Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)

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Ms 73, 1893

A Message for Edson White

NP

July 13, 1893 [Typed.]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 15MR 97-104.

“And he spake a parable unto them, saying: The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” [Luke 12:16-19.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 1

We have quoted the sayings of the man, and now we shall quote the sayings of God, “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: Then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” [Verses 20, 21.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 2

You say you have no religious inclinations. I am not surprised at this, because it is a long time since you have taken yourself away from God and refused to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and changed leaders. The god whom you have chosen as your god is not at all religiously inclined, and as long as you give yourself [as] a willing subject to the great leader of apostasy, you will never be religiously inclined. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Here the conditions are plainly stated by Jesus Christ, the Sinbearer. When you deliberately decide to go contrary to the word spoken by Jesus Christ, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” [Matthew 6:33], how can you expect to be religiously inclined? To enlarge our views of His condescension and beneficence, He presents the picture of the judgment—the separation of the just and unjust—and shows us He identifies His interests with suffering humanity. He is teaching in the open field where the eye can take in the beauties of nature and the creatures of God’s creation. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 3

“Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls? and which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?” [Luke 12:24-26.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 4

Here is presented definitely that man is dependent upon God for every breath he draws. The beating heart, the throbbing pulse, every nerve and muscle in the living organism is kept in order and activity by the power of an infinite God. “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven: how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Verses 27-31.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 5

Here Christ leads the mind abroad to contemplate the open fields of nature, and His power touches the eye and the senses, to discern the wonderful works of divine power. He directs attention first to nature, then up through nature to nature’s God, who upholds the worlds by His power. He points to the opening bud, the full ... [several words missing] ... beauty and perfection that no human art can equal. He watches over little birds. Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without the notice of your heavenly Father. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 6

The Lord Jesus appeals to the rain and the sunshine, every ray of light given to our world coming on the unjust as well as the just, the evil as well as the good, the unthankful as well as the thankful, to confirm His testimony to the unsurpassed goodness of God. Christ represents the divine attention given upon [elements of] His creation that seem so insignificant, and to the objects of nature which His own hands have created. Every lofty tree, every shrub, every blooming flower, the lily of the field and the earth clothed with its garment of living green are kept [in] order and occupy their time and season to bear testimony that God loves man. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 7

And as Jesus, the great Teacher, presents His lessons to be learned from the open book of nature, He opens the eye of their understanding to reveal the attention that is given to objects in proportion to the rank they occupy in the scale of creation. If the grass of the field, which today is so beautiful, delighting the senses, is tomorrow cut down and burned, receives so great attention from God; how much more will He not bestow upon man formed in His image. We cannot form exaggerated ideas of the value of the human soul, and the attention given by heaven to man. He then gives the comforting assurance, “Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” [Verse 32.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 8

Jesus is the good Shepherd. His followers are the sheep of His pasture. A shepherd is always with His flock to defend them, to keep them from the wolves, to hunt up the lost sheep and carry them back to the fold, to lead them beside green pastures and beside living waters. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 9

I cannot neglect the great salvation that has been brought to me at such an infinite cost to my heavenly Father, who “so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] I will not dishonor my Redeemer to lightly esteem His sufferings, His trials, His condescension, His sacrifice, His death, because He so loves us, He would Himself become our sin-bearer. O what love, what inexpressible love! He became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He died on the cross [as] a transgressor, that man might be justified through His merits. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 10

“I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, against that day.” [2 Timothy 1:12.] Not even to angels can we commit this precious soul which Christ has valued of such a price that He died to redeem it, died that it should not perish. While the angels can and do minister unto all who are heirs of salvation, they are to be our faithful sentinels, lest Satan should destroy us. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 11

Stephen committed the keeping of his soul to Him whom he saw in his yielding up his life. “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” He said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” [Acts 7:55, 56, 59.] He committed his soul unto Jesus. He only is able to take care of it. We are not our own selves able to appreciate or take care of our souls. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 12

And if we do not commit our souls to God in faith and trust every day, Satan himself will take the soul committed to his will. None should be entrusted with the soul but He ... [line missing] ... things we may say, “my soul is as an angel before God: its worth I can only estimate by the cross of Calvary. It is more precious than gold, silver and precious stones. Its value is to be estimated by the price paid to redeem it.” “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” [1 Peter 1:18-22.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 13

The soul is through the Lifegiver capable of living through eternal ages, and man is to take special care of the soul which Christ has purchased with His own blood. With Christ is Omnipotence. He alone is able to keep that which I have committed to His trust against that day. If the preciousness of the soul has not been appreciated, if its temple courts have been defiled with buyers and sellers, and with committing it to the rule and indwelling of Satan in thought or in feeling, I would in deep earnestness beseech you to make no delay, but come before God in sincere prayer without one moment’s speculation or hesitation, and say, “O Lord I have opened the door of my heart to thy worst enemy, and the worst enemy of my soul. I have acted as though I could save my own soul, as if I could sin and then reform when I choose to do so; but I find a power holding me in his keeping. Thou alone can save me that my soul shall not be eternally ruined. I have despite to ... [line missing] ... I am lost and undone; I cannot cleanse this soul from one stain of guilt. No longer will I withhold it from thee. I dare not trust it with any power but thine. I bring it sinful and polluted to thee. I lay it at thy feet. Thou Lamb of God, wash my soul in the blood of the Lamb, clothe it with thine own garment of purity and righteousness. Sanctify it through the truth. Put thy Spirit in my heart and inspire it with Thy love. Incline my heart to keep Thy commandments. Unite my poor misguided will to Thy will. Make me Thine, blessed Lord. Take not Thine Holy Spirit from me. Let this much abused temple of Thine that hath been filled with idols be cleansed and become a trophy of Thine agony.” 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 14

Let the prayer in faith go up to God, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin ... Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. ... O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” [Psalm 51:1, 2, 10-13, 15-17.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 15

If you will without delay solemnly and earnestly take Christ as your personal Saviour, committing to His hands and care the keeping of your precious soul, He will take it. He is waiting for you to open the door. Will you let Jesus in now, just now? Christ has undertaken to save us. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” [John 17:24.] Again He says, “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” [Verse 6.] And again He says, “I give unto them eternal life and none shall be able to pluck them out of my hands.” [John 10:28.] Christ will accomplish that which He has undertaken, if man, the human agent, will co-operate with Him, if he will not resist and refuse the great salvation offered to him. He has undertaken to save us. Shall we be saved? Will we commit the keeping of our souls to Him who hath identified His interests in so remarkable a manner with our interest? If we will accept Christ as our personal Saviour, He will elevate and cleanse us from all moral defilement and He will present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. He will say to the Father, “Here are those whom thou hast given me. I will that they also be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.” 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 16

And every one who will break from the slavery and service of Satan, and will stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel, will be kept by Christ’s intercessions. Christ, as our Mediator, at the right hand of the Father, ever keeps us in view, for it is as necessary that He should keep us by His intercessions as that He should redeem us with His blood. If He lets go His hold of us for one moment, Satan stands ready to destroy. Those purchased by His blood He now keeps by His intercession. He ever liveth to make intercession for us “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” [Hebrews 7:25.] 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 17

When David saw the prosperity of the wicked, and he himself fail, he was tempted to doubt the existence of God; but he need not have done this, for it was he himself that separated his soul from God. God would never separate the soul from Him. The human agent needs to abide in Christ, and choose Him, and Christ will live in him. God should not be reproached for the backslidings of any. The warnings and instructions are given fully and abundantly in the Word, to guard the soul from peril. But the will must be placed on the side of God’s will. No one will be kept who does not put his soul into God’s keeping. The soul that feels his dependence, and trusts in One who is able to keep his soul, will not perish. 8LtMs, Ms 73, 1893, par. 18