The Review and Herald

1384/1902

July 6, 1905

The Ladder of Progress

[A talk by Mrs. E. G. White, May 25, 1905.]

EGW

I know of nothing better to present to teachers and students than the instruction found in the first chapter of Second Peter. RH July 6, 1905, par. 1

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” RH July 6, 1905, par. 2

Let the young men and young women who come to our schools, and those who have been set as guardians over them, remember that God calls on them to move steadily forward, to advance step by step, because Christ is their Saviour. The youth are to be taught to consecrate themselves, body and soul, to the service of Christ. While in school they are to impart as well as receive. They will find that by imparting truth, they will increase in a knowledge of Christ. They can be channels of light. Said Christ, “Ye are the light of the world.” When you get a fresh thought from the Word of God or from your other studies, do not keep to yourself. Give to some one else that which has helped you. Remember that as surely as you live out the principles of truth, you will help yourself, and in helping yourself to climb the ladder of progress, you will show others the way. RH July 6, 1905, par. 3

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.” Your faith is worthless without the virtue. Faith of the right kind brings virtue that is more valuable than gold or silver or precious stones. RH July 6, 1905, par. 4

“And to virtue knowledge.” We have some knowledge of God, but not a hundredth part of what it is our privilege to have, because we do not walk in the light that, day by day, God is giving us. RH July 6, 1905, par. 5

You are to work on the plan of addition, and as you do this, the promise will be fulfilled. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” As you live on the plan of addition, constantly adding to your fund of knowledge, and seeking to carry out the instruction you receive, you will gain strength to overcome temptation, and will be enabled to stand on vantage-ground. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh unto you. He will lift up for you a standard against the enemy. RH July 6, 1905, par. 6

“And to knowledge temperance.” Each one must settle for himself the question of temperance. You are to put nothing into your lips that will overtax the digestive organs. This is necessary, if you would have a clear mind. Those who eat improper food are hindering themselves from making the advance steps that Christ expects them to make. Let not those who are older in years tempt the youth to eat anything but plain, simple food. When a great variety of rich food is eaten, a disturbance is created in the stomach, the thoughts are disturbed, and the intellect dulled. It is to be our study to make our eating and drinking such that we shall be enabled to offer to God the highest service. RH July 6, 1905, par. 7

“And to temperance patience.” Temperance always leads to patience. Students, if you will take yourselves in hand, if you will practise temperance in all things, you will find wonderful help in Christ. You will watch well your words. Speech is a precious talent. You can speak fretfully, or you can speak pleasantly. Remember that it will not hurt your influence to speak pleasantly, but that it will sweeten your influence. If provoking words are spoken to you, do not utter a word. The best rebuke you can give the one who has uttered the provoking words is to keep silent until you can speak in a calm, pleasant voice. Try to gain control over yourself. This will help you to stand on vantage-ground. Constantly keep God and his promises before your mind. Brace yourselves to habits of self-control. RH July 6, 1905, par. 8

“And to godliness brotherly kindness.” O how much we need to cultivate brotherly kindness! RH July 6, 1905, par. 9

“And to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and can not see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” He can not see the influence of his harsh, angry words, and his un-christlike course of action. RH July 6, 1905, par. 10

If students would read the Word of God more, and pray over it, the light of heaven would shine upon them. The Lord God does not want them to go round with long faces, unable to speak pleasant words. He wants them to be full of pleasantness. The youth and those who have charge of them need to have such a power of self-control that they will exert a cheerful, uplifting influence upon all with whom they come in contact. Then the angels of God can give them success in their work. RH July 6, 1905, par. 11

There are those whose characters are so frivolous that it seems impossible for them to keep their tongues from speaking evil; but notwithstanding this, maintain your self-control, and then, wherever you are, those who have charge over you will not have to control you, for you will control yourselves. Climb steadily upward on the ladder of progress, round by round, and at last you will step off the topmost round into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. RH July 6, 1905, par. 12

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail.” Our eternal life insurance policy is found right in these words, and we want you to study them carefully. “Ye shall never fail.” Ought we not, then, to work right to the point? RH July 6, 1905, par. 13

“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Will you not pledge yourselves to God to serve him, and him alone? I do not ask you to pledge your word to one another. Pledge yourselves to God. Let him be the one who will hear the promise that you will press steadily forward in the way to heaven. Holy angels will watch over you, and the golden oil, which the two olive branches empty through the two golden pipes, for the perfection of the characters of God's people, will be imparted to you. RH July 6, 1905, par. 14

Those who have the guardianship of the youth need to cling to the mighty One. Those who will continue in the faith will obtain the eternal life insurance policy, which will give them a right to enter in through the gates into the city of God, and a right to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. Let us hold fast to God. Let us consecrate ourselves to the service of Christ. He will give us power to overcome. Of yourselves you can not create this power. Place yourselves as humble seekers at the feet of Jesus, and he will give you the strength you need. RH July 6, 1905, par. 15

I feel so glad that we could hold our meeting in a place where there are so many quiet retreats in which to pray. O, I have longed for this when I have been on camp-grounds where there was no such opportunity! Get together in companies of two or three, and go off into some quiet place to seek the Lord. His promise is that where two or three are agreed together as touching anything, their prayer will be answered. Our God is close beside us. “Lo,” he declares, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Yoke up with Christ. Do not yoke up with human beings, and then think that because they are not perfect, you need not be. Link up with the One who is perfect, and who has power to sanctify you and give you a fitness to receive the life that measures with the life of God. RH July 6, 1905, par. 16

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover, I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice, which came from heaven, we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” Today the voice of heaven will come to souls who are striving for the victory over sin. RH July 6, 1905, par. 17

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” God would have us take hold of the rich promises of his Word. Come to his feet, and plead with him for power. RH July 6, 1905, par. 18

A school has been established here in Takoma Park. The students who come to us are to receive a preparation for service that will be full of marrow and fatness. Angels of God will help every one who endeavors to conform his life to the life of Christ. Just as surely as the students grasp the hand of infinite power, that hand will lift them up. RH July 6, 1905, par. 19

We all need to gain greater victories than we have yet gained, and we may do this if we will reach high enough and cling close enough. You may say, “I do not feel as if God is blessing me.” But what have your feelings to do with it? You have the promise. Move steadily forward, believing that God has heard your prayer, and that he will fulfil his word. Be determined that you will overcome, that you will not fail or be discouraged. Do not depend on feeling, but on God. Cast your helpless souls on Christ. Praise God with heart and voice, and glorify his name day by day. RH July 6, 1905, par. 20