ai. Joshua, their leader, had not expected defeat or disaster. He had seen the waters of the Jordan roll back to make a path for the advancing tribes of Israel. He had seen the invisible Commander of this great people, the mighty Angel, "the Captain of the Lord's host," stand with drawn sword ready to give victory to their hands. He had beheld how the walls of Jericho trembled and fell to the ground, as they compassed the city the seventh time, and sounded the trumpets, and gave a mighty shout. He had witnessed the triumph of his people as they marched into the stronghold of the enemy, and laid the city in ruins; and he had no other thought than that victory would crown their efforts to subdue the city of Ai. But to his great dismay, the once conquering corps break rank in precipitous flight. He sees Israel discomfited, retreating before the men of Ai. The battle is abandoned, and thirty-six of his bravest warriors lie dead on the deserted field of conflict.
    Perplexed and troubled, Joshua fell on his face before the Lord. He rent his clothes in token of his grief and disappointment. He lamented before God. The ark, the strength of Israel, had not prevailed as in former times. The name of Jehovah would be brought into dishonor before the nations. The hearts of the people were melted with fear, and there was no more courage to go forward to possess the land of promise. Oh, what a cloud of sorrow swept over the soul of the servant of the Lord! Had God, the living God, forsaken his people, and given them up to calamity and evil.
    God did not long permit this faithful man to remain in darkness. "And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you." At the siege of Jericho, the children of Israel had transgressed the commandments of the Lord, and broken the terms upon which he had promised to be their defense and deliverer. Everything in this city was accursed, and was to be utterly destroyed, with the exception of its gold and silver, and its vessels of brass and iron. These were to be consecrated to the Lord, and to be brought into the sanctuary; but Achan, the son of Carmi, had disregarded the directions of the Lord, and had taken of the spoils of Jericho. The camp was searched, and the guilty man stood before Joshua and the elders of Israel. Joshua said: "Tell me now what thou hast done." And he said: "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." The sin of this man had brought disaster upon Israel. The Lord would not be with them until the camp was cleansed and Achan was destroyed. The summary punishment visited upon him, was to teach Israel how God regarded iniquity, that they might be careful to obey every direction that was given them, and keep his commandments and live.
    There are many in this day that would designate Achan's sin as of little consequence, and would excuse his guilt; but it is because they have no realization of the character of sin and its consequences, no sense of the holiness of God and of his requirements. The statement is often heard that God is not particular whether or not we give diligent heed to his word, whether or not we obey all the commandments of his holy law; but the record of his dealing with Achan should be a warning to us. He will in no wise clear the guilty. Says Paul, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
    The children of Israel often repeated this experience in their history. Not profiting by the examples of those who had sinned, nor being warned by the judgments that had fallen upon the transgressors, they lightly regarded the precepts of Jehovah, and came under condemnation. The nation that, through the favor of God, had gone forth as invincible and victorious, because of disobedience lost their power, their defense departed from them, and they became the proverb of the heathen and the prey of their enemies.
    The sons of Eli ministered in holy office, and stood before God as priests to offer sacrifice for the sins of the people; but they gave little heed to his commandments, and set aside the rules that were to govern the services of the sanctuary. In so doing they cast contempt upon the great sacrifice to come; for these priests had so long practiced iniquity that they had lost all sense of the significance of this service.
    The people had regarded the priests with deference, as the servants of the Most High; but through the influence of these unscrupulous men, they were led to abhor the offering of the Lord, and neglect the services of the tabernacle. The pernicious effect of their evil ways was seen throughout the tribes of Israel. The requirements of God were little heeded, and transgression spread from priest to people, till the nation was defiled.
    At this time, war was declared against them by the Philistines, who were ever aggressive; and though they had been punished repeatedly by the hand of the Lord, for their oppression of Israel, they were still hostile and unsubdued. The armies of Israel pitched tents at Ebenezer. They had little fear of failing in this conflict; for they had often put the armies of the Philistines to flight. But the Lord was not with them. They had not honored God, and he could not honor them. The priests had degraded his worship, and the people had transgressed his laws. He could not cover them in the time of trouble, nor be their defense in battle. Their strength had departed. "The Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men." The people were terrified and in dismay, and when they came "into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies."
    The Lord had given no command that the ark should come into the army, but the Israelites felt confident that victory would be theirs, and uttered a great shout as it was borne into the camp by the sons of Eli. The Philistines had heard of the wonders that had been wrought for Israel, and they were afraid: "For they said, God is come into the camp. . . . Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews. And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen, and the ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain."
    The greatest and most terrifying calamity that could occur, had befallen Israel. The ark of God had been captured, and was in the possession of the enemy. The glory had indeed departed from Israel when the symbol of the abiding presence and power of Jehovah was removed from the midst of them. With this sacred chest was associated the most remarkable and wonderful revelations of God's truth and power. In former days miraculous victories had been achieved wherever it appeared. It was shadowed by the wings of the golden cherubim, and the unspeakable glory of the shekinah, the visible symbol of the most high God, had rested over it in the holy of holies. But now it had brought no victory. It had not proved to them a defense on this occasion, and they mourned throughout Israel.
    They had not realized that their faith was only a nominal faith, and had lost its power to prevail with God. The law of God, contained in the ark, was also a symbol of his presence; but they had cast contempt upon the commandments, had despised their requirements, and had grieved the Spirit of the Lord from among them. When the people obeyed the holy precepts, the Lord was with them to work for them by his infinite power; but when they looked upon the ark, and did not associate it with God, nor honor his revealed will by obedience to his law, it was no more to them than a common box. They looked to the ark as the idolatrous nations looked to their gods, as if it possessed in itself the elements of power and salvation. They transgressed the law it contained, for their very worship of the ark led to formalism, hypocrisy, and idolatry. Their sin had separated them from God, and he could not give them victory until they had repented of and forsaken their iniquity.
    It was not enough that the ark and the sanctuary were in the midst of Israel. It was not enough that the priests offered sacrifices, and that the people were called the children of God. The Lord does not regard the requests of those who cherish iniquity in their hearts, and it is written that "he that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination."
    We may learn from these examples of God's dealing with ancient Israel, that the controversy for truth will have little success when sin is upon those who advocate it. Men and women may be well versed in Bible knowledge, as well acquainted with the Scripture as were the Israelites with the ark, and yet if their hearts are not right before God, success will not attend their efforts. God will not be with them. They do not have a high sense of the obligations of the law of Heaven, nor do they realize the sacred character of the truth they are teaching. The charge is, "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord."
    It is not enough to argue in defense of the truth. The most telling evidence of its worth is seen in a godly life; and without this the most conclusive statements will be lacking in weight and prevailing power; for our strength lies in being connected with God by His Holy Spirit, and transgression severs us from this sacred nearness with the Source of our might and wisdom. We are to bring to the attention of the world the truth for this time; and if we should see the work advance, we must be sure that there is no accursed thing among us. Says Paul, "Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? . . . Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God?"
    The Israelites forgot that their strength was in God, and not in the ark, and those who advocate the truth today, will have to learn that their power is not in the clearness of their arguments; not in the reasonableness of their doctrines, though these be sustained by the word of God; not in their belief in the law and the truth of its claims, but in obedience to all of its requirements, through the faith of the Son of God.
    Let us take heed to the warning of the past, remembering that God requireth truth in the secret hearts of his followers; for only that worship is acceptable that is rendered in spirit and in truth. He that hath clean hands and a pure heart will realize the aid of heavenly power, and will see of the salvation of God; but let no one think that God will favor those who go contrary to his word; for he says, "Thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  March 27, 1888
(Vol. 65, #13)

 "Nothing is Hidden"

    "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."
    Century after century of transgression has swept over our world, and although God has given examples of what will overtake those who do evil, and has sent warnings and reproofs entreaties to mankind, yet, because his forbearance has lengthened the opportunities and probation of sinners, and he has not executed his sentence of condemnation, they have presumed upon his mercy, and have walked after the imagination of their own hearts. They have not regarded the counsels of God, nor given heed to his reproofs. They have said, "How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?" They have acted as if the Creator of the heavens and the earth had no power to behold their ways, no law to govern his creatures, and no regard for justice and righteousness.
    If those who contemplate the committal of crime were positive that they would be speedily detected and punished, fear of exposure, disgrace, and suffering would restrain them from outbreaking and revolting deeds; but the tempter has led men to believe that they may cover the knowledge of their guilt from the eyes of God and man. How diligently the guilty one seeks to disguise his real character! He assumes the appearance of innocence and guilelessness. Every avenue that might lead to the discovery of his sin is carefully guarded. Transgressors make their paths in secrecy and darkness. They hate the light, and will not come to the light, because their deeds are evil. They are under the constant necessity of devising means to hide the defilement of their souls, and they may succeed in escaping detection among men; but they have no device that will shield them from the gaze of the all-seeing eye of the eternal One. The world of truth declares, "There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known."
    This spirit of deception in evildoers is the spirit of their father, the Devil. Even in heaven, before the light and glory of God, Satan thought to hide his secret thoughts and rebellious counsels. He employed such consummate wisdom in covering his real character and aims that legions of the angels of heaven were deceived, and they fell from their loyalty to the God of the universe to serve the prince of darkness. The same art of deception is displayed by those who partake of the enmity of Satan, and follow in his course of rebellion against the commandments of God. To cover the enormity of sin with the garment of light and innocence, has been the practice of the evil one from the beginning. Thus it is that he has been successful in alluring souls to transgression and destruction.
    There are many who profess the name of Christ whose hearts are not engaged in his service. They have simply arrayed themselves in a profession of godliness, and by this very act they have made greater their condemnation, and have become more deceptive and more successful agents of Satan in the ruin of souls. Those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God are not all loyal servants of Heaven. They honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. Do they think that they can hide their ways from Him who tries the secret thoughts of the heart and searches the motive of every word and action?
    Let no one seek to excuse himself from taking these words to heart, on the plea that he is not guilty of outbreaking sin. Have you not been guilty of committing sins which, in your finite judgment, you regarded as of little consequence? Says the inspired word, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." There is need of every soul humbling himself before God, and seeking for the righteousness of Christ. The least regard for iniquity cherished in the heart will sever us from the communion and help of Heaven. When we seek God with all the heart, then his promise is, "I will be found of you."
    "The wages of sin is death." Sin, however small it may be esteemed, can be persisted in only at the cost of eternal life. What is not overcome will overcome us, and work out our destruction. We must wash our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb until they are white and stainless.
    Adam and Eve persuaded themselves that in so small a matter as eating of the forbidden fruit, there could not result such terrible consequences as God had declared. But this small matter was sin, the transgression of God's immutable and holy law, and it opened the floodgates of death and untold woe upon our world. Age after age there has gone up from our earth a continual cry of mourning, and the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain as a consequence of man's disobedience. Heaven itself has felt the effects of his rebellion against God. Calvary stands as a memorial of the amazing sacrifice required as a propitiation for the transgression of the divine law. Let us not esteem sin as a trivial thing. Are not the hands and feet and side of the Son of the infinite God, to bear an eternal testimony before the universe of its untold malignity and curse?
    Oh, that a right impression might be made upon the minds of young and old in regard to the exceeding sinfulness of sin! Oh, that all might have a just realization of its offensiveness to God, and its injury to mankind! The word of truth declares, "Be sure your sin will find you out." The real character of every act of your life will be made known. It may be even in this life that through the providence of God, some unexpected circumstance will uncover your secret deeds of evil; but should you succeed in hiding your real character from the eyes of men, there is an inevitable day of exposure reserved for every soul who does not repent of his sins and forsake all evil through the strength of Christ, who has died that we might live. The Scriptures declare. "God shall bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." There is not a shadow of doubt about this matter. All sin that has not been repented of and forsaken, will not be pardoned and blotted out of the books of record, but will stand to witness against the sinner in the day of God.
    He may have committed his evil deeds in the light of day or in the darkness of night; but they were opened and manifest before Him with whom we have to do. Angels of God witnessed their sin, and registered it in the unerring records. Men who do not repent will not fail to receive according to their works. Sin may be concealed, denied, covered up from father, mother, wife, children, and associates. No one but the guilty actors may cherish the least suspicion of the wrong; but it is laid bare before the intelligences of heaven. The darkness of the darkest night, the secrecy of all deceptive arts, is not sufficient to veil one thought from the knowledge of the Eternal. David had some appreciation of this fact when he exclaimed, "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. . . . If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
    The Lord beheld Adam and Eve as they took of the forbidden tree, in their guilt they fled from his presence, and "hid themselves," but God saw them; they could not cover their shame from his eyes. When Cain slew his brother, he thought to hide his crime by denial of his deed; but the Lord said, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." The sins of the inhabitants of the world before the flood, were noted and registered in heaven; and because they did not repent at the preaching of Noah, they were visited with destruction. God saw the corruptions of licentious Sodom, and, after hurrying Lot and his family from its borders, he rained fire upon the city, and it was turned to ashes, making it "an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly." When the world's Redeemer walked among men, bearing insult, reproach, and scorn, the Father beheld each indignity. Every word of mockery, every sneer, every act of contumely and hate, was marked in the books of remembrance. The Jewish nation suffered terrible judgments, because they rejected the Lord from heaven; but their deeds were not fully requited. Those who mocked and crucified the Son of God will come forth from their graves, and the deeds done in secrecy and darkness, as well as those done in the light of day, will be presented before them as they appear before the infinite Father. Every transgression will receive its just recompense of reward in the day of final retribution.
    All sin unrepented of and unconfessed, will remain upon the books of record. It will not be blotted out, it will not go beforehand to Judgment, to be canceled by the atoning blood of Jesus. The accumulated sins of every individual will be written with absolute accuracy, and the penetrating light of God's law will try every secret of darkness. In proportion to the light, to the opportunities, and the knowledge of God's claims upon them, will be the condemnation of the rejecters of God's mercy.
    The day of final settlements is just before us. In that solemn and awful hour the unfaithfulness of the husband will be opened to the wife, and the unfaithfulness of the wife, to the husband. Parents will then learn, for the first time, what was the real character of their children, and children will see the errors and mistakes that marked the lives of their parents. The man who robbed his neighbor through false representations, is not to escape with his ill-gotten gains. God has an exact record in his books, of every unjust account and every unfair dealing. The secret doings of the licentious man are all known to God. God is not deceived by appearances of piety. He makes no mistake in his estimation of character. Men may be deceived by those who are corrupt in heart, but God pierces all disguises and reads the inner life. The moral worth of every soul is weighed in the balance of the heavenly sanctuary. Shall not these solemn thoughts have an influence upon us, that we may cease to do evil, and learn to do well? There is nothing gained by a life of sin but hopeless despair.
    The Bible presents the law of God as a perfect standard by which to shape the life and character. The only perfect example of obedience to its precepts, is found in the Son of God, the Saviour of lost mankind. There is no stain of unrighteousness upon him, and we are bidden to follow in his steps. We have the instructions and admonitions, the invitations and promises, of the word of God, and shall we imperil our souls by departing one jot or tittle from the divine law? God says to each one of us, "I know thy works."
    We sustain a most solemn relation one to another. Our influence is always either for or against the salvation of souls. We are either gathering with Christ or scattering abroad. We should walk humbly, and make straight paths, lest we turn others out of the right way. We should preserve the strictest chastity in thought, and word, and deportment. Let us remember that God sets our secret sins in the light of his countenance. There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. Oh, that we each might become a savor of life unto life to those around us!
    There is great need of a deeper appreciation of the holy truth of God. If all had a realization of the solemnity and weight of the message, many sins that are now carelessly committed would cease from among us. Is there not too often the common thought and communication mingled with the sacred themes of truth? Wherever this is done, the standard is lowered. Your example leads others to regard the truth lightly, and this is one of the greatest sins in the sight of God.
    It is the privilege of everyone to so live that God will approve and bless him. You may be hourly in communion with Heaven; it is not the will of your Heavenly Father that you should ever be under condemnation and darkness. It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience, and before men and angels. It is not an evidence of true humility that you go with your head bowed down, and your heart filled with thoughts of self. It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame and remorse. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part.
    Let faith lay hold on the promises of God. Jesus is mighty to save his people from their sins. Light from heaven has illumined our pathway. Sin has been revealed to us by the word and the spirit of truth, that we may not be found transgressors of the divine precepts; and there is no opportunity to plead the excuse of ignorance. The command is, "Depart from iniquity." We must urge the principles of truth upon old and young. We must reach a higher plane. We must hunger and thirst after righteousness. Let the cry go up to God for wisdom, for light, for divine power. "Ask, and it shall be given you." We are in the perils of the last days. The Judgment is before us, and how shall we appear who have had light from the heavenly Sanctuary, unless we "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit," and perfect "holiness in the fear of God?" By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 3, 1888
(Vol. 65, #14)

 "Search the Scriptures"

    Text: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isa. 8:20.
    We are thankful that we have a sure word of prophecy, so that none of us need be deceived. We know that there are heresies and fables in our world at the present time, and we want to know what is truth. It becomes us to search carefully for ourselves that we may gain this knowledge. We cannot do this with a mere reading of the Scriptures, but we must compare scripture with scripture. We must search the Scriptures for ourselves, so that we shall not be led astray; and while many may be led astray because there are all kinds of doctrines in our world, there is one truth. Many may come to you and tell you that they have the truth, but it is your privilege to search the Scriptures for yourself. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." We must be acquainted with the Scriptures ourselves, that we may understand the true reason of the hope that is within us.
    The apostle tells us that we are to give to every man that asks us a reason of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." It is not enough to merely read, but the word of God must enter into our hearts and our understanding, in order that we may be established in the blessed truth. If we should neglect to search the Scriptures for ourselves, that we may know what is truth, then if we are led astray, we are accountable for it. We must search the Scriptures carefully, so that we will know every condition that the Lord has given us; and if we have minds of limited capacity, by diligently searching the word of God we may become mighty in the Scriptures, and may explain them to others.
    Every church that shall be raised up in this kingdom should be educated in regard to this truth. "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few." The teachers that shall present the truth, cannot stand by you to see that you do not embrace the errors that are flooding our land; but if you are established in the Scriptures, you will feel the responsibility and will search the Scriptures, for yourselves, so that you may be a help to others. Now, the small churches, although they are but few, may be a power for the truth. Every one should feel that a solemn responsibility rests upon him to build up his little church in the most holy faith. The very fact that there are only a few, should cause every individual member to seek most earnestly for a living connection with God; because the giving of the truth to those around you depends upon the influence that you exert.
    Christ has said, "Ye are the light of the world;" therefore you must put forth every effort to let that light shine. The only way for you to know that you have the true light from heaven, is to compare the light you have received with the Scriptures. Josh. 1:8, 9. Now, Joshua was to take the position of Moses and lead the children of Israel in council. And there was a warfare before them, if they were to drive the intruders out of the land. Joshua was to carry the Spirit of the Lord with him in all he should do. And he was to carry this Spirit with him by being obedient to all of God's requirements. He was to meditate day and night, that he might know that he was doing God's will. You will meet, as I have, with people who profess to be sanctified, holy. Now, there is a bewitching influence carried with this doctrine. They will state to you wonderful exercises of mind, to show you that the Lord is leading them and teaching them. Then how can you tell but that the Lord is leading them? Well, there is a test: "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
    If it stirs up the enmity of the human heart when the Lord, the great Jehovah, is mentioned, you may know the person has no connection with God. People may claim that they have great faith in Jesus, and that there is nothing you can do but that Christ will do for you. Now, when Christ shall call forth the dead, it depends wholly upon your course of action whether you have a resurrection to life eternal, or a resurrection to damnation. Thus they get these truths all mixed with error, and they cannot tell what is truth; and if asked to sit down and search the Scriptures with you, to see what saith the Lord, I never knew a case but the answer was that they had no need to search the Scriptures, for the Lord told them what to do.
    The voice of God is speaking to us through his word, and there are many voices that we will hear; but Christ has said we should beware of them who will say, Here is Christ or there is Christ. Then how shall we know that they have not the truth, unless we bring everything to the Scriptures? Christ has warned us to beware of false prophets who will come to us in his name, saying that they are Christ. Now, if you should take the position that it is not important for you to understand the Scriptures for yourselves, you will be in danger of being led away with these doctrines. Christ has said that there will be a company who in the day of retributive judgment will say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" But Christ will say, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
    Now, we want to understand what sin is; that it is the transgression of God's law. This is the only definition given in the Scriptures. Therefore we see that those who claim to be led of God, and go right away from him and his law, do not search the Scriptures. But the Lord will lead his people; for he says that his sheep will follow if they hear his voice, but a stranger will they not follow. Then it becomes us to thoroughly understand the Scriptures. And we will not have to inquire whether others have the truth; for it will be seen in their characters.
    The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the word of God, the Bible, before your Heavenly Father, and say, Enlighten me; teach me what is truth. And when his Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. You have gained such an experience in searching the Scriptures, that every point is established. And it is important that you continually search the Scriptures. You should store the mind with the word of God; for you may be separated, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. Then you will want the treasures of God's word hidden in your hearts, and when opposition comes around you, you will need to bring everything to the Scriptures.
    You are not to be discouraged or fainthearted. The word was given to Joshua, "Be strong, and of a good courage;" for there is a great work before you. And his success depended upon his obedience to God. When the tempter comes in to distract you, if your mind is filled with the Scriptures, you will say, I cannot do this evil and sin against the Lord. Joseph was enabled to resist temptation because he made God his refuge. He exclaimed, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" He trusted in God, and his soul was protected; and this is the only safety for us. Whoever of you shall enter a missionary field to do something for the Master, should be thoroughly conversant with the Scriptures. If you understand them yourselves, then you can lead others to a knowledge of them. There is more to do than just to give discourses in the desk. Every one of you should draw nigh to God, that he may draw nigh to you. And you may believe that you will have success and victory, if you take hold of the work humbly and in the fear of God. But there is no safety for you unless you understand what saith the Scriptures, and carry this out, and weave it into your daily life and experience. Carry it with you wherever you go. Thus you will be fortified against the delusions that are filling the world at the present time, and will obtain the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 10, 1888
(Vol. 65, #15)

 "Missionaries for God"

    Text: "For the disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord." Matt. 10:24.
    Here we see that those go out to do the work of God are not to feel sufficient of themselves. In the 16th verse, the apostle speaks of them as being as sheep among wolves. There is to be a hatred against those who proclaim God's law, and therefore there is to be a necessity of our having a living connection with God if we engage in his work. Christ says, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." While we are to be harmless in a crooked and perverse generation, we are to shine as lights in the world. We should have our hearts filled with wisdom and the grace of Christ, so that we shall make no mistakes to prove an injury to those for whom we labor. If any man "lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
    It will not answer for us to take hold of the work of God in a loose, careless manner. We are "a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." We are to watch our words and actions, and show that we really believe the truth which we accept. Our conduct should be blameless and harmless before men and angels. We need not be discouraged and feel that we never can attain to this position; because we can be overcomers through God. We must remember that we are right amid the perils of the last days, and if we are conscious that we have defects of character in the sight of God, we must at once cease from sin and iniquity. We must seek for a Christian character, and the Christian will be distinct from the worldling. His words, his deportment, will be very different. Out of the treasures of the heart will proceed either good or evil. If the good is there, the words will be of that elevating character that others will see that we have been with Jesus and learned of him.
    Every one of us should be missionaries for God. There are places into which we shall be brought where we will need his special help. Christ says that we shall be "as sheep among wolves." We want, then, to be in that position where we may know that our influence is right before God. We must guard our every action, so that others will have no occasion to speak against the truth. We are working right among wolves, but God's angels are found all around in these elements, and we want to conduct ourselves in such a way that we will not be ashamed to go to God and ask him for help. "Wise as serpents." This means a great deal. "Harmless as doves." This, also, means a great deal. The Spirit of God must be with us in order that we may exercise a right influence over those around us.
    The missionary life is not one of contentment and ease. There is not a soul that follows Jesus but is a missionary. If we should be so unwise as to lessen in any way our influence, we do not rightly represent Christ. We should guard ourselves with jealous care wherever we are, because we are in the sight of God. Wherever we are, the eye of God is upon us, and we want strength that comes from God, in order to do his work acceptably. We want that confidence in God that we may lay our souls open before his scrutinizing eye, and then come with boldness to the throne of God, believing and claiming the promises. Now we know that our precious Saviour never designed that his disciples should be as sheep among wolves, unless he was to have a care for them. He has special blessings for those whom he describes as sheep among wolves.
    Everyone needs to cultivate Christian politeness. You need all the intelligence and knowledge that it is possible for you to obtain, that you may be wise to answer those who will bring up objections against the truth. You do not want to feel while you have the plain Scriptures at your command, that this is any ability of your own, but you want to acknowledge that it is God's manifestation of special help to you, and you should humble yourselves before him.
    We are to sense the evil and the oppositions that we are to meet against the truth; and how very foolish we would be not to make the most of our privileges and opportunities, that we may be prepared for every emergency! The very weakest of us can take the Bible and search its pages, and so establish himself in the truth that nothing can swerve him from it. Every one of us should believe that the Bible was written so that we can understand it, and we want to be wise so that we can bring others to the light and understanding of the truth. Make it a point when you have a moment's leisure, to store your mind with Scripture truth, and especially with what is brought to view in the Revelation, because some of us are to be the very actors who will be on the stage in the last days when these things are revealed; and as you make a persistent effort to understand, the angels of God will enlighten your mind. You will never feel that you have completed your knowledge of the Bible--that you have graduated in the Scriptures. Why, through all eternity the Scriptures will be shining forth brighter and brighter, like precious gems; but we do not half understand these truths. The precious Bible truth that we have accepted must do a great work for us, and the more we understand these things, the better will we understand how to make an impression upon other minds.
    The Lord wants to bring us up to an elevated standpoint. And when Christ says, "Be. . . wise as serpents and harmless as doves," we shall know what it means. We must have our lives so hid with Christ in God that when bitter speeches and scornful words and unkind looks meet us, we shall not permit our feelings to be stirred up against this class, but shall feel the deepest sympathy for them, because they know nothing about the precious Saviour whom we claim to know. We must remember that they are in the service of one who is the bitterest enemy of Jesus Christ, and that while all heaven is opened to the sons and daughters of God, they have no such privilege. You ought to feel that you are the happiest people upon the face of the whole earth; notwithstanding, as Christ's representatives, you are as sheep in the midst of wolves, you have One with you who can help you under all circumstances; and you will not be devoured by these wolves, if you keep close to Jesus. How careful you should be to represent Jesus in every word and action! You should feel when you arise in the morning, and when you go out upon the street, and when you come in, that Jesus loves you, that he is by your side, and that you must not cherish a though that will grieve your Saviour. You should keep your mind in a frame of prayer. It is your only safety. Remember that this is what Christ exhorted his disciples to do.
    We cannot always be upon our knees in prayer, but we can let the heart be ascending to God continually for his blessing, and we will have help just as sure as we keep in this state of mind. The evil angels may be all around you to press their darkness upon you, but the will of God is greater than their power. And if you do not in word or action, or in any way, make Christ ashamed of you, the sweet blessing and peace of God will be in your heart every day you live. May the sweet blessing and peace of Christ rest upon us here, as we assemble from morning to morning, so that we can serve him. We must meet difficulties, and in order to meet and overcome them we must have Jesus with us. Satan will say to you that you are a very great sinner, and that you need not pray, for Jesus will not hear you. But you can tell him that because you are a sinner is the very reason why you need to pray; for Christ came to save sinners, and he died upon Calvary's cross in order that sinners might come to him and be saved. Build a wall of scriptures around you, and you will see that the world cannot break it down. Commit the Scriptures to memory, and then throw right back upon Satan when he comes with his temptations, "It is written." This is the way that our Lord met the temptations of Satan, and resisted them. Be determined that you will not live without the presence and light and love of Jesus, and then you will have precious victories, and will know who is the Source of your strength. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 17, 1888
(Vol. 65, #16)

 "Divine Wisdom"

    As Paul journeyed from Berea, he stopped at Athens to await the arrival of Silas and Timotheus; and "his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection." The philosophers who entered into conversation with the apostle were soon convinced that his knowledge exceeded their own. He was competent to meet their opposition on their own ground, matching logic with logic, learning with learning, philosophy with philosophy, and oratory with oratory.
    At the close of his labors he looked for the results of his work. Out of the large assembly that had listened to his eloquent words, only three had been converted to the faith. He then decided that from that time he would maintain the simplicity of the gospel. He was convinced that the learning of the world was powerless to move the hearts of men, but that the gospel was the power of God unto salvation.
    Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." He declares, "For Christ sent me . . . to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
    The great and essential knowledge is the knowledge of God and his word. Peter exhorted his brethren to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." There should be a daily increasing of spiritual understanding; and the Christian will grow in grace, just in proportion as he depends upon and appreciates the teaching of the word of God, and habituates himself to meditate upon divine things.
    All pride of opinion and dependence upon the wisdom of this world is unprofitable and vain. When men, instead of humbly receiving the truth of God in whatever way it may be sent to them, begin to criticise the words and manners of the messenger, they are manifesting their lack of spiritual perception, and their want of appreciation for the truth of God, which is of vastly more importance than the most cultured and pleasing discourse. One critical speech, disparaging the messenger of God, may start a train of unbelief in some mind that will result in making of none effect the word of truth. Those who have a constant struggle to cherish humility and faith, are far from being benefited by this course. Anything like pride in learning, and dependence upon scientific knowledge, which you place between your soul and the word of the Bible, will most effectually close the door of your heart to the sweet, humble religion of the meek and lowly Jesus.
    The world's Redeemer did not come with outward display, or a show of worldly wisdom. Men could not see beneath the disguise of humility, the glory of the Son of God. He was "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." He was to them as a root out of dry ground, with no form or comeliness that they should desire him. But he declared, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."
    Christ reached the people where they were. He presented the plain truth to their minds in the most forcible and simple language. The humble poor, the most unlearned, could comprehend, through faith in him, the most exalted truths of God. No one needed to consult the learned doctors as to his meaning. He did not perplex the ignorant with mysterious inferences, or use unaccustomed and learned words, of which they had no knowledge. The greatest teacher the world has ever known, was the most definite, simple, and practical in his instruction.
    While priests and rabbis were assuring themselves of their competency to teach the people, and to cope even with the Son of God in expounding doctrine, he charged them with ignorance of the Scriptures or the power of God. It is not the learning of the world's great men that opens the mysteries of the plan of redemption. The priests and rabbis had studied the prophecies, but they failed to discover the precious proofs of the Messiah's advent, of the manner of his coming, of his mission and character. Men who claimed to be worthy of confidence because of their wisdom, did not perceive that Christ was the Prince of life.
    The rabbis looked with suspicion and contempt upon everything that did not bear the appearance of worldly wisdom, national exaltation, and religious exclusiveness; but the mission of Jesus was to oppose these very evils, to correct these erroneous views, and to work a reformation in faith and morals. He attracted attention to purity of life, to humility of spirit, and to devotion to God and his cause, without hope of worldly honor or reward. He must divest religion of the narrow, conceited formalism which made it a burden and a reproach. He must present a complete, harmonious salvation to all. The narrow bounds of national exclusiveness must be overthrown; for his salvation was to reach to the ends of the earth. He rejoiced in spirit, as he beheld the poor of this world eagerly accepting the precious message which he brought. He looked up to heaven, and said, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight."
    It is the humble in heart that receive the enlightenment of heaven, that is more precious than the boasted wisdom of the world. By faith in the Son of God a transformation takes place in the character. The child of wrath becomes the child of God. He passes from death unto life. The infinite sacrifice of the Son of God is a propitiation for the transgressions of the repenting sinner. He becomes spiritual, and discerns spiritual things. The wisdom of God enlightens his mind, and he beholds wondrous things out of God's law. This salvation which offers pardon to the transgressor, presents to him the righteousness that will bear the scrutiny of the omniscient One, gives victory over the powerful enemy of God and man, provides eternal life and joy for its receiver, and may well be a theme of rejoicing to the humble who hear thereof and are glad.
    It is the completeness of salvation that gives it its greatness. No man can measure or understand it by worldly wisdom. It may be contemplated with the most profound and concentrated study, but the mind loses itself in the untraceable majesty of its Author; but the soul united with God in meditation of his unfathomable riches, is expanded, and becomes more capable of comprehending to a greater depth and height, the glories of the plan of salvation. As the heart is converted to the truth, the work of transformation goes on. From day to day the Christian has an increased measure of understanding. In becoming a man of obedience to the word and will of God, his abilities develop and strengthen to comprehend, and to do with increased skill and wisdom, the requirements of God. The mind devoted unreservedly to God, under the guidance of the divine Spirit develops generally and harmoniously. The weak, vacillating character becomes changed through the power of God to one of strength and steadfastness. Continual devotion and piety establish so close a relation between Jesus and his disciple that the Christian becomes like him in mind and character. After association with the Son of God, the humble follower of Christ is found to be a person of sound principle, clear perception, and reliable judgment. He has a connection with God, the source of light and understanding. He who longed to be of service to the cause of Christ, has been so quickened by the lifegiving rays of the Sun of righteousness, that he has been enabled to bear much fruit to the glory of God.
    Men of the highest education and accomplishments have learned the most precious lessons from the precept and example of the humble follower of Christ, who is designated as "unlearned" by the world. But could men look with deeper insight, they would see that these humble men had obtained an education in the highest of all schools, even in the school of the divine Teacher, who spake as never man spake. Those who desire to be all that God intended man should be in this life, should enter the school of Christ, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart.
    But let no one imagine that we would discourage education, or put a low estimate upon the value of mental culture and discipline. God would have us students as long as we remain in this world, ever learning and bearing responsibility. We should be diligent and apt, and ready to teach others by precept and example that which we have learned; but no one should set himself as a critic to measure the usefulness and influence of his brother, who has had few advantages in obtaining book knowledge. He may be rich in a rarer wisdom. He may have a practical education in the knowledge of the truth. Says the psalmist, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." It is not the mere reading of the word, not a theoretical knowledge of the Scriptures, that gives this light and understanding to the simple. Had this been the case, Jesus would not have said to the Jews, "Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God." The wisdom spoken of by the psalmist is that which is attained when the truth is opened to the mind and applied to the heart by Spirit of God; when its principles are wrought into the character by a life of practical godliness. Through a connection with God the Christian will have clearer and broader views, unbiased by his own preconceived opinions. His discernment will be more penetrative, his judgment more balanced and far-seeing. His understanding, summoned to effort, has been exercised in contemplating exalted truths, and as he obtains heavenly knowledge he better understands his own weakness, and grows in humility and faith.
    It is the Spirit of God that quickens the lifeless faculties of the soul to appreciate heavenly things, and attracts the affections toward God and the truth. Without the presence of Jesus in the heart, religious service is only dead, cold formalism. The longing desire for communion with God soon ceases when the Spirit of God is grieved from us; but when Christ is in us the hope of glory, we are constantly directed to think and act in reference to the glory of God. The questions will arise, "Will this do honor to Jesus? Will this be approved of by him? Shall I be able to maintain my integrity if I enter into this agreement?" God will be made the counselor of the soul, and we shall be led into safe paths, and the will of God will be made the supreme guide of our lives. This is heavenly wisdom, imparted to the soul by the Father of light, and it makes the Christian, however humble, the light of the world. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  April 24, 1888
(Vol. 65, #17)

 "Preach the Word"

    "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine."
    The duty of the minister of Christ is made plain in these direct and forcible words. He is charged to "preach the word," not the opinions and traditions of men, not pleasing anecdotes or sensational stories to move the fancy and excite the emotions. He is not to exalt himself by parading his accomplishments, and by seeking to make manifest his wisdom; but as in the presence of God and Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, he is to stand before a dying world and preach the solemn truth of God. There is to be no levity, no trifling, no fanciful interpretation, but in sincerity and deep earnestness the minister must be as a voice from God expounding the sacred Scripture.
    There are ministers who wrest the word of God, to their own destruction. They handle the Scriptures deceitfully, and will receive the greater condemnation when they appear before the Judge of all the earth to render up their account. Those who make it appear that the inspired utterances of the Bible support false doctrines that teach the transgression of God's law, though they stand in the sacred desk, are agents of Satan, and are deceiving and being deceived.
    The faithful minister of Christ must preach the word of God in such a manner as will carry a weight of influence, and impress men with the importance and truth of its instruction. He must be instant in season and out of season, ready to seize and improve every opportunity to further the work of God. His appointments should be filled with promptness and interest. He cannot afford to be negligent or indifferent when a suitable occasion presents itself for bringing the truth before the minds of men. To be "instant in season," is to be alert to the privileges of the house and hour of worship and to the time when men are conversing on the topics of religion. And "out of season," when you are at the fireside, in the field, by the wayside, in the market, seek to be ready to turn the thoughts of men, in a suitable and wise manner, to the great themes of the Bible. With tender and fervent spirit urge the claims of God upon the soul. Many, many precious opportunities are allowed to slip by unimproved, because men are persuaded that it is out of season. But who knows what might be the effect of a wise appeal to the conscience, by using the word of God that will accomplish that for which God has given it? It is written, "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they shall both be alike good." Satan has a whole store of excuses and evasions to keep men from the performance of duty. If he can lead them to neglect their opportunities, he can keep souls in darkness that might have yielded to the claims of the truth, if the followers of Christ had discerned their advantage and improved upon it.
    The minister is not only to warn men, but to "reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." On every hand there are openings for the work of the God-fearing minister; and he who deals faithfully, as one who must give an account, is a laborer together with God. He is sowing seeds of eternal truth, and though he may bear a burdened heart, and send up prayers with supplication and tears, he will come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
    The minister who loves to sermonize will be in danger of preaching long and wordy discourses. His prolonged effort will leave him without strength or disposition to engage in personal and individual labor.
    Ministering in the sacred desk is not the complete work of the embassador of Christ. Paul, as well as laboring publicly, went from house to house preaching repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He met with men at their homes, and besought them with tears, declaring unto them the whole counsel of God. Jesus came in personal contact with men. He did not stand aloof and apart from those who needed his help. He entered the homes of men, comforted the mourner, healed the sick, aroused the careless, and went about doing good. And if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we must do as he did. We must give men the same kind of help as he did. We must come close to the hearts of those who need our ministry. We must open the Bible to the understanding, present the claims of God's law, read the promises to the hesitating, urge the backward, arouse the careless, strengthen the weak. The minister must become a servant unto all men, like Him who came "not to be ministered unto, but to minister." This is faithful dealing with the flock of Christ.
    There are many who neglect the work of personal and private intercourse with families and individuals. Many leave their fields of labor with much neglected that should have been done. They have not reproved the injurious and evil habits of the people, nor showed the positive necessity of clearing the life from everything condemned by the word of God. The fear of giving offense, of losing the friendship of men, often causes the minister to lower the standard to the people, instead of bringing the people up to the standard. Plain dealing with errors at the right time will prevent a vast amount of evil, and will be the means of saving souls from destruction.
    If this work is neglected by one, it has to be done by some other under more unfavorable circumstances; for those who are in error think the faithful reprover is exacting and uncharitable by comparing him to the first laborer. Oh, how important it is that everyone should be faithful to his God-given trust! It is not enough to be simply a minister in the desk. You must reprove, rebuke, exhort, give full proof of your ministry, ever showing your disapproval of iniquity and your sorrow for sin. But all efforts must be made in the spirit of meekness, of longsuffering love and untiring patience. Nothing will be gained by manifesting impatience or unholy anger. You must cherish the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus. If there seems to be but little good resulting from your work, you are not to be discouraged. It will work for your good; for the longsuffering will make you patient, and give you an experience in trusting God in dark hours. Keep working, be discreet, be discerning when to speak and when to be silent; watch for souls as they who must give an account--watch for the devices of Satan, lest you be beguiled from doing the disagreeable duty. Difficulties must not dishearten or intimidate you. With strong faith, with well-balanced minds, with intrepid purpose, meet the difficulties and overcome them. Do the work of an evangelist; and that is to water the seed already sown.
    When the laborer is called to other fields, the new church should not be left destitute of help. It should be visited and strengthened from time to time. Timothy was to go from church to church, and do this very work of building up the churches. He was not to be settled over one church, but he was to minister to those that were raised up, confirming them in the faith.
    Those who preach the word must have an understanding of its doctrines and principles. They must study to show themselves approved unto God. As the servant of God opens the word of truth and humbly seeks to know its significance, its meaning will grow clear to his understanding. But he must be a diligent, painstaking student. He must not be content to depend upon the researches of other minds. He must search for himself. Strength of mind is acquired by exercise. Ability to expound the word of God, depends upon the work that is put into the time of study--depends upon the attitude of the soul toward God. The mental faculties must become strong and able to deal with great questions of truth and duty. The study should be critical and thorough, and should be pursued with meekness, and with sincerity of purpose, to know the truth as it is in Jesus.
    There is little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Bible. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty, or to comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view, and no positive instruction gained.
    Those who enter the sacred desk should not feel when they have become able to present a certain round of subjects, that they are excused from further labor and study. There is no end of preparation for the solemn responsibilities of your office. The importance of your position as a representative of Christ, should urge you to most diligent habits in acquiring all the knowledge possible to be obtained. Carefully, prayerfully, conscientiously, you should search the Scriptures, that you may be able to give meat in due season to the household of God. You must bring forth things new and old from the treasure house of God's word.
    "Preach the word." It is the word that demands your attention. There is not so much need of a knowledge of authors as of an understanding of the Book of books. A thoughtful and painstaking task is put upon the mind when the sacred Scriptures are diligently searched. The practicing of the truth in your daily life is to preach the word, as well as the exposition of Scripture in the pulpit. The knowledge you obtain is to be committed to faithful men who in turn will teach others.
    Everyone should seek to understand the great truths of the plan of salvation, that he may be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks the reason of his hope. You should know what caused the fall of Adam, so that you may not commit the same error, and lose heaven as he lost paradise. You should study the lives of patriarchs and prophets, and the history of God's dealing with men in the past; for these things were "written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." We should study the divine precepts, and seek to comprehend their depth. We should meditate upon them until we discern their importance and immutability. We should study the life of our Redeemer, for he is the only perfect example for men. We should contemplate the infinite sacrifice of Calvary, and behold the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the righteousness of the law. You will come from a concentrated study of the theme of redemption strengthened and ennobled. Your comprehension of the character of God will be deepened; and with the whole plan of salvation clearly defined in your mind, you will be better able to fulfill your divine commission. From a sense of thorough conviction, you can then testify to men of the immutable character of the law manifested by the death of Christ on the cross, the malignant nature of sin, and the righteousness of God in justifying the believer in Jesus, on condition of his future obedience to the statutes of God's government in heaven and earth.
    Thousands more might have been saved if men had preached the word, instead of the maxims, philosophies, and doctrines of men. If from every pulpit had sounded the faithful truth of God, men would have been left with a better knowledge of the Bible, with a deeper conviction of the truth of its principles, and the reality of its promises; and far more might have come to an understanding of what is truth. The world is full of unsound doctrines, of the traditions and opinions of men, of seducing theories of evil spirits; but let every one who has a knowledge of the present truth, study to show himself approved unto God; and by word and action let him proclaim the word of God that "liveth and abideth forever." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 1, 1888
(Vol. 65, #18)

 "The Use of Talents"

    The parable of the talents should be a matter of the most careful and prayerful study; for it has a personal and individual application to every man, woman, and child possessed of the powers of reason. Your obligation and responsibility are in proportion to the talents God has bestowed upon you. There is not a follower of Christ but has some peculiar gift for the use of which he is accountable to God. Many have excused themselves from rendering their gift to the service of Christ, because others were possessed of superior endowments and advantages. The opinion has prevailed that only those who are especially talented are required to sanctify their abilities to the service of God. It has come to be understood that talents are given only to a certain favored class, to the exclusion of others who, of course, are not called upon to share in the toils or rewards. But it is not so represented in the parable. When the master of the house called his servants, he gave to every man his work. The whole family of God are included in the responsibility of using their Lord's goods. Every individual, from the lowliest and most obscure to the greatest and most exalted, is a moral agent endowed with abilities for which he is accountable to God. To a greater or less degree, all are placed in charge of the talents of their Lord. The spiritual, mental, and physical ability, the influence, station, possessions, affections, sympathies, all are precious talents to be used in the cause of the Master for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died.
    How few appreciate these blessings? How few seek to improve their talent, and increase their usefulness in the world! The Master has given to every man his work. He has given to every man according to his ability, and his trust is in proportion to his capacity. God requires everyone to be a worker in his vineyard. You are to take up the work that has been placed in your charge, and to do it faithfully. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Let the business man do his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. Let him carry his religion into everything that is done and reveal to men the Spirit of Christ. Let the mechanic be a diligent and faithful representative of Him who toiled in the lowly walks of life in the cities of Judea. Let everyone who names the name of Christ so work, that man by seeing his good works may be led to glorify his Creator and Redeemer. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord." Let the upbuilding of the kingdom of Christ be your constant thought, and let every effort be directed toward this one end.
    Those who have been blessed with superior talents should not depreciate the value of the services of those who are less gifted than themselves. The smallest trust is a trust from God. The one talent, through diligent use with the blessing of God, will be doubled, and the two used in the service of Christ will be increased to four; and thus the humblest instrument may grow in power and usefulness. The earnest purpose, the self-denying efforts, are all seen, appreciated, and accepted by the God of heaven. "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones." God alone can estimate the worth of their service, and see the far-reaching influence of him who works for the glory of his Maker.
    We are to make the very best use of our opportunities, and to study to show ourselves approved unto God. God will accept our best efforts; but let no one imagine he will be pleased with ignorance and inability when, with proper improvement of privileges bestowed, a better service might be supplied. We are not to despise the day of small things; but by a diligent care and perseverance, we are to make the small opportunities and talents minister to our advancement in divine life, and hasten us on to a more intelligent and better service. But when we have done all that we can do, we are to count ourselves unprofitable servants. There is no room for pride in our efforts; for we are dependent every moment upon the grace of God, and we have nothing that we did not receive. Says Jesus, "Without me ye can do nothing."
    We are responsible only for the talents which God has bestowed upon us. The Lord does not reprove the servant who has doubled his talent, who has done according to his ability. He who thus proves his fidelity can be commended and rewarded; but he who loiters in the vineyard, he who does nothing, or does negligently the work of the Lord, makes manifest his real interest in the work to which he has been called, by his works. He shows that his heart is not in the service for which he has been engaged. He has digged in the earth, and has hidden his Lord's money. The talent given to him for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, has been unappreciated and abused. The good it might have done is left unaccomplished, and the Lord cannot receive his own with usury.
    Let none mourn that they have not larger talents to use for the Master. While you are dissatisfied and complaining, you are losing precious time and wasting valuable opportunities. Thank God for the ability you have, and pray that you may be enabled to meet the responsibilities that have been placed upon you. If you desire greater usefulness, go to work and acquire what you mourn for. Go to work with steady patience, and do your very best, irrespective of what others are doing. "Every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Let not your thought or your words be, "O that I had a larger work! O that I were in this or that position!" Do your duty where you are. Make the best investments possible with your intrusted gift in the very place where your work will count the most before God. Put away all murmuring and strife. Labor not for the supremacy. Be not envious of the talents of others; for that will not increase your ability to do a good or a great work. Use your gift in meekness, in humility, in trusting faith, and wait till the day of reckoning, and you will have no cause for grief or shame.
    It is easy for us to entertain ideas that we know more than we really do, and when tried we stumble over little matters as though they were great difficulties. Do not aspire to do some great service, when the duty of today has not been done with fidelity. Take up the commonplace care, trade on the humble talent with a solemn sense of your responsibility for the right use of every power, every thought that God has given you. God asks no less of the lowliest, than of the most exalted; each must do his appointed work with cheerful alacrity, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. The first thing to gain is a humble sense of your own weakness. Begin to see that you do not possess one tithe of the knowledge that you should possess. Begin to see how you have wasted your privileges, and how much you owe to the mercy of God. Draw near to the divine Model, until you can appreciate your deficiency, and you will be thankful for any place in the service of the Lord. Do not be discouraged when you realize how far short you come. "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." The promise of God is, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
    The church of God is made up of persons of different abilities. Like vessels of various dimensions, we are placed in the house of the Lord; but it is not expected that the smaller vessels will contain all that the larger ones will hold. All that is required, is that the vessel shall be full and hold according to its ability. If you perform faithfully the duties in your path, you will be an acceptable servant, an honored vessel. You should feel that Christ has set a high value upon your soul. He has, at an infinite cost, provided a way by which you may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, and become a partaker of the divine nature.
    There is a great and important work that each one can do, through the grace of Christ; that is, to "cease to do evil," and to "learn to do well." Do not fail to appreciate the daily blessings that God bestows upon you. Resolve that you will not utter one word of complaint against God, or against your brethren. To speak against your brethren, is to speak against Christ. Christ identifies his interests with the interests of suffering humanity. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Let us make a covenant with God that we will not speak one word of envy or unkindness. Let not your lips dishonor God by fretful words of complaint and dissatisfaction. Educate your lips to praise Him from whom all blessings flow.
    Jesus declared of his people, "Ye are the light of the world." And he said again, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Those who will not become connected with Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, will not become channels of light, but they will be held responsible for what they might have been through his grace. God has endowed us with talents for his service and glory, and we should seek to put our gifts out to the exchangers, that interest may be returned to our Heavenly Father.
    In order that we may become instruments fit for a valuable service, we must be prepared for our labor. We are as rough stones from the quarry, and we must be chiseled and hewn, until God sees that the unsightly edges are all taken off, and we are fitted and polished for a place in the heavenly temple. Do not entertain the idea that because you have accepted the truth, you have attained perfection. The work of character building is a lifelong work. The Bible must be studied in order that you may properly estimate your progress, and understand your obligations. It is necessary for you to look constantly into the great moral mirror, to measure your attainments by the great standard of holiness. The principles of God's law must become the principles of your life and the motive power of all your actions. The impulses of your heart must be regulated by the gospel of the Son of God, and your character must be fashioned after the divine Pattern. The truth you profess must be established in reverent and holy purposes to honor God and benefit mankind. This is the only successful method of controlling the life. There should be steady, persevering, persistent advancement in the Christian pathway. A fitful experience is of little value. The impulsive effort to overcome is often as impulsively discontinued as begun. There should be a determined resistance of evil in the strength of Christ. Forgetting what is behind, we should press toward the mark with all diligence. The truth must be stamped upon the soul, woven into the character, until the life is sanctified through the power of God. While God works in you, to will and to do of his own good pleasure, you are to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. You have something more to do than simply to believe. "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." Use your talents for God in humble faith and love, and he who has been faithful over the "few things" of earth, will be made ruler over "many things" in the eternal world of glory. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 8, 1888
(Vol. 65, #19)

 "Some Shall Depart From the Faith"

    When the Redeemer of the world walked among men, many who identified themselves with him as his disciples, afterward forsook him, and became his bitterest enemies. The Saviour tested their faith, and developed the real characters of the most ardent believers by applying spiritual truths to their hearts. At one time when the multitude were gathered about him, he uttered a truth revealing the requirements for his service, and the people were offended. Jesus said unto them, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. . . . Many therefore of his disciples when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
    The Saviour knew the character of those who claimed to be his followers, and his words tested the quality of their faith. He spoke a sacred, eternal truth, regarding the relation that must exist between himself and his followers. Their spiritual life must be sustained by assimilating the principles of the truth. They must accept, believe, and act upon the words he uttered, which were spirit and life; and by this means they would become partakers of the divine nature. They must be Christlike, meek and lowly of heart, self-denying, self-sacrificing; they must walk in the narrow path trodden by the Man of Calvary, if they would share in the gift of life, and the glory of heaven. But the test was too great. They walked no more with him. They could not hear the saying, nor comprehend the nature of the truth he taught.
    As they turned away from the divine Teacher, a different spirit took control of their minds. They could see nothing attractive in Him whom they had once found so interesting. They sought out his enemies, for they were in harmony with their spirit and work. They carried all kinds of false reports, misinterpreted his words, falsified his statements, and impugned his motives, thus inflaming the passions of men, and confirming them in hatred and unbelief. They sustained their course by gathering up every item that could be turned against him; and such indignation was stirred up by these apostates that his life was in danger, and he could not walk in Jewry, but went into Galilee. Even his relatives were so influenced that they partook of this bitter spirit of prejudice and unbelief, and thought that he could not be the Messiah. They were dissatisfied with his manner of working, and urged that if he were the Saviour of the people, he should make himself known by asserting his power, and sustaining his claims. "For," says the inspired word, "neither did his brethren believe in him." The unbelief of his kindred was most cutting to the heart of Jesus.
    What a position was this for the Son of God, the Majesty of heaven! "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Even his brethren did not believe on him. But did this prove his mission a failure? Did it destroy his truth and make him a false teacher, an impostor? Jesus answered his unbelieving brethren as they urged him to prove his Messiahship before the world, "My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." "And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people."
    There was a division among the people concerning the world's Redeemer. Like seeks like. Like appreciates like, and those who loved truth gave their verdict of the righteousness of Jesus; but wherever evil exists, it leagues with evil for the destruction of the good. Fallen men and fallen angels, by likeness of purpose and principle, will join in a desperate and determined companionship to resist truth and righteousness. When Satan can induce men, as he induced angels, to unite with him in rebellion, he has them as his allies and associates in every enterprise formed for the seduction of souls from the principles of truth. Whatever disunion there may be among themselves on other matters, the wicked are one in their opposition and hatred of the truth.
    The word of God declares that the followers of Christ will be called upon to endure trials for the sake of truth. Says Paul, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution; for "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." Said our Lord, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." With what zeal will the workers of iniquity pursue their Satanic purpose! They will put light for darkness, and darkness for light, until they will sincerely believe they are servants of God, and doing him service by persecuting his children. It has been so in the conflicts of the past; and in the closing work of God the same spirit will be manifested. Says the prophet, "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Jesus was treated as the worst of malefactors, and the servant is not greater than his Lord. Said the Saviour, "These things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them."
    In these last days, when iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold, God will have a people to glorify his name, and stand as reprovers of unrighteousness. They are to be a "peculiar people," who will be true to the law of God, when the world shall seek to make void its precepts; and when the converting power of God works through his servants, the hosts of darkness will array themselves in bitter and determined opposition. Satan will work with "all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." He will employ every device of deception to seduce the souls of men and if "it were possible," he "shall deceive the very elect."
    We must put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand. There will be a constant conflict from the time of our determination to serve the God of heaven, until we are delivered out of this present evil world. There is no release from this war. The work of God for this time cannot be accomplished without arousing opposition, reproach, and calumny. Satan is at enmity with the truth, and he will instigate against its advocates every manner of warfare. His efforts to overthrow the word of God will not be wholly confined to the ranks of its avowed enemies; but among those who claim to believe and practice it, "some shall depart from the faith." The impression given by those who have turned away from the doctrines of the Bible, is that the work committed to men for this day will come to a speedy end, and thus they make it manifest that they have esteemed themselves as the very pillars of the truth. "Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his;" and the work goes on to accomplish the fulfillment of the sure word of prophecy. The infinite God is the originator and sustainer of his work and his people. The cause of Christ does not stand in the wisdom of man, and it cannot be overthrown by his power. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." He can discern the steadfast souls who stand by faith, who will not be moved from their allegiance to him and his law. He reads the hearts of his children, and knows those, also, that believe not.
    Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the bloodstained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy. "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." If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the bloodstained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering. But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven. We cannot accept peace on such conditions. Let it be war, war, to the end of earth's history, rather than peace through apostasy and sin.
    The work of apostasy begins in some secret rebellion of the heart against the requirements of God's law. Unholy desires, unlawful ambitions, are cherished and indulged, and unbelief and darkness separate the soul from God. If we do not overcome these evils, they will overcome us. Men who have long been advancing in the path of truth, will be tested with trial and temptation. Those who listen to the suggestions of Satan, and swerve from their integrity, begin the downward path, and some masterful temptation hastens them on in the way of apostasy, till their descent is marked and rapid. Sins that were once most repugnant, become attractive, and are welcomed and practiced by those who have cast off the fear of God and their allegiance to his law. But the most pleasurable beginning in transgression, will end in misery, degradation, and ruin.
    We need to be constantly on our guard, to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. The indulgence of spiritual pride, of unholy desires, of evil thoughts, of anything that separates us from an intimate and sacred association with Jesus, imperils our souls. We must have living faith in God. We must "fight the good fight of faith," if we would "lay hold on eternal life." We are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." If the thought of apostasy is grievous to you, and you do not desire to become the enemies of the truth, the accusers of the brethren, then "abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good;" and believe in Him who is "able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 15, 1888
(Vol. 65, #20)

 "Work for the Church"

    There are but few of our churches that can enjoy the labors of a minister, except at long intervals. They must depend upon their own efforts, with God's blessing, to maintain spiritual life. In the absence of preaching, it rests with them to keep up the interest of the meetings, and to preserve the church in a healthy, growing condition. In every church there is talent, which, with the right kind of labor, might be developed to become a great help in this work. There should be a well-organized plan for the employment of workers to go into the churches, large and small, to instruct the members how to labor for the upbuilding of the church, and also for unbelievers. It is not mere sermonizing that is needed, but educating. The people must be taught the necessity of personal piety and home religion. The life and teachings of Christ must be presented before them. This is the work that will accomplish the greatest good for our churches.
    Brotherly love is greatly lacking. Those who profess to love the Saviour neglect to cultivate a warm attachment for his people. Just prior to the crucifixion, Christ, in his last lessons to his disciples, enforced upon them the love which they should have for one another. "By this," he says, "shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." The apostle John dwells particularly upon the love which should exist among brethren. It is interwoven with all his epistles, and up to the day of his death he dwelt upon this love, and urged upon believers its constant exercise. This precious grace needs to be cultivated in the church. We are of the same faith, members of one family, all children of the same Heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. How close and tender should be the tie which binds us together!
    It is their distance from Christ that keeps his professed people at so great a distance from one another. When Christ is looked to as the great Exemplar, then they will seek to catch his spirit, and to imitate his example. We need to study the Bible more, that our minds may dwell upon the infinite sacrifice of Christ, and his mediation in our behalf. As we see his love, his humiliation for us, the same spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for others' good will be kindled in our hearts. Beholding Jesus by the eye of faith, we shall be "changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
    There should be those in the churches who can help their brethren to learn the will of God as revealed in his word. Those who are qualified to do this should invite members of the church to study the Bible with them. Let them seek, in a pleasing, discreet manner, to enlighten the understanding and impress the conscience. In helping others to become acquainted with the Scriptures, they should not think a sacrifice too great, or regard the time as other than most profitably employed.
    That which is needed now for the upbuilding of our churches is the nice work of wise laborers to discern and develop talent in the church that can be educated for the Master's service. Those who shall labor in visiting the churches should give them instruction in the Bible reading and missionary work. Let there be a class for the training of the youth who are willing to work if they are taught how. Young men and women should be educated to become workers at home, in their own neighborhoods, and in the church.
    That church only is strong that is a working church. The thinking powers should be consecrated to Christ, and ways and means should be devised to serve him best. Let all set their hearts and minds to become intelligent in regard to the work for this time, qualifying themselves to do that for which they are best adapted. Men who make a success in business life are keen, apt, and prompt. We must exercise equal tact and energy in the service of God. Let every man, of whatever trade or profession, make the cause of God his first interest, not only exercising his talents to advance the Lord's work, but cultivating his ability to this end. Many a man devotes months and years to the acquirement of a trade or profession, that he may become a successful worker in the world. Should he not make as great an effort to cultivate those talents which would make him a successful worker for God?
    All this work of training should be accompanied with earnest seeking of the Lord for his Holy Spirit. Let this be urged home upon those who are willing to give themselves to the Master's service. No one who will indulge in jesting, in pleasure-seeking, or in any sinful practice, can be accepted as a worker for God. Our conduct is watched by the world; every act is scrutinized and commented upon. There must be diligent cultivation of the Christian graces, that those who profess the truth may be able to teach it to others as it is in Jesus, that they themselves may be ensamples, and that our enemies may be able to say no evil of us truthfully. In all their intercourse with unbelievers they are exerting an influence for good or for evil. They are either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. God calls for greater piety, for holiness of life and purity of conduct, in accordance with the elevating, sanctifying truths which we profess. Your life should be such that unbelievers, seeing your godly walk and circumspect conversation, may be charmed with the faith that produces such results.
    There is a great neglect to obtain that Scriptural knowledge that is essential that your life in all points may be conformed to the spirit of the gospel. Very much has been lost by our unlikeness to Jesus--lost because we do not in our own conduct present the loveliness of a Christlike life, and adorn by the Christian graces the doctrine of our Saviour.
    Let the workers avoid everything that approaches to pride and self-esteem. Cultivate modesty of deportment. Humility is repeatedly and most expressly enjoined in the Scriptures. Says Peter, "Be clothed with humility : for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." The wise man declares, "Before honor is humility." And Jesus taught his followers that "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
    There is a much greater work devolving upon the individual members of the church than they realize. They are not awake to the claims of God upon them. The time has come when every means must be devised that can aid in preparing a people to stand in the day of God. We must be wide awake not to let precious opportunities pass unimproved. We must do all that we possibly can do to win souls to love God and keep his commandments. Jesus requires this of those who know the truth. Is his demand unreasonable? Do we not have the life of Christ as our example? Do we not owe to Christ a debt of love, of earnest, unselfish labor for the salvation of souls for whom he has given his own life?
    There are many of the members of our large churches doing comparatively nothing, who might accomplish a good work, if, instead of crowding together, they would scatter into places that have not yet been entered by the truth. Trees that are planted too thickly do not flourish. They are often transplanted by the gardener, that they may have room to grow, and not become dwarfed and sickly. The same rule would work well for our large churches. Many are dying spiritually for want of this very work. In the shadow of so many other trees, they are becoming sickly and worthless. Transplanted, they would have room to grow strong and vigorous.
    It is not the purpose of God that his people should colonize, or settle together in large communities. The disciples of Christ are his representatives upon the earth, and God designs that they shall be scattered all over the country, in the towns, cities, and villages, as lights amid the darkness of the world. They are to be missionaries for God, by their faith and works testifying to the near approach of the coming Saviour.
    The lay members of our churches can accomplish a work which as yet they have scarcely begun. None should move into new places merely for the sake of worldly advantage, but where there is an opening to obtain a livelihood, let families that are well-grounded in the truth enter, one or two families in a place, to work as missionaries. They should feel a love for souls, a burden of labor for them, and should make it a study how to bring them into the truth. They can circulate our publications, hold meetings in their own houses, become acquainted with their neighbors, and invite them to come to the meetings and Bible readings. They can let their light shine in good works.
    Let the workers stand alone in God, weeping, praying, laboring, for the salvation of their fellowmen. Remember that you are running a race, striving for an immortal crown. While so many love the praise of men more than favor of God, let it be yours to labor in humility. Learn to exercise faith in presenting the case of your neighbors before the throne of grace, and pleading with God to touch their hearts. In this way effectual missionary work may be done. Some may be reached who would not listen to a minister or a colporter. And those who thus go into a new place will be able to learn the best ways and means of approaching the people there, and they can prepare the way for other laborers.
    A precious experience may be gained by one who engages in this work. He has upon his heart the burden of the souls of his neighbors. He must have the help of Jesus. How careful he will be to walk circumspectly, that his prayers may not be hindered, that no cherished sin may separate him from God! While helping others, such a worker is himself obtaining spiritual strength and understanding, and in this humble school he may become qualified to enter a wider field.
    Christ declares, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." God has endowed us with faculties, and intrusted to us talents, to be used. To every man is given his work, not merely work in his fields of corn and wheat, but earnest, persevering work for the salvation of souls. Every stone in God's temple must be a living stone; he wants it to shine, emitting light to the world. Let the laymen do all they can do; and as they use the talents they already have, God will give them more grace and increased ability. Many of our missionary enterprises are crippled because there are so many who refuse to enter the doors of usefulness that are plainly opened before them. Let all who believe the truth go to work. Do the work that lies nearest you; do anything, however humble, rather than be, like the men of Meroz, do-nothings.
    We shall not be stinted for means if we will only go forward trusting in God. The Lord is willing to do a great work for all those who truly believe in him. If the lay members of the church will arouse to do their work in a quiet way, going a warfare at their own charges, each seeing how much he can do in winning souls to Jesus, we shall see many leaving the ranks of Satan to stand under the banner of Christ. If our people will act upon the light that is given in these remarks, showing that they sincerely believe the truth which they profess, wonderful revivals will follow; we shall surely see of the salvation of God, sinners will be converted, and many souls will be added to the church. 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. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 22, 1888
(Vol. 65, #21)

 "Missionary Work in the Neighborhood"

    Before his ascension to heaven, Jesus with hands outstretched in blessing to his disciples, gave them their commission: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Repentance and remission of sins were to be preached in his name among all nations, but the work was to begin at Jerusalem. Before going out into new fields of labor, the disciples of Christ were to give the message to their own people. Home missions were to receive their first attention.
    Wherever the people of God are placed, in the crowded cities, in the villages, or among the country byways, there is a home mission field, for which a responsibility is laid upon them by their Lord's commission. They are to take up the duty which lies nearest. First of all is the work in the family; next they should seek to win their neighbors to Christ, and to bring before them the great truths for this time.
    This work places upon us a responsibility to recommend by our daily life the faith which we profess. The piety of its believers is the standard by which worldlings judge of the truth. In all our associations with unbelievers, be careful to give them no occasion to misjudge your faith, or to reproach the cause of truth which you advocate. Many hedge up the way by their own course of action. There is some indiscretion on their part. They are easily provoked. Little difficulties arise in trade or in some other temporal matter, which lead them to think themselves misjudged or wronged by their neighbors. These things are allowed to create coldness or ill feeling, and thus to close the door of access to those who might be reached by the truth. We should never allow matters of temporal interest to quench our love for souls. Brethren, be kind and courteous on all occasions. Never be sharp, critical, or exacting in your deal. If there is any advantage to be gained, give it to your neighbor, whom you are required to love as you love yourself. With the patience and love of Jesus, watch for opportunities to do him a kindness. Let him see that the religion which we profess does not close up nor freeze over the avenues of the soul, making us unsympathizing and exacting. Let a well-ordered life and a godly conversation testify to your sincerity and piety; and when you have thus gained his confidence, the way is opened for you to reach the heart by introducing the truth.
    If these matters, which may appear of minor consequence, are neglected, you may present the most convincing arguments in favor of the truth, but they will have no weight. If your family government is not according to the Bible rule, if your children are not brought up with habits of order and industry, if they are selfish, proud, disobedient, unthankful, unholy, be sure that your unbelieving neighbor will see and remark upon your neglect. "They would better spend their labor at home," he will say, "teaching piety and good behavior to their children, instead of trying to convert me." Very many have been caused to stumble by the inconsistencies of professed Christians, and have been led to reject the precious truths of the Bible.
    The books of heaven will reveal a terrible record of unfulfilled home duties against parents who were considered intelligent missionary workers. How much more influence these parents might have had, how much more good they might have done, had they commenced the work at the right point, by setting their own house in order, and presenting to their neighbors a well-ordered family as evidence of the power of the truth! When it is seen that the children are not like worldlings, when the beauty of faith and the spirit of genuine Christianity are seen in them, it will be as a light pointing heavenward.
    It is the acts of faith and sacrifice in the so-called little things of life, the Spirit of Christ manifested at home, in the field, in the work shop, as well as in the church, that make us living epistles known and read of all. Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of holy purpose, of disinterested love, is an argument in favor of the truth that they cannot gainsay. Far more can be accomplished by humble, devoted, virtuous lives than can be gained by preaching when a godly example is lacking.
    There is a sad neglect of personal effort, both for the members of the family and for our neighbors. Many seem to rest perfectly easy, as if the heavenly messengers were to come to earth and in an audible voice proclaim the message of warning. They stand idle, virtually saying, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Many associate almost wholly with those of the same faith, and feel no duty to become acquainted with their neighbors who are ignorant of the great and testing truths for the last days. Ladies who in the parlor can engage in conversation with wonderful tact and earnestness, shrink from pointing the sinner to the Lamb of God. Oh! there is so much work for souls that is left undone because it is a cross, and because each seeks his own amusement, and works for his own selfish interest. Because of our unbelief, worldliness, and indolence, blood-bought souls in the very shadow of our homes are dying in their sins, and dying unwarned.
    Until the judgment it will never be known how much might have been done, how many plans might have been devised, to save souls by bringing them to the knowledge of the truth. But self-indulgence, unwillingness to sacrifice, and a lack of true spiritual discernment, have led many to overlook the open doors which they might have entered to do a good work for the Master. Love of ease has caused them to shun the wearing of Christ's yoke, the lifting of his burden.
    Many, many, are approaching the day of God doing nothing, shunning responsibilities, and as the result they are religious dwarfs. So far as work for God is concerned, the pages of their life history present a mournful blank. They are trees in the garden of God, but only cumberers of the ground, darkening with their unproductive boughs the ground which fruit bearing trees might have occupied.
    Those who neglect their duty in the home and among their neighbors are, by their unfaithfulness, separating themselves from God. Their piety becomes tame and weak. Unfaithfulness at home leads to unfaithfulness in the church. They do not strengthen and build it up. Through their failures in duty, all their work is marked with blunders and defects. Their indifference and neglect have a molding influence upon all who have confidence in them as Christians. The errors of one are copied by many, and thus the evil goes on deepening and widening. Brethren, you may not see this, but so it stands in God's sight, and you must meet in it the judgment.
    In the day of God how many will confront us and say, "I am lost! I am lost! and you never warned me; you never entreated me to come to Jesus. Had I believed as you did, I would have followed every judgment-bound soul with prayers and tears and warnings."
    In that day the Master will demand of his professed people, "What have you done to save the souls of your neighbors? There were many who were connected with you in worldly business, who lived close beside you, whom you might have warned. Why are they among the unsaved?"
    Brethren and sisters, what excuse can you render to God for this neglect of souls? I would present this matter to you as it has been presented to me; and in the light from the life of the Master, from the cross of Calvary, I urge you to arouse. I entreat you to take upon your own hearts the burden of your fellowmen.
    No one who professes to love Jesus can long retain the favor of God if he feels no interest for sinners around him. Those who seek merely to save their own souls and are indifferent to the condition and destiny of their fellowmen, will fail to put forth sufficient effort to secure their own salvation. In hiding their talents in the earth, they are throwing away their opportunities to obtain a star-gemmed crown.
    I write plainly that every effort may be made on the part of all to remove the frown of God from them by sincere repentance. Whatever the neglect of duty, of parents to children or of neighbor to neighbor, let it now be understood and repented of. If we have sinned against the Lord, we shall never have peace and restoration to his favor without full confession and reformation in regard to the very things in which we have been remiss. Not until we have used every means in our power to repair the evil, can God approve and bless us. The path of confession is humiliating, but it is the only way by which we can receive strength to overcome. All the dropped stitches may never be picked up so that our work shall be as perfect and God-pleasing as it should have been; but every effort should be made to do this so far as it is possible to accomplish it.
    We have the promise, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," even so was "the Son of man . . lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." We are to "look and live." Sinful and unworthy, we must cast our helpless souls upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Then will God restore unto us the joy of his salvation, and uphold us by his free Spirit. Then we may teach transgressors his way, and sinners shall be converted unto him.
    Brethren, the Lord calls upon you to redeem the time. Draw nigh to God. Take on your neck the yoke of Christ; stretch out your hands to lift his burden. Stir up the gift that is within you. You who have had opportunities and privileges to become acquainted with the reasons of our faith, use this knowledge in giving light to others. And do not rest satisfied with the little knowledge you already have. Search the Scriptures. Let no moment be unimproved. Dig for the precious gems of truth as for hid treasures, and pray for wisdom that you may present the truth to others in a clear, connected manner.
    Many who have been left to darkness and ruin might have been helped, had their neighbors, common men and women, come to them with the love of Christ glowing in their hearts, and put forth personal efforts for them. Many are waiting to be addressed thus personally. Humble, earnest conversation with such persons, and prayer for them, heart being brought close to heart, would in most cases be wholly successful.
    Let labor for souls become a part of your life. Go to the homes even of those who manifest no interest. While mercy's sweet voice invites the sinner, work with every energy of heart and brain, as did Paul, who "ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears." The heavenly messengers are waiting to cooperate with your efforts. Will you do the work appointed you of God? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  May 29, 1888
(Vol. 65, #22)

 "Be of One Mind"

    The message of God for this time must go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The Bible is to be opened to the understanding of men, women, and children in every part of the world; but there is so great an indifference to the teaching of the holy word of God, that those who accept the responsibility of enlightening others, must themselves be enlightened, so that they may be able to present the truth with clearness, and in such a manner that it will be recommended to the best judgment of honest minds.
    There are many workers in the cause who are not properly equipped for this great work, and when they are given some measure of success, they are in danger of becoming elated and self-sufficient. They work in their own strength, and do not discern their danger, and therefore, do not avoid the perils that are in their pathway. Erroneous ideas will be brought into the work, and presented as a part of the truth to the people; but everything that God has not connected with the truth will only serve to weaken the message and lessen the force of its claims. Satan is constantly seeking to divert the mind from the real work to a spurious work; and those who have but little experience in the dealings of God, are in danger of becoming bound about with overstrained notions, and of holding ideas similar in character to those which bound the Jews in the days of the Saviour's sojourn with men. The rigorous exactions of the Pharisees, the heavy yokes of the traditions of men, made of none effect the commandment of God, and the work of Christ was to free the truth from the rubbish of error and superstition, that men might behold the true character of God, and serve him in spirit and in truth.
    Those who proclaim the truth for today have a similar work to do. The truth must be lifted from the obscurity of men's traditions and errors that the world may behold the marvelous light of the gospel of the Son of God. There are those who turn away from this great and all-important work, to follow their own way. They have independent ideas and will not receive counsel. They choose to follow their own course, until the third angel's message becomes a thing of minor importance, and finally it loses all its value. They hold another doctrine, opposed in principal to the doctrine of the Bible. They do not comprehend the nature of the work, and instead of leading the people to the firm platform of truth, they lead them to place their feet on the sandy foundations of error. They induce men to wear a yoke that is not the yoke of the meek and lowly Jesus.
    We cannot exercise too great care in sending laborers into the cause of God. If one is left to engage in the work without thorough discipline, he is left to shape his own course. He is left with insufficient experience, with too limited knowledge of the truth, and the old errors which have not been thoroughly uprooted, will bear a part in his teaching and influence. His trumpet will not give a certain sound. The doctrine of truth will be mingled with error, and the result will be that those who are taught will cherish error as they do the truth. Those who are raised up under such a teacher, are in need of the most arduous and patient labor. It will be more difficult to reach and correct their errors, than to bring a company into the truth from the darkness of complete ignorance of the truth. It would have been better if they had not heard this mingling of the truth with falsehood, for then the truth in its purity would be more effective in reforming their lives and characters. More harm can be done by one who has a mixture of truth and error, than many who teach the whole truth can undo and correct. There is in the human heart a natural affinity for error and evil. Error takes root in the soil of the heart more readily, and grows more vigorously than the precious seeds of truth. Jesus said, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." The Jews rejected the divine Son of God; but they were ready to accept many an impostor who came in his own name, making empty boasts of his power and authority. And so it is in our day. Men turn away their ears from hearing the truth and are turned unto fables.
    Those who would labor in word and doctrine, should be firmly established in the truth before they are authorized to go out into the field to teach others. The truth, pure and unadulterated, must be presented to the people. It is the third angel's message that bears the true test to the people. Satan will lead men to manufacture false tests, and thus seek to obscure the value of, and make of none effect, the message of truth. The commandment of God that has been almost universally made void, is the testing truth for this time. The Sabbath of Jehovah is to be brought to the attention of the world, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear. The word of the Lord, by the prophet Isaiah, declares to the men of this time, "Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil." The Lord has said that the Sabbath was a sign between him and his people forever. The time is coming when all those who worship God will be distinguished by this sign. They will be known as the servants of God, by this mark of their allegiance to Heaven. But all manmade tests will divert the mind from the great and important doctrines that constitute the present truth.
    It is the desire and plan of Satan to bring in among us those who will go to great extremes,--people of narrow minds, who are critical and sharp, and very tenacious in holding their own conceptions of what the truth means. They will be exacting, and will seek to enforce rigorous duties, and go to great lengths in matters of minor importance, while they neglect the weightier matters of the law,--judgment and mercy and the love of God. Through the work of a few of this class of persons, the whole body of Sabbath-keepers will be designated as bigoted, Pharisaical, and fanatical. The work of the truth, because of these workers, will be thought to be unworthy of notice.
    God has a special work for the men of experience to do. They are to guard the cause of God. They are to see that the work of God is not committed to men who feel it their privilege to move out on their own independent judgment, to preach whatever they please, and to be responsible to no one for their instructions or work. Let this spirit of self-sufficiency once rule in our midst, and there will be no harmony of action, no unity of spirit, no safety for the work, and no healthful growth in the cause. There will be false teachers, evil workers who will, by insinuating error, draw away souls from the truth. Christ prayed that his followers might be one as he and the Father were one. Those who desire to see this prayer answered, should seek to discourage the slightest tendency to division, and try to keep the spirit of unity and love among brethren.
    God calls for laborers; but he wants those who are willing to submit their wills to his, and who will teach the truth as it is in Jesus. One worker who has been trained and educated for the work, who is controlled by the Spirit of Christ, will accomplish far more than ten laborers who go out deficient in knowledge, and weak in the faith. One who works in harmony with the counsel of God, and in unity with the brethren, will be more efficient to do good, than ten will be who do not realize the necessity of depending upon God, and of acting in harmony with the general plan of the work.
    The instruction of Paul to Titus is applicable to this time, and to our workers: "Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine." The apostle had to contend with evils of a similar character to those with which we will have to contend. He speaks of the faithful worker as "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. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not. . . . Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth."
    There were those in Paul's day who were constantly dwelling upon circumcision, and they could bring plenty of proof from the Bible to show its obligation on the Jews; but this teaching was of no consequence at this time; for Christ had died upon Calvary's cross, and circumcision in the flesh could not be of any further value. The typical service and the ceremonies connected with it were abolished at the cross. The great antitypical Lamb of God had become an offering for guilty man, and the shadow ceased in the substance. Paul was seeking to bring the minds of men to the great truth for the time; but these who claimed to be followers of Jesus were wholly absorbed in teaching the tradition of the Jews, and the obligation of circumcision.
    Instruction for the workers today is given in the word of truth: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
    Let those who contemplate giving themselves to the work, place themselves in connection with those who have had a good experience in the ways of God, and a knowledge of his cause. Let all seek a clear understanding of the Scriptures of truth. See to it that the living Saviour is your Saviour, and that you are following in his footsteps. Cultivate piety and humility of mind. Combat intellectual laziness and spiritual lethargy. Be ready for every work that you can do for the Master. Instead of catching up every new and fanciful interpretation of the Bible, cling to the message. Let not every influence affect you; but seek to develop a character that is consistent, meek, teachable, and yet firm and cheerful; and with all this, be sober and watch unto prayer. Walk in a perfect way. Let the high, sacred truth you profess be constantly elevating your character, ennobling and refining you, and fitting you for the heavenly courts. The learners in Christ's school must show that they are not unappreciative scholars. Let the sanctifying grace of God strengthen, soften, and subdue your entire nature. You must yourself be what you wish others to be. Christ prayed concerning his disciples, "I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified." Bring into your life the piety, the Christian courtesy, the respect for one another that you wish to see reflected in those who embrace the truth through your instrumentality. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 5, 1888
(Vol. 65, #23)

 "Love One Another"

    "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." These words are not the words of man, but the words of our Redeemer; and how important it is that we fulfill the instruction that he has given! There is nothing that can so weaken the influence of the church, as the lack of love. Christ says, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." If we are to meet opposition from our enemies, who are represented as wolves, let us be careful that we do not manifest the same spirit among ourselves. The enemy well knows that if we do not have love one for another, he can gain his object, and wound and weaken the church, by causing differences among brethren. He can lead them to surmise evil, to speak evil, to accuse, condemn, and hate one another. In this way the cause of God is brought into dishonor, the name of Christ is reproached, and untold harm is done to the souls of men.
    How careful we should be, that our words and actions are all in harmony with the sacred truth that God has committed to us! The people of the world are looking to us, to see what our faith is doing for our characters and lives. They are watching to see if it is having a sanctifying effect on our hearts, if we are becoming changed into the likeness of Christ. They are ready to discover every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions. Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith.
    It is not the opposition of the world that will most endanger us; it is the evil cherished right in our midst that works our most grievous disaster. It is the unconsecrated lives of halfhearted professors that retard the work of the truth, and bring darkness upon the church of God.
    There is no surer way of weakening ourselves in spiritual things, than to be envious, suspicious of one another, full of faultfinding and evil surmising. "This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
    God would have us individually come into that position where he can bestow his love upon us. He has placed a high value upon man, and has redeemed us by the sacrifice of his only begotten Son, and we are to see in our fellow man the purchase of the blood of Christ. If we have this love one for another, we shall be growing in love for God and the truth. We have been pained at heart to see how little love is cherished in our midst. Love is a plant of heavenly origin, and if we would have it flourish in our hearts, we must cultivate it daily. Mildness, gentleness, longsuffering, not being easily provoked, bearing all things, enduring all things,--these are the fruits upon the precious tree of love.
    When you are associated together, be guarded in your words. Let your conversation be of such a nature that you will have no need of repentance. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." If the love of the truth is in your heart, you will talk of the truth. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. If you have love in your heart, you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil-speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the word of God forbids that kind of conversation. We are to empty the heart of everything that defiles the soul temple, that Christ may dwell within. Our Redeemer has told us how we may reveal him to the world. If we cherish his Spirit, if we manifest his love to others, if we guard one another's interests, if we are kind, patient, forbearing, the world will have an evidence by the fruits we bear, that we are the children of God. It is the unity in the church that enables it to exert a conscious influence upon unbelievers and worldlings.
    The church of Christ is spoken of as a holy temple. Says the apostle, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." All the followers of Christ are represented as stones in the temple of God. Every stone, large or small, must be a living stone, emitting light and fitting into the place assigned it in the building of God. How thankful we should be that a way has been opened whereby we may each have a place in the spiritual temple! Will you, my brethren and sisters, think of these things, study them, talk of them? It is just in proportion as we appreciate these things that we will become strong in the service of God, and so be enabled to comply with his requirements, and to be doers of the words of Christ.
    God does not want us to place ourselves upon the judgment seat, and judge each other. But how frequently this is done! Oh! how careful we should be lest we judge our brother. We are assured that as we judge, we shall be judged; that as we mete to others, it shall be measured to us again. Christ has said: "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." In view of this, let your words be of such a character that they will meet the approval of God. When we see errors in others, let us remember that we have faults graver, perhaps, in the sight of God, than the fault we condemn in our brother. Instead of publishing his defects, ask God to bless him, and to help him to overcome his error. Christ will approve of this spirit and action, and will open the way for you to speak a word of wisdom that will impart strength and help to him who is weak in the faith.
    The work of building one another up in the most holy faith is a blessed work; but the work of tearing down is a work full of bitterness and sorrow. Christ identifies himself with his suffering children; for he says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." If all would carry out the instruction given by Christ, what love and unity would exist among his followers! Every heart has its own sorrows and disappointments, and we should seek to lighten one another's burdens by manifesting the love of Jesus to those around us. If our conversation were upon heaven and heavenly things, evil-speaking would soon cease to have any attraction for us. We would not then be placing our feet on the enemy's dangerous ground. We would not then be entering into temptation, or falling under the power of the evil one.
    Instead of finding fault with others, let us be critical with ourselves. The question with each one of us should be, Is my heart right before God? Will this course of action glorify my Father which is in heaven? If you have cherished a wrong spirit, let it be banished from the soul. It is your duty to eradicate from your heart everything that is of a defiling nature; every root of bitterness should be plucked up, lest others be contaminated by its baleful influence. Do not allow one poisonous plant to remain in the soil of your heart. Root it out this very hour, and plant in its stead the plant of love. Let Jesus be enshrined in the soul.
    Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all his actions, and we are commanded to follow in his steps. Let us remember that God sent his only begotten Son to this world of sorrow, to "redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Let us seek to comply with the requirement of God, and fulfill his law. "Love is the fulfilling of the law," and He who died that we might live, has given us this commandment, that we should love one another as he has loved us; and the world will know that we are his disciples, if we have this love one for another. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 12, 1888
(Vol. 65, #24)

 "The Renewing of the Mind"

    The natural, selfish mind, if left to follow out its own evil desires, will act without high motives, without reference to the glory of God or the benefit of mankind. The thoughts will be evil, and only evil, continually. The soul can be in a state of peace only by relying upon God, and by partaking of the divine nature through faith in the Son of God. The Spirit of God produces a new life in the soul, bringing the thoughts and desires into obedience to the will of Christ, and the inward man is renewed in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things unto himself.
    We have each of us an individual work to do, to gird up the loins of our minds, to be sober, to watch unto prayer. The mind must be firmly controlled to dwell upon subjects that will strengthen the moral powers. The youth should begin early to cultivate correct habits of thought. We should discipline the mind to think in a healthful channel, and not permit it to dwell upon things that are evil. The psalmist exclaims, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." As God works upon the heart by his Holy Spirit, man must cooperate with him. The thoughts must be bound about, restricted, withdrawn from branching out and contemplating things that will only weaken and defile the soul. The thoughts must be pure, the meditations of the heart must be clean, if the words of the mouth are to be words acceptable to Heaven, and helpful to your associates. Christ said to the Pharisees, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of 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."
    In the sermon on the mount, Christ presented before his disciples the far-reaching principles of the law of God. He taught his hearers that the law was transgressed by the thoughts before the evil desire was carried out in actual commission. We are under obligation to control our thoughts, and to bring them into subjection to the law of God. The noble powers of the mind have been given to us by the Lord, that we may employ them in contemplating heavenly things. God has made abundant provision that the soul may make continual progression in the divine life. He has placed on every hand agencies to aid our development in knowledge and virtue; and yet, how little these agencies are appreciated or enjoyed! How often the mind is given to the contemplation of that which is earthly, sensual, and base! We give our time and thought to the trivial and commonplace things of the world, and neglect the great interests that pertain to eternal life. The noble powers of the mind are dwarfed and enfeebled by lack of exercise on themes that are worthy of their concentration. "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
    Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature, appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act. The soul must be kept from every stain, through faith in Him who is able to keep you from falling. We should meditate upon the Scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation. The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save his people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger. Our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be more intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and you will have a daily, living experience in the willingness and power of Christ to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him.
    By beholding we are to become changed, and as we meditate upon the perfections of our divine Model, we shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of his purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to be made like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of him to others, and represent him to the world. We are called to come out and be separate from the world, that we may be the sons and daughters of the Most High; and we are under sacred obligation to glorify God, as his children upon the earth. It is essential that the mind should be stayed upon Christ, that we may hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it is necessary for us to keep before us this blessed hope, that we may not say in our hearts, "My Lord delayeth his coming." Unbelief in the heart will be expressed in the actions, and if you cherish it, you will soon deny the faith and become bodies of darkness.
    There is a great work to be done, and the nearer we live to Jesus, the better fitted we shall be for fulfilling our mission in the world. We are to gather sheaves for the Master. We cannot afford to live simply to please ourselves, and to seek our own will. "Even Christ pleased not himself."He lived a life of self-denial and sacrifice. He passed through every pathway of human suffering and temptation. He gave his life that he might reach to the very depth of human misery, and lift up a fallen race. What an infinite price he gave for the life of this rebellious world! He bought us with his own precious blood, and we are not our own. Our thoughts and affections belong to him. There are many who profess to love Jesus, but they seek nothing but the gratification of their own selfish desires. They are not seeking to gather with Christ; but, by example and influence, they are scattering abroad. It is only in proportion to the devotion and consecration to Christ, that the "Christian exerts an influence for the blessing and uplifting of mankind. If there is no actual service, no genuine love, no reality of experience, there is no power to help, no connection with Heaven, no savor of Christ in the life. The church can reflect light to the world only by the manifestation of sincere piety and devotion.
    How many feel as did the servant with the one talent, that the Lord is an austere man, reaping where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strewn. This view of the matter is a delusion of the wicked one; for what have we that we did not receive? "All things come of Thee, and of thine own have we given Thee," should be the language of our grateful hearts. Those who are engrossed in the service of self and the world, feel a spirit of grudging when they are urged to devote their service to the God of love. They give to the world their best thought, their tact, their talents, their means, their influence. When self is served, they do not withhold anything, but give their lives for the passing pleasures of earth. But when it comes to the service of God, do men manifest the same zeal for his work as they formerly manifested in the service of the world? Do they put the tact and talent and aptness into the work of saving souls, that they displayed in the selfish work of the past, and yet does not reason tell us that the work for God is as far above the service of the world, as the heaven is higher than the earth? God would have every one of us feel that now is the time of golden opportunity and privilege. Heaven's blessings are showered upon us. The precious hours of probation are still prolonged. The Lord has waited long for us to prepare for the eternal world. We must seek the Spirit of Christ who gave himself for us. We must go out and seek to win others, as he has won us. Every word you speak, every action you perform, has an influence for good or evil upon those who associate with you; and, oh! how necessary it is that you have Christ dwelling in your heart by faith, that your words may be words of life, and your works, the works of love. The words and deeds of the Christian are ordained to form a part of the great plan that God has devised for the salvation of lost man. The Lord has directed the world to his professed followers, and he has declared, "By their fruits ye shall know them." If we would work from the high standpoint of pleasing our Heavenly Father, we would be in harmony with the spirit of heaven; we would express to the world the love of Jesus in our lives and characters.
    We must set our feet upon the platform of eternal truth. The truth as it is in Jesus, will be our salvation; and if the spirit of truth is in our hearts, it will shine through our words and actions. You are to reach the high standard of the law of God. Christ is your example. You are not to be conformed to this world, but you are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You have been taken out of the quarry of the world, and now you are to submit to be hewn, and fitted, and polished for the heavenly building. You will have trials and disappointments; but nothing need separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus your Lord. The love of God is an infinite love, and when you are about to distrust that love, look to Calvary's cross. Does not this speak to you of the infinite compassion of your Heavenly Father? He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, shall he withhold from you anything that is for your highest interest and best good? "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
    Those who are pressing toward the mark for the prize of our high calling in Jesus, are giving to the world an example of faith and obedience. They are directing attention to the world to come, and impressing upon souls the worth of eternal life. You cannot do this great work without taking the Saviour with you; but you may have his presence, and rejoice in associating with the Prince of peace. You may communicate with Jesus by the way. You may speak with him as with a friend. You may know that he is at your side as an ever-present helper. You may ask him to give you strength to resist every temptation of the evil one. You may have confidence that he bears your prayers, understands your perplexities, weighs your burdens, and pities your weakness. He was tempted in all points like as we are; he is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and can and will succor those who come unto him in hours of distress and temptation. Let him abide in your heart, that you may honor God and be a vessel filled with the blessing of heaven; then you will be a gatherer with Christ, and will bear fruit unto eternal life. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 19, 1888
(Vol. 65, #25)

 "The Work at Fresno, California"

    We came to Fresno, March 16, 1888. The climate is mild, and the city, which has grown very rapidly of late, contains about 10,000 inhabitants. The church here numbers about 100 persons. The present place of worship is a good, comfortable building, but it is altogether too small for the increasing congregation. On Sabbath the house was filled. There were a number of persons present who were not of our faith. I spoke with much freedom from Eph. 3:14-21. Many precious testimonies were borne in the meeting that followed. We invited those who desired to seek God most earnestly to come forward, and we had a precious season in supplicating the throne of grace. The congregation was composed of men and women of good influence, that, if they meet their responsibilities, will make a strong church.
    Friday evening we called on Bro. Church, and had a profitable social interview with him. He has been recently afflicted in the death of his wife. We united in prayer with him and his family. I related my earnest conviction that the time had come for the believers at Fresno to unite in erecting a church, a building for a primary and boarding school, and a mission house. Bro. Church was in harmony with this plan, and seemed much pleased at the prospect of advancement in the work at this place. I felt that the time had come to invest in the cause of God, that the means intrusted to believers might be set flowing in the right channel, before it was diverted in other directions.
    After the good meeting on Sabbath, some of the prominent brethren met to consider the matter of erecting a house of worship, and the other buildings spoken of. All were anxious that the plans might be carried out. Sunday forenoon the church assembled to act upon the suggestions given, and the result was far beyond our most sanguine expectations. Every member of the church gave a tangible proof of his interest in the enterprise. Thirty thousand dollars were pledged for the work, before this meeting was dismissed. There were also $1,000 pledged for the European Mission.
    Sunday evening I spoke in the hall, which was filled to its utmost capacity. My subject was Christ riding into Jerusalem. Although I felt weary and exhausted, the Lord gave me freedom in speaking, and the people listened with interest. There were in the audience men of intelligence, whose knowledge of the truth had enabled them to exert an influence to strengthen and encourage the churches they had left in the East. Their removal had left offices vacant, and the churches have felt weakened because of the loss of the very help which these men, if sanctified through the truth, could have given. Is it not possible that the Lord may say to some of these as he said to Elijah, "What doest thou here?" Elijah might have thought that the journey from Samaria to Horeb had been ordered of the Lord, that it was a divine path which he was traveling; but the inquiry alarmed him. It awakened him from deception. It reminded him of the weakness of his faith in flying from the wrath of Jezebel. If the voice of God could be heard by some of these brethren in Fresno, inquiring, What doest thou here? would not the question bring them to consider closely their motives in coming to this place? They might see, by examining their hearts, that they are not where God placed them, but where they have placed themselves; they might see that they have mistaken their duty, and that they do not belong in the society in which they are found.
    In the Laodicean state of the church at the present time, how little evidence is given of the direct, personal guidance of God! Men place themselves in positions of temptation, where they see and hear much that is contrary to God, and detrimental to spirituality. They lose their warmth and fervor, and become lukewarm Christians, who are, in a great measure, indifferent to the glory of God, and the advancement of his work. If God calls his servants to positions where the influence is of a worldly character, he will give special grace that they may be enabled to overcome the evil consequent upon their circumstances. There should be religious fervor corresponding to the faith and doctrines we have accepted as truth. If this were the case, how earnestly would prayers be offered to know the will of God, and how diligently would the heart be kept, out of which are the issues of life! The servants of God become estranged from the truth by associating with the world, and by partaking of its spirit. When this is done, the truth is not appreciated as a sacred and sanctifying truth.
    What doest thou here in Fresno, my brother? Is it evident that your moving here has been in the order of God, when the large congregation that meets for Sabbath worship is composed of men of experience, who have talents intrusted by the Master to them for the advancement of his work? Have not some of you, at least, left churches over which you were made overseers, and chosen your own work? Have you not left the charge committed to you, that you might seek worldly treasure? Has not the Lord a more spiritual work for you elsewhere? Do you see no peril in this fever of speculation? Is there not danger that the precious, immortal inheritance may be eclipsed by the valueless treasure of earth? These is danger that your usefulness may be destroyed, your faith weakened, your soul temple defiled with buyers and sellers. There is need that we keep our souls in the love of God. There is need of a closer connection with the Master, of walking in the light as he is in the light. It is our duty to place ourselves in a position where we may give our whole heart's loving service to God, by personal holiness and practical benevolence.
    There is a great work to be done in the vineyard of the Lord, and it cannot be neglected without loss to your own souls, and to the souls of others; for the vineyard of the Lord needs constant cultivation. God requires far more of heart and mind than we give him. There is need of men who will love God, who will not have a dwarfed, stunted religion, but will ever be gaining new supplies of grace, spirituality, and energy, by doing the commandments of the Lord. There is need of men who will lose sight of self and selfish interests, and will live to promote the glory of God by seeking the salvation of those around them.
    The Lord wants his servants, to whom he has committed his work, to become more and more intelligent, and to employ their tact and ability in keeping the garden of the Lord in a healthy condition. The duty of every church member is, to love God with all the heart, and his neighbor as himself. If we make the religion of Jesus what we should make it, it will attract others; for they will see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven. If we walk in the light, we shall be examples full of cheerfulness and inspiration.
    The Lord has shown me that his name is not honored and exalted by those who call themselves his children. He has given varied trusts, proportioned to our varied abilities, and he expects corresponding returns. Some have five talents to improve, some have two, some have one; and these talents are not to be used merely for the service of self, but are to be put out to the exchangers, to be doubled, and returned to the Master. It is the duty of every church member to consider carefully whether he is acting as a wise servant, doing his Master's business, or is using his time and talents to please and honor himself. Have you acted as if you were your own master, instead of a servant hired to do the work that God has given you to do in his vineyard? Can you dispose of yourselves as you see fit, without looking to the Master for his directions? There is much nice work to be done in the vineyard of the Lord, and God expects you to bring tact and skill and thoughtful consideration into his work. You manifest skill in managing temporal matters, and shall the work of God be done in a haphazard manner? If anything demands the very best service that human skill can give, it is the service of God. Men and women are required to give their noblest energies to the work of the salvation of souls for whom Christ died. There are many who are simply passive church members. They do not feel the necessity of struggling for immortality; but God calls upon all to throw their energies into the warfare, to put to the stretch every muscle, and exert every power, in order to be found worthy of eternal life. Halfhearted and indolent service will not be acceptable to God. The servant of God must gain increased ability by using what he has. He must pray for guidance, for help, for wisdom, that he may serve God intelligently. To keep carefully apart from the church, and invest the powers God has given you in worldly schemes, is robbing God and dishonoring him before his face.
    There is danger that men will leave the very place for which God has qualified them, and, through the glowing statements of other laborers, seek another field, in the hope of gaining worldly treasure. They obey impulse, making choice for themselves, and leaving the church with which they have been connected, to move to a new country. Is this work of the Lord? It may be so regarded. Worldly gain is a great inducement; but the temptations that come with it, may prove the ruin of your soul. There is need that all closely examine their own lives, to see whether they are walking in the way of the Lord, and keeping his statutes, or following in the path of their own choosing. The sincerity of your prayers is proved by the vigor of your endeavor to obey God in every matter of life.
    I am afraid to have Sabbath-keepers engage in land speculation, and become real estate agents. If they come forth from this dangerous experiment, sounder in faith, purer in morals, unpolluted by the influences that surround them, it will be a marvel. The tendency of the real estate business is not of a nature to strengthen moral power. It will not lead men to humble self, to feel their own inefficiency and weakness. The influence will be all in another direction.
    You should be very careful how you hold out flattering inducements before your brethren, to lead them to move to new countries, for the sake of engaging in land speculation. You may be a tempter, drawing them away from the duty assigned to them by the Lord. The change may be, of all things, the most disastrous to them. All cannot bear prosperity. An increase of worldly possessions often proves a snare to souls. There are great losses sustained, in more ways than one, in brethren making removals from one State to another, in order to better their condition. Those who are attracted by selfish considerations are often disappointed in their expectations, and meet with loss instead of gain. Another who is successful in obtaining property, becomes greatly elated; for, in making haste to be rich, he has fallen into the snare of the enemy. A feverish unrest takes possession of him, and he is absorbed in adding to his property by continual investment. He finds it much easier to gain possessions in this way than to practice economy and industry, in order to make a livelihood. But precious qualities of character, developed by contending with hardship, are lost from his life. A most valuable element is dropped from his experience, and this very element is essential to make him a successful wrestler for eternal rewards. Those who are enriched by sudden prosperity are not qualified to teach others how to surmount difficulties, and gain victories, how to tax mind and muscle to reach high and perfect accomplishment of useful aims. The brain should be quick to suggest, the hands prompt to perform, the will steadfast to sustain, the servant of God, that he may be an overcomer when circumstances are hard and trying.
    Another reason why you should seek divine counsel, and exercise careful consideration before you leave one locality for another, is, your removal may be a damage to the church in which you have been bearing responsibility. Is there anyone you have educated to take your place, upon whom you can rely as a faithful substitute? Can you trust him to carry forward the work so that the church will not be weakened by your removal? These are considerations that should not be lightly regarded. If you settle down in a church where there is no special need of your help, you will not feel the burden of responsibility as you have in the past, and you will not exercise the ability that God has given you; for if you do, it will seem like self-confidence in putting yourself forward. In this way you will meet with loss; for you are not cultivating the talents intrusted to your care.
    The servants of God should become workmen that need not to be ashamed, that they may build up the church of God in the earth. This work cannot possibly be done without much meditation, prayer, and humility. There must be thought and skill and hearty thoroughness in doing this spiritual labor for the people of God. If it is properly done, it will be as much more valuable and successful than temporal work, as the heavenly is more important than the earthly. Jesus has said of his followers, "Ye are the light of the world." A living, working church will be a power in the world, but there must be well-defined plans carried out with all faithfulness. If those who are elders and deacons in the church devote their God-given powers to money making, they will not be serving the Lord or the church; but they will be serving themselves, and the high task committed to their hands will suffer for the lack of patient, intelligent, well-directed effort.
    An inspiring influence should be brought into the life and character of God's people, to qualify them to do the great work committed to them. God requires that the graces of his Spirit shall flourish in his church. The life of every member should exert a vital influence, that the activity and usefulness of the church may be increased. The church should never remit her vigilance against the enemy of God and man, for he is constantly sowing tares among the wheat. He finds access to every unconsecrated, unfaithful member, and makes him his agent to carry out his purposes, in marring the work of God.
    The agency of Satan must be understood as a working, vigilant power, awakening in every possible way the same activity in others to work evil, as he himself possesses. We are not ignorant of his wiles. We know he thrusts unconverted persons into the church, and lulls those who know the truth into a state of security, that they may not discern his devices, and counteract his influence.
    The workers for God are not what they should be. Their own imperfection dims the light, and they do not shine forth to the world in good works so that men may glorify the Father who is in heaven. It is time to "be sober," to "be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." But you are to "resist the Devil, and he will flee from you, Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you." Put intelligence into your work, and seek to bring the church of God into a healthy condition. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  June 26, 1888
(Vol. 65, #26)

 "The Campmeeting at Selma, California"

    We left Fresno, April 22, to attend the Selma campmeeting. On our way to this place, we were seated behind a mother and her two children. On the short journey of fifteen miles, this woman drank four goblets of wine from the bottle in her lunch basket. The children were indulged in the wine until they both seemed to be in a state of intoxication. The older one acted like an inebriate, working his face in the most hideous contortions, until his brother struck him with his fist. The mother then interfered with a blow from her hand, and in her efforts to set matters right, made them a great deal worse. I could not help reflecting on the probable future of this family. What a terrible picture rose before my mind as the counterpart of the scene before me! I pitied the children who had their own mother to act the part of the tempter in dragging them down to ruin. This is how drunkards are made. How does God look upon these wicked and indulgent parents? Parents and children will one day stand around the great white throne to be called to account for the work of their lives. The books will be opened, and they will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. They will have to view their lifework just as it is, but it will be too late to redeem the failures of the past.
    When we arrived on the campground, we found everything arranged in a neat, tasteful manner. The tents were provided with stoves, and the restaurant was fitted so that the whole encampment could be provided with good, wholesome food. We felt deep sympathy for those who were confined to the camp kitchen, and who were obliged to endure the heat of the stove, that food might be prepared for the campers. We thought that no one could have the heart to complain at the provisions in the dining tent; for although it was at a season when the old supply of fruit could not be obtained without great expense, yet the food supplied, was palatable, and of a suitable variety. The meeting was advancing, and but few privileges were enjoyed by the workers in the kitchen. The question presented itself to my mind. Must it continue so? Is it necessary to have three meals a day, to go through all this round of cooking and washing dishes, and cooking again, so many times during the day? We spoke in behalf of those who were denied the privileges of the meeting on this account; and it was proposed that those on the grounds should share in the self-denial, by dispensing with the third meal. This met with approval, and from that time there were but two meals prepared in the tent, and the workers were much relieved.
    At our campmeetings we should have good wholesome food, prepared in as simple a manner as possible. We should not turn them into occasions for feasting. If we appreciate the blessings of God, if we are feeding on the Bread of life, we will not be much concerned about gratifying the appetite. The great burden of our hearts will be, How is it with my soul? There will be such a longing for spiritual food, that will impart spiritual strength, that we will not complain because the diet is plain and simple. There were several on the campground who had eaten but two meals a day for twenty years, and were enjoying better health than those who had eaten the third meal.
    Is there not more danger of backsliding on the campground, if its opportunities and privileges are not improved and appreciated, than if you had remained at home? When the truth is presented day after day with power, and there are precious privileges afforded of obtaining a more correct knowledge of the word of God and of eternal things, can you not see that if these blessed occasions are not appreciated, they will prove as savor of death unto death? Young men and women who allow their minds to be diverted, and engage in flirtation on the campground, are meeting with loss for time and for eternity. The mind is not stayed upon God. The thoughts are not upon the truth spoken from the sacred desk. The affections are not upon Jesus and spiritual things. A bewitching power seizes their minds, and they become infatuated, until carnal affections take entire control of their natures, and they return to their homes worse than when they came to the meeting.
    The campmeeting are important occasions for all our people. It is designed that at least one week may be given up to seek God without interruption. The whole heart should be engaged in this service, that a better knowledge of the Scriptures may be obtained, that the plan of salvation may be better understood, and that there may be a deeper realization of what salvation means, and what it will cost to meet the high requirements of God. Those who carry the truth into their daily lives, will see a decided change in their characters. If you are brought into close sympathy with Christ, you will not engage in light and trifling conversation, you will not be indifferent to the great themes of redemption, you will not enter into flirtation, and show preference one for another on these solemn occasions. The spiritual sensibilities will be aroused. Christ himself will be the honored guest in every meeting. We know that Satan will also be in the assembly, seeking to win the thoughts and the heart away from Christ.
    We are living in the antitypical day of atonement, and our High Priest is in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, pleading his blood in behalf of his people. The mighty achievement upon Calvary, should not become an old, forgotten story to any of us. The object of these campmeetings is to arouse the mind to a more vivid sense of the solemnity of these things. Grasp the truth as it is presented to you for your soul's sake. Cherish every new idea, every divine enlightenment, lest you let the truth slip from your heart, as water from a leaky vessel. Seek to walk in every ray of light that comes to you through the ministration of the word. As we grow in the knowledge of the truth, we shall have fellowship one with another, and the more we think of Jesus and his matchless love, the deeper will that love take possession of our heart, mind, and soul, and we will enter into the scenes of Christ's humiliation, and become partakers of the divine nature.
    O, what a means of grace the campmeetings might be, if all who come at such trouble and expense would be profited thereby, and would not become uneasy and restless, and feel that it is a loss of time! We should feel that two weeks is none too long a time to efface the worldly mold, to empty the soul temple of the buyers and sellers, and of everything that defiles. Every meeting should find God's people in the place of worship, expecting that Jesus will walk through the congregation to bless all who are hungering and thirsting for his salvation.
    What would become of the churches if there were no special seasons when the Spirit of Christ was sought for with earnestness and fervor, and the cold hearts were warmed by the rays of divine light? God wants to be inquired of by his people, before he pours out his Holy Spirit upon the church. How earnestly should every member pray and labor, and labor and pray for the deep movings of Spirit of God! There is solemn work that must be done to enlighten souls now sitting in darkness. The fallow ground of the heart must be broken up. The indifferent and backslidden must have personal efforts made for them, and each member of the church should do works meet for repentance, in carrying with solemn, earnest zeal to all within reach the Master's gracious invitation.
    Take up the work that lies nearest to you. Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that the Lord's table may be supplied with guests. A sleepy, Christless church, quarreling and surmising evil, will have no reward, and need look for no revival, unless its members repent, and do the first works.
    The campmeetings at Selma was a precious meeting to all who really hungered and thirsted after righteousness. Those whose minds were placed upon worldly interests, were not benefited; but, I fear were made worse; for their hearts were open to temptation. On the Sabbath I was pained to the soul to hear, by the side of my tent, an earnest conversation in regard to houses and lands, and the prospect of property's rising in value. I thought it must be those not of our faith, who were thus engaged in talking on worldly matters on the Sabbath day; but looking from my tent, I saw it was one of our brethren and another man who were occupied in this way. This brother should have been wholly in earnest, that the meeting might be a blessing to Selma; but alas! his heart and mind were on temporal, worldly things. While claiming to be a Sabbath-keeper, he was doing business with mind and heart and voice. Says the Scripture, "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."
    I hope that this brother will have a pure, sincere heart, and will be a doer of the commandments of the Lord; then he will be a light to shine forth to others. But, if his profession of belief and reverence for the Sabbath is only a form, he will be a body of darkness to the church in Selma, or wherever he may go. He has not that faith that will venture something for the sake of the truth. The truth is kept apart from his life. It does not mold and fashion his character. Unless he is converted in heart, he will not practice the truth, however much he may claim to believe it.
    We heard two other brethren talking of the railroads that were to be laid in different sections of the country, and commenting on the profitableness of investing in lands in those parts of the State. Here we saw that in a meeting of about ten days, all the believers in the truth could not leave worldly thoughts and speculations behind them, to engage unreservedly in the worship of God. I was led with pain to inquire how many of these poor souls had opened through their hearts a highway for the traffic of the world, and had closed the door to Jesus and the truth. I said, It is such thoughts, such heart service to the world, that keeps the blessing of God from our meetings; for the Lord will pour out his Spirit only upon those who really hunger and thirst after righteousness. If there ever was need of earnest, heartfelt prayers to God, mingled with living faith, it is in this our day of opportunities, of dangers, of trials. God will not revive his work in any church unless it is sincerely desired, and earnestly sought for.
    We are very grateful to God that he helped his servants to preach the word, and enabled them to give most valuable instruction in these meetings. We are assured that many souls were benefited. A number came forward for prayer and hearty confessions were made. There was a brother present who had been converted at the campmeeting in Selma a year before. He has since been a worker in the cause of his Master. Through his influence, several came to the meeting, and were converted to the truth. During the meeting, he and his wife went out a distance of twelve miles from the encampment, and brought in a lady acquaintance who had held an important position of trust in connection with the Arizona State Legislature. She embraced the truth while at the meeting. How much more of this work might be done by the members of our churches! This brother provided comfortable accommodations and restaurant fare for these people; for he felt deeply in earnest for their souls. He had opportunity to see the result of his interest; for when the call was made for the European Mission, one of the converts pledged fifty dollars; another, twenty-five; and another, five dollars. There was not much time after the seed was sown before the harvest was gathered. We have reason to magnify the grace of God that has done wonderful things.
    We could not urge our brethren at this small campmeeting to make large pledges to the European Mission fund; for many of them were residents of Fresno, and had pledged $30,000 toward erecting church, mission, and school buildings. However, $3,125 were pledged for the European work. One thousand dollars were pledged at the meeting in Fresno. Eighty dollars were raised by the children for the London mission, and money was provided to defray the campmeeting expenses. We thank the Lord for the liberality of our brethren, and we hope and pray that the blessing of the Lord will rest upon those who are striving to do their duty in supporting home and foreign missions. We need, not only money for this work, but also men who will give themselves to the cause of God.
    The messengers should be laborers together with God. The harvest of souls is to be secured only by deep, heartfelt intercession with the Lord of the harvest. We must bear a decided testimony to the people. Direct appeals must be made, to awaken the church from its slumbering condition. Those who have a knowledge of the truth must be living witnesses for Christ; that their light may shine forth to others. There must be faithful work done in the pulpit and out of the pulpit. Close, searching, personal labor must be done to prepare the way for the Lord to work upon minds and hearts. We must have less of self, and more of Jesus. Every individual in the church should examine himself, to see whether or not he is in the truth. This close heart-searching is essential. Prayers of faith must be continually ascending to God; and when he gives us tokens of good, let us manifest our appreciation by praising him from whom all blessing flow.
    Satan is ever busy with his temptations and deceptions at our campmeetings and revival services. Wherever special efforts are made to seek God, the evil one is ready to catch away the good seed sown in the heart. When a few souls are convicted and converted, do not cease your efforts. Keep at work, there are other souls that need saving. Our work must be a continuous work. Our zeal must not abate in the least degree.
    We had much to be grateful for during the meetings at Lemoor, Fresno, and Selma. We feel a deep interest in these churches, and hope it may not be said of them, that "he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." We are thankful to our Heavenly Father for health and strength to do the work that he has committed to our hands. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 3, 1888
(Vol. 65, #27)

 "From Selma to Burrough Valley and Fresno"

    Sr. Paddock and her husband came to Selma, to take me back to Burrough Valley. We had a pleasant journey in an easy-riding carriage, traveling forty miles up into the mountains. We found Burrough Valley to be a delightful place, with a good climate. The scenery is beautiful, and the valley is encompassed with hills, as was Jerusalem with mountains.
    We were glad to form the acquaintance of Mr. Paddock's family. The children are interesting and intelligent, and we hope they are forming characters for the future immortal life. We hope to see Mr. Paddock, who was so kind and thoughtful for our comfort, identifying his interests with the people of God. We hope he will place himself wholly on the Lord's side, that he may say, I "thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies." By obedience to the truth he may become a vessel of honor, fit for the Master's use. We could not but have pleasant anticipations for every member of the family,--that parents and children would be united in the truth. We cannot measure the influence that his family might wield on the Lord's side, if they were all as one in the faith of the Bible. If they have the religion of Christ in the heart, we know that each one will be as a lighted lamp, diffusing light on all in their pathway, and our hope will not be disappointed in them. May the Lord strengthen the God-fearing mother to follow in the path of humble obedience, doing the will of God, molding and fashioning the characters of her children for the future immortal life; and my prayer is, that she may have her husband with her to enjoy the blessings of God, and to engage in the service of her master. I have a fervent desire to see this husband and father yield submission to the precepts of the gospel, and become faithful in the discharge of his appointed duties, that the entire household may honor God.
    Several families who observe the Sabbath of the Lord, are settled in Burrough Valley. We were very kindly entertained at the homes of Sr. Paddock and Bro. Hutchins while in this place. We again visited Fresno. A message was sent for Bro. Church and myself to visit Bro. Driver, who was sick unto death. We found our brother suffering much bodily pain. His end was very near. We had a season of prayer for him, and committed him to God; for his sufferings were almost over. His last work was to return to the Lord a portion of the substance he had intrusted to him as his steward. It was a solemn scene to see this man doing up his last work for time and eternity. The record of his life had been registered in the books of heaven. All his sorrows, all his disappointments, all his mistakes, were written before God.
    We left the bedside of the dying man, to meet our appointment to speak to the people at the place of worship. The house was filled to its utmost, and the Lord gave me his Spirit and power in addressing the people. We felt our heart burdened, as a cart pressed beneath the sheaves. We had evidence that the enemy of God and man was striving for the souls of many who were present. The leaders and members of churches are greatly tempted to become lifted up in self-righteousness. They are tempted to feel rich and increased in goods, and that they have need of nothing, when every soul should feel his helplessness and poverty before God. If this were felt, clearer views would be obtained of the plan of salvation. There would be a consciousness that the only strength for fallen man is found in Jesus, the Saviour of men. God can do a far greater work through those who do not feel self-sufficient, than through those who are full of complacency in regard to their spiritual condition. He can do wonderful things through weak instruments, who will not be inclined to honor themselves, and place the glory upon the head of mortal man, instead of laying it down at the feet of Jesus, to whom it belongs.
    The messengers, as the ambassadors of God, must bear a living testimony to rebuke sin, which will cut through the soul, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear. There are many who close their eyes that they may not see, and their ears that they may not hear. They think that there has been a mistake made, that all these plain, pointed testimonies cannot come from God, but are from human agencies alone. They wrap themselves up in their self-righteousness, and fight every inch of the way, that they may stand where they imagine they should stand,--in defiance of the warnings of God's servants. They cling with desperate grasp to the garments of their own self-righteousness, lest they should be torn away from them.
    But does not God know? Is there not knowledge with the Most High? Our God sees our hearts in a different light from that in which we see them. He is acquainted with our secret thoughts. He searches into the hidden recesses of our nature. He sends answers to our prayers, when we are filled with uneasiness and distress. He gives ear to our inward groanings, and reveals to us the plague spots in our characters, that we may overcome defects, instead of being overcome by them. When unknown chapters in regard to ourselves are opened before us, the test and the trial come; and the question is, whether or not we will accept the reproof and the counsel of God. Will we cling to our own ideas and plans, and value ourselves more highly than we ought? God knows better than we do what is good for his children; and if they could see their real necessity as he does, they would say that the Lord had dealt most wisely with them. The ways of the Lord are obscure to him who desires to see things in a pleasing light to himself. God can discern the end of his purpose from the beginning; but because the Lord's ways are not man's ways, they appear dark, severe, and painful to our human natures. But God's ways are ways of mercy, and their end is salvation and blessedness.
    What shall we do? Shall we bear the message God gives us, or shall we refrain, for fear of offending our brethren? as God's messengers, we can not falter in the path of duty. Impelled by the Spirit of God, words are spoken, warnings and counsels are given. All unexpectedly the lips were opened, and there was no refraining from speaking the message of God. Reproofs were uttered that we would naturally shrink from giving. A zeal, prompted by the Spirit of God, led us to declare the dangers that threatened the children of God. The servant of the Lord must pursue his work, losing sight of self, without thought of the consequences, exhorting to faithfulness, and urging to repentance. He must show the people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. The Lord has given the word; who can forbear to publish it? The love of Christ has a constraining power; who shall withstand its influence? It is the greatest evidence that God loves his people, that he sends them messages of warning.
    This occasion at Fresno was characterized by deep searching of heart. Many confession were made, and yet the work was far from being thorough. In the afternoon the people met again, and there was a division made in the congregation. The youth went into one room by themselves, and the older members occupied the body of the hall. The meetings were of deep solemnity. The Holy spirit was moving upon the hearts of the youth. The ordinance of the Lord's supper was to be celebrated in the afternoon, and it was really necessary that the members of the church should have that humility of mind, that contrition of soul, that genuine repentance of sin, which would enable them to appreciate the solemn ceremony they were about to perform; for in this way they would obtain higher views of the plan of salvation, that they might not engage in the celebration of the ordinance which commemorates the death of Christ, without an intelligent knowledge of its significance, and without having an individual faith in the Son of God as their Saviour. The older members of the church were apparently awakening to realize their deficiency and unworthiness.
    The meeting of the church at the celebration of the Lord's supper, was of the deepest interest, and we hope that the manifest grace of God on this occasion will serve to draw the church together in Christ Jesus.
    Will these souls who have a knowledge of the truth, detest sin in themselves, as they consider how Jesus suffered to save them from its penalty, and to cleanse them from all iniquity? If we would be happy and consistent Christians, we must be watchful. It is not enough that we do not willfully run into apparent and decided dangers, but we must keep our souls to the rays of light that are shining from Jesus, that we may not walk in darkness. We must be quick to distinguish between error and perversity, between obedience and truth. We must be ready to resist hasty and unexpected attacks. Will the church at Fresno cherish the light? Will the professed servants of God walk in the light? or will they choose to walk in the sparks of their own kindling? Said Christ, "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you." Let us all pray that our eyes may be anointed with divine eyesalve, that we may no longer walk in darkness and uncertainty, but in the light which God has flashed athwart our pathway.
    If the spirit of God is not cherished, and the light he sends is not appreciated, darkness will surely shut in about the soul. Parents and children need the counsel of Heaven. They need a deeper experience than they have ever had before. God's word warns them to shun the enemy's ground. They are not to be entangled in Satan's net, which he has set to catch the souls of men. Shall the Lord's people be asleep, when our adversary, the Devil, is constantly awake and vigilant? We do not know our own hearts. They are deceitful and desperately wicked. We must not cease our self-examination. We must keep self under control, if we would keep our hearts with all diligence, and not make a shipwreck of faith.
    There is need of watchmen on the walls of Zion, who will not hold their peace day or night. They should look to God, and free themselves from every earthly entanglement, that they may have power with God, and influence with the people. There is constant danger of the church's becoming cold, and conforming to the habits and practices of the world. Christians are not watchful. They yield to the baleful influences that surround them. They are led captive by Satan at his will. Unless the people of God watch and pray, spirituality will go out of the heart as water out of a leaky vessel. From the watchtower of Zion, let us sound a note of alarm. I have wept in secret places over the existing difficulties in the church of Christ. Many are thoughtless, and they disregard the warnings that have been given, and their feet stumble on the dark mountains of unbelief. I have passed many sleepless hours at night, offering prayer to God, crying, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach. . . .Wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?" When souls in the darkness of error shall call, "Watchman, what of the night?" is there one who sees with heaven-inspired accuracy, the dangers that threaten the souls of men? Can they answer with firm faith, "The morning cometh, and also the night"? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 10, 1888
(Vol. 65, #28)

 "Closing Labors at Fresno"

    The people of God, who have been blessed with great light in regard to the truth for this time, should not forget that they are to be waiting and watching for the coming of their Lord in the clouds of heaven. Let them not forget that they are to put off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let no man set up his idols of gold, or silver, or lands, and give the service of his heart to this world, and to its interests. There is a mania for speculating in the land pervading both city and country. The old, safe, healthful paths to competence are losing their popularity. The idea of accumulating substantial means by the moderate gains of industry and frugality, is an idea that is scorned by many, as no longer suited to this progressive age.
    The desire to engage in speculation, in buying up country and city lots, or anything that promises sudden and exorbitant gains, has reached a fever heat; and mind, and thought, and labor are all directed toward securing all that is possible of the treasures of earth in the shortest possible time. Some of our youth bid fair to be hastened on to ruin, because of this feverish grasping for riches. This desire for gain, opens the door of the heart to the temptations of the enemy. And the temptations that come, are of such an alluring nature, that there are some who cannot resist them. Young men who have held licenses to labor in the cause of God, who have, in times past, been privileged to open the Scriptures to the darkened minds of men, have become engaged in land speculation, and have lost their interest in the work. They are receiving a mold that will not be easily effaced, that the divine impress may be stamped upon their souls. Their actions make it evident that the burden for the salvation of souls has rested very lightly upon them; and unless something shall take hold upon their consciences to arouse them to change their course, I tremble for the future of these young men.
    The spirit of gain-getting, of making haste to be rich, of this all-absorbing worldliness, is painfully contradictory to our faith and doctrines. Should the Lord most high be pleased to impart his Holy Spirit, and seek to revive his work, how many would be hungering for the heavenly manna, and thirsting for the waters of life? The church is fast falling into the current of the world, and many will be swept on to death, unless some barrier is erected to stay them in their awful descent. I see there is danger of some of our brethren saying, as did the foolish rich man, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Many are forgetting that they are God's servants, and are saying, "Tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant." God is looking on your every business transaction. Be on your guard. It is time that deep, earnest thought should be given to laying up treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.
    Another danger that threatens the church, is individual independence. There is a manifest disregard of the prayer of Christ, that his brethren should be one, as he and the Father were one. Let the church, to a man, feel its responsibility to preserve harmony of thought and action. Let every member seek to be in accord with the truth, and with the brethren. Let our prayers go forth from unfeigned lips that the union for which our Lord prayed, may be found among his people. All who are united in church capacity, may be of one mind, of one heart, of one judgment, that Satan may not take any fresh advantage of the followers of Christ. We have one faith, one Lord, one God and Father, who is above all, and in you all; then let there be a glorifying of God with one mouth, and one spirit. Where there is union there is strength. United we stand, divided we fall. It is the special, declared plan of the enemy of Christ and man, to break up the church into independent factions. He will seek to lead one after another to arise, filled with his own selfish purposes and plans, and each will strive to carry out the suggestions of the adversary, but the hopes of such will certainly be met with disappointment.
    Satan is no indifferent spectator. He exults to see his temptations successful. He loves to see discord and want of harmonious action in the church. We forget so quickly that we are Christ's ambassadors to bear his message to the world. We forget that we are his soldiers, fighting his battles in our enemy's country, and unless we are upon guard, as faithful sentinels, we shall be entrapped by the enemy's stratagems. We must not be ignorant of his devices while we are obeying the orders of our captain, Jesus Christ. We are individually intrusted with the charge of the Lord's household. He has left the hour and moment of his return uncertain and indefinite, but he expects us to be always ready for his return, and has enjoined upon us to watch lest, coming suddenly, he find us sleeping.
    Sunday afternoon I spoke in the opera house at Fresno, on the subject of temperance. I presented before the people the necessity of proper home training in order to keep our children and youth from frequenting the saloon, and places of vice. They are frequently made drunkards because of the lack on the part of the parents of proper discipline, which would educate them in habits of self-control and temperance. My work has been to try to arouse the moral powers of the mother, that she might realize the greatness of her God-given work. She should carefully educate and train her children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" With God's word for our guide, and God himself for our teacher, we ought to be awake and vigilant in our homes in disciplining our children for usefulness in life. We should study their characters and temperaments, learning perfectly their weaknesses, and strengthening the opposite traits of character. Parents are too fond of ease and pleasure to do the work appointed them of God in their home life. We should not see the terrible state of evil that exists among the youth of today, if they had been properly trained at home. If parents would take up their God-given work, and would teach self-restraint, self denial, and self control to their children, both by precept and example, they would find that while they were seeking to do their duty, so as to meet the approval of God, they would be learning precious lessons in the school of Christ. They would be learning patience, forbearance, love, and meekness; and these are the very lessons that they must teach to their children.
    After the moral sensibilities of the parents are aroused, and they take up their neglected work with renewed energy, they should not become discouraged, or allow themselves to be hindered in the work. Too many become weary in well-doing. When they find that it requires taxing effort, and constant self control, and increased grace, as well as knowledge, to meet the unexpected emergencies that arise, they become disheartened, and give up the struggle, and let the enemy of souls have his own way. Day after day, month after month, year after year, the work is to go on, till the character of your child is formed, and the habits established in the right way. You should not give up, and leave your families to drift along in a loose, ungoverned manner. When you take up your duties as a parent, in the strength of God, with a firm determination never to relax your efforts, nor to leave your post of duty, in striving to make your children what God would have them, then God looks down upon you with approbation. He knows that you are doing the best you can, and he will increase your power. He will himself do the part of the work that the mother or father cannot do; he will work with the wise, patient, well-directed efforts of the God-fearing mother. Parents, God does not propose to do the work that he has left for you to do in your home. You must not give up to indolence and be slothful servants, if you would have your children saved from the perils that surround them in the world.
    The giant evil of intemperance is doing its baleful work in our land. Satan has his agents everywhere, who are instruments in his hands, to allure and ruin our youth. Shall not the voice of warning be heard at our own firesides? Shall we not, by precept and example, lead our youth to desire to reach high attainments, to have noble aims and holy purposes? This work is not a light, or a small work; but it is a work that will pay. One youth who has been instructed by right home training, will bring solid timbers into his character building, and by his example and life, if his powers are rightly employed, he will become a power in our world to lead others upward and onward in the path of righteousness. The salvation of one soul is the salvation of many souls. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 17, 1888
(Vol. 65, #29)

 "The Value of Bible Study"

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 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." The word of God is like a treasure house, containing everything that is essential to perfect the man of God. We do not appreciate the Bible as we should. We do not have a proper estimate of the richness of its stores, nor do we realize the great necessity of searching the Scriptures for ourselves. Men neglect the study of the word of God in order to pursue some worldly interest, or to engage in the pleasures of the time. Some trivial affair is made an excuse for ignorance of the Scriptures given by inspiration of God. But anything of an earthly character might better be put off, than this all-important study, that is to make us wise unto eternal life.
    My heart aches as I see men,--even those who profess to be looking for Christ's coming,--devoting their time and talents to circulating books that contain nothing concerning the special truths for our time,--books of narrative, books of biography, books of men's theories and speculations. The world is full of such books; they can be had anywhere; but can the followers of Christ engage in so common a work when there is crying need for God's truth on every hand? It is not our mission to circulate such works. There are thousands of others to do this, who have as yet no knowledge of anything better. We have a definite mission, and we ought not to turn from it to side issues, employing men and means to bring to the attention of the people books that have no bearing upon the present truth.
    Do you pray for the advancement of the truth? Then work for it, and show that your prayers rise from sincere and earnest hearts. God does not work miracles where he has provided means by which the work may be accomplished. Use your time and talents in his service, and he will not fail to work with your efforts. If the farmer fails to plow and sow, God does not work a miracle to undo the results of his neglect. Harvest time finds his fields barren--there are no sheaves to be reaped, no grain to be garnered. God provided the seed and the soil, the sun and the rain; and if the agriculturist had employed the means that were at his hand, he would have received according to his sowing and his labor.
    There are great laws that govern the world of nature, and spiritual things are controlled by principles equally certain; the means for an end must be employed, if the desired results are to be attained. Those who make no decided efforts themselves, are not working in harmony with the laws of God. They are not using the provisions of the Heavenly Father, and they can expect nothing but meager returns. The Holy Spirit will not compel men to take a certain course of action. We are free moral agents; and when sufficient evidence has been given us as to our duty it is left with us to decide our course.
    You who are waiting in idle expectation that God will perform some wonderful miracle to enlighten the world in regard to the truth,I want to ask you if you have employed the means that God has provided for the advancement of his cause? You who pray for light and truth from Heaven, have you studied the Scriptures? Have you desired "the sincere milk of the word," that you may grow thereby? Have you submitted yourselves to the revealed command? "Thou shalt," and "thou shalt not," are definite requirements, and there is no place for idleness in the Christian life. You who mourn your spiritual dearth, do you seek to know and to do the will of God? Are you striving to enter in at the strait gate? There is work, earnest work, to be done for the Master. The evils condemned in God's word, must be overcome. You must individually battle against the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The word of God is called "the sword of the Spirit," and you should become skillful in its use, if you would cut your way through the hosts of opposition and darkness.
    Wrench yourself away from hurtful associations. Count the cost of following Jesus, and make it, with a determined purpose to cleanse yourselves form all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Eternal life is worth your all, and Jesus has said, "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." He who does nothing but wait to be compelled by some super-natural agency, will wait on in lethargy and darkness. God has given his word. God speaks in unmistakable language to your soul. Is not the word of his mouth sufficient to show you your duty, and to urge its fulfillment?
    Those who humbly and prayerfully search the Scriptures, to know and to do God's will, will not be in doubt of their obligations to God. For "if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine." If you would know the mystery of godliness, you must follow the plain word of truth,--feeling or no feeling, emotion or no emotion. Obedience must be rendered from a sense of principle, and the right must be pursued under all circumstances. This is the character that is elected of God unto salvation. The test of a genuine Christian is given in the word of God. Says Jesus, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. . . . 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."
    Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God's commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and everyone who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of his requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God. You are elected to wear the yoke of Christ,--to bear his burden, to lift his cross. You are to be diligent "to make your calling and election sure." Search the Scriptures, and you will see that not a son or a daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God's law. The world makes void the law of God; but Christians are chosen to sanctification through obedience to the truth. They are elected to bear the cross, if they would wear the crown.
    The Bible is the only rule of faith and doctrine. And there is nothing more calculated to energize the mind, and strengthen the intellect, than the study of the word of God. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God's word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose, that is rarely seen in these times. Thousands of men who minister in the pulpit are lacking in essential qualities of mind and character, because they do not apply themselves to the study of the Scriptures. They are content with a superficial knowledge of the truths that are full of rich depths of meaning; and they prefer to go on losing much in every way, rather than to search diligently for the hidden treasure.
    The search for truth will reward the seeker at every turn, and each discovery will open up richer fields for his investigation. Men are changed in accordance with what they contemplate. If commonplace thoughts and affairs take up the attention, the man will be commonplace. If he is too negligent to obtain anything but a superficial understanding of God's truth, he will not receive the rich blessings that God would be pleased to bestow upon him. It is a law of the mind, that it will narrow or expand to the dimensions of the things with which it becomes familiar. The mental powers will surely become contracted, and will lose their ability to grasp the deep meanings of the word of God, unless they are put vigorously and persistently to the task of searching for truth. The mind will enlarge, if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. Go below the surface; the richest treasures of thought are waiting for the skillful and diligent student.
    Those who are teaching the most solemn message ever given to the world, should discipline the mind to comprehend its significance. The theme of redemption will bear the most concentrated study, and its depth will never be fully explored. You need not fear that you will exhaust this wonderful theme. Drink deep of the well of salvation. Go to the fountain for yourself, that you may be filled with refreshment, that Jesus may be in you a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. Only Bible truth and Bible religion will stand the test of the judgment. We are not to pervert the word of God to suit our convenience and worldly interest, but to honestly inquire, "What wilt thou have me to do?" "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price." And what a price! Not "with corruptible things, as silver and gold," "but with the precious blood of Christ.' When man was lost, the Son of God said, I will redeem him, I will become his surety and substitute. He laid aside his royal robes, clothed his divinity with humanity, stepped down from the royal throne, that he might reach the very depth of human woe and temptation, lift up our fallen natures, and make it possible for us to be overcomers,--the sons of God, the heirs of the eternal kingdom. Shall we then allow any consideration of earth to turn us away from the path of truth? Shall we not challenge every doctrine and theory, and put it to the test of God's word?
    We should not allow any argument of man's to turn us away from a thorough investigation of Bible truth. The opinions and customs of men are not to be received as of divine authority. God has revealed in his word what is the whole duty of man, and we are not to be swayed from the great standard of righteousness. He sent his only begotten Son to be our example, and bade us to hear and to follow him. We must not be influenced from the truth as it is in Jesus, because great and professedly good men urge their ideas above the plain statements of the word of God.
    The work of Christ is to draw men from the false and spurious, to the true and genuine. "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." There is no danger of going into error while we follow in the footsteps of "the light of the world." We are to work the works of Christ. We must engage heart and soul in his service; we must search the word of life, and present it to others. We must educate the people to realize the importance of its teaching, and the danger of deviating from its plain commands.
    The Jews were led into error and ruin and to the rejection of the Lord of glory, because they knew not the Scriptures, nor the power of God. A great work is before us,--to lead men to take God's word as the rule of their lives, to make no compromise with tradition and custom, but to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 24, 1888
(Vol. 65, #30)

 "How Do We Stand?"

    "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." "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." The solemn question should come home to every member of our churches, How are we standing before God, as the professed followers of Jesus Christ? Is our light shining forth to the world in clear, steady rays? Have we, as a people solemnly dedicated to God, preserved our union with the Source of all light? Are not the symptoms of decay and declension painfully visible in the midst of the Christian churches of today? Spiritual death has come upon the people that should be manifesting life and zeal, purity and consecration, by the most earnest devotion to the cause of truth. The facts concerning the real condition of the professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass.
    What is to be done? The True Witness points out the only remedy: "Repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Christ will cease to take your name upon his lips in his intercession with the Father, unless there is a decided change in the life and characters of those who have wandered from the living God, and forsaken his service. Jesus declares, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." And yet the case is not altogether beyond remedy. The Mediator has not left them hopeless. He says, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed."
    Although the oil in the lamps is almost consumed, and they have not been replenished, still you have not yet reached that desperate position described in the parable of the foolish virgins. They slumbered long, until their lamps were gone out, and they had made no provision for the time of need; and when the Bridegroom came, they were seeking, too late, to replenish their lamps: for the door was shut, and they were left to outer darkness and despair. But the counsel of the True Witness is full of encouragement and comfort. The churches may yet obtain the gold of truth, faith, and love, and be rich in heavenly treasure. "Buy of me gold that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ that may be wrought into the character. Purity of heart, purity of motive, will characterize every one who is washing his robe, and making it white in the blood of the Lamb.
    Today let the question come home to the heart of everyone who professes the name of Christ, "Dost thou believe in the Son of God?" Not, "Do you admit that Jesus is the Redeemer of the world?" Not to soothe your conscience and the consciences of others by saying, "I believe," and think that is all there is to be done. But do you believe with all your heart that Jesus is your Saviour? Do you bring him into your life, and weave him into your character, until you are one with Christ? Many accept Jesus as an article of belief, but they have no saving faith in him as their sacrifice and Saviour. They have no realization that Christ has died to save them from the penalty of the law which they have transgressed, in order that they may be brought back to loyalty to God. Do you believe that Christ, as your substitute, pays the debt of your transgression? Not, however, that you may continue in sin, but that you may be saved from your sins; that you, through the merits of his righteousness, may be re-instated to the favor of God. Do you know that a holy and just God will accept your efforts to keep his law, through the merits of his own beloved Son who died for your rebellion and sin?
    You may say that you believe in Jesus, when you have an appreciation of the cost of salvation. You may make this claim, when you feel that Jesus died for you on the cruel cross of Calvary; when you have an intelligent, understanding faith that his death makes it possible for you to cease from sin, and to perfect a righteous character through the grace of God, bestowed upon you as the purchase of Christ's blood. The eyes of fallen men may be anointed with the eyesalve of spiritual comprehension, and they may see themselves as they really are,--poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. They may be brought to realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
    The plan of salvation is not appreciated as it should be. It is not discerned or comprehended. It is made altogether a cheap affair; whereas to unite the human with the divine, required an exertion of Omnipotence. It was necessary that a great condescension should be made on the part of God in behalf of fallen man, who had transgressed the unchangeable law of Jehovah. Christ, by clothing his divinity with humanity, elevates humanity in the scale of moral value to an infinite worth. But what a condescension on the part of God, and on the part of his only begotten Son, who was equal with the Father! All this had to be done because God's law had been transgressed.
    So great has been the spiritual blindness of men, that they have sought to make of none effect the word of God. They have declared by their traditions, that the great plan of redemption was devised, in order to abolish, and make of none effect, the law of God; when Calvary is the mighty argument that proves the immutability of the precepts of Jehovah. The fact that God had to give his only begotten Son to die for a race condemned by the law, is sufficient to prove that the law could not be altered one jot or tittle. The professed Christian world is indeed in need of eyesalve, that they may see the character of God and his law. Their prayer should be as was David's of old, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."
    "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Has there been a departure from God? then there must be a returning unto him; there must be a doing of the first works; there must be a close examination of the life. The state of the character must be compared with the great moral standard of righteousness. There must be a searching out of the peculiar sins which have been offensive to God, which have dishonored his name, and quenched the light of his Spirit, and killed the first love from the soul. Whether it has been pride, sensuality, or turning the grace of Christ into lasciviousness, it must be thoroughly repented of, and forsaken.
    There are many who profess to be Christians, while they are living a sinful, immoral life; but their profession will not cover them in the day of God. There is a large class who trample upon God's law, who break its precepts, and teach others to do the same, terming it a "yoke of bondage;" while with words they exalt Jesus, and talk of being saved by grace. These are the ones who are turning the grace of Christ into lasciviousness. All such teaching has a tendency to enfeeble the moral tone of the religious world, and accounts for the miserable, heartless, outward form that is taking the place of the genuine piety that God desires in his people. How many come under the condemnation of the words of Christ! "I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."
    We are impressed with these words when we hear men who are trampling on the precepts of Heaven, making the claim that they are sanctified and sinless. They make high professions, but they refuse to search the Scriptures, that they may know what is truth. On one occasion a minister was brought to our notice who claimed that he was sinless. He declared that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost; and yet he would not read a word concerning present truth. He said the Lord taught him, and he had no need to depend on the word of life. He affirmed that the agitation of the Sabbath question was bringing men into bondage, rather than into liberty; and that all he wanted was the freedom of Christ,--the blessed faith of Christ. He professed to be filled with Christ. But could we receive the testimony of this man as truth? What is the language of the True Witness? "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Paul asks, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid."
    Are not such teachers the pretenders to whom Christ referred when he said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." "Not everyone 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." God's will is expressed in his holy law. This is the only correct standard of righteousness, and if a man's character stands in harmony with the Lord's standard, his testimony may be received and relied upon; but if he stands in opposition to the requirements of God, he measures himself and others by his own finite, fallible standard, and may claim as much as does the pope of Rome. In the light of the royal law, his character may be lacking in every essential qualification of purity and righteousness. He has torn down the true detector of sin, and has trampled it in the dust. He claims great spiritual riches,--wants nothing that he has not, and boasts of the grace of Christ, which he has turned into lasciviousness. These characters will multiply, and by smooth words and deceptive speeches will deceive the unwary and those who do not try the professions of men by the great Tester of character.
    The world's Redeemer declares, "I have kept my Father's commandments." "I counsel thee," saith the True Witness, "to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Christ's righteousness will not cover the unrighteousness of any one. "All unrighteousness is sin," and "sin is the transgression of the law," therefore, those who are breaking the law of God and teaching others to break it, will not be covered with the garments of Christ's righteousness. He came not to save men in their sins; but from their sins. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him." These utterances are weighty, and should be duly considered. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned [transgressed the law], we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." We need an advocate with the Father, because it is the Father's law that we have broken. We need to repent of our transgression, and return to our allegiance to God. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins: and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him." Here it is plainly stated that whosoever abideth in Christ will not be a transgressor of the law of God.
    "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness, is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil." He was manifested to destroy, not the royal law of God, but "the works of the Devil." "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God." "And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the spirit which he hath given us." "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
    How bitterly do many of the ministers who stand in the sacred desk denounce the royal law of God, and many of them profess to be wholly sanctified to his service. They are of the class who break the law, and teach others to do the same; but does not Jesus say, "Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments and teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven?" The True Witness presents encouragements to all who are seeking to walk in the path of humble obedience, through faith in his name. He declares, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." These are the words of our Substitute and Surety. He who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest of conquerors, would point his followers to his life, his toils, his self-denials, his struggles, and sufferings, through contempt,through rejection, ridicule, scorn, insult, mockery, falsehood, up the path of Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion, that they might be encouraged to press on toward the mark for the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assured through faith and obedience. Let us make an application of the words of Christ to our own individual cases. Are we poor, and blind, and wretched, and miserable? Then let us seek the gold and white raiment that he offers. The work of overcoming is not restricted to the age of the martyrs. The conflict is for us, in these days of subtle temptation to worldliness, to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness, false doctrines, and immorality of life. "By their fruits ye shall know them," and every church is to bear the test of God's law. Shall we stand before the proving of God? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  July 31, 1888
(Vol. 65, #31)

 "Cast Not Away Your Confidence"

    We have been looking with joyful expectation for the soon-coming of our Lord in the clouds of heaven. We have not dared to be among the number who said, even in their hearts, "My Lord delayeth his coming;" for upon such, a fearful woe is pronounced. Enoch walked with God, and held communion with him, and God instructed his servant in regard to the second advent of our Lord. Says the inspired word, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." The doctrine of Christ's coming was made known at this early date, to the man who walked with God in continual communion. The godly character of this prophet is to represent the state of holiness to which the people of God must attain, who expect to be translated to heaven.
    The doctrine of the coming of Jesus was to have a marked effect and influence upon the lives and characters of men, and one of the great teachers, one of the purest examples among men, proclaimed it to the inhabitants of the old world, prior to the flood, and prior to his own translation to heaven. This great event,--the advent of our Lord in all the glory of heaven,--must be brought to the attention of men, and all should live with reference to this,--the day of God that is soon to dawn upon us. The expectation of Christ's coming was to make men fear the Lord, and fear his judgments upon the transgressors of his law. It was to awaken them to a realization of the great sin of rejecting the offers of his mercy.
    In the days of the apostle Paul, the Thessalonian brethren were laboring under the erroneous impression that the Lord would return in their day, and Paul wrote to correct this false impression, stating what events must transpire before the advent could take place. He declared: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." The man of sin was to arise, and do his work of exaltation and blasphemy, before the brethren could look for the coming of Christ. That great event was to be preceded by a falling away. There would be revealed a form of Antichrist, and the leaven of apostasy was to work with increasing power to the end of time. We are not to be surprised beyond measure to see the widespread declension of faith and piety. I have been bearing my testimony for the last forty years, that there would be those who would fall away from the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. God has been sending warnings, reproofs, and encouragements to his people. He has warned them that some would depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits.
    From the beginning, it has been the special doctrine of the adversary of God and man, that the law of God was faulty and objectionable. He has ever represented the royal law of liberty, as oppressive and unendurable. He has denoted it "a yoke of bondage." He has declared that it was impossible for man to keep the precepts of Jehovah. This has been, and still is, the work of Satan. This is the seductive doctrine that devils are seeking to spread throughout the world. "No law" is the cry of the enemy of God. Shall we go over to the side of the great rebel? If we do, it will be our ruin. Shall we make void the law of God, because Satan tells us that we should be more free, and happier, if we would do so? Were Adam and Eve happier, and did they walk in more liberty, when they received and acted upon these suggestions of the evil one?
    Shall we say we have been deceived in regard to the doctrine of Christ's near coming? Shall we declare that all our talking of his appearing has been in vain? Shall we say that all our work to make ready a people, prepared for his coming, has been for nought?--Never. We are not to become impatient and fretful, because time still lingers. We are to wait patiently for the work of God to be accomplished. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; and let us consider one another to provoke"--unto doubts and unbelief, and apostasy?--No, but "unto love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
    We must have a knowledge of the Scriptures, that we may trace down the lines of prophecy, and understand the specifications given by the prophets, and by Christ and the apostles; that we may not be ignorant; but be able to see that the day is approaching, so that with increased zeal and effort, we may exhort one another to faithfulness, piety, and holiness. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." Here is a most solemn statement, and one which should often be presented to souls, to show them the danger of entering into sin after they have received a knowledge of the truth of God. We would warn men and women off this ground. All would do well to remember, when tempted to leave the straight path of right, that those who, having received a knowledge of the truth, apostatize, "sin willfully," transgress the law of God ("for sin is the transgression of the law"),--for such there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sin. "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
    Questioners, doubters, and apostates say to those who have been looking for the appearing of their Lord, "You are false prophets." "You have been telling us for years that it was but a little time until the day of God would break; and it is evident that Christ will not come for many, many more years." Are you not afraid to make such statements? Has not Christ described you in the person of the unfaithful servant who said, "My Lord delayeth his coming," and who began to eat and to drink with the drunken, and to smite his fellowservants? The inspired word declares, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
    Christ spoke repeatedly of his second coming to the earth. At one time he said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." More than eighteen hundred years have passed since he, who spake as never man spake, uttered these words. He who could utter nothing but truth, made this assertion, which implied that the hour was at hand; but the dead are still in their graves. The Lifegiver's voice has not yet called the sleeping saints from their gloomy prisons, but we have not lost faith, because the predicted hour has not yet arrived. We work on, trusting, and believing, and waiting, not taking one step backward; but obeying the orders of the Captain of our salvation, whose command to his people is, "Go forward."
    The hour will come; it is not far distant, and some of us who now believe will be alive upon the earth, and shall see the prediction verified, and hear the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God echo from mountain and plain and sea, to the uttermost parts of the earth. All creation will hear that voice, and those who have lived and died in Jesus, will respond to the call of the Prince of life. It will be heard in the dungeons of men, in the caverns of the deep, in the rocks and caves of the earth, only to be obeyed. It is the same voice that said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,"--the same voice which said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee." All those who have obeyed that voice when it said, "If any man will come after men, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me," will hear the "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." To them, that voice will mean,--rest, peace, and everlasting life. They will recognize it as the voice of one who has been touched with the feeling of their infirmities.
    Shall anyone become weary now? Shall anyone say, "The city is a great way off"? Shall we give up our faith, and draw back unto perdition, when we are nearing the eternal world?--No; no. God lives and reigns. "Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions." Give up our faith? lose our confidence? become impatient?--No; no. We will not think of such a thing. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."
    The Christian is represented by the figure of the earth, which drinks in the rain that comes upon it, and brings forth fruit to the one who dresses and cares for it. The follower of Christ is to gather sap and nourishment from the living Vine. He is to produce fruit to the glory of God. The Lord requires that every plant in his garden should be thrifty, and bear fruit in abundance,--some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundredfold. We are not to be satisfied with momentary flashes of light; but we are constantly to seek for the illumination of the Spirit of God. It is our privilege to study the word of truth, and to obey it. We are not safe unless we are often found before God, offering up, in faith, fervent and effectual prayers. We must draw water from the wells of salvation. We may raise the soul from its common earthliness into a heavenly atmosphere which will purify, elevate, and refine it for the paradise of God. Those who keep the commandments of God, have a right to appropriate the rich promises that he has given.
    Well may the children of God be filled with hope and courage, with joy and rapture, as they contemplate the things which God has prepared for them that love him. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming, for ye are our glory and joy"? "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet the hope of salvation." "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
    Was Christ a false prophet when he uttered these words? More than eighteen hundred years have passed since John heard this great truth, and the Lord has not yet come to reign. But shall we give up looking for his appearance? Shall we say, "My Lord delayeth his coming"? See how the specifications of the prophecies have been and are fulfilling. Let us lift up our heads and rejoice; for our redemption draweth nigh. It is nearer than when we first believed. Shall we not wait patiently, filled with courage and faith? Shall we not make ready a people, to stand in the day of final reckoning and judgment? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 7, 1888
(Vol. 65, #32)

 "Are You Lightbearers?"

    The disciples of Christ are required to represent their Lord to the world. They have been set as torchbearers on the road to heaven. The light is not given to any soul to be put under a bushel, or under the bed; but to be put on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. If we are neglecting any duty, or shrinking from any responsibility, or avoiding any position of trust for which the Lord has qualified and called us, we are not letting our light so shine that men, seeing our good works, may glorify the Father which is in heaven. We should every one be active and enterprising in trading with the talents which God has given to us. We must work in faith. We must not allow doubts to cloud the mind. We must not allow our attention to be drawn from Jesus to our surroundings.
    The lower lights must be kept burning. Jesus is the great light which lights every man that comes into the world. All heaven is interested in the conflict that is going on in this world between truth and error, light and darkness. The great Source of all light is constantly shining, and those who will catch his rays, and will reflect them upon others will be lightbearers in this darkened world. We are not pleasing God when we permit our minds to dwell upon our imperfections, mourning constantly over our condition, with our eyes directed continually upon our mistakes and errors. Come to Jesus; he is the light of world. Take hold of his strength by faith, and make peace with him. Shall you talk of your weakness?--No; no; for that pleases the enemy. Dwell upon the great help that has been provided for you in Jesus, your Redeemer.
    If we would dwell in the light, we must abide in the presence of Jesus. "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." In all our business meetings, as well as our social and religious meetings, we want Jesus by our side as a guide and counselor. There will be no tendency to lightness where the presence of the Saviour is felt and recognized. Self will not be made prominent. There will be a realization of the importance of the work that is to be done. There will be a desire that the plans to be laid may be directed by Him who is mighty in counsel.
    Could our eyes but be opened, we would behold the angels of heaven in our assemblies. Could we but realize this, there would be no desire to hold to our own opinions upon little and unimportant points, which so often retard the progress of the meeting and the work. If there was more real praying done, if there was more solemn consideration given to weighty and mighty matters, the tone of our business meetings would be changed, and elevated. All would feel that the assembly had met to lay plans for the future advancement of the work, and that the aim and object of the work is only to save souls.
    There is nothing in this world that is of so much value as the human soul, and in planning for the work, nothing should be done hastily, or in an indifferent manner. Each one of those assembled should feel that he must give the matters discussed the careful thought and prayer demanded by the subject that has called the meeting together. The responsibility of dealing with human minds is no small responsibility. The soul of man has been purchased by the infinite price of the blood of the Son of God; and should anyone lose sight of the sacredness of every movement that is made for the salvation of souls?
    All that we do, and all that we say is transferred to the books of heaven. Let us not be guilty of bringing down God's work to the level of common business transactions. Our standard must be high; our minds must be elevated. There are always a few who think, when their brethren are pulling forward, that it is their duty to pull back. They object to everything that is proposed, and make war on every plan that they have not themselves originated. Here is an opportunity for individuals to develop inordinate self-confidence. They have never learned in the school of Christ, of the precious and all-important lessons of becoming meek and lowly of heart. There is nothing harder for those who possess strong wills to do, than to give up their own way, and submit to the judgment of others. It is difficult for such to become teachable, gentle, and easy to be entreated.
    In our business meetings it is important that hours of precious time should not be consumed by debating little points that are of small consequence. How does Jesus, our Counselor, whom we have invited to be present at these meetings, look upon these things? If there is that love among brethren that will lead them to esteem others better than themselves, there will be a giving up of their own ways and wishes to others. In these important meetings, it is our duty to study daily and hourly, how we may answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples may be one, as he and the Father are one. Precious lessons may be learned by keeping our Saviour's prayer before the mind, and by acting our part to fulfill his desire.
    In our business connection with the work of God, and in handling sacred things, we cannot be too careful to keep the standard high, reverencing sacred things; and never, for an instant, should the word of God be used deceitfully, to carry a point which we are anxious to see succeed. Honor, integrity, and truth must be preserved at any cost to self. Our very thought, word, and action, should be subject to the will and mind of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. Let everyone consider that he is in the presence of Christ. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly and impart his wisdom, his grace, and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to his Spirit, and contrary to his work? Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in the midst. Then there will be no levity, jesting, or lightness. An elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God, will pervade the assembly. Unfaltering truth, as a counselor, will be beside everyone who is truly interested in the welfare of the cause. There will be manifested that wisdom which is from above, that is first pure, than peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits, which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions, there will be that charity that "seeketh not her own," which is "not easily provoked," that "thinketh no evil," that "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;" that "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Self must be hid in Jesus, then the judgment will not be one-sided and warped, so that there can be no dispassionate and righteous decisions.
    The habit of petty criticism should not be indulged in; for it perplexes and confuses minds, and shrouds in mystery the things that are most plain and simple. The Judge of all the earth is transferring everything to the courts above. "I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." In all our religious life, God should be in our thoughts; for he is a silent witness to every action of our lives. We should ever be careful that we may not grieve the Spirit of God. We need special help from Heaven, and God is more than willing to give the grace we need, if we ask him in humility and faith. We may be in close relationship with our Heavenly Father.
    While Jesus was talking to the people, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him; and one told Jesus. And "he said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? And who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." If we are doing the will of God, we are counted as the brethren and sisters of our Master. We are to remember this in our daily life. We are to be in harmony with God, but at enmity with Satan. There is too much fellowship with the prince of darkness. It is not natural for us to bruise Satan under our feet; but we are to close our hearts to the temptations of the evil one, and to open them to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. We are to press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling, exerting every God-given power, that we may be overcomers. We must be constantly drawing nigh to God. We must talk of Jesus, expressing his love in a devoted life of entire consecration to his service. The more we dwell upon the purity of the character of Christ, the more we shall desire to become like him, and thus we shall be brought nearer to him. The more we behold his loveliness, the more we shall reflect his divine image.
    "For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." The more exalted opinion we have of ourselves, the less need shall we feel of Jesus. True goodness never exalts self; but the self-righteous are always reaching out for the honor and praise of men. They have set up a false standard, and have too high an opinion of themselves. All who fall upon the rock, and are broken, Christ shall build up in true purity and holiness. We should be grateful every moment of our lives, for such a compassionate Redeemer. True humility will lead us to know our sins, and to confess them. It will lead us to accept Jesus, as the only one who can forgive our sins, and who can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    While we can have only humble views of self, as we behold the purity and completeness of the character of our Redeemer, still God is not well pleased to have his followers bowed down in sadness and gloom. His arm is mighty to save, his grace is strong to deliver. He would have us wear a cheerful face, and bear hearts full of rejoicing. But we are not to indulge in jesting and joking, and in trifling conversation. For "as he which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation." The sharper the assaults of the enemy, the nearer will Jesus draw, and the more will his grace be bestowed upon us. In place of yielding to discouragements, and gathering about us the gloom of unbelief, we should take advantage of our high privilege, and come into the sunshine of the presence of the Lord. We should ever press forward to meet a higher standard of excellence in our life and deportment.
    Every time you are called upon to meet temptation, it is your duty to obtain a victory through the grace of Christ; and when you endure temptation in the strength of Christ, you are a conqueror. Cease worrying, and begin to count up your blessings and privileges. Your temper will be tried. Your patience will be tested. Prayer alone, and earnest faith, will bring you through these things like a Christian. We are in the school of Christ. We are to be disciplined and trained, until our characters shall become Christlike. We are to grow daily in spiritual loveliness. We shall fail often in our efforts to copy the divine Pattern. We shall often have to bow down to weep at the feet of Jesus, because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged. Pray more fervently. Believe more fully, and try again with more steadfastness to grow into the likeness of your Lord. As we distrust our own power, we shall trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise God who is the health of our countenance.
    We are to talk of heavenly things. Our conversation must be holy. We must train our minds to dwell upon pure and holy thoughts. When the enemy thrusts into our souls his subtle doubts and temptations, we are to close the door quickly, and dispel the influence of his suggestion, by repeating the Scripture. Jesus met and overpowered Satan with, "It is written." Speak forth the promises of God. Talk of the wondrous love that he has manifested toward fallen man. Dwell upon the theme of salvation.
    The enemy of our souls is constantly seeking to urge upon us his temptations. He would have us weave self into all that we do. It is his delight, to have us demerit others, and find fault with the brethren. May God help us to bring the love of Jesus into our religion. We shall have help, when we feel our weakness, and when we ask God for his strength. He has invited us to come to him with all our burdens, and to cast our care upon Him who cares for us. Will we obey this gracious invitation? Will we lay our burdens down at the feet of our compassionate Lord? Many act as though they had been to Jesus, and that he had refused to help them. In this you dishonor your Saviour. If, after you pray to the Lord concerning your anxieties, you gather up the old troubles, and go forth fretting and complaining, you do not glorify the God you profess to serve.
    Is not God our Father? Has he not told us that he loves us? Has he not given his promise, that he will in nowise cast out, but that he will give us help in every time of need, if we ask him for his grace? Why not accept the help that he has so freely and generously offered? Let us show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. When tempted to speak that which will lead to levity, remember the injunction, "Be ye holy in all manner of conversation." "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
    We are now in the workshop of God, to be hewed, and squared, and chiseled, and polished for the heavenly building. All our preparation for heaven must be completed here. When Christ comes, our characters will not be changed. These vile bodies will be changed, and fashioned after the likeness of his glorious body; but there will not be a moral change wrought in us then. At that time, those who have endured the work of the Master Builder, and have been hewed and squared and polished, will come together into that glorious temple, each in his place, without the sound of ax or hammer. The work of preparation will be close and trying to our natural hearts; but it is the only way that has been provided by the God of wisdom, whereby we may become living stones in his great spiritual and eternal temple. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 14, 1888
(Vol. 65, #33)

 "The Duty of Brethren"

    "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."
    Our duty as brethren, who have been made partakers of the grace of Christ, is here presented before us. We are exhorted to watch, and see where we can build up one another in the most holy faith. We are not to rest contented because we love Jesus. Our duties and opportunities do not end here; for we are to help others on in the way of salvation. If we are not letting our light shine upon the pathway of our brethren and associates, we are depriving them of heaven's enlightenment. God has given us light, and he requires that it should be reflected upon others, that our course of action may aid others to a better life. We are not to live for self alone, exerting a selfish influence; but we are to stand ready always to help those who have been overtaken in a fault, or have fallen into error. When an individual stumbles into darkness, it is the duty of those who are spiritual to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering lest they also be tempted.
    You are not to shut yourselves up to yourselves, and be content because you have been blessed with a knowledge of the truth. Who brought the truth to you? Who showed the light of the word of God to you? God has not given you his light to be placed under a bushel. I have read of an expedition that was sent out in search of Sir John Franklin. Brave men left their homes, and wandered about in the North seas, suffering privation, hunger, cold, and distress. And what was it all for?--Merely for the honor of discovering the dead bodies of the explorers, or, if possible, to rescue some of the party from the terrible death that must surely come upon them, unless help should reach them in time. If they could but save one man from perishing, they would count their suffering well paid for. This was done at the sacrifice of all their comfort and happiness. Think of this, and then consider how little we are willing to sacrifice for the salvation of the precious souls around us. We are not compelled to go away from home, on a long and tedious journey, to save the life of a perishing mortal. At our very doors, all about us, on every side, there are souls to be saved, souls perishing,--men and women dying without hope, without God,--and yet we feel unconcerned, virtually saying by our actions, if not by our words, "Am I my brother's keeper"? These men who lost their lives in trying to save others are eulogized by the world as heroes and martyrs. How should we who have the prospect of eternal life before us feel, if we do make little sacrifices that God requires of us, for the salvation of the souls of men?
    Our duty is plainly marked out before us. We should work perseveringly, at home and abroad. We are to open the Scriptures to our children, and lead them to the light, that they may have the knowledge of God, become doers of the word, and be fitted up for everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven. We are not to train them for this life only, but for that life which will run parallel with the life of God. If men will run such risks, and make such sacrifices for the sake of discovering the lifeless remains of their fellow creatures, how much more should we venture, to save souls for Jesus and heaven! How much more in earnest should we be, that our children shall secure a fitness for the eternal world! Why are we who profess to believe the solemn, sacred truth, so careless about this matter? Why should we not be in earnest to warn, and entreat, and bring the souls of men to behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world? When we see a soul desponding, and discouraged, and ready to give up the truth and fall by the way, we should go to him, and in earnest love tell him the story of the cross, and point him to the sufferings of the Man of Calvary. This is the work that God requires of us; for we are to love one another as Christ has loved us. And if we would estimate the depths of his love, we must look to the cross, for he loved us while we were yet sinners, and gave himself for us.
    If we can bring one soul to Christ, and that soul shall overcome, and be saved to reign with Jesus through the ceaseless ages of eternity, what a work we shall have wrought! A soul is of priceless worth in the sight of God, for he says, "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." Souls that take the yoke of Jesus upon them, are precious. I beseech you to take his yoke upon you; it will not weigh you down, nor crush you to the earth. He says, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." The yoke you have placed upon your own neck is a galling yoke, but it is not the yoke of the meek and lowly Jesus.
    He says, "Make straight paths for your feet." What must we do to make straight paths for our feet? We must speak no unkind word, either at home or abroad; we must be gentle and considerate toward all. We cannot be fretful and impatient, and still be Christians; for a fretful, impatient spirit is not the Spirit of Christ. With such a spirit, you are making crooked paths, and someone else will follow you; and so you are not only making crooked paths for your own feet, but for the feet of others. You ask how shall you perfect a Christian character? Look to the life of Jesus. He is your pattern. See what kind of spirit be manifested, and endeavor to show the same in your daily life and conversation. Make just such paths as he made. You are to follow him, that you may know that "his going forth is prepared as the morning." His path is a most precious path in which to walk.
    If a brother does you a wrong, you are not to retaliate by doing him a wrong. If you have done him a wrong, you must go to him, and ask him to forgive you. You must not let an injury to your brother remain unrepented of, and unforgiven, for even one night. You must say, "I will get this out of the way. I will have harmony between my soul and my brother's." In pursuing this course, you are giving others an example. If there is any one backslidden from God, how anxious we should be that he might forsake his evil ways, and return to the Lord, who will have mercy upon him, and to our God, who will abundantly pardon! If we see a brother stumble, it is our first duty to seek to set his feet in the path of life again. We should let the love of Jesus into the soul. We must be merciful to all around us, for to the merciful, God will be merciful; but those who judge and condemn others, will be judged by the Judge of all the earth. God wants parents and their families to come to the foot of the cross. The settled peace of Jesus should abide with every member of the family: If Jesus comes into your home, he will say, "Peace be unto you;" but he cannot come into your house if you are scolding, and fretting, and finding fault with one another. What says the word?--"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
    Now this is what is meant by following peace with all men. If you are slighted by anyone, you are to follow peace by not rising up against it. Remember that you are the child of God, you are his servant. Just say, "I will be right with God. I will put away everything that interposes between my soul and God." What is holiness? It is willing, wholehearted service to your Redeemer. You are to be a representative of God in this world. God wants you to take your religion right along with you into your business relations. At every turn, you should remember that you are a representative of Christ. Ask your Heavenly Father to give you strength to flee from evil, that you may not fall under temptation, and become a captive of Satan. Seek God for perfection of Christian character, that your every act may be a sermon; and when you come to worship before God, your conscience will not condemn you. You will reveal Christ in your conversation and actions. You will long to speak words of comfort to weary souls.
    If you will try to suppress every evil thought through the day, then the angels of God will come and dwell with you. These angels are beings that excel in strength. You remember how the angel came to the sepulcher, and the Roman soldiers fell like dead men before the glory of his countenance; and if one angel could work with such power, how would it have been if all the angels that are with us here, had been present? The angels are with us every day, to guard and protect us from the assaults of the enemy.
    See that your life is hid with Christ in God, and you will be filled with the most precious assurance that you are a child of Heaven. If you keep Christ before you day by day, and hour by hour, and moment by moment, you will be trying to exemplify his character; and when you come where the brethren are, you will not be desponding and repining, but you will say, "I love the Lord; I am so glad that Jesus died for me." You will be able to talk of heaven and the eternal reward. The present truth will be the theme of your thoughts and words. Your soul will be full of love, and that love will flow out to others, refreshing them every day. Christ will be in you a "well of water springing up into everlasting life."
    Let us turn to our text once more: "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." Religion is not merely to govern our actions on the Sabbath day, it is to be an everyday work. It is to go out into the world to be a living example to your friends and associates. It is to bring the love of God into your family, and to teach true religion to your children. You are to impress their minds with the fact that you are training them for the kingdom of heaven. Let the name of Jesus be a familiar household word. You yourself do not want to fall behind, nor do you want to leave your children in the path of darkness.
    Parents, if you would have your little ones kind and gentle, you must be kind. If you want them to be courteous, you must be courteous. You must undertake the great task of training yourselves and your households for that kingdom where all is order and peace. If you let your children have their own way, they will not become fitted for heaven at all; for Satan will come in, and control the mind. You must have regulations to govern your homes, and the children must be taught to respect them. Your work should not stop at your own house. You do not want your neighbors to perish. You may say, "My neighbors do not care about heavenly things." Is that any reason why you should have nothing to say to them of Jesus and the truth? If our Lord had treated us in this way, we should have perished in our sins. He came to us, and labored arduously to bring us back to the Father's house. You are to pursue such a course that your neighbors will know that you are Christ's child. It is not right to let them live aloof from you. You are to go to them, and bring the light to their homes.
    "Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you." If you do not have the grace of God in your hearts, the root of bitterness will spring up in you, and many will be defiled. When you feel that someone has done you an injury, you say, "I will let him alone, and have nothing more to do with him." It is not this the way you feel about the matter? But do you let him alone? The first thing you do is to tell it to someone else. Now this is what the Bible calls a root of bitterness. You tell your trouble to everyone but Jesus, and the reason that you do this, is because you do not feel clear in your conscience, so, of course, you do not want to tell it to your Saviour.
    Let the precious plant of love spring up in your hearts. When your neighbor tries to injure you, return good for evil. Do all in your power to please and help him, and you will soon see the hardness melted from his heart, if it is possible for it to be overcome at all. We are to manifest the love that Jesus has manifested, that we may be known and read of all men, as not of the world, but of the Father. Seek God with humiliation of soul, for the forgiveness of your sins. Go to your brother against whom you have had feelings of enmity, and say, "I want all variance to cease." God has said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Take your brother right by the hand, and ask him to forgive you. It will not hurt you to get down on your knees, if necessary to do so. Get all the roots of bitterness out of the way. Have all these feelings blotted out by hearty confession one to another. Do not be satisfied with a sort of general confession. Come right to the point. Let the blood of Jesus cancel your wrongs in the Book of Life. You want to be set free, that you may perfect holiness in the fear to God. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  August 21, 1888
(Vol. 65, #34)

 "The Book of Books"

    The study of the Bible will give strength to the intellect. Says the psalmist, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." The question has often been asked me, "Should the Bible become the important book in our schools?" It is a precious book, a wonderful book. It is a treasury containing jewels of precious value. It is a history that opens to us the past centuries. Without the Bible we should have been left to conjectures and fables in regard to the occurrences of past ages. Of all the books that have flooded the world, be they ever so valuable, the Bible is the book of books, and is most deserving of the closest study and attention. It gives not only the history of the creation of this world, but a description of the world to come. It contains instruction concerning the wonders of the universe, and it reveals to our understanding the Author of the heavens and the earth. It unfolds a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy. Those who are close students of the word of God, and who obey its instructions, and love its plain truths, will improve in mind and manners. It is an endowment of God that should awaken in every heart the most sincere gratitude; for it is the revelation of God to man.
    If the truths of the Bible are woven into practical life, they will bring the mind up from its earthliness and debasement. Those who are conversant with the Scriptures, will be found to be men and women who exert an elevating influence. In searching for the heaven-revealed truths, the Spirit of God is brought into close connection with the sincere searcher of the Scriptures. An understanding of the revealed will of God, enlarges the mind, expands, elevates, and endows it with new vigor, by bringing its faculties in contact with stupendous truths. If the study of the Scriptures is made a secondary consideration, great loss is sustained. The Bible was for a time excluded from our schools, and Satan found a rich field, in which he worked with marvelous rapidity, and gathered a harvest to his liking.
    The understanding takes the level of the things with which it becomes familiar. If all would make the Bible their study, we should see a people further developed, capable of thinking more deeply, and showing a greater degree of intelligence, than the most earnest efforts in studying merely the sciences and histories of the word could make them. The Bible gives the true seeker an advanced mental discipline, and he comes from contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched; self is humbled, while God and his revealed truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the precious Bible histories, that there is so much lifting up of man, and so little honor given to God. The Bible contains just that quality of food that the Christian needs, in order that he may grow strong in spirit and intellect. The searching of all books of philosophy and science, cannot do for the mind and morals, what the Bible can do, if it is studied and practiced. Through the study of the Bible, converse is held with patriarchs and prophets. The truth is clothed in elevated language, which exerts a fascinating power over the mind; the thought is lifted up from the things of earth, and brought to contemplate the glory of the future immortal life. What wisdom of man can compare with the grandeur of the revelation of God? Finite man, who knows not God, may seek to lessen the value of the Scriptures, and may bury the truth beneath the supposed knowledge of science.
    Those who boast of wisdom beyond the teaching of the word of God, need to drink deeper of the fountain of knowledge, that they may learn their real ignorance. There is a boasted wisdom of men, that is foolishness in the sight of God. Let no man deceive himself. "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God: for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." Those who have only this wisdom, need to become fools in their own estimation. The greatest ignorance that now curses the human race, is in regard to the binding claims of the law of God; and this ignorance is the result of neglecting the study of the word of God. It is Satan's determined plan to so engage and absorb the mind, that God's great guide book shall not be the Book of books, and that the sinner may not be led from the path of transgression to the path of obedience.
    The Bible is not exalted to its place, and yet of what infinite importance it is to the souls of men. In searching its pages, we move through scenes majestic and eternal. We behold Jesus, the Son of God, coming to our world, and engaging in the mysterious conflict that discomfited the powers of darkness. O how wonderful, how almost incredible it is, that the infinite God would consent to the humiliation of his own dear Son! Let every student of the Scriptures contemplate this great fact, and he will not come from such a contemplation without being elevated, purified, and ennobled.
    The Bible is a book which discloses the principles of right and truth. It contains whatever is needful for the saving of the soul, and at the same time, it is adapted to strengthen and discipline the mind. If used as a text book in our schools, it will be found far more effective than any other book in the world, in guiding wisely in the affairs of this life, as well as in aiding the soul up the ladder of progress which reaches to heaven. God cares for us as intellectual beings, and he has given us his word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our pathway. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." It is not the mere reading of the word that will accomplish the result that is designed by Heaven, but the truth revealed in the word of God must find an entrance into the heart, if the good intended is obtained.
    The best educated in the sciences are not always the most effective instruments for God's use. There are many who find themselves laid aside, and those who have had fewer advantages of obtaining knowledge of books, taking their places, because the latter have a knowledge of practical things that is essential to the uses of everyday life; while those who consider themselves learned, often cease to be learners, are self-sufficient, and above being taught, even by Jesus, who was the greatest teacher the world ever knew. Those who have grown and expanded, whose reasoning faculties have been improved by deep searching of the Scriptures, that they may know the will of God, will come into positions of usefulness; for the word of God has had an entrance into their life and character. It must do its peculiar work, even to the piercing asunder of the joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. God's word is to become the nourishment by which the Christian must grow strong, in spirit and in intellect, that he may battle for truth and righteousness.
    Why is it that our youth, and even those of maturer years, are so easily led into temptation and sin?--It is because the word of God is not studied and meditated upon as it should be. If it were appreciated, there would be an inward rectitude, a strength of spirit, that would resist the temptations of Satan to do evil. A firm, decided willpower is not brought into the life and character, because the sacred instruction of God is not made the study, and the subject of meditation. There is not the effort put forth that there should be, to associate the mind with pure, holy thoughts, and to divert it from what is impure and untrue. There is not the choosing of the better part, the sitting at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary, to learn the most sacred lessons of the divine Teacher, that they may be laid up in the heart, and practiced in the daily life. Meditation upon holy things will elevate and refine the mind, and will develop Christian ladies and gentlemen.
    God will not accept one of us who is belittling his powers in lustful, earthly, debasement, by thought, or word, or action. Heaven is a pure and holy place, where none can enter unless they are refined, spiritualized, cleansed, and purified. There is a work for us to do for ourselves, and we shall be capable of doing it only by drawing strength from Jesus. We should make the Bible our study above every other book; we should love it, and obey it as the voice of God. We are to see and to understand his restrictions and requirements, "thou shalt," and "thou shalt not," and realize the true meaning of the word of God.
    When God's word is made the man of our counsel, and we search the Scriptures for light, angels of heaven come near to impress the mind, and enlighten the understanding, so that it can truly be said, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." It is no marvel that there is not more heavenly-mindedness shown among the youth who profess Christianity, when there is so little attention given to the word of God. The divine counsels are not heeded; the admonitions are not obeyed; grace and heavenly wisdom are not sought, that past sins may be avoided, and every taint of corruption be cleansed from the character. David's prayer was, "Make me to understand the way of thy precepts; so shall I talk of thy wonderful works."
    If the minds of our youth, as well as those of more mature age, were directed aright when associated together, their conversation would be upon exalted themes. When the mind is pure, and the thoughts elevated by the truth of God, the words will be of the same character, "like apples of gold in pictures of silver." But with the present understanding, with the present practices, with the low standard which even professed Christians are content to reach, the conversation is cheap and profitless. It is "of the earth, earthy," and savors not of the truth, or of heaven, and does not come up even to the standard of the more cultured class of worldlings. When Christ and heaven are the themes of contemplation, the conversation will give evidence of the fact. The speech will be seasoned with grace, and the speaker will show that he has been obtaining an education in the school of the divine Teacher. Says the psalmist, "I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me." He treasured the word of God. It found an entrance to his understanding, not to be disregarded; but to be practiced in his life.
    Unless the sacred word is appreciated, it will not be obeyed as a sure, and safe, and precious text book. Every besetting sin must be put away. Warfare must be waged against it until it is overcome. The Lord will work with your efforts. As finite, sinful man works out his own salvation with fear and trembling, it is God who works in him, to will and to do of his own good pleasure. But God will not work without the cooperation of man. He must exercise his powers to the very utmost; he must place himself as an apt, willing student in the school of Christ; and as he accepts the grace that is freely offered to him, the presence of Christ in the thought and in the heart will give him decision of purpose, to lay aside every weight of sin, that the heart may be filled with all the fullness of God, and of his love.
    The students of our schools should consider that, through the contemplation of sin, the sure result has followed, and their God-given faculties have been weakened and unfitted for moral advancement, because they have been misapplied. There are many who admit this as the truth. They have cherished pride and self-conceit, until these evil traits of character have become a ruling power, controlling their desires and inclinations. While they have had a form of godliness, and have performed many acts of self-righteousness, there has been no real heart change. They have not brought their life practices into definite and close measurement with the great standard of righteousness, the law of God. Should they critically compare their life with this standard, they could not but feel that they were deficient, sin-sick, and in need of a physician. They can only understand the depth to which they have fallen, by beholding the infinite sacrifice that has been made by Jesus Christ, to lift them out of their degradation.
    There are but few who have an appreciation of the grievous character of sin, and who comprehend the greatness of the ruin that has resulted from the transgression of God's law. By examining the wonderful plan of redemption to restore the sinner to the moral image of God, we see that the only means for man's deliverance was wrought out by the self-sacrifice, and the unparalleled condescension and love of the Son of God. He alone had the strength to fight the battles with the great adversary of God and man, and, as our substitute and surety, he has given power to those who lay hold of him by faith, to become victors in his name, and through his merits.
    We can see in the cross of Calvary what it has cost the Son of God to bring salvation to a fallen race. As the sacrifice in behalf of man was complete, so the restoration of man from the defilement of sin must be thorough and complete. The law of God has been given to us, that we may have rules to govern our conduct. There is no act of wickedness that the law will excuse; there is no unrighteousness that will escape its condemnation. The life of Christ is a perfect fulfillment of every precept of this law. He says, "I have kept my Father's commandments." The knowledge of the law would condemn the sinner, and crush hope from his breast, if he did not see Jesus as his substitute and surety, ready to pardon his transgression, and to forgive his sin. When, through faith in Jesus Christ, man does according to the very best of his ability, and seeks to keep the way of the Lord, by obedience to the ten commandments, the perfection of Christ is imputed to cover the transgression of the repentant and obedient soul.
    There will be an effort made on the part of many pretended friends of education to divorce religion from the sciences, in our schools. They would spare no pains or expense to impart secular knowledge; but they would not mingle with it a knowledge of what God has revealed as constituting perfection of character. And yet a training in the truth of God would develop the mind, and impart secular knowledge as well; for the very foundation of true education is in the fear of the Lord. Says the psalmist, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." The living oracles of God reveal the deceptions of the father of lies. Who of our youth can know anything of what is truth, in comparison with error, unless they are acquainted with the Scriptures? The simplicity of true godliness must be brought into the education of our young people, if they are to have divine knowledge to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Those who are truly the followers of Christ, will not serve God only when it is in accordance with their inclination, but, as well, when it involves self-denial and cross-bearing. The earnest counsel given by the apostle Paul to Timothy, that he might not fail in doing his duty, should be set before the youth of today: "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." Besetting sins must be battled with, and overcome. Objectionable traits of character, whether hereditary or cultivated, should be taken up separately, and compared with the great rule of righteousness; and in the light reflected from the word of God, they should be firmly resisted and overcome, through the strength of Christ. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
    Day by day, and hour by hour, there must be a vigorous process of self-denial and of sanctification going on within; and then the outward works will testify that Jesus is abiding in the heart by faith. Sanctification does not close the avenues of the soul to knowledge, but it comes to expand the mind, and to inspire it to search for truth, as for hidden treasure; and the knowledge of God's will advances the work of sanctification. There is a heaven, and O, how earnestly we should strive to reach it. I appeal to the students of our schools and college, to believe in Jesus as your Saviour. Believe that he is ready to help you by his grace, when you come to him in sincerity. You must fight the good fight of faith. You must be wrestlers for the crown of life. Strive, for the grasp of Satan is upon you; and if you do not wrench yourselves from him, you will be palsied and ruined. The foe is on the right hand, and on the left, before you, and behind you; and you must trample him under your feet. Strive, for there is a crown to be won. Strive, for if you win not the crown, you lose everything in this life and in the future life. Strive, but let it be in the strength of your risen Saviour.
    Will the students of our schools study, and endeavor to copy the life and character of Him who came down from heaven to show them what they must be, if they would enter the kingdom of God? I have borne you a message of the near coming of the Son of God in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. I have not presented before you any definite time, but have repeated to you the injunction of Christ himself, to watch unto prayer, "for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." The warning has come echoing down the ages to our time, "Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 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,  August 28, 1888
(Vol. 65, #35)

 "The Need of Love"

    Jesus came down from heaven to reflect his light upon a world that was hardened and corrupted with sin. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. He was not appreciated by those he came to save. He was scorned and rejected of men. He suffered ignominy and reproach, and at last was nailed to the cruel cross, that he might rescue man from his impenitence and hardness of heart. He reached down to the very depths of human woe and degradation, that he might lift fallen man to a place of joy and purity. He loved us, even unto death, and he says, "Love one another, as I have loved you. . . By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
    O how much there is of human exaltation! How much there is of human pride, of selfish thoughts, of cruel feelings, that do not savor of Christ! Can we not get free from this harsh, dictatorial spirit, that has made us look upon one another with suspicion and distrust? Can we not let the tender, winning love of Jesus take possession of our hearts, that it may flow out in refreshing streams to others? The command is, "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees." When we look upon each others' faces, how do we know but it is for the last time? Let us cherish love one for another.
    Says the apostle, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, . . . if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded." This does not teach that we should sacrifice our principles of truth in order to be charitable; but that we should not be unkind, uncourteous, harsh, and rough to those that are around us. We should not push any away from us, but we should bind them to our hearts with the tenderest words of love. Have we not allowed serious faults to mar our characters? Have we not been greatly wanting in that gentle thoughtfulness and love that is required of the child of God? Who of us can plead guiltless? We need to learn to think more highly of others, and less of self.
    There are many who seem to find satisfaction in dwelling upon the errors of others. They feel, when a brother's faults are revealed and reproved, that their own faults, in contrast, are not so great, and will not be the subject of disapproval. This is the spirit of Satan. He is represented as standing before the throne, acting as an accuser of the brethren. He presents before God the sins that his people are committing, seeking to excuse his own sin, and hoping that God will not pardon the guilty, for whom Christ has died. But the converting power of God comes down to us who profess his name, as a pledge of his willingness to pardon and receive the soul that is truly penitent.
    Those who exult over others, because they have been reproved, have the spirit of the self-righteous Pharisee. He thanked God that he was not like other men. He stood in the temple praising himself, while he belittled the character of others; and yet God knew his proud heart. The publican stood afar off. He was humbled with a deep sense of his own unworthiness. He had such a realization of his weakness, and infirmity, and sin, that he dared not lift up his eyes to heaven; but smote upon his breast and cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Yet he went down to his house justified, rather than the other. O that we might have the same spirit of self-distrust, the same realization of our utter unworthiness. Shall we not let the grace of Christ come into our souls, that we may go down to our house justified?
    Said Jesus, "Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." The reason there is so little real rest and settled peace of heart, is because there is such supreme love of self. Self is mingled with all that we do. We must have less of self and more of Jesus. If we could stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and hear what is said of us, what a different estimate would we hear of our characters than we give ourselves. We must fall on the Rock and be broken, that it may be none of self, and all of Jesus.
    There is need of good home religion, that a saving influence may be exerted in our families. Let us learn to be missionaries within the walls of our own homes, by being tender, compassionate, gentle, and obliging toward the dear ones around the fireside. In many homes there is great need of the spirit of love. The words that are spoken are too often like the pitiless hail, that beats down the tender plant, whereas they should be like the dew and the showers, that fall to refresh and revive. Work in your own vineyard, and cultivate the spirit of love. Do not be so very zealous about the outside work, until there is seen in your hearts and homes a teachable, Christlike spirit, which will shed blessings upon all within the reach of its power.
    Jesus loves us, and we should be so imbued with his love, that others will feel its influence when they enter our homes. Where the spirit of love dwells, it permeates the entire household, and the bitter, harsh, and passionate words are all restrained. Open the door of your hearts and houses, fathers and mothers. Let Jesus come in. Let him abide with you. Then you can bring him to church with you; and wherever you go, you will be like lamps, trimmed and burning, shedding rays of light on all around you, whether in the world, or in the privacy of your own homes. Each one of you would be in favor with God. If Jesus were abiding in every home, the church would feel the refreshing of the presence of the Lord. There is labor to be done for the wandering ones. But it will not do to argue with them. When I try to labor with such, and they seek for a controversy, I do not answer them back. I tell them I have not come to argue, but to talk of the love of God to us, and to find out how they are standing in this, the hour of his judgment. I seek to speak words of faith and hope; to take away the unbelief that is leading them away from Jesus.
    The question with each of one of us should be, "How do I stand in spiritual things?" Brethren, do you feel the power of present truth upon your hearts, sanctifying your lives and characters? Are you winning souls to God? When you see one fall in his weakness by the way, do you hasten to him, to strengthen and help him? Do you bow down and plead with God in behalf of his soul? It is said that at one time an infidel came to argue the question of his unbelief with Mr. Moody. The evangelist said to the unbeliever, "Let us pray before we talk of these matters;" and they bowed down, and while Mr. Moody prayed, God changed the man's heart. It was God that wrought where argument would have failed. Let us work upon this plan, and pray for one another, bringing one another right into the presence of God by living faith. The Lord knows all the thoughts and feelings of the heart; and how easily he can melt us, how his spirit, like a fire, can subdue the flinty heart, and, like a hammer, can break the rock into pieces! How he can fill the soul with love and tenderness! How he can give us the graces of his Spirit, and fit us to go in and out, in laboring for souls! This power should be felt in the church today, and it would be felt, if we would but take heed to the doctrines and instructions of Christ. And when Jesus shall come in unto you, he will sweetly say, "Peace be unto you." He will not give such peace as the world gives; but the peace that passes all understanding. And with the peace of Christ in you, when you see a brother falling away, you will be enabled to say just the right thing at the right time. You will be a skillful workman, that need not be ashamed.
    God has set a price on the souls of men. He says, "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." Now if a man is so precious in the sight of God, how should he stand in the estimation of his fellow men? Is Jesus ashamed of us today, because we are so far from representing him to the world? Is he ashamed to call us brethren, because we are seeking our own glory, instead of the glory of God? God has done so much for us. What are we doing for Christ, and for each other?
    O, put away the harsh and critical speech. Do not excuse yourself upon the ground that it is natural for you to speak in a certain way. Never say, "It is my way to be rough and outspoken," and deem that that is reason enough why you may indulge in the habit. Rend your heart, and not your garment, and turn unto the Lord. Seek to show your love for those for whom Christ has died. And when the righteous nation that keeps the truth, marches in, may you be among that victorious company that shall stand before the great white throne, ascribing salvation unto God, and to the Lamb. You may all have the privilege of standing with that blood-washed throng who have overcome through the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. How your heart will bound with joy, as you hear the "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
    If you do not work the works of Christ, there will be those who will rise up in that decisive day to condemn you. The psalmist asks, "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor." When anyone comes to you with a tale about your neighbor, you should refuse to hear it. You should say to him, "Have you spoken of this matter to the individual concerned? If he has not done so, tell him he should obey the Bible rule, and go first to his brother, and tell him his fault privately, and in love. If the directions of God were carried out, the floodgates of gossip would be closed.
    When your brethren and neighbors come in to see you, talk of the wonderful love of Jesus. Rejoice in his intercession for lost man. Tell your friends of the love that you have for their souls, because they are the purchase of the blood of Christ. God forbid that we should make the pathway of other weary travelers harder by magnifying their errors, and by sitting in judgment upon their actions. God help us, that we may speak words of comfort and hope and courage to cheer the life of the lonely, and discouraged, and erring. Let us be likeminded one toward another, and not differ in opinion, merely for the sake of being on the opposite side from our brother. Throw all the sunlight you possibly can, into the pathway of others. It will be dark enough for them, even if you do this; for Satan presses his darkness upon every soul. Let the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon your fellow pilgrims, that they may rejoice in the Lord. This you can do in your home missionary work, in your neighborhood missionary work, and in your church missionary work. Let your light shine forth in such clear, steady rays, that no man may stand up in the judgment, and say, "Why did not you tell me about this truth? Why did you not care for my soul? Why did you love the world and its amusements so much, that you impressed me with the thought that they could not be wrong? Why did you not walk in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, and make straight paths for your feet? You knew that we were in darkness, and your crooked steps have led us on into utter ruin."
    O may God help us! There is only a little time left for us to prepare for the eternal world. If you have wronged anyone, you should go right to him, and take him by the hand, and say, "I am sorry I have injured you, by thought, or word, or act." Heaven would look with approval upon such a scene. We want all this dry, cold Phariseeism broken down. We want the spirit and power of God to work with our efforts in the Sabbath school, in the church, in the offices of publication, in our institutions of learning, and in our sanitariums. We want the abiding presence of Jesus with every individual member of our churches.
    As humble, faithful soldiers of Jesus Christ, you are to stand in the world, breasting its opposition,--a little remnant to clear the King's highway. You want to exert such an influence that men will be drawn to give their heart's affections to God, and to take the requisite steps in faith, repentance, conversion, and baptism. It is not enough to be familiar with the arguments of the truth alone. You must meet the people through the life that is in Jesus. Your work will be made wholly successful, if Jesus is abiding with you; for he has said, "Without me, ye can do nothing."
    Jesus stands knocking,--knocking at the door of your hearts,--and yet, for all this, some say continually, "I cannot find him." Why not? He says, "I stand here knocking. Why do you not open the door, and say, Come in, dear Lord?" I am so glad for these simple directions as to the way to find Jesus. If it were not for them, I should not know how to find him whose presence I desire so much. Open the door now, and empty the soul temple of the buyers and sellers, and invite the Lord to come in. Say to him, "I will love thee with all my soul. I will work the works of righteousness. I will obey the law of God." Then you will feel the peaceful presence of Jesus. May God help you, that at last you may sing the conqueror's song, have your robe washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, wave the palm branch in your hand, and strike the golden harp before the throne of God, with all those who have gotten the everlasting victory. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 4, 1888
(Vol. 65, #36)

 "In Demonstration of the Spirit"

    Text: "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
    We want to obtain the same experience as had the inspired apostle. He does not disparage the human understanding. Every jot of ability is necessary in the work of the ministry, but all the capability that is in your possession should be sanctified, "because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." Two great forces are united. Through living faith, divine influences are combined with human effort. It is by this cooperation of man with God, that we become laborers together with him.
    Those who labor in word and doctrine, are not to be novices. The word of God gives directions for their course. The Bible is in our hands, and the task of searching for a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, is appointed us. It is at the peril of our souls, that we neglect the duty of searching for the truth, as for hidden treasures. We are not safe when we are content to float along with the current, believing because someone else believes. The questions of truth that are submitted to us, are of vital interest, in contrast with the idle traditions that are sustained by human authority and church pretension; and we must, through fervent prayer and deep and earnest research, become established and settled, rooted and grounded in the faith, and know, each for himself, that we have the truth. If we are thus established, we shall not depart from the faith when tested and tried, as some have done. Those who put their trust in God, and not in human effort, will be sustained under fierce temptation and trial, and will come forth from the conflict with firm faith and unshaken confidence. Their words will not be the enticing words of men's wisdom, but they will be words spoken in the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God. If the works of the ambassadors of Christ are wrought in God, they will not be elated by praise from human lips; neither will they be depressed because they think they are not appreciated. Their work is to learn what is the mind of God, that they may show themselves approved unto God.
    There can be no greater peril to the souls of those who profess to believe the truth, than to cease their research for light and knowledge from the Scriptures. God has put the truth into our hands; and with faithful, thoughtful, prayerful study, and with the counsel of God-fearing teachers, we may become able in the exposition of the word of truth. You are to pray, and search for the truth on every point of faith and doctrine. You will be brought before critical, opposing councils. You will be tried for your faith, and you will want to know that you have good ground for every point of doctrine. God enjoins upon all men to search the Scriptures; but how doubly important is this injunction to those who teach the word to others. There will be apostasies from our own ranks, because men and women, even those who are teachers of the truth, have not brought the truth into their lives; and have not become sanctified through it. They have no living connection with God; and so slight is their hold upon the doctrine for the present time, that when trials come upon them, they depart from the faith, thinking that error is preferable to the truth. There should be most fervent, earnest work done in our several Conferences. Unconsecrated, unconverted men, who attempt to open the Scriptures to others, men whose lives and characters do not correspond with their teachings, will be a curse rather than a blessing to the cause. They present arguments in their own human wisdom, but they do not speak in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. They hold the truth in unrighteousness.
    In order to have prosperous Conferences, there must be in the several churches, laborers who are consecrated to God, having pure hearts and clean hands,--laborers who have purified their souls by obedience to the truth, and are vessels of honor, fitted for the use of the Master. The heavenly unction comes upon men unseen, to quicken those who love and fear God, and to make them powerful in the word of God. All heaven is interested in the work of saving souls, and if the teacher of Bible truth will seek the Lord, the promise is given he "shall find." If he asks, he shall receive. If he knocks, it shall be opened unto him. There is no excuse for anyone's being destitute of divine help. There is no reason why anyone should be stumbling upon the dark mountains of unbelief. The word of God is pledged in his abundant promises; and if we fail, the responsibility rests upon us individually, who have accepted the solemn position that makes us a mouthpiece for God; for the promises are made upon plainly stated conditions; and if we perish, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
    We must depart from all iniquity. We must accept the invitation and come to Christ and learn in his school; for we cannot become efficient teachers, unless we learn daily from the great Teacher. We must bruise Satan under our feet. We must lay hold on eternal life. The forgiveness of sin is promised to him who repents, and the crown of life will be given to him who is faithful unto the end. In order to receive an increase of spiritual grace, we must improve wisely what we already have. If we would be found without spot before the throne of God, we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
    Faith and works must go hand in hand, but either alone is dead. The whole work of God in the human soul is accomplished through the cooperation of the divine Spirit with the effort of humanity. "Without me," says Christ, "ye can do nothing." There are many Christless sermons preached, which are wholly destitute of the power and Spirit of God. The speaker may please the ear; but his words do not impress the soul. God will work through humble men, who love and fear him, and who will not ascribe the glory to themselves; but will give all the praise of their being a light in the world to the Source of all light. O, for less of self, and more of Jesus! It is human pride and self-confidence, mingled with human depravity, that has enfeebled the churches, until they are sickly, and ready to die.
    The ministers of these churches need to be converted. They need divine wisdom to take the place of human wisdom. The church may have divine enlightenment. The Lord God and the Lamb must be its light; for no church can live by its own light, or by sparks of its own kindling. It may be that the mechanical working of the church is like well-adjusted machinery, and this is as it should be; for it is necessary to have order and discipline; but it is not right to let everything stop at this point, and to rest satisfied while destitute of the power of vital godliness. Light must come from God to the people, as the word is preached in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. The members of the church must diffuse their derived glory all around them; for they cannot retain the light, unless they reflect its bright and heavenly evidences upon the pathway of others. The bitterest woe will be pronounced upon false shepherds, and upon those who profess to walk in the light of divine truth, and yet make themselves centers to absorb all the God-given rays, resting satisfied in the knowledge that they possess, and making no effort to enlighten others. The parable which our Lord has given, condemning the faithless servant who hid his Lord's money, condemns every member of the church who is not making a right use of his ability to communicate light and truth to others. Those who do not let the light which God has given them, shine upon the darkened pathway of others, are traitors to their Lord, and a burden to the church. They make it manifest that they do not care for the salvation of others, but only for themselves. Those who have had precious opportunities and privileges, and who possess talents, which they will not use in the service of God, will finally lay them all at the feet of Satan, to be employed as he shall direct. They will become receptacles of darkness, of whom it is written, "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
    In the time of Christ, and in the days of the apostles, there were unfaithful disciples, who were led from the truth,--some through love of the world, others through love of approbation,--who deemed that their superior ability was not appreciated as it should be, by their brethren in the church. And there were still others who were led away through lasciviousness. This last sin was existing in the church in the days of Paul, and he made vigorous battle upon it, that it might be destroyed from the midst of the early Christians. Some who may have been looked upon a special lights in the church and in the world, may cease to shine, and become bodies of darkness. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his." If one star goes out in darkness, another will fill its place.
    We may learn the truth of the Bible by living up to all the light that we have, in doing the will of God; or we may do as many others are doing, darken and pervert our belief, and corrupt our faith by disobedience. Men turn away from God's great moral standard of righteousness, and try to doubt that it is "holy, and just, and good." They want liberty to sin, and at length they come to doubt that the claims of the law are binding. Because their carnal hearts desire to transgress its precepts, the law of God has become to them a yoke of bondage. Such may, after some disappointment, return to the truth; but they will leave it again, for their hearts are not thoroughly changed. The most useful men in the world have not been the exalted, self-sufficient ones, who have been praised and petted by society; but those who have walked humbly with God, who have been unassuming in manner and guileless in conversation, who have given all the glory to God, not taking any of it to themselves, are the ones who have exerted the most decided and healthful influence upon the church. When they stand before the people, as a mouthpiece for God, everything around them is forgotten. Their words come forth in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power. They exert their God-given ability to set things in order in the church, whether it makes them friends or foes. When straight, solemn testimony is needed, in rebuking sin and iniquity, even though it be in those of high position, they will not hold their peace, but will heed the instruction of the God of truth, when he commands, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins." They will stand as faithful watchmen upon the walls of Zion,--not to hide sin, not to flatter the wrongdoer, not to obtain the sympathy of their brethren, but to meet the approval of God. They will not suppress one syllable of truth that should be brought out, in reproof, or warning, or in vindication of the righteousness of the oppressed, in order to gain the favor and influence of anyone. In a crisis, they will not be found in a neutral position, but they will stand firmly on the side of righteousness and truth, even when it is difficult to take this position; and to maintain it may imperil their prosperity, and deprive them of the friendship of those whom they love.
    Self has been petted and favored altogether too much. Those who should have been unselfish and uncorrupted, have permitted self to wield a controlling influence over their lives. O that our ministering brethren would copy the model! O that they would learn in the school of Christ, lessons of the Master's meekness and lowliness of heart! If the eye were single to the glory of God, the Lord would bless them with his Spirit and power, and it would not then be their ruin. There is great need of the sanctification that comes through obedience to the truth. All resistance of God, all departures from virtue and truth, pervert the faith as well as the morals, while conformity to God's revealed will always increases faith and knowledge. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God." Those who are workers together with God, must be men of blameless habits, and most unambitious pretensions. Their highest ambition must be, to be found sons of God, and partakers of the divine nature. It was for the glory of God that the excellent treasure of his truth was committed to earthen vessels. "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." No one should enter the ministry until he clearly understands his own faith, so that he can give an intelligent answer to any man that asketh the reason of his hope. It is his privilege, as well as his duty, to believe in a near and present Saviour,--one who is by our side, in our hearts. His presence is far more efficacious than the most eloquent sermons, and it is our right to expect that he will be with us in seasons of worship, for he promised when he commissioned his disciples to go and "teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," and added, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
    It is the presence of Jesus that is needed in our assemblies, to make the preaching of the word effectual to the salvation of souls. Preaching, in itself, has no natural power to renew the heart, and yet this is the object of preaching. It is the divine influence accompanying the word, that brings souls in penitence to the foot of the cross. O that Christ's ambassadors would feel their need of Jesus, that their preaching might not be in vain, nor their ministry unsuccessful. When the minister hears the voice of the great Shepherd saying, "Lo, I am with you alway," he works as if in the presence of Jesus; and out of weakness he is made strong. The word becomes quick and powerful, and, in proportion as faith appreciates the divine presence, and honors it, and trusts it, the preaching is in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power.
    If we hide self in Jesus, if we lift up and exalt the Saviour, if we take no credit to ourselves, the preaching will not be in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Jesus, the world's Redeemer, will be presented before the people as the one who "is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercessions for them." "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous." Then let us do those things that are pleasing in his sight. Let us come in full assurance of faith. Let us draw from the heavenly storehouse, and present to the people things new and old, giving to every man his portion of meat in due season; "and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 11, 1888
(Vol. 65, #37)

 "The Work of the Minister"

    "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
    Who was so capable of giving the very best instruction to Timothy as was Paul, his father in the gospel? This instruction was to be kept in trust by Timothy, to be committed to faithful men, who should be able to teach others also; and, in this way, it was to be brought down the line, to our time. It was by a miracle that Paul had been called to the apostleship of Jesus Christ, and he became a zealous worker for the Master. The light which flashed along his pathway from the Source of all light, entered his heart, and converted his understanding. Like Heaven's light, it was inextinguishable. The deepest waters of trouble could not quench it.
    A more hearty, persevering, energetic disciple of Jesus Christ than was Paul, has never been upon the earth. He counted all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. He had one aim before him, and that was, that from his lips should go forth the tidings of redemption to perishing souls, that they might be brought into acquaintance with the Redeemer of the world. His whole soul was wrapped up in Jesus, and in the light of truth received from the Source of all light. This light must be carefully cherished. As he gave his last commission to Timothy to teach others also, that nothing of the divine instruction should be lost, he left him his example in faith. The apostle had carefully guarded himself, that he should not betray any murmuring, or make any appeal to his own sympathies. But, for the benefit of those who should follow Christ, he was determined to leave an example worthy of imitation. He was continually "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." This knowledge in his experience he committed to Timothy, that it might be committed by him to others. He desired that Timothy should heartily believe, and carefully meditate upon the sufferings, the crucifixion, and the resurrection, of Christ, and find in the mission of Jesus sufficient support under all trials in the Christian life, that he might be able to endure all for Christ's sake. For if the Master of the house had to suffer trial and persecution, shall not they of his household? Is the servant above his Lord? When Timothy should suffer trouble as an evildoer because he testified of the mission, the sufferings, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension of Christ, he was to remember that Paul, his father in the gospel, had been a partaker with Christ in his sufferings, because he was a believer in him, and a doer of his words. Timothy was not to be surprised if he received the same treatment as had his father in the gospel.
    But the apostle Paul was rejoiced that the gospel was not bound. The power of persecution may hinder or restrain the efforts of the minister; but it cannot hinder the operation of the word of truth upon hearts and consciences. Paul may be bound, he may be a prisoner in chains, but the word of God cannot be bound. It will accomplish the work whereunto it is sent, and human forces cannot prevent it. "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he will also deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." The condition on the part of the believer, if he is dead with Christ, is that he have his life hid with Christ in God. He must steadfastly believe the truth, and walk humbly before God, in the light that he gives, without turning away, or falling from the holy commandment delivered unto him. He must believe God. He must rest in his word with that confidence and strength of faith, that makes him willing to suffer the loss of all things for Christ's sake. His character, his life course, must be a living testimony to the faithful improvement of talent received from God. He must have an experience and a knowledge in the things of God. His conversation must be in heaven; and while he is engaging in communion with God; he must hold intercourse with men, and shine as a light in the world.
    If we believe not, it will not make of none effect the word of God; for if we deny him, he will also deny us. God's word is faithful; and how terrible will be the situation of the man whom Christ shall disown at last. God's threatenings of judgment and of wrath, will just as surely be fulfilled, as will his promises. Neither one nor the other will fail. If we are false to Christ, if we dishonor him by doing works that are contrary to the character of Christ, we deny him, and put him to an open shame. Especially is this the case, when men who have been set apart for the work of the gospel, give up their allegiance to the cause of truth. Those who have been put in trust of the gospel, should be of the excellent of the earth, that they may be able to impart blessing of the highest order to those with whom they come in contact. Although there are many who preach the oracles of God, there are some among them who are not made better by the truth which they preach. The law of God is on their lips, but it has not been written upon their hearts. After a time, if they are not sanctified by the truth, they will develop the fact,--they will work the works of unrighteousness. The development of those who are not of the truth, will become of more frequent occurrence, as we near the close of time. Many will show that they are not one with Christ, that they are not dead to the world, that they may live with him; and frequent will be the apostasies of men who have occupied responsible positions. To be dead with Christ, means to be dead to all sin,--dead to the pleasures, the enjoyments, the profits, the honors, of the world; and, if we are partakers of Christ's self-denial and suffering, we shall lose nothing by it, for we shall be partakers with him of his glory. It is at the peril of our souls that we prove unfaithful.
    "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers." The ministers of Christ are in constant danger. They are to put their brethren in mind of the things which they already know. "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." Satan is constantly at work to divert the mind with earthly things, that the truth may lose its force upon the heart; and then there will be no progress, no advancement from light and knowledge, to greater light and knowledge. Unless the followers of Christ are constantly stirred up to practice the truth, they will not be sanctified through it. Questions, speculations, and matters of no vital importance will occupy the mind, and become the subject of conversation, and then there will be caviling and striving about words, and presenting of different opinions, concerning points that are not vital or essential. Those who listened to the present truth in the days of Paul did as do the men of today. They would get up questions, presenting various ideas and opinions of men, and bring the mind of the minister from the important work of preaching the main truths of the gospel, to settle their disputes. The laborer for God must be wise enough to see the design of the enemy, and to refuse to be misled and diverted. The conversion of the souls of his hearers, must be the burden of his work, and he must keep out of controversy, and preach the word of God.
    "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness." The special, deceptive work of Satan has been to provoke controversies, that there might be strivings about words to no profit. He well knows that this will occupy the mind and the time. It raises the combativeness, and quenches the spirit of conviction, in the minds of many, drawing them into diversity of opinions, accusation, and prejudice, which closes the door to the truth. This was the effect in the days of Paul, and we see that it has been the same in our own time. It shakes the confidence of those already partially convinced, and it turns away others who are waiting for some excuse for rejecting the truth. The less the preacher shall multiply words of his own, the more distinct and clear will be the living utterances of God. Let your words be few. Let God speak. Let the plain, "Thus saith the Lord" settle all controversies. If we allow the mind to take its own course, there will be countless points of difference which may be debated by men who make Christ their hope, and who love the truth in sincerity, and yet who hold opposite opinions upon subjects that are not of real importance. These unsettled questions should not be brought to the front, and urged publicly, but should, if held by any, be done quietly and without controversy.
    Men of ability have devoted a lifetime of study and prayer to the searching of the Scriptures, and yet not one half of the Bible has been fully explored; and all parts of it will never be fully comprehended until Christ shall open its wonderful mysteries in the future life. There is much to be unravelled, much that human minds can never harmonize. There are many themes that might seem of special importance to the minds of one class, that to another class would appear in an altogether different light. Satan will seek to create argument upon different points that might better remain unmentioned. A noble, devoted, spiritual worker will see in the great testing truths that constitute the solemn message to be given to the world, sufficient reason for keeping all minor differences concealed, rather than to bring them forth to become subjects of contention. Let the mind dwell upon the great work of redemption, the soon-coming of Christ, and the commandments of God; and it will be found that there is enough food for thought in these subjects to take up the entire attention.
    The work of the minister must be approved of God. He must live and work as in his sight, having an eye single to his glory. He must study, watch, pray, and search the Scriptures; and practical godliness must appear in his life. God requires that his hired servants shall be workmen of the highest order. They must take pains with their work; for it is bearing the inspection of God; and the work of every day is registered, with the manner in which it has been done, in the books of heaven. With God's employed servants there should be industry, careful study, and painstaking effort, that the work shall not be done in a negligent, unskillful, and unfaithful manner. The laborers cannot meet the mind of God, unless they go on from strength to strength. They have, as God's workmen, business to do with God; and if the work, coming from their hand, cannot bear the approval of God, they will be under his displeasure.
    What is the work of the minister of the gospel? It is to rightly divide the word of truth; not to invent a new gospel, but to rightly divide the gospel already committed to them. They cannot rely upon old sermons to present to their congregations; for these set discourses may not be appropriate to meet the occasion, or the wants of the people. There are subjects that are sadly neglected, that should be largely dwelt upon. The burden of our message should be the mission and life of Jesus Christ. Let there be a dwelling upon the humiliation, self-denial, meekness, and lowliness of Christ, that proud and selfish hearts may see the difference between themselves and the Pattern, and may be humbled. Show to your hearers Jesus in his condescension to save fallen man. Show them that He who was their surety had to take human nature, and carry it through the darkness and the fearfulness of the malediction of his Father, because of man's transgression of his law; for the Saviour was found in fashion as a man. Describe, if human language can, the humiliation of the Son of God, and think not that you have reached the climax, when you see him exchanging the throne of light and glory which he had with the Father, for humanity. He came forth from heaven to earth; and while on earth, he bore the curse of God as surety for the fallen race. He was not obliged to do this. He chose to bear the wrath of God, which man had incurred through disobedience to the divine law. He chose to endure the cruel mockings, the deridings, the scourging, and the crucifixion. "And being made in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death; "but the manner of his death was an astonishment to the universe; for it was even the death of the cross. Christ was not insensible to ignominy and disgrace. He felt it all most bitterly. He felt it as much more deeply and acutely than we can feel suffering, as his nature was more exalted, and pure, and holy than that of the sinful race for whom he suffered. He was the majesty of heaven, he was equal with the Father, he was the commander of the hosts of angels, yet he died for man the death that was, above all others, clothed with ignominy and reproach. O that the haughty hearts of men might realize this ! O that they might enter into the meaning of redemption, and seek to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus !
    The deepest joy of the heart springs from the deepest humiliation. Let not one of us make the mistake that will prove fatal to the Christian life, and evade the demands of duty, because we may see others doing so. We must take counsel of God, and build up a strong, symmetrical character, by meeting the demands of truth and duty, and by shirking no responsibilities that come to us. Peace comes when the conflict has been met and sustained, through the help and power obtained from Jesus Christ. The constant surrender of the will to God, brings conquests in the spiritual life. We must not be overcome with Satan's specious temptations. We must war against them, if we would gain the prize of perfect peace. This peace is not the peace that the world giveth, but the peace of Christ. The most precious promises of God are to be claimed, and held fast, by the exercise of faith. The gifts of Him who has all power in heaven and in earth, are in store for the children of God. Gifts so precious that they come to us through the costly sacrifice of the Redeemer's blood; gifts that will satisfy the deepest craving of the heart; gifts lasting as eternity, will be received and enjoyed by all who will come to God as little children. Take God's promises as your own, plead them before him as his own words; and you will receive fullness of joy. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 18, 1888
(Vol. 65, #38)

 "A Lesson of Faith"

    In his sermon on the mount, Christ taught his disciples precious lessons in regard to the necessity of trusting in God. These lessons were designed to encourage the children of God through all ages, and they have come down to our time full of instruction and comfort. The divine Teacher said to his followers: "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? 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? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?"
    The Saviour pointed his followers to the birds of the air, as they warbled their carols of praise, unencumbered with thoughts of care; for "they sow not, neither do they reap," and yet the great Father provides for their needs. He asks, "Are ye not much better than they?" Those who profess to be the children of God dishonor their Heavenly Father when they manifest unbelief. The great Provider for man and beast opens his hand, and supplies all his creatures. The birds of the air are not beneath his notice. He does not drop the food into their bills, but he makes provision for their needs. They must exert themselves to gather the grains he has scattered for them. They must prepare the material for their little nests. They must feed their young. They go forth singing, to their labor; for "your Heavenly Father feedeth them." "Are ye not much better than they?" Are not ye, as intelligent, spiritual worshipers, of more value than the fowls of the air? Will not the Author of man's being, the Preserver of his life, the One who formed him in his own divine image, provide for his necessities, if he but trust in him?
    Christ pointed his disciples to the flowers of the field, growing in rich profusion, and glowing in the simple loveliness which the Heavenly Father had given them, as an expression of his love to man. He exclaimed, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." The beauty and simplicity of these natural flowers far outrivaled the splendor of Solomon. The most gorgeous attire produced by the skill of art, cannot bear comparison with the natural grace and radiant beauty of the flowers of God's creation. And yet they are cut down in a day. Jesus asked, "If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall be not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith."
    If God, the divine artist, gives to the simple flowers, that perish in a day, their delicate and varied colors, how much greater care will he have for those who are created in his own image? He gave his only begotten Son to come to earth and redeem man, because he loved him; "and he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" God is our Creator, and we are the work of his hands. He formed man out of the dust of the ground, and he sustains him from moment to moment, and from hour to hour. "In him we live, and move, and have our being."
    While men should see that no bounty of providence is needlessly wasted, a parsimonious, acquisitive spirit will have to be overcome. This disposition will lead to overreaching and unjust dealing, which is an abhorrence in the sight of God. Christians should not allow themselves to be troubled with anxious care as to the necessities of life. If men love and obey God, and do their part, God will provide for all their wants. Although your living may have to be obtained by the sweat of your brow, you are not to distrust God; for in the great plan of his providence, he will supply your need from day to day. This lesson of Christ's is a rebuke to the anxious thoughts, the perplexities and doubts, of the faithless heart. No man can add one cubit to his stature, no matter how solicitous he may be to do so. It is no less unreasonable to be troubled about the morrow and its needs. Do your duty, and trust in God; for he knows of what things you have need.
    The power of God is manifested in the beating of the heart, in the action of the lungs, and in the living currents that circulate through the thousand different channels of the body. We are indebted to him for every moment of existence, and for all the comforts of life. The powers and abilities that elevate man above the lower creation, are the endowment of the Creator. He loads us with his benefits. We are indebted to him for the food we eat, the water we drink, the clothes, we wear, the air we breathe. Without his special providence, the air would be filled with pestilence and poison. He is a bountiful benefactor and preserver. The sun which shines upon the earth, and glorifies all nature, the weird, solemn radiance of the moon, the glories of the firmament, spangled with brilliant stars, the showers that refresh the land, and cause vegetation to flourish, the precious things of nature in all their varied richness, the lofty trees, the shrubs and plants, the waving grain, the blue sky, the green earth, the changes of day and night, the renewing seasons, all speak to man of his Creator's love. He has linked us to himself by all these tokens in heaven and in earth. He watches over us with more tenderness than does a mother over an afflicted child. "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him."
    We are bound to the Lord by the strongest ties, and the manifestation of our Father's love should call forth the most filial affection and the most ardent gratitude. The laws of God have their foundation in the most immutable rectitude, and are so framed that they will promote the happiness of those who keep them. God is our master; we are his servants, and all his commandments are mercy and truth. God is a friend in perplexity and affliction, a protector in distress, a preserver in the thousand dangers that are all unseen to us. He is our instructor, and in him is the source of all wisdom. He has declared, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." He is our God, and he spared not his own Son, that we might be redeemed from all iniquity.
    In the lesson of faith that Christ taught on the mount, are revealed the principles of true religion. Religion brings man into personal relation with God, but not exclusively; for the principles of heaven are to be lived out, that they may help and bless humanity. A true child of God will love him with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. He will have an interest for his fellowmen. True religion is the work of grace upon the heart, that causes the life to flow out in good works, like a fountain fed from living streams. Religion does not consist merely in meditation and prayer. The Christian's light is displayed in good works, and is thus recognized by others. Religion is not to be divorced from the business life. It is to pervade and sanctify its engagements and enterprises. If a man is truly connected with God and heaven, the spirit that dwells in heaven will influence all his words and actions. He will glorify God in his works, and will lead others to honor him.
    While the shepherds were watching their flocks on the hills of Bethlehem, the angels of heaven visited them; and while the humble worker for God is pursuing his employment, they stand by his side to note in what manner the work is done, and to see if larger responsibilities may be safely intrusted to his hands. If the work is slighted, the fact is recorded. Every act of overreaching, every wrong done to our neighbor, every imperfection, is registered against them in the books of heaven.
    As we deal with our fellowmen in petty dishonesty, or in more daring fraud, so will we deal with God. Men who persist in a course of dishonesty will carry out their principles until they cheat their own souls, and lose heaven and eternal life. They will sacrifice honor and religion for a small worldly advantage. There are such men right in our own ranks, and they will have to experience what it is to be born again, or they cannot see the kingdom of God. Honesty should stamp every action of our lives. Heavenly angels examine the work that is put into our hands; and where there has been a departure from the principles of truth, "wanting" is written in the records.
    Says Jesus, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal." Treasures are those things which engross the mind, and absorb the attention, to the exclusion of God and the truth. The love of money, which prompts the acquisition of earthly treasure, was the ruling passion in the Jewish age. High and eternal considerations were made subordinate to the considerations of securing earthly wealth and influence. Worldliness usurped the place of God and religion in the soul. Avaricious greed for wealth exerted such a fascinating, bewitching influence over the life, that it resulted in perverting the nobility, and corrupting the humanity of men, until they were drowned in perdition. Our Saviour gave a decided warning against hoarding up the treasures of earth.
    All branches of business, all manner of employments, are under the eye of God; and every Christian has been given ability to do something in the cause of the Master. Whether engaged in business in the field, in the warehouse, or in the counting-room, men will be held responsible to God for the wise and honest employment of their talents. They are just as accountable to God for their work, as the minister who labors in word and doctrine is for his. If men acquire property in a manner that is not approved by the word of God, they obtain it at a sacrifice of the principles of honesty. An inordinate desire for gain will lead even the professed followers of Christ into imitation of the customs of the world. They will be influenced to dishonor their religion, by overreaching in trade, oppressing the widow and the orphan, and turning away the stranger from his right.
    Property that is treasured up upon the earth will prove only a curse, but if it is devoted to the upbuilding of the cause of truth, that God may be honored, and that souls may be saved, it will not prove a curse, but a blessing. Means are necessary to the furtherance of every good cause; and as some men have been endowed with more ability to acquire wealth than have others, they should put out their talents to the exchangers, that the Lord may receive his own, with usury, at his appearing. But no man can be justified before God in doing one act that is covetous and dishonest, in order to gain any amount of wealth. There is, however, a large class who do not deal dishonestly, and who still profess to be followers of the dear Redeemer. They claim to be representatives of Christ, but, in character, they represent the worst and greatest enemy of our Lord.
    If the Christian world had sacredly cherished the instruction of Christ, and had heeded his injunction, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," how different would be the condition of the world at the present time. Avarice, extortion, and crime, are fast turning the earth into a second Sodom, and preparing it for the avenging wrath of God. Jesus foresaw all this, and wished to save his followers from the insane passion of making haste to be rich, of hoarding up wealth, and he said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth."
    Those who acquire means for the purpose of doing good, feeling while they use it, that they are only stewards to whom it has been intrusted, are not endangering their salvation. God will, through his providence, open ways whereby his cause may be sustained, and souls may be saved. Those who are ready and willing to invest in the cause of God, will be blessed in their efforts to acquire money. God created the source of wealth. He gave the sunshine, and the dew, and the rain, and caused vegetation to flourish. He blessed men with mental and physical ability, and qualified them to acquire property, so that his cause might be sustained by his professed children. The needy are all around us, and God is glorified, when the poor and the afflicted are aided and comforted. It is no sin to acquire and control property as stewards for God, holding it only until he shall require it for the necessities of his work.
    "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Here is portrayed the value of eternal riches, in contrast with the treasures of earth. If the purpose and aim of your life is to lay up treasure in heaven, you will be lifted above the base, sordid, demoralizing influence of an inordinate desire to obtain wealth in this life. Laying up treasure in heaven will give nobility to the character; it will strengthen benevolence, encourage mercy; cultivate sympathy, brotherly kindness, and charity. It will unite the soul of man with Christ, by links that can never be broken. You may lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven by being rich in good works,--rich in imperishable and spiritual things.
    The instruction is to "lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven." It is for our own interest, that we secure heavenly riches. God is not benefited by our benevolence. The cattle upon a thousand hills are his. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." But in using the gifts that he has intrusted to our care for the salvation of souls, we transfer our wealth to the treasury of heaven. When we are seeking the glory of God, and hasting unto the day of God, we are co-laborers with Christ, and our joy is not a base and fleeting emotion; but it is the joy of our Lord. We are elevated above the corroding, perplexing cares of this frail fickle world.
    While we are in this world, we are subject to losses and disappointments. Thieves break through and steal; moth and rust corrupt; fire and storm sweep away our possessions. How many have become insane over the loss of their bank deposits, or their failure in business! How many have devoted life and soul to acquiring wealth, but were not rich toward God; and when adversity came upon them, and their possessions were swept away, they had nothing laid up in heaven. They had lost all,--both temporal and eternal riches. In despair and cowardice, they have taken their own lives, and put an end to the opportunities and privileges that had been purchased for them at an infinite cost to the Son of God. He died, that their souls might be redeemed, elevated, ennobled, cleansed by his blood, and fitted for an immortal life. But all was lost because they persisted in laying up for themselves treasures upon earth. Everything that is laid up upon earth may be swept away in a moment; but nothing can disturb the treasure that is laid up in heaven.
    "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" If the physical and mental organs are in a healthy condition, and the man is equally balanced, his judgment will be sound. With a discerning eye, he will be enabled to see the value of heavenly and eternal things. If the eye of the mind beholds the excellence of the mystery of godliness, the advantage of spiritual riches over worldly riches, the whole body will be full of light. If the imagination is perverted by the fascination of earthly pomp and splendor, until gain seems godliness, the whole body will be full of darkness. When the powers of the mind are concentrated upon the treasures of earth, they are debased and belittled. The Saviour makes more plain the results of covetousness on heart and soul, when he calls the condition of such a person "darkness." When the eye is blinded by desires for worldly treasure, the value of eternal treasure cannot be discerned. It was this fearful darkness that wrapped the Jews in stubborn unbelief, making it impossible for them to appreciate the character and mission of Him who came to save them from their sins. Worldly riches, bigotry, and pride made their eye evil, and they could see nothing in the Redeemer of the world that was desirable, because they were filled with darkness and unbelief. Virtue can never be related to avarice; self-indulgence, love of luxury, and greed of gain, can never be united with supreme love of God; but "if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  September 25, 1888
(Vol. 65, #39)

 "Marrying and Giving in Marriage"

    The testimony of Noah, in regard to the judgments that were to fall upon the antediluvian world, was not received by the people as the message of God. The servant of God gave to the transgressors of the law of Jehovah, a warning which announced that in one hundred and twenty years the world would be destroyed by a flood. His warning was scoffed at, ridiculed, and rejected. The preacher of righteousness was proclaimed to be an ignorant fanatic, who had no knowledge of the laws of nature. The wise men of that time argued that it was an impossibility for water to rise high enough to deluge the world. They reasoned from scientific principles, that the world could not be destroyed, and that no attention should be paid to the predictions of Noah. This philosophy, or science falsely so called, exalted the law above the Lawgiver, and things created above the Creator.
    Unmindful of the solemn words of the man of God, the people of that age continued their course of merriment, gratifying the desires of their carnal natures, and following the corrupt imaginations of their hearts. After rejecting the messenger of truth, they plunged more deeply than ever into the business of planting, and building, marrying, and giving in marriage. They spent the time of their probation as if it were one long holiday; and Noah and his predictions were the jest of the careless, wicked scoffers of the age. But while the people were lulled to sleep in the cradle of carnal security, the windows of heaven were opened, and the fountains of the great deep were broken up; and the prophecy was fulfilled, and "the world that then was being overflowed with water, perished."
    "As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." Then, the world was destroyed by a flood; in our day, it is to be destroyed by fire. The message of warning is going forth to the world, to prepare a people who will be saved out of the general ruin of earthly things. We are living in a very solemn time, and solemn thoughts should occupy the mind; the earnest inquiry should be made by every soul, "What shall I do to be saved?" The message that the coming of Christ is at hand, is not received. The thought that he is at the door, is not a welcome thought. As the message of the coming deluge was rejected, in the time of Noah, so the announcement of the final destruction of this world, is disbelieved. Thousands will reason after the same manner as did the people in the days prior to the flood. The message of truth is refused; and one turns away to his merchandise, another to his farm, another to his cattle, and another to the pleasures of life. While one is absorbed in business, and in the cares of this world, another is taken up with thoughts and plans for marriage, and he has no disposition to heed the warning of truth. He responds to the invitation of God to come, for the feast is now ready, "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come."
    Christ declared, "For as it was in the days that were before the flood, they were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." He foresaw that men would be engaged in every selfish work, living without fear of God, eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, when the day of final judgment was about to break. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own solves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false-accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." And while they are crying, "Peace and safety," sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape.
    In the days of Noah, the earth was filled with violence. Is it not in a similar condition today? Of the vast population in the world before the flood, only eight persons were saved from the general destruction. In the days of Noah, the mass of mankind would not listen to the warning of the servant of the Lord. In our own day, the majority of men will "turn away their ears from hearing the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." In the time of Noah, the people were intensely worldly. They were without the fear of God. God was not in all their thoughts. They had no care whether he approved their course or not. They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, with no thought of their Creator, or of their responsibility to him.
    There is in itself no sin in eating and drinking, or in marrying and giving in marriage. It was lawful to marry in the time of Noah, and it is lawful to marry now, if that which is lawful is properly treated, and not carried to sinful excess. But in the days of Noah, men married without consulting God, or seeking his guidance and counsel. So it is at the present day; marriage ceremonies are made matters of display, extravagance, and self-indulgence. But if the contracting parties are agreed in religious belief and practice, and everything is consistent, and the ceremony be conducted without display and extravagance, marriage at this time need not be displeasing to God. "But this I say, brethren, the time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
    The fact that all the relations of life are of a transitory nature, should have a modifying influence on all we do and say. In Noah's day it was the inordinate, excessive love of that which in itself was lawful, when properly used, that made marriage sinful before God. There are many who are losing their souls in this age of the world, by becoming absorbed in the thoughts of marriage, and in the marriage relation itself. In the days of Noah the people indulged the appetite and the baser passions, until they were an abhorrence in the sight of the holy God. They became the slaves of that which was vile, and they made a god of this world. The inhabitants of the earth are doing the same thing today. Eating, drinking, and amusement are the supreme order of the time. Men do not manifest an interest in the things that pertain to their eternal welfare.
    God has placed men in the world, and it is their privilege to eat, to drink, to trade, to marry, and to be given in marriage; but it is safe to do these things only in the fear of God. We should live in this world with reference to the eternal world. The great crime in the marriages of the days of Noah, was that the sons of God formed alliances with the daughters of men. Those who professed to acknowledge and revere God, associated with those who were corrupt of heart; and without discrimination, they married whom they would. There are many in this day who have no depth of religious experience, who will do exactly the same things as were done in the days of Noah. They will enter into marriage without careful and prayerful consideration. Many take upon themselves the sacred vows as thoughtlessly as they would enter into a business transaction; true love is not the motive for the alliance.
    The thought of marriage seems to have a bewitching power upon the minds of many of the youth. Two persons become acquainted; they are infatuated with each other, and their whole attention is absorbed. Reason is blinded, and judgment is overthrown. They will not submit to any advice or control, but insist on having their own way, regardless of consequences. Like some epidemic, or contagion, that must run its course, is the infatuation that possesses them; and there seems to be no such thing as putting a stop to it. Perhaps there are those around them who realize that, should the parties interested be united in marriage, it could only result in lifelong unhappiness. But entreaties and exhortations are given in vain. Perhaps, by such a union, the usefulness of one whom God would bless in his service, will be crippled and destroyed; but reasoning and persuasion are alike unheeded. All that can be said by men and women of experience proves ineffectual; it is powerless to change the decision to which their desires have led them. They lose interest in the prayer meeting, and in everything that pertains to religion. They are wholly infatuated with each other, and the duties of life are neglected, as if they were matters of little concern. Night after night, these young people burn the midnight oil to talk with each other,--in reference to subjects of serious and solemn interest?--O no. Rather of frivolous things, that are of no importance. Satan's angels are keeping watch with those who devote a large share of the night to courting. Could they have their eyes opened, they would see an angel making a record of their words and acts. The laws of health and modesty are violated. It would be more appropriate to let some of the hours of courtship before marriage run through the married life. But as a general thing, marriage ends all the devotion manifested during the days of courtship. These hours of midnight dissipation, in this age of depravity, frequently lead to the ruin of both parties thus engaged. Satan exults, and God is dishonored when men and women dishonor themselves. The good name of honor is sacrificed under the spell of this infatuation, and the marriage of such persons cannot be solemnized under the approval of God. They are married because passion moved them, and when the novelty of the affair is over, they will begin to realize what they have done. In six months after the vows are spoken, their sentiments toward each other have undergone a change. Each has learned in married life more of the character of the companion chosen. Each discovers imperfections that, during the blindness and folly of their former association, were not apparent. The promises at the altar do not bind them together. In consequence of hasty marriages, even among the professed people of God, there are separations, divorces, and great confusion in the church.
    This kind of marrying and giving in marriage is one of Satan's special devices, and he succeeds in his plans almost every time. I have the most painful sense of helplessness when parties come to me for counsel upon this subject. I may speak to them the words that God would have me; but they frequently question every point, and plead the wisdom of carrying out their own purposes; and eventually they do so. They seem to have no power to overcome their own wishes and inclinations, and will marry at all hazards. They do not consider the matter carefully and prayerfully, leaving themselves in the hands of God, to be guided and controlled by his Spirit. The fear of God does not seem to be before their eyes. They think they understand the matter fully, without wisdom from God, or counsel from man. When it is too late, they find that they have made a mistake, and have imperiled their happiness in this life and the salvation of their souls. They would not admit that anyone knew anything about the matter but themselves, when if counsel had been received, they might have saved themselves years of anxiety and sorrow. But advice is only thrown away on those who are determined to have their own way. Passion carries such individuals over every barrier that reason and judgment can interpose.
    Love is a plant of heavenly origin. It is not unreasonable; it is not blind. It is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether, While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol. In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown. Modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, and religion will characterize every step toward an alliance in marriage. Those who are thus controlled, will not be absorbed in each other's society, at a loss of interest in the prayer meeting and the religious service. Their fervor for the truth will not die on account of the neglect of the opportunities and privileges that God has graciously given to them.
    If men and women are in the habit of praying twice a day before they contemplate marriage, they should pray four times a day when such a step is anticipated. Marriage is something that will influence and affect your life, both in this world, and in the world to come. A sincere Christian will not advance his plans in this direction without the knowledge that God approves his course. He will not want to choose for himself, but will feel that God must choose for him. We are not to please ourselves, for Christ pleased not himself, I would not be understood to mean that anyone is to marry one whom he does not love. This would be sin. But fancy and the emotional nature must not be allowed to lead on to ruin. God requires the whole heart, the supreme affections.
    The majority of the marriages of our time, and the way in which they are conducted, make them one of the signs of the last days. Men and women are so persistent, so headstrong, that God is left out of the question. Religion is laid aside, as if it had no part to act in this solemn and important matter. But unless those who profess to believe the truth are sanctified through it, and exalted in thought and character, they are not in as favorable a position before God as the sinner who has never been enlightened in regard to its claims. We are rapidly approaching the close of this world's history. Every moment is of the most solemn importance to the child of God. The questions that should come to every heart are, "Am I a Christian? Is the word of God my study? Is Christ dwelling in my heart by faith? Is the law of God the rule of my life? Do the searching truths I profess to believe, penetrate into the very secret places of my life? Do I carry out its principles in my business life? Is the influence I exert, having a saving power on those with whom I associate? Unless the truth does have a marked and decided influence upon the character and life of its recipient, it is not doing its office work in the life, as it should be; and those who are not being sanctified through obedience to the truth, must be converted, or they will be lost. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 9, 1888
(Vol. 65, #40)

 "God's Provision for a Fallen World"

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." After Adam and Eve had transgressed the law of God, and had fallen from their high estate, the race was plunged into hopeless misery. But the Son of God proposed to take the wrath of his Father upon himself, that he might save the fallen world. It was because of his pity and love for man that he consented to make this marvelous sacrifice. There was the greatest need for his help; for when he came to our world, he found in man very little moral power to resist the temptations of Satan.
    But although Jesus was the light of the world, the world knew him not. Says the prophet, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." He was hunted from place to place; and for what reason? What had he done?--He had healed the sick. He had comforted the desponding. He had lifted up the fallen. He had raised the dead. He had broken the yoke of oppression. He had given rest to the weary and the heavy laden. He had healed the wounded, and bound up the broken in heart. But he was treated as a malefactor, and suffered reproach and shame. He became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He suffered a shameful death upon the cross of Calvary, that we might have everlasting life. And shall we flatter ourselves that he has done it all, and that we have no sacrifices to make; that we may go on in the path of our own choosing, and yet enter into glory, and have part in that kingdom which he has purchased for us at such infinite cost? Shall we think to be fitted for heaven, while indulging in sin? Only obedience to the requirements of God can elevate man to a place with Christ in his kingdom. As transgression caused the fall and degradation of man, so obedience will lift him up, and purify and ennoble his character.
    As Jesus led his disciples out to Gethsemane, he told them of the union that must exist between himself and them, if they would inherit eternal life. He directed their attention to a flourishing vine, and declared, "I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." Whenever the disciples should behold the vine, they were to remember the Saviour's words, and to take heed to the lesson he had given them. They were to be grafted into the True Vine, in order to bear fruit to the glory of God.
    Although Gethsemane and Calvary were before him, the Son of God still sought to instruct and console his disciples, whom he was so soon to leave in the dark, opposing world. Their hearts were filled with sorrow because he had said, "I go unto my Father." He strove to comfort them, as he said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also." What a scene is this! Before him is the conflict of Gethsemane and the cross of Calvary, yet he thinks not of himself at such a moment. His whole burden is for those who have followed his steps and shared his toils, and who are to be left in the midst of a world at enmity with God.
    As he entered the garden, the darkness of the final conflict pressed upon him, and he said to his companions, "Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder."Selecting Peter, James, and John to accompany him, he proceeded farther into the recesses of the garden. Every step that the Saviour now took was with labored effort. He groaned aloud, as though suffering under the pressure of a terrible burden. He felt that he must seek greater solitude, and he said to the three favored ones, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me." He went still farther into the darkness of the garden, but his disciples were in sound of his anguished prayers, in sight of his prostrate form. He was overpowered by the terrible fear that God was removing his presence from him. He felt himself becoming separated from his Father by a gulf of sin, so broad, so black, so deep, that his spirit shuddered before it. He clung convulsively to the cold, unfeeling ground, as if to prevent himself from being drawn still farther from God. The chilling dews of night fell upon his prostrate form, but the Redeemer heeded it not. From his pale, convulsed lips wailed the bitter cry, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. It was not dread of the physical suffering that he was so soon to endure, that brought this agony upon the Son of God. He was suffering the penalty of man's transgression, and shuddering beneath his Father's frown. He must not call his divinity to his aid, but, as a man, he must bear the consequences of man's sin, and the Creator's displeasure toward a disobedient subject.
    Feeling the need of human sympathy, Jesus finally sought his disciples. His anguish had forced the drops of bloody sweat upon his brow, and his face was pale and haggard. The suffering Son of God, craving human sympathy, hoped that those who had so lately vowed to go with him, even to prison and to death, would be engaged in prayer; but he found them sleeping--no sympathetic countenance was raised to his. As he roused them from their slumber, he said to him who had given most positive assurances of his fidelity, "Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." As they arouse,they saw his countenance marked with an agony which to them was unaccountable. "His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." As the superhuman powers of darkness again came upon him, he went away alone to wrestle for the salvation of man. He fell prostrate, and prayed, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."
    Again he staggered to his feet, his human heart yearning for the sympathy of his companions; and again he found them sleeping. This time he did not address them, but turning away, sought his retreat and fell prostrate, overcome by the horror of great darkness. The awful hour had arrived when the destiny of the world was to be decided. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Would the Son of God drink the bitter potion of humiliation and agony? Would the innocent suffer the consequences of God's curse, to save the guilty? The words fell tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."
    The history of the human race came up before the Redeemer. He saw the power of sin, and the utter helplessness of man to save himself. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world arose before him. He beheld its impending fate, and his decision was made. He would save man at any cost to himself. He accepted his baptism of blood, that perishing millions through him might gain everlasting life. He had left the courts of heaven, where all was purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep,--the one world that had fallen by transgression,--and he would not turn from the mission he had chosen. He would reach to the very depths of misery to rescue a lost and ruined world. When he fainted upon the scene of his conflict, an angel ministered to him, to strengthen him for the night of mockery, and the hour of crucifixion, while his disciples slept. He sought them at last, and said, "Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners." Even while he was speaking, the sound of coming feet fell upon their ears, and he said to his disciples, "Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand."
    The Saviour was now, after being betrayed by a kiss from one of his own disciples, dragged from place to place by the murderous mob that surrounded him. He was finally taken to the judgment hall. Then they smote the Lord of glory. They crowned him with thorns. Mocking, they bowed to him as if to a king, and cried in derision, "Hail, King of the Jews." They laid upon him the heavy cross to bear to Calvary. They drove the cruel nails through his hands and his feet; and as he hung between earth and heaven as a malefactor, dying for the sins of the world, the satanic spirit took possession of the murderous throng. The chief priests and rulers mocked and derided his dying agonies, saying, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." The bitter cup of suffering was not refused. He drained it to the dregs. As the soldiers were casting lots upon his vesture, darkness covered the face of the sky. Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The earth was rent by a terrible earthquake as the Redeemer of the world died, a sacrifice for guilty man; that the transgressor of God's holy law might be restored to the favor of the Father, and fitted for the society of heaven. He carried out the plan of salvation, and Satan was vanquished by the power of the Conqueror.
    They took his body down, and laid it in Joseph's new tomb, and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, stating as their reasons for so doing that his disciples would come and steal him away by night. Evil angels exulted around that sepulcher, because they thought that Christ had been overcome. A body of Roman soldiers had been stationed to guard the tomb, and the greatest precautions had been exercised by the Jews to make their triumph complete. But heavenly angels were guarding the place where their beloved Commander slept. At last, one of the most exalted of the hosts of heaven was sent to roll away the stone from the sepulcher. "His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake and became as dead men." An earthquake marked the hour of the death of the Son of God, and an earthquake marked the hour of his resurrection. As he came forth, conqueror over death and the grave, a multitude of the captives who had fallen in death were released from their dark prisons. The resurrection from the dead was made a certainty forever.
    The Roman guards hastened to make known to the priests and rulers the wonderful events that had taken place; but they were bribed to withhold the truth from the people. The priests framed the false words for their lips, saying, "Say ye, his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept." But although the soldiers would not bear witness to his resurrection, the saints who had been released from the grave, went before him, and appeared unto many, bearing the news of a risen and triumphant Saviour. Jesus himself met with his disciples, and confirmed the glad tidings. As two of his followers journeyed toward Emmaus, talking sadly of the events that had so recently taken place, Jesus walked with them. And as they journeyed together, "he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Their hearts burned within them as they heard the evidences of the divine character and work of their Master, and they urged him to tarry with them through the night. As they sat at meat, he was known of them in the breaking of bread. O, what joy came to their hearts! They rose, and returned to Jerusalem, for they could not think of keeping the knowledge of a risen Saviour to themselves. While they were relating their experience, the Saviour himself stood in the midst of them, and said, "Peace be unto you." But the disciples were "terrified and affrighted." "And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself." Then he began to teach them of all that was written in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning himself; and for forty days he instructed them in the way of life. "And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them, and he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven."
    Were there any among that company who had witnessed the humiliation, crucifixion, and ascension of Jesus, who expected to be able to carry their sins to heaven with them, because they believed on the Son of God? Are they any who know what the love of Christ is, who believe they may continue in transgression, and yet be saved in his everlasting kingdom? He gave his life that he might save his people,--not in their sins, but from their sins. If we would be partakers with him of his glory, we must be partakers with him of his sufferings.
    There is no argument in favor of the unchangeable character of God's law, so forcible as that presented in the cross of Calvary. If God could have altered one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition, then Christ need not have died. But the fact that the Son of God must become man's substitute and sacrifice, in order to atone for his transgression, proves the immutable nature of the law of Jehovah. Do you believe in Jesus as the Saviour of the world? Do you believe in him as your Saviour? He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. He came to "save his people from their sins;" and "sin is the transgression of the law." "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in 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." "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
    If we are obedient children of Christ, we shall show our love to him, and to his children; for all who seek to imitate the lovely Pattern, will reflect the moral image of God. Christ is soon coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Who is getting ready for that grand and awful event? Angels of God are watching the development of human character, and weighing moral worth. It is for our own interest that we put away our sins. The Bible and its principles must be brought into practical contact with the conscience; and where divine truths are accepted and loved, they will develop in man whatever is needful to adorn his character, to dignify his nature, and to fit him for a home among the angels. Piety is power. Sin is weakness and ruin. We are looking for the Saviour. We want to be like him when he shall appear; and "every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 16, 1888
(Vol. 65, #41)

 "The Knowledge of Christ and Self Leads to Humility"

    "Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." "We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." No man liveth unto himself. God has so linked humanity together that everyone who follows Christ, the light of life, will have an influence for good upon the lives of others. If we have indeed become Christians, and are partakers of the divine nature, we shall reveal it in our characters, by escaping the corruptions that are in the world through lust, and by shedding light upon the pathway of those with whom we associate.
    The subjects of saving grace are brought into family relationship with Christ. They will be branches of the Living Vine, bearing rich clusters of fruit. If you are growing in grace, in the knowledge of Christ, you will be earnest, working, spiritual Christians, and you will be lightbearers in the church. He who has a vital connection with Christ will not be influenced by unholy ambitions to desire the places of honor among his brethren. He will not make the proud boast, "I am holy; I am sanctified." In making this assertion, his claim is proved false; for the spirit manifested is a contradiction of the statement."
    As you make advances in the Christian life, you will be constantly growing up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. In your experience, you will be proving what is the length and breadth, the depth and height, of the love of God, which passeth knowledge. You will feel your unworthiness. You will have no disposition to claim perfection of character, but only to exalt the perfection of your Redeemer. The more thorough and rich your experience in the knowledge of Jesus, the more humble will be your views of self. The lower you lie at the foot of the cross, the clearer and more exalted will be your conceptions of your Redeemer. To love God supremely, and your neighbor as yourself, is true sanctification. Bible conversion will lead to constant and abiding activity, which will be free from all selfishness, all self-exaltation, and all boastful claims of holiness. If you are truly converted to God, you will exert a strong and telling influence on the side of truth. An intelligent knowledge of what it means to be a Christian will make you a blessing wherever you go. Whether you have one, two, or five talents, all will be devoted to the service of Him who has committed them to you in trust, that you may not receive the grace of God in vain. According to the light and knowledge given to us, we are to be examples to others. We are to have such a hold upon truth, and the Author of truth, as to make us a power for good in the world, to bless and to elevate those around us.
    Let your light shine forth in good works. Said Christ, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." I fear that there are many who are in this condition. All have not the same work to do; different circumstances and talents qualify individuals for different kinds of work in God's vineyard. There are some who fill more responsible positions than do others; but to each one is given his work, and if he does his work with fidelity and zeal, he is a faithful steward of the grace of God.
    God does not intend that your light shall so shine that your good words or works shall bring the praise of men to yourself; but that the Author of all good shall be glorified and exalted. Jesus, in his life, gave to men a model of character. How little power did the world have over him to mold him according to its standard! All its influence was thrown off. He declared, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his work." If we had this devotion to the work of God, doing it with an eye single to his glory, we should be able to say with Christ, "I seek not mine own glory." His life was full of good works, and it is our duty to live as our great Example lived. Our life must be hid with Christ in God, and then the light will be reflected from Jesus to us, and we shall reflect it upon those around us, not in mere talk and profession, but in good works, and by manifesting the character of Christ. Those who are reflecting the light of God, will cherish a loving disposition. They will be cheerful, willing, obedient to all the requirements of God. They will be meek and self-sacrificing, and will work with devoted love for the salvation of souls. In such workers there is an independent love for and a confidence in the truth, united with wisdom to set it before others.
    All who are true lightbearers will reflect light upon the pathway of others. Let those who have named the name of Christ, depart from all iniquity. If you yield to the claims of God, and become permeated with his love, and filled with his fullness, children, youth, and young disciples will look to you for their impressions of what constitutes practical godliness; and you may thus be the means of leading them in the path of obedience to God. You will then be exerting an influence which will bear the test of God, and your work will be compared to gold, silver, and precious stones, for it will be of an imperishable nature. Many, very many, will be disappointed to find that their lifework is a failure, bearing the character of wood, hay, and stubble, to be consumed in the fires of the day of God.
    There are many who are looking to you, to see what religion can do for you. If you are faithful in your God-given work, you will make right impressions, and will lead souls in the way of righteousness. If you give counsel to others, be sure to practice your own teaching, illustrating your own instructions by a harmonious life. A bold acknowledgment of a faith and doctrine, followed by a careless, faithless life, is only a stumblingblock to sinners, and results in making skeptics and infidels. Let us be decided in our profession of Christ, and let us be just as decided in living an earnest, consistent life, that will correspond to our profession. Let us make it manifest to all around us, that we abhor that which is evil, and walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, "with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." The Christian life is one of constant humiliation of self. Our wills must be conformed to the will of Christ, that we may work out the good pleasure of his will. When we contemplate the life and character of Jesus,--beholding his self-denial, and the poverty he submitted to endure, in order that those who had forfeited the divine nature might become the sons and heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away,--we must have the deepest conviction of our own personal depravity and unworthiness.
    In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah was permitted in vision to look into the holy place, and into the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary. The curtains of the innermost sanctuary were drawn aside, and a throne high and lifted up, towering as it were to the very heavens, was revealed to his gaze. An indescribable glory emanated from a personage on the throne, and his train filled the temple, as his glory will finally fill the earth. Cherubim were on either side of the mercy seat, as guards round the great king, and they glowed with the glory that enshrouded them from the presence of God. As their songs of praise resounded in deep, earnest notes of adoration, the pillars of the gate trembled, as if shaken by an earthquake. These holy beings sang forth the praise and glory of God with lips unpolluted with sin. The contrast between the feeble praise which he had been accustomed to bestow upon the Creator and the fervid praises of the seraphim, astonished and humiliated the prophet. He had for the time being, the sublime privilege of appreciating the spotless purity of Jehovah's exalted character. While he listened to the song of the angels, as they cried, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory," the glory, the infinite power, and the unsurpassed majesty of the Lord passed before his vision, and was impressed upon his soul. In the light of this matchless radiance, that made manifest all he could bear in the revelation of the divine character, his own inward defilement stood out before him with startling clearness. His very words seemed vile to him.
    Thus when the servant of God is permitted to behold the glory of the God of heaven, as he is unveiled to humanity, and realizes to a slight degree the purity of the Holy One of Israel, he will make startling confessions of the pollution of his soul, rather than proud boasts of his holiness. In deep humiliation Isaiah exclaimed, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips: . . . for mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts." This is not that voluntary humility and servile self-reproach that so many seem to consider it a virtue to display. This vague mockery of humility is prompted by hearts full of pride and self-esteem. There are many who demerit themselves in words, who would be disappointed if this course did not call forth expressions of praise and appreciation from others. But the conviction of the prophet was genuine. As humanity, with its weakness and deformity, was brought out in contrast with the perfection of divine holiness and light and glory, he felt altogether inefficient and unworthy. How could he go and speak to the people the holy requirements of Jehovah, who was high and lifted up, and whose train filled the temple? While Isaiah was trembling and conscience-smitten, because of his impurity in the presence of this unsurpassed glory, he says, "Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."
    We may always be startled and indignant when we hear a poor, fallen mortal exclaiming, "I am holy; I am sinless!" Not one soul to whom God has granted the wonderful view of his greatness and majesty, has every uttered one word like this. On the contrary, they have felt like sinking down in the deepest humiliation of soul, as they have viewed the purity of God, and contrasted with it their own imperfections of life and character. One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct, and lays bare the deformity and defects of the human character. How can anyone who is brought before the holy standard of God's law, which makes apparent the evil motives, the unhallowed desires, the infidelity of the heart, the impurity of the lips, and that lays bare the life,--make any boast of holiness? His acts of disloyalty in making void the law of God, are exposed to his sight, and his spirit is stricken and afflicted under the searching influences of the Spirit of God. He loathes himself, as he views the greatness, the majesty, the pure and spotless character of Jesus Christ.
    When the Spirit of Christ stirs the heart with its marvelous awakening power, there is a sense of deficiency in the soul, that leads to contrition of mind, and humiliation of self, rather than to proud boasting of what has been acquired. When Daniel beheld the glory and majesty surrounding the heavenly messenger that was sent unto him, he exclaimed, as he described the wonderful scene, "Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength." The soul that is thus touched will never wrap itself about with self-righteousness, or a pretentious garb of holiness; but will hate its selfishness, abhor its self-love, and will seek, through Christ's righteousness, for that purity of heart which is in harmony with the law of God and the character of Christ. He will then reflect the character of Christ, the hope of glory. It will be the greatest mystery to him that Jesus should have made so great a sacrifice to redeem him. He will exclaim, with humble mien and quivering lip, "He loved me. He gave himself for me. He became poor that I, through his poverty, might be made rich. The man of sorrows did not spurn me, but poured out his inexhaustible, redeeming love that my heart might be made clean; and he has brought me back into loyalty and obedience to all his commandments. His condescension, his humiliation, his crucifixion, are the crowning miracles in the marvelous exhibition of the plan of salvation. That the just should die for the unjust, the pure for the impure, is beyond all manifestations of human love; and all this he has done to make it possible to impart to me his own righteousness, that I may keep the law I have transgressed. For this I adore him. I will proclaim him to all sinners. I will cry, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!'"
    To the question, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" who will respond, "Here am I, send me"? Men are to be instruments in the hands of God to execute his commission--"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." The apostles were to commence at Jerusalem; for the work should ever begin nearest home. Who will do missionary work? Who will unfurl the banners of truth in the dark places of the earth! Who are striving to possess many-sided characters, that they may adapt themselves to different situations? God wants men who are self-possessed and unselfish, men who are sympathetic,--not for themselves, but having Christlike sympathy for those who are perishing for the knowledge of the Saviour of the world.
    There are many ministers of the gospel who need to have the live coal from off the altar touch their lips, and sanctify their tongues and hearts, till their souls are purified, ennobled, refined, and wholly given to the work. The humility, meekness, and lowliness of Christ, must characterize their lives. Their energy is represented by an angel flying through the midst of heaven. The Lord will give to the consecrated workers a new and enlarged commission, and will say, "Go into the harvest field. Lo, I am with you to work with human effort." The live coal is symbolical of purification. If it touches the lips, no impure word will fall from them. The live coal also symbolizes the potency of the efforts of the servants of the Lord. God hates all coldness, all commonness, all cheap efforts. Those who labor acceptably in his cause, must be men who pray fervently, and whose works are wrought in God; and they will never have cause to be ashamed of their record. They will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and their reward will be given them,--even eternal life. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 23, 1888
(Vol. 65, #42)

 "The Privilege of God's People"

    God has permitted the clear light of his truth to shine upon his people. He has provided grace for every hour of trial, strength for their weakness, and wisdom for their ignorance. He has not only promised guidance and protection all along the path of life, but he declares that as we follow in its rays, the light which now shines upon us shall increase "more and more unto the perfect day."
    With all the gracious promises which God has made for his people, many are inquiring, "Why is it that there is no more light and power among us? We have accepted the truth, why does the Lord hide his face from us?" It is not because his ears are closed against our prayers; it is not because there are no precious blessings in store for us, that we are in this state of weakness. Do we ever come to God, asking for heavenly wisdom, and find our plea rejected, and ourselves turned away empty?--No; never. The fault is in ourselves. It is our errors, our sins, our backslidings, that have separated us from God. And yet the longsuffering Saviour's voice is inviting us, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." It is the needy, the fainting, those who are weighed down with care, those who are burdened with sorrow, to whom the invitation is given.
    When we have been well nigh overwhelmed, we have sent up the earnest cry. "Lord, save, or we perish," and how sweet it has been to find that his hand has been stretched out to save. He has been to us, just as he promised to be, a present help in every time of need. He who was once the Man of sorrows is now high and lifted up, and the train of his glory fills the temple. He is surrounded with light and glory. Why is it withheld from us who are in a world of sin, sorrow, suffering, and death?--It is because we do not ask for it aright. We do not feel our need. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." The promise is for you, my brethren and sisters, for me, and for all. We may come to Jesus just as we are, with all our weakness, our folly, our sinfulness, and fall at his feet in penitence. It is his glory to encircle us in the arms of his love, and to bind up our wounds, to sympathize with those who need sympathy, and to strengthen those who need strength. When our Saviour was upon earth, he said to the stubborn and unbelieving Pharisees, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." [Pray] that this may never be said of us!
    We must comply with the conditions laid down in the word of God, if we would be strong in the strength of the Mighty One. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." There are many of the professed followers of Christ who may be represented by the vine that is trailing upon the ground, its tendrils entwining about whatever chances to lie in its way. The heart's affections must be fixed upon God, separated from everything which would hinder this divine union. We are exhorted, "Touch not the unclean." Those who associate with the impure, themselves become impure. If we choose the society of the ungodly, we shall be affected by their ungodliness. "What communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?"
    The requirements of God are plainly set before us in his word, and there are also presented before us great and precious promises. The question to be settled is, "Are we willing to separate ourselves from the world, that we may become children of God? This is not the work of a moment, or of a day; it is not accomplished by bowing at the family altar, and there offering up lip service. It cannot be accomplished by merely uniting in the services of the prayer meeting. It is a lifelong work. Love to God must be a living principle, underlying every act and word and thought.
    If in the strength of Christ we are seeking to maintain such a consecration, we shall be daily holding communion with God, understanding more of the mysteries of godliness, enjoying the fellowship of the Spirit, coming closer to our Redeemer, and taking hold with a firmer grasp, of a better and higher life. The principles of God's law will dwell in the heart, and control the actions. It will then be as natural for us to seek purity and holiness, to shun the spirit and example of the world, and to seek to benefit all around us, as it is for the angels of glory to execute the mission of love assigned them. None will enter the city of God but those who have been doers of the word. They will be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is our privilege to know more of Christ's presence and power, and through faith to become transformed into his likeness. The great apostle prayed for his Colossian brethren that they "might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;" that they "might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." And it is as one of the steps by which we may alone attain to this position, that we are to separate ourselves from sin and sinners. But this separation from the world, in obedience to the divine exhortation, will not prevent us from accomplishing the work which the Lord has given us to do. It will not debar us from doing good to those who are around us. The firmer our hold of heaven, the greater will be our power for usefulness.
    When Christ was on the earth, he went about doing good. It was his mission to help those who needed help, to seek the lost, to rescue the perishing, to lift up the bowed down, to break the yoke of oppression from those who were in bondage, to heal the sick, and to speak words of sympathy and consolation to all the sorrowing and distressed. He was not often found among the most wealthy and honored, nor with those who were seeking their own ease and pleasure. He went among the humble and the poor. He sought out those who most felt the need of his help. The more we are imbued with the spirit of Christ, the more we shall seek to do for our fellow-creatures; and the more we do for others, the greater will be our love for the work, and the greater our delight in following the footsteps of our divine Master.
    Our probation is soon to close. Soon will the voice from the throne declare, "It is done;" "he that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still." The work of man's redemption will soon be ended. The last prayer for sinners will have been offered, the last tears shed, the last warning given. Satan knows this, and he is making one last, mighty effort to destroy the souls of men. Especially does he work to entice into his ranks the professed followers of Christ; for he can work through them with the greatest effect to destroy others. While Christians are sleeping at their post, Satan is active, vigilant, and untiring. None are secure from his wiles. We are each playing the game of life, and Satan is working with all his skill and cunning to rob us of every heavenly grace, and in its place to introduce the passions of the carnal heart. He is never off the watch. He stands ready to take advantage of every unguarded moment, and to assail us at every weak point. With all deceivableness of unrighteousness, he pursues his work.
    God's word plainly warns us of this time of peril, and teaches us how to escape the wiles of Satan. Few understand the warnings, because they do not give sufficient attention to the Scriptures to know what God has spoken. The Jewish nation rejected and crucified the Lord of glory, because in their worldliness, pride, and bigotry, they failed to understand the scriptures which foretold his coming. They were too much absorbed in their petty strife for place and power, to study the word of God with a prayerful heart. And for the same reason, many in this time will fail of a preparation for Christ's second appearing. The precious truths which are to elevate, refine, and sanctify the receiver, and prepare him for the finishing touch of immortality, are set aside for the glittering baubles of the world. O that the blindness of God's professed people might pass away! O that they might realize the work that Satan is accomplishing among them.
    It is our privilege, our duty, to receive light from heaven, that we may perceive the wiles of Satan, and obtain strength to resist his power. Provision has been made for us to come into close connection with Christ, and to enjoy the constant protection of the angels of God. Our faith must reach within the vail, where Jesus has entered for us. We must lay hold with firmer grasp on the unfailing promises of God. We must have faith that will not be denied, faith that will take hold of the unseen, faith that is steadfast, immovable. Such faith will bring the blessing of heaven to our souls. The light of the glory of God that shines in the face of Christ may shine upon us, and be reflected upon all around, so that it can be truly said of us, "Ye are the light of the world." And it is this connection of the soul with Christ, and this alone, that can bring light to the world. Were it not for this connection, the earth would be left in utter darkness. As in Sodom and Gomorrah, iniquity would prevail, and all would perish together beneath the judgments of God. How great is the responsibility placed upon the disciple of Christ. How imperative the duty to reflect the light of heaven upon a world enshrouded in darkness. The deeper the surrounding gloom, the brighter should shine out the light of Christian faith and Christian example.
    The fact that unbelief prevails, that iniquity is increasing all around us, should not cause our faith to grow dim, nor our courage to waver. How was it with Enoch in his day? Was a life of holiness more easy then than it is now? Was the world more favorable to a growth in grace? Was the earth less corrupt, when God was forced to destroy its inhabitants for their heaven-defying wickedness? If we will but seek God with all our hearts, if we will work with that same determined zeal, and believe with that unyielding faith, the light of heaven will shine upon us, even as it shone upon the devoted Enoch. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  October 30, 1888
(Vol. 65, #43)

 "The Cooperation of Man With God"

    Text: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. 2:12.
    There is a work that everyone of us must do if we would be saved in the eternal world. But while we must on our part do what God has given us to do, we must realize that, having done all, we should come far short of salvation, did not the Lord on his part do that which finite, sinful man cannot do for himself. The religious life is wholly dependent upon the blending of both human and divine forces. Man is to work out his own salvation, but he cannot do this without divine aid; and although Christ has paid an infinite price to save the souls of men from everlasting ruin, he will not do that part of the work which was left for man to perform. We are to live by faith. We are not to be controlled by impulse and feeling, but the principles of God's law must govern our lives. While we look to Jesus as the source of all power, we shall not fail to receive help in every time of need, "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
    In the work of salvation, God requires the cooperation of man. The Christian must put forth strenuous exertions, and God will unite divine grace with his human effort. The servant of God must avail himself of the precious privileges and opportunities that are given to him, that he may become efficient and successful in copying the divine Pattern. In the work of salvation the grace of Christ is united with a willing and obedient service, on the part of man. The sincerity of our profession of love to God will be made manifest by our earnest endeavors to fulfill the requirements of his law. Those who are the servants of God will renounce all evil habits and associations. There will be constant and earnest efforts made to lift up the soul from its defilement. There will be repentance toward God for past transgressions, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,--a faith that says, "I believe that God for Christ's sake has forgiven my sins." Supplication will be made to God for his transforming grace.
    We are not to be altogether passive, thinking that there has been no task allotted to those who would win immortality. No; no; God calls upon us to do our best with the powers that he has given us,--to put to the stretch every faculty, and exercise every ability, that we may not fail of everlasting life. That man can be saved in indolence, in inactivity, is an utter impossibility. There is a constant conflict before those who would win eternal life. Faith and works go hand in hand. That man has nothing to do but to believe, is a fallacy and a most dangerous doctrine. Faith without works is dead. A man saved in his sins would be out of harmony with the plan of redemption and the work of God. Sin must be hated, and put away. The works of the flesh must be warred against. The Christian cannot be an idler. No sluggard ever engages in a determined opposition to inclination and folly. He will not be found on the defensive when Satan presses his temptations upon the soul. Those who would inherit eternal life must subdue pride, conquer passion, walk in the light as God is in the light. They must run in the way of God's commandments. They must make use of all the helps that providence has placed within their reach, looking constantly unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of their faith. Christ says, "Without me, ye can do nothing."
    We want to understand how to do our work intelligently, and this makes the searching of the Scriptures a necessity. If we neglect to study the word of God,--a duty which Christ has especially enjoined,--we shall be left to the subtle delusions and errors of the world. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Not only must we read the word of God; but prayer must be offered, that the truth of its teaching may find an entrance into our hearts, and may be received, believed, and acted upon. We must know what is truth, in contrast with error, and then we must weave it into our lives, and exemplify it in our characters, that all with whom we associate may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. We are to conduct ourselves in such a way in all our affairs that God will be pleased with our course. We are required to put as much more earnestness into our religious life than into our common, business life, as heavenly treasure is of more value than earthly. Has God given you tact and ability to be employed in earthly things? Is this God-given ability esteemed of too much value to be used in the matters that pertain to your eternal interests? What false ideas prevail in regard to the salvation of the human soul!
    We see ingenuity displayed in the inventions and the productions of human skill. Why not bring this very tact and power into the work of God? Do we not need the taste, the talent, the strong ability, and the measure of knowledge as much in the cause of Christ, as in the affairs of this world? God is not pleased when we devote all our powers to the achievement of worldly success. We should give our best energies to the service of God, in doing that work which will outlive the mere transitory things of this life. We commit sin when we talk of our weakness and inability. It is an offense to God for his children to do this, when Jesus, through taking upon himself the nature of man, has exalted humanity, and has brought the fallen race into favor with God, and has opened to us the resources of power and the treasures of his grace. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?"
    As we engage in the contest against unrighteousness, we are invited to lean upon Christ for strength. Those who venture in the path of self-pleasing bring tact and talent into their work, that they may accomplish their end; and the Lord requires that those who serve him shall bring into their lifework, intelligence and tact and an experimental knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    Those who take the position that Christ has done it all, and that we need not obey the requirements of God, will fail of everlasting life. But what a terrible thing it is to trample upon the holy commandments of the Lord,--to be unthankful, unholy, and so lose the soul at last. We should seek most earnestly to make our calling and our election sure. We should search diligently that we may know the conditions upon which salvation is promised, and then we should carefully comply with the conditions. Daniel and his companions were greatly favored of God, because they fulfilled his requirements. The inspired record states that "as for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom." Every hour, every day, comes to us freighted with great responsibilities and terrible significance, from the fact that we are either laborers together with God, or agents of the enemy of all righteousness.
    The most powerful agencies, the most impelling motives have been set in operation by the God of heaven, in order that man may be saved. The plan of redemption has been devised, and those who fail of securing eternal life will have no one but themselves to blame. God has made every provision for the redemption of the lost. It is the corrupt heart that closes against truth and holiness. Those who turn away from so great salvation, for the fleeting joys of this world, are registered in heaven in the lamentable words, "Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." In vain has Jesus died for the souls of those who reject his mercy.
    My soul cries unto God in hunger for the revelation of his truth. O that I may have that faith that grasps the precious promises that God has given to all those who will obey him, walking in the light as he is in the light. If it had not been for the great condescension and goodness of God, there would have been no hope for our souls. I thank God every day for the great plan of redemption. All that will, may come and be saved. We can obtain power from the Saviour of men, which will make us more than conquerors. It is our duty to overcome indolence, to speak of our inability and weakness, but to put mind and soul and body to the task of working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Talk no more of doubts; but dwell upon the matchless love of Jesus. Let his praise be continually in your heart and upon your lips. When this is your condition, you will not fail to give to others the right impression as to what constitutes a Christian. You should show to all around you that Jesus is a tower of strength. In him the Christian may rejoice. Through his name we may receive the forgiveness of sin, and the treasures of his grace.
    Let us lay hold of the blessed hope that has been set before us in the gospel. We may contemplate the plan of salvation hour by hour, day by day, year by year, until we shall see as we are seen, and known as we are known; and yet we shall find an infinity beyond. Although we devote our whole life to the study of the truth of God, we shall have but a limited comprehension of the work of God in the salvation of lost man. If we walk in the light, our light will be constantly growing brighter; and the more light we receive, the more light we shall shed upon the pathway of others.
    But Christ never works without the cooperation of man. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Christ represents himself as calling to you to open the door. But you are to respond to that call. You are to open the door of the heart. You are to clear away the rubbish from the portals, and throw wide the door, that the heavenly Guest may find a welcome and an entrance. Christ will not enter a heart that is defiled with sin. It is our work to put away all iniquity. We are to represent the character of our divine Lord.
    Christ prayed to his Father in regard to his disciples, saying, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." If this prayer is answered in us, we must have a daily experience in divine things. Jesus has made an infinite sacrifice, that we may build up our lives in pure, holy, upright deeds, and may grow up into an holy temple for God. We cannot afford to have our minds dwelling upon things of minor importance. We are building for time and for eternity. We must cherish the loveliness of Christ. We are nearing the end of earth's history, and we are to be laborers together with God to the end of time. We must do our work with fidelity, bringing life and vitality into the church of Christ. Jesus has pledged himself to do for us abundantly, above what we are able to ask or think. Heaven is worth everything. If we gain the eternal reward, we gain everything; and if we lose it, we lose everything.
    There is a work for each one to do in enlightening others; for we are responsible for the souls of those who are around us. There are but few in this place who are obeying the commandments of God. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is not observed by many; but this very fact makes it more necessary that those who know the truth should let their light shine out in clear, steady rays. As professed Christians, we are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. We stand before many witnesses, and we must reach a high standard of character. If the unbelieving world see that we are no better than others, they will not be constrained to believe that the faith we profess is worthy of their attention. I wish to impress upon you the necessity of strengthening every God-given ability, that you may double the powers you now possess, by improving them to the glory of God. It is by revealing the transformation that the truth has worked in our characters, in giving us a Christlike mold, that we show our appreciation of the great sacrifice that has been made in our behalf. We bear fruit to the glory of God, when we show to the world that the truth has sanctified our lives, and changed our characters. We are then registered in the books of heaven with those who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We shall receive the heavenly benediction, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
    Those who have labored for the glory of God will meet around his throne many who have been influenced through their efforts to accept the truth as it is in Jesus. With them they will exclaim, "Saved! eternally saved!" And while all honor and majesty and glory shall be given to God and to the Lamb, yet those who have sought for the salvation of their associates will share in the joy of their Lord. Many will say to the faithful followers of Jesus, "It was your constant efforts, your Christlike character, that influenced me to seek the salvation of my soul; and this acknowledgment will not detract in the least from the glory that shall flow forth from immortal tongues to the Father and to the Son. Let us have more earnest zeal for the souls that are out of Christ. We need to broaden our efforts, enlarge our plans, and make it manifest that the truth has a vitalizing power in our life. If you work with earnestness and unselfish effort, you will see the salvation of souls. We must have the spirit of supplication to God. The enemy holds many of you from prayer, by telling you that you do not feel your prayers, and that you would better wait until you realize more of the spirit of intercession, lest your prayers should be a mockery. But you must say to Satan, "It is written" that "men ought always to pray, and not to faint." We should pray until we do have the burden of our wants upon our souls; and if we persevere, we shall have it. The Lord will imbue us with his Holy Spirit. The Lord knows, and the Devil knows, that we cannot resist the temptations of Satan without power from on high. For this reason the evil one seeks to hinder us from laying hold upon Him who is mighty to save. Our Lord made it our duty, as well as our privilege, to connect our weakness, our ignorance, our need, with his strength, his wisdom, his righteousness. He unites his infinite power with the effort of finite beings, that they may be more than victors in the battle with the enemy of their souls.
    Let no one be discouraged, for Jesus lives to make intercession for us. There is a heaven to gain, and a hell to escape, and Christ is interested in our welfare. He will help all those who call upon him. We must mingle faith with all our prayers. We cannot bring Christ down, but, through faith, we can lift ourselves up into unity and harmony with the perfect standard of righteousness. We have a wily foe to meet and to conquer, but we can do it in the name of the Mighty One. I am glad we have a Saviour whose love cannot be measured, except as we look to the cross of Calvary with comprehensive faith. The light that streams from Calvary shows us the value of the soul and of eternal life. If we, then, lift up Jesus, and humble ourselves, we shall finally receive honor, glory, and eternal life. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 6, 1888
(Vol. 65, #44)

 "The Missionary Work"

    Our Saviour has given to everyone his work, and no one can plead any excuse to God why he has not done the very work which God has given him to do. God does not require of the man to whom he has intrusted two talents, the use of five; but he expects us to do our very best, according to the capability and power he has given us. The varied trusts are proportioned to our varied capabilities. Though we may have but one talent, if we use that well, God will accept it; but our improvement of it will be according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
    The plans which have been suggested by our brother, I believe to be sound; and if we practice something in this line in the several churches with which we are connected, we shall find that those churches that carry out a system of labor, educating and training all to do something for the Master, will be living churches; for a working church is a living church. But here it may be urged that there should be ability to educate properly, and to teach how the different members shall do their part in the work. The one who is appointed as leader in the church, or the minister who has charge in the district, should consider it a part of his work to be overseer of the flock of God. Now, how is it possible for the servants of God to neglect this part of the work, when Paul describes his work in the ministry as "warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; whereunto I also labor, striving according to his workings which worketh in me mightily?" Now that same order of work is devolving upon every man who becomes a minister. It is to educate, educate, educate, not only by precept, but by example; and if the one who thus teaches, can bring a church into working order, showing them how to work in this very line, he will have a special interest in the prosperity and success of the church. Such will say, "I have acted a part in that work, and was much blessed in attempting to do something; and I have an interest to do more and better work."
    Just according to the measure of the ability which God has committed to them, can they work intelligently, and work in Christ. Here is the great and essential point,--for these workers to be sure that they have the spirit of Christ. And if they are filled with the love of God, which should be in the heart of every worker; and if they seek wisdom from above, they will seek to be more and more intelligent in regard to their work, and will become efficient and useful workers. They should never be satisfied with their present condition, but should continually increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The first thing necessary is to have our hearts and minds touched with that love for souls which Christ manifested, that our ways and manners will not offend. We should be such excellent representatives of the missionary cause that it shall stand high and elevated, pure and holy.
    It is essential that we begin at the first round of the ladder, and climb step by step. It is not best for those uneducated and undisciplined to grasp at the top round of the ladder, and think they can do the work of another who is more experienced; but if they will be humble, they may gain the very best kind of experience. They can gain an aptitude for the work, if they will put their ingenuity to work as to the best methods and means of making everything they undertake full of earnest interest. Their work will then become a living work, not a dead form.
    I want to know why we as Christians who profess to believe the most solemn truths that God ever gave to mortals, should not have works to correspond to our faith. Christ has said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." It is of great consequence to ourselves and others, in what manner we let our light shine in the work in which we engage; and if we seek to glorify Christ, God will help us by letting his light so shine through us, that the glory shall redound to him. We should be the very best and most intelligent workers in the Master's vineyard. We may legitimately seek to excel in copying our Pattern, Christ Jesus.
    We see many of our sisters who know how to crochet fine articles for their dress; but this kind of work is represented as hay, wood, and stubble. God has earnest work for all to do; and if our sisters would spend their God-given time in earnest prayer to God, and the study of his word, he would impart to them heavenly wisdom, that they might know how to labor through the grace given them of God, to save the souls of those around them. Our sisters might begin with missionary work in their own households; then they would know how to work intelligently for their neighbors. If they would become interested in this kind of work, they might be sowing the seeds of truth. We must sow beside all waters, though we know not which will prosper, this or that. This kind of work pays; for its results are as lasting as eternity. It is represented as bringing to the foundation, gold, silver, and precious stones,--materials which are not consumable and perishable, but as enduring as eternity. The first work for us individually is a personal consecration to God.
    I have seen ladies in England riding in their carriages with their lap dogs, covered with their little blankets, in their arms. How I longed to place some poor homeless child in the place of that dog! I saw houses beautifully and expensively built, like palaces, and on inquiring in regard to them, was told that they were built by wealthy men for their hounds and dogs. But you could see little children and women in the streets, miserable and poor, and destitute of clothing. Now what reason is there in this? Will that work be as far-reaching as eternity? We do not want to misuse any of God's creatures, but we should give our first attention to those souls for whom Christ died; and we should not allow our means to flow out in these foolish channels for our own selfish gratification. We should use all of God's gifts in gaining an experience that will help us to benefit our fellow creatures, and advance the missionary work; for in doing this, we are laying up for ourselves treasure in heaven. Every self-sacrificing work and effort that shall be made for the sake of Christ, to reflect back glory to God, in educating and training ourselves for this kind of labor, will meet the approval of Heaven; and God himself will connect with these efforts, and put his seal upon them. This work may appear to us very feeble, and we may never in this life understand the results of such labor; but God knows all about it, and we must sow continually beside all waters, not knowing which will prosper, this or that.
    We find by interested inquiry that there are churches in different places that are ready to die. If they were ready to die to self and sin; if covetousness and love of pleasure were let die, it would not be so bad; if they were ready to die in this sense, they would be led to bring all their powers into exercise for the Master; but it is a spiritual death that pervades our churches. Are there not those who feel the importance of teaching the members of the church, and trying to get workers for the cause of God? Who will see the importance of putting to the stretch every power and talent that God has given them? Our sisters can work for the women at their homes, and thus do a good work for the Master. Our brethren can reach the men. If those who have a little time, will give courteous attention and well-directed effort, they can help men to become elevated, and in the place of smoking the cigar and enjoying themselves at the saloon, they may be led to Christ, who has died for all.
    I remember when the converting power of God came upon me in my childhood. I wanted everyone else to have the blessing that I enjoyed, and I could not rest till I had told them of the love I had for Jesus. I visited my young companions at their homes, and told them my experience,--how precious the Saviour was to me, and how I wanted to serve him, and that I wanted them to love Jesus and serve him also. I would talk of the preciousness of Christ, and ask them if they would kneel down and pray with me. Some would kneel, and some would continue to sit in their chairs; but before we arose, all would be on their knees, and we would often continue in prayer for hours, till the last one would say, "I believe that Jesus has forgiven my sins." Sometimes the sun would begin to make its appearance in the heavens before I would give up the struggle. There is great power in presenting the love of Jesus.
    When we go into a house to visit families, we should not begin to talk of frivolous things, but come right to the point, and say, "I want you to love Jesus, for he has first loved you." You can talk of the Christian's hope, and the reward that is presented to the obedient; and as has been suggested, make it a part of your work to take with you publications, and ask the people to read. When they see that you are sincere, they will not despise your efforts. It is possible to reach the hardest heart. It is the simplicity, sincerity, and humility that you manifest which will help you to reach the souls for whom Christ has died; therefore let us not be negligent in this work.
    The plan now under consideration, I believe to be one that God will be pleased with. The churches that are weak and ready to die, need someone who has the ability to set things in operation, and to help devise means and lay proper plans for putting life into their work. But who will do this work? There are many who have ability, and who want to be Christians, who should be set to work in the meetings and out of the meetings. First one should be called upon and then another, to give Bible readings, to pray, or speak, and the Spirit of God will work with your efforts; and as strangers come into your gatherings, they will be impressed, and you can reach the people--not by your own ability, but by the Spirit of God working with your efforts, though of course we want all the ability and power that God has given us, brought into use. We should not be novices forever, but should study how to conduct ourselves properly at all times and all places. We should carry Christian politeness with us in all our work. We must be hewn and squared and fitted, that we may do the work of God in humility, and that the sharp corners which may be in our characters may not be prominent.
    Much depends upon the manner in which you meet those with whom you visit. We should have a cheerfulness in our work. You can take hold of the hand in such a way as at once to gain the confidence, or in a cold, unimpressive manner, as though you were an iceberg, and had no interest in the person. Such a manner will repulse them, and you will find no warmth of feeling. We should not act as though it were a condescension to come in contact with the poor. They are as good by nature as we, and we must talk to them as though we considered them so. The joy which comes into the homes of the poor is often very limited, and why not carry rays of light to shine in upon them and fill their hearts? What we need is the tender sympathy of Jesus Christ; then we can win our way into the hardest heart. We should clothe ourselves in plain, simple attire, so that none will feel that they are not our equals, and that we do not consider them worth saving.
    The minister should not feel that it is his duty to do all the talking and all the laboring and all the praying; but he should make it a part of his work to educate workers in every church. Let different ones take turns in leading the meetings, and in giving Bible readings, and in so doing you will be calling into use the talents which God has given you, and at the same time educating workers. I read of a man who had a company of workmen over whom he placed an overseer, whose duty it was to see that the work was done to the best advantage. One day he came along to where his overseer, in charge of twelve men, was digging a trench. He found the overseer down in the trench digging away, with the sweat dropping from his brow; but the twelve men were above, watching him in his labor. The overseer was called up and asked what he was doing there. "I ordered you," said the man, " to keep twelve men at work; why have you not done this? There you are, doing the work of one man, while twelve are idle. Here are your wages."
    Now God has made some of us overseers of the flock, and he does not want us to do all the work ourselves, but he wants us to educate others in different branches of the work, that all the talents may be discerned and appropriated. Our ministers often do the labor instead of educating others to share the responsibility in the cause. The work of the minister should be the work of a teacher. This part of the work has been sadly neglected, and the result is that much is left undone that might have been accomplished, if talents had been wisely brought into the work. Some, through inexperience, will make mistakes, but should kindly be shown how they can do their work better. And thus you can be educating, until you have men and women of experience in the cause of God, who can carry responsibilities, and who will be prepared for the good work that is suffering so much for the want of laborers. We need men who can bear responsibility, and the best way for them to gain the experience they need, is to engage with heart and mind in the work.
    If we work for others, an experience will be gained about which we can talk when we assemble together. We shall not have a dark, gloomy testimony, but we shall speak of life and joy and courage; and instead of talking about our brethren, and thinking of our trials, we shall be thinking of the love of Christ, and studying how to become more efficient workers for him. If this branch of the work could be taken up in every church in our Conferences, we should see in the year to come an advancement, an elevation, a healthfulness, an altogether different atmosphere among our people; and there would not be so much time for gossiping and talking about our neighbors. The time spent in idle tales would witness the conversion of many souls to Christ. Why should we not feel an interest for those around us, when Christ has given us such an evidence of his love? Brethren and sisters, God will not leave us; he will let his converting, sanctifying grace be upon us, if we will move right forward in faith.
    Brethren and sisters, we want to do more than we have been doing to set things in working order for God. We want to do the work that has been given us to do, in saving souls, that at last we may be welcomed into the joy of our Lord; that we may not only give praises to God and the Lamb for our own salvation, but also that we have been the means of saving some soul through Jesus Christ; and in this way we must work, if we expect to enter into that joy. We cannot know here what the effect of our work has been, but eternity will reveal what we have done for the Master. Shall we not lay plans and devise means to carry forward these principles, to the letter? Then the blessing of the Lord will attend all our labors. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  November 13, 1888
(Vol. 65, #45)

 "The Law of God the Standard of Home Government"

    The work of parents is an important, a solemn work; the duties devolving upon them are great. But if they will study the word of God carefully, they will find in it full instructions, and many precious promises made to them on condition that they will perform their work faithfully and well. It exhorts them to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and assures them that if they train up their children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. Again, the admonition is given concerning the commands of God, "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
    In order to do this work, parents must themselves become acquainted with the word of God. Instead of spending their time in gossip, or in needless ornamentation of their houses or their persons, they will seek diligently to understand the will of God as revealed to them in his word; and instead of speaking vain words and telling idle tales to their children, they will talk with them upon Bible subjects. That book was not designed for scholars alone. It was written in plain, simple style, to meet the understanding of the common people; and, with proper explanations, a large portion of it can be made intensely interesting and profitable to very small children.
    Both parents and children should be under the control of God. There should be no oppression of the part of the parents, and no disobedience on the part of the children. Intelligent reason should take the lines of control. If parents in this age of the world meet the mind of God in the training, of their children, a great reformation will be experienced in the character of many. Their habits, their tempers, and their ideas will have to be entirely changed before they can lead their children to obey God. They must first control their own will, and obey the word of God themselves. Instead of scolding, flying into a passion at one time, and then indulging their children at another, those parents who are conscientiously walking in the way of the Lord will seek by precept and example to educate their children in self denial and self-control. They will also feel the responsibility of teaching them the truth. With the word of God spread out before them, the parents will show their children the importance of following the teaching of the Bible, and not departing from it under any consideration.
    After the death of Moses, Joshua was the leader of Israel. But notwithstanding his national burdens, he did not forget the duties which rested upon him in regard to his own family. He inquires of the people whether they will serve the Lord fully, and keep all of his commandments; and then he declares emphatically, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." This should be the language of every father and mother in our day.
    Parents have before them the example of Abraham, the father of the faithful. The God of heaven says, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." There will be no betrayal of the truth on his part; there will be no compromise in the matter. He will keep the law of God, he will teach his children to keep it. He will not allow blind affection, which is the veriest cruelty, to control him, neither will he permit his children to become the ruling power in the household. He will see that allegiance is given to the God of heaven, and that Satan does not gain control over the members of his family.
    Not until the parents themselves walk in the law of the Lord with perfect hearts, will they be prepared to command their children after them. The Holy One of Israel has made known to us the statutes and laws which are to govern all human intelligences. These precepts, which have been pronounced "holy, and just, and good," are to form the standard of action in the home. There can be no departure from them without sin; for they are the foundation of the Christian religion. One of the plainest of these precepts is that which relates to the observance of the Sabbath. "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates."
    All through the Bible we find that a careful observance of the Sabbath is repeatedly enjoined. God has plainly stated that those who knowingly break the Sabbath shall not prosper. He who has given man six days wherein to labor to obtain a livelihood, has reserved only one day to himself; and he looks with indignation upon those who appropriate any portion of this time to their own secular business. There are some who carry their business into the hours of the Sabbath to such an extent that they write business letters, and even collect debts, pay bills, and settle accounts upon the Sabbath. But God's eye is upon them, and although they may appear for a time to prosper, he will surely visit them with judgment. He can by a word scatter faster than they can gather. By fire, by flood, by the tempest, or the earthquake, he can cause them to lose all that they have gained by violating the Sabbath.
    How blind are the Christian world to their own highest interest! They could see, if they would, how the favor of God was removed from his people anciently, and they were left to be overcome by their enemies, and to become a scattered and hated people, because they transgressed his commands, and violated his Sabbath. The Lord has not changed, neither has he removed the sanctity from his rest day.
    Some who claim to be giving allegiance to the law of Jehovah have even gone so far in Sabbath desecration as to unite in partnership with those who have no respect for the Sabbath. The professed Sabbathkeeper may cease his own labors on the Sabbath, but his partner continues the work. How must angels look upon this partnership, as the Sabbath observer kneels reverently before God in the house of worship, while those with whom he is united in business continue their labor just the same as on any other day! How does Heaven look upon the noise and confusion, the sound of the mechanic's ax and hammer, which ascends instead of thanksgiving, as if in defiance of his injunctions! Can the Lord regard as guiltless the man who thus unites with transgressors?
    There is such a thing as holding the truth in unrighteousness,--professing to believe it while our actions are like those of transgressors. Bible truth will be a power in the true believer's life. It will give directness to all his efforts, and a holy purpose to all his labors. Unbelievers frequently argue that those who profess to believe the Bible do not exemplify its teachings in their business relations with their fellowmen. My soul has often been grieved as I have seen those who advocate the law of God failing to carry out its principles, in the public and private walks of life.
    We have no time now to confer with flesh and blood,--no time to study profits and losses, and to cut the sharp corners of truth, so that they shall not disturb others. The customs of the world should not be imitated by the people of God. What may seem perfectly proper in unbelievers may not be at all right for those who profess to love God and keep his commandments. The question should not be, What is custom? What will others think and say? but rather, What has God said in his word? What will be the effect of my example upon the world and upon the members of my own family? By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 11, 1888--Extra
(Vol. 65, #49)

 "The Inestimable Gift"

    We are nearing the close of another year. Christmas and New Year's will soon be here. Let us candidly and carefully review our life during the year that is about to pass, with its burden of history, into eternity, and consider the many tokens we have had of the favor of God in the blessings he has bestowed upon us. The most unspeakable gift which God could bestow upon the world was the gift of his beloved Son.
    We do not half appreciate the grandeur of the plan of salvation. He who was one with the Father stepped down from the glorious throne in heaven, laid aside his royal robe and crown, and clothed his divinity with humanity, thus bringing himself to the level of man's feeble faculties. "For your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." Infinite was the sacrifice on the part of the Father; infinite the sacrifice of the Son! The highest gift that Heaven could bestow was given to ransom fallen humanity. O, what divine benevolence! It would have been far easier to crush the world out of existence than to reform it. But Christ declares, "The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." The Son of God understood the desperate situation, and himself came to our world, that man through him might have eternal life. Son of the Most High though he was, he submitted himself to insult, mockery, and a cruel death because he loved man, and would save him from ruin. But, as if determined to cut themselves off from all communication with Heaven, as if scorning God's mercy and defying Omnipotence, the world whom he came to save, crucified the Lord of glory. Can we, my dear brethren and sisters, behold such love, such infinite sacrifice, unmoved? O, what abundant resources divine power has provided for the fallen race!
    Let us look to Jesus, and see the amazing love for fallen man of which the cross of Calvary gives evidence. The great sacrifice has been made, and Christ has purchased man at an infinite cost. "Ye are bought with a price," even the precious blood of the Son of God. And now Jesus says, "I have claims upon the human heart; man is the purchase of my blood." Thus he asserts his ownership of the consciences of men; and his Spirit, sent forth into all the world, convicts men of the claim God has to all there is of them, and writes his name upon the heart of everyone who accepts that claim. He engages to renovate the soul through the medium of the truth. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." All other knowledge is worthless only as Christ dwells in the heart, and is interwoven with the affections. Our Lord designed that his church should reflect to the world the fullness and sufficiency that we find in him. His children derive their enjoyment from a Source higher than the world can comprehend; and as they are constantly receiving of God's bounty in spiritual and temporal gifts, they are to represent to the world the love and beneficence of Christ.
    The church of Christ is the only object on the earth upon which he bestows his supreme regard; yet it has grown feeble and inefficient through selfishness. While all heaven is astir, dispatching messengers to bear the divine will to every part of the earth, they expect the church of the living God also to be co-laborers with Christ. He engages to come into the midst of his church, and to honor their prayers and decisions by the manifestation of his grace and power. They are members of his mystical body. Christ is their living head, controlling all the members of the body. Jesus himself, in his infinite mercy, is experimenting on human hearts, and by his efforts, effecting spiritual transformations so amazing that angels look on with astonishment and joy. The same unselfish love that characterizes the Master, is seen in human lives and characters, and is qualifying them to bear their part in the decisions of the judgment, and to share in the pleasures of heaven. Christ expects that man will be partaker of his divine nature while in the world, and thus convey a large amount of glory from earth to heaven. In full-souled piety, devotion, and ardor, man is to be one with Christ and one with God.
    The church of Christ is the repository in which heaven's wealth is stored, to be imparted to others, in the providence of God, as the extension of his work and the upbuilding of his cause shall demand. The rich dowry of grace, the intrusted capital of money, and the possessions in houses and lands, he has intrusted to his stewards upon the earth; and nothing can be more offensive to God, who is constantly bestowing his gifts upon man, than to see him selfishly grasping these gifts, and not rendering back to God either interest or principal. God designs that his stewards shall work as Christ worked, exerting all their influence to win souls to him, denying self as he denied himself, and practicing strict economy, in order to have means to use in Christ's cause. I have seen that we do not answer the claims of God upon us as we should. We might invest larger treasures in the bank of heaven, to be employed in missionary work. Said Christ, "Ye are the light of the world." God is constantly clothing us with temporal and spiritual blessings as with a garment. Jesus is today in heaven, preparing mansions for those who love him; yea, more than mansions, a kingdom, which is to be ours. But all who shall inherit these blessings must be partakers of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ in the salvation of souls.
    If men and women and youth could only realize the part that it is their privilege to act in connection with Jesus Christ, they would make far greater effort than they are making now. God forbid that any who are made partakers of the mercy and the grace of Christ, should devote their thoughts and their energies to serving themselves in these precious golden hours of probation. What answer can you give to the Master when he shall call for an account of your stewardship, if you have not been the means of saving souls for Jesus Christ? If your tithes and offerings, and even yourselves, have been withheld from his service; if the precious talents intrusted to your stewardship, either in property, in physical strength, in mental ability, or in all united, are not wisely improved; if they are turned to selfish gratification, you imperil your soul, and dishonor God, your Creator.
    There are today a large number who are not rendering to God the things that are God's. Opportunities, precious beyond price, of doing good to those around us, are being lost, because our eyes are not single to the glory of God. Satan has his devices to divert the mind to selfish purposes, so that the pressing needs of the cause, both for personal effort and means, shall be lost sight of. Not only your tithes, which belong to God by a special contract between him and his people, but your freewill offerings, are lost to his cause. One dollar now is of more value to the work than ten dollars will be at some future period. The Lord tests his people with prosperity, to see if they will consider souls of more value than money, or houses, or lands. If you cling to the means with which he intrusts you, and do not consider the wants of the cause in its various branches as more important than any temporal gain, you do not give evidence that you appreciate the gift of God's dear Son, whose life was the price of your redemption. Souls are perishing in the very shadow of your own doors, and many of you are too indolent and indifferent to make an effort to bring them to a knowledge of the truth.
    My soul is stirred within me as the Macedonian cry comes from every direction, from the cities and villages of our own land, from across the Atlantic and the broad Pacific, and from the islands of the sea, "Come over and help us." Brethren and sisters, will you answer the cry? saying: "We will do our best, both in sending you missionaries and money. We will deny ourselves in the embellishment of our houses, in the adornment of our persons, and in appetite. We will give the means intrusted to us into the cause of God, and we will devote ourselves also unreservedly to his work." Your property, your time, your strength, your opportunities all belong to God, and for these talents you must render an account. The wants of the cause are laid before us; the empty treasuries appeal to us most pathetically for help.
    Work, brethren, work while you have the opportunity; while the day lasts. Work, for "the night cometh, when no man can work." How soon that night may come, it is impossible for you to tell. Now is your opportunity; improve it. Invest every dollar that you can spare, in the bank of heaven. Will you believe the words of Christ? and will you be doers of his word?
    "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
    These are the words of Jesus, who loved you so much that he gave his own life, that you might have a home with him in his kingdom. Did he not know your great need? Did he not in these words present the only safe course for you to follow, if you would gain the crown of glory? Then do not dishonor your Lord by disregarding his positive commands. Do not disobey the injunctions of Him who loved you.
    There are those who seem determined to invest their means in the world, or tie them up somewhere, lest they return to the Giver in the gifts and offerings which are his due. More than this, they rob God in tithes; and he will not bless them in their selfishly withholding from him his own. O, what an amount of means and time is wasted in the indulgence of pride! God will wait for a time still imparting his blessings; but if men continue to dishonor him by withholding that which is his due, reverses will surely come, in punishment for their base ingratitude. God sees that the more he places in the hands of these men who divorce themselves from him,--men for whom he has done so much,--the more their affections are placed on the earthly treasure, and the less thought and interest they have for the eternal reward.
    God calls upon those who have possessions in lands and houses, to sell, and to invest the money where it will be supplying the great want in the missionary field. When once they have experienced the real satisfaction that comes from thus doing, they will keep the channel open, and the means the Lord intrusts to them will be constantly flowing into the treasury, that souls may be converted, and brought into the church. These souls will, in their turn, practice the same self-denial, economy, and simplicity, for Christ's sake that they, too, may bring their offerings to God. Through these talents, wisely invested, still other souls may be converted; and thus the work goes on, showing that the gifts of God are appreciated. The Giver is acknowledged, and glory redounds from earth to heaven in the salvation of souls, through the faithfulness of God's stewards. Although Jesus was the Prince of Life, he did not take his place with the rich and lordly ones of earth, but he honored the lowly, the oppressed, and the suffering, and bestowed upon them the blessings of his love.
    Christ was the majesty of heaven, yet the world rejected him. Let not his professed followers be guilty of this neglect. Is not the sin of covetousness fearfully denounced in the Holy Scriptures? "For this ye know, that no . . . covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." "The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth." "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come; that they may lay hold on eternal life."
    Brethren, are your lands and houses of more value than the precious souls for whom Christ has died? Every church member should awake, and go to work in the Lord's vineyard. If there are some who cannot give personal effort in missionary work, let them live economically and give of their earnings. Thus they can contribute money to send papers and books to those who have not the light of truth; they can help pay the expenses of students who are fitting for missionary work. Open your hearts in gifts and offerings; bring them to Jesus; lay them at his feet, and he will bless you. The necessities of the cause of God demand a continual flow of liberality. Let those who have been selfishly withholding their means, now bring offerings to the Lord. Be prompt in rendering to God his own. One reason why there is so great a dearth of the Spirit of God, is because so many are robbing God of his just claims.
    There are poor men and women who are writing to me for advice as to whether they shall sell their homes, and give the proceeds to the cause. They say the appeals for means stir their souls, and they want to do something for the Master who has done everything for them. I would say to such, "It may not be your duty to sell your little homes just now; but go to God for yourselves; the Lord will certainly hear your earnest prayers for wisdom to understand your duty." If there was more seeking God for heavenly wisdom, and less seeking wisdom from men, there would be far greater light from Heaven, and God would bless the humble seeker. But I can say to those to whom God has intrusted goods, who have lands and houses: "Commence your selling, and giving alms. Make no delay. God expects more of you than you have been willing to do." We call upon you who have means, to inquire with earnest prayer: What is the extent of the divine claim upon me and my property? There is work to be done now to make ready a people to stand in the day of the Lord. Means must be invested in the work of saving souls, who, in turn, shall bring their offerings to the treasury, and win souls to the Lord.
    When we make these earnest appeals in behalf of the cause of God, and present the financial wants of our missions, conscientious souls who believe the truth are deeply stirred. Like the poor widow, whom Christ commended, who gave her two mites into the treasury, they give, in their poverty, to the utmost of their ability. Such often deprive themselves even of the apparent necessities of life; while there are men and women who, possessing houses and lands, cling to their earthly treasure with selfish tenacity, and do not have faith enough in the message and in God to put their means into his work. To these last are especially applicable the words of Christ: "Sell that ye have and give alms." Lay up treasure in heaven. Commit some of your earthly possessions to the bank of heaven.
    Let us so manifest our faith and our love for God and the souls of men, that Jesus and his angels can look down from heaven upon us as a people, and bless us upon the coming Christmas and New Year's. How unworthy we are of all the priceless gifts and the continued mercies with which the Lord blesses us! How marvelous has been the goodness of God to the children of men! And how can we better testify our gratitude to God than by making thank offerings to him at this Christmas time?
    Our children have been educated to expect gifts from parents and friends upon Christmas. Christmas is celebrated to commemorate Christ's birth. If we celebrate it only in seeking to give pleasure to our children and one another, our offerings are diverted from the true object. We should bring our thank offerings to the Lord, laying our gifts at the feet of Him who has opened the treasures of heaven to us.
    The enemy plans that human minds and hearts shall be diverted from God and his cause, to praise and honor one another. God has been left out of the question, and positively dishonored. Christmas has been made a day of feasting of gluttony, of selfish indulgence. Now let every family consider this matter in all its bearings. Let the parents place it in all its wonderful significance before their children and friends, and say: "This year we will not expend money in presents upon ourselves, but we will honor and glorify God. We will testify of our gratitude to him who gave his Son to die as our sacrifice, that we might have the gift of eternal life." Let us show that we appreciate this gift, and respond as far as it is in our power, with thank offerings. Let us celebrate Christmas by remembering God, instead of remembering our friends and relatives with gifts which they do not need.
    Will not God acknowledge the offerings thus bestowed? Will he not bless the little ones who bring some offering of their own to the Master?--Indeed he will. Is not this a most precious opportunity to educate your children in the work of self-denial for Jesus's sake? Tell the children of the great missionary field, and talk to them of the love of Christ; of the great sacrifice made because he loved us, and wanted us to have a home with him in his kingdom. He came to our world to bless it with his divine presence, to bring peace, and light, and joy; but the world would not receive him, and put the Prince of Life to death. His death was to bring the treasures of heaven within the reach of all who should believe in Jesus. Make this glorious theme plain to your children; and as their young hearts expand with love to God, let them present their little offerings, that they may act their part in sending the precious light of truth to others. Thus the children may become little missionaries for the Master. Their little offerings coming into the treasury like many tiny rivulets, may swell the stream to a river that shall refresh many souls who are thirsting for the truth of God; and even these children may see some souls saved in the kingdom of God as the result of their self-denial. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 11, 1888--Extra
(Vol. 65, #49)

 "David's Gifts to the Temple"

    "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." 1 Chron. 29:14. The time when David was to be gathered to his fathers had almost come; but before his career closed, he turned his attention to the sanctuary to be erected for the Lord. David was not the one chosen of the Lord to build the temple; but he had no jealousy in his heart on this account, and manifested none the less zeal and earnestness in its behalf. He had prepared in abundance the most costly material,--gold, silver, onyx stones, and stones of divers colors, marble, and the most precious woods. And now all this valuable treasure that he had collected must be committed to others; for other hands must build the house for the ark, the symbol of God's presence.
    David summons the princes of the congregation to receive his legacy in trust, but he has a special appeal to make to the people before he commits to them all this substance for the temple of the Lord. He says, "I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God," and then goes on to enumerate the materials he had gathered. More than this, he says: "I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal." "Who then," he asks of the assembled multitude who had brought their liberal gifts, "who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?"
    "Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king's work, offered willingly, and gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king." 1 Chron. 29:6-20.
    With deepest interest the king had gathered the rich material for building and beautifying the temple. He had composed the glorious anthems that in after years should echo through its courts. Now his heart was made glad in God, as the chief of the fathers and the princes of Israel so nobly responded to his appeal, and offered themselves to the important work before them. And as they gave their service, they were disposed to do more. They swelled the gifts, giving of their own possessions into the treasury. David had felt deeply his own unworthiness in gathering the material for the house of God, and the expression of loyalty in the ready response of the nobles of his kingdom, as they came forward, with willing hearts dedicating their treasures to Jehovah, and devoting themselves to his service, filled him with joy. But it was God alone who had imparted this disposition to his people. He must be glorified, not man. God must receive the honor and praise due to his name. It was he who had provided the people with the riches of earth, and his Spirit had made them willing to bring their precious things for the temple. It was all of the Lord; if his divine power had not wrought with human effort, moving upon the hearts of the people, the king's efforts would have been in vain, and the temple would never have been erected.
    All that man receives of God's bounty still belongs to God. Whatever God has bestowed in the valuable and beautiful things of earth, is placed in the hands of men to test them,--to sound the depths of their love for him and their appreciation of his favors. Whether it be the treasures of wealth or of intellect, they are to be laid, a willing offering, at the feet of Jesus; the giver acknowledging, meanwhile, with David, "For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."
    It is an honor bestowed upon man that God should intrust to his keeping the riches of earth, and it is done that he may cooperate with God by using these precious gifts in advancing the Lord's work in the earth. None of us can do without the blessing of God, but God can do his work without the aid of man, if he so choose. But this is not his plan; he has given to every man his work, and he trusts men with treasures of wealth or of intellect, as his stewards. Whatever you render to God is, through his mercy and generosity, placed to your account as a faithful steward. But ever bear in mind, "Of thine own have we given thee."
    This is not a work of merit on man's part. However wonderful the powers and abilities of man, he possesses nothing which God did not give him, and which he cannot withdraw, if these precious tokens of his favor are not appreciated, and rightly applied. Angels of God, with clear, fine perceptions unclouded by sin, recognize the endowments of Heaven as bestowed with the intention that they be returned in such a way as to add to the glory of the great Giver. For one to use these God-given capabilities to procure his own happiness, or to promote his own glory, dishonors the Creator. Brethren and sisters in Christ, God calls for the consecration to his service of every faculty he has given you. He wants you to say, with David: "All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 11, 1888--Extra
(Vol. 65, #49)

 "The Approaching Crisis"

    A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the Sabbath. In view of this, there must be, among God's commandment-keeping people, more spirituality and a deeper consecration to God, and a zeal in his work that has never yet been reached, to hold aloft the banner of God's truth. The law of God, the only standard of righteousness, must be prized in proportion as the professed Christian world manifest contempt for it.
    The law of God should be loved and prized by God's true people now, more than ever before. There is the most urgent necessity of enforcing the words of Christ upon the mind and heart of every believer, both men and women, youth and children: "Search the Scriptures." Examine your Bibles as you have never done before. Unless you arise to a higher, holier attitude in your religious life, you will not be ready for the appearing of our Lord. There are many who are not purifying their souls by obeying the truth. As great light has been given them, God expects proportionate zeal, devotion, and faithfulness upon the part of his people. But there will be proportionate darkness, unbelief, and blindness as the truth is not appreciated and acted upon.
    The Lord will not remove from his people every occasion to doubt; but he will give sufficient light and evidence to encourage faith and confidence; and if they walk as Christ, the light of the world, leads the way, they will not step aside into the paths of doubt and unbelief. When declension and danger threaten the church, there will be more praying, more fasting, by the faithful few, and the Lord will answer the prayers offered to him in sincerity, and at the same time he will come forth as an avenger because of the guiltiness of the evil-workers. He will be a protector; for he will "avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them."
    It will appear as though Satan is triumphant, and that truth is overborne with falsehood and error; because the people over whom God has spread his shield, and the country which has been an asylum to the conscience-oppressed lovers of God and the defenders of his truth, are placed in desperate jeopardy through its oppressive legislation. Should our nation abjure the principles of Protestantism, to give countenance and sanction to the Sunday law, they will in this act join hands with popery; for it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has been eagerly waiting and watching its opportunity to spring into active despotism. And now, as this evil is on the point of realization, it is the business of all believers in the Bible to arouse.
    For years many have sat in calm expectation of this event, and they will not be working out the purposes of God if they comfort themselves with the thought that what is to come will come, and anything that they may do will not prevent it. They should not settle down in an easy, comfortable indolence, thinking that God will shelter his own people in the day of this calamity. This is the time for action, not for indolence and spiritual stupor. Satan is preparing his forces with a power from beneath, and all heaven is in busy activity, ready to work in the interests of those who are awake to the condition of things, and, like faithful sentinels, are doing all they can to arouse the people to avert, if possible, the threatened evil.
    If our people continue in the listless attitude in which they have been, God cannot pour upon them his Spirit. They are unprepared to cooperate with him. They do not realize the threatened danger, and are not awake to the situation. They should feel now as never before their need of vigilance and well-concerted action.
    The following quotation from "Testimony, No. 32," pages 208-210, which was published in 1885, shows that our people have not been left without warnings as to the duties and dangers of the times:--
    God has revealed what is to take place in the last days, that his people may be prepared to stand against the tempest of opposition and wrath. Those who have been warned of the events before them are not sit in calm expectation of the coming storm, comforting themselves that the Lord will shelter his faithful ones in the day of trouble. We are to be as men waiting for their Lord, not in idle expectancy, but in earnest work, with unwavering faith. It is no time now to allow our minds to be engrossed with things of minor importance. While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord's people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the under-current is tending. Its professions are mild, and apparently Christian; but when it shall speak, it will reveal the spirit of the dragon. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger. We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people. We should bring before them the real question at issue, thus interposing the most effectual protest against measures to restrict liberty of conscience. We should search the Scriptures, and be able to give the reason for our faith. Says the prophet, "The wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
    Those who have access to God through Christ have important work before them. Now is the time to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: "It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law." Let the servants of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar, crying, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach." God has always wrought for his people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to his power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, of his truth and his people, can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if he orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep,--the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of his people if they call upon him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness, until the warning is given to the world, and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict. "The wrath of man shall praise Thee," says the psalmist; "the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain." God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front, and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God's means of provoking inquiry, and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber.
    Thus it has been in the past history of God's people. For refusing to worship the great golden image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the three Hebrews were cast into the fiery furnace. But God preserved his servants in the midst of the flames, and the attempt to enforce idolatry resulted in bringing the knowledge of the true God before the assembled princes and great men of the vast kingdom of Babylon. So it was when the decree went forth forbidding prayer to any god save the king. As Daniel, according to his custom, made his supplications three times a day to the God of heaven, the attention of the princes and rulers was called to his case. He had an opportunity to speak for himself, to show who is the true God, and to present the reason why he alone should receive worship, and the duty of rendering him praise and homage. And the deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions was another evidence that the Being whom he worshiped was the true and living God.
    So the imprisonment of Paul brought the gospel before kings, princes, and rulers, who otherwise would not have had this light. The efforts made to retard the progress of truth will serve to extend it. The excellence of truth is more clearly seen from every successive point from which it may be viewed. Error requires disguise and concealment. It clothes itself in angel robes, and every manifestation of its real character lessens its chance of success.
    The people whom God has made the depositaries of his law are not to permit their light to be hidden. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and surmounted. A great work is to be done, and this work has been intrusted to those who know the truth. They should make mighty intercession with God for help now. The love of Christ must be diffused in their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ must be poured out upon them, and they must be making ready to stand in the judgment. While they are consecrating themselves to God, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others, and its light will find access to many hearts. We must sleep no longer on Satan's enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our resources, and avail ourselves of every facility with which Providence has furnished us. The last warning is to be proclaimed "before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings;" and the promise is given, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
    Through fraud and falsehood Satan is now using those who claim to be Christians to divorce the world from God's mercy. They are working in blindness. They do not see that if a Protestant government sacrifices the principles that have made them a free, independent nation, and through legislation brings into the Constitution, principles that will propagate papal falsehood and papal delusion, they are plunging into the Roman horrors of the Dark Ages. But this need not be, just at this point of time, if the church is aroused to her duty and her work. A vast responsibility is devolving upon men and women of prayer throughout the land, to petition that God may sweep back this cloud of evil, and give a few more years of grace to work for the Master.
    The peculiar work of the third angel has not been seen in its importance. God meant that his people should be far in advance of what they are today. But now, when the time has come for them to spring into action, they have the getting ready to do. When Satan made his advances, it was high time for the watchmen on the walls of Zion to arouse and counteract his efforts to obtain the advantage. It is not in the order of God that light has been kept from our people,--the very present truth which they needed for this time. Not all of our ministers who are giving the third angel's message, really understand what constitutes that message. The National Reform movement has been regarded by some as of so little importance that they have not thought it necessary to give much attention to it, and have even felt that in so doing, they would be giving time to questions distinct from the third angel's message. May the Lord forgive our brethren for thus interpreting the very message for this time. The third angel's message comprehends more than many suppose. What interpretation do they give to the passage which says an angel descended from heaven, and the earth was lightened with his glory? This is not a time when we can be excused for inactivity. If this work, which was so essential, had been taken up by our ministers, there would be today a far different state of things in all our churches.
    Some in the church will prove to be false brethren; their faith, their love, their patience, their constancy will be tested and tried; and if they are not rooted and grounded in the truth, if they are not filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and the praise of God, they will become offended at reproofs and warnings, will not humble their souls before God, and will go back and walk no more with those who love the truth. The people need to be aroused in regard to the dangers of the present time. The watchmen are asleep. We are years behind. Let the chief watchmen feel the urgent necessity of taking heed to themselves, lest they lose the opportunities given to them to see the dangers. Let them blow the trumpet, not in a general way, but so that it may give a certain sound, that other watchmen upon the walls of Zion may hear, and in their turn send forth the warning note.
    Perils now threaten the people of God; and what will they do? Can we not assist in lifting the standard, and in calling to the front those who have a regard for their religious rights and privileges? God calls us to awake; for the end is near. The prophecies that show us the closing scenes of earth's history, are fast fulfilling. The time is fast approaching when we shall be made to feel the hand of oppression, because we demand our religious rights. Shall we then dishonor God by keeping silent, when his holy commandments are being trampled under foot?
    We have been looking many years for a Sunday law to be enacted in our land; and now that the movement is right upon us, we ask, What are our people going to do in the matter? Do you realize that the night will soon come, when no man can work? Have you that intensity of zeal, that piety and devotion, which will enable you to stand when opposition is brought upon you? If God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils, and every position of truth which we hold will be severely criticised. The time that we are now allowing to go to waste should be devoted to the charge God has given us, of preparing for the approaching crisis. Much time should be spent in prayer, that our garments of character may be washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.
    We should especially seek God for grace and power to be given his people now. God lives; and we do not believe that the time has fully come when he would have our liberties restricted. The prophet saw "four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." Another angel ascending from the east, cried to them, saying, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." This points out the work we now have to do, which is to cry to God for the angels to hold the four winds until missionaries shall be sent to all parts of the world, and shall have proclaimed the warning against disobeying the law of Jehovah. But every conceivable thing that the enemy can bring against the people of God, to hinder them in their work, will be employed. The Lord, on the other hand, bids all to be awake and to watch; for it was while men slept, that the enemy sowed tares. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 18, 1888
(Vol. 65, #50)

 "David's Prayer"

    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." Ps. 119:126, 127.
    There was a time during David's reign over the kingdom of Israel, when he saw that special contempt was shown for the law of God. But what influence did this have upon him? Did it have the effect to sweep him into the current, so that he shared the same distrust in the law of Jehovah, and manifested the contempt that was revealed by those around him?--It had an entirely different influence. He saw that the disregard of the law of Jehovah brought moral desolation instead of increased piety, devotion, and love for God. God seemed to be put out of their minds; and the picture presented was not a pleasant one to the king and prophet of God. He beheld the influences that resulted from the transgression of the law of God, and it quickened his zeal, earnestness, and devotion, so that he felt urged to elevate the standard of righteousness, and hold it high amid the people, instead of uniting with them in transgression.
    If David thus marked the depravity of his time, and attributed it to the neglect of keeping the law of God, may we not interpret the increasing depravity, and the prevalence of iniquity in our world today, to the universal scorn shown for God's law? From generation to generation, from age to age, there has been a growing disrespect and contempt for the law of Jehovah. And when we come to our time, as we near the close of this world's history, there is a depravity existing everywhere, which reveals the fact that the law of God is made void, and that there is not in the minds and hearts of the people a yearning desire that God should reveal himself. "It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law."
    What should be the attitude of the people of God at the present time? We see this growing contempt for the law of God revealed everywhere; and the outlook for the future is perilous for those who love that law, for they stand in marked contrast to those who are showing it such contempt. The secular and the Christian world seem to have joined hands in this matter, and all are trampling under foot the law of Jehovah. Why is it that today, as we look around us, we see so few youth whose moral sensibilities can be aroused? We are forced to admit that it is next to impossible to get them to appreciate the claims that high Heaven has upon them. How difficult it is for them to see the sinfulness of sin, and to realize that God has made an infinite sacrifice in giving his Son to come into our world, that man might have another trial, notwithstanding his transgression of the law. God was, in the beginning, dishonored by the holy pair in Eden, because they held the word of Satan above the word of God. This is the difficulty with the people today. If they would take God's word just as it reads, and have reverence for it, and receive the sacred oracles of God as his voice, there would be a growing regard for the law of Jehovah.
    God has a law which governs the intellects of all the holy beings in his universe, and this law is designed to govern the inhabitants of this world. Christ died that the human family might be brought back to their allegiance to God. He was their only hope of redemption. He did not suffer and die on Calvary's cross to annul the law, because he would thus be the administrator of sin by perpetuating transgression. If the law of God could have been changed, or one precept of it altered to meet man's fallen condition, then the Son of God need not have come into our world and died. But because the law of God was changeless in its character; because not one principle of it, not even a jot or a tittle, could be dishonored and swept away, God consented to let his Son take upon himself the results of man's transgression of that law, thus making it possible for man to be pardoned, and to become obedient to all God's commandments. It is the righteousness and perfection of his Son, who takes upon himself our sins, our defects, our weaknesses, which God accepts; and through faith in the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour we are prisoners of hope. Christ's righteousness becomes our righteousness, if we sustain a living connection with him. Then we cease to transgress the holy law of God, and become partakers of the divine nature.
    A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God's people be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin. We see that those who are now keeping the commandments of God need to bestir themselves, that they may obtain the special help which God alone can give them. They should work more earnestly to delay as long as possible the threatened calamity. If, in our land of boasted freedom, a Protestant government should sacrifice every principle which enters into its Constitution, and propagate papal falsehood and delusion, well may we plead, "It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy law." Some may think that because it has been revealed in prophecy that our nation shall restrict the consciences of men, it must surely come; and that if we make an effort to preserve our liberty, we shall be acting the part of unfaithful servants, and thus come under the condemnation of God.
    This peril now threatens the people of God; and what are we going to do? Can we not assist in lifting the standard, and in calling to the front those who have a regard for their religious rights and privileges? God calls upon us to awake. We know the end is near. We know that the prophecies are fast fulfilling which show that we are living in the close of this world's history.
    John was shown the last work for this time (Rev. 14:9-12), and he saw a people of whom he says, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." John tells us what was opened to him in vision: "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament." This vision represents a people whose attention was called to the sanctuary in heaven. There John saw the ark of God, containing the tables of stone whereon was engraven the law of God; and this people have been seeking to be in harmony with heaven by keeping all God's commandments. There has been great opposition because they have respected the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, which by the secular and religious world has been ignored.
    Now God speaks to us from Sinai's mount: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." It is the only commandment which is prefaced with a "remember," as though God had said, "Do not forget it." He has given to man the Sabbath as a memorial of creation. Man is to obey his command, and as he observes this memorial, the mind will be directed to the living God, who created the heavens and the earth. If man had always remembered to keep holy the Sabbath, there would never have been an atheist or an infidel in our world; but Satan has made an effort to keep God out of the mind, and has worked his plans so as to accomplish this; and having banished God from the memory of man, he puts himself, if possible, in the place of God, and even goes so far as to exalt himself above God, in compelling the consciences of men, which God has never done.
    We are now keeping the seventh day,--the very day God has told us to keep,--and are here assembled on it for religious worship. The papacy has brought in another day, a common working day, and established it in opposition to the Sabbath of the Lord. This he has done so that men shall not see or understand what are the sacred claims of God resting upon them. Well, what are we to do about it? Are we going to let the enemy make us captives, so that we shall not pay respect and reverence to God's holy day? Notwithstanding the fact that nearly the whole Protestant world have taken this child of the papacy, and cradled and nursed it, and given it prominence, it is our privilege and duty to keep holy the Sabbath of Jehovah.
    Prophecy tells us that the man of sin, the papacy, was to change times and laws; and because we are not, with the whole world, accepting a spurious Sabbath for the genuine, persecution will be poured out upon us. And it is fast coming to that point when we shall see the power of the oppressive hand brought against our religious liberty, and have our right disputed to keep the day that God has blessed, and given to the world as a memorial of his creative work. Shall we therefore honor a day which has no foundation in God's word, an institution of the papacy, and trample on the holy day that Jehovah has blessed, and set apart for man? John, looking down to the close of this world's history, saw a class who kept the commandments of God, and had the faith of Jesus. I want to be among that number; I want to be on God's side of the question.
    We see that efforts are being made to restrict our religious liberties. The Sunday question is now assuming large proportions. An amendment to our Constitution is being urged in Congress, and when it is obtained, oppression must follow I want to ask, Are you awake to this matter? and do you realize that the night cometh, when no man can work? Have you had that intensity of zeal, and that piety and devotion, which will enable you to stand when oppression is brought upon you? It does not seem possible to us now that any should have to stand alone; but if God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils and before thousands for his name's sake, and each one will have to give the reason of his faith. Then will come the severest criticism upon every position that has been taken for the truth. We need, then, to study the word of God, that we may know why we believe the doctrines we advocate. We must critically search the living oracles of Jehovah.
    The means we are devoting to our comfort here, the time that we allow to go to waste, ought to be devoted to the charge that God has given us: "Search the Scriptures;" and much time should be spent in prayer to God, that our garments, the robes of character, the inmost adornment, may be washed in the blood of the Lamb. But this cannot be, unless we keep the commandments of God in verity and truth; and unless we are awake to the times in which we are living, we shall be unfaithful servants. Obedience to the law of God will give protection from his wrath. We need now to pray for strength from heaven, to press back this movement that is being made in our country, and we should do everything on our part to preserve our liberties, and our right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.
    Has the Protestant world stopped to look back at the suffering caused by popery in attempting to bind men's reason, so that they should not worship God as seemed right to them? Can they not see how the Roman Church has exercised her revengeful and cruel power? Those who would not bow to her mandates had to endure the prison and the stake, torture and death. And when those were swept away who would not bow their conscience to any but the God of heaven, others would spring up to fill the ranks, and lift the standard of religious liberty and right. And now this nation,--the greatest nation of earth,--under whose government we are blessed with every religious and temporal advantage; which has been the recipient of unrivaled mercies; which Providence has watched over and shielded; by which the standard of liberty and religious freedom has been lifted,--will it follow the course of the papacy, and make void God's law? And shall we sit with folded hands, and do nothing in this crisis? Shall we let this Religious Amendment movement come in, and shut us away from our privileges and rights, because we keep the commandments of God? God help us to arouse form the stupor that has hung over us for years! There are more souls to be saved, and a far greater work to be done in warning our world, than has yet been accomplished. We should seek God, especially that his grace and his power may be revealed in behalf of his people. We believe that God lives. We do not think the time specified in prophecy, when our liberties should be restricted, has fully come.
    Rev. 7:1, says: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." It seems that the breaking loose of the four winds is about to take place. Verses 2, 3: "And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."
    Here was a work to be done before the angels should let go the four winds; and if we shall awake to what is transpiring right around us, we must admit that we are not ready for the contest and the perplexities which are to be brought upon us, after the decree shall go forth. We are to cry to the God of heaven in earnest, united prayer, for the angels to hold the four winds till missionaries shall be sent to all parts of the world, till we have proclaimed the warning against disobedience to the law of Jehovah, and against worshiping the beast and his image. The claims of God's law must be made known to the inhabitants of the earth. This is our work; but every conceivable thing that the enemy can do will be done to hinder the people of God from awaking.
    The Lord bids us to watch; for we read that while men slept, the enemy sowed tares in the field. The work of these National Reformers has been done in a deceptive, underhanded way, to sweep in the whole Christian world, if possible; and if they shall carry this move to its result, and we are brought into straitened places, what are we to do? I beg of you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to awake out of sleep. God always cooperates with man in the carrying out of divine plans. Christ came to our world for the purpose of bringing to man moral power to combine with his human efforts, and that he might place divine strength within the reach of weak humanity. Every time that Jesus overcame the temptations of the enemy in behalf of man, he elevated man in the scale of moral value with God. But it is impossible to discern between the human and the divine without the enlightenment of the Spirit of God. It is next to impossible for human beings to separate the sacred from the common,--the divine from the human,--notwithstanding discerning power is in our midst.
    God is working for his people, that they may not be left in darkness. He would have us anoint our eyes with eyesalve, that we may discern between the workings of the powers of darkness and the movings of the Spirit of God. We must not give our attention to unimportant things; we need to become acquainted with the Scriptures as we have never done before. They are the rock upon which we are to stand, for everything that is revealed is for us and for our children. We can study the Bible, and understand the fulfillment of prophecy, and everything that has to do with the law of God, and Christ's sacrifice in connection with the law of God; and we can, as did Paul, go from house to house, teaching repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Why repentance toward God?--Because the sinner has broken God's law, and he must repent and come back to obedience of it. He is to show to the world that there is a moral law which is the great standard of righteousness, and that Satan would break it down, if possible, and have man erect a standard of his own. God's word is sure standing fast forever; and as we look into that mirror, we see the defects of our characters. Will any stand before God's mirror, and because it shows them their defects, say that it is not true? We should not, as soon as our defects are pointed out, go away and forget what manner of persons we are; we must plead the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour by living faith, that pardon may be written opposite our names. We must wash our robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.
    When Christ went away, he gave to every man his work. This rests upon every one of us. If God should speak to you, he would say as he did to Elijah, "What doest thou here?" God did not tell you to leave your small churches, to come and settle down in this large church, where your gift is swallowed up. I ask, "Is there no missionary work for you to engage in?" May the God of heaven stir up your minds and hearts. This work does not rest alone with the ministers; but every man is to search the Scriptures for himself, that he may give a reason of the hope that is within him with meekness and fear. Even though you have no great breadth of intellect, you can tell the simple story of the cross. There is a field before you in the home, in the neighborhood, in the city, and in the church; and it is this very work that God wants you to do. The people of God should arise and put on the armor. When all do this, we shall not see such congregations as we see here today. There are scores of you who could take your Bibles, and, without inquiring if it will be easy, bear reproaches for his name, that you may obtain eternal life. When the Lord shall come and ask, "What improvement have you made of your talent? have you put it out to usury that it might increase more and more?" what will you answer the Master, if you have sat at ease, and done nothing to win souls to Christ?
    We each have a duty to perform. The light of Heaven has revealed to us that everyone who would take upon himself this work, would have the blessing of God, and thus the light of truth be reflected across the pathway of others. "What doest thou here, Elijah?" Who sent you here, that you might come into this large church, to be a burden instead of a shining light, as you should be? A living church is a working church. Here you sit under the light of Heaven, and give out no rays of light to those who are in darkness; and yet you seem to be content, and do not appreciate your blessings, because you are not awake.
    We need not go to foreign lands to become missionaries. All around us are fields white already to the harvest. Do not be inactive now. God calls upon you in Battle Creek who are dying of spiritual sloth, to go out into the highways and hedges, and labor so earnestly and interestedly that you will compel men to come to the light of truth. Let there be a moving out of Battle Creek, even though it be at a sacrifice. Go where you may be a blessing to others. Go where you can be a help in some weak church. Shake off your spiritual lethargy. Work with all your powers to save perishing souls; and the heavenly benediction will fall upon you; and you will finally hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
    You do not appreciate or practice the truth of God. When you go to work for the Master in earnest, we shall not hear so many complaining, "Oh, I wish I knew whether I were a Christian or not." When you do the works of a Christian, you will have the witness that your ways please God. You must not be dependent upon a happy flight of feeling in your service to God. That is not the evidence that decides whether you are a Christian or not. The religion of Jesus Christ is a living principle within us, and every power and every faculty must be in subjection to the will of God. We are not our own; we are bought with a price. Christ says we are laborers together with God. But how many souls are you laboring to bring to the Master? There is a great and important work to be done to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord; and may God help us to do this work to his acceptance.
    We read in Isa. 8:12, 13: "Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." What is the burden of the work required of the people of God at this time? Is there nothing for you to do? Has the Master given your no part to act in his vineyard?--Yes, all have a work to do. "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." This is the work to be done by the people of God. "And I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me [converts to the truth] are for signs and for wonders in Israel, from the Lord of hosts which dwelleth in Mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter, should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
    A correct understanding of "what saith the Scriptures" in regard to the state of the dead is essential for this time. God's word declares that the dead know not anything, their hatred and love have alike perished. We must come to the sure word of prophecy for our authority. Unless we are intelligent in the Scriptures, may we not, when this mighty miracle-working power of Satan is manifested in our world, be deceived and call it the workings of God; for the word of God declares that, if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived. Unless we are rooted and grounded in the truth, we shall be swept away by Satan's delusive snares. We must cling to our Bibles. If Satan can make you believe that there are things in the word of God that are not inspired, he will then be prepared to ensnare your soul. We shall have no assurance, no certainty, at the very time we need to know what is truth. Our feet should be shod with the preparation of the gospel, and the truth of God should be our shield and buckler. We must know for ourselves that we have the truth of God. Therefore let no one entertain the question whether this or that portion of the word of God is inspired. Go to work; gird on the armor of Christ's righteousness.
    Satan came as an angel of light in the wilderness of temptation to deceive Christ; and he does not come to man in a hideous form, as he is sometimes represented, but as an angel of light. He will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ. What shall we do?--Tell them that Christ has warned us against just such a foe, who is man's worst enemy, yet who claims to be God; and that when Christ shall make his appearance, it will be with power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands; and that when he shall come, we shall know his voice.
    If you are walking humbly with God, you will understand the truth, and the preparation necessary to be made for this time. "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever." If you believe this, and walk out by faith, you will be saved in the kingdom of glory. We should not try to know the "whys" and "wherefores" of everything, but be content to know the simplicity of godliness. Jesus Christ has laid the plan of salvation, and opened the way before us, clear and distinct, that even the simplest who desire the truth, may find it. Special forces of darkness are at work to encircle us, and to take away our liberty of conscience. The mouths of those who have not kept pace with the work are closed, and they do not know what to say; but we who have been waiting and watching for the appearing of our Saviour, are not taken by surprise.
    Are there not men and women in this congregation who have a work to do for the Master? Are there not those here who should go into new places and work as missionaries? We need missionaries at home; and we need missionaries who will go out into new fields, and see what they can do. Trade upon your one talent or two talents. Although your talents may be limited, God will accept them. Why bury them in the earth? Go to work, and do your best, and God will give you some fruit for your labor. O, I would rather come to the Master with garnered sheaves than to have treasures of gold and of silver. Give me souls as the fruit of my labor; and I will not ask for convenience or ease in this world. Are there not men and women here whom God will call to give an account for the ability he has lent them? There are souls for whom you are to work; there are youth with whom you are to plead. There is work to be done in the temperance line; and here you sit, from Sabbath to Sabbath, listening to the truth, while souls are perishing around you. Why not let the light which God has given you shine on the pathway of others? I beg you to consider this matter seriously.
    Get ready for the week of prayer by humbling your hearts before God. Though you have yet no sheaves to bring to the Master, you can go to work even at the eleventh hour, and God will help you. Be in earnest; pray and work, and work and pray; and then act as though success depended upon your efforts. Do to the best of your ability, and God will cooperate with you. You ought to work with all the powers of your being. Awake! awake! I pray you. "Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Go out and do your little, and he will increase your capabilities, and you may keep growing in grace, and in the love of the truth. The more you use your talents, the more they will increase. We are drawing near the close of probation. We should put our talents out to the exchangers, that when the Master comes, he may receive our talents as his own; but he will return to us again both principal and interest. May the God of heaven place your feet upon the eternal Rock. I beg of you to be followers of Jesus Christ, and to bring many sheaves to the Master. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 18, 1888
(Vol. 65, #50)

 "The American Sentinel and Its Mission"

    For three years now, warnings have been sounding forth to the world through the columns of the Sentinel and other publications, but these danger signals have not influenced our people as they should have done. God intends that his people shall heed whatever he sends them. Had those who claim to believe the truth, used the Sentinel as it was their privilege to do, and been united in recommending it, and in raising their voices to give the trumpet a certain sound in every Conference and in every church, as God would have them do; had the attention of our people been called to this work, which was so essential to be done for this time; had they appreciated the light which God permitted to shine upon them in warnings, in counsels, and in the delineation of facts transpiring in our world--we should not now, as a people, be so far behind in making preparations for the work. The rebuke of God is upon us because of our neglect of solemn responsibilities. The testimonies given by God have not been heeded by those who professed to believe them; and as the result, his blessings have been withdrawn. When Satan has gained control of the mind, words of warning have no effect.
    Much might have been done with the Sentinel, if counter-influences had not been at work to hinder it. Even though nothing may be said against it, actions reveal the indifference that is felt in regard to it. When light is presented to the people of God, it is their duty, not only to receive it, but to pass it along, adding their influence in its favor, that its full force may be felt in the church and the world. The Sentinel is like a trumpet giving a certain sound; and all our people should read it carefully, and then send it to some relative or friend, thus putting to the best use the light that God has given them.
    There have been surprising indifference and inactivity in this time of peril. Truth, present truth, is what the people need; and if the startling transactions taking place in our country today, in regard to the Religious Amendment, had been realized by our people in every church; had they seen the plain, decided fulfillment of prophecy, and aroused to the demands of the crisis, they would not now be under such stupor and deathlike slumber. But as long as the watchmen do not give the trumpet a certain sound, the people are not alarmed, and are not on the lookout for danger.
    God employs various agencies in preparing his people to stand in the great crisis. He speaks by his word and by his ministers. He arouses the watchmen, and sends them forth with messages of warning, of reproof, and of instruction, that the people may be enlightened. The Sentinel has been, in God's order, one of the voices sounding the alarm, that the people might hear, and realize their danger, and do the work required at the present time. O for a religious awakening! The angels of God are going from church to church, doing their duty; and Jesus Christ is knocking at the doors of your hearts for entrance. But the means that God has devised to awaken the church to a sense of their spiritual destitution, have not been regarded. The voice of the True Witness has been heard in reproof, but has not been obeyed. Men have chosen to follow their own way, instead of God's way, because self was not crucified in them. Thus the light has had but little effect upon hearts and minds. "Be zealous, and repent."
    Will the people of God now arouse from their carnal lethargy? Will they make the most of present blessings and warnings, and let nothing come between their souls and the light God would have shine upon them? Let every worker for God comprehend the situation, and place the Sentinel before our churches, explaining its contents, and urging home the warnings and facts it contains. May the Lord help all to redeem the time. Let not unsanctified feelings lead anyone to resist the appeals of the Spirit of God.
    The word of God is not silent in regard to this momentous time, and it will be understood by all who do not resist his Spirit by determining not to hear, not to receive, not to obey. The Lord's messages of light have been before us for years, but there have been influences working indirectly to make of none effect the warnings coming through the Sentinel and the "Testimonies," and through other instrumentalities which the Lord sends to his people. Stand not in the way of this light; let it not be disregarded or set aside as unworthy of attention or credence.
    If you wait for light to come in a way that will please everyone, you will wait in vain. If you wait for louder calls or better opportunities, the light will be withdrawn, and you will be left in darkness. Grasp every ray of light that God sends. Men who neglect to heed the calls of the Spirit and word of God, because obedience involves a cross, will lose their souls. They will see when the books are opened, and every man's work, and the motives that prompted him, are scrutinized by the Judge of all the earth, what losses they have sustained. We should ever cherish the fear of the Lord, and realize that, individually, we are standing before the Lord of hosts, and no thought, no word, no act in connection with the work of God should savor of selfishness, or of indifference. By Mrs. E. G. White.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  December 18, 1888
(Vol. 65, #50)

 "Our Duties and Obligations"

    A great work is to be done in a short time. There is power in the present truth; but Satan is working in every conceivable way to keep the light away from the people. The controversy between Christ and Satan is not yet ended. The latter is constantly seeking to establish his own power and authority. If he can entangle minds, he will do it. If he can lead them to depend on human beings instead of upon the living God, he is well pleased. The deceptions of Satan are manifold, but the Lord will be our helper if we seek him earnestly.
    The perils of the last days are upon us. We have been asleep, and our lamps are going out. We now need a thorough consecration, a deeper devotion, to the work. The Lord has shown me the corruption existing even among Seventh day Adventists. Satan, the originator of every evil, is Christ's personal enemy. If our eyes could be opened, we should see him working with his specious devices upon the minds of men whom we think are secure from his temptations, and who feel themselves secure. Are we prepared for the trials that await us? When the lying wonders of Satan shall be manifested, will not many souls be ensnared? Let us arouse and do our duty. We must individually draw near to God, repent of our sins, our lukewarmness, our selfishness, and give back into the Lord's treasury the goods he has lent us in trust. Faith in God and in the teachings of Christ our Saviour will be revealed, if it is in the heart.
    The Laodicean message is applicable to the people of God at this time. They are saying, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;" and they know not that they are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Christ, the True Witness declares, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." How is it, brethren? Have you not been giving up to self-indulgence, rather than growing into greater self denial? Have you not backslidden upon health reform? Has the light which God has been pleased to give his people been cherished? Have not life and health been sacrificed through the indulgence of appetite and carnal lusts? Will my brethren consider this matter carefully, and see if they have closely followed the self-denying Saviour?
    There has been a great departure from God in this matter. There has been a loss of zeal for the truth, and the light contained in the "Testimonies" has been disregarded. May the Lord help you, my brethren, to come into a position where the animal powers will not predominate over the moral and the spiritual. May your eyes not be blinded by self-indulgence, so that you cannot discern between the sacred and the common. God forbid that the precious truth should be held in unrighteousness, and that you should dishonor God and the truth by a corrupt and unconsecrated life. Study your true position before God. At this time, when the prayers of faith should be going up to God, you are not ready to lift up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. Have you not a work to do, to seek the Lord with humiliation of soul, with fasting and prayer? Is it not time, high time, for you to awake out of sleep, and shake off this carnal security? "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." This privilege will not always be granted us, therefore we should make diligent use of our present opportunities. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Then make no delay. The gracious promise is yours today. Set your heart and house in order. God sees the defects in your character, and he desires that you should see them, and feel your great need of the help which he alone can give.
    O backsliding Israel, return unto the Lord with full purpose of heart, confess your sins, and make humble supplications to God. It will not be possible for you to stand in the day of trial that is just before us, with your present sins resting upon you. You may understand the truth theoretically, but this will not save you. It must be impressed upon your heart by the power and Spirit of God. Unless truth is enthroned in the soul, unless the thoughts and the purposes, the aims, and the whole object of life, are brought into the service of Jesus Christ, under the control of his Spirit, there cannot be a transformation from darkness to light. Even ministers who proclaim the truth are only blind leaders of the blind,--clouds without water, carried about with every wind,--unless they have the principles of the truth deep down in the soul; trees are they "whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots."
    Eternity demands of you individually a solid experience, such as will stand the test; and it is in this probationary period that you must obtain thorough transformation of character. Pure and undefiled religion is to be brought into the sanctuary of the soul. Each has a work to do, and no friend or minister can do it for him; each must repent for himself, and confess his sins to God. Make thorough work of it. Believe for yourself; have the grace of God in your heart for yourself. God will have his true, faithful witnesses in every walk of life, testifying to the power of his grace. They may be humble, but they will be living in the sunshine of God's countenance, with the Bible as their guide.
    See, O see, where your duties have been neglected, and where you have given an example to both believers and unbelievers which would lead them away from God, away from righteousness and the spirit of the truth. Jesus would have men come to him, trust in him, rely upon him, and have their experience founded upon him alone. Light and counsel have been sought of human beings who were as much in the dark and as far from living in the favor of God as were those who looked to them for aid, and therefore could not give the help sought. The result has been just what might have been expected,--counsel tainted with human weakness and defects. God has been dishonored, and souls have been robbed of that grace and light which Jesus is ever ready to impart to all who would seek his face. We have been interweaving with our experiences more and more of human appliances and human aids, and have sought less and less divine counsel, until our work is marked with grave defects, and is destitute of divine power.
    Another grievous sin existing in our midst, is self-sufficiency,--Pharisaism,--feeling that we are righteous, and all our acts are meritorious, when we are far from cherishing the right spirit toward God or toward our brethren. It is a spirit of wanting to be first. Self-esteem has been cherished, and you have had a spirit of criticism toward others because you were not first. Envy, jealousy, suspicion, faultfinding, and false witnessing have existed. There are unconsecrated hearts among you, who turn everything said or done, even under the special direction of God, in a wrong way. The power of Satan's temptations is strong upon these, and they view things in a perverted light. They please the enemy by their criticisms, and by making a man an offender for a word. In many of these cases that are criticised there is no actual sin; the suspicion is the result of the condition of the mind that entertains it. If one crosses their path, they have no unity or fellowship with him. They feel disgusted with all he may say or do. Those who have confidence in them share their feelings and sentiments. A spirit of retaliation is secretly at work; yet those who are thus creating disaffection and disunion, and planting the seeds of jealousy, all the while claim to be firm believers in the truth. Such do not practice the spirit of the truth. The leaven of their evil surmisings permeates the company where it exists, and God is dishonored, the principles of truth are degraded, and the Christian experience is marred and dwarfed.
    Now, is it not high time to change this order of things, and seek true repentance. This unsanctified element has weakened the church, and given a large place to the Devil. Is not this something to repent of, something to bring us to the foot of the cross in deepest humiliation, until Jesus shall be found of us, and be chosen as our guide, our counselor, our Alpha and Omega? He is the Rock that is higher than we. He is our sun and our shield. He is our life, our wisdom. It is through his righteousness that we are saved, and his truth, as an abiding principle in the soul, sanctifies the man. But there is hope for the erring; it is not too late for wrongs to be righted.
    The psalmist inquires, "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor." Then should we not fear to be found sowing seeds of distrust, of jealousy, and of envy? Shall we not be afraid to transgress the word of God?
    "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" What an appeal is this! and we should heed it if we expect the forgiveness of God for our sins. We must have the mind of Christ, and forgive just as freely the sins of others.
    The gospel of Christ is to be wrought into our everyday experience. The mind must be in a state to appreciate the divine claims of the gospel. It must be girded about, and disciplined to habits of self-control and obedience. If we open our Bibles with a spirit out of harmony with its sacred principles, we shall not be likely to bring from our research the spirit which it should impart. The true Bible reader finds that the teachings of the living oracles cast "down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Satan has great power over the soul, to drag it down to a low level. Those who really want to learn of Christ will have to empty the soul of all its proud imaginings, that there may be room to enthrone him there. Clothed in the robes of humility, we must take our places as children at his feet, to learn of his meekness and lowliness.
    Will you not, my brethren, examine yourselves, to see if there are not humble confessions to be made of evil surmising,--watching for evil, thinking evil, and talking evil,--for if these things are cherished, God cannot bless you. All this must be put out of the heart. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
    "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy." "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out a good conversation his works, with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envyings and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish; for where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." Let our people humble themselves with deep heart-searching, putting away from their families, and away from the churches, those things which have grieved the Spirit of God away from their hearts.
    Then, again, let us consider prayerfully the subject of our possessions. How many are withholding from God his due? And how many, on the other hand, are letting the means which the Lord has lent them in trust, flow into the various channels of Christian liberality? Are not many moneyed men saying today. "By my wisdom have I gotten me this wealth?" Who gave you the intellect and ability to get wealth? You should consider that you are the Lord's property that you are dependent upon him for all your wisdom, and your ability to gain wealth. Then when the wants of home and foreign missions are presented, you will respond liberally, saying, "it is only of thine own that we have given thee." All the riches, even of the most wealthy, are not sufficient to hide the smallest sin from God. Neither riches or intellect will be accepted as a ransom for the transgressor. Repentance, true humility, a broken heart, and a contrite spirit, alone will be acceptable to God.
    There are many in our churches who should bring large offerings, and not content themselves with presenting a feeble pittance to Him who has done so much for them. Immeasurable blessings are falling upon them, but how little they return to the Giver! Let those who are indeed pilgrims and strangers upon the earth, now send their treasures before them to the heavenly country, in the much needed gifts to the Lord's treasury. Let the grace of Christ open your hearts to give valuable offerings to God on this Christmas and New Year's. Has not the Lord made you channels of light to the world? Our missionary efforts must not be limited by lack of means. The calls for help in new fields should arouse us to do something, and to do it now. Shall we let home and foreign missions suffer through selfishness and covetousness? It is possible to confess Christ with our lips, while in works we deny him.
    There are brethren who have little of this world's goods, yet are ever ready with their donations. These poor men, believing the truth, and acting out their faith, may be looked upon by the more wealthy as deficient in worldly wisdom, and of no special worth; yet God calls them rich, because as fast as money comes into their hands, they send it before them to the bank of heaven, where it is placed to their account. Such are precious in the sight of the Lord. Although they are not increasing in earthly possessions, they are laying up an incorruptible treasure in heaven. They show a wisdom as far superior to that manifested by the worldly-wise, acquisitive ones, as the divine and Godlike is superior to the earthly. It is moral worth that God values. A God fearing, Christian man, free from selfishness and avarice, possessing meekness and humility, is more precious in the sight of God than the gold of Ophir. Wealthy men will be tested more closely than they have ever yet been tested. If they endure the test, overcoming the blemishes of their characters, and as faithful stewards, obey the injunctions of Christ to render to the Lord his own, then they show that they have a sense of the high claims of God upon them. But if they fail to do this, and invest the heaven lent treasures in earthly things, they are robbing God.
    There are missionaries to be sent out to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. God calls for men and women to come to the front, and enlist in the various branches of the work. Awake, and see what can be done right around you for the Master. Error and sin are prevailing to an alarming extent close by you. Lay aside all romantic imaginings and castlebuilding. The Master calls you to meet the stern realities of the time in which we live. Christ says, "Without me, ye can do nothing." Begin in your own neighborhood, and strive judiciously to inculcate ideas of the truth, so that the contrast between truth and error may be seen. Sow gospel truth all around you, for each truth practiced and taught is a power which will live and accomplish a work as far-reaching as eternity. Be yourself a thorough Bible Christian. The great need of the time is an intelligent acquaintance with the Bible.
    Will my brethren now arouse to do their work? The signs reveal to us that "the night cometh, in which no man can work." The time is coming in which you can neither buy nor sell. That will be a serious time for the people of God. Now you can sell and give alms. Now you can send your treasure before you into heaven, and God calls for your means to advance his cause. Let this Christmas-time and the entering in of a new year testify to the zeal of God's people. There has been a withholding from God of tithes and offerings. The question is asked, "Will a man rob God?" And the answer comes, "Ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?--In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." Wonderful statement, and how true! Shall we humble our souls before God, and confess our sin in robbing him? Shall we be zealous and repent? Shall we redeem the failures of the past? "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Shall we obey God, and bring in all our tithes and offerings, that there may be meat to supply the demands of souls hungering for the bread of life? God invites you to prove him now, as the old year draws to its close, and let the new year find us with God's treasuries replenished. Let us literally prove the Lord, by bringing all the tithes and offerings into his storehouse, and let us repent of our robbery toward him. He tells us that he will open the windows of heaven, and pour us out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. He pledges his word, "I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field saith the Lord of hosts" Thus his word is our assurance that he will so bless us that we shall have still larger tithes and offerings to bestow. "Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts."
    Brethren, will you comply with the conditions? Will you offer willingly, gladly, and abundantly? The foreign missions call for means from America. Shall they call in vain? Home missions are in great need of money; they have been established in faith, in different parts of the field. Shall they be left to languish and die? Shall we not arouse? God help his people to do their very best.
    O, what gracious, full, complete assurances are given us, if we will only do what God requires us to do! Take hold of this matter as though you believed the Lord would do just as he has promised. Let us venture something upon God's word. In their zeal to be rich, many run great risks; eternal considerations are overlooked, and noble principles are sacrificed; yet they may lose all in the game. But in complying with the heavenly invitations we have no such risk to run. We must take God at his word, and in simplicity of faith walk out upon the promise, and give the Lord his own. It is perilous for you to rob God; for he says that all who do this are cursed with a curse. God designs that humanity shall cooperate with divinity in saving souls for Jesus Christ. What a privilege! Jesus denied himself for our sakes. The salvation of man cost a great price, even the life of the Lord of glory, which he freely gave to lift man from degradation, and to exalt him to be joint heir with himself to the eternal inheritance.
    May the Lord impress upon each heart the importance of work we are engaged in. Let us return to the Lord. Let us heed the advice of the true Merchant-man, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." By Mrs. E. G. White.