Ms 41, 1890

1890

Ms 41, 1890

Diary, October 1890

Adam’s Center, New York

October 9-13, 1890

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 146, 297, 299; 2SM 223-224; HP 329; UL 296; MR1033 5-7.

[Circa Oct. 9, 1890]

At Niagara bridge we stepped out of the sleeper and took our seats in the day coach. Soon every available seat was occupied. We reached Syracuse about noon. Here Sister Burdick found us and invited us to go to her house for refreshments. It was raining. Her husband had a covered carriage but could take only one in it, and we thought best to step into the day coach, although it would not be in motion for one hour and a half. We had a visit with Brother Burdick in the cars. He seemed to be very anxious that we should visit Syracuse and labor for the church. Syracuse is a large city and the workers in it are very few. Ms41-1890.1

We see the situation. We know that if our churches were awake and their lamps trimmed and burning they would be laborers together with God. They would see in the world a work that needs to be done and would do it. They could not be so idle, but they would be workers together with God. Let us never forget these three words. Ms41-1890.2

Why is all the work left for the ordained ministers, when they are so few in number? Has the Lord designed that there should be so few to minister in word and doctrine? No. A work, an important work, is being left out of the experience in our churches. God calls for the teachers and leaders to awake. Every soul that has an intelligent knowledge of Jesus Christ will have a knowledge of the truth that shines in his day. He is to be a laborer to save souls. Ms41-1890.3

We are finite, but a wonderful arrangement has been made that we may have close connection with the Infinite. And this is not alone the privilege of the ordained minister, but of every church member. The minister has not been provided with a set of faculties superior to other mortals, but if he has dedicated to God the powers which have been given him in trust to use to the good of his fellow men and for the glory of God, he is receiving special grace to impart to others. Finite beings at their best can do but little, but Christ working through humanity may accomplish wonderful results. Ms41-1890.4

It is a painful thought to me that I can do so little. The limited sphere of human capabilities leads me to feel indeed the words of Christ, “Without Me, ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Many are endowed with superior talents and do not use them, because they have no living connection with God. A sense of their robbery in withholding from God is not taken in. Ms41-1890.5

My own scanty knowledge and feeble energies drive me to Jesus, and the language of my heart is, “Oh God, I can do nothing. I hang my helpless soul on Thee, Jesus Christ my Saviour. Put Thy grace into my heart. Attract my mind from my weakness to Thy almighty strength, from my ignorance to Thy eternal wisdom, from my frailty to Thy enduring might. Give me correct views of the great plan of redemption. Let me see and understand what Christ is to me and that my heart, soul, mind, and strength are bought with a price. Christ has imparted to me that I may impart to others. Lift up my soul; strengthen and enlighten my mind that I may comprehend more clearly the character of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, that I may know that it is my privilege to be a partaker of the divine nature.” Ms41-1890.6

The great and eternal power of God fills my mind with awe and sometimes even terror. Eternal life begins with me in this life when I am enlightened by the Sun of Righteousness shining into the chambers of my mind and into the soul temple. I know that life and immortality are brought to light through Jesus Christ, that every soul may have grace for grace, and may improve and give to other souls. May I indeed look upon Jesus, full of goodness and compassion and love, and behold the Lord God and call Him by the endearing name of Father. Ms41-1890.7

The deep struggles of my own soul against temptations, the earnest longings of my mind and heart to know God and Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, and to have assurance, peace, and rest in Their love, lead me to desire every day to be where the beams of the Sun of Righteousness can shine upon me. Without this experience, I shall indeed meet with great loss, and all with whom I associate with be affected by the loss of the light I ought to be receiving from the Source of all light and comfort and to be flashing into their pathway. Shall I be indeed a light unto the world or a shadow of darkness? Ms41-1890.8

Many do not know what is the matter with them. They want light and see no ray. They are calling for help and they hear no response. Shall doubt and unbelief be perpetuated because I do not gather the divine rays of light from Jesus Christ and let it shine forth to others? Shall I not direct souls, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”? [John 1:29.] The revealing of Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour reveals the Lord Jehovah as possessing the eternal attributes which are shining in the character of Christ. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Ms41-1890.9

October 11, 1890

Adams Center, N. Y.

We arrived at this place from Syracuse [Friday, October 10] at about half past four o’clock p.m. Brethren Lane, Wilcox, and Place were at the depot waiting for us. We were glad to meet them. A horse and carriage took us to Sister Green’s. There we found a comfortable home in every respect. Meetings had been in session two days. I was very nervous Friday night and could not sleep until about midnight. Ms41-1890.10

Elder Place preached after the Sabbath school session. At halfpast two o’clock p.m. I spoke to a full house. There were quite a number of Seventh Day Baptists present. Extra benches were brought in and placed in the aisles; the gallery was full. I spoke from John 17:3. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” The Lord gave me freedom in speaking to the people assembled, who listened with interest. A social meeting followed and many excellent testimonies were borne. Ms41-1890.11

We were gratified to meet the aged servants of God on this occasion. We have been acquainted from the rise of the third angel’s message with Elder [Frederick] Wheeler, who is now nearing eighty years. We have been acquainted with Elders [H. H.] Wilcox and [Charles O.] Taylor for the last forty years. Age is telling on these old standard-bearers, as well as upon me. If we are faithful to the end the Lord will give us a crown of life that fadeth not away. Ms41-1890.12

The aged standard-bearers are far from being useless and laid aside. They have a part to act in the work similar to that of John. They can say, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifest unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:1-7. Ms41-1890.13

This was the spirit and life of the message that John bore to all in his old age, when he was nearly one hundred years old. The standard-bearers are holding fast their banners. They are not loosening their hands on the banner of truth until they lay off the armor. One by one the old warriors’ voices become silent. Their place is vacant. We see them no more, but they being dead yet speak, for their works do follow them. Let us treat very tenderly the few aged pilgrims remaining, esteeming them highly for their works’ sake. As their powers are becoming worn and enfeebled, what they do say is of value. As precious testimony let their words be treasured. Let not the young men and the new workers discard or in any respect show indifference to the men of hoary hairs, but let them rise up and call them blessed. They should consider that they have themselves entered into these men’s labors. We wish that there was much more of the love of Christ in the hearts of our believers for those who were first in the proclamation of the message. Ms41-1890.14

The word of Christ, the True Witness, after enumerating the good qualities of the Ephesus Church, says: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4. There is a loss of the love of Christ out of the heart, and as the result they do not properly esteem the true workers. Those who love God in spirit and in truth will improve every opportunity to place themselves where they catch the light of God’s promises and see in them His mind, His will and purpose toward us. And every jot of light you receive you will reflect on others because we love Jesus and want His name to be a praise in all the earth. We will, if we love Jesus, make Him manifest to the world as the Sun of Righteousness and thus reveal to them the one true and living God. To become self-centered is to close the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ. Ms41-1890.15

If patriarchs and prophets were required to be the repositories of divine truth and to shine brightly in their day, every one who has been privileged to gather up the hereditary trusts which God gave to them is responsible to his fellow men and to God to shine with as much greater brightness as increased light has been imparted to him. The very fact that you are children of God should inspire you to love and serve Christ Jesus; to love one another glorifies Him. Ms41-1890.16

Why not decide to leave the forces or army of Satan and come under the only true banner, showing loyalty to God, which is obedience to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ? This is our decided message, stripped of all attachments that will hide its testing qualities and its power, its elevating principles. This move caused rejoicing among the heavenly angels because God and Christ rejoiced that souls were saved unto Jesus Christ. This was a spectacle to angels, to all the principalities and powers in heaven, and to men, for here is a fresh exhibition of God’s forbearance, His holiness, His mercy, and His matchless love. To every soul born into Christ’s kingdom is given a solemn charge, “Let your light so shine before men that they, by seeing your good works, shall glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] Pour forth upon your neighbors the rich rays of light received from the Sun of Righteousness; flash upon your friend in the world the bright gems of light and truth imparted to you abundantly from the throne of God. This is trading upon the talents entrusted. Go on from light to a greater light, catching more and more the bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and shine more and more unto the perfect day. Ms41-1890.17

Shall the words of Christ be applicable to us? “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, (leaving the first love is represented as a moral fall which requires repentance and faith and doing) and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2] Verses 4, 5. Ms41-1890.18

Let all ask the question, Do I understand my position? Am I repenting before God? If no light shines forth from you to those who are in darkness, of what use is that light to you? If you love Jesus, that love will speak. It cannot be repressed; it will manifest itself. Supreme love to God will be revealed in your love to all for whom Christ has died. You are not to domineer over your brethren, for this is not love; for He has appointed His church to be the channel of light to the world. Ms41-1890.19

All who see the verity of God’s Word will exalt before all men in words and in deeds the superiority of the truth to everything else beside. This is God’s purpose, and the Christian sees how essential it is that the love of God be revealed in love to our brethren and sisters. He does not study what is agreeable or respectable or profitable for his own selfish interests, but, What does God expect of me whom He has appointed? What shall I do that I may work the works of God? We have the lessons of Christ, outlining the truth which was the substance of His teaching: the paternal character of God, the relation in which man stands to his fellow man, the necessity of prayer, of repentance and true holiness, the agency of the Holy Spirit to enlighten, renew, and sanctify the soul. Ms41-1890.20

How much is said by the aged apostle John of love! It is not a love which will compromise with sin, but a love which proceeds from a heart that loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” 1 John 2:9. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness have never shown into his heart and the chambers of his mind. “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Vs. 10-12. Ms41-1890.21

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” This is the explanation the Word of God gives: here was jealousy cruel as death. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 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 3:11-16. We must not consider our pleasure, our convenience, or our own advantage, but lose sight of self for Jesus. Ms41-1890.22

We see the plain statement of the Word of God in regard to His Spirit and His love. Then why is love lost? Why is self cherished, adored, exalted? Why is not love, more Christlike love, practiced? Why are we not as individuals doers of the word? Satan has made every effort to cut away the people from God, their heavenly Father, by transposing everything, placing a new popular mold upon the work. Not only are the precious jewels of truth lost sight of, and errors substituted for truth, but the enemy has wrought with his angels, united with evil men to interpose himself in exalting the human, and thus obscure the Lord God from sight. He works through the human, and men worship human talent and they become decoys that a knowledge of God—represented by those who believe in Christ as a holy, just, and good Lord—shall not prevail in the earth. Ms41-1890.23

When we have done all in our power, with humble, contrite hearts, to scatter the dense darkness of error and doubt and unbelief, irrespective whether it is for our personal advantage or not, then it may be said of us, “Ye are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] For of ourselves we can do nothing. Then we may rest in God’s assurance—be one with Christ in God. We cannot in truth evidence that we love our brother unless we love him as Christ loved us. We must, as children of God, arm ourselves and give the evidence we love our brother and our neighbor as ourselves. When we let our works bear evidence that we love our brother as Christ has loved us, and exercise toward him the meekness and gentleness of Christ, we will not be jealous—as was Cain—but we will bring the best offering, the symbol of the Lamb slain. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7. What language is this! How full and far-reaching! “God is love.” v. 8. Ms41-1890.24

The enemy is constantly active to bring circumstances to bear upon individual minds, that the confusion, the worries, the cares that come to all human beings may become a fruitful source of killing love for God and love for our brethren; and if that love is not glowing on the altar of a man’s heart, he is cold, hard, unsympathetic for his fellow men. He goes through the world as cold as an iceberg. Ms41-1890.25

The work of Christ was that of Mediator, to effect reconciliation that the whole human family may have His light in the heart. And all who have Christ abiding in the heart by faith will seek to reconcile their own wills to God’s will. They will love their brethren. They will have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul, and they will be a savor of life unto life to all the souls for whom Christ has died. Ms41-1890.26

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” [Verse 8.] Oh, why are we so careless as to let selfishness and enmity and little grievances, little misunderstandings, separate the very ones who are bought with a price to be one as Christ is one with the Father? The world’s Redeemer prayed that His disciples might be one as He was one with the Father. Are we working with this prayer, to be one with Christ, one with one another? Ms41-1890.27

None of us liveth to himself. Each is assigned a post of duty in labor. The influence of each, closely bound in the closest bonds of holy union by the links of the golden chain of love, because God is love, is the evidence to the world that God has sent His Son. The love that is revealed in the home life bursts its bonds and becomes a working power in the church and extends to the neighborhood. Thus the love principle which caused Christ to die to save the world extends to the community, and to the nations and kingdoms of the world. John 14:15-20. Ms41-1890.28

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.” “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” 1 John 4:9-12, 16-18. Ms41-1890.29

Think of this: The love of Jesus Christ, exercised one for another, quenches that satanic spirit of thinking evil and speaking evil and always supposing your brethren want to do you harm. Put this all away: love as brethren. Ms41-1890.30

October 12, 1890

Adams Center, N. Y.

I enjoyed a precious night’s rest. Arose [at] quarter past four and after seeking the Lord in prayer for His grace and His blessing, I commenced writing. I feel grateful to the Lord that I endured the taxation of yesterday much better than I expected. I do ask the Lord for strength and grace, and praise His holy name I do receive decidedly, according to the promise given, the very things I most need. My heart is filled with gratitude to God for His merciful loving-kindness to me. My heart is yearning constantly for a sacred nearness to God. I want the peace of Christ, for my own soul needs it, and I wish to impart every gift from God to bless others. Ms41-1890.31

I long to see those who believe the truth, present truth, awakening to the great responsibilities that a knowledge of truth gives them to be laborers together with God. These responsibilities are resting upon every individual member of the church. Not one is excused. To every man is given his individual, personal work. Not one can be an idler in the vineyard of the Lord. We are to be diligent workers together with Jesus Christ. Ms41-1890.32

We have just had a season of fasting and of prayer in the churches. The experienced ministers are working beyond their strength and are pressed as a cart beneath sheaves and falling in death under the pressure of the load, while a large number are dying shamefully from inaction. The younger ministers must stay up their hands. May the Lord awaken those that are doing nothing. The displeasure of the Lord is against His people, especially some who occupy responsible positions in the work and cause of God, because they have lost their first love. To our sorrow, we must acknowledge that some of those ministers who have not a living connection with God are almost deified by poor undiscerning souls, while others whom we have unmistakable evidence have the true ring, bearing the message of truth for this time, are almost crucified. Some ministers have occupied the place of God in the minds of some of the church members. All their troubles, all their burdens, have been carried to the younger minister when he was only [a] mortal man, subject to temptations and infirmities of disposition like themselves, possessing objectionable traits of character, and was not able to bear the burdens of his own defects of character. How could these souls turn away from Christ, the living Fountain, to seek water from broken cisterns? God has been dishonored and this man has been exalted and nearly ruined by being placed as God. Ms41-1890.33

The Lord has sent messages to His people, but these minster-worshipers have not, like the noble Bereans, searched the Scriptures to see if these things are so. In their blind, superstitious attachment they have waited and hung upon the decision of their favorite minister, placing him in a position of great temptation to arrogate to himself authority that is dangerous to himself or to any mortal man to assume; and as they treat the ministers, whom God sends with voices of warning, the church will do likewise. If the men who are in responsibility are blinded by the enemy and refuse the message, then many will follow their example and do likewise. The message and the messenger are altogether set aside and denied. God-given authority and mission is not respected because it does not coincide in every particular with the voice and expression of ideas of the ministers who have been placed by the churches where God alone should be. Ms41-1890.34

To every man is given his work. All have not the same gift. There is a variety of gifts and all are needed to do the work God has appointed. Instruction needed in every church is cast aside and, by precept and example, trodden under foot by men. Oh, what extremes men will go to when they are not closely connected with God! Ms41-1890.35

Who among the ministers today will be found as faithful stewards of the grace of God, who will tenderly, earnestly and perseveringly lift up his voice in warning, proclaiming the message of warning God would have come to His people? A careful and earnest seeking the Lord is essential for this time and a most careful coming to the Bible, searching its pages with softened hearts and with unprejudiced minds, unbiased by their personal opinions to hear what God will speak to them out of His Word. There is great need of much earnest prayer for His grace, His spiritual, holy enlightenment, that they may be kept clean, pure, humble, and contrite, that God may fulfill His word. Isaiah 57:14, 15. Ms41-1890.36

October 13, 1890

Adams Center, N. Y.

Monday morning. Yesterday was a beautiful day, clear and mild. The time was well filled by meetings, preaching, and instruction. I spoke to a full house in the afternoon. Some Seventh-day Adventists were present, and many not of our faith. I am told that there were more present from outside than had ever been at the meeting before. Ms41-1890.37

My text was John 17:18. “As Thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.” [Verses 18, 19.] I had much freedom in speaking the Words of Life to those present. The Lord, I know, gave me His Spirit and His grace in rich measure and a decided testimony for His people. There were many whose hearts seemed to be softened and subdued by the Spirit of the Lord. Ms41-1890.38

I have been requested to speak upon temperance. May the Lord guide me in regard to the subjects to present to the people. I consented to speak Monday night. Brother Place spoke last night and the words were meat in due season, for the Lord spoke through him. There was a good congregation, and may the seed sown find lodgment in many hearts, is my prayer. Ms41-1890.39

At ten o’clock I went again into the meetinghouse and spoke in the business meeting and read an appeal which was written October 12, 1875, in regard to the necessity of following up the labors put forth during the camp meetings, with personal effort, with publications. This will fasten the ideas already received. Ms41-1890.40

The ministers were invited to Sister Deloss Green’s and we had a social season together. I praise the Lord that in our feebleness we may take hold upon divine power. “Without me ye can do nothing,” said the great Teacher. [John 15:5.] The promises we are to claim by faith. The treasures of all heaven are at our command. He will reveal to us His glory. He loves us. He speaks of His followers as ever present in His mind, as members of His Father’s family. Ms41-1890.41

We can ascend to the sacred heights only as we by faith view Jesus and continue in His love. Satan has ever worked to eclipse heaven from our view that we shall not be attracted by the charms of the glories of heaven, which glories are the manifestation of the loveliness of Christ. We must be believing, and the Lord has given sufficient grounds on which to base our faith. He does not rest His truth alone on human reasoning, for our present limited capacity to perceive truth needed divine endorsement which was manifest in miracles. He gives human reason its place and reveals God to man as unerring, eternal, full of grace and truth. Again and again divinity flashed through humanity, and the infinite God acknowledged Him, again and again, as His only begotten Son. Ms41-1890.42

Monday, October 13, 1890

Adams Center, N. Y.

Monday afternoon a horse and buggy was furnished us, and Sara and I rode to Adams. We find Adams is a larger place than Adams Center. There are more business places and yet Adams Center is by far the most pleasant and attractive. There are but few stores here. It is decidedly a Seventh Day Baptist settlement. Ms41-1890.43

I spoke in the evening to a full house. The congregation paid the most marked attention. The ventilation was not good, and some eyes were heavy. I requested them to arise and sing, “I Will Follow Thee, My Saviour,” which had the desired effect. The position was changed and all seemed aroused to hear the words spoken. I had much freedom in speaking from (1 Peter 1), dwelling upon the precious promises. Ms41-1890.44

My special burden is to arouse the laymen in the church to action, that every individual shall sense his duty to become a worker together with God. Christ has represented His people as “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth.” “If the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” [Matthew 5:13, 14.] How can those who claim to have received the transforming grace of Christ not diffuse light and grace of a Christian character to others? The saving properties of the grace of Christ in pure and undefiled religion, in practical godliness, will make their influence felt. Ms41-1890.45

Christ’s soldiers will keep on the armor. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation. We are His soldiers. We wear His armor and are marshalled under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. We are laborers together with God. He said, “Go work in my vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] He requires that we sow beside all waters and that we shall garner the harvest we have sown. Ms41-1890.46

Is it the ordained ministry alone who are made stewards of the manifold grace of God? We answer, When Christ left our world He gave to every man his work, according to his several abilities, and He has entrusted every soul with talents to improve, not only for his own good and the enriching of himself by the imparted grace of Christ, but to be employed to Christ’s own glory. It is expected of a steward that he be found faithful, according to the value of the varied talents entrusted. These lent talents, wisely improved, will increase, that when the Lord shall come His stewards shall place in His hands the entrusted talents with usury. Ms41-1890.47

How can the world be saved if Christians are not aroused to realize their solemn accountability and to love their fellow men as Christ has loved them? If they will take hold of the work earnestly, with much prayer for heavenly wisdom to know how to work, the promise is, They shall receive it. Ms41-1890.48

When the first love stirs the soul of the believer as it did that of Philip, he will be filled with most earnest anxiety—in his new love—to tell others that he has found Jesus. Relatives and friends will be hunted up, as Philip hunted for Nathanael. And these very ones sought may be, as was Nathanael, seeking God, inquiring for light and truth. Ms41-1890.49

The coldness and indifference of those who claim to see great light, who claim to have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets did write, amazes the heavenly angels. All heaven is interested in the salvation of man, and those who are enlightened and receive the heavenly light of truth are expected, yes required, to be laborers together with God. They are missionaries. Although human hands have not dedicated them to God to become ministers, yet they are, if truly converted, missionaries in the fullest sense. In doing their work to diffuse light, they evidence their love for God; and by their zeal in turning many to righteousness, they show how highly they value the precious grace of Christ. They will have earnestness. They will have yearning sympathy for the soul. God gave His only beloved Son to a life of test and trial, shame and reproach, and to a shameful death, to bring back the wandering prodigal to the Father’s house. Ms41-1890.50

How can souls who have tasted of the love of God and are partakers of the saving grace of Christ have the idea that they have nothing to do, that they must be helped at every step, must absorb sympathy and strength and life from their brethren, must be propped up on every side and be as helpless as a babe requiring to be tenderly nourished, but although constantly receiving, have nothing to bestow on others? I would that with pen and voice I could arouse church members to their God-given duty, to the importance of doing the work entrusted to them with thoroughness and fidelity. Not one is excused. What efficiency and power would go forth from the churches in every conference if they were indeed laborers together with God! What might they not do if they were gathering increased light and by their precepts and example imparting to others the light received! Ms41-1890.51

What kind of an atmosphere is circulating through the church? Is it cold, lifeless? Have not those who have been years in the truth ceased to be aggressive? Have not the affections, the warmth and glow of the love of God in their hearts died a natural death because it has not been cultivated by constant exercise? Are they not content to stand still, as though they had graduated or become superannuated? Is it praiseworthy in them to cease to cooperate with God and, in their inactive, idle condition, to become a sport of Satan’s temptations, really suggesting to others the temptations he has suggested to them? Ms41-1890.52

Many who ought today to be bright and shining lights are only bodies of darkness, sitting under the instruction of Satan. They have left the school of Christ, exchanged teachers, and through Satan’s instruction become satisfied to maintain a form of godliness, content if they have a name to live, a reputation for piety, when they are dead. The spark of life from Christ in their own souls is dying out and they are sufficient of themselves, although they do not absorb the beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and neither burn nor shine. They do not see that it is their work to gather the divine rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness and flash it upon the pathway of those in darkness. Ms41-1890.53

They will be ever relating a past experience, but nothing fresh, nothing in living experience now. They have ceased to be partakers of the divine nature and to go on from glory to glory. Through Christ strengthening them, they might be working to add another, and still another, star to His diadem. Their interest and zeal might continue unabated, as with the beloved disciple John. He always had a fresh testimony, animating and stimulating to others, of the present hope as well as of the past rich experience. Called out of darkness into His marvelous light, his taper, constantly lit from the divine altar, was a light to guide the steps of the faltering in the pathway to heaven. Ms41-1890.54

It is the work of individual members of the church to be active, living, interested agents for God, quickened and sanctified by His Holy Spirit, given, as promised by Christ, to His church. I entreat my brother church members and my sisters to look carefully to their course of action and see what burdens are they lifting for Christ, and see if they are living branches in the living Vine, answering the mind and will of God. Ms41-1890.55

Said Christ, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. ... 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. 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.” John 15:5, 2-5. Ms41-1890.56

Every fruit-bearing branch is in Christ, drawing its nourishment from Him; and if a branch, a member of the church, is not an active worker for God, and in his character revealing Jesus Christ, he is not of the Vine. Rich clusters of fruit will appear from every branch that is in Christ Jesus. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Verse 8. Here is the condition of our discipleship plainly stated, and if we continue to be fruitless we shall be withered branches. Ms41-1890.57

“As the Father hath loved me so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:9-12. Ms41-1890.58

The love of Christ is evidenced for man in that He gave His life to redeem him. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” Vs. 13, 14. Ms41-1890.59

As churches and as individuals we are without excuse if we miss the way, make mistakes, follow the devising of human minds, and lose our souls. In these words that I present to your notice is plain and decided testimony specifying man’s duty to his God and to his fellow men. Ms41-1890.60

Said Jesus on one occasion, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:16. What we hear and what we see is not alone for our benefit, but to be repeated by pen and voice and presented to others. The glad tidings of salvation shall be for all people. If the grace of God in rich measure is revealed to any one of us, it is for the purpose that we shall communicate the same, speaking the things which we have seen and heard. Ms41-1890.61

God is no respecter of persons. If He has employed men and women as channels of light, He means we shall let that light shine forth in the clearest rays possible to those who are in darkness. No one is to feel that he is a privileged character because of the benefits he has received from God. Our work is to use our intelligence to diffuse light. Ms41-1890.62

We are not amenable to man, but to God. The Lord’s mercies, if unappropriated to be a blessing to others, are withdrawn from the one to whom He has given great light, for His goodness is unappreciated, His name is not magnified unless the light and knowledge of the truth that has shined upon us is imparted to all we can possibly reach, enlightening other minds who have not the knowledge of the truth. And when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, many, many, when weighed in the golden balances of the sanctuary, will be pronounced wanting. They were the depositary of sacred gifts and responsible for hiding the light and knowledge given, that it never reached the ones whom God designed should receive it through those agents. Ms41-1890.63

Moral darkness became dense because men and women were lulled to sleep in Satan’s cradle of carnal security. Enlightened by the truth, we have our orders from God to dispense the heavenly gift, and in thus doing render back to God that which He has entrusted to us. Who will awake? Who will arise and shine in our churches, in our several conferences? Ms41-1890.64

Sinners were the special objects of the mission of Christ—sinners of every race and every clime. He has paid the ransom of His own blood. All are brought into the same relation with Him and all are dear to Him because they are the purchase of His blood. The home missions are to receive decided attention. Let every sinner within our households and within our own neighborhoods be sought for. Let personal efforts be bestowed upon them. The cases that seem the most hopeless are to be labored for the most earnestly, in faith and hope and earnest prayer. When these most discouraging cases are brought to surrender to God, the change in them is so decided that Christ says of them, They that are forgiven much, love much. These souls will become living agents to put forth the most earnest efforts, and will labor for others with the same patience and perseverance they were labored with. Ms41-1890.65

Those upon whom Satan exercises his power the most decidedly are the ones who awaken the sympathy of the Saviour’s great heart of love. He is ever having the ones gathered in the fold to go out into the wilderness to seek and rescue the lost sheep. He feels the tenderest love for those who are entrapped through the deceiving power of Satan. And when the lost sheep are indeed found by Jesus, what joy and rejoicing there is in the whole universe of heaven! “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7. Ms41-1890.66

His voice is heard in tones of yearning tenderness, entreaty, and love, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9. Ms41-1890.67

Mortal man cannot read the heart of man and is often mislead by outward shallow appearances. But He that can read the hearts of men as an open book never misjudges. He always judgeth righteously; and He knows the atmosphere surrounding every soul. He knows how many and fierce are the struggles of the human soul to overcome the natural hereditary tendencies and the sins which have become common through habit of repetition. Ms41-1890.68

He says, He is Mine; I have bought him with human agony and blood. Long have I borne with his manners, his uncourteous, ungrateful behaviour toward Me, yet I forbear to cut him down, hoping, through My living colaborers, to bring him to repentance that I might heal him and wash and cleanse him in My own blood. If he will come unto Me and be saved, he will become a polished instrument in My hand, to be effective, in his great love for Me, to pity and try to save all who were as incorrigible as himself. Ms41-1890.69

When the churches shall arise and shine because their light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon them, then shall we have living churches because they are laborers together with God. Catching the spirit of Jesus Christ, they diffuse the same to those who are in darkness, who are subjects of the grace of Christ like themselves and capable of being made the trophies of His grace, to reign as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Thousands are just as much in need of personal effort as ourselves, and in just as great danger. They are exposed to Satan’s masterly temptations and without a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent into the world to save the chiefest of sinners. Oh, why do we not discern our part of the work in the great plan of redemption? If we did see, if we did understand just the relation of these souls to Christ, and that Satan is using every device for their souls, I think a sleeping, backslidden church would awaken and be converted. Then their zeal would be evidenced. Their efforts would be untiring, and self-denial and self-sacrifice would be seen in their experience and work in imparting all the intelligence and light they have, till all with whom they come in contact will be made partakers with them of the heavenly light and blessings. Ms41-1890.70

The missionary spirit is the genuine fruit borne upon the branch that is grafted into the true and living vine. This work for the saving of the souls of men and women should be kept constantly before our churches. It should be impressed upon their minds that they cannot have true piety, cannot be a true branch of the parent vine stock, unless they evidence that they bear fruit to the glory of God in faithful labor to save those for whom Christ has died. Ms41-1890.71

The Word of God is definite upon this subject. No soul can be abiding in Christ without having the mind of Christ and working the works of Christ. In every truly converted soul there will be genuine, sanctified sympathy with the suffering of Christ, endured by Him to save the sinful. They will, if colaborers with Christ, overcome selfish ease, selfish gratification, selfish indulgence, and will grow in spiritual sinew and muscle by exercising the powers given them of God to win souls to Jesus Christ. This heaven-appointed work is calculated to give breadth and depth and stability to Christian experience and character, and to bring the laborers together with God into a higher, purer atmosphere where their love for Christ will be ever increasing and their love for their fellow men will abound more and more. Ms41-1890.72

The church piety is now in a large degree sickly because it is so inactive, strained, bigoted, and bound about with self-caring. We are all turned aside from righteousness—however high may be our profession—when we feel no special yearning for the conversion of souls. We must be workers together with God. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, and while seeking divine power by faith we will wisely and mercifully bring that skill and ingenuity into our labor that we may be wholly successful, doing the work of a living missionary. Ms41-1890.73

It is a fact that the churches have lost their first love, and the True Witness calls upon the church to repent and do their first works. Love for God and for one another needs to be constantly cultivated, for it is a tender plant and if not nourished and constantly growing will die a natural death. Love is the most precious attribute of heaven. We need individually to love as Christ loved, for He has commanded it. There then will be no narrowness, no selfishness. Those who cherish this grace will never become self-centered, never become cold, harsh, self-important, dictatorial, arbitrary, because they become identified with Christ in all His plans, learning in the school of Christ. He communicates to them ways and means to set in operation the most stirring enterprises. He gives His learners something worthwhile to think of, something interesting and important to do. In doing, they catch the inspiration from Christ and work in the very same earnestness and love with which He worked. Ms41-1890.74

In this work for the Master, self is hid. The language of the heart is, He must increase; I must decrease. There is no such thing as spiritual inactivity or laziness. The love of self dies, the love of Jesus burns upon the altar of the soul. There is no spirit for low, common, self-seeking or worldly ambition because we are living in His presence, doing His work, and are in contact with Jesus Christ and His life. His character and His work are all-absorbing. The life imperceptibly becomes one with Christ as He was one with the Father. The truth and light and life are interwoven with life and character, and the aspirations are elevated, pure, unselfish, after the order of heaven. Such are growing daily in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. They show moral efficiency but take no glory to themselves. Ms41-1890.75

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. Ms41-1890.76

Would that men who have been placed in responsible positions in our institutions and in the church would write these words on the tablets of the soul. Unless there is a decided reformation and true conversion upon this important matter, and they heed the appeals of the Spirit of God in the above plain, clear words, they will continue to lift up their souls unto vanity and claim to be conscientiously walking in the counsels of the Lord, when they are walking in the sparks of their own kindling and will lie down in sorrow. Ms41-1890.77

Have God’s words no force? Will the self-important, self-sufficient spirit continue to be a ruling power as it has been in the past? Will love become extinct, except as it is cherished for a few favorites who show partiality to themselves? Will the iron enter the souls of men who are handling sacred things? Will harshness and severity prevail in councils and there be no bowels of mercies, no tender sympathies? Will there be no special efforts made to save the things that are ready to die—all because finite man has thought his way a model of perfection when it is a Christless way, as destitute of Christ as the offering of Cain? Ms41-1890.78

If ever a people needed spiritual perception, vigor, and steadfast faith and power in prayer, it is the people who claim to be keeping the commandments of God and looking for the Lord Jesus Christ to come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Those who will make the care of the widow and fatherless their own and who will devote themselves to the work of saving souls are always in a most favorable position to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, their spiritual Head. They are, while working interestedly for others, working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in them, to will and to do of His good pleasure. Ms41-1890.79

Selfishness has been like the disease of leprosy, destroying vitality in the Christian life and experience. This terrible destroyer of good can only be expelled by the love of Christ. When that love pervades the soul, selfishness appears as the hateful thing it is. When the love of Christ shall be strenuously cultivated, it constrains us, it imparts an energy that is inspired, and great things are accomplished that were not supposed possible, because the divine cooperates with the human and gives strength and firmness and thoroughness to every action. Change or circumstance cannot have bewitching, controlling power, but the love of Jesus as an abiding principle will make the work performed perfect and successful in proportion to the vital principles from Christ that are brought into the labors. Ms41-1890.80

Love to Christ will always be seen in those who are laborers together with God. The common, earthly thoughts and motives are discarded as the love for Christ increases. None, however weak in faith and hope and courage, need to despair, for Christ has provided divine assistance to combine with man’s human effort. Christ works constantly to draw the soul into a pure and holy atmosphere. He is acquainted with our infirmities and with the embarrassment we meet on every hand in the world. Assistance has been provided for every advanced step. When the earnest, struggling soul is compassed with infirmities and surrounded by foes to discourage, the Comforter draws near. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities. Ms41-1890.81

We must, if we overcome, use the means placed within our reach. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith we must clothe ourselves with the righteousness of Christ and put no confidence in our own merits. Many are seeking to be present at the marriage supper of the Lamb in their own citizen’s dress, discarding the robe woven in the loom of heaven and prepared for all at infinite cost, as a free gift to His guests that shall eat of His supper. We must wear the livery of heaven. We must be clothed in Christ’s righteousness and go to warfare at His expense and under His bloodstained banner or we are none of His. Pride and independence is all out of place in the army of Christ, who has given His life to humiliation, reproach, rejection, insult and mockery, and an ignominious death, to purchase our redemption. Ms41-1890.82