The Review and Herald

1450/1902

September 20, 1906

Love Toward God and Man

[A discourse given at the Oakland, Cal., camp-meeting, Sabbath, July 21, 1906.]

(Concluded.)

EGW

Last night I was in a sleepless state much of the time. Many representations passed before me. One was a scene in a council meeting where several were present. One man arose and began finding fault with one of his brethren. I looked at the speaker's garments, and saw that they were very undesirable. RH September 20, 1906, par. 1

Another person arose, and began to state his grievance against a fellow laborer. His garments were of another pattern, and they, too, were undesirable. Still another, and yet another arose, and uttered words of accusation and condemnation regarding the course of others. Every one had some trouble to speak of, some fault to find with some one else. All were presenting the defects of Christians who are trying to do something in our world; and they declared repeatedly that certain ones were neglecting this or that or the other thing, and so on. RH September 20, 1906, par. 2

There was no real order, no polite courtesy, in the meeting. In their anxiety to speak, some crowded in while others were still talking. Voices were raised, in an effort to make all hear above the din of confusion. RH September 20, 1906, par. 3

The dress of the speakers was unbecoming and grotesque. This, I was shown, was a representation of defective character. RH September 20, 1906, par. 4

When many had spoken, One of authority appeared, and repeated the words: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” RH September 20, 1906, par. 5

O, how can Christians afford to speak words of criticism and fault-finding,—words that stir up the worst passions of the human heart? The talent of speech is too precious a gift to be abused in this way. Let us refrain from uttering any words that would stir up a spirit of antagonism or retaliation. When irritated, let us remain silent. RH September 20, 1906, par. 6

In this council meeting that I saw in the visions of the night, Christ himself was present. An expression of pain came over his countenance as one after another would come forward, with uncouth dress, to expiate upon the faults of various members of the church. RH September 20, 1906, par. 7

Finally the heavenly Visitant arose. So intent were those present on criticizing their brethren, that it was with reluctance that they gave him opportunity to speak. He declared that the spirit of criticism, of judging one another, is a source of weakness in the church today. Things are spoken that should never find utterance. Every one who by word of mouth places an obstruction in the way of a fellow Christian, has an account to settle with God. RH September 20, 1906, par. 8

With earnest solemnity the Speaker declared: “The church is made up of many minds, each of whom has an individuality. I gave my life in order that men and women, by divine grace, might blend in revealing a perfect pattern of my character, while at the same time retaining their individuality. No one has the right to disparage the individuality of any other human mind, by uttering words of criticism and fault-finding and condemnation.” RH September 20, 1906, par. 9

These words he repeated with solemn earnestness; and then he turned and grasped a standard, and held it aloft. From this standard, in burning letters, clear and distinct, gleamed God's law. The Speaker declared: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” RH September 20, 1906, par. 10

As the light from the uplifted standard flashed upon these men in council, they shrank from it as if it were a burning flame. Some prostrated themselves; some turned and went away. RH September 20, 1906, par. 11

As I looked upon the scene, the names of the fault-finders appeared before them, and opposite each name were written out the faults of the erring one. None were free from defects of character. In the light of the uplifted standard, all were guilty. RH September 20, 1906, par. 12

The churches have had light, great light. Infinite light and power are promised those who go forth in the name of the Master to do his bidding. While all do not labor in the same manner, or say the same things, yet the words of one will balance the words of another. In the midst of diversity there will be a beautiful harmony. RH September 20, 1906, par. 13

Let every one attend to his own individual case before God. Let every one confess his own sins with humility of mind. Let every one appropriate the rich promises of God's Word, and while working out his own salvation with fear and trembling, labor for the salvation of others as well. RH September 20, 1906, par. 14

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.” RH September 20, 1906, par. 15

All who love God supremely will love their neighbor as themselves. The keeping of the new commandment is to the believer a step heavenward. That which will give God's people the supremacy is obedience to the injunction, “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” “Neither pray I for these alone,” Christ said, “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.” RH September 20, 1906, par. 16

“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.” RH September 20, 1906, par. 17