Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 40, 1895



January 9, 1896 [Typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MR 96; 8MR 296.

The Bible is to be read and studied as the Word of God, and it is to be received and practiced because it is His Word. The truth necessary for our salvation lies in this Word, and as he who finds hidden treasure in a field will sell all to buy the field, so the sincere seeker after truth will consider all else of little value compared to the jewels hidden in the Word of God. Man has been placed upon probation, not to ascertain the sharpness of his reasoning powers by criticizing and objecting to evidence, but to see whether he will appreciate the reward offered to him for striving to restore the image of God among men. The Bible contains the standard of the character that man must possess in order to be a fit subject for heaven. 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 1

Man may spend a lifetime in laborious searching after God by reason, but at the end he will find that his argumentative powers and his logical reasoning only leaven him ignorant and confused. That knowledge is found alone in the Bible. “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and the things therein, seeking He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temple made with hands.” [Acts 17:22-24.] 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 2

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 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? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” [1 Corinthians 1:19-21.] “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” [1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.] Will it not pay us then to search the Scriptures as for hidden treasure? 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 3

Christ was acquainted with the Scriptures, for He met all the temptations of the devil with “It is written.” Arguments and reasons would have been of no avail, but “It is written” showed that Christ, the tempted one, had His feet upon solid, immovable rock. We are to learn these lessons from the Word, hanging them in memory’s hall, and thus preparing to meet Satan with the only weapon which will repulse him—“It is written.” All things written in the law and in the prophets are true, and they carry the proof of it in themselves. 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 4

Nothing is gained by endeavoring to prove by argument the divine origin of the Bible; it is its own expositor. It carries its own keys; Scripture unlocks Scripture. If we do not see the truth in the Bible, it is because our opinions and prejudices have not been laid at the door of investigation. “For if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto men.” [2 Corinthians 4:3, 4.] “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” [1 Corinthians 1:18.] 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 5

The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world, but Satan will make the most masterly efforts to hold minds under his jurisdiction, that Christ may not be seen, and that murmurings and complainings may be heard from human lips. In this way men and women will sow the church with doubts, unbelief, and complainings, and the leaven will work in other hearts, revealing to the world that those who profess Christ’s name are not meeting the Bible standard. When convicted, these souls will see that they have been Satan’s most successful agents, leading souls away from God by their own perverted religious life into false and forbidden paths; and if they see themselves as God sees them, they will cease their murmurings and fault finding and search their own hearts as with a lighted candle, lest too late, they find no room for repentance. Now, just now, in the place of complaining, let there be repentance that needed not to be repented of. 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 6

There are many feeding upon chaff, who need to search the Scriptures for themselves, that they may see their lives as they appear to God—full of lightness and trifling. If these self-deceived souls could be made aware of their real ignorance, and could see the love of God and the relation in which they stand toward Him, they would not close their eyes in sleep till they stood before the mercy seat, pleading for pardon before it is too late. “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” [2 Corinthians 6:2.] There are but few sands left in the hour glass of time. Patience and mercy have alike been presumed upon, and if sinners would break the snare of Satan, they must lose no time. 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 7

I call upon those in our schools who do not now see their danger to awaken, and make the Word of God their teacher. Their spiritual eyesight is beclouded and they are led on by a power from beneath to walk and work counter to God. The records of heaven do not testify to them, “Ye are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 8

It is our privilege to have clear and accurate ideas of the truth, that we may be prepared to present them to other minds. Truth is the sanctifier, and a correct knowledge of it we must have for ourselves. Then we can teach others with voice and pen, thus improving our talents and putting them out to the exchangers. Communicating light received brings an increase of light. Constrained by the love of God, lead the students to think for themselves, to see truth for themselves, and let every word be spoken with a heart full of love and tenderness. 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 9

Teaching means much more than many suppose. Urge upon the minds of the students the vital truths of the Bible, letting them repeat them in their own language to be sure that they are comprehended. It requires great skill to make the truth understood. Rivet every point in the mind. This may be a slow process, but it is of ten times more value than rushing over these important subjects without due consideration. 10LtMs, Ms 40, 1895, par. 10

It is not enough that the student believes the truth; he must be drawn out to state it in his own language, that it may be plain that he sees the force of it, and makes the application. And in all teaching never forget that the greatest lesson to be taught and to be learned is to be a co-worker with Jesus Christ, doing the will of God. This constitutes us Christians. The end of all true education is expressed in the words of Christ: “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 40, 1895, par. 11