Lt 34, 1894

Lt 34, 1894

Hardy, Brother

“Norfolk Villa,” Prospect St., Granville, Australia

December 20, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in OHC 179, 262.

Dear Brother Hardy:

It is four o’clock in the morning and I have taken my pen to write to you, not because I have any personal feeling against you, but because your soul is in peril. For some time I have known concerning your spiritual condition, and have felt that the Lord has presented to me general principles which apply to the church in Sydney and to yourself in particular. You have felt that there is no need of your being converted, as have some others in the Sydney church. But unless the members of that church are touched by the Holy Spirit of God, unless a purer and holier influence shall prevail, the church will become powerless. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 1

You are exerting an influence yourself that is not a savor of life unto life. The Lord looks upon your past life not in commendation, but as an offense against His holy law. You have not realized how wrong your course was in leaving your wife and children, and because of your self-conceit you have felt wonderfully complacent. You return to your home when it is most convenient for you to do so for your own interest. You have manifested self-love, a faultfinding, critical spirit. Your actions in your home life, your attitude toward your family, do not constitute you a home missionary. Your habitual state of temper as manifested in your home toward your wife, and toward the members of your family, make you manifest your real character. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 2

Your religion is more of a profession than a reality. You act out your natural temperament in the common concerns of home life, as if the truth had no transforming power to mold your life and character. You manifest the same self-love, indulge in the same self-exaltation, the same self-will, the same stubbornness in following your own unsanctified inclination as those do who do not believe the truth, and this makes it seem that your profession of truth has no reality behind it. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 3

You may talk and pray, but if you do not bring religion into your practical life, you do not act out the truth or understand that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. No matter in what church you might be placed it would not be the means of strengthening, establishing, and settling you. You feel competent to instruct and lead the church, you think that it is your place to teach the church, when the fact is you need somebody to teach you what it means to be a Christian. You have lessons yet to learn in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly of heart. A religion that does not touch the heart cannot form the character after the divine model. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 4

You are a hindrance to the church, for you do not try to be a peacemaker, you do not seek to answer the prayer that Christ made for His disciples when He asked that they might be one as He was one with the Father. In spirit and practice you prevent this unity as much as in you lies. You pick flaws in others, and set one to watch another by laying open the faults that you suppose that you see in your brethren and sisters. You set them as spies to watch their brethren by pouring your criticisms into their ears. The best efforts of ten men would be counteracted in their work for Christ by yourself and one or two who are unsanctified like yourself. Satan works through instrumentalities by inspiring them with a power from beneath. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 5

You are a troubler, a stirrer up of strife. When you listen to the words <your brethren speak,> you listen to something to lay up in store to make capital of in your stock in trade. You are doing a work of drudgery for the devil. I beseech of you for Christ’s sake, out of regard for His gospel <and for your own soul,> that if you do not see any necessity of being converted you withdraw from the people whom you criticize. You parade their supposed errors and mistakes before anyone who will give an ear to your accusations. You do not hesitate to criticize God’s ministers who open the Scriptures to others and your accusations, as bad leaven, work upon the minds of others. In this way you lessen the respect that is due to those who are laboring for the salvation of souls, and you cause the message which God gives to His servants to have no influence upon the minds of those who hear. In religious matters your stock in trade is evil surmising, evil thinking, evil speaking, and evil working. The enemy of all righteousness finds a faithful ally in you. You bring the truth into disrespect by taking up a reproach against your neighbor. Those who are easily tempted in the same line as you are yourself are led by your example to pick flaws in others. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 6

You are not a pleasant man in your family. Your words are not kind and conciliatory. They do not bring peace, tenderness, and love into the lives of those with whom you associate. Selfishness and self-love is decidedly expressed in all your manners. You call yourself a believer of the truth, but although you have a knowledge of the truth, you do not practice its principles, and it avails you nothing. You manifest a tyrannical spirit in your home, and carry the same spirit of fault-finding and criticism with you into the church. The church would be far better off without you unless you are converted. It would be better if you did not attend the meetings than to go to gather up all that you deem inconsistent in ministers and people. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 7

What motive is it that influences you to act as you have done? If you have any right to the title of Christian, in what does it consist? You cannot be approved of God in your course of action, for you have in you the root of bitterness whereby many are being defiled. God’s agents may work in any line they see fit to help the church to a higher plane of action, and you will come in to counteract their influence. Unless you are given some leading position, and this would be the worst thing that could be done for you and for the church, you are restless and discontented. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 8

There are some others who are of the same spirit as yourself, but God is dishonored by this course of action. If you and those who are like-minded with yourself who attend the church would become Bible Christians, doers of the Word, then the Lord could and would manifest His grace through you, and you could be laborers together with God, but now you are far from this. You are a scourge to the church whether you attend meetings or remain away. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 9

If you and those who are of the same spirit should draw off from the church, you would not take Jesus with you, for the Lord Jesus would not serve with your sins. Your reasons for making such a move would be a perversion of truth, and you would soon be devoured one of another. Each one would want the first place, and you would carry out your disposition to surmise evil and to speak evil, and you would hold together no more than ropes of sand. You would have no more affection one for another than you now have for the church in Sydney. You flatter yourself that were the church left to you, you would bring it into a better condition, but you would tear it to pieces, limb from limb. Without natural affection, your heart and mind are filled with the leprosy of prejudice, and you would see and represent the people of God in a perverted light, rehearsing things which you supposed had fallen under your observation. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 10

Your wife is a woman whom God loves, but you do not give her respect and love. You do not manifest toward her the kindly consideration that is her due. When you are a Christian, you will reveal the fact. Your thoughts and actions will be pure, and you will have a better realization of the wrong of your past course of action toward your wife and children. You will have a better appreciation of your wife as you realize what she has had to forgive in overlooking the past, although you have not deserved her affection. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 11

You should humble yourself in the dust before God on account of your course of action rather than exalt yourself and thinking yourself capable of setting the church in order. It will never be safe for you to bear responsibilities in the church unless you are thoroughly transformed in character. You have reflected dishonor upon God. You should be grateful that through repentance of sin you may share His pardoning grace, receiving mercy from Him on account of the blood shed for the saving of sinners. Will you in your self-righteousness presume that you are free from blemish and defilement and utter words of criticism against those who are sincerely trying to serve God? You have not cleared your own soul before God from your grievous sins, and it is fitting that you keep silent in regard to the faults and error of others. Humility becomes a Christian under all circumstances and in all cases. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 12

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:9.] Can you claim the blessing in your home life? Do you obey the injunction of God, “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering [and a] sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor?” [Ephesians 5:2.] No Christian lives for himself. He is to be as a branch of the living Vine, deriving his nourishment and life-giving properties from the Vine. The Great Teacher says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” [John 15:4.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 13

The follower of Christ testifies by his daily life in his home, in the church, and in his business, the relation he sustains to his professed Lord. He who is a fruit-bearing branch of the true Vine will bear fruit after the same quality as the Vine. If the fruit is not after the order of the Vine, it will be apparent to the world, to angels, and to men that the branch is not grafted into the true vine. Christ says, “I am the true vine.” [Verse 1.] But because there is a true vine there will also be a counterfeit vine, and the only way in which to distinguish the true from the counterfeit is by the quality of fruit borne by the branches. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” [Verse 5.] The words, the deportment, the actions will reveal the kind of fruit borne upon the branch. True love in the heart is a fruit of the Spirit of God, received only from Jesus Christ. Love is a property that is divine; it does not center the thoughts about self but is diffusive in its character, leading its possessor to seek the happiness and prosperity of others. Envy and evil surmising will not be dealt in by those who possess the element of love; for love “seeketh not her own.” [1 Corinthians 13:5.] God’s love is expressed in language that cannot be misinterpreted. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 14

In the fullness of God’s love He gave the obedient, the sinless, for the salvation of the disobedient and sinful. He made this infinite sacrifice because He desired to make sure the happiness of the human family. Christ says to His followers, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” [John 15:7, 8.] The fruit borne in the life is the only sign to the world, to angels, and to men as to whether the human agent has a vital connection with Christ or not. It is sure evidence that we are branches of the living vine if we manifest in life and character the attributes of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 15

But unless there is practical self-denial and self-sacrifice for the good of others—in the family circle, in the neighborhood and in the church—it is evident that we are not Christians, no matter what may be our profession. But he who has the spirit of self-denial for others’ good is copying the divine Pattern. Jesus says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this (love revealed in practical life) shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] This sign will be significant of the existence of unselfish love. Unless we sacrifice our own opinions, impressions and feelings, we shall be deceived in ourselves, and shall entertain ideas and opinions of our neighbors that are not in harmony with Christ. We shall show that we are not imitators of our professed Lord. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 16

The exhortation of the apostle is, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” [Ephesians 5:1, 2.] The love of Christ abiding in the heart has a softening, subduing influence upon the rugged character, and there is continual evidence in spirit and conversation that we belong to Christ and are following His example. It is the possession of this love in purity and holiness that makes our sacrifices acceptable to God as a sweet smelling savor. By the character of the fruit of the daily life, by the self-denial and self-sacrifice for the good of others, it is made evident that we are branches of the true vine, conforming our lives unto the divine pattern. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 17

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” [1 John 3:16.] Our faith continually bears fruit testifying to its divine character in the intercourse of our daily home life. From morning until night husband and wife, father and mother, brothers and sisters, are to keep the pattern of the holy character of Christ in view, continually praying, “Be thou my pattern.” Hear the exhortation given in the Word of God, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” [Ephesians 5:25.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 18

No one of us is to do with ourselves as we please. We are not to walk heedlessly, unconcernedly, and selfishly, but to follow our leader, Christ Jesus. Those who are partakers of the divine nature will love God and Jesus Christ and give themselves entirely to their service. All such have Christ abiding in their hearts by faith, and they also are abiding in Christ. They represent Christ’s character in the family, in the church, and in the world. This surrender to God brings the soul into vital connection with Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 19

Those who serve Christ are among those for whom He prayed when He said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory (character) which thou gavest me I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:20-23.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 20

Those who abide in Christ are peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:9.] Their names are registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life as sons and daughters of God. The church appreciates them and calls them the children of God. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Verses 43-48.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 21

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [John 14:27.] “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness and wisdom. But if ye have bitter envyings and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envyings and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:13-18.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 22

Peacemakers! What a treasure is a peacemaker in the family; what a blessing in the church! Peacemakers may be tempted, but their life is hid with Christ in God. They look unto Jesus, copying His pattern. They pray for self-control, for meekness, for peace. They receive the peace which Christ gives. But how different is the natural, unrenewed heart. It is constantly in a state of irritation at something or someone. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 23

These mark objectionable features in others, and call the attention of others to the faults of the brethren. They impart to others the same spirit of evil surmising, and awaken suspicion and jealousy in others’ minds. They distribute the leaven of evil speaking, which creates heart burnings, distrust, and evil surmising; and roots of bitterness spring up whereby many are defiled. “Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” [Colossians 3:12-15.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 24

If he who is a faultfinder, who speaks evil of those whom he supposes to be wrong, appreciated the fact that God had not made him a sinbearer, he would offer thanksgiving and praise to God. He would be so amazed at the goodness and love of God, that there would be no room in his heart for complaint of others. He would not criticize the Lord’s delegated servants, or feel the need of dissecting their characters, or complaining of them in any way. They would be thankful that the Lord has not placed them upon the judgment seat to seek out the spots and stains of the human character. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 25

When the enemy tempts you to complain and fret over the supposed defects of others, consider how much more these would have to question and criticize should they take your character under inspection. If your true inward life were laid open before them, how would they regard it? But they are not to judge you, nor are you to judge them. Tares grow among the wheat, and no violent hand is to be thrust in to root them up, however unseemly they may be. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” [2 Corinthians 13:5.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 26

I wish to speak to you directly in the name of the Lord. For you bring profit to no one in spirit, word, or action. You need the converting power of God before you can strengthen your brethren by words of peace. Faultfinding is your besetting sin. You have a temper which nothing satisfies, nothing pleases. The propensity which you have long encouraged, by which you magnify trifles (handling over the supposed defects of those who claim to believe the truth), greatly increases your condemnation and does not heal the evils of which you complain. By magnifying trifles your mind becomes more and more restless, easily irritated and dissatisfied. Long practice in this class of work has given you an education after the order of that received in the school of Satan, and he uses you as a scourge to the church, as a hindrance to the cause of God. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 27

This spirit of demeriting others, of speaking evil, springs from mortified pride, from self-esteem, and self-valuation. It will not exist in you when you fall on the Rock and are broken. You think due respect is not given to you in the church, and that your judgment and influence are of a superior order to the judgment and influence of those who are seeking to work for the church. When the Holy Spirit has wrought transformation of character in you, you will stop criticizing and will reveal a tender, Christlike spirit. Your heart is wrong, and it is no new thing, but a malady of long standing. You are a chronic grumbler, but your will and your ways are not to become a ruling power in the church. He who will take his proper place until others see his merits, and say, “Friend, come up higher,” will be a man of usefulness. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 28

When you attribute to others the good motives which you desire they should attribute to you, you will have less difficulty. Ever bear in mind that God has not made you a sin-bearer for the world. The love of Christ in the heart makes the human agent a co-worker with Jesus Christ in strengthening the hands which hang down, and in confirming the feeble knees. To you the exhortation is given, “Make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” [Hebrews 12:13.] “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.” [1 Corinthians 13:4-8.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 29

I am loathe to write the words which I must write to you. Your influence in your home circle is not Christlike. Your influence in the church is after your own order, not after Christ’s order. Your personal influence is against Christ. You can do something for others when you put solid timbers into your character building. There is no limit to the influence of the human agent who wears the yoke with Christ, for he daily studies the life of Christ and conforms his life to the divine Pattern. When you are conscious of your own imperfections, you will not seek to find imperfections in others. Why is it that so many professed Christians take upon themselves burdens that do not belong to them? “And what shall this man do?” said Peter to the Lord. But Christ answered him saying, “What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” [John 21:21, 22.] This answer is as applicable to a large number who claim to be Christians as it was to Peter. God has not set you to the work of planning and devising duties for others, or to criticize God’s way in His manner of dealing with them. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 30

The government of the universe has not been laid upon finite beings. The responsibility which rests upon us individually is simply to do the will of God as revealed in Christ Jesus. God has given talents in trust to men to be improved and multiplied through using them for the good of others. He has ordained that they should become bright lights to shine amid the moral darkness, but Satan has prepared his snare for them. He suggests to them the idea that they must see and talk of the defects of this one or of that one, and work diligently on Satan’s line in criticizing and accusing the brethren. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 31

If they saw anything that did not commend itself to their judgment, they felt free to condemn it. They fed their souls on the imperfections which they saw in others, and their spiritual condition was influenced by the food upon which the mind fed. Thus they became a dread and a burden to all associated with them. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 32

There are many who might be a blessing to the world who are an utter failure, because they rob the world of the good that God has qualified them to do. They take themselves out of the hand of God and act upon the promptings of the great deceiver. Those who keep the commandments of God have great peace, for they trust in the Lord with all their heart, and lean not to their own understanding. They acknowledge the Lord in all their ways, and He directs their paths. God’s ways must be followed in unquestioned obedience. Those who give themselves to God, seeking to do good to their fellow men, will cause glory to redound to God in praise and thanksgiving. How much more glory would you bring to God if you put your whole soul into His work, using your entrusted talents, not in faultfinding and criticizing, but in bringing praise and thanksgiving to your heavenly Father, leaving to God those things which you cannot cure and know not how to manage. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 33

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:9.] It is by the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ in our words and actions that the world takes knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus, that we are the children of God. The true nature of our religion is not found in the position we occupy, but in the gentle spirit, the kindness, the peace which we manifest. Our religion is made manifest in the home circle by the atmosphere surrounding the soul that brings happiness to the family. Those who are true Christians will not indulge in trifling conversation, or speak in a cheap or fretting way. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 34

In the familiar circle of the home they will do services of love and Christian courtesy. These services may seem very commonplace, but the universe of heaven will be interested in the consistent walk of those who seek to benefit others. “Whose adorning let it not be that of outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let be the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” [1 Peter 3:3, 4.] Those who are thus adorned are more precious in the sight of God than gold or silver or precious stones. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh the reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” [Verses 15, 16.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 35

It is not only our privilege but our duty to cultivate gentleness, to have the peace of Christ in the heart and as peacemakers and followers of Christ to sow precious seed that will produce a harvest unto eternal life. Professed followers of Christ may possess many good and useful qualities; but their characters are greatly marred by an unkind, fretful, faultfinding, harshly judging temper. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 36

The husband or the wife who cherishes suspicion and distrust creates dissension and strife in the home. Neither of them should keep his gentle words and smiles for strangers alone, and manifest irritability in the home, thus driving out peace and contentment. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 37

The angel of peace takes its departure when the wife treasures up the trying experiences of the day to repeat to her husband when he comes home, making complaint of her heavy duties and of the disobedience of the children. When this spirit is cherished in the home it is likely to be brought into the church. He who possesses a fretful spirit sees everything in a perverted light. Even the messenger who comes with words given of God fails to bring profit to the critical soul, for the Word of God is not mixed with faith in him that hears. An unreasonable, perverse spirit neutralizes all the good that the human agent might do. If the faultfinder bore the image of Christ he would not be a faultfinder, but a peacemaker, and would perseveringly resist the temptations of Satan. He would cease to be peevish, irritable, a cloud in the home rather than a light to shine there. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 38

It is a practical Christlikeness alone that can make a peacemaker, in the home, in the church, in the neighborhood, and in the world. Home religion is practical sanctification, for sanctification is found where the character is conformed to the likeness of Christ. The true quality of religion is gauged by the manner in which each member in the family does his duty to his associates. There is false religion, false theories held by many, and these are revealed as false by the outward practice. The first four commandments specify the duty of man to his God, and the last six the duty of man to his fellow men. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 39

The fifth commandment enjoins upon children obedience to their parents, and parents are to help their children to keep this commandment by acting their part in co-operating with God in requiring obedience through childhood and youth. Parents themselves must be under rule to God. They must reveal precious traits of character, presenting a pattern before their children, manifesting patience and forbearance mingled with firmness, and thus educate their children to obey their heavenly Father. Learn the precious lesson of being peacemakers in your home life. Many a family make shipwreck of faith in their home practice. The law of God should be the parents’ guide. None but the evil one could insinuate such fallacy to the minds of parents who have a heritage to educate and train for heaven, that the law of God is altered in the slightest particular. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 40

Satan delights to look upon disordered and ill-governed families; for his success depends largely upon the control he can have over the families of the earth. If self is prominent in father and mother, if the peace of God does not rule in their hearts, then the children are not educated and trained by precept and example to be peacemakers. Satan has worked his cards in playing the game of life for human souls. He is determined the standard of righteousness shall not be the rule for the formation of character in the homes. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 41

In this day, children are called upon to listen to discourses that make void the law of God, and parents and children practice the principle that where there is no law, there is no transgression. But the only definition of sin that is given in the Guide Book is that “sin is the transgression of the law.” [1 John 3:4.] Many with mental capabilities who profess to love God [but] who have been in doubt, accept the words from their teachers who declare that the law of God is done away and that we have no law. These people practice the precepts of their teachers, and follow the example of their ministers. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 42

Parents neglect their responsibility, and do not search for themselves to know what saith the Lord in regard to His holy law. Therefore they fail to teach their children to walk in the way of God’s precepts. “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.” [Psalm 81:1-4.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 43

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is sure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward. ... Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.” [Psalm 19:7-11, 14.] “The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his statutes.” [Psalm 25:9, 10.] 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 44

From the sacred desk men have taught that God’s law has been done away. Were this the case we would have no standard of character, and would have nothing to show us God’s righteous claims. We should be adrift upon an ocean of uncertainty, and have no guide in dealing with the solemn responsibilities of the family relation. But it is in the family relation that we receive our training in dealing with our fellow men in general. If God had no law by which to govern human intelligences, nothing by which His character could be represented as a sample to which the human family could shape their characters, then what impression could possibly be made upon our children as to what constitutes rectitude of life and perfection of character? Casting away the law of God, men erect a lower human standard. In the estimation and measurement of God a man is just what he is in his home life. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 45

Among the precious things left on record for our learning is the record of the life of Abraham, the father of the faithful. The Searcher of hearts said, “I know him that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment.” [Genesis 18:19.] Abraham was chosen of God to cultivate home religion. There would on his part be no betraying of sacred trusts. Abraham knew what was the law of God, and he determined to obey it. The Lord to him was Judge, Lawgiver, and King, and in no case would he be disobedient. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 46

The Lord will not clear the transgressor unless he repents and through the merits of Jesus Christ accepts of the precious offers of mercy, and ceasing to transgress, returns to loyalty. The Lord will not favor any willful transgression of the law He instituted in Eden. Because of man’s disobedience, the law was proclaimed in awful grandeur. The proclamation of His law should teach fathers and mothers that it is their duty to repress all parental harshness, to manifest no cruelty or oppression toward those who are the younger members of the Lord’s family. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 47

While parents are to manifest the tenderness and love of God toward their children, yet the law requires filial obedience. God accompanies His command to children with a promise on a condition of obedience. The ten commandments come forth from the God of heaven, whose heart is full of love, who is infinite in wisdom, who never makes a mistake. He is too wise to err, too good to harm anyone who obeys His requirements. Blessing will follow those who obey and who administer the law of Jehovah. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 48

Human agents are to be partakers of the divine nature, and walk within their houses with a perfect heart. Where this is the case there is holiness, there is righteousness, but there is no holiness where the rules of Him who inhabiteth eternity are disobeyed. The first principle of sanctification are yet to be learned by men who have had the will of God brought to their understanding, and who have not obeyed it. It is the duty of parents to cultivate the attributes of God in their own character, and by precept and example to educate their children to honor God; and not show the slightest disrespect to His commandments. God has consulted concerning the happiness and peace of parents and children in this life, and their best good will be worked out by walking in the path of His precepts; for by so doing they are in harmony with the God of heaven. 9LtMs, Lt 34, 1894, par. 49