Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 50, 1894

Sermon/Sabbath Morning Talk


November 10, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 205. +Note

I had risen one night to write to one that is very dear to me, a big distance from me in America, and the Spirit and power of God was upon me while I wrote to my son. I know that God has an interest for every one of His children, and those that are struggling to maintain their faith and confidence in God—He is ever near to them. The church militant is not the church triumphant in the kingdom of God. But every one of us is bound under the strongest obligations that can be presented before us of responsibility and accountability to the light that shines from the cross of Calvary. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 1

The cross speaks to us of a living Saviour, an Advocate; and when we feel in trouble we have no need to go to those that are finite like ourselves and pour into their minds and into their souls our darkness. The devil loves to have us do that, because that other mind begins to ponder and ponder over that dark experience, and ponder what it means. But you go to them and tell them your story of brightness in Christ, the grace of Christ, how precious it is; and you talk of a living Saviour; and then what? Why you find that you receive grace for grace. That is how it is. You have given the grace of God as far as you can to others, and you will receive grace for grace. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 2

Well now, there is not any grace in a dismal story that you are telling. There is not any grace in that; and God wants us to stand as brave soldiers of Jesus Christ. We are so apt to lean our weight upon one another. Now God will work so as to cut away our tendrils that are being twined around the rubbish of earth and around human beings, craving their pity and sympathy that can be no help to us. He will cut away the tendrils to leave us to entwine our tendrils about God. Fastened to God, they never need to be cut away. But God wants us to show that there is power in Him to hold us, and our great danger will be in the future of trusting in man and not in God, and we are censurable before God for the past. We have looked to men whom we think have wisdom which they can give in perplexing matters to those who are trying to keep His commandments. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 3

The Lord has invited us to take our little matters, and our large matters, to Him. Is it because there is not a God in Israel that we are inclined to go to the god of Ekron to inquire? God wants us to have the strength which comes immediately from Him, and He is ready to impart it and we are to believe He does do it. We are not to look to any human agent, whatever their profession, for our sustenance, that they must inspire us by their words and their spirit. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 4

The devil tempts them the same as he does us, and those that are in the most responsible positions feel the darts of the enemy stronger, because if they make a mistake and swerve from the right position, the devil makes a point of that: “Here is your representative man, here is the one you trust; now you can see how much he believes in God and acts after God.” We want to stand in a position of love and respect and tenderness toward every one because we do not know their temptations. I have been viewing for years the things represented to me, and the richest blessings God could not let come upon His people because of their unbelief. And because of their finding fault, [being] nervous and irritable with things that transpire around them they think evil and speak evil. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 5

The Lord wants us to hide in Jesus Christ; and if our life is hid with Christ in God, have we not power with God? If any man lack wisdom—are we directed to go to one that is disloyal to God, that is breaking His commandments, trampling on His law, and try to get some special light from them? We are to educate ourselves to believe in God. From the light God has given me, there is not one-twentieth part of the respect, courtesy, and tenderness, and love existing even among those that profess to believe that we are having the most solemn message of mercy that has ever been given to our world. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 6

We should watch one another—not for evil, not to criticize them, to see if you can find something in their labors that you can look upon with suspicion and distrust. Some have educated themselves in this school. They have been receiving an education all their lifetime in objection lines, and it has become chronic. They do not have confidence in any of their brethren, and their course of action is such that their brethren cannot have confidence in them, as long as they do not draw nigh to their brethren. Confidence is a mutual thing. You show honor and respect to one another, and the spirit leaps right forth from you to show honor and respect to them. It is a heaven-born principle, and God wants that that principle shall abide in our hearts, and He wants it should be cherished there. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 7

Love is a tender plant, and it must be cultivated and cherished, and the roots of bitterness all have to be plucked up around it in order for it to have room to circulate, and then it will bring in under its influence all the powers of the mind, all the heart, so that we shall love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is a commandment of God that is kept by only about one in a thousand. We do not know, and we do not feel, that we are commandment-breakers; we do not know that we are breaking the commandments of God nearly every day in our life, in our showing so little love for one another, and in our having suspicion and distrust, and thinking the worst of our believing brethren. The Lord wants us to obey His commandments to love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, and the richest blessings of God will come upon those that will educate themselves in this line. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 8

Christ says in Revelation the second chapter—read it. We have read it; we have had the Bible right before us; we know all about what it says; and we may read it again and again, but feel no burden to practice it. Here it speaks of the people. “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” [Verses 2, 3.] Now we would not think there was anything the matter with them when such commendation is given them. We would suppose they were a perfect people. But who is judging them? “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” [Verse 1.] Who is represented by the seven stars representing the churches? “Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks .... Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Verses 1, 4.] 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 9

Jesus Christ has revealed Himself to us in the richness of His goodness, of His mercy, of His compassion. He has represented His character to us in various and decided lines—the precious Saviour has done it. Here we have it in the 34th chapter of Exodus and the fifth verse: “The Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” [Verses 5-7.] Now we have His character. We will read the fifth verse [Revelation 2]: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 10

Why, that very love that is circulating in the character of God was to be imparted to the children of God, and reproduced in the children of God, and His character repeated in them to the world. He says, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Verse 5.] Now we can see the light that God has for us, the precious truth, and grace, and glory, and power, that He has that will stream down upon His people, if they love God with their whole heart and their neighbor as themselves. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 11

This command we do not keep, nor the second. The first comprehends the first four precepts which reveal the duty of man to his God, supreme love to God. The last six commandments take in the work and the duty to his fellow men. God wants us to wake up on these points, or our candlestick will be removed. God does not want any one of us to depend on one another for a Christian experience, but to love one another as He hath loved us. Depend on God, and the heavenly universe sets in operation human agents to do His will. The Holy Spirit will give you words of comfort, strength, and knowledge. The messengers of God are sent with His Word, and many feel at liberty to receive or reject as they may choose because of some words that have been spoken casting doubts in the minds of others, thus they lose the precious counsel. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 12

God does nothing without the cooperation of the human agent through whom He works; and the human agent and the divine cooperate, and this is the very work that is essential to be done. The sin is that men feel too independent; they do not receive the words that they should receive from one another in tenderness and in love. The messenger must give words from the Lord. It becomes every one that has to deal with human minds to have a tact and ingenuity to know how to deal with human minds. This is the nicest work that was ever placed upon mortal man. He does not do the work, but an angel stands right by his side to speak words through him, and to imbue him with the right spirit. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 13

God wants a love to circulate all through our ranks that we have scarcely dreamed of; we have just had but a faint glimmer of it. But we must have that love, or shortly we will find that the candlestick is gone, the light is quenched. Who is it that is walking among the candlesticks? It is Jesus Christ. He is imbuing every one that loves Him. All have a work to do through God, and that is to love one another. Just let us read it. It is a very strong thing and we had better know something about it—a good deal more than we know now—every one of us. (John 13:34): “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” How much, Lord? “As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [Verses 34, 35.] 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 14

Now if God designed that there should be a love experienced every day of our lives, we have no need to hide it and bottle it up here, and after some of us are dead break the bottle and let the fragrance out. We want, while we are living on this earth, to bring all the brightness, all the tenderness, all the sweetness and graces of Christ into our lives that we shall impart them to the lives of others. That is what we read. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.” [Verse 35.] Why will they know it? Why there is a living connection between the human agent and his God; there is a communication open between God and the soul of the human agent, and wherever he goes he carries the fragrance of Christ, and wherever he goes it is unexplainable to the unbeliever but he knows that fragrance is there; he knows it. There is not a sharp word, there is not a cutting word. Everything is all battened, as you may say, with the Holy Spirit of God, with the grace of Jesus Christ. This is Christ’s property. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 15

But if you begin to educate, in your religious life, to take up this one and dissect him, it is nothing less than cannibals dissecting the character, and here you are feeding on the character that you think is so detestful. You see all the faults and mistakes, and when a discourse may be given, [you say], “There, what did he say that for?” “What did he do that for?” and instead of gathering the preciousness, the light God has given, [you] pick up a little, trivial thing and destroy all the impression made on the heart. Angels of God turn right away from you. They would have made that word precious. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 16

God has power for us. And since I have been present here, during the night season it has been opened and unfolded to me the power of God that will be revealed in our labor if we will obey His commands—if we will obey them! But we do not obey them. We have not loved God supremely, neither our neighbor as ourselves. Now God wants every one of us to turn over a new leaf, and if we will do it we shall be enabled to strengthen one another. Jesus Christ said, when John spoke to Him about the offence that was shown to Christ, saying, “Shall we call down fire from heaven upon those Samaritans?”—why Christ said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. The Son of man hath not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” [Luke 9:54-56.] Thus everyone that believeth in Christ is precious to the heart of Christ, and anyone that shall lay a snare for another by his words, actions, or deportment, God charges it as done to Himself. He says it. He identifies His interests with suffering humanity, and if we will unite and knit our heart with Jesus Christ we shall have the Spirit of God. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 17

Every branch in the vine can be fruitful by drawing sap and nourishment from that vine; but if you go into cannibalism, if you begin to tear character into pieces, and you seek to devour, you will be devoured in that very way. The counsel of God and the inspiration of the Spirit of God to every living soul that believeth on Him is not recognized, and God doesn’t give His grace. It is not recognized. It would do us no good. We would only exalt ourselves and think we were very smart. God does not wish us to think any such thing. We are branches of the same vine. We partake of the nourishment of the vine stock. God wants every one of these branches to drink the sap and the nourishment that is in Jesus Christ. He wants us to reveal that life, and we shall do it; wherever we go we shall speak of His glory; we shall tell of His power; we shall grow up into Christ our living Head. By beholding Him we shall become changed into His image. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 18

Now here is a little cluster of people, only a few believing the truth in our world, and shall we with these form a hollow square, and turn the weapons of our warfare right against those who are vessels unto God to bear His truth and His message? Shall we do it? God forbid. No, we want every one of us to be where our weapons of warfare are turned right against the mighty foe, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities, and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Now brethren and sisters, God places us upon our honor; He has given us His Word, and He has given us Himself; He says that if we will do this—if we will represent Him—why, then what will He do? Let us see what He will do. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” [John 15:8.] What is it? The character of God. Why do we misrepresent the character of God? Why are we so distrustful? Why are we so infidel in regard to one another? Why is it that we are thus? God is not pleased with it. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 19

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be may disciples.” “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love. ... These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [Verses 8, 9, 11.] Well now, only think of it, our joy be full! Why should it not? We stand here the representatives of God; we stand here with a message entrusted to us, and responsibility to give to the world the light that is to shine amidst the moral darkness of the world, and do not let a living soul intercept that light by anything you may do or anything you may say. Stand out of the way, and let God’s light shine to the world. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [Verses 12-14.] 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 20

Now God help us to be Bible readers, and that we practice the Bible as well. When we come into the light, just as sure as we get out of our hearts all this feeling of distrust and jealousy and evil-surmising and evil-speaking, you may depend the vacuum will be supplied by a love—a love that is as far-reaching as eternity; a love that will never die—the vacuum will be supplied with Jesus and God and love. Now this is what God wants us to be, and I shall bear this testimony wherever I go. I will try with my whole soul to practice it. I will give my heart to God and to His love that will melt the heart. If any have educated themselves in the school of jealousy and evil-surmising and faultfinding, let us come right into Christ’s school. “Come,” He says, “learn of Me. Don’t you make My way hard; don’t make My cross so burdensome that it is impossible to carry it; no,” He says, “come yoke up with Me; exchange the yoke that you made for your own neck; yoke up with Me. My yoke is easy; My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] The meekness and lowliness of Christ make His yoke easy. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 21

Now dear brethren and sisters, let us work together. We have got a tremendous effort wherever [we] shall go to present the truth; we have forces of darkness to meet, and we want perfect unison in word and action to meet these forces. We want that every heart should be in loving union and that we can strengthen and build up one another in the most holy faith. Love as God loves, and when we do that, from the light God has given me, the blessing that will come into our hearts will be twenty-fold that which we have ever experienced in our life. But we have never felt like acting the Christian; we have never felt like it. We have not felt that it was a duty, a sin against God not to do this—to take our brethren and love them as God loved them. He gave His life for them. Then as we love one another—why it is because we love Jesus. We have to love God first, and then we will love the purchase of His blood. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 22

God wants us to be a strength and a force, and the devil doesn’t want us to be. He wants us to be an unbraider of the cords by which God has bound us together; the silver chains that ought to link us together are much like ropes of sand. God wants us to have that love that loves with Jesus, loves as He loves. There is no distrust to it. You cannot estimate it; it surpasses knowledge. God help us to work for the eternal world. I want the Spirit of Jesus in my heart every moment. I have felt, since I have seen that heaven had so much for us, that we must reach up and ask God for wisdom, not go to any outside power, but trust right in God. And let every one add to the wisdom that God has given him. God will give wisdom if you ask it; and shall we add to our wisdom, and shall we work in that wisdom, and shall we speak in that wisdom? God help us that we may be fitted for—what? The family in heaven. We want to be fitted for that. 9LtMs, Ms 50, 1894, par. 23