Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18

467/524

Ms 147, 1903

The Narrow Way

NP

December 31, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 379; 3BC 1147.

Christ gives to all the invitation, “Follow Me.” “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 1

“Enter ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:13, 14.] 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 2

The path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord is far above all worldly schemes and practices. Those who walk in it are to show by their works the purity of their principles. They have a heaven to win, and by a well-ordered life and a godly conversation they are to show the genuineness of their profession. They are to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, fearing that they shall not perfect a Christian character, yet striving to follow on in the footsteps of Christ, keeping His life and His teaching ever before them. As they do this, God works in them, to will and to do of His good pleasure. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 3

Those who walk in the narrow way must follow the directions of the guidebook. Thus only can they reach the gates of the city of God. They are to follow the example of Christ, working as He worked. Then at last they will hear the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 4

Our Gifts

God has put men and women in possession of precious gifts. To different ones He has given different gifts. Not all have the same strength of character or the same depth of knowledge. But each one is to use his gifts in the Master’s service, however small this gift may seem to be. The faithful steward trades wisely on the goods entrusted to him. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 5

The endowments of mind and body are to be carefully guarded. Our gifts are not to be weakened by self-indulgence. Every power is to be carefully preserved, that it may always be ready for instant use. No part of the physical organism is to be weakened by misuse. Each part, however small, has an influence on the whole. The abuse of one nerve or muscle lessens the usefulness of the whole body. Those for whom Christ has given His life should bring their habits and practices into conformity to His will. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 6

“Freely ye have received; freely give.” [Matthew 10:8.] 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 7

God’s Word declares, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” [Ezekiel 18:4.] But God does not desire the death of any one. At infinite cost He provided for man a second probation. 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.] Should not those to whom the light of truth for this time has come place themselves in close connection with God, using their capabilities to advance the work of soul-saving? Should not the one who possesses an understanding of the Scriptures impart the knowledge given him to those who know not the truth? 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 8

Upon every believer in present truth rests the responsibility of working for sinners. God points them to their special work—the proclamation of the third angel’s message. They are to show their appreciation of God’s great gift by consecrating themselves to the work for which Christ gave His life. They are to be stewards of the grace of God, dispensing to others the blessings bestowed on them. He who has found comfort in the Word of God is to share this comfort with others. Thus only can he continue to receive comfort. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 9

True Repentance for Sin

I present before you the fifty-first Psalm, a psalm filled with precious lessons. From it we may learn what course to follow if we have departed from the Lord. To the king of Israel, exalted and honored, the Lord sent a message of reproof by His prophet. David confessed his sin and humbled his heart, declaring God to be just in all His dealings. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 10

“Have mercy upon me, O God,” he said, “according to Thy lovingkindness, according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight; that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest. ... 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 11

“Behold, Thou desiredst truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden parts Thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 12

“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation. O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise. For Thou desiredst not sacrifice; else would I give it; Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” [Verses 1-4, 6-17.] 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 13

Sin is sin, whether committed by one sitting on a throne, or by one in the humbler walks of life. The day is coming when all who have committed sin will make confession, even though it is too late for them to receive pardon. God waits long for the sinner to repent. He manifests a wonderful forbearance. But He must at last call the transgressor of His law to account. 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 14

A man incurs guilt by injuring a fellow being, but his chief guilt is the sin that he has committed against the Lord and the evil influence of his example upon others. The sincere child of God does not make light of any of His requirements. Should he do this, he would soon make for himself laws that would not be in harmony with God’s requirements. Another, having great confidence in him, would do the same, and thus God would be greatly dishonored. Infidels look at the defective lives of professing Christians, and say, “If I believed what those men and women profess to believe, I could never do the things that they do.” 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 15

Let us make steady advancement. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets, and run with patience the race set before us. Let us hold the truth in righteousness. Then, when adversity comes, we shall be able to trust in God, knowing that we have done our best. Trust in God is one of the signs that distinguish the righteous from the wicked. God never forgets His faithful children in their suffering and affliction. With confidence they may say: 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 16

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” [Psalm 23:1-6.] 18LtMs, Ms 147, 1903, par. 17