Ms 67, 1890

Ms 67, 1890

Diary/“Search the Scriptures.”


August 26, 1890

Previously unpublished.

“Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which do testify of Me.” [John 5:39.] These are the words, addressed to the disciples, to be sounded down along the line to our time, and to reach to the end of the world. This charge is not given alone for those ministers who have been ordained, but for all those who would secure the precious boon of eternal life. My mind has been largely exercised upon this subject. I have been unable to sleep since two o'clock. I arise and commit to this, my journal, the things which have impressed my mind. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 1

The young should not have placed before them the temptation of reading all kinds of books. Fictitious stories are not the food to give healthy tone to the mind. It is like the use of tea—while it stimulates and excites the mind, it gives no real vigor to the mind. It cultivates the appetite for exciting stories. There is an appetite created for this certainly objectionable class of reading. The mind becomes just what we make it by the food we give it. The words of Christ are: “Search the Scriptures.” [Verse 39.] 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 2

The inspired apostle has left his charge: “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 3:18.] Where shall we find this intelligence? Not in paper-covered novels, not in storybooks, not in the magazines that are so abundant, not in the fictitious stories in newspapers. The time thus employed should be devoted to securing a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Through study of His Word [we are] to become acquainted with Jesus Christ, and to study the lessons He has given us, which we must practice or lose eternal life. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 3

We need to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. Read John 17:2, 3. Have we become satisfied with the things we already know of Jesus? Who can comprehend the capabilities of the human mind? Who can measure its power to obtain a knowledge of divine things, to grasp unseen realities? We do not eat and drink the flesh and blood of the world's Redeemer. The mind should be [used] for perfection of character. The mind destitute of cultivation, of proper training and discipline, will be perverted. It will become demoralized. It reaches only a low worldly, earthly standard. It becomes overgrown with weeds that disqualify [it] for usefulness and [for] earnest, solemn work for time and for eternity. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 4

In the Word of God we will find the fruitful treasures of knowledge which are essential for our usefulness in this life and which have their sanctifying, refining influence upon us, to fit us for the immortal life. [Uncultivated minds are] precious, sickly plants, as if death-struck but struggling for an existence. They are dying of consumption. The mind is composed of what it feeds upon. It cannot give space to the common storybooks of the time, and to the popular fictitious reading which is flooding the world, without being injured and unfitted for the great, grand work the Lord has given it to do. A mass of rubbish should not be thrown into the mind. The thistles and briars will bear fruit and will choke out the precious seeds that should germinate, spring up, and grow. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 5

The more powerful the capabilities of the mind, the greater is the evil if it is perverted. God cannot leave His own impress upon it, for the thoughts have become captivated and are directed in a wrong channel. When He would leave the suggestions of heavenly thoughts upon the intellect, the field is preoccupied and the channel is obstructed, [so] that the Lord cannot find soil prepared for the heavenly seeds of the precious plants of truth. The Word will give themes for thought and meditation upon eternal realities. The mind that is open to have everything emptied into it from fictitious reading or from storybooks is unprepared for the impressions that God would make upon it. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 6

The soil of the mind must be properly prepared for the impressions of the Holy Spirit [in order] to be enlightened and refreshed and invigorated. The seeds of the weeds and brambles from all kinds of reading must not be sown, then the hard work of weeding out the corrupting, poisonous plants will not have to be done. When the seeds have germinated and spring into vigorous life, there must be a weeding out. This is not at all easy work. If ever there was need of diligent watchfulness, it is now. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 7

The end is near and the trying scenes of the day of the Lord are before us. The seeds of knowledge of the truth must be sown. The Scriptures must be searched as a lesson book, and we must grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. If we want valuable wisdom, if we want pure and holy meditations, [we must] guard the mind and keep it pure and clean for the Lord to put into it the precious seeds. These impressions of the Spirit of God need to be cultivated and cherished. The Lord is to be in all our thoughts. The truth is to become truth to each of us, actually receiving the Word. We [are] to know what we believe, and why we believe the doctrines we have accepted. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 8

The mind does not remain inactive. If its energies are not summoned to lay hold upon spiritual and eternal realities, it will be turned into another channel and kept occupied. [It will] not be gathering that useful knowledge which is essential for present purity, refinement, and elevation, preparatory for the Lord to operate upon the intellect and to control its powers for His own glory. The intellect is weakened if the food given the mind is of a quality to make distasteful the rich and precious food God is prepared to give it. It is not desired. It is not at all appetizing. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 9

God requires men and women to cultivate the intellect by obtaining knowledge that will fit them to do His will here in this life, that their time, and the thoughts and capabilities of the mind, shall produce precious fruit, and that evil propensities may be overcome. They [will] go forward intelligently in the growth of virtue and the Christian graces and [will] have an experimental knowledge of Jesus Christ, [for] they have cultivated faith. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 10

The time devoted to exciting storybooks and fictitious reading, and the sayings of men, is a great deal worse than lost. The mind runs riot. It is too full of things of no profit to appreciate the better things, and Satan makes his impress upon the mind. He is ready, and urges upon the soul dark and erroneous conceptions of truth and of God's requirements. Weak and aimless, the mind wanders about in darkness, brought down to a level with common things—just in harmony with the things given it to dwell upon and digest. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 11

I appeal not only to our youth but to those of mature age to be careful how you indulge in reading everything you can get hold of. In this kind of reading you may fancy you are cultivating the mind, but you are degrading its powers. As the mind cannot be more than full, be careful what food you give it. It is not seen and felt that time given to reading which cannot be in any way appropriated to do the soul good—to fit it [to] be pure and holy and prepare it to do useful work and qualify it for heaven—is time lost, time squandered. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 12

You have intoxicated the mind, its powers are perverted, and an appetite is created for the stimulus of a cheap order. The thoughts do not flow in the channel of the lessons of Christ, [for] the soul is separated from God, and there is not one inclination to harbor spiritual thoughts. The Bible—how little known! How little understood! How little appreciated! And yet above every other book it is to be studied; and in its study true knowledge will be obtained. In searching the Scriptures impressions are received that are abiding. Truth is brought into contact with the mind and the practical life. The mind loves the truth if it loves the Bible. The intellect is being formed, the habits and customs taking shape, and the whole future course of life is determined. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 13

It is a positive necessity for everyone who has a desire to enter heaven [to] know the terms of salvation. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. Government is a rule of action which is formed by the governor and which is, or may be, intelligently known by the governed. If eternal life depends on man knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ, how patiently, earnestly, and perseveringly should be the efforts of all who have charge of the youth in our schools to obtain this knowledge themselves, that they may communicate it to the students. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 14

If the will of God is to be understood and obeyed by men and women, then it is necessary that parents know God and Jesus Christ by experimental knowledge, that they may make Him known to their children [so] that their children may grow up, not only to the full stature of men and women physically, but that they may grow up spiritually to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. They must have a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ in order to fulfill their duties. Then let every soul inquire, Is the will of God to be known? Where is it to be found? The will of God is to be understood and the word of inspiration is to define to them the will of God. The Scriptures are their guidebook, precisely adapted to meet the wants of every human mind. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 15

The will of God is to be known and the rule of our faith is to be found in the Scriptures. Then why is the Bible so little studied in our schools? To read the precious Book is not enough. It must be searched with a prayerful mind. Therein is found the pure truth. We must make this the most important, essential study in our families. Teachers must lift up the Bible and teach the Bible. We must bring our ideas to the Scriptures, not the Scriptures to our ideas. Compare everything with the Scriptures. We are to search for the truth in the Word of God as for hidden treasures. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 16

There are jots and tittles of truth to be found in books that are of no benefit to us. The very glimmerings of light make them to be regarded as harmless when they are injurious, a poison to the mind. [Although they are] sprinkled with jots and tittles of truth, this does not make them safe. Detached parts of the Word are picked out as truth, while other portions are rejected as uninspired. The Scriptures must be received [as] a whole, no part rejected. They are to stand forth acknowledged as the Lord's voice in His Word, as a revelation from God. Every mind should be enlightened from childhood to manhood and womanhood to know the Scriptures, to search for truth as for hidden treasure. To all who receive the truth, the Gospel is to them the power and wisdom of God unto salvation. “The secret of the Lord is with them who fear Him.” [Psalm 25:14.] There can be no slack, haphazard work in the securing of a character that God shall approve. 6LtMs, Ms 67, 1890, par. 17