Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 101, 1901

The Need of the Grace of Christ

Battle Creek, Michigan

April, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 24. +Note

We are now on the field of battle. May God help me to hide in Christ! 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 1

The most convincing evidence of growth in grace is a constantly increasing love for righteousness. He who is growing in grace loves to obey the Word of God. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 2

We are living amid the perils of the last days. Our safety lies in holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. Ordinary, half-hearted service does not please God. I would that the perceptive faculties of the people of God were sharp and clear, that they might see the need of cultivating righteousness. Difficult work is before us. Let us seek to harmonize, to love one another as Christ has loved us. As religious teachers, we should have a growing sense of the need of unity in faith and action. We are to guide the flock of God. Let us, then, not make false paths for our feet. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 3

“Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” [James 3:13.] Let him reveal his wisdom by showing that he has learned of the great Teacher. “Take my yoke upon you,” Christ says, “and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 4

Christ’s wisdom never leads to contention and strife. His gentleness is a wonderful gift. It is true goodness. “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” [James 3:18.] Let there be no strife for the supremacy among the people of God. Let no words of contention or bitterness fall from their lips. If you have never learned to control self, begin to learn now. The heart that sends forth the bitter waters of strife cannot possibly send forth the sweet, pure waters of love to God and man. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 5

My brethren, my sisters, let us strive for the Holy Spirit by submitting to the control of the Spirit. Remember that a strict account must be rendered to God of all the words spoken. O that all realized the eternal consequences dependent on the use of the tongue! 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 6

I tell you, my brethren and sisters, that Satan works through every one who is not fully consecrated to God. Some are not aware that their influence is strongest on the side of the enemy. But though they do not realize it, they are making crooked paths for their feet, and the lame—those deficient in religious experience—are turned out of the way. When will they gain the faith that works by love and purifies the soul? 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 7

When a minister takes with him into the ministry objectionable traits of character, he places the truth in peril. He is not converted, and therefore he does not appreciate his sacred trust. He does not use his influence and capabilities on the Lord’s side. He is an instrument in the hands of the enemy. The evil into which he breaks out diminishes his power of doing good, and casts reproach on the ministry. He robs his message of its power to convict the conscience of the sinner. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 8

He who is converted carries himself circumspectly. The sinner, born again, has become the child of God. His character has undergone a transformation. The gospel has become to him the power of God unto salvation. He is a laborer together with God—the Lord’s helping hand. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 9

God bestows on men gifts which He desires them to use to His name’s glory. The enemy tries to make men place their own interests first. This is their danger. Unless they humble themselves at every step, they will introduce self into their work. Those who engage in the Lord’s service must pray much, else human wisdom will mar their efforts. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 10

For years past many have been anxious to produce something new and surprising to present to the people, to amaze them, instead of steadily and prayerfully leading them to Christ, teaching them to eat His flesh and drink His blood. There is no safety in trusting in humanity, in keeping before the mind the doings of men. Thus Satan tries to eclipse Christ. He does not want the world to behold Him as the One altogether lovely, the chiefest among ten thousand. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 11

Work, my dear brethren, under the eye of God. Intense watchfulness and strict censorship over self are now essential. Walk humbly and trustingly with God. Christ is your pattern. Behold Him, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 12

The energies of the church have been fettered. Cut away the bands. There is a great deal of rough, hard work to be done, but because of this, the worker must not grow rough and uncourteous, unlovely in speech and action. Let everyone in God’s service strive to be as pure and holy as the Master. Let God’s people act so that the world will see that Seventh-day Adventists are an intelligent, thinking people, whose faith is based on a surer foundation than the bedlam of confusion. The people are hungry for the bread of life. Do not offer them a stone. God requires His servants to give the people pure, spiritual food. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 13

The salvation of souls is the grand object to which our whole attention should be turned. To the accomplishment of this work we should bend all our energies. The earth is covered with moral darkness. Crime and vice abound. Those who love the truth should now work earnestly and zealously for Bible religion. God will accept no compromise. We must lift the standard higher and still higher. A religion that is merely nominal is an insult to the One who was crucified for us. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” [Romans 13:14.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 14

Should Christ appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, who would be found complete in Him, not having their own righteousness, but the righteousness which is by faith? 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 15


In His work God uses a transplanting process, changing the situation and labor of His workers. He sees that there are those who need a purer atmosphere, and He sends them to another place. So it is in nature. To us it may seem that the gardener, tearing the plants up by the roots, is undoing his past work. But it is by transplantation that the best results are gained. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 16

It may seem that much service is lost by carrying out the plans of reorganization. But the Lord says, “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his scent remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” [Jeremiah 48:11.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 17


There are gospel ministers, shepherds of the flock of God, who, though they have had great light, are not following the principles of health reform in their diet. They still eat meat. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 18

Those who at one meal eat a great variety of food will find that they are lacking in spirituality. The food we eat should be wholesome, nourishing, and palatable, and it should also be plain and simple. And I would not advocate the disuse of salt. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 19

The Need of Christlike Sympathy. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 20

All who are guided by heavenly wisdom will manifest a heavenly spirit. O, when will those who profess Christ put on Christ? When will they work as true medical missionaries? Into the practical, everyday life Christ’s followers must bring His tenderness and lovingkindness. Stop right where you are, my brother, in your close, hard dealing. Remember that your every action is recorded in the books of heaven. Every day your character is photographed by the heavenly artist. Every action of oppression and fraud, and every action of love and tenderness, is faithfully reproduced. At the last great day, to everyone before Him, Christ will say, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” or, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” [Matthew 25:40, 45.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 21

How are you relating yourselves to God’s work as medical missionaries? If God gives me strength, I shall not let this subject drop until a thorough change is made in business dealing, until a reformation takes place, and God’s people love Him with the whole heart and soul and strength and mind, and their neighbor as themselves. The Lord has not one word of commendation for sharp, close dealing. Let those in responsible positions in our offices of publication begin with themselves, closely examining their every action, and asking, “Is this the way of the Lord? Is Christ’s will my will?” Be in earnest as you ask yourselves these questions. Plead with God. Pray as you have never prayed before. Bring your habits into conformity with the Word of God. One lax habit leads to the continual breaking of the commandments. Overcome your inclination to wrong before the heart is hardened in sin. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 22

The head of every department in our publishing houses should be an earnest, sincere Christian, prepared to deal with those in his charge as human beings under Christ’s rule should deal with one another. By kind words and unselfish actions, they should gain the confidence of those whom they direct. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 23

No one has any reason to expect acceptance of Christ in others any further than he himself reveals Christ’s likeness. When Christ abides in the soul, the temper is sweetened and the voice controlled. The words spoken are comforting and encouraging. The truth is uttered in love. Then does the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Verse 23.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 24

God calls upon those in positions of responsibility in His publishing houses to put themselves in the place of those with whom they deal. How would those who give orders in harsh, dictatorial tones like to be spoken to in the same way? Remember that it is the delight of God to manifest the largeness of His benevolence, His love, His compassion. He looks with tender pity on those who have an unhappy disposition. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 25

Let the heart of the instructor be linked with the hearts of those in his charge. Let him remember that they have many temptations and trials to meet. How little we realize the many objectionable traits of character which are given to the youth as a birthright, and how many temptations come to them as a result of this birthright. Help the youth by your kindness, your prayers, your words of loving interest. Thus you may save souls from death and hide a multitude of sins. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 26

God desires you to study the material with which you are working. Do you seek to win the love and confidence of your apprentices by giving them your love and confidence? Once you have gained their confidence, you have found a way of helping them. Do not, by a lack of sympathy, force them into strange paths. Instead, by your unselfish interest in them, guide their wayward, inexperienced feet in the narrow path leading to the city of God. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 27

God desires the windows of His publishing houses to be closed earthward and opened heavenward. If the hearts of the managers do not reflect the sunshine of pleasantness and love, they should be labored with. If they refuse to be converted, to change their way of dealing with the apprentices and other workers, let them disconnect from the office; for their wrong methods will spoil the youth with whom they come in contact in the office. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 28

Remember that a publishing house is a school, and that it is to be wisely governed, as Christ governs His school. Are you who occupy positions of trust in our offices of publication learning of Christ His meekness and lowliness? Are you by your actions of tenderness and sympathy binding yourselves up with every worker in the office? When you have done this, stewards of God, then it is time to have seasons of fasting and prayer for these souls. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 29

Discipline yourselves. Until you do this, you cannot discipline others. Repress that harsh, condemnatory word. Let it not be spoken. Let the law of kindness be on your lips. Souls are too precious to be handled harshly. They are the purchase of the blood of Christ. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 30

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” [James 1:12.] Blessed is the man who endureth temptation, who has not sacrificed his self-respect by being harsh, dictatorial, and arbitrary. Angels are marking every thought, word, and action. If he endures the test, he comes forth with the approval of God. The righteousness of God goes before him, and the glory of the Lord is his rereward. He fails not to represent the goodness, mercy, compassion, and love of the Lord Jesus. He will receive a crown of life. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 31

The religion that does not govern the temper and control the tongue, making men kind, patient, and forbearing, is not the religion of Christ. It will not secure salvation 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 32

Throw yourselves unreservedly into the work of helping others. Then hearts will be softened, subdued, converted. Drink deeply of the spirit of Christlike tenderness and sympathy, for the Saviour yearns over every soul He has redeemed. If by kindness and love you break up the fallow ground of the heart and sow the gospel seed, you will reap a rich harvest. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 33

Make the office a house of prayer; then God will be present with you in your religious exercises and in your work. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 34

The great trouble in our publishing houses has been that those at the head of the work have taken on themselves too many burdens. The outside work which has been brought in has caused backsliding from God. It has led the workers to hurry and drive. They have had no time to pray. They have not had sufficient time to prepare to meet temptation. The time will come when the many presses in our publishing houses will not be needed. They will be disposed of, and the proceeds will go toward the advancement of the Lord’s work. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 35

May God help those in charge of the publishing work to see that He desires far less worldly business brought into His offices of publication. Instead, He desires the managers and directors to spend more time in the education of those who are learning the printer’s trade. God is dishonored when He and His angels are crowded from the office by the rush of outside work. There is far more loss than gain in this kind of management. One soul is worth more to Jesus than all the financial profits that can be brought in. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 36

God asks, “What is the chaff to the wheat?” [Jeremiah 23:28.] I will turn and overturn until the changes are made that will bring correct principles into the publishing houses. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 37

Every institution is to stand in heaven-born righteousness. One institution is not to deal selfishly with another institution which is carrying forward a different line of God’s work. The interests of the Review and Herald and the Sanitarium are to blend, as are the interests of our publishing houses and sanitariums all over the world. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 38

Selfishness and covetousness have been mingled with all parts of the Lord’s work, defiling it and dishonoring Him. Let this great evil be purged from His cause. “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel; for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth nor mercy nor knowledge of God in the land.” “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth; and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” [Hosea 4:1; 6:4-6.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 39

Is it not high time for us to awake out of sleep and become workers together with God? Let not those who claim to be Christians act like sinners, manifesting anger and doing unchristlike deeds. Shall we not search for the Lord diligently? Shall we not study His Word, that we may know and do His will? Shall we not call on Him in our great necessity? Shall we not show that repentance that needeth not to be repented of? 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 40

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. ... Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall be unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” [Verses 1, 3.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 41

“Go, and Do Thou Likewise.” 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 42

Christians are in need of learning of the great Physician how to restore their brethren who have fallen into decay by showing an interest in them, speaking and acting kindly toward them, not passing them by on the other side. When you see one who needs to be encouraged, be to him as the Lord’s helping hand. You dishonor God when you pass by a needy brother to patronize those who do not love or fear God. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 43

A Christian is Christlike. Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another are the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. Should we not, then, obey these principles, that we may gain eternal life? Christlike love is the best gift which God bestows. All should strive most earnestly for this love, that they may reveal it in the life. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 44

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, 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. But he, willing to justify himself, said <petulantly> unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” [Luke 10:25-37.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 45

This is genuine medical missionary work. It is the law of God practiced. “Go, and do thou likewise,” are the words which come sounding down along the line to our time. Do you ask, “Who is my neighbor?” It is everyone who is in need of the help which you can bestow. You may be tempted to leave your neighbor alone in his helpless condition, because to help him is not an inviting task and may cause considerable inconvenience and cost much care and anxiety. But the word comes, “Go, and do thou likewise.” 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 46

The work that is done in business lines is never to be done with sharpness and selfishness. Never, ever, never put out your hand to do a deed of oppression. No such act will Christ endorse. All the ambitious projects, all the striving of worldly glory, are of very little advantage. Nothing of earthly treasure that men obtain will gain for them entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Worth infinitely more than the advantages which may be gained by selfishness in business deal is the approval of God. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 47

God desires every one who names His name to reveal the character of Christ. Christians are to learn of the Saviour, not merely now and then, but always. From Him they are to obtain skill in healing the bruised souls with whom they come in contact. They are to help one another as Christ has helped them. They are to be prepared to understand the needs of those who are in distress. As well-trained physicians of the soul, they are to bind up the wounds which sin has made. The great Physician will direct them in this work, telling them just what to do. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 48

Skill in ministry is needed. God’s people need to learn from the Saviour how to restore those who have fallen into decay. Make diligent inquiry. Job declared, “The cause that I knew not, I searched out.” [Job 29:16.] Seek to bind up, to heal. Never do anything to send a soul into discouragement. Refuse to follow the selfish, exacting principles which have expelled from the hearts of some every vestige of the love of the compassionate Redeemer. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 49

Set the one who has fallen once more on his feet. With skilled hands bind up the wounds which trial and hardship have made in his heart. Does not the pale face of your brother who is struggling under a burden of debt awaken your sympathy? Perhaps he is fighting against ill health. God is dishonored when you do not do all in your power to help him. His instruction is that we are to do good to all, and especially to those that are of the household of faith. Go to those of his brethren who are receiving good wages and say, Cannot we do something to help our brother who is in poverty and distress? 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 50

Cases needing help have come before the workers in the Review and Herald and the Pacific Press. In His providence God arranges matters so that He may prove what His professed followers will do for Christ in the person of His saints. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 51

Those who reject the gospel of mercy reject the Saviour. We advise all who wish to gain eternal life to obey the words, “This do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:28.] Those on whose pathway the light of heaven shines are responsible for the use they make of the light. The greater the light, the greater the darkness which comes if it is not received. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 52

God expects every child of His to follow the example which Christ has set in His life of unselfish service. No one will be excused who is careless and indifferent in regard to the needs of suffering humanity. Christ is to be represented by the words and actions of His followers. It is to be as if He were present. He will greatly bless those who cultivate love and tenderness and compassion for the suffering. The doing of kind deeds softens the harshness in the character, making the experience agreeable and satisfactory. Love of self is lost in love for Christ and the purchase of His blood. Genuine love leads to helpfulness. It is revealed by words and deeds of kindness. He whose heart is filled with Christlike love is self-forgetful. He makes painstaking efforts to help others. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 53

Love is of God. He first loved us, not because we were attractive in character, but because we were needy. He loved us, not because we were good, but because we needed a Saviour, a Redeemer, to rescue us from Satan to whom we had been sold by the belief of our first parents in his lie. He revealed His love by purchasing for us at an infinite cost the gift of everlasting life. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 54

In order for our sins to be forgiven, we must accept the provision which has been made for us. We need not suppose that we can act out the character of Satan, and at the same time to [be] regarded as worthy to be chosen as Christ’s jewels. We must be good and do good. 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 55

“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us, with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself; and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:16-27.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 56

“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace; be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so, faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” [James 2:12-17.] 16LtMs, Ms 101, 1901, par. 57