The Signs of the Times


December 3, 1885

Co-laborers with Christ


“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” ST December 3, 1885, par. 1

Before Christ came to the world, his home was in the kingdom of glory, among beings that had never fallen. They loved him, and he might have stayed there and rejoiced in their love. But he did not do this. He left the royal courts, and went without the camp, bearing the reproach of sin. He came to a world all marred and seared by the curse to save the lost sheep; and he gathered into his divine bosom all that would come to him. He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He trod the rugged path of self-denial himself, and so set us an example. This was the work of Christ for us. Had he not done this, we should have been left to perish without hope in God. ST December 3, 1885, par. 2

We find here a duty that rests upon all alike; not one of us is excused. Those who see the preciousness of the Saviour's love as he hung upon the cross, those who understand its value as there revealed, will be in earnest; they will be anxious to become co-laborers with Christ in seeking for the lost and perishing. We are not placed here merely to seek our own gratification. There are sinners to be saved, and they are all about us. ST December 3, 1885, par. 3

It is a terrible thing to be lost at last. Once when I was at my home in Battle Creek, Mich., a bitter cry rang through the house. I hurried to see what was the matter, and found that one of my children was drowning. When he had been rescued from the water, and his apparently lifeless form laid in his little cradle, I remember how I stood over him for three-quarters of an hour, working for that little one whose life was trembling in the balance. Those around me thought my efforts were in vain; yet I labored on until that little life was given back to me. ST December 3, 1885, par. 4

That night, as my child that had been, as it were, raised to life, was lying upon my breast, and I was rejoicing in my heart that he was spared to me, though he was still in a very precarious condition, the bells rang out sharply, and a shrill cry was borne on the still night air, “Lost! lost! a child lost!” Then I thought how the little one that God had given to me had almost been lost, of the vacant place that would have been left in the little wicker cradle at my bedside; and the word “lost” came home to me with a force and meaning it had never possessed before. ST December 3, 1885, par. 5

Never shall I forget the incidents of that night. It was just one little life that was at stake; but it seemed as though the whole city of Battle Creek was stirred to go out in search of the lost child. Lights were glimmering everywhere. They flashed through the streets, along the river bank, and through the adjacent woods, and the cry resounded, “A child is lost! A child is lost!” After a long search, a shout was raised, “The child is found!” ST December 3, 1885, par. 6

Yes, the child was found; but it might go astray on the journey of life, and be lost at last. I knew, too, that death might come to the little one that was saved to me; and that should he live, he would have the evils of this life to meet and to battle with. And the thought with me was, Will this little child, whose life I hold so dear, be finally lost, or will he be saved to praise God forever in his kingdom? ST December 3, 1885, par. 7

There was no sleep for my eyes that night. I thought of the lost sheep that Jesus came from Heaven to earth to seek and to save. I thought of Christ as he looked down from Heaven upon a world of lost sinners, lost without hope, and of the sympathy that led him to leave his high and exalted place upon his Father's throne, and make the infinite sacrifice necessary to lift man up from the degradation of sin, and bring him back to the fold of God. ST December 3, 1885, par. 8

The sin of our first parents had cut off this world from Heaven. But Christ took upon himself our weaknesses and sins. He was tempted; he was ridiculed; he was beset on every hand. He suffered all the woes, all the griefs and sorrows of humanity, without a murmur, that he might leave us an example. He descended step by step in the path of humiliation, until he hung as a criminal upon the cross, that with his right arm of infinite love he might encircle the race, while he grasped the throne of Infinite Power, thus connecting earth with Heaven. This was his work; this was his mission to this world; and how earnest was he in his efforts to seek and to save that which was lost. ST December 3, 1885, par. 9

Then what is our work to be co-laborers with Christ? As I look over the field, I ask the question, Why do we see such indifference, such neglect of the salvation of others? Why is the whole work of laboring for souls left to the minister? God has promised to all alike, as many as will seek for it, the same redemption, the same love, the same light. Why are we not by living faith grasping the power that he is so willing to give us, that we may be a blessing to those that are lost? Our hearts have throbbed with love at the very mention of the name of Christ, when we have remembered that he has saved us from our sins. Now what if we should all go forth, as Christ did, to save that which was lost, how would our works appear? Would they not be very different from what they are today? ST December 3, 1885, par. 10

Our first work is to bring our families to understand their accountability to God. There is not a father or a mother who has studied the Bible but may know just what course to take with the children, and how to restrain them. Parents may have wisdom from God to bind their children to the throne of mercy. Next to our families, we should try to exert an influence to sway others in the right direction, to lead them out of the darkness of error into the precious light of truth. ST December 3, 1885, par. 11

The perils of the last days are about us; and we should have such an intense love for souls for whom Christ died that we cannot remain at home. When our hearts are overflowing with love for sinners, we shall be anxious to go out in the harvest field to labor for others, and we shall work as Jesus worked. But we know there are some who do not want to be disciplined to work under the Captain of our salvation. It is very difficult matter to make them see their duty, because they have so long had their own way. Their inclinations have been permitted to govern them. Such will have to render an account for their course in the day of God. May the eyes of these blinded ones be opened to see their God-given responsibility. ST December 3, 1885, par. 12

All desire happiness, and many seek it in every way but the right way. Some travel from place to place in its pursuit; some seek it at a mountain or sea-side resort; some go to places of amusement; and some try change of employment. True happiness is not found in any of these ways, and yet it is not difficult to find. It may be secured if we will try to help one another,—to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. ST December 3, 1885, par. 13

There is peace and happiness in Heaven, and we all hope to share it. This is our privilege. An abundant entrance may be administered unto us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; but we must prepare for the heavenly society by a life of unselfish labor for others. There are many who do not understand the path of life; this is one reason that more do not travel in it. Multitudes are following the dictates of an unconsecrated heart who do not know what they are doing. And we are not to think that there is no responsibility resting upon us. We are each a part of the great human family, and we are to lay every one's case to our hearts. The nearer our lives approach to the life of Christ, the more helpful shall we be to those around us, and the more happiness we can bring into their lives. We are called upon to labor understandingly for fallen humanity. And by and by, when the Man of Nazareth shall “see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied,” we shall enter into the joy of our Lord. But let us be faithful in the work that is committed to us; for it is only to those who have done well that the “Well done” will be spoken. ST December 3, 1885, par. 14