The Review and Herald

286/1902

November 4, 1884

Notes of Travel

Worcester, Mass

EGW

We arrived at Worcester August 26. That evening it commenced to rain, and the storm continued that night and all day Tuesday; but Wednesday forenoon the weather cleared. RH November 4, 1884, par. 1

The meeting had been in progress five days. Much hard work had been done, with some good results; but the good accomplished was not at all in proportion to the labor bestowed. From time to time we meet things on the camp-ground that seem to stand in defiance of all the advice or labor that can be bestowed; and this makes the labor of the minister very discouraging. On the part of some of the youth present there seemed to be a disposition to pay too much attention to young ladies. When this spirit is once permitted to find place, it works like leaven, and but little permanent impression can be made upon the youth. Until this spirit is entirely rooted out, and the meekness and lowliness of Christ takes its place, their spiritual progress is stayed, and all the words spoken to them seem as water spilled upon a rock. RH November 4, 1884, par. 2

Young men who have been granted a license to preach will be tested. They will show whether they are worthy to be recommended to the confidence of the people, and intrusted with the sacred responsibility of laboring for souls. It is a great thing to receive the words of God and present them to the people. It is a sacred trust to occupy the position of a shepherd of the flock of God. All who have a sense of this great responsibility, will be sober-minded, thoughtful, praying men. RH November 4, 1884, par. 3

It is not by lecturing or sermonizing that the minister will be able to meet the moral darkness of this age, and exalt the standard of truth in the earth. There must be heart-culture. It is by cultivating truth, purity, love, and a disposition to help others, that the influence is sanctified. One that watches for souls as they that must give an account, will watch himself as well. He will consider the prayer of Christ, the Great Shepherd, who is the pattern for all the under-shepherds: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil... Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” RH November 4, 1884, par. 4

Jesus led the way where he wished others to follow, and those who labor intelligently to present the truth will do likewise. They will not engage in frivolous conversation. A wide field of usefulness is open before them; and if they realize its magnitude and importance, they will carry a burden for souls, and will have a weight of influence. But we meet some whose deportment and influence are no recommendation of the truth. If they have any connection with the work of God, it will be marred through the influence of their defective education and wrong habits of life. RH November 4, 1884, par. 5

Those who are vain and self-important, who are given to trifling and jesting, cast reproach on the cause of God; for our faith and principles are judged by their course of action. The errors and mistakes of the unfaithful minister are charged to the whole body. Then let him that ministers in sacred things be careful to start right. Let him have a character as free from imperfections as possible, and let him walk quietly in the path of rectitude, mastering every passion and habit that will in any way mar the work of God or leave a spot upon its sacredness. It is the work of the minister to resist the temptations that lie in his pathway, and to rise superior to those debasements that give the mind a low level. RH November 4, 1884, par. 6

Good habits are of great value to every young person. Self-importance, self-esteem, and boldness are to be deplored in any youth or in any professed follower of Christ; but how much more in one who is handling the most sacred truths ever committed to mortals. When such a one pursues a course out of the desk that is not in accordance with his calling and his pulpit labors, it is an evil that cannot be too strongly condemned. Those who take this course show that they are not Christians; that while they would teach others, they have need that one teach them. They are not students in the school of Christ; they are not wearing his yoke or bearing his burdens. They are an offense to God. RH November 4, 1884, par. 7

I am greatly troubled; for I know that young men are accepted as laborers whose life and character are no honor to the cause of God. They may have repented of their past course of frivolity; but do they show that the transforming grace of Christ has had its influence on their hearts and lives? Those who are going out as canvassers, colporteurs, or lecturers, should bear their credentials to the world in a well-ordered life and circumspect conversation. Will these young men consider what kind of a record they are making in the books of heaven? In some cases if their conduct toward young ladies could be laid open before the eyes of men as it is before the eyes of angels, what a picture would be presented! To trifle with hearts is a crime of no small magnitude in the sight of a holy God. And yet some will show preference for young ladies and call out their affections, and then go their way and forget all about the words they have spoken and their effect. A new face attracts them, and they repeat the same words, devote to another the same attentions. RH November 4, 1884, par. 8

This disposition will reveal itself in the married life. The marriage relation does not always make the fickle mind firm, the wavering steadfast and true to principle. They tire of constancy, and unholy thoughts will manifest themselves in unholy actions. How essential it is, then, that the youth so gird up the loins of their mind and guard their conduct, that Satan cannot beguile them from the path of uprightness. We grieve to see men with good capabilities, to whom have been intrusted precious talents, wholly unfitting themselves to teach the truth. Their thoughts are upon low, debasing themes that defile the mind, so that it never reaches that high standard that would give nobleness of character and firmness of principle. RH November 4, 1884, par. 9

Let every church frown upon the course of one who comes among them as a minister, and yet dishonors the cause of God by attracting to himself ladies, either married or single. The sacred, solemn truth is despised and made of none effect by the frivolous course of some, who, forgetting the solemnity and dignity that should ever characterize the embassador for Christ, amuse themselves out of the desk in coquetting with young ladies, thus helping them to put all serious thoughts out of their minds. These men show that they have not elevated views of the truth; that they know nothing of its sanctifying influence; and that they are not in harmony with the work for the salvation of souls. The Lord asks them, “What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?” RH November 4, 1884, par. 10

Each one in the day of investigative Judgment will stand in character as he really is; he will render an individual account to God. Every word uttered, every departure from integrity, every action that sullies the soul, will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. Memory will be true and vivid in condemnation of the guilty one, who in that day is found wanting. The mind will recall all the thoughts and acts of the past; the whole life will come in review like the scenes in a panorama. Thus every one will be condemned or acquitted out of his own mouth, and the righteousness of God will be vindicated. RH November 4, 1884, par. 11

In the case of each individual there is a process going forward which is far more wonderful than that which transfers the features to the polished plate of the artist. The art of the photographer merely imprints the likeness on perishable substance; but in the life-record the character is faithfully delineated, and this record, however dark, can never be effaced except by the blood of the atoning Sacrifice. Then, young friends, will you not stop and think what record the books in heaven present of your life and character? What kind of a picture are you making to confront you in the final Judgment? Will you consider that the harboring of a polluted thought, the formation of a bad, selfish habit, which debases your own soul and ruins others, is a blot upon that record that will one day appear against you? Can you afford this? RH November 4, 1884, par. 12

Remember that to cause a suspicion or a reproach to rest upon the cause of God is a terrible thing. It is crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to open shame before his enemies. Those who do this are without excuse, and their course will stand against them in the day of reckoning. God has given to young men precious talents; but all have not made the best use of these gifts; some have perverted these powers, and used them to gratify their own desires, to serve their own purposes. The Lord accepts no such service. RH November 4, 1884, par. 13

The true minister of God will not attempt to stand before the people until he is himself transformed by grace. Let the light of truth shine into the heart and sanctify the life, and the love of God be shed abroad in the heart, and one can hardly conceive what a change is wrought. It is difficult to realize what a man may become, and what solid work for God he may do. His conversation is in heaven. He is chaste in thought, pure in purpose, sensitive in conscience, unswerving in integrity. RH November 4, 1884, par. 14

Think for a moment of the contrast between an intelligent Christian, and a man who is living for self, a votary of sin. There stand two men endowed with equal capabilities. Their opportunities have been the same; the same inducements have been presented before them. One has studied his Bible with the purpose to make it the rule of his life. He knows the Source of his strength, and trusts in the merits of Jesus, hanging his helpless soul upon his mercy. His life is one of self-denial. He does not live to please himself, but it is his pleasure to be a co-laborer with God. His countenance is lighted up with intelligence; his experience is rich and deep; his bearing is that of a Christian gentleman, calm, self-possessed, and dignified. RH November 4, 1884, par. 15

Now look at the opposite picture. There stands one to whom God has intrusted precious talents. He is familiar with the Scriptures, but his heart has never been sanctified through the truths they teach. His affections have never been entwined about God, but are like the vine trailing upon the ground, its tendrils grasping the stumps and rubbish of earth. His entire character is marked by a littleness, an earthliness, a debasement, which testifies to those who observe his ways that the spirit of truth has not entered the inner sanctuary of the soul, and cleansed it of its defilement. RH November 4, 1884, par. 16

Surely no one can hesitate to choose between these two representative characters. But let each one remember that refinement and true nobility are qualities that never come by chance. It is only by individual, personal effort, aided by the grace of God, that a high standard of moral excellence can be reached. RH November 4, 1884, par. 17