Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 48, 1898

Treasure Hid in a Field


April 3, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in 13MR 129-134.

The blessings of the gospel are compared to treasure hid in a field, “the which when a man findeth it, he hideth it, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” [Matthew 13:44.] 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 1

The treasures of the gospel are hidden, for many have eyes but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; they have intellect, but they discern not the hidden treasure. A man may pass over the place where treasure has been hidden. In his dire necessity, he may sit down to rest, knowing not of the treasure hidden at the roots of the tree where he is resting. This represents the blindness of the Jews. They had eyes, but they did not see. The treasure house of all knowledge was in their midst, but they knew it not. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 2

Christ wept over Jerusalem, saying, O that thou hadst known, even thou in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace. But now they are hid from thine eyes. “Therefore,” He said, “I speak unto them in parables; because they seeing, see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing, ye shall see, and shall not perceive; for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their eyes are dull of hearing, and their ears they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” [Verses 13-15.] 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 3

In His miracles Christ gave the Jewish people abundant evidence that He was the Messiah. But His teaching called for a decided change in their selfish, ungodly practices. They saw that if they received Christ, they must give up their cherished maxims and traditions. It involved a cross to give up their errors and receive changeless, eternal truth. Therefore they would not admit the most conclusive evidence that God could give to establish faith in Christ. They were afraid of being convinced, lest they should be converted and be compelled to yield up their preconceived opinions. They professed to believe the Old Testament Scriptures, yet the testimony of the Scriptures regarding Christ’s life and character, they refused to believe. The treasure of the gospel of truth, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, was among them, but because of their perverted religious theories, they would not receive the greatest gift that heaven could bestow. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 4

Among the chief rulers many believed on Him; “but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.” [John 12:42.] They were convinced; they believed Christ to be the Son of God; but it was not in harmony with their ambitious desires to confess Him. They had not the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, the faith that would have made them doers of the Word, and secured for them the heavenly treasure. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 5

Faith in Christ as the world’s Redeemer calls for an acknowledgment of the enlightened intellect, controlled by a heart that can discern and appreciate the heavenly treasure. The Scriptures are not to be adapted to meet the prejudices and jealousies of men. They can be understood only by those who are humbly seeking the hidden treasure. These receive the truth in prophecy, and submit to its authority. They are sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. This faith is inseparable from repentance and transformation of character. To have faith means to find and receive the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes. Such believers are represented by the man who found hidden treasure in a field. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 6

Many poor souls torture themselves, many go on long pilgrimages, thinking to find Christ. If this were the way to secure the treasure, the poor would be in a hopeless condition. The afflicted, the lame, and the blind, would fail to find the treasure. But salvation is given without money and without price. All we are asked to do is to believe in Christ as our personal Saviour, and be doers of His Word. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 7

“The righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:6-10.] 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 8

The heavenly treasure is to be sought for. “It cannot be bought with gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. ... The gold and the crystal cannot equal it, and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of pure gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of pearl; for the price thereof is above rubies.” [Job 28:15, 17, 18.] “All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that retaineth her.” [Proverbs 3:15-18.] 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 9

The treasures of the Word of God are for all who will seek for them. But they are hidden from those whose minds are filled with worldly, ambitious thoughts. Paul speaks of a class who have lost their spiritual eyesight. “If our gospel be hid,” he declares, “it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” [2 Corinthians 4:3-7.] 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 10

“The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” [1 Corinthians 2:14.] If the heavenly treasure could be made plain to the eyes of men, as the gold was revealed to the poor man’s wondering, delighted eyes, those thus blessed would be so rejoiced that they could not hide the treasure. They would go everywhere, saying, Hear what the Lord has done for me. Their hearts would be filled with rejoicing; for the value of this treasure is above that of rubies, pearls, gold, or silver. The contents of the richest mines cannot compare with it. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 11

Philip found the Lord, and fully believed in Him. He rejoiced so because of finding this treasure, that he went to hunt for Nathanael. He found him under a fig tree, and said unto him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” [John 1:45.] The treasure that Philip had found was a knowledge that Christ the Son of God was among them. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 12

Received by faith into the heart, the gospel changes the whole man. The Word of God is the bread of life. Taken into the life, it transforms the character, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 13

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3.] He may conjecture and imagine, but he cannot see the treasure with the eye of faith. Christ gave His precious life to secure for us this inestimable treasure. Without shedding of blood, there is no remission for sins, no treasure for any perishing soul. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 14

How few realize that the Bible is the great instrument of God’s government through probationary time. This Word is the direct unveiling of truth. It is spoken of as “the mystery which has been hidden for ages.” [Colossians 1:26.] We need a far greater knowledge of the Word of God than we now have. A man may go through every grade for acquiring scholastic knowledge. He may devote all his capabilities to book learning; but unless he has the knowledge of God, unless he understands and practices the laws which govern his being, he will destroy himself by erroneous habits, by using tobacco, tea, coffee, and strong drink. Thus he thinks to brace himself up, but instead, he loses his power of self-appreciation. He uses his brain too much. He loses his self-control. He cannot reason acutely upon the matters that concern him most. He is reckless and irrational in his treatment of his body. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 15

By wrong habits, he is making of himself a complete wreck. His neglect to cultivate pure, clean, healthful principles, in order that harmonious action may be preserved, that he may be a sound man, will leave him in the control of habits that will ruin his peace. Happiness he cannot have. For a time he is elated under the stimulus of alcohol, but it is followed by sluggish movements of the brain. His indulgence in unnatural habits has destroyed the harmonious action of all the parts of the being. His years of taxing study are lost, for he has ruined himself. He has misused his physical and mental powers, and the temple of the body is in ruins. He thought to gain a treasure by acquiring worldly knowledge, and he laid his Bible aside, ignorant that it contained a treasure worth everything to him. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 16

Daniel in Babylon chose the wisdom that would vindicate the honor of God. He and his three companions decided that it was in the wise purpose of God that they had been taken as captives to the wicked and corrupt city of Babylon. They did not leave their religion behind them in their own nation. They determined that they would not devote their time to complaint, but that they would be cheerful, and faithful in all their business transactions; that God’s compassion for them demanded the most unselfish service on their part as His representatives. They would preserve the true worship, and not permit one slur to be cast upon God. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 17

We read that God gave these youth wisdom and knowledge. God rejoices to give His Spirit to those who co-operate with Him. He blessed Daniel and his fellows, that they might reveal Him to the idolatrous nation with which they were connected. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 18

Man is the crowning work of all that God has made. The proper study of every learner is man. Science, true and unadulterated in all its achievements, is to be laid at the feet of the God of science. Man is a being to be prized. Holy angels are sent from heaven to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. There are those who would think it lowering to their dignity to ministers to suffering humanity. Many look with indifference and contempt upon those who have laid the temple of the soul in ruins. But these are the objects of divine compassion. Angels from the heavenly courts stand by the side of those who do God’s service by ministering to their fellow men. Angels encamp round about the little flock that love and fear God, and were we half awake, we would feel their companionship. 13LtMs, Ms 48, 1898, par. 19