Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 122, 1897



March 10, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 83; 6BC 1108-1109; 4MR 125-127; 5MR 210; 7MR 333-334; CTr 173.

The time of Daniel’s work, as a chosen vessel of honor for God, was six hundred years before Christ. In this book we find many miracles, and marked, positive evidences that the Lord God of heaven ruled. The Jewish nation were in captivity, scattered as the Lord declared they would be if they did not, as His peculiar people, honor and glorify God. They departed from God; they did not fear and honor His holy name, and the Temple in which they gloried was destroyed. Their sacred rites, their sacrifices and ceremonies, ceased. The sacred order of the Levitical priesthood was no longer maintained. Their form of religious service, which the Lord had given them as a blessing whereby they might have a pure and understanding faith, and through the sacrificial offerings see Christ as the one who would take away the sin of the world, became a ceremonious transaction. The outward ceremonies took the place of the inward work of the heart. The splendid dress of the priests covered hearts that were not renewed by the spirit of the Lord. The outward signs of their religious service were broken up, and the Word of the Lord was fulfilled. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 1

Through His servants God had declared that this would be: 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 2

“Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee? Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” [Deuteronomy 32:1-7.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 3

“They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with them which are not my people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. ... The sword without and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of grey hairs. I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the Lord hath not done all this. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they should consider their latter end! How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up? For their rock is not [as] our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” [Verses 21, 25-31.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 4

“Therefore shall ye lay up these words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up; and thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates; that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.” [Deuteronomy 11:18-21.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 5

“And the Lord will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers. If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in the book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 6

“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off: it is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 7

“See, I have set before thee this day life and death, and good and evil; in that this day I command thee to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply; and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them: I denounce unto you this day, that thou shalt surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land whither thou passest over Jordan to possess it. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 8

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, and to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” [Deuteronomy 30:9-20.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 9

“If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they and they shall cleave unto thee; also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 10

“And it shall come to pass that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 11

“And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest; but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee: and thou shalt fear day and night, and shall have none assurance of thy life. In the morning thou shalt say, would God it were even! and at even thou say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof he spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen and no man shall buy you.” [Deuteronomy 28:58-68.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 12

“Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall eaten, and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness: for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.” [Deuteronomy 31:17-22.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 13

Even the best of men, if left to themselves, will make grave blunders. The more responsibilities placed upon the human agent, the higher his position to dictate and control, the more mischief he is sure to do in perverting minds and hearts if he does not carefully follow the way of the Lord. At Antioch Peter failed in the principles of integrity. Paul had to withstand his subverting influence face to face. This is recorded that others may profit by it, and that the lesson may be a solemn warning to the men in high places, that they may not fail in integrity, but keep close to principle. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 14

After all the failures of Peter, after his fall and restoration, his long course of service, his intimate acquaintance with Christ, his knowledge of Christ’s pure, straightforward practice of principle; after all the instruction he had received, all the gifts and knowledge and great influence in preaching and teaching the Word, is it not strange that he should dissemble and evade the principles of the gospel, for fear of man, or in order to gain his esteem? Is it not strange that he should waver, and be two-sided in his position? May God give every man a sense of his own personal helplessness to steer his own vessel straight and safely into the harbor. The grace of Christ is essential every day. His matchless grace alone can save our feet from falling. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 15

Israel trusted in the ark of God and worshipped it instead of the God which the ark represented. And the Lord removed from His people the symbol of His presence, the assurance to them of the presence and power of God. Then the Jewish nation no longer stood as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. They had forgotten their God, and were scattered into all parts of the world. Those who were loyal and steadfast and true in obedience to His commandments, the Lord favored. He manifested Himself to them in order to keep up the light of His presence, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness. In the absence of the ceremonial ordinances, the outward display and glory of God was removed from the Jewish nation for such a time as God determined; but the inner glory of representative men was to shine forth. Even in the land of their captivity was the Lord God revealed. For all who were faithful, wherever they were, the way was left open to approach God through prayer and supplication and heavenly communion. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 16

“When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication to thee in this house, then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers. ... 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 17

“If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shalt pray unto the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name: then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee (for there is no man that sinneth not), and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; yet if they shall think themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; and so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies which carried them away captives, and pray unto thee in toward land which thou gave unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 18

“Then hear thou their prayer in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them that have carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them: for they be thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron: that thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee. For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as they spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.” [1 Kings 8:33-34, 44-53.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 19

This prayer of Solomon upon that great occasion was not made to God while standing upon his feet. The king bent upon his knees in the humble position of a petitioner. “And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread out to heaven. And he stood and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 20

“The Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us; that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” [Verses 54-61.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 21

“And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house which thou hast built, to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk before me as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 22

“But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: and at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by shall be astonished, and shall hiss, and shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshiped them, and served them; therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil.” [1 Kings 9:1-9.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 23

The promise of the Lord is given to Solomon and to all Israel. God declared to him, “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me.” [Verse 3.] But the Lord is not confined to temples made with hands. He has revealed that He will visit the isolated ones on the times of their captivity and distress. He will cheer them by special manifestations of His glory. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 24

Daniel was but a youth when carried away captive into Babylon. He was about fifteen or sixteen years old, for he is called a child, which means that he was in his youth. Why did Daniel refuse to eat at the king’s luxurious table? Why did he refuse the use of wine as his beverage, when it was at the king’s command that it was placed before him? He knew that by use wine would become to him a pleasant thing, and would be preferred before water. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 25

Daniel could have argued that at the royal table and at the king’s command, there was no other course for him to pursue. But he and his fellows had a council together. They canvassed the entire subject as to how they would improve their physical and mental powers by the use of wine. They studied this subject most diligently. The wine of itself, they decided, was a snare. They were acquainted with the history which had come to them in parchments of Nadab and Abihu. In these men the use of wine had encouraged their love for it. They drank wine before their sacred service in the sanctuary. Their senses were confused. They could not distinguish the difference between the sacred and the common fire. In their brain-benumbed state they did that which the Lord had charged all who served in holy office not to do. They put the common fire upon their censers, when they had been expressly charged to use only the sacred fire of the Lord’s own kindling, that never went out. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 26

The instruction given to the people was carefully treasured up, and often composed into song, and taught to their children, that through song they might become familiar with the truths. Daniel and his companions had been educated in regard to Nadab and Abihu and also Abel, Seth, Enoch, and Noah. They cherished the truth that had been given them from human lips passing down the line from one generation to another. The image of God was engraved upon the heart. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 27

A second consideration of these youthful captives was that the king always asked a blessing before his meals, and addressed his idols as Deity. He set apart a portion of his food to be presented to the idol gods whom he worshipped, and also a portion of the wine. This act, according to their religious instruction, consecrated the whole to the heathen god. To sit at the table where such idolatry was practiced, Daniel and his three brethren deemed, would be a dishonor to the God of heaven. These four children decided that they could not sit at the king’s table, to eat of the food placed there, or to partake of the wine, all of which had been dedicated to an idol god. This would indeed implicate them with heathenism, and dishonor the principles of their national religion and their God. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 28

There was much involved in this decision. They were regarded as slaves, but were particularly favored because of their apparent intelligence and comeliness of person. But they decided that any pretense, even to sit at the table of the king and eat of the food or accept of the wine, even if they did not drink it, would be a denial of their religious faith. There was no presumption with those youth, but a firm love for truth and righteousness. They did not choose to be singular, but they must be else they would corrupt their ways in the courts of Babylon, and be exposed to every king of temptation in eating and drinking. The corrupting influences would remove their safeguard, and they would dishonor God, and ruin their own characters. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 29

The education which these four youth had received was not after the order of the worldly schools, but according to the plan and design of God. The school in which they were educated was not after the order of the schools before the destruction of the old world with a flood because of their sharp intelligence of so-called science, and where nature was acknowledged and worshiped above the God of nature, where infidel sentiments prevailed, and the ideas of God were cloudy and obscure. It was not after the education of Sodom and Gomorrah, to the exclusion of all true religion. These youth were not educated after a worldly standard. They were brought up in homes where there fathers and mothers taught them the fear of the Lord. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 30

And this early education was to these four children the means of their preservation. The lessons learned in their earliest years were the means of their remaining uncorrupted in the courts of Babylon. The truth was truth to them. Its principles were stamped upon their hearts. It was understood by them that with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the lips confession is made unto salvation. The first and great commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength,” was truth to them; and it must be obeyed. [Deuteronomy 6:5.] 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 31

This lay at the foundation of all true education in the schools of the prophets. Enoch was a representative character amid the moral corruption of a degenerate age, when the words that proceeded from God to man were not heeded but disowned and rejected for human philosophy. Men in consequence drank up iniquity as water, while the words of warning were sounding in their ears. First in Abel whom Cain killed, and in Enoch, Seth, Methuselah, Noah, and many others, the Lord had just men, men who kept the fear of the Lord before their generation. They had received the words of instruction from Adam, and this was repeated to their children, and their children’s children. Their memories were not treacherous, feeble, and forgetful in that age. And all who chose to follow the Lord were specially blessed. 12LtMs, Ms 122, 1897, par. 32