Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Ms 67, 1894

Discipline to Be Maintained.

NP

1894

Formerly Undated Ms 29a. Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MCP 250, 324; 2BC 998. +Note

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” [Matthew 6:22, 23.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 1

I would speak to the teachers and students of the Australasian Bible School. My heart is troubled on your account. Some of you do not see all things clearly. Your eye is not single that your whole body may be full of light. Some of you have a mistaken idea as to what constitutes the mercy and love of God. The standard must be kept elevated. There are all kinds of characters in our world, and when a large number are brought together in the capacity of a school, proper discipline must be maintained, or the students will receive a false education. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 2

Those who stand in responsible positions in an educational institution need not only to exercise justice, but also to manifest mercy. Mercy and justice must stand side by side, the one to be the balance or complement of the other. In this country there is much that is demoralized. Dishonesty, disorder, falsehood and lawlessness have been prevailing elements in the general education of the people, and those who come into close association as students do in school-life must be brought under right discipline and government. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 3

It has been made manifest that parents have neglected to train and discipline and educate their children in the home life and this fact makes it hard for principal and teachers to maintain discipline in the school. Now should there be a neglect to maintain proper discipline and order in the school, then the very evil that should be checked will be cherished, and the very defects that should be corrected will be cultivated. The youth who are not educated to respect father and mother are left without a foundation principle of order, of true self-control, of rectitude, of conduct. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 4

Unless youth have been trained to surrender their own will and their own way and come into harmony with the rules and regulations of the home, it will be no easy matter to train them to surrender their will and ways to discipline in the school. If one goes through the period of his school education without learning to wear the yoke in his youth, he will in all probability not make God the guide of his youth or his manhood. His conscience may be aroused, he may be convinced as to what is righteousness, truth may enforce the convictions of conscience, and a struggle may begin for the control of the heart; but he who has never surrendered his will, will have a hard struggle to surrender to God. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 5

The struggle is represented in Scripture as like that of plucking out the right eye, or cutting off the right hand. The flesh warreth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. When does this struggle cease? it is when the truth finds an entrance into the soul to work its will on the heart of the human agent, when it finds an entrance to the very seat of the affections, and is planted there by the Holy Spirit of God. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 6

The psalmist says, “The entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] When truth is working only upon the conscience, it creates much uneasiness; but when truth is invited into the heart, the whole being is brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. Even the thoughts are captured, for the mind of Christ works where the will is submitted to the will of God. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5.] He whom the Lord makes free is free indeed and he cannot be brought into servile bondage to sin. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 7

Christ will accomplish a great deliverance for every human being who believes in Him as his personal Saviour. Christ has come to set men free, to call them out of the bondage of Satan into the liberty of the sons of God. To be a Christian is to be adopted into the family of God, to become sons and daughters of God, members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Christ has given His own life as a ransom, to deliver every soul from the slavery of sin and from the service of a tyrant, and to make free in Jesus Christ him that was bound. Will the child of Satan become the child of God? Will he lay hold upon the help which God alone can give him to overcome sin in its various forms? Will he stand forth in the grace of Christ to enlist in the army of Jesus, to war against fleshly lusts, to overcome appetite and passion, and no longer be under the yoke of the enemy? 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 8

The world’s standard in spirit and in practice is not God’s standard. The ten holy precepts constitute the standard of righteousness. In seeking to live up to the world’s standard, the soul and body of the world’s devotee becomes bound under its exactions, its customs, its prejudices, its cares, and its burdens, and he wears a yoke of bondage grievous to be borne. God calls upon all men, women, and children, to lift themselves up from this slavery, to renounce pride, unholy ambition, love of display, love of pleasure, and love of sin, and become free men and women in the simplicity of Jesus Christ. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 9

Those who accept the ransom that Jesus has paid, place themselves, through the grace of Christ, free from bondage to sin and from every entanglement of Satan. God would give us mastery over ourselves, over our will [and] our ways. He would have us accept God’s will and God’s way. Self is a terrible tyrant, and rules every power of the being as with a rod of iron. Thousands of poor souls who are the subjects of self deceive themselves, supposing that they are free, when all the time they are struggling in the meshes of Satan’s net. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 10

Jesus has given His most precious life, in order that we shall have the mastery over Satan, by presenting our emancipation papers in the very face of the enemy. We may declare to the adversary that we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath sent forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” “But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for (us) the ungodly. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” [Romans 3:24, 25; 5:8, 9.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 11

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [Verses 1-5, 10, 11.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 12

Those who are students in our schools should remember that men and women who are called to responsible positions are to be faithful sentinels, and are not approved of God if they permit known sin to be passed over as a small and unimportant matter. The wrongdoer is not the only one involved in an open act of sin, for the Lord holds every teacher and every one in authority as responsible for the guilt until they do everything possible to purify the school from moral defilement. The case of Achan is recorded in the Bible for our admonition and instruction upon whom the ends of the world are come, and it is a sample of how the sin of one man weakens the hands of God’s servants, and of how He holds them accountable until it is purged from the congregation. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 13

Students will come to our school who have been permitted in their home life to do just about as they pleased, and unless a different mold is placed upon their characters, they will reveal traits similar to those of Achan. Have you considered why it was that all who were connected with Achan were also subjects of the punishment of God? It was because they had not been trained and educated according to the directions given them in the great standard of the law of God. Achan’s parents had educated their son in such a way that he felt free to disobey the Word of the Lord, the principles inculcated in his life led him to deal with his children in such a way that they also were corrupted. Mind acts and reacts upon mind, and the punishment, which included the relations of Achan with himself, reveals the fact that all were involved in the transgression. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 14

It was covetousness that led Achan to disregard God’s express command and appropriate to his own use that which God had appointed for the support of His treasury, or for destruction. After he had stolen and hidden the golden wedge, the shekels of silver and the Babylonish garment, he acted a lie. He saw the defeat of Israel, he saw Joshua lying on his face in astonishment and grief, and in abject humiliation, with a wounded, tortured spirit, because of Israel’s defeat at Ai; but he did not confess his guilt, or reveal to the servant of God the reason of their discomfiture. But God enlightened His servant. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 15

Joshua cried in anguish of soul unto God, and “rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord .... And said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear it, and shall environ us around, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.” [Joshua 7:6-11.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 16

God had pronounced a curse upon anyone who should appropriate to his own use any of the goods which He had appointed to destruction. Achan had transgressed the express command of God. He had taken of the accursed thing and had also stolen, and dissembled also, and put it with his own stuff. This was why the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies. The sin and guilt of this one man was charged upon the congregation of Israel, and the Lord said, “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow; for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel; thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” [Verses 12, 13.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 17

The way God dealt with Israel at this time is a lesson that shows the responsibility which rests upon those who stand in high positions of trust. God has not changed. He is the same God in the gospel that He was in the time of ancient Israel. Please read the history of Ananias and Sapphira who were slain of the Lord, because they lied to the Holy Spirit. Shall these lessons make no impression upon us? We profess to keep the commandments of God, but if we are transgressing any one of the commandments of God, we are failing to live up to our profession. He that offends in one point will be charged in heaven as being a transgressor of the whole law. Let us remember that we are in the field of conflict. We are opposed by the world, and even by those who claim to be Christians. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 18

If we who know the truth, and who understand the requirements of God, and who hear the precious lessons of His Word daily, shall become careless, and pass by sin and transgression in the very midst of us, will not God hold us equally responsible with those who are guilty of open transgression? Can we afford to leave things to drift along, and confirm the impression that sin is not so exceedingly offensive to God as it is represented in His Holy Word? Those who are being educated at our school, perhaps at the expense of some self-denying, self-sacrificing follower of Christ, are receiving a mold that will influence their character and their history both for this life and for the life to come. Shall we not, as those who hold positions of trust, be held responsible if we do not give to these youth the right impression as to what constitutes sin and uncleanness, defilement and rottenness of character? 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 19

There is need of closely guarding the principles of righteousness and judgment, in order that a demoralized condition of things mayl not exist. If sins are covered and unknown, and principal and teachers are doing their duty, God will, by His Holy Spirit, point out the wrongdoers and will demonstrate the fact that He will not tolerate sin. At this most important period, we have come to this country to present truth in contrast with error, and we have a most decisive warfare to engage in. Shall we lose the favor of God because there are hidden sins among us? Shall we hold our peace when God is dishonored, when deception and falsehood and moral corruption are working among those who claim to be the children of God? We must work diligently to separate the Achans from our camp. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 20

There will always be some who will have perverted ideas as to what is the right course of action to be pursued toward those who are transgressors. They reveal sympathy for the wrongdoer in the wrong way, and place an extra burden on those who are called upon to reprove, to rebuke, and to exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. It is disagreeable work to reprove and correct the course of the evildoer; but it is doubly disagreeable when it has to be done under misconception. The persons who by their influence caused the misconception ought instead to give their sympathy and their prayers to sustain the ones who are doing the very work that God requires them to do in correcting evil. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 21

The eyes of many are blinded in reference to the need of this essential work, and by their course of action, they exert a counter influence that leads him who has been reproved to conclude that he is not guilty of any great sin, and that his action was simply one that might be expected. Young men are liable to be faulty and to do mischievous things, but their actions are not so serious, but that they could be passed by without noticing them—this is the way some reason in regard to breaking the rules of the school, and transgressing the commandments of God. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 22

Should those persons who give their sympathies to the wrongdoer see the result of their course, they would speedily change this order of things; but it is too costly an experience to permit them to carry out their ideas, and, by seeing the result of their course, reach the conclusion that they have been in error. There is need of most vigilant watching against the wily foe who takes possession of those who give their minds to his control. The Holy Spirit cannot work with a human agent, and mold and fashion the character after the divine similitude, unless there is a complete surrender on the part of the professed follower of Christ. God will not work with anyone who builds a halfway house between obedience and transgression, truth and falsehood. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 23

The Lord will manifest His tender compassion to all who are contrite in heart. His love is revealed toward the believing, trusting soul. His pity and compassion are over all his creatures, and He will show Himself strong in behalf of those who fear Him. He is moved toward His people, who are exposed to the temptations of a relentless foe, and who are yet unable in their own strength to meet Him. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and bears us up in His hands all the days of our lives. If we will be obedient to His commandments, which always point out the safe and right way, we shall not fall a prey to Satan’s temptations. It is only as we walk in the path of obedience that we show our love for Christ; thus we keep close to His side where the wicked one toucheth us not, and where he cannot pluck us out of our Saviour’s hands. If we comply with the conditions of salvation, Jesus can give us a clear evidence of His continual presence and unfailing love, and He will assure us that the promises of God are “yea and Amen” in Him. [2 Corinthians 1:20.] He will be a very present help in time of trouble. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 24

When Christ is by the side of His tried and tempted ones, there can be no such a thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat, for we can do all things through Him who strengtheneth us. We must know the truth which is revealed in Christ in all its completeness. It is perilous to turn from the truth because you cannot discern how you are to make a success of your business and obtain a livelihood. Jesus lives, and because He lives, we shall live also. He said to the fishermen, “Leave your nets, and come and follow me.” He said to Matthew sitting at the receipt of custom, “Follow me.” [Matthew 4:19; 9:9.] Did those who were invited by Christ to follow Him hesitate? Did they tarry, and with trembling faith inquire, “How shall I live, and support my family?” They were obedient to the call, and after they had followed the directions of Christ, He inquired, “When I sent you out without purse or script, lacked ye anything?” They answered, “Nothing Lord.” [Luke 22:35.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 25

The Lord has said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” [Matthew 6:33, 34.] The Lord opens the way for those who serve Him fully, and they are astonished at His providences. Many are rebuked for their unbelief, for in their hearts, if not in words, they have distrusted Jesus, and have been comfortless, imagining evil of our Lord, thinking that He would not sustain them in the trial of their faith. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 26

Those who thus distrust God lose many precious revealings of His Spirit, and do not improve the glorious opportunities He gives them to strengthen their weak faith. They distrust Him who gave His own life in order that He might bring rich blessings to all those who believe. When any of His children fail to trust in Him in great emergencies, then the whole character of their mission becomes changed. Because of their unbelief, they fail to walk in the opening providences of God. Through their distrust, they make it impossible for God to multiply blessing and grace to them, for they would surely misinterpret His providences, exalt themselves, and dishonor His name. His ways are all justice, mercy and love. The homage and service rendered to Him in perfect faith and love will be rewarded by the richest revealing of His grace. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 27

“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: ... Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. ... Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” [Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10, 11.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 28

Will we not keep the way of the Lord? There is need to stir up the gift that is within thee, which is faith. God sends His messages of mercy and says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” [John 7:37.] The message of truth is sounding clearly and distinctly. It is adapted to the cases of all who hear, but the evidence of the truth of God’s word may be unmistakable. The chain may be perfect in every link, the conscience be convinced, and the heart approve of the truth which is presented, and yet the natural heart may refuse to humble itself before God to wear the yoke with Christ, to accept His burden, and to find that rest which is promised to the doers of the Word. Arguments may be advanced that are clear and authoritative, but unless the human will submits to God, the most convincing evidence, the most stirring eloquence, will fail to convert the soul. The heart must be opened, and then “the entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] Those who are designated as “simple” are not those who are demented, but those who are of a meek and lowly disposition, who are willing to learn of Jesus and to obey His word. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 29

To those who are unenlightened by the Spirit of God, the requirements of both the Old and the New Testaments seem as foolishness; but to those who receive Christ, they are spirit and life, for they receive Christ, and to those who receive Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 30

Christ prayed to His Father saying, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:22, 23.] Those who are stimulated by the love of Jesus will all be drawn to the great Center, to contemplate the wondrous sacrifice that has been made for them. They will all be filled with soul-hunger, and will search out the hidden treasures of truth, sinking the shaft of inquiry deep into the mine of truth, that the precious ore may be discovered. They will look into those depths into which the angels desired to look. They will be constrained by the love of Christ to form characters after the divine similitude, in order that they may bear intelligent credentials to the world, and persuade men to believe that God has sent His Son into the world, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 31

It is the privilege of the Christian to present evidences to the world that the Lord cares for and loves those who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. God loves the followers of Christ as He loves His only begotten Son. To present this fact to the world will be a power in winning souls to Christ. Will the churches arouse? Will they receive the truth in its purity and loveliness? Truth is love; “God is Love.” [1 John 4:8.] If this had not been the case, we must all have perished. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 32

If Satan can allure men to accept a theory of truth and exclude from their character the elements of the character of God, which are mercy and love, he cares not what claim they may lay to religion, for he will lead them to pursue such a course of action that Christ will be ashamed to call them brethren. They will cultivate sensuality, selfishness, commonness, earthliness, love of supremacy; and [they] will manifest cheapness in thought and conversation, because they have not experienced what it is to have the love of God, and have left the door open for the entrance of Satan, while closing the door to the Divine One who stands pleading and knocking for entrance. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 33

Comparatively few received the gospel in Athens, because pride of intellect and worldly wisdom were cherished, which counted “foolishness” the gospel of Jesus Christ. [1 Corinthians 1:18.] On one occasion our Lord rejoiced in Spirit and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” [Matthew 11:25.] The grand truths which men in their pride and self-exaltation refused to examine and cast aside as worthless are clearly apprehended and enjoyed by those who may be called babes in knowledge. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 34

The apostle inquires, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” [1 Corinthians 1:20.] “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. ... We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 35

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” [Verses 18, 23-31.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 36

Christ lived for the glory of God, and He lived not for Himself, but for guilty, ruined men. Every one who is willing to be like Jesus will work the works of God, and will be a laborer together with God. The gates of heaven will be open to those who have followed in the footsteps of Jesus; and they shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord. They will be among those who have beheld Jesus, and have been changed into His image. Jesus was beautiful in character. He was meek, He was gentle. The psalmist exclaimed, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” [Psalm 18:35.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 37

Christ is long forbearing, full of compassion and love that cannot be measured. No other character can compare with His. The men who are called excellent, loving, beautiful, bear only a faint likeness to Jesus Christ. Solomon by the Spirit of inspiration beheld His character, and exclaimed, “He is the chiefest among ten thousand, ... yea, he is altogether lovely.” [Song of Solomon 5:10, 16.] David, as he beheld Christ in prophetic vision, said, “Thou art fairer than the sons of men.” [Psalm 45:2.] The Lord Jehovah announced His character to the world, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17.] 9LtMs, Ms 67, 1894, par. 38