Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 34—Young Sabbath-keepers

August 22, 1857, at the House of Prayer in Monterey, I was shown that many have not yet heard the voice of Jesus, and the saving message has not taken hold of the soul, and worked a reformation in the life. 2SG 250.3

Many of the young, I saw, have not the Spirit of Jesus. The love of God is not in their hearts, therefore all the natural besetments hold the victory instead of the Spirit of God and salvation. 2SG 251.1

Those who really possess the religion of Jesus, will not be ashamed nor afraid to bear the cross before those who have more experience than they have. They will, if they earnestly long to be right, desire all the help from older Christians they can get. Gladly will they be helped by them; and a heart that is warmed by love to God will not be hindered by trifles in the christian course. They will talk out what the Spirit of God works in. They will sing it out, pray it out. It is the lack of religion, lack of holy living that makes the young backward. Their life condemns them. They know they do not live as Christians should, therefore they have not confidence toward God, or before the church. 2SG 251.2

Why the young feel more liberty when the older ones are absent, is, they are with those of their kind. Each think they are as good as the other. All fail of the mark, but measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves among themselves, and have neglected the only perfect and true standard. Jesus is the true pattern. His self-sacrificing life is our example. 2SG 251.3

I saw how little the pattern was studied. How little exalted before them. How little do the young suffer, or deny self, for their religion. To sacrifice is scarcely thought of among them. They entirely fail of imitating the pattern in this respect. I saw that this was the language of their lives, Self must be gratified, pride must be indulged. They forget the Man of sorrows, who was acquainted with grief. The sufferings of Jesus in Gethsemane, his sweating as it were great drops of blood in the garden, the platted crown of thorns that pierced his holy brow, do not move them. They have become benumbed. Their sensibilities are blunted, and they have lost all sense of the great sacrifice made for them. They can sit and listen to the story of the cross, the cruel nails that were driven through the hands and feet of the Son of God. It does not stir the depths of the soul. 2SG 252.1

Said the angel, “If such should be ushered into the city of God, and told that all its rich beauty and glory was theirs to enjoy eternally, they would have no sense of how dearly that inheritance was purchased for them. They would never realize the matchless depths of a Saviour's love. They have not drank of the cup, nor been baptized with the baptism. Heaven would be marred if such should dwell there. Those only who have partaken of the sufferings of the Son of God, and have come up through great tribulation, have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, can enjoy the indescribable glory and unsurpassed beauty of heaven.” 2SG 252.2

The want of this necessary preparation will shut out the greatest portion of the young professors, for they will not labor earnestly and zealously enough to obtain that rest that remains for the people of God. They will not honestly confess their sins, that they may be pardoned and blotted out. These sins in a short time will be revealed in just their enormity. God's eye does not slumber. He knows every sin that is hidden from mortal eye. The guilty know just what sins to confess, that their souls may be clean before God. 2SG 253.1

I saw that Jesus was now giving them opportunity to confess, to repent in deep humility, and purify their lives by obeying and living out the truth. I saw that now was the time for wrongs to be righted, sins to be confessed, or appear before the sinner in the day of God's wrath. 2SG 253.2

I saw that parents generally put too much confidence in their children, and often when their parents are confiding in them, they are in concealed iniquity. Parents, watch over your children with a jealous care. Exhort, reprove, counsel them when you rise up, and when you sit down; when you go out, and when you come in; “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little.” Subdue your children when they are young. With many parents this has been sadly neglected. 2SG 253.3

I saw that many parents do not take as firm and decided a stand as they should in regard to their children. They suffer them, and (by so-doing) encourage in their children a disposition to be like the world, to love dress, and associate with those that hate the truth, whose influence is poisonous. 2SG 254.1

I saw that in christian parents there should always be a fixed principle with them to be united in the government of their children. I saw there was a fault in this respect with some parents—a lack of union. The fault is sometimes with the father, but oftener with the mother. The fond mother pets and indulges her children. The father's labor calls him from home often, and from the society of his children. The mother's influence tells. Her example does much towards forming the character of the children. 2SG 254.2

Some fond mothers excuse wrongs in their children which should not be suffered in them for a moment. The wrongs of the children are sometimes concealed from the father. Articles of dress, or some indulgence is granted by the mother, with the understanding that the father is to know nothing about it; for he would reprove for these things. 2SG 254.3

Here is a lesson of deception effectually taught the children. Then if the father discovers these wrongs, vain excuses are made, and but half the truth told. The mother is not open hearted. She does not consider as she should that the father has the same interest in the children as herself, and that he should not be kept ignorant of their wrongs, or besetments that ought to be corrected while young. Things have been covered. The children know the lack of union in their parents. It has its effect. The children begin young to deceive, cover up, tell things in a different light from what they are to their mother, as well as their father. Exaggeration becomes habit. Blunt falsehoods are told with but little conviction, or reproof of conscience. 2SG 255.1

These wrongs commenced by the mother's concealing things from the father, who has a mutual interest in the character his children are forming. The father should have been consulted freely. All should have been laid open to him. But the opposite course taken to conceal, and hide the wrongs of the children, encourages in them a disposition to deceive, a lack of truthfulness and honesty. 2SG 255.2

The only hope of these children, whether they profess religion or not, is to be thoroughly converted. Their whole character must be changed. Thoughtless mother, do you know, as you teach your children, that their whole religious experience is affected by their teaching when young? Subdue them young; learn them to submit to you, and the more readily will they learn to yield obedience to the requirements of God. Encourage in your children a truthful, honest disposition. Let them never have occasion to doubt your sincerity and exact truthfulness. 2SG 255.3

I saw that the young profess, but do not enjoy the saving power of God. They lack religion, lack salvation. And O, the idle, unprofitable words they speak. There is a faithful, fearful record kept of them, and mortals will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Young friends, your deeds, and your idle words are written in the Book. Your conversation has not been on eternal things, but upon this, that, and the other—common, worldly conversation that Christians should not engage in. It is all written in the Book. 2SG 256.1

I saw that unless there was an entire change in the young, a thorough conversion, they may despair of heaven. From what has been shown me there is not more than half of the young who profess religion and the truth, who have been truly converted. If they had been converted, they would bear fruit to the glory of God. Many are leaning upon a supposed hope, without a true foundation. 2SG 256.2

The fountain is not cleansed, therefore the streams proceeding from that fountain are not pure. Cleanse the fountain, and the streams will be pure. If the heart is right, your words, your dress, your acts, all will be right. True godliness is lacking. I would not dishonor my Master so much as to admit that a careless, trifling, prayerless person is a christian. No, a christian has victory over his besetments, over his passions. There is a remedy for the sin-sick soul. That remedy is in Jesus. Precious Saviour! his grace is sufficient for the weakest; and the strongest must also have his grace or perish. 2SG 256.3

I saw how this grace could be obtained. Go to your closet and there alone plead with God. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Be in earnest, be sincere. Fervent prayer availeth much. Jacob-like, wrestle in prayer. Agonize. Jesus in the garden sweat great drops of blood; you must make an effort. Do not leave your closet until you feel strong in God; then watch, and just as long as you watch and pray, you can keep these evil besetments under, and the grace of God can, and will, appear in you. 2SG 257.1

God forbid that I should cease to warn you. Young friends, seek the Lord with all your heart. Come with zeal, and when you sincerely feel that without the help of God you perish; when you pant after him as the hart panteth after the water-brooks, then will the Lord strengthen you speedily. Then will your peace pass all understanding. If you expect salvation, you must pray. Take time. Be not hurried and careless in your prayers. Beg of God to work in you a thorough reformation, that the fruits of his Spirit may dwell in you, and you shine as lights in the world. Be not a hindrance, or curse to the cause of God. You can be a help, a blessing. Does Satan tell you that you cannot enjoy salvation, full and free, believe him not. 2SG 257.2

I saw it was the privilege of every christian to enjoy the deep movings of the Spirit of God. A sweet, heavenly peace will pervade the mind, and you will love to meditate upon God and heaven. You will feast upon the glorious promises of his word. 2SG 258.1

But know first that you have begun the christian course. Know that the first steps are taken in the road to everlasting life. Be not deceived. I fear, yea, I know that many of you know not what religion is. You have felt some excitement, some emotions, but you have never seen sin in its enormity. You have never felt your undone condition, and turned from your evil ways with bitter sorrow. You never have died to the world. You still love its pleasures; you love to engage in conversation on worldly matters. But when the truth of God is introduced, you have nothing to say. Why so silent? Why so talkative upon worldly things, and so silent upon the subject that should most concern you. A subject that should engage your whole soul. The truth of God does not dwell in you. 2SG 258.2

I saw that many were fair in their profession, but within is corruption. Deceive not yourselves, false-hearted professors. God looks at the heart. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” The world, I saw, was in the heart of such, but the religion of Jesus is not there. If the professed christian loves Jesus better than the world, he will love to speak of him, his best friend in whom his highest affections are centered. 2SG 259.1

He came to their aid when they felt their lost and perishing condition. When weary and heavy laden with sin, they turned unto him. He removed their burden of guilt and sin, took away their sorrow and mourning, and turned the whole current of their affections. The things they once loved, they now hate; and the things they hated, they now love. 2SG 259.2

Has this great change taken place in you? Be not deceived. I would never name the name of Christ, or I would give him my whole heart, my undivided affections. I saw that we should feel the deepest gratitude that Jesus will accept this offering. Jesus demands all. When we are brought to yield to his claims, and give up all then, and not till then, will he throw around us his arms of mercy. But what do we give, when we give all? A sin-polluted soul to Jesus, to purify, to cleanse by his blood, and save from death by his matchless love. And yet I saw that some thought it hard to give up all. I am ashamed to hear it spoken of, ashamed to write it. 2SG 259.3

Do we talk about self-denial? What did Christ give for us? When you think it hard that Christ requires all, go up to mount Calvary and weep there over such a thought. Behold the hands and feet of your Deliverer torn by the cruel nails, that you may be washed from sin by his own blood. 2SG 260.1

Those who feel the constraining love of God ask not how little may be given, in order to obtain the heavenly reward; they ask not for the lowest standard, but aim at a perfect conformity to the will of their Redeemer. With ardent desire they will yield all, and manifest zeal proportionate to the value of the object they are in pursuit of. What is the object? Immortality, eternal life. 2SG 260.2

Young friends, many of you are sadly deceived. You have been satisfied with something short of pure and undefiled religion. I want to arouse you. The angels of God are trying to arouse you. O, that the important truths in the word of God may arouse you to a sense of your danger, and lead you to a thorough examination of yourself. Your heart is yet carnal. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. This carnal heart must be changed, and you see such beauty in holiness, that you will pant after it as the hart panteth after the water-brooks. Then you will love God, and love his law. Then the yoke of Christ will be easy, and his burden light. Although you will have trials, yet these trials, well borne, only make the way more precious. The immortal inheritance is for the self-denying christian. 2SG 260.3

I saw that the christian should not set too high a value, nor depend too much upon a happy flight of feeling. These feelings are not always true. I saw that it should be the study of every christian to serve God from principle, and not be ruled by feeling. By so doing, faith will be brought into exercise, and will increase. I was shown that if the christian lives a humble, self-sacrificing life to God, peace and joy in the Lord will be the result. But the greatest happiness experienced, will be in doing others good, in making others happy. Such happiness will be lasting. 2SG 261.1

I have been shown that many of the young have not a fixed principle to serve God. They do not exercise faith. They sink under every cloud. They have no power of endurance. They do not grow in grace. They appear to keep the commandments of God. They pray now and then a formal prayer, and are called Christians. Their parents are so anxious for them, that they accept anything that appears favorable, and do not labor with them, and teach them that the carnal mind must die. They encourage the young to come along and act a part, but they fail to lead them to search their own hearts diligently, to examine themselves, and to count the cost of what it is to be a christian. The young come along without sufficiently trying their motives, and profess to be Christians. 2SG 261.2

Says the True Witness, “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Satan is willing you should be a christian in name, for you can suit his purposes better. You can have a form and not true godliness, and Satan can use you to decoy others in the same self-deceived way. Some poor souls look to you, instead of looking to the Bible standard. They come up no higher than you; they are as good as you, and are satisfied. 2SG 262.1

The young are often urged to do duty, to speak, or pray in meeting; urged to die to pride. Every step they are urged. Such religion is worth nothing. Let the carnal heart be changed, and it will not be such drudgery, ye cold hearted professors, to serve God; and all that love of dress, and pride of appearance will be gone. The time that you spend standing before the glass, to prepare the hair, to please the eye, should be devoted to prayer and searching of heart. There will be no place for outward adorning in the sanctified heart. But there will be an earnest, anxious seeking for the inward adorning, the Christian graces, the fruits of the Spirit of God. 2SG 262.2

Says the apostle, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 2SG 263.1

Subdue the carnal mind, reform the life, and the poor mortal frame will not be so idolized. If the heart is reformed, it will be seen in the outward appearance. If Christ be in us the hope of glory, we shall discover such matchless charms in him that the soul will be enamored. It will cleave to him, choose to love him, and in his admiration self will be forgotten. Jesus will be magnified, adored; and self, abased and humbled. 2SG 263.2

But a profession without this deep love, is mere talk, dry formality, and heavy drudgery. Many of you may retain a notion of religion in the head, an outside religion, when the heart is not cleansed. God looks at the heart; “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Will he be satisfied with anything short of truth in the inward parts? Every truly converted soul will carry the unmistakable marks that the carnal mind is subdued. 2SG 263.3

I speak plainly: I do not think this will discourage a true Christian; and I do not want any of you to come up to the time of trouble without a well grounded hope in your Redeemer. Determine to know the worst of your case. Ascertain if you have an inheritance on high. Deal truly with your own soul. Remember that a church without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing will Jesus present to his Father. 2SG 264.1

How are you to know that you are accepted of God? Study his word prayerfully. Lay it not aside for any other book. This book convinces of sin. It reveals plainly the way of salvation. It brings to view a bright and glorious reward. It reveals to you a complete Saviour, and teaches you that through his boundless mercy alone can you expect salvation. 2SG 264.2

Do not neglect secret prayer, for it is the soul of religion. With earnest, fervent prayer plead for purity of soul. Plead as earnestly, as eagerly, as you would for your mortal life, were it at stake. Remain before God until unutterable longings are begotten within you for salvation, and the sweet evidence is obtained of pardoned sin. 2SG 264.3

The hope of eternal life is not to be taken up upon slight grounds. It is a subject to be settled between God and your own soul; settled for eternity. A supposed hope, and nothing more, will prove your ruin. Since you are to stand or fall by the word of God, it is to that word you must look for testimony in your case. There you can see what is required of you to become a Christian. Do not lay off your armor, nor leave the battle field until you have obtained the victory, and triumph in your Redeemer. 2SG 264.4