Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 16, 1898

Wholehearted Service


February 10, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in CC 34; 8MR 291.

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee; let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed; let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art the God of our salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy lovingkindness; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth; nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. ... The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant. ... Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.” [Psalm 25:1-7, 14, 21.] 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 1

Let this prayer be sent up to heaven. It is of great importance that we know the spirit we cherish when we seek the Lord. We do wrong when we seek our own convenience and personal advantage before the things of God. There is no salvation in any of our acquired possessions, or in our comfortable surroundings. A man is not exalted in God’s sight or accredited by him as possessing more goodness or piety, because he possesses earthly riches. Our minds need to be educated, that we may look at things concerning our spiritual and eternal interest in the light of the Scriptures. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 2

The world today takes much satisfaction in talking of the progress of the age. But in this God does not delight. It may be said of the men of this time, as of those before the flood, They have sought out many inventions. In the antediluvian world there were many wonderful works of art and science. These descendants of Adam, fresh from the hand of God, possessed capabilities and powers that we never now look upon. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 3

Men have sought out many inventions; and the great question for the human family is, What is the influence of these improvements and facilities for intercourse, so abundantly provided. The railways, the telegraph wire, and the cables that connect the nations and kingdoms of the earth have not brought the higher world any nearer our fallen world, because men have not kept God’s commandments. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 4

Obedience to God’s law would bring our world into closer harmony with the heavenly intelligences. The task before each human being is to become intelligent in the things of God, to find the right path, the narrow way that leads through the gate of self-denial into the city of God. The road that leads to perdition is broad and full of human indulgence; but at the end thereof there is no city whose Maker and Builder is God. The road that leads to heaven is narrow, and few there be that find it, for no human device can make this road smooth or easy. “If any man will come after me,” Christ said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” [John 14:6.] 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 5

Christ came from heaven to travel in the narrow path, and to pass through the straight gate; and as we follow in His footsteps, we must remember at every step that we are honored. He calls upon us to leave the broad path, and enter the narrow way and the straight gate. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 6

The Lord Jesus Christ is the ladder to heaven. Angels ascend and descend this ladder of shining brightness. God calls upon us to mount this ladder. But we cannot do this if we load ourselves down with earthly treasures. If we gain a genuine experience in climbing, we shall learn that as we ascend, we must leave behind every hindrance. Every one who mounts must place his feet firmly on every round. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 7

Those who travel in the narrow path must daily receive God’s restoring grace. This is given to heavenbound travellers as they become worn by continual conflicts and are tempted to give up progressive movements. If they do not receive it, they faint by the way. Refresh by it, they do not find the road tedious. Thanksgiving and prayer will keep the souls encouraged. Cheerful songs of praise will be heard. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 8

The church is Christ’s instrumentality in this world. By it He seeks to represent the divine character. It is the privilege of each one to show that Christ has not disappointed him, but has given him refreshment by the way. Though we do not all preach the Word, yet we may all engage in ministry. But we cannot teach what we have not experienced. What doth it profit a man if we have faith without works. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul is the only true faith. The faith that does not produce fruit, that does not show inward piety by outward works, that does not reveal the Christlikeness, is a false faith. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 9

God is love. All who possess the Christlikeness will reveal His purity of character. They will be transformed into His image. Their words will not be cheap or common, for their manner of speech is changed. Hasty words of censure, a passionate spirit, are inspired by the enemy. The children of God are patient. They are merciful, even as Christ is merciful. They are full of love, and are kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, but firm as a rock to principle. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 10

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” [Isaiah 43:18-20.] The beasts of the field have been benefited by God’s efforts on behalf of His people; and because of the blessings God has provided, the dragons and the owls have honored Him. “But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob,” He says; “but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither has thou honored me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. ... But thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” [Verses 22-25.] 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 11

“Yet saith the house of Israel, The ways of the Lord are not equal. O house of Israel, Are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore will I judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that diet, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” [Ezekiel 18:29-32.] 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 12

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep all my judgments, and do them.” [Ezekiel 36:25-27.] 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 13

What is it to serve God? It is to resemble Him in character, to imitate Him. To serve God is to obey Him, to keep His commandments, to make an open confession of not standing under the black banner of the great apostate, but under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Those who serve God are zealous keepers of His Word; thus they show what army they are in. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 14

God asks for the whole heart. Christ made a complete sacrifice in our behalf when He made Himself an offering for sin, and He will accept nothing less than the undivided affections. God is a Spirit, and those who do Him service, who worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth. 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 15

“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. ... And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law. And we know that he was manifested to take away our sins, and in him is no sin.” [1 John 3:1, 3-5.] Until men see their own defects in the mirror of God’s law, until they see that they must meet that law in character, they will manifest a spirit that is opposed to being led in the way of the Lord. They will not feel it essential to be free from sin. The Son of God came to our world in human form to show man that divinity and humanity combined does not commit sin. He is our Pattern. Through Him we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him.” [Verse 6.] “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” [Galatians 6:7.] 13LtMs, Ms 16, 1898, par. 16