Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 48, 1886

Sermon/Third Discourse at Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland

November 21, 1886

Previously unpublished.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 1

There are many who by their course of conduct seem to say that it is a disgrace to be a Christian and a follower of Christ, notwithstanding it is the highest position to which a person can attain. And this elevation must be through the merits of the blood of Christ. When the race fell through Adam, there was no hope. Man was cut off from God. But Christ consented to take upon Himself the work of restoration, and offered Himself as a substitute in order that the race may be brought back into the favor of His Father. Suppose that Adam had been so independent as not to accept of Jesus Christ as a substitute? Then it would have been impossible for him to have been elevated. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 2

The sin that we now see is the result of Adam’s and Eve’s transgression, and the consequence of sin is death. Christ stepped in between man and His Father and paid the penalty. He laid aside His royal robes for a world all marred with sin. He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He did not come with force of arms or kingly power, but with lowliness of heart on the side of the oppressed. It was Christ that opened a communication between man and God. Man by his action forfeited all right to the favor of God. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 3

When Christ received baptism at the hands of John, He bowed on the banks of Jordan and prayed such a prayer as was never heard by mortal ear. Heaven opened, the glory of God encircled His Son, and a voice was heard to say, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17. How many read over these words and consider the importance of them? The human family may return to God. Heaven has been opened before them. Christ says, I have opened a door [Revelation 3:8], and His testimony is that He has been accepted of the Father and that we can be accepted through Him. His human arm encircles the [human] race, and with His divine arm He grasps heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 4

Christ has thrown His body across the gulf that sin has made. Jacob saw in his vision that there was a connection between earth and heaven. God stood at the top of that ladder, and the angels were ascending and descending upon it. This is the way we can have access to the Father. We are not to look at the battlements and say that they cannot be scaled, for Christ is a living connection between earth and heaven, and He has made an escape for man if he keeps the commandments of God. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 5

The apostle, writing to the Galatians, says: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth ...?” Galatians 3:1. It is a marvel that men are so indifferent when their only hope is in obeying the commandments of God. Our standard is God’s holy law. Those who will take their position on the side of truth are a chosen people. What marvelous light! John saw in vision a temple opened in heaven, and as he sees a people whose minds are directed thither, he is led to exclaim, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. And the song will be, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” Revelation 12:11. What was seen in the ark? Tables of stone, the cover of which constituted the mercy seat. Christ is ministering in the sanctuary before the ark. Mercy and truth have met and kissed each other. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 6

It is impossible for man to enter the gate of the city, trampling on God’s law. Yet how few there are who pay any regard to God’s requirements. This is in fulfilment of that which the apostle said, that in the last days iniquity would abound, and the love of many wax cold. [Matthew 24:12.] Is it not time that the law of God was vindicated? and shall we be swift to trample upon it because everybody else does? The message says, “Come out from among them;” and the God of heaven will accept us if we come to Him in obedience. [2 Corinthians 6:17.] We must not think that we are belittling ourselves in taking our position on the side of Christ, for this is the only way by which we can be elevated and refined and become members of the royal heavenly family. There must be a line of demarcation between those that keep the commandments of God and those that do not. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 7

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2. But in order to be accepted of God as sons and daughters, we must come out from the world and be separated from them and stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. God has claims upon every one of us, and in order to comply with them there must be a separation. We do not choose to be singular from the rest of the world, but we must be in order to be obedient. This world is not our home. We are pilgrims and strangers. We should not be building our hopes on this world, but we should be looking forward to the kingdom of heaven. There are great charms for the Christian. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 8

The principles of Christianity elevate. They bring the possessor up on a higher platform. The religion of Christ never degrades, but it reforms the life. Christ has chosen the poor of this world to be heirs of the kingdom. I see great beauty in Jesus. What great things He is willing to do for us to bring us to that elevated position where we can be sons and daughters of God! We are now in a world of misery. We can see the effects of sin on every hand, and if in this world only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 9

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 10

In the expression found in the text “a peculiar people,” of what does our peculiarity consist? It is in gathering the rays of light from Him who has brought us to His marvelous light. Christians should of all people be the happiest, because they have a connection with heaven. I point you to Calvary, where light is reflected. A great ransom has been paid for man, and in return for this proffered love we have a great work to do. Every soul should be a laborer with Christ. We should love souls for whom Christ has died. It is not for us to follow the fashions and customs of the world. There is a better work for us, for we are stewards of trust to build up Christ’s kingdom on earth and to bless humanity around us. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 11

“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.” Matthew 6:19, 20. Now here is where the peculiarity comes in. The world cannot understand why this sacrifice is made, and it is impossible for them to understand until they can see the object of the sacrifice made by Christ. Jesus became poor that we may become rich. Christ has done all for us, and what have we done for Him in return? 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 12

While we see souls to be brought to Christ, we should be careful of our time. We are not the children of darkness, but of light, and how shall we use this light? It is by bringing heaven into our own lives; and then we are prepared to let the rays of light shine to others. We want the love of God in our hearts and to care more for the approval of Heaven than for what the world can bestow. We want to be assimilated to Christ and be obedient to the requirements of God. My work for this past forty years has been to elevate man; and when I have seen a soul turning to the light of truth, then my heart rejoices. There was great rejoicing over the one sheep that was found—more than over all the rest. The winners of souls will have great reward, and while we see a great work to be done all around us, how careful we should be in imparting to others what God has imparted to us. God has given us intellect, and He requires returns. Our duty is to cultivate our powers and acquire wisdom and thus make advancements. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 13

The prophet Daniel was permitted to see the results of a faithful life. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever.” Daniel 12:3. The greatest and best work is to be co-laborers with Christ. The work done for the Master is for time and eternity. It is not hay and stubble that we want to build upon, but gold and silver and precious stones. This material cannot be consumed. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 14

The world cannot appreciate the work of the Christian. We are not living to please ourselves, but to please Heaven, and in this is a cross that the world will not lift. The Christian has a glorious hope just before him. Christ has gone to prepare mansions for His followers, and this is the heaven that they expect to receive when their work is ended. How thankful we should be that grace is promised to all who will strive for the heavenly home. Angels are commissioned to guard the faithful few. Heaven is opened before us, and honest petitions will be heard and answered. We can take all our trials to Christ; His ear is opened to hear, and the grace from Jesus Christ will come into our hearts to bless. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 15

Has not the Christian reason to be happy? Then let us cling to the Source of light and comfort. The world knows us not. They know not the joy that fills the Christian’s heart and the prospect of immortal life. They see not the white robes for the pure in heart. They hear not the anthems of praise that are heard in heaven. These lessons can be learned here, and all can have the privilege of rallying around the standard and be of that number that shall receive the benediction, “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.” Revelation 22:14. 4LtMs, Ms 48, 1886, par. 16