Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18

397/524

Ms 80, 1903

Sermon/Whoso Offereth Praise Glorifieth God

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

August 1, 1903

This manuscript is published in entirety in 2SAT 228-237.

Sabbath, August 1, 1903

Sermon, Mrs. E. G. White, St. Helena Sanitarium Chapel, Sanitarium, California,

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 1

“Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant; even unto them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him.” [Isaiah 56:1-8.] “And take hold of My covenant.” [Verse 4.] There is much more in these words than many comprehend at the first reading. When the Lord gave His law to the children of Israel encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai, the people with one accord promised, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” [Exodus 24:7.] In return for their loyalty, the Lord promised to bring them safely into the promised land and to prosper them above all nations. “Behold,” He declared, “I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. ... If thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary unto thine adversaries. ... And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” [Exodus 23:20, 22, 25.] 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 2

During the forty years of wilderness wandering, the Lord was true to the covenant He had made with His people. Those who were obedient to Him received the promised blessings. And this covenant is still in force. Through obedience we can receive heaven’s richest blessings. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 3

Those who claim to be Christ’s followers pledge themselves to obedience at the time of their baptism. When they go down into the water, they pledge themselves in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that they will henceforth be dead unto the world and its temptations, and that they will arise from the watery grave to walk in newness of life, even a life of obedience to God’s requirements. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, reminded them of their baptismal pledge, and wrote: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:1-3.] How much better it is to seek those things which are above, than to seek the things of this world, and to form our characters after a worldly similitude! 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 4

Very often I think of the rich promises given us in the Word in regard to God’s keeping power. We are kept by His power. How reasonable then it is that we should be careful to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He says, “I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] Of those who walk in this light He declares, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 5

When we mingle with the world and yield to the attraction of its pleasures and amusements, we think much less of God than we would if we were following Jesus in the path of self-denial which He has marked out for us. Let us keep our minds in right relation to God’s promises. Then He will keep us, and we shall see of His salvation. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 6

Many are the promises given us by the Lord for our encouragement. At all times we should be ready to show our appreciation of them by expressing gratitude for them. We should thank the Lord for what He has bestowed on us! Every one takes His gifts; but how many are there who, from morning till night, think enough of God to thank Him for these favors? 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 7

We try to be polite to one another, and we teach our children that when they are in company with others, they are to be pleasant and polite, cheerful and courteous. The Lord desires us to be polite in our association with one another. Shall we act in any other manner when we catch the divine rays of the Sun of righteousness? When the light of Christ’s countenance shines upon us, and we receive the riches of His grace, shall we not be polite to God? He has done for us far more than any human being can do. He has bought us with a price—and what a price! 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 8

In the councils of heaven, before the creation of the world, when it was planned that man should people the earth, there arose the question, What if man should sin, as Satan has sinned? Christ answered this question. The infinite Son of God pledged Himself that if man should sin, He would give Himself, His life, as a ransom for the fallen race, taking upon Himself the transgression of humanity. The Innocent would bear the sins of the guilty and stand before God to make intercession in behalf of the transgressor. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 9

Adam fell. Christ has fulfilled His pledge to redeem the lost race. By His sacrifice we are laid under everlasting obligation to God. We are to serve Him with our whole hearts. “Ye are not your own. ... Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] To this end we will put to tax every power God has given us, and strengthen our capabilities to the utmost. The talents God has entrusted to us should be increased by cultivation and use. By faithfully using all our powers to God’s glory, we shall be able to fulfil His purpose concerning us. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 10

A talent of great value, and one that nearly all possess, is the talent of speech. Let us be careful not to misuse it. Let us not be rough or coarse in speech. We are to offend no one, not even little children. Christ says, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 18:10.] The angels who watch over the children bear to heaven every word, be it cheering or disheartening, that is spoken to the little ones. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 11

Our heavenly Father is in living connection with humanity. If there be one in the universe whom we should respect, it is our Father in heaven; for He “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 12

Some may say, “But we have so many trials and difficulties. How can we avail ourselves of this gift and be overcomers?” “Tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” [Hebrews 4:15.] Why, then, should we not determine to fortify ourselves against every influence that Satan may bring to bear against us to hinder the formation of Christlike character? The enemy cannot gain possession of us unless we allow him to. If we are connected with the God of heaven, His protection will be over us. Let us, for Christ’s sake, begin now to form characters that He can approve. Let us not put off this work until just before His appearing, when it will be too late for us to begin. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 13

In this world we are given a time of probation, a time in which we can become transformed into the divine likeness. This probation has not been secured for us without an effort. Christ humiliated Himself to the lowest depths in order to redeem us. Laying aside His heavenly honor and glory, His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity and came to this earth as a little child, here to live from infancy to manhood the life through which human beings must pass. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 14

In return for so infinite a sacrifice, what are we willing to do for Christ? The Father has given to His Son all heaven, that we may have every opportunity of overcoming the enemy. To us are granted heaven’s richest gifts; but how often we fail to reach up and grasp them by living faith. We would have much more strength to resist temptation, if we would exercise greater faith. We should cherish and cultivate the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 15

There is a heaven for us to win. For our sake Christ left His riches and glory and became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich. Shall we not avail ourselves of this opportunity of becoming rich instead of taking the position that we will have our own way? We shall be under the control of either Christ or Satan, whichever master we voluntarily choose to serve. It seems as if those who, unwilling to give their hearts and minds to Jesus, choose to place themselves under the control of the prince of darkness do not exercise their reason in regard to the future. If they continue in their wrong course, the eternity upon which they are entering will not be an eternity of life, but of death. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 16

If we give ourselves to the One who gave His life for us, He will take us into relationship with Himself as His children. His life will be our life. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 17

We cannot be connected intimately with the things of the world without catching the spirit of worldlings who have no respect for Christ or for heaven. We do not say, Separate yourselves from worldly men and women so completely that you will exert no influence over them. No; but as you associate with them, hold firmly to Christ, and speak of Him often. Introduce Christ to your friends. Tell them that you desire to introduce to them the One who is the Prince of Life, the Lord of glory, and that you would be glad to have them become acquainted with Him. Let them know of His invitation to all those who are in perplexity and sorrow. He says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] There are no “ifs” or “ands” about this promise. Rest is assured to all who come. “Take My yoke upon you”—not a binding, galling yoke, but one that will give rest in spirit. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Verse 29.] In the very act of taking this yoke—the yoke of obedience—comes the rest—the rest that we shall find in our experience. Then we shall realize more fully the truthfulness of the words that follow this invitation: “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Verse 30.] 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 18

As soon as we submit our will to God’s will, our hearts are filled with the fulness of His love. How I long to have men and women understand this! How I long to hold up the One altogether lovely, the Chiefest among ten thousand! How I long to present Him in His greatness and goodness, and then to show what He has endured for us! He was “wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed”—healed of our sins. [Isaiah 53:5.] 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 19

I love Jesus. I was eleven years old before the light broke into my heart. I had pious parents, who in every way tried to acquaint us with our heavenly Father. Every morning and every evening we had family prayer. We sang the praises of God in our household. There were eight children in the family, and every opportunity was improved by our parents to lead us to give our hearts to Jesus. I was not unmindful of the voice of prayer going up daily to God. All these influences were working on my heart, and in my earlier years I had often sought for the peace there is in Christ; but I could not seem to find the freedom I desired. A terrible feeling of sadness and despair rested on my heart. I could not think of anything I had done to cause me to feel said; but it seemed to me as if I were not good enough ever to enter heaven. It seemed as if such a thing would be altogether too much for me to expect. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 20

The mental anguish I passed through at this time was very great. I believed in an eternally burning hell, and as I thought of the wretched state of the sinner without God, without hope, I was in deep despair. I feared that I should be lost and that I should live throughout eternity suffering a living death. But I learned better than this. I learned that I had a God who was altogether too merciful to perpetuate throughout eternity the lives of the beings whom He had created for His glory, but who, instead of accepting the Saviour, had died unrepentant, unforgiven, unsaved. I learned that the wicked shall be consumed as stubble and that they shall be as ashes under our feet in the new earth; they shall be as if they had not been. There is no eternally burning hell; there are no living bodies suffering eternal torment. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 21

When my mother said to me, “Ellen, the minister says that we have been mistaken; there is no eternal hell,” I said to her, “O Mother, don’t tell anybody; I am afraid that nobody would seek the Lord!” 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 22

For a time not one ray of light pierced the dark cloud surrounding me. My sufferings were very great. How precious the Christian’s hope seemed to me then! Night after night, while my twin sister was sleeping, I would arise and bow by the bedside before the Lord and plead with Him for mercy. All the words I had any confidence to utter were, “Lord, have mercy.” Such complete hopelessness would seize me that I would fall on my face with an agony of feeling that cannot be described. Like the poor publican, I dared not so much as lift my eyes toward heaven. I became much reduced in flesh. My friends looked upon me as one sinking into a decline. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 23

Finally I had a dream which gave me a faint hope that I might be saved. Soon afterward I attended a prayer meeting, and when others knelt to pray, I bowed with them tremblingly, and after two or three had prayed, I opened my lips in prayer before I was aware of it. The promises of God appeared to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received only by asking for them. As I prayed, the burden and agony of soul that I had so long felt left me, and the blessing of God came upon me like gentle dew, and I gave glory to God for what I felt. Everything was shut out from me but Jesus and glory, and I knew nothing of what was going on around me. It seemed as if I were at the feet of Jesus, and that the light of His countenance was shining upon me in all its brightness. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 24

I remained in this state for some time; and when I realized again what was going on around me, everything appeared glorious and new, as if smiling and praising God. I seemed to be shut in with God. I was then willing to confess Jesus everywhere. O what an effect this vision of Christ’s smiling countenance had upon me! The sacrifice that my Redeemer had made to save me from sin and death seemed very great. I could not dwell upon it without weeping. For six months not a cloud passed over my mind. O how I loved Jesus! 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 25

I love my Saviour just as much today as I loved Him then. I have passed through much sadness and suffering. Only about a week ago I feared that I might be a cripple for the remainder of my life. Physical infirmities that I have had for twenty-five years began to trouble me, and I knew not but that I should soon be a helpless cripple. But I kept praying for strength. I prayed, “I will keep my petition before Thee, Thou Lord of heaven, until Thou wilt remove the difficulty.” And I am glad to be able to say this morning, to His praise, that He answered my prayer. Dr. Kellogg wrote to me that he had sent by express an appliance for me to use in connection with the electric-light bath, by means of which he hoped I might obtain some relief; but the difficulty is removed. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 26

Not long ago I thought that I was losing my eyesight. I was greatly troubled with pain in my eyes and for a time had to be extremely careful about using them. Generally I am up early in the morning—sometimes at twelve o’clock, often by two, and seldom later than three. While others are asleep, my pen is tracing on paper the instruction that the Lord gives me for His people. Not infrequently I write, in one day, twenty pages or more of matter for my books. But when my eyes began to fail, I could write only at the cost of suffering severe pain. I told the Lord all about it. “I must have my eyesight, Lord,” I pleaded; “I cannot write without it; and I desire to communicate to the people the light that Thou hast revealed to me.” He heard my prayer and graciously restored my eyesight. My eyes are not strong; I use them so constantly that they are weak; but day by day the Lord strengthens them sufficiently for the work of the day, and for this I am grateful. Oh, I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 27

I love the Lord. Last evening, as we met together in our sitting room for worship, it seemed to me as if the Lord Jesus were in our midst, and my heart went out in love to Him. I love Him because He first loved me. He gave His life for me. Last night I felt as if I wanted everything that hath breath to praise the Lord. It seemed to me that we should have praise seasons and that constantly our hearts should be filled so full with thankfulness to God, that they would overflow in words of praise and deeds of love. We should cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 28

To the fathers and mothers before me I would say, Educate your children for the future, immortal life. Educate them to see the beauty there is in a life of holiness. Bring them to the foot of the cross. Try to teach them what it means to believe in Jesus—that it is to accept Him as our dearest Friend. Help them to understand that He took upon Himself the nature of humanity, in order that He might stand at the head of humanity and become acquainted with all our trials and afflictions. He could have surrounded Himself with angels of glory; but no; He condescended to be made like unto His brethren. He was not born as a price into this world, but was of humble parentage. He understands the trials of the poor. He knows all about the temptations we meet in daily life. We may safely put our trust in Him. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 29

Oh, I am so thankful, so thankful that we have a Saviour who can sympathize with us in everything through which we are called to pass! He loves us with an infinite love. Shall we not so relate ourselves to Him that He can fulfil His purpose concerning us? He desires to cleanse us from sin. As John the Baptist was preaching and baptizing on the banks of the Jordan, he saw Christ coming toward him, and, recognizing Him as the Saviour, he cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Shall not we decide to let Christ take away our sin? Is sinning so great a pleasure to us that we will decide to continue to grieve the One whose heart is filled with infinite love for us? Why not cease sinning? We can do this by faith, if we lay hold on Christ’s promises, and say: 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 30

“In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to Thy cross I cling.”
18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 31

Christ asks for our love. Does He not deserve it? Has not He given us instruction at every step? He says, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] He bore the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice. He passed over the ground where Adam fell. Our first parents were placed in Eden and surrounded with everything that would lead them to obey God. Christ assumed our fallen nature and was subject to every temptation to which man is subject. Even in is childhood He was often tempted. Through life He remained unyielding to every inducement to commit sin. When in His youth His associates would try to lead Him to do wrong, He would begin to sing some sweet melody, and the first thing they knew they were uniting with Him in singing the song. They caught His spirit, and the enemy was defeated. Ah, my friends, Christ is the Chiefest among ten thousand. Praise the name of the Lord! 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 32

We are striving to gain eternal life in the kingdom of glory. We may have it if we will to overcome as Christ overcame. We have in heaven an Advocate who knows our every weakness, and He will answer our prayers for strength to resist the enemy. I used to think that when I prayed for forgiveness of sins, I must have in my heart a feeling that my sins were forgiven before I could know that my prayer had been answered. I do not wait for this feeling any more. I put my whole heart into my prayer, and then I live this prayer. After asking Christ to do certain things for me, I rise and go to work in an effort to do them. Then the sweet influence of the Spirit of God comes over me with such power at times that I feel as if I must break forth into song, to sing His praises. He is good, and praise belongs unto Him. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 33

Christ is our great Physician. Many men and women come to this medical institution with the hope of receiving treatment that will prolong their lives. They take considerable pains to come here. Why cannot every one who comes to the Sanitarium for physical help come to Christ for spiritual help? Why cannot you, my brother, my sister, entertain the hope that if you accept Christ, He will add His blessing to the agencies employed for your restoration to health? Why cannot you have faith to believe that He will co-operate with your efforts to recover, because He wants you to get well? He wants you to have a clear brain, so that you can appreciate eternal realities; He wants you to have healthful sinews and muscles, so that you can glorify His name by using your strength in His service. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 34

These physical blessings cannot be gained by the intemperate. He who desires to regain health must avoid every association that would lead him to indulge in beer, wine, or other intoxicating liquors. We cannot afford to be intemperate. Let us raise our voices against the curse of drunkenness. Let us strive to warn the world against its seductive influences. Let us portray before young and old the terrible results of indulgence of appetite. The man who when entering a saloon is in the possession of all his faculties and powers, in the course of an hour or two, leaves the place a changed being. His steps are unsteady; his utterance is thick and indistinct; his brain is confused; his sensibilities are benumbed: in short, he has temporarily spoiled the image of God. Drunkenness is a terrible evil. Wherever I have travelled, I have regarded it as a privilege to speak on the subject of temperance. I generally begin at the foundation, urging parents to train their children to temperate habits. I dwell upon the necessity of our using every God-given power to His glory, so that we shall fulfil His will in everything we say and do. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 35

You may think that you would be unhappy if you should try to serve Christ; but I testify to you that you would be pleasantly disappointed. When you choose to obey the Lord, and become one with Him, you will realize that the light of His countenance is shining upon you, and that you will see Him as He is when He comes. He will be in all your thoughts, and your heart will be filled with joy. After instructing His disciples to keep His commandments, He declared, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [John 15:11.] He takes no pleasure in seeing us miserable, but takes delight in seeing us joyful. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 36

Let us consider these things. They are so simple that we can readily keep them in mind. My brother, my sister, every day lift your heart to God in prayer. Say, “Teach me, lead me, guide me.” When affliction comes, and you suffer pain, tell Him that you need Him all the more and that you cannot let Him go; you must have the assurance of His presence. He knows all about your trials. He, the second Adam, redeemed us from suffering the results of Adam’s disgraceful fall; in every point He overcame the enemy, and through His strength we can win the overcomer’s reward—eternal life. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 37

If we should dwell upon these themes, we should hear much more thankfulness rendered to God. Those who realize what He is willing to do for them will praise Him with heart and mind and soul. They will fully surrender themselves to Him, in order that He may co-operate with them in the work of perfecting a Christian character. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 38

To the patients who have come here for treatment, I would say, Become acquainted with Christ while you are here. Receive Him as your Saviour. Come to His feet, and say, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole.” [See Matthew 8:2.] We desire to see the great Physician working in this institution; we do not wish to bar Him out. Commit your cases to Him. He is the great Medical Missionary. Let us learn of Him, and do His works, that we may glorify Him. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 39

Let us pitch our tent a day’s march nearer home. Let us determine to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 7:1.] Let us come to the waters of life, and freely drink of the health-giving stream. May God help us to strike at the root of the matter. We are liable to be content with mere surface work; but we should never rest at ease until we are joyful in the Lord; and then we shall desire to labor for the conversion of others, that they, too, may receive what we have received from the Life-giver. Christ is the Life-giver and the Crown-giver. “To him that overcometh,” He promises, “will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] Thank God for such a Saviour! Thank Him with heart and soul and voice. 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 40

Let all the congregation sing the beautiful hymn, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” 18LtMs, Ms 80, 1903, par. 41