Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)
Ms 88, 1894
Words to the Young
Formerly Undated Ms 51. This manuscript is published in entirety in YI 06/07/1894.
“For ye are the temples of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you; and be a father unto you ... saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” [2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1.] What large and comprehensive promises God has given us in His Word. Because of the great goodness of God to us, we can say with Paul, “I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” [Romans 1:14.] 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 1
I wish to impress upon the youth the fact that God has claims upon you, and has made provision so that you need not fail nor be discouraged. Many fail to recognize the claims that God has upon them. They profess to be sons and daughters of God, but they do not behave as children of God. They argue that their evil habits and customs, which they followed when they served under the black banner of the prince of darkness, must be excused on the ground of their weakness, while they claim that “it is their way.” Their natural irreverence and lack of respect for those in positions of trust, their objectionable hereditary traits of character, they choose to retain as idols. 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 2
When a soul is truly converted, old habits and natural evil besetments are done away in Christ Jesus, and all things become new. Among those who profess to be servants of Christ, an earnest purpose should be cultivated, such as Daniel manifested in the courts of Babylon. He knew that God was his strength and his shield, his front guard and his rear guard. Amid the corruptions that surrounded him in the courts of Babylon, he kept himself free from those sights and sounds which would allure him, and draw him into temptation. When his duties required that he be present at scenes of revelry, intemperance, and basest idolatry, he cultivated the habit of silent prayer, and thus he was kept by the power of God. 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 3
To have the mind uplifted to God will be a benefit in all times and in all places. In place of permitting the imagination to fill the mind with daydreams and aircastles, let the soul cultivate the habit of contemplating the world’s Redeemer. When the mind is thus filled, the soul will thus continue in prayer, and watch unto the same with thanksgiving; and the believer in Christ will be able to bring forth good things from the treasure of the heart, speaking of Christ, His mercy, His love, and compassion. God will give wisdom to such a soul, as He gave it to Daniel, making manifest to him how he ought to speak, and how he ought to walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. He will see meaning in the apostle’s injunction, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” [Colossians 4:6.] “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” [1 Peter 3:15, 16.] 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 4
Hold the truth firmly by the hand of faith in righteousness, for the great need at this time among those who profess to know the truth is an individual application of the truth to the experience. The question you should put to your soul is, “Is Christ my Saviour? Is the sanctification of the Spirit in [my] life? Do I by faith behold Christ Jesus as my atoning Sacrifice, my only hope?” Help has been laid upon One that is mighty. Jesus has given His life that every soul might have abundant help in Him. Provision has been made whereby every soul that is struggling under sinful practices, may be made free from sin. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 5
The Christian is not to retain his sinful habits and cherish his defects of character; but he is to be renewed in the spirit of his mind after the divine similitude. Whatever may be the nature of your defects, the Spirit of the Lord will enable you to discern them, and grace will be given you whereby they may be overcome. Through the merits of the blood of Christ, you may be a conqueror, yes more than a conqueror. 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 6
Will you who read these words resolve that you will never again seek to excuse your defects of character by saying, “It is my way”? Let no one declare, “I cannot change my natural habits and tendencies.” The truth must be admitted into the soul, and it will work the sanctification of the character. It will refine and elevate the life, and fit you for an entrance into the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love Him. 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 7
Heaven is worth everything to us, and if we lose heaven, we lose all. Then let no deception take possession of your mind, and hold you in bondage to any sinful practice, for in so doing you will have a spurious kind of religion. 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 8
The heart in which Jesus makes His abode will be quickened, purified, guided and ruled by the Holy Spirit, and the human agent will make strenuous efforts to bring his character into harmony with God. He will avoid everything that is contrary to the revealed will and mind of God. The Lord says to us, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If a son ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” [Luke 11:9-13.] 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 9
How much better it is for poor souls to give up their idols, and to bring themselves to the light. Let those who profess to know the truth plead with God, and instead of talking to no profit, ask the Lord to reveal to you yourself; place your life under His searching eye, and when He lays hold upon your case, you will see that you have made grievous mistakes, and what you suppose was of little importance was offensive in the sight of Heaven. You will see that there is a decided need of thorough transformation of character. You will realize that you must put away the evil of your doings, and co-operate with God, and heavenly angels who are sent to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 10
The apostle says of those who profess to serve Jesus, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] All our ability, all our talents are to be brought into working order in union with divine agencies, or we shall never be overcomers, and inherit eternal life. Self must die. Every practice, every habit, that has a harmful tendency, however innocent it may be regarded by the world, must be battled with until overcome, that the human agent may perfect a character after the divine Pattern. The apostle says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless (you must be blameless in order to be harmless), the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” [Philippians 2:12-16.] 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 11
The crooked ways, the perverse doings of those around us, are not to dim the luster of our piety, or to lead us to conform our habits to, and assimilate our customs and practices with, the world’s. Let the prayer go forth from the lips of those who claim to be the sons and daughters of God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 139:23, 24.] 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 12
“Search me, O God! my actions try,
And let my life appear,
As seen by thine all-searching eye
To mine my ways make clear.
Search all my [ways], and know my heart,
Who only canst make known,
And let the deep, the hidden part
To me be fully known.
Throw light within the darkened cells,
Where passion reigns within,
Quicken my conscience till it feels
The loathsomeness of sin.
Search all my thoughts, the secret springs,
The motives that control,
The chamber where polluted things
Hold empire o’er my soul.
Search, till thy fiery glance has cast
Its holy light through all,
And I by grace at last am brought
Before thy face to fall.
Thus prostrate I shall learn of thee
What now I feebly prove,
That God alone in Christ can be
Unutterable love.” 9LtMs, Ms 88, 1894, par. 13