Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 73, 1897

Our Words, Part 1


July 2, 1897

This manuscript is published as edited in entirety in RH 01/18/1898, 01/25/1898.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:35-37.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 1

It is the privilege of all to fill the chambers of the soul with pure and holy treasures by making themselves thoroughly familiar with the precious words of Christ, spoken for our edification and instruction. “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] This does not mean those who lack reason and intellect. It means that class specified in Isaiah 57:15. By heeding the reproofs and encouragement given in God’s Word, we may “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” [Colossians 1:10, 11.] Those who are thus strengthened will not walk with head bowed down like a bulrush, but the opposite. Cheap, nonsensical remarks, spoken to create levity, will not fall from their lips. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 2

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of our sins.” [Verses 12-14.] Then shall not all, old and young, learn to converse in the language that is spoken by those who are translated into God’s kingdom? Shall not our words be such as will be heard with pleasure by our heavenly Father? 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 3

Many feel at liberty to use the talent of speech recklessly, without thinking of the influence their words will have upon others. The Lord sends His messages by whom He will, and those who feel at liberty to make disparaging remarks of the messengers and the message, need to remember that they would speak the same way of Christ, did He come to them as He came to His own people with a message that did not suit their ideas or their unrenewed hearts. Those who use their talent of speech to mimic the one who is speaking the words of God, are charged with having done this to Christ, for it is done to Him in the person of His saints. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 4

The Jewish priests and rulers held positions of great responsibility. But they were unworthy of the holy office. They were not ignorant men; they were looked upon by the people as wise teachers, whom they must obey. But Christ said, of them, “Whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children, sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” [Matthew 11:16-19.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 5

Here is shown the improper use made of the gift of speech. John was the greatest prophet born of women. “Verily I say unto you,” Christ declared, “among them that are born of women, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist. ... This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before thee.” [Verses 11, 10.] He was sent by God to prepare the way for His only begotten Son; but bitter, unkind words were spoken of Him, and those who spoke these word pronounced judgment on themselves in so doing. “They say, He hath a devil,” Christ said. [Verse 18.] Did that make it so? No; these words were spoken because he called men to repentance. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 6

The pious rulers would not receive John, and neither would they receive Christ, who declared unto them, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] Christ clothed His divinity with humanity to meet humanity where it was, but not to speak the words of humanity. He sat at the table with publicans and sinners, where He was treated with much greater respect than among those of His own nation. He went among the most needy to speak words of life and to sow the seeds of truth, for there He found more hopeful subjects than among the jealous, prejudiced scribes and Pharisees, who thought themselves exalted to heaven by their position. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 7

“Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb, and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.” [Matthew 12:22.] Christ carried on His work among the needy and suffering. These judged Him by His works. When the blind and dumb man was healed, the people were amazed, and they expressed their conviction when they said, “Is not this the Son of David?” meaning, Is not this the Messiah? [Verse 23.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 8

The gracious works they had witnessed were to them a convincing evidence that He who performed them had the power of God, and they had no thought of attributing them to any other agency. Hence the inquiry, “Is not this the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said contemptuously, “This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” [Verses 23, 24.] These words were inspired by Satan. The enmity and prejudice of the rulers was stirred into a fury of madness; and priests and rulers, Pharisees and Sadducees, united in pouring forth their hatred. From the treasure house of their hard, stubborn hearts came the words, “This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 9

Thus the Pharisees sinned against the Holy Ghost. Their talent of speech was used to abuse the world’s Redeemer, and the recording angel wrote their words in the books of heaven. They attributed to satanic agencies the holy power of God, manifested in the works of Christ. They could not evade His wonderful works, or attribute them to natural causes, so they said, They are the works of the devil. In unbelief they spoke of the Son of God as a human being. The works of healing done before them, works which no man had done or could do, were a manifestation of the power of God. But they charged Christ with being in league with hell. Stubborn, sullen, iron-hearted, they determined to close their eyes to all evidence, and thus they committed the unpardonable sin. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 10

“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin,” said Christ, “but now they have no cloak for their sin. ... But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” [John 15:22, 25.] His works of mercy contrasted too decidedly with their pride, and selfishness, and evil actions. They could not bear to have His goodness, mercy, and tender sympathy acted out even to those whom they despised. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 11

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom, divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand; and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:25-30.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 12

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” [Verses 31-33.] In Christ’s works the Pharisees were given sufficient evidence of His mission, but they rejected this evidence. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 13

“O generation of vipers, now can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” [Verse 34.] By their words the Pharisees and Sadducees were exerting a deadly influence upon the people, who looked upon them as wise and good men. They were false teachers, poisoning the religious principles of the people by their deception, and teaching for doctrines the precepts and commandments of men. The Pharisees especially were stirred by a power from beneath, and they strove earnestly to exalt their manufactured precepts, their traditions and man-made commandments, above the law of God. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 14

As for you, Christ said, your words reveal the malignity of your hearts. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Verses 35-37.] Your words are an index of your character, and they will testify against you. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 15

Here we see the importance of carefulness and modesty in the employment of speech. This talent is a great power for good when it is used aright, but it is just as great a power for evil when the words spoken are poisonous. If this talent is abused, out of the heart proceeds evil things. The words are either a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 16

As those who claim to be Christians, we are under solemn obligations to reveal the truth of our profession by our words. The tongue is a little member, but what an amount of good it can do if the heart is pure. If the heart is stored with good things, if it is filled with Christian tenderness, sympathy, and Christlike politeness, this will be shown by the words spoken and the actions performed. The light shining from the Word of God is our guide. Nothing so weakens a church as a wrong use of the talent of speech. We dishonor our Leader when our words are not such as should come from the lips of a Christian. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 17

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] The quality and value of our works are shown by our words. When our works and our words harmonize, we show that we are consecrated to God, perfecting holiness in His fear. As we give ourselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him, He works in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 18

But the work of God is crippled, and God is dishonored, by the abuse of the talent of speech. Jealousy, evil surmising, and selfishness are cherished in the heart, and the words reveal the inward corruption. Evil thinking and evil speaking are indulged by many who name the name of Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 19

The love of God in the heart will always lead us to speak gentle words. “Charity (love) suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.” [1 Corinthians 13:4-8.] Shall we not remember this? If the love of God is in our hearts, we shall not think evil, we shall not be easily disturbed, we shall not give loose reign to passion, but we will show that we are yoked up with Christ, and that the restraining power of His Spirit leads us to speak words that He can approve. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 20

The yoke of Christ is the restraint of the Holy Spirit, and when we become heated by passion, let us say, No; I have Christ by my side, and I will not make Him ashamed of me by speaking hot, fiery words. Christ’s word to all who are connected with Him, is, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 21

The love of Christ in the heart is revealed by the expression of praise to God. Those who are consecrated to God, soul, body, and spirit, will reveal this by their sanctified conversation. Of their hearts are right, their words will be pure and clean, showing an elevated principle working in a sanctified direction. The mind will be absorbed in holy contemplation, and there will be a sense of the presence of God. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 22

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” [2 Peter 1:10-12.] This admonition an warning was left upon record for all who have a knowledge of the truth, and claim to be Seventh-day Adventists. Our probation is of more value to us than all the gold or silver of the whole world. Man has been given a second test and trial; but it was at an infinite cost to heaven that we were granted another opportunity to form characters that God can approve. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 23

Christ united His divinity with humanity. He possessed the qualities of infinite and finite. In His person all excellence dwells. His sacrifice was our ransom from the slavery of sin. By His atonement we are enable to sit with Him on His throne, and share His glory. Then shall we, with such possibilities before us, show ourselves incapable of appreciating the heavenly gift? As the recipients of His grace shall we not act our part in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling? For it is God that works in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Man works, and God works. The Lord can do nothing without the cooperation of man. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 24

“The seed is the word of God.” “He that receiveth the seed into good ground is he that heareth the word and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit (even the fruit of the lips, in appropriate words to the glory of God); and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” [Luke 8:11; Matthew 13:23.] Christ was fruitful, because He had that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 25

The fruitful hearer is a sincere receiver and believer in Jesus Christ. A true believer shows that his character has been transformed by living a spiritual and practical life, by living on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. This will be revealed by the words that fall from the lips, and by zeal in good works. Has the hearing of the Word humbled our pride? Has it wrought genuine repentance in the soul? Do the fruits of righteousness appear in our lives, shown by our holy conversation? Are we bringing forth fruit continually to the glory of God? Or do others see how little we, who profess to believe the truth, reveal it in our own characters. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 26

We are responsible for the gift of hearing and for the gift of speech. These gifts may be used to the glory of God. Will not those who have ears to hear, hear as for their lives, and hear to a purpose? Take heed and obey. To truly believe on the Son of God is to have Christ dwelling in the heart, and to dwell in Christ. Then the Lord is glorified by a pure and holy service. If you love Jesus, you will glorify Him by your words. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 27

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” [Ezekiel 36:25-28.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 28

Will not those thus cleansed by the Holy Spirit manifest it by the words spoken? Will they not be holy in all manner of conversation? Having received the message of truth for this time, will they not reveal this truth “in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.” [2 Peter 3:11-14.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 29

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” [1 Peter 1:13-17.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 30

Is Christ formed within us, the hope of glory? If so, the society of the frivolous will be avoided. If we put on Christ, and wear His garment of righteousness, we shall certainly reveal the bright beams of His righteousness by pure and holy conversation. Let all who read these words take heed, and ascertain the character of the fruit borne by their words. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 31

There is too little conversation among Christians in regard to the precious chapters in their experience. They seldom make mention of the divine goodness, mercy, and love of God, manifested in His giving His Son to die for the world. This He has done for us, and should not our love and gratitude demand expression? Should we not strive to make our words a help and an encouragement to each other in our Christian experience? Unbelievers are often convicted as they listen to pure words of praise. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 32

“Wherefore laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies, and envies and all evil speaking, as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be that ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 2:1-5.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 33

The education of speech must not be neglected in our schools. Those who go into society, with a desire and a determination to be as Christ commanded them to be, will not condescend to unchristian conversation. They will seek to represent Christ by their spirit and words. They will aim to promote the happiness of all with whom they come in contact by revealing Christ as the sin-pardoner, by taking notice of those who are neglected, by informing the ignorant, encouraging the desponding, comforting the afflicted, supporting the weak; and in these labors of love they will realize that they have a divine Helper. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 34

“If any man among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:26, 27.] Those who do this work must seek strength and wisdom from above. They must be refreshed by drinking from the stream of life, that their labors may not become exhaustive; for those who are doing God’s service will strive to communicate more than they receive. Therefore provision has been made for every soul. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 35

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Zechariah 4:6.] The golden oil, representing the Holy Spirit, is communicated to God’s servants by the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. This will supply the necessities of all who hunger and thirst after righteousness. But if we make no preparation by self-examination and prayer, we cannot receive this precious oil. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 36

Please read Isaiah 58. Great light is given in this chapter. The earnest prayer from the humble, contrite heart will be heard and answered. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh; but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:7, 8.] This we have a right to expect if we co-operate with God by consecrating our selves, soul, body, and spirit, to His keeping. There will then be no cheap experience. No foolish talking or evil speaking will be heard. The tongue will utter right things. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 37

“I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and his great goodness toward the house of israel, which he hath bestowed on them, according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie. He was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them and carried them all the days of old.” [Isaiah 63:7-9.] This should be the theme of our conversation. 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 38

The Lord has rich blessings for all who serve Him in righteousness and truth. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, unselfish purposes, yearnings for purity and holiness, will bear fruit in words that reveal the character of the heart-treasure. This is religion. The Lord will reveal Himself to all who thus serve Him, and will give them knowledge, that they may be fruitful in good words and good deeds. Let us pray as did David, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.” [Psalm 19:14.] 12LtMs, Ms 73, 1897, par. 39