Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 34, 1889

Sermon/Sermon at Kansas Camp Meeting

Ottawa, Kansas

May 15, 1889

This manuscript is published in entirety in Topeka Daily Capital 05/16/1889.

[Transcribed from the Topeka Daily Capital for May 16, 1889.] 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 1

(1 Peter 2:9)—“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people.” 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 2

There is very much said here to show that we should make our deportment correspond to the truth which we profess. The world has a right to expect this of us. All who profess truth should stand in the position where that truth places them. It is a crime before God for parents to bring into the world more children than they can properly educate and train. Children must be kept in purity and moral independence before God and man. If God has moved on you by His Spirit, it will show itself in your everyday life. This is religion. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 3

Mothers and fathers having natural tendencies which are foreign to the leadings of the Spirit of Christ cannot properly arouse the interests of their children so they can sense their responsibility before God and man as they grow into maturity, unless they have their entire dependence upon God. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 4

How many we can recall who claim to have religion but who are not genuine home Christians! The habits of the parents should be neat and orderly, as the children will form their characters largely from the example they set them. There are emanations from the body, constantly, which necessitate scrupulous cleanliness. Garments should be kept clean, and the little wearers be taught that to be untidy is a sin. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 5

Parents have habits which not only defile their own lives but the lives of their children, and they grow up in wickedness and corruption. Parents, you must preoccupy the garden of your child’s heart; you must sow it with seeds of truth and piety. Fence a corner from your garden and watch, for an example, the progress of vegetation. You sow no weeds and cultivate no flowers, but what will be the result in the fall? It will be full of weeds and thistles. Mothers should be, of all persons, the nearest to the heart of the child. You should keep your ears alert to catch their words, and your eyes open to notice their actions. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 6

Eli was a priest, but though he was a good man, he was too easy with his children and he did not restrain his boys in their wickedness. What did God say? “Them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold the days come that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.” [1 Samuel 2:30, 31.] So the sins of these children lay at the door of their parents’ soul. Brethren and sisters, may it not be so with us! You must look into the habits of your children if you expect to have households that God will honor. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 7

Abraham was visited by angels that were on their way to destroy the corrupt city of Sodom. God said He would tell Abraham about the destruction because he had trained his children in a proper manner. [Genesis 18:17-21.] Abraham pled with God to spare the city for the honest inhabitants, of whom but ten could be found. Here we have an example of a city where the leaven of licentiousness had been at work, and that great city was destroyed. Brethren and sisters, we ought to be wide awake. We need not trust in our own wisdom or strength, but we can, by faith, lay hold on the infinite arm of God. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 8

When you bow your heads about the table and offer thanks for your daily portion of food, call their minds to the fact that it is Christ who supplies all our necessities. They will then grow up with hearts that will respond in thanks to God for all His gifts and blessings. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 9

Fathers, are you setting an example of kindness and Christian courtesy before your child by showing your wife a husband’s love? There are thousands of wives and mothers going to their graves every year whose lives have pined away for the lack of sympathy and love. How many husbands there are who come into the home as cold as ice, and if things are not right, just murmur and complain, and thus give license to their children to speak words of disrespect to parents. Now Satan is working on the minds of children in a special manner. The earliest principles are those which stay longest by the child. While we are getting our hearts right at this meeting let us not forget the foundation and neglect to bring these truths to the hearts of our children. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 10

Another mistake which causes heart grief and sorrow to parents when children grow up is the failure to provide employment for the little hands. Satan works with the indolent, and if you do not see that they grow up in industry, Satan will prey upon their tender minds and they will grow up into wickedness. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 11

Now when we have been studying about the righteousness of Christ, let the light gained shine into the family circles, and while the truths of God are coming to you in mercy and love, may we not appropriate them to our children? Bring the little ones to God and plead with Him for that wisdom which will guide you in molding the minds of the children, and bring religion into our home duties and responsibilities. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 12

Do not praise your children by flattery. If praise is merited, use modest words of commendation. If they make mistakes, do not censure them. Mothers in the kitchen or sewing room and daughters in the parlor at the piano is a reversed order of things. Teach your daughters the pleasures of industry. Show them that exercise in youth will secure that health which is the index to happiness. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 13

Do not copy after those who have no standard of morality and Christian worth. But this work must be done in patience and perseverance, with that living faith that takes hold on the strong arm of God. Bring genuine home religion into the lives of your family. If you have home religion you will have neighborhood religion. Your homes may be places where the angels of God will love to dwell. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 14

Let reverence be shown for the house of God. Teach Christian politeness and courtesy in the home and we will have churches fit for the indwelling of the Spirit of God, and if you have not this religion of the home, if your children are allowed to disgrace the religion of Christ, you are not fit to belong to the church of God. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 15

Now let us take right hold of this matter in humility and love and draw these young hearts out to Jesus that they may see charms in Him. Weave the lessons of Christ into their young minds. When their little arms encircle your neck tell them the old, old story of Jesus’ love. When they go astray go and pray with them and show them how the angels look upon them. But if you do, never go about it in apparent anger. Be what you want your children to be. If they are wilful and stubborn, gain the victory over them by gentleness, and conquer them by love. 6LtMs, Ms 34, 1889, par. 16