Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 70, 1894

Importance of Maintaining Personal Integrity



Portions of this manuscript are published in TMK 199, 248.

If you suppose for a moment that God will treat sin lightly or make provisions or exemptions so that you can go on in committing sin, and the soul suffer no penalty for thus doing, it is a terrible delusion of Satan. Any willful violation of the righteous law of Jehovah exposes your soul to the full assaults of Satan. When you lose your conscious integrity your soul becomes a battlefield for Satan. You have doubts and fears enough to paralyze your energies and drive you to discouragement. The favor of God is gone. Some of you know that you have tried to supply its place and seek compensation for the loss of the Holy Spirit’s witness that you are a child of God, in worldly excitement in the society of worldlings. In short, you have plunged deeper into sin. You have become intemperate, until every better feeling is under the control of the adversary of souls. Satanic influences are at work to make you reach a point in your sinful course where conscience will not make her voice heard. You are stupefied. Your moral sense is perverted. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 1

This is a terrible picture, yet it is nevertheless true. Some regard sin as altogether so light a matter that you have no defense against its indulgence or consequence. You do not rise high enough in your efforts. How can you but tremble in the sight of your own inefficiency? How can you hope that a righteous God will be constantly granting you forgiveness for the offences you are constantly repeating? Why not yield your will unreservedly to the will of God? 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 2

Your spiritual sensibilities are almost completely benumbed. With some, the testimonies that I bear to you with pen and voice will not make any radical change in your life, your habits, your practices, because you do not sense sin. If once the fallow ground of the heart would be broken up, then there would be some hope that the good seed would find lodgment and spring up and bear fruit. But I greatly fear that some of you will not do that work in repentance that needeth not to be repented of. Your will must be summoned to the conflict. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 3

Remember that temptation is not sin. Remember that however trying the circumstances in which a man may be placed, nothing can really weaken his soul so long as he does not yield to temptation but maintains his own integrity. The interests most vital to you individually are in your own keeping. No one can damage them without your consent. All the satanic legions cannot injure you unless you open your soul to the arrows of Satan. As long as you are firm to do right, your ruin can never take place. If there is not pollution of mind in yourself, all the surrounding pollution cannot taint and defile you. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 4

Eternal life is worth everything to us or it is worth nothing. Those only who put forth persevering effort and untiring zeal with intense desire proportionate to the object they are in pursuit of, will gain that life that measures with the life of God. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 5

With some in your midst, religion is purely a thing of feeling. You will see a fair show of fervor and devotedness for a time, but soon a change comes. Their ardor is not fed, and a callous indifference takes the place of the feelings which were strongly and pleasantly affected while the love of Christ and the glories of heaven were dwelt upon. Their feelings, their experience, have no connection with the belief of the truth. Their hope is not founded on the statements of the living oracles of God, which they know to be true and which would be a firm foundation for their faith. When their experience changes, hope and faith and religion depart. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 6

They made a profession of religion and were baptized, but they show they were not on solid rock but on sliding sand. They do not find all as pleasant as they anticipated. They want a sip of the pleasure of excitement—the ballroom, the dance, and the show. They have not yet tasted of the living water of the Fountain of Life, and because they have no hunger of soul for righteousness, no soul thirst for the waters of life, they drink at broken cisterns that can hold no water. Their religion rested only on the sandy foundation of their own fluctuating feelings. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 7

If you are an intelligent Christian you will maintain religious vitality and will not be deterred by difficulties which shall beset you, because your hope is wrought in God. You will work the works of God in gloom as well as in glory, in shade as well as in sunshine, in trial as well as in peace. The truth must be treasured up in your heart as well as incorporated in your being so that no temptation and no argument can induce you to yield to Satan’s suggestions or devices. The truth is precious. It has wrought important changes upon the life and upon the character, exerting a masterly influence over words, deportment, thoughts and experience. The soul who appreciates the truth lives under its influence and senses the tremendous realities of eternal things. He lives not to himself, but to Jesus Christ who died for him. To him, God lives, and is very cognizant of all his words and actions. 9LtMs, Ms 70, 1894, par. 8