The Review and Herald

376/1902

October 19, 1886

Labors in Christiana

EGW

July 2 we arrived in Christiana. We were met at the station by friends, and taken to the rooms which had been prepared for us in a part of the old office building formerly used as a meeting-hall. These rooms were fitted up very comfortably, and were made attractive by a variety of house plants. We were glad to meet Bro. and Sr. Clausen, so recently from America, and other friends with whom we formed an acquaintance at our visit last fall. RH October 19, 1886, par. 1

Sabbath, July 3, we met with the church in their hall in the new publishing house, a pleasant and commodious place of worship. I spoke to them from 2 Peter 3:11 : “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” I urged upon them the importance, since they had received so great light, of having corresponding works. The genuine receiver of truth is a doer of the word, and not a hearer only. As the truth is brought into the life, the whole character is changed. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” The truly converted soul will become gentle and condescending. His character will be marked with simplicity. He will be spiritually-minded. Self-exaltation will cease. His affections have entered a new channel. He loves Jesus with the whole heart, and he loves his brethren as the purchase of the blood of Christ. Here is the fruit that will certainly appear in the renewed heart. RH October 19, 1886, par. 2

We have a most solemn faith. Believing as we do that Christ is soon to come, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness! What holy energy and diligence should be manifested in our lives! It should be our delight to do the will of God; and if we do his will, we shall be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. RH October 19, 1886, par. 3

An appointment had been made for me to speak Sunday afternoon at Laurvig, about seventy miles from Christiana. We went to this place by steamer, leaving Christiana at ten o'clock Saturday evening. The little steamer was so crowded that we could not obtain a state-room, but the seats in the ladies’ cabin served us for berths. The night seemed long, and we were glad to see, about two o'clock, the red eastern sky foretelling the sunrise. RH October 19, 1886, par. 4

We arrived in Laurvig at 5 A. M., and were met by Bro. E. G. Olsen, and taken to our rooms at the hotel, where we spent the morning in sleeping. After taking dinner with Bro. and Sr. Olsen, we visited a beautiful forest park, an extensive grove of beech-trees, which is said to be the only beech grove in Norway. What especially interested me was, while it was a place of public resort, no alcoholic liquor of any kind was allowed to be sold there. Nothing stronger than soda water was dealt out to visitors. RH October 19, 1886, par. 5

In the afternoon I addressed a good congregation from Luke 10:25-28: “A certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, 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. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” I showed from the words of Christ what constitutes true holiness, that faith and obedience go hand in hand. RH October 19, 1886, par. 6

In this place, as in Orebro, are to be found the claimants of sanctification, some of whom, not satisfied with the boast of perfect holiness, make the most presumptuous claims, one man even professing to be Christ himself. This spurious sanctification has a bewitching power very similar to that of Spiritualism, and as difficult to break. Its advocates claim to be holy while they are workers of iniquity, calling sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. Satan uses this class to bring contempt upon Bible religion. RH October 19, 1886, par. 7

Under Bro. Olsen's labors a good interest had been manifested in Laurvig, and about twenty had begun to keep the Sabbath. We felt a deep interest in this little company. Some of its members were converted from a life of dissipation. The appearance of one of these brethren impressed me forcibly; his countenance bore in so marked a manner the impress of the spirit of Jesus that one could but say, This man is indeed born of God. He is poor, dependent upon his daily labor for support, and on account of the Sabbath he expects to lose his position; he is no longer young, and infirmities press upon him; but he has the peace of Christ. The truth he loves has done much for him; there has been a decided change in his whole life. The fountain has been purified, and the change is evinced by the sweetness of the stream that flows from it. The renewed man can say, “For me to live is Christ.” I much desired to remain longer in this place; but duty called us elsewhere, and on Monday we returned to Christiana. RH October 19, 1886, par. 8

We felt much burdened for the church in this place; for we knew that it was not in a healthy condition. While some of its members were earnest and devoted, earnestly striving to follow Christ, there were others of that class whom the apostle calls vain talkers, whose mouths must be stopped. Their religion consists in prying into the affairs of others, as if the Lord had placed them on the judgment-seat to criticise and condemn their brethren. They have carried their reproaches and accusations from household to household, and instead of being promptly rebuked, they have found listeners. Those who thus give ear to these fault-finding ones are equally guilty; for they are encouraging them in their cruel work. Whoever lends himself to this work of evil surmising, reproach, and accusation, is rendering service to Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren, accusing them before God day and night. Those who have Christ abiding in the heart will not be engaged in any such work; they will be as far removed from it as the east is from the west. RH October 19, 1886, par. 9

Those who are associated together in church capacity have entered into a relationship with one another which implies mutual responsibility. They have individually pledged themselves to God and to their brethren to build up one another in the most holy faith,—to build up, not to tear down. No church can be in a healthy, flourishing condition unless its leaders shall take firm, decided measures to repress this fault-finding, accusing spirit wherever it exists. Its indulgence should be made a matter of church discipline; for it is a violation of the law of God, a violation of the rules which Christ has laid down for preserving order in the church. If these mischievous talkers are not subjected to church discipline they become confirmed in their evil work, and God charges the guilt upon the church. RH October 19, 1886, par. 10

It is impossible to express the pain and trouble caused by the false tongue. The atmosphere surrounding the soul is vital with influences for good or evil. There are persons whose presence leaves a taint on everything wherever they go. An intelligent Christian lady, after a scandal-monger had left her house, set all the doors and windows wide open to cleanse the atmosphere of its pollution. The professed followers of Christ should realize that the influence of their words and acts not only has a bearing upon themselves, but extends outside the church. If they could see the mischief wrought by their careless words, the repetition of vague reports, the unjust censures, there would be far less talking and more praying when Christians assemble together. RH October 19, 1886, par. 11

At the bar of God there will be opened before us astonishing revelations of the results of evil-speaking. At that bar the deceitful tongue, the cruel tongue, that has been so unsparing in its accusing and denunciation, will receive from the Judge of all the earth the same judgment that it has passed upon others. Vain talkers will then be called to meet their work, to answer for the souls that have been turned from the truth by their wicked words. RH October 19, 1886, par. 12

The members of the church need to be educated to realize their accountability. They should feel that it extends to all the minutest acts of life, to the words and to the thoughts. We must individually meet our whole life again before God's throne, and give an account, not only for all we have done, whether good or evil, but for all the good we might have done yet failed to accomplish because we were not consecrated to God. RH October 19, 1886, par. 13

We spent two weeks in Christiana, and labored earnestly for the church. The Spirit of the Lord moved me to bear a very plain testimony. At our last meeting especially, I presented before them the necessity of a thorough change in the character if they would be children of God. When they come to worship before the Lord, it should be with subdued and reverent hearts. The house built for his worship is a sacred place, not a place for unholy feelings, malice, fault-finding, and bitterness of spirit. I urged upon them the necessity of deep repentance, confession, and forsaking of the sins which had shut away the sweet spirit of Christ from the church. We then called for those to come forward who would take a decided position on the Lord's side. Many responded. Some good confessions were made, and earnest testimonies were borne. We hope that this move is but the beginning of a decided advance on the part of many members of this church. RH October 19, 1886, par. 14

The Lord is willing to work for the church if they will in his fear go to work for themselves. They must individually make earnest efforts to reach a higher standard; but the church cannot rise while the mischief-makers are allowed to do their work of death. Each member of the church should do all in his power to eradicate this curse. God would have his children keep guard, not only over their words, but over their thoughts. Let the heart be closed firmly against all evil reports and meddling talkers, and let it be opened wide to receive God's light and love. Let the soul receive the impress of the divine image, that it may reflect Jesus to the world. RH October 19, 1886, par. 15

The grace of Christ in the soul is represented as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The heart imbued with the spirit of Christ renders back love and obedience, gratitude and thanksgiving, thus showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. How terrible a thing it is to disappoint Jesus by failing to do this work which he expects of us, and which we can do if his light is shining in our hearts! The world is to be warned by the solemn truths which God has committed to his people. And the condition of the church is making its impression either for or against these truths. A perishing world has need of living Christian men and women, in whom Christ is abiding, and in whose daily life he is revealed. A church whose members are quickened by personal connection with Jesus will have an influence upon unbelievers. Their purity of character, their inflexible fidelity, their Christ-like meekness, are a light to guide other souls to Christ and to the truth. RH October 19, 1886, par. 16

Basel, Switzerland.