Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 50, 1893



September 1893

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1SAT 214-226.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” [1 Corinthians 9:24-27.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 1

In the family circle and in the church we should place Christian temperance on an elevated platform. It should be a living, working element, reforming habits, dispositions, and characters. Intemperance lies at the foundation of all the evil in our world. We are altogether too silent upon the subject of Christian temperance. We fail to urge this subject upon Christian parents. Fathers and mothers should be invited, in the fear of the Lord, not only to abstain from all intoxicating beverages, but from tea, coffee, and flesh meat. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 2

And I go farther. Temperance should be practiced in the cooking of the food and in the variety of dishes provided, that the mother may be spared all the labor possible. A great variety of food is not essential for the sustenance of life; instead, it injures the digestive organs, causing a war in the stomach. With the blessing of God, plain, simple food will sustain life and be the best for the entire being. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 3

Few realize that generally more food than necessary is placed in the stomach. But the extra food eaten is a tax on the stomach and injures the whole human structure. When the stomach has too much to do, it becomes weary. This weariness is felt through the entire system. The child cannot understand why he feels so tired and impatient, and [he] decides that he is hungry and must have something to eat. The real trouble is that the digestive organs have been too severely taxed and need an entire rest. But more food is eaten and the poor, wearied organs become diseased and inflamed. Dyspepsia and a diseased liver are the result. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 4

Mothers need to be instructed on this point. Sweet cake should be kept off the table, for it is an injury to the stomach and liver. The sweets that children eat harm the life-current. By the laws of the home everything that renders the blood impure should be discarded from the table. Especially should little children be given wholesome food. They should be given no tea or coffee. Their food should not contain spices or any kind of seasoning. The plainest food is the most wholesome and keeps the temple of God in the most healthy condition. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 5

If the peace of Christ is in the heart, plain food, seasoned by a good appetite, will be relished. We are to fulfill the command, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:17.] But how much is God brought into the thoughts of those who claim to be Christians? How much sanctified conversation is encouraged at the family board? If God were thought of when we eat and drink, the precious talent of speech would more often be employed to His glory. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 6

Shall we not strive to avoid the sin of Belshazzar when at his sacrilegious feast he praised the gods of gold and silver? At this feast the king and his nobles drank wine out of the sacred vessels of the Lord’s house. The wine confused the senses of the revelers until nothing was too sacred for them to profane. The king himself led in the blasphemy, making a display of defiant desecration. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 7

At the very moment when the feasting was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth and traced on the wall of the banqueting room the doom of the king and his kingdom. “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” were the words written, and they were interpreted by Daniel to mean, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. ... Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” [Daniel 5:25, 27, 28.] And the record tells us, “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.” [Verses 30, 31.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 8

Little did Belshazzar think that an unseen Watcher beheld his idolatrous revelry. But there is nothing said or done that is not recorded on the books of heaven. The mystic characters traced by the bloodless hand testify that God is a witness to all we do and that He is dishonored by feasting and reveling. We cannot hide anything from God. We cannot escape from our accountability to him. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we are responsible to Him whose we are by creation and by redemption. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 9

God has given to every man his work. We may all be laborers together with God. Parents, you have in the Scriptures the expression of the will of God. He has declared that there are only two parties in our world, the obedient and the disobedient. And although we are fallen human beings, yet we may stand on vantage ground. Christ took human nature upon Him, that humanity might touch humanity and divinity lay hold upon an infinite God. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 10

God has given us reasoning powers and talents of perception that we may distinguish between good and evil. This we may do if we refuse to yield to the temptations of Satan, who is playing the game of life for every soul. But if we stupefy our faculties by the use of narcotics, we cannot distinguish between right and wrong, between the sacred and the common. The sin of this lies at our own door. We have given our powers into Satan’s keeping, and habits that are selfish and impure bind us as with chains of steel. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 11

But God is longsuffering, full of mercy and forbearance, and even though a man be in abject slavery, if he turns from his wickedness and confesses his sins, placing himself under the guardianship of God, he will find help. Provision has been made for every soul to be saved. Those who receive Christ and believe in Him as their personal Saviour will receive everlasting life. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 12

Christ loves every soul. He gave His life to save man. “If ye keep my commandments,” He says, “ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [John 15:10, 11.] “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Matthew 28:18.] Christ died on the cross to draw all to Him, and He would have us joyful in that joy which He alone can give, the joy of obedience. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 13

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another.” To love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves is the fulfilling of the law. Christ has a treasurehouse full of precious gifts for every soul. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Then Christ tells us who are his friends, “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I have commanded you.” [John 15:12-14.] The work of sanctification consists of a cheerful performance of daily duties, in perfect obedience to the commandments of God. A failure to cooperate with Christ in the great work of redemption is a failure that all eternity cannot supply. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 14

A man is received by God just as soon as he realizes that he has nothing in himself that will gain salvation. He must surrender himself as a willing servant to the One who gave His life to redeem him. When he loses all confidence in anything he has done or can do to save himself, when he gives himself up to be saved by Christ, he shows that he appreciates the sacrifice made in his behalf, that he has confidence to commit the keeping of his soul to God. Such a one can say in faith, “I know that he will keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” [See 2 Timothy 1:12.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 15

It is our duty to render implicit obedience to the divine injunctions. Our faith must grasp the mercy and forgiveness of our sins. Then, believing that our sins are pardoned, we are no longer to walk in the path of transgression but yield ourselves to the will of God. Every day that we fail to do God’s will we rob Him who has said, “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 16

As we go on step by step, trusting, believing, receiving the end of our faith, which is the salvation of our souls, the way will be made plain to us. But even though we may not always be able to tell why we are called to do this or that, we are to obey without questioning. Abraham was called to leave his father’s home. He could not see the future, but by faith he went into a strange country, not knowing whither he went. He was fully assured that God knew and that all he had to do was to watch for divine guidance and move in obedience to the commands of God. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 17

We are not to lean upon man. God is to be consulted. All our trust is to be placed in Him. But to walk by faith and not by sight does not mean that we are to close our eyes and see nothing. We must open our eyes as wide as possible, but they must be directed to the Saviour. If we continue to look to Him, He will guide us into all truth. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the author and finisher of our faith. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 18

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.” [Proverbs 3:6.] This is the promise. God must be consulted at every step. He would not have us trust in human beings, who need themselves to walk carefully before God. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. If we look to humanity, we shall obtain human help, but if we ask for divine guidance, we are safe in the assurance that God is leading us. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 19

The eyes of Abraham’s understanding were not closed when he decided that the best thing he could do was to separate from Lot, although he had been to him as a father. But contention and strife he could not endure, even among the herdsmen. He could not have his peace of mind disturbed by unpleasant differences. Separation was painful to him, but it must be. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 20

Abraham gave Lot the choice of where he would go so that afterward Lot should not be tempted to think that in the separation Abraham had his own interest in view. Lot chose a beautiful location near Sodom. The land of his choice possessed every natural advantage, but he failed to investigate the morals and religion of the Sodomites. We have on record his after history. The time came when he had to flee from the corrupt city, which was dark with crime of every stripe and type. He was permitted to warn his daughters and sons-in-law, but they would not heed this warning any more than they had heeded his instruction. They mocked at his faith in God, and they perished in the destruction of Sodom. This is a lesson for us all. We should move carefully in the selection of homes for our families. We should seek the help of the Lord in the training of our children and their choice of a lifework. Every family should constantly look to God, trusting in Him to guide aright. Sharp discrimination is necessary in order to avoid following a wrong course for the sake of worldly gain. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 21

The Lord’s will is to be our will. God must be made first and last and best in everything. We are to be as teachable as a little child, moving carefully and with entire trust in God. Our eternal interests are involved in the steps we take, whether we move heavenward toward the city whose maker and builder is God, or earthward toward Sodom’s beautiful attractions. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 22

God does not consult our opinions or preferences. He knows what human beings do not know—the future results of every movement—and therefore our eyes should be directed to Him and not to the worldly advantages presented by Satan. Satan tells us that if we give heed to him we shall reach great heights of knowledge. “Ye shall be as gods,” he said to Eve, “if you eat of the tree forbidden by God.” [Genesis 3:5.] The test given to Adam and Eve was very light, but they could not bear it. They disobeyed God, and this transgression opened the floodgates of woe on our world. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 23

God’s commands are to be obeyed by all. “This do,” the Eternal One declares, “and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:28.] But notwithstanding that men and women have before them the history of the fall, showing them that disobedience in little things is the same in God’s sight as disobedience in larger things, God’s commandments are ignored and ridiculed. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 24

The danger signal is lifted in God’s Word, showing us that all who transgress God’s law are under the death penalty. If the Lord were to visit the lawless transgressor with immediate punishment, men would be afraid to do the evil which is now done in our world. Those whom no entreaties or warnings will deter from following their own opinions would turn from their sins. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 25

But although men have not discrimination to see it, yet the punishment for sin is just as certain as if it were executed when the sin was committed, unless the one who sins repents and turns to God. The longsuffering and forbearance of God will be appreciated by those who repent, and God will save them from sin. But those who continue to disobey will receive punishment which is proportionate to their rebellion against the God of heaven. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 26

Many disregard the light and opportunities granted them by God, and stubbornly follow their own way. Thus did Belshazzar. Although God had revealed Himself in honor and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar closed his eyes to the light and chose his own course. Daniel declared to him: “O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: and for all the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive, and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of heaven, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou, his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, thou knewest all this: but hast lifted up thine heart against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” [Daniel 5:18-23.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 27

This history is written for our learning, that we may not do as did this idolatrous king. Abraham’s character was in every way the opposite of that of Belshazzar. Abraham’s practical obedience to the Lord’s commands revealed a sure growth in spiritual knowledge, and every additional test was a renewal of the trust reposed by God in him. In mind and purpose he was one with God, and to him God revealed future events. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day,” Christ declared. “He saw it, and was glad.” [John 8:56.] “If any man will to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” [John 7:17.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 28

But Belshazzar lifted himself up against the Lord. “Thou ... hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven.” [Daniel 5:22, 23.] “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11.] Too often the patience and forbearance of God makes transgressors bold and unimpressible. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 29

It is time for the message of God’s forbearance to be proclaimed to win men to repentance; and it is just as verily time for men to be warned that there are limits to God’s forbearance. Men may advance, as did Belshazzar, in presumption and defiance, until they pass the boundary. Blasphemy may be so developed as to exhaust the patience of the longsuffering God. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 30

We are living in a time when there are multitudes who have no fear of God. The age is marked with a depravity extremely offensive to God. Ministers and church members engage zealously in the work of making void the law of God. They have reduced the holy precepts to a dead letter. The time is coming when God must vindicate His glory before the transgressors of His law. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 31

Christ gave His life to establish forever before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, and before a fallen world, the immutability of the law of God. But the religious world has put the Lord of heaven to open shame. They refuse to receive His law as the rule of their lives, and because of this disregard, the world is becoming as it was before the flood. Then, as the people were eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, in utter forgetfulness of God, the flood came and destroyed them all. Thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 32

In the midst of mirth, feasting, and forgetfulness of God, the command will go forth for the sword of the Lord to be unsheathed, that an end may be put to the insolence and disobedience of men. The prayers of God’s people have ascended, “It is time, O Lord, for thee to work; for they have made void thy law.” [Psalm 119:126.] These prayers will erelong be answered. When men pass the limit of grace, God must let the world see that He is God. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 33

The time has nearly come when transgression will no longer be tolerated, when God will interfere to repress the overflowing tide of iniquity. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 34

At this time what will be the course of those who claim to fear God and respect His commandments? Will they be carried away by the apparently overwhelming power of the tide of evil? Will they allow themselves to be tempted by the scorn thrown upon God’s law, to think that it makes no difference what day they keep? Shall they not give heed to God’s Word, “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh he rested, and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:14-17.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 35

Will not all say that the Lord’s Word is positive and must be obeyed? The law of God will become more and more precious to us as we see the result of transgression upon the characters of the disobedient. If we are led by the Spirit of Christ, our estimation of the value and sacredness of the law of Jehovah will increase in proportion as we see it despised and trampled on by unholy, profligate feet. Our language will be, “They have made void thy law: therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” [Psalm 119:126, 127.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 36

This is the sanctification to which those attain whose love of God’s law increases as the contempt of transgressors increases. There is need for this increased confidence in the law; for fraud, violence and crime are rapidly increasing. Men show their hatred of God by fighting against His law which He has pronounced “holy and just and good.” [Romans 7:12.] Liquor saloons are established in every city. These are death traps and those who establish them, seeking to accumulate gain at the cost of poverty, misery and woe, provoke the Lord of hosts to their destruction. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 37

God gives to all a period of probation, but men can reach a point where they can expect from God nothing but indignation and punishment. This time is not just now, but it is fast approaching. The nations will advance from one degree of sinfulness to another. The children, educated and trained in transgression, will add to the evil entailed on them by parents who have no fear of God in their hearts. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 38

Already the judgments of God have begun to fall upon the world in various calamities, that men may repent and be converted to truth and righteousness. But the candle of those who harden their hearts in iniquity will be put out by the Lord. They have lived only for themselves, and death must come to them. When the limit of grace is reached, God will give His command for the destruction of the transgressor. He will arise in His Almighty character as a God above all gods, and those who have worked against Him, in league with the great rebel, will be treated in accordance with their works. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 39

In his vision of the last days Daniel inquired, “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. ... Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” [Daniel 12:8-10, 12, 13.] Daniel has been standing in his lot since the seal was removed and the light of truth has been shining upon his visions. He stands in his lot, bearing the testimony which was to be understood at the end of the days. 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 40

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 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 and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” [Verses 1-4.] 8LtMs, Ms 50, 1893, par. 41