Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Ms 109, 1906

Sermon/Love Toward God and Man

Oakland, California

July 21, 1906

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 09/13/1906, 09/20/1906.

(A discourse given at the Oakland, Cal. camp meeting, Sabbath, July 21, 1906.) 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 1

“Behold, a certain lawyer stood up,” and tempted Christ, “saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:25-27.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 2

“Thou hast answered right,” Christ declared; “this do, and thou shalt live.” [Verse 28.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 3

In the question, “What is written in the law?” [verse 26] the Saviour referred to the ten commandments communicated to the Israelites from Sinai’s height. Those to whom had been entrusted the sacred oracles had well nigh lost sight of these precepts. There came a time when Christ saw that Satan was gathering the whole world, as it were, in his grasp. The enemy was working with the intensity with which he had worked in the heavenly courts, when first he refused to yield to the mighty Monarch of the universe. Satan was rapidly leading the world to act counter to God’s law, counter to the principles of righteousness that should have been made their rule of action. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 4

Christ saw that the time had come when Satan’s power over mankind must be broken. Before the fall of man, the Son of God had united with His Father in laying the plan of salvation. God was to be manifested in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself.” [2 Corinthians 5:19.] And now, thousands of years later, the fulness of time came for the infinite sacrifice to be made. Divinity was to be communicated to humanity through a divine-human Saviour. The great Life-giver was to purchase the whole world by giving His own life as a ransom. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 5

Christ came, but not in the brightness of His divine glory. He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to live upon the earth as a man among men. Had He come in the full power and glory of His divinity, sinners could not have stood in His presence without being destroyed. He came to meet humanity in its most sinful and corrupt form. Thus divine love was manifested toward erring mortals. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 6

The Saviour gained victories over temptation through power imparted from above in answer to prayer. He met the enticements of the enemy with the sword of the Spirit—God’s Word. Again and again He declared, “It is written.” And when the lawyer stood up to question Him while He was teaching the people, He drew from the questioner the answer desired, by appealing to the lawyer’s knowledge of God’s Word. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 7

It was to vindicate the just claims of the law of God, and to establish the supreme authority of its divine Author, that Christ came to this earth. The lawyer, while trying to prove that Christ lightly regarded the law given from Sinai, found himself a lawbreaker. Rather than to repent, he sought to justify himself by putting another question, “Who is my neighbor?” [Luke 10:29.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 8

By a short story Jesus brought to view the whole duty of man toward his fellow man and toward God. “A certain man,” He said, “went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.” [Verses 30-32.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 9

Not all who claim to keep God’s law—a law given by One who is full of compassion, long-sufferance and loving-kindness—reveal a love for their neighbor as great as their love for themselves. Not all reveal, in word and deed, that they comprehend God’s great love for humanity. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 10

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn; and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” [Verses 33-35.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 11

Fixing His eyes upon the lawyer, in a glance that seemed to read his soul, the Saviour inquired, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?” [Verse 36.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 12

The lawyer answered, “He that showed mercy on him.” Jesus said, “Go, and do thou likewise.” [Verse 37.] Show the same tender kindness to those in need. Thus you will give evidence that you keep the whole law. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 13

In giving this lesson, Christ presented the principles of the law of God in a direct, forcible way, showing His hearers that they had neglected to carry out these principles. His words were so definite and pointed that the listeners found no opportunity to cavil or raise objections. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 14

Those who study this lesson aright will see that in order to keep the law it is necessary to have a knowledge of God; for the law is a transcript of His character, and His character is love. Moses prayed, “I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory. And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.” “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” [Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 15

The lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?” [Luke 10:29.] The despised Samaritan, of whom Jesus told, acted as Jesus would have acted toward the suffering Jew robbed by the wayside and left to perish. He fulfilled the command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” thus showing that he was more righteous than those by whom he was despised. [Verse 27.] This Samaritan represents Christ. He stooped from the position of commander in the heavenly courts to become a servant. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, yet He humbled Himself. His whole life was one of poverty and self-denial. For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He did not live to please Himself. His life is the mystery of godliness. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 16

Jesus was the foundation of the Jewish economy, the author of all their laws, statutes, and requirements. How His soul was pained and His heart filled with grief as He saw those, who claimed to be the depositaries of truth, mercy, and compassion, so destitute of the love of God! 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 17

The Saviour is guiding. He has hold of man and of the throne of the Deity. In the providence of God, the priest and the Levite were brought in contact with a suffering fellow creature, that they might minister to him. Christ is constantly weaving the web of human events. He placed this suffering man where one who had sympathy and compassion would give attention to his needs. The Lord permits suffering and calamity to come upon men and women to call us out of our selfishness, to awaken in us the attributes of His character—compassion, tenderness, and love. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 18

Divine love makes its most touching appeals when it calls upon us to manifest the same tender compassion that Christ manifested. He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. In all our afflictions He is afflicted. He loves men and women as the purchase of His own blood, and He says to us, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” [John 13:34.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 19


Last night I was in a sleepless state much of the time. Many representations passed before me. One was a scene in a council meeting where several were present. One man arose and began finding fault with one of his brethren. I looked at the speaker’s garments and saw that they were very undesirable. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 20

Another person arose and began to state his grievance against a fellow laborer. His garments were of another pattern, and they, too, were undesirable. Still another, and another, arose and uttered words of accusation and condemnation regarding the course of others. Every one had some trouble to speak of, some fault to find with some one else. All were presenting the defects of Christians who are trying to do something in our world; and they declared repeatedly that certain ones were neglecting this or that or the other thing, and so on. There was no real order, no polite courtesy, in the meeting. In their anxiety to make others hear, speakers crowded in while others were still talking. Voices were raised in an effort to make all hear above the din of confusion. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 21

The dress of the speakers was most undesirable. This was a representation of character. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 22

When many had spoken, One of authority appeared and repeated the words: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye meet, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 23

Oh, how can Christians afford to speak words of criticism and faultfinding—words that stir up the worst passions of the human heart? The talent of speech is too precious a gift to be abused in this way. Let us refrain from uttering any words that would stir up a spirit of antagonism or retaliation. When irritated, let us remain silent. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 24

In this scene of a council meeting that passed before me during the visions of the night, Christ Himself was present. An expression of painfulness came over His countenance as one after another would come forward, with uncouth dress, to expatiate upon the faults of various members of the church. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 25

Finally the heavenly Visitant arose. So intent were those present on criticizing their brethren, that it was with reluctance that they gave Him opportunity to speak. He declared that the spirit of criticism, of judging one another, was a source of weakness in the church today. Things are spoken that should never find utterance. Every one who by word of mouth places an obstruction in the way of a fellow Christian has an account to settle with God. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 26

With earnest solemnity, the Speaker declared: “The church is made up of many minds, each of whom has an individuality. I gave My life in order that men and women, by divine grace, might blend in revealing a perfect pattern of My character, while at the same time retaining their individuality. No one has the right to destroy or submerge the individuality of any other human mind, by uttering words of criticism and faultfinding and condemnation.” 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 27

These words He repeated, with solemn earnestness; and then He turned and grasped a standard and held it aloft. From this standard, in burning letters, clear and distinct, gleamed God’s law. The Speaker declared: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 28

As the light from the uplifted standard flashed upon these men who had been criticizing and condemning, they shrank from it as if it were a burning flame. Some prostrated themselves; some turned and went away. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 29

As I looked upon the scene, the names of the faultfinders appeared before them, and opposite each name were written out the faults of the erring one. None were free from fault. In the light of the uplifted standard, all were guilty of transgression. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 30

The churches have had light, great light. Infinite light and power are promised those who go forth in the name of the Master to do His bidding. While all do not labor in the same manner, or say the same things, yet the words of one will balance the words of another. In the midst of diversity there will be a beautiful harmony. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 31

Let every one attend to his own individual case before God. Let every one confess his own sins with humility of mind. Let every one appropriate the rich promises of God’s Word and, while working out his own salvation with fear and trembling, labor for the salvation of others as well. 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 32

“Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.” [Psalm 15:1-3.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 33

All who love God supremely will love their neighbor as themselves. The keeping of the new commandment is to the believer a step heavenward. The one thing that will give God’s people the supremacy is obedience to the command, “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” [John 15:17.] “Neither pray I for these alone,” Christ said, “but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [John 17:20, 21.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 34

“These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” [John 15:11, 12.] 21LtMs, Ms 109, 1906, par. 35