Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 21, 1902



February 13, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 7BC 946-947; 1NL 26, 95-96.

Christ’s Filial Love

The benevolence of many does not interfere with their own comfort and self-complacency. It is easy to give merely from an impulse of generosity. It is commendable to have a free, kind heart and to preserve it from hardness amid the selfishness of the world and the rough experiences of life. But there is a nobler benevolence that has nerved men to cross burning deserts and to enter gloomy dungeons, a benevolence that caused the faces of martyrs to glow and that brought a halo of glory around their brows. Such a benevolence is rare in the world. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 1

In Christ’s life there was no selfishness. Even during the struggles of the death-hour, during His conflict with the powers of darkness on the cross, the light of unselfish love illuminated His countenance. He was not forgetful of those around Him. His last lesson was one of filial love. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 2

Christ was hanging on the cross, dying for the fallen race. His every movement was attended with pain. Yet He was still a loving, affectionate Son. In His dying hour He thought of His mother. He knew that she had been cruelly disappointed. Truly the sword had entered her heart. His heart throbbed with love and sympathy for her. Looking upon her, and then upon John, He said to Mary, “Woman, behold thy son;” then to John, “Behold thy mother.” [John 19:26, 27.] John understood Christ’s words, and accepted the trust. He immediately removed Mary from the fearful scene, taking her to his own home. And from that hour he cared for her as a dutiful son. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 3

Truly Christ has “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” [Isaiah 53:4.] 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 4


Relation Between Husband and Wife

I have been shown that around every family there is a sacred circle which should be kept unbroken. Within this circle no other person has a right to come. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 5

The husband and the wife should have confidence in each other. The wife should keep no secret from her husband, and the husband should keep no secret from his wife. Neither should relate family secrets to others. The heart of the wife should be the grave for her husband’s faults, and the heart of the husband should be the grave for his wife’s faults. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 6

Never should either husband or wife indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. Never should either one in sport or in any other way complain to others concerning their companion; for frequently indulgence in foolish and what may apparently be harmless joking will eventually become habit, and may end in trial and possibly in estrangement. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 7


Amusements in Our Sanitariums

I was shown the necessity of Seventh-day Adventists establishing a health institution where the afflicted among this denomination might find a home and be benefited physically and mentally without compromising their faith. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 8

I was shown that in founding a health institution, there would be danger of patterning after the institution at Dansville and following its customs and methods. I saw that many of Dr. Jackson’s ideas are valuable, while others are worthless and injurious. I saw that the importance that Dr. Jackson placed on amusements is a mistake. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 9

A change of exercise is as necessary for Christians as it is for others. But I was shown that in these very things you, Dr. Lay, have been in danger of patterning to quite an extent after Dr. Jackson’s methods of obtaining a diversion of the mind. This has been your danger. Were the proposed plans fully carried out, the object for which the institution should be established would not be attained. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 10


Brotherly Kindness

Many cherish wrong-doing by speaking fretfully and impatiently. This course is not excused by the words, “Oh, it is only my way!” None should ever speak words that wound and bruise. We should bear one another’s burdens, thus fulfilling the law of God. Oh, how many we might save by showing them sympathy and tenderness, by helping them to bear their burdens! How many are lost because others, instead of manifesting toward them a spirit of love, indulge in a spirit of criticism, magnifying their mistakes! We are not to sanction the wrong course of a brother, but we are to try to save him from sin, instead of condemning him for being in sin. We all have infirmities, and we should be willing to make allowance for the infirmities of others. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 11


Parents and Children

Many parents who have believed the truth for years have failed to train their children in the way they should go. Notwithstanding all the light that has shone on them, they have indulged their children, making them mere household pets, mere idols. Undisciplined children soon learn that their parents think they are smart, and they become puffed up, self-willed, and deceitful. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 12

Too often parents allow their children to grow up in ignorance of household labor. To save their children the least discomfort, the father and the mother make themselves the household drudges. They get up early in the morning to build a fire and to cook breakfast. While they are busy with their daily cares, they allow their dear, lazy children to lie in bed, calling them only in time to eat that which has been prepared by the labor of others. They consult the wishes of their children and excuse them if they are not up early. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 13

What a delusion parents must be under, who pursue so unwise a course in training children! In thus making everything secondary to the supposed comfort of their children, unwise parents deprive them of the capacity for enjoying even this life. Parents should train their daughters to bear life’s burdens, that they may be well qualified to act their part as faithful, judicious, ingenious, economical housekeepers. In afterlife they will appreciate the training that taught them to bear burdens. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 14

Many girls from sixteen to twenty years of age are unskilled in cookery or in any other kind of domestic labor. These girls can eat, sleep, and dress; they can use their fingers in doing fancy work; but they claim that labor over a washtub makes them sick. Cooking they do not understand. “Mother prefers to cook,” they say. Why does she? Because her daughters have not chosen to help her. They have not been trained to enjoy the doing of home duties and are as unfitted to become wives as are babies. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 15

Among us are hard-working men, men who earn large wages, but who are always financially cramped and often in debt. What is the cause? Nothing more, nothing less, than this: their wives are not practical housekeepers. In their youth they did not gain the experience that they should have gained. They are not skilled cooks. They waste much—enough to supply another family. Yet their own families are not half provided with nourishing food. They think they must use canned meat, or something else already prepared. If in their girlhood such wives had been taught how to make a little go as far as possible, they could prepare palatable, nourishing food from simple, inexpensive ingredients. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 16

Such girls seldom realize and remedy their deficiencies, and therefore when they become mothers, they are unprepared to educate their children aright. They cannot give to others the knowledge that they themselves do not possess. Because of a lack of care, skill, economy, and experience in household matters, both mother and children waste much. Thus they spend all that the father earns. The hard-working husband and father is always cramped financially. Because he never has at his command means to aid the cause of God, he is discouraged. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 17

These cases are not rare. On every hand they are to be found. And many an honest, true-hearted man has become so discouraged and desperate that in order to lighten his load he has been led to practice dishonesty. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 18


Laboring for First-day Adventists

I was shown that one half of the labor that has been put forth in Maine has been in behalf of First-day Adventist ministers who claim to observe the Sabbath. An endeavor has been made to counteract their erroneous influence and their opposition to the counsel of God. To the peril of their own souls they have been standing in the way of sinners, requiring a great amount of labor which ought to have been bestowed on those in new fields. They are satisfied with their present condition. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 19

The laborers are few. New fields should be entered. The time that is spent in wearing labor for First-day Adventists who have no desire to be helped should be spent in work in the highways and hedges. A mistake has been made in devoting so much time and labor to the First-day Adventists, who do not usually feel the need of being taught. Much more can be done for people in communities where there are no First-day Adventists. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 20

Let us work for unbelievers. If the First-day Adventists desire to attend our meetings, let them attend. Leave the way open for them so that if they really desire to come they may come. But the labor that has been bestowed in urging them to give up their erroneous ideas would have converted men who in moral worth are far ahead of the First-day Adventists, who have been so easily swayed by wrong influences. Worldly men converted to the truth are much more trustworthy than are those who have to be torn from an erroneous, fanatical experience that they have formerly received. It is difficult for First-day Adventists to obtain the experience that they must have in order to appreciate the exalted character of our sacred work and to become coworkers with God in carrying the last message of warning to the world. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 21

Usually First-day Adventists have but little sympathy with those who have followed the leadings of God’s providence. Even after claiming to believe the truth, they are jealous and fault-finding. Accustomed for so long a time to sow seeds of discord and to delight in detecting errors in others, they still pursue a vacillating course, questioning and criticizing the very messengers who brought them the light. They watch for an opportunity to pick flaws in the course of those who have been straightforward, those who have in faith followed the angel of the Lord step by step, those who have come to help them recover their spiritual eyesight. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 22

Although those who open their eyes can see abundant evidence that God has a people whom He is leading out upon the exalted platform of eternal truth, yet First-day Adventists usually refuse to acknowledge what they see. God has a people who are united in action. Harmony characterizes their movements in the great work they are doing. Success is attending their efforts. Yet these stray offshoots, these unorganized Adventists, disunited, and without leadership, choose to remain in their disorderly, scattered condition, rather than to unite with those who value order, harmony, and unity of action. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 23


The End of the World

God is sending to the world a solemn message, warning them of His soon coming in the clouds of heaven. This message is to call a people out from the world to obtain a fitness for His appearing. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 24

As it was in the days of Noah, so it is now, just prior to the final destruction of the wicked. Today the masses are slighting and rejecting the warning message. Like the antediluvians, they are given up to eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage. Their minds are engrossed with things of minor importance. Men are heaping to themselves treasures for the general conflagration. They indulge pride, appetite, and passion. They practice abominable wickedness, fast filling up the cup of their iniquity. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 25

In the bowels of the earth God has in reserve the weapons that He will use to destroy the sinful race. Since the flood, God has used, to destroy wicked cities, both the water and the fire that are concealed in the earth. In the final conflagration God will in His wrath send lightning from heaven that will unite with the fire in the earth. The mountains will burn like a furnace and pour forth streams of lava. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 26

“The [mountains] quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him.” [Nahum 1:5, 6.] 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 27

“Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.” [Psalm 144:5, 6.] 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 28


The Fruitless Fig Tree

The parable of the fig tree was given to represent the condition of all who do not bear fruit to the glory of God. With His disciples, Christ was on His way from Jerusalem to Bethany. “He was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon: and when He came to it,” He searched from the topmost branch to the lowest boughs. But He found nothing but leaves; and He said unto it, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And His disciples heard it.” [Mark 11:12-14.] 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 29

“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away.” [Verses 20, 21.] 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 30

Within a few hours Christ was to leave His disciples. For their instruction He gave them this lesson, at once a parable and a miracle. In order to give to His disciples a lesson that they would ever remember, He made the dumb, unconscious tree a responsible agent, using it to show the terrible result of fruitlessness. 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 31

By the punishment of the fruitless fig tree, Christ testified to His disappointment because the Jewish nation bore no fruit and to the punishment that must come to them. This nation had been favored with every spiritual advantage. By the mighty working of God’s power He had brought His people from Egypt into a land where they were to become “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:3.] But they did not profit by their blessings. For more than a thousand years the Jewish nation abused God’s mercy and invited His judgments. They determined their own destruction. Christ’s withering curse pronounced upon the fruitless fig tree was in perfect harmony with His words concerning the Jewish nation, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] 17LtMs, Ms 21, 1902, par. 32