Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)

Ms 16, 1895

Sermon/Sermon at Armadale Camp Meeting

Campground, Armadale, Australia

October 20, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 307; CG 54-55, 494; CC 35; ML 91, 361. +Note

“And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;) and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:1-10.] 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 1

We need to understand the Word of God, to study it, and make it first among all the studies in our schools. Among everything that may come within our reach, there is nothing to be compared to the Word of God as our instructor. If we will come into close relation with God, if we will yield to God His own—our mind, our heart, and all that there is of [us], we will indeed find peace and happiness that we can obtain no where else. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 2

What does it amount to live in this world dependent upon the applause and amusements that we can find here. Do these bring us happiness? No; they bring us only unrest and dissatisfaction, and at the same time we are losing the most precious treasure, the richest blessings that God can bestow upon us. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 3

We need to understand something of the worth of our souls, to know what we shall do, that we may work the works of God. To works these works we must believe on Jesus Christ. He can be to us all that we desire. “If any man thirst,” He proclaimed on the last great day of the feast, “let him come unto me, and drink,” and again we hear him saying, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [John 7:37; Matthew 11:28-30.] Have you tried it? There are many who have and they know that the words of Christ are verity and truth, and that when trouble has come in like a flood, they have looked to Jesus and have been comforted and strengthened. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 4

Christ has promised that if we yoke up with Him we shall find peace and comfort and hope, and we know that it is true. He wants every one to be saved. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” [John 3:16, 17.] Do we not want to be saved? We must not build our hopes upon a foundation that shall be swept away. Do we want a life that shall measure with the life of God? “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.” [Ephesians 2:8.] Even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, God provided a way whereby we should be raised up and sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come we might show forth the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us. Any one that does not appreciate this kindness and love, which God has bestowed upon him, is robbing his soul of heaven’s richest blessings. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 5

Jesus Christ knew that humanity had not power in itself to resist the temptations of the enemy of souls, and therefore He clothed His divinity with humanity, left His royal command, and came to this world all seared and marred with the curse, and humiliated Himself, in order to set us an example. For our sakes He became poor. All this He did on our behalf. He came to this world, not to attend horse races, not to attend the theater, but He came meek and lowly, and He invites us to learn of Him, the King of glory. By doing this, we shall obtain the moral power He left the courts of heaven to bestow upon us. By taking humanity upon Himself, He exalted humanity in the scale of moral value with God. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 6

Every human being should understand that he is not his own, but that he is bought with a price, and what a price! Christ suffered a shameful death that man might be saved! He became our sin-bearer, and suffered more than we can ever know in this life. When we consider that all heaven is looking upon the inhabitants of this earth to see what they will do, whether or not they will accept the moral power Christ is waiting to give them, how careful we should be to perfect a character after the divine model. Christ kept His Father’s commandments. Adam fell because he broke them. He lost his connection with God. Christ came to bring to man moral power to keep His commandments. When God gave Christ to us, He gave all that it is possible for a God to give. There could be nothing to excel that gift. And by that gift all heaven is opened to every striving, struggling soul. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 7

When Christ was crucified and lay in Joseph’s new tomb the grave could not hold Him. He broke the fetters of the tomb and came forth from His prison house, and above the rent sepulcher He proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] That life is free for us to take. Who receives it? Those that continue to transgress? “Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] God has given us this probation any time to see who will obey His commandments. Christ died to make a way for us to return to our loyalty. What the world may say of me or you amounts to but very little. God rejoices over every soul that is brought back to Him. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 8

All heaven is watching the iniquity, the lawlessness, the embezzlements, the murders, and the forgeries that are now going on in the world. And Christ, before He left this earth, warned His disciples on this point. “For as it was in the days of Noe shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” [Luke 17:26.] What were they doing then? They were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. All of these things in themselves are lawful. It is necessary for us to eat and to drink that we may have physical strength to serve the Lord, but when we carry our eating to gluttony, without a thought of pleasing our heavenly Father, eating just that which is pleasing to our taste, we are doing just as did in the days of Noah. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 9

And when we are building these great edifices and rearing palaces, we are doing just as they did in the days of Noah. We are robbing God’s treasury of what belongs to it. He has made us His stewards, and we are responsible for the means which He has put into our hands. Who gives us the sunshine which makes the earth bring forth and bear? and who the fruitful showers? Who has given us the heavens above and the sun and stars in the heavens? Who gave you your reason, and who keeps watch over you from day to day? Is it not the God of heaven who has created the worlds, and who rested upon the seventh day? He blessed the day and made it holy, and is it more than justice that we respect the day upon which He has set His blessing? 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 10

Every time we look at the world we are reminded of the mighty hand of God which called it into existence. The canopy over our head and the earth beneath, covered with a carpet of green, call to remembrance the power of God, and also His lovingkindness. He might have made the grass brown or black, but God is a lover of the beautiful, and therefore He has given us beautiful things, upon which to look. Who could paint upon the flowers the delicate tint with which God has clothed them? 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 11

Would it not be better for fathers and there instead of taking their children into so-called society, to take them where they can see the handiwork of God? 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 12

“Consider the lilies of the field.” We can have no better lesson book then nature. “Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Matthew 6:28, 29.] Let the minds of your children be carried up to God. It is for this that He has given us the seventh day, left it as a memorial of His created works. Will you rob God of the honor due Him by breaking His Sabbath? If you do, you rob yourself. We must come into harmony with God. Ask not what this man says or that man says, but make sure that you are walking according to the Word of God. Take for your guide what God says. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 13

Heaven is worth something to me, and if it is worth anything, it is worth everything. I must see the King in His beauty; I must behold His matchless charms. I must hear the song that will rise in heaven to God and to the Lamb for ever and forever. I want to be there, and so I cannot afford to look upon this world, and think what I shall do to please it. I have a Maker in the heavens. We each have the same Lord and Master. He has given us children, and He requires that we educate them. Jesus Christ, who led the children of Israel through the wilderness, instructed Moses as to how they were to teach their children. When they rose up and when they sat down, walking abroad and at home, they were to teach them the commandments of God. And if they did this, He told them that He would bless their fields and their flocks, and bring them forth to serve and glorify Him. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 14

Heaven is what we want—the heaven we read of in the 14th chapter of John, where Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” [Verses 1, 2.] The life of man at longest is but a little space of threescore years and ten. Peradventure some way exceed that, it is only as a cloud that passeth away, and shall we devote our God-given womanhood and manhood to the pleasures and frivolities of this world? Shall we place the hands of our children in the world and have them brought up in ignorance of God? Shall we have them educated and trained after the world’s order? 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 15

Parents should arouse to understand that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. We must teach temperance in all things. “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man.” [Luke 17:26.] Shall we show to the world around us what God is to us—what love He has shown to us in giving His well-beloved Son to die in our behalf? Christ came in the garb of humanity that He might help humanity. If He had come as an angel, we could not have endured the sight. We would have fainted beneath it. I want that life that He can give us. You want it. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 16

Each of us can manifest to the world how much [he] appreciates the sacrifice of Christ. There are in the world many mistaken ideas of God and His work, and we think we have got to keep sinning all the time. But Christ came to take away the sin of the world, and by His grace it is possible for us to have our souls cleansed from sin. Christ wants every human soul to estimate himself in the light of the cross of Calvary. Our brains are of value, our physical strength is of value, because with these we can serve and glorify our Creator. It makes every difference to us whether we are complete in Christ or whether we are deficient in His likeness. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 17

We are to do what we can to be saved. The Lord says, “Come out from among them, and be separate.” [2 Corinthians 6:17.] The world may scorn you; they may talk if you do not come up to their line; they may even imprison you. So they did to John the Baptist. Because he reproved Herod in his sin, they cast him into prison and took his life. One after another, the servants of God have been witnesses for Him, and have signed their witness with their blood. But whatever their enemies did to their bodies, they could not destroy their souls. They persecuted John and Stephen, James and the other apostles. They could immure them in prison walls, but they could not take away their hope or eternal life. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 18

“He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” [John 14:21.] That is the test of your love. Adam and Eve disobeyed and lost Eden. The human family must obey the light that comes to them in regard to the binding claims of the law of God; they must lift the cross in view of the whole world. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 19

“He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [Verse 21.] Think ye that John had no companion with him in prison? Christ and His holy angels were there to comfort him. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 20

The enemies of Christ tried to make the beloved disciple John disown his master, and because he would not do as they wanted, they exiled him to the Isle of Patmos. And do you think that John was separated from the light that shines from the courts of heaven? Did he have no Comforter? “I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” [Verse 21.] When God is with us, we can bear everything. We do not want to wait till tomorrow or next day before we give our hearts to God, because sickness and death may overtake us. We must accept God right where we are. We can say, Lord, I give myself to Thee; I stand from today under Thy bloodstained banner. I want that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 21

Obey God, even at the loss of all things. Come out from among them, and be separate. God will receive you and be a Father unto you. He says, Ye shall be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] I would rather be a child of God than to have the honor of worldly kingdoms. Jesus can give us rest which kings and princes do not possess. I want to become acquainted with Him. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 22

It is by the mercy of God that we have such golden opportunities for study. The world sinks into insignificance when compared with the worth of a soul. To know God is eternal life. Are you teaching this to your children, or are you teaching them to meet the world’s standard? Are you getting ready for the home that God is preparing for you? Do not, I beg of you, wait till the last moment as did the thief on the cross. Till then he had no light, but we have had our duty shown us from the Word of God. Serve him [with] your heart-affection, and with all the brain power that He has given you. Do not allow Satan to make a workshop of your brain to gratify and please those around you. The warfare between Christ and Satan will be carried on till the close of this world’s history, and if you would have the victory, you must be laborers together with God. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 23

Would you catch the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness? They are for you, and Christ wants to take away your sins, so that the bright rays of His love may find an entrance into your heart. Do you want to be complete in Him? Then obey His law. He is coming with power and glory in the clouds of heaven to take His loved ones to Himself. He left with us His law, and He wants us to keep it, then He will say, “Child, come up higher”—sons and daughters of Him who dwells in light unapproachable, sons and daughters of Him who lives to all eternity. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 24

When we set our tables, do we think to thank God for the blessings He has given us? Do we consider the poor, the suffering, and the needy, or do we use food that takes all our money? Thus it was in the days of Noah. We want heaven. And the time we have here we must spend getting ready for it. We must learn how to praise God. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 25

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” [John 4:10.] We must be partakers of the divine nature. Christ wants everyone of you to be a sharer in His kingdom, and He wants you to perfect a character after the divine likeness, so that we can enjoy heaven. If you spend your whole lifetime in the low, sordid things of this world, you will not want to meet Jesus bye and bye. Do you not want to be sons and daughters of God? Do you not want to see the King in His beauty, and be able to say to Him, “Here I am Lord, and the children which thou hast given me? I have tried to tell them of the Saviour that was born in Bethlehem, and how Satan followed Him every step from the manger to the cross.” 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 26

Teach your children of the Saviour’s life, death, and resurrection. Teach them to study the Bible. It should be the educator in all our schools. Teach them to form characters that will live through the eternal ages. We must pray as we never have before that God will keep and bless our children. When Christ was here upon earth, He gladly received the children, and we must teach our children that today He is ready to take them to Himself. “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 19:14.] 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 27

Come to Jesus just as you are, sinful, weak, and needy; and He will give you the water of life. You want a faith that reaches through the hellish shadow that Satan casts athwart your pathway. He is busily inventing amusements and fashions which will so take up men’s minds, that they shall not be able to spare any time for meditation. Teach your children to glorify God, not to please themselves. They are His children—His by creation and redemption. Teach them to shun the amusements and follies of this degenerate age. Keep their minds clean and pure in the sight of God. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 28

What if we do praise God and acknowledge His goodness and mercy from day to day? Is that any more than His due? Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God. Praise God. Let your conversation, your music, your songs all praise Him who has done so much for us. Praise God here, and then you will be fitted to join the heavenly choir when you enter the city of God. Then you can cast your glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus, take your golden harps, and fill all heaven with melody. We shall praise Him with an immortal tongue. Do you not want to be there? We must get an education here that will enable us to live with God through the eternal ages. The education we begin here will be perfected in heaven. We will only just enter a higher grade. We sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, He reveals Himself to us, and we learn the mystery of the incarnation of Christ, and the great sacrifice which He made in our behalf. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 29

God help us to gird on His armor and stand under His banner, that the life that we now live we may live by the faith of the Son of God. Let our faith grasp the unseen realities of the eternal world. And then when Christ shall appear, we shall appear with Him in glory. 10LtMs, Ms 16, 1895, par. 30