Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 26, 1894

Sermon/Importance of True Sabbathkeeping

S. D. A. Chapel, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

May 13, 1894, 3:00 p.m.

This manuscript is published in entirety in 2SAT 104-109.

“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: that thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.” [Deuteronomy 6:1-3.] 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 1

Here is a promise in keeping the commandments of God, and teaching them to our children. What does that mean? Every one who obeys the commandments of God from the heart, every one who follows in the path of obedience, God makes the promise unto them. The heavenly intelligences are ready to co-operate with them. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” [Hebrews 1:14.] The Lord has declared, “That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.” [Deuteronomy 6:2.] If not, how can God let His blessing and protecting care and guardianship be over you? 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 2

The enemy is after His possessions. He pleads that the race has transgressed the commandments, and says, “Let me bring my power to bear upon them.” But God can protect His people that are obedient. If you are disobedient, it is important that [you] consider your situation. There is some importance attached to obeying God’s commandments. “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God (with two-thirds of thy heart? or with half of thy heart? or with a quarter of thy [heart?]) with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” [Verses 3-5.] 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 3

Who gave this direction? The invisible Leader enshrouded in the pillowy cloud. Fathers and mothers, we want you to hear sharply and with an understanding heart. “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” [Verses 7-9.] Also Deuteronomy 6:10, 11, 12. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 4

We want you to take in just the directions. We want to inquire, fathers and mothers, are we to all intents and purposes carrying out the requirements of God’s Word? Do we feel the necessity of surrendering our heart’s affections to God? Who [is] following the Word and obeying the commandments which He has specified? The words of God are of the highest value. We cannot afford to be negligent. If parents feel the sacredness of the truth, will they not seek to educate their children to right principles? Abraham commanded his household after him. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 5

Great consequences are to be met: to the disobedient, no promises, no blessings, but the threatenings of the Lord. God cannot take them to His kingdom nor take them to the City of our God because they would have a second rebellion in heaven. We must every one of us take heed to the instruction God has given us. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 6

As I was speaking to my natural sister, the wife of a Methodist minister, in regard to the requirements of the Word of God, she said she would keep the Sabbath if the whole world would keep it. The duty of keeping the Sabbath is plainly laid down before us, and God does not say, “If it [is] convenient.” Parents know it is a sacred thing to carry out these principles in the household. And if the parent expects to bring up his children in the right way, he cannot play the lad. He must have growing dignity that Christ gives to a man. God so appreciated every soul that He “gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 7

Here the Son comes into our world to practice self-denial, and although His own nation did not receive Him, He was the infinite Son of God. He was working for the uplifting of the human race. How much does God value man? I point you to Calvary. [The] most ignominious death my Lord suffered that He might rescue you, yet He does not force any of you to serve Him. He does not force the will or conscience of any soul. God has given Jesus to our world, and He wants us to search the Scriptures. He can put His Holy Spirit upon us, and He says, “I am at thy right hand to uphold thee”—to walk with our hand in the hand of Jesus Christ. [Isaiah 41:13.] To love Him and to glorify Him. His love is without a parallel. No comparison can be made to that love. He was one with the Father and was suffered to die for us. Christ in God and God in Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 8

All this was to take men and women and bring them up from a state of sin, disobedience, and transgression to favor with God. Man with Christ and Christ with God, the life and the obedience hid with Christ in God, that when He who is our life shall appear, we may appear with Him in glory. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 9

Well ordered and well disciplined families are an example that God gives to our world. You want a well ordered house. God wants the light of His love to rise upon you. He wants that His ministers should search for the careless ones—[His] heritage bought with [His] own blood. The children are God’s property that you have in charge. It is no light matter to know how you shall deal with God’s heritage—that you may have that wisdom that is from above, that at last you may be able to say, Here, Lord, Are the children Thou hast committed to my charge. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 10

What is your practice? Are you injuring your understanding through using narcotics, tobacco, wine, and liquor? I warn you of that path because God warns you all from it. You must give a good example to your children. It was sin that brought the agony upon the Son of the infinite God, taking the wrath of God upon His own divine soul. What hereditary trusts have you gathered? Have you gathered them up from Abel, Noah, Abraham? God says of Abraham, “for I know him that he will command his children and his household after him.” [Genesis 18:19.] 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 11

You want to train your children, not only for this life but for the future, immortal life as well. You want to have a hold upon God. God will inquire in the judgment, What have you done with my possession? There is a judgment to come, and every one [is] to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. He knows that we cannot cleanse the soul from a sin; He knows that there is no power with us. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 12

Just as soon as Abraham pitched his tent he erected his altar, where he offered his morning and evening sacrifices to God. Today God wants you to offer up your morning and evening petitions to Him. Are you weak in moral power? Man, a partaker of the divine nature, may overcome what? The corruptions that are in the world through lust. That man may do justice in everything, and teach his children to do justice in everything, not by being idle, but that God had given them hands [that do] not hang useless. He wants everyone to exercise the talents that God has given them, waiting, watching, praying, and working. “The night cometh when no man can work.” [John 9:4.] You know not how soon the time will come when your hands will be folded on your breast until you come forth in the resurrection. You know not how soon you may be called. Every day you are to go on [in] a progressive work of sanctification; it is a work of a lifetime. Today we are to sow the fruits of the Spirit of Christ in our own character. His goings forth are prepared as the morning. As you follow on to know the Lord, you will understand more and more the light that is in reserve for you. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 13

Why not honor the Creator of the heavens and the earth in obeying the fourth commandment? Why not, as the Sabbath is approaching [on] Friday, have our business over before the sun goes down? And from the beginning of every week we shall be preparing our lessons for the Sabbath school. Abraham worshiped the Lord and erected an altar which was a living testimony wherever he went, so that even the roving Canaanites recognized it. We want that every one should have his altar erected. Children should pray for the guardianship of the angels through the night. When next Sabbath comes, what will you do, fathers and mothers? 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 14

When my children were small we had a large family of adopted children. We would have our work [put] away before the setting of the sun. The children would hail the Sabbath as a joy. They would say, Now father and mother will give us some of their time. We would take them out for a walk. We would take the Bible and some religious instruction to read to them, and explain to them the Scriptures. We would keep praying that they should know the truth of God’s Word. We would not lie abed Sabbath mornings because it was Sabbath. We would have our preparations all ready the day before so that we could go to service without the hurry and worry. We would not stroll off and have a nice time to ourselves. We wanted our children to have all the privileges and blessings of God’s sanctified rest day. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 15

I’ll read you what God wants us to consider. Let us read of what work should be done. We might as well set ourselves to it. I feel it is a sin to be idle. If I did not see the necessities of God’s cause, I need not work so constantly. I draw in every line to raise the standard higher. We must love our neighbors as ourselves. We should work with the right hand and the left so that we might give to those who are in need. Christ tells us that we must help our brother that is falling into decay. If we fold our hands and be as butterflies, we can do no good in this world. We want you to see the importance that we should live to please somebody else. Just as soon as we see the necessities of those around us, we should take hold and help them. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 16

“Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” [Isaiah 58:3-6.] [Read] also Isaiah 58:7, 8. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 17

Jesus Christ is our righteousness. Every step that Christ takes and we follow, the glory of the Lord is our rereward. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry,” (now what?) “Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity,” then there will be answers to our prayers. [Verse 9.] 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 18

We should not condemn the brother who falls into decay. There should be no judging. “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” [Verse 10.] Do you want it thus? Do you want that the cloud of reproach should be rolled away? Lay up your treasure in heaven that when your Lord shall appear you may have the eternal weight of glory. “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Verse 11.] How many I have heard talk of the dearth of their souls. They did not seem to feel any burden for the souls for whom Christ died. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 19

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” [Verse 12.] Who is it that has torn down the fourth commandment, covered it up so that man should forget God? After He had created the world in six days, He rested on the seventh. Every tree, shrub, and flower that God made testifies that He made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. He tells us that in six days He made heaven and earth. But a spy is on our track. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 20

If one is arrested for working on the first day and keeping the Sabbath, do you hear [him] say, I will not keep the Sabbath any more? They are glad for the privilege of bringing the truth before the people. Shall we take the spurious and trample on the divine? No. If the prison is to be our home, we shall sing within the prison walls. Is it any more than the King of glory endured on our behalf? 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 21

“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.” [Verse 13.] What God says is to be obeyed, irrespective of consequences and the commands of men. That is why Paul and Silas were thrown into prison. The universe of heaven knew all about it. These men were singing praises to God. It was a new note the jailers heard. They were laid upon their backs, and their feet put in the stocks, and yet they touched a new note. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 22

Heaven’s army approaches, and to their tread earth begins to quake. The jailers knew that those that kept the prison when Peter escaped were put to death. As the doors open Paul did not say to the frightened jailer that it would be good enough for [him] to be put to death, but he [did] say, “Do thyself no harm.” [Acts 16:28.] Then the jailer comes in and acknowledges the power of God and asks forgiveness for his cruelty and says, What shall I do to be saved? He does give himself to God. [He] wash the backs of Paul and Silas and put them in as comfortable a position as possible. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 23

There was a desire on the part of the officers that Paul and Silas should quietly leave the jail; but Paul says No, you have scourged us and though uncondemned, you have imprisoned us; now take us out yourselves. [Verse 37.] That God lives today [who] wrought for Paul and Silas. May God help us to establish the fear of God in our homes. God help us that we may make straight paths for our feet. May God help us to help one another and the Lord of Hosts will be with us and give us victory. 9LtMs, Ms 26, 1894, par. 24