Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 60, 1897

True Christianity


June 28, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in WM 83, 154, 297-298. +Note

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” [John 3:14, 15.] In the Word of God alone can we find how we shall secure eternal life. We are not left to guess and conjecture how we shall obtain it: we are to work out the statement made by receiving the truth in the heart. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” [Verse 36.] “And as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 1

The love of God in the heart, manifested in true, unselfish missionary labor, will be more mighty than the sword or courts of justice in dealing with the evildoer. The living missionary, with his heart overflowing with the love of God, can break down the barriers. The medical missionary, taking up his appointed work, cannot only relieve bodily maladies, but through the love and grace of Christ, can point to an uplifted Saviour and bid the sinner “Look and live,” for Christ alone can heal the diseased soul, leprous with sin. [Numbers 21:8.] The hearts of men will often harden under rebuke, but they cannot withstand the love expressed toward them in Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 2

The Lord has enlisted every soul in His service, to bring back the transgressor of His law back to obedience and loyalty to Christ. He accepts the human agents that will devote themselves to His service, to work with the combined influences of the heavenly, unfallen intelligences to reshape, and restore the moral image of God in man. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 3

Bid the sinner have hope, and not feel that he is an outcast from his fellows. Reveal to the desperate, discouraged, human sufferers that he is a prisoner of hope. Let your message be, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Present before man in your life a love that is higher than it is possible for you to express in words. You are laborers together with God, to bring back the lost faith in God. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 4

The love that is inspired by the love we have for Jesus will see in every soul, rich and poor, a value that cannot be measured by human estimate. The world sinks into insignificance in comparison with the value of one soul. The love of God revealed for man is beyond any human computation; it is infinite. And the human agent, who is a partaker of the divine nature, will love as Christ loves, will work as Christ worked. There will be an inborn compassion and sympathy which will not fail nor be discouraged. This is the spirit that should be encouraged to live in every heart and be revealed in every life. This love can only exist, and be kept refined, holy, pure, and elevated, through the love in the soul for Jesus Christ, nourished by daily communion with God. All this coldness on the part of Christians is a denial of the faith. But this spirit will melt away before the bright beams of Christ’s love in the follower of Christ. Willingly, naturally, he will obey the injunction, “Love one another as I have loved you.” [John 13:34.] 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 5

The soul of the poor is of just as much value in the sight of God as the soul of the rich. Then labor for those who need your labor, although you may get very little sympathy from those who are prosperous. There is a class you will have to labor for first—the desperate cases—you may then through them reach the higher classes. There is a work to do for the wealthy in awakening them to a sense of their responsibility and accountability to God to conduct all their business relations as those who must give an account to Him who will judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 6

The wealthy man needs your labor in the love and fear of God. He trusts in his riches, and feels not his danger. The eyes of his mind need to be attracted to things of enduring value. He needs to recognize the authority of true goodness which says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden: and I will give you rest.” Exchange that yoke which you have manufactured for your neck, and which you have been perplexing yourself over, and take My yoke upon you. “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto you souls: for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” [John 7:37.] 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 7

“Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” [John 6:37.] If he would only listen, if he would only hear, if he would only take time to consider, he could not but discern in these invitations the superior goodness that invites him, that it is the voice of the true Shepherd that calls him, and that God will give him something of more value than gold or silver or precious stones. O, that the man of wealth, in the place of trusting in uncertain riches, would realize that he is a responsible agent, a steward of the means entrusted to him, that God calls upon him to be faithful in the use and improvement of his goods, and that he may, if he will, become a distinguished worker together with God in uplifting humanity, the beings whom Christ came to the world to save. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 8

The Lord has entrusted the human agent with capabilities and power and influence; He has endowed him with money; but these are not to be lavishly spent in self-gratification. To every man He has given his work, to be a co-worker with Him in the great redemption plan. The money that He has entrusted to His human agents is to be used to bless humanity, in relieving the necessities of the suffering and the needy. They are not to feel that they have done a very wonderful thing when they have endowed certain institutions and churches with large gifts. In the wise providence of God, there are constantly presented before them the very ones who need their help. They are to relieve the suffering, to clothe the naked, to help many who are in hard and trying circumstances, who are wrestling with all their energies to keep themselves and their families from a pauper’s home. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 9

God never meant that this misery should exist. He never meant that one man should have an abundance of the luxuries of life, while the children of others should cry for bread. The means over and above the positive necessities of life are entrusted to you to do good, to bless humanity. God has entrusted His goods to stewards, and if these stewards love Him, they will love those formed in His image. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 10

Those who are yoked up with Christ will not give with a patronizing air, as though they should have great praise and be extolled for their benevolence. They are trading with their Lord’s goods, not their own, and they will have to give an account in the judgment of the use they have made of His entrusted capital. “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 11

Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, laid off His royal crown, laid aside His royal robe, and clothed His divinity with humanity. Though adored and worshipped by the angelic host, He left His high command, and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. This is not riches in houses and land, but the riches which endureth unto eternal life. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 12

The question was asked by the disciples of Christ: “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven?” [Mark 10:23.] Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, became poor for our sakes. He penetrated into the very inner circles of life. He sought to arrest the actors in domestic life in the midst of their household cares, and called their attention to the fact that while they were engaged in the busy activities of life, they had eternal interest to secure. He tells them: Your various endowments are so many talents. These the Lord has entrusted to you to be improved, and by their use to gain other talents. They will increase through constant exercise. God has made men almoners of His providence, to wisely use the entrusted capital, as well as the endowments of His grace, to do all the good they possibly can, and thus constitute themselves wise stewards, faithful stewards, laborers together with God, to reshape, to elevate, and [to] help the very ones who need help. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 13

For the rich to give gifts to those who have abundance is not God’s plan at all. It is the distressed, the down-trodden, the discouraged, the hungry, the suffering, the naked, the poor, whom Christ says, “ye have always with you.” [John 12:8.] We need to take more close views of God’s Word and of eternity. This will not disqualify anyone for the duties of this life or to act a Christlike part in society. The gospel of Christ is not only to be believed but to be acted. We are to be doers of the Word. We are daily determining our destiny in the future life by the character we develop in this. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 14

It is not fitful service that God accepts; it is not emotional spasms of piety that make us children of God. It is by working from principles that are true, firm, and abiding. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, He will be revealed in the character, which will be Christlike. We are to represent Christ to the world as Christ represented the Father. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 15

The command is given, Work while the day lasts: the night cometh when no man can work. Jesus asks, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” [John 11:9.] If these hours were employed as if men realized that they were accountable human beings, responsible before God, as serious, candid, heaven-bought subjects, keeping eternity in view, there is sufficient time, if properly employed, to secure for every soul an inheritance among the sanctified in the kingdom of God. There is time for them to be instrumental in the saving of many souls through precept and example, so that we shall bring sheaves to the Master, and lay our trophies at His feet. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure loving, no time to give to the indulgence of sin. Time is golden. We have characters to form for the future, immortal life. “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Angels of God are watching the development of character; angels of God are weighing moral worth. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 16

It is said of one of earth’s rulers, when the physician told him that he could live but a few moments, that he exclaimed, “A kingdom for one hour’s time.” But he had been granted, year after year, the twelve hours of the day, but he had not spent them in securing his eternal interests. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 17

Jesus Christ has engaged to save every soul who will believe in Him as his personal Saviour. He has engaged us in His service, pointing out to us that which He expects us to do. He has given us a glimpse of eternity, that we may realize that there is something higher than temporal things to engage our attention and call into activity every delegated power. They must be used to glorify our Redeemer. Christ calls for the human agent to co-operate with the divine agencies in saving the world. Not one is to feel that he can use his time as he chooses. Heavenly requirements are not to be ignored. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 18

It is the almost universal practice of the human agent to subordinate the eternal to the temporal, the claims of the future, the unseen, to the common affairs of the present. But Christ declares, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “No man can serve two masters.” [Matthew 6:24.] The god of this world claims wonderful activity and constant slavery to his will. Christ, the uplifted Saviour, calls men to look and live. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” [John 14:6.] Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things of secondary importance shall be added unto you. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 19

If the churches who have had great light and great opportunities will walk humbly with God, the Lord will give every individual member a work to do for Him. If you make no success in the highways, go into the byways, to the class that are poor, despised, and forsaken. If you work for them mounted on the stilts of your dignity and superiority, you will accomplish nothing: but if you will be truly converted to the Lord Jesus Christ, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart, you will evidence that you have learned how to work the works of God. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 20

This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent, that you go to Him for counsel and instruction, and pray and watch and work. Waste nothing in your life practice. Jesus worked a miracle to feed the five thousand tired, hungry multitude. He selected a pleasant place to accommodate the people: “for there was much grass in that place,” and the Lord gave His orders, commanding the people to sit down. [John 6:10.] Then took He the five loaves and two small fishes. No doubt many remarks were made as to the impossibility of satisfying five thousand hungry men, beside women and children, from that scanty store. Then Jesus gave thanks and placed the food in the hands of the disciples to be distributed to the multitude. The food increased in the hands of the disciples as they gave to the multitude. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 21

Here is a lesson to be learned. Blessings, either spiritual or temporal, will accompany those who will impart that which they receive from the Master to the multitude who are in need of these gifts. In the act of imparting them an increase is given of God. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 22

The necessities of the great multitude were supplied. Then comes the words of Christ, “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost.” [Verse 12.] He who had all resources at His command gives a lesson that not a fragment should be wasted. He who has plenty should not waste. Let nothing be wasted that can do good to any one. Collect every fragment, for some one will need it. These lessons in regard to spiritual blessings bestowed are to be carefully treasured. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 23

“Freely ye have received; freely give.” [Matthew 10:8.] When will men learn to cooperate with God in this great work? In every large city there are human beings who are not cared for or made of as much consideration as the brutes. In England I saw the wretchedness of the poor children in the cities, clad in dirty rags, half starved, with vice and deprivation written upon their countenances. Moral degradation meets the eye and pains the senses. Human beings live in dark cellars, houses that are reeking with dampness and filth. Children are born in these terrible places. In infancy and youth their eyes behold nothing attractive; nothing of the beauty of the things in nature that God has created cheers their vision. They only hear the name of God in profanity. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 24

These children are left to grow up molded and fashioned in character by the low precepts, the disagreeable surrounding, and wretched example around them. Impure words and the fumes of tobacco and liquor are all that greet the senses. Want and misery is on every hand because of the insufficient and miserable food, which is unfit for human beings to subsist upon; and from these abodes of wretchedness there are sent forth piteous cries for food and clothing by many who know nothing about prayer. 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 25

Christians, will you consider that Jesus gave His life to save these souls? The stewards of means who are enjoying the gifts of God, add house after house and farm after farm to their possessions; they build homes for their dogs that are like palaces, and keep hired attendants to take care of them, while their fellow beings are left to misery and crime, to disease and death. How long, O Lord, how long, shall this state of things exist? 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 26

God will judge the world in righteousness by that man Jesus whom He hath ordained to judge the quick and the dead; and those who have long neglected to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to give comfort and relief to suffering humanity, will have to give an account to God for the misapplication of His entrusted talents. What a record will then appear of money spent on pleasures and the gratification of appetite in wine and liquor and rich dainties, for extravagant houses and furniture and dress, while human beings receive not one pitying look, one word of sympathy. “Ye are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] 12LtMs, Ms 60, 1897, par. 27