Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 13, 1886

Talk/The Christian Brotherhood

Grimsby, England

September 22, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 274; 2MR 145.

(Morning talk by Mrs. E. G. White.)

“We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” 1 John 3:14. Also 1 John 3:9-11, 16. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 1

I have been thinking how little we appreciate the decided declaration of the Word of God to us in regard to our relation with each other. There is that selfishness in the human heart that centers our thoughts upon ourselves; and even those who seem to have a connection with God, we are pained sometimes to see how much of their thoughts are centered upon themselves, not seeing nor sensing the needs of others. We are connected together as in the great web of humanity, and in all our associations with one another we should seek to have the mind of Christ. To close the eyes to the needy and perishing, to leave sinners unwarned, and by indifference and selfishness tempt them to say, No man careth for my soul, is to dishonor God and bring reproach upon the cause of God. Our work is to build up one another in the most holy faith. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 2

If there is not that perfect harmony existing between us, we should not feel that we ourselves are not at all to blame in the matter. If another’s thoughts and feelings are not in the same channel as our own, we should not feel that they are all wrong and we are right. We want to constantly keep the mind at the right point, to answer the prayer of Christ in John 17:21-23. We want to know what is the yoke Christ bids us take, and the burdens we are to carry at this time, and constantly seek in kindness and love to show our brother that we have an interest in him and bring love into our actions day by day. This is the gold tried in the fire—faith and love. If we see one in error on any point, we should not pass along and say nothing, but we must try to bring him out from darkness into light. We must guard each other’s interests as we do our own. We do not value the soul as we should. We ought to be united in one great brotherhood and be in that place where we can bear with the faults of one another with all longsuffering and meekness and seek to bear one another’s burdens. Ephesians 5:1, 2. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 3

Well, you say this is the work of the minister. But it is also the work of each of us. We are not to associate with one another with long faces, and cherishing feelings of gloominess and despondency. No; this is not religion. True religion brings joy into the soul. It is the living outflow of the heart to give praise and glory to Jesus. If we have a loving Jesus abiding in the heart by faith, that love will flow out to others; and if a brother is looking upon the dark side, we will look upon the bright side and talk courage to him, and thus we are helping him out of the slough of despondency. We know Satan is working in every way possible to put discouragement upon the human soul. What shall we do? We want to put away all sadness, all gloom, all discouragement, and trust in Jesus. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 4

The greatest trial I have had for years is, when the Lord has given me some testimony for my brethren, to have them say, Who has been telling Sister White about this? Well, the very thought shows that they are not right before God. When Nathan was sent to show David his sin, David never thinks that he is speaking of him and so passes judgment upon the man; and when Nathan had received the judgment, he said unto David, “Thou art the man!” [2 Samuel 12:7.] By this we can see how judgment is passed upon another. Had David realized that Nathan was speaking of him, how different would have been his judgment. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 5

Now God wants us to be united as one family. Do we want to be one of the family in heaven? If we do, we want to be looking out for one another’s interests here. If you wound the hand of one of your brethren, you wound the hand of Christ. And you cannot afford to do this. We want, while we are together at this meeting, to have a true sense of what religion is. The plant of love is a very tender plant and must be cultivated. Some are about to speak harsh things; and when they have wounded another, they say, “You must not think too much of this; it is only my way.” If they had said, “I am a man of a very course spirit; and if my coarse way has wounded you, I want you to forgive me,” how much better it would have been than to have tried to justify themselves and say, “I am very firm, and when I speak hastily it is only my way.” 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 6

Shall we have our own way or God’s way? This is why there are so many church difficulties. Every one wants his own way and thinks this is best. Now God wants us to have love in our families; but when these envious thoughts come up in the mind and are cherished there, they lead to impure actions, and you cannot be clear if you have these feelings against your brethren. Well now, we don’t want this spirit at all. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 7

If you feel discouraged, never let a word escape your lips, because you are casting a shadow upon another, and they become discouraged. I have had discouragements upon me until it seemed it would press me into the very earth. Well, God gave me discouragements, but I made up my mind that no one should know of them, and I determined not to cast a shadow upon the pathway of another. Every one has their trials best known to themselves. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 8

When we see individuals jealous of one another, we know they will never reach heaven, for there will be nothing of the kind there; but we must have the similitude of Christ in the heart right at home. We can have a little heaven right here on earth if we will; and we must have a tenderness for one another. Well, do you carry this to an extreme in the family, and when any one speaks to you of the errors of another, do you let your spirit rise up against them? If so, the plant of love is crushed. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 9

Now my brethren, we want true religion, and we want to bring it into the household. Like Abraham, you want to manifest it toward your children. You do not want to fly at them when they have done wrong and shake them, but you want to talk to them of Jesus and try to educate them in the right way. Your first ministerial field is to guard and train your children, taking care of the little garden God has given you; and when you educate and train these children, then you have done a work that God will bless. We want to bring the principles of love into our home life and work there. Are we educating our children to keep the Sabbath? Are we giving attention to them? Do we expect God will give them a home in heaven? There is a great deal more work for us then we imagine, and there are duties right before us that we are neglecting. We want to take up these duties right next to us; and when we can present to the world a well-disciplined family, then we present the greatest proof to the world that we can present to show that we are Christians. Brethren, if ever there were a people who ought to try to bring everything into harmony, it is those who are waiting for the coming of the Son of man. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 10

Well now, there is much more I wanted to say, but I have said enough. I don’t want to crowd the mind with too many things. Brethren, do not look at others, but go to work for yourselves and see the duties you have to do at your home, and in the church, and not be in the same position as was David. But let us throw open the door of the heart and let Jesus in, and love one another as Christ has loved us. And let us consider that we are woven together in the great web of humanity. Let us be growing an holy temple to God, and we may have the light and love of God. I want to see the faces of this assembly here shining with the love of God, and I know in order to have it we must begin to attend to neglected duties. We want to be in that position that the sweet love of God is abiding in the heart, and if abiding there you cannot keep it secret; it will be springing out just as the water from a fountain. You put your hand over the fountainhead, but you cannot stop its flowing; and so it will be with us. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 11

When I think of the family above, and that we can be fitting for it here, I feel that we must improve every opportunity. Why, Jesus will fashion you just as the clay is fashioned in the hands of the potter if you will let Him. You will find love, joy, and sympathy; and everything appears in perfection. That is what we want. Perfection of character. But you are not to do it yourself. Heaven is open before us. Bring love right into your lifework here, and you will see of the workings of God. 4LtMs, Ms 13, 1886, par. 12