Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 100, 1898

Through Nature to Nature’s God


August 20, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 241. +Note

God speaks to us in nature. It is His voice we hear as we gaze upon the beauty and richness of the natural world. We view His glory in the beauteous things His hand has made. We stand and behold His works without a veil between. God has given us these things that in beholding the works of His hands, we may learn of Him. 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 1

God has given us these precious things as an expression of His love. The Lord is a lover of the beautiful, and to please and gratify us He has spread before us the beauties of nature, even as an earthly parent seeks to place beautiful things before the children that He loves. The Lord is always pleased to see us happy. Sinful as it is with all its imperfections, the Lord has lavished upon this earth the useful and the beautiful. The beautiful, tinted flowers tell of His tenderness and love. They have a language of their own, reminding us of the Giver. 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 2

We may look up through nature to nature’s God. In the beautiful lofty trees, the shrubs, the flowers, God reveals His character. He is to be compared to the most beautiful lilies and roses and pinks. I love to look upon the things of God in nature, for the Lord impresses upon them His character. In love to us He has given them, and He means that we shall have pleasure in them. Then let us not worship the beautiful things in nature, but let us look up through them to nature’s God, and be led to worship the Giver. Let these beautiful ministries of love answer the purpose of God, and draw our hearts to Him, to be filled with the beauties of His character, and adore His goodness, His compassion, His inexpressible love. 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 3

God is good, and greatly to be praised. His mercies have been freely bestowed upon us. He has surrounded us with tokens of His love. The heathen may rage and imagine vain things, but the Lord is unchangeable. He has made the strength of the everlasting hills to be a safe retreat for His people. He has prepared the mountains and the caves for His oppressed and persecuted children. We may sing, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trial.” [Psalm 46:1.] He who made the towering mountains, the everlasting hills—to Him we may look. And He will look from His high and holy place upon those who love and fear Him. He will bless the humble soul. “For thus saith the High and Holy One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 4

O, how thankful I am that I am away from the noisy bustling city! I love the solitude that nature has provided. I love to commune with the God of nature. In the things of nature we are given symbols of the kingdom of heaven. Thank God, we have a city that is pure, whose builder and maker is God. That City cannot be moved. It is as firm as the throne of God. 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 5

To be Christians is to be Christlike. Are we this? With many, unbelief is cultivated as a precious acquisition. Defining what faith is, Paul says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1.] How few cherish faith when they cannot see all things clearly. There are some points that do not appear in all their distinctness, but God grants us sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. All the heart should be enlisted in the side of faith, not on the side of doubt and unbelief. This is the side of darkness. Paul says that through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God, “so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” [Verse 3.] 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 6

God’s work was to bring something into existence which was not then seen. The faith of finite beings we may safely dwell upon, but we dare not go farther than this [which] God’s works reveal. We may contemplate the works of His hand, but He enshrouds Himself in a mystery, and we dare not conjecture, we dare not seek to peer behind the veil. “Without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” [Verse 6.] 13LtMs, Ms 100, 1898, par. 7