Lt 34, 1899

1899

Lt 34, 1899

Brother and Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 14, 1899

Portions of this letter are published in 3BC 1142; 4BC 1154-1156; ChL 13; 12MR 301; CTr 188. +Note

My Brother and Sister:

I cannot sleep past half past one o’clock. I have some words to say to you. It is sometimes a greater privilege to converse with one another face to face than to write. But even words that are wholly right, that are prompted by the Spirit of God, may be soon forgotten. But when words are traced on paper, they are immortalized. Lt34-1899.1

Speech is one of the great gifts of God to man. The tongue is a little member, but the words it frames, made vocal by the voice, have a great power. The Lord declares, “The tongue can no man tame.” [James 3:8.] It has set nation against nation, and has caused battle and bloodshed. Words have kindled fires that have been hard to quench. They have also brought joy and gladness to many souls. And when words are spoken because God says, “Speak unto them my words,” they often cause sorrow unto repentance. [Ezekiel 2:7.] Lt34-1899.2

The talent of speech carries with it great responsibility. It needs to be carefully guarded, for it s a mighty power for evil as well as for good. “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight; for thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them which speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercies, and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face; for there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them; let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous, with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” [Psalm 5:5-12.] Lt34-1899.3

In these verses righteousness and unrighteousness are represented. These are the distinguishing features of speech. Lt34-1899.4

“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, in whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not, he that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” [Psalm 15:1-5.] Lt34-1899.5

The Lord has words for His people. He has a message to be borne to those who do evil in Jerusalem. The twenty-fourth chapter of Jeremiah is a representation of those who are determined to do unrighteousness, whose heart is estranged from God. Lt34-1899.6

It is God’s purpose that the glory of Christ shall appear in His people. In all His teaching the Saviour presented pure, uncorrupted principles. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Constantly there flowed from His lips holy, ennobling truths. He spoke as never man spoke, with a pathos that touched the heart. He was filled with holy wrath as He saw the religious leaders teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, and then He spoke with the authority of greatness. With terrible power He denounced all artful intrigue, all dishonest practices. He cleansed the temple of its pollution as He desires to cleanse our institutions of everything bearing any resemblance to fraud. Lt34-1899.7

The truth never languished on Christ’s lips. With fearlessness He exposed the hypocrisy of priest and Pharisee, Sadducee and ruler. He entered into conversation with saint and sinner, wise and ignorant, learned and unlearned. He encountered misrepresentation, opposition, malice, and falsehood, yet His whole life was without a flaw. He could say, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” [John 8:46.] Lt34-1899.8

Christ’s enemies could find no charge against Him. Therefore they wrapped up their accusations in one great charge, which is recorded against them in the books of heaven, “He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” [Matthew 12:24.] Bigotry and hatred lead men to carry things to great lengths. Men maddened into fury, because they can prove nothing against the ones they hate, will bring against them charges which do not contain a shadow of truth. Lt34-1899.9

What a power for good or evil the gift of speech is. The inspired apostle, seeing the inclination to abuse this gift, gives directions regarding its use. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,” he says, “but that which is good to the use of edifying.” [Ephesians 4:29.] The word corrupt does not always mean vile; it means here any words that would leave on the mind an impression detrimental to holy principles and undefiled religion. It includes also impure hints, which unless instantly resisted lead to great sin. Upon every family is laid the work of barring the way against corrupt speech. Lt34-1899.10

*****

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he wrought a work on a wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter. So he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I deal with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then will I repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” [Jeremiah 18:1-10.] Lt34-1899.11

This presents before us God’s way of dealing with His people. He sends warnings. He pleads with them to cease to do evil and learn to do well. Hear the words of Christ, for they are spoken to all who claim to be His people. Blessings are promised for all who follow the Lord to do righteousness, but those who walk in their own ways show that under the trying circumstances liable to occur anywhere, they will prove unfaithful, and God cannot bless them. Lt34-1899.12

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond, it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by their green trees upon the hills. O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places to sin, throughout all thy borders. And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thy heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thy enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.” [Jeremiah 17:1-4.] Lt34-1899.13

Thus God denounces all wickedness, especially in those who occupy positions of trust. Each man and woman has an individual case pending in the heavenly courts. We all need to realize that if we would gain salvation, we must form characters which God can approve, characters of integrity, of truthfulness. We must be as true as steel to principle. We are not to be led astray by men nor trust in men. “Thus saith the Lord, Cursed is the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heat in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land not inhabited.” [Verses 5, 6.] Lt34-1899.14

The instruction given in the Old Testament Scriptures is as verily the words of Christ as the instruction in the New Testament. Christ was as verily man’s Redeemer in the days when the Old Testament was written as He was when He appeared in the form of humanity. He gave those of ancient Israel just as favorable an opportunity of working out their own salvation as He did those who listened to His words. Lt34-1899.15

A character formed after the divine likeness is the only treasure that man can take from this world to the next. The character as formed in this world determines his destiny for eternity. The element of value in his life in this world will be of value in the world to come. His future is determined by the way in which he allows himself to be influenced. If he cherishes and cultivates hereditary tendencies for wrong, indulging fleshly inclinations, appetites, and passions, he can never enter the kingdom of God. But if he strives to repress evil inclinations, if he is willing to be governed by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, he is transformed. He takes Christ’s yoke upon him, and learns His way. Thus he becomes strengthened as was Joseph, Samuel, and Daniel. He reveals that he is God’s husbandry, God’s building. Only solid timbers are used in his character building. Lt34-1899.16

Christ’s character was exemplified in Abel, Noah, Seth, Enoch, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, and all the host of those recorded as having characters that God could approve. We are also given Cain and all who form characters opposite to truth, fidelity, obedience, and righteousness. All had an opportunity to show themselves members of the Cain family, or as members of the royal family. Life to every human being is a serious problem. Purity and holiness come only through Christ. He that hath ears to hear let him hear. Happy the man who can say from experience, “He wakeneth mine ear morning by morning.” Isaiah 50:4, 5. Lt34-1899.17

The lessons given in the Old Testament are of as great importance to us as to those who lived in that age. We are to listen to the voice of Christ speaking in the creation of the world and from the pillar of cloud, for our eternal welfare depends upon our obedience to the voice of God. Let all move guardedly. Let us not pass by anything that Christ has given through the holy men of old for the benefit of every generation. Lt34-1899.18

All that God’s mind has planned, that His hand has touched, are lessons written for our admonition upon whom the end of the world has come. Those things which have been, will be. Christ’s words of approval or disapproval comes sounding down along the line to our time. Our spiritual and eternal interests are involved in the facts stated. The Lord means what He says, and says what He means. Lt34-1899.19

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:7, 8.] Lt34-1899.20

Now comes the contrast. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doing. As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at the end shall be a fool. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for thou art my praise. Lt34-1899.21

“Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? let it come now. As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: That which came out of my lips was right before thee. Be not a terror unto me: Thou art my hope in the day of evil. Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction. Lt34-1899.22

“Thus said the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: thus saith the Lord, Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your house on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their necks stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction. Lt34-1899.23

“And it shall come to pass, If ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gate of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” [Verses 9-27.] Lt34-1899.24

“Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you; return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good. And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things, the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing. Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? Or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Lt34-1899.25

“Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burnt incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; to make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.” [Jeremiah 18:11-17.] This denunciation against the inhabitants of Jerusalem shows plainly what the Lord will do to those who follow their own counsel. Lt34-1899.26

But those who do justice and judgment shall be honored of God. “Thus saith the Lord; Go down to the house of the King of Judah, and speak there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sitteth upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoil out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.” [Jeremiah 22:1-4.] God declares that if men obey Him, He will make them more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. He whom the infinite God delights to honor will be resplendent, glorified. See Zechariah 3:1-8. Lt34-1899.27

There is no excuse for any soul to walk away from truth and righteousness. “Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not. ... Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them when they cry unto me in their trouble. What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoiceth.” [Jeremiah 11:6-8, 14, 15.] Lt34-1899.28

Has there been any of this rejoicing among those who have been given positions of responsibility in the work of God? It is a shame to them, and when they see what an offense their course was to God, they will be filled with shame. The anger of the Lord is kindled against those who can rejoice in the robbery of their fellow men, who extort means to be used for the advantage of the cause. The Lord asks, Who gave these men this authority? The cause of God was dearer to the ones they were robbing than it was to them. They exercised their ingenuity, a precious talent entrusted to them by God to be used to glorify Him, to make it as hard as possible for those who were earnestly and sincerely seeking to do the will of God. In this they manifested the attributes of Satan. Lt34-1899.29

“The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.” [Verse 16.] Where her branches should have yielded fruit without stint, they were broken off because of her stubborn disobedience. The wrong course of the people of Jerusalem brought its sure result upon them and upon those whom they influenced. They departed from the example of the holy men who caught their inspiration from Jesus Christ, their invisible Leader. They could not possibly form characters that God could approve. Lt34-1899.30

“Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord: such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” [Jeremiah 15:1, 2.] The people had greatly dishonored God, and God would not work by His power to lift up a standard for them against the enemy. He gave them time for repentance, but they did not repent, and every specification of the word of the Lord against the Jews as a nation was fulfilled. Lt34-1899.31

In these last days there are those whom the Lord will let reap the reward of their own stubbornness. They will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. They did not repent of their evil work, and the Lord has had to withdraw His prospering hand from the institutions He has delighted to prosper. How careful the Lord’s people should be to observe what God’s Word declares to be truth and righteousness. God calls for those living amid the perils of these last days to heed His admonitions, and not follow a course of action that will bring shame and confusion upon themselves. Lt34-1899.32

Those who have been given great light and magnificent truth are to walk circumspectly. The unbelief and stubbornness manifested today are similar to the unbelief and stubbornness which existed in the ranks of ancient Israel. Please read the third chapter. This chapter is a lesson for modern Israel. Let all who claim to be children of God understand that He will not serve with their sins any more than He would with the sins of ancient Israel. God hates hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. Lt34-1899.33

“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that by your obedience ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth thee. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish (by precept or example) ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.” [Deuteronomy 4:1-3.] There is no sin of adultery or fornication that God will not visit with His wrath. Lt34-1899.34

“Behold I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 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. What nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our 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? Lt34-1899.35

“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; specially the day that thou stood before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” [Verses 5-10.] Lt34-1899.36

Moses told the people that obedience to the commandments of God would ensure His presence and give them an influence over the nations of the earth, showing that the religion of the Hebrew nation was elevating and ennobling. While many idolaters ridiculed the Jewish economy as detrimental to financial prosperity there were men who were convicted, and who would have united their interest to the people of God if Israel had proved true to their principle, and made straight paths for their feet. Lt34-1899.37

By a faithful performance of duty they might have shown honor to God, and have declared, Them that honor me, I will honor. Their obligations were proportionate to their privileges and the light given them by Christ, their invisible leader. Their faithful obedience to the law would have exalted God and put an indelible stamp on their purity and holiness, revealing God to be, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” [Exodus 34:6, 7.] Lt34-1899.38

Please read the twenty-sixth chapter of Leviticus. This chapter is written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. I would have our people review the past carefully, step by step, not with a spirit of self-justification, but with a spirit of fear because of their own hardness and stubbornness of heart. Many do not know what is the matter with them. When they truly repent and are converted, they will abhor themselves for following a course of action which has brought the sure result. Read the history of the spies who brought back a false report. Read the record of Caleb and Joshua, the only men among those who left Egypt who entered the promised land. When all shall see as God sees how they have provoked Him to condemn them and withdraw His prosperity, they will repent. Lt34-1899.39

“Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers. Neither shall any of them which provoked me see it, but my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. ... Tomorrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.” [Numbers 14:22-25.] It means just as much to us as it did to the children of Israel whether we obey or disobey God’s message of warning. Lt34-1899.40

We have been given much greater light than ancient Israel, and more is expected of us. As in that age all who obeyed the law of God were highly favored, so today God will bless His obedient people. But punishment must come to those who depart from God, and go to much length in disobedience that Satan takes control of their minds. Lt34-1899.41

Some have exulted in their evil works, but they will one day have opportunity to know that they have dishonored God. In their madness they have betrayed the people of God to His enemies. They never could have done this work if they had not for long years resisted the testimonies of God’s Spirit. But they have betrayed Christ and put Him to an open shame. The banner of truth has been left to trail in the dust. The glory of Christ has been eclipsed. Men in responsible positions have changed places but their characters have not been transformed. Lt34-1899.42

God calls for decided transformation of spirit. Please read the sixteenth chapter of Numbers. In an emergency God calls for decided action. If years ago God’s servants had separated evil workers from the Lord’s work, they would have been honored by God. There are those who will never see God unless their hearts are changed, decidedly changed. They may have intellect, but it is so perverted that they cannot distinguish between purity and impurity, holiness and sin. Lt34-1899.43

Let all who know the Word of God read that Word, humbling their hearts before God. Confessions that ought [to] have been made years ago have not been made, therefore the sin remains. The Lord’s work will soon be closed to all who have clothed themselves with zeal and worked out their evil work with rejoicing. Lt34-1899.44

Read Moses’ agonizing plea to God in behalf of his people. “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? I will smite them with a pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of cloud, and in the pillar of fire by night. Lt34-1899.45

“Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. And now, I beseech you, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech you, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word.” [Numbers 14:11-20.] Lt34-1899.46

Knowing what might have been and the glory God would have revealed in His people had they been obedient, Moses pleaded for the pardon of the Lord. “I have pardoned according to thy word,” the Lord said. [Verse 20.] But He could not work through the transgressors as He had done; for it would have been dishonoring to His name to do great things for those who were in spirit not a whit better than the heathen around them. Lt34-1899.47

I can but say, Let all seek the Lord with confession. Keep nothing back. You will never have freedom until you stop your self-justification. I address all who for years in the past have had connection with the Review and Herald Office, who have held any responsible position. Go to your Bible for right principles. It is not for me to [give] the principles. Christ has done this. Now take hold of the work and do it intelligently in the name and fear of God. Lay nothing in the way of those who are in the darkness of error, to turn them away from truth. Lt34-1899.48

*****

As we gather the first fruits from our land, we think of the promise, “While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” [Genesis 8:22.] All we have comes from God. We are indebted to Him for everything we eat, drink, and wear. But there is a blessing above all these temporal blessings—the gift of God’s only begotten Son. He came as our substitute, to take our sins and give us His righteousness. We are to receive to impart. Lt34-1899.49

The children of Israel were instructed to be kind and liberal to others at the time of harvest, as they recounted the mercies of God. “And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with the tribute of the freewill offering of thy hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed you.” [Deuteronomy 16:10.] “When thou cuttest down thy harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it, it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. Lt34-1899.50

“When thou beatest thy olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger: for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterwards: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.” [Deuteronomy 24:19-22.] The joy of the harvester was always to be connected with praise and songs of thanksgiving because of the lovingkindness and mercy of God. Lt34-1899.51

As we labored for souls in Brisbane and Newcastle, and saw the crowds of eager, attentive people, we thought of Christ’s words to His disciples after His talk with the Samaritan woman, “Say ye not, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; they are white already for harvest.” [John 4:35.] Lt34-1899.52