Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

286/339

Ms 59, 1900

Jots and Tittles, II

NP

August 16, 1900 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 19MR 313-332.

Dishonesty among Canvassers

The work of colporteurs and canvassers is an important work. It is no child’s play. Some have engaged in canvassing for other books than those bearing on present truth. They had a very low standard of righteousness and honesty. Because they professed to be Christians they were trusted. Confidence was placed in them because they professed to be Seventh-day Adventists, and it was not thought necessary to place them under regulations. Some took advantage of this confidence and made false statements; they committed forgery, robbery, and theft. They squandered the money taken for books, money that belonged to their employers, and several who carried on this business considered it a good chance for them, and laughed one with another over the matter. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 1

The arrangements entered into were those which showed not the slightest appearance of distrusting their honesty. These business arrangements were not supposed to be made with men of corrupt hearts and corrupt morals. But every one of these dishonest transactions are registered in the books of heaven, and there they will remain until the judgment, unless by confession, repentance, and restitution, they shall seek God to write pardon against their names. In the day of judgment many will be found wanting because they have been tested and proved of God and found unworthy of eternal life. God could not trust them in heaven. The decision will be made for eternity; he that is not faithful in that which is least cannot be entrusted with greater responsibilities. They will be judged by their works which have determined their character. Is it a paying business to be dishonest? Never; for if there is no detection here in probationary time, everything will be laid open in the day of final reckoning. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 2

*****

Health and Fashion

There is scarcely any subject upon which people are more ignorant than that which relates to their own life and health. God has placed us under obligation to take care of the habitation which He has given us. We are, as it were, under bonds to our Maker to preserve our bodies in the very best possible condition of health, that we may in our lives render to God perfect service. Our bodies are not our own to abuse as we please, and lessen our physical and mental strength by wrong habits because it is the fashion. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 3

Our bodies belong to God, and it becomes our duty, not only for our own sake but for the sake of those with whom we associate, and for the sake of Christ, who has purchased us with the dear sacrifice of His own life, to become intelligent in regard to our own organism, and feel that it is a sacred duty to obey the laws which God has established in our being. It is as much the religious duty of every individual to study the laws of life and obtain a knowledge of how to live as it is to study any of the requirements of the Word of God. It is impossible to obey the precepts of God’s Word, while our habits of life are at war with nature. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 4

If we treat our bodies and life with reckless wantonness, if we thus gradually destroy our lives, in order to be in harmony with fashion, how can we heed the injunction of the inspired apostle, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, to God, which is your reasonable service. And be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] Here we are positively forbidden to conform to the fashions of the world; yet, how few, even of professed Christians, regard this sacred injunction. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 5

*****

Captain Norman

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales

Dear Sister Henry:

We are greatly surprised to learn in regard to Captain Norman’s donation; but it does not trouble me at all; all anxiety is removed. The Lord knows all about the matter. I cannot explain how it is, unless the man was unbalanced in mind, and really thought to perform all these good purposes. He must have been under a species of insanity, for otherwise he must have known that the thing purposed would, if not carried out, expose him as a deceiver. It is a wonderful thing, and we all consider that the Lord knows how to turn it to our best advantage. The Lord certainly does not want us to be mocked. But I have had presented to me that the influence of his donation would test character, and lead to the withholding of means which should come to us from America. Had Captain Norman never appeared with his donations, many would have received a blessing in giving. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 6

*****

The Christian’s Conflict

Every one who finally shall be crowned victor over the temptations of Satan has something to do, whereby he will have earned, by perfect obedience to God and noble, determined effort to comply with the conditions God has made in His Word, the right to be clothed with Christ’s righteousness. To enter the crusade against Satan, bearing aloft the bloodstained banner of the cross of Christ, is the duty of every servant of Jesus. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 7

*****

Words of Counsel to Ministers

Do deep ploughing that you may realize the very best harvest. Labor to bring to the foundation imperishable material—gold, silver, and precious stones. If you bring hay, wood, and stubble, these will be consumed, and you may be consumed with them. The salvation of your soul is precious. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 8

Let not women be attracted to you. Stand in the uprightness of your soul and tell them you are not their confessor. Jesus is the One to learn the secret of the heart. You are only human, and judging only from a human standpoint you might make wrong decisions, give wrong counsel. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 9

Do not study to give to the flock something new and surprising which is not food, but is as husks, whereby the soul is not nourished and built up in the most holy faith, prepared to do intelligent work for Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 10

God is not glorified by leaders in the church who seek to drive the sheep. No, no. “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” [1 Peter 5:2, 3.] There is a wide field for the elders and the helpers in every church. They are to feed the flock of God with pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from the chaff, the poisonous mixture of error. You who have any part to act in the church of God, be sure that you act wisely in feeding the flock of God, for its prosperity, much depends upon the quality of this food. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 11

*****

Parents

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

September 20, 1899

The past night has been one of experience. I was standing in the council meeting at Battle Creek. The Spirit of the Lord was upon me. I said many words to the managers of the work. I will not here state the message I was burdened to bear. But One, a heavenly messenger, stood before the people. We did not know when He came into the assembly. He said, “As representative men, you do not understand the work for this time. You need to be converted. The soul temple needs to be cleansed. You do not see things clearly; you must have your eyes anointed. If you only knew yourselves you would be alarmed.” 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 12

Parents standing as heads of families, priests of the household, as teachers and as governors, must first receive their lessons from the One who has said, “Come unto me, all ye that ... are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] They must obey the highest authority, and then as obedient children of God they can give the sincere, earnest, all-important education to their children. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 13

Parents who successfully govern their families must first govern themselves. If they would only have pleasant words in their families, they must let their children hear only pleasant words from their lips. The planting of the seed will produce a like harvest. Parents have a solemn, sacred work to perform in educating their children, by precept and example. They are under obligation to God to present their children to Him fitted at a very early period to receive an intelligent knowledge of what is comprehended in being a follower of Jesus Christ. If those who claim to be Bible Christians have children who do not fear and love God, in most cases it is because the parents’ example has not been a correct one. False, spurious seeds have been sown which have produced a harvest of briars and thorns. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 14

*****

Holiness

Mistakes have been made in regard to what constitutes sanctification and holiness. This is claimed by many who have no right to it, for while they claim and teach purity, their own course of action belies their profession. They mislead minds and their course of conduct testifies that they are doing the works of the enemy. We are called into the freedom of the gospel but not into the service of sin. We are called to wear Christ’s yoke, which is true liberty, not liberty to sin and disregard the plainest injunction of the Word of God, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [John 14:15.] 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 15

How shall our camp meetings be conducted? is the question that has been asked me again and again. If those who participate in these meetings are under the control of, and moved by, the Spirit of God, their conduct will not be so cheap and frivolous. Everything should be of an elevated, holy character. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 16

*****

Need of Consecration

Dear Brethren in the Ministry:

The old year, 1887, is nearly closed, and 1888 is about to be ushered in. What advancement have we made in the knowledge of Jesus Christ during the past year? Have we, as individual workers together with God, with deep earnestness reviewed the life of the past year? Have we thoughtfully, solemnly, and prayerfully taken in the situation as to our relation to God and to His work? As ambassadors for Christ shall we at this critical period of the history of the church, when the nations of the world are almost universally wavering between infidelity and idolatry, consider the signs of the times? Shall we hear the voice of God through His Word, giving warnings and appeals and commands, calling us to a new contest by a new and more thorough consecration of ourselves, of all our entrusted capabilities and powers? 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 17

My brethren and sisters who are engaged in the solemn work of being the mouthpiece of God, be sure that the treasure house of the heart is pure and holy. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 18

*****

Prevailing Prayer

Our Lord watches over His sheep and lambs by day and by night, and it is not the will of our heavenly Father that even one of His little ones should perish. The work was enjoined upon Peter, Feed My lambs; feed My sheep. Great is the love of our heavenly Father for every soul for whom Christ has died. In the parable the one who asked was for a time refused, but afterward he was given as much as he needed. But the Lord says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find.” [Matthew 7:7.] You need not fear an improper hour. His eye never slumbers nor sleeps. He always hears the prayer of the humble suppliant and grants His blessing. He never turns away unblest those who seek Him with the whole heart. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 19

The Lord tries our faith. He encourages us to press our petition to the throne of grace, for this is for our good. And when we feel our great necessity to have grace and an intelligent knowledge of truth, that we may give to those who are in need of the bread of life, we shall have grace for grace bestowed, if we ask in humble faith. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 20

*****

Daniel and Revelation

The mighty Angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ. Setting His right foot on the sea, and His left upon the dry land, shows the part which He is acting in the closing scenes of the great controversy with Satan. This position denotes His supreme power and authority over the whole earth. The controversy has waxed stronger and more determined from age to age, and will continue to do so, to the concluding scenes when the masterly working of the powers of darkness shall reach their height. Satan, united with evil men, will deceive the whole world and the churches who receive not the love of the truth. But the mighty Angel demands attention. He cries with a loud voice. He is to show the power and authority of His voice to those who have united with Satan to oppose the truth. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 21

After these seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John, as to Daniel, in regard to the little book: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.” [Revelation 10:4.] These relate to future events which will be disclosed in their order. Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel’s prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels’ messages to be given to the world. The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 22

The books of Daniel and the Revelation are one. One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; one a book sealed, the other a book opened. John heard the mysteries which the thunders uttered, but he was commanded not to write them. The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation of events which would transpire under the first and second angels’ messages. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested. In the order of God, most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angels’ messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work. This is represented by the Angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 23

This time, which the Angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world’s history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time, which should precede the advent of our Lord. That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 24

The Angel’s position, with one foot on the sea, the other on the land, signifies the wide extent of the proclamation of the message. It will cross the broad waters and be proclaimed in other countries, even to all the world. The comprehension of truth, the glad reception of the message, is represented in the eating of the little book. The truth in regard to the time of the advent of our Lord was a precious message to our souls. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 25

*****

The greatest work to be done in this life is to make preparation for the future life, for that life which measures with the life of God. A probation has been granted us that, notwithstanding the difficulties, we may cultivate virtues which shall carry us into the higher life. Pure love for one another is exercised by those who are partakers of the divine nature. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 26

*****

Pharisaism

The Pharisees, claiming great piety, had not lived in close connection with God so that they could discern sacred things. When John came to prepare the way of the Lord, they refused to accept him, and when the work was more fully developed and they had an overwhelming amount of evidence as they saw the demonstrations of the power of God, they still held to their doubts and unbelief. They chose to pretend ignorance rather than yield to their convictions and confess that they were wrong. John was that prophet sent of God, but the chief priests and scribes and Pharisees did not believe him because his teaching revealed the defects in their religious experience, and condemned their course of action. While they disbelieved, many of the publicans and sinners and harlots received his testimony, condemning the sins of which they were themselves guilty, and as true penitents embraced the salvation offered. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 27

*****

The Message of John

John declared that Christ must be received by them individually as a Saviour. They need not expect the priests or the pope to take the place of Christ, for he alone who would come to Christ as a repentant believing sinner would find peace and have Christ’s righteousness imputed to him. All sanctification comes through a living, active faith, and transforms men and women into the image of Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 28

John was listened to with great interest. His doctrine melted their hearts and revived their hopes. It was a strangely sweet message which was borne to them, and the seed was falling into good soil. Never before had such doctrines fallen upon their ears. He drew his followers away from outward forms, away from self-righteousness, toward Jesus. He made them feel that in Christ alone were centered all their hopes of eternal life. Christ and Him crucified was the burden of his message. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 29

*****

God’s Goodness

In the lessons that Christ gave to His disciples to be given to our world, the grand things of His spiritual kingdom are illustrated by the principles of His temporal kingdom. He hath established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His discretion. He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. “The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” [1 Corinthians 1:25.] “He disappointeth the devices of the crafty so that they cannot perform their enterprise.” [Job 5:12.] His counsels stand forever, and the thoughts of His heart from generation to generation. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 30

The Lord God of heaven claims from us the highest reverence. We are to fear God, to love God, and be obedient to all His precepts. He is perfect in His goodness, and full of mercy and compassion, always working for the good and happiness of the human family; but their own plans, their own imaginings, are contrary to the will and way of God, and of a character to destroy the way of His paths, and make their own finite wisdom prominent in choosing their way and their will. The result is unhappiness, suffering, and eternal disappointment. “The Lord is good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” He openeth His hand and “satisfieth the desire of every living thing.” [Psalm 145:9, 16.] He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 31

*****

Launceston, Tasmania

May 11, 1895

I have had opened before me your college at Lincoln, Nebraska. I saw an existing state of things that was not wholesome or healthful. Minds were being wrought upon, making too much of little things, a world of an atom, and an atom of a world. One would suppose that the love of Jesus had not a modifying, correcting influence over your own natural and cultivated traits of character. Anyone would suppose that you were grafts of a strange vine rather than being the branches of the living vine. Self has swelled to wonderful proportions. Little things have been treated as the largest and most essential things. Teachers have revealed that they have little growing knowledge of Jesus Christ. They need to not only take a term in the school of Christ, but to live in that school as learners continually. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 32

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, an clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Ephesians 4:30-32.] 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 33

Shall we bear in mind that the presence of the Holy Spirit with us in the bed chamber, in the family circle, in the most difficult places we pass through, is shielding us from the shafts of the enemy, constantly counterworking his devisings, and carrying forward His work as a reprover of sin, imparting and impressing the mind with the words of Christ, bringing all things to our remembrance, that He may restore the moral image of God in man. We need to dwell more constantly and earnestly upon the grace of the Holy Spirit. This we do not discern with our natural eyes, yet by faith we see its office work, and we cannot render to God supreme love and honor if we do not recognize the Holy Spirit which the Lord sends. The Holy Spirit represents Jesus Christ. He is our refuge unto whom we can run and be safe. He is always present with the human agent. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 34

*****

Extravagance and Fashions

The lives of nine-tenths of the befrilled, trimmed devotees of fashion are a living lie. Deception and fraud are their daily practice. They appear what they are not. Nobility of soul is gone. Gentleness and generosity have been bartered away to gratify their lust after evil things. Thousands sell virtue to obtain money with which to gratify their desire to follow the fashion. Such madness upon these things should call forth an army of reformers to take their position for reform. The devil is constantly inventing fashions which are followed at the sacrifice of time, money, and health. Can we, dare we who profess to be Christians, follow in the path of worldlings? Shall we appear to sanction these fashions by adopting them, even in part? Shall we lead our influence in any degree to the general evil? Many do this because they do not have Christ formed in their hearts, the hope of glory. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 35

Luxurious living and extravagant dress are carried to such an extreme as to constitute one of the signs of the last days. Those who are inclined to admire the appearance which they make in a mirror will have no inclination to test their characters by looking into the great moral mirror, the law of God. The wicked idol of dress swallows up all that is humble, needy, and lowly in the character. It consumes the precious hours which should be devoted to meditation, searching the heart, and prayerful study of the Scriptures. In the Scriptures they would find that the pen of inspiration has traced this especially for them. “I will,” writes Paul, “that women adorn themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” [1 Timothy 2:8-10.] 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 36

Christ and the church have claims upon each individual member that their thoughts, their energies, their means, their dress, and their deportment shall correspond with the life and character of Christ. No Christian can conform to fashion. If the Master has entrusted means to them, it was not for them to use to adorn the person or to gratify pride in display. God has made them stewards of means, that they might glorify Him in wisely dispensing this trust of God in clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and advancing the cause of God in the earth. There is not an individual member of the church that can consistently or with a quiet conscience patronize the fashions of this age. The needless trimmings upon a dress will hinder the works of mercy and benevolence, and is robbery toward God. The graces of meekness, humility, modesty, prudence, a virtuous character, are accomplishments suited to every rank and condition of life. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 37

Shall we not take our stand as faithful sentinels to guide the youth, by precept and example, from the dissipation and extravagance of this age? Shall we not eat and drink and dress to the glory of God? Consider that the love of dress fastens its victim in servile bondage. Why wear a dress so fitted that a full inspiration of air is an impossibility? Why wear appendages that bear upon delicate organs of the body, and create disease? The answer, if expressed by man, would be, “I am in perfect misery, but I have to dress as others dress, or I should be treated with neglect. I know that I shall not live out half my days in thus making myself miserable to follow these senseless fashions, but I have not moral courage to be called old-fashioned and behind the times. I am not able physically or financially to bear this strain upon health and purse, and worse than all I fear that I shall lose my soul, but then, I must keep up appearance or I could not obtain work.” 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 38

*****

Religion and Character Building

Little expenses must be carefully guarded against. To deny one’s self in little as well as in great things is necessary to prosperity and happiness. Yet strict economy may be carried into covetousness. Religion, with her strong, even, well-balanced principles, will prove a safe anchor. Every ear will hear the requirement, “Give an account of thy stewardship.” [Luke 16:2.] We are accountable to God for all we possess. In all things we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 39

By what means shall the young man repress his evil propensities, and develop what is noble and good in his character? The will, intellect, and emotions, when controlled by the power of religion, will become transformed. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.] Here is a principle underlying every act, thought, and motive if the entire being is under control of the will of God. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 40

The voice and passions must be crucified. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” [Philippians 4:13.] The will, the appetites and passions, will clamor for indulgence, but God has implanted within you desires for high and holy purposes, and it is not necessary that these should be debased. This is only so when we refuse to submit to the control of reason and conscience. We are to restrain our passions and deny self. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 41

The unsanctified mind fails to receive the strength and comfort which God has provided for all who will come to Him. There is an unrest, a burning desire for something new, to gratify, to please and fascinate the mind, and this indulgence is called pleasure. Satan has alluring charms with which to engage the interest and excite the imagination of youth and fasten them in his snare. Do not build your character on the sand. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 42

*****

Satan’s Snares

Satan devises, through his masterly deceiving power, to make evil appear as righteousness, to keep men working in his line, that those whom God has entrusted with great responsibilities shall be perverted from His allegiance and serve his purposes. “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities.” [Ezekiel 28:18.] This represents a corrupt spiritual administration. The influence that is gained through positions of trust is used for selfish purposes instead of for the good of others who stand approved before God more than they, for their dependence is in God, and they are seeking His glory and not their own. Even now Satan is continuing and advancing in the same line in which he began. He rules by the same laws. In heaven he lost his self-sacrificing principle and unselfish care for his associates, and little by little he introduced a new order of things, consulting his own hand. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 43

*****

Meeting Temptations

Our work is a solemn, serious work. It is not the order and will of God to shield His people from temptation. His people will be exposed to trial, and the very object of Christ’s choosing a people from the world was to prepare them to meet and resist temptations, that when they should come in contact with the world in public life, they would be so imbued with the Spirit of God that they would not yield to corrupting influences. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 44

When truth takes possession of the heart, the Christian will be brought into conflict, and in this conflict he will need the whole armor of God, for he has to fight the good fight of faith. There are opposing elements in his own household, even in his own heart, and nothing but the free Spirit of God can ensure for him the victory. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 45

*****

Cheerfulness and Love

Dear Sister Salisbury:

I have been shown your case, that you have had many things to discourage you. But do not despair; God loves you. “Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal: the Lord knoweth them that are his.” [2 Timothy 2:19.] You have been doubting and have had but little hope or courage, but do not let go your hold upon God or upon the truth. Jesus lives to make intercession for you. He wants you to come back to Him with all your burdens, your perplexities, your cares. Sickness and gloom has taken from you much of the joy of life; but do not look on the dark side. Be cheerful, knowing that Jesus knows every pang of anguish which the soul suffers. He will not leave your bruised and broken. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 46

My sister, cherish love, the precious plant of love. You have felt gentle and thoughtful toward the sick. Not a wish or want but what it is supplied. The heart’s affections long slumbering has been aroused; no service is thought a hardship or done with censure or faultfinding. But when health returns there has been a falling back in the same old cold, indifferent, loveless way. Now change this order of things. Let love flow forth freely and break down the barriers. The life may be lived day by day under the melting power of the Spirit of God. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 47

*****

Dealing with the Young

Children have received as a legacy unfavorable traits of character, yet they have most valuable and lovely traits of character. [They] should be associated with those who will appreciate and understand how to deal with them, to develop the favorable and lovely qualities, and not pursue such a course as will stir up and strengthen their unfavorable dispositions which have been inherited. Much wisdom should be exercised by those who are brought in close connection with children. Flattery should not be used, for this would be poison to their souls; but a sanctified, tender regard should be shown for them, thus gaining their confidence through the love that is expressed for the soul. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 48

Jesus loves the children and youth. When they lose self-control and speak words that are passionate, an attitude of silence is often the best course to pursue, not taking up a line of reproof or argument or condemnation. Repentance will come very soon. The silence that is golden will often do more than all the words that can be uttered. Satan is only too well pleased to harass and destroy the souls of the young; therefore persons should be connected with these who have wisdom to deal with tempted human minds. The words of Jesus to Peter are appropriate, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” [Luke 22:31, 32.] 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 49

Jesus rejoices in spirit when He sees Satan repulsed from his commanding position to control the mind and will of the human agent. Many a youth is in imminent peril through manifold temptations, but Jesus Christ has the tenderest sympathy for them, and the Lord has sent His angels to protect and guard them from lives of wretchedness. Jesus Christ has purchased them, paying the ransom money for their souls. They are His property. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 50

I need not present the self-denial, the self-sacrifice, the humiliation, and crucifixion of the Son of God, which was the redemption price of a lost world. This we need to contemplate, that we may better estimate the value of the human soul. As we view the agonies which Christ endured as the price of redemption, we will consider every soul of value. The love of Jesus for souls cannot be measured. Christ died to save not only the few who accept Him; no, He came to our world to save every son and daughter of Adam. He came not to seek and save those who were faultless and lovely, but He came to seek and to save them that are lost. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Mark 2:17.] He is the true Shepherd, ever ready to leave the flock which is in the fold and to go into the wilderness to seek for the lost sheep. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 51

He calls for living human agencies to co-operate with the divine. We want every talent, every ability and God-given power, to be exercised in this great work. Ye are laborers together with God. Our work is to lift up and try to save the souls that are ready to perish. Eternal life is worth everything to us. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 52

*****

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong

March 21, 1896

Dear Brother and Sister Durland:

I have something to say to you upon the subject of temperance. If you are yourselves working earnestly in the line in which God demands all His messengers who are laboring in the harvest field to work, you will have very much greater influence on the side of truth and righteousness. But your indifference on this subject is not pleasing to God. You occupy a position of responsibility, and you need to be worked by the Holy Spirit. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” [Romans 12:1-3.] 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 53

Every church needs a clear, sharp testimony, giving the trumpet a certain sound. If we can arouse the moral sensibilities upon the subject of practicing temperance in all things, a very great victory will be gained. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 54

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Eloquent Sermons

The minister may make a high range into the heavens, by poetical descriptions and fanciful presentations which please the senses and feed the imagination, but which do not touch the common life experience, the daily necessities; bringing home to the heart the very truths which are of vital interest. The immediate requirements, the present trials, need present help and strength—the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, not words which have no real influence upon the living daily walk in practical Christianity. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 55

The minister may think that with his fanciful eloquence he has done great things in feeding the flock of God; the hearers may suppose that they never before heard such beautiful themes, they have never seen the truth dressed up in such beautiful language, and as God was represented before them in His greatness, they felt a glow of emotion. But trace from cause to effect all this ecstasy of feeling caused by these fanciful representations. There may be truths, but too often they are not the food that will fortify them for the daily battles of life. 15LtMs, Ms 59, 1900, par. 56