Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 55, 1902


St. Helena, California

January 27, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 41; PH050 9-10. +Note

The Long-Sufferance of God

This morning as I write, I feel very solemn. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” [Nahum 1:3.] 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 1

The tendency of sin is to destroy truth and integrity. Entertained in the heart, sin destroys piety, equity, compassion, and genuine love. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 2

How grateful we should be that the Lord is slow to anger! What a wonderful thought it is that Omnipotence puts a restraint upon His mighty power! But because the Lord is forbearing and long-suffering, the human heart often manifests a tendency to venture presumptuously to add sin to sin! If the retribution of God were to come quickly upon the transgressor, if wrongdoing were followed by sudden punishment, many would be deterred from sinning. If men and women would remember that punishment for every dishonest transaction, every evil practice, is as sure to follow as if it were executed immediately, many more would refrain from evildoing. But “because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11.] Instead of God’s patience hardening the sinner to continual transgression, it should lead him to determine to seek God’s forgiveness, in order that the figures standing against his account in the heavenly record may be canceled. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 3


The Young People in Battle Creek

Into the church and institutions in Battle Creek divine principles must be brought, else spiritual malformation will surely be the result of the spirit in which the work is now carried forward. Bible principles should be practiced. The understanding of many is in need, great need, of enlightenment. Not only should those who have the management of the work continually place their dependence upon God, but they should also give consideration to the control of appetite and passion. Let them take a firm stand for the right and make a wholehearted reformation. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 4

In the place where so much light has been shining, many are still in darkness. Light unappreciated becomes darkness, which grows more and more dense. In Battle Creek are many youth who need help. How sad it is that those bearing responsibilities in the management of the work reveal so marked a lack of tact and skill to help such youth. In the homes of our people are sons and daughters whose dispositions are varied. Parents, deal faithfully with these youth. Many of them need to make decided efforts to reform. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 5

Let the young men and young women determine to love God supremely and to do His commandments. Under circumstances the most trying, let them remain faithful to duty—especially in their attitude toward the principles of health reform. Instead of being halfhearted reformers, let them make a wholehearted reformation, in all things practicing chastity and temperance. Let none begin to reform and then stop. Resolve to overcome the wicked one. True victory is gained only when the repentant sinner pledges himself to unconditional obedience to God—only when he pledges himself to honor God in every word, every business transaction, every act of his life. Those who do this may be like the youth whom John addressed in the words: “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [1 John 2:14.] It is possible for every youth to gain spiritual strength. Those who endeavor to increase their strength will pass through severe struggles, which will test their sincerity of purpose; but by remaining faithful, they prove that their determination to do God’s will is prompted by high and holy motives. In every sense of the word such youth are able to be overcomers; for Christ overcame in their behalf. Having overcome, they are brought into alliance with divine, unfailing resources. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 6

Young men, young women, you are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. By your determined efforts to be true and righteous, laying your foundation secure in faith, you may be able to provoke the older and more experienced brethren and sisters to love and good works. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 7

Why should not the younger men and women form a Christian-endeavor society, for the purpose of encouraging one another to make an unqualified, instantaneous renunciation of every unchristlike, questionable habit, and to take a firm stand to be true to their obligations to God? “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” [2 Corinthians 6:2.] 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 8


The Power of Influence

Satan is the originator of evil. He swerved from his allegiance to God. Those who persisted in sympathizing with him in his disaffection were, with him, shut out of heaven. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 9

Implacable hatred against God fills Satan’s mind. Persistently he has used his influence to efface from the human family God’s image and in its place to stamp his own satanic image. His effort to deceive our first parents was successful. Made in the image of God, the human family lost their innocence, became transgressors, and as disloyal subjects began their downward career. Satan gained control of man’s power of action. Through the senses he influenced the mind. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 10

Thus it has been from the beginning of the world. Instead of remaining under God’s influence in order that he might reflect the moral image of his Creator, man placed himself under the control of Satan’s influence and was made selfish. Thus sin became a universal evil. And what a dreadful evil is sin! 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 11

Yielding to Satan’s suggestions, our first parents opened the floodgates of evil upon the world. The questionable principles of the father and the mother of the human race influenced some of those with whom they associated. The evil that began in Paradise has extended down through the ages. Although Adam and Eve related with sorrow to their children the sad story of the fall, their family became a divided family. Cain chose to serve Satan, Abel to serve God. Cain killed his brother Abel, because he would not follow his example. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 12

That the world might not be destroyed because of its moral pollution, God undertook His great work of salvation, sending His Son to this earth to redeem mankind. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 13


In order to do the service of heaven, those in positions of responsibility in institutions of God’s appointment are required to co-operate with unseen, heavenly agencies. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 14

Writing in regard to spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul says, “To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.” [1 Corinthians 12:8.] Wisdom is a reception of the Word by practical obedience and by imparting the Word to others. Knowledge is an understanding of the pure doctrines of Christianity. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 15

In the presentation of truth, those who have wisdom speak with tact and skill. Their spirit will create on the minds of others a marked impression. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 16


Great harm can be done to our institutions by connecting with them men who will exert an influence in wrong lines. If men bearing responsibilities in our institutions have a living connection with God, they will, in their Christian experience, be a savor of life unto life; but if they are unsanctified, disobedient, selfish, depending on themselves for wisdom, they will be a savor of death unto death. In their determination to carry out their own will and purposes, they will reveal their true character. 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 17

Notwithstanding their detrimental influence, men are sometimes kept in positions of trust, where they are able to work out plans and to secure a power of influence that is not used to the glory of God in service for mankind. Such men wish to mold our institutions according to their human ideas. While claiming to be working from unselfish motives, they separate good men, successful physicians, from the very institutions that would be blessed by their help. This thy do because these men will not subscribe to documents that would bind them to follow certain codes of manmade laws—laws stipulating that, in combination with other men, they are to use their influence in doing certain things concerning which the Lord says: “I have not planned these things; I have not endorsed them. Thus men are bound to pledges and asked to endorse documents that will work evil to the heritage I have purchased with My own blood. These documents taste strongly of human policy, which means exaltation of self, restriction of religious liberty, and a denial to men of their right to worship God as the conscience dictates. ‘If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.’” [1 Kings 18:21.] 17LtMs, Ms 55, 1902, par. 18