Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 59, 1897

“Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth.”


June 24, 1897

Formerly Undated Ms 26. Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 106, 227, 280; ML 189; 2MCP 436; 1BC 1097.

Truth has a power to elevate the receiver. It has a sanctifying influence upon mind and character. It will make believers more intelligent. A Christian will understand his responsibility to God and to his fellow men if he is truly connected with the Lamb of God, who gave His life for the world. Only by a continual improvement of the intellectual as well as the moral powers can we hope to answer the purpose of our Creator. God is displeased with those who are too careless or indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. A Christian should possess more intelligence and keener discernment than the worldling. The study of God’s Word is continually expanding the mind and strengthening the intellect. There is nothing that will so refine and elevate the character, and give vigor to every faculty, as the continual exercise of the mind to grasp and comprehend weighty and important truths. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 1

The human mind becomes dwarfed and enfeebled when dealing with commonplace matters only, never rising above the level of time and sense to grasp the mysteries of the unseen. The understanding is gradually brought to the level of the things with which it is constantly familiar. The mind will contract its powers and lose its ability if it is not exercised to acquire additional knowledge, and put to the stretch to comprehend the relations of divine power in nature, and in the sacred Word. But an acquaintance with facts and theories, however important they may be in themselves, is of little real value unless put to a practical use. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 2

Man is not what he might be, and what it is God’s will that he should be. The strong power of Satan upon the human race keeps them upon a low level, but this need not be so, else Enoch could not have become so elevated and ennobled as to walk with God. Man need not cease to grow intellectually and spiritually during his lifetime. But the minds of many are so occupied with themselves and their own selfish interests as to leave no room for higher and nobler thoughts. And the standard of intellectual as well as spiritual attainments is far too low. With many, the more responsible the position they occupy, the better pleased are they with themselves; and they cherish the idea that the position makes and gives character to the man. Few realize that they have a constant work before them to develop forbearance, sympathy, charity, conscientiousness, and fidelity—traits of character indispensable to those who occupy positions of responsibility. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 3

All connected with God’s work should have a sacred regard for the rights of others, which is but obeying the principles of the law of God. Men cannot love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, and be as cold as icebergs. They not only rob God of the love due to Him, but they are robbing their neighbor as well. Love is a plant of heavenly birth, and it must be fostered and nourished. Affectionate hearts, truthful, loving words, will make happy families, and exert an elevating influence upon all who shall come within the sphere of their influence. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 4

Those who make the most of their privileges and opportunities will be, in the Bible sense, talented and educated men; not merely learned, but educated in mind, in manners, in deportment. They will be refined, tender, pitiful, affectionate. This the Lord has shown me is what He requires of His people. God has given us powers to be used, to be developed and strengthened by education. We should reason and reflect, carefully marking the relation between cause and effect. When this is practiced, there will be on the part of many, greater thoughtfulness and care in regard to their words and actions, that they may fully answer the purpose of God in their creation. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 5

We should ever bear in mind that we are not only learners, but teachers in this world, fitting ourselves and others for a higher sphere of action in the future life. The measure of man’s usefulness is in knowing the will of God, and in doing it. It is within our power to so improve in mind and manners that God will not be ashamed to own us. We are His peculiar people. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 6

We are in danger of regarding Christ’s ministers simply as men, not recognizing them as representatives of Himself. All personal considerations should be laid aside; we must listen for the Word of God through His ambassadors. Christ is ever sending messages to those who listen for His voice. On the night of our Saviour’s agony in the garden of Gethsemane, the sleeping disciples heard not the voice of Jesus. They had a dim sense of the angels’ presence, but lost the power and glory of the scene. By drowsiness and stupor, they failed to receive the evidence which would have strengthened their souls for the terrible scenes before them. Thus the very men who most need divine instruction often fail to receive it because they do not place themselves in communion with heaven. Satan is ever seeking to impress and control the mind, and none of us are safe except as we have a constant connection with God. We must momentarily receive supplies from heaven, and if we would be kept by the power of God, we must be obedient to all His requirements. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 7

The condition of your bearing fruit is that you abide in the vine. “Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” [John 15:4-6.] 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 8

All your good purposes and good intentions will not enable you to withstand the test of temptation. You must be men and women of prayer. Your petitions must not be faint, occasional, and fitful, but earnest, persevering, and constant. It is not essential to be alone, or to bow upon your knees to pray. In the midst of your labor, your souls can be often uplifted to God, taking hold upon His strength. Then you will be men of high and holy purposes, of noble intentions. You will not for any consideration be swerved from truth, right, and justice. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 9

All are pressed with urgent cares, burdens, and duties; but the greater the pressure upon you, the heavier the burdens you have to bear, the greater your need of divine aid. Jesus will be your Helper. You need constantly the light of life to lighten your pathway, and then its divine rays will reflect upon others. The Word of God is a perfect whole, because perfect in all its parts. It is the conscientious attention to what the world calls little things that makes the great beauty and success of life. Little deeds of charity, little words of kindness, little acts of self-denial, a wise improvement of opportunities, a diligent cultivation of little talents, make great men in God’s sight. If these little things are faithfully attended to, if these graces be in you and abound, they will make you perfect in every good work. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 10

It is not enough to be willing to give liberally to the cause of God. He calls for unreserved consecration of all your executive powers. Your energy and perseverance in perfecting a Christian character should be as much greater than that displayed in any other pursuit as the things of eternity are of more importance than temporal affairs. The Lord wants your influence to be exerted in the church and in the world to elevate the standard of Christianity. True Christian character should be marked by a fixedness of purpose, an indomitable determination which cannot be molded or subdued by maxims and customs and laws of earth or hell. He who is not blind to the attraction of worldly honors, indifferent to threats, and unmoved by allurements, will be, all unexpectedly to himself, overthrown by Satan’s devices. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 11

God calls for complete and entire consecration; and anything short of this He will not accept. The more difficult your position, the more you need Jesus. The love and fear of God kept Joseph pure and untarnished in the king’s court. He was exalted to great wealth, to the high honor of being next to the king, and this elevation was as sudden as it was great. It is impossible to stand upon a lofty height without danger. The tempest leaves unharmed the modest flowers of the valley, while it wrestles with the lofty tree upon the mountain. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 12

There are many men whom God could have used with wonderful success when pressed with poverty—He could have made them useful here, and crowned with glory hereafter—but prosperity ruined them; they were dragged down to the pit, because they forgot to be humble, forgot that God was their strength, and became independent and self-sufficient. Joseph bore the test of character in diversity, and the gold was undimmed by prosperity. He showed the same lofty regard for God’s will when he stood next the throne as when in the prison cell. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 13

Joseph carried his religion everywhere, and this was the secret of his unwavering fidelity. You must guard against everything like presumption, and cherish that spirit which will suffer any temporal loss rather than sin. No victory you can gain will be half so precious as that gained over self, over your hereditary and cultivated traits of character. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 14

All should qualify themselves for the faithful discharge of their God-given responsibilities. They should attend to every little duty with as much fidelity as to matters of greater importance. All should study carefully how they can themselves become most useful, and how they can themselves be a blessing to those with whom they associate. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 15

All who profess to be children of God should unceasingly bear in mind that they are missionaries [and] in their labors brought in connection with all classes of minds. There will be men who are untrue in their dealing with their fellow men; there will be the aristocrat, the vain, the proud, the frivolous, the independent, the complaining, the desponding, the discouraged, the fanatical, the egotistical, the timid, and the sensitive ones; the elevated in mind, and the courteous in manner, the dissipated, the uncourteous, and the superficial—in fact, every grade will be met in our work. These varied minds cannot be treated alike; yet all, whether they be rich or poor, high or low, dependent or independent, need kindness, sympathy, truth, and love. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 16

By mutual contact our minds should receive polish and refinement. We are dependent upon one another—closely bound together by the ties of human brotherhood. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 17

“Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man’s weakness grows the strength of all.”
12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 18

It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man and woman who has tasted of the love of Christ, and has received into the heart the divine illumination, is required of God to shed light on the pathway of those who are unacquainted with the better way. Every worker should become a witness for Jesus. Social power, sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, must be improved to win souls to the Saviour. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 19

Christ is not to be hid away in the heart, and locked in as a coveted treasure, sacred and sweet, to be enjoyed solely by the possessor. We are to have Christ in our hearts as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life, refreshing all who come in contact with us. We must confess Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility and love, till men shall be charmed with the beauty of holiness. 12LtMs, Ms 59, 1897, par. 20