Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 8, 1889

Advancing in Christ’s Training School

Kalamazoo, Michigan

August 20, 1889

Previously unpublished. +Note

We left Battle Creek for Kalamazoo. We were pleased with the location of the camp, and were surprised to see so large a number assembled at this meeting. We felt deeply in earnest that our ministering brethren should make an advance move, and to this end ministers’ meetings were held. We felt sad as we saw so few prepared to give the trumpet a certain sound in this solemn time. We knew that it was not God’s will that it should be thus. Many more workers should be in the harvest field, and most earnest efforts should be put forth by all connected with our schools, our publishing houses, and our sanitariums to qualify men and women to engage in earnest work to spread the light of truth. Day and night we mourn that as a people we are so far behind the opening providences of God. We realize that many who preach the Word have not been in the training school of Christ, and therefore the work coming from their hands cannot be carried on to perfection. Shall we not individually arouse to the emergencies of the time? 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 1

The Lord expects far more from the teachers of truth than they give Him. The end of all things is at hand. The Lord is at the door, and He will not accept shiftless, halfway work. Human effort alone cannot accomplish the work of fitting a people to stand in the great day of God. Daily we are to learn in the school of Christ, that we may know how to work. Critical examination of self is called for. God’s holy law is the great standard of character, and we are to obey that law. This it is impossible for us to do in our own finite strength. Our dependence must be in Christ. Self-deception, self-sufficiency, and discouragement will constantly arise to hinder the advancement of the truth; but when the soul is consecrated to God, when by faith we lay hold of the provision made for every one, we shall have a constant and increasing sense of peace and rest. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 2

The mind is to be stored with precious treasures, both new and old. Each thought is to be brought to its rightful place, and held there by persistent effort. Then the heart can be sanctified through the truth, and precious gems be stored in the mind for the time of need. Those who ask in faith will never fail of receiving the rich blessings of God. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 3

The ministers have a certain kind of knowledge, but like the priests and Pharisees in the days of Christ, they do not comprehend the work and mission of the world’s Redeemer. They do not call men to behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Christ tried to show the rulers in Israel the difficulties that lay in the way of their receiving the truth. He sought to show them that a man needs to be taught of God in order to understand the things of God, that the errors and misconceptions they held concerning the Scriptures came because they trusted in their own finite wisdom. The Lord is waiting to be gracious. He has a work for His ambassadors to do, and He has made every provision that they may do it intelligently and with farseeing judgment. He is waiting for them to show forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 4

If the delegated servants of God fail to do this work, what can be expected of the people? Our earnest prayer should be, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” [Psalm 119:18.] We cannot afford to be spiritually blind. A man who is physically blind cannot enjoy God’s beautiful light. He cannot admire the many colored flowers or any of God’s handiwork in the things of nature around him. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 5

But the man who is spiritually blind does not realize the loss he sustains daily in not being able to discern heavenly things. Content with a form of righteousness, he does not understand how the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in him, according to the grace of God. Because of his spiritual blindness he misses the way to heaven. The mind, blinded by unbelief, refuses the very things that are essential to a growing Christian. Ways that appear pleasing are accepted instead of the right way, and he walks in this mistaken path, rather than in the way the Lord has pointed out. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 6

This is the condition of many who minister in Word and doctrine. The fruits of righteousness are not discerned by them. For some cause they have become blind. The light of the Sun of Righteousness is shining, but it does not reach their minds, and their fruits do not appear in righteousness, meekness, long-suffering, patience, and love. These need to be brought into the upper chamber, into heaven’s marvelous light. Many of the lay members of the church are in a better condition spiritually than are some of the ministers. They realize their destitution, as the shepherds of the flock do not. Unless these shepherds reach a higher standard in experimental godliness, their sentence will be, Thou are weighed in the balances, and found wanting. The people are starving for the bread of life, and they must be fed with pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from the chaff of false theories. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 7

There has been a great need of genuine earnestness in the churches. We read that the first seven churches did not keep their garments white, restraining the purity and simplicity of their faith. This is truly the condition of our churches in Michigan. Form has taken the place of inward piety, and the work which should have been done is left undone. This state of things has come in gradually, growing out of doubt and unbelief. The light in these churches should have been growing brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Then poor souls who are in darkness and sin would have been convinced of the truth. It is because the church has not been led onward and upward and improving the light the Lord has graciously given, that many are in moral darkness and inefficiency. O that God’s people had fulfilled His design, gathering the light from Jesus Christ, and sending forth its bright rays to a crooked and perverse generation, leaving the things that are behind, we need to go forward to perfection. A faithful improvement of the talents entrusted and privileges conferred will place the church on vantage ground, and inscribe on her every work, Holiness unto the Lord. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 8

Sabbath was a day of great importance, from its commencement to its close. The Lord was in our midst, moving upon the hearts of the people, and a large number came forward for prayer. On such occasions all my being is put into the work. The judgment of the great day seems to pass before me. I see these souls as they will stand in the day when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened, and everyone is judged according to the deeds done in the body. Before my mind’s eye there seem to stand those who will share the curse of Meroz: “Curse ye Meroz; curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” [Judges 5:23.] The pages of their history, as far as God and heaven are concerned, is one mournful blank. They are trees without fruit. They bring no sheaves to the Master. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 9

There were also present impenitent sinners. How sorry we felt for them. A living testimony must be borne in order to save these souls. They have not been using their God-given powers to honor and glorify their Maker. Recipients of the mercy and love of God, they have stood in rebellion, saying by attitude and word, We will not have this man to reign over us. Their influence has been to scatter from Christ. Stubborn, hardhearted, cruel, they have refused to leave the black banner of the prince of darkness. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 10

How we hoped that the Spirit of God might move upon the hearts of those who have long stood in stubborn resistance. But they would not yield to the Holy Spirit’s pleading. They would not fall on the Rock and be broken. Their spirit was not right when they came to the meeting, and it was unchanged when they left. God pity them, for they have turned their back and not their face to Christ. So will they reap darkness. They grieved away the Spirit of truth, and wrapped their souls in a pall of darkness so dense that the rays of the Sun of Righteousness could not find entrance. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 11

In this meeting, all that could be done was done to arouse the people to seek the Lord by individual effort. But the time for this work was limited. A large number did not come on the ground until Friday, and left again on Monday. Some of these lost the message the Lord sent them, because they did not place themselves in the channel of light. I was sorry that many more did not make a decided effort to be at the meeting. There were some in Battle Creek who I knew ought to have been present, but were not. But I felt thankful that some determined to be on the Lord’s side. Quite a little army left the banner of Satan and took their position with the loyal and the true. From very many we heard the testimony, I know now what to do. I shall return to my home to work for my own soul and for my family as I have never done before. I see the mistakes I have made in the past. I must have the Holy Spirit in my heart and revealed in my character. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 12

This movement caused rejoicing in the heavenly courts. Those who appreciated the opportunities and privileges and sought the Lord earnestly received old truths set in a new framework, and were won to their first love. I felt anxious that all who had a knowledge of the truth should be benefited by the instruction given upon justification by faith. The minds of some had become confused, but when the truth was presented to them in clear, distinct lines, when they saw that their only hope was in receiving the righteousness of Christ, that He wished them to accept by faith the precious gift of His love, His pardon, His abundant righteousness, they sought the Lord, and the treasures of His wisdom and knowledge were given them. The way of holiness was plainly marked out. Many grasped God’s precious promises, and hope and courage sprang up in their hearts. The power and grace of Christ was accepted by faith, and freedom and peace in Him was the result. 6LtMs, Ms 8, 1889, par. 13