Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19

296/345

Ms 110, 1904

Sermon/Lessons From the First Chapter of Daniel

Healdsburg, California

March 19, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in CTr 177-178; 17MR 30.

(Sermon, Pacific Union Conference, Healdsburg, California, 11 a.m., Sabbath, March 19, 1904.)

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 1

“And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” [Daniel 1:1-4.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 2

In making these appointments, the king did not choose novices, or those whose home training had been defective; he chose youth who in mind and body gave promise of a life of usefulness. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 3

To be of service in the Babylonian court, these youth must first become so familiar with the language of the Chaldeans that they would be able to use it fluently. They were therefore placed under the instruction of the wise men of Babylon. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 4

“And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank; so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 5

“Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” [Verses 5, 6.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 6

The king worked insidiously. In him was vested absolute authority, as ruler of a kingdom of surpassing grandeur, yet he did not seek to influence these young men standing before him—men of perfect form and fine mental qualities—by an imposing display of the greatness of his power; he did not try to compel them to renounce their faith in favor of idolatry. He sought to bring this about gradually, by having them sit at a table with idolaters for three years, where they would become familiar with idolatrous customs. He hoped that by giving these youth opportunity of observing daily the display connected with the charming, seductive rites of heathen worship, he would induce them fully to apostatize and become one with the Babylonians in matters of religion. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 7

Why did not the Hebrew captives yield to the king’s desire? They had learned to some purpose in their homes. They had skill and wisdom and understanding, because they had heeded the Word of the Lord. They had taken counsel of God. The mighty Counselor was revered by these youth; therefore all the attractions that could be presented to them were of no avail. Consulting one another, they purposed in their hearts that they would not eat at the king’s table. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 8

One objectionable feature of the proposed plan to eat at this table was the fact that here the youth would be expected to partake of wine and luxuries that they had not had in their Judean homes. Heretofore their habits had been temperate. A healthful current of blood flowed through their veins. Their appearance betokened health. Not a trace of imbecility or weakness could be discerned. They had passed through the training school of temperance and self-denial—a school in which it would be well for every youth to be trained. In this age of the world, young men and young women should determine that they will not indulge in any extravagance by eating and drinking the luxuries that tempt the appetite, but that weaken moral and physical power. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 9

The Hebrew captives feared that should they sit at the king’s table and partake of his luxuries, they would lose their keenness of perception. They realized that indulgence of appetite is destructive of brainpower; and they feared that should they yield, they would lose their high sense of the peculiarity of their religion—the religion of the Bible. They were fully convinced that they had gained a knowledge of the truths of God; for they had studied the Sacred Records of the creation and of God’s dealings with His people from age to age. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 10

Parents, these youthful captives in Babylon had made the Bible the study of their lives. And why?—Their parents feared God and taught them to prize His precepts. If every child in every family should have the attention that these Hebrew youth had in early life, what might we not expect from the youth that are trained in this day? If parents fail of doing their duty, and neglect their children, the sins of the sons and daughters whose characters are defective will be charged to the parents as well as to the actual transgressors; for fathers and mothers are the guardians of their little ones. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 11

Parents are the first teachers of children. And wherever a school is established to carry forward the training begun in the home school, those whose children attend this school should feel under solemn obligation to stand by the side of the teachers in the school. The guardians of the home should feel the burden of this work and be willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with the teachers in bearing it. Let prayers ascend to God in behalf of the work of the school. Let no word of faultfinding or criticism be uttered during the conversation around the table, or at any other time. By their prayers, by every word and deed, let them encourage and sustain the teachers in the school and reveal a genuine interest in its work. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 12

In no event are parents inexcusable for wilful neglect of their children. Let luxuries be laid aside; let economy in food and dress be studied and practiced. Angels of God will co-operate with those who make earnest efforts to train their children for heaven. Angels are in every household, watching for opportunities to co-operate with the parents in every effort made to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. During family worship, during the hours devoted to instruction—in every time and place—heavenly angels are present to impress minds. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 13

Fathers, mothers, do you not desire to have the help that these angels are ready to give you? Realize that unless you take special pains to glorify the God of heaven, unless you keep Him exalted before your children, the laxness of your Christian life will be reflected in the lives of your children. If your discipline be loose, their character building will be defective in consequence of your neglect. You cannot afford this. You cannot afford to come up to the judgment, there to hear the words, “Neglectful servant.” [Matthew 25:26.] You cannot afford to fail of bringing your children up to the gate of the heavenly city, with the words, “Here am I, Lord, and the children which Thou gavest me.” [Hebrews 2:13.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 14

Let us make the salvation of our children our first business. Let us carry out the mind and will of the God of heaven by working to this end. Whatever our surroundings may be—even if we be living in a neighborhood where infidel sentiments or other evils prevail—we are constantly to counterwork the efforts of the enemy and devote to the training of our children as many hours as we can spare. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 15

The God-fearing parent who realizes the importance of molding minds in the years of childhood is willing to lose financially in many things, rather than to neglect to give time to the performance of this duty. He realizes that financial loss is nothing, in comparison with the loss that would be sustained in consequence of neglect to train his children for heaven. What earthly gain could be compared with a life that measures with the life of God? Who could plead the pressure of business cares as an excuse for not devoting sufficient time to so great a work? Children who are properly trained at home will honor God above everything that is upon the face of the earth. The life that we are now living is granted us as a time of preparation for the future, immortal life. Let us take time for self-examination, for meditation and prayer, for pointing out to our children the way to heaven. Eternal interests are at stake. Better far would it be to clothe your children plainly and to live simply, and take the time necessary for instructing them in the way of salvation, than to seek earthly riches and luxury and honor at the expense of neglected home duties. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 16

But to return to the record of Daniel’s experience: “Among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.” [Daniel 1:6, 7.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 17

The names of Daniel and his fellows are changed. This act on the part of the king is another underhanded attempt to lead these youth to worship idols. The names given children by Hebrew parents were always regarded as of high value, as they had a peculiar significance and often stood for some trait of character. The Babylonians reasoned that by giving Daniel and his companions names referring to the worship of heathen deities, these worshipers of the true God would more quickly become familiar with the gods of Babylon. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 18

The Test of Obedience

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” [Verse 8.] This was a pointed request. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 19

“Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” [Verse 9.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 20

Why?—Because Daniel had been well trained at home, and he had a loveable character. Wherever he and his companions were, their words and actions sweetened the surrounding atmosphere. In our day this may be true of every one who takes his position on the Lord’s side, and who eats of the flesh and drinks of the blood of the Son of God. Our youth are composed of what they eat. If heavenly principles are kept before their minds and instilled in their hearts, they are transformed into the likeness of Christ. They partake of the same living fountain that flowed from Christ, the living Rock, during the wilderness-wandering of the Israelites. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 21

Some may inquire, “Why were the Israelites taken out of their homes in the cities and in the fertile country districts of Egypt and led into a wilderness, where they had to bear so many hardships and disappointments?” O it was that they might be given a training that would make them a model people, an example to the surrounding idolatrous nations. God entrusted them with His law and instructed them in every duty of life. Just before entering the promised land, the statutes and judgments of God were repeated; and concerning these the Lord through His servant Moses declared: 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 22

“Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord your God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” [Deuteronomy 4:6-8.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 23

Established in the land of Canaan, the Israelites were obedient for a time and prospered. The impression made upon the surrounding nations was wonderful. They were indeed the light of the world. So long as they placed entire dependence on God, and obeyed His precepts, they were far in advance of any other people. But in time a change took place. They began to be proud and self-sufficient. Gradually they lost their hold upon God and became rebellious and stubborn. Little by little they lost their sacred peculiarity and became like the idolatrous nations with whom they mingled. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 24

In this age of the world God is gathering out from all nations a people who will obey His commandments. Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” [Titus 2:14.] Obedience to the Sabbath commandment is one of the principal features of our peculiarity. We keep the seventh-day Sabbath—the Sabbath of the Bible—the day that in Eden God set apart as holy time. After finishing the creation of the world in six days, He “rested on the seventh day from all His work.” [Genesis 2:2.] This is the day He has bidden us keep. Will we be true to Him? Come what may, to try our faith, will we choose to remain loyal to the Sabbath commandment? We shall be tested on this very point—and much sooner, perhaps, than many realize. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 25

In these last days our youth need to be trained as carefully as was Daniel in his home in the hills of Judea; for upon them will come tests as severe as those that tried the faith of the Hebrew captives. Young men and young women must now be willing to sacrifice life, if need be, rather than to apostatize and to break God’s commandments. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 26

Idolatry is in the land. In the place of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, a spurious sabbath has been instituted by man and soon all will be required to observe this unholy day of rest. Will our children yield and go into idolatry? 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 27

Now is our day of preparation. God has mercifully granted us a probation during which to prepare for the final great test. If we choose, we may form, and help our children form, a loving, Christlike character that will enable us to withstand every effort of the enemy to overcome us. Firmness to right principles will lead the followers of Jesus to refuse to do evil and to delight in doing good. Let us determine to be true. Let us faithfully instruct our children; and let us, too, take an interest in the children of parents who do not seem to understand what it means to educate their children for the courts above. We must make some provision for these unfortunate ones; for none who are sinful can enter heaven. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 28

Our God made an infinite sacrifice for the redemption of the lost race. In the gift of His only begotten Son to die for us, He has revealed His deep love for humanity. What a sacrifice Christ made, that He might bring every son and daughter of Adam to His Father’s throne! In order to embrace every human being in the plan of salvation, Christ came not as a prince, escorted by a majestic train of heavenly angels; He came in the likeness of mankind. Stepping from His high command, and laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He came to this earth as a babe, of humble parentage. Like us, He passed through the periods of infancy, childhood, and youth. In His early manhood He worked at the carpenter’s trade and continued to live in the home of His youth. Faithfully He toiled with Joseph and fulfilled the duties of an obedient son. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 29

Fathers, upon you there rests an important work. You should take your son with you, and exert a right influence over him. Train him in habits of industry. Never encourage any tendency toward idleness; for Satan finds some mischief for idle hands and brains to do. Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibilities of parenthood have assumed sacred obligations, and in the fear of God they should strive to fulfil these. No one has a right to bring into the world children who, through neglect in the home, will be permitted to drift into the hands of Satan. God forbid that any parents, no matter how pressing their business interests may be, should make the salvation of their children a matter of secondary importance! 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 30

O that parents would awaken to a realization of their high privileges! O that they would teach their children line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little! O that they would watch for souls, as those who must give an account! We may make our homes as God desires to see them made—places in which the presence of His Spirit can dwell. He is ready to strengthen every son and daughter of His to fill their position nobly. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 31

Child-training, it is true, is often difficult and perplexing; but wisdom will be given for meeting every emergency. Let none do this work with severity. Let kindness and the love of God rule. Sometimes punishment must be administered; but let it be the final resort. First do everything else possible to lead the child to obey. God desires the teachers in the home school to stand in the moral dignity of His might and power and to train their children as subjects of His kingdom. He values sweetness of temper, kindness of disposition, faithfulness in service, self-denial in every habit of life, gratitude to God for blessings temporal and spiritual. Children who have learned to cultivate these traits of character will repay their parents a hundredfold for all the trouble taken in their early training. Their lives will redound to God’s glory; and in the eternal home that Christ has gone to prepare for us, parents and children as united families will share the reward of the faithful. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 32

God gives us everything we have. What right have our children in this world, what right have we, excepting that which comes through the sacrifice of our Saviour? We are sinners, under sentence of death; and only through Christ, our Atonement, is it possible for us to receive pardon and to lay claim to anything that we enjoy or hope to attain. Christ came to take away the sin of the world and thus to save sinners. Shall we not let Him take ours away? He is ready and willing to do a work for every soul who comes to Him. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 33

And when our sins are taken away, when our hearts are transformed, when upon us is placed the robe of Christ’s righteousness, our Redeemer acknowledges us as His representatives and bids us do a work for Him. Wonderful grace! 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 34

Before the giving of the law at Sinai, God made a solemn covenant with the Israelites on condition of obedience to His commandments. “If ye will obey My voice indeed,” the Lord declared, “and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” [Exodus 19:5, 6.] These promises are made to us as verily as they were to the Israelites. Why are we so weak? God cannot lie; He will fulfil every promise made. O our weakness is the result of disobedience. Those who have professed to be the children of God have neglected duties in the home life. They have failed to unite with Him who is mighty, and in their own strength they have been unable to train their children for heaven. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 35

Parents, lay hold on the strength of the mighty Helper. Be true to the church in your home. Obey every one of Heaven’s precepts. Take your children with you into the church, and there let their tender lips bear testimony regarding the love of God in the heart. This is an important part of their training; for they are to learn to be missionaries in the world—witnesses for Christ and His truth. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 36

It is for the perfecting of the work begun in the home school and in the church that church schools and higher institutions of learning are established. Many, many years ago light was given me that we should have church schools; that we should take every pains to deny self, so as to be able to create a fund for the establishment of these schools, in which provision should be made for our children and youth to obtain a Christian training for service in the cause of God. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 37

Only when hearty co-operation exists between parents and church school teachers can these schools serve the best interests of children and youth. Fathers, mothers, let the teachers know that you are in sympathy with them, and that you will strive to second their efforts by pulling in even cords with them. Let it be understood that you are in favor of nothing less than the elevated standard of perfection. Unite with them in pressing the battle to the gates. Encourage the youth to put on the armor of righteousness and to strive to overcome every defect. The Lord will give them power to gain victory after victory. Like Daniel and his fellows, our little ones, trained as these Hebrew youth were, will become children in whom is “no blemish, but well favored, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science,” and such as have ability in them to stand in kings’ palaces. [Daniel 1:4.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 38

Some of our youth will indeed stand in kings’ palaces. There are many here today who will be brought before kings and nobles to give an answer for their faith. God’s people will be scattered into all parts of the world; because the very work that ought to have been done in many cities and other places, both at home and abroad, has been neglected. God desires that every student who goes out from Healdsburg College should stand in a position where he can honor and glorify the God of heaven. It is God who gives wisdom; it is God who helps every one who strives to do his best to help himself. Will you determine to honor God? Arouse to a realization of your infinite privileges! Cultivate your moral sensibilities. Carry out the principles of the Word of God, which are yea and amen. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 39

But I must return to Daniel. He had requested that he be excused from sitting at the king’s table. You may regard this as a foolish request. Some would reason that Daniel might have exerted an influence for good by associating with idolaters. But the influence exerted by his wicked associates would have been liable to lead him astray. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 40

A second consideration with these youthful captives was the fact that the king, before eating, always asked the blessing of his gods upon the food. A portion of the food, and also of the wine, from his table was set apart as an offering to the false gods whom he worshiped. According to the religious ideas of the day, this act consecrated the whole to the heathen gods. Daniel and his three brethren thought that even if they should not actually partake of the king’s bounties, a mere pretense of eating the food or drinking the wine, where such idolatry was practiced, would be a denial of their faith. To do this would indeed be to implicate themselves with heathenism and to dishonor the principles of the law of God. They decided to stand firm in their integrity, let the result be what it might. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 41

“The prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? Then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 42

“Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.” [Verses 10-13.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 43

Ten days is a short time, yet Daniel had faith to believe that the Lord would work for them, if they should be given opportunity to partake of simple food even for this length of time. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 44

“So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.” [Verse 14.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 45

Now the sum is proved, in favor of these self-denying ones: “At the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.” [Verses 15, 16.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 46

God co-operates with every one who does his best to overcome. Divine power is granted for the carrying out of every noble purpose. The experience of the Hebrew captives is but one of many illustrations in the Word, revealing that God’s blessing attends the obedient. Of Daniel and his companions it is declared: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” [Verse 17.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 47

Daniel’s understanding of visions and dreams enabled him to act a very prominent part in connection with the rulers of Babylon as well as with his own captive people. Through him the God of heaven was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar as an all-powerful God—“a God of gods, and a Lord of kings.” [Daniel 2:47.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 48

The story is a familiar one. In the same year that Daniel and his companions entered the service of the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar had a remarkable dream, by which “his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” [Verse 1.] Although this vision of the night made a deep impression on his mind, he found it impossible to recall the particulars. He applied to his wise men, but they failed so completely that the king discerned their hypocrisy and commanded that they be put to death. Daniel, hearing of this decree, sought an interview with the king and begged that time be granted in order that he might reveal to the king the dream and its interpretation. The monarch acceded to this request. Daniel went to his house and prayed, in company with his three companions, for light from heaven. In a night vision the secret was revealed unto Daniel. The rehearsal of the dream, with its interpretation, led Nebuchadnezzar to revoke his edict for the destruction of the wise men. Their lives were spared because of Daniel’s connection with the God who is a “revealer of secrets.” [Verse 47.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 49

Nebuchadnezzar’s wonderful dream caused a marked change in his ideas and opinions, and for a little time he was influenced by the fear of God; but his heart was not yet cleansed from its pride, its worldly ambition, its desire for self-exaltation. After the first impression wore away, he thought only of his own greatness and studied how the dream might be turned to his own honor. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 50

The words, “Thou art this head of gold,” made the deepest impression upon Nebuchadnezzar’s mind. [Verse 38.] He determined to make an image that should excel the original. This image was not to deteriorate in value from the head to the feet, like the one he had been shown, but was to be composed throughout of the most precious metal. Thus the whole image would represent the greatness of Babylon, and he determined that by the splendor of this image the prophecy concerning the kingdoms which were to follow should be effaced from his mind and from the minds of others who had heard the dream and its interpretation. From the treasures obtained in war, Nebuchadnezzar “made an image of gold, whose height was three score cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plan of Dura,” and issued a proclamation, calling upon all the officers of the kingdom to assemble at the dedication of this image and, at the sound of musical instruments, to bow down and worship it. [Daniel 3:1-5.] Should any fail of doing this, they were immediately to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 51

The appointed day came, and at the sound of entrancing music, the vast company “fell down, and worshiped the golden image.” [Verse 7.] But the three Hebrew youth, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (we have no record of Daniel’s being present), did not dishonor the God of heaven by paying homage to this idol. Their action was reported to the king. Angered, he called them before him and by threats endeavored to induce them to unite with the multitude in worshiping the image. Courteously, yet firmly, they declared their allegiance to the God of heaven and their faith in His power to deliver them in the hour of trial. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 52

The king’s wrath knew no bounds. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than was its wont. And without delay the Hebrew exiles were cast in. So furious were the flames that the men who cast the Hebrews in were burned to death. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 53

Suddenly the countenance of the king paled with terror. He looked intently upon the glowing flames and turning to his lords, in tones of alarm, inquired, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” The answer was, “True, O king.” His voice trembling with excitement, the monarch exclaimed, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God!” [Verses 24, 25.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 54

The Hebrew captives had told Nebuchadnezzar of Christ, the Redeemer that was to come; and from the description thus given, the king recognized the form of the fourth in the fiery furnace as the Son of God. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 55

Hastening to the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar cried, “Ye servants of the most high God, come forth.” [Verse 26.] And they obeyed, before that vast multitude showing themselves unhurt, not even the smell of fire being on their garments. True to duty, they had been proof against the flames. Only their fetters had been burned. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 56

Tests will come to every one of us. We know not how many will be placed in peculiar positions, where we shall have opportunity of showing forth the glory of God. We are to keep in view the honor of our heavenly Father. Wherever we are, we are to let nothing earthly deter us from glorifying His name. Are we prepared for the tests that will come? 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 57

The vain glory and oppression seen in the course pursued by the heathen king Nebuchadnezzar are being and will continue to be manifested in our day. History will repeat itself. In this age the great test will be upon the point of Sabbath observance. The heavenly universe beholds men trampling upon the law of Jehovah, making the memorial of God—the sign between Him and His commandment-keeping people—a thing of naught, something to be despised, while a rival sabbath is exalted, as was the great golden image in the plain of Dura. Men claiming to be Christians will call upon the world to observe this spurious sabbath that they have made. All who refuse will be put under oppressive laws. This is the mystery of iniquity, the devising of satanic agencies, carried into effect by the man of sin. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 58

Apostate Protestantism has accepted the false sabbath instituted by the Roman Catholic Church. They have cradled this child of the papacy. Very soon all who refuse to worship this idol will be forbidden to buy or sell. The advisability of enacting such a law is now being discussed. But the people of God will enter into no controversy with the world over this matter. They will simply take God’s Word for their guide and maintain their allegiance to Him whose commandments they keep. They will obey the words of Jehovah recorded in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, verses twelve to eighteen: 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 59

“Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. ... Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore ... for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever.” This word “forever” is a further proof of the immutability of God’s law. It can never be changed. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 60

Read the entire scripture, and study it with care; for it means much. With God, mere profession amounts to nothing; He recognizes as His children only those who are true to Him. Those whose lives of obedience witness to their allegiance to the God of heaven will be granted the reward of life eternal. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 61

We have a great work to do. To us has been committed the work of giving to the world the light of God’s truth. We are to warn men and women against the worship of the beast and his image—against the worship of the idol Sunday. But in doing this work, we need not begin a warfare against unbelievers. We are simply to present the Word of the Lord, in its true dignity and purity, before the minds of those who are ignorant or indifferent regarding its teachings. The Holy Spirit will impress their hearts. We must leave the responsibility with those to whom we carry the message of present truth. We need not tell them that they will go to hell unless they keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The truth itself, accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, will convict and convert hearts. We are simply to arouse those in error to a realization of their accountability to God for the light of truth that is shining forth from the pages of God’s Word. Truth, received into the heart, will change the life and mold the character into the divine similitude. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 62

We do not begin to improve our opportunities for enlightening the people. Not half of those living in Healdsburg and in surrounding cities and villages know anything concerning the reasons of our faith. We must learn to be evangelists. Upon us rests the responsibility of enlightening those who are living within the sphere of our influence. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 63

May God help us to make this meeting what it ought to be—a meeting in which there is no complaining, no censuring, no condemnation. Let every one attend to his own soul’s salvation and plead with God for overcoming grace. The Lord will give victory to every one who comes to Him in simplicity of faith for pardon and strength. He is willing and waiting to honor every penitent, believing soul with the presence of the Holy Spirit. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 64

Let us lift up our hands of thanksgiving and praise and honor to Him that sitteth upon the throne. Let us, to whom have been entrusted the treasures of present truth, magnify His name by sharing these treasures with every unbeliever whom we can reach. Let us remember that God’s work is in need of means and that we have the privilege of denying ourselves every needless thing in order to give of our means for the advancement of the truth. 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 65

To those who are consecrated, Christ will give many opportunities to speak words of righteousness to souls ready to perish; and He will impart wisdom and grace for the doing of this work. Brethren and sisters, will you come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty? 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 66

I sound the note of warning to you today. Get ready; get ready! For two months, excepting two or three nights, I have lain upon my bed at night, unable to sleep past twelve o’clock; and I have pled with God in the night season to arouse our people to take hold of matters understandingly and to act their part faithfully. The world is to be warned! To those who are faithful during the closing work of the message will be given an abundant entrance through the pearly gates into the city of God; and there every one will be greeted with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] A glittering crown will be placed upon every brow, a golden harp in every hand. With strains of sweetest music the redeemed will unite in ascribing praise and thanksgiving to Christ. The language of every heart will be, “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb, who gave His life for me.” [See Revelation 5:12.] 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 67

Brethren and sisters, are we prepared to stand the test that will soon be brought to bear upon us? We must have strength from above, else we shall fail. Let us seek God during this meeting. Let us put away the spirit of controversy and of faultfinding. Let us cherish the spirit of humility, of love, of peace. Let us cling to the mighty pillars of truth and exalt the Lord God of Israel, making Him our fear and our dread. God grant that this may be the experience of every one! 19LtMs, Ms 110, 1904, par. 68