Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 46, 1886

Sermon/Two Standards

Nimes, France

October 30, 1886

This manuscript is published in entirety in 3MR 107-113.

October 30th, 1886, 8 p.m.

(Sermon—11th discourse at Nimes,)

Text: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-14. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 1

There is a worldly standard and a Bible standard. We can use our powers to meet either. It is a marvel with the angels of heaven that we are so unconcerned in regard to our spiritual interest. There was rejoicing in heaven when there was a plan devised for the redemption of man, and then when Christ came from heaven it astonished the heavenly host because He was rejected of men. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 2

Well could John exclaim, “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. It is an amazing thing that after the great sacrifice had been made, man in return should treat the loving Saviour as he did. Our heavenly Father manifested His love in the gift of His Son for the human race, yet they knew Him not. At His baptism, when on the banks of Jordan, He made the greatest prayer that ever fell on mortal ear, the heavens opened and the voice of God spake in thundering tones: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17.] How many there are who read over this statement without being impressed. It does not seem to leave an impression that it concerns them. But it has every thing to do with us, for it was the Saviour’s arm that grasped the throne of heaven. Sin had divorced this world from the eternal world, and this is what caused the Son of man to give His life for the human race and connect us again with heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 3

Christ knew that man could not overcome without His help. Therefore He consented to lay off His royal robes and clothe His divinity with humanity that we might be rich. He came to this earth, suffered, and knows just how to sympathize with us and to assist us in overcoming. He came to bring man moral power, and He would not have man to understand that he has nothing to do, for every one has a work to do for himself, and through the merits of Jesus we can overcome sin and the devil. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 4

Now the question for us to decide is, Shall we have connection with Christ and the Father? Shall we accept the help needed? Shall we enter the bloodstained path that our Saviour trod? Heaven has been opened before us. Christ has been accepted by the Father, and if we will comply, we can be accepted also. The plan of salvation has been laid for the human race, and they need not be discouraged. Help has been laid on one that is mighty to save. The gates of heaven are ajar to the children of men, to the weakest ones, the ones that need a Saviour the most. When our Saviour ate with the publicans, the Pharisees complained and would make capital of this. Christ’s reply was, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 5

Every church should be a working church. We should make ourselves useful and do the little duties around us and that will prepare us for the greater responsibilities. When Christ ascended on high, He left His disciples to carry forward the work. However unpleasant it may be, we should take up the humble duties of life. Christ says, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Mark 8:34. What is the cross of Christ? It is not an ornament to the neck, but something that cuts right across our pathway. Satan is constantly watching for our souls. He seeks to lead us from the cross of Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 6

God will help us in time of need, but He will not compel us to love and obey Him. We must give Him our undivided love. He wants us to trust Him and confide in Him. He understands our wants and has ample resources to help in every time of trouble. We are not left to fight our own battles, but we have the help of Christ, and in His name we can come off victorious. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 7

One may ask, What is our work? It is to take up duties at home. Cultivate the plot of ground at our own doors. Here are our friends that need help. Will we be workers with God? Every one should be at his post to save his fellow men, and whosoever will accept the plan of salvation will commence to work for his fellow men. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 8

The prospect to save souls may not be very flattering, neither was it when our Saviour came to this earth; but if one soul is reached, that soul will reach out for others, and thus the work is carried forward. It is our business to work for the Master, and if we are faithful in sowing the seed, God will take care of the seed sown. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 9

I have felt that if God would give me my own children, my life has not been in vain, but it has required labor and tears. There is a great responsibility resting upon the head of the family. When I have seen my children wading through temptation, I have spent all night with them in prayer. I am a mother of boys, and my heart is drawn out for every one who has the responsibility of a family. Those who are engaged in the training of children are engaged in a great work. It will take patience and perseverance to do the work aright. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 10

All need much of the blessing of God, and here is the place to be tried. We are in God’s workshop. The cleaver of truth takes men and women out of the world, and they have to be refined and fitted for the Master. We must let the truth take possession of our hearts, and then the work can be accomplished for us. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 11

I labored for a young man who was an infidel. He wanted me to place my hand on his head to see how low his reverence was, and he said it was impossible for him to honor God. I told him that he must. I labored and prayed with him, and at times it seemed like a hopeless case, but the Spirit of the Lord followed this young man until one day while on a steamer going down the Mississippi he yielded his stubborn will and gave his heart to God. It makes no difference about the head; if we only have a willingness, the Lord will assist us in overcoming as He did this young man. This man now stands at the head of the General Conference. Now that the Lord has worked for him, he knows how to work for infidels. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 12

God permits affliction to come on us at times, that we may know how to sympathize with others who are passing through sorrow. The Lord has given me my work; and even when physicians have despaired of my life, I have felt it my duty to labor on, even if I died at my post of duty. Our heavenly Father gives us experiences so that we can know how to help others. When the youngest branch of my family was broken off, and I could no longer have my infant by my side, I knew better how to sympathize with the mourning mother. When I laid away the oldest member of my family, Jesus supplanted him, and now I can tell mothers to go to Jesus. When the unexpected blow came to him who had stood by my side for thirty-six years, it was then that I could lean on my Saviour. I was not left alone, for Christ is a Father to the widow. Everyone can benefit others by his own experience. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 13

I would not spend time at the grave to cause a shadow of gloom to beset my pathway, because I know that Jesus passed into the prison house, and He came forth, and this should be a comfort to all who have lost friends who have died in faith. I am left here to take the work of my husband, to carry it forward, and I have no complaints to make, for the gate of heaven is ajar and light is shining on my pathway. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 14

I would say to all, Come to Jesus just as you are. He asks for your heart. He has paid the price for us. Now He wants our affections, our intelligence—in fact, all our powers belong to Him. And after we have done all, it is a small gift on our part. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 15

We may work intelligently and be laborers for God, and in doing this work He will give us strength. If we sow we shall also reap, and an abundant harvest will be gathered. In order to work the works of God, we must have the help of Christ. We should not be satisfied by working out our own salvation, but we must work for the salvation of others. There are hundreds around us that need our personal efforts. It will be our rejoicing to see souls saved through our instrumentality. The work done here for God will show throughout all ages, so all should work while there is an opportunity. There is a work for all to do; and if we will let the refining influence of the Spirit of God sanctify us through the Word, we can be fitted to reach others, and the glory that awaits the faithful is beyond our comprehension. “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.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 16

Then let us take hold of the lifework, that we might bring others to see the importance of the truth. There is a heaven for us to win and a life that will measure with the life of God. Can you not give to God the little time you have, and also your best affections? Give Jesus your polluted soul, and have it washed from all its stains. Fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold of eternal life. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 17

I would entreat those here to think of these things. Go to work for the Master. Take the Lord with you, and then you will hear from the lips of the Master, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21.] Heaven, sweet heaven of rest! It is then that we shall cast our glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus and touch our harps and sing the song, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that died for us.” I see in Him matchless charms. I want all to have a part and share in the eternal weight of glory and to sing songs of rejoicing throughout the endless ages of eternity. 4LtMs, Ms 46, 1886, par. 18