Manuscript Releases, vol. 4 [Nos. 210-259]

21/69

MR No. 224—Ellen G. White Letters to Young Christians

I have received and read your letter; thank you for writing so frankly.... 4MR 158.1

Your letter came yesterday, and I will respond at once, fearing that something may come in to crowd out the answer due you.... I can understand your state of feeling, your hopelessness and discouragement. I am not now in any way hopeless in regard to your case. I understand that at times you are sorely tempted, and lose confidence in your ability to resist temptation, because your inclination leads you in wrong paths; but Jesus loves you; you are the purchase of His blood. 4MR 158.2

We are to look to Jesus; sinful, erring, weak, unworthy, we are to take the Word of God, the invitation of Christ, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.... 4MR 158.3

You place yourself in positions and in the society of those who bring temptations upon you, and you do not always resist temptation; but the first decided resistance would bring angels to your side to strengthen you. When you present your petitions to God for help, an angel lifts up a standard for you against the enemy in order that you may not be overcome. 4MR 158.4

You should look by faith to Jesus, saying, “Lord, save me or I perish.” When this petition is sincerely offered, the heavenly standard is raised, and One stronger than your enemy shields you from his assaults.... 4MR 158.5

Do not fix your eyes upon the discouraging features of your religious experience. Look to Jesus. Seek for a new heart, and never rest until you can say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Acknowledge every ray of light that Jesus in His matchless love and mercy gives to you. 4MR 158.6

Do not think that because you have made mistakes you must always be under condemnation; for this is not necessary. Do not permit the truth to be depreciated before your mind, because those who profess it do not live consistent lives. Cherish faith in the truth of the third angel's message. If you do not cultivate faith, its importance will gradually lose its place in your mind and heart. You will have an experience like that of the foolish virgins, who did not supply oil for their lamps, and their light went out. Faith should be cultivated. If it has become weak, it is like a sickly plant that should be placed in the sunshine and carefully watered and tended. 4MR 159.1

The Lord would have every one who has had light and evidence cherish that light, and walk in its brightness. God has blessed us with reasoning powers so that we may trace from cause to effect. If we would have light, we must come to the light. 4MR 159.2

Instead of looking to see if we have not made some mistakes in believing, we should look for evidences by which to strengthen and confirm faith.... God's promises have been given for our encouragement. 4MR 159.3

Shall we look at our sins, and begin to mourn, and say, I have done wrong, and I cannot come to God with any degree of confidence? Does not the Bible say, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”? It is a proper thing for us to have a realization of the terrible character of sin. It was sin that caused Christ to suffer an ignominious death on Calvary. But while we should understand that sin is a terrible thing, yet we should not listen to the voice of our adversary, who says, “You have sinned, and you have no right to claim the promises of God.” You should say to the adversary, “It is written, If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.... 4MR 159.4

We do not believe in God as we should, and I have thought that this unbelief is our greatest sin.... We must not think when we are afflicted that the anger of the Lord is upon us. God brings us into trials in order that we may be drawn near to Him. The psalmist says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of them all.” He does not desire us to be under a cloud.... 4MR 160.1

He does not desire us to go in anguish of spirit. We are not to look at the thorns and the thistles in our experience. We are to go into the garden of God's Word, and pluck the lilies, and roses, and the fragrant pinks of His promises. Those who look upon the difficulties in their experience will talk doubt and discouragement, for they do not behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.... 4MR 160.2

We should keep our minds upon the love, the mercy, and the graciousness of our God.... Thus joy will be brought into our experience, for we shall see by studying the Word of God that we are not left to our weakness, to our doubts, and that there is no occasion for sighing under discouragement. Talk faith, act faith.... I have not always dwelt on the good things of God as I should have done; but I do not make it a practice to look on the dark side.... 4MR 160.3

My dear friend, do you not think that if we humbly call upon the Father, even as a child calls upon its parent, He will hear us, and will answer our petitions? ... We should be in a position where we may believe that God is willing to do for us more than we can ask or think. With the key of faith we may unlock the storehouse of God. Then why should we not be believing Christians instead of doubters? ... 4MR 160.4

How foolish it would be to go into a cellar, and mourn because we were in the dark. If we want light we must come up into a higher room. It is our privilege to come into the light, to come into the presence of God.... We are not to believe because we feel or see that God hears us. We are to trust to the promise of God. We are to go about our business believing that God will do just what He has said He would do, and that the blessings we have prayed for will come to us when we most need them.... 4MR 161.1

Discouragement and gloom come upon us, not because the truth is not sufficient for us, but because we do not bring it into our hearts, and let it have a controlling influence over our lives and actions.... 4MR 161.2

The adversary desires to have us think that the way to live is so difficult that it will be impossible to reach the bliss of heaven. But God has placed us in circumstances where the very best of our natures may be developed, and the highest faculties may be exercised. If we cultivate the good, the objectionable tendencies will not gain the supremacy, and at last we shall be accounted worthy to join the family above. If we desire to be saints above we must be saints upon the earth. 4MR 161.3

I love to speak of Jesus and His matchless love. I haven't one doubt of the love of God. I know that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him. His precious love is a reality, and the doubts expressed by those who know not the Lord Jesus Christ have no effect upon me.... 4MR 161.4

I pray most earnestly that the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to you. Come to Him just as you are, give yourself to Him, grasp His promises by living faith, and He will be to you all that you desire.... Jesus longs to save you, to give you peace and rest and assurance while you live, and to bestow upon you eternal life in His kingdom. But no one will be compelled to be saved.... 4MR 162.1

There are only two classes in the whole universe—those who believe in Christ and whose faith leads them to keep God's commandments, and those who do not believe in Him, and are disobedient. The sins of the world were laid upon Christ, and for this reason He was numbered with transgressors. He bore the curse, and was treated as a transgressor in order that the repentant sinner might be clothed with His righteousness. He was condemned for sin in which he had no share, in order that we might be justified by righteousness in which we had no part.... 4MR 162.2

Standing as man's representative at Pilate's bar, He suffered the cruel sentence of death to be passed upon Him by unreasonable and wicked men, and answered not a word to their accusations. Why was He silent? ... When the poor sinner inquired the way of life, Jesus did not remain silent. But when condemned to the most ignominious and cruelest of deaths, He had not a word to say.... 4MR 162.3

He could have delivered Himself from those who came to take Him in the garden of Gethsemane. A few words from His lips sent the murderous throng reeling to the earth, as if smitten by a bolt of the wrath of God. But He suffered humiliation, agony, and death in silence, because He had given His life for the life of the world.... 4MR 162.4

The hand that was nailed to the cross for you is stretched out to save you. Believe that Jesus will hear your confession, receive your requests, forgive your sins, and make you a member of the royal family. You need the hope which Jesus will give to cheer you under every circumstance. I long to see you trusting in Jesus, and I know He will give you grace to bear all your temptations. 4MR 163.1

When we are tempted to place our affections on any earthly object that has a tendency to absorb our love, we must seek grace to turn from it, and not allow it to come between us and our God. We want to keep before the mind's eye the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for us. We must not allow our houses and lands, our business transactions and worldly enterprises to come between us and our God. We should keep before us the rich promises that He has left on record. We should study the great waymarks that point out the times in which we are living. We know that we are very near the close of this earth's history, and everything of a worldly nature should be secondary to the service of God. 4MR 163.2

The idolatrous love of things that are seen will be superseded by a higher and better love for things that are imperishable and precious. You may contemplate eternal riches until your affections are bound to things above, and you may be an instrument in directing others to set their affections on heavenly treasures.... 4MR 163.3

If one soul accepts the truth, his love for earthly things is dislodged. He sees the surpassing glory of heavenly things, appreciates the excEllence of that which relates to everlasting life. He is charmed with the unseen and eternal. His grasp loosens from earthly things, he fastens his eye with admiration upon the invincible glories of the other world. He realizes that his trials are working out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and in comparison to the riches that are his to enjoy he counts them light afflictions which are but for a moment.—Letter 97, 1895, pp. 1, 6-19, excerpts. (To Henry D. Wessels, October 8, 1895.) 4MR 163.4

Have you given yourself unreservedly to God? And if not, why not? Ought you not to be a Christian? Has not Jesus purchased you with infinite cost to Himself? Did He not suffer and die upon Calvary, that you might by faith claim the merits of His blood? 4MR 164.1

I gave myself to Jesus when I was not as old as you now are. I sought my Saviour with my whole heart; and how deeply I regretted that I had not before yielded my will, that I might be drawn to Christ. I found peace in Jesus, believing that He heard my prayers, and that He would do in my behalf just what He had promised in His word, “Those that seek Me early shall find Me” (Proverbs 8:17). I laid my Bible open before the Lord and said, “There, Lord, is Thy pledged word, ‘him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ (Luke 11:9).” 4MR 164.2

The promise is to be claimed by faith. Jesus invites you to come to Him and learn of Him, and “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29). This rest is not found in inattention and idleness, but in yielding the will to the will of Jesus; for, says Christ, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Therefore your will must become God's will. Your peace, your rest, comes in wearing Christ's yoke; you have the peace of Christ, and your conscience is not continually scourging you because you have not committed yourself to do the will of God. When you love to do the requirements of God, there is sweet enjoyment, not in idleness, but enjoyment identified with, and realized through, the exercise of all your powers on the Lord's side. Christ's service means work. You can be a dutiful, obedient child of God. A soldier of Jesus Christ does not mean pleasure but hard work. You may say, “What can I do?” By coming out fully on the Lord's side, you can exert an influence over your young companions; by refusing to do a wrong action, you can place yourself thus far on Christ's side. 4MR 164.3

You may have real conflicts in overcoming self, but you have Jesus to help you. Will you try, Paul, to be a Christian? Will you write to me and tell me that you have fully decided to be a soldier of Jesus Christ?—Letter 12, 1889. (To Paul Daniels, July 4, 1889.) 4MR 165.1

I wish to act my part faithfully in seeking to save your soul. A heavy price has been paid to redeem you. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 4MR 165.2

In my dreams last night I was speaking to a company of young men. I asked them to sing, “Almost Persuaded.” Some present were deeply moved. I knew that they were almost persuaded, but that if they did not make decided efforts to return to Christ, the conviction of their sinfulness would leave them. You made some confessions, and I asked you, “Will you not from this time stand on the Lord's side?” If you will receive Jesus, He will receive you. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” You need not be discouraged. Come to the Saviour, saying, “In my hand no price I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.” 4MR 165.3

Will you now resolve to make a most decided reform in your life, in your character building? Will you not turn square about, and say firmly, “I will no longer give others the impression that I do not respect the law of God. I will be on the Lord's side. I will give my heart to the service of God.” Will you not make this decision now, just now? It is for your eternal interest to do this. 4MR 166.1

I do not ask for a history of your past life, of how you have turned from Christ to the enemy. Tell all that to the One who loves you, the One who has for you more than human sympathy. He died to redeem you.... 4MR 166.2

The world is full of backsliders, who refuse to become laborers together with God, building for time and for eternity, in the sight of men and angels, a noble character. They associate with the degraded and besotted, forgetting that Satan is playing the game of life for their souls. Shall we put Christ to open shame? Shall we give license to sin, and by our example lead others to become weaker than ourselves? 4MR 166.3

Oh, for Christ's sake, respond to the invitation given you by the Saviour, “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things”—living on the plan of addition, adding grace to grace, building up day by day a pure, refined, noble character—“ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 4MR 166.4

My brother, it means everything to you to secure your eternal-life-insurance policy. If you will take hold in earnest to co-operate with God, He will work with you. Read and ponder the words of the Scripture. Make sure work for repentance. Be in earnest. Secure heaven even if it must be at the loss of all else. 4MR 167.1

The Father in heaven can not save you if you go contrary to His will. It is the obedient child only that He can bless. “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them,” Christ says, “He it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will manifest Myself to him.” 4MR 167.2

May the Lord help you to cut loose from every fetter, and to bind yourself up with the love and in the protection of an all-powerful Friend. Do not be lukewarm in this matter. Resolve that with God's help you will build up a worthy character and will exert an influence for Christ and the right.—Letter 137, 1904, pp. 1, 2, 4, 5. (To “My Dear Young Friend, Mr. Heizemiam,” April 11, 1904.) 4MR 167.3

I wish to write you some things which have been forcibly impressed on my mind during the night season. How many of you will now take your position on the side of the great Teacher, determined that during this term you will not only advance in scholarship, but that you will make advancement in learning of the great Teacher? ... 4MR 167.4

In accepting Christ's yoke of restraint and obedience, you will find that it is of the greatest help to you. Wearing this yoke keeps you near the side of Christ, and He bears the heaviest part of the load.... 4MR 167.5

To learn the lessons Christ teaches is the greatest treasure students can find. Rest comes to them in the consciousness that they are trying to please the Lord. 4MR 168.1

While at school you will be tested and tried. Christ desires you to be like Him in character. He came to our world to live the life which all must live who are accepted as members of the royal family. It is your privilege, by the grace of Christ, to so live that to you can be given the reward of the overcomer. The Saviour says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father on His throne.” This is the prize offered to overcomers. Is it not worth striving for? 4MR 168.2

Let each student remember, as he associates with his fellow-students, that he has responsibilities to fulfill. God wants you to be a help to one another. Each one has trials to bear and temptations to meet. While one may be strong on some points, he may be weak on others, having grave faults to overcome, God says to you, “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Your instructors have every phase of character with which to deal. This is very difficult and very important work; and they need your prayers. Remember that they have continual temptations to meet. Daily you should ask God to help them by His Holy Spirit to be a help to you. You can be a constant encouragement to them; for to students, as well as to teachers, God will give the inspiration of His Spirit. But if you do not seek to overcome as Christ overcame, you will make very hard the work of those who are bearing heavy responsibilities. You will yield to the temptations of Satan to be thoughtless and inattentive, to fail of putting earnest effort into your schoolwork. 4MR 168.3

Students, do all in your power to lighten the burdens of your teachers. Pledge yourselves to act a noble part by showing them that you mean to improve in every way. Use your time as if this term were the last opportunity offered you. Be faithful, obedient students, upon whom Christ can look with pleasure. Live so that He can speak to you the words of commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”... 4MR 169.1

Will not the students in this school bring joy to the heart of Christ by striving to make themselves worthy of His commendation? Do you not desire to be counted worthy to walk and talk with the Prince of light and life? Will you not endeavor to reach the high standard of perfection? Thus you honor God. And you honor your parents, filling their hearts with gladness. As you seek for perfection of character, revealing this in word and deed, men and angels see that you love and serve God. It is by striving for the mastery over temptation that God's children witness for Him. 4MR 169.2

You will go through this world but once. Then do not choose as companions those who will lead you in false paths. Turn away from these tempters; for they are Satan's helping hand, used by him to beguile souls away from God. Remember that it is your privilege to be Christ's helping hand, to aid Him in winning souls to God. Do not give the enemy any advantage. Study the history of Daniel and his fellows. Though living where they were, met on every side by the temptation to indulge self, they honored and glorified God in the daily life. They determined to avoid all evil. They refused to place themselves in the enemy's path. And with rich blessings God rewarded their steadfast loyalty. 4MR 169.3

Each one of us, by the daily words and actions, is deciding his or her future. He who desires to live the life which measures with the life of God must take a firm stand against the depravity which is spreading its loathsome disease over the world. He must reject the wrong and choose the right, bravely resisting evil. He must overcome small temptations; thus he gains strength to overcome larger ones. 4MR 170.1

There are those who say, “It is not necessary to be so particular about little matters.” In such ones, conscience accommodates itself to the suggestions of evil until they are educated to do the work which places them in Satan's army. From small wrongs they are led to large wrongs. The moral powers are prostrated. The lower passions bear sway, holding the entire being in the tyranny of Satan's power. The high, noble purpose which might have controlled the life are swept away by self-indulgence. 4MR 170.2

God calls upon every youth to cease to do evil by learning to do well. Seek to do your best every day. Fight manfully against hereditary and cultivated tendencies to do wrong. United with one another in being true to virtue, true to God. Be studious. Reach upward for the highest attainments. The Lord commends earnest, determined efforts to gain that knowledge which will enable you to take your place in the higher grade in the courts above. He looks with approval on watchful, diligent students.... 4MR 170.3

In your schoolwork cherish the highest, holiest principles. Pray as did Daniel—three times a day, alone with God. Confess every sin you have committed, every mistake you have made. If in any way you have injured your fellow students, confess to them also. God says, “Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed.” Thus you build barriers between yourself and sin. You are walking in harmony with God. He has avouched Himself as one who will hear and answer your sincere, fervent prayers. He has assured you that He will pardon and accept you. How powerful you may be in this assurance! 4MR 171.1

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him—near to answer and to bless. Then let every student pray constantly. You may so live that your instructors will feel that they are walled in by the prayers of faithful, loving disciples. Let every student realize that he is in the school to do missionary work. In sympathy and love help one another to advance in the upward path. Labor for the unconverted among you. Keep the missionary spirit alive. Let your hearts be vivified by the Spirit of God. Be eager to give help and courage to others. Those students who receive that they may impart are a great comfort and encouragement to their teachers. The faithful will be tried. But those who endure the trial know better how to help others than if they had never been tried.... 4MR 171.2

We have no time to lose. Students are to be prepared to work intelligently for the Master. Where it is possible, they should, during the school term, engage in city mission work. They should also do missionary work in the surrounding towns and villages. As they labor thus, the value of true education will be revealed.... 4MR 171.3

Now, just now, God needs Calebs and Joshuas. He needs strong, devoted, self-sacrificing young men and women, who will press to the front.... God will help them as He helped Daniel, giving them wisdom and understanding. 4MR 172.1

Cannot we discern the signs of the times? Cannot we see that Satan is working with intensity of effort, uniting the enemies of God's kingdom in a desperate confederacy, that he may gain control of the world? This work is advancing faster than we imagine. Shall we, who have God's work to do, sink into a lukewarm condition? 4MR 172.2

To be saved, a man must gain the victory over himself, his temper, his inclinations. His will must be brought into conformity to the will of God. The glory of heaven is for those only who on this earth work out the righteousness of Christ. Students, read carefully and prayerfully the first chapter of James. Seek to understand your individual responsibility. Move steadily forward, and the Lord will make you more than conquerors. Take hold of the work with your teachers, pressing on from victory to victory. Keep yourself under God's discipline.... 4MR 172.3

The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver, never makes him coarse or rough or uncourteous. It never incapacitates him for imparting what he has received. The truth as it is in Jesus is warm with comfort and love. Day by day the soul is to receive this truth, for it is spiritual food. Knowing that we have a living Christ, we may safely trust the soul to His keeping. He says, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” There is divine power for every one who will receive Christ by faith. In the Redeemer's power, practicing self-denial, they can walk in perilous places. “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” These words are spoken to every one who desires to be a Christian.... He who shuns the cross shuns the reward promised to the faithful. 4MR 172.4

Day by day that which takes place in this school is registered in heaven. Day by day the work of each student is recorded in God's book. What shall these books testify regarding your experience during this year?—Letter 144, 1901, pp. 1-10. (“To the Students in Our Schools,” October 11, 1901.) 4MR 173.1

We received letters from home with gladness, but were a little disappointed that none came from you or Willie. I should not have expected much from Willie, but you can write, Edson.... 4MR 173.2

When all around me are locked in slumber I am kept awake with anxiety and I can only obtain relief in silent prayer to God. I understand your dangers and your temptations as few parents can, for He who understandeth the secrets of the heart has been pleased to show me your peculiar dangers and besetments. I do not think you understand your dangers.... 4MR 173.3

When I see you disposed to take a course which is not in accordance with your profession, and which I know will prove an injury to yourself by placing you in the enemy's power, my feelings are intense and a weight of sadness settles upon me which it seems impossible for me to throw off. It binds me like fetters. 4MR 173.4

As I have seen in you, my poor boy, a disposition to disobedience, I have also seen a yielding to temptation to deceive us. You would have plans formed which you would keep secret from your father and mother, fearing that you would meet opposition in some of your projects or fond plans, and when questioned you have evaded or thrown a different shade upon and around the matter under inspection.... 4MR 173.5

By frequently violating your conscience it has lost much of its tender susceptibility. Every instance when you fall into this deplorable habit binds the chains of the enemy upon you and makes you his captive and a more easy subject for his entire control. You may have become so darkened and hardened by these repeated efforts at concealment and deception that these facts plainly written by a mother's hand, painfully and with an aching heart, may seem like idle tales and may make no lasting impression upon you for good.... 4MR 174.1

Your parents, who live for you and are desirous of your present and future happiness, see you taking a course which leads them often to doubt what you say and to look upon you distrustingly because they know that you are often planning and entering into schemes and enterprises and concealing it from those who gave you birth, who have the right to know every cherished plan, that they may give the advice a boy of your critical age needs.... 4MR 174.2

You have a strong, set will. You make up your mind to do a thing and do not discipline your mind to yield, to be submissive, to give up your plans which are very pleasing to your own fancy. When opposed by your parents in something you had planned, you outwardly yielded, yet kept it all in your mind, did not give it up at once but kept studying upon it. Your many notions may seem valuable and right to your own inexperienced mind. The experienced minds of your parents may see the foolishness and perhaps hidden danger in these things. But you cherish your own notions and then Satan tempts you to carry out your strong desires unbeknown to your parents. Thus you have been led on to think you understand what is right and best. In our presence you may comply with our wishes, but in our absence you feel restraint gone and do those things that, if you would reflect you would know that we would not allow or consent to your doing. This is what has led you into nearly all the trouble you have ever known. You disobey us in our absence.... 4MR 174.3

You have followed your own will and projects so many times, concealing all from us, going directly contrary to all our counsel, advice, and prohibitions, that we cannot depend upon you, and this painful fact has been so evinced in your character that you are associated in my mind, not with pleasant thoughts, but with most painful fears and forebodings. Instead of being a comfort you are a source of painful anxiety.... 4MR 175.1

You ought to be my noble, truthful boy, a staff to your father, who is worn with care and constant labor, a comfort to your mother who has nursed you in sickness and cared for you in health. What can cause greater sorrow to parents with high principles and a keen sense of the beauty and importance of truth than to become convinced of the fact that their children are not truthful, that they have learned to deceive? ... Thorns and briers have sprung up in my garden and choked the seed which I have tried to sow. You may say, “Dear me, Mother feels very keenly over trifles. I may not have been exactly truthful in little trifles.” Trifles! Dear boy, there are no such things as trifles. Till truth itself is a trifle and valueless, no departure from it in any case can be called so.... 4MR 175.2

You have so long cherished little habits of concealment (especially from your dear father), so long retreated from openness and candor, that you have become habitually secretive, even when there is often no inducement to be so. This makes you unsatisfactory, unstable, and insincere in character. Your habit of excusing and justifying yourself is often contrary to your conviction of truth. Every act of this kind is doing much toward forming your character.... 4MR 175.3

Edson, in youth or early years we can trace the characteristics of riper years. The rank and noisome weeds of falsehood and deceit, which choke the precious plants of candor and truth, are sown in the springtime of youth.... After indulging in deception or concealing things from your parents, prevarication comes next; which is a mean, cowardly sort of lying. The path of truth is always safe, straight, and easy; that of deceit has so many windings and turnings that one deviation from uprightness and candor may lead to a thousand deceptions which were not anticipated at the first. A love for candor and truth is respected and loved by everyone not excepting those who place no estimate upon it for its own sake. Concealment, my dear boy, is the child of transgression.... 4MR 176.1

The most positive and particular directions given to you are not remembered to the fulfilling of them. Your mind is almost constantly in such a frame as to make it easy to forget.... These constant failures wear us.... 4MR 176.2

You are not thorough in that which you undertake.... You see no necessity of disciplining your mind. You do not have any system.... 4MR 176.3

Now, Edson, I wish to speak of the evil of these things in another direction. We are not only distressed beyond measure at the seeming hopelessness of reform in you, but a gloom which I cannot express shrouds our minds in regard to your influence upon Willie. You lead him into habits of disobedience and concealment and prevarication.... You do things and enjoin upon him strict secrecy, and when questioned he evades it by saying, “I don't know,” when he does know, and thus you lead him to lie in order to keep concealed your cherished, darling projects. This is the most heart-rending of all. You reason and talk and make things appear all smooth to him, when he cannot see through the matter. He adopts your view of it and he is in danger of losing his candor, his frankness. 4MR 176.4

Oh, Edson, it is the knowledge of these things that is wearing me out and bringing upon me discouragement which will compel me to cease laboring in the cause of God.... Can you see the weighty responsibility which rests upon you? Satan controls your mind and you yield your mind to his control. He knows that it is the surest dart he can aim at us to hinder our labors among God's people, to so influence your mind that we shall have sorrow and a weight of sadness on your account. Are you willing to bear this responsibility? ... 4MR 177.1

My dear Edson, you must render an account for the influence you exert. You have been blessed with good instruction and more is expected of you than of boys generally. I do not love to cause you pain, but I dare not withhold from you the light in which I view your case.—Letter 4, 1865, pp. 1-7. (To “My Dear Son Edson,” June 20, 1865.) 4MR 177.2

My mind goes to you, Martha, in Torre Pellice, and I believe that yourself and husband should attend the meeting of the conference. We want to see you, and we want to see you trusting fully in the precious Saviour. He loves you—He who gave His life for you because He valued your soul. 4MR 177.3

I had a dream not long since. I was going through a garden and you were by my side. You kept saying, “Look at this unsightly shrub, this deformed tree, that poor stunted rose bush. This makes me feel bad, for they seem to represent my life and the relation in which I stand before God.” I thought a stately form walked just before us and he said, “Gather the roses and the lilies and the pinks, and leave the thistles and unsightly shrubs, and bruise not the soul that Christ has in His choice keeping.” 4MR 178.1

I awoke, I slept again and the same dream was repeated. And I awoke and slept and the third time it was repeated. Now I want you to consider this and put away your distrust, your worrying, your fears. Look away from yourself to Jesus.... God has spoken to you words of encouragement; grasp them, act upon them, walk by faith and not by sight. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). 4MR 178.2

Jesus holds His hand beneath you. Jesus will not suffer the enemy to overcome you. Jesus will give you the victory. He has the virtue; He has the righteousness.... It is yours by faith because you love God and keep His commandments. Do not listen to Satan's lies, but recount God's promises. Gather the roses and the lilies and the pinks. Talk of the promises of God. Talk faith. Trust in God, for He is your only hope. He is my only hope. I have tremendous battles with Satan's temptations to discouragements, but I will not yield an inch. I will not give Satan an advantage over my body or my mind. If you look to yourself, you will see only weakness. There is no Saviour there. You will find Jesus away from yourself. You must look to Him who became sin for us that we might be cleansed from sin and receive of Christ's righteousness.... 4MR 178.3

Talk of His love, talk of His goodness, talk of His power, for He will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear. In Christ is our righteousness. Jesus makes up our deficiencies because He sees we cannot do it ourselves. While praying for you I see a soft light encompassing a hand stretched out to save you. God's words are our credentials. We stand upon them. We love the truth. We love Jesus. Feelings are no evidence of God's displeasure. 4MR 179.1

Your life is precious in the sight of God. He has a work for you to do. It is not unfolded to you now, but just walk on trustingly without a single word of doubt, because this would grieve the dear Jesus and show that you were afraid to trust Him. Lay your hand in His.... Oh, what love, what tender love has Jesus manifested in our behalf! The Bible promises are the pinks and the roses and the lilies in the garden of the Lord. Oh, how many walk a dark path, looking to the objectionable, unlovely things on either side of them, when a step higher are the flowers! They think they have no right to say they are children of God and to lay hold on the promises set before them in the gospel, because they do not have the evidence of their acceptance with God. They go through painful struggles, afflicting their souls as did Martin Luther before he learned to cast himself upon Christ's righteousness. 4MR 179.2

There are many who think they can come to Jesus only in the way the child did who was possessed of the demon that threw him down and tore him as he was being led to the Saviour. You are not of the kind that should have any such conflicts and trials.... There is no requirement for you to take on a burden for yourself, for you are Christ's property. He has you in His hand. His everlasting arms are about you. Your life has not been a life of sinfulness in the common acceptation of the term. You have a conscientious fear to do wrong, a principle in your heart to choose the right, and now you want to turn your face away from the briers and thorns to flowers. 4MR 179.3

Let the eye be fixed on the Son of Righteousness. Do not make your dear, loving, heavenly Father a tyrant; but see His tenderness, His pity, His large, broad love and His great compassion. His love exceeds that of a mother for her child. The mother may forget, “yet will I not forget thee, saith the Lord.” Oh, my dear, Jesus wants you to trust Him. May His blessing rest upon you in a rich measure, is my earnest prayer. 4MR 180.1

You were born with an inheritance of discouragement, and you need constantly to be encouraging a hopeful state of feelings.... A word moves you, while a heavy judgment only is sufficient to move another of a different temperament. Were you situated where you knew you were helping others, however hard the load, however taxing the labor, you would do everything with cheerfulness and distress yourself that you did nothing. Samuel, who served God from his childhood, needed a very different discipline than one who had a set, stubborn, selfish will.... 4MR 180.2

The whole matter has been laid open before me. I know you far better than you know yourself. God will help you to triumph over Satan if you will simply trust Jesus to fight these stern battles that you are wholly unable to fight in your finite strength. You love Jesus and He loves you. Now, just patiently trust in Him, saying over and over, Lord, I am Thine. Cast yourself heartily on Christ. It is not joy that is the evidence that you are a Christian. Your evidence is in a Thus saith the Lord.... 4MR 180.3

Read the following lines and appropriate the sentiment as your own: 4MR 181.1

“Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
“Leave, oh, leave me not alone!
Still support and comfort me;
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.
4MR 181.2

Plenteous grace with Thee is found
Grace to pardon all my sins;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within;
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely, let me take of Thee,
Spring Thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.”
4MR 181.3

Letter 35, 1887, pp. 2-5. (To Mrs. Martha (A.C.) Bourdeau, February 6, 1887.) 4MR 181.4

We have closed our third camp meeting. We were well cared for on the ground. We had a small tent, carpeted and swept clean each day. Our friends at Monroe were attentive to all our wants.... 4MR 181.5

Tuesday just as the sun was setting Brother Chase hired a livery team, and we had a pleasant ride through the city of Monroe. Sixteen or seventeen years ago we labored in a large tent in Monroe.... Byron Sperry and Willie were then small boys of about four years of age. They were playmates and dressed nearly alike. Now these baby playmates have grown to manhood.... 4MR 181.6

We parted with our friends in the morning to go on our way to the next camp meeting.... 4MR 181.7

We lay down to sleep Tuesday night about eleven o'clock. In the night we were awakened by a fearful storm. The warring of the elements was very grand and solemn. The lightning flashed. One blaze of light followed another in such quick succession that it seemed like one continued stream of light. The thunder rolled; peal after peal rolled through the earth, and there were reports as though parts of the earth were shattered like breaking glass. I never listened to anything like it before. The heavens were lighted up with the full blaze of lightning. It was awfully grand. In the morning about sunrise the entire heavens presented an appearance of burnished brass.... 4MR 182.1

The conductor tells us there is beautiful scenery before us. We find it even so: granite rocks, beautiful trees, green fields, and cultivated lands. Here is revealed indeed a beautiful picture of nature's loveliness. The air is pure. Nature seems fresh-robed in her natural lovely dress of green foliage, make even this world very beautiful. God has given to us tokens of His love. We may read His love in the book of nature. Every tree, every shrub and bud and blooming flower tells us God is love. We look up through the things of nature which God has hung before our senses in His created works, and we adore the Giver.... 4MR 182.2

It is painful to witness, as we pass from place to place, the reckless, frivolous conduct of many of the youth. The Bible, from beginning to end, attaches the greatest importance to internal rectitude. The books of Moses, the psalms of David, the proverbs of Solomon, the epistles, and our Saviour's teachings present the idea that every man is to be tried by his principles—not by his profession, his talk, or his appearance, but by his principles. If he lacks here, although he may present a good outward appearance, within he may be full of impurity. The heart must be renewed, for out of the heart are the issues of life. The tree must be made good or the good fruit will not appear. 4MR 182.3

“Marvel not,” said Christ to Nicodemus, “that I said unto you, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7. God must create in man a clean heart before he will walk in His statutes and keep His commandments to do them. A new moral taste has to be created before man will love to obey the law of God. There must be a connection with heaven which will make men formed in the image of God partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world through lust. We are required to love God supremely, which love we will show by obedience to all His commandments, and by trusting in Christ implicitly. The greater principles of truth must be established in the heart and be revealed in the life by love, faith, humility, and obedience, showing that the religion of Christ has a controlling power over the entire man.... 4MR 183.1

There is a great variety of modern inventions to improve the evils existing in society. We have seen very little enduring good result from merely taking advantage of the impulse of the moment to induce men to promise or resolve to leave their sinful course. Reformation in men is very much needed, but the reformation made under excitement will seldom outlive the excitement in which it originated. It resembles the early dew which vanishes away.... Heart work is needed. The state of the heart regulates the life. The sinner needs to have clearly defined to his understanding what sin is, that he may work understandingly to repent of sin, which is to repent of transgressing the Father's law. When this is fully comprehended by reasoning minds, the seed is sown for a true and thorough conversion. 4MR 183.2

Multitudes of varied faith will arise in these last days and will be crying, “Lo here!” “Lo, there!” Such have found some way for the sinner rather than the Bible way, which teaches that repentance toward God for the transgression of His law and faith in Jesus Christ the world's Redeemer, is the only door through which the sinner may enter. Let the mind and heart be imbued with the principles of God's law. Then they will yield obedience to its sacred claims and gamblers will decrease and the wine cup be abandoned. 4MR 184.1

We have a very great many instances among us where men of debased appetites and with wrong habits have been brought before the law of God, the true mirror, and shown the defects existing in their moral characters, and then have been pointed to the atoning blood of a crucified Redeemer as the only remedy for sin. Their moral sensibilities have been aroused. They have been made to feel their human weaknesses when plied with temptations. They have felt that a belief in the truth alone could save them. They have accepted present truth. They have been truly converted. They have maintained their integrity in circumstances of great peril, and kept their garments undefiled. The sustaining power of genuine truth in the heart has revealed stern integrity of character and true moral worth. They have not an emotional religion. They have not a surface work. They have found true rock bottom. Real inward principle characterizes their lives. They stand on the elevated platform of God's holy law, and by faith they grasp the atoning blood of Christ which cleanses them from sin. 4MR 184.2

David sinned. He transgressed the law of God. A prophet was sent of God to reprove and convict David of his great sin. This prophet did not sing to David sensational songs; neither did he relate simple humorous anecdotes. He brought before him an illustration of his own case in a figure and let David pass sentence upon himself; then he stated, “Thou art the man.” David repented before God, whose law he had transgressed, and relied for pardon on the efficacy of the blood of Christ. 4MR 185.1

Look at men who are professedly converted under the excitement of feeling. They are not brought to face the great moral mirror, the law of God, which discovers to them the defects in their character. The law of God is presented to them as a yoke of bondage in contrast to the freedom of the gospel. Cannot these men read in the Word of God for themselves, “Where there is no law there is no transgression”? They feel no binding claims of the law of God; as a natural consequence they have not a sensitive conscience toward sin. They have not a fixed principle. We may see such Christians in the churches everywhere—see them today one thing, and tomorrow another. Let wealth and fame allure them, and their feelings, which were wrought upon, will change. There is no sacrifice of feeling of conscience which this class of spurious converts will not make to gain the prize. Do such men honor the Bible standard of true piety? Never, never. They are unsound at heart. Just when temptations arise, when the decision must be made whether they will follow inclination or principle, you will see that there is not firmness when it is really needed. If they do not deny their Lord like a Judas or sell their honor like an Arnold, it is because they have not been tempted to do this. 4MR 185.2

Oh, how much to be admired is a true, sincere Christian! Such a one will be loyal to God and true to his Saviour, living a life of purity, cultivating habits of the strictest temperance, making the Word of God his daily study, earnest and faithful to duty, not wearying in welldoing, growing up into full stature in Jesus Christ, his Head. 4MR 186.1

What training or education can bear comparison with that of preparing men to be obedient to the law of God, spoken from Sinai and engraven in stone?—Letter 19a, 1875, pp. 1, 2, 4-8. (To “Dear children, Edson and Emma White,” June 24, 1875.) 4MR 186.2

I am so glad to get an opportunity to write to you, even though I may be able to send only a short letter.... 4MR 186.3

I often in my mind look toward Takoma Park, [Mabel (Mrs. Workman) was at that time serving as matron at the college in Takoma Park.] a place that has been of great interest to me. Your grandfather, I think, never saw this beautiful spot. The Lord selected this place for us for the establishment of our printing house and our school and sanitarium. Here a work of education may be carried on in God's order. Here principal and teachers should pledge themselves to become true Bible teachers, keeping ever before them the glory of God. If those who hold positions of responsibility in this work are guided by the counsel of God's Word, all difficulties will be wisely and successfully met. 4MR 186.4

Christ is the greatest teacher the world has ever known; He is to be the source of our knowledge, our guide in education. He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. Looking unto Him, we may increase daily in wisdom and knowledge. Let us be faithful to the trust committed to us. Let us make the word of God our guide in all matters. 4MR 186.5

We each have a character to form after the divine similitude; we have a duty to perform in maintaining strict temperance in eating and drinking and dressing. And we have the perfect pattern before us in the life of Christ. It is your privilege to study the Guidebook. With determined effort keep your thoughts toward heaven. Christ is your leader. Following Him, you will grow in knowledge of His will and way. You are bought with a price, and it is your privilege to give to others an unerring example of the charity, the love, the righteousness of Christ. He came to the world to teach all, high and low, rich and poor, how to become partakers of the divine nature. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What a privilege is ours! We need faith, a living, growing faith, if we would become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.... 4MR 187.1

Be of good courage in the Lord; make Him your trust.—Letter 216, 1908, pp. 1, 2, 4. (To Mrs. Mabel Workman. Also addressed to Mabel's husband, Wilfred Workman, for the salutation is, “My Dear Grandchildren,” July 17, 1908.) 4MR 187.2

You asked me at one time what I thought in regard to your becoming a physician.... Young men ... who are not keen reasoners from cause to effect will never succeed as physicians. The love of ease, and I may say of physical laziness, will unfit a man to become a physician or minister. Ministers and physicians should understand their own building, the body. They should learn how to use and develop their own capabilities. They should see the need of learning to use every part of the human machinery, how to give solidity to the muscles by employing them in taxing, useful labor. 4MR 187.3

Had you engaged in practical work, as well as in study, you could by diligence have earned yourself means to partially or wholly meet the expense of your course of study, and you would have gained great advantage by the experience. Brain, bone, and muscle need training to do hard labor, and then you can do hard thinking.... 4MR 188.1

All parts of the human machinery must have action. Healthy young men and young women have no need of gymnasium exercises; nor do they need croquet, cricket, ball playing, or any kind of amusement just for the gratification of self, to pass away time. There are useful things to be done by every one of God's created intelligences. Someone needs from you something that will help him. Not one in the Lord's great domain of creation was made to be a drone. Study the Lord's plan in regard to Adam, who was created pure, holy, and healthy. Adam was given something to do. He was to use the organs God had given him. He could not have been idle. His brain must work, not in a mechanical way, like a mere machine. At all times the machinery of the body continues its work; the heart throbs, doing its regular, appointed task, like a steam engine forcing its crimson current unceasingly to all parts of the body. Action, action is seen pervading the whole living machinery. Each organ must do its appointed work. If physical inaction is continued, there will be less and less activity of the brain. 4MR 188.2

No man is prepared to enter upon a medical course of study until he has learned to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. When he can do this, he becomes self-reliant.... 4MR 189.1

For a healthy young man, stern, severe exercise is strengthening to brain, bone, and muscle. And it is an essential preparation for the difficult work of a physician. Without such exercise the mind cannot be in working order. It cannot put forth the sharp, quick action that will give scope to it powers. It becomes inactive. Such a youth will never, never become what God designed he should be. He has established so many resting places that he becomes like a stagnant pool.... 4MR 189.2

God has established in the heavens the law of obedient action. Silent but ceaseless, the objects of His creation do their appointed work. The ocean is in constant motion. The springing grass, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, does its errand, clothing the fields with beauty. The leaves are stirred by the wind, and yet no hand is seen to touch them. The sun, moon, and stars are useful and glorious in fulfilling their appointed mission. And man, his mind and body created in God's own similitude, must be active in order to fill his appointed place. Man is not to be idle. Idleness is sin.... 4MR 189.3

The young man who is seeking a preparation for usefulness needs to lay the foundation himself by acquiring through hard, diligent labor the means to prosecute his designs. If young men around him have allowed their parents to carry the burden of their education, let the young man who is looking on say, I will never do that. I will use my own brain and my physical powers combined to make of myself all that is possible.... 4MR 189.4

It should be the fixed principle of every child and every youth to aim high in all the plans for their lifework. Let the standard which God's word presents be adopted for their government in all things. All this is the Christian's positive duty, and it should be also his positive pleasure. Cultivate respect for yourself because you are Christ's purchased possession. Constantly cherish respect for your own personal influence.... 4MR 190.1

Live for something besides self. If your motives are pure, unselfish; if you are looking out to do work that somebody must do, to show kind attentions and to do courteous acts, you are unconsciously building your own monument. In the home life, in the church, and in the world, you are representing Christ in character. This is the work the Lord calls upon all children and youth to do. 4MR 190.2

Do good if you would be cherished in the memory of others. Live to be a blessing to all, wherever your lot may be cast. There are so many thousands who do no good in the world. None could point to them as the agency through Jesus Christ in the saving of their souls.... By kindness and love, by self-denying, self-sacrificing deeds, write your names in the hearts of many.—Letter 103, 1900, pp. 1-6. (To Dores Robinson, typed July 13, 1900.) 4MR 190.3

I have been and still am very anxious in regard to you. I have a strong sympathy for the young.... Your home has been anything but attractive. All these things I take in. All these God notices. But, Fred, there is a right and a wrong way in the course of everyday life. To take the right way is the way to heaven, while to take the wrong course is the way to darkness and the broad road to death. 4MR 190.4

I was shown, January 3, 1875, [In this vision, given just before the dedication of Battle Creek College, Ellen White was shown not only the experience of various individuals but was also given a view of the potential development of the world work, for it was in this vision that she saw printing presses in publishing houses not yet established in different countries, which years later she recognized as she saw them in operation.] the course you had been pursuing. You were bending your footsteps in the broad road that leads to death. You were being led captive by Satan at his will, and he was exulting in his power that he had over you. You had two ways before you—one way, which was the way to life, you knew was the way you should go; the other way was the wrong path, which you knew was wrong. You have, against light and knowledge, chosen the wrong way. You know that your course is not pleasing to God. You know that you are going contrary to the word of God. You are not obedient or respectful and you are following a course of folly. You are headstrong and very selfish, choosing your own pleasure. 4MR 191.1

You have not heeded the letter of counsel I wrote you. Your associations are wrong. Preston and Will are not good boys; they are pursuing the wrong course. They have chosen the wrong path and are walking contrary to God's will. You are pleased and gratified with their company and you are walking contrary to God. Will this pay? Will you choose the society of these boys whom you know do not love right, whom you know do wrong? Does sin and disobedience and lack of courtesy and true regard for parental authority appear attractive to you? Do you admire this in these bold young men? ... 4MR 191.2

I was shown that your ways are very grievous to the Lord, and since you have chosen the company of some young men your ways have been corrupted. You have grown rough, impudent, disobedient. I saw that it was doing you a great wrong for your father to support you when you were old enough to support yourself, while you do not feel under obligation as a minor to be obedient and help your father with all your power. Your father is hurting you. When you show by your words and actions that you despise the voice of counsel and authority and have no interest to lift your share of the burdens, then your father's obligations cease toward you.... 4MR 192.1

The knowledge you should be gaining in practical life you do not gain, but feel free to throw off responsibility and choose to do your pleasure. God looks with displeasure upon your course. Your father is grieved.... Will the satisfaction you gain in your reckless course offset the disadvantages? I saw that God has a care and love for your father. He has made some mistakes in judgment in his life, but he has a kind heart of love for his children. 4MR 192.2

The duty of parents to the children, making them responsible, is equally to bear upon the children. Their duty to their parents is sacred and binding as long as they both shall live. When you feel that you are your own and can go and come as you please, irrespective of your father's wishes, you should not rely upon your father's purse for clothing or for food. When your responsibility ceases as a faithful, obedient son, then your father's obligation ceases. He should not do you so great an injury which will tell on your whole future life as to support you in school.—Letter 4, 1875, pp. 1-3. (To Frank Belden, January 31, 1875.) 4MR 192.3

I feel a special interest in our youth who are interested in the truth. I am thankful to God that you love the truth, that you love Jesus, and I am anxious that you should press your way forward and upward in order that you shall reach the standard of Christian character that is revealed in the word of God. Let the word of God be your guidebook, that in everything you may be molded in conduct and character according to its requirements.... 4MR 193.1

Many ask the question, Am I keeping the way of the Lord? This question is one that you should carefully consider. You are the Lord's property both by creation and redemption. You may be a light in your home, and may continually exercise a saving influence in living out the truth. When the truth is in the heart its saving influence will be felt by all that are in the house. A sacred responsibility is resting upon you, and one that requires that you keep your soul pure by consecrating yourself to be wholly the Lord's.... 4MR 193.2

The only way in which the Christian will be able to keep himself unspotted from worldly influences will be by searching the Scriptures and by obeying the word of God to the very letter. Satan is playing the game of life for every soul; but no one need to be overcome by his deceptive reasoning. Those only who consent to his sophistry will be deceived by his counsels. But if the truth of God regulates the life, it must be planted in the heart. The truth will produce true beauty in the soul that will be revealed in the character. But if this result is attained it will be because the truth is cultivated and cherished.... 4MR 193.3

You have brothers, you have sisters, you have a mother, who do not see the light of truth. Let your light shine in such a way that they may see that truth adorns your character. Let your conversation be holy, and let your words and actions be kindly; and if through the grace of Christ you win them to see how precious is the truth as it is in Jesus, what a comfort, what an encouragement this would be to you! ... 4MR 194.1

If your affections are upon God, upon heavenly and divine things, you will not find any enjoyment in the company of those who have not the love of God and of truth abiding as a living principle in their souls.... The Lord Jesus cannot keep any soul who places himself upon the enemy's ground and surrounds himself with the society of those who prefer such conversation and conduct as are an offense to the God he reveres and loves.... 4MR 194.2

If you will give yourself fully to Jesus He will create in you an intense desire for the friendship of God, and you will have deep longings to reflect the goodness and the love of Jesus in your life and character to your family and to those who know not the love of God. By cultivating patience, meekness, forbearance, by showing respect and rendering obedience to your father and mother as it is fit in the Lord, you will be giving testimony in your everyday life that the truth has power to sanctify the character.... 4MR 194.3

Your acquaintances, who are utterly averse to spiritual things, are not refined, ennobled, and elevated by the practice of the truth. They are not under the leadership of Christ, but under the black banner of the prince of darkness. To associate with those who neither fear nor love God—unless you associate with them for the purpose of winning them to Jesus—will be a detriment to your spirituality. If you cannot lift them up, their influence will tell upon you in corrupting and tainting your faith. It is right for you to treat them kindly, but not well for you to love and choose their society; for if you choose the atmosphere that surrounds their souls, you will forfeit the companionship of Jesus. 4MR 194.4

By every means in your power seek to repress sin; but never for one moment give sanction to sin either by your deeds, your words, your silence, or your presence. Every time sin is sanctioned by the professed follower of Christ the sense of sin is weakened and the judgment thus becomes perverted.... 4MR 195.1

From the light which the Lord has been pleased to give me, I warn you that you are in danger of being deceived by the enemy. You are in danger of choosing your own way and of not following the counsel of God and not walking in obedience to His will. The Holy One has given rules for the guidance of every soul so that no one need miss his way. These directions mean everything to us, for they form the standard to which every son and daughter of Adam should conform.... 4MR 195.2

You are young, and are in danger of being self-confident. But in choosing your own way, you will not choose the way of wisdom, and if you do so you will become indifferent and careless in regard to divine things. For this reason I write to you that you may learn of the heavenly Teacher His meekness and lowliness of heart. In His strength be steadfast, and stand in opposition to all that is displeasing to God, and encourage all that is right and pure and true.... 4MR 195.3

You are just entering upon womanhood, and if you seek the grace of Christ, if you follow the path where Jesus leads the way, you will become more and more a true woman. You will grow in grace, become wiser by experience, and as you advance from light to a greater light you will become happier. Remember that your life belongs to Jesus, and that you are not to live for yourself alone.... 4MR 195.4

Shun those who are irreverent. Shun one who is a lover of idleness; shun the one who is a scoffer of hallowed things. Avoid the society of one who uses profane language or is addicted to the use of even one glass of liquor. Listen not to the proposals of a man who has no realization of his responsibility to God. The pure truth which sanctifies the soul will give you courage to cut yourself loose from the most pleasing acquaintance whom you know does not love and fear God, and knows nothing of the principles of true righteousness. We may always bear with a friend's infirmities and with his ignorance, but never with his vices. Never marry an unbeliever.... 4MR 196.1

Cling close to those who will have an uplifting tendency, whose souls are surrounded with a pure and holy atmosphere. We shall need all the help we can obtain, for we are called upon to contend with Satan and his army of workers who imbue their human agents with their own satanic spirit, causing them to do according to their will.... 4MR 196.2

Be cautious every step that you advance; you need Jesus at every step. Your life is too precious a thing to be treated as of little worth. Calvary testifies to you of the value of your soul. Consult the word of God in order that you may know how you should use the life that has been purchased for you at infinite cost. As a child of God you are permitted to contract marriage only in the Lord. Be sure that you do not follow the imagination of your own heart, but move in the fear of God.... 4MR 196.3

If believers associate with unbelievers for the purpose of winning them to Christ they will be witnesses for Christ, and having fulfilled their mission, will withdraw themselves in order to breathe in a pure and holy atmosphere. They will draw near to God, and send up earnest petitions to Christ in behalf of their friends and associates, knowing that He is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. When in the society of unbelievers, ever remember that in character you are a representative of Jesus Christ, and let no light and trifling words, no cheap conversation, be upon your lips. Keep in mind the value of the soul, and remember that it is your privilege and your duty to be in every possible way a laborer together with God. You are not to lower yourself to the same level as that of unbelievers. This manner of conduct will only make you a stumbling block in the way of sinners.... 4MR 197.1

The Lord will be your helper, and if you trust Him, will bring you up to a noble, elevated standard, and will place your feet upon the platform of eternal truth. Through the grace of Christ you can make a right use of your entrusted capabilities and become an agent for good in winning souls to Christ. Every talent you have should be used on the right side.... 4MR 197.2

When the Holy Spirit moves upon the heart we should co-operate with His molding influence, and we shall have noble aspirations, clear perception of truth, meekness, teachableness, and will perform our duty with humility. This is the way in which you will become better acquainted with God, and acquaintance with God is the privilege of the Christian. Then you can labor for those who are unconverted, and the society of unbelievers will do you no harm, because your life is hid with Christ in God, and you seek the companionship of those who are out of Christ for the purpose of winning them to His service. Your connection with God makes you strong spiritually so that you can withstand any wrong influences which are exerted by them. 4MR 197.3

I have written to you because I have a love for your soul, and I beseech you to hear my words. I have more to write to you when I shall find time.—Letter 51, 1894, pp. 1-8. (To “Dear Sister C. Martin,” August 9, 1894.) 4MR 198.1

You have greater privileges than many youth, more opportunities to learn lessons which will fit you for practical usefulness and enable you to form a character fit for the kingdom of heaven. God calls upon you to improve these privileges and opportunities; but Satan is upon the track of every youth, trying to alienate them from God.... 4MR 198.2

The experience of Adam is a constant warning and reproof to us. We are not to turn aside from the word of God under any circumstances; but the Lord compels obedience from no one. He gives the human agent all the help that he requires to be an overcomer, but leaves him free to place himself, with his inherited and cultivated tendencies, under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit, or to follow his own imaginations which are only evil, and that continually. He leaves him free to choose his associates from the pure and the righteous, or from among others. He compels no one to obey Him. 4MR 198.3

Had you understood and obeyed the commandments of God you would now be a pure, clean young man, possessing power to overcome temptation and growing stronger and stronger in self-conquest. You imagine at times that you would like to be a minister, but your course of selfish indulgence disqualifies you for this position. You have been tried in school and out of school, and have been placed in positions calculated to make you useful to your fellow men and approved of by God, if you had chosen to serve God. Had you done this, you would now be sowing seed unto eternal life. God's word declares that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Do you believe the word of God? What are you sowing? “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” 4MR 198.4

I deeply regretted that you were not to attend the school in Cooranbong. I was afraid that the course pursued toward you by the leading men in this place had been too severe, but one night the whole matter was laid open before me, and point after point in your own action was unfolded to me. Notwithstanding the privileges you have had, you have acted in a very ungentlemanly way toward your parents and toward those in the school who were trying to do you good. Your course of action has made their work very hard.... 4MR 199.1

I could not advise the managers of the school to retain you in the school while you were leading other boys astray. If you will not be influenced and controlled by those wiser than you, if evil practices seem more desirable to you than those set forth in the word of God, you will influence others in the wrong direction. Said Christ: “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” The power of purpose to resist temptation comes from Christ alone. 4MR 199.2

Your course of action in the past has not been an honor to your parents. They know not what to do with you; and what courage can they have to expend their means in giving you opportunity to gain an education? If, in your present state of character, they should send you to school among worldlings you would drink in the evil as an ox drinks water. If you had moral power to resist temptation, you could influence others to resist, but you are now so full of your own inventions that an opportunity given you to obtain an education would be worse than thrown away. You would pluck the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge, and would feel a pride in thus showing your bravery.... 4MR 199.3

Take heed that there shall not be in you an evil heart of unbelief, for if there is, all your educational advantages will but give you a further opportunity of showing that you dare to do forbidden things. Your school opportunities will be of no good to you unless you guard your mind strictly. Should your life be extended to the full measure of the allotted years of man, and should you become converted, you will look upon your youthful works with disgust. There is nothing but satanic pleasure in doing evil; and if you will yoke up with Christ, God will give you strength to do the works of Christ. 4MR 200.1

Do you not appreciate the desire of your teachers that you shall become a student of whom they may be proud? But only in the strength which Jesus Christ gives you can you resist eating of the forbidden tree of knowledge. Evil actions repeated over and over again become second habit, and bear a harvest of evil. One evil thought which you may instill into another's mind, one evil action in which you may educate him, may be the ruin of that soul. If you should attend any school to do that kind of work I would say, Separate him from the school, for he is Satan's agent, be he the son of a minister or of a layman. 4MR 200.2

You will never be a success in anything until you commence at the very first step of the ladder and climb step after step, round after round, not looking down but up, clinging to the ladder, which is Christ. You have been a wayward boy because you have followed the leading of satanic agencies. You have acquired the habit of using the poisonous weed, tobacco, and by your example and influence you have encouraged others in doing the same. Your course of action has been a burden to your father and mother. At great expense you have been sent to school, but this will never change the heart of Burr Corliss and make him a Christian. 4MR 201.1

You will never be placed in more favorable circumstances to develop a character which God will approve, than you were when at school in Cooranbong. As long as you persist in following your own way you will be misshaped in character and a dishonor to your parents. Your name will be a reproach to them, and you will influence others who would do right, were there not a tempter working with them. 4MR 201.2

Why not now give your heart to the Lord Jesus? Forever discard the use of tobacco. In the past you have done this, but you did not say, In the name of the Lord I will be pure and clean and holy. You have used tobacco slyly, for your moral power is very flimsy. Your heart is not given to the Lord. Will you not seek for those things that make for your peace? The battle, my youthful friend, is not sham, not pretense. It is a warfare against the fallen foe who is playing the game of life for your soul.... 4MR 201.3

At times you have good impulses, and you heed the impressions of the Spirit of God. But you have little real hatred of meanness, and you receive the enemy ... as an honored guest. You glorify him by opening the door of your heart to him. You do not see him by your side, but he is there, and when led by satanic agencies, you lead others in the same way. 4MR 201.4

Your boyish ideas of love for young girls does not give anyone a high opinion of you. By letting your mind run in this channel you spoil your thoughts for study. You will be led to form impure associations; your ways and the ways of others will be corrupted. This is just as your case is presented to me, and as long as you persist in following your own way, whoever will seek to guide, influence, or restrain you will meet with the most determined resistance, because your heart is not in harmony with truth and righteousness. Not only will you disgrace yourself, but you will leave the impression upon the minds of many that your teachers were the real cause of your wrong course of action; for wrongdoing not only acts against the wrongdoer, but reflects upon those who were striving to the uttermost to keep him in the right track. 4MR 202.1

Thus it was with the work of Satan in the heavenly courts. He cast the cause of his defection upon Jesus Christ and upon God. If They had not so firmly resisted his plans, he said, he would not have gone on doing as he did. Wrongdoers always find sympathizers, and Satan so represented his case to the angels that he drew many angels from their allegiance to God.... 4MR 202.2

Today “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” God sends warnings, reproofs, and corrections, but these are frequently evaded and unheeded, because through his temptation Satan deceives the wrongdoer, causing him to suppose that he is unjustly dealt with. Satan has abated not a particle of his enmity and revenge against God because he did not prevail in heaven, and he works that reforms shall not be made on the earth. 4MR 202.3

Those who know of the work of the great deceiver should consider his work. By his deceiving power he works through every human agency that will be worked by him, seeking to convert men to his plan of action. When with earnest effort and prayer means are tried in our schools to elevate the students, and lead them in right paths, Satan works through some of the students. By their influence he taints and corrupts others, leading them to disregard the rules of the school and carry out their own plans. 4MR 203.1

It is a most painful task to separate from the school the one who incites others to disobedience and disloyalty to God, but for the sake of the other students it must be done. God saw that if Satan were not expelled from heaven the angelic host would be in continual danger; and when God-fearing teachers see that to retain a student is to expose others to the influence of his ways, because he loves to pluck and eat of the wrong kind of knowledge, they should separate him from the school.... 4MR 203.2

Your father is a minister of the gospel, and Satan works most zealously to lead the children of ministers to dishonor their parents. If possible he will bring them into captivity to his will and imbue them with his evil propensities. Will you allow Satan to work through you to destroy the hope and comfort of your parents? Will they be obliged to look upon you with continual sadness because you give yourself into Satan's control? Will you leave them to the discouragement of thinking that they have brought up children who refuse to be instructed by them, who follow their own inclinations whatever happens? 4MR 203.3

Many parents are weighed down with the perversity of their children; they are broken down in the effort to devise some plan which will prove successful to save their children. Their children, who should have made them happy, are no comfort to them, for selfishness and sin have become sweeter to their taste than the pure and holy things of God. 4MR 204.1

You have good impulses, and you awaken hope and expectation in the minds of your parents; but so far you have been powerless to resist temptation, and Satan exults in your readiness to do just as he wills. Often you make statements which inspire your parents with hope, but just as often you fall, because you will not resist the enemy. You can not know how it pains your father and mother when you are found on Satan's side. Many times you say, I cannot do this and I cannot do that, when you know that the things you say you cannot do are right for you to do. You can fight against the enemy, not in your own strength but in the strength God is ever ready to give you. Trusting in His word you will never say, I can't. 4MR 204.2

I appeal to you in the name of the Lord to turn before it is too late. Because you are the son of parents who are co-workers with God, you are supposed to be a well-disposed boy; but often by your waywardness you dishonor your father and mother and counteract the work they are seeking to do.... Will you still pursue such a course of action that your father's heart will be weighed down with grief? Is it a pleasure for you to have all heaven looking upon you with displeasure? Is it a satisfaction for you to place yourself in the ranks of the enemy, to be ordered and controlled by him? 4MR 204.3

Oh, that now, while it is called today, you would turn to the Lord! Your every deed is making you either better or worse. If your actions are on Satan's side, they leave behind them an influence that continues to work its baleful results. Only the pure, the clean, and the holy can enter the city of God. “Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” but turn to the Lord, that the path you travel may not leave desolation in its track.—Letter 15a, 1896, pp. 1-8. (To Burr Corliss, April 14, 1896.) 4MR 205.1

My spirit is stirred within me as I see and sense the short time in which we have to work. Never have there seemed so great results depending upon us as a people. Never was there a time when youth of every age and country were needed to do earnestly the work to be done, as now. Society has claims upon the youth of today. The men who have stood in the forefront of the battle, bearing the burden and heat of the day, will pass off the stage of active life. Where are the young men to fill their places when these wise instructors and counselors can carry their burdens no more? Upon the young these duties must fall. How important that the youth be educating themselves, for upon them these duties will devolve. 4MR 205.2

Prepare, my son, to discharge your duties with uncorrupted fidelity. I wish I could impress upon young men what they might be and what they might do if they will sense the claims that God has upon them. He has given them capabilities, not to stagnate in indolence, but to strengthen and elevate by noble action. 4MR 205.3

Willie, my greatest anxiety is not that you should become a great man after the world's standard, but a good man, every day making some progress in meeting God's standard of right. Many young men think that if they can smoke and chew tobacco they have made decided advance toward manhood, and when they can drink a glass of beer or of wine, they have advanced still nearer the perfection of a worldly man. I am rejoiced that you are not seeking by such steps to climb to worldly manhood. This class of popular youth will suffer the consequence of their course of action. Youth may attain to success in forming a character which Heaven shall approve, if they shun all these social evils. 4MR 205.4

Character must be made. It is the work of a lifetime. It is a work requiring meditation and thought. Judgment must be well exercised, industry and perseverance established. Consider thoughtfully, prayerfully, what character you would be glad to possess before the world. Shall it be that of a fast young man poisoning his blood and enervating his system with tobacco, beclouding the brain with wine and indulgence of perverted appetite? Or will you stand before God and the world with moral courage to resist temptation upon the point of appetite, standing forth in your Godlike manhood free from the slavery of every pernicious habit of self-indulgence? You can be whichever you choose. 4MR 206.1

The excellence of your character you must obtain as the result of your own exertion. You will have to learn to bridle appetite. You may be encouraged by others in your work, but they can never do your work of overcoming temptation. You cannot be honest and truthful, industrious and virtuous for them, neither can they become thus for you. In one sense you must stand alone, fighting your own battles. Yet not alone, for you have Jesus and the angels of God to help you. But few reach what they might in excellence of character, because they do not make their aim high. Prosperity and happiness will never grow of their own accord. They are the acquisition of labor, the fruit of long cultivation. I am glad you never have soiled your lips and tainted your breath with tobacco, that you have not indulged in tasting wine. While many youth will not listen to counsel, you have been willing to be taught. God help you to lead others in the right way.—Letter 22, 1875, pp. 1-4. (To “Dear Son Willie,” June 30, 1875.) 4MR 206.2

It is no small work to train up children for the heavenly courts. It requires patient, protracted, incessant effort.... 4MR 207.1

Sister Matteson should open her heart to the genial, glad rays of the Sun of righteousness, and ever bear in mind that God is love. The attribute of love she should receive into her heart and have it interwoven with all her motherly duties. Then home will be a sunny place to her children.... While she is strict, she must be patient and tender. She must not be so involved in care as to neglect faith and prayer and tenderness and love. She must encourage and discipline herself to have a gentle, winning, loving spirit, which will have a transforming power upon the children and make the home a Bethel, the hearth holy, consecrated.... 4MR 207.2

As children have been brought into the world, it is the duty of parents to educate, discipline and train them, making this life as pleasant for them as possible, and showing a disposition to make them peaceful and happy. Parents should endeavor to keep the soul of the heart mellow with love and affection, thus preparing it for the seed of truth and they should preoccupy the soil by sowing good seed, otherwise it will be impoverished and corrupted with noxious weeds. 4MR 207.3

It is a very nice thing to deal with minds. It will require careful study to know how to deal with the tender, impressible minds of children. Too great severity makes them hard and coarse and unfeeling, while a neglect of discipline is like leaving a field untilled; it is speedily covered with weeds, thistles, and briars. The impressible expanding minds of children are thirsting for knowledge. 4MR 208.1

Parents should make it a point to keep their own minds informed that they may impart knowledge to their children, thus providing their minds with proper food, leaving no place for hunger after debasing pleasure and indulgences. Good, sound instruction is the only preventative of evil communication which corrupt good manners. 4MR 208.2

You may choose, if you will, whether your children's minds will be occupied with pure, elevated thoughts or with vicious sentiments. You cannot keep these active minds unoccupied, neither can you keep them away from evil. Only the inculcation of right principles in correct knowledge, will exclude the elements of evil. But remember the Lord gives to the earth not only clouds and rain, but the beautiful smiling sunshine which causes the seeds sown to spring up, the green foliage and buds and flowers to appear. Just so, dear parents, should be your work in your family and in the vineyard of the Lord. You need to give not only restrictions and reproofs and correction, but encouragement, the pleasant sunshine of kind words—cheerful, joyful, happy words—in your homes and in the church. You need to keep your souls in patience, waiting, hoping and praying. You will reap if you faint not. You will not always see immediate results, but keep working in faith, quietly waiting for the salvation of God. You should be full of Bible truth, Bible stories and interesting parables, your own heart softened and subdued with its pure morals and fascinating incidents, and as you teach your children, they will catch the inspiration you feel. Like the body, the mind derives its health and strength from the food which it receives. The mind becomes pure, and broad, and elevated when the thoughts and conversation are of that character. Yet it is too often debased, darkened, and soured with fretfulness, censure, and dwelling upon the things of the world instead of being elevated and attracted by heavenly subjects. 4MR 208.3

Our children may be made noble, elevated, pure and refined if they have the proper Bible instruction. We want more sunshiny parents and more sunshiny Christians. Oh, what a revelation will be made in the great day of accounts when the judgment shall sit and the books be opened! We are too much shut up to ourselves. The kindly, encouraging word is withheld. The smile which costs us nothing is not given to the children, to the destitute, the oppressed and discouraged. There are some members in the families who need more discipline, kindly training, and patient labor than others. Their stamp of character was given them as their legacy, and they need pity, sympathy and love from those who have transmitted to them their hereditary tendencies. By patient, persevering, labor given in kindly sympathy and love, those wayward ones or apparently perverse ones or dull ones may be fitted to do a good work for the Master. Such ones may possess undeveloped power which will be aroused after a time and they may fill a place far in advance of those from whom you expected very much. It is bad business to let a discouraging blight rest upon the lives of these peculiarly tempered children because they are so. 4MR 209.1

The same principle should be carried out not only in the family but in the church. The great day will reveal that those who have been earnest and persevering in helping these unpromising cases, so generally neglected and shunned, have as the result many stars in their crown of rejoicing. These very ones who seemed so defective had qualities that needed to be developed by patient love and untiring effort. Such persons have often made the most successful laborers in missionary fields. They know how to help the very ones who like themselves needed help. Was the effort lost upon these apparently one-sided characters? Oh, no, when the right cord was touched, the response came. What a work for the laborer! What a reward will be his! ... 4MR 210.1

Christians are the light of the world. They should let their light shine in their own homes, and “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). 4MR 210.2

We want our taper to illuminate our own home, brightening the path which our children shall travel, and then it will extend its rays beyond our dwellings to be a bright and shining light to the world.—Letter 16, 1879, pp. 2-6. (To Brother J. G. Matteson, February 21, 1879.) 4MR 210.3

We are now living for the time being on the Froget place. There is a very good house of three rooms. The surroundings are much more pleasant than at the old place at the mill.... 4MR 210.4

The church at Boulder was organized last Sabbath. Twenty-seven united with the church. About ten more, it is expected, will unite.... 4MR 211.1

Dear children, I beg of you to be very careful of your deportment. Never, never feel that you may release your diligence to watch unto prayer.... 4MR 211.2

My son, you must not trust to your own strength or have too good an opinion of your own attainments. I have continual fears lest Emma and you both will become careless and neglectful of your duty, that self-indulgence will deprive you of the precious blessings that are only realized by the self-sacrificing, humble, meek and lowly ones. You need to cultivate the graces of the Spirit of God. You have had great light, great privileges, and you will be responsible for all this amount of light. For years a voice has been speaking to you both from heaven, reproving, warning, and encouraging. Have you felt as you should the importance of cherishing every ray of light that has shone upon your pathway? 4MR 211.3

Emma, I was shown that your time is not always the best employed. You dwarf your mind in reading books that cannot improve the mind. The Bible you should make your study.... 4MR 211.4

Not one of us can live to please and gratify self and yet have the approval of our Redeemer, who lived not to please Himself but to do others good. Our daily record is going up to heaven. What that record shall be our own course will determine. There are but few real missionaries for God in our world, but few who will work the works of Christ, but few who will love their neighbor as themselves, but few who will serve God with their undivided affection, and but few who will win the eternal weight of glory. According to the light received will be the condemnation of every individual. 4MR 211.5

God is speaking to us through His word, pointing out the path of faith and righteousness as the only path to glory. All who have the Spirit of Christ will place high value upon the Scriptures, for they are the oracles of God. They are as actually a divine communication saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21), as though these words came to us from Isaiah in an audible voice. Oh, if the people only believed this, what awe, what reverence, what prostration of soul would attend their searching of the Scriptures, which show the way to eternal life! 4MR 212.1

The Scriptures are the word of the living God to man, a message from heaven. Every true child of God will love to peruse it, to study it. And if they read it prayerfully, in humility, yet with hope and faith and confidence, it will be a lamp to their feet, a light to their path, and they will not walk in darkness. The more they search for knowledge, the clearer will truth shine, and yet they may never quit their searching, for there is still an infinity of knowledge of light and truth. God would have you both diligent students of His Word. 4MR 212.2

I have been shown that Edson will search the Scriptures to a limited degree, and his light and knowledge and ability to understand the Word of God will be limited to his researches and his prayer in humility and faith for a knowledge of the truth revealed in God's Word. Light is sown for the righteous and truth for the upright in heart. There may be one hundred able men in the Scriptures where there is now one. But few hunger and thirst for divine knowledge revealed in the Bible, and the result is inefficiency and weakness as far as spirituality is concerned. God will not work by miracles to solve the mysteries of His Word to the lazy, careless, inattentive student. If you, my son, want to be a strong man in the understanding of the Word, search the Scriptures with a humble, prayerful heart. 4MR 212.3

Emma should read her Bible more and storybooks less. In reading fascinating storybooks, she loses all relish for the Scriptures. God has been speaking to His people in the Testimonies of His spirit, in the Spirit of Prophecy, to lead the minds of His people to the Bible teaching, and these lie on the shelf, neglected, unread, and unheeded. 4MR 213.1

Edson, I want you to keep one fact before you: that through your neglect to work constantly, earnestly, and perseveringly to perfect Christian character, you have, through the temptations of Satan, become wayward and your energies crippled, your capacities contracted, your desires worldly and selfish. Your soul might now be as “a watered garden,” whose waters fail not. Your own soul refreshed, you would be constantly refreshing others. Christ in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The souls you win to Christ will be heirs of immortal life, thus the life of Christ in you will be manifested to others, charming, winning, and gathering them to Christ. Heaven is worth a lifelong, persevering, and untiring effort. Those only who prize it as the pearl of great price and will sell all to obtain the precious treasure will come into possession of it. 4MR 213.2

Christ has made an infinite sacrifice for man, and man ... is now called upon to make sacrifices on his own account and in his own behalf. 4MR 213.3

Edson, very many professing to be followers of Christ are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.... If my own children are careless and constantly lukewarm, without religious zeal or fervor, they counteract the influence that God would have me exert. Souls will be lost through heedlessness and lack of devotion and piety. 4MR 213.4

I leave these lines with you, having a burdened soul that you both need this. You forget so easily and slide away from God so naturally, that you need to live hourly, daily, lives of watchfulness and prayer.—Letter 23, 1879, pp. 1-5. (To Edson and Emma White, August 5, 1879.) 4MR 214.1

I repair to my tent [Mrs. White was attending a camp meeting.] with aching heart, to relieve my mind by writing you some things which were shown me in the vision given me in Battle Creek at our camp meeting. 4MR 214.2

I cannot express to you the pain I have felt to see you accompanying Mattie, sitting by her side and coming to the meetings together, notwithstanding all that has been shown and all the advice given you.... The Lord has shown you that your association with Mattie was not in any way calculated to help your morals or strengthen your spirituality. You are placing yourself in the way of temptation, and God will leave you to follow the carnal promptings of your own mind. 4MR 214.3

I have plainly stated that Mattie would not make you a happy wife; she knows nothing of economy. You would both be a financial failure. Your cup of misery would be full. You have made some feeble attempts to break away from her society, but you have soon renewed your attention to her, she sometimes making the advance, and you infatuated with her. You have chosen her company and her frivolous, superficial talk.... This was because you were blinded by Satan's delusive suggestions. You have spent hours of the night in her company because you were both infatuated. She professes love for you but she knows not the pure love of an unpretending heart. Satan has ensnared your soul. 4MR 214.4

I was shown you are fascinated, deceived, and Satan exults that one who has scarcely a trait of character that would make a happy wife and a happy home should have an influence to separate you from the mother who loves you with a changeless affection. In the name of the Lord, cease your attentions to Mattie or marry her—do not scandalize the cause of God. 4MR 215.1

You may pursue a course to cause your mother the keenest sorrow and apprehension and may separate your sympathies from her who has loved and prayed for you and to whom you owe everything, and for what? A bold, forward girl who has not a pure heart or holy affections. Truly it may be said of you, “Thou hast destroyed thyself.” You have pursued your own course irrespective of consequences. Your heart has rebelled against your mother because she could not in any way receive Mattie or sanction the attention you gave her. No modest girl would have done as she has done. No God-fearing son, true to duty and principle, would have continued to persistently pursue the course you have done. The carnal heart has clamored for the victory. 4MR 215.2

Had you followed the light God has given you at this time you would stand free in the Lord, honoring your mother, respecting her judgment and following her counsel, having the highest regard for her happiness, acting the part of a dutiful son. How little do you now appreciate that mother love you once prized so highly. This influence is not divine, but satanic. No greater evidence could be given the world of your sterling worth than your former faithfulness to your mother. This has made you esteemed; this has given you influence. 4MR 215.3

But the world marks the change in your life and deportment, though not as fully as your brethren. It is a rare circumstance in this age of the world, where selfishness, love of pleasure, and self-indulgence reign, to see a young man turning from the allurements of the world and with religious principle devoting attention and courtesy and respect to his mother. This you did do until Satan's artifices succeeded through Mattie to insinuate and tell falsehoods which you have believed and which had the influence to separate the mother and son. You have made a mistake in being in her presence, in sitting by her side, or showing her the slightest preference after God had spoken and told you she would be the bane of your life. 4MR 216.1

Do you believe this testimony or do you reject it? 4MR 216.2

The intimacy formed with Mattie has not had a tendency to bring you nearer the Lord or to sanctify you through the truth. You are risking your eternal interest in the company of this girl. When the light was first given, had you then humbled your heart and acknowledged your wrong and showed that the word of your godly mother was accepted before the word of an unprincipled girl, you would now have been free. Satan's device would have been broken, and you far advanced in knowledge of the will of God. In the place of idling away your time in the company of this unconsecrated girl, you would have been studying your Bible and been active in the service of God. 4MR 216.3

Time has passed into eternity with its burden of record [of time] that has been passed in her society. Is this record such that you would never blush to read it? What you might have been and what you have done had you heeded the voice of warning will be seen when the assembled throng shall gather about the great white throne. Oh, Chapin! could you not consider that you were not your own; that you had been brought with an infinite price? Your time, your strength, your affections belong to God, and you are not at liberty to dispose of them as you please. 4MR 216.4

Mattie expects to consummate a marriage with you, and you have given her encouragement to expect this by your attentions. Your happiness in this life and in the future life is in peril. You have followed her deceptive, foolish entreaties and your own judgment which have not made you a more consistent Christian or a more faithful, dutiful son. I speak that I do know, and testify that I have seen. If you will separate yourself from her society you will find a welcome in Battle Creek to engage in labor or attend school and fit yourself as a laborer in the cause of God. 4MR 217.1

If you persist in the course you have pursued it would be much better for you to marry her, for your course is as directly contrary to God's will as to marry her. Satan accomplishes his purpose all the same. 4MR 217.2

If the atmosphere surrounding her is the most agreeable to you, if she meets your standard for a wife to stand at the head of your family; if, in your calm judgment, taken in the light given you of God, her example would be worthy of imitation, you might as well marry her as to be in her society and conduct yourselves as only man and wife should conduct themselves towards each other. You have about ruined yourself as it is. If through the period of your life you wish to enjoy the society of Mattie as you now appear to enjoy it and be fascinated with it, why not go a step farther than you already have and make yourself her lawful protector and have an undisputed right to devote the hours you choose in her company and be charmed with her presence night after night? 4MR 217.3

Your acts and conversation are offensive to God. The angels of God bear record of your words and your actions. The light has been given you but you have not heeded it. The course you have pursued is a reproach to the cause of God. Your behavior is unbecoming and unchristian. When you should both be in your beds you have been in one another's society and in one another's arms nearly the whole night. Have your thoughts been more pure, more holy, more elevated and ennobled? Did you have clearer views of duty—greater love for God and the truth? ... 4MR 218.1

The Lord reads the secrets of the life, the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. You have both departed far from the right, and the only course for you to pursue is to return every step with confession and repentance. While you do not dare to marry, do you know your present attitude is most offensive to God? You give occasion to our enemies to judge our people as being loose in morals.... 4MR 218.2

I arise early this morning—my mind is not at rest in regard to you. In the solemn view presented me a short time since in the night season, your case was shown me. The ledger of heaven was opened, and I read there a record of your life. At a glance I took it in, your weakness, your defects of character. As the eyes of the Judge of all the earth cast one glance at the record and then at you—not a word spoken by Him—your own lips repeated, “Weighed in the balance and found wanting. I have sowed to the flesh; I shall reap corruption.” Your face was as pale as the dead; great drops of perspiration stood upon your forehead; and there, before all the assembled throng, you openly confessed where you first stumbled, where your feet were first directed in the path to perdition. You cast most bitter reflection upon yourself that you had trusted to your own judgment and walked in your own wisdom, rejected the voice of God, despised the warnings and advice of His servants, and with a perseverance and persistency followed your own pernicious ways by which the way of truth was evil spoken of, and souls were lost who might have been saved through your instrumentality. 4MR 218.3

Much more I might relate in reference to you, but this is enough for the present. I felt so grateful when I came out of vision and found it was not a present reality, that probation still lingered. And now I call upon you to haste and no longer trifle with eternal things. 4MR 219.1

You flatter yourself that you are honest, but you are not. You have been and still are welding the chains by your own course of conduct with Mattie that will hold you in the veriest bondage. The voice of God you have rejected; the voice of Satan you have heeded. Light you have called darkness and darkness you have called light. You act like a man bereft of his senses, and for what? A girl without principle, without one really lovable trait of character, proud, extravagant, self-willed, unconsecrated, impatient, heady, without natural affection, impulsive. Yet if you cut entirely loose she might stand a better chance to see herself and humble her heart before God.... 4MR 219.2

You should learn from Achan's case never to underrate the power of temptation. At the very time you may think yourself secure you may be in the greatest danger of stumbling and falling. You cannot meet, in your own strength, and resist temptation. A review of the past will be profitable for you if it is done in a right spirit; you can then, after the excitement and passion have passed away, see more rationally and clearly the dark side of your character, and be humbled in the dust on account of your mistakes and errors, which have brought the frown of God upon you and the church on your account. 4MR 219.3

When Joshua was nearing the close of his life he took up a review of the past for two reasons—to lead the Israel of God to gratitude for the marked manifestation of God's providence in all their travels, and to lead them to humility of mind under a sense of their unjust murmurings and repinings and their neglect to follow out the revealed will of God. 4MR 220.1

Joshua goes on to warn them in a most earnest manner against the idolatry around them. They were warned not to have any connection with idolaters, not to intermarry with them, nor in any way put themselves in danger of being affected and corrupted by their abominations. They were counseled to shun the very appearance of evil, not to dabble around the borders of sin, for this was the surest way to be engulfed in sin and ruin. He showed them that desolation would be the result of their departing from God, and as God was faithful to His promise He would also be faithful in executing His threatenings. The Lord would have you apply this to your individual self. 4MR 220.2

Joseph, in the providence of God, was deprived of his happy home and the teachings and example of his God-fearing father, and his lot was cast in a family of dark heathen. There his virtue was severely tested. 4MR 220.3

It is always a critical period in a young man's life when he is separated from home influences and wise counsels and enters upon new scenes and trying tests. But if he does not of his own accord place himself in these positions of danger and remove himself from parental restraint; if, without will or choice of his own, he is placed in dangerous positions and relies upon God for strength—cherishing the love of God in his heart—he will be kept from yielding to temptation by the power of God who placed him in that trying position. God will protect him from being corrupted by the fierce temptation. 4MR 220.4

God was with Joseph in his new home. He was in the path of duty, suffering wrong but not doing wrong. He therefore had the love and protection of God, for he carried his religious principle into everything he undertook. 4MR 221.1

What a difference there was in Joseph's case and the case of young men who apparently force their way into the very field of the enemy, exposing themselves to the fierce assaults of Satan. Joseph suffered for righteousness sake, while the trials of others are of their own procuring. Joseph did not conceal his religion or manly piety to avoid persecution. 4MR 221.2

The Lord prospered Joseph but in the midst of his prosperity comes the darkest adversity. The wife of his master is a licentious woman, one who urged his steps to take hold on hell. Will Joseph yield his moral gold of character to the seductions of a corrupt woman? Will he remember that the eye of God is upon him? 4MR 221.3

Few temptations are more dangerous or more fatal to young men than the temptation of sensuality, and none if yielded to will prove so decidedly ruinous to soul and body for time and eternity. The welfare of his entire future is suspended upon the decision of a moment. Joseph calmly casts his eyes to heaven for help, slips off his loose outer garment, leaving it in the hand of his tempter, and while his eye is lighted with determined resolve in the place of unholy passion, he exclaims, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” The victory is gained; he flees from the enchanter; he is saved. 4MR 221.4

You have had an opportunity to show whether your religion was a practical reality. You have taken liberties in the sight of God and holy angels that you would not take under the observation of your fellow men. True religion extends to all the thoughts of the mind, penetrating to all the secret thoughts of the heart, to all the motives of action, to the object and direction of the affections, to the whole framework of our lives. “Thou, God, seest me,” will be the watchword, the guard of the life. 4MR 222.1

Joseph's faithful integrity led to the loss of his reputation and his liberty. This is the severest test that the virtuous and God-fearing are subjected to, that vice seems to prosper while virtue is trampled in the dust. The seducer was living in prosperity as a model of virtuous propriety, while Joseph, true to principle, was under a degrading charge of the most revolting crime. Joseph's religion kept his temper sweet and his sympathy with humanity warm and strong, notwithstanding all his trials. 4MR 222.2

There are those who, if they feel they are not rightly used, become sour, ungenerous, crabbed and uncourteous in their words and deportment. They sink down discouraged, hateful and hating others. 4MR 222.3

But Joseph was a Christian. No sooner does he enter upon prison life than he brings all the brightness of his Christian principles into active exercise; he begins to make himself useful to others. He enters into the troubles of his fellow prisoners. He is cheerful, for he is a Christian gentleman. God was preparing him under this discipline for a situation of great responsibility, honor, and usefulness, and he was willing to learn; he took kindly to the lessons the Lord would teach him. He learned to bear the yoke in his youth. He learned to govern by first learning obedience himself. He humbled himself, and the Lord exalted him to special honor. 4MR 222.4

You may take these lessons home. You have need to learn, and may God help you. 4MR 223.1

I feel a deep interest that this last call shall not be treated indifferently as the former have been. It is the last invitation you will have, if you do not heed this.... 4MR 223.2

It remains to be seen now whether you will pursue the course of infatuation you have done, whether Mattie will after her confession do the same that she has done. I was shown her course was like this—she would make open acknowledgement and then draw upon your sympathies in a most pathetic manner in letters and in conversation. You have been drawn to her again to give her sympathy and encouragement and you were so weak, so completely blinded that you were entangled again more firmly than ever. 4MR 223.3

You were shown me in her society hours of the night; you know best in what manner these hours were spent. You called on me to speak whether you had broken God's commandments. I ask you, Have you not broken them? How was your time employed hours together night after night? Were your position, your attitude, your affections such that you would want them all registered in the ledger of heaven? I saw, I heard things that would make angels blush. 4MR 223.4

Every time you placed yourself in her company you grieved the Spirit of God. Your sin was much greater than hers, for you have had an experience that she has not. Her moral sense of right and wrong was never of any value. She would not hold the same mind any length of time. But I was shown you had come to her level; you would prevaricate, and so would she; you have debased yourself, so has she. Once you were beloved of God, a young man of promise, but you have forfeited the confidence of your brethren, and your wisdom has been taken away; you cannot now discern between the sacred and the common; sin has lost its offensive character. You are no more what you were.... 4MR 223.5

No young man should do as you have done to Mattie Stratton, unless married to her; and I was much surprised to see that you did not sense this matter more keenly. Why I write now is to implore you for your soul's sake to dally with temptation no longer. Make short work in breaking this spell that like a fearful nightmare has brooded over you. Cut yourself loose now and forever, if you have any desire for the favor of God. 4MR 224.1

Such a course as you have pursued has been enough to destroy confidence in you as an honest man and as a Christian, and unless you were under the bewitching of a satanic power you would not have done as you have. But I stand in doubt of you now whether you will change your course of action. I know the power that holds his enchantment over you, and I want you to see and sense it before it shall be too late. Will you now change entirely, cut the last connection with Mattie? Will she do this on her part? If neither of you will do this, marry her at once and disgrace yourselves and the cause of God no more. 4MR 224.2

Now is the time for you to grasp the light; now is the time to work. Pass this period and you are where you cannot break the power of Satan. Do not trifle with the Spirit of God. Do not delay longer to retrace your steps. Your mother is a woman beloved of God. You have despised her counsel and set your heart in stubbornness. But every pang you have caused her to suffer, every tear to shed, every heartbreaking prayer to send up to heaven, will confront you in the day of God unless you fully repent and redeem the past. There is no excuse for you. 4MR 224.3

That so good and faithful a mother should be turned from you, and your affection and time and attention be spent hovering over a girl of no moral worth, is a most astonishing thing. I was shown the true state of these things: the indifference, the inattention, the positive disrespect with which you have treated your mother, and how God looks upon them, you cannot sense. You have been like a man paralyzed, and if you see things at all it is as trees walking. Pray, oh pray, as never before that God would show you your true state as you have been and as you are.... 4MR 225.1

Your mother is right in her estimate of the worth and character of Mattie. She is right in not treating her with respect or inviting her to her house. You are the one that is wrong, because you are dazed by the bewitching power of Satan. When your mother sees one exerting an influence over her son that is leading him to reject the counsel of God against himself, to treat with indifference all the counsel of church members who see his danger, how can she smile upon and invite such a one to her house? How can she give the least sanction to this forward girl's advances? She had done her duty. 4MR 225.2

You have signally failed in almost every respect. Now the rest of your life seek to get back what you have lost. There is scarcely the pure thread of gold in your character now left, but you may be winning back in a measure what you have lost by your own foolishness and stubbornness in a wrong course.... Let the ledger of heaven give a different record of your course. 4MR 225.3

God bless you.—Letter 3, 1879, pp. 1-13. (To “Dear Brother Chapin Harris,” August, 1879.) 4MR 226.1

I am pleased to receive a letter from you and was pleased to read your suggestions that it was your mind to remain where you are until you have proved yourself or undone the influence you have exerted. I am pleased that you feel thus. I have, you will see, written very positively and plainly for thus the matter was shown me, and the regard I have for your soul prompted me to relate your case as it was shown me, as one of great peril. It will be difficult for you to see it thus, but in my dream last night you were saying to your mother, “If this is the way the case really is, there is no use for me to try, for I should fail.” 4MR 226.2

Said I, Chapin Harris, when you try with all perseverance and determined will to retrace your steps and recover yourself from Satan's snare, ... you will escape from your bondage and be a free man. It will require a strong will, in the strength of Jesus, to break up the force of habit, dismiss the adversary of souls that has been entertained by you so long, exchange guests, and welcome Jesus to take possession of the soul temple. But He does not share the heart with Satan. You can, even now, in this late period, make a determined effort, not in your strength but in the strength of Jesus. But Chapin, you have done your mother a great wrong. You have despised her counsel when that counsel was in harmony with the Spirit of God. You have set aside her judgment when that judgment was wise and right. Self-confident and perverse had been your course to bring her to terms, but she would have displeased God had she shown the least sympathy for your and Mattie's course.... You have proved a disobedient son. You have not honored your mother. You have broken the fifth commandment. 4MR 226.3

Now, Chapin, let your course change entirely.... Change this order of things, my dear boy. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. He will cleanse you from the defilement of sin.... Make all things right.... Let your heart break before God and confess and forsake those things which have separated you from God. This is the work of repentance that you must begin with your mother. You will never come to the light unless you do this. Leave no work undone that you can do to make wrongs right, for you have come now to the crisis.... 4MR 227.1

I do think it would be best for you to prove yourself at home, where you have so decidedly failed, before you shall go elsewhere. Redeem yourself on the field of battle where Satan has conquered you through the artifices of an unprincipled girl. When you shall have proved yourself to have moral courage to stand where you should have stood years ago, then God may entrust you with some work in His cause.... You will have the trial, you will be proved of God. If you come forth as pure gold, then God will use you. Be not faithless, but believing. Your trial will not be for the present joyous, but rather grievous, but it will afterwards yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:6, 7). 4MR 227.2

God will not lay on us more than He will impart strength to bear, for He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust. Had your judgment been sanctified, you would not have been left in darkness by following your own course; you could have cut yourself loose from the power and influence of one whose example and influence has been to demoralize and lead you to sacrifice everything that is valuable for her unworthy society. Now your steps must be down deep in the valley of humiliation. You have felt, My mountain stands sure. I can keep myself. But your past experience and your present position is one that should give you clear discernment of man's depravity because of his departure from God. You have felt contempt and even set feelings of hatred to your mother. You have not thus interpreted your feelings and actions but this is the way the Lord regards the matter and is the record standing against you in the books of heaven.... 4MR 228.1

Now, my dear boy, for Christ's sake enter into no further deception in your course. Work as for eternity. Confer not with yourself, but let your heart break before God lest that stone fall upon you and grind you to powder. 4MR 228.2

What more shall I say to you? What can I say? I want you to be saved. I want you to stand perfect before God.—Letter 50, 1880, pp. 1-4. (To Brother Chapin Harris, September, 1880.) 4MR 228.3

Your letter is before me and you may be expecting some response. I have been highly pleased with your work, as I have repeated again and again.... We have never urged our faith upon you and while we have felt the deepest solicitude for your spiritual interest and have watched and prayed that you might have strength to follow your convictions and obey the truth, we have kept even this great anxiety to ourselves. It has been known only to ourselves and to God. 4MR 228.4

Upon religious subjects we have not been reticent, for God has given us our work to act as physicians of souls.... 4MR 229.1

In regard to religious faith being sacred to one's self and not to be interfered with, I cannot harmonize this with the life mission and work of Christ upon the earth. Idolaters have a religion; they may make this same plea: My religion is sacred to myself. Hands off; do not interfere with my honest belief and worship. It is the work of God's servants to feel a deep solicitude for the souls for whom Christ died. And if they see them in error or in danger, through a false faith, it is their duty to do all in their power to convert them to the truth and not leave them in darkness and deception. 4MR 229.2

We have had hope that the reasons of our faith would commend themselves to your judgment. It is impossible for us to hold our faith as sacred and yet not feel the deepest interest for our relatives who do not see the Bible truth as we see it. We expected that, when we connected with you, your mind would be open to conviction and that you would have a desire to search the Scriptures for yourself to know what is truth. We had no thought but that if your mother should have an opportunity to be with those who observe the Sabbath, she would also, like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures daily to know if these things were so. 4MR 229.3

We thought that through you and your mother, Wilbur and Addie would also be converted to the truth. But within two weeks, I have had a sudden awakening and these anxious hopes are dampened if not dead. We are free to acknowledge that we did not connect with you merely from a business standpoint. We should never have presented to you the inducements we have from time to time in remunerations for your labor if we had not an interest deeper and higher for you and yours than merely a business standpoint. We saw your talent, we admired your adaptability, and we saw that you could be of great service to me in my work and to the cause of God generally if your ability were sanctified by connection with heaven. We did not estimate your ability for time merely, but for eternity.... 4MR 229.4

We have desired so much that your work upon the earth should bear the test of God and meet His “well done, good and faithful servant.” If you shut from us this last hope, if you coolly tell us all the interest you have had and manifested is from a business standpoint, that you have no personal interest even now, after you have had light and evidence and knowledge of the truth, I have no heart to maintain our connection; for I have no hope of any change in you. You will have your ability to use for time but I greatly fear not for eternity.... 4MR 230.1

If we must work purely from a business standpoint, I have not the least heart or courage to continue our connection.... 4MR 230.2

There is no deception so fatal, so hopeless, as a determination to live without God. The histories of good and bad men, faithfully chronicled by the pen of inspiration, were written to impress upon our minds this most practical lesson—that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and in the keeping of His commandments there is great reward. All the honors or favors of the world are not sufficient compensation for one hour or one act of disobedience to God. Yet how many accept the temptations offered to Christ and concede to the powers of darkness. Disobedience to God is dishonor and disaster to ourselves. 4MR 230.3

But all this I am afraid is distasteful to you. You have had from me the deepest affection.... I have loved your society. I have appreciated your labors. Your own mother could not feel any deeper or truer interest for you and any more unselfish—than I have had.... The tendrils of my affections have been too strongly entwined about you. These tendrils are being severed.... My love is not demonstrative, but none the less deep, earnest, and strong.... 4MR 231.1

Mary, I have no disposition to urge our faith upon you. No, no. If you see nothing in it that savors of truth, I would not have you accept it. Mary, if you should ... only read the book of human nature with its dark and terrible revelations daily revealed to us, you would find reason enough to see that human character will have to be made over and utterly changed or the world will perish in its corruptions. The great mystery to me is not that man must be born again to see kingdom of God, but that he should be unwilling to accept the help that Jesus left the courts of heaven and came to the world to give him; that he should feel so perfectly content and satisfied without His help. Jesus knows that if the world with its pride, its ambition, and its violence possesses the soul, man can have no rest, no peace, no happiness. There is no true elevation of character outside of Christ. There is no peace, happiness or joy attainable for man which can bear comparison for a moment with that which the possessor may find in Christ. 4MR 231.2

Take the world's conqueror, the commander of armies. He may disturb the thrones of kings and make nations tremble at his approach, and the very same warrior may die in exile, disappointed and humiliated. 4MR 232.1

Poets may soar to the skies. They may awaken the fiery passions of millions; they may cause any amount of misery over the ruins of their labors, and may die cursing God and the day of their birth. 4MR 232.2

The greatest philosopher may lift himself up in his pride, he may range through the harmonies and charms of the universe, tracing the wonderful manifestations of creative power and beholding the expressions of infinite wisdom and the formation of worlds, yet he has not wisdom to find God in His great and majestic works. The mystery of God's hand discerned in His creative works he does not comprehend. Wise in the world's knowledge, he is but a fool as far as the mystery of godliness is concerned. Yet just such human greatness attracts the world and millions are ready to worship these gods of this world which pass away to atoms of dust, to know nothing of the immortal life which runs parallel with the life of Jehovah. This glory has perished with their existence. But the humble child of God has the promise of heirship to riches that will endure, glory that will never cease to brighten with the progress of the ages. The change wrought in his affections has brought him into harmony with the will of the Controller of the universe. Angels have enrolled His name in the record book of heaven and mansions are prepared for his reception when the Lord of life and glory shall appear, the second time without sin unto salvation. 4MR 232.3

I would that you could see these things as I view them. I would that you could unite your work with ours, not merely from a business standpoint but because you see and accept the word of God and help us to do the great work in warning the world because you see this is the work that God would have you to do. 4MR 232.4

But I will say no more at present.—Letter 36, 1877, pp. 1-7. (To “Dear Mary Clough,” November 10, 1877.) 4MR 233.1

Since our last conversation with you my mind has been drawn to you instinctively.... You are the child of my dear sister. I have a few thoughts I wish to present for your consideration. 4MR 233.2

Be careful of your associates.... In choosing your friends, you should place your standard as high as possible. The tone of your morals is estimated by the associates you choose. You should avoid contracting an intimate friendship with those whose example you would not choose to imitate. The influence and tendency of such friendship is to assimilate you to their ideas and their views, and unless there is a continual counteracting influence, all unrealized by you their spirit and habit have become yours. 4MR 233.3

There may be those who have naturally a good intellect and a good cultivated understanding, who have so misapplied and abused these precious gifts of heaven that their standard is low and their habits dissipated. This was the character of one employed in the Office. I knew him only by the name of Guss. I learn he died without repentance and without God. How much his associates are accountable for their influence, which they might have exerted and did not, over this sad case, must be left for the judgment to unfold, when every man's work will stand for just what it is. There will be no glossing over of wrongs and sins. Right will stand out, clear and prominent, as right; fidelity and true integrity will not be called narrowness or meanness. Lawlessness and unfaithfulness will not be termed liberality, toleration and benevolence. Neglect and unfaithfulness will be neglect and unfaithfulness. God's estimate will be placed upon character. 4MR 233.4

If your most intimate associates are persons of moral worth, you may gain advantage in mingling in their society. Intelligence with moral worth in your associates will have no deleterious influence upon you, but will insensibly invigorate your powers of mind and your morals. If you are found in the society of those whose minds are cast in an inferior mold, and whose opportunities of mental and moral culture have been narrow and low, you will, in the minds of others, lose their respect and your mind will gradually come to sympathize with the imbecility and barrenness with which it is constantly brought in contact.... 4MR 234.1

I will not weary you with a long letter which you may wish I had never written, but I would say, ... in no case neglect your present opportunities and privileges. Choose for your associates those who hold religion and its practical influence in high respect. Keep the future life constantly in view.... 4MR 234.2

If you rightly improve your privileges you will have reason to rejoice, at the close of your probation, that your most intimate associates were persons whom God loved.... 4MR 234.3

Frank, I have been troubled by dreams on your account. I know that you will make decisions at once, decisions for time and eternity. You will not be long in deciding whether you will be the servant of Christ or the servant of Satan. May God help you to choose rightly.... 4MR 234.4

Sinners are continually crying, “You are narrow, so narrow.” “Liberalism,” cry the lawless; “Bring not your claims of law upon us.” “The religion of Christ,” says another, “is too hard. I cannot be a Christian; it involves too much”.... 4MR 235.1

Jesus was sinless and had no dread of the consequences of sin. With this exception His condition was as yours. You have not a difficulty that did not press with equal weight upon Him, not a sorrow that His heart has not experienced. His feelings could be hurt with neglect, with indifference of professed friends, as easily as yours. Is your path thorny? Christ's was so in a tenfold sense. Are you distressed? So was He. How well fitted was Christ to be an example! 4MR 235.2

Jesus was thirty years old before He entered His public ministry. The period of His childhood and youth was one of comparative obscurity, but of the highest importance. He was in this obscurity laying the foundation of a sound constitution and vigorous mind. He “grew, and waxed strong in spirit” (Luke 1:80). It is not as a man bending under the pressure of age that Jesus is revealed to us traversing the hills of Judea. He was in the strength of His manhood. Jesus once stood in age just where you now stand. Your circumstances, your cogitations at this period of your life, Jesus has had. He cannot overlook you at this critical period. He sees your dangers. He is acquainted with your temptations. He invites you to follow His example. 4MR 235.3

The character of Christ was one of unexampled excEllence, embracing everything pure, true, lovely, and of good report. We have no knowledge of His ever visiting a party of pleasure or a dance hall, and yet He was the perfection of grace and courtly bearing. Christ was no novice; He was distinguished for the high intellectual powers He possessed even in the morning of His life. His youth was not wasted in indolence, neither was it wasted in sensual pleasure, self-indulgence, or frittered away in things of no profit. Not one of his hours from childhood to manhood was misspent, none were misappropriated. 4MR 235.4

The inspired record says of Him: “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). As he grew in years He grew in knowledge. He lived temperately; his precious hours were not wasted in dissipating pleasures. He had a truly healthy body and true powers of mind. His physical and mental powers could be expanded and developed as yours or any other youth's. The Word of God was His study, as it should be yours. 4MR 236.1

Take Jesus as your standard. Imitate His life. Fall in love with His character. Walk as Christ walked. A new spring will be given to your intellectual faculties, a larger scope to your thoughts, when you bring your powers into vigorous contact with eternal things, which are intrinsically grand and great. 4MR 236.2

Thoughts of God and of heaven are ennobling. There is no limit to the height you may reach.... Vital religion is of such a character that it will widen the scope and stimulate the movements of the human understanding. There is nothing belittling in the pure religion of Christ. The gospel received will bow down the loftiness of human understanding and lay the haughtiness of men low, that God alone may be exalted. But in this it does not dwarf the intellect and cripple the energies. It transforms the man, renewing his heart, changing his character, and not cramping the intellect. 4MR 236.3

True religion unfolds and calls out the mental energies. Conviction and repentance of sin, renunciation of self, and trust in the merits of the blood of Christ cannot be experienced without the individual being made more thoughtful, more intellectual, than he was before. No one will become mentally imbecile by having his attention directed to God. Connection with God is connection with all true wisdom. 4MR 237.1

But I expect you will become weary of this long letter. Indeed, I had no thought of writing this long letter when I commenced, but I have gone on and on as my thoughts have pressed upon me until you see them on paper. 4MR 237.2

Frank, will you be a Christian now? Will you be converted to God? Return from your backsliding and repent before God. You alone can break the chains of Satan that bind you. Come fully on the Lord's side.—Letter 17, 1878, pp. 1-6. (To F. E. Belden, March 14, 1878.) 4MR 237.3

I do not forget you as our frequent letters will testify. I feel deeply the necessity at this time of our being wide awake to duty. We may all do a work for God. Precious are the moments now to be used in seeking to do good. We should feel like having in heaven a store of good works—not to depend upon for salvation but to imitate the life of our Redeemer. Crowd all the good deeds into glory that you can. 4MR 237.4

Satan will be busy to throw obstacles in your way; but you must press on in faith and hope and courage, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.... 4MR 237.5

My son, you had better lay yourself upon the altar of God and be ready to say, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” I think you should keep in view the idea that you may be yet called to speak the truth to others. Have in you a heart of faith and obedience. We are living in solemn times. The last days are upon us and we must realize this and act with reference to it. I hope you will be of good courage and that you will cling to Jesus continually and will love Him truly. 4MR 237.6

Let your influence be ever on the right side. Seek to draw souls to the truth. You know we were ever looking after the cases of those who might need help as Carldst Marcus and any others. Keep your mind exercised somewhat in this direction. We go through this world only once. Let us go through it in a manner that God may approve. We cannot afford to make any mistake in this matter. My son, seek for a true and a genuine experience in the things of God. 4MR 238.1

Every day advance in the divine life. Every day gain some victory in prayer. Learn by exercising faith, its simplicity. God will be our helper if we will only trust in Him.—Letter 16, 1874, pp. 1, 3. (To “My Very Dear Son Clarence,” (W. C. White) February 24, 1874. ) 4MR 238.2

Released May 1, 1969.