Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 25, 1886


Orebro, Sweden

June 20, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 123-124.

June 20, 1886

(Morning Talk by E. G. White, at Orebro, Sweden,)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8, 9. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 1

These words show us the importance of occupying a position of humility and self-abasement instead of pride. We are to keep the mirror—the law of God—ever before us, that we may discover our defects of character. By this law we are to test our lives. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 2

There is one point that I wish to emphasize: Those who are striving to keep the law of God never boast of their holiness. But many of those who are trampling the law under their unsanctified feet claim that they are without sin, that they have attained perfect sanctification. When the claims of the law of God are presented to them, they at once show feelings of opposition and hatred. Such feelings do not reveal sanctification; for sanctification is entire conformity to God’s will. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 3

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly believing and living to Christ, practicing the virtues of Christ. The law shows us the defects in our character, and then God promises that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [Verse 9.] 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 4

When we are convicted that we are sinners in God’s sight, we are not to sink down in discouragement, feeling that our case is hopeless. Neither are we to seek to break the mirror that reveals our defects. Instead, we should bow before God humbly, confessing our sins and claiming the promise of forgiveness. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 5

We are living in the great day of atonement. O how many forget this! In the typical day of atonement, the people of Israel humbled themselves before God and confessed their sins. The high priest took the prayers of the repentant people and, standing before the ark in the most holy place, made intercession to God in their behalf. And the Lord heard his petition and granted pardon. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 6

This is an illustration of the work that is today going on in the heavenly sanctuary. Our great High Priest is standing before the mercy seat and is making an atonement for us. And should not we be constantly humbling our hearts before God, with confession and repentance? Christ takes the prayers that are offered by contrite hearts and presents them to the Father mingled with the incense of His righteousness. Then pardon is written opposite their names, and the sins of those who have offered these prayers are pardoned. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 7

Every day our faith should increase. While we say, “I know that I am a sinner,” we can say also, “I know I have a Saviour.” Jesus died for sinners, and He will pardon my sins, if I sincerely repent. It is of no avail to claim to believe on Christ unless we acknowledge the claims of God’s law and daily strive to obey its precepts. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 8

It is our duty to believe that Christ will pardon our transgressions. We are to plant our feet upon His promises, remembering that faith, not feeling, is to be our guide. We are to walk by faith, not by sight. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 9

He who keeps his eyes fixed upon Jesus will not claim to be holy. It is those who have lost sight of the sinless Saviour who say boastingly, “I am holy.” It is those who break God’s commandments most defiantly who boast most loudly of being without sin. 4LtMs, Ms 25, 1886, par. 10