Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 42, 1894

Sermon/Morning Talk.

Camp Ground, Ashfield, Australia

October 22, 1894

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 299-300, 339, 488.

I have felt greatly anxious that our people who have had light and truth should gather all the rays of light [there] are for them at this meeting, not merely to please and enjoy themselves, but to keep thinking all the time how they can use all the light that has been given them to impart to others. The scenes in America which have come to our understanding—of the floods, of the fires, and of all these things—tell us that the end of all things is at hand; and while we have an intense desire that the people should understand what is truth, we need ourselves to be in living touch with God, that self shall not have the supremacy. In all our movements, in every decision, in every plan, we do not want the sharp qualities of self, that have been educated and trained, to appear, but we want the molding influence of the Spirit of God to carry such an influence surrounding our souls that Christ shall be in us, a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 1

There are serious times before us. The enemy is working with intense power to bring that power to bear upon human minds; he shall gather his forces, the powers of darkness, to unite with evil men on the earth, so that men will take steps, steps, steps toward the black banner of the powers of darkness; and they don’t know where they are going, they do not understand it. There seems to be an infatuation, a terrible pall, that is upon minds. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 2

When in the night season I am once awake, that is the end of it. I cannot sleep after that, and my mind begins to travel, travel. How few of our people understand the terrible crisis that is upon us. We do not want to make a time of trouble beforehand, but there is the greatest necessity for us to know something of the working of the powers of darkness and of the iniquity that abounds, that we may feel the importance of rising up to the emergency. Why, the nations are tottering everywhere, their safety and security and strong bulwarks that they think are really protecting them and making them safe, why, it will be but a very little time until they will see that they are shaken, hopelessly shaken, and all their hopes that are centered in this world are just shaken to pieces; and we are not half awake. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 3

Here is this large city. We saw them coming out here last night, and there were several who said, “I never knew that there were such a people in the world; no, I never heard of it before.” 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 4

If everyone felt and understood that it was their privilege to be laborers together with God, there would not be idlers, there would be those who would go to work in the Lord’s vineyard. But some seem to consider that it is an impossibility for them to do anything unless they shall climb up into the desk and preach a discourse. That has got to be taken out of all [who] think they can do something. It has to be taken away from them. Work just where you are; work in your homes; take up the work just right at your hand. Here is a neighbor, there is a friend. Now consider: I must not be fevered, and excited, and benumbed with the things of this life, that I shall have no sense of the worth and the value of souls that I am brought in contact with. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 5

When I hear a little cluster of our young people [who] know the truth, [who] understand the truth, collected together, and there will be a titter and a laugh, and then another titter and a laugh; you cannot think, it is just like a sword in my heart. These are representatives of Jesus Christ. What is there to laugh at? A fool laughs at his own folly, and I have thought many times that those who profess to be wise and children of God, create a laugh at their own folly. God wants us on this ground to come into a sacred nearness to Himself. It is holy ground, and when I see the little clusters getting together to titter and to laugh, I consider how the unbelievers with us regard such a sight. It sounds altogether different to them than it does to the very ones who are engaged in it. Now let us watch for souls as they that must give an account. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 6

When we see frivolity and lightness and trifling, would it not be well for us to consider that it is our duty in kindness, in love, to set it right before them, and show them that it is not the right and correct education for Christians? We want to be diligent students in the school of Christ, and we want to learn every day His lessons and His ways. We want that Christ should take possession of our hearts, and mold and fashion our characters. This morning it seems we ought to have a sense of the solemnity of the times in which we live. We may be cheerful. God does not want any sour faces on this ground; the Lord does not want anyone in gloom and sadness; He wants you to lift up your countenance to Him, and let Him just pour upon it the brightness of the light of the Sun of Righteousness. He wants all our countenances [to] light up; He wants the brightness of His image to be expressed in us. It is our privilege to be strong in the Lord God of Israel, and it is our privilege to cling to the mighty One. It is our privilege to lift up holy hands without wrath and without doubting. It is our privilege to come with confidence and ask wisdom of God. If ever our people needed it, we need it now, wisdom on the encampment, wisdom every day, wisdom every hour; and God will give it to us. He has promised it. Well then, when the Word of God is full of the very richest promises, why shall we not take them when we need them so much? Does God want us to go bereft of these blessings, when with Jesus He gave all heaven, when we can have access to the divine power? 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 7

Why, this morning it seemed of such necessity to me, as I awoke, that every one who claims to be a follower of Christ should be doers of the Word of Christ, and should catch the lessons He gave. What for? That they may by precept and example give them to others. A brother that has embraced the truth out at Pennant Hills was speaking with me last night, and he seemed to be so earnest. He did not know what was before him, he could not tell that; but he says that this place, and that place, and the other place all around about him need light; they want the truth all around him. Well, who is going to give it to them? 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 8

Now, God wants us to be minutemen, and when I think that [all] [in] the church are missionaries, which they are if they are children of God, they are missionaries, [then] they should educate their families and themselves to take up the work that lies right before them, and try to communicate every ray of light that God has given to them. Oh! the angels of God come right by their side; the angels of God are making the impression. We cannot impress a single soul; there is not a thing that we should be exalted about; it is not we that do the work, but it is the heavenly intelligences. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 9

If every one in the fear of God, not to exalt and extol self, will speak the words in humiliation and weakness to their friends, why you would see that it would be of greater effect than all the discourses that could be given from the desk, not to demerit preaching, we don’t demerit it, but we want co-laborers with Jesus Christ. Many are idlers, many are doing so little, and carrying so little weight and so little burden. What we want is to pray more. Brethren, when you are at work, look up to God for help, for a connection with God, to be fastened to God. Wonderful things are to take place. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 10

When I saw this congregation yesterday, I thought, “The decisions are to come after this meeting and during the meeting. There will be some that will take their position forever under the black banner of the powers of darkness; there are some that will take their position under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. Our words, our deportment, how we present the truth, may balance minds for or against the truth; and we want in every discourse, whether it is doctrinal or not, we want that Jesus Christ should be presented so distinctly—as John declared, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 11

Every expression that you have ever been in the habit of making, people and ministers, that is sharp or cutting, every practice of thrusting upon the people the very strongest positions, that they are no more prepared to receive than a baby is to receive strong meat, must be put aside. There must be a leading along, Christ must be woven into everything that is argumentative as the warp and the woof of the garment. Christ, Christ, Christ is to be in it everywhere. My heart feels the need of Christ, as I have, seems to me, never felt it more sensibly. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 12

Here are an ignorant people; they do not know anything about the truth; they have been educated by the ministers that this is so and that is so. When the Word of God is explained to the people, when it is presented in its purity, and they see what the Word of God says, what are they going to do? There are very few that will take their position on that Word. But I tell you, be very careful how you handle the Word because that Word is to make the decisions with the people. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 13

Let the Word cut, and not your words. But when they make their decision, what will it be? Oh! the Bible is at fault; it is not their practices, it is not their habits, it is not their education; it is the Bible; there is something the matter with it; it is not just right, and it needs to be changed to meet their standard. Then will come the working up of the persecutions and the trials that are to be brought upon those who have the Word—the pure Word. We must expect it; it is right upon us. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 14

Just after the decisions are made, the forces of the powers of darkness take these minds that have been convicted, and that have resisted the conviction of the Spirit of God. They have a superstition, and Satan works upon those minds until there is an intensity of opposition to the truth and everybody that believes it, and they think they are in God’s service, as Christ told us, “Whosoever killeth you thinketh that he doeth God service.” [John 16:2.] 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 15

Now, we can see the intensity of their minds. Where is the intensity on the other side? Unite with the Spirit of the living God to present a bulwark around our people and around our youth, to educate and train them. This must be met, and we must carry right through the truth of God at any cost. We understand something about it, but there are many who do not understand anything about it; therefore we need to lead them along, to instruct them kindly and tenderly, and if the spirit of God is with us, we will know just what to say. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 16

What we want is the Spirit and the power of God, practical godliness, men to go forth who will present Christ in everything; we want Christ to shine forth to the people. Angels of God are right around us. We don’t make the impression, it is the angels of God, as I thought last night and yesterday as we saw the people coming in, the heavenly intelligences are at work. There are regions all around about here that are to be worked, and we want that consecration that God can use the simple instrument to do His work, but self must die. 9LtMs, Ms 42, 1894, par. 17