Life Sketches Manuscript


A Little Ragged Boy

These men wore excellent clothes, and had an air of ease and comfort. While we were talking with them, a little boy, about eight years old, and literally clad in dirty rags, entered the room in which we were sitting. We were surprised to find that this child was the son of one of these men. The mother looked exceedingly ashamed and annoyed; but the father, utterly unconcerned, continued to talk about his high spiritual attainments, without the slightest recognition of his little son. LSMS 116.2

His sanctification had suddenly lost its charm in my eyes. Wrapped in prayer and meditation, throwing off all the toil and responsibilities of life, this man had failed to provide for the actual wants of his family or give his children the least fatherly attention. He seemed to forget that the greater our love for God, the stronger should be our love and care for those whom He has given us. The Saviour never taught idleness and abstract devotion, to the neglect of the duties lying directly in our pathway. LSMS 116.3

This husband and father declared that the attainment of true holiness carried the mind above all earthly thoughts. Still, he sat at the table and ate temporal food. He was not fed by a miracle. Someone had to provide the food that he ate, although about this matter he troubled himself little, his time being so entirely devoted to spiritual things. Not so his wife, upon who rested the burden of the family. She toiled unremittingly in every department of household labor to keep up the home. Her husband declared that she was not sanctified, that she allowed worldly things to draw her mind away from religious subjects. LSMS 117.1

I thought of our Saviour, who labored so untiringly for the good of others. “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work,” He declared. The sanctification that He taught was shown by deeds of kindness and mercy, and the love that leads men and women to regard others better than themselves. LSMS 117.2

In speaking of faith, one of them said, “All that we have to do is to believe, and whatever we ask of God will be given us.” LSMS 117.3

Elder White suggested that there were conditions attached to this promise, “If ye abide in Me,” Christ said, “and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”“Your theory of faith,” he continued, “must have a foundation. It is as empty as a flour barrel with both heads out. True charity never covers up sins that are unrepented of and unconfessed. She drops her mantle over those faults only that are confessed and renounced. True charity is a very delicate personage, never stepping outside of Bible truth.” LSMS 117.4