Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 48, 1894

Sermon/Morning Talk

Campground, Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia

November 3, 1894

Previously unpublished.

It is necessary for every one of us to come into a sacred nearness with God. Our meetings are drawing to a close. These precious opportunities will soon be in the past, and the record is going up to heaven every day of just how we stand, how our course, our actions, our work have been through the day. We want, every one of us now, to see what there is in ourselves that we know is sin. We do not believe in fastening your minds upon yourselves, and keep looking to see how good you feel, and what your feelings are; but we do implore you for Christ’s sake, and for your souls’ sake, that you shall closely examine just how you are, as far as your finite judgment can discern what you are, and what you must do in order to meet the requirements of God. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 1

You know, many who hear my words this morning, that you are practicing sin. You know it. Well then, how can you expect to be in the liberty of the children of God while you do this? It is an impossibility. If you have a negligence in your family, if there is a negligence of prayer, if there are those who have families and you do not seek God for His grace, if you have neglected this, you need to call your children about you, and tell them that you have neglected a God-given responsibility, and you want them to forgive you. If you have been harsh and overbearing in your families, you want to seek the forgiveness of God and the forgiveness of your children. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 2

The children that know what they ought to do, and yet are practicing iniquity, need to confess their sins before God. From the light that God has given me, there is iniquity in our midst, there is sin that is fostered, and God cannot bless these youth. He has given His life for them; He has paid the price of His blood that they might be saved. He has done everything for you, youth and children, that you might have eternal life. Now we wish to know what you are doing yourselves. We wish to know if you are living a false character, a false life. Christian; what is the definition of Christian? Christlike. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 3

God wants all the strength, youth, that you have, all the powers of the brain, and He wants you to keep that brain in a healthy, sound condition. He wants that every practice of yours shall be such as shall preserve you in health and vitality, that you can give to God that which He has purchased with His own blood. We are living in a very solemn period of this earth’s history. The Lord is coming. The end of all things is at hand. And every character that is here this morning, every day is just as faithfully daguerreotyped there in the books in heaven. Our God seeth in the secret of the night as well as in the day. The night to Him is as the day. He discerns everything. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 4

Suppose you had been on that boat, that steamer, that went down with its freight of human life, had you been there and struggling in the waters of the great deep, what kind of thought you would have had about your life. Would you have felt prepared to go down into the grave? Just as you go down into the grave, you will come up. Those that go down with a stained and polluted character, why there is no change made of the character in the resurrection. That change must be made here. Is it not day today that we should seek God most earnestly? Are there not those here whose conscience tells them that we have the truth, and yet they have not surrendered their hearts to God? You are not your own; you are bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of the infinite God. Bought with a price. Well then, have you been robbing God all the years of your life? Some may have nominally professed to be in the faith of their parents. Are you converted children? Are you converted youth? Have you sought the Lord most earnestly that you may find Him? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 5

I remember I was so fearful in my childhood, when I was about eleven years old, that I should not live through the night, and while my twin sister would be sleeping by my side, I would be upon the floor <in prayer,> and it was winter. But oh, how I did plead with God to save my soul! How I tried to get something like faith! But I did not have an intelligent knowledge of faith as we have now. I wanted to know how to believe, but God seemed so great, so wonderful, so high and lifted up, and the train of His glory filled the temple to my mind, to my knowledge, and I could not see His graciousness, and His compassion, and His tenderness, and His goodness, and His love. I could only discern an angry God. Oh, I did not know Him then! I did not know God then! I did not know Jesus Christ then! And there I did plead with God much of the night, night after night, night after night for fear, [for] they said that I was liable to bleed at the lungs any time, and then my life would go out; and I thought, no one knows when that will be; and I kept pleading with God, and pleading with Him. But when He did reveal Himself to me, oh never, never can I forget. Never since that time have I ever thought that anything was too much to have a Saviour. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 6

That impression that was made upon my mind was as enduring as eternity. I never can lose the impress of the value of Christ. Language sinks into insignificance to attempt any description of it. And when I ventured to offer up the prayer to God in faith, and the light came to me, it seemed to fill my whole being. I seemed to be another being born again; I seemed to be entirely another person. The things I hated before I loved, and the things that I once loved I hated, and sin seemed such a terrible thing, such a dreadful thing. And thus I have thought if the youth would come to Jesus just as they are, sinful and polluted with the fall, as it is presented to you, it is to just come to Him, and give yourself to Him, and let Him take away your sins. Do you let Him go? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 7

You cannot be a child of God and practice sin. You cannot here unite with Jesus Christ, and yet do the very things that you know [are] sin. You cannot do it. We want our understanding a great deal keener and sharper than it is. Parents and children need to reach a much higher standard. Why, we have been contented to be altogether too low, too common, too cheap; and we claim to be Christians—claim to be what? Sons and daughters of God. He calls upon everyone of us to reach a higher standard. Shall we be quite happy? No indeed. There are many things that are as dear to us as the right hand and the right eye. Now those things are to be cut out from our lives. Better, oh better to be deprived of those things that we think are essential to our happiness, that our happiness demands, that we should let these things entirely alone. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 8

Young Christians, you that claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, can be a powerful influence for good upon the younger ones. But when you take your position as a Christian, you may heretofore have been to all the concerts where you come right into connection with those whose love is only for sport, only to enjoy their own folly, you may say, and levity, and cheapness, now it is the association of these things which will affect your character. You cannot possibly enter into these things and obtain and retain solidity of character. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith God, and touch not”—you are not to place yourself where the temptations of the enemy, by your associations, shall affect your soul. [2 Corinthians 6:17.] 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 9

We pray not to be led into temptation. Well now, what leads us there? It is perverted ideas that lead [us] there. We do not want the amusement, we do not want to place ourselves in the society of unbelievers unless it is to do them good. We can then go with the heart all filled with love, and the angels of God will be round about us. We should not go to please and glorify ourselves. We may think things are very innocent. We may go to this concert. Yes, we love music, and the enemy lays his snare, and he lays his net to entangle our feet, to get ideas, and to get an experience, simply what Adam had in Eden that God never wanted him to have. We want to keep ourselves in the love of God, and where we shall walk closely with God, the more close, the happier. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 10

You see a child, and the parents do not want to forbid it anything, and they think if that child loves them, they must gratify all its desires and let it do as it pleases. In a little while Satan has taken hold of the child, and its attributes are after the attributes of Satan, and instead of love and reverence and obedience to the parents, why they are just as unhappy and just as miserable, because everything the parent desires of them they think is a denial, is a warfare, and it is a hurt to them. Just so with the children of God, if you do not surrender heart and soul and mind to God to do His will at any cost because you love Him; and if you love Him you will do it, you will surrender to Him and look to Him, and you will by living faith grasp His promises; you will come to Him with full assurance of faith. It is not His will, because you want to do it. It is for you to do it; and because Christ abides there, why then you can reveal Christ to others. But I want to tell you, come out from every scene of temptation, and do not be led astray, and God will help you. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 11

I think there is a greater work to be done for our youth on this campground. We want to see the deep movings of the Spirit of God upon hearts and characters; there is too much surface work. There is too much touching the truth with the ends of the fingers, and it is not brought into the soul temple. When it is there, it cleanses the soul temple. There are those here, and there are those in our world everywhere, that are indulging some favorite habit; it is hurting minds, it is hurting soul, it is hurting body, and yet they permit themselves to be bound to Satan’s chariot car. Is there not power, dear friends, in God for you to break loose? Is there no power to place you wholly on the Lord’s side? Are you going to wait till death shall put its seal upon you before you shall awake to your situation? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 12

What characters are you forming for your children? What hold have you of God to keep the fort in your house? Why parents, we can point you to the fountain of life, we can open before you the strength of Israel and what He will do for you. But what good does it do you to hear it unless you shall take right hold and that your faith shall be mixed with loving faith to practice? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 13

We want to see the converting power of God in our midst. We want that the angels of God should walk up and down this encampment and solemnize the minds of parents and of youth and of children. We want the opportunity here of seeing the revealing of the power of God in our midst. The blessing is already to fall upon us in rich showers of grace if we will prepare the way for it. We want to know if you are going to do it. It is the precious Sabbath of God. He sanctified it; He made it holy. Now let us humble our hearts before God this day. In Isaiah it says, “Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness.” [Isaiah 58:4.] What do your fasts amount to, to spread sackcloth and ashes under you? Why you neglect the very duties that are laid right before you. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 14

Should temptations come powerful and strong upon your children, parents, and should they let go their hold of the truth, although they know it, I want to know if sin will not be at the door of the parent. What are you neglecting? For Christ’s sake, let us arise and go to our Father. For Christ’s sake, let us seek every soul, every sheep that is wandering, everyone that is keeping on the outskirts of the camp. God help us that we may go deeper than we have done at this meeting. God has rich blessings for us, and we have only a little time. And yet in one moment you can place yourself where, by wholly surrendering your way and your will and your ideas, the precious influence of the Spirit of God will come flowing into your hearts, and you can drink of Jesus. Are you thirsting to go into His company or that of unbelievers to find something attractive? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 15

Oh, the invitation is, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. Me, Jesus Christ. Now, there are souls to be saved on this encampment. Can they go away after hearing the preaching that has been on this campground without effect upon them? They never can go away as they came. That is an impossibility, for God has a controversy with every soul, and those to whom He has sent a message of light and warning, the question is—Will they accept that message, will they receive the warning, will they humble their souls? It is not to put ashes on your head or sackcloth upon your body, it is not to abstain from food; but it is: Will you humble your heart? Will you have a contrite heart before God? Passions—will you fast from your passions? The tobacco devotee that has heard of the precious truth of God, there is no example in the life of Christ for any such practice, will you fast? Will you let it alone? Will you cut out from the life the very things that make you weak and worthless in character? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 16

Oh, the preciousness of character that can be formed by those here before me! How my heart yearns after them! Since half past two o’clock, I have been awake pleading with God and entreating of Him to walk upon this consecrated ground. It is a holy convocation we are having to God, and we want to know what you are going to do about it. Are you going to seek God as you never sought him before? Are you going to put away your pride, your trifling, your lightness, your vanity, your foolishness, and are you going to be converted? 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 17

“Come unto me,” says Christ, “and drink the water that I shall give you, which will be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [See John 4:14.] Then will you come to Him? His arms are open to receive you. Believe He accepts you as you come to give your heart to Him. Here are children of Sabbathkeepers that need the converting power of God. Will you come, children? Will you come, youth? I do not mean, will you just say I want to be a Christian? I mean, will you come? I mean, will you come to the foot of the cross? I mean, will you accept Jesus, the precious Saviour who gave His life for you? He understands every temptation, He understands every trial, He understands every infidel theory that is sought to be introduced into your minds. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 18

He can help you to overcome all this, but will you do it? Will the decision be made here? Shall we see a decided move to change leaders? Shall we see the youth that are under the black banner of the powers of darkness say, I chose Christ today, I chose Him as mine this morning, I cut loose from the powers of darkness? When God sees that I am seeking to sever the chain, He will cut it by His own power. Now we ask you, Will you accept of Christ as your Saviour? Shall He be yours? God help us to make decisions here. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 19

Brethren and sisters, carry a solemn weight today. God is on the campground, Jesus is on the campground. He is observing all outward works and the inward sanctuary of the soul. We do want to see the children enjoying the love of God, enjoying the service of God. We want to hear their happy voices telling what Christ has done for them. We do not want them merely to have a profession. We want them to have an inward work of grace in their hearts. And now I do beseech of you, make this a day such as you have never had before in your life, a day of consecration, a day when your sins shall be confessed together and forsaken forever through Jesus Christ. He will give you help if you will come to Him sinful and polluted; He will take you; He will wash you; He will cleanse you. The question is asked, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” [Jeremiah 13:23.] It is an impossibility. He never can do it, and the sinner can never change. It is God, it is Jesus Christ, that can take away the stained and the spotted character. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 20

How many went down on that steamer! One name I remember, it was my stewardess. My heart was drawn out after her, and I implored her for Christ’s sake to accept of Jesus and to love Him. “How do you suppose,” she says, “I can make a profession of Christ in this business? I have three children to support, and it is the only way I can support them. Look at the society there is on this boat, drinking, playing cards, and swearing, and all this. Tell me, how can I be here and yet serve God?” “Why,” said I, “you need to love God if you are obliged to be here. But if you are here and love God, you can raise the standard.” I see that her name is among the lost in the boat. Is it lost? Is it eternal life? Is there no trace of her name in the Lamb’s book of life? Have the waters washed out her name? Oh, dear friends, thank God you were not on that steamer. I think but few would have been ready, would have been prepared. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 21

And now, I would say, Let us get ready. Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation. “Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will” (no ifs or ands about it) “have mercy upon him; and to our God for he will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] And then He explains why. “My ways are not your ways.” Why, one of you, if another of the human nature should offend you, you would let him go. Christ holds on to you. “My ways are not your ways, nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Verses 8, 9.] Although you have been sinners against me all your lives, you have robbed me of the service that was my due, and yet I will pardon abundantly. You are transgressors and sinners. Is not this an invitation from God to you, and can you resist it? God grant that you may turn, while you can and live. 9LtMs, Ms 48, 1894, par. 22