Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 86, 1894

Sermon/Christ’s Mission of Love

Camp ground, Ashfield, Australia

October 21, 1894

Formerly Undated Ms 29. This manuscript is published in entirety in BEcho 11/12/1894, 11/19/1894.

First John, the third chapter, commencing at the first verse: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” [Verses 1, 2.] 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 1

How many today see Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, as He is! How few know Him! How few know the Father! Everyone that knows Christ has a knowledge of the Father. To see Christ as He is is one of the greatest blessings that can ever come to fallen humanity; the precious Saviour, to see Him as He is! How many have partial views of Jesus Christ. How many acknowledge Him as the world’s Redeemer, but they know Him not as a personal Saviour; and this is essential, the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ. Here we read in the seventeenth chapter of John, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give”—what? What should He give? “Eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” And now I want to know what this is. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [Verses 2, 3.] 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 2

We turn again to the third chapter of 1 John, and read the third verse. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.” What hope? Why, of seeing Jesus as He is, the living faith that lays hold of the arm of the infinite God, the living faith that takes Christ as our personal Saviour. Who knows Him as thus? All your casual views of Christ will not save a single soul. Do you know Him by the living connection of faith? He came to our world that He might bring man, by taking human nature upon Himself, in close connection with the living God. No angel could do this work; had an angel come from glory, from the heaven above, who could have endured the light of that angel? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 3

We read that after Christ was crucified and laid in Joseph’s new tomb, that a great stone was rolled before the opening of that tomb and a seal put upon it so that no one should steal away His body, and say that He had risen. But lo, a mighty angel leaves the heavenly courts, and is commissioned to come down to that sepulcher and roll away the stone. Clothed with the panoply of heaven, the light, the brightness parched the darkness from his track, and that light as it falls upon the Roman guards, where are they? Oh, they are fallen as dead men to the earth! They beheld the light of the glory, but they could not endure it. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 4

Had Christ come with even the glory of the angels attending Him, He would have extinguished humanity. They could not have endured His glory. [Then] what? He laid aside the royal crown; He laid aside the royal robe; He clothed His divinity with humanity; that is the reason that Christ humiliated Himself to humanity, that humanity might touch humanity. There was a wondrous work for Him to perform here when He came to our earth. Satan was having things about as he pleased. He claimed this earth’s territory as his, the prince of the world. Christ came to dispute his power and his claim. Christ came to rescue the human race from his oppressive power. He declares that He came to break every yoke, to let the oppressed go free, to heal the wounds that sin had made. This was the work of the only begotten of the Father. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 5

Here was humanity possessed with the power of demons; here was Christ sent into the world to demonstrate before the world; yes, the battlefield was right here in this little world, the conflict went on between the prince of life and the powers of darkness. Which shall triumph? All the heavenly universe was looking upon Christ, the heavenly intelligences, and taking cognizance of the battle. Here was Christ disputing the authority of Satan, and Satan was following Him at every step, determined to overthrow Him with his temptations, determined that he would weary and exhaust the patience and forbearance of God for the human family, that he should be able to ruin every one of them. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 6

Christ comes here, and John the forerunner proclaims Him just as He is. He commences, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] That is His work, taking away the sins of men. Will you let Him have them, or will you cling to them as a precious acquisition? Will you hold them fast as precious jewels? Will you transgress the commandments of God? Will you trample them under feet and publish as Satan has done that God has no law? He has a law to govern the heavenly intelligences; He has a law to govern this kingdom upon the earth which Christ came to wrest from the hands of Satan. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 7

When John proclaimed and prepared the way for the Messiah, his voice was lifted up in the wilderness. Why there? Why did he not go to men where they were? For the very reason that it is next to an impossibility to reach people that are wrapped up in the delusive enchantments of this life. He calls them away from scenes of a temporal character, the hurry, and the bustle, and the confusion that are seen in our cities, He brings them into the wilderness, standing under heaven’s canopy, and where they can behold the things of God in nature, and there the God of nature imbues John with His Holy Spirit to give the message of warning to prepare the way for the coming Messiah, to bear a message of mercy to our world. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 8

Christ was baptized of him [John] in Jordan, and after His baptism He came up out of the water, and then what? The heavens were opened, and the glory of God symbolized by a dove of burnished gold encircled the Son of God, and from the highest heaven were heard the words, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:16, 17.] This representation was an assurance to John that he was not mistaken in his idea that Christ was the Son of God. And what do these words say to us, to every member of the human family, whatever your position, whatever your country, what does it say to us? Through faith in the provision God has made in behalf of man, you are accepted in the beloved, not outside of Him, in, in, through the merits of Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 9

Now how many pass over this. They read it, but they do not take in its significance. It means everything to us; it means that the prayer of Christ should cleave its way through the hellish shadow of Satan, and reach to the very sanctuary, the very throne of God. That prayer was for us. That answer was for us, that you are accepted in the Beloved. That very prayer that entered heaven, it carries your prayers, my prayers, the prayers of every soul that ascend to God with a hungering and a thirsting after spirituality and righteousness: This prayer ascends, and the merits of Jesus Christ, His righteousness, gives fragrance to that prayer as holy incense that ascends to God. This is the very work that has been going on all through from that time to the present. The weakest child of God, the most oppressed, the most suffering, why [he] [has] in Jesus Christ hope. The faith of Christ bringeth infinite power. They may lay hold upon the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; so not a soul needs to faint, not a soul needs to be discouraged. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 10

Whatever may be your weakness, [however] compassed with infirmities, there is hope for you in God. Now, our precious Saviour came to save to the utmost every soul that will come unto Him. He descended to the very depths of humanity for our sakes; He became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich, rich in earthly treasure? no. He made the world, and He placed it in its proper position as subordinate, and God and eternity elevated, exalted, supreme. To those who have their minds engrossed with earthly pleasures, He comes and lifts the voice of warning, and He presents eternity to your view; He there opens before you heaven, the threshold lightened and brightened with His glory, and the glory streams through the open door; the door is ajar, thank God. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 11

Mothers that have the care of children, train them for Jesus, the gates are ajar. Every mother’s prayer, every mother’s tears, every mother’s entreaty for her children, God hears. Why, they are, the younger members of the Lord’s family. What is the work that is resting upon mothers? It is to fashion these children after the similitude of the divine Pattern, it is to leave the impress of God upon the character. In the place of taking them to the horse race, in the place of taking them to the theaters, give them to the One who gave His life for them, that He might bring them to the heavenly courts and crown them with glory, with honor, and with eternal life. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 12

Who, I ask you, as parents, can neglect the solemn responsibility that is resting upon you? What is the matter with our world? It is because fathers and mothers have thought more of reaching the standard of the world than God’s moral standard of righteousness. Will it pay? “What will it profit a man, though he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36, 37.] You can’t afford to sin. We read here in John that sin is the transgression of the law. Third verse. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [1 John 3:3, 4.] [There is] something for us to do, to prepare for the future immortal life. Christ has gone that He may prepare mansions for you. Make Him your dependence and your trust. Fathers and mothers, are you purifying your soul in your sphere as God is pure in His sphere? We lift the standard, we point you to it. We say, “I see the battlements of heaven, but how am I to reach it? I see the glory that floods the threshold, but how am I to pass over the threshold? What shall I do that I may win eternal life?” 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 13

Well, when Jacob was a wanderer from his father’s house, poor, discouraged, disconsolate man, as sinners are indeed when they see themselves as they are, Jacob saw himself as he was. “Oh,” said he, “I love God, but I have cut Him off from me, no hope now of my having the inheritance of the firstborn.” He lays his head upon a rock for a pillow, and in the night season, lo, an angel comes to the discouraged man, and opens before him, what? The only provision He [God] has made whereby man can enter into the portals of bliss and have everlasting life. He sees a ladder, the [foot] of it is planted firmly upon the earth, its topmost round reaches unto the highest heaven, and God over it, flashing the light of His glory the whole length of that ladder, and [on] that ladder angels of God were descending and ascending. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 14

There was the connection, there was the ladder, the representation of Jesus Christ, that He comes to our earth, He takes men where they are, He saves them by His own merits, He hangs helpless man upon the infinite God, and through the sacrifice that He makes, He brings them back to Him, places upon them His divine nature, giving [man] moral power and moral qualifications that man may honor his Creator upon the earth, that he may climb every round of this ladder into the portals of glory. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 15

Well, this Jacob saw, and when he woke, he [said], “Why, this is as the gate of heaven. God was in this place and I knew it not.” [See Genesis 28:17.] What a happy man he was! He knew that he had had a communication from God. And any one of us who has received light from the throne of God, can but have a heart filled with praise, and thanksgiving, and honor to the Lord God of heaven. Well, this is the very ladder that reaches to the battlements of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. Now the question is, Will you climb? The question is, Will you follow the leader? Jesus Christ is our Pattern, the great Standard of moral character. Will [we] take Christ’s example and follow it, or shall we take the example and practices and customs of the world? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 16

Fathers and mothers, what are you going to do about it? [What] do you expect that after you let your children go into all the amusements, the sightseeing? The enemy will bring all the attractions that amount to nothing, the weariness of the flesh, [but there is] no satisfaction in it. Will you place their hands into the hands of the world, to dress after its fashion, to pattern after its customs, or will you educate them to know God, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent? Shall Christ [have] died for your children in vain? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 17

Is there not enough in nature that you can see of God’s handiwork? Look at the lofty trees; look at the spires of grass that clothe our earth with verdure, the green velvet carpet; look at the various flowers which our God has provided for us because He is a lover of the beautiful; the beautiful tints and coloring that He has given to some of these simple flowers. Who can copy it? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 18

As I was in Colorado, they wished me to visit the art gallery; and there so many would stand before the pictures entranced, praising the human artist, extolling the human artist. I was walking through the street, and I saw the glory of the sunset. There were the bright beams shining upon the snowcapped mountains, and there it looked as though the portals of heaven were open, and its glory was shining through. One after another were passing along never looking at the sight. My companion and myself were standing there in rapture. I could see God in it; I could see heaven’s beauty; I could see heaven’s glory shining forth, that we might take in the beautiful picture of what was within. They never looked. Well, that is the way God is treated. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 19

How many go out in their gardens, and point their children to the beautiful flowers, and tell their children, “This is an expression of the love of God to you,” pointing them to the tints, pointing them to the beautiful colors of the lovely flowers, and then pointing them up from nature to nature’s God, the great Master Artist that has created the beauties in nature. Would not this be more profitable to your children than carrying them to all the shows and to everything which will have a demoralizing nature, and absorbing their attention so that they forget they have a God? Is that your work, fathers and mothers? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 20

I was passing down on the cars in the streets of Maine, and I heard quite an ado of a little company there, and I wondered what it could be. My husband and myself were thinking about the matter. What was it? A little girl was just coming out. Her dress was five hundred dollars in our American money. I looked, and there was a wee little mite of a girl, seven years old, and she was coming out this way, a soul for whom Christ the Son of the infinite God had died. And that was the way the mother was treating the property of God, in the place of educating and training that child, that all its mind, all its powers, might be devoted to Jesus Christ, our Advocate, our Surety, our Substitute, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. Instead of doing this, she was putting the little tiny mite of humanity right into the arms of Satan. We have another work to do, mothers. We have another work to do, fathers. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 21

A solemn responsibility is upon you who have brought children into the world, to educate, and train, and discipline them, to show them how they should stand in this world to make the world noble and better, to elevate, to ennoble, in the place of running right into all their amusements and selfishness and expenditure, of what? My money, you may say. It is not your money at all. It is God’s money. It is lent you in trust, and what for? that you should elevate humanity, that you should feed the hungry, that you should clothe the naked, that you should teach, teach, educate, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little, patiently, perseveringly, tenderly, kindly, with the love of Christ in your hearts. Teach them in the home true courtesy, teach them in their homes true politeness, teach them how to be helpful and to keep busy. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 22

Teach them they are not in this world as mere butterflies, that they are here that they may form a character after the pattern of Jesus Christ, and that they may have that life which measures with the life of God, that life which runs parallel with Jehovah’s, an immortal inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. Suppose you balance that child in the ways, the practices, and the customs of the world. Christ told you not to do it. “Whose adorning, let it not be the plaiting of the hair, the putting on of gold, and of jewelry, but the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” [1 Peter 3:3, 4.] 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 23

We want a life after this life of sin and sorrow and affliction shall close. I point you to Jesus; I point you to His Word. I will say to you that if you will educate and train your children here for the future immortal life, who do you have to help you? Jesus Christ. “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 19:14.] This is our work, and then what, fathers and mothers? You have the children entrusted to your God to help you in the missionary efforts. Every soul that has tasted of the love of God, every soul that has given their life to Jesus Christ, everyone of these souls, why they are to be prepared with refinement of character, they are to be refined to holiness, to purity. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 24

Fathers and mothers are the teachers of their children, and while they shall feel the responsibility, they will be in the position to be learners. Where? In the school of Christ, to be educated in the home life, and they can take their children into the church, and there they can hear the living testimony borne of the Spirit of God that is fitting and preparing them for the future immortal life. They are soldiers, but not to be swayed independent of God, they stand in moral power not influenced by the iniquity and the sins that abound in this degenerate age. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 25

It is high time that we begin to inquire, “Will my work bear the benediction of God: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!’” [Matthew 25:21.] What is that? “Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is forever set down at the right hand of God.” [Hebrews 12:2.] We want to be with Christ at the right hand of God. We want that joy that was Christ’s joy of being a blessing to humanity. We must be uplifters; we must not be destroyers. We must not be of that character which will destroy the property for which Christ has given His life. He wants us to be what? Counteractors of His work? Co-laborers with Jesus Christ. “Ye are laborers together with Christ.” [See 1 Corinthians 3:9.] How? when you walk in Christ’s lines. When? when you separate your children from the contaminating and poisonous influence of this corrupt age, when you separate them from society which will talk infidelity, which will talk pleasure. But where is the Christ, where is His light and example? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 26

God help the fathers, God help the mothers, and He is ready to do it, He is willing to do it, He wants to do it. Will you come to Him? God has placed His cross between the world and heaven. Look and behold the God of heaven with angels, with archangels, with cherubim and seraphim; behold them in solemn track as they march to the cross of Calvary, and the Father bows in recognition. Here mercy and truth have met together, and righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Here is the salvation of the human race. It is here you are to bring the sins across the gulf. Sinners, roll them into the sepulchre. Sinners, come to Jesus Christ in repentance, and find pardon, and mercy, and forgiveness. Let your name be traced here in honor of the world, and it soon will be effaced; put it into the book of life, and it is to be immortalized to live among the heavenly angels. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 27

It becomes us to consider the road we are traveling. Is it the road that leads heavenward, or the road that leads to perdition? And now I will not detain this congregation, but I want to say that the gift of God is eternal life, and we want you should have life, we want you should have happiness, we want you should have peace; and we ask you to consider which road you are traveling. There is a crown of immortal glory that is presented to every one who will overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. This is the warfare. Christ will stand to help you at every step. Angels of God will be around about you; the heavenly instrumentalities are working with man; Jesus Christ has given His divine nature to man if they lay hold upon it by faith, that through the merits of Jesus Christ, every soul may win immortal life. Will you have it? 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 28

I see matchless charms in Jesus. I see that which my soul desires; it is immortal glory, and we want you should have it, we want that you should dwell in His presence, we want you to see the king in His beauty, we want you to behold His matchless charms, and we ask you to give to Jesus your mental, your moral, your physical powers, and this is all we ask of you; lay them at His feet, and use them in His service. Win souls to Jesus Christ, and this is all that He asks of you. What has He given? His life. What will you give to Him? Your life. Give it to Him; and let Him use it as shall be for His name’s glory. You will have peace here, He will be formed within the hope of glory, and you will have an eternal reward when this life shall close in the morning of the resurrection. 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 29

When the dead shall come forth, then you can cry a victory over death and the grave, and the gates of heaven will be open before you, and the eternal reward will be yours. Is it not enough? It is enough. Christ shall not have died for me in vain. Can you say this, that Christ shall not die for me in vain? Let every one be able to say, “I want to praise Him, and I will praise Him with an immortal tongue.” 9LtMs, Ms 86, 1894, par. 30