Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13

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Ms 34, 1898

Seed-Sowing

NP

March 9, 1898

Previously unpublished.

The man who sows apparently throws away the seed upon which he and his family depend for a livelihood. But he is only giving up a present advantage for a much larger return. He throws the seed away that he may gather it again in an abundant harvest. His dependent family may look forward in faith to large returns. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 1

From the work of seed-sowing most precious lessons may be taught in the family. The children may be instructed to grasp by faith unseen benefits. The influence of God’s miracle-working power is to be shown in the lessons given from nature in our families and in our school. The combined influence of the Lord’s unseen agencies are necessary to the harvesting of the precious crops that come from the seed buried in the ground. The fields must have care; and when the sower has done his work of casting the seed into the ground, this is only the beginning of the end. A watchful caretaker is needed over the seed. When man has done his part in preparing the soil, enriching it if needs be, and planting the seed, showing care, thoughtfulness, and understanding in the work, he must depend upon God, the great Husbandman to send sunshine and showers, to give heat and moisture to the thirsty fields. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 2

If these thoughts could be awakened in children’s minds, if they could be led to understand the wonderful work of God in supplying His large family in our world with the necessities of life, they would realize more of His power. He employs many unseen agencies to make the seeds, apparently thrown away, living plants. First appears the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. God created the electricity that gives life to the seed, vitality to the blade, the ear, and the corn in the ear. Who else can be depended on to give the due proportion required of all the agencies to perfect the harvest of fruits and grains? Let man employ his agencies to the utmost limit; he must then depend on his Creator, who knows just what is needed for the harvest, which is connected to Him by wonderful links of His own wonderful power, beyond the human agency. Without these unseen agencies, seed is valueless. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 3

Christ taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” [Matthew 6:11.] The Lord hears this prayer, and is constantly working to answer it. He lets His sun shine upon the just and the unjust, and gives to all refreshing showers, wind, and rain, thunder and lightning. All are God’s blessing, sent to purify the atmosphere from injurious unhealthful agencies, which, if allowed to accumulate, would poison the atmosphere and destroy everything that breathes the breath of life. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 4

Christ took the parable of the sower to illustrate the things of the kingdom of heaven, and the work of the great Husbandman for His people. Tares have been sown among the wheat, and the work to be done is to strengthen the wheat, to put it in a flourishing condition, that the tares may not assume the supremacy. The kingdom of heaven has laws of government, else it would not be a kingdom. The first great sower of evil drew away by his deceptive power a part of the holy family of heaven. Those who apostatized with him fell from heaven, because there could be no disloyal ones in the Lord’s kingdom. Every disloyal subject was turned out of the blessed abode, the celestial city of God. This rebellion commenced and continued under the power of a lie. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 5

The Son of God came to our world in the garb of humanity to stand as the head of the human race, to limit Satan’s power, and to bring in restoration by revealing the truth. Being Himself the Truth, He could minimize error and magnify the truth. By Him truth was presented and adapted to the apostate race. It is called the Word of God, the truth in contrast with Satan’s falsehood. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 6

Christ is the sower of the seeds of truth. He came to sow the world with truth. By His teaching He enabled the natural mind to understand the things of the spiritual world. The significance of the parable of the sower has not been valued as it should be, because of its unpretending appearance. But Jesus would lead our minds from the natural seed cast into the soil to the Gospel seed, the sowing of which will result in bringing man back to his loyalty to God. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 7

The parables uttered by our Lord have a significance which but few discern. Leading from the natural kingdom to the spiritual kingdom, they are links in the chain of truth that connects man with God and earth with heaven. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He illustrated truth by natural things, that He might lead up to the high and eternal. He used humble representations, that He might place before the eyes of men the precious gems of truth. By this form of presenting truth, He was educating His disciples in regard to God’s processes in the natural world. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 8

Christ’s sayings are precious texts, and all are to search for the truth they reveal as a man searching for hidden treasures. The result will be sure. The eyes of their understanding will be opened to appreciate the teachings of Christ. Wonderful things out of His Word are to come from enlightened minds by pen and voice, that all may believe their word. When Christ came, truth was buried under supposition and error. Christ came to remove these errors, and let truth shine forth in its natural clearness and exalted value. Truth was constantly overshadowed by the traditions of men, which were handed down from rabbi to rabbi. This made the truth of no more value than the word of men. But as truth should dispel the errors which had been piled upon it, the doctrine of grace would be developed. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 9

Men put a forced, mystical construction upon portions of the oracles of God, because these truths condemned their own course of action. This called forth words of reproof from the lips of Christ. To the teachers of the people, the priests and rulers, He said, Ye make void the law of God by your traditions, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Again He rebuked them, “Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29.] Thus it is in 1898. The Word of God is put to the torture to advance apostasy to His law. The teachers of this time are, many of them, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. They seek to turn the people from the law of God to observe and exalt tradition, and to drown the voice of God by the commandments of men. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 10

The teachings of Christ are to become more and more precious as they are impressed upon the heart by the Holy Spirit. In our day their clear and distinct importance as truth, eternal truth, is to be understood, not merely in the sense which Christ’s hearers comprehended them, but in the sense which He Himself attached to them by His own practical life. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 11

Christ reproached His disciples with their slowness of apprehension. He promised them that the Holy Spirit, who should come to them as a Comforter, would bring all things to their remembrance. He told them that He had left in their possession truths of which they little suspected the value. After His resurrection, He went back to the very commencement of Old Testament history, to the writing of Moses and the prophets, and expounded unto them the Scriptures, opening their understanding that they might see the wondrous things contained in His Word. And He said, These are the things I spake unto you while I was yet with you. The mass of rubbish which the teachers of the Word had piled upon the truth kept the minds of the disciples clouded, so that they could not discern truth. The very same work is done now by the opposers of the law of God. By their exposition of the Scriptures, they keep the minds of the people clouded. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 12

The truth is large and broad and deep. It is capable of constant expansion and new development. Like the character of its divine Author, by beholding it, men become changed into the divine image, able to behold more and still more of the divine likeness. They become changed into the divine similitude, and strive to reach the great moral standard, God’s law, which is a transcript of His character. This law elevates the human being to the standard of perfection. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 13

All the similitudes presented by our Saviour from nature are God-given lessons. By the natural world God teaches the principles of His working in the spiritual kingdom. He who becomes a student of God’s work in nature will soon learn the most precious lessons in regard to the spiritual kingdom. The truths of the Jewish economy pointed to Christ. This entire system is a compact prophecy of Christ in the gospel. The gospel is the key which unlocks the mysteries and enables us to dig with all our capabilities for truth as for hidden treasure. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 14

Like a sower in the field, Christ scattered the heavenly grain of His doctrines. These are like precious jewels, which require clear, spiritual eyesight to discern and gather up. His parable teaching is the seed with which the most precious doctrines of His grace were sown. The Christian student is to keep searching. He is not to think that he knows all that is worth knowing. There is a beautiful harmony in the teaching of the Word, but this lies beyond ordinary searching. A wonderful development will reward him who digs for truth as for hidden treasure. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 15

The Lord would have every one who truly believes in Christ as his personal Saviour search the Scriptures perseveringly. He is to keep a sound mind in a sound body by correct habits of industry, combining physical exercise with mental taxation. His efforts are to be stimulated by earnest prayer. The vigorous mind is to be kept free from all chaff of “They say.” The student is to come directly to a “Thus saith the Lord.” “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4.] 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 16

The kingdom of heaven is represented as a treasure hid in a field, the which when a man findeth, he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth the field, in order that he might search every part of the field, and make himself master of the treasure. The world itself is not more richly interlaced by golden veins, and filled with choice and precious things, than is the revelation of God to men. The Bible is the store house of the unsearchable riches of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 17

The natural world has lessons that the mind can easily and safely understand. The students in the schools of the prophets studied from the book of nature and from the Old Testament Scriptures. Those who attended these schools were educated out of the Word in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. In these schools there was meditation and most earnest prayer and the singing of psalms. God gave the students power to discern sacred truth. He gave this power to Daniel. He gave Daniel wisdom and knowledge because he served the Lord, and was determined to be true to principle. He gave him understanding in all mysteries, because he used this knowledge to know God and His work. He will open His truth to all who will do as Daniel did. 13LtMs, Ms 34, 1898, par. 18