Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

271/339

Ms 44, 1900

Jots and Tittles

NP

July 24, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in CG 113; Ev 18; WM 232-233, 238; 2MR 41; 11MR 196-197; 19MR 370. +Note

The Last Days

Let us lift up our hearts to God daily, and lift up our eyes that we may see—what? “Say not ye, There are four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:35, 36.] We see a great work to be done both in sowing and in reaping. We are cramped for means, cramped for workers. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 1

There should be twenty men where there is now one to take advantage of circumstances, [men] who will never look down but up, up to the rainbow above the throne, which is ever repeating, “Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” [Psalm 85:10.] Lift up your hearts! Lift up your heads! Then lift up the hands that hang down! All are to be lifted up together, and to be kept uplifted. The heart must see and sense that “God is, and that he is a rewarder of all who diligently seek him.” [Hebrews 11:6.] “Out of the heart are the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23.] God’s message to each of us is, “My son, give me thine heart.” [Proverbs 23:26.] That heart is Mine. I have given My life for it. Then open the heart to the divine Spirit and you will appreciate the value of the human soul. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 2

There is a yearning in the heart for peace, for happiness. Look, O look unto Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness! May the Spirit of life touch hearts! We want hearts that shall respond to the touch of God. If His life be in us, we will always see light in His light. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 3

The words of Jesus Christ are spoken to us living down here in the close of this earth’s history, “When these things shall begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” [Luke 21:28.] The nations are in unrest. Times of perplexity are upon us. The waves of the sea are roaring; men’s hearts are failing them for fear, and for expectation of those things that are coming upon the earth; but those who believe on the Son of God will hear His voice amid the storm saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” [Matthew 14:27.] We must have the baptism of the Holy Spirit of God. We see the world lying in wickedness and apostasy. Rebellion to the commandments of God seems almost universal. Amid the tumult of excitement, with confusion in every place, there is a work to be done in the world. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 4

We have located our school in Cooranbong that we may educate <and discipline> and train the young to seek the Lord. There must be a work done to discipline the youth for a higher sphere of service. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 5

*****

Criticizing the Testimonies

My brother, I do not understand your words, and will not endeavor to refute them until I know what you mean. If you mean the work which the Lord has laid upon me to do, and which I have tried to do in bearing the messages of warning and reproof to the erring, and to seek to set before them where they are injuring their own souls and the souls of others through the malarious atmosphere which surrounds their own souls, I have only to say, The Lord pardon your mistake and error, because you do not know of what you are speaking. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 6

*****

Influences in the World

How blind are many to the real forces that are working in this world! The power of the Holy Spirit is drawing to God all who will be drawn. He is convincing men that the commandments of God are a life and death question with them. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 7

*****

Parable of the Rich Man

A certain man is represented in the parable as binding himself up with his treasure. He measures his own value by the great increase of his ability and wealth. He does not reason that all he is receiving from God cannot add to his value only as he shall show his wise stewardship for the Lord. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 8

No man is worse or better because of the abundance of his blessings, but because of the attributes of character which he develops under the blessing received. If he does not glorify God through is wealth, then he is in the sight of God just to that degree deficient in his value of character. All that he has received increases his responsibility and accountability. When self is tested, he can reveal just how much he feels his dependence upon God. His gratitude to God will be shown in doing the good work which the Lord designs he shall do by transferring his goods to the very members of the human family who need these very things. Had he done this the Lord would have said to him, I can entrust him with goods; for as he receives abundantly he transfers to the very ones who need abundantly. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 9

This man thought he would pull down his barns and build larger so that he could store his goods for many years. He convinced himself that the future would be full of plenty. He would say to his soul, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” [Luke 12:19.] The soul of this man could never be happy in thus doing. The soul of that man could not be invested in any amount of goods. No man can thus advance in making his character of greater value in the sight of heaven. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 10

These goods had been acquired by the rich blessing of God. His fields had yielded largely, but this was the result of God’s blessing in giving sunshine and rain. The Lord’s watchcare was over his goods, yet in this year of plenty, he ignored God altogether. He manifested no gratitude; he gave the Lord no thanks; he relieved not those who were [in] suffering need. He should have recognized that his wealth of goods came to him direct from the hand of God by recounting His goodness and showing forth His benevolence in dividing his goods. But he made his calculations to hold the gift, consuming it upon himself, and the Lord’s poor were not relieved. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 11

*****

Care of the Aged and Orphans

Men should not be employed to give their time and talents to the work of bringing the aged or the orphans together in to a company to be fed and clothed. This is not the best way to manage these cases. The Lord would have every church consider it a religious obligation resting upon them to adopt the babies of those whose parents have died in the faith. Let families take these little orphans. Nor is it best to erect buildings for old men and old women that they may be in a company together. Let them be helped in the very places where they can be helped. Let relations take care of their own poor relations, and let the church take care of its own needy members. This is the very work God would have the church do, and they will obtain a blessing in doing it. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 12

*****

1889

Denver, Colorado

Dear Brother Smith:

I have had your case forced upon my mind by the Spirit of God. Your position, your dangers, your peril, have frequently been presented at different points in your experience. Again the matter has been presented to me in the night season. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 13

I was shown that you have been setting yourself in opposition to the Spirit and work of God. You have been placing yourself in a position where the light that God sends to you will not be recognized or accepted by you as light. A most solemn sense of your true state, now as never before rests upon me, and I cannot keep silent; for you are in peril as surely as were the unbelieving leaders of the people in the days of Christ. Darkness to your own soul is the result. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 14

Light and truth, which I know to be thus, you declare to be darkness and error. You have had opportunity; you have had the privilege of accepting the light, which has been light and precious truth and meat in due season to the hungry, starving flock of God; but you would not acknowledge it as light, as truth, as food. If you could prevent it from coming to the people of God, you would do so; but this you cannot do. God will have His light come to the people, and you cannot prevent it. You may misrepresent it, you may misinterpret it, you may interpose yourself as you have done, between God’s working and the people; but your efforts, every one that you have made to resist light and the impressions of the Spirit of God, have been as a extra step farther and farther from the light and from the Lord. “If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” [Matthew 6:23.] 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 15

Prejudice is prejudice whether indulged by those who claim to believe that the Lord is soon coming, or by those who refused the light in the days of Christ. You are passing over the very same ground as the rejectors of Jesus Christ passed over. You use the same arguments and excuses that they used; you exert the same influence which they exerted, and it may be that souls will hang on you as in the days of Christ souls hung upon their leaders. Poor deluded souls will be led to think that because Elder Smith does not accept the light and the message which has come to His people, light which is the very message for this time, that it must be error and delusion. But can you bear this responsibility? 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 16

*****

Give God the Glory

The Lord’s messengers are not to think that the credit of their work must be given to them, because all credit is to be given to God. His name is to have all the glory. God would have us see and understand that we are only instruments in His hands; that the God, the living God, slumbers not. He is working constantly and can run His great work harmoniously. The Lord’s hand can keep in perfect order the work that to finite minds looks entangled and complicated. The Lord is the Master Worker and every sharp thought, every talent, is entrusted to be improved in doing the work that the Lord bids us to do, and all the praise and all the glory is to be given to God. Men are not to take credit for anything, because the Lord is their wisdom; it is His mind that accomplishes the work. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 17

Each worker is only an instrument in God’s hands. The wakeful vigilance of the heavenly beings, the unceasing employment in the heavenly ministry connected with the beings of earth, shows us that God’s hand is guiding the wheel within a wheel. Different work and employment enlists the energies of God’s heavenly messengers. “Come” said a voice to John, “and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” [Revelation 4:1.] The divine Instructor is saying to every actor in the work, as He did to Cyrus of old, “I girded thee, thou hast not known me.” [Isaiah 45:5.] 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 18

Heaven is a world of order. “Justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Mercy and truth go before his face.” [Psalm 89:14.] We are apt to think that we are carrying great loads when we have the satisfaction of knowing that Jesus carries them all for us. “The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble. He sitteth between the cherubims: let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion: and he is high above all the people: let them praise thy great and terrible name for it is holy.” [Psalm 99:1.] 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 19

*****

Christian Courtesy

Many need the softening pencil of the Master Worker in the filling out of their character, else they will become sour and uncivil to their fellow men. Those who live engrossed in lovesick attentions to a few favorite ones cannot do faithful work for the Master. Such sentimentalism completely unfits them to treat others with kindness and courtesy. This soft affection unbalances the mind and deforms the character, so that kindness, cheerful words, and attention which ought to be given to all with whom we come in contact are not bestowed. Kindness and condescension flow in a wrong direction. The oracles of God are our lesson book in regard to good manners and the way we should treat others. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 20

The Lord does not merely give us the lessons as to how to deal with the grosser vices and the more refined virtues, but He takes up every phase of character. It molds the whole man, externally as well as internally, by abasing his pride and teaching him the grace of humility that he will, if a Bible Christian, be Christlike, kind, amiable, [and] condescending. Christians must cultivate the habits of true politeness and courtesy to one another, and be tender and courteous to all. What a lesson does the life of Christ exhibit in genuine courtesy, giving shades of softness and beauty and heavenly beams to His whole life! 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 21

*****

Mind Disease

The Lord has given us physical and mental powers which He designs shall be used. He has given many who are self-made invalids a work to do which He does not propose to do for them. We should move out from principle, in harmony with natural law, irrespective of feeling. We should begin to act upon the light that God has given us. We may not be able to do this all at once, but we can do much by moving out gradually in faith, believing that God will be our Helper, that He may strengthen us. If the hands were more often employed, physical and mental strength would increase. The brain would not be idle but there would be corresponding labor on the part of other organs of the body. Exercise, to be a decided advantage, should be systematic and brought to bear upon the debilitated organs that they may be strengthened by use. The movement cure is a great advantage to a class of patients who are too feeble to exercise, but for all who are sick to rely upon it, making it their dependence, is a great mistake. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 22

Thousands are sick and dying around us who might get well and live if they would, but their imagination holds them. They fear that they will be made worse if they labor, when this is just the change they need to make them well. Without this, they can never improve. They should exercise the power of the will, rise above their aches and debility, engage in useful employment, and forget that they have aching backs, sides, lungs, and heads. Neglecting to exercise the entire body, or a portion of it, will bring on morbid conditions. Inaction of any of the organs of the body will be followed by a decrease in size and strength of the muscles, and will cause the blood to flow sluggishly through the blood vessels. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 23

Many think they are unable to perform their own domestic duties and so depend upon others. Sometimes it is exceedingly inconvenient for them to obtain the help they need. They frequently expend double the strength required to perform the task in planning and searching for some one to do the work for them. If they would only bring their mind to do these little acts and family duties themselves, they would be blessed and strengthened in it. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 24

God made Adam and Eve in Paradise, and surrounded them with everything that was useful and lovely. He planted for them a beautiful garden. No herb nor flower nor tree was wanting which might be for use or ornament. The Creator of man knew that the workmanship of His hands could not be happy without employment. Paradise delighted their souls, but this was not enough; they must have labor to call into exercise the wonderful organs of the body. The Lord had made the organs for use. Had happiness consisted in doing nothing, man, in his state of holy innocence, would have been left unemployed. But He who formed man knew what would be for his best happiness, and He no sooner made him than He gave him his appointed work. In order to be happy, he must labor. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 25

God has given all something to do. In the discharge of the various duties which we are to perform, which lie in our pathway, our lives will be made useful, and we shall be blessed. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 26

*****

Benefits of Exercise

One of the first laws the Creator has established in our being is that of action. Every organ has its appointed work, upon the performance of which its development and strength depend. The normal action of all the organs gives strength and vigor, while the tendency of disuse is toward decay and death. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 27

Many regard riches and idleness as blessings indeed; but this is not the case. Through lack of mental stimulus and physical exertion, many a woman loses her health, and is driven to seek some medical institution for treatment. Here attendants are hired at great expense to rub, stretch, and exercise the muscles which have become weakened through inaction. She hires servants to exercise the muscles enfeebled by disuse. What consummate folly! How much wiser and better for women, young and old, to renounce a life of fashionable idleness, and obey the dictates of common sense and the laws of life! By the cheerful performance of domestic and other duties, idle daughters of wealth might become useful and happy members of society. For many, such labor is a more effective and profitable “movement cure” than the best invention of the physicians. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 28

*****

Parents Need to Study and Teach Health

Parents should early awaken in their children an interest in the study of physiology, and should teach them what are and what are not correct physical habits. This knowledge is invaluable to the young. They need to understand their own bodies. An education in the things that concern life and health is more important to them than a knowledge of the sciences usually taught in the schools, and should be as early obtained. But there are few of them who have any definite knowledge of the human organism or of the mysteries of life. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 29

Very often parents themselves are ignorant of the living machinery, with the relation and dependence of all its complicated parts. They do not understand the influence of the body upon the mind, or the mind upon the body; and they do not see the need of teaching these things to their children. They venture to assume the sacred family relationship, and to undertake to form the character and habits of their children, when they are ignorant in regard to both the physical and the moral education their offspring should receive; and many seem to be scarcely less indifferent in the matter than are the dumb animals. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 30

There can never be better physical conditions until children are trained more judiciously. And it is impossible that they should be thus trained while parents are so ignorant and indifferent on the subject, and feel that conformity to social customs is of more consequence than the physical and moral welfare of the children. In many homes time, strength, and money are devoted to the unworthy object of keeping pace with the customs of fashionable society in eating and drinking, and the health of body and soul is sacrificed to this end. The human family are successfully destroying themselves and deteriorating the race; and then they charge the result of their recklessness to a “mysterious Providence.” 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 31

There is need of reform. Parents should live more for their children, and less for society. Study health subjects, parents, and put your knowledge to a practical use, and we shall soon see decided improvements. Teach your children to reason from cause to effect. Tell them that if they violate the laws of nature, they must pay the penalty by suffering. If you do not see as rapid improvement as you desire, do not be discouraged, but patiently continue your work. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 32

Christian mothers, be entreated by a mother to realize the responsibility resting upon you. Teach your children from the cradle to practice self-denial and self-control. Bring them up to have sound constitutions and good morals. Impress upon their tender minds the truth that God does not design that we shall live for present gratification merely, but for our ultimate good. These lessons will be as seed sown in fertile soil, and they will bear fruit that will make your hearts glad. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 33

*****

Unity in the Church

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it.” “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. ... And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” [1 Corinthians 12:26, 18, 21.] 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 34

The bonds of unity which unite member with member of the church are to be as <firm and> harmonious in their operation as are the different parts of the natural body. The hands, head, and feet are so closely united, and so mutually dependent, that one member cannot live and act independently of the other members. The life and Spirit of Christ sustains and causes to flourish every particular member of his own body, and they live because Christ lives in them. As the branch cannot live or bear fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in Christ. The apostle writes, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” [Galatians 6:2.] “For ye are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” [Ephesians 5:30.] 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 35

*****

Unfaithful Parents

Unfaithful parents will have a sorrowful account to render to the God of heaven for their wicked indulgence of wrong in their children. Through firmness and decision, they might have closed the door of temptation, which because of their irresolution in dealing with the desires and requests of their children, they here left open, thus making an easy entrance for the enemy to come in and to mold and fashion their children’s character after his own similitude. When home duties are ignored and neglected, children grow up to bring their parents to shame. They go into society with perverse tempers, with untamed, ungoverned wills, and in their turn they mold the characters of others who are weak and foolish. In this way they swell the ranks of Satan’s army that wars against divine order and authority. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 36

The parent who professes to be a Christian, and yet who has chosen to act the part that seemed easiest, and in so doing has given Satan a chance to solicit the minds of his children, and to subvert them in evil ways, will carry this same disposition into his church relations, and will act over the same course in connection with sacred interests. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 37

*****

Courtesy among Brethren

Bear in mind that every unkind work, every ruthless thrust, is recorded in the books of heaven as given to Christ in the person of His suffering ones. Is it not Christlike to speak kind words, comforting words, even though you feel inclined to do otherwise? Is it not Christlike to help lift the burdens when they press heavily upon souls whom God has valued so highly as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life? 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 38

It is of great importance what attitude we assume toward those who are laborers together with God. The Lord withholds many blessings which He longs to bestow upon those who have a knowledge of the truth; He cannot pour out His blessing upon the human agents because of their attitude toward their fellow laborers and their fellow men. Many who claim to be members of Christ’s body allow their own fancies, their likes and dislikes, to shape their conduct toward even God’s own delegated servants. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 39

What power prompts to such action? The power from beneath. After Christ has made the infinite sacrifice to redeem us from the oppressive power of Satan, shall we fail to pity and help those who are fallen and sinful like ourselves? Shall one man usurp an authority over his brethren and hurt their souls because he imagines that he has authority and can do this work? 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 40

*****

Need of Home Religion

Every one should understand that every member of the human family sustains an important relationship to every other member of the human family, and forms a link in the great chain which binds man to his fellow man. By the most sacred responsibilities, the Christian is bound to exercise his influence for Christ; and if he does this, he will love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 41

If the Christian is to exert an influence on the side of Christ in the world, then how much more should his influence be felt in his own home? The promise of God is to him and to his children, and he should see to it that his connection is so close with God that nothing but hallowed influences may breath within the family circle. Parents should seek to comprehend the fact that they are to train their children for the courts of God. When they are entrusted with children, it is the same as though Christ placed them in their arms and said, “Train these children for Me, that they may shine in the courts of God.” 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 42

One of the first sounds that should attract their attention is the name of Jesus, and in their earliest years they should be led to the footstool of prayer. Their minds should be filled with stories of the life of the Lord, and their imagination encouraged in picturing the glories of the world to come. Christian parents, you are charged with the responsibility of presenting to the world the power and excellence of home religion. Let those who have erred in training their little ones, who have failed to represent Christ in their home life, now repent of their mistakes before it is everlastingly too late. Then let Christian parents resolve that they will be loyal to God. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 43

*****

Overcoming Temptations

The soul’s supply for nutrition is in Jesus Christ. A legal religion will always be a very troublesome guest. A natural religious life is a deception. A Christlike religious life is full of self-distrust, but grasps the hand of Christ firmly and still more firmly as temptations press their hellish shadow upon the soul. It is to fight inch by inch the good fight of faith by the weapon of the Word of God, “It is written.” Thus meet every advance of the enemy, and in doing this you are educating and training the soul for more stern tactics of the enemy. Truth, the Word of God, and faith in His Word is to be your armor and furnish you with weapons of warfare. With these you will be supplied with a sensitiveness and a keen perception, so that you will not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 44

*****

Parents Responsibility for Condition of Society

If parents had educated their children to reverence the law of God as Christ enjoined that they should educate them, we should not see wickedness reaching so great proportions. Through disobedience, the world is fast becoming as it was in the days before the flood, and as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. The church has taken the world into her fellowship, and has given her affections to the enemies of holiness. The church and the world are standing on the same ground in transgression of the law of God. The church prefers to assimilate to the world rather than separate from its customs and vanities. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 45

But God will bless all those who do His commandments. He will give grace upon grace to all them that fear Him, and walk in the light of truth as they find it by diligently and prayerfully searching the Scriptures. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 46

*****

Health and Education

Many of the youth who attend the school have not, in their previous life had the advantages that would give them the best health or the best mold of character. They need to be instructed in regard to themselves, that they may know how to preserve the health of both mind and body. Teachers must see that their pupils do not over labor, and must be prepared to illustrate their teachings by their own practice. There is so close a relation between the mind and the body that it is not possible to secure the health of the one without giving special care to the other. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 47

Many conscientious Christians have become diseased and their mental powers have been greatly weakened through the neglect of taking fresh air and exercise. Through such neglect ministers and teachers come to really dislike physical exercise, forgetting that in order to have a healthy body they must not allow their organs to rust from disuse. Sedentary habits, for those who can exercise the physical organs God has given them, is sin. Those who will not exercise their reason, but work some part of the human machinery while the other organs are left to rust from inaction, give to God a lame, crippled offering. The mind can do only a limited amount of work, compared with what it is capable of doing when every part of the living machinery is in good working order. 15LtMs, Ms 44, 1900, par. 48